Oh those Wonderful In-Laws

June 19, 2010

This is the day that the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it (Ps. 118:24). I am so thankful for this verse because it reminds me that I live and breathe today. God was gracious enough to allow me to wake up again and fulfill the call He has placed on me and my life. It reminds me I should be thankful for everything, to embrace each and every challenge that comes my way with a joyful heart and to truly be glad I have the opportunity to overcome the unpleasant events that come to me and embrace and hold on to the good ones. God is so merciful and kind, yet He will not be played for a fool or be disrespected. There is a price to pay for each and every action we take every word we speak. Be it good or bad be sure you will reap what you sow with your mouth good seeds or bad.

Galatians 6:7-10 says: Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned), disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside). [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows that and that only is what he will reap. This is not speaking of sowing tithes as the next verse will explain. (8) For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and destruction but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (AMP version) Are you sowing good seed into your in laws lives. Perhaps you are so busy trying to change them they run when they see you? Are you trying to get them to be who you want them be asking God to change them into the person you absolutely are convinced they should be? Do you pray change them Lord and forgive them for they know not what they are doing? And as you pray do so you feel holy caring and concerned for that person. You need to get over yourself, and get rid of your hidden agenda.

I can only speak for myself, so here goes. I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters-in-laws. They are as different as night and day so are my sons. I haven’t always appreciated them the way I should and still have struggles at times. But they are my struggles due to my insecurities and wrong teachings. I was a child that somehow got separated from my biological family when I was around six or seven years old. I have no idea or cannot remember what happened, but I do know as of this day I never recuperated from losing my mother. I do not remember anyone else but I do remember her and the all consuming love I had for her. My caregivers who raised me were very dysfunctional people with a hidden agenda of their own. Unfortunately time came when I had to completely sever all ties with all of them except one son. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do because one of the children was mentally challenged and I did then and still do love her dearly and miss her. She was never supposed to live to be a teenager yet she still lives and is at least in her late sixties. I married two dysfunctional husbands and out of the first marriage I gave birth to two awesome sons whom I am so very proud of and amazed they came out so well adjusted with two way out of control dysfunctional parents. I have had two empty voids within me. One void is concerning my biological family and the other only God can fill.

There lies one of my problems; recently God showed me I have been constantly trying to build a new family to fill that void. My sons have lives of their own to live and should never have to live with a clingy insecure mother. I had pre conceived ideas of how the relationship with my daughters in laws should and would be. Why we would go shopping together, be friends, call each other and even go to the movies together. You know the story expect them to be who you are absolutely sure they should be. Well did I ever get proven wrong, that is not the case with me and my daughters in laws. So I prayed change them Lord. He told me to change myself. Can you believe that? Well I was shocked, mortified and disappointed. Why should I have to change that would mean I would have to give up my dreams, that’s not fair I thought. You know Lord how empty and lonely I feel inside why can’t they be the person I need them to be? To my surprise I still received the word that I was to pray and ask him to change me not them. Not only that lo and behold I was informed they married my sons not me. And then He sent me to His word to take me to task. It is written in Matthew 19:4-6. He (Jesus) replied, have you never read that He who made them from the beginning made them male and female. And said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be united firmly (joined inseparably) to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man or woman put asunder (separate). It is written in Genesis 2:24: A man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. There is other scripture stating the same thing but I believe this is sufficient. Ladies do not think you are exempt it is the same for both sexes. Well that sure popped my bubble I not only could not have it my way I even have to ask God to change me instead of them. Yet as I pray that he change me and not others no matter who they are I feel more and more free, full and happy.

I see my daughters in a different light and can appreciate them for who they are and their uniqueness and their good qualities. The one who has been my daughter in law the longest is kind and gentle. You never hear her say a negative word about anyone. She and my son live out of state and she allows My son to buy an airplane ticket occasionally so I can visit them and my two precious grandchildren. I say allows meaning she willing sacrifices so that I can visit and treats me like a queen when I am there. I so appreciate her and all she does for me but most of all I appreciate the fact she makes my son and grandchildren happy and puts them first in her life.

My other daughter in law is very different, she is outspoken and assertive. We do not have a close relationship even though we live less than a mile apart. Yet she is special in her own right. I am a divorcee who has been floundering around for some time. I was a stay at home mom and did not even begin to work until I was in my middle forties. Well you know what that means don’t you? Anyway I was renting a room from a dear friend for three years. A lot of that time she let me ride free because I lost my job and had poor health. But the time came when she needed me to move so that she could move her struggling daughter into my room.

