On Saying Goodbye to my Mom…The Last Love Letter

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Mom and I in happier days!

 

To say that 2018 was a difficult year would be an understatement. When your New Year begins with being abruptly displaced from your home without warning and ends with the loss of a loved one, well words are sorta hard to find.

I spent most of 2018 helping my Mom stay alive. I cannot write much beyond that now- it’s still too new and unreal. I’m still settling into the reality of her being gone and this new year starting without her. I’m still struggling to figure out who I am without her in my life, and what’s next. Most of all I am missing the woman I called Mom. 

 

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The Post In Which I Set You Free From Your Doomed Resolution List

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Happy First Monday of the New Year! It has been a while since I posted a Miscellany Monday post- which basically is where my head, which is as busy as the sky on the 4th of July, spills over into this place in cyberspace. But, lucky for you, I’m bursting forth with randoms to share with you today!

First and foremost, I HAVE to share this excellent message preached this past Sunday, by our Assistant Pastor, Randy Curtis.

Some of you know that my #OneWord for this year, is Renewal. Despite not wanting to participate in the One Word Campaign, that so many bloggers enjoy, I discovered God had something for me after all. I thought it was in the scripture only this year. Yet, as I shared with a fellow blogger my numerous reasons why I was not doing the One Word, which can pretty much summed up with this attitude: Life just sucks lately, so why bother. Um, OK, I did not say that, it was more subtle. Like, God does what He wants and I don’t care. I know, not a very spiritual attitude, at all! But, God does know what we need. He did meet me where I was, crappy attitude and all. He led me to Romans 12:1-2. Then, at the time I least expected it, as I read from the English Standard Version, instead of the others, the word just jumped out at me. It was obvious I needed a serious attitude adjustment. So, did God give me my head on a platter? No, he gently, led me to the word Renewal. When I didn’t even want. One. More. Thing. Let alone One Word for the New Year.

It is no small thing that the month before when, sweet Jen @ Finding Heaven asked about our one word thoughts, and I remember replying, if I had to choose what I needed most, it would be “renewed hope”. I promptly forgot about that little conversation, but apparently God was listening. And then He sent an Owl.

But, you must be wondering about thus mentioned AWESOME MESSAGE, right? Well, let me say this. I don’t care where you are in the New Year Resolution thing, but if you are a professing Christian, I believe you NEED (is this a strong enough emphasis?) to listen to the message.

Also, be jealous of MUAH, Yours Truly, because after trying to keep up with the awesomeness coming out of Randy’s mouth via his preparations, gifting to share God’s Word, and the Spirit, my notes had gaps. I just felt that it was worth asking for a fill in the gaps favor, since I can only write so fast. I asked Randy if he could e-mail me his sermon notes. To my joy (only writers get this excited when someone hands them their written, lengthy notes, right?) he handed me his own! Right then, right there. Oh, yeah! OK, why am I so happy? Because now I can re-read until all the message sinks into my thick head. Awesome, yes? Yay, me!

Plus, bonus of bonuses, fireworks were shooting off from (in) my head -surprising that didn’t distract the congregation, because the verses preached fromTitus 2:11-14, well, they are THOSE verses. Like one of a handful of God verses you get in a lifetime that really speak powerfully to you and stick to you. You know, the ones you always highlight FIRST in every new Bible you get, because they are  special messages from your Father who loves you…and you just never, ever want to forget. Let’s just say I have a list of scripture that are especially meaningful to me, because God revealed them to me in a way that made them stand out. Personal. Of course, all of God’s word is living, active, powerful and useful, I know, BUT some are just so creatively, uniquely delivered to us in a season that we know He knows. And that is why He is God, peeps and I am glad of that- He is able. Now, stop distracting me, already… Yeesh!

So just one little quote from the message because, as I said, the best gift I can give you, or you can give yourself, is to listen to it and let it minister grace and truth to you concerning your new year. Amen?

Trust me, on this, OK?

And NO, you cannot have the 5 pages of notes. Unless Pastor Randy e-mails them to you. Sorry. 

“In the year 2014, you don’t need a checklist of things you need to improve. You don’t need a list of things to do. You need to be totally transformed by the power and grace of God. If you are a believer, then that transformation has already taken place. The transformation is continuing to take place. That transformation will one day be totally and perfectly complete. Don’t start your year off thinking about all that you need to do. Start off thinking about all that God has done for you, and before long you will find yourself living in ways you never dreamed possible. “

Now, isn’t that better than your doomed Resolution list?

Seriously, this message was so good, I think it will last all year. I will sit out the rest of my Sundays mediating on this one sermon. Um, no. I am so kidding. But it is so, so, so, good. And I will mediate on it all year. A wonderful new year’s gift.

May God bless your New Year, 2014! 
If you listen to the sermon, will you let me know with a comment back here or on Facebook? 
OK, and so I will have to share my other randoms in another post because well…my randoms in this one were enough, PLUS I do not want to distract you from THE SERMON!
Click on link below to listen to the message by Asst. Pastor Randy Curtis:

You can find Randy blogging HERE

Linking with Laura for:

and Create With Joy:

Linking with Kathy @ Cornerstone Confessions
and Timewarp Wife for their Titus Tuesday communities! 


