Some Know Some Don’t

This past week I began my bariatric journey. I haven’t kept it a secret but I don’t tell anyone just in conversation either. Those closest to me of course know and have been a strong support system and I know they will continue to do so. I have been in a Facebook group for several months now and it has helped so much. Reading other peoples journey and following their success stories is good for the mind.

Of course it’s gonna be hard, I have no doubts about that, but it is a life style change that I pray every single day will help me with my over all health issues. So far, I have not been to nervous about it, I am just ready to get it done so my healing can begin. I have done my liquid diet for 7 full days now and I’ve already dropped 4 lbs so that’s encouraging leading into the days ahead. Tomorrow I go in to do an EGD, after goin in to see my Dr for pre op, then Wednesday is my gastric bypass procedure.

I am so ready to lose the weight and feel 100% better! All prayers for success are coveted and appreciated.

Prayer

I found this prayer on Pinterest and wanted to share it on my blog for anyone that it might help.

🙏 AMEN🙏

Bitterness

Did you know that bitterness is a legit emotion? I mean I’ve heard of it, of course, but never really understood it. And I still don’t. However, it is a true feeling that needs to be addressed in order to be able to overcome it. I will be studying more on this topic and hope to share some new insight into its true meaning and Gods way, through His word, on how to overcome it.

Stay tuned…

Scripture and Prayer

Exhausted

When I wake up feeling exhausted from a good nights sleep, I know what kinda day my body is going to have. I just want to climb back in bed and sleep it off but duty calls. I will go to work anyway with affirmation of thankfulness and joy to be alive to feel the pain.

Thank you Jesus for giving me another day to live for you and share you with others.

It’s been a while…

Well I will be back at it, prayerfully. I took a long break from writing because what I want to write about, I think to my self that I probably shouldn’t. But it is my life and this is my blog so I can write about what’s happening in my life right!?!

Gonna keep praying about how and what to say but I am for sure ready to begin writing, journaling, blogging again.

Hurt Heart

Words hurt and can’t be taken back as I’ve learned the hard way for most of my adult life. The closer with Christ I learn to walk/live the statement in the photo has proven to be more and more accurate. We know a true Christian by how they act, respond, talk, live, etc. Jesus was the only perfect human to ever walk the earth. In saying that, we must remember that walking with Christ doesn’t make any human perfect in any way. Nor does it make us “better than” any other human on earth. It does however, mean that we should do our level best to represent Him in every way to the best of our abilities. When we do wrong or say wrong, especially when upset, angered, or frustrated, we must repent and ask forgiveness from God and the person we’ve offended intentionally or unintentionally.

Repentance (turning from wickedness and seeking Gods forgiveness) is something that we must do moment to moment on the daily. Then we must apologize to those that we’ve hurt, whether it be an intentional hurt or not! People know Christian’s by how we treat others, not by mere words alone. Words can be lies used to get something or to make a person seem like they are one way when truly they aren’t that way at all. Lies are NEVER good! A persons actions, whether hurtful or not, speak louder volume than words ever will. Don’t let your actions hinder another persons walk that is still growing in the areas you may have already matured in. We each grow at different paces. We each have our own “demons”, and/or faults, that we battle on the daily.

Don’t be afraid or ashamed to admit failure and repent from it. Don’t be afraid to admit failure to another human being that you’ve wronged either. It is okay to say “I’m sorry! I screwed up”….(for me)once AGAIN! We’re ALL human and WE ALL screw up and make mistakes.

Tree of Memories

My Tree of Memories

When my two kids were home, I looked forward to decorating, inside and out, each and every holiday season. October 1st began the decorating season in our household. I loved putting the “blow ups” in the yard and changing the inside just enough to show each holiday off as a family to enjoy together.

When the day after Thanksgiving came around it was time to begin decorating our Christmas tree. Their dad and I always put the tree up together and we’d get it wrapped with its garland until our kids were old enough to help. Then I’d sit in the floor and carefully pull out each ornament to make sure each one had a hook or ribbon to be hung with. As I would hand them off to each child and their dad for them to hang on the tree, I had the pleasure of sitting and enjoying my view of them from the floor. That’s a treasured memory in my mind each and every Christmas season now that both kids are grown, married, and have a child of their own. I sometimes wonder if they, once their children are old enough, will carry on any of the traditions that we had created together when they were growing up at home.

As an empty nester now, each year I see so many different themes of beautifully decorated Christmas trees and I think to myself “maybe this year I’ll do something different with mine” but I can’t bring myself to do it. Once the decorations for each holiday has been gotten out of storage, there go all of my memories, and I decide to keep my tree decorated exactly how it’s been decorated each year previously only to add one or two ornaments for that particular year.

Such lonesome frustration comes up during the process and begins to create a feeling of dread and why bother when no one is here to enjoy it with these days.

My thoughts and feelings are so different than they used to be. Now I have wishes and/or prayers that my husband, kids, and grand kids could be home especially this time of year to enjoy the process with, that I almost decide to not even decorate at all. As if the part of digging all of the decorations out of the garage isn’t painful enough, there’s the putting the tree together and making sure it’s all connected correctly. Then plugging it in to see the beauty of the lights come to life, thankfully my tree has the lights already on it, only to begin separating the branches as to fill in the “big” holes. Now begins the true headache of separating each ornament and finding the hook that I purposely left on it while disassembling the previous year.

