God’s Plan For Spiritual Battle Series – Conclusion

Today, we continue on in our series Gods Plan for Spiritual Battle: Victory over Sin, the World, and the Devil through Life Sentence Publishing, LLC.

Author Russell M. Stendal reminds us:

The war horse in the last chapter was trained for battle, snorting, stamping, and straining to hear the sound of the trumpet and the shout of the commanders. This horse is described by the Greek word, praus, or meek, because the horse is perfectly trained, perfectly submitted to its master, and can be relied upon to obey orders even in the heat and confusion of battle.

Then Mr. Stendal goes on to give another example of meekness in none other than Moses. He reminds us that Moses started out by taking the law into his own hands, killing an Egyptian, but God dealt with him in the desert. God prepared and trained Moses to do battle God’s way. Then Moses submitted to God. He became meek, and God used Moses far beyond what he ever thought possible. God sent Moses to confront Pharaoh after that, and although Moses was probably nervous, God empowered him!

Let’s stop right there and think of the possibilities … of all the things God could do with and through us if we would only submit to Him! God has equipped us with unique gifts which are to be used for His glory. Are you allowing God to use you to His fullest potential?

In this chapter, Mr. Stendal talks about a time in his life when he wasn’t very disciplined with his school work. He would goof off and just not get his work done. It wasn’t until he had a hunting accident where he accidentally shot his foot that landed him in the hospital that he was forced to slow down and actually throw himself into his studies. Prior to his accident, he has been asking God to help him to focus more on his school work. While this probably wasn’t the intervention he was hoping for, God allowed something to happen in his life that forced him to focus more on his studies. While he was recovering, he studied and ended up finishing his course on time and also scoring very high on his college entrance exam! Some people may say they will not commit their lives completely to God then if something like this happened, as one girl did say to Mr. Stendal after one of his talks, but Mr. Stendal asks the question of what if God hadn’t intervened in his life then? Had he not been disciplined every time he needed it, he would be a mediocre Christian, doing mediocre things completely incapable of facing the enemy, of winning a victory. Instead, he was now disciplined and able to be used for God’s glory in God’s army.

This book has really made me stop to think several times while reading through it. This time was no different. Having just had an accident on a horse, it makes me wonder what area I need to stop and focus on. What does God want me to do now while I wait in recovery mode? I can’t ride a horse at this stage of the game. While my hand and hip recover, I need to seek God more to see where he wants my focus to be. And … I will.

I don’t want to give too much of this book away in this series. I would like to leave you with a desire to invest in the book and, more importantly, into your relationship with Jesus through the tools offered in this book. Therefore, I will conclude the series with a teaser for the last half of the book which consists of:

Integrity vs. Hypocrisy

The Peacemakers: Those Whom God Identifies As His Sons

Putting Satan To Flight

Virtue: The Key To Activating God’s Promises

Rebuilding The Ancient Ruins

The Seven Woes

And finally …

Overcoming The Curse

Invest in this book to further grow your relationship with Jesus Christ and seek Him fully for what plans He has for your life. Equip yourself with Gods Plan for Spiritual Battle: Victory over Sin, the World, and the Devil through Life Sentence Publishing, LLC.

You won’t regret a closer walk with Him!

A Magical Visit to London, England & Paris, France

Today we are in for a real treat as we have Jackie Toews posting as a contributing writer on the blog! We are so excited to share what impacted her the most on her Senior Trip to Europe!

But first, here is a little about Miss Toews!

Jacke Toews

Hey! My name is Jackie, I’m 17 and I’m a proud Canadian living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I’m an aspiring singer songwriter, but until that takes off, I’ll be going to college to work as a Health Unit Clerk. Before I left to Europe, Shirley had her daughter, and also my best friend, Nicole, ask me if I’d write a post for her website, and here I am!

A Magical Visit to London, England & Paris, France

From the moment I woke up on March 27, 2014, I knew I was in for the time of my life. And, was I ever right! London, England and Paris, France are two places that are for the dreamers. In each city, I felt surrounded by creativity and inspiration.

