Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Happy Mother's Day in Heaven, Mom!

The song My Story by Big Daddy weave says, "To tell you my story is to tell of Him." And that is so true in my life. I never used to think I had much of a testimony until I had to write it down. My testimony is one that shows how much God loves us and how involved He is in even the littlest details of our lives. Little did I know that skipping eighth grade had something to do with my mom's death. Sounds funny, but it's true.

I can't spend Mother's Day with my mom, but I can honor her by sharing my testimony with you as she was so involved in it. I hope it honors God as well.

It all began when I was five years old. It was Monday, the day after Easter, and my mind must have been full of questions. My brother and dad had gone to church for Awana for the evening. My 5-month old baby sister was asleep in her cradle, and my mom made us cups of hot cocoa (must have been one of those cold Easters in New York!). We sat together on the couch, in the peace and quiet, while I asked her one question after another. That was the night I gave my life to Jesus. My life has never been the same. Although I didn't see it at the time, God's hand was at work in my life.
Fast forward to seventh grade. I worked hard at school that year and ended up skipping eighth grade.

That was part of God's plan.

The next year was when I met the one, the man with whom I would share the rest of my life. We made all sorts of plans while I finished school and went off to college. We set our wedding date to a day before I would finish college, but I didn't care. We were in love and wanted to get married. I knew I could always go back and finish the few classes I needed later on.

That was part of God's plan.

We planned to wait a year or two before having children, but three weeks into our married life, I was sicker than I'd ever been in my life. I was pregnant.

That was part of God's plan.

Nine months and two days after we said, "I do," we became parents. Our daughter was three weeks early, but was a healthy 7 pounds 10 ounces.

That was part of God's plan.

Shortly after my daughter was born, my mother found out she had breast cancer. It had already spread to her liver and there wasn't much hope. Our church bought my daughter and me plane tickets so we could fly home to spend some time with her. They thought it might cheer up her to see her granddaughter. While we were there, my year old daughter took her first steps, right in front of her grandmother.

That was part of God's plan.

My mother passed away just a couple of weeks later. She had looked forward to grandchildren and spending time with them. God knew that. He also knew that my mom was faithful to Him. He blessed her in that she lived long enough to see her first grandchild taking her first steps. God was taking care so that things would fall into place long before they were even a blip on our radars.

If I had not skipped eighth grade, I would have graduated a year later, got married a year later, had a child a year later, which would have been a year too late to bless my mom. God's ways are so much higher than our ways. We may not always be able to see His hand at work, but after all this was said and done, He opened my eyes to see. Now I try to share my story whenever I can, because my story tells of Him.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Time Marches On

Today I wished a couple of friends a Happy Anniversary, an aunt a Happy Birthday, and a friend Goodbye to this life. It just reminds me that while we may want the world to stop for even a few moments to celebrate a marriage, a birthday, or a life, it won't stop. Time won't stop for anything. It has made me think about how I use my time. Do I use it wisely? Not always. That's something I need to work on.

Recording snippets of life in journals is important to me as I am an emotional writer and want to remember exactly how I was feeling at a specific time. Often those snippets become a part of my writing. So, while I may not ever be able to stop time from marching on, I can always go back and recall those moments because I took the time to write them down.

So…Happy Anniversary, Happy Birthday, and see you later in heaven, my sweet friend.

What about you? Do you write down things that are important to you?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Technical Difficulties

Photo by jesadaphorn
Have you ever had technical difficulties? Sure. We all have at some point or another. Sometimes life just throws technical difficulties into our days/weeks/months just to see how we will handle them. It is usually during a time of technical difficulty that I know that I am trying to do everything right and Satan is on the defensive. I know God wants me to finish what I'm doing, but it seems there is one mishap after another or something that should have taken me five minutes takes me all day, often including a frustrating call to some sort of technical support.

I know I'm not alone in this. Having worked with publishers of Christian books, I could guarantee when we were printing a book that would have an impact on people's lives. The files would all of a sudden become jumbled. The edits we had made were missing. The printers would suddenly stop working. Think I'm exaggerating? It's happened multiple times, to me and to other publishers I know personally. Something powerful is about to hit the bookshelves and Satan doesn’t like it.

Fortunately, I have God on my side. He is bigger than any problem I could ever have, and He can fix them all. The printer might need a few swift kicks before it begins working properly again, but if I put it in God's hands, it always does.

Now when these situations arise I can laugh, at least a little, and hand the situation over to God. I know that I'm a small part of something huge, and God isn't going to let a couple of technical difficulties get in His way. 

