Tuesday, January 5, 2016

In Memory of My Grandma, Ollie Bell

Today marks the one year anniversary of my grandmother's death. Today, my post is the eulogy that I gave at her funeral. Enjoy and be blessed.

When I was thinking about what I wanted to say, I kept going back to family. What was my Grandma most proud of? Her family. She loved her family above all else. Her three sons, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren are what she was proud of. What I don’t think she realized is that we were just as proud of her. She lost both her parents at a young age, but overcame this and was a great mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. I have many memories of my grandma over the last 43 years. Here are a few things I will always remember about my Grandma:

The smell of Oil of Olay
The smell of Wisk on sheets
Eating breakfast at her house
Eating Sunday dinner at her house
Wearing house shoes
Snapping green beans
Lawrence Welk
Opryland – her love for shows
Going to Meigs County and seeing her family
Her brushing my hair
Holding her hand in mine when she lost Grandpa

Although every memory with her is precious, I would have to say that my most treasured ones are the ones that I had with her just this week. Sitting beside her in the hospital-holding her hand, playing Lawrence Welk for her on my phone, looking into her eyes and telling her that I loved her, and watching her take her last breath are moments that I will never forget. I will forever by changed by those moments, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

I can only imagine the reunion she was part of in Heaven with her parents, Grandpa, and her friends and family. While I am sad, I am so proud for her and know that I will see her again. Thank you, Grandma, for loving me and for giving me that time with you. I hope that I make you proud everyday for the rest of my life. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Dream Big!

Dreaming a new dream. All I can think is the song from Les Miserables “I Dreamed a Dream.” It just keeps running through my head, even though my life is definitely not like Fantine’s, some of the words describe how I feel or have felt. Here are the parts that keep running through my head:

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung
No wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hopes apart
As they turn your dreams to shame

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this h*ll I'm living
So different now, from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.

While my life is nothing like Fantine’s (thank you Jesus), dreams are something that come and go. People can steal your dream. Time can steal your dream. Everyday life can steal your dream. God doesn’t want our dreams to be stolen. He deals in the limitless and the amazing, so our big dreams are nothing for him.

As I sat in church this morning, I began to think on what the pastor was saying. He used the word BLESS to show us how Elijah prayed and how we should pray. It really spoke to me in this season I am in. God wants our prayers to be:

Bold (1 John 5:14-15)
Limitless (John 15:7)
Expecting (Matthew 7:9-11)
Strategic (Jeremiah 33:2-3)
Sustained (Matthew 7:7-8)

Without prayer, dreams are just a wisp of air for us believers. While we see prayer as passive, it is actually the most powerful thing that we can do to help our dreams to become reality. Here’s to starting a new year with the most important foundation for any believer – Prayer.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A New Dream

Don't get me wrong. I love my life. I am content with my life. However, I have recently begun to wonder am I really living? I am breathing, therefore, I am alive, however, am I enjoying and living each day the fullest? 

The answer is "no." I live. I get through my days. I take care of everything that needs to be taken care of. Inside I am wondering if I am living up to all that God has for me. I don't think he meant for us to simply eke out our days in average existence. He meant us to LIVE! 

The last two years have been difficult ones for me personally. 2014 was when I fell and dislocated my shoulder, and this sent me into a painful tailspin that I am still recovering from. Early 2015 brought me more pain when I sat at my grandmother's bedside while she took her last breath. Another step back. Mid-2015 brought surgery that left me largely incapacitated for 3 months. Another step back. Just when I thought I was getting back on track, I had to deal with a tooth abscess that led to having teeth extracted and that I have dealt with for over 6 weeks. Another step back.

My life has been a series of step backs for the last 18 months, and I am tired of it. I want to stamp my feet about it. I want to scream about it. I want to cry about it. I want it to end. 

I have been contemplating all of these things for the last few days and feel that God is saying, "I have a new dream for you. I have been with you through all of this, and it is preparing you for this new dream. Embrace your pain. Then get up and continue on. I have great things for you." 

So, in honor of this new dream, I am going to restart my old dream - Seeds of Thought...Let's see what 2016 brings. 


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