Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Thoughts On An Attitude Of Anger ...

Are you filled with Rage? Do you verbally hurt those you love the most, then hate yourself afterwards?Have you resolved to work on anger management in 2017? I have a few close friends who are working on these issues, and it is their focus for the new year. I have some issues to focus on myself; I am so imperfect, and I won't deny that.
I guess the best blessing I've inherited from my Earthly Father and received from my Heavenly Father is that I try to be ... "slow to speak, quick to listen and slow to get angry. James 1:19." I do not post very many Bible scriptures because I feel like a hypocrite most days, but I do still try to accept the Grace that He has given. I struggle with a lot of things, but a short temper is not one of them. I will cut you loose and walk away before I create or participate in arguing with petty fits of drama and rage. If you are someone who is a part of me, and if I truly love you, I will probably give you more chances than you deserve, because that is who I am in my spirit, and that is what my Heavenly Father does for me more often than I deserve. As I have grown and matured, I have learned to let go of things (or people) that disappoint me and hurt me. Especially if they hurt me on purpose. Life on this earth is too short to hurt people who have hurt us. If someone has hurt you, it's easier to get over than you think it is. Change your mind, change your heart and put James 1:19 into practice. Don't let anger be your God. I believe we will live a longer, healthier life if we live by that verse. My daddy is going to turn 86 this May. He is at peace with himself, others and with God. I want to be the same. How can we be quick to listen if we are screaming in a rage of anger? If we tone down the volume on anger, we can finally hear that which needs to be heard. And as my daddy says, "We might learn something."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Four Years...

Today was the four year anniversary of Mama's death.

It isn't like me to not cry over such a big thing. Maybe my medication is preventing me from crying. Maybe I've cried so much over the last few weeks I am empty and simply cannot cry anymore for a while.

Even so, I've thought of Mama constantly. I had her candle lit all day in memory of her.
This candle is very special to me. I've loved candles my entire life. but years ago when I was nine years old I almost burned our home down because I was burning candles in my room. A big deal at the time, but became a family joke years later. So because of this I wasn't allowed to play with candles or matches again. Years later when I had a home of my own I couldn't buy enough candles and so far I have proven to be responsible with them. But Mama still worried. I imagine she still saw me as the careless nine year old, so she started buying the battery operated candles like the one in the photo. I fell in love with them because I can fall asleep without worry now.
This particular candle is most special to me because it arrived in the mail on Saturday before my Mama went home to be with the Lord the following Thursday morning. She wanted me to open the package and run to the store to get the C-size batteries for it so she could see the candle in all of its glowing glory.

I am glad I did that for her. We sat and talked for hours while burning the candle. It was a Christmas gift she ordered for me, which had been on back order so long she forgot about it until the day it arrived. I love the Mother and Daughter beach scene on it with a passage that says:

Mother and Daughter from the Start
Best Friends From the Heart ~

How true that is. My Mama really was my best friend and most certainly my biggest fan. I am thankful for that day we had together. I cooked in her kitchen for her, for the last time that day. We looked through old photographs and talked about each one. Stephen was especially sweet to her all day. They had some cuddle time on the sofa. Neither of us had any idea that would be our last "normal" day together.

The next day, Sunday, Mama became violently ill and stayed ill until Tuesday when she finally let us take her to the Dr. They were very concerned and sent her the next morning to the hospital for tests, but she ended up in the ER instead. We were informed later that day that she had Metastatic Cancer, meaning it had spread from its place of origin. They were going to send her home with hospice the next day, but Mama, always being the one in charge, decided to give up and go to her eternal home just after midnight. I was with her. I sensed the presence of God and His angels enter the room, and I felt my Mama's spirit leave her body and embrace me with a comforting hug. I am telling you, if I never believed before, I am I firm believer NOW. Yes, there is a God and YES, He is bigger than anything we can imagine, and He is merciful to those that love Him.  My Mama's passing over was peaceful as she slept. I'll never forget the feeling of the Lord's presence and I no longer fear death.

But I still miss her. I miss everything about Mama. I know I will see her again some day, but until that day I will burn candles in her memory and trust that she and the saints are interceding for the rest of her family.
  In Loving Memory of my mother, Ruth M Willis February 22, 1936 - March 25 2010. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It Is Well ...

