Coming Clean

With the data breach and hacking on the ashleymadison.com website, a lot of people have been forced to “come clean.”  While the focus has been on the Duggars and poor Anna (the cheating husband’s wife), there are many other faceless victims out there.  I say faceless because they aren’t as well known as the Duggars, and their pictures aren’t on the news, in entertainment magazines, or websites.  They are the faceless victims that discover the truth about a spouse that they loved and gave their whole selves to without hesitation at one point.  Now, they are trying to grasp the sanity that is quickly escaping them as they find out the truth about someone that was once their entire heart and soul, their life, and their future.  Feeling unsure of what the future may hold now, they sit in shock, wondering if feeling will ever return to their grief stricken bodies and knowing full well that when it does, it will bring the most excruciating pain ever imaginable with it.

Loss of appetite.  Loss of sleep.  Feeling sick to your stomach as if you could vomit at any given moment.  These are just the beginning when you realize the truth about someone that kept this part of themselves hidden for so long.  The tears, the unrecognizable sobs that escape your mouth that seem to come from your very toes … it hurts THAT much.

And why?

When it finally comes out, can they honestly say that it was worth it all?  The lies, the cheating, the betrayal, the withholding information, the deception.  Was it worth it?  Was it worth losing your family over?  Some times, people even lose their jobs, their livelihood.  In the end, was it worth it?  Those pictures, the magazines, the porn videos that only leave you wanting more, the sex addiction that progresses to seeking out “hook up” sites for casual sex or prostitutes … the extramarital affairs, one night stands, or even curiosity of what those dating sites might hold …  was it worth it in the end when you lose your family and your job?

How many would go and do it all over again if they knew the high cost of their actions?

It had to be difficult living a double life.  They had to be extremely miserable as they tried to act as normal as possible while feeling anything but … deep inside they probably felt dirty and like the piece of trash they were looking at on the computer screen or talking to via email, texts, or maybe even in person if it progressed to that point.

Why get on those sites in the first place?  They’re not there seeking a good wholesome individual to settle down and raise a family with.  Why won’t they realize that people on those sites are not people they would want to introduce their children to.  These are NOT the type of people to be proud to bring home to Mama either.   So why the draw to such individuals?  What is so attractive about lowering themselves to this point to consider being with these types of people?  For what?  A few moments of pleasure?  Whether they’re pleasing themselves or sleeping with someone while their devoted and loving spouse sits at home feeling neglected, lonely, and unloved … why such a high appeal for this type of life?

Now the information is readily available and accessible for ALL of their wrongdoings.  God already knew, and I believe God hung His head and wept each time they took part in ANY of the dishonorable things that they were doing.  He cried because this is not the life He wanted for His child – neither the one doing it nor the one that it was being done to.  I believe it grieved Jesus.  Imagine the heart wrenching cries from their spouse … and even more coming straight from Jesus Christ.

It’s time for it to stop.  All of it. If they would only come clean and never go back there again.

For those that have been doing it, you’re going to get burned.  If you don’t believe me, ask ANY person that was once wrapped up in this sin.  They didn’t get out of it unscathed.  Neither will you or your family.

In coming clean, they free themselves from the web of lies that they’ve spun, and they free themselves from the bondage that this had on them.  They break the chains that tied them to the stuff that they once did in secret, in darkness, and kept hidden for way too long.  Oh the distance they have put into place between those that love them and those they proclaim to love.

The anger they feel stems from the double life they were living, the lies they told, and covering their tracks.  They would be amazed, if they would only realize, how freeing it will be when they finally get tired of living this double life, come clean, and STAY clean while walking the straight and narrow now in their relationships and marriages.  This will no longer have a stronghold in their lives so the anger that has welled up inside of them will be replaced with peace.  God’s peace.  God’s love.  God’s forgiveness.

It’s time for the healing to begin.  Only with God’s help is this possible.

 

 

 

 

Words

Your words have the power to hurt, to heal, open minds, open hearts,

and change the world.

