God Doesn’t Waste

I love that God is never wasteful. Everything he does is purposeful and not by coincidence or accident. My pastor preached on planting seeds this weekend. Everything begins as a seed and nothing happens until that seed is planted. What I plant is what I will reap. I always reap in a different season than I sow. I must be patient and not give up. Each one of these points and many more was given in Pastor Chad Herndon’s sermon on Sunday 5/3/20 at New Song United Methodist Church. You can find his sermon if you are interested at newsongumc.org. This is not a plug for my church but I did not want to take credit for writing something that was not mine. God does not let anything go to waste. We just don’t always have our eyes set on him and we waste what he is trying to teach us.

I am struggling this week. I don’t have any energy. I don’t feel good, I’ve had a migraine since last week that comes and goes. One day on and one day off. I’m just feeling uncomfortable in my skin. Should I blog? I don’t think I really have anything to say. I really never know what I’m going to type until I sit here in front of this keyboard. Who am I doing this for? I don’t really know. I keep questioning God as to what my purpose is. What do you have for me Lord? I feel a longing in my soul that I am meant for more. If you’ve read my last couple of blogs you know I’ve been reading Psalms and I’m still reading Psalms. -The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. Psalm 67:6 – That was part of the scripture I read today. Look at God not being wasteful. Leading me right back to Sunday and Pastor Chad and planting seeds. I want what I want and I want it now. I’m going to plant these seeds and by tomorrow or at the latest next week I’m going to be ready to harvest my crop. Well, we all know if you plant any type of vegetable or crop that’s laughable. God may choose to do that but most likely he is going to prepare you, bring you through the growing process. Let you be watered and let the Son shine down on you. Let you go through some thunderstorms and get whipped around a bit so your roots grow strong in the earth and the weeds don’t overcome you. Only God knows when your roots are strong enough to do what he needs you to do. Waiting patiently is not easy to do but waiting patiently and continuing to pursue God on a daily basis is hard for me. He’s not just going to drop something in my lap because I’ve waited quietly. He needs me to pursue him and get closer to him. I don’t know about anyone else but that is a struggle for me. There are so many distractions that can easily take place of talking to God. Watching TV, listening to Audible, sleeping, Social Media and the list goes on.

I used to question how in the world the Israelites could walk around in the desert for 40 years. I don’t question that anymore. Just think if they had TV or social media. They might still be walking. I think I’ve been walking around in the desert for about 45. I just keep circling that mountain. I do know this. I have not ever lost my faith. I may have wondered in the desert and circled the mountain but God has never walked away. He is always right where I left him. God is good and God is faithful. I know that with all the breath in my body. I need to stop trying to harvest what is not ready. I need to pursue God with a fever and make sure I am available. Make sure I am not wasting what he is trying to teach me or show me. Show up for church (on line) take time to talk to God every day, plug in where I can during the rest of this quarantine.

This has been a difficult time for all of us. Being quarantined, those of us who have addictions and are finding different ways to cope are struggling. If you’ve lost your job this is a very frightening time. If you’ve lost a loved one this is a time of mourning and it has to be done in such a lonely way. You can’t be surrounded by your friends and family. This time of uncertainty can either draw you closer or push you apart. This needs to be a time when we draw together and love those around us. As I was writing this, a song came on by Maren Morris. The Bones. It love what its saying. -When the bones are good, the rest don’t matter -yeah, the paint could peel, the glass could shatter -Let it rain ’cause you and I remain the same -When there ain’t a crack in the foundation -Baby, I know any storm we’re facing -Will blow right over while we stay put -The house don’t fall when the bones are good

If we have good bones, a good foundation, strong roots we can stay put. It might be uncomfortable. It might not be where you saw yourself. Plant your seeds, be patient and don’t give up. Remember you always reap what you sow in a different season. Make God your bones, your foundation, your roots and he’ll hold you up for the harvest. God is never wasteful so don’t waste his goodness.

