Celebrating an Old and New Birth


Yesterday, I experienced one of many firsts without my husband…though they have been tough, I manage to get through each one from our anniversary, holidays, and other milestones.  Yesterday was no different since it would’ve been his 53rd birthday…though we miss him dearly, he probably celebrated with Jesus or other family members who have passed.

 

To celebrate this day, I went to the dealer to inspect the trailer with my parents.  Not only did I inspect the trailer I am now calling Mercy, I was given a quick guide on how to handle the many hoses, gadgets, and other bells and whistles that come with the trailer.

 

The appointment started with anxiety when I showed up and they weren’t ready…I just wanted to see Mercy and touch her again…after all, it’s been two weeks since I bought her.  Oh, Mercy is a name I gave her since my van’s name is Gracie…me and my husband tended to name our vehicles.  Well, anyway, after a several minute wait, I looked out in the parking lot and there she is…clean from a “bath” and ready for inspection…it was like welcoming a new member of the family.

 

Unfortunately, within an hour, my head was overwhelmed with learning how to hook up hoses and cords…and so on.  How to turn on each function…rather to use propane or electricity…battery power or electricity and so on…then learning the difference between black water versus gray water and types of hoses to use…and so on…

 

Excitingly, she comes with a ton of bells and whistles that include an outdoor kitchen and speaker system…an amazing entertainment center plus other cool features like the awning and tons of storage.

 

Of course the downfall is deciding what to keep in the trailer, store, or bless other people with…after all, I finally decided to be a girl and splurge on some cute shoes other than black flats…then there is my princess kitty who gives me looks as I pack AGAIN…but I hope she enjoys the new home; though I’m sure she’ll be content as long as she can keep hogging the bed.

 

Well, anyway, it’s getting excited and tomorrow Mercy is delivered to my spot in a really tiny town with trees and fresh air.

 

As for my husband’s birthday, I plan to celebrate my first night in the trailer with his favorite treat of cherry pie and sparkling cider…though I have a feeling he is smiling so I raise my class to a classic husband and the new adventure I am about to embark on…

SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A WONDERFUL HUSBAND 

Anyway, are there some firsts you are about to celebrate with or without a loved one?  How are you handling them?

 

 

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Adoption Anniversary…A Cat’s Journey


Well, in just little over a week, we will be celebrating our cat’s 4th anniversary since she came to live with us…

Her journey from the start has been interesting since we adopted her from a pet fair at a local pet store.  We already had one cat but felt she needed a companion so we made the decision to adopt.  She was a scrawny thing at that time, facing away from people, and already rejected by one potential family.  Yet, my husband wanted her even after she swiped at him with a claw.  I told him maybe we shouldn’t adopt her because he does not need a scratch from a cat.

He insisted so adopt her we did.

We took her home where our one cat became pissed even after we took our new baby into the spare bathroom.  Frightened, we left her alone until the next morning when I went in to check her.  She was scared and wanted nothing to do with us yet I sat with her for a bit and comforted her.  She cuddled with me for a few moments before backing away.

After a couple of days, I let her out and she went wild so I told my husband that maybe we should give her back.  He decided to call about her history and discovered that she was the runt, lived with an older person, and had gotten pregnant at a young age and then lost that batch.  The foster parent told us that once you got to know her, she was quite loveable so we decided to keep her and give her a chance.

Well, that chance became a challenge as I was determined to change her into a sweet cat.  It has been tough and it has taken a long time to tame her especially when she spent most of three years outside.  Even then it was a journey as she brought in everything from dead snakes, live baby bunnies, and even a rat into the house and let it loose!  Yes, many near heart attacks but I survived…

Then, unfortunately, due to issues with my husband and his health, we had to give up our older cat.  Later, we realized we should have tried other methods to prevent this cat from attacking my husband’s medical equipment, which was causing infections.

Then, our girl started to calm down as she was finally able to sleep with us and started bonding with us more.  More bonding came as we moved to an apartment and she was not able to got out.

Yet, since our move to our new town, she has become even more calm and the bonding continues to the point that she is finally warming up to even strangers and finally doing some serious cuddling.  We’ll just see how she does after we take her to a new vet this week…sigh…

Throughout this journey, she has taught us the following:

  1. That no matter what, it’s important to give not only animals a chance but humans as well.  Being patient and loving will lead to bonding and trust, which needs to be earned even with humans.
  2. Forgiveness – she has forgiven us for a lot of unintentional boo boos like me kicking her at night in my sleep, taking her to the vet for shots, leaving her alone for 2 weeks (with a cat sitter coming in to visit), and even the long trip to a new home.  Thus, we need to learn to forgive each other no matter what happens.
  3. Even cats can be service animal especially with our cat who has alerted us when hubby is low on blood sugar or even having a stroke…so listen to them when they try to tell you something.
  4. Oh, she loves company sine we always have a cats coming up to our porch and hanging out…
  5. She loves to listen when I read the Bible with her as the audience…her big eyes watch and she acts content…so read the bible aloud to your animal…

So, yeah, if you can, let your animals teach you something…after all, God made them to be companions and even possibly teach us a thing or two.

