Friday, October 2, 2009
Lunch time quickly rolled around and Ash J and I were ready to eat. Usually we can’t decide where to go but this time we just hopped in the car and drove to Eat ‘n Park for a warm shredded pot roast sandwich. The hostess said her normal thing, “just 2 of you? Alright, follow me this way.” We began to follow her and she took us ALL THE WAY TO THE BACK of the restaurant where we hate to sit. We looked at each other and sat down. Instantly an overwhelming smell of body odor consumed us. I looked to my left and two men were sitting there eating their lunch. To be honest, I was a little bit disgusted and wondering why out of the whole restaurant we had to sit there. Then I heard a still small voice say, “I have you here for a reason!” I then knew that Jesus wanted to use me for something. I immediately thought He was going to use me for something with the two men sitting close by—and my flesh said, “Oh Lord… why them?” It’s funny how our flesh reacts and assumes sometimes. We ordered our food and began the waiting process.
As we were waiting, an elderly man that looked to be in his late 70’s or early 80’s sat down in a booth in front and to the left of our table. I instantly noticed him. I watched as he sat down and he began to cry. He was by himself. He and his trusty cane. It was obvious that something was wrong and in my spirit I felt God tell me, “His wife passed away and they were very close.” From that point on my heart was gripped for this sweet man. My heart was moved to compassion. I didn’t know this man at all; I had never seen him before. My heart was so gripped that I felt my eyes swelling up with tears. If you know me, you know that I’m not one who cries easily; and if I do, I don’t do it publicly. My heart continued to break as I couldn’t keep my eyes off of this heart broken man.
Jesus kept nudging my heart with this phrase, “What you do to the least of these; you have also done to me.” Each time this was impressed into my heart, the more I was moved to compassion. Our food arrived and a few seconds after it did I left the table. I went up to the waitress and I said, “Excuse me, I want to buy that mans meal.” And she said, “Mr. Moore? The man sitting over there?” and I said, “Yes! Can you bring me his bill? And I’d like to write him a note.” At this point my tears could no longer be controlled. I started to cry and so did the waitress. She said, “He’s such a sweet man!” I quickly walked back to my seat and at this point I started bawling and my hands began to tremble. There was no holding it back. I tried to continue eating but it was hard.
The waitress came to my table to bring me his bill and a piece of paper to write the note. She proceeded to tell me, “His wife just died 1 and ½ months ago. They were extremely close, they were regulars here!” That was it for me. The tears continued to come. I began to write a note and once again my heart was utterly overwhelmed as if I felt the pain he was going through. On the note I simply wrote something like this, “Jesus loves you! You aren’t alone. He will never leave you. Be blessed and remember- you are loved! <3 ” I continued to watch this sweet man eat his breakfast lunch alone. He used to always be there with his wife… but now he sat there…alone. But, only alone in the world’s eyes. He wasn’t alone. Jesus was right there. Jesus was sitting across the table from him. Jesus was there crying with him. We can’t physically see Jesus but you know what? That’s why He put us here on this earth! We ARE His hands, His feet. People can’t physically see Him so He uses us to show the love and compassion he feels for “the least of these.” Yes, Jesus no longer walks among us physically, but He has given us His mandate and all the power we need to carry out His kingdom here on this earth. In other words, it’s going to happen THROUGH YOU!
As I left that restaurant, I was quickly reminded of the prayer I had prayed in the shower this morning; “Jesus open my ears to hear your voice in the little things, open my eyes to see how to be your hands and feet.” How awesome is Jesus? He heard my prayer this morning and he heard the cry of the sweet man Mr. Moore this morning and you know what? He chose to connect my prayer to be used to Mr. Moore's cry in order to show Mr. Moore that he’s not alone, Jesus is with him and he is loved.
I’m blown away. I share this story with you not at all to get credit. That is not my motive. My motive in sharing this story with you is to show you that it’s simpler to be the hands and feet of Jesus than you think! All it takes is an open spirit, open eyes, attentive ears, and a willingness to serve the least of these. I challenge you to pray a similar prayer that I prayed. Jesus is waiting for you to ask him.
Jesus had lunch with Mr. Moore today. He may not have seen him, but Jesus was there.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Courage doesn't eliminate anxiety, it rises above it!
David said, "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart." When your cause is right and you're committed to God, He gives you the courage needed to act. But we must first learn to face the thing we fear. This can mean standing up for what you believe, making a phone call you've been putting off, expressing your opinion, acknowledging a character flaw and asking God to help you change. What we have to remember is, DOING always comes before the FEELING of increased confidence. Each time we confront our anxieties we take a step forward. But when we allow anxiety to control us, we retreat into our "safe zone" and start seeing ourselves as people who can't handle life. Here's some great advice for living: analyze the situation fearlessly, figure out the worst that can happen. Once you've accepted that, you experience a release of energy and you can begin doing something about it, even if all you can do is- leave it in the capable hands of a powerful God! Fear can't immobilize you and steal your joy when you know you can handle whatever happens!
Lions don't cower down when faced with opposition- neither should you! Find out what you need to do and do it FEARLESSLY.
Fearlessness is not the absence of fear- it's the mastery of it.
What are you afraid of? What do you know you should do but have let fear & anxiety hold you back?