Credit to Pastor Chad: Seed references from 5/3/20 Sermon

Fly To God

The world is still spinning and life is still happening. Whether it is happening very slow for you or hasn’t changed at all depends on where you are and what you do. Easter was just yesterday and I’m sure like most of you it felt very different this year. My in-laws did not come down. I did not see my son. I had sunrise service in my living room streaming on my TV instead of at Hollywood Cemetery. Which by the way is a beautiful service if you get the chance to join us hopefully next year. It overlooks the river and is led by several different churches one being New Song United Methodist which is where I attend. There are bag pipes playing. Communion is offered if you choose to partake and it’s just so meaningful. Sorry, got a little sidetracked but I look forward to it. I have to say sitting on my couch for sunrise service lost a little something. I looked at Wyatt and said, “Well, that was kind of a let down. But I think that’s my fault.”

It wasn’t the message or how it was delivered. Yes, we all want to get back to doing things like we were, such as going to church and being around people and not worrying if that person is closer than 6’. Did I miss the message though? Did I miss the big reveal? Did I forget the reason I should be overjoyed? All of the things that I do on Easter and leading up to it can be very meaningful and really touch my life but I can’t let those things overshadow or take place of the big surprise. The tomb is empty!! So, if I don’t go to sunrise service at Hollywood cemetery or have my usual meal with my usual people and this day doesn’t go as normal is it “just a let down?” Well, it shouldn’t be. Jesus didn’t forget to rise up out of the tomb! Easter should be a time of celebration. No matter what our circumstances are. I had a good day yesterday. I planted flowers and spent time with Wyatt and my Mom, but I must admit I didn’t feel very Eastery. (That’s a word, yes, it is.) Until today. Until I had time to reflect and think on yesterday and read in my bible this morning.

I’ve been reading Psalms for a while now and I never felt like I could get that much from it. It just seemed to be kind of boring. News Flash!!! God can speak to you from anywhere in his book. You just have to be open and ask him to let you have ears to hear and eyes to see. We are all so busy I think trying to get through this and get back to normal, which is understandable, that we may be missing God’s training. I’m not saying we should all embrace this and let this become our norm but while we are here let’s not run. Let’s see what God has for us. Psalm 55:6 Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. – Yes, oh wouldn’t we. Fly away from all of this and get back to life and get our children back to life and back to work. We need to work and pay bills and get out of this house. Oh, wouldn’t you be at rest then if you could fly away from all of this. But!!! In your escape where are you flying to? Alcohol, food, TV, pornography, drugs or are you just simply filling your time with anything and everything to escape from God? Instead of flying away we should be flying to God. There is a plan for each and everyone of us. You can learn from this time and let God teach you and give you the knowledge you need and the instruction you need to learn during this time. Or, you can fly and you can completely miss out on the knowledge and the instruction that he has for you. He has something greater for me and for you and he will reveal it to me and to you when we are ready. I can live in this and rejoice that the tomb is empty from my couch and get in a different mindset for the day. Let God speak to my heart and accept that where I am can still be used for God’s glory and trust that he is training me for something greater.

So, do I really want things to go back to normal after all is said and done. NO!! I don’t. I want to be better. I’m not sure how I want to be better but I just feel that back to normal is not where I want to be. Back to normal sounds complacent. God give me ears to hear and eyes to see, train me for something greater Lord and let me fly for you when the time is right.

Hope in 2020

We have certainly started off 2020 with a bang! Slowly but surely we are all coming under some type of lockdown. No dining out, no public entertainment, no gatherings of 10 or more people, schools are closed for the rest of the academic year and the list goes on. My family in Charlotte is on a shelter in place order. That’s spreading as the Corona virus spreads. The anxiety, fear, depression and just cabin fever can be overwhelming. There are so many issues to deal with on so many levels.

