Friday, December 15, 2017
It will keep you focused on what is most important as the world clamors and tries to make us feel compelled to shop and give and serve for all the wrong reasons.
Take time to pause.
To acknowledge the Lord.
To seek Him and His strength.
To delight yourself in Him.
To encourage yourself in Him.
To draw near to Christ.
To listen for His voice.
To step out in faith.
To look up to heaven and say, "I believe."
Sunday, December 3, 2017
It brings about our healing full circle. Almost 3 years ago, I verbally thanked the Lord for taking Jim. This Thanksgiving as we spent some time in silent prayer, the Lord was working on Snurr's heart in ways I didn't know. We each took time sitting in the Thanksgiving chair. When we were done, Snurr lingered behind.
"Do you know why it took me so long? I thanked God for taking Daddy. It was a hard thing to do."
Oh, the preciousness of those words to me, I can't describe. But I feel lile Snurr just slammed a door in the enemy's face and has opened himself up to the Lord in a way he hadn't before.
My mind went back to the night that the Lord told me to verbally thank Him outloud. I fought it...for two weeks. Then finally obeyed. And I realize my obedience was more than just for my healing. I paved the way for my youngest son. He needed to hear me say it as much as I needed to say it. And when he was ready he followed that example.
Obey the Lord, even when it is hard. Even when it hurts. You never know whose little eyes are watching or ears are listening. You have no idea how God will use your example in another's life.
Quarts of corn.
Boxes of cereal.
50 lbs. of ground venison.
Two large sacks of potatoes.
Over the last several weeks, the Lord prompted the heart of different families at different times to give these things to us.
As usual, I am overwhelmed by the Lord's tender care of us.
He is our Great Provider.
And He never ceases to amaze me how He does it.
Thank You, Lord. And may the boys always remember how You have tenderly cared for us through the years.
Twenty years ago....After all I had done against Him, after all the mess of doing things my way. The Lord came after me, loving me when I didn't even like who I was. The place is beautiful, remote, and peaceful; but that particular day I was there, I was a mess. Was I ever a mess! It was a windy March day with a sharp breeze that swished through the evergreens. Inside I felt like a whirlwind of emotions that circled around a hollow soul. My life outside of me was just as cluttered and empty. There was no one else around, but I heard my name on that wind. Seeing no one, I knew within me Who it was. And He was calling for me.
Me - the one who had stuck my fist in His face. Me - the one who had a Christian name, but who was wallowing in sin. Me - the one who had chosen to go directly opposite of what I knew His Word told me to do. Me - the one who defiled His name and dragged it through the mud. He was calling for me?!
Like a majestic king reaching out to a dirty beggar girl, He didn't look at who I was, but who He saw me as. The fact that He sought me and called my name was overwhelming. I wasn't ready that day to fall into His arms. I wasn't ready to let Him clean me up. But I knew He loved me. I knew He cared for me. And He knew my name.
Over a year later, I finally surrendered. I humbly cried out to Him. The King of kings wrapped His arms around me. He adopted me! He took me as I was and washed the filth away. It is so sacred words struggle to define it.
Last month, I felt the Lord calling me again. To revisit my Old Bethel. Time to go back and visit where I first heard Him call my name. To remember. To praise. To ponder. To rekindle. To pour out my heart. To surrender once again.
I didn't feel Him speak to me. But I felt the Lord so close. I placed another book upon His shelf like I did many years ago. I felt Him lessen a heavy burden. I was reminded of a promise in His precious Word. The chilly fall wind rushed around me causing my hair to whip me in the face. But within my soul, I felt His precious peace that passes all understanding.
Friday, November 3, 2017
I vent to God my anguish and the grief for a child I have never known takes me to a dark hole within.
God, how could this happen....while a small town goes about their business of life that a infant sits in a prison pendulum being rocked to his death? The stench of drugs looms in the air and his little sister drifts into the room and out again. But the little fellow doesn't perk up when humans enter. He has long ago learned they are indifferent to his cries. So he suffers in silence. Alone.
Only the Lord spoke words of comfort to him.
Only the Lord welcomed him home.
Only the Lord knew for days of his passing.
But the Lord is just.
The Lord will only let hidden things remain so for so long.
Soon the authorities arrive and neighbors stand appalled.
