20150629_143601

Sitting in the Window Seat

I have two jobs.

Job number one I am the secretary at my church and job number two I am a travel agent.  Since I just told you that I am a travel agent this next part may sound very strange to you….I am afraid to fly. Yep you read that right… I am a travel agent and I am afraid to fly.

But I fly anyway.

You may ask, “Why do I still choose to fly? ”

My answer is…I fly because I have chosen not to let fear consume my life and stop me from missing out on the good stuff. Dealing with the fear is always worth doing because what usually waits at the other side of the plane ride is usually something fun and exciting. I love to travel, I love seeing different places, experiencing different cultures and just going places that I have never been.  I am not sure how I could experience all that awesomeness without flying so I swallow my fear and make myself get on the plane.

Though I say I am afraid to fly my fear is not quite as bad as it used to be and I have actually come a long way.  Years ago I when I flew I would close my eyes the whole time the plane was taking off  and pretty much hid my face under my sweater (because everyone knows that hiding under a sweater will save your life if the plane crashes). Once the plane was at cruising altitude then I would just sit in my seat frozen in fear the whole time counting down the minutes until landing.

One time on a flight to the Dominican Republic the plane we were on hit an air pocket just as we were preparing to land and the plane felt as if it did some sort of free fall for miles with the captain seeming to lose control for what seemed like forever.  He finally got it under control but then it happened again! It was nighttime and did I mention we were about to land??! I thought we were going to smash into the ground any second… but we didn’t.

Also to top that off during that week while we were in the Dominican Republic it also happened to be the week that a plane in New Your City hit a flock of geese and Captain “Sully” Sullenberger safely landed the plane into the Hudson River (story here), so the whole time we were in the DR every time I turned the TV on I would see news coverage about the plane and by time we went home I was petrified to fly home and just knew we were going to hit a flock of geese on take off.  I got on the plane anyway and we made it home safely as you have probably figured out by now, because if we hadn’t you would not be reading this story

I have flown many many times since then all of them without incident but I am still fearful of flying. I have come to the point that I still don’t like taking off a whole lot but once the plane is up I am okay. . A friend once told me to try to imagine when I am in a plane that I am just sitting in a room.  That theory seems to work pretty well as long as we don’t hit any turbulence… most rooms I have been in do not move unless there is an earth tremor or…..unless they are in the air at 37,000 feet!

This past week my husband and I went to Mexico.  On our way home the plane wasn’t full so my husband and I ended up with a whole row of seats to ourselves.  One thing I never do on a plane is sit in a window seat because I just can’t bear to sit so close to the edge of the plane (Ya I know… you just rolled your eyes :D )  About halfway through the flight my husband got up to go in the bathroom and I am not sure why I decided to do this, but I bravely moved over into the window seat while he was gone.

I only planned to sit there for just a minute but then I glimpsed out the window and I noticed how the clouds seemed to be flat, almost like a fluffy white blanket and we seemed to be gliding along on top of it.

I got out my camera and took a picture.20150629_140353 (1)

And then another20150629_140246

And another20150629_140259

I am not sure when it happened but somehow I became lost in the beauty outside the plane and I completely forgot that I am scared to fly AND…I stayed in the window seat for the rest of the flight!  There was something about seeing the world from up in the air that just left me in awe of just how great God is.

I mean like how wow is it that the sky and earth just seem to go on forever and ever. 20150629_142435

The different configurations of clouds 20150629_143015

The way the land goes on and on with ever changing landscapes. 20150629_145709

It’s just so magnificent the way the clouds are puffier above them then below them.20150629_145219

Something about what I saw from the window of the plane felt so freeing.

I had already had a weekend of soul searching and this flight home was like the icing on the cake. It was like God was speaking to me and saying, “why do you continually worry and try to control things? Why do you continue to let scars from the past reopen? Those old things can not hurt you anymore. You have got to move forward and quit looking backwards!

Sitting there on that airplane looking out over that huge world made me feel so small and it felt like I was just sitting there perched in the palm of God’s hand looking out over the edge. It was as if I was looking out over something so much bigger than I ever could begin to imagine.

