Wednesday, April 18, 2012

With the Faith of a Child

Have you ever noticed how children are just accepting?  They have an ability to adapt to nearly every situation, take things in stride, accept all people no matter the color, and love - simply love - others.  They look to most all adults as though they exist only for the safety and well being of the children.  Adults kiss their boo boos and they are magically better.  Give them a hug and the child is just ready to go off on their way as though nothing at all has occurred.  Somewhere along the time the child starts school, they become a little more jaded and it continues along that path until adulthood.  When we become teenagers and then adults, we have suddenly become aware of the anger, distrust, and lack of faith in the world we have as opposed to the rosy colored with which we view the world as young children.

Matthew 18:2-4 says, "2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Why is it we can no longer see the world with that utter love and trust any more? Is it because the world is truly a bitter place or is it because we have become bitter ourselves?

There are many things that can jade a child's point of view.  Sometimes it's a sudden occurrence, sometimes it's gradual, and sometimes it's been going on for a long time completely unbeknownst to anyone.  The world has indeed become jaded, tainted and a "bad place" as opposed to the viewpoint of or early childhood.  It is filled with miserable people, robbers and thieves and murderers and cheaters and men and women who do terrible things to each other and children.  We may or may not have experienced, or at least been touched by, these behaviors as a child in some way.  Immediately it begins to change our perception and perspective and little bit by little bit, our childlike faith begins to change.  We grow further and further away from His word, our faith in the world shaken, our foundation cracks and shifts.

It is so very difficult to remain unshaken by this shift in the world.  To be able to continue to love unconditionally; to be accepting; to know that despite the events that transpire in our lives, we will always know health, wealth, well being, courage, strength and most of all love takes a tremendous amount of faith.  Being gifted with that "blessing" of freewill doesn't always feel like a gift.  We feel burdened by the need to exercise our freedom of choices knowing that the end result of many of them is all about controlling situations to achieve a certain goal.  In essence, giving up our control and living in faith is probably the hardest choice we have to make as adults.

Does that mean we don't have an obligation to make good choices?  Certainly not.  It means that we must step always in faith.  It means we pray, listen for the answers (and ears have little to do with listening here), and make decisions based on the biblical, ethereal, historical and spirit filled answers we receive.   It means we must live in  faith that He will show you the way.  Have faith that He will help you through even adverse situations that occur.  Have faith that He can bring you through anything.  He will kiss your boo boos and you will get better, even if there is a tough lesson to learn.  He will heal your worst illnesses, even if bring you home is the answer.  He will take care of your finances, even if that means you might have a tough time for a while until suddenly, you realize, you're set!  He will supply your every need.  "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

There will be times it will seem there are no answers.  We pray and pray and get nothing.  And sometimes, that's the answer - to wait. There is something far greater, something we need to learn, something we need to achieve first, something we need to experience, before we can receive the blessing we have asked for. Sometimes we need to develop patience or tolerance or even persistence in order to truly receive that for which we ask. It doesn't mean never, it means wait a while. Romans 5:2-5 gives us, "through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." We will be richly blessed by our obedience, our waiting, our patience.  It is by that faith, by His grace we receive.

And how does all that relate to having a childlike faith?  It is by believing that God, our Father, can and will always take care of us.  He will always provide for us.  If we believe in Him the way we believed or mommas and daddys took care of our boo-boos, that all children were our best new friends, that there is not reason to dislike anyone who was different, that there would always be food on the table, clothes in the closet or drawer and we would always be loved, we will also be blessed beyond our dreams.   If we seek God  the way we seek out our mothers when we are babes, so will He bless us.

Seek Ye first the kingdom of God,
And His righteousness,
And all these things, shall be added onto you,
Alleu, Alleuia

Man shall not live by bread alone,
But by every word
That proceeds from the mouth of God
Alleu, Alleuia

Ask and it shall be given unto you,
Seek and ye shall find.
Knock and the door shall be opened onto you.
Alleu, Alleuia

 Seek ye first the kingdom of God
And His righteousness
And all these things, shall be added onto you.
Alleu, Alleuia

Monday, April 16, 2012

Keeping My Mouth Shut

I have to laugh sometimes at what I find through social networking sites. Sometimes, while not intending to be profound, these little "ditties" can prove to be not only useful but eye opening-ly profound. Here is one that I have encountered before (and ran across again today) and seems particularly appropo.

