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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Journeys!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Journeys!: I love this season of my life! This last year and a half I have taken an incredible journey with Jesus. He has spoken so much into my life a...

Journeys!

I love this season of my life! This last year and a half I have taken an incredible journey with Jesus. He has spoken so much into my life at this point, and He is not done yet. Have you been on a journey with Jesus? If you have, you know how amazing and beautiful it is. I have walked with Him for over 30 years, but this last year and a half have been special. Partly because I have stopped wanting my way, and partly just because He is so special to me.

When I first accepted Him as my personal Savior and was reborn spiritually, I was so excited! I felt new from the inside out! Jesus filled my thoughts, actions, and activities. I was filled with boundless joy. We were on vacation in Tucson visiting family. Normally if shopping was suggested, I was excited to buy clothes, or jewelry. This time was different. The only thing I wanted was a new study Bible. On the trip home, I started in Genesis, and read through. I was excited to study what God said, and I learned from our pastor, from James Dobson, and Chuck Swindohl. My life was turned upside down!

As with all things, the newness wears off and the joy fades with the everyday. I let the world crowd in, and I allowed Satan to steal my joy.Even though I loved Jesus and had committed my life to Him, the human me still wanted what I wanted. I prayed and didn't wait for His answers. As a result God had to take me on many desert journeys. As I learned, He retuned me to my mountain tops, only to fall again. I am always amazed at my God's patience, and second, third, and fourth chances.

Some things I learned quickly, while others have taken years. The biggest hurdle in my walk, and an ongoing sin, was resolved this year. I have always hated confrontation. I have always been terrified from a very early age to be in trouble. I was so afraid of consequences, and of losing love, because I was bad. Somehow I was very good at covering up, and lie my way out of difficulties, at least for the immediate. I was good at shutting it out of my conscious thought. In my mind others, family especially would not love me if they knew the real me. In confrontation I am tongue tied, and have no defense. For me that is uncomfortable beyond words.

God tried to teach me over and over, and I tried to believe I would be different. Like Paul, I did what I did not want to do, and I didn't do what I wanted to do. I lived a YoYo life for so long, and fell short of what God wanted for me. It became my normal. When things crashed this last time, I truly learned to let go, and let God lead. I have since had Him show up so many times this year through His Holy Spirit to lovingly, and gently show me what I was doing, and what I needed to do. It is such a joy to stand accountable, and to let God direct my life! I have gained the freedom to be who He intended all along!

It is a process. He has even shown me things from my youth, and from young adulthood, and from my present that I haven't dealt with, or how I should have. God has shown me sin, that I wasn't aware of. He personally has really shaped me and molded me maybe more this year than ever before! Some of it wasn't easy, and most of it was hurtful, but I am grateful He loves me that much! I have decided that if I am worth that much one on one care and love, then He deserves my very best! He holds nothing back from me, so why should I hold back pieces of myself from Him?

I have never been closer to Him than I am in this season. One lesson that He brought to me was Joshua 1:9. Be
strong, be courageous. Since I am living by His word, and example, there will be those in opposition. I am finding I do need to be strong, and courageous to share His word. I have learned to be patient, and wait on The Lord. His plans are far better than mine. He has proven it over and over. Many times in prayer for a desparate situation He answers and is there for me, even before I ask.

One ongoing reminder from God that I am still processing is the lost. As I see our world, and our country falling away from God, I see mean spirited people with no regard for others, no love, only greed, and I get angry. I want to get in their face, I want them to suffer. Yet over and over God reminds me, they are lost. They don't know Jesus. They need my prayer, not my condemnation.

I am still human, still have skin on, and I still make mistakes, still sin, still mess up. I am also loved, and forgiven by God, because I accepted Him as my Savior. When God reveals things to me, even if it is something I shouldn't have done, or it brings me to tears to see me as He sees me, there is now peace, and joy that only He can give. I am content for His will to be done. I don't like injustice, or waiting for answers, but I no longer stress about it. I wait! I look forward each day to see what Jesus has for me. 

What season of life are you in? My prayer for you is that you have that personal relationship with Jesus. I pray He is speaking to you, now, teaching you His ways as only He can. As my husband said from something he read, "You have made Jesus your Savior, but have you made Him Lord of your life?"

Monday, June 22, 2015

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Memories In My Mind!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Memories In My Mind!: Sometimes God plants memories in my mind for no reason. I'm not sure what sets them off, but sometimes it's nice to just reflect on ...

Memories In My Mind!

Sometimes God plants memories in my mind for no reason. I'm not sure what sets them off, but sometimes it's nice to just reflect on them. Today's memory....High School. Starting High School is one of the big events in your life. It can be a combination of exciting and scary. It's exciting because you are getting older, and much smarter than when you were just a kid. Scary, because you are thrown into a whole new world outside your comfort zone.