If God is big enough to have this huge huge world under control why would I not think that he had my teeny tiny life under control?

“Look out the window! I have all of this under control!”20150629_150713 20150629_150928 20150629_150750 20150629_150935 20150629_151016

I even stayed in the window seat and watched all the way through the landing! Wow! God always amazes me!

I took you from the ends of the earth,
    from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
    I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:9-10

Johnny’s Got Jesus in Him

20150629_154826As I walked up to the airport shuttle door the driver jumped down the steps, pointed at me and said, “Don’t move!”… Immediately I froze, thinking I had done something wrong but then I realized the driver was grinning from ear to ear at me.  He then jumped off the bus, grabbed mine and my husband’s suitcases, and put them on the bus while he welcomed us aboard.

As we boarded the bus we were met by sound of music.  The bus radio was on a Christian radio station and as the driver hopped back on the bus I realized he was happily singing along.  There was a sign above the driver that said, “Your driver’s name is Johnny.”

There was something about Johnny that had my attention, I think it was his joy.  Johnny not only drove the bus, but Johnny kept singing and he also seemed to be dancing in his seat as he drove.  From time to time he would hold up his hand and point his finger up towards the sky.  It was very obvious, Johnny was in love with the Lord and Johnny was singing to Him today.

At each bus stop Johnny would quickly hop off the bus and tell each passenger not to move while sharing his contagious smile with them.  He would then grab their luggage and put it on the bus insisting that they go sit down.

Some of those suitcases looked very heavy but Johnny carried them up the steps and put them on the rack with such ease that he made it look as if they were weightless.  All the while he kept smiling and laughing while chatting with each passenger as they climbed aboard. After putting their luggage on the bus he would get back in his seat, start driving and singing once again.

Johnny had joy radiating from him and his joy was contagious.  I looked around the bus at the other passengers and I realized that everyone had a smile on their face as they watched Johnny.

Johnny’s job did not look very fun to me.  Actually his job looked like a very hard job and he seemed to go above and beyond what was expected of him to do. Johnny didn’t act grumpy or complain, instead Johnny worked extra hard.  Johnny drove, Johnny lifted heavy suitcases… make that LOTS of heavy suitcases and yet Johnny smiled, Johnny sang and Johnny shared joy.

The people who road Johnny’s bus saw Jesus.  If a passenger on Johnny’s bus did not know Jesus then they got to meet him through Johnny today.

As I watched Johnny it reminded me of the verse in the Bible, Colossians 3:23-24 that says ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.’ 

It was pretty obvious Johnny was working for the Lord today. There was no way you could ride Johnny’s bus and not feel happy because Johnny has Jesus in him and Johnny was shining His light all over the place.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we all could work like Johnny does?

Have a wonderful day today!

Terri

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.. Matthew 5:14-16

 

hosea63

A Season of Change

hosea63I woke to the sound rumbling thunder and rain drops pounding on the roof.  We were having another thunderstorm which around here seems to be the norm lately. Usually I love the sound of thunderstorms and I can’t explain why but there is just something very comforting about the sound of rumbling thunder and raindrops hitting the roof that makes me want to snuggle in deeper under the covers and happily go back to sleep.

The urge to roll over and go back to sleep was overwhelming as it always is when it rains, but today the feeling wasn’t a happy snuggley feeling. Today I wanted to go back to sleep, because I felt a little sad and also a bit lonely.

As I lie there in bed planning to snuggle in and sleep the day away, I happened to look towards the window and that’s when I noticed how deep green the leaves on the oak trees in my backyard are right now, something about the deep green leaves dripping with rain up against the gray sky seemed beautiful and calming.

After a while I began to noticed the way each leaf would slightly twitch as the rain drops hit them; as I watched the raindrops hitting the leaves, the trees seemed as if they had come to life and suddenly it dawned on me that the trees actually are alive and the thought then occurred to me that although I may feel alone at times, life is living all around me and God is always here.

