I sit here weary and tired (since surgery – I get tired) and wondering where did the Lenten season go? Where has this past year gone? It has been so tumultuous since 2011 arrived. There have been many issues since January. And as Easter Sunday approaches I am bittersweet. I have missed Sundays hands raised in worship and singing in the choir. Wondering what does this all mean? What do I mean? Do I matter? Do I make a difference?

No matter how humble, everyone wants to know that they are loved and they do matter. I have been feeling like this for a long time. After a major life change and move four years ago things have remained unsettled, unfinished, unfocused and chaotic. I have been so disenchanted with church but earnestly seeking God with all my heart – even when it is hard as hell. And it has been really hard this past few years trying to find my focus, meaning and purpose. There are those times when I feel disconnected and far away from my Lord. But I know that HE is there, in every small moment, I can see His Wonderous works.

I can see where, I have gotten ahead of myself I have not let the hand of God work over my life in awesome ways. I get in the way, ALWAYS. And before I know it time has passed and I am clueless as to how I got there. Its nuts. I know I need to slow down, I know I can’t be perfect, I know I need to reflect, refresh and relish all the mysteries that are before me. I pray that I can turn my disenchantment into joy and purpose. Learning to live joyously, full of love and life is harder than it seems. Learning to” live like you belong to God” is one very hard part of this journey of faith.

This Easter I pray that I (and you) can find that part of you that feels worthy to be called HIS and find that you do matter to the Father, you do belong to GOD. I also pray that I will see others as HIS and learn to appreciate all that is God’s. To new life, new hope, new journey – may you be transformed by Christ’s Resurrection.

Happy Easter! Much love and Many Blessings,

Shari

Ah yes, Friday. Its your favorite day of the week too, isn’t it? ūüôā Yes, I like to say that I am best friends with Friday, Saturday and Sunday! I don’t know why. It’s just something I say.

But lately, Friday has just been another day filled with fiascos, faux pas and freak incidents. You may wonder why am I including this in Sundays’ Sentiments – well I now think I may have a Friday phobia – not just Friday the 13th – just end of the week debacles that seem to be repeating themselves. Why? I don’t know. But I wish it would stop. Seriously.

A few months back, I saw the financial need to take on another job. The fall season was setting in and the hours were getting fewer and fewer. That was even a stressful time as well Рthere were many many things happening at that time Рand interviewing for a new job was the last thing I had the energy for. But I did it anyway Рscared at how I was going to do it all (three blogs, kids books, cakes, and three part-time jobs) РI took on even more responsibility. I was hoping that my family and friends would be of support in this time of transition and new experiences.

There were times when I was just so tired that I could do nothing else but just collapse. This schedule took a long time to get used to Рearly mornings, long Рbusy days, short nights. The weekends and FRIDAY were my only respite and release and they turned into insane, task filled, (sometimes fun-filled), stressful, angry, rushed fiascos and faux pas. I was becoming so tightly wound that I could feel it building.

After a few Fridays, filled with wasted time, headaches, groggy mornings, computer crashes, and freak accidents I lost it. Yes, last Friday РI lost it, along with all of my computers hard disk information. I was devastated, emotionally drained, tired, and I lost my composure, control and collective attitude. It was building for a while and I had a meltdown. It was too much and time for a fresh start. Sometimes you just have to start over. Sometime you just have to give up the reins and let someone else handle the situations РLet go and let GOD!

"....soar on wings, like eagles...."

It’s hard to know how to handle these intensely stressful situations with a calm, collective and mature attitude. That only comes from God – yes I need fruit – the fruits of the spirit come to mind here. However, it is still draining. It still takes time to recover from these kinds of situations. But it didn’t kill me, it may have made me stronger – and wiser to remember to back up files ;-)! I will get through it and remember to take that time to just “be”. Be still and know that God is near and¬†hear Him calling. I hope and pray that I can enter Friday’s with fresh eyes, full spirit of joy and faith and trust – at least until the next meltdown – I know it will probably happen again ( I know “oh ye, of little faith” but I know me of little faith sometimes) but I know when the time comes I will hear him saying – just “be still and know that I am God.” Just be. Be what? Be you. Be the you that I created you to be! ” For I know the plans I have for you,‚ÄĚ declares the LORD, ‚Äúplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I know that when I cannot pray I hold onto certain verses for comfort and healing this past few weeks has been rough and all I could do was read this over and over.

