Capturing My Life (Hold Some, Release Some)

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Just last night I finished designing one of those photo books you can order online. It has taken almost a month of working off and on to capture even one year (2016) of the highlights caught with a camera of our family’s lives. Every page you add costs more, of course, but I didn’t want to leave out certain events, or people’s visits, or memories that were especially endearing. Also, when you have as many children and grandchildren as we do, nothing is short or succinct, ha-ha!

My gameplan was to chronologically display the highlights of 2016, endeavoring to include as many birthdays, trips, graduations, weddings, etc. that encapsulated those twelve months. I skipped January (since it was mostly my ministry travels, conferences, etc. – nothing that would really interest my kids who will look at the book later), and started right in with my trip to Africa in February. That was truly a life-altering trip, and even impacted my children as they saw me going half-way around the world for 20 days, to see over 8,000 people find faith in Christ. Even my older children, some of whom are questioning spiritual things right now, are undoubtedly affected by the choices, priorities and examples of their parents. Oh, and they love the safari animal photos I took, of course!

Our lives are a tapestry of highs and lows, joys and sorrows, victories and defeats. Our challenge is to capture what matters, and let go of the rest.

As in each of our lives, there are precious moments that we never want to forget: weddings, birthdays, a new child or grandchild being born, graduations, accomplishments, etc. There are other moments we’d rather forget — if we only could. My mom turned seventy this year, which was a big deal to us, since both her parents died in their 40’s. I turned fifty this year, and am very grateful for what God has done and continues to do in our lives, which seems to be getting more exciting and fulfilling all the time. However, on my 50th birthday, I was grieving at the funeral of a dear friend who was killed in a car accident four days earlier. My right hand was wrapped up from carpal tunnel surgery, and my left hand surgery was only twelve days away. Not the way I’d hoped to spend my birthday, but such is life. Some moments we’d rather forget.

Through all the ups and downs in my life, however, one thing has remained constant:  God’s faithfulness, God’s constant presence through every trial, every joy, every job loss, every death, every birth of a child, every thrilling – or even humiliating — thing that’s happened. He’s been there to carry me and my family even through divorce, loss of a career, death of a child, marital strife and issues with our children. His Word, the Bible, continues to give us wisdom, grace (divine help through it all!), guidance, patience, and peace in the middle of each storm.

Those are the things I want to remember, and I want my children to recall — that GOD is our constant. He is unchangeable and completely dependable. He is that ever-present help in times of trouble!

Psalm 59:16 I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. #inspiringhopeblog Click To Tweet

 “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced,”

1st Chronicles 16:11-13

Yesterday we watched the Inauguration of our 45th President of the United States. Newscasters and photographers captured every moment (good and bad, rioters and all) for all of posterity to see for the next umpteen years. Some were very proud moments, others shameful. But the best moments, to me, were the times that God was given the glory due only to Him — the prayers, scripture readings and statements (by the ministers, and even President Donald J. Trump himself) that directed our thoughts and our hope to the only One Who can help us, and the One Who puts all governors, kings, and leaders into those positions of power — and brings them down when necessary.

Romans 13:1: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

“Lord, your faithful love reaches to the sky. Your faithfulness is as high as the clouds.” (Psalm 36:5)

I want to remember… and pass on for my children and grandchildren… the faithful ways and nature of our Heavenly Father. I also want to exemplify that in my own life. And for all the times I fail in that, I want to model for them and remind them of God’s faithful MERCY, and the blood of Jesus that covers our sins and helps us start again. I want my children to witness and experience His faithfulness in their own lives. So, as I make a photo album, write a song, compose a blog (like this), and talk about Jesus every chance I get, I want this one thing — the faithfulness of God — to stick.

What about you? What do you want to remember from 2016 (or perhaps forget)? How do you pass on your legacy to those you love? What is your desire and prayer for 2017? Please SHARE in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts!  

NEW VIDEO:  Check out my “Featured Video of the Month” on the upper right-hand side here! Here’s the direct link:   This is an excerpt of me speaking for a women’s retreat last January 2016. I URGE you to watch this 4 1/2 minute video and SHARE with people you care about, especially if they’re facing this dilemma.

Also, check out several upcoming ministry dates and concerts I have coming up, in Muskogee, Oklahoma City, Stroud, OK, and more here:   LOVE to see you at some of these!

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”


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