All around me I see the world getting ready for Christmas. Light are twinkling and trees and bought. Ornaments are being hung and Mom is hunting for the perfect tablecloth for Christmas dinner. The memories are being shared of Christmas’ past. I remember the time I spent with my family. I remember the Kuchos we used to do every year when I was small. Kuchos is a traditional Lithuanian Christmas, done on Christmas Eve to celebrate the One Who Is To Come ((pretty cool right?)) The biggest memory I have ((next to Kuchos)) is Christmas 1991. It was the first Christmas since Alex had gone home and we did not want to celebrate at all. Literally, we stood the tree up and then proceeded to throw ornaments at the tree and where they landed is where they stayed. This year, we now have two empty seats at our table and around our tree and once again Mommy and I would much rather tuck ourselves away and throw ornaments once more. But dutifully, we will smile and try to spread cheer and the tree will go and the memories will be made for my boys and that is the most precious gift I could ever ask for…is that my boys are happy and are making memories ♥
For I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I downloaded this Bible coloring app to my phone and I absolutely love it! Today’s picture was of Christ coming through stormy seas holding out his hand to me ((or whoever happens to be coloring the picture)). And as I was coloring this picture, my heart grew heavier and I knew that the Holy Spirit was grabbing my attention so I became solely focused on this picture and everything else faded from me, I was tunneled into Christ and so I have decided to try to describe what being in God’s presence is like for me. Firstly, He sneaks up on me when I am not even looking because truth be told, I was only coloring to pass the time. The more I colored, the more my heart ached with a heaviness that did not hurt. As I have felt that feeling before, I knew where I was headed and usually, I get so emotional I cannot think because I start weeping with joy. This time though, being there in His presence, was so calming and peaceful. It was as if only Jesus and I were sitting on my bed just hanging out and chatting like old friends. Even as I type this, I feel a heavy yet calm presence across my shoulders. But I am not weeping ((hallelujah…it’s hard to type through tears)). There is a sense of peace deep within me even as the world is “coming back to life” for me and I can hear my husband playing his video game and my television in the background and far off noises from the boys room’s. What is it like for you? Feel free to share
I usually write the “this is how life was, God found me, all better” posts ((which are true and real…at least to me)). Today, I am bringing you to the “other” side. The side of faith that Christians do not like to talk about. I am talking about the things that scar your very soul. I have faced quite a few of those myself and some days, it is a battle to keep those “inner demons” under wraps. Many times, I call my Mommy and I just cry out to her “why?” She always makes me feel better, no matter the situation. Even deeper than that, is the tears I fight to hide from my boys because even though I know I am an alright Mom ((although Eli called me his favorite, best Mommy today so…brownie points))! I still feel like such a failure most days and nights I go to bed wondering if I paid enough attention, did I shoo away when I should have said stay? I battle the “other me” in my head that says I am not good enough and that I need to just hide away from the world. I suffer from chronic knee pain and it just seems to be getting worse by the month. My PTSD likes to rear her ugly head at the worst moments, and I can scarcely catch my breath. Some days, I lay in bed because I am too “tired” to get up. Yes, I have depression ((yippee skippee)). When dealing with trauma, I do not handle it well at all. I punch walls, windows, car roofs, whatever is handy, when I get angry enough. It goes deeper my friends. Just when I am at my breaking point, is when I yell…at God. You do what? Yes, I yell at God and I scream “now what? What do we do? How do we fix this? What are YOU going to do?!” Then I kind of slip into this little “funk” where I just do not care. Eventually God finds me, and hauls me up into His arms and cradles me and shows me ((like a proud Papa showing His daughter something amazingly wonderful)) just how and when and who He is using to keep me encouraged and strong and faithful. After I finish my “tantrum” God sets me on my feet and like an unsteady toddler, I am off once again trying to keep the faith and keep my eyes on Jesus and my Heavenly home, then I stumble over that rock, or fall into this hole, and the cycle starts again.
I share this with you because yes I am woman of faith, a daughter of the King, and I struggle, I have questions, I doubt…and that is definitely okay because as Thomas said “I believe…help my unbelief”. ♥
We had decided to pack up and leave behind the city I have called home for thirty-five years. Even Mommy decided it was time for her to leave and agreed to come along. We found a charming little house that was perfect for us with a beautiful yard and the best part of all ((besides being pet-friendly)) it was ten minutes from Will’s work. So, we dutifully filled out the questionnaire and scrounged around and managed to scrape up the money. We figured this was from God because why else would it go smoothly and happen quickly? After everything was done on our end, we waited impatiently and frequently checked for the “your keys are coming” email. Instead we got “I need help with this, I need that, you should do this”. After much deliberation and investigation, we found out we were scammed ((yay)). Now we have the daunting and tedious task of filing fraud claims with both the local police and the bank and possibly missing work for court in the future. Because of this scam, we are behind on rent and are fighting to catch up and our current landlord informed us today that “I don’t care about your situation, I only care about the rent for my apartment”. Things indeed look bleak true but…I have a job, I was blessed to spend Thanksgiving with family, my eldest son is visiting for the night, Will has been working ((and continues to do so)) through this never-ending pandemic. We still have a roof over our heads and food on our table despite the hard times. Our boys are provided for by family and friends.
