Leaving a Legacy

I have been struggling with what God wants me to do in this season of my life. I moved to Florida to take care of my parents and that is going OK, but they don’t need me 24/7. This means I have free time and my longing to serve God is growing stronger and stronger.

I volunteer at the hospital with the chaplain but something always seems to come up on that day that takes my time away from me. I haven’t jumped into teaching again yet since I just started back to my childhood church and I’m still getting use to my surroundings.

I received a text from my daughter-in-law last night about how she encountered a woman who saw her “fire wife” t-shirt and commented on it. She told her she didn’t understand why anyone would choose that career being gone all the time and that she should make him choose another career instead. My daughter-in-law went on to explain that it is hard to be on the other side of our husband’s job.

The fact is he was gone all day that day in a class for another certification. He called on the way home all excited that he would be home in time for bedtime prayers with the kids. But while they were on the phone, the tones on his radio dropped. And now those sweet little plans won’t happen.

She explained she wasn’t mad in the least, just disappointed. That is when it is hard not to let the job consume everything you are. But the call was a fatal wreck and he went to save someones life. The other part is wondering if he will come home or not and what his state of mind will be. If it was a bad call, she will sit and pray with him and dry his tears.

She went on to explain she would not change a thing. “It is hard, your right, my husband is a hero who saves lives everyday.” She just wishes some people would see what being the wife of a hero really means.

I sent her a text that said “In reality you work together because your support is as important as the job he does”. Not only is a marriage a partnership but so are some careers. I challenge everyone to pray for our first responders. They really are modern day heroes.

But back to the legacy thing. I hadn’t thought of it before but I use my words to encourage and challenge people. My words are also my legacy. My daughter-in-law went on to tell me she and my son have decided (*chuckle*) that my parents will live another 30 years and I will love another 60 because they need us to stay around. While I know this may not be a reality (*another chuckle*), I do know that my words can live on.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

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Reality Bites

I admit I live in a bubble. I am safe. I don’t see the garbage of the world except on TV and I think my children and grandchildren are in wonderful places. While  I know this isn’t so all of the time, it helps me sleep at night.

I spent the last two months with each of my children and their families. While it was a great time with everyone, I did have to deal with some things I was not prepared to deal with. Needless to say, I have been praying more than ever.

I stay with each family for about a month. I usually only stay six weeks, but for some reason, I opted for eight this time. Now that I am mobile and can work anywhere, I guess I wanted to push myself a little, actually, a lot.

I stayed with my son and his little growing family first. I knew my son had a temper, for which he is working on, but I had no idea his wife had one too. They both cuss like sailors which shocked me a lot. I say slang things but never the real thing and not too often, but they speak it like normal.

When I stayed with my daughter and her family I saw other things. They don’t cuss but they do argue and that is sometimes the only communication they have. They don’t eat at the table together which I have learned is a huge perk for a growing family. That’s how they get to know how each other is doing without it being a battle.

I know the devil is hard at work to create chaos for Christians and no it isn’t fair but our God is the only one who can handle these times. We have to give him the glory for our salvation and during the process of our praise to Him, we admit we need Him and He covers us with his protection. When you don’t feel protected, it is either because you are not praying enough or God is teaching you something. Just pray harder!

Little Green Man Sightings

If you Google Little Green Man, you will see many references to aliens with green skin and antennae on their heads. But these are not the Little Green Men of my youth.

My dad was born in Lexington, South Carolina many years ago. Growing up we would spend a week or so visiting and staying with relatives we only saw once a year. During those long trips from Florida, my sister and I would fight to lay across the back seat up in the back dash. If you are old enough you will remember that. Long before seat belts were mandatory.

Well these trips were hard on us. We had to be still, and being still is not a feature easily expressed by youngsters. So my dad devised a plan.

We would see deer on the side of the road and sometimes hogs depending on the time of day but he would see the Little Green Man. Don’t forget, dad’s word was gold. If dad said he saw a Little Green Man, then by golly, he saw a Little Green Man.

