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Monday, December 22, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: God Speaks!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: God Speaks!: Does God speak to you? Do you hear His voice in your heart, your spirit, your mind? I do. That is, if I listen. I was reminded a few days ag...

God Speaks!

Does God speak to you? Do you hear His voice in your heart, your spirit, your mind? I do. That is, if I listen. I was reminded a few days ago by my husband, John, that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason! If you truly are Christ's and want to hear from Him, you sometimes have to stop talking and just listen!

God usually talks to me about the same thing from many different sources. The more I hear the same thing, the more I know He wants me to learn it, and remember it. This time it started when our Care MiƄistry team, CrossRoads, from Church held our annual banquet in July. The scripture was the theme for our group moving forward. It was Joshua 1:9. "This is my command, be strong and courageous! This is mentioned over and over in Joshua as The Israelites moved into the promised land.

A few days later I read in Deuteronomy 31:6 that Moses said to Joshua.....be strong and courageous! In the next week our Life Group Bible study at Church was on Joshua. Yes, again, be strong and courageous! Right after that two people posted posters on Face Book with Joshua 1:9. By now,be strong and courageous was becoming "my verse."

I have no doubt God was teaching me as only He can! I love when He does this. Since I accepted Him as my Savior 30 some years ago, He has forgiven me, turned my life away from what I was, and secured my place in Heaven. By His blood shed, and His resurrection I have been redeemed. I know by that,
that when I am confronted with the same scripture over and over, I need to learn it, understand it, and live it.

Strong means muscular power, mentally vigorous,great moral power, and mighty and unwavering. Courageous means bold, confident, and fearless. Obedience to God's word gives the success and the victory to live strong and courageous. It is God's power, not mine. Whatever makes me afraid He will deliver me from, so I can be strong and courageous. Strong in today's world also prepares me to be strong in character, and to stand for what God says is right. The world's views are not what God says in His word. Too many say the Bible is just words men wrote. I have to be strong and bold to stand up to those lies of satan.

I am being watched, not only where I live, but now on social media. What does that world see in me and how I live life? Am I holding on to what God says or what is easy and safe? God is teaching me to be alert mentally and spiritually and ready for the enemy. The world needs to see Bible believing Christians as strong and courageous in Christ!

The reason for that strong and courageous demeanor is because of Christ living in us. His absolute care is absent from the lives of those who reject Him. "So don't be afraid, little flock for it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom," Luke 12:32.  It's a free gift. Take Him into your heart, accept His sacrifice on the cross for your sins, and turn from those sins. If you accept Him into your life, you will have His care so you can be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged for The Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Again Joshua 1:9. God speaks....are you listening?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: The Mother Of Jesus

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: The Mother Of Jesus: Alright, this is my last Christmas Blog! As I watched a show on T.V. The other night, I started thinking about Jesus and His earthly family....

The Mother Of Jesus

Alright, this is my last Christmas Blog! As I watched a show on T.V. The other night, I started thinking about Jesus and His earthly family. I've thought about them before, but I really thought about them as more than a part of the historical birth of Christ. They were a unique family. There were the obvious things, like Mary being a virgin. Joseph was basically an adopted father. You add to that, the young age of Mary, and a long walk to another town, right at the time the baby is due.

I am not sure how we Moms and Dads would handle those conditions today. As for Joseph, he is engaged to a young girl, and then finds out she is having a baby. It isn't his....it is God's son. Wow! Talk about a shocker. Then he has to take responsibility to go to Bethlehem to pay taxes with a wife who is ready to have her baby any day. Talk about stress. 

Mary of course is the one I always wonder about. It is believed she may have been as young as 13 or 14. She has a new husband and a miraculous baby on the way. Then she has to travel by foot and donkey about 70 miles to pay taxes. She will be in a strange place, with no Mother close by, and no one to help her if her baby came while they were on this trip. On top of that, there is no nice room for them to stay in. Now she finds herself bedded down in a stable filled with straw and animals.

The Bible does not tell us how long labor was, but she is having Him in less than ideal circumstances. Once Jesus was born, she was immediately and totally in love with her son! The Bible tells us she swaddled Him. That is the ultimate care of a mother, to wrap her child tightly in cloth to mimic the safety and comfort of the womb. It doesn't say, but I can imagine she is like any mother, she made sure He was perfect, with ten toes, and ten fingers.

I can picture her quietly talking to Him, cuddling Him close, and praying over Him. The weight of responsibility on her and Joseph for this little one was huge! They also knew God would lead them, help them, and protect them. 

Then as she was settling in to rest, more amazing things began to happen. A bright star settles over the stable. Angels are singing and declaring the birth. Strangers who were shepherding their sheep start making their way to see this miracle of God's son. It all had to be overwhelming, and yet we know, God was totally in charge! Mary kept these memories in her heart.

I believe that Mary and Joseph were no different than any new parent. The Bible doesn't tell us if Jesus cried, or got sick, or got a fever. If He did, I know His parents would have prayed for Him, and watched over Him. They were led to a place where they had to totally rely on God. Joseph was told in a dream his new son was in danger of being sought out and killed. Yet He and Mary were totally obedient to God, and fully relyed on Him. When God said go to Egypt, they went, taking them even further from home, and for a longer time.

We Moms and Dads today face many dangers for our children and grandchildren. Is our first line of defense prayers?  Just as Jesus was loaned to Mary and Joseph for His time on earth, our children are loaned to us until God calls them home to Him. We have better surroundings and circumstances, maybe than Mary and Joseph, but we should be as obedient and trusting as they were. 

As you go through this Christmas season this year, try to focus only on the Christ child and His family.
Think about all they did outside their comfort zone, just to follow God's plan. Am I that in tune with God?  Am I willing to give it all to  Him, and no matter what He asks,say, "Yes, Lord!"  After all, that little baby with skin on, did far more for me, than I could ever imagine. More and more I will watch Mary and Joseph's example of saying YES!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: An Empty Place

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: An Empty Place: Holidays are a time of joy, happiness, family. Whether it is Thanksgiving or Christmas, an anniversary, or birthday, they are special times ...

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: More Molly Christmas!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: More Molly Christmas!: It's me Molly, again! I am really liking this Christmas stuff. I know we had it last year too, but I was still a baby, and I don't r...

More Molly Christmas!

It's me Molly, again! I am really liking this Christmas stuff. I know we had it last year too, but I was still a baby, and I don't remember it much! Today we sat in our family  room
 with a fire in the fireplace! I like watching it, but when it pops, it scares me a little. Mom decorated here too, and I like it cause Mom says it is for Jesus Birthday.

I know that doesn't mean much to us furs, but humans love Him a lot. I asked Mom why He is so special, and she said, because He is God's son. He came here to where we live....earth, and was born as a human baby. That seems funny to me. Humans do bad things, God calls sin, so Jesus said, "I'll go and be a human and  I will live as a human."  

I guess then when He grew big, He died on a cross, and took all that bad stuff with Him, so humans could be forgiven. If they take that free gift, and love Jesus, they get to live with Him forever! I don't know what forever is. Any way that makes Christmas special! So today, I snuggled with Daddy all day, does that count as forever?

The bestest thing ever was actually yesterday! I told you before I needed a new harness. Well yesterday, Daddy bought me a new one. It is beautious! I love it! It is not so tight, and it is PINK! Daddy didn't think I was a pink kind of girl...but I am! It has reflectors on it too, so at night in the light, people can see me coming! Mom says I walk very proud when it is on, because I know I'm looking good!

Then the night before that, my best friend from next door came over to play. His Mom had an emergency, and my Mom went over to his house to
let him out and give him treats. Well, she said he looked so sad, she brought him to my house so we could play for awhile! It was fun!

Yup, this Christmas time is so fun. I'm going to be a reallly good girl, so I can get maybe a new toy, and my favorite treats too!  Playing with Max, wearing my new harness, and eating treats is pretty awesome. I sure am glad Jesus was born. Mom says He loves we fur babies too! She showed me a picture of Him, and He was holding a baby sheep. Pretty cool, huh? Well that's all for now. Maybe I can talk to you again next week. Happy Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2014

It's O.K. to Say It!

Merry Christmas! Yes it is O.K. To say the words. Those who do not believe in Jesus or His word, seem to think the words are offensive. The simple truth is, He was and is today, real, He was born in human form to save humanity from separation from God, The Father because of sin, and Christmas would not exist without Him.

Now, if you choose not to believe that, that is between you and God, but why are you offended, because I believe. I may not agree with other beliefs, but I am not going to tell people they can't believe. I have always loved Christmas. The first Christmas I remember I was maybe four. We lived in Colorado, at the foot of a mountain range. My Daddy had a red and black plaid, wool jacket, and I was bundled up in a blue snow suit. Yes I was one of those kids, so bundle up, I could hardly walk. We were dressed to go up into the mountains, where my Daddy cut our Christmas tree. I doubt if they still allow people to do that today, but in the late 40s, it was accepted.

