Category Archives: You Gotta Have Faith

Has It Been Enough?

I passed another milestone this week and, in retrospect, I think I might have rather passed a kidney stone.

I took my oldest son to register for his college classes.

Want to know the painful part? We bought the text books!

Seriously, I’ve been kidding myself all summer that I was ready for this and that I was going to be okay when the time came. Well, the lump in my throat tells me I’m not. And honestly, it doesn’t really matter if I am ready or not. The real question is – is he ready?

More importantly, did I do enough as a mother to prepare him for this moment?

In exactly one month, his father and I will help him move into his dorm and eventually we will drive away, leaving him there with more freedom than an 18-year-old should probably have.

In the end, I have to trust that he really did listen to all the speeches, lectures, instructions and pearls of wisdom I shared with him over the last 18 years. I have to trust that he will do the right thing when faced with issues of integrity, honesty and sincerity. I have to trust that he will study, make good grades, eat his vegetables and be in by curfew.

In the end, I have to trust that it has been enough.

In the end, I just have to trust.

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Filed under All About Me, College Life, Random Ramblings, The Boys Are Back, You Gotta Have Faith

New Favorite

As holidays go, Christmas has always been high on my list of favorites. However, this year, I made a discovery. I discovered that Christmas Eve is my new favorite.

I have finally realized that I like the waiting. I like the build up, the hype, the anticipation that occurs on the day before Christmas. I love the last minute shopping, wrapping, cooking and running around that Christmas Eve inevitably brings with it.

Now don’t get me wrong. I still love the magic of Christmas morning: getting up way too early because three boys can’t wait another minute to open their presents, listening to the crackle of the Christmas morning fire and smelling the much needed coffee brewing in the kitchen. Being surrounded by my family and feeling the strong sense of contentment that loving them brings me.

All that being said; I still like Christmas Eve more.

I look forward to taking care of last minute details; tracking the progress of Santa and his reindeer so that little boys know when they need to go to bed. I love Christmas Eve church services with flickering candlelight and “Silent Night” being sung by voices young and old.

I treasure the late night gift wrapping sessions with my Hubby and trying to sneak through the house without waking anyone. Finally laying my head down on my pillow, thankful for another year of God’s blessings, and realizing that I am wide awake, can’t sleep and in less than five hours, three boys will be bouncing on our bed in an attempt to wake us up.

I imagine the expectation that Mary must have experienced as she waited to hear the cries of her baby boy; the way she must have felt as she prepared to give birth to the Savior of the world. I think about the anticipation that generations have felt as they wait for HIS return.

Waiting for something that is worth more than any other gift you can receive.

I ponder the vastness of an eternity spent with no more waiting.

But for now, I wait. And I like the waiting.

Yes, Christmas Eve is officially my new favorite.

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My Road Is Always Paved With the Best of Intentions

Last Friday I came home after work intending to clean my house. I get off at noon on Fridays and try to keep my schedule clear on Friday afternoons so I can get the house in order. And so I don’t have to do it over the weekend.

I wandered around the house picking up a few things and returning them to their rightful place. I looked around and pondered where to begin my cleaning eforts. I decided to get a cold drink and a quick bite of lunch first. I was sure that would get me motivated and inspired to dive into my cleaning chores.

As I opened the refrigerator door I noticed several science projects tupperware containers that I had been meaning to remove from the refrigerator. They really needed to be taken care of and I figured it would only take a minute.

Two hours later I was elbow deep in expired salad dressings, old ketchup bottles, and leftovers that I had been sure we would eat before they went bad. I ended up with a newly organized, mostly clean refrigerator. I say mostly clean, because there are still a couple of shelves that need wiped down and scrubbed. Whoever you are that keeps spilling things in my frig and not cleaning them up, I will find you! The list of usual suspects is pretty short and I watch enough Law and Order to be able to solve most any crime.

After I closed the refrigerator door I glanced at the rest of the house and realized I had not done what I had set out to do. The floors still needed swept and mopped. The bathrooms still needed cleaning, and there was unwashed laundry in a pile on the floor. I felt like a failure once again.

Why is it that we set out headed in one direction and then we find ourselves in a totally different place than we had originally intended to go? Why can’t we stick to that new diet? Why don’t we excercise everyday like we’ve said we would? Why don’t we keep the promises we’ve made to ourselves and others?

I don’t think we purposefully set out to disappoint ourselves or others. But we certainly do let ourselves get distracted. Sometimes we don’t realized we’ve let ourselves get diverted from our original destination until we are already far from it.

