Days and Roots

Days go by and absolute exhaustion can set into our bones, our hearts, and our minds. We feel like we can’t take anything else. Then, a memory pops as you thought it was fading. It pops at the right time to provide an inspiration.

If you know me, you know my passion for writing. It has been on the back burner, so to speak, because of absolute exhaustion of daily life. But, that nagging feeling (the Holy Spirit) calling me to write. I began a Bible Devotion Plan with a couple of ladies with whom I serve. These plans give us a daily opportunity to communicate. Wow. A chance to write.

This writing sparks me just a bit. I finally write what I want to do in 2019 (yes I know it is almost April). Twenty minutes later a friend mentions I should write a devotion.

Is God at work? Always. But, who are you to write such a thing immediately questions the enemy. What if no one likes it? Then, a memory pops up … one reminding me of a strong foundation.

Sometimes … the roots must be bigger than the bloom

Sitting in the building where Patrick had his life and journey celebrated. Sitting in the building where 25 people gave their life to Christ as we remembered him. Sitting in a building where I praised God during my son’s Celebration of Life. Sitting in that building as I remembered that special person who I got to baptize and as I remember a person who said,

“When I saw your hands raised in praised, it took my breath away. How amazing you could do that in your son’s death.”
I did that.

I raised my hands as many mourned. I raise my hands still to this day. I say thank you to that tumor. Thank you cancer.
It is because of you tumor that I saw an unconditional love, I experienced unconditional love, and I gave unconditional love.
All because of Patrick’s unselfishness to accept the journey. Yes, I know he had talks with Jesus. I could see it in his eyes. I could hear it in his life. I could feel it in his smiles. I could sense it in his cuddles.

“Mama. Pick me up.” His last words. The last words I would ever hear come out of that sweet mouth. How he knew.
God is our source ~ not the church. The church has gotten us hooked on hope! Now, you may be asking, “That’s a good thing, right? Hooked on hope is good, right?”

Hope is a wonderful thing when it is built on the rock named Jesus. Yet, man keeps getting in the way.

What exactly do I mean? Miracles come in the No’s too. God will give you a “yes” inside that “no.” If we always got a yes … we would never learn. We learn so much in the No’s.

The church seems to have forgotten this. They focus on the yes so much, that we don’t know what to do in the no’s. What we are “taught” is that money isn’t the only blessing God gives. Blessings come in many ways. When we are obedient, we are blessed. When we tithe, we are blessed.

There is so much more. Life is not a series of yes’s. Christian shows such as The 700 Club focus on the big miracles. The yes’s. What about the No’s. There is so much to learn in the No’s. So much to be seen. So many miracles in the No’s. The Bible is full of stories of “waiting” and “no’s.”

One of the No’s we read about involves Jesus. He didn’t follow man. He followed God. And, in doing so, he suffered. He suffered greatly. Man said “No” to his release. Man said “No” to his love. Man continues to say “No” to his name, his power, his love, his freedom. God told Jesus “No” when Jesus asked if there was any other way. Luke 22:39-46

The only way was through Jesus.

Not the church. The church has us clinging to their hope. It ropes us in, and using “hope” they keep us there. Hope is a wonderful thing when it is built on a rock named “Jesus.” Yet, man gets in the way. Our focus must be different. We must root our faith, our hope, our choices in HIM. That is where our roots grow. And, in that our roots must be bigger than our blooms.

Jesus ministered through his pain. He had an undeniable spiritual maturity, even at a young age. With that maturity, comes the ability to see the miracles in the no’s.
Our roots grow when we raise our hands in praise during the No’s. No’s can create change; you can find a commonality with new people to minister, and it can build into a Yes!
Roots are a must for blooms to remain strong. It is easy to keep faith in the yes’s. It is building to keep it and grow your faith in the no’s.

We all still crave the yes. We all still get disappointed in the no. Be thankful for the answers. Look at how those in faith kept going. No doesn’t mean we have to suffer. No can protect us. Light is brightest in the darkest place.
Your roots must be deep, must be bigger in order to hold bigger blooms.

When we get a NO … that is time to be the brightest light. And, let that light shine. When you walk through a fire … anything is possible on the other side. What a perfect day to share this message.

