If you are important to them, they will make time for you….
After the death of a childhood friend, I am compelled to tell all of my loved ones to make time for one another. We always have time to spend with everyone else, except the ones we say we love. We think that just because we live in a house with someone -we are spending time with them. But, after working all day, hanging with friends, business meetings and lunches… how many hours out of the day are we giving our family?
I realize that we have to work, but is there any time that we could cut out to squeeze our loved ones in? Out of 24 hours, how much time do we spend with our spouse? Are we telling them that we appreciate them? Are we telling them that they mean the world to us and that we are glad God put us together? Are we nurturing our children and spending time with them, or are we telling them hello as we pass by?
If we died today, would our family miss us? Or, would they be so used to us being absent that it would not matter? Have we done everything we could to let them know how much they mean to us? Have we thanked God for placing them in our lives? What if they died? Would we have any regrets?
I know that life is not perfect. We are all busy. We all have obligations. But, I do know that I can make more time. I am guilty. We think that it’s ok, it’s just the way it is. No, we have the power to change our circumstances. If we know that we are giving our best to everyone else and have NOTHING left to give our loved ones, then we must change.
Even in death, there are lessons to be learned…
Love you all so much!
I am blessed (although the men in the family don’t agree because of the leaves) to have sweet smelling magnolias in our yard. The fragrant flowers bloom and make everything so beautiful. One morning, Wayne and I left to run some errands and lo and behold, a spider had spun a gigantic web from one of the magnolia trees to a column on our front porch. The web was massive and intricate, and it glistened in the early morning sun. I told Wayne that if it wasn’t so bright outside, someone could have easily walked into the web. Walking into the web may not have been such a big deal, but running into the huge spider sitting in the middle of it would have been catastrophic. Everyone that knows me KNOWS that I am afraid of bugs, spiders, insects, or basically anything that moves. Not really afraid, but I don’t want it near me, touching, landing, stinging, or biting me.
The spider sat patiently in the web, waiting on prey to fall into the trap. The fine sticky silk ensured that ensnared prey would not get away, and kept the spider from having to chase it down. The strength of the web is greater than steel, and yet it still has great elasticity. That’s exactly what Satan does; he spins webs and waits for us to fall in. Because we give in to temptation so readily, he doesn’t even have to chase us down. We walk right into it on our own accord.
As I continued to look at the spider as we drove away, I could not help but think about how Satan has continuously laid webs of deceit since the beginning of time. Many passages in the Bible speak of those who gave in to temptation, and the bitter consequences that followed. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Satan’s main mission in life is to kill us.
Satan has no desire to see us prosper, grow, or abound in love. He waits for us to walk directly into the trap of temptation that he has intentionally set for us, so that we may perish. He is patient because he wants no one to know the glory of GOD. He does not want anyone to experience the tender mercies that GOD grants to us each and every day.
However, even with all of his tactics, all of his devices, all of his guile, we serve a GOD that is able to deliver us from every temptation that has been placed before us. Don’t fall for the tactics of the devil. Allow GOD to direct each and every footstep of your life, and he will keep you from Satan’s trap.
Psalm 46: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Spring is a sign of regeneration and new birth. It’s also a time of reflection. A time to ponder over the last year, so that we can press the reset button- spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. We can de-clutter and de-stress, and find ways to improve our being. I’ve decided to give myself the next thirty days to reset my life. Of course, it will not end when the thirty days are over, but it will give me time for serious introspection. Please join me on this journey.
One of the first things I will work on is to always be prepared, and to never forget that you can always learn from others. Normally, if you ask me for anything, I have it in my purse. However, my first day on my new job, I was unprepared for what lay ahead. My new job as a LIS Technician required me to go to an office with my boss and others after an install. We were there from around eight to twelve thirty, and then we went back from one thirty to around five thirty. Guess what my boss had that I didn’t have? Plenty of liquids. She had water and a soft drink. One of the other coworkers had a protein bar and a drink. Guess who had nothing? Me….
The very next day, I had a water bottle with me! I learned quickly that preparation is key! 😉
Experience is what you got by not having it when you need it. ~Author Unknown
Be prepared! Learn from others…You don’t know everything, and no one likes a know it all anyway!
