And the Lessons Continue ~ III

One would think that at 62 years of age, not every day would be a learning day,
but learning continues each day in my life…

…to continue how the Lord is working in my life…
I did something for someone this Christmas that I thought was wonderful
Boy was I wrong
First I was upset that they were upset 
and then someone very dear to me said
“Everyone _______ differently”
I know that but why get so upset?
BECAUSE 
“everyone _______ differently”

Neither way is right or wrong, IT just IS!

And that’s what I had…
I wrote the person involved,
heard back from them,
life goes on and we learn, we all learn
Then in a group I belong to on Facebook
where an in~depth conversation was happening someone posted:
“Not everyone finds joy in the same things we do.  It doesn’t mean they’re ungrateful. 
It’s only a few days after Christmas, maybe they are waiting a few days to use XXX ….

And I responded (in the middle of not understanding what/why XXX was happening)
duh…not everyone finds joy in the same thing,
not everyone likes everything in the same way,
what brought me joy, brought someone grief, 
insurmountable grief and pain
and then a big RIFF between us…
so not what I wanted or intended to happen

A hard but great lesson to learn,
even at 62 or should I say 
it’s about time I learned and figured it out…

that we are all different 
and God made us that way…
how boring life would be if we were all the same…

One of my goals for the past few months and really becoming one of the things I am focusing on is being open and available to hearing the Lord speak to me…
…this morning He got my attention during the worship service and sermon at church this morning at New Life Baptist Church.  Usually we make our kiddos sit with us but I’m trying to say YES more than NO and since I really didn’t have a good reason to say no I let our two oldest sit where they asked…AZ wanted to sit w/Ms T and AR wanted to sit on the first row with Brother Adam (the pastor).  I told them if I had to walk up to them during the service they would not get their tablets for one week!!!!  Yes the new tablets they got for Christmas and yes, something they have both been on a lot the past few days…I know restrictions/limits should be set BUT since today is our 20th straight day of working (combination of our choice & limited coverage) we are allowing lots of screen time this school break :).  They both said okay and off to their seats they went.  LB had to sit with us, she is too wiggly and too loud to sit with others and we let her go play in the nursery during the actual sermon time…because in her words…big people’s church is no fun!!!
Now back to what I was learning…one of the scripture references was 

 & 
Ephesians 4: 25-29
25 What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life. Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work. Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. Ephesians 4:25-29 The Message.
This really spoke to me and challenged me…I remember lying as a child to my mom, the last two times…once when I was 13 and a girl had called her a SL.. and I got angry and broke her elbow with my baton…my anger was rampant back then and it just happened instantly.  My mom didn’t care that the girl called her a SL..but I sure did.  Anyway, my mom asked me how old I was and I smart mouthed back to her “7” well she hit me 7x and then asked again…I replied 13 and got hit 13 more times plus chili pepper put in my mouth…and then I lied to her Labor Day Weekend 1975 while I was getting ready for work…she asked me if Ron and I had talked marriage and I replied NO!!!  I was scared to death of her reaction to my wanting to get married because of how she had reacted when my older sister got married…

I do not like to be lied to or being called a liar.  And the verse continues to …watch the way you talk…I used to swear as good as most sailors but the last 12 years I have made a true effort to not swear and especially now in our positions as house parents…I know I wasn’t the best mom in the world when our boys were younger and I have had many conversations with them about the past and present and I am so thankful for the grace and forgiveness they have extended to me…but back to the sermon…I just felt like the Lord was telling me 

WHOA…give your kids the same grace and mercy I have shown you!!!
WHOA…give yourself the grace and mercy I have shown you!!!
And remember little eyes and ears are watching and listening ALL the TIME!!
Just like the Lord is watching all the time!!
Thank you Lord for this very real reminder that Your love is never ending and that no matter how I behave You give me a second, third and more chances than I can count!!!
And the Lord says yes to me and this is evident in how 
I am so blessed, blessed beyond measure.  