While I may be in the valley right now and I have no idea what our future holds, God is here with me and I know I can trust Him fully to guide me and my family out of this valley as He has done many times before ♥
Today was as Mary Poppins would say “practically perfect in every way”. Woke up and grabbed coffee and breakfast before watching the parade. Then spent quality time with Will before rounding up Tobs and grabbing Auntie and a friend. Then off to Mommy’s for some delicious dinner and precious memories and joyous laughter. Then after much food was consumed out came the pie ((to which I had to politely refuse but stole a bite of Auntie’s anyway)). Then we gathered up the travelers and off we headed for home while Eli stayed behind for “Grandma” time. Now I am sitting comfy with my Love and we are watching some gaming videos on YouTube before we hop in the shower and then shut ourselves away from the world ((at least until tomorrow)). Dad and Alex were missed and of course talked about with much laughter and love. The dog, Ms. Kissy, was a well-behaved pooch ((even with boys around)). I have lost a lot this year ((who hasn’t?)) but I have also been blessed in numerous ways and that is what I am thankful for this year…what are you thankful for? Please feel free to share in the comment and stay blessed and faithful and may His face shine upon you ♥
I was talking with my Mommy ((which is nothing new)) and she reminded me “hey, you have not written anything for a few days”. So, I started racking my brain and keeping myself distracted waiting for that “aha” moment but sadly it took forever and even as I type God is hammering it out into my head and heart. Twenty-one years ((and about a month and a half ago?)) in October, a sweet little baby girl was born. Well why is that huge? Because she delivered her first child, a boy, this morning. So, why does that matter? After all women have been giving birth since Eve. That little baby girl is my cousin by blood and my niece by marriage ((don’t try to figure it out…you’ll get a headache)). I got to sort-of see how God is always there and crosses even generations of families. Let me explain further. She was the “first” for quite a few people and of course is beloved by family. She is the first grand-child for my in-laws, the first ((and as it turned out, only)) child of my husband’s sister and her husband, the first niece for my husband, and probably many more that I cannot remember ((21 years ago so hey, I think I’m doing pretty good)). She got very sick at birth and the family had been told to prepare for the worst and they were life-flighting her to another hospital. Needless to say, that little girl had LOTS of people praying and just as they were about ready to send her off, she made a miraculous recovery and today she delivered her first child which also happens to be the first great-grandchild for my in-law’s and the first grandchild for my sister-in-law and her husband. Not a HUGE eye-opening miracle I know but still miraculous and wicked cool that way back when God healed her and brought her back from death and now she is a Mama ♥
I want to share my day with you. I woke up, got the boys up and ready and on to their laptops for school…at this point they are now called Lappies and have taken up residence in my dining room. While our boys were busy getting studious Will and I ran off to do a couple of errands because -cries- his “staycation” is over, and he returned to work today. After he sauntered off with lots of kisses and hugs and a “see ya later bruh” I settled in for some virtual on-the-job training…so…much…fun. Thankfully, my little scholars were done around the same time I was so we each retreated to our own space for a bit of time to rest and recharge. After that was done it became the decision of dinner and what time to cook. Then we all retreated once more to separate corners…loving the quiet by the way. Then I got to take a blissful half an hour bath while listening to worship music and texting with my Love. Now I am writing this and waiting for my hamburg to defrost and watching the clock so I am not late for Bible study with Pastor Dan ((did I mention you should watch him on Facebook Live?)) and of course about a quarter of the way into it I will have to take my own Lappy and head off to the kitchen where Pastor Dan inside my Lappy will rest on my washing machine while I cook dinner and wait semi-impatiently for my best friend to get in from work.
So, what is the point of all this? My point is this…I have had one of them “run around like crazy but it still manages to get done” kind of days. But instead of being focused on how busy I was ((and still am)), I am focusing instead on the blessings I have received today alone. Sure, they may be small but even the small ones deserve gratitude and faithfulness so that the next blessing may be a “big” one. So, tomorrow I challenge each of you, no matter how busy or where you are at…stop and see the blessings instead of the chaos ♥
I have been waiting all day for that magic moment when my soul feels like it is on fire and I just have to get to my laptop and start typing like a mad woman. And today was no different than any other day. Got up, got the boys up and ready for another day of remote learning ((yay)) then lazed around and then watched Pastor Dan ((seriously…watch him)). Then got up and did errands ((always fun)) came home, did housework while blasting worship music ((only way to do it)). Then it dawned on me that maybe today that fiery strike would not happen ((but hey it is still early)). So for now, I am just going to sit quiet with my worship music and chat with my online friends and we will see if God sends a fire or if I am meant to be quiet and reflect. One thing I am reflecting on is our growth…with our Facebook page and the blog we now total 36 strong. If 36 is where we stay, I am content. If we dwindle, I will still praise. If we grow, I will rejoice. I pray that we continue to grow in faith and walk in love and remember…enjoy the quiet now and then ♥
I have spent a lot of time talking about my past, how I came to Christ, where I have been in life to where I am now and talking about my family and close friends. But the support for Faith Like Mary is so much bigger. And He truly works in mysterious ways. I love seeing new members and new followers each day and it brings a smile to my heart. But rest assured if I only had one or even zero, I would keep sharing and loving. So to my “tribe”, my beloveds, the ones who are indeed starting this journey with me, I know you are praying or sending vibes or sharing or even hitting the “love” button ((thanks Mommy)). I want you to know that as you lift me up in prayer, I in turn pray for you and I in turn invite others to pray for you. This circle of prayer is amazing and it truly lifts each one of us up to God and helps us to become a Warrior and intercede on a Warrior’s behalf if needed ((and let’s face it…sometime we Warriors need a time out)). I am going to continue marching onward because I am a Warrior for Christ ♥