From Turtle to Butterfly

Posts Tagged ‘emotions

07-31-20 - LAST BUT NOT LEASTDay 31 of my birthMONTH celebration. Well, today is the last ‘official’ day of my birthMONTH celebration. My plan was to save the best for last, but since I missed a few days and still have a few others on my list I haven’t been able to share yet, it may not actually be my ‘last post’ like this. However, today IS the last day in my ‘official’ birth month, so I’m still sharing about this person today.

I met this person in my early teens and we have continued to stay in touch ever since. I really don’t even know where to begin sharing about what a difference this person has made in my life, but I’m gonna do my best to start at the beginning and go from there. As I said, we met when I was in my early teens. Our relationship then was tenuous but has grown oh so much over the years! This person has definitely made a difference in so many areas of my life!

I started writing this early this morning (around 4:00) but didn’t get to finish. Now here it is, 11:49 p.m., which means I probably won’t finish until after midnight, making it August 1st, but that’s okay, too.

This is probably the one that should be the easiest to share about and, yet, there is so much to share, it’s hard to get it condensed down. Truth is, I don’t want to condense it, but it is necessary that I do or it would be way too long for anyone to read.

This person has taught me about kindness, compassion, love, hope, forgiveness, God, humility, serving others and the list goes on and on. This person not only continues to teach me about these things, He was the absolute, only PERFECT living example of everything He taught.

His name is Jesus and oh, how I wish I had known earlier what it meant to have a relationship with Him. You see, I asked Him to come into my heart when I was in my early teens. I remember the church I was in and the person who was standing beside me before I walked down that aisle. But, even though I asked Him into my heart that day, it was many years ago and not much was taught in those days about having a relationship with Him. It was more like, okay, you’re a Christian now so here’s a list of things you do and a list of things you don’t do – no, I wasn’t actually given a list, it just seemed that way, as I look back on it.

Fast forward to July 2006, though, and that is when I actually began building a relationship with Jesus. I can remember it like it was yesterday, yet it’s been 14 years and so much growth has happened since then. Oh, how He has changed me, changed my heart and my whole outlook over the last 14 years. He continues to grow me, stretch me beyond anything I could ever imagine and……that comfort zone I used to live in? Please! It’s been so long since I lived there, I barely even remember it! I truly never want to live there again! Sure, it was nice and comfortable and I sort of knew what to expect, but nothing grew there. It was all stagnant and had no room for growth.

We are living in the days where we (especially Christians) could very well have to make some really tough choices. We can’t wait until it’s time to make that choice to decide what we will do. We have to choose NOW – TODAY – what we will do when faced with those choices. Y’ALL!!! It is NOT going to be easy! What we are currently living through is nothing compared to what it could become.

Are YOU ready to make the hard choices, if you have to? Do you know what you would do, if you had to choose between taking a vaccine and being able to shop for groceries or not take it and not be able to buy food for your family? These are the type of choices I am talking about.

I sincerely hope you are ready for what may be coming, but more than that, I pray you are ready for what is DEFINITELY coming one day (and I feel it is coming very soon) and that is the return of Jesus Christ of Nazareth! If you aren’t and would like to talk to someone about it, PLEASE feel free to message me – I certainly don’t have all the answers, but we can certainly search them out, together, in His Word!

Interesting note here before I end this – I don’t know how many of you reading this know my butterfly story from last year, but as I was typing today’s entry, my eyes glanced over at the calendar I keep on my desk. It’s a calendar I got from Thirty-One years ago and each month has one of the company’s core values listed on it. Two things I noticed about the one for July – it has butterflies on it (every month’s value has something different) and the core value for July was curious. I find those two things very interesting because last July (2019) is when my butterfly story happened and the core value curious is to remind me to seek new opportunities and new ways to expand my mind. What better way to expand my mind and seek those opportunities than by going deeper and deeper into His Word to find all He has for me there?

Are you on this journey with me? Would you like to be? If you’re not already on this journey, I truly hope you will message me so we can talk. I have so much more to share than I can fit here.

