9/27/17

{it.started.with.a.dream.&.a.prayer.on.a.beach}

someday, Lord?


when rickey died on 11/5/11, i seriously had no idea what God might have in store for me. at that moment and in the moments, and days and weeks that followed, i just knew that i needed to continue to trust in Him and to trust that He would lead me. and He did, ever so graciously! as that fall gave way to winter and then winter turned into spring, our lives moved forward, jobs and graduation and even vacations. the girls and i were blessed with some extra money in december and spent some of the week before Christmas in chicago, tim & rochet {rickey's brother & sister-in-law} opened up and shared their lake home with us over spring break and then 7 & 1/2 months into this new journey, at the end of june of 2012 tim & rochet most graciously invited the girls and i to crash the party that was their anniversary trip to pensacola beach ... and we accepted their most generous offer.

the girls and i packed up the escape until there was no room for one.more.thing and started out on a road trip that made memories to last a lifetime!

i have always loved the sun, the sand and the waves and had never had the opportunity to spend days just enjoying the combination of those 3 things like we did at the condo on pensacola beach. they were days that i cherished ... but, they were days filled with the sadness of not sharing them with rickey and of all unknowns of the future. they were days of watching families and couples and again "feeling alone in a crowd". i had just left a job of 8 years and accepted another, tessa had graduated and was looking at what to do for college. the not knowing what the future held, was scary but the days at the beach were healing for my soul and it was in those days that i dared begin to dream that maybe, just maybe God had more of life and "someone" to share my life with in store for me.

so, as i sat on that beach on those lazy june days soaking up the sun and the sand and listening to the waves crashing, and the seagulls calling and my beautiful girls playing in the waves, i dared to dream. 

i dared to dream and to pray that maybe, just maybe God not only had future plans for me that could be "good" again, but that maybe, just maybe He had a special "someone" out there for me as well!

it was that i began to pray that if God didn't intend for me to remain single that He would make the path clear. that He would show me the way. i was intrigued that i had these feelings. i was scared to death to think of "dating" again at 45 years old and i was just a little excited to think that maybe, just maybe someday, sometime, i'd sit on a beach ... maybe the one i was sitting on, maybe a different one, but that i'd sit on a beach chair with someone special to me. someone who let me know i wasn't "alone in a crowd". someone who loved me. someone to call my own. someone to hook pinkies with {you know, so we didn't leave tan lines}!

little did i know, or dream that sometimes, God answers your prayers sooner than later and a few weeks after that vacation, He brought rick into my life!

fast forward to today. today it is 5 years and 3 months to the day that i began to pray that prayer. to surrender to God that i was open if He had someone out there for me ... and tomorrow?  tomorrow, rick and i will board a plane at 6:00 a.m., a plane bound for san diego, california!

through unexpected twists and turns and a few unknowns with my home based business after following the unexpected prodding by God to leave lularoe and join amelia james, rick & i are leaving tomorrow morning for san diego.  we will be heading to a rep retreat for amelia james. a "retreat" in san diego, california ...  where we have a tiny little room at an airbnb ... a tiny little room with one other home separating us from the beach.  a beach with beach chairs, and sun, and sand, and ocean. a beach very similar to the one that i sat on 5 years and 3 months ago!

though i will have some meetings and training time, we will be there together. we will get to walk hand in hand on the beach, and sit in the sand or on a beach chair and "pinky hook".

and what makes this even more "cool"? sunday will be our last morning in san diego. since they are 2 hours ahead of us, we will most likely be up to see the sunrise. sunrise at the beach, together ... never forgetting the past or those who have played such important roles in our lives, but also looking forward to the future ... the future that God alone has in store for us. the future that He has already written!

and sunday ... though the dates were not planned by us ... sunday we will wake up at the beach, with the sun and the sand and the waves. a beach, just like where i first dreamed that maybe God had someone in my future who would love me and cherish me ... and sunday, sunday rick and i will celebrate our 5th anniversary ... and i can't think of a better way to celebrate!

i've been blessed!

9/15/17

{did.you.smile.at.yourself.today?}

rick & I just spent 2 days at a pretty intense training for some seriously serious businessmen and women!

for the most part, i felt totally out of their league if i'm being totally honest!

i asked rick as we drove home yesterday who his favorite speaker was and he, like me couldn't name just one!

well, i liked what ed o'keefe said about this, and ed clay, well he is just amazing, and jesse, well wow, jesse! and then there was rome, oh and vinnie, and yemeni .... oh, too many to remember and way too hard to pick a favorite!

although i felt a little out of place, i did take away many, many good bits of information and though much of the content was aimed at marketing and entrepreneurship and i'm not sure how or if i'll put most of what was shared into practice in my business, there was a common thread which i loved  ...

be grateful

build your tribe

family is the most important thing you have

be grateful

you become like the 20 people you hang around with most - choose wisely

be grateful

smile ... start each day smiling at yourself in the mirror for 60 seconds ... i loved this one because, remember, God is smiling at YOU .... He loved you and created you and you are cherished, loved and adored by Him ... start each day remembering THAT with a smile!

