All is Good

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This morning I awoke, to my husband waking me up to give me good-bye kiss before he left for work. After he left I then lay there thinking about how thankful I am for him and for our life together.  I thought about how things could have turned out had God not came into our lives.  As lay there thinking happy thoughts, rain started tapping on the roof and I  drifted back off to sleep. I slept for about another hour and woke up to sunshine streaming through the curtains realizing that what I thought was going to be a rainy day now was a sunny day. I looked outside and saw this beautiful mess on my deck and a feeling of contentment and peace washed over me.

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Not to long after I woke up I received an email from a friend that contained a blog post by Randy Alcorn called turning Bad into Best. In the post it said ‘take some time to list the worst things that have ever happened to you, then list the best things. You’ll be astonished by how many of those best things came out of the worst things’

I decided to make a list and I soon found out that what the writer said was true; most of the best things on my list did come out of the worst things.  I won’t put the lists I made on here but I will share with you that there was one thing that stood out on the top of both lists…The best thing that ever happened to me in my life was that I was saved by Jesus and guess what….it was during one of the worst points of my life.

I have been walking with Jesus for about 4 and half years now.  It has been a tremendous time of change and to be honest it has has been one tough time.  Life did not become awesome the minute I was saved, actually it became more complicated.  I also have had a whole lot of health problems over the past 4 years but oddly through each one something good came from it. At times it seemed like life was  crumbling around me but  now I look back and can see that God was molding me and helping me get my priorities in line.  Now things seem to be solid and strong and it seems to me as if I have pretty much walked into a whole new life, actually a better life.

Reflecting back over the list I made today it looks as if I lost a lot but what amazes me is how much more I have gained. I now have more than I ever hoped for, and more than I ever could imagine.  What I have now is love, faith, trust, hope, peace, security, and joy. Joy, I have joy 🙂  I am thankful.

I started my day today feeling peace and contentment, I shall end it on the same note.

Thank you so much for reading, below are a few of the gifts God gave me as I went through my day today and I would like to share them with you.

Enjoy…

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God bless you and good night,

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31days

To read the rest of the posts in this series you can click here – 31 Days of Hushin’ My Mouth

 

Reflecting on What I Left Behind

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copyright © astorybyme 2014

Today as I was driving to work the sun had just risen and I was driving directly into it.  It was so bright that the light stung my eyes so bad that I could barely open them to drive and I was relieved to turn into the parking lot because the driveway goes in the totally opposite direction than the one I had been traveling.  With the sun behind me now and heading for my parking spot I happened to catch a glimpse of the sun in my rear view mirror, it was breathtakingly beautiful!  So beautiful that I decided I just had to stop and take a picture of it’s reflection in the mirror.  As I was taking the picture I realized that the sun that had been blinding me a minute ago didn’t hurt my eyes at all when it was a reflection in the mirror behind me.

After I parked my car as I was walking into the church I saw that the sun was once again in front of me but this time it was a little higher in the sky and though shining brightly over the church it wasn’t painful to look towards it anymore.  As I was unlocking the door to the building all the sudden I just felt so overwhelmed by thankfulness that I was blinded by tears (happy tears) as I thought to myself, “if someone would have told me I would be in this place in my life one day, I would have never have believed them.

I went in the building and soon got to work but while I was working this morning I kept thinking about my past and where I am now and realized that my life is kinda the same as the sun reflecting back in the mirror… what is behind me today at one time used to be in front of me.

Sometimes our lives can be really painful and we have no way of getting around it so we have to head straight into it in order to get through it.  Today when I reflect back on my past I find that where I have been in my past though sometimes painful it was exactly where I needed to go in order to get to where I am today.

When I am driving in my car and I look in the rear-view mirror I see a reflection of where I have been and I know I could never have gotten to where I am on this road without having ever traveled the road behind me.  I also know if I were to turn around I wouldn’t ever get to where I am going.

It is the same way with our lives. Sometimes I may get a glimpse of where I’ve been or who I used to be, but now when I look back I can see that it is all a part of what has put me where I am today and it has made me who I am today.  My past is NOT who I am anymore but I had to have traveled that road in my past in order to get to where I am now and also to get to where I am going.

I have had people to tell me I should always keep moving forward and never look back. Though I do always try keep moving forward, today I did look back because I think for me sometimes I need to look back.  I think it is okay to look back and reflect on the old me from time to time because it shows me just how far I have come.

