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Friday, June 26, 2015

Phyllis and Dust Bunnies

     Friends have told me I have a contagious laugh. David (my husband) says my laughter make him feel things are good and loves to hear me laugh. I hope I got my laughter from Phyllis. Hope you enjoy my trip down memory lane about Phyllis. Miss her very much.




                                              Phyllis and Dust Bunnies


     January 8, 2015, my dear sister, Phyllis Stewart passed away. Thoughts and memories of her have come flooding back. As our cousin, John Carney shared at the funeral, Phyllis had a laugh all her own. She would place her hands on her legs, just above the knees, lean forward and just laugh. The commit reminded me of the dust bunnies.
     Anyone who knew Phyllis, also knew she kept a very clean home. I doubt she ever had dust bunnies.. My home, on the other hand, dust bunnies you will find. My thing is cooking not cleaning.
     I cannot remember why but, Mom, Dad, Phyllis, and Rudy were at our home in Springfield overnight. Something was wrong with the refrigerator. After supper with dishes done, David pulled the refrigerator out from the wall to work on it, however under and behind needed some cleaning . Phyllis, Mom and I got busy cleaning the floor, wall and back of the refrigerator. Of course there was dust bunnies..
     Phyllis started laughing. Hands on her legs, leaning forward, she started laughing and couldn't stop. Her laugh was so contagious, Mom and I started laughing. All three of us ended up with tears in our eyes, we laughed so hard. Now many years later, when the refrigerator is moved out the dust bunnies are cleaned away, I am reminded of that day and it brings a warm smile to my face.
     Who would imagine that dust bunnies could bring back a warm wonderful memory of Phyllis, that is so special. People I have worked with over the years have told me I have a contagious laugh. I hope I do have her love of laughter, it came from her heart.
     Sis, I miss your beautiful smile and laughter but, I know i will see you again.

©  Copyright  1/22/2015 All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Unseen Grace

 
God's amazing grace watched over Linda and I while we were in our mothers womb. We were listed as twins, but we only share the same birth date.




                                                        Unseen Grace


     Questions and surprises started my life. Mom planned when she wanted her children born. Her biggest surprise with me, there were two of us. Linda and I were born twins, but not twins at all.
     Although conceived weeks apart, Linda was born first. A total and complete pregnancy. She was premature and unable to swallow until she was a month old.
     I made my entrance into this world, thirty minutes later. Also a total and complete pregnancy. However, Mom had carried we way over my due date. My lungs collapsed at birth. For the first three years of my life, I fainted when I cried.
     What kept us alive and safe during that unusual pregnancy? Only the Unseen Grace of God could protect two little girls in the womb. Grace unseen often reflects God's greatest miracles. Looking back, I can see the grace of God throughout my life.
     Travel with me on my "Journey of Grace", as I share how God's unseen grace has effected my life.
     Take a look at your life? What unseen grace can you find woven throughout the years? If we would only take time to spend with the Lord, we would be amazed at the grace He has poured out on each of us. Learn of His grace.


     Psalm139:13 (CJB)
     For you fashioned my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb.




© Copyright  2013 All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

47 Years and so blessed.

                                                       47 Years and so blessed.

     June 28th,1967, 47 years ago today, I married my High School sweetheart, David Eldred. We met on April 8,1962, my 15th birthday. I knew that day he was the one I would marry.
  We have had our ups and downs. Some years have been tough and lean but most have been happy and blessed. Our 2 wonderful sons, Mike and James are our miracles from God. We are blessed with 2 grand children, Jonah and Wren.
     We were privileged to live on Guam while David was in the Air Force and traveled to Hong Kong for R&R. On our return to stateside, we traveled California visiting family. Then to Salt Lake City to see friends, on across the northern states on our way to see family in Kansas City, all during the last blizzard of the new year 1970. I had wanted to see snow after 2 years and I did.
     Our homes have been in Oklahoma, Arkansas,Illinois, Mississippi where both boys were born. Finally settling in Springfield, Mo the last 35 years.
     Camping and the out doors was out greatest adventures as the boys were growing up.
     No matter the season of life we have gone through our love has never wavered. Things have never been perfect but we are so blessed and thankful for all that God has brought us through. I pray we will have many more years together.
     Happy Anniversary to the man in my life. I love you more today then yesterday.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Potter


     As Easter draws near, I wondered what to share. Our Lord gave His life for us. His love for us is immeasurable. No greater love will you ever find. My story "The Potter" is about the potters love for His creations. How He molds, heals, draws us to Himself, and restores each one. Hope you enjoy reading it and I pray all of you have a blessed Easter. May you be drawn closer to The Potter.