Never forget the responsibility you have

over the words you speak.

Steven Aitchison

In the mist of discovering something that shattered her heart, she failed to maintain her composure this time around.  She let words fly out of her mouth to assault his ears, just as this new discovery assaulted her heart of hearts bringing her to her knees.

No, she didn’t fall before the offender on her knees begging … nor did she dissolve into a puddle of tears pleading.

Instead, she fell to her knees before the Lord.  The ONLY one that can truly comfort her.  She drew nearer to her Savior, the one that promises to be near to the brokenhearted.  She called out His name, and He appeared at once wrapping His strong and mighty arms around her, providing strength when she felt weak and as if she could not go on.

And she can’t.

Not like this.

Not with new found information.

Not with wondering what is going to come out next.

Not with questions without answers or answers that will shatter her once more.

She stops wondering what else there is to know … because she knows the One who is all knowing.

The questions torment her.  She agonizes over so many things from the past wondering why.  This isn’t the life she signed up for, and yet, here she is living it the best she knows how.

But God …

BUT GOD steps in.  She cries out to Him and says, “God, I can’t do this on my own.  I can’t do this without you.  I NEED YOU …” and He swoops down to comfort His child.

She sobs into His chest.  “Why, Father?  As good as I was to him … ” and her words trail off as His fingertip wipes away her tears.

Extending her hands in front of her now, she gives it all to Him … “Here, Father, take this from me, take it ALL from me … I give all of my worries, sorrows, heartache, and pain, all of my questions, hurtful answers, his half truths, outright lies, deceit, betrayal, unfaithfulness … all things known and unknown … I give it ALL to you, Father!!  It is yours.  Work it out the best way you know how, Father.”

And her hands, now cupped together, with fully extended arms in front of her, she lifts it up high to the Heavens before God, Almighty.  He takes it from her hands … every … single … thing that has tormented her and caused her pain.  In their place, He provides peace, He extends His love to cover all things, and He comforts her broken and weary heart.

She lays her head on His shoulder now, fully trusting and relying on God.  She cried out to Him, and He showed up.

Now it is all changing … shifting … improving …

No, not because of a mere mortal man realizing the error in his ways or his wrongdoings ….

Because God has His hand ALL over this situation and arms wrapped securely around His child.  She walks confidently in Him now … with the knowledge that she isn’t fighting this alone any more.  The Mighty Warrior steps up and steps out, fully equipped to fight this battle and win this war.

Better yet, seeing her strength, which was only possibly through Christ, he turns toward her asking, “How do I do that … I want what you have …”

He doesn’t want to be like this forever.  He’s willing to change.

And so she shares with him how he, too, can have this through Christ, Our Lord.

As their entire world changes ….

The End of Summer

As we approach the end of Summer, allow me to reminisce just a little …

My husband, Dusty, and I enjoyed our time at Cedar Creek Horse Camp at the beginning of August.  While it was nearing 100 degrees when we left home, it was very refreshing to find 70 degree weather welcoming us as we reached the camp.  

We stayed in Camper 10 and highly recommend it as it was furnished with everything we needed (bathroom included – ha!  Laugh if you will, but not ALL camp sites had these facilities.  There was a big “bath house” for use, but we wanted our very own!).

Our horses enjoyed lush green pastures and taking breaks under the wooden shelter.  One of our horses, Sugar, is an escape artist, and she made her way through the three strands of wire into the larger, greener pasture just outside of where she was residing that weekend! Yes, this was a “freak out moment” when we discovered she had gotten out, but thankfully it was just inside to another pasture and not like she was out running loose visiting the neighbors. Thankfully, the outside fencing had three wooden boards, so she didn’t try anything in that direction.