I am so overdue an entry to this dusty old blog. I often sporadically have the desire to write, however, finding the time to write is most challenging these days.

Seems most of my inspiration over the last couple of years has come from the loss of my mother. I always knew losing mama would  be devastating because we were very close all my life. I didn't realize until she died that I never outgrew the separation anxiety that overwhelmed me when I was a little girl. It's true, it was bad. Really bad.

Sunday night I was reminded of one occasion in particular that I experienced the anxiety of being separated from my mama.  Sunday night I met with some of my elementary school friends for the first time in over thirty years. Suddenly, clear as day, I remembered the time my mama and daddy took me to school and I refused to get out of the car. My mama went into the school and talked to my teacher who came back with mama and helped get me out of the car (Actually, I think they may have pulled me by my ankles as I desperately clung to the steering wheel). I ran to the nearest thing I could grab on to -- the flagpole. It took my mama, daddy and the teacher to pry my little hands from that flagpole and drag me kicking and screaming into school. "Why does she hate school so much," My mama and teacher wondered and discussed as if I wasn't sitting there and could hear them. What they didn't understand, and what I didn't understand how to explain was, I didn't hate school. I loved school! I loved my teachers and my friends, but I absolutely hated being away from my mama. Talk about not cutting the apron strings! I acted as though I hadn't even been cut from the umbilical cord!

So now mama is gone and daddy is the only parent I have. It's almost like mama and God planned it this way because I wasn't as close to daddy, and we have some bonding to do. I'll tell you the truth, it's been a struggle for me. Daddy and I have never had deep conversations. We both love food and we've always talked about food and shared an interest in collecting cookbooks. That's a good place to start.

In the Christian faith, the number one priority is to witness to others the love of Christ.  Well, I knew my daddy was a believer, he went to church with us when I was little. But then when I was around five or six years old he abruptly stopped attending church, and mama and I started taking the bus. She played piano at the little church we attended and it was at that very church I gave my heart to Christ. Mama loved gospel music and read her bible every single night at bedtime while she listened to our local Christian channel on the radio. Many nights I fell asleep at mama's side as she read her bible out loud and sometimes sang along with the Rambo family or the Happy Goodman Family on the radio. There has never been a doubt in my mind where mama stood with her savior. In fact, I witnessed with my very own soul the night she went home to be with the Lord that she was going to meet her loved ones who had gone before her. She called some of her loved ones by name and took the hand of God when His presence entered the room. I was there when her spirit left her body. I felt the peace of the Holy Spirit and I felt mama hug me on her way out. Because of that moment, I'll never, ever doubt the existence of God and Heaven.

I've never felt certain about daddy's relationship with the Lord though. I always knew he was a believer,  but we've never had that talk before ... until today.

This morning daddy and I talked on the phone for about an hour -- A nice habit we've picked up over the last few months. We talk about all sorts of topics, but salvation hasn't been one of them. But today was totally different. Daddy talked to me about how he and my maternal grandfather prayed the prayer of salvation with my great uncle Evan one night when they stopped by his house to pick up some beekeeping supplies. He said that the next morning when he went to uncle Evan's house, he found him dead. He must have died right after daddy and Pawpaw left. Right after he asked Christ into his heart. Then daddy began to cry as he talked about Jesus and the sacrifice He made for us. Daddy talked about how God will always give us a chance to accept Him into our hearts, even up until we take our very last breath. I, on the other hand was speechless because I was crying on my end of the phone. I was crying because I know that I'll never have to question where my daddy stands with the Lord.
It is well, it is well with his soul.

By the way, if you remember this old hymn most all of us have sung out of the old church hymnals, here is a video with a brief explanation of the history of the song. Listen to it with your heart, you'll never be the same again.

It Is Well With My Soul: Lyrics written by Horatio Spafford 1873

Monday, June 20, 2011

Update? What's that?

So sorry to have neglected this blog for so long. It isn't that I don't want to write ... I just can't seem to carve out the time these days.

