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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Patches Of Sunlight!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Patches Of Sunlight!: Molly here, again! I love my new house! At first it was a little scary, cause I had lots of extra rooms to explore, but now it's pretty ...

Patches Of Sunlight!

Molly here, again! I love my new house! At first it was a little scary, cause I had lots of extra rooms to explore, but now it's pretty O.K. One thing I know os that the downstairs is still a bit mysterious. When I get half way down the stairs, the wall ends, and there is an open railing. You just never know what might be lurking down there. I always stop, look into the room from the stairs, just to make sure it's all O.K. Mom thinks that's so cute. Well a girl has to be careful. Then there is another room down there that's a desk and bookcases....lots of book cases. Mom says it's an office for ministry work. I guess I don't do that.  In the family room, which includes me, there is Dad's chair. I run to it and wait for him to come and sit down, then we can snuggle.

Some days, Mom is up and down the stairs, and I get very tired keeping up. I just get settled, and she goes to a different room. I follow, get settled, and then guess what? yup, she goes somewhere else. It just wears me out. One thing I did discover, is sun patches! These are really a good thing. In the bedroom, I can lay on the bed and the sun comes in right where I am. In the living room the sun comes in first over by the end of the couch.  Then it moves a little, so I follow it. Then it moves again to the other side of the room, and I follow. Then it goes away. I don't like that very much. Downstairs, it shines on the rug in the middle of the floor. Sun patches are so warm and cheery. They make me happy.

Some days I can't find my patches, and Mom says, "No sun today, Molly." I don't understand that, but at least they are there sometimes. At our other home, the sun patches only hit the top of the couch, but never the floor, so this is all new. Sun makes Mom happy too. She says it makes it warmer outside, and that soon, when it warms up even more, we can go for longer walks. I know sun makes me very happy. As soon as I get this done, I think I will go back and soak up more of that sunny, cheery, warm spot....unless Mom moves again. Then I will have to find one of the other spots. Don't Move, MOM....I like this one best!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Sadly I Remember.

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Sadly I Remember.: I have been so unfair, and so judgmental, and totally blind to even acknowledge what I was doing. The target for my hurt, anger, and feeling...

Sadly I Remember.

I have been so unfair, and so judgmental, and totally blind to even acknowledge what I was doing. The target for my hurt, anger, and feelings of unworth was my adopted mother. For the last years of her life, I came full circle with all the feelings, and all the hurt. All the while she was in a nursing home, while visiting her every day, I still never got any appreciation, motherly love, or even respect. God worked me through it every day, and slowly, He made me see that she was what she was, and that she did the best she could. I was adopted at a year old, and she was full of fears and her own insecurities. That came out in never saying a kind word, never encouraging me, and always letting me know I did not measure up. I never even saw that I was affected until I was an adult, and dealing with all those insecurities and lower than low self-esteem. I got to the place where I could really forgive her. When she was dying, I sat by her side all day that day. She was not conscious, and her breathing was labored. God was so gracious and allowed me to be with her. At about 2:00 in the morning, I read to her from the Bible, I held her hand. I did tell her I forgave her, but as our Pastor said in yesterday's sermon, I doubt if she even knew how she had hurt me. As I read to her and prayed, her breathing quieted, and with one big breath, she was gone. I was sad, but by that time I had found my birth family, and it was all of them that made me feel loved. I am sad and ashamed to say, I was very unfair to my adopted mother.

Although it is true we never bonded, and I felt like a stranger in her house, she really did not know what she was doing. She did not know all she did was criticize me and how I was. She did not know that by praising other's children, and fusing over them, she hurt me. She did not know she only wanted a clone of herself, and nothing else was good enough. She did not know how to have fun, enjoy life, or be happy with the only child she had. Today as I was looking through old pictures, I was heartbroken again....this time, not for me, but for her. In almost every picture she was not smiling. She was always so concerned with how things looked, or reflected off her, that she could not enjoy simple pleasures.

