Thursday, April 30, 2009

Musical Memories

I know you've noticed that I have added a music playlist to my blog. It has quite an eclectic assortment of music thereon. I don't usually listen to so much secular music and haven't for several years. I still enjoy almost all types of music, but usually choose to listen to praise and worship music or instrumentals.

I have felt the need lately to re-visit the music Terry and I loved and listened to as we grew in love. Both of us loved music and loved listening to it. His 8 track player was always playing when we were dating. After we got married, the music simply moved indoors with us. It played while we cleaned the house. The car radio or 8 track played while we worked in the yard or washed the car. Our lives were entwined with it.

Those old songs can open memories that I have long had locked away. Listening to them has brought me so much joy, and yes some pain as well. I close my eyes and not only is Terry with me again, but we are young and in love and our lives are spread before us. So much to learn and to do and to experience. Joys and pains we could not have dreamed awaited us. And we were so ready to walk into them because we were together.

Neither of us were talented vocalists, but you wouldn't have thought we knew that if you had been hiding, watching and listening! We sang out loud our love songs to each other. We danced around our house as though we were the only people on the earth. He played his air guitar with the best of them!

Some of the music is later. Music that touched our collective heart as we grew older together. Words and melodies that are the sound track of our life together. I don't know how long it will remain here. It's like my rings, I can't take them off. I now wear his wedding band as well. I wear it on my middle finger next to my rings. It just seems to be the right place for it right now.

It's strange to me that it is still so painful to think of the recent years together, but those memories of the early years bring me so much joy. Looking at pictures of recent years is still hard to do, but I could sit all day looking at pictures from the early years.

The same is true of the music. Very little of the playlist is devoted to music from the later years. The vast majority is the soundtrack of the early years. It seems I have had to begin the journey where we began. I don't know how long it will take to proceed. It's not important. For now, living in those memories is a peaceful and joyful place to be.

'Our song' was always Jim Croce's Time In A Bottle. The words to that song have never been more real to me than now. My memories are our Time In A Bottle and I can take them out and enjoy them any time I want! I am so thankful to have been blessed to have our time together. To have loved and been loved with so much devotion. To have been treasured by a gentle man.

As I heal, I know I will progress to the music and memories of the later years and the quiet contentment of growing older together. The soulful days of growing in the Lord as a family. Learning to trust Him completely with every aspect of our lives, even when it felt as though our lives were flying apart.

Till that time comes, I hope you enjoy a song or two and that, just maybe, one might bring back a nice memory for you too.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

He Whsipers Sweet Peace.....

"All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor (Comforter {KJV}), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

St. John 14: 25 - 27 (NIV)

As I sat in the stillness of my living room this morning, browsing my Facebook pages and enjoying the updates from family and friends, I suddenly realized that I was content. I was quiet and still, happy to see so much happy news from those I love and just enjoying the stillness of the early morning.

Wow! Where did that come from? I can't honestly say I have felt a moment of real contentment since Terry went home to be with Jesus. I sat thinking of Scriptures that I have stashed away in my failing memory and the above verses seemed to call to me.

I opened my Bible and began to read from what I call my "Comfort Chapter". Jesus is talking with His disciples and reassuring them that, although He must leave, they will not be left alone. As I read the verses, my heart sang with gladness because it was real to me for the first time in months!

Yes, I have said I knew the Lord was with me; and I did. But, this morning the knowing is altogether different. It is a knowing that settles into the depths of my soul and I feel again the sweet assurance and peace that only Jesus can bring.

One of my favorite hymns has always been 'He Whispers Sweet Peace To Me'. I have never felt the peace and comfort of the Lord the way I feel it today! 'Sometimes when misgivings darken my way, And faith's light I cannot see; I ask the dear Lord to brighten my day, He whispers sweet peace to me.'

I cannot begin to articulate the joy of feeling that sweet, peaceful presence within myself once again. My heart has been so heavy for so long, it seemed as though joy or contentment would never reside there again. And yet, here it is. When I least expect it the Lord rises up within me and gives me the sweetest gift of contentment and consolation.

How can I not love and praise a Father who so lovingly cares for me? How can my soul not worship Him? How can my heart not desire to serve Him?

