Dust

Walking in the door after vacation I could tell it was everywhere. Before I put my hand on the counter or kicked off my shoes, I knew I was surrounded! Early the next morning I began the attack with my trusty swiffer-type broom. We have a lot less carpet at this house so I can noiselessly push this baby around and collect quite the pile. 

I’m horrified by the amount of dust that accumulates in our home on a weekly basis, much more if I fail to vacuum for say -A MONTH! Of course, I blame the dog & cat. Like the 7 of us don’t contribute any hair at all…hah. 

Looking at that gross collection reminded me of anything I “let go” for a while. Exercise, eating well, laundry, dishes… Biblestudy. It piles up and gets “dusty” so to speak and I have to trudge through to get myself back up and running. 

I was really enjoying this one read-through-the-Bible in a year program until I misplayed the master plan and fell behind. When I discovered it and saw the catch up amount, it took a day with earphones as my Bible app read to me. I discovered I actually like listening to the stories while I sew or paint now. Multitasking ;)

Either way “a little everyday keeps me dust-free” especially when it comes to my personal time with God. Quiet Time. I know He’s available. I know He longs to meet with me and share something I need. I also know these doses -no matter how small (or which devotional I choose) -only strengthen and encourage me. So that’s why I commit daily to wake up ready for that fresh start and new word from God. A little at a time- keeping down the dust :)
“Lord, help me not to neglect our time today- even if it’s short because my day is so full. I need Your input. I need Your thoughts. I need You! Thank You for being willing to always meet with me.”

ForGlorySake! –Anna

  

I knew you wanted to see it ūüėú eww

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Addicted to Hope

I guess it’s fairly obvious that I’m a hopeful person. Don’t misunderstand, I get down just like the rest of the world, but generally I don’t stay there long. I love hope! I call myself a “hope addict” ¬†;)

I’ll do just about anything to change up a rut or scramble away from gloom. Sometimes just the right person will cross my path and sometimes I’ll need to call or visit one of my hopeful friends. Without even realizing it they change my perspective and turn the tide.¬†Folks like these are treasures from God!

Hope is a funny thing, like water to a plant… without it we’ll shrivel up. I saw so many parents who had lost all hope, sit with us in “parent support” ¬†groups for their child-addict. Slowly I came to realize if I looked to anything besides God Himself, my hope too would rise and dive daily.

I can fully hope in God because He calls Himself it’s “Source:” “May God, the Source of Hope, fill you with all Joy and Peace by means of your faith in Him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Anything else will eventually shift and change and fail me, but the belief that God is Who He says He is and can do all He says He can do -won’t. Experience has confirmed for me He’s the One Thing I can securely tie to.

Hope to me¬†is¬†that there’s more to come and I shall see it. I will even be a part of it. That change is possible!… for me, for you, for anyone.

Hope that God is using me today and will do it again tomorrow. That He has a plan. That I have a purpose and He has gifted me to accomplish pre-appointed “good works.”

Hope¬†that God will use “this” (whatever it is) for my good and for His Glory. That He is in the business of molding and shaping and refining in ways I don’t understand, but I can trust.
Hope that there is always a point! That He listens and is concerned… but with more than my “happiness” – it’s someone’s heart-change He’s after.

Hope that He loves me more than I can fathom. He won’t leave me or grow tired of me. That He longs to be with me even more than I long for Him.

Hope does not disappoint!

ForGlorySake! –Anna

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Big Plan

Home. Our vacation was wonderful… I’d have been happy to have stayed on, but I’m thankful to be home too. We leave again soon to sprinkle ashes near my parent’s favorite summer spot. ¬†So many changes, so much up in the air¬†(like what’s next for us…) and yet, I’m feeling content.

I look around the house and see lots of things I need to accomplish. We have decisions to make but aren’t getting any clear answers from God. I should feel turmoil, yet I know (after too many years of pushing!) that God has His plan and His own timetable. My loving Heavenly Father, Who knows my name and cares ¬†-is in control. He will direct today, tomorrow and beyond. His dreams are so much bigger than mine. Those are the dreams I want to know, because He can make them happen!

For me, there’s no more “my way” (how foolish), there’s just “His Way” (so Glorious!). And to think I get to come along with Him for the ride. Everyday, each moment, watching as He answers with “awesome deeds” (Psalm 65:5), changing hearts right in front of me, working things together for a greater good. I can count on it! Even in the midst of world chaos or the confusion of social issues –God is at work!

You have your own ministry and so do I. We are fellow heirs (Gal. 4:7) to God’s Kingdom; being fitted together into a holy temple (Eph 2:22). We serve God just as we are, wherever we are as we commit ourselves to Him.¬†Our¬†prayers matter… our concern matters… our hearts feeling “pulled” by another’s life matters. ¬†He is molding us to be more like His Son.

Because He promised.

Because we ask.

Because He wants it more than we do.

So today, I’ll make my list of “to dos,” and lay out the bills to pay. I’ll fill up my calendar with necessary appointments and sit at my desk and work hard, but I won’t forget The One with the Plan. He’s busy where I can’t see. If I listen closely I can hear Him calling, “Walk with Me,” “Be with Me,” “Know Me, because I long to be known by you,” -I am the God, Who loves you with an everlasting love.

Sunset Art by God

Sunset Art by God

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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When?

