Rose Colored Glasses
Years ago someone very close to me once ( or actually several times) said that I viewed life through "Rose Colored Glasses." While that may have been true then, I have found that sometimes life needs a little help to look better than the hard realities that we face day in and day out. I have discovered over the years that we all need encouragement that we are not in this alone. We only get to live this life once and I want my life , imperfect that it is, to be an encouragement for those around me. Do I get it right every single day?!?........."Absolutely not!!!!" But "His mercies are new every morning," and for that I am eternally grateful and forever hopeful "rose colored glasses" and all.
Saturday, May 31, 2014
It’s 3:41 a.m. and I am awake on a Saturday morning! I have been awake most of the night. My thoughts are all over the place. You see, I lost someone today and though my body is tired, my mind is in overdrive. This is not our first loss this month. On mother’s day weekend, one of our aunts lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. While we would never want her back in the shape she was in, there is now a void…..an empty place at the table…..an absence of one who was never still for very long….one who was talented and creative…..one who loved life and her family. My heart hurts for her sweet husband, her son, her grandchildren, her siblings, her in laws! I know in my mind that she would tell us that she is fine…..that she is beyond happy…..that she is bouncing down the streets of gold as I type….talking with Jesus and all who were there before her. I know all this in my heart and in my mind….we all do……but still we grieve!! We grieve for her presence here….her laugh….her willingness to help with whatever needs to be done…..her advice….her direction…..I miss you Helen!! Today’s loss is someone very dear to me……someone that feels not like a cousin, but a brother. It is unexpected as death sometimes is…….it is so very sad…..it is the very thing that awaits all of us at some point! As I have tried to wrap my mind around the idea that he is gone, I have had so many memories come flooding back. Memories all the way back to early childhood…..my entire childhood was so intertwined with him and his sister and brother, that I have no memory of a time when we weren’t together. I have been so blessed to have been raised with an extended family of cousins that you could never really tell where one of us stopped, and the other began. We were family….we could play, and work, and fight, and love like nobody’s business!! Some of my earliest memories with the cousins are of playing in the soft powdery dirt under my Granny’s front porch, and later on catching tadpoles in the deep ditch that you had to cross to get from their house to the old home place. Riding bicycles and horses, swimming in the creek and singing into the old metal blade oscillating fan, that one of the cousins had painted with bright glow in the dark paint. Walking bare foot after dark down the dirt road with no real destination in sight, just because we could!! Later on sneaking off to town and riding dirt roads. There was never an absence of something to do…..we played hard, but we worked hard too. One thing our childhood taught us was a work ethic. Living in the country, on a farm there was always something to do. Character was built as we worked in chicken houses and hauled hay and fed cows and plowed fields. We may have done a little complaining then but we grew up knowing how to work! As time passed and we went our separate ways….we didn’t see each other much, but when we did….we could just pick up where we left off. That’s how it is with people you love…..the miles and years can separate us, but those bonds are deep and true! I will always love you Dennis Paul…..and I will see you again!!! Death has a way of stopping us in our tracks…..it can happen so fast that we are left just trying to hang on. The fact of the matter is we will all come face to face with this at some unknown point. It is vitally important that we all prepare for that day. As the preacher who spoke at Helen’s home going celebration stated…..it is all about the dash…..that little mark that separates the date of our birth and the date of our death. What we do with the here and now will determine how we will spend eternity. I have wasted a lot of time in my life with things that were not really important in the big scheme of things….I don’t want that to be the rule of my life…….living my life in light of eternity is how I want to do it….knowing that one day soon, I will cross over and as soon as I see my Jesus, I’m going to be looking for those that got there before me……what a reunion that will be!!! If you don’t know my Jesus, ask me…..I would love to tell you about him!!! “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Rev. 21:4
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
