It’s my birth—day! It’s my birthday!
It’s been a mixed bag of emotions leading up to this day. Gotta be honest with you….on one hand I’m very grateful; actually humbled at the care and concern that this Big Holy, Majestic God has toward me to keep me and on the other hand, I’m almost in disbelief that I am now 51 years old! YIKES…age is just a number right?
Typically, I write to encourage you, to strengthen you and to prompt you to trust God and this blog is no different; but I intent to be more transparent than normal, as well. Perhaps, I pray you will find a word, a thought or principle that will inspire and encourage you.
I decided to do a collage of pics of me as my birthday gift to me from me. I wrestled with the thought at first, and even now, that it may be perceived differently than my intention; but I did it anyway, I wanted to and it’s my gift to me that I wanted to share with others. And with every pic that I put together; I looked at my face at different ages and stages of my life. I looked deep into the pic that was looking back at me. Humbled. Accepting that I am a miracle! A miracle because I lived, my mom choose to keep me against all odds, including her own. I was her third baby and I too came with no evidence of any father anywhere in her life. She had 3 illegitimate children. I hate that word; its definition is almost a curse. It’s the opposite of legitimate; which is accepted and authorized. But, I use it to confirm and support mine and my sibling’s existence. Her children were born in the 50’s & 60’s in a small, predominately white community in South Dakota. She was a minority woman with minimal education and on a misguided quest to find love. I can’t judge; God knows I’ve done that most of my life and it’s fruitless and hurtful.
I don’t know much, if anything factual about the man who my mother was with when I was conceived. And my heart breaks now that I’m a woman with children to think about the fear, pain, regret, anger and every other emotion that my mother must have lived with for 9 months as her belly grew with me.
A friend, a young woman who loves God told me about this Youtube video that ministered to her. I have been listening and soaking: here’s part of what God is saying: “Gods heart toward you is beyond fantasy. Logic cannot comprehend God’s love toward you. God desires to fulfill His plan in your life. God delights in your life. He rejoices in walking hand in hand with you through your life, that you may be full of thanksgiving and gratitude. And that you will see yourself as God sees you. And that you would rejoice in the splendor of His foundation in your life and you will know who you are in Him as He proclaims your identity fully.”
WOW! That “you” is you and it’s me and it’s for every beautiful creation that He created in human life. I am yet attempting to understand the totality of God’s love in my life and toward me. The mistakes, wrong turns and disappoints will attempt to sabotage my realization of His love, but I am desperately trying to believe that God’s love is beyond anything and everything that I could know or do.
So today, 51 years after my first breath, my choice to be grateful is more real than ever. It’s not vanity to love yourself. It’s not pride to delight in yourself and when you think those thoughts, it is not from God and it will do exactly what the enemy intended it to do…tear you down and underestimate your worth...my worth.
Look at that beautiful baby in the picture collage that I made, as she grew up, she too desired to find worth and love and acceptance…happiness. I took wrong turns and went through some dark valley’s, but God knew that, even when I was unaware.
I officiated my mother’s Memorial Service this past June and so today I don’t have the opportunity to celebrate my birth day with her. To call her and share in her story of my life, as I said, it’s a mixed bag of emotions today. My mother and I didn’t have a healthy relationship, and I never felt compelled to call her or reach out to her to celebrate my birth day with her. I never felt led to acknowledge the trials that came along with my birth with my mom, or to tell her thanks, thanks for life. I could be regretful, but instead, I will be grateful. Grateful that she endured beyond herself and gave birth to me!
That’s part of my story, thanks for reading it. I encourage you to study your story, tell your story! It’s therapeutic and enlightening to look closely at your pictures. Study them and remember the times of your life, and perhaps you will find the faithfulness of God and also see the strength that you have, that brought you to this point in time.
It’s my birth-day…it’s my birthday!
So, it’s no secret that the days of my son having to get up to get to school are coming to an end. Ahhh, school night protocols are coming to an end, at least for three months. In our home, he begins the countdown about 6 weeks before that glorious last day of school. I have to admit, the year went by like it was a week, until I think about all the nights of homework at the dining room table.
