Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Godly Father

Tomorrow is Father's Day. A day set aside to honor the men that are fortunate enough to call themselves a father. From a woman's prospective having a strong, responsible man, and dedicated family man is a true blessing in one's life. Do you have someone you admire and should honor on this important day? Tell him how much you appreciate them and love them for everything they have done for you.

Having a Godly Father shaped who I am as a person. My Dad taught me about the Lord at an early age. He taught me to respect my elders, and to love and care for the people in my life. He worked hard everyday, came home every night, helped me with my school projects, read the Bible to us, worked on our house tirelessly to turn it into a suitable home for the 5 of us.

He loved to take me and my cousin for ice cream, made homemade root beer, enjoyed a Maryland crab feast on our kitchen table a few times a year. He insisted that we say yes mam and yes sir, he painted my room purple, and loved to watch me do swan dives off the stairs into the landing. He put up a swing set one year in the snow so I could see it Christmas morning! He was my Daddy. I loved to sit on his lap and eat eggs when I was little. He bought me hamsters and rabbits and baby chicks one Easter!

My dad was very strict when I was growing up. I didn't get to do a lot of the things my friends got to do and I always thought that was totally unfair. Dad was quiet, strong and loving. Was he perfect. No? At many times I thought he could be mean or uncaring. We had our difficulties just like every family I know. But we were and continue to be a family. My Dad was there every morning and sitting around the kitchen table every night. He was always there for me and my brothers, good times and bad.

Dad and I had a rough patch in my young adulthood because he didn't like some of the decisions I was making, but I knew deep in my heart that he always loved me and just wanted the best for me. It was hard for me to see at the time because I thought he was being unreasonable because he didn't agree with my point of view and, of course, I thought my point of view was right. We grew out of it and past it and have gotten closer as the years have gone by. It's been fun to watch my Dad as a grandpa. He has been like a big kid himself and always keeps the grand kids and great-grand kids thoroughly entertained. After all, isn't that what a Grandpa is supposed to do?

I thank the Lord above every day for sending me a Dad who has really cared about me, and for me. I thank Him for giving me a Dad who stuck it out through all the difficulties that sometimes came his way. I will always love and treasure my Dad. Right or wrong, he is my father, my one and only and one that I have been so fortunate to have. Thank you Pop, for giving me life and being in my life. Thank you Pop for putting up with me all these years! God Bless you!

My verse for today is from Proverbs 20:7

The righteous man walks in his integrity and his children are blessed after him.

My prayer for today

Dearest Heavenly Father:

Thank you so much for my Dad and everything He has meant to me. Thank you for his guidance and his lifelong love for me. Watch over him and give him strength to get through each day. Heal him Lord and bring him back to complete health. Thank you for the healing you have done so far in him. Thank you Jesus for my Dad!

In Jesus Name I pray,


Thursday, June 17, 2010

God's Gift of friendship :)

After a wonderful month of relaxing vacation in North Carolina and Tennessee with my friend Michelle, I feel compelled to write about friendship and what a blessing from the Lord true friends really are. Do you see your friends as blessings from God?

It is my belief that good and loyal friends are few and far between and are really a gift from the Lord on High. That saying is so true about friends coming into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Have you been able to identify your friends in a particular category?

Some friends you meet in your youth or young adulthood and you will remain friends all the years of your life. You may lose contact, but they will always hold a special place in your heart. You may be separated by miles, but you can pick up the phone and start talking like it was yesterday, right?

Some friends are like guardian angels and God brings them into your life for a specific crisis or need. You may still keep in touch as the years go by, but then again they may just be angels that surround you and carry you thru some difficulties that come your way. I think that most of the people you meet in life are either the family you have and build, are through school, work, or church, shared interests or clubs, your community or your kids and their activities.

Introspectively, I believe that many of us live our lives in our own little world in many ways, thinking about ourselves, or our husbands or wives, our kids, grandkids, our parents and just trudging through what can often be the mundane order of life. But, do we really take time to stop and think about someone else's needs or wants? Stop to think about how our lives or actions impact others? Do we slow down enough to enjoy the company of our family and friends?

