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Once Upon a time with God

This is the post excerpt.

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Once upon a time – isn’t that how all great stories start.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful lonely girl…

Once upon a time in a faraway land…

Life is full of once upon a times but not like in a book you might read.

Once upon a time there was a lonely person feeling oh so lost and alone – she smiled the smile, walked the walk and talked the talk, afraid to let the world see the real her.  She knew that God saw her in all her imperfection and sin and that offered comfort because she knew that God wouldn’t reject her, this girl all so lost and alone.  This girl so wants to focus on God and not the feelings that tear her apart, not the fear of rejection, the fear for her child, the worry – yes that Sin – one of the sin that God hates with all that he is.  It’s so easy to say God’s got this, and believe with your head and know that God’s got this – maybe not in the way you really want him to have it – perfect life anyone?  No God’s got this in a way that can grow you if you’ll just have FAITH.

Is it going to hurt at times – oh yea so much pain but oh the JOY.

 

Psalm 30[a]

A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple.[b] Of David.

I will exalt you, Lord,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
Lord my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.

Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

 

What comes with this pain and fear is the need to lean on God – lay all your troubles at his feet.  Those troubles will be eased.  Focus on each and every day, one day at a time, one prayer at a time and the pain and fear will ease – there will be moments, long moments when you seem to only concentrate on the negative side of life but thanks to God there is always a positive side.

Matthew 6:33

 

33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 

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Wonderfully, beautifully made by God

From an early age I knew that my daughter was never going to be like other girls. She does normal girl things except at this stage in life dresses are awful things, makeup well umm no thanks. I know that she loves her friends and will fiercely protect them but she also likes her alone time. She plays nicely with others but when she’s ready for alone time, she’s ready. I remember receiving a text from a friend when she was in kindergarten or first grade letting me know that she was alone on the playground. My friend wanted to know if everything was okay, I honestly didn’t know I wasn’t there at that moment. My girl is my only child but she’s not an only sibling. She’s my oldest, middle and youngest but when it comes to her other siblings, she’s the middle child. Now how that translates into her life I don’t know other than she is loved.

She’s never been much of a joiner, when she was younger and we played games, well her rules didn’t always match up with the actual rules, she likes to win. Nowadays she seems to be seen with her ear buds attached to her ears as much as possible. Her music gives her a peace. I’ve learned that even with earbuds in she hears what is being said, she’s not the most social child but when she’s in she’s all in. She has never been one to clamor for attention, I think it’s something she learned at a young age, if someone didn’t want to listen to her she just gave up and moved on. She adapts, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt her, it means that she chooses to not let the hurt rule her life. It also means that she keeps that hurt to herself.
This girl loves fiercely, her love is unfailing. These past few months she has talked more and more about her grandma and how much she is like her and pretty much how much she loves being like her. She’s proud of who her grandma was and proud that so much of her seems to be in her. She always says she more like her grandmother because I’m too nice and her grandma was tough.

I love the saying never judge a book by its cover. Opening that cover to actually read the book can bring so much into your life – love, friendship, protection, heartache, redemption and the list goes on. One of the things I know about my daughter is she is wonderfully and fearfully made by God and although there have been trials along the way and there will be more trials along the way, along with triumphs I am so truly blessed by this girl. I’ve opened the book and I love watching this girl grow and I can’t wait to see what God has planned for her.

Jeremiah 29:11-13English Standard Version (ESV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Never Ending Season of Change

You would think as time goes by that you would get used to certain things in life. Friendships changing, some being left in the dust. You would think that feeling like you feel always on the outside and never on the inside would fade, after all it’s always there, but it doesn’t. You would think that worrying would just fade to a dull roar especially when you always worry about the same things.

There are times I’m sure if I weren’t around no one would miss me. I am pretty sure we all or most all of us go through times when no matter how many friends you still can feel alone. I think I am the queen of being in a crowd and feeling alone.

It’s funny – my daughter does so many things like me. I don’t often admit that, because I am much better at masking my social anxiety and pushing through. It’s so easy to retreat though. I might happen upon the fringe of a crowd and if I can’t find a way to fit in I’ll walk away, she does the same thing.

It’s tough watching your friends on Facebook go and have fun and you’re alone. Actually being alone isn’t horrible, most of the time I can deal with it. I worry about when I get old and am sick, who will be there for me. I have a friend who’s gone through hell and back but her husband is by her side, loving her and taking care of her. She is blessed with a wonderful and truly Godly man. My mom was blessed with a wonderful man who loved her and took such wonderful care of her and now they are both gone and my heart hurts at the loss. One just over a year old and the other over 6 months old.