I especially liked the lights. At that time in my life, I loved snow. We always went to Church at 11:00 on Christmas Eve. I remember that same Christmas, when we walked out of Church it had been snowing. The street lights made the fresh snow glisten, and children still lifted their faces skyward, stuck out their tongue to catch snowflakes! It was always so incredibly quiet after a snow. The noises of the world were silenced for the moment.

In the first 30 some years, that's what Christmas was to me. Trees, lights, snow, and presents! I was a spoiled child, and I always got what I wanted for Christmas! There was baking cookies, making candy, trimming the house, presents, wrapping presents, Christmas music, and sending Christmas cards. That was Christmas to me. Our Chirch had a Christmas program, a manger scene, and Christmas Carols, yet the true meaning of Christmas eluded me.

When I gave my life to Jesus 30 some years ago, that changed. I have a personal relationship with that baby born so long ago. He truly is the reason for the season! He chose to be born in human form, so He could save my sinful life! Because of Him, I have been forgiven of my sin, and have a home in Heaven when I leave here. Suddenly Christmas has a whole better meaning. The trappings are still nice and enjoyable, but with my focus on Jesus, I have pared down the decorations, the busyness, and the money spent. As my husband John said so well, " Why do we give others presents, when it isn't their birthday?" He's right! It's Jesus Birthday! He deserves all my focus, my gifts of obedience, doing for others, and my time and talents. I have chosen to give me to Him to use as He chooses! I choose to say Merry Christmas.....And Happy Birthday Dear Jesus!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: A Very Molly Christmas!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: A Very Molly Christmas!: Wow! I don't know about your house, but ours is very different now. Mom says it's something called Christmas. Do you know what that ...

A Very Molly Christmas!

Wow! I don't know about your house, but ours is very different now. Mom says it's something called Christmas. Do you know what that is? Well I didn't either, but Mom explained it to me. First Mom cleaned really good (well, she always does, but this was extra). Then she put a lot of our stuff away in the storage closet, and now my rooms don't look like my rooms. 

Next she got out all this other stuff. There are
lighted Angels, red, gold, and white flowers, and lots of candles! Then she put up a tree with lights that change color. She even put a tree outside and a wreath, and a big pot with pine cones, and green things, and gold balls. A girl could (and did) get in trouble for trying to play with the balls, and the pine cones. I bring pine cones in all the time, and Mom lets me chew on them. The balls looked a lot like my tennis balls, so who knew? Mom just held up one finger, and I knew they weren't my toys.

The main decoration is a funny building, with lots of animals, and people wearing funny clothes. Mom said it was a manger scene. I'm not exactly sure what that is, but she said it was like a barn. It was a very long time ago, and it is where a baby was born. Mom said the baby was God's son, born in human form, so He could grow up on earth, get to know humans as a human, and then He died. I get sort of confused, but Mom said, humans are sinners. They do bad things God doesn't like. God can't look at sin, cause He is perfect.

God said, "I'll send my son, Jesus to earth, and He will be like the humans. He will die on a cross, and come back to life, and go back to Heaven." If people believe that, ask for forgiveness for the bad stuff, and turn their life over to Jesus, they go to Heaven when they die. I think it's kinda like our animal Rainbow Bridge. Those that accept what Jesus did, and follow Him, get to live with Him forever. Anyway, this manger scene is pretty cool. I like the sheep, and cows, and donkeys. There is even a doggy.   

My Mom says this time of year, people are nicer to each other. They sing special songs, and read about baby Jesus' birth in the Bible. People buy gifts for each other too. Does that include puppies? I sure hope so. I need a new toy, and a new harness, and more treats. Lots more treats! Please! I think I like this holiday called Christmas! We sit by the tree, and snuggle in our blankies. Humans say Merry Christmas to each other, so I will say to all my doggy friends and their Moms and Dads.....Merry Christmas, from Molly!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: A Turkey Day Birth!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: A Turkey Day Birth!: 71 years ago, on Thanksgiving Day, I was born. No doubt I disrupted Thanksgiving dinner, because I was born at 12:45 p.m. There were seven b...

A Turkey Day Birth!

71 years ago, on Thanksgiving Day, I was born. No doubt I disrupted Thanksgiving dinner, because I was born at 12:45 p.m. There were seven brothers and sisters, our Mom, and Grandma. Things were difficult during that war year of 1943. Raising seven children alone, and another on the way had to have been difficult. Immanuel Deaconess Organization was helping with food and clothes, Mom worked, but it was never enough.

The agencies that were helping stepped in and decided my mother did not need another mouth to feed. They urged adoption, she said no. They kept urging, she said no. Finally they said, " If you do not give her up, we will take the other children."  Devastated, no one to advise her, my Mom finally agreed. In those days, mother and baby were not seperated when adoption was the option. I was with her for 10 days, and she nursed me. She had already changed her mind. "We will keep her, and we will manage somehow,"she said. Grandma agreed, and said, "She is a little doll!"

When she told them she changed her mind, they said no, and reminded her of their threat. After 10 days, I was transferred to Immanuel Hospital, and from there sent to Immanuel Deaconess Children's Home in North Omaha. I would stay there only two blocks from my home, for a year, before being adopted. My mother went home empty arms, empty heart, and shut herself in her room for two weeks. My brothers and sisters were told I had died. Knowing now what I know, my Mom was not only sad, but felt so much quilt that she had somehow failed me. The little pink knit sweater and hat my sisters bought with their babysitting money was put away, and eventually was used on their dolls.

Fast forward to 2000. Armed with only a last name, I tried to search for my family. Lutheran Family Services had the records, but the cost of searching was too much. Two individual friends from John's (my husband) had met and married. We all reconnected at Church. God's plan! She  asked what information I had, and I told her I was baby eight, and the last name was McBreen. Her eyes opened wide, and Paula said, " My brother in California married a McBreen from Omaha. Her sister-in-law sort of remembered there had been another baby, and put us in touch with her oldest brother Bill. Over many family pictures, He said, " You look just like our mother." Armed with dates and names, Lutheran Family Services agreed to open the files, and confirm or deny. It was my family. They sent all the records, and all the conversations recorded, that I have shared in this text.

I went from a lonely, only child to one with brothers and sister, nieces and nephews! They have all embraced me, loved me, and accepted me as their own! God did this all! His plan, His execution, His timing! My mother was a believer, she is with Jesus, along with Grandma! At the end of her life, she asked one of my brothers, "Find her!" He had no idea where to start, but Jesus did, and He answered my Mom's prayer! Thanksgiving will always be special because that day in 1943 started my incredible journey. I am so Thankful to my Mom, for being who she was, and thankful that this "Turkey Birthday girl", will see her when our address in Heaven is the same! After seeing Jesus face to face, I want to walk into my Mom's arms, and greet her for the second time! Mom all your children are home!


Saturday, November 15, 2014

I Wonder!

Sometimes my brain goes weird places. Do you often wonder about things? I sometimes think I am the only one who's thoughts take me to wonder about things. At times I not only wonder, I also try to imagine "what if."  I'm watching it snow at the moment. As I look at the gray sky with small, lazy flakes drifting down, I wonder what it's like way above the clouds. Not just the altitude where planes fly, but way up beyond. 

This time of year with Christmas trees for sale, I always feel sorry for the trees. Do trees have feelings? That's probably silly, but I told you my mind was weird! They are a living thing, until they are cut down. That is the end of their life. I guess in my mind I could see them as happy as they grow bigger, and then it ends so abruptly.

I wonder too about birds and squirrels. They have feathers and fur for insulation, but I can't imagine what it is like to be out in the cold and snow of Nebraska, with no leaves to cover the nests. I know God made them with natural protection if they are going to go through cold and snow, but I try to imagine how they must feel.

I wonder what our dog really thinks when we go out the door, leaving her all alone. Does she worry that we are never coming back? Is she heartbroken, afraid?  What goes through her mind when she knows she did wrong? All we have to do is raise one finger, and say," Molly, What did you do?" She hangs her head, and looks really sad. She has a very expressive face, but I really wonder what she is thinking.

Most of all, I think about God working in so many people's lives, and I wonder.....how does He do that? Thinking about how mighty, how wonderful, how omnipresent He is really blows my mind!  He knows every name, He knows every thought, and He has a plan for each of us. When you put our feeble little minds on that, it is of course impossible to fathom!

Sometimes in a group of people, in Church, or at a restaurant, or store, I watch people. God gave me a reliable inner sense about people. He also gave me sympathy, compassion, and empathy. I look at their faces, and see pain, worry, and concerns. Some look so sad, it hurts my heart. I wonder what they are dealing with. Then there are those that are just unhappy. I wonder why, and just want to help.

