Thursday, October 30, 2014

Give Yourself a Break

“It’s senseless for you to work so hard from early morning till late at night.  God wants you to get your proper rest.”  Psalm 127:2 (Living Bible)

I think God’s command to keep the Sabbath is one of the commands that most of us find the easiest to break. In our society, lazy people are often defined as boring people and people who are busy and on the go are viewed as wanted and successful.

It’s increasingly harder and harder to slow down and simplify our lives. But it can be done.

God knew that our bodies would need to be recharged. When we are low on sleep, we not only jeopardize our health, but our relationships because we are irritable and not as calm or focused about things.  When we don’t take time to relax, our minds are on overload.

A day off is not being lazy, slothful, or boring. A day to play football with your boys, lounge in the sunshine, or read a book does not mean that no one else views you as worthy.  How many times at work or church do you hear your friends saying, “What do you have planned for the weekend?” Or even, “What do you have planned for the summer?” It’s almost as if you HAVE to have something planned to be viewed as exciting! That’s simply the wrong approach.

Sometimes I have “planned” nothing. And I relish in it. I see just how much I soak it in because my mind, my heart, and my body were hungering and thirsting for it. When I get the chance to sleep in, the same thing happens. It’s like a nice cold drink has quenched my thirst for rest!

We NEED at least one day a week to relax. We NEED to clear our minds, refuel our bodies, and repair ourselves from the busy lives we lead during the rest of the week.

God knew this.  And He commanded that we give ourselves a break. It doesn’t always have to be on Sunday – it could be a Tuesday if that works better for your schedule. But make sure you’re taking the time He knows you need to get the proper rest, to focus, and to relax.

Your body is hungering for it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Heart Has No Boundaries

My heart knows no boundaries when it comes to those I love. I have felt overwhelming love at times that I thought could not be topped, but sure enough, it happens again.

My heart knows no boundaries when one of my grandchildren comes to me to console a tear. The love is indescribable.

My heart knows no boundaries when my daughter has her wisdom teeth out and I have to walk away as she falls under anesthesia. The protectiveness is overwhelming.

My heart knows no boundaries. And I love that about my heart. I love that it keeps reaching for more. I love that its depths are unending. I love that there is always room to feel more.

Maybe that’s why God said, “And the greatest of these, is love.”

Love can forgive a sin that seems unforgivable.

It can love someone who seems unlovable.

No boundaries. No criteria. The heart just loves with freedom and abandon. It recalls shared values, moments in time, and deep connections.

It overflows.

My heart overflows with love for so many who are dear to my heart. I’ve cried deeper tears than I thought possible at the loss of some of those loved ones. I’ve had more painful fractures in my heart than I thought I could withstand…out of love. And I’ve had deeper joys and blessings than I could have dreamed.

All because of love.

I will do anything for those I love. I will fight anyone. Go to any lengths. Give any sacrifice to protect. For people are precious. Unique. Irreplaceable.

Those I love change me and better me. They give me hope and a purpose. A reason to live – and love.

So, here’s to no boundaries. For I want to know more love. And more. And more.

Even if it hurts. For that’s the price of love – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Just For the Record: I Hate To Clean

I’ve had to clean in abundance in the last year and half. We’ve moved three times, and each time I’ve had to clean up the last place in order to move on to the next place (or to get a cleaning deposit back!)

And I hate to clean.

I do not enjoy cleaning up crumbs. I don’t like cleaning toilets. I don’t like dust balls, lint, or anything else similar.

My kids don’t like to clean either. I mean, what kid does? I didn’t as a kid. I hated it. And I still do. But for some reason, kids think that just because you are a mom or a parent, that it’s your duty and sometimes joy, to clean. They think I should take care of it all.

So, for the record, I hate to clean. I do it because of my love for my family.

I don’t really like to cook. But I do it, because I love my family.

Just because I’m a mom, doesn’t mean that these jobs come easily for me. It doesn’t mean they are my “gift” or that I enjoy them. It simply means that I’m in charge of them getting done.  I don’t prefer it. I don’t relish it. But I do it because of my love for my family.

I want my family to have a clean home. I want things to be organized for them. I want them to be satisfied from dinner. I don’t want them to be disgusted in our home habitat, or fail to bring friends over because they are embarrassed by where we live. So I clean. I sweep. I vacuum and I cook.

For them.

Oh, how deep is a mother’s love. How deep is MY love for them.

But for the record – I do hate to clean.