While separating each ornament is not my favorite thing to do, each year I am reminded of so many memories that come back to life in my mind all over again; memories that are not a part of my day to day living anymore. While carefully hanging each ornament on just the right branch to be sure it hangs properly, it’s placement on each branch is very important to me. The ornament has to be hung in such a way to display the correct side of the ornament and not spin around to face the inside of the tree. While the tree topper is not the same each year, it has to be placed in just the right way to be seen when looking directly on the “front side”. Once the decorating is complete with the mess is all cleaned up, only then do I get to enjoy the full beauty of it all as a whole.

I love sitting, as close as my furniture placement allows, beside my beautifully decorated Christmas tree and embracing each and every memory that’s been made over the years. My all time favorite ornaments are the ones that are homemade by each child of mine. I look forward to those that I pray to receive from each grand child to be added some day. Each and every ornament placed on my tree brings back a different memory to the frontal lobes of my mind that’s been filed away with the packing it all up the year before.

So while the dread of putting all the decorations out without my family together isn’t always enjoyable for me, once it’s completed, there’s nothing I enjoy more than sitting beside my very own tree in complete silence with only the lights blinking in the darkness of the room and looking at each individual ornament only to revisit its purpose and meaning for being hung on that branch. There is no other theme that I can visualize for my Christmas tree of memories.

So tell me, what does your Christmas tree mean to you?

Ever Wonder?

Do you ever wonder what God means by something spoken to you by The Holy Spirit?

The other morning I was driving to work and decided to turn my radio off and ride to town in silence. I was simply talking out loud letting the Lord know that I was driving my 30 minute journey to work in silence with full expectation of hearing Him and nothing else. I stopped talking and simply listened. So often we are constantly listening to music, tv, etc, or surfing the web, Facebook, YouTube, etc and we forgot to simply listen to God. ✋ Anyone? 🤚

I turned around and pulled over to get this photo of Gods beauty.

So that particular morning I wanted to hear from only God. I’ve been, and continue, praying and seek His advice but I haven’t heard a response or maybe I just haven’t been listening for one. After have been driving for about ten minutes already in silence, I came to the point where I usually get to as the sun is in the process of rising. I turned and looked out my passenger window to see it’s beauty, as I always do, but that morning was different than any of them. That morning I seen the beams of light shining beautifully as the hint of sun was beginning to peek over the horizon. The grass glistened from the shine and the road seemed to never end. And it was in that very moment, that God spoke to me ever so plainly. Had I have been listening to the radio, as I do most every morning, I’d have probably missed it. I might’ve missed hearing The Lord over the radio chatter plainly speak the words “Rise Up” to me through The Holy Spirit that dwells within me. And I’ve heard it every day since.

I sat and watched for a few minutes…

However, I’m not sure yet what exactly God is telling me by those two simple words. Who knew two words could be so hard to understand.

There are a few specific things I pray about and have for quite some time. I know that God is referencing my prayers but I just do not know how to “Rise Up” exactly in the way God intends for me to.

I am now praying for clarity in His response, while listening more often, in total and complete silence.

Relationships

Even when it hurts…

I watched a movie this evening that I had watched before but forgotten most of the scenes of. After it started I remembered the story line but decided to watch it again anyway just to refresh my memory of how it all played out. Plus, I figured, given that it’s also a comedy it’s a win win cuz who doesn’t love to laugh right!?!

Without going into the name of it, it’s actors, etc., I’ll attempt to sum it up in a brief explanation, to the best of my ability, and make the point that I got out of it.

The movie from my prospective, in short, is about a woman that has excelled in her career without having had much education at all. However, in her attempt to “climb the ladder” of her success it seems she had hit a rather unremovable road block. Her life long bff helps persuade her into taking a job that she had acquired through lies about her achievements. So while moving out the door of her stale career path and heading into a remarkable world of opportunity that turned out to be, in the end, the best thing that had ever happened to her she’s had a HUGE encounter with someone from her past. While falling in love with her new found daughter, she’d given up for adoption in her teenage years, she seems to have lost any future with the love of her life and boyfriend of five years. However, her career is at an all time high until…all the lies and hidden secrets begin to unravel.

Of course I’m leaving out the majority of the movie as to not ruin it for any of you that haven’t watched it. If you have watched it then you’ll know the movie I’m writing about and may decide to watch again yourself.

Now, stick with me and let’s move on.

The moral I got from the movie is sort of a “punch line” said during the movie by the boyfriend. Their relationship began on a lie, or rather a hidden secret that she never told him about, and one that she similarly repeats in the overwhelming love that she’s acquired for her new found daughter.

“No relationship based on lies will ever survive” packs a powerful punch to me. It is what the boyfriend says to her at one point during the movie. That statement has resonated with me ever since I heard him say it while watching the movie. It’s on repeat in my brain now as I’ve been pondering why it’s stuck there.

So let’s now shift from the movie and into my own life’s relationships. Again, without going into extreme details and, of course, no names will be given but it has given me one of those “💡” moments as it plays over and over again in my brain.

