Friday, March 25, 2016

Remember...

Today I am making a intentional effort to remember just what Christ did for me.

This time of year, many of us skip right over Good Friday to the celebration of Easter.  We love the hope and joy that the resurrection brings.  But we don't necessarily like to look at what got us there.  We tend to turn away from and skip over the pain, suffering and hard of Good Friday.

But you know what?

If you don't take a close look at that pain, that hard and your own depravity...

....you will NEVER come close to truly understanding the significance of that empty tomb.

Today, I am wearing this on my hand...



..to remind me to think about what Christ did for me and to try to more deeply understand that it should have been me.

Christ loved me so much that He endured the hard, the pain....the Cross....even knowing EXACTLY what it would entail.

Have you ever thought about that?

I have endured many hardships in my life.
But I didn't go into them KNOWING just how hard they would be.
If I had, I probably would have done all I could to get out of them!!

But Christ KNEW what it would cost Him.
Pain
Hurt
Suffering
Loss
The Cross
Death
And the rejection from His Father as He took on OUR sin.

He knew.
And yet He still did it.

My heart can't contain that kind of love.
But as I think on this and look at my own sin that put Him there, I am completely humbled and overwhelmed.

I want to be reminded today.  
And I want to look at EVERY part of the hard.

Because come Sunday, 
the JOY and HOPE  and GIFT of that empty tomb...

....will abound in my heart even more!


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My Darlin'


Early Tuesday morning, February 16th, my beautiful Mother-in-Law peacefully slipped out of this life and into the arms of Jesus.  I have so many wonderful memories to hold on to because I was blessed to have a MIL that loved me like a daughter. But as a family, we all remember that no matter if you called her, showed up at her door, or she was writing you a card...she greeted you with 'My darlin'.  

Hi Darlin!....My darlin's......well hello darlin!   

While my middle son processed his grief over losing his Grams, he wrote this poem.  He was brave enough to read it at the memorial through his tears and we all cried...
...because we all felt his words...like they were our own.

My Darling 

When I was a kid, 
My idea of a gift, 
Was found in the mysterious contents, 
Of your purse. 
The sacred to me was a toy, 
In this case, Bugs Bunny. 
It was nothing special, 
Yet held it all, 

It soon vanished, 
Along with my childish ideals, 
Leaving perspective, 
And a hard night’s wonder. 
But that wasn’t enough for me, 
In those middle years. 
I hadn’t a clue 
Of what this gift could do. 

It wasn’t until I had my baby girl, 
And saw you in her, 
That I started to see, 
This gift that I’ve been given. 
From that moment on, 
I heard it over the phone, 
The moment you picked it up. 
I heard it on your porch, 
As soon as I could reach for you. 
It embodies two words, 
‘My Darling.’ 

Now I reach back into my mind to withdraw, 
Memories peppered with those words. 
All of which were good, 
All of which were gifts, 
All of which began with those words,
‘My Darling’. 

Now I’ll always look back, 
To this gift I’ve always had. 
I’ll remember always, 
The love on which it stands 

I’ll remember the birds nest 
Tucked into your porch’s roof 
The pear tree and onion chutes. 
Sunflowers, Whisper, and classic books. 
I’ll remember the toast with its cinnamon-sugar elixir. 
I’ll remember the jar of M&M’s and ice cream bowls. 
I’ll remember the smell of your house, your naked lady lamp, 
The turtles, marbles, and big board games. 
I’ll remember the clowns that hung over my bed (and always wonder why they did). 
I’ll remember the fire station, park, purple everything. 
Mr. Bubble baths, and crazy basement carpets. 
I’ll remember the terror of being whipped by a switch, 
And relief after. 
I’ll remember being shocked by the tubes that assisted you. 
By the frailty that soon consumed you. 
I’ll remember the day you left us. 
The day you won, leaving your pain behind. 

This is the day you’ve received the gift, 
This gift you’ve given me, 
As you walked into our Savior’s arms, 
He welcomed, 
‘My Darling.’

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Covers

Have you ever had one of those days where life just seemed to be piling on and the weight of it all brought you to your knees?  One of those days where you don’t want to get out of bed?  You think that maybe if you just stay there under the covers, all those problems will go away?  Or at least, if you don’t get out of bed, you just won’t have to face them?

That is how I felt this morning.  As I lay in bed after a fitful night of sleep, I just wanted to stay there in the warmth with the covers over my head.  It seemed like a good place to be...drifting in and out of sleep.  No phone calls about my MIL.  No phone calls about the problems going on in our unsold house.  Maybe I could just ignore it all.

But then a song found it’s way into my mind…..this is the day.  This is the day that the Lord hath made.  Let us rejoice.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

And God gently reminded me that being under those covers didn’t protect me from my problems and it certainly didn’t take them away.  He lovingly reminded me that HE made every new day and as a follower of Christ, I should not wish it away.  I should consider it precious because God made it. 

