Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Afraid of Dying

I have never been afraid of dying but I believe a lot of people are.  I am around many of them on a daily basis at work as an activity director at an old folks home.  In fact, one woman in particular is terrified of dying.  I am not sure why but I’d like to ask her sometime.  I think some people wonder if it hurts to die.  With my work, I have been privileged to sit at the death bed of several of my best buddies as they transition home.   One particular friend was conscious enough before she went on morphine that she was able to describe it to me.  I asked her, “Does it hurt to die?”  She stated, “Yes, but I keep lifting up to the most beautiful sight.  Then I drop back down again because it isn’t time yet.”  She was dying from complications from diabetes.She had open wounds between her toes so I can see how that hurt. I can tell you from experience that drowning is a very peaceful way to go.  I drowned when I was 10 years old.  I remember it vividly still to this day.  I remember being scared at first when I knew I couldn’t hold my breath anymore but once I took that first breath of water it was the most peaceful feeling I can ever remember.  I still think about that often.  I saw bright light and I remember looking around in the water and seeing how beautiful blue it was and feeling such a glorious feeling of weightlessness and peace in my little 10 year old body as I breathed the water in and out of my lungs.  Then as everything was moving toward the light, I remember being thrown up onto the side of the pool and people pushing on me hard and then me coughing up lots and lots of water.  I don’t know how long I was under there but I remember needing a nap when that was over.  The funny thing is that even with that experience, I have never been afraid of water.  Maybe I am not afraid because I know how peaceful and painless it is to drown. 

God knows us so well because He made us and He knows that it is common to fear dying.  So I think it is pretty amazing to look at how God prepares us for natural death from old age.  Where I work, every day I see people in varying degrees of poor health.  I see their decline and ultimate end although they sometimes move on to a higher level of care before that end comes.  I look at how people get diabetes, high blood pressure, heart issues, blood clotting, strokes, inability to take in nourishment, etc.  Most of the people I deal with, by the time they are near death they are ready.  They are tired of hurting.  They are tired of struggling and have little quality of life left.  God is pretty cool like that to prepare us for natural death.  We become ready.  We become tired and want to sleep.  Even in the end, God has our back.

Sometimes it is good to consider our own mortality.  We are on vacation here on this earth.  One day we will all go home, but on every other day, we will enjoy our vacation and spread joy like confetti to all we come in contact with.  Get out there today and sprinkle kindness and love into our world.  Thank you for reading my blog.  Please give me a like and a follow and a share!

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Monday, July 8, 2019

Praying for Lost Things

Phillip, my husband, and I were having dinner at Kabuto when his phone rang.  It was our son, Ben.  He and his girlfriend had gone to Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana for the day.  Ben said to Phillip, “Dad, I am screwed.”  He proceeded to tell Phillip that he had lost the key to the rental car that we had while Ben’s car was being repaired.  I have never been a panicked when things go missing.  After they got off the phone I texted Ben and said, “Give me a minute and I am going to pray, then I will let you know when I am done.”  He proceeded to tell me that he had already prayed (makes a momma proud).  I told him that I had not.  So I prayed at the table for the key to be placed in a spot where it could easily be found.  Then I called Ben and told him to just relax and go about the rest of his day and just keep his eyes out for the key, that it would just show up.  He said “I hope so”.  Hoping so is not truly believing.  We are told in the Bible that we can seek and we will find, ask and it shall be given unto you, knock and the door will be opened.  If we believe in the God who spoke the world into existence then surely we believe He can follow through with His promises. 
Phillip got on the phone with the rental car company to figure out what we needed to do about getting another key.  No more than 5 minutes passed and I received a call back from Ben.  He was in tears.  He simply stated, “Mom I found it.”  What a faith building experience for him.  He proceeded to tell me that he and his girlfriend rode the swings to cool down and relax, then would look for the key.  They passed a ride that had been closed down but had staff at the entrance to direct folks that the ride was not operating.  Ben asked the staff if they had found a key.  They said they hadn’t but to check at the exit.  At the exit, Ben asked the same question and the staff said, “Dude, was it to a rental car?”  Ben confirmed and the man handed the key to him.  The ride was closed.  God did what I asked.  Ask and it shall be given unto you.  Our job is to believe.  Lord, I believe but forgive my unbelief. 
Recently I lost my prescription sunglasses.  I looked everywhere for them.  Even turned the car upside down looking for them.  I moved the seats up and back looking for the glasses.  Days turned into a couple of weeks of looking.  I looked at work, in the boat, everywhere.  My family and I were going to eat out and I accidentally left the key in the car.  The car thankfully has a safety on it that won’t lock the doors without the key being out of the car.  I went back to the car, leaned over to get the key and there were my glasses.  Thank you, God.  I had prayed that they be placed where I could easily find them.  I had moved that seat back and forth several times over the weeks looking for the sunglasses and they were not there.  Now they were.  God is good.  Ask and you shall receive if you believe.

