Sunday, June 21, 2015

Love, Wonderment and Pain

Almost to the date that it has been a year since my last post.  My last post was about being afraid.  Life is so humorous that way.  This past week of my life has been a roller coaster of love, wonderment and pain.  I truly wish there was a word in the English language that could mix all three of these emotions together.  Maybe they do all fall under the word love or maybe they are best left by themselves.

A child lost their life this week.  Ten years young.  Not ten years old....old doesn't describe this child.  He was one of those children that you admired for his courage and his love of life.  He didn't care about the mean kids and he just want to experience everything possible.  As a photographer, I want to capture everything possible.  All the emotions, the greatness that is there. The beauty that we may miss because we are too busy with everyday life.  At times this is overwhelming but I believe this why I'm usually exhausted after a great shoot.  I've searched and inspected as many viewpoints as possible for that beauty, that love of life.  Two years ago, this boy who is no longer with us on earth, was at a camp out with us and I had the chance to capture him with my camera.  I never edited this footage as life got busy with demands of life and paying work.  However, upon hearing about his death my heart knew that I had capture his being on camera.  I knew it wasn't random photos.....I had captured HIM.  His love of life had encapsulated me so that I wanted to capture this little man in his fullest.  To my amazement, I had remembered the footage well and had gotten the moment so perfectly....not for others.....but for myself.  He held a sign that said "Brave".  Brave you are boy....may many learn from the memories they have of you.  You will be missed.

Wonderment.  Being a mother you never know how your children are going to react to these types of event in life.  Where the hell is the instruction manual on parenting?  Seriously, when they pop out, out should come the manual that is tailored to them!!!  These things come up and you expect the worse, you just don't know.  My oldest, 12, I believe cried when no one was his eyes were swollen.  When I wrapped my arms around him at the funeral, asking him if he was ok, he just stated, "yes, this just happens and it is sad."  So 12.  I remember those years, removed.  My youngest, 8, as he lined up with the other cub scouts, as this child was in cub scouts, seemed brave.  I, being the observer glanced upon their faces.....distance, lost and concern.  My heart just broke.  My husband told me he shed some tears during the funeral and that was all.  He was sad when he was told but over all he has handled it well.  He knows at times that people get sick and they pass on and go to heaven.  So why as a mother am I the one struggling with this.  Probably because I know out there is a mother who didn't get an instruction manual either that said on this don't get any more pages, your manual ends here.  Put my heart on dry ice and shatter please.

Pain.  Where do I start and how do I end?  As I flew to MN this past week to help my mother drive to NC to relocate her vehicle here I had a slight pain of loss.  MN was home for us for so long. I know I have plans to go visit a few good friends but that only happens every so often.  I just felt like memories were being left behind.  So many good, some not so great, but just that mold of MN that was part of us, I left in a small box placed on the side of the road.  I didn't wrap it neatly.  I felt like I just pushed it out to the side of the road.  Safe and sound, it is, in the beautiful country side but it is there none the less.

So I would like to thank Pandora for playing all of my favorite hits to cry to.  I think I have cried enough to fill a bucket this past week.  Geez.  Ridiculous.  I could try to promise to write more, has been a year and a day since last time.  So if it happens again.....we shall see.  Until then...let every ray of sunlight warm your heart and feel its warmth upon your skin because life is toooooo damn short.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Kitchen gadgets.  I have two drawers full of gadgets and a few containers around my kitchen that contain more gadgets.  I feel prepared to cook or bake anything on a whim.  When someone says "we need to prepare", I'm always left with this worry.  Prepare!!!!  Freaks me out that I have to prepare for something.  Getting ready.  I think that is why I always wait for the last minute to do something because then I don't have to prepare, I can just do.  But procrastination is for another day....or so it shall seem.  Back to prepare. 

I tried to think about what this word means to mean when it comes to Lent.  Prepare my heart.  Prepare my mind. 

1 Peter 3:15 ESV     
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

To be prepared to make a defense that person needs to have tools.  When ever someone brings up a hot topic about being Christian I always get this "freak me out" feeling.  Like I don't know what to say or do.  I don't want to be the Bible thumper but I have always been raised to stand up for what you believe in.  I think in this day and age we are starting to hold our tongues more being afraid of what others may think or say.  I don't feel like I have the tools....I'm not prepared to have this fight.....or am I. 