"I lift up my eyes to the hills....where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."

Psalms 121: 1,2 (NIV)

May you have a blessed day and know the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth watches over you and will deliver you from all harm or despair. Holy is His Name and worthy is He of our praise!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Take Me Back Tuesday

Stay tuned and come back next Tuesday when I will be joining a new meme, Take Me Back Tuesday, which is an opportunity to post photographs of days gone by and tell their story.

This meme is hosted at A Giveaway Addicted Mommy. If you would like to participate as well, just drop by and post your name through Mr. Linky.

Now, you all know how I love my photographs and how much I love talking about them. So, again this is just up my alley! I am so looking forward to joining in!

Be sure to visit me next Tuesday to see my first offering!!! Have a great day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Home Town Swap

Shannon over at The Nut House is hosting a fun new game....Home Town Swap. Click the button above to get all the details.

I learned of this from Denise at The Full Nest. Denise is a new friend and I am so thankful the Lord has brought our paths to cross. Visit her blog, you'll love it and her just much as I already do!

The premise of this activity is that people from differing areas of the country will get to know each other and find out things about places they would like to visit. I am so excited to be a part of it. I hope you will consider it to.

Should you decide to check it out, just click on Shannon's button above and she has all the details on her blog. Also, please mention that you heard about it from me. Thanks! I hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Purpose of Life

In an interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Pastor Warren said:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act, the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth,but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer. I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys,I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good to be thankful for. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.

But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others. We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases. Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church. Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation. Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)? When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better.

God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

I love the words of Pastor Warren recorded in this interview and have turned to it and the wisdom offered therein so many times in the past months. The key to overcoming my pain is in service to the Lord by serving His people. It is so true. There is no greater feeling of reward than to know you have held a hand out to someone who is suffering and who needed a hand up.

II Corinthians 9:6 says it like this:

"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Precious Samantha over at Sweet Southern Journey has honored me with this wonderful award! Please drop in and visit Samantha. She is a precious Christian lady who loves her Lord, her family and keeping her home. I know you will be blessed by a visit to her place.

In order to accept this award, I have to name 7 things I love, so here goes:

1). My Heavenly Father, without whom I could not face my life every day.
2). My precious husband, Terry, and my Momma, who are now with my Lord. I will see them again!
3). My family, who are my anchor in this world since Terry went to be with Jesus.
4). My laptop, because it keeps me in touch with all of you!
5). Old pictures, whether I know the subjects or not. I just love to imagine how their life was!
6). History and genealogy. I love knowing where and who I came from.
7). Music, which I am rediscovering since Terry's death. It seems my life was so busy with taking care of him that I had no time for other things. I am enjoying finding music again.

Well, there are my 7! I'm not tagging anyone. If you follow my blog, I'd love to challenge each of you to take the award and tell us about your 7. God bless you all!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Favorite Family Foto Friday

Favorite Family Foto Friday is hosted by Deborah over at Pictures, Pots, Pens . Please drop by her place and enjoy her posting, as well as find links to others who are participating.

Today is my first time to participate in this event. I love history and genealogy and family photos, mine or those that belong to others. I am so excited about being included! So, here's my first submission:

This was taken on August 4, 1974. It is a picture of me and Terry. I was all of 16 at the time and so absolutely in love with this man! Momma took this picture in their yard on this Saturday afternoon. We were out doing a family barbecue and Momma wanted to take a picture.

The quality of the picture isn't great, but I love it. Terry had just gotten a hair cut because that was always a bone of contention between my parents and him. He didn't want to take the time to go the barber shop or beauty shop, so he just let his Mom cut it at home. She honestly put a bowl over his head and cut his hair! He was so upset and NEVER let that happen again!

I have always been a very fair-skinned person. Sun only burns me so I've tried not to overexpose myself since I was a teen. You can see that I'm so white here the sun glares off my skin! Can you believe I thought I was fat then?! I look at myself then and now and I think "What was I thinkin?!"

Those were such wonderful times. We were young and in love and thought we had the world by the tail! We were already engaged at the time this picture was taken. Momma was none to happy about it, but she did not try to stop us.

