Overcoming Fear…

Today my post is much more serious than usual. Recently there have been some things happening where I live that have me living in fear. Graffiti seems to be popping up on every corner. Gangs tend to be increasing in our city, and I am not certain my neighborhood is exempt. Last night a lady was mugged while coming home. I am terrified for my children to roam around unsupervised, even though children play safely in our streets every day. Tonight, the fear came in so fiercely that I finally broke down crying uncontrollably. I do not like what this is doing to me. It is causing me to suspect and not trust others living around me.

In addition, the fear is causing extreme dislike to creep into my heart. I do not want to become a bitter or prejudiced person because of the fear I’m living in that is brought on by ungodly people and ungodly behavior. I want to be the kind of person who boldly stands against things that are wrong, but fear prevents me from being this kind of person.

Tonight I am just meditating on what God says about fear. Psalm 27 says it best:
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.

6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD.

7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me.

8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, LORD, I will seek.

9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior.

10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me.

11 Teach me your way, O LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.

12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing out violence.

13 I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

That last verse: Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. That is what I am doing. To all my Christian friends out there: Please pray for my family’s safety, for my children, my husband, and me. Pray for the safety of others in my neighborhood. Pray that violence does not creep in. Pray for our law enforcement, that they will be guided in the right direction so that they are able to zone in on the right people. And pray that I remain strong, take heart, and wait on the Lord. I know He has it all worked out. I just have to have faith.

Published in: on June 17, 2008 at 8:41 am  Comments (2)  

A Happy Mother’s Day!

Things haven’t been the best in the ol’ motherhood department lately. Whether out of guilt, or out of just plain old love, my children gave me the best Mother’s Day of my life! I came home after hearing a sermon about Hannah, and the dining room table was filled with goodies! There was a purse I had been eyeing at the Eddie Bauer outlet. There was a vase full of flowers from my daughter’s best friend Jessica whom I’ve sort of adopted. Inside the purse were goodies from Bath and Body Works, a huge card made out of poster board from Maddie and Jessica, a card from Noah and a sweet letter from Maddie. While I was out doing a little shopping with the kids, Chris grilled out rib eye steaks (my favorite!), shrimp, and baked some potatoes. He even baked brownies and served them hot on top of a bowl of ice cream. Yum!! Yeah, I’d say overall it was a good Mother’s Day!

My birthday is later this week. I wonder what they’ve got planned so that they can outdo today:) O.K. O.K. I’ll stop being greedy!!

Published in: on May 12, 2008 at 4:16 am  Comments (2)  

There’s No Place Like Home…

I feel as if I haven’t posted in about 10 years. Though it hasn’t been that long, there has been enough happening lately that could easily span over the course of ten years. Some of these things I can blog about, most I cannot because they don’t involve just me, so they’re not my stories to publicly tell. I do wish I could blog about them because I have been doing a lot of research lately, and would love to share what I’ve learned online. Maybe someday…

Things are finally beginning to feel settled. Chris and I will have our one year anniversary next month, and I would say I do all over again! Our home is beginning to feel “finished” and like a home to me. There are still many things we plan on doing to the house over time, but things are falling into place.

Work is the same: it’s beginning to feel normal as well. The change was tough at first, but now I feel adjusted. It’s funny that it has taken about a year for all this to happen.

I am hoping that by this time next year things feel even more like home. That will be a wonderful feeling to have, because to me, there’s no place like home…

Published in: on April 19, 2008 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

I’m getting married!!

Well, I’m back and ready to reveal the second reason I’ve been too busy to post. And the reason is…. I’m engaged!! I haven’t been able to publish this news on the web, because we had not told Chris’s family. He wanted to tell them in person when we went to Birmingham to visit for Thanksgiving. His family is excited. My family is excited. Heck, we’re all excited! I’ve waited so long to meet someone that I’m so happy with. I’ve been busy making some early preparations, and so far I’ve been very blessed. It’s not easy planning a wedding on a single mom/educator’s salary. I have already found the perfect wedding and bridesmaid gowns at better than perfect prices. My flower girl dress is purchased, my headpiece and jewelry is purchased. Everything seems to falling right into place.

The proposal was nothing fancy. Chris spent an entire weekend catering around my favorites: he took me to favorite restaurants for dinners and breakfasts, watched Anne of Green Gables with me, took me to see a movie in the theatre, sent me to a fancy spa with my best friend for an afternoon, and made reservations at the restaurant we were supposed to eat at on our first date but couldn’t find (This is where he intended to propose.) He had even asked the restaurant to play our favorite romance music overhead while we ate.

We had an hour to kill Sunday afternoon between our movie and dinner reservations. We decided to grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks, which happened to be where we first met. The moment felt right to him, so he pulled out the ring and asked me while we were sipping our coffee outside of the coffee shop. It was perfect! I got to say yes to becoming his wife right where I first saw and met him.

It is so true that when God closes a door, he opens a window. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world!

Chris also announced our engagement on his website. It is well-worth checking out.

Published in: on November 28, 2006 at 3:32 pm  Comments (5)  

A Weekend in Paradise…

This weekend I was supposed to fly out to Jamaica for my brother’s wedding. However, my flight dates had been changed, and the resort I was supposed to stay at neglected to pass this information along. Their negligence made it no longer feasible for me to go.

Needless to say, a trip that I had been planning and excited about for months, was cancelled practically overnight. I was bummed, to say the least, but the chaos the resort put me and others through diminished my desire to go.

However, despite all the disappointment, my weekend turned out to be more wonderful than any trip to Jamaica could have ever proven to be.

I came in very late Friday night after putting in a late day at work. (The hours I had spent making arrangements to be out of work had taken its toll on me.)

Chris was coming to visit and had called and asked me to pick up a few items on my way home because he too was running late. He beat me to the house, and as I approached the front door, I heard Jamaican music coming from inside. I knocked, and after he didn’t answer, I went on in.

What I saw took my breath and brought tears to my eyes! My livingroom had been turned into a tropical island. On the chair laid a silk Hawaiian shirt, a grass skirt, and a silk lei. My house was cleaned up, and on top of the coffee table were two stuffed animals completely surrounded by a mound of Hawaiian flowers. I noticed when his dogs ran up to greet me, that they had tiny leis wrapped around their necks.

Then, out of my kitchen, through a newly-constructed grass door, came Chris already dressed in island attire. He slid the items he had laid out for me on top of what I was already wearing, reached out and grabbed me, kissed me and just held me tight for a few minutes. He then began to dance with me. Even as I type this, the tears resurface. It was the most beautiful thing anyone has ever done for me!

We danced many times throughout the night, made ourselves margaritas from scratch, chatted, and just enjoyed the evening to ourselves. It was a perfect way to end a stressful and disappointing week.

There was nowhere else, or with anyone else I would have rather spent that time with. Thank you, Chris, for making it possible for me to spend my weekend in paradise!

Published in: on October 9, 2006 at 1:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Love and Marriage…

This weekend I was fortunate enough to attend a bachelor/bachelorette party for two very special people. My brother and best friend. It’s not every day that your brother and best friend get married. Despite the fact that each have been an important part of my life for so long, they had not met one another until earlier this year. However, when they did meet, it was love at first sight! I instantly knew that my best friend would eventually be my sister-in-law. I have watched their relationship grow throughout this past year, and it was a joy to celebrate their soon-to-be union. I wanted to tell the story of the night, but I do not believe it’s possible for me to capture the moment better than my beloved Christopher did. I only hope Kisha knows what she’s getting into. She is marrying into no ordinary family…

http://chris.sheppard.name/index.php/archives/21

Published in: on October 3, 2006 at 12:21 am  Leave a Comment