Yesterday afternoon I went out to run some errands with my Mom. I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but I just wanted to get out of the house for a little while. I decided to take Tommy (3 1/2) along and leave Johnny Ben and Molly at home with Daddy.
We had a couple stops, one of them being Target. I was tired, Tommy was tired, my Mom was tired. All I could think of was getting back in her truck and going home. When we came to the register the cashier was just counting in and starting her shift. She greeted us, asked if we found everything okay, and from there stayed silent. The expressions on her face and her mannerisms told me something in her life other than work was bothering her. Her mind and heart were somewhere else, and that somewhere else was not a happy place. Tommy even seemed to notice and asked her to smile, but she pretended not to hear him or was so distracted she did not notice.
I made mental note of the name on her name tag. I was polite but tried not to bother her with idle chit chat. I smiled at her, took the bags, and quietly prayed for her as she continued the process. I did not feel led to ask her why she was unhappy, but did feel a tug telling me to pray.
Since we left the store about 20 hours ago, this woman has come to mind constantly. I have no idea why she has been laid on my heart, but God does. I pray for her, asking God to do what needs to be done and touch her life.
How many times have we been asked by The Lord to do something like this and have ignored it? I know I have before. How many times have strangers done this for us? We many never know until we reach Heaven.
For all we know, when these burdens are laid on our hearts, we could be the only person praying for this individual. We could also be one of hundreds working together. The point is, GOD KNOWS. He really does. He loves that woman just as much as He loves me. He hates seeing her go through pain. He needs someone to hold her up in the spiritual realm just as much as she needs someone in the physical realm. Never ignore the Holy Spirit when he says to pray for someone… For all you know, the next time a burden is laid on a strangers heart… It may be for you!
This question has been on my mind a lot lately. How will my children, grandchildren, friends, and family remember me?
Will I be remembered for making gingerbread every Christmas? Will it be for being a woman who strived her best to be a Godly wife and mother? I’m desperately hoping it’s not for being a procrastinating, scatter brained, unorganized, occasionally crabby person who ONE time made a bad batch of tacos and ever since her husband questioned her every time she suggested them for dinner… Or made anything else new for that matter.
How can we make sure that we are remembered for the good and not the bad?
I would say the best thing we can do is to make the positive in our lives outshine the negative. Live with a positive outlook as much as possible. Let Jesus’ light shine through you. Don’t hold grudges, act bitter, be mean, or easily offended. And while it can be an easy way to handle a delicate situation by being passive aggressive, is that really something we would want to be remembered for?
Recently I’ve been trying to take note of my habits. Which ones are great to have, which ones I don’t mind or are not damaging, and which ones I would never want to be remembered for. Then I sat and thought of my Grandparents… Two of the most caring, loving, Godly people I’ve ever known. I remember them for all the funny and wonderful things they did. I remember them for raising their family for Christ. I remember them for loving coffee, Diet Coke, and going out to eat. I remember them for being compassionate and passionate for the work of The Lord. Do I recall them having flaws and being human? Certainly! However, more often I remember them leading us by example in a positive, unique, Godly way.
I have taken it upon myself to be sure that I leave a similar legacy for my own children and grandchildren. Why “similar” and not the exact same you ask? Because it’s MY legacy. Not Dorothy’s. Not Paul Benjamin’s. It’s ANGIE’s legacy. I want to pass down all of those same things, but in my own way with some added flare that says “Angie was here…” Part of that is that I MUST agree to have my photo taken more often. While still. Not on a ride at Disneyland making some dumb face. Ugh… 😉
What about you? How will you be sure that you are passing down what would be good habits for your children and not setting them up for a fall?
You know how it is. You spend every single day in a rush. You’re doing your best to keep on top of the kids, the house, the errands, the meals, Bible reading, the finances, work, etc. Your husband is exhausted from a long week at work himself, especially if he has a high demanding job like all the ladies here at Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven do. The last thing you think you can possibly find time for is a date night, right? I mean, sure, you have time for you know what here and there, but I mean a real date night.
