Sunday, June 26, 2011

His way, His time...

There are times...many times in life when we want things done our way and in our time. I am definitely one of those people. I definitely like things done my way. I also like to have things done in my time, I struggle walking behind slow people, it makes me a little crazy. I struggle driving behind cars that aren't even going the speed limit! Don't they know I have someplace to be! :) But hold on, wait, before you judge me, let's think about this...when we go to Subway, don't we want the grinder done OUR way? We get to Starbucks, don't we want the drink made OUR way? We go to a restaurant and if the steak or meal isn't fixed OUR way, don't we send it back for them to fix it...and maybe possibly get at least a free dessert or something out of it? We get to that drive-thru and don't we expect that they will get the order the way WE wanted? Many things in life we like to have go OUR way. And before you are too quick to judge me about my impatience, let's think about this too. Most all of us have microwaves, why? So we can fix things quicker, right? Even waiting for that sometimes seems to take too long. Commercials come on all the time about new things for the kitchen that help make it easier and faster to fix meals. We don't like being put on hold on the phone. We get upset if our computer doesn't get to the page the second we put in the information, we're always looking for faster service. So now that things are put into perspective, we all struggle with wanting things done in our way and our time. We as Christians know that that is not the way the Lord works. He does things in His way..."His thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways." He does things in His time..."a thousand years is but a day." This is difficult for finite, human beings....well at least for this one. Prime example...this morning on the way into church I prayed and asked the Lord specifically for some things. I asked Him to help me not to have to deal with certain things or think about certain things, BUT....I guess that wasn't His plan for my morning. Things were brought up this morning that I did have to deal with and think about a couple times over.....that wasn't what I had asked, that wasn't MY way. Since it wasn't my way, it bothered me for most of the morning. But after church one of the things that I did ask for happened. How funny, the Lord did give me what I asked for, but in His time, not mine! Just a hug, just some kind words, just some caring thoughts, someone willing to just let you know they about what you may be going through or feeling, someone willing to stand up for you and help you. Just one of these things can make all the difference. But let me tell you, after that prayer this morning that wasn't answered in my way or my time, God showed me in His way and His time from different people and in ways that I couldn't even imagine. There were about 5 or 6 people today that answered that prayer for me, but it didn't come until His time. One came after church in the morning, the others came at church that night and after church. What a neat blessing to be able to talk to people who really care, who are willing to let me share and just be there for me. I was so overwhelmed to see how He answered in so many ways. I know I will falter with His way and His time again and again........and probably again, that's human, that's REAL, but by His grace, in His way and in His timing, He will give me what I need when I need it!
Lord, I struggled this morning when you didn't seem to hear what I was asking you to help me avoid. But thank you, for in a much bigger and better way, and in YOUR timing showing me more love and support than I even asked for. Thank you for people to share things with, who make me realize it's ok to be real, but who also help me and encourage me that I can be better because of you! Help me remember Your way and Your timing is always best, not easiest, but best!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Screaming on the Inside

Don't be deceived, even though someone is smiling, and laughing, it doesn't mean that they are not screaming on the inside. Screaming and hoping someone will see beyond the smile and the laughter, see beyond the front that they put up to make everything look ok. Sometimes those people are just hoping someone will hear them screaming on the inside and comfort them. Not making them feel guilty for hurting, not making it seem like a much smaller matter, not playing it down, not trying to act like they understand, not trying to preach at them about why they shouldn't feel this way, not just dismissing the hurt, not just stating that everything is going to be ok, just trust, don't feel sorry for yourself, you can rise above, there is always someone worse off than you.... but just comforting. Sometimes someone just needs a hug, or someone to say, "I can't imagine how you feel, it must be rough, these are my experiences with something similar, and I struggled... I struggled alot, but this is what I learned through the struggle." Sometimes someone just wants someone to talk to, someone who will take the TIME and have the care and concern to listen, and listen with a kind, caring ear, not judging. Sometimes someone just wants to know they are important enough to someone to take a little extra time to listen, otherwise they would rather the person not really bother to ask if they can't be bothered to really take the time to know. Sometimes someone just needs someone to lift them up in prayer. Sometimes someone just needs someone to at least try to put themselves in their shoes to try to understand what they are going through, when someone cares enough to do that, it makes it much easier to hear what things the Lord may be giving them to share with the one who is hurting. Sometimes someone just needs to be refreshed. That someone would be more than willing to do that for others, and maybe many times does. Don't miss the opportunity to do the same because of being too busy, too spiritual, or too quick to judge. Sometimes somone just needs to know they are not alone, not that they don't know that the Lord is always there, but having someone here on earth to be there and care as well. Sometimes those who are screaming on the inside are hesitant to share because of certain responses they got before that were hurtful. Sometimes someone just needs to hear that they are not unspiritual for being down, for hurting, or for voicing their doubts, fears, and disappointments, let them....and then just show you care. Sometimes someone just needs that!
Lord, help each of us to be aware of those who are screaming on the inside and just need someone to care....someone to be real (not perfect), and to take the time to listen, and not judge, but to really see someone who may be really hurting and just be there to help and encourage.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day

I was encouraged and inspired by my friend and amazing fellow blogger, Patricia, to write this post. After I read her blog called "My Daddy's Dash", I thought that I would like to share some thoughts about my amazing pappy! "The Dash" is a poem by Linda Ellis, it talks about the dash between dates of people's life and death, the dash represents what they did and who they were in between those dates. There is more to it, you really need to see the poem to really get it. It's a great poem. You can go to to see it. So, I want to honor my dad by sharing some of who he was. Some may have heard or may already know some of these things, but there may be some things you haven't heard, or there may be some of you that don't know any of this, so let me share about those years in between -the dash for him.