                                                                  The Potter

     The cold damp clay to the spinning wheel goes, awaiting The Potter, to shape and create a vessel of love. Amazing care and attention with each spin of the wheel. The whisper of love and grace the spinning wheel blends. The shape finely complete, the shape of a heart, into the hands of The Potter it goes to cradle and love. Now to the fire it must go, the growing begins.                                                                                                     The first firing complete, the dampness, impurities, and coldness are gone. Back into the gentle hands of The Potter the vessel goes. The heart now is covered with the image of God. With each stroke of the brush, The Potter applies, faith, hope, and love. Kindness and mercy then is applied. Nurturing and strength will cover it all. The The gentle strokes of desire and love for all are added for the world to see.    
     There is a spot on the heart, The Potter now claims. All must sealed with the blood of His Son. The image of the old rugged cross now has a place on the heart, that image of love. Back to the fire the vessel must go. Imperfections of life will now bake away. The demands,  the pressures, and disappointments are gone. Unwanted and wasted the fire burns away, no more of rejection or shame.                                              On the spinning wheel sits the heart of perfection. Clothed in passion and love for the world to behold. The Potter now stands, tears in His eyes, the love and affection it took to create this love of His life. Sealed with the blood of His Son. Now it is clothed in the beauty and love that salvation brings.A new life now to begin. Softly, God speaks in a whisper, "Come, join Me and My Son, be a part of our life, in the Family of God.



©  Copyright   All right reserved 2013

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Good And The Bad Alike

As I thought about what to post next, I was reminded of the heartaches so many are facing today and we often hear, "How could a loving God allow this to happen?" Because of His grace, He can allow nothing less. His desire is for all to be saved, the good and the bad. Just as one thief on the cross went to paradise with Christ when he died, the other will spend eternity in hell. They each had a choice just before they died. We all have that same choice, whether we are good or bad. Go with me as I share my view of a loving God.

NOTE: We went for a walk in the park this afternoon, we often visit with people in the park. Today we met a young woman that was pregnant. We were able to pray with her about her family. They had disowned her because she was not married. I wonder who is the good and who is the bad in this family?  I also wonder how many young people have been cast out of families because they did not perform to the parents level of acceptance. I'm thankful I serve a forgiving God.



                                                       The Good And The Bad Alike


     Often we see only the ugliness of this world and ask, "How could a loving God allow what is happening today?" The homeless number is growing larger everyday, and many are families. With much suffering and no place to lay their heads in safety. Yet, there are others with great riches, that they waste on the worldly pleasures of life. Many will say I have nothing to spare.
     People with sickness and pain. No doctor to see or even the means to pay for the medication they need. Some have great beauty but use it in disgrace, full of arrogance and pride. A child goes unfed, another born with an addiction. Many used to be thrown away for the sickness of sexual abuse. Sadly to many times those guilty still walk free on the streets, seeking their next victim. Even worse, to many little ones never have a chance, their lives taken through abortion. Then someone asks in anger, "How could a loving God allow it to happen?"
     God loves every one of us. The good and the bad alike. He will not force us to accept and love Him. We must surrender our free will to Him in love, weather homeless or wealthy. the plain, those of great beauty, deserving or not, He loves us all. He knows every heartache and sin committed throughout the past generations and the generations to come. He is grieved and saddened because of what man has done, but still, He must allow man to have his own way. The pain and ugliness is not drafted by God, but in the hearts of man. God gave each one of us a free will, the freedom to make our own choices. So often we hear someone say, "I'll do it my way." We throw God aside for the pleasures of today. We are born with a deep desire in our hearts to seek for God, but as we take charge of our free will we ignore the calling God sends our way. The enemy of God is the one we often seek and serve. Sin and sickness will drive many to an early grave. Yet, we dare to ask, "How could a loving God allow it to happen?"
     The blessings God pours out are often unseen, blessings to the good and the bad alike. For now there is no difference made. It is only those that have surrendered their lives to God, that have a new life, deeper understanding of grace, peace and joy. Each one of us, He seeks and beckons to share in His life. He alone holds the true freedom we all seek. A personal relationship in love is what God desires with each of us.
     The good and the bad alike, we all fall short of deserving the forgiveness and love of God but, His grace is always reaching out to each one of us. He will seek for us until we take our dying breath. How could a loving God allow what has happened in this world, how could He allow anything else? We demand our free will, yet condemn God for our consequences.  He desires that not one of us should parish but live eternally in heaven as His child.


©  Copyright 2014   All rights reserved


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Unspoken Rules

     Over time I have come to realize the Unspoken Rules that were within my family. Rules that caused a lot of heartaches and hurt but were never talked about. Those unspoken rules brought about four years of unbelievable physical pain in my life.It also created resentments that has taken me almost fifty years to uncover. Go with me as I share, Unspoken Rules.





