LIVE and LOVE HARD!! Follow Your Dreams! 

Time is precious… DON’T WASTE IT!

Friday, 31 January 2020

Family,

It took me some time to make this post. I needed to take stock of my own emotions regarding the death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. I needed to make sure what I wanted to say was not stated with too much emotion. I wanted to write a sound commentary.

I am reminded of a scripture that Morgan’s Sorority sisters gave to her when her dad passed. This scripture became one that I have stood on. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 NIV).

I can’t say that I have followed Kobe’s career like some, but have sports fanatics in my family, so I definitely know who he was. I cannot even start to say, and I know Vanessa’s pain because I have both my daughters. However, for many widows, when you hear of another sister losing her husband, you can help but feel a stab in your own heart. I felt the need to say something to my circle, by my base, my family, to the people who I think listen to me.

It does not matter who the person is, or their celebrity status, or how much money a person has. This does not negate the fact that Vanessa Bryant lost TWO people that she loved with her heart and soul. She is grieving, and she is still going to be strong and present for her daughters because that’s what mothers do.

Let me tell you this, death and grief cross every ethnic, economic, religious, social, background in this universe! Can you name me one area, person, nation, or community that has not been affected by death?

Do you really think that because someone has money that their grief is less than anyone else?

Do you really think that because a person is famous that their grief is different?

Please tell me how their pain and grief are different? IT IS NOT!

If anything, it can be worse. They are forced to grieve and process their loss in the eye of the hypocritical, insincere, and unforgiving public!

I would love to say I am surprised and shocked by the many negatives posts and comments I have read since Sunday afternoon. However, I sadden to say that I am not. Everything from TMZ releasing information before the families were informed, the misinformation regarding who was on the helicopter, the reporter who felt the need to bring up his past just 2 HOURS after his death, to people and their insensitive comments, was insensitive and morally wrong!

I am sick of all of the negativity in our country!!

You can’t compare death or how the world responds to the death of someone who is well known by the world. The climate of the world we live in today and the spitefulness of our country leaders has made it acceptable for people to “tell it like it is,” regardless of how it could affect someone else.

I wish I could say I have never seen so much disrespect in this country. That would be a lie. For many of us, it has been going on for years, but social media has just elevated the cruelty to the front lines.

To those of us that may have widows or widowers in our communities, it is my prayer that you not only think before you attempt of comfort, but please pray first. You would not believe the many messages I have received, or things said to me in person about how they feel I should grieve, survive, live my life, and other ill-advised advice. I am not trying to be ungrateful or seem unappreciative, but no one other than the LORD can look out for my children and me better than me. I truly thank God every day for the genuine, sincere people in my village.

Just a simple statement of “I am praying for you,” or you are in my thoughts and prayer,” will go a long way.

People who are grieving all grieve differently and time is NOT a factor. It is not up to us to decide when it is time for them to “get over it or move on.” That is their OWN process, and it is not determined by time. It is between them and God.

Vanessa and her family will need her time to process all of this. They have a long road ahead of them. What little I do know about Kobe and Vanessa is that they were believers, and they were raising their daughters to have faith in God. I am sure Vanessa has a great support system with family and friends and their church. God, faith, family, friends, and church are the components in my life that are seeing me through. I am sure that she will lean on those elements to see her and her daughters through this.

This will not be easy, and this phase of her life is probably the most challenging she has ever had to deal with. More importantly, in time, she will get through this.

In time she will find it easier to wake up every day with promise.

In time she will look into the eyes of her babies and not break out into tears.

In time she will find her new purpose for her life and walk in that purpose.

In time as time and life move on, she will learn to move forward.

In time she will become stronger, and she is now gaining strength every day!

But in the meantime, my prayer for the Bryant family is that they stay close to God. I pray that they reach out when they have a need, and trust God to get them thought this. He is there, He has always been there, and he will NEVER leave their sides.

For those of us who are watching and praying… LIVE and LOVE HARD!! Follow your dreams! 

You are NEVER too old to dream!

Live and love those around you!

Tell them you love them and that you appreciate them EVERY DAY!!

LOVE
FORGIVE
LOVE
LIVE

Live life with no regrets!

We don’t know how much time we have left on this earth, but I do know that that time is precious!

DON’T WASTE IT!

Trust God

His results are amazing!
Thursday, January 23, 2020

Hey Beloveds,

Of Course, when the Lord inspires as me to write well…I write. I tried everything to make this post yesterday, but I ran up against so many roadblocks!