When I have a house to clean, people to feed, wash to do, hair to cut, long list of folks to pray for.

 When diapers need changing, someone needs bathing or feeding, medicine regulating/ordering/dosing… (all past duties…). 

When there’s shopping to complete,  then more shopping, returns, carpools, moving, packing, searching, wishing, planning, dreaming, hoping. 

A confrontation, an ugly reflection, bills or a difficult person, a correct scale :/ improvements to be made,  …results delayed.

Waiting, successes and failings, disappointments, regrets, illness, sunshine and rain, dispair, repair, a new dress, PMS

Sore muscles, wakefulness, wrinkles, mold, warts…. teaching, changing, on vacation and at home, admiring, loving, playing, enjoying, prayers answered, a tender word.

This is when God has said to “Be Thankful” – IN everything (1Thess. 5:18), FOR everything (Eph. 5:20)

Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. (‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5‬:‭18‬ AMP)

ForGlorySake! –thankfully– Anna

  


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It Is Well

Rest. Peace. Quiet. 

Some words that come to mind since my mom passed mid-May. Yesterday, the last day before leaving town for a few weeks, I went kayaking alone on a nearby creek. Normally I would have been a flutter with last minute cleaning and organizing but instead I forced myself to paddle slowly, float a little and look around me. 

Breathe. 

Pretty cool all the wildlife I saw as I rowed along. Usually hard to spot, turtles were right and left. Maybe it’s just taking the time to watch for them. They are surprisingly fast in the water! I wondered if they laugh at humans and how slow we are on their turf? 

God amazed me with His intricate detail to creation… so many tiny things. Spiders that walk on water. Groups of minuscule gnats flitting and hovering in clouds just above the surface. Why did He do all this? I wondered if it was more fun to create these treasures or reveal them to us?

I left refreshed. God is so big, yet He felt close and personal. He made a Universe and still had interest in small bugs.  He always seems to take the time with me when I stop and take the time for Him. 

May was a whirlwind of activity for us. We celebrated my mom’s safe passage to Heaven, 2 birthdays, a graduation, several graduation parties and the final days of school for 5 kids! Whew, my mom always said May stood for Mayhem.

Every death brings with it many details to be tied up… but for now  my husband has planned an escape for just the 2 of us. He wants time with me  and I agree it’s the best way for us to regroup and rejuvenate.

ForGlorySake! -Anna 

 

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It is finished

After a harrowing week of watching another of my parents slowly succumb to death’s tight cords, my mom died May 17th, 2015. I have been caring for her and my dad since 2010.

Death, my dear reader, is not pretty. There was no dignity in what I saw (either time). Without the experienced aid of Hospice staff, I would’ve sunk into utter helplessness. It was a long slow wait for relief that really started as soon as my dad passed February 1.

And then, as quickly as it had descended it was over. Freedom, fresh air, and the beauty of knowing my mom had been released from this world into God’s Glorious Kingdom. I wanted to cry because because it had been a hard birth for her, but just like a new mother forgets the pains of labor in the face of their newborn… I just kept smiling to know she was finally free!

That last week, I told her, her dying was the last “labor” she’d have to deal with. This was the biggie, she was the “baby” and Jesus was just on the other side to receive her. I was only there to assist her as far as I could. She wasn’t able to talk at that point, but she squeezed my hand. 

I think she did a valiant job and I’m so thankful she’s on the other side! With my dad. Some may feel I’m lacking the proper emotions for the death of a parent. Some have even said all I’ve lost hasn’t hit me yet. They may be right. Only time will tell. But today I have Joy overflowing for so many reasons!!!

My parents have run their race and finished well. They left us a good heritage and lots of laughter! They worked hard and provided us with a path to follow Home. We have fun memories and wonderful family connections (if not too many nicknacks :). I have seen death face to face and KNOW for certain it is NOT the victor! 

Life is good- Jesus wins.

ForGlorySake! -Anna 

 

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Death’s Door

I’ve posted a lot of nutrition info lately… It’s been good to have something to obsess over besides my mom’s health!. She’s been bringing us a good deal of concern since back in December of 2014.

We really believed for several weeks following my dad’s death in February, that she might join him at any moment. Our kids gathered several times to tell her goodnight and goodbye, thinking we wouldn’t see her in the morning. However morning after morning came and finally my husband said for us all to stop. Hanging on the edge, waiting for someone to pass in this way is emotionally draining ¬†-and unhealthy. Life had to continue. Especially the daily joys over things like growing up!

It’s been a special privilege to house and care for my parents in their last months, but as I’ve mentioned before it is also been exhausting. ¬†We now find ourselves again at (the strong possibility of) “death’s door” -waiting and wondering what each moment will bring. ¬†Yet in the midst of this struggle, there are birthdays and a learner’s license, a graduation and many exciting future plans being made!

I feel somewhat emotionally yanked around by the neck -accompanied with literal pain. My only solid ground is in the LORD. He encourages me again and again to ask Him for wisdom, err on the side of mercy and find my peace and Joy in Jesus.  Many times throughout the day I run to Him and ask for a refocus.

This has all been considerably more than I bargained for, but I pray it will be used in our children’s lives… (far more than I could ask or think). Until then I’m testing the depths of God’s great grace. -For the record I haven’t touched bottom yet!

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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