I wonder about people who have no family, no home, and no hope. What thoughts do they have? How did they get to that place in their lives?  The absolute biggest thing I wonder is, if someone asked
me to deny Jesus Christ, or die.....am I brave? In the world we live in, I wonder that more and more. I wonder how well I would hold up, tortured for my beliefs, or if one of my loved ones was threatened. I wonder if I would be brave and courageous? Much as I love my family, I would choose Jesus! I wonder....am I that strong, that brave?  I Wonder!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Letting Go!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Letting Go!: Hands off! Let it go! Do we really understand what that means, and why is it easier to say than to do? For those of us who have a personal r...

Letting Go!

Hands off! Let it go! Do we really understand what that means, and why is it easier to say than to do? For those of us who have a personal relationship with Jesus, have learned in our walk with Him, to pray for what we need, and then release it to Him. So hard for humans!

We pray, we know God hears, we have learned He can do all things, yet, we give problems and concerns to Him only to snatch them back again. Then we pray some more, give it back to Him, only to take it back again. And so it goes!

As I walk longer with Jesus, as I get to know Him and His word more, the easier it gets to let go. Am I there totally, of course not! I still have skin on, and that makes me imperfect on my own. God has shown me over and over that He can do the impossible, and He alone knows the plans He has for me! I know that on one level, yet get in a hurry, and want to fix it myself!

When I do that, I have taken it out of His hands, and tried human ways to fix the problem. It never really works well. On the other hand, when I do release the problem to God, and let it go, He not only answers, but another piece of my life's puzzle falls into place! He has proven His plans are far above mine, and they are perfect for me, and my situation.

I have also learned, that even when I try to help God, no doubt, He smiles, as a loving Father would, and reroutes me to the right path, so in the end, His plan is once again in place. Each time, He patiently, teaches me lessons I need to learn. The answers and the lessons are nothing I deserve. His Grace, and Mercy are over and above what I merit as a sinner.

Walking with Jesus is the greatest adventure and journey I have ever experienced. Along the path, I go off on "Bunny Trails" and I sin, and fall short of the goal, but He is merciful and just, and brings me back to the trail. Why would He invest a lifetime, and eternity time on me? Because He loves me! Since I asked Him into my heart, and gave my life to Him, He forgives me. He loved me so much, He died for me...Me! If I had been the only human on earth, He still would have died on a cross, and risen from the grave, just for me. That my friends is huge! 

Now, if I remember that, stay in His word, and talk to Him in prayer, I should be able to let go.Even when I don't, I am assured that He continues to love me, and He will always answer when I go to Him. It may be yes, right away, which is awesome, it may be no, because He has a better plan, or it may be wait. That of course is the hard one, at which point, we want to take it back to hurry up the outcome. He asks us to wAit,
because the timing is not right for us or the situation. Take heart, dear one....God is listening! Take hope....and Let Go!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Molly Moments

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Molly Moments: Mom said I could do this one. I know, I'm just a fur girl, but I just wanted you all to know some things I thought about. Mom gets lots ...

Molly Moments

Mom said I could do this one. I know, I'm just a fur girl, but I just wanted you all to know some things I thought about. Mom gets lots of things on something called Face book about doggies that don't have homes. It makes me sad. Sometimes she cries because these doggies aren't treated very nice by their humans. 

Mom says she doesn't know how humans can be so mean to a fur baby. You know what? I don't either. Me and my doggy friends are really lucky to have our humans. We like to spoil them with waggy tails, kisses, and we even let them play with our toys. 

Maybe some humans just don't understand us. When we are puppies, we have an awful lot to learn. We have to learn where to go potty, what not to chew on, and how to understand what our humans want. Some of us "get it" right away but some of us are a little slower. Please be patient. We don't ever mean to do wrong, we are just learning.

Please don't hit us, or yell, because that really scares us. When I am naughty, Mom and Dad, raise one finger at me, and I know that means I did a wrong thing. When our humans are nice, and loving, we will do anything to make them happy. Please remember we have feelings, and sometimes we get sick, and we are always hungry and thirsty, so please don't make us go without food and water. Treats are always good too. My personal favorite is my Bully Stick, and the duck, sweet potatoe sticks.

We fur babies think of ourselves as your family. You are our pack, and you are everything to us. We are not born mean! Some humans teach us that. The fur babies get in trouble, the humans don't. Sometimes when I am scared, or someone comes at me too fast, I growl, just a little, but I would never hurt them. 

One more thing, if humans can't keep giving us a home, please don't just leave us, or dump us in a shelter. Please care enough to find us another loving home. Do you know how scared and sad doggies are that just get left by the only family they have ever known? When we get old, please take care of us. We get sick, and it's harder for us to move around. We may not see as well, and we may not hear, and then we need you more than ever. When it is time for us to leave you for that Rainbow Bridge, please be with us. Mom and Dad held my brother Samson when he had to leave. Then they got me. 

Last of all, I don't know God, but I see Mom and Dad reading about Him, I hear them talk to Him, and on one day of the week (Sunday, I think), they are gone half the day. I know that because of God, I was created, and He gave them to me. I am a lucky dog! And you know what Mom told me?  God spelled backwards is.....Dog! That's just awesome! I think He planned it that way!


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Quote Scripture Or Live Scripture?

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Quote Scripture Or Live Scripture?: It is easy to quote scripture, or wise words, but another thing to live it out . I might be able to do it for a day or two, but for always? ...

Quote Scripture Or Live Scripture?

It is easy to quote scripture, or wise words, but another thing to live it out . I might be able to do it for a day or two, but for always? Not so much. What does it take to live what God's word says? First and most important, I need to know Jesus personally. He needs to be my very best friend, and He needs to be the final authority on where my life goes, and how it should look. 

When I made Him The Lord of my life 30 some years ago, He forgave me, He brought me into His family, and He said He would never leave me! I have left Him, many times, because I thought I was so smart. I had a better plan, He was too slow, or I just didn't want to do what He wanted. Been there? We all have. God is so patient, so kind, so merciful, I can picture Him shaking His head, at me, smiling, and setting me back on track. 

Those visions of course make Him seem more human, where in reality He is so much bigger than that. He is God, magnificent, mighty, and my salvation!  His word is absolute truth, and if I follow it, He will make my daily life match what His word says. Key word here, being He enables me. On my own, I am a disaster waiting to happen, or already there!

Interesting fact, when He disciplines me, I really hate it, like any child will. Then as God reaches into my heart, through His word, or wise council, I begin to see things His way. I have learned that His way is beautiful. What I thought was a good plan, was not, and what He wanted was perfect, for me and those around me. Like Johah, I try my best to run, hide, say no, but believe me, God really does know best. He knows what I need , and what I need to change.

When I "get it" it changes me, grows me, and I move closer to Jesus! As I get older, I am a little more willing to listen and do sooner than I used to. I still don't always like to be reproved, but it is for my best. I am blessed to have my husband John, as the spiritual leader in our home. He is also a pastor,
and I learn from his leadership often. The senior pastor at our Church is also a Godly man who is not afraid to tell us all exactly what God wants, and what His word says. These and other Godly friends are my backup, my go to for guidance.

Do I still have trouble living out Scripture? Of course, I am human, I am a sinner, I still have skin on. I am not going to stop trying, learning, studying. I will continue to ask forgiveness when I mess up, I will keep on loving Jesus, and I will try to listen sooner, wiser, and put self behind me. I will remember that "With God all things are possible!"

Friday, September 26, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Simply Amazing!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Simply Amazing!: Do you have days when the joy inside just bubbles up, inside your soul? If you are a believer, and follower of Jesus, you have had days like...

Simply Amazing!

Do you have days when the joy inside just bubbles up, inside your soul? If you are a believer, and follower of Jesus, you have had days like that! For me it is a joy like no other. It doesn't come from material things, or other people, money, or explainable things.

Usually this joy comes out of nothing in particular. It is most likely on a day when God has shown me my blessings, one by one! It can be triggered by loved ones, or answered prayers, a sunny, blue sky day, or by nothing at all.  It is all about the Love my Jesus has for me!

You see, when I am filled with joy, I realize that this child, filled with sin, is a loved and cherished child of God. He loved me before I existed. He loved me before I knew Him. He loved me before I came to a belief in Him! It is illogical to someone who does not know Him. They do not understand the joy either.

Joy, an emotion for well-being. Can that co-exist with heartache, pain, disaster, or being at the very bottom, emotionally?  Can Joy be present when your world is falling around your feet in pieces? Does joy live where nothing is going right? Yes, the joy of The Lord can. I never understood that when I was living for me, apart from God. There were days when joy was a stranger.

If you are devastated, overwhelmed, sad, lonely, hungry,homeless, hopeless, how do you have joy? The Bible tells us in John 14:27, not as the world peace, but Christ. The world, or those who don't have that relationship with Jesus, look at things from a world view. The world says joy and suffering do not go together. Psalm 100 is a Psalm of Joy.