Those same trees that were lush and green today were bare and dead looking only a few short months ago. What difference a couple of months can make! Thinking about this got me to thinking about how much a tree changes as it goes through each season of the year.

At the beginning of spring the tree branches are brown and bare but then buds form on the branches, eventually opening and by the end of spring they become fully in bloom and stay that way throughout the summer months.  But then as summer comes to an end and fall begins their leaves start to turn beautiful shades of bright color which only lasts for a few short weeks before they then begin turning brown and fall off once again and the tree branches become bare and stay that way through the winter.

During the winter season sometimes a snowstorm will create snow-covered branches that look magically beautiful covering up the bare dead looking branches for a while but eventually it melts and other than occasional snow covering them, for most of the winter the branches are brown and dead looking until springtime comes back around and the whole cycle of seasons start all over again.

I realized today that my life is a bit like the tree’s life. In my life, I too have gone through many seasons. There are times that I have felt as if I was in full bloom and then there have been times that I’ve felt a bit dull and bare.

My life changed drastically 5 years ago when it collided with God.  I never planned or expected that would ever happen to me.  Jesus was not something I really believed in and once that collision happened my life was never the same again.  With Jesus in my life it seemed as if the seasons of my life were more in the season of full bloom and most of the time there were those extra special times where there was this magical feeling like the tree in winter with its magical snow covered branches.

I remember in the beginning of my new life I had a friend who told me that things were exciting for me at that moment because I was a new Christian but that eventually the newness and excitement would wear off. She warned me that when the newness wore off I may have a hard time sticking to my faith and it wouldn’t be so exciting. Now 5 yeas later I know she was wrong about that because for me the God excitement never wore off.  I do think that the newness of it all did go away after a while and what I mean by that is that I think I have become more seasoned in my Christian walk and I have become a whole lot more comfortable.

I realized something else today though… I realized that when I allow myself to get too comfortable that it is during those comfortable times when I tend to feel a bit lonely.

This is just me thinking out loud but I am thinking that I am not sure that we are supposed to ever become totally comfortable on this earth if we are living a life for God. I could be wrong but it seems to me that when I truly am living my life for God I am continually being pressed out of my comfort zone.

I’m not saying we aren’t allowed to be comfortable because I am sure God wants us to be comfortable in many things.  What I am talking about is that there are those things that require taking a leap of faith such as doing something or going somewhere He asks me to go, things that seem way out there and very uncomfortable for me to do.  I am talking about those things I know I could never ever pull off on my own, things that I know only God has the power to do and require me to be totally tapping into him to do.

I am pretty sure God wants us to go out of our comfort zone.

I could chose to stay comfortable and not do those things he asks, but what I have noticed is when I’m out there jumping right in the middle of where God is leading me that’s when I feel excited and that’s when don’t think so much about myself.  Those are the times I am truly joyful and I don’t have time to be lonely and truly I am not lonely then, and I am pretty sure the reason is because it’s during those times I am focused closely on Him.

Today when I first woke up I felt lonely. My life is much different right now than it used to be. It’s not a bad life at all, it’s just changing as life always seems to do. People come and go, jobs change, and life on earth keeps moving on, changing just like the seasons change and today I realized that I may be I am in a season of renewing right now.  I am learning what it is like to trust God fully. My life has always been in his hands but not always have I totally let go of my life.  I do still try to control it at times even thought I know it’s really not mine to control.

In order for the trees to live they had to be out in the rain.  They need the rain to help them grow and live and bloom. It seems like so much good has been happening yet also at the same time it’s been raining in my life a whole lot lately and I am thinking maybe I am a little bit like a tree standing out in the storm at times.  Blowing in the wind, bending and breaking off the extra unneeded branches, watering and washing things clean making room for new growth so I can start fresh like springtime and bloom.

No matter what I go through God always seems to have something beautiful just waiting around the bend and even in the rain I have found him right there, always beside me. I also know that once this rainy season in my life is over something extra beautiful will bloom.

How are you today? Do you seem to be going through a rainy season or a season of change in your life? Remember God never changes, he is the same as he has always been.  He loves you and is there always.  Wherever you are remember he is right there beside you as you go through each and every season of life.

