Posted in encouragement, faith, family, keeping it real, Melanie, moments of truth, Uncategorized

Let’s begin again….

It’s been 2 years, 3 months and 25 days ago that I last wrote on my blog. That post, One more Step, was about the loss of my sister, Melanie. This new post will make more sense if you read that one first.

That last post sure sounded like a positive person had written it.  But, I was anything and everything but positive. I was hurting. Through all these months I wanted to share the truth of what my heart was feeling, but I couldn’t. I tried…well, not really,  but I wanted to. The words just wouldn’t come. Most days blogging was the furthest thing from my mind, but there were also days I had a lot to say. Thankfully I knew better, because I am pretty sure none of it was worth saying.  Most of it was sad words and wouldn’t have been a benefit to anyone…most especially me.

I’ve enjoyed writing for most of  my life…I am not a scholar or an English major.  I am just me, a person who likes to write the things I see going on around me, my life, my family and God.  It actually brings me joy to share my life.  So, when I allowed my joy to wane, blogging was the first to go.  I actually let go of everything that brought me joy.  I could put on a good face, learned to be a great faker. I built a wall, a tall and thick wall.  There were very few that were allowed into the fortress I had built around me…and those few were only allowed at the door, no one was allowed all the way in.  I didn’t want anyone to know the pain and hurt I was hiding….I wasn’t allowing anyone to see that I was hurt and vulnerable.  I was afraid to show the weaker side of who I am.  But, alas….after these years of building a wall I am finally breaking it down.  It’s gonna take a while, but I am slowing allowing people in to see the vulnerable me.

My hope is that in the days and weeks to come I am able to share my heartache and struggle with others.  I want to write words of encouragement and  I hope that my story of loss will benefit others going through a similar situation.  Loss is hard.  Don’t let anyone tell you different.  All of us deal with it in different ways. God created each of us with a unique personality and that allows us to deal with things differently.  My way might not be the ‘right’ way or your way, but I can learn from you and hopefully you can learn from me.

My heart ached aches at the loss of my sister.  It’s been a long journey to get to where I am today….I am at a point of understanding. Understanding that His ways are higher than mine…that He knew her time here was complete.

So, reflecting back on the blog post from March 24, 2015 (31 days after Melanie passed away) I want to say ‘dance, little sister, dance.  And today I mean it sincerely.

Winnie

Posted in Be You, encouragement, faith, goals, serving

Dream

Lord, help me to focus on your dream for me…to live out your purpose…to continue on with my story, the one You wrote for me.  

Keep my heart pure and focused, remembering that I was created to live out my story for Your glory, not mine!

His Glory!

Amen & Amen! 

Winnie

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.
 He has planted eternity in the human heart, 
but even so, people cannot see the 
whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 
Ecclesiastes 3:11
Posted in devotions, encouragement, faith

Hang on!

Are you going through a storm right now?  Or have you been through one and wished you had some wisdom to hang onto.  Well, this morning I read a devotion written by our company Chaplain, the words she wrote were so relevant that I felt I needed to share them.  
Here is an excerpt:
Life happens to us all! We all go through storms. We all have bumps in the road! We all have dark clouds that seem to engulf us at times! We all have stories! Thank God for life experiences that remind us ready or not, tomorrow comes. How we face it is our choice.


Isaiah 43:1-3

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. 
I have called you by name; you are mine.
 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, 
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, 
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
 For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior

Today, as a passenger who has been through some of life’s bumps, hear my story! GOD IS FAITHFUL!  He will never leave those who call on Him and who invite Him to be the Lord of their life! Through the storms of life…. Because of Him there is still a song of praise!
May God’s Peace be so real to you today!
If God is faithful for her, He will be faithful for all of us!  He is not selective and doesn’t show favoritism. (Acts 10:34)  The next time you find yourself in the middle of a storm stand on the words in Isaiah 43:1-3 and don’t be afraid, He is still God!
My heart is praising Him!

Winnie
Posted in community, faith, marriage, memories, my once in a lifetime; family

Thank you!

With our anniversary right around the corner I am feeling a little nostalgic, which is making me a little emotional…I know you’re not surprised! (hang on while I grab a tissue)

I’ve been thinking back over these last 30 years and all the people God has put in our lives.  People who have sewn into who we are today, in our relationship with God, our children, our grandchildren, and each other.  Friends & family as far away as Alaska, Florida and New England and as close as Oklahoma. 

Keith’s Coast Guard career allowed us to live in a lot of different places. We have so many memories from each of our duty stations, life long friends, moments of growth and lots of laughs. 


So, today I want to say Thank You! 

Thank you to all of you, friends and family, who have believed in us, 
loved us, counseled us, been examples for us, taught us, 
laughed with us, cried with us, walked through our storms 
and our triumphs, celebrated with us, but most of all, you loved us. 
So much of who we are today as individuals and 
spouses is because you lived life with us.  

Thank you all for the encouragement and 
love you have poured over us these last 30 years.



We love you all!

Stick around, there’s another 30 or more ahead of us and we still need you! 

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


Winnie

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. 
Proverbs 27:17

Posted in faith, Thank You Jesus

Sun or Son

Recently I got up in somewhat of a fog…it had a little to do with allergy meds and a lot to do with the amount of things that the day ahead held for me.  I wanted to climb back in bed and pull the covers over my head….but I didn’t.

Instead I fixed a cup of coffee, grabbed my IPad and curled up on the couch. While I caught up on everyone on Facebook and checked photos on Instagram, the foggy feeling started feeling a little like sadness..woe is me.  So, I opened up YouVersion and started looking around for a ‘word’ to pick me up.  I love God’s word…and of course there was plenty of scriptures to lift my spirits. It didn’t change all that my day held, but it changed my heart and attitude in dealing with it all.

As I headed off to work, I realized it was foggy outside. I laughed a little, thinking about my fogginess earlier in the morning, thought God had a little bit of a sense of humor, switched on my fog lights and headed out. 

A few minutes into my drive I saw the sun was trying to ‘burn’ through the fog. Call me crazy (I sometimes am) but the first thing I thought of was….just like the sun can ‘burn’ through the morning fog….the Son can ‘burn’ through our fog! 

Simple, but true!

He certainly burned through mine that morning….

Happy Monday!

Winnie



I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NLT

PS That is a picture I took that morning. 🙂