Jesus walked through the fire. And, on the other side EVERYTHING is POSSIBLE! His roots were huge in his faith and his blooms, grow bigger each day, as we set our faith foundation in him.

Reflections of Imperfections

12049705_936940706420923_7215243777093946433_nLife is a crazy adventure, which becomes absolutely when children are added to the mix.  If you have your own, are an amazing auntie or uncle, foster, adopt, or simply give a piece of your heart to a child, you become a changed person.

All of a sudden you don’t just think about you any more.  Well, at least you shouldn’t.  🙂

You are soon in charge of this tiny human, who in many ways reflects you — physical, emotional, spiritual, and even choices & attitude. Yes, little Betsy may have your amazing eyes.  Johnny may have your long eyelashes.  Ronnie has your healthy curly hair.  Jr has your brilliant complexion.

Beyond seeing your physical reflection when you look at your joys, it is time to see further.  You may be more aware of decisions you make by how these children are behaving.  Currently, with a two-year-old in the house, I am again reminded of how children imitate behavior and actions. Then, watching with a 10-year-old make decisions, I am in a constant state of reflection — watching my own choices/actions/words.

You know the saying, “What we don’t like in others is probably what we don’t like about ourselves.”  I would have to agree and take it further … what we don’t like in our children is definitely what we don’t like about us.  Our cute little boogers are a reflection of our imperfections.  Yes, what takes it to a new level, those actions/words/choices are a direction reflection of what they have seen us do! 😉

Want your child to take responsibility for their actions?  First, stop making excuses for them and then start showing them how to take responsibility for their actions by taking responsibility for your own.

Want your kiddos to show respect?  Start by showing respect — whether it is for people (how you talk to others), praying, praising, following rules, and/or listening.

It is time to live in a “do as I do” society.  Then, we see the beauty of our hearts in the actions of our children.

You’ve Been Marooned 

The Super Bowl sure wasn’t super this year. Maybe it is because I am a Giants’ fan. Maybe it is because the two team in the Super Bowl probably didn’t deserve it.  Not, that I like the Saints, but I do believe they were robbed.IMG_1036

The commercials were lame.  The game was worse.  I don’t think the commentators knew what to do or to say.  I bet the people behind the scenes were searching for stats, facts, and more.  With all this in play, I hoped for a half-time show to rock the house.  And, I shrug my shoulders. The whole night was simply uneventful.

What I did find eventful was the aftermath.  Not the Patriots’ fans being in your face because they know it should have been the Chiefs and they know Brady started the game with an interception.  Neither team shined.  One just had a bit more steam at the end.

There was not a stand out commercial.  No one sharing commercial videos. So, what was left?  What is there to talk about?  Everything has already been shared, or should I say not shared.

In a world of the #metoo movement, when people are criticized for not respecting women, and there are attacks on the family, the aftermath of the Super Bowl left me puzzled.

Instead of Tom Brady holding the trophy, social media was infiltrated with pictures of Adam Levine.  Not just pictures, social media was consumed with words such as, “You should have posted a picture of Adam with his shirt off.”  

Pictures filled my newsfeed of Adam, shirtless, with words of “Hot, Sexy, Best Part of the Night.”

These words and pictures were posted by married women.  Married Christian Women.  Married … Married … Married.

Do you see where this path of words and ideas is taking you?

In a world where women demand equality and demanding men treat them with respect, here these women are disrespecting their husband, their marriage, and their children.  They are looking a men like pieces of meat … the same ideas that men are being trampled on … women are lusting and lusting in public on social media.

I don’t care if their husbands say, “I know.  It’s her thing.”  At some level, it has to hurt the hearts of the husband.  It has to create doubt in the marriage.  

How would these same women feel if their husbands posted a picture of Janet Jackson, Beyonce, Jessica Simpson, Shania Twain, Katy Perry (previous Super Bowl Performers) with the same ideas/words?  How would women feel in general?

What would that do to marriages?  What would that do the women and their hearts?  How would it be perceived by the masses on social media?

Equality?  How about simple respect?  By posting these pictures and words we allowed the world to maroon us.  We think it is okay.  We allow the “little” things.  The little things build up into tidal waves.  