I know many who are worried about their jobs and wondering if they will have a job to go back to. Worried about how they are going to pay the bills during this time if they have no income coming in. Small businesses are suffering and may close, large businesses are suffering, the economy is in a tail spin, I’m stuck at home with my children for how long? Ahhhhh! This most definitely is the end of the world. The apocalypse. I bet you are glad you decided to read this today. There are a lot of people who are really feeling this right now and then there are a lot of people who feel this is not that bad. Some feel the media is blowing this up, the government is trying to take over and take our guns and our freedoms. A lot of our young people feel invincible and have chosen to continue life as usual and nothing is going to hold them back. So where does that leave me? As I flip flop from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day on this whole thing. I’m sure this is going to be over sooner than later. The CDC and WHO are just being overly cautious to protect us. Oh Lord, the CDC and the WHO don’t really have a handle on this thing at all. We are going to be in our houses for months on end and we are going to lose so many more people than we ever thought. I could literally end up sitting on a rock in my back yard like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Sneaky little viruses. Wicked, tricksy. Your never going to stop. Your going to ravage the world. No, no, I’m not listening, not listening. You don’t have a cure and you’ll never have a cure. No, No. My trust is in the Lord. (If you haven’t seen The Lord of The Rings, that makes no sense at all).

So after all that gloom and doom where am I? What am I doing not to end up on a rock in my backyard speaking to myself in riddles with three strands of hair left? I come to the only place I can and should come to. My God, my rock, my fortress. I have bounced back and forth and some days are good and some days are really a struggle to get through. That’s human nature people. We are going to have those feelings, they are natural. It’s what you do with those feelings. I can’t let them consume me. Rocks are not very comfortable to sit on. When I am having those thoughts and feeling out of control I give it to God. I am praying for his peace to replace my fears and anxiety. When I am feeling peaceful and content I don’t stop talking to God. Well that’s not true. Sometimes I do because it’s easier to talk to God when we are in trouble than when we are doing good and walking down easy street. What I’m saying is don’t just run there in times of trouble, run to him in times of joy. He is with you through all of that. He is not a genie that just shows up when you need him to fix you. The Bible says count it all joy. All of it. That’s not easy and this is not an easy time for anyone. Especially if you have contracted this horrible virus or have lost a loved one. I can’t even begin to imagine your feelings at this time and I won’t pretend it’s just so easy to look up to God and say, I count it all joy. What is the purpose for my tragic loss? If I could put my hand on each and everyone of you and cry with you and pray with you I would. I wish I had all the answers, we all do, but I don’t. I do know that out of every tragedy and heartbreak God can be found “working for the good of those who love him.” Romans 8:28 and his name will be glorified and spread far and wide.

I want to say this before I wrap up. I was reading Psalms today. Psalm 42 and 43. It struck me that in both Psalms there were verses that were exactly the same. Psalm 42:5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God. For I will yet praise him. My Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God. For I will yet praise him. My Savior and my God. I think that sums it up pretty good. When you are down, depressed, upset, etc. what can you do? You can put your hope in God, you can praise him. He is your savior and your God. Without hope we have nothing. If you don’t know God as your savior it must be awful hard to have hope. Who or what are you putting your hope in? Man, science, objects false deity’s? If you want that hope and you want peace you need to know Jesus. All you need to have that and know Jesus is to accept him. To believe that he is the son of God. That he was sacrificed and died on the cross for your sins, and was raised from the dead 3 days later. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God. Your belief in him will save you. You can be filled with his peace and you will have eternal life as he prepares a place for you in his kingdom. No, everyday is not a cakewalk but that’s not what he’s promising. He’s promising you eternal life and a freedom here on earth that rests in our hope and belief in him.

I know that was a lot to read today but I guess I need to write more often. There was a lot trapped up in my brain. Thanks for sticking through it with me. I know I can ramble but there is a point in the end. Please stay safe and enjoy your families with the time that we have been given and be creative in how you spend your time and communicate with those you can’t visit with at this moment.

Guess What Day It Is?!

