Thirty-five years ago, it was an extremely hot day. How can I possibly remember that when I can’t remember the temps from last week? Because it was my wedding day. Like most people do, I remember every detail of my wedding day.
If the air-conditioning was working in the church, I didn’t feel it. And at the perfect moment when we were standing up in front of approximately 400 people, a drop of sweat dripped off the tip of my nose.
My soon-to-be husband noticed and knew I was mortified. He whispered “you crack me up” as I tried to remain calm. His words were exactly what I needed to make me smile and relax.
So much has happened since that day. So many blessings. The sting I felt because my mom didn’t show up is now gone.
There’s a lot of mistakes that I’ve made over the years and I wish I could erase them or delete them all with a click of a delete button; however, without those difficult times I would’ve missed out on the power of forgiveness.
Those tough times also pulled me near to the One who loves me most, and for that I am thankful. ❤️
Do you have that one go-to place that you know will bring you some type of fulfillment or will provide that peace that you long for? Maybe it’s church. Perhaps it’s sitting on your back porch swing with a friend. Wherever that place is, you can’t wait to be there – even if it’s for a few minutes.
One of my favorite times to experience that is when I look up and see a sunset. That place can be anywhere. Although they only last a few minutes, they sure do provide a peace that I can’t explain. I guess I find them to be a reminder that there is something greater than this life – even at it’s best. How exciting and comforting is that thought?
It’s weird, though, how you learn to depend on certain places, things, or people to give you that feeling that life is good. No wonder life can seem like a rollercoaster ride when those things we depend on are gone or simply don’t pan out.
I think we all chase after something…. for the challenge or for happiness. What are you chasing after? Are you putting all of your time, thoughts, and energy into something that is for temporary satisfaction, or are you seeking something of eternal value?
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame,and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” ~ Hebrews 12:13
“What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever.” ~ 2 Cor. 4:18
Have you ever listened to someone explain why they started a ministry or became involved in a particular cause? Often times tragedy triggers people into action, but what about love? Since there’s so much tragedy in our world — how many times do you hear someone say that Christ’s love touched their heart in such a way that they knew they had to do something to help someone else? Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen, but I wonder how often people miss the opportunity or don’t even recognize it.
Years ago, I started writing because I held so much hurt inside from my childhood that it began to spill out in ways I didn’t like; I knew I had to do something. Blogging was a good way for me to deal with it all and to hopefully help others through similar struggles. But honestly, that was for me. It was to help my heart heal.
However, I recently experienced something very unique. I’m never one to start something or take charge, but recently something grabbed ahold of my heart. There’s no better way to explain it. Christ’s love compelled me to do something for those who are in the nursing home (and to help out their loved ones). If you’ve ever had a relative live there, then you know some of the struggles they experience — for example, hating living in a different place, experiencing loneliness, and the fear of being forgotten being at the top.
Years ago, I moved my grandmother into a nursing home near us. I was her only family member left (in the same state), so I was her only visitor. Because I worked and had children involved in sports and school, I couldn’t get there as often as I would’ve liked. The guilt was almost too much. I will never forget when a couple friends from church told me that they wanted to visit my grandma. They didn’t know her, but they did it anyway. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me — and to her.
Over the years, I’ve carried that memory in my mind and wondered what God wanted me to do with it. Now I know.
My husband and I have decided to make it a point to visit people once a month who live in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. We aren’t quite sure how this is all going to unfold at the moment, but we knew we had to start somewhere. Yesterday, we decided to make a day of it. We started out by visiting a nursing home that’s about 20 minutes away. I had overheard someone say at our Bible study that her mother had recently moved in there. I knew when I heard it that it was something God wanted me to hear; He was just waiting to see what I was going to do with it.
You never know how someone is going to react when a stranger walks in their room, but she seemed glad to have company. Her name is Dimple, and the name fits her perfectly. She was very sweet. After talking about her family, it was obvious how much she loved them. She’s one of the lucky ones who often receives visits from them. We discovered that one of her children had the same name as mine. Funny how those little connections can make a difference.
We joined hands and said a prayer. What a blessing.
As we walked down the hall, my husband stopped — then backed up a few steps. Just down the hall from Dimple was a woman who was our neighbor about 35 years ago! We hadn’t seen her in probably 20 years.It was a quick visit because she was getting ready for a nap, but we will be sure to go back.