Here it is the last full week of school for my young man. He will close out his sixth grade year with many memories and experiences. I’m not sure why I think we are on the downward side of the school mountain, but I did, that is until the last few nights. I’m already in “school’s out” mode; and he abruptly bursts my bubble with his numerous homework projects that HAVE to be done tomorrow! Ugh, really Mr. and Mrs. Teacher? Don’t you know I’m over this school year thing? Like, I’m all about academics; but it’s the last full week of school! For 9 months, I have complied with all the requirements to support my son so he can pass your class, but it’s the last week and now you tell my son, he needs to find baby pictures, write an end of year summary, learn some new pattern thingy in math; which I can’t even comprehend with the help of Google and, read 100 pages before tomorrow?
Last night at 8:33, I was officially over being a parent of a child in school, I had to excuse myself and go in the bathroom and lament like I was the child who had to meet these deadlines. I decided I could tell my son that it’s on him and good luck with that. But, I realized that wasn’t probably the best support decision, so out of the bathroom I come, reluctantly offering my help dissolving any and all hopes of getting to bed early.
I’m grateful for the education my son is getting, but these end of school year projects, books, summaries, and tests…..I’m ready to be done. Anyone else feel my pain? Can I get a witness?? LOL
Tonight, I wait to see what awaits our attention as I adjust my attitude. Realizing, these nights will one day, too soon be memories and off to college, he will go. I wonder if I’ll go with him? Just kidding! Be blessed these last days of school.
PS. Mr. and Mrs. Teacher, thank you for your end of year expectations. It is teaching my son to stick with it until the end.
~ Kendel's Mom
As I'm thinking about sermons; I'm pondering the Scripture of Mathew 20: 29-34, aka the two blind men who received sight.
Verse 32 jumped off the page when I read it. The words of Jesus, "What do you want Me to do for you?" NICE!!! Image Jesus, the One and Only Jesus! Jesus is in your presence; face to face and asks you that question! "What do you want Me to do for you?" WOW.
We all have needs, we all have wants and we certainly all have desires that we regularly and frequently rehearse in our prayers, conversations and our thoughts. But...image that when Jesus actually asks you face 2 face; what do you want Me to do for you?? Our words will probably not form and we would stand with our mouths open. Perhaps not even able to think or articulate what we've been lacking and wanting. Perhaps, we'd be so perplexed and mesmerized that He actually wants to know what He can do for us??
Bible truth: Jesus is closer than we often remember and realize, and He is asking you the same question He asked the two blind men that day, "What do you want Me to do for you?" Your request may be for you, or it may be for another; whatever the case, we have a compassionate Lord who desires to help and bless. Thank you Jesus!
"Trust the process" I read these words some time ago and didn’t realize the importance they would play in my past weekend. As it turned out, I was somewhere in this beautiful country of ours that I had never been before. I had to catch an early flight at an airport that was an hour and some change away, according to my handy IPhone GPS. So off I go, following the instructions that were being fed to me. It all looked legit until it told me to turn on some County Road that I passed by because it was not clearly marked off the main highway. Realizing I had missed the turn; while my GPS said, “Rerouting…” I quickly made the decision to turn around and take the County Road; as I traveled down the road; I realized it was very rural and not much traffic at that early morning hour, I reluctantly continued following the instructions that would hopefully get me to the airport to catch my flight home. Just when I decided to trust the judgment of the GPS; it told me to turn onto another County Road. It appeared I was going further and further into the country and farther and farther from the major Highway I turned off of. I began to doubt. Doubt the GPS, but more so, doubt that I had put the proper destination in the GPS.
I panicked a bit; and decided to try to back track my GPS and make sure I put in the airport as my destination; all the while going down the Country Road in the dark and very mindful that I have to make this plane home. Unable to finagle the task; I decided to trust the process……
Even in my decision to trust the process, I’m thinking of alternatives that can validate that I’m on the right road in the middle of nowhere in the dark, trying to make it to my destination. Those alternatives included thoughts of, “Who can I call…it’s early, who will be up? And if I can call someone, how do I tell them where I am?” UGH>>>>I personally am very uncomfortable with situations that I’m not sure of. Instead of thinking, “Hey, what’s the worst that can happen? I miss my flight.” Instead of thinking, “I’m gonna trust God that He’s got this.” Instead of thinking, “I’m gonna trust me, that I put the airport as the destination in the GPS.” Instead of, Instead of….I took the insecure path and tried to find ways I could make sure I was on the right road to the airport. Which, all were negative in nature and opposite of trust.