I discovered a few days ago that I didn't need much but courage (a big tool).  I had a tool and I was going to use it.  A friend posted this picture a few days ago on FB:

Now before you get all puffy and upset about this picture, I will state that my friend took feedback from others very well and I believe has had some times where those of us who say we are "Christians" act otherwise and have treated him differently.  Hmmm, ties to my dust.  Strange.  Ok!!!  Now I used to just let things like this go as I feel everyone is entitled to their opinion dang it.....I felt it was my right as a believer in Christ to state that.....this poster would read differently depending on what Christian helped her fill it out.  I felt strong and liberated that I spoke up.  And shame on what ever parent puts this sign in their children's hands.  I am a full lover of science I believe God created individuals to find answers to his Almighty Kingdom.  But I would like to defer that on some ends of the spectrum it could say that According to Science   I am: genetically defected.  Yes, it is our job to prepare children for the hardships in life and let them know that they sin.....but so do we adults are sinners.  We are weak but God has prepared us with love that we are to share with each other and prepare us to walk with Christ.  I love my tools and my new found esteem to say I'm a believer.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I will be honest...not that I really want to be however I have never gone to an Ash Wednesday service at church.  I'm a little in shock by this admittance but if I rack my brain hard enough no service comes to mind.  So I have never been smeared with ashes on my forehead.  I was going to plan on going this year however life has gotten away from me and I won't be able to make it yet another year.  However, I was slightly turned off by the idea after reading about a church that had an Ash Wednesday drive-thru.  A what?  Yup, drive-thru.  I write from time to time about my hardship of how we have become such a society of entitlement and instant gratification.  BUT, who am I to talk?  I can't even get in my vehicle to go to church, let alone a drive thru.

This doesn't speak to my heart that I do not regard this day as important or the Lent time for that matter.  I love this time of year.  Gives me time to reflect, to give more, to grow closer to God.  This year I have a list of photos that I will take each day and blog about.  Forcing me to slow down in this crazy thing I call life and reflect upon my calling to Christ.

Today's picture is to be of dust.  As I am eager to pick up my camera after a period of rest for carpal tunnel, I have decided to wait till tomorrow.  I have a photo that I had take recently that shows dust in such a perfect way that I want to share it.

“Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return
Turn away from your sins and believe in the Gospel”

I love this picture as it shows the growth of relationships between people.  But dancing so delicately in the air is flecks of dust.  If we continue to remind ourselves that we were once dust and dust we shall return then whose dust is better or worse than mine.  Kind of evens out the playing field in my opinion.  Continuing to focus on Christ will keep us turned from sin.  I find as I continue to try and walk with Christ my life is much easier than the days where I couldn't fathom walking in the light and took my life into my own hands. 

So today I will remember that I am dust and to dust I shall return....tomorrow....Prepare.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The BIG "F" Word!!! FORGIVENESS!!!

I feel the need to write....even though I'm not sure what I want to write about.  My head is swimming with so many ideas, flavors and desires that I can't put my finger on one solid idea.  I have been trying to make a morning ritual of reading a devotion or just reading the bible to enrich my mind and my walk with Christ.  I find some days that is a struggle as I look around the house and view so many projects that need to be done. But I know the Devil sneaks in from time to time to distract us into not following Christ like we should.  So this morning I felt as God called me to my new space.  We converted a three season porch into an office.  Four big and bright windows to let all the light in that God has shined every day.  I grabbed my morning coffee and headed to the couch to watch some morning TV.  Not a part of my usual routine however the kids have a snow day.  But I stopped half way to the couch turned around and said NO, you should do something for Christ this morning.  But what?  My eyes lead to my new space and I opened the door and felt enlighten to surf the web for something to move me.  Proverbs 31 is my usual go to and this morning it provided much needed fruit for my soul.

My main focus for this year is change.  There are many aspects in my life that I want to change/improve.  So the verse I read moved me so much that I continued to read. 

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:19a (ESV)

Yes, yes my heart shouted....change.  As I continued to read God spoke to my heart and I knew what had to happen to truly change.  The big F word.  That is what I call it.  FORGIVENESS.  Yup, no four letter word here that is so easily to spill  off our lips.  Forgiveness is a long, difficult and much dissected word that we ponder.  Years ago I blogged that to truly grow and change....we must forgive.  I just shake my head by this small reminder.

Every few days thoughts pass through my mind about pains that I have caused others or they have caused to me.  I begin to feel dirty, dark and raw.  The longer I allow myself to think these thoughts the worse my outlook on moving forward becomes.  I find it so interesting that we have such an easy tool that God has given us yet we are so afraid to use it.  Afraid of what may happen if we just let go of dark, rooted, painful crap that fills our heart and mind.  I feel like a Baptist when I say this......That is the Devil at work!  The longer we don't utilize the tool of forgiveness the harder it gets for use to move forward in our swamp of disgust and dismay.  The darker our skies get that we have such clouded vision and can't not see good in anyone.