Be careful … don’t be marooned by things of this world.   Be the example of something bigger.  Something healing.  And, glorify the heart of marriage instead of driving a maroon wedge.

No longer needed

Be careful of the man who exaggerates.  The story is one of pride, love of self, one-sided always, lacks wisdom, and its purpose leads to heart break.

Be careful of the man who exaggerates.  The story becomes fuller of lies each time it’s told.  He can’t help himself for the lies consume the entertainment.  He just wants others to look at him.

Be careful of the man who exaggerates.  The story always fines blame elsewhere.  Excuses are created, for he never sees is own undoing.

Be careful of the man who exaggerates.  One day you will no longer be needed.  He will have used you and abused you.  You won’t recognize yourself.  He will have turned you into someone who needs him.  Yet, he leaves … and exaggerates the story to someone else.  Telling everyone how you left him.  Of course, remember, his life is based on excuses.  His heart is full of lies.  His words are empty promises.

You are no longer needed because you now know him.  He only needs those he can manipulate with his exaggerations.  He only needs those who haven’t seen him for him yet.

I think of a story that came to me … what would it look like if I watched this man and his family without him knowing it.  If I was a fly on the wall or spirit in his dreams or watching hidden video.

____

I watched him take 3 slices of bread.  No asking.  Just doing.  His wife had only made 2 slices for each family member.  Yet, instead of asking … he took.

This moment sums up their family relationship, their marriage.  Yes, in 30 seconds you can see so much.  It is a scary thought that 30 seconds of our lives can sum up, can show, can prove exactly where our heart is, and of what our hearts are full.

He took, never asking, and only giving when an ulterior motive was in order.  Excuses all he knew was excuses, his own excuses.

The wife had once wrote a poem, maybe it’s a poem or more like a series of words about an exaggerated man.  In those 30 seconds as I watched, I realized the wife words were about her husband.  I don’t know if she realized yet.

I watched him eat, after all he took, most went into the garbage.  Did he take so none else could have?  Did he realize his wife didn’t eat?

The exaggerated man never sees his faults.  One day he will be all alone.  Everyone will eventually see the way of the exaggerated man.  One last time, the wife calls out to Jesus praying this man can see his own heart.  See the pain he causes and the lies he spreads, the excuses he uses.  Maybe, just maybe, he will see himself through another’s eyes, instead of his own.

She feels, she begs to God, she calls to him, “I can’t pray for him any more.  I am done.  It is up to you to reach him.  It is up to him to reach his arms to Jesus.  I can’t do it for him.  I can no longer be the go-between. He must do it himself.”

________

In our society, the exaggerated man is everywhere.  Our eyes must be open to seeing what is there and what is being hidden ~ the truth of heart.

The truth of our hearts is many times revealed in our words and our actions, especially when we feel we are up against a wall.

I see this in the business world, in the church world, in families, EVERYWHERE.

Recently in the business world, I overheard a conversation between 2 men.  One I could tell was an exaggerated man.  As he tried to appear humble, tried to appear as a Godly man coming before the other embarrassed.

As the 2 were deep in discussion, it became obvious to me, he was full of it.  His words as he realized he wasn’t getting his way. “Go ahead. My dad told me I don’t have to pay my debts.  People can sue me over past bills. They can sue me all day long.  If I don’t have the money, I don’t have to pay.  They can’t anything.”

I realized that this exaggerated man was taught by an exaggerated man.  How the webs we weave … we reap what we sow.

The Bible is very clear about paying our debts.  It is an integrity issue.  It is a heart issue.

Yet, in the business world, I see and hear people complain about not having money yet they are first to eat out, treat themselves to a day of pampering, take their kids on crazy vacations.

Being real always works.  Staying true to who we are always works.  It might not be easy, but it works.  And, being real teaches our children to be real.  Teaches them good habits.  We sow into them what we do.  And, sometimes putting our family first means having to say, “No,” instead of keeping the charade of exaggeration up.  God is a good father.  And, God answers us with a “No,” every once in awhile.  This keeps us real.  It helps keep us from living the exaggerated life.  He does it because He desires us to need him … to want him.

