Thursday, January 23, 2014

Son is Always Shining

As I was driving to work this morning, this was the wondrous sight that bedazzled me. It was just before sunrise, and I was going through the list of people and things for which I'm thankful. I stopped to snap this picture with my phone, knowing full well it wouldn't do the moment justice. The morning before, it was still very dark when I drove away from home. The moon and stars were shining brightly, and I could hardly keep my eyes on the road for wanting to gaze up into the sky. As I was processing these beautiful moments, it occurred to me that the sun is always shining, even when we can't see it. When it is nighttime here, somewhere else it is daytime. Translating that into our spiritual lives, the Son is always shining, even when we are in a dark place. He is always waiting to reveal His glory when we seek it.
I recently spoke with a very dear person who lost her daughter in a traffic accident. Her daughter, like my son, was 25 years old with a bright future ahead of her. It breaks my heart to know that my friend will walk through that dark valley of grief and loneliness. It seems during that difficult time, everyone else gets to go on with their normal lives, and you can barely breathe. God carries us through the valley until we can get back to the light, where we can recognize His glory.
My mantra (not a resolution) for this year is to have an attitude of gratitude. I am taking the time to "see" the sunrise and the little things in life that I previously had taken for granted. I am abundantly thankful for the gifts God has bestowed upon me. I am thankful for the Sonshine!
Romans 13:12  "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." 

Monday, January 6, 2014


It took me a long time to create a name for this blog, one with which I could both be content and identify with. After a respite, I have finally gotten back to writing.
Let me first explain the title. -Rendered Humbled Learner-
Rendered means effected or brought about. Humbled, to me, means brought to my knees or taken down to a lower place. Learner means that I am always, and will always be learning.
When I first thought about creating a blog, I was in a very content and happy place. I had what I thought was my dream job (a tech director for a small school in East Texas), lived in a beautiful place with several acres near a lake, and my family was healthy and intact. I could get home from work, and my husband and I would hook up to the boat and have the boat down the ramp into the lake within minutes. I would ski around until I couldn't hold on any longer, and we would sit on the deck at the lake house until we were ready to go back home. What a life!
It came crashing to a stop on April 5, 2011 when I received a call from my husband. His voice belayed the urgency I immediately felt. He was in the midst of a heart attack. I got him to the local hospital, and he was airlifted to Tyler. After five days and a stent procedure, we made it back home. Things weren't the same because my husband had faced death and was angry. 
The worst possible phone call came at 3:15 a.m. on April 20th. It was the call you never expect or wish on anyone else. My son's gun accidentally discharged killing him. He was in the Army and was in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I was in Texas and had to wait a painful week to even see his body. Fighting with grief and denial, worrying about my husband's weakened state, and dealing with overwhelming decisions consumed me. We had visitation, a funeral, a memorial service at Ft. Bragg, and Mother's Day within a few weeks.
Shortly thereafter, I received a text from my superintendent saying I would be performing my tech director duties and teaching second grade for the coming school year. Needless to say, it was a challenging year.
Everyone kept telling my husband how much better he would feel after receiving a stent. He didn't. The humidity was hard on him, I was so sad, and life sort of did a u-turn. We decided we needed to get back to the Panhandle where a lot of our family lived. We made a hasty decision to move, thinking all of our unhappiness would magicly be healed. I took a pay cut, went back into a jr. high classroom, and my husband went to the ER five times that year. Grief swallowed me up that year, and I was more miserable than ever. None of what we foresaw happening came to fruition.
Fast forward, and I am now at a job that I absolutely love but not necessarily living in a place where we'd imagined. I will continue my story through the coming months. Let me leave you with this: sometimes God has a plan for you that you would never have chosen, and may have even fought. But He does have a plan for you:
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Heavy on the word HOPE! Until next time...