Walk by faith and not by sight. I must walk by faith and not by sight. Remember- walk by faith and not by sight. Although God’s word is infallible, there are so many times that I err in this walk. Sometimes I just fall flat on my face. It’s easy to have faith when everything is going well. However, when you see things change before your very eyes, it’s a different story.
I remember when Wayne was first diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a bone cancer. Even though there was a moment of shock, we went into warrior mode, casting down everything in our way, believing God for total restoration. We traveled to and from UAMS in Arkansas, which has been touted as the Myeloma capital the world. We went on three week long trips over a period of a year and a half. Wayne was poked and prodded all week long; absolutely put through the ringer. There was a van that transported us to and from our destination. So many times during that twenty minute ride, I thought he would pass out after being violated. He would be so sick, yet he never complained, and he would get up the next day and do it all over again.
Soon, we didn’t money to travel back and forth to Arkansas, and he started getting chemotherapy here at our local Oncology center where I am employed. Intensive chemo for a year and a half. Chemo that made him so sick, lifting his head from the pillow caused significant pain and nausea. He spent the entire first year basically in bed. Just going to the bathroom was a struggle. He was so sick that his emotions were all over the place, and so were mine.
He had a conversation with some friends, and he was giving them the facts about Multiple Myeloma. He told them that fifteen to twenty thousand people are diagnosed with Myeloma every year. He went on to say that there are approximately sixty five thousand people alive with the disease. He could see the puzzled look on their faces. The math didn’t add up. Then he told them why. People diagnosed with Myeloma don’t live long. The median survival rate is around five years. Wayne was diagnosed in 2007.
I gotta have faith.
After a year and a half of chemo, he decided he’d had enough. He was going to really walk by faith and not by sight, and trust God for total restoration and healing. He wanted to live a quantitative life, instead of a qualitative one. Many people don’t understand his decision, but I stand by him and his decision.
I can’t say that it has been easy. I see what everyone else doesn’t see. I see the pain. I have heard so many people talk about the unbearable pain that cancer causes, and now I know that it is true. I see the memory loss. I know the restless, sleepless nights. I hear him when he says he’s tired. I find myself watching his every move. I can tell early in the morning if he is going to have a good day or not.
It’s hard to see someone being tormented by a disease for which there is no cure. It’s hard to see someone in nauseous and in pain on a daily basis. Those are the times when I have to dig deep and believe beyond what I see. I have to believe without a shadow of a doubt that God will perform a miracle and heal Wayne. Some days I am angry, some days I cry, some days I have the deer in the headlight look. Most days I smile. I thank God for twenty four years of marriage this year, and twenty eight years together. I thank God that we have three beautiful children. I thank God that Wayne is a living testimony, and he has never wavered in his faith.
You never know what a true faith walk is until you live it.
I gotta have faith!~
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
I listen to the song below a LOT!!~
Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.
We have lost our way. In an era of “It’s all about me”, we have forgotten about leaving a legacy for our children. Where else can you find a five year old boy with bad credit because he has several utility bills in his name, and his mother thinks she’s outsmarting everyone because she keeps moving without having to pay any bills? Where can you find a female that was doing very well in school, but put on Ritalin because her mother found out she could get an ADD check each month? What about the father who flashes big money in the club every week, only to have the neighbors feed his starving kids? (14 million kids are starving in the USA). Don’t forget the people that make so much money and are so busy, they NEVER have any time to spend with their kids. I can almost promise that those children would much rather have an hour or two of time instead of a new luxury car every year. They would be ecstatic if their parent made one school event, one football game, one volleyball game, or one soccer game.
Ladies, why teach your girls all about “sugar daddies”, instead of letting her hit the books and get a scholarship to college? I promise you she’s smart enough. Sit down with her and let her show you how smart she truly is. How many “uncles” can she have in a life time? Fellas, how many “aunties” houses can you take your son to, and remind him not to tell mom when you both get home? You are teaching him how to treat women. He will tell sooner or later. How many girls and boys will continue to be molested by family members and have it all swept under the rug like it never happened?
What happened to teaching your children right from wrong? What happened to expecting them to excel in school?
We have failed our children miserably. We are so caught up in our own agendas, and they are slowly falling away, wandering through life aimlessly. We must get back to the basics, and make sure our kids get the education they will so desperately need in the future.
