Thoughts and Feelings

So yeah it’s October. Damn I hate this time of year. I have so many thoughts and feelings that come and go in my mind, so many that I don’t know if I can think straight. My mind is filled with so many memories. Times that I would give anything to have back. A life that I took for granted. A life I miss more than I can say.

So where do I go from there. I still don’t know. I’m still searching for that road, that idea, that concept….it’s still elusive to me.  As much as I think that for the most part I got this; I really don’t always. This is the time of year when my vulnerability shows. When the cracks begin to appear and my pain breaks through. This time of year I just can’t seem to hold it in any longer. It’s exhausting to keep it all in check.

Here is what I knew…. Four years ago I knew I had purpose. I knew that my daughter loved me unconditionally and made me the happiest person on earth. Even on the days when I thought I would go crazy when she’d act like the teenager she was, I knew my life was on the right track. That life with her, all be it crazy at times, was making me feel complete.

Then in 12 hours it was all over…..

Here is what I knew….One day your life is going along and the next day the rug gets pulled out from under you and you don’t even know who you are. You can’t figure out what to do next. You don’t know what to say, what to feel – because all you feel is a numbness that is all-consuming. You try to get through every minute because looking at your life by the hour seems to daunting.

Then the first year came and went…..

Here is what I knew….That first year was the worst. Nothing mattered. I couldn’t eat because I spent most of my waking hours choking back the pain. No way you can get food past that. I walked around with a lump in my throat that was a constant reminder of the pain that lie just beneath it. In looking back I was just existing because I had to but not because I wanted to. I was going through the motions of life because that is what I was told to do. It will get better they said.

Then the second year came and went…..

I started my life over so to speak and moved back to my hometown. Thinking that moving home would be a good thing because living in Michigan was so hard. It was if my old life was being thrown back in my face every single day. Every day that I drove up to the house where we lived, I would park my car in the drive and then break down and cry because I knew walking in that house would be another reminder that my life just plain sucked. But moving away proved not to be as healing as I had hoped.  I read that the 18th month – 24th month was a crucial time in a grievers life. I felt a sense of relief when I read that because I felt as if I was falling apart during that time. Just when I thought I was making progress – it all came crashing down.

Then the third year came and went…..

By now I have gotten into a routine. I call it a routine because in reality it is what my life has become – a routine. I get up and go to work and I come home and exist. I go to sleep and get up the next day and do it again. That is what my reality had become. The third year seemed to take a toll on me. I feel like the 3rd year aged me significantly. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking what the hell has happened to you? Who are you? I just didn’t know any more. The answers to all my questions still unanswered. The purpose in my life still yet to be determined. Or so I thought.

And now the fourth year is about to begin…..

I still don’t have any idea where I am going or how I will get there. So much has changed, but my heart still aches the same way. The pain that exists in my heart is just as strong today as it was on October 13th 2006. The reality of that day is still as palpable today. The emptiness of my life is so profound – it’s hard to breathe. Some days I let you all in just so you know it’s still real. It will always be a part of who I am.

I know that I am changing or maybe a better term would be “evolving”. Perhaps for the first time in my life I am becoming who I was meant to  be all along. And I do know that this change will be better for me, but I imagine there will be those who will not agree with that. But that will all work itself out eventually. One thing I know is that I have to figure that out first before anyone else can understand it.

until next time


The Long Goodbye

This is the time of year when I find myself saying goodbye all over again to my late daughter Brittany. I call it the “long goodbye” because it just never seems to stop. Every October without fail it comes, the wave of opportunity to say goodbye all over again. Does it get any easier? Maybe, in a different way than you might imagine or that I could have ever imagined.

I think it gets easier because the distance from the event to now is creating some space for healing. But that moment, that one moment when it all floods back and I’m right back in that hospital room – it’s new, it’s fresh and it’s hurts so bad it takes my breath away.

But what is different is that it doesn’t last as long. I now consider myself an “experienced griever”. What I mean is you learn how to grieve and then you move on. Understanding that it comes and goes like the high tide. Ebbs and flows with the new moon. Just underneath the surface lurks the rip currents. Those are the times when the lights are dim and future doesn’t look so bright.

As an experienced griever, you know you have to be careful of those “rip currents”. You have to wear your life jacket out there in the water of grief. For me it’s God. Some times I feel as if I’m drowning in grief and I am reaching up out of the water stretching my hand up to God because I know He will save me. He will pull me from the depths of my despair.

