Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Our Not So Little Girl

Today our little girl is getting married. 

She has found her soul mate, her love, the man she is trusting to care for her for all her days. 

Where has the time gone? Where did this woman come from? 

I remember the first time she looked into my eyes. 
I remember all her tears, laughter, joy and sadness. 
I remember her dressing up like a princess. 
I remember movies that we all knew every line of. 
I remember games, plays, and graduation. 
I remember prom dresses and stunning photos. 
I remember days of pushing her in a swing. 
I remember ice cream and gummy worms. 
I remember late night talks and big bear hugs. 

So many days and nights we watched her grow, become a woman of character, passion and strength. 

We watched her fall, succeed, push through and make great strides. 

We are proud, honored and overwhelmed by the goodness she has brought into our lives. 

Now, our sweet girl will bring that and much more into an other's life. 

Our darling daughter, we wish you peace. We wish you forgiveness when times get tough, laughter when times are good. We wish you faith when life gets hard and endurance in times of confusion. We wish you commitment when others fail. We wish you joy, prosperity, trust and grace. We pray you always look to God for answers and each other for strength. We wish you comfort in your home and excitement for what lies ahead. We give you our support, our love and our foundation. 

Build a good life, build a family and never let anything or anyone lead you astray or away. 

HAPPY WEDDING DAY, the best is yet to come. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Why I Believe

I have family and friends that do not believe in God, that do not believe Jesus is our savior and quite honestly get angry at times when they talk about it. We all have seen on the news those that berate Christians and tear down religion. Christians are even being arrested, murdered and tortured daily.

Why I Believe. 

This time in life is what I consider a disaster. With murders on the rise, religious persecution, violation of civil rights, abuse of children and animals, wars, famines, hate and pure selfishness the earth as it stands is on a fast downward spiral. Sure these things have gone on throughout time but today it seems like no one has anything to look forward to, to stand for or to believe in.

I believe in God. I believe Jesus IS my savior and the way to the Father. I believe in good that can defeat the very existence of evil. I believe in hope, honesty and love. I believe in joy, peace and strength even in he toughest of times. I do NOT believe I would have any of that without my relationship with Jesus.

Before I knew him ( and yes, I feel like I know him ) I was destined for destruction in so many ways. Through alcohol, sex, anger, fear and recklessness I was on a path to nowhere. I was searching for people to love me, searching for something to numb me and taking no thought of what was right or wrong. After terrible choices as a teen, a divorce that I thought never would recover from and panic attacks that paralyzed me I can actually realize things I have learned from those experiences. I find myself forgiving those who have wronged me and seek forgiveness for those I have wronged. I have learned to love my ex husband in a whole new amazing way and care for his life and soul. I have found strength in physical and mental challenges none of which were accomplished on my own.

Why do I believe? Because one simple act of faith changed EVERYTHING. It wasn't bells and whistles just a simple conversation (prayer) with God to come into my heart, to forgive me of any sin I had committed and to guide me the rest of my days. Then came transformation.

Slowly I began to trust, to walk in faith ( which simply means by walking without the sight of what lies ahead). Fear began to lesson. I still had fear, but no longer did it paralyze me. I felt the smallest convictions when I started to do something wrong. And when I mean wrong, I mean contrary to good, pure defiance as to the what the bible teaches. Not rules but life's lessons, to be kind, to love, to chose good. I could have very well ended up in jail, the morgue or who knows where without the changes faith brought me. I put away the drinks that caused me to be inebriated. I wanted a clear mind. I recognized my body as something to cherish that could be protected until my husband came along. I turned to people who lived a purer life, people who could teach me to be better. I was excited about becoming someone new. I change daily still. 

Oh and how glorious it is to be loved by a man who believes. There is nothing more perfect than a
lover who will pray over you, cry with you, laugh with you and understand you. A man who seeks after God is easier to trust and with him as our core, all things are possible.

I AM NOT PERFECT. Unfortunately non Christians tend to expect Christians to be flawless and make no mistakes but that is the furthest from the truth as we are transforming every day. I make so many mistakes day in and day out but in JESUS I can be forgiven and be encouraged to go forward. I can find laughter as medicine and friends that are lifelong.

The best thing to me is to know that after this life on earth, I can hope for eternal life. Forever in the presence of God. Heaven as it is called. A state where there is no pain and suffering and where I believe the spirits of my loved ones wait. Once my granddaughter died I desired that place called heaven even more. 

I can't provide anyone with scientific proof that God exists. Heck, I can't prove anything scientifically except maybe weight gain because I eat entirely too much. I can however prove that in my darkest hours, I can lift my head. In times of sadness I can be comforted. In times of tragedy, war and crime I can believe that there are stil people seeking justice, seeking peace and seeking love. 

I as a Christian may have different beliefs than you, different ideas of what is right and wrong but I don't ever want to be known as a hater, a liar, a cheater or a thief. I want people to see the light that lives in me, only because I chose to change. Even if I am wrong ( which I do not believe I am) at least as a believer I am seeking a better way to live life. 

DO YOU BELIEVE or know Jesus? Seek him, seek for yourself and be astounded at what you find. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Suicide Has Claimed Another Victim

Suicide has claimed another victim today. 

I say that because they are victims. Victims of circumstance, victims of heartache and hopelessness. Victims of pain and anxiety. Victims of depression and defeat. There is no discrimination, it affects the rich, the poor, the black, the white, the famous and the unknown.