Today when I saw the sun rising behind me in my mirror it reminded me that when I look back on my past, the ‘SON’ (Jesus) was there with me rising up above it all the whole time.

Thanks for reading,

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Eye Update!

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Since my last post “Leaving Panic Behind Under Palapa #39” I have received many encouraging email messages and also comments on my blog.  I am just so humbled and amazed at the outpouring of love and prayers that have surrounded me in the past few days, from not only friends and family here beside me, but also from people who I have never met in person. The love I have felt touches me so deep inside that I feel my heart just may burst and I want to say thank you to each and every one of you  ❤

I went to the Retina specialist Wednesday and the news was that I have a stage 1 macular hole caused by the vitreous gel in my eye pulling on my retina. My doctor has ordered a drug called Jetrea that will be injected in my eye to hopefully dissolve the vitreous gel so that it will quit pulling on my retina. The Jetrea has a 50 percent chance of working. If it does not work then I will have to have eye surgery to remove the vitreous gel. I may have to surgery to fix the macular hole also depending on how it looks once the gel is not pulling on it anymore. For now I am supposed to be watching for anything new that happens in my eye such as floaters or new flashes of light because while the gel pulling on my retina it can make the hole bigger or possibly cause my retina to detach.

I wrote the above 2 nights ago night but did not get a chance to publish it and this is what happened since I wrote that……

When I got up yesterday morning my eye was very light sensitive and blurry.  I went to work where I spent most my morning on the computer. Some time during the late morning I realized that did not seem to be having as much trouble seeing and thought I was just getting used to my eye issue.  When I finished at work as I was going to town and I noticed once again that I seemed to be seeing much better but I still thought it was because I was just getting used to it.

As exited the interstate I realized that the flashes of light that I have seen for almost a year were gone! I also noticed that feeling of looking through cellophane in my eye was gone too!  I sat in a parking lot for 15 minutes moving my eyes all different directions to see if I could see the flash or the cellophane and no matter how I moved them I was right it had stopped! Those flashes in my sight have been very obvious every time I would move my eyes or blink but now they were gone. The feeling of seeing through cellophane started when the hole appeared but it was gone gone gone too! The only thing that I seem to have wrong is a small dot of vision right in the center of my eye is missing. 2 days ago the whole center of every word was blocked but now it is only a small dot on the center letter of each word and it is not very noticeable at all with both of my eyes open.  I am pretty sure that the dot of missing space is the macular hole but I truly think the vitreous gel has finally pulled off.

I called my retina doctor with this news and she did not seem to be impressed or believe me and she said she will see me in 2 weeks unless I have new flashes or floaters.  I am not a doctor but I really do think the gel pulled off and if that is what happened I will not have to have the Jetrea injection to make it dissolve. I noticed today that I am seeing much better than I have in over a year!

Anyway… that is the news I have so far and I hope I am right.  If I am not right at least something has happened that my vision seems to be improved, so either way the prayers are working and if my eye is really healing (and I am sure it is) this will be the 3rd miracle that God has given me on my eyes, you would think that by now when I tell my doctor I think I am better she would believe me 😀 I will let you know in 2 weeks what she says, Maybe the hole will heal too 😀

I also want to say something about prayer….When this first happened while I was laying there on that beach praying God immediately wrapped his arms around me and gave me such peace that I can never begin to explain it here.  That peace he gave me has held strong through it all and is still here.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

I have no idea how many people have been praying for me I put a post on Facebook and have told everyone I know.  I used to be so uncomfortable to ask people to pray for me, but I have realized now how can can people know to pray for us if we do not ask? I could feel those prayers so much and I know that every  single one of those prayers were heard by God. He is answering them not only in the healing I have seen but I truly think it has even more to do with how much confidence I feel in him no matter what the outcome turns out to be.   Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 

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this photo is not mine and it came from Christine Cain’s facebook post.

Thank you for reading and once again for your prayers,

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Related posts:

I Was Blind But Now I See

I Wait

My Good News

What’s The Plan?

Spider Webs

Broken Glass

My Miracle

Lightening Flashes

Through the Fog and the Debris

Eye Issues Today

I Still See

Leaving Panic Behind Under Palapa #39

A God Inspired Decision

 

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Walkiris – Dominican Republic

It’s been over two weeks since I was given this Compassion Blogger assignment and I am not sure why but of all the Compassion blogging assignments I have received this one for some reason gave me writers block. I know that’s sounds silly because if you are a friend of mine you know that the children of Compassion are where my passion is and I usually cannot stop talking about those kids.