07-28-20 - ADRIANEDay 28 of my birthMONTH celebration. It’s hard to believe I’ve known this lady for ten years already (or is it 9? I don’t really remember) and, then again, it seems I’ve known her my entire life. She came into my life at just the right time – isn’t it amazing how God does things like that for us? I actually met her through my daughter, who met her first. You see, when my daughter moved to Auburn to complete her college degree, my Father knew she was going to need a very special person to look out for her and keep an eye on her. So, He sent Adriane to be a ‘second Mom’ to my baby girl and I’m sure He did it just for me 😉

Adriane made a huge difference in my life all those years ago and she has come to be such a dear, sweet friend that I don’t know what I’d do without her. How did she make such a huge difference in my life? Let me just share a little bit with you….

My baby girl had moved three hours away from me and, it didn’t matter that she was in her twenties – she was (and is) still my baby girl and I wanted to be sure she was taken care of properly! LOL Not long after Jessica moved to Auburn, the Lord introduced her to Adriane. Adriane invited Jessica to visit their church, so she did and she and Adriane became good friends.

This made my Mama heart so happy because Adriane has two children of her own (including a daughter named Jessica) and I knew she would watch out for my baby girl for me. Adriane became like a second Mom to my Jessica and they attended the same church for quite a while.

Adriane made a huge difference in my life because I knew she was watching out for my baby girl and that means a lot to a Mama! As the years went by, however, Adriane made a difference in my life in other ways, too. She is a great friend who is always willing to listen, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve talked. She is sincere and she loves our Father the same way I do! Adriane has helped me grow in my own faith in many different ways. She also made a huge difference in my life because of the difference she made in my baby girl’s life! The way she watched out for her and was always there for her when I couldn’t be – I will never, ever forget that!

Time marches on, things change, we all get busy with our own lives and we don’t always have time to spend with the friends we love. I am really glad we made it a point to have a “girls day” a couple of years ago, when my Jessica was expecting her baby girl. That was a fun day!

Now, we may go for weeks or months without really seeing or talking to each other (except through Facebook), but I know, if I need Adriane for anything, all I have to do is call, text or message her and she’s there!

There is so much more I could share – LOTS more – but, I’m trying to keep these to just one page, so I guess I’ll have to save those stories for another day and time! Adriane has given me something that can’t be bought in a store anywhere – she has loved (and still loves) my baby girl as her own and that, my friends, is something you don’t find every day. It is a treasure that will be stored in my heart forever! Oh! Did I mention she is also one that God used to ‘nudge’ me to let Him give me the devotions for the year 2019? Yeah – she did that! Also, just look at her beautiful family…..

07-28-20 - ADRIANE AND FAMILY

PAW PAW, GRANNY, JESSICA - 01-25-86Day 26 of my birthMONTH celebration. I’ve been waiting for this day to celebrate the one person who definitely changed my life forever. I knew this person for quite a while before I actually met her, but I knew her in a different way than anyone else I’d never met.

This person wasn’t a friend on Facebook – in fact, Facebook wasn’t even a ‘thing’ when I met this person. Actually, I would venture to say there really weren’t many, if any, home computers at the time I met this person. Can y’all even remember a time when there were no personal computers, laptops, tablets or even cell phones??? How in the world did I manage to come to know someone, without actually meeting them face-to-face, in a time when there was no internet? I would love to tell you how.

I was able to get to know this person and love her before I ever even saw her sweet, beautiful face because this particular person began her life by growing right under my heart! This person is my amazing daughter, Jessica!

I chose today to share about her because it is the 26th – her “half plus one” birthday. I met her face-to-face on December 26, 1985, which was a Thursday. According to the old rhyme, Thursday’s child has far to go. This usually means that you will achieve a lot; go on a long journey either physically or in your spiritual or career development. I would say that is pretty accurate for Jessica. She has definitely come a long way in many areas of her life!

