Friday, July 30, 2010
BFF – SANDRA…..
I hope you have one, in my mind you can’t have one like me. Mine is so unique. Only God could have put us together. One day 64 years ago, when I was three years old (ouch! I have to tell you my age so you can see the full story here) mother told me a new friend was coming to meet me. Her mother had called and asks if they could come to our house for a visit. That day I did not know my future would take on such a full event!
Daddy had made me a little stool that sat low on the floor, I sat there waiting all cleaned up with my little yellow dress on. She came in and there she was little Sandra Ann Storey. We were introduced and right there it all began BFF/ Best Friends Forever…
Little did I know that day this little girl would mean so much to me years ahead. What a gift from God, true friendship is! Put the character of the person in and what a sweet personal gift from Him.
Moving through the years, we made mud pies together, enjoyed sleepovers laughing trying to drink the big glass bottle Coke that had just come on the market. Then chased the boys. Oh! Loved the AJC paperboys!! Put the miles on her little car called a Prenz, sneaked puffs on Salems when they first came out, later eating peanut butter to hide it from our mothers, had a blast at South Bend swimming pool dancing the real Shag with sand thrown on the floor to hear the sound. Elvis first movie made us cry as we sat on the front row at the Rialto Theater. Proudly we walked down the aisle of the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium graduating from Fulton High School. I felt like it was me getting honors when she received her awards for secretarial studies that night, used later at Delta as Secretary to the big wheels. Then came our marriages… early!!! Our first employment kept us together as we worked side by side at Butler Shoe Corp. Saying goes …What comes after marriage? The baby carriage!!! I had Rob she held him and wanted one of those and 9 months later here came Kenny. See we’re still together!
Years have gone by and we are older now but still held tighter than ever. We laugh, we cry, we tell our deepest secrets, we problem solve, gain and lose and try all the diets, go camping and watch our guys set up our little abodes on wheels and comment on how nice it is to be treated like queens. Best of all, Aug 6, 1968 she and Lamar invited us to go to church, Maranatha Baptist Church in Forrest Park, Ga, that morning our lives changed forever as we accepted Christ as our Savior and Lord. You see, she not only cared about my life on this side, she cared about my life being on the other side giving us a love bond that can’t be broken.
So many years later, what I know now I didn’t know the day I met my BFF...it is she always has accepted me just like I am, and is so patient with me. She gives me advice I value, she gives me time when I call at the last minute knowing it’s Wednesday morning and she is getting in the shower trying to hurry to Kohl’s for the Wednesday sale.
Sandra loves God and is beautiful inside and out. She has taught me how a friend relationship works. In the last few years, I have entered into knowledge and understanding that I can have a friend relationship with my Heavenly Father. He wants to be my friend and me to be His. He has used this earthly person, as an example of how it works, always there, always has loved me anyhow, stands up for me, believes in me and is never ending. Now that’s a real friend! And that’s my Sandra….
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Loneliness is something that we don’t want people to know. Been burned when you reached out? Feel lonely in a room full of people? In a marriage where you feel like you are the only one there? Feel like you are invisible in a group when you look around and see the ones with the most diamonds, driving the latest “ride” or how about this one, is the “most spiritual”? They are getting the most attention. Oh! The followers are all around them trying to find out the latest, or to make what I call “points” with that important person.
Caeden, our 8 year old grandson, is not letting that hold him back. Oh, the innocence of a child! One day he told his Dad, when he goes on the playground at school, he likes to look for the kid who has no friends; he goes over and asks them what they want to play? Not only does he play with them, he plays what they want to play. We are so grateful for our little guy and his unique personality. His teacher told Phillip and Amy every morning he goes into class and will go to each student asking how they are doing and if he can help them with something. Reaching out is helpful to others and ourselves more than we realize.
So a question would be, “how do you overcome Loneliness? One of the things I feel we have the tendency to do in today’s society is isolate ourselves. We can walk in a room full of people and feel lonely. That is what I described earlier. When you sense this emotion, it really helps to step back and take a look at what’s going on in the here and now. Loneliness can breed depression, which can lead to Self-Pity, and it becomes a vicious cycle. So take my advice, stop thinking about you and let others in sometimes. Develop friendships; it is healthy for both you and others. Learn some new things about the people you already know and the new ones you meet. Ask questions to get to know them, like “where did you grow up”, “what kind of work do you do?” It want be long before you will enjoy being in groups. Social skills are a learned skill.
