Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

As I write this, some of my readers have already crossed over into 2015. Some are only an hour or two away. Those of us in the United States are preparing for the evening's celebrations.

I want to say to my readers as I close out this year that I appreciate each and every one of you! You have walked a very difficult journey with me this year. One of elation to heartache to the beginnings of healing. I hope that you have watched my struggles and learned that God is faithful! That He is compassionate! That He is trustworthy! That He carries us when we can't walk! That He loves us unconditionally, unendingly, and wholly!


As I continue to say goodbye to Al, I was struck by a verse in the Book of John this week.

If you really love Me, you will be very happy for Me, because now I can go to the Father...
                                                 ~~ John 14:28 NLT ~~

This was spoken by Jesus at The Last Supper as He was preparing His disciples for what was to come and the sorrow they would experience. Way back at the end of September of 2013, God brought me to this point with my Al. While still sorrowing for myself, just as Jesus knew the disciples would grieve for Him, God performed a miracle of peace in my heart over Al's death. He showed me that our love was complete, that it was okay for me to live. This verse spoke that to me again this week as I approach the second anniversary of Al's home-going. And I am truly happy for him!

Then, as I continue to try to convince my heart to let Harlan, whom I was so sure was God's choice for me, go, I covet your prayers. This is harder, for he is not with Jesus. He has stopped contacting me, and there have been some other evidences that he has finally let me go. And that, I suppose, has been helpful. Now if I could just let him go, for my heart still wishes. But that same chapter in John spoke to me again this week.

"I am leaving you with a gift -- peace of mind and heart.
And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives.
So don't be troubled or afraid."
                                               ~~ John 14:27 NLT ~~

God and God alone knows the coming days. He knows my heart and it's longings far better than even I know myself. He knows why my relationship with Harlan was in His will - for I have no doubt that it was, there is just too much evidence - and He knows why things have happened as they have. He has a plan for me. And just as He gave me peace in my loss of Al, Thanksgiving weekend, He performed another miracle in my spirit, regarding my loss of Harlan. And while I still sorrow for him as well, I am at peace at last.

I don't know where His plan will carry me this year. But I hope you will continue to walk the journey with me. There will be changes one way or the other, because that is part of life.

Some of you I know personally. Some of you I know via online groups only. Some of you I think I know, but am not sure. Some of you are strangers. But know that I pray for you, my readers, each and every day! I pray that God is glorified in my posts, that you are uplifted, and that you realize you are not alone in struggling on this earth - for we all have struggles, it is the cost of sin.

I pray that as you celebrate the start of a New Year, if you do not know Christ personally as your Saviour, you will take time to seek Him and give your heart to Him! If you have questions about that, please ask. All comments are moderated and if you want private replies, I am happy to do that.

May God richly bless you in 2015. May He grant you each the peace and joy that only comes through Him!

I'm going dancing tonight! Please celebrate safely whatever you are doing!

Love,
Gina


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

We're havin' a heat wave.......

The high for the day today was a balmy 14.
It is currently 8 with a windchill of -19.
Last I heard, we were headed for a low of -5 tonight.
Fahrenheit.

Yeah, yeah, I know.
Some of you are rolling your eyes and saying "So?"
But we in these here parts are not used to this!
Our blood's just too thin for all this cold.
I'll talk to you all when it's 105 in the shade in May.

It has also snowed all day long.
Now I'm going to tell you a secret.
Shhhhhh, don't tell anyone.
I like snow!
And to be very honest, I haven't minded the cold too much.
I wouldn't want a steady diet of these temps, but now and again it's kind of fun.


I love the beauty of the snow!
The flakes falling, the drifting, the sparkle, it's beautiful!
And I love the crispness of the cold.
The wind hasn't blown too bad today so layers have provided sufficient warmth.
Except for my feet, fingers, and nose.
But that's okay.

So tonight, I'm a bit like a little kid.
Ohboyohboyohboyohboyohboy!!!
It's snowing!!!

We'll talk again in February when I'm running away to the coast!


Monday, December 29, 2014

The heart wants what the heart wants!

This training, disciplining the mind to not think about something is no easy task!
Especially when the mind isn't all in on this whole thing.
And MOST especially when the heart is not on board at all!!!
The heart shouts so loud, the mind can't help but hear!

I don't trust my heart.
I don't trust my mind.
But I trust my God!
And He will bring my mind and heart into harmony with His.
Until He does, I will trust Him to carry me through the shouting of my heart.

Goin' Dancin', I am!

Yep! I sure am!
New Year's Eve!

Now lest you think I'm gettin' wild in my new-claimed freedom,
the dance is at the Cowboy Church!

But I'm going to go,
and I'm going to have fun!

