He Loved Me to Death

God gazed from heaven upon the earth

Through tears of remorse and disbelief,

His heart was pierced by transgressions of man

And was broken by sorrow and grief.

He cried to His Son, “What shall I do?

My children can’t go on like this,

For when it comes time for them to die,

My kingdom, they will surely miss.”

So, Father and Son both lovingly agreed

As they fathomed what must be done;

In order to save all the world from sin,

The Father must send down His Son.

So, Jesus came down as a tiny babe,

God’s perfect, loving gift to mankind;

In hopes that one day His words they would heed

And their eyes would no longer be blind.

Jesus was tender, so patient and kind

As He spoke of His Father’s love;

But many were they that refused to believe

That He was God’s Son from above.

After years of teaching and healing the sick,

The Savior’s hour had finally drawn near;

Fo the time had come, God’s will to be done,

Though the cup brought forth bitter tears.

He willingly gave His life on the cross

And bore much suffering, sin, and shame,

But many today still don’t understand

That is the reason He came.

But I believe with all of my heart

And want to give the Savior my best;

 It was for me that He shed His precious blood

For you see, He loved me to death.

Sandi

Broken Wings and Crooked Halos

I avoid calling myself a Christian these days

I’ve had to work too hard at trying to be one

Just when I thought I finally was one

I’d lose my temper

Fly into a fit of rage

Do and say un-Christian stuff

Feel guilty

Beat myself up

Get depressed

A never-ending cycle of madness

Sick to death of it all

I looked deep inside

Through all the muck and mire

Of judgment and ridicule

Of pride and self-righteousness

Of fake joy and happiness

And faced the stark reality

That I wasn’t a Christian

I was a broken mess

Just like all the other wanna-be Christians

Sitting in their padded pews

With their broken wings

And crooked halos

Finally

I called on God to fix me

To change me

To free me

To wash me clean

And He did

Now

I’m just a sinner saved by Grace

Free from the chains of religion

Of having to keep my halo straight

Of pretending to be something I’m not

Free to just be myself

While striving to be more like Him

 ~ Sandi

Fixer No More

As a committed Follower

I thought God expected me to fix things

Broken hearts

Broken relationships

Broken lives

Broken anything that was still breathing

But when I couldn’t

I’d sink into a slimy pit of depression

Where I became more broken

Than the ones I was trying to fix

Again and again

I’d try

Again and again

I’d fail

Till one day

Weary to the bone

God opened my eyes

And told me loud and clear

That those lofty expectations were not His

That He never gave me the authority to play God

And that He is the only One who can fix

All the brokenness in the world

What a relief to be rid of that cumbersome burden

To turn it all over to God

To let Him handle it from now on

What a relief to know that

All the brokenness I failed to fix

Is in His Mighty hands

I no longer have to worry about it

Never

Ever again

~ Sandi

Hope at the End of the Rainbow

Bludgeoned by sorrow and grief

My heart was mangled and bleeding

 No one could fix it

No one could ease the piercing pain

Comfort my soul

Calm my fears

No one could deliver hope for today

For tomorrow

Or ever

Then after the pouring rain

God appeared to me in a rainbow

Reminding me of His promises

His love and faithfulness

His ever-present nearness

His healing touch

 And in that moment

Hope was restored

And my battered heart began to heal

~ Sandi

Nothing

As a child, I would lay in my bed, stare into the blackness and think scary things, like monsters being under my bed, or ghosts hiding in my closet or little men with knives crawling through my windows. But the most frightening of all was when the darkness transformed into a gigantic scary monster of nothingness. Total void and emptiness. No beginning and no end. No God. No heaven. No earth. No life. Nothing! And I’d cry till my crying became sobs.

Panicky, mom would rush to my side and ask what was wrong, but as hard as I tried, I couldn’t explain it to her. I didn’t know how to tell her that my mind had spiraled down a deep black hole of fear and despair; a bottomless pit of absolute nothingness.

Frustrated, mom would leave me, still crying, still consumed by the void and emptiness.

Then, through the oppressive darkness of my mind, I saw a soft glow and I knew God was there. Hope began trickling through my veins, the darkness dwindled and I drifted into a peaceful sleep.

Even today it is difficult to explain what I often felt as a child, especially in the oppressive darkness at bedtime. But I can tell you clearly that I am so thankful that my mother taught me that there is a God and that she took me to Sunday School where I learned more about Him and His awesome, unfailing love for me. I’m thankful that I learned to believe and trust in Him and that He has the power to dispel the darkness that often overtakes me. Most of all I am thankful that because of God, the Author of life and Creator of all things, the feelings of nothingness are mere ashes in the wind.

Dee Dee Voltron

voltron

When I’m jogging I’m thinking. Thinking about the good old days. Thinking about the movie I watched last night. Thinking about soaking my feet when I get home. Thinking, thinking, thinking. Sometimes I’m in such deep thought that I can’t remember jogging up the hill I just came down. Now that’s scary!

Today I thought about Brandon, my first grandchild and how he picked out names to call all his grandparents, except for me. For some reason, he couldn’t decide on a name for me. Maybe, because I was the youngest, in his mind I didn’t fit the typical granny image. Maybe he just couldn’t figure me out, I don’t know. Whatever his reasons, he didn’t have an endearing, grandmotherly name for me.

