Monday, January 9, 2012

2011, the year of life lessons!

This was written a few days ago. I held it until I felt it was the right time to place on my blog. It is a bit long, and I thank you for being so patient as to read it. I am not sure why my blog is randomly deciding to change the font and size of the text through out this post neither, I apologize for the craziness. =-)


It is once again very early in the morning, and my writing mind won’t allow me to sleep. The boys are all gone hunting, Skylar is sleeping and I am up looking out into the foggy night sky wishing it was a clear one. I have come to enjoy watching for shooting stars and talking to God very much these past few years. I talk with Him mostly when I think the rest of the world is sleeping.... I guess I feel that I have more of his attention that way. My talks with him have become like medicine to me. You know that bible verse in Exodus where it says, “The Lord is my strength and my defense”? Well that verse makes sense to me more now than ever . I find myself talking to Him quite often, and even more so when I feel weak. Funny though that I speak to Him more about my friends and family than I do myself. I think it is easier to offer prayers for others than it is to go to Him and humbly beg for yourself. I am working on this though, and maybe by the end of 2012 it will become easier. I enjoy talking with God because He is a wonderful listener. I know that when I go to God with what is on my mind, my heart will feel lighter and happier when our conversation is over. Our last talk is what prompted this blog. You see I was asked to sum up 2011 in three words by a friend a few days back, and as hard as I tried, the task was IMPOSSIBLE. 2011 was a year of BRUTAL pain. Not just for me but MANY of my closest friends and family too. When 2010 ended last year, I was full of HOPE AND EXCITEMENT! I just knew 2011 was going to be the year of a miracle. The year God proved that he was indeed the ultimate healer. However, the miracle was not to be, not the miracle I had been longing for anyways. I felt such despair. I was completely let down by God, and I couldn't understand why. I prayed so hard and so intently for MANY people and problems last year that I just knew SOMETHING good was bound to happen. But, despite my best efforts, my family and friends had marriages crumble, some lost their jobs, others were in the midst of a family crisis…. and I was losing my littlest Angel. However all was not lost, because in the process of feeling this pain in and around me, I learned three enormous life lessons.

The first one is that He INDEED is the ULTIMATE healer and MIRACLE MAKER. We just have to be patient and allow Him to show us. It isn’t going to be our way and it certainly won’t be on our timing or terms…but He hears, He listens, and He acts. But, we must do the same. We must go to Him and ask "why", be quiet enough to "listen" for his answer, and then brave enough to "act" on what it is we heard.

The second lesson was that it doesn't matter how hard you “Want” something. Ultimately God’s “Will,” will be done. It is about “CHOICES”, choosing to understand his “Will” and having the Faith to BELIEVE in it. As parents we want nothing more than to save our children from heartache, just as the Lord wants to save us from it. But reality is, NOBODY gets through life without it. If Jesus didn't, then what seriously makes us think we wont? Nevertheless, it is how we choose to deal with the losses that make us who we are. I believe everyone is going through something in their life. Whether it is a loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, a family crisis, an addiction, etc. these are blows to each individual going through them. And pain is pain no matter what angle we are looking at it from. But the pain doesn’t have to last forever. It is important to understand that there is a time for mourning each of these but then we have to turn those tears into determination. We must choose to pray, choose to fully rely on God, choose to limit how long our pity party is, and then we must choose to stand stronger than ever. I believe we are given pot holes along our journey to redirect our life course and put us on the path we belong. We may not understand why God has allowed what ever it is to happen or why. But, if you stay close to His heart, he will give you the answer eventually. Somewhere in our future we will then see that crater we fell into as a portal that led us to some wonderful happenings in our lives. It may not make up for the loss you feel, but it is ALWAYS a VALUABLE lesson in LOVE. And, as we stand up and begin to climb out of that crater, we will probably fall a few more times. But I know that as we brace ourselves and begin to climb up again, God will support us and give the boost we need to conquer it once and for all.

I was taught by my littlest Angel that when God consumes your heart, you remain stronger than ever even when your body never physically felt weaker.

