Hear ye, hear ye, Christian folks!!

You’re brave and I applaud you for considering yourself a mature Christian. For the last several months, I’ve just been posting directly on Facebook and not on my blog because I’ve wanted to get quick thoughts out (mainly because my time is pretty stretched) and I wanted to keep things a little light. Today, though, I’m going to stretch you. When you’re finished reading this post, maybe you’ll totally agree with me and give me a virtual high five. Maybe you’ll be entirely confused because you thought every Christian already knew this… psst~ I wish they did!  Maybe you’ll be entirely confused because you had absolutely no idea that there’s a proper way to handle things in the church because we’re all free to do whatever we want to do. Whatever your reaction, I sure hope it isn’t to be offended. There’s way, way, way too much of that in the world and it hasn’t skipped the church, unfortunately.

Okay, let’s get down to it. I worked in a mega church for a few years but I didn’t know any of this.  These situations must have been above my pay grade because I truly thought the church family operated like the Walton’s. If there was a dispute, we cleared it up over the dinner table and then called out good night to each other with pure hearts. I wasn’t introduced to a good old fashioned “church hurt”- that ugly thing that keeps people from being in relationship with a local church- until a few years ago (in a different church) when I saw a couple people flat out abuse their authority and dishonor God with their gossip and slander. I RAN from that church- that’s what we’re supposed to do when we’re in an unclean environment. We don’t honor what dishonors God- not under any circumstances.
I’m glad I got to see that ugly side of fleshly people in the body of Christ, though, because it gave me permission to start using that discernment God gave me and I now use it often.  Churches are full of people and people are people….. so now that my husband and I have a church and we shepherd and love people through their every day needs, crises, victories and struggles, I know this one thing for sure. There are disagreements within the body of Christ.

We are at a Leadership conference with our spiritual dad and Pastor this week. This morning, he spoke to the members of the church at large and how they should be handling disagreements or a difference of opinion with their Pastor.  Wait, there will be differences of opinion with your Pastor??  Apparently so. Before I recap his list and my impromptu thoughts, let me once again say that if you’re under UNCLEAN authority, go find clean authority. Immediately….. but let’s assume this is just a difference of opinion.

  1. Stay submitted. You’re not honoring anyone (God included) if you use your offense as permission to “do your own thing”. As Pastors, we don’t bail on you. It is disconcerting how many believers walk from their local church without meeting with the pastor and without a second thought of the void they leave within a family and a ministry.
  2. Don’t purpose to get out of order. Your perceived offense is not a license to church hop or, worse yet, stay home. The covenant of marriage doesn’t have a loophole for adultery and neither does your two-sided relationship with your Pastor.
  3. Always edify your Pastors and walk in joy. It’s likely that you took on someone else’s offense or there was a simple miscommunication. Call your Pastor and if he or she is a true shepherd, they want to hear from you and meet with you. No church is so big that people should ever become something there’s no time for.
  4. Pray for your Pastor. I worked on a staff of a very, very large church and still had absolutely no idea what that Pastor was walking through every single day. It hurts my heart that I didn’t pray more for him or appreciate the attacks on him that came from the body and from the enemy.
  5. Don’t go public with your disagreement or difference of opinion or recruit people to agree with you behind closed doors.  Why? It’s dishonoring and you’re supposed to be a mature disciple.

I’m just going to leave this here for your thoughts. I WELCOME your comments and questions and will respectfully address all respectful invitations to discuss what I’ve written.   At the end of the day, let’s just all try to put on our big boy and big girl pants and be able to say good night at the end of the day without question, malice, anger or worry. 