The journey to London was full of little interruptions, like an hour delay on top of the seven hour wait to board the plane from Calgary to London.

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By the time we got to London, we met up with our tour guide, Vanessa, who arrived all the way from Belgium. She has had a huge impact on my life. Hearing her story, about moving away from home at 17 and everything she’s been through to finally get herself to where she is now, really made me realize that just because things aren’t working out the way you want them to doesn’t mean that they’ll never work out. On the train from London to our hotel, which was a half hour out of the city, I overheard her talking to some other students in my group about how important it is to not rush into real life. She was saying how you should take all the time you need to find that career that you feel you 100% belong to.

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There was a girl in my group, let’s call her Taylor, that wants to be an author, and she said how she keeps hearing things like:

Oh, you’ll never make a living off of that

And Van said:

Don’t even worry about that.

Despite only knowing her for eight days, I feel a connection with her. I love Van for being such an encouragement when it comes to finding your place in this insanely big world full of possibilities. Even now that the trip is over, I keep hearing Van’s voice in the back of my mind telling me that everything I want to achieve is possible, regardless of those who doubt me.
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While my friend and I were walking through the streets of Paris during our free time on the last day of the trip, I couldn’t help but notice the outstandingly large amount of people living on the streets. See, where I live, we don’t have people sitting on every street corner. When I decided to give some money to this woman, her face just lit up, and it really surprised me of the fact that just a little bit of change, something that we take for granted, can give someone so much joy. We don’t always think about how a small act of kindness like that can make someone’s day just a little bit better.

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Going to London and Paris has always been a dream of mine, and now I’m beyond ecstatic that I can say that is has been a reality for me!

When I left, I kept saying how I’d never want to go home, but when I got home on April 6, 2014, it was a wonderful feeling to see my family again. The moment that made me the happiest to be home was seeing my one and a half year old niece come running to me. Seeing her do that was what reassured me that she didn’t forget about me.

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The saying really is true. No matter where you visit …

There’s no place like home!

*Thank you so much, Jackie, for your wonderfully inspirational post about your travels! We appreciate you being a part of our team at Light, Love, Hope!

I Had The Best Day … With You

My daughters and I love to sing that Taylor Swift song together, and it is on days like today that we can turn to each other and honestly say, “I had the best day … with you.”

Today was definitely one of those days!

We went to one of our most favorite places in the South … Folly Beach! They were having their 24th annual Sea & Sand Festival. Having never been in all of these years, we decided to see what it was all about. We walked through the streets filled with vendors and looked at all of the items on display. We stopped to listen to a band playing on the streets. We even looked through my daughter’s favorite surf shop there. Then, we headed to a little restaurant right on the pier to enjoy a nice meal together. We didn’t realize just how hungry we were until the food came! It was delicious, too, I might add!

We walked on the pier, all the way to the very end, snapping pictures of the sea gulls and various birds that graced us on the pier. We soaked in all of the sunshine that warmed our pale white skin. There were several times that I just closed my eyes and threw my head back as I breathed in all of the salt air and released all of my worries and cares. It was as if the birds were carrying them to God above, relieving me of the need to fuss over them any longer.

There is just something so refreshing and rejuvenating about the beach. I’m not sure if it’s the powdery white sand between our toes or the sound of the waves crashing in, but it is soothing for the soul.

My youngest daughter is her absolute happiest on the beach. She has always enjoyed it and would walk to the water’s edge, wait until the waves start crashing in, and run with all of her might back to us with the biggest and widest smile EVER on her face! She had not a single care in the world and was just enjoying herself to the fullest. We could learn a thing or two from these little ones!

As our day was winding down, we decided to take a little drive to the end of Folly. As we came to a dead end road, we pulled off to the side of the road and began to make our way down a long sandy path. It began to wind around and then … there it was … right before our very eyes … the Morris Island Lighthouse! Oh I’ve seen it plenty of times before, but every time is like the first time all over again due to the thrill that I get each and every time I see it.

There it stood … all majestic and magical in the distance …

We walked a little further, and then the path opened up to reveal the lighthouse in all of it’s glory.

