Sunday, March 25, 2018

In His Mighty Presence I Stand

I want to preface this by saying that I am a child of God. I was saved by His amazing grace several years ago. However, the reality is that I am a work in progress. I am a hot mess and some days I fail miserably.

There have been many times in my life that I have felt the presence of the Lord near me. You may say that he is omnipresent and I would totally agree. In these instances, I have heard his sweet voice whisper be still and trust in me and felt the warmth of his unending light.

When I was 31 weeks pregnant with my oldest child, I became gravely ill. I was flown to a large hospital with a neonatal unit. When I arrived alone and scared in a strange hospital room, I was over come by a great feeling of peace. I can still remember lying there waiting for my family to arrive. In that strange scary place I knew that I was not alone. I would be remiss if I wrote about this experience and didn't mention all of the people that were praying for me and my family. However, there was one special prayer warrior that was on my side that day. My Grandmother was an amazing faith filled woman. When I finally was able to see her, the baby and I were doing much better. She told me how she got on her knees and prayed continuously lifting us up, her hands and arms out stretched giving it over to the Lord that his will be done. I pray that some day I will be able to  have just an ounce of the faith that woman had in her body.

One cold December day, I was getting ready for work and the telephone rings. It was my mother telling us that my Dad was being taken to the hospital by ambulance. As my husband was driving me  to the hospital, I heard Him speak to me. I can tell you the exact spot on highway that morning that I knew my Dad would not be coming home. I felt at peace that I can not explain. It was much later when the ambulance reached the hospital and we were told that he had passed. Being surrounded by family and friends that day and in the days that followed enabled us to feel as though we were wrapped in His love.

The next time I felt His presence was one busy May when three bus loads of children and teachers were returning to school after a fun day of end of the year fieldtrips. The laughter and the noisy chatter came to an abrupt stop when the bus I was riding on drove up on the scene of an overturned bus. There again I heard His voice whisper be still in the midst of he chaos and tears. I witnessed unbelievable strength and resolve as these godly women that I had the privilege to teach with for years helped to rescue  and comfort the children and adults injured in the accident. That day I believe that God used us as his hands and feet to provide comfort to those in need. He never left us in the days after as we struggled to heal and find a new normal for our students.


A few years ago, I resigned my teaching position after 15 years in the classroom, I prayed everyday. I was worried about the loss of income, losing my identity as a teacher, life changes for my kids, and my mothers deteriorating health. Amidst my fear and angst,  again I found myself hearing Him whisper be still and trust in me. Even though I dearly miss the kids and having my own classroom, this drastic life change has allowed me to spend more time with my aging mother, be truly present in the lives of my kids and my husband, and live my best life. What I thought was the end of the world turned out to be a huge blessing for our family.

I am unworthy of God's unfailing grace but he has stood faithfully by me through everything life has thrown at me and my family. As for me, I will one day stand forever in his mighty presence but until then I pray that I continue to hear His voice and feel His presences in this beautiful crazy messy thing we call life.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

ENOUGH



This post is for all the women out there that are juggling careers, family, kids, relationships, and aging parents. If you take anything from what you read here let it be that you are not alone. In a world where at every turn you are told you are not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough or happy enough, I am here to tell you that you are ENOUGH!

Ladies there are days in this particular stage of my life when I feel guilt, anger, sadness and overwhelming defeat. In the frenzy to take care of everyone and everything, it feels as though I am drowning.  In that moment, I can no longer breathe.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way for any of us. For crying out loud, ladies you do not have to be Wonder Woman! You are allowed to be perfectly imperfect. It is okay to let  your family eat off of paper plates, let the laundry pile up  and order take-out. Turn off the social media for a while and reconnect with your people. Don't let those Facebook and Instagram posts  be the tool you use to measure your success or happiness.

Find your people, the ones that encourage and support you because you are doing just fine being you. If you know someone in the trenches that is feeling less than ENOUGH go out of your way to be kind, offer to help and love them a little extra.

In the midst of this messy, crazy life I am blessed to have people that remind that I am doing alright.







Thursday, March 15, 2018

Life in the Weeds

I am going to start this first post by saying, "I am in the Weeds." I am a forty something wife, mother of three, daughter of an Alzheimer's patient, former elementary school teacher and farm girl. Needless to say I have a lot on my plate. Sometimes I tend to get overwhelmed by the chaos. My husband is usually the voice of reason in the madness. This irritates me because I really don't like it when he is right and I am not. His words of wisdom go something like this, "You better cherish this while you have it. This isn't going to last forever."

This has been a hard week. My mother has been living with us since October after she experienced a sharp cognitive decline. That was a huge adjustment for everyone. However, this week we have been working on cleaning out her house. My son and daughter-in-law are going to be living there soon. I have had a hard time myself. It is hard to explain parting with things that are associated with my parents, my childhood and all of the memories that are associated with this change. It has been hard for me to come to the realization that Mom is never going back. She is never going to live there again and I can never go home to my parents' house again.

I just live down the road from my parents' house. My mother, even with dementia knows that her stuff is in that house. She doesn't remember living there but she recognizes the stuff. This is making it difficult for everyone. She has tried to sneak off three times. She was successful only once but it was enough to scare the crap out of us. She doesn't understand why it is such a big deal. She tells us that she has two feet and good legs and she can out walk anyone on this hill.

Today, I decided we need a break from this craziness. I took her out to lunch and on the way home we stopped just down the road from my house to pick a bouquet of March flowers. We get out of the car and I tell her to be careful, stay on the flat and watch for snakes. The next thing I know my 72 year old mother is climbing on a dozer pile to pick flowers, and promptly gets tangled it the weeds and goes rolling down the hill. There I was "In the Weeds" with my mom. Two bouquets of flowers a mother and a daughter laughing and loving.

The moral of this little story is being "In the Weeds" with the people you love is not so bad after all. Cherish it while you have it because it may not last forever.



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