God-Soaked, Spiritual High

Hi friends, I’ve missed you. I’ve missed my fingers tapping the keys and sharing things with you.
Warning! Disclaimer! I am writing this while being on a God-soaked, spiritual high. If you’re a Christian, you know that kind of high I mean; it’s experienced, typically, when you come together with fellow believers and this special anointing fills the house or the church or wherever you happen to be. I liken it to a feeling similar to coming out of a warm shower, slipping into the most comfortable baby soft pajamas and then resting your bones between crisp, clean sheets and a fluffy pillow for a peaceful rest. It’s so good. Altogether comforting and enveloping. We want to just stay in those moments for as long as possible, don’t we? We just want to inhale the fresh smells and feel the billowy elegance of it all.
That’s what this spiritual high is like. My husband and I joined a few dozen other pastors, along with a couple hundred fellow believers for a Holy Spirit Conference that OUR pastor, Dr. Mark Barclay, holds a few times each year in various locations. I believe this is my 4th or 5th attendance. I can’t even begin to tell you my favorite part because it could be the amazing fellowship, friendship and support we get to experience with Pastors connected with Dr. Barclay~ NO battles for position or recognition, NOTHING but love. That’s not always seen in the body of Christ, sadly, but it IS in regard to this network of righteous preachers! My favorite part could also be the praise and worship that invites and ushers in the Holy Spirit in a way that “entertainment” praise & worship teams cannot. Maybe my favorite part is watching people be touched by God in every single meeting over a 4 day period. Maybe my favorite part is when I am personally touched so deeply that my senses are a little numb to what’s going on around me; the carnal world feels as though it no longer exists in that moment or two or that hour.
This is what we will experience someday when we reach heaven, I believe. This euphoric thing that words cannot touch.

How long I lived without the possibility of these experiences because of the choices I made or because of the climate I resided in~ one where God was not FULLY invited. Because of its relevance to this post, I must tell you about a time, several years ago, that someone close to me chastised me for “always having that Christian station on the radio” and I promptly, without thought, turned it off and replied “then we won’t listen to it anymore”. Surely you can see how blatant my message to God was but, if not,  I’ll help you out.  “God, you aren’t welcome here if your presence irritates someone. This someone is important to me and I care more about what they think than what you think. I honor and respect them more than I honor and respect you.”

That stings. It  stung God and it breaks my heart every time I recall it. I despise recalling it.

I didn’t invite God FULLY in and I missed out on this spiritual high I often partake in now. I was lukewarm. I was uncomfortable with where I was and wanted more but I felt unable to be FULLY in without FULLY losing some people and things in that decision… and so I stayed in the uncomfortable yet comfortable place of stagnation.

I’m so grateful to true, authentic people of God. I’m so grateful to my husband who has the unenviable position of not only being my local church pastor but my husband, as well. I’m grateful that I can reflect on what was, see what is and joyfully anticipate what will be. I’m grateful for all of the tough seasons along the way~ even those things that appeared as loss. What I have gained far surpasses anything I’ve lost and that may be the biggest understatement of my life.
So I want to just leave you with this…you know that person or thing you’re afraid you’ll lose if you become a radical, all-in Christian? Stop worrying about it. Let God work all that out (and He does, I promise you!). Just surrender your fears and reservations and get ready for the ride of your life.

Blessings!!

Reacquainting Myself With An Old Friend

I logged in here just yesterday, to my old blog companion of over 8 years, to get reacquainted and to play around with adjusting themes, colors, photos, etc.  I have some very longstanding friendships that often get placed on the back burner, unintentionally and regrettably, due to time constraints and lack of good planning. My blog is one such friend. We’ve walked through my big milestones together, that’s for sure. Like any authentic friendship, we can pick up where we left off despite time apart. In fact, time apart is sometimes good for us.
I was telling friends last night that if a person were to go back to my initial January 2010 post and read forward, they wouldn’t even have to meet me to know me. It’s all there.  I spared you the gory details of the not-so-fairytale stuff and tried my best to give you the highlights of the good stuff… but it’s still all there.  I type and then I publish~ outside of editing any spelling mistakes (oh, how I abhor spelling errors!). I don’t change anything I’ve typed because it’s what I wanted to say and why second guess it? It is what it is.

I was chatting with my friends about the possibility of making this more of a thematic blog (which is, by the way, what the experts recommend). Pick your area of expertise or interest and make that the focus of your posts, they say. Here’s the problem with that recommendation, however. I’m not interested in just one thing. I’m certainly not an “expert” in any one thing.. or anything, for that matter.
I want to be able to write about what divorce looks like, what remarriage looks like, what parenting adult kids is like and what it definitely shouldn’t look like, what my dog did that cracked me up, the things grandchildren say and do, what marrying a pastor is like, what being ordained is like, what signing up for a 10k is like when you are relatively sure you can’t run to the end of the driveway without needing a water break, what stupid menopause is like, and what the cure of the symptoms is like (thank you, GOD, for HRT).