My youngest daughter frolicked and played in the water’s edge near the rocks with the massive lighthouse in the background.

My oldest daughter and her boyfriend climbed the rocks.

I whispered a silent, “Thank you, Lord.”

After several rounds of pictures, we decided to call it a day. Nothing could top this moment in time … it was like the entire world stood still, and it was just us and the majestic beauty before us … being one with nature … standing on the sandy shores with the waves lapping at our feet … thanking God for this moment in time and the memories we’ll carry with us forevermore.

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Paint – Five Minute Friday!

If you’ve been with us a while, you know it’s time for Five Minute Fridays!! We write for five whole minutes without worrying about anything in the world except getting those words out. No editing allowed! :)

If you haven’t participated before, I encourage you to do so either here with us below in the comments, on your own blog, or on our Facebook page. I would love to read YOUR masterpiece with words!

The prompt word for today is: PAINT!

Ready?

Set!

GO!

My daughters and I love to gather all of our painting supplies and sit down at the table to paint our grand masterpiece of the day. Whether we’re painting figurines or free-handing lighthouses and ladybugs on the canvas, painting is soothing to our souls.

My daughters love the different colors and spreading them across the canvas with the various different brushes. The smaller brushes used for the finest details, while the thicker brushes transfer beautiful colors for the bulk of the picture.

We took an art class recently where my oldest daughter and I painted a beautiful peacock. She did better than I did, of course, but it was time spent together, which we loved!

My youngest daughter really had a desire to paint as well, so we enrolled her in a class where she painted a beautiful mermaid, her absolute favorite in the entire world.

When we were all finished, we stepped back to look at the beautiful display of colors on the canvas and how it was arranged so beautifully to make the grandest picture ever … that we crafted and created with our own hands.

Then I think of how God must have felt after He created for six full days, and then stood back on the seventh day to soak in all of the beauty that He had created. All He had to do was speak, and there it appeared before Him in all of its radiant glory. He breathed life into each animal, each person, each plant and tree in the forest. He formed them all and painted the most beautiful skies … all for His glory and delight.

STOP!

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My oldest daughter painted this lighthouse for me … for Light, Love, Hope!

“If it wasn’t for the lighthouse … where would this ship be …”

Trusting In God In Tough Times

It’s so easy to say that we trust the Lord when things are going wonderfully in our lives. It’s great to recite scriptures and have words of encouragement flowing from us when times are good! It is when times are tough that we are really tested. When we trust God even in the tough times, that is when we know that our faith in Him is real and true.

Just recently my family watched as I went for the ride of my life. One minute all was well, and the next minute, the little horse I was riding on decided to bolt. I tried several times to get the horse to stop, but the horse was more determined than ever to show me who was in charge. My family watched in absolute horror as I held on for dear life. I was literally clutching the horn of the saddle with such force with my left hand as I tried to hold on to the reins with my right hand. The horse went as fast as she possibly could, and then rounded the corner going toward the fence. I felt my feet coming out of the stirrups on the saddle, and my husband later told me that as I flew through the air when the horse threw me off, my last words were, “Oh Lord …” as I called out to Him in those final moments before I hit the ground.

Dazed and confused, with everything black before me, I faded in and out. Although my husband told me that I never officially lost consciousness, all I could see was black, and I have little memory of what occurred moments after the horse bolted. Although he said my eyes were wide open and I attempted several times to get the horse to stop, I have no recollection of anything other than what I’ve written above. My husband filled me in on how impressed he was with the length of time I managed to stay on that horse. He said I did everything within my power, yet the horse would not listen. I know that in those moments when everything was black before me, my God was protecting me from the traumatic events that were taking place. I know that the moment I felt my feet leaving the stirrups, that my God was protecting me even still as He cushioned my fall. I could have gotten seriously injured, and yet I was able to get up, with the help of my husband and daughter, and walk into the house to rest in my recliner. I remember being frightened by seeing black, then the inside of my house, and everything fading to black once more as I said, “I need to get checked out …”

We made our way to the emergency room, and my children did not leave my side. They rolled me into the emergency room with a wheelchair because there was no way that I could walk at that point. Fearing the worst, my children held my hand and reassured me with their love.