My dad along with his twin sister, Zora were the youngest of twelve children. He had an interesting childhood as he lost his mother when he was just two years old and his father when he was twelve. He would often tell the story of how his dad would make them go find a switch from a tree in the yard and each time they were spanked, after each hit they had to say, "Thank you, papa, a thousand times". He also lost his twin sister when they were twelve. She had tonsillitis- having that back in the 40's and down south, she ended up with an infection which took her life. He was raised by his older sisters.

He enjoyed sports as a boy, one of his favorites being baseball. I didn't find out until his funeral from an old friend of his that he was really good at baseball. This friend said he could have been a professional baseball player, but that was difficult for him down south in the 50's. As he got older he loved bowling and we have many trophies around the house to prove it!

He served in the United States Army, and was stationed in Germany. He taught me the few German words he learned, (I'm sure I'm not going to spell them correctly, sorry), such as ein, zwi, dri, fia, ich liebedich, wegates, auf wiedersane. We actually had a whole routine that we would do before I went to bed at night. He would say goodnight, I would repeat, ein, zwi, dri, fea, I would repeat, ich liebedich, repeat, vegates, repeat, auf wiedersane, repeat, goodnight, repeat, I love you, repeat. Then it was finally off to bed. That is a fun memory for me. He would also call me his Pooky-Pooky Poo. :)

He was one of the hardest workers I know. He was a cook at Cigna Insurance Company for 30 years. He never missed a day in all of that time. People at work loved his soups and his macaroni and cheese. Sadly, I wasn't a big soup person when I was younger, and I don't think I ever tasted his macaroni and cheese. Of course he wouldn't cook much at home since that's what he was doing all day. Plus mom was a home daycare provider, so since she was home she would fix dinner. I did get to experience his cooking once in a while, when mom was at ladies' seminars and things. He liked to use spices and do things that were a little different, but were always good. I remember one morning when mom was away, he cut glazed doughnuts in half put them in a pan and cut small pieces of cheese to go on the doughnut halves, it was so good! He was the kind of man who retired, then went back to work for awhile again.

He was the strongest man I knew. I loved to have him show off his muscles to my friends. Then I also loved to have him show how he could swing me on one arm. I would just hold on to that big muscle and he would swing me back and forth. Even though he was so strong, killing my bugs for me and making me always feel safe, there were a couple of things that were strong fears for him. My dad did not like to drive over bridges with water underneath, he wouldn't drive if we were going some distance because he did not want to have to drive over bridges. He didn't like water, even though he was on a ship in the service. His other big fear was.......cats! Yes, you heard right, he did NOT like cats at all! (He didn't care for dogs either, not an animal person). I'll never forget the story my uncles told of my dad being in a car when he was younger down south, the car had windows that didn't roll all the way down in the back. Somehow, I don't remember exactly how, but a cat got in that car. They said that my dad scrambled out of that half open window faster than they could have ever imagined! I remember one day here we had a stray cat that came on our back porch. I have always loved animals, so I begged my mom to feed it, but she told me I better not even think about feeding it, because my dad didn't like them and would not be happy(she didn't like them either). So, sadly I didn't get to feed it, but it just stayed on the porch. When dad got home from work he was busy reading something. I came to the door and said, "Dad, look we have a visitor." He looked up saw the cute, sweet, little kitten, then stepped backward down 3 steps in one leap, and ran around to the front of the house and came in that door. He banged on the back door to try to get it to leave. Once it did, he put pepper all over the back porch to make sure it didn't come never did.

He was a strong man, but was also very stubborn. He didn't want to have anything to do with church. My mom was saved and started taking me to church with her, he wasn't a fan of that. There were some pretty rough moments during those times. But mom prayed faithfully every day for twelve years for him to be saved. One day when we were having a dedication service for our new church building he came and was saved. What a blessing! After that point, he was in church every time the doors were opened. He would greet people when they came in, give them that beautiful smile and a bulletin. He was on the deacon board, and was an usher, and helped count the money. He worked as hard and faithfully at church as he did at his job.