Town folk are stunned. Outraged. Grief stricken.
The world seems vile and hideous.
Parents become monsters.
And monsters are hated.
And where does all the hatred get us?
Nowhere, for the earth is full of it and is spinning into a pit of hell.
The ogres who parented this precious little one are locked up.
And yet we are all ogres.
We are all vile and sinful.
Some of us display it more fiercely than others.
How is a neglected baby that dies called murdered,
But an aborted baby is called a woman's choice?
4 months out of the womb or 4 months in.
Does it matter in the eyes of God?
The Lord's eyes see it all.
I am appalled how drugs blinded these people from caring for a precious creation of God.
I am equally appalled that women across America think they have a right to murder their children within them and not think it is equal to human sacrifices of old.
I want to vomit. I am sick with the sins of my nation. Its indifference to do gross sin in front of a holy and just God, and then whine about a God they don't believe in when He allows suffering through natural disasters and tragedies. I want to shake people out of their pleasure seeking slumber as much as out of drug induced one.
ISIS, crazy psychopaths shooting at crowds, ran over bicyclists, fires, hurricanes, floods, and the list goes on and on and on and on. What will our grandchildren say to us when they look back?
What did you do to stop the destruction, the self-destruction of the greatest nation on earth,
a nation that championed for human rights to freedom?
2 Chronicles 7:14 "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
The answer comes back to the LORD. We must turn to the LORD. Where is He everyone asks.
Where He has always been. He is a gentleman. Waiting for us to respond to His Word. Waiting for us to realize our filthiness and to cry out to him. Waiting for us to realize He is God alone. And we deserve punishment. We deserve hell. He made a way of escape. He provided deliverance, but we shake our fist at Him and demand our rights to do things our way. He has every right to squash our whiney ungrateful lumps of clay that we are.
Woe to him who strives with his maker.
Woe to him that calls evil good and good evil
Woe to him....
Woe to us, America, for not running back to Him when we see we strayed.
Like Josiah of old, we must rip our garments and weep.
We must gather together and harken to the Words of God again.
Destruction probably will still come. But at least then we would be ready
to face the living God.
We have blood on our hands and are like the harlot wiping her mouth.
We are so defiled.
So much monsters as anyone else.
We all need forgiveness, for we are all murders and ogres.
We all deserve to die a slow painful death.
We deserve torment.
We deserve hell fire.
I am sick, just sick with the vile sin of this world....
That makes me see myself as I really am.
A sinner. No better and no different than anyone else on the planet.
Only Jesus covered me with His blood when I cried out to Him.
And the Father sees them no more. I fall on my knees in praise.
Yet I weep.
I weep and weep for all the children that never got to breath. I weep for the curse their mothers are ensnared in. I weep for neglected children who never know love till the Lord holds them in heaven. And I weep for our nation that has forgotten the LORD is a righteous and just God.
Psalm 9:17 "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."
Thursday, November 2, 2017
One Child's Death Mourned, Another Celebrated
Sunday, October 29, 2017
I have been trying to focus daily on releasing my will. My son found a sun catcher that says “Let go & Let God.”
Perfect! We hung it in the kitchen window so I can look at it when I do dishes. Let… “I will work and who shall let it?” the LORD said in Isaiah 43:13b
The Lord reminded me again recently I am His. And He is free to do whatever He wants with His creation and with His child. He loves me more than anyone else I know. And He has the best plan in mind.
I must rest upon Him. Fall back and trust Him. Let Him lead when I cannot see.
To hold everything, even what is most precious to me, in an open hand,
knowing He wants to guard and protect it even more than I do.
Saturday, October 28, 2017
I have borne many burdens of prayer as an intercessor. I know the joy of victory and sorrow of defeat. I know the heavy attack that knocks me to my knees and causes me to feel the shadow of satan on my face. I know the time and sacrifices it costs me and my boys. I know the reward of seeing prayers answered and captives being set free. I also know the battle scars it leaves and the wake of destruction that can occur when the enemy wins a round. Sometimes the prayer mantle can seem so heavy....
And I am human....
The Lord called and commissioned me to war on behalf of someone recently; week after week this heavy burden was upon me. It still is. But one morning I tried to run from it and was swiftly admonished. Desertion is not an option.
