Recently I had the pleasure of seeing Christine Caine on TBN. She is so full of energy all the time and so in love with the Lord. Her message really hit me and I can’t let go of it. As she retold the story of Moses, Pharaoh and the ten plagues God sent, she focused one in particular – when God sent the frogs. Frogs were everywhere including their homes.
It is hard to imagine a situation like that. The people of Egypt were not happy and Pharaoh summoned Moses. He begged Moses to get rid of the frogs. The surprising fact is Moses let Pharaoh specify the time he wanted God to do it. His answer – tomorrow.
Picture your own home full of frogs and as the Bible stressed, even their beds. That would be so gross. I would want them gone immediately. Wouldn’t you?
Christine’s point has really made me think about my life. How many times do we want to do something and say tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll start exercising, tomorrow I’ll spend time with my wife, tomorrow I’ll start my diet, tomorrow I’ll go to church, tomorrow I’ll spend time reading the Bible and praying. The list could go on and on.
As I stated when I started the blog, I am in the probably the last stage of my life. My goal has been spend my time productively and with purpose. I admit I have more aches and pains than when I was younger. My doctor keeps telling me to “listen to your body” and avoid certain yoga poses. Being limited doesn’t appeal to me, but I have learned she is right. That does mean I choose to sit idly. I am very active.
I am proud to say I am in the final stages of publishing my book. The process is not an easy one, but I am doing it for God’s glory. The story in me is now in print. No more waiting for tomorrow.
What about things you are putting off? Each day the news is filled with tragic stories of lives lost before they got to live out their tomorrows.
God gave us life so we could live it abundantly. Easter is a perfect time to remind ourselves how God loved us so much he sent his son to die for our sins. So if you are putting off spending time with God, don’t wait until tomorrow. He is the best friend you will ever have and he wants to have a relationship with you. Put your trust in him and he will take you on journey that will bring new life to you. He’s just waiting for you to call on him.
This year has been challenging so far. I haven’t written much on this blog due to many difficult situations in my life and the lives of others. Sometimes life isn’t fair and these traumatic events are a reminder how precious life and time is. Do you give of yourself or lend a hand when others are suffering?
A former teaching colleague of mine died from ALS at the age of fifty-one after an eighteen month battle. She wasn’t ready to retire, her family wasn’t ready to lose her, and no one understands why things like this happen. She was a beautiful person with a beautiful life ahead. Despite what was happening to her body, she remained an inspiration to others and she was the one encouraging them. She kept her sense of humor and dignity as her body failed and leaves that legacy behind. What legacy are you leaving behind?
Several people I know have lost parents in recent months. Their ailments were a reminder to me of my own aging process. I do my best to stay healthy, but I have noticed I no longer can do certain things although I am still very active. I am doing this for my family, too. Are you taking care of yourself?
My sister just lost her husband unexpectedly. Even though they had a will, the thought of one of them dying while on vacation was not something they prepared for or thought could happen. There are so many things to consider and take care of when someone dies. Does your family know what your wishes are? Do you have a will? Do you have a health proxy?
Grieving is a process and takes time. People who are grieving need a support system and it takes time to work through loss. There is not a set amount of time in the process either. One person told me that one of their acquaintances thought a month was enough time. There is always going to be a void where that person filled a life. Can you help someone work through their grief?
Most importantly, are you ready for the end of your life? Have you made a commitment to Jesus our Savior? Does your life reflect the fact that you are Christian? Are you a good steward of your time?
I recently did a powerful Bible study called The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp. She shares how we all are broken and by sharing our brokenness we are helping others who are also broken. We were meant to share it, not hide it and pretend we have life under control at all times. Jesus had his body broken for us. Helping might mean giving up some of your time or maybe it can be the smallest kind gesture during the day – like a smile. Annoften shares a calendar on her Facebook page that has great ideas. This sharing might also be inconvenient. Showing up and listening when it means giving up coffee with friends, going to the gym, shopping or reading that book. Part of the study talked about giving in places that we don’t feel comfortable in. The world is a hurting world and Christ called us to share with those people who are not able to give back. He used the example of inviting people to dinner who will never invite you back because they can’t. This is what being a Christian is all about. I encourage you to read her book or do her study. You won’t be disappointed.
