Saturday, September 10, 2016

I Saw Ben

Invited to join a friend at a golf outing, I stepped into my past world with David.
After all, his love for golf is what brought me into learning the game. His passion for this sport is what drove me to lessons and many years of a lot of fun watching a small ball travel in all kinds of directions.
But, it was not the sport or athletics involved that kept me interested in this game. It was the social side - spending a lot of time on a usually warm day enjoying God's green earth and beautifully manicured hills and valleys with others.
And, other golfers are always enjoyable. Even if you are having a bad day physically, somehow on the golf course, there were reasons to smile and laugh.
Now, yes, you could run into people who were miserable to be around, but even they never stole the joy golfing evoked.
Every time I get an opportunity to hold a golf club, I will find a reminder to be drawn back to David days.

As I walked into the pro shop today - searching for a visor - as locating mine at home had been fruitless - I quickly scanned the apparel and, at the same time, scanned behind the counter for an employee to help me - with a quick "do you have any women's visors?" leaving my mouth as my eyes met his. It was Ben.
Ben was one of the three pros at our golf course - Stonebridge will always be our golf course - as it was our backyard for the five final years of David's life on earth. Ben was one of the young men who knew and loved this sport - and always encouraged us with kind words and expert advice on our swings. Ben, Ryan and Kevin.
I can still see their faces in the line at the wake. I do not remember much about that evening, as I was in that blessed state of shock Our Lord allows when grieving. But, I do remember seeing the faces of these three young men - the golf pros from Stonebridge, as they came over to hug me. They evoked huge emotions - as I realized that evening that my life was forever changed at Stonebridge by seeing them.
Today, Ben and I shared another hug - the kind of hug of old friends - and he shared his new life with me - he is now married with a child and enjoying being a pro at a different golf course - and I was so grateful to see him - so grateful for this taste of Stonebridge after so many years.

It seems that Our God is big enough to be deliberate about every encounter we experience. Every day we run into people - mostly good people - but all are His people. Made in His image.
And, sometimes days later - or years later - we get a chance to see them again and develop relationships.
I believe each relationship has the possibility of being fruitful - each relationship has the possibility of evoking joy whether it is days or years in between meetings.
May God bless us to be people who bring joy and produce fruit in others lives -
"I have chosen you and appointed you to bear fruit - fruit that will last." John 15:16

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Nov. 4, 1986 and 30 years later

It will be 30 years ago soon - I chose to leave a marriage that was painful for me and my children.
Without knowing how we would make it, I trusted God and His faithfulness to support us.
And, my trust was not misplaced.

When my ex-husband would rarely send child support, we struggled to survive and ate a lot of spaghetti with tomato sauce because it was cheap. I would purchase 4 small slivers of pork the Jewel sold for $2 and give one to each of the children for dinner. If my friends ever met for dinner out, I would order a salad and pray we would not split the check. And, once, I did humbly ask for assistance from the food pantry at church. Years of no new clothes - and saying no to some family fun because the cost of gas was too much for me that month - years of struggling financially - yet learning to trust that God provided and life was good.

He has provided through two new husbands that continue to amaze me with their love - and now - not needing anything - 30 years later - I am receiving child support checks!!
Yes - child support checks.
The government has located funds from social security - and redirected them to an old debt - from child support records - yes - he is made to pay off his debt to the children.
Since remarrying in 1995 to David, I have always divided any funds the government located by four and given them to my children - after all, they were meant to support them, not me.
So, today, 30 years later, I hear from the government again - and look forward to blessing my children - and they can now bless their children - with funds they should have had growing up.
God is faithful - and amazing.

I am on my knees today in gratitude to Him. He loves us so much. He is faithful - may He amaze you too!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

May 26, 1979

Walking behind my son and the nurse today, as she guided us to a room to discuss recovery from his recent knee surgery, I overheard her verify his name and birthday. As he said "May 26, 1979", I smiled and drifted back.
That was a great day1
I was waiting for my third child to be born and labor was starting. His due date was a week away, but I was ready. Sharing my body had become uncomfortable.
Once at the hospital, they said the baby was ready and they were preparing me for the delivery room, I was surprised. This labor did not seem as intense or as long as the other two.
As the Doctor was delivering the baby, his eyes opened wider and wider. He was a larger baby than he anticipated.
"9 pounds, 12 ounces" he repeated when he visited me in the recovery room. "I am so sorry - I had no idea." he repeated again and again.
"Sorry?" I questioned - I did not understand. Would he have done things differently if I was overdue instead of ahead of schedule?
He was my largest baby, and I decided his size meant he would be my healthiest. He would be a strong boy.
I remember laying him on my lap once I was in my room - and it did seem like he might have been crunched inside of the smallness of my womb. But he was healthy and calm. A very good baby.
Yes - drifting back - and thanking God -
It was a very good day!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

It is your choice ...

I am new to The Orange Theory - and I love it. Exercising for an hour with a trainer explaining every possible move to the class - striving to be better and work harder for the sake of the health of my body - being done in time for breakfast with my hubby - well, it seems like a great fit!
This morning, however, moving was difficult. I must have worked out muscles that are not usually used - or have not been used in a long time! It felt so good while I was doing it yesterday - but feels different today!
Movements like standing up and sitting down - reaching for something - bending over - are all met with "ewwww" or "ugghhhh" as I am vocal. I am trying not to complain, however, as I know I am improving my muscles and I am working on being less vocal - really -
Have you noticed?

