All I Ever Have To Be

On what should have been an hour and a half drive on a weekday afternoon, there was an accident on I-5 that made drive time turn into a 5 hour forced bonding time between myself and a work peer.  To pass the time while sitting there, we talked and after a couple of hours, started trying to entertain one another by playing various games we recalled from childhood family road trips.  My co-worker decided to play a game of “What’s your favorite?”, which led to her knowing much more about me than I would normally divulge to a colleague.  What’s your favorite color?  What’s your favorite movie?  What’s your favorite food?  What’s your favorite song?  I can’t answer that one!  I mean, there are so many, and it depends on what type of music, what mood I’m in, what memory its associated with, how do you pick one child over the other?!  The question actually stressed me out! Continue reading “All I Ever Have To Be”

Fiery & Faithful

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As I sit down to write this post, I am struck with the fact that you won’t be reading or commenting on this one.  I could always count on you to take a couple of minutes to read whatever I was sharing, you only gave a compliment when you meant it, so when I got one, it meant a lot because I knew it was completely sincere.  This is just one of the many things I loved and appreciated about you and there is so much more.

You had strong opinions, not a whole lot of gray area with you.  Spunk and internal fortitude were very natural for you and you had a deep sense of right and wrong. Continue reading “Fiery & Faithful”

The Joy of Obedience

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I like the word joy.  It brings a smile to my face just saying it…go ahead and try …”JOY”…aahhh, sweetness.  Wouldn’t you know it though, obedience doesn’t roll off the tongue quite so smoothly.  I don’t feel like partying when I hear that one!  Who wants more joy in their life?  We all raise our hands.  Who’s interested in becoming more obedient?  Cue the crickets.

When I say obedience, it conjures up the same feelings I tend to get when I hear words like, selflessness, humility, sacrifice or surrender.  No smile appears on my face, rather I often feel a sense of dread, like I need to brace myself, or even fear, wondering what’s this going to cost me?  My self centeredness is showing again.  Anyone out there know what I’m saying? Continue reading “The Joy of Obedience”

He Gets It

Do you ever feel like no one understands what you are going through?  I do!  Like your friends or even your family just don’t get it?  Me, again!

The other morning heading to work I was feeling a little weary, a little hurt, a little angry a little a lot of things, I guess.  I was thinking about someone who I am frustrated with.  I guess I felt let down by this individual and I felt justified in my feelings.  The fact that this individual had not met what I feel are reasonable expectations left me feeling, hurt and a bit rejected during an already difficult period.  I was struggling in that moment to let it go, to forgive, especially absent an apology or acknowledgment of any wrong doing, which I wasn’t holding my breath for. Continue reading “He Gets It”

First Responder OR Nuclear Reactor?

Several weeks ago now, I was running late getting out the door for work. It was extra cold that morning and the zipper on my coat was stuck, so I had been wrestling with it for about 10 minutes with my frustration level growing as the clock ticked. I finally gave up and decided, I’d have to just slip the coat over my head and try to wrestle with it some more later. I then went to finish getting ready and my 350 degree flat iron started to fall off the counter. I reacted quickly and grabbed for it! Only problem is, I missed the handle and grabbed the actual iron! Owww!!  The pain caused me to drop it and it fell to the floor where I was then able to pick it up by the handle.

In the following moments while digging through the closet to find some burn cream, God dropped a pretty clear thought into my heart and mind. I don’t know that I appreciated it all that much in the moment, but it would be futile to argue with the truth or God for that matter! Continue reading “First Responder OR Nuclear Reactor?”

Bonus Time

June 27th I was sitting in the hospital with my dad who had been admitted days before, while my sister was taking my mom to the emergency room as she was not feeling right.  What we assumed would be a quick trip turned into a wild & scary ride! Hold onto your seats.

I will never forget entering her room in the critical care unit for the first time and seeing her hooked up to all these wires and monitors with a tube down her throat.  I don’t do hospital’s well to begin with so seeing my mom like this was rough.  I observed from a few feet away at first, I had been told she could likely hear us and know we were there and I wanted to get myself together so I didn’t reveal to her how I was feeling inside at that moment.  It took me a bit to compose myself, I approached the bed, rubbed her hand and said, “Hi Mama”.  That was all I could do before my throat started to constrict and tears came.  In another 10 minutes, I tried again, “Hey Mama, it’s me Denise, I’m here” and I was done again.  A few more deep breaths and I made another approach, “Hey Mama, it’s Denise, you’re in the hospital and they’re taking really good care of you, all of your family has been here, Dad’s feeling better and we all sure love you.”  That was all I could do before my voice starting to give me away again.  I worked my way up to scooting a chair by her bedside, holding her hand and singing some of her favorites to her.  Cherished time with my mom. Continue reading “Bonus Time”

Are We There Yet?

As a child growing up my family would make an annual road trip to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins. I always looked forward to our visits and time with them was the highlight of many of my summers.  Although, I loved being there and spending time together, I did not enjoy the 9 hour road trip! I was ready to be there before the family car left the driveway!  If teleportation was possible, I would’ve preferred that route. Continue reading “Are We There Yet?”

A Small Piece of Yarn

Yeshi

I am thrilled to have a guess blogger on neeserisms, my very own AMAZING niece and her great insights…

I learned to knit when I was living in the orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  It took me about one month to learn.  One teacher taught me the basics and I remember offering my food to friends in exchange for their help teaching me.  I have been knitting now for over 6 years. One thing I have learned through this skill is that one small piece of yarn, when put in the right person’s hands, can be transformed into something useful and beautiful.  This illustrates what it is like if I put my life in God’s hands.  No matter how small I may feel, He can use me to do great things. Continue reading “A Small Piece of Yarn”

We Don’t Treat God’s Work Like This

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The evening before 7th grade school photos my Grandma thought it would be a great idea to have her live in care taker perm my hair.  Given the fact this lady had evidently gone to beauty school at some point in her life and I wanted to look extra special for my pictures, I went along with Grandma’s idea, which made her super thrilled!  The next day, I had my new black sweater picked out, a little blue eyeliner for that WOW factor and well, as you can see my fuzzy black hair to match!!  I HATED this picture, I actually would’ve said until last night, “I hate this picture” when for whatever reason (He knows) God brought it to mind and a memory that I had not thought of since the 7th grade, which has been about a good 30ish years for me. Continue reading “We Don’t Treat God’s Work Like This”

The Birthday Lesson That Never Ends

My birthday will soon be here and just happens to coincide with another little holiday called Independence Day.  Most of us more fondly refer to it as the 4th of July.  I can remember as a little person probably around the age of 5, feeling rather impressed with the big deal so many people made about my birthday!  I mean, a lot of people were in on it and not just my family either.  The neighbors, the whole community, people on TV, my birthday was kind of a big deal!   People would celebrate my special day with BBQ’s, picnics, parades and even fireworks.  I didn’t really care for that part so much, so I stayed inside the house with my grandparent’s dog Gizmo, but I thought it was really cool they blew up stuff on my account, cause no one else I knew got that on their birthday. Continue reading “The Birthday Lesson That Never Ends”