Trying to make it through life with His help.

Posts tagged ‘Bible’

Being Thankful for Family

Whew! I’m not sure what it is about Sundays, but two weeks in a row now, my Mom has had a bad day on a Sunday. Maybe it’s that she’s put up with not “going home” for another week, and she’s gotten tired of it, and decides that today’s the day!, and she tries to do something about it. I don’t know, I just don’t know.

Sunday morning began, for me, being awakened by my Dad. He came in my room and told me that Mom had just called my cousin Martha, (who was named after my Mom, and just happens to be a nurse), to come get her and take her home. Being the sweet person she is, she told Mom that she was on her way and would come get her. So, a little while later, she and her husband arrived at our house.

They came inside, bringing our Sunday paper with them. (See? That’s sweet. Not everyone would have brought it in with them.) She and Mom went into the living room while her husband, Jerry, Dad and I stood in the dining room and talked for a little bit. A few minutes later, Martha and Mom came back out, and said they were going for a little drive.

Mom and Martha were gone for a while. She drove Mom all around, seeing familiar places, and talking the whole time. You can easily see that Martha is good at what she does. She’s so sweet and patient, and knows what to say, and when to say it.

It’s comforting to have family around when you need them. The Lord knows who you need when you need them. Not that any of my other family members wouldn’t have done the same thing. I truly believe that anyone Mom would have called that morning would have dropped what they were doing and come to see her just because she asked them to. That’s just one of the great things about having such a big ol’ wonderful and loving family.

I know things with Mom aren’t going to get any better. I know they could if that’s what the Lord wanted. Wouldn’t that be wonderful to receive a miracle like that? I know He can do anything He wants to do, and I wish he would give my Mom back to us. But I don’t know what His will is, so all I can do is just pray for it to be done. I have asked for us to be put on every prayer list I can think of. So, there are enough people agreeing for something to happen. I did hear from two different people this week that there is actually a promising cure for Alzheimer’s and Dementia now. But, of course, it’ll take years upon years for the FDA to approve it and get it out to those who need it, IF they ever approve it at all. So, I know it’s possible. Plus, I heard ‘my’ song today, “God is On The Move”, by 7eventh Time Down. It’s just a little reminder to me that He’s still there taking care of me and all that is around me. His way of telling me He’s got this.

Do you have something you feel that the Lord uses to get your attention? Something that happens where you think, “OK, God, I know you’re there. Thanks for watching over me, yet again.”? If you’ll just listen, I bet you’ll experience God.

Thanks for listening.

Being Terrified

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You’d think after my last post, (YESTERDAY), I might be better at not worrying, right? Well, that’d be a big ol’ NOPE!

Geez. Things hit you out of left field when someone you love has dementia. As I was leaving to go to church today, my Mom asked if she could come with me. I was a bit taken aback because she stopped going to church a few years ago for various medical reasons. I asked, “You want to go to church with me?” She said, “No, I thought you could take me somewhere. I’m not supposed to say it, but I thought maybe you could take me home.” (She’s been asking us for weeks now when we were going to go home. They have lived in the same house for 52 years, so, we’re not sure exactly where she’s wanting to go.) Once again, I told her if she could tell me where it was, I would gladly take her there. She turned around, waving her hands, and shaking her head, saying, “Never mind. Just never mind.”

Dad told me to go on to church, it would be ok. So, I made the short drive to church. One of the first things my teacher does is take prayer requests. So, I asked her to put my Mom and Dad on the list. I wanted to say more, but tears welled up in my eyes and I couldn’t get anything else out. We went on with the lesson, and my phone tumblr_lle1iri7zy1qbatwqo1_1280buzzed. I got up and out of the room as soon as I could, but I missed the phone call. It was from my Dad. I knew something must have happened because he wouldn’t have called me otherwise. I listened to the voice message. Mom had disappeared. She had walked off and he couldn’t find her. I could hear the fear and worry in his voice, which is such an unusual thing for my Dad, who has always been so strong. I ran back in the room, gathered my things and ran out.

