What’s On Shannen’s Mind

Random Thoughts – Writing in Popcorn Fashion

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Writing whatever pops into my mind…

Can’t believe it’s July 24th already.  Our daughter #5 texted me to tell me her baby’s due date is February 23, which is my mother’s birthday.  Mom was excited when I told her the news.  Do we need the ceiling fan on?  Is it hot enough for the fan to be on?  I wonder how much our electric bill will be this month.  I wonder what time daughter #6 will be home tonight.  Do we have church tomorrow night?  I think we will have church service tomorrow evening.  Uuughh, I didn’t change out of my work clothes before I sat down to do this exercise.  I could have been much more comfortable.

The traffic is quiet tonight.  Wish it were like that more often.  Just heard a man’s voice.  I didn’t recognize it, wonder who it is? My brain is tired.  Thoughts are not forming completely.  Do I want to go watch Youtube videos after I’m done here?  I haven’t called my parents and talked to them in a while.  It’s been a week since I talked to them.  Maybe I should call them tonight or tomorrow night….wait we have church tomorrow night.  Jesus, I haven’t thought of you in a few minutes.  Thank you for being here with me.  Papa, Jesus, Holy Spirit…I love you!  Thank you for your grace and mercy.  Thank you for surrounding me with your love, peace, and joy.  Is there anything you want me to write?  Jesus says, “Just tell them how much I love them.”  Yeah, He does love you.  He thinks you are to die for!  No joke.  I hope you all know how much you are loved by God.

You know you can trust God with your heart.  You can’t trust everyone, ya know?  But God, you can put ALL your trust in Him.  He is so good.  He is so good.  God is so good.  His love is perfect.  Our love for each other is far from perfect. God’s love is like no other.  Now I have the song “Reckless Love” running through my mind.  If you haven’t heard the song yet, look it up on Youtube.  It’s a good song.  I love songs that talk about how much God loves us.

Maybe you’re reading this and you haven’t yet experienced the love of God.  I want you to know it’s real.  It will change your life.  It’s incredible.  Do you know what the word incredible means?  Here is the definition of the word incredible:  1.  Impossible to believe. 2.  Difficult to believe; extraordinary.  3. Very good; wonderful.   Yes, that is a good description of God’s love for us, for you.

The Bible says that God so loved us that He gave.  What did He give?  His one unique son, Jesus.  Why did he give Jesus?  To prove to the world…to us….to you…that His love is so great He wanted to make the world…my world….your world ….right again.  Who does that?  Who give their children for the WHOLE WORLD.  Not us, that’s for sure.  But, like I said, God’s love for us is incredible.  He would do ANYTHING to make your world right again.  ANYTHING.

If you would like to talk more about God’s love for you, just comment or send me a message.  I love talking about God’s love, so it’s not any bother.

Oh, hey, look at that.  (573 words)

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This Blog Keeps Calling My Name

Accepting the Challenge

Once again I have been challenged to write.  This time the challenge calls for a daily blog writing of 500+ words.  If you have already “flipped” through this blog you know that blog writing consistency has not been my strong suit.  The content has not been that great or compelling either.  I apologize for my procrastinating, lazy butt attitude.  I know I have it in me to write more often and better content but I just haven’t.

This lackadaisical attitude stems from my personal belief that my life is boring and therefore boring to write about.  Or, what I think is most likely boring, therefore why would anyone really be interested in what I say? (I’m at 116 words) What I have effectively done is stunt my growth in the writing realm. Having said that, I acknowledge it and am ready to carry out the remedy.  Get ready for a slew of blog posts!

I know what you are thinking…you’ve heard this all before.  I don’t blame you for not trusting my enthusiasm.  Yet, I believe,  one must keep trying and hoping that this time it will stick. (191 words) I need to practice, practice, practice!

Ok, shifting to more a more interesting subject matter.  One of my happy places.  A place where, when I arrive in the vicinity, my soul is at peace and starts singing.  That place is Mission Penisula, Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City, Michigan.  Look at this picture:  37395516_10216192524516560_8161125319160365056_n

Can you see how calming, peaceful heavenly this place is?   The 78 degree and sunny weather was perfect on this day. My husband and I stopped by a roadside area, rolled down the windows and just listened to the water of the bay lapping on the shore.  We could hear Gulls chatting with each other as they fished Lake Michigan. The sky was bright blue as so was the water.  There was a slight breeze off the bay that cooled down the air so that it felt less than the 78 degrees on the thermostat. (330 words) Seems perfect, right?

How did we arrive at this peninsula on that day? We were driving South, taking the long way home,  from my Aunt Ellen’s funeral in Northern Michigan.  We were so close to Mission Penisula, so I said to my husband, “Let’s just go!”  And so we did.  It was a great way to practice “self-care”, which is something else I am working on.

My life, maybe yours also, is a mix of the bitter and the sweet.  We were not in Northern Michigan originally for anything sweet.  We were there to say “see you later” to my Aunt.  Yet, because we were traveling I was able to visit one of my happy places.  I see it as a gift.  God said, “I know you are sad.  I know you are grieving.  After the service,  go enjoy one of my beautiful creations.”  God is good.  He knows me and loves me. He created this earth for me to enjoy.  He is generous with His creation.  Thank you, Lord, for your provision! (511 words)

 

 

10 Ways to Lose Your Wife

It’s been a long day at work.  It’s good to be home.  It will be better when you can sit down to a hot meal with your family. You find your wife standing in the middle of the dining room.  Her eyes are red and puffy from crying and her eyes are fixed on the floor.  Next to her feet you see a suitcase and a few packed boxes.  She doesn’t say a word.  She hands you a note.  The note plainly says, “goodbye.” black-and-white-girl-looking-down-sad-scared-Favim.com-195487

You ask for an explanation.  She says she’s already explained, many times, and you haven’t listened.  You sit on a dining room chair, head in your hands, with your mind reeling.  When did she tell me?  What was it she said?  Is it too late?