But, the purpose of this writing is to share how she made an impact on my life – in fact, how she continues, to this day, to have an impact on my life. Jessica is the one that made me a Mother, a Mom, a Mama and a Mommy. I can not even begin to describe the feeling I had when she was born. I couldn’t believe she was really mine (well, and her Dad’s, but you know what I mean). As happy and excited as I was, I was also scared to death! I’m responsible for another human being now! Oh my! Well, somehow, I managed and I guess I must not have messed up too bad because she is still alive and well today – LOL

Jessica taught me a lot about patience, love, encouragement, endurance, selflessness and many other things about life in general. Today, she is 415 months old (34 years, 7 months for those who don’t want to do the math) and she still has a great impact on my life! She still teaches me so many things that it would be hard to list them all here. She has given me many things as well – joy, love, fulfillment, lots of hugs and kisses over the years – in fact, if we are saying goodbye in person, she still gives me a hug and two kisses (one on each cheek and rubs them in) and says ‘I love you’ before leaving. She has done this since she was old enough to barely talk – I really don’t remember when she first started doing it because she was so very young!

A few years ago, Jessica brought another person into my life when she married Anthony. I love him because he treats my baby well. He loves her even on the days when it’s hard, just like I always did. Yes, Jessica will admit to anyone that she can be pretty hard to love some days – LOL – but she has come a long way – she IS a Thursday’s child, remember?

Then, almost two years ago, they both gave me (and Frank) the most wonderful gift ever – a beautiful granddaughter! We love her so much there are no words to describe it!

Jessica, thank you for the many things you have taught me through the years and continue to teach me. I love watching you be a Mommy to your very own daughter – it thrills my heart in a new and special way. You are so kind, loving and gentle with her. I know, sometimes, you think you aren’t and you don’t see yourself as a “good mother”, but I think we all have those days. Just know that you are doing a great job not only loving your daughter, but also in all the things you are teaching her – including how special she is to Jesus and how He loves her! You ARE a Thursday’s Child and I do believe God still has a journey to take you on – especially the journey of being a great Mom – but He has even more for you, when you’re ready 😊 I love you!

Oh – about the picture – I didn’t have one of me and Jessica readily available on my computer, but I found this one and I love it because it is my Dad and Mom with Jessica – hope y’all enjoy 🙂

07-21-20 - AUNT SUEDay 21 of my birthMONTH celebration finds me remembering someone who was very special to me when I was young. This lady was like a second mother to me for a few, short years. We didn’t live very close to her, so I didn’t get to see her very often, but what an impact she made in the little time I did get to spend with her.

My Aunt Sue was married to my Daddy’s brother, Uncle Vernon. Aunt Sue was a super-sweet and loving lady. I loved it when we would go visit them. I liked seeing my cousin, Genia. She was the only girl of Uncle Vernon and Aunt Sue’s children; the others were boys. Aunt Sue was a very gentle, soft-spoken woman, but she knew how to get a point across and people listened to her.

I don’t really remember a lot of specific times spent with Aunt Sue, probably because I was so young. Other than what I shared above, the one thing I remember about Aunt Sue was finding out that she had something called Rheumatoid Arthritis. Now there may have been other things, I don’t remember (or possibly I never knew about), but I do remember the fingers on her hands beginning to draw up. I don’t even remember if I was in my teen years (but I think I was in my early teens, say 13 or 14) when Aunt Sue taught me about something that I had never been taught about before. I really didn’t like learning this particular lesson, but it’s one we all have to learn at some point in our lives, I guess. Aunt Sue taught me about death ☹ She was the first person I ever loved that I remember dying. Hers was the first funeral I ever remember attending. I couldn’t tell you today anything about that funeral except that I was extremely sad and not just for me – I was so sad for Genia! I’m sure I was sad for her brothers and Uncle Vernon, too, but I only remember being sad for Genia. Aunt Sue was such a wonderful lady, Aunt and Mom! She definitely left a legacy of love for her family, but her death really took a toll on my uncle and cousins. One thing I remember about Aunt Sue’s funeral was a song that was sung – it was her favorite song and, for a long time after her funeral, I hated that song. I hated it because it reminded me of my aunt that had left us, in my young mind, way too early! I hated it because it reminded me that my cousin, Genia, didn’t have her Mom anymore.

