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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Grandparents Long Ago

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Grandparents Long Ago: I remember my grandparents. I visited them once a month growing up. I never spent a week with them. I never spent the summer with them. They...

Grandparents Long Ago

I remember my grandparents. I visited them once a month growing up. I never spent a week with them. I never spent the summer with them. They didn't take me on trips, or to Disney World, or any where. In the days of the 40s and 50s, they were already old, before they were old. Memories are fleeting, but never the less memorable. 

My adopted Mom's parents had once lived in luxury, but when I became a part of the family, income was limited. Grandpa was tall, slightly stooped with a bad back. He had the thickest, whitest hair I have ever seen. He was ornery and liked to tease me, and yet, he would sit for hours and let me comb and pin curl his hair. He had a few pigs and chickens on his small acreage that he let me help feed when I was there. I was a city girl so that was very cool. I remember asking him once about the curl in their tails. He said, "I pin curl them every night!" Only the twinkle in his eye tipped me that he was teasing.

Grandpa had a limp, used a cane, and often had a small bottle of whiskey in his pocket. He assured the family it was strictly medicinal. I don't remember much about my grandmother. She was always sick, and she died when I wasn't too old. I do remember she had beautiful dishes, and a storeroom in the attic full of wonderful old things. My cousins and I spent many hours going through old clothes, old letters, and things I no longer remember.

It was a magical place for me. While our parents were busy talking, we were upstairs playing, and finding endless treasures packed away. Every piece of furniture was still beautiful, and would have delighted any antique dealer. Once in a while if we stayed over night, I slept in a white metal framed bed. The spokes were molded together in such a way, that parts of it looked like small skulls. Grandpa had a huge old phonograph with a horn that played old 78 records. 

The stairs up were the scariest part. They were long, narrow and steep. I was always afraid I would fall down them. Once at the top we had our choice of several bedrooms, and the storage room to play in. We dressed up in Victorian era dresses, large hats with feathers, long white gloves, and high top button shoes. We found the shoe hook, but none of us were very good at using it. We cousins had fun anyway. I wonder if they remember?

The house had a screened wrap around porch we played on, and there was a cellar door we could slid down. The cellar still had canned goods in it that friends and neighbor's and family supplied them with. It was a small, dark, damp smelling place, but we cousins did like to explore.  When Grampa died, I was in high school. Those last days of cleaning out all those treasures was a sad time I got some of the funiture, and my grandparents wedding certificate, and a wonderful rocking chair. The chair belonged to my great grandfather, who hand crafted it, and brought it with him when he immigrated from Sweden.

I am grateful God let me share this part of my growing up. These memories are treasures that were happier times. There are only a few cousins left now, and
only the memories of the things we shared. That world was a gentler, simpler time. Simple things like that still make me happiest!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Pride....Sin With Attitude!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Pride....Sin With Attitude!: Here's the thing about pride, it is sneaky. You don't always realize you are being prideful. Pride can hide as ordinary behavior, an...

Pride....Sin With Attitude!

Here's the thing about pride, it is sneaky. You don't always realize you are being prideful. Pride can hide as ordinary behavior, and become disguised. It is often disguised as a noble deed until God unmasks my motivation and confronts me. The joy of walking with God 24/7 day after day, is that beautiful, gentle, loving nudge of instruction.

When Jesus teaches me, and the light goes on, it is truly a wonderful feeling. More often than I would like, I do things with wrong motives. I don't always see how that looks to God, until He shows me. Sometimes God uses scripture, sometimes a sermon, and sometimes the wise words of my husband John. Most recently He used our Pastor Curt's Sunday
message.

This came out of the blue, and blind sighted me. That's usually the way it is, and why God is so precise in our training! Many heard that message, but for me it was perfect for me to hear at that time. God's ways are always individual, uniquely for our situation, perfect, and humbling. What God showed me was, I am still hanging on to a part of my past hurts. I had a verbally abusive past, and even though God has walked me through it, and I have forgiven, I am still holding a part of that hurt. It is like my badge of honor as a survivor.

I had vowed to deal with it, then leave it behind, but slowly I pulled it back out, and pridefully hung on to it. "See world....I was verbally, emotionally abused, but I am a survivor." I was proud of the pain, and the past, because it made me unique, and it was a stronghold I let lie to me about who I am. God showed me through this message, the pride that enjoys hanging on. It was my crutch. I made choices, and did wrong because of the way I was raised. That may be true, but that is not who I am. I am special and unique because God gave me life. God in me is what leads me now.

