Friday, July 11, 2014

This is My Story…And I'm Sticking to It!

Every writer can point to a time when he or she remembered wanting to "say" something, so they began the process of writing it down. Some wrote and took it to publication. Some wrote and wrote and just kept it to themselves. I had a journal I kept all through junior high and high school that I burned just before I went off to college. I needed to do that, but sometimes I wish I'd kept it--in a locked box somewhere to come out when I was dead. 

I have been going through old boxes of photos and mementos. I've always been  a writer and wrote all sorts of things. I also loved making cards. When my first son was born, I found this Grandmother memoirs book I gave to my mother to fill out. She filled out very few places in it! I was appalled. I had wanted her to share things with us--with my sons. She didn't do it. I know she wrote letters but I have none of those, except for a few she wrote to me in college. She was a reserved and private person and really didn't like writing, I think. She did take photos, and she took a lot of home movies (my brother took those and didn't share them.) So there you have it. 

I've tried filling in some of that book now, just to try and remember the things she said over the years. It is awful to think we lose so many family memories because of stubbornness, pride and frankly, just not wanting to take the time. I have been compiling tons of information, and realized that no one wants to contribute in our family. I've had a couple ask me for my information, but not give me any photos or information in return. It's frustrating to me.

For whom am I cataloguing all of it? I decided today that I'm doing it for ME. I'm the one who loves it, who thinks it is worth saving and for whom delights in the photos and information. So few when you share the information even say "thank you" for sharing that. (One did and I was delighted to share with him.) I've come across some in our family tree wanting information from my tree and we've done exchanges. I have ONE cousin who sent me pages of information and photos. That was awesome. I've heard of this cousin but have never met him. (He was in my mother's older family of half-siblings.) 

Because I was in the mind of a writer, I saved tons of family photos and memories and stories. But who do I share them with? I'm a writer and have a need to share my writing and stories somewhere! And I have a blog. Should I turn some of it into fiction? That was my desire early on. But at this time of my life, I have more of a need to say something about the times and people who went before me. I don't care for details so much as the story that was shared. Plus, many people forget the details and some remember it differently than I do. My memory is valid. I have a right to my own reflections and stories and memories. 

My husband (The Irate Overlord) and I had a conversation/debate recently. He asked if you believe something is true even though it is wrong, is it a lie? I argued that yes, it's a lie you believe. He pushed and said, but do you believe it is true? Is that your truth? I would hate to get into a "what is truth?" debate with a fellow Christian because we all remember the "washing my hands of it" moment! We all have moments when we weigh a story/memory in the balance and reject or accept it. 

I still maintain that it's a lie if there is truth (like, is the world flat or round?) but maybe he's right in that it comes into a gray area. What is your truth? Is your truth built upon a lie? And can you come to truth? Just because you believe it, is it true? I do believe a child can remember something over the years but when he grows up, he will see it more with the eyes of an adult, which can change the view. I've done that with some things, but many I remember correctly. 

The stories I'm sharing here are based on truth--some fragment of it. I suppose I can weigh in some comments and arguments on facts if you have proper documentation. It's something I want to do--as a writer, memorabilia-keeper, keeper of the family history, history lover and reader. 

But this is my story…and I'm sticking to it! 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Who Is Jesus to You?

How often do you think about this? If you are a Christian, you're probably thinking about Jesus and who He is to you, or maybe who you are to Him. Most of the time we're not really thinking about this, are we? He's our Savior. Holy, fully God, fully Man--right? 

A mentor (Bev Nottingham) I had during my years as a young mother recently challenged her Facebook friends to try and explain who Jesus is to them. And I had to agree with each one who commented. Yes, yes, yes! That's who He is to me, too! But then, I thought, WHO DO YOU SAY I AM? Remember Him asking this question? He asked this while He still walked on this earth as a man. And that really challenged me--who am I saying He is? 

I pulled out an old list to go see who He is in the Bible. It really was something to renew my view of Him through all the names given. Maybe this list will also remind you of who Jesus is. Is He all of these things to you? I admit that my human mind sometimes cannot comprehend or take in all of these things at one time. This year my "word" that I'm focusing on is PEACE, so when I think of Jesus, I think, "Yeah, He is the Prince of Peace" (and you know I'm singing that song in my head, Emmanuel. :) Matthew 1:23)

Who do you allow Jesus to be to YOU? Ultimately, He's just what so many have commented to my friend, Bev--Savior. He saved me