In the last 2 years, I personally know of 4 people that have taken their own lives. Most for reasons unknown. Leaving behind friends and family to question everything they knew of their loved ones. I have 2 friends that lost their husbands to suicide. My niece lost a love to suicide. A young woman that I knew in ministry circles committed suicide just a few weeks ago.

Suicide is on the increase for sure. I didn't know of anyone taking their own lives during my childhood or young adult life. My uncle committed suicide in the nineties and at that time, the shock was overwhelming. Today, unfortunately it is reported much more often. I have heard over the last year that suicide is not only an answer to health problems or depression but financial reasons as well. I cannot even fathom taking my own life for any reason, much less money.

Why is suicide the only way out for a lot of people?  How do we get to the point where suicide is the answer? How do we get to a place in our lives where our pain is more important than those we leave behind? When does death become more appealing than life? I wish I understood that dark place but to be honest, I cannot even go there. So here I am, trying to make sense of it all. Seeking answers for those left behind hurting and confused.

I am listing some great articles and websites for us all to be aware of, to read and to have handy in order to make a difference. 

I guess for now we can all do better at being a friend, a lover, a support system or a kind ear.

Please, if your life gets to the point where it doesn't seem like living, seek help. Seek a friend, a family member, a pastor, a counselor or a doctor. Call the suicide helpline tel:1-800-273-TALK.

Here are the links:

For some great tips Get Help Online.
For general understanding Suicide FAQ
Myths and Warning Signs Prevention and guide

Whoever is reading this or happens upon this know that your life is valuable, you are loved and there is always hope....

Monday, April 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Precious Chloe

You would be 6 years old now. 

6 years ago I remembering walking into the NICU where you literally took my breath away. 

So tiny, so fragile. You were hooked up to monitors and machines. You were wrapped in a bandage bigger than you holding your omphalocele in place. Your feet were long and so cute. Your hair dark and plenty. Your skin glistened. I cried as soon as I saw you. Your papa and I were in awe of you. 

I never knew I could love someone so much that I had just met. I guess technically we met months before as we talked often at your mommys belly. 

Although the tubes and machines scared me, I saw you as a perfect miracle. Deep down I think I knew you wouldn't be with us long. But I hoped, and prayed. I often hear people say their babies and grandchildren are blessings. That God is so good to them. That God has given them favor or good health. I hear them say God answered our prayers. My mind wonders at times, why were ours not answered? It hurts when people say that they are truly blessed as if we weren't. 

I was blessed by you. I am blessed by you and I still lose my breath thinking of you. 

I won't be attending your kindergarten graduation or sewing you a dress. 
I won't be buying you a birthday cake or sneaking you a puppy. 
I won't be pushing you in a swing or chasing you around a park. 
I won't be watching you nap or eating a cookie. 
I won't be seeing you grow. 

For you are forever 7 days old. 

Missing you more than anyone could ever understand. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Depression, it's real.

Watching someone you love suffer is brutal.

I have seen many people I love suffer with severe depression. Not just sad days, but life altering, debilitating depression. Overwhelming sadness, unworthiness and fatigue. It's real and it steals the life out of you. Thankfully I personally have only had moments of despair. I fight anxiety but nothing like severe "clinical" depression. It's heartbreaking not being able to fix it. 

So I searched the web for answers. I searched for tools, for reasoning, for roots and for hope. 

This is the summary of what I found. So if you or someone you know needs help, hopefully you will find some here. 

KEEP A ROUTINE.  If you’re depressed, you need a routine and psychiatrists agree. Get up at the same time, do chores at the same time, eat at the same time. Keep up with your responsibilities at home and work. 
SET PERSONAL GOALS. Decide to do something new. Decide on a hobby. Call a friend. Read a book. Journal your thoughts and dreams. 

EXERCISE.  It temporarily boosts feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Exercise has long term healthy effects in all aspects of your life. We aren't talking a marathon here. A simple walk, a dance, a bike ride.
EAT HEALTHY.  There is no magic diet to cure depression however, clean eating is proven to boost your metabolism, your energy, your mood and your overall health. No chemicals, and most processed, packaged and fast food has chemicals. Soda is a chemical. No sodas! Eat green, eat veggies, fruits, salmons, omega 3's, nuts, seeds and lean meats.

GET ENOUGH SLEEP. Depression can make it hard to sleep but at the same time too much time in bed will paralyze you. 8 hours for health. Go to bed at the same time each night, cut out naps and don't fall asleep to TV.

CHALLENGE EACH THOUGHT. In your fight against depression it's easy to let negativity control your day. Examine every thought. Seek the good and the positive in each situation. It's a mental fight. It's a challenge to NOT give in to worse case scenarios.

MAKE SURE you have a support system in place. Surround yourself with happy people, encouraging friends and non judgmental family members. 
IF YOU EVER FEEL OUT OF CONTROL call for help. Call a doctor, a counselor, a pastor, a friend. If ever suicide crosses your mind, seek immediate help. 1-800-273-TALK.
Click here to get help!

And last but never least ALWAYS REMEMBER that God created you, Jesus saved you and the Holy Spirit will comfort you. 
Faith crushes fear. Joy comes in he morning & peace that passes understanding can be yours.