Living Life

Jesus, Me, and the Kitchen Table

The Christmas Gift

pucture of a gift with red wrapping paper abd a gold ribbon

Today as I was pondering Christmas I had a whole new revelation of what it really means; The story from start to finish. We tend to think of Christmas being about Mary giving birth to the tiny baby Jesus and how the Wisemen followed the star and brought gifts. How the family had to flee from Herod and all of that. But that is only the start. Now, as a mom whose children have died and gone to Heaven, I see so much more clearly how real Christmas is and the heart of God in it.

Jesus was born with an eternal purpose. He would live about 33 years, have a huge ministry and yet suffer everything imaginable and unimaginable and finally be killed.
I wonder on this day how God must have felt… All the joy any parent feels when a child is born and so much more because He knew a way was being made for mankind… The ultimate gift to the world… A world that God loved dearly.

I can also feel what God must have felt as Jesus was in the garden praying that this wouldn’t happen yet also surrendering to His Father’s will. Oh the emotions God must have felt as Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, the soldiers coming at Jesus and taking Him away to be tried. Just think how we feel at the mere thought of someone making fun of our kids, beating up on them, spitting on them, mocking them, etc.

Through many tears as I was missing our girls this evening, I thought about our loving Father watching all of that happen to his Son who lived a perfect blameless life. At any moment, even when He was pierced and bleeding, hanging and dying on that rugged splintered cross with the nails in His hands and feet, God could have stopped it. But Instead He forsake His only Son. Oh the tears, the grief, the agony that God felt as He watched this happen and saw Jesus laid in the tomb.

Why would a loving God let this happen to his Son? Because God so loved the world and He knew Jesus’ shed blood and death was the ONLY way that we could be saved from everlasting damnation. The Bible says the wages of sin (and all of us have sinned) is death, but THE GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ!
Jesus rose again 3 days later and sealed the victory over sin, death, hell, and the grave. Hallelujah!

When someone gives us a gift it is up to us to accept or reject it. Jesus has given you and me the gift of salvation. I accepted this gift when I was 12 years old. Today He stands at the door of your heart and is knocking. He has a gift for you. Will you accept it? I hope so!

To accept means to ask Jesus to come into your life, to tell him you know you have done things that aren’t pleasing to Him, and to agree to turn away from those things. Ask Jesus to wash you, to be your Savior. And He will!

I hope you find this Christmas gift today and take hold if it and never let Him go! Jesus is the gift of Christmas!
Merry CHRISTmas!!

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Friends, Love, and Christmas

It’s so funny how one day can leave you feeling down and discouraged because it seems everything hits at once.  On the other hand the next day can be filled with so many blessings!. Total opposites.  That’s how the last few days have been.  The past two days have just been amazing, to say the least.

Yesterday a couple of kids from the neighborhood who were great friends with our daughters came over to bring by a present for Richard and I, and we also had a little something for them.  Mat opened his box with excitement to discover the Zip Track from Discovery Toys.  He loved it!  Maggie received an owl backpack that belonged to Emmarie.  I had given it to her just last Christmas.  But since she never really had a chance to use it, it was like brand-new.  Maggie had asked for it several times throughout this year.  But I kept saying no because I knew I was going to surprise her with it at Christmas.

Before they had finished unwrapping their presents, our friends Martha and John came over and brought us some yummy Christmas goodies and other stuff – gifts straight from the heart.  Such precious people. We love them and have enjoyed getting to know them since the accident.

My friend Dawn came and we went grocery shopping. So we had fun visiting and shopping.  We got back to my house just in time for a group of carolers from Living Truth Fellowship who came to sing beautiful Christmas songs to us.  There must have been 20 or so kids and their parents!  Words can’t really describe how special this was to hear those precious children singing about Jesus’ birth.   Richard and I were very blessed and touched, to say the least.

My friends Kristie and Jessica had been trying to get over this way from Dallas to go see lights and have dinner, but it didn’t work. So I had decided it wasn’t going to happen and was OK with it.  I knew we would find a time to meet up at some point after all.  Looking at lights isn’t much fun to Richard because he can’t see them that much, but it’s the tradition that he enjoys and the time together with family and friends.

