Yesterday Today Tomorrow

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Today is a lot like yesterday and probably will be a lot like tomorrow.

I’ve done fairly well through this pandemic we are all experiencing. I have my moments. How about you? Sometimes it is hard to grasp the intensity of this virus that has placed the world on lockdown.

Many have their theories, opinions, fears and doubts. I’m not here to go there. It feels like when we are finally able to live and move freely and return to the lives we knew, I just wonder if we will be programmed and it will hinder us.

2EDDC996-0BF6-4EE3-B2B9-B14E2EAD83CCThe hesitancy to shake hands, hug, be near others in the store and constant awareness of germs. Once the grocery store shelves are stocked to capacity, as we are accustomed to, will there still be hoarding for the next episode out of fear, I wonder. How many will be more angry afterward than thankful? Perhaps many will re-evaluate just what they can live without, to lessen the stress in their life of which we have been forced into.

Today, being Easter. We know it is Easter and know the significance of the death, burial and resurrection of  Jesus Christ. How blessed we are. The faith is present, the online church services bring somewhat of a normalcy but the families gathering together are not this year, there is an emptiness. The joy of seeing one another, laughing and just coming together in church or at homes, is void of people. Your four and no more, if that. Today, my home is silent and it should not be.A6C644D1-84AD-472D-B255-5A621407A2FB

Loneliness is creeping in as each day passes. Lack of face-to-face communication and smiles or even frowns are missing. Neighbors stay in their yard and we in ours with an occasional wave as our eyes meet. Many, if not most businesses are closed that we once went through their doors, now limited of entering those that are essential, please wait your turn.

We look around, we see emptiness whether on shelves or parking lots but also in faces that we do get a glimpse of in our distancing.

At times through this, I feel we each live in a safety mode right now for our own protection, and others, wanting to reach out only to be blocked by the wall within of our individual 8E008838-E79D-4724-9F8A-BB11916C4E8Abubble. Confusion as to wear or not to wear a mask, it seems to flip-flop from every direction, yes you should, no you shouldn’t.

While I shake my head, squint my eyes in disbelief, trying to make sense of it all, I walk on and continue to live within the constraints upon us to be safe and obeying rules and directions. Others believe this is all a hoax and continue to be basically rebellious as the positive numbers of cases increase as do the deaths.

BB410EA9-914F-40D9-8C1C-486DEFDBB0B5No doubt the emotions will be more prevalent today in many with the meaning of Easter but also missing our loved ones that will not be around the table and enjoying each other’s company.

So today is like yesterday and the same for tomorrow.D2F2656B-C534-4C94-8697-F52ACBD7DB25

We look at our blessings, which are numerous. Cherish the memories of times past. Plan to make new memories in the days ahead. We are all in this together and in some way and each day, we need to make the most of each one. To have HOPE, we will all get through this, and we will.

Happy Easter ✝️ Be Blessed ✝️ Stay Well

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I Hope You Hope

F799226C-5CE8-4D64-A072-9DDE5E188627Hope is a choice of courage. ~Terri Guillemets

As I sat down and held our old, heavyset cat, we both fell asleep. Easy to do for both of us.  Now, if the cat was writing this, she would write as I was held by my old, heavyset human mom we both fell asleep.7AF681FF-95B3-48CE-9E00-B274FA3030B1

Can you tell that this quarantine is starting to get to me? My days and hours are all messed up, the cats are messed up, they are as confused as I am.

As I was slowly waking up, at 3 am yet again, I was thinking and a lot of my thoughts were, I hope this or I hope that. Just thankful I had hope.

4B9726C2-16AC-41EA-8604-B2DAC95F1E21I hope this period that we are all experiencing, not just in our town or state but worldwide will end soon. I am sure you hope that, too.