                                                            Unspoken Rules

     I have shared in my writings of, "Learn To Deal With It" and "The Years of Physical Pain," both were about the pain I went through, that no one knew of. The realization came to me a few weeks ago, that during those four years, not one family member ever came to me and asked how I was feeling. That revaluation has helped me understand why I had resentments from that time in my life. With the Lords help I have dealt with it and made peace. I can now write about what I learned.
     There was a rule in the family I was to follow no matter what. It didn't matter if I was sick, hurt feelings, or even lied about, I was not allowed to complain, or contradict. If I broke that rule, I received a harsh tongue lashing from mom
     There was also another rule that the whole family did follow. You did not ask questions of someone, because it would allow them the opportunity to complain. For four years, the physical, mental,and emotional pain was almost unbearable, but not one family member ever came to me and asked how I was feeling or what was going on with me. It has taken me almost fifty years to uncover the fact that I was holding resentments.
     Mom knew I was in pain, she told me all women go through it, "You have to Learn To Deal With It." She wrote my excuses for school, I missed about five days every month, for three and a half years.  She made all my doctor appointments. I was put on three strong medications, but she never watched over how much medication I was taking every month. Yet, in all that time, mom never sat down with me and asked, "Brenda, what is going on? How bad is the pain, how are you dealing with it?" She never asked how missing so much school or trips I had to cancel, was affecting me. She never asked what I was even thinking.
     I have learned that the rules mom required me to follow were not fair."Don't complain." I needed to be able to complain. Possible I could have had surgery much sooner. That would have saved me the mental torment I went through, that nearly cost me my sanity.
     If God had not placed Dr. Tosh in my life, I would not be here today. He recognized the mental state of mind I was in and knew I was on the verge of insanity. He also recognized that mom had no idea what was going on with me. Dr Tosh sat and talked to me about all of it just weeks before David and I were married. To this day I have never really talked to my family about that four years of my life.
      Don't complain and don't ask questions are two rules I never want to experience again. Yet, they still affect me today. It is hard for me to speak up or defend myself when asked a question. Those rules were unfair, but looking back I know now that was how mom was raised. She never complained and if she did, she was scolded.
     Is there unspoken rules in your life that have destroyed someone or caused a separation between you and a family member or a friend? Is there leftover hurts and resentments, that you are having to deal with forty, fifty, or even sixty years later? Maybe its never been dealt with or even recognized.Maybe no one even knows what the unspoken rules are or that they exist. How do you get past all of it?
     In my case, it was having to allow God to search my heart for the things I had hidden away and would not look at. It is only God that can spread His love and forgiveness over the hidden things, so that we can remember, forgive, love, and finally have peace deep within our hearts. Allowing God to search and draw out the hidden secrets, is when His grace can take us deeper still.


© Copyright 2014 All rights reserved.








Friday, February 28, 2014

Grace In Circumstances

     It has taken me a few days to decide what I wanted to post. Friends recovering from cancer, or facing surgery, anothers just died from cancer. Tuesday I learned that I need to go back in for an ultra sounds. Something on my mammogram needs a further exam. I'm not concerned but covet your prayers. I've been there before. This piece was written years ago when I had to go through a biopsy. I'm still learning about God's amazing grace daily. He often reminds me, "Only the circumstance is changing, I never change and I'm always here." When it comes to my physical, mental and emotional health, I can trust God no matter what. He has brought me through so very much. I pray one day I will have that deep faith in every area of my life. He is faithful and will be with me no matter the outcome. Go with me as I share about God's continuing grace in my life.


                                                      Grace In Circumstances

   For sometime now I have been learning and seeking to know more about the grace of God. Learning to die to the emotions and feelings of self and seeking those of Christ. If Christ is living in me, then my feelings, emotions, and attitude should be a reflection of Him. I have come so far in understanding grace but I also realize my journey of grace has just begun.
     Two scriptures have come to mean so much to me. First, Psalms chapter 46, Thanksgiving day 1998, a message by Charles Stanley. I've always stood firm in my beliefs in what God has for my life but, with that message, I realized I was standing firm with arrogance and rebellion in my heart. God began to use that message to change my heart and my love for others. I also realized that my emotional well being and feelings were not lining up with those of Christ. I will continue to seek God's grace to be and do what I cannot do alone.
   The second scripture, I Corinthians 15:58, steadfast and unmovable. We are very fortunate to have a pastor that has a love for other denominations. He has worked to bring the pastors together to pray for the work of God in our city and community. As he has often said, "There will be no denominations in heaven and we need to learn to get along here on earth."
     A revelations I had, life is not about me or anyone else and it is not about this world we live in. Life is about God being glorified in our daily lives. If what I am doing points to me and not God, I am out of line. If I cannot glorify God in everything I do, something is wrong. It doesn't matter if it is me or something effecting me, I should be able to glorify God in all things.
    The revelation that life is not about me became a reality a few weeks ago. I noticed I was very sore in my left breast and thought I felt a lump. I called my doctor and saw him the next day. He didn't find anything but sent me for a mammogram a few days later. The mammogram revealed a lump on the right side, not the left. and a biopsy would be needed. As I left the clinic a feeling of fear and panic came over me. But, my Lord reminded me, "Only the circumstance has changed, I am still God and I never change." Peace returned. I knew no matter the outcome, I would be OK. Can God be glorified in my health problems? Absolutely yes. As I sought for continued peace and direction from God, He reminded me, He had not left or forsaken me. He had not changed, only my circumstance had. I knew it was the love of God and support of my family and friends that would carry me through anything I had to face. Even though I have high blood pressure, I remained calm throughout the procedure. There was no cancer. God provides the grace  for any circumstance in our life.