I know one day my beautiful daughter will find someone to love her like she so deserves to be loved, I pray he’s a Godly man who cherishes all of her and who loves her through everything, the good and bad, the ups and downs, through health and illness. I just pray that my daughter will open her heart to all that God has in store for her and not close it off.

I guess maybe I should pray that God opens up my heart to all that He has in store for me. That he helps me to find ways to be less busy and more about him. I’m always busy with work, church work and just trying to squeeze as much as I can into 24 hours, so much that I forget to find time for God. I do manage to squeeze in minutes of time but finding real time…

I know that if I spend more time with God, my life would be better, not perfect by any means, there will always be trials but at least there would be more peace and more joy because of God, because of the peace he brings with knowing him and trusting him. Today I pray for peace but praise God through it all.

Col. 3:15 – Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Alone in a crowd of people who love me

Today I sat alone in church, surrounded by friends who I know love me and I felt alone. I’m sure that many people feel that way at times. I knew I should be focusing on the worship and the message both of which I enjoyed, except for the moment when I had to run out to see if help was needed elsewhere.

Some days my “aloneness” doesn’t bother me, I’m never truly alone, even when it seems I am God is with me. Sometimes I wish, I wish for a guy who would be there for me when I’m sad and heartbroken so that they could wrap their arms around me while grieve about things that are lost. People that are no longer here either on earth or in my life, lost friends, lost loves.

The aloneness makes you feel undeserving and unlovable. Sometimes I know I really am unlovable through actions and words. I want to someone worth loving and I know that in God’s eyes I always am. He made me and I am so truly thankful for that.

This place here on earth, is not forever and I truly want to be someone who shows up and love to others, I want to shine for God. I want to be someone that others can come to when they feel alone in a crowd of people who love them.

It’s so easy to show love in good times, it gets hard in the bad times and I want to be there in all the times. I look at things I’ve done in the past and wonder how I can think that I could be used by God in a way that would touch someone’s life, that would bring them closer to God.

Do I do it through being as transparent as possible? By opening my heart and arms to welcome people in who need to know that there is always hope in God? Do I do it quietly through worship and actions?

No matter how alone you might feel in a crowd of people who love you there is always someone who can use an encouraging smile, word or touch. I heard a song today that I needed to hear by Jordan Feliz

Beloved
Jordan Feliz
Head full of questions, how can you measure up?
To deserve affection, to ever be enough
For this existence
When did it get so hard?
Your heart is beating, alive and breathing
And there’s a reason why
You are essential, not accidental
And you should realize

You are beloved
I wanted you to know
You are beloved
Let it soak into your soul
Oh, forget the lies you heard
Rise above the hurt
And listen to these words
You are beloved
I want you to know
You are beloved
You-ou-ou, you-ou-ou, you, you are beloved

Sometimes a heart can feel like a heavy weight
It pulls you under and you just fall away
Is anybody gonna hear you call? (Oh oh)
But there’s a purpose
Under the surface
And you don’t have to drown
Let me remind you
That love will find you
Let it lift you out
You are beloved
I wanted you to know

You are beloved
Let it soak into your soul
Oh, forget the lies you heard
Rise above the hurt
And listen to these words
You are beloved
I wanted you to know
You are beloved
Don’t be afraid
Don’t let hope fade
Keep your eyes fixed on the light above
In the heartbreak, in your mistakes
Nothing can separate you from love
Don’t be afraid
Don’t let hope fade
Keep you eyes fixed on the light above
In the heartbreak, in your mistakes
Nothing can separate you from love

You are beloved
I wanted you to know (you to know)
You are beloved
Let it soak into your soul
Forget the lies you heard
Rise above the hurt
And listen to these words
You are beloved
I wanted you to know
You are beloved
You-ou-ou, you-ou-ou, you, you are beloved
You-ou-ou, you-ou-ou, you, you are beloved (yeah)
Don’t be afraid
Don’t let hope fade
Keep your eyes fixed on the light above (you are beloved)
In the heartbreak, in your mistakes
Nothing can separate you from love
You are beloved

Always remember you are loved by God and you are NEVER truly alone.