Everyone told us we were too young, that it was just puppy love or infatuation, that it would never last. Well, I guess they were wrong! We married on June 14, 1975 and were still very happily married on the morning the Lord called him home on January 26 of this year. From the time we started dating until the day Terry went home was almost 36 years. I'd say it was real!

Thank you for stopping by to visit me today and sharing my memory. Be sure to go by Deborah's place and find more Favorite Family Fotos to view!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Seed

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you. "

The young executives were Shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO."

One man, named Tom, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Tom kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Tom didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by -- still nothing in Tom's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Tom didn't say anything to his colleagues, however... he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - he so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Tom told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Tom felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right.

He took his empty pot to the board room. When Tom arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes. Tom put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Tom just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!"

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Tom at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Tom was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!"

When Tom got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed - Tom told him the story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Tom. He looked at Tom, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Tom!" Tom couldn't believe it. Tom couldn't even grow his seed. "How could he be the new CEO?" the others said.

Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Tom, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Tom was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!"

* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust;
* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends;
* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness;
* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment;
* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective;
* If you plant hard work, you will reap success;
* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation;
* If you plant faith in God , you will reap a harvest.

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.

This story has been published many times, but the meaning is still as poignant today as it was at the first publication. As Momma and Daddy always told us "Honesty is always the best policy".

Monday, April 20, 2009

In Loving Memory

This was about 1991. Momma doing what she loved best...doing for her family.

Today marks the third anniversary of Momma's home going. She breathed her final breath here around 2:30 on the morning of Thursday, April 20, 2006. Immediately, she was with her Lord in her heavenly home.

February, 1994---Momma's Family, minus Uncle Cecil, who died in January, 1993.

About 1972--- Our Family

The Mid 70's---Daddy and Momma with Maw McDonald

Circa Mid 50's---Thelma Howell

February, 2005---Momma and Daddy at their last Valentine Banquet together.

John Michael Montgomery had a country song out a few years back that he had written about his own Dad after he had passed away. I can't seem to get the lyrics of that song out of my mind tonight. It is entitled "I Miss You A Little":
Sometimes a song can touch a nerve
That takes me back to you
When I pick up my old guitar
And I play your favorite tune
Every now and then, some little thing
I've buried comes bubblin' up
And once in a while, you feel close enough to touch

I miss you a little since you've been gone
A few little memories keep hangin' on
I miss you a little, I guess you could say
A little too much, a little too often
A little more every day

When I go by our old house
I pretend that you're still there
Waitin' for me on the porch
But there's just an empty chair
Wish I could see you just one more time
Before I drive away
So I could stop and go inside, and say

I miss you a little since you've been gone
A few little memories keep hangin' on
I miss you a little, I guess you could say
A little too much, a little too often
A little more every day

A little too much, a little too often
A little more every day

Those words so perfectly describe how I feel Momma. The pain has gotten better with time, but the missing you only gets worse.

October, 2005---Our last vacation together.

Christmas, 2005---Momma was so sick by this time. Less than 4 months to live now.

I know you're happy, Momma, and I'm so thankful to have the assurance that I will see you again. I just wish I had one more chance to say 'I love you, Momma' and hear your sweet voice answer me 'I love you too'.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Trip Through Lunacy

Saturday began on such a good note. I was up early and off to run errands. I made the usual stop at Wally World for a few groceries and household supplies. I visited the cemetery and had a nice teary chat with both Terry and Momma. I visited my youngest sister, Debra, who now lives on the farm where I grew up.

I wanted to go by just to see the big change. Since I can remember, there were two elm trees standing beside the driveway in front of the house. The trees had begun to rot from the inside out and had become a danger to the house. So, my brother-in-law either cut them or had them cut. It was just so strange to see the house without the trees there. Life is, after all, a succession of changes. I took a few pictures of the now barren-looking house and moved on to other chores for the day.

I visited the cemetery where my father-in-law is buried. They will be having their annual Decoration Day on the first Sunday in May. I wanted to make sure the grave was clean and ready for fresh flowers. I removed some old flowers and discovered a monstrous fire ant bed just behind the headstone. I'll have to get back over there before Decoration and make sure they're all cleared away. I sure don't want to upset them and get them all over me!

