Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lost Soul

This morning I woke up thinking about a moment years ago again.  I hadn't thought about this particular moment for quite some time now but it has haunted me for years on and off.  It was a moment when I felt I should approach someone and speak to him.  But I didn't.  I watched him ubruptly remove his button-up shirt in frustration, throw it in the back of his truck, and drive away.  I think I might have called to him because I felt the desire to talk to him build at that moment.  But it was too late and I let it slip away.  I never saw him again.

I think about him now and then.  I wonder where he is or what he has done with his life.  I wonder where he has ended up.  I had looked him up online before, but never was able to find anything.  He never was the big social media type I guess.

But this morning he came to my mind again and I thought I would try again to look him up online.  And there he was.  The mug shot made him look harsher and he has facial hair now.  The light has completely left his eyes and I couldn't help but cry.  Now he's a registered sex offender.  I have no idea what the circumstances were in his charges but it still made me so sad because of where he has ended up.

I wonder what kind of change I may have had if I had followed that prompting in that moment when he was leaving the parking lot in his truck. I think back and picture his face and I can imagine him thinking "I'm never coming back here.  Ever."  Maybe I could have given him the hope to return.  Maybe I wouldn't have made a difference at all.  Still, it made me feel so sad that I didn't do it when I had that opportunity.  When I felt that prompting.

But then I remembered a talk I heard or read once a long time ago and I wish I knew who said this, but I can't remember.  He said that God is aware of all of us.  He loves all of His children and would never make it so they had just that one shot.  He would always give them many chances to make good decisions or do what is right.  I was not this guy's one shot to being better.  This missed prompting of mine wasn't his only opportunity.  God is still aware of him.  It made me feel a little better.  I cannot blame myself.  But now I have a new perspective on people.  I don't think I ever have felt compassion for a registered sex offender before in my life!  But I do now.  It goes to show that even people who make dispicable mistakes are God's children.  That boy had a hard home life growing up.  I don't know what he had to go through but I witnessed its effects.  He could have been a good kid.  He could have turned into a good man.  My heart breaks for him and all I can do now is pray and hope that I can listen a little closer to those promptings from here on out.  This is the repentence I must do to let that moment go.

I will never forget the way he looked the last time I saw him.  I hope he gets the lights in his eyes again someday.  I really do.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I mentioned before that I have been reading about synchronicities and so I've been looking for those little coincidences in my own life to learn from.

Lately my husband and I have been thinking a lot about plans for the next few years.  I've been trying to also follow the Lord's plan.  I know there are people out there who rely fully on the Lord's plan when it comes to the timing of their children.  Some people never use birth control because they just want to trust the Lord.  But if I never used birth control I would constantly be pregnant.  And now that I've had a miscarriage it makes me think even harder on the subject.  I won't go into details but we were looking at our options and I was struggling with my decisions.

A part of me feels like I might still be mourning my last pregnancy.  Perhaps I don't want to do anything big to prevent pregnancy because a piece of me still wants that baby.  It's insane because before my miscarriage, we were not trying for children and I did not think it was good timing.  This hasn't changed.  I know we have more to our family to come, but the timing is logically not right at the moment.  But I still felt uneasy as my doctor appointment approached.

There is a careful balance to keep.  One must rely on the Lord's guidance, but at the same time, one must make ones own decisions.  We have our agency for a reason.  So I once was told that I can just make my decisions based on my own knowledge to the best of my ability and then confirm the decision with the Lord.  If I feel wrong, after all that, there must be something wrong with the decision.  If it is ok, it will remain ok in my mind.  But I kept stumbling with this decision.  But was it because of a "stupor of thought" as the scriptures say?  Or was it my own anxiety, or my own hormonal irrational feelings?  I discussed this with my husband the night before my appointment.  We talked about how to know if the feelings I have are from me or from the Lord.  He said he wasn't feeling anything wrong with the plan, and we went to sleep.