She came from a wealthy family of eight children. Her father was what was called a gentleman farmer. He had hired help to take care of his land and herds. Her mother had girls to clean and cook. My grandfather never wore work clothes, but opted for suit, shirt, tie, vest, fancy shirt buttons, and whatever a gentleman wore in the early 1900s.  To say my mother was a snob seems harsh, but she was. She never learned to relate to ordinary working people. Her world was all material. She actually turned her nose up to anyone or anything that did not say "money."   She grew up with the best of everything. Her father owned race horses, and a trip to the nearest city, was fancy hotels of that era. Then just as my mother was about to head to college, my grandfather lost all his money in bad investments. Her world came crashing down!

Today, as I looked at pictures! for the first time in my life! I felt sorrier for her than for me. All the years I lived with the hurt and pain of rejection and not being good enough for her, I never even wondered about her. Even the last years of her life, I was not thinking of her....only me. Today, after all these years, I feel so bad that I didn't understand sooner. Even though I forgave her, I have carried all that with me. I will always regret I didn't understand sooner....so Mother, I am so sorry. I know you can't hear me now, but I know you were a sad woman all your life. I know you needed perfection in everything, and I know I misjudged you. You carried your own scars and hurts, and I know we would have never been normal Mother and daughter, but I could have tried to love you, and understand. Today I shed tears for you, and I am grateful to Jesus that He took me through this process lasting years. Now I lay it all at the foot of the cross once and for ever. Rest in peace Mother, I am at peace.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lost But Not Forever!

I have been lost many times. The dictionary defines lost as "Not knowing where you are, or how to get where you want to go."  When I was in college in Lincoln, a friend and I decided to go to Omaha to shop. I had only been there once, and I wasn't driving. I still don't know where we were going, but we drove the interstate and various other streets over and over, for several hours. The more we drove, the more we got lost, confused, and frustrated. We finally stopped, and got directions, and I guess we found where we were going, but by then I'm not sure we cared.  My husband John can go to most any town or city, and instinctually find where he needs to be. I on the other hand get lost first, ask directions, and eventually find my destination. We were on a trip to Phoenix and decided to  rent a car to go see John's brother in Tucson. John had directions from his brother so when we got into town, John handed me the map so I could read off the street names on the directions as we came to them. John said the first street name, and I said, " No, we aren't there yet." John said another street. I said, " No, we aren't there yet." Finally John took the map from me, looked at it, and turned it right side up. So you see, even a map is of little help to me!

There is another layer of lost. The dictionary again says ruined or destroyed. lacking in assurance and self-confidence. That was me for many years, lost in my sin. I was always at Church, I heard the Bible stories, but I did not understand. I was so lost in my own world of fun and personal pleasure, I did not have a clue who Jesus really was. I was blinded by wanting things, and trying anything I thought would make me happy. I had no hope, I had no idea that life could be any different. I was so lost, I didn't know I was lost. I remember sitting in my Church, St. Patrick's one day before Mass. I was starting to think about life after death and the thought of dying was terrifying. I did not know you could be certain of Heaven, so eternity was scary. I knew I was a bad person, so I knew I probably had little chance of Heaven. I just remember thinking as I sat in the quiet, stain glass sanctuary, gazing at the statue of Mary, " If I could just be as good as you Mary, MAYBE, I could go to Heaven. That was a sad, sad time in my life. I felt so alone, so unloved, and so scared. No one should ever feel that lost, separated from a loving Father God!

On the other side of that time, I was saved. Again  Webster
says save is to keep safe, to keep from being lost. God knew that is what I needed. He was about to bring my future husband into my life. Through him, I would once again travel to Tucson and finally end the lostness by coming to know Jesus Christ. Again through fear of the unknown eternity, God showed me how to become His child. I learned I could be forgiven of all that sin I had carried for so long. I learned that if I repented and turned from that sin, and accepted Jesus free gift of salvation, I could know with no doubt that I would be in Heaven when I leave this world. To save means to redeem, to deliver, to preserve, and to rescue. That is what Jesus did for me on the cross. His blood paid for all my wrong. It should have been me....but He said, I will pay the price for you!  I still stumble and fall, but Jesus delivers me, He picks me up, He stands beside me. I am no longer lost. He is my hope, and my salvation! He can be yours too....all you have to do is ask for directions. He loves you, and even if you are lost, He knows exactly where you are!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Broken!

