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Love Is the Greatest

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or clanging cymbal…

Love is patient and kind,

Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.

It does not demand its own way.

It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance…

Three things will last forever-faith, hope, and love-

and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13

God bless you and your day.

 

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Table For One?

Ecclesiastes 4:9 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.”

After a 21 year marriage I thought I’d never get used to flying solo. But I did. In the beginning it was not so easy nor comfortable and then there came a day it felt OK. Over the years I’ve learned to embrace it and enjoy it for many different reasons. However, there are days it can be challenging, like when I would like someone to take out the garbage or fill my gas tank! 

Now, with all kidding aside the best part of my singleness has been having the time to learn more about myself and grow my faith in God. 

Before moving to So Cal a little over 2 years ago the family dynamics were such that I spent more time caring for others than myself. This was not all bad until I began to lose myself along with the dreams tucked away in the secret places of my heart. But then something amazing happened, in spite of the circumstances surrounding me God orchestrated things in my life I never could have on my own and I landed in Newport! Such a beautiful location and one I would’ve not chosen for myself for all of the obvious reasons….mainly feeling unworthy of such beautiful surroundings.

My move to So Cal is one of many blessings and ways God has shown love and care for me. Throughout my successes and failures God remains faithful and I can always count on him to work in my life in spite of my ability to get in his way! 

Yes, I get in his way. Lately I’ve been asking myself this question, “Lorna, What blessings have you blocked or put on hold due to your lack of faith and trust in the God you say you love?”  

If I’m honest with myself, I can think of plenty of times I’ve blown it and lost out on something good. These past couple of months I’ve felt out of synch in a few different areas of life and most importantly with God. Of course I recognized this by my lack of patience and more so when irritability became my new best friend. 

In many of our relationships we find there will be days we have less patience, become weary or irritable. This doesn’t mean we don’t care but it does mean we need to stop and check ourselves because whenever we invest time and energy into anything in life that doesn’t produce the end result we’d hoped for it can leave us out of synch. (Meaning , hurt, frustrated, disallusioned etc.)

So after some much needed R&R I ventured over to Sedona Arizona a place where hearts can heal and our spiritual side is awakened. It is here and alone with God I’ve been able to realign my heart and find rest.
It doesn’t matter how much of life or relationship that gets in the way of what’s important we can always count on, God! His love never changes. No matter how many times we get in his way He always has more blessing waiting for us! More healing! And more life to experience with him!   

The last 5 days could not have been planned more perfectly or in a more divine location for what my heart and soul needed at this time. 

Have you heard the saying, love will happen when you least expect it. Well I say, God always shows up when you least expect it! 

There is so much more to share but I need to go catch my flight home! But for now here is a small example of how God whispers gentle reminders of how he sees and knows our heart and wants to splash us with hope!

My Red Rock Balloon ride offered two balloons and I thought I would be in the one with those who picked me up at 5:30am for this big adventure! Interestingly enough when we got to the site I met a woman who was vacationing on her own as well. We hit it off and we assumed we were on the same balloon ride. However, they called me over and put me in a balloon with none of those who rode over in my van. I was bummed because this group was looking fun! But as we launched into the morning sun with a mild wind brushing against our face I quickly forgot I was alone.  There  amazing views from 1050 feet up in the air looking over a 12 man basket! As I was quietly thanking God for this trip I heard the young man in front of me ask, “Will you marry me?”

No, he wasn’t asking me! Lol! I mean he was in front of me and exactly an arms length away with his sweet soon to be fiancée.  They both serve in the Navy! I looked down and in his hand he held a little white box with a diamond ring that would steal the breath away from any woman. It was exquisite!  

Of course she was crying and then I began to cry as I watched them embrace. As I looked out over the Red Rock to give them their moment I was gently reminded of God’s beauty and majestic ways he reminds us of how he hears and he sees us. 

When we feel out of synch with life we can always count on God to pull us in close to remind us that all good things come to those who wait.  

Until next time!