If you have trusted Jesus as your Savior, asked Him to be The Lord of your life, you can be sure you will be in Heaven when He takes you from this world. That is the basis for my joy in all things. Do I like trouble, pain, or bad days? Of course not, but I can still be joyful. I don't know where the joy comes from, but it is real, and it is sweet. It makes me content, it makes me happy, and it makes me want to laugh out loud! 

Today it was answered prayers, good friends, and beautiful Fall weather! Tomorrow....who knows?
Tomorrow may be a terrible, no good day, but I will still have my joy! My joy is deep within my being, because Jesus loves me, and He cares about me! My prayer is for you to have and know that same joy! Believe me it is like no other joy!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: He Gets Me!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: He Gets Me!: Soul mate would define the love of my life! He is my closest friend who totally understands me, even when I don't want him to. We have t...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: He Gets Me!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: He Gets Me!: Soul mate would define the love of my life! He is my closest friend who totally understands me, even when I don't want him to. We have t...

He Gets Me!

Soul mate would define the love of my life! He is my closest friend who totally understands me, even when I don't want him to. We have the same beliefs, humor, and thoughts. We are perfectly suited in temperament and attitude. Don't we just sound perfect?  Well we aren't! God did put us together, but it took awhile, because we weren't paying attention. God never gave up on us or our stubbornness. You see we both over the years were convinced we were right, and we knew what we needed, and we left God out of our plans. I am so grateful He didn't let us go. I can imagine Him saying, "I love you too much to leave you like this."

We did not meet until we were in our 30s, but we found out that our paths crossed much earlier than that. I was born in North Omaha, adopted, and grew up in Sioux City, Iowa. I lived down the alley from John's cousins. When I was in 5th grade, a new school opened two blocks from my house. The first summer, in honor of that they hosted a summer week long program. Every day there were games, food, fun, and crafts on the playground. I was there every day. John was visiting his cousins, so he was there too. If we met, neither of us remember, but God had us there at the same time. Many years later,  after we were married, yes we did meet again, I found my birth family through one of John's childhood friends. You see her brother was married to my sister. John would have met Paula's brother and my sister when they met in Omaha and were married.

With the history we had and didn't know it, it would be half a lifetime before we actually met, fell in love, and put all the pieces together. I often wonder if we had  been believers then, and allowing God to lead, if we would have been together much sooner than we were. I wonder if parts of our life would have been very different. Of course the story as it played out shows what God can do in a life, and how He arrainged His plans all around us, in spite of us and our actions. We have always been able to enjoy the same music, long talks, and humor. We do love to laugh. We have both done some pretty silly things, but we can laugh at ourselves. Those memories are always there to recall from time to time, and then we get to laugh all over again. One day we went shopping with John's Mom at Brandeis in Omaha. There was a column close to where we were shipping. It had a small hole drilled in it, for some reason. John got my attention, and told me to look in the hole. I wasn't sure, but he convincingly told me I had to see this, it was really something. I fell for it, and stood in the middle of a busy store with my eye up to a hole in a column. When I realized he had "gotten" me, we had a good laugh. He is a story teller, and he can make up stories, and convince you they are real, until he comes to the punch line.

Of course one of the funniest things ever was a phone call. That was back when they had pay phones and some you could drive up to so you didn't have to get out of the car. John pulled up, got his quarter out, put the phone up to one ear, and proceeded to put the quarter in his ear instead of the slot in the phone. We laughed so hard, we couldn't breathe. We love laughing together, and it sometimes doesn't take much to set us off. We do have our serious sides, and there have been so many times John has been my hero. He is a Godly man, who has encouraged my walk with Christ. I don't always like to have him hold me accountable, but He is usually right, and He knows what I need to be doing. 

Mostly we are a team. He has strengths I don't have, and I have strengths he doesn't. We complete each other. Sometimes he has to be the strong one and pick me up from where I fell. Other times I get to be the strong one for him. We are equal, but different. We are different, but the same. And we have gone through trials, that our God has gotten us through. We are part of God's triangle. I am at the bottom on one side. John is on the bottom on the other side. God is at the top of the triangle. As we grow closer to each other moving up the triangle, we grow closer to God at the top. As we grow older, we become more in tune with each other and with what God wants for us. My Soul Mate, my love! God knew we would be a perfect fit!


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: He's Got Me Covered!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: He's Got Me Covered!: Despicable me. Me so lacking, me so ugly, me so selfish. Me blackened by years of sin, layer on layer, with not one righteous act or thought...

He's Got Me Covered!

Despicable me. Me so lacking, me so ugly, me so selfish. Me blackened by years of sin, layer on layer, with not one righteous act or thought. Me who Jesus died for. Because of His blood, I am covered and God sees the new, clean me, totally acceptable. Worthy to be in His presence. That is a concept the lost don't get! I was despicable, deserving to be despised. I was worthless, dirty, and wretched. No, the lost don't get it....I didn't get it. I knew there was a God. I knew the Bible stories, but it didn't touch me, and it certainly didn't affect how I lived.

It was a life of fun, few morals, selfish, and lived in the fast lane. I wanted to feel good, look good, and not worry about anyone but me. I had long since stopped going to church. I was a free spirit of the 60s and 70s. I went to work, I shopped, I drank, and wanted only a good time. I began to get interested in the occult. I spent time and money on books, spells, Taro cards, and all things from the dark side... Witchcraft, Transendental Meditation, and satanism. I took the training for meditation, was ceremoniously given my secret word or mantra for meditating, and was convinced by these deceivers
that it was relaxing, and beneficial to me and my world.

I was so far into the dark side of satan's world, I would never have made it out, if God had not stepped in. It took a while for Him to get my attention, but He never gave up. God knows who will accept Him and who will not. He and only He knew what I needed, knew what it would take, and when to reach me. At first He quietly was leading me away from my horrible life. He was in the background leading me one step at a time to where all things could fall into place to get me from where I was to where He was. He started working through other believers; my husband, my sister-in-law, and Billy Graham. Although I didn't want any of what they were telling me, I know God allowed enough to seep into my blackened heart to prepare the way. Little by little He was leading and orchestrating until He got us to Tucson, Arizona to visit John's brother, and my sister-in-law. She had been praying and I had no idea it was all arrainged like a beautiful song...a song my soul needed.

I came face to face with Jesus in my sister-in-law's kitchen the second morning, while she prayed in the next room. A T.V. Evangelist caught my attention, and I gave my heart, and my life to Jesus. When you make that decision, a joy and peace flows over you like nothing you have experienced before. I simply could not stop smiling! I didn't even understand it all, but I knew the despicable me was gone. It wasn't overnight, or instant, and it will always be about growing and learning. As I have come to know Jesus through His word, spending time with Him, seeing miracles in my life only He could do, I have been able to see myself as He sees me. I am able to love others, to put others first, and am willing to serve and be used by Him.

I fall back some days, sometimes a lot of days, but Jesus is always there to catch me and send me forward again. I learn, I forget; I doubt, I fall; but He never let's go of me! I have hope, I know He has a plan for my life only I can do, and my joy is not what the world sees as joy! One thing I do know....He hears me when I cry, He comforts me, He never leaves me, and He loves me more than His own life. I know when I die, or Jesus returns for His children, I will walk out of this life and into the next for eternity! I have chosen Him, because He first chose me!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Molly's Eye View!

I am Molly and I am two years old. I know in dog years, I am a big girl, and not a baby. I just wanted to use Mom's Blog spot to talk to you humans about us doggies. Most of our friends have dogs, so I know you really love fur babies, but there might be a few things you don't know about us. When we come to you, we are so happy to be a part of your pack.   Once we leave our fur Moms, it is a little scary, so when you give is a home, for us it is forever!

We are very smart, and we want to learn so we make you happy. But please remember, we are still babies, and we sometimes make mistakes. If you hit us, or are mean to us, you scare us, and then we make more mistakes. We don't mean to make you mad, but we don't always understand. For we littler dogs, lots of things can be scary, so we need you to speak calmly and touch us, or even hold us, so we know it's O.K. 

Just like humans, we are all different, and we like different things. My brother Samson was never scared of thunder or fireworks. He liked to watch fireworks. Me....not so brave. This year Mom and Dad could tell I was worried, and scared, so they stayed home with me, and they gave me a pill to help me relax and sleep. They didn't expect me to be just like Samson. Samson liked doggy treats, but I don't. At first Mom kept buying what he liked for me, but then she knew I wasn't going to eat them. My Mom and Dad are good that way.

Another thing, you have to remember is, that new things, things we don't know can be very scary to us. Dad brought home a big round thing tonight. It bounced, but not like a ball, it sort of floated, and I didn't know what it was. I was afraid, and Mom said that was O.K. Dad said it was a balloon, and when they knew I was scared, they let it go outside. Yes, they are good that way.  I know that when they leave, they will be back, even if it sometimes feels like forever. I know that if I get sick, we go see Dr. Jodie , and when I am hungry, I eat all I want. I have toys, a soft blanket, and I sleep with Mom and Dad. I know they are my forever family, no matter what!