My king commanded I do this till He says to stop. So it's not about how I feel. It is about duty, it is about obedience, it is about loving others like my LORD loves me, unconditionally, in a steadfast manner. Like He did when He bore the heaviness and pain of the cross for me. I own Him this, I owe Him everything...
My mind replays other heavy burdens and the victories of people who responded to God working in their lives. I stand in awe of the miracles He has done. And then my heart skips a beat and tears come as I recall those who didn't heed the LORD and the destruction that came to their household and sent ripples to all those around them.
I tremble when God gives me the real heavy burdens. Pain is inevitable. But to be idle is unthinkable. The love of Christ compels intercession and sacrifice.
So I take to heart the encouragement of a fellow warrior, don the heavy prayer mantle again, gather up my gear, and step out once again to be an armorbear for someone who is clueless to how God has caused me to war on their behalf.
I focus on the face of my Saviour and await His smile. I remember His promises. And think of the day He will wrap me in His embrace and I can lay down my gear and just rejoice continually in His presence.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Confidence is having no doubt, worry, or concern, but instead having power that nothing can hinder.
1 John 3:21b-22a says "...have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him..."
Confidence= Believing God is with us
This is not the world's counterfeit confidence of our power and ability. God confidence is in His ability and power and counting on His supernatural working. It is built on God's Word and bases strength on what God says. God wants to do something amazing in our lives even more than we do.
We lack confidence when our hearts condemns us. Satan gets us to think about our sins. We lose boldness. It is a great tactic of the enemy to hinder our prayer life. It isn't about our righteousness. It is about God's. God is greater than our hearts, greater than our sin. Confess it, seek His forgiveness, and accept it. Then get back to praying.
My friend and I were discussing high school football, and a team that has had a lot of injuries. He said "If they were more aggressive, they would hold better physical forms that would protect the body." What the team lacks is inner confidence. It would come out as being more aggressive that would end up keeping them from getting so hurt. Picture David charging down the hill to face the giant Goliath. Now that youth had God confidence!
Do you see the spiritual application? If we would have more inner confidence in God, we would be more aggressive against satan and he wouldn't end up wounding us so much. Our "form" would be better.
This applies to the whole team as well. The family. The church. As each member has greater God confidence, the whole team would be more protected, and gain more ground.
Verses on confidence:
Ps 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
Eph 3:12 In Whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him
Php 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit,
and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh
(Paul) Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.
For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence and His children shall have a place of refuge.
Friday, September 29, 2017
Armorbearers were assistants to warriors; a sidekick, if you will. They carried armor, of course, but also weapons. They needed to be strong, but also courageous. They finished off any enemy that their warrior had struck down. They watched for the enemy to attack from a blind spot to their warrior. Should the enemy wound their warrior, the armorbearer was often looked to, to finish off his warrior, so that the enemy wouldn't torment him or shame him in death.
Spiritually, we need to be strong for other warriors, encouraging them to step out in faith and helping them slay the enemy. We need to be on guard for them in prayer. We can also thrust others threw, with the Word of God and through prayer, when they have been mortally wounded by the lies of the enemy.
This takes being a tree of life to others to a whole new level. A level of warfare.
There are many different people we can be an armorbearer for: Christ, your pastor, another leader, a spouse, a friend, even the unbeliever. I hope to expound on this more in the future. For now, dear reader, just be in prayer on how you can be armorbearer and to who.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." Psalm 27:14
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Unknown to me, my church family took up a love offering for me. When it was given to me, I was so overwhelmed, in a good way!
Three weeks ago the Lord allowed that storm to happen. He kept all the trees from hitting our home, He brought help to us, and now He has provided the finances to cover the electrician's bill! See when our powerline was hit, it pulled all the wires on our pole and made a real mess. All that had to be fixed before we could have our power company hook us back up.
And the love offering was even more than that. To me, it is an earnest check from God. A promise from God that He will provide in the years to come that I have been concerned about.
Yes, God WILL provide! He will see to it.
I stand with Abraham, though on a different mountain and call it also Jehovah-jireh.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Just always remember Jesus sees, He knows & He cares! Every detail of your ❤, every need you never speak of, every burden you carry. He gets it.
Friday, August 4, 2017
Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy temple.
Choosen! The God of the whole universe chooses me, causes me to be able to come before His throne, wants me to live in His courts!