Celebrate

A year ago tomorrow my life and several other changed forever. Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of my mom Betty Murphy gaining her angels wings. It’s been a tough year full of sadness and more loss. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss you, think about your or wish that we had more time mom, but I know that you are in God’s company and are no longer in pain.
Sunday while singing during Easter services, I thought of you and how much you loved to worship and dance and the tears just flowed. I miss you being in the choir. I love how people loved to watch you worship. I’m sure you were singing and dancing yesterday in heaven.
I can’t believe it’s been a year – the time has gone quickly and slowly all at once. Every time I see a picture of a sport that any of your grandchildren play or I learn of their newest achievements I miss you even more. I know that you loved your grandkids and you enjoyed watching them and cheering them on in everything they did. You were so proud of them all. I wish you were here to see them through all the changes in their lives but I know that you live on in their hearts and I know you are still cheering them on.
Every time I write about you I wish I could find the words to describe just how incredible you were, what an inspiration you were. Mom we definitely had our ups and downs but we had so much fun and so much love, my heart is overwhelmed by that love The memories – some very good, some incredibly sad, so many good times filled with love, family and laughter. These memories I will cherish forever.
Tomorrow there will be smiles and tears but I will try to find a way to celebrate your life and you. I miss and love you!!! One day we will be together in heaven and oh what a celebration that will be.

This Journey

Last week was my daughter’s spring break. Yay, right? Yay for the most part. My sister, brother and I had determined that would be the week we took care of my mom’s ashes. It was funny when I would tell people where I was going they were like that’ll be fun, well there was a chance it would be but I didn’t think burying my mom’s ashes would be fun. Another chapter closing and sadness filled my heart. It hasn’t been quite a year since she passed and my heart aches and I miss her daily, she was my best friend and the person I talked to the most, I miss those daily conversations more than I could ever explain.

My daughter isn’t ready to go back to South Carolina yet, it represents loss to her, her beloved grandparents and her favorite pets. We went during her spring break – she stayed with my cousin and her family and had a great time. I enjoyed the time with my cousin – had a great time at Burn Boot Camp.

Did I mention that before I left for my “vacation” I spent 4 days at my part time job – working 10 days in a row before we left for South Carolina. I was tired and by the end of the 10th night very cranky…
It was good to see my sister and brother and their family. I love them all. They may not know it but they played a huge part in my getting through some pretty sad days this past year. Days I wish I could’ve stayed in bed and I wished that I could erase time and go back to the times before. I am so truly thankful for them.

I have to admit I LOVE the beach – I really do wish I could live there and just walk on the beach every day. The peace and beauty you see I can’t even describe and I wouldn’t even try – what I can do is thank God for his gift. I walked the beach several times – even when I had to wear ear muffs I walked – it’s much easier to walk at the beach wearing ear muffs than walking in Ohio wearing them. I think a lot of it has to do with the scenery.

It was good to see other family while we were in South Carolina but a little painful too. I wasn’t sure how I would feel to be back with my mom’s family. I love them but without my mom and Gary down there I just didn’t know… So many changes since last April – sad changes, but still I love my family down there.
My mom is where she wanted to be, she wanted to end up where she was born and she did. I’m so thankful for family who gave her a place to stay. I am so very thankful for how much they loved her. I am so thankful for God who she loved so much.

2017-03-24 21.03.092017-03-24 21.03.09I might wish my mom was still here and I miss her dreadfully but I am so glad she is at peace, no more pain, no more sleepless nights. I miss Gary too – two losses for people that I loved in less than a year wow!!
Peace is with me even when the tears fall, there is peace. One day…

Ecc. 3:1-9
1To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

To My Daughter

To My daughter

I know there are days you will feel lost
I know there are days you will joy.
I wish as much joy as possible for you
I wish strength for the days you feel lost
I wish for God to always hold you in the palm of his hand
I pray that you will feel God’s love, my love
and all the love from the people who love you
I pray that you never fear letting people know how you feel
I pray that God is always present in your life personally
I pray that when you need God the most you will cry out for Him on bended knee.
I pray that you will never stop reaching for your dreams
I pray that your heart will always be open to God
And that you will praise Him always in all things

Days Gone By

There are days the tears sit just right at the edge, ready to fall without warning. Grief, raw grief, it’s like a boulder sitting on your chest that you can’t move.

Every day I want to call you and tell you about my day and Morgan’s. I want to tell you how well she did in school or at basketball. I want to tell you how proud I am of her and how much she loves you and looks up to you.

I feel like a broken record. I have sent private messages to your Facebook account telling you how much I love and miss you. The pain it just seems to linger, unrelenting.

Gary dying just a few days after your birthday has thrown me for a loop. He was a link to you that held the grief at bay. I feel like I let him down by not finding a way to get him to move up here sooner. I know that it’s not my fault and that you would tell me so, you both would tell me that.

I know that I have friends and family but those friends and family can never replace the heartache that I feel so alone. The one thing that holds me together is Morgan – I will get sad and tell her I wish I could call you and tell you how good she did and she will say they know.

I wish with all my heart I could be more like her. I know that you are both together and I know that you are with God. I am so thankful that I will see you both again and I look forward to that day.

Even through my tears I praise God for without him I would truly be lost. I know this grief I feel will grow smaller in time, it will be with me until I am with you. Love and miss you!!!

Me