Home is Where Your Story Begins

August 19, 2012

Get Your God Glasses On

Filed under: Life,Uncategorized — my3daughters @ 12:36 pm

Somewhere along the line I picked up the idea that when I make time for God, He makes time for me.  Now before you get your dander up, yes I understand that God isn’t like that.  He doesn’t require anything from us in order to bless us.  But it just always seemed to me that when I got too busy for God, I didn’t get as many blessings as I did when I attended church and read my Bible on a regular basis.

Also, it always seemed like I had more trials and tribulations when I was too busy for God.  I’d catch myself, think, “This is God’s way of drawing me back to Him.” So I would start attending church and reading my Bible on a regular basis again.  And things would appear to get better.

Well, today as I was coming home from church, I was focusing more on the splinter in someone else’s eye instead of the log in mine.  My thoughts ran along the lines of “they should really be in church more consistently.  Maybe they would have fewer problems if they put God first instead of spending time with Him when there was nothing better to do on a Sunday morning.”

Then it hit me.  It isn’t that God only makes time for me or blesses me when I make time for Him.   It isn’t that life is harder when I’m too busy for God.  Rather, when I make the effort to spend time with God, when I make Him a priority, I am more able to see the blessings and the answers to prayer.  Plus life isn’t necessarily less stressful, it’s just that I have what I need right at hand instead of having to go look for it.

When I get up in the morning, everything is blurry.  Once I put my glasses on, things snap into focus.  Without my glasses on, I can very easily miss something that is right under my nose.  With my glasses on, I can find it easily.  But I also have a tendency to take my glasses off and walk away from them.  Now I can navigate the house without my glasses, but I can’t read a darn thing without them.  So I better have my glasses on when I leave the house or else only be going to the corner store.  And if I want to pop something in the microwave, I have to go search for my glasses to read the instructions.

Does this make sense to you?  When I have my God glasses on, I’m able to more clearly see the blessings and answers to prayer.  When I have my God glasses on, I can navigate through life easier.  The road may not be any less curvy and hilly but I have a better chance of staying on the road when I have my God glasses on.

 

 

 

So get your God glasses out, put them on and keep them on.

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July 22, 2012

My Ah Hah Moment

Filed under: Uncategorized — my3daughters @ 8:20 pm

On July 3, 2012, I had an epiphany.  Looking back, I really like the timing.  On the Eve of the celebration of Independence & Freedom, I reached the point that would give me back my independence & freedom.

For a long time, I had a person in my life that put me down and criticized me.  Since this person meant a lot to me at the time, I tried my best to be the person they thought I should be.  Six years after they ceased to be important to me on a conscious level, their opinion has finally ceased to be important on an unconscious level.

From the time I got my license, I would fearlessly go where I had not gone before.  All I needed were directions or a map and I was on my way (note that this was before the invention of the GPS).  The me who was told repeatedly that they got lost all the time rarely exceeded the approximately 10 mile radius of their comfort zone.

I was never a dramatic cook.  I’m too literal and so follow the recipe precisely.  My food usually turned out bland or over-spiced.  After enough “don’t ever make this again” comments, I quit trying.  Precision works well when baking so I continued to bake until I heard enough “don’t you think you need to lose weight” remarks.

I’ve struggled with keeping a job since re-entering the workforce.  I’m beginning to think that the reason I’ve struggled is because I’m hearing Negative Ned telling me “you are such a job gypsy” and “your degree is worthless because you have no skills.”

Now you know my mindset on July 3.  I was driving in my car down Groesbeck, headed to Popeye’s for some shrimp.  I was disappointed and wanted to treat myself to some comfort food (and yes I know that eating for comfort is as much to blame for my current weight as the comments in my head).  As I was driving, I was reviewing my disappointment, and suddenly a light bulb went on in my head.  As Bishop Fick used to say, I had an Ah Hah Moment.

My Ah Hah Moment was that, as long as I let this downbeat person’s opinion of me shape who I am, I am going to just shuffle through life, existing instead of living and drowning in disappointment.  Well, NO MORE!  I decided right then and there that I was taking back my life.

The next week, my friends “Mitchell” & “Michelle” came to town (names changed to protect the innocent).  Mitchell would be spending his days in training for work but Michelle wanted to have some fun.  I figured out how to get over to her hotel to pick her up and we headed to the beach.  Hello, not difficult since I have a navigation program on my Droid.  And since I had gotten lost on the way to a winterguard show in March, I was able to say “nope, not that way” when the navigator starting taking us in circles.  Now, I’m probably the only person to get lost in Kensington Metro Park (it’s pretty much a big circle) but we just looked at it as an adventure.  And when we tired of the beach, we extended our adventure into discovering downtown Milford (which I had seen on that same fateful “Girlfriend, you be lost” winterguard trip).

The next day, Michelle came over to my “side of town” and we had a blast.  No chance of getting lost that day.  Michelle navigated her first round-about & her first Michigan Left like a pro.  She also discovered the joy that is Meijer.