I am personally invited every moment of the day and night to come to Him. Wow!
And yet so often I linger in the distance. Distracted, doubting, and dirty...forgetting He will clean me up, He is the Desolver of doubts, and that He is waiting for me.
He is waiting for me......
I must go
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Our huge pine tree broke apart and 2/3 of the tree fell on the main power lines running along side our road. Another tree by the cemetery also blew down. In our driveway, another large branch fell on our own power line. Two trees uprooted down in the shooting range, two trees fell across the field drive, three trees came down in the south woods, and another tree fell across my trail to the creek. Countless tree branches lay around the place. I wandered around that Thursday morning in a daze and felt very overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed by all the damage,
overwhelmed by the mercy of God,
and by Saturday night I was
overwhelmed by God's goodness, and
overwhelmed by His reminder that He sees, He knows, and He cares.
For 18 years I have prayed for the trees to never fall on our house during a storm. God honored those prayers. My brother came quickly to help with a chainsaw and generator. Even though the power was out until Thursday afternoon, we had electricity to the refrigerator and could run some lights and a/c units. My brother-in-law came out Thursday and help cut up some of the wood. My brother and nephew came again Thursday and Saturday to help cut up trees. Saturday some men stopped by and offered to help cut up the huge section of pine tree laying ragged on the ground. Four boys on bikes also stopped to assist them. They made quick work of something that would have taken us hours. And Jim's cousin had vacation time and came up to help for a couple days. The boys work with him and accomplished more in two days then just us could have done in a week.
In all this outpouring of support, many emotions have swirled around our family:
The pine tree was very colossal! If we went on a hike a mile from home, we could still see the top of it. It was a marker for home. The remaining third of it is like a half blown-up spaceship pointing to the sky.
We discovered that Saturday three huge cracks in the Climbing Tree. Those cracks were a testimony to me of God's protection. That part of the tree should have fallen on the house. But they were also a sign to take action. So my brother has been working on cutting down the most dangerous limbs. Eventually, the whole thing will have to come down. This tree is close to our house and has been a favorite for my boys to play in since they could walk. It has had many forts built in it through the years, as well as a tire swing Jim hung, and a climbing rope to swing on as well. Many memories have been made in that tree. Seeing it be cut down little by little has been sad.
The shooting range is like a trap just waiting to spring. One tree fell into another into another. Limbs and branches are intertwined with several other trees. The shooting range my husband worked tirelessly on and that we have tried to maintain is a disheartening mess! It will remain as it is until the Lord gives me wisdom and peace on what to do.
The trees across the field drive were sawed up and moved out of the way so two dozen loads of brush could be hauled out of the front yard. The tree across my trail was also cut and removed, so I can at least get to one of my favorite places to think and pray. And cry....
This "not my will" stuff is hard, very hard. I am trying to not complain, to be thankful, to keep a good attitude, but it isn't easy. My inner brat wants to have a pity party, to stomp my feet, to demand God make everything easy and all sunshine and rainbows.
Monday night I found myself visiting the same hotel I released my balloons at.
What a whirlwind two months it has been!! I had to just get alone with God for a few moments. To once again release my life into God's hands. Yes, this "not my will" stuff is so hard. But really, I am trusting myself to the One who bled and died for me. To the One who loves me more than I can ever imagine, more than I will ever understand. He promised He'd make all things work together for good to those that love God and that He would make everything beautiful in His time. Even the messes of trees at our place and the swirling emotions in me and my boys, these too He will turn into something good and beautiful.
So I reread the poem, "Late at Night" and I focus on my Lord's words to me:
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
I was given several balloons on my birthday by a good friend and I took them to my retreat with me. They nicely decorated the room, but I also had another plan. Some of them needed to be released.
On the first day of my retreat, I took a solitary balloon. In my mind, I attached a label: My Will.
I released it into the wild wind. It whirled around chaotically and rose into the sky. I watched it for a long time. Thinking about how I was going to attempt to practice the same surrender to God.
On my last day of my retreat, I took three balloon that were tied together and released them as well. These ones symbolized my three children. They sailed up and away differently for the three were tied together, like I hope my sons will always be in life.
It has been over a month since then and, my oh my! What a month!
