We said good-bye to our dog of 16 years this week.
To be honest, it was time, but that does not make it easier. She was deaf, blind and like her sister suffering from kidney disease.
We knew it was coming, but still not ready. It all happened quickly while we were in the Bahamas, but thankful we could make it back home so we could be together.
Explaining death to a 9 year old never is easy, but it gives us more opportunity to talk about God and heaven and Jesus.
The hurt is real, but so is the beauty of a best friend. The creature at my feet each night and the unconditional love in the loneliness. The loyal companion of my adult years. I miss her busting through the closet or barging in on my bathtime. Even miss the way she did anything to get to food…I miss her. But the pain is worth the 16 years of joy and the happy times of her youth.
What do you think of when I say the word church? Joy? Good people? Pain? Hypocrisy? Unspoken?
So many thoughts…none of them wrong, but I think of home. My go to place each Wednesday and Sunday. My first boyfriend and best friend. Youth group hang outs and camps. People that prayed.
Sure it is full of broken people and sinners, but that is why I fit in so well. My brokenness is welcome here and yours should be too. My youth church closed its doors this past Sunday. Church is not a place, but still sad I cannot go back to visit the building where I was baptized. Happy to have my family with me this Easter. Hope my son has all I had in a church home and more. If you feel a certain way about church, I encourage you to try again. It is worth it.
One of my favorite things to do is work in the preschool at church. I get to love on babies, play with toddlers, tell little ones about Jesus and SHOW them God’s love on display. Tell each kid that Jesus knows his or her by name.
I get to give parents an hour to worship undistracted by little ones. My time with their children help ls them to feed their souls. Is it loud and crazy…oh yes. But is it important?
Nothing else matters.
The kingdom belongs to these littles. We must be careful to train up the next generation so the church carries on until He returns.
Be the church wherever you fit in using whatever gift He bestowed upon you.
I try to share more about Jesus without being pushy or in your face. I know several people connect Jesus with church/religion and have hard feelings. I never want to isolate anyone with a stereotype, but Jesus is the most important part of my life and He is worth sharing. However, I also share other things I love like Camp Gladiator and funny comedians and nice cocktails and friends and my family.
Today I shared something magical. A bag of Lucky Charm marshmallows only! Yes only the marshmallows.
My husband does not always do everything the way I prefer him to do it, but one area where he excels is being a good father. He makes the time, sets boundaries and always follows through. Proud to have a front row to watch them two bond.
One thing that I am thankful for is NOT having daddy issues like many women I know. My dad modeled a genuine love for me including being present. He still is that father figure. He leaned into Jesus to learn how to be a dad because his dad was not there. Thankful my husband leans on Jesus too because my son will benefit like I did. God is a faithful Father and if you missed out having this experience as a child, know God can be trusted. Lean into Him!
I want to start by saying that this year for me is WAY better than last year, so I am thankful. Last year juggling virtual teaching and student absences while trying to maintain a gradebook was intense. I will always be grateful for my mental health this year, however teachers across the country are abandoning education at a massive rate. I struggled to put into words why…but then a teacher I follow on Twitter said it perfectly…
The teaching game has changed, but the mindsets of those making the decisions and laws have not. They want to “catch up” kids to make them what they use to be and these kids are not what they use to be. Families have changed, education has changed and now laws need to change. The stress being put on teachers to test and perform is breaking our spirits as more hours of tutoring, documentation and building up their SEL is exhausting. I made this TikTok last year I think of one of my favorite Christian songs called Truth Be Known. It sums us up well…looking good, but feeling weak.
God is my source of hope and strength so I know my foundation is firm. I have endured this business for 20 years so I know I can endure this valley, but those that do not know any different are walking out at an alarming rate. I get it. I hate it, but I get it.
On another note, wow how Lupus has changed my hair. No clue when my hair began to fall out and thin, but seeing my hair in this Tik Tok is shocking…long, full of volume…this is it today
Not without hope, but definitely not what it was. Crazy how a medicated auto immune disease can do that. My devo today said God has a purpose for my broken body and I am putting all my faith, hope and love that it is true.
I am using this space to plead for prayers for my sister in law battling Covid in the hospital. Blows my mind that she A. caught it but then B. is struggling to fight it. She is a rock to my brother and the air that he breathes. Literally been with her since high school, his only girlfriend and as much family as anyone with my blood…so pray pray and pray again that she builds strength and recovers.
On that note, blessed our foundation is in Christ and we do not have to fear death. 2020 has taught me that this world is not fair, we live in a fallen world where we rely on things that are fake and not meant to sustain and that our foundation means everything. So if you are like me and this year has rocked your soul…then join me in checking the foundation and building it on Jesus. His ways. His word. His Plan A.
It was simple. A card of scripture sitting in the dash of my vehicle. It has been there so long that I sometimes forget its power and purpose. It is a constant reminder of what and whom I live for, but even I can sometimes forget the power of the words. It is often not seen since few get in my car, but today was different.
The valet at a local hotel got my attention. He thanked me for the scripture and told me those words spoke to him. Looking into his eyes, I know he meant it. Such a strong human to share the impact. It caught me off guard as I was already nervous about getting my car filled with so much dirt and trash. In the middle of all these fancy cars, mine felt so out of place, but he reminded me my humble car was a witness. An unexpected witness pointing to a big God!
I hope to remember that our witness can be used by God in any way He sees fit. On this day I was moved and now see those scriptures with new eyes.
Reading about the Naya Rivera story…a story of a mother that used her last bit of energy to save her son before drowning…hit me hard as a mom.
I feel her frantic trying to keep her child safe.
I feel her fatigue using all her energy for another’s life.
I feel her panic that she cannot swim any longer.
I feel her love for her child and his future.
I know if she had any fight left in her or clarity of mind to make a plan then she would have done more/anything to save herself. As a mom, we want to be on the front row of watching our children succeed. Nothing breaks my heart more than to imagine not being able to see my child grow up. Not being the one to give the hugs, cheers and watch them grow into adults. I know it devastated her to not get into that boat with him. She gave her life for him.
“No greater love than to lay down your life for a friend.”
Jesus understands this kind of love for His children. He gave his life for me. He chose to die so that I could live. He gave all his energy and breathed his final breath only after He knew I was safe. I owe him my life.
I owe it to God to live my life to the fullest because He sacrificed his for mine. I owe it to God to be thankful for the gift. I owe it to him to tell others about this love.
I do not understand much about parenting, but I get the deep love for the life of a child. I will forever be connected to Naya Rivera on this deep love that you would use your last ounce of energy before letting go. Praying for her family as they navigate a future without her and praying for hearts to be opened that this kind of love is found in Jesus Christ for you and me.