Friday, January 11, 2013

Unexpected Sweet Joys

My post on Facebook today:

'It is going to be 65 degrees out there today and back cold tomorrow - I've got to get outside!'

What an unexpected joy it was to walk outside and feel sweet spring-like breezes and hear birds singing happily as the sun warmed us all.

We went to visit my Dad (who is the best Dad in the world and I am so blessed to have him) and took a moment to run over to the little lake there at Maranatha.

I met a woman there named Dorothy. She had a sweet little toy poodle named Barbie. The calmest quietest small dog I have ever seen. I enjoyed hearing about her dog's talent for pet therapy ministry and how she and her husband were in the military. She's been here less than a year and really misses her dear husband who died a couple of years ago. She was from Massachusetts and she reminded me a lot of my mom's sister Dorothy. Another unexpected delight today.

Of course since we live in Springfield MO the variable weather capital of the US, it is going to be cold again tomorrow and sleeting and snowing on Sunday.

I'll enjoy the memories of today's sweet joys anyway and look for more in my every day, I just might be surprised.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Laughing after midnight(well almost)

Why is it that we laugh the hardest and act the silliest after 11pm when Brent is trying to sleep?

It started happening when my son got in the teenage years and continues growing as if it had a life of its own.

We try to keep quiet but it bursts out in irrepressible laughter over the strangest things.

I am not sure why this started but I am thankful for times of laughter and fun with my kids as the stress of the day has faded away and we are mellowing down (as it were) for the night.  That is not a bad thing, laughter shared bonds us in special ways.

 One night Brent came out and said, “Am I missing all the fun again?” and I smiled and said “No, you aren't missing it, jump in!”

 And he did.

That was one of the best nights of all.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Choices make the real you

~Until God opens the next door, praise Him in the hallway~

posted by on Facebook today. Go look at their beautiful Christian tees for ladies!

I want this to be my first thought happens.

How was your day today? 

 I had some great places 
                     and a few horrible spaces 
                                  but it ended up very good. 

 I was at New Community at Central and Pastor Mike 
( had us doing group discussions on 2 Peter 1:3-9.

I love how Peter gives us positive things we can do that will help us grow:
'Do your best to improve your faith. You can do this by adding goodness, understanding, self-control, patience, devotion to God, concern for others, and love. If you keep growing in this way, it will show that what you know about our Lord Jesus Christ has made your lives useful and meaningful. '

So by adding 
                                                  devotion to God,
                                                           concern for others 
                                                                                  and love -
I grow as a Christian and as a real person.

These are all choices that I can make in any moment that happens in my day.

It is not some magical, ethereal experience that is out there on some higher spiritual plain but real nitty-gritty this is where the rubber hits the road kind of stuff.

The kind of stuff I can put my teeth into, grab on and run with. The kind of stuff that makes my real life and every relationship I have better.

I like this.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The human element, that is so me

Another day and I am struggling with what to write. Here are my tired thoughts tonight.

This afternoon on the radio I heard the guy at the local Christian station said he was going to start 'hashtagging human element' after he started to play the same song twice in a row on his live show.

Here is what he wrote about it on facebook(btw, his name is Brenton Miles and the station is 99.5 hit fm- definitely worth listening):Just talked about the #humanelement on the radio! It's okay to screw up... There is grace, kindness, and hope when you approach God, who understands the human element.”

His words really made me think. In all the 'trying to be more real' and 'faith moments' I forgot to mention that being human is what I am, what we all are. I long for my heart to be more like Jesus but I mess up and I do it badly and often. Perfection is not where I am at nor is it any place I hope to move.

I want to be real with the ups and downs, loud and strong, struggles and throwing my hands in the air in defeat, the hugs and the yelling, the laughter and the tears, and the throwing my hands in the air with praise for God too. It is all me. I hope it is all you too.

We cannot let discouragement keep us from struggling on and going forward. Yes, we mess up but we also have hope and another day, another moment, another choice to make. Don't give up. (Can you tell I am talking to myself?)

Where you are is good. It isn't where you will be tomorrow.

I wonder where this is leading me?

Learning and growing, laughing and living, and even the crying and struggling - bring it on.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cold nights are for snuggling

Very cold tonight.  In fact my house has been cold most of the day.  I am tired of being chilled and January has barely begun.

China is so cold her fur has a ridge.  Tigger is just enjoying sharing the warm spot next to her.

My kitties have the right idea, time to go snuggle with the one I love.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Second Chances

mulling  present participle of mull (Verb)

  1. Think about (a fact, proposal, or request) deeply and at length: "she began to mull over the various possibilities".
  2. Warm (a beverage, esp. wine, beer, or cider) and add spices and sweetening to it.

Just mulling around thoughts about 2nd chances today.

 I heard a moving sermon that was really more testimony than sermon but very powerful. This man had been driving drunk, wrecked his car and his best friend died before the ambulance could get him to the ER. The mother of his friend, her first words to him were 'I love you and I forgive you.' This was the morning after the accident.

 I don't know if I would be able to do that.

 The story is truly moving and made me cry but I wonder if this was her instant response or if she struggled all night with the depths of grief for her son and realizing that God was calling her to be forgiving and after the wrestling she came to that choice.

Forgiveness and mercy have amazing power. But when someone shares their story we don't hear the part about the nights of pain and tears, the choices made one by one, the mistakes and backing up and starting again.

 I wish 2nd chance meant that there would instantly be everything just perfect.  But no, the perfect won't ever be.

It is the learning and growing and stretching and becoming that are the process of that 2nd chance.  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Faith moments

Faith moments

Do you ever have them?

Those moments that can clarify and show you where you are growing in your faith and as a person or falling flat on your face and missing it.

