Faith, grief, Trials, Uncategorized

Life’s Interruptions

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He stilled the storm to a whisper;
    the waves of the sea were hushed. 

Psalm 107:29

 

My life was recently interrupted with my mom’s death. We knew it was coming, as cancer was spreading through her body. It still takes your breath away, because you’re never ready. So here I am planning a memorial, and grieving. My life has paused, for now. Pictures are being sorted. Details for Mom’s memorial being planned. Flights booked. Everything right now is about honoring my mom.

I would choose smooth, calm waters. Everything perfectly planned. No interruptions. No death. No disease. No accidents. No real problems. It doesn’t work that way on this side of eternity. This world is broken. We are all passing through. Interruptions will come. They will bring us to our knees. They will bring us to the Father. They can make us stronger in Him, if we choose.

My weakness and God’s strength meet. At that exact point, I am strong.

So today, I surrender. I wouldn’t choose to plan a memorial for my mom right now. I’d put it off. It’s too much. Too hard. Too painful. Yet, I am forced to deal with this. I make the choice to stand on The Rock, Jesus. As I stand, He holds me. Guides me. Makes a way.

Most of life’s interruptions are unexpected. We are stunned in these moments. Sad, overwhelmed, fearful, and lost. There is good news. God is never surprised by anything. God is never overwhelmed. God is never afraid. God knows each painful thing we have to face. God will give us the grace to carry on. He sustains. He is faithful. He knows what good can come out of these interruptions.

I choose to trust God. I can’t see past these waves, but God can. He’s holding me, and He promises to get me through. God never goes back on His Word. God is constant, faithful, loving, and true.

What life interruption are you facing today? Maybe you think there is no way you are going to make it. That is a lie. You are going to make it.

God is a way maker.

God can still storms.

God can give you peace.

God loves you!

Hold on to Him. Trust Him. Obey Him. Praise Him.

 

Love you all,

Meghan

 

P.S. If you need prayer, please leave your request in the comments or on my contact page.

 

Photo Credit: EliasSch from Pixabay

 

Faith, grief, Trials, Uncategorized

I Hate Goodbyes

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The last day of 2019 was Mom’s last day on Earth. Even though we knew it was coming, it still really hurts. No matter what, you’re just not ready to say goodbye. I wasn’t, that’s for sure. Selfishly, I wanted more time. Come on Lord, give her a few more years. Then I don’t have to deal with that pain quite yet. Yet, here I am grieving. Not ready for it. Who is ever prepared to grieve?

I have peace. That’s the funny part. I have complete peace of where my mom is, heaven. Mom loved Jesus and knew Him as her Savior and Lord. She is not suffering anymore. That makes me so happy! Mom spent most of her life sick. She is now free of all pain and suffering. She wasn’t big on complaining, so most people would never know just how much illness and disease she dealt with. And, she always looked incredible, not like a sick person.

If I had my way, we would skip off to eternity together, holding hands. Young and old. No one would leave this earth until we all went home to Jesus, together. That’s not how it works. We were made for heaven. This is just the temporary part. We can easily lose sight of that and think that this life is it. When our loved ones die, it is a reminder that there’s more. We miss them, long to be where they are.

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 

It’s bittersweet. Mom is gone, and I will always miss her terribly. But, she is rejoicing with Jesus, with a new disease free body. No pain. No sorrow. No sin. No evil. And Jesus is there, waiting for all of us who said yes to Him.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? John 14:2

So Mom, I love you and miss you, but I’m happy for you. The life you lived was filled with many struggles, but many triumphs as well. The glass was half full to you. There was always a fight in you. Resilience was your middle name. God knew you needed that quality, and it served you well. I hope I picked up a tiny bit of that fighting spirit.

When Mom was down to her final moments I asked her husband to hold the phone to her ear. I felt so strongly I needed to say goodbye. I can’t explain it, just a strong feeling that I needed to do this. I love you. I pray for peace. Goodbye Mom. She didn’t respond. No movement. Her eyes were shut. I believe she heard me. Minutes later she passed away.