Even knowing that, the long goodbye is a tough time. It’s a time of remembering her. Her hair, her laugh, her uncanny way of knowing just when her mom needed a hug or a laugh. The way she moved about the world faced with everyday challenges with a smile and a song in her heart. Yes indeed the long goodbye is rough. And it’s time again to remember and to reflect on the many great things I miss about my girl.

until next time,



Tears Flow – Pain Breaks – Joy Awaits

Tears flow so easily this time of year. Although tears can be healing they also allow the pain to
break through from a heart that is broken. But what I know to be true is joy awaits those
who chose to work through the pain, through the tears.

So often I find myself in situations where I am caught in a  moment of time that makes me yearn for the things I’ve lost.  The dreams unrealized. The future once believe now just a faint memory. And yet I can still see joy. It is always a choice to see joy and it also isn’t a choice to see pain and sorrow. That is the reality of life; a life spent making my way through tears, pain and sorrow.

Yet I am here today saying that I have found a little joy. Probably has always been there, just blinded by my own sorrow unable to see it, taste it, feel it or believe in it. The amazing joy found in one’s soul can be so healing.

Healing in a way that makes you believe in life again. That purpose is possible beyond my pain. A type of joy that makes you want to get up in the morning for the first time in many years and say “I’m happy to be alive”.

Who knows how long this joy will last. My guess is well I just don’t know. Even if it is for a short time, it has profoundly changed my life right now. So I’m gonna stay with right now. Because right now for the first time in my life I know who I am.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that I was put here for a purpose and to be who God intended me to be. I am a changed person because I understand that it is ok to be me. To know that my pain, my sorrow and my tears are part of who I am.

God has sent me many people during my journey through the dark times. I believe He will always have my back. And I believe in the simple, yet profound story that God is only about love. He is not about judging people; He is not about bringing about pain and sorrow; He is about healing. He is about love.

I choose to believe in the goodness of others. I choose to pay it forward when I can. I choose to believe that people should be kinder. I believe people should be more grateful. I believe we should all be more thankful.

Tomorrow is not a given. If you think it is… go back to the post that reads “The Saddest Day of My Life” and you’ll be forever changed.

untill next time



Taken from my seat on my flight.

Today as I was flying home from Tampa, I reflected on my trip and how amazing and fun it was to be in such a wonderful place like St. Pete. I’m thankful for the opportunity to get a little rest and relaxation as well as some time with family and friends.

During the flight I was staring out into the sky and as has happened so often during a flight, I become so awestruck of the fact that God has been so gracious to me over my life. I know that may sound odd given the fact that I have lost so much and suffered so much, that I can still see God’s gift of grace upon my life. But I can tell you as I looked out at the beautiful clouds that surround the plane, I realized that God creates such beauty for us to enjoy. Yet we move so quickly through life that we forget to stop and look up.

The clouds and sky look so different from up high. You know the clouds look like puff balls floating about the blue sky. I mean how can you not see God in that? How can you not see God all around when you are up so high in the sky. I always feel so close to God and Brittany when I fly. I feel as if I am just within a fine space between them and me. It’s such a peaceful time.

I took some pictures of the beautiful cloud formations and in doing so, caught a quick glimpse of a rainbow. It made me smile. It made me stop and think just how small I am in a huge universe build by God, yet I too was built and wonderfully made by God. Sometimes we just need to slow down and stop and look around us and remember that we are living in a space that has been given to us to care for and to enjoy.

So as you go about your day, busy working, going to school, taking care of your family – stop and look up and see the wonders and beauty of the world around us. It’s a gift. It’s a blessing.

until next time,



Well my friends we have reached the end of Traveling Light by Max Lucado. It’s been a great ride and I’m so very grateful you all came along with me. I hope you learned something with each post. I know I did. So as I write the conclusion I am reminded of what a gift life is and we waste so much time carrying around the burdens were never meant to carry.


The Conclusion

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give  you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NLT

I tell  you I found Lucado’s conclusion to be hilariously funny and emotionally challenging. Why? Well first off I so identified with his falling asleep during a visit to the Louvre in Paris. While I was in Paris in 1999 we weren’t able to make it to the Louvre, a bucket list item, but we did go to many places of interest. One place in particular was the Museum de Picasso. Brittany had fallen in love with Picasso many years before. I believe in large part because we had a table book of Picasso’s work in our living room for years.