Dad’s Little Green Man had nothing to do with aliens. These men were made up of grass. The same grass on the roadside. That is why they were everywhere. The sightings would spark an array of questions. Where do they live? What are they doing on the side of the road? Do they have kids? Are they kids? If so, do they have parents too? What was he wearing? Are there any Little Green Women? And the list goes on.

I never asked dad if he did that to keep himself awake or just to be the funny guy he can be. But it worked. We would look diligently for hours until we fell asleep. Then he and mom could cuddle and enjoy the drive together.

I was thrilled when my son told me he introduced his son to the Little Green Man concept. It sparked the same reaction. He would look feverishly until he just fell asleep. I always knew my dad was a smart man even though he will tell you he isn’t, but this was brilliant and funny.

I don’t remember when we stopped doing the Little Green Man thing. Now our trips are to North Carolina because most of his family is gone. Now we visit my children and their families. Plus my sister and I take turns driving so we have the wheel and the front seats. Maybe that’s why our trips are quieter now. Everyone sleeps or tries to keep the driver awake when the coffee runs out.

We leave for NC next weekend. I wonder if we’ll see any Little Green Men.

Grandparent Interview

I recently received an email from my granddaughter Makayla which included a list of interview questions for one of her class assignments. I have to say I was quite honored she reached out to me. So much so that I wanted to post it here. My hope is that it blesses someone else too.

1. Oral traditions-as far back as you can recall.
  • “No one person is any better of a person than you are.”
  • “Pretty is as pretty does”. 
  • “Stop and smell the roses.”
  • “Do for others as you would like others to do for you.”
  • “Don’t be afraid to be yourself.” If someone doesn’t like you, they were not meant to be your friend.
  • Grimm Fairy Tales
  • Twas the night before Christmas story book
  • The little green man sightings (I’ll post on this later)
2. Education/Trade/Employment.
  • Finished Masters degree at age 55! Don’t let anything stop you from your goals. You can make it happen.
  • Software Analyst
  • Emergency Services Specialist
3. Greatest Struggle.
 
Letting go of my 26+ year marriage.
 
4. Advice for me.
 
This might take a while…just kidding. Don’t believe the lie that you aren’t good enough or pretty enough. You are perfectly made by a creator who loves you beyond anything you will ever understand. Don’t be in a hurry to experience life. Enjoy every minute of every day.
 
5. Foundational beliefs/Core Values.
 
I am a Christian, a Christ follower who believes in the King James version of who God is and what He expects from us. I treat everyone with the love that Jesus has shown me.
 
6. Greatest love story.
 
Makayla and her brother Christopher. I first met them when they were toddlers. I am still excited to have them in our family. The world sees them as my step-grandchildren. But I never saw the steps. I love them with all of my heart and soul.
 
7. Greatest accomplishment.
 
Stepping out of my comfort zone to do things I was once afraid to do.
 
8. Biggest regret.
 
Not getting to know God sooner.
 
9. Given the chance-how would you change your life.
 
I wouldn’t change a thing. God orchestrated every second of my life and He did it for a reason. I may not understand on this side of Heaven but I know He is in control.
 
10. Identify a world problem and one solution to fix it.
 
The Collapse of Society.
When God is taken out of our lives, the world starts to take over. The world creates lazy people who are “entitled” to everything without working for anything. The world does not take care of our children or widows to make sure they are fed and clothed. The world does not take care of people who are not physically able to take care of themselves. The world doesn’t care about anything but what it can get from people. The world tricks people into thinking they can live without God.
We will always have people who are more for the world/themselves than for our fellow man but as this world progresses toward societies growing farther away from God, the struggles and hardships will spread and grow. If government leaders will return to what God considers right, people will follow. We have the capacity to work together to feed and clothe and educate and take care of everyone regardless of the situation. But as long as people remain focused on the world and themselves, this problem will never be solved.