Advocate - 1 John 2:1

Almighty - Revelation 1:8

Alpha - Revelation 1:8

Amen - Revelation 3:14

Angel of the Lord - Genesis 16:7

Anointed One - Psalm 2:2

Apostle - Hebrews 3:1

Author and Perfecter of our Faith - Hebrews 12:2

Beginning - Revelation 21:6

Bishop of Souls - 1 Peter 2:25

Branch - Zechariah 3:8

Bread of Life - John 6:35,48

Bridegroom - Matthew 9:15

Carpenter - Mark 6:3

Chief Shepherd - 1 Peter 5:4

The Christ - Matthew 1:16

Comforter - Jeremiah 8:18

Consolation of Israel - Luke 2:25

Cornerstone - Ephesians 2:20

Dayspring - Luke 1:78

Day Star - 2 Peter 1:19

Deliverer - Romans 11:26

Desire of Nations - Haggai 2:7

Emmanuel - Matthew 1:23

End - Revelation 21:6

Everlasting Father - Isaiah 9:6

Faithful and True Witness - Revelation 3:14

First Fruits - 1 Corinthians 15:23

Foundation - Isaiah 28:16

Fountain - Zechariah 13:1

Friend of Sinners - Matthew 11:19

Gate for the Sheep - John 10:7

Gift of God - 2 Corinthians 9:15

God - John 1:1

Glory of God - Isaiah 60:1

Good Shepherd - John 10:11

Governor - Matthew 2:6

Great Shepherd - Hebrews 13:20

Guide - Psalm 48:14

Head of the Church - Colossians 1:18

High Priest - Hebrews 3:1

Holy One of Israel - Isaiah 41:14

Horn of Salvation - Luke 1:69

I Am - Exodus 3:14

Jehovah - Psalm 83:18

Jesus - Matthew 1:21

King of Israel - Matthew 27:42

King of Kings - 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16

Lamb of God - John 1:29

Last Adam - 1 Corinthians 15:45

Life - John 11:25

Light of the World - John 8:12; John 9:5

Lion of the Tribe of Judah - Revelation 5:5

Lord of Lords - 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16

Master - Matthew 23:8

Mediator - 1 Timothy 2:5

Messiah - John 1:41

Mighty God - Isaiah 9:6

Morning Star - Revelation 22:16

Nazarene - Matthew 2:23

Omega - Revelation 1:8

Passover Lamb - 1 Corinthians 5:7

Physician - Matthew 9:12

Potentate - 1 Timothy 6:15

Priest - Hebrews 4:15

Prince of Peace - Isaiah 9:6

Prophet - Acts 3:22

Propitiation - I John 2:2

Purifier - Malachi 3:3

Rabbi - John 1:49

Ransom - 1 Timothy 2:6

Redeemer - Isaiah 41:14

Refiner - Malachi 3:2

Refuge - Isaiah 25:4

Resurrection - John 11:25

Righteousness - Jeremiah 23:6

Rock - Deuteronomy 32:4

Root of David - Revelation 22:16

Rose of Sharon - Song of Solomon 2:1

Ruler of God's Creation - Revelation 3:14

Sacrifice - Ephesians 5:2

Savior - 2 Samuel 22:47; Luke 1:47

Second Adam - 1 Corinthians 15:47

Seed of Abraham - Galatians 3:16

Seed of David - 2 Timothy 2:8

Seed of the Woman - Genesis 3:15

Servant - Isaiah 42:1

Shepherd - 1 Peter 2:25

Shiloh - Genesis 49:10

Son of David - Matthew 15:22

Son of God - Luke 1:35

Son of Man - Matthew 18:11

Son of Mary - Mark 6:3

Son of the Most High - Luke 1:32

Stone - Isaiah 28:16

Sun of Righteousness - Malachi 4:2

Teacher - Matthew 26:18

Truth - John 14:6

Way - John 14:6

Wonderful Counselor - Isaiah 9:6

Word - John 1:1

Vine - John 15:1

Jesus. There's something about that name that means so much to so many. Does He mean anything to you? I hope so. 

Sunday, January 05, 2014

God's Thumbprints on My Life Story--and on Yours

It appears that gloom and doom are taking over the world. We have much to be sad and angry about, (we think,) but in spite of all that, there is a joy to possess.  What I have learned in my over half century of life might help someone else (or at least be a warning to that someone else--a scary warning.)

My goal is to have the last laugh in this world because I know that Jesus said, "In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 NIV. I laugh and scoff at strife and hard times.

My story began in Noblesville, Indiana. On that day a blizzard was in progress. My dad was off trying to earn enough to take care of my arrival and my next 20 years by driving a semi-truck loaded with auto parts. My doctor was outside the hospital hunting rabbits, or some such critter, and told the nurse to call him in when it was time (can you imagine? Only if you are old, I suppose.) My mother was busy with her body and first born fighting her from the inside out. She said I was the toughest thing she ever met (I take issue with that,) but always told me I was the most beautiful thing of her entire world. There’s something profound and God-like in that sentiment, if only we would possess it and believe it.

Crystal in Noblesville, Back in the Day

Noblesville has changed dramatically since that day, and  dear Dr. Dillon has gone to a better place (along with both my parents.) I have changed, as well, but there are some things that are sure and true, no matter what. We all have our stories, like all human beings. Each story (each life) begins with God's thumbprints all over him or her. The Psalmist said,"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14 NIV. He's a hands-on kind of God.

If you need a real boost in your worth in the world then read this, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 (NIV)

We had an Aunt Lola who used to say, "Ain't this the life!" not as a question, but a statement. She said this long before, but even during battling cancer and while knowing that she was in the fight of her life. She used up everything God gave to her. Every time I think of her, I think of her smiling face and bald head and I'm thankful that I was able to be a witness--and a participant in this life so I can say with conviction myself--"Ain't this the life!"

No matter what you are going through there is a God who cares and is in control. He has already triumphed for you. He puts His thumbprints all over the place, but where those thumbprints show up the most is on you and me--and in our stories. Tell me a good story. I'll tell you mine.

Where are you seeing God's Thumbprint on your life today? What is He doing for you?