Moments later, I was in x-ray, and then I heard the tech call for the doctor “Stat.” I feared that was certainly not the best of news, but I knew that it was all out of my hands at that point. I did not cry. I did not really have any emotion at all. I just sat quietly in the wheelchair as I waited. The tech immediately took me to a room, and shortly thereafter, a nice doctor appeared. I cannot say enough good things about this man. Instead of insisting that I lay in the hospital bed, he, instead, allowed me to stay seated in the wheel chair as long as possible. The nice nurse gave me pain meds right away, and finally I was able to shift over into the bed as the pills were starting to ease the pain. The nurse began wrapping my hand in a splint and placed it in a sling to hold it closer to my body as a reminder that it was injured so I would not be tempted to use it. Although my pinky finger was turning purple at this point, the pain I was focused on was my hip and certainly not my hand.

The nice doctor returned to tell me that they were concerned about the findings on my hip x-ray. He asked if I had any pain in my right side, but I did not. He said he had called in another doctor to review the x-rays because of the findings on the right side, although the impact was on the left.

My daughters waited with me, and they said silent prayers to themselves as they held my hand. I prayed silently as well, trusting God the entire time. My human side wanted to be fearful of what I did not know, but there was no point. God was in control. I, clearly, was not. My fate was in His hands and that of the capable hospital staff.

The doctor returned to say that after further examination, I must have had some type of deformity on my right side. Even in my foggy state thanks to the wonderful pain meds, I asked him to repeat himself. I had to laugh about this “deformity” as it was news to me, and it was odd even to my children that I found humor in this. Hey, we’ve known for quite some time that I was far from your average every day person … and most definitely not normal, as that is way too boring! So, my “deformity” just added a little spice to life at that moment in time. This “deformity” hadn’t caused me any problems up to this point in life, and I am thankful to God … yes, even after hearing of said “deformity.”

The results were all in, and the kind and gentle doctor stated that I had a fractured hand and a fractured hip, all on my left side. I was free to go home with pain meds in tow, but I was to see an orthopedic doctor immediately for a follow up visit. I thanked the kind doctor for all that he did for me that evening, and the nurses came back in to make sure I was comfortable before my ride home. They wheeled me out to the vehicle in a wheelchair, just as I had entered the emergency room earlier that evening.

In the days after the accident, I have been shown quite a few things. One being that the people you thought would care, didn’t show it as much as you had thought they would. Meanwhile, others that you really did not expect to care are the ones that ended up showing way more kindness, love and compassion than anyone.

People are strange creatures … even harder to figure out than the horse that bolted on me.

As to what happened to the horse, we knew that we could not keep her as she was originally purchased for my children. We called the lady we bought her from to tell her of the accident, and her very first words to my husband were, “I sold you a green broke horse.” That was the first time we had ever heard those words. This lady knew that the horse was purchased for my daughters, and she knew that they would be the ones riding the horse. She told me on several occasions when we visited that the horse would be good to just “throw the kids on in the back yard and let them play all day … they’ll be fine.” Thankfully, I had my hesitations about them getting on this horse, thus the reason I was the one riding her. I had been on her three times … the first two times, she was great. The third time, however, is when she bolted resulting in my injuries.

We have learned a few things in the “horse business.” Unfortunately, you will meet all kinds of people. The majority are good, honest, people with the best of intentions. Others, however, are shady characters that will not tell you the truth. Being trusting individuals, it is hard to understand why people chose to be deceiving, especially where children are concerned. However, this has opened our eyes completely.

The lady has since taken the horse back and has refunded our money. She hesitated on this several times and almost backed out of the deal before my husband could return the horse. Thankfully, though, she was true to her word on this deal when he arrived with the horse trailer, and she did refund the money to get this problem horse away from our family!

My daughters are now afraid of horses, which is the last thing I wanted to happen. They were so excited up to this point, and now this.