However, it did give me more time to think about what Minister Kai said yesterday morning about digging out of the deep, out of the darkness. This morning he talked about peace and being who God created us to be, and we can’t do that until we find the peace that only GOD can give.

Many of you know I have been in the valley of the shadow of death. I was in the bottomless pit of darkness. It was not easy digging and climbing out of that pit, but I know that I could not have done it without the Lord.

I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel, the dark pit of despair. It was easier for me to stay where I was are rather than charter to the unknown and try digging myself out. Let me tell you, staying in the dark pit is no place for us to be, and God does not want us to stay there. I had a temporary residence in this hellacious pit!

This is a place where the enemy lives and rules.

The devil loves that place because in his home in his presence…

There is disparity
There is desperateness
There is no peace
There is judgment
There is evil
There are suicidal thoughts
Everything that is the opposite of what our Father wants for us is in that bottomless dark pit of despair.

The Good News is you don’t have to stay there!
Yes, there is a way out!

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You MUST trust God through the process
You MUST lean on him
You MUST put all your faith
You MUST put hope
You MUST believe in him

 

 

 

 

I promise He will lead you out of that pit.
He will put all the necessary resources that you will need to help you get and stay out!

Please don’t give up and trust God. He has always been there. He is still here for you!
He said that HE will never leave you nor forsake you! 100% TRUTH!!

In my moments of despair and desperation, God did not leave me.
I was hurt. I was angry. I felt hopeless.
I left him. I walked away. I turned my back. I chose not to trust.
I decided to let the enemy in my head.

But God was there!
HE never left my side!
He was continually telling me that he loves me
That he has plans for me
He said that it was NOT my time

But, even during my time in the darkness, HE used me, and HE never gave up on me, and eventually, I didn’t give up on myself.
But I had a choice to make….

I had to choose to be who God created me to be, He equipped me for this time
I had to choose to dig out, but I didn’t dig out alone
I had to choose to live, but I don’t live alone
I had to choose to heal, but I did not heal alone
I had to choose to pray, but I did pray alone
I had to decide to step out on faith, but I DON’T walk alone
I have my JESUS with me every step of the way!

“Only those who believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son can overcome the world”
                                                                                     1 John 5:4

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I overcame my circumstances because I did not give up. I fought hard, and I trusted God because HE believed in me, and I believed in JESUS!
Thank you, LORD!

I love you all!
Have a fantastic day!

10 Day Walk Out of the Valley of Darkness Day 4 – Decisions

Day 4 – Decisions

God will give you strength for every battle, wisdom for every decision, the peace that surpasses understanding….

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting GOD know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of GOD’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when CHRIST displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4: 6-7 MSG)

This 4th Day 3 years ago, was overwhelming with FINAL decisions, choices, conclusions, and resolutions. Who, What, Why, When, and How were questions that had to be asked and answered.  Every tough, painful, agonizing, gut-wrenching decision made was made with GODLY wisdom, counsel, and much prayer. My future, our daughter’s future, my in-Loves (in-laws) future, our family, and friend’s futures were all at stake in our decisions. 

I had to consider and wonder about what that we were robbed of and things that will never happen. Future graduations, birthdays, and anniversaries that would be missing a heart.  Walks down the aisles, grandbabies being held and spoiled, days sitting and watching grandbabies play, futures were forever altered, and alternate realities were becoming real.

Day 4 was marked with suffering…

Yet, I was reminded not to fret or worry, and instead of worrying, pray. When I would look at this scripture over the years, I never thought it meant in a difficult circumstance like this. But you know our LORD, HE meant in all circumstances even the painful and agonizing circumstances! 

It was not easy, but I had to give it over GOD and lay it at the foot of the Cross.  I knew whatever happened. He was in control. 

This decision at this moment later saved my life…

Day 1-10 Day Walk Out Of The Valley of Darkness!

Day 1

I woke up this morning with such a heaviness in my spirit…

I remember…

This Day three years ago, I had entered into what I call my 10 day walk into the darkness…

This is the day three years ago, my hope was fading fast, and my walk with grief and depression started…

This is the day three years ago when the tears would not stop…

This is the day three years ago when the anger was uncompromising …

This is the day three years ago when prayers were needed the most…

This is the day three years ago when a beautiful life was coming to an end…

This is the day three years ago when we had to make the toughest decision of our lives..

This is the day three years ago when I had to put all my hope, faith, and trust in GOD.

This is the day three years ago when I had to accept HIS will…

I knew then, as I STILL know now that..

HE is STILL my GOOD and PERFECT SHEPHERD , MY LORD,

I STILL lack for nothing!