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Only a Journal Away!

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A story is only a journal away.

Well it’s time! I’ve been praying and contemplating on how to get going with the completion of my writing project. You see there have been days it’s been painful and I’ve had to stop. But through it all God has brought healing and encouragement. Today I’m looking at the progress, growth and answered prayers with a thankful heart for the many trials God has brought me through.  I am especially grateful for the tenderness he has uncovered through His mighty Spirit which He has placed so carefully within the walls of my heart.

These are just a few of my journals which boldly remind me of all God has done,  is doing and what is yet to come! I pray the pages can form a story that empowers, encourages and reveals more of God’s love and faithfulness for those who belong to him.  Let us never give up hope because with God all things are possible! Mark 10:27

The best is yet to come…

 

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Piece by Piece – Father’s Matter

As mentioned in previous Blogs I was a young girl when my mom moved me to California. To this day I am thankful she found a good man to help raise me and that I could call daddy. As children we can conjure up all kinds of “ideas” and “reason” as to why our families are no longer living together, happy and loving one another. Truth may be we are no longer capable of living together but we can still “parent” together.  And most importantly, we can still love our children together even though we’re apart.

Yes, some parents leave.  Sometimes never to return. By “abandoning” they leave deep wounds.

And many parents stay.  They work hard to give their children what they need to grow and become their best self.  They give them family, love and a place to belong. God bless these parents, and I know He will.

My oldest son and his wife have a blended family.  Both families work well together and parent with love. I am proud of them for the work they’ve done and happy to say my granddaughter is thriving.  I’ve watched her grow into a confident, talented and happy young lady. I am not saying they don’t have challenges.  There are challenges in every home. But the difference they’ve made is all parents are working together to create a loving home for their child!

Not all families have a happy ending. In fact, the family I worked hard to create did not have a happy ending. There were years of challenges with heartache. My divorce ended ugly and my ex refused to cooperate with me for the good of our youngest son. It was a heart  wrenching journey from fear to faith as I worked through the consequences of divorce.

My hope is for us to leave our children free to love and be loved by their parents.  And if one parent walks away from their responsibility then the remaining parent will work to assure their child knows it is not any fault of theirs. Today I share this song by Kelly Clarkson, Piece by Piece and as we go from fear to faith we help our children to the other side. (Matthew 7:12)

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Matters of The Heart

 

 

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What has taken up residence in your heart?

So many things fill our heart leaving parts of us unrecognizable as we navigate life.  Scripture tells us in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”  Basically, our heart drives us whether it be good, bad or indifferent.

At times there can be a myriad of emotion from love to hate and everything in between.  All of which impact who we are and how we love.

As I’ve spent time reflecting on my early childhood I discovered one of my heart matters to be about “trust”.   At the age of 4 years old I was driving with my mom and soon to be new dad to sign adoption papers.  I was in the backseat of the car when my mom turned around to tell me something very important.  At 4 years old I knew it was important because we were all dressed up and I felt anxious.  Not sure if I was picking up on my mom’s anxiousness or if my heart knew something was about to change.

It was through my blue eyes I saw my mom’s brown eyes and big brown hair (Bee hive dew) as she leaned over the seat and said, “Now we’re going to go talk to a nice man and he is going to ask if you want him to be your daddy, as she looked across the seat toward the man I would soon know as my daddy. Now remember to say yes when he asks if you want him to be your daddy, and when we’re done we will go get an ice cream.”  Point being I was a little girl who loved ice cream and so I eagerly agreed.

We drove the rest of the way in what felt like silence.

Growing up I knew very little about my biological father outside of a few things I had heard from others.  All of which were not good.  This made me come up with a few reasons of my own for him not being around.  These too were not good.

It’s with a grateful heart I can say, the decision my mom made to marry her new man and make him my dad was a good one.  He has always been a man of integrity, and takes his commitments seriously.  What I am most thankful for is he never left and he always made us feel loved.