Somehow, as the years went by and I got older, I guess I came to realize it wasn’t the song I hated all that time – it was the fact it reminded me I could no longer see Aunt Sue and that made me sad. Y’all know the “titles” I’ve been giving to these posts? I never know what the title is going to be until I start writing and, sometimes, I’m completely done before I go back through and figure out what title would suit that post. Today’s post had the title before I even started writing. Aunt Sue’s favorite song and the one it took me years to be able to love and sing again is the title of this post, “Precious Memories”. You see, I DO have precious memories of Aunt Sue. If you’ve never heard the song, here’s Alan Jackson singing it and here are the words to it:

07-21-20 - PRECIOUS MEMORIES

SIDE NOTE: We didn’t visit Uncle Vernon much (that I remember) after Aunt Sue moved to Heaven and I pretty much lost all contact with Genia.

BONUS: Thanks to Facebook, I was able to reconnect with Genia a few years ago and it has been wonderful – I believe she has her Mother’s heart because I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t receive a beautiful Facebook message from her in the morning AND in the evening! She is definitely a sweetheart, just like her Mom was, and I am so thankful to have her back in my life – even if it is just on Facebook!

07-20-20 - WATSON AND JOSIEDay 20 of my birthMONTH celebration sort of goes hand-in-hand with yesterday’s. Today I celebrate my big brother, Watson! What an impact he has had on my life! Watson is the one who ‘seems’ to be so serious. I remember when we were growing up, it was a big deal if any of us could get Watson to crack a smile and, if we got him to actually LAUGH???? WHOA!!! THAT was almost cause for a celebration right there. However, truth of the matter is, while Watson is a pretty serious guy (like Daddy was), he also has a very dry sense of humor.

In case you don’t understand what I mean by a ‘dry sense of humor’, here’s a description: If someone has a dry sense of humor it means that their jokes aren’t obviously funny. Their jokes can be clever but not something that would make you laugh easily and the jokes are told with no emotion. I’m not sure where he got his dry sense of humor from, but it sure can make life interesting. To this day, it still seems like it’s a big deal when anyone gets Watson to crack a smile or laugh out loud. He doesn’t get on social media much, but I’m fairly certain he doesn’t even use LOL much when he does hop on for a minute or two!

Because Watson has always seemed so serious and was/is so much like Daddy, it’s hard for me to really know how to talk to him, but one thing I know and have always known, if I ever need him for anything, he is there! Watson has always been like a rock to me – not the kind of Rock my Savior, Jesus, is, but a rock here on this earth. Maybe I’m not saying it correctly, but I hope y’all understand what I’m talking about. I didn’t realize it when I was younger, but as I grew older, I began to understand more about how much he cares for me – for all of his siblings and family, in general.

Watson has taught me to understand that just because one person doesn’t show their emotions as much as others might, doesn’t mean they don’t care. It just means they care on a different level. He has shown me, over the years, that he not only cares for me, but that he most likely cares on a deeper level than I can truly understand.

So, as you can see, Watson is the type of person that very rarely shows his emotions to very many people and that is why his Facebook post, this past Saturday, the one I shared with y’all yesterday, had me in tears! Because, even though I know how important family is to him and I know how much he cares for each of us, it’s easy to ‘forget’ sometimes, since it isn’t always on ‘display’ for all to see. Watson is one of those ‘quiet, caring’ people – you know – the strong, silent type 😉

By now you may be wondering how this is goes hand-in-hand with yesterday’s post, so let me fill you in on that part. Yesterday morning in my quiet time with Father, I was thanking Him for leading Watson to Daddy’s old tool box after FORTY years and that’s when it hit me – forty is a significant number in the Bible. So, Father led me on a search. I found that forty is a significant number for many different reasons – It designates important time periods, it is a period of testing, trial or probation, it also represents the generation of man and, did you know, forty different people wrote the Bible??? In a summary of one article I read, the author stated, “Of all the types and shadows of the Old Testament, none is as pervasive and important as the shadows revealed in the relationship between forty and the fulfillment of promises”.