Friday, October 24, 2014

It's Not Just Me

When you are going through something in life.. that “something” that seems to take up every spare inch inside of your heart, soul, and mind…and you finally get the courage to speak up about it or write about it – are you surprised when you find out others are going through something similar? That you aren’t the only one who feels those feelings?

What’s that about?

When you are feeling lonely and so many others come out of the woodwork saying they, too, feel lonely.

When you are feeling empty, angry, or weak – and so many others chime in that they are dealing with those emotions too.

When you felt as if you were the only one and suddenly you realize it’s impacting not just a few…but many, many others? Why does it seem that themes of emotion in life occur to multitudes all at once?

Maybe…just it so that we can help one another through it?

Maybe is it so that we can teach each other because of it?

And maybe, just maybe is it possible that God is trying to bring us together instead of allowing satan to push us further into isolation and apart?


All I know is that so many times I have struggled with something and finally, when I’ve felt like I can barely think or breathe anymore and I come out into the open and speak of it – I’m touched and renewed to know that not only is it not “just me,” but that there are others who are ready to give me just the words and hope I need at that moment because they’ve been there. They know “there” so well.

It’s not just me.

It’s not just you.

We are a gift to each other. We just need to have the courage to speak up so we can lean and learn from one another. For that’s God’s built-in blessing to us. Each other.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

When You Want To Shut Out The World

Sometimes I don’t want to be strong. I don’t want to be a “trooper.” There are times where I don’t want to bite my tongue –I’d much rather say what I’m really thinking and feeling.

Some days, I don’t feel like being nice. I don’t want to be reliable, or dependable.

I’m human.

On those days, and in those moments, I just want to run away. Or hide, depending on my mood. I want to shut out the world for a minute or a few hours, and just be with myself. Be FOR myself.

I want to cry on those days. I want to yell out loud about how unfair I think things are, or how I’m fed up with someone. I want to be everything BUT dependable so that people don’t take me for granted.

I want to be selfish.

Some days.

I am thankful that I’m on time. I like that I watch what I say and how I say it. I try to be a person of integrity and character and I like that about myself. I really wouldn’t change that. Not for a second.

So when I’m feeling those things – what they are really telling me is that I’m at my limit. They tell me that I’ve neglected my needs or that I’ve overdone things. They tell me that I need to take a fresh look at my boundaries.

We all have those low moments where we say or think things we might not ever consider thinking or saying when we are feeling stronger and more stable. It’s okay. But it’s important not to take actions during those times – knowing that we are in a “low” moment. It’s important not to say things we might regret, or do something that could harm ourselves or someone else, in a way that can’t be fixed.

It’s a low moment. A bad day. A hard time. That’s it.

It will go, just as it came. With one breath, one rush of air, or one sunrise. It will go.

So hang in there. Hold on tightly. Stay soft. Stay strong. For if anything is truly FOR you, faith, hope and love are. If you need to run, run for a bit. If you need to hide, hide for a bit. But regroup. Recharge. And start tomorrow again.

Monday, October 20, 2014

It Is Not Only the Old Who Are Wise

“I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’ But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.”

It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.
Job 32:7-9

What wisdom those verses share! Sometimes we automatically assume that just because someone is older than us, that that makes them wiser. In fact, sometimes we assume that just because someone has more experience in a certain area than us – that they must know what they are talking about, and be wiser than us.

I think we’re wrong to blatantly assume that just because somebody has more skills or experience or years living on the planet than us…that they are more likely to be right in their thinking than we are.
In fact, I’ve seen many people who are very experienced in certain areas of life – very wrong about things at times.

It is the Holy Spirit that gives us wisdom and discernment. If we lose that connection with the spirit that lives inside of us….it doesn’t matter where we are, what we do, or how much we’ve done it – we lose a great cord of wisdom in our lives.

A little child can have more wisdom than an adult at times. An apprentice can have more wisdom than his master. For age and experience don’t lend themselves to maturity automatically. Very brilliant and experienced people can still be very immature.

I’ve seen it.

I want the “breath of the Almighty” to breathe into me. I want Him to give me understanding and wisdom. In order for that to happen, I need to do what it takes to make myself right with God. Then I will have the greatest access of all…..for God wants to speak to me. He wants to breathe into me.

May I be HIS vessel.

*Originally published at Devotional Christian - March 2011.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

God's Grace

I have been learning a lot in the past couple of years about offering God’s grace to others.  I also know that I’ve needed more than my fair share of grace extended back towards myself in return. No one ever said that offering grace to someone else would be easy or pain-free.  But I’ve got to think that peace can replace that pain just knowing that you’re not allowing Satan to use a certain grievance as a stronghold in your life. And that thought alone helps me take huge steps in the process!