People have often remarked to me that I am easy to talk to, a good listener, a good judge of character, they feeling like they've known me all their lives etc. Perhaps I've been very good about listening more and talking less out of habit because I tend to be a bit of a wall flower in social situations. Not that I'm uncomfortable around others, just didn't want to open my mouth and seem to chew on more shoe leather than wisdom. Unfortunately, I've not always employed that philosophy at home with my children as often as I should have. You see, I'm a fixer. Being nurturing, I play mediator a lot, discuss the situation, what ever it is, openly and honestly with my family and try to help find a remedy for a situation or something uncomfortable.

I have also tended to let my mouth get the best of me sometimes when I feel attacked unjustly. Rather than simply listening, I'll let something fly out of my mouth from my head and not always my heart. This is not a good method of survival, communication or nurturing anything, let alone helping my children find their own way with a good attitude, love in their heart and on their lips. Nor is it a way to allow God to help you or them find the right words. My Daddy used to say, "It is better to be quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." He attributed Abraham Lincoln with this quote, but I have since learned that it is truly paraphrased from Proverbs 17:28 which reads, "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."

I have, too often, opened my mouth. Unfortunately when you keep your mouth open and your ears half open, the result can be misunderstanding, hurt feelings, closed pathways of communication and can be disastrous for one or all parties in the end. Recently one of my older sons came to me with some questions, concerns, frustrations and feelings. I listened alright, but went right into "Well, maybe if you did this, then this would happen." Which of course brought out more frustrations, defensive postures and finally, "Mom, have you ever thought that maybe I really didn't want advice, I just wanted someone to listen?"

Can you say, "Ouch!" and "Wow!" I've thought a lot about these phrases alot. Both from Abraham Lincoln, King Solomon, my daddy and my children's responses to my opening my mouth to quickly. I decided I needed to make a concerted effort to listen more and talk a LOT less. Today it paid off in a major way.

We all know our children waste no opportunity to establish some sort of control or power when they begin learning to be more independent. It is a struggle to say the least when they want to yell at you, speak harshly and rudely and be downright accusatory. Today, in a parent teacher conference, while the teacher was very complimentary, it was determined that some changes need to be made to a certain 11 year old's behavior that will enable him to be even more successful in school and in the future than that which he is exhibiting of late. When they dig their heels in and do not want to do something, the whole world can go out in a ball of flame before they will give in and change. The result can be disastrous if we, as parents or caregivers, react as they do. It's so hard to not raise our voices, be unkind in return, send them into time out for being disrespectful or exact another punishment. I have, more often than not, reacted b-a-d-l-y. While in the midst of trying to help him learn how to do a particular homework assignment, he just knuckled down, dug in his feet and refused to budge. "I don't know how and I don't CARE MOM!" He was nasty, rude, disrespectful and horrid. So badly I wanted to lose it just like he did to show him just what he looks like/sounds like and give him the same disrespect he was giving me.

Suddenly I realized this was a golden opportunity to be the mom I should always be, the person I should always be, the example I should strive to always be. With all my concerted efforts lately to live better, recognize my blessings and changes I need to make in my own life, I managed to keep my mouth shut. I let him rant and rave and go on and on until he was through. It didn't matter what I had to say anyhow, he wasn't listening and would never have heard a word I had said had I actually spoken out loud anyway.

When he was done griping, I looked him dead in the eye and said, "Lord, I need you right now. I do not want to be disrespectful to my child. I want to say only those things I should say, so I need you to give me the words, if there are any." And what do you know - the message was loud and clear. I needed to just keep my mouth shut - PERIOD. And silence is what I gave him.

He jumped up from his homework table, stomped off down the hall and retreated to his room with a slam of the door. And silent I was. About 15 minutes later, he came and hugged me. He sat down at the table and finished part of his homework that was giving him trouble, stood back up and came back to me. He sat down on the ottoman in front of me and said, "I'm sorry."