Now, what does it mean that He led Watson to that toolbox after 40 years? I have no idea – He hasn’t shown me anything about that. But I like the thought that came to my mind this morning and maybe it was from the Holy Spirit – I don’t know – but I thought maybe, just maybe, in this case, it is a reward after Watson’s growth through all his trials and tests of the past 40 years – a gift, a promise (that Watson wasn’t even aware of) fulfilled because of his faithfulness.

Like I said, I honestly don’t know, but I do know it was not a ‘coincidence’ that Watson mentioned it had been about forty years. Oh – another thought that came to my mind: I’m fairly certain it won’t be long before Watson has that toolbox all cleaned up and shining, almost like new and that made me think of how he is like Jesus in that respect. Watson loves to take old things (that have been discarded by others as being useless), restore them to looking almost new again and useful for many more years to come. Isn’t that just what Jesus loves to do for us?

I love you, brother, and I’m proud of all you have accomplished in your life! If you see something you want to build, you figure out how; if you hear an instrument you want to play, you figure it out – I doubt there is anything you couldn’t do or learn, if you set your mind to doing or learning it. You definitely do our family – and our earthly father, as well as our Heavenly Father – proud!

In case you’re wondering about the picture I chose for this blog – that is one of my favorite pictures of Watson. It is him and Josie. She was a wonderful dog and he loved her like he loves all of us and his other animals – with his whole heart. Josie crossed over the rainbow bridge a few years ago, but this will always be one of my favorite pics 😊

 I don’t know if Watson will ever read this or not and, chances are, even if he does, he likely won’t comment on it – but maybe, just maybe, it will at least make one corner of his mouth curl up a bit like it does when he’s trying hard not to smile, but he just can’t help it.

THE LETTER OOn Facebook, a friend of mine invited her friends to join her on a journey – a journey to discover words from A-Z to describe Who God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is and it was fun. Once we reached the letter Z, we really didn’t want it to end, so she invited us to join her in finding words to describe who we are in Him. That is why, each morning, in my quiet time I ask Him to give me a word for that day’s letter. Sometimes, I feel Him speak a word to my Spirit and, other times, He takes me on a search. This morning was one of those times He took me on a search, but this search was different from any He has taken me on so far in this journey!

This morning, He began to show me word after word, beginning with the letter “O” and I couldn’t figure out which one He was wanting me to choose – then He gave me a sentence using all the “O” words He had shown me: In Christ I am an odd overcomer, outrageously optimistic and outgoing, while being overjoyed and overwhelmed with His love for me! And, that, my friends, was just the beginning of a most wonderful time with Him this morning, as He led me to go on, in my prayer journal, to ‘explain’ each of the “O” words.

I am odd – I’m set apart for His Kingdom! I am an overcomer – not on my own, for sure – but WITH and IN Him! I am outrageous – people can’t believe some of the things I have done, I can’t believe some of the things I have done – but it was only because of Christ that I could do them! I am optimistic – I know how it ends – I read the end of the book! I am outgoing ONLY in Him; on my own, I’m a scared, timid, little rabbit! I am still overjoyed and majorly overwhelmed at how He loves me – just for me! I mean, how can anyone not be overjoyed and overwhelmed when they realize He died for them? WILLINGLY! LOVINGLY! SACRIFICIALLY! GAVE His life for them! JUST BECAUSE they are there? YES! He loves us just because we are here! His love is not based on our performance or how well-known we are (or aren’t) or how much money we earn or anything – He loves us – ME! YOU! – simply because we are here! It is absolutely mind-blowing, if you allow yourself to sit there and just try to absorb that!

Yet, there are those who still refuse to accept Him, refuse to believe He loves them and, as hard as it is for us (Christians) to understand, still so many who refuse to even believe He exists, let alone willingly gave His life for them. That, my friends, is unacceptable to me. I will continue to pray for the lost and hurting because that is what He calls me to do.

And all of this because of the letter “O” – He truly can use anything to get our attention and speak to us, if we are willing to be quiet long enough to listen for His voice!

