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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The 1991 Ice Storm & 2020 Coronavirus

Life is...The 1991 Ice Storm & 2020 Coronavirus

Yesterday was not a great day for me. I let fear get the best of me.
+Not fear of the virus but fear of how our life has been altered so quickly and completely by those in power.
+Fear of how long these changes will take place.
+Fear of what the "new normal" will look like and when.
+Fear of the economic fall out of these closures.

Last night a great memory came to mind - the 1991 Ice Storm. Yes, an ice storm - some amazing childhood memories come from those days with no electricity.

Now here's how I remember it - it may not be accurate - you would have to ask my parents, siblings, aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandma. 

Because the ice storm knocked out the power our family went into town to stay with my Aunt Karen, Uncle Jim, and 3 cousins. At least they had running water, because in the country when electricity goes out you don't have a pump to pump the water into the house. My grandma and grandpa also came to stay with all of us; they lived in the country too.

I don't remember...
...how we stayed warm (was there a generator)?
...being in fear.
...wondering when the electricity would come back on.
...wondering if the food would go bad in the freezers.
....worrying about how to cook the food.

This is what I remember...
~Having an amazing time with my family.
~No electricity. No TV. And loving it!
~Playing countless games, including MASH!
~Playing outside (I remember a snowmobile and building a snowman and fort).
~Sitting in the dark with candles and talking and playing.
~Going to my aunt and uncle's locker - I don't remember if it was to check on things or get food - I just remember having a ball playing in the dark, lobby area.

We had such great memories that for YEARS we would pray for another ice storm. Of course my parents were like....NOOOOOO! But what a testament to living through a hard, frustrating time and showing your kids the best part of it!

I want my kids perspective of the coronavirus not to be of fear and things that were taken away, but a memory like I have of the 1991 Ice Storm. 
And for their memories to be good I need to be in a healthy place - a place of love, peace, and generosity.

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Sunday, February 9, 2020

Last Words

Life is...Last Words

What words of encouragement and love are you not sharing, because you are too busy?

"Gracious words are like honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body." ~Proverbs 16:24

Twice in the last year I did not take the time to reach out. 

About a year ago, on a Monday, I felt a tugging to call an elderly Mary Kay customer. I felt the tugging for 3 days, but I didn't call. 

I was busy. 

Truly I was, but really too busy to make a phone call?

Even as I felt this struggling and didn't do it I told myself - I'll do it later. 

If I could text her I could do that, that's fast, but she doesn't text. An actual phone call - I just dont' have time for that today.

Then I was on Facebook Wednesday night (I guess I had time for that!) and I found out she had passed away earlier that day. 

I had felt God nudging me to reach out, but I didn't take the time. 

It haunted me.

I don't know what I was supposed to say or what she would have said to me.

I decided I wouldn't be too busy again.

WELL....I guess I didn't learn my lesson because a few months ago I again felt compelled to call an elderly man, a Generations to Generations client. 

AGAIN, I kept putting it off. 

Same excuses...
I'll call soon. I'm really busy. I don't have time to actually make a phone call.

This time I received a phone call from my mom saying he had passed away.

I don't want to live in guilt, because that doesn't actually change me, but I do want to learn from these lessons. 

Putting off words of encouragement or just a word to let someone know they are loved and being thought of should not be dismissed or left for later.

This is an eerie verse that hits me to the core.
Jesus said, "I tell you, on the day of judgement people will give an account for every careless words they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." ~Matthew 12:36-37

My BIG question is - Am I more willing to "find time" to complain on social media more easily than I am willing to call and share words of life and love?


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Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Song

Life is...A Song

During Halloween I was singing my kids songs I learned in Elementary school.

"I am a witch and my name is Tilly and I am going to scare you silly..."

How can I remember all the words to silly songs I haven't sang for decades?!

Songs seem to have a special hold on our hearts. They can stay with us our whole life and typically hearing them takes us back to a specific time and place.

The song "Raise a Halleljah" by Bethel has been especially moving lately.
When I first heard it during  a hard time it was a 
+prayer
+a cry out
+a pleading to God.

"I'm gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you're gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!"

Lately when I have sang it it has been a praise & a reminder of where I was and how He is so faithful.
 


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Monday, August 19, 2019

Big, Small, or House Church?

What's the best church: big, small, or house church?

Here's the answer: whatever one you prefer. Whichever one God has called you to. Now I know you have reasons and convictions why you think one of these is the best, and that's fine, but there is no room for rudeness. When we judge and bicker amongst ourselves we are not only hurting one another and tearing one another down, but others see the hurtfulness and don't want anything to do with Jesus. 

Is this one reason Christianity is dying in America? 
Because we can't show love?

"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." 1 John 4:11-12

Some of the differences we have are minor. Kind of like California going strawless.  Yes, I understand the reasoning, but there are so many bigger humanitarian needs. Christians, let us not fight over whether to have a drum in worship or whether you can wear hats. It's imperative to have your convictions and beliefs, but let's keep our eyes on the prize.

There are people who are... 
-starving
-dying
-being killed for their faith
-in slavery
-forced into sex-trafficking
-living without the hope Jesus brings!

BUT we're too busy bickering about insignificant points. We're not all the same, of course not, all of us are different, so it makes complete sense that our faith journey and churches will look different. 

Let's show love first!

Then in love and prayer God may show you how to lovingly correct. If all we do is correct and judge without showing love no change will come. Only hurt and continual dissension within the Church instead of unity that lets Jesus' love shine into the world.

