Choosing Freedom Over Slavery

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

Archie and my dream was to go on a cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary. Instead, we bought our second repossessed home two weeks before. We worked on it up and until he went home, one week before our 27th. We never made it. Because of my love of teaching, crafting and Heartfelt Creations, I was blessed to teach on a cruise, checking it off my bucket list, as a single.

This afternoon I sit on a balcony, overlooking the ocean, as the foaming waves gently pass me by. I am overwhelmed by Heavenly Dad’s mercy. I have no responsibilities on this ship and no agenda. By putting my complete trust in Heavenly Dad, stepping out in faith with the cat house, careful spending, saving, and then marrying Eric, we have the opportunity to do what I thought was impossible two years ago: go on an actual, relaxing vacation. Even more shocking, as a married person.

With an excursion under our belts for the morning, we head for some down time and quiet reflection. Two people going a million miles an hour, throwing in a wedding ceremony along the way, doesn’t make for the smoothest of sailings in the adventure called married life, but that is much later in our story.

As I breath in this breath, I am grateful for the peace of the last two days. I am thankful for the chance to chew through scripture with my husband with clarity. I am grateful that Heavenly Dad allows grace, mercy and second chances (thirds, too, from what I hear). It over whelms me to tears.

With the crash of the waves and the hum of the engine, I’ll add another piece to our dating puzzle:

Smack dab in the middle of December, 2018, one of the local radio stations offered a Christmas light outing to Chicago. My lovely daughter, Taylor, had shared multiple times that she had wanted to take her beloved hubby to the Windy City but they could never find the time. “What a perfect way to hang out with my three most favorite people!” was what was going through my head. As to whether that would come to fruition, hmmm.

First, I checked with my kids. Remember, Thanksgiving didn’t end on a high point, so it was iffy if the kids would want a second outing with Mr Michigan. I was a bit shocked when they could fit it into their extremely busy Christmas schedule AND it was agreed that Eric was welcome. The kids’ first Christmas with me as a mother-in-law mixed with a dating mom/mother-in-law was about to happen.

Next was checking with Eric. He, too, could fit it into his schedule, so off we went—the nerves!

I’m not going to give you the play-by-play but let’s say all three are wonderful people, open-minded, showed grace and no judgement to each other and enjoyed the event to the fullest possible. I had many wonderful photo opportunities for all three. Though not a perfect day, it was perfectly orchestrated by my Heavenly Dad. By the end of the night, the kids had a feeling that Eric was going to be an important part of my life.

My special gift: time, adventure, and pictures for memories. Christmas gifts: check, but the day of Christmas was just a head. Taylor and Kristian’s first year as a married couple…so what would that look like for me?

Even when Archie first went home, I didn’t have a fear of being alone. I knew I was a child of the Most High and He was with me every moment of every day. The verse for today reminded me that fear can often be unseen bondage that holds us prisoner to the life or situation in life that Heavenly Dad never intended, aka slavery. It reminded me that I am His child and with that comes freedom, especially from fear of the unknown. As I sit here, one of the verses Eric and I chewed through earlier today comes to mind, 2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by faith and not by sight.”

Eric and I neither focused on our losses and/or poor decisions. Instead, we chose to move forward, taking that next step. We didn’t know where it would end up, but both knew-that we knew-that we knew with Heavenly Dad’s leading, everything would come out ok in the end. We still do.

As for Christmas 2018? That is for another day.

Until next time: Blessings!

Found Purpose, Birthday Blessings and Uglies–Were they lost?

Psalm 146:8 “The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.”

Sunday evening…I love Sundays. Darkness is sneaking into the house as shadows are crawling across the floor and creeping up the sofa. This morning we hung out at Heavenly Dad’s house, a cup of Michigan Cherry coffee waiting for us. Extra fun was the bonus that it was Crispy Creme Sunday. Donuts were beckoning to be snagged on the way to service and we obliged. Today was family time. Summer camp participants shared memories, experiences, their songs (I did my very best to jam in the pew), challenges Heavenly Dad gave them, but the best were the kids that said He had laid it on their heart to go into ministry.

Continue reading “Found Purpose, Birthday Blessings and Uglies–Were they lost?”