“But I don’t have a sitter for the kids, and we don’t have the money to go out! And even then we can’t hear each other in the restaurant or we just sit at the movies and stare at a screen, how are we supposed to connect?!”
I’ll tell you how. Have a date night at home. Yes, you read that right. At home.
My husband and I began doing this a few years ago. We feed the kids their dinner at the usual time, put them to bed, and then we have date night. We have a quiet dinner alone, mostly uninterrupted, and then we plan something for the remainder of the night.
Sound like a lot of work? I promise it isn’t. It’s usually a group effort, which makes it fun. We’re working together to aim towards something we will both benefit from! Sure, it takes a little bit of sacrificing. For instance, we usually stay up almost all night when we have date night, meaning it’s a LONG day the next day. But we both agree that it is worth it.
So how exactly do we plan this out? Well, it’s different every time. Usually one of us makes dinner and the other one plans an activity. By activity, I mean something creative and fun. Occasionally we will have a “theme”. (Oh, and the activity is kept secret from the other one usually… unless we just have a night of music and talking. Then we’re upfront.) One night I brought in Scrabble and set the rule that the words could only have something to do with our relationship. Another night he set up our living room to feel like we were in a cabin in the mountains. We’ve had “casino night” and “truth or dare”. Once I even planned a beach night! It goes on and on… The key is to keep it light, fun, and flexible. You never know when one of the kids might wake up, so be cautious of that also.
I can’t take all the credit for this, I did get the idea from a book/kit that we purchased. I’ll post some links at the bottom of this post for you to check them out, but I wanted to still give you some ideas just in case you couldn’t afford to buy the products… (Though if you can, I seriously recommend them. Yeah, some of the idea cards are a little cheesy… but they’ll help you come up with your own ideas and the questionnaires will help you get to know each other better.)
So, if you and your hubster are in a rut, bored, or everything is great but you just think this sounds fun, go for it! And if you want, come back and tell us what ideas you had! (Keep the personal details to yourself, please. 😉 ) And remember, having a date night with your husband does NOT make you a bad mother. It makes you a good one! (And for the single mommies, you’re all still excellent moms. I hope you find no offense in this post.)
A friend loves at all times… Proverbs 17:17 NKJV
This calling is a rather obvious one… but I would like to still touch on the topic of friendship.
What does it mean to be a true friend? Is it just a social thing? Obviously, it is not. If it were, we would not become so emotional when a friend is lost. Does it mean to be dependable? How about caring? Being a good listener? Offering advice when requested? Understanding and compassionate? I think all of those things and so much more are what make a good friend.
How many times have you been having a bad day, but a good friend called and you instantly cheered right up? I know for me, personally, I have just a few friends that I can vent to. Isn’t it nice to have someone who you can rant to and know that they won’t think differently of you for it? How about knowing you have someone praying for you when you need it? Or a friend who will be honest when your hair color washes you out and you’re jeans make you look great? And of course, it’s great to know you can turn to someone, pour your heart out, and know that anything you tell them won’t be passed on to someone else.
We should always strive to be a good friend, not a mediocre one. We can’t be perfect, but we should try to not be flaky, negative, or distant. Reliable, uplifting, close, and available as much as possible.
What are some ways you can minister to a friend though?
Remember, you can’t choose your family… You CAN choose your friends… CHOOSE WISELY!!! Never let anyone walk all over you in the name of “friendship.” Show God’s love, yes. Be a door mat, no.
And now, in honor of Karen and her love for nostalgic television, I leave you with this… Get the cheesecake!
I simply want to sit down and tell you everything in my life is wonderful, but to do that would be a lie. I feel as tho I am going thru transitions that scare me, ones I can’t control and am not even sure I want to try.
Being the oldest of our four writers you would think I would have a little more insight on how to handle life. But, like everyone else, I stand back fighting depression and decisions that weigh heavy on my heart every day. I know my God won’t put on me more then I can handle, but where exactly is that point, when does one break, or is it even an option?
