I'm still recovering from unexpected eye surgery I had last week. I decided it is best if I take a little break since my vision is still quite blurry and not very fun to look at the computer and read these days.
"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13
Words truly cannot describe how much I am thankful for my dad.
As far back as I can remember my dad has always been there for me. In so many ways I cannot even count them! He loves unconditionally, unselfishly and has never spoken words of discouragement. Many times he was silent. Perhaps because he didn’t know what to say or because he knows sometimes it is better to not say anything at all.
Even now as his adult-child, he has never stopped going above and beyond helping me. He helps when he doesn’t even know it. Just his presence and being with us, patiently answering my boys questions, allowing them to help him fix the toilet, the lawnmower, and even mommy’s car.
Acts of kindness and love is what my dad represents.
This past weekend when my car broke down my dad drove an hour and a half from PA into NJ to get us and drive us home. Without any hesitation he responded “I am on my way”. The tow truck driver wouldn’t allow the kids to ride in his truck since he didn’t have an extended cab and AAA informed me there were none available. Then after barely getting any sleep, he was back the next day to fix my car.
To me, my dad is everything and more than what a dad should be. I thank God for my dad!
I love you dad! Thank you for always supporting me! For loving me unconditionally even though I have made some really bad decisions in life. I appreciate you for all you do. For your loving and unselfish heart! Thank you for being an example of patience, love and kindness!
Last Friday I left work a couple hours early. The boys and I ventured out to New York to participate in a mock-service at a new restaurant my best friend is a manager for. We had such a great time!
The drive there was pretty much uneventful except for maybe one wrong turn, which put us at the wrong end of a huge shopping center. We found a parking spot right up front and was seated right away! Our waitress was nice and our food came out pretty quickly. Oh and so yummy by the way! The kids sat in their seats except for the two bathroom trips we had to make and they ate most of their meals. A very pleasant dining experience! Good bye hugs with my best friend and homeward bound we were since we live an hour and a half away.
Unfortunately, there was traffic congestion due to ramp construction before getting on the George Washington Bridge. Since I’m intentionally seeking the good in all things I said to the boys this is actually nice. The DVD players are broken, the radio is off and we are together! Perfect time to talk! And we did. About nothing in particular, but it was nice just spending time together without TV, video game and computer distractions.
Eventually we breezed through the lower level (quite exciting for the boys) and we were on our way! As we got on the NJ Turnpike, I grabbed my ticket at the ticket booth and SNAP! What was that?!? The car was now vibrating and making a weird noise. I was able to safely get us off to the side of the road. It is amazing how many thoughts can quickly fly through your head!
“Oh no! I can’t believe this is happening! Maybe I can still drive it? Who do I call? I have AAA. Yes, call them first!”
Then the kids started asking millions of questions! I tried to remain calm as I searched for my AAA card and dial the number. Little did I know AAA doesn’t service the turnpike, but transferred me to someone who did. We got disconnected. While I was calling back a state trooper with lights flashing pulled up behind me. He said he would call a tow for me. Oh thank you! As he drives away he announces over his megaphone, “15 MINUTES!”
Ugh! So now I must admit I was feeling a bit scared! It was dark outside and I’m alone with my boys stuck on a major roadway. Did I mention breaking down on the turnpike or Garden State Parkway is on my “I hope it never happens to me” list? I thought please no one pull over to try to help us. How so sad is that? I quietly prayed to God, please protect us. Please send a nice and safe tow truck driver. I call my dad and text my friend.
Approximately, fifteen minutes later the tow truck pulls up! Yeah! Right on time! He informs me he can only pull us off the turnpike and tells us to stay in the car until he hooks the car up. He helps us out of the passenger side and lifts the boys up into the cab of his truck. I get in and wait for him to load my car on the flatbed.
A million thoughts were going through my head, but I was thinking at least we are on our way now. The boys are thrilled! They are actually going to ride in a tow truck! Then my oldest exclaimed mom look! I turn around to look out the back of the cab. They were so excited because my car was slowing being pulled forward and then I saw it. On the inside of the flatbed there was a nativity scene magnet! Instantly, I felt at peace. I just know it was a message from God telling me He heard my prayer. He sent us a nice and safe tow truck driver!
