Category Archives: Trust

To Be or Not To Be

Famous quote ~ “To be or not to be..” ~ my friends, that IS the question of the day. Lately I have experienced a lot of tragic circumstances in my life, the main being the passing of my mother. I still tend to pick up the phone to call her. Especially on these days that the walls of life seem to feel as if they’re caving in. Yes, I miss her and especially talking with her and getting advice from her; yet, the answers come to me as if she were on the end of the phone ~ always pointing me in one direction ~ God and His Word.

Yes, to be or not to be, it’s all up to me ~ and you. First, let’s take this in the mild top layer, success and happiness. It is totally up to us as individuals whether or not we will be successful and happy. To rely on someone else for either is a mild form of either ignorance or stupidity. Was that blunt and to the point? Yes. Does that make it not true? No. I have to continuously remind myself when I start feeling bummed that it’s up to me to make myself happy. Yes, there are those “low” days and sometimes phases that no matter how hard we try, for some reason we’re feeling bummed. Answer: pray it away. If not for yourself, pray for someone else. Repeat until all better. LOL. Sounds simple, it is. See, there was a time where I hated being alone and one particular night really stands out. I was dating someone who was agnostic and I didn’t want him to leave because I just felt so alone. His response before leaving, “If what you believe is true, you’re never alone.” Wow!!! That truly hit home! Why? Because it is the truth!!! A lot of times our unhappiness comes from the ‘feeling’ of being alone. Put on some good upbeat music, after praying of course, and start dancing, cleaning, whatever may take your mind off of how you ‘feel’ for it’s just that ~ a feeling; and feelings come and go. Tomorrow’s another day.

As always, everything has it’s layers. Let’s take a look at our Spiritual life. To be or not to be an every day Christian ~ yes, that choice is always up to me, and you. What does that mean? Have mercy people, open up your Bibles and read what that means! Loving and forgiving others, giving to those who are in need, not judging others; and the list goes on. Now, some people think that there’s so much you can’t do if you’re a Christian and living a Christian lifestyle. Again, read the Word ~ if you look closely you’ll find there’s a whole lot more do’s than there aren’t don’ts; so if you spend your time doing the do’s you don’t have time to even think about the don’ts. Ever feel like your life isn’t ‘exciting’? Go ahead, start walking everyday with Jesus and get ready for the ride!

Digging down deep now. Let’s take a look at our home lives as spouses. Our marriage, to be or not to be. “Things just aren’t like they used to be.” Nope, sure not. People grow up, have children, responsibilities and all of a sudden there’s the feeling of “I don’t have a life.” My friends, yes you do. That IS life! Satan continuously attacks in the home putting thoughts of what we’re “doing without” and our fleshly desires and he’s good at it. You have to realize it for what it really is. All of us have a tendency at some point or another of bringing up the past when disagreeing. Stop it! Satan wants you to look at the past so you can’t even believe in a wonderful future that God has in store! We’re human. We have flaws and we make mistakes. In 1 Corinthians 13 there is a verse that specifically states, and I’m paraphrasing, that love does not keep count of wrongs. Look it up! That’s God’s instructions! So, at this point we have a choice when we feel like all hope for our marriage is gone: our way or God’s way. To bring this “Christian” lifestyle and thoughts into our marriage will make your decision whether this marriage is to be or not to be.

Yes, we need to look back once in a while so we don’t continue to make the same mistakes. At the same time, don’t pitch a tent and camp there ~ there’s too much of a future ahead of you and you don’t want to miss out on what God has in store for us! God loves you and forgives you daily, show this love to others, especially within your own family. In every aspect of your life you have a choice. To be or not to be ~ you decide.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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Where are You?