HE STILL makes me lie down in green pastures,

HE STILL leads me beside the quiet waters

HE STILL refreshes my soul!

HE is STILL guiding me along the right paths, for HIS namesake

LORD as I enter into this 10 day walk into the valley and shadow of death…

I am STILL NOT afraid

Because YOU are STILL with me

YOU STILL protect and comfort me!

YOU STILL prepare a table before me in the presence of those who wish to see harm come to my family and me.

YOU STILL anoint and refresh my head and my life with oil,

My cup STILL continues to run over.

YOUR goodness

YOUR mercy

YOUR agape love STILL follows my family and me

All of OUR lives, so that we can dwell in YOUR house forever and ever.

I Praise YOU, FATHER, STILL today!

YOU are GOOD

YOUR grace and mercies towards me are everlasting!

In JESUS name…

AMEN!

Forgiveness

 October 3, 2019

Okay, I know this won’t be the most popular opinion, but…

I try not to divulge into controversial issues on social media, but I felt I needed to speak out in support of a member of the Jean Family.

First…

Amber Guyger is definitely guilty of Murder and should have gotten a longer sentence.  There are black and brown people in prison that have received more time for selling drugs than she received for killing another human.  Both offenses are wrong, but the punishment should match the crime. 

Secondly, Now… Forgiveness….

I look at this from a Christian perspective, because that is what I am first and foremost a child of GOD.  You can say I am looking at things through rose-colored glasses, but I am just trying to see people the way Jesus does. 

The bottom line as Christians, the Bible tells us, “The Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Colossians 3:13 

We forgive because God forgives. If He can do it, so can any of us. Right?

I know it is hard because I have had to forgive people for some horrendous things in my life. But you know what? I felt better because once I let that burden go, I left it at the foot of the cross and the feet of Jesus.  Until I forgave, I was bitter and consumed with what happened to me and the hate I was embracing.  It was eating at me from the inside. It was affecting my family and me. You have no idea how hard it is to grieve and forgive. Once I truly forgave, I was at peace in my heart, my mind, and my soul. 

Now with that being said, I have not forgotten because I won’t allow myself to be hurt again, but I am at peace to move on with my life without harboring hate in my heart. I refused to be held hostage or give the power of my thoughts, feelings, life, and soul to anyone, but Christ.  When my time comes, and I stand before God, I don’t want to have any hate or unforgiveness in my heart for anyone.

You cannot have hate in your heart and say that you love God.  If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20) 

I chose to forgive mostly for me, and other people benefited from my obedience.

The Jean family are a Christian family, and I am sure that Botham’s brother, Brandt, prayed and received enough peace and understanding from God to forgive.  It was reported that he carried a Bible into court with him most days, and he was seen reading during court.  He will never forget, and yes, there is still hurt, questions, and some anger. He is not weak, as some have said, but he is strong because he forgave.

He has decided to have the peace of knowing that because God has forgiven him many times over, he chose to forgive. 

Amber has received an amazing gift of grace from Brandt, and the last thing she heard from him was, “I pray you find Jesus Christ” Brandt has done his job and planted a seed for Christ to cultivate it and cause it to grow.  We don’t repay evil with evil. If she does not receive the grace and mercy that has been afforded to her and make a change, then that is between her and God. 

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:19-21)

Botham’s mother said that she is not ready for forgiveness, but she is getting closer to it.  This is okay and perfectly normal.  Forgiveness is a process that we have to go through to get to the point where we can forgive. BUT we must forgive! I can’t stress that enough; from my own experience, we must forgive. 

I am not sure if they are going to appeal (I imagine they will), but just the pure act of grace that Brandt showed is not a sign of weakness, but it is an excellent sign of faith in God and the strength he has drawn from Him. 

“Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter, forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free.” (Anonymous) 

May we all continue to pray for everyone involved.

Okay I am off my soapbox

I love you all with the love of Christ in me!

Have a blessed rest of your day!

 

 

Sleep Won’t Come

August 23, 2019, 2:51 AM

I tried to close my eyes,
I tried to shut down but my mind is still humming,
but sleep won’t come.

My mind wonders and worries about things that I can’t control
I give them to God, but I keep picking them like my soul can’t be consoled
Because sleep won’t come.

When I close my eyes, the images from the day’s events won’t let my mind shut down
There is a soundtrack in my head that plays a familiar sound
But sleep won’t come.

Most of the time it is that God loves me, and I am enough
But the voice of doubt that keeps me awake at night tries to rebuff
It makes sure that sleep won’t come.

Even though I know that God will see me through and Jesus is on my side,
I sometimes feel as if I am going through the motions and my mind is misapplied
Because sleep won’t come.