When my brother Samson was old, he knew they would take care of him and not dump him, or put him to sleep, just cause it was easy. Mom took care of him, when he got so old, he could hardly walk. She lifted him onto the bed and off when he couldn't do it any more. She held him up when he pottied. She picked him up when he fell, and never, ever left him alone for very long. He was not in pain, he ate well, he just was very old. At the very end, when Mom and Dad knew he could go no more, they held him in his blanket, while Dr. Jodie gave him a sleepy shot. He quietly went to the Rainbow Bridge from their arms. I know that they will do all of that for me too. They make sure I am not worried or scared, or hungry, or in danger. They are my forever, and ever, and ever family. Just wanted you all to know what every fur baby drams of, and when we find it, we will make you happy in every way we know how! Please, please remember, that if you take us home, take care of us, don't hurt us, or starve us, or abandon us. We love you unconditionally, and you are our family!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Call God.....He Always Answers!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Call God.....He Always Answers!: Do you get frustrated? Do you walk through a hard road, only to feel lost, alone, and isolated? Why do we so often feel like God is nowhere ...

Call God.....He Always Answers!

Do you get frustrated? Do you walk through a hard road, only to feel lost, alone, and isolated? Why do we so often feel like God is nowhere near when we desperately need Him? Most of the time, I am confident that when I pray, my prayers are answered, and I can relax and live in God's time frame. However, there have been times when circumstances, feelings, health issues, and life in general alienate us from that comfort zone close to God. When that has happened to me, all the reasoning, and knowledge I have makes no difference. It becomes a swift and vicious circle of doubt and despair.

You see, once we are down and discouraged, and maybe not feeling well, satan jumps in with both ugly feet, and convinces us, God is not listening, God is not near, and why would God help you, a sinner, a loser, a nobody. When my defenses are down, no matter how hard I try, I buy into these lies, at least for awhile. It's hard to explain, if you haven't been there. It is like you are so desperate for an answer, yet you know God is not a magic genie there to do your bidding, and so it is easy to believe you are not worth an answer to your prayer. I have been there, but mercifully, God brings me back to sanity, and back to where I can hear His voice again!

The times before, God has allowed me to cry, rant, yell, and be angry because I couldn't see Him working. Then He patiently led me through scripture,and prayers, until I could see His love, and feel His care pounce again. It was a hard walk. It was a painful walk. But I learned what God was teaching me like I never would in a happy, carefree situation. Now, knowing me, I do not always remember that teaching. Then I have to go through another valley, before reaching the mountain top.

Several months ago, I went down another valley road. It was steep, dark, and filled with pain. I had a major flair up of Rheumatoid Arthritis inflammation. I have had this over the years, and thought it would react the same way. After a week or two it would subside and go away. It did not! Again, I was in constant pain, could not sleep, and was accomplishing nothing, day after day after day! My husband kept telling me, "Go to the doctor." I knew better. What could he do? All the while, I am barely hanging on by my finger tips. I am praying, desperately, crying out, asking God, "Why are you not answering me?" I knew He loved me, I knew He felt my pain, so how could He not help me?  Day after day, nothing changed, and there were no answers. I finally figured out that maybe God was waiting for me to learn something.

I changed my prayers, asking Him to show me what I needed to learn, with the underlying plea again for God to make this better.....Answer My Prayer! After many friends answered on FaceBook that I needed to go to the doctor, I made an appointment. I did indeed have a major inflammation of RA. Within 10 minutes, my doctor have me a prescription for a steroid, narcotic pain medication, and the name of an RA specialist. By the next day I was almost back to normal. It was then that the irony of my silliness hit me...God had been answering me from the beginning, when John told me to call the doctor. In my stubbornness and thinking I know everything, I caused a lot of pain for myself. I had to almost laugh at myself, because God was so obvious, and had provided just what I needed, and answered me in all His Grace and Mercy, while I was too blind to see it. I will pray I don't look past His care or answers again.....but I can't promise!
 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: my Anchor In Any Storm!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: my Anchor In Any Storm!: The Anchor Holds sung by Ray Boltz has always been a favorite. A former pastor at our church sang it too, and blessed many. The words have b...

my Anchor In Any Storm!

The Anchor Holds sung by Ray Boltz has always been a favorite. A former pastor at our church sang it too, and blessed many. The words have been brought home to me many times in the last few weeks, so that tells me maybe others need this reminder. It all started when we went to our Cross Roads Banquet for our Church. We are a group who care and minister to others through, Bible Study, counceling, encouragement and caring ministries. We each have our area, but we are a group that ministers together. At the Banquet, our leader emphasized Joshua 1. We were encouraged to be strong, be courageous. We were reminded that just as an anchor holds a ship steadfast, we too need to hold to God's word to keep from drifting. An anchor is heavy, attached to a chain or rope, and to lift or lower it, takes combined efforts of many. The anchor rests on the bed of the ocean or river to prevent the craft from drifting. An anchor can be permanent or temporary. A permanent anchor creates a mooring and is rarely moved. The anchor either hooks into the sea bed or rests on it by sheer mass.

An anchor has to hold in all weather including severe storms. As the song says, "The anchor holds, though the ship is battered. The anchor holds in spite of the storm."  What all this says to me is it is in those storms, God has proven His love for me. It is through those storms I find answers. God's appearance in our life should encourage us with faith and hope. If we are anchored by Him, we can learn to treasure the experiences of His faithful and tender care. I have recently had extreme physical pain to deal with. It seems that every day is as bad as the next, and where there are usually days of
reprieve, there is none. I cry out, I pray, and God is not taking it away just yet. Perhaps I need to learn something, or perhaps someone else needs to benefit from my trial. Whatever the reason, God is my anchor! He is all sufficient!

In Joshua 1:9, the people were instructed to build a monument at the site where God delivered them in crisis. I too will build a monument to God as a reminder of His healing touch and His faithfulness.i don't know what my monument will look like for sure, but His works are worthy of rememberance.Mine will be showing others the way through the storms by my actions. It will also be the picture in my mind, of my husband, holding my hand and praying for healing for me. I will raise up praises as a monument to God, my Anchor who brings me through dangers, sadness, and fear, pain, and illness! When waves of pain wash over me, when I am exhausted from fighting it, when I feel frustrated and alone, my Anchor holds!  And when I can't hang on another minute....my Anchor helps me and keeps me from drifting away! "The Anchor holds though the ship is battered!  My anchor never lets
go!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: What Would Mom Say?

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: What Would Mom Say?: Recently my husband John did a funeral for a family at our Church. That is not remarkable in itself, but what struck me was a very sweet tra...

What Would Mom Say?

Recently my husband John did a funeral for a family at our Church. That is not remarkable in itself, but what struck me was a very sweet tradition this family's mother started with her first child. They shared that tradition at the Celebration of Life. This lady wrote letters to each of her children after they were grown, and gave them her memories of their lives as they grew up. She reiterated their journey from the moment she first held them to when they were adults. This journey of their lives was beautifully recorded, and became priceless memories.

That made me stop and think about my Mom, and what she might have written to me. Since I didn't get to stay with her, I will have to rely on what my siblings have since told me about her, and how she may have seen my life unfold had I been allowed to stay with her. 

          "My dearest daughter. Thanksgiving is a time to remember our blessings. God certainly gave us one when you decided to come on Thanksgiving Day! You are joining seven brothers and sisters, and of course Grandma. I want you to know, I love babies, and I loved you from the moment I knew you were there. We do not have much to offer you, and the Lutheran Deaconess at Immanuel said it would be best for you to be given away. Now that I have seen your face, held you and fed you, how can I do that. You have an older brother who just got married, and he said he would help. Your Grandma said you were a sweet little girl, and we all decided to keep you and make it work. The Welfare people have been here, and Mrs. Cleveland said it is silly to think of keeping you when we have nothing to offer you. We can offer you love, and brothers and sisters who would help take care of you. She said, No! She told me that if I insisted on keeping you, Welfare would then take all your brothers and sisters away. I don't know what to do. You are so little, and you won't remember me, but how can I give away a baby? I have had you close to me for 10 days, but today they want me to sign papers. Even if I don't sign they are taking you to their orphanage. My heart is breaking, and I will never forget you. Please don't hate me. You have pretty blonde hair, brown eyes, and a tiny little nose. I am memorizing your little face now, so I will never forget it. Be a good girl, and maybe someday, God will let me see you again. Please know I will pray for you every day for the rest of my life. I love you, you are a part of me forever!"

