Monday, August 25, 2014

Undeniable Proof~







 
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Letter to My Younger Self~

I dip a chip into the salsa and wonder, where has time gone?

Beside me is my soon to be eight year old nephew. Next to him, my beautiful sister who is expecting baby #2.  Seated by them, I watch my soon to be 80 year old mother as she watches her 2 year old great-granddaughter who is sitting beside her - my niece's, daughter. In my niece's lap, her one year old, and rounding out the table, her mother - my older sister, now in the 50 something category of life.

As I take a sip of water, I feel tears form in my eyes.  Here at this table, at a Mexican restaurant somewhere in the middle of Oklahoma, I realize the passing of time.  Like a slap to the face, a pinch to my heart, a reality check unlike any other, I feel the brevity of life.

When did they get so old?
When did I?
When did I graduate from child, to Aunt, to great-Aunt?

In my mind's eye, I see her.
Me, then.
If I could write her a letter what would I say?

Dear Stacy,

You look out at the world through eyes that see so much more than people and places, colors and things.  You see what others feel and you feel what others see and you don't have a clue in the world what to do with any of it.  Like a spin on a merry-go-round, you see the world around you in the blur of emotion, and you can't quite seem to get your feet back on solid ground before your stomach feels the effect.  Oh, child.  The world is yours to see, to feel, to breathe in, to experience, but it is not yours to carry.  It is not yours to make right.  It is not yours to heal. It is not yours to fear.  It is not yours to win.  It is not yours to mold into.  It is yours to live. To live, sweet child.

Don't be afraid to live.  

Yes, there will be times that will scare you spitless, leaving you sweaty palmed and so very unsure of who you are.  But, here's the thing: life does that to everybody. If we all knew how to live life before we were born, where would be the challenge?  What would be the point? 

Yes, there will be times you will try your hardest and fail, and times when you won't try at all and will wish you had, and times when all your hard work will pay off and success will be yours.  But, here's the thing:  in all, there is a lesson to be learned.  Do your best, all the time.  Give 100%, 100% of the time.  It's not about  winning or losing, failing or succeeding, it's about you not settling for less than your best.  In this, giving your all, you will taste the sweetness of triumph and perseverance.

Yes, there will be times (lots of times) you will want so desperately to stand on the sidelines and watch others "do life". But, here's the thing: don't do it.  Don't stand by. Don't bow out.  Don't decline.  Don't choose not to. Listen to the true desperation you are feeling - it's not the doing you are afraid of, it is the result of doing that scares you. You want to....but, what if. Oh, shy girl, take those "ifs" and follow them into life - your life. If you want to dance, get out on the floor and dance.  If you want to try your hand at something, jump into it with both feet.  If you are given a chance to take a chance that speaks to your heart, breathes life to a dream, makes you want to move forward and move backward all at the same time, take it.  Chances are you won't regret the chances you took, but sadly, all the chances you let slip by.  

Oh, sweet girl - live your life, every single moment of it.  Wring it out dry and then, try and squeeze a little more out. You only get one chance to live, one chance to be you, one chance to live your life.  Do it now, because here's the thing: life goes faster than you can even begin to imagine.

 

I look around the table and I smile.

And, I realize how very blessed I am.

To be here, in this Mexican restaurant somewhere in the middle of Oklahoma - this is life, my life.

To gaze upon the faces of those I love,
to be called "Aunt CiCi",
to share in the fellowship of family
(with all the highs and the lows that come with it),
 to be able to savor the flavor of the cilantro in the salsa,
- this is life, my life.

And, I love it.









Linking up at The High Calling:
http://www.thehighcalling.org/work/call-community-posts-letter-my-younger-self#.U_lexKN5EoO

 
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Take a Chance~







 
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sunrise to Sunset~







 
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Friday, August 15, 2014

You, You Alone~


Gracious Heavenly Father,
You alone know
the number of hairs on my head,
the thoughts that run wild through my mind,
the deepest longings of my heart.


You alone hear
the silent whisper of my soul,
the quiet cry of my heart,
the unspoken words of my innermost being.


It is You, and You alone.


As I go through this day,
may it be
You alone
guiding me,
leading me,
teaching me,
molding me,
changing me.


Let me not get tangled up in
the voice of the world,
the voice of the enemy,
the voice of my own selfish heart.


Let me hear
You, and You alone.
Let me follow
You, and You alone.
Let me honor
You and You alone.
In Jesus' precious name, Amen~





 
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Rest of Your Story~

The rest of the story . . . 

So often, 
we look at where we have been, 
and where we are now, 
and we somehow think this is the sum of our story. 

We wonder 
why this has happened, 
why that has taken place, 
and we give no further thought to how all the pieces of our life might fit into a bigger picture, 
still being put together
by a BIG God.

The Bible is overflowing with "the rest of the story" accounts. 

Twists in the plot of life that can only be attributed to a God who is always at work in our lives.

Jochabed places her tiny baby in a basket, then places it in the river in an attempt to safe its very life. 

God steps in and leads Pharaoh's daughter to find not only the baby, 
but also the baby's very own mother, Jochabed, to nurse and care for it. 
Moses is saved, and Jochabed gets paid to raise her own son.

Joseph is thrown into a pit, than into a prison. 

God steps in and leads Joseph straight to the palace. 
Egypt, as well as surrounding countries, are saved from a famine 
and Joseph's very own brothers hear their now exalted younger brother say, 
"You intended to harm me, 
but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, 
the saving of many lives."

The rest of the story . . .

Don't let where you are now,
keep you from trusting your God for where you may one day be. 
Don't let the circumstances you find yourself in now 
convince you this is all there is, 
all there will ever be.

Your "rest of the story" is coming.
Your pieces are still be putting into place.
One day, when all is said and done,
your story will no doubt reveal,
twists in the plot of your life that can only be attributed
to a God who is always at work in our life.

One day, you too, will see
your perfectly perfect "bigger picture",
tailored made,
personally orchestrated,
divinely created,
by your BIG God.~♥







 
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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Abound in Hope~







 
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Friday, August 8, 2014

A Life Lived for God~







 
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