Monthly Archives: July 2017

16 Years!

Hard to imagine that 16 years have passed since my beloved son was born.  At the time I am writing this…… was the time he came into this world.

His first year was tough on us…… Mark and I.  Not for  him….. he was a fighter.  His strength was immeasurable.  Years 2-5 were battles.  His hearing.  His speech.  His VPI:  Velopharyngeal Insufficiency.  But again, his strength and perseverance held strong.  His parents went through those years fueled by caffeine and sleepless nights.  The hospital stays alone were enough to push us over the edge…… but not our boy.  He took everything in stride.  Smiling. Laughing. Showing everyone his silly personality.

He overcame.

We have watched this sickly little boy grow into this beautiful soul of a young man.  His temperament is still the same but intertwined with the occasional tribal teenage grunts. His accomplishments have left me in awe.  His kind heart and gentle soul warms those around  him.  His competitiveness and game playing astonishes us all.  His laugh is more infectious than when he was little.

Everyday, I whisper (cause ya know it ain’t cool for a young man’s mom to do this) “I love that boy!”

Happy Birthday!! May God continue to bless you as you have blessed me!

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United

Last week, the middle school teachers and administrators sat down for a meeting.  Our goal was simple to hash out the first week of school and to draft a plan of action for our newly adopted motto:  “Ready to Learn.”

I had awakened that morning with Jeremiah 29:11 on my heart and mind.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God has a plan.  We were meeting to plan. So naturally, I had to follow through with Jeremiah 29:12:

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

So I whispered a quiet prayer for the meeting I was about to attend.

Once we gathered together around our conference table,  I was suddenly aware that each one of us have unique talents and spiritual backgrounds.  We all teach a different subject.  We each have a special passion for our subjects.  I never realized that history could be so exciting, that math could actually be fun, and that science was more than just dissecting poor helpless frogs.  I mean, let’s face it, English rocks and I love it!!

But when we come together, we have one thing in common the most–our students.  Because of those students, we unite and we put our differences in subject passions aside.

Now, as I glanced over to all my colleagues, I never really took note of our spiritual differences.  We are all believers of different denominations and at different points on our spiritual journey.  Funny, I never realized it.  I just considered us all Christian.  I think God allowed me  to see that difference for a reason that wouldn’t be revealed until yesterday in church….. I will come back to that in just a moment.

The night before our meeting, I texted our group and said, “We should open with prayer.”  We have been doing that prior to meetings recently.  We all agree that we are more focused and feel the strength of God to conquer whatever is thrown our way.  So it was just something I threw out there……a reminder.  A simple reminder.

So remember Jeremiah 29:11-12 was weighing heavily on my mind that morning.  I felt God pressing me to pray.  As each person arrived and it was looking like the meeting was about to start, the Holy Spirit was screaming at me to pray.  So, I said, “May I pray before we begin?” So we did…… and a productive meeting was held.

Which brings me to yesterday in church…….. I know you are thinking–Regina, get to the point!!  –well, you see, I was sitting there thinking about my middle school peeps.  I was thinking about how we all see things through different sets of eyes.  And yet, we work so well together.  We are a strong unit.  Hardly a day goes by without us texting one another or we shoot a picture of something that reminds us of each other.  We have laughed together, cried together, and we break bread together for 180 days each year.  We are all Christians and strong believers…….. and we pray together……. then, BOOM!!

A prayer is being set up with the idea of how we, believers, need to come together and be united in prayer in order to bring change.

BOOM!  I tell ya!!

I am so fortunate that I work with a group of believers, that pray together, that bring the differences to the table to create a solid unified approach to teaching…….. united.

Like Mother Teresa one said, “I can do things you cannot.  You can do things I cannot. Together we can do great things.”

BOOM!

My Answer

Ugh!

Sigh……

Ever had trouble coming up with an answer?  You are posed a question that takes you off guard and you kinda “get through” the answer.  Then minutes after the conversation is over you come up with the best answer.   Sometimes, I wish I could just push pause and come up with the perfect answer so when I push play again so I don’t look like a bumbling idiot.

Ever? Just me?

Sigh……

I was asked a pretty theological question……. that I should have been able to just spat out my answer without any trouble, but no…….  I clearly left the recipient of my answer scratching his head and wondering why in the world I would even consider lay speaking. (He will be kind and I will probably receive an email stating that I wasn’t as foolish as I thought, but you guys know when I say I sounded idiotic most likely I did–or who knows he just might agree with me.)

It really wasn’t a hard question.  It just kinda left me thinking…… how should I answer this without sounding crazy.

Simple question–

So how is your soul?

My answer–

uhhhhh…… mmmmm….. good? may I add here–why on earth did I make good into a question?  This guy has no idea how to that.  See I told you……so let’s see what else I say…..

ummmmm……. well…… been in a funk…… really?  Who in her right mind uses that 80’s term?  Oh, wait, yours truly…… sigh….. I should just bury my head and never be seen in 2017….. honestly, Funk?  Should have at least added the “totally” and “like” terminology.  

Of course the “funk” word made the guy just ask…… A funk?  Really?  Please tell me more.

After mentally coming out from under the table, I didn’t know how to proceed.  I just muddled my way through some kind of answer.

Of course, three days later, I have an answer.  A really good one too!  Because my “funk” statement got me to thinking about how I should define the said funk.  My funky condition isn’t all related to recent events in my life…….  recent means all the negative stuff that has happened in the past….. oh I don’t know 40 years…….

So here’s when I rewind the tape to answer the question— How is  your soul?

Rusty.

Weathered.