I got up in the morning and when I read my inspirational quote of the day (which includes all subjects- not just spiritual subjects) and it just happened to be exactly what I needed to hear.  "God does not work for you, he works with you." Pandurang S. Athavale, who is an Indian philosopher, and Hinduism reformist.

It really made me think about how much I rely on the Lord's assistance in my decisions.  I don't often take that leap of faith so perhaps this was to be one.  I went to doctor's appointment, then, only to find that the plan we had discussed was going to be too expensive.  So there goes that.

Now I think back about this and I realize that sometimes I could be feeling uneasy about something just because I don't have all the information.  Yes, we need to make our own decisions.  God doesn't work for me.  But He was working with me.  He won't ever leave me alone.  Somehow I knew it wasn't going to work.  Something just wasn't right about it.  I should trust in my feelings.  God works with me every day.  I am never left completely alone.

After writing this post, I was just uploading a family video to another blog and looking on YouTube and this video happened to pop up.  I thought I would embrace the coincidence and include it here. :)  I can't get the embed code to work so,  CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Aware That the Lord Is Aware

On Friday, we decided to ride our bikes to school.  Jameson started kindergarten that week and it was the first day all week that didn't have the sun blaring down in scorching heat.  So we got our gear together (the littlies riding in my bike trailer) and rode our bikes to school.  Livin' the dream! :)  He left his little two-wheeler outside with the pile of bicycles from other kids and went in with an excited grin.  I have been so happy with the way he's transitioned to this new way of life.  Actually, yesterday his uncle asked him about how starting kindergarten felt and told him he saw his picture from his first day of school and he replied with, "Oh, that was back when I was little."  :)  A week ago.  Kindergarten really makes you grow up, I guess.

Anyway, in the afternoon, it started drizzling.  I knew it might be a little rainy that day but I would take riding my bike in the rain far over riding my bike in the scorching sun!  So I didn't let it bother me too much.  I left early to be sure I was there on time and rode in a slight drizzle.  But as soon as I got to the school, it came down in buckets.  We took shelter in between the front doors until it let up right before the bell rang for Jameson to get out of school.  (Good thing I left early, right?)  We then headed back for home.  By this time, Jimmy had texted me letting me know he got home early.  I texted back asking if he wanted to rescue us, but he missed the text somehow.  In any case, we didn't need rescuing, we were being watched over.  As soon as we made it home, strapped the younger littlies out of the bike trailer and got in the house, it came down again just as it had before.


Well, I've been reading this book lately, Embracing Coincidence by Carol Lynn Pearson, in which she relays many small stories of ways the Lord can touch her life or teach her little lessons or give her reminders every day in just little synchronicities or coincidences.  Since I'd been reading her cute little stories, I thought this was one example in my own life of a tender mercy shown to me by the Lord.  I think these things are often taken for granted.  So many things happen every day without our noticing.  I decided to notice more often.  So I began paying attention more carefully after that.

We were leaving for the long holiday weekend to go visit my sister.  So we got everything ready and headed out about 5:30.  On the way out of town we saw a big hawk dive down in front of the car.  It was beautiful and daring.  Simply breathtaking.  I took note of it.  Later as we were nearing the freeway, it happened again!  Another hawk, a little larger then the first, dove down in front of the car in almost the exact fashion.  I thought, wow.  That's quite the synchronicity.  But I wasn't sure what the message behind these hawks might be.  Perhaps they were reminders for me to watch the road and drive carefully.  That thought felt boring to me, so I kept trying to think up some other reason these hawks were putting on their show.  Because then after we were on the freeway, we were stuck in traffic (and of course I didn't stress out about it- remember my last post?) because of an accident up ahead and there it was!  A third hawk was flying along to the left of our car in the stop and go traffic.  It would sore to a great height and just hover there in the air as though it were suspended on a string.  I sat in awe to watch it and was grateful for the moment to be stuck in traffic at a standstill so we could watch the hawk do its tricks.  Still, I wasn't sure what kind of message I could gain from this beautiful synchronicity, so I kept paying attention.

