Archive for the ‘Royal Proclaimations’ Category

Fill the Gap

Monday, November 12th, 2018

I had to give my testimony yesterday at church. It was in private with 2 very thoughtful and gentle men, who serve to recommend new members to the committee. It’s important to know who you are joining ranks with, honestly. For them and for me (us). God’s work is and should be the highest calling on our life. I want to be in a church who serves and obeys HIM and I’m glad to know they want a heart like mine to do what my gifts allow in their church too!

Win win.

I cried during my testimony because I am an emotional human. Before and after, throughout my whole life. A bundle of emotions. My story isn’t sweet or easy. It’s complicated and sometimes really ugly. While I didn’t go into every detail just how ugly, both men were very kind to listen and love just the same.

The truth is, I am a miracle. My life is one to point straight to Christ for saving me out of the miry pit and putting me on a path of righteousness. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. It was never important to love God. So, when I found out just how much God loved me….. I RAN DOWN THAT ALTER!

Fast forward and you see my life has always been strategically patterned by God. Even the toughest times, He offered grace and mercy to push me forward in love. During my testimony, both my hubby and I had to admit…WE DO NOT KNOW WHY God has sent us to Montana. But we know He has a plan and He wants to use us here. Our ministry is alive and well. This church needs us as much as we need them.

While I wonder why I’m so far from family and loved ones….

God has provided some GIANTS to stand in the gap. People that love us in spite of us (which is the case for everyone back home too!). I told my hubby on Saturday that I cannot understand a love like we’ve been shown FROM STRANGERS (who are all now friends, of course!) that care for us, even knowing we have nothing to offer them back!

They are a gift from God. These good people who God sent to stand in the gap for me. I love them and I love Him for loving me that much to use them in my life!

I LOVE MY NEW LIFE IN MONTANA! I will get back to normal, some day.

Lord,
You are all-knowing and all-powerful. There’s NOTHING you cannot do or won’t do to show your love. Thank you for the ones you’ve sent to stand in the gap for Don and me. We are so loved, through your children in Montana.
Amen

Garbage Can Ministry

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Oh this morning, my pastor went there. He preached a good word on the body of Christ. What we look like, how we function and who has what to use to further the Kingdom. Some are hands while others are feet and so on kind of thing. Just what I needed because I’m pretty good at sitting on my gifts and hogging them up for no one. As he rattled off his sermon points, I scribbled hard on my note page every word….just so my heart would GET WITH THE PROGRAM!

See, I know what my spiritual gifts are…. I’ve known a long time and I’ve even used them for the most part. Every now and then, I get lazy and mindless and just set them aside for other things like, freedom. Yea, I tend to get all –> I’m busy, I don’t know where to start, I’ve got a wrecked life and more. Sad, huh?

Then, I got home and saw the big garbage can still sitting in the road from Friday’s garbage pick-up day. Inside, I admit….I got a little “indignant” and told hubby to stop the car. I jumped out and hauled it in to the middle of our little living compound WHERE I ALWAYS DO, every single week since I’ve moved here in July! My hubby likes to say, we are the parents of all the neighbors in our group. We pull the trash down to the road for the pick-up guy and we haul the can back in for everyone to use.

I started thinking of how jerky my heart was over such a trivial thing. It’s pretty jerky if you didn’t notice, I mean…who gets all in a tiffy over doing such a task? Well, me. It’s more than just hauling it in and out, I suppose. It’s that everyone fills it up before we even get to Tuesday and it doesn’t get dumped until Friday. Then, every single person drives right by it as it sits waiting to go out and get brought back in.

So, the parents do both jobs.

Just to keep me humble, one of the wheels came off. HA!

Today, I hereby remind my grumbling self….that I have a ministry right here in my own yard. I can be thankful for so many opportunities to show Christ and His love for others and I can start by handling the garbage can minus the animosity!

Lord,
Thank you for reminding me every time I get too haughty for my own good. I have legs that can walk and I am happy to use them to haul garbage. Let me not waste a single spiritual gift, ever. Give me an attitude to serve others.
Amen

Take This Heart

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018


(Dedicated to Kelsey & Gavin)
Push Play & Read on

I’ve spent my life getting ready for this part of the journey. The one where I watch my kids fall in love and step into their own futures with the ones they have chosen to love as long as they live.

