Tuesday, November 10, 2015


It had only been 3 days since I arrived back home from Ethiopia. Ferrill was in Uganda still (on a separate trip)and my wonderful mother in law Brenda who'd been watching Finley and helping ferill while I was away, had left to return home. I flopped my jet legged body on our worn in leather sofa and realized for the first time in almost 3 weeks, I was alone. No room mate, no guest staying over, no husband, and Finley was down for a much needed nap. As I thought before I drifted off to sleep it occurred to me I hadn't at all really began  to process what had truly happened. Everything about my trip was like a dream, or a movie.... but even better than that, It had been real! Ethiopia was truly more beautiful and desirable than I had ever hoped, meeting Hanna and her mother was a once in a lifetime ordained moment of the Lord I would never forget, and all my mind could do  was flip through every detailed highlight of those 2 weeks there. But it was on my couch with the Lord where hed wanted to discuss one moment id almost forgotten, the one moment from this entire trip he would bring up time and time again relentlessly asking me to share with you.

we had about two days left of our trip and wed gone to a very small rural town in the mountains to do a few home visits with two local families. Wed left one house and it was maybe a few blocks away to the other, but on our way our group of about 14 was walking down a narrow dirt road, I was in the very back of the group that was now pretty spread out so all I could hear was a child crying. Walking up I saw about a dozen children all under the age of 12 and one little girl was crying. When I got closer all I could see was our local leader who works for OCM squatted down with his hands on the young girls arms. He was saying to her over and over again "but I'm here, I'm here..." then he wiped her face and said "Here lets take a picture to remember." They all gathered together for a photo and afterwards he said to the young girl "i'll be back, youll see me again" and then we were on our way. It wasn't until after wed arrived at the next home that someone could explain to me why the girl had been crying. When the group of kids saw us walking by they stood close to the road and when Getachew (our leader) passed by, the girl had reached out to grab his hand and another child had pulled her back and she was crying because she couldnt be with us and he had already passed by. Of course when Getachew heard her he stopped and went back to see what was wrong. I can easily say he was perhaps the most Christ-like man I have ever met. He was gentle, humble, incredibly intelligent but never spoke  in a way that made you feel insignificant. He oozed wisdom in every conversation and was a man of 100% pure joy because he realized in every situation their was hope because of Gods love.

It was this moment the Lord wanted to discuss with me. "What about it Jesus?" I asked him as I snuggled into that nook in my sofa that makes it pretty much impossible to stay awake. It was what he said next that would expose a deep secrete in my own heart that even I was oblivious too. He said "Sharon, that little girl is you. You think that I have overlooked you time and time again, but I hear you crying. Im actually right here in front of you saying "I'm here I'm here" and often you CHOOSE to cry instead of look at me." the way he said it was so to the point and yet still very gentle. I exploded into tears and curled up sobbing, before he said it, I didn't know this was in my heart, but when he said it I knew it was true and those emotions, that truth came to the surface for me to deal with. "Yes God, underneath the record I play over and over in my head about your love, your goodness, your word.... in my heart your right, I do feel like in this area you continue to walk by, on your way to bless someone else." It felt good to be honest with God. But he already knew, before I knew he knew and it was a concern he had. Every good father wants to correct any misunderstanding his child may have and although his word and our track record had established almost all I thought I needed to know, this one thing he knew he needed to correct. Without any explanation he affirmed me. He told me he heard me, he saw my wound and encouraged me to stop choosing to cry. "open your eyes daughter!" he would say "Look and see my face, for time is too precious to keep crying." my heart had poured out every tear my heart had apparently clung too and a peaceful presence filled my living room. "And guess what?" I could hear him say as I envisioned him cupping my face with his hands. "Im coming back! I promise you, i'll be back before you know it." and in my heart and spirit I knew it was true. Since then I've carried more contentment with me wherever I go. I know God sees me and hears me and for whatever reason he has chosen this plan for me and I choose to see him in it and trust it. I rebuke those voices that still try to tell me I'm forgotten, that I am over looked. I do the work daily in reading his word so that I can know what is true. So I can know his will (instructions) and the reward is I have a full happy life and an endless list of promises as his child. He is not a father that neglects his children or plays favorites. Their is no condition to receiving his love! I want to encourage you to let him set you free of the conditions and formulas you've tried to come up with to be given what you want. Let go of any anger or bitterness and he will give you rest and peace! He loves you. As any great Father he has the BEST plan for your life. Period. I know we think we know what that looks like. Whether its a career, being a wife and/or a mother at a certain point in life or by a certain age,being a mother of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, whatever "ideal" looks like for you, its HIS plan that is the perfect choice. I know it sucks to look over the fence and see that beautiful green grass...... so stop looking! We torture ourselves with what we know is bad and yet we still choose to do it. If only I had a dollar for every time someone looking on instagram and FB made a person feel insecure, jealous, or envious id be rich. God is so faithful! So good! So much so,that he actually had 40 different men write 66 books to give us to learn from! One author actually said "Jesus did so many things, that if everyone of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have enough room for all the books that could be written!" John 21:25
God loves us, he knows us, and we can trust him.

