Abundant Life

What does it mean to have abundant life . . .

Having lots of riches?

Traveling around the world?

Being a famous movie star?

It may mean that to some. But to me it means trusting in God. Knowing that He loves me and will always take care of me . . . no matter what.

Pushing seventy makes me realize just how scary and uncertain life is and how much more I must rely on God. How much more I must focus on taking care of my health. How much more I value the things that matter most in my life.

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Peace

Proverbs 14:30

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

Peace can’t be bought. It can’t be stolen. It can’t be lent or borrowed. You either have it or you don’t.

We pray for world peace, yet our hearts are anxious and fearful. Hateful and vengeful. prejudice and intolerant.

Until we as people can lay down our retaliations against ourselves, against our past, and against one another, we will never find peace.

Without inner peace, world peace is just an elusive dream.

~ Sandi Staton

Stay-at-Home Mom Career

While other girls were dreaming of their Senior Prom, finishing school, and going to college, I was dreaming of having a baby.

After I got married, of course. I’m from the old one-room school with outside toilets; light years before premarital sex became acceptable.

Actually, I wasn’t even thinking about how babies were made. I just knew I wanted one.

Call it maternal instinct. Call it insanity. I just wanted a baby.

To hold in my arms.

To love.

To protect.

To fight to the death for.

Finally, my dream came true. I was twenty. Although the marriage didn’t last, my love and devotion for my son did.

Four years as a single mom and no child support was tough. I worked. I scrimped. I barely made ends meet.

I cried a lot.

Worried a lot.

Slammed doors a lot.

But I never stopped loving and caring for my son.

He was the reason for me to keep going.

Then one evening, at the least of romantic places . . . a service station, I met my Knight in Bermuda shorts, wire-rim glasses, and yellow button down shirt.

It was not love at first sight.

Nor was it love at second sight.

But as time went on, I fell in love with the gentle giant and married him. How could any mother not love the man who loves her child as she loves him.

Although I continued working to supplement our income, my heart was ever longing to be a stay-at-home mom.

Several long years of misery in the working field, I convinced my husband that we wouldn’t starve to death if I quit my job to stay home where I belong.

As with anything, unless you’re super rich, there were sacrifices. We couldn’t afford designer clothes and trade cars every year. We didn’t go on cruises or travel the world. Sometimes a simple trip to the beach was out of our budget.

But the trade-off and the investment we made in our son was worth all the luxuries in the world.

This morning, nearly five decades later, I sat reminiscing about my life. Suddenly, I felt a twinge of regret that I hadn’t done this and hadn’t achieved that and asked myself, why?

Then I remembered.

I smiled.

My stay-at-home mom career was worth all the PhD’s in the world!

To see what my son is up to today, visit freedom4her | RAWimpact Police Training Project

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My Friend, Gill

Like a giant he stood in the small, dimly lit Sanctuary, quietly adjusting to his strange surroundings.

I liked him right off —- ponytail, earrings and all.

Each word of his charming accent painted picturesque scenes and ancient villages of Italy.

His smile was warm and friendly, but his eyes were shadowed with loneliness and grief.

He had just served ten years in prison and struggles to fit into a harsh, unforgiving society. A society that slams the door in his face everywhere he turns. A society that clutches the keys to his bleak and lonely cell in which he lives.

He longs for his family, but their hearts are frozen. Their hateful words, like a vengeful sword, pierce his bleeding heart.

I wish they could hear him laugh. Listen to his heart. Feel his anguish.

But, like a sneering warden, they dangle the keys of judgement in his face; never letting him forget his twisted, tormented past.

From the day we met Gill, he became a huge part of our family. We loved him, encouraged him, and helped him in every way we could. My son was his pastor, mentor, oft time provider, and unconditional friend.

Sadly, it wasn’t enough.

Like a dog returning to its vomit, Gill returned to child pornography; hours and hours of internet child pornography. When that was not fulfilling enough, he became involved with a minor.

Her dad called the police.

When the police arrived at Gill’s house, they broke down the door to find him slumped unresponsive in a chair.

While the world was busy with their every day lives that warm sunny day four and a half years ago, Gill ended his.

Pedophiles are a dog’s bone in prison. And Gill promised himself he would never go back there.

Many people would say that the ten years our family invested in Gill were a waste. That he didn’t deserve love and understanding. That he was a worthless piece of trash.

But for God’s grace, we would all be a “Gill,” forever lost in the darkness of evil.

While many people recover from a broken home, sexual abuse, and abandonment, Gill never did. In spite of all our efforts, he chose a path that ultimately cost him his life.

Would we do it again? Yes. Gill was worth it to us. He was worth it to God. I only regret that he wasn’t worth it to himself.

Pornography is Satan’s supreme promise to pleasure beyond measure.

He leaves out the astronomical cost of your soul.

What is your life worth to you?