It has become one of those “TADAAAAA” moments to me all of a sudden but I now understand a particular relationship that I’ve been at such a loss about in my life for several years now. A relationship that started out beautifully but has become a thorn that I can’t seem to get to fester for healing. One that has destroyed a part of me that idk if I’ll ever be the same from. As I live and breathe it’s oxygen sucking toxicity at times, I have a love for it that is confusingly exhausting to me when I attempt to understand it. It’s one of those love/hate relationships that tonight I FINALLY get. I finally understand it somewhat 🙄 Duh 🤦‍♀️ It’s because ANY and all relationships built on lies will never last.

What a powerful statement that is.

Nehemiah

Gods Word

Have you ever read through the entire book of Nehemiah in the Bible?

Well, I hadn’t until tonight.

So so good!

In reading through Nehemiah tonight I’ve come to realize that lots of the same struggles I, and the world, face day to day is very similar to what they faced in the days Jesus walked the earth.

Is that not weirdly exciting to you! I mean we aren’t facing a single thing that hasn’t already been faced and walked through with God. That’s absolutely GOOD GOOD NEWS y’all!

Any-who; As I was reading, one of things that stuck out to me the most is how Nehemiah would pray before each response to the enemies. I highlighted each prayer he said so that I can read them easily, especially at a quick glance.

Oh how I pray I can be more like Nehemiah, not only in his praying but in his faithfulness to God Almighty.

“Our God will fight for us!” 4:20b

What a great role model.

Below is my favorite prayer that I read in the book of Nehemiah. I pray that it blesses you as it did me.

Part1:Just read the highlighted prayer. It’s a fantastic read…
Part2:Finish it; Be blessed

Be sure to read the entire book as not to pick and choose the scriptures out of context.

Peace and blessings to ya, Louann

Thanksgiving 2020

Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

In light of the year it’s been, this Thanksgiving’s “thankful for’s” could be very different from years past. I know mine is but in everything we are to be thankful.

“Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16-18‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Scripture tells us that Jesus will have a second coming and that we should be prepared for that day, every day, because we do not know the day nor the hour of His return.

“But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son [in His humanity], but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man (the Messiah) will be just like the days of Noah.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭24:36-37‬ ‭AMP‬‬

So for 2020’s world changing year, I am thankful that Jesus has given me a second (multiple) chance (chances) to get my affairs in order. While I am saved, this trying year has taught me that I need to prepare more than ever for Jesus’ return. Some things I thought were important to me aren’t as important as I thought while other things I thought weren’t so important are very important. Thank you Jesus for never giving up on me!

So, what are you thankful for this year? Comment below…

Broken and Beautiful

Kelly Clarkson sings a song called “Broken and Beautiful” and it is so relatable for me because I feel so broken, most days, these days BUT GOD and loved ones y’all; right!?!

Broken and Beautiful (YouTube screen shot)

I live with lots of chronic pain in my entire body, due to a few medical issues, that causes me to live with so much pain around the clock. Some days it’s “hide-ably” tolerable and some days it hurts to just wake up! Lots of days, I just wanna sleep and not wake up until the pain hurts no more.

So many Dr’s!!!!! So many surgeries!!!!! So many “Let’s Try This!” So many “Lets Run This Test.” So many “Xrays and blood work!” So many unknowns but let’s keep seeking for answers until I am so sick of it all!!!!!😫

My most recent surgery, just 5 weeks ago, was for them to put in a nerve stimulator implant in my back. For those that don’t know what that is, it’s a machine that’s basically an internal Tens Unit that blocks the nerve signals that go to my brain telling my brain that I feel pain. While it has helped, it’s not as helpful as we’d hoped. I would say it’s helped by maybe 30% when it’s turned on.

As I type this, it’s 2:20 A M and I can’t sleep. And since I’m awake, I feel the aches and burns going on through out my entire body. In my shoulders, arms and hands I feel aches, throbs, burns, down to my finger bones hurting so bad at times that I just shake them off and hang them down to my sides for a few seconds of that momentary cold sensational relief. Some times I just wanna take em off and set em aside for a bit, swap em out with another pair, massage them momentarily, just something for some kind of relief! This is not what the stimulator is for, that’s for my feet, legs, lower back, and hip pain (which didn’t help my left hip much at all). To be fair though, I rarely mention my shoulders, hands, and arm pains at all because there’s so much other crap that hurts way worse.

I don’t know how to explain it, all I can say is I just HURT ALL OVER and I don’t know why. I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t want sympathy. I don’t want more freaking medicine. I don’t want another dang surgery. I rarely even want to be touched but I don’t want to be rude. I don’t want to seem mean to any one. I don’t want to hurt anyones feelings. I don’t want to hurt anymore PERIOD! So, to avoid things in this paragraph, I stay home a lot more.

So much of this unexplainable pain just makes me so danged irritable at times. I have gotten to where I just avoid being around people and certain situations all together. I rarely get out and about by myself anymore because I never know from moment to moment what I’m going to be able to tolerate because the pain changes from day to day through out each and every single day. Simply put; I just hurt and I don’t want it to become an excuse for any thing in my life but it’s very debilitating at times. Thankfully though the migraines have almost completely stopped since my neck surgery was done in December of last year. So that’s a positive praise! Thank you Jesus!

