HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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Living Life After Death-5 Minutes @ a Time: [day 1]


It’s October again and time for 31 days of writing. This year I’m only linking up with my FMF sisters. Trying once again to get back to my first creative lote, writing. It’s been a long 3 and a half years. I only know that from looking back on it. Because it sure feels like a lifetime has passed. And actually, two lifetimes did. [insert sigh]

So … about the 5 minutes at a time. FMF =Five Minute Friday, hosted by Kate, where my sister writers and I take one day to free write, un-rushed, for 5 minutes each Friday. Throwing punctuation and grammar to the wind [quite the feat for a grammarista!]. No spell check. No corrections.

::I’m updating here to let you know that this post/page will serve as my landing page.  A landing page or table of contents page is where you, my dear readers, can find a link to each of my 31 Day writes. So down at the bottom of this, my [day 1] post I will link each of my posts for you to find easily.::

The theme for my FMF 31 Day Write is … Living Life After Death. I know that sounds daunting, right? Well, not as daunting as getting here, today from there. Where’s there you ask … that’s a tough question to answer, and yet I’ve spent 3 years feeling as though I’ve had to explain the where to justify the here and now, to some. So I will try to fill you in on my Story in five minutes!

Story is the prompt…GO!

No rush, right. [insert smile].

Three years ago my husband died from cancer after a 19-month battle. When I say battle I mean the disease’s toll on us as a family. My husband lived ,to the fullest, all but one week of those 19 months. He never gave up until he was finally called home to the Lord.

Sixteen months later my youngest son passed away due to fentanyl poisoning. He was an addict for 17 years. Another battle that took a toll on all of us as a family. He tried. He fought it in the end and things were looking up but …. STOP.

Heroin addiction is a disease and while cancer’s existence within my husband’s body wore his body down, heroin has a voice and a hunger that wears down the person’s mind while the sickness of not giving in wears down the body just as much as giving in and using the drug.

So in 16 months, my little family was cut in half. My oldest son and I move forward in faith, learning to live this life after death.

So if you’d like, I’d enjoy your company on this 31-day journey to wherever God will take us.

                                                                1. story. [you are here]

    2.  afraid 

3. believe

4. why

5. FMF – Share

6. belong

7. hope

8. comfort

9. inspire

10. how

11. door

12. FMF –

13. talk

14. ask

15. when

16. pray

17. pause

18. search

19. FMF – 

20. Audience

21. start

22. help

23. common

24. brief

25. capture

26. FMF – 

27. whole

28. song

29. together

30. voice

31. close

Thanks so much for stopping by and coming with me on this journey of mine. God bless.

1Andrea

 

 

 

 

 


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doing life tired …


go …

question: how are you? what is the correct answer? the truth? a convenient lie? silence?

do people really want me to tell them how i really am? or just return the platitude?

wladyslaw-slewinski-sleeping-woman-with-a-cat-ca-1896-1342824718_b

Sleeping woman with a cat Wladyslaw Slewinski (ca. 1896)

Lord, i am so tired.

i don’t say that as exasperation to our society’s platitudes. their desire to connect but leave the door open so they cut an run at a moments notice.

i feel like being my friend has become inconvenient for people. i’m one of those transparent, honest kind of people. my friends, yes, i really do have great friends. more than most, i have to admit; i am blessed in that area. so my friends know i’m going to tell them the truth if they ask how i am. and some still ask. others … not so much.

so what’s the answer? my answer is i’m not okay and i’m so very tired.

i function now. for goodness sake, Don has [only] been gone [just a short] three years; and my boy, my Shane, [only] a year and a half.

it’s exhausting keeping up with the inconvenience of my life. to function;  when it means getting out of bed showering and getting dressed. this level of functioning can knock me out with fatigue. i simply cannot explain the fatigue from functioning in a normal human’s day.

it’s complicated, grief driven fatigue. it’s apparently ptsd, too. i don’t know about that diagnosis though. i’m a God believing, born again, Christian who believes healing is for us, for today.

stop …

but wait … there’s more.

so i fane function. i work from home so i can cheat, but most days, after waking from 8 to 9 hours of sleep, as tired as i was when i fell  asleep the night before and get dressed. most days i force myself to do the housework, the office work and those day to day things we all do. when the day meets evening i am in physical pain and tired, bone tired.

and forgive me as  i say … i’m tired of being tired.

i want to engage in my gifts and callings regularly, but i cannot seem to motivate. plus they still bring sadness. Don bought my camera as a Christmas surprise because i love[d] photography, and he loved my photography,  i’m good … well i’m good when my subject is in natural light and stays where i {or God} put them … like flowers and the sky.