When I realized that I would have to stop the car in the dark on this County Road in the middle of nowhere to do any of those options....which means I would delay myself and quite possibly miss the flight, I decided to trust the process and keep going.
Please read those words again, “I decided to trust the process and keep going.”
How many of us need that reminder, right now? Right where you are? Right where you are in life? “I decided to trust the process and keep going.”
Not only did those words fit my situation that early morning; those words can be applied to almost every situation in my life. Those words can fit your life’s journey with God as well. Whether you’re on a path that God has you on and you aren’t clear about where He has you going; or you’re on a path that your own choices have you on; and you’re desperate to get off and find God. You can make the decision to trust the process and keep going.
The life lesson that I couldn’t overlook through that experience was that there will be times when you’ve been given instructions and those instructions will make you question. You see, I put my destination in my GPS and hit, “Find route” and off I went. But in that, when the instructions made me uncomfortable, I began to question, panic and second guess the process. When those instructions brought me a place where it appeared so opposite of where I knew I was going, I began to question. So it is with the spiritual. If you’ve given your life to Christ; if your heart is to be with God and heaven is your destiny and you’ve hit, “Find route”, you gotta trust the process and keep going.
By the way; there will be County Roads that you turn down that appear you’re going away from your destination; but trust in the Great I AM.
For He is the One who holds tomorrow, who holds you in His hand…trust the process and keep going.
It was only time on those dark County Roads that eventually got me to the major freeway; which had a sign for the airport! It was only time spend that eventually validated my decision to trust the process and keep going.
Oh, and I got to the airport on time, turned in my rental car and boarded my plane home! Can I encourage you to trust the process you’re in and on, and keep going? Know that God loves you and has an awesome plan for your life! So…trust the process.
Today's date is etched in my mind and heart...my late husband died on April 16. Today makes 5 years ago. Long days but short years. The sting of it has lessened. The tears are fewer. My heart is more recovered. I still live with the effects of the loss, but I've mostly adjusted to being a single mom, a widow and a party of 1. Mostly adjusted to flying solo in ministry and life. Mostly figured out how to live without him and mostly discovered who I am apart from being a wife.... I've mostly adjusted to shopping alone, sleeping and getting up alone. Yep...adjustment doesn't mean happy about it. But adjustment means adjustment. You see for over 2 years after his death, I lived like he was still alive and had you spoken to me and didn't know my husband was dead, you'd think he was at home waiting for me. Adjustment. I had to give myself permission to live without him. I had to accept my new norm.
What I know is that God has kept me...even when I didn't want to be kept. God has kept me. 5 years later...God has kept me. To God be the glory. And He will keep you too.
I recently read a post on social media that said, “You are strong enough to walk away because you’re worth it.”
I read it twice…ok, maybe 3 or 4 times. I tend to re-read stuff when posts seemingly fit into my world and current situation. From that place come these thoughts:
I think most of us, at least us women, think enough about ourselves not to intentionally hurt, harm or neglect ourselves. We can assume that to do otherwise; would be foolish. But yet; we don’t see the hurt, harm or neglect we willfully subject ourselves to when it comes to certain relationships, circumstances or situations.
For example, staying in a toxic situation is not good and benefits no one, mostly you. Sticking it out in an expired relationship isn’t noble or comfortable; it’s simply settling for left overs every day. When we engage in circumstances that we sense aren’t good, why do we continue in them?
Perhaps, we fail to see the impact of these choices because most of us wear a big tool belt. It’s not that we’re aware of this belt, or we put it on every day; we just never take it off and it becomes part of who we are. This belt is equipped with lots of tools and stuff to help us fix things in our life. This is a great attribute; as women, I tend to think God made us this way; we are the called ones to help, nurture and fill in the gaps. We also enjoy challenges and lead regardless of conditions. All great attributes…thanks God, by the way, for equipping us!
