“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24
Tag Archives: reflection
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
I signed on to the Post a Day/Week 2011 Blogging Challenge in January.
The challenge has been my “accountability partner”.
It has kept me on track, even when the blogging train was close to de-railing.
I have traveled to New Zealand, Austraila, Paris, New York, Germany and Portugal without leaving the comfort of my home.
I have taken a ride in a hot air balloon and explored Macchu Picchu.
I have “tasted” incredibly delicious foods through the lens of a camera.
I have spent days contemplating a single word and how to interpret it into a photo.
I have enjoyed strolling through the NOLA Details of my home town even though I no longer live there.
I discovered an incredibly courageous writer who lives her life one flannel Pajama Day at a time. As well as a NOLA girl at heart living in Texas who loves sharing her incredibly ordinary life-story!
My life has been enriched by those who have welcomed me into their lives and for that I will be forever grateful for this 2011 blogging challenge.
My Mother warned me and I just wouldn’t listen!
I was just sitting here enjoying my absolute favorite comfort food, Sara Lee Original Strawberry Cream Cheesecake! The experience begins when I open the container. The smell of the rich, sweet fragrance of goodness. It continues with the beautiful layers of texture; the graham cracker crust, the creamy cream cheese and the shiny plump strawberry topping. And finally, the piece de resistance, savouring each creamy mouthful. All of the senses combined to create this most wonderful indulgence. Yes, I am eating it right out of the original container as the whole thing is MINE!
And then it happened, a memory from long ago bubbling up from nowhere. I could hear and see my mother and her friends talking and laughing and gossiping over coffee and dessert in our kitchen 30+ years ago. As a young girl I was allowed to sit with them as long as I didn’t interrupt or repeat any part of their conversations. I do not recall the details of their conversations but I do remember some of the advice that was offered. On the few occasions I was allowed to “sit and be quiet“ I would receive very sage advice from my Mother’s 30 something=ish friends. The advice was mostly concerning what kind of man I should marry, naturally it was based on the men they had not married. But, On this particular Saturday afternoon I would get the ultimate advice. And it must have been important because everyone was in agreement.
I remember they were enjoying Coffee and New York Style Cheesecake. I expressed my interest in having a piece of dessert even though I thought “cheesecake” sounded less than appealing. It was more about fitting in and being one of the girls even if it was for just a little while. And that is when my Mother offered me this very wise piece of advice and everyone agreed.
She warned me that “Cheesecake is so delicious that after one bite I would be hooked and eventually you will wish you had never tried it“. Well, this of course only made me want to try it more and of course I did try it and yes I am hooked. I will on occasion wish I had taken her advice, but only on a rare occasion.
Although I do not indulge in my favorite dessert very often, I am glad that I did not heed my Mother’s warning, because I would be missing out on what I have determined to be the best dessert available in the frozen food section of the grocery store.
A few years ago, I cut my finger using a really sharp knife and for a very long time I could feel the knife cutting into my flesh. All I had to do was see that particular knife and I could feel the knife cutting me all over again. This is exactly how hurtful words feel. I have been cut to the core of my very being, twice. Each time the words came flying in out of left field. Totally unexpected! The person might as well have used a knife, because the wounds are as deep and the scar tissue is just as real.
I think the reason these particular exchanges remain so raw in my memory are because they were spoken by individuals that I cared for a great deal. I also think the words hurt because I had given everything I had to give to each situation. If I shared the exact words with you, you would probably think, what’s the big deal? I really do not think that the individuals meant to hurt me with their words, but they did and unfortunately they still do.
I don’t remember everything about each of those encounters except who was there and what was said. I don’t dwell on these comments, in fact I rarely think about them, but when they do come floating back up from the recesses of my mind they are real. I am hopeful that I can use the memory of how these words made me feel to keep me from hurting someone with my words.
I am sure, almost positive, that I have on numerous occasions cut someone with my words. I wasn’t always as nice as I am today. I do not know who I might have hurt so I have asked God to forgive me. I have asked God to use my hurts to keep me from hurting others with careless mis-spoken words. If you are reading this and I have ever hurt you with my words, I ask for your forgiveness. Also, I ask for your prayers as I try to look at these memories from a different prospective so I can grow, overcome and be more Christ like in my life.
Be careful what you say…your words are the one thing that you can never take back.
Years ago I was working in the retail furniture business. I really liked where I was working but it wasn’t always easy to make a sale. The store manager recognized my increasing frustration and shared this piece of advice. He said “stop focusing on making the sale and focus on helping the customer find exactly what they are looking for. If you help them get what they want you will in turn get what you want.” I realize I learned this truth and applied it as a means to make a living. However, over the years I have discovered if you genuinely care about helping people find what they are looking for in life you will find joy in what you do, whatever it is.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
Well they took a detour along the way.
