Saturday, December 13, 2014

There is Always Hope




This morning I made two strangers cry. The first person was at Starbucks where I was to meet up with my friend Amy and Tara. I went to get in line when a man walked up in front of me. He noticed that he cut in front of me and said sorry I didn’t mean to cut and motioned for me to move forward. I replied no that’s fine go ahead. He insisted so I did. I said thank you and asked him how he was. He said “so far today was good.” You could tell that his words did not match the expression on his face. I ended up saying, “well then I guess you’re off to a good start, but I believed that his day could only get better.” He laughed and then asked me if I was on my way to work? I said well, “I’m a Realtor and I am off to find new clients, but things have been hard.” I laughed and asked him if he wanted a card and he said yes.

For some reason Starbucks was extra busy this morning so things were taking a little longer than usual. So to fill time we continued to talk. He started sharing about his life and asked me if there was any hope for him to buy a house being that he had to file bankruptcy? I of course said yes that there is always hope and shared with him the time line and things to do to rebuild his credit. At this point he had tears in his eyes. He started to tell me that he had to file bankruptcy due to medical bills for his son. His son had to have an emergency surgery to save his life, but being that it was in an out of network hospital the cost were great. I told him that I thought he was a good father and said that I would pray for him. At this point he was definitely in tears. I told him how in times of trouble we may not be able to control our circumstances but we can control our outlook. I shared my heart and he started to smile. I joked saying see the day is already looking better. By this time our drinks were ready so we would part ways. He grabbed me and gave me a big hug, said thank you and walked away smiling. About that time one of my friends showed up. My friends and I talked for a while which was just what I needed. They always have a way of making me smile.

I had to run to FedEx to fax something and as I sat down to the computer to look up something this lady sat down at the computer next to me and asked me if I do Christmas cards and I said usually I do but haven’t this year. She looked really sad and worried. She started telling me that she had to postpone her surgery until January. I told her that I was sorry she was going to have to have surgery. I asked her if she didn’t mind if she could share what she had to have surgery for and she said to get a cancerous lump out of her breast. I told her that I was sorry and how scary of a time this must be for her but I believe that she is going to be ok. I asked her name and asked if I could add her to my prayer list. Without hesitation she said yes please do and I said done. She asked me what church I went to and what affiliation I was so I told her and she smiled. She then asked me to look at her Christmas card that she designed and asked me if it looked good, so I did. I told her it was prefect. I saw she had grandbabies so I shared with her that 6 months ago my daughter Shannon had my first grandchild, my grandson David. We talked about our families and we both smiled at the thought of them. Her eyes started to fill with tears and I told her to look at me and she did. I grabbed her hand and looked her right in the eyes and told her I know it is hard but don’t let worry get the best of her and that I knew that she would make it through this healthy!! I told her that it sounds like they caught it early and that I just knew everything was going to be ok. I shared with her my Breast Cancer scares and told her that she is not alone. I than took out my business card and handed it to her. I told her that I wasn’t trying to sell her anything but I wanted her to be able to have someone to talk to if she needed to. At this point she was really crying and reached in her purse and handed me her card as well. She asked me if my email was on my card so she could send me her Christmas card. I told her it was. At this point she was done with what she had to do and got up to leave. She took a couple steps away as she was wishing me well and turned back around came over grabbed me and gave me one of the biggest hugs I have ever had. She said thank you and I told to remember that she is not alone and that there is always hope.

Everyone in this world needs hope and someone to care. It doesn’t cost anything but time to listen to someone. If you ask me it is time well spent. It seems like everywhere I turn I run into people desperate for hope. People everywhere are feeling alone. Trust me I know life can get very busy and overwhelming. But what I am seeing is hope is contagious. All it takes is just a little faith and maybe for someone just to care and listen. If you are going through a difficult time right now I want you to know that there is hope and that everything will be ok. I want to encourage you to reach out to someone, give a listening ear and give them a gift of hope. As I said it doesn’t cost anything but maybe a smile.

I am so grateful that God is my reason to have hope because I know that He has promised me that He will never leave us or forsake us. Because of the love He has for us and for the cross we all can have hope. So my prayer is that if you don’t know God as your personal Savior then please seek Him and trust me He will meet you where you are. Your life doesn’t have to be prefect, you don’t have to have everything figured out, and guess what you are never far too gone for His love. He loves you for who you are and desires to have a relationship with you. He will be there for you no matter what and can turn our ashes into something so beautiful and all you have to do is put your trust in Him. With God nothing is impossible and He is and always will be our hope.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Prejudice