Shattered, disconnected, not working properly, parts separated. In other words.... Broken. If it is an object, it may be able to be mended. One of our dining room chairs was broken. One rung had pulled away from the leg. My husband fixed it with wood glue. It works fine. There are all manner of fixatives for broken glass, wood, and plastic. You can glue it, tape it, nail it, and duct tape it. It may not look as good as it did before it broke, but it is back together, and no longer in pieces.

I had a beautiful Victorian set of china from my grandmother. Ther were matching gravy boat, vegetable dish, and meat platter that can only come from that era of time. It was ivory, with muted green and tiny pink flowers , all with gold edges. I loved that set, and used it often for family dinners. Then the horrible day came when the shelf in the antique china cabinet fell, and the pieces stored there where broken, chipped, and damaged. I patiently tried to glue each back together, but some pieces shattered into china dust, and the damage was too great to totally fix. I did what I could, and kept them as a precious treasure from the past, but they were never usable again. 

Bones can be broken too. I got through a very clumsy childhood with never a broken bone. As a kid, I had friends who broke their arms, and I thought that would be cool to have a cast for my friends to sign. Didn't ever stop to think that pain would be a part of that process. Anyway, I never broke anything no matter how many times I fell. I waited until I was fifty something, and then a fall off a two step ladder, broke my ankle. I don't remember thinking, "finally, I get to have a cast!" I did get to choose the color of the cast, but the whole healing time was not fun. Being broken is no fun. For people and animals, broken hurts. Broken needs time to heal. Fixing anything broken, needs, a conduit to put the pieces back together.

I am still broken. Oh, my ankle healed, and no other bones have been broken, but sin in my life makes me shattered, disconnected, separated, not working properly. BROKEN! I was made in God's image, but with skin on, I am a sinful creature. I have given my life to Jesus, but I still sin, still need forgiveness, and still need His grace, mercy, and love to fix the broken. I am flawed, and I am only whole when I am close to Him. It is harder to fix spiritual brokenness. It is harder to mend broken hearts. God is the conduit that fixes my flaws, picks up the pieces when I try to do things my way, and patiently, and lovingly mends my spirit. Because Jesus puts my brokenness back together, I am able to reach out to others who are broken. If I were never flawed or broken, I would never fully appreciate, and revel in how awesome and mighty God is! He is the master crafter of broken pieces. I am humbled and grateful, because I am His, bumps, bruises, shattered, and flawed pieces, and He LOVES Me!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Molly's Move!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Molly's Move!: Molly here! Well guess what? We moved. I can't believe it, and I really don't know for sure what moving is. Well, I know sort of. Li...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Molly's Move!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Molly's Move!: Molly here! Well guess what? We moved. I can't believe it, and I really don't know for sure what moving is. Well, I know sort of. Li...

Molly's Move!

Molly here! Well guess what? We moved. I can't believe it, and I really don't know for sure what moving is. Well, I know sort of. Like moving is scary for a puppy. There were boxes everywhere. The rooms I knew were topsy turvy. I couldn't find all my toys, and Mom was so busy, we didn't get to go out side for very long. That was all bad enough, but then there were the trips in the car. Other people I didn't know were packing our stuff in boxes, and baskets, and bags, oh, my! Then all those things were loaded in our cars and their truck, and taken to a whole new place. The only times I have gone in the car was to my doctor, Jodi, or to get my nails trimmed. This was a long ride, and I was scared.

I went with Mom in her car, but I had to be really good, so she could drive. I sat on the seat for awhile, but the best place was in Mom's lap. Once I sat on the stuff in the back seat, but I couldn't see out. I don't know how many times we did this, but I got very tired. At the new place we had to take everything out of the cars. The first time there was no furniture, so I had no place to lay down. Then a big truck and two guys came to the old place, took our furniture to the new place,
and there was all my stuff to sit on. I have lots more room to run and play, and a big back yard with lots of trees. I think I like it here, but I miss my friends.