I was a very insecure girl because I felt like everyone else was prettier, smarter, and cooler than I was. I was short, my nose was too big, and I had not learned to love me. I knew my friends from Junior High would be there, but so many new faces to meet. What if no one liked me, what if I had no friends. What if the studies were too hard, and I flunked? After a few weeks, I found my niche.

I found joy in English class, History was always an adventure, and Math and Science still held terror. Geometry was the worst. My Dad spent hours trying to explain it to me. My teacher spent time after school trying to show me what it all meant. Nothing helped, but I finally passed with a D. It was the extracurricular things that made me happy. I tried out for Choir, and got in. Mr. Larson was a great teacher. Our choir even went on choir tours to sing out of town, and even out of state. 

We traveled by bus, and stayed in hotels (well chaperoned), and did concerts in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. We sang at several prisons, Churches, and other High Schools it was especially fun to be away from school, and parents. Then if your boyfriend happened to be in choir too, even better.

As a senior, I was also in our Centrallettes. This was a precision dance team for sports events. It was a long and exacting tryout, but once in, I had fun, except for the 7:00 a.m. practice times. Some Football half times were also very cold as October and November rolled around. The Homecoming Game parade downtown was also nippy, for the outfits we wore. Wouldn't have traded it for anything.

Of course there were parties, and dances, after all we were a rock and roll generation. Parties were snacks, records, and maybe kissing. It was 1959 and 1960, so very mild compared to today. I remember having fun, and being in love, and being part of a group that liked me for me. The other thing that was a huge deal was the Musicals our school did every year. We did, Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, and Guys And Dolls. I remember the costumes, rehearsals, makeup, and the cast parties after. If you have been there you know how exciting that all is.

I also remember the downfalls that followed me through high school. I never was bad, but could never seem to get home from dates on time. My parents were always waiting up for me. I didn't
understand why they couldn't just go to sleep. As a result, I spent about every other week grounded. I remember the last week of being a senior, a group of we girls skipped school to go to the sand dunes across into South Dakota. We laid on the sand by the water all day. How we thought we could disguise our sunburns the next day in school I don't know. I don't remember really getting in trouble for that, but maybe that's a rememberance I blocked out.

We were the 50s generation with our Capri pants, angora sweaters, pony tails, loafers, and  Bobby Darin, Sandra Dee, A Summer Place, Elvis, and Ricky Nelson. On Friday nights we had Football games, or Basketball games. In the summer, we had summer jobs, and cruising up and down the same streets. Shouting out the windows at our friends in their cars. Occasionally we would decide to TP someone's house. Those nights were fun and we had fun without being destructive.

What do you remember about your High School days? It was still a time of innocence, of wonder, and exploring new things. 
 I look back and wish I had made a mark on that past, but I was too immature.it was all about me, and my friends, and what was popular. We made it through, and now relive memories at Class Reunions. This year will be our 54th Reunion. Several years ago, after the 50th, one of our class mates got all our emails, and now when one of the class of 1961 passes away, we are all notified. That starts a barrage of emails from everyone with memories. It is nice to still be connected even though we see each other rarely. Those days are done, but if you have fond memories of those days, they will live on.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Gentle Giant

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Gentle Giant: I met him when I was  one year old. I had been in the orphanage for a year, when he walked in to meet me. He and Mother had been approved fo...

Gentle Giant

I met him when I was  one year old. I had been in the orphanage for a year, when he walked in to meet me. He and Mother had been approved for adoption, if they decided they wanted me. This man was all dressed up, and his shirt collar was starched stiff. When he picked me up I reached up to his collar and discovered it made a scratchy sound if you scratched on it. He thought that was funny.

After a year my adoption was final. By then we had moved to Colorado. This gentle giant, my Daddy was a special man. He would be my mentor, companion, playmate, and role model. He was always there to cushion the tenseness when Mother got angry. My Dad and I enjoyed our dog together, and laughed when he was naughty. Daddy was a house contractor, so with left over materials he built Shep the ultimate dog house. It had a wood floor, a shingled roof, and was painted white with green trim to match our house. 

When I was seven, we moved to Sioux City, Iowa. It was a house designed for a big kid, and a little kid to play. You could go from living room to hall to master bedroom, back to living room. A complete circle so perfect for chasing each other on my trikes. When I outgrew one, Daddy bought a bigger one, and kept the old one. We chased each other in our perfect circle. Then one night I tipped over and cut my chin open on their dresser. After stitches, Mother put an end to that fun.

