Our Tami (Really mine, though)

I recently experienced a loss. It was the kind of loss that feels very alienating. At the same time, my husband has been away quite a bit, helping his dad, so, the temptation to feel alone has been great at times. Thankfully, I hear God well and often enough that it hasn’t been very difficult.

My husband and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary on July 21st and I am looking forward to the intentional time with just the two of us. I need it. I have been missing him a lot.

Sometimes, our loved ones know what we need before we do. As one who has felt that I needed to anticipate and meet the needs of others without them saying a word, that foresight being turned towards me is absolutely… humbling.

My husband was to return home on Wednesday. When he came in the door, I was thrilled to see him and then was stunned to see my cousin Tami and her 4 daughters come in soon after.

Tami and I grew up together. When she was 8 and I was 13, she came to live with my mother and I. Tami and I have always been very close. We are more like sisters and best friends. Our lives are beautifully and traumatically interwoven. We love and seek to protect one another fiercely. She was the first person who I felt truly knew me. She can even taste food and know if I would like it. She has always been nothing but loving and accepting of me, no matter what, even when we don’t agree. She was the first to feel like home to me. She was the first person who I felt really saw me, understood me, and still genuinely liked me. I didn’t have to do anything to earn her love. It was a free gift. I have always and still feel extremely protective of her and our relationship.

From the moment she and her girls walked through the door, we enjoyed each other. We cooked, baked, laughed, shared memories, danced, skated, walked, shopped, did fireworks and more. At some point, she smiled and said wistfully, “I really needed this.” I did too. The three days went by too quickly.

We embraced and cried a little as she left. I told her and our girls that my husband said to me that bringing her here was a part of his anniversary gift to me. He said he wanted to make me happy. He knew that for me, Tami is happiness. She told me that he has more amazing things planned for me. If he did nothing else, this would be more than enough. He sought to bring me happiness and he did. Anything else he does will just be icing on the cake. I am so grateful.

Father’s Day Ramblings

Sometimes, following God’s leading makes no logical sense to me, but, when I feel that familiar tug in a specific direction, I always go anyway.  The results of doing so, always ends up being nothing short of spectacular.

Back in December, I began to feel the Lord was leading me away from my commitment as one of the leaders in youth group.  I felt it was to take a more concerted effort to write. Of course it turned out to be more in the end. I cried profusely about it as I spoke with the youth pastor and another leader.  They laughed at me and assured me that all was well and that we are all still family.

Since then, God has been making sense of everything I have been feeling for a few years regarding my theology and what I was raised to believe about myself, Him and others.  Things are changing in the best way.

Recently, as I walked and talked with the Lord, I admitted to Him that I am feeling as if I am being pulled away from church (attendance).  I cry easily, and did so as I admitted aloud to Him that I don’t want to go to church anymore.  Learning what He is teaching me is making it hard to sit and hear the opposite.  Because He knows me better than I know myself, I asked Him why I don’t want to go anymore.  I feel it’s Him leading me away again.  Now please don’t read between any lines here.  This is my journey. I am simply telling my story.

I asked Him several very specific questions and asked Him to give me the answers in dreams because I couldn’t dismiss dreams.  Dreams just are, what they are, without my meddling and changing things around.  He answered every single question in spectacular fashion and in response to my question about not wanting to attend church any longer, He had a friend mention a book to me.  The books title is, So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore, by Jake Colsen.  I borrowed the audio version from my local library and devoured it in short order.  It explained my feelings exactly, even touching on house churches.  It answered my questions, and some I hadn’t considered, and, I gained a greater sense of peace.

In the meantime, I am enjoying meeting with other believers to simply hang out, eat and more.  I am learning a lot more about the people I love than I ever did attending church meetings with them.  There was never any real time to learn about them and their lives in that setting anyway.

Another thing that has been happening is that a group of friends and I have been asking God questions each day.  This started from a short clip of Shawn Bolz, teaching on hearing from God.  He said to ask the Lord something like, what you are here to do and what He likes about you.  On another day, my friends and I asked the Lord why we don’t always trust what He says and why we sometimes doubt Him.  On another day, we asked Him to show us where we are and where He wants to take us.  It has been wonderful getting answers and sharing them with one another.  I have done these exercises with my sisters and my children as well.  I encourage you to do it too.  We are doing it for 30 days.

In the midst of all this, Abba has been giving me specific instructions on how to go about reaching various goals I have set for myself.  We have been talking about hair, weightloss and more.  Talking hair with my Abba was an exciting and endearing first for me.  I am so enjoying these conversations with Him.

We also had an amazing thing happen a few days ago.  My children and I decided to go for a walk in a nearby park, after dinner one evening.  As we walked to the car, I noticed, but stepped over an envelope on the ground.  My oldest, who was behind me, is naturally more curious than me and she picked it up saying someone named Wayne lost his card.  I smiled and watched her open it.  My smile dropped when she pulled out cash and screamed, “WAYNE!!!!”  We all saw and started looking around frantically and screamed for a Wayne we didn’t know.  No one answered.  Everyone admitted feeling awful that someone had gone out of their way to thank Wayne and give him money and he’d lost the card.  We prayed about the situation and remarked at how bad we felt.  No one enjoys losing money.

When we got home, we read the card again, as it was dark outside when we first looked at it. There was a keyword- coach- Wayne is a coach in our area.  Long story short, my oldest was able to locate Wayne, and because it was a bit creepy, I called him the next morning.  We found him, well, she did, lol!  We met him later that next day at a nearby store and gave him his card and money.  What a load off!!  It turned out that the family giving him the card were the ones who lost it.  We thank God that we found it and was able to get it into the right hands.  God is so gracious and kind.

I will end this week’s post by saying Happy Father’s Day to all whom it applies.  We are eagerly waiting for our guy to get home from work so that we can dote on him.

The Happiest Father’s Day of all goes to our beloved Abba.  You are literally the best Father ever!!