May the Sovereign hand of God always be your guide as you journey along life's unpredictable seas. He holds the wheel steady through wild, raging storms. He never sleeps nor rests, even while gliding on calm, glassy waters. He needs no compass or charts for He knows the Journey from start to finish. Your role is to trust Him completely.....He knows your destination better than you do...
"Show me Your ways, O LORD, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Saviour, and my hope is in You all day long." Psalm 25: 4, 5 NIV
Have you ever heard God speaking to you? I have....many times, but I'm not always eager to comply. Today was one of those days. it's been a busy week and I'm pretty tuckered. We had been out doing errands all morning and I just wanted to rest this afternoon, yet God wanted me to do something....simply out of love.
Kip and I were eating lunch when I suddenly said, "OK Lord--I'll do it!" Fortunately Kip knows how God speaks directly to hearts and he didn't think I was loopy!! After blurting it out, I giggled and said, "God is nudging me to do this--tuckered or not." He smiled and nodded. Like the Lord, he doesn't need to verbally say any words to me, but I hear him loud and clear!
I was so glad I obeyed God's nudging. I know beyond any doubt that He was speaking to my heart, reminding me how much difference kindness and love can make to someone who has had a pretty tough life. How much "Genuine interest" in another can lift them up. He continually teaches me how important it is to make time for others.
It was important to put my own wants and needs aside for simply 15 minutes--and not only did I feel better about talking to that person, I was blessed by conversation with another person who happened to be there at that very moment.
God did not design us to be so busy, that we're too busy to connect with others in a genuine way. I find the phone much more difficult to chat on because I get so tuckered, yet the phone and writing letters [yes, actual handwritten letters!] are the only source of communication some folks have. If I don't connect with them that way, we don't connect at all. that is a travesty which breaks down relationships and it shouldn't happen just because I'm "too busy" or "too tired" to make time to connect hearts.
Once again, God did something beautiful for 3 people today.......what if I hadn't listened to him and shut Him out????
"My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart....Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart." Proverbs 3: 1, 3 NLT
Having a disability definitely imposes limitations & I'd like to encourage you to be 100% o.k. with changing things up a bit if you need to. September 5th marked the first anniversary of my Mom's Going Home to Heaven. Today is the 1st anniversary of her Committal Service, and tomorrow is the 1st anniversary of her formal Service of Thanksgiving at her home church. A loved one's wishes for a "Traditional Service" often includes a Committal Service and a Formal Service--these usually take place on the same day in this order: The Formal Service, The Committal Service, and the Reception. However, I knew this was not possible for me to do with my limitations.
Kip and I talked things over with my brother and we decided to have the Viewing/Burial service the day before the formal Service of Thanksgiving and reception at the church. This turned out to be such a huge blessing as that first day was precious and intimate--not only at the Viewing and Committal service, but even more-so in the afternoon as my brother, Kip and I, along with our adult "kids" were able to spend time together sharing our memories, our hearts and our love for this Proverbs 31 woman who was a shining light in our lives. It was an incredibly treasured time we would not have had if we tried to pack everything into one day.
The following day was just as memorable, but in it's own unique way. We were surrounded by family and friends, jewels from our treasure-chest of friendships as well as jewels from Mom's Treasure-chest of friendships--some of them polished with love for over 7 to 8 decades!!
I thank God for His guidance during this HUGELY important time in my life. My Mom and I were best friends. We talked very openly as her health deteriorated, and she entrusted her final wishes, her most important wishes, to my care. I did not know how on earth I would do it, and I was a bit scared as it was incredibly overwhelming. But Kip was by my side every step of the way and God's guidance and perfect scheduling was extremely evident.
Because we talked openly about Mom's wishes and because they were so clearly written down several years prior [with small additions or changes as the years progressed] I knew every single detail. I would strongly encourage others to do the same for the sake of your families. It certainly eased the pressure of uncertainty and confusion, and helped me focus on doing exactly what Mom wanted.
I know God placed specific people on our pathway as we took care of crucial details---people who worked with my disability, showing respect and compassion as we made our way through the necessary tasks at hand--especially with our request to have the two services span over two days.
I guess what I'm trying to emphasize is that most folks are more than willing to take a disability into consideration when there is a need for it. My memories of Mom's Services are rich and precious. Making adjustments enabled me to actively participate in one of the most important events of my lifetime. Yes, I was incredibly exhausted after, and honestly, I don't remember much of the reception, but I do know love wrapped around us and the guest-book entries still touch my heart deeply.
So, do as much as you are able to do...never say, "I can't" but rather ask yourself, "How can I?" Look for ways to succeed and participate, but remember to pace yourself. And always remember: It's A.O.K. to change things up a bit if it means you can do things which are very important to you. Most folks don't mind making adjustments, especially if it means you can join in--even for a little while.
Blessings on you today........
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4: 6-7 NLT
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