What have you learned from your pet throughout your journey?

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No Longer a Victim but Victorious in Christ


Well, tonight, my favorite football team of all time- the Seattle Seahawks won!!!  Afterwards, the MVP Russell Wilson gave God glory for the victory…yep the seahawks overcame much to become the victor and the MVP managed to give God the victory.

You see, I overcame much in my life and I give God the glory for no longer allowing me to be a victim but a person victorious in Him…

After my divorce, I remember going home and sobbing my heart out and praying to Him after hearing a song “God is an Awesome God…I fell asleep and woke up knowing that God was in charge and that even if things did not go my way, He would still be there for me.  And, I need to returned to Him who I turned my back on while married to my ex as I was going down a dark path…possibly even death yet I was able to turn back…as God pulled me away from being a victim of abuse and a nasty divorce even as I lost my son during the custody hearing because of many factors which I will not discuss since it’s between God and my ex husband…God will be the final judge in this situation.

Even though it would take a bit more time, I finally began to return to Him as I involved myself at a local church, went to a counselor and developed some wonderful friendships at church and even work.   I’m still friends with many of these people today and have enjoyed their friendship and mentorship over the years.  Life would include being active in singles ministry, greeting, serving at banquets and other fun group events and surrendering myself to Jesus as I became not a victim but victorious in Jesus Christ.  We continue to give Him glory as we plan our next journey of ministering to people and hopefully speaking eventually of what God has done for us because we are victorious in Him.

Then I felt the desire to go back to school so I enrolled at Northwest and began my educational journey which has just one more year to complete as I currently pursue my master in ministry, which I plan to use my degree to help other victims.

Yet, even before I started that journey, I was a bit fearful and wondered if I could handle school and if God would provide for me to head back…so He played a practical joke on me by sending me on what I thought was a simple hike…not!  I won a contest to go rock climbing!  Me – rock climb?  I don’t like heights – after all I had a traumatic fall when I was a child…yet God would not let me remain a victim as I overcame my heights by literally walking off a really high cliff and going down with a thin rope and trusting someone to keep rope from sliding off cliff…that’s what God expects of us.  Life will get dangerous at times and bumpy yet as we face our fears, we must trust Him and let go of our victim mentality and become victorious in Him.

Then, I fell in love with a great man who taught me about faith as he faces his own medical crisis…we married over a year later and I moved to a new town and new home and new church.  It was hard to find a new church and get settled in as I met new people.  Yet even then God would not let me become a victim.

Now, my great husband and I live in an even newer town and we are meeting new people…the land around us is covered in a layer of snow and it’s, well, just beautiful…we may not fully understand why God brought us here.  Life has been a struggle since we moved here yet we are continuing to persevere and not being a victim of our circumstances.

After all Psalms 20:6 (NIV) reads:

Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.

and Psalms 45: 4 reads:

In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.

So, are you still a victim of your circumstance’s or have you become victorious?  If you are still a victim, and even not, I’m praying for you…

Taking Back the Night and Overcoming the Fear


On this day, at approximately 6 o’clock at night, on October 30, 1986, I was walking home from school after an evening of drama practice.  I do not remember which play it was; however, an event occurred that changed my life forever as I began to fear this date for the last 28 years.  A kid younger but bigger than me decided he wanted me and was playing it a bit rough.  He and his buddies had followed me home a few days prior and had harassed me but now this kid became bolder as he came at me in the dark.

I was able to keep moving and lead him towards a lighted apartment complex where I screamed my loudest and hardest.  That scared the kid and he took off into the dark so I ran home, afraid that he was following me home.  The police were called and soon the kid was arrested since he lived just a few houses down from me.  Sadly, a few days later, his father was in a car accident in the neighborhood and the kid was charged by was on probation for a while.  I never knew what fully happened to him.  Prayerfully, he got the help he needed and is no longer terrorizing people.  My parents went on with their lives as I continued to live in fear.