Something good has happened in all of this, though. During these tough times, my oldest daughter told me just last night that she saw God in action. She said that she believed in Him before, but she prayed to him, really clinging to Him and trusting Him with me, and He answered her prayer. She said she witnessed God in action with how He took care of me … how He cushioned my fall, preventing me from breaking any bones. She said that she knew without a shadow of a doubt that God is the reason I was able to walk away from this accident as I have.

While I am sorry that any of this happened and sorry that my children witnessed their mother in pain after the accident, words cannot begin to express how it feels to hear your children talk of how they trusted God and how God saw us all through this tough time.

What I would like you to take away from all of this is to just know that God is in control. Things happened that we did not plan and certainly wouldn’t wish on anyone, but even in the final moments before I hit the ground, I called out to God … and He met me there!

Be careful who you trust in this world, as not everyone is trustworthy, as we’ve found out the hard way. However, I still try to see the good in people, as that is just who I am and how God made me.

People will fail you, people will not be there for you as you’ve been there for them in the past. People will desert you in your hour of need while others will not hesitant to swoop in and be there no matter what, holding your hand through it all, offering words of comfort and grace, being as gentle with your heart as if it were their own.

Through it all, no matter what you face in this life, trust in God. Let your words before the storm be, “Oh Lord …” as you cling to Him.

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Live Out Loud Conference

My 17 year old daughter and I attended a ladies only event called Live Out Loud on March 8, 2014.   How fitting that this date was also the International Women’s Day, too!

The Live Out Loud Conference was held last year in the same location in Elloree, SC.  While it was certainly close enough and I wanted to go, I was hesitant about this thing called community.  I know that as women, we crave community.  We just want to fit in, be loved, and love!   Some times, though, it isn’t that easy.  Often times we feel judged by the very same women that we so desperately want to be in community with!   My daughter, even at such a young age, has felt this way also.  We would like nothing more than to become friends with these women, yet we’re hesitant due to things in our past, rejection we’ve felt at one time or another at the hands of fellow women that still haunts us, and so we retreat to our safe place, our comfort zone and don’t put ourselves out there.   Honestly, I allowed that to hold me back last year.  However, I have grown so much in a year’s time with God’s help that it simply was NOT holding me back this year!  No way, no how!  This year instead of feeling like I needed to protect myself from others, I was craving coming together and forming friendships.  There’s always a risk involved, but it is worth it when long lasting friendships come out of it.

It was monumental for me to attend this event with my daughter as it was an opportunity for further bonding as she matures into adulthood a lot sooner than I was prepared for! (Ladies, it is true that they grow up WAY TOO FAST! Enjoy every single moment as they do not stay little long!)   Last night my daughter turned to me and said, “Mama, I’m really looking forward to our special day together.  I can’t wait for tomorrow to spend some quality time together just the two of us.”  That melted my heart completely when she said that!   Pay attention, ladies and gentlemen!  This … from a teenager!  To … her mother!   I know what you’re thinking, “Will miracles never cease?”

Throughout my daughter’s childhood, I have always had the desire to be not only her mother but ultimately, as she grew into a woman, her friend.  I had a lot of well meaning people through the years tell me that you simply cannot be your child’s friend.  They said it wasn’t possible.  Well, I beg to differ.  While my daughter knows the rules (and thankfully abides by them for the most part), she also knows without a doubt that she can come to me with any thing and every thing.   This trust, this bond, this friendship has been formed and shaped over time.  Over all of her 17 years, it has been my ultimate goal that we would end up as the very best of friends with her knowing with full confidence and faith that I would be there and “have her back” no matter what.  Oh, I have heard plenty of horror stories about how you don’t even know your child once they become a teenager, as if they turn into some sort of alien being that took up residence in your home.   While they do change, it’s important to realize that they are on a journey to their independence and finding their own identity in this world.    As parents, we are to raise them up in the way that they should go, praying for them, for their future, and for them to make wise choices.  Then we have to allow our children to grow, mature, and spread their wings and fly hoping that what we taught them along the way won’t soon be forgotten.