HE IS RISENSince Friday, Father has allowed me to feel a burden I have never, ever felt before. It was a heavy, hopeless sadness, as if nothing mattered anymore. I truly believe, with all my heart, He was allowing me to feel only a slight fraction of what the disciples and other believers must have felt on the day Jesus was crucified. I have never felt such despair before, such aloneness.

Even though I knew, because of living here 2,000 years later, what would happen on Sunday morning, I still found myself experiencing sadness on a level I have never felt it before. As if all hope was gone! Just an underlying “heavy” heaviness, even though I went about my day as normal, completing the chores that needed to be done and conversing with my husband and even my daughter and granddaughter, by way of a video call. Even partaking of communion, the Lord’s Supper, with my husband before we went to bed, I still felt that heaviness, that sadness that wouldn’t go away…..

THEN…………

THEN CAME THE MORNING!!!!! My soul feels FREER than it ever has!!!! That heaviness lifted and was gone the instant I woke up and realized JESUS IS ALIVE!!!!! HE IS RISEN!!!! HE IS RISEN INDEED!!!!! OH HALLELUJAH, PRAISE THE LORD!!!! DEATH HAS BEEN DEFEATED!!!! THE GRAVE NO LONGER HAS VICTORY!!!!!! DEATH HAS LOST ITS STING!!!!! JESUS IS THE KING OF KINGS!!!! THE LORD OF LORDS!!!!! He did not leave me or abandon me or turn His back on me….HE SUFFERED IT ALL FOR ME!!!! NOW I CAN LIVE WITH HIM ETERNALLY!!!!! Because of what HE DID, I NEVER HAVE TO DIE!!! This ol’ body may die one day, if He delays His return, but I will NEVER DIE!!!! My last breath here will be my first breath in glorious HEAVEN with HIM and I will live FOREVER!!!!

Father, Son and Holy Spirit – How do I ever begin to even TRY to praise you enough???? If I praised all day every day from now until eternity, it would not be enough!!!!

Do you know this man, Jesus, I speak about? Have you accepted Him as your personal Savior? Did you know He can set you FREE from ALL that binds you? He is the WAYMAKER, MIRACLE WORKER, PROMISE KEEPER, LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS – MY GOD, THAT IS WHO HE IS!!!! Did you know that everything He has done for me, He will do for you, too??? He loves you so much, He suffered DEATH so you would never have to!!! The grave could not hold Him, death could not keep Him – HE LIVES!!!!!!

If you have never met Him but would like to, all you have to do is call out to Him! He’s waiting for you. If you want to talk to me about Him, I’m here and I’m ready – anytime! I would LOVE to introduce you to Him! Feel free to call, text, private message or even leave a comment, if you want to talk or have questions. I may not know the answers, but will surely do my best to help you find them.

GOOD FRIDAYGood Friday – really? I mean, I know we realize it is good because we already know what happened Sunday morning; but, the disciples and others – even though Jesus tried to explain to the disciples – they simply could not understand what was going on. I can not even truly begin to imagine how they must have felt! How their hearts must have been broken – how alone they must have felt and, Father – I have NEVER EVER had to know what it feels like to have You turn away from me the way You had to turn away from Your own Son while He took ALL my sin upon Himself on that cross. To hear Him cry “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” must have ripped You apart. Yet, you did it for me! And for so many others – and You would have done it, even if it were just for ME! The magnitude of that simply blows my mind!

I believe we (Christians, as well as others) tend to ‘gloss over’ Good Friday. Instead of remembering exactly what happened that day many years ago, it seems we simply want to say, “Oh, Good Friday. Jesus died on the cross but, Praise the Lord, we know what happened Sunday!” We don’t want to stay focused on Friday. Probably because it was so horrendous, so horrific and so sad! We don’t want to even try to imagine what the people who lived through it must have felt. The anguish they must have experienced! The One they thought had come to be their King was DEAD!!! How could this be???? They couldn’t wrap their minds around what was going on;  they simply could not understand. And not just on Good Friday, either. They also had to live through Saturday. They weren’t celebrating on Saturday because they knew what was about to happen on Sunday morning. They weren’t out hunting Easter eggs or having family get togethers to celebrate; they were still mourning and grieving what they saw as their loss! I wonder if we could stand it – to even try to imagine how they felt! This morning, I have been trying to imagine myself living in those days. We think we are living in crazy days right now with this coronavirus? There is no way it can even begin to compare with what they were living in those days! Their hope was gone! They had no one to turn to – no one to cling to! Even in all this crazy we are living in, we have our HOPE – we have JESUS to cling to!!!