He had many friends, made people laugh, and always looked and acted younger than his years. He loved food, especially fish, black eyed peas, and collard greens. He loved sucking on the neckbones! Leukemia and diabetes changed those things in my dad, sadly. He wasn't able to be that same strong man that I always knew growing up, but he always kept up an amazing sense of humor and kept himself and others laughing, and what a great laugh it was by the way. He loved Red Sox baseball, loved watching basketball with me, and other sports as well. But he definitely loved watching bowling on TV. Sometimes Sunday dinners would be interrupted or a little shorter as he had to finish watching his bowling. There are so many things that I could say and share, but I think you get the idea of who he was. So many memories and so much life in that little dash, but it didn't seem enough for me. My heart feels like he was taken too soon, but I know that this was the life and those were the years the Lord had for him. I am just so thankful for those years that we had together, all the memories in that dash.
Lord, thank you for my wonderful, amazing, pappy. I love him and miss him so much. This was a tough day without him, but thank you for this opportunity to share some of the memories of his life. Please give him a hug for me, tell him his "Little Buddy Jr." says Happy Father's Day, and that she loves him very much! Tell him I can't wait to see him again soon! Thank you, Lord for being my Heavenly Father who loves me more than even my pappy did. Love you, Lord. Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Storms have been on my mind quite a bit! Probably because there have been so many storms lately, not only weather-related ones(of which there have been many), but also personal ones for myself and others. As I've already relayed in previous posts, I am not a fan of storms. The lightning makes me jump and freaks me out, that is some powerful stuff. It usually makes me close my eyes and crouch down, so you can only imagine how well that works while I'm driving. You really think that's going to change just because I'm driving?? Really? Then, you don't know me well! It definitely happens. Then thunder really does me in. Hey, I don't even do balloons popping ok? Not a fan of parties where balloons are involved. Yup, that's me, I can't even go to see fireworks...yea, not pretty at all! Just a month or two ago I went to a Civil War reenactment, it was really great...until they started fighting, using those big cannons. Trying to keep my ears plugged even though my arms were getting super tired, while trying to keep from making the sounds of fear that kept trying and succeeding in escaping from my mouth was rough. Ok, so now that you have a little better understanding of how I feel about storms, maybe you will see why I just don't like them at all. We had some pretty bad storms last night, the lightning was crazy. Down into the basement I went, my safe haven. Last week there were some awful storms that came through and produced some awful tornadoes in Massachusetts, just a little over the border from Connecticut and just about 20 minutes from me. That definitely put things into perspective. It wasn't one of those "over there" storms, it was right here. Quite close to home. There were three tornadoes that touched down, one was EF3, the other two were EF1. I know there have been much worse, even just recently, but we are not used to that here. Channel 3 gave us a chance to help out those in need by having places set up to drop off cash or checks for the American Red Cross to use in helping these people rebuild. That day our state raised over $41, 000 in aid for our neighbors to the north. What a blessing to be able to help! There have been several news stories showing the devastation of the storm. Stories such as a mom who threw her 15 year old daughter in the bathtub and jumped on top of her only to lose her life while saving her daughters. This story and many others broke my heart, but there were several people confidently saying we are going to rebuild, we will make it through this. To see their hope and strength was so encouraging. There have been other tornadoes recently in other parts of the country. There have even been some storms lately that have brought lots of rain to some areas and many places have been flooded, many people have lost homes in that way as well. Of course many people are just devastated because of losing so much, discouraged, and not knowing what to do, but they are willing to keep trying and going on. Even now as I sit here we are getting more Severe Thunderstorm warnings, so yup, you guessed it, I'm down in the basement, my safe place. Through these storms there have also been many stories of people rallying to help those in need. So many selfless people willing to help, even in just the smallest way. I heard a story of one lady who drove around with water bottles and donuts in the back of her minivan to bring to those who were out working, clearing away debris. She just wanted to do something to help.
All these storms have made me think of so many storms that I have heard going on in people's lives including my own...spiritual storms and personal storms. There have been so many people hurting because of storms of sickness, whether it's that person or someone they know and love. Many times it has been storms of job loss, or insecurity about what is going on with a job. Many storms of not being sure of the future, what will happen with a loved one, what will happen with people themselves and things going on in their lives, what will happen with their children. So many different things that have caused storms for people. Some of these same things have been some major storms in my life, and they have been big. I'm sitting in the dark now writing this because this big storm has cut off our electricity. Sometimes when storms are big like this in our lives we don't see how we are going to get through the darkness, sometimes it seems to last forever......but it doesn't. It might last longer than we might like(that's usually the case for me, weather-related or personal). But the storms do come to an end, there is always a brightness on the other side, we might have to look around for that side, but we will find it sooner or later. Storms can do lots of damage in our lives, our minds, but if we seek the Lord and trust Him, He will carry us through to the other side. Many times we forget to trust Him or even praise Him in the storm, but He still graciously brings us to the other side. Even today, a friend of mine wrote in her status on facebook that a storm that they had where she was last night actually scared her because she could hear all the hail hitting hard against the windows, but she mentioned how glad she is that "God is greater than anything life throws at us". Then she added that it was a beautiful morning there for them which she stated was "another picture of God's goodness and grace". That really struck me this morning and reminded me to look for God through the storm like Peter did when he walked on the water, as long as he kept his eyes on God, he was able to make it.
Lord, help me to always keep my eyes on you. These storms are tough, the spiritual, the physical, and for me your little girl, even the weather-related. Thank you for letting me know that you are with me through all of these storms. I may not like them, but there is beauty that I can see afterward, and there strength that I seem to get as I finish growing through these storms. Thank you for your grace and goodness. You are a good God.