Monday, July 7, 2014

Remembering Grief


This November it will be 5 years since my dad passed away.  I didn't realize how his death had affected me so much.  As I looked back at how my Father's Day Weekend went, I realized that I was in a grouchy mood for most of the weekend and it didn't matter what you said to me, I took it the wrong way and was upset.  It wasn't until I sat down and looked at the calendar that I realized that maybe I was missing my dad.

Years ago, my mom had told me that in February she would be caught off guard by her feelings of being down until she looked at the calendar.  She lost both of her parents in February (different years, but both in February).  I never understood what she meant until this year.  And it wasn't November (the month my dad passed away), and it wasn't March (my dad's birth month), but June, Father's Day weekend.

When you go through grief and come out on the other said, you are never really done grieving, you have just learned to live with the loss.  With everything that I went through, I have used my grief to understand what to do, and more importantly what not to do when someone else is grieving the loss of a loved one.

When I grieved my dad's death, I had to come to the realization that he wasn't going to be there for any of my children's graduations, weddings, etc. (he didn't get to see any of his grandchildren get married for that matter) and I had to be ok with that before I could move on.  One of the obstacles that I had to get through was the age my twins were (5) when he died and that frightened me...they would never really know my dad.  I say that because I was 5 when my grandmother died and I don't know much about her at all.  Another friend of mine told me that you can keep them remembering your dad through photos, and stories.  (I really do have smart friends! LOL)

I had another friend once tell me that it doesn't matter if I lost my dad too, the relationship between us was different than the relationship you had with yours, so honestly, I don't know what you are going through.  No one deals with death the same way.  No one knows how it will affect someone else.  The only thing you know for sure is they are hurting in some way.  And there will be days that they seem absolutely fine, then there will be other days that it's not so fine.  Somedays it hurts!

I don't have the answers, but what I can tell you is that if you have a friend who is grieving, let them talk.  You may hear the same stories of their loved one over and over, but it gives them comfort to be able to share their stories with you. Just because they are gone, they aren't erased from your memory.

If you have a friend who is down, ask them to tell you stories of their loved one.  I know they would love to tell you, but don't be surprised of a few tears fall.  It's ok...grief does that.  As time goes on, the tears will be less, and the smiles when the stories are told will be more.



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Orange Conference 2014

This year I had the privilege of going to the Orange Conference with a couple friends from The River Church.


Not only did I learn so much and have so many ideas for our Children's Ministry, but I also came home more in love with God, with a renewed dedication.

It's funny how when you go somewhere thinking one thing God steps in and changes the course of your thoughts!

I have so much to review and go through, I'm hoping that I'll have a chance to share some of my thoughts with you, but right now I just need to process it on my own.

I can't wait to go back!  I want to go next year!!


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Orange Conference 2014

This year, I get to attend my very first conference.  I've heard about conferences and how much information you get from them and how much fun they are, but have never been to one.  

As an Assistant Children's Ministry Director, I was excited when our Children's Director approached me to ask me my thoughts about going to the Orange Conference.  It was then that I realized how excited I really was!

Now that we will be leaving in 4 days, to say I'm excited is an understatement!  I already have 90% of my bags packed, my toes and fingernails are painted orange (LOL), and I have spent the past week or so searching the internet for things like Food Trucks in Atlanta, How to get the most out of a Conference, Who is going to the Orange Conference and trying to follow all the twitter messages about the Orange Conference #OC14

So, in keeping with the theme of this year...
I'm Saying YES to the Orange Conference 2014!

So, what breakout sessions will I be attending?

  • Strategies to Include Every Child (Including those with Special Needs)
  • Say Yes to Improving Your Social Media Skills
  • Social Media is Visual, Measured and Strategic
  • Special Needs Ministry Top 10
Of course we will be attending the main sessions as well as the Network and Team Gatherings!



Let me know if you will be attending and what breakout sessions you will be going to!!


Words Have Power

Words have Power...



When I was younger, we recited this when someone was being mean...
Sticks and Stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me
Oh, but it wasn't true.  How those words cut to the bone.

Proverbs 18:21 says...
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Words have power, power to build up, and power to destroy.  They cause curses or blessings.  Tell a child over and over how smart they are and they begin to believe it.  The opposite is also true.




