Goodnight December

SONY DSC

I’m sitting inside, a couple of hours away from 2015, enjoying my Christmas tree for what will probably be the last time this season.  As much as I look forward to what the new year will hold, it always saddens me to pack away the Christmas decorations. There is just something about Christmas; the spirit of love that is in the air, people are nicer, and family members and friends seem more appreciative of one another.

The hubby and friends are outside playing corn hole, there are fireworks blasting in the distance, and other faint sounds outside of parties and traffic in the neighborhood.  Being the introvert that I am, I would rather spend my time quietly reflecting on the past year and meditating on God and what His will is for me for 2015.

This has been a tough year in many ways for many people.  The news has been overflowing with sad stories and bad news and full of fear inducing possibilities.  I hear it said that we could say that at the end of every year, but I have to disagree.

The thing I know to be true is that when I place my faith in God, all of the worry, fear and hopelessness vanishes.  When everything is falling down around me and I feel the strength of the waves of oppression and the heat of the battle, I have an Advocate.  This coming year, that is what I will hold on to.  No matter what situations may arise, God always has a plan.  It might not fit into my self-established agenda, but if I will follow it, all things will work for my good.

Have a happy and blessed New Year – Find out what God’s plan is for you and adhere to it and experience the joy that will follow.

Love and Blessings,

Lisa

The Power of a Memory

Irish blessing with background of Everglades sunset.

Irish blessing with background of Everglades sunset.

Everyone has them, we make more every day.

Though unbidden at times, our minds obediently display

Some are quite wonderful, insisting we smile

Others, nostalgic, take us back for a while

Then there are those that we’d rather forget

The bad ones, the memories that leave our cheeks wet

If we are smart, we will learn from them all

About life, faith and friendship, and to answer God’s call

How to fail, yet get up again, stronger than before

How to embrace this brief life til’ we reach yonder shore

I am thankful for memories, no matter which kind they might be

You see, the power of a memory is a wondrous thing to me.

By:  Lisa

Never give up!

Never give up!

Wise words of Harriet Beecher Stowe

Too blessed

City Park, New Orleans

City Park, New Orleans

We are finally home from vacation and although I had a wonderful time and wouldn’t take back the beautiful visit and fun times and laughter, I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.

I was browsing facebook earlier and saw that a very wise, young lady posted a status that said, in essence, ‘lighten up, everyone has depressing statuses today”.

Her status reminded me once again how very fortunate most of us are.  I had to stop and reflect on this trip and how many times I made silly negative comments about a late cab or a long drive or even (as ridiculous as it may seem) about eating too much.

As soon as these utterances leave my mouth, I regret them.   I think of the family living in a car because they have lost their home, or people who can’t afford to go on vacation this year because they have too many medical expenses.  What about the starving children?  What if they could be a bug on a wall as we rubbed our bellies, filled with all manner of delicacies while exclaiming, “Wow, I did it again; ate way too much”.  I would be embarrassed.

So what can I do?  I can start by making sure that I voice good things, that I focus on the positive, and that I remember at all times how very much I am blessed.  For me, it’s about remembering from Whom I get my strength, hope and peace.

I truly believe that what we say can influence for good or bad.  If I grumble and complain, that propagates more of the same.  And seriously, isn’t life arduous enough at times without me broadcasting the bad like the ratings-hungry news media does?

So, once again I vow to try to remember those less fortunate than me when I find myself in a far from horrid situation that beckons a complaint or murmur.  I will silence the fuss with praise or a blessing!

Love you mother!

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I was blessed with one of those Moms like the one from Leave It to Beaver, only better.  Hers was the shoulder I cried on, and it was her hand that I held.  She was strength when I needed it and a resounding voice of wisdom during my trials and troubles.

In my early years, she was my fiercest protector, my biggest encourager, my most invested teacher and an abundant source of love and gentleness.

As I grew, she cheered me on, she poured positivity into me, and she taught me forgiveness and reminded me to turn to God for all things.

In my teenage years, she cried with me as she stroked my back, bringing hope to a broken heart.  She defended me like a lioness, when she thought I’d been wronged.  She never lost faith in me or what I could become.  She was my mentor, my solace, my sole confidante.

When I became a mother myself, I learned to appreciate her more than ever for it was then that I recognized her sacrifices and identified with them myself.

Now, after almost 17 years, I can still remember the sound of her voice, the strength of her touch and thankfully, all the things that she taught me about love and life.

I will miss her until the day the good Lord calls me home and I am reunited with her.

For those of you who didn’t have the greatest mom, I am truly sorry and I know there are many situations out there that are heartbreaking.  The good thing is, you can be that yourself, whether you are a mom or a mentor, you can give someone hope.  You never know how you can be used to pour into a life until you do it.

A matter of trust

another FL sunset

another FL sunset

 

Since I work from home on a laptop all day, I try to make an effort to get outside and take a walk or work in the yard during my lunch break.

Today, as the sky threatened to open up and pour buckets on me any minute, I figured it best to stay close to home.

As I was weeding, I heard a rustle.  I thought it was just lizards (here I go again, denigrating the lizards; see yesterday’s post to understand) until I saw the familiar red hue of the male cardinal.  He wasn’t even four feet away from me, hanging out, hopping around in the shrubs.

I found myself both thrilled and somewhat amazed that he trusted me that much.  But, after all, I am out here every day.  My husband and I do keep his source of food brimming over for the continual taking.

The first time I ever saw the cardinals, they were very skittish and flew away if we got anywhere near, but with time and the proof that we care (food) and we won’t harm them, they are growing to count on the fact that they can come and go as they please.  I couldn’t be happier.

You know those people who you feel like you just can’t reach?  Their problems seem overwhelming; life has been seemingly overly difficult for them.  You want to reach out; you want to be that listening ear, to help them in some way.

Be reminded that trust takes time especially once it has been broken.   Gaining confidence takes patience.  That acquaintance may have lived through hurt you can only imagine.  What you perceive as anger and hatefulness might be a mask that hides years of pain.  Keep smiling at them.  Keep praying for them.

That teenager who lives down the street might have been burned more than once.  The surly attitude and atrocious manners might be hiding abuse.  Be gentle, and forbearing.  But also, be diligent, and persevere.  You will reach them one day.  You might be the only one who cares enough to wait quietly, with ears to listen, arms to hold and a heart that beats to give hope to others.

And a note…I would be remiss if I failed to mention the Boston and West, TX tragedies that have shook our nation.  We must pray diligently for swift justice to the perpetrator, spiritual, physical and emotional healing for all involved and hearts that are never hardened to another’s pain.

Blessings!

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