When Your One Word Flies Into Your Life Uninvited

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I had been pondering this past month, with the coming end of 2013. Pondering that I really had not felt a nudge, or heard a word from God concerning the New Year. I let this last month drift by without much fanfare at all.
 I wrote in my journal on December 10, “Perhaps I am at a crisis of faith…but I feel nothing. No anger, no joy, no passion, no excitement, no expectation, no hope…I am in a state of limbo. A bleak existence. For further clarification, I’m not mad at God…I just no longer expect anything.” 
Limbo, indeed. The past year was like a slow starting forest fire that became an incinerator for many of the hopes, dreams and goals set in my heart. One continuous stop, drop and roll of a year putting out the fires that flared up from every side. 
I had no idea of where I would end up or what was to come with a word like Release. But it left me wordless by the end of the year. From my journal, “Last year (2012) I felt like I was drowning. This year I feel like I am hanging.”

So, as I considered and weighed what is to come, and what has passed, and sensing God’s quietness, I assumed I had no word for the year. I mean, a word like Limbo, does not catapult one into brainstorming goals and dreams for a new year. So I accepted that God was done with parading me along with my fellow bloggers for this One Word theme for 2014. Honestly, after Less and Release...I wasn’t exactly telling God to lay it on me. 
But, as I was sitting with Him one morning (or afternoon, don’t really remember), I was prompted in my reading to Romans 12:1-2. I had the sense that this was God’s “word” for me for this year-and for always – but it was a timely reminder. So, that’s not really one word, I thought to myself. Off the hook. 
I began embracing this as my verse for the year and focus…and figured, meditating on His Word is never a bad thing, so may as well embrace this leading. Next thing I’m explaining to someone about how I am not having a “word” this year, and as I reiterated my verse, the weirdest thing happened. One Word, jumped out at me and I felt my heart do a flip up into my throat, back down to my gut and back into my chest. In a good way. 
” I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ~ Romans 12:1-2


Yup. I tried to deny it…but it was unmistakable. And merciful. Renewal. Because after Less, and Release…I mean, one does not just WALK INTO MORDOR, willingly! Renewal, seems a tad more optimistic than my previous words. I guess God knows when we are at the end of our rope!
A beautiful confirmation….
Later that evening, while walking by the Sea Wall with our dog and a friend Saturday night, God sealed this sweet deal with me. Adjacent to us, up popped what I thought was a seagull onto the wall. I said aloud, “That is one fat Gull.” But, the minute the words left my lips, my eyes and brain coordinated and I realized I was not looking at any Seagull. Before our very eyes, looking directly at us with a luminous stare, was the most beautiful White Owl. I insisted we get as close as possible. Once we approached the bird, it flew up to the streetlight. Watching it fly upward from the wall after seemingly awaiting our acknowledgement was a beautiful gift that I accepted with joy! 
Of course I went home and looked up what kind of owl that was and it happened to be a Snowy White Owl. Although I am not superstitious, I also had to look at some of the symbolism associated with owls. It made for some interesting reading, let me tell you! I will share that in another post. 

Let me just share one small word that described the symbolism of an owl:
 Renewal!
I love my God who is master of All and all creatures great and small. 
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!
Here are a few posts on my One Word from 2013-Release:





Linking with these communities of Word Pickers: 

Monday’s Are For New Beginnings, Right?

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If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.  ~Flavia Weedn 

What one is fated to have in life one will have; what one is not fated to have, there is no point in pressing for. ~unknown 


I am at an important crossroads. This word Release is wreaking havoc lately, in my life. How? Well it seems that since this has been my One Word for the year, I am clinging tightly to everything.
How’s that, I bet you are wondering…well specifically I am afraid to release anything and becoming increasingly overwhelmed. I’m afraid of releasing the wrong thing. Have you ever felt this way or am I utterly alone in this mess?
So, this weekend has been especially important as I seek to accept the fact that I can’t do it all. I mean I know this in my mind yet, my mouth forgets to say “no” to one. More. Thing. 
Something has to go. Something or a few things need to be released to make room for the best things.
It would be easy if a few of these “things” were bad in some way. They are not. They are all very good. Herein lies every single Believer’s challenge. To discern the things that are the Ephesians 2:8-10 things that God wills for their lives. You and I need to tune out all of the competing voices demanding our time, talent and attention and seek to hear clearly above all else the still, small voice that matters most. His. Christ alone is the one to determine the details. 
Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.  ~Robert Schuller

Look carefully through all the claims pressing upon you in your complicated life, and decide once and for all what it is that is the one really important and overmastering duty in it, and should be the one dominating aim. Then remember that if you succeed in that, the others, so multifarious, are really no more than the fringe of the garment, and that you need not spend so much anxiety over them, provided that the one most important is faithfully attended to. ~Anna C. Brackett

424. Breathtaking beauty everywhere
425. Coastline days
426. He leads me beside still waters on busy days…
427. The skies declare His glory and faithfulness
428. This little book which brought me a smile in the Doctor’s office waiting room.
I adore the detailed artwork of Jan Brett.
And sometimes a children’s book is just what the Doctor ordered…and good therapy. 
429. Rejoicing in this Holy Union of God, and beautiful sister in Christ and friend being blessed with a wonderful  marriage and new start! He is the God of new beginnings! Amen?
430. Sweet Saturday with my hub. Wedding Ceremony, coffee and appetizer
in between. Then a wonderful night of fellowship and laughter.

And now one last important word from our sponsors:


May His amazing grace be evident in all you say and do this week!
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