By this time, I was barely able to see because of the tears. I knew I was going to have to pull it together, at least enough to drive home. As I walked to my car, two young men came up to me and asked if I was ok, and if there was anything they could do. I quickly explained what had happened and asked them to just please pray that she would be ok. Once I got out of the church parking lot, I didn’t have to stop at all – a total miracle since there’s at least eight stop lights between church and home. I tried not to speed, (much), but it was difficult. At one point I thought it might be a good thing if I was pulled over, then I could get the Officer to help find her. But, I just wanted to get home and make sure my Mom was found and ok.

When I was a few miles from home, my Dad finally answered his cell phone and told me that he had found her. She had walked five houses down the street to a neighbor’s house…in 90° heat. We live in an older neighborhood, where the houses aren’t stuck so close together you can reach out the window and touch your neighbor. There’s actually room to roam. You know, like neighborhoods used to be 50+ years ago. So, this wasn’t just a few feet, but closer to a quarter of a mile. That may not sound like it’s too far, but for an 85 year old who can’t walk well, that’s a LONG way. Thankfully the neighbor, a woman who’s children I had grown up with, was home and brought Mom back to us.

Apparently, Mom had wanted to go “Home” so badly, that she was willing to strike out on her own to get there. I later found out that she had told Dad that she would walk until she dropped to get there. So, when he left the room for a few minutes, she did just that. Thankfully she didn’t drop, though, or get too far.

As much as I would like to tell you that I didn’t worry, or fear, I’d be lying if I did. And, I’m not going to do that. Heck, I’ve already told you that I cried all the way home, which doesn’t exactly mean I was too confident. I knew He was with me. I talked to Him all the way home. But, I think that being strong and confident in the Lord is something that most of us have to work on, or build up to. We’re so used to doing things for ourselves and/or relying on someone else to do things, that relying on Him isn’t necessarily the first thing we think of. Even though it should be. I’d really rather not have to be tested on this again, but I think it’s the only way we learn to trust him fully. I just hope I get better at it sooner than later, because I’m not sure my heart can take too many more days like today.

Thanks for listening.

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Being Troubled

John 14 (KJV)

14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

When I started thinking about this post, I looked at an online Thesaurus for words that could mean “worried”, but not have the same feeling as worried. Because, I really do try not to worry about things. I mean, that’s what He tells us to do, right? He tells us to “Fear not…” 365 times in the Bible. Do you think that He would have said it that many times – one for each day of the year! – if He didn’t have things covered? He keeps telling us that He’s got this, and yet we still worry and fear.

I’ll confess to you that since my Mom’s dementia has continued to get worse, I find myself worrying about what is to come. To be my age and still have both of my parents is something of a miracle in itself, I think. When I find myself worrying, or even trying to figure out what to do if ‘this’ or ‘that’ happens, I remind myself that He has already got it all planned out, and no matter how tragic it seems at the time, what ever happens will be the best way it could have happened, and all will fall into place as He sees fit. Remember that “Thy Will Be Done” part of the Lord’s Prayer? That’s what I try to remember throughout all of this. But, it can be difficult…

It’s gotten to the point where we shouldn’t leave my Mom alone, at least not too long. She forgets where you’ve gone, and in the last year or so she’s become more unstable on her feet, so she could fall and hurt herself and no one would be there to help her. Again, I get it, we’re worrying about things that could happen. But, even though I know He’s watching over her every step, He still expects us to be responsible and help ourselves out. So, we don’t leave her on her own for too long, or too often.

Every week, it seems there’s something new. This week, she’s started wanting to sleep upstairs in the den instead of downstairs in her bed. We haven’t figured out the reasoning behind this yet, but, so far, we’ve been able to talk her into going downstairs. For me, it’s because she could get up during the night, and fall down the few steps going downstairs. Just think about how disoriented you are if you wake up in the middle of the night, then multiply that by about 100, and that’s how she feels. She can barely stand up by herself, she’s still mostly asleep, which means she’s disoriented, and then add in that she’s very unsteady on her feet, and, the probability of her falling is extremely high. If that were to happen, we might not hear her fall. And, even though as she keeps reminding me, “I’m still the mother.”, {smile}, I can’t sleep knowing she may fall and hurt herself during the night if she’s not where she should be. Last night I determined that I would just sleep up there with her, but thankfully Daddy got her to go downstairs.