Sometimes it helps to talk to a counselor or your pastor, a close friend you can trust. When you talk to someone in the care giving profession it is like you have a ball of thread inside that needs to come out as you talk and answer questions you are ask you find the answers are revealed. A person that can practice “active listening” as you share your feelings can help you see those things you aren’t aware of.
One more thing, life is so valuable! One day I thought, if God decided to create me, and if He took the time to create me, I might think of myself with a little more value than I had over the years. I began to find my Purpose in Life, developing a Mission Statement to accomplish that task. I discovered with this mindset, I had to include others in my circle. Oh how it changed things for me! I felt so dumb about this next thought… if Christ is my Life and He is, He might want to use me to help someone else. Since it is He doing it not me, I must not limit Him. It’s been different ever since. So get up, get out, and get started, look around give some of YOU away, you get back much more than you give, it just works that way. And Loneliness well, you want have time for it…
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I have seen several Heroes in my lifetime and I want to write about one right now. I first met her December 26, 1999 on a Sunday morning when we joined First Baptist Church of Blairsville as their family did, also. The Youth Department got a Youth Director, Chris Miller, along with his wife Krista and his family. They have been faithful at their calling ever since that day. Many youth have come through that department and have been loved by their whole family, which makes a good team as they serve Father allowing Him to love and care for the young people of our church and beyond.
This year they have had to face a giant battle in their sweet family. As we have watched them face their challenge, they have been an example of how it is done. Krista announced she had Breast Cancer. We have watched as she has gone through all the treatment and trauma that goes along with it, the fight, the fears, the guessing the healing the setbacks with infection and all along she has had that smile when you see her in her place on the front row, on the right side, piano side and to be sure with all the teens. It wasn’t long into it we began to see all her array of colored scars she adorned which told us the treatment had begun to take it’s toll on her body, but with pride she displayed them well!
I wish you could meet her, but since you can’t I want to bring her to you. She is winning her battle and what a trooper she has been, please keep her in your prayers and for the family as they continue on the Path of Life. I can’t help but think of this verse, and I love it from the Message. It is what we have seen as we have been in the grandstand watching the Miller Family run for the Touch Down as we have cheered them on. And to think we “got” to watch it……YAY!!!!!
Read this and you’ll see…
Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message) I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
And He Has!!!!!
Friday, July 23, 2010
Yes! Around here things are buzzing, getting ready for the kids to come home. Phillip, Amy and Caeden will come in tonight and Rob will get here tomorrow morning. I love it when this time of year rolls around they all come in for the GA Mountain Fair and celebrate Phillip’s birthday on the 27th. Wish you were here right now to smell my kitchen the always requested birthday cake is in the oven making a statement…”it’s time to gather around and have a party….
OH! Buzzer just went off, just took the cake out, can you smell it? After it cools, I’ll put the white icing on that makes for a pretty BD Cake and tonight before they all call it a night around midnight each night, they get a big slice with a big glass of cold milk and end a full day. I love standing back and watching them enjoy my creation, knowing my hands put together something they know that only Mama makes…makes me smile ☺!
So it will be a bit busy around here for the next few days, might not blog but will take note of the happenings and report soon.
If you would like to make your family traditions begin at the early stage for you kids here is the birthday cake recipe that makes them want to come home and celebrate laughing and having fun talking around the family table. Try it and see!!!
MARY’S POUND CAKE
3 sticks butter (room temp)
1 8 oz. cream cheese (room temp)
6 eggs (room temperature is best for cakes)
3 c. sugar (sometimes I make the third cup a little less)
3 c. Swansdown cake flour (measured then sifted)
1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring
1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring (opt). (Mary’s note leave out for Rob’s!)
Preheat oven at 325 degrees. Cream butter and cream cheese, add sugar, and mix until smooth. Add eggs one at a time rotating with flour, add flavoring. Put in greased tube pan. (If use Teflon pan just spray with Pam). Bake for 1 and ½ hours. Cool cake in pan 15 minutes before turning out on plate.
(For Christmas Cake - add 1-cup chopped pecans and 1 jar mar. cherries (drained). First mix nuts and cherries with tablespoon flour, cover well this will keep from dropping to the bottom of pan as it bakes. Fold in batter before putting in pan. Bake as above and Leave off icing.
