Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Elijah Matthew
October 18 - November 17, 2015

EDD: July 24, 2016

It's been a very difficult year and I'm ashamed.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Welch's Simply Delicious Juice Review

We received a yummy free bottle of Welch's Simply Delicious Strawberry/Raspberry juice from BzzAgent for an honest review.

It was delicious! My husband and kids both loved it and so did I! It's got no high fructose corn syrup, which is very important to me since I have a corn allergy. It has a nice fresh flavor and we'll definitely be buying more. I passed along my $.75- coupons to friends and they'll be trying it too. The sandwich container is a great bonus--we use them every day for my daughter's lunch! I'm thrilled!

Thanks, Welch's!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ask and Ye Shall Receive!!

Matthew 21:22 KJV
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

I've prayed for years that a loved one find his way to faith. He needs comfort, peace-of-mind, purpose and I knew in my heart God was his answer. He's always identified as atheist and seemed open to religion, but simultaneously criticized Christianity unlike any other sect.

He's going to church. A CHRISTIAN CHURCH. EVERY week!

I'm amazed. Simply amazed. GOD IS GREAT! HALLELUJAH!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

God Saved Me From Him.

I've written about this person before and after today, I'm more stunned by God's Grace toward me.

This person, whom I once loved and has been welcomed for 30 years into my family, has stolen narcotics from my Grandmother.

I feel as though I've aged 5 years in the past 8 hours. I can't adequately express the anger I feel.

It's a long story, but he showed up at my Grandmother's house, unannounced, after dark, when he hasn't seen or spoken to her in at least 8 years. He asked to use her bathroom. She thought it was strange, but obliged. He then talked to her about Percocet and asked for extras (Gram has chronic pain from dozens of spinal surgeries) and she specifically told him she can't give him any. She didn't tell any of us about the exchange, and he came back the next day. On this visit, he claimed to have lost his phone in her house and needed to look for it. What he must have realized the day before is that she doesn't keep her pills in the bathroom medicine cabinet, but she keeps them on her nightstand. When she excused herself to go to the bathroom, he took her pill bottle with 4.5 Percocet. She noticed they were gone within 30 minutes of him leaving. At that point, she called my aunt and mother, who searched her house. There's no doubt he took them. My Gram records her pill use very carefully. Update 10/28/15: He confessed.

This is a man who has called her "Grandma" for 30 years. He's now a man that stole, deceived a family that held him up for many years and left her in excruciating pain for 3 days until she could get a refill. She's now afraid of him and what he might do. We're afraid to leave her alone. No 86-year-old woman with high blood pressure and a myriad of other health problems should have to worry about this. The fact that he's someone my family has welcomed into our lives for 30 years, is horrifying. Somehow, it'd be easier if it had been a stranger.

I've prayed for wisdom and a calmness to wash over me. I pray that God guides us all with his divine will so we behave wisely going forward. I pray for everyone's safety, for Gram's peace-of-mind and that he gets the help that he needs and his wife and small children are spared.

God, guide us through this. God, thank you for leading my heart away from him all those years ago.

Monday, October 19, 2015

I've changed a lot this year

I've changed a lot this year already.

September 27, we attended our first church service as a family (my first non-wedding or funeral service is close to 25 years) and it was wonderful. The kids were thrilled and excited and we all felt comfortable from the moment we pulled into the driveway. God knows it's something I've been planning to do for a long time and He helped put things into place for all of us to attend together. Our first service focused around "Be Still and Know that I am God." I felt refreshed for the whole week.

I fell into the decision to let go of the negative people in my life. It's not been easy and it's not as simple as breaking away from them completely, but I've resolved to shut down negativity before it invades my soul. There is enough bad in the world that we can't control--I refuse to create drama or invite any more into my life than already has to be there. 

What I've resolved to do is to keep distance from the "toxic" people who threaten my well being. Emotionally and spiritually, there are some people in my life that are harmful. I have not totally broken off my relationships, but I have to be diligent at keeping firm boundaries. I deserve respect, just as I give respect and it's important for my children to learn as well. If things get to far, I can continue to love them from a distance but they won't be welcome in our daily lives. I hope to be able to forgive and turn the other cheek, but with a certain person, I must surrender her to Christ and work on myself for a while. Firm boundaries might be the only way to have a relationship with her at all.

I feel so free by setting these boundaries and letting go of the daily expectation of hurt from her. Every encounter is stressful and makes me feel belittled and victimized. I was finally pushed to the point of saying "NO MORE. "I'm 36 and don't HAVE to take this. I don't HAVE to have this relationship. I HAVE the power to LET IT GO. I don't NEED you." It was a wonderful, empowering feeling. It didn't hurt as much as I expected it to. I don't have an eloquent way of putting this, but I can command this relationship. I don't want to end it entirely (family obligations) but I'm not afraid to dictate how I will be treated from now on. Eventually, forgiveness will come with His guidance, and I believe limiting the abusive interactions will help on that journey. There is only so much I can do.

I pray to God for help letting go of my anger and hurt. I do want to forgive more easily, but I'm not there yet. I pray He works on both our hearts.

I feel stronger and more confident spiritually than I have in a long time.

Monday, October 5, 2015

“God won't give you any more than you can handle.”

The quote is loosely translated, but you get the idea.

Each of us has our own battles. The biggest struggle in my life might seem insignificant to you. No one knows what another person is going through. I might scoff at your stubbed toe, but it might be the biggest tragedy you've ever known.

Doesn't this make a strong argument that we are all equal in the eyes of God? None of us have it any worse than another. I can certainly look at someone like Malala and think, "Wow. She's gone through something. It makes my troubles seem small." I do that. In fact, it helps me stay focused on the plight of others and not on the small trials of life that tend to overwhelm me.

Think of it in the opposite sense.

I've been troubled lately by an old friend who is struggling with something I've looked at as a "small problem." Shame on me. With God's help, what I finally realized is that "small problem" seems insurmountable to him. Who am I to judge?!

If his injury is a "10" on a scale of 1-10 of his list of problems, then it's a "10" and I have no right to look down on him for it. We're all individuals and God will not give us more than we can handle. Right now, this is all he can handle and he's overwhelmed. For me, my "10" is completely different. Malala's "10" would be off the charts to me!

Grading someone's pain is like grading their sin. We all do it, we're all go through it. Let's just love each other in God's name and pray.

"Keep your head up. God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers."

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

First Time, Long Time

After a bit of a power struggle at home, I finally got the family to our first church service. At first I was ashamed when I realized it would be my first "real" service (not wedding or funeral related) since I was about 11-years-old. Then, I realized there is nothing to be ashamed of! I went and I enjoyed it!

I can't speak for all of us, but the kids and I were very happy and content. In fact, Bubs didn't want to leave the nursery when we came to get him!

The message was "Be Still and Know That I am God". I'll be completely honest and say that I wasn't especially inspired by the sermon, but I did feel refreshed and eager to continue with this church. Though it's large, they were very welcoming and I liked the nursery for Bubs and "Kingdom Kids" that Bun were separated into. I was so worried about Bubs since he'd never been away from us, but he did great! Bun seemed to enjoy it too and told us about what she learned in the Bible. She brought home a great coloring worksheet that helped the parents understand her lesson and provide follow up at home. A few hours later, she drew and entire manger scene from memory (angels and tigers included)! If that isn't motivation to continue, I don't know what is. <3

Overall, I'd give our experience an A. I'm already excited to go back and best of all, I feel refreshed and prepared for the week ahead.