As we walked in, she ran off in wide-eyed wonder to see what she could find. She took it all in calling my name every other second to come and see what she had found. In looking back I can see I did what I always do when I go sight-seeing. I look but I don’t see. What I mean is I can look at something and say “that’s beautiful” but I don’t really see it. I don’t spend the time to absorb its beauty. Basically I take a passing glance and keep moving on. But Brittany, she understood what it meant to just sit in awe of spectacular beauty. Oh how I was annoyed by that then.

Now I have slowed down a little and stop to say thank you to God for creating such a beautiful gift that we call earth. I stop now and have learned to appreciate the small things. To take in the breath-taking view that for so long I passed by. Just like my life. I’ve been in such a hurry to get somewhere I have managed to see my life flash before me and there are some great moments, however, there are more moments filled with pain and sorrow. And now I say enough to that.

Lucado has throughout his book referred to our “baggage” that we carry around. Carrying around our lives carrying yesterday’s disappointments, life’s pain, dissatisfaction and many more. Carrying all that baggage is something I know I’ve done all my life. It’s hard to let it go. I think in large part because I let it define who I am. Or who I thought I was. But I am beginning to see that Lucado is right when he says that carrying around all that baggage causes us to miss what God has to offer. That we should be wide-awake. That we are missing the magic of life.

So that takes us back to the original scripture that carried us this far:

The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not want
He makes me to lie down.
He leads me.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness.
His name’s sake.
He walks me through it.
He guides me.
His presence comforts me.
He is with me.
He has prepared a place for me in the presence of my enemies.
He anoints me.
My cup overflows.
He follows me.
I will dwell in the house of my Lord forever.

So my dear friends, put down your baggage and take a deep breath – take in all that is magical about life and let God overflow your cup. I know that today my cup is overflowing and I’m going to do what I can to enjoy every last drop.

until next time


The Burden of Homesickness

Chapter 18 – Almost Heaven

The Burden of Homesickness

Continuing in my series of blogging through Max Lucado’s book “Traveling Light”.

I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6 NKJV

Please note that this chapter may be difficult to read but I’m sure some of you will understand.

In this chapter Lucado talks about his love and desire for a big dog. And although his wife was against having a big dog, he was eventually allowed to get one. He compared his search for just the perfect dog was like God’s way of chosing us as His own. We belong to Him and this world we live in is not our home.

Homesickness has been a friend of mine for quite some time now. When I chose to move away from Indiana and venture out into the “big” world as I called it back then; at times I was so homesick for my family. So much so I almost moved back. But I’m glad I didn’t because I would have never had my sweet baby Brittany.

When Brittany died I too became homesick. Not homesick like you might understand it in the context of missing my hometown like above, but rather homesick for the home I just lost. Home can mean many things, but at that time “home” meant to me “life”. I felt like my life had been torn apart and every waking minute all I wanted was to go “home”. Back to the life I had just days before. When everything seemed ok.

We were planning for homecoming. Picking out dresses, coloring hair, making plans for the football game. Despite the news we had received a few short weeks before that she was having more and more seizure activity – life went on. We just went back to what we knew how to do – live. Then it all came crashing down on the eve of homecoming and in just 12 short hours she was gone.

She had gone home. Her eternal home. The home I now long for. That homesickness that Lucado eludes to in this chapter is the homesickness I felt so dramatically during those first few months. I longed to be with her. So much so I contemplated taking my own life. I missed her with every ounce of my soul. She was my everything. I wanted to go home.

Often when Brittany was upset about something, she’d say “I just wanna go home”. I always thought that was funny. But in looking back I have a better understanding because home to her meant a place of comfort. A place where she felt safe. I wanted that so much after her death. I just wanted to go home.

I replaced my sense of homesickness with believing it could be relieved by moving back to my home state of Indiana to be by my family about 6 months after Brittany’s death. I had nothing left in Michigan. Even my home had become a prison because I couldn’t bear to live there a minute longer. Every day after work when I came home, I walked into the door and fell to my knees because I could still smell her, feel her presence and knowing she was gone was too much to bear.

At night I couldn’t even go into my bedroom to sleep because over the years since her father and I had divorced I always made sure when I went to bed, I would check on her. I would open the door to her room, kiss her on the forehead and tell her “sweet dreams”. But in the months after her death, I couldn’t even walk to my bedroom because I had to pass her room first. It was incredibly painful to know she wasn’t in there. I couldn’t go and kiss her goodnight. So I slept on the couch for more than three months. I just wanted to go home.