But even though I know I need to forgive there are things in my heart I don't feel ready to forgive...but I believe it is because I can't name all of the pain and agony that particular individuals have caused me.  So I think it is time for some writing therapy.  Not to anyone else, not to them but to myself.  I'm going to take time to write a letter to some folks that I feel are weighing heavy on my heart.  Maybe I need to print them and hide them for times I need reminding...maybe not.  The problem for me is I'm a very sensitive person and a very verbal person....I need to put words to how I feel rather than thoughts.  I hope that with these writings that I am able to pray over them and let them go.

God has much change for me over this next year.  As I'm sure He has much change for all of us.  Let God work though you and forgive so that you can truly see what He has in store for you. 

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (NIV)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Love in the New Year with your spouse!!!

I have to admit I have been a little obsessed with a song lately...."Say Something" a little duet with A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera.  This song rips my heart into pieces for so many reasons....but most of all I think I have listened to it enough to finally know why this song effects me so.  At first, my heart and mind tied this song to a person from my past for many reasons but the biggest reason was because I walked away from him because......I loved someone ex-husband and my boys.  When I had the ah-ha moment I was driving down the road and the song came on.  I felt choked up again and had to pull over to the side of the road.

You see tears flow easily however tears that are held back for too long burn and are so heavy with weight that a blurred vision sets in. At that moment I realized why this song impacted me.  This song had nothing to do with another person it had to do with me.  Because I walked away from my marriage.  Yes...I know it takes two to tango but I gave up.  Threw in the towel and didn't want to fight any more.  Didn't want to feel the way I did anymore.  I felt hurt, confused and most of all tired.  When I told him how I felt...we came to realize we felt the same.  But I look back now......

So here is my two cents...for what it is worth (since my ex-husband and I are remarried to each other), I'd say that my words might be worth every penny.  Here it is..... DON'T GIVE UP.  Say something, say anything, but talk to each other.  This is the person you are to love and hold for the rest of your life.  I know we get tied up in our jobs, money, the kids, school, what ever it could possibly to your best partner, you know the one you lay down next to every night.  I have friends right now that are past this point.  Separation or divorce is imminent.  But if you are going just day by day and want to be happy in your relationship with your spouse then by all something about it.  I hear folks that talk about their pains and being tired and such once the kids go down and it is their only time to themselves.  Well guess what.....that is the only time for your spouse as well.  Make time together, take time together.  It is as simple as telling the kids to go play and enjoy a cup of coffee together.  Or go out together with out friends.  Time for each other.

We have all these new years better ourselves....blah, blah.  That is great!  Please I encourage you to keep these goals.  But make another one this year, a goal to grow your relationship.  Even if you think you have a great relationship.....make it better!  If your stuck, then make time together.  If you need to go to therapy, find someone that will listen to BOTH sides.  Make it a team effort and an effort for God.  Put God at the center of your relationship and if you don't know where to start....well put your hands together, bow your head and ask God for help.  Because folks it is sooooo easy to say "Say something, I'm giving up on you....", but it takes extreme effort to grow your relationship with your spouse.  Don't swallow your pride, stand up and tell the person you are supposed to love that you love them. 

Now I'm rambling, so I'm done.  Because I think if I listen to this dang song that is on repeat on my iphone ....I'm might puke (we are talking 50+ times). 

Say something because I'm going to fight for you.  Please and thank you.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cleaning out myself!!!!

Today I woke with the desire to be better.  Most likely due to the new year upon us and such.  However, waking up and saying I'm going to be better, do better, blah, blah can be a bit overwhelming.  I'm sure you asking yourself well how do you want to be better, do better?  Folks, everything!  Right!?  Isn't that the logical answer with the new year almost here?  Everything.  SO OVERWHELMING.  I stopped and asked myself "what exactly did I want to be better and what do I need to be better?  What in my life could be better by changes I make?  Most of all what can't I change?"

