iBelieve

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Archive for the category “Memories”

The One About Friendship


I remember Mrs. James, my grade school music teacher.  She was instrumentally and vocally talented and it was her job to raise our interest in music and possibly find some talent percolating within.  I am pretty sure I was graded on simply showing up because I have not been blessed with a singing voice.

The old wooden upright piano was tucked in the corner and a few of the stronger boys were called upon to assist her in pushing it to the front of the room.  Mrs. James loved to jam out on that piano by teaching us African American Spirituals which always got us up dancing next to our desks.  She calmed us down by gradually slowing the tempo of the songs we were singing and when she got us to finally sit back down, she taught us a new song.  She started with the melody and then she taught us the words.   The song was simple:

“Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver, the other gold.”

When I was younger, I used to make friends as quickly as the beat of the African American Spirituals we sang. Not many of my friendships from that era have lasted simply because we changed as we grew, which is absolutely normal. Since then, I learned that common interests break the ice a lot more quickly than small talk ever will. As an introvert, I like meeting extroverts because they draw me out of my shell.

I treasure my friends. I am talking about the ones that no matter the span of time since we last talked, we are excited to see each other and we pick up where we left off, feeling like we never skipped a beat.

Spending the time it takes to get to know another person is never wasted time, in my opinion. Even if the friend was in my life for a short season, I know it was meant to be and I am thankful for the time we had together.

Truth be told, at times I feel blessed with many friends and at other times, I feel like I have no friends at all.

“Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver, the other gold.”

I have a “golden” friend that ranks higher than any other; His name is Jesus.  Although I knew of Him all my life, I didn’t really get to know Him until I was without a human friend I could easily reach out to during a dark period in my life. Jesus met me at my lowest point and did not judge me.  He walked me out of the darkness and showed me His light.

In an effort to get to know Jesus better, I joined Bible Studies and started listening to Christian music and Christian preachers on the radio.

Jesus is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and the Great I Am.  Although He is seated at the right hand of God, is all-powerful and all-knowing, He became man to be an example in how to live.

He knows all about me and loves me anyway.  He is the coolest friend to have because he doesn’t care if my hair is messy or my pajamas don’t match.  He doesn’t care what kind of car I drive, but likes to help me get to my destinations safely.  Such greatness and He wants a relationship with me and He enjoys my company.  He listens, He loves, He died for me.  He loves to spend time with me and is available day or night and loves our talks.  Wherever, whenever; Jesus is the most available friend to me.  He doesn’t get jealous when I spend time with other friends of the earth, as oftentimes, He is the topic of conversation. There is nothing I do that will embarrass Him, and He doesn’t do anything to embarrass me.  Jesus must be an extrovert because he draws me out of my shell.

Jesus isn’t a “one-and-done friend.” In fact, He wants so badly to be friends with you too. If you don’t know who Jesus is, I would love to introduce you to Him.

In grade school, Mrs. James taught me about friendship in one simple song.  As I go through life, I continue to make new friends while cherishing my old friends.  I do not know who first said, “You become who you hang out with”, but I noticed the change in me the day I started really hanging out with Jesus.

One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.

Proverbs 22:11

Who You Gonna Bug?


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This One Is For You, Dad


“Get up early and get there first, you’ll have the whole day ahead of you” echoes my dad’s voice of wisdom in my head.  

Jumping out of bed this morning, I prepped two rooms in my house to keep my three cats out of the way of the guy doing some work in our basement.  I proceeded to drive my car to the repair shop and got there before the “Open” sign was turned on in the window.  I left it there to have them look at my brakes and rotate my tires.  Living close enough to the repair shop, I took advantage of the beautiful sunny morning of my day off from work, and walked home.  It felt good not to be one of the cars zooming by heading to work today.  

I stopped into the coffee shop in my neighborhood and found out they do not carry dairy-free French Vanilla flavored creamer, so I made a stop to the corner grocer and picked out some decaf coffee beans, ground them, and grabbed a container of my dairy-free creamer.  I brewed my own pot of coffee and sipped it while sharing my scrambled eggs with my cat, Mojo.  

As I was walking around my house, tinkering around actually, I noticed a sqeak in my shoe.  I paused and made that same step in my shoe and heard that squeak.  I smiled as memories flooded my mind.