Weakened.

Yet Holding Strong.

So much better than “Funk.”  Go ahead and agree….. I will wait.

See life has happened.  Satan has thrown so much my way.  And at first, I was diving into God’s word and in prayer.  I was so anointed that I could handle anything.  But like a piece of metal left exposed to the weather, the toils of life began to show.  Rusty.

Over time that exposure got into the cracks and crevices.  And once that began, I did the most human thing.  Looked to myself for answers, self help, and discovery.  Ahem……  Weathered. Weakened.  Yes, the journey I held close to my heart was weakened.  I lost faith if I should dare to say.  I looked around and saw nothing worth being grateful for…….  shocked?  Don’t be.  I am being completely honest here.  I was shutting everything that once brought me peace completely out.  I stopped writing.  And for me to stop writing, it was as if I had stopped truly living.  I stopped reading God’s word.  So I stopped breathing.  I stopped praying.  I had literally hung up on God.  I changed my number.

That was then……

I am rusty.  I am weathered.  I have been weakened.  But, I am not a hopeless case.  Nope.

Recently, I have been easing myself back into the fully anointed place.  My rusty weathered self may be a little weakened by life but I am still holding strong.  It just adds character….. and if watching all those “Fixer Upper” episodes have taught me one thing…… Rust is the new chic and the weathered is good character!

Sweet Whispers

The alarm didn’t have to jolt me from my slumber this morning.  I awoke long before the alarm had the chance.  Perhaps my prayer of “God get me out of bed early” was answered or just perhaps, since I didn’t stay up to 1-2am reading, I actually got the slumber I needed.

At any rate, I got up, got dressed, grabbed my sneakers, and took a morning walk.  I had a goal this morning–20 minutes without dying.  Yeah, sadly, I am a bit out of shape and haven’t truly walked in a long long while.

As my trusty sneakers pattered along the pavement this morning.  The sunrise peeked through the trees.  The sweet songbird melodies welcomed me but not as an intruder in this morning’s concert.  My presence was meant to be there capturing God’s sweet good morning kiss.

 Pounding down the road, I reached the fence post.  My breath stolen not from the exercise but rather from the sweet dew.  The field glistened and my heart filled with joy.  I became aware of my heart pounding.  I am blessed with a new day.  For that, I am grateful. Grateful for the chance to witness smiles of strangers, steal a moment to write, and to spend time engrossed in my thoughts.

 

As I turned off the paved road onto the country drive, my heart stopped.  Luckily, my goal was still in play–I am not dying from the exercise but my heart stopped at the sight of the beautiful fog stretching across the morning field.  I just wanted to stand there (maybe to catch my breath) to be still.  Still in God’s glory.  I scanned the canvas God painted for me.  I couldn’t believe that the beauty was for me alone to see.

I stood there for a while listening to the sweet whispers of the breeze through the trees and the soft pitter patter of pawed feet walking near.  Two dogs have joined me in the view.  Their silence was golden.  They just walked up and sat near me.  Probably wondering what this out of breath human was looking at.  

Beautiful, isn’t it?  I asked my companions.

I turned and walked away.  The two ran along in the dewy grass.  Our day was about to begin.

Upon returning home, I said a little prayer of thanks.  God was surrounding me this morning and I felt His presence.

In Sync

So over the past few weeks, I have really contemplated my blog challenge.  I have been analyzing my life, searching for answers as to why I feel like I do, and waiting for God’s direction.

His direction was being sent constantly, I just wasn’t ready to hear it.  I have been hearing his soft whisper for a long while……  Go walk…… Read your Bible…… Go to Bible study….. Blog….. Eat right…..  I was out of sync.

Yep, I was doing everything in my power to literally not listen.  And the first step in this month’s challenge is to listen.  I need to follow His lead in everything.  I have no excuse not to follow His commands.

If you love me, keep my commands.  John 14:15

When I look back when I was the biggest Jesus Freak, I was in tune with what God expected from me.  Many times it is my need for control or my desire to do what I want, that keeps me from following His commands.  But, He knows what is best for me.  I would I ever think that my way is best?!?!?!?!?

Secondly, for this challenge is to rekindle the grateful heart.  My heart has grown bitter.  I have allowed callouses to form and to prevent me to feel the gratitude I need to live positively.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Thankfulness leads to peace.  Peace is what I need.  I have been so restless.  I have longed for just a peaceful moment each day.  Most days have been filled with dread.  Most days I feel anger, sadness, and unsettled.  Things have to change…….

So this morning, I looked for snapshots of gratitude.  I walked this morning and kept an eye out for little signs of God’s love and wonder.  Nature is where I find peace.  God’s grace and love and mystery surrounds me and it is about time I look for those nuggets.

I did…… I found God’s wonder…….

I captured the moment, the feeling, and beauty.

So far the challenge includes me listening and following God’s commands and to have a grateful heart.  And the third part of this month’s challenge should be something I do regardless.  But, I am stubborn, a control freak, and well……. not the smartest.

God’s been nudging a long time on this one.  And well, I need to listen.  My food allergies and intolerances have really been a challenge.  I will say things like…… “It is worth the stomach ache.”  “It’s a holiday and I am gonna have it.”  Ummmmmm how crazy is that?  I know if I eat cow products I will get sick….. yet I will.  I know if I eat gluten or root veggies my stomach swells and I feel miserable for days….. yet I eat them.  Why?  Why?  Why would I do that?  Again, it goes back to my control thing.  I would rather be in control than in comfort.  Crazy isn’t it.

So there’s my challenge.  So, only time will tell……….