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JenniferImage result for keys

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Mountain Moving Faith

Did you know that God spoke this world into existence?  Did you know that he used His breath to create the moon and stars?  If He can do those things, and we believe that He did, then why do we pray and not expect God to do what we ask of Him?  

The Bible tells us to ask and it will be given to us. Seek and we will find. Knock and the door will be opened unto us. He tells us that if we have faith of a mustard seed that we can move mountains. He can say to a mountain, “move from here to here” and the mountain will move.  We should take God at His word and accept His promises. But we don’t. We believe, but are filled with unbelief. 

When we pray, we should believe that God can do what we want Him to do. Many times, we pray and then “hope” that He will grant our wishes. If we “hope” then we don’t truly believe. We should never doubt God’s ability to give us what we want. After all, He spoke the world into existence, surely he can grant our piddly request. When we pray, we should wholeheartedly believe that it’s coming. Trust that God will do it. And look for it to happen as we believe He can and will. 

Tweak your thinking. Don’t hope that God will help. KNOW that God will help. EXPECT God to help. Then LOOK FOR The help that God gives us. 

Lord, we believe but forgive our unbelief. 
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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Multiplication Practice

Matthew 14:15-21

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

I’m sure the disciples worried about how in the world they had enough food to feed all the crowds. They continued, feeding them, doing the next right thing. And as they fed, the food multiplied. There was food left over when everyone was stuffed. 

I had one child. Another child was on the way and I wonder if I can love another child like I can the first. That child is born and love multiplies. We love the second, third, fourth children the same as the first because our love multiplies just like the food did in the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. 

I love hard. If I love you then you know it. There has never been a day in my life that I thought to myself “Self, you are all out of love. If anyone walks up here to you then you can’t love them because you are all full here and can’t love any more.”  It doesn’t happen. 

Give love away. Spread it around like confetti. Like glitter. When there is a party and confetti was involved, you will find that stuff years later. Let us all be spreaders of love. Let us spread it so thoroughly and so often that our love can still be found years later under a chair or in a corner. You may be long gone but your love you left is still there. Love isn’t meant to be finite. It is infinite. Go out this week with your infinite love and spread it around like confetti. Throw it on everyone-the lovable and the unloveable. I guarantee that you will be the one who is blessed because when we try to bless others it always ends up coming back to us multiplied. 

Let me know how your confetti project goes this week!  Thanks for reading my blog. Please give me a share so I can be famous someday. 


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Embracing Thistles

Thistle is a very invasive weed. A neusance. It’s nearly impossible to get rid of it without digging up the root. You surely can’t just pull them up. They are ugly. Have prickles all over then that hurt when you touch them. But if you let a thistle grow to maturity, it produces the most gorgeous intricate bloom that is fantastic to observe. 

Have you met someone who is a thistle?  A weed that is invasive and sticks people if you touch them?  Have you met anyone who is ugly?  Someone who needs to be dug up from your life or they will continue to contaminate and stick those around them?  Some thistles need to be dug up from your life. Others need to be left alone or coached to maturity until they reach a point where they can produce a beautiful bloom as a reward for working hard to mature. I’m sure glad God didn’t give up on me when I was invasive, sticky, and full of prickles. I’m glad God let me grow and learn until I could produce a beautiful bloom. 

We all have a history. We all have prickly, invasive eras of our lives where we were weeds in the field of society. Yet, God was patient with us and allowed us to grow and mature until we could produce beautiful blooms that came from prickles. And when we mature, we still can see our needles that pricked others in our infancy, but the focus is our bloom. Our flower. Our beauty that shines through the stickers. We are not defined by our invasiveness. Instead we are defined by the flower we produce. The stickers got us to the bloom. Never regret the past. We did exactly what we wanted at the time. Instead, appreciate the prickles that grew you into a beautiful bloom. 

Thanks for reading my blog. Let me know what you think. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Drop the Pen