I know what I am about to say will stir emotions and I’m sure there may be harsh words said back. However, I feel the need to somehow bridge a gap of understanding. The topic is on prejudice and hate crimes because of it. Please don’t get me wrong when I say this because I do not mean any disrespect of any kind. Being white I will never fully understand completely what Blacks face. Growing up I came face to face with what prejudice looks like being one of the few white kids in my neighborhood. I was teased, beat and harsh words were said to me because of the color of my skin. I am not playing victim just saying what it was like for me. I was taught to love and respect everyone regardless of race and religion. That respect was not given back by many. I grew to fear black men because of how I was treated. Over the years I have had a chance to meet black men who don’t hate and live a life of love. Their love for others replaced my fear with love for them. I have tried to teach my children that it is not the color of a person’s skin that is important but it is the character that they live by. I have made a point to live a life free from prejudice and hate. Those things are taught and we are not born with those thoughts and actions. My kids don’t see the difference in color and that makes me proud.
I have seen so many horrific acts of violence against the Blacks and this breaks my heart. Please forgive me for not speaking out on the matter and taking a stand against it. The issue is that as a white person how do you do that without coming across sounding racist, insensitive or that I know what it is like? I don’t agree with the hardships that the Blacks face and the acts of violence against them. My heart breaks and angers because of those things. There is an invisible line in the sand that separates the blacks from the whites and for the White people to take a stand without fear of coming across as being a racist. How do you cross that line and offer love and support against racism regardless where it comes from? Don’t get me wrong there are whites that are racist but I am not. Here is where the truth lies there is racism towards other races regardless the color of the skin.
Writing this I am not giving justice to where my heart is. I don’t want there to be a separation and won’t stand for hatred no matter where it comes from. I do not support it nor will I ever. I know I will never completely understand because the fact that I can’t; I don’t come from the same culture, but I know I can try. With that said I have face racism towards myself and my family. I don’t want any person to have to deal with any form of prejudice ever. If I offended someone I am sorry that was not my intent. This world needs all cultures to come together in love and understanding. Please help me fill in the gap. That gap starts with me taking a stand against racism not only for myself but for my family by teaching my children to love not hate.
Everyday especially lately I see some sort of racial comments going back and forth between the Blacks and Whites. This sickens me. Why do we continue to hate and why do we want to put blame on others. This has been going on way too long and needs to stop. I don’t want my children to face the same hatred that was shown to me and don’t want them to harbor any hate in their own hearts. My youngest and I were watching Hair Spray last night and she came to me in tears. I asked her why she was crying and she said that it was sad how people were treating each other and that she was glad that she wasn’t born then. I asked her why and she said because the black and white people didn’t get along back then and that she is happy because she can be friends with kids that are black. She then asked “mom why did people make a big deal about people being different colors, aren’t we all people?” From the mouth of my daughter Sarah “Aren’t we all people?” I told her that people didn’t understand that back then and some people still don’t understand that there is no difference today. I told her that racism is a choice and that I was proud of her for not having hate in her heart. She then asked me “why do people choose hate mom, why can’t everyone love one another because of who they are and not because of what they look like.” Let me ask the same question to everyone who chooses hate over love, why?
Parents please teach your children to love and not hate. For those who harbor hate stop it. You are not better than someone else because the color of your skin. Take pride in your heritage and respect others and theirs. This is not an issue between Black and White, this is an issue of hatred towards another person because of choice. It is time to come together in love and embrace the differences and thank one another for bringing a different culture and perspective to the world.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Goliath

It is amazing the things you do to protect the ones you love.  I remember the year 2000 my younger brother Matthew and I decided to go dancing to bring in the New Year.  I don’t remember the name of the place I just know it had several levels and had a 70’s theme or something like that.  Anyway, we started dancing and this woman comes up and starts hanging all over my brother and flirting with him.  I notice that she kept looking in the direction of this really built guy.  He was huge. He had to be over 6ft with muscles coming out of his muscles.  Let’s just say he was very intimidating.  Well this woman obviously was trying to make him jealous.  She preceded to try to kiss my brother. My brother of course seeing what she was trying to do kept trying to push her away.  Needless to say she succeeded and before you know it this man starts charging Matthew.  He grabs my brother’s shirt and without a thought I go running up to this guy.  As I was running I jumped up leading with my elbow and hit this man across the face with my elbow and then I jump on his back hitting him and yelling for him to leave my brother alone.  At this point he starts saying “ok ok ok I will leave him alone.”  The security guards come over and pull me off this man’s back.  One of them pulls me aside and asked “didn’t you see the size of that man, he could have crushed you?”  Then the other security guard said that he didn’t even want to have to comfort him.  I quickly said that he was going to hurt my brother.  The big muscle guy’s girlfriend runs up to him and starts to take care of him, I think I might have broken his nose. The couple walk off and the big guy says “sorry I didn’t know he was your brother.”  I was proud of myself thinking that I saved my brother and that he would be happy that I did, but I was wrong.  Matthew said to me “how could you do that you’re my sister and I don’t need my sister fighting for my fights.” I guess I embarrassed him so he had to prove a point and meet up this man later and beat him up.  I kinda felt sorry for this guy, I mean it was his girlfriend who was starting all problems. Despite my brother was upset with me I learned something about myself that night and that was when it comes down to defending someone I love I would do it regardless of the obstacle.  I call this my David and Goliath story.  

My younger brother is no longer with us. In August it will be 4yrs since he passed away. As August is approaching Matthew has been on my mind a lot.  He was a fighter and fought for those who couldn’t help themselves.   In honor of my brother I want to pass it forward for the month of August.  August 18th would have been his 38th birthday, so my gift to him I will stand strong for what I believe and take on my fears and take on my Goliath.  I have been going through the motions lately and over the weekend I decided to start living more boldly and take chances, get out of my comfort zone, and make changes.  I challenge you to do the same thing.  What has been holding you back?  What are your fears? What do you need to change?  I have realized that life is too short and I want to live a life that makes a difference for others.  I want to be a light to those who don’t know Christ as their personal Savior.  I want to encourage others and let them know that they are not alone.  It only takes one pebble thrown in a pond to make endless ripples.  I want to be that pebble and you can too.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chase


On my way to take the kids to school I saw a plastic bag blowing across street. This bag would turn right, left, go up and down.  It looked as if it was alive with its movements.  As I was at the stop light watching this bag it occurred to me that at times I am like that bag blowing in the wind.  There are times in life that I seem to be going through the motions and feel lifeless at times.  That bag certainly didn’t have life, it was an object.  An object given life like movement by the wind. However, this bag couldn’t determine which direction to go or to even stop, all it could do was go where the wind told it to. How many times in my life do I get stuck in a routine of just doing?  How many times do I let life events determine which direction I should go and how many times do I go through a day on flight mode without much thought.  There are days where I wonder where did the day go and what did I accomplish? 