I just simply have “unexplainable chronic pain” that’s un-relatable to anyone and everyone around me therefore it’s hard for you to understand. Just know that some days are good days for me and some days are bad but more often than not I just “fake the smiles” to make it through the day with as little complaining as possible because I don’t want to be a burdensome person to anyone. However, I do love deeply and I want y’all to know that I truly appreciate ALL of the prayers and support from you all! I feel ya 🤟♥️

To those of you that do show me true genuine love and support (not just when ya want something) through all of the “maybe this’ll help” processes that I continue to go through to find relief, I love you from the depth of my being and I apologize for not being able to physically help any of you but I do pray that I’m there for you, as you are for me, to the best of my abilities because without God and y’all I don’t know how I’d cope with this life.

So thanks for just being your true selves y’all 😊 #ILYMTTYBLTT❤️

Purpose for Pain

Oddly Enough devotion by Carolanne Miljavac

When we take our eyes off Jesus and focus on self, most of this worldly pain is unbearable.

We must continue the path that God has us on because only He knows the lessons we are to learn and the many lives that’ll be touched by our obedience to Him.

Pain hurts, no matter the reasoning! The lack of understanding that we have toward said pain is why we begin to question God and what He’s allowing to take place in our lives. It’s not until we begin to fully trust Him that the pain becomes tolerable.

Keep your eyes off the world! Stay true to who you are in Christ! While things won’t always make sense, it’ll always be worth it because there’s always life lessons to learn that’ll strengthen our trust and faith in Jesus.

Heartbroken

I don’t know how I’m suppose to feel but I can tell you how I do feel.

A couple of days ago now the news was shared, on a Facebook group that I’m in, about a wreck that took place locally. There were only four comments posted before the comment thread had been turned off as to not allow any more comments, yet the headline simply read “Car Accident” with the picture below attached to it.

Injury Accident.
Pick up truck vs car.

Accidents, in many forms, come about so frequently these days that I never stop to ponder any more if it could be anyone that I may know. I just always have the mind set, with technology today, that surely I’d know by now if it was anyone that I’m close to or related to.

When I read headlines and/or comments about anything like this that takes place, I immediately feel sad for those involved, in any way, but I will usually pray something simple like “God please be with those affected by this and allow them to all be okay” and scroll on as I did with this one.

When my daughter was little she was very active in little league softball, summer league tournament softball, Jr High and High school softball, as well as dance, and even cheerleading. All the way up through her senior year she remained very active in softball and dance, in any way she possibly could, because they were her two favorite things to do. So there were so many of her coaches, teachers, class mates, and even parents that have touched my life and have remained a part of my heart even after all of these years.

Through out my daughters upbringing, she is now 23 and married herself, many of her classmates will forever remain in my heart as I’ve been able to share in their own upbringing and life experiences not only through real life but also through social media life. This allows me to still be able to smile for the joys in their lives and makes me feel that I still get to be a small part of their own life happenings. Through this, even when they don’t know it, I’m cheering them on like I used to do from the side lines and I still get to witness and share in their own life happiness. That’s one of the biggest perks of social media in my opinion.

But rarely do I get to witness or get to be a small part of their heartbreaks and life shattering moments. This is because most people, me included, don’t like to share the true vulnerable parts of their lives for the world to see. We don’t want to let people see inside of our pain and heartaches because they would for sure judge us. Plus that would taint our own outward image of ourselves that we want people to see right. Not that it’s a bad thing necessarily, it’s just how life works for so many of us in today’s world.

As I’m typing this, through so many tears flowing down my face, my own heart feels shattered into many pieces for one particular young lady and her family that touched my heart from my daughters upbringing. She has been a part of my heart from my daughters very first year of little league softball. “God please continue to wrap Your arms around them all as they need You now more than ever before!! In Jesus name I pray, Amen!”

Anyway, when I read that “Car Accident” headline never did I imagine that one of my daughters classmates lives, especially one that I have personally loved since they were in elementary school as well as loving her parents still to this day, would be changed forever!!

Not only are her and her fiancé new parents together but, after having read so many Facebook posts and comments, it seems as if they were the light of one another’s world. It appears as if they’ve been through so much with one another, good and bad, in such a short amount of time.

BUT GOD YALL!

It appears as if they’ve been able to overcome the world together with God as their anchor. God must’ve continued to bring them back to one another because, the way I understand what I was reading typed in their own words, it’s as if God intervened for their relationship to be. God must’ve brought them back to a sense of forgiveness and security with another because He completely healed their relationship for reasons unbeknownst to many of us looking into theirs lives through Facebook. It’s as if God continued to carry them through all the heartache and love the two of them have for one another and even gave them a beautiful baby girl to cherish together in that love. Both of them seem to give God all of the glory for their successful relationship and now parenthood as well.

And as I scrolled through Facebook, two days later now, for reasons that we are never meant to question or understand the three of them were involved in this car accident together as one happy little family only for the young man not to make it!?!

Like “WHAT”!?!

Instinctively I want to know why. I want to know what happened. I want the young lady to know how much I love her. I want her parents to know my heart is shattered with them. I want to know so much, as do so many others, but God doesn’t work the way we want Him to. He doesn’t allow us to know so many things because we wouldn’t be able to handle the answers given to us.