My dad never wore jeans; he said he didn’t like the feel of them.  So he always wore black polyester pants, belted.  When he worked around the house, tinkering around the house actually, he would wear the black pants that had paint drips on them along with a white T-shirt with slightly yellowed armpits despite my mom’s attempts to whiten them with her secret laundry powers.  He also wore these beat up, old black slippers.  

When I was very young, I thought the kitchen floor itself was squeaky because it sqeaked when dad walked through.  The floor didn’t squeak when I walked the same path and I concluded it was because I was very thin and didn’t carry enough weight.  

I remember when I was a few years older, I needed to get something from outside and I couldn’t find my shoes, but dad’s beat up, old black slippers were there at the ready.  I slipped in them and headed out the door.  Then I heard the familiar kitchen floor squeak, but I was out in the driveway.  I would step a certain way and the slipper would squeak.  I made a little song of it with my feet.  It was fun.

So this morning, I heeded my dad’s advice and got a lot accomplished before 8:00am.  And I squeaked my shoe in the kitchen and of course made a little song out of it.  It was fun.

Happy early Father’s Day, dad.  I love you and miss you dearly.  

Ephesians 6:1-3 

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 

Ecclesiastes 3:2


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Painfully Celebrating


I divorced my reproductive system 19 years ago today. Read more…

Assaulted


Forward thinking, I think not.

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My Plan


Courage is the shovel that I am  using to exhume my desires that have been buried under mountains of fear.

Luke 11:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.

Pixel and The Warm Blanket of Peace


I was not raised to be a cat lover.  My aversion was a learned response from my family’s reaction to cats.    

When I started dating my husband, the topic of his cats came up early in conversation.  Jaguar was a male, dark brown (black looking) Manx, and Pixel was a female dilute torti.  Upon meeting the cats, I quickly found out that Jaguar had to give everyone he met a quick bite to state his dominance in the relationship.  After the initial bite, he was a cuddle-bug.  Pixel, on the other hand, was very dainty and the sweetest little girl.  She curled up with Jaguar, as one cat ball, and they would nap together all the time.  So cute!!

When Pixel began vomiting and drinking more water than usual, we made an appointment with the veterinarian.  Blood work results concluded that our little girl was suffering from renal failure.  We learned how to administer subcutaneous fluids to keep her from dehydrating and she was given a special diet along with additional medications.

The diagnosis of feline renal failure is an invitation to a funeral.  Pixel may have lived about two years longer than most “renal failure cat families” because we were on a strict subcutaneous fluid routine and we kept regular veterinarian appointments.

October 8, 2003…Quality of life was the deciding factor for the one-way trip to the veterinarian’s office where the last kisses were administered and the first tears flowed. I could not stop crying.  The pain was raw and insufferable. 

Did I mention that I could not stop crying?  About one week passed since Pixel passed.  I was on the second level of my home where Pixel and I spent a lot of one-on-one time together.  I was on my knees on the floor, in the middle of the room, sobbing uncontrollably, mourning the loss of our sweet little girl.  Remembering how she suffered during her final days kept me in this crouched position, dehydrated from the river of tears pouring out of me.  Here, at my lowest point, I began to cry out to God seeking His peace from the pain I was experiencing.  After this heart-felt prayer, it happened.  I began to feel warm.  First my head, then my shoulders and arms.  Next thing I knew, my torso, legs and toes…all warm. I instantly stopped crying and I was at peace.

God showed up, as I had asked, and He hovered over me as a warm blanket of peace.  What an awesome feeling. 

I was not raised to be a cat lover.  My love for cats was a learned response from Pixel and Jaguar’s reaction to me.

Today is the anniversary of your passing, Pixel.  Rest in peace, our precious little girl.  

Psalm 29:11 (NIV)

The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace.

 

In Memory of My Dad


Your sparkling blue eyes and friendly smile always lit up a room.

Your strong hands built bikes, fixed everything broken, threw an awesome knuckle ball, and changed into the best back-scratcher ever.

Your character, integrity, and wit cannot be duplicated.

Your time, talents, and treasures you shared gave every indication that Jesus lived in your heart.

I love you and miss you Dad.

My Dad, 1927-2009

1 Timothy 5:4(NIV)
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.

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