"For what?", I said.

"For being disrespectful and mean. It wasn't you. I was mad."

"Why were you mad sugar?"

"Because I'm mad at Mr. Whalen and I think I shouldn't have to do this because it wasn't my fault I missed the lesson. They should have brought it to me. He should have explained all that to me instead of just giving it to me. It's all HIS fault!"

Well, here is when I want to say, "Well, your own choices are what resulted in this loss of instruction. It's up to you to change this, complete your homework and learn what you missed." Here is what I said instead, "Well, as much as i can appreciate your frustration, this is what our assignment is and we have to make the best of what we've got. I'm here to help you if you want me to. If you don't that's fine but you'll be on your own to complete the work."

See, it's a lot like asking God to help us out with tough situations and then deciding you can do it better. Why bother if you're just going to do it on your own anyway. He is RIGHT THERE! He is patient and waits for you to ask sometimes in order to receive your most wonderful and profound blessings. Others who are also dependent on us to learn how to act and react to these very types of events that happen every day need us to remember this too. If we continue to strive to use His thoughts, His words, act as He would want us to act, we are always the example we need to be not only for our children but for others as well. It is our responsibility to live our lives immersed in His ways, His love, His word, by His example. This is the only way to achieve all we are intended to be, receive all His gifts and live abundantly. Deuteronomy 30:16 says, "For I am commanding you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, statutes, and ordinances, so that you may live and multiply, and the Lord your God may bless you in the land you are entering to possess."

So I ask you, would you rather talk more, or listen more? Would you rather be quiet or open your mouth without His words in your heart and erase all doubt as to whom the fool really is?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Resign and Submit

Sometimes, when life seems to be going well, no bumps in the road lately, no obstacles, no snares, we get really comfortable.  We think it's happiness, but honestly, after time, it can become, simply comfortable.

What we have to realize is that life is really work.  Not always hard, sometimes tedious, sometimes mundane, and sometimes downright tough.  We can set the foundation, we can build the walls, we can set up the rooms of our lives, but all in all there is maintenance to be done - always.  Just like building and living in our own homes, we must clean, repair and keep things up so it remains a stable and healthy environment.  With that comes the fact that you may change your preferences in color, the type of furniture you like, the paint dulls and that too, requires work to change.

We have events in our lives just like that.  God is a great foundation but just building your life with Him as your foundation or cornerstone isn't enough.  You have to nurture that relationship, care for that house, just like you would the home you live in.  You're stepping into a long term relationship that can be tough and gentle, strong and yielding and oh so rewarding.  And sometimes that means you have to give a little more than you want to.  Just like having to put a new roof on the house, putting a new coat of paint on the walls, mowing the grass or sowing grass seed, your relationship with the Lord requires you to build, maintain and foster that relationship.  that means you have to also resign yourself to it.

There comes a time when you must take a hard look at what is going on in your house, take stock in what's important and resign yourself to giving up those things that could cause damage, are draining other resources, or are unhealthy to the longevity of the relationship.  Like I said, sometimes, we mistake comfort for happiness.  We have to take things that are comfortable, mix it up a little, and let go of them when they are not bringing you what you need.  In order to grow with the Lord, maintain the house, we have to be able to give up those things that are not healthy for the relationship and build up those things that are good for the relationship. Some call it resigning to the will of God.  Most refer to it as surrendering to the will of God.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2 KJV).

He never asks you to give up those things that are healthy, good, of quality to your life with Him.  He doesn't ask you to stop seeking His word or will, He doesn't ask you to stop reading and learning, He doesn't ask you to stop eating, sleeping or drinking.  He asks you to give up those things that prevent you living well, living abundantly.  He will ask you to give up things that are standing in the way of growth or achieving your potential in another area.  He will ask you to submit yourself to Him and trust that He will lead you to goodness and righteousness.