Shortly after checking things out at camp Friday, we tacked up our horses and headed out to find a trail with waterfalls nearby!  With hoof boots on the horses, we were well prepared for what we would encounter on certain parts of the trails.  We started off at Lake Imaging and made our way around the mountain, through the covered bridge, and on to High Point Falls.  Two hikers were walking by about the same time we were admiring the falls, and they were gracious enough to take a few pictures of us on horseback with the beautiful flowing waterfall behind us.  I — the Picture Queen — was not about to let this moment in time pass me by without a picture of us living our dream!

 

Covered Bridge

High Falls High Falls1

Saturday we were up early and on Gunion trail.  We encountered a creek where one of our horses, Arizona, went through just fine.  Sugar, on the other hand, thought she had to jump off of the rock and over the creek to get to the other side with me on her back!  Seeing as how I have not had ANY prior jumping experience, it was exhilarating yet scary all at the same time. Hey, I managed to stay on, so that has to account for something!  Thankfully I pay attention when I watch others jump!  What’s funny to me is that she’s been through water before, but for some reason, she had it in her mind that she needed to jump this time.  This silly horse makes me laugh but also provides lots of love and is good therapy back home!

We took a midday break but were back on the trails going to Hooker Falls Saturday afternoon. The horses were a big hit on this trail with all of the people around.  It was as if they were celebrities as people gathered to pet and take pictures of our horses.

After their time in the limelight, we took our horses back to the pasture and secured them for the night.  My husband and I went up the mountain at dusk to Pretty Place, which is the chapel at the YMCA camp.  We have been there before with others enjoying the view, and it was breathtakingly beautiful then.  This time, though, it was as if we were alone with God on the top of that mountain looking at the cross.  I took that opportunity to kneel down to pray to our Lord and Savior and thank Him for all of the many blessings in my life. It was such a moving experience being there just as the sun set and the darkness was upon us standing under the lights at the foot of the cross.
Pretty Place

Sunday we decided to hit the trails one last time before heading home.  This time, we went to a trail off of Reasonover Road.  We went up, up, and away … around the mountainside near steep slopes and encountered bare rock on this ride.  Thankfully, once we reached Bridal Veil Falls, we were able to circle around a different direction and ride where it wasn’t quite so challenging.  We enjoyed seeing the old barn and then on to the airstrip on the mountain before making our way around the lake and back to the parking lot to head out.

Bridal Veil Falls

Old Barn

We thank God for His hand of protection over us and for allowing us to have bonding time with our horses that weekend.

And thank you, Dear Readers, for traveling along with us as we reminisced about the fun we had this summer!

National Dog Day

Today is National Dog Day!!   We are super excited as we have a new puppy that we adopted into our family.  She is a white and black Shih Tzu puppy, and she is ohhh soooo cute!

We named her Trixie!

Trixie

Trixie’s older sister, Baby, has become insanely jealous.  While she will tolerate this little puppy for a bit, she does become annoyed with the constant play time that Trixie thinks they should have.  It is quite entertaining to watch Baby, our little Teacup Yorkie, walking around with her head held high while Trixie bounces alongside her.  For some reason, Trixie thinks Baby’s tail is a play toy.  She attempts to grab it as Baby walks, which doesn’t go over well with Baby at all.  I do give Baby a break from Trixie, so don’t worry.  This isn’t Baby’s life 24/7.  :)

Baby

Are you an animal lover like I am?  If you are, I certainly hope you are celebrating your four legged, furry best friend!

Trixie Sleeping Trixie1

 

 

Words To Live By

There are people in my life that take advantage of me.  They take advantage of my kindness and my forgiving heart.  These same people expect chance after chance after chance … while they are repeat offenders … and yet, I try to be forgiving just as Christ is forgiving of me when I fail and fall short.  The problem I have is as a Christian I’m supposed to turn the other cheek.  My question then is, how many times am I supposed to turn it for it to be slapped repeatedly?

I’m sure the question will and has been asked, “Why do you allow this individual to continue hurting you?”  or “Why do you believe in someone who has already shown you who they are?”

Those are not easy questions to answer.