The time has come to acknowledge my stronghold, and declare it my enemy! It is never easy to admit you are full of pride. I don't like to be reminded that I have faults, and sins, but I am grateful Jesus will never leave me there. There are always new lessons to learn.

Over many years, God has used the quiet, voice of reason of my husband to show me sin I wasn't acknowledging. I used to hate that. I rebelled, I felt sorry for me. And I hated admitting I was full of pride. It does amaze me that someone who grew up with no self-confidence could still be so prideful.
Maybe because I was always put down, I developed a very protective attitude for myself. That attitude unfortunately led to pride.

Pride gave me that false sence of value. It took many years of walking with Jesus, and listening to Him to show me how convoluted my thinking had become. I have learned that when God chastises you, and you see where you fell short, and then He teaches a hard lesson, with the right path, it is freeing! It is like holding your breathe for a long time, and then breathing again!  It's refreshing, and freeing.

I hated when I found I was not as great as I thought, and my husband lovingly pointed it out. 
It made me feel so inadequate. That was the old stronghold of my past rearing it's head. I may still not like to have my faults out in front of me, but I am grateful that John holds me accountable.

The latest lesson, I thought was very unjust, but as usual, it was something I needed. I post a lot on Facebook. When John pointed that out, I was hurt, and a little angry, and a whole lot defensive. I post a lot of encouragement, prayers, and Biblical truths, so I thought that justified it. Through my husband's comments, I had to admit, if I am honest, I also do it for me. Ouch!  There was that old enemy pride again. I like having others notice my words. I like when friends agree with me. I do sometimes lose track of my real motives, and let my ego, my pride rule.

My initial motives are to minister to others, and I care so much for my friends and family, I love sharing encouragement. I can't ignore the fact that my pride is in there too. Accolades are addictive. I didn't ever have much of that in my growing up years, so a part of me believes I need that to complete my identity. Yes, God will keep working on me until I join Him. These are hard lessons sometimes, but I am loved, I am important, and I have a God and a husband who have my back!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Why Me Lord?

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Why Me Lord?: When troubles hit, are you grounded? Do you stand firm in your belief that God will take care of the problem? Most often, we stand firm for ...

Friday, August 5, 2016

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: She Danced Into My Heart!

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: She Danced Into My Heart!: I met her when she was just three years old! She was a tiny little girl with brown hair, beautiful eyes, and freckles! She melted my heart a...

She Danced Into My Heart!

I met her when she was just three years old! She was a tiny little girl with brown hair, beautiful eyes, and freckles! She melted my heart as she danced her way into my life! She was the youngest of three. I became her step Mom along with her two brothers! The boys were fun, but I loved having a little girl to shop for, to do hair for, and to teach.

Juliane was a joy as she shared the dances she learned in dance class. She loved to sing, so many times our presence was requested in the living room, to see her latest dance and singing act! Often, she would declare, "I live to dance!" She was right! She spent her growing up years dancing her way through recitals, then musicals in high school and college! She often did choreography for others, and her crowning achievement was being accepted into a program in college that took her to work at Disney World
in Orlando for a semester.

Juliane was a bright and funny child. She hated following her brothers in school. The teachers all referred to her as James and John's little sister. She often said, "I have a name!" She often hated to eat 
And often left her plate untouched. Then later she wanted a snack. We had to keep her dinner, and reheat it when that happened. She learned fast, to eat it in the first place.

One dinner time, she taught us. We had friends over, and had a picnic in our back yard. We kept urging Juli to eat, to which she said she didn't feel good. Her Dad and I just thought she was delaying eating again. We kept urging, and she tried to eat....and then she threw up. She looked at us, and said, "I told you I was sick." As a parent do you ever feel very small?

Normally we had fun as a family, going places, doing things together. One activity she had trouble with was fishing. All three kids had fishing poles, so we went to the State Lakes to fish. I brought a blanket, books, games, for Juliane and me. It went well for awhile, and then she got bored. She finally decided to pray about it. "Lord, please let us catch some fish." I think she thought if we caught fish, we could be done! After awhile, she prayed again to catch fish. Nothing happened. Finally, her little voice, quietly prayed, "Lord please let us go home now!" That was the end of her endurance for fishing.

Then one day she was grown up! She went to Cosmetology school, and became a beautician. She also graduated with a degree in the medical field. She was married, and has given us three grandsons.
She is a mom, and will soon be a very young grandma! This bright, beautiful, witty girl is still my girl! I loved having a daughter! We haven't always seen eye to eye, but the dancer, singer, actress turned Mom and wife, is still dancing through my heart, as only a daughter can!