Then, one Sunday afternoon my daughter-in-law smiled and said, “Brandon’s picked out a name for you. It’s Dee Dee. He was trying to say Sandi but it came out Dee Dee instead.”

“Well okay then. Dee Dee, it is.”

Brandon loved for me to tell him stories. In the car, at the mall, in the grocery store, on the porch swing . . . everywhere! All I’d hear is,”Tell me a story, Dee Dee! Tell me a story!”

Now, there’s just so many stories a granny can make up about the two of us riding on Mrs. Eagle’s back over the highest mountains or talking to Mr. Tree in the enchanted forest or creeping into a really dark, really spooky house deep in the woods. But if I didn’t make up something he’d drive me crazy until I did. That’s the way it works for those of you who haven’t figured it out yet. 

His most favorite story was when the two of us teamed up with Voltron and battled all the bad guys. We’d wield our shiny swords, conjure up our magic powers and fight till the bitter end. Then, we’d crawl into a cave where we’d regroup and strategize our next sneak attack.

 Suddenly, in Brandon’s eyes, Voltron was no longer a plastic action figure. Voltron was me, his hero, the one who came to his rescue, who bandaged his wounds and killed all the bad guys. Never again would I be just plain old Dee Dee. I was Immortal. I was invincible. I was Dee Dee Voltron!

And after all those battles I had to fight, and all those stories I had to conjure up, I earned that title and wore it well . . . at least in Brandon’s eyes.

Brandon’s now grown with a family of his own. And, although he no longer begs me to tell him stories, he remembers them all so well and still fondly refers to me as “Dee Dee Voltron!”

Be Your Own Cheerleader!

cheer

Dragging my exhausted, sweaty body through the front door, I excitedly told hubby, who’s still laying in bed, that I jogged an hour and a half!

Barely raising his head off the pillow he murmured,”That’s good.”

That’s good? I felt like jerking him out of bed! If he only knew how my feet burned the entire time and how difficult the hills were and how many times I just wanted to stop!

Disappointed in his half-hearted response I started a much-needed  shower. Then, as if he had cleaned the entire house and mowed the lawn, hubby yelled from the bed, “I cleaned the commode!”

Sometimes we have to be our own cheering section. Not everyone is going to jump up and down for our accomplishments. Not everyone is going to share our enthusiasm. And if that’s the only reason we do something, then we’re doing it for the wrong reason.

And to let hubby off the hook, he is my biggest fan, he just doesn’t always cheer as loud as I’d like him to.

The Great Pretender

Pretenders

Rather than a game

Pretending was a way of life

I became a master at hiding my feelings

I’d just pretend I didn’t care

That I didn’t need friends

That it didn’t hurt me at all to feel invisible

Over and over again

Day after day

Year after year

I stuffed down the pain

And pretended it didn’t hurt

I didn’t realize I was building a bomb inside me

A mighty bomb of anger hate and rage

With a hair-trigger

That kept exploding inside me

Blowing up my sense of reason

My self-control

Shattering my mask

Exposing my nakedness

And I couldn’t pretend any more

It’s been a long painful journey

And it’s far from over

I’m slowly putting back the pieces of my life

Embracing the good the bad and the ugly

Changing what I can

Accepting what I can’t

And enjoying the freedom

Of not pretending anymore

~Sandi

No Language Barrier

Photo1

I walked with my neighbor this morning

It wasn’t planned

We just began walking at the same time

She speaks very little English

I speak no Philipino

But we walked

Laughing at ourselves

Struggling to help the other understand

She said she is sixty-two

Patting her knees she grimaced

Arthritis

Pointing to the cloudy sky she stammered

The rain is coming

When we reached her house

She pointed to the weeds

In her beautiful flower bed

Patted the small of her back

And I understood well

The pain pulling weeds entails

Stopping at her driveway

We hugged and waved good-by

Wishing each other well

Our walk together helped me realize

That speaking a different language

Or wearing a different skin color

Doesn’t make us different at all

We are all people

Created in God’s image

Our hearts beating the same language

All over the world

~Sandi

The Garden of No Return

Paradise

She had it all

A home in paradise

A husband who adored her

The perfect wardrobe

The perfect diet

No bill collectors

No noisy neighbors

 No rebellious teenagers

But it wasn’t enough

She wanted more

The one thing she couldn’t have

So on that sunny day so long ago

She stood before the forbidden tree

Lusting

Her mouth drooling

To know more

To see more

To be like God

At least that’s what the Deceiver

That slithering snake led her to believe

Shoving her closer to the tree

With his lying forked tongue

Convincing her that God was holding back

I can hear his demented laughter

As she sunk her teeth into the luscious fruit

I can feel her horror

Her grief

Her shame

As the cloak of righteousness

Was stripped away

And her nakedness exposed

I can see her shivering in the freezing cold

Of reality

Of seeing what she had

Of knowing what she lost

Never to own again

I can see her young firm body shriveling

As death began running its course

I can hear her screams of remorse

As she staggered from her beautiful home in paradise

Never to enter again

What a terrible fate had it abruptly ended there

For Adam and Eve

For you and me

But it didn’t

In His love and mercy

God provided a way back to Him

When He sent His Son to die

That we may have eternal life with Him

In Paradise

Forever

~Sandi

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. (John 3:16)