Sunday, November 22, 2015

I’ve Heard Worse; A call-out to teach compassion to our youth

  I’ve Heard Worse
"I've heard worse," He said to me.

My heart was pierced to the core. I could barely hold back tears as I said, "Lord, please work in my grandson's heart." I wept as he left the car for school, wondering why he could have no compassion for the situation I just talked about to him. Is it our home life, our example or the effects of a generation who seeks mindless pleasure online, with technology and the arrogance that brings? Or just the somewhat normal feelings of a boy his age, that he knows it all, even at twelve-years-old?

This subject came up as I was listening to an interview with Steven Curtis Chapman on the radio, a man whose family has experienced great tragedy and loss. I thought perhaps telling him the back story* of the man who possessed such joy as he expressed his love for music and the Lord, would be a teachable moment. Isn't that what we all look for with children, that moment where perhaps their hearts are touched and they remember it, long after we're gone?

“Grammy-winning Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman and his family suffered a profound loss on May 21, 2008 when his 5-year-old daughter Maria Sue was accidentally hit by his 17-year-old son, after she ran into the path of his SUV in their driveway. Maria later died at a Nashville hospital.”

How could I raise a child with such a lack of compassion, Lord? What can I do about it? He barely spoke as he got out of the car. Maybe he was mad at my reaction to his words.

"I've heard worse."

Yes, I have too, but that doesn't mean I have no compassion for a family going through pain like that. Pain for the grief of losing a child. Pain for the guilt that you know the older son felt as the one who for some reason didn't see his little sister as she ran towards him. Pain like that affects a family forever, just as each family has their own pain and grief. Each family, I believe it's true, really does have their tailor-made cross, a cross that they can bear only with the help of a Savior.

Yes, I've heard worse and grieve with my other grandsons on the loss of their godfather in a motorcycle accident recently. A father and grandfather that in our eyes is gone way too soon from this earth.

Yes, “I've heard worse,” when I think of a mother grieving the loss of her children, praying for reconciliation at some point in their life, yet not knowing if that will ever happen this side of heaven.

"I've heard worse," when I think of older widows who have found love again but can't marry because of loss of benefits that they need to be able to survive financially.

"I've heard worse," as I think about those who live with chronic pain, so chronic at times they feel like ending it all.

"I've heard worse," when I think of all the little children who grow up in homes where their needs are not met and they take on the role of an adult to their parents. That's the only way they will survive, it seems.

"I've heard worse," when I think of all the children who are abducted for the sex trade and all the immoral people who say they are just giving love when in reality they have stolen the very heart and soul of a child. May they have a special place in hell, I hate to say, is something I pray.

"I've heard worse," as I think of all the aborted children and all the excuses politically correct people use to justify stealing the life from a new baby.

But just because I've heard worse doesn't stop the tears from falling. Oh, I've heard worse and perhaps the worst thing might be the rearing of a generation who are compassionless to real life and real people.

I once wrote something for a contest; it was supposed to be a horror story and one paragraph. It was about people who were so mindless that they stared into a computer or television set endlessly. When you saw their faces, there were no mouths. This was the evolution of a generation who were passive and only interacted with unreality and technology. The ability to communicate had been taken from them.

Lord, have mercy upon us all and join me in praying for the next generation. I know that good will come. I know that even in my young grandson's heart a strong man of God will be raised up from what looks like a cold, know-it-all heart. I know my Redeemer lives and on the last day He will conquer the hurts, conquer the pains and help us overcome.

I'm thinking a call-out to those in youth group ministry may in order, a call for a teaching on compassion, love and just old fashioned respect.

But I'm pretty sure the phrase; "I've heard worse" will forever reduce me to tears.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Do you love dogs? You'll love Rescuing Finley by Dan Walsh

Rescuing Finley by Dan Walsh will make a dog lover out of me yet!