The third and final lesson I have learned is that life is as delicate and as fragile as a flower. It’s beautiful to look at today but there is no guarantee that it will be there tomorrow. We must spend our time here on earth wisely and surrounded by people who help us get to where we are wanting to go. The enemy is extremely smart and he uses people as well as things to lead you away from complete Joy. Unknowingly most of those people that suck the happiness out of you are clueless to the fact that they too need to seek out their own faith, and spiritual guidance. We have to be careful that we are following God’s path and not the one that the enemy makes look so easy and enticing. He never stops working on us, and is always looking for a way into your mind. He tells us that expensive and often unneeded desires will make us happy, that alcohol and drugs will kill the pain. He feeds us negative thoughts such as “Don’t do that, it won’t work”, “they will laugh at you”, “you aren’t worthy enough”, “you are a failure”, “you don’t need church”, “if you don’t feel like getting out of bed, then don’t” and “you deserve that drink or hit, look at what you have been through/ look how much fun those people are having”. When encase they often do just the opposite, and it is a temporary pleasure that has led you straight down a path of destruction. BUT, that path can be made right again. That is the glory and grace of God. God shows us that the most precious things in life are COMPLETELY FREE …LOVE, LAUGHTER, FAMILY AND FRIENDSHIP. He shows us the right road, and he teaches us to take it with the most compassionate of hearts. The bible says the road will be long and narrow but it is guaranteed to lead us to pure JOY! Disney depicts it best when you see the Prince always fighting thorns, and grown up bushes and thistles, but once through it he finds a beautiful mansion waiting. The long and narrow path doesn't necessarily have to be taken alone either, and if with the right company, it can be a FUN one. =-)

One last thing: We all have to learn that our “being” is more important that our “doing”. We need to make sure we are “being” there for our children, spouses, family and friends, gently and unselfishly despite what our minds tell us we should be “doing”. Too often we are busy “doing” “things” we feel has to get done, instead of “being” there for them when they need us the most. Jesus taught others so they could teach us, and now it’s our turn to do the same for our family and friends. Isn’t that everyone’s purpose in life anyway….to be a disciple of God?

So this year, I plan to wake up each day and be thankful for LIFE; I know somebody somewhere is fighting hard to save theirs. I am going to work on my weaknesses; I know weakness is a playground for the enemy and I refuse to be his merry go round. I plan to stop and not overlook the small, simple, beautiful things that God gave us, and most importantly I will quit worrying about what others think. I know now that not everyone thinks like I do and if I am following my heart, then what they do and say are not important. In the end we are all responsible for ourselves and what path we are taking on this journey. We cannot burn ourselves out “wanting” things for and from others, we all must “choose” to grab it for ourselves.

So : Dear 2011, I will hold dear to all the memories you gave me and Thank you for the life lessons you taught.

Dear 2012, It is nice to meet you. I will be looking forward to the memories and lessons you have in store. Just go easy on me please, I am new.

I will close with this picture.

This is a tree down in our creek bottom that had fallen right behind where Sophie swung and enjoyed being. To me it was dead limbs that she needed to stay away from, but to her it was so much more. I can still clearly hear her excited voice saying , "Shanny, look over there at that cross, isn't that cool?" I now see exactly what she did. That old, dead tree shows me that everything falls and eventually dies, but your HOPE never has to! When I visit her swing now, I stare at that "Cool" cross and thank God for it!

Happy New year friends! Much love and God filled happiness in 2012!


  1. Your Blog is beautiful and sincere. I enjoyed every word of it. The down tree immediately reminded me of a cross.

    Your writings are wonderful and make one search their own soul. Thank You.

  2. Thank you Mom for taking the time to read and respond. I hope it reaches out and touches those that it is meant for. I know these lessons have been HUGE in my life. I couldn't help but share <3 Your very welcome!


  3. What a beautiful post and I wish strength, healthy, love, and guidance for you Shannon in 2012! *HYGS*♥~Cindy

  4. This is a great post. I enjoyed reading it and I enjoy every visit. God bless you.