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postheadericon Gratitude Diary at Fabulously 40

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Fabulously40

” Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  James 1:17 (NIV)

I am a member of an online group called Fabulously 40 & Beyond, and I recently joined a group called Gratitude Diary.   Every day, the members of the group post a list of 5 things they are grateful for that day.  I am joining in for the first time, and I am using this for my post for today.

I am extremely guilty of not taking time out each day to be thankful to God, our Heavenly Father, for the small things in my life or even for the big things.

Today’s small things I am grateful for:

  • the first day of school
  • the opportunity to work from home
  • power naps
  • AC
  • my job

It’s not a hard thing to do, being grateful, and it only takes a few moments.  Why is it such a difficult thing to remember to sit down and actually list those thoughts on a daily basis?  The answer is, we are human, and it’s not a top priority in this day and age of endless debt, marital stress, the task of raising children, or caring for family.  Exhaustion overtakes me, and pain, and a desire to escape life sometimes.  That desire is so deep that it overpowers everything else at least once a day.  I am calm, I am resolute, I am determined, but I still want to escape.

My bonus big thing that I am grateful for today:

I have 4 days left until I can “escape” to a By the Brook Retreat at Faith Baptist Church in Monroe, GA, sponsored by Rising Above Ministries.  The retreat is an opportunity for mothers raising children with special needs to gather together for a weekend of pampering, inspiration and encouragement to refresh, restore and renew.

I so need to “escape” to take a moment to breathe in deep and let it out slowly.

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postheadericon Does Anyone Care?

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I do not often write about my status as a single person, often I talk about being a single mother and the difficulties I face, but I don’t often include my life as a single “person”.  It’s difficult and the loneliness is overwhelming to say the least.  I have been divorced since 2002, almost 9 years, and I have been involved in 3 or 4 relationships since my ex-husband and I divorced.  Needless to say, none of those relationships have worked out.  The one relationship resulted in the birth of my daughter, and the biological father has chosen not to be a part of her life.  I have chosen not to have him be a part of MY personal life, but I have to say that if he presented himself, I could not deny the opportunity for him to be a part of my daughter’s life, even though she may endure some unhappiness because of him.

Out of the other 3 relationships, the question of marriage was raised for 2 of those, but it just didn’t feel right.  Although, the idea of marriage appeals to me, I am hesitant to take that step because I have learned over the past few years that I don’t handle being with someone constantly very well.  It’s exciting, the first rush of the relationship to get to know each other, but eventually I had to take a step back and reevaluate what was happening and I didn’t like what I saw.  There was an implied rush to experience everything, including intimacy, which I am not willing to do.  That creates a lot of friction and it almost felt like that they didn’t seem to care about my feelings in the matter.

From conversations that I have had with these men, their fear was not of intimacy, but of being taken advantage of.  That women were only looking for someone to “take care of them”, as in financially and wanted an immediate commitment to fix their problems.  I can understand that.  I think every woman has that desire, and I think it is a human trait, not just a female trait.  We all want that significant other that can fix our problems for us.

I am an independent sort, and I don’t look for someone to fix things.  I might ask advice or look for reassurance that all will be well, but I don’t “ask” for help.  If it’s offered, I consider accepting, hopefully, in the spirit that it is offered.

Recently, I have had an opportunity to chat online with someone who is going through that exact same thing.  He feels that everyone is looking to him to fix things, not only in his professional life, but in his personal life too.  I believe he is going through a very difficult divorce, and he returns home to an empty home, and, in his words, has “no one to fix his problems for him”.  I have such sympathy for him.  I know exactly how he feels.

I have tried to reassure him that I only offer friendship, and I am in no hurry to enter a “relationship” with anyone.  I enjoy pleasant conversation and that is what we have shared, just conversation.  In our most recent conversation, he stated that “nobody knows how to be a friend anymore”.  I feel that I have failed miserably in showing that I have a kind heart and a sympathetic ear.  I am a good listener and I may not have any advice, but I listen quietly with full attention.  My heart aches so for him.  I only want to show him that there are good women out there who live a good Christian life who do not take advantage of others and don’t expect things that cannot be given.

Earlier, this was weighing so heavily on me that I was browsing the internet for articles on Christian faith and wisdom and hope to uplift me and keep my spirits up.  I came across a poem from a blog called Shooting the Breeze.  This poem just spoke to me and has had me in tears ever since.

Does anyone care?

The ache is there, does anyone really care?
The tears they fall, they fall to deaf ears,
Does anybody see our breaking heart
Or care to understand and do their part?

The ache is there, does anyone really care?
We beg and plead, and our souls we bare,
We tell them exactly what we need
But instead of helping they stand and watch us bleed.

The ache is there, does anyone really care?
If only they knew, If only they would dare
To reach out and listen or touch our hand.
Don’t they see we are in sinking sand?

The ache is there, does anyone really care?
Yet I finally found one so rare,
The one who would dare to stand
To be that listening ear and lend a hand.

Will the rest dare to understand
Or learn to reach out their hand?
The ache is there, does anyone really care?

Author Unknown

The author of the blog also has a quote that says “Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable.” and he asks the questions,

Who can you be a listening ear to today?
Who can you lend a hand to today?