I’ve got a lot of random thoughts that some people happen to relate to.
If they can’t relate, they can just laugh with me. I’m cool with that.

So I’ve decided against a ministry blog. There are thousands and many are amazing. I’m keeping the blog about this abundantly blessed, complicated, often hysterical, sometimes heartbreaking, always grateful life I’ve been given. Today, I woke up with this little thought that I want to share with you. What was the single best year of your life?
The year you graduated from college?
The year you married?
The year you landed the big career making position?

I can’t explain why these thoughts land in my brain and take root but they do. So I started thinking about it and there have been some great years in my ever growing collection and there have been some downright sad ones, too…. but I can honestly say that 2018 is shaping up to be my best year. THIS year is the best year of my life and here is why. I’m living MY authentic life. Not a perfect one; not a problem free one; an authentic one.

So I want you to do a mini self examination. What are the obstacles keeping you from living your authentic life?

Can I let you in on a little secret? It always starts with us.
Be blessed!

Happy Birthday, Blog!

Yes, I realize it’s a New Year. It would be cliche to say “wow, time flies” but seriously….why did the 365 days between my 15th birthday and my 16th birthday seem like a decade yet 2017 was a mere blur?
So Happy New Year. How’d you do on Day 1 of those resolutions? If you snuck in that chocolate goodie that was forbidden, try again tomorrow. Please realize that it doesn’t all hinge on this one day but we all do need to wake up tomorrow and try to do better. We’re on a journey, people!

This month, my blog turns 7 years old.  It’s out of diapers and went through the terrible 2’s and then gained some independence and now it doesn’t even need me anymore! Ha…. I’ve been a terribly neglectful mom to my little birthed blog. We were joined at the hip for quite a few years and then it just got thrown to the wayside because I couldn’t find the “time”. Funny, that brings me to one of MY resolutions for 2018. Make better use of my time. For me, that means picking up my discarded blog, dusting it off, apologizing for my empty promises of reconnecting and making good on my word.

What were the highlights of 2017? Well, Rick and I have a blended family, of course. This year, I finally got to meet his oldest daughter, her husband and their 2 boys. As an added bonus, we got to spend Thanksgiving together in 2017, too. Rick’s youngest daughter had her second child and we were there for that miraculous gift, adding granddaughter #2 to our equation. My daughter’s only son, Killian, turned 1 this year and we drove to Ohio for his birthday party and spent a good amount of time with them this fall. My son married his high school sweetheart in Italy this year. I danced with my son at the reception, naturally, and all I could think of as we were dancing were two things. How my hand used to envelope his tiny one, crossing streets and walking into kindergarten and now his hand enveloped mine… and how I knew I was the best mom I was equipped to be as he was growing up and yet I wish I could have a second chance at it. He’s a blessing and even though I didn’t get it all right, he turned out to be this amazing adult. I also found out that my daughter is expecting a baby girl on Killian’s 2nd birthday so that will round us out at 3 boys and 3 girls…. so far. Wow. Think about it~ in May 2016, I had NO grandchildren and now I have 5 with one on the way. That defies time, doesn’t it?

I became an ordained Pastor. That’s a colossal, humbling responsibility that I endeavor to do well. I am blessed to have as my husband one of the most impactful Pastors I know so I’ve no excuse for lack of modeling.

I lost friends this year. One has gone home to heaven and some chose to exit my life… and that’s okay. I’ve been delivered from worrying about who loves me and who doesn’t. Only one validates me. Only the One. So for those who have spoken behind my back (and I know who they are because the people they spoke to tolerated gossip and spread it back my way~ why don’t people understand that’s how toxicity operates?) anyway, for those who spoke behind my back, you’re forgiven. Your words were ugly but they say so much more about you than they do me.

I made friends this year. I’ve been placed in the path of amazing people. People in our church, people in our Pastors network, people in hospitals, people in restaurants, etc.

