Thanks Irma

If you want time to fly, go on vacation. It seems like a minute after arriving at your destination it’s time to pack for home… unless you go to Florida during hurricane season.

I’m at my sister’s in Ft Walton Beach and watching the approach of hurricane Irma, the slowest moving storm in history, has made it feel like I’ve been here for two weeks even though it’s only been 3 days! .

I’m having a good time. Because of the hurricane our weather here has been beautiful. No humidity, cool days and cooler nights.

I keep saying, “It’s beautiful in Florida, everyone should move here!” I know better, I’ve been here when they’re having “normal” conditions. And when we’re not doing something touristy the weather channel reminds us that millions of Floridians have been evacuated and wait to see how destructive Irma will be on them.

This has been an interesting vacation for so many reasons. I’ll never forget it! And I still have three more days.

I’m Still Here

I haven’t written anything for a while. Life has been very busy. I’ve been doing many things, but nothing for myself.

I painted for a friend that bought a “new to her” place to help get it ready for moving. She didn’t have the time or the ability to do it herself.

I was blessed to be available on three weekdays to help put on a benefit dinner, something I could never do when I was working.

I got to be there for my son’s first event with a new business he is starting and helped where I could.

I was available to help a friend entertain out of town company, being her hands and feet so she was able to express her gift of hospitality in a way she is no longer physically able on her own.

What I’ve come to realize is; these are the things that make me feel significant. Helping someone do something to make their life better or easier makes my life better.

So when I say that nothing I’ve done was for myself, the truth is everything I’ve done was for myself. I did what makes me feel good, makes me feel alive.

I’ve come to realize, as history verifies, that the vessel I was created to be is a thousand varying forms of helpmate.

I’ve often looked at the many people I’ve helped thru the years and asked, “When is it my turn?” It’s only now that I’m realizing it’s always my turn, as long as I have the opportunity to be helping somewhere.

I am extremely blessed!

God gave me an amazingly intimate day yesterday. The whole day seemed to shout a shower of blessings all over me. I was so drenched in them that by the end of the day I found myself humbly bowing before Him and asking, “Why me Lord?”

In the Psalms God tells us that He sets the boundaries in our lives and that they fall in pleasant places. There have been times that I’ve disagreed as I walked thru a season of pain, heartbreak, confusion or fear. But I’ve grown to realize that questioning God is nothing but immaturity demanding life be easy. God never promised easy. But He did promise He would never leave me or forsake me. He tells me that everything He sends my way is for me, not against me. And He promises that if I am His all things will work together for my good.

It’s when I choose to embrace these truths and believe them that I walk thru the day seeing blessings everywhere.

Is my life perfect? According to the world… heck no! I have no home, no job, no income, no mate, and no dog! But in God’s hands, yes! I am in His arms and there’s no more exciting place to be. I am extremely blessed!

I Can Quit Whenever I Want

This is the lie addicts use to console themselves when they aren’t ready to admit yet that something has control over them.

Although it’s a lie, it’s also a partial truth. Many addicts are able to control their behavior for a day, a week, a month or even longer when motivated. It’s only when the decision is made to never do something again that we are forced to face the truth; addiction.

If you’re thinking I’m talking drugs or alcohol you’d be wrong. Those are the obvious addictions that torment many, but I’m talking about the thousands of lies we allow to control us.

Recently I was challenged by a dog to adapt. Good word I thought, and then I tried to live it. After a few failure filled days I saw clearly how my inability to adapt was the source of my discontent. I also saw how drawn and controlled I was when allowing myself to be swept away by wrong thinking.

No wonder God tells us to take every thought captive, if my thoughts don’t line up with His truth they are destined to lead to some sort of grief.

Hello, my name is Pam and I’m addicted to wrong thinking.

My Teacher, the Dog

The last week has been spent housesitting. Since beginning this journey it’s the longest I’ve spent in one place and I’m ready to move on. I miss having four wheels under me.

One of the reasons I’m here is because there is a dog. He’s young and full of energy. I’ve watched as in 5 days he has completely adapted to me. He’s figured out what I want from him and what is unacceptable. He’s gone from being a crazy, hyper, super energized maniac and has become calm.

He still has tons of energy, this morning he moved an entire stack of firewood from the back yard up onto the patio. One guess who gets to move it back.

He still has a 6th sense and knows exactly where I’m going to want to stand next when I’m in the kitchen. He lets me know by laying there.

He still insists, in the evening when our day is done, that he is a lap dog. All sixty plus pounds of him.

In spite of retaining his personal preferences, he’s watched, listened and adjusted to living life with me in it.

I’ve got two more days here and then I’m back in my van. I’m definitely taking what I’ve learned from this dog with me.

Listen, watch, learn… and adapt.

Blissful Ignorance?

I was reading Proverbs 24 this morning. When I got to verse 12 it gave me pause. Anyone that knows me has at one time or another heard me claim, “Ignorance is Bliss!” I don’t know why I never saw this particular warning before, but all the times I’ve read through Proverbs it never spoke to me like it did this morning. Here’s what it says:

Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and He sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.” Proverbs 24:12 NLT

This is a terrifying reality and, at the same time, an amazing comfort to me.

God, who made me, knows me better than I will ever know myself.  I used to work with broken people. We were constantly asking ourselves, “Why am I always surprised when broken people do broken things?” God knows all the places I’ve been broken in this life. He also knows everything He’s done to restore me. So if I claim my old state of brokenness as an excuse, He knows I knew better. There will be consequences, reaping and sowing… He teaches that all through His Word.

He also tells me here that He guards my soul. The Creator of the Universe, the One who made me holds my soul close and guards it. My soul, the essence of who I am, the part of me that is eternal and will be with Him forever, is safe because He guards it. That truly comforts me.

I’m Awake!

I woke up this morning.

Nothing I haven’t done every other morning of my life. But today seemed different. Two days ago a friend of mine didn’t wake up. When the Lord takes someone we love home it affects each of us differently but affect us it does.

I saw Donna on Monday. During our short time together she told me twice she loves me, she told me she misses me every day (we worked together for two years until recently), and she didn’t let me leave without giving me one of her big bear hugs. She left nothing unsaid or unexpressed between us. I’ve thought a lot about that the last two days. Because of her, I will never look back at our last time together and say, “I wish I had…” anything. She didn’t know we would never see each other again on earth. We made plans to have lunch next week.

She went to bed that Monday night, and sometime in the night Jesus came and took her home with Him. I’m happy for her. But when I woke up this morning I was struck with the reality that when we let ourselves fall asleep we are putting our full faith in our Creator and Sustainer to awaken us in the morning. I can hear the childhood prayer running through my head; “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

I woke up this morning. But that doesn’t automatically mean I will wake up tomorrow morning. I made sure every interaction I had with someone today left nothing unexpressed. I learned that from Donna and I pray it becomes the way I live the rest of my days here on earth.

I want to let everyone know I care about them, tell the people in my life I appreciate them, give lots of bear hugs and leave nothing unsaid. Not just today, but I want to live every day as though I’m Awake!