At that time, I was part of the Washington State Patrol Explorers group and had an event on Halloween, the next day.  I tried not to be afraid as I sat in the dark and monitored the parking lot; however, after the event, I was afraid especially since my parents were late in picking me up.  Not until they arrived, was I able to finally breathe again.  After that event, I was afraid to walk alone though I still continued to do so because I could not let fear rule my life; however, I would remain fearful as October 30th approached and I wondered if I would ever feel safe on that again as some of the fear lessened over the years.

tonight. I went to the church in preparation of its Light the Night, or October 31st event.  We had to walk around the church and pray for this event so I did for the first two laps on my own.  It was dark and I wondered “should I be afraid?”  As I prayed and walked, I blessed God for protecting me and being at my side as I overcame the fear.  The enemy can no longer control my emotions on October 30 – I have taken this night back from him and have given it to God.

After all, God is the God of peace and with Him at our side, who should we fear?  We need to put our trust in Him and not live in fear.  Though it can be tough to put our trust in Him especially tonight as I fear for my husband’s health as we hear more reports from tests.  I want to stay in with him and just live my life in fear and yet I am reminded that God is in control and I have nothing to fear so I stepped out in faith, this night that changed my life so many years ago, and took control of the fear as I let God work in me to bring perfect peace.

What fears are you holding back from fulfilling your purpose or journey?  Whatever it is, seek God and ask Him to give you peace and remind the enemy, that he has no control over you and you are taking back whatever he robbed you of.

And to any woman who has lived this type of fear for only a short time or most of your life, like I have, I am praying for you…

Trust and obey…simply trust and obey


I wanted to write a blog about the Fourth of July and the freedoms we have to write blogs; however, life has taken an unexpected turn.  Last night, I had to rush my husband to the hospital after he had a fall.  This was the final straw after watching him grow weak and barely function for the last several days.  The docs believe he may just be dehydrated; however, he will be in the hospital for another day or so as they run tests and monitor his condition.  Tonight he is already looking better and we – the cat and I – miss him.

Tomorrow will be a more trying time since my neighborhood streets will be closed due to a local parade.  I won’t be able to make it to the hospital until early evening so I will trust that he will be okay even though I will miss him like the dickens.

Yet, I must trust and obey as the following song reminds us to do so…

  1. When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
    What a glory He sheds on our way!
    While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
    And with all who will trust and obey.

    • Refrain:
      Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
      To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
  2. Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
    But His smile quickly drives it away;
    Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
    Can abide while we trust and obey.
  3. Not a  burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
    But our toil He doth richly repay;
    Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
    But is blessed if we trust and obey.
  4. But we never can prove the delights of His love
    Until all on the altar we lay;
    For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
    Are for them who will trust and obey.
  5. Then  in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
    Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
    What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
    Never fear, only trust and obey.

Trust…we are told to trust and obey for there is no other way; yet that can be a difficult way especially as you trust that all is well with the love of your life.  Yet, as I walked away from him, I felt at peace that he will be all right when I see him tomorrow night.

This trust and obey can be difficult especially as you prepare for a new journey in life.  We wonder if this setback is God’s way of saying “stop” or the enemy trying to discourage us.  All we can do is trust and obey…

Finally, A friend stopped by the hospital tonight and he reminded us that sometimes we just need to wait on the Lord, even if it is almost the last moment.  Therefore, we will trust and obey as we wait on the Lord.

What difficulty are you facing now?  Are you struggling to trust and obey?  If so, simply put your trust in the Lord and pray that He will help you through it.

Reference:  http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Trust_and_Obey/.  Retrieved 07/03/13

Even more refreshing…the goodness of rain.


Outside, the rain is coming down as a soaker…refreshing the world around me.

Even more refreshing, I am observing a family laughing and playing together in the downpour.  At first, I wanted to grumble about how dangerous it is to play on a roof and in the rain.  Then you hear the laughter of the kids as they spend a few moments in fun and joy with their dad.  What a refreshing scene!

Even more refreshing, as the rain continued to pour over the city, there was the sweet scent of fresh rain as it washed surfaces like apartments, stores, the road, and even sidewalks around my building.

Even more refreshing is that rain can bring healing and salvation to people as it refreshes their lives according to Isaiah 45:8 (MSG), “Open up, heavens, and rain.  Clouds, pour out buckets of my goodness! Loosen up, earth, and bloom salvation; sprout right living.”  What needs to be revived or refreshed in your life?

Even now, we are worried as we look for a reliable mover; however, we must trust that God will provide and bring either the right mover or the right person to drive a truck.  After all, He is lining everything else up for us as we find temporary housing and other necessity like medical doctors for this move

Even more refreshing, as we face this fear, we know that the Creator of the rain will provide as noted in Acts 14:17 (NIV) “Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”  What blessing is needed in your own life?