You see, I’m not putting myself out there to get hurt.  I’m not doing this hoping that they will hurt me.  No, just the opposite.  I hold out hope each time that it will be different.  That there won’t be any more lies, deceit or betrayal.  It is only because of the love I have in my heart for the person that allows me to hold on and hold out hope.

I try to see the good in people, and even though they have mistreated me in the past or done things that were not right, I know deep down inside that they are not completely evil.  They don’t have a black heart, and they aren’t rotten to the core.  I know this because I have seen the side that I’ve longed to get back.  The kind, considerate, loving, compassionate individual … and I have also seen that person disappear and an angry person with no conscience emerges and does things that are shameful, degrading, and shows that they lack morals, values, and integrity.  While they may not stay in this frame of mind or state the entire time, they go back, almost like Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde.  It happens without warning.  Then all of a sudden, this person is back and you’re trying to figure out what triggered it. What set it off?  And how long will it last THIS time?

The thing is, this person is not honest with you as to why they changed back.  And, even if they were honest, they have told so many lies and have withheld information that was later discovered, that the vast majority doubts what is being said.

It is sad really.

My daddy always said, “You’re only as good as your word.”

This person’s word means nothing at this point.  From when they are caught in a lie and they say, “I don’t know” or “I can’t remember” when you ask them something point blank, both are dead giveaways of yet another lie.  More deceit.  More betrayal.  And, here is something gut wrenching.  You can’t even believe when they say, “I love you.”  Sure, these are nice words, yet their actions scream something to the contrary.

It happens almost every time, too.  They either talk down to you like you’re crazy, they make light of the situation and your feelings, OR they get defensive and anger emerges.  Are they angry that they got busted once again?  Are they angry that they were found out once more? Here is something they fail to realize:  Nothing that is done in darkness will stay hidden.  It will be revealed in God’s time.  He will shine the brightest light upon it.

If I have anything to offer at this point, it is to any one out there reading this that may not be who they should be … change!  You CAN make a complete change.  You don’t have to be that person any more.  Ask Jesus to help you, and I promise you that He will.  While it won’t be an over night, immediate change, He will help convict you and change your ways.  Then, when you feel tempted again to act the way you did before or do the things you once did, God will be right there speaking to you letting you know that it isn’t a good idea and it doesn’t have to be this way.  If you repent of your sins and confess them with your mouth, you have to TURN from them!  You cannot confess and repent while still doing these things!   That is not true repentance.  That is not wanting to change with your whole heart.

If you have done something that you know is not right, you have to fully disclose everything to the person you have hurt.  You cannot give a little information here, a little there, and later on down the road confess to more.  That only prolongs the hurt and the healing process.  If someone has found it in their hearts to forgive you after you’ve lied, cheated, deceived them and betrayed them, and they have slowly started to heal, you throw them completely right back where they were when they first discovered your wrongdoings.  You make it ten times harder for them as you’ve ripped that scab completely off of their wound, and it is oozing blood at this point.  They are unable to stop the bleeding.  It pours out of the wound, and the cut feels deeper now with each newly found betrayal or newly confessed indiscretion.

Be HONEST!

Be TRUE!

Be FAITHFUL!

Be a person of your word.

Here’s a tidbit for you.  Withholding information is also a form of deceit and betraying the one you claim to love.

Be an honorable person.

And … treat others the way you want to be treated.  If you would not want someone to do this to YOU, then WHY are you doing it to THEM?  Why is it okay if YOU do it … yet if they did something exactly like this to you, you would run from them so fast and never look back.  You wouldn’t have such a forgiving heart, and you wouldn’t accept them back for doing the exact same thing that you, yourself, have done.  Take for example a person that has committed adultery.  IF your spouse had done this to YOU, would you be as forgiving as you expect them to be?  That is a hard one, isn’t it?  But, if it’s okay for YOU to do it and later be forgiven of, why is it not okay for your spouse to do the same exact thing?  Why then would you NOT forgive your spouse for committing adultery if you, yourself, have done it to them!  Here’s another tidbit:  Cheating isn’t always just in the physical form. Even though you haven’t physically slept with someone, if you have thought about it in your mind the bible tells us that you have already committed adultery in your heart with this person.  Keep that in mind.  Also, if you have to delete text messages, emails, etc. so they can’t be seen, you are already there, and that is also considered cheating!