I'm not going alone.
My friend, Rick, 
also learning to be single after loss,
is going too.

We're each other's safety net.

Neither of us has to be a wall-flower!
We can dance with whomever we want,
but if no one asks -
perish the thought -
or if no one accepts -
perish the thought -
we have each other!

Now, I'm a teen of the late 60's/early 70's.
And I wasn't a "kicker".
So country dancing is not my forte.
I do a mean twist, but my two-step is,
shall we say half a step shy of two....
But I can get along.

I find myself strangely nervous.
And I don't usually get nervous about this kind of stuff.
But it's the first time stepping out since accepting. 
And it's different than when I thought maybe, just maybe....

So my first adventure in my new life.
Again, a new life.

There won't be any kissing at midnight,
but that's okay!

It's a New Year's Eve party!

And it's going to be fun!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Nope, not yet.......

The last couple weeks have been a time of revelation.
This second Christmas without my Al was more difficult that I anticipated.
In many ways, it was harder than last year.
I may have said this already.
But it bears repeating.

Then, of course, there has been the other personal loss this year.
And that is where the revelations have come in.
Hard things to face.
In many ways harder than the break-up.
Because then, despite saying there was no hope from the beginning,
I hoped.
But I was right.
There is no hope.
And that's just the way it is.

So, I decided to give it another shot.
Reopened my Christian Mingle and eHarmony accounts.
Didn't pay, just wanted to look around.
Nope.
Not ready for dating sites.
I may never be ready for dating sites again!

But I am ready to move forward.
Or at least I'm ready to be ready!
I am accepting my situation for what it is.
I am single.
I am no longer a married woman.
I am no longer an engaged woman.
I am not cheating on anyone.

So look out home town!
I'm done hiding away in sorrow and tears!
I may not be actively dating, but I'm living!
And it's time I started acting like it! 


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Warts and all

I have an imperfection on my face.
            I've had it for years.
                        It doesn't bother me any.
                                    It's just a little blemish.
                                                Okay, it's a wart.
                                                            Just above my upper lip.
                                                                        It's very small and flesh colored.
                                                                                    It's barely noticeable.
                                                                                                In fact, my guess is
                                                                                                            that people who know me
                                                                                                will look for it next time we meet.
                                                                                      But recently, someone noticed it.
                                                                        We were eating.
                                                            He thought I had a crumb.
                                                It didn't brush off.
                                    Now, I told you it doesn't bother me.
                        Nonetheless, I was sorely tempted to act all hurt.
            But he already felt so bad that I didn't.
I let him off the hook.

I'm such a saint.... ;-)

We all have blemishes.
            Physical ones.
                        Emotional ones.
                                    Mental ones.
                                                Spiritual ones.
                                                            They make us unique.
                                                                         Interesting.
                                                                                     Boy, am I interesting!
                                                                                                 But the thing is,
                                                                                                             Even when people don't,
                                                                                                                         when they can't -                                                                                                            or won't -
                                                                                                  forgive us for our mistakes,
                                                                                     forgive us our wrongs against them,
                                                                         no matter how we beg,
                                                            we can still experience it!
                                                We can forgive ourselves,
                                    move past the unforgiveness.
                        And more to the point,
            God forgives us ALWAYS when we ask.
He lets us off the hook, warts and all!

Isn't that just the most amazing thing!

Friday, December 26, 2014

A new day dawning




I have said that to myself many times today.

Because it's a new day!

And it's time to put those old thoughts to bed!


Redirecting one's thoughts is not easy.

Thoughts can become a habit just like anything else.

And when you realize you've gone there again,
you have to say



And of course the more you try to stop,
the more you think of it!


Unlike physical habits,
thought habits don't require action
so they are harder to control.

I don't have to light a cigarette,
pop a piece of candy or a chip into my mouth.

Thoughts just wander in
and before a person knows it,
they've spent a few minutes
thinking about "it".


And when the thing about which one is thinking
is not something one wanted to give up to begin with,
when the not thinking about it hurts as much as,
or even more than,
the thinking about it,
well, it's just that much harder. 

But stop it I will!!!


Me and God.
We can do anything!


But I will trust in Your unfailing love,
I will rejoice because You have rescued me.
                             ~~ Psalm 13:5 NLT ~~

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Gifts

Today is Christmas. The day we give and receive gifts in celebration of the greatest gift ever given - our Saviour, born to redeem us!

Today, I received another great gift.
One for which I asked.
An answered prayer.
It was not answered the way I wanted.
But it was answered very clearly!
And despite my disappointment,
despite my sorrow at the answer,
I am very glad for the clarity.
At last.

Thank You, Daddy God!
I don't understand.
I don't like it.
But I accept it.
And I trust You!