Paul's Prayer for the Ephesians
19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
What does this underlined passage mean to you?  
To me, it means that I am the leading actress in a drama called My Life.  I have tried to write the screenplay, but God is infinitely the screenwriter and He can write a much better story for me that I could ever ask or imagine for myself.  In a control hungry society, this is a difficult concept to grasp.  Put down the pen.  All we need to be doing is the next right thing, not be writing a scenario for ourselves that we think should be our story.  All we are is actors in our own lives.  When we put down the pen and let God do the writing, things start to come our way multiplied by anything good we could have ever dreamed for our happily ever after.  Now they may not come when we think they should come, but if we just simply do the next right thing, we give God the opportunity to compose our story and make every single little detail fall into place.  There is peace that passes understanding that accompanies a person who puts down their pen.
We tend to put the pen down and when we think that things aren’t going the way we think they should, we pick the pen back up again.  Same thing with sin.  We lay our sin at the foot of the cross and then we feel guilt or anger or remorse and we pick the sin back up and nurture it again instead of laying it down and walking away from it.  We are human, but we can make up our minds to believe in what God says.  I believe, but Lord, forgive my unbelief.  Tap into a new level of peace and joy by putting down the pen and allow God to do exceedingly more that we can ask or imagine,  Test God’s promise.  I believe you will experience inner peace like never before since you put the pen down and trust God at His word.
Let me know what you think!
Make this week the best ever!

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Key to Happiness

Happiness is a decision.  Pain is inevitable but misery is optional.  We all will experience pain in our lives but misery is optional.  The apostle Paul said that we should count it all joy when we fall into various trials.  How in the world do we do that?  Well, joy is something that we have deep within us.  But happiness is a decision. We can be joyful even in hard times knowing that we will be learning something from this experience, growing from the pain, or even need to know a particular form of pain so that we can be a support for others later on.  We never know why we may be suffering, but misery is optional. 

Sometimes I think we leave the key to our happiness in someone else's pocket.  Our happiness is not dependent upon someone else.  If we love ourselves, we are joyful within and do not need an outside source to generate happiness.  We should never let anyone have enough control over our emotions, our feelings, our schedules, or our lives that they make us feel less than fabulous.  When we let someone else or something else have that much control over us, we have left the key to our happiness in someone else's pocket.  Other people or things should be an enhancement to our lives.  We should never hinge our decisions or opportunities upon other's opinions, what others will think, or what others are doing.

Take a job for example.  As valuable as I may be to my company, I would be replaced quickly if I left.  So take the vacation.  Use up the personal time off.  Don't be storing those off days up.  Use them.  If you turn down opportunities to take time off because of something going on at work, you have left the key to your happiness in your work desk.  Don't leave that key laying around because anyone or anything is willing to pick up that key to YOUR happiness and keep it.  Then what are you left with?  Anger, worn down feelings, exhaustion, unhappiness, aggravation, tempers, etc.

Take people's opinions for example.  Everyone has an opinion.  They are like noses, everyone has one.  If you let other people's opinions influence your decisions, then you have left the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket.  Take that key back.  Don't leave it laying around because there is always someone or something that is waiting in the wings to take that key from you. 

Put the key to happiness on the key ring of your heart and keep it there safely so that no one or nothing can take it away and put it in their pocket.  When you do this, you take back your control.  You feel in charge of your life again.  You feel empowered.  You feel joyful.  People and things in this life are enhancements.  They are not here to make you happy.  If they were, we would all be miserable all the time because people are human and we live in a fallen world.  And things, well, they are inanimate objects that were never intended to make people happy.  They are fleeting moments of fun, but not true happiness.  Take your key back.  Put it on the key ring of your heart and take your control back.

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Be Flawsome

I was at a festival yesterday minding my own business and shopping with my daughter.  From out of nowhere, i heard a strange voice say “I need you to model my clothes for me.  I can tell you are just the person I need.”  When I realized she was talking to me, I was dumbfounded.  I told her I would be happy to model her clothes for her.  She said, “I can’t find a single person anywhere who has the confidence to let me take their picture for my website.”  I was more than willing to help the lady out but the whole experience has left me still scratching my head today.  Are we really at a point in our lives that we feel so meek about ourselves that this poor woman could not find a single person to model her clothes that was willing to have their picture made?  I think it is deplorable to see the breakdown of self worth.  Now I have enough self esteem to share with the free world, and I know that is a bit unusual.  It bothers me that more people don’t hold themselves in high esteem.  It’s no wonder that families are failing and marriages are failing because you can’t love others if you don’t love yourself.  
We all have flaws.  My belly is my problem area.  Others have problems with their legs, or hips or ears or whatever.  Truth is, we are all made in God’s image and there is no ugly involved in God’s image.  So we are all beautiful.  A good personality trumps physical beauty any day of the week.  If you don’t have a good personality then it’s just “congratulations on your face”.  It’s what is on the inside that matters.  I have a friend who is super petite and little and cute.  One time, she was going to a formal event and was having the worst trouble finding a dress to wear.  She said that the formal department did not have anything that was little enough for her and the children’s department did not have anything old enough looking for her.  It was then that I embraced my belly and realized that EVERYONE has trouble finding clothes to look good no matter your size or shape.  Everyone struggles.  So stop looking at other people and thinking how much better looking they are than you are.  Just stop.  Mommas, don’t be saying negative things about yourself in front of your children.  They are watching and we need to raise a new generation of good, positive self imaged youngsters.