Just remember, when a door closes, and you're asked to leave behind something in your life that you felt was right, it doesn't mean something is wrong.  It only means that that particular chapter is finished, there is some maintenance to be done, a new coat of paint perhaps.  God will always open the window to the next chapter, the next best thing.  Open your heart and be accepting of that change, listen with your heart for the opportunities God is giving you.  You're on your way to necessary maintenance to continue His home in your life, making your life that much more substantial.  "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."
He is not lurking, He is standing right in front of you leading you. Accept Him, resign your heart to Him, submit to Him and be blessed!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Living in the Moment

Ever heard anyone say, "Just live in the moment!"?  I have often wondered how that works.  In our day to day lives, we have such hectic schedules to keep just to be able to meet the needs of our families, jobs and financial obligations.  Living in the moment always seemed like it required me to throw caution to the wind and just let loose.  It seemed irresponsible!

Lately, I've been giving it a lot of thought and have decided that, in true Lazarus frame of mind, I would give it a shot and just live in the moment.  I think Lazarus would have much preferred to live each and every moment as if it were his last, considering he had already "been there and done that".

Several things occurred to me.  First, as long as you are taking care of your business (ie: family, job, bills) what is the harm in it?  Second, the opportunities for adventure are certainly present each and every day.  Who doesn't like adventure?  Third, remember those chances I talked about?  TAKE ONE!  The chances for change and growth are more pronounced.

When you choose to live in the moment, you find yourself learning how to adapt much more easily.  You find things more exciting.  Even mundane tasks (like paying bills) are more meaningful because you had a new experience that offered you an opportunity to see things a little differently, made you more appreciative of what you're living for.

Living in the moment doesn't mean throwing caution to the wind.  It can (and probably should) mean you are living in faith.  It means if a warning bell is going off in your head, you probably shouldn't do it.  BUT!  (and here's the fun part)  if you evaluate it quickly and see that there is no harm in it, there will be no harm to anyone else, you're not neglecting something or someone else, then have faith that this just might be exactly where you are supposed to be right this very minute.  It could be that God has brought you to this particular time, with this particular opportunity, in order to bless you, help you grow somehow, help someone else who just might need your particular attention.  It might possibly be that He has brought you into a situation that will lead you to much bigger and better thing than that which you are currently involved.   “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10  God wants you to have a full and abundant life!  How can you possibly do that if you're planning out every second of every day.  We lose sight of the what if's and the what could be's when we blind ourselves to detours in the road.  As long as those those detours lead us closer to Him and not away from Him, why not take a road less traveled and see what He has in store for you?   “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 How can we properly rejoice if we are too busy planning?

We should embrace the freedom that spontaneity, that last minute chance, offers and live fully.  You may find an over abundance of blessings on the other side you never would have found otherwise.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Changing and Chances

Ever noticed how 'the best laid plans of mice and men' seldom have the outcome we think they will?  We can plan and plan and see each step in our minds.  Instead of the events transpiring as we expect, there are twists and turns, detours, sometimes preventing our desired outcomes, and sometimes changing the result entirely to something we could never have imagined.

Life is like that, constantly changing.  Constantly revising our path, constantly offering new scenery, constantly delighting us in ways we never expected and sometimes frustrating us with very frustrating and undesirable things.  None the less, changes are opportunities from which we learn and grow, opportunities to see things we wouldn't have under different circumstances, people we would never have met otherwise.  Changes are chances.

Chances are opportunities that can easily get lost as we rush through the rigors of our days.  Take the chance to embrace new things, change your plans and accept new opportunities as they arise.  You might not get where you intended to be at the same time, or with the same outcome, but the result may possibly be better than what you may have encountered had things transpired as you intended.  You may find love, not even realizing you were looking for it.  You may find a new friend.  You might learn something new about yourself.  You might find an opportunity to blaze a new trail, literally or figuratively. It is imperative we accept change and chances.    Where would we be had Jesus said, "Well, I could turn out the accountants and business people from the temple, but perhaps another day.  I could decide to go to the shore today to visit with the fishermen, but I think I'd rather nap.  I could talk to the masses today about the love Father God has for them, but maybe I'll let someone else do that.  I could let all these men who have such strength and faith in God's promises, know how much they mean to me and how I know what is coming, but maybe I'll just let them figure it out on their own." Indeed, where would we be?