I didn’t know how much joy could well up inside me and spill all over every thought and word I would speak. My heart feels all wonky and squishy. I knew last week that my sweetboy was going to propose Sunday night to his perfect choice of a girl, Kelsey. I waited as patiently as I could with all the chill I could muster up, but I was a total wreck all the days leading up to that night. IT. WAS. PAINFUL. (the waiting!)

My hubby sent me a text after Gavin sent us all a picture of THE RING that said, “this may be hard on you, it’s like she’s taking your place in his life”. I defended my new role in both their lives because THIS is what I’ve been doing for the last 28 years….getting him ready to leave me — for her. I am so proud of him and beyond happy with the girl he has picked to love forever. She’s not replacing me, she’s taking the spot I’ve been preparing him to honor and cherish his whole life. She’s a gift and I am the lucky mom who gets to call her MY daughter-in-law.

I’ve been praying for her too. All of her life, not knowing where she was or when we would meet her but trusting God that he was preparing her for our son. I prayed for her parents, that they were loving her and teaching her to be the woman she would eventually grow up to be. The one that would step into some of the most important shoes of her life, the wife of Gavin Galloway. I have no doubt that God was a part of this relationship. There’s no chance any of us could’ve picked a better wife for Gavin.

She is the one.

She is the one he will choose from here on out to love & cherish.
She is the one who will fulfill all his dreams.
She is the one that will mother our grandchildren.
She is the one who will never give up on him when he gives up on himself.
She is the one God will use to influence him for good and keep him straight.
She is the one that will offer forgiveness when he falls short.
She is the one who will blow his mind in all the most amazing ways only a wife can do.
She is the one he will turn to when days are hard.
She is the one he will trust with every secret & fear & celebration.
She is the one that God has created just for him.

She is the one we’ve been praying for and our hearts (mine especially) are bursting!!

Welcome to our family, precious Kelsey. I can’t wait to watch you grow together and journey through this life as one. You’re going to be a wife to admire! Thank you for picking Gavin. He is and always will be our Sweetboy and we believe you will see why!

I hate to bring up this whole Montana thing again…. but what in the world is God doing with me here so far away from all the WEDDING action? I’VE WAITED MY WHOLE LIFE for these days!

Lord,
Thank you for the blessings of engagements and weddings. I am putty in your hands, show me what to do to be a part of all that’s happening in our kids’ lives. Even from Montana.
Amen

Exceedingly Abundant & More

Monday, October 8th, 2018

I told a new friend yesterday that I DON’T KNOW WHY I’M HERE (in Montana) but I believe God has me here for a reason. I’ve had to tell our story over & over and every time I marvel at all that God has done in my life (and my hubby’s). What a strange and stressful journey! I still cry every single time I have to share it and I’m not sure if that’ll ever change. The rawness feels as fresh as if it were a gaping open wound that just won’t heal.

I met a missionary this weekend home from Jordan, he serves there as a director of an international school. I listened to him on Saturday as he told of all that’s happening in Jordan and the women God is using to inspire him in his faith walk. His school is made up of women employees that are giants in the faith and who aren’t afraid to love on Muslim kids, Baptist kids….poor kids, rich kids and more. Every story he told gave me a glimpse into a life that’s challenging beyond what I know here in Montana. I don’t have to prove to anyone that I am a worthy person or able to do things that men can do (in spite of what our fellow citizens are screaming) in this land I love. I can drive a car, wear cute clothes, speak to whomever will listen and pretty much rule the dang world if I SO CHOOSE!

Other countries, not so much.

The last few weeks have been sort of a personal torture for me. I realize that I’m part of my own problem…nonetheless, I have been one emotional breakdown from a hospital. I feel plagued with hopelessness and that’s NOT GOOD in these days we live. I cry over everything. I cannot force myself out of the funk! I know what you’re thinking –> WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Don’t worry, I’ve asked myself that same thing over & over.

My life is good. I’m safe, fed and I know I’m promised so much. Still, I’ve succumbed to a depression that just won’t shake off. It feels like hopelessness. I have watched so many people that I love struggle to overcome the darkness of depression and I thank God that he’s giving me enough to sense to recognize what’s happening. I want to be okay, probably like many others who suffer this way and I am going to do whatever it takes to beat it.

This is heavy, like a noose around my neck.

I miss my family. I feel lonely. I worry we will never have a house again. I grieve my lost dog. I hate all sorts of things about my situation. I don’t like my fat bod. I can’t sleep. My body aches all over. I look a hundred years old. My birthday is this week and I just want to skip it.