When I see someone in line at Wendy's counting out pennies with their husband talking about how hungry they are and they buy one small chili to share and I look at them, look away, look again and then I take money I was going to spend on going to the movies and buy them more food to eat......

When I stop and listen instead of hurrying away when a friend is telling me her problems at home......

When someone asks me to pray for them and I say, “Sure” and walk away and never remember......

When my son says, “No one wants to spend time with me anyway” and I go to him and make sure he knows how much I treasure him and want to spend time with him no matter how he is feeling......

Those moments – how are yours?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Where is Faith taking you?

Somebody wrote:
No Regrets, just lessons. Life is too short.”

Well, I agree that life is too short, I see that everyday when I look at my son and see how much he has grown and wonder where the time has gone.

The 'no regrets' part? No one I have ever met has said they have no regrets at all, except my Dad. He says he walked through every door the Lord opened and looks back on his 96 ½ years and honestly can see nothing he would change or could have done better.

I wish I could say that. There are so many things I wish I'd done differently, made better choices, been less afraid, been more loving, more courageous, less lazy.  

I believe every single thing we experience can be a lesson. 

Not the kind of lesson where we sit and listen to the teacher and take notes and have tests.
Not the kind of lesson where we listen and maybe daydream a little during the talk, smiling and agreeing that is a good point and then go home and forget what we heard.
Not a 'lesson' I learned in Sunday School or Bible college.

 These are the kinds of lessons where the rubber meets the road, where I learn to walk out what I say I believe in the real moments of my life. 
 The places where faith becomes real.
The places I become real.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Living by Faith so why do I blog?

So what do I want this blog to be about?
Maybe I should have written about this the first day, but here goes.

The name says it all - Living by Faith.

It is kind of a play on words. I want to write about my christian faith and what it means to me but I also want to write about my life, living by Faith: my life and times, the journey I find myself on, what living is about wherever it finds me.

I want to write about my family and my friends, about my joys and my sorrows, my struggles and falling flat on my face and getting up again to try another day and hopefully find some peaceful moments along the way.

I want to be real and transparent. Sometimes I wonder if I even understand what that means, if anyone does.

So come and join me on this journey, I will look for you along the way.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Peace, Happiness and Reality

I'm really dragging right now but figured out it isn't because anything is wrong. I'm just really tired. Good to know it is just that. I couldn't fall asleep last night because so much was on my mind. Hopefully I will be tired enough tonight that won't be a problem.

I've decided that I am determined to be a seeker of the Truth. Driven. I will find an answer.
Tonight one thing I heard at church was that we need to 'apply' the Word, walk it out in our lives. I am determined to keep growing and learning and seeking. Part of that is being closer in my walk with God. Part of that is learning more about what it is to be human and what it is to be me. Just Faith.

I want to live my life in peace. If the people around me are angry I not only don't have to respond in anger but I can still be peaceful and happy letting their stuff be their stuff.

Today on Facebook Joyce Meyer said, “Nobody else is in charge of your happiness except you.”
A few weeks ago my reaction would have been, 'Yeah, right. You have no idea what my life is like.'
Today those words are very freeing. I just need to figure out how to let their stuff be their stuff.

Does that mean ignoring them or acting like I don't care? No, not at all. I think caring doesn't mean I have to let someone's words stab my heart and make me miserable.

Sometimes those words that someone says carelessly will stab my heart no matter what I think or want or how much I am trying to be in charge of my own happiness. The reality is that being in a relationship can hurt me just as much as the love in the relationship is healing and fulfilling. Relationships are just hard sometimes and maybe it is perspective I need in all of this. I want to be happy. I don't want to be miserable. I can choose to care and be a loving and forgiving person. Sometimes I will be hurt. But the giving and loving and learning and growing we do together is more than that. Relationships are worth it.

I want my life to mean something and often I have thought it didn't and believed a lot of people think that about me too.

I want to make a difference and often I have felt powerless to do more than tread water and try to survive.

I want to live in peace.
That doesn't mean that I won't take a stand when it matters.
I will.

That doesn't mean that I will be dishonest about my feelings or yours and put on a 'Everything is wonderful because Jesus Loves me' t-shirt and never admit my struggles.

No, my struggles are real, like yours, and painful and hard but they are not all I am or all I will ever be.
I can be honest if I have the courage to let you see the real me, and I will be.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 A new year - a new beginning - a fresh start


 I feel new hope this morning.  Not sure why.

 Something about new beginnings and new hope call to me and give me inspiration and hopefully the energy I need to make some changes in my life.

 I want peace.

 I am tired of every day of my life having someone be angry in some way.  I cannot change the people around me, their stuff is their stuff.  BUT I wonder if there is a way to not be so hurt by their anger, to let it just be theirs and keep a peaceful heart and outlook in my own heart and life.  I wonder.  I haven't been able to do this so far.  I think that people who say it is possible and write about it glibly have no idea what living with someone who has anger issues is like.  But I want a new start and I am looking for a change.

I want peace, I want to be creative, I want to make a difference, I want to encourage others.

I am going to find a way to do and to be all that I can be.  No wait that is a commercial.  LOL  But I am going to find a way.  I am tired of living in maintenance mode, too much of my life has been wasted doing that.

 I am going to take steps toward the life I want to have.  God please give me the wisdom and the energy to go there.

When people around me are angry and yelling I tend to retreat and hide.  I don't want to attack back but I do want to be able to stand tall and look them in the eye and let them know I don't like that and that they can talk to me when they are done yelling.  
I think we all need lessons in how to manage our anger – it seems to be a world-wide problem.

I saw this on Facebook today and it really spoke to me. This is what I want for my life, my 2013 and this and every moment I have left on this earth.

Here we are celebrating the new year with our sparkling grape juice.