1 stick butter
1 box confection sugar (sifted)
3 tablespoons milk (I use skim or whole)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream butter with mixer, add sugar, add milk, dash of salt. Mix until smooth the longer the better. Before applying icing make sure cake is cool, brush off crumbs. Turn cake upside down to ice. I put a little icing on the plate to keep it from sliding.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
PORNOGRAPHY …On the other end of the phone was the voice of a wife showing all kinds of emotions. I listen as she gave a discription of the last 24 hours. He told me he would not do it again and I believed him. I went on the computer this morning and there it was he had been looking at PORNOGRAPHY! He was up late the night before. I fell asleep as I was waiting for him to come to bed. Then today I found it AGAIN; I sit quietly as I hear her sobbing!
So what do you do if this happens to you? This is not easy to answer. Each situation is different but the results are all the same, you two are facing a problem needing a third party to help you walk through this together. If you confront him right away that gets the ball rolling. You both need to talk (civil I might add) making a plan to get help. If he can’t quit there is a problem and it is called an addiction.
What if he does not want help? Then you might have to tell him that you do and you call someone you can trust. Your Pastor is a start. I believe in being loyal, but in this case you are being loyal by reaching out for help, drawing some boundaries that will cause him to get the help he needs. Sometimes called, Love Must Be Tough! I want to remind you that the less people you tell the better. We have the tendency to want to tell others to have someone to feel sorry for us. It will breed Self-Pity and will become a black hold so beware and hold your tongue. Another reason not to tell, is when he gets help and is restored to a healthy condition, others might not find it as easy to forgive and forget, and want to hold it against him when he truly has been forgiven for The One Who Forgives to remember it no more. And I will add here you will have forgiven him and you both want to walk forward not looking back. And one more reason….to put it plainly…”it just isn’t anybody’s business”. A good question to ask yourself when you want to tell is, “what is my motive in telling this?”
If what I have described above should happen to you, it is not the end of the world. It might feel like it, but if all the parties involved play out their roles with Father leading the way you will one day be able to look back and see a benefit, I promise as I read Romans 8:28! We have seen it in our office and know of couples today that have been there and now are helping other couples as they walk along beside them as they walk toward Victory having a pure marriage that makes a picture of Christ and His Church….hummmmm that is maybe something to write about on another day!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I am convinced after years on this earth, that Books are our Friends and we must treat them as such. I mentioned recently, I would tell you about my latest Library addition/friend, thanks to my friend June. She happens to know my appetite for books that help in my Spiritual growth, so she mailed me a good one! As I read each day’s devotion, I am amazed and I have to make myself not read ahead.
JESUS CALLING is the title written by Sara Young Sara. The writer was able to put together words in first person, speaking as Jesus would be speak to us. It absolutely soothes my soul and is right on with where I am in life for the day! It is an understanding she has and a work she developed, putting it into the written form that is a tool we can use daily. Holy Spirit has truly inspired her, as you read it you will see.
Hope you get a copy soon and be blessed as I am. Interesting thing happen last week, while encouraging a friend who is a pastor’s wife struggling with some personal issues, I read to her one of the days that was her birth date. She wept, as she realized the words I read were just what she had gotten that very morning while riding up for a visit. I was spell bound as she shared with me what Father had spoken to her heart, then to have those words revealed to her again as I read from this book. It sure had a message in it for her, like a telegram from God or I like to say, “That had God’s finger print all over it.”
Enjoy your books and read to grow. Who knows, maybe one day I will read the book you write. Then I will place it on my bookshelf, calling it my Friend….
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I hate to even say that word DEPRESSION. Just saying it makes me depressed. But it is real and tries to come upon us when we are not aware. A friend of mind told me a long time ago to be aware of things that would come into my eye gate or ear gate. And Linda was so right! I can be going along in life and hear or see something and it can move me right off the Truth!
Don’t know if many of you know, but last year my husband was diagnosed with Wegener's Granulomatosis Disease. It is a rare disease, only one in thirty thousand get it, and he is one of the one’s, but he has a good spirit about it and says, “Oh! I was the lucky one.” Anyway, it was a shock to us to say the least. It is in remission today, thanks to great doctors and a discovered medication program. Please pray with us about this and we would be grateful.