On June 7, 2014 I received a call I was not ready for ~ my mother passed away. It wasn’t as if it were a total shock for she was 93 years old and had lived a wonderful life. There just wasn’t a forewarning of her going to the hospital, getting worse ~ nothing. I received a phone call from my sister and she told me she had been at Mama’s all day, my only response during her pause was “OK. What’s up? Is anything wrong?” A silence came over the phone and then I heard those heartbreaking words ~ “Mama’s gone.” At that point I fell to my knees in tears as my sister spoke to me trying to help me through the phone line. Assuring words we all hear at this time “She’s in a better place” just didn’t matter at the moment. I am so grateful Peter, my husband, was here that day. I don’t think I could have made it without him. I called my son, my Pastor and friend, Bob Stacy and other family and friends so they would know. Within the next week me, Peter and my son, Marcus, made arrangements and travelled to Florida for the funeral only to turn around and come straight home. The two men in my life were there for me when it mattered the most.

I was expecting a funeral that would be about my mother but it wasn’t ~ it was about salvation. You see, my family meant the world to Mama and in her heart, so did their salvation and their walk with God. She truly lived a Christian life by example and anytime my life went astray she would always tell me I needed to get back into Church, have a long talk with God and get my life straight; not necessarily in that order either!

About a month and a half prior a girl came to my house and while we were talking she opened up to me all of her problems and issues in her life. My response was “So, how is your spiritual life?” This question was asked by Bob Stacy during our marital counseling and I never quite understood it until these last few months. I find myself asking people this question to help guide them back to God and His Word for answers and guidance.

I’m sure by now you are wondering what this has to do with my mother passing away. Nothing. But they do intertwine. I wasn’t prepared for the phone call even though I lived with Mama for a couple years and saw her health decline. Yes, it did help in the grieving for over those two years I periodically broke down as I saw that I was losing my mother. Here’s the question(s): Where are you? Are you prepared to meet Jesus? How’s your spiritual life these days? No, it doesn’t matter what church you were brought up in or belong to ~ how’s YOUR spiritual life? Are you talking with God? Are you in His Word? Are you seeking His guidance?

In closing I would like to remind everyone to take the time and look closely at your spiritual walk with an honest eye. Just as I was not prepared for the phone call, are you prepared for the Angels to blow their horns? If today was the day you would meet Jesus face to face ~ are you ready? Don’t just assume you are, make sure you are ~ know where you are.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Identity Crisis!!!

I don’t know about the rest of you but lately I am going through some serious identity crisis issues! It really boils down to my life changing from being able to live doing anything I put my mind to, to a life of hardly being able to do anything. There’s a big difference in being born with some disabilities than having them occur later in life.

Within the course of my life I have accomplished most anything I put my mind to. Let’s look at the list: President’s Physical Fitness Award, Beta Club, Honor Roll, 1st chair 1st clarinet in band, majorette, A.S. in Computer Programming, B.S. in Biology/Chemistry with a 3.924 GPA, worked in accounting, legal secretary, owned a bookkeeping business, traveled playing piano, recorded CDs, music director for Anni in Theatre, EMT, even a black jack dealer! The list actually goes longer if I look at smaller stuff. Not to mention mother and wife and now Grandma. Hmmm, with this list one would kinda’ wonder where someone could feel insecure and lost? I lost my capability to do most everything overnight. I am finding it hard to be content with “just being”. Since I have played the piano since the age of 5 my self-esteem has always relied on my accomplishments. I have always had a lust for life and living it to its fullest ~ now to find myself spending most of my time sitting watching life go by and not being able to “live” as I once knew life. It can leave one feeling dead while they’re alive.

I think everyone has had this empty feeling from one degree to another. It’s not something that you have to have disabilities to relate to. The feeling of just merely existing. Why does this happen? What causes this? How do we conquer this feeling? Oh yeah ~ like there’s a simple answer to these questions!

One thing we all tend to do is to allow our identity to be what our job is, what car we drive, the income we make, our abilities, etc. And yet, it’s ignorant for us to continually think this way as Christians. One thing I am learning is just how useless I really am. This blanket statement is really for everyone though ~ without God we ARE useless. As Christians our identity is being a child of God, our abilities and everything else are gifts. So, why do we allow ourselves to get hung up in everything else? We’re human. We’re all Peter. Think back to when he was walking on the water. As long as he kept his eye on Jesus he was fine. Once he took his eyes off Jesus he started sinking. That’s basically the answer to all questions in my opinion.