No matter how isolated any of us might think we are during this time, the truth is we aren’t isolated at all, in reality. Even though some may be in their house, all alone, there are so many ways to be socially connected, IF we so choose!

Even in all this “isolation”, none of us have to know what it is like to be isolated from the Father, unless we choose to reject His Son, Jesus Christ, and what He did for us all those years ago. He is always with us, if we choose to accept Him, and He will never leave us!

This year I pray we allow ourselves to truly ‘experience’ Good Friday and not just gloss over it like it isn’t significant. Remember – If there had been no Good Friday, there wouldn’t be a RESURRECTION SUNDAY for us to look forward to.

FACEBOOK GROUP COVER - IN CHALLENGESThere are no presents under our tree;
However, HIS PRESENCE fills our home.
Our lives are full of the gifts
He’s been giving us all year long.

I jotted down that little poem in a note app on my phone Christmas morning. I thought maybe there would be more to go with it. I’ve been praying about it since then and, as I sat down this morning to see if I was supposed to elaborate on it, I felt it was complete. I mean, it really does say it all.

For some who may not truly understand, though, I will try to explain just a tiny bit here in this post.

My heart was FULL on Christmas Day just remembering how God has blessed us throughout this past year. There were a lot of changes in our lives – happy changes, sad changes, just changes in general.

In January – wait, let me back up to last December 1st, because that is when Mom got her lung cancer diagnosis. Okay – then, in January, Frank was approved to go in Bullock Correctional Facility as the Assistant Chaplain.

February 20th – God sold our house in Atmore and let us know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, we were moving to Union Springs EARLIER rather than LATER. (We had been thinking we would move in the summer – AFTER I finished my commitment to my HIPPY job)

March 10th – We moved to a rental house in Union Springs – totally provided by God because, when our house sold in February, we had no idea where we were going to stay! I would leave on Sundays and go back to Atmore to stay with Mom at her house through Thursday each week, until my job with HIPPY ended May 11th.

March 17th – He showed us the house that would become our home – even though we had no idea how He was going to do it. He did – and it became officially our home May 11th!

May 6th – Mom was promoted to Heaven.

June 14th – Jessica found out her Dad had passed away, probably the night before, suddenly and very unexpected!

August 13th – MYA MARIE KITTS was born and Frank got to be in the delivery room! She has brought so much joy and love into all our lives these last 4½ months!

Soooooooo – you can see why my heart was so full on Christmas Day and why I mostly spent the day simply reflecting on all the wonderful gifts God has given us throughout the year. Like the peace He gave when He called Mom home – it happened pretty much just as she had always said she’d like for it to happen. Sure there are days I miss her really bad; but, I know where she is and that I’ll get to see her again, so I refuse to allow myself to get caught up in the sadness. I allow myself a good cry now and then, when it hits, but I do not allow it to linger on and on. Mom wouldn’t want me to do that.

It hurt watching my baby girl go through losing her Dad only a month after losing the only Granny she ever really knew. But, again, I am glad she also has the Peace our Father gives and I know she is doing okay. She is as great a mother as I always knew she would be, by the way! She is so wonderful with Mya – it just thrills my heart to watch her with her own baby girl!

I believe the gifts of PEACE in our losses and NEW LIFE in our family have probably been two of the most cherished gifts He has given us this year and my heart is, indeed, full!

Now, let’s enjoy the last few days of 2018 and see what wondrous things He will do in 2019!

I CHOOSE JOYSunday night (Dec. 23rd) as I lay down to go to sleep, thoughts of the day were whirling around in my head of all the different emotions I had gone through. I should have gotten up and written them down then; but, I didn’t. I sensed the Lord was giving me the words to sort it all out; yet, I still refused to get out of bed to write it down. The last thing I remember thinking was, “I choose joy!” and then I was waking up at 3:15 a.m. Now, here I am, at 12:14 Tuesday morning, and I feel He may be giving me a second chance.