Even though I feel botched, bungled, mishandle, misunderstood, I still go on
I don’t give up no matter what the enemy throws at me, my mind is tired
Yet sleep still won’t come.

HIS light, that’s the light of the world, is always shining upon me.
I am a light in the midst of the darkness,
But still…sleep won’t come.

Rest is fleeting, and I am fatigued.,
But still… sleep won’t come, but nevertheless, I am intrigued.

Because I remember… “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

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I will come to you Lord and seek the rest that you give.
I will go on, and I will continue to live the life that you want me to live.

I will rest in you LORD, and I will continue to seek YOUR face.
I won’t grow weary because I am covered my YOUR amazing grace.

I have prayed, and now I will close my eyes and trust in Your Lord

Finally, my sleep will be restored

And yes, REST will finally come.

Purging my Life 5.1 Purging the House: Making my House into a Home “Taking the Plunge”

August 9, 2019

After all, that I have mentioned in previous posts, you would not believe that my home was my toughest area to purge. I would please ask that this become a no-judgment zone because you can’t imagine what we were going through to function every day.  This area is tough for me to write about, probably because for me, it brought me the most shame. I was embarrassed that I let my home get into this condition. However, I did learn through my therapist that this is normal when you are grieving such a significant loss. There was no need for shame and condemnation, and I was taking action!

Purging and organizing was a huge deal and a significant overhaul for us, so I will break this up into parts, showing before and after going room by room after I introduce you to our Dream Team.

A House vs. A Home

There is a big difference between a house and a home.  Merriam –Webster stats the proper definition for a house is, “a building that serves living quarters for one or a few families.” The description for home is, “one’s place of residence, a social unit formed by a family living together.”  Those are excellent definitions, but, I believe that a house is somewhere you live, you sleep there, but it feels like a residence, dwelling, domicile, somewhere you exist. A home is a family.  It is warm, inviting, and it is your refuge, your oasis.  It should be your escape from the real world.  When you walk into your home, you should feel joy, love, and warmth.  My house was nothing like that.  I knew I had to make a change in my home life when I wanted to spend more time at work or more time away instead of going home.

I would come home every evening and sigh.  This house was not my haven, and it was not my escape. It was my prison. There was a room in my home that we called the “Man Cave” that looked like Michael had just left and was going to return any day.  He kept that room immaculate and always told us when he left to go TDY to keep his room together.  We all loved to hang out down there.   At first, that room was comforting, and we all felt closer to him when we were in there, then it became overwhelming.  Other areas of our home were disorganized, nothing had a place, and we needed a change, and we needed to purge.

Before: Man Cave Pictures

Turning Point

I started by deciding that it was time for me to do something with all of Michael’s things.  I held on for two years, trying time after time to clean out my closet.  Deep down, I knew that he was not coming back, but when I decided to start, I would get overwhelmed, start crying, and then walk out of the room. I knew It had to be done but, I was paralyzed, and I could not do it.  No matter how much I wanted to or how hard I tried to do this, I could not! I needed help.

One-day months later, I was finally able to pack up all of most of Michael’s clothes and donate them.  We have a free garage sale in our town called “God’s Open Closet,” ran by the Fortress of Faith Church,

GodsCloset
2700 Wilson Ave, Leavenworth, Kansas
If you live in my area…
The ministry of God’s Open Closet is to provide clothes, coats, household items, and furniture to anyone who has a need. Individuals who come are never asked for personal or financial information.

Items are donated by local families, churches and from area garage sales. Tax-deductible receipts are available upon request. To donate: bring items Saturday mornings or call (913) 683-3953, (913) 682-6779, or (913) 704-6033.   Hours: Saturdays from 8 a.m. to Noon. Closed the 3rd Saturday of each month and Holiday weekends. Subject to weather conditions January to March.

You can donate what you do not need (in good conditions), and they give them away to the community.  I know that Michael is pleased to know that someone in need was able to use his clothes and shoes; this made it easier for me.  That was a big step in moving forward for me, but there was still more to be done.

Moving Forward

For me to move forward, I needed not to let go but discover MY way to embrace my new normal, and I knew that this was one of the areas I needed to conquer.  It is not about erasing what was it is about remembering all that was, what I have learned, how I have grown and built upon the strength that the Lord has given me to stand in my current life.  I had no choice but to move forward because time was not waiting for me.  Jeremiah 29:11 tells me that God has things planned for me, for my future, and I needed to learn how to embrace my past and also embrace my future.
I love you all

Have a blessed and Amazing Day