When I was in the 8th grade, we took a test where the results came back that I wasn't smart enough to take college prep courses.  I believed it and didn't take college prep courses.  The first time I walked into my basic math class, the teacher asked me what I was doing in that class, after telling her about what the test said, she told me that I was smart enough and to get signed up and into Algebra the first point that I can.  I did so, and it made me feel so smart that my math teacher told me that I was smart enough.

There have been studies done that music and words together and you can remember things better.  How many songs from your childhood/teenage years can you still remember?  I realize that it's usually the ones that aren't very good that I can recite almost word for word!

Psalm 1:2 says...
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
So, what does it mean to meditate?
  1. Christian meditation is a form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to become aware of and reflect upon the revelations of God. The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditārī, which has a range of meanings including to reflect on, to study and to practice.
So God asks us to meditate on His word.  When you recite a verse over and over you begin to memorize the verse.  Having verses memorized gets them deep down into your heart.  This is how I memorize verses, by repeating them over and over, until I know them by heart.

When I was younger, I had a record (yes, I said record) that had a couple kids saying the alphabet backwards, well, I listened to that over and over again.  I can still recite the alphabet backwards.  (It's actually won me an award before)

I memorize things is by hearing them repeated back to me over and over.  It's another way I learn, along with repeating things to myself, I repeat them out loud so I can hear them as well as say them.  It helps enforce what I am learning.




I have some learning to do...I believe this post was meant for me...I have been trying to memorize verses and learn more scripture, I'm not where I want to be, I'm still learning how to get there.  I would love if you would pray for me as I work my way through some scriptures to memorize.



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Another Thursday to be Thankful.  I haven't done this in so long.  I used to join up with the Thankful Thursday Linky from Grace Alone  However, when I went over there today to actually join up, I saw the post that she had said goodbye to her Thankful Thursday.  Well, I've decided that doesn't matter to me...I'm still going to do my Thankful Thursday post.


Today I'm thankful for...

  • Husband - I have the best husband in the world...ok, I may be biased, but I wouldn't know what your husband is like, I only know what mine is like :-)  He is God's gift to me!  I was shown in a vision at 16 what my husband would look like (a vague photo...no details)...so when I looked back at my journal when I was younger and saw the description of my husband, I was amazed at how God had shown him to me in a dream!
  • My boys - my 4 boys are so special, they are a gift from God...I wasn't supposed to be able to have children in the first place, and yet I have 4 boys!
  • Small Group - We meet every Wednesday at our house...it's such a great group of people
  • Friday Morning Coffees - A group of us meet the 1st and 3rd Fridays at a local coffee shop.  I enjoy the fellowship with these ladies.  It's always such a fun time getting to know the ladies from our church and friends outside of church as well.  
  • Family - Since my dad died, I have realized that we really don't know how much time we have with one another.  My father-in-law has spent some time in the hospital with COPD and one of my husband's aunt's is battling cancer.  Family makes who you are...good or bad

So, what are you thankful for today?


Monday, March 17, 2014

Time is short

This is a post I wrote in one of my books back on September 26, 2013...

The older I get, the more I realize how quickly time goes by.  I sit and think about how quickly my boys are growing - Michael is 16, driving, a Junior in High School...when did he grow up?  Noah is 13, in 7th grade, going to the Junior High School...who said he could grow up?  Daniel and Andrew are in the 2nd grade at VanGorden...aren't they still supposed to be babies?

I only have a short time to teach them how to be men...how to treat a lady...how to be an adult.  Time is so short!!

Kevin and I will be going on 20 years of marriage soon, but I look and see all my my nieces getting married...having children of their own - my boys aren't too far behind them.

Time keeps moving forward and yet here I sit...
Who am I?
When did I grow up?
One minute I'm a care-free High Schooler who is in love with an older man, the next, I'm married and have 4 kids.  My identity all of my life has been wrapped up in someone else's...
Pat and Janice's daughter...
Deb's little sister...
Kevin's wife..
Michael's mom...
Noah's mom...
Daniel's mom...
Andrew's mom...

One day, I will know who I'm supposed to be...but figuring that out is going to take some time.

Where do I fit into the scheme of things?  What is my passion?  What is my purpose?  Who have you created me to be?  What have you created me to do?  So many things to ponder...so much to figure out...I'll know...someday!


A Friend

A friend encouraged me to write in my blog again...I do have a post that I wrote a while back and will post it...I really do want to try and write again, I need to write again!

Thank you, my friend...you know who you are!