Believe, have faith and allow yourself the chance to detour.  Change your plans when the situation arises and allow life to happen.  Be grateful for the chances to accept change. That's not to say you can't be discerning about things, or may not have to continue your journey of the day because there are things you really need to accomplish in a certain time frame.  Of course, we must do what we must do.  But don't stick your feet in cement and think that you cannot detour, learn, change, take chances.  When you walk with God, you walk in faith that He will hold your hand, walk you through what ever comes your way. Proverbs 3:5 NIV "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."  You never know when God has given you a chance to learn, grow and change!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Recognition and Touch

Day 4 of the Lazarus Experiment:  Today was about realizing that each day brings new beginnings.  Today Lazarus (aka Lissa) decided not to waste any more time with "lack of recognition".  Today I recognized that others need "touches".  By a touch I mean, little things.  We all have "Stuff'.  We don't need more stuff, we need human interaction.  I cannot imagine a more amazing gift than to be able to reach out and hug someone who really needs it or who has suddenly been raised from the dead.  If my brother had been raised from his tomb, suddenly alive, I would grab him and hug him tight and not let go for fear the dream would end, I'd wake up and he would still be entombed.

Touches can come in the form of hugs, gestures, a voice message, a light touch, a phone call, a note in a lunch box or coat jacket and more.

Today I realized my youngest son and my daughter in law both needed touches.  Dalton's touch was a hug from mommy, some soft words instead of more harsh ones.  He misbehaved and was unkind and rude and attempted to exact change with harsh words and unkindness instead of telling me really what was on his mind.  i offered him gentle guidance when he needed reassurance  Rather than fuss with him, we talked it out, touched hands, hugged each other and had a prayer.  Instead of getting out of the car for school angry and hurt, he left with hope, understanding, realization and love.  it was a delightful change from the  mornings when his emotions get the best of him.

My daughter in law was bored.  She's pregnant and stuck without a car way out in the country with nothing around her but trees.  She was hungry and frustrated and whining.  She needed touches, she needed company, she needed conversation, she needed someone to care that she was alone and not feeling well (she has terrible "all day sickness").  I picked her up, ran some errands, and talked - a lot!  We talked for two hours straight.  We had a great time, learned more about each other.  I let her vent her frustrations and just listened to her.  Afterward, we both got what we needed.  I got the opportunity to learn more about my daughter in law, whom I love; she got her touches.  We always part with a hug and an "I love you."  it's beautiful and I do love her so very much.

It was lovely to get my own touches today too.  After recognizing my own struggle with mistreating my temple, I kept a date with a friend to "work out in the water".  She developed a lovely aerobic plan for me for stretching, strengthening and toning my body and poorly used muscles.  Despite my joint pain, being int he water with a friend who was both helpful and loads of fun to be with gave me a "twofer"; exercise and a friend to share with.

With all that, I also recognized God's hand in all I did today.  I didn't want to go out to the country and waste my gas, but I was blessed by a beautiful young lady who is blessing me with the gift of loving my son and working hard to bring a new baby into the world.

I didn't want to drive my son to school - again - but it afforded us the chance to have a calm conversation and pray together.

I didn't really want to work out since I had missed a lot of my chores by going out earlier.  But I was blessed again by the friendship and doing something really good for myself and my "temple".

I have been richly blessed today and I'm so grateful to Him for leading me, for opening my ears and heart once again.  I'm so thankful for being able to recognize the needs of others, putting them above my own and being so incredibly gifted in return.  God is indeed wise, wonderful and worthy of my praise!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Today I start treating myself better, eating better, exercising more and begin treating my body like the temple God intended me to live in here on Earth. I've done a lot of damage to this temple over the last 51 years. I've mistreated it, poked holes in it, had it cut. It'e been bloated with carbonated drinks, junk food, bad food and salt and deprived it of the same and more. I have starved myself, and exposed my body and system to damage because of improperly using laxative and water pills and food deprivation. My body been expanded well beyond it's boundries and while it's smaller now, it's not as small as it should be. I feel certain a lot of my autoimmune troubles would be better kept in check if I could renovate the temple. So today, I vow to my blog (and whomever may read it-all 3 of you), to myself and to the Lord that I will no longer mistreat my temple to the extent it has been mistreated.