This is the time of year when many reflect on what they are thankful for. For me this year I feel more compelled to intentionally seek the blessings in all things. One may argue isn’t that the same? Perhaps from a high level viewpoint they are and I’m not saying we shouldn’t be thankful and give thanks to God for all He provides us.
What I am saying is look deeper and purposefully seek the good in everything. I can be thankful I have a roof over my head, a job where I can work from home, and two wonderful children, but what about those days when you just feel like nothing is going as planned? Or when a friend or relative calls with more bad news? Or you feel like giving up because your kids will just not listen to you today? Just as we can let these situations overcome us, we can also choose to intentionally seek the blessing. Sometimes it may be obvious and other times we might have to dig really deep to uncover it. Other times we might just have to wait patiently on God and let Him reveal it to us in His time according to His plan. Intentionally seeking the good can be challenging. There is no doubt about it.
I posed this challenge this morning on my personal Facebook page. “Here is a challenge for today. For everything you think may be an inconvenience, an annoyance, bad news, etc. intentionally look for something good in it.”
I knew as soon as I put it out there my day would not be easy! Being intentional doesn’t come very natural for me. Even though I feel I’m an optimist and my glass is half full what I am challenged with is just pure exhaustion. I’m sure so many of you feel the same way! I’m not referring to the exhaustion due to going to bed too late and yes, sometimes that is the reason. What I mean is life is exhausting. I’m a single mom of two young boys, I work full time. I am the one responsible for every single detail and decision of the day. I know I’m not alone. I know many married woman whose husbands sit back and expect the wife to do it all.
My kids are off from school this week. Last night I intentionally didn’t set the alarm thinking we could all benefit from some extra sleep. Okay, so who am I kidding? I was really thinking of me. Wouldn’t you know it? My oldest, who I already call ‘my rooster ‘, decided to rise at 5:30 am! My alarm usually goes off at 6! He said he couldn’t sleep any longer because he had watery eyes. So, I dragged my body out of bed earlier than normal and we went downstairs. Instead of becoming cranky I realized the blessing. Instead of missing out on sleep, I gained some valuable alone time with my oldest, which we haven’t had too much of these days.
So, who is up for this challenge with me? I would love to hear what ways you are intentionally seeking the good in all things.
I’m in a slump. I am tired. I have little patience and motivation. I’m very grumpy and absolutely no fun.
I try to get into the Word hoping it will breathe new life into me, but I’m too tired to read. I try to spend quiet time with God, but my mind easily wonders. I’m left…empty. I might not look it on the outside, but I sure feel it on the inside.
Thoughts come hard and fast. What is wrong with me? I need more rest. I know that and I know I need to spend more time with God in worship and prayer. What can I write on my blog? Why is it so hard for me to write? I have little patience when getting my kids to bed because all I want is to lie down, to do nothing, to not think about anything. I – I – I – me – me – me! When did I become so self-centered? How did this happen?!?
How can I give, have compassion and a servants heart when I’m so tired and empty? It is quite simple. I can’t.
The word intentional over the last few months has been popping up everywhere for me. Perhaps it’s the Holy Spirit reminding me and leading me to be intentional. But aren’t I already? What I mean is every day we have choices. We intentionally make these choices. How we dress, what to make for dinner, the words we speak, how we respond when our children disobey. So, this word ‘intentional’ stuck out for me like I never heard it before and I couldn’t understand why?
Then it occurred to me I can’t be intentional in a positive way when I’m too tired and empty and slumping. My intentions are well meaning, but I lack the energy to fulfill them 100 percent. For me rest equals patience. It is a simple formula and one that I fail at miserably time and time again. It also occurred to me when I am living intentionally (in a positive way because we can live intentionally in a negative way too) it takes the focus off of me.
By making some intentional choices I won't be so focused on me and hopefully will climb out of this slump. There are so many things to be conscious about, to do intentionally. I have listed just a few things to focus on for now. Starting today, I will be more intentional with:
·Making the time to spend with God every day in worship, prayer and reading His Word
·Rest – force myself to go to bed by a certain time
·Always speak to my kids with words that will lift them up and never bring them down
·Consciously look for ways I can help someone during the day
How about you? What ways or areas in your life do you need to be more intentional? I would love to hear from you!