I haven’t blogged in awhile. I have every intention to do it more often…….then I don’t! Nothing earth shattering has been going on in my world. The daily grind….it’s…..well…..daily…..and…a….grind!! I seem to get up and go to work, and come home, and go to bed and do it all over again. I have tried to take the bull by the horns and add some life to my years recently!!! I have taken up knitting!! Maybe I should say I am trying to take up knitting. A dear friend and I have begun going to “knitting” classes on Saturdays when we can, and it is proving to be lots of fun!! I have already made three or four dishcloths and, though using the same pattern….not one of them look alike!!! Hmmmm….. I did say I was learning!! I am improving, my first dishcloth looked like a Christmas tree… It has been a really good outlet for a few hours on Saturday. There is just nothing like sitting around a big table with a bunch of other women……and we are not even eating!!!! I half way jokingly said that I needed to find something that I liked to do better than eating….and while I’m not so sure that I like this new hobby that well, I really am having a good time with it!! It is a really good cold weather hobby!! And it does cut down on the snacking I like to do at night, while watching TV. I may eventually have enough dishcloths to insulate my house, but I hope to progress to some scarf making at some point. Besides that, I have been trying to be healthier. I have cut out diet drinks and coffee for now and have been making better food choices. I keep thinking that I am going to wake up all skinny and fit one morning….so far that hasn’t happened! I may have to get on that dreaded treadmill!! I hate to exercise…..I mean I really hate it!! Of all the times I have tried to incorporate this discipline in my life, I have never,ever, in a million years felt any kind of “high” from it!! I think people who come up with that mess are a little whacked!!! I have felt beat up and like I’d been run over by a truck and drug a couple of blocks….I have been sweaty and winded and worn slap out, but never once has it felt good!! Anyway……I may have to try it again…..not because I think it’s going to make me feel good, but because I think I need to. I am of the mind with this sort of thing that I don’t know if it really makes you live longer, or if it just feels like you do!! Oh well, another day another chance to try to do it better!!! Maybe I will make a new goal to blog more……hmmmm!!! “…..His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning…..” Lamentation 3:23
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
It’s very quiet in my house this morning. It’s still early for those who have been blessed with the day off. I felt the need to sit quietly and coral my thoughts for a few minutes before the day gets into full swing. The next 24 to 36 hours will be filled to the brim with busyness and noise…..all the things that family and celebration brings. While it’s still, I want to just soak up the freshness of a new day and the One who makes the days and brings the seasons!! I haven’t always loved Christmas and the craziness it can bring…..but the older I get the more I enjoy this season of the year. Somewhere along the way, it just got easier. Somewhere along the way, it became ingrained in my heart that this is not about me, but all about Him! Of course that’s what it has always been about, but it took awhile for me to get it!! No doubt “holidays” can be stressful……all the running around, gift buying, cooking and cleaning…..not to mention the gathering of family with all our quirks and different ideas about things. But that’s all part of it……or at least how we’ve come to do things anyway! While commercialism has pretty much taken over Christmas…..I have to pull back and get a grip on what it’s all about. It’s about the Christ child……that perfect One who took on a lowly state to become one of us!! It’s the celebration of His birth and ministry!!! Over the years I have told my kids…..it’s not our birthday, but His!! If I’m honest, I was telling myself that because I needed to hear it!! I cannot imagine sending one of my babies to take on the sin of the world……another reason to love Him so! While I don’t understand it, I am so thankful for it!! Happy Birthday Jesus!! I love you!
Saturday, December 14, 2013
I have been thinking a lot about death for several days. While this seems like a morbid subject, it is “real life.” The recent unexpected death of Tony’s aunt has really put this at the front of my mind. While to me a mere 63 years doesn’t seem like enough time for this wonderful woman to have been here on earth, tonight she is truly at home and celebrating Christmas in a whole new way this year. I’ve felt so much sadness for her husband, her son and daughter in law, and her precious grandbaby girls!! But at the same time, I realize that I have witnessed a life well lived. While I wouldn’t ask her to come back for anything, I know that our family get togethers will never be the same….she was the life of the party!! I have experienced some loss in my life……my grandparents, my step dad, cousins who died much too young, friends and coworkers, and my only nephew. I have sat with others who were grieving the loss of someone close to them…..I’ve watched mothers bury their children at much too young an age. I hate death!!! I hate it!!! I hate the way that it tears families apart…..I hate the way it leaves people ragged and struggling to breathe…….I hate the way that it causes every special occasion to have a dark cloud over it….I hate how it often leaves us feeling regret……regret at things said or unsaid……regret that we didn’t do some things we should have done. I hate seeing people hurting and knowing that there is nothing I can say or do that will help that pain. I just hate death!! I know that death is as much a part of life as birth……but it hurts so much and leaves such a void! Even at my age, I struggle with understanding at how God works…..why does He take such good people?!? Why does He take children? But you know the truth of it? No matter how much time we have with our loved ones, we will always wish for more time……God in His infinite wisdom knows best. He knows our hearts and our hurt. He who gave His only son for the likes of me….If our loved ones are His then it is just our own selfishness that wants to