No Pretending

While I stammer and struggle with feelings and words, my dear friend, Lori Roeleveld, has the ability to put life back in order for me. It’s like she strokes my hair with her calming touch, only she uses words. Lori’s words did it again. They gave me the permission to feel what I already felt but didn’t know how to put them into words. I need to allow myself to lament.

If we’re all honest, the Las Vegas Massacre devastated each one of us. Every last one of us was touched in one way or another. Allow yourself to lament, too.

Love you, Lori. My life is blessed because of your friendship and your words.

https://loriroeleveld.com/blog/be-wretched-and-mourn-and-weep/

Remember

Tree_SparrowThe voices in your head. They can be all-encompassing.

They can motivate you to keep going or freeze you in your tracks.

They can make you cry out or quiet your voice to a whisper.

They can own you or arouse the need for freedom, deep within your soul.

Don’t let the voices in your head decide how you view life. Fear is real. We all deal with it, so don’t run from it. Instead, dig deep into it. Find out where it’s coming from.

What are you truly afraid of?
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Celebrating Les Green and Mourning My Temporary Loss

Every day counts and I’ve never felt that as poignantly as I did this past week.Les Green

I found out about the death of my cousin, Pastor Les Green of Nebo Crossing Church in Nebo, NC, on July 2 through social media. Les and I had drifted apart over the years. I can’t speak for Les, but I know I had become more involved with my life than the world I had left behind. Once I finally reconnected with Christ, too many bridges had been burned and it seemed almost impossible to reconnect with everyone from my past. Unfortunately, some of those bridges were with family. And one of the relationship casualties was with Les and Debbie.

The last time I saw Les and Debbie was briefly over thirty years ago at our Grandpa and Grandma Green’s house. I was coming in and they were leaving. A quick hello was all we shared. Then they were gone. Little did I know I’d miss out on some incredible life experiences.

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Memories of Treasures Long Ago

Dad_Robin Lk Lavine (2)

J. G. Gilbert & Robin Gilbert Luftig at Lake Lavine, MI, Summer 1958

Even though my family of origin was pretty dysfunctional, one of my favorite pastimes when I’m feeling a bit low is to remember stories about my dad and how he honored my feelings and held them close to his heart.

I always jumped at the chance to be with Dad in his room—the Gun Room. It was a treat to steal away with him when he went upstairs to his room. He kept guns, cameras, family photos and film equipment, and special sentimental pieces from his childhood there. I am certain he kept us out for our own protection when it came to the guns. We were all told the only time we were allowed to go in there by ourselves was if the house was on fire and we could safely get the family’s 8mm films out and save them from being destroyed. Other than that, the Gun Room was strictly off limits. Whenever I saw him in there, I would beg to join him. And he always obliged. While he worked away on whatever project he was concentrating on, I looked around his private sanctuary with marvel. I would fold my arms behind my back holding tightly on to my wrists, just to make sure I did not touch anything. I did not want to run the risk of inadvertently grabbing for something and causing harm.

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When Suicide Hits Close to Home

Beth headshost 24Those of you who know me know I have a heart for those who deal with various forms of brokenness. Most forms of brokenness come when Life veers from what’s perceived as normal. A year ago my path briefly crossed with Beth Saadati, and I counted the days until we could meet again.

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Courage to be Perfectly Imperfect You

Courage is not the absence of fear … it’s the presence of hope. Check out Shelly Beach’s latest blog. You’ll be blessed by it.

The Greatest Reception

“The week before the bitterest rejection …”

Thank you, Debbie, for showing us our part. A celebration for all-time was greeted with heartache. But blood needed to be shed.

While my sins put him on the cross, my heart sings because of his complete love for me–and you!

Does God Cry?

Crying

Have you ever wondered if God cries?

To help me understand what’s involved with having a personal relationship with God, I try to see Him as I see others with whom I have relationships. I mean no disrespect by this. I bring Him down to my level—figuratively, of course—so I can look into His eyes and try to understand who He is to me.

That’s how I started the morning of April 1, 2011. It was Friday and I thanked God for bringing me through another work week. Little did I know while I was thanking God, He was sitting on the edge of his bed, elbows on his knees with his head in his hands. He knew when he got out of bed that day everything would start falling into motion. He choose to stay on the edge of his bed—just a few moments more. He knew this day had to come. He knew before I went to sleet that night I would hear news that had the potential to rock me to the core of my foundation. He knew today would be the beginning of my need to revisit my personal hell and the demons He had banished from my life year earlier.

As He finally got out of bed and strolled to His kitchen, He knew this wasn’t how He planned to do things. This had never been how He planned it. Sin had gotten in the way all those years ago. His children were all paying the costs and He was cleaning up after it—still cleaning up.

As he poured Himself a cup of coffee and fixed His cereal, He felt the pain I would experience later on that day. With each spoonful of cereal, He pondered on what was to come. He stopped, put his spoon down and rested His arm and forehead on the table.

I wonder if God cried for me that day.

These are some of the thoughts that careened through my mind the early part of April 2011. I write about that and more in my new memoir, “Ten Days to Live: How God Used a Brain Tumor to Heal a Heart.”

Watch for it!

Remember My Story

Dad, Dave's weddingThis week is my dad’s birthday. If he wouldn’t have died over thirty-five years ago, he would be eighty-six years young now. Today, he would have had the privilege to celebrate with his children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren.

There would have been cake, I’m certain of that. Even though he never liked anyone fussing over him, he would have appreciated the gesture. Maybe he and I would have made it together, just like the old days. He helped me made my first cake—yellow box cake with chocolate frosting. It was frosted in globs and sat lopsided on the plate, but he told me it was a work of art.

And I believed him.

I’m certain the conversation would have gotten around to hunting. My brothers and I would remind him that he took us all hunting when we were old enough. I can hear him now, saying he didn’t hunt much after we grew up and left home. He’d say it wasn’t the same.
Robin age 4 hunting Continue reading