Back to the tool belt…along life’s experiences, we have added so much stuff and tools to our belt. In fact, there’s probably everything but the kitchen sink in there. And…at any given time or circumstances, we reach and pull out what we think is necessary for the job. The problem with this is that these tools typically cover up the hurt, harm or neglect that is present. And while we know we are strong enough to walk away…we don’t always do that.
At least for me, I’m realizing I’m worth it... to just walk away. I’m not yet conclusively convinced of my worth…not yet. Not entirely. But because I know God knows my worth, I can too and therefore, it will strengthen me to walk away from hurt, harm and neglect.
Saying so long and divorcing relationships, situations and circumstances that aren’t healthy takes courage and it takes intention. But mostly, it takes knowing you're worth it. When you know you’re worth it, you’re then strong enough to walk away….pray for me, as I pray for you.
“When you don’t know the value of someone or something, you will abuse it.”
This morning my son and I are blessed to be flying first class on our travel journey. Big seats, lots of leg room, special attention, "uh....yes please!" First class is a very comfortable way to fly! As I'm traveling, the familiar instructions of the flight attendant almost always get drowned out by the conversation of the passengers and the background noise in the cabin. If you've flown frequently enough, you know the drill so much so that you tend to ignore their instructions. "Blah, blah, blah..."
Today I listened and watched as the attendant demonstrated the instructions to us. I can glean several spiritual lessons from their instructions, but for this blog I'll highlight the exit instructions. You see they are obligated to tell those on each flight how many exits there are on the plane. Which I'm assuming is helpful to know in the event there is an emergency or situation when one needs to jump out of the plane right quick. (Visions of the titanic sinking and not nearly enough life boats were available for all the passengers race through my head.)
So about this exit business. They inform us how many exits and show us where they are located. The suggest we look around where we're seated to know which exit us closest to us. In addition, they tell us the closest exit may be located behind you, which I'm guessing is often an overlooked fact.
This is helpful information in life as well as on the airplane. You see, there are times in your life, in situations and in relationships when you will benefit to exit. I'm not necessarily referring to running away from problems that need to be resolved; but perhaps you realize that to stay and remain is not going to yield any benefit. And to stay is only adding salt to an injury. In those cases, an exit is in order.
Some exits may be emergent and others require a plan or even a strategy. Timing may be a factor in your exit. Whatever the case, it's helpful to be aware of the nearest exit - in the event you need to use it.
As we close out yet another year, perhaps an exit is in order. Exit those things that are unnecessary. Exit because you've been meaning to leave behind some things, but instead have just been tolerating. What about all those just going through the motions situations? It may be time to look and see where the exits are.
I pray you have the courage to trust your instinct and you'll ask God to help you find the closest exit to you.
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The milk is poured, you’ve added a few ice cubes to make it really cold…..just as you’re about to go in with it….you accidently knock the glass of milk over!
Really????? Spilled milk?? Ugh!
Whether the glass was full or half full, when milk spills it requires attention and immediate attention at that! No one really within their right thinking would intentionally leave the milk spilled and neglect to clean it up Even though you’re mad at the accident, you’re not so mad, that you're not going to clean it up! Maybe you’re hurt because your expectation of enjoying the milk isn't happening now. But you're not so hurt that you won't ever pour another glass of milk to enjoy…
You wouldn’t leave the spilled milk all over the counter or table to seep and ruin any papers or other objects on the surface. Right?? No, spilled milk, to say the least, smells if it stays out of refrigeration for any length of time….so, like most, you’re angry, but you take the necessary steps to clean it up. You’re frustrated because your plans got jacked up and now you’ve got a mess on your hands. But…you do what you have to do to clean up the spilled milk in spite of the emotions tied to the spill.
In spilled milk, the necessity, reasonable and practical prevails over the mess and emotions associated with it….you gotta clean it up! I guess that’s where the phrase, “Don’t cry over spilled milk” came from. The message is you can’t change what has already happened, and to worry about unfortunate events which have already happened is fruitless.
The crying over spilled milk analogy is applicable in most of life’s difficult situations. Say for example a recent post I saw from a beautiful young lady on a social media site. She posted from her heart; here’s what she said:
Have you ever invested all of your time in one person only to come to the realization that they never really cared about you? Have you ever felt so used to the point where you're wondering where all of your time & money has gone? Have you ever felt a love so strong for someone & then realize that they never felt the same way about you all along? Yeah, that's me right now.— feeling emotional.