keep them here. Clearly, we can’t comprehend what awaits all of us when we take our last earthly breath and that first heavenly breath with Jesus!! If we could, we might try to hurry things along…..as it is, we just know the here and the now. If life is good for us, we want more years of the same……but if we think this life is good…….ohhhhh…. what we have to look forward to in heaven!!!! You know death is something we will all face at some point if Jesus tarrys . I want my life to be a life well lived. I want to love those that He gave me to love and I want to do the things He would have me to do with my life. I want to point people to Jesus!!! I remember 30 plus years ago when my sweet Papa Bonner died. What I remember about that is the grief that I felt…..I must say that my walk with the Lord wasn’t what it should have been and I remember feeling so irritated with the preacher that preached his funeral. He said less to soothe my heart than I thought he could have, and he preached a stern “invitation”! I was really ticked off about this. In my immaturity, I felt that wasn’t the time for that. All these years later, I realize what better time to extend an invitation to come to Jesus than at the death of someone we love. We tend to live our lives like this is all we are ever going to get…….we are so wrong in that. If I want to see my Christian loved ones again, I have to come to Jesus…..you have to come to Jesus! It’s such a simple thing!! I am so thankful for the chance to age and hopefully grow wiser!! As a child of the most high God……it’s a win/win situation!! As Christmas comes around every year on December 25th…….and we celebrate the birth of this precious baby Jesus…..we need to keep in mind that this is not all there is……if it hadn’t been for the death and resurrection of that same precious baby we would have no hope!!! While I may never feel anything but hate for death, I can also view it as the reward for the believer!!! I want to be sure that I Iive this life to the fullest using every opportunity that the Lord gives me to glorify Him!! Am I gonna fail .....absolutely……but you know what?!?! I’m gonna get back up and go again and I will do it because I serve a God that can do what I can’t!!! Praise You Lord!! As I close this blog for today.....I just want to say I love you Sheila Dickey......thanks for the memories!!!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
The leftovers have all been put away. I’m sitting in front of a roaring fire watching ‘The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” with my baby girl. We have had the best day today. We had most of our family here for lunch. We had quite the spread and it was delicious. I’m still stuffed to the gills and feel like I could pop like a balloon. I have been so blessed to have a wonderful family…….not just my family of origin, but the family that I was given when I married my sweet man almost 33 years ago. We are not a perfect family but we love each other and have such a good time together. Our fellowship was as good as the food today. We missed one of our aunts who stayed at home today. She is waging a mighty war against that ugly disease called cancer. I am thankful that she is still able to fight and I pray that she will feel well enough to join us at our next gathering. It never ceases to amaze me at how fast time goes. I feel much too young to have a 30 year old child….lol…..no, not really…..most days my body feels like I am much older than this mere 51 years. I just look around and realize that time has certainly not stood still. I have to say that I have such a good life. My kids are grown and happy….my husband is” still the one I want whispering in my ear”………my parents and my parents-in-law are still in relatively good health…..while I don’t live in a mansion, I love my home and look forward to getting there every single day of my life………my job pays well enough…….my church family feels like family…….my soul is secure……I have never gone to bed hungry, well that’s not exactly true as any good “dieter” can tell you…….I crawl in my bed every night and think “man this bed feels so good”………I have two little fur babies who make me smile every day!!! While I have had tough times like anyone else……bad days do not mean I have a bad life. I am so thankful tonight for all that I have been blessed with. As I sit here full and warm….I can’t help but think about those who are not so fortunate. As I crawl in my bed tonight, I will think as I do many nights about those who don’t have a warm bed to sleep in, and I will say a prayer for those people that I may never meet this side of heaven. And I will pray that the Lord never lets me forget how blessed I am. On this Thanksgiving night, I am so very, very thankful for my life….the good and the bad!!!! “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess 5:16-18