Daddy spent hours laying on the floor coloring in my coloring books with me. He was never too  busy. He loved the simple things. As I got older, he taught me about one of his loves, cars. He worked on his own cars, changing oil, checking fluids, and even rotating tires. He washed them, waxed them, and did it all in a T Shirt, and old pants. He explained about what he was doing, and I grew to love cars too.

My Dad loved wrestling on TV, he loved boating and horseback riding, and he loved flying, and race cars. He trained pilots in WWll, he was a time keeper at car races, and he also coached women's basketball. He had so many dreams, and enjoyed life, for awhile. My mother did not enjoy any of those things. One by one he gave them up, except flying his plane. He was unselfish and he willingly gave up all he was to make her happy. He was always about helping others. He had a heart bigger than anyone I ever knew. 

He loved his Lord first of all, then his family, then all others. Many nights as I passed their room, I saw him in prayer on his knees. There was no one he didn't help if they needed it. There was no one he didn't give a second and third chance if they messed up. He had a bad heart, yet he worked hard, so we could have everything we wanted. He was still working his job the day before he died. He came home and said, he was very tired. He died quietly in his sleep that night. He was 85 years old. 

He left great memories. He was a kid at heart. The 4th of July gave him opportunity to be that kid. There were Roman Candles that he and a neighbor shot off to my delight. Then they decided to see how far they could shoot them across the lawn instead of up. The neighbors had their windows open, no screen, and yes, the rocket went straight into their house.
That was good for a laugh, as my Dad and his friend hurried into our house, hoping not to be connected with the mishap.

He loved to go deer hunting too. I often went with him and his friends up in the mountains to hunt. I stayed in the Jeep while they trailed the deer. I still have a tanned hide my Dad gave me. Many times to my Mother's horror, a deer carcass was strung up in our garage to be readied for the butcher shop. As a kid, I found all this very exciting.  As I grew older, those times ended. I don't know what happened, but piece by piece my Dad gave up his pleasures, hobbies, and with no argument did what Mother wanted. I never realized that for many years. In reflecting back after he died, it all came clear. 

This man, this gentle giant, for whatever reason, put his own wants aside for his wife. He was my hero, and now I have a husband that is so much like him. John enjoys his own things, but he too thinks of others first. He is a huge blessing, and he enjoyed my Dad too. These men in my life are what husbands and fathers should be.  Happy Father's Day to my Dad, and my husband! One in Heaven, and one still thankfully with me!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: From April To June!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: From April To June!: Hi! It's me again, Molly May. Spring at our house was really different. In April my Daddy went with Mom one morning, and he didn't c...

From April To June!

Hi! It's me again, Molly May. Spring at our house was really different. In April my Daddy went with Mom one morning, and he didn't come home with her. When Mom came home very late that night, she was so tired, and she tried to explain, but I am just a doggy.  I wasn't sure what she was telling me. 

Every day she left early and came home late, but Daddy still wasn't with her. I felt bad, cause I thought maybe he was never coming home. I tried to be brave, and I tried to understand, but I am just a doggy. I do know I missed him a lot! He's a good Daddy. Well I adjusted to our new plan, eating dinner late, taking walks late, and shorter walks, cause Daddy doesn't want us out far from home after dark. Then snuggle time. Oh my! I knew I could snuggle with Mom, but I kept laying on Daddy's side of the bed.
After all, I had to protect Mom. 

I barked a warning at every sound. I stayed awake very long, so Mom would be safe. That's hard for a doggy who needs her rest!  After a week, things got a little better. Mom got home sooner, and I got my long walks. Whew! What a relief! Mom was happier too, but I still missed my Daddy. Mom said he was at a place to help him get better. Then one day, she came home after lunch, and took me with her in the car! I was scared, cause I didn't know where we were going. Cars can be fun, but they could also be Doggy doctor, or nail trims. 

We pulled up to a beautious building, and went inside. People said "Hello, Doggy." We got on an elevator, which is a little scary, and went up. We walked down a short hall, and into a room, and guess what? There on the bed was MY DADDY!  Yippee Skippee, I was so glad. I jumped up and gave him kisses! He rubbed my belly, and once I knew he was o.k. I wanted to explore. It was so fun!

I visited him another time, and then the day came when Daddy walked in our door, and he was home! He was home for two whole weeks, and it was happy happy time! Now he is back to work. Mom and Dad leave me sometimes, but that's o.k. Cause things are normal again! Now it's June, and those days in April, May, and June turned out alright. I like it when we are all together and I am glad I didn't forget my Daddy even if he was gone so long! Love to you all, Molly

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Brave And Strong

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Brave And Strong: I love it when God talks to me. There are so many times in my walk with Jesus, that I have heard His voice, felt His nudge, and looked in Hi...

