Every Saturday after I post something I immediately start praying about what God would have me post the following week. Sometimes I feel so much passion for a subject that I think it will be easy to put it all down, but more often it seems the things I'm most passionate about are the ones I have the hardest time expressing. Like today. What has happened to our country through the years that we have turned holidays that are meant to remind us of important events in history into parties and fun, with little or no remembrance? Christmas has turned into how many gifts we can get. Easter has turned into candy and the Easter Bunny and Memorial Day into the start of vacation, beaches, camping and garage sales. I do not have any relatives that have fought for our country but I love it with a passion and I am so extremely grateful to our soldiers who have laid down their lives so that I can have the freedoms I enjoy. Sometimes with forgetfulness. Sometimes with thanklessness. When the warm weather hits and school is almost out, when the beach or the campground call out to us, we don't want to think sad thoughts. We want to have fun. I'm not saying any of those things are wrong. I'm just trying to remind us of some things. Today, maybe at this very moment, a soldier has lost their life for you, a wife has lost her husband or a husband his wife, a mother has lost a child. Protecting the freedoms we enjoy. Protecting the fun life we take for granted. Take the time today, and as often as possible, to thank the Lord for the freedom we have and make a point to find a soldier and to thank them for the Liberty you enjoy. It is a precious gift. My words are not enough to convey the passion my heart feels. I don't want this to be a political post. Maybe you don't agree with war and fighting but please remember, men and women have died for the freedoms you enjoy. Men and women have died for you, and that is something you should never forget.
I will never forget the many testimonies given at my sister in law Amy's funeral. Amy was the kind of girl that did everything, even with 6 kids. She sewed, baked, gardened, she made homemade baby food and fruit snacks for her kids, and then she home schooled on top of all that. She was never overly concerned about her housekeeping yet she had friends over all the time. What struck me the most during the testimonies though was the fact that even though she did all those things, she still gave of herself to the people that needed her, no matter what. She had no family that lived close to help her out or give her a break yet she was selfless and she touched many lives. I thought about how opposite I was from Amy. My life always had to be so structured, my days planned out perfectly. Everything in order. I decided I would beg God to change me, to help me be selfless. But in reality I was being selfish when I asked. I wanted people to say the same things about me someday. I never thought about the glory it could bring to my Savior. My ideas of selflessness weren't God's ideas. After my granddaughter Ellie was born, I began babysitting every day from 7:30-4 and my perfect, orderly world turned to chaos and I will be honest, I had some freak out moments. I know it sounds terrible~ how could I be upset about babysitting my precious grand babies? I was trying to be everything to everyone. The perfect pastor's wife, mom, friend and grandma. I was trying to be like Amy. I was exhausted and I cried a lot and I told my husband over and over I can't do this~but God kept whispering "yes you can, those babies need you" I didn't think I could possibly babysit both girls when Clara was born. Let me tell you, she is beyond a handful but her smile is contagious even when she is sitting on the kitchen floor in the middle of an entire box of cereal. God has continually shown me that this is His plan for me at this moment in my life. I am not Amy but God can use Charisse, just in a different way. The love and the time I give to these precious babies who think the world of grandma is most important right now. Ask God today to show you how to be selfless. Maybe someone is searching for more. You can tell them about Christ and the life He gives. Look around you with open eyes and see the hearts that need you. Whether you touch many lives or only a few, you can impact eternity for God's glory. Someone needs you today. It might not be the person you think. It might not be on a grand scale. You might not reach hundreds of lives. But you can reach one and that one will be the most important one in God's eyes.
Some days I just want to run away. Just run away from life in general. There have been days that all I want to do is cry. When a situation has happened in my life that hurts me so deeply that I can't even find the words to say and I can't share it with anyone and I have to hold the tears in and pretend that life is good because~ isn't life always good when you are a pastor's wife? But it's not. And these are the times that all I can do is cry out to God, but all that comes out is "please help me". And in the midst of the pain, life must continue. Your family depends on you. Your job, your babies, your responsibilities. And so you feel alone and overwhelmed. And you want to run away. Yes this happens to pastor's wives just like it probably happens to any other woman that goes through heart ache and hurt. But in the midst of my "holding it together", in between sitting in the bathroom where no one can see me crying, in the midst of sleepless nights with tears running down my cheeks~I will not stop asking my Savior, my Father and my Comforter to help me. That doesn't mean that miraculously the situation becomes good again but I know that even when I don't know what to pray, my God hears what my heart is crying out when my mouth can't form the words. And He holds me and I know that no matter what happens~He will carry me through. Today you might want to run away but don't let the enemy tell you it's ok to feel this way. To settle down under the covers of despair and hibernate there. Don't let Satan trick you into believing life can't get better or that it won't~because it will~but only in Gods arms, in His strength with the peace that only He can give. Don't run away, run right into the arms of the Savior who wants to carry you through.
I've been thinking all week about Mother's Day and my mom. My mom and dad built their dream retirement home back in 2000 and just a few short years later, very unexpectedly, my mom passed away from a massive heart attack. What do I want to say to moms this Mothers Day? First, I would like to say cherish every single moment with your mother if you still have her. She might drive you crazy, I'll admit my mom did at times but I miss so many things about her, even the little things we would share like which makeup to choose. I miss her cooking for me and her laughter. I miss her love of Christmas and food. I miss her squeezing my babies when she hugged them. I miss talking to her. I miss the phone ringing and I feel so sad that it used to irritate me if I was busy and mom wanted to talk. There is no one in the world like your mother. No one will ever love you like she does. My heart aches at the impatience I would have with her at times or the irritation I would feel when she would "mother" a little too much but only because she cared so deeply. Cherish the time you have. Don't let living life become more important than loving with your everything. You don't know what tomorrow holds. And to all you sweet moms out there, the next thing I would say is to cherish every moment with your children. Make time with them. Play with them and love on them. Teach them about Jesus and play with them some more. Put your phones down and listen. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, no matter our age, so make sure your children know how important they are to you right now and how deeply they are loved. Before you know it you will be a grandma looking into the eyes of your children and seeing yourself, looking into the eyes of your grandchildren and seeing your children. When you kiss your babies little cheeks at night as they snuggle under the covers, make sure you made memories that day that will last them a lifetime. As they drift off to sleep thank God he gave you the best title in the world: mom.