and this, my writing. he loved my writing and encouraged me. always and in all things.

so when I do these things [there are still pictures in my camera from a trip i took to Montana last july], i get sad, and a sense of tired discouragement comes over me, and i tend to stop.

honestly, these are supposed to be cathartic activities, they should soothe and help with the healing. but that’s just it …

one does not heal from the loss of chunks of the heart.

think about this [this thought makes my just ache with fatigue] … think about never seeing them again, never hearing their voices or feeling their touch. think about not being able to talk with someone you spoke with every day for thirty years [29 for my boy, but hey], or laughing with them … {i miss the sound of Don’s laughter the most. we laughed everyday for over thirty years.} think about having to jolt yourself to a stop because you step into a room and say their name to tell them something and in that next second of silence remember they are never coming home.

those thoughts would make anyone tired.

so the honest answer to “how are you?”?  i’m tired and i’m not okay … today.

fortunately, i can finally say … ‘today’ at the end of that sentence, sometimes … today. but there are still those “not today” days.

please do me a favor … if someone you know has lost a loved one; a husband, a child…[the absolutely most painful of all deaths, hands down], a parent, even a pet …

don’t ask them how they are. ask them to coffee or lunch even. ask if there’s something you do for them today.

or even better, just say hi! it’s nice to see you.

trust me it will make them feel alive and present. they will remember you were kind, and a true friend when their life was in utter tatters. just saying hi, will make them feel rested because someone had treated them normally and they didn’t have to remember to lie or try to stop the burst of tears, because they just can’t stop the tears when they think about “how” they are.

thanks for reading these musings of a tired widowed mother of the … son who died.

Love A signature 5minFrihttp://fiveminutefriday.com/linkup/
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Standing on a road I did not plan.


It’s FMF time … on Saturday.

Five minutes of unedited writing. No worries and no regrets. Just link up here … check the rules here … and read and encourage your fellow writer to your left and/or right in the link up. Spelling and sentence construction are unimportant here. What is important is what is in your heart … put it on the page and know it’s good enough for what God intends it for.

The prompt is: Plan …

Ready. Set. Go.

Dear God

Dear God … I need you now.

Standing on a road I did not plan … it’s a lyric of a Plumb song that first came out just after The Hubs was diagnosed with lung cancer. Today I needed that song … I needed the lyrics to help me articulate my cry to God.

many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it’s the Lord’s purpose that prevails. ~ Proverbs 19:21

I stand in the middle of this desolate road and [like the lyrics, which I’ll post at the end along with the video] I ponder how we got to this exact place. I wonder … what is the lesson here?

Is it that God provides?

Is it that God does not give us more than we can handle?

Is it to keep moving forward, in faith, to the breakthrough?

Does it matter? I mean in the question of what is the lesson.

I think what God’s plan is here is to continue to break me [us] for His purposes. To bare us to our very core to reveal His glory within the truest parts of us, The Hubs and I.

I think. No I believe, that at this place he is showing us just how magnificently strong and resilient He has created us and our union that He sanctioned. He’s revealing the testimony of His Sovereignty in us, in our lives.

That said … this road of His … it’s a HARD one, one He knew we would not be able, in our human-ness, to accept, one we would run from, thus separating ourselves from Him in the disobedience of distrust.

So I stand here in the middle of this road that I had no plan for and I surrender. I cannot do anything else, this is so far out of my depth that I can only stand on the edge, hand extended crying out …

God I need you now!

STOP.

Thank you for reading my friends. God bless.

ASignature


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Dare to Believe … Five Minute Friday on Day 24 of 31 Days of Writing!


It’s Friday! That means I not only try to write this post in 5 minutes, with no corrections or edits, but I also attempt to fit Kate’s prompt to my 31 Day Writing Them of Healing Scriptures! Not an easy task sometimes … but hey, I’ll take the dare! 😉

Today’s Prompt is … Dare!

When I had my heart event 5 years ago I stepped into trusting God for my healing. I had that God experience on the gurney {you can read that here.} and dared to step out to change my lifestyle.

But that wasn’t the only DARE I encountered.

After I got “well enough” I dared to share healing with my family. My family who live with many, MANY, health issues, covering all areas of one’s life. From several forms of depression to addictions and various health issues. And their response was tantamount to …

HOW DARE YOU!

Yes, how dare I think I’m better than them, or that God would heal me and not them. They didn’t understand God the way that I did. They don’t enjoy the relationship I enjoy with Him. And if they read this, and some might, there will be issue with this.

But yet again, I DARE to share this, my understanding of what God says about my {OUR} healing!