Life is too short to just go where the wind blows you or to live a life that seems lifeless.  Yesterday we said goodbye to a young man who in his 15yrs decided to make his own path, to take chances, never say I can’t, and most of all made such an impact in so many lives because he wanted to live life to the fullest despite what the world called a handicap.  Chase was a young man full of life not just an imitation of it.  Chase was in a wheel chair, but not confined to it.  During his memorial service so many people shared about his I can do it attitude.  This hit my heart hard.  As I was seeing pictures of him living life to the fullest with the biggest smile on his face something clicked or should I say inspired me. There are so many things in my life that I have put off for a number of reason, but the biggest reason is fear.  Chase seemed to have no fear or if he did he was able to put it aside and make it a catalyst to say he could. 

On the back of the program was a poem that Chase wrote that shared his heart about being in a wheelchair.  He was concerned about how other saw him and shared how it hurt when others saw him different or mistreated because of it.  He wanted to help others so that they didn’t feel left out or different.  He believed in himself and others.  My favorite sentence in his poem was “I am strong and I have pride about being in a wheelchair.”  Here I am struggling with many things that has hindered me for years and some of them for the majority of my life and I have let those thing define me and not me define those things.  I need to be more like Chase and say I take pride in what life has given me and I can do it despite what others tell me. 

As I said earlier fear has been a hindrance in my life. I have fear what others think, what I think about myself, about failure, success, and my physical limitations and so on.  All these things have stopped me from taking a chance.  I don’t want to be like that lifeless bag being tossed to and fro in the wind.  I want to live an “I can” attitude like Chase, make my own path and make more of a difference. 

I had the privilege to meet Chase at a youth camp called Falls Creek.  Every year for about 8yrs I have been to this camp with our youth group from church.  I met Chase last summer at this camp. When I first saw him he was playing around with the other youth bugging them.   He wanted to make sure he was center of attention.  As the day went on he singled out my husband Joe and got a kick out of running over his toes with his wheelchair.  My husband kept on saying stop and finally said you do that one more time I’m tacking you.  Chase of course took this as a personal challenge and ran over his toes right there and Joe tackled him to the ground.  You should have seen Chases’ eyes as Joe kept his promise.  Both of them went down to the ground laughing.  Of course everyone in the room including me couldn’t believe what just happened.  However, this was a beginning of a bond the two of them would have.  As they were on the ground they continue to wrestle a bit and laugh.  After that point they were buds and Chase knew that Joe wasn’t going to be treated any different than anyone else.

Every evening about 6,000 teens would meet for evening services that are full of praise and to hear a message about a loving God.  At the end of the evening services the teens had a chance to come up to the front to learn more about God, to renew their walk or to accept Him as their personal Savior.  The first night Chase at full speed ran down to the front. He did this again the second night and third night. Every evening as we would meet as our individual church in our cabins Chase was excited to share his decision to renew his walk with Christ.  I personally think by the third night it was so much more. I saw this young man change.  When I first met him he a little angry with life and others, but by the third night I saw peace in his heart and saw a smile of true happiness.  I believe he finally understood just how much God loved him.  The rest of the week I saw him reach out to the other students and not just to bug them but to show them love.  I have been to Falls Creek many times but had never witnessed such a heart changed as Chase’s.

Chase was looking forward to going back to Falls Creek this year so he could continue to give back.  I know that my heart and life has been forever changed by knowing Chase.  I will start living in more of a spirit of “I can” and face my fears.  Thank you Chase for caring, loving and living life to its fullest.  I know that your life truly touch so many lives and has made and will continue to make a difference.  In honor of Chase I cannot sit back and not share what I believe he would want everyone to know that that is there is a God who loves you for who you are, who can and will give you strength to do the impossible, who will never leave you or forsake you and to let you know that you are not alone and that there is hope.  I pray that if you do not know God as your personal Savior then seek Him and you will find him.  Know that He loved you so much that he died on the cross for your sins so you can be with him for all time and eternity.  If you have any question regarding this I want you to know I am here to try to answer any of them.  In this life we will have trouble but know that God has overcome the world and can help you face anything that comes your way.  I know that Chase knew this and his life certainly was proof of it.

#thatissochase

 

 

 

 

Friday, May 9, 2014

A New Chapter


Sorry I haven’t written in a while but the last couple of weeks have been a trail of perseverance and faith.  Two weeks ago I had to go to the ER and the following day I had to have minor surgery. The last few days I have been in the ER three times with my youngest daughter for serve pain.  I just started working with a new company and couldn’t be happier for the switch, but with everything going on it has been hard getting my footing.  I know I should be in bed but my mind is racing.  Tonight was my son’s choir award banquet.  As I was watching my son and the other students get there letters and awards memories flooded my mind.  Many years have gone by with my children growing up, so many activities, award banquets, graduations…. I have a daughter that graduated college and is married, another one who graduated high school, is married and expecting our first grandbaby next month. Another daughter who also graduated and is busy working and finding her way. My one and only son J.J. will be a junior next year and Sydney will be in 7th and Sarah will be in 4th. Wow, where does the time go?  They grow up way to fast.  I am so proud of all my children and for the people they are growing up to be.  I have been very blessed as a mother to have the children I do.  They have been through so much in life, but they have prospered through everything that has been thrown their way.