So that's my story. "Their Jesus" (looking up at the ceiling while typing) "I did it okay, I told them about the time you were wonderful and made me cry on the couch!" lol Im just teasing you Jesus, but of course you already know that. All my love my dear friend. Thanks a million for those who sent me on my adventure and covered me in prayer. It was too wonderful for words to express, but when I find the words, id love to tell you more. My friend Heather actually snapped these two pics while we were walking. So thankful to have an image for what God was going to be saying to my heart just a week later.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

End Times & End Tables

I find myself thinking most days, what the heck is going on and whats this all for anyways?

Each day seems to present its own extreme ups and downs. A more clearer picture of good and evil. Sin and love. Logging onto FB is like stepping onto a battle field and personally I can hardly handle any of it. example:

Scrolling. Yay a new baby! How marvelous.
 Oh Jesus! dead babies!  (I come across a fb page for all the young children drowning in the sea after fleeing Persia) scrolling. Fun a family went to Disney. News. That country clerk from Kentucky remains in jail for not serving the homosexual community marriage license's. Scrolling. weddings. scrolling. Articles with more info on Planned parenthood and their doing with body parts.scrolling. My friend remodels her kitchen. scrolling. Photo of a young toddler after being stoned by Arabs' in the middle east.

 Its exhausting emotionally and spiritually. How is anyone with a heart supposed to read any of this and be expected to just move on with things in life? Am I supposed to move on? And yet, what can I do? When I fully read the horrific report of the refugees fleeing from Persia and the images captured (ill warn you if you google any of this to look into for yourself it will be graphic and heart wrenching) I cried the rest of the day. Seriously. As I watched my 2 year old sleep knowing id do anything it took to keep her safe, and then realized another family caught in a war did the same thing I would have done and yet still lost the lives of their 3 and 5 year old, all you can do is cry. Cry deep sorrowful groans that the loss of life is always worthy to receive. But we cant cry forever. Because life carries on and dishes need to be done and my husband still has to be at work in the morning and although those extremes aren't my reality, a part of me cant help but almost accept that the American dream of "safety" and protection is over. Am I the only one who feels the darkness invading with such great momentum? Its shocking. And most days I just don't know how to process it all fast enough.