My brothers and sisters didn't remember me in 2000, when God did indeed bring us all together. They did immediately share stories, and love, and acceptance, as though I had never been separated from them. I learned my Mom had a personal relationship with Jesus, and she stepped into His presence in 1987. Her wish for God to let her see me again will be honored, when God calls me home, and I step into her arms once again!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Boot Scootin' Country Girl

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Boot Scootin' Country Girl: I admit it, I am a country girl at heart. I love log cabins, country roads, biscuits and gravy, and horses. Growing up, I was a city girl ev...

Boot Scootin' Country Girl

I admit it, I am a country girl at heart. I love log cabins, country roads, biscuits and gravy, and horses. Growing up, I was a city girl even though my cousins all lived on farms. Then I met and married John, and entered the wonderful world of country music. I had never listened to it before, but that was my loss. We went to a lot of dances when we met, and most of the music was classic country. All the greats Waylen and Willie, and the boys, Tanya Tucker, George Jones, and Dolly. I had cowboy boots, and a cowboy hat, and fell in love with the music.

At that time once a year we looked forward to The Douglas County Fair. For five days, we could enjoy all things country. Before they citified it and moved it to Omaha, we spent every night we could in Waterloo, Nebraska. We walked around and looked at the exhibits, met friends we only saw here, ate at the Church stand, and watched well known Country artists. We saw Goerge Jones, Tammy Wynette, and many more. After each concert they met their fans, signed autographs, and talked to us. They were all from modest beginnings, and never got too important for their fans. They loved God, their families, and their country, and they loved to make music.

We also met the Music Director for Omaha's main country station at that time. He and his wife had a side business of booking country music talent around Nebraska. John went to work for them for awhile, and we went to hear groups so John could get them booked Into various places in Omaha, and around Nebraska. We met so many people, and got to hear and see new talent. One of the most memorable was Conway Twitty's daughter Kathy. Our love of Country kept growing.

We also met a quirky little country gal, named Coleen. She was a DJ at her father's Country station in Omaha, WOW. She worked the late evening, early morning slot, and many times we called her while she was working, just to chat. She owned a horse, and invited us out to the place where he was boarded, so every weekend we spent riding at Rick's and being part of a fun place. We took the kids out riding a couple of times, but the middle son was the only one who shared our love of Country music. We later learned that when we thought he was sleeping, he too was calling Coleen, just to chat. He went to college, and majored in radio, and has been a DJ ever since in North Dakota, and Nebraska.

We still listen to Classic Country Radio, and our CDs. We used to display all the autographed pictures we had collected, but there comes a time when you pack them away, and just hang on to the memories. I still wear my boots, and we have added watching Bull Riding to our country style.Listening to Classic Country, of all the great ones who are slowly leaving us, and remembering those earlier years, still make me a boot scootin' Country girl!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Imagination Station!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Imagination Station!: Imagination is a wonderful friend. Circumstances made me an only child, and you have to rely on yourself for entertainment. I had friends, b...

Imagination Station!

Imagination is a wonderful friend. Circumstances made me an only child, and you have to rely on yourself for entertainment. I had friends, but you can't be with them 24/7, especially when you are five, or even eight or nine. I spent a lot of time imagining. I would spend hours dreaming about being famous, being a veterinarian, owning a horse ranch, and being a Mom to many children. I was able to get into pretend so well, that I really lived those lives when I was alone.

I remember on Sundays, we always drove to Wayne, Nebraska to see my grandparents. We left after lunch, visited for the afternoon, then drove home after dark. The dark backseat of the car was my world. Here I could be all that I could not be in real life. I could hear the shows on the radio, and see all the lights on the dash, but the back seat was where I was an artist, a dancer, a doctor, a  famous author. Listening to Jack Benney, The Shadow, and Amos and Andy, I was transported to worlds outside myself. I was very shy, and very insecure, so this world of my making was my happy place!

I made up stories in my head. It never occurred to me at age 10 or 11 that I could write them down. I spent hours making up lives for my dolls, and especially my paper dolls. They had adventures, they had romance ( as much as I knew about romance), they had danger, but they were always happy. Most of all, they lived the way I wished I could. I felt like my life was so ordinary, so uninteresting, that this was the ideal. It could be whatever my imagination wanted it to be. I very much wanted at that time to be a dress designer. I spent hours designing clothes for paper dolls. I could lose myself for hours, in a studio in New York City, or California, designing clothes that everyone would die to have. Yes, Imagination is a great thing!

The ultimate imagined life involved my past. Now at 10, how much past could I have? Not much, but I had recently found out I was adopted. That opened up a whole new world. I had no details, but I did know my family was in Omaha, and there were brothers and sisters. I spent time in my dark backseat between Wayne, and Sioux City, Iowa, thinking about that life. I imagined they were looking for me, I imagined what I would say to them. I imagined what they looked like, and how I got separated from them. I imagined walking down the street, and finding them. What a joyful time it would be. They would love me, and we would live happily ever after. As a side note, God did arrange that 47 years later. I no longer had to imagine what my family was like, or how we would meet, or if it was joyful. It was, and my family are wonderful. I have lots of nieces, nephews, and greats, and great-greats! There were seven siblings plus me!  Oh and the stories, and imagination, did lead eventually to teaching children, and then to being a published writer and author. Isn't it great that God knew exactly what He would do for me over and beyond what He let me imagine!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Girly Girls And Tea Parties!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Girly Girls And Tea Parties!: I wasn't always a girly girl. My earliest memories of playing with my friends was in Colorado. Our house sat on a gravel road, had a hug...

Girly Girls And Tea Parties!

I wasn't always a girly girl. My earliest memories of playing with my friends was in Colorado. Our house sat on a gravel road, had a huge lot, front and back, and a lane of cherry trees. It became the popular place to play, not because I was so delightful, but because of space and cherries. You see our favorite game back then was cowboys. We had a lot of space to run, and hide out, and we had good guys (white hats, and bad guys (black hats). We had Bank robberies, and stagecoaches with our wagons, and we had cap guns, and vests, and boots. As a bully girl of five, it was my house, my rules, my way! I honestly would not have wanted to be my friend.

Luckily as I got older and we moved to Sioux city, I stopped being a bully, and had good friends I enjoyed. My play time switched to dressing up in Mother's old clothes, having favorite dolls, and endless tea parties. I spent hours dressing my dolls, combing their hair, and yes, I occasionally cut their hair. I read Nancy Drew mysteries, and it was the best of two worlds. It is possible to be girly, and still self sufficient, and adventurous. As a teen, I loved clothes, jewelry, shoes, and pink. On the other hand, I loved learning about cars. My Daddy always worked on his own cars. My favorite times were to sit on the driveway and watch, but the best was when I crawled under the car with him and he explained what he was doing. Under the hood was a world of engines, and things to make a car run. As I hung over the front to see under the hood, Daddy told me what everything was, and how it worked. 

I still love cars, especially old ones, and especially ones with loud mufflers! I was not very good, but I have shot guns, learned how to shoot with a bow and arrows, and I have sat in a duck blind. So I guess I am still a mixture of girly girl and tomboy!  Most of the time I am still all girl, and still love pink, tea parties, and ballet. Several years ago, my husband John and I were blessed to go to California to meet two of my sisters for the first time. I found my birth family and had met my siblings except for the ones in California. It coincided with my sister Carol's 50th Anniversary. Since my husband is a pastor they wanted to meet us, but also have him renew their wedding vows.  While we were there, our great niece who lived accross the street from my sister, planned the ultimate Tea Party for my sisters and me.
She figured we never got to do that together growing up.

Talk about a girly girl rush of pure joy! Several days before, she had her son, dressed as a Dickens character, hand deliver the invitations. They were scrolls with script,rolled up and ties with fancy ribbon, and a tea nag attached. The day of the party, we followed a path of Rose petals up her sidewalk. Her home is filled with antiques, and Victorian accents. She had rearrange it, so we had the round table by the window, a sideboard loaded with good things to eat, and small white lights and candles everywhere.  The table was set with lace, delicate tea cups, and our names framed in small gold frames. We got to dress up with hats, boas, shawls, and gloves. We were waited on, and were treated to scones, chicken salad, and little tea cakes. It was a delight for any little girl, or any older girl. We shared our lives, pictures, and were in our own world for hours. At the end we each received a Victorian doll, our tea cup, and our hats.  It was the best tea party ever, and a special bonding with my sisters.

It doesn't matter if I prefer girly to tomboy. What matters most is that God gave me the ability to enjoy a little of each. God made me exactly the way He wanted, and I am grateful that I can enjoy getting my hands dirty, drink tea out of a china cup, enjoy a car race, or go to the Ballet. I like having a foot in each world, and being able to adapt to the moment. I don't fish, but I enjoy sitting in the places fish are caught. God has blessed me with a girly girl heart, a tomboy attitude, and many tea party moments that make me glad to be exactly who I am!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Paws On The Bridge!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Paws On The Bridge!: Losing a beloved pet to death is as hard as losing any other beloved family member. We have had several beloved dogs die, and it never gets ...

Paws On The Bridge!