Here I am after being a stay home mom venturing out to make something of myself in the real estate business.  I haven’t had a chance to get going as much as I wanted too, but family has and always will come first.  As I said I am working for a new company “Your Castle Real Estate” and I am excited for this new adventure.  I couldn’t be more grateful to those whohelped get me started at Metroplex Realtors. Today was exciting and a little intimidating.  Today was my first companywide meeting andthere were about 250 other agents there. The last place I worked had just a handful of wonderful people.  As I walked in and set down the excitement grew.  I felt part of a large community all with the same goal which is to help those who want to sell their house and those who want to buy.  Everyone I have met from the president on down have been so nice and helpful.  This company truly cares about their clients and me a as a realtor.  There is still so much I have to learn, but I am glad I am in a company that gives so much support.

I want to be able to make my children proud and to be able to help give them their hearts desires, like going to college, starting their own business, traveling, and help pay for their mission trips. As I look back on my life I can see how far I have come and can see so many things I have overcome.  I shouldn’t be here today and I certainly shouldn’t be able to do the things I can after the accidents.  Even though I live in pain on a daily basis, I can move, I can walk, and I have breath.  I will take the little things as blessings and keep moving forward.

I was talking with a friend a few days ago and she wanted to hear my story.  We set and talk for a couple of hours as I told her all I can. With tears in her eyes she asked me why? I didn’t understand the question, so I asked her what she meant.  She said “why didn’t you give up?” All I could say was “why not keep on living?” I will be honest there were times I wanted to give up, but I couldn’t.  All I could do was keeping on living day by day, moment by moment.  She asked a number of other questions like how did I do it and if I could would I change anything.  The answer to how was simple.  I told her it was because God was there for me every step of the way. As far as the question “if I could change anything would I?” I told her no I wouldn’t change anything, because everything I have been through has made me the person I am today and without everything I have gone through I wouldn’t knowof a God that loves me and have the relationship with Him as I do.  At this point she is crying hard and I shared how God loves her too.  She is a believer but struggles with the idea that she is worth it. We sat there talking for a while and then I prayed with her.  The funny thing is I met her because she was interested in me helping her find a home to buy.

It is funny how God orchestrates encounters like that. I am thankful that I was able to share my heart and life with her.  To have that conversation alone was worth all the heart ache I have been through.  The things we go through in life shape the person we become.  I could have very well given up, became bitter or could have lived a life of regret.  Instead I want to embrace the hurts and the trials I have gone through and continue to go through so I can be a greater testimony of a God that is alive and who loves us so.  In this life we have choices and I choose to live and find joy in life’s heartaches in order to help others in their time of need.

Journey to Motherhood


Twenty three years ago I looked down and held my first child for the first time.  When I was little I wanted to grow up to be a mom.  I would pretend that my cats were my children. Of course they didn’t like the idea much. My mom ran a daycare from the home and had become a second mom to so many children.  You would think after having all these kids come and go from our home that I would change my mind, but no.  I enjoyed practicing changing diapers, feeding and playing with the younger kids. I  Right after high school I married my high school sweet heart.  I thought that this was going to be my happily ever after.  We would get married, have kids and the prefect home, marriage and life. We hadn’t been married long before we wanted children.  Here I was 18yrs old just married for 8months thinking I was ready to have a baby.  I was going to school full time and working full time. My husband was also going to school full time and working part time, but we were young and thought we could do anything because we were in love.  I ended up getting pregnant and I couldn’t have been happier and couldn’t wait to tell my husband at the time.  I pictured our child helping his daddy fixing the car and how I was going to be the prefect mom with the prefect family.  I had no idea what being a mom really meant. 

My husband came home and I told him that I was pregnant. I thought he would be so excited being that he was the one who came to me and said he wanted to start a family.   However, when I told him he didn’t respond the way I thought.  I pictured me telling him that we were going to have a baby and that he would be so happy that he would embrace me and we would celebrate with joy.  That isn’t what happened.  I told him and he was angry.  He pushed me down and said that if I wanted to stay married I would have to have an abortion. It was an abortion or a divorce.  When I heard those words I was heartbroken.  I couldn’t imagine my life without him.  He was everything to me but I knew that I couldn’t get an abortion either.  At that moment my life fell apart and I could barely breathe.  With each beat off my heart it felt as if it was being ripped out.  I cried and begged him and tried to remind him just how much I loved him.  He told me again that it was an abortion or a divorce.  I told him that I couldn’t kill our baby and he said well than that’s it, it’s over.

I had to move back in my parents’ house.  I tried to continue with my life by going to school and working but I became really sick with the pregnancy and had to drop out of school and quit my job.  It was if my life was over.  One night as I was sitting alone in my room the grief had become too much and I planned to take my life.  Just as I went to go through with it I cried to God for help and I felt my baby kick for the first time.  God had sent me an angel in the form of a little baby girl to save my life.  At that moment I had hope again and knew that I had to fight for her, my little Stephanie.  I had a new purpose and that was to be the best mother I could be to her.

The day had come when I would meet my precious little girl.  After a long complicated labor they placed her on my chest.  I was too weak to hold her.  At that moment I felt love like I never had felt before and a fear of not going to be able to be a good mom to her set in.  I was of afraid of making a mistake and I thought how could I give her the life she deserves without a dad in it?

