Archive | May 2014

Invasion of the ants……

I have been trying a home remedy for ants where you combine sugar, borax, and water.  While it was attracting the ants, and killing the ones who got into it, it wasn’t getting rid of all them.

Honestly, I was getting rather tired of walking into my kitchen and finding ants crawling on my counter.  I decided to search pinterest for other options.  I found one that is INCREDIBLE!!!  And it is oh-so-simple!!!   Here it is:

I took cornmeal and poured it along two sides of the house.  (The ants will eat it, swell up and die.)  Anyway, after less than 30 minutes, I noticed that all of the remaining ants in the kitchen had disappeared!!!!  I think the ants on the outside must have communicated with the ones inside and let them know to come outside again.  It will be interesting to see what the counter looks like tomorrow morning.

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Running the Race

Running the Race

 

Have you ever had one of those moments where God speaks a word to you and it becomes an epiphany to you that changes your entire outlook? I had one of those moments. Of all things, it happened two minutes before I was to speak at my brother’s memorial service. It was such a powerful insight and has brought much comfort and a sense of peace to us as we mourn Matt’s passing.

 

I was reminded of how my brother was a runner. He ran cross country in high school as well as a few marathons. I remembered the words of Paul in 2 Timothy 4. He had run his race and finished his course. Suddenly, a flash of insight hit me! My brother, who was the runner in the family, was also the first one of our immediate family to finish his earthly race! How fitting that was! Yes, we would still miss him immensely, but what a comfort this realization gave us!

 

As I shared this awesome insight, I carefully watched the expressions on everyone’s faces. It was absolutely beautiful to see the transformation on their mournful faces as they “got it.”

 

I have had an immense sense of peace since that epiphany. Whereas, prior to that moment, I would sob nearly every day, I no longer do that. Yes, I still cry, but not the heart-wrenching sobs of a heart that is breaking. Deep within my spirit, I know Matt is EXACTLY where Matt is supposed to be. That has helped me tremendously.

 

As we are trying to move forward, there are several questions that keep resonating through my head:

 

What kind of race am I running?

 

How do I want to be remembered when my earthly race is over?

 

What kind of changes do I need to make to get my priorities in better order?

One thing that was an immediate change is that when I visit my parents, I no longer leave without giving hugs and saying, “I love you.” That has become incredibly important to me. It is also important to me to check in on them even more than I did previously, for losing a child is something none of us can fully understand unless we’ve gone through that experience ourselves.

 

I’m also giving a lot more hugs to extended family members and friends. The power of touch is huge, and the touch of a hug can help to heal broken hearts.

While I frequently speak of my job and often say, “I love my job,” I don’t want that to be the first thing said of me. Rather, I want to be remembered for loving my God first and foremost, then for loving my family and friends.

 

What kind of race are you running? Do you need to make changes?

© 2014, Stacy R. Miller

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A “sticky” situation

We are currently being invaded by the tiny ants.  I have a home remedy set up to take care of it, but it usually takes a couple of days.

Anyway, I was heading to the bathroom for a much-needed bath after my Turbo Jam workout.  I assigned my prissy 17 year old daughter the task of dicing the chicken breast that I cooked after I got home from work.

I’m in the bathroom, taking off my make-up when I hear, “MOM!  ANT!  Heading toward the chicken!!!”  Interpretation:  “Mom, you better get out here fast because I’m not touching that ant!”  So I ran out and took care of the ant.

Back to the bathroom to start running my bath water.  I hear, “MOM!  Another ant….Ok, never mind, I got it.”  Being how she HATES bugs and refuses to touch them, I had to walk out and see how she got rid of it.  She proudly replied, “I used the sticky note that was on the counter!”  LOL!  Now we have a new use for sticky notes!

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Interesting Family Tidbits

My dh’s neice was the flower girl in our wedding. Many years later, she married her own dh on our anniversary.

When I met dh, I was working at a bank. So was my mil. I was also involved in a singing ministry at the time. So was my mil. In fact, we both sang at the wedding! (My song was prerecorded though.)

Dh has three brothers and no sisters. I also have three brothers and no sisters.
I have two cousins named David. Both by the same father, though they have different mothers.

My mother had 2 boys, a girl, and then another boy.  So did two of my aunts.  One of those aunts went on to have a fifth child —  a girl.  We’ve always said if my parents would have done it again, I would have a sister.

Twins were born in my maternal grandpa’s family.  We thought that my generation would end up getting at least one set of twins.  The odd thing is that my cousin, who was adopted, ended up having twin girls!

Surrounded by God’s Mercy

Surrounded by God’s Mercy

 

After the initial shock of hearing my brother died of a massive heart attack in March, I knew the Lord had given me a message to share at his memorial service. Having a mission in my pain certainly made those days of such intense grief a bit easier because the message He gave me about his mercy was something I was living out firsthand.

 

You see—my brother died the day before my scheduled weekend off work. After that, I had to get back to work. I didn’t want to use my allowed bereavement days until my parents returned from Arizona (where he lived), and we could plan our memorial service here. (And that didn’t happen for two weeks.)

 

Nearly every morning, I would get up and start getting ready for work. About the time I would be putting on my eye make-up, I would start crying. Eye make-up and tears don’t work well together! I remember crying out every morning, “Lord, I need Your strength and Your mercy. I cannot do this on my own.”

 

I work the switchboard at a local hospital. It is very busy since I answer every call that comes to the switchboard from inside the hospital, outside the hospital, as well as those for the after-hours answering service for over one hundred doctors. It requires a lot of focus, multi-tasking, and people skills. Yet, every day, in spite of the excruciating ache in my heart, I was able to come to work, put on my happy face, and do my job. Granted, I would sob all the way home, but at least I was able to hold myself together while I was on the clock. That was nothing but God’s mercy carrying me. Through this, I felt the prayers of others like never before.

 

After a grueling day at work, having been on the phone all day, I would come home and have to spend the evening on the phone, updating people on what was going on. Not only were we dealing with my brother’s death, but his wife was admitted to the hospital that night. The day after she got out, my mother was in the ER for dehydration. There were several times when I wondered, “Are they going to die too?” I cannot begin to fully exemplify how terribly stressful all of this was to our family. As my dad said, “This has been the worst two weeks of my life!” So to say it was a flurry of activity would be an understatement. Yet, the Lord continued to infuse me with strength.

 

I would do what needed to be done, but then I had to allow myself to release the grief and stresses of the day through tears each evening. If I didn’t, I was a basket case the next day. There is such cleansing and emotional release in letting those tears fall. Through this experience, I have learned that even tears are part of God’s mercy to us because of how much better we can feel after a long cry.

Another was I experienced God’s mercy was in the message of mercy He spoke to me. You see – I used to teach Sunday school every Sunday. That isn’t possible now since I work every other weekend. Yet, teaching God’s word is still a passion in my soul. He gave me a clear, concise message on His mercy to share at the memorial service. He knew this would do two things: 1. Give me a mission in my pain, which would be a comfort to me. 2. Allow me to use the spiritual gift He gave me to comfort and encourage others as we all walked through this valley of grief together.

 

As you face your own struggles in this life, I challenge you to look for God’s mercy and see how He demonstrates it to you in new, unexpected places.

© 2014, Stacy R. Miller

 

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