Losing a beloved pet to death is as hard as losing any other beloved family member. We have had several beloved dogs die, and it never gets easier. If your pet whether dog, cat, hamster, or bird is loved by your family, and well cared for, they are just that....family!  There have been special fur friends in the years of our marriage that have had to leave us. Some were with us only a short time, others from puppyhood to elder. Our first Bassett Hound was a sweet girl that John named Flash. That's a parody on the slowness of Bassetts. Her death was unexpected. I let her outside in our front yard early one morning. She stayed in her yard, and then came to the door to come back in. This morning, Just as she went out my Dad called from the hospital to tell me he had cancer. At that moment, the neighbor girl, was ringing our doorbell. She was a new driver, and Flash had run out in the street. She tried to stop and couldn't. Flash was in the street, neighbors were coming out with blankets, and the girl was in tears. It was too late, our Flash died in my arms. I grieved, but I had a mother to take to the hospital, and a Dad to deal with, so grief was put on hold.

Later that day, my husband John, called me and said he needed to talk to me, so would I come down to the Hospital front entrance. When I got there, a tiny, adorable puppy emerged from his pocket. It was our new baby he had bought from friends. A tiny Reddish colored Chichuahua Pomerainian mix became known as Killer. He was joined by a brother, another Bassett Hound again named Flash. Killer and Flash were best buds, and when Flash learned how to nose the fence gate open, they both took off to tour the neighborhood. We always found them, always together  and equally guilty. Our routine was to let them out early morning. One morning in February, we let them out, brought them back in, and reset the alarm. When we got up, Flash was laying on the floor register in the bedroom. Flash was gone. He was only eight years old. The Vet said the cold outside, and then the heat may have given him a heart attack. We also learned Bassetts do not live much beyond eight years. We loved Killer then as our only fur friend. He was a sweet boy and we had him for many years until he got cancer. There was no warning, and by the time we got him to the vet, he had to be put down. I still cry sometimes for him. My Dad especially liked Killer. Right before Killer got sick, we went  to a farm in Iowa to bring home our first Fox Terrier. 

I wanted a Biblical name for this boy, so settled on Barnabus. The little girl next door promptly changed that to Barney. All John and I could see was a Purple Dinosaur. We changed his name to Samson. Samson, after Killer died, became our one and only. He went with us on short trips, he was always with us. He loved other dogs, but was very choosy about human friends. After 17 years he went as far into old age as he could, and we knew it was time. I had cared for him for a year as he declined. I know he hung on for us. A dear friend who is a Vet, gave him that final shot, as he lay in our arms. That was the toughest yet. We still miss him so much. That was a year ago. It was at that time, I did more research on the Rainbow Bridge.

The story is designed to comfort us. According to the story, our pets go to the Rainbow Bridge. They run, and play with all the others there, until God calls their owner (s) home to Heaven, then they run to the Bridge and walk across it with their humans, reunited for eternity. Although that is a beautiful picture, and offers comfort, I began thinking about Heaven. I know for fact, John and I will be in Heaven for eternity, because we have accepted Christ's gift and sacrifice on the cross for our sins. Jesus has saved us with His cleansing blood, so we can be with God in Heaven. But what about our fur friends? The Bible only gives us a possibility, and where the Bible is silent, we can not add answers we want.

What I did learn was that God owns all the animals, and the cattle on a thousand hills, Psalm 50:10. In Isaiah 11:6-9, God says in that day, the wolf and the lamb will live together. Job 12:10 says the life of every living thing is in his hand. Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 tells us the people and the animals share the same fate.... Both breathe and both die. Finally Romans 8:21 says creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay. I believe God can raise up anything, including our fur friends. All things are possible with Him. God originally created animals to share our world. Heaven
is a place of undeniable beauty, peace, joy, no more tears, so it would make sense for Him to let us enjoy our pets again. We now have another Fox Terrier Molly. She is our world, and as special as her brothers and sisters that went before her. I know God loves His children, and He knows how much we love our fur babies. I guess we will find out when we get to our eternal home. In the mean time, my prayer is our pets will be waiting for us, tails wagging, paws on the Rainbow Bridge.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sisters Forever!

Growing up as an only , lonely child, I used to dream about having brothers and sisters, especially sisters. Who knew years later, I would find my siblings, and I would have three sisters, and four brothers. God knew, and He gave them back to me. That has given me many hours of imagining what growing up with them would have been like. Brothers to protect the little sisters, brothers to pull the red wagon for you to ride in. Brothers to share a piece of candy, and brothers to pick you up, when you fall down. My brothers were raised to be kind, caring, and protective. In the short 14 years I have been in my family, they are and were there for me with advice, from Brother Bill, prayers from Brother Mac, and laughs from Brother Mike. Brother Frank passed away just as I came into the family, but he too would have been a good big brother!

Sisters! Oh how fun to have sisters. Sisters to share secrets, sisters to play with dolls, sisters to have a tea party. I was told that my sisters Carol and Virginia saved baby sitting money, and when I was born bought a pink sweater and matching hat for me. When I didn't come home with our Mom, they waited and waited. Finally, they used the sweater and hat for their dolls. Time faded the memory of Mom having their little sister, but when we were reunited through God's plan, it was like I had never been gone. Since then we have shared many conversations, illnesses, family loss, and many prayers for each other. The one thing we never got was a tea party.....until a few years ago.

My sister Carol and her husband Jim were celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Their children went together and paid for John and I to fly to California, to meet for the first time, and so John could renew their vows. My sister Virginia couldn't be there, but sister Dottie also from California was. What a joy that trip was for sisters reunited! The day after the Anniversary celebration, a niece who lived across the street from sister Carol, formally invited we sisters to a Victorian Tea Party. Amid candles, lace, antiques, and china tea cups, we had a dress up tea party that would have delighted any little girl. We had feathered hats, shawls, boas, and all sorts of goodies. We laughed, reminisced and called our sister in Omaha. We looked at family pictures, and I learned about a family I was denied. God knew I would bless my adopted family, and I would learn and grow into who He designed me to be, but He also knew He was adding me back to the family that had no choice but to let me go in 1943.

Since then, brother Bill went to be with Jesus, brother Mike has been ill, brother Mac has finally retired, and sisters Ginny and Carol have had strokes, and illnesses. We are very much connected through phone, and even if
we don't talk or get together often, we are surrounded by children, nieces, nephews, and more love than I could ever imagine. We pray for each other, we love each other, and we still learn new things about each other all the time. Our Mom did not get to be a part of our reunion, but before she died, she told our Brother Frank, "Find her, whatever you do, find her." He couldn't but God could. One more thing she told Sister Carol, "I want all my children home." We are Mom, even miles apart, we are home, and the sisters had their tea party!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Sisters Forever!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Sisters Forever!: Growing up as an only , lonely child, I used to dream about having brothers and sisters, especially sisters. Who knew years later, I would f...

Sisters Forever!

Growing up as an only , lonely child, I used to dream about having brothers and sisters, especially sisters. Who knew years later, I would find my siblings, and I would have three sisters, and four brothers. God knew, and He gave them back to me. That has given me many hours of imagining what growing up with them would have been like. Brothers to protect the little sisters, brothers to pull the red wagon for you to ride in. Brothers to share a piece of candy, and brothers to pick you up, when you fall down. My brothers were raised to be kind, caring, and protective. In the short 14 years I have been in my family, they are and were there for me with advice, from Brother Bill, prayers from Brother Mac, and laughs from Brother Mike. Brother Frank passed away just as I came into the family, but he too would have been a good big brother!

Sisters! Oh how fun to have sisters. Sisters to share secrets, sisters to play with dolls, sisters to have a tea party. I was told that my sisters Carol and Virginia saved baby sitting money, and when I was born bought a pink sweater and matching hat for me. When I didn't come home with our Mom, they waited and waited. Finally, they used the sweater and hat for their dolls. Time faded the memory of Mom having their little sister, but when we were reunited through God's plan, it was like I had never been gone. Since then we have shared many conversations, illnesses, family loss, and many prayers for each other. The one thing we never got was a tea party.....until a few years ago.

My sister Carol and her husband Jim were celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Their children went together and paid for John and I to fly to California, to meet for the first time, and so John could renew their vows. My sister Virginia couldn't be there, but sister Dottie also from California was. What a joy that trip was for sisters reunited! The day after the Anniversary celebration, a niece who lived across the street from sister Carol, formally invited we sisters to a Victorian Tea Party. Amid candles, lace, antiques, and china tea cups, we had a dress up tea party that would have delighted any little girl. We had feathered hats, shawls, boas, and all sorts of goodies. We laughed, reminisced and called our sister in Omaha. We looked at family pictures, and I learned about a family I was denied. God knew I would bless my adopted family, and I would learn and grow into who He designed me to be, but He also knew He was adding me back to the family that had no choice but to let me go in 1943.