Unfortunately, the rejection experienced during this time left scars that would eventually cause trouble for me in future relationships with men.  Interestingly enough it was after my 21 year marriage came to an end when I began to experience these effects of betrayal.  During my time of loss and sorrow I would lay awake at night thinking about what could have been or should have been.  It was after a short time of this I realized I needed to move on and let go of what should or could have been. After all, the last thing I wanted was a hardened heart.  Before long one of my daily prayers was for God to help me so I would not become an angry bitter woman afraid to love.  It was in this determination I had the strength to move forward.  I began to trust God in a new way.  There were times it wasn’t easy navigating the broken pieces of my heart but I was fearful of what could become of me.  I pictured myself driving down the street with a scowl on my face, laying on the horn for no apparent reason outside of the fact that I was just plain angry at life. And I reminded myself of how this would not be pretty!

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I never had pity parties! As ugly as they are I’ve thrown a few that have left me hung over from life.  But thank the good Lord for the remedy of friends!  Because in the midst of my heart matters I’ve had the love of family and good friends help rescue me.  It has been their support and unconditional love that helped pry open my eyes to the many promises of God. How we need God, family and friends!  I can see clearly how God used them to help resuscitate and push me through to the other side. I pray you let him do it for you too!

May these Scriptures bring encouragement and healing to your heart matters as you learn to trust God for more.

Q: Is there a heart matter you need let go so you can push through to the other side?

Today’s Scripture:

1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong”

Isaiah 40:31 “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Psalm 138:3 “In the day I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.”

Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”

 

 

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Thursday Night’s NightCap

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“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” Mark 3:24 & 25

Tonight I want to share with you another Scripture that has tugged at my heartstrings. I stumbled upon this Scripture found in Mark while struggling through my divorce. I was sure I had read it before but it was at the time of my divorce it resonated within and God showed me how selfishness breeds division. It leaves us in a state of “life is all about me” and “all is mine”. Many have found they’ve left the concerns for others behind so they can fully focus on the “me” and what makes “them” happy.

As I read and prayed over this Scripture my eyes were opened to the truth of what happened to my family. It sparked a nerve within and caused me to look more deeply at the truth of how two people who once took the time to care and love one another can find themselves so separate minded they no longer are able to see beyond their selfish desires. What I discovered was the need for happiness trumped the needs and happiness of those they once vowed to love until death do they part. The choice to flee instead of fix was the final step toward division.

As we look at statistics we learn of how the family unit is disintegrating. We learn of the many children who find themselves with more than 1 – 2 homes. Sometimes there are 3 homes they find themselves shared amongst.  Because of our sinful and selfish nature we allow wrong desires to creep into our head and then our heart only to deliver us to a fallen state. And when the world shouts do it YOUR way, and not God’s we can always count on some form of heartbreak. We find our intentions and our homes which began with love now in ruin from divided and selfish hearts.

The more I pondered over this tragedy happening to so many families I began to study some statistics and I came across this study from the Pew Research Center : So what does marriage in the U.S. look like these days? A recent study from the Pew Research Center found a number of interesting trends in their most recent look at marriage in America. For one, the study found that after years of declining marriage rates, the percentage of Americans who have never been married has reached a historic high point. The research indicates that about one in five adults in the U.S. (adult in this case meaning 25 years old or older), or about 42 million Americans, have never been married. Compare that to data from the 1960 Census when just one in ten adults 25 or older had never been married, or about 9% of all American adults; clearly, marriage isn’t the institution it once was.  Interestingly, a larger number of never-married adults than ever before seem to be content with their singledom. In 2010, research indicated that 61% of never-married adults would like to eventually marry someday, while in 2012, that percentage dropped to just 53%.

At one time or another we’ve all lost our way in the noise and mixed messages coming from the world. We’ve slammed down our fists and shouted, ‘Enough!’ as we’ve chosen OUR way because after all, we deserve to be happy. We’ve opted out of the ways of God convincing ourselves they’re too confining and we will take our chances. In my opinion, the ramifications of our choices were not considered as the door slammed behind us. Not to mention the broken hearts as loved ones walked away.  Had self-sacrifice and the honor of commitment been taken more seriously I believe the story and statistics would look much different from what we see today.