Healing is a promise to us from God! We received it in our Salvation Package! I love calling it that. God bundled Salvation, Grace and Healing into our package contract!

And it cost us NOTHING! No monthly fee … no cancellation if we don’t hit the mark, or pay the debt. FREE … healing, like salvation and grace, came free when we came into Covenant with God!

Full Definition of COVENANT – Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

1:  a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement :  compact
2a :  a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action
In the Hebrew scriptures, an agreement or treaty among peoples or nations, but most memorably the promises that God extended to humankind (e.g., the promise to Noah never again to destroy the earth by flood or the promise to Abraham that his descendants would multiply and inherit the land of Israel). God’s revelation of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai created a pact between God and Israel known as the Sinai covenant. In Christianity, Jesus’ death established a new covenant between God and humanity.
Jesus is the promise, He is the seal on the contract of our Salvation!
Isaiah 53:4-5
Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains , yet we considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God . But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.
I dare to believe God at his word. I dare to share, at the expense of being criticized by others, the amazing love that God had for us that He sent His only Son so that we could have life with Him. That we could experience what it means to be created in His likeness. To enjoy a life free of illness and pain. If only we would believe.
Yesterday’s post was about God’s Instructions and the instruction book … wherein He gives us the most vital instruction of all … To BELIEVE … that whoever believes … WHOEVER … that is you and me and everyone! Shall NOT perish but have eternal life … that, right there, is the promise of healing!
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I dare you to believe! Check it out … John 3 is an amazing Scripture.

Thanks so much for reading! Blessings.

Thank You for Reading. Andrea

Thank You for Reading.
Andrea

31 Days Journey to Healing

31 Days Journey to Healing

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Humbly Speaking About Humility | Tuesday@10 on Day 21 of 31Days


It’s Tuesday again, the day I attempt to utilize the Word Prompt from Tuesday@10 into The 31Day Writing Challenge! Some are easier than others … this one took some pondering, though I know what I wanted to get across.

This weeks prompt from KarenBeth is Humility and it certainly took a bit of time to wrap Healing up into Humility.

So may I humbly submit to you, my offering of prayer and healing to you, today.

Breaking Through to the Other Side of It ...

Breaking Through to the Other Side of It …

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10

True humility is a virtue I desire, most Christians desire; but like many of God’s characteristics, humility is not one I come by naturally.

Humility is not a value; it doesn’t express weakness or timidity. It is, rather, a gift from God, by grace, that should be revealed through our character. Humility, by definition is the opposite of pride.  And Jesus taught on humility, while on earth.

“Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11

People who are truly humble do not seek attention, they do not seek to push a personal agenda. Genuinely humble Christians seek only to advance God by being the example of what God does through them, as individuals. It’s not about me teaching you how to pray, or instructing you how to receive your healing. It’s my showing, through my life and experiences, how God The Father has worked His plan through me!

God works mightily through the honest humility of people!

I can humbly tell you that I don’t know why I am alive today, after the diagnosis of congestive heart failure 5 years ago. I haven’t lost the necessary weight yet that would ensure heart health; though I’ve made strides and then failed. But I’ve gotten up from that failure to stride again, by the grace of God! It’s not me … my health is completely about God and His plan for me.

It is in all humility that I stand in awe of God’s Works, when it comes to The Hubs life and battle with the diagnosis of cancer! It is definitely by His Grace alone that we have come to this place in this battle full of life and love and testimony of healing and health. It is by God’s grace that The Hubs continues to stun the doctors with vibrant lung health even as they refuse to tell us that the cancer is gone and he is healed. And it will be to God’s Glory and Honor alone when they come to the conclusion that The Hubs is, most definitely Healed and Healthy! I anticipate, with great joy and excitement, that testimony!

I don’t have the answers, except that I believe God at His Word that I am {we are}  healed and that He has a purpose for me! I do not know the time of these miracles and their testimonies … I just know that they are there for us in God’s time. When this healing will make the most impact upon those around us!

When I stumble, and oh how I stumble, I do my level best to get back up and resubmit myself, humbly and with repentance to my Father God, always thankful that He is there with His Word to help me back up so that I can follow His instruction. I confidently put my trust in God and do not arrogantly demand that God allow me to do things on my own. I am useless on my own!

And speaking with honest humility, I have to say that I don’t do the above, ANYMORE! And when stress or life or emotions have me leaning back into my own human-ness; I humbly ask God for forgiveness, as soon as I come to my senses.

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress; he sent out his Word {Jesus} and healed them, and delivered them from destruction. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his Wonderful works to humankind.”

Psalm 107:19-21

… let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

Being thankful is a part of humility. It’s admitting that I don’t know everything, in fact I know very little of what I need to do in life, without Him to guide me. And oh, let me tell you how thankful I am! Actually there are no words to describe this gratitude!