Romans 8:28 The Message
Meanwhile, 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.

What is your prayer? What is your plea? What do you do when you lose control? I pray that you look to God and call on His name?

I know you are asking….”What does that mean?” Well, have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you wanted to just freeze time? Have everything just slow down? So you could catch up? Well, that is just how I have felt for the last few weeks. Overwhelmed and lacking motivation. Everything is flying by too fast and I can’t catch up.

I have always prided on being a busy person, having things to do, always going here and going there….I always had a full-time job—I¬†was a preschool teacher and full-time student at the same time. That was overwhelming in itself. My last full-time job took a lot of work and took a lot out of me. Last summer was the first time that I had anytime for myself. I was out of work and had a lot, A LOT of time on my hands. So that is what you see (on my other pages) yes I put my all into creating blogs about my new-found hobby of “caking” — cake baking, decorating and other sweets. Also, I created my blog/site for my long time love of children’s literature – must be the teacher in me. All of this was very handy in keeping me sane while I was home. I dabbling in book reviews, new children’s book releases and even some of my own children’s books.

“Signs of summer, colors and flowers”

Summer went along, and into fall and winter as well. Sure I hoped for that full-time job again and to teach again. But mostly I just went with the flow. As the days and months whizzed by I became so overwhelmed to the point that  I was literally plopped into a full-time caking fiasco.  My cake-walk has turned into a full-fledged monstrous, hand numbing task. 

Yes I work with ice cream cake; and the long hot days that seem to never end have been flying by at lightning speed. There are those days when I “literally want to freeze, in the freezer”; sometimes taking the order boxes to the freezer is the only respite¬†from the blasting hot air from the freezer fans. And as I come home, weighed down from hours on my feet and the film of icing and sweat on my brow, I am hopeful¬†for the next day. Sometimes worn and tired, sometimes numb and sore and other days hopeful and optimistic. I pray. I pray and I hope that I can and will be able to manage all of the things I have to juggle.

Time is not freezing, it is flying and I hope that soon I will catch up or that it will slow down for me. I am looking forward to the future, hard as it is, with and open heart and mind. Day to day, however, is much harder Рfaith is the only peace and guiding force that makes each day possible.  And believe me my faith has been tested to the point of total shut-down. I only recently have begun to open up to those things that have long been a part of my life and too long apart from my life. Each time I come closer another reminder of how great life with God can be. I pray to the Father, that respite, answers, humility and purpose will come.

I love this version of the song/video, with a twist on the events of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection¬†and what it means for all the world – God’s people. Peace, love, hope and faithfulness always and always. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

It was a jam-packed¬†Saturday and I was feeling indisposed – just great! After a busy week of work, excercise, appointments and disappointments – I needed some time. I needed time to do more stuff, catch up on all my backed up work¬† and struggling for material, housework, vacuuming, cooking and scheduling. Did I mention I wasn’t tired?!?! What in the world? ¬†I had so much to do and I was stressed – not tired- just stressed. Yet, I felt physically drained, mentally unwilling to complete any of these tasks and alone – in the dark. What am I to do?¬†Well I decided to do¬†the laundry – yes¬†a¬†collection of laundry baskets¬† had been adorning my “rather small” bedroom for months. It was time to go through it and put it in the drawers instead of just taking the clothes out of the dryer and throwing them into the clean laundry basket ūüôā to sift through when I needed¬† socks.¬†Ok so the laundry was put away and there was a load in the washer – I was prepared to tackle that when I returned home, followed by vacuuming and cooking :-).

