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Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Conflama

I'm there. 

In that place I find myself often. Feeling like few "get" me. Wanting desperately to be "gotten." Wanting to be able to spill all my jumbled thoughts out on the table and categorically, systematically go through each, one-by-one, and make sense of the tangled mess. 

I'm at that place where words fail to encapsulate all the emotions and colors flowing through my mind--and words rarely fail me. 

I'm at a juncture in my faith and in my life where I feel I'm being called to go deeper, higher, farther. 

I feel like I've been given a small, smudged corner of the map and told to "walk that way" and then....nothing more until the next directive. In the mean time, I'm walking blindfolded, clutching this tattered piece of map for all I'm worth, and waiting, waiting...

And clinging. 

Clinging to the hope and faith I have in God. Believing Him when He says that He has a plan, that I'm not just wandering aimlessly without purpose. That He understands, even when I or others don't. 

And I'm trusting. 

Trusting that He is directing my paths. That He does have my best interest at heart. 

I'm limping along, bruised and wounded by life's battles, nursing scars, and not sure I can survive the war. Weak and dehydrated from the back-and-forth that happens in life. Exhausted from the beautiful and maddening differences found in each one of us; those things that can bring us together can also drive us so far apart. 

And asking myself if I really mean it when I say I'll follow Him. 

Will I?

Will I choose a tattered, living, breathing map to a destination I know, but a path I'm unsure of over a clear-cut path to misery?

Where He points will I go? Where He leads, will I follow? 

Will I leave those who won't follow, even if they ask me to stay? Even when it makes no sense to them--or to me?

Will I ignore the disbelief and incredulity of others in order to please Him?

Sometimes it feels like it costs me too much even though the price has already been paid. 

And do I really believe what I say I do?

The more I learn, the more I know. 

And the more I know, the greater the realization that there's a line in the sand.

It's impossible to be a part-time follower once the Truth is revealed.

So here I stand, holding this piece of map. One foot in front of the other. 

Ready. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Momma Don't You Worry by Louie Lawent-A Review

I recently read a children's book by Louie Lawent called Momma Don't You Worry (LadyBee Publishing). Once I read this short, sweet, sing-songy, rhyming book, I knew I would share it with all of you. 
If you've ever had a preschooler or kindergartner eager to launch out on an adventure, you know what the conversation is like when you're out together in public: little pleading voices with big, adventurous eyes begging to be let go on a journey by themselves.

Tiny little hands become slippery as you work hard not to let them out of your grasp. Small feet struggle to keep up with momma while interested eyes are darting around, taking in their curious surroundings.

While I read Mr. Lawent's book, I could picture an antsy little guy of five ("almost six years old" ), tugging at his mom's hand and darting off on an adventure, only to find himself lost and afraid.  A fast-thinking and smart little boy, the little guy in this story remembers what his mom taught him to do in just such a situation and asks a sales clerk for help finding his mom. All is well as the little guy and his momma are reunited and he gives in to his mom's desire to hold his hand tightly. The illustrations inside the book are adorable too, allowing the reader to visualize the entire story.

Momma Don't You Worry is an endearing story about one little boy's realization that maybe, just maybe, it isn't so bad holding mom's hand after all. 

You can find Momma Don't You Worry on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Grieving Well With Jesus Series: Grieving the Loss of a Grandparent

On January 10, 2015, I lost my grandfather.  In two years and seven months I had lost all of my grandparents.  I was so angry and had such a heavy heart.  The grief that I took on was like a weight that was tied to my ankle and dragging me down to the bottom of the ocean.

Now I know I am not the first person in the world to lose someone, but when I lost my grandfather it was final.  The end of a chapter in my life was ending and I had absolutely no control over it.  Now I am the type of person who has control issues.  I like to feel that I have a handle on something, but something as large as life and death, how could I ever feel I would be able to control that?  

Even when my family placed the phone up to my grandfather’s ear as I said my final good bye, I still was telling him that this was not part of the plan and he needed to just stay longer so I could have my one last visit that was only in one week.  

Honestly that last visit wasn’t going to make his leaving this Earth any easier, but in the heat of the moment I thought that was what I needed.

For the rest of Lindsay's story click HERE.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Grieving Well With Jesus Series: 7 Ways Grief Changed Me

Sara Shares 7 Ways Grief Changed Her Life

I received 3 phone calls on July 12, 2013. The first was from Dad, his weekly check-in from one state away. We gabbed and chuckled. I put the girls on the phone to chat with him. We parted with “I love you.” The second phone call was from my brother. Dad had collapsed. He was being rushed to the hospital. The third: “He’s gone.”
As abrupt as that, life can end.
Anyone who doesn’t fully comprehend how short life is has never had a third phone call.
Grief is universal and inevitable.
Grief is also a game changer.
Over the last year, I have discovered this to be true in many ways in my view of the world.
1.  I have put less emphasis on the material side of life. Not that I was especially materialistic to begin with, but after seeing Dad’s 62-year life reduced to figures on a court document, I just can’t deny how empty possessions are. They burn, rust, break, disappear and get sold at auction. In their place is only air.
To read more about the 7 ways grief changed Sara click HERE.

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