Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Heaven is not for everyone

When someone dies, we often hear things like this:

“She is in a better place.” OR “He is out of pain.” OR “We will see her again someday.”

Folks, I hate to break this to you, but those words often are meaningless.  The very words meant to comfort are often of no value whatsoever.  I hope they are true for your loved one, but they may not be.   

I remember when my father passed away hearing those words by his well-meaning friends.  I was taken aback by the assumption of heaven upon death.  Heaven is not automatic and not everyone goes there. 

The Bible, the Word of God, is very clear about the way to heaven.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
~ Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life 
through Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 6:23

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God,
and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. ~ Romans 10:9-10

You must be saved to go to heaven. And yes, I said, “saved.” This is not some weird word that church people use to scare people. It’s in the Bible.  

As we approach Christmas and celebrate the birth of Jesus, remember that Jesus was born, and then died and was raised from the dead for every single one of us!  Believing this makes you right with God and grants you eternal life in heaven.  Eternal life (heaven) is a free gift – by believing in Jesus. Being a good person and doing good deeds is not the ticket to heaven.  Believing in Jesus, the son of God – our SAVIOR - is the way to eternal life!   

My dad and his oldest brother (my uncle) were both diagnosed with terminal cancer within a month of each other in the beginning of 2010.  My uncle passed away on April 18th that year, then my dad four months later on August 17th. My uncle was very involved in his church and a devout Catholic, whereas my dad was quite the rascal and did not attend church except on a few occasions. After my uncle’s funeral, my dad, who by then was in a wheelchair and clearly knew his days living with brain cancer were numbered, said to me, “If Ed didn't make it to heaven – I don’t stand a chance.”  That opened up one of the most beautiful conversations I could ever have imagined with my dad!  I had the chance to talk about Jesus with my dad and assure him that his sinful life was not a barrier to heaven, but simply believing in Jesus was the way to eternal life! His 69 years of sin were erased because of what Jesus did on the cross – and dad believed that in his heart!  When I get to heaven, dad will be welcoming me!  Thank you Jesus!

I don’t know what’s in your heart – only God knows our hearts – but I do pray that you let Jesus into your heart this Christmas if you have not already done so.  Regardless of what you have done, and whatever your sins are (we are ALL sinners!) - heaven can be for you!  Jesus is God’s free gift to us and what a reason to celebrate!  Take time to thank God for this gift – Jesus - the gift of eternal life.  
Merry Christmas!

I love you all! xo 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Best advice of the day - right here!

It’s so easy for girls like me to get ahead of myself.  I have a sweet friend who is a lot like me and she WAS me this morning.  Poor girl.  I love her like crazy, but sometimes she reminds me so much of ME that I have a little freak out when we talk.  Like this morning.
She was telling me about a situation in her life where she already had all of the possible scenarios played out in her head.  She had tried this or that tactic in the past to make things better and the results were never in her favor.  She knew a change was necessary, but did not see change really happening.   She was a little overwhelmed and was frustrated.  Anybody ever been there before?  Please tell me that my girly friend and I are not the only ones who do this sort of thing.  We predict failure before we even try because it didn’t work in the past. 
Here was my advice to her…
Now isn’t that profound?
But it’s TRUE!!  We get ahead of ourselves and worry about what is down the road when there is so much out of our control.  We think “what ifs” until we are paralyzed and then nothing gets accomplished.  In a nutshell, we worry way too much.  We overthink.  We lose the lesson that God wants to teach us. Focus of the Lord.  Be obedient to Him.  Let Him work.  Trust Him. 
The Bible says this:
 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” – Matthew 6:34
Now isn’t that the TRUTH!?!
Just focus on getting through today.  Tomorrow will bring its own set of new set of problems.  If you don’t think you can get through today, focus on getting through the next hour.  If that’s too much, focus on getting through the next minute.
Problems, challenges, sadness… we all go through it!  Just CALM DOWN (as my son always tells me) and look to the Lord for strength and focus on getting through TODAY.  Then celebrate and be proud of yourself for surviving something yucky for another day with a spoonful of peanut butter or something!       
Really… break it down.  It’s not so bad when you take it ONE DAY AT A TIME.
God will provide enough strength for today.  That’s all you need.  Worry about tomorrow – tomorrow.   

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Little broken hearts makes momma's heart hurt

My kids have broken hearts and that makes this momma’s heart hurt.  Their childhood pet of almost ten years is at the end of her life and will be meeting Jesus tomorrow.  Some people think that pets don’t go to heaven, but since I’ve never been to heaven to verify - I’m sticking with pets go to heaven.