I’m not sure what exactly I’m trying to get across here, but the thing is, for many of us, we just feel helpless as our parents get older. I believe I may be in the minority of those who feel responsible to help their parents out. The world isn’t as it used to be when I was growing up. Far from it. We’re all so busy with our own lives that we don’t have time for those who mean the most, or those who should mean the most.

Actually, other than the fact that we shouldn’t worry about things as much as we do, I do know that what I’m trying to get across to anyone out there willing to listen. It’s that you should build a good relationship with your parents, (and grandparents), before it’s too late. I know there are those of you out there who feel you can’t for one reason or another. And, it may not be your fault. But, make the effort. If you don’t, you may regret it.

I’m in a unique position in that I live with my parents. So I’m with them every day. Do I wish I had my own place? Sure. Do I have a job that would allow me to do that at the moment? No. Do they need me here with them, and are they glad I’m here? Yes, very much so to both questions. I like to think of it being a mutually beneficial situation. 🙂 I ask myself all the time if I didn’t live with them, would I see them often? I would like to think I would. But, I also understand that “life” gets in the way and we don’t always do what we should or need to do. There’s always tomorrow, right? No, Scarlett, not necessarily. Tomorrow isn’t promised.

Let’s not forget grandparents. I grew up, for the most part, without any grandparents. So, when my ex-husband practically refused to spend time with his grandmother because she was almost deaf, I couldn’t understand it. I knew it was difficult, but I also knew that eventually he might regret not spending time with her. When it comes to your grandparents, please, oh, please, don’t forget about them. Make the time to go see them as often as you can. They love you like no one else. Listen to what they have to say. There’s wisdom there, there’s stories of their childhood that no one else may know. They have lived through so much more than you realize, and you need to hear it. I really think you’ll be amazed. Pull out the box of old photos that every grandparent has and go through it with them. Each photo represents a snippet of their life. If you don’t know the people in the photos, ask!, before it’s too late and they don’t remember.

The Bible says, “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3).

I think for now, in writing this all down, I’m just hoping that if there’s someone else out there who is going through something similar, you will know that you’re not alone. Not only are there others out there who share the same experiences, He’s there for you, too, if you’ll just let Him be. He will never push you into letting Him in, it’s totally your choice. But, He can, and will, do so much for you. Just let go, and let Him.

Thanks for listening. 🙂

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Being Obedient: The Last Key

As I told you in another post, I have a special relationship with keys. Not only do I have the set of keys in the photo I posted earlier, but I have several other keys that I have gotten since people know I like them. A couple of years ago, a friend gave me a set of keys she found. They’re big, substantial and dark. Beautiful. It was actually my first set of keys after I knew I needed to find the set of four.

IMG_6126Not long after getting that first set, I went to the LifeWay store at the Mall of Georgia and found necklaces on the sale rack that had a key attached to a black cord. Each key had a different word engraved on the front and a Bible verse on the back. I gathered all of them up, sat in the floor, got a Bible from the shelf and looked up each verse to see which one should be mine. I settled on Grace, Psalm 84:11

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.”

I’m not exactly sure why I picked this one, it just felt right. Plus, I went to Grace Fellowship Church, so it just seemed like it should be mine. After deciding on my key, I purchased it and have worn it almost every day since.

The Lord told me I needed to go back and buy one of each necklace – seven in all – and give them away. I knew He would let me know who should receive each necklace. So, later that week, I drove back to the store and bought seven necklaces, each one different from the other. I don’t remember all the words or verses, but they were beautiful words like grace, friendship, courage, love, and peace, each with a matching verse.

