somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.


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True Destination

For the past few days, I have been thinking about a personality pattern in my life that was recently revealed to me.  Sometimes the events are seemingly insignificant, however, when combined with other experiences definitely show a pattern.

So I will open my heart and divulge some of my quirks and transgressions.  Maybe someone out there can identify?

Some of these things started for me when I was a little girl.  I never believed in Santa, because we opened our gifts on Christmas Eve.  I KNEW who all the gifts were from.  The presents started appearing under our Christmas tree a few weeks before Christmas, complete with tags.  I knew which ones were mine.  The suspense was way too much for me.  Yes, you guessed it – I was one of those children who woke up during the night, grabbed my gifts from under the tree, and slid the gifts out of their wrappings. I was really good at rewrapping them, too!  The only down side for me, was that I had to feign surprise when I opened the presents with my family.  I really don’t think they ever caught on.

Another one of my “quirks” is I LOVE to read the last page of a novel first, and I prefer to know the ending of a movie before I watch it.  My husband cannot understand the logic of this.  All I can say is, I love to know the end, because then I can really enjoy the story’s journey, and the twists and turns to the conclusion.

Whenever I am exposed or required to experience something new, it is imperative that I know the steps involved, in detail. I don’t like to be caught off guard.  I like to be prepared.

The last thing I can think of is my love for tasting food while it’s cooking.  I taste it a lot…because I am impatient.  I want to have an inkling of how good it is BEFORE it’s completely done.  Then I can make adjustments.  My daughter in law doesn’t like this at all.  I once tried tasting one of her dishes she was cooking for me, and after seeing the look on her face, I never did that again.  She does not like anyone sampling her creation before it is complete.

You might ask where this is all leading.

As these personal traits came to light one by one, I picked up on a lesson to be learned.

What I found is this.  For me, it is extremely important to know what is ahead for me.  When I am sure of the outcome, my spirit is calmed, and I can focus on my day to day experiences.  As long as I know my destination, I can enjoy the journey, and make adjustments as I go.

I already know my true destination.

What is ahead for me, and for all of my brothers and sisters in Christ, is an eternity with our Heavenly Father.  There will be colors that we have never seen, music we’ve never heard, beauty and love that we cannot even imagine.  Because I know this to be true…I know the “end of the story”.  I can rest assured that each day brings to my life a new opportunity to grow and learn to love in a deeper way.  My Father’s love is so amazing, that even though I stumble and fall, He is always there to guide my path, and help me to make the changes and adjustments necessary for my growth.

I trust that no matter how the road twists and turns, it will always lead me to Him. 

Jesus has offered His life as a gift for us.  He is holding that gift out for us to open, and once we accept it, we will always be sure of our destination.  After knowing the intense love of Jesus, wrapped in light and love, I pray that we never attempt to cover that perfect light with the false wrappings of pride and rebellion.

I pray that we allow the light of Christ to shine so brightly in our hearts that it spills out to a world in need.

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.   John 3:16

But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.  1 Corinthians 2:9

 

 

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A Grateful Heart

Sometimes ideas just pop in my head.  You can ask my husband, my gears are always turning, and he usually hears most of those thoughts.  Probably not the best thing for him…he does his best, but I have to admit, sometimes I see his eyes glaze over and I know it’s time to “zip it”.  Enough said.

This morning, I was taking a short walk before starting work, and I tried to just clear my mind and listen to the birds and crickets.  I feel closest to God when I am outside, surrounded by His beautiful creations.  Even if there is one little patch of grass, a few flowers, or one bird singing, it is awesome to me.

I felt really peaceful, and then the thoughts flowed.

In the past, I often wondered why it is so important for us to worship God, pray to Him, ask forgiveness, and thank Him for our lives and all the blessings.  I reasoned, if He is our Sovereign God, and is Perfect Love, why does He need us to worship Him or pray?  Is it because He needs His ego stroked?  Or maybe because He wants us to constantly bow down to Him to keep us “in our place”?  I never really understood that.

Here is what was revealed to me.  As all of you have done, on many occasions I have given a gift of time, money or a particular present I chose for someone.  I don’t “give to get”, my gifts are given with love and no strings attached.  I don’t “need” a thank you or acknowledgement to make me feel good about myself.

However, I am always aware of the gratitude or lack of it that the recipient shows.  Why?  Because I can usually get a feel of where their priorities and spiritual life are.  If the gift is never acknowledged, and thanks are never given, there is definitely room for growth in that area.  I have been guilty of the same thing; I am not judging people’s hearts, only God can do that.  I am only stating the obvious…that if a person does not respond with a spirit of gratitude and love in response to a gift that was freely bestowed on them, gratitude is not on their priority list.  That is my cue to pray for them.  Only when a person has a grateful heart, will they experience love in its fullness.  That is what the Lord wants for us!

Another way to see where someone’s priorities are, is if they are even willing to give the gift of time or a material gift to another person…or maybe they just grab anything they see, without thought, to fulfill an obligation?  Do they put real time and thought into it…to bring joy to someone’s life?  A thoughtful gift is so much more meaningful than an expensive one.

Little things are very telling.

So, does the Lord NEED us to worship Him, spend time with Him, thank Him, or give Him the gift of our love and appreciation, so that He can be happy?  No, He is an Almighty, Sovereign God.  He is Perfect Love.  He doesn’t need us to be anything…He DESIRES to share His Love with us!!!   He desires for us to share in His glory! He knows that we will be happy and joyful when we have a heart filled with love and gratitude.