Here is what my son and daughter in law did they secured me an apartment close to their home, paid the deposit and the first Months rent. I had little belongings because of poor decisions I made during my lifetime. Like I said before for every action you make there are consequences. I never got to see my apartment until the day I moved in.

I was absolutely stunned, I walked into an apartment that was furnished with absolutely everything I could possible need. Not only was there couches, tables, a bed, dresser, mirrors on the walls but my cupboards, freezer and refrigerator were completely full and there was dishes, silverware, pots, pans, a microwave, toaster. I am sure I have missed a lot, oh yes towels, sheets, washcloths, etc. It was mind boggling and I so appreciated everything. Not only that my son told me my daughter in law worked tirelessly cleaning the apartment, shopping and stocking everything, etc. She did all of this holding down a full time job, and taking care of her family at home.

I have never been able to express my gratitude properly. This I know about her if I need her she is there, if I call her and say I have an emergency she is there for me. So what if she isn’t a preconceived person I dreamed up in my head that she should be.

In my eyes both of my daughters in laws are shinning. As for my dilemma, I have been praying that God change me and help me to build a new life for myself. I have always been an introvert so every time I venture out alone is kind of traumatic but necessary. And I have started writing. The more I lean on and trust God the easier it has become to let go of my fears and step out a little more each time and to appreciate others for who they are not who I want them to be.

I do not know where He is leading me but I do know I look forward to what is coming next. And I know that only He could completely fill the empty void I had in me and I so appreciate Him, His son Jesus who died for me and Holy Spirit. If you are having in law problems release them to God and move forward with him. What have you got to lose? Remember they did not marry you and owe you nothing. Enjoy the times they reach out to you and bless you. Appreciate them for who they are and bless them every chance you get. Another plus is I have a place to go every holiday with lots of yummy food. I could tell of other things that have been done for me by my sons and daughters in laws but I think you get the point.

I do not know where the belief that it is our daughter in laws to worship and adore us mother in laws but it seems to have become a religion in itself. Just say to yourself my daughter in law or mother in law owes me nothing. Love her and move and joyously live your life, she has enough on her plate without you causing problems and trying to change her into who you want her to be. Try it because it is a very freeing feeling.

I would like to say I am blessed with two exceptional daughters in laws and sons. I am blessed by heavens best.

Amen


Beau and Cowboy’s Patrolling Heaven

January 10, 2009

 

As I write this tribute for Beau and Cowboy it is with a heavy heart.

I moved into this neighborhood a little over three years ago with my dog (Shadina) and cat (Kitty Kat).

I had a mild stroke and severe burnout, lost my job, most of my possessions and my dignity for a time.

I recognize I needed humbling and humbling is never pleasant, yet I will be forever grateful to God for loving me enough to chastise me.

My friend Sandy found out I was having a hard time and invited me to stay with her until I recovered. Neither one of us expected me to be here this long.

Thank God for people like Sandy whose kindness I could never in this lifetime repay.

Because of the stroke my thinking process was really messed up and I suffered a lot of anger, frustration and confusion.

I will never forget the first day we arrived, when we drove up all of the dogs came running to the fence barking and when I got out of the car with Shadina my dog it was complete chaos thank goodness I had her on a leash.

Beau, Cowboy, Outlaw and Shadow all lived together next door Cowboy and Outlaw are Pomeranian’s, Shadow is a Dachshund and Beau was a mixed breed German Sheppard. He was a stray the family had taken in and because of them Beau had a real good life with lots of love.

Shadina is a house dog due to the fact we had in the past always lived in an apartment, plus she has a double coat and would die of heat in the summer months and she is real old born in 1996 almost blind and cannot hear very good.

The dogs quickly fell into a routine as soon as Shadina went outside she and all the other dogs rushed to the fence and had a barking frenzy. Cowboy and Shadina was the worst they ran up and down that fence barking at each other. Beau and Outlaw would also run up and bark but they lost interest quickly. Outlaw would go lay down and Beau would sit there with his head turned as if he was mortified. I do not have any idea what Cowboy and Shadina said to each other but it was loud and intense. I loved to sit and watch them. Where in the world did they get all of that energy and what in the world did they say to each other?

