Friday, January 27, 2012


For the past couple of Wednesdays, a sweet, timid, middle-aged woman has been showing up at church.  She comes in with a large backpack and about four or five more bags filled with who knows what.  She tucks them all around her on the floor.  She doesn't want any help bringing them in from her car or through the door.  If someone touches her or them, she gets a bit frantic.  From what she says and does, I realize that she is coping with mental illness.

As I watched her, I realized that she wasn't the only one who had brought extra baggage to church that night. Oh, some of us hid it better than she did, but we still came in juggling bags and then tucked them nice and tight around us.  They do help insulate us.  And help build a protective wall.

How do I know there were others with baggage?  Well, some have let me peek into some of their bags.  So I know some of what they're carrying.  But, basically I know because I brought in all kinds of baggage with me that night.  Some helped insulate me.  Some just made it hard to juggle the rest.

Jesus asks us to lay all of our stuff at His feet. (1 Peter 5:7)  If we seem to get a bit frantic at that thought, He doesn't grab or snatch the stuff out of our hands.  Can you imagine the searing pain of that? No, instead He comes along side of us, puts His loving arms around us, asks us to open just one bag, and then lovingly helps us unpack.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

The One About Name Changing

Humor alert:  You'll only "get" this if either you know my family or if you've seen pictures of my family.  If you haven't, you might want to look around first.

I was cuddling on the couch last night with my four-year-old grandson.  Here's how our conversation went:

Me:  What's your name again?

Deonte:  Deonte!

Me:  Deonte what?

Deonte:  Deonte Correa!

Me:  What's my name?

Deonte:  Nana!

Me:  What's my real name?

Deonte:  (blank look)

Me:  What do other people call me?

Deonte:  Dorothy.

Me:  Dorothy what?

Deonte:  (blank look)

Me:  What's my last name?

Deonte:  I don't know.

Me:  Abdelaziz.

Deonte:  Abdelaziz.  Is that Papa's name, too?

Me:  Yes.

Deonte:  Is that Grandma's name, too?

Me:  No, her name is Jones.  You know, you call her Grandma Jones.

Deonte:  Oh, yeah. How come her name is different?

Me:  Okay, so Grandma's my mommy, right?  When I was born, my name was Dorothy Jones.  When I married Papa, my name was changed to his.  So now my name is Dorothy Abdelaziz.  

Deonte:  (paying close attention)

Me:  I'm your mommy's mommy, right?  When your mommy was born, she was Sarah Abdelaziz.  When she married Daddy, her named was changed to....

Deonte:  Correa!

Me:  Right!

Deonte:  When daddies get married, do they change their names?

Me:  No, just mommies.

Deonte:  So, what do daddies change?  Their color?

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Monday, January 2, 2012


Whew.  It's over.  2011, that is.

I'm emotionally drained.  But, I am slowly recovering and hope to be in ship-shape in not too long!

In all the sadness, in and amongst all the stress, there were two miracles.  Two little baby boys were added to our family.  Caleb Journey was born to Josh and Serena on July 27 (remember I was in Colorado in July?)

and River Arvin was born to Gana and Daja on October 3.

Oh, we do love babies around here!  Those two brand new ones redeemed 2011 for me.  Without them, I'd be hard-pressed to find the good.

Well, the "big" good, anyway.  God is always good and gives us so many every day wonders, that there is always good.  Always a gift from Him.  Always a smile to find.

It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.  The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.  Lamentations 3:22-24

And now it's 2012.

New Years Day landed on a Sunday this year.  What a wonderfully clean slate it represented.  A new day, a new week, a new month, and a new year!

Today my husband and I sat down to map out our goals and dreams for 2012.  No resolutions, just regrouping.  We'll do it again at the beginning of February.  Either to pat ourselves on the back or to kick ourselves back into action!

For the past few years, I've been choosing a word for the year.  Naming it, if you will.  I named 2011 FREEDOM.  2010 was the year of YES.  Do I sometimes forget what year it is as the months roll by?  Well, yeah.  But, it usually doesn't take too long before the year's name comes calling me back.

2012 is being named "RELEASE".  Not the most common of names, but a very personal one.  This is our year to release pain and illness, to release negative financial concerns, and to release excess possessions.  We are also opening our hearts, hands, and bodies to receive freedom and health.

Hey, 2012 is looking pretty good sitting there all clean and new!

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