Tag Archives: sunshine

Seeing the Beauty

So. It’s a gloomy 8:13am in middle Georgia. The sky is spewing rain yet the air is warm. The trees are drenched and the puddles in the driveway expand. Grumbles of thunder loom in the distance. The rain stops and the birds start to sing. A couple of them zoom in on a puddle and start to bathe themselves. Spring flowers dot the landscape, just beginning to emerge with their bright and bold colors; an amazing fragrance fills the air. The green of the trees is enhanced as drips of water hit the moist ground. Then, the rain returns. Life is great. That’s pretty much it.

I guess that’s all I really want to share today: life is great, even though to some it may not appear to be. I am amazed at how great my life has turned out. I’ve had some pretty rough patches. I’ve been knocked down so many times in so many ways, but all that, all that has brought me here, to this amazing time in my life – and I am so incredibly thankful you cannot imagine. No. Things aren’t perfect, but, that’s the beauty of it. Nothing is horribly wrong, nothing is even remotely wrong. There is nothing in my life right now that I fear, and for that I am grateful.

You’ve all heard that life is what we make of it. True, but it goes much deeper than that. If you want something, you have to believe. If you want something, you have to work for it. Ok. Some people don’t work for it, which I think is a shame, because without working for it, you don’t gain the appreciation of having it. This world has become too ‘gimme’. We are a society who feels indebted, as if we somehow earned happiness as a birth right. Well, we haven’t. Some don’t have it as hard, some have it worse. While it may seem unfair, life has this natural balance. It’s hard to ascertain a person’s level of happiness just by looking at them or reviewing their bank statements. We all do it, but stereotyping someone is the biggest fail. Some emotions do not have a face. They are felt so deep inside that they are hard to judge. Just because someone has money doesn’t mean they are happy. Just because someone smiles, doesn’t mean they are happy. Just because someone has ‘things’ doesn’t mean they are enjoying life. Some of the wealthiest people are having the worst time of their lives. Wealth isn’t in ‘things’, it’s inside. That’s what makes us unique. Some people do not look deep inside, the expect happiness to follow them, to come to them in the form of another person. I’m learning that ‘happy’ is a state of mind that starts inside. Peace isn’t the absence of pain or trials, it’s knowing who you are in the midst of it. It’s working for what we want and appreciating who it makes us in the process. For all I have inside, and out, I extend my deepest appreciation.

Thank you, Lord, for watching over me. I ask that you watch over my children and help them to succeed in this life. Show them true happiness that does not fade. Shower them with your unfailing love like You do the flowers and the trees. Thank you for the nuturing you provide my soul. Thank you for helping me become the person I am today, for the realization of what greatness lies within me. Thank you Lord, for the beauty that surrounds me, even if at times I cannot see it as clearly as I do now. Help me to continue to grow and be this person I always knew was here. Thank you for forgiving me and loving me through my faults. And thank you Lord, for the rain, and the sunshine.

~Amen

Know By What You Show

I want to write…and I have a lot I want to write about, but I find reasons to not write. Not that subject, not that topic. Don’t tick anyone off. Don’t be so opinionated. It’s driving me nuts so I decided to just start writing and see where it goes.

A big thing that’s been on my mind is the integrity of marriage: the duties of the man as the husband and the woman as the wife. The biblical order of the home is: God, husband, wife, children. Period. God is first and foremost. The man serves as the head of the household leading them both physically and spiritually. The woman supports the home and her husband. The children obey their parents. Together they make a unit. This may sound outdated but I think it needs to be revived. This society needs to be reminded of the importance of family and the role each member holds. My parents were the epitome of this order and they were married almost 50 years before my mom passed away. 50 years. That’s a long time… I still, and will always believe in a love like theirs. I admire them. Someday I hope to have a relationship like that. One that doesn’t have an expiration date. One that doesn’t give up or get tossed away. A love that never fails. Never leaves. Never loses hope. A marriage that is based on God, faith, commitment, honesty and love. Was it all sunshine and rainbows? Heck no (a big heck no), but they endured. They persevered. They fulfilled their vows. Divorce was never an option.

I didn’t witness a lot of affection between my parents, but I did witness their commitment. In 2001 my mom had a severe stroke paralyzing her entire left side. They tried to rehabilitate her with shock treatments and therapy, but to no avail. Hearing the doctor’s suggest to my Dad to put her in a nursing home sunk my heart, yet my Dad’s resounding ‘No’ made my heart leap. He said she didn’t want to be in one and he would never put her there. I admired him…honoring my mother like that. For two solid years my Dad took care of my Mom’s every need. Now my mom was a short but rather large woman: she wasn’t easy getting in and out of the bed/wheel chair and sometimes she couldn’t do simple things on her own like use the restroom or bathe. But my Dad was right there. It was his job to take care of her and he took that job seriously. Witnessing his commitment to her – that was true love. That was marriage vows in action. Again, not all rainbows and butterflies but he was right there at her side. Sickness and health. Better or worse. Like it’s supposed to be.