Beau was Shadina’s main focus she absolutely adored him. There were times Cowboy and Outlaw would come running to the fence to bark and Shadina would completely ignore them. Cowboy would go find Beau and they would both come running back and only when Shadina heard Beaus bark would she join in. Sometimes I would look out the window and see Cowboy and Outlaw sitting at the fence waiting for Shadina to come out they looked so cute. They looked like two miniature lion kings.

Sandy has a little bird bath sitting under a dripping faucet in her backyard. Beau would jump the fence a couple of times a day and get a drink of the fresh water. You could always tell when he jumped the fence he always jumped at the same spot and it made a loud jingling noise. Shadina lived for those times as soon as she heard him clear the fence if she wasn’t outside she started begging to get out. They would stand together for a couple of minutes seemed to be communicating silently. Beau would then jump the fence and go home. The first time I saw Beau in the yard when Shadina was out I froze because Shadina has been known to be aggressive towards other dogs. I needn’t have worried Beau knew how to handle the old gal.

I do not ever remember seeing Shadow come to the fence to bark as a matter of fact I seldom see him at all. If he does come to the fence it is rare.

Beau was a lover of people, and his canine friends. He had a very active family and he loved to be in the middle of things. Both Beau and Cowboy dearly loved their family and they were loved back.

This was one of those neighborhoods where everyone knows each other real well and they have birthday parties for all the children, sometimes adult parties,etc. At these times the children would all be out riding bikes, or the parents would give them rides on their golf carts or three wheelers. There were people all over the place. Beau would follow the children up and down the street he just loved it. Sometimes he would ride on the golf cart he always looked so funny and terrified but you could tell he loved it.

I have to say I also loved Beau because he cared so much for people. There are times I have a tough battle with depression. It was a lot worse right after the stroke but I do still have to fight it. I would go into the back yard and sit on Sandy’s swing and talk to Jesus when I would hear the fence jingle. Beau would come close to me and look up with those big old brown eyes. He could make them look so sad at times I know he was trying to comfort me. I would pet him and talk to him a couple of minutes then he would jump the fence and go home. I sure do miss his visits and comfort.

There was a time last year seemed every neighbor we had went out of town. One of the dogs across the street jumped the fence and took off down the street. Beau ran after him, he would bring him back and head for home. The other dog didn’t know how to get back in his yard so he took off again. Again Beau went after him and brought him back. Sandy and I watched him do this a couple of times and we went to open the gate so the dog could go inside. Here they come back Beau walks him to his yard and the dog goes inside. Later that day Beau walks up with another dog following him this one stayed with them for at least a week it seemed then we didn’t see him anymore. We assumed he was a stray and the neighbors found his owners.

As I said Beau loved people, dogs and cats and he gave love.

In John 13:34 Jesus said, I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Romans 13:10 : Love worketh no ill to his neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Beau fulfilled Jesus commandment beautifully everyday of his life.

Shadina and the cat almost stopped eating and started moping around. Beau and Cowboy weren’t coming to the fence to bark. I couldn’t understand what was happening I could see Beau and I thought Cowboy and thought was in their yard but they stayed on the other side of their house. Actually it was Outlaw I saw not Cowboy. Finally Beau came to the fence some but he didn’t act right. He did start coming over again to get a drink but he seemed depressed and only came a couple of times. My pets started eating again but were still depressed, Shadina would go to the fence and wait for Cowboy but for some reason he was ignoring her.

Then came the day both pets stopped eating again, not only was she depressed Shadina just laid around and groaned. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with them why were my pets were so sad. Shadina kept coming to me to be petted and comforted and she appeared to be crying. I was real concerned but still did not know what was happening.

Every night of his life Beau would patrol the area up and down the street. He would jump in our yard last get a drink of water and bark once. Always made me feel safer knowing Beau was around looking out for us. I noticed he was no longer barking every night and I knew something was drastically wrong. Every time I went outside I looked for him and could not see him. I asked Sandy if she had seen him lately she said no. She isn’t home much so not seeing him would not be unusual. I asked if she would ask around and see if she could find out where he was. She did and I cried for days when I thought of him or Cowboy. Seems Cowboy was accidentally run over killed and Beau had been killed by a vehicle but his was such a horrible way to go.