As always, we find compelling characters and story lines that keep you turning the pages with Dan's books but this one really pulled me in. My complete surprise came when one chapter used the point of view of the dog, Finley. I have a whole new empathy for being a dog after reading that chapter. I was utterly charmed with the idea of getting into a dog's head and found tips on dog training along the way, too.

 Dan's wife Cindi's fingerprints were all over this book, I'd imagine, since she is an Animal Behavior Manager at our local Humane Society. Cindi Walsh has trained hundreds of dogs, both privately and in group classes. Dan admits that Cindi has been his primary consultant throughout this book concerning issues relating to PTSD service dogs. I've met Cindi and have often called her the Dog Whisperer as she is so knowledgeable about their emotions.  

One thing I especially liked at the end of the book was Dan sharing how the vision for the book series came about. "The idea for this Rescuing Finley came from spending time listening to Cindi’s stories and volunteering some of my time at Halifax Humane Society, our local non-profit shelter serving the Daytona Beach area. They support a local prison program that trains dogs, many who are adopted by veterans struggling with PTSD." (Dan Walsh)

Dan always does endless research before writing his books and each book ends up being a learning experience about either a location or subject. I think those fans who read The Restoration Series will be very pleased with the story lines as well as those who've read his stand alone books, such as "The Reunion" and "The Discovery." I can already think of several people who I'll want to give this book to as I know a whole slew of dog lovers and this book is a dog lover's dream. Being  the wife of a veteran  I'm always happy when there are stories focused on these unsung heroes also.

As the story drew to a close there were some chapters that left me weeping and yet I knew that there would be a good conclusion. I really, really enjoyed reading this book and can't wait for the next one to come out.


Rescuing Finley (A Forever Home Novel Book )

Friday, October 30, 2015

Keeping Christmas Book Review: You'll always want to keep a Christmas book by Dan Walsh handy.

What a great combination of a Christmas story and a Florida story from author Dan Walsh. Dan's books always keep me turning the pages, want to get to the end yet hating for the book to end, also.
Dan always researches his locations thoroughly and now Mount Dora is on my list as a place I want to visit. Especially near Christmas time if it is as he described. Snow and hills in Florida is something I've never experienced, well a little snow years ago that melted instantly, but it wasn't at Christmas.

The empty nest pulls on our heartstrings and a mother with no children home at Christmas is one of the worst case scenarios possible for most moms. Life happens and sometimes it's not as we hoped for or dreamed about. What can Judith's husband who obviously isn't taking the empty nest as hard as she is, do to bring back the joy to his wife's life? Dan gets into the head of a woman very well and also shows us how a man's brain works, as Stan does his best to "fix" his wife's situation.

I could feel the depression moving in to Judith's soul and longed for her husband to wake up and see what she needed from him. We do find the classic Dan Walsh happy ending that we've come to expect from him; I wouldn't have it any other way, in fact. The added touches for life in the "meantime" were very believable in a small town such as Mount Dora. I loved the "Christmas snob" addition to the middle of the story and what it took to change that in a man.

I could picture this as a Hallmark holiday movie quite easily.

Baker Publishing Group Revell's division has a wonderful author in Dan Walsh. He never disappoints. Keep writing, Dan!

I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review

Friday, October 16, 2015

Show Me How To Live

Show me how to live is a phrase I'm borrowing from one of my daughters. When I first saw a post she signed that way I thought how perfect it was for my life, too.

SHOW. ME. HOW. TO. LIVE. Some days that is my plea to the Lord. Some days I know that I fail Him because I fail and disappoint myself so royally. Sometimes, me, the queen of self-control, loses control of my mouth and it really devastates me. I guess at times, it helps those I live with to know that I can't always maintain, stay strong or fix situations. I'm old. Tired. I need a break.

Unmet expectations that we read about in chapters of Dan Walsh's book "Perfect Peace in Imperfect Times" just reach out to me and I dwell on them instead of dwelling on the power of the living God, the perfect Savior, Jesus, my Lord. The Bible says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12 NLT)

"Disappointment With God" a title of a book written by Philip Yancey, rings in my ears over and over again as I admit I'm disappointed at times. Disappointed that my plans for my life didn't take the road I thought they should take and the phrase, "my way or the highway," isn't happening.