When I finally was able to hold her I looked at her tiny little face, hands and feet.  I’m a mom I thought to myself, I’m a mom.  The more I looked at her and held her in my arms my courage and determination grew.  I didn’t care what I had to do but I was going to give her the best life that I could.  Life hasn’t been easy but I am so grateful that I choose to give her life and to become a mother. 

I have six kids now and with each of them my heart grew.  When I met my husband now and we had Shannon I wasn’t sure if I could love another baby as much as I did Stephanie but when Shannon was born, again my heart grew. I fell in love with that little girl and understood love even more.  With the birth of each of my children my love grew and my mission in life became even clearer.  As a mother I have made many mistakes and have got a lot of things right.  Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs there is.  Kids don’t come with instruction manuals but I do know that they need to be handled with care.  Even though life has been hard and I wish I could have and could give my children more I am so thankful for being a mom.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Being a mom has made me understand what love is, has taught me to pray with all my heart, has caused me to hurt like I never thought I could, and has given me a reason to enjoy life. 

This Mother’s Day I want to thank my children for giving me the title of “Mom.”  I want you to know that I love each and every one of you with all my heart.  I am proud of each of you and pray for you every day.  I hurt when you hurt, cry when you cry, celebrate when you celebrate, and smile just at the thought of you.   

I love you Stephanie, Shannon, Samantha, J.J., Sydney, and Sarah!

With all my love,

Your Mother, Trish Iiams

Sunday, April 20, 2014

More Easter Thoughts:


This Easter has been different. Normally we have everyone who wants to come over and who doesn’t have anywhere else to go come to our house for Easter supper. It seems as there has been a shift in our house. There has been so many changes over the last year with the dynamites in this house with yet another one of our kids moving out. Our oldest daughter Stephanie hasn’t be...en home for Easter for awhile now and our daughter Shannon is celebrating Easter on her own as a married woman. As I was gathering the goodies to put in the Easter baskets it was a little sad for me. I am down to four from six baskets to fill. I know that children are meant to grow up and leave the home to make a life of their own, but that doesn’t make it easy. All my kids came to church with me this morning except for my daughter Stephanie who lives in MO. I am sure she would have been there too if she could have come. As I sat there listening to the Easter message of hope I glanced down the row with pride. My heart was filled with joy to know that as a mom along with my husband had taught our children about God. They know the true meaning of Easter. I found comfort knowing that because each of them have accepted Christ as their personal Savior I know that they truly belong to God and that no matter where they are He is with them as well. Last night I was up filling the baskets with little trinkets of goodies and small gifts. I always love seeing my children's faces when they dig through them in the morning. However, the joy they have on their faces as they look through the special little gifts is nothing like their faces were when the received the ultimate gift of God’s love. Next week is Baptism Sunday and our youngest wants to get baptized. At the age of six she was baptized on her birthday as a gift to God, but she wants to get baptized now because she understands so much more than she did. We will honor her wish and we look forward to seeing her proclaim her love for Christ to everyone who is there.

It is amazing where my mind goes when it is quite, which at my house there is only quite at night when everyone is asleep. All the kids are with my parents. They wanted to take them to the movies. Our house is usually full of at least 30 people or so on Easter. We have had people stay until all hours of the night. A big part of me misses this house being so full of friends, family, laughter and tears to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, but this year I needed a break. We went to church and met my parents for lunch. My dad was having a hard time as he showed me a picture of me and my older brother Michael at my daughter Shannon’s wedding. When he showed it to me he said that this picture always makes him sad and then he asked me who was missing. I said Matthew my younger brother and my dad’s eyes filled with tears. Since he passed away almost 4yrs ago it is still fresh in all of our hearts. Holidays are never the same when you lose someone you love. Sitting here I remember Matthew was the one who would cut the ham and taste test it, wrestle around with the kids and who found the most interesting places to hide the eggs. One year we had one shoot out of our tail pipe of our van and about a month after one Easter we were smelling something stinky and we looked everywhere only to find a rotten egg hidden deep in the sofa. I sure do miss him, but he is celebrating yet another Easter with the one in whom we all celebrate the reason behind Easter in person.

It’s true I have had a hard time getting into the spirit of Easter. I have been sad that my kids are growing up and leaving the house and I have been consumed with money and having enough of it to give my kids Easter gifts. Easter isn’t about the Easter bunny, fancy dresses or Easter traditions. Easter is about love, family, friends, and most of all HOPE! We all have hope because the fact that Christ died and rose again!! Did you here that He rose again!!! He lives, yes Jesus lives!! I may have not opened our home to those who had nowhere to celebrate Easter this year, but I still want to tell others about HOPE and about a Savior that loves them. I am sorry to those who should have been here to celebrate with us, but my heart was heavy this year and I forgot about why we celebrate it to begin with. Take time today and remember that Jesus loved and loves you so much that He died on the cross so we can be forgiven for our sins. Remember that if you put you trust in Him and accept the free gift of eternal life we will be with Him always. Remember the HOPE that is ours to take because He rose again three days after He sacrificed His life for ours so we can be with Him always!! I am sorry I let this world get to me to the point of cancelling Easter here at our home, but I am here blessed still knowing that God loves me. He loves you too!! He cares for you!! And you are not alone!! I pray that you have a blessed Easter Sunday knowing these things.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Temper Tantrum