A couple weeks ago I was talking with an old friend who had a mental break down and had been in the hospital. She seemed a little reluctant to tell me she had a nervous breakdown. I could see the embarrassment in her eyes. Then I started to tell her that a nervous break down is actually just a break thru, and now she could breathe a lot easier because God has lifted the burden and pain from her. I watched as her eyes began to shine, and as she set there for a while I could see her thinking. A few minutes later she began to thank me and said that was a wonderful way to look at it. She seemed to be relieved as I explained to her that she would be able to go on now and leave those burdens completely behind her. When I left her I knew God put me there for a reason. His child was hurting and I left knowing He had used me to help her heal…
So in the mean time I can’t help but wonder just where I will be and who God may use to help me thru what ever it is that holds me from surrendering and breaking thru myself. After all, going thru means I gotta come out on the other end. Your prayers are most welcome..
I was walking round in heaven and I just could not believe,
God looked at you and mommy and said a son you shall conceive.
He will make you happy he will bring you so much joy,
I’m sending you my very best my favorite little boy.
Please don’t take it lightly there’s lot’s of work to do,
For with my little boy comes lot’s of work for you.
You will teach him wisdom and how to be a man,
But while he still is growing you’ll need to hold his hand.
And as he grows away from you,
To make it on his own,
To everyone that he meets,
He’ll make his daddy known.
For without my hand to guide you,
Your walking all alone.
So take good care of him,
In a loving home.
Originally written by Diania on June 4th, 2010 for her Son, Adam, and Grandson, Little Adam
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;4 time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV
For some reason, many people (not just men) are afraid to admit that they are not experiencing any emotion other than joy. Especially Christians. Some feel that it is sinful, or makes them not as good as the next person. However, as the scripture above points out, (Turn, Turn, Turn… Ha, you know it’s stuck in your head now too…) there is a time for everything.
To mourn and grieve is very important to the healing process. Without embracing the truth, acknowledging it, dealing with it, and accepting that something happened you may not ever truly move on. Sure, you can be all happy/smiley and say “Praise the Lord!” after everything everyone says, but that doesn’t mean you’re happy. The body, heart, mind, and soul need to grieve in a healthy matter for a healthy amount of time. It should not be rushed or dragged out.
Unfortunately, really horrible bad things happen in this world: Death, natural and unnatural. Rape. Miscarriage. Child abuse. Illness. Job loss. Divorce. Infidelity. Break ups. Infertility. Muggings. Robberies. Car accidents. Etc, etc, etc… After any of these situations, it is normal to grieve and expected. It is even normal to “mildly grieve” over much smaller less upsetting situations. Anyone who’s had a bad hair cut knows what I’m talking about. (I forgive Karen & Emily for butchering my hair when I was 16, really… but that doesn’t mean I didn’t mourn it for a few days.)
Yes, as Christians we should have joy. Yes, we should see the positive and not the negative. But we are also commanded that there IS a time to mourn. That means it’s accepted. Should you not allow this process, you may miss out on a complete healing.
Just remember, it’s called GOOD GRIEF for a reason. And that prayer is NEVER a bad thing. The more the better!
I was going to write you a poem to tell you how proud i am of you, but i thought you deserved better. From the day you were born you have been my joy, I could not be more proud of you than I am today; To see the work that God has done in you and how he has blessed your life makes me so proud to call you my daughter. I can sit back today and tell you how much I love my nieces but when God gave me a daughter he gave me his very best. There is nothing about you that I would change. From the first time I held you in my arms you had stolen my heart, and as I sit here today I can honestly say you still hold it in your hands. I could pray for God to send you home but then I would only be interfering with His plan for your life, and that is not something I want to hinder. Instead I will choose to sit back and watch the work in your life unfold. Your obedience to God’s word will always keep you blessed. I use to worry about you but I know God has put His angels in charge over you. I know when I close my eyes at night that His eyes are on you and you are going to be just fine.I want you to know that the distance between us will never change how much I love you and how proud I am of you. Nothing you do or accomplish goes unnoticed. My eyes are still on you just like they were when you were first born.and they still look at you with amazement. I AM ALWAYS IN AWE OF WHAT GOD MAY HAVE PLANNED FOR YOU. Sometimes I think you are the only thing i did right in my life, so what ever it is you are doing please don’t stop. Remember where God has pulled you from and build on that. And always remember that you are my daughter, my joy and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world!