And humbly, we declare and decree the Word of God.

“Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world.”
I thank God that “By His stripes Iam healed.”
And “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”
All the honor to God the Father that “I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
“I will not forget the benefits of God. He heals all my diseases.”
I stand in awe that “The Lord restores health to me and heals me of my wounds.”
I thank Him, humbly that “Affliction will not rise up a second time.” within me.
Thank you Father that “The power of the Lord is present to heal you.”and me. In Jesus’ name I pray Your Words back to Your memory Lord, that You would see me, Your humble daughter, and bestow upon me Your healing touch. Amen.

 

Thank You for Reading. Andrea

Thank You for Reading.
Andrea

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31 Days Journey to Healing

31 Days Journey to Healing

Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten

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Praying Healing Psalms For a Friend and All Things | FMF & 31 days: day 17


God is LIMITLESS Love

God is LIMITLESS Love

Today’s Prompt for 5 Minute Friday: LONG. Go.

The Psalms are filled with {mostly} David’s desperate cries for help, healing and deliverance! We often long for God to help us, heal us or deliver us. Be for all that longing we neglect sometimes to pray … to cry out our petitions.

David, before and after becoming King David, was one of God’s favorites. Even, as He sinned, in his human-ness God referred to this son of His as “A man after My own heart.”

Well I am here to tell YOU that that is true of each one of us today. We are His favorite, You are His favorite, I am His favorite!

“How?!”

You ask.

Well, it’s because He is LIMITLESS … His very essence is LIMITLESS … His Love for us is LIMITLESS!

We, in our human-ness, put God in a box. A box infinitely smaller than God, in all of His LIMITLESSNESS.

Like small children, we cannot fathom the limitlessness of this Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Infinite God; nor can we fathom that His love for us has those same qualities.

But He DOES!

He DOES!

I find deep and visceral comfort in that. I long for you to feel this, too.

I am writing this particular post after being inspired by a good friend’s struggle today. By this friends perseverance in staying in God’s Word and His presence, today.

This person is struggling with something deeply tragic and emotional; and while that is going on they are doing their level best to stay in God’s Word and presence, today; while feeling like they cannot even breath for the pain and fear. I wanted my friend to know that God LOVES them and while the circumstances are what they are, and regardless of the fact that they cannot seem to feel Him as close, today, that God is, in fact, right there with them.

This is one of those Jesus moments for this friend; that test that reaches within one, viscerally, and actually, when all is said and done, proves within one’s Spirit and Mind that God’s is ALWAYS faithful to His children and His promises.

I have experienced this Jesus moment on several occasions just this year. So I know it is what my friend is experiencing right now. My friend has described, in short, feelings and emotions and fears that I have felt many times this year.

Yet, I came to a place where when my limits on God were destroyed, I became assured of the vastness of His love for me, deeply and permanently. I want that assurance for my friend; for all my friends and loved ones. For everyone.

That place? True Serenity!

The psalmist realized the limitations of man and recognized the limitlessness of God. He expressed these concepts in Psalms 139:7-12: “Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there, If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there, If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Thy hand will lead me, And Thy right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,’ Even the darkness is not dark to Thee, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to Thee.” (from: God’s Limitlessness).

So, as I cry out to God for my healing, { You changed my mourning into dancing. You took off my funeral clothes and dressed me up in joy so that my whole being might sing praises to you and never stop. = healing} I’ve added my friend and others in intercession …

I cried out to you, Lord.
I begged my Lord for mercy:
“What is to be gained by my spilled blood,
by my going down into the pit?
Does dust thank you?
Does it proclaim your faithfulness?
Lord, listen and have mercy on me!
Lord, be my helper!”
You changed my mourning into dancing.
You took off my funeral clothes
and dressed me up in joy
so that my whole being
might sing praises to you and never stop.
Lord, my God, I will give thanks to you forever. {AMEN} — Psalm 30:8-12 

Stop!

What is it today that you need God to heal or deliver you from; what do you long for? I encourage you to pray God’s scriptures; pray what He says about your situation today. I have found and can testify to the fact that praying God’s scriptures to Him never fails.

HE.NEVER.FAILS.

God bless.

Thank You for Reading. Andrea

Thank You for Reading.
Andrea

 

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31 Days Journey to Healing

31 Days Journey to Healing

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31 days of Five Minute Free Writes

31 days of Five Minute Free Writes

31 Days!

31 Days!


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A Religion that is pure … Care|31day:10 & FMF


Welcome, once again! It’s Friday, which means I write for Five Minute Friday and 31 Days. On Friday’s this month I am doing my best to combine both into Kate’s Friday Prompt. =) Kate is definitely making it easy for me so far! If you’d like to join the 1000s, yes, I said THOUSANDS of writers participating in these Writing Challenges simply follow the buttons displayed at the end of this (and all the 31) post(s).