 
I haven’t written anything in a while.  I have been sorting out so many things in my life and trying to make sense of a lot of it.  I have been going through a very fast and trying time in my life.  I have faced many trials in such a short time.  Life keeps throwing me so many curve balls that I haven’t been able to keep up.   This morning Sarah who is my youngest and is nine had a rough morning.  There has been an illness running through my home and my daughter Sydney was sick through the night and woke up with a fever.  J.J. my one and only son was sick last week and through the weekend had a late start today so I let everyone sleep in.  I was very tired after spending a long night taking care of Sydney.  I decided to take Sarah to school after I took J.J. to school, so she would be late.  This didn’t sit well with Sarah. She thought that it was unfair that she had to go to school when Sydney didn’t.  I explained that Sydney is sick and has a fever. Sarah stated that she didn’t feel good either.  I checked and she didn’t have a temp so I told her that she had to go to school and that she couldn’t miss any more school.  She has had a rough year with getting sick and has been having heart issues.  She completely lost it and started yelling and screaming about how unfair I was and that she hated me and everyone else in the house, especially me.  She said that she hated it here and that she wanted to live somewhere else. She keep saying she wanted a new home.  Nothing I said calmed her down so I got up and opened to door and told her to go. I told if she really doesn’t like it here than go ahead and find a new home.  I felt so small as I held that door and said those words.  Of course she didn’t go, she just told me to shut up.  I then told her to stand in the corner and again she told me to shut up. I walked over and gave her a swat on the butt and told her that she could not talk to me like that.  I told her to get her shoes on and that we needed to take J.J. to school. Screaming and crying she got her shoes on.  I sat on the coach and prayed for wisdom and that she would calm down.  I was getting upset and I didn’t want to say something to her I would regret.  A few minutes passed and she stop screaming and crying.  I told her to come over and talk about what just happened.  She came over I opened my arms and she gave me a hug and said that she was sorry.  I told her that I love her and that this would always be her home.  I explained why she had to go to school and that she missed too much school already.  I told her that I was trying to do what I thought was best for her and I was not trying to mean.  We sat on the couch with me holding her for a few more minutes until it was time to go.  When my mom used to say “this hurts me more than it hurts you” I thought yeah right, but being a mom I now understand that it does hurt.  I don’t like seeing my kids hurt or upset in any way.  However, as a parent doing the right thing sometimes hurts their feelings and they don’t get their way all the time.  When I saw her so upset this morning and when I had to give her a spanking it hurt my heart.   As I was sitting here processing this morning I was reminded how it must hurt God’s heart to have to correct us, to watch us become upset, and to hear the hurtful things that come out of our mouths towards him and others.  This hit me hard.  God’s love abounds greatly for us.  He truly loves us and wants what is best for us.  We may not like it but when all is said and done His way is always the best.  In Jeremiah 29:11 He says that He has plans for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us.  As a parent we do the same for our kids.  They may not see us sending them to school when they don’t want to go as something good, but we know that their education is important.  We see a bigger picture. If I have to be honest I would have to say when my daughter told me that she hates me this morning, I have told God the same thing.  I told Him this when my brother died almost 4yrs ago.  Since then I have told Him that I was angry at Him.  After telling Him those things what do you think He did?  He opened His arms and said that He loved me any way.  I will never be the prefect parent but I am so glad that we have a Heavenly Father who is.
“Dear Father, help me be a better parent and to love my children with a heart like yours.  I thank you for loving me even when at times I don’t deserve it, make bad choices and say hurtful things. Please help me understand the deepest of Your love more in my everyday life.  Thank you for all You do for me and for knowing what is best.”

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Are you a Looky Loo?



I just finished watching two videos. One was about a young man texting and driving that hit three women and them struggling to live.  I don’t know what happened to them or the young man who hit them.  The other video was of a young man making quilts for preemies to pay it pay it forward. He was a preemie himself.  This young man also lost his mother to cancer years later. My heart broke watching these videos.  Such loss and on the other hand hope.  These videos made me start thinking about how fragile life is.  Over the past week I have read many post of those who lost loved ones.  I too know all too well how it feels to lose someone you love.  It doesn’t matter how old they were or how they died, it hurts.   Life is never the same is it? 

The difference is what we do after we lose someone we love. I believe in passing it forward, living a life that our loved ones would be proud of.  Nothing we can do to bring them back, but what a wonderful way to keep their memory alive by making a difference in someone else’s life. We only get one chance in this life so why not live in a way that would make a difference?  Life is hard and people are hurting.  I know that I am guilty of getting so caught up in my own troubles that I sometimes don’t even think of others.  Life is too short to just live and just get by.  I would rather make life better for someone else.  I know there have been many of times where someone stepped out of their own life to be there for me.

We were not meant to go through this life alone or to keep to ourselves.  If everyone would just step out of their comfort zone and maybe notice someone else just think how better life would be. While watching the video of the three young ladies who were hit the driver texting broke my heart.  People were standing around watching and many of them took out their cell phones and were taking pictures. The emergency workers had to walk around them to try to help these young women.  There was even one lady who walked up to one of the young ladies to take a close up picture of her face.  How dare her!! There were a few who stepped up and helped.  One man held the oxygen on one of the lady’s face, another gently stroked another one of them trying to keep her calm as she came to.  Most of them however treated like it was a photo shoot.  That made me sick.  How sad that there can be people who find joy in someone else’s pain.