It’s almost the end of January. I feel like I am always waiting to get through something. Once I get over this hump then I can really start moving forward. If I were to title my life I think it would be, Over The Hump. Well, that would be fine if I actually ever got over the hump and saw the other side. I’m like the camel who walks around yelling, “Uh oh guess what day it is?!! It’s hump day!” It’s hump day every day. That commercial does crack me up, however I don’t want to be stuck on hump day.

I’m waiting to get through the holidays. Get through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Those were all very hard to navigate without my Dad for the first time. They probably will be for the second and third time. I probably will never find that it’s easy and I’m not missing him during the holidays. Then my ex starts whispering to me. (My group leader referred to alcohol as an ex boyfriend and that is just what he is to me, my ex) You know what would make this easier? If you just had a drink. Just one. All you need is one to take that edge off. I can remember that feeling I would get when it hit my stomach and my head said, “Relax, don’t worry, you got this and you deserve this.” It never stops at one. I would drink until my head hit the pillow at night and maybe get up in the middle of the night if I was still thirsty. So, I have to have that conversation with myself that this will not take the edge off. My ex is a liar and there isn’t room for him in this relationship between God and I and my husband and I. Just one has severe consequences. So I think just get me through New Years and I will have gotten over a huge hump.

Then January is here and it’s my Mom’s birthday, well for some reason I need to get through that because that’s an occasion without my Dad. Well you know what, Valentines Day is coming up. That’s going to be hard for my Mom so I need to get her through that. Oh my goodness, St. Patricks Day is in March, geez I gotta get through that with everyone drinking green beer. Guess what day it is? It’s hump day!!! Meanwhile, I’m also putting on hold so many other things. Eating right, exercising, getting involved with outside interests etc. etc. etc. My Lord I can have a whole year of hump days. I don’t want to be that camel for the rest of my life.

I want to live purposely. I am so tired of never getting past the hump. What’s on the other side? Great and wonderful things! God is just waiting for me to crest that hill. He has magnificent joy and life fulfilled, I just have to follow him. Right now I have chosen to place the things of this world, the temporary pleasures as my God. You can only stay happy for short bursts of time when you do that. Have you ever read the 23rd Psalm? I mean like read it in the Bible. You may have heard it but to actually read and look at the words. Most of us have read or know by heart The Lords Pray, Our Father, Who art in heaven….. That is how Jesus told us we ought to pray. I read the 23rd Psalm today which I never have read the actual words. I have heard it said and heard my father say it many times. If you read and study the words it really can be very impactful.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23

I don’t need to be stuck. There’s no reason. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. My God is my protector and I will not lack for anything I need. He is my shepherd, he will guide me. He is my shepherd, he will care for me as my great physician. He is my shepherd, he is my savior. You can disect every line of this and see what certain words actually mean and this Psalm means hope. I want to live like that. I don’t want to live waiting because I will miss out on what is over the hill for me on this earth. I want to hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant!” when I see him in all his glory.

My goal is to stop waiting to get through. I am through. I am here and now. That does not mean that I will not hurt, grieve or struggle but I can do that in the moment and let God be my shepherd and guide me, heal me, care for me and I will trust him. I’m going to crest that hill and hump days can go back to just coming through with that camel, once a week.

The Baby

Change. It’s not easy. We all get into a comfortable routine where everything makes sense. This is how we do life. We have traditions that we have created with our own family. Wyatt and I were married and had to find a way to fit both of our families together for holidays and birthdays and family gatherings. Then we had JT and things became more centered around him and the dynamics change and we found what was comfortable for us. A way that we can fit both families together yet create our own traditions as well for just the three of us. Time marches on and you grow and people move away, people die, people go through ups and downs and if your family is anything like my family you fight. Yes there is fighting and hurt feelings sometimes but we seem to always find our way back to eachother because the one thing that doesn’t change is the love we have for each other.