We are now preparing for Mom’s memorial. Though difficult, it’s a blessing too. So many loved my mom. She touched many lives in her 76 years. Well done Mom. You did it. Now dance with Jesus.

I won’t say goodbye. See you soon Mom! I love you.

 

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The beginning for Mom and me. She was pregnant with me in this picture.

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This picture was taken at least 25 years ago and how I see her. Healthy and beautiful.

Dorothea Louise 

October 19, 1943 ~ December 31, 2019

Love you Mom ❤

Faith, Food, Uncategorized

Olive Crostini

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This easy scrumptious recipe was given to me many years ago by a coworker. Her sister was a caterer and used this crostini often. I too have used it often over the years, but took a break from it until recently. It was fun to make it again. Olive Crostini has always been a big hit when I’ve made it for gatherings. Throw in a salad, and make a light meal out of it.

I have one funny story involving this appetizer. For quite a few years I hosted a Christmas party and olive crostini became a staple. My husband was mixing this olive spread using the blender. It gets pretty thick, so he stuck a large plastic spoon in the blender to unstick everything and accidentally hit one of the buttons. Well, a large chunk of the spoon was taken off by the blade from the blender. As he was fishing out plastic from the olive spread the doorbell rang. The show must go on, so the olive crostini went in the oven with God only knows how many bits of plastic. 

Now that I’ve confessed, you may never want to eat anything I share with you. Please forgive me. And also know, cooking mishaps are unavoidable. Whether we’ve eaten trace amounts of plastic, or burned food, or over salted, or used expired ingredients.  What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? My conscience is clear. Confession really is good for the soul. 

On with the recipe. The flavor combos are delectable. I love the contrast of the slightly bitter green olives with the creamy jack cheese. You can easily make the spread several days before your event. It keeps in the fridge for at least a week or two. You can even freeze the olive spread, but you won’t have to because it will get eaten up.

 

Happy Eating!

 

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 6:35

 

Olive Crostini 

  • 6 oz. can black olives, drained
  • 6 oz. jar green olives with pimentos, drained 
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese 
  • 1or 2 Baguettes 

 

  • In a food processor:
  • Add 6 oz. black olives and chop 
  • Add the garlic cloves and chop
  • Add olive oil and blend
  • Add 6 oz jar green olives and chop
  • Add butter and blend

 

  • In a mixing bowl:
  • Place the olive mixture from the food processor.
  • Stir in the jack and parmesan cheeses.

 

  • Thinly slice a baguette.
  • Spread about a tablespoon of the olive spread on each baguette slice.
  • Cook under the broiler for 2 to 4 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly.

     

  •  Notes 
  • This spread makes enough for at least 2 baguettes.
  • You can experiment with different olives.
  • Store leftover spread in the refrigerator.
  • You can use a blender if you don’t have a food processor, or just chop by hand.
  • The consistency you want is a coarse paste.

 

You can read my latest article here:

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-olive-crostini

Check out https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/  for plenty of great content from book reviews to parenting advice, all from a Christian perspective.

Faith, Prayer, Uncategorized

Suddenly

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I planted morning glories for the first time about three years ago. It was early spring and those tiny seeds went into the ground, and were forgotten until the first signs of life appeared weeks later. Little heart shaped leaves sprouted from the soil.

It feels like a leap of faith when I plant some seeds. The pretty picture on the seed packet shows me what I will eventually have. Hope is sown in my heart as I cover small seeds with dirt.

Sometimes there are crop failures. Seeds never sprout. Or, the seedlings only have short lives. A rain storm, heat, wind, or lack of sun can destroy what’s been planted. Precious seeds are fragile, vulnerable. But they are also packed with everything they need to grow into full-sized plants.