Of course when I decide to ponder the people of God such as Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego who said in the book of Daniel, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty,that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

I personally have to come back to, "but if not, I will still serve the Lord." Another thing we talked about at our small book study group is without a test, there is no testimony and I'll add to that one without a mess, there is no message. The new phrase I think is a hot mess and that's what I ended up being last night. Yes, y'all after a time of a good message and focusing on the words of scripture and Dan’s book, I ended up becoming a human being behaving badly. But you know it drove me to my knees, actually it drove both Bill and me to our knees this morning as he sensed how hopeless I felt about myself and my plans for my children and grandchildren.

For those prayers I'm thankful as they did help to show me how to live. We press on and live by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. May mine ever be that Jesus always and forever shows me how to live.

A verse I turned to this morning was Psalm 105:1-2 (The Message)
Thank God! Pray to him by name!
    Tell everyone you meet what he has done!
Sing him songs, belt out hymns,
    translate his wonders into music!
TGIF, people! I want to write a song for the Lord and so the verse above was cool to read but for now I'll focus on the words to this song:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back, I know you are near

I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear

OH no You never let go through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go in every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go, Lord, You never let go of me
(Verse 2)

And I can see the light that is comin' for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be *AN* end to the struggles
But until that day comes, we'll live to know You here on *THE* Earth

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear

*You keep on loving and you never let go*

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
and there will be and end to the struggles
but until that day comes

Buy Dan's book here:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book review for Hot Mama by KATHY LIPP and ERIN MACPHERSON

I've decided at age 64 I was probably a little too old to be reviewing a book called "Hot Mama."
But KATHY LIPP and ERIN MACPHERSON did a great job on a book that may be needed today as in our culture the truth about sex has been distorted. The full title is Hot MAMA 12 SECRETS TO A SIZZLING HOT MARRIAGE; do I have anyone's attention yet?
There is a Hot Mama pledge, Hot Mama Ideas and Hot Mama bucket ideas interspersed throughout the book. Good points about preconceived ideas are in one paragraph written by Erin which says, "...I've (obviously) worked past that (thank you, good Christian counselors), but my preconceived notions about sex were really damaging to our early relationship. And I'd venture to guess that the preconceived notions of many women---weather they were learned from parents, movies, magazines, books or friend---have been damaging to the their marriages.
    You can't change the way you were taught about sex, and you certainly can't change the stigmas that come with the "thou shalts" or the "you shoulds" that you've heard about sex, but you can start to look at sex differently and in the way God see it."
I was already a fan of Kathi Lipp, ( as I've heard her on some radio programs before and I subscribe to several of her newsletters. She and Erin Macpherson ( make a great writing team.
Some added bonuses were "Ask Our Sexperts" and "Girlfriend to Girlfriend Q & A." I loved that the book ended with tips from real-life "hot mamas" the kind that the authors say they trust as opposed to those online or in magazines and other resources to continue on your "Hot Mama" journey. Who knows, even at age 64 there may still be hope for some sizzle in our house and that doesn't mean I'm frying bacon again.
I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

This and That

I've mentioned before I want to honor some women in my life on this blog here and there; I'm thinking about my oldest daughter today.
Live ready, I always say to my kids and grandkids. None of us know what a day may bring. We plan our days or our weeks and then sometimes see those plans crumble before our eyes, as a shortbread cookie often does.
Yesterday part of the plan for my day was attending a banquet honoring those who do prison ministry which my oldest daughter, Regina is involved with. I'm so proud that she is paying forward the help she received throughout the years before her recovery walk.
But early morning her sweet mother-in-law, Helen had an appointment to meet Jesus in person, so we canceled the banquet plans. I would've loved to have seen Regina be honored with a certificate for her work, but this was not the right timing as the Lord was ready to spare Helen from the pain of living on this earth. She rests in His Father arms.
But I still would like to say a big, "You go, girl," to Regina. I know that there are a lot of people that she has helped along the way and that will only increase in time.
Sometimes, when we have a "past" ( I do, don't you?) people don't want to acknowledge that good can come out it, yet isn't that what the Bible teaches? Sometimes many do not even want to acknowledge the person who has "paid their dues," in this case seven years of the hard work of recovery.
The Message calls this passage, The Rescue and I'm sure we all can relate:

"All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too." 2 Corinthians 1:3-5The Message (MSG)

Years ago a Bible verse and prayer the Lord gave me for her was:

Psalms 126

When the Lord brought back Regina,
Captive from the world
I was like
A Mother who dreamed.

My mouth was filled with laughter,
My tongue with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The Lord has done great things for
This mother who dreams."

The Lord has done great things for us,
And we are filled with joy.

Restore our family, O Lord,
Like streams overflowing.
Those who sow in tears
Will reap with songs of joy.
She who goes out weeping,
Carrying seed to sow,
Will return with songs of joy,
Carrying sheaves with her,
To share with the world

Psalms 126 (paraphrased)
(from the Holy Spirit to Donna) 11/15/02

I pray the Lord be your helper and protect you from harm. 
I pray the Lord save up from your affliction and have mercy on your lowliness
I pray the Lord raise you up from where you had fallen
I pray the Lord come to your neediness
Heal what needs to be healed
Restore where you have wandered from Him
Feed your spirit
Ransom what has been lost
Help you to rise up from the sickbed of the past and walk
Straight, firmly and with His strength
So that you may teach the weak and faint-hearted about the
True comfort of His love for you. (As you take words of hope to the jail, this has come true in your life.)
(My version of a prayer written by Clement of Rome 1st Century)

Once when we played the "Ungame" the question was "What princess do you relate to?" I was so sad when my daughter said she didn’t have a fairy tale princess that she could relate to. In my heart she will always be my princess.
As a young girl I always read Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales and so I guess I would say she reminds me of the princess from Hans Christian Anderson’s story, "The Princess and the Pea."
Here's a recap: The story tells of a prince who wants to marry a princess, but is having difficulty finding a suitable wife. Something is always wrong with those he meets, and he cannot be certain they are real princesses. One stormy night (always a harbinger of either a life-threatening situation or the opportunity for a romantic alliance in Andersen's stories),[1] a young woman drenched with rain seeks shelter in the prince's castle. She claims to be a princess, so the prince's mother decides to test their unexpected guest by placing a pea in the bed she is offered for the night, covered by 20 mattresses and 20 featherbeds. In the morning the guest tells her hosts that she endured a sleepless night, kept awake by something hard in the bed; which she is certain has bruised her. The prince rejoices. Only a real princess would have the sensitivity to feel a pea through such a quantity of bedding. The two are married, and the pea is placed in the Royal Museum. From Wikipedia
So, although we don't always look like a princess to the world, our Father (and mother) always sees the little girl within. You are loved, honey. Maybe next year we will make that banquet.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Another Profile of a War Room Warrior

Praying for families, today. It's all in the blog:
We, at the Port Orange Winning Women Bible study called her Aunt Lora and the movie "The War Room" sent me to the memory banks of my soul.

She warred in the spirit way before a movie such as the War Room was ever thought of.  She was a once illiterate woman but the Lord Himself taught her the words of scripture and although she had no formal education she could quote verses to set your heart on fire. She could teach, she could preach and it was all by the Holy Spirit.

I had the privilege of washing her feet when she was about 95 years old. Her walk in this world had been long and hard. She had lived in the days of having no civil rights and many injustices. When the Lord sent me, He gave me specific scriptures to read. We had a wonderful time of fellowship, prayer and praise. She said to me when I came in, “Do whatever the Lord told you to do, I know He sent you, girl.” This experience bonded us together in a way that I would not have imagined. Now that she has passed on I will always treasure the privilege I was given to minister to her.  