Since then, brother Bill went to be with Jesus, brother Mike has been ill, brother Mac has finally retired, and sisters Ginny and Carol have had strokes, and illnesses. We are very much connected through phone, and even if
we don't talk or get together often, we are surrounded by children, nieces, nephews, and more love than I could ever imagine. We pray for each other, we love each other, and we still learn new things about each other all the time. Our Mom did not get to be a part of our reunion, but before she died, she told our Brother Frank, "Find her, whatever you do, find her." He couldn't but God could. One more thing she told Sister Carol, "I want all my children home." We are Mom, even miles apart, we are home, and the sisters had their tea party!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Preparing For Serving

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Preparing For Serving: Sometimes I am amazed by my life. I have been through challenges, sorrows, pain, and situations I would really rather not be part of. Yet Go...

Preparing For Serving

Sometimes I am amazed by my life. I have been through challenges, sorrows, pain, and situations I would really rather not be part of. Yet God always uses those times when I least expect to minister to others. That's one of the reasons I love serving my Lord and Savior, Jesus. No one likes going through a crisis, but if it helps someone else somewhere, sometime, I can look on those times as jewels of opportunity. I would never wish bad things for my family and friends, but in life, some things are inevitable. If I have already been there, done that, I can listen with more understanding, more empathy, and maybe better advise.

When my Dad passed away, he left me as the only caregiver of my adopted Mom. For awhile she was able to stay in their apartment. She was lonely, grieving, and was not used to this life of one. Many nights, she would call me to come over, right now! 
 She fell, or she cut herself and was bleeding, or she needed help getting into bed.Then she started imagining she was really sick, so she would call the Rescue Squad. She needed me there every day, and she needed help more and more. She finally had to sell most of her furniture, and go to assisted living. It was a very pretty and new facility, but she was not there long. She eventually got pneumonia, went to the hospital, and then a nursing home. For five years, I had to make hard choices for her, and as she declined, my daily visits barely registered with her. I watched her decline, until she quit eating, and lapsed into a coma. I sat by her side, as she labored to breathe, and was with her when she took one last breath and died. God used that experience with aging to be there for my Mother-in-law as she began to need help too.

It was the same process, as we moved Mary close to us. For all of us, the day comes when our bodies don't respond the way they used to. Our minds become confused, and even simple tasks are monumental to achieve. It does not matter what life was like before, aging follows the same path through illnesses, or diseases, and leaves us needing extra help. At 95 Mary was still fairly active and self reliant. Then her health started to slowly decline. She needed my help more and more. She needed John to make more hard decisions for her care, and again the last stop was a nursing home. This time I knew what to expect as I visited her every day. John did everything to make her life more enjoyable. When she left us to go home to Jesus, we knew it was a blessing from God to have taken care of her.

In the last year God has used these times to help us reach out and serve others who are walking where we have walked. God never wastes our learning times. As God brings others in our path, we can share what He has taught us, we can feel their pain, sorrow, and yes, fears. The firestorm of aging, being in need, or being the caregiver, is real. Dealing with the end of a loved ones life is a journey no one wants to take, but there is help and hope. There are others who can and will come alongside, and help you through. Like us, they have walked this way, God will use the path others have taken, to lead you through whatever you are facing. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Inner Child Longing To Be Free!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Inner Child Longing To Be Free!: Do you have an inner child that resides inside your soul? The inner child is easy to spot, and can make life so much more fun! As adults we ...

Inner Child Longing To Be Free!

Do you have an inner child that resides inside your soul? The inner child is easy to spot, and can make life so much more fun! As adults we are taught to be responsible, cautious, and do the grown up thing. What is the grown up thing? My mother was one of those, who took life so seriously that she had trouble having fun. Now I don't think one needs to play all the time, but I love being spontaneous enough, that there is joy in childlike wonder. We can learn as much from watching a child as they learn from us. 

When I taught pre-school, my days also were spent in watching children in their world. They do silly stuff, and laugh joyously. They use their imagination, and never run out of scenarios in their minds. They put every ounce of energy into whatever they do, and they are always intrigued by new things. They are curious, they play with abandon, and they don't care if they get dirty. They act without thinking about anything but the act itself. 

On a rainy day, an adult will wear a raincoat, carry an umbrella, an get inside as quickly as possible. But a child will run out into the rain and splash in the puddles. A child will dance in the rain, and lift their faces, open their mouth, and let the raindrops hit their tongue. When did you last dance in the rain?
An adult will rake up fallen leaves into neat piles to put into leaf bags for disposal. A child will see a mound of leaves and jump into the middle of them. A child will run through leaves, kicking and scattering them everywhere. When did you play in crunchy fall leaves last?

Adults clean snow off sidewalks and cars. Adults will ski in snow, and adults will grumble about snow. A child will build a fort, a snowman, or throw snowballs. A child will make snow angels, get wet, get cold, and will eat the clean snow. When did you enjoy snow last? Of course summer is the best time for children. No school, family vacations, and weeks of fun. Summer for children is riding bikes, swimming, fireworks, Popsicles, and The Ice Cream Man. Adults still have work, yard work, and all the things adults have to do. How about letting those things go once in awhile, and just play. 

My inner child loves Popsicles, letting work go for awhile so I can sit under a tree and read. My inner child still enjoys reading Nancy Drew Mysteries. I love to swing higher and higher, and I can wander happily in the toy department of any store. I resist the urge to buy them, but I still love dolls, coloring books, crayons, markers, and doll houses. The adult in me knows when I have to be mature and responsible, but the child knows when to have fun.  Do you ever wonder why some of the most fun childlike things are enjoyed just as much by adults. Disney Land is a great example. 

Nothing is more fun than just doing without worrying about what people think. We have a group of friends who enjoy eating together every Sunday evening. In the warmer weather, the conversation and fellowship has moved outside the restaurant when we were done eating. There was a time several years ago when several of them spontaneously skipped across the parking lot, arm in arm. There is nothing wrong with the sheer joy of unrestrained fun. I do not care what anyone thinks, I love my inner child. I am grateful that God let me keep her even after I grew up. I am grateful that God sees all of us as little children. He is our Father, and that pure innocence and joy we enjoy, blesses Him, just as we are blessed watching our own children and grandchildren. So let your inner child out once in awhile. The two of you can have fun together no matter how old you are!




Saturday, April 5, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Molly's Manor

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Molly's Manor: It's me, Molly. I am having so much fun at my new house! I told you the moving part was a little scary, but once Mom and Dad got everyth...

Molly's Manor

It's me, Molly. I am having so much fun at my new house! I told you the moving part was a little scary, but once Mom and Dad got everything here and put away, it was O.K. We have lots more room for a girl to run around. Sometimes I like to sit in the sun, sometimes I lay on the bed, and sometimes I go downstairs, and sit on a step  just to keep watch.  When Mom and Dad are home I still like Daddy's lap best. I love going for walks here. We can go up the hill and all the way around before we come home. Sometimes we just go up the other hill, around the pool, and back home. Mom says it is Spring. That means it isn't as cold, and there are birds and squirrels to chase. Mom said not to chase the robins, but it is so fun, I do it anyway. 

I have new friends here too. Tommy lives up the long hill. He is a Dachshund. Then there is Missy across the street. She's gray and white, and fluffy. Her Mom says she's old and grumpy. Today she barked and barked at me, but I just ran up to her and tried to get her to play. She almost did, and we touched noses. Then there is a black Lab up the street. Her name is Little, but she really isn't. She likes me, but she isn't outside very much. My very bestest friend is Max. He lives right next door. When I hear his Mom open her garage door, I know in a minute or two he will come outside. I beg Mom to take me out so I can see him. We run around his yard. The other night Max and his Mom came over to visit. We got to run all over the house and play. It was so fun!  Then Max found my rawhide stick, and he was going to keep it.  Daddy got it and put it up high so neither of us could get it. Daddy got one of my extra tennis balls and gave that to Max. He got to take it home with him.

Now that it is warmer, we get to sit outside a lot too. One day Mom took me for a long, long walk. We went a different way than we normally do, and it was pretty fun.....until.....all of a sudden I was not seeing or smelling familiar things. Mom stopped several times, but we kept walking. I kept looking back at Mom, trying to figure all this out. It seems we took a wrong turn, and we weren't in our hood any more. Mom had to call Dad, and he came and found us, and took us home. Boy a lot of people had fun teasing Mom about getting lost. I was very glad to be back home.  One thing I don't like is the rake. It has teeth like things that I try to bite. Then Mom gets the broom, and I try to bite it too. It seems when it is windy, all the old leaves, and pine needles blow onto our front porch. Well being outside more, we get lots of fresh air, and then I get sleepy. When we sit in bed later and watch the news, I hold my wolf, and chew on his nose. That's when my eyes start to close, and I fall asleep. Yup, I love my new home, and my Mom and Dad make it even better!