This year already has some transitions coming about that I know of and I am certain there are many transitions that only the good Lord knows. One thing remains. His love doesn’t change and He saw fit to give me the husband He had for me that exceeded all of my prayers. Wow. I was such a hot mess and He did all of this for me anyway. Hallelujah!! 

What are you resolving to do or not do in 2018? Here are a few things I’d like to encourage you to do. Get plugged in with solid people. Get plugged in with a solid, bible teaching, spirit filled church. Renew your mind and guard your heart. Learn something new. Don’t be afraid. Be kind. Be forgiving. Love well. Have healthy boundaries.

Blessings,

There’s a Wedding

Ah, my last morning in Ireland and the first night that I’ve actually slept somewhat soundly! This is what the past 10 days or so have looked like….

Ten days ago, my husband and I flew to Michigan to attend Dr. Mark Barclay’s Ministry of Helps conference. Every one of his conferences are amazing and I wanted to take the whole 5 sessions we were able to attend, bottle them up and bring them home to our church. If people who are serving in their local church (and those who attend but don’t serve, especially!) could just grasp whom they are serving and the excellence in which we should be doing so…but so many go through the motions when it’s convenient and treat serving like it’s optional dependent on whether it’s raining outside, sunny, there’s a football game or if they’re “tired” (my personal favorite) and miss the blessings intended for the cheerful giver.  Commitment and a spirit of excellence is missing at workplaces, in marriages, and in church…. but I’ll save that post for another day.

From Michigan, we went to southern Ohio and had a quick dinner out with my mom, my sister, my niece and her boyfriend, my daughter AND my sweet little grandson, Killian Thomas.  Too short of time to spend together but oh-so-sweet to me. Alas, the dinner was cut short by an early morning schedule because several hours later, Rick, my mom, and I drove to Cincinnati to board a plane for NYC.  This trip, thus far, has been so special to me as I’ve watched my mom take in sights and sounds she’s never seen. She loved St. Patrick’s Cathedral and I am smiling inwardly now as I anticipate what she’ll think about all of the equally and exceedingly beautiful churches she’ll see in England and Rome. A couple of days ago, we wandered through a Catholic Church here in the little town of Adare (Limerick County) that was built in 1270. What a gift to have seen that, walked the Cliffs of Moher, eaten clotted cream and scones, visited with our rented farm cottage’s owner, Bryan, shopped through the narrow streets of Kinsale, played cards by the fire on the quiet evenings, and the many other things we’ve been done in the past 4 days in this beautiful country of Ireland. Beautiful memories. 

In a couple of hours, we’ll leave this sweet little cottage and say good-bye to Miller, the farm dog (a border collie) who greets us by our door every time we’ve come and gone. We’ll leave the greenest green grass and board a plane for London Town! I have to say that taking all of this in with Rick has been so, so sweet. The last time I visited Ireland, it was a little bit of a “pub crawl”. This time has been vastly different; vastly richer. Life is so much sweeter on this side of things.

When I have a little time, I’ll blog the photos we’ve accumulated! So… I’ve got to get dressed and get my British accent polished and ready to go. Who am I kidding~ I’ve been speaking in a horrendous British accent all week while trying to mimic an Irish brogue…. linguistics is not my thing. I try but it’s pretty laughable.

We’re slowly making our way to Rupacanina, Italy where my son will be marrying his stunning girlfriend of 10 years….but there are many adventures that lie between that day and now. My mom and other sister, Denise (who flew in to Shannon and met us a day or two ago) are packed and ready to tackle the UK and the weather forecast looks amazing!

Blessings,
Amy

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Have you ever found yourself ready for a shift? This blog needs a good shift; a good, swift kick in the behind. Today is the day for a new direction, a new commitment and a new focal point but a few things will remain. I’m still the author and so the writing will continue to be raw and always unedited. I DO spell correct (and if you do not, please do) but I don’t get to the end of a post and go back for re-writes or to remove what I’ve said. If I said it, it’s out there and I leave it. I just sort of figure someone must have needed to read it and don’t give it a second thought. The blog will still be about my family, though some of the characters have exited stage left (stage wrong?) and new characters have emerged from stage right. God will move into center stage here on this page just as He is in my life and won’t merely exist as a support cast member.

