…was the best day!

These flowers made me smile ūüôā

In this not so “Wordless Wednesday” – I am facing surgery. As most of you read this I will be in the hospital and possibly still in surgery. I know that I am very blessed and loved, to spite the circumstances before me. It has been a rough road since my initial surgery in April – which discovered a carcinoid tumor and cells. As I was refered to doctors and then eventually facing the treatment ahead – a right hemicolectomy to remove part of my colon, any remaining cells and¬†lymph nodes – I have had a lot of time to think and pray. I have accepted my situation and I know I am not alone. ¬†I have some wonderful friends, family and my Beloved Steven .

Romans 8:26-28
26-28Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and thoughts and I will be home soon (I hope).

Also Shared on Miss Shari’s Storytime

Something sweet for your Friday. Have a great weekend!

The third week of Advent is upon us and the theme is Love. In A Family Advent by Thomas Nelson Publishing, we have followed through Hope and Peace and now “Love is what we need”.

It is because of the great heart of God that we celebrate the Advent season and Christmas. We are so grateful for the gift of our loving God and the sacrifice that was made for all mankind! Yes all. Advent and Christmastime are not meant to be exclusive holidays to just Christians – no the gift of the Saviour Jesus Christ was a gift to the world. And that is LOVE! Jesus was sent for all – all those who hurt, all those who are poor, all those who are struggling, all those who are shameful, all those who are righteous, all those who don’t believe – ALL. Christmas is about Christ the gift of a loving God concerned for his creation, his world, his children.

He came so long ago – humble and quiet and to the lowly shepherds the great angel hosts proclaimed the birth and in the simple stable the birth of the Saviour took place. His birth made headlines – at least in the Bible – and today we are still baffled by the mystery, the joy, the hope and the LOVE of the greatest gift.

May you be blessed this Advent and may the LOVE of God surround you!

~Shari~

My flowered card box is full...

For years, I have had this card box. It has fancy stationary in it, birthday cards, sympathy cards, note paper, thank you cards and even a few mass cards.  I have always wanted to challenge myself in the ways of writing. I was blessed with the gift of gab so writing a few lines here and there is still a challenge for me. Often times I fail to find the right words in stressful and sorrowful times.  This is one of those times.  

I hear the words¬†echoing¬†…And who knows but that you have come…for such a time as this? Esther 4:14¬†¬†

I have been called to the challenge of bringing hope and encouragement¬†to those around me? What. In such a¬† time as this? How? How can I? I am still feeling the effects of this past year without my job, the past summer has come and gone, I miss my beloved Steven dearly, fear has me¬†crippled as my father recovers from open heart surgery and today – as this rainy Sunday begins it is National Day of Encouragement¬†– I must begin the journey back to Scranton with my mother for the funeral services for my Uncle Bob, who recently passed. It is in this dark time that I must be the hope and encouragement to those around me…. for such a time as this.¬†¬†

Oh boy, I never expected this to be a challenge. As I received and read through the 2011 Hope and Encouragement Card Pack from (In)Courage, I found myself being prepared and made stronger for these events. I still have butterflies in my stomach, I still fail at the right words at the right times, but I still pray for the Father’s guidance. I need it, those around me need it…they need me to double-check myself because I surely do not own the right words to say.¬† I pray that God will give me the time and the place to share His grace and peace…in such times as this.¬†

... and filled to the brim, with hope, love, sorrow and peace.

I have already¬†begun to share my thanks and my prayers of hope and encouragement with those closest to me. Even in a time when I feel truly tested and stressed, I know that there is hope and peace. The pain comes and goes, the sorrow shows it’s face, I fall to my knees and weep and the Lord hears my cries. He always picks me up and I know that….¬†¬†

“…Jesus is closer than we ever realized and we’re loved more than we ever knew.”

No, I am not out of season, holiday or time. I know it is not Valentine’s Day – nor any other holiday – well besides July 4th. For many Americans this is an important holiday. And I am not still eating stale conversation hearts.

No I’m talking about a love story – there are many but this is no ordinary love story. It is special, it is never-ending, never-failing and true – sounds like 1 Corinthians 13. You would be very close in the nature of this – very close.

Think about love as it applies to you. Think about all of the times that you have heard the word love. Love, love, love, love, love….after hearing it so many times its just noise, words, sounds, lost meaning (and frankly trying to type it three or four times it was getting misspelled). Just like that love becomes just another four letter word.

What do you think about when you think about love? Do you see hearts and rose petals. Shades of red and pink. Heart shaped pillows and charm bracelets?  Do you think about long walks, long talks, meaningful content? Of is it all just fluff and celebration?

Love, however commercialized, is powerful, meaningful and deep. The lengths of love go much deeper than four letters and three words; I love you. 

When one is in love or feels love there are many more emotions that come along; vulnerability, fear, anger, pain, acceptance, joy, hope, peace, patience, comfort, rest, reassurance.  Ask anyone Рall anyone really ever wants is to be loved, appreciated, cherished, forgiven and accepted.     

When I think about love as a child it was so simple. You loved everyone, accepted everyone and were nice to everyone. Then as the world became clear you realized that things weren’t so simple – they were more than hard. They were more than complicated they were complex.¬†Intertwined, weaved into the very heart and soul love’s roots were deeply embedded. Why? I often ask myself that¬†question. Why? Is this really love that I am feeling? (I think that was a song by Whitesnake in like 1984).¬†

As a teenager, ‘love- like’ things crossed my paths and came and went. The tears flowed and went. The hormones came and went. The emotions eventually matured and true love’s meaning entered my being and clung to my chest, like a¬†clenched fist. Sounds scary?! Well,¬†its feels scarier.

Yes, deeply¬†rooted within me (and many of you) is the presence of a hope, a faith – a love so powerful that you can’t chase it away. If you think you have scared off the love of your life – you haven’t. No, surprisingly enough the Creator of the Universe, Creator of Humankind – God – loves us. Yes, he loves you and I. Surprised? I was too.

But I have known for a long time that you can’t run away from a love like God’s. It is true, it is magnificent, it is pure, it is deep, it is powerful, it is peaceful, it is so much more than any love one person could show to another. When the love of the Creator flows through you the love you have for others deepens. It’s meaning has new purpose and it never fades. It no longer becomes some toss away emotion or some lost four letter word. No, the love story that you have with God the Father, the Creator of heaven and¬†earth, you and I is true, life changing and never-ending.


I chose this video because the slide show was created by junior high students.

I heard this song after a long standing, absence from church Рit reminded me that although we sometimes forget or try to forget, God never forgets about us. God never stops loving us no matter how unloved we feel.

 He Loves Us by John Mark McMillan/David Crowder Band