So I lifted the covers off and slipped out of bed.  The cold in the room quickly hit my face and woke me up.  I headed down to the kitchen, grabbed my cup of coffee and sat in my chair to spend time with God.  This is what was waiting for me in one of my devotions….

Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life.  Part of you is still hungering for the resolution of all difficulties.  This is false hope!  As I told My disciples, in this world you will have trouble.  Link your hope not to problem solving in this life but to the promise of an eternity of problem-free life in heaven.  Instead of seeking perfection in this fallen world, pour your energy into seeking Me: the Perfect One.  Jesus Calling.

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man….he will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.  Psalm 112:4,7

What a personal and loving God I have!  He knows my heart and knows ME.  He knew exactly where I would be this morning and what I would need to hear. 

I love Him for that. 


And I can’t imagine facing this life without Him and the hope He brings.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sitting at a Place I never thought I'd be....

This morning, we moved my sweet Mother-in-Law to hospice.  I guess mentally I knew I would eventually be at this place.  We all know everyone dies.  But all my life it seemed so far away. 

We think so much about living.  We spend many hours planning our days to the minute.  But we rarely think about dying.  In fact, I would venture to say most of us think that topic is taboo. 

But here I am with a hurting heart.  Jumping every time the phone rings wondering if it’s “the call”.  Trying to figure out when to go.  Wishing desperately that I could see her one more time, hear her infectious laugh and tell her I love her. 

I never thought about being here……but here I am.

How do I navigate this.  I have been struggling all night and all this morning with my thoughts.  Do I fly out to see her. Is that the right thing to do? Do I wait until both my husband and I can go.  Is she scared?  Does she understand what is going on? Does she know we desperately want to be there?  Is she wondering where we are?  My mind moved so fast it literally took my breath away.

I lead a bible study on Monday afternoons.  It is a Kay Arthur precept upon precept study and we are working through the gospel of John.  I almost called the study off today.  I didn’t feel like I was in the right frame of mind to lead others, but God gently spoke to me and said “Go”.

Of course, I am so glad I did.

God’s Word is always the place to find peace and Kay Arthur’s video was amazing.  It reminded me again what I already know…that our times are in God’s hands (Ps  31:14-15). That God is in control of the problems and He is also in control of the solutions.  He knows the situation and He knows my heart.  I don’t need to worry or try to figure it out, I just need to listen. 

And as I listened to Kay teach, I realized that my Mother-in-LOVE knows I love her.  I don’t need to tell her that.  And I know she loves me.  And what is more important is that I know she loves Jesus. 

And soon, on God’s time table, she will be done with this broken body that is not working for her and she will walk into the presence of God fully healed.  And because we both have accepted that Jesus is God, He is the Son of God and He died for our sins……this is not good bye.  I will see her again soon…..

 and what a wonderful reunion that will be!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January:Currents

I haven't done a post on Monthly Currents in a long time and this morning seems a good time to get back into it!

Current Read: I have not read a book in MONTHS.  But this last weekend I picked up and finished "Secrets of a Charmed Life".  I have to tell you that being able to read for fun was like having an dear friend visit.  I got lost in the story and realized how much I missed reading!  I am now starting The Nightingale.

Current Playlist: I also haven't had much time to listen to music.  But when I am in my car I am just shuffling through my Christian Music Playlist

Current Color(s): Grey!  I have never worn much grey, but since I have grown my natural hair color out I am finding that I can wear new colors and also can't wear some others!!!  It's really weird.  I'm having to get used to a whole new look!

Current Food: Right now I am loving Roasted Veggies.  ANY veggie roasted tastes so much better!  I just take whatever is in my fridge, add a little EVOO and salt and pepper and throw it in the oven!  I honestly could eat it every day.  Put a fried egg on top and it's heaven!


Current Favorite Favorite: My Fav Fav is my Christmas Onsie my daughter got me!!  I seriously don't usually like onsies, but Alyssa got us these amazing ones for Christmas.  When it is so cold in my house in the morning, I just jump in the onsie and am nice and toasty till we get the fire going!!! It is incredibly comfortable too.  Some days I stay in it all day.  :)


The kids even wore theirs outside....they are that warm!


Current Addiction: Costco dried Cherries.  SO good!

Current Wish List: I really want my own pair of snow shoes. I have been going out with my neighbor and am loving it!  what great exercise and it allows you to go places in the snow you couldn't other wise!!  Thankfully I have good friends that are letting me borrow theirs!



Current Need: I really don't have any "needs" right now, praise God.  However, my husband and I could use a vacation together!!  We haven't had a true vacation in a long time and I can't see that we will any time in the near future. :(

Current Triumph: I finally started the on-line classes to become a certified Precept upon Precept leader!

