Weekly Photo Challenge: Gone, But Not Forgotten

I wrote this post after visiting my grandmother over a year ago. At the time the doctors gave her 6-8 weeks to live, but it was over a year later, this past Wednesday, that she went home to Jesus. I’m missing her, but I know she is at peace.  She is now in the heavenly home where she belongs, along with my father and the other family members we have lost along the way.

Love you grandma!!

Hester Mae Boyce

May 4, 1934 – December 3, 2014

 

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GOD BLESS!!!

A Daughter Never Forgets

My 28th birthday is one I will never forget. I had a phenomenal evening out with some of my closest friends, but once I was home for the night a bit of sadness set in.  

You see, my father had been battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma for over a year, and at this point he was too weak to call me for my birthday.  Every year, on Nov. 14th, he made me feel like the most special person in the world, but this time was different.  This time he was fighting for his life.

The next day I saw my dad, and we told each other “I love you” for the last time.  Although his words were barely audible, I felt every ounce of his love wrapped up in his fragile voice.  The following day my daddy died, and that was 5 years ago today.

I cannot believe it’s been that long.  I’m not quite sure why the number seems especially significant this time, but a lot can happen in half a decade.  Since he passed, I became a wife and a mom.  I’ve been blessed to bring two beautiful girls into this world, and oh how he would have adored them!  I am sure he would have spent every possible moment in their presence, and I know they wouldn’t be able to get enough of their Grandpa John.  He was full of energy and full of life, and more than once I saw a literal twinkle in his eyes.  He wanted so badly to be a grandfather one day, not only to spoil his princesses rotten (he always said I’d have girls), but he often joked that he would most enjoy being told that he looked too young to have grandbabies. ;)

He was certainly one-of-a-kind, and when I think about the movies we used to enjoy, the way that he could make me laugh, or the fact that he is not on the group text list when I send pictures of my children to family members and friends, I can easily be brought to tears.

There are many reasons to cry for my dad, but as much as I miss him I can honestly say that today my eyes stayed dry.  Not because I’m so brave or tough or that the wound has healed, but because I know that he is among the angels in heaven, before the very presence of our Lord and Savior.  I know that whether I have 40, 50 or 100 more years to live, we will one day end up in the same place, and until then he is surrounded by the glory of God.

 As much as I selfishly want him here, he is in a much better place, receiving far more than I could ever give. I miss my dad, and wish I could hear his voice or feel his warmth, but everyday I will purpose to celebrate him by living a life he would be proud of.   image Hug the ones you love, tell them how much they mean to you, and never, ever let go of the memories. I LOVE YOU DADDY!!!! BE BLESSED!!

Monday Motivation: Growing in Faith

photo credit: simplyfreshdinners.com

photo credit: simplyfreshdinners.com

It may challenging, scary, and uncomfortable.  Maybe you don’t feel like you’re ready, but you know God knows best.  It is a journey that requires full reliance upon, and supreme confidence in Him, and the ability to trust that you are able to do all He has called you to accomplish.  It is time for you to step up and step out.  It is time for you to grow in Christ.  It is time for us all to grow in faith…

2 Peter 1:3-11 (NLT)

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.  11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

BE BLESSED!!!

Dear Mama Who Feels Like She’s In Over Her Head

Dear Mama Who Feels Like She’s In Over Her Head,

Hi.  It’s Patricia here, and I’m writing you this letter to let you know that you are not alone!  You’re probably thinking it doesn’t take an entire letter to express that, but I’m doing this anyways because I know how much I need the encouragement these days!

Just when I started to feel more confident about finding my new rhythm with both the girls, the ‘yes I can’ attitude was quickly shoved aside for the ‘ I’m trying really hard not to lose my mind’ reality.  In the last few days I’ve been especially tired, frustrated and weary, and even with a 6 week old, it’s largely been thanks to my wonderfully precocious toddler.  Oh how she pushes my buttons like no one else can! 

Does she EVER listen…the first time?

Does she ever get tired of saying ‘NO’?

You can’t tell me she doesn’t hear herself when she whines.  Doesn’t she hear herself?!

Can we go one day without (one of us) having a meltdown?  Just one?

Why do I feel like I’m in a constant power struggle with a 2 and a half year old?  I mean, she’s not even 3 feet tall!!

Every day I pray for more patience, and boy am I getting opportunity after opportunity to exercise the very thing I’m praying for!  Amid tantrums, tears, screams, attitude, potty accidents, and sleepless nights, I know this is a time of transition for us all. However, I can’t help but question myself, wondering if I’m going about things all wrong. 

I mean, should it be this hard? I have 2 children, not a dozen!  Am I the only one struggling? The issue must be meright?!  Am I totally missing the mark?

Ever had these thoughts in the midst of your frustration?  It’s amazing how the negative self-talk can spin out of control sometimes, but in the process I usually end up contemplating some very real things.  To name a few, I struggle with finding the balance between letting go and establishing boundaries, checking my expectations against the awareness of the season we’re in, and trying not to be so hard on myself, hoping that I won’t let my precious princesses down.

It’s in these moments of doubt and uncertainty that I feel like I’m in over my head.  It’s in these moments that I MUST be deliberate about staying connected to the Lord.  It’s in these moments that I think I’m the only one, until a text or phone call or even Facebook status reminds me that we mamas are in this together!

I know I’m still at the beginning of this motherhood journey, but I’m positive that we ALL need a lift sometime.  So whether you’re juggling one rambunctious little tot, a terrific two and a newborn, or a handful of school age children and a teen or two, here’s a reminder from me to you:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  Phillipians 4:8 (NKJV)

My dear, overwhelmed, frazzled, at your wits end mommy, you will get through this!!!  Whatever stage you’re in won’t last forever, and  it’s not worth allowing stress, comparisons or internal pressure to keep you from focusing on the beautiful and special moments you’re experiencing right now.  Take a deep breath and allow the tough times to be a part of your short-term memory (note to self).  Cry if you have to, laugh when you can, and hug your little (or big) one immediately, even if  they just got under your maternal skin as you were reading this. ;) Never forget this (and please feel free to remind me when I’m going off the deep end) – Your best IS good enough!!

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BE BLESSED!!!