Modesty Builds

Modesty is something our society, our culture, has lost.  Modesty … in so many ways. Yup, I said it.  Don’t really care what you think, because I know what I see.  What I see on a daily basis.  What I see every time I open up Facebook.  What I see every time I turn on the TV.  What I see at church.  What I see everywhere.  What I see in the hearts of people around me.

How we dress … how we act … choices we make ~ they are all a reflection of us; our hearts; how we feel about ourselves.

Our modesty reflects what we want others to think of us, how we position ourselves in their thoughts, in their hearts, and in their treatment of us.

Humility and Modesty go hand in hand.

Maybe this topic is so raw and real to me because I refuse to allow my teenage daughter to prance around in shorts with her butt hanging out, in a bikini that shows more than anyone needs to see, in a half-shirt around town.  Yet, I see mothers who do allow it and even post pictures on social media.  Really?  What emphasis are showing your daughter?  What are you teaching her value? What are you teaching men to value about her?

Hearing girls brag about their too short of shorts … I mean seriously how do you not have an infection.  Your shorts are so tight and so short, just looking at them makes me cringe in pain.

Maybe it is because my daughter is modest, and in fact, she is super proud of it.  Maybe it is because she believes that God created her to be a princess and being a princess isn’t just about the clothes … it is about how you act, how you treat others, how to take confidence in yourself, and YOUR HEART!!!!  Yes, I am blessed with an amazing daughter.

We must teach and show our daughters and our sons that women are meant to be God’s princesses … not a piece of you know what who only have value when they flaunt their stuff and look like what society tells us is beautiful.  Beauty has changed much over the years.  In medieval times, a pale curvaceous woman was the most beautiful because they were considered to be of “wealthy and healthy” standard.  Only slaves were tan and thin. (Just some food for thought.)

I am not the only one to see it.  In a weekend when all I have seen is half-naked teenage girls being flaunted by their parents or being allowed to flaunt it … a wonderfully wise woman approached me.

“You have the sweetest daughter,” she said with a hug.

I replied, “Thank you.  Yes, her heart amazes me.”

My sweet older friend continued, “She is beautiful.  On the inside and on the outside.  She shines.  She is so confident in her modesty.  SUCH AN EXAMPLE!”

This is beautiful statement and truly sums up my amazing Isabella.

And, her statement got my mind racing.  What kind of man do I want my daughter to find?  What kind of women do I want my sons to see?  What traits do I want others to see in my children?  As they continue to mature and grow up, they will one day get married.

Who do we marry?  Someone to whom we are attracted.  Men fall in love with a woman they find attractive.  Women find attractive the man with whom they fall in love.

Attraction is a crazy thing.  We can find someone physically attractive.  We can find someone’s qualities attractive.

In the relationship we choose, we will reap what we sow.

What really happens when we allow our daughters to expose their bodies?  Are we taking away the intimacy she will one day have with her husband?  Are we taking her away from a true relationship, raw and real and intimate with God?

Just as a side note:

  1. I know I am just as intelligent as men.  (in some cases more)
  2. I am for equality.
  3. I believe women are just as strong as men (some cases stronger)
  4. I don’t think women have to walk around in turtleneck or head pieces.
  5. Feet can be sexy too!
  6. This is not about jealousy or body shaming.

If I teach my daughter she must dress or I allow her to dress provocatively, what I am really saying?  I am telling her …

  1. Her mind is not as important as her body.
  2. Men will only value her for her body.  Body first … mind ~ what?
  3. Why try to educate or better herself … all she will be is arm candy.
  4. The only way to the “top” of any industry is through sex or her “top”
  5. Equality doesn’t exist.

WE WANT EQUALITY!

Women in the office walk around half naked while men walk around covered up.  Sometimes even with a tie!  I don’t see guys walking around their goods hanging out.  When we allow our daughters to dress a certain way we are taking away their equality.

What am I teaching my sons if I allow my daughter to dress provocatively?

  1. Only value a woman’s body.
  2. Equality doesn’t exist.
  3. A woman’s mind is not as important as the rest of her.
  4. Her values are non-existent.
  5. Focus on her boobs not her words.

True BEAUTY is confident.  Confidence is God’s vision of us; not man’s visions of us.