So if you are catching up and haven’t read my entire post history since this blog began in 2010, a) where’ve you been?  b) you can always bore yourself by doing a quick search of the archives over on the right column or  c) I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version. Please tell me you know what that means. 

Readers Digest version: I got married when I was 20 to another 20 year old and we spent about 15 years doing most things right: raising kids, growing careers, carpools, sports bleachers, family vacations and packed lunches. We spent the next 15 years struggling to hold it together and destroy it. Ultimately, respect, vows, love, like and tolerance were obliterated and the white flag of surrender was launched out of a cannon. There you go~ that’s called abridged.

So let’s talk about that word SURRENDER. Wow. I could write a book on what I’ve learned about that word and there would still be a library full of books covering surrender that I’d still have to learn… but I embrace that word like never before. When I finally fully surrendered, my life took a sharp u-turn and I found myself on a path that had been laid out and intended just for little ‘ol me. That’s what God does~ takes what was meant for harm and uses it for good. Who else but God could do such a thing?

So after I waved the white flag of surrender~ now hear me, this isn’t a “I’m defeated and I give up” flag. NO! This is a “I’m not in control but You are, God, so take this messiness and direct my steps” flag. See the difference? That flag you fly is going to make ALL of the difference so make sure you wave the correct one. I’m not even going to charge you for that valuable piece of wisdom~ it’s all free and you can go and grab it for yourself. Okay, back to my waving the surrender flag….when I did that and finally got out of the way of God, He did some pretty miraculous things in my life.

If you don’t know my current husband, go find him and become his friend. You won’t be sorry~ he takes loyalty, kindness, authenticity and the serious business of having a deep relationship with God to a level rarely seen in today’s world. I’m a very blessed woman.

We got married, we started a church and life hasn’t slowed down since. We are crazy busy~ he has a book about to be published, I am forming my thoughts of whether to write a fiction or non-fiction book of my own, we have grandchildren, we have 4 amazing adult kids, we have a church family, extended family and….. this is pretty incredible…..I’m typing this from a farm cottage in Ireland. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you why we’re here and what we’ve done and where we’re going and who we’re with. Are you ready to begin a journey with me~one that has a little to do with physical locations but far more to do

with the position of our hearts and who we are surrendering to? Oh the places you’ll go.

You have no idea what God can do with a fully surrendered life.

Blessings,
Amy

Having an Esther Moment

Has it really been 2 months since I posted last? There is so much going on that I can hardly believe we’re halfway through August. August has always been my least favorite month of the year~ probably because I currently live in Florida and it’s not only oppressive heat and humidity BUT we’re winding down summer and so I’m weary and bored stiff of the oppressive heat and humidity.
Anyway…. our little church, begun with 11 people and a tiny budget, is celebrating its 1 year anniversary this month! Woot Woot!!! That’s a gigantic feat. Church planting is serious business but I sure can testify to this~ when God is in the plan, the plan will only fail if we’re disobedient.
My husband is a man of great insight, faith and vision. When God dropped the word in his spirit to begin a church (and let me stop here– this was about 30 days after we got married!), he jumped in.  I kind of dipped my toe in the water but he JUMPED IN.  Only God could have done what’s been done at Overcomers Community Church and only God can do what is about to be manifested. Every day, we look at our congregation and we look at each other with that “Can you believe what God is doing in this place??” look.
We’ve taken over 7000 square feet of a plaza from nasty filth and much evidence of homeless squatters to a homey, warm technology filled church in one calendar year. We didn’t do it alone.
We’ve grown from our 11 to roughly 50. Not just fifty butts in chairs, either. 50 people who grasp the vision, who want more than surface motivational speeches, who authentically care about growing up spiritually, who authentically care about the other 49 people they worship with, and who have become like second families to us. From weddings to funerals to baptisms to healings…. how does one even begin to quantify the blessings?
I became an ordained Pastor this year. Not only was I ordained, I was ordained by a man and ministry that I place such respect in; a man of undeniable integrity.
Dr. Mark Barclay, I don’t think I’ll ever adequately understand how God took me and just changed EVERYTHING about me but you saw it and I am eternally grateful. Without you, your wife, my husband and the countless Pastors and leaders I’ve met in the last year, I wouldn’t be who I am. I wouldn’t be walking out the will of God the way I am so blessed to be walking it out at this stage of life. I stand in awe; humbled and inspired. 