So why then would this assignment be so hard for me?

The assignment this month was to write about what it was that inspired me to sponsor a child. I do know the answer to this question and my answer to the question is – My decision to sponsor a child was God inspired.

I know that sounds like a simple answer and I guess I could have just left it at that and been finished with my writing assignment way before now but there was just so much more to say and I had a hard time putting it all into words. So tonight I decided to just start writing in the hopes that it puts into perspective all the things floating around in my head.

I will start with the first time I was asked to sponsor a child…It was 2010 and I was a brand new Christian. My friend David asked me to sponsor a child and I told him no.  I knew nothing about Compassion except for a few status’s that he had put on his Facebook page and what he had told me about his own sponsorship’s. I really did think I meant no at that time but gradually I found myself becoming very intrigued by Compassion’s website. What I did not know at that time was that God had used my friend to plant a seed for those children in my heart.  I soon began visiting Compassion’s website almost every evening and while I was there I found myself reading about poverty and looking at pictures of the children who were waiting for sponsors. On May 3, 2010 as I was looking at the pictures of the children a cute little face with a big giant smile jumped out of the page at me.  The more I looked at the little girl’s picture the more the pull to sponsor her became stronger.  Even though I still had reservations there was  no fighting it, I knew without a doubt that God wanted me to sponsor Walkiris from the Dominican Republic.

I didn’t know it at the time but that day 4 years ago was the beginning of something that has now become a very important part of my life!

Choosing to sponsor Walkiris was a God inspired decision for sure and the thing about something that is God inspired is it usually turns out in the end way bigger than you could have ever imagined it could.

Some God inspired things seem to me to be way out of my comfort zone and sponsoring a child may sound easy to some people but for me it was way…WAY out of my comfort zone!  First off I was going to be making a commitment to a monthly payment I wasn’t sure I would always have the funds for. Sponsoring a child also meant taking a chance on something I knew nothing about. I did not know a whole lot about Compassion and back then I had big time trust issues. From where I stand now looking back to that time in my life, for me to sponsor a child back then was pretty huge!

At that time in my life Jesus was also very new to me and I had only been a Christian for about 2 months. I did not feel equipped to be writing about him in a letter to a child and to me the letter writing seemed like a big responsibility because I didn’t have a clue what I would say to a child that I didn’t know and to top that off she was from another country so our cultures were different and she spoke Spanish (thank you for Compassion translators).  I will be honest with you when I sponsored Walkiris though I said yes to God I was not totally sure if I was really all in on the whole sponsorship thing.

Thankfully it did work out and I soon found out, letter writing was easy, it was fun, the funds always seemed to be there and I also eventually realized I was really ALL in.

Since the day I sponsored Walkiris several other things have been God inspired.

God inspired sponsoring Thierry… 

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Thierry – Haiti (Thierry has now graduated from Compassion’s program)

God inspired me to become an advocate for other children who are waiting for sponsors…

God inspired me to start this blog… 

God inspired letter writing with Sanbor…

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Sanbor – Bangladash

God inspired a visit to Haiti to meet Thierry. (Read this story here)…

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Me and Thierry March 2013

While in Haiti meeting Theirry God inspired sponsoring Rose (Read her story here)…

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Rose – Haiti (in the mint green dress)

God inspired me to join Compassion bloggers and He inspires me to write about the kids at Compassion…

And just this past year God inspired sponsoring Ericka…

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Ericka – El Salvador

God has inspired writing letters full of words of encouragement and full of love…Tears of joy have sometimes flowed down my face when I read the letters from my children. I cry because I see the love in the pictures they draw for me…or the first time I saw Walkiris’s tiny blue finger print signature because she was to young to write. I loved watching as over time the finger print was replaced by her own crooked signature and then finally the joyful day that the letter arrived fully written by her in her very own handwriting.

I love how the letters from these kids give me a glimpse into their lives. The most profound thing I have learned through all of this is that I could fall in love with someone I have never met in person.  The love I feel for them is real and I feel like they are my own children.  I have also found out that these children love me as much as I love them.  Their letters to me are written with love and also full of encouragement for me.  Every single one of them has told me that they pray for me and my family. What I have received out of all this has been a totally unexpected gift.