Daisy was a sweetie and a great companion for my kids.  We got her when she was about 8 weeks old from a farmer.  Her mom was named “Miss Thing” and her dad was “LB” which was short for “Little Buddy.”  The little wire-haired Jack Russell Terriers were in a chicken coop.  It was actually an idyllic setting – very peaceful and charming.  Daisy came right up to Jami and Daddy – so we knew she was the one for us.  
After the divorce, Daisy stayed with Daddy so the kids and I got a cat named Duke.  Daisy and Duke. Get it?  Duke went to heaven last year.
It’s really amazing the love and joy that pets bring into our lives.  If you’re not a pet person, you might not understand, but trust me – the love is real. 
Saying good-bye to Daisy today was very emotional.  Seeing the hurt in my kids was agonizing.  I know it’s only a pet… but still.  Nothing breaks my heart worse that seeing my kids’ hearts broken for any reason.  Someday, when my kids have kids, they will understand.    
It makes me think of my own mom seeing me go through my heartbreaks.  Her heart must have hurt.
It makes me think of God watching me when my heart was broke.  His heart must have hurt.
If I could take the pain for my kids – I would.  But as with life, they will have more heartbreaks and I will always be there to comfort them the best that I can.  Momma love is like that.
So life goes on and our hearts mend in time.  The cool part is the love and memories remain.
Life is short, so LOVE like crazy even if it hurts sometimes!!!!  Deal? 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

When you lose - don’t lose the lesson!

My 8th grade son is a Wrestler.  This is his second season wrestling and he has become my mini-man hero!  It take guts, like nothing else I have ever seen in a human, to go out there in front of a crowd in a singlet and go man-to-man all by himself.  If you have a teenage son, you know that thirteen years old is NO JOKE when it comes to self-confidence and all of that emotional stuff.  These are some tough years!  He is just learning the sport, and every single day he makes improvements in his sport.  Isn’t that what life is really all about about!?!  Getting a little better every day?  
Spiritually.  Physically.  Emotionally.
I bought my son an iPad Mini for Christmas.  I (half jokingly) told him that with it I would record his wrestling matches, but he will have to win because I don’t want to record him losing.  His reply to me was one I will NEVER FORGET:
“I will learn more from watching myself lose than watching myself win.”
That is a VERY mature statement and holds so much truth.
Proud mom moment right there!
I think back on failures (jobs I did not get, relationships gone wrong, quotas I did not meet, etc.) and in reflecting on those I have grown a little bit wiser every time with every failure.  I have failed many times, but those are the lessons where I learned the most!
It's funny how you forget what you did right when you win, but you never forget what you did wrong when you lose.
Sometimes we are afraid to try because we are afraid to lose, but it’s in losing that we learn the best lessons!  Winning is great, and a sweet reward for our hard work, but it’s just not going to happen every time.  We can't be afraid to lose! 
Let’s wrestle!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

All the single ladies - put your hands up… in 2014

I have been going through a VERY fun and exciting exercise over the past few days and REALLY want you to consider doing the same!  My MBA head gets a little carried away at times with analytical thinking, but this was a life-changing experience going into the New Year so want to share my experience with you all.  You don’t have to take it as far as me, but PLEASE think about this.

As single ladies, we meet Mr. Amazing and get grooving in the newness of the situation with reckless abandonment of what is really important to us.  I get the whole “it takes time to get to know someone” thing, but let’s face it… chemistry and values are important.  I have looked at Mr. Amazing’s list of great values but ignored the NO chemistry part, and vice versa - have felt the chemistry ignoring the values part.  We often try to make square pegs fit in round holes and it’s just not comfortable.  We don’t RUN fast enough when the red flags tell us to RUN and it makes for yuck-yuck down the road.  Amen!?!
In truth, do we even know what we are looking for in the first place?
So here’s my exciting exercise (and it does NOT involve running or boob sweat this time, so please relax):
I have categorized a few key areas on what I have to offer and am looking for in a lovie dovie.  Here are my key areas:  personality, youthful approach to life, physical, romance, responsibility and priorities, lifestyle, intelligence, values and ideals, spirituality, and confidence.  I intend on this document being fluid and ever-changing.  Think of it as a roadmap for 2014.  You can never get to where you want to go by driving in circles! 
Here’s a verse from the Good Book that applies very well:
“As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.” ~ Proverbs 26:11 NLT
Pretty gross, huh!?!    
My point is this, we need to understand ourselves first and what is important to us before we can go looking for those things in someone else.  I hear girls say, “He was beneath me” or “I lowered my standards.”  You have to have a baseline to compare standards to in the first place.  He’s beneath WHAT?
I cannot be too rigid with this impossible list of the PERFECT man, but there are certain things that I cannot and will not compromise on.  I’m shallow, so he has to be HOT. I’m not gonna lie.  Sue me.
Anywho… clearly know what YOU have going for YOU first.  You have to love and understand yourself FIRST.  Be honest with yourself and correct those area in YOU that need corrected before you look for Mr. Amazing to do the damage repair. 
Make sense?
Happy New Year, ladies!  Cheers!  xo