It’s Christmas Eve and I find myself really struggling to find my place. Everything about my life has changed. I’ll be honest, I really don’t like it and earlier I felt like having a little pity party for myself. So many things have changed at one time. Can we not do this step by step? Change is hard enough. Why God can we not ease into all these things? Even if the change is positive it can still be an adjustment because it’s different. You are introducing something new into your life and figuring out how to make it fit.

I feel like everything hit at once. My Dad passed away, JT moved out, my Mom moved in, JT started dating someone serious (which as a Mom can be hard to become the #2 when you’ve been the #1 in your son’s life for 18 years) and then here comes the holidays. Nothing about Christmas Eve, nothing about this Christmas season has been the same. Now obviously not all of these are bad or negative changes. My Mom moving in is a good thing but is still a change for her and Wyatt and I. JT finding someone is a good thing and I like her so that’s a plus. It’s just a lot of changes. It means doing things differently like sharing JT with another family when he has been all mine. It means not getting to ride around and look at lights with my Dad. It means not getting to exchange Christmas presents with my Dad. It means for the first time in 18 years JT won’t be here when I wake up in the morning. Like I said, change is hard and as much as you want to try to force it to stay the same sometimes you just have no control. Life happens and we must figure out how to reshape ourselves into the new mold.

As I sat tonight crying off and on having my private little pity party I thought about the Christmas Eve service I had gone to earlier and the message. Today is about the baby. The baby Jesus. It’s not about watching Christmas Vacation and eating KFC. Side note, KFC closed early and I was not able to get my chicken which is a Christmas eve tradition we do every year. Just so you know, I cried. Back to the matter at hand. Today is not about me and my pity party because my traditions are changing. The baby Jesus. He’s what I should be concentrating on and if anybody should have had a pity party it would have been Mary and Joseph. Can you imagine. Mary the virgin is pregnant and Joseph still decided to marry her and then they trek off with Mary pregnant as can be on a donkey and can’t find a place to stop except a stable for her to give birth in. Jesus is put in a manger. We like to romanticize this scene and make the stable all clean and tidy but I bet that stable was, well a stable. Dirty, smelly, animals around making noise, scratchy straw. I don’t think it was as pleasant as we like to picture it in our books and plays. That, is some change for ya. 9 months before I think she was probably just living as everone else and then an Angel visits her and boom, the changes just kept on coming. I’ll bet Mary and Joseph could have had a pity party or two and maybe they did but with God’s help they reshaped themselves to fit the new mold.

So as I think about all these changes, yes I am sad. I do miss doing things the way I have done them for the past 18 years. I do miss my Dad being here for the 44 Christmas’ before this. If it means doing things differently then I guess it’s time to create new memories and new traditions, like joining my Mother and Father in-law and going to the Christmas Eve service together. Wyatt and I visiting our neighbor last night and sitting and talking with her and making a promise to myself to visit more often. Maybe we’ll eat Popeye’s chicken on Christmas Eve. (I don’t know guys, KFC is my go to. Popeye’s had to step in and it wasn’t KFC). We will have to play Christmas morning by ear and just find our place in it together until JT and Kaitlyn get here. All I know is even in this time of change and the ups and downs I can be so very thankful that 1. I am not pregnant and on a donkey and 2. God was willing to put on human flesh and walk among us and then be crucified for my sins and yours so that we may have eternal life. That is something that can never and will never change. Merry Christmas Everyone. I hope you all enjoy your families today and remember it’s about the baby today.

Struggle To Marvel

It is a struggle. I’m trying to act like it’s not but my heart just isn’t all the way in it. I’m ready for January to be here but I’m not sure a new year will be any easier. Getting through the holidays when you have lost someone is hard. It’s hard enough just doing life on a daily basis. We all have struggles we wake up to every day. Pain in one form or another has me debating whether to put my feet on the floor each morning when I open my eyes. Dealing with the physical pain is enough to make me want to shut down and then my brain kicks in and tells me all kinds of lies to make my struggle even harder. Near the top of the list of coping skills is pulling the covers over my head and not facing the day. I won’t think about that today. I’ll think about it tomorrow, after all tomorrow is another day my dear Scarlett.