Love you forever
Originally written by Diania on September 17, 2010
In July of 2004, I made friends with a group of people in an IHOP. If you know me, this comes as no surprise. We ended up merging our tables and the other group came and sat with my group. One of these persons is a guy who we will refer to as “Chuck”…
That night was full of fun and laughter. I kept in touch with a few via phone, text, myspace, email, etc. “Chuck” was one of them. A few years later we reacquainted. I was busy with work/life and never thought twice about him. He was dating Julie, who I didn’t know.
Fast forward a few months: “Chuck” is about to leave for deployment (He was a Marine) and wants to meet up, just as friends. Before you know it, “Chuck” and I are dating. Only mentioned an ex-girlfriend a few times. Leaves for Iraq, and while there: rips my heart to shreds. I was left hurt, very confused, and angry. I was determined before that to never fall for anyone again, and I did… only to be let down.
In the time we were dating before he left, I got to know some of his friends. One was his best friend’s girlfriend, Le Anna. When “Chuck” and I broke up, she insisted I come along on a girls night. She brought 2 other girls. Steph and….. Julie, who also brought her now husband. I realized within seconds she was the girl in the pictures with “Chuck” a few months before I started dating him, but we were very cool with each other and quickly became friends. Before the end of the night, she ended up consoling me, and we both insisted we had to remain in contact.
That was almost 5 years ago. Now, I could easily look back on all of that and say “God, why? Why did you allow my heart to be broken?” However, I look at it like this, “God, thank you for the gift of friendship you have given me in these 3 women. Especially Julie. She’s always there right when I need her with a wise word, song lyric, or scripture. It was all worth it to know these girls!”
God knows what he’s doing, people. All the time. Even when we aren’t serving him at the time. And what may seem like something horrible in your midst, never forget that something good can come from it. Even the Bible states this:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 NKJV
A month after I met Julie, I met and married my husband Bobby who is the love of my life. I could have NEVER imagined that I would ever find someone like him. He is a dream come true and one of the greatest gifts God ever gave me. I quickly forgot about “Chuck”, and still had 3 awesome new friends! A few months later, Julie and Chad were married and remain to be very happy.
You know what that means…
“Chuck” is apparently “Good Luck”… If you’re single and tired of it, I suggest looking him up… Just kidding. Save yourself the trouble, don’t. Just be friends with us instead.
By: Diania Comstock
A few months later, things started to change
The girl sat at home and the boy acted strange
Days went by when he wasn’t around
She began to wonder if it was new love he had found
The girl decided it’s time to get out
Then she learned what families are about
Soon she won’t be home all alone
In a few months, she’ll bring a new member home
She told the boy, she thought he’d be glad
He just started screaming, she knew he was mad
She won’t give up now, she decided to stay
If it was to work, she’d find a way
All he talked about was having a son
And he wanted to prove it to everyone
A year has passed since the new baby came
But this one didn’t get daddy’s name
Still running around and out having fun
This time she decided, we are done
She left him a letter with his ring beside it
It’s over this time, I’m not going to hide it
She thought of her mother, how she’d like to go home
But mother had told her you’re now on your own
Her friends couldn’t help her, they had their own life
And now she was sorry she became a wife
Tears started falling, she tried not to cry
She thought of the boy, how could he lie
She went back home and found her man
There he sit with the ring in his hand
He started to kiss her, he thought she was gone
He told her he loved her and where she belonged
With life back in order and a home full of joy
The family will welcome their new little boy
Temptation and trust must fill the heart
Without the two, they’ll be torn apart
Love is something that needs to grow
Both husband and wife play a big role