This was not written to criticize or demean. It is meant to be a wake- up call. I realize that change will not happen overnight. But, we have to start somewhere.
Our society has become so caught up in the spotlight, that we are leaving our kids behind in the dark ~
Change in the physical world happens on a daily basis. Riverbanks erode, glaciers melt, and trees lose their leaves. Automobiles wear out, the economy fluctuates, and the political circus varies.
We live and we die, but it’s what we do in between that counts.
We all have the ability to make that small dash in between our date of birth and our date of death mean something. It can speak volumes of someone who dared to dream, and implemented those dreams. The dash can also speak very little of the person who was resistant to change in any way, locking themselves into a vault of inflexibility.
Change starts with within. Vow to be the best person that you can be, and then give the world your best. One day at a time, change a part of your life or personality that you know keeps you from reaching your potential. Stop looking behind you, and focus on what’s ahead. You can’t change your past, but, you can change your attitude.
Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a prosperous country, and widely known for his stubbornness and resistance to change. Everything was always done his way. One day, he went for a trip to some distant areas of his country. When he was back to his palace, he complained that his feet were very painful, because it was the first time that he went for such a long trip, and the road that he went through was very rough and stony. He then ordered his people to cover every road of the entire country with leather.
Definitely, this would need thousands of cows’ skin, and would cost a huge amount of money. Then one of his wise servants dared himself to tell the king, “Why do you have to spend that unnecessary amount of money? Why don’t you just cut a little piece of leather to cover your feet?”
The king was surprised, but, after thinking, he later agreed to his suggestion, to make a “shoe” for himself.
Moral of the Story: Change is possible for anyone! You do not have to be right all of the time.
If you don’t like how things in your life are, change it! Stop saying “that’s just the way I am.” You are not a statue, you are a living being. You have the ability to totally transform every area in your life – and it all begins with your very own power of choice- the power of change.
As the seasons change, so can we.
“Shayera called while you were in the shower. She sounded really down. I think you should give her a call before you go to church.”
“Javon, I don’t have time to call her this morning. I am already behind schedule because I tried to get a load of clothes washed.”
Brandi expertly applied her makeup while continuing the conversation. “Sometimes, babies in Christ just have to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and keep chugging along. They cannot expect someone to run to them at their every beck and call.”
“Brandi, I don’t know. I’m kinda worried about her. I don’t think God will be mad if you miss one Sunday at church to help someone who is down. That’s what church is all about right?”
“Javon, how are you going to talk to me about church when you are not even saved? The Bible says that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. Anyway, I am the praise and worship leader today, and people are depending on me. When you develop a relationship with Jesus, then you can counsel me on Godly things. Right now, you are only sanctified because you have a believing wife.”
“If church is all about trying to pack into a building just because it’s Sunday and not helping someone who really needs help, then I don’t want to know anything about your God, your Jesus, or your church. And for your information, I read the Bible, and I think you have your priorities wrong.”
“Whatever, Javon. You need Jesus.”
“No Brandi, you need Jesus!” Javon shouted as she walked out the front door.
LATER ON THAT EVENING
“I cannot believe Shayera killed herself! What was she thinking? How could she have done such a thing? All that time I spent with her, studying with her, taking her under my wing…” Brandi sobbed.
Javon didn’t say anything. He sat there silently.
“She couldn’t wait ‘till church was over to talk to me? She knows I have to go to church! If I am in leadership, I have to be an example!”
“An example for who, Brandi? Shayera’s dead. Now, you don’t have to worry about her “pulling herself up by the bootstraps” anymore. And you wonder why I don’t go to church?”
I love God and Jesus. I enjoy going to church, but sometimes, I think we go out of necessity and habit. Sometimes, someone may really need us to miss that morning service. Don’t forget who needs the Physician… And remember, LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF…..
Matthew 22: 37-39
37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38This is the first and great commandment.
39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Ten… The number of divine perfection. God gave us Ten Commandments. One tenth of our income is a tithe. There are ten “I AM’s” spoken by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in John.
- “I am the Bread of Life” (6:35).
- “I am the Bread of Life which came down from heaven” (6:41).
- “I am the Living Bread” (6:51).
- “I am the Light of the world” (8:12).
- “I am One that bear witness of Myself” (8:18).
- “I am the Door of the sheep” (10:7,9).