What started out as me helping them I think somehow has also been them helping me?!?  

During the past 4 years God has taken this heart of mine and broken it into a million tiny pieces while at the same time he has been picking them up and putting them back together again, molding them into a heart that is full of trust, hope and love.  Those things all rolled together form a heart so full of  joy at times that it feels as if it may burst.  This whole ‘God inspired’ thing has blessed me beyond anything I could ever have imagined and I am thankful to be a part of something so life changing on all sides of the story.

When looking at Compassion’s website and seeing all those faces of children looking back it can be really hard to imagine that sponsoring just one child could make any difference at all, but I know now without a doubt that it really does make a difference. The truth is sponsoring a child not only makes a difference for that child’s life but also for his whole family and it can also change the sponsor’s life too.

Below is a video by Caitlin Jane.  She is a singer songwriter and also a Compassion sponsor. When she was visiting her sponsored child in The Dominican Republic she was inspired to write this song.

What is God inspiring you to do? If he is inspiring you to do something then go for it! I know you won’t regret your decision to do it if it’s God inspired.  If you would like to share what God is inspiring you to do please tell me about it in the comments below, I really would love to hear about it.

If you feel God is inspiring you to help make a difference in the life of a child consider leaving this blog post by way of clicking the link below which will take you to Compassion International’s website. While there you can view pictures of children who have been praying for someone to choose them and to be their sponsor. YOU can be that person…YOU can make a difference…YOU can change the world — one child at a time! http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm?referer=121431

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day,

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Butterflies in the Darkness

butterly1Yesterday as I was leaving work I noticed a Monarch butterfly sitting on the ground. Just as I decided to take it’s picture it decided it was time to fly around for a while, so I followed it around the parking lot snapping its picture each time it landed. I just loved watching it flutter about. It would flutter fast and then float for awhile and then sit somewhere looking as if it was going to stay put.  But just as soon as I would think it was going to stay still it would flutter around some more. It seemed so peaceful and so free. As I watched it fly around I got to thinking about butterflies and how they are so beautiful and how God created something so small but yet it can be so hugely beautiful.

Not knowing a whole lot about Monarch butterflies I decided I wanted to know more about them so when I got home I looked them up them up to see If I could find out more about them.  In my search I found out some pretty interesting stuff…If you are not a nature geek like me then you may want to skip the next few paragraphs 🙂

Do you know that the Monarch butterfly only lives in its adult butterfly form for about 2- 6 weeks and that it’s whole entire life cycle is only 6-8 weeks long?  I did not know this.

In it’s life cycle it goes from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis, pupa, and then butterfly all in that very short amount of time.

The beginning stage in its life which is the egg lasts for about 4 days, and then the egg hatches into a caterpillar which lasts for about 2 weeks. The caterpillar then attaches itself to a milkweed plant where it sheds its skin and then the left over skin hardens into a cocoon (chrysalis) where it stays (pupa) for 10 days.  After the 10 days it emerges as the adult butterfly which only lasts for 2 to 6 weeks.
Another interesting thing about the Monarch butterfly is that there are 4 generations inside of their life cycle.
March/April – 1st generation Monarchs are born in Northern United States and Canada.
May/June – 2nd generation is born
July/August – 3rd generation is born
Then this is the cool part…
In September/October the 4th generation Monarch is born but this generation does not die as fast as the other generations do. This generation migrates about 3000 miles South to Mexico or Southern California where they live for about 6-8 months and then In February or March they fly the 3000 miles back to the United States and Northern Canada where they mate, lay their eggs, and then it starts all over again!
Another thing about the Monarch Butterfly is that since it spends 10 days in its cocoon that means this insect spends about 1/5 of its life in darkness!  Spending time in a tight squished up dark space seems pretty awful to me but later it dawned on me that while the caterpillar is in the darkest time of its life that is where it is actually turning it into something very beautiful, a butterfly.  This place is also where he is being prepared to do the job he was created do….pollinate plants.

Then I also realized that in a way aren’t we people kind of like butterflies? We all go through times in our lives that seem dark and we all are always changing and growing.

I recently went through a pretty hard time in my life.

During this time I had been dealing with depression which was due to loss of mobility and pain due to surgery and arthritis in my knees and I also have had eye issues going on again. Though I had a lot of really good things going on in my life during that time I still had a lot of really hard days.