Then, I came home and unloaded my Wally World bags and put the purchases away. Is it me, or is the hauling the stuff into the house and putting it away the worst part of the whole process?!

My father-in-law had a tractor and several pieces of farm equipment when he passed away in 2002. It still has not been sold. I told my mother-in-law that I thought we should sell it because it was just sitting there and never being used. She agreed, so now I have to get a list together and do some research to figure out what we should ask for the various pieces. A wonderful elderly neighbor who always helped Mr. Bo out on the farm came by and took a look at things and helped me get a list together. Now, all I have to do is research the resale values so we can advertise the equipment for sale.

I then went over to the Assisted Living Facility and visited with my mother-in-law for a couple of hours. We had a really nice visit and I hung some things on her walls that I had taken over for her to add more of a personal touch to her little 'apartment'. We talked about the farm equipment and all sorts of other things. We also discussed her will. We have an appointment for next Friday to visit the attorney to get that all taken care of.

Upon leaving, I headed out for Jackson, which is the nearest small city to me. I went by the local Lifeway Christian store and made several book purchases. I went to the Dollar Tree and bought a few things. I visited Target and bought a new umbrella. I wanted a new pair of shoes, but just ran out of energy before I made it to the shoe store! I also wanted to visit Lowes to pick up some paint chips. The farm house needs some fresh paint in the living, dining and master bed and bath rooms, as well as the kitchen and utility room.

So, I headed on over to the Lowes. I should have let well enough alone. As soon as I got out of my car, I just knew I was making a major mistake. I looked around me and all I saw entering the store were couples. Young couples, middle-aged couples, mature couples....couples of every sort and age, but ALL couples. Sadness set in immediately. I suddenly felt as though every eye was on me and it was painfully obvious that I was not a couple.

I pressed on and walked around the store, but just got more sad with every step. By the time I reached the lighting fixtures, tears were streaming down my face. I was walking around the Lowes store openly crying! I know people were looking at me and thinking I must be losing my mind! Little did they know how right they were!!!

I walked to the paint department, but by that time I could barely see through the tears and my eyes were swollen. I just parked my cart and left the store. Every step I took was like an arrow piercing my heart. Browsing through Lowes had been one of Terry's favorite pastimes before he got too sick to go there. We would walk for hours planning our next project and dreaming about all the things we wanted to do in the future. I was so totally unprepared for the onslaught of emotions that hit me all due to a trip to Lowes.

The farther I go into this journey, the more firmly convinced I am that grief is simply a trip through lunacy. I'm still trying to figure out how to come through this with my faculties in tact. I know there would be no hope for me at all, but for the Lord. I cannot comprehend how an individual who does not know the Lord ever makes this journey and ends up sane.

If I am ever able to think or behave like a 'normal' human being again, it will only be due to the love and mercy of the Lord Jesus. He reminds me in His Word that His grace is sufficient; I cling to that promise with my whole being now. It is all that stands between me and a complete break down. However, I know it is MORE than enough. God's supply is always MORE!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Coming Soon.....

Be sure to tune in next week when I will make my very first "Favorite Family Foto Friday" exhibit! I am so excited to join this group! I absolutely LOVE photography and especially family photos, so this is right down my alley! I can't wait to get started!!!

Ya'll come back now, ye here?!!!!

Building My Canopy

Do you see these two trees? That's how it was for me and Terry. We were so close, we completed each other. Our branches were intertwined one with the other. If you cut one of those trees out of the picture, the picture is no longer complete. The tree left is now lop-sided. It's branches now are so completely off balance. The long out-reach now leans it to one side, with the opposite side left exposed.

That's how it feels to me now. I feel as though the canopy I had been building with Terry is now destroyed and I'm left exposed and vulnerable. Although I know I will always have Terry with me in my heart and in my memories and his love will never leave me, I am yet left to try to rebuild this canopy of my life alone.

I am so thankful to have the Lord with me. He guides me and gives me comfort when no one else can. He has been such a loving Lord and is so patient with me. I surely know that I could not make this journey without Him. Yet, the fact remains that I have to start a new life for myself.
I have no idea where to start or how to go about being alone. I've never been alone.