 Oh, how I would love to be with her one more time as the main character in the movie so reminded me of her. Yes, go see The War Room, but remember He is as near as a silent prayer for help. Anywhere, any time.
Don't miss this song by Steven Curtis Chapman and scenes from the movie:

Sometimes we forget that our Lord is still in the miracle business. Sometime I forget that God still can come in at the last second and redeem a situation, He wars for us. Broken and weak that we may be,  He hears our cry for help and relief, before and behind us, He goes before the Father when we fall on our knees like a warrior.

 I loved "The War Room" movie but my only concern is that now people think a prayer closet is like a magic potion; if we have one, if we post pages of prayers, that is the key to getting our answer, please remember the key is Jesus and what He did on the cross for us. When we accept Him we have access to the very throne of God. He Himself intercedes for us what an awesome thought. Praise His holy name, Jesus is the key to the War Room and He has the key to my heart today and every day as we pray and wait. Speak His name there is power in His name and plead the blood of Jesus over every dark work of the enemy in your life. 
Trust me, I know older women in the Lord who warred in their prayer closets long before this movie and besides Aunt Lora, Anita Smith just took the word of God serious when she read this verse, " But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." (Matthew 6:6 KJV) She enters her closet every morning and her prayers have helped many a mom press on. I honor her walk with the Lord today.  
Warring for families, today in prayer at Somebody's Mother Online Prayer Support Group:
My blog, you're welcome to sign up:

 You don't want to miss this post from Lana Vawser:

Monday, September 7, 2015

Are You Waiting on Amends or Making Them? Dysfunctional R Us

Dysfunctional R Us/Don't want to be but it is what it is:) Maybe you are too.

Making amends  can be so many things and in so many ways. I'd always pictured it very complex which led to me putting them off. I went to seminars at a conference, took people aside, asked questions but still felt at a loss about how to proceed. Then one day recently, quite to my surprise, my oldest daughter said, "Come in with me," and in her bedroom sitting on a bed together, she said, “I'm making my amends. I'm sorry for all the things I've done to hurt you, I don't even know what all they are but I know I've hurt you. My sponsor said I don't have to be specific or make it complicated. I'm sorry. And I want you to have my seven year chip from NA.”

I looked into her beautiful eyes and saw sincerity. I saw happiness, acceptance, gratefulness and joy with her new life. I saw love. I hope she saw all those things reflected back from me.  I felt a bit overwhelmed and nearly felt  like this was unreal as it was something I had waited for, but it seemed to be some vague dream or hope. When she gave me the Narcotics Anonymous chip my tears streamed out of my eyes. She had done the hard work of staying sober for over seven years and that was priceless to me. That's something that a lot of people don't attain to.

When I first came into a recovery program I had no idea about the true work and time it takes to work the steps. I was pretty sure within the time it took for my daughter and her husband to finish at the treatment center this would happen.

I remember a day when I was visiting them that I got so frustrated that I, a person who rarely ever raises her voice, started hollering "Step eight, step eight, step  eight!" I was so clueless I even had the step wrong! Step 8 is making a list and being willing to make amends and step nine is making amends.

Then I started working the steps myself. I really wanted to just go fast and get to making amends and have it over with. But I went through some equally hard years as the reality of our life set in and life wasn’t always easy.

I’ve found out something about myself; I want to take the easy way out of so many things. As a sexual abuse overcomer sometimes I feel that life has been too hard already. Let me have some peace until it’s over and I can go be with my Lord. Just let me have a no-conflict zone, let me have serenity on earth and in my home. Let my boundaries be such that I don’t have to deal with those who might hurt me with their words. Let me love, let me laugh again, let me have happy family times and one day, please Lord, let me have that cherished family photo where we are all together and happy.