Back to my subject for this day…last Saturday night my eyes saw something and my ears heard something with in two days concerning WG and I had applied both things to my husbands condition and I did not realize it but in 24 hours it did a number on my mind. It involved what I call “mind chatter”, that’s self-talk, those words that go on in your head all day without you even knowing it. Words that you believe, but are lies! I had built a case, strong case, that I was going to be a Widow and soon because my husband was not going to make it. I am going to be very transparent with you and tell you what it looked like because I know you might be going through something_________, about to go through something________, or have just come out of something_________ and beside the word “something” you can fill in the blank…
So here goes, at what went on with me last Saturday night, at about 9:00 pm, Phil had been talking with me and I was looking closely, too close, at his swollen eyes and face from the meds, I had just checked his ankle for the swelling that shows it’s ugly head from time to time saying “I am back!” (the WG). I didn’t say a word to him, not wanting him to know I was worried. The day before someone had said, Oh Phil has WG Oh My! I know a man that _______!!! I don’t even want to say what she said, but you get the picture. I walked into the laundry room and saw the dryer had stopped and it was time to fold clothes. As I was folding them, this dark, deep, black cloud came over me with thoughts that were so negative. I felt I was falling in a downward spiral that was sucking me down to the pits of a dungeon and the door would close tight and I would never get out. I was DEPRESSED!!! At that time, I felt warm tears start to fall down my cheeks. I knew my cry was going to come out, the cry that had been inside me for a year. I grabbed a towel to muffle the sound and began to cry so loudly I was afraid Phil would hear, even though he was upstairs. I knew it was about losing him to this disease that to this date has no cure. I did not want to have my worry to be a weight on him. In my mind this was so real, so real I pictured this thing as a big lion or a bear slowing taking quite steps around the periphery of our land, waiting to pounce upon us when we weren’t looking….
After a moment, Holy Spirit reminded me that He was here living in me and that I was not alone. I immediately came into my senses, shook my head, stopping the cry as I looked up. In my head, I heard the scripture Phil had the boys and me to memorize years ago, I Peter 5:8 “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” At that very second, I came out of those feelings of despair. I was then able to take control of my thoughts, that felt so true but were lies. Realizing where the lies were coming from, I thought of Jesus being tempted by the evil one and how He quoted scripture. Well I did the same, I said another verse Phil had assigned us and it worked for me that night. I said with authority, and had it to the day, 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Truly friends I declare to you today it worked!! I snapped out of it, the animal roaming near by pictured in my mind, is gone and I have control over my negative thoughts and have replaced them with positive thoughts.
And another thing, so sweet, I call it a “Telegram from God”. While I was in my condition that night crying out to God I said, “If you could please Sir, give me a sign that this is going to be alright”. I did this with fear and trembling, because I don’t feel I have the right to ask when I know we are to walk by faith and not by sight, but I was pleading for just one Word. Well the next morning, Phil and I as we do each morning, have our coffee while talking over the thoughts we have and discuss the days events. I felt a tug in my spirit to tell him what went on. He has always had my heart and nothing is kept from him, so I told him everything that had happened the night before. He was amazed but not surprised about he whole thing. We then started to talk about my new devotional book. (look for a writing about this awesome book at a later date) My friend, June gave me the book, recently. I like to read it on the day of ones birth date. He said lets read mine. His birthday is Nov 22nd so I turned to that day and read it out loud and started laughing with joy! Right in the middle of the page, here were the words I read, and I KNOW this was a WORD for me from PAPA…”you can not yet live in heaven, but you can experience foretastes of your ultimate home. Such samples of heavenly fare revive your hope. Thankfulness opens you up to these experiences, which then provide further reasons to be grateful. Thus, your path becomes an upward spiral: ever increasing gladness.” (taken from Jesus Calling by Sara Young). I am convinced this message was for me instead of the downward spiral of depression I now have an upward spiral of hope. After that night in what seemed to be a bad thing, it has turned out to be a good thing, causing me to think of another verse Rom. 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”………
Sunday, July 18, 2010
What is the definition of Multi Tasking? Well I Goggled it and here is what Wikipedia says:
“Human multitasking is the performance by an individual of appearing to handle more than one task at the same time. The term is derived from computer multitasking. An example of multitasking is listening to a radio interview while typing an email. Some believe that multitasking can result in time wasted due to human context switching and apparently causing more errors due to insufficient attention. Other research illustrates our brains are capable dealing with certain 'dual multiple tasks' at the same time.”