I found myself on Thanksgiving wanting to fast forward to the end of the day. It just seemed like a chore. My Dad was not there and you could feel it. There was just that certain something that was missing. I keep trying to think about his pain and how thankful I am that he is not in pain anymore. It’s very hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that he is in Heaven. That may sound weird. I know that’s where he’s at but that’s something we talk about. That’s where we are going to go when we die if we believe in Jesus Christ. If we have accepted him as our Savior. It all seems so very far away. Death seems so far away. For me at least. I know some people have experienced loss all to often and you truly don’t understand that feeling until you experience it yourself. We talk of dying or what will happen when we die, to our possessions, to our bodies, to our loved ones and what it will be like in Heaven. It’s such a different conversation when someone so close to you dies and their physical body is not here with you anymore. It is just so amazing and grand for my mind to grasp that my Dad has moved from his physical body on this earth and is now in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!! He is in HEAVEN!!! Maybe that doesn’t strike you the same way but it has me in complete and utter awe. When I think about my Dad that way I can’t help but smile. I can even laugh out loud because I am overcome by the joy he must be experiencing. Sometimes I cry being overwhelmed by the feeling that comes over my whole being of pure happiness. Happiness doesn’t even describe it. I don’t actually think there is a word that can describe what I feel when I think of what my Dad is experiencing up there in Heaven with God. Whoa! Electrifying!!!

It’s here on earth where I miss him. I miss him being here for the traditions our family has created. I miss him being here to complete us. He is our leader. Our Big Giant Head. (Third Rock From The Sun joke) He is our touchstone in our family. I don’t think January is going to make things any better. I don’t think you ever get over losing someone you love. I think you learn how to live better with it. There is no magic time frame that will make this not hurt. There will always be a hole where my Dad should be. It’s a bitter sweet hole filled with the longing of wanting him here but the knowledge of knowing where he is and that I will see him again.

During this Holiday season I get it now. It’s like a club. Not a club you want to be part of. When people would post on social media or speak about missing someone they had lost and how hard these times are my thought was, “Awww that’s sad, so sorry for your loss.” Moving on now. You can’t understand how that person truly feels until you are in the club. It’s ok. I thought I got it. I thought I understood how sad that must be. I pray you are not in the club this Christmas but if you are I pray you laugh at the memories and good times you shared, marvel at the mystery of the Heaven they are experiencing and most of all, top on your list, share Jesus with those around you so they too can be certain of where they are going and you’ll be able to marvel at the mystery of Heaven that each one of you will experience.

Filling Hearts

This weekend was amazing. You are never quite aware of how a disease such as cancer can change a personor a family until you are the person or the family that it changes. We have breast cancer awareness month and there is a fundraiser or foundation for this and for that. Alzheimers, injured veterans, families of fallen police men and women, St. Judes. I mean the list for the places you can put your money to help fund organizations or to help find a cure could probably make it’s own book. If you are not affected by any of them you can never fully understand. You can have a heart to want to do something and believe me that is what we need. People with hearts to want to do something to help others in need and to reach out and give. I have a heart and a passion for several organizations that don’t personally affect me but now I have an understanding on a deeper level that I will never fully understand the gravity of their situation and that makes me want to be more compassionate, more giving, more caring and more precise in my prayer life.

When you are told that your father has been diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme, a rapidly growing brain tumor, your kind of left looking at the person telling you confused and saying, “I don’t understand?” That’s not something that actually happens to people I know. That happens in the movies or you hear people talk about someone they know that had a brain tumor but not my Dad. It’s just all so unreal. It still is. I’m not sure why. There is nothing about my Dad or my family that would make us immune from this type of thing. My parents are just going to grow old together and pass away on the front porch in their rocking chairs holding hands. Change of plans. Now I have to learn all these medical terms and statistics and be constantly disappointed. Every time I think we are going two steps forward we are actually falling three steps back. People are now coming out of the wood work telling you that they have a family member that passed from this cancer or someone they know that was close to them. I never really even heard much about this particular cancer but it’s everywhere. There is no cure. There are cases of individuals living with it for 15 years but they are much younger and very few and far between. Best case scenario is to slow down the rapid growth and give you more time. It’s heinous and wretched to watch someone go through as I can imagine all terminal illnesses are.

