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Facing Fear

One of the problems I’ve faced over the last year and a half with getting a divorce is fear. Lots of fear. I am fearful of being alone, fearful of managing my own future, fearful of not having a partner to help me. But my biggest fear has been facing my own failure.

Todd and I separated on October 12, 2012. We had been married 20 years. I figured by now, our divorce would have been final, but my health has kept that from happening. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on October 29, 2012. I marvel at God’s timing on both events. They occurred 3 months after my mother’s death on July 13, 2012. 

How have I silenced my fear? I have put my complete trust in God. Psalm 34:4 has been my mantra. “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” This single verse from the book of Psalms has been proven to me over and over again. 

Here are the ways that I’ve sought God’s help the last year and a half: 
Daily prayer. Reading God’s Word. Sunday worship. Relying on family and friends

Just as I was starting the journey through divorce and cancer, I was taking a Bible Study on the book of Isaiah. Its prophetic message was showing me that Israel represented humanity. I was the woman in Isaiah 54 who was deserted and distressed, but God was the one who would be my Redeemer. Take a look at Isaiah 54:4.  

“Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your maker is your husband — the Lord Almighty is his name — the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit — a wife who married young, only to be rejected.” 

 

I have turned to God and spent time with Him. He has had compassion on me. He has relieved me of my fears. I can’t see into the future, but I do have faith God will take care of me. He will provide for my loneliness, my retirement, and He will be my partner. I have His promise. Romans 8:28 tells me, “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

Go ahead, give your fear to God. He can take it.

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Spice of Life

Clover, 10 weeks old

No doubt about it, animals add spice to our life. Whether your family has cats, dogs, hamsters, lizards or fish, these creatures from God can provide companionship and spice to our life.

Ten years ago, our family had to find a new home for our two cats, Tiger & Lily, due to Julie’s allergies. Julie was three years old at the time and her respiratory system could not handle the cats. We were left with one dog, Loo, who is a Shih Tzu. To replace Tiger & Lily, we went through a sundry of different animals including hamsters, fish and hermit crabs.

Megan always loved fish so we let her have a fish bowl in her bedroom. One evening on the way to dinner, she put her fish in her purse so it could accompany us and not be alone. Fortunately, I found the fish floundering around in the bottom of her purse before we left the house.

I think we had 8 or 9 hamsters in all and each of their lives came to a very unhappy ending. We had added a playmate for Loo, another Shih Tzu, when Loo turned 5. This dog was a male and we named him Timber. We didn’t realize it at the time, but Timber was a hunter…of hamsters. One Friday evening while Julie was hosting a Girl Scout event at our house, Timber presented the girls with his prize catch. Timber had hunted down the hamsters, opened the cage with his paws, and bit them.

Over the past ten years, Julie’s allergic reaction to cats has changed. She was able to tolerate the cat dander and at the age of 11 she could be around cats again. This led us to visiting Kitty City in March of this year and adopting a kitten. The timing was perfect and Clover was Julie’s gift for her 13th birthday.

Hiding from the dogs

This kitten is Julie’s “baby”, but she does allow Megan and me to hang out with him some. Its playfulness and coziness provides lots of free entertainment. The unconditional love of the kitten is different from that of our dogs. Julie has a companion for life that is much more quiet than the two dogs. God’s creations are beautiful and between our dogs, kitten and multiple fish, our life is spiced up perfectly.