You see, when we choose to forgive someone it doesn’t mean that what they did or what happened to us was okay.  But it DOES make US okay!

If you have someone you haven’t spoken to in years, a dream that has been gathering dust, or even some words that you need to say to the Lord…don’t hesitate to bring healing in those areas today by reconciling these issues. 

It is only then that you will ever truly be able to move forward.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Imperfections of Life

Little children. They are so precious. So innocent. You watch them pretend when they are at play, and the world is at their whim. They dream of becoming a doctor, lawyer, singer, mommy, or teacher. The world is a safe place in their eyes and they are happy. They are loved. As it should be.

Teens. They start to get a little jaded. They see that not all promises come true. People don’t always keep their word and “friends” can sometimes be downright cruel. They experience hurt and heartache for the first time. But they also still dream. They dream of taking on the world and making a change. Being different. Making an impact.

Then we arrive in “adult land.” It’s fun – but not as much fun as we dreamed it would be. The imperfections of life have arrived. We battle that unexpected weight gain after our second child.  We wipe away our tears when our spouse ignores us, says hurtful words, or embarrasses us. We struggle with depression.  Somehow, our children aren’t the “good” little behaved children we thought they’d be.  We seem to always have a huge pimple on the morning of an important occasion. And those we thought would always be closest to us – aren’t.

It’s life.  And it is full of imperfections. The imperfections that you are never told, when you are a child.

We seem to always look at the missteps. The things we never planned on. The paths we didn’t want to take. And we overlook the imperfections that entered our life that were beautiful. Touching. Joyful.

When we look at the word “imperfections” we experience negative feelings. But imperfections can be freeing and they can provide just the right “uniqueness” our lives need.

Our lives are full of positive imperfections that we never dreamed we’d deal with when we were kids. Imperfections like having a “surprise” child late in life; who is the most precious, adorable thing. Someone we never could have imagined living life without.  Imperfections like stumbling across that “best friend” at church. Moving for a job and realizing you adore your new city more than your hometown. Financial blessings that we don’t deserve. Allergies that surprisingly cleared up when we turned 40.

Imperfections.  They don’t have to be bad. And they aren’t always. They are simply life’s “surprises.” They are the unexpected. The adventurous. The “different.”  They are the gifts we never asked for and sometimes didn’t want.

We are so quick to label things especially when they are things we can’t control. But life has a crazy way of reminding us we aren’t the “boss.”

Just as a child draws a picture that isn’t perfect, or a young girl bakes her first batch of misshapen cookies – life has its own imperfections. And they can be beautiful. They can be blessed. They can be full of love.  We just have to be ready to accept them. Be willing to look for the good.

It’s there – waiting to be found.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Do-overs. How many times do you wish you could go back in the past and do something “over?” We all do. We all make mistakes or have things happen to us that profoundly impacted our lives and the way we see and feel about life. We can be affected by those moments and circumstances forever.  But, how will we let them affect us is a much deeper question than simply acknowledging that they will, indeed, affect us.

Sometimes we let those past hurts or sins disable where we are today.  We don’t leave them behind in the past, where they belong. Instead we wear them with us – every moment – every second of our lives. We live and breathe them. But when we do that, we let Satan cripple us. He uses something so personal to us that God could use for a ministry in our lives; and instead, he cripples our ability to heal and be made whole. He cripples our ability to be used by the Lord.

God can provide positive outlets of ministry in our lives from those very pains and sorrows from our past. Instead of simply being “affected” we can instead be “effective.’ It’s kind of like the saying – “turning lemons into lemonade.” We can use what we did, or what happened to us, and turn it around for the good of others and for the Glory of the Lord. 

God can restore us – but we have to let Him. That means walking through those minefields of hurts and heartaches. It might even mean unveiling them and bringing them out into the open where other people will hear and know about them. But I have found that God has an amazing way of making something that we think is so dark and ugly, appear so merciful and tender when it’s brought into the light of His forgiveness and grace. It’s scary getting to that point but He will walk us through it step by step, and we WILL make it.

We each have a chance to have a “do-over.” We have the chance to respond to that “thing” that hurts our heart so deeply. That time for you may be today.  Time to make the choice to not just be “affected” but to be “effective.”  Don’t let Satan make you a victim any longer.