Words have power and I would choose to use that power to bless others - and myself.
"Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?" James 3:10
I understand this to mean that our mouths are able to do either - but we need to choose. We shouldn't do both.

So, working on only blessing with my mouth is difficult - and I need to keep it quiet a lot - because the words I am thinking are not a blessing - in fact - some are downright judgmental - critical - not who I want to be.

So, my challenge is to voice the blessings - and pray through the critical until it leaves my mind.

Enjoy your muscles - including your mouth muscles - use them to bless your body and others - and, somehow, there will be less complaining in your life - especially from your own lips - it is your choice :)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Morning

It is yet morning on an overcast Sunday in Cape Cod. Both of us are experiencing our first visit to this part of God's creative beauty.
We move slowly on the deck as our ears pick up the sound of sea gulls - speaking to each other as they soar in front of us - finally perching together on a tree of beautiful foliage as we slump into cushioned white wicker chairs.
Marty reading the newspaper and my fingers skimming the Bible, we breathe deeply in and smell God's creative juices in the form of fresh ocean breezes.
Our eyes slowly wander from reading material to gazing on the beauty of small vessels bobbing on the water as the wind toys with the waves. The prettiest vessel is white with red stripes - a reminder of God's gift of a concrete company at home.
Thoughts of Sunday being His day - a day of rest - overwhelms us with gratitude - as we sense His presence here in all we see, hear and touch.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Gracefully surrendering the things of youth - really?

It was a poem I enjoyed long before I found wisdom in Scripture. It was called Desiderata and one line in it I remember: "Gracefully surrendering the things of youth" because every time something reminds me that I am aging again - well, I want to be graceful.
Surrendering began when I was told years ago that my "tear in a knee meniscus" was caused by racquetball and the movement back and forth that this sport creates - can cause a tear when you are older - less blood flow to the tissue - so, after surgery and a recovery period, I gave up racquetball and chose golf.

Last fall, another "tear in a knee meniscus" caused by high heels - well, I opted to wait on the surgery and purchase low heel shoes - not even close at being cute - but I am trying to be graceful and my knee is better.

At the same time, a "tear in my rotator cuff" is followed by many appointments to a neurological massage therapist - and my pain is gone so I am able to avoid surgery - but now I watch how far I reach behind me when I am in a car, and how long I hold grandchildren - gracefully surrendering.

Okay - this week - vision - really? I had an eye doctor appointment last August and it was the first time I heard I had the beginning of cataracts - what? Cataracts are for old people - sorry - but that is what I thought.
And, I did not think of myself as old. Maybe people in their 80's??

It gets worse - there are cataracts that can take 20 years to develop and then there are cataracts like mine - it has been 10 months and my eyes are "four times stronger of a prescription" in nearsightedness - which means mine are moving quickly.
Now, the eye doctor said he would rather have cataracts that grow quickly - and you get them removed - then have them take 20 years to slowly darken - you will see less and less clear until they are bad enough to be removed.

So, I sit watching TV - can't read the "closed captions" like I like to unless I move my chair up - and trees are really green balls again - (back in drivers ed at 16 - when I could not see the street sign, the teacher made me stop driving until I saw an eye doctor - when I walked out of his office for the first time wearing glasses, I fell backward because I could see leaves on trees instead of just seeing a green ball) - and when the new prescription comes for my glasses, I will see clearer but for how long? He guesses it will be within two years that I may be a candidate for cataract surgery.

Gracefully surrendering - our bodies are temporary - and I am so grateful for mine - I hope you are too - and the design God had in mind when He created it.

And, from this day forward - I still want to think cataracts are for older people - but is 62 old?

Well, I think the older we get, the older "old people" get.
Lord - help me be graceful -
For Jesus' Glory,

Monday, June 15, 2015

Think About What You Are Thinking About

Recently reading the Battlefield of the Mind, I am encouraged to put a guard over my lips.
It has been several months that I have been "fasting" from speaking many of my thoughts.

David first brought it to my attention: "Does every thought you think have to come out of your mouth?" he asked once while golfing. I think I was extra talkative that day - or maybe that season of my life! But, my reply was "Well, yes, usually - not so with you?" He just smiled. I have no doubt he had many thoughts he rarely spoke.

I am especially now seeing the value of not allowing all of my thoughts to exit my mouth. Many of my thoughts are not building others up - many of them are critical - and I want to live by The Bible - and love this verse from Ephesians 4:29:
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Now, I need The Lord's help, so many of my thoughts now are of Him - and my constant need for His presence in my mind so it comes out of my mouth.

So, my thoughts today - What am I thinking about - and does it edify - or build others up - or am I partnering with thoughts that tear others down - HEY - just noticed that the word tear - to rip something - is spelled the same way as the word tear - or what exits our eyes when we cry. So, are my words helping others cry or building them up and helping them smile?

God bless your thoughts for today - God bless you to build others up with your words - that come from your mouth of praise to Our Lord for all those He has allowed into your world.

With love and thoughts of praise to Our Lord!