I hope that my son is doing okay, as I feel he doesn’t tell me everything and I understand, as I do remember being young. When I called him, as a text message was not enough, I said several times I was not convinced he was okay. A week or two ago, he was not sure this COVID19 was for real. It is. Now pretty well stuck at his home as we all are, he has to manage and I cannot do it for him. So I do hope and pray that he is really okay, as he says he is. I must trust and put my faith in the Lord to help him, care for him and love him. Being a mom is hard, even as our children get older.F080EDCF-7E63-45A0-A26E-B5338A8500C4

I hope that one day I will see so and so.  I hope that one day or soon I will hear from certain ones, as I feel it is out of place to contact them. I wait and see and I hope.

I hope that through all of this we are all experiencing that we each will see life differently and be more appreciative of everyone that is in our lives and just how blessed we really are.

I hope for so many things. I hope I will be a better person, mother, sister, friend, mother/daughter-in-law and most of all, a stronger Christian. I hope I can toss away the intimidation and fear in life, in my praise and worship and not care what others think of me. I don’t want to be the same person that I was. Perhaps this is an awakening for each of us.

749799C1-B069-4FDF-A295-E9A23872970BOn a lighter note, I hope that I can make my hair look nice and not try cutting it myself. No doubt many are stressing, as I am. We will all have new hairdos.  We just might like this change, but I don’t have much hope in that, for me.

I do have hope for each of us. As we go forward through days of uncertainty and distancing, I pray that you also have HOPE.

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Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: “expect with confidence” and “to cherish a desire with anticipation.”

https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/bible-study/encouraging-bible-verses/encouraging-bible-verses-about-hope/

The Way

1DFD2EC3-6A6E-488D-9C5F-24EB36D0681AAgain, just to get away from the news and the numbers, I thought I would share a part of my life, if just for me. What’s your story? 

Growing up, I was not raised in a Christian home whereby prayer and church was present in our lives. We were always told that we could make our own decision about God and if we wanted to go to church, then go. Very odd, isn’t it? My parents were raised to go to church and they hated it.  My maternal grandfather and great-grandfather were both Baptist preachers. I always found my grandfather interesting to see and listen to when we would visit, which was not often due to distance. My dad’s father was a deacon. Church was not a choice for them.89D4587D-3480-474E-B4F7-6B58CC57867D

In our large family, with me being the youngest, it was almost like being the only child due to being seven years between my sister and I. Oftentimes I was just be present and I heard a lot and have seen a lot. I would sit out of the way and be quiet. It was nothing to hear laughter, jokes and things little girls should not hear. I can still hear the clanking of beer bottles from the big brown beer case as they came in the house, of which I heard often. Oftentimes I was a delivery person when told to go get me a beer, and I did. 

Even though I was not raised to worship and pray, I always felt a drawing and as a young child I knew there was a God.  Perhaps with me going to Vacation Bible School each summer with the family nearby, I heard enough that I was convinced there was a God even though I did not go to the altar to proclaim salvation, I knew enough to have faith, as a child880BBAEA-674D-444C-B3DF-9C0A6AEB8503

Growing up the way I did though, I assumed that is life. You work, you drink, and repeat daily and on the weekend you drink more. Had it not been for my shorthand teacher in my senior year to ask the class what our plans were after graduation, I would have been stuck in that mode as the rest of them for years, if not still.

College was not as prevalent back then so we each pretty much shrugged our shoulders. It was a small class, as there was not much interest in shorthand but I loved it and still use. With our blank look back at her and having no idea what our futures held, she took the three of us to the vocational school and my friend and I signed up for the business and office class.

Looking back, just with her bold move to do this with me and my friend, it would have got her in a lot of problems, if today. We both took her advice, did what she said, completed the class and enjoyed it.

A7444428-9223-47B9-97BC-18B5B2CE22BEI love to look back over my life and see the Hand of God in each step in how He orchestrated it all and even still. He does have a plan and a purpose for each of us. He will get us to where we are to be. We might cause detours along the way, but He will pick us back up and get us back on track.

I met a lot people in class from all walks of life, but I met this one girl that was on her way out to start a career but enough time to build a friendship. When it was my time to leave after completion, I had my first real job. At this office, I got to know many but usually there is always one you gravitate to and become not only co-workers but friends. To find out, she was related to the girl in class, they were cousins so now I am friends with both.