Now as I approach the 4th year of her passing, I still long for home. I still long to be with her. I realize I cannot yet go home as my God is not ready for me to come home yet. In as much as I’d like to think he wants me home, he needs me to  be here doing his work. But I must tell you I have no desire to be here and I think that is because I haven’t had a real reason to want to be here. Maybe until now.

It seems as though my job and my friends have made an impression upon me that I need to stay a little longer. That I should want to stay a little longer. So I shall I guess, because really it is out of my hands. Because it is written that our days are numbered and our time on this earth is very short. One day I will see my girl again. Until then I know that God has her safely in his arms and He waits my return just in time.

until next time


The Burden of Doubt

Chapter 17 – God’s Loving Pursuit

The Burden of Doubt

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” Psalm 23:4 NKJV

Continuing my series on blogging through Max Lucado’s book “Traveling Light” – and how it relates to the grieving heart. This has been quite the journey and one I hope touches your heart has it has mine.

Our moods may shift, but God’s doesn’t. Our minds may change, but God’s doesn’t. Our devotion may falter, but God’s never does. Even if we are faithless, he is faithful, for he cannot betray himself (2 Tim. 2:13). He is a sure God. And because he is a sure God, we can state confidently. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” – Max Lucado “Traveling Light”

In reading this chapter several things came to me about the story Lucado shares to demonstrate the fact that God follows us. Relentlessly. He follows us. Here is where I will tell you I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has relentlessly followed me, chased me down, spoke to me though dreams, through people, through death and through life. Because why? Because He is God.

After Brittany’s death I longed for answers from God about why. Why would I have to endure such suffering. Why would he allow such a horrible thing happen in my life. Brittany’s death wasn’t the first horrible event in my life – just so you know. There have been many, too many to share. I have written about them – but they remain contained in the private part of my blog. They are still too painful to see.

Yet through it all God relentlessly came after me. Time and time again. Showing me that despite all the loss and pain – he loved me. He loved me enough to send just the right message when I needed it. People came into my life that I would have never thought would be. And people left the same way.

God doesn’t always use the methods we would to run after, chase or at some point, stalk someone. I like to think of it as a flower arrangement that God is creating in one’s life. Always refreshing the bouquet in order to keep the beauty alive, fresh and new. When one flower is about to fall away – he takes it and put another in its place. That is how my life has been. God has always showed up.

Now I’m not saying God showed up when I wanted him to. He choses when and decides how he will move in and out of one’s life. That’s what I love about God the most. No matter how lonely I feel or how hurt I am – he loves me so much that he will refresh my life if only I will not get in the way. Because you know we do like to mess it up. With thoughts of “I got this” or “I can fix this” – but really it should be more like “God – I give it to you” – because God has got it covered already. So why work so hard? Right.

Have you ever felt like someone is watching you? I get that some times. Now as my faith has grown I believe it’s God in his relentless watch over me and his desire to keep me close. In this chapter Lucado refers to the word “follow” – God is following us. I laughed out loud at that statement, because as many of you know I am on Twitter a lot. And on Twitter people “follow” you so they can see what you have to say.

Ironically I always think it’s so funny that people want to know what I have to say. But in thinking about God as a follower of me – just felt so weird. So I envisoned seeing my follow list and seeing God there. And I got sense that God is following me. Sometimes feverishly following me, pushing me, pulling me here and there. Giving me life. Keeping me vulnerable to Him.

I love that about God. Because without his relentless pursuit – life wouldn’t be worth living. So the next time you think someone is following you, turn around and envision God – because He is there and will be there anytime you need him. I know. Boy do I know.

until next time



The Burden of Envy

Chapter 16 of Max Lucado’s Traveling Light

The Burden of Envy

My cup overflows with blessings. – Psalm 23:5 NLT


In this chapter Lucado writes a little about envy, the measure of our cup thrown in with a little grace and mercy. So as I began to formulate how I would speak to this as it plays out in a grieving parents life; I will start with envy and how it distorted my perception.

Shortly after my mother died I gave birth to my only child Brittany. I was so angry because my mother didn’t make it long enough to see her only daughter give birth. She died September 16th just 2-1/2 months before Brittany’s birth. I recall sitting in Brittany’s nursery just rocking and rocking, my  mind somewhere in a place that I couldn’t crawl out of. I was so very sad and so very mad at God.