In closing I would like to remind you to keep your eyes on Jesus. If you start feeling bad about your life, your accomplishments, etc. just remember ~ Jesus, the Son of God, came down in human form and was a true humble servant. Should we think we should be more than that? When we get to the core of our lives, we are not here for us, it is not all about us ~ we are here for Him and His purpose.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Disabled yet Abled

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As I wait for the answer from filing for disability our financial reigns get tighter and tighter. I called my attorney and was told that there was a small amount I could bring in and it wouldn’t affect the case. There was a restaurant that was thinking about hiring me to fix the carry out bags. Once they realized that Sunday morning and night and Wednesday night was out of the question due to my commitment to the church choir I was not what they needed. Anywhere I went I was not able to lift certain amounts and stuck to my guns about the time I have set aside for worshipping God. It didn’t bother me at all that things didn’t work out because of me sticking to my guns about my prior commitments to the choir; although, having to admit what I am not able to do has yet torn me apart again.

Having limitations after being independent my whole life has been, and still is, quite a daily struggle. I have always been able to do whatever it took to make ends meet and get the bills paid. Now, my whole life is twisted 180 degrees. Accepting that I have to file for disability was hard enough; much less to continue to have to try to explain to others about invisible disabilities. I don’t mind explaining; what I do mind is people judging what they don’t understand. My qualifications are off the chart between college degrees and previous job experiences. For financial stresses to be as they are and not being able to take the jobs offered to me because of my qualifications, I truly look in the mirror and wonder ‘why.’

So ~ the question boils down to what can I do? Well, yes I am disabled. As the title also reads “yet abled.” I am able to continue to put my faith in Jesus. I am able to worship His name and call on Him for the comfort I need through these emotional dark moments. I am able to witness to others how great our God is with the disabilities as a part of my life. I am able to share my experiences with you praying that it may touch at least one of you. Yes, I am disabled but definitely abled as well! Remember Phil. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.”

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

In The Midst of The Storm

It has been approximately six weeks since I have written. I am happy to be back. Ever notice how much life is planned out and looks great on a piece of paper ~ that is, until life happens. I have been staying in Florida to take care of my mother since January of 2011 and visiting my husband once every 3 months for a week or so. A week before I planned to travel home for 3 weeks this time, my mother fell and fractured her pelvis bones. I camped in the hospital for 5 days and nights with her and was able to rest and pack once she was moved to rehab. She was doing better so I continued my trip as planned to make my own doctor appointments. Within the time frame she went home and almost fell again ~ the results were her being so dependent on someone physically that my next visit would be to pack up all of my belongings and move back home. At the same time I got back from Florida with everything to finally unpack, the exact same day my son, his wife and two children moved in as well. He had gotten laid off and things had gotten bad quickly. At this point there are 4 adults, 2 kids and 3 dogs under the same roof. The mere fact that I haven’t gone to jail within the last 3 weeks has been proof that God truly exists and how wonderful His grace is! 🙂

I am facing many storms right now as you are too. We had not had the chance to start saving for whenever I came home for good so how we are going to make ends meet is all in God’s hands. The haunting sadness that I had to leave my mother in someone else’s hands due to my own limitations and that she is slowly drifting away; being the ‘strong’ mother for my son and his family while they face their trials ~ yes, we all have our storms we are facing every day.

Am I afraid? Sometimes, yes. The good part is that it’s ok to be afraid. In the Bible, and I’m paraphrasing here, we are told that when we are afraid to trust in Him; not if but when. Peter was walking on water with Jesus in the storm and was fine until he became afraid and it was then he started sinking. The reason was he took his eyes off of Jesus. He is our beacon in the darkest of storms that will guide our paths.

I want to urge you all, along with myself, to keep your eyes on Jesus throughout all of your storms. He is the Lighthouse!

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home…

When Tears Fall

Last night I was blessed by chatting with some Facebook friends I have made in the Philippines. One of them being a young girl whose parents’ home was destroyed in the typhoon. It now appears that her college will have to wait and this saddens her. She is truly devoted to her family and is trying to find a job to help. As she put it ~ a lot for a 17 year old.

