Month: November 2016

The Story Behind My Pillow

4 Reasons We Need Pillows
pillow bedding bed sleeping
1- Pillows help keep your head, neck, and spine in a normal position during sleep.
2- Pillows keep you from waking up with neck pain.
3- Pillows allow you to breathe easier and have improved circulation.
4 – Pillows are a necessity to hold all your thoughts.

Number four I hold to the most.
While I was growing up, there was no staring at your phone or laptop before you decided to turn your brain off and fall asleep. And, having a TV in your bedroom wasn’t as common as it is now. There wasn’t as much stuff around that kept you from thinking like we have today. For me, going to bed, when my head hit my pillow meant I was going to think, think, and think some more. And what soaked up all those thoughts? My pillow.

As years went by, my pillow began to know more about me than anyone else. After all, it wasn’t worth telling my parents, siblings, or friends my many thoughts that had built up during each day. My pillow sure knew them all, though. Happy and sad thoughts it held. My pillow knew more than anyone else what toys I wish my mom would let me get when younger, to who I had crushes on as I got older. I know it felt all my joy-filled thoughts when I got my first real job. And I bet my pillow wished it could have told me to zip my thoughts shut after that day I got my driver’s license. And yes, my pillow sure knew how I dreaded getting out of bed for school day after day, year after year.
That pillow was there to soak up those thoughts plus a quarter million more, at least. I’m sure it was a bit relieved when I began putting many of my thoughts into my new best friend: my journal that was kept next to my bed. Here’s an example of what my pillow was spared from.

March 8, 1980 (12 years old)
Today was boring. All I did was clean up around the house. Mom was at work and Dad and David were out of town. It was a pretty day, but totally blah. I didn’t do much of anything that seemed important. A day not to remember. Plus, my skin is extra irritating today. Why me? Why do I have to have eczema on my arms? I mean, out of all the people in my family, why do I have to be the one to have it?

So why am I talking about my pillow? We all have pillows, so what’s the big deal? The reason is to help explain why that word is included in the title of my book: God and My Pillow. At the beginning I thought of just calling it My Pillow.

The day I found out I was pregnant was the day all my thoughts took a drastic turn. That pillow began its toughest job: hearing all my thoughts that were consumed with guilt, embarrassment, worry, shame, regret, and more questions than I’d ever had. b517537b7375822db752c6dd7c03ce4aEvery night, lights off, I was in my own world, free to load all my thoughts and tears onto my pillow. Family and friends knew some of what I was thinking, but still, not nearly as much as my pillow did. As each new day began, it would hear me think,

“I wish this was all just a dream?”

“Perfect name!” I felt, when contemplating a title for this book.

Then, as I got deeper into writing, including more of how God showed His Fatherly hands carrying me from beginning to end, I began to think differently.
Wait! How dare I not include who else knew all my thoughts: God! After all, He knew far more than anyone or anything about what I was dealing with. God and My Pillow. Perfect!

I felt much peace inside when I decided to give my book the name, using both who knew all my thoughts from beginning to end—God and My Pillow.

Psalm 139:2-4  describes it perfectly. —  You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
For more about God and My Pillow, click  here .

Why Keep A Journal

give-thanks-lm-front

Thanksgiving week is here and there are many things that have taken place this last year that have filled my heart, mind, and soul with much, yes, thankfulness. One of those is having this year gone through all my journals. First time in years that I read page after page from when I was twelve years old, in 1979, to now. Rolling my eyes with “That was ME?” thoughts occurred every few pages. So I’ve decided this Thanksgiving week to share what I wrote one year ago because it fits perfectly: Why keep a journal?

September 2015 

Many ask ‘Why keep a journal?’ My answer – Why NOT keep a journal. After all, our mind is crowded with a million thoughts every day, often times not able to sort through them. So why not take out a pen, and jot down a few of those thoughts? So often I’d feel better after throwing my thoughts down, making room for those other thoughts still wrestling around in my head. I started mine in 1979, when I was only twelve years old. Looking back at the joys, trials, frustrations and excitements I went through has been funny, sad, encouraging, and even a bit embarrassing.

Now sure, there are many reasons to keep a journal, or as I also call mine, a diary. Make an event forever remembered. List ideas for possible future needs. Jot down goals. Storing that list of joy filled happenings to encourage when things aren’t so joy filled. Perhaps it’s geared toward improvement in a certain area of your life.
Tons of reasons. But for me, I’ve kept my journal for two.
1) To never forget what I never want to forget. (a sweet and simple reason don’t you think?)
2) To see what and how God nudged, pushed or carried me through the different stages in my life.
Number two wasn’t my reason when I started it at that tender age, that’s for sure. But now? You bet it is. Seeing what God had done for or to me, throughout all these years, could easily be the best reason I’ve kept it.

Are you curious what my forever favorite part from all of my journals have been? The last time I wrote before God opened up my heart, making me one of His, to the first time writing after He saved me. That time in-between those two writings was the most important part of my life. All the writings before and after are like night-and day. The old me and the new me

 (Those two journal entries are shared  HERE )
Now don’t think all my writings after wards have been all peachy-keen, happy with a capital ‘H’, full of joy, peace, over flowing about God’s blessings on every page. Far from it. Yes, there was that throughout, but right along with trials, sorrows, frustrations, and that occasional feeling of giving up. Yes, a few tears I also remember shedding as I wrote at different times. But thankfully, just a page or two later, my diary showed how God brought something or some happening my way, causing me again to count my blessings. It’s noticeable how trusting Him grew as years went by.