How many things can you do at the same time? I find myself running in circles and I have to say, “Mary, STOP, step back and breath, breath, breath. I do like to get lots of things done. During a time in the past, I had to get out and clean houses, yes that’s in my list of careers. That is where I learned to work a plan by taking one room at a time, go left to right, top to bottom and don’t leave the room until it is finished.
Can’t our lives get in a mess all jumbled up, with sometimes over committing ourselves? We have the tendency to take on responsibly that belongs to others, and if you have little ones at home still I just know what that looks like getting them to all their commitments. Where do you find yourself in all that, know what I’m saying? Do you feel lost in the shuffle?
When I get this way, I have to stop and think now multi tasking can be a good thing if used correctly. Phil, my husband says, “anything taken to extreme can become a hindrance to us”, and he is so right! In God’s Word Paul said in Philippians 3:13 “this one thing I do”, not all these “thousand things”. Less mistakes would be made, I betcha!
Plan you day and work your plan then you will get those things done and have time for yourself. We’re living in rat race lifestyles like one of those hamsters in its cage going around and around. Ever feel like that? Life doesn’t have to be that way, I think recognizing it is half the cure. Drop back and check where you are in the here and now. See if you fit what I am saying here and let me hear from you.
Friday, July 16, 2010
FYI.. picture to the right is the Oak slowly in the dying process!
This afternoon I was walking to my compost pile, taking some watermelon rind to deposit in my “handy dandy” compost bend. My brother made it for me one year for my birthday. I love that thing, especially when I need rich dirt for potting my plants. On this path I walk often, I saw it. I can spot it a mile away. I have an eye for it, if I am paying attention. When I see it I panic, because I can remember what I went through last year when I wasn’t paying attention while pulling weeds. Red blister like bumps came up on my arms and Oh My Goodness… did they itch for days. I was suffering from it! Yes it was Poison Oak! I talked to it and I said, “OK you little devil you think you are going to sneak in my yard, well you’ve got another thought coming! I ran to the basement and got my canister of Round-up. Still talking out loud, “I am going to spray you little suckers and in a day you will be history, now TAKE THAT!”
So you say, did I stop by your blog to hear about this…your yard pest? I got my own to take care of and I don’t want to hear about yours. But don’t go, hear me out, I think we should learn a lesson here. I was thinking, so what gets us so busy we don’t pay attention to harmful things, and if we touch them we get burned or have poison oak poison, causing you pain for days?
We have a friend who struggles with a bad habit. He knows if he touches this “thing”, it is down hill from there. And the sad fact, the choices we make affect those we love, as they get the fall out. If he succumbed to this habit, it is not so easy to get the canister of Roundup and spray it. Talking to him recently, there was a good discussion about “so what if I did to it” and “why can others do it and I can’t”. You know those are hard questions we just can’t answer, but I know one thing, we better pay attention and don’t be distracted by those things that take us away (that’s another blog you need to ready) or we will be FORCED to pay more attention to the consequences than we would like. The scars stay around longer than we want. So walk in the light, oh just as I typed those words Holy Spirit just popped this verse in my mind, 1 John 1:7 “but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”. You know He has provided everything we need to walk this path of life, each day of our lives. He will warn us if there is something in our path. Thank You Jesus for this promise show us the lighted path even when we are not paying attention make us aware of those things that would take us away from Your purpose for us!
(I am posting a picture of that wretched thing so you can see it and be aware of it and maybe tomorrow I will post another one…… of it dead!)
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I guess you can tell by now my favorite time of the day is morning. I like getting up in the fresh of the day, pour that first cup of coffee, go outside to see what went on over night. Any bear tracks? Any creatures have a meal on my plants? Do the birds need their feeders refilled? Strolling around, I smell the freshness of the day breaking through as I feel the presence of Father and it overwhelms me. I can see His Hand in all of this. I realize He loves me, I think He wants me to know it and I “whisper Father I love you too!”
Looking up and around, I can’t get over the transition of our trees. Only a few months ago these trees were bare standing tall, waving when the wind blew. You could even hear a whistle that made you want to bundle up. Mint green leaves show up, that’s what my friend calls them in the spring. Kay lives in Vermont where she appreciates that time of year, after those cold winter months. Summer season of a tree must be a time, if they could talk, they might be meeting among themselves planning their coming display of color in the upcoming Fall which takes place around the first week in November in this region. It is such a splash of red and orange it takes your breath away. Silence comes as the cold comes in, putting the trees to bed for the winter. Standing tall again you can see their ribs with the leaves gone. Neighbors get their leaf blowers out; you can hear them in the distance as they move them out of the way. Some are even mulched to put around the ground around the tree it left. In the distance, you can see a trail of smoke going up in the air, when it reaches you the smell is like a sweet fragrance all it’s own.
