Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A LETTER TO MY BROTHER ON HIS 50TH BIRTHDAY

                                              June 15, 2017

Dear Kevin,

Looking back at our 50 years together, I could delineate quite a few stories we’ve laughed about for many years.  As M2 (Mom 2), I  would start by reminiscing over the talented ways you could quickly finished your chore of taking out the trash by readily dumping it in our neighbors’ yard, entertain others with music by farting with your body parts (legs, elbows…), tease a cat, captivate the cousins with entertaining Barbie doll stories of "Little Batsy," consume two cheese hotdogs for a snack before eating a full dinner, get us all woke up at 6:30a.m. by hiding dad's comb or brush so he would yell up the steps, "Everyone up!," or even hold back your broom chasing sister after you walked across her newly mopped floor.  



But at this juncture, I would rather reminisce about something far more significant: the COURAGE you have shown throughout your life.  Each of these words from others about courage remind me of my simple hero brother:

Acts 4:13, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (NIV) 

Even in the midst of trying circumstances and personal anguish, your desire to laugh and easy nature have always invited others into your world and given them the courage to share their hearts and stories. They have not worried about feeling rejected by ears that don’t listen or a heart that doesn’t reach. Your courage empowers people to live real, out loud.  That emboldens others to live with the same courage. 


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ― Winston S. Churchill

Choosing to find success in serving others in your business venture stands as courageous in our financial world.   When the world’s business is about what people can get or take,  yours is about giving quality of life to others. Serving others needs has not been easy, but you have persevered with the heart of a lion.


“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.” ― Maya Angelou

Your life is a testament to this type of courage— to trust your heart to love again after loss when pain and disappointment ramp up loudly in the ear.  Turning off that refrain of failure that tries to play in the background of your heart and to choose to believe you can give love well again is paramount courage. 



“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or… too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” ― Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay

As we have aged through the years, I have watched you reinvent who you want to be, to find the courage to struggle to be the better man you envision, and live with the passion to make it happen. No man can be perfect, and most men live with scars if they engage in life with a purposeful passion. You capture the essence of living authentically and also galvanizing other men to this brave venture. You are one of the sincerest King’s men I know.   



“Courage is found in unlikely places.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

I can’t count the number of times you have provided perspective and wisdom and courage be it unknowingly through an uplifting or challenging comment to me as a teen girl or an emotional adult.  Know that your words and actions have provided courage, hope, and balance. 

In a day when we don’t credit heroes or knights in shining armor,
I proudly proclaim that you are one of mine in my life’s drama.  

Love today and on your special day,

Your sis (M2)
Cherie

Sunday, June 4, 2017

LIVING WITH THE BREAK AND THE ACHE

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If we live long enough, it seems heartache and heartbreak visit. Dark hours shrouded in loneliness when it seems taking a breath must be deliberately exercised.

Those moments of despair and depression when loved ones are lost and snatched from bosoms too early or within circumstances humanely unfair. Those moments when we were cheated out of the joy life was to guarantee us. Those moments when imagined family dreams were shattered. Those moments when innocence was violated. Those moments when friendships were splintered. Those moments which amass years discouraged by physical conditions without solutions.

The heart is broken and the ache is real. 

And our daily life journey can also seem like rough moguls pressed over broken ground. We are the weak kneed wounded whirling our way through days.

The crowd sees the hardened shell as we live as if all seems well. 
We know the inside mess where we wonder if we can survive this brokenness.  

And the lyrics resound, "We shall overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony." (Rev. 12:11)

We WONDER:  
We shall overcome shame, depressions, despair, sorrow, disappointment, distress, loss, suffering, grief, misery, problems, regret, pain, and heartache?

When our heart is broken open and aches from the tearing, it's at these fissures God fills our chasms. The imperfect wounded heart is filled with a super glue that holds it perfectly together.

It's at these tough trenches of the heart He suffuses a soil that sows a new life, a testimony that teaches us to live WITH the brokenness of this life. The scars a reminder of His power to hold our heart.

Jesus didn't just die for us. He SURVIVED for us to be our Overcomer in this life. 

We GROW and begin to KNOW:
We shall overcome shame, depressions, despair, sorrow, disappointment, distress, loss, suffering, grief, misery, problems, regret, pain, and heartache!

His OVERCOMING surgery connects His life marrow to our heart tissue.  He is our heart bypass. His Spirit fills us to live by His restoring. He takes His blood vessels and restores the flow of new life to our broken, throbbing hearts.

We may not escape this life without heartache or pain, but we can learn to LIVE with our brokenness as proof of Life---proof of His abundant life in us and proof that He heals our imperfect hearts whole.
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