It did make me happy that there were some who stepped out of themselves and helped.  I would like to believe I would have done something to help, even if was it was to keep the looky loos away. If we don’t stand up for those who need it than who will?  Sorry I don’t mean to get on my high horse, but I am tired of people just standing by.  Life is not just about ourselves, but about making a difference in someone else’s life.  Don’t get me wrong there or times where we can’t do anything to help and need to stay out of the way.  Even in those moments we can have respect for those hurting.

On the other hand I was touched watching the video of a young man who suffered much loss by losing his mother at such a young age who wanted to help others.  He wanted to give back.  He was given a quilt when he was released from the hospital after being in one for 4months fighting for his life after being born at 22wks.  He made quilts for other preemies to comfort them and their families.  How better equiped are we to give comfort or support to someone else when we have lived through the same thing they are going through?  

My point through all of this is to encourage you to make a difference.  Step out of your own world and give someone the gift of hope, comfort and love.  Remember God comforted us so we can comfort others.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Man of Influence


 
A man of influence is what I want to be.

What is it others see in me?

I am a Father, a son, a co-worker, a husband.

Dear God how can I follow your commands?

I have so many roles to play.

I try to listen to You and obey.

I ask myself, who am I?

It seems like no matter how hard I try,

I just get by.

What kind of influence do I want to be?

Is it one that glorifies God or me?

God let me know how I should act.

Let me make a difference and a positive impact.

I have so many things to do.

Am I truly living for You?

I am pulled in so many directions.

Dear God I need your protection.

What is it You want me to do?

I know that I want to live my life for You.

I get so busy trying to get all these worldly things done,

I forget where I come from.

I am a son of God and of royal birth.

I have a purpose here on earth.

Please God show me what you want be to be, so I can truly live.

I have so much to give.

Make me a man, who can stand strong,

So others know that in your love they belong.

Give me the words You want me to say, so that they too will listen to You and obey.

God show me what to do, so others will get to know you.

Let others see the Jesus in me so that they can also believe.

God I want to live for You.

I want others to know that my intensions are true.

Lead me and guide me in all I do.

God with Your help a man of influence is what I will be.

 And yes others will see the Jesus in me.

 

 By: Trish Iiams

 

 As iron sharpens iron,

So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17


   I look at my son and I try to picture what he will be like when he becomes a man.  What kind of a husband and father will he be?  As a mother I can only show him so much. I can’t help but smile when I watch my sons’ eyes as he sees his father fix something around the house, works on the cars, or when they get ready to do something together as father and son.  My son’s eyes light up and a smile comes to his face when my husband say to him “come on son you can help me.’  My son is full of pride and accomplishment when he comes running in the house to tell me what they had done.  As my husband strives to be closer to God I see how much it affects our home.  Not only does my son try to follow in his fathers footsteps, but I see our girls wanting to do the same. My heart over flows with joy to see our family together as my husband leads the family in prayer and bible study.

     I can remember a time when my husband was not following God.  It was all about him and what the world had to offer him.  Our family was in ruins.  I had lost hope for our marriage and our family.  I prayed and prayed for God to change him and to give me strength to stay married to him.  Let’s just say God is faithful.  God never gave up on him or our family.  God worked on my husband’s heart and one day he broke and gave everything to God.  Over a process of time he has become a man that I am proud to be married to.  He has turned his life around.  Our marriage and family are now stronger because of it.

     Not only are men responsible for showing Christ to their family, but to other men as well.  My husband is part of a Men’s accountability group where the men keep one another accountable, gives one another support, and study the Bible together.  It is always comforting to know that my husband can turn to another brother to help support him and to give him direction when he makes a wrong choice.  They are there to praise one another for a job well done, grieve, and help one another up when they fall.

I have been honored to see these men come together and watch them grow into men of God.  To see families grow closer as these men’s relationship with God grow.

 
"Dear God my prayer is for men, fathers, husbands, sons, and brothers everywhere will grow to be more like You.  Please let them know who they are in You and to be an example to their families, friends, and other men.  Show them they are loved and keep them strong.  Guide them and show them their purpose."

A Woman of Influence

 
A woman of influence is what I want to be.

What is it others see in me?

I am a mother, a daughter, a co-worker, a wife.

How is it I should live my life?

I have so many roles to play.

I try to listen to God and obey.

I ask myself, who am I?

It seems like no matter how hard I try,

I just get by.

What kind of influence do I want to be?

Is it one that glorifies God or me?

God let me know how I should act.

Let me make a difference and a positive impact.

I have so many things to do.

Am I truly living for you?

I am pulled in so many directions.

Dear God I need your protection.

What is it You want me to do?

I know that I want to live my life for You.

I get so busy trying to get all these worldly things done,

I forget where I come from.

I am a daughter of God and of royal birth.

I have a purpose here on this earth.

Please God show me what you want be to be, so I can truly live.

I have so much to give.

Make me a woman, who can stand strong,

So others know that in Your love they too belong.

Give me the words You want me to say, so that they too will listen to You and obey.

God show me what to do so others will get to know you.

Let others see the Jesus in me so that they can to believe.

God I want to live for You.

I want others to know that my intensions are true.

Lead me and guide me in all I do.

God with Your help a woman of influence is what I will be.

 And yes others will see the Jesus in me.