 I’m learning to take things one day at a time. Give us this day, our daily bread, our daily provision of grace. Give us peace, give us sanity, give us a caring heart, and help me not to live my life bleeding from the pain of life. Help me to not hurry the process as it is what it is until it isn't. Help me to have a grateful heart, thinking of all my blessings instead of all my fears.

Recovery from family dysfunction is a process; I'm learning that there is no one set way that these things have to be worked. I'm hoping that things can be flexible enough to take into account real life scenarios that need to happen sometimes before we thought they should happen. Does that make any sense?

Pray. Listen. Ask the Holy Spirit. Do the hard work of recovery. Be flexible and kind. Don't let anger stay with you. Forgive quickly and easily. Try not to dwell in or on the past. Pray some more and then when you feel the spirit's touch make your amends. It will make you happy and someone else happy too.

PS My daughter made amends after reading this text I think from NA book. I think it is very good:

 Basic Text, p. 41 ––––=–––– As long as we still owe amends, our spirits are cluttered with things we don’t need. We’re carrying the extra load of an apology owed, a resentment held, or unexpressed remorse. It’s like having a messy house. We could leave so we don’t have to see the mess, or maybe just step over the piles of debris and pretend they aren’t there. But ignoring the disorder won’t make it disappear. In the end, the dirty dishes, the crumb-filled carpet, and the overflowing wastebaskets are still there, waiting to be cleaned up. A cluttered spirit is just as hard to live with as a messy home. We always seem to be tripping over yesterday’s leavings. Every time we turn around and try to go somewhere, there is something blocking our path. The more we neglect our responsibility to make amends, the more cluttered our spirits become. And we can’t even hire someone to clean up. We have to do the work ourselves. We gain a deep sense of satisfaction from making our own amends. Just as we would feel after we’ve cleaned our homes and have time to enjoy a bit of sunshine through sparkling windows, so will our spirits rejoice at our freedom to truly enjoy our recovery. And once the big mess is cleaned up, all we have to do is pick up after ourselves as we go along. ––––=––––

Just for today: I will clear away what’s cluttering my spirit by making the amends I owe

Monday, August 31, 2015

Women with Wildfire Faith Tribute; Happy Birthday Billie Taylor

I've been meaning to feature on this blog women I have known or perhaps women you have known that are inspirational. These may not be famous women but one thing they will all have in common is wildfire faith as described in the book "Unquenchable" by Carol Kent. I'm calling it my Women with Wildfire Faith Tribute and the first one I am featuring is Billie Taylor, my original first Bible Study mentor; it is her 90th birthday!   
 "What is wildfire faith? A wildfire, by definition, differs from other fires by virtue of its uncontrollable nature, massive size, the speed at which it spreads, its tendency to rapidly change direction, and its ability to leap over roads, rivers and firebreaks. The intense heat and convection winds it produces can actually change weather conditions or even produce its own weather system, including violent tornadoes that send embers flying well ahead of the main fire front. These factors make wildfires notoriously difficult to extinguish.
    Imagine having a faith with those same qualities---a faith so powerful, so massive, that it spreads uncontrollably and leaps over boundaries that try to contain or extinguish it. Such faith has the power not only to rise about the circumstances but also to change the "weather conditions" of our lives. Wildfire faith replicates itself, throwing sparks and embers far beyond its own boundaries, creating additional fires of faith that then spread in new directions.
    Wildfire faith springs from God's Word and burns itself into your own story. It reveals the true power of the fire God has placed in you, fans the flames of your faith, stirs your passion, and emboldens you to spark new fires that will spread and forever change the landscape of this world.
    Such a faith does far more than simply hold on when life tries to extinguish it. It leaps in new directions, finds new fuel to keep burning, turns up the heat of a cold and deadened heart---and is unstoppable!"
(Carol Kent from Unquenchable)
Billie, this is the kind of faith that you have always portrayed to me and to so many others. This is your legacy that you, a small Southern woman rose up from the pain of life and gave life to others in the midst of that pain. That you pressed on, pushed on and said "Lord, keep me when I don't want to be kept." You said that to me and countless others and now look around you, He did it! He kept you, held you, blessed you and loved you! And we love you, too. One day I'll post how God brought us together when He sent Billie to a Christian Women's Club to minister to me, a young woman dying inside with pain, about forty years ago. That's a story in itself! Thank You Jesus for putting us together
Happy 90th birthday Billie Taylor!
I hope to feature a Women with Wildfire Faith tribute at least once a month. I have a few in my heart already picked out and I am open to suggestions from y'all.