I returned from my retreat ill. It took me lots of sleep and several days to recuperate. Then a financial issue occurred. After that craziness, home owner issues. Throw in one son starting driver's ed, another one in softball, and cousins visiting. Sometimes the days felt like a whirlwind and the nights were much too short. More recent, I was in the ER waiting room for my brother. Then just two days later, I brought in my own son with a broken arm. A teenager I have mentored for the past five years, will soon be moving two states away. And another one looks like she'll be moving out of town also. None of this was my will.
In all of this I can see, though, God's will being so wise and needed. I didn't enjoy being sick, but the Lord showed me somethings while I was "made to lie down". I didn't like my brother being in the ER, but it has been brought us closer. And though watching my son have his arm manipulated back in place was difficult, surgery was avoided. And his skateboard crash could have been so much worse. In all this, the Lord surrounded me with support and needed prayers from friends and family.
Some days were so hard to look up to God and say, "Ok, not my will, but Thy will." Instead I would say, "This is hard, this hurts, this is miserable, this is so against everything within me." Then once again, I had to release my will. I must fall backwards on God's love without knowing the outcome. His love has been such a constant in my life. A strong cord in the midst of a hurricane of emotions. I know He loves me and His will is always best for me and those I love.
Monday, June 12, 2017
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
The day I got it I was feeling buried. I felt the heavy weight of life on me. I felt trapped and suffocating. This sign gave me an attitude adjustment. It reminded me that my perspective was all wrong.
A few days later as I was doing my daily devotions I read this verse:
Romans 6:5 "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:"
Like I told a friend, "I guess I better do a study on the word planted."
I was surprised how many times this word was used.
We can be like a tree planted.
Psalm 1:3 says "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
The "he" in this verse is referring to the man in verses 1 & 2 that:
- walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly
- nor standeth in the way of sinners
- nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful
- delights in the law of the LORD
- doth meditate day and night
Monday, May 15, 2017
I today I sent it in a letter to a couple who suffered a miscarriage.
And once again my acquaintance grief popped in to say hello.
My mama heart goes back many years to when I lost Benjie.
I read a quote today that once again brought tears to my eyes.
"Jesus, I wanted to hold my child in my arms and tell him about You. Will you please hold him in your arms and tell him about me?"
Jesus uses time as a great tool in healing. But I am thankful that He keeps my heart soft with tears. That I can go back and feel the loss of a precious little one so that I can pray with understanding for a couple going through a tough time.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
- an uninterrupted nap
- to not argue with each other all day
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Sounds crazy, don't it?
But let's do a quick review:
- My 28th birthday I was a happily married women with two great kids and a wonderful husband.
- My 29th birthday I was a barely functioning widow, really an emotional amputee with three sons (5, 2, and a newborn). My birthday was simply a day focused on breathing as my wounded heart bled out my eyes.
- I simply have no memory of my 30th birthday. I entered my 30's with about as much enthusiasm as a corpse.
- Most birthdays since then have been a blur. Usually full of vast emotions and learning to breathing again. Putting another school year behind us and forcing myself to walk forward.
- Certain ones stand out. I remember the cold splash of reality of being a widow longer than I had been a wife. Yet still having his missing "happy birthday" put a hole in all the well wishes of others.
- There were a couple birthdays that family did surprise parties after church. It was sweet of them, I felt showered with love, but inside was a storm.
- Then there is the birthday when my dad broke his hip. That was a memorable and crazy day for sure!
"I survived my 30's (and maybe even thrived a little) as a widow homeschool mom of three boys." The fact that the Lord did an amazing healing in my heart this last year just is icing on the cake. Turning 40 feels like a graduation.
With God's unshakeable grip on me, I have kept the faith.Through His wisdom, He has used my pain to help others. Through God's grace and provision, I have continued to homeschool the boys. I have survived, and lived over 4,000 days longer than I ever thought I would. I stumbled and fell many times, got scrapes and bruises along the way. But with the help of God, I struggled to my feet and tried again. Miraculously, I have lived to tell a tale that I thought was going to kill me. He stood against my deepest fears and healed my shattered heart. Like I said in December, "I feel as if I have finally graduated from physical therapy with prosthetic limbs and I am able to walk again. I feel that the LORD and I can hike together now toward something special up ahead. I don't know what it is, but I know the LORD is good and He knows best."