There will be no more starving myself, as clearly that does not work as effective weight loss. I will not eat junky foods because that has clearly had a detrimental effect on the temple walls. I will not think negatively as that too will affect how my temple is situated. I will remember just how blessed I am, how amazing God is, how perfect His creations are. I am one of His creations and I will remember that when I get discouraged. I will remember that God doesn't make mistakes. My freewill did this so my freewill needs to make the changes necessary to recover God's intended work.

I will no longer chide myself needlessly. I will no longer accept less than my best in any situation. I will not accept judgments by others as any kind of truth about me. I will no longer accept anything or anyone that/who attempts to make me feel like I am unworthy or less valuable.

Don't mistake this for self recrimination! I have lived well. I have loved well. I like myself, who I am, what I'm about and the inner me. I am who I am at all times, always being true to me because, again, God doesn't make mistakes, and I'm not a mistake! I'd rather be me and be able to look myself in the eye at the end of the day, knowing I can be proud of who I am than to have to think I represented myself falsely to anyone, least of all myself. Sure, I have made mistakes but I've learned from my mistakes. I don't regret anything I've been through or any mistake I've made because in each and every situation, good, bad or even ugly, I have learned valuable lessons. What ever choices I've made, the consequences, good and bad, are mine and I willingly own them.

In the Lord's prayer, there is one particular line that can really haunt you if you don't pay close attention. "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." If I ask God to forgive me, I must also forgive others. Who am I to think that I am so much bigger than the Lord that I should not forgive others? Who am I indeed?! I am small, one of billions of people walking this magnificent planet. I am a tiny little person who sins. If I can be so bold as to ask the Lord His forgiveness, then surely I can forgive others for their faults, sins, transgressions against me too. And that includes forgiving myself.

So, my decision for today's Lazarus Experiment is this. I Forgive Myself. I hold myself harmless and hereby forgiven for any poor decision I've made, any way I have not done my best for myself, any situation in which I have suffered because of any bad choice, for poor food choices, for poor exercise habits, for not giving God my best in any and all situations. I am starting today with a clean slate and have asked God for His divine forgiveness for all my transgressions.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The 2012 Lazarus Experiment

It's that time of year again.  This is my second year participating in the LE and I must say I'm thrilled to be in it again.  I'll hopefully post all my "meaningful" posts here on the blog so I can hang on to them.  Sometimes when the spirit begins moving, it's all I can do to keep up.  This is Day two, thus my Day 2 post!

Day 2: What boldness will enter my day today? Will it be stepping out in faith to proclaim my hearfelt feeling aloud? Will I step into the waters without worry or care the indeed Jesus will hold me up and carry my week limbs when they can no longer hold me up? Will I trust in Him and what He has led me to and not try to control any situation, no matter how frightening? Will I remember that the road I am on is not of my carving, not my design? Will I breathe deeply when my fears rise up and just "know what I know what I know"?

Yes! Today, I am His. Today I will go where He leads me. Today I will trust that His plans for me are far greater than any I can imagine. today I will allow to be what will be. I will breathe deeply and feel His love and His breath in my soul. Today i will trust that any situation He leads me to He will also lead me through. Today I will be able to take that leap of faith and know that whatever the outcome, he will guide me, lift me up and take me into the heart of the matter and I will be whole because that is what his promise to me is. I will trust like I have never trusted before and I will be GREAT!

As you can imagine, and many of you live daily, my son is at a very impressionable age. He has had a very difficult time going forward without his daddy. in December he was suicidal. We have found an amazing faith based counselor and an awesome spiritual healing center filled with spirit filled people who have held our hands and our hearts, lifted us up in prayer and helped up learn how to put one foot in front of the other. Dalton is doing so much better as am I. I have been reminded, gently and not so gently, that God is in control! We still have a ways to go and my parenting skills (despite having successfully parented two older children/adults now) are being put to the test. But I have more assurance now that He is walking with me, giving me the words and wisdom I need to help get his little guy successfully to the other side.