I don’t believe that God “allows” bad things to happen to us but I do believe that everything that happens to us, God uses for good.

So as I type this through the tears and continue to pray for all involved in any minuet way, the thing I want shared most of all, is that only God knows the answers to our why. Only God knows our future. Only God knows how long we get to live and love those that we do. Only God knows why bad things happen to good people every single day. Only God knows ALL things because we aren’t suppose to know! We couldn’t handle to know the answers to every why question that we have. What I do know is that, once the young lady heals and is released from the hospital, she and their daughter are gonna be okay…eventually.

Their baby girl was unharmed physically but she will forever now have to grow up without her biological father and the perks of having him be a active part in her life. So I pray that she grows up to know and cling to the only Father that she’ll ever need and that’s God The Father.

More of what I do know is that this family is a God fearing family that loves the Lord, even through their heartaches, with ever ounce of their being. I do know that their church family and community of loved ones will shower them with such agape love that they will overcome this tragedy and be stronger in their faith because of it. I do know that God will continue to help them heal as a family together. I do know that I am a better person having been able to know them and witness how they love God so deeply in their own walks of life. I do know that I am thankful that God put them in our lives so many years ago. And I do know that I will continue to pray for them, as well as everyone affected by this car accident, with every thought of them that I have.

My thoughts, prayers, and love go out to each of them as I continue to love and pray for them from a distance!

A Testimony of Mine

Yesterday was Father’s Day 2020 and I was alone, as I was on Mother’s Day, and our own son didn’t even acknowledge his Dad just as he hadn’t acknowledged me on Mother’s Day. This was not like him but given the times we are in it wasn’t a shocker either.

Being alone is good for every one at times, but being alone all of the time is not what we were created for. God created people to mingle. He even scattered us all about and gave us all different languages so that we may not understand one another. Look it up and read it! It’s scriptural (Genesis 11). God created one race, the human race, yet made us all different on purpose and ordered us all to love one another FROM A DISTANCE! From the beginning, God made us all different and told us to love one another in and through our differences. In our different genders, different skin tones, different languages, different areas of the world, different countries that we live, etc.; in all of our different everything’s we are called to love one another. It’s a commandment from our Lord and Savior, NOT AN OPTION. He did not give us the option to pick and choose who we love amongst our differences, He simply said to love one another PERIOD.

Now, back to my yesterday.

I had a very rough day yesterday both physically and emotionally. I went through different stages of emotion all day long. It began with regret that my husband wasn’t here with me; that led into blaming myself for the way our family has been separated; that led into pure anger toward myself and even toward God; that led into me questioning everything that I’m going through as an individual, wife, mother, and even as a new grandmother; that led into me wallowing in pure self-pity for most of the evening; that led into me being mad at God for allowing all of this to happen and not stopping the hurt when He’s the only one that can; that led into me losing ALL hope that anything and everything will work out let alone turn out for good; that eventually led into me going to bed to sleep the pain away WITHOUT even being thankful for what God is doing in and through my life. I went to sleep without praying because I felt so overwhelmed with emotions that I didn’t even know what to pray about. I even had a brief “break down” over text with my best girlfriend and I don’t like to let others in, especially to see me at my lowest.

Through out my texts of “upset” and her texts of “encouragements”, I found myself questioning God. I found myself doubting my abilities to overcome the heart ache. I found myself blaming myself, other people, and even God for things going off balance in my life. I found myself spiraling out of control to the point of hyperventilating with a grief-stricken cry session. Briefly, for how ever long the texting back and forth lasted, I was a total hot mess! It wasn’t until I pulled myself together and finally got into bed that I found myself losing focus on God and His abilities to help me. By turning my focus onto myself and believing more in my own “feelings” (selfishness) than what I had “hope” in God for, I was just at a total loss for anything and everything. I found myself so hopeless in what Christ was doing in and through all of this that I felt so lost and confused as to why I had even allowed myself to get this way. If I couldn’t trust God to take the hurt away and to “fix” everything, then I have no trust or belief in anything. I lost hope because I lost my focal point! I lost sight of Jesus! I turned my focus and attention toward myself rather than keeping my eyes on God. When we take our eyes off of God, we lose all hope and in that very moment last night, I was totally hopeless!

Every day I receive daily devotionals by email. I often see notifications from emails, texts, and even a few YouTube channels that I follow on my cell phone screen before I even unlock it. There’s also a couple of churches that I get notifications by text messages from when they upload to their YouTube channel. All of these notifications will show up on my screen without me even having to unlock my phone and most nights they add up. So, when I wake up of a morning, every morning, the first thing I do is simply pick up my cell phone and look at the lock screen to see which notifications are showing up on the front of my phone from the night and early morning hours while I was sleeping. I do this every morning, as I’m sure most of us do these days.

This morning one of the notifications by text that I received is from a church that I follow on YouTube. There’s a link to touch that sends me to the video. So, I watch it, it’s only 3 minutes long and won’t take up too much of my morning time, right?