And there’s so much more to come. Things are happening fast. Esther 4:14 has always been a favorite scripture of mine but I often wondered if I’d recognize the “time” I had been created for. I believe I was born to birth my son and daughter~ I know that in my core. As sure as I am about that, I am equally sure I was born for such a time as THIS. The here and now. What does that look like? Well, that’s up to God and wherever He leads.

Never say never. That’s my BIG takeaway from 2016 and 2017.
God can do ALL things. God can change ALL circumstances. God can right EVERY wrong.

I’m one blessed girl…….

Grandchildren

It’s not often I sit in front of the screen and have difficulty in starting a blog. Words aren’t generally my deficit~ can I get an Amen?
But, this morning, I find myself with a crazy mixed bag of emotions following a very unique Friday.
It began with my reaching out on Facebook to a special family member and receiving an unexpected response! I was a little ticked off at myself for expecting silence~ where is my faith?! In any case, her response to my message opened the window to hope and that little gesture changed everything for the people I love.
Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next; an unexpected, purely God directed meeting with my son-in-law and grandson in a grocery store parking lot at 9AM. Spotting Killian, holding him, laughing with him and soaking in the joy of just looking at him while he smiled back at me is a feeling I can’t begin to describe. The circumstances are complicated and the back story is one that would take days to try to explain but my daughter has made decisions that have removed Killian from seeing his grandparents, his step-grandparent and his great grandparents without supervision. As Killian’s parent, she has the right to do that.
It breaks my heart because she knows how much love we have for Killian. She knows how much love we have for her. But, again, it is her legal right and she has dug her heels in despite her dad and I separately asking for a reconsideration. Anyway, enough of that sordid family disfunction. The heartbreak came in Killian and I having to eventually end our leisurely stroll around the grocery store; our stop at the bakery for a little cookie, his fascination with a box of toothpaste, his giggles over going fast in the cart, his flirting with a lady restocking cosmetics. Back in the parking lot, my son-in-law broke the news that they’re moving out of Florida and back to where their drama all began 10 years ago. I literally handed Killian back to his dad with the full understanding that I may not see him again for a very long time and I wept all the way home. I’m crying as I write this~ my heart feels as though it’s sitting far below its rightful place in my chest; it feels as though it’s under my feet.
As I was driving home, I glanced at my phone to see that my bonus daughter (my husband and I don’t have step-children; we have bonus kids) had texted to say that she had been instructed to go to the birthing center. AWESOME! Her nearly 41 week pregnancy was finally coming to an end and Elora  was coming!

As you can see from my disheveled appearance in the parking lot of Winn Dixie, I needed to get myself together and off we went to welcome Elora in to the world. My bonus daughter, Ryanne, went from arrival at the birthing center to delivery of a beautiful, perfect baby girl in less than 3 hours. Incredible. To make it even more special, Elora shares a birthday with her cousin, 1 year old Hunter.
So Maya is now a big sister and Rick and I got to keep the big sister overnight~ topped off with games at Chuck E. Cheese.
What a day.
Life is like that, isn’t it? The highs and lows.
It can literally take your breath away.

Thank you, God, for grandchildren. Thank you, God, for restoration. My faith is strong.

 

Just a tree in a storm

2017.

Are we all feeling good about getting acquainted with a new year? It feels a little less strange to write it out and see it, actually. 2017 is here!  So what does it bring with it? Will it be better than last year? Will it bring tragedy and triumph and victories and setbacks and sadness and congratulations and celebrations and condolences?
Well, yes. Probably. With over 525,ooo minutes in the year 2017, there will be minutes that will take hold of us and alter our lives forever because THIS is life on earth. Despite all of the things that may happen, let 2017 be a year of GROWTH! Who needs stagnation?