Like the caterpillar in its dark cocoon, I cocooned myself into my own dark place by trying my best to keep my pain and depression hidden from everyone.  I am not sure what it is about being a Christian and being sad but for some reason though I know I don’t have to be all happy all the time I still did not want to come across as a downer to those around me.  The few times I did dump it on someone I felt guilty like I may be dragging them down too because a lot of the closest people to me are going through a lot of their own struggles and the last thing they needed was to be burdened with mine.  So I tried my best to look to the joyful things in my life and most of the time I did find them.

Thinking about the butterfly made me realize something… while I was in that dark place of my life I too had been growing and changing… just like the butterfly I have been turning into something better and more beautiful and God has been preparing me for the job he created me to do by teaching me how to rely on him more and actually making my faith stronger.

During my dark time I spent a whole lot of time struggling with thoughts of things like “what is wrong with me that I can not get over this? I felt like everyone could see through me but really nobody ever acted like they did so most likely they did not. I also work at a church and I also have what I feel like is a good relationship with the Lord so that left me feeling like somehow maybe I should be able to get over this easier.  But when I didn’t I began to feel like maybe I deserved what was happening to me or maybe my faith was not strong enough. I felt close to God during all of this but at the same time I had days that I would wonder if he was really there and then he would always show me that he was.

I am sure my life seemed to look as if it was going good to everyone around me because I said it was good. I would have days that I felt joyful and thankful but then also I had days I could barely drag myself out of bed, it was a very confusing time.

I remember a time when old me would have thrown in the towel and went back to my old way of living and maybe had a drink or two… or three… or four to drown my sorrows away.  Thankfully God has changed that part of me and I never had the desire to do that.  I did know somehow that this is the life God wants me to live and that I just had to hang in there, keep on praying and wait on him to show me what was going on.

So every day I kept on going, I had prayer time almost every day.  There were some days that I felt like God did not show up but on most days when I had my prayer time he met me wherever I was at at that moment.  He always came through if I would let him.

Another thing I noticed during this time was that it always seemed like on my worst days God would always put someone in front of me who needed encouragement or love.  During those times is when I began to realize that each time I helped someone else for some reason I felt at peace. Gradually over time I began turning my focus off of me and trying to pour as much love as I could into other people and oddly the more that happened the more I began to realize that was exactly what God wanted me to do. I began to understand more and more that it’s easy to fall into a pit of despair and stay stuck in it down hiding in the darkness. But when we chose to climb up, even if it’s just a few small steps to help someone else we begin to see the light glowing at top. The more I saw that light the more I saw God’s plan.

Gradually over the past 10 months I have finally admitted to myself that God had been calling me into things that seem pretty scary to me. I had known a lot of this for well over a year but I chose to ignore it because truthfully I did not feel worthy or equipped for what he is asking me to do and I was scared.

Even though I thought I had been living my life for God I still had things I needed to surrender to him.

One of those things being who I depended on.

What I realize now is that when you have nobody but God you begin to depend on nobody except God.

When you are down like I was with my legs and can not run around shopping and doing busy work you have more time to read the Bible and talk to God. I spent a whole lot of this time down just learning how to be still. I tend to be the type of person who needs to fill empty space. If I am with someone and they don’t talk I will fill the silence with chatter, if I am at home alone I will do chores to stay busy. I never just sit and watch television; actually I don’t like television very much and if I do watch it I usually have to do something else at the same time. To just lie around and do nothing is really very hard for me.

Over the past 10 months after work most days I spent in the evening time lying around with my legs propped up and iced and during this time God was working on me.  During this time He has shown me what he wants me to do with my life, where I don’t belong and where I do belong. What is not important and what is important.  He has shown me that he has had me right where he wants me all along and that I needed to learn to trust him more and also trust that he has the power to equip me for anything he asks me to do.
Like a caterpillar that goes into a dark place to metamorphosis I think that is what I did. A caterpillar stays in its dark place while God works on it and prepares it to do the job it was created to do. While in the dark place it begins to change growing beautiful wings so that it can fly. Once the caterpillar turns into a butterfly it goes around pollinating plants so that they can grow seeds. They are very important in keeping the flow of seeds going; this is God’s plan for them.

And Like a butterfly God also has a plan for each one of us and sometimes I think we may have to be in the dark to be able to see his light. When a person comes out of the dark they are transformed into the beauty that God created them to be, so they can start flying from person to person, spreading Jesus just like the butterfly spreads pollen.