Well, once it’s over the next video in my list of follows automatically starts. It peaks my interest because of what it shows on the thumb nail for it. For those of you that don’t know “thumb nail” computer terminology, it’s a small picture glimpse of what’s inside the video. This one shows James 2:14-26. For those that don’t know me personally, when I gave my life to Christ in 2009, God used the book of James to help transform me. While I don’t have it all memorized, any time I see scripture as a headline from that bible book, I want to check it out. So, I clicked the thumb nail and watched the entire 28-minute video, not even caring that it’s going to put me further behind.

In the beginning of the video I laughed out loud as I was taken back to a child hood memory of my brother and I embarrassing our Mom inside a grocery store as we begged for “name brand” cereal. So it started my day off with laughter, which God knew I needed after the day I’d had yesterday. As I kept watching, throughout the entire sermon, God began to teach me about what I had felt and gone through yesterday.

My horrible emotions and feelings from yesterdays basket of hormones began to take shape within me. I began visually seeing and thinking about how Mary must’ve felt as she watched, in helpless agony and heart break, her only Son hanging with nails in his hands and feet on the cross as He was being tortured and mocked. In that moment, God made me realize that while my own son doesn’t seem to want anything to do with me/us right now, I am so thankfully grateful to God above that he isn’t being put to physical death while I watch kneeling at his feet helpless and hopelessly in anguish. I am so thankfully grateful that we live in a time today where I can see, even if only from a distance, and know that he and his immediate family are safe and well. In that moment, I began to appreciate the things that I could not see yesterday. For Mary, while Jesus was moving about the earth living his own life, she was left behind not knowing for sure that her son was okay or not minute by minute. Mary, a mother second to being a child of God, felt more anguish and heartache than any mother should ever have to endure in life, yet she never lost hope on what came first in her life and that was God Almighty. By the end of this sermon, not only had I been laughing but I’d had a realization of what true mother hood was like (in a sense) for Mary. While seeing the physical pain her child was in, she never lost hope of what God was going to do with her son Jesus.  

Once that video was over, the next one automatically began and I found myself “sucked in” once again. The headline on the thumb nail for this one is “Why Do You Push People Away?” Yet again, God showed me a glimpse of my life in a very fast vision and how I do that so often. I push people away from me and, more often than not, without even realizing it. It’s not my intension but it’s happened with so many people in my life. So, I watched that video too. Again, without a single thought about it pushing my day behind. I watched the entire video and I didn’t have any thoughts, other than those that God had intended for me to have. He orchestrated my morning to go exactly as it had. I wasn’t distracted by time, Facebook, emails, texts, work, or anything. In this very moment, just as God had ordained, I was totally focused on Him and His teachings for me. As I watched this video the lesson that God showed me is in Romans 8:25-28; faith grows in the things we DO NOT KNOW. I don’t know why things are happening the way that they are in my life but God knows and His plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), we aren’t supposed to know. It’s in these moments that our faith in Him grows and we begin to lose sight of ourselves. In the words of Steven Furtick; “Hope is a focus, not a feeling.” We must, in ALL THINGS, focus on Christ alone so that we do not focus on our own feelings of pain, hurt, anguish, etc. When we focus on self rather than Jesus, we lose sight of His goodness for our lives, even through the hardest of times. I’ve always told our kids (still do) that, no matter what situation you are in, there is good in any and every situation your facing but often times we must dig for it to find it. It’s through the digging that we learn the most about ourselves.  

I eventually do get to the checking my email part of my morning only to find that today’s “daily verse” email is Proverbs 22:6. That verse from the amplified bible says it this way: “Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

God showed me, once again, this morning that I shouldn’t lose hope in Him and what He’s doing through all of the changes in my life. I should never focus on my own doubts and “feelings” because it will cause me to lose site of Him. While our children’s raising wasn’t perfect, they were taught and witnessed first hand the Word of God and how it changed our lives for the better. They were taught that we should live as Christ like as possible even through our imperfections. Whether they stray from it or not as adults, they will return to God as they get older and mature in life.

In summary, what I was reminded of this morning is that it’s not up to me and my husband to necessarily be active “in” the lives of our adult children because, ultimately, it’s their choosing as to whether they allow us to be a part of their lives or not. We no longer have control over or are held responsible for what they do, say, act, or how they treat us or any one else for that matter because our part is done; they are now raised. The only thing that is still up to us is how we show others that Christ lives and dwells in our own hearts and souls even through heartache and that, my friend, is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing anyone can ever see in any one of us, especially our own children.   

Dining Out

Finally A Date Night

Our first official “date night” for 2020 was at a Chilis and man was it delicious! I ate every single bite on my plate and that’s rare for me. We even topped off with a shareable slice of cheesecake!

First off let me just say it was so nice to be able to officially “eat out” in a restaurant again! This was the first time in over two months that we’ve been able to “dine in” in Texas.

It was very strange though!

The parking lot had an area designated for pick up only, which left about half for dine in parking. Getting take out to go has been the ONLY way to eat out at all for quite some time now.

We didn’t think much of how the parking lot was set so we just parked where we could and walked inside, not knowing what to expect once we got in there. Governor Abbott has okayed Texans to dine out once again as long as the proper steps are followed for safety and to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.