Raw & Uncensored ~ II

What a day it has been…got one kid off to his sponsor’s for the weekend, went to Victoria, Texas that is…still waiting for hubby to take me to the other Victoria…you know the one off the coast of British Columbia!!!  Got Ron’s new glasses…well one pair, his sunglasses ~ the gal ordered the wrong pair first…oh well…he’s just thankful he can see clearly now ~ even though it’s quite dark inside the house 🙂
While Ron was getting his glasses the girls and I went to Hobby Lobby…I love to walk the aisles there, so many things I like to see and then of course going through the yarn aisles…that’s where I like to be…so many projects jump out at me…this pretty yarn…oh how I love the variegated pinks/purples or blues/yellows…but then I think of all the yarn in our spare bedroom and I think…stash…empty the stash…empty the stash…EMPTY THE STASH!!!!!  So no yarn today but as I was checking out the pack of metallic pens caught my eye…yep I bought them…one girl can never have too many pens even though some husbands, mine included disagree.
Next stop was Walmart, Sam’s Club and then on to Cuero to Walmart (had to pick up some prescriptions…so thankful for insurance…five medications that used to run me over $250 a month are $0…that’s right…no copay!!!  Thank you Jesus!!! No more wondering if the money would be there to cover my meds, what ones do I skip today? what ones do I skip tomorrow…no more skipping!!!  Thank you Jesus!!!
The kids were great with all the running around we had to do so we made one last stop…at what we like to call “The Place that Can’t Be Named” or aka Dairy Queen…six blizzards later with six in a sugar coma we headed for home…kids played outside for a bit…need to take advantage of the warm winter days here in Texas…it gets dark before 5:30 so any playtime outside before then is a must.
Visited with friends who stopped by for a bit and then time to eat dinner, shower and soon bedtime for the kidlets…
…not sure why my stress level seems so high right now…but I can’t wait for them to be in their beds…I just want to crawl into my bed and sleep the night away…
so many things are on my mind that sometimes it feels easier to just go and hide instead of facing the thoughts…thinking about relationships, real and imagined, what I want and what actually is, projects I want to complete yet not knowing what one to do first, trying to figure out a monthly menu…are the kids going to like XYZ?  or what about DEF?  sometimes I just want to cry or scream when I fix dinner and get the “yuck look or heavy sigh or I don’t like that…how the heck do you know…you haven’t even tried it???  The littles would be happy with cold cereal 3x a day, 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month…but that just doesn’t happen.
That’s when my frustration starts to rise…be thankful you have food to eat!  be thankful it’s not top ramen every night of the week…I can make it 25 different ways!!!  Tonight I just want to cry…can’t I do anything right???  Make something easy like tuna & noodles…nope, complaints abound, make mac ‘n cheese ~ ugh you put ham in it!!!  Do you get the picture?   Made peanut butter & jelly…choose grape, strawberry or raspberry jam…yuck!!!  Oh my goodness…can’t you eat just one meal without complaining?  
I’m tired and I want to sleep in…but one of us has to be up at 6:15 to relieve the over night staff at 6:30…and though hubby tries to be quiet, it doesn’t seem to work…
Oh wait, now I sound like a broken record of complaints…and one of the things I have been trying to focus on since last Sunday’s sermon of being thankful in everything and stop dwelling on the hard things…and just like that the Lord turns things around…while typing this I got a text on my phone so stopped writing (where it changes to blue is when I started typing again….) and there was a text from our daughter-in-love, mom to our 4 grandsons…asking did we get our Christmas gift yet and I replied yes…we love family calendars!!!  After texting back and forth a few times, searching three bags of garbage (yes the envelope the calendar came in had already been put in the trash!) WHEW!!!! found the envelope the calendar came in
and tucked inside was another smaller envelope WHEW!!!!

Made me cry…happy tears…and being reminded that God shows His love in so many amazing ways and that I need to focus on the BIG things and not the little things…meals…kids are healthy…be thankful for that…and isn’t that what vitamins are for????

So tonight the kidlets had 
and were happy little campers!!!

And there is always tomorrow to eat something a bit healthier!!!

And on that note, this mama is going to call it a night, 
turn on a worship cd,
crawl into bed with my new book
and drift off to sleep!

To start a new day tomorrow!!

******


Thanks for stopping by and remember I love to hear comments about what I’ve written…who knows, maybe tomorrow I will write again!!!

Continuing to Grow and Learn ~~ RAW and Uncensored

Each day is a new day,
each day is a new opportunity to grow and learn,
sometimes those opportunities are painful and confusing, 
guess if it was easy I probably wouldn’t learn stuff…
this past week has been a difficult one and yet filled with so many blessings.
I tend to focus on the negative though most people think I am positive and encouraging…I try to be, especially to others but not so much to myself.
My Word/Phrase for 2020 is
Chaos to Calmness
And the Lord has been encouraging and challenging me in so many ways.
One is this study
It is supposed to be an 11 ~ 12 week study but I have decided to take it slow…one page a day and truly focus on what I am reading and learning about.  It is a combination journal/coloring book study…right up my alley!
This morning Ron was up with the kids and I buried myself in my recliner with a cup of coffee, my Bible, the above book, my colored pens and just sat for a few minutes.  
As I began to read pages 9 to 13 ( the introduction and through the first page of chapter one) I would find myself racing to read and then telling myself slow down, listen to the words, understand the words…so many things jumped out at me…
… even though Paul was no stranger to hardship, he weaves threads of joy, unity and Christlikeness throughout his letter to the Philippians.  He encourages us to stand firm!   Philippians fills us with hope of God’s promises and His faithfulness.
Time…things happen over time and it takes 
for things to change, that change could come in an instant like someone dying in an accident or days or weeks or even months and years … like someone dying from a serious illness like cancer.
And I need to remember to give myself TIME to enjoy each day,
time to be in the Lord’s Word,
time to be with family & friends,
It takes time to get somewhere and so it takes time to heal, learn and grow.
And my time today to write is ending as we have
errands to run and things to do with these kiddo’s and my hubby
so I leave you for now…
…stay tuned for more!

