I look forward to my weekends as much as the next person yet as the book release gets closer it seems my to-do-lists get longer. How can this be? I thought March would be the calm before the beautiful storm shower of love and hope in April. Not so much. Of course some of this build up on the lists is from the near two weeks spent in bed with the flu yet some is just the items you can only do directly before the release.
I continue to learn and marvel at all an author does to prepare a manuscript for submission/publication and then the magnitude of things, both little and big, required before the release date arrives. My sweet friend, Elaine W. Miller, author of We All Married Idiots and the Splashes of Serenity series, http://splashesofserenity.com/, tried to prepare me yet no amount of word explanation can express what lies ahead for the first time author. It is as much work and it's also just as much fun and the blessings far out weigh the stressors, just like she told me. It is one wonderful ride!
I saw this graphic and smiled. This is how I look most weekends and even some late evenings during the school week. Do you notice his smile? Yes, his tongue is sticking out but he is smiling. This truly is a labor of love. Over the past two and a half years I've met some amazing people, heard life-changing stories, and experienced another level of healing thanks to all of you.
The people I've "met" online through Facebook, Linked In, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, and here at the blog encourage and inspire me on a daily basis. The people I've met at various speaking engagements extend hugs, prayers, and encouragement above and beyond anything I could have dreamed. I can't forget the cards, notes, and the words of encouragement written within each that arrived at my post office box. There are days I ask, "Am I strong enough for this?"
God answers the same way, "No Lisa, YOU are not strong enough for this but with me, TOGETHER we will have a great month and journey." Striving to keep my eyes focused on Him and not let the lists, schedule, and things cloud my vision - this book is for Heidi and Him.
"Glory in his holy name;
So this morning, after some coffee and quiet time, I will join others at church for an Easter choir practice. Once home, I'll put my author and speaker hat on until supper. After we enjoy dinner together, we plan to attend the Mexico High School's production of "State Fair". I've heard wonderful reviews and we are looking forward to this time together. If you are in the Mexico, New York area tonight at 7 p.m., stop by the high school and enjoy a great musical. I hear the pit band is awesome too. See you there!
How do you spend your "free" time?
I found this picture of Mom and Heidi, with my Gramma Mary in the background, while looking for a photograph at Christmas so I scanned it for today. Three of my favorite ladies in one picture, I love it! Notice the M & M bag near my mother, this is her favorite treat. Up until the release of peanut butter M & M's, plain were the first choice but they slid into second. I had to chuckle to see the picture, knowing this is still the treat I surprise her with today. Some things never change.
It's good things don't change sometimes. We still gather on our birthdays yet it isn't as big of a deal or hoop-la as it used to be. Since Heidi's disappearance in 94', we've chose to celebrate each day and opportunity as it arises. We have been known to celebrate the first snow with some type of dinner and treats for each other, any excuse to spoil each other and show our love. Don't get me wrong, I still have a couple of Mom's favorite treats hot out of the oven to deliver and we will enjoy some time visiting tonight but we haven't waited a year to take advantage of the time we have together.
I cherish each day with my parents and I'm VERY thankful for the loving, fun, goofy, and close relationship we have. I have a dear, sweet friend battling for her life and as I thought of celebrating my mom's birthday today I was reminded again of the preciousness and gift the time we have with our loved ones is.
As I shared with my parents the past couple days, and verbally worked through the array of emotions jumbling my mind and heart, they reminded me there isn't anything I can do but be there and cherish the days we have. God is in control. When we know not what to pray, the Holy Spirit will intercede on our behalf.
So as I pray for my friend, her family, and our community -- I also praise God for the bond and relationship I have with both my parents, for the time He blesses me with to be together here on earth, and for the friends He has placed in my life. Happy birthday Mom! I'm glad you are my mom but more than that -- thank you for being my friend!
Who's life are you celebrating today?
Do you have moments when it feels like you are alone, beaten by the waves of life, and drenched with doubts, fear, and grief? I wish I could tell you I can't relate, but I do. The first decade or so following my sister's kidnapping I spent days, months, and even years feeling this way. Thankfully, my times of "woe is me" and living in an isolated grief-stricken state are in the past.
Yes, there are moments when the weakness within me clouds my thought processes and makes me ask "Why God? Why?" but I've learned, this gets me NO WHERE!
"Better one handful with tranquillity
I challenge you to let go of life's toil and waves of trouble. Open your hands and heart to release these burdens to God. Thanks to one child telling me, "Mrs. Buske, you need Jesus." I chose God over the living a life stranded on the rock alone. Of course, I was never alone.
God never left me, I left Him. I was surrounded by family and friends every step of the way. These same people, along with our community, prayed, and continue to pray for Heidi and our family. It was my perception that I was alone. Yet at the time, it felt like each time I wiped the water from my eyes after a wave knocked me down -- another wave hit me.
The verse from Ecclesiastes above talks about the difference between "one handful of tranquillity" versus "two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind". God offers us HIS handful of peace and calmness in exchange for our toils and chasing. This is a very cool exchange, so why do we continue to chase the wind? It's foolish if you think about it. We will never catch the wind and without a trust in God, the same wind we chase will fuel the waves used to knock us down.
I'm thankful God never left me. I'm thankful for the people God used to share His love, hope, healing, peace, strength, grace, mercy, and truth with me. If no one has told you lately, let me share something with you.
You matter and God loves you.
You are special and can overcome whatever obstacle, toil, trouble or wave you are facing today when you trust God and rest in his tranquillity, not the world's chasing.
You are not the first one to experience whatever trouble is beating you down.
You are not alone.
You have HOPE!
Instead of standing on the rock, fighting against the waves and wind to stand on your own -- lift your hands, release the hurt, anger, and fear to God. Grab a hold of the ladder He sends to you and start to climb up and out. You might slip on a rung or two while you are climbing out but with your eyes fixed on Him...you will not fall!
God loves you and is waiting for you to call to Him. Don't give up, He already overcame the world -- trust Him and you will have true tranquillity.
"Glory in his holy name;
Life will toss you waves but you have a choice.
Information About the Event...
A day of family fun with:
Chicken BBQ - $10.00 per dinner
(chicken, baked beans, salt potatoes and roll with butter)
March 2, 2013 ~ Noon to 5 p.m.
The American Foundry
246 W. Seneca St., Oswego, NY 13126
Fantastic music for young and old by Thunder Child, Todd Hobin and kids DJ and laughs with Eileen Bradish
Bounce house and Face painting
Bake Sale, to list just a few...
We will have t-shirts for sale and representatives from Local and State government on hand to answer questions.... Sooo much more that you'll have to join us to see and experience. Come together for community fellowship while working to achieve a common goal; protection of our loved ones from the deadly Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus!!!!
Why this touches my heart...
There are many reasons this benefit touches my heart. It could be the precious little Maggie Sue, who joined the angels in heaven far too early, and only days before starting kindergarten. Or is it because she is another young child ripped from our New Haven (NY) community before we think she should have been. And then there is the fact of how much I adore her parents, especially her momma.
When our daughter was little, I found it difficult to trust anyone to watch her while we worked or went out for date night, until we met JuJu. JuJu's heart and love for daughter was a blessing in a time when I struggled to trust. JuJu is Maggie Sue's mom, a friend, and cherished part of our daughter's memory. My heart breaks when I think of the pain she and her family work through on a daily basis. Instead of wallowing in the pain, they strive for change to help others. This benefit is one example. Love you guys!
If you're in Oswego, March 2nd between Noon and 5 ~ stop in to support this cause.
P.O. Box 323
A Mother's Monday
Ride For Missing Children
Sewing And Crocheting
The River's End Bookstore