"I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in Him will I trust." Psalms 91:2

Thursday, February 14, 2013

He Loves Me; He Loves Me Not...

Jeremiah 31:3 "The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."

I John 3:16 "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."

Today is the 14th of February...Valentine's Day!  A day when many are giving and exchanging expressions of their love for one another.  A day when others, who may not have that special someone, often feel a sense of loneliness. A day when children trade and exchange cute little cards and yummy little candies. A day when retailers rejoice in their sales.  Today is what has been deemed "The Day of Love" so much so that it is a national holiday.

Do you remember as a little girl picking that certain flower and proceeding to pull off the petals one by one while saying, "he loves me; he loves me not"?  I remember doing that and somehow as a little girl I became convinced this was do or die truth.  Looking back, I think what a silly little ritual this was to determine whether someone loved another person.  Yet, I realize that, at my core, and at the core of every person is a deep desire to be truly loved.

On this day, I am thankful that I KNOW that I am LOVED and I am not only loved, but I am loved with an everlasting and unconditional love...by my Father God.  No matter what our relationship status or whether we spent today surrounded by someone special or it was simply just another day, each and every one of us truly has the greatest Valentine of all and that is the love of our Heavenly Father.

So, on this day, I have decided to think a little more specifically about what this day means to me:

1. This day means knowing that I am forever loved by the One Who saved me and gave His life for mine...there is no greater love.
2. This day means knowing that I have been given an earthly love handpicked for me by my Father in Heaven...Jack Bachman, the man I was made to complete.
3. This day means knowing that I have been given the opportunity to share my love for two amazing boys...Ryan and Jordan, the ones who call me mom.
4. This day means knowing that I am blessed to be a part of a family...to share memories and create new ones with a father, mother, brother, sister and extended loved ones.
5. This day means knowing I am privilieged to serve God...to share His love with others and watch as they grow in their walk and love for God.

Today has been extremely commercialized by this world.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy some chocolates and flowers as much as  the next girl, but as I grow older I am realizing that there is so much more to this day...

I encourage you to take some time to think about ALL of the people in your life who are special and have touched you in some way.  Don't wait for a holiday on the calendar to tell them you love them.  Don't wait to buy a card which shares special sentiments.  Don't wait...tell them now that you love them.  Think about the people who have loved you and invested in you...thank them.  Think about your family...love them, not just on this day, but everyday.  Life is short and goes by faster than we realize.  We are not guaranteed a tomorrow.  Take advantage of everyday you have and invest in every person who is a part of your life...you will not regret the time or effort. 

Most of all, today, as I look back at the flower petals let's just say that I am so thankful JESUS LOVES ME!!

Happy Valentines Day!  May it be special and may we all learn to make EVERYDAY a "Valentines Day" because in reality, that is what every day should be!

From My Heart,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thankful for Mom...Happy Birthday!!

Well, today if you will indulge me a little...I want to celebrate MY mom.  My mom is celebrating her 66th birthday today and I simply want to take a few moments to celebrate her and a little of what she means to me.

We are all familiar with Proverbs 31 and the description given of this wonderful lady.  I especially love the end of this chapter where we read the following verses,  "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."

I guess that I am using today to "arise up and call her blessed" because in my eyes and heart, well, she is.  I think God is so wise to give every person exactly what they need and that includes the choosing of our parents.  I have no doubt that my mom was chosen for me.  I have learned much from her life and I could never repay her for all she has done and sacrificed for me.

As I think about my mom, I am amazed at the steps the Lord used and every circumstance that came about in my mom's life to bring her to where she is today. My mom was born to teen parents.  She ended up being raised by her grandmother; who, in mom's eyes, was "mom".  She knew her dad, but did not have the privilege of living with him and having him raise her in a traditional sense.  She did not have any contact with her birth mom until she was nearly fifty years old.  Life was different for her as a girl in many ways and yet, it was all for a purpose.  Family is very important to my mom and as I have grown older and realized much more about her youth, I understand why.  I am thankful that she has taught me how important family truly is and that I should never take my family for granted.

Thankfully, grandma took mom to church and mom was saved as a girl still in school.  She didn't have a saved family nor was she surrounded by people who really helped her grow as a Christian, but God was with her and He helped her each step of the way leading her to the man she would marry and eventually, getting her and my dad in the church that would help them to grow as Christians.

My mom met my dad in the strangest of ways (well, it was God intended, but not your everyday fashion of meeting your mate).  There were names of GI's, who were serving overseas, on a bulletin board located in a local business and she randomly chose one of the names; began writing to him and well, the rest is history.  Seriously...this was how it happened!  Yet, over 40 years later they are still married and have been an example to me in longevity of marriage. 

Mom was and is a hard worker.  She has been her home church secretary for almost 30 years and she is amazing at what she does.  She helped my dad for some 15 years (maybe more) running a Pre-teen group at their church.  She taught in the Christian school for a time.  She helped with VBS.  She helped plan ladies meetings.  She and my dad ran the group called "Young at Heart" for those over fifty. She worked nursery faithfully for many years.  She has been invaluable to the church they attend.  There are many young people now grown and serving God that mom helped to influence in some way. 

Although, my mom did all of this and was VERY involved at church...she was ALWAYS home with us kids.  Her outside endeavors never conflicted with her raising a family and being at home...NEVER.  That is probably one of the things I am truly most grateful for learning from her.  I remember her telling me the importance of being home.  I could not begin to thank her for instilling this in me and helping me to see the high privilege and importance of being a wife and a mom. 

Looking back, I see how many times my mom went without something in order for us kids to have something better.  Mom helped others.  I remember us having a family live with us for a time after they suffered a house fire.  They were our friends and mom knew they needed us.  Mom was like that...looking for ways to help others. I remember going to visit shut-ins with mom. My mom knitted baby blankets for (what seems like) every lady in their church. Mom was selfless. 

As I said, my mom had difficult circumstances to overcome in life, but I do not remember her complaining to us.  She just did what needed done.  She taught us to not make excuses...just do what is right to do.  She supported my dad.  They may not always have agreed, but I knew she stood behind him and I learned early on not to "pit" my parents one against the other...there was no point. 

I am grown and have children of my own and yet, I still call mom.  I am still learning from mom. More than ever, I am still so very thankful for my mom!  I pray that as my own boys and my nieces and nephews grow up, they, too, will appreciate the heritage my mom has given them.  They are blessed to call her "Nana"!

So, as she celebrates another year of life, I wish her a year filled with happiness and wonderful things.  I pray that God allows her to know how very much she is loved and that she knows how thankful I am to be HER daughter!!


From My Heart,