I’ve had people talk to me on the whole subject of “letting go” of your child, too, as they draw nearer to graduation and emerging as an adult out in the “real world.”  Just recently a friend insisted that I was going to “have” to let go at some point.  However, I refuse to “let go” as was suggested.   Instead, I intend to continue holding her hand firmly in mine as we skip merrily along while feeling the sunlight on our faces as we throw our heads back and laugh just like we did when she was little.  And you know what?  On our silly days, my daughter and I still do this.  Why?  Because it’s such fun!

Today was one of those hand in hand days where we really did throw our heads back laughing.   While we were not outside in the sunlight, nor were we alone just the two of us, we were sitting side by side in the church attending this women’s conference together with approximately 340 other attendees!

Honestly, I was worried that she would not enjoy this conference at all.  Having never been to one like this before, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I glanced over at her a few times during the praise and worship portion, and she did not look enthused at all.   I wondered if she was just tolerating this for me.   At one point, though, they did a little skit and burst out into lip synching to “Oh Happy Day” where a woman in the choir loft was having the time of her life dancing.

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After that, things settled down and got a bit more serious.   As they did, I reached over and grabbed my daughter’s hand.  We sat there like this for a while, and then Cindy McKeowen, one of the praise and worship leaders, began to share how her 15 year old daughter went out for a run one day in 2007, collapsed due to heart failure, and died.  They never even knew that she had any health issues at all up to that point.  My daughter and I were still sitting there holding hands, and as silent tears began to fill my eyes I thanked God for the privilege of sitting here at that very moment with my teenager daughter.  This testimony from Ms. McKeowen also touched my daughter’s heart as well today.   She gripped my hand tighter as the lady continued to share her story.   Even in the mist of the storm, Ms. McKeowen said that Jesus carried her.  She wrote a song about it and shared that with the congregation.

Almost as soon as we were wiping our tears of sadness away, they were replaced with tears from laughing so hard at the former pastor’s wife turned comedian, Anita Renfroe!  Ms. Renfroe is known for the big ole belly laughs that she provides while on stage, and she definitely delivered today!   I no longer had to worry whether my daughter was enjoying herself or not as I began hearing what originally started out as stifled laughter become full laugh out loud moments as she allowed herself to enjoy right along with the rest of us!  Thank you, Lord!!  She really, truly was enjoying herself!   She wasn’t just putting on a fake smile to pretend for her ole Mom’s sake.  She was laughing so hard at Ms. Renfroe’s jokes and how she’d turn one of your most favorite songs into something that would have you almost rolling on the floor laughing!   Yes!!   Success!   What a relief!

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As we were leaving the conference, my daughter turned to me and said, “You know, Mom, I thought this might be some stuffed shirt kind of conference, but this was pretty cool!   Thank you for our special day.  I wasn’t sure about this whole thing at first, but now I’m glad I went with you.  I really enjoyed our time together.”   Ah, such sweet words  from my best friend’s lips spoken to my heart.

We truly had a wonderful time together today.  Oh how I treasure this time because of the memories we made that will last a lifetime.

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Making A Sacrifice For A Friend

Recently, I witnessed my oldest daughter make a sacrifice for a friend.

My daughter was dating this guy for a little while, and during their time together, it was discovered that her friend had a crush on this guy long before my daughter started dating him. While in the end, things did not work out with my daughter and this guy, she had previously committed to going to prom with him. Being a woman of her word, she intended to fulfill this promise even though things were tense between them after their breakup.

I felt bad about the situation, too, in that his mom and I had become friends during their time together. Realistically, I knew that the friendship only formed due to our children being in a relationship together, and I knew full well that the friendship also hinged upon our children staying together. I had already braced myself for the fact that despite the woman saying that she would not be shaken no matter if our children remained in a relationship or not, I knew that the day would come when she and I would no longer be the best of friends. Despite what she said, I knew in my heart that this would not be a friendship that would stand the test of time. I knew going into this that it would be a friendship I would only have for a short period of time, and when they broke up, she would go about her merry little way forgetting all about the close bond that we had formed. Even going into this with my eyes wide open with full knowledge of this, I still thought it was worth investing time into her and into our friendship for the time we did have together. I believe in investing in people and in their hearts, and that is what I did.