Current Annoyance: People that come up from the valley to "play in the snow" but have NO idea how to drive in it.

Current Blessing: Great friends.  When you move to a new place, it can be hard to make new friends.  It takes time to build relationships and go deep, beyond the surface.  But God has provided me with some amazing friendships here in Munds Park and I am so grateful!

Current Mood: Happy and content

Current Excitement: My mom received her Diabetic Alert Dog on Friday and all is going well.  Sugar has already alerted mom of highs and lows, even in the middle of the night!  We are so thankful for her!!

Current Project: I am considering taking a class on Craftsy.com.  

Current Plans For The Day: - My bible study starts back up today.  We moved to the afternoons for the winter so it is easier to get around!  Then I have to do a little cleaning and then I plan to sit and read some more!!!

What are your Currents?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Blessings come from Obedience

This morning, a quote in my devotional made me reflect on the last couple of years of my life.

Oswald Chambers said this morning.....

"Beware of the inclination to dictate to God what consequences you would allow as a condition of your obedience to Him"

That is a heavy thought and one I wrestled with over 2 years ago.

I was studying Ezekiel.  If you have ever studied that book in the Bible you know that Ezekiel was a prophet that was sold out to God.  God called him to prophesy to a rebellious Israel and He called Ezekiel to do some pretty crazy things to try and get Israel to return to Him.

But toward then end of the study, we came to a chapter where God spoke to Ezekiel one morning and told him that in the evening he would lose the delight of his eyes (his wife). And he was not to cry over her or mourn her as an example to Israel, who was about to lose their beloved city, Jerusalem.

The scripture literally just took my breath away and for weeks I wrestled with God over it.

"God, how could you ask him to give up his wife for Israel....who was not even listening!!!  He had done everything you asked him to do....they just turned away. " It just seemed too much to ask.

And yet, Ezekiel accepts it, without argument and keeps on doing what God asks of him.  You see Ezekiel understood the quote above.

When I say "I wrestled with God", I really mean I wrestled with God!!!

You know, He is not afraid of our questions, emotions or doubts.  In fact, He WANTS us to bring those to Him.  And as I did, He revealed to me what the real issue was.....Pride.

At that point in my life, I was willing to follow God...but on my terms.  There were just some consequences I wasn't willing to take on.

that's pride.

Me thinking I know what is best over God.
Me thinking that I know what will bring Him most glory.
Me not being willing to give to Him, when He gave EVERYTHING for me.

Exactly what the quote above is talking about.

I read that quote this morning and smiled.  Because after wrestling with God and realizing my pride, I surrendered EVERYthing to Him.  I came to the point where I told God....

....I am willing to go through ANYthing that will bring you more glory.  I will not put a condition on my obedience to you.

and I meant it.

And guess what?

Right after that, my husband lost his job.  
And we went for a year without one.

I smiled this morning because now I am on the other side of that trial.   I can see that my obedience and trust through that tough time brought Him glory in many ways...too many to count and probably more that I don't even know about.  I can see and feel the amazing trust I developed in Him.  And I can see all the blessings that He poured out on me in the end..though my obedience.

This life is not about me.
It's about Him.

It's about bringing Him glory and drawing others to Him.
It's about allowing Him to mold me each day to be a little more like Him, so that other's see His character through my life.

Those things won't happen if I put conditions on my obedience to God.

So today, once again, I surrender my life to Him and say...

 I am willing to go through ANYthing that will bring You more glory.  I will not put a condition on my obedience to You.

I can do that because I KNOW He is faithful, sovereign, loving and just.  His ways are so much better than mine.

And I have seen first hand that blessings truly do come from obedience.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Santa (sneakily) returns to the Bowyer Christmas

If you've been around my blog in the past, then you know about the Santa..


If you haven't, you can read about him here and here .


Last year, since Jason had gotten married and was starting his own family, I decided it was time to retire the Santa.  He had had a good run in the Bowyer family traditions, but I felt like it was time for him to find a new home and start new traditions.  So, for Christmas I gave him to Jason as a gift.

Several people had asked me about the Santa and where he was going to show up this year and my answer was always "He's retired!!  And now has a new home in Jason's family"

Jason, Kristen and Edris have been here for a few days and this morning, Jason said he wanted to take my picture with Edris.  

It should have been my first clue!!!


He promptly also said "Mom, you should post that, it's so good"

Should have been my 2nd clue!!

Yep, Santa made his way BACK into the Bowyer family Christmas. 
 He's a stubborn little guy!

Now in my defense......

1. He replaced a Santa that had the same colors as him
2.  I am NOT a detail nor observant person
3.  My focus is on EDRIS!!!

But even with that said, He got me!!!

I got on Facebook and saw a post from him I was tagged in.  
The first thing I saw was "gotcha"...

..and I knew.