 

 By: Trish Iiams

 

    As a mother I pray that I will be able to teach my children and to show them the right things.  I try to imagine what my girls will be like when they grow up.  What kind of women, wives, and mothers will they be? What kind of impression will I leave on them?  Will I show them Gods love?  What kind of a man will my girls marry?  I believe the most important thing I can do for my children and family is to work on my personal relationship with God.  The closer and stronger my relationship with God is will reflect on my relationship with them.  I want to able to show my girls how to stay strong in Christ, to be loving and respectful to their husbands.  I want to show them how to be a woman of integrity, to be humble in adversity, and how to be loving and kind to others.  I can’t do this by myself.  I need God to show me how.  I am fortunate to have other women in my life that can help me, show me, and to direct me in the right things to do. 
     Not only is it my responsibility to show my children the love of God but I need to show other women as well.  I have been in many women bibles studies, mom groups, and a women’s accountability group.  Every time we met I had to face those ladies and come face to face with choices that I had made and decision I made.  The ladies offered me support and were there to praise me when I have done right by God. They were also there to correct, support, and lead me when I struggled.  By us being there for one another we grew closer in our walk with God.
     God has put different people through out my life where I had to support, be an example to, and lift up.  I have been through many trails in my life and by using the lessons I have learned I have been able to help them when they have faced a similar circumstance. 
 When my children are grown I pray that I have been a positive and loving influence.  I pray that I have been a woman of influence that has shown the love of God to others.  I pray that I have lived a life so that others can see God in me.  When my time here on earth is over I hope that that I was a woman of positive influence.  A woman that everyone I met knew I loved God.  Until the day I meet God I will strive to be a woman of Godly influence that is an example to others especially my children.
“My Dear Father in heaven I pray that when others see me they will see a woman that stands and lives for You.  I pray that my life will point others to You.  I pray that I will be the kind of mother that will show my children love, honor, and a testimony of Your love.  I struggle with this and I pray that you give me whatever it takes to live for you and to be a Godly example to my children and all I meet.
 
 



 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

For the Good of Those Who Love Him


I am sorry that I haven’t written anything in a few days, but I have been facing a personal trail and I have been distracted with trying to figure things out.  I had a very hard decision to make and it hurt a lot to make it.  I had to sacrifice what I wanted for what was right.  My heart is sad but I have peace.  While I was going through the heart of this trial I felt distance from God not because He left but I shut Him out. I knew in my heart what was right, but I wanted to be in control.  I was focused on me and not the truth.  He never left my side, but was there gently loving me and whispering truth in my ears. Last night when I made the decision to do the right thing I was nervous about actually having to do it.  This morning when I put my faith in action and saw the result the scripture Romans 8:28 came to my mind, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

God has a purpose for me and as funny as it sounds needs me to carry out His plan.  Maybe needs is the wrong word but He chose me to His will.  He created me and made me who I am to make a difference.  He has given me the gifts I have and my heart to do a specific job to further His kingdom. The heart that He created was made to reach certain people. The things I have been through in my life good and bad made it so I can relate to those who have, are going through, or will be going through the various things I have.  Who better to understand than someone who has gone through the same things that they have.

In this life we will be faced with many choices and many of them will be difficult to make, but if we trust in God we can count on that we will make the best decision.  I do have to admit that there is a little mourning of the loss of what I wanted but I have joy knowing that I made the right decision.  Now that I have made the right choice I will have to stay focused so I don’t get distracted again.  I am thankful to know when push comes to shove I know that God is there with me know matter what and if I put my focus on Him I can face any trial and know that I will ultimately make the right decision.

“Dear Father, thank you for loving me and never leaving me even though I tried to walk away even for a little bit.  Help me stay strong and keep my focus on you and not the lies of the world.”

 

 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Missing My Brother


 
A few years ago my younger brother Matthew passed away and when he died I was so angry.  Out of my anger I turned off all music.  I’m not sure how long it was off, but I am thinking about a month or so.  I didn’t want to feel and to honest I really didn’t want to praise God at that moment.  It wasn’t until one morning I was driving my kids to school and they begged me to turn the radio on and to turn it to Klove. Reluctantly I turned it on.  The song Amazing Grace my Chains are Gone, by Chris Tomlin was playing.   This was the song that my kids and a friend of mine sang at Matthew’s funeral.  This hit me hard and of course the tears started flowing. My kids begged me to keep it on so I did.  Something happened to my heart when that song played.  It was softened and healing started to take place.  I felt God presence and His love overflow.  I dropped the kids off at school and on my drive home I turned the radio up and sang at the top of my lungs praising God.  It was hard to keep my hands on the wheel.  All I wanted to do was raise my hands up to God and praise Him with my all.  I don’t remember the other songs that played I just remember seeing a few people glance my way I guess to see what the crazy lady was doing, but I didn’t care.  The entire world faded away and before I knew it I was home.  I stayed in my van sitting in the driveway for who knows how long singing my heart out to God.  I finally went in the house and my heart was filled with peace and joy.  I hadn’t felt that for weeks. This August will be 4yrs since I lost my friend, my little brother. My heart is still sad because I miss him more than words can say, but I still have peace and joy in my heart.  I don’t think there will ever be a day where my heart will ever stop missing him and that I wish he was still here.  I don’t think anyone ever really gets over the loss of a loved one they just learn to live their life without them.  The tears have slowed but they are still there and at times seem brand new. For the rest of my life I will have a hole in my heart and will never be the same, but I am so thankful that I was blessed to have Matthew as my younger brother.  I will carry him in my heart and live my life in a way that would make him proud.  I know that he wouldn’t want me to dwell on his loss but live a life that would honor God.  He was one of the most giving person that I knew.  He truly cared for others more than himself.  He believed in always passing it forward and making everyone he met a little bit better off than they were before.  He changed lives for the better.  He is truly missed and always loved.