Today’s Prompt is Care. Something I am VERY familiar with.

Go.

Taking Care

Taking Care

A religion that is pure and stainless according to God the Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows who are suffering, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.  – James 1:27

I am a natural born caretaker, God built me for it; and for many years I actually resented it. Particularly when I was called to care for family members, a few at the same time!

Care-taking is very stressful, tiring, draining …. and on and on. Yet when it’s a calling, a vocation, it can also be VERY fulfilling. If we let it, if we understand it, but only if we take all the measure necessary to care for ourselves at the same time.

I began caring for others at a very young age. My mother was, let’s say ill when I was a child, and I had to grow up. She still struggles and suffers today. I cared for her, my siblings and our home. And I was VERY young to be that old, but there was really no other option.

Caring for others came naturally to me.

Since then I’ve cared for many. In my late teens I became a CNA and worked on the “crazy” floor; I loved it. I went on from there to become a social worker working with low income families, their children, and the developmentally disabled, until I retired. Burnt out.

But God …. He was just preparing me for the most difficult jobs of my vocation.

Family.

My family has been  a difficult relationship for me over the years. I know, boohoo, everyone’s had issues in their families. But some familial relationships are most definitely more difficult and forgive me, more damaging, than others. I HAD to spend years getting over trying to please the un-pleasable, see and love them as God does, and just simply set boundaries that kept me, and my immediate family, safe from the chaos … I can’t even venture to explain this in 5 short minutes.

If a widow has family members to take care of her, let them learn that religion begins at their own doorstep and that they should pay back with gratitude some of what they have received. This pleases God immensely. – 1 Timothy 5:4

This scripture includes: fathers and grandparents and sisters and brothers!

Currently I have charge of my grandmother, who now lives in a nursing facility, and she’s very unhappy; my dad who has lived alone by choice, since I was 4; and I help my sister who is the closest in proximity to my mother who continues to live with, let’s say, many health issues.

Let me not forget who I care for here in Hutchland … The Hubs of course, but we are a working team. I just have to see to it that he takes care of himself – not an easy thing! Right ladies? Even when healthy some of our men need us to straighten out the crooked things sometimes.

And my youngest, who battles addiction. He’s a hard one sometimes. Tough love and support goes on daily here in Hutchland, but he’s overcoming! Praise God.

STOP.

Forgive me the indulgence as I finish this post? I’ll be as short as this heart allows me!

Care-taking takes a LOT out of a person. Therefore we must “keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James1:)

I had to set those boundaries I spoke about. I had to learn that “pure religion”. I had to come to the knowledge that this is one of my God required callings. Therefore I had to learn to care for myself. The alternative was to begin thinking like the world, and asking what was in this for me! Yes, be honest, we all do this at times and if we are deeply rooted in our faith we correct ourselves quickly … but we think these things, even ask God “WHY Me?!” when we forget to care for ourselves. We care-takers must learn this so that we can continue to care for our loved ones.

I battled. I truly did, with the resentment that the people (not the Hubs or the kiddo) God was, obviously, requiring that I care for, were the very people who did not care for me as a child. Who, sometimes still, do not know me until they need me. And as of today they pretty much need me all the time. I had to put that resentment aside and love them like God loves them; see them like Father sees them.

See them like Father sees ME! Oh my, that was a humbling experience. A God Lesson!

OM goodness! SEE THEM LIKE HE SEES ME! That was a true revelation. That was that relationship, that unconditional relationship of love. I had to do that!

Well, by His Grace alone, He showed me how. Because HONESTLY I was completely incapable of those unconditional relationships without Him! We all are, actually, but I was I had some serious, and not unreasonable (in a worldly way), conditions!

Thank goodness He is faithful to this girl.

I said all this to get across that “Pure Religion” isn’t religion at all; it’s RELATIONSHIP. It’s love that forgives and cares for others, always and no matter what.

Because of these lessons I enjoy relationships with those family members that is unique in our family. At a time that is crucial in their lives. And my life is richer for it.

As the Word says … Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (Psalm 55:22).

He did it for me … how much more will He do it for you?

So what are your cares today? Share them with us … Thanks for reading. =)

Andrea

Andrea

31 Days Journey to Healing

31 Days Journey to Healing

keep calm blog

31 Days!

31 Days!

31 days of Five Minute Free Writes

31 days of Five Minute Free Writes