Sunday, November 23, 2008


I'm the youngest of nine kids, and my entire crazy family is in pennsylvania, and I'm in Florida. Over the last 11 years I have redefined what family means to me. I have a Blood Family and a Spiritual Family. My blood family are my flesh and blood: mom, dad, 5 brothers, 3 sisters, 28 neices and nephews, and countless aunts, uncles and cousins. My spiritual family consists of people who love me where I am, tell me God's truth unconditionally, respect me, and keep me accountable for my growth.

As Thanksgiving was approaching, I was missing my flesh and blood family, but since I am on a strict budget, I had to make a choice on when I was going home to Philadelphia: Thanksgiving or Christmas. I choose Christmas. Nothing beats Christmas Eve service in Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, and I didn't think that after spending the last 13 Christmases with my husband, that I was prepared to spend that day with people who haven't known me since I was a baby. So I choose to be alone on Thanksgiving. I was hoping someone in my spiritual family - knowing my circumstance - would invite me to share the feast with them.

I have to admit, the closer I got to the holiday, the more my faith faltered. I finally decided to volunteer to help feed the homeless. Subsequently I received 6 invitations to dinner. This is significant to me for a couple of reasons:
1. I have been let down by people many, many times in my past. People I thought were my friends turned their backs on my at significant times in our lives.
2. My spiritual family has proven to me that they genuinely care about my well-being, as much as I care about theirs.
3. God can replace everything we have given up for Him.

When I left the family church (cult) there was a lot of anguish. I was left out of family events where I should have had a significant role in the event. Since leaving, I have had to work hard to rebuild relationships with my parents and siblings. Meantime, since moving to Florida five years ago, I now have 2 spiritual mommas, a nanna, and countless precious sisters, not to mention "adopted" neices and nephews. I love them all, I feel loved by them, and more importantly we are a Christ centered family.

God knew what he was doing when He led me here. Of everything I am Thankful for this season, I am thankful he gave me so many wonderful, caring people who are willing to be a part of my life.

God bless you, I hope you have a huge "family" to celebrate this Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What does FAITH mean to you?

So your reading my blog....hope it lives up to your expectations.

Faith: The substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of what we do not see.

What does it mean to you to have faith? Does it mean that you hope for the best in a hopeless, sortof hopeful kind of way? Or does it mean that you firmly believe that God has your best interest at heart, and you will stand on the promises no matter what?

I am interested in knowing how my friends and family respond to this question. This is partly because I am nosey, and partly because I think it addresses the root of some of our issues. If we have true faith, does this mean we are living only in the moment, trusting God to supply each and every need that we have? Or does it mean that we do the best we can for ourselves and believe that God steps in and helps us with the things we can't handle?

Here is an example of what I am talking about:
This summer my world was rocked to the core when Chris and I separated. I have been through a myriad of emotions: from elation to despair. Elation that the negative forces that were dragging me down are now completely removed, despair that the life I have always dreamed of -- mainly a house and children -- were so close, and now so far away. The truth is, I have to believe that God is in the middle of this situation. I have to have faith that He knows what I desire far more than I do, that He can and will supply the Godly husband and household I have always longed after. The thing is, I need to do what I can to make that happen. As long as Chris and I are still married, I have to pray for him. I have to pray for God to show him the road to salvation. I have to pray for his physical, mental and financial well-being. I have to remain pure at heart, protecting myself from the advances of other men. This means setting aside my own ego (flattery will get you everywhere, you know!!) and taking every thought and longing into captivity. Its not an easy road in today's world. But that is what Faith means to me. Whether God makes Chris into a man who loves Christ, or whether this marriage ends, and I have a second chance at a meaningful committment with a Christ-centered Christian man, God has my future securely in His hands. He will make a way, and He will exceed every expectation I have ever had. As long as I have FAITH.

Please feel free to leave comments about what faith means to you, or share your experiences.