>What time is it?

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Embracing the winds of change are not always easy. Sometimes it is easier to stay in the rut we are in then to step out into the change that will make us grow. It has been beautiful the last few weeks as we drive back and forth to our church home in Nashville. It is lovely to see how the trees are starting to change and to see the occasional small tornados of leaves as wind hits the trees just right. It seems like everywhere I look and everywhere I read people are talking about fall and winter which although beautiful in their own way are also wet, cold, bare and dark. But these wet,cold,bare and dark days are what makes us enjoy spring all the more.

I think our life is like that. When we see a new job opportunity or lose a job, when we get married or become single, when we graduate or start school, when we move away from our family; these kinds of events are so changing to us. Some are exciting changes, some are scarey, some are lonely, but all these changes make us grow.

Pastor preached about the process of sowing and reaping on Sunday and how the seeds we plant in our life will be the harvest we face whether that be good seeds or bad seeds. Trust me, I’ve had my share of both seed sowing and the good seed is definitely better than the bad seed. The scripture also comes to mind from Ecclesiastes 3:1-9

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

What is your season today? Is it time for you to turn away from what you are doing and move on? Is it time for you to embrace what you have and appreciate it? Is it time for you to tear down the walls you put around you? Is is time for you to be quiet and seek the face of God for your future? Is it time for you to speak up for yourself? Is it time for you to grieve for the what if’s in your life and rejoice in the good memories that are mingled in that grief? Is it time for you to heal your heart or your mind today?

There is a time for something in your life and when the winds of change blow your way don’t second guess or debate or throw a temper tantrum because winter has come in your life in a cold and barren way because after the winter has passed, spring will come and bring with it the joys and the renewals that life always does. Just pray God shows you what ‘time’ it is for your life and then run with it, because no matter what, you will learn something from your ‘time’.

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>The Plans I Have For You

>Flashes come to me this morning. Snapshots of my life that I never really understood.

There is the me I dont even remember. The me who lost her mother to the hands of a murderer when I was not quite two years old. The me who was embroiled in a custody fight that my grandparents eventually won. The me who never remembers her mother’s face and did not have a relationship with her father until she was 10 years old.

The young six year old that hoped against hope that I could make it outside to play before before my grandfather wanted to ‘play’ with me himself. Dreading seeing the chain going on the door knowing I was on the wrong side of it yet again.

The teenage me rebelling and wanting someone to love me because I never felt worthy after the abuse that occured in my younger years, the despair of knowing that my grandmother chose to stay with him after she found out about the abuse only increased the thought that I was not enough. Wondering and wondering why if I prayed hard on Sunday and went to church every Wednesday night then why did I still fill so empty most of the time.

Being a newleywed and fighting over nothing but knowing deep inside that it was about control. The knowing that NO ONE would ever control me again. NO ONE would put the chain on my door and leave me on the wrong side of it. Developing a seed of bitterness against each other that became an environment of animosity and failure.

Feeling crushed, and again, not enough to find my spouse had not only been unfaithful, but with one of my best friends. Why on earth was Shelly not enough? Why on earth would I worship a God who could not fix my pain.

The descent into a darkness I never knew existed. Trying to find love in a marriage relationship that was doomed because all the parties have to want it for it to be successful. The anger toward God for ‘not fixing’ me or my husband to make us have our happy ever after. Was this God worth serving? I had wasted 1/2 my life with a man who would not love me and loved a God who would not fix it. So, I walked away from God for some time.

As I found my way back to Jesus, the confusion would still hit me from time to time. Why had I and others endured such heartache. What good came from it? When would I find my happiness? As my relationship with God grew, I found that a real relationship with Him ends the emptiness. He was a real God who really loves us. He doesn’t always answer our way but one day, we will understand the whys.

I now look back with understanding because of this scripture:

Jeremiah 29:11-14 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Now I am going to read this another way; a way my cousin Nichole did a blog the other day. This has changed my life, seriously. Put your name where the you’s are

Jeremiah 29:11-14 “For I know the plans I have for Shelly,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper Shelly and not to harm shelly, plans to give Shelly hope and a future. Then Shelly will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to Shelly. Shelly will seek me and find me when Shelly seek me with all her heart. I will be found by Shelly,” declares the LORD, “and will bring Shelly back from captivity. I will gather Shelly from all the nations and places where I have banished Shelly,” declares the LORD, “and will bring Shelly back to the place from which I carried her into exile.”

See, I have been in the place without a hope or a future. I have been banished and exiled before but the Lord has brought me back. He has given ME a hope and a future. He has allowed me to marry my best friend. He has given me a church family and pastor that is truly home. He has put friend in my life that I know I cannot do without. He has used my pain to help other people.

