Tag Archives: Faith

The Mountain or the Molehill

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It is hard to believe in just a couple of days it will be 5 years since my momma went to be with my daddy in Heaven. Every year it’s hard and this year is no different. It has been a while since I wrote on here, but I thought this would be a good time to share something I had written a while back. I shared this as a devotion at my church recently. Maybe it can help someone else who might be going through the same thing.

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My mom and I in 2007

The Mountain or the Molehill

In the early weeks of January 2012, my preacher preached a sermon and encouraged us, in order to grow our faith and strength of character in God, we needed to ask Him for a mountain. In asking God for that mountain, we were acknowledging that God would walk the mountain with us or move it if we had enough faith.

I know the power of words and what a brilliant listener God is. I was afraid to ask for a mountain because I knew if I asked God for it, He would give it to me. So instead, I bowed my head that day, and I requested a molehill.

Just a few short weeks after that sermon, God answered the prayer. If what I received was only a molehill, I’m glad I didn’t ask for the mountain.

My mother was in remission, from stage-4 lung cancer with mets to the brain, for almost a year. We were planning a cruise. It was her dream vacation. On this particular morning, the day before we planned to leave, I walked out of the kitchen, where we just had breakfast together. Moments after I walked away, I heard a dreadfully loud crash. I rushed back into the kitchen to find my mother sitting on the floor with her leg and hip bent unnaturally. I knew when I saw it that my mom had broken her hip. The cruise was a trip she would never take.

Less than a month later, while she was recovering in the hospital, she began to talk crazy and say bizarre things. An MRI showed new spots on her brain. In February, they gave us the news. There was nothing more to do. They gave her six months.

I was devastated. I had lost my father in 2009, and now it was inevitable that my mother would join him soon. The brain mets combined with the hip fracture left her unable to walk, she was wheelchair and pretty much bed bound. Initially, she went to a nursing home, but it lasted merely a few weeks. I couldn’t stand the thought of my mother spending her final days in a strange place away from her family. My husband and I packed her up and brought her to our home. Hoping my two-year-old daughter, who my momma named Stormy, would bring her some joy in her final days.

It was hard. It was more than hard, I was working a full-time job from home and dividing my time between it, my husband, daughter, and mother. It was nearly impossible, without God it would have been impossible. But, I was now momma’s sole personal caretaker. I took her to the bathroom, bathed her, prepared for her and sometimes fed her meals. It was exhausting, but it was something I knew I willing to do, something I truly believe I was born to do. People would often ask me how I did it. My answer was always “Through the Grace of God.” Towards the end, mom weighed over 150 lbs. and lifting her was harder each time. Still, I mustered the strength through my God and did just that.

There were moments I would turn up momma’s TV and go outside on the porch and scream as loud as I could. I wasn’t screaming at God. I was screaming at this horrible Cancer that was taking my momma from me. There were times when I wondered how long I could do it. But, I knew what it would mean if I didn’t have to support her anymore. I knew that when I stopped having to do those things, then she was gone from me.

There was a moment at the beginning of the 7th month after they told us we had only six left that I could see she was declining fast. It was getting harder to lift her. Her strength was failing at an alarming rate. When I stood her up from the couch on this day, I held her close and hugged her. It was hard to hold her up. She was heavy, and I was tired. I had been her caretaker so much those last few months that I had forgotten to be her daughter. I hugged her close and told her how much I loved her. She held on as tight as she could. Her strength was gone by now. That day I sat at the breakfast table and fed her. She was too weak to lift a spoon of oatmeal. It would be the last time we talked because after this day she was too weak, even to talk.

I told her how much I loved her. I told her what a wonderful mother and friend she had been to me. All the things we hope we can tell someone we love before they die. She was by far the strongest person I have ever known. But, on that morning, I told her that it was okay for her not to be strong anymore. That is was OK. The last words besides “I love you” that my mother ever spoke to me were, “Now YOU will need to be strong.”

Less than a week later, my mom passed away surrounded by friends and family and totally at peace.