Recently, I became a mirror to the person that was mistreating me.  When they talked to me ugly in the past, I would try my best not to go back at them the same way.  Seeing as how that did not work, recently I gave them exactly what they gave me.  If they were mean to me, I was mean back.  If they ranted, I ranted back.  If they had a harsh tone, I had a harsh tone back.  And you know what?  They had the nerve to ask ME why I was doing this to THEM!  I quickly pointed out that I was mirroring them and that if they did not like it, they needed to stop doing this TO ME!  I was a reflection of THEM at that point.  Some times that is what it takes for the offender to stop dead in their tracks!

I pray for this individual.  I have turned this individual over to God because I am not in control of this individual nor what they do.  I am only in control of myself, what I will tolerate, and how I will choose to respond.  This person is in God’s hands now.

If you have someone in your life that is a repeat offender, you can’t handle this one on your own.  Ask God to help you, and I promise you … HE WILL!  Turn this person over to God and allow God to work in their hearts and lives.  Know that you have done all that you can do, and now it is up to God.  You can’t save people from themselves, their mistakes, or their poor choices.  Do not make yourself miserable any more trying.  They are responsible for their actions, and they must face the consequences whether they like it or not.

This is my advice and words to live by.

Join us for Tuesday At Ten with Karen each week to share your thoughts.

We Are What We Believe We Are

We are what we believe we are.

C.S. Lewis

It really is true what C.S. Lewis says in the quote above.  We truly are what we believe we are.  That is why you must speak life into yourself.  If you wait on others to do this, you may be waiting a very long time in complete unhappiness.  While there are some that will validate, compliment and even praise you, the vast majority will snub their noses at you and pick you apart.  I’m not sure if this is due to jealousy or bitterness deep within their hearts.  What I do know is that it is up to YOU to be your biggest fan.  Yes, it is nice when you receive recognition, but don’t get down in the dumps or sink low in depression just because someone hasn’t lavished you with words of affirmation.  Know your own worth.  Don’t wait on others to tell you how valuable you are.

Words have power – those both spoken and unspoken. Your thoughts swirling around in your head have the potential to make you or break you.  If you look at the reflection in the mirror and don’t like what you see, then maybe it is time to change a thing or two.  I’m not talking about physical looks, though.  I’m more referring to you looking yourself in the eye each and every day and not liking who you have become on the inside.  Constantly bashing yourself will only bring you further down.  Take action, instead.  Do something about what you don’t like. That is the only way it will change.  Work at it!

Retraining your thoughts to be more positive instead of focusing on the negative is hard work.  It takes very little effort to find something to complain about, but sometimes we feel like we’ll work up a sweat trying to find a positive in the situation or even in us.

Think about the words that you speak to yourself.  Now ask yourself if you would say those same words, with the same tone and all, to someone else?  Would you say it to your spouses?  Your children?  Your parents?  How about your best friend?  If not, then why are you saying those hateful things to yourself?  Ease up a little, because chances are that you aren’t as bad as you make yourself out to be, but if you are … work on yourself so that you can face that person in the mirror and be a little bit better tomorrow morning.  Show signs of improvement until you can smile back at your reflection and know that you’re trying hard and it is paying off.  That is something to take pride in, working on yourself from the inside out.  Believe me, others will notice.  If you don’t like yourself, how is anyone else supposed to?  Embrace who you are, change what you can, and learn to LOVE yourself!

God created you, and Jesus died on the cross for you.  You are a child of the King.  Keep that in mind.

Unoffendable

In this day and age, it seems that EVERYONE is offended by something.  Recently in our state, they were offended by the Confederate Flag that was flying high above the State House.  After several rallies and protests, the governor sought, and later succeeded, the removal of the flag.