I have, since the day Terry and I married, always been the one responsible for all the business workings of our household. The week we married, he handed me the checkbook and said "Here, I don't want this anymore. You can have it"! And that was that! He always trusted me to take care of things, and I did.

I know HOW to do everything. I can conduct my business. I know about my car care. I've got a pretty good idea of all the workings of the household. It's just that, even if I handled it, I always had Terry to back me up on things. If I didn't understand, I'd ask him. If I was having trouble with something, he helped me out. Even if I didn't have trouble, he was still there just to be a sounding board. And, we always discussed major decisions.

It is so daunting to have to make all the decisions alone. Shoot, I can barely remember to take my medications on time! How am I supposed to make major decisions about car repairs or household maintenance? I know I CAN do this; I just don't know HOW to do it!

So, I muddle on. I face each new day wondering what challenges this day will bring. I've always been a planner. A list maker. Suddenly, my plans don't work and I can't even make a list! Yet, everything still has to be done. Bills have to be paid, decisions have to be made.

Lord, please help me in spite of myself. Help me to build on the foundation Terry and I started together and fill out my canopy to it's fullest and most beautiful possibilities.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Charlotte!

(Baby Charlotte)

Today, my middle sister turns golden!

(Charlotte at age 18 months)

Actually, she's been golden to me for a very long time; but today she reaches her golden year!

(Charlotte with her 2 oldest grandchildren, Alix and Jaden)

She is such a blessing from the Lord in my life. I've never realized it more than since Terry's death. She has held me together, which has been no easy task, I can assure you!

(Charlotte with Allyson, her youngest grandchild)

Thank you, Charlotte. I love you and I'm so thankful you're my sister!


(Cheezing for Allyson)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Home Again

If you read my last post, you now know the confusion I had been living with. I don't understand myself, so I definitely don't expect anyone else to understand me. Yet, the unexpected seems to be God's forte.

I have received such an outpouring of love and understanding and encouragement from friends and family! I marvel at how I can think so little of myself and have so many of you think so highly of me. I absolutely am not worthy of your kindness, but I thank you from the depths of my soul for all you have done for me.

This past weekend was hard. Today is still hard. Most likely, tomorrow is going to be hard too. That is a fact of my life at this season of my life. It is hard. I am disappointed and discouraged and hurting. I was so down, I thought I couldn't be anywhere but out. The Lord, through each of you, has shown me otherwise. I have been so disappointed in myself. The Lord gently reminded me that I have no hand in this. This is His work and I must step aside and let Him do His part before anything is required of me.

I had it right, but in the wrong perspective. I can't fix my life. I can't mend my broken heart. I can't heal my hurting soul. I can't fill the void left when Terry went home to be with Jesus. Those aren't MY jobs. My job is to continue doing what I was so sarcastic about in the Lord, give my cares to Jesus, lean on His Word, trust His short, just let Jesus love me right now. That's MY job.

It's not the job I want. I want to fix everything. That's part of my personality, I'm a fixer. I'm an encourager. I'm a prayer warrior. I'm a 'do-er'. For people like me, for 'do-ers', sitting still and just 'being' is not easy. We have a hard time accepting that we can't 'do' anything to help ourselves. I have come to a place where I cannot even pray for myself. It just is not there. I've never been to this place before; nor have I ever had to see my husband on his journey home.

I have been through times when I found it hard to pray, but never when I absolutely could not pray for my own concerns. I cry out to the Lord and I have no trouble making intercession for others, but I just cannot seem to pray for myself or my own concerns. I was so frustrated over this until I remembered the teachings of my youth and learning that prayer is a two-way exchange. I talk to the Lord and then I wait while He talks to me.

In the depths of despair, you sometimes cannot talk to the Lord. The words just are not there. Then, your spirit speaks with the Holy Spirit in that 'groaning and uttering that cannot be understood' that the Bible speaks of. So, I sometimes don't have words, but I AM speaking to the Lord. My problem was that I couldn't be still long enough to let Him speak to me. Once I understood that, it has changed so much for me.

If you haven't guessed by now, I am a person of words. I love words. I like to speak words; I like to hear words; I like to read words. To be in a place where words don't come has been a lesson in and of itself to me. So often over the last 48 hours, I have just uttered out loud "Lord, I love you; I need you". And the sweetness of His Holy Spirit envelopes me and I know He is there and He is speaking to my heart.