Since climbing out of my cocoon I have been feeling this sense of wanting to be even closer to God. I feel more aware of him in every second of my day now. I feel his presence and want to talk with him as much as possible. I know his plan for me involves Speaking in public, though I suffer from social anxiety and I can not memorize or remember a speech to save my life. I know this is where he wants me to be, without a doubt.

It seems as if everywhere I turn lately I am hearing a sermon about God using weak people to do his work. Even the Bible study class I am in right now is about that.  Though I don’t know the full plan yet I do feel very sure that I am where I am supposed to be right now.  I feel a closeness so different from what I have ever felt before.  I feel his love and I feel confident that his plan will unfold even more each day as I spend time with him and I finally feel at peace.

Note: I wrote what is written above about 3 weeks ago
About a week after I started writing it I was finally able to get an injection of Monovisc in my knee that is supposed to put gel in my knee where the cartilage is missing. Now Here I am 2 weeks after I had the shot and I am moving around a whole lot better and my constant knee pain is finally gone when I am not standing on them.  I am walking better and hopefully soon I will be walking without pain too.   I find it very interesting that when I finally started healing emotionally shortly after I began healing physically. I wonder…had my legs healed first if I would have realized that the time in the darkness was what was needed for me to be able to grow? Would I know that I can be joyful even in a dark place?  Would I know that even if my knees don’t heal I am still capable of doing anything God asks?  Looking back now though hard I am pretty sure this whole ordeal has been good for me.

With Jesus in your life anything can happen. Just like he turns the caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly He can also turn a messed up messy me into his own beautiful creation and he can also do that for you too!

With Jesus we get our wings, with him we learn to spread our wings and with him we also learn how to fly.

Thank you for reading today, and have a wonderful day,

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P.S.  I would also like to thank Abby over at Abby’s Faith Walk for her encouraging post about depression.  I had been working on this post and many times wrote other posts about my struggles but never had the courage to post them.  When I saw her post last night I decided to go ahead and finish this up and post it.

After I wrote this post another blogger friend posted a very insightful and beautiful analogy using the butterfly that I thought you may like.  Click here to enjoy ->  A Whole New Creation by Karina at Karina’s Thought.

 

A Flower in the Dirt

Because of my knee issues I haven’t planted any flowers in my yard this year.  Every one of my flower beds and pots that I normally plant annuals in are empty of flowers but full of dried up old dirt left over from last year.

Today I was walking up the walkway in front of my house and I noticed that a flower had sprung up in a patch of dry cracked up dirt in front of my porch.  I found it amazing that anything could possibly grow here and to top that off I have never planted this type of flower in this area of my yard, what a surprise! 20140607_172125 - Copy

I love it when God does this sort of thing!

Especially today…Today I had been feeling a little sad that I haven’t been able to keep up with things that I love to do like gardening and usually by this time of year my yard is blooming beautifully.  As I was walking along and thinking about my flowerless yard there he has this perfect surprise gift right there waiting for me, stopping me in my tracks and reminding me once again he is always here.

This has been a pretty tough year for me but today I realized that things are changing inside of me.  Because I have had to spend a whole lot of time down due to these knee issues I have been reading my Bible more and spending more time with God, which in turn has helped me grow closer to Him.  I also realize now that though I thought I had a lot of my life together, really it was a quite a bit of a mess.  I think maybe he is using this time I have spent down to mold me into the person that I was created to be.  He reminded me today that no matter how bad things look in my eyes, in his eyes in the midst of any dried up mess he can always make something beautiful grow and just like that flower in that dried cracked dirt, right in the middle of my messy life he is making something beautiful grow. God is so good isn’t he?

Have a blessed day,

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My Compassion Kids are Growing Up!

Today I signed on to my Compassion webpage and there was little Rose in a brand new picture.  She looks so pretty all dressed in pink.  It amazes me how much she has grown up in a year!

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Rose April 2013

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Rose April 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another really cool thing happened 2 weeks ago.   My friend David and his wife visited El Salvador on a Compassion trip. I could not believe it but of all the Compassion Centers in El Salvador to visit, they just happened to visit the center that my Ericka attends. He sent me some really great pictures of her she has grown up a lot too!