My daughter realized, as prom was rapidly approaching, that her friend did not have a prom date. My daughter has a heart of pure gold, and she did what most would not have done. She reached out to the gentleman and politely suggested that since things were tense between them and since her friend did not have a date, maybe it would be best if he went to the prom with her friend instead. My daughter was seeking to turn this situation into a win/win for all involved. She knew her friend liked this young man. She knew that his family was close to her friend’s family. She knew that things would be tense if she went to prom with this young man after they had broken up, so she sacrificed her prom date for her friend. She wanted her friend to go with a date versus going alone. The only thing was now my daughter was without a date. My daughter did not care at that point in time because the only thing she wanted was to help her friend so that she would now be able to walk proudly into prom arm in arm with the gentleman that had actually been her secret crush in years past. Because of my daughter’s sacrifice, her friend would have her wishes and dreams come true by sharing this special moment, this event with the one she had been dreaming of for quite some time now.

I am extremely proud of my daughter for her sacrifice for a friend.

The guy immediately took my daughter up on this and quickly asked her friend to the prom as my daughter had suggested. It was working out perfectly. My daughter asked the friend the next day at school if anything happened the night before. The friend shyly responded, “Yes …” and my daughter very happily and excitedly shared that she had been the master mind behind this plan to give her friend her heart’s desire in going to the prom with this gentleman. Her friend quickly thanked her for doing this for her.

Meanwhile, my daughter was speaking with a young man as just a friend. I suggested that instead of my daughter going alone to prom that she, instead, ask this young man to prom just to see what might happen. Much to our delight, he accepted! We promptly called a place in town to get him fitted for his tuxedo just in time for prom! Things were working out beautifully!

Unfortunately, this story has a few bumps in the road before it ends with everyone living happily ever after.

My daughter and her new prom date went to eat at a nice restaurant in town prior to going to prom. Her ex boyfriend and her friend were at this restaurant, too, unfortunately. And, as a joke, apparently, the ex boyfriend thought it would be rather funny and cool to flip the windshield wipers around on the car that my daughter’s date was driving. Luckily my daughter and her date saw this and were able to fix the windshield wipers before it did any damage to his windshield. The thing here is that despite my daughter having a huge heart of gold and making this sacrifice for her friend, now these two individuals, her ex boyfriend and her friend, who were supposed to be good Christian people, committed an act so mean spirited and hateful. Her friend, a preacher’s daughter, and her ex boyfriend, a very active member of a church we attended previously along with his family, set out to do something that clearly was not honoring to God at all. This does not speak very highly of them for the prank that they pulled. However, I am once again very proud of how my daughter and her date handled this situation. When they pulled up at prom, they did not acknowledge the deed that had been done, although the ex boyfriend was outside laughing with others about it. My daughter and her date were determined not to allow this to ruin their evening. Instead, they went on into prom like nothing had ever happened. They danced, they smiled, and they enjoyed each other’s company completely. They actually looked like the happiest couple in their prom pictures, and I am one proud mother for how my daughter and this young man behaved even when something was done to them both with the intent to harm and upset them on this special evening. I am greatly disappointed in the ex boyfriend and the friend that participated in this act, though. I know that God saw it all, and He has made a record of it.

Just today we were informed that my so-called-friend, the boy’s mother, has been talking about us. That honestly does not surprise me in the least. It saddens me greatly for her to have stooped to such a low level, but I just pray for her and ask God to help her and her family. I can say that I honestly loved her completely and my friendship with her was not conditional. I did brace myself for the day when our friendship would end as I could see what would happen when their relationship ended. I still say it was worth the time I invested into this friendship. I pray for her and her family that they may find peace as we have in this situation. It is not pleasing to God to have hatred for another, nor is it pleasing to Him to have them speak harshly against my family or commit a spiteful act to harm another. I do not have any ill feelings toward them despite the latest that has come to light. Instead, I pray for them harder than I ever have before. I pray for them to find peace, as it is obvious that neither have it if the boy has harbored ill feelings and acted in a manner as he did this past weekend. It is obvious that she has ill feelings in her heart for us as well if she is speaking negatively of me, my daughter, and of our family in general. It is not for me to deal with, though, and so I do not. All I do is offer her, him, and their entire family to God in prayer. My love for them was genuine and true. And they will remain in my prayers.