I met the lady next door, and her fur baby Max. There is another fur baby across the stree. Her name is Misty. One day Mom took me for a walk around the neighborhood. I liked that a lot. All our stuff is the same, but in different places. Mom and Dad are still taking things out of the garage and trying to find a place for them. One really good thing is....the sun comes through the windows and there are warm patches for me to lay in. I like the sun. It's O.K. If Mom is too busy to play, if I can lay in the warm sun!

Daddy is closer to work now, so I get to have more time with him, and that's good too. I finally found all my blankets and my toys, so that's a good thing. We have two levels here, so I have to go up and down stairs. That's O.K. I'm never sure what's down there, so I go to where the railing starts, peak around the railing, just to make sure it is safe. If I sit on the steps to wait for Dad to come upstairs, he laughs at the way I sit. I put my bottom on one step and then my front feet on the next step. I can't help it, I never had steps before. I think I like it. At least everything is here, no more car trips, and Mom, Dad, and me are all together. Moving is really different, and puts you and your stuff in a whole new place....I did not see that coming! It's home now.....and I do have my sun patches. I'm a happy girl!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Snow...Cold....Then And Now!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Snow...Cold....Then And Now!: Snow then was magical, beautiful, and totally fun for a three year old. I don't know when I first saw snow, but we lived in Colorado. We...

Snow...Cold....Then And Now!

Snow then was magical, beautiful, and totally fun for a three year old. I don't know when I first saw snow, but we lived in Colorado. We were not far from the foot of a mountain range, so when there was snow there, there was snow everywhere. I remember being bundled up and going up the mountain pass with my Daddy. He had a red plaid wool jacket, and I had a blue snowsuit. We sometimes went up the mountain just to look around, at Christmas we cut our own tree, and sometimes it was deer season. In my own yard, I learned to make snow angels, and go sledding. I remember especially one Christmas Eve. We went to midnight Church services, and when we came out it had begun to snow. It was so quiet, and the flakes glistened against the street lights. I remember looking up, and sticking my tongue out to let the flakes melt in my mouth. Eating fresh snow was a favorite when it first snowed. If anyone ever worried about chemicals in it, no one said anything.

When we moved to Sioux city, Iowa when I was six, the alley behind our house was a two block long gradual hill. It was flat at our end and gradually got steeper at the other end. My Dad would pull my sled up the hill, then let me slide to the bottom. I remember he repeated that over and over. As I got older, my friends and I pulled our own sleds up the hill for the exciting ride down! Another great activity was building a snow fort, or an igloo. We spent hours building and pretending all sorts of things. We all had snow pants, snow jackets. Hats, boots, and mittens. If it was really cold we were so bundled up, we could hardly move, but we played outside in the snow, until we were totally frozen. Once inside, I remember warming my hands and toes on the heat registers on the floors in our house. Sometimes, Mom would start the oven, and I  could
sit in front of the open door until I was warm. We never missed school because of snow, and we never stayed in because it was cold. Our Dads shoveled snow with a shovel, and went to work, no matter how much snow, or frigid temperatures there were.

Fast forward to today. The snow itself is still beautiful, and still glistens and sparkles, but most of us only enjoy that from the inside looking out. Now when it is frigid, snowy, windy, schools close, while snowblowers make Dads jobs easier. You may see kids sledding in some areas, but seldom in their neighborhoods. You don't see snow forts, or snowmen, or children playing outside at every opportunity. Do kids today build snowmen, and get buttons, scarves, carrots, and yes, even coal for the eyes mouth, and noses. We found sticks for arms, and maybe even an old hat for our snow friend.
Snow for me now is something I hate to be out in. I hate being bundled up, and I find it much harder, the older I get to see God's beauty in a snowflake......just sayin'. I walk our Molly, but even she hates getting her feet in the snow.  Isn't it funny how snow perspective in the 40s and 50s was a winter wonderland, and in 2014, I just pray it melts soon. Snow then was a happy time, snow now, not so much!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Jesus Fixes Broken Hearts!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Jesus Fixes Broken Hearts!: Have you noticed that the Bible is filled with broken, crushed, and bruised people. Yes there are people who rejoice in God's love, and ...

