Happy Birthday, Dad!

The loss is still there but the memories are forever. It will be three years this July that Dad entered the gates of Heaven. To us it was unexpected and sudden; to God it was planned. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15).

At times, it seems like yesterday while other days I can hardly believe it’s been 3 years.

Today, Dad is celebrating his 67th year (earthly speaking) in Heaven, yet we know God is not bound by time, but we remember.

I cannot help but think of how crucial it is that we make our time on Earth count for Christ. We don’t know when out last breath will be; knowing such knowledge should put a spur in our saddle. But why doesn’t it?

  • Life gets busy.
  • Life can get stressful.
  • Life can be sad.
  • Life gets filled.
  • Life can be influenced.

As a child of God we must continually remind ourselves that this too shall pass…life is a vapor (James 4:14). The older I get the more that realization becomes more evident. But should it take “getting older” to realize this?

Whatever age you are, make today count for Christ not self!

We assume tomorrow is promised, but reality is we hold no power over a day, week, month or year.

In this present moment — the right now — that is what we have. You are living it right now, but you have no guarantees of the next…we only think we do. Moments past, those are what we had.

Love God to the fullest; love others to the fullest…for it just may be your last. There are no guarantees of next or later. Only God knows the appointed time.

It was on a night like tonight we received that phone call, one second Dad was here the next he was walking on streets of gold with his Savior. Sometimes there are no warnings, just gone. Don’t wait!

The time is right now…

  • Serve God now!
  • Tell Him you love Him.
  • Show Him you love Him through your obedience, sacrifice, service, devotion, commitment, faithfulness and love.
  • Tell your loved ones, you love them!
  • Don’t wait to make things right…confront if needed now.
  • Repent if needed now.
  • Tell them you forgive them now.
  • Once you are gone it is too late.
  • Once they are gone you will be too late and will hold that burden…wishing you had.

Tomorrow may never happen and you’ll be to late, don’t make that mistake!

Make your relationships right regardless if the other party wants to or not. You be obedient before God. You do what is right before God and leave the results up to Him. You can forgive someone regardless if they own it or not. You be free.

It may be the hardest thing you ever do, but as living proof…it is worth every shacking knee, every teardrop, every fear of confronting. God’s way is the best way. Obedience to God brings no regret. Praise God, I have no regrets. You can too! I am abundantly confident, in Christ, you can. You are empowered. The question is, will you take that step of obedience in faith believing God’s way is the best way?

Today, I rejoice in my Dad, relish in his love for me, remember our relationship freely without regret. I look forward to that glorious day in Heaven when I see Him again. Where I can hug him once more, walk side-by-side together on streets of gold and tell him once again, “Dad, I LOVE YOU!!”

This is my Dad!

I am free to love. I am heaven-blessed. Friend, I pray you are too?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Me & My Rake

     It’s 12 noon. My heart is heavy and my soul has been fighting a battle for the past couple of hours and honestly, it feels much later than noon. The battle has been in body, soul and mind — all warring within. I must confess, my fighting battle has been over leaves.    Yep, you read me right! LEAVES! 

     Can I set the scene for you? You see, we live in a wonderful neighborhood. A very lovely, quiet street filled with homes built around the 60’s and 70’s, two cul-de-sacs, only one way in and that same way out. You are fully aware of every person that passing your house whether it is your neighbor or someone seeing your neighbor, or the UPS/FedEx driver or the mailman. Anyone else is a ‘stranger’ and everyone on our streets knows it. Our street is lined with the gorgeous, aged, mature oak trees, nicely decorated lawns and turkey’s that come every night at 5pm. We even have occasional deer that pass through.

     These oak trees are lovely in full bloom. In the Spring, we are reminded of new life and God’s goodness. In summer, we are drawn to give thanks for the cooling shade they bring to our back yards. But there is dark side to these majestic oak trees that I wasn’t aware of — they bring hours of work! As beautiful as fall is, I have begun to realize that oak trees have a lot of leaves and where oak tree are, there are leaves; and where there are leaves, there is a lot of work come fall. This is where my struggle began yesterday morning.

Can you picture it?

Blue sky. The sun is warm. All is peaceful. Even the squirrels are happy. Then I gaze. (you most pause here and picture it…I gaaaaaaaaaaaaze) I look at our awesome neighbors. I see their John Deer tractors; I hear their leaf blowers; I see them using their machines that suck up the leaves off their lawns with such ease and the to dispose those leaves — that’s a piece of cake! 

Then I choose.

Me.

I look at my rake.

Me and my rake! I gaze at our yard and see it begin to magnify before my very eyes.

     The task begin. One stroke at a time. I was trying. Really I was. Trying to conquer our very large yard all by hand, but it didn’t take long before it started. My mind and heart started very own battle. The war of discontent. Envy. Bitterness. Complaining. It all started to fester and what was seen was all the work that needed to be done and all what we didn’t have to complete this leaf-task job. I might as well have climbed Mt. Everest. It didn’t matter. It was huge!

     I struggled because I knew that I shouldn’t be thinking such thoughts, but it happened…discontentment had taken root. “We must be the poorest folks on our street – well at least financially” I told myself. (I did try to spiritualize it) “What a waste of my time, I could be doing….(and I had a whole list of things that I told myself).” “There are a million other things I could be doing right now” and “Why doesn’t our neighbors help us, don’t they see?” “Leaves! More leaves. I don’t want to rake another leaf in my life ever again!” Then the pressures of my “to do list” did begin to mount. There I was. Outside on this beautiful fall day with that baby blue skies. One of the kids was helping Daddy, the others at play and singing, and there I was complaining to my rake (yes, I was talking to my rake!)  Painfully, I did indeed finish my piles – all four of them – all half of the front yard! But, I was done — attitude and all! 

   I went inside after rounding up the children and told them I needed to pray. I knew my heart attitude and thoughts were wrong, but sadly they didn’t change until I went into the house and chose to pray! I needed to go into the sanctuary of God (at this point it was my bedroom with the door closed) It didn’t take long for God to reveal my sin. (God has a sense of humor and a way with my heart!)

     As I began praying, in love the Lord began revealing this girl’s true colors. My heart was so filled with self, discontentment, complaining, pride, comparison, envy, anger, and I confessed right there and then {with a lot of tears}.

How foolish I was today! Very very foolish!

I wish I could turn the clock back. Reverse my selfishness, my foolish choice to rather bathe in discontent (and all the above) and replace it with seeing God’s goodness, provisions, and blessings. I wish I could take back the time I wasted, but I cannot. Those moments lost — lost forever.

     We all know that time lost is lost time. We can never get it back. It is forever either wasted or forever wisely used. Though forgiven, my decision to waste this precious time on such foolishness is time lost and it hinder my relationship with God — I lost out! It bring sadness to my soul for I could have done so much more than murmur and complain. My rake and I could have had God and I time.  

Phil. 2: 11-17 “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.”  Ephesians 5:16 “Redeeming the time…” 

My I never talk with that rake ever again — unless it is giving God the glory for the leaves it is helping to clean up. My this soul of mine remember to be thankful in all things!

How are you doing?

Praying for you friend, Colleen

In Christ I Am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}