If it’s not the flag that people are offended by, they are easily offended by other things.  It seems that people feel they are entitled to be offended.  As Brant Hansen points out in his book, we think we are entitled to our anger and resentment that go along with being offended.  It is like we’ve got something on someone, and as if we have moral superiority over them when we are offended.  However, you can choose not to be offended.  That is not an easy concept to swallow, but it is a choice that we can make in the moment when we feel it rising up inside of us.

Ask yourself this.  Is your anger, resentment, and bitterness pleasing to God?   I realize there is a bible verse that people love to quote where it says not to sin in your anger.  A lot of people don’t realize (I didn’t) that this often quoted scripture also goes on further down in the passage to say NOT to be angry or bitter.   Take a look:

26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”   Ephesians 4:26-32

What would our world look like today if we all chose to be unoffendable?   What if we actually lived by the above bible verse?  Now isn’t that something to consider?!

Being unoffended strikes at our pride and forces us to be humble.  Being unoffendable also takes us from being the center of attention with our anger, our hatred, our resentment, our feelings of injustices, and our raging emotions, and it puts the focus on OTHERS!  That is a hard one for us, isn’t it?  We are all, whether we want to admit it or not, self focused and self absorbed.  We don’t want to put others before ourselves, and yet, what if we DID just that?  If we were to forfeit or deny our anger, and give up our “right” to be angry as if it does not even exist, and we FORGIVE and let go of our anger.  Christ calls us to do just that.  We are to love, offer mercy, and extend grace.  Truthfully, how often do we do this when others have offended us?

Do we stop to put ourselves in other people’s shoes for just a minute?  Take the flag situation I mentioned at the beginning of this post.  People on both sides of the argument thought they were RIGHT!  The ones that wanted the flag to remain said it was heritage and not hate.  It is a part of our history, and yet the ones that had so much hatred toward the flag saw it as a sign of when their ancestors were in slavery.  One side refused to see the other side’s point, though, and so they continued with their bitterness and anger.  What if the side that said “Heritage, not hate” put themselves in the shoes of the black people saying “All I see is a symbol of slavery of my ancestors.”  What if the blacks put themselves in the shoes of the white people and recognized that it was a part of our history and heritage instead of choosing to see it as a symbol of hatred?  If we stop to consider where the other party is coming from, maybe … just maybe … it would make an impact on us and how we respond.  Maybe then we could truly become unoffendable.

I’d like to challenge you on this, just as I feel I have been challenged by the words in Mr. Hansen’s book.  I will not issue this challenge, though, without offering you the tools in his book.  I have his brightly colored orange and white book in front of me so I can soak up all that he has to offer on truly being unoffendable.  I’d like to equip you as well with the tools to fight against anger and, instead, be able to offer the love, mercy, and grace that we are called to extend to others.

Below is a giveaway for a $25.00 certificate from Family Christian.  In just a few clicks, you’re entered to win.  This certificate can be used to purchase the book, OR to purchase anything you desire at their store.  They have so much to choose from, and I, personally, love shopping there!

I will be going through this book in more detail, and I intend to share it with my family.  We all can benefit from being UNoffendable.  Just as I talk of choosing joy a lot of times on this site, you can also choose to be unoffendable.  Mr. Hansen will show you how, and I will share with you the knowledge I gained from his book, spread out in separate posts so you really “get it” and not just skim through the post.

Here’s to being UNoffendable!

And here’s your chance to enter a giveaway for a $25.00 certificate from Family Christian!  A special thanks to Family Christian for this opportunity to partner with them as a blogger and to offer such awesome giveaways!