We chatted for a couple of hours, which for me turned into wee hours of the morning due to time difference. My fatigue today and pain in my hands (arthritis) from typing so much was well worth it. Everyone wants to be strong and doesn’t want to let others see them cry. Crying is seen by most as a weakness but not in my book. It actually takes courage to cry and admit to yourself that you’re sad and/or emotionally exhausted. I also can never see crying as a weakness for in the Bible is the shortest verse ~ “Jesus wept.” Jesus was not weak in any way and yet even he cried.

The physical aspect of when someone cries is an emotional release which is healthier than keeping things bottled in. Stress builds up when negative emotions keep piling up which will harm the body. So yes ~ cry, scream, go take a walk, get into a cleaning frenzy ~ whatever works for you to release everything. It’s only after you do that your mind clears and you can start taking positive actions.

Life is full of it’s ups and downs. It is boot camp for heaven for it’s through these trials we learn to walk in faith. We always want to ‘fix’ things and this frustration comes when we find we’re not succeeding. The problem here lies we aren’t turning it over to God. My point of view is to turn it over to Him, he’s up all night! If He can create this whole universe I’m sure my issues are a walk in the park.

In closing ~ it’s when we feel we’re reaching the end of our limits when tears begin to fall. That is also the point at which God can start doing something because you finally are letting go of it.

God Bless you all ~ and may you let Him wipe away your tears.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Signs of Life

God has blessed me with His grace but left me out with grace walking in high heels. OK, so not just high heels, more like walking itself. My parents even found out it would be cheaper to buy me a pair of crutches when I was young. Unfortunately, sprained and broken ankles followed me into my adulthood as well. If nothing else I learned the one fact about pain ~ it reminds you that you are alive! Even emotional pain reminds you of this. Many times we get our heart broken and don’t feel we can go forward. When we take a moment to look back in time though we realize we obviously found a way. There’s always good that comes from pain. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? If someone hurts your feelings at least it shows you have a heart that is caring and loving. That in itself is a sign of life.

Remember when our children started walking and got many bumps and bruises, and it was up to us to ‘kiss and make better’ and yet we encourage them not to give up and keep trying. That lesson we teach them is the hardest to apply in life. The bruises will go away. The one saying we’re used to hearing is to take life one day at a time, one step at a time. Again, go back to an infant learning to walk. Part of walking is falling. Take that concept and bring it into your adult life. You’re going to fall, you’re going to get hurt, and that is life. There will be pain in your life and tears. These are all signs of life.

The wonderful part is that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted. When we become saved, we are born again ~ once again learning to walk. As Christians we will fall, we will hurt, we will be hurt, we will have tears ~ we also have Jesus to turn to for our healing just like our parents were there for us, and we are there for our children. Remember, this is God the Father. As long as we keep getting up each time we fall, there’s always a sign of life.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Proof of Faith

Day by day we encounter the unexpected, otherwise known as life. The budget looks great on paper, until…; the trip was going smoothly until…; break it down even smaller, the day was going great, until… Yes, life happens and we are never 100% prepared no matter how hard we try. Those who live with faith in God tend to handle these times a little better than those who try it on their own. Then again, remember most of us have learned by trying on our own to have that faith.

Is there proof that faith in God really helps? Look in the scriptures. Noah was told to build an ark when there was a serious drought going on. By having faith and obedience in God he did and was saved from the flood. Moses was at the Red Sea with armies chasing to slaughter all of them. Through obedience and faith he raised his staff as instructed and the seas were parted. Abraham just packed everything up and left not knowing where he was going to go but had faith in God that all provisions would be taken care of. Serious paraphrasing here ~ Jesus does tell us that if he would take care of a sparrow’s needs, don’t we think we’re more valuable than that sparrow to him?

Now it’s time to take a look at ourselves. When we encounter an until…do you panic? Do you worry? Do you immediately pray or do you take it on yourself and then if you can’t work it out, then pray? Most of us fit into the latter category. We always tend to want to be in control and just jump in and take care of it, no matter what it is. How many times do you stop and pray for guidance before you do?