Heart shaped vines covered the wrought iron fence that summer. I waited anxiously for the first purple flower to appear. Day after day I watered and watched. Nothing happened. I watered some more and watched. Still nothing. June came and went, no flowers. July passed, then August. Still no flowers. Oh sure, I had a beautiful vine, but that’s not what I wanted. Blueish purple flowers is what I wanted.

September came and went, then October too. Nothing. I had accepted the fact that flowers were not coming. Morning glories were not meant for me. Other people got to experience their beauty, but not me.

Suddenly, one day in November I noticed something. There was a sliver of purple on the vine. Could it be? Did the morning glory finally bloom? Yes indeed! Oh happy day! My first morning glory appeared. It opened its beautiful purple self to the sun and smiled at me. I know flowers don’t actually smile, but this one did.

God spoke to me through that lone morning glory. He said, “I love you. I showed up right on time. This flower is just for you. I never forgot you.”

God has not forgotten you. Are you waiting on Him for an answer? For a miracle?

Did you plant your seed of faith? You watered it, and waited, and watched. Yet nothing happened. At least it appeared that way. There is a lot happening in that soil that we cannot see. It takes dirt, darkness, sun, rain, and time for things to grow. Conditions have to be just right for plants to produce flowers.

This last spring, morning glory seeds were put in the ground. I waited again in anticipation. This time I had to wait longer. Blooms didn’t show up until December. This year I had more faith, more hope as I waited. Even though it took longer to get those gorgeous purple flowers, I knew they were coming. Why? Because God had proven Himself faithful to me before. He would do it again.

Now when I get that first morning glory bloom it speaks right to my heart. My hope is restored that God indeed has a plan. His plan and His timing.

When we ask God for what He has placed on our hearts we can give up when it doesn’t happen right away. We’re impatient. We want it now. God rarely works that way. He’s always working on our hearts and our faith. Working out much bigger things than we can imagine.

Do we trust Him enough to wait on His timing? Do we trust Him with whatever the answer is, even if it’s not what we would choose? Is He truly Lord or just a Santa Claus? If God is my Savior and King, then He knows what’s best for me.

What do I want more? His blessings? Or Him?

Be encouraged today that God is a God of suddenly. When things look bleak, when we think it’s over, He will surprise us. Ask again, today. Believe again, today. God loves you!

 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11

Love you all,

Meghan

Faith, Jesus, Uncategorized

Cookie Crumbs

I wrote this last year on December 24th. It’s my first re-blog of a previous post.

The faith of the Canaanite Woman always confused me until I got revelation on the true meaning of this story. Some crumbs have a much bigger meaning.

May it encourage you and refresh your faith.

Merry Christmas!

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Read about bold faith here:

via Cookie Crumbs

Faith, Jesus, Uncategorized, Volunteer

Remember Those In Prison

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Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners. 

Hebrews 13:3 

I had the privilege to participate in an Angel Tree Party last Saturday. It’s a Christmas party for children of prisoners and their families. Before entering the prison, we waited in a line outside. Every volunteer and family member must be searched, and patted down. Cell phones, and pretty much all personal items are not allowed inside. After all the necessary safety precautions, we joined the party that was already in full swing.

Christmas music was playing. There was dancing, games, food, prizes, smiling children, and smiling dads. Local churches partner with Angel Tree to make it a fun, festive, happy occasion. Myself and a few friends from my small group helped with the craft area. Kids got to decorate a holiday frame with a picture of their dad. These kids were so precious, and so happy to be with their dads. There were little bitty toddlers all the way up to teenagers. So many of the children put “I Love My Dad” on their picture frames.

The kids are only allowed to see their fathers twice a year. Once at the Angel Tree Party, and once in June, around Father’s Day. That’s it. No children are permitted in the prison beyond those two days. So this party was a big deal and a very special time for all the families involved. There were also many wives, girlfriends, moms, and grandmas there.

Angel Tree is a year round organization under Prison Fellowship. Angel Tree has camps, mentoring, and sports clinics. There are over 2.7 million children of incarcerated parents in the U.S. Imagine the fear, shame, and loneliness that these kids must experience. Angel Tree is a blessing to these dear children.