Here

Today I got a rare opportunity, and I took it. I seized the moment, right here and now, to let my long lost niece know that I love her.  I let her know that things are not as they seem, nor as she was told.  While it started off kind of rough in a Facebook message, with my detecting her sarcasm and angry tone in her postings, I knew deep down inside that this 14 year old child needed to hear what I had to say. And … I think she wanted to or else she would not have engaged me in conversation.  It would have ended with a few cross words from her, but it didn’t.  I have been waiting for the past four years to tell her, and I had the chance I’ve been looking for.  The chance to tell her I love her, even with no response back from her.  That was okay that she didn’t return the words of love to me.  It is okay if I tell her a million times and never hear it from her lips or see it on a screen.  It is only important that I tell her, and I let her know.  I also had the chance to tell her that she was taken from us years ago, and we were forbidden from having any further contact with her.  At one point, she was to come live with us as her father asked this of us four years ago, yet shortly thereafter, her father and his family snatched her back away from us.  I told her that I wish things had been different and had I been given the chance, I would have raised her as my very own.   She is bitter, and I can sense through her hostility, that she is just a lost little girl that needs love. She needs to know that she matters and that above all, she is loved completely despite how she is right this very minute – distant, bitter, cold, and hurting deep inside.  I told her that today.  I let her know that I am still a part of her family – whether she wanted me to be or not – and I love her.  Oh, how I wish my sister was still here, things would have been so much different if she would not have ended her life 14 years ago due to postpartum depression.  But today, here and now, I got a chance to tell her daughter that her mother — my sister — loves her (I refuse to use past tense), even still today from Heaven.  She loves her daughter — my niece — so much, and this little girl, who feels so lost, unloved, and unhappy, is still her mother’s pride and joy.  All the way from Heaven’s door, here and now.

I thank God for this opportunity today and my niece’s openness to a conversation with me.  Although she made negative remarks about her dad and step-mom, I focused on stating what I knew for a fact from my perspective, as I am sure no one told her why we are no longer a part of her life.  It is not by our choice.  She learned the truth today.  Here and now.

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This post was inspired

by the prompt word of “Here”

for Kate’s Five Minute Friday.

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One of the last pictures we have of Melanie from 2011 when we were allowed to have her.  I treasure our time together.

Here

National Lighthouse Day

“Lighthouses stand as beacons of light;

guiding ships safely through the night.

May this lighthouse stand as a symbol of guidance for you,

reminding you of the people in your life

who have helped guide you on your journey.”

~Isabel Bloom

How beautiful are these words as we celebrate National Lighthouse Day?!

Each year, we celebrate National Lighthouse Day on August 7th.   This day is set aside to honor   the beacons of light.  Just think about how, for hundreds of years, the lighthouse has been a symbol of safety and security for ships and boats while at sea.  Imagine all the people that this beacon of light helped find their way on a foggy night!  Think of the lives spared by this one light shining brightly, guiding them safely to shore!

Why August 7th, you may ask?  It is due to the United States Congress approving an act on August 7, 1789 for the “establishment and support of Lighthouse, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers.”  Approximately two hundred years later, Congress designated August 7th as National Lighthouse Day!  

I often think of the lighthouse as Jesus Christ guiding us in life.  As the old gospel song says, “If it wasn’t for the lighthouse, where would this ship be?”  We are nothing without Jesus, and we would be so lost in this cold, dark, and evil world.  Jesus provides a way for us, lighting our path as we journey through life.

This evening, my family and I went to an Amish restaurant in a small town where they serve delicious food and homemade bread.  Upon stepping foot into the door, I noticed a lighthouse lamp sitting on a shelf.National Lighthouse Day

There was an older gentleman seated nearby that appeared to be a part of the family that owned the restaurant, so I inquired as to whether they were selling the lamp.  The former owners used to have an antique shop under the same roof as their restaurant, and I loved to visit to enjoy the food but also to see what treasure I would find there after the meal.  Since they changed hands, I wasn’t sure if this would still be the case.  This time, I spotted my treasure shortly after walking through the door, and sure enough, this lighthouse lamp was for sale after all … and I made it mine tonight!  I almost squealed with delight when they said the lamp was for sale!!  I know I cheered, “Yea!” and my husband just laughed at my excitement.   I had to share with the owners that lighthouses are my favorite, and what better day to find such a treasure than on National Lighthouse Day!