So today I found myself changing the pages of the internet from Pinterest to articles on FB today. It was like flipping a switch from reality to vanity,  reality, vanity, reality, vanity. Finally I had to stop and take a deep breath "God, how do I deal with all of this! My heart is broken to see the world we live in and the result of sin and evil, I feel such great compassion with no outlet and yet, also great guilt that right now I'm safe and I still want to buy those two cute matching end tables for my bedroom." (does anyone out there know these feelings I'm talking about?) and then I think, wait I AM doing something with my life for others.I pull out my mental list of good deeds. Both ferrill and myself do for others often. Just next week ill even be traveling to Ethiopia with school supplies and loving on a girl we've sponsored there for 6 years! So the truth is I am doing good in my own life. I do help those in great need and distress but still, it doesn't feel like even a dent of anything done compared to the great need, the great pain and suffering happening. How do I cope with the extremes? How do I prepare myself for the future in a world that is growing darker while still enjoying my life? How do I wear a crown of love and compassion and yet still day dream about decorating our house for Christmas in 3 months, because if darkness is coming is it awful that I still want my nails done and house to look cute while it happens? (I'm literally laughing and shaking my head at myself at how ridiculous this all seems. Its awful. Perhaps one self should never say these thoughts out loud let alone type them for anyone to read but its honest. Perhaps honestly I'm this self-centered and confused) And in the midst of all these shallow and deep thoughts the Holy Spirit speaks to me (perhaps he'd had enough vanity and turmoil as well) and I hushed my mind enough to hear him share his truth and his wise perspective.

 He reminded me of so many different situations Jesus was in. Jesus had to clearly hear the voice of his Father to know what season he was in. He was the Son of God destined to die for the world. But before that ONE day when this would happen, his life was full of the mundane (this word means lacking interest, excitement. dull.) In the midst of living in a world full of sickness, sin and death the very answer for us all,Jesus, lived a very mundane life. Doing chores, running errands, playing with siblings, working, eating a meal.But just like every day of his life was adding up to a moment so is ours. Each unexciting and dull day is still a day full of choices, and its these choices that are shaping us into someone. We really only see the highlights or the extreme moments in someone's lives and the same can be said of the Bible. We forget about the shepherd boy overlooked by his own family, trying to enjoy his mundane years spent taking care of sheep in the field. It was here in the mundane where he learned to worship God. Here he learned the nature of God which equipped him for his powerful future as king.

Once the man Jesus was finally on the grid of society he could have been so overwhelmed by the need that he Encountered. Many times in scripture Jesus would get away or retreat to find a place to pray. Without that nearness to God even Jesus in the flesh realized he couldn't keep it together. How much more than do we?

And last he showed me the near end of Jesus's life when he was in the garden. (Luke 22:48-51) Judas (Jesus's friend and disciple) had brought the roman soldiers to arrest Jesus and Judas kissed his cheek. Peter realizing that Jesus is about to be captured or taken and in a moment of trying to be heroic pulls out his sword, swings missing the head of the soldier but striking and severing his right ear. But Jesus says "No more of this!" and he touched the soldiers ear and healed him. The Lord was showing me the posture of Jesus even in the moments of persecution. If I was not like Jesus, if I hadn't been in prayer in fellowship, in relationship with God I would have in this moment 1: Fled 2:Fought 3:Been incredibly confused and most likely 4: Questioned Gods goodness. "why is this happening to me etc etc" But God knew the season he was in and he was drawing close to the moment that all of this mundane had been for. In the midst of his life being threatened he had understanding, He was crowned with love and compassion and this made him want to heal even the one sent there to harm him. I couldn't help but have this unlikely scenario cross my mind. I leave in 8 days for Ethiopia (which im really doing) and lets just say im captured and wrongfully imprisoned in this mostly Islamic Nation. Will I have enough of the love and nature of God to not blame and be pitiful, but recognize the season im in weather for minutes or for life to look beyond those circumstances and recognize God loves and wants to touch ALL that don't know him? hmmmmmmm...... and even further what will I wish I had done more of? Will I wish id packed my vixen red nail polish by Revlon or actually bought those end tables? No, but im sure ill hope I read my bible enough to have the hope and promises I need to endure every challenge this season will now cause me to face.