It’s time to be restored.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Footprints of Faith

I ran across this old post of mine the other day. It made me smile as I read it and relived the day and moment this happened. It also reminded me what kind of impressions I can leave in my children’s hearts. You never know what they will remember or take with them into adulthood.

Keep being intentional, mamas. Keep trying. Whether your child is a toddler or a teen – keep loving them and praying for them as you seek to leave footprints of faith in their hearts forever.

~ Dionna

Something fun happened to my oldest daughter today. She was bestowed with a special honor and blessing.  The way she responded to it was by politely and bashfully smiling and nodding. No one else would really know that she was happy about it by the way she had chosen to reply.

On the way home, I was talking to both of my girls about excitement and blessings. I was trying to explain to them that God loves to see us get excited about something that He blesses our lives with. I told them how I had danced around the kitchen when I was excited about something and did a few “whoops.” They were laughing at me as I was talking and yelling in the car exclamations such as, “WHOOHOO! THANK YOU, LORD!” (I was showing them how fun it can be to let out the excitement that you carry within you.)

It was okay to get some giggles and grins out of them. It was even okay to have them call me “weird.”  I just wanted my girls to get the point that it’s okay to be excited about something. We don’t need to hide it or squelch it. We can let loose and praise God with all of our hearts. I think God enjoys it when we enjoy what He sends our way. And I think it shows Him that we are thankful and appreciative.

I wasn’t quite sure my girls got the message… although I was hoping.

Tonight after dinner my husband mentioned having some vanilla ice cream that he’s been trying to talk me out of saving in our garage freezer. I gave in and said, “Okay.”  My youngest hopped up from the table – ran to the window and yelled, “I’M PRAISING YOU, LORD!” 

I think they understood my point.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Letting Go of Bitterness

Ephesians 4:31

Get rid of all bitterness.

Bitterness is such a touchy subject. It's not like you can feel free to point out to someone you love that they are showcasing a bitter heart. Because usually someone who has bitterness in their heart isn't very open to hearing points of view that differ with theirs! It's like they are caught in a web, yet content to stay there.

We've all dealt with bitterness in our hearts at one time or another. Some of us are blessed enough to have escaped the long-term effects a bitter heart can have on a person. Others aren't so lucky. They still waddle in their hurt, pain, and in whatever they have lost. They may want to escape, but they don't know how. It's like in a strange way, the hurt has become a friend. At least it's something they are familiar with! Breaking free from that - well, it can be uncomfortable!

I've had a bitter heart before. I may well tread near having one again - I hope not though.
Do you know what I learned from having a bitter heart? Not much. I learned that it cost me, though. It cost me joy, time, and it cost me freedom. Freedom from what it was that made me bitter in the first place. The more you try to bury something that has hurt you so deeply, the deeper it entangles your heart. I learned that once you become bitter, it takes a long time - sometimes years to break free and heal from that. But healing is possible.

God commanded us to get rid of all bitterness. That's a tough pill to swallow when your heart wants to hold on to it with every fiber of your being. Maybe you were really wronged. Maybe someone you loved was really wronged. You can't go back - you can't change what happened. Something or someone may be lost forever. It's done. But all that bitterness will do is rob you and destroy you. It will rob those close to you as well because they will feel and sense the effects of your bitter heart. You can't contain a bitter heart; it spills over into many areas of life.

I often think of the Amish. Quite a few years ago, some students were shot at an Amish school. Maybe you remember it? It was a horrible incident. But do you know what the Amish did? They forgave the gunman. And they did it fairly soon after the incident, if I remember correctly. I remember feeling astonished and amazed at the huge steps their hearts could take as they were burying their sweet sons and daughters. And I was humbled by it because I knew that they were demonstrating how God would want each of us to respond.

You see, ultimately, God is judge. It is up to Him to hold others accountable. It's up to Him to punish, discipline, and forgive. So by us letting go of our bitterness, we are not necessarily saying that what someone did was okay, or even that they will get away with it. Because they will have to be accountable to God for what happened. And that should be good enough for us... that is if we truly trust God.
Do you trust Him with your heart and your life?