Dear Lord, give me the wisdom to be that listening ear for this person who seems to be hurting so.  I only want to be a blessing in this person’s life and not a burden.  If it is Your will to open that door, allow this person to accept my kindness in the spirit that it is given.  I ask for Your Light to be shown through my spirit to maybe renew his soul and his faith.  Amen.

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postheadericon Reasons to be Cheerful, 1,2,3

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Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy with a Heart

I came across a new Linky Meme while reading one of the new blogs I have subscribed to recently (Thanks GHOSTWRITERMUMMY).  This new linky is called “Reasons to be Cheerful, 1,2,3” and it is debuting today at Mummy from the Heart by Michelle.  All you have to do is list 3 things you are cheerful about this week.  You are free to follow or comment or link to all the participants in the linky.   Michelle is using the hashtag #Reasons2BCheerful if you want to tweet about it.

1.  If you haven’t read my post “A HUGE Mission Accomplished“, you should check it out.  My 7 year old used the vacuum cleaner for the fist time.  Yay!  That will help me tremendously.

2.  One of the things that I didn’t write about in my blog was that my 7 year old took a shower by herself, she rinsed and soaped without any help from me.  Thank goodness.  I’m getting too old to be a contortionist to do that for her.

3.  I’m so glad it’s Friday.  I have my Dr. Pepper, chips and dip and I’m ready to settle in for the weekend and not go anywhere or do anything, except go to church on Sunday morning.  I live in Central Georgia and it looks like we are going to have some kind of rain/sleet/ice/snow/wintry mix on Sunday evening and Monday morning.

That’s my list.  Don’t forget to check out some of the other cheerful thoughts for this Friday.

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postheadericon Who Made God?

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My 7 year old daughter has been asking recently “Who Made God?” and “Who is His Mommy?”  I am supposing that these questions were prompted by learning about the birth of Jesus.   I was at a loss when she asked this question, and again, amazed that her inquiring mind hooked on that one.

I told her to ask her Sunday School teacher or our Pastor.  She asked her Sunday School teacher, who said “God is all around us, always”.  Leah didn’t quite understand that one.  Again, she came back and asked me.  I’m sitting there like a bump on a log trying to come up with a simple witty answer to her question, that she could believe, and hold on to, but alas, no such answer arrived.

The other day, we were eating lunch with her Grandmother, and I told Leah to ask her that question.  Grandmother immediately replied “God doesn’t have a mother.  God is here now, forever and always.  He is eternal.”  Leah appeared to be satisfied with that answer.

My curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to try to find a way to explain it to her myself.  I decided to do an internet search, hoping that I wouldn’t come up with a bunch of search results that were going to be way out of league, theologically speaking.  And, if I found one that was geared for children, that would be even better.

According to Wayne Jackson at the ChristianCourier.com, the Biblical answers are found in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

God is “everlasting” in nature (Isa. 40:28), which is to say, he is “eternal” as to his very essence (Rom. 16:26; 1 Tim. 1:17). His existence is “from everlasting to everlasting.” Before the material creation was spoken into existence, he always was (Psa. 90:2).

He continues on with a theory of a logical nature of the creation of God.

I kept clicking on the links in the search engine results and was overwhelmed by all the scientific theories for the answer.  I was losing hope I was going to find a simple answer that would engage my daughter’s curiosity.

I finally found “Dad in the Middle“.  He had a post about Kids Questions ask about God.  He posted “The simple answer is, no one created God.  He has always existed!  That is easy to say, but not so easy to comprehend.  The concept of anything being eternal is beyond our ability to truly understand as finite human beings.”  He goes on to say “As an eternal being, God existed before space and time.  Indeed, God created the space and time in which we live (Genesis 1:1).  God always had existed and always will exist.  Revelation 1:8 says:  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” [Revelation 1:8]”

Now Leah might understand about “alpha”, because we have an ongoing saying in our household…  I (meaning me) am the Alpha and she is the Beta.  She understands that this means “I” rule and what “I” say, goes.

So, the writer of this article concludes with “To recap, no one made God.  He has always existed and always will exist both before and after the time and space in which we live.  God did enter our time and space once about 2,000 years ago.  He took on human form as the man Jesus Christ and died on the cross for our sins.  When we accept God’s offer of forgiveness, he gives us the privilege to live with him in eternity.”

I liked this answer and I decided to search a little further, scrolling through another page of links until I found Just4KidsMagazine.com.  This author starts with “First there was God.  God never had a beginning.  He always lived, and He always will go on living.  He IS life.  No beginning and no end means God is eternal. ” The article concludes with…

“Long before He made anything, God had a decree. A decree is a plan of action made by someone who is in power. God planned everything He would make, and how He would do it. He planned the world. he planned the events of history and decided everything that would happen from the first day forward.

God’s decree will never change. No one is more powerful than God, and nothing can change it. His plan will remain firm, just as it was from the start, until everything in it has been completed. Why did God decide to create things and to make things happen in a certain way? He did it because He wanted to. And what He made pleased Him. How did He do it? He did it by His own power and knowledge and wisdom.

This is the story of God’s creation.”

These articles were definitely worth reading and I am intending on printing them out to share them with my daughter.  I’m hoping this will help answer her questions, but who knows?  I’m eager to see what her response it, and if it produces more quesetions.  I’m relishing the thought of us discovering the answers together.

This post was written to participate in Day 7 of the BloggyMoms.com Blog Dare.

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