So here's what I've decided. I'm going to carry on with this blessed life I have right now. With each mundane day that passes I will choose to be grateful and joyful. I will make the choice everyday to stay in a relationship with Yahweh by reading my bible and learning more of him. I will pray for those I know are suffering and respond as the Holy spirit leads me. I will everyday equip myself and my daughter with the word of truth knowing that without a doubt trials are on their way and a day may likely happen in my lifetime where I may experience real persecution. But you know what, I was made by God to be with him. So I may have some kids between now and then and experience great love on this earth. I will travel, see beautiful places and take cool pictures. I may get a better education and I will certainly paint my nails red and buy cute things for my house, but at the end of it all weather its in my sleep at 90 or next week in a prison in Africa, Im going to be with my Father, my savior and my helper one day. Everything else is just the details in between.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Holy Kisses

"The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not be in want." The beginning of Psalms 23

I found myself saying this most of 2014. We loaded up all our belongings into a 8x10 unit for what we thought would only be 6 weeks at the most. Yet we lived with dear friends of ours from March-Feb (11months) total. It was a sweet time and a fruitful one. I see that more clearly now. Grace was endless and my flesh protested often. Although his provision was abundant... it wasn't how I wanted it. Many times I felt forgotten. Overlooked by God. The more I thought he wasn't listening the more pitiful my cries were ( a childs tactic) "But God I NEED this.. I need that... don't you see? Don't you know this is difficult and challenging? Why? Why aren't you changing my circumstances? Why don't you give me the desires of my heart?"

As a woman in ministry (by this I mean Im around many different types of woman regularly, but particularly in the church) It saddens me to see so many woman in want. Life is this rat race of wanting and I watch as I see it consume many that I love. The mind goes unleashed and chases any new thing it lands its eyes on. Wanting.Wanting. Wanting always. It is the particular thing I dislike most about the flesh. Why. Why is it so hard to see truth sometimes?

About 7 weeks ago Ferrill, Finley and I FINALLY got a place to rent. Is it incredible, no. But Im beyond pleased with it. I unloaded out dusty unit only to realize just how little it seems we had. Everywhere I looked my eyes found (as yours do) empty places. Oh I need this new piece here, this color would be great here, oh these ceilings are much higher I need to hang something right there,,,,
I'm amazed at how I could have so little.... be given much... and immediately want so much more. This is the rat race Im talking about. I have this dear friend who to me has it all. This incredible house, the kids, the stuff, the cloths, the car, the job, the looks. In a photo its truly picturesque. But I know her. I know her lack of peace. Her many insecurities. Her endless hunger to always have more. Her mind is never resting.. never content. To find peace and contentment is worth more than gold. But it requires strength of the mind and will. "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not be in want." meaning "The Lord takes care of me. I shall not have the desire to possess." It doesn't say The Lord is my shepherd I shall not take possession. It was "desire" to possess. Most of the things I desire to possess,trust me, I will never have... but the desire, that desire is there. And what I really truly need is to recognize the Lords goodness in my life and desire him most of all.

So on days like today when I see blank walls and empty places. or get frustrated that I've misplaced my box with all my swimsuits in it while looking out at my neighborhood pool. Or I think I cant find anything to wear that's "spring" enough. Or I have to take my husbands jeep to the shop again to be repaired and I long for a truly reliable vehicle for him... I often take a deeeeeeeeep breath and mutter "Lord you take such good care of us... let my heart only desire you." I think every time I do this I see truth more clearly. I see that my closet is full. My bathroom is bigger than anything we've ever had. I see I have several months left until pool season and im amazed at how many miles we've put on that old thing. I see and hear my daughter running down the hallway yelling "I'm free! I'm free!" and I say yes... yes darling we are indeed, as free as we choose to be. I remember how my soul yearned for her and I was not forgotten. I remember his joy given freely in the midst of many difficulties and I remember that this is the reality we live in...that our thoughts will rule over our lives in this world. "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not be in want."