Finally, for her last day of Detroit “vacation”, I drove back to her hotel in Livonia and we headed downtown.  Again, I managed to get a little turned around (twice) but it wasn’t the catastrophe I had been led to expect and we had a fantastic time.  We played the slots at the Greektown Casino, rode the People Mover and walked the River Walk.  We had coneys (another first for Michelle) at American Coney Island (voted #1 on the Food Network and the Travel Channel) and ended the day with delectable treats at Astoria Bakery.  This was success for a woman who had been afraid to drive out of her comfort zone just a week before.

Now I’m tackling cooking, with the help of Pinterest and my youngest daughter.  We have quite a few successes.  I was going to list them here but instead I’ll attempt to put a link to my Pinterest board “Tried & Tasted Yummies for the Tummy”.  That way it will hopefully stay updated as I try new recipes & move them from my “Untried Yummies for the Tummy” board.

http://pinterest.com/delafrate/tried-tasted-yummies-for-the-tummy/

So here we are, less than a month from my epiphany.  I am having a great time rediscovering myself.  Stay tuned for more of the New Me.

February 5, 2012

Operation One Dollar

Filed under: Focusing on Others,Life,Uncategorized — my3daughters @ 12:27 am

I recently learned of a military family in need.  I understand that there are many families in need today, not just this one.  But God has laid it on my heart to help this is a family.

I’d love to send them a huge check to cover all they require, but I just don’t have the funds to spare.  While I only have a tiny bit of extra money, I have an abundance of something that is even better than money—I have friends!  Now, most of my friends are like me, with very little unused money, but they know lots of people. So I’m sitting here crocheting and talking to God and here’s what we came up with.

All of us have at least One Dollar in change in the bottom of our purse, in the console of our car or between the cushions of our couch.  If everyone we know gave that One Dollar, we’d collect several hundred in a hurry.

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So I am asking each of my friends to become an Operation One Dollar Chairperson.  What this means is that you ask all your friends, co-workers, and neighbors to donate One Dollar to the cause.  Then you as Chairperson would take the collected funds, get a gift card for a national store–Target, Kmart, WalMart, Babies R Us (they are expecting a baby girl in May), etc—and send it to me.  I’ll get the gift cards to the family.

Now, if someone wants to donate more than One Dollar, fantastic!  But all I am asking for is One Dollar.  This is so simple that even the kids I count as friends can do it.  And if someone can only give 50 cents, take it.  It all adds up.

The Good Angel on my shoulder is jumping up and down, excited because she believes that each and every one of my friends will accept the challenge to collect for Operation One Dollar.  The Bad Angel on my other shoulder is sitting there, arms and legs crossed, rolling her eyes and saying, “Are you serious? No one is going to do it.  No one ever does anything unless they benefit from it.”  Who are you going to prove right—the Good Angel or the Bad Angel?

Let’s see how much my friends can raise in the next three weeks.  My band kids stood in the cold for two hours at a time for three days last weekend and collected $4950.43, most of it in change (in other words, One Dollar at a time).  Surely in three weeks we can come up with even a fraction of what they made in three days.  If you can get one person a day to donate One Dollar, you will have $20 by the time Operation One Dollar ends.

Operation One Dollar starts now, Sunday, February 5.  Please have all gift cards in the mail to me by Saturday, February 25.  My address is PO Box 380662, Clinton Township, MI  48038.  (if you are local, you don’t have to mail the gift cards).

I’ve been on the receiving end of the generosity of others and I’ll bet you have been too.  This is our chance to “pay it forward.”  Plus, this isn’t just any family in need; this is a military family in need.  They give of themselves so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do, so that we can sleep at night without fear.  One Dollar of your money and a little bit of your time—is that too much to ask when they give 365 days of their year and years of their life, and sometimes their life, for you?

Thank you in advance for your generosity and your compassion.

April 22, 2011

Let Me Serve

Filed under: Life,Uncategorized — my3daughters @ 11:13 am

I love being Anglican  I love celebrating the different seasons of the church year.  It’s the same Bible I grew up with, the same stories, but brought to life in such an awesome way.  As Father Terry said last night, we take the events of the past and don’t just remember them, we bring them forward into the present and live them again.

Last night’s Maundy Thursday service was all about The Last Supper.  How many times have I heard that story?  Yet I saw it as if it was something completely new.  Never before did it occur to me that Jesus sat down and broke bread with friends that he KNEW would basically stab Him in the back before the sun rose the next morning.  He KNEW Judas was going to betray Him.  He KNEW Peter was going to deny Him, not once but three times.  He KNEW that He would be standing all alone, that the rest would desert Him and hide behind locked doors.

And not only did He eat with them, He SERVED them.  He washed their feet, a very humbling act.  Part of our Maundy Thursday service is a Foot Washing.  While the foot washing is going on, we sing The Servant Song by Richard Gillard.  (click on the link to see a video of him singing the song)

Brother, let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be my servant, too

We are pilgrims on a journey
We are brothers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load

I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night-time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the peace you long to hear

I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh I’ll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through

The words in bold italics are the ones that really jumped out at me last night.  I have a lot going on in my life right now.  Its hard to focus on the needs of others when my own needs overwhelm me.  But I don’t have more going on that Jesus did that night.  He knew what was going to happen, and it was not pleasant.  Yet He served.  Far be it from me to be above serving.

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