Anyway, it all worked out about the lights and dinner because Mike and Angie had texted me earlier yesterday to see if we wanted to do that!!  So after the carolers left, we drove around the Country Club area and looked at the beautiful homes and lights and had dinner at El Chico.  I hadn’t been to El Chico in a while.  The fajitas were as excellent as always!   And the best part of course was catching up and spending time with each other.

Now that is what I call a busy day but an awesome day!

So today Kristie and Jessica were able to come over and visit for a couple of hours.  We always laugh and have a good time when we get together, and today was no different!  Kristie is determined to help me with getting some needed services. I’ll write about that at another time!

And now, another sweet friend is on her way over as I type!

All I can say is that we are so incredibly blessed to have such great friends who care about us and went way out of their way to make sure we have a Merry Christmas.  And I’d have to say that we are already doing just that!   I don’t think our family time on Wednesday can top the joy and love we have felt the lat two days.  I don’t mean that in a negative way against family.  We will just have an extended celebration!

All the while in the back of my head I keep thinking that I cannot imagine what Christmas in Heaven is like, but I know it must be beautiful.  I bet they have a “white Christmas” simply from the holiness of God and the purity of everything, from the glory flowing out from Jesus himself.  Merry Christmas sweet angels Emmarie and Chloe.  We love you bunches!

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Have You Seen Me?

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Well it’s nearly the end of the Christmas shopping season. And I think that every kid in the world is longing for a Fur Real Monkey. I have been helping a friend try to find one for her daughters. We have called every Target and Walmart for miles around to no avail. Some stores are even out of stock online. The ones who have them can’t deliver before Christmas. What to do?? Keep checking back. Ah, the things moms do for kids, especially at Christmas. <

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Strolling Down Memory Lane

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I had the pleasure of a great friend coming to visit on Saturday.  Each month since my coming home from the hospital, she has come and we have had a project to work on for the day.  Sometimes other mutual friends accompany her. We always have fun and get things done!  Saturday our project was to take picture frame Christmas ornaments and put pictures of the girls in them.  It has been her tradition each year since the girls were born to send one of these ornaments for each of the girls. I just had not taken time to add the pictures. I’m not overly talented at crafty stuff and time was so short.

As we went through pictures on the computer we found some that were perfect to crop, cut, and insert into the ornaments. This was so much fun because it let us both look back at past events and activities with Emmarie and Chloe. Oh how I miss them! But how sweet it was to have a good friend to go with me down Memory Lane!

This year’s ornament, which she actually purchased last year, is 2 angels. In the past the ornaments would be different; like a penguin and snowman. But last year she bought 2 angels!! I think this is far beyond coincidence! I’ll keep taking strolls like these until I meet them on the streets of gold!

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Why Does Everything Have to Be So Hard?

So here we are. Richard hurt his back a week ago.  And since he is my primary caregiver, this is a huge deal.  Being paraplegic, I have to be turned at least twice during the night not to mention help with dressing, and minimal help transferring in and out of my wheelchair.   God has been awesome to provide people to step in to help.  One of our neighbors walked across the street at 1 a.m. and again at 5 a.m. for several nights to turn me.  My friends have come in the mornings to help me dress.  Fortunately, Richard’s back is getting better (slowly).  He is now able to turn me at night.  Thank you Lord.  But I’m still needing help with dressing and transferring.  But now, my friend’s children have the viral stomach flu that is going around.  Not only that but Richard’s tummy hasn’t felt too good today either.  Putting all that aside…

Even little things are so hard to do.  LIke plugging in the Christmas tree, like buckling my seatbelt in the van, opening and closing doors, just sitting up! I always need to have one hand anchored on something so I don’t fall over forward.  I am thankful to move my arms and hands and to have that control. It could be much worse!!  Nonetheless, paralysis has made routine tasks either impossible or much more difficult than they should be.  

Without going into detail, I have to do a bowel program every other night.  This really interferes with my life because I have to be home every other night.  Because of the equipment I use that is too big to go in my van, I have to literally be home to do the bowel program.   That means no going to evening events (even if I could drive at night, now) if they fall on one of “those” nights.  It means I can’t go to conferences that are out of town. They are all too far away (Austin, San Antonio, etc). for me to get there, participate, and get home in time.  This freaks me out because that is part of my job as a consultant is to go to these kinds of training events and bring back information.  Tonight I could have gone to the Homeschool Mom’s Christmas party, but it’s one of “those” nights. Not to mention I’m pretty sure my wheelchair would never be ale to get into the house where it’s held each year.  