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Jesus Fixes Broken Hearts!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Jesus Fixes Broken Hearts!: Have you noticed that the Bible is filled with broken, crushed, and bruised people. Yes there are people who rejoice in God's love, and ...

Jesus Fixes Broken Hearts!

Have you noticed that the Bible is filled with broken, crushed, and bruised people. Yes there are people who rejoice in God's love, and are filled with praise and joy of The Lord, but the majority however, have broken lives that need God to make the difference. From the Old Testament we have seen Moses, David, Daniel, Job, and many others suffer with problems, illness, and deadly situations. In each case, God was there. He saved them, He helped them resolve each issue. If we never had a problem, we would not realize our great need for God, and we would not have a chance to learn the lessons only God can teach.

The New Testament begins with troubles for Baby Jesus. The King Herrod did not want a King of the Jews to be his competition, so he tries to find Him and kill Him. God did not allow that. When Jesus was grown, His cousin is beheaded, and from that point on, Jesus begins His ministry. What we see are many people who needed healing,  needed love, needed to learn about God's love. Broken, crushed, and bruised people. As Jesus ministered throughout, He dealt with people with unlimited love, compassion, and yet He sometimes told them things they didn't want to hear.  After Jesus death and resurrection, there were those who continued His ministry. They did not have an easy time. They faced people who wouldn't listen, they were jailed, they were stoned, and crucified. 

Broken, crushed, bruised people who have a personal connection with God through Jesus saving Grace have something others do not. Before I was saved, and started following Jesus, when I was broken, and bruised, I did not have any hope of a solution, or relief except myself. I muddled through things, made really bad choices to try and feel better, but it never quite worked. I may have felt better for awhile, but it was not the same peace I have now. It is hard to explain, unless you have a relationship with God, but even in the really bad situations, there is a calm. You know that you can give it to Jesus, and He will not only help you, but He holds you up, He supports you, and He loves you enough to teach you through the trauma.

If we look at the entire  Bible, there are far more ordinary, hurting people, than those with no problems. 
Clearly that is God's message, over and over, that we in our broken, bruised, human form, imperfect, and needy, can not do things on our own. We need God, we need the gift of Salvation provided by Him through His Son Jesus, and we need to cling to Him when we have a problem! I learned some time ago, that when I lean on Him, no matter how hard life can be, I can just stop, and praise His name, thank Him for all He does, and slowly, I am learning to give it up to Him, totally, and let Him fix whatever is broken, crushed, and bruised! He will always be there.....He will never leave you, nor disappoint you!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: More From Molly

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: More From Molly: Molly here. It appears I had a big brother named Samson. He was a Fox Terrier like me, but he was bigger. I saw pictures of him, and sometim...

More From Molly

Molly here. It appears I had a big brother named Samson. He was a Fox Terrier like me, but he was bigger. I saw pictures of him, and sometimes when Mom walks me she cries a little. I figure he was pretty special. All I know is what I've heard, cause I wasn't in my fur ever home yet when he was. Mom and Dad say I'm just like him someways, and then again I am most definitely me. Samson loved to take long walks, and see his four legged friends. Then he got older and older, and I guess he fell down a lot. I wish I could have met him, cause he sounds nice. Everyone here where we live liked him a lot.

Samson liked the 4th of July. He didn't mind the noises, and he liked to look at the colors in the sky. I wasn't scared either last year, but I was too busy seeing our friends to watch the sky. Only four of his four legged friends are still here. We all like each other. Then I have new friends too. Anyway, Samson had cool toys too, and I get to play with them now. I don't mind not having my own new toys, but I did get a new chew stick, and Greenies to chew. I also love his blanket. It was his favorite, because it is the same color as us, and it is super soft and snuggly. We both also love to burrow under the covers, and sleep there. When Samson got really old, he didn't do that any more, he couldn't get up on the bed without help, and Mom said he spilled his food dish when he tried to eat. He was 17 years old. Mom and Dad were very sad, but they knew it was time. My brother could not keep going, so he left them and went to The Rainbow Bridge. I don't know where that is, or how you get there, but it seems to make things better.