I could go on…

The missionary spoke again in church yesterday and he put up Ephesians 3:20-21 as his focal point in his message. I have read that verse hundreds of times, I’ve claimed it & loved it but not until yesterday did it have a whole nother meaning to me. I sat re-reading it as he spoke, over & over in my head until my heart made a firm decision to really believe it.

Everything I’ve been clinging to and telling myself is bunk! Garbage! I don’t have to torture myself with doom (like I tend to do), I can rest and trust God that HE WILL DO MORE, EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY MORE with me….my life and my future.

I don’t know why I’m in Montana! God does. That’s all I need to focus on for now. The stuff I convince myself will never be or happen is foolish fodder for satan to squander over me. I don’t have to live in fear or sadness. My life is blessed and He is using every bit of my journey to push me on ahead.

I have the most persistent friends, both here & there (everywhere). Every time I think I’m going under….God uses someone who loves me to come alongside me and pull me out of the hole. I can’t take any credit for that, it’s all God. Proof HE sees me, loves me and is taking care of me.

I’ll end with this —— if you are wondering whether it’s important to have someone over for a meal or to invite them out to dinner, IT IS! Do it. Don’t hold your hospitality in for yourself or your family members. I’ve been in more homes since I’ve moved to Montana than I ever have the whole 20 years I lived in Indiana. I’m not exaggerating! I know it’s God, He gets me and understands my need for social interaction. My hubby, well….he is fine never seeing another human. So, for him to give up his free time to eat at friends houses and to go out for pizza when he really wants to work on that DANG SHED/noose around his neck, is a gift to me!

I’m crawling out of the hole, slowly and with purpose. Keep praying for me because as you can see, satan is always lurking.

Oh and please, if you will….ask Him to do exceedingly, abundantly MORE than any of us could ever ask for.

The Great Betrayal

Monday, September 24th, 2018

I’m going to cut straight to the chase, have you ever been hurt by someone you love? I know the answer already, it’s yes. Every single person on this earth has felt the sting of a broken friendship or wrecked family relationship. It hurts. It slams us to the floor and it does something to our trust factor. We never quite get over it and the stench of it’s ugly smell lingers over us in our other relationships too.

Jesus knew all about betrayal.

I’ve written many times on mean girls and my own experiences with friends who weren’t really friends that hurt or wounded me for no reason. I say that and feel like I should clarify that I AM A HUMAN and I can almost certainly confess to my own hurtful behaviors against others too. I’m no candy striper in the world of relationships. I’ve lashed out, I’ve been a jerk and I’ve most certainly wounded those who love me too.

I’m not proud.

I’d guess that most of us have taken the arrow of a ONE TIME friend and wrestled with the WHAT JUST HAPPENED in our lives only to never get the answer. It’s okay to never know what happened. The best thing we can do is learn (in a healthy way) how to navigate the rotten experiences of relationships and NOT BE SOMEONE ELSE’S TOXIC friend next time.

I’ve been thinking of the different types of friends I’ve had throughout my life. I still have so much to learn and I trust that God will use every lesson to grow me MORE LIKE HIM and less like the people I meet or trust while I’m here on earth. People will let us down.

Maybe you know someone like these friends —>

User friend: the kind who really isn’t into being buds unless you have something she wants. She tends to only show up when she wants something from you. She will use you up (and probably play real nice until she’s finished with you) and do not be surprised when she shows off her WHAT HAVE YOU on social media or in your friend circles while never mentioning you had anything to do with it.

Always competing friend: the kind who will kill herself to one up you. She will tear you down to others and even act as if she really admires you. Don’t fall for it, it’s only a tactic she uses to gain more insider info on you. She can’t be happy cheering you on, it might make her less than important. Beware of her, she is a troubled soul that will stop at nothing to make you look bad.

Lying friend: the kind who has no issue telling untruths about you to anyone who will listen. She is sick, obviously. Her boundary lines are all confused, so she crosses them often and isn’t able to reason in her own mind the pain she’s inflicting by being dishonest about you or others. Remember, your kids see these things in adults. This is a good lesson for teaching your children about being honest.

Mean girl friend: the kind who I’m painting with one broad swoop because she is a force! This person generally plays all the types at some time or another in your relationship. She uses, competes…lies and is usually pretty mean about it. This does not have to be a friend either. It can be a family member.