The family has decided it’s easier for them to come here for Christmas this year instead of us doing in Nacogdoches where we’ve always done it forever. I want to go “home” and see everyone.  Not all of them will come to Mt. Pleasant.  If I had the strength to drive there, it would be no big deal. But I don’t. 

I’ve honestly cried way more than I ever thought possible for one person.  I know our girls are with jesus in heaven and they are eternally blessed and everyday is one day closer to seeing them.  But Christmas, life, is just not the same without them.  It is bad enough to cope with all those emotions but then to have to constantly deal with this paralysis is sometimes more than I can bare, or at least think I can bare. 

The cry of my heart tonight is, “Why does it have to be so hard all the time?” I may very well never know the answer to that question.  Whether I ever do find out or not, I try to encourage myself with these verses….

“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 41:10

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” – John 14:27

“I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” – Psalm 16:8

AND FINALLY…

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Lord,

You know all that goes through my mind.  You know all my worries, fears, hopes, and dreams.  You see all I go through on a daily basis.  You see how I sometimes question You, but never Your sovereignty. You know I don’t understand why all this has happened, but I won’t go there because I know that takes my mind down the wrong path.  Even though things are hard, i know there are people who have it much worse than we do.  More than that I know that You are ALWAYS here.  I know that You are for me, and so no one can stand against me.  You know that I believe in Your ability to heal me and that I know it is your will to heal.  Yet you know that I’m human and doubt. Lord, I believe, but please help my unbelief! I’m going to lean on your Word.  We will get through this! We will! 

Thanks for reading my rants… Some of my friends say I need to be more transparent, so here it is, LOL!  Hope these verses will encourage you in the areas of your life where you are asking, “why does it have to be so hard.”   God bless you all!

 

 

 

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Just Another Lie

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The thought creeps in and seems to try to hang around, “I know we aren’t the best people, perfect, but what on earth did we do to deserve this” (fill in the blank). But that is the start of a pity party to say the least and a lie from the devil.
Pity starts with the question “why me” or “why us.” Then the devil tries to make us compare our lives to others. “You’re better than so-and-so” and then we believe we don’t deserve the hardship we’re facing. But the truth is that I deserved to go to hell and have to spend eternity there. But thanks be to God that He loved us so much that He gave his only Son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that the way was made for us to have eternal life in Heaven. The other thing is we should not compare our lives to someone else. Our only measuring stick for our lives should be Jesus. Do we have a relationship with him? Do we live according to his standards? Even Jesus endured suffering and hardships. So why do we think we shouldn’t? And instead of complaining, he prayed and sought the will of God. I am seriously talking to myself here!!
Hard week to say the least. Seems like each day has an added struggle. But also we’ve been blessed with sweet friends who are coming to our aide. I even figured out how to remove hot food from the oven! Difficult but not impossible for a paraplegic!
I arrived at work and sat in my van listening to songs by Kim Walker Smith. The lyrics just say that God is the same no matter what, sickness, pain, depression have no place, and that His blood is sufficient… He’s all I need even when I can’t see it! And I sure needed a reminder today! Thank you Jesus!

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The Longest Day of My Life This Week!

It actually all started yesterday… Richard, my husband, was getting me dressed when he pulled muscles in his back – big time! He barely made it to his side of the bed to lie down for being in so much pain.  So there we were. Stuck in our bed.  Neither of us could get to my medications or fix lunch for that matter.  My friend Nicole and her 2 girls were able to come over and help. And help they did! She helps me transfer to my wheelchair and we got meds and lunch, and got Richard some ice/heat.  The girls washed our dirty dishes. Later they cooked supper for us and we all ate.  Nicole also helped get me back to bed for the night.  Our neighbor Ludy came over twice n the night and turned me ( I have to be turned at least every 4 hours to prevent pressure sores).  

This morning Nicole and another friend Dawn came to get me dressed and up. Nicole and Dawn keep telling me not to panic… that it will all be OK.  I’ve always been a bit of a planner and a organizer. I’ve always had my days lined out. And I don’t like to see Richard hurting.  Weekends are one thing for having a wonderful abundance of people to come help. But during the week when we all go back to work, then what? 