- “I am the Good Shepherd” (10:14).
- “I am the Resurrection and the Life” (14:6).
- “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (14:6).
- “I am the True Vine” (15:1,5).
The Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s prayer is completed in ten clauses. *
* These clauses have the significance of their respective numbers:—
The first, God’s sovereignty.
The second, Jehovah’s manifested Name.
The third, the realization of God’s kingdom.
The fourth first mentions the earth.
The fifth, the gift of grace supplying our need.
The sixth treats of man’s sin.
The seventh pleads for spiritual guidance.
The eighth pleads for final deliverance from all evil.
The ninth sums up the divine glory, while
The tenth completes the eternal cycles.
The number ten implies that nothing is wanting or lacking. This is a new year and a new start. God has allowed each of us a brand new lease on life, and He has showered us with His grace and mercy to make it through the rough patches of our existence here on earth.
Now that He has granted these things unto us, what are we going to do with them? Are we going to continue to sit on the stool of sorrow, the couch of complacency, the mountain of misfortune, or the potty of pity?
I think not! We are going to heed the Clarion Call and spring into action! We are leaving all disappointments and disillusions behind in 2009 and WE WILL WIN IN 2010!
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
The time has drawn near. You scurry about trying to unsuccessfully incorporate forty-eight hours into twenty-four. Even though you have promised your parents, grandparents, siblings, and the child you mentor quality time, they should be a little merciful and understand that you are a very busy person. You have “to-do” lists, “several missed deadlines” lists, and the “me” list. No one will ever understand how busy you are.
You head to the toy store to get the latest Christmas pick. Your child would be devastated if they didn’t get the cool new toy or video game that everyone else wants. You fight the crowd to get the last Holiday Barbie. As you make your way to the register, you notice that your cell phone has fallen off your hip. Cursing under your breath, (your preacher might be in the store), you make your way to Customer Service. The line seems thirty miles long.
Finally, you are next in line! You notice the child in front of your crying. The sales clerk is asking the mother of the child why she is returning the gift. You hear a faint reply; something about not being able to pay the utility bill. You notice her expensive boots and decide that if she hadn’t blown her money on the boots, she probably could have paid her utility bill. Anyway, someone should have told her that you don’t wear expensive boots with cheap jeans.
You leave the toy store, sans phone, and head to your company lunch. You are dreading it. Spending eight hours a day with these people is bad enough, now they want your weekend time. You grab a gift bag from the trunk of your car, and hope that whoever pulled your name put as much time, effort, and money into selecting your gift as you did. You hope that Ted doesn’t pull your name. He dresses like a slob, and never brushes his teeth. You can’t imagine him pulling your name. But, he may be a better gift-giver than Doreen. She is so homely that she may give a pair of scissors and thimble as a gift. You decide that she has to make her own clothes. You think that she needs a make-over, and since you know a little about make-up, you would broach the subject with her later.
After lunch, you head to the mall. Your have a slight headache after listening to your boss drone on and on about how he is so grateful for his employees. If he was so grateful, he would have given you a bigger raise! The mall is crowded and there is a little old lady that is walking so slowly ahead of you. No one is with her and she is really having a hard time. You want to help her, but you’ve got to get to the sale items. You brush past her and tell God you will help someone the next time.
You get to the counter with all of your sale items and the clerk rings you up. You notice the ring on her hand and wondered who would marry her? She is not cute at all. She could use a makeover, too. You prepare to pay, and can’t find your debit card. Oh no! You had to leave it at the toy store or the restaurant. You ask the clerk to hold your items, because you cut up all your credit cards, and when she tells you she can’t, you tell how ugly you think she is.
Neither the store nor the restaurant has your card. You make the necessary calls to stop payment, but it takes forever because nobody speaks English. You decide that’s what’s wrong with this country anyway. Too many foreigners invading the USA.
Christmas day has arrived. But, instead of celebrating the reason for the season, you are upset because your parents keep raving over the gift that your brother gave them. All he gave them was a stupid little home made coupon book that promised to spend time with them and stuff! Never mind the five thousand dollars you spent to send them to Hawaii.
Christmas Day has come to an end and you are so glad. No one has given you anything you wanted. How can everyone be so thoughtless? You lay down to sleep, too exhausted and angry to say your prayers. Tomorrow has to be a better day.