In the future (not so distant future, I hope) I will be blogging about the following:

Our family trip to Disney World!
Stephen was granted the most amazing wish of a week in Orlando, FL and tickets to several of the Disney parks.

Life, in general ...
Too much going on, but I'll try to squeeze in a few details ASAP.

Hope y'all are having a fantastic summer!

Monday, March 21, 2011

They Say The First Year Is The Hardest ...

Well, I can with all honesty say that it's been the hardest year ever for me.

Losing mama.

It sort of hit me hard today while I was visiting my daddy. I walked in the kitchen that I grew up in. My mama's kitchen. Today was one year ago that my mama had her last meal, and it was cooked by me, in her kitchen. She called me that morning and asked us to come over, and wanted me to make tacos. Mama loved tacos as much as Stephen does. I'm so glad I was able to do that for her.

I could tell that mama was in a lot of pain that day. Her back was hurting her and she kept asking me to rub it for her. We didn't know that her liver was enlarged from the cancer that was going to take her life in only a few more days. Even though she was in a lot of discomfort, she mustered up the strength to wash the dishes and put them away before I had gotten back down stairs from taking Stephen to the bathroom. I hope I can be as tough as my mama was. No pain meds at all in the last stage of cancer. Not even a Tylenol. God love her, she wouldn't take them because they can cause liver damage. She had nothing for pain until a few hours before she died in the hospital on the following Wednesday.

I'll never forget those few hours I had alone with mama before the Lord took her home. I'll never forget the spiritual experience we shared before her spirit left her body. Some day I'll write about that experience. A whole year later and I still can't put it into words.

When I entered this world, it was only she and I and a medical staff. When she exited this world, it was only she and I and a medical staff. I will be changed forever because of the last moments we had together. I'm so thankful that she and I worked through our differences. We went through a couple of times over the last 24 years that we didn't speak for a long period of time. My fault, not hers. I know she wanted the best for me and as the old saying goes ... Mother knows best.

March 25th will be one year since the most important woman in my life exited this world and entered eternal life with her Lord and Savior. She was reunited with her loved ones. I miss her and will always have an empty space that only she can fill.

Friday, February 11, 2011

So When's The Last Time I Blogged About Stephen?

Yeah, I know! It's been a while, huh? Let me give y'all a brief update.

One of my old friends mentioned that she hadn't seen a photo in a while of Stephen and was caught a little off guard when she saw a photo of him with facial hair. Friend, I still cant believe it either! It just makes me want to cry when I compare his old photos to his recent ones. It feels like the last 18 years have flown by so quickly. I cannot tell you how much I wish I had listened to my Mawmaw years ago. The very last one-on-one conversation I had with her she was urging me to have more children. She couldn't imagine one child being enough. She had many siblings growing up and had eight children of her own. Well, I wouldn't have wanted eight children! But I do wish I had at least one more. Not only for my own reasons of loving children, but also so Stephen would have a brother or sister. My brother and I are ten years apart in age, but even so, we were always very close. I wish Stephen had that. If I could go back a few years I would have ignored the doctors and tried for another baby. Stephen is a miracle, and God could have performed another miracle - If we had allowed Him.

So, about Stephen. He's had a birthday since I last updated! He is now eighteen years old! Oh, be still my tearful heart! He and I stand exactly nose to nose and he weighs almost as much as I do. He is waaaay stronger than I am. He gets sweeter every day. Absolutely the love of my life, as I have said time and time again. And the icing on the cake is, we can even wear the same size. That's super cool! :)

A side note here: My laptop just up and died on me two days ago. I could cry a bucket of tears because the last three years of our life is on that thing. Photos of Stephen and my mama, videos of Stephen and my MAMA! I hope and I pray it can be repaired, or at the very least, I can have my photos and files copied. Either way, it''ll cost many dollars that I just don't have right now. So I will save all that for a future project.

I am now blogging from my old faithful Dell desk top computer that is still running on the XP operating system. Need I say more? They should have stopped at XP in my opinion. Best system they ever had.

Fortunately I do have some recent photos uploaded to facebook, so I will add one or two here to show y'all -- and dear old friend, brace yourself girl ... You won't believe your eyes.

Many Blessing!