So after Nicole and Dawn left to go to church, I had to find comfort.  So I tried to stream our favorite church service … Church of His Presence from Mobile, AL.  Living in the country makes streaming impossible.  You get a few words here and then a long pause, a few words, long pause.  So I see a lady and mighty prayer warrior I recognize from the church on the screen.  She is speaking to the internet audience, as she stands with her back to the sanctuary and facing the camera.  I cannot hear, only see.  But when the sound does come in, I hear her praying, “blind eyes open, spinal cord injury be healed in the name of Yeshua”! (Yeshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus).  We met her in Pensacola when she was lead intercessor at Brownsville Assembly of God.  She and the church have been praying for us since the accident.  It was NO accident that the sound came in just at that moment as she was praying those words…. God knew I needed to know we going to be okay!  

I kept the preaching and praise going from some DVDs we have for the next couple of hours.  And it really helped keep me focused.  But afterwards I was just left feeling so blah…. so stressed…. so sad!  But we are blessed with such AWESOME friends… God knows just who to send at just the right time.  Lori sent her husband Tim to help us with our heater, Mat brought a heating pad over for Richard, Stacey Hatten brought us some food and lots of hugs and prayers for me!  Love all of you so much!  Ralene and Wayne brought lunch.  It’s been a VERY long day… but I’m okay now.  God is in control no matter what happens.  Richard said the heating pad must have helped his back because it is feeling a little better. His voice sounds better, too.  

I just hate feeling so helpless.  But I DID get sheets out of the dryer for Richard since he can’t bend over at all.  Guess I’d better go…. stay tuned to see how this plays out… how God delivers us…. 

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Happy times and big stressers: a busy start to December

I like your Christmas tree!

Steven D AKA Severe Storm Steve

Hey guys,
Steve here.

As I write this post, I’m pretty tired. I want nothing more than another break right about now, as I have quite a bit to do in the next few days. Also, There is some weather stuff I’m excited about, and I’ll tell you about that in this post.

As far as my life, it has been exciting but stressful as I said in the post title. Not much happened after my blog post on Sunday, nothing big anyway. I did however get to spend time with the family–baking cookies, and even decorating the Christmas tree. By the way, my 1 and a half year old cat Bell is already loving the fact that she can (or thinks she can) take down the ornaments and play with them… silly cat!
Getting back to my life, I’ve been busy the last day or so (Yesterday not so…

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It’s The Season!

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Wow! What a variety of emotions the past two days have brought! Several friends have come over and helped on many ways. They’ve helped put up and decorate our tree, went to doctor’s office , grocery store, and pharmacy to bring us stuff so we don’t have to brave the incoming wintry weather. And some just came by for a visit.

You know that Christmas is filled with rich memories of years past. The hanging of ornaments is always a time to remember events and people associated with them. I held up well through the tree decorating . Most of the ornaments are related to work events and gift exchanges and a few given by family. What got me was the angel that sits atop the tree. Emmarie and Chloe picked it out last year. And I just couldn’t help but cry just thinking about how special it is and how it feels like a gift from them.

Then we were listening to Christmas music and this song with lyrics, “Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care, and take us to heaven to live with Thee there.” A flood of tears just flowed as I sang these words! For I know they are with Jesus and I’m on my way there too… Oh the day of that happy reunion!

The Season is young and many more emotions and memories are to come in this the last of the “firsts” without them.

Let us not forget that Jesus is the Reason we celebrate Christmas. My tree will be pretty bare underneath this year. But it’s okay… because He is here!

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WELCOME!!

welcomeHi! I’m glad you came for a look! This is my new blog.  Sometimes I have more to say than I care to put into my FB status.  I thought this would be a better way for me to share what’s going on with us.  I’ll still use FB though.  Can’t go too long without it, right?!

The title of the blog, “Living Life – Jesus, Me, and the Kitchen Table” kind of tells everyone that the blog will contain posts of all kinds of topics.  Inspirational – what God is teaching me and/or things I’d just like to share.  Also there will be education-related posts and just about anything else, LOL!

To learn more about me please click on the “About” tab and read my story – at least the latest part of my story.  I dedicate this to our two sweet angels, Emmarie and Chloe , who are in heaven.

Be sure to click the “Follow” button so you can get updates when I post. Thank you for stopping in and I hope you’ll be a frequent visitor!

Dawn

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