Have a wonderful Day,

T

Let us acknowledge the Lord;
    let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
    he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
    like the spring rains that water the earth. Hosea 6:3

Something is Missing from this Statement

jesusThe above picture was from a story book that I was reading to my grandsons tonight. The book went through each Holiday that is celebrated. On each page the author listed a description of each holiday and what is celebrated during that holiday. When we came to Christmas I realized that the author had taken Jesus out of the Christmas Holiday.

My grandsons are age 2 and 4 so they can’t read yet so  I read it to them with Jesus inserted where the author omitted Him.

This really bothers me that a children’s book is stating what sounds like a fact to small children, when the real fact is that this statement is missing the most important part ‘JESUS’ If Jesus is not in Christmas then Christmas would make no sense.

jesus2

What do you think about this?

T

So Stinkin’ Cute

At the beginning of the month of April a hole appeared by the side of our front porch that we thought belonged to a mole. Moles are a constant problem where we live but they usually stay out in the grassy area of the yard and don’t usually come in the areas where we have flowers and bushes.

Each day the hole would get bigger and each day my husband would fill the hole with dirt and put rocks and things on top of it but the next day the hole would reappear again.  This mole also seemed to be a little different than our usual moles not only in the fact that he came up close to the house, but he would also bring leaves to the hole which would be piled all around and mounded on top of the hole each morning.

About two weeks into April we noticed that we had a lot of chipmunks running around our porch area and it was then we realized that the hole did not  belong to a mole after all, but instead, we decided that it belonged to chipmunks.20150516_173156
Even though the chipmunks were cute my husband still kept trying to get them to relocate somewhere else because they were now beginning to dig under the porch.  Not only did they make a huge mess with the leaves and dirt each night but he also worried if they kept going under the concrete porch that they would eventually cause the porch to have structural problems.

About a week and a half ago my husband had just left the house to go to town when he called me from his cell phone and told me to look out on the front porch that there was a baby skunk on the porch. I looked out and sure enough, there it was… such a cute little thing.20150612_170910
A few minutes later I realized he also came with a brother or was it maybe a sister? 20150603_163651 and then a suddenly two baby skunks turned into three baby skunks. Then the third skunk decided to go to the side of my porch and down in the hole that we thought had been a chipmunk home and he returned back out with baby skunk number four! Oh how wonderful we had a whole skunk family!

Or maybe not so wonderful…

Now we seemed to have a really stinky situation and I will try my best to make a long story short…

  • We called several places about how to remove the skunk family without hurting them or us getting skunked.
  • Tried several solutions.
  • Skunk family moved away.
  • Hole was filled with dirt and concrete blocked in.
  • The hole stayed closed for a week we saw no signs of the skunk family for a week.

Yippee! our skunk troubles were over!

And then yesterday I noticed this guy on the front porch.20150612_170838
And within the next few minutes I realized one baby skunk was now two20150612_170755
and then there were three… 20150603_164213
Yep you guessed it… once again we are the proud owners of a whole skunk family…

Awesome!… or maybe not…

I love nature and cute baby animals a whole lot, but to be honest these guys are just a little bit to stinky for me  :-)

Leave it to the Happiness Guys and Returning Home

Terri:

I posted this post a couple of days ago and am re-posting it again today because I have a feeling it didn’t go out to anyone because my blog and most of its followers have been lost in cyberspace for a few days. Thanks for your patience during all the moves!

Originally posted on A Story By Me:

Hi Everyone, Just a quick note to let you all know that I am back at the old blog address again.  If you saw my post yesterday saying that A Story By Me was moving to a new blog address, please disregard the new address and just visit A Story By Me as you have always done.

After spending the past couple of days yanking out all of my hair I am ready to admit that I am not as technologically inclined as I thought I was and I have decided that I’m ready to get back to what I like doing most, which is writing and of course reading all of your blog posts.

Thanks so much for your patience! From now on I will leave the tecky stuff to the WordPress Happiness Engineers :D

Have a great evening!

T

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