But a detour is just that, a temporary change in the direction on the way to your original planned destination. That’s not to say that good things don’t happen on the detours, sometimes it’s the detours that help you realize exactly who you are and what you are looking for. At least that is how it happened for me.
Years ago…when I was much younger, my hearts desire was to find and marry my soul mate, have a child, create a family and live happily ever-after. Well, the first attempt at the “happily-ever-after” ended in disaster. Obviously I had not found my soul mate and luckily it ended before children came into the picture. I am very thankful for that.
But, then it happened, I met my soul mate, the love of my life, my best friend and a man after my own heart. We have been together for 24 years and married for 21. We have a son. He will be 21 next week. We are a family! We love one another, we disagree with one another, we are each our own person but at the end of the day we are “la familia”!
Then something happened on the way to realizing the desires of my heart…something was still missing. What could it be? A family comes with needs and wants. Wants and needs come with a price tag. The price tag comes with bills. And with all of that comes huge responsibilities. Therefore, I must need to contribute more to my family financially. That must be what’s missing in my life. I change careers, work hard in an industry that typically doesn’t promote women into management and I achieve my newest hearts desire. I am now the Director of Sales and Marketing for a multi-million dollar wholesale produce company. I have it all!! The family, the career and the REALLY BIG PAYCHECK. And then, reality comes calling. Is this it? If this is IT, then IT isn’t for me. This doesn’t resemble my “hearts desire”. And I certainly don’t recognize the person in the mirror. I have obviously taken a detour…
By the grace of God, I found my way back from the detour thru a book I read. Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado. As I began to read “Cure” I discovered that we are all happiest when we are doing what God has designed and planned for us to do. GOD is the master planner, HE is the great creator, HE is the ultimate designer of all things great and small. GOD has created people to be and do all kinds of things. Those of us who are fortunate enough to love what we do for a living have achieved GOD’s desire for us.
I am blessed to consider myself one of those individuals. The road I chose to travel was full of road blocks and detours, but they all have led me to right where God wants me to be. And I know this because I have never been happier than I am right now. 5 years ago I walked away from the “Position” and the “Paycheck” I had worked so hard to achieve. I am now a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, serving others and helping them to hopefully one day realize their hearts desire, God’s desire for them and true happiness in this life. No amount of prestige, fame or fortune can ever fill your heart to the fullest until you realize what it takes to fill your heart. Jesus filled my heart to overflowing…He gave me the desires of my heart…you can have true happiness and a life filled with the desire’s of your heart if you just fill your heart with JESUS!
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
I have a sweet friend at church who thanks me almost daily for my smile and my hugs and my prayers. She always tells me she loves me and then she says “you don’t know how much I love you”, I love you! I always thank her for her kindness and tell her that I love her too. But today, I had to admit that I don’t know how much she loves me. I know that she says she loves me and I believe her. But I do not know the depth of her love.
I say “I love you” to my family and friends on a regular basis. I say it at the end of phone calls, before we go to sleep at night and sometimes for no apparent reason. But does my husband or my son know the depth of my love. How do I express how much I love them or the depth of my love? Do they have any idea to what lengths I would go for them? Does anyone really know how deeply someone loves them?
The bible tells us in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”. That is what we do when we truly love someone, we lay down our life. We practice sacrificial love by listening, helping, encouraging and giving to the ones we love. We give all the love we can and then we try to give a little more. I am thankful for God’s love. I am thankful that God has given me family and friends that lay their life down for me daily and I am especially thankful that I get to do the same for them. I am truly Blessed!
In less than a month we will no longer live in our house in Pearland. Although I am very excited about what God has planned for the next chapter of my Story, it is a bitter-sweet time for me. In stead of packing or even thinking about packing I find myself standing in different parts of the house, reminiscing. There is a memory at every turn which makes packing up hard to do…
We have lived in our home in Pearland for 13 years. More than half of our life as a family has been spent here. We affectionately referred to this neighborhood as the “New Hope” neighborhood when we moved in, because it seemed as though half the neighborhood attended New Hope Church. We met neighbors that would become our family. We found the Lord while living here. We hosted birthday parties, bbq’s, crawfish boils and bible study in this house. We prayed for our friends and family and their friends and family within the walls of this house. We mark the years we have spent in this house by the number of Christmas’ we have shared. We have watched our son grow from a scrawny second grader to a young man in college. This is why packing up is hard to do….
Little by little, box by box, day by day we are doing what is hard to do…. we are packing up the memories we have made in this house while we look forward to the memories we will make in our next house. We are praying for the family who will call this house their home in less than a month. I pray they will affectionately call this neighborhood the “New Hope” neighborhood. I pray that they will meet a neighbor that will become like family. I pray they will find the Lord or draw closer to Him in this house. I pray they will make as many memories as we did if not more. And I pray that one day, years from now, they will find that packing up is hard to do….