I was so angry with the person I have never met for what he did to Beau. I now knew why Beau had acted so strange because Cowboy went first, he was grieving along with Outlaw, and then Beau was no more. Poor Outlaw and Shadow must have been devastated as Cowboy and Outlaw were always together and they adored Beau. Now I knew why my pets were so depressed and why Shadina was groaning and crying. Oh I was angry with this man I cannot say any of the emotions I experienced was good. I asked God to help me to forgive him for it is written: when you stand praying forgive, if ye have ought against anyone, that you’re Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. (Mark 11:25,26)

 

Since unforgiveness is not an option I kept asking Jesus to help me to forgive because I really struggled over this. During one of my prayer times Jesus reminded me of a story that had been emailed to me once and it really helped me.

 

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

 

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night

In the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude

And refused to let the angels stay in the mansion’s

Guest room. Instead the angel’s were given a small

space in the cold basement. As they made their bed

on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the

wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked

why, the older angel replied, “Things aren’t always

what they seem.”

 

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of

a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife.

After sharing what little food they had the couple

let the angels sleep in their bed where they could

have a good night’s rest. When the sun came up the

next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife

in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their

sole income, lay dead in the field. The younger angel

was infuriated and asked the older angel how could you

have let this happen?

 

The first man had everything, yet you helped him, she

accused . The second family had little but was willing

to share everything, and you let the cow die.

Things aren’t always what they seem,” the older angel replied.

When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed

there was gold stored in that hole in the wall.

Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and

unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall

so he wouldn’t find it.”

Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the

angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead.

Things aren’t what they they seem.”

Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things

don’t turn out the way they should. If you have faith,

you just need to trust that every outcome is always to

Your advantage. You might not know it until some time later.

 

Some people and pets come into our lives an quickly go.

 

Some people and pets become friends and stay a while,

leaving beautiful footprints or paw prints in our hearts,

and we are never quite the same because we have made

a good friend.

                                                

I don’t know why two dogs that were so well loved by their family and many others had to leave us so suddenly but I do know I was very blessed by God to have known them.

I know a lot of people may think I’m silly after all they were just dogs.

I know this about dogs they love unconditionally. I know if you spell dog backwards it spells god. I know God loves us unconditionally. And I know Beau displayed more attributes of God than any person I have ever known.

I am thankful to God for the unconditional love he put in, my dog, Beau and all the others. I know I have benefited greatly. We all know our dogs love us when no one else will. Amen

 

As I close this little tribute for Beau and Cowboy I do it knowing they are in heaven. When they are not patrolling the streets of gold they are probably sitting at the feet of God. It can’t get any better than that.

 

I miss them both, I miss the bark Beau gave me and every night to let us know all was well and I miss little Cowboy. I know their canine friends miss them terribly and their human family. But I am so happy for them because they have graduated and went to a far better place.

They fought the good fight and I know when they stood before God He said what we all want to hear: Job well done my good and faithful one. As I said earlier it doesn’t get any better than that.


Not My Season

November 20, 2008

I was sitting on the porch one afternoon in deep thought feeling really down on myself  when the thought went through my mind “see that tree” and I looked in front of me and looked at a tall scraggly old scrub oak tree. 

 The seasons were changing and all the leaves had fallen off the tree which really made it look awful. You could see different areas where it carried the scars from many a storm.  I thought yes I see the tree when the thought went through my mind thats how people see you right now, they see you as ugly and all washed up with no hope. I said yea I know thats how I feel to. I saw where limbs were missing  and could see and how life had been hard on that old scrub oak tree and it looked  just plain ugly without it leaves to hide some of its war wounds. Yet it stood strong and proud even though it had been stripped of all of  its dignity. I thought thats me, I am all washed up I’m old to tired and discouraged to try to start over again yet there was still a tiny slither of hope .

I looked to my right and there was a Dagwood tree still full of green; yellow and red leaves and flourishing beautifully. It went through my mind “Its not your season”; I thought now what is that suppose to mean. Don’t listen to them they don’t understand It’s simply not your season . Lean on me not mankind. Seek me. Read my word; focus and learn of me. I knew God gave me dreams only He could help me accomplish, and I couldn’t understand why those promises lay doormat for so long because I knew and still know God always keeps His promises. And now I know it’s simply not my season yet but it is coming.  I am content to wait on Jesus to speak the words as my season begins.