It is never too late to change your legacy. There is a hurting world out there that needs hope. Be the light you were meant to be. Be ready to help where you are needed.
As the new year began I looked forward to the many blessings of God ahead. A friend of mine gave me a Blessing Jar which sits on my kitchen counter with tags to fill out each day. When I saw her jar I loved the idea and couldn’t wait to start. Each day I am supposed to put a slip of paper in with something or someone I am grateful for that day. After only two days I learned a good friend died suddenly. The days since his death have been filled with emotion and it has been hard to find blessings when you grieve.
Reading God’s word reminded me he has plans for each person’s life and it is not my place to question. It is a blessing to even experience emotion. It is part of being alive. At the funeral home there was a huge outpouring of love and many testimonies about my friend. He left a legacy of love and kindness that will not soon be forgotten. His friendship of twenty-eight years is now on a slip of paper in my blessing jar. I will put a new one in my jar every year when I remember him.
Each day the news is filled with shootings and tragedy. I know God is still there and I have a lot to be grateful for even when life isn’t perfect. So do we all!
Winter can be a gloomy time of year. Christmas is gone and sometimes the cold weather gets old. The trees look dead, but in just a few months we will begin to see the daffodils come up. A blessing jar can be a great reminder of how much we take for granted. Not just things, but people we have in our lives.
I am so grateful that my friend gave me my jar. It is a visible reminder of the love of my father in heaven. I want to leave a legacy that will be remembered, too.
Posted in Faith, Family
Another year is coming to a close and I can’t believe how quickly it has passed. Seems like just yesterday that I was looking ahead to all I wanted to try in 2016. I can honestly say my year has been productive and full.
I have not written on this blog for a while but not because I wasn’t writing. For the last four months I spent most days editing one of my novels. Though there are always things I could change, I am pleased to say I am finished. The editing process is harder than the creating the story, but I have learned so much about the process itself.
My only frustration has been in the actual writing program itself. It won’t export in a format I can use without redoing some spacing things. When you write a 50,000 + word novel, that can take time to fix. The Christmas season is not the best time to try to do this. After a short break I’ll make another attempt.
As I close out my year, I can honestly say I finished my book. It is no longer just a dream I talk about. I am self-publishing in 2017 and can’t wait to see it in print.
God is good and I am grateful for his many blessings I have been given in 2016. I can’t wait to see what plans he has for me in 2017!
Time seems to pass so quickly with the busyness of life. I am mindful of which activities I commit to do.
The older I get – the more urgency I feel about making a difference in life. When I taught those darling little children, I knew they looked at my actions as model of how to treat others. Many of them had a home life without stability or happiness. School was sometimes the only bright spot in their life. I remember one student coming back from spring break and writing about how he hated vacations. For him, he looked forward to the stories I read, the fun things we did, and a caring person he could depend on.
In my retirement, I have missed those moments when I knew I changed a life. We all have the ability to be a positive or negative influence on the lives each day. I am reading a book entitled same kind of different As me. What a true story of a Christian woman’s faith journey that had a profound effect on the lives of homeless people. She didn’t walk past them and do nothing. Through compassion and love, she changed countless lives and continues to do so after her death.
Each year the holiday season begins earlier. For me, it also signals the ending of another year. What changes have you made this year? Have you thought about your legacy? Like the character in the book, you hold the key to change the lives of those less fortunate whether it be giving away a coat, paying for someone’s lay away, or simply bringing a meal to someone who is alone. Her husband’s life also changed in ways he never expected and so will yours.
Probably one of my most favorite books has been The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews. If you haven’t read it you are missing out. I have read it several times and each time came away with something new. I have led discussions with book clubs, teacher groups, youth groups, and given it as a gift countless times. Through the seven characters the traveler receives life changing messages.