Isabella could daily wear a bikini.  She prefers to be a little more covered up.  She values and chooses the modesty God gave her.  She is confident in her talents.  Her mind.  Her beauty.  Her heart.  As a leader.  Her naturalness.  Kids flock to her because of this.

By teaching her modesty, I am allowing her to grow up at even pace.  I am not pushing her to be older than she is.  This gives her time to mature and develop as woman of God … a woman purpose … a woman of greatness!

The attitude of modesty is born from the teaching of humility.  The action of humility brings the idea of modesty.  God desire for us to be both.  The rarest of jewels are the hardest to find.

At Some Point …

One of my good friends got me hooked on a book, “Me Before You”, and then of course I had to read the sequel, “After You”.  The books are well written and straight from the heart.  Maybe I feel that way because I understand tragedy and moving forward ~ deciding to heal.  And, deciding to live.  And, then deciding to THRIVE!

When you have had a tragedy happen in your life, we have the choice, “Do we keep living?”  And, if we decide to keep living, we then have the choice, “With what emotions will live that life?”  Are we going to live to just survive or are we going to live to thrive?

Survive vs. Thrive.

These two books bring these questions to mind.  Yet, we all have to deal with tragedy.  At some point in our lives we will experience tragedy.  Nobody is bullet proof.  Nobody is tragedy proof.  I know first hand.  I have experienced several big tragedies my life. Not just big … huge … life changing in so many ways.

And, at the beginning … during the middle … and at the end … we have the opportunity to choose if we live and how we live.

So … what brings all of this about now?  I saw a blog title (now, I didn’t read it), but I am pretty sure that the title spoke for itself.  It was about the book “Me Before You”.  The title was sharing that the book was showing that life after a handicap is not worth living.

In fact, I believe that the book shows quite the opposite.  That is why the ending is so painfully sad … because no matter what Life is Worth Living.  You just have to choose it.

Each and every moment of each and every day, we have the choice.  Do we keep living?  And, if we keep living, what kind of mentality to live with?  With each choice, we cannot rely on someone else to live or choose for us.

That is whole point of the book.  The main character was hired to show

He simply wanted to be a man who went on a date with a girl in a red dress.  That life … the life of normalcy he had lived … was no more.

Yet, when I think about it, each day we create a new normal with our experiences of the day before.

We are so busy looking up, looking at other people, looking down, looking around.  We are so busy looking every where but inside of ourselves.

Everything you need is within you … right now … in this very moment.  God designed it that way.  Inside of us is a place for Holy Spirit … a place for Jesus … and place for Him.  That is what completes us.  Not someone else.  This isn’t a Jerry McGuire movie! Life is not a movie.  There are no quick lines; perfect endings don’t always happen.

Sometimes it is up to us to see the perfect ending in the imperfect journey

One of my good friends got me hooked on a book, “Me Before You”, and then of course I had to read the sequel, “After You”.  The books are well written and straight from the heart.  Maybe I feel that way because I understand tragedy and moving forward ~ deciding to heal.  And, deciding to live.  And, then deciding to THRIVE!

When you have had a tragedy happen in your life, we have the choice, “Do we keep living?”  And, if we decide to keep living, we then have the choice, “With what emotions will live that life?”  Are we going to live to just survive or are we going to live to thrive?

Survive vs. Thrive.

These two books bring these questions to mind.  Yet, we all have to deal with tragedy.  At some point in our lives we will experience tragedy.  Nobody is bullet proof.  Nobody is tragedy proof.  I know first hand.  I have experienced several big tragedies my life. Not just big … huge … life changing in so many ways.

And, at the beginning … during the middle … and at the end … we have the opportunity to choose if we live and how we live.

So … what brings all of this about now?  I saw a blog title (now, I didn’t read it), but I am pretty sure that the title spoke for itself.  It was about the book “Me Before You”.  The title was sharing that the book was showing that life after a handicap is not worth living.

In fact, I believe that the book shows quite the opposite.  That is why the ending is so painfully sad … because no matter what Life is Worth Living.  You just have to choose it.

Each and every moment of each and every day, we have the choice.  Do we keep living?  And, if we keep living, what kind of mentality to live with?  With each choice, we cannot rely on someone else to live or choose for us.