Guys, your wife has told you.  Listen before it’s too late.  In case you can’t remember what she said, here is my list of ways to lose your wife.

10 Ways To Lose Your Wife

  1.  When she tells you her dreams, treat them as only talk and not as real plans.
  2. When she tells you she doesn’t like something, ignore her complaint and keep doing it.
  3. Stop dating her.  Let the passion die in your relationship.
  4. Ignore her when she says, “This is important to me.”
  5. Tell her you will do something and then don’t do it.
  6. Don’t support her financially, emotionally or physically.
  7. Get defensive when she tries to talk to you about something that bugs her.
  8. Refuse to be a leader at home.  Give your wife the sole responsibility to lead your children and your relationship.
  9. Agree to go to counseling with her but once the counseling stops go back to the destructive behavior you had when you started.
  10. Have a mountain load of excuses handy when she talks to you about  1 – 9.

Is it too late?  In most cases no.  But change needs to happen.   DON’T push or threaten your wife into staying.  Start by turning your marriage over to God.   Pray for your wife and your marriage every day.  There isn’t a script that fits all situations and marriages so ask for His wisdom in how to proceed.  Ask your wife out on a date.  If she accepts your invitation be prepared to listen.  Take every step slow and with gratitude.  Did I mention to pray?  Yes, it’s important enough to mention a couple times.

Proverbs 18:22 (MSG)

 Find a good spouse, you find a good life—
    and even more: the favor of God!

Don’t lose your good wife or good life.  Listen, really listen to her.

Family During the Holidays

My husband and I are blessed to have our kids all live within 20 minutes of our house.  We have two daughters that still live at home, two daughters and one grandson that live right around the corner, one daughter and her family live within 15 minutes and one daughter and son-in-law (and now grandchild due in July 2016) that live within 20 minutes.  This convenience makes holidays grand because everyone is usually around during that time.  The 2015 holidays were no exception.  Everyone was here for Thanksgiving, most everyone was here for Christmas (one of our son-in-laws is a nurse who had to work), and between New Year’s Eve and New Years Day we saw everyone.

Christmas 2015

 

Did I happen to mention we all kinda like each other?  I can’t even begin to describe the joy that fills my heart nor can I conceive how this happened.  The only word that comes to mind is “miracle.”  I am humbled and grateful that we are blessed with adult children who like each other.

Welcome 2016

New Year’s Eve is an excellent time to shed the ending year and welcome the new year.  Time to shake off all our heartache and sorrow and leave it in 2015.  Time to embrace all our accomplishments and joy.  The prophet Isaiah writes:

This is what God says,
    the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
    who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
    they lie down and then can’t get up;
    they’re snuffed out like so many candles:
“Forget about what’s happened;
    don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
    It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
    rivers in the badlands.  ~~~Isaiah 43:16-19 (The Message)

So, lets get ready to cast off any negative emotions we are holding on to in 2015 and welcome all that God has for us in 2016.

I Just Want To Say Thank You Lord!

tumblr_mt4ktwHpUU1spcad0o1_500I just want to say thank you Lord! I want to shout Hallelujah from the mountain tops! I want to praise Him in the rain while walking in the valleys! I give God praise, honor and glory for ALL HE HAS DONE in 2015. Thank you Lord for the mountain tops and the valleys. Thank you Lord for the joy and the sorrow that turned to dancing because You are good. Thank You Lord for everything. Thank You Lord! Thank You for all your plans for 2016.  I can’t wait to walk this new year together with You.  Thank You Lord!

No Money but still RICH!

This morning I was thinking back on a time a couple years ago when Pat had injured his back and the feelings I have may be surprising, He was off from work for several months, he was the sole money-maker, and money was tighter than tight. We burned through our emergency fund quick. I remember sitting in the parking lot of Kent County Dept. of Human Services after applying for help. It was going to take a couple of weeks to get help and we had no money in the bank. We needed food and gas for the van and there wasn’t any money. We had already sold everything we could sell. There was NOTHING. So, I sat in my van and cried out to God. I gave it all over to Him. I told Him I was going to trust Him to provide food, gas and money to keep a roof over our heads. I went home. I continued to pray. Nothing happened that day or the next. The third day someone we knew just dropped by. They said they felt God wanted to give us some money. It was enough to buy food, gas and to pay the rent (which was due). During the time my husband was off from work, we saw God provide time and time again in a way that can not be explained naturally. So when I look back I remember the time I was able to spend a lot of quality time with the love of my life, and I remember the One who gives me life, loving me and providing for me.  He filled me with a supernatural joy and peace. We had no money but it was the one of the most RICH seasons of my life!

Funny

How to organize my thoughts.  I’d love to write a blog on a continual basis, but the darn thoughts won’t line up in my head.  It’s terrible and it’s like 2000 people screaming at me all at once.  It’s always been like that inside my head.  Also, there are many nights I have trouble sleeping because those voices just won’t shut up.  It usually isn’t about anything specific just about everything all.the.time.   I once tried to explain it to a therapist and she told me that is the best reason for me to start writing.  “Once you start writing ideas, thought, whatever as it comes into your thoughts, there will be less and less ideas trying to get you to hear them.”

For the last couple weeks I felt like I was supposed to write more…but once I got to the blog 24 other ideas wanted to be written.  Then, I forgot all I wanted to say about the original thought and decided not to write anything unless I had a complete thought.  I maybe waiting another year.