I know good intentions are not enough. I know I have to keep myself focused and headed in the right direction. And, I know I can’t do it alone.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the LORD upholds him with His hand. – Psalm 37:23

Today is a new day and a new week lies ahead of me. I have a chance to begin again and set new goals for myself. My intentions remain good ones and with God’s help I hope to see the road ahead paved with fulfilled purposes and lined with completed promises. 

And clean houses!

God, please help me keep my eyes on You and and I ask that You direct my steps each day. Remove distractions from my life that prevent me from arriving at my intended destination. Most of all I pray that you help me clearly see where I should be going and what I should be doing. Let my destination be Your destination. And keep me on the path that leads to You! Amen.

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The Invisible Woman

A friend emailed this to me today, and while it’s a little long (5 minutes 45 seconds), it’s worth a look. Because sometimes we need to be reminded why we do the things we do.

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My Help

Psalms 121:1-2

“I lift up my eyes to the hills

Where does my strength come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

The Maker of heaven and earth.”

 

There’s an open air chapel called Pretty Place that sits on the side of the mountain just off Highway 276 at the state line between North and South Carolina.  The first line of this verse is carved into one of the overhead beams of this chapel that overlooks an incredible view of the Smokey Mountains.

 

I love this verse because it reminds me of that place and of those mountains that are a part of my western North Carolina roots.  I also hold onto this verse because it reminds me that, by myself, I am weak and helpless.  It is only through my relationship with God that I find the strength I need to sustain me.

 

Where does your strength come from?

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What Do You Want?

Have you ever been out with your spouse or a friend and found yourselves trying to decide what to do or where to eat? We’ve all been there and we’ve all had “that” conversation.

 

“What do you want?”

 

“I don’t know. What do you want?”

 

“I don’t care; whatever you want.”

 

This usually goes on until someone is faced with making a decision for the both of you. And unless you really don’t care, you had better put in your 2 cents worth. Otherwise you may end up doing or eating something that you really didn’t want to be doing or eating in the first place.

 

I woke up the other morning like I usually do; struggling to fight my way out of the twilight of another night’s sleep. I like to set my alarm for about 30 minutes earlier than I really need to get up so I can lie in bed and postpone the inevitable meet and greet of the day ahead. I also use this time to pray and to talk to God. It’s how I start my day.

 

On this particular morning, however, God started the conversation. The words, “What do you want?” filtered into my foggy brain.

 

“What do I want?” I repeated. Then I answered without hesitation.

 

“I want what You want!”

 

I realize that by giving this answer I’m not putting in my 2 cents worth and more than likely I won’t get my way, but that’s ok. Because His way is better and I know that in the long run He knows what is best for me.

 

So for once, “that” conversation was short and sweet and I know I can feel good about the outcome; whatever it may be.

 

 

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

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Another “Not So” Wordless Wednesday – A Little Ray of Sunflowers

Today my dear friend Twila is burying her daddy. He passed away last Friday. Yesterday I had the privilege and honor of putting together the PowerPoint slide show that the family will use at today’s service.  After scanning all the photos and spending several hours cropping and sorting through the pictures, I almost felt like I knew her dad, even though I never met him.

The photographs showed a man who enjoyed life and his family. They showed a man whose smile was as wide as the farms fields he worked on up until his death. 

Twila wrote this about her daddy in a facebook message:

“I wish so much that each and everyone of you could have had the opportunity to meet my daddy. As with each of us, he was my hero in all aspects of the word. He gave up so much and went above and beyond for my siblings and me. Now that he has passed, I have had so many others tell me what he did for them and others in the community it is unreal. He was a very giving and caring man. When his brother passed away in 1974, I saw him become the father to my two cousins. His sister, age 86, became house bound with alzheimers, he would bring her dinner and sit with her each Saturday night. When the young divorced lady across the road had a tree fall, he went and chopped it up without even being asked. She also made the comment of how many times he cut her grass. Then there are the free eggs and milk he would deliver to people on Sundays. The stories go on and on.

I have been so blessed to have him, healthy, in my life for almost 43 years. I will carry his laughter, his stories, his life lessons, his witty comments, hopefully his work ethic, his love for Christ, his love for people, and his giving nature with me the rest of my life and hopefully pass it on to my children.

Thank you again for thinking of us and praying for us. It means the world to me.”

The sunflowers were a “thank you” from Twila and I wanted to share them with you, and ask that you pray for her and her family today as they celebrate the life and passing of their loved one.

Wordless Wednesdays is sponsored by 5 Minutes For Mom.

                                                                                                                                                             Matthew 5:4

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

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