Friday, August 21, 2015

When the Lord gives you a good day!

I love when sometimes it seems that I get it right. Most of the time I don't feel that way and it gets to me, very often. Every day I pray that the Holy Spirit will be more present within me than the day before and yet at the end of the day, I wonder, did He really do that? Was I truly guided by Him in my every day life? Some days it seems like there is constant rush and no leading.
The other morning though, in my quiet time, I was asking the Lord something to do for Isaiah's last week before he goes to middle school, that would make a happy day for him. He has just went to Aquatica with his sister Ashley and that was the main thing he had wanted to do over the summer. He'd already been blessed with a Tennessee vacation and a cool vacation with his parents to several Florida springs as well to Devil's Den, which I hear is pretty beautiful and awesome. I had thought about some Orlando activities, such as Medieval Times or Arabian Nights or the Titanic but he'd been there before.
Then the thought: Ron Jon's Surf Shop came to me. Now that seemed a bit crazy as it is just a store in Cocoa Beach but it is deemed the largest surf shop in the world, I believe. The main activity he did this summer was get a surfboard and learn to surf, first by Uncle Keith and then at surf camp this month. It seemed like the Lord said, "He started the summer surfing and now end it in the same way." I still wrestled a bit with was it the Lord I was hearing and didn't tell him ahead of time as I wanted it to be a surprise.
Another thing he like is to sleep in so Thursday he got to sleep in and then I told him we were doing a day trip out of town.
"Pick where you want to go to lunch, Isaiah and then we'll head to Cocoa beach to Ron Jon's. Oh, and put your surfboard in the van in case we try the waves out there." You'd thought I'd told him we were going to another state, he was so excited. We had a great lunch at Pollo Tropical and I tried a bowl that rivals KFC's. Mashed potatoes, pulled pork, corn, onions and peppers, gravy and guacamole on top. Wow! Isaiah had his favorite half chicken platter with black beans and rice.
Then on the way to Cocoa and that is when I thought I really didn't hear right as we drove through some heavy rains. Lo and behold, as we headed east on 528 the clouds disappeared and we drove into a sunny day. I told Isaiah the Lord gave him a God-pocket of sunshine. Ron Jon's was all that we thought it might be and another God-moment was when I let him try on a wetsuit. They were all over $70 and I didn't really plan on getting him one until his birthday, but when he tried on a size 12 the lady came over and told us she had one in the rental store across the street for $25. If it fit him and we wanted it, she'd talk to the manager and see if he'd go lower on the price. Praise the good Lord we walked out of there with a wetsuit for $20.
By then Isaiah was dying to surf, so we headed over to the beach and he gave it a try. I have to say I like our beaches better; they have very few beach parks, it seemed and the parking is pretty expensive. But the lady (our angel) from Ron Jon's said for us to use their free parking. It's a real perk to live in the Daytona area and be able to drive on the beach as opposed to us walking over with that surfboard.

I saw a big porpoise that I thought was a shark jumping a lot out in the deep and then a small shark in very shallow water. Isaiah was convinced it was a huge shark that was targeting him, but it was near the end of our time there and the shark was heading out to sea. He has a "big" shark story that he is sticking with although I'll still tell my point of view of it. We got out as soon as I saw it and thank the Lord it was at the end of the day so all in all, our day trip was good.