In the months after Brittany’s birth I would be out with Brittany and I would see the new mothers with their mothers walking at the mall, or at a restaurant and the wave of jealousy would well up inside me. I would cry uncontrollably because my mom was not with me and I envied them. I would think “they don’t know how lucky they are to have their mother”. Sometimes I would hear the young mothers getting angry because their mother was telling them what to do and all I wanted was for my mamma to be there to tell me what to do. I just wanted to scream at them “you don’t know how lucky you are to have your mom with you” – but I didn’t, I just held it all in.

Little did I know that 17 1/2 years later I’d lose my daughter and the pain would come rushing back like I’d just lost my mom and my daughter all at once. I needed my mother more than ever when Brittany died. Yet she was gone too. Both too soon. God chose to take them, and it took a huge measure of faith to believe there was a reason that I might never know, but could have peace with. Just like the early months after my mom died, I again found myself feeling envious of my friends whose daughters were Brittany’s age and they were experiencing all the wonderful things like prom, homecoming, etc. and I was left with nothing.

The pain and emptiness was simply unbearable. I really don’t think anyone ever really understood what I was going through. I stayed at home and never really went out because when I did I saw moms and daughters together and my heart would break all over again. Over and over and over again. And sometimes I would hear moms complaining about their daughters and I would just want to again, scream – ” you are so lucky you still have your daughter”. It made me crazy.

These days I don’t find myself experiencing those feelings much, on a rare occasion, when I get a hug from a dear friend who had a perfume much like my moms I get a little teary eyed because that smell brings back such great memories of being hugged by my mom. A feeling that has been absent from my life for over 22 years. How crappy is that? There is nothing like the love of a mother. The hug that makes everything alright. And that was robbed from at a critical time in my life. My best friend gone. I was so angry with God.

So you can imagine when Brittany died, I struggled with why, how, what possible purpose was it that God felt He needed her more than me. You have to understand that my daughter was everything to me. As I sit here writing this, tears streaming down my face, I am still so very sad at the emptiness in my heart that has been left by her absence. I try very hard to not be envious of my friends, my family anybody that has a daughter. I try very hard to see that even in the midst of my horrendous grief, I can see God’s mercy. To see His grace given to me to comfort me even when I feel so terrible. When my heart hurts and the pain is unbearable I can still see that God loves me and that he wants to bestow his grace and mercy on my life. To fill up that cup so it runneth over.

It’s a daily process my friends to keep moving forward and it begins with gratitude. In a recent leadership summit at my church I heard a speaker say “make a list of what you are grateful for and don’t stop until you get to 100 things” – I’m thinking wow how tough will that be. Although it seems to be a daunting task to list more than 100 things, I will say that when I do stop and see what great things he had done for me these past few years, I cannot help but believe that, although the pain in my heart is hard to bear, the love God bestows me daily takes away the sting.

Lucado ends this chapter with a message that reminds us that we need to keep our cups extended out and to believe and not worry that he will continue to keep them full and overflowing.

Until  next time,



He makes me to lie down in green pastures. – Psalm 23:2 NKJV


In looking back at my life I can definitely see that there were times in my life where weariness led to a path of destruction. When I was “tired” I saw that I had made some very poor judgments. Wrong choices about who I hung out with, or where I chose to spend my time. So could it possible that remaining in a place of weariness may turn out to be one of the most dangerous places for a human to be. Let’s dive a little deeper.

First I think we need to define what weariness means. I’ll have to make you aware that there are many different ways one can be weary. But first we’ll visit good  old Webster for a clear definition:


1 : exhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, or freshness
2 : expressing or characteristic of weariness <a weary sign>
3 : having one’s patience, tolerance, or pleasure exhausted —used with of
4 : wearisome

So it looks as though weariness can take on a few different forms. Perhaps even somewhat interconnected. Think about it: if you have a lack of sleep – that can lead to a feeling weariness which then can continue on to showing signs of weariness…..poor judgment, poor tactile responses, lack of patience. – Yeah I’ve had most of them over the past 3-1/2 years since the death of my daughter. Hell I’ve had most of those all my life. Why?

For me I think I’ve always been a light sleeper. A light wind can come across my face and I’ll be awake. Or watching Grey’s Anatomy season finale made me have bad dreams. So many things can affect my sleep. The quality of my sleep. Work used to keep me up a lot of hours during the night. Wondering about my patients and their families. You see I’m a very caring person. I carry not only the burdens of my own life, but the lives of others. It’s the way God built me.  Perhaps why I became a nurse.