Thinking back to the days as a child, we would huddle around the fire warming ourselves after coming inside. Dad would use the wood from one old gentleman that didn’t make it. It had fallen to the ground, but was still doing its work, as it warmed the house around us, with the wood it provided. The embers shine red as the room darkened as it became bedtime. In the morning the fire was out, white ashes lay flat in the fireplace. I remember Daddy would come in with that little shovel and get them up, putting them in a pail to go outside around the garden, it made the dirt rich for the plant’s next season, he would say. So the cycle of the tree goes on and on never is it really over sort of like our lives when we pass through this land, like every Season of a Tree. Come to think of it, I want to be like a tree don’t you? There is a saying, “Friendship is Like a Sheltering Tree”. We can be that as we stand tall, shine with our different brilliant colors, providing warmth with our love and care being a friend to those around us and most of all leaving something behind on this earth as we move on to that other Land….
Got to go inside and plan my day now, this has been a time of worship setting my mind for the day outside in my Garden. I must have an opportunity to share these moments with someone today, so I have it’s went you…. thanks for listening!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Wish we could visit today at a nice restaurant just for a good talk. We would talk about what Peaceful means to you and me. There is a place up here in the mountains I like to go have lunch, then sit in their large lobby. It’s so nice in each season, by the fire in the winter months is so nice, especially. The name of this relaxing place is Brasstown Valley Resort. You turn off the highway onto a road that winds up a mountain, seeing in the distance on the right the large Resort building come into focus. They have a great lunch buffet you can eat inside or if the weather is just right, not too hot with a gentle breeze blowing, then it is ideal to have your meal in the noonday light hearing the outdoor sounds. That’s what we would have around us this day if we were together my friend, as we ate from their beautiful display of their selected foods for the day.
What I would be asking you to talk about is, what does Peaceful mean to you and describe it for me? Sitting here today, writing this after coming through the storms of life this year, I am feeling peaceful. I want to capture it and hold on to this moment. It’s early in the morning, my favorite time of the day. The sun is beginning to shine across the mountains making the sky blue; I can see the fog lay softly over the lake. The birds are waking with their sounds, each being unique. Ah! I notice the hummingbirds seem to like the sweet mixture I made for them yesterday. The classical radio station, that plays my favorites each morning, is playing in the background. I realize how important it is to get into the moment and capture this time to remember later. How nice to experience peace all around me…..
When you think about it we let those things around us rob us of our peace. So many verses are going through my mind like….
Psalms 29:11 - The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
Isaiah 26:3 - Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Romans 15:13 - Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Galatians 5:22 & 23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Philippians 4:6 & 7 - Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 - Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
I hate to go from this time with you, but we must begin our day, don’t you think? We don’t want to miss what Papa has on the agenda, while we explore and capture the life of Peace! Father my prayer today is, allow us to take in those things You have for us, experiencing Your Peace, make us aware of the things that get us caught up in the things of this world. Show us who You want to express Yourself through us today, sharing Your Peace. We thank You for the peace you provide in a world that knows no peace. We love You so much Daddy, In Jesus Name! Amen
Go my friend and have a your day….don’t forget to think about it. What is your Peaceful? You have it ….He says you do……
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Hey! How’s it going for you….Being His Wife? I looked over at Phil the other day as he was driving, he had no idea I was looking at him, I thought “I like being Phil Mason’s wife.” I better like it, makes it better being Marriage Counselors. But you know, I would feel this same way even if we were in any profession.
It hasn’t been easy, we’ve had our ups & downs. It’s a wonder we’ve survived, to be honest. Just thinking, what’s working for us for these almost 49 years? A phone call motivated me to write, just hung up with a husband that called, so frustrated with his wife. I think well there she goes again; feeling her mission in life is to make him one miserable man, how pitiful is that! After about 30 minutes of hearing him pour out his heart the call ended. I turn to Phil and say, “I am reminded of a verse, Proverbs 14:1 “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” I don’t want to make that mistake in my lifetime!
These three things are helpful in building a strong marriage.
A. Get to Know Him - practice the 4 A’s, got them years ago, don’t know who gave them to me but wherever you are God Bless you!