This is my first blog of 2017. Much, much, much has kept me busy but writing has always been where I go when I am sorting things out in my head. As I type out the words, foggy situations begin to clear… painters must feel the same way as they take their brush to the canvas or as musicians sit at the piano.
Over the last several months, I’ve read over posts I’ve written since the inception of this blog. I can pinpoint exactly what was happening in my life as I wrote down my thoughts~ the ups and downs and everything in between. There has, however, been one constant since the beginning; my faith in God. The not-so-subtle ribbon woven through nearly every post is my gratitude to God, my crying out to God or my deepening relationship with Him.
Has my faith grown and changed over the years? Yes …. thank GOD! Aren’t relationships supposed to deepen over time? If they don’t, doubleit’s called stagnation. I can’t speak for you but I can tell you, without reservation, a stagnant relationship with anyone I love is just unacceptable.

The other day on Facebook, I asked if other people had been attacked for their faith (because surely I cannot be alone in this!). Studying people is kind of an amateur pastime of mine so I really love when answers surprise me. People “liked” the post, indicating they had at one time or another, felt excluded or demeaned because of their religious beliefs…but not many wanted to really talk about it. I believe that’s because it’s so personal and wounds so deeply. To be clear, I have friends and family members who run the gambit of spiritual beliefs.

Some attend church on Sundays and live the rest of the week like Satan is their roommate.
Some don’t attend church but love God and live a life of great character.
Some believe in Mother Nature and enjoy becoming “one” with the planet and stars.
Some have created their own version of God that suits their lifestyle without reading who He really is.
Some believe in “karma” but don’t have a clue about its ancient Indian roots or religions birthed as a result.
Some believe if you’re a “good person”, all is well. Heaven is yours….not that they necessarily believe in a heaven…..
Some believe God doesn’t exist and they’ll deal with the fallout if they’re wrong.
Some believe in God and Jesus but not the Holy Spirit. You’re called a Nontrinitarian, by the way.
Some believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit but refute the idea of an enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy.
Some believe they used to be a cat or the Queen of England and are back in a different body.

treeI love people who fit into each one of those sentences (except that last one~ I don’t really know any of those peeps personally) and I have adopted a beautiful thing into my life called respect. If you haven’t adopted that demeanor where I’m concerned and choose to demean, exclude or belittle me OR my beliefs……well, I’ll still love you but we’re not hanging out. Simple as that. I’m rooted like a tree that’s weathered the elements for generations; bring on the storm or the sunshine because I’m not going anywhere.

Seriously, can’t we all just get along? Too much to ask? Life is too short for nonsense.

Love you. For real. SIG

 

There’s something about a baby….

They change our world. When we see those tiny toes, squinty eyes, toothless gums and fuzzy heads, we just melt. They bring us hope because we see all of the possibilities in their future and maybe even in our own.
I have been told for years how special it is to become a grandparent and how it takes loves to a whole new level and though I believed it, I couldn’t really grasp it. Until Killian Thomas.

My favorite photo

Killian has brought sunshine to a world that was kind of a lackluster gray before him. I was so blessed to see him born, take his first breath, cry his first cry of protest, and meet his mommy eye to eye. He is perfect in every way and I intend on being a grandmother who will dote, spoil and teach for as long as I’m on earth. While we are on the subject, please don’t call me grandma. The person I called grandma was all mothball smelling and completely antiquated to me so I’ve decided on an Irish pet name for Grandmother (Seanmháthair) and it’s Móraí. Next question you’re going to ask is how to pronounce that. Think More-ee. Easy breezy.   

Peace
Peace

My daughter…so proud of her. She’s had a bit of a rough year and remains strong in determination. My prayer for her is that she really grab hold of her worth, which is more than gold (true worth isn’t what other people think, my sweet babboo).  She has a fiery spirit, an overflowing personality, a sensitive heart and she is in love with her little boy. It’s a beautiful thing for me to watch it unfold and blossom.
I could stare at this little boy for hours. This tiny little nugget with a middle name that honors my deceased dad. This sweet little boy who will grow up to be a man of integrity and purpose.

You make my heart flood with joy, Killian…my little lovebug.
Blessings,
SIG

Labor is no big deal  :-)
Labor is no big deal 🙂
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7 lbs. 9 oz.
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Home from the hospital
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Diaper changing is FUN again!
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I could eat this kid up. Love, love, love!

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