I have again what I could not force. The only way to get it back was by emptying myself to Him. So, the last post may have been upsetting to you. If so, I've very sorry for that. However, it opened my heart in a way that allowed me to open my spirit to the Lord and pour myself out to Him. To release to Him all that I had been holding inside myself since even before Terry went home.

Now I have that sweet comfort of God's voice speaking to my heart, reassuring me, loving me, holding me close to Himself. I have found comfort I could not find because I had closed myself to it. What joy and relief to be home again!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

True Confessions

I have a confession to make. I am having a great struggle with this holiday weekend. Not because I don't love Jesus Christ or because I don't appreciate what He has done for me. More than at any time in my life, I am aware of my relationship with the Lord Jesus. I am just so full of sorrow, it is difficult to think 'spiritually' at this time. Well, there I've said it. There, in a nut shell, is my struggle.

I have always believed that, as a Christian, the difficult times in your life should draw you closer to the Lord. Your relationship with the Lord should make you more thankful and leave you comforted. I'm having real trouble with that thankful, comforted part. My heart and my soul feel as though they have been ripped apart.

It is yet a bit shy of three months since Terry went home to be with Jesus. Is it too soon; or am I just being a brat? I don't know. I don't know how I'm supposed to feel or when I'm supposed to feel. I just know I'm broken inside and I don't know how to fix myself! I am so disappointed in myself. I have always thought of myself as the strong one. I could take whatever life passed my way and be optimistic and thankful.

So what has happened to me? I've never been through anything that could bring me to a sudden halt. I have always been able to 'bounce back'. I can smile and push it down and keep walking. Not this time. Why? Have I been a fake all this time? Am I nothing more than a shell with no substance to who I am?

This isn't my first brush with despair or a broken heart. Oh no, not by far. I've walked this road many, many times in the past. I've been through infertility, childlessness, three miscarriages, the loss of my grandparents, the loss of my father-in-law through suicide, the loss of my Momma, an accident which left my precious husband permanently disabled, years of struggle with my own debilitating illness, not to mention the surgeries, medical procedures and financial struggles associated with illness and infertility. So, I have a great degree of experience in this area.

Nothing has ever left me so completely empty as has Terry's death. At first, I was just numb. I couldn't really feel anything. I just moved from point A to point B because it was expected of me. Then, there was a strange sense of relief. For the first time in nearly nine years, no one was dependant on me and I didn't have be anywhere at any given time if I chose to be elsewhere.

I took the trip to Iowa and had a complete blast! I loved spending time with my niece and her family and seeing new things. Even as I was still with them, I began to feel a change coming over me. I wasn't as happy or as carefree as in the first days there. I laid that off to the fact that I was just physically ill. I came home, battled pneumonia and kept walking. Other little health issues came and went with no real impact.

As time passed, I began to notice that, instead of feeling better, I was feeling worse and worse. Not physically, but emotionally. Being at home alone is sometimes comforting and at others absolutely smothering. At times, I want nothing more than to be at home alone. Then, without warning, I'm completely engulfed with overwhelming loneliness and sorrow. I sit and cry and grieve to the depths of my being. I can't be with anyone, but I so much do not want to be alone.

I'm not sure what to do about all of this. I'm not sure if I need to do anything about all of this. I am so sad and so alone. I just want Terry back and I can't have him back. I just want to hear him laugh or see his face and I can't. There is absolutely nothing I can do to make things different or better.

Oh, I've tried the praying; and begging; and pleading. I've tried 'resting' in the Lord. I've tried 'giving it all' to Jesus. I've cussed; I've fussed; I've prayed just to be dead myself. I can't do anything to make this better! So, I've had to accept the fact that I'm not at all who I thought I was. I thought I was a strong woman. A woman who loved the Lord and who trusted Him with everything in my life. But, that's not who I am at all. I'm just a weak, angry, spoiled brat of a woman who falls apart when she doesn't get her way!