Last, as I stood outside of our former neighbor’s room, I met eyes with a lady across the hall. We knew her, as well. I couldn’t believe it! What were the chances that she would be in that facility — right across the hall? After we caught up on life, we had prayer and began to walk out. Before I made it out of the room, she yelled out, “Don’t forget me.”
Those words will ring in my thoughts for the rest of my life.
The next stop was beautiful, also. Although we weren’t able to talk to her, we had a lovely visit with her family. As I’ve experienced, family members need to know they are not alone in their journey, too. That’s what this ministry is all about.
Our last visit was with a lovely lady who is living in an independent living facility. It was our first time to meet her. Our conversation began with where we all have lived, how many children she has, her moving experience, and ended with how many years she and her husband were married. We discovered that the best man in her wedding (some 60 years ago) was the senior pastor at a church we were involved in about 30 years ago. We were all a little stunned about that connection. I almost chuckle as I think back to our expressions!
I’m sure future visits won’t always be as good as this day was, but I have to thank God for whispering in my hear, “What are you going to do with what you’ve just heard?” that day when I overheard someone talk about her mom moving into a nearby nursing home. Is He whispering something in your ear today?
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Do you ever look back at your high school days? I don’t often, but earlier today something made me think back to my freshman year. It was my favorite year in school because everything was new. I was anxious the summer before, but I looked forward to going to a new school — mostly, I looked forward to starting over.
I will never forget when a friend told me that an upperclassman liked me. I had noticed him in the hall a few times because of how handsome I thought he was. I knew he was on the football team, but that was about it. I remember asking my friend, “Are you sure he’s interested in ME?”
I wondered why he would even consider taking me out on a date when he didn’t know anything about me. We never spoke before this, so I found it hard to understand. I have to say there’s something special about being chosen, though. I was on cloud nine. Do you remember that feeling? You never forget it!
My freshman year in college, a friend explained to me that someone else was pursuing me. This was very different from my experience in high school, yet it was the same. It was unbelievable because THIS ONE knew everything about me — yet He still wanted a relationship with me. Very humbling, yet the best feeling — ever.
If you’ve ever wondered what it means to have a relationship with Jesus, let me tell you what I know. There’s nothing like it. If you haven’t noticed, He’s pursuing you — maybe through a friend, a trial, or a miracle. There’s no better feeling than knowing God loves you.
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4
We are back in Indiana – the state we’ve lived in since we were born — with the exception of the last 3 years when we lived in Florida. I don’t even know where to begin….
I cannot believe how much life has changed for us. We’ve been “home” for 5 weeks, however, last night it dawned on me how God has answered so many of my prayers. I’ve been so happy since we’ve been back — busy putting things away and getting adjusted to being a pastor’s wife again and getting to know new people, and somehow I missed it! Totally missed the fact that God was providing our needs.
Life in Florida was like living on a deserted island for me, but I’m thankful how it brought me closer to God. There were days when I would be so down and I wondered if I would ever feel normal again.
One morning I came to the conclusion that I needed to get into a routine of thanking God for specific things to help bring me out of the valley. I know we should do that anyway because He deserves the praise, but this was important for me to do as a reminder to be thankful instead of pitiful or resentful.
So, every morning, before my feet touched the floor, I would look out our bedroom window and thank Him for another day. Simple as that. I would remind myself that there were people who were praying to live another day, so I should stop taking life for granted.
I felt so empty. I tried, but couldn’t find my purpose. Did you know that when you don’t feel like you have one, you feel worthless? It’s true. And, it’s a horrible place to be. If you’re in a similar place, please — don’t give up. When God provides a way out of that valley, you won’t forget it — you never forget. Pray believing, because He hears your prayers. At the right time — His timing, life will change. Maybe in baby steps, but it will improve.
A part of me wishes I understood why God allowed us to move in the first place, but then I am reminded that true faith requires trusting His plan, surrendering our plan, and following Him.
I just read a story that I HAVE to share. It’s about a man named Tony Bullimore. Maybe you’ve heard what happened to him. If not, his experience is worth your time. You may not be able to relate to the beginning of the story, but if you’re like me – you will truly relate and appreciate the ending.