So as we go through things, and we will, we always will in this life. Cling this scripture. Know that weeping may endure for a night, but JOY will come in the morning because God has a plan for each of us. The beautiful thing about this scripture is that it is not just for Shelly. It is for Stephanie, it is for Nichole, it is for Lisa, it is for Brandi, it is for Jina, it is for Brittany, it is for Brad, it is for Pastor and Sis. Livingston, it is for Breanna, it is for Jason, it is for Robbie, it is for Tina, it is for Candy, it is for Dawn, it is for Joseph, it is for YOU

Put your name in the scripture and wear it when you face adversity and struggle.

in love,

Shelly

>Entertaining Angels. . .

>Chicago has been amazing so far. Just watching the faces of our kids as they experience this city has been worth the whole trip already. Saturday after we arrived and got settled we went to Ed Debevic’s and for those who have never been, it is a 50’s style diner where the waiters are rude to you on purpose. It was a hoot, the kids had a blast and my mom just laughed and laughed.

Sunday morning we walked over to Palmer House and picked up our Go Cards so we could get in the museums and what not. Then we hit the grey line open air trolley for a tour and got off at Michigan Ave so we could eat at Giordanos Pizza and do some window shopping on the Million Dollar Mile. We were talking and lauging as we entered the Pizza place. Emily and Cait were getting on my moms nerves so she separated them as Brad and I went up to pre-order our Pizza. Logan and Lacee were taking pictures of everyone and Brad and I were updating my phone. Everything was normal for Team Deason.

All the kids and my mom were sitting on a ledge at the window and Brad and I were standing. Out of nowhere, Brad told Logan he needed to sit down so Logan scooted out of the way and Brad sat down. Immediately I asked him what was wrong and almost instantly he was just about incoherrent. At the same exact time, they called us to our table. I told mom and the kids to go ahead to the table and we would be there in a second. Brad tend to have low blood pressure sometimes and it always passes in a few minutes so I was sure he would steady himself and we would be right up.

Things did not go up from there. Brad became unresponsive and I could barely get him to focus on talking to me. I started to panic for a second, my thoughts ran from I need to call our pastor to what am I gonna do in the middle of chicago to please dont completely pass out because I am not sure I can hold you up to oh, Jesus I cannot do this. Collected, I got out my phone and called Cait back down to where we were. I asked her to go to the counter and get Brad some Orange Juice and seeing my face and seeing Brad she went right away. Normally, she hates approaching people and asking for anything but she jumped right in for that one.

On my left, I noticed a lady sitting on the ledge my mom had been at just minutes ago. I never saw her come up and she said you need to call an ambulance. I said, no he has low blood pressure sometimes and I think he just needs a minute and something to drink. She looked at me so serious and said, don’t take chances with your husband. I reiterated how since Brad’s surgery he tends to get light headed sometimes and he would be fine. She said, I lost my husband 3 months ago, you need to call someone.
I looked at Cait and said, call and ambulance. She went to the counter and had them call.

As Brad went from normal countenance to white to ashy to greenish gray, my mind was just blank. All I could do was ask him to talk to me and he was not responding to me hardly at all. The lady said, Brad you have to stay with her, you have to stay with her. I thought, how does the lady know his name? It struck me as odd because I had not said Brads name. Then a man approached and asked medical questions and I asked him if he was a doctor and he told me no but he had medical training. He started to take Brad’s pulse but could not find it so he called over a friend who was a nurse as the waiter brought the orange juice over. By that time, I could barely get brad to drink the juice but I got enough in him for it to start to work. The nurse had a hard time finding the pulse either and as the nurse and his friend worked on him, I talked with the lady. She was amaziningly calm and she just kept saying, dont’ take chances with your family and I told her that I would not.

The paramedics arrived and by that time Brad was responsive but still having tingling in his hands and as they came in I looked for the lady and she was gone. I looked all over and could not find her. Brad went to the ambulance with the crew to be looked over and I went and updated my mom and the kids and let them know he would be fine but was getting checked out. I continued to look for the lady and never saw her again. It crossed my mind that maybe she was an angel, but I dismissed the thought. Then when Brad and I talked, I knew that I was wrong.

His memory of the lady was quite different than mine. He remembered her reaching toward him and saying stay with us baby, stay with us. He remembered seeing her shoes but she never stood beside him, she never even was close enough to touch him. Whether she was a human angel or one that God sent to us we are thankful.

Thankful that my husband is fine. We just have to keep juice and some snacks for him to eat every two hours like he does at home/work. Thankful that I kept my calm through the situation. Thankful that they called our table so four kids and my mom were not there to go through that experience. Thankful that no matter what, I know I will not take chances with my family. Love your kids and your moms and your husbands. Hold them tighter every time you get a chance. Don’t take anything for granted. Live life to the fullest, start right now.

Shell