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 ♥
My miracle contains four fabulous fellas that are my world. My husband, Will, and our 3 boys. I first met Will when I was just sixteen ((ah youth)). He was seventeen and I walked up to him and just started yapping his ear off and then threw him into a bush ((don’t ask)). I asked him how it felt and he said “this is how it felt” and proceeded to throw me into the same bush! It was then that something clicked and I thought just maybe this guy could keep up with me and keep me sane. So, we started dating and grew closer. My home life by seventeen was not ideal for lots of reasons ((think wicked stepmother and step-siblings but it was not my Mom)). And he rescued me from that situation and protected me. We then got pregnant with our first son and so since we planned on being married anyway, the bells rang sooner and we wed before our sweet Will entered the world ((and we were just barely eighteen..what in the world))?? Yet, I was a buffoon and did not see the miracles I had before me and so I did some not so nice stuff and truth be told, my marriage is indeed from God and I believe that whole-heartedly. We also welcomed into the world a Tobster and an Eli and our lives and hearts were fuller than ever. Then, God tested my new-found faith and said “now that you have witnessed this miracle, it will be taken from you.” And I went, “but what? Why? How? No!” But after fighting and screaming and yelling, I gave it to God and said “I’m done” and left it, truly left it. I drew closer to God and he restored unto me what had been lost and then ten-fold. While I had drawn closer to God, it still was not enough. Yes, I was more involved in church but I still was not saying to everyone far and wide “I am a Christian”. It only took Covid and the loss of my Father to give me big smack upside my head and into my heart to say “ok…time to speak out and stand up…enough being lazy”.
Things indeed are bleak-ish right now but instead of whining, I am celebrating the good. I have a roof over my head, I have food in my fridge, I have clothes for my family, my husband is working, my Mom and In-Law’s are helping as much as they can, the boys are doing well in spite of being in remote school, and I am starting a new course in life…
In short, losing a miracle once was enough to get my attention. Being made to slow down extremely and pay attention once is enough for me. God is declaring his presence loud and clear my loves…if you would like to talk more please feel free to email me ♥
In this season of Thanks, there are reminders EVERYWHERE to be thankful, so much so, it can seem overwhelming. I took a step away from the world this morning and focused solely on God. During that time, a woman reached out to me and she is someone I have known since my days back at Wachusett Valley. Her kids and I grew up together. And I got to thinking about the many women who played a significant part in my life ((besides Mommy of course)). There was my Godmother ((she resides with God now)), my Aunt ((my very first best friend in life)), Michelle G. ((my wonderful mother-in law)), Laura H. ((who made sure I was taken care of no matter what)), Carol and Kathy and C. ((Sunday school teachers)), Nancy S., Donna R., Sandi R, and countless other teachers ((it takes a village don’t you know)). I had all these God-fearing women surrounding me and leading me ((or at least trying their best)) towards God. I am humbled that most of these women are still guiding me and teaching me and encouraging me today…my village only continues to grow daily and for that I am blessed and thankful.
Another humbling moment ((God is breaking me apart and letting my light shine brighter every day)). I was never vocal about my faith and I thought of all those years wasted being a “couch” Christian. Happy to believe, comfy in the way I was living, and too lazy to stand up and say, “I am a Christian.” Well, no more. I believe. I have faith. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I can be loud, or rude, or mean, or angry, or cry. God loves me no matter the circumstance and I will walk by faith and not by sight ♥
Letting go when you do not want to can be extremely difficult. We tend to cling to it long after we should have let it go. I know there have been a few times where I clung tightly to something even though it was doing me more harm to hang on. Of course, like a small child would do, I would throw a tantrum and cry and yell “but I want it this way!” And the more clung, the more harm it did. Physically, emotionally, mentally, and most of all spiritually. And it usually takes me a long time to get to my “okay God, it is yours” and truly walk away. My mother and Laura Holland describe it best. We kneel at the altar with bags and suitcases and drop them at Jesus’ feet. We then pray “Lord, these are my hurts, habits, and hang-ups please take them and keep them from me” and we mean it with all our heart. Then we get up, pick up those bags and suitcases again and we walk off. Sure, we feel great and light for a little bit then something happens, and we find ourselves weighted down again. So, back to the altar we, go and the cycle repeats. I challenge you this, when you find yourself reaching for those bags and suitcases, pull out a memory verse, a cherished song, a whispered prayer. Focus on God solely in that moment of reaching and soon what you were clinging too, will become a memory and then it will be buried so far deep you will have trouble recalling what you so desperately clung too
Lately I have been listening to a lot more Christian worship music. As a matter of fact, Will and I love singing along to our favorites on car rides. He introduced me to Matthew West’s song “Truth Be Told” and I have been listening to it pretty much non-stop. So, here is my truth.
Yes, I am a God-fearing Christian woman. I have been for most of my life. However, I did not share my faith. Yes, people knew but I have never been as “vocal” as I am now. I kept my church life and my non-church life as separate as I could and there are a lot of you who do not know what I have done. Half of you saw me as a “good Christian kid” from a “nice Christian family” and the half saw me at this loud-mouthed hood rat from Great Brook Valley. Mama always says I should have been an actress. I have done drugs ((thankfully never got addicted)), cheated on Will numerous times ((yet he loved me and forgave me…every time)), I lied, I stole, and boy was I a big hypocrite. I am not telling you this to impress you. This is who I really am underneath my faith. At least…who I was. God is literally breaking me apart and molding me back together piece by piece. And boy does it hurt, and it is so beautiful. We all have our own personal demons ((fear, anger, lust, sickness, and so on)). Even us “good Christian kids” from the “nice Christian homes”. But underneath the anger and the pain and fear there is a child of God, no matter your skin color. I am white. I was raised in Great Brook Valley and my first two best friends in life that I can remember were Hispanic and African American. We did not care that we were “different”. Instead we played together, formed little clubs, slept over each other’s house, and even attend each other’s churches. Because of that I got to see so much in my young life that I did not fully appreciate until now. I have been to several different type of services ((Catholic, Protestant, Episcopal, Pentecostal, etc.…)) and each one worships the same God I do, albeit in different ways ((and if I had to choose…Pentecost all the way…they are fun people)).
I still have my dark days where I cannot seem to find God no matter where I look but let’s be real…we all do. On those days, I do whatever I can to connect to God if I am feeling desperate which is listen to my favorite worship songs ((love my music)) and call my Mama because that woman is the strongest woman I know. And I am also blessed to have others to lean on when Mama needs that extra set of hands since she is holding up Will and our boys. My in-laws, my brother and his wife, my sisters, my church families ((and I know a LOT of you)), even people I haven’t talked to in a long time but who knew me when I was just a “new kid at church”.
So, that is my truth. I am not perfect. I have made mistakes. I do things I should not or say things I should not today. But…I serve a loving, faithful, worthy King who has never failed me…even when I did not know it ♥