The first two I gave to a friend who had told me about one of her friends who was going through a really tough time. So, there went two of the necklaces. Her friend seemed thrilled to get the necklace. I just hoped that it would mean as much to her as it did to me.

The next four went to friends in England for Christmas. Which left me with one necklace. This one, I DO remember. I had this one for about four more months before I knew who it should go to. And the circumstances were such that I wished I didn’t have to give it away.

I was visiting my family for Easter. The day I was to come home, I got a phone call from a friend who told me that one of our best friend’s son had died. When I hung up the phone, I knew that she would be getting my last key. At the time, I had no idea what the word or verse was on the key, but I knew it was to be hers. I left soon after and drove back to the Atlanta area. I had been asked to bring a Bible with me when I went to see her. So, when I got to my apartment, I grabbed an extra Bible, ran out the door, and started driving to see my friend.

As I drove out the gate, I did a quick mental check to make sure I had everything I needed for her.
Bible? Check.
Necklace? Ch…
…..dang.
You know how your mind can race through entire conversations in a single millisecond? Well, I had a whole, long conversation with myself about how I could just take her the necklace next time I saw her. But the Lord had asked me to take it to her now. Today. I went back and forth with myself – and Him – several times in that split second. But, of course, He won out in the end. So I made a U-turn, drove back through the gated entrance, ran up to the third floor, grabbed the necklace and looked at it…….

I stopped.

I nearly sank to the floor as I read the word, then, the verse.

The word was Love.

The verse was John 3:16.

In case you don’t know what that verse is, this is what it says: IMG_6127

“For God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

I looked up and shouted, “Really?! THIS is the necklace You want me to give her?! The verse about how YOU lost Your only SON?!”

I couldn’t believe it. Never in a million years would I have picked this key for her, especially since she had just lost her only son. But, I’m not the one who can see the big picture here. He is. I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to leave the necklace in my apartment and not give it to her. But, I know He had chosen that key for her long before I bought it, and I needed to do what He was asking me to do. So, I found John 3:16, placed the key in the Bible and took it with me.

I argued with myself – and God –  the whole way, but I knew what I had to do.

I walked into the house, found my friend and gave her a huge hug. We talked for a few minutes. I opened the Bible, then I held up the key necklace and reminded her that the Bible, and all it represented, was the key to her getting through this tragedy and the necklace was a reminder of that fact. In my head I kept praying, “Don’t read the necklace. Please don’t read the necklace.” And, thankfully, to my knowledge, she didn’t. At least not while I was there. But, I think even if she had looked at it, she would have understood the meaning of it and been ok. God would have made sure of it.

A few days later, my friends and I went to the funeral service. It was beautiful. Several people spoke about her son and what they remembered most about him. One of the last people to speak, was the father of her son’s best friend. He had a lot of wonderful things to say. And, boy, could that man preach! But the last thing he spoke about was John 3:16….

I can’t tell you much about what he said after that because I was so shocked that he quoted the very same verse that was on the necklace. It was, for me, confirmation from God that I had done the right thing by giving her the necklace. Even though it was not what I would have done, it was what He wanted done.

I have to believe that the necklace was a comfort to her. I was told it had been the night I gave it to her. But I hope it continues to be a source of hope and comfort, because the death of a child isn’t something she will ever get over.

Don’t ever put off doing what He asks you to do. If you do, you could be denying someone a source of comfort they could never get from someone else. And, it could come from something as simple as a necklace. You never know what God will use to console another.

Oh, and by the way, it turned out that if I hadn’t taken the necklace with me that day, I wouldn’t have seen my friend until the funeral, several days later. So, obey Him when He asks you to do something. His timing is always perfect and best.

Personal Note: Thank you to my friend S.C. for granting permission to publicly publish this part of her personal story. I love and miss you daily. I’m so glad to know that God is keeping you safe and helping you heal. It makes my heart happy to hear that you continue to grow closer to Him, and that the key has a special place in your heart.