So....I decided to clean under my bathroom sink.  Dirty, cluttered, unorganized and I had no clue what was in there.  Yes, of course, the essentials were there such as my make-up drawer, deodorant and stuff....STUFF.  As I started this task I thought I would simply clean out a little three drawer system I had and call it a day.  However, the further I got into it, I realized that I had to do it all.  OCD, well maybe (shrugging my shoulders, we all have faults).  Three drawer system was emptied on the counter and I washed the drawers as I could not for the life of me remember the last time I washed the drawers.  As I peered back under the sink all I saw was a bunch of stuff, stuff and more stuff.  Shaking my head I knew I had to go through it but where do I start. Light bulb moment.  Hey this is kind of like starting over, making better.  By looking at all my stuff and deciding what will stay, what will go and will I ever use it again.  Painful as this process maybe, yes the improving my life and cleaning my cabinet.  I think when we feel the need to step forward in a better light we look at everything and don't know where to start.  I also feel as I started to take things out of the cabinet trying to decide whether to keep or get rid of it the task became even more overwhelming.  I put a kibosh on that and decided to take it all out, place on the floor and give the cabinet a good wash out and start with a clean slate.  Crap, if life was only that easy.....or is it....I think we often hold onto things in our hearts even though we have asked God to forgive us of our sins and let us walk forward with a clean slate. 

Cabinet cleaned out....floor a complete disaster.  As I looked upon the objects on the floor I realized a few things about myself.  (Ya, I probably already knew this stuff, but at times I need a reminder)  I keep things in hopes that I will get into that habit to be better but I never ever do it or continue to do it once I start.  Example, lotion, I am not a lotion person.  I actually envy the ladies that are good about taking care of their skin.  I'm the one whose dress pants in the winter are static clung to my legs because my legs are soo dry.  SMH.  But I keep small bottles of lotion.  Why, I really don't know.  Folks, I even make sure I have lotion in my travel bag....just in case I may feel the need to slather on vacation.  Who am I kidding?  LOL.  Anybody else do this?  Keep things around because one day, you may get around to do it.  Crafts, tailoring or even...loss the weight enough to get back into those size 2 pants.  Why, do we keep this stuff that we know good and well we are not going to do it. (Disclaimer, you can loss weight but I know when I was a size 2/0 I hardly ate and took terrible care of myself.  Now if you are one to take good care of yourself and work out and are a size 2/0, I'm not saying anything is wrong with it. Kudos) To be honest, I did get rid of some lotions and slathered my hands and elbows with a fabulous Burt's Bees hand crème.  I can't seem to let go completely of these lotions but I'm okay with this. 

I guess what I'm getting at is be careful as to the things you hold onto.  Examine your relationships with people, with your stuff and most of all examine your relationship with Christ.   I'm holding onto stuff in my heart that is holding me back in progressing forward in certain relationships in my life.  Philippians 3:13, "13 No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead".  Christ speaks to this that we have to look forward not being tied down to our past as He has forgiven our past.  Move on.  Easier said than done.  But as this new years sneaks up on us don't let the devil sneak up on you and hold you hostage to your past.  You will lose.

My trashcan is full of stuff and my cabinet is cleaned and reorganized.  I'm shocked by the things I let go and really shocked by the number of small dental flosses and hand sanitizers I have.  I feel like I'm going to stop examining my past events in my life so closely that is over consumes my thoughts.  Instead, know that my past is there, recognize it but not let it control how I move forward.  In the moments that I feel my past creeping up in my thought process to ruin a moment in my life, I'm going to God in prayer to keep me focusing forward.

Ephesians 4:24 - and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Go In Peace.....

My favorite part of church service is the Benediction. 

Numbers 6:24-26
The LORD bless you, and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.'

I feel as it is the time that I feel complete.  Everything that was taught that day comes to a close, I'm given peace in the Lord and I'm meant to go reflect and show others through my actions what Christ means to me. 

It is strange how the times in my life that I have questioned my faith or if I even believed there was God, that I had no peace.  I went about my day, moving through my actions but when it came time to close my eyes at the end of the night my heart was not in peace.

These days....I get stressed out, I get wrapped up in what I am doing but I have a peace in my heart that I have never known.  Erin Maynor has a song that has the verse "Decrease me, Increase you."  A year ago I was walking with Christ but I didn't completely grasp the meaning of this verse.  But today it means more than anything and is so well said.  For true peace....I have to focus on the Lord and not on myself.  The number of times I didn't walk with the Lord it was all about me.....This doesn't mean that I don't take care of myself but if I ask and take the Lord's guidance I'm able to have his complete peace in my heart.

The Lord does blesses me and keeps me and you, the Lord's face does shine upon me and you.  He is amazingly gracious in our worst moments. (Grace is a beautiful thing)  When I "Decrease me, Increase" Him, I'm lifted up and given peace.

In what ways have you received peace from the Lord?  Have you shown Grace to other's that He has shown to you?