National Lighthouse Day1

I have various lighthouses on displayed in my home.  From little what-nots of the lighthouses we’ve visited, to lighthouse pictures, and even a lighthouse table, it’s safe to say that I have a “thing” for lighthouses!  Here’s a sneak peek into my living room.

Lighthouses

My most favorite lighthouse of all time is the Morris Island Lighthouse near Folly Beach, South Carolina.  If I’m ever stressed, walking out on the white, sandy beach toward the water’s edge seems to help melt away all the cares of the world even if just for a little while.  With sand between my toes and the roar of the waves as they roll in and then crash against the rocks, it feels as if all is right in the world as I stand so small against the magnificent lighthouse.  I think of Jesus and how He provides peace.  I also think of how small I am in this big ole world, but Jesus sees me, cares for me, and loves me.  I matter to Him!  And He is there, shining His light in my life guiding me safely to Heaven’s Door.

I think of how Jesus uses me – and any one that is a willing vessel – to share His light with the world.  There is hope in Jesus, and there is love … the sweetest love you will ever know!

These are just a few things that lighthouses make me think of as I marvel at them reaching up from the ground so high in the sky.

Take time to appreciate the beauty of a lighthouse near you, and while you’re there, it is my hope that you, too, will think of our Guiding Light, Jesus Christ!

Happy National Lighthouse Day!

LightLoveHopeCover Morris Island Lighthouse2 Morris Island Lighthouse1 Morris Island Lighthouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Is Not A Test

Fond memories rush in of a time when my family and I were a part of God’s Copy Cats at a church we attended for several years.  God’s Copy Cats put on a major production in the Spring of every year, which was free to the public.  The whole reason and purpose they put on this show annually was to glorify and praise God as we ministered to the whole community.  This gave us a chance to reach hearts that may have never come to know Jesus if it hadn’t been for hearing the Word of God during our show or having words of a song touch their heart as they sat in their seat taking it all in.  Having served on the welcoming committee, I lost count of the mass of people that flooded the theater the weekend this event was held.  What a huge platform to reach lost souls!

We had black light, puppetry, hip hop dancing, and interpretive movement, and it was all based on and performed to Christian music.  My daughter was a member of God’s Copy Cats, and she has many fond memories, too, of her time on stage as she served in every capacity while on the team.  I will never forget seeing her little 10 year old self on stage doing the hip hop dances to none other than TobyMac!  Having served back stage as well during the show, we knew every single song that they would present that weekend no matter what form they were presented in.  We practiced with the team so much that TobyMac’s lyrics flowed from our lips as we sang along to his feel good music, his album fast becoming one of our favorites.

There is just something about TobyMac that makes you want to move your body as it improves your overall mood.  There is no way you can stay depressed once turning on a TobyMac song.  It is a get-out-of-your seat-and-to-your-feet type of album, no matter which you choose to listen to.  His songs are upbeat with a truly positive message and meaning behind them.

I do love taking a walk down memory lane!

As reality zaps me back to the present day, imagine our excitement as we learned of TobyMac’s newly released album, This Is Not A Test.  When my family heard me say that I was going to listen to TobyMac, their ears perked up as they all followed me into the room.  They wanted to listen, too!  I smiled and cranked up the tunes as we all four enjoyed the new sounds of Mr. TobyMac!

Whether you’re a TobyMac fan or have never heard of him before, I’d like to recommend this album to you.  If you need high energy music that speaks to you and causes you to tap your foot or even dance in your seat, this is the album for you!  And here’s great news!!  Thanks to Propeller/FlyBy Productions, we have a copy just for you.  What’s more is that this prize pack features the This Is Not A Test Deluxe Edition CD, Vinyl, Tank, and a TobyMac hat!!

Are you excited yet?

What are you waiting for?  Enter our giveaway now, and share it with your friends as well!

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”