Friday, April 16, 2010

Today Is Yours!

Isn't it something when you think about how today was made just for you? When you get out of bed you are stepping into a new day that was already planned specifically for you. Every morning before I get out of bed, I recite Psalm 118:24, "This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." I purposely say this before my feet hit the floor. It's my way of telling God that before I take one step into this new day I am acknowledging that it's by His grace I am here to see another morning He made, and that no matter what happens to me today, He's got me - there's no need to fear or worry.

We were all created for a reason and have a purpose. Every day is a new day to be an encouragement and a blessing to someone else. I love to look for those opportunities. If you noticed, I said I have to look. Opportunities like that don't always jump out at you, so sometimes you have to look on purpose. I know the busyness of life can certainly take our focus off of what's going on around us, but I think it's sad when we just go on day by day not realizing that each day is a gift. I don't want to look back at the days that have gone by and say that I was just busy. I want to remember the "on purpose" opportunities that made a difference in someone else's life. The busyness of life will eventually fade away, but the difference made in someone else's life is forever. In addition to helping and showing love to others, each new day is a brand new start for you to forget the past and move on into a new beginning. Don't beat yourself up when you feel like your day went wrong. We all have those days. Maybe you made the wrong choice or said something you shouldn't have. The best way to get over that is to admit what you've done, ask for forgiveness, take your mind off yourself and go be a blessing. In Lamentations 3:22-23 the Bible tells us how God's great love and compassions are new every morning. I don't know about you, but I am sure glad that it is!

Enjoy YOUR day everyone and remember to always walk in love and speak in peace.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In Loving Memory of Beverly Southam

12 years ago today, my husband Kevin, lost his Mom to cancer. When Kevin and I started dating, she was in remission from breast cancer. When Beverly and I first met, we immediately developed a friendship. Not long after Kevin and I were married and expecting a baby, the cancer had come back in her lungs, bones and brain. I was 8 mos. pregnant with Dalton when she called to tell Kevin that she received the report from the doctor and only had a few months to live. I can very clearly remember that evening in Feb'98. It was devastating as you can imagine.

Shortly after we heard the news, we went to visit Kevin's parents in Lebanon. There was a time during the visit when Kevin went outside with his dad, and it was just Beverly and I along with the neighbor lady sitting in the living room. I won't ever forget when Beverly came over to me and put her hand on my stomach for just a moment. She then turned around and sat back down on the sofa and said, "I don't want to go, but I'm ready to go. It's just with the baby...." She didn't say anymore after that. I knew she was thinking that she may not make it to see her new grandchild. On March 24, 1998 Dalton arrived and I am happy to say that she did get to see him and hold him. Dalton had to be in the NICU for a little while and we could only have 4 people on our visitor's list. We of course included Beverly. Due to her condition she was told not to walk long distances, but one day while coming back to the hospital to see Dalton, she had to park pretty far away in an overflow parking lot (this was before Women and Babies of Lancaster existed). Although she knew how far she had to go that didn't stop her! She walked as far as she possibly could before collapsing in the lobby. She was given a wheelchair and then she continued on to get to Dalton. I thank God for letting her see her grandson. An example of how caring and unselfish she was, she actually said that my brother could take her place on the list since she may not be able to come back to see Dalton again. I believe that would have been an extremely difficult decision for her to make especially since she knew her time with Dalton was limited and she was concerned for his medical condition. All she wanted was to make sure he came out of the NICU as a healthy baby. He did come out of the NICU healthy and strong on April 4, 1998. Beverly was made aware of this, and 3 days later she passed away at home. We were later told that one of the reasons she hung on so long was to make sure Dalton had a clean bill of health and was able to come home.

I wanted to honor Beverly's life today by writing about how amazing she was. She was a very determined, independent woman who loved her 4 children and grandchildren. I see that determination every time I look at my sister-in-law, Liz. Another thing I know for sure is that Beverly loved the Lord. I don't have the answers as to why she had to leave this earth so soon, but I do know that she is not gone from us forever. Her suffering is over and she is in Heaven where we will meet again.

Author unknown, "Christians don't die, they just say goodbye."


Monday, April 5, 2010

He is Risen!

What great news! Yesterday on Easter Sunday, I was thinking about how Jesus came to earth, sacrificed His life, and saved us from eternal condemnation. During that time I was reminded how Jesus "freely" gave His life. To freely give means that you give on purpose. Even though Jesus could have stopped what was happening to Him, He purposely didn't because He decided that we were worth it even though we were yet sinners. He saw what we could be and looked past the darkness we were displaying.

It's easy to give to those that are good to us, but I wonder how many of us "freely" give to that person who isn't very kind, or the person that we think doesn't deserve a blessing because they are always in trouble, or not going in the right direction we think they should be going in? The Bible tells us in Mark 2:17 that Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." It's those people that you need to say a kind word to or give a listening ear. They have been put in your path for a reason, and what you sow in their lives could be life changing. Don't look the other way when you see them in need, or ask how they are doing and walk away before you hear their answer. Make a difference by being the light in their lives. No matter what you think about them, they are God's creation and He loves them. We all have value and a purpose.

I hope you all had a Happy Easter! Remember to walk in love and speak in peace.


Friday, April 2, 2010

We are more than conquerors!

The battle can be won no matter what you are facing today, or what you know you may be facing tomorrow. Romans 8:37 tell us that WE are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Being a conqueror means that you can overcome and win the battle you are in whether it's physical, emotional or spiritual.

I was reminded of this yesterday when I was thinking about how far I have come with the anxiety and panic that I used to suffer with. It was pretty bad and to the point where sitting in a restaurant, being at a social event, or going to the mall was a big deal. The fear of the panic attacks kept me home and the daily feeling of being anxious was awful. I began to explore the Word to find out what God had to say about being anxious and fearful, and it was there in the Word, that I found freedom. When I began to understand that I am what the Word says I am, I became a conqueror. That doesn't mean I don't deal with things, but it does mean that the paralyzing fear that kept me from enjoying my life is gone. Praise God!

Friends you may not deal with the whole anxiety/panic issues, but no matter what situation you are dealing with or facing, God is with you. Don't let stress and worry have the upper hand in your life. Remember that it's because of Christ who loved us enough to give His life for you and me, that we have the power to be conquerors in every obstacle that comes our way! Have a Happy Easter everyone and remember to always walk in love and speak in peace.