Finley brushed my hair today for the first time. She brushed it gently down my face, over and over again. Then she parted it in the center so she could see my eyes and she cupped my face with her tiny hands and kissed my lips (my heart is leaping even now).... These are truly Holy times in the Gallaway house... I cant allow myself to be robbed of them by wants when I am so clearly, obviously,the richest person I know. And my hope is that you wont either.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ethiopia anyone?

Shed finally gone down for her nap and for me that meant a few moments to myself. Id decided with my precious time to paint my nails as I am a strong believer that it doesn't take much to feel beautiful and sometimes a fresh coat can make all the difference for the week ahead. I sat down in the bathroom floor and had selected the perfect shade of navy blue. I could sense his presence there, waiting, longing for a moment of peace and quiet with me eager to share. So I sat with my back against the tub, put my head back and took a deep breath, "Hi Holy Spirit-Im here,and im listening." It didn't take but a few seconds before I could clearly see their tiny bodies sitting in the orange clay colored dirt. 2 girls, 1 maybe 4 or 5years of age ,and the other perhaps only 2. The littlest one sat in the others lap and they were undressed with beads around their necks and with dusty twisted hair. How is it possible to experience such deep compassion over a mental image? When I saw them my heart felt something profound and difficult to explain.I needed to see them. I needed to hold and kiss them as my own, I needed them to hear they were loved, I needed to see it in their eyes that someone cared. Seconds later the image was gone but not forgotten. I had to ask the Lord what is this? Id felt my heart shift once before when being called to adopt and I couldn't help but wonder was this that feeling all over again. I wasn't sure,but in that moment if it was,my mothers heart was eager to find them. I couldn't help but hear a tiny voice in my head that said "Some woman are called to bear children, and some are called to find them." Only I wasn't quit sure which one I was.

It was only 4 days later December 22nd when I opened an email from an organization in Colorado. Ferrill and I have sponsored a girl Hannah (pronounced like Hawnah) for about 5-6 years now. Our $29 a month provides her a meal each day as well as schooling and hearing about Jesus. Her and her mother live as bean farmers in Ethiopia and shes about 9 now. The organization is called One Child Matters (previously know as Mission Of Mercy) anyway the group has planned a trip to Ethiopia this September and I was extended the invitation to go and meet Hannah.

Even as I read it all I could see was the faces of those 2 little girls. Without even taking more than a few breaths my little fingers where flying through the application. I called Ferrill to "ask" what my heart had already decided and like any good man he gave his approval. You see I am not a very passionate person by nature, very little moves me to do anything quickly and its only done after a lot of thought, also im not a traveler like my roaming husband.Im a homemaker and although I have done missions in the past this felt incredibly different than that. Before I knew it I was quickly cleared to travel as 1 of the 10 who would be going and it wasn't until they sent me the itinerary with the breakdown of the cost that my brain started trying to reason with my heart. What kind of mom/wife spends $3400 to go see someone else's child instead of benefitting her own? Aren't you and Ferrill needing a newer vehicle? That sure would go a long ways to help your hard working husband? I wonder what Finley will think has happened to you being gone for 10 days? Isn't that where the Ebola is right now? My thoughts were blitz like a hail storm as Satan quickly tried to formed a plan to undue what God had begun. But it was too late.
September 17-26 ill be in Africa and to be honest ill need help to get there. I've made my deposit and paid for my background check but im looking for the Lord to provide the other $3000 needed to go. If this journey moves your heart and you'd like to help you can contact OCM directly to pay over the phone.Otherwise I will be sending them cash or checks directly. Am I a little crazy? Is this the Lord or am I just some desperate house wife with imaginary money to spend seeking an adventure? Hmmmmm....Either seems good to me.

In other news you may have noticed something looks a little different about the blog. Right before the year ended I felt the Lord telling me to "testify." Weather it be for my own good or for your benefit Im not sure but he reminded me of specific stories he wanted me to share. My family is full of rich stories of miracles, healings and angelic encounters and the Lords faithfulness doesn't change. It is from generation to generations.I have a bag full of seeds called hope, and its about time I started to sow them. I am eager to share ,so much so that im going home to visit in March and will be spending 3 days with my grandparents (both 83) to be able to not just hear those stories but to see both their faces while they again recall the sweet promises of God, and the incredible adventure they've lived belonging to Christ for 70+ years.