How Does the Lord Speak to Me ~ Mysteriously and Amazingly!!

It’s been a rough few weeks as a house parent here in Yoakum, TX, feeling like our wheels were spinning out of control, wondering what could we do differently, what were we doing right?  Asking ourselves question after question and crying way too many tears…one day in desperation I posted on Facebook
“I give up!  I don’t know what to do!”
And my bestie replied “Pray!”
And so I laid my head in my hands and cried out to the Lord.
I was feeling so incomplete, a lousy home mom,
and wondering what to do with a child who just didn’t seem to want to learn, accept responsibility for her actions, who was doing the blame game like a pro and was defiant at every corner and turn.
So I cried out to the Lord!!!
Help me, please help me!!!
And then looked up some scripture and this came up
Image may contain: text
I poured my heart out to my Bestie in an email, she knows me and yet is not involved in the trenches of being a home parent, I cried on my sister here at BBYR and reached out to our ladies prayer group to pray, just pray for me, for the little girl, for us, for our home.
And what came to me, through my prayers, through the sweet counsel of words from my Bestie, encouragement from my sister is
CHAOS to CALMNESS
and that’s what we need to do
We need to take the chaos of these children’s lives
and lead them to calmness.
This resonated with me
for I was once the little girl, young adult, young wife & mom
who’s life was filled and swirled with chaos…
…why didn’t I see it…maybe because I am too close
But with the loving and encouraging words
and being open to what the Lord wanted me to see and learn
is that it is my responsibility to
be the CALMNESS in our lives of CHAOS!!
I found these…they all spoke to me…
and
is this bridge from land to sea
or a mountain top to the sky
I see water a little turbulent on one side
and calm on the other…with a walkway to between
I have chosen to be the house mom to these three little’s
and God has shown me this week,
over and over
He is Perfect,
not me!
He is filled with Love
and can fill me with love for these kiddo’s.
Remember it is God’s way, not mine!
Every resource I have is from the Lord,
He is enough and will provide all I need,
each and every step of the way.
Remember to say YES!!!
Remember to pick my battles!!!
Remember we are all a work in progress!!!
And sometimes it’s okay to say
Lord…help me!!! I don’t know what to do!!!
Set boundaries but know some can be changed
And from our sermon yesterday…
…”I don’t have to be afraid of something being taken from me, or in giving to those who ask of me, or in lending of what I have to others.  I am even free to give to my enemies!!!
And even though sometimes it feels like these kiddo’s are out to get me…
…really all they want is to be loved!!
And isn’t that what we all want:
Image result for i want to be loved
So to answer the question I asked at the beginning:
God speaks to me through His Word, friends, in the quiet of the morning hours, through songs, through sermons and in my heart.
How do you hear God speaking to you?
******************************************************************
I like to choose a word or a phrase for each year.
Past words have been
flexible,
intentional,
grace (to myself and others)
soft 
and this year,
the theme of the past few weeks
have been
Chaos to Calmness
and so I am choosing
I want to be CALM in my spirit…
CALM in my heart…
CALM in my reactions…
CALM in my tone…
and have
CALMNESS in our home!!!
Do you choose a word to focus on throughout the year?
I give up!!!
I don’t know what to do????
I give up!!!
I don’t know what to do????

December Already

Once again I can’t believe it has been over a month since I last wrote here on my blog.  I have been trying to write a little something each day in my day planner/journal ~ some days it’s one sentence sometimes it four or five…
This morning the desire and urge to write is strong so I thought …Just Write!!!
This morning I received the following scripture and devotion and it resonated with me…
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58
Our work for the Lord is always meaningful when done with the intentions of drawing others to Him. We may not see some of the fruit from the seeds of hope and love we plant into others lives, but the Lord will bless our every effort to share His truth and obediently follow Him. We must not give up or become discouraged if the results we are wanting do not happen right away. Only the Lord can change hearts and save people, our responsibility is shining His light onto others and sharing His love with them through our words and actions. You never know whose feelings you may change or affect by letting the Lord work through you in every area of your life. As our hearts are filled with compassion and we are dedicated to serving the Lord, it is literally life changing and an experience we won’t want to miss out on sharing with others.

The last month has been a rough one here in our home, 
having an 11 year old who is more likely to steal and/or lie begins to take a toll.
We have prayed with and for this little girl,
we have given out consequences, taken away privileges, 
talked and been silent
but nothing seems to get through to her.
The last two days have been very difficult
and I have found myself praying and crying out to the Lord…
“I just don’t know what to do!”
and this morning my friend, Kim sent me the above scripture and devotional
and I knew the Lord had heard my cries.
One of my goals this year has been to spend time each morning in the Word before the children get up and finally the last half of November and so far the first four days of December I have met that daily goal…
So much more to write,
but the clock is ticking and this foster mom
needs to get these little’s up and ready for the day!!!
Hopefully it won’t be so long before I write again 🙂