It's one thing to proclaim my trust but something entirely different to live it. I lost my way but have managed to find my way back. At least I think so. I feel like I am living more in Him and his moments than in my own. I feel as though I have invited Him back into my life and heart after falling, crying for days on end, feeling like I was losing control and touch, feeling such despair and then, ever so gently being reminded He had me the whole time - even when I lamented losing my beloved far too early. Even when i was being told I was different, changing, not myself, losing it and many other discouraging things, I finally realized God would not let me fall. It is wonderful to be back into His grasp, into his loving arms, back into what I believe to be my place of Grace, held in reserve for me by Him.

Today I step out in faith knowing He is an awesome God, My God, My Heavenly Father my Bus driver, Head of my Household. Whatever decisions are made today are made with Him taking the lead. I am thankful, I am loved, I am Blessed!! I'm looking forward to today!

Time is not on my side!

Goodness how time has flown.

The past year has been good, bad and ugly.  But through it all, we had each other.  My oldest son was married on July 22, 2011.  It was the hottest day of the summer but the ceremony was beautiful. He and his bride moved into their own home on September 1st.  So that was somewhat relieving that they could have their own place to be a married couple and relieved my little house of some of it's strain.  They are now expecting their first child and I'm gonna be a real blooded Meggie!  (I have two adopted grandbabies that I adore and love dearly, so I'm not slighting Aly-Girl in the least!)  November will be a great month.  Perhaps we'll get lucky and have a beautiful little blessing born on Momma's birthday, 11/4!)

My middle son moved to his own place on February 1, 2012.  He is busy about the motions of trying to set up/keep house, manage bills and build a life of his own.  He had hit a few stumbling blocks, but this is life.  He is starting his new life without love in it for another, but I'm convinced his true love is waiting in the wings for their meeting.  He is a great young man, destined for greatness.

Now if they will all get their things out of my house so I can have my house back I'd be good to go!  We're working on that though and hopefully by this time next month I will be looking at MY house, MY stuff and able to walk about freely without knocking into everyone elses things!

My youngest son has had a really rough year.  Having lost his dad, he started out as was to be expected.  Angry, lost, confused, hurt, sad and wandering.  He wandered through his days, not liking his life, himself or really anything around him.  He began to fall through the cracks while I searched for a proper therapist to enable him to come back to himself (and the rest of us).  Thanksgiving was nice.  We gathered at Reaves and Jessica's new house, all bringing food to share.  We had a lot of people in their little home but it was delicious and fun.  The kids hung out and it was nice to see all my children getting along and enjoying being together.  Dalton and Tyler (Jessica's younger brother) are fast friends having spent the majority of last summer together, and were so glad to be hanging out together once again.

The bottom dropped out of our little world shortly after that.  Dalton came home and told me something no mother (parent) wants to hear.  "Mommy, I would rather be dead than feel like this all the time.  I wish God had taken me and not Daddy.  I can't stand my life."

How devastating a comment.  Devastating to me, devastating to him, devastating to our world; or what was left of it.  The search for a proper therapist became not a search but a frantic search.  The school called me in with a psychologist, the counselor, the teacher and myself where the only thing established was how much Dalton didn't like his teacher, and how sad and utterly lost he was.  My search continued...

Christmas was so hard.  Hard to remember our last Christmas together.  Hard to remember the laughter and love that was shared.  Hard to remember without heartache, heartbreak, and so many wishes to either make the pain go away or to just magically make it easier to handle.  Dalton continued to be sad.  To top it off, he was getting sicker and sicker.

In October, we learned Dalton has "Oshgood Schlatter Disease".  It is characterized by a chronic inflammation of the growth plate in the knees.  He was in constant pain and we seemed to be in the Emergency Room every other week.  In early December we were told Dalton had "Ehlers Danlos Syndrome".  Our physician was very flippant about it.  He even said "I could tell yo about all this, but I'm going to print our these two names and you can Google it."

I have never heard of a doctor saying someone should Google a diagnosis.  Once I started researching, it scared me. While I was reading, a friend of mine, a pediatric physical therapist, calls me and says, "Um, do you KNOW anything about EDS? Trust me, Lissa, this is NOT something to take lightly.  You need to see a geneticist.  Sooner than later.  There are ways to manage it but it is a lifelong process."