No one ever said that letting go of bitterness would be easy. It's not. It's dang tough sometimes. All we want to do is hang onto it and what little pride we may feel that we have left. But we need to trust God; that He knows what He's doing with our life. And we need to allow ourselves to break free from the deep wounds that life gives us. We may never forget - and that's okay. What we go through in life is what makes us who we are. But we can embrace and hold close to our hearts what has happened to us without letting it destroy us. All bitterness ever does is destroy. It's good to remember that before you find yourself in the throes of it. Be prepared to find the courage to let it go. Only then will your heart truly have the chance to heal and be free. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Nostalgia Is a Powerful Feeling

My husband, daughter, and I were talking one day on the way home from church. We were talking about a “Dunkin Donuts” that was coming soon in a close-by shopping center. My husband asked me, “Are you excited about that?” And I said, “Well, yeah! I haven’t been to one since I was a kid and I want to get a chocolate covered donut with those little mini nuts. I used to love those. It’s my favorite donut.”

Then I thought about it. Would that be my favorite donut if I didn’t have warm childhood memories associated with it? Probably not. I mean, the donut is good – but it’s not out-of-this-world. It’s just a donut. But it feeds more than my stomach. When I eat one, it feeds my heart. It feeds it with feelings of memory and love.  No other food can touch that!

That’s when my husband made the comment that “nostalgia is a powerful feeling.” He is so right. For nostalgia trumps other options and choices every time, in my book. I will choose a little yellow pear tomato if offered to me over any other kind of tomato every time – out of nostalgia. Out of nostalgia, those yellow tomatoes have become my favorite kind of tomato because of the memories associated with them.

I love drinking soda out of a bottle. Out of nostalgia.

I love the sound of old-fashioned sprinklers in the summertime (not the built-in sprinkler system, but the “I need to come out every half hour and move you kind of sprinkler) – out of nostalgia.

Nostalgia has a built-in component to it. It builds in love, joy, good, warm feelings, and tender memories to everything it touches.

And I love that. It takes something ordinary, and makes it timeless in our hearts.

Often, we can be taken by surprise by the emotions and feelings that overcome us when we are taken back to a certain time and place, by a smell, a song, a taste. And for that moment, we are 6 again, riding our bicycle around the neighborhood with no helmet on, or skipping down the sidewalk, or hugging our grandparent and smelling their cologne or perfume.

Those are the beautiful moments of life. The times where we can see how we were molded and shaped by what was in our lives at any given moment and time.

May we never take those precious memories and legacies for granted. Relish that bbq’d hamburger and homemade ice cream that take you back 20 years. Enjoy that chocolate coke or that smell of shampoo.

Let it soak in, for it’s a part of you.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

A Deeper Poverty In People's Hearts

I’ve been on a few mission trips. They changed me. They expanded my heart. I forever think of life differently.

Poverty is a hard thing to witness when you realize you have so much. A toy. A pot. A mirror. Things you think are expected needs are luxuries for some. That’s a real eye opener.

But the one thing that stunned me the most was how happy most of the people I met were. The joy in their eyes and hearts was contagious. Convicting. To be happy with so little.

Over time, I’ve been stirred to focus on a deeper poverty that exists; one that doesn’t seem to be getting as much attention. The poverty in people’s hearts.

I believe we should always help those less fortunate than us. We should help those who have no money, need food, and find themselves in dire situations. Not just in other countries, but in our homeland as well. But I also believe that we shouldn’t just help those suffering from monetary poverty. We need to start taking action on the poverty that exists in a very real way in the heart’s and souls of millions.

I believe that if people didn’t have empty spaces inside of them, there would be less violence.  There would be less selfishness. Less greed. Less sexual deviance.

People are hurting. They are lost. They feel empty. They are struggling to figure out who they are. WHY they are.

People are caught up in empty quests of money, image, fame, adventure, and greed and finding its lure fades away. They still see their marriages fall apart. There kids ignore them. There finances blow up.  It’s all temporary.

There is a deep, deep poverty in people’s hearts that needs to be addressed. There is a loss of morals, values, and honor. Only once it is rediscovered, will people start feeling fulfilled again.

We need to love one another. Invest in each other. Forgive each other. Respect one another. Be kind. Be tenderhearted. Give grace and mercy when it’s needed. We need to start eradicating poverty. Physical poverty.

And emotional.

It just takes you and I. To care. To love. To feel.

Will you?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

It Doesn't Have to Be a Battle, To Be Happy

Discouragement. Frustrations. Disappointments. Challenges. Sad news. Financial Hindrances.  Does it ever just seem like it’s a battle to be happy? That it’s a battle to find good?

It shouldn’t be so hard. We shouldn’t find it so tough to discover the blessings, joys, and positive moments in life. Yet, so often, we do.