When we walked in, a young guy met us at the inside door and stopped us from going any further. He was wearing a mask and gloves with paper and pen in hand. He took our name and cell number and said we’d have to wait out in our vehicle because they aren’t allowing anyone to wait in the waiting area inside for now. Understandable I guess givin the ways of the world right now. He said they’d text us when a table for two opened up and we could come back inside then. So we gave him our info and went back to our truck. We waited right at ten minutes, not bad, then we got the text that it was our turn.

So off we go back inside for our wonderful date night supper.

The feeling in the air when we walked in was so strange! They didn’t have a lot of staff that we could see. They had every other table taped off with an x in red tape that covered the table tops. The music wasn’t as ear piercing loud as normal either. I guess because there wasn’t enough chatter happening to echo and bounce off the walls for them to drown out with the music like they’d normally have to.

Every person working was wearing a mask and gloves. You could tell even the staff was uncomfortable and uncertainty loomed over the entire place while signs of appreciation, just for the ability to be working, glistened from their smiles.

We were seated in a booth and our waitress quickly came over and handed us ONE paper menu and stated that they are only giving one menu for every two people and then they toss it into the trash. She was so very nice in explaining their “new normal” as she handed us our drinks and silver ware packets. But she did say she didn’t truly understand the need for it all.

Once we got our appetizer, the salsa dish was served in a “throw away” container. It was just weird! LoL!

Of course we ALL know why these things have changed but we don’t all UNDERSTAND the why. It makes little to no sense to so many of us, including me, why the government is being so controlling in that they are keeping everyone living and feeling so fearful to even touch a menu. It’s risky, yes, but not any riskier than it always has been when it’s virus season, in my opinion.

Anyway, our waitress handled herself very well even though she told us how uncomfortable she was having to wear the mask and use the gloves. The mask makes it hard for so many of us to breathe comfortably while wearing and the gloves do absolutely nothing in stopping the spread, when they aren’t changing them after touching each and every object, so what’s the point? It’s doing more harm than good. They could just as easily use the hand sanitizer more often than to use the gloves that they aren’t changing often enough. She told us that she knew it was for her own protection so she would gladly wear it if it meant she could work and make some much needed money.

Anywho, we had a nice quiet dinner inside a restaurant that we got to leave the mess behind at. Plus, we did NOT have to cook it!

God is Good. All the time!

Texas is slowly but safely beginning to open back up and we couldn’t be more proud!

Frustrating Day

My morning started off pretty good. My husband and I got up and prepared to head out for the hour and a half trip to see my Rheumatologist but we were quickly halted when my husband found that our water heater had been leaking. Thankfully he seen it before we had a complete mess on our hands. The drain pan was almost to the rim full of water. It would not have made it another week until he got back so, after a few calls, he got in touch with a plumber that could replace it TODAY! WooHoo, thank ya Lord! So we gather what info we need from the old one in order to buy a new one.

We finish getting ready to go and head out.

Next stop, Dr office.

That appointment was also a frustrating ordeal. First my husband wasn’t allowed to even go inside with me, due to this covid19 crap, then the lab tech chased a vein in my right arm for a good five minutes before deciding to try my left arm for a good vein. Of course she got it the first stick only for something goofy to happen and her wind up having to chase that vein too for some reason. BUT she was finally able to get her three tubes of blood from that arm so that’s good. The tech was very nice and apologetic during it all, which I greatly appreciated, so that was helpful in keeping my frustration at a minimal. I even told her it was fine, no need to apologize because it just happens that way some times and she appreciated my understanding.

Next stop is Lowe’s for our brand new water heater. So thankful that we had the means necessary in order to purchase a new one but this too took longer than expected. The gentleman that helped us was very nice and LOVED to chit chat. After finally getting what we needed the nice gentleman even helped my husband get it outside and into the back of our pick up.

So, off we go for our journey back home because the plumber we were able to get in touch with will have his “hands” to meet us there. Once the two gentlemen got the tank drained and outside, they began the install of the new one. BUT, you guessed it, they have some unexpected issues with the install and it is now going to take way longer than expected to complete the job.

Thankfully, once they are complete and outta here, all is well once again.

UNTIL it isn’t.

As I began to clean up the mess, not a big one, left behind from the job that has taken several hours to complete, I find that the new water heater is now leaking. I call the plumber and after a few “discussions” on a few different calls, we both agree that it’ll be fine to wait til morning for them to come back and see what’s happening now.

So my husband is back where he needs to be for work and I am off to bed to begin my morning in the morning, once more, with the water heater situation.

Moral of this story you may ask……..I just felt like sharing part of my very frustrating day with y’all and also to share that SATAN DID NOT WIN TODAY!!

I’m now off to lay my frustrations down at the feet of Jesus and have a great night of peaceful rest in spite of my frustrating day.

Hopefully y’all can do the same and have a good night!

God Is Good

Have you ever wondered if God was paying attention to you and what’s going on in your life? Have you ever felt left out or ignored by Him? Boy, I sure have and not that long ago either.

There are times when I am just so unsure of anything and everything that is happening in and to me in life that it’s a struggle to even get out of bed of a morning.

But God y’all. But God is always working, even when we don’t see it.

Looking back at the most recent events in my life, there is no possible way to deny that God has been working the entire time. Scripture tells us what Jesus said to the Jews in John 5:17 (AMP). “But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now [He has never ceased working], and I too am working.””

