Happy Valentine's Day! Hope and pray that you all are doing well. We know we have much to be thankful for and are looking forward to 2020.
Last year, ten loved ones passed away. A lot of those losses came in pairs, starting with two aunts of ours dying within weeks of each other. We called my Aunt Sallie, before leaving Scott's Aunt Audrey's funeral service, to find she was headed to the emergency room. We met her there, and thought she had more time and would be back home. I then left for Germany, with my brother, for research on a screenplay. We were updated daily, with a mix of bad and good news. After our plane landed, we traveled back to Birmingham the next morning. Sallie passed that evening. Her service was not only at the same funeral home as Aunt Audrey's, but was held in the very same chapel room. It still seems surreal.
The losses continued in pairs with some overlap in their connections. Two former co-workers passed, two courageous ladies, with Ocular Melanoma passed, and two amazing women of encouragement, who put their faith in the Lord, also passed. Scott's Uncle Jim and his close friend's mother passed. People who had been on our prayer list with long cancer battles went home to be with the Lord. My step siblings' father died after a long health struggle. With each passing, I was reminded of how precious our time is here, and what a privilege it is to be alive.
As we all struggle to keep going or "keep punching" as Sylvester Stallone famously says, I keep my focus on what I know I am called to do, attending sessions with the Atlanta Writers Club and WIFTA (Women in Film & Television Association) to fine tune the pitching process. Learning to prioritize this year's goals with praise and prayer, encouraging my husband, Scott, as he finishes his book and working with him to launch a children's book, that I wrote. Serving as social media and special events chair for my senior son's lacrosse team, leading a Good News Club at our youngest son's school, and completing a School of Discipleship class at our church keeps me on my toes. There are days where I feel like I am barely keeping it together, then I am reminded to go to God with ALL of it. He has brought us so far and has shown up in so many amazing ways. Do not entertain thoughts of doubt, this I am learning. Just when I need it the most, He brings about the most amazing encouragement to us all keep going.
Our friend, Neil, owner of Neil Almazan Photography took this family photo. When I look at this picture, I smile at the two beautiful Scottish Highland cows, Rudolph and Coco, standing guard over us as the, out of focus, goat photo bombs. At Prospect Farms, Neil directed us to sit down on the grass and relax. Reminds me of the 23rd Psalm, where God makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us beside the still waters.
A Psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Psalm 23:1-6 (NKJV)
Do not entertain thoughts of doubt!
I am also reminded of this passage from Habakkuh 2:2-3 (ESV) and believe on this word from the Lord.
What vision has God given you?
Stay humble & BOLD!
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105
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