It’s the Thought That Counts

I hope this blog post finds you doing well, basking in the Christmas afterglow.  I just wanted to share a little of how mine went.
My husband is an air traffic controller, so he had to work late on Christmas day. In the morning, we had a wonderful time exchanging and opening gifts with our 5 children. This year felt particularly special as my girls are all older and did their own shopping.  They were all very thoughtful in what they gave everyone.  All of my gifts were very thoughtful. Each was something that I truly wanted but probably wouldn’t have gotten for myself. Each were things I hadn’t even mentioned, so for me, that made it all the more special knowing they really considered me and what I like. I won’t bore you with all that I received, but I will tell you about one gift in particular.
We recently de-cluttered our entire home. One item I intended to part with ended up being one that was too difficult to let go. It was a pink suitcase box that was a record player. My aunt bought it for me and she died when I was 10. It had reusable stickers of a home and furniture. I loved it and still have a few old records.
My 14 year old daughter, upon seeing how difficult it was for me to part with my now broken record player, decided to recreate the whole thing for me. She got me a new pink record player and some reusable Melissa & Doug stickers. I thought it was so thoughtful.
We played my old albums, starting with my Christmas With the Smurfs one and more. They all love the record player now and want more records.
I feel so enormously blessed to have such thoughtful children.  Each of them really touched my heart with their gift choices for myself and everyone else.  They make me so very proud to be their mother.  I am enjoying this time we have together, relaxing and not having to run anywhere.  I’m excited to continue on this way for a few more days.
Another blessing that I have received has to do with what recently happened to my youngest son. See the blog post about that here. The taunting images that kept replaying over and over have faded.  I can no longer see it as I did before and the whole event isn’t affecting me as it had before, thank God!  My baby is fine and we can move on happily, trauma free.
So, that’s it for now.  I pray that you and yours are blessed beyond measure and that this new year is your best yet!

On The Receiving End

I love what Luke 6:38 says (CJB), “Give, and you will receive gifts —the full measure, compacted, shaken together and overflowing, will be put right in your lap. For the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure back to you!”

We all want to receive, some more than others. We all know people who always seem to have their hand out, lol.  Then, there are those of us who, present company included, aren’t so good at being on the receiving end of a blessing.  When it comes to gifts, some of us are good at dishing them out, but we aren’t so good with taking it in.  We see a verse like Luke 6:38 and praise God alongside our brothers and sisters, but when the Lord sends someone to bless us, we shy away and do our best to decline their efforts.  This is silly.

The King James version of this verse is a bit different, it actually says “shall men give into your bosom”.  Let’s take a look at it. “ Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

So, God tells me to bless this one, and in turn, He sends someone my way to bless me, and what do I do?  I do my best to turn them away. Prideful much? Barring the Almighty literally dropping things into your lap from the heavens above, (and He can do that if He so chooses) we have to consider that He just might use men to repay us. Those of us who aren’t so comfortable with this, need to learn to get comfortable, because God seems to really enjoy using people to bless people.  It’s kinda His thing, I think.

We had a very ridiculous situation happen recently, where our electric company, with whom we have a substantial credit balance, cut our electricity off.  We had to have some work done but the process was lengthy to say the least. A permit had to be pulled from the city before the work could be done. Then, inspections had to be done by both the city and the electric company and more.  Seventeen days later, our power was restored.  No, that wasn’t a typo, 17 days with no power.  It was either too hot or too cold to stay in our home.  We have no family here and because we are a family of 7, off to hotels, we went.  My mother helped us with 5 nights in hotels, and then we ended up traveling out of state to her home for the last 4 nights. All in all, it was very costly.

Upon returning, we had to throw out everything. A massive cleaning, not to mention deodorizing had to take place as things were quite moldy in our fridge. It was just, a mess.  Then, we had to start over from scratch.

You know how you have people in your life who say, “Please let me know if you need anything…” and you just smile, nod, and say, “Ok.”?  I called on each, asking, (super uncomfortably, I might add) if they would help us with groceries.

We need to restock badly, and with 7 people, it’s no small feat, believe me.  The help we have gotten and are still getting is nothing short of amazing.  When people say they want to help, let them.  Don’t rob people of the blessing they will receive when they help you.

Again, I’m not talking about people who always have their hand out, always on the receiving end and rarely on the giving end.  I’m talking about the ones who seriously struggle with allowing people to bless them with things, even when they are truly in need.  This is a heart issue that I dare say, will continue to be an issue until it is properly addressed with the help of our Heavenly Father.

The Lord wants to give us good gifts.  He is a good Father. He wants to bless us more than we want to be blessed, and He often will use people to do it.  Plus, let’s get real, if He sent some enormous angel with a basket of money or whatever, most of us would freak out completely.  He knows that.  Also, God is such a serial blesser. (Shhh, I know that’s not a real word.)  He is so good at blessing everyone involved and passing it on exponentially.  We can never out give Him.  It’s impossible.  So the take home this week for those of us who struggle with receiving is, get it together!  You love blessing others, let somebody do something for you sometime!  You’d be surprised to see how many would jump at the opportunity to bless you.  And those on the other side, the ones who always have that hand open to receive, get yourself set to give!  It’s the best side! 😉

Checking In

Just wanted to send out a quick post to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, I love you and wish you all the best!!

