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Memorial Day: May We Remember.

May 26th, 2014 by stephanie

Memorial-DayDid you know that today used to be called Decoration Day?

Few of us are aware of that nowadays, but that’s only because few of us have ever been told.
It may come as a surprise to some, however, Memorial Day used to be a special time set aside for Americans to visit the cemeteries. While there, they would decorate the graves of those who had given their lives in service to this country. (Love it!)

My grandmother and my mother shared that information with me when I was a little girl, so I am fortunate to have known that historic tidbit. But there’s a reason for that too.

You see, Memorial Day used to be celebrated only on May 30, and as that is my date of birth, each year my grandmother or mother would remind me of the holiday and it’s meaning. Which of course I loved. They would always say,

“You were born on Traditional Memorial Day.”

Apparently, as the story goes, the powers that be decided Memorial Day should officially become the last Monday in May so that federal folks could have a 3-day holiday. The rest of us have come to enjoy it too! And now, all of us know the rest of the story (Paul Harvey).

For you trivia buffs, here’s more.

Just my thoughts,

Ecclesiastes 3:8 ESV
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

– Stephanie

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Bizarre God Moments.

May 19th, 2014 by stephanie

You know those moments where you think, “Did that just happen?” I get those a lot. And I know I can’t be the only one out there. But I have to admit, sometimes it feels like

When the phone rang, I glanced at the number. It was not connected to a name, but I recognized the area code. I didn’t catch the call but I did catch the voicemail. It was a friend of my mother’s who was in town visiting.

Long story short, I offered for my mother and I to meet them for church then join them for lunch. When we met up with her in the church lobby, I noticed the daughter of this woman, who was with her, was not doing well. Let’s say something was very “off.” My mother noticed it too.

As the morning progressed, I could see this person was not doing well. At the end, as the congregation began to exit, the daughter slipped out for a moment. It was then the mother told us, “She was raped this past week.”

We were dumfounded. Suddenly, the oddness I felt earlier, changed to immense compassion and sadness.

It didn’t take long. As the food was being served, the girl began to pour out every detail of the horrid event, right there in the restaurant. I had a feeling she would get to that point, and pop, and she did. Awkward.

We just sat there. All listening. Letting her divulge and cry. The situation and what she endured in the park that day was beyond my comprehension. People are so evil. And this story was certainly unlike any other I had experienced.

Do you ever find yourself in situations that seem “above your pay grade?” If so, I fully understand. It’s moments like these when you realize you simply don’t have what it takes to fix the problem. You don’t have the required skills.

But you know what? You don’t have to have them. At those moments, people just want you to listen. To accept them. To hear their story, over, and over, and over again if need be. They just need you there. Physically present. To listen. To hug.

That girl will not be healed soon. This is a very long path and journey that she has been thrown on to and forced to take against her will. But she will always know there truly are people out there who care for her and that will be there for her. And listen.

Remember: it’s just about being there.

Thot for today:

You don’t have to be an expert. You can point them in that direction and get them the help that they need. Just know that your willingness to care, at that moment, that’s all they are really asking for. And needing.

Just my thoughts.


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Tough Stuff.

May 15th, 2014 by stephanie

Have you ever wondered what it was like for the Christians in Jerusalem when they first learned that the evil Saul had supposedly converted to their faith? Not only that, but he was now coming to town!? I wonder if any of the hidden conversations prior to his arrival went something like this…images

“But he killed my brother,” comes a voice from the back corner.

Another is seen shifting position amidst the shadowy circle of robed forms, before speaking, “He imprisoned my mother,”

“He beat my son,” whispers one from the front.

“But he has become a Christian,” the leader states in a solid tone that doesn’t ask for, but rather commands, respect. The dark room that rests beneath the streets falls silent. Only the light from the moon shines through the grid from the streets above.

This wasn’t how it’s supposed to go. This hated man who has stormed the country in hot pursuit of believers in The Way has had only one goal: Destroy any and all who have chosen this new religion. Why on earth would anyone now believe this horrid individual has truly experienced a change of heart? Or, truly become one of them? If the secrets in their hearts could be seen, some would rather see him dead, than “saved.”

“He is now one of us,” come the dreaded words one final time that shake them from their thoughts. The men slowly file out the door, knowing they will return again. Tomorrow. After they have had time to sleep on this shocking, perplexing news. A decision will be made. But not tonight.

As they toss and turn in their beds, these men, the respected leaders of the new faith, The Way, wrestle with yet another new dilemma. These are the men the people look to for direction and strength. The ones that will set the precedents for centuries of followers to come. The role models for the future generations of believers. What to do? What to do…

Dire Straights.

Obviously, the above is a fictionalized version (from my over-active imagination) of what might have transpired when the new leaders of the church in Jerusalem, the apostles themselves, were first informed that the hated killer of Christians, had become a believer. A follower of Jesus Christ.

Paul’s conversion is a wonderful study to be sure. (Acts chapter 9). But my thoughts for you today are these:

  • Is there someone in your life that has told you they have changed? Is it impossible for you to believe?
  • Do you have a big decision to make that involves someone you don’t trust?
  • Are you asked to go above and beyond in a situation that is out of your control and feels totally unfair?

You may very well have a difficult situation on your hands. Perhaps it’s a comfort to know, others have gone before you and felt or experienced the same. Men of great, and lesser, stature have been faced with weighty moments that hold a myriad of complications. Choices with consequences. Times that are not for the faint of heart.

May I suggest this: when the big shocks come that demand the “right” reaction from you, accept that you and I may not always make the best call, like the disciples inevitably did. However, let’s strive to not be controlled by emotions or fear, or led or swayed by our peers. May we, in the end, try to make the best decision, for not only now, but for the future. Then, may we move forward knowing that we gave it our all. We did our best and acted in the only healthy way we knew how for that moment. And the rest? We must leave in God’s hands.

– Stephanie

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May Day: 5/1/14

May 1st, 2014 by stephanie

Did you know…that the first day of May used to be called “May Day”?search

I asked my grandmother to recall what she could about this particular long lost special day. And she told me.

“We use to make up little baskets of flowers and put them on people’s porches then run.”

This is what she shared with me while recalling the memories of yesteryear. “It was fun when they would open the door and see their flowers but they never knew who brought them. I don’t think they do that anymore.”

She’s right, I don’t think I’ve ever found a bouquet of posies on my doorstep…well, on May 1st, at least.

“If you knew another elderly person besides your grandmother, “she chided with a wink, “I bet they would remember.”

From what I also understand, this is the day people also danced around the May Pole. It’s actually pretty impressive. I added a video clip of a real one here for you, but you have to watch most of it to appreciate the art form.

If you have someone over the age of 75 in your life, ask them what they know about May Day. I would love to hear what stories you learn.

Happy May Day to you!

Just my thoughts.


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