Yes I have. Cry, be mad, work through your emotions and seek healing. You've got stuff and people ahead of you that you need to get too. So don't spend too much time over the spilled milk. Clean it up and enjoy the clean counter where the milk use to be. Remember when you don't clean milk up right away after it spills, it sours and stank!!!! Love you. Nothing happens to you, it happens for you!
A betrayal, hurt or any set back that sets you back can be compared to spilled milk. There’s a mess involved and while you can regret it, analyze it, deny it or even try to reject it….the milk spilled, the offense happened. You have to clean it up. If you don’t, like the spilled milk, it will affect your other relationships, your opinions and your future. Besides, until you clean up the milk, the space it’s spilled on is useless. So when betrayal comes, or disappointments happen….clean up the mess and carry on.
To press this issue home; I was at lunch today with a great friend. Out of no where she said, I remember when my daughter was about 3, she spilled milk in a room in our home and we didn’t know it until we starting smelling the stench. TRUTH! Clean up the mess that you didn’t intend to happen, adjust your crown and carry on because others around you can smell the spilled milk that you can't see or don't wanna clean up.
When God wants to do something awesome through you, He has to get you from where you are to where He is. Perhaps the trial/hardship/temptation/your current situation is the way to where He is.
I know to our natural thinking and reason; that seems bizarre. How could a majestic, powerful, loving, all-knowing God take us the way of hardship to find where He is? I have to be ok with not knowing the answer to some of those questions. I have to trust in God’s Word, His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9) I choose to trust that God’s eternal plan supersedes my temporary plan. That God’s greatness for me is far greater and more meaningful than my current situation.
When you hang tight with your faith, when you overpower the shadows of fear with faith…you’ll make it to where God is. You’ll find your destiny. And your current situation will be what you needed to equip you when you get there.
Whatever season you’re living in, whatever your current situation is, if you will see with eyes of faith, you will see that God is whoo-ing you. He has a plan... He loves you and has an awesome plan for your life!
Live each moment. Enjoy your current situation. Find the strength to live each moment. Find the determination to enjoy your current situation. Knowing that you know when God wants to do something awesome through you, He has to get you from where you are to where He is!
Let me know when your current situation has led you to where God is, and what great things He is doing through you!
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Why do we chase things? Why do we chase people? Because we believe the reward or bounty once we get it, will be worth the chase.
At points in the chase, you will have to pause, reflect and reevaluate if the chase is still worth the effort and time that you’re investing in it. Perhaps the once sought after bounty has lost its luster and now no longer holds the weight of the expected outcome.
Then, there are those times that we just like to chase. We find exhilaration in the quest and that’s the factor that motives us to keep chasing. I don’t know what to do with that mindset; perhaps I’ve had it myself and just haven’t realized it. I find with this mentality, one really doesn’t care about the bounty of the catch as much as they thrive on the chase.
I have been the one on the chase because I am seeking the outcome. I want the prize. When you’re on that path, it’s most profitable to check in with God often, to see if what you’re chasing is in line with what He wants for you. You will find that God will allow you to chase, as long as you’re willing to chase…but you’ll wear yourself out and become tired…very tired because it doesn’t seem the effort you’re exerting is gaining you any ground. “Wanna wear the t-shirt I got from this experience?”
Have you ever feel like what you’re chasing are things that you shouldn’t have to chase? Me too! There are some things that just ought to be. That some things that are, should just be, as a result of knowing Jesus. Right?? Yet, they somehow just aren’t there.
I have found that if I chase God and after God with the same tenacity that I chase after other “stuff/people/relationships” I would benefit greatly. In fact, I probably won’t have the need to chase the other stuff.
I think by instinct that we have a need to chase; perhaps it’ part of our makeup at human beings that God gave us when He created the every fiber of our being. As with all things, what God gives, the world distorts and we stray away from things that will benefit us and bring Glory to God. Like chasing….I would say that God gave us that need to chase, because it’s supposed to be for Him.
Well than, with that revelation, I’ve got some adjusting to do…how about you?