Should it surprise us that more people are waiting to marry and start families? Could it be the heart wrenching effects of their family unit falling apart that left scars screaming with the pain every time they came close to love. Maybe love to them has become something they cannot comprehend from losing so much from the divorce in their family, and so they shy away in fear of failure.

Now, I realize it is not always two people wanting a divorce in a marriage. I do understand life circumstances can become critical to the well-being and safety of some family members, and in the name of safety one must move on. But what I cannot buy into is the excuse of no longer being happy, or fulfilled. Or, the feeling of life has passed you by and you need something else to make you feel invigorated again. These are methods of madness that breed selfishness and rob you and your loved ones of a family that should stand strong together through the storms of life because of love and commitment.

As you can see, I can speak to this subject matter for hours but I realize it’s Thursday and many of us work tomorrow and so I’ll put it to rest for now. However, you must know this is a “heart topic” of mine that still bleeds a little every time I confront it. It bleeds over the pain and scars that have been left on the hearts of my son’s. I firmly believe the ramifications of divorce cannot go unnoticed and must no longer be ignored. These are critical times for our children and our grandchildren. Whatever our families look like today we must do what is right in hopes of keeping them grounded and together. We must rally together with support and love so there is never any doubt in their mind of how much they’re loved by both parents.

If you find yourself at the crossroads of divorce because there is a gap in your relationship that has become so wide you no longer can see over to the other side then I want to encourage you tonight. My hope for you is to seek help and not divorce. My prayer for you is to have the Creator of marriage, God, show up and speak truth into your life. A resounding shout of truth to drowned out all lies leaving you pulled away and separated from those you love and those who depend upon you.

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Rahab and The Promised Land

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In April I spent the day with my cousin’s daughter who attends UCSB hiking at the Gaviota Wild Caves which they call the “Wind Caves”. It was a perfect sunny day with a slight breeze coming up from the Pacific Ocean. After picking out some munchies at the local store we headed over to the hiking trails. When we arrived we looked up toward the mountain that hosted our destination and this is what we saw.

The hike to the top was not an easy one with the heat of the day as I followed behind Tayler. You see Tayler is 19 years old and full of life. Let’s just say she would have made it to the top much faster without me. However, I think I did pretty good keeping up with her. (smile)

photo 2Our view from the top of the Wind Caves

As we looked up toward the mountain I was reminded of Rahab and the walls of Jericho. I envisioned seeing Jericho built up against these mountains and the amount of work it had to take to build the city. It takes work to build anything of value and if for some reason it falls apart it can be devastating. Whether it is a career, a home, family, business, or anything else we put our energy, love and resources into. If it crumbles or we don’t succeed it can leave us feeling as if life is over, now what? I believe if it were not for the stories Rahab heard throughout the years, and her new hope and faith in God she may have sat down in her ruins and died there. And yet, what happened is her faith and hope actually propelled her into the purpose and plan God had for her life.

One life lesson I take away from Rahab’s story is her past no longer dictated her future. It was the ruins of her past that brought her to a place where she longed to be free. And God in his grace and mercy took Rahab to the place where she found herself having to make the decision of whether to remain in the ruins of regret or put her trust and faith in God. We learn of how Rahab said YES to the opportunity knocking at her heart and front door which saved her and her family bringing them out of dark circumstances and into a new life with God. With each step she took she became closer to God, to his people and to her purpose in life.

So, what happened to Rahab after the fall of Jericho? It’s important for us to know Rahab continued on in her journey with the Israelites toward the Promised Land believing God for a better future and she got one! She learned the ways of God and His people, and became a woman of virtue. Little did she know the great plan of God when she became the wife of a prominent Israelite, Salmon of the tribe of Judah, and the mother of Boaz. In the book of Ruth you will find the story of Boaz and how he married Ruth, and they had a son, Obed. Their son Obed became the father of Jesse which was the father of King David.