My favorite character was Joshua Chamberlain. He was a high-ranking Union officer in the Civil War. Against all odds at Gettysburg and with nothing but bayonets lead the charge down the hill. He made a courageous decision to take action despite the fact he did not have ammunition. His bravery and leadership helped the Union win the battle. His action was an example for others to follow. Would the United States be here if Gettysburg was not a victory?
Both books give example of how two different people took actions which impacted countless lives long after their deaths.
The world needs more people of action. Use your talents and take action today. Look around for places to give or ways to serve in your community. You will be glad you did!
This part of my life has been a second chance for me to pursue writing. Over the years I have made attempts at it, but my life was just too busy. Even though I taught students how to write, I never had the time to actually write much myself. With less commitments I can now take webinars and classes freely with the intent to improve my skills. Like this blog, I am a work in progress. Now I work to become a skilled, published writer and I use my creativity daily.
This week I watched Dancing with the Stars and admire how hard the participants are working to become dancers. They balance their busy schedules to perform in front of an audience and are judged on it. For some, that is very difficult. Ryan Lochte is one of those dancers and he really has inspired me. He made a huge mistake while he was in Rio for the Olympics, but he also has acknowledged his mistake over and over. He had the courage to try dancing which is out of his comfort zone. Last week he was called names in front of a live audience and all he really wants is a second chance. The fact that he came back this week shows perseverance. Facing his mistake and moving on is something to be admired. Henry Ford said “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.”¹ I am not condoning what he did, but I believe people need to give him a break. It is easy to point fingers at others.
We are who we are because of where life has taken us and how we respond to events. The Bible is full of flawed people who were given second chances (or even more opportunities) and went on to become great people because they learned from their mistakes.
For me, I have made many mistakes in life and changed because of them. Those experiences are helping develop realistic characters that need opportunity to make amends. My hope is to self publish my Christian novel soon.
How about you? What do you want to try? Take the chance and go for it! A friend of mine decided to take tap dance classes after retirement. Other friends have done their family genealogy. Or maybe you have stories you want to write. What do you have to lose? Just go for it!
¹”20 Iconic Quotes on Failure.” MindBodyGreen. Ed. Zoë B. N.p., 4 Mar. 2013. Web. 21 Sept. 2016.
Easter is always an important day in my Christian walk. Not everyone believes in Jesus or that he died on a cross for our sins, but the fact is for over 2,000 years that story has been told. History is full of stories of wars and struggles over religious beliefs and proof of his existence.
When Jesus appeared to people after his Resurrection, he was not the same bloody figure last seen on the cross. His appearance was the same as it was before his horrific crucifixion except for the fact that his wrists and feet had scars from the nails the Romans had used.
For Christians, his death and resurrection bring hope of eternal life in heaven. He paid the price for our sins and established a new covenant with God the Father in heaven. Easter is a time to reflect on how tremendous his sacrifice was. What we believe should be reflected in our daily life.
Once this season is past, it is easy to forget that message. But Easter was a model on how we are to live life. Jesus had scars, but they weren’t open wounds. Life wounds us the wounds should become scars like his were. He taught forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and reconciliation.
The events that took place last week have shocked our nation. They have triggered more violent events. Tempers are out of control and more people are getting hurt or killed.
How do we heal these wounds? It won’t happen overnight. People need to grieve and all we can do is be there for them. Their pain is real and can’t be minimized. We can pray to one who can help and try to model what he has taught us.
I saw a simulcast last night of an upcoming movie called Ben Hur. It is coming out in August and is a remake of a famous movie I watched years ago. I think it has a powerful message that speaks to reconciliation and forgiveness which is a very timely message.
I recommend this movie to all movie goers. We need to come together as the great nation that we are and help heal our nation. We are all wounded by these tragedies and now we need communicate on how we can close these wounds so we can heal. This will be a long process, but it a process that all of us should help in. If we don’t, the wounds will never heal.