November 13, 2008

November 14, 2008

I should mention my friends name is Sandy. She has a screened in porch with several wooden rocking chairs. Oh! How  the enjoyment I have received sitting on that porch watching humming birds; squirrels; butterflies; and regular ever day delightful birds. We had a gopher for a time who dissapeared while I was in California visiting my younger son and his family. I have a 4 year old granddaughter and a brand new grandson and the sweetest daughter-in-law. I have been blessed with two awesome sons in spite of my mistakes in life.

Sandy has planted several different flowers and bushes that attract butterflies and humming birds. She also has humming bird feeders hanging in various spots in the the yard; some real close to the porch and of course birdhouses full of various different kinds of bird seeds.   

I have spent countless hours on that porch talking to the Lord; repenting and growing spirtually each day. Being raised by very negetive people who suffered fro severe depression and just plain meanness I never learned how to dream ; to have positive hopes and asparations. My dreams were surronded and burried in hopelessness and despair. Most of this was the family who raised me’s perception of themselves passed on to me and their children. If you are one of those people who spews out ugly; hateful; condecending words and could care less at the time you are spewing them  who you hurt or maybe it is your most ferverant desire to hurt the person who is your innocent victim I will tell you I was once you.   Get help it isn’t worth the price your victims have to pay for the rest of their lives and its not worth the price you are paying and the price you will when you see the  harm you have caused those dearest to you. When I started writing this blog I had no intention of of writing any of this; but I here I am telling some of the story.  I am in the process of writing three books one of them is “Talitha Cum” it is the story about a lady named Dorcus. Most of what I will be sharing here will be in the book. I will be sharing many little nuggets of truth I was taught by the Lord as He gave me this story to write.                                                   


Yes! There Is Life After Sixty

November 13, 2008

A little over three years ago I had a mild stroke and a bad case of burn out from working far to many hours. Seemed almost everyone I cared about turned their backs on me; or so it seemed to be the case to me at the time. Now I realize life happens and a lot of those people had serious issues they were trying to deal with themselves at the same time my rope broke and spriled me into what appeared to be an endless battle with severe depression and despair. I lost my job, then my apartment, cell phone, vehicle, most of my belongings gained tons of weight and still and obese. Most of those things are only material and  I am so blessed because I was allowed to keep  two things that meant the world to me. My precious dog and cat. So as far as I am concerned I lost nothing and have gaind much.I thought I had lost every friend I had thank God I was wrong, my best friend let me move in with her and supported me until I could get income of my own. My sons also did what they could at the time and  I now rent a room from best friend and am writing books. My friend not only supported me she also supported my pets. Yes peroidically I worked and paid my own way but there was a time I relied completely on her help and her support. My friend had been praying that God use her home for a sanctuary for His wounded beaten children. How many of you know you should never say anything to Him you do  not mean? He took her at her word and sent me and I am forever thankful. It has been three years since I moved in and I have learned more in that three years spirtually than I have my whole life. I am amazed at the beauty of God that He has sprinkled all around us that I never noticed until I was forced to sit and either grab hold of the beauty or stay mean; bitter and ugly. Most of my life I was a bitter, harsh unforgiving person. But now I so desire to be humble and appreciate all He has given me and enjoy the beauty of nature but most of all the beauty He has placed within all of us. I wish I could say I have really become proficient in that one thing. But there are those who really challange me in this area. I know you know who they are they are the ones who seem to keep showing up in your life just to challange you to show whether you are really walking the walk or just talking the talk. Daily I grow in Christ and daily I am forever thankful for the life He has given me.


Hello World!

November 13, 2008

I know that Hello world is the standard opening for wordpress when you create a new account. So when i sat down to create my first blog i was trying to think of a title and i just didn’t know what to say. I thought about it and toyed with all kinds of things but as i kept looking at the title that was there it hit me that the first thing I should do is say hello to the world.

 

As a woman over sixty and the way the world is ever changing it get hard for me to keep up with all the new technology that’s out there. Back in my day technology was for the men and I was the house wife so just getting on the internet was quite the task.

 

The internet has grown in such a way that now even people like me ( technology challenged) can get online and post a blog about my interests which in return helps me reach out and communicate with other with similar interest. 

 

So as I grab my mouse and open my blog and start typing my first blog I decided that the best thing I can say is Hello World my name is Shirley Woodruff and welcome to my part of the internet.

Shirley.