Brave And Strong

I love it when God talks to me. There are so many times in my walk with Jesus, that I have heard His voice, felt His nudge, and looked in His face. You may be saying, "How can that be?" I know, how can our God talk to us, when we can't see Him or touch Him. I am here to tell you He has, and He does.

When I first accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior in the early 80s, I was at our sister-in-law's and John's brother's house in Tucson. I grew up going to Church, and was there whenever the door was open, but it was all just actions. Jesus was not in my heart, and I continued to live my own selfish, sinful life. When I actually asked for forgiveness for my sins, and asked Him to change me, and turn my life around, Joy bubbled up and out of me. I was spiritually reborn, and my eternity was sealed forever.

All that to tell you about the first time He actually spoke to me. It was several weeks later, back at home, and satan was messing with my mind. I started to doubt that God was with me. I felt alone, and the joy was pushed back to the edge of my mind. I remember asking, Lord, why did you go away? Where are you?" In the stillness of my bathroom, Jesus spoke. It was as clear as if He were standing there. He said, "My child, I have not gone anywhere. It is you that moved away from me." He was right, I was too new a Christian, and I let the world intrude! After that we got into a Bible believing Church, where our wonderful Pastor mentored me, and helped me to grow in God's word.

Over the years I in my human skin have gotten sidetracked, and did not travel the desert I was in very well. I thought it was all about me, and I was still filled with pride, anger, and selfishness. God did not leave me there. Each time I fall He picks me up, dusts me off, and teaches me His way. Was I a fast learner....No! Our God is so patient. He brings my hidden sins to mind, and gently shows me the right path. Sometimes He speaks direct, sometimes He uses other believers, and sometimes, He brings me to my knees, until I learn. 

If you don't know Him personally, that may seem harsh, but what loving Father doesn't discipline their children? Jesus whispered to me along the way, "I love you too much to leave you where you are." Sometimes if I am too stubborn to listen, I love what He has done for me. Whatever it is I need to get, He will put in my path over and over and over until I get it. It may start as part of a sermon, the next day it may be a scripture I am reading, and then, maybe in some other reading. Over and over the exact message comes to me, and then I know it is what Jesus wants me to know and remember, and act on.

Several years ago, I was out walking our dog Samson. I was in a pit, desperate for answers. God put in my mind a picture of how my sin makes Him feel. I literally felt His anguish, His sadness and His hurt. I started to cry. I couldn't stop. I was totally heartbroken. I don't think I have ever since had that vivid a picture of my Savior, or cried that hard. That is when His spirit gave me the spiritual gift of empathy. When I do counseling or minister to others, I absolutely feel their pain in me. It is hard sometimes,but a huge blessing I am grateful for.

Most other times, Jesus talks to me in a still small, voice. I am still learning, but I am able to leave things in His hands, and don't let the world, or stress affect me. Yes, I am still in my human skin, so I still fall down. But down time is shorter. I have  especially  learned through journeys God has taken me on this past year, that He knows me, He loves me, and He has my life in His hands. He speaks, and I hear His voice. I speak to Him, and He already has it taken care of.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: What Might Have Been

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: What Might Have Been: Do you ever play the what if game? You know, what if I had been taller, prettier, richer, or smarter? I don't spend a lot of time there,...

What Might Have Been

Do you ever play the what if game? You know, what if I had been taller, prettier, richer, or smarter? I don't spend a lot of time there, because God has blessed me with a wonderful life! Sounds like a movie title, doesn't it? There are, however a few things I have wondered "what if?" I wonder what I would have done with my life if I had been encouraged to do what I really wanted to do. I wanted either to be a nurse or a Veternarian. I had no self confidence, so both seemed out of my realm of intelligence. I was convinced I was not smart enough to get through the schooling. No one told me any different.

I have also wondered what if I had pursued my other passion, writing from an earlier age. Would I have been a greatly published author? Would I have written into others' lives with wisdom and compassion? Once again, I didn't think I stood a chance. I was an avid reader from an early age. I lived in the lives of the characters I met. How could I have enough talent to compare to the authors I read. They were wonderful...I was not. No one told me I could.

I was a lonely little girl, so I lived in a world of my imagination. I also lived in a world, where I was convinced I was not good at anything. I had talents, but never as good as someone else. I got lost in the shuffle. What if I had grown up as someone else's' child? Would they have told me I was enough, that I could do anything I set my mind to? No one told me About that other family.