Merry Christmas

The Birth of Jesus

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancĂ©e, who was now obviously pregnant.
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

The Shepherds and Angels

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

~~ Luke 2:2-20 NLT ~~

 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

This Christmas Eve will be different.

Different than any other I've ever had.

Different than I anticipated.


Tonight, Grammie is spending the night with Kylie!

And Kylie is very, very excited!

We are used to Kylie spending the night with Grammie.

But on top of Santa's anticipated arrival tonight...

...well, let's just say it's very special to be loved so much

by such sweet innocence!



It makes me think of the love of the Baby in the manger!

The love of sweet innocence.

The love of sacrifice.

That sweet innocence taking on my sin.

That sweet innocence taking on your sin.

The love of sweet innocence.

The love of Jesus.

May you experience the joy of His gift!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

True Confessions

Can I be honest here?
I'm feeling sorry for myself.
I have faced some very hard truths the last few days.
And I am really feeling the loneliness of this "season of love".


Today, I stopped at three stores that I have not been in for a long while.
The last time was with Al.
I was looking for the last gift I needed to purchase.
In the first one, I teared up.
They didn't have what I wanted.
On to the second store, where I cried.
They didn't have what I wanted.
On to the third store, where I stood in line with my gift, sobbing.





Then I stopped and got cookies
and came home and had them for dinner.
Because that's helpful!
Hey! At least it wasn't a bottle of wine!



But I have to tell you something.
In the facing of truths and the sorrow it brings,
in the missing Al and the sorrow it brings,
in the loneliness of this season of love,
I am at peace.

Because, you see, trusting God doesn't mean no sorrow.
Faith in God does not mean never being alone and lonely in the human sense.
Having peace in Him is not dependent upon my circumstances.
It is not dependent upon getting what I want.
It is not dependent upon going to Llano Cemetery and finding no grave marked "Al".
It is not dependent upon getting a phone call or an email or having my doorbell ring.
No, it is none of those things.

Peace in Him is dependent upon Him.
And He is faithful even when we are not.
He does not fail us even when we fail Him.
He is trustworthy even when we don't trust Him.
He is with us, He never ever leaves us! 

The Baby in the manger.
That is what this season of love is all about.
It's not about sipping cocoa while wrapping presents together.
It's not about cuddling by the fireplace, watching the tree twinkle.
It's not about presents for and from that special someone.
It's the Baby Jesus.
Come from Heaven - knowing what the future held - to save us each and everyone.

That is love! 




Sunday, December 21, 2014

Marveling, Part II

Today,
my baby girl is 37.
Now, 
how that happened when I myself only turned 37 on my last birthday, 
I'm not sure, 
but I digress.

My precious baby, 
my sweet little angel girl,
the apple of her daddy's eye,
all grown up to a lovely woman.


How blessed I am that God chose me to be her mother!!!


I think of Mary 
and how honored she must have felt
being chosen to be the mother of 
Christ Jesus, Saviour of the world,
and I understand a bit.

Oh, my baby was not the Messiah!
Trust me on this!
Her teen years bear that out!
But, again, I digress....

No, she was not destined for greatness.
She would not save the world.
But she would certainly touch it!
For the good!

Let me tell you some things.

My sweet toddler running to me in tears
because the other children on the playground
wouldn't listen to her tell them about Jesus.



My adorable elementary school child
asking if we could buy something for
her friend for Christmas instead of another
gift for her because her friend was poor.
It was the only year she and her sister
didn't have the same number of gifts under the tree.
She had one less.




My sassy teenager
giggling with delight
the year we were having our 
mommy/daughter skip day
and saw a teacher at the mall.
(Yes, sometimes I was a bad influence...)

The precious young woman,
out on her own,
telling her sister not to be in such a hurry
and that mom and dad weren't as dumb as they thought.
(A very satisfying, overheard conversation!)


The tender woman,
grieving herself,
who took mama in hand when daddy died,
and made sure she survived.

And who, a few months later,
rejoiced with her in new-found love.

And a few months after that,
carried her again through sorrow
at yet another loss,
never criticizing,
never belittling,
always supporting.

No, she was not destined for greatness
in the world's eyes.
But she is great!
For she is exactly what God created her to be...

...an excellent wife,
one of the two best momma's I know,
a daughter extraordinaire,
this remarkable woman is my child.

And I marvel at God's wonderful gift to me!

Marveling, Part I

I marvel at God's timing!

Long before my life was in flux,

long before loneliness and longing became my closest companions,

long before I would be tempted to move too quickly,

He arranged this devotion for this day.

Today marks one year since the beginning of the end.



Jesus said to her,  
“Did I not say that if you would believe, 
you would see the shining-greatness of God?”
                                                ~~ John 11:40 NLV ~~