Why is that?  Why is it always easier to remember the storm than the rainbow? Why does it seem like the mountains we have to climb are so much more frequent than the pastures we get to frolic in?

I think a lot of it resides inside of us. In our choices, our attitude and our perspective. We have the choice to let the tough issues weigh more heavily on our lives. If we focus more on the hard times and the struggle – then those are more paramount in our heads. If we feel we are being misread, misheard, or misunderstood and we place a high importance on that, then that is why we focus more on these issues. Because, we are dying to be heard, understood, and empathized with!

I think if we are more at peace with ourselves, who we are and how God created us; we can ride out the tough times easier and give them less weight in our hearts and souls. They don’t take root as easily and they don’t plant seeds and grow. Our bearings are more “sure,” and so our shield is up. They don’t penetrate or impact us as easily.

Being happy isn’t a battle. It’s a choice. It’s about accepting the good AND the bad in life, altogether with one faith that keeps our feet sure and steady throughout the ups and downs.

It’s about being less “me-focused” and being more “others-generous.”

It’s about seeking less recognition for “me.”

It’s about loving well and being loved well.

It’s about not just believing God – but believing IN God and in what He can do through you, for you, and around you.

Perspective. Attitude. And choice.

There is SO much good in this world. So much beauty. Joy. Love. Blessings. Kindness. Do you see it? Can you find it?

Join with me in looking for the good that God showers down on us every moment of every day. Whether it’s the sun that breaks through the clouds, an unexpected check in the mail, a neighbor who brings over goodies, or a discount given on a purchase. 

Whether it’s a new friend, a hug given when needed, or a good night’s sleep.

God is there. ALL the time. And He is there in His people.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.  Philip. 4:8

Fill your mind with the good. Good movies instead of dark ones. Good books instead of evil ones. Good friends instead of troubled ones. Good words instead of harmful ones.

Watch joy be unleashed as you transform your environment. And watch the struggle to find good, dissipate.

There IS good. It’s all around you.

**First published in Heart Magazine - April 2014.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


There are times in life where you can feel abandoned by friends. By family.

You don’t think it was intentional. You don’t even think they realized you felt that way. But you did. And you have.

It’s so easy to put a smile on your face. To act cheerful. To be loving and kind. Nice. It’s who you are. And yet underneath exist layers. Layers that feel many other things. Loneliness. Hurt. Unqualified. Insecure.  Yes – good layers exist too. Thankfulness. Joy. Peace. Hope. But they are all mixed in there together.

Some days the “not-so-attractive” layers rise to the surface. And the good layers are buried underneath. For it can be hard to continue day after day when you feel neglected, not appreciated, taken for granted, and abandoned.

It’s the curse of a nice person. That feeling by others that you will always be there. Always there to rely on. Always understanding. Always THERE.

Then life changes. Things change. And people tell you how sorely missed you will be and it can be so hard to understand. Missed, you think? Did you even know I was there? Sure, you get nice smiles, and sometimes even a hug. But that is as far as it goes.

Where were the “others” when you spent holiday after holiday at home alone with your spouse and children because no one invited you over? Even though they knew you had no family nearby? Where were the “others” when you had party after party and yet no one offered to even have you over for dinner? Where were the “others” when the conventions came into town or the other occasions and groups formed to go together – but you weren’t included?

But – now. Now you will be missed? Ironic, isn’t it?

We don’t always see what’s right in front of us until it’s taken away. We don’t always appreciate. We aren’t always thankful. It’s easy to expect what’s always given will always be given.

Usually it’s the givers, the servers in life who are the loneliest. It’s the leaders who need encouragement the most, at times. For they pour out, and pour out, and pour out, and pour out – and don’t often or easily get refilled.

So you go home. And the phone doesn’t ring. The doorbell stays silent.

The burden of being nice. Of being reliable is that you are expected to fit into a box. One that doesn’t change. Or move. Or have its own ideas or agenda. You are expected to conform to expectations, demands, and needs of others. And forget your own in the process.

And that’s where you feel abandoned. Left out in the cold to fight for your own dreams. Your own vision for your life – lest you conform so much that you forget who you are anymore.

Fight. Fight for yourself and the gifts that you’ve been given.

Don’t let the hurt and lonely layers take over your heart. For they can so easily do that. A little space at times is okay. For feelings need to be acknowledged in order to be whole. But then let them fuel you to positive action and positive, caring people.

For abandonment will come again. That’s what people do. They are human. But this time, you will be wiser. Stronger. Better able to see it coming.

And you will be ready.