1.Accept Him Unconditionally – this takes pressures off - Philippians4:3
2.Admire Him – Compliment don’t criticize - Ephesians 4:29
3.Adapt To Him – Get involved with his interest - Philippians 2:4
4.Appreciate Him – Be grateful and loyal - Philippians 2:4
B. Get to Know You - Ask yourself some hard questions:
1.Who am I?
2.Why am I here?
3.Where Am I going?
4.What are my Values?
Some of my answers – be Responsible / be Confident / be Growing In Christ
in Spirit / Soul / Body - I Thess. 5:23
1. SPIRIT-Right Concept of God - (Father / Son / Spirit)
a. Know Your Identity -You can't know who you are as a person
until you know who you are in Christ (Gal. 2:20).
b. Ask God to show you "Who He is" / Ps.46:10 "Be Still and Know
that I am God".
2. SOUL- Develop “Who You Are" -
a. What is it you like in life? - hobbies, likes, dislikes
b. Emotional Health - take care of unfinished business of past /
"Ghosts of the Past", that control you today.
3. BODY-Take care of what God has given you.
a .Know what it takes for you to function.
b. Exercise / Good Nutrition
c. Look your best! Get a Make over if you need to.
C. Get to Know Your Marriage - write your own program.
1. Cultivate Your Relationship; it belongs to the two of you, it’s alive.
a. Date, Laugh, have Fun!!
b. Date him give yourself to him!
2. Begin making your marriage the Journey of a Lifetime!
Hope this is a help to someone. They are tried and proven tools to get you both on the same page as you walk through life together having harmony. Does your marriage make a sound of beautiful harmony or does it need tuning?
Thursday, July 8, 2010
(I am writing something with a different slant, hoping someone dealing with this issue will stop and think before it is too late. As a counselor team, my husband and I come across incidents like the one I will share, way too often. The story I tell is a conglomerate of several situations we have seen over the years. Names are not used so to protect and keep information confidential. I felt the need to write this, letting you see in the window of our office, so to speak. You will see the heartbreaking results of making wrong choices just for the pleasure of a moment. I hope it helps someone to avoid a wrong turn….)
Phil and I are having our morning coffee and the phone rings. He answers, “hey man, hadn’t heard from you in a while, what’s up?” There is silence all but the words “oh no, so this is a lead couple in your church, what can we do to help?” And then, “OK, tell him to call for the dates”. Our Pastor friend on the other end is broken over the news he is telling my husband. He wonders how the news was going to affect his flock when they heard that one of their church leaders had fallen. With this weight on his shoulders and the church where he serves, he is relieved he called to connect with us so he can go back to his post trusting things to work out for these two people he has watched grow up from their youth. As they begin to hang up my husband prays and gives encouragement to this friend, letting him know he will be available for a healing process in the church as well, restoring a brother and a body of believers, as instructed in the Scriptures. The husband calls, the dates are set and the ball gets rolling.
Out my window, I see the couple taking luggage from their car into the house, setting up for the next two days. It will be in that place where they will be dealing with their pain, as the story unfolds. Safe Place is a place “where we can come and feel safe telling it like it is as we dump our garbage watching it disappear ” our clients tell us. Telling the events that crippled them, actually it is their stinking flesh coming out falling where it may, as they painfully deal with it. When both parties are willing to pick up the broken pieces, they can together walk forward in a healing process. It becomes a Divine Appointment with the One who wants to show them who He is. Their eyes are washed with tears that they can see, as a song goes, enabling His healing love and forgiveness to take action. We realize it is only our All Mighty Father that can provide this! It is at that point they act upon what He provides and put into practice Christian character toward each other as He empowers them to start a New Beginning!
The two day Kairos program, means “A Divine Appointment”, by the way. It was developed years ago, as a starting place to enter the healing of the wounds caused by wrong choices. In this case, it is called Infidelity. I have thought for some time about writing on this subject, hope to help someone passing by this site. One that just might be dealing with this temptation, getting ready to step off the cliff. I thought even how great it would be to help someone who has been here at SP to have their memory refreshed for where they have come in a renewal way. Maybe you have let your guard down and have gotten involved and don’t know how to get out. You might be one of many that have “been there and done that” and now helping someone else recover.