If ever I needed to know who Jesus is and what He has done for me, it is now. If ever I needed redemption, it is now. If ever I needed deliverance, it is now. And yet, here I sit and nothing has changed. I'm still struggling. I'm tired of struggling. I'm tired of praying. I'm tired of trying. I'm tired of crying. I just want it all to be done! I know this is where I'm supposed to find some great spiritual truth to tell you about. I don't have one. I'm not sure I'll ever have one again.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Obituary For Our Time

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- and maybe it was my fault

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, please take time to stop and whisper a prayer for those of us left behind. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I Won! I Won!

Beautiful Roberta Anne over at Little House on the Desert has honored me with this lovely award! Thank you Roberta Anne! You are a precious, special lady!

Now, in order to accept, I have to name 10 Things About Me. So, here goes....

1) I am a Christian and love the Lord Jesus with my whole heart.
2) I have a wonderful family who love me unconditionally.
3) I DO NOT understand thong undies!!!!
4) I love to watch HGTV.
5) I miss my dear hubby more than I ever dreamed I could.
6) I enjoy photography and have gazillions of pictures to prove it!
7) I would be lost without my laptop!
8) I enjoy blogging more than I had thought I would and have made wonderful friends here.
9) I would love, love, love to visit Scotland and Ireland someday.
10) I am deathly afraid of spiders, snakes, mice, creepy crawly bugs....the list goes on!

Well, there they are! Now, I have to choose three friends on whom I wish to bestow this award. So, I choose......

Samantha at Sweet Southern Journey
Kathy at Real Mom, Real Life
Tammy at Coffee n' Crafts

Have a great week all! God bless!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


The Risen Lord

The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.

This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed 'Sub-sequential Internal Non-Morality,' or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.

Some of the symptoms include:
1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
7. Fearfulness
8. Idolatry
9. Rebellion

The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this defect.

The Repair Technician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required.

The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.

No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:
1. Love
2. Joy
3. Peace
4. Patience
5. Kindness
6. Goodness
7. Faithfulness
8. Gentleness
9. Self control

Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Believers' Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded. For free emergency service, call on Jesus.

DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility.Thank you for your attention!


P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by 'Knee mail'.Because He Lives!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thankful Thursday

"Thank you, Lord........."

Tammy over at Coffee & Crafts issued a challenge last week for her blogging friends to list 25 things they were thankful for. Since I had already posted on my blog last week, I decided to take up the challenge for this week. So, here goes.........

25 Things I'm Thankful For.............

1) My laptop and all the friends stored in this little box!

2) Sunshine and blooming flowers.

3) 'Pamper me' days at the salon.

4) A very nice camera, which was given to me by my wonderful husband before he went home.

5) The sound of children's voices and their cute little giggles.

6) Coca-Cola....Lord, please don't let them EVER go out of business!

7) Prayer

8) A doctor I trust, who also loves Jesus.

9) The mailman.

10) Alarm clocks that work!

11) Pasta

12) My Bible and all it's markings and tattered pages.

13) The Pennies, an online group of women who love me unconditionally.

14) A husband who loved me and treasured me till the day he went home with Jesus.

15) Christmas trees and all their twinkling lights.

16) Parents who loved me enough to raise me in church and to correct me when I was wrong.

17) HGTV

18) My family, who have cloaked me in love and understanding.

19) Purses, I LOVE them and NEED a new one at least 4 times a year!

20) Online shopping

21) Blogging and all the wonderful friends I have found through it.

22) Childhood friends who still keep in touch.

23) Caller I.D.---Thank God, no more telemarketers!

24) Elastic waisted pants!

25) Jesus Christ, who shed his blood for me!

Well, there's 25, in no particular order, of course! It was so easy to name 25 things; I could have gone on for a very long time! Thank you Tammy for the challenge. It was good for me!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

God's Promises........

(Please click on picture to enlarge.)

I pray you all mailed your RED ENVELOPES yesterday. Now that we have put our envelopes in the mail and they are on their way to the White Hose, I believe we should take some time to remember God's promises to His people.

This verse from Zephaniah tells us God "is mighty to save". That promise applies to those precious little unborn babies just as it does to me or you. We took a stand to protect the most innocent among us; let us not faint in that effort. Let us remember this promise to us as repeated to us by Zephaniah. Our God is with us and He is mighty to save. Praise His Holy Name!