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Since my last post, things are better. We have had some beautiful sunshine filled days. All the "little" things that get under my skin seem to have eased up. This sinus/upper respiratory "crud" that I've had on and off since January is getting better.....finally!! Spring is definitely on the way......my tulip tree is beautiful and my yellow bells are gorgeous! Waiting on the dogwoods that always appear by Easter and my azaleas!! I love the newness of Spring! While today feels cold and wet....the new season is peeping around the corner and I am thrilled!! As I write this I'm still in my robe. I was so aggravated at myself when I woke up at 6:00 this morning, a Saturday!! I hate that....so I finally got up and had coffee and a "Little Debbie" swiss roll ( the breakfast of champions) ha...more like the breakfast of fat girls...spent some time with the Lord......and then went back to bed and stayed there until noon!! I know.....that is pitiful.....but it felt so good!! This is one girl who loves to sleep! I'm up now and the house is quiet. There's no t.v. going, all I can hear is the hum of the heat pump, and the occasional sound of my wind chimes and the sweet sound of birdsong. So peaceful and restful! My love is at work and my other love is still in the bed (she likes her sleep too!) As much as I love my family and treasure the time I have with them(most of the time), I so love these quiet, uninterupted moments. Time when you can just let your mind wander and ponder! These are the times that I sometimes hear from the Lord about something in my life....these are also the times that I mull over ideas and things that I need to do, and things that I want to do. It's also the time that the Lord brings to my mind people that I need to pray for and lift up to Him. I so take for granted the things in my life......the simple things like being able to see and hear and smell!! I can see the wonders of His hands...I can hear the sounds of His creation......I can smell the sweet scent of the coming Spring!! I can feel the touch of a rose petal....I can taste the sweetness of a fresh peach! What a wonderful creator we have! And He loves me!! I will never cease to be amazed by this. I am such a wretch!! I can be as moody and hateful as sin.....I can be as judgemental and condemning as anybody...I can be resentful and mean. I so want to be a good little "Jesus girl." But I'm not....I'm just me. He knows that....He made me!! The desire of my heart is that each day of my life points people to Jesus, not away from Him. I can't do this by myself. The wonderful thing is that I don't have to. He walks beside every step of the way......He picks me up when I fall and dusts me off and on occasion swats my behind before He stands me back up. This reminds me of being a little girl and milling around in one of our chicken houses with my Papa. Out of the clear blue, he snatched me up and scared me to death....He saw what I didn't....a snake! I would have placed my foot squarely on that snake had it not been for my Papa. My walk with God is much the same....He sees the things that I don't.....sometimes there may be an unseen snake in my path..... sometimes I may be the snake. Either way He can handle the situation!! I am so thankful that He can and does handle me and the situations of my life!! Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Revelation 4:19i>
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I have been in a "funk" for weeks now. I have blamed the weather.....it has rained and rained and rained some more the past couple of months. I have blamed work....not just the place but the people I deal with on a daily basis.....I have blamed the president.....I have blamed the economy.......I have blamed my man and my baby girl.....I have blamed myself.....I have blamed the dogs!! About the only one I haven't consciously blamed is God.....though if the truth be known, I have blamed Him too. I have battled with depression for as long as I can remember. And while, medication takes the edge off, there are still days that it is a major issue in my life. For the longest time, I was so embarrassed about it.....what in the world do I have to be depressed about?? I have a great life!!! I have come to realize that depression doesn't care if you have a great life or not!! I do know that the true depression I experience can be exagerated if I let life get too out of hand. I think of the line in the movie Coalminer's Daughterwhen Loretta Lynn says that instead of running her own life, her life was running her. She made this statement and then collapsed on stage. While I haven't collapsed, I completely "get" what she meant. Sometimes we get too busy "doing" that we miss what we needed to see. These past few months have been busy. Somedays I get to the end of the day and wonder where in the world the time went. I have faced some new areas in life. You know when you are young you think that the people in your life.....namely your parents will always be there....honestly you don't really think about this at all.....it's just one of the unspoken, unnamed expectations in life. When you are slapped in the face with the reality that they are only human and living in temporary bodies, and that they aren't always going to be here.....well suffice it to say....it is a shock to your system!! I'm a nurse and I know as well as anybody that we aren't made to live forever and that our human vessels are decaying as we speak......I know this in theory......but it is a hard thing to watch. Maybe I am having a "midlife" crisis......who am I kidding...I am 51 years old.....who lives to be 102?!?! I am a bit past midlife....but the crisis part may still be there. I find myself worrying about things that I have no control over......I didn't used to worry at all!! I am thinking about all the "what ifs" of life these days. What does that say about me? For one thing, it says I am human!! For another, it says that I am in desperate need of a Savior!! I am so thankful that I have One!! He loves me too much to leave me like I am....and while I am human and sinful.....He can still use me if I will let Him. The one thing I have to remember is when the waves are over my head....they are under His feet and if I will just keep my eyes on Him, everything will be alright!! "And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him."Matthew 14:29-31