Monday, December 31, 2012

Closing an old year & welcoming a new one

I realize that you have not ended yet.  I realize the last moment of your life has not passed.  I realize the last memory during your life has not yet been made.  Because I will be busy during your very last moment making memories with loved ones, I wanted to say good-bye to you now.  Oh 2012, how I will miss you.  You came and went so quickly but so much happened during your life.  Your life was a bittersweet one in my life.   

For the first time ever, I experienced an MRI and surgery.  What an experience. . .one that I hope to never go through again.  For the first time ever, I rode in the vehicle with one of my children behind the wheel.  For the first time ever, I saw what it was like for a teenager to look for his first job and go to hear about his experiences of helping many people transport their groceries out to their vehicles.  For the fitst time ever, I had the courage to watch another child attempt that "kick flip" on his skateboard [without being encased in bubble wrap - never did wrap him up, but always thought he should be).  For the first time ever, my youngest child expressed her fears about entering middle school next year and asked if I could keep her in 5th grade next year instead (sooooo much like I was at her age).     

2012, although I am bidding you farewell, I am not bidding farewell to the memories that were made during your life.
. . .

Hello, 2013.  It's very nice to meet you.  What an exciting time you and I will have together.  What an exciting time your life will be.  It will be one during which wonderful memories will be made.  One during which I hope to lose some "baggage" before my 25th high school reunion.  One during which I will get to see people I haven't seen in several years who were a big part of my life for even more years.  One during which I will help a child complete scholarship applications.  One during which I will see my middle child enter his last year of middle school and my youngest child enter her first year of middle school.  One during which my children and I will enjoy another "every-other-year" mini vacation.  One during which I am looking forward to a new adventure with crafts (such as finishing that long-awaited cross-stitch UFO).  And so much more.       

I hope no one reading this will mind if I take a moment to thank the one who made everything possible in 2012.  The One who saw that my family stayed healthy.  The One who saw that all of our needs were met.  The One who blessed us in ways we never dreamed would happen.  If it weren't for God, none of these things would have happened.  He has gone above and beyond in blessing us.  I am thankful for the things He has done, the things He is doing, and the things He will do. . .for all things He does are great.

As we say good-bye to 2012 and welcome 2013, I want to encourage everyone to set goals they have never set before.  Let 2013 be the year you "reach for the stars".  Let it be the year you use your talents to bless others.  Let it be the year you start "adopting" a person each year to do many RAK's for or make a very special gift for such as a quilt, afghan, scrapbook, super duper sized care package of some of their favorite things, etc.  Whether it is a complete stranger or someone you know, choose someone who really needs some encouragement. . .someone who needs assurance that they are special. . .someone who the world hasn't been so kind to. . .or someone who is hurting.  I don't think we realize that difference we can make in the lives of others who are going through such things. 

I have many things I want to accomplish in 2013 which means I have many goals.  Painting walls in many rooms in our home.  Completing a cross-stitch UFO.  Making "fancy" soaps and selling them to raise money for special offerings at church.  Instead of yard sales, I look forward to having craft sales in my front yard during the warmer months.  Our home will be my primary goal, though.  The walls have been white since we moved in back in the mid 90's.  It's time for a change.  Let's bring in some color.  Let's get rid of the drab white that brings back a lot of unhappy memories and bring in color to represent happier times ahead.     

God bless.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Blessings

I hope you all have the most wonderful Christmas.  I know that most of us are going through the guilt of knowing that we will not be missing a member of our family during this holiday season as those in tragedies around our nation and world are.  Just this evening as I was sitting on my sofa just looking at the Christmas tree I broke down for those in the most recent tragedies, picturing the parents calling each of their children by name to come and open presents only to have one not respond because he or she is not there.

I cannot imagine how difficult it will be for each family who has lost a loved one as the result of a tragic event.  We all know that life is short. . .it is not forever.  We all know that we will all one day pass from this life and move on to our eternal life.  We expect that to happen.  What we don't expect is for life to be taken in such violent ways as we have heard and read about in the news.  It is probably that fact that breaks my heart for the families who were impacted the most.  They were all just going about their daily routines as usual with no hint that anything would befall them.  I am sure the shock has not worn off and I am continually praying for those families.

As you celebrate the joy of the season with your loved ones, please take time to honor those families we have read about and seem to feel so close to now.  Take time to honor the loved ones you have lost.  This can be a bittersweet time of year for people.  I pray that any of you reading this will find comfort from the memories of your loved ones and the joy that they brought to your lives.  I pray that this is the most wonderful Christmas ever for you all no matter what has transpired in your lives.

Of all things, I pray that every person's needs are met. . .that not one person is lacking for anything.

Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas everyone!!

God bless.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Never stop praying

There are so many people and things to pray for.  The list is long.  Not a day goes by when we should not take time to pray.

Please continue to pray for the families of those who were taken away from them in the tragedy in CT.  I imagine they are still in disbelief as that is the feeling that most of us still have.  The difference is that they have a very difficult road ahead of them while we do not. 

They haven't even begun to mourn.  They are not able to.  That process will be a very long, enduring one and it won't even begin for many until their loved ones are buried.  Even then it probably won't seem real to them.

I've been saying, "Lord, I know you can't turn time back to that day so that those heartbroken families can have their loved ones back, but please do all that you can for those families to help them deal with this".  What that will be I do not know, but God does.  He knows what they will all need every moment of every day throughout the mourning process just like He knows what each of us needs every moment of every day.

Sometimes tragedy has a way of causing families to be torn apart.  For families who may have been struggling prior to the loss of their child, brother, sister, aunt, cousin, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or friend, I pray that this draws them closer to one another.

Please also continue to pray for the community of Newtown.  I pray that this tragedy brings them closer together and makes the community a stronger one.  I pray that this ordeal gives the community a new resolve and that the people there will one day feel safe again. 

Don't let a day go by without taking time to pray.  There might be things that we pray for or about that others don't think to pray for or about.  God might impress upon us to pray for a person across the world who is struggling.  We won't necessarily know that person, but prayers will reach where they are.  There are times when God might wake you up in the middle of the night.  Sometimes we assume it's just because we couldn't sleep when in reality it was God waking us up to pray.  He doesn't always tell us why we need to pray at that very moment, but He wouldn't impress upon us to pray at that very moment if the need weren't so urgent.  Maybe He impresses upon us to pray because later that day someone will be in a situation in which they need intervention.  Prayer is so important, reaches very far, and impacts many lives.

Never stop praying.

God bless