The Lord knows where we are in our spiritual walk by our actions, priorities, and our heart’s alignment.  When we take the time to pray, spend time with Him, worship Him, and thank him for all the blessings He bestows on us and the whole world, He knows we are on our journey toward an eternity with Him.

Praise you, Jesus, for your sacrifice, so that we may have eternal life with Our Father in Heaven.  Thank you for shining the light of the Holy Spirit in our souls, so that we may journey toward Perfect Love.

O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.  Psalm 107:1

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  Matthew 6:21

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.  James 1:17


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The Gift

One of the first things you will notice upon meeting my mother are her beautiful, clear blue eyes that are complemented by her silvery white hair.  When she laughs, her eyes sparkle.  When I look into her eyes, I don’t just see her at her current age…I see a lifetime. I also see her as a child, teenager, young woman, complete with the hopes and dreams that lived in her heart and spirit.

Mom’s current life consists of her love for God and the Blessed Mother, family, Barbies, Beanie Babies, all children, and all animals.  She is very selfless; always looking for ways she can help people, or little gifts she could give them.  Time with family, praying, reading countless books, word search, card games, movies, shopping, and dining out, fill her days.  Mom’s mobility isn’t what it used to be, so she depends on me and my husband for her outings and social life.  Being that we both work fulltime jobs, plus the responsibilities of home and a home business, we don’t get her out of the house as much as we would like.  Mom is a very social person, and I know she is lonely for friends.

Mom has lived with my husband and me for the past nine years.  At 85, she has lived through lots of life.  There has been joy in her life, and also a great deal of pain and struggle, which culminated with my dad’s death ten years ago.  After almost fifty years of marriage, her life’s love and best friend was taken from her.  To this day, she hasn’t gotten over the pain of losing him.  Although she is happy with us, I know that she misses him every minute.  I definitely understand that, because if I lost my husband, I would miss him every minute, too.

My mother raised four daughters.  I am second to the youngest, and was daddy’s girl.  Although mom took care of my needs, I never felt a close relationship with her while growing up.  She was always “my mother” and I never knew her as a person.  Everything in our home revolved around my dad…it’s hard to describe the person he was.  Let’s just say he was full of life, and everything usually revolved around him and his moods.  Although my relationship with him was confusing at times, I knew who he was, and some of what he had gone through in his life.  During good and bad times, I had a close relationship with my dad.

When my father’s health started to go downhill, and he was no longer able to do the things that brought him joy, it was difficult and painful  to see him so vulnerable.  My mom told me she used to go in a room by herself, pretending to play solitaire on the computer, and just cry.  We lived states away from them, so we didn’t know the extent of his weakness.  Her stories of how he would fall and she would struggle to get him up are just heartbreaking….the last time he fell, she dragged him with a sheet to the couch where he finally was able to hoist himself up.  Mom would never go anywhere without him, because she was afraid that he might pass away, without her being there.  He wanted to die in his own home, not a hospital, and she wanted to be there for him.

It was the Sunday after Easter in 2003, and Mom was in their kitchen preparing a roast for the crockpot. (she retells this story a lot) She heard my dad call her name twice, “Mary, Mary”.  She ran into the bedroom, and he was half off the bed – kind of caught between the bed and the wall.  He must have hit his head on the dresser, because he was bleeding.  From what she says, I think he was already gone.  She ran into the other room to get the phone, to call 911. She will always be sorry for not just staying with him and holding him.  No matter how many times I tell her that Daddy knew how much she loved him, and her name was the name he carried with him to meet God, she still feels that guilt.  I believe her inner life is filled with memories…mostly good, with bad and guilt swirled in.  Isn’t it the same for all of us?

There are many experiences Mom has never shared with me.  I know she goes much deeper than she has revealed so far.  But one of my prayers was truly answered.  When my dad was getting weaker, and his health diminishing, I would pray that God take him first so I can get to know my mother.

When we first took my mother into our home, I did it out of honor and respect for her.  I was happy that we were able to give her a safe and happy place to live, and felt that we were presenting her with a gift. 

What I have finally figured out, nine years later, is that she is the gift… to me.

I am learning so many things about my mom.  I have always known that my temper is from my dad, but my ability to forgive and love, came from my mother.  My mother sees the good in me, and although she also sees the rough spots, she mostly overlooks the negative.  It makes me sad, because every now and again I will lose my temper with her (always because of politics), and afterwards, I feel so bad.  When I apologize, she just says, “sometimes things just build up and things have to come out”.  I appreciate her words, but still feel bad that it happened in the first place.

Because of those moments with her, I now understand how she and my dad filled each other’s lives so perfectly.  My dad was very hard to live with sometimes, and she was able to let that go.  She knew and understood his heart…and forgave the actions.  BIG LESSON for me.  I have also learned many little things about her life, which help me patch together a feeling of the struggles she went through.  However, when I ask her what she would change….she says that she would change nothing.  She did the best she could with the circumstances that she was placed in.

And she does what she has always told me to do…she offers it all up to God.

Thank you, Mom…for such a beautiful gift.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.  Ephesians 6:1-3

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.  …  1 Corinthians 13