I started writing this post last October, but never finished, because my desire is not to cause more hurt or tension. I understand how hard it is. I have been to conferences where I was writing about this topic and the very next speaker was difficult to listen to. I did not like her delivery or agree with her. But I hear God reminding me - don't be so quick to judge. Love first.

Let me leave you with a positive note...

Our church has been going through a difficult season. There were many weekends I didn't want to go, because it was so hard to see people hurting and leaving. But David was always excited to go and many weekends a guest speaker would be there. The message was good, but what always stuck with me was they said they were praying for us and their church was praying for us. 
Now their churches don't believe exactly what we do, but they saw people hurting and instead of condemning or gossiping they decided to show love. They prayed, and we've had churches all over Parker, Colorado, and the U.S. showing their love and praying for our hurting church. 

THAT is the Church!


Monday, July 1, 2019

The Open Casket & the Goldfish

Life is...The Open Casket & the Goldfish

This is a very different blog for me, but I thought sharing might help others with little kids as they navigate funerals.

Last December we went to a  funeral of a dear friend. It was an open casket. Now David had been to several funerals before but not seen this. In the past we were able to steer him away from seeing the body, but this time his very good friend said he wanted to show him his grandpa. So David took his hand and went up the aisle. I went with him. It seemed to go fine. The two, young boys stood silently for a while and then went back up the aisle into the lobby.

Then David came to me and said, "I thought you told me he was in heaven!" He was very upset.

I sat him on my lap and tried to explain that it was just his body that was here. That his soul was in heaven.

He seemed to take that for a while, but over the next weeks the questions came daily.
-What is a soul?
-Where is it?
-How does it get out?
-What happens to the body?

Such hard, deep questions for a five-year-old.

I felt like I was not getting through to him. I felt like I had broken him. He said he never wanted to see anything like that again. My heart was breaking as he was trying to figure out this part of life.

Finally I thought we had made progress. He seemed to understand that the body stays here, but the soul goes to heaven. He hadn't talked about it for a week, but then on the way home from skiing the questions came back.
This time it was...I don't want to die, because I don't want my body to explode when my soul leaves.

Oh, poor boy, No, it doesn't explode.

I tried to explain, but it wasn't getting through.

He asked, "Why do people have funerals? Why do they have open caskets?"

I tried to explain again, but it didn't help.

It was just him and I in the car driving on I-70. I prayed for words to reach a 5-year-old's heart.

A few minutes later it came to me.

I said, "Do you remember when your goldfish died? His body wasn't broken. He was still whole."
This seemed to be making sense to him.
I continued, "Remember before I buried him you wanted to say goodbye. You looked at your goldfish and told him you loved him and would miss him."
Yes, he did. I explained that it's the same for a funeral. It is a way for people to say goodbye.

For David this was the lightbulb. He understood and was able to move on. The questions were able to cease, and he had the answers he needed. For now.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

To Flip Off or Wave

Life is...To Flip Off or Wave

I was driving into town with Rachel and David. We merged from one road to another. The road has a merge lane, and in six years of driving I have only slowed down once to merge. But today I had to slam on my brakes, because the person in front of me was stopped - a dead stop - not moving - no cars coming. After a few seconds I decided to honk my horn. I wasn't sure if she was day dreaming or checking her phone. I meant it as a friendly honk, a 'Hey wake up' honk, but of course a horn honk is a horn honk.

Well, she did not take that honk well. She flipped me off and started driving. I was surprised by her gesture but tried to shake it off. As we were driving she decided one time flipping me off wasn't enough, so she did it again. My five-year-old saw it and asked what she was doing.

"She's just mad at me I said, but don't ever do that. It's not nice." 

Just a few miles down, the road turns from 2 lanes to 4 lanes. She gets into the left lane and starts accelerating and passing the other cars. Then she changes her mind, steps on the brake and goes so slow that she gets back in front of me in the right land, and then brings her speed WAY down, so far down that I realize she wants me to pass her.

And I want to. 
I'm just not sure what she is going to do. 
What is the point of this? 
Is she going to run my car off the road? 

After a little deliberation I decide to pass and get this weird scenario over with. I pass, and she just stares and flips me off for the 3rd time - holding her middle finger up the entire time. 

I have a split second choice to make. I knew I wasn't going to flip her off, but should I just ignore her? 

I decided to smile and wave. 

I don't know if that was the right decision, but I wanted to let her know, 
Yes, I see you & No, I'm not going to get mad. 

David asked, "Why is she doing that if it's mean?"

I wanted to say...
It's the world we live in.
People are crazy.
People are mean.
What is this world coming to?

It has been a while since that drive, and I can't stop thinking about that woman. But instead of thinking negatively about her and how could she do that? I have decided to pray for her. 

Clearly something was going on besides my horn honk. 
Maybe her kids were all screaming in the car.
Maybe she just received a diagnosis. 
Maybe she was just fired.
Maybe....

For myself, though I didn't mean to be rude by honking my horn, it was obviously misinterpreted. Maybe I'll use my horn even less.

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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Perfectionism

Life is...Perfectionism

It has been a long since I posted a blog. Yes, I have been very, very busy, but if I am honest I haven't written, because of my perfectionism.
I want the blog to be perfect - for example the layout and highlighting of my latest blogs annoys me. Why is it formatting that way?
But more importantly I want the content to be perfect - BUT IT CAN'T.
I am human. 
I will do my best. 
I will ask God for the right words.
I will pray that it is helpful to you.
But if it's not or you disagree, that's OK. We can disagree and still be friends or disagree and still be loving to one another. 

Is that too much to ask in our society? 
Disagreement with love?
There's your ? for the day.

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