The rest of the trip went on normally.  We stopped to get sandwiches from Arby's for dinner, and continued on.  Before we knew it, the sun had gone down and we were getting off the freeway.  I went to the allotted corner and turned to drive down the little road out into the countryside next to the town.  My sister lived a short way out of town.  There's a little blue building along the way which has longtime memories for me.  My grandparents also live down this road an have for generations.  The little blue building is the electric building where my grandfather worked and I remember always pointing it out in my childhood when we were excited that we were nearly there after the long roadtrip.

As I was approaching the blue building, I suddenly felt a small panicky feeling inside that told me I was driving too fast.  I was still in "freeway mode" and had begun to speed so I looked down at the speedometer and began to slow carefully.  But in the next moment, I looked up and noticed a long trail of lights to my right a short distance away.  I was approaching the intersection where the blue building stood on the corner and a semi truck was coming fast on the road perpendicular to mine.  The feeling increased as I realized this truck was not slowing!  He was approaching his stop sign with as much speed as I was approaching my throughway.  I had already begun to slow, but I had no idea how I would be able to stop.  I know I made some kind of explanation as we neared the intersection but I can't remember what it was.  I only remember coming to a halt just in time to see the semi whip it's way past in front of us, and I still have no idea how I stopped in time.

I was melted to the seat with my heart throbbing in my toes and my throat choking on air.  Somehow, we were still alive and unharmed.  I inched at about 25 to 30 miles per hour the rest of the way, thanking the Lord we were ok.

In the moment, I could only think about the moment.  But afterward I was given more understanding.  In an event like this, every second counts.  If I hadn't noticed I was speeding and slowed down to begin with, it would have been too late.  My entire little family was in that vehicle and any other result...well, the very thought makes me cringe away and I cannot imagine.

I am so grateful for the awareness of the Lord in my life.  I know it wasn't just me.  The story doesn't end here.

Yesterday as we were getting ready to leave my sister's and head home, my youngest littlie and baby boy nudged a 4 by 6 mirror and it felt right on him, shattering to pieces.  I was calm, but my sister felt it necessary to take him in to be checked for glass and I agreed that it would be the best thing to do.  He only ended up with a few superficial scratches on his head, face, and hand.  They appear almost like cat scratches, but finer.  There was one wider mark on his head that they ex-rayed to be sure there was no glass and all was well.  We noticed later that he had been next to the coffee table and must have fell flat down and so the mirror hit the table first and broke there to shower him with bits of glass.  He he had been between the table and the mirror, it would have been much worse.  Again, I am so grateful it was the way it was.

My sister told me stories, and I'm sure anyone reading this has their own, of people who have died in random ways.  Getting caught in just the right way between two solid objects or hit in just the right spot to be fatal.  So it goes both ways.  We talk about how sometimes these sad circumstances that end in deaths are just such flukes it's incredible.  However, we are so fragile in this life!  The fluke isn't that any of us die, it is that we are all still alive!  That's the fluke!  In every day of our lives, in every moment, there are things that could kill us.  We are fragile beings in this world that are faced with close calls at every tern.  That may seem to sound kind of paranoid, but it's not.  Because I know the reason why I am still alive.  I know the reason why we are all kept alive in this world.  And that reason is because there is someone all-knowing and all-loving who is watching over us.  When it is our time to go, it will be our time.

I know my time wasn't yesterday.  I don't know when my time may be.  So for the moment, I am going to live in this fragile life in a way that I know I will be proud of and in a way I won't have regrets.  I'm going to forgive a little quicker.  I'm going to allow a little more.  I'm going to smile longer.  I'm going to hold my children closer.  Because every moment is a blessing.  And I am so grateful for the Lord's protection in these moments.