Sunday, May 7, 2017
- "Today is a gift; that's why it is called the Present!" Tomorrow isn't promised to anyone.
- My preacher is a gift to my family. He bears our burdens in prayer, instructs us in God's truth, and guides us to step out in faith and follow the Lord daily.
- The sermon is a gift. A message from the LORD personally to me. An audio letter from God. Pastor is just the speaker. It maybe be full of encouragement, or it may be like sandpaper to rub away a sharp corner of sin in my life. Either way it is a gift from the Lord who loves me and wants the best for me.
- My church family is a gift giving support, encouragement, fellowship, and accountability.
- It is estimated that 100 million Christians are persecuted around the globe. Openly meeting to worship the Living God in a place free from persecution is a gift.
- The list can go on and on.....our building is a gift, the music is a gift, the Bible is a gift, the children in my Sunday School class are a gift, my own children are a gift, my health is a gift. My vehicle that brought me there is a gift. Events in my life that brought me to this church body of believers, these too were gifts.
- God the Father giving His Son to die for me on a cross that was to have my name on it....a gift.
Friday, April 14, 2017
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
I will rise
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
And often when told "no" or "wait", we grumble and complain. The Israelites did the same thing to God on their way to the promise land. And what is really cloaked under all that murmuring and whining?
And that is exactly what the Lord reveals to me in how I respond to His answers. I am such a daughter of Eve. For I am doubting Him, not trusting in God when I respond to His "No's" and "Wait" with complaining and fretting. Oh, me of little faith.
Instead of focusing on His answers, I should be focused on my response to my Lord. My Lord.
Too often, I shamefully admit, I have said the oxymoron, "No, Lord."
Luke 6:46 says, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
So once again, I humbly bow before the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the Only Wise God and surrender myself to Him. I choose to press into my God, when my inner brat wants to pull away because I didn't get what I wanted when I wanted it. I look into the heart of my Saviour who bore the cross for me, whose blood washes away my sins, who loves me with an everlasting love, and rejoices over me with singing. I kneel before my Maker, My Healer, and choose to say "Yes".
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Snurr instantly leaned over to me and whispered loudly, "Did God give you grace, Mom?"
"Yes," I whispered with a calm, confident voice, as my brain took me back in time and rattled my soul, "God gave me grace."
He still does.
For every situation.
It is a gift the Lord has for me each morning.
It is a choice for me to open it and receive it.
It is what I breathe in deeply
when I hear troubling news,
when I am frustrated,
when I am weary,
when I look into the future,
when I face another loss,
when the enemy whispers loud accusations,
when the Lord seems silent,
when I must make tough decisions,
when I pray for a hard-hearted loved one.
Grace, I have learned, is freely given and in great heaping amounts.....
though it is given when needed, like manna from heaven, it is provided daily,
and it is my responsibility to gather it daily and look to God in faith the next day for the next need.
Even as I type this, a concern for a loved one comes.
I pause. I breath in deeply. I breathe in the grace of God for this moment.
I take my tears, my fears, and worry....I shakily exchange them for His grace.
I choose to trust in my Healer, my Creator, and the Lover of my soul.
I breathe deeply His abundant grace.
Monday, February 27, 2017
Psalm 28:7 "The LORD is my strength and my shield: My heart trusted in Him and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him."
Verse that spoke to my heart this morning:
Psalm 103:1 " Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name."
Made me instantly think of song that some young ladies sang in church a little while back. Just the piano and their strong voices praising the LORD. Was very powerful! Here is the chorus and the 2nd verse that I like best:
"Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find"
Song by Matt Redman
Saturday, February 11, 2017
In the book Every Young Woman's Battle, the author's have a chapter titled "Falling in Love with Jesus." Three sections of that chapter are called:
- Making Jesus Your First Love
- Giving God Every Chance
- Seek Him and Find Him
Thursday, February 9, 2017
"My kids won't have a grandpa."
I sighed deeply. Once again his brain is processing the absence of his father, this time thinking forward into his future. This is the part of widowhood that is most difficult, watching my children grieve. There is nothing I can do to shield them from the pain. I will say I do feel privileged at the same time. I am thankful they feel safe enough they can share their heart and hurts with me. So very thankful.
I waited for Snurr to share more.
