The goodness of God demands a celebration today and everyday! Love hearing how God is working in my family and friends. Enjoy seeing the blessings of God poured out on others and the answers to prayers. Love to see, and have, friends who stand with each other through the tough times and then genuinely celebrate the victories. "Acquaintances" will come, for a while, and hold your hand, but a "true friend" will hold your heart, forever! Hope first to be one of those "true friends," and continue to be blessed by those "true friends" that God has given me.
So honored to invest in the lives of those God has brought into my life! Through prayer, encouragement, time spent together, and just being able to love them, and then getting all that, and more, in return.
Sometimes it has been really hard to not be able to do all I would like to do in my home; the things I used to do; but I believe I will get to do those things again. It will be so nice to see the faces of my friends and family around the table again. Laughing and joking...and yes, even giving me a hard time...all in fun, of course!
So many good memories! Some of the little ones who piled in my tub, sometimes by twos; drowning everything in sight, now have little ones of their own! Some that were content to sleep in sleeping bags on the floor are way too grown up now to be expected to do that!
There were those families who came and brought their own groceries and cooked in my kitchen, and some (mostly the younger guys) who came on their way to somewhere else and just needed a place to sleep and "chow down!" They could really put away some groceries! But I loved it. Payment in full was a hug when they left and a promise to come back...soon.
Girlfriends have knocked on the door at midnight and cried on my sofa `til the wee hours, until the peace of God overwhelmed us and restored hope that everything would be okay...soon. I have cried with, and cried over, many whose hearts were broken, and then rejoiced with them when God brought healing and restoration to situations that were bigger than we knew how to handle.
I have baked, carried to, and ate muffins with elderly neighbors who hardly ever got visitors. It was as important to me as it was to the them, and I think it blessed me even more than it did them. I have run errands, listened to stories of the "good old days" for hours; helped sweet little elderly ladies into clean nightgowns; made tea for two; and even "rolled" their hair! (I never really had a MOM so I adopted them! It was a blessing to get to be a "daughter" of sorts to them.)
Sometimes I took them to lunch; sometimes to the Doctors; sometimes to McDonald's and then the park with our lunch, to just sit and watch the ducks. Simple things; great blessings.
I have carried groceries to families who needed them and been made to stay and eat some of what I brought; and sometimes I had just eaten, and was stuffed but would not hurt their feeling by saying no. I have seen the relief in their faces when they understood that God cared about them. Who was blessed the most? ME!
I have sat on the curb with the homeless and told them Jesus loved them; prayed along with a young evangelist in the parking lot of a strip club with a Hell's Angel and led him to the Lord. I have ministered in hospitals; nursing homes; on Cherokee missions; on porches; parking lots; and in Ladies rooms. God has blessed me; instructed me; corrected me; rescued me; healed me; comforted me; and remained faithful to me even when I, sometimes, hesitated however briefly, to submit to Him.
Why did I write all this...because I had to! I needed to remember who I am and what I really care about! I needed to remember where I have been and what the true burdens of my heart are and have always been. I needed to hear the cry of my own heart saying:
"God, this is who I am! This is who You created me to be and so gently and faithfully worked in me. You healed, established, tore down, broke and restored so many things, in so many ways. And I know there is still much that needs done in me. I'm ready...I am willing to embrace whatever comes next...because I know you are with me...and for me! I have only one request...prayer...plea...let me be who you want me to be. Let all that you have placed within me freely flow out...to glorify you and to be a blessing to others. Just like it used to be...in my home...in my neighborhood...in my church. Surrounded by my family...my friends...and any one you wish to have stop by and stay for a time and a season."
You might not have needed to hear all this, but I did. I needed to be reminded that God is now, has always been, and will always be, in control of my life! No one else! He gave me this home through a set of "divine circumstances" and He meant for it to be used as a place of ministry, and a place where His name would be lifted up and glorified! It will be that again. It's His! And so am I! And He will keep what is His. He promised He would! I love you, Lord, and trust You with all that I am, and all that I have. Now and forever!
Now, it has been said; declared, before witnesses. I will never, never, take it back or apologize because "I am who He says I am, right now; I will do what He wants me to do, right now; and I will become all that He requires me to be, day by day, with His help! And my love for Him will grow stronger everyday! He is so worthy! Amen ~ so be it!