I wanted to change the name because the blog is no longer just about informing people about our adoption but... what was it exactly? Not a mommy blog, not a fashion blog, not parenting or self help.... I had an idea of what I wanted to share but didn't know how to explain it. After talking to a friend and agreeing it needed to take on a new freshness (the picture of us on their was actually almost 4 years old, and I chopped my hair off this past April so I don't even look like that anymore) I was going to be taking a few days to "pray" about what to call it. But it didn't take long, not long at all actually. That same day I was sitting in a meeting and I heard Holy Spirit say "Foxes In The Vineyards" "whoaaaaaaa-that's so cute I thought" I typed the phrase into my search engine and Song Of Songs 2:15 came up. "Be careful of the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, the vineyards that are in bloom."  I know that book is all about romance but this one verse alone was almost too perfect. I read it like this "Be careful of your thoughts, the little thoughts that come to ruin the season of life you're in and take away any good fruit from it." YES! This was what I wanted any writing I did to be about. About thoughts (good and bad) and seasons (good and bad) and I hope you've been able to see this from anything I've shared previously. So that's the word people. New year, new season. I cant wait to share what the Lord has done and unfold the pages together of what he's doing now.

Lets go see Hannah....
To contact OCM directly and support with a card payment
Christi @ 719-481-0400x205
or make a check out to One Child Matters with the memo blank
I will be collecting any funds received and sending them together
If weve never me,t friend request and message me on FB for me to share how to get in touch

Sharon Gallaway

Friday, January 2, 2015

Freedom & Captives (A story about my mom)

I stepped outside the house to take my dads call. "now Sharon" He paused, "Don't be scared ,but your mom has had a stroke."

I sat myself down on the front grass during the hot Florida midday sun and pinched my eyes tightly as I held my breath and listened to every slow detail he shared.

"Id pulled into the drive way and your mother was standing on the front porch with her hands gently folded together." "Ronnie (my dad) something happened." She said almost embarrassed as if she had just bumped into the back of his car or something avoidable.

"I could tell right away" he told me." Ive seen many people who've had strokes before and your moms face was drooping down on her left side as she stood there, She said shed had a sharp headache along with dizziness and then she couldn't use her left arm hardly at all."

My dad has been a hospice Chaplin since I was a little kid. Hes an expert at communicating perfectly at the most challenging of times in peoples lives. I experienced that as he coached me through the situation. "Now her numbness may change. We wont know its full affects for several more days. Ill take her to the hospital and they'll do brain scans to tell us more of exactly what happened and where in her brain it took place. We are very blessed Sharon, often people don't survive strokes, or at best they are present, but never again with us in mind. Ill inform you as soon as I know more."

I layed all the way back onto the yard trying to decide how to feel. Do I feel scared? Sad? Grateful? I tried to take deep breaths as if I were gulping air to save my life. Finally I gave into all the what ifs that flooded my mind and I must have looked as though I was being electrocuted by my own yard. I remembered how fearfully my grandmother had looked at me in her hospital bed not knowing who I was, a moment I've chosen to forget. I feared the worst at the thought that my mother... MY MOM... the woman who brings you your life support in every way may never be the same. The woman I love most, gone in some ways forever.

"Jesus help. Help me decide now how you feel about what has happened!" I cried out needing to regain control, both in body and in spirit. "Sharon... do you see that tree over there?" Through watery eyes I saw the big oak across the street."Yes Lord. I see i.t" "I made that tree. With one word I spoke that tree and with one word I could make it move do you believe that?" I was breathing much deeper now as his peace started to rest upon me. "Yes Lord. I believe that's true." "Then how much more do I love your mother than you? I am able to do all things." He didn't say much or go into any personal depth, but I was so aware of his goodness, of his control in what seemed like a tragic event. It was such a sad and scary moment of 2014.

