Monday, September 21, 2009

What Makes My Life Better/Giveaway Winner!

My Pink Saturday post this week was the question "What makes your life better?" and a giveaway of the pink pillow shown along with that post. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to comment and answer my question. Many of your answers listed the company of your husbands, children, grandchildren, extended family and friends. Some of you enjoy your pets (doggies & kitties) and/or your hobbies such as reading, listening to music, and creating homemade things. A few of you listed your home and it's location, your health and a good cuppa' of coffee. Some of you mentioned God and your relationship with Him. I want you to know that I read each of your responses thoroughly and I feel as though I know each of you a bit better!

As promised, now I'm going to tell you what makes my life better.

Nine years ago I was floundering. I was newly divorced with two elementary-aged children and I worked full-time for a funeral home. I'd been at my job for almost 15 years and for the most part it defined who I was. That's not to say that I didn't love my children; but my work was all-important.

I wanted my kids to get some moral teaching and it occurred to me to take them to church. I, myself, had been brought up attending Sunday School and church and even went to a Christian college. Even though I didn't agree with everything I'd learned, I remember being taught to be nice to everyone, not to steal, lie, etc...

I chose a church based on what I knew of their children's ministry and loaded up the kids on a Sunday morning. After taking them to their class, I sat myself down in the auditorim.
It was a bit strange to me. There were no hymnals anywhere and there was a giant screen at the back of the stage. The seats filled in and then some people gathered up on the stage and the singing began. Now, I'd been going to church my whole life and I knew every song in the book backwards & forwards. I knew all 10 stanzas, if there were that many, to all the songs. I knew the harmony parts too. But I didn't know the tune to any of the lyrics showing up on that big screen. I focused on the words...."I'm coming back to the heart of worship, and it's all about You, it's all about You Jesus".....and other similar thoughts.
Then, the pastor got up to give his sermon. I was used to a preacher who found some scripture in the Bible to back up his ideas and then ranted & raved for 45 minutes or so. This guy was different. He read from his Bible and then explained it's meaning as best he could from his own studies of the Greek & Hebrew languages and studies of the cultures at the time the Bible was written. Over the next few months, I continued to attend services there. Instead of being yelled at, I heard about God who loves me for who I am, Who made me the way I am, Who wants me to rely on Him for help. Who, if I'll just give up trying to control eveything myself, will make my life better.

I wrestled for quite a long time. I like to be in charge. I like to know how things are going to turn out. I like to make them turn out my way! I slowly began to pray, not even really knowing how to start. And I began reading my Bible, not understanding it all that much. My heart changed and as it did, I could see signs of becoming a better Mom. I stopped yelling at my kids and even began to have some patience with them! My priorities changed and with it my life became much more fulfilled. I discovered a purpose to all the motions I'd been going through.
My attitudes changed. Instead of living here on earth for myself and my own intentions, I began a relation with the Creator of this Universe. Not because He is going to zap me for my sin, but because He loves me in spite of my sin.

And that's it. I love my husband, my family, and my friends. I enjoy my home and the city where I reside. I love my kitty-girls and the laughter and comfort they provide. I enjoy reading and sewing and decorating my home and cooking (but NOT cleaning!) and listening to music. I appreciate my good health. All of these things add pleasure and meaning to my life. But, for me, I realize that all of these are blessings from God.

I hope you realize that I've written this with love to you, my dear blog readers. It is not my intent to preach to you. Just to share, as friends, a little conversation. Thank you again for letting me know what matters to you!

And now, back to the giveaway' I used this random number generator to determine my giveaway winner. So, without further ado, the winner of my Pink Saturday pillow is (horns blowing, drums beating)....Mimi! If you have time, go check out one of her 4 favorite is this one. And Mimi, please be sure to contact me by email with your address so that I can send you your prize!

Grace & Peace,


Lisa said...

Congrats Mimi! What a great post!
Hugs, Lisa

Mama Hen said...

Thank you for sharing with us. Our God is so good. Just to think that He has promised to love me forever!

♥Mimi♥ said...

Got up to do my morning "reading" and saw your note to me about my post for today, Tuesday. I came back here to chat a bit and quietly and intently read this post of yours. What a l♥vely and peaceful way for me to begin my day. Thank you so much for your honestly and for your sharing.

Sandi said...

Hi Leslie,
I loved your post. So beautifully written about the God you love and serve. We do serve an awesome God!

Your daughter is just beautiful too! I have two redheaded boys and love red hair!!!

Loved your note about being from Litchfield as well. Where are you located now? My address is Camden, but actually we live just north of Pioneer, Ohio in Michigan.
Small world!!

mizmollye said...

Well honey how beautiful. And I feel as if I know you from reading this post. When you know you know, you just know dont'ya.