I went a few weeks ago for my federal department of transportation physical and the doctor told me that I was morbidly obese. WHAT?!  I told him it was a good thing I had good self esteem because some women would starve themselves over a statement like that.  I also told him a few other things to put him in his place. And then I sat on him. 😂🤣  I also said to the receptionist when I exited(loud enough for the doctor to hear me) “Get a good look at me because you are looking at the face of the morbidly obese.”  I feel like I got my point across to everyone in that doctors office.   It’s a wonder he didn’t write that I wasn’t able to renew my commercial drivers license because I am so heavy I would pop a bus tire. 😂🤣🤪
I have clothes in my closet right now that are sized from 12-18 and ALL of them fit.  If the number on the tag of your clothes bothers you, then cut the tag out.  You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.  Buy clothes that fit.  Some of these clothes are made in China and they are made to fit small people who can wad themselves up and sleep in drawers like it was a bed.  These numbers are unrealistic.  Try on clothes and buy ones that fit no matter what the tag says.  When we have clothes on that fit, our confidence level goes up.  If we are refusing to buy a bigger size clothes then we are just making ourselves miserable.  Embrace your body for what it is and move forward.  Put on the swimsuit.  Buy a bigger size.  Eat the pie. None of us are getting out of here alive so enjoy life and accept yourself for the shape that you are.   Everything in moderation.  As we age, it becomes harder and harder to lose weight.  Don’t define yourself by your ability to keep a pristine figure.  Fluffy people give better hugs.  Exercise, eat in moderation, buy clothes that fit, and PLEASE decide each morning that your will love yourself.  We all are a hot mess.  Some just hide it better than others.  We are all flawed.  Get out there and flaunt your awesome every single day.  Be FLAWSOME!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Secret to Life

Once I started working full time, my blogging time reduced dramatically. I guess instead of blogging, I share my thoughts on life to my little elderly people at the assisted living where I am the activity director. Tonight, I lay awake with a boatload of things floating around in my head so the best thing to do with those things is to write them down. I’m about to reveal to you the secret to life. This was life changing for me. Did you know that we don’t have to have everything figured out?  When situations present themselves to us and we don’t know which way to turn or what to do with the situation, we don’t have to have a plan?  Did you know that?  I didn’t. But when I figured it out years ago, my life changed. Dramatically. 

You see, when we become overwhelmed with life and with children and jobs and family and friends and stuff and holidays problems relationships and cleaning the house and...the list goes on and becomes staggering if you think about all of it all at once and try to figure it all out.  We don’t have to figure it out. All we have to do is the next right thing. Whatever that is. 

Some days the next right thing may be to stop at Sonic and get a half price drink. Some days doing the next right thing may be going to get your teeth cleaned. Some days it could be to simply take a nap. Sometimes the next right thing could be making a phone call to someone who has hurt you. Sometimes the next right thing is a major step and sometimes it is some small thing like giving someone a hug. 

I’ve always been taught not to pick up hitchhikers. I have never picked up a stranger off the street because I was taught not to. Every day when I leave for work there are two guys I see come out of the house just outside my subdivision. They walk to work which happens to be the Mexican restaurant close to my house. Every time I see these guys I wanted to pick them up and take them to work. It’s not that far out of the way. I struggled with this desire for over a year now. The voice inside my head kept telling me no, you don’t pick up strangers.  A few months ago it was 19 degrees outside and I left for work and saw the guys walking down the street. I stopped because it was the next right thing. I couldn’t watch them walk in this weather. So I did the next right thing which was to stop and roll my window down. I spoke to them and realized they didn’t speak English. Best I could, I communicated that I would take them to their work. They got in and smiled so big I can’t even describe it. We tried to talk but I didn’t speak Spanish and they didn’t speak English. But when I dropped them off at their work, their gratitude transcended any language barriers. Kindness know no language and the next right thing is all I had to do. Now I pick them up every day and we enjoy our ride to work together. You see, I didn’t have to replay every terrible scenario that could happen from picking up strangers. All I had to do was the next right thing. And that day, it was stop and roll my window down. Rolling my window down led to one of the highlights of my day every day. 

That is just one of the examples I can give of being blessed by doing the next right thing. Don’t try to figure it all out, just do what’s next. One step. One thing. One decision. One gut feeling. That’s all. With this secret to life, I have gained a sense of peace and joy in my life. I hope this helps you too. 

Just do the next right thing. Whatever that is. It may be turning out the light and going back to sleep. Just the next right thing. Martin Luther King said that Faith is taking the first step without seeing the whole staircase. Jennifer says do the next right thing. Same concept, different perspective. 

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Get out there and make today the best ever.