 I headed out to the store and interruption #1 Рthe gas points at GIANT were due to expire that day Рso the entire city of Allentown was out to fuel up. Never mind I will come back later. After a quick run through the store, I headed home. Interruption #2 Рmy dear nephew (who is only a few years younger than I ) came by to use the computer. Which, by the way, I feel is terminal Рhard drive may go at anytime Рso I am uncomfortable with anyone using it. But I decided to share for a bit and that way I could tackle the laundry (drying), vacuuming and food preparations. 

¬†I gathered my materials on the kitchen counter – determined to bang out my work later on in¬†the evening. And then it happened yes, three is a charm or a curse –¬†interruption #3 – an Electrical Power Outage. Now I, we were in total darkness. What in the world to do now? With the little light I had left my step father handed me the flash light so I could find my cell phone and some candles. I called the power company only to find that we would be without power for the next 5 or 6 hours.

I found our box of¬†advent candles, and set them up around our great room/kitchen since we’d be in the dark for a while. Mom decided to start our wood stove up since that would take the chill out of the air and as this happened it dawned on me that this “major interruption”¬† was not going to be so bad. See I was stressed to the max, I was busy all week and this Saturday was looking like it was going to be no different – until the power outage –¬† no telephone (well the fully charged cell phone worked :-), no tv, no computer, no coffee pot, no heat¬†– completely cut off, from modern electrical conveniences – I had picked up¬†some batteries at the store¬†so the radio was on¬†ūüėȬ†But we had to get conventional and a “bit” old-fashioned. This handy wood stove we have in our kitchen really saved the night.¬†With our collection of newspapers, we had plenty of heat and enough to warm up some soup and water for tea. The night really came together and “brought us together”. We sat around the “fiery wood stove” and made paper logs and¬†listened to the radio as we waited for the lights to kick back on. Though I rarely watch the tv, I missed it a bit – just because I couldn’t watch it, I felt the sudden urge for some coffee, even though it was 8PM. All these things that I really didn’t¬†need or needed a break from suddenly haunted me a bit. And made me feel helpless like I was unable to cope with this darkness, this¬†helpless feeling, this time when I¬†really just needed to keep it simple, quiet and ¬†“uninterrupted”. Wait but this was an interruption? Yes, this was an interruption from the distractions (telephones, YouTube, Tweetdeck notifications, TV)¬†that were keeping me from focusing on work and important things (time with God, family, prayer and rest). So I had to spend a few hours in the same room with my family. The evening was filled with civil conversation, peace¬†and a few other things:

Warm Glow

...a simple meal...

...some improvising....

....some folded laundry....

...a phone chit chat..."Yes, I even made dinner."

....clean dishes (we used the hot water from the wood stove)....

...battery operated, music...

and finally a bed time snack...since it was melting anyway!

¬†The night wasn’t that bad, I did get a lot of stuff done and most of what was on the list just in a different way. This small and short interruption brought out some critical thinking, togetherness and time away from distractions. When the stress piled up, I feel that God knew that we needed a break from our distractions. We weren’t miserable or crabby or worried (at least I wasn’t). I prayed for the utility workers that had to work in the rain (yeah electricity and rain there is just something scary about it – not sure why j/k) No seriously – we were inconvenienced for a night but we were safe and in no harm. And we have no idea who had to come out in the rain and ‘risk’ safety and security to restore our electricity. The simple blessings like a wood stove, a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, salad¬†and a box of candles – allowed the basic necessities to get us through the “storm” and power outage. It wasn’t that bad and it wasn’t that dark and we weren’t alone.

¬†Thank you, God, for this interruption and this opportunity to get away from the distractions that¬†have been¬†consuming me.¬† The opportunity to sit in the warm glow and peaceful quiet and listen and hear your voice was just awesome. A peacful night’s rest led into another day and another opportunity to see how blessed I am¬† – no catastrophe, no spilled or spoiled milk and the electric bill was high anyway – it was nice to know that it was off for a few hours ;-). All we needed was the simple things, family, quietness and God.