That is whole point of the book.  The main character was hired to show

He simply wanted to be a man who went on a date with a girl in a red dress.  That life … the life of normalcy he had lived … was no more.

Yet, when I think about it, each day we create a new normal with our experiences of the day before.

We are so busy looking up, looking at other people, looking down, looking around.  We are so busy looking every where but inside of ourselves.

Everything you need is within you … right now … in this very moment.  God designed it that way.  Inside of us is a place for Holy Spirit … a place for Jesus … and place for Him.  That is what completes us.  Not someone else.  This isn’t a Jerry McGuire movie! Life is not a movie.  There are no quick lines; perfect endings don’t always happen.

Sometimes it is up to us to see the perfect ending in the imperfect journey.

Sometimes … the roots must be bigger than the bloom

The blog wasn’t coming together. All the pieces were there but they weren’t in the right order.

Sitting in the building where Patrick had his life and journey celebrated. Sitting in the building where 25 people gave their life to Christ as we remembered him. Sitting in a building where I praised God during my son’s Celebration of Life. Sitting in that building as I remembered that special person who I got to baptize and as I remember a person who said, “When I saw your hands raised in praised, it took my breath away. How amazing you could do that in your son’s death.”

I did that.

I raised my hands as many mourned. I raise my hands still to this day. I say thank you to that tumor. Thank you cancer.

It is because of you tumor that I saw an unconditional love, I experienced unconditional love, and I gave unconditional love.

All because of Patrick’s unselfishness to accept the journey. Yes, I know he had talks with Jesus. I could see it in his eyes. I could hear it in his life. I could feel it in his smiles. I could sense it in his cuddles.

“Mama. Pick me up.” His last words. The last words I would ever hear come out of that sweet mouth. How he knew.

God is our source ~ not the church. The church has gotten us hooked on hope! Now, you may be asking, “That’s a good thing, right? Hooked on hope is good, right?”

Hope is a wonderful thing when it is built on the rock named Jesus. Yet, man keeps getting in the way.

What exactly do I mean? Miracles come in the No’s too. God will give you a “yes” inside that “no.” If we always got a yes … we would never learn. We learn so much in the No’s.

The church seems to have forgotten this. They focus on the yes so much, that we don’t know what to do in the no’s. What we are “taught” is that money isn’t the only blessing God gives. Blessings come in many ways. When we are obedient, we are blessed. When we tithe, we are blessed.

There is so much more. Life is not a series of yes’s. Christian shows such as The 700 Club focus on the big miracles. The yes’s. What about the No’s. There is so much to learn in the No’s. So much to be seen. So many miracles in the No’s. The Bible is full of stories of “waiting” and “no’s.”

One of the No’s we read about involves Jesus. He didn’t follow man. He followed God. And, in doing so, he suffered. He suffered greatly. Man said “No” to his release. Man said “No” to his love. Man continues to say “No” to his name, his power, his love, his freedom. God told Jesus “No” when Jesus asked if there was any other way. Luke 22:39-46

The only way was through Jesus.

Not the church. The church has us clinging to their hope. It ropes us in, and using “hope” they keep us there. Hope is a wonderful thing when it is built on a rock named “Jesus.” Yet, man gets in the way. Our focus must be different. We must root our faith, our hope, our choices in HIM. That is where our roots grow. And, in that our roots must be bigger than our blooms.

Jesus ministered through his pain. He had an undeniable spiritual maturity, even at a young age. With that maturity, comes the ability to see the miracles in the no’s.

Our roots grow when we raise our hands in praise during the No’s. No’s can create change; you can find a commonality with new people to minister, and it can build into a Yes!

Roots are a must for blooms to remain strong. It is easy to keep faith in the yes’s. It is building to keep it and grow your faith in the no’s.

We all still crave the yes. We all still get disappointed in the no. Be thankful for the answers. Look at how those in faith kept going. No doesn’t mean we have to suffer. No can protect us. Light is brightest in the darkest place.

Your roots must be deep, must be bigger in order to hold bigger blooms.

When we get a NO … that is time to be the brightest light. And, let that light shine. When you walk through a fire … anything is possible on the other side. What a perfect day to share this message.

Jesus walked through the fire. And, on the other side EVERYTHING is POSSIBLE! His roots were huge in his faith and his blooms, grow bigger each day, as we set our faith foundation in him.

