Thursday, December 27, 2007

Restoration and Coming Home!

Looking at that picture you may see lots of different things,
without knowing the stories behind each of these two.
I want to tell you a story ,
I believe it started back in March of this year.
By the time March of 2007 had gotten underway, my childhood best friend had moved
back to town and resumed a job she had held prior to moving to another state,
some 16 or so years previously.
She at one time, thought she could never come back and live in this town safely,
because of the situation she left behind.
At one time she thought she would never be able
to hold her head up in this town again,
without enduring looks and whispers,
and never imagined coming back to her job.
(we are not so small now, Ya'll, but, at the time, we were still small town!)
Well, God made a way for her to come back, and just eased her path in so many ways,
to include being able to go back to her old job, where the people not only welcomed her,
but appreciated her, (and still do).
There are many more details like, she had to walk off from everything
and start over down here. So, what was the place she found to rent?
A place furnished with dishes, furniture and in an attractive, safe setting,
maybe 3/4 - 1 mile from her work.
It put her within easy reach for her co-workers to be able to drop her off
or pick her up for work.
My oldest son (we have two sons) who had married and moved to Jacksonville
(big city 1 hr north of our hometown).
This January he and his wife decided they would make their home
here in his hometown this year.
Towards that end, he got his old job back here and made the commute,
with his eyes towards the time
when he would once again live here in the town he loves.
By the end of March his wife and he decided to divorce,
which was painful for him and still is.
However, they both are certain this is best.
He moved here.
By the beginning of February, my parents had decided
that they would leave their mountain retirement home behind,
and return to their hometown, after being away for 9 years.
They began a herculean effort
to travel back and forth from North Carolina to Florida ,
for numerous doctor appointments, tests and procedures,
while preparing their home for sale, finding a home to buy, taking care of their pets, closing a business, etc, etc.
Their move back here was official 01 June 2007,
(my dm bd btw) Wooooot!

My husband and I each have a friend who moved away and found their true love!
One just got married in November and is quite happy!
The other is engaged and absolutley giddy!
They both had to be in their "right place" for this next step in their lives.

When my youngest was 7 he desired like many young boys to learn to play the drums.
He was really intent on it. He "clicked" with this really nice young man in the Youth Group,
I assisted in. The young man played drums and was a friend of my oldest son at the time.
He said he'd come over and teach him.
We were in the process of buying a new home and we chose a design that would allow our youngest to do this hobby, while still allowing my honey to sleep in the daytime, (he works midnights). We got the drums. We moved in. The young man's family moved away. Another young man in our church learned drums almost overnight, right at this pivotal time, and he really could rock, a natural ability.
There was no place for our youngest to play at church now, and no one to teach. All of this coincided with my stepping down from a full-time professional position in law enforcement for a small part-time job in the same field.
No finances for music lessons. Dream postponed, gone, who knew?

For a while my youngest had served in our Children's Church (he was about 10-11 then). However, due to several circumstances, he let that go,
and no longer served in our Children's Church.
Part of him really missed it.

In December of last year (he was now almost 14),
he signed up to help with a Basketball Clinic for young children on Saturdays
beginning in January and running for 3 months.
It led to him helping in Children's Church again.
During that time, the church offered music lessons to young people,
whoever was willing to try and would be faithful.
The parents would have to invest in the instrument,
so they could practice at home.

He practiced and within 6 weeks was playing on the Chidren's Praise and Worship Team.
We were extremely blessed to be able to first purchase a set of acoustic drums for a great deal. We used those until we were again fortunate to purchase an electric set for a really good deal. We passed the other set on to another boy,
who he shares the drumming spot with on the team.


There's a WHOLE lot more about that story I could tell,
but, it's just colorful illustrations to how
blessings often come in packages wrapped with adversity!
Your choices matter so much in such times!

On Father's Day of 2006, we rescued a lost and hungry little dog we immediately loved.
He came at a time my youngest really needed a dog, and he fit right into our family.
We just loved him, and in August of this year we lost him.
Really painful and we still don't like thinking about it.
His name was Buddy.

We weren't sure we would ever want to try having another family dog, couldn't imagine that without the painful comparisons we imagined it would bring.

Last week on Wednesday, however we drove to meet a friend of ours from church. Someone had blessed them with an adorable dog who was just too vivacious for their little girl.
Too much puppy in him, too much girly-girl in her!
As little as he is, he is a fireball and at least equal
to her petite size (she's just about 26 months old).

That dog went right to my youngest son, like he'd known him ALL his life!
We have had him for 1 week and 1 day
and he has never once been out of place or misbehaved or in anyway seemed to need us to adjust or him to adjust to us.

My husband had tried to take college a few years ago,
and we just couldn't swing it, we tried several times.
He started again in July, and he will most likely be finishing
by this coming July!

What's the point of all these things?
Well, back in March, when things were just beginning to 'pop',
I felt this impression is all I know to call it.
That this year was a year of Homecoming and Restoration.
It was more like
"Just watch what I do this year. You will see some movement, some restoration of things."
I felt it wasn't just for me, but for anyone would would believe for it.
An opportunity available to people willing to dare.

Several times this year I have reminded myself, and reminded the Lord
that the year is not over,
there is still time.
Time for people to move to what is the right place for them,
in this particular season of life.
Time for old dreams to be dusted off and made new. For dreams to become reality!

My childhood best friend is doing well. Two different friends have found true love at various places in this country. My oldest in starting over. It's not how he pictured it,
but he has faith for his future, and he likes his location a lot more!
My parents are back home (and healthy!)
We celebrated Christmas this week,
as an entire family for the first time since 1997.

My husband will have his college degree by the end of this upcoming year, we believe.

My youngest is a drummer!

This is the newest addition to our family. His name is Twitch!

What do you need restored? Is someone you love far away? Or out of place?
I don't believe we are special. I believe God is though.
What does it hurt to talk with Him about your heart's desires?



luvmy4sons said...

What wonderful stories of hope. Thank you so much for sharing them. It is inspiring.

freetofly said...

Hi, Leslie! Thanks! It's been on my mind to post for a while, but, I just wasn't sure...finally, I just decided it was too good not to share! So much to be thankful for!


Cecily R said...

Great stories as always Maria!!

Ally said...

I really enjoyed reading this Marie and getting to know you a little better. It´s nice to hear these stories of hope as right now some situations have caused me to despair..this was a good read for me. Thanks

freetofly said...

Hey, Ally. I am terribly sorry for the pain you are having right now. I wish I had words to help. The best I can tell you is whatever comes, do not settle for despair! I know you know that, but sometimes we need to hear it from each other, like runners in a marathon - we just need a spritz of 'living water' and to press until we get our 2nd wind! I'm up to my 237th wind at least by now, how about you?! ;)

Praying for you,

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!