Sleep has eluded me for many years. Not always, but for a large part of my life I have struggled with sleep. In looking back at the how my life  unfolded from age 6 I can see why. It’s like my life has always been on guard. I became a caretaker at an early age because my father left us so early. My youngest brother was 6 weeks old and I was 6. As my mom had to go out and work multiple jobs to keep us together – I became a young mother. That is when my body took over and became a “watchdog” and the pattern of weariness began.

Fast forward to my time with Brittany….finding myself in a fight for her life at the age of 11 months from encephalitis. Seeing her through the many ramifications of that illness ending with her death 17 years later. I was always running on empty. Little sleep and that quality of sleep was not good I’m sure. Again finding myself  a “watchdog” again – but this time so much at stake. My future, my only reason for living – everything I ever wanted living on the edge.

Then the day she died….it’s as if a watershed of weariness came over me and I became exhausted. And I’ve been fighting back with everything I have ever since. There is a lesson here people and it’s gonna be revealed later. But it’s a big one. So stay tuned.

from Traveling Light by Max Lucado – page 42

“The bow cannot always be bent without fear of breaking. For a field to bear fruit, it must occasionally lie fallow. And for you to be healthy you must rest. Slow down, and God will heal you. He will bring rest to your mind, to your body, and most of all to your soul. He will lead you to green pastures.”


until next time


Where is the happiness?

This post will be based on Chapter 4  – The Prison of Want: The Burden of Discontent from Max Lucado’s book “Traveling Light” and written from the perspective of a grieving mother, daughter and woman.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want – Psalm 23:1


Today in church I sat and listened to our pastor talk about family and how in today’s world our families have become disconnected. Running here and there and everywhere, yet never taking the time to stop and rest. To look at what they have or who they are. They have become this frazzled, anxiety-ridden family who have lost the meaning of what a family should be.

As I sat there next to a family I love dearly, knowing how crazy their lives are and how sometimes very stressful their lives must be going here and there meeting deadlines and traveling from practice to practice. Yet as I sat there looking at them, I was saddened. I was saddened because I no longer knew what family meant – it certainly didn’t look like theirs: Husband, wife, and 3 beautiful kids. You see growing up my family never looked anything like that. It was fractured, broken and most of all empty. Always a sense of we were one step away from a disaster of master proportions – all because a father chose to walk away.

Then I was also reminded that because my mother had died and my grandmother 5 years after her – the family I did know was fractured even further. Then a divorce and the death of my only child left me with a pit of sorrow in my belly I had to leave the church. I so wanted what my friend had – I never felt more lonely than I did at that moment. What had been taken from me was family. Everything I knew to be family – has always been taken from me. What I didn’t realize is that I had always defined myself by my family no matter how dysfunctional or fractured it was it was still my family.

Lucado mentions in the book that we tend to live in a prison of want so often that once we obtain what we want – it quickly looses its luster and again we are imprisoned again by the desire of want. Just wanting that one thing, that one thing that would make us feel whole again. The person who could make it all better. But you know what it doesn’t happen that way. And it’s taken me 52 years to figure that one out.

“Life is not defined by what you have, even when  you have a lot” (Luke 12:15 msg). Heaven does not know you as the fellow with the nice suit or the woman with the big house or the kid with the new bike. Heaven knows your heart.”

 So after reading the passage above I thought then what is it that we are supposed to be looking for to fill that void. What could it be that would create a sense of joy that would overcome the sense of pain and sorrow that now resided in my empty heart.  After finishing the chapter I realized that the only thing that can make a difference in my life, the only thing that can bring me joy that can create in me a sense of peace is God. My shepherd. My Lord.

Then I read the final passage that made it all so very clear:

When we surrender to God the cumbersome sack of discontent, we don’t just give up something; we gain something. God replaces it with a lightweight tailor-made, sorrow-resident attache of gratitude.

When you have realized your gratitude the contentment will come, the happiness will follow. You may see improvement in so many areas of your life that will create a sense of wonder like you’ve never seen before.

As Lucado suggests begin with repeating the following:

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

Again – “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

Again – “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

And Again – “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

I think this can remind us that if we know we shall not want, we will gain so much just beginning with a heart of gratitude.

until next time,