Let me get to this past weekend and why it was so amazing. As I’m sure many people are like me and they go through life and may donate to certain things or have causes that are close to their heart but then get clothes lined when these things affect those closest to us. Richmond held it’s 2nd annual RVA Brain Tumor 5K. I have never been apart of something like that. I have never participated in an anything K, marathon, walkathon or raising money for a cause like this. This was amazing. Our team – PawPaw’s Pride (we called my Dad PawPaw when he became a grandfather) set a goal to raise $1,000.00. We raised $1,995.00!! That is amazing and I want to thank all of you who made that possible. The National Brain Tumor Society set out to raise $175,000.00 and we collectively raised $272,221.55!! How awesome is that. Wouldn’t it be amazing to find a cure so when our children grow up they may not have to go through what we have. Their children may not have to watch them suffer with this disease and many others. I’m not saying all of these things so you all will jump on the bandwagon and be avid supporters of the National Brain Tumor Society. I certainly think that would be amazing and we would love to add to our team of walkers next year. The more the merrier. Let’s make PawPaw’s Pride the #1 Team in Richmond!!!! I say all this to tell you be passionate.

You don’t have to wait to be affected by something horrible. You don’t have to wait for someone to die or to be horribly injured or fighting for their lives or any number of issues we have going on in this world. This disease has changed me and I will never be the same and I will be a part of the National Brain Tumor Society and RVA 5K every year now. That’s just my world though. It’s easy to stop there and not venture outside of my world and what affects me. I have other things I am passionate about and want to help make a change in. Sometimes we either don’t know how, or we don’t want to step out of our comfort zone, we put it off and say “I’m going to donate to them, I need to set that up. Next month. I’ll get that done.” We can always turn that channel as well because those commercials make us sad, uncomfortable and we just don’t need to watch that. God calls us to do these things. To reach out. To step out of our comfort zones. How else will people see the love of God. – What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself , if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14-17 – “Do not neglect to do good and to share wht you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Hebrews 13:16 – “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” 1John 3:17

What does your heart urge you to do? Where does your heart urge you to go? It’s not all about writing a check and sending money. Your time means so much. I have a heart for the homeless in our community. Well then I need to be spending time reaching out to our homeless. Serving, donating, plugging in where God wants me to be. I have other things on my heart that I feel I should be doing. No, you are right. We can’t do them all. We can’t save the world by ourselves but together everyone can make a difference. Ask God to show you where you are supposed to be. I promise he will show you.

The amazing thing that happens is, in the process of giving of yourself you are blessed. You are fullfilled. You think you are the one serving, helping and making someones day brighter. You are, you certainly are, but you will walk away being more served by the ones you are serving, being more loved by the ones you are loving, making meaningful deep relationships, and being so filled with God’s love you feel like you just might bust.

So as I move forward through this process. From receiving my Dad’s diagnosis to functioning and working through the grief and understanding his death I continue to learn. Nothing happens good or bad that there isn’t a way to glorify God. I may not always do such a bang up job and make the right choices but he’s working with me and he’s holding my hand every day. I love my family so much and our bond has done nothing but gotten stronger since May 23rd. Walking in the 5K this weekend was exhilierating, a great way to remember my Dad, a wonderful way to strengthen my family, and an awesome way to bring awareness and raise money to find a cure for this disease. We walked it this year. Well, some of us are in better shape and ran. I walked it this year. Next year I’m going to run it. If you know me that will be quite an accomplishment. Don’t wait for tradgedy, start filling hearts with love.