Tony was one of Britain’s most experienced transatlantic yachtsmen. Unfortunately, his yacht capsized during a race. He compares his experience to being in the Niagara Falls – only upside down. He was trapped underneath for four days in near freezing temps. As you can imagine, his air supply was diminishing. On top of that, he knew he was more than a thousand miles from land. Although it seemed pretty hopeless, he still prayed that he would be rescued.
The Royal Australian Navy did find him because of a modern satellite and surveillance that tracked every yacht that was in the round-the-world competition. Can you imagine what went through his mind when they found him?
This is the part I love – SO much… A journalist said at the time of his rescue, ‘A rescue that succeeds against all odds and every expectation is the best of all stories. It is pure and spontaneous joy.’
Just think, WE can experience that joy today because of Jesus. It wasn’t until I turned 21 that I got it through this thick skull of mine that He was trying to save me. I’m so thankful for all those people who constantly reached out to me – invited me to church, Bible study, and offered to pray with me.
If you are living your life feeling trapped in darkness, there IS a way out! Please trust me, He will save you, too… Galations 1:4 ~ “Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.”
We are getting ready to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary this summer.
T h i r t y – f i v e years.
It seems like yesterday when we first met. How has time slipped by so quickly?
Maybe it has something to do with life. You know – those things that fill our days. Ours were full because of three sons, ministry, friends, family, school, work, sports, illness, death, turmoil, anxiety, joy, rejection, and love.
36 years ago today, on Valentine’s Day, he broke up with me. This was before we had social media where you can spy (so to speak) to get answers to your questions like – are we even still friends, is he moving on, seeing someone else, sad about the break up, or is he even still alive?
We said our goodbyes on that February 14th —– and that was it. No phone calls. No letters. Nada. Everything I looked forward to was gone.
I was crushed. Shocked, actually. We had dated for a while, and I was sure he was the one. I tried to move on, but my life felt so empty.
So several months later, he called. We met for dinner, and a few months later he proposed. The rest is history.
The months between the breakup and his phone call were difficult. Maybe they were for him as well. I had so many questions and no answers. Should I date around or should I wait? Did I do something wrong? Am I a loser? Was I trying to make someone ‘the one’ when God had something better in mind?
So, I finally did it. I went out on a date and I was miserable. There was my answer. I was in love – so I waited.
If you’ve had to wait for something, then you know how fun it is. It’s not fun, but I’ve learned that it’s worth it.
A friend recently shared this analogy with me. She has such a way with words that describe the payoff of waiting for God’s will to be revealed:
“It’s hard to trust God in the unseen, the unknown, but when he reveals his will, his ways in our lives – it’s almost like the sun bursting forth through a cloud or over the horizon. It’s breathtaking and amazing!” ~ Luci
It’s been a very rainy weekend.
The first question that popped into my head yesterday afternoon is why do we often lose interest in doing anything – even inside – when it’s raining? Our day instantly became a read- a- book or binge watch tv kind of day.
The second question that came out of nowhere was why are we bummed when something happens, even though it benefits our environment or someone else?
We haven’t had rain in Florida for quite some time. It rained off and on one day this week, and then this weekend it has rained almost nonstop. Yes, we needed it. But still – I wish it would stop!
Isn’t life like that? Something happens that doesn’t fit into our schedule or how we pictured the day, and just like that we become frustrated – even though what’s happening is temporary and often for the best.
Have you found yourself doing the same? Next time you find yourself complaining about something – like traffic, a crazy driver, the long line at the grocery, long wait at the doctor’s office, snow, cold temps, or rain – remind yourself this is temporary…. and maybe even necessary.
“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” ~ Psalm 118:24
Enjoy your day.
I’ve read where people have climbed a mountain alone. I can’t begin to imagine how scary that would be. If you need help, where do you turn? Is it really that big of a deal to tackle a mountain alone?
Just like life – we need people. We need God.
The mountain I’ve been climbing has become a little bit easier – not because of anything I’ve done, but because of the wisdom I recently received from a message at church.
God works that way, you know. Sometimes when you least expect it, you hear a message that makes you realize that God is listening. He knows the struggle, and He’s with us – every step we take.
Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
Psalm 9:9-10 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
I’m so thankful for that reminder. Perhaps you needed it, too.