I couldn’t quite put my feelings into words Sunday. I couldn’t even figure out WHAT it was I feeling. One minute, so many different things at once; the next minute, nothing! I felt pretty good Sunday morning. I sang in a choir cantata with people I had met only two weeks before! My husband, daughter, son-in-love and granddaughter were able to attend and that made it even nicer. After church, we all went to eat lunch together, which was also great! Any time spent with even part of our family is a good time! (My husband had been to Urgent Care the day before and found out he nearly had pneumonia! He got a couple shots and started medicine when he got home, so the fact he was feeling better enough to attend church Sunday morning was incredible in itself!)

This same church was having a special, candlelight service Sunday evening and I felt led to attend. (Hubby felt he needed to stay in out of the night air, due to his illness, and I agreed – even though it made me sad he couldn’t go with me.)

Mom moved to Heaven this year – May 6th, to be exact. Maybe I cried through nearly the entire candlelight service because I was missing her, maybe it was because I was thinking how much she would enjoy a service like this, if she were still here. Again, I don’t know. I only knew I couldn’t stop the tears. I DO miss my Mom. There have been many times I wanted to pick up the phone to call and share something with her, only to remember I can’t do that anymore. Mom and I were very close, we liked the same kind of shows/movies on television; we loved going to singings together; we enjoyed LIVING together, which was incredible! When I remarried in December, 2013, Mom and I didn’t necessarily talk or see each other every single day; but, we didn’t let more than a couple days go by without at least a phone call. We only lived a couple blocks from each other, so we still saw each other often! Yes, I’m sure some of my feelings Sunday came from really missing her and that is okay!

What would not be okay, in my opinion, is to WALLOW in those “poor, pitiful me” feelings! Why? Because those feelings, while perfectly natural in short time increments, are what the enemy can use to cause deep depression and wanting to withdraw from everything and everyone around me! Not to mention, my Mom would tan my hide good if she knew I was spending time wallowing in self-pity and feeling sorry for myself because I miss her! (and, if you’re too young to understand what “tan my hide good” means, ask someone older than you – LOL) Like I said, she would definitely understand me missing her – she had times when she missed my Daddy terribly – but, she also wouldn’t allow herself to “wallow” in those feelings.

So, as I lay in bed Sunday night, trying to sort out all my feelings, I kept coming back to JOY! Does choosing joy mean I am happy and smiling all the time? Definitely not! It means I CHOOSE to remember my joy comes from the Lord and is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), unlike the joy of the world, which comes from “the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25). By remembering this, the enemy no longer has a hold on me and I remain FREE!!!

Yes, it’s okay for me to miss my Mom and have days where I cry over the craziest, silliest, out-of-nowhere things; but, I will not allow myself to stay there and wallow in it – for these reasons:

  • God sent His ONLY Son to live on this earth in a human body so I could have relationship with Him
  • Jesus loved me enough to be willing to die on the cross for MY sins, even though He was completely innocent
  • I know Mom would NOT like it one little bit and absolutely would NOT approve – she wouldn’t want me to STAY sad, she would want me to be HAPPY for the many years we had together

We all grieve in different ways and grief is a perfectly normal thing to go through when we lose someone we love – especially someone we were very close to! I just don’t want to allow the enemy to use that grief to bind me! Yes, grief can become a chain used by the enemy, if I allow it.

So, on those days when I’m feeling a little sad, I allow myself to feel sad; but, I also stay in constant prayer on those days, reminding myself to CHOOSE the Joy of the Lord and not get caught up in or overtaken by my “feelings” of grief. The devil would like nothing better than for me to allow that to happen because he can not stand for me – or anyone else, for that matter – to be FREE!!! However, the (sad for the devil) truth is that I AM free! (John 8:36)

What will YOU choose each and every day – no matter what your ‘feelings’ are? I hope you CHOOSE JOY 🙂


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