It has been a long 24 hours. There was drama in the extended family that made for a late night yesterday. We are hoping that the storm has passed. Sometimes it is just like being in the eye of a hurricane - it will come and hit you again once the eye has moved on. We pray for relief, but damage has already been done. Have mercy, Lord Jesus.
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I have yet to do all my packing for my trip. Tomorrow I will fly to California to see my best friend Elizabeth. She is really more like a sister. Elizabeth was very much my parents' "third daughter". She was always introduced as such. She had her own room at our house until my parents downsized and moved. She had a stocking that we hung up at Christmas. She was in the family picture at my wedding. We have shared as sisters. We have fought and made up as sisters. We have faced life's struggles as sisters.
This trip is important for so many reasons. Elizabeth's birthday is tomorrow and mine is Saturday. We haven't been able to celebrate with each other in years. This will also be our first birthday without Mom. All of these "firsts" are so hard. Elizabeth was in the midst of a horrible bout of post-partum depression when Mom was sick, so she didn't get to come say goodbye. She didn't come to the funeral. She missed out on the rituals that go with losing a loved one. I will be taking her a suitcase full of mementos that were left for her. We will look at each of them and remember. We will probably cry a little. We will share gratitude for having been blessed with such a loving Mother. I might cry a little bit more.
This trip is also important because it will be my first chance to meet Elizabeth's first child - a baby boy born at the end of last December. He already has some teeth and I've never held him! I've been missing out! Hopefully he will have some wiggly cuddles for Auntie Carolyn. I will have plenty of smooches for him! God was gracious to send him to us.
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Last year when I was having a hard time, my dear, dear friend Amy Peterson (make sure Eric sees how I wrote your name, Amy - inside joke) started sending me text messages at 4pm every day. Each text was meant to have me focus on God. I saved a few quotes and made a computer desktop screen out of them. They are still relevant and so I thought I would share them with you.
A) To-Do list: God is good ALL the time. He has a plan for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Pray for faith to own this truth.
B) Take just a minute. You are right where God needs you to be. He knows what He is doing.
C) Rejoice when life sucks. Don't get stuck in this moment. You owe God better than a pouty lip. Ask Him for the faith it takes to choose joy.
D) To do list: 1) lean not on your own understanding, but trust in the Lord your God who alone can redeem you.
E) You did not make it into God’s Kingdom by clerical error. You are here because He invited you and He intends to use you.
F) In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Every action was deliberate. No brush stroke an error. If you’re here, it’s on purpose.
Feel free to share these quotes liberally if they might help someone. Just please make sure to credit Amy PETERSON. One of these days she is going to start paying attention again to her own blog and I will send you over there to bathe in her wisdom.
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That is all for now, my lovelies. Blessings upon you all.