I often think back to that January morning when my preacher told us to ask for a mountain. Part of me wishes I would have asked for nothing at all. Part of me is glad I only asked for a molehill. And, yet the other part, deep in my soul, knows that even though I asked for the molehill God gave me the mountain because he knew that with Him I could cross to the other side.

 

I will leave you with this 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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Breaking Through the Fog

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I haven’t written much the last few days. Every inch of my body and soul has been wracked with grief.

A week ago today we were going about our lives in our normal fashion. Then on Tuesday morning I received a phone call that will forever change our family. Our nephew, my husband’s brother’s one-year-old son was on life support. Fighting for his life after the doctors found a large brain tumor and rushed him to surgery. The swelling around the tumor caused what I believe was a stroke. He was brain-dead. We prayed for a miracle and even though I know and believe that God grants miracles, we didn’t get one for baby Sam. Baby Sam went home to the Lord on Wednesday night.

My husband’s brother and family live across the ocean in Germany. So not being able to be with them and support them during this time has been extremely painful. I am afraid to fly, but I am going to get my passport so if any other kind of emergency arises I can be with the ones I love and who need me.

Today as I write this they are having service for sweet Sam and saying goodbye to him. I am a mother to an only child, just like my sister-in-law. I can’t imagine what she is going through. I don’t want to. My heart breaks for her and when I let myself slip into what I feel has to be her frame of mind, I lose my own.

My heart actually aches, the pain is palpable. I worry for them, they were just married when they visited us here in the states over the Christmas holiday. Today is the first day that I have been able to start to type without breaking down.  I am breaking through the fog, but I worry so much about my brother and sister in law. The only thing that gives me hope they will pull through this is something my brother-in-law put on his Facebook page yesterday. I have copied and pasted it below.

If you are a praying person I would gladly accept any you could give to our family especially sweet Sam’s Momma and Papa!

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When we got up this morning it was cold and raining. I cracked a few windows to let some air flow through the house. I started packing some of Sam’s things. One of the neighbors and Joyce’s good friend came over to help. Joyce was sitting alone in the living room, looking at Sam’s pic, talking to it, and kissing it…saying come back to Mama, Sam.

I was in the garage when her friend came to me and said Joyce needed me right away. I hurried to the living room and found Joyce and the neighbor on the couch crying. Joyce said Sam is here! Sam is here! I looked up and saw the most amazing thing. A unbelievably beautiful butterfly was flying around the living room and even landed on the carpet that Sam used to play on. we watched it fly for a while, visiting all of the places where Sam liked to play.Then I opened the balcony door to let it out. It came over and landed on the door but wouldn’t leave. I tried to gently coax it out by waving the curtains at it. Joyce went to it, held here finger out, and said come to Mama. It climbed on right away and she said its ok Mama is crying because Mama misses you so much. As she talked to it, It didn’t want to leave her finger so she sat it on the mat outside and said its ok you can go and Mama loves you so much, but please come back again. The butterfly slowly flew straight up into the sky towards heaven and disappeared over the roof top.

In the Philippines, the people believe that if you see a butterfly when someone passes away, it is the soul of that person.

I find this event truly amazing because as long as we have lived here, there has never been a butterfly of that species in this area. And, I have never in my life seen a butterfly in the dead of winter especially while raining………….have you?

From now on, I will be cracking the windows every morning.

The Warmth of Your Love

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Two years ago today, my mother departed a sick, bedridden body and went to heaven. Walking proud and healed of all her sickness. It is easier this year than it was last year. I feel both sadness and comforted by that. I wrote this poem in memory of her.

 

The Warmth of Your Love

©S. Tennyson Taylor

 

Not a second goes by

When I don’t feel the warmth of your love

It has been two years today

Since I said goodbye

And yet, in each significant moment of my life

In each small act of kindness

I feel the warmth of your love

You taught me strength

You showed me kindness

You held my hand when we walked

You held me close when I was afraid

I felt the warmth of your love

I watched as disease riddled your body

The C word

The horrible, awful C word

You fought hard, squeezed out every bit of life you could

But in the end, the angels came

I can no longer wrap my arms around you

I can no longer sit up all night talking with you

I can no longer see your sweet face

But, no matter where I am

No matter what I am doing

Each and every day

I can still feel

The warmth of your love

My mom and I in 2007

My mom and I in 2007

Happy Anniversary, Honey!!