As we look for a mover, we must remember to continue to praise and bless God so that we can get thumbs up from Him as we move forward with our dream.  Therefore, in conclusion, my husband and I must continue to look forward to the blessings and doors that God will open as we continue on our journey.

What obstacles are you facing as you approach your journey?  Do you need to be refreshed through the power of cleansing rain as you face this obstacle?  On the other hand, do you have a dream or vision that needs to be revived through rain that is refreshing?

Whatever the obstacle might be, remember to play in the rain and soak up His goodness…

Has a cow ever jumped over the moon?


Probably not….

Tonight my husband and I went in search of a great view of the super moon.  We found a great spot to capture the view; however, we were a bit disappointed because clouds overwhelmed the moon just as it started to rise.

Many times life throws disappointments at us and we are unsure how to handle it.  Do we laugh?  Do we cry?  Do we get upset?

How did we handle this disappointment?  We decided to enjoy the time as husband and wife while we made a stop at the local Dairy Queen.  Perhaps the moon will be out by the time we are done; however, it was not to be seen through the clouds except for one curvy section peeking out through a thick cloud.

That one glimpse reminded me that even if things seem disappointing at times, there is hope that God is alongside each of us and we can put our trust in Him as He continues to amaze us with his creation even with something as like a super moon.

Finally, as we left the roadside park and headed home, we reminded ourselves that once we are living in the desert, perhaps we will be able to see the next super moon.  Or, we will have other glimpses of God’s creation while living near a desert that is filled with awe and wonder.

Overcoming Fear and Doubt with Faith…


The lyrics of the following song remembered and sung by millions, sings:

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

As we prepare to move, as humans, we do have some doubts and fears like will we find the right movers, the right temporary housing, the right rental, will our cat survive…and so on goes the questions and some fears. Above all, the biggest question is – will we make it in this new land with our dream to open a community-style coffee shop?

After all, my husband and I have spent most of our lives close to home, family, friends, and familiar sights here in Washington State. He was born in Hawaii and I’m a true Washingtonian – born and raised here. Now, we are preparing to step off into this new adventure….Will we be blessed on this adventure?

After all, James 1:6-8 (NIV) reads: “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

After all, I truly believe we will be blessed on this adventure as we prepare for this move.

After all, prior to this passage, James commands us to consider is pure joy as we face trials like this adventure as James 1:2-5 (NIV) reads “Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

After all, we are putting our trust in Jesus and know that He will be there for us as we prepare for the biggest adventure of our life. And, as He continues to protect and bless us even during hardship, we will continue to be thankful and trust in Jesus through it all.

Therefore, after all, I am finding it joyful and exciting as we face this testing with this new adventure. I am looking forward to this adventure and the new life my husband and I will be facing in a new land.

After all,
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

What fears are you facing as you prepare for a new journey or vision? Who or what are you trusting to see you through your trials, temptation, or even testing of your faith?

Dangling 100s of feet in the air


Mt Erie_Anacortes

So, there I was, dangling 100s of feet in the air as I participated in a rock climbing event.  I won a contest for rock climbing – thinking it was a simple  hike.  Turned out to be an actual rock climbing that involved using ropes to support yourself 100s of feet in the air.  Me?  Climb rocks?  I was too afraid to climb on a step ladder to reach a top cupboard let alone climb rocks and pathways with just enough room for one foot.  Somehow I managed to climb halfway up before fear overwhelmed me.

The next challenge was climbing to the bottom of the cliff, which meant walking to the edge of the cliff and jumping off with a thin rope tide around my waist and relying on other people to be able to hold the rope.  Somehow, with my eyes focused on the person holding the rope, I slid off the mountain and soon found myself stuck in an upside down position half way down.  I could not go up and if I did not right myself, would slide out of the rope.

With encouragement from the team along with faith and trust, I was able to make it down.

Later, as I drove home, I reflected on the experience and realized that our faith can be small like trusting that rope to hold us up and God will be there, keeping us safe and yet if something goes wrong like me dangling from the rope, He is there to encourage us.  We can take that leap of faith and He will be there to catch us if something goes wrong. 

With these thoughts in mind, I took a leap of faith and enrolled in a college program in Ministry Leadership at Northwest University and thus began a new journey towards earning a degree in ministry.

What is your dream?  Have you taken that leap of faith to fulfill your vision or dream?  Things may not always go right with that dream; however, God is there for you each step of that way. 

Note: Pictured is Mt Erie where I went rock climbing.