The brain scans that followed actually showed my mom had had 3 strokes, 1 of them being very very old, possibly from when she was a little girl. Days later I finally was able to speak to my mom on the phone. She sounded different. Tired. She was sleeping a lot, her brains way of trying to recover from the jolt. The nerves on her left side (arms,hand,fingers,face) remained numb for many months. She had the best attitude about it. "Apparently id had the strokes in my sleep doctors say, because I never even knew theyd happened. I guess if your gonna have a stroke that's the best way to do it." Shed say almost proud of herself as if it was her own clever idea. Dad was more honest with me than she was. Shes different hed say. In ways that don't really matter but different all the same. Time and days are hard for her to keep track of. She hangs the laundry in the closet with all the cloths facing right now instead of left. She folds my dress pants differently. He told me of changes that I  should expect. Her memory was affected although only slightly from what I can tell. She wont be able to drive anymore (legally you cant for 1 year after a stroke if ever again) she wont be able to watch your nephew alone anymore while you sister works (This the most difficult by far. Her first grandchild now 2) Its not safe. She may forget and leave something dangerous out or not be able to pick him up. You can expect your mom to struggle with depression .Of all the things id researched, depression was the common enemy among all survivors although depression was no stranger to my mom.My heart could have never imagined what she told me next.

"Mom" I said over the phone wishing I wasn't 16 hours away. "How has today been?" I brace myself for the sound of sadness at her lack of independence. To feel like your body no longer works for you and I could only imagine the frustration she must feel. "Sharon, I loved today." "Loved?" I repeated sure I had heard her wrong. "Yes. loved." She went on for a very long time, explaining the hard times shed been having for decades before the stroke. My mom had had a difficult childhood and one could say the same for the early part of her married life. Shed always suffered from depression. Its hard to explain in such few words but, she had so much bitterness .Life was full of regrets and hard times that life felt dull to her. My mom waited for the day when shed be with the Lord. She longed for it in a way that was... at many times in my life sad and hurtful to me. No one would ever say that she was a woman full of life. But today she was.

I listened for hours as she told me about every sunrise shed sat and watched from the front porch since the stroke."I watched the tulip's in the front yard today as they woke up and followed the sun. I felt the coolness kiss my face as it dipped behind a cloud. I felt my hair blow across my face as though I was being kissed and I thought of God. How he has been kind to me to help me forget." I could hardly believe what she was saying. "I think this stroke was one of the best things that's happened to me.( said with a very slight slur) I cant remember the bad stuff anymore." and when she said it she said it in a way that sounded like she was free. Free in some beautiful way id never seen or heard her be free before.

Sometimes the stroke shows its captives. She used to have the most beautiful penmanship. Now what little she does write or sign in a card looks as though my daughter wrote it. I looked through my old shoe box full of letters from her when I moved away and hold them tight to my chest. This lovely cursive is my mothers, and I treasure now more than ever that my own is almost identical to hers.

They visited us 2 Septembers ago to meet for the first time their only granddaughter. I saw the look of total embracement on her face as I placed my daughter in her arms and she looked at me full of tears and said "Im so sorry. I cant remember her name." I kneeled in front of her and said "Oh good- then ill get to see your face when you hear it for the first time. (a moment I would have never had over the phone)We named her Finley." "Finley" She muttered as she closed her eyes gently and moved her mouth as if tasting something rich and sweet, then opened them. "I love it."

I don't know that iver ever told anyone this story before.I find myself writing this now because my spirit is so desperate to testify of Gods goodness. Were all in times of having difficulty,hardship and not knowing the future and yet God never changes. Only God can take a woman who felt no life and give her life through something satan intended for evil. I am remembering so many times of Gods goodness and faithfulness and... well... I think perhaps for me personally, its just time I told some people.