Samson was a great ball player. Soccer was his favorite. I still have his ball. If Dad kicked the ball to him, he nosed it back again, and was a very good player. I'm not so good, but Dad bought me my very own tennis balls. I'm really good with tennis balls. My brother also was good at catching toys thrown to him. Dad says I'm good at that too. I can jump up in the air and catch my football and my elephant. Samson liked car rides too. I don't get to go much, but it's fun to look out the windows. Sometimes it is scary, cause I don't know where I'm going.

Yup, I do wish I had known Samson. I do know one thing.....Mom and Dad love me just as much. They say I was God's gift, because they were sad when Samson had to leave. I am happy that they don't want me to be just like him. They let me be me, and I am a very good girl. If I ever have to go to that Rainbow Bridge, then I guess I'll see you there, big bother. Till then, I'll take care of Mom and Dad for you!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Molly's Memoir!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Molly's Memoir!: Molly May...that's me! We fur babies can look back on our year too. mine was quite exciting. I of course was a baby puppy for awhile, th...

Molly's Memoir!

Molly May...that's me! We fur babies can look back on our year too. mine was quite exciting. I of course was a baby puppy for awhile, then  a nice lady brought me home. After some months, I don't know how many, she got very sick. She had family come and take care of her and me, but she just got sicker. When I tried to snuggle on her lap, it hurt her, so I had to stay away. I'm a girl that loves laps, and snuggles, and kisses, so that made me very sad. God knew I needed a new home, and friends of my first Mom also knew my fur ever Mom and Dad. They knew that their fur baby, Samson, was old, and he died. They told everyone, we should match up, and we did.  One day, my first Mom's niece came over and got me, put me in her car, along with my kennel. I was scared, cause I didn't know where I was going. We got to a big building and she got me out of the car on my leash. Two humans I had never seen before came out of the building and seemed excited to see me.

I sniffed at them, and they seemed O.K. I heard them say, "She's perfect!" The car left, and I was alone with them. We went in the building, down a long hallway, and into their apartment. They let me look around, and sniff, and try to figure this out. There were kisses, hugs, and laps just for me! They fed me, took me outside, and gave me toys. I think this is a good thing. I met a lot of nice people, and their fur babies, and everyone was so nice. I get to play, have treats, and lots of love. Then my new Daddy went away one morning. I was so sad. Eventually I learned he went to do his Church work, and he always comes back home. Now when I see him drive up I run to our door. mom lets me out, but I have to sit by our door until he comes around the corner. Then Mom says, "O.K. You can go." Then I run to him and jump because I'm so happy.

A few months after I got here, our friends down the hall got a new puppy too. He was very little, but I loved him a lot. We played and played, but I got a little rough, so we had to stop playing so much. His name was Rufus, and he was a miniature Yorkie. I also have my friends, Cricket, Tia, Barley, Peanut, George, and Winnie. Poor little Rufus died last week. We were all sad, but he joined his brother and sister at the Rainbow Bridge. His Mom and Dad will get a new baby Yorkie in a few weeks. His name is Elroy. I can't wait to meet him.  Summer was so fun, we stayed outside with friends every night, and went for walks, and I dug holes, and found sticks. I love sticks! 

I do not like winter! When it is snowy, it freezes my feet. I run out, potty really quick, and run back to the door. When the snow melts, and it gets warmer, then I'm happy. I have lots of toys that I like. My elephant sounds like an elephant when you bite the right spot. My football is fun to chase, as long as Dad throws it(we laugh when Mom throws it!) My favorites are my rawhide chewy stick, and my wolf. My wolf reminds me of Rufus, and he's my nighttime snuggle toy. When it's time to sleep, I put my mouth on his nose, and both paws around him, to hold him close.  I love my life here in my fur ever home. I love my Mom and Dad, and all my friends. It was a sad, then happy year for me, but I am happy, happy, happy to be right here. Happy (fur) New Year!