What a reassuring statement.

So many times we sit back and say we trust Jesus but our actions show otherwise. This is not pleasing to God or ourselves. We must always show that we trust in our Lord, even in times of struggle and ignorance.

My husband was laid off, with little to no warning, just a couple of months ago. We were panicked and unsure of what to do. We have to have income coming in to support our household expenses. I work but it’s only part time. That’s not nearly enough to carry us.

Thankfully God provided! And just in time too. Gods timing is always the perfect timing.

John 14:1 AMP, again with Jesus talking, says “Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me.”‬‬

My husband was able to get unemployment rather quickly, which is very rare. We had our first check within two weeks. And I was able to get more hours during the exact time frame that we needed, before being dropped back down to part time.

Totally God there y’all.

My husband began a new job April 1, making more money than he was and with the best benefits we’ve ever had before.

God had to remove my husband from his old job, use the six full weeks of unemployment to prepare him for the exact timing that God had set for him to begin a brand new job, in a totally new area, with all new people. And he’s loving it.

Sometimes change is good so keep an open mind when changes occur. Ask God what He wants you to do. God was working in our lives behind the scenes the entire time and He continues to do so every moment of every day.

God is so good y’all! All the time.

Laid Off

“Lozowski Strong”

Well it’s been a, some what, rather long five weeks y’all.

On February 17th 2020, my husband David was laid off from his job. His lay off had nothing to do with the Coronavirus. He went to work that Monday morning and worked two hours before being told he was being released. I’d like to say it was a shock to both of us but, unfortunately, we seen the writing on the wall long before that day got here. We would pray daily for God to allow David to be able to keep his job all the while knowing in our hearts that it wouldn’t be safe for very long.

David was employed by a rather small company and they had already let a few people go several weeks prior. Most of the employees are family in some way or another, not all of them, and those that aren’t are either contract labor or is close friends to someone who is. So it was a given that he would be let go at some point if things didn’t pick up soon for them.

Honestly, I feel a bit of relief and like God allowed it to go on as long as it did until He was finished preparing David for the changes that are coming.

My husband absolutely HATES major changes y’all and God knows this! David will stay in unhappiness and complete misery before he will let go of a job and move on or until God forces him to move on. So I honestly believe that God made sure that David had gotten a belly FULL of the stress and worry from having to do without what he’d need, every single day, just to do his day to day operations on that job. God made sure that he’d be as okay as a family man can be, with being let go and forced to move on. Although David left on good terms, he has truly learned who his real friends are out of all of them through this difficult time. I think he’s had a realization of a few people there that he thought were his friends in finding out that they really aren’t his friends at all. That’s a hard pill to swallow for any one, especially as long as David had worked with some of those guys.

Anywho, moving on…

David and I are Christians. We have complete faith and trust in God Almighty but it doesn’t prevent us from having stress and worry that comes with living life in this crazy world. We try to never doubt God and His abilities or powers for how He always takes care of us, especially in how He will provide for us daily, because He always has even in this exact position of David having been laid off before. The past few years have been a lot of difficult trials with Davids job. But that’s a story for a different blog some time.

I think I can speak for the both of us when I say that the longest and most difficult part of his five, now beginning of six, weeks off is the fear that comes from the enemy of the unknown.

We don’t know what’s to come. We don’t know for sure what’s gonna happen next, especially now that the entire nation is under quarantine. We don’t know how we will manage the day to day operations of life now. We don’t know how much longer we can stand one another on a 24/7 basis when we are both used to having a few hours each and every day to ourselves, even though I wouldn’t want to be cooped up with anyone else 24/7 except my wonderful husband David. He’s truly a God send.

While I could go on and on with what David and I “don’t know”, I’d rather turn my focus and attention to more positive thoughts. I’d rather think of what we “do know” and focus on the “BUT GOD” parts of it all. With each and every day that comes and goes there is a God and He remains in control of everything.

So I’ll turn your attention to what we DO KNOW. We do know that He has provided a wonderful new job for David and that this new job comes with some pretty awesome benefits and better pay. Both of which are better than what he’s ever had with any other job. We do know that it’s a blessed and welcomed change for the both of us. We do know that God is gonna work out the living arrangements that we are faced with due to this wonderful new job. We do know that our, almost, 24 years of marriage is strong enough to handle the distance and what ever else God chooses to bless us with through it all. We do know that God continues to provide us both with courage, wisdom, knowledge, and the finances to hold on to what He’s blessed us with already. We do know that God won’t EVER let us down. We do know that, no matter our circumstances, God will love us and care for us unconditionally. I’ll have more we do knows as each day passes and we get closer and closer to this amazing new beginning for us. And let me say this too; God gets all of the glory for what we have, and all that we continue to be blessed with, from our finances down to each and every item that we possess. David and I both thank Him every single moment of every single day for it all.

So, while we are human and struggle daily, we DO KNOW that we will be okay through all of this because we will always be “Lozowski strong” TOGETHER, no matter how many miles we may be apart, as long as we keep God as our leader and guide.

We would appreciate and covet any and all prayers for our obedience, strength, and guidance as we live this out and continue trusting and leaning on God moment by moment and day to day. Thanks and God bless to each and every one of you.