I am honored to have a daughter that puts others first. She thought of her friend, alone without a prom date, and sacrificed so that her friend would not be alone on prom night. My daughter has a heart of pure gold and is beautiful inside and out. I’ve known it for quite some time, but she continues to prove it daily with the things she does for others.

For the negative things said about her, the ones that truly know my daughter know the truth … and they will not be swayed by mis-truths spoken by angry, vengeful hearts.

I thank God for my daughter’s sacrifice for her friend and only hope they appreciate this huge selfless act on her part.

Musings from the Peanut Gallery

Several weeks ago your hostess asked me to help keep the site fresh with posts. Alas, I haven’t until now tried to sit down to write something. I know I have disappointed her. It is just that I don’t share very much about myself anymore.

So writing does not come easy for me. The odd thing is that years ago I used to do a lot of writing and sharing things about myself. Reading and writing were a big part of my life in high school. I even started trying to write a cheesy novel as a freshman in high school. I had no problem sharing it with others and some of the people I worked with actually couldn’t wait for the next chapter. But now, I barely say a word about things going on with myself.

Why the change? I went through several situations where I discovered it was in my best interests to keep things to myself so as to not endanger certain friendships. There were decisions I was making that were not the most popular with certain people. I realize that these friends had my best interests at heart even though they went against what I felt was the best things to do. So I made the choice to clam up and keep things to myself.

So now I share very little with anyone. I keep all of it inside. There are a lot of people that say that is not a good thing to do. They say you have to let it out to deal with things. What they do not know is that each day I take the time to meditate with God. That is where my strength and comfort lies. When you are alone and feel left out in the cold, you need to realize that God is with you at all time in your heart. You just have to take a little time each day to sit, relax and open your heart to let him in to help wash away those doubts and fears. So take a few minutes today. Sit down and relax. Take a few deep breathes and open yourself to God’s love and comfort.

~ The Peanut Gallery ~

Swept Away By Her Beauty

She waltzed into the room with her beautiful blonde hair swept to one side. He saw her from across the room, and his face lit up with delight as he soaked in all of the beauty before him. Standing so tall, wrapped in deep purple satin and tulle, her train flowing behind her … a confident smile forming on her lips. He rushed to take his place at her side … these two perfect little people dressed so eloquently for the prom.

He took her hand and escorted her outside where they were surrounded by what surely felt like a crowd of awaiting paparazzi with cameras in hand, with the sound of clicking and snapping all around them. They smiled, they laughed, they enjoyed this moment together.

A classic car awaited in all of its flame redness … ultimately pleasing to the eye. They posed, they basked in the moment together.

And off they went … to my daughter’s very first prom …

Prom 2014 1

Writer – Five Minute Friday

It’s that time again where we write for five whole minutes without worrying about anything but getting those words out.

Today’s prompt word is: Writer

Ready?

Set!

Go!

I don’t consider myself a writer, really. I knew from a very early age that I enjoyed putting my thoughts down on paper, but never really considered that one day I would be sitting before my computer composing my very own blog posts … OR that anyone would even care to read my rambling words on the screen. But, they do! You do! That’s why you’re here. And I can’t thank you enough.

Writing was a passion of mine back in high school. My English teacher encouraged me greatly when we were to keep a journal, and it has blossomed into this.

This week I was in an accident. I have a fractured hand and fractured hip to go with it. I was worried all week about keeping this blog going as I did not want to disappoint a reader. If someone came to my page seeking a new blog post, I wanted there to be one although I knew full well that I was incapable at that point of writing anything. My desire was to keep this blog going and rush back as quickly as I could to pour my words out for anyone that may have been waiting to soak them all up.

A writer … Although I never considered myself to be, I guess I am …

STOP!