A few years ago, because of my increasing MS disability, my husband bought me a house in the mountains of NC so I could get out of this intense Florida heat during the summer. I say bought me, because it's true, I haven't worked since 2000, and although I still contribute what I can through SS and long term disability, my hubby has been the primary breadwinner in this house for many years, so I feel he really did buy me that house, because I have been the one to get the most enjoyment out of it and I am so thankful.

I have been very fortunate to have quite a few of my close friends and family come and visit me during the past 3 years and help out "taking care" of me. Doesn't that sound ridiculous? But it's pretty much true at this particular time in my life. It sure came a lot sooner than I thought it would, but at least for right now, I can't drive, cause I can't feel my right side, it's hard to stand for any length of time because of chronic pain, and the MS fatigue factor dominates most days. I haven't lost any zest for life, believe me, but in many ways I do have to be "taken care of."

Anyway, this year, my dear friend Michelle, a fellow MS' er, came along for the trip. We're pretty good buds. She lives down here in FL with me. and we hang out a lot. She still drives, so she's our wheels! We have had MS about the same amount of time, we both go to the same church, we both look at the glass as half full, not half empty. She helps makes my life bearable in many ways and I am grateful for that.

There were quite a few people who knew that we were going and were "concerned" about us making the trip, and I think that even the two of us somewhat doubted our ability to hang out alone together in the mountains. Could we really handle it? Cell phones in hand, "life alert" in the purse, and with little Miss Mollie ( our bichon pup) our journey began.

And we were psyched, we were both up for the "excellent adventure" as we called it. Two wild and crazy girls with a chronic disease like MS, both on walkers, alone in the forest, taking on the world by themselves?? Sounds pretty rustic and crazy, right? (Don't let your thoughts get too wild, because we actually have a nice 3 bedroom, 2 bath house, fully equipped.) But still, for us, it was quite a stretch, and one I think with God's help, we handled quite well. The Lord totally had His angels on guard for the whole month we were together :)

Thank you Jesus, and thank you Michelle for living day and night with me for the past month. I had a blast, and I will never forget you coming along for the ride or being my ride should I say. We did have some fun, a few adventures, a lot of laughs and talks. And, Michelle, you did TACKLE that Mountain Road, I'm so proud of you :))))

I was talking with my Mom yesterday and she made a comment that really made me smile. She said "I was thinking about your friend Michelle yesterday and her going up there and staying with you on the mountain. She's not even your family, Nicki. Taking you everywhere, and bringing you over here to see us. That was so very nice of her, you know, I think that really was a "God Thing."

I almost fell out of my chair! I have used that phrase for years, and often mention things that have happened in my life as " God Things " but I have never heard my Mom use that phrase, ever, until yesterday. I guess it's true that you never really how your words can resonate in the thoughts and hearts of others. It brought a smile to my heart.

Anyway, the summer is upon us now in Florida. The heat index yesterday was well over 100 degrees. I can feel it more each day and am asking for everyone's prayers to help me endure. I hope to head back to the mountains at some point this summer, but I just don't know how, or where, or when. But I'm gonna let the God of the Universe figure that out. He will no doubt open up someone's heart to spend some time with me, if that it what He thinks is best. He cares about every detail of our lives, not just mine, yours too!

I'll just do my best, stay in His will and try to stay "cool in the pool." You have a great weekend blog friends, where ever you are. Take some time this summer to reflect on the blessings in your life and thank the Lord on High for every breath He gives, for it truly is a gift. Enjoy this beautiful NC waterfall! I feel cooler already :)

My verse for today is from Psalm 91:9

"If you make the Most High your dwelling place, the Lord your refuge; then no harm will befall you and no disaster will come near your tent. For He commands His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways."

My prayer for today:

Thank you Lord for a safe and fun time away with my dear friend, Michelle. Thank you for Your protective Hand that was upon us during our trip. Thank you for my husband, who always so unselfishly and lovingly devotes such time and attention to me and my needs. Thank you for all the friends and family that touch my life each day. Help me to reach out to them in love so that You may be Glorified always in all my words and actions.

I pray this in the Mighty Name of Jesus,