Here’s what I know…

We are all capable of being bad people. None of us hold the moral high ground on relationships. Thankfully, God knew that. He experienced hurt too. My own relationship pains cannot compare to the night Judas betrayed Jesus. Just in case you needed some perspective (me too). I’ve admitted my own sin nature regarding relationships and I’m challenging myself to be better, to love others selflessly, to give and take with a God-like attitude and to recognize toxic people for what they truly are….broken and lost.

I have a much longer list of loyal friends than of those who are superficial surface ones.

Maybe you recognize them —>

Patient friend: the kind who never gets tired of listening to you (even if she wants you to zip it girl, get over it!) and loves you even when you flub up.

Generous friend: the kind who gives; her heart, time, money…whatever it is that is costly to her. She never adds up what you owe her (not just $$). She gives because she loves you and counts you as an important investment.

Praying friend: the kind who WILL BEAT DOWN heaven’s doors on your behalf. She will pray with you, for you and you better be reciprocating lady! Praying friends are the best you’ll ever have while walking God’s green earth!

Best friend: the kind that doesn’t keep score or hold your foolishness over your head. You can call her in the middle of a crisis and she is ON YOUR DANG TEAM no matter if you’re wrong or not. She will lovingly set you straight if you are though. Best friends are a gift from God and I am a living a life of luxury thanks to my LONG LIST OF BESTIES!!!

Next time you feel jilted by a “friend” remember this… God knows just how it feels to be kicked to the curb. He understands flaky people, he gets it that even those closest to you will turn on you. Don’t take it too personally. Let God sort them out, let him be the final judge and most of all figure out a way to forgive and move forward.

There is always a lesson.

Lord,
Do not let me get away with hurting anyone. Blanket me with despair until I get whatever is wrong in that relationship, right. Keep me on the path of righteousness and when someone hurts me, let me be an example of grace and forgiveness. Even if it hurts beyond what I think I can handle.
Amen

Less Alone

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

I went to bed last night thinking of how loved I felt. Within a 24 hour window, I had face-to-face conversations with all 3 of my grown kids! That doesn’t happen much, everyone is busy and living their lives. I realized just how incredible that gift of their time was to my soul. No one needed a reason, they just video phoned to chat.

What a blessing. {Thanks, sweet punks of mine!}

Somewhere right now there’s a frazzled out mom who thinks she’s screwing up all the good things in her kids. She has no idea if they’ll ever call her again once they move out. She’s tired, she’s fed up and she’s convinced she sucks as a mom! I know this because I felt it all too.

No one can prepare you for the empty nest days and I think I know why…

All the days before it are full of lessons, for them and for you. Some of the lessons are so painful and others are tiny and forgettable. Someday while on the phone or sitting at lunch with your grown kid, they’ll bring up something you totally forgot all about and it will hit you right between your eyes that they held onto that memory. If you had the mental capacity to dwell on everything, you’d probably just explode!

You’re never going to get everything right, not as a person or a parent. It would be mean to tell you to parent as if they are leaving you forever. They do eventually leave and the whole relationship changes. You either have great new young adult friends or jerks who avoid you – it’s all up for grabs. All families have junk, so, if yours is all a mess…don’t beat yourself up.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is this…you are not alone. Whether your kids are living closeby and completely immersed in your everyday life or whether they live on the other side of the world from you and can only talk once in a great while. Every one of us has a system that is customized to our own needs in life. If your kids hate you, trust me…someone else’s kids hate them too. All you can do is try your best to heal whatever is broken. If you can’t fix it, love from where you are right now.

I pray you feel less alone.

It is hurtful to think you have the lone club membership to troubles. God is always working in our lives. He can heal broken hearts and jumbled up relationships. If we trust Him, He can make beauty from ashes. I know this because of my own relationship with my mom. It was so ugly and toxic for most of my life. I thank God for closing our chapter together with true forgiveness, love & respect. Something I never thought could happen.

I’ve learned in my 51 years that we are all capable of being horrible. We’re human and frail. We treat people we love like we don’t and we fall short of admitting wrong in the most vulnerable instances. I know that my own kids carry scars from my crappy mom moments, I also know that they are wise & understanding people who offer forgiveness.

No one gets it all right.

Remember, when you’re rolling around in the dirt of all aloneness — the truth is, you’re really not alone.

Lord,
Help me love the person who feels alone in their troubles. Thank you for always making beauty from the ashes of my own life too.
Amen