I have been literally lying in bed, smiling at the Lord and sweet talking Him as I grow more and more in love with Him and His ways.  (((Insert le blissful sigh)))  He is so sweet and kind.  And as a side note, I am seeing so much more angelic activity and angels these days, it’s astonishing!!!  I even laughed at myself though as I spoke sweetly to the Lord and saw flashes of the most dazzling light whiz by but I paid them no mind and just kept right on talking to Him.  He is my focus.

Also, like most, I have been spending time with family and friends and enjoying all that this season brings.  I have been extremely low key with regards to gifts and all so that’s been fun and refreshing as well.  People talk about how gifts are not the primary focus but tend to get all stressed out with just that.  Thankfully, I was able to do my shopping for most of the things I needed online. Even if I was tempted to go out and shop, it just ain’t happening with my ever blossoming belly and subsequently complaining back. 🙂

For some reason, I tend to get really private and quiet about things at times and I think it’s time to share a little more of what’s happening with me for those who would be interested.

For the last month, I’ve been blogging in video form, which is known as vlogging.  The focus of my vlog is pretty much a chronicling of my pregnancy.  There are many who do this on youtube but mine is different because for one, it’s me, and I’m different. Also, mine has a bit of a twist or two as it is unassisted pregnancy and birth and there’s an additional little surprise that we may be in for when it’s all said and done.

So, for my men folk, no worries about any tmi/naked bits, nothing like that at all is included.  🙂 I posted my latest vlog today and it includes a special guest.  Here’s the link to the first one for anyone interested in viewing them. They are all public, so if you choose to watch the others, you will see them listed and if you’re interested in receiving notice of them as I post them, you can subscribe to be notified right away.

So that’s it for now. May you be blessed beyond imagination, now and in the coming new year!

 

Look For and Appreciate the Gifts

One thing that has stuck with me is the idea that what we choose to focus on is what becomes magnified in our lives.  How we choose to focus on things makes a difference too. When thinking of my step-father, I can either see him lying in a hospital bed, me, holding one hand and my mom holding the other,surrounded by family and friends as he dies.

Another option is seeing and focusing on him being in the kitchen cooking, remembering the love that was jam packed in his hugs, hearing him still using slang from the 60’s and 70’s and laughing.

I’m not saying the negative images and memories don’t come, but when they do, I can choose to make a shift to the good.  I’m still remembering him, but in the best ways possible.  And, if the negative memories keep coming, because I know I have an enemy who wants to help me focus on the negative, I intentionally get God involved.  I don’t ever have to be at the mercy of past trauma and pain.

Instead of considering one ugly moment in time with the guy who raped me, who is now deceased, I can choose to focus on the many, many other moments where we played as innocent children from around 3 years of age up to 14.  I have lots of memories to choose from.

Instead of dwelling on the loss of my grandparents, father, step-father, two sisters and my one and only brother, I can think of all of the wonderful memories I have shared with them.  I can even go further to appreciate the gifts God has brought me in new father figures, and siblings.  Just as my sister Kerina left this world, God blessed me with another Karina.  No, she does not replace Kerina, she doesn’t try to, but I know she is a gift to me, and she is not the only new sister I have been given.

I can either focus on “losing” my brother Marc, or I can laugh at the many hilarious moments we have shared.  I can focus on not having a brother any longer or look up and take notice of my Chad, Damon, Carl, Charles, Terence, Boogie, Will, Dennis, Ralph, Eddie, Juan, Joe, Scott, Leon and so many more.  These are guys who all love me like only a brother could, some protective and strong in their presence, some let me be all motherly and feed them, others love to take digs at me and bug me in ways that only people with brothers understand.  I “lose” one, (which isn’t lost at all actually, he is in Heaven) and I gain so many others.

Just as I experienced miscarriage, after miscarriage, I was given an opportunity to witness a very healing and powerful birth with my sister Karina.  This was a birth that has been healing in more ways than one, as a mother and as a birth worker who has seen so much birth trauma.

I have more fathers and even mothers than I can count.  I went to Africa and gained 3 very different, but all very loving father figures.  Here, I enjoy paternal love from the likes of Russ Painter, Gary Fishman, Roger Fields, Tomas Kysele and more.  And my beautiful mama’s, women like Deb Painter, Robin Fields, and other women who aren’t even old enough to be my mother, have mothered me in ways I hadn’t imagined possible.  Robin’s lap is a sanctuary for me.  Deb’s loving arms and motherly caresses give me something that I never knew I would enjoy so much.

For me, this is not an issue of loss, but more so, I see it all as gain.  I get to have the wonderful family members that are still present and some gone, plus a whole other crew of people added on.  I don’t look at it as deficits with my biological family.  I see it as being able to have them and now this.  I get them all.  What a blessing!!

So, here is my challenge for you.  I have already prayed for you about this.  Ask the Lord to show you the times and ways in which He has provided such gifts for you.  Times in your life where all you could see is deficit, ask Him to show you where He was in those moments and how He provided.  Discover with Him, all the creative ways He provided, showed you love and beauty, right in the midst of your pain.  Let Him overwhelm you with it all so that when the enemy tries to take you to those pits of hopelessness and despair, you can shift gears to the multitude of ways, instances and moments that scream like neon signs, telling of how very much you are loved, cared about and provided for. I pray that you have an amazingly fun discovery!