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It is hard to believe, that twenty-two years ago today, I said “I DO” to the man of my dreams, Tony.

Young Love 22 Years ago today!

Young Love 22 Years ago today!

Thinking back we were such babies. I had just turned 21 and he still had a few months to go. I know we were way too young to get married. It took years for us to really figure out who we were. But, I wouldn’t change it for a thing. I would marry him again tomorrow.

We met the old fashioned way, cruising. No not the kind of cruising you do on a boat, but cruising around in our cars, hanging out with our friends. Well, at least that is the way we did it here in Georgia back in 90’s.

He was with his buddy in little pick-up truck. I think it was a Ford. I was driving the big brown 1977 Cadillac that had belonged to my grandfather. It is important to note that the dragging muffler, which was annoying, was actually the only reason I met my future husband. So here is to all those dragging mufflers out there! CHEERS!

His eyes were the first thing I saw when he looked through the window and into the car. There was something in those eyes, familiarity, hope, intrigue. A short while later we began dating.

Ours was a rocky relationship. During our first year of dating were broke up as often as we were together. And they were HARSH break-ups. But something always seemed to pull us back to each other.

Our last break-up ended with him doing something stupid (they always do right!). But I didn’t let it go and cussed him out in a very populated area where his and my friends were. It was brutal. And we went our separate ways.

Fast forward a few months. I was dating 3 guys, not serious with any of them, but I was “OVER” the dating scene. I am not perfect but I have a faith in my God and when I realized that I was ready to settle down, I laid down one night and before I went to bed I prayed that God would show me which one of those boys it would be.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning and realized I had dreamed about Tony.  “It was a fluke,” I told myself. That is crazy. There is no way Tony is the one!

And so, the next night I prayed the same prayer. Guess who I dreamed about? Yep, Tony.  I was actually a little ticked at God. I mean why would he keep shoving Tony in my face when he clearly wasn’t one of my choices.

Day three and you guessed it, I dreamed of Tony again. By now I was like, “whatever”. I knew God had good intentions, but I mean Tony and our break-up was brutal. I mean, severe. But, since I do believe that God answers prayers, I finally found the nerve to call Tony later that day.

It is funny, I don’t remember the call word for word, but it went something like this.

“Hey, it’s Shelly.”
“Hey, what is up.”

“Not much, just thought I would call and say hi.”

“Cool, you wanna come hang out tonight?”

Yeah, after humiliating him in the parking lot, he asked me to come and hang out that night.
I went.

Later that night while we were hanging out, before I had a chance to tell him about my dream, I heard him tell a buddy of his that this was the girl he was going to marry. I knew that to be true. I mean, I had inside information.

His proposal came a few months later.
We had gone shopping for Christmas presents, but he dropped me off at the mall and then went his own way. I knew he was looking for a ring and expected him to ask me on Christmas Eve.

When he picked me back up from the mall that day, I asked him if he found what he was looking for and he said he did.

The drive home from the mall to his parents’ house, which is where we were headed, was only about thirty-minutes. But about half way through on the side of the East-West Connecter in Austell, Georgia, he pulled the car over.

He said he needed to “check” on something. After going to the trunk, he came around to my side of the car and opened my door. He got down on his knee, in the grass, on the side of the road and asked me to marry him. I, of course, said YES!

Some people may think that it wasn’t a romantic proposal. But the truth was it was extra romantic, because he wanted to ask me “SO BAD” that he couldn’t even wait until we got home. He was so excited to ask me to be a part of his life that he pulled over on a busy road. If that isn’t romantic, I don’t know what is!

And today we celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary!

I love you babe and I am so happy that God chose you for me! — The picture below was in 2012 but I love it!!

2012 Cruise

2012 Cruise