MASTER IT! Be bold as a lion.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 12th was just another ordinary day... I woke up, took care of Parker (our golden retriever who is more like a brother than a dog), got ready for church, went to church, ate some food, took a small nap, went to practice for Tribulation House, went to pick my parents up from the airport. When we got home, we couldn't wait to see Parker. He always get sooo excited when my dad comes home from anywhere... especially a few day trip. We opened the door and said "Parker!! Daddy's home!!!!!".. at this point he usually jumps up, runs to the door, and bombards my dad with barks and happiness. Well, this time was different. He just sat there... it took everything in him to get up off the floor... but even still he wasn't barking or moving and jumping on my dad. We thought it was strange so we tried to give him one of his favorite foods.. pizza. He wouldn't even look at it. My dad decided to take him outside and as soon as he did, Parker just laid down. He NEVER does that. So, we knew something was terribly wrong but didn't know what. We took him to a 24-hour vet thinking he needed a shot or some minor thing down to make him better.... we left that night without him. Sitting in the waiting room was torturous. I tried to tell myself he would be fine and we'd just take him home in a little. I KNEW he was ok... I KNEW he was going home with us. The vet called my parents to a back room and told them the news. They came out of the room and I quickly asked what she said. My dad had tears in his eyes and my mom was sobbing.. She began to tell me that he had a tumor on his spleen that had ruptured and his entire belly was full of blood... this is what caused his labored breathing. I was shocked, but even still... I thought he would just need a little surgery and it would be better. I was very very wrong. They began to tell me that the vet said she could do surgery (would cost $2,000) and he would be ok for a little but the cancer was so aggressive that it would come right back... surgery wasn't very smart either because he was 8 years old and its hard on older dogs. My dad selfishly could have kept him alive but he knew Parker would only be suffering and we would only be prolonging his illness. He decided to put him to sleep. I cant explain my emotions. I sat there stunned thinking there was some way to stop all of this nonsense... and then it hit me, I was leaving without him. I began to cry like a little baby. My dad asked if I wanted to be there when they put him to sleep (my dad and I were the closest to him) but I couldn't bare it. I didn't want my last memory to be of him dead... but I knew I had to hug him one last time, tell him I love him one last time..I had to kiss his face like I always did. I went into the tiny little room where they were going to put him to sleep and I sat there crying. When they brought him in.. he came in wagging his tale and came right up to me. Its as if he knew what was about to happen. He sat on the floor and I immediately got down there with him. I just laid my face in him and weeped. I've seriously never cried that hard in my life. I couldn't let go. I couldn't do it. I couldn't leave the vet without my best friend. I thought maybe it was all a horrible nightmare and I'd soon wake up. Then I felt tears dripping onto the top of my head.. they were my dads. He was on one knee trying to fight his tears.. he just couldn't do it. He said "come on baby, it's time...". Leaving my best friend there was hard enough but to have my dad crying was just as bad. I knew what hurt and pain he was feeling. Parker WAS his absolute best friend. They did everything together. The bond they had was so strong, more like father and son. I kissed Parker one last time and squeezed his neck... then I ran out of the building to the outside and sat on the curb... gasping for air... the pain I felt was unbearable... how could everything be ok one minute and then the next minute be completely the opposite?? Why did it have to happen so soon and out of the blue?! Ryan came out to comfort me.. he held me tight and wiped my tears. My dad stayed with Parker until he took his last breath. He sat on the floor with Parkers front paws straddling him and he held his face and petted him the entire time. He said Parker stared right into his eyes the whole time, never looking away. He knew. Parker knew it was his time. The vet injected the stuff into his leg and 30 seconds later he took his last breath.. staring into my dads eyes. My dad reached up and shut his eyes. That was it. He was gone. How could this happen?! The ride home that night was horrible.... when we got to the house we all broke down. EVERYTHING reminded us of Parker. I cried myself to sleep for about a week. My dad walked around like a lost puppy... it was truly a grieving process. When I would come home from somewhere I would look in the front window bcuz I was so used to Parker being there waiting and then I'd realize that he was gone and I'd cry all over again. He was the greatest dog. So loyal, fun, amazing... our best friend. We will forever miss him.
On Thursday the 16th I surprisingly got to buy a baby kitty!!!! I was soooooooooo happy!! She is the cutest. Her name is Ruby!
Last night, we got a new baby golden retriever puppy-- his name is Tucker!!! He is from the same bloodline and breeder as Parker. That means they are related and he is sooooooo cute! My dad is finally getting himself back to normal and I'm trusting God to give him and Tucker the same bond (if not better) that him and Parker had!
I busted out my Twisted Peppermint body spray from Bath & Body Works! It smells SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good. I bought it last year because it looks like it actually has peppermints in it.. and it does have glitter so it looks pretty! :) haha but this year, they didnt make it like that... so if you go buy it... don't be disappointed and don't judge it by its cover! hahah it still smells AMAZING. Oh and the lotion is superb!
It snowed this morning! Can you believe it?! It's October 28th and it snowed! It was gorgeous and put me in the mood for Christmas music. I satisfied my craving by listening to "Baby it's cold outside". But, soon, I will definitely be listening to full blown Christmas music. I'm an addict (to Christmas Music)! haha :)
Anyways, Just wanted you to know that I am back and happy once again!
I leave you with this thought.... "Start small, or you won't start at all!"
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
"I'm not sure if anyon