be grateful

date your wife {remember that one, rick!}

breathe

be grateful

read

expand your knowledge

take some time each day for yourself

eat well

exercise

be grateful

do you see a theme?  even though this wasn't a Christian training, the principals put into practice by these highly successful men had very Christian roots. we even received t-shirts that simply say "grateful" on the front! 

so today, i challenge you, stop what you are doing right now, and head into the bathroom {it's easier if you're alone} and set the timer on your phone for 60 seconds. now, look into the mirror and 

SMILE!

that's right, smile ... now keep on ... for 60 seconds!

ok, now breathe, in deeply through your nose ... ok, blow out the tension through your mouth ... in, deeply through your nose, and feel your stomach expand ... now breathe out through your mouth and pull your belly button towards your spine as you exhale fully ... once more, in through your nose, belly expands, and out through your mouth, pulling your belly in :) 

o.k. ... carry on and have a great friday! 

oh, yes, and never forget ... YOU are cherished, loved & adored!


9/6/17

{c.o.n.f.e.s.s.i.o.n.}

confession ...

i'm sitting here at my computer, hands poised ready to type but i can't see for the tears blurring my vision.

confession ...

i'm crying over a person i really don't know.

over what seems so unfair to my human mind.

so.seriously.unfair.

i got a text this morning {which to preserve privacy i'm going to change important details} which read ...

"don't know if you saw on facebook but *E* died this past weekend after a battle with cancer. *E* had a spouse and a 5 year old child. *E* was a believer, but i know you know how their spouse who is still here feels.".

i don't really know *E* but that doesn't matter, in an instant *E's* spouse and i have a connection ... we've joined the ranks of the one relationship that God has ordained to last "til death do us part" ... parents grow old {usually} and die ... sometimes, sadly parents outlive their children and children die ... or children do as is the *natural* order of life, they grow up and move on, as they are supposed to ... the marriage relationship is the only one that is commanded after that covenant is made at the alter to last "til death do us part" ... but what happens when that parting comes sooner than our human mind anticipated?

death is not.ever.easy to understand here on earth because we are human.

however, death.is.a.part.of.life.

it is a part of living and loving and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and opening yourself fully to that one person you have covenanted to love "til death do you part". it can come slowly after illness or it can come quickly, unexpectedly like a thief in the night.

just be assured ...

it.will.come ... as i was reminded this morning.

band-aid removed.

scab picked.

wound opened.

yes.it happens.

every time i hear of someone losing their spouse ... especially when the loss seems to have happened too early in our human minds. the wound is jarred just a little ... it will always remain for it is a battle scar that makes me who i am. and i have had to learn that that is o.k.!

yes. i have been given love again and am forever grateful, but human remembrance still remains, and sometimes is triggered when it is least expected. 

so the wound is re-opened in that i know how the spouse feels.and the acknowledgement that you know that i know how the spouse feels becomes a strangely healing balm. you know that i know ... you get that this road as the widow/widower is a unique one. hurt, yet healing all at the same time.

and ironically {?} you knowing that i know and today being the 5th of the month triggered tears that i didn't expect!

the 5th of the month ... the "day" of the month that our lives changed forever. a day i thought would ALWAYS be marked with remembrance .... 1 month ago today ... 5 months ago today ... 9 months ago today .... 33 months ago today .... but even that memory "fades". never forgotten, yet not so keenly sharp as in those first few "5th's" we encountered. 

yet today, today i woke up aware it was the 5th ... counted the "time" {5 years and 10 months} and was thankful. thankful that i am as aware today as i was on 11/5/11 that rickey is in heaven, celebrating with our Lord and Savior for all eternity {what a party that must be}. thankful for where i am today, for who i am today and for how God has shown himself to me over and over and over again in those 5 years and 10 months! i woke up thankful for the amazing gift of the man lying next to me who i was blessed with when God opened my heart and allowed me to love again! thankful for where God has led us and for the adventures we have coming up in the next 6 weeks {stay tuned for those}. thankful for 3 beautiful daughters who have followed their daddy's heart and love Jesus with all of theirs! thankful that God does work all things {even seemingly senseless tragedy} together for good.

so, yes, tears blur my vision. 

grief for another life that seems to have been cut way too short by earthly standards. a little one whose life is forever altered because a parent they adore is no longer here on this earth to love on them. grief for another parent left to do the job of 2. grief for a spouse left wondering how they are supposed to do it alone. grief for a family left grieving.

but, hope.

hope because God knows.  he knows the grief of this little one who will miss their parent forever. he knows the ache of the spouse who feels, right now, like their right arm has been ripped off.

hope because God knows. he knows the grief of the family and the questions of "why" and he holds every.single.one of the tears this dear family is crying in a bottle.

God knows.

while we in our human frailty don't know and can't understand, HE DOES. and therein lies the miracle of Him.

so i confess.

tears blur my vision ... tears of grief for human loss.

tears because of a simple but profound statement "i know you know how *E's* spouse feels".

tears of joy because another believer is home for eternity!

tears, because sometimes you just have to let them out so HE can catch them and hold them in a bottle for you ... and because i held mine in for way too long after losing rickey.

confession.

life is hard.

truth.

God is good.

all the time.

and

all the time

God is good!


{me, a chatterbox?}

if you have followed my blog at all you know that my heart has always been to share God's grace in the midst of human tragedy ... or wh...