Rahab’s life was valuable in many ways but would she have ever guessed one day she would be a mother in the line of the Messiah. I think not. Maybe her past would have left her hiding in the background of the Israelites feeling shame, or as a servant held in captivity. But God’s plan was different from any Rahab could have imagined. He took the shame from her past and wiped the slate clean when she put her trust and faith in him. The old was gone and she was onto something new.

Through Rahab’s story we learn the importance of accepting the freedom that comes with God’s forgiveness. Our past is just that, our past. All of us are faced with choices every day and in order for us to move up and into a better place more suited for our purpose we’re not to spend time wallowing in the things of the past. God’s desire is for us to learn from them, good and bad. We are to take the good and build on it and take the bad and learn from it.

When God calls you into a new place trust He has something bigger and better he wants to do in you and through you. His bigger and better for Rahab was that she would know and experience a pure and unconditional love with God, and in that new life he blessed her as a wife and mother.

Today do you find life crumbling around you from mistakes pulling you back into the past and prohibiting you from moving into the purposes and plans of God for your life? If so, I ask you to stop where you are and surrender those ruins because the same God who saved Rahab wants to save you.  If you trust in him by faith he will walk you into your Promised Land. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” Romans 15:4

God, Love, Marriage, Religion, Season

A Time for Everything

Balboa Island
Balboa Island

I have fallen in love with So Cal and it truly feels like home! Most days I have to remind myself I am not on vacation and this usually occurs Monday – Friday as I head down the hill for work in the morning. It would be so easy to take a wrong turn and head toward the beach because my view is literally the Pacific Ocean show casing Catalina and Balboa Islands. Sail boats lace the coast while the coast shows off palm trees and gorgeous landscape. It’s enticing and difficult to feel anything but free here as gratitude fills my heart for the things God has brought me through, placed me in and is working out in me. It truly is a refreshing season and great time of discovery as I experience more of God.

Did you know So Cal has what they call grey May and June gloom? It’s a reminder to me that sometimes we need to make the decision that no matter what is going on around us we won’t allow it to impact what is happening inside of us! Even the weather!

Now I am not saying I don’t have days where my heart becomes heavy over things from the past and regret creeps in over battles that did not end well. There is still the realization that I have fragmented pieces of my heart and soul still needing the healing touch of God. I feel like something has been unlocked inside of me and I am free to share and express so much of what I held so close to my heart because of concern over what people would think or say. None of us want to be judged because no matter what the season, good or bad it’s our season. We can only hope to be the best we can be as we go through it, and then have an opportunity to pay it forward by helping someone else in some way. The bottom line is nothing anyone experiences should be kept in lock down while there are others who may find comfort, encouragement or help from hearing it.

In Ecclesiastes 3 we are reminded of how there is a time for everything, and a time for every season under the heavens. My prayer would be if only we could always leave a positive impact on those we love making the most out of the time we’ve been given, and to find ourselves in a place with little or no regret.

There is a season for everything, and a time for every event under heaven;a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to scatter stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to search, and a time to give up searching; a time to keep, and a time to discard; a time to tear, and a time to mend; a time to be silent, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Let me ask you to think about this a bit. Really, over 2000 years ago people were going through the same seasons of life only it was a different era. Can you imagine? We are not alone! There are others who have gone through, are going through and will go through many of the same life experiences we face today.

For centuries people have been getting married, building families, building homes, and building careers. They’ve experienced divorce, war, loss of life, loss of jobs, and all kinds of evil. The list goes on but you get the point. As I begin to share some of my own stories involving a very difficult season of my life, mainly divorce, and the ramifications it had on my family I hope to provide insight to those in need. If you’re currently walking through a divorce, contemplating divorce or experiencing issues of rebellion with your children then I hope you will learn from my experiences and come to know that God works all things together for good. Even in the midst of our worst mistakes God can bring something good. It’s a season. It too will pass.

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