In closing, my thought/question for the day is ~ do live your life with faith in God or just claim you have faith in Him? Can others who know you see this faith as they could with Abraham? Does your life show others proof of faith? Always remember, the way you live your life is a testimony to others.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Gains and Losses

In the world of business decisions are made by looking closely at the gains and losses of investments. Analysis, budgets and many other reports by specialists are constantly being run and rerun before any action is taken. Once in a great while someone goes by their gut instinct, some call it a hunch, and ignore all of the numbers in the reports and go for it. Sometimes it turns out, sometimes it doesn’t. There are cases that companies have gone bankrupt only because of making that one decision; although, sometimes it has nothing at all to do with any decisions. After 9-11 happened the amount of businesses that folded were numerous which shows how it’s not always the business owners fault if it goes under.

This is not just in the world of business. We find ourselves always checking the numbers to make sure the bills can be made. The wonderful budget that lies in front of you always looks great ~ that is until life happens. We are not always prepared for emergencies and find ourselves re-working the numbers, otherwise known as “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.” When it comes to having to purchase a new car, another home or any big investment, like major business owners we consult the numbers over and over to make sure it’s doable. Going into such an investment with numbers on the paper that support the decision doesn’t guarantee it will work out because once again, we have no control of the future.

The one thing that doesn’t fit our logical sense of profits, investments, gains and losses is a decision to do something when you know ahead of time you’re going to lose. To complicate it more is the thought of doing something that causes you to lose and someone else to gain. How many of us would be willing to give someone else everything we have and walk away with nothing? None of us would, not one. We would be willing to share as long as we would still have something but to walk away with nothing and give it all to someone else? Not! We are greedy by nature.

One person did the unthinkable ~ Jesus. He knew from the beginning of time that he would have to give his life for us to have salvation. Not just that, he also knew HOW he would die and how he would be treated. To top it all off he knew that even after he died on the cross he would still be rejected by most men. That decision doesn’t make sense when we think of gains and losses. Jesus was the Son of God and didn’t have anything personal to gain by his decision. He died on the cross out of love so we could have ~ His loss became our gain.

I will close with a short thought. The next time you don’t feel loved, you feel like you’ve done so much for everyone else and are forgotten by others; remember ~ Jesus thought of you when he made his decision.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

I Needed That!!!

Yesterday I was talking with Peter about getting published. Of course, everyone dreams of their book being a best seller, but I spoke with him about the flip side of reality ~ the possibility that it may not do that well. His response was perfect in every way!! He said, “But it’s not up to you or even the publishing company ~ it’s up to God how well it will do. Just leave it all in His hands.” I said, “Thanks, I needed that” Trying to stay humble and not get hopes high I did the one thing I tell others not to do and that is look at the worst case scenario. Of course, in a lot of ways it is good to do that. The one thing we always tend to forget is that God is in control and He makes the impossible possible!!

I am finding that when I write daily it has become my own devotion. Actually, most of what I write about on here are reminders to myself as well. A few short minutes ago I was talking with a friend, Geri Bowden, about how tired I am and I had to write. It’s not like it was washing dishes or laundry, something that is just second nature. I actually have to think!! I had told her what Peter had said and she gave me the idea to write about that. Again, I found myself saying, “Thanks, I needed that.”

Day after day we find ourselves where a light bulb turns on in a thought, in a rush to get somewhere and the light all of a sudden turns green, and the list goes on. We don’t think much about it and most of the time we find ourselves considering ourselves lucky. Once in a great while do we actually realize that it was God. When I broke my back and was laid up I went from believing in God to having a close relationship with Him. After the worst was over and looking back at who I was vs. who I became ~ I was able to say to God, “Thanks, I needed that.”

Start your day off with God and ask him for his favors throughout the day. Red lights changing, a parking space all of a sudden becoming available, etc…you will see God in action. You too will find yourself telling God quite frequently ~”Thanks, I needed that.”

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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