The first day we hear the facts, starting from first memories as a child, working up to the presenting problem, getting the full account of the event that got them to our conference table. As they sit across from us disparate for our help crying, I can’t tell you how many boxes of Kleenex we have gone through over the years. We keep Sam’s in business as we track through their aisles gathering supplies. Many tears flow as the two sit sharing their stories. Active listening on our part has to be strongly practice, to make the two days stay in its realm. I never cease to be amazed at how the enemy can set a person up to be vulnerable to his schemes. It’s like he has a flip charts that says, “you want this one, how about this one?” And they say, “oh! Let me have that one”, feeling like they have no choice. And then…. they have put their foot in the trapped and it is snapped shut.
His story starts to unfold… I was working at my desk when she walked by my door, asking to come in. She smiled as she sat telling me what was on her mind. We talked a bit and as she left she place her hand on my shoulder telling me how good I looked that day and how she wished her husband wore my cologne. She began telling me some more things about being dissatisfied at home, especially the night before, she and her husband had a horrible argument, she started to cry. I didn’t even notice when she asks me what she should do? I began to tell her how it was in my marriage, but as I began to tell her, I realized it wasn’t what we had when we got married 15 years ago. The kids took all her time now and the romance slowly fading, like maybe our relationship was getting cold, but funny neither of us would admit it…at the time. Time didn’t allow for us to talk right there at my office, so the plan was made to gab some lunch and go to the park near by, sometime. It would be a time to just sit and talk trying to find a solution to her problem. With a broken down deep cry, he began to sob as he goes on to tell how he never dreamed they would end up at the motel. As I walked to my car I felt sick he said, to the place of throwing up beside my car, the damage was done! Looking over at his wife he said, “then I thought how will I ever tell my wife?
Pain is all over her face with a small tear running down her cheek, as I look across the table into her eyes, she is sitting there listening again to the story she has heard for maybe, the thousandth time. He told us he was telling her what she wanted to know to get it all out and it was becoming a broken record, but he was willing to do whatever it took to make their marriage work.
So here we four sit, with all this stuff out on the table, so to say, now what do you do with all this? The day finishes without one walking out; they bravely face their “dragons” or “demons”, I usually say. Thankfully, they are willing to “own” their failures, find a path and begin to walk forward building their future. Forgiveness is hard to even bring up at this point because they don’t quietly understand that forgiveness is for them not the other person. She feels if she gives him forgiveness that will let him off the hook too easy and that is a sign to us she wants to see him punished. Little does she know that the punishment she could give is nothing up beside what the punishment he is giving himself. I am sitting there thinking how I wished it was a year from now, with a growth of real forgiveness and they would be receiving and giving it as they walk in the Spirit living out their Life IN CHRIST! I always have to be patient at this point, knowing the end of the story makes me want to give it to them early and Holy Spirit is telling me “now wait they can’t process that yet leave that to Us”!
One thing we have learned seeing these situations before us, is when you turn to the scriptures you always find the answers. Yes, sin does take it’s hold, but the work at the Cross, well it loosens the grip that it intended. Next comes the works of allowing the healing process to take action. I thought one day, marriage is a place where a couple can practice all the characteristics of the Christian life. Walking in the Spirit not After the Flesh, allowing the Fruit of the Spirit to flesh itself out as the two walks together loving one another!
Well you say, so what happened to our couple? They left here very happily married after deciding to put their guns down, putting it on the problem and not on the persons. They were able to see what their “flesh patterns” were, those things that give the enemy a place for temptation. They were given tools to use when they got in a tight spot. They began to see their strengths and weaknesses. Most of all they went back to the day when they met and what they saw in each other and where they got off track. Priorities were explained so they could see where they were putting their time, it turned out he was putting all his time in his work/ministry and her time was all wrapped up in the children. They realized they were not getting their needs met by each other. They had not even discovered what they needed were. But most of all, they discovered the only One and Only One who could meet their ultimate needs. Oh and they were told to fall in love again by getting to know each other! To start dating again too!! And at that time to look each other in the eyes and see the one they cherished to start with, when he said, “will you marry me” and she smiled and said, “yes” back then….
As we waved goodbye, as they drove us the driveway, it’s always sad for us. After having the honor of Father allowing us to walk along beside them as they face their pain we begin to feel like they are ours, adoption is even brought up. But we don’t and we have to let them go. Holding on would be selfish on our part. If we let them go, it makes sense to us that they can fly on their own now and if we held on they wouldn’t find their path. How exciting to think they have a whole new clean slate ready to begin their new journey together making …. A New Beginning!