So let me encourage you to keep a journal for this one reason. To forever remember the small, medium, and large blessings God has brought your way and how He held you in those tougher times. Now sure, those huge blessing aren’t so hard to remember but those small ones? Write them down.

cropped-writing1.jpg

I guess I just want to share, with those of you here, how good it can be to have, on paper, how God intertwines in your thoughts. Remembering how He held you through tough times, as He also grinned ear-to-ear with you during those joyous times, can be a great page turner. What’s also valuable is noticing how you felt about Him years ago vs. how you feel about Him now, noticing how that love has grown.

So if you have a journal going already, keep it going. So glad I’ve kept mine going now for 36 years. And if you haven’t? Well, it’s never too late.

 

Staring At My Shoes.

shoe-carnival-5

“Okay, the doors now shut. I’m home. I’m pregnant. Now what,” I, the most nervous nineteen year old in the world, asked myself. I walked into my home, having found out a few hours before that I was pregnant. There I was, facing the fact I had to tell  my parents.

What made it the hardest reason to tell them, or really anyone, was because the year before I shared with them how God had graciously called me one of His chosen; a Christian. But it’s one of those situations where I was then the only one in that home who even understood what that was all about. Don’t get me wrong. My family didn’t shrug me away when I told them I was a newly saved follower of Christ. Far from it. I just felt I had to be a bit on guard in what ever I said or did in that home that year. Needing to tell them I messed up and was pregnant was obviously something I didn’t look forward doing.

Now standing inside, having just prayed outside that door before coming in, I continued wondering what to do as I started hearing my parents talking in the kitchen down the hall.

Should I tell them now or wait? I should just get it over with. Okay. I can do this. I hear them in the kitchen. I guess I’ll just walk down the hall and tell them.

A few steps I went, but the stairs up to my room right there were sure tempting.

Stay to the right, go to the kitchen, and tell Mom and Dad.stairs

But no, my nervousness won and I went to the left and started walking up.

Half way up I stopped. NO! Just tell them. TELL them.                      I then turned around and went back down. Slowly I took a sharp left, went a few more steps and there I was.  The shoes I had on I can picture because, as I walked in I was looking down, staring at those shoes. If I didn’t have that comfort inside of knowing God’s Fatherly arm was over my shoulder as I walked in, I don’t know how I could have survived the shame I felt.

Now sure, I’d love to get into detail about what happened in that kitchen, but that is all shared in my book. I will say, however, that I began loving my parents and siblings even more after they learned what I was now facing. Being as I was not the only one of my siblings this had happened to, mind you, explains why my parents weren’t ignorant to this type ordeal. However, my family responded as if I was the only one on earth they cared for and loved. And on that day, I sure needed that.

To be continued.

Click HERE  to read how this entire story began.

Songs Sure Can Word Things Perfectly

ilovemusic

I admit, I think I like songs too much. Wait, I take that back. I know I like songs too much.

Of course the instrumental side of a song means a lot, but it’s the words I’m talking about. Words can often touch me hard, being I’m one who sees how the words apply to what I’ve gone through.

As the years have gone by, I’ve found many songs that fit perfectly in many different ways going through what I did with my first pregnancy, and a few years later with my encephalitis illness. Other tough times I’ve endured come to mind as well when listening to certain songs. Many explain what I think and how I feel better than I ever could.

With my first book, God and My Pillow, there is one song at the end that fits perfectly with my story. I heard it the first time when I was close to finishing my book. I melted as soon as it started. That song described perfectly how God held me, from beginning to end, during my entire ordeal. I made a decision when that last note played: I was going to put that song’s lyrics at the end of my book. 

Not to totally change the subject, but I am one who does a few-miles run every few days if, and only if, my iPod runs right along with me. I’d much rather hear my favorite songs instead of my feet pounding on the sidewalk. So there I was running one morning, song after song helping keep me up to the speed I knew I should go. While running, I was thinking about the next step I needed to take with my book, not really certain if that step was right or where it would take me.

I’m pretty much done now. What’s next? Oh Lord, help me know what I’m doing.

Then this song called Already There by Casting Crowns began, which I felt fit perfectly with what I was thinking. 

From where I’m standing
Lord it’s so hard for me to see
Where this is going
And where You’re leading me
I wish I knew how
All my fears and all my questions
Are gonna play out
In a world I can’t control

When I’m lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memorynotes
Cause You’re already there
Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
You’re already there

From where You’re standing
Lord, You see a grand design
That You imagined
When You breathed me into life
And all the chaos
Comes together in Your hands
Like a masterpiece
Of Your picture perfect plan

One day I’ll stand before You
And look back on the life I’ve lived
I can’t wait to enjoy the view
And see how all the pieces fit. 

Can I assume you can see why that is now one of my favorite songs? Of course I apply that to all my days, to all my wonders, to all the areas of my life. It meant a lot more to me then than before, confirming deep inside how God already knows what this adventure with my book holds. It’s part of His, as the words say, picture-perfect plans.

To get information about my book God and My Pillow, click  HERE .