How about you? Have you ever experienced technical difficulties? Feel free to share it in the comments.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Distractions. We are all affected by them. Some distractions are good, some are bad. Since I work at home, the distractions are numerous. Having to call a non-English speaking country because the Internet went out…again…during a big book promotion: Bad. Not getting anything done all day because of babysitting a smiling, giggling little girl: Good. Having to call for quotes because our insurance company unexpectedly dropped us: Bad. The timer on the over beeping because the brownies are done and are begging to be eaten warm: Really Good.

The problem comes when we allow all those distractions to keep us from accomplishing what we need to accomplish.

A couple of my distractions.
Sometimes I need a distraction so I can just think. Quilting is one of those distractions for me. Writing is my "working" time; quilting is my "thinking" time. Mindless sewing/crafting also allows me time to pray.

Do distractions keep you from reading your Bible and praying every day? Do distractions keep you from reaching out to people in need? Do distractions keep you from fulfilling the purpose God has for your life? Maybe it's time to take a look at what goes on during your day, what takes up your time.

I find that if I make a list I can keep focused on what I truly need to be accomplish. Keeping focused on my list certainly does not prevent all the distractions that come up during the day, but it does help me to get back on track afterward.

Do distractions come up during your day? I'd love to hear how you handle them.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Snow Fun?

One of my sisters after a "light" snow.
We were hit with a pretty big snow storm last weekend, big at least according to Virginia standards. Whenever it snows memories from my childhood always come to mind. Growing up in New York, there was no shortage of snow, especially since we lived near Syracuse, which holds the record of being the snowiest city in the country.

I remember one year to snow plows piled the now up so much on the corner in front of our house that my grandpa parked his car in front of it and made my brother and I sit on top of the pile so he could take a picture and show people how much snow there was.

I remember another snowy evening, okay, it was much more of blizzard-y evening (I know that's not a word!). It was shortly after Christmas and we were taking down all our decorations so the house was a complete mess. Then someone knocked on the door. My mom sent all four of us kids "the look" that we knew meant, "Cram everything possible out of site as fast as you can." And we did. Behind doors. Under the couch. In other rooms with doors we could close to hide the mess.
That visitor ended up being one of a long line of visitors that night. A man was stuck and wanted to use our phone to call a tow truck.

The tow truck came and got stuck and the man's wife had come along since it seemed like a nice evening for a ride.

A car battery blew up in an innocent helper's face.

The ambulance that came to help that guy, got stuck.

Another ambulance came and fortunately listened to directions to come around the other way.

Everyone eventually got unstuck and made their way home.

Now after it snows here, I just watch as people get stuck in front of our house on a regular basis after a little snowfall. I know it's probably mean, but I don't get out much and it's my form of entertainment. As long as no one is hurt, I'll probably continue to watch and giggle recalling snowy days gone by.

I love the memories.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

TBT - Memorable Christmas Gifts

On this TBT, I’m throwing it all the way back...to last week.

It’s only Christmas Eve, but I’m pretty sure I’ve already received my most memorable gift of the year. Several fellow homeschooling moms and I enjoy an evening out once in a while. We have been trying to get together for a couple of months with no success. With classes at our homeschool co-op on Christmas vacation, we thought we could use that time that’s normally already scheduled to get together at my house for lunch and a cookie exchange.

We were all sitting around the table cramming our faces with food, talking about the problem one of us, I’ll call her Renee, has with ADD. She chose that moment to hand out her gifts to us. They were journals. That alone makes it a perfect gift for me, but then I opened the journal to read the inscription. “Ruth, Merry…”

I burst out laughing as I learned over to another friend to see what Renee friend had written in her journal. She got, “Tiffany, Merry Christmas. Love ya.” I held up my journal and asked Renee if she was having a moment of ADD when she was signing my book. Everyone thought it was hilarious.
I thought it was one of the most priceless gifts I could ever receive. Not only was it something I would enjoy using, it was truly reflective of Renee. I didn’t want her to finish what she had starting writing because now, every time I open that journal to write in it, I will think of her and smile. Her friendship is dear to me and I love her just the way she is.

God loves us just the way we are, quirks and all. I’ve often said the world would be a boring place if we were all the same. I sure am glad that God blessed me with such wonderful friends that make my world anything but boring.

Now, it’s Christmas Eve, so it seems appropriate to end with, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Monday, December 21, 2015

Song of the Week - "O Holy Night"

The song of the week this week was my mom’s favorite.  As I sit here to write, I seem to be at a loss for words. Maybe that’s how it should be these few days before Christmas. Maybe we need to do a little less talking and a little more reflecting on what a holy night it was.