When I met Jesus and accepted Him as my Savior, Lord, and friend, He told me a lot about me. I am still learning. My husband also has my back. He encourages me, and God has used him to restore my worth.  When Jesus gave me back to my birth family in 2000, I learned even more. I learned that they were very different from my adopted family. So I went down the what if road once again.

I know I wouldn't have been a lonely child, because there were seven others. I wonder what it would have been like to have big sisters and brothers to watch out for me. Again God has shown me I am very much a product of that family in a big way, but also a part of me is what my growing up environment gave me. In my case I needed both to become what God intended.

I still wonder what if sometimes, but I am so blessed with what God has done in my life. I have a big family filled with love and support, and prayers whenever it's needed. My love for animals and the medical field never went away. So God has given me a voice for abused animals, He has given us sweet pets for me to love and care for. Medically I have been blessed to nurse family through tough times. I have read a lot, so the basic medical terms are understandable when one of us goes to the doctor. I am able to visit others in the hospital and relate to what they are dealing with. 

The biggest what if is now a reality. God gave me the opportunity to complete a three year writing course, to become a columnist, a free lance writer for newspapers and publications. And I wrote a book, and became a published author. He gave me a Blog to share encouragement with others. Am I as good as other authors, no. Am I everything I what if
dreamed about, not exactly. God knew my heart, my dreams, and He worked them into my life. He is in charge, and He has given me peace. Now if I "What If", it's just for fun, and not because I wish I were different. What if my life was blessed beyond words?   Well....It Is!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: One Of Life's Treasures!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: One Of Life's Treasures!: Marriage is a treasure. It was God's plan from the beginning, that one man(Adam) and one woman (Eve) would be joined together for life. ...

One Of Life's Treasures!

Marriage is a treasure. It was God's plan from the beginning, that one man(Adam) and one woman (Eve) would be joined together for life. I'm not trying to be insensitive, or judgemental, but God's word clearly tells me He did not put Adam with Bill, or Eve with Jane. With that said, marriage is a treasure for life. 

You would probably agree that married life has it's ups and downs. You would agree that making a good marriage takes work. You have probably heard that marriage is a 50/50 proposition. That is not true. Marriage is 100/100 %. Are you living out your wedding vows? I am. 

For better or worse. What does that mean to you? To me it means some days I am not so nice. I get tired, pain flares, and suddenly, the
day is all about me at my worst. When that happens, my husband is called to be sympathetic, understanding, and loving. Husbands have bad days too. Frustrated, overworked, dealing with his own pain, he too needs understanding and love. Easy? No, it isn't. What if both you and your spouse have the same bad day? That's when one or the other chooses to let go of self for the sake of the other.

For better or worse. When one of you makes a mistake, or hurts the other's feelings, or one messes up the finances that's when your spouse forgives and forgets. This one needs to be in large supply, because as humans we mess up a lot. We need each other's forgiveness even when the injured party doesn't feel like it.

For richer or poorer. You will experience both aspects in married life. This is usually the cause of many arguments. In rich times it's easy to get along. You buy things, you go places, and life is hassle free where money is concerned. It is also easy to slip into lean times. Times when money is short. Tempers can flare and our favorite game comes into play, the "Blame Game." You will find that the love you have for each other doesn't change whether you have money or not. I learned that the hard way. Money problems have to be shared in the good and the lean. I messed up over and over. To avoid confrontation, which I am lousy at, I hid the mess, and I lied about it. I am blessed with a husband who forgave me and then did all he could to help me change, so I could do it God's way. Sharing even the bad is better than doing things alone.

In sickness or in health. I don't know about you, but I take great comfort in having my husband near when I am sick. He may not be able to do anything, but he is there. We have both seen each other through surgeries, sickness, and hospital stays. In April this year, my husband had major surgery. After a week in the hospital he had to go to a rehab facility. I spent every day with him, doing what I could for him, even though the days were long, and I was concerned about him. It was hard, and totally wore me down, but I was glad to do it, and I know he would do the same for me.

That's what married couples do for each other. When one is weak, the other is strong. It is commitment till death us do part. You may have reached this point of living and working together as one. If not, I am sorry. If you have, enjoy every day as the couple God intended you to be.

When my husband was in rehab, I had a chance to watch other couples. Like us, they were older, and had walked this road for many years. Like us they spent their days together, while one regained strength. That struck me as a beautiful picture of a marriage. Spouses helping their mate eat, sitting in therapy cheering from the sidelines, or pushing a wheel chair.  I watched these couples, and wherever they went, they went hand in hand! They were comfortable together, regardless of their situation. They had weathered the storms of life, with all the ups and downs, and ins and outs. They had a wonderful treasure of lifelong love. They completed each other....they were one!

Monday, June 1, 2015