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Ericka’s picture when I sponsored her

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Ericka Now (April 2014)

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Ericka Now (April 2014)

I just love the joy on her face.

If you would like more information about sponsoring a child through Compassion International click the links below.

http://my.compassionsunday.com/Terrisiebert1963

http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm?referer=121431

Thanks for Reading and have a blessed day,

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#Compassionbloggers  #CompassionInternational  #sponsorachild

The Gift of P E A C E

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Today I woke up in a horrible mood. My heart was racing and my mind was anxious and whirling. I had been up most of the night with terrible knee pain and panic about my eye problems.  And then to top off the morning I had gotten angry with my husband and snipped at him before I leaving for work.

The minute I got in the car to go to work my pity party started, I was crying and telling God I was tired. I was tired of the pain in my knees, tired of not sleeping, tired of the eye stuff, you name it I was tired of it.

As I topped the hill right before the church where I work I said, “Please Lord I just need a break, can you just give me a little peace?

And then I saw this beautiful sunrise….

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I had to pull over to take that picture because it was so breathtaking. I then pulled into the parking lot and took a few more.

I actually took 16 more pictures  before I saw it. Do you see it?  

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Answered prayer was right  in front of my face.

Not just the beautiful sunrise but he also gave me the peace I had asked for.

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P –  E –  A –  C –  E  he had spelled it out for me!

Today our church sign was frozen on the word peace (bottom left corner), some would say it was broken? i would say it was working perfectly 🙂

What an awesome gift and a blessing God gave me today. Sometimes I am still amazed that he loves me so much

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Whiting out the Brown

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Quietness fills my ears as I watch the snow floating softly down like feathers,

covering everything in a blanket of white.

Trees once brown and decaying,

now covered by a fluffy snow floating down,

whiting out the dull brown

Once bare tree branches bend beneath the weight

looking as if they are about to break.

Bowing beneath the lovely white

instead of broken a beautiful sight.

As I watch each little intricate detail make this picture before me today

I know it is time to pray

Dear Lord, thank you for the never ending beauty you always put before my eyes.  And today thank you for the snow, softly floating down, sprinkled from your hands, dusting everything in sight with your beauty. Amen

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The Eye of the Beholder

20130325_105300-1Today I met a young man, he is the chef in the resort I am staying at here in Jamaica.  He had a huge smile and kind eyes and seemed very pleased that I had searched out the Jerk chicken for dinner which is a specialty in Jamaica and one of the things the locals here are quite proud of.

As the chef was helping me with my food he asked me where I was from to which I replied that I was from Missouri which is in the United States.  He then asked me what is it like where I live.  I replied “It’s hot like it is here in Jamaica but not nearly as beautiful. We have no beach or ocean just a lot of trees and mosquito.”   He looked puzzled for a moment then he then asked, “Do you have snow where you live?”   I told him yes we do have snow but not this time of year.   He got a wistful look in his eyes and then he said “I want to see the snow so very much! I can only see snow in pictures or on the television.  Snow looks to be very beautiful, do you not think snow is beautiful?” And then he added “I think it is probably very beautiful in your country and I am sure you think so too.”

Oh man…I sure did feel ashamed of myself.

I actually love snow and think it is very beautiful!  I also love my town and my country, though I always seem to be telling others lately how I someday want to get out of Missouri and move somewhere with a beach.   I am sad to say I realized that I had painted a picture to this young man that looked like I did not like where I live and that I did not appreciate it’s beauty.

This man is working in what I consider to be an island paradise which I could tell he loved and was proud of, yet he was longing to see  snow which is something I take for granted.

The more we talked the more I realized how much I have to be thankful for.  I told him  how lovely the snow is and then I told him about the changing seasons and how in the fall the trees change colors and spring time how the new flowers begin blooming.  He listened intently seeming very excited to hear all this.  I also realize though I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to travel to this beautiful country and experience it, I do truly love my own Country and there is also no place like home.

Each day I am where God has put me, today it is Jamaica, tomorrow it will be at home.  No matter where I am God always seems to give me blessings and gifts.  Thankfully he does this even if I do sometimes act like a spoiled brat.

I guess you know the rest of the story….tonight I had a lot of apologizing and thanking to do.

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Today I am blessed.

Today I am thankful.

Every day I am blessed.

Every day I should always be thankful.

Thank you for reading,

T

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Journal entry 7/19/2013 – Montego Bay Jamaica