My co-worker and I became good friends. After a bit, I found out her father was a Baptist preacher so I started attending their church. Many times being in their home staying over, as friends do, I watched what a normal family was like. No beer, no alcohol, no dirty jokes or cuss words. The complete opposite of mine and I liked it.

Still as life went forward, I was saved. My heart was beating so fast and I knew it was the time to go to the altar. As I write, I laugh with tears falling in seeing this all played out like a movie, in my mind. I laugh because when I am at the altar, the preacher and three others, I assume deacons were with me, too, as we stood in a circle. The preacher said let’s pray. It was me that prayed aloud in this group for my salvation, they all just stood there. Amen. It had to have been the preacher to say, well there you go, I believe she is saved. No doubt they were shaking their heads, laughing at the dinner table that day of what just transpired. No doubt about it, I was saved. Perhaps it was my grandfather and my great-grandfather, both Baptist preachers, coming out in me. Amen.

Even though I can laugh now and cry tears of joy, I also feel the sense of shame I have carried through the years of praying when they were to pray, for me. I do not know why I did that, but it came automatic. The sense of shame making me feel like a fool that day and I honestly have felt a hindrance since, in praying out loud. I just realized that, it is shame. Wow! I wonder if this is my turning point.

6614C487-1ED0-472C-A026-BB93B30A4FB4I still have the white Bible that was given to me by by this Baptist preacher’s family. Somewhere in this time period, The Way, a Bible to easily understand and read was given to me or I bought. I don’t know, but I loved it. I was so joyous of being a Christian and having this Bible, I stayed up all night reading it. I remember my dad getting up for work and surprised that I was awake and reading. I had joy. I could not get enough of the Word of God in me.

Life moves forward, of course, and I was blessed to have been connected from one friend to another to get to where I was and am today.  Evident of God’s mercy and grace.

Back to The Way, I had a neighbor friend, we had grown up together playing outside, riding bikes and all but never close friends as we got older. I found out that she was in the hospital. Knowing she needed to change her ways or 9ABCFDB1-FF9C-4AD4-AA48-046A0ADDB31Fshe would end up back in there or worse. I took my Bible, The Way, to her and we talked and I witnessed to her as best as I knew how being a young Christian. Thankfully she was very receptive and accepted my my Bible.  I planted a seed.

Knowing her life was not a bed of roses and had many issues through the years thereafter, her two children both grown, now she is a grandmother and raising her grandchildren. Her daughter had lost her rights to her children due to repeated drugs usage and rehabs. Such a sad way to live.

Approximately forty years ago, I gave my friend my Bible, The Way. Since I always loved it, I went searching to find another and about five years ago I found it, bought it, read it, loved it still. I was so excited to have it once again in my possession, on my bookshelf.

Little did I know and I am sure this was no coincidence but my friend’s daughter was out of rehab again and staying in an apartment near my home, living with friends. Different times we would meet out in the yard and talk. While trying her best to get her life together, it was always a battle but she knew that God was the one to turn to. Asking if I would take her to church. Many discussions and plans were made to take her to church with me, with excuses each time. One night, standing on my sidewalk talking yet again, I told her to wait, I needed to get something for her. Yes, I gave her my Bible, The Way. Also receptive of receiving, as her mother did.BE0F9289-EC0B-4796-9658-3FDE43DF319B

How interesting that two generations, the mother and daughter, each got my Bible, The Way.  I am unsure if a page was even read or the Bible even opened or maybe it was thrown away, but they both had a seed planted of God’s Love.

We may not know how our actions or our encouragement will lift up others but it is worth a try to do such. Right now, many need encouragement and hope like never before. What we can do is to give to others whether it is a smile (no cost), a word of encouragement (no cost) or hope (no cost) as much as we can.  If they can see Christ in us, it points them to ‘THE WAY’ of the Cross.

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https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/in-touch/in-touch-mar-1-2012.html

SALVATION… anytime, anywhere, 24/7

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