Thus began another leg of our journey to Dalton's self discovery.  So now we have seen the doctor, we have  a diagnosis.  We are developing a plan.  We are standing with answers to why he threw up nearly every day for 5 years. We understand why he, (and his daddy) are so tall without much meat on their bones despite huge appetites.  We are working towards getting him back into Tae Kwon Do (in which he excels)  and feeling better about himself.  We have an amazing set of counselors, both private and in a Spiritual Healing Center who have been amazing.  We have come so far in just a few months.

And the anniversary of mom's passing and the anniversary of Kevin's passing all happened in the course of two weeks and it was devastating.  Both of us suffered silently and publicly.  I cannot tell you how difficult it is to hear people say, "I know how you feel.  We miss him too."  Oh really?  Are you serious?  You have NO CLUE!"  I know they mean well, and their love is vital to our success in getting up and moving forward. But seriously, unless your spouse or parent is ripped out from under  you in seemingly healthy and perfect circumstances, you have no idea.  Please don't think me to be callous or unkind.  Their love and support is genuine and I love them for it.  I love them for their friendship and I love them for standing by us during this year.  And we continue loving them because they are such a huge and vital part of our lives.

Suddenly, through my endeavors to grow closer to God, my increased prayers and a little boy, I am ready. Ready to move forward.  Ready to start living!  REALLY LIVING!

Dalton woke up one day and said to me, "Mommy, what are you doing?"

"Um, making breakfast, what are you doing?"

"No Mommy, I mean what are you doing.  Daddy would not want you sitting around down here missing him and thinking you have nothing to look forward to.  He would want you to be happy.  He would want you to date."

"Oh, you think so?"

"Yes, mommy, I KNOW so.  You need to date mommy."

Sooooooooo, long story short, after much thought and prayer, I decided to go on line (again) and sign up for a dating website.  This has it's pitfalls... deep pitfalls...  I started talking to a person who turned out to be not only married (profile read divorced) but very very happily married despite all his talk of what he wanted to drive to Williamsburg to do to me (read *&%#_$%*).  <-- That was very sexually explicit material by the way.  Gross...  He was the kind of person that wasn't saying it funny or suggestive.  He was down right dirty.  I'm SO glad every warning signal in my head was sounding out bells, whistles and alarms.  I'm so glad my momma and my dearly departed husband were hollaring at me.  I told him that lunch would be nice but there would be none of the "hanky panky" stuff for quite a while...  Funny, I never heard from him again.  Your loss buddy!  And GREAT Riddance!

Fast forward.  I have a good friend who found her husband to be on a different - and FREE - website.  I cancelled my subscription to the one, hit up a profile on the other and started reading the emails, flirts and messages.  Where this will lead only time will tell, but I found a gentleman, a self sufficient man who is kind and charming, intelligent and sweet and funny and fun.  We have many similarities in our lives and seem to be extremely compatible. (Not to mention, he's easy on the eyes and ears! HooWEE!)   As I said, time will tell but we have both agreed that to muddle the mix with other dates would be confusing to our journey so we have decided to not see others.  I like that.  I'm a one man kind of gal and he's a one woman kind of guy so we'll see.  Time is a commodity I do have!

Now, Dalton is well on his road to recovery.  I have a renewed spirit in our Lord, myself and my family.  We have been busy mending fences, hearts and lives and apparently doing it well.  You see, since I was 14 when I first met Christ as my Lord, I have realized that when I am obedient unto His word and will, I am rewarded greatly.  Case in point - my job and the places it took me, the success I experienced in my job, my children, my late husband, and now a return trip to Him.  And what do I find? A whole world of possibilities before me waiting to be discovered. God's strong hand to walk with me, holding me up when I miss a step (coz you KNOW I'm a clumsy gal), helping me through my darkest hours and shining brightly on me each and every single day.  God is so very very good and I am so very very grateful and thankful for Him.  I'm so thankful He waited for me to be ready to stand on my own two feet again.  I'm so thankful that He loves me no matter how much I faltered in the last year. I'm so thankful for the new people in my life through my church, my surroundings and my extended family.  ( and now I'm even more grateful for the internet too *smiles*)

We shall see where this leads, indeed...