I loved being involved with one tiny part of Angel Tree, but I only helped for a few hours. The real heroes are those who serve in this ministry year round. Like my sweet friend Holly. Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, Holly is just all heart. She leads a men’s group at this prison called Alpha. It’s a mentoring/discipleship program. We got to meet some of the men in Holly’s group and she’s so proud of these guys. How awesome to have someone rooting for you when so many in your life have not.

This prison is for men who have done their time and been reformed. It’s a Christian program that gets these guys ready to go back into the world upon release as leaders and contributors to society. This special program allows only the select few to participate. These men know Jesus and they are forever changed. Gang bangers, murderers, dealers, and all kinds of hardened criminals radically changed by Jesus Christ. That’s the Gospel. The Good News. That’s the hope for all of us.

Jesus is not a respecter of persons. Jesus came for sinners like me and you.

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17

Please remember those in prison. Prisoners need the love of Jesus just as much as your co-workers and neighbors. Pray for prisoners. Pray for their children and wives and families. Pray for ministries like Prison Fellowship.

I was in prison and you came to visit me. Matthew 25:36

As I looked at the dads in white clothing, many covered in gang tattoos, I saw my brothers in Christ. I saw hope in their faces. I saw love for their children and wives. That room was filled with the Holy Spirit. It didn’t matter that we were behind prison walls. That won’t stop Jesus. Nothing can, except a hard heart. Let’s pray for soft hearts to the gospel.

“The ground is level at the foot of the cross.” Chuck Colson, Founder Prison Fellowship

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Prison Fellowship Home

Praising God in Prison by Meghan E. White

 

 

Image by Ichigo121212 from Pixabay

 

Faith, Trials, Uncategorized

Count Your Blessings

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Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17

 

We all have Christmas traditions. One of ours is to play the movie White Christmas while the tree is being decorated. I love all the music from that classic movie. Of course the iconic “White Christmas” song by Irving Berlin is one of the most beloved Christmas songs of all time. And I do love that song. But there’s another song from the movie that I love. “Count Your Blessings” was also written by Irving Berlin. He wrote it during a time he was suffering from insomnia brought on by stress. A doctor suggested to count his blessings instead. Good advice.

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep and I fall asleep counting my blessings
when my bankroll is getting small I think of when I had none at all
and I fall asleep counting my blessings.

 

I think about a nursery,
and I picture curly heads,
and one by one I count them
as they slumber in their beds.

If you’re worried and you cant sleep,
just count your blessings instead of sheep
and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.

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Worry and stress are exasperated during this “Most Wonderful Time of The Year”. While it should be one of the happiest times, for many it can be one of the hardest. I think of this song often throughout the year when I feel stressed. When I stop and count all of my many blessings it gives me perspective. The problems will always come, but the gifts from our Heavenly Father will come too. So let’s thank Him for all He has given us, for all He has done and continues to do.
The Word of God is clear about what we are to do with our worry. Give it all over to Jesus. Here are just a few verses:
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:6-7 (NIV) 
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3 (NIV)
No matter what you are facing today, stop and take a few moments to thank God for everything He has blessed you with. Write these blessings down and look at them daily to remember how faithful God is. Let’s count our blessings! Our lists should be so long that we run out of paper. If you are in a painful place, at least write a few blessings down. There is always something to be thankful for. Your list will grow as you begin to think about all the good God has done.
Here is a big blessing to start you off. Jesus came into this world as a tiny baby to save us. Thank you Jesus for the blessing and miracle of Christmas.
When we thank God for His many blessings something happens. We stop focusing on the problems and stress and start focusing on God. That changes our mood and our attitude. Our faith grows, and our praise gets stronger. That’s powerful!
May your load be a little lighter today. May God give you fresh joy and perspective when you think on all He has done.
Love you all,
Meghan
P.S. If you need prayer leave your request in the comments or on my contact page.
Images by monicore from Pixabay