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Saturday Morning Coffee & A New Focus

2 Jun

Close up of cup of coffee with pink roseI put an idea out there on Facebook via video that it would be so nice to return to a time when people wrote notes, sent cards for occasions or a letter just because, rather than a Facebook post for these events.

When mom died at the end of April, my mailbox would have cards in it each day for about a week or so and it was so nice to have something to physically hold in my hand that said I was being prayed for, I was loved, thought of and cared about through that ordeal. It felt like extra support and I have pulled them out now and then when I am having a “missing her” moment to re-read those encouraging words. But like life, folks move on and the mailbox goes back to being just bills or an empty space.

I decided to stick it out there and see if I had any others who wanted to start sending each other a note, funny card, recipe, article…anything that struck a cord at the moment it was seen that one had a desire to share. But, rather than text it or post it to social media, put it in the “snail” mail! 5 people responded, and since I had suggested this in the past (like um over a year ago…) and had interest but didn’t pursue it, I grabbed 2 others from back then and started a list. I pulled out note cards, found a funny cartoon to print off, put a personal note in each and mailed them. Small start but I at least did it this time!

I’m hoping to grow this into a sort of happy-mail, mailbox ministry if you will, a way to spread sunshine and joy to others. I want it to become more personalized to each recipient but had to just get it started so I did. And this creates my Christmas card list! I’ll start asking for birthdays, anniversaries, whatever folks on my list want to share so I can make sure to get those sent out.

 

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Confident Women Don’t Hate

29 Jul

I follow a woman on Twitter who I have truly grown to love, Real Talk Kim (@realtalkkim) and tonight she tweeted:

“Oh darling, you can’t fix yourself by breaking someone else. Confident women don’t hate!”

I LOVE that!  She is a pastor’s wife, and full of very frank, biblical things to share on her Twitter account.  I don’t even remember how I stumbled on this one, but I’m not sorry that I did!  Next week I am going to dial in to her Tuesday morning prayer call out of curiosity.  I also follow her on Instagram, where I found this gem:

singleladies

 

Honestly, it really applies well to married ladies too!  Which got me thinking and confirmed my choice to deactivate my dating profiles.  Waiting on the final word from the one so that it can be removed.  No man on there was even close to what I am seeking.  I want a man who puts God first, seeks to serve Him, prays for his woman, and guides her toward her Savior.  That is not what I found on the dating sites and in fact what I was finding added up to booty calls.  No thanks.

For years, when married, we served in our local church, actively participating.  If the doors were open, we were there.  We prayed together out loud every night before bed, for each other and various needs.  It is an amazing thing to pray together with your spouse each night.  I woke every morning earlier than I needed, in order to spend time in my bible and devotions.  Life was on the right path.  Then, somethings went haywire and some how we ended up going down a road we did not belong on.  I believe it was the beginning of the end.  And while a real man would never have allowed his wife to go there, or himself, sin is a powerful force.  Dabble a bit and you get sucked in.

I cannot lay the blame at the feet of my ex, I allowed myself to skip on down that road that led into one of the sleeziest chapters of my life.  While a real man leads his family, a real woman doesn’t sit by and let things go sideways without standing up for what she knows is right.  In taking responsibility for my actions I accept responsibility for the failure of my marriage as well.   I was angry, there was a war going on between my soul and sin.    On the way to work and back right now I’m listening to a CD series by Darren Hardy that goes with his book, The Compound Effect.  While it is not about marriage, sin or God, the lessons apply across every avenue in life.  He talked about how he learned that relationships are not 50/50, they are 100/0.  You are 100% responsible for your relationships, and everything else in your life.  My marriage failed because neither of us took responsibility, and frankly I can say I am 100% responsible for it’s failure.  I let so much outside impact the inside that I have no one to blame but myself for the path we were on, my reactions to things and ultimately the way I handled things in the end.  It matters precious little what he did or didn’t do, I’m responsible for what I did and did not do.

Make no mistake I am far from perfect.  Even today I was chatting with someone about a former friend, and while I didn’t say anything unkind, and neither did she, there were no uplifting utterances either.  And since I didn’t have anything nice to say there was no need to say anything at all, even if it wasn’t unkind.  I need to go back and add that person to my prayer list again, because I learned long ago that if you are truly praying for someone, you cannot hate them.  In fact you really do grow to care for them and start to speak kindly again.  I’ve been slipping, and I have no one to blame for that but me.

No doubt this is why, when I pulled out my bible the night before last, praying for guidance as to where to read from for this week, I found myself directed to Psalm 119 (trust me, there was a definite directing to go there).  And these are the verses I’ve been pondering:

Psalm 119:1-11New American Standard Bible (NASB)

How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the Lord.
How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.
They also do no unrighteousness;
They walk in His ways.
You have ordained Your precepts,
That we should keep them diligently.
Oh that my ways may be established
To keep Your statutes!
Then I shall not be ashamed
When I look upon all Your commandments.
I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
I shall keep Your statutes;
Do not forsake me utterly!

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.

The emphasis for 9-11 is mine.  I have to stay on the path, treasure God’s word in my heart.   I am responsible for me, for my actions, my forgiveness or lack thereof, and I cannot control what someone else does.

And so, to the friend I was chatting with, forgive me for not speaking kindly of said individual, I need to remember to build her up, not break her down, and continue to reflect Christ’s love even to those who do not, in my mind deserve it, because I certainly did not deserve His!

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