Being Thirsty

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I realize it’s been a while since I’ve written a post. I just haven’t felt like I’ve had much to say. The Lord has been relatively quiet these last few weeks. But in His silence, there’s still plenty to learn.

I have been to three churches in my search for a new church home, so far. I have enjoyed each, but haven’t felt that ‘at home’ feeling I would love to have. When thinking about that feeling, I realized that, most likely, it’s not going to happen in one visit. I felt SO comfortable at Grace Fellowship in Georgia that it is going to be really hard to find anything that comes close to it. GFC became my family.

The three churches I have attended so far have ranged from small, to the very large. It’s a bit frustrating because I’m not sure exactly what I’m looking for, other than a place that feels like home. I told my pastor in Georgia the other day that if I could have him, TD Jakes, and Robert Morris all rolled into one I would be a happy camper! But, unfortunately, I don’t think that’s going to happen. I have a list of churches that I want to visit. I’m hoping I’ll know the church is the right one after I have been there. But that’s not a guarantee. Thankfully there are websites, and sermons online that you can listen to now. That has both helped fill the ‘gap’ until I find my new church home and narrow down the list of churches to visit.

There have been good qualities at each church. And, for me, the music is going to be a large part of my decision-making process. I love to sing. When I was a young girl, I always heard my mother singing alto, so I guess I just picked it up. While in the youth choir I sang soprano. But anytime I sang a ‘special’ in church with one of my friends, I always sang the harmony. That’s the part I love the most, because there’s so much you can do with it. And now, I try to find the unusual, and the unexpected harmony. So, I guess there are a few things I know I’m looking for. But as always, I’d like to hear it plainly from Him, but I kinda doubt that’s going to happen.

As I’ve said before, sometimes the Lord speaks to me so plainly that what He has to say is unmistakeable. Other times, like before I decided to move, and now, it’s been a bit hard to deal with the quietness of Him. Times like this make me thirsty for His Word. Thankfully, I have received little messages from others that tell me He’s still there waiting and watching, but it’s just not the same as hearing from Him directly. But, I would rather have those Words from others, than nothing at all.

The other day, I received a message from one of my friends at GFC. The message was based on I Kings 18:41 which says:
Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go get something to eat and drink, for I hear a mighty rainstorm coming!”

The Samaritans had been in a drought for three years, then Elijah comes along and says there’s going to be a rainstorm. This can go along with our own lives. I know many times I’ve felt like I’ve been in a drought of some kind. Right now, I’m unemployed, and, (thankfully), living with my parents again until I can find a new job and a place of my own. I think that would qualify as a drought of some kind, don’t you? But it’s what you DO during the drought that will set you apart from others. And what you do during your drought will prepare you for the rainstorm and get you through the storm to the other side. 

4741583Getting this Word from my friend was a gentle push from Him to let me know that He’s still there and that He will still make good on the promises He’s made to me. I just have to keep doing what I’m doing and keep believing He’s working on the best job I’ve ever had. And, I totally believe that. I know that there is a ‘dream job’ out there for me. I just haven’t found it yet. I’ve sent out bunches of resumes, but it hasn’t been to the right place yet. I know that at this job I will make enough to pay for the things that He has in store for me, like that house with a porch that has a beautiful view. That view will inspire me to sit and write the books that I’ve been told I will write. So, I’m not just searching for any ol’ job. I want THE job that He has prepared for me.

So, I continue to do what I believe He wants me to do during this drought I’m in. As well as listening for His voice letting me know what He thinks I need to change, those things He impresses upon my heart that I need to do in order to move on in my spiritual journey. I have recently taken care of one of those things, but another isn’t as easy to do. Simple, yes. But easy? No.

drought-23Are you in a drought? I believe there are all kinds of droughts, but what is yours? Do you know? Take a little while to think about it. Pray about it! Then, become thirsty for the Lord and His Word. Listen for His voice to let you know what you need to do while in the drought and what measures you need to take to move you through it. Pray for the rain. You’ll get through it if you just listen to Him.

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