In His Presence

In Isaiah 55:6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him while he is near” and in Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled,” we are given very important wisdom for a full life. Throughout life we all strive for peace, joy and acceptance. We go to great lengths to get this. God tells us that in His presence is fullness of joy.

That sounds so simple. Can’t be that simple, right? What is the meaning of life and how can we be satisfied and fulfilled.

I was born into a wonderful Christian home. Before I was ever born God had a plan for me. He had a call on my life and knew just how it would play out.

When I was just five I came to know the Lord one day in kindergarten. When I was a teen I went to church camp and was filled with the Holy Spirit.

My life was blessed even though I thought it was normal. My dad always told me how important it was to be at church whenever the doors were open and i was from birth. I always tried to be good and do what I was told. I went to vacation Bible school each summer and won prizes for learning all the books of the Bible, memorizing scripture, and knowing different Bible characters.

I always did great because my dad had us read the children’s story Bible during dinner time. Heck I knew all the stories and all the characters. I still struggled with doing all I should. I always forgot to pray and after I got married I tried to read my Bible regularly but life was just so busy, husband, kids, job, and living life seemed enough.

It wasn’t till I was 45 and had a severe stroke that I finally had plenty of time on my hands. Laying flat on my back, unable to move or speak, God had my attention. What was going on. I was calm and not really worried because I knew God was in control but it was hard.

A friend came to see me and offered to read the Bible to me. That made a huge impact on me. When I could I vowed to start reading my Bible every day, I had the time. I haven’t missed many days since. Missed days tend to be bad days so I remember to do it first thing.

Struggling to live in a nursing home I learned so much about God and his ways. I had a Chaplain that was on fire for the Lord, telling us all about Jesus changing her life and always doing things, miracles, for her like he was her best friend. I wanted more.

I started reading every book about God I could get my hands on. We would take trips to Savers and I would bye books for $2.00 and many. I had so many trials in my life but I wanted more of Him. After a perfectly tuff time where I had been in the hospital for a while and was unable to read my Bible I committed to praying every day to get more of God.

The more I got, the happier I felt, and the more I wanted. I would sit and listen to praise music out on the back patio where I was alone. I also prayed a lot and sang hymns out there. It felt good. I had no trouble doing this I just loved doing it.

That’s when I started going to the church. Man it felt so good and I was hooked.

Just to be around people who believed like me and loved me. Singing in church was so alive with passion. They talked about going to camp for a whole week. So I tried it. That was the closest I think you could get to heaven here on earth.

I mean here I am with only Christian brothers and sisters, in the mountains, for a whole week, doing and being with God 24/7. Awesome.

These things have made me so happy. I truly am happier than ever before in my life. Jesus now is my very best friend and some day I’ll go to be with him forever. But right now I just want to be in his presence.

The happiest place I’ve ever known.

The Puzzle

God showed me that life is one extremely large puzzle that He is putting together. Every piece is lovingly placed where he knows is best for us. Only he knows what is best for us. He knows everyone he has ever made over thousands of years. He places other people in our lives just when we need them.

I can look back over my life and see where people have come into my life at just the right moment that I truly needed them. Just before my stroke I had strayed away from the Lord and was living”my” life my way on my own. After my stroke God sent a beautiful woman that I highly respected to me. I was hurting mentally from the recent stroke. God sent her to read the Bible to me and pray for me. It was a very big turning point in my life. I saw how much I need God and began reading every day on my own and twelve plus years later I wouldn’t miss a morning.

I have learned so much about the Lord and his ways over those years. The more I know him the more I want to know. I went to live in Phoenix at a nursing home with rehab to work at getting my life back. It was a difficult move but God placed me there with wonderful people who had great influence on my life.

I have learned how to serve them and influence others with God’s love. He has shown me that my handicap is not stopping me from making a difference in the world.

He once told me “Bloom where you are planted” and that is what I have done. In my time here he has helped me to write three wonderful books that honor him. Because I can’t make money or have much money. I have been able to give my books to others and bless them.

Now he is moving me to another part of his puzzle. Back to the town I lived in at the time of the stroke. My previous business partner offered me his home to live in and it benefits both of us. He has always been a father figure to me and mine has passed on. We need each other right now. His wife died a year ago and he is lonely. It gives both the opportunity to be needed I can be there for him and watch out for some of his needs and he can be there for me. Living together is like family again. I love him dearly and want the best for him.

That is what being part of God’s puzzle is all about. You never know when a new or old friend is coming into your life at just the right moment for just the right time. Anyone you come in contact with might be God’s special puzzle piece.

I have been reading lately about faith. Faith is doing what God has for your life even if you don’t know how it will work out.

Losing Someone Dear

Losing a family member or close friend is hard. Knowing they are a Christian and destined for Heaven should be a real blessing. But it is still hard and devastating. That person was in your life, you could see them, touch them, see them smile and laugh. That takes a lot of time to deal with. And you never forget the love you shared. All they ment to you.

Last March I lost my three year old grandson to a horrible disease called ‘Tay-Sachs’. He was born a beautiful happy baby boy with no sign of problems. Around his first Birthday he started showing signs of diminished activity. He never learned to crawl, walk or other things for his age. My daughter took him to be tested and we learned the dreadful news that he had this disease and would barely make it to four years old.

This is a very debilitating disease and very few have it. The parents are both carriers and what are the odds of that. But it happened. God made him just the way he was for a reason we will never know. He touched our lives so greatly. He was the happiest, loving baby. He barely learned to say mama but he showed love in his special way.

My daughter quit her job to be with him always. He was such a joy. But he had many problems. Not being able to move, or stretch without help. He was unable to regulate his temperature and had fans and cooling cloths to help keep him cool. His lungs soon began filling with fluid and had to be suctioned out. She was not only mom but his caregiver. She learned to do many things at one time. Having an older brother who loved him and would help out as much as he could helped but it was still mom who did everything. Her husband helped a lot and they did so much as a family. They were determined to give him the best life possible. To show him so much of our country. Let him taste and see all he could in just four years. My daughter never wanted to be away from him.

Then came that awful day, my daughter picked up her older son from school and took him to the lake with grandpa for some quality one-on-one time. Dad got to stay with him while his therapist worked with him. He loved being alone with him but mom was always there. It was going real well until he had a seizure. Then he was gone. One minute thriving the next Jesus took him home. It was such a shock to everyone.

I had to be strong for my daughter. He was with Jesus, with a whole body running around heaven with all his Tay-Sachs friends that had died before him. He was just where he needed to be.
But there was a whole. I tried to be strong and show all the reasons to be glad for him. We had a lovely funeral and memorial. Time moved on and Jesus filled us with peace, but thinking of him still brought tears. My kids got real involved in raising funds for Tay-Sachs research. They are so close to a cure.

While I was at camp this last week a good friend of mine read a poem about her disabled son who had died one year earlier. It was all about her beautiful baby boy that was born deformed and mentally disabled. He meant everything to her and they shared many special times. He loved to be at camp too. All of a sudden I broke. The poem reminded me of my grandson. I began to cry uncontrollably. People all around me were holding me tightly. I didn’t even know some of them. We are all brothers and sisters though.

I will never stop missing him and little things remind me of him. Like sunflowers, we gave sunflower seeds to all at his memorial in memory of him. Now. When I see a sunflower I can think of his smile. I love you Brennan!