What does commitment mean nowadays anyway?? Where did it go?? I’ve heard of people getting a divorce after 20+ years – how can you just throw that away!? What happened? I know the pain I feel after being married under two years…I can’t fathom the pain after 5, 10, 20 years. Step siblings shouldn’t be a norm. Blended families shouldn’t be a norm. Divorce should not be the norm. Personally, love is not something you fall in and out of. Aside from situations of true abuse, divorce should never be an option. It shouldn’t be the first line of defense, the quick ‘fix all’. Love is an action, not just an emotion. Vows are promises. Some of us can’t even commit to a two year cell phone contract or we switch cable providers based on whoever has the best deal going on. We lease cars, computers, refrigerators, furniture. We constantly upgrade. What happened to investing in something? What happen to quality? Quality of products, quality of life, quality of marriage? What we had last year is outdated, out of fashion. Things don’t last like they use to – not even marriage. Did we stop insisting on quality? Did we stop investing in our word? Did commitments become temporary?

We are a spoiled, ignorant, selfish generation. We make light of virtues that are sacred. We wonder why we hurt, why we have a trillion dollar industry that manufacturers pills for depression, for anxiety. We blame everyone and everything else – and we never stop to look in the mirror and take a good hard look at ourselves. We form a God that we accept. I’m seeing myself for who I am. Who I was…and I don’t like me. But I like who God is revealing that He wants me to be: a person of my word, a person of honor, a person of faith and endurance. I will heal and I will persevere.

We all need to remember the value of our words – we need to honor our commitments. We need to stop taking what we say so lightly, thinking we always have the option to opt out. We don’t – or at least we shouldn’t. Men, get your families into church. Women, get your house in order. Work together and remember why you spoke those vows to each other however many years ago. Don’t throw away what you once held so dear. Watch the power of your commitment and dedication to each other emulate through to your children…they will learn more than you will ever know…by what you show each other.

“But if any man does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” ~ 1 Timothy 5:8

“But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is he head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” ~ 1 Corinthians 11:3

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,” ~ Ephesians 5:25

“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” ~ Colossians 3:19

“Live with her in an understanding way, since she is a woman.” ~ 1 Peter 3:7

As for Me…

I’d like to highlight one of my most favorite bible verses: “Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.Ecclesiastes 4:11-12. In a best case scenario, while one is down or dealing with something painful, the other is there for support, to lift them up…but what happens when both are suffering? By what I’ve seen, it creates the beginning of the end. It can create remorse, regret and a debilitating distance between two who were once strong. Sadly, it can lead to divorce. Hence Ecclesiastes 4:11-12 – at some point you need each other but when both are conflicted, God is there to step in. Hallelujah! We are all human. We all face times of trial. We are far from perfect and we cannot be expected to run at full steam 24/7. Life is not always sunshine and rainbows. Therefore, God can be, and should be, the strength for both parties.

We marry in a church to proclaim our vows in front of God and family: better or worse, richer or poorer. Why a church? Because God is the glue that can keep marriages together and pliable, able to resist any storm. We want His blessing on our union and should strive to draw from His strength for the duration. God should be included every day beyond just the wedding day, in how we treat each other, respect each other and love each other. He gave us clear instructions on how to love: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

When I hung my tree swing, I had to pick just the right rope, and trust me, there is a lot of rope out there to pick from. A simple two ply cord was not enough: it had to be strong enough to support the weight of three people and sturdy enough to endure the Midwest weather. It would really bite to spend all this time and money hanging my beautiful swing just to witness it crashing to the ground with my friends aboard. It’s the same with marriages: each anchor set in the tree represents the husband and wife, the rope represents God. A two ply cord might be okay, but it won’t handle the long term demands from life that find their way into our swing from time to time. But the responsibility doesn’t end after buying the rope – it has to be maintained, just like our commitment to God.

Never forget how God fits into your relationship. “…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15. Give Him His rightful place and you won’t be sorry. Don’t just call out to God when you need help or see something really cool on Facebook (OMG!). I hate that. Show some respect. ‘OMG’ should be the start of a prayer not a stand-alone exclamation. That’s my position anyway. This is life – it’s never going to be all sunshine and rainbows. Why waste your time and money on a relationship without ensuring the most important elements are included as well?

Up to the Mountain

I can really relate to this song…

    I went up to the mountain, cause you asked me to.
    Up over the clouds, to where the sky was blue.
    I could see all around me. Everywhere.
    I could see all around me. Umm, everywhere.

    Sometimes I feel like, I’ve never been nothing but tired.
    And I’ll be walking, oh, till the day I expire.
    Sometimes I lay down. Nothing more can I do.
    Then I go on again, cause You asked me to….

    Some days I look down. I’m so afraid I will fall.
    And although the sun shines, I see nothing at all.
    Then I hear Your sweet voice, come and then go.
    Telling me softly, You love me so….

    The peaceful valley, just over the mountain.
    The peaceful valley, oh, that the few come to know.
    I may never get there, ever in this lifetime.
    Sooner or later, oh, there I will go, oh, oh, oh!
    Sooner or later, there I will go…….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hqNd1ElUQA&feature=related

Here’s her live performance on American Idol. WOW! You can just feel the song through her…awesome. Totally awesome.