The Puzzler

I shared yesterday about how my dad and I have a love for putting puzzles together.  A connection ~ or bond ~ that has lasted and I have passed down to my babies.

The working together.  The working alone.  The frame.  The color sorting.  The types of pieces sorting.  The conversations!

More than the learning and life experience, more than the quality family time ~ My puzzle time growing up was with someone who chose me, someone who took me in, someone who loved me when he didn’t have to.  Chose me to be part of his family.  And, most of all, accepted me.  Accepted me with all of my flaws.

He understood what I needed.  Pushed when I needed the extra “umph.” Stood back when I needed alone time.  His time … his acceptance … gave me confidence.  Never once did he say anything to tear me down.

It was that frame … the frame of the puzzle ~ it built trust.  Trust a relationship is built upon.  Trust that went both ways.  Trust that I would figure it out.  Trust that would let me fall when I needed to learn.  And, a trust that I would be guided so I would not stay down.

I know this person wasn’t perfect.  I never expected him to be ~ nor did he expect perfection from me.  What a beautiful concept to learn … Love through the imperfections.

I realize now, that was the frame of my puzzle.  The key in the foundation of my relationships, in my marriage, in being a mom, in my confidence, in my independence, in my faith, in my strength, in my ability to love.

Someone shared with me over the weekend, “When I watch you, you love fully.  You love with your entire heart.  You give it all.  And, sometimes, you don’t get that back in return.  You continue to love.”

That puzzle frame … doesn’t leave me feeling puzzled.  In fact, it gives me concrete information and experiences to keep going.  It was a love like Jesus.  It was a love like Jesus without even know it (at the time).

My foundation was all part of God’ plan.  I think about what my life would have been like or where I would be right now.  One man’s decision changed my entire world.  I learned what it felt like to be accepted.  I experienced and saw love at its finest.  To hear someone say, “I love you.  I choose you to be part of my family.”  that changes your heart.

It is a bit of heaven on earth, as God chooses us each and every moment of the day.  He desires us to be a part of His family.  He accepts us … flaws and all.  He gives us confidence and never does anything to tear us down.  He is always there watching, guiding.  He leaves to ourselves when we need to be.  He never expects us to be perfect.  Knowing this … Loving Us Enough … Accepting Us as We Are … His love is the frame of everything good in our lives.  His love … is Jesus.

Thank you to the man who accepted me … and helped create the foundation … the frame … of how I love … of my heart … of me.

(Part 2)

The Puzzle

Right now, you just need to focus on the bigger picture. Have you ever been told that?

What is this bigger picture we have told about?  This one we all long to put together.  To see.

The picture ~ the puzzle ~ can get complicated when we are too confident that we can fit the pieces together ourselves.  We force pieces together.  Some seem to fit, but they either leave room for light to shine through or just too tight and bend the pieces to fit.

The biggest issue with making them fit is the next piece, and the piece after that, and the piece after that.  You can’t fit the right pieces after that.  Yes, it affects the bigger picture.  Your picture just won’t make sense.

I love putting puzzles together.  A love instilled by my dad.  We both loved the process; it wasn’t so much about finishing the picture.  There was excitement over each and every piece we found.  You could feel the pieces snap into place.  Now … it was great to push in that last piece!

What made the puzzle easier was of course having the picture in front of you.  Have you ever put a puzzle together without the picture?

It is called life.  We don’t have the “bigger picture” yet we still have to put all the pieces together.

Today, when a puzzle pieces falls or snaps into place (in my life) I get that feeling ~ that excitement.  As much as, at times, I crave to know the bigger picture, I take gratification in the pieces, not wanting to go crazy over the entire thing.

God has control over that.  All I can do is control the choice that leads to the next piece.  And, the frame.  The frame is key as any good puzzler knows.

The frame of the bigger picture is our foundation. Our faith.  Our relationship with God.  The words of the Bible.  The prayers we say.  Our Hearts.  True intentions.  Our ability to forgive.  Mercy we show.  Love we share.  Jesus. Praise we give.

Make sure your frame is right.  It makes the rest of the pieces easier ot put into place.

(Part 1 of 3)