I could see the gears turning in his head.
"I have two grandpas."
"Yes, you are very blessed."
I explained to him that if his wife's father is alive that his children would for sure have one grandpa.
Then I explained I actually had three grandpas, but I only knew two. My father's first dad died when he was eight. So his stepdad was my grandpa also. Then I had my mom's father as a grandpa also.
So I told him that if the Lord sees fit, and someday I remarry that his children could very likely be like I was. Have three grandpas, one in heaven and two on earth.
As he quietly processed this, I thought about how unpredictable grief is. We never know when it will pop up or what will trigger it. Most often when grieving, we think backwards in time. We also grieve that our loved ones can't be with us currently. But grieving forward also occurs. It is all apart of our hearts trying to process our loss.
One thing is certain. The Lord is there. He is there where ever we are grieving.
And He has great grace for whatever the future holds.
Monday, February 6, 2017
Back on the porch, I pull up my hood and step down one step.
Hot, salty tears flow down my cheeks. I take a deep breath and head down the sidewalk to meet an old acquaintance, Grief. We have traveled many miles together. We've never been friends. Grief can be demanding, bossy, rude, exhausting, and overwhelming. Though Grief has been very painful, knocking the wind out of me, pouncing on me, and wounding me to the ground, I don't think of Grief as an enemy either. A bully at times maybe, but whose power has diminished over the years. Two things are constant about Grief: it is unpredictable and the Lord has always sent comfort.
It has been quite a long while since we last spoke. There has been such healing in my heart, I had hoped we'd not ever have to meet again. But the tell-tale scar on my heart and soul give it a passport to come, though its stay won't be long.
Grief and I walk down the driveway together. Then I force my feet to face the cemetery. Tears continue to fall with each rhythmic step of my feet crunching in the snow. I head to go into the cemetery one way. I stop. Another flash from the past. A tent. Chairs. A casket. Family. Cold wind blowing through the huge hole in my heart.
I turn and walk along the edge of the cemetery. Three trees. A garden stone. A dream remembered. A touch to the cheek. Understanding eyes. Permission to move forward. Crunch, crunch. The snow beckons me on.
I turn again and walk forward uncertainly, not knowing what Grief will do. I reach the graveside. And the tears come more forcefully and sobs escape my lips. Time stops.
Grief swirls around me like an icy blizzard.
Blinding my eyes,
stinging my cheeks,
making my lungs gasp for warm air...
"I love you so much....." I whisper into the night as I stare at a picture of a married couple, so happy, so in love, sharing the secret of a third child within. It seems like a lifetime ago I posed for that picture with my Jim alive beside me.
The icy blizzard calms, and the blessed warmth of comfort of the Lord comes.
Time begins ticking again. Grief backs away into the shadows of the trees, but doesn't yet leave.
I breathe in the grace of God.
I fill my lungs with the warmth of His love and faithfulness as the tears continue to flow.
But the sobs are silent. Like birds released from prison, they have flown away.
I stoop down. With my finger, I write in the snow. After five words, my finger throbs with pain from the cold. But it is the only pain I feel. I breathe a sigh of relief. Through the tears, I read in the moonlight, "I will always love you."
The mind jumps to a beach in Michigan and the waves flowing in. Two honeymooners write in the sand. The waves threaten to erase their creation. Quickly the bride writes "T.I.D." which means True If Destroyed. They turn their backs on the water and the good man plucks an enormous red maple leaf and hands it to his soulmate.
The cool breeze tussles my hair and I turn towards the path in the woods. I feel Grief lingering behind me, following, yet staying in the shadows. Tears continue to fall as I meander through the woods to the field drive. My back is to the life in the house, my back is to the grave. I walk on and on until I feel Grief has given up following me and the tears cease. Then I just stop and stand.
Alone, I just stand and Be.
"Be still and know," God said.
My eyes contrast the crumbled down old barn and the home beyond full of life.
The nightly breeze has begun to dry my cheeks. I lick my lips and taste the remnant of salt. The mind flashes to a memory, but it is blurry and fading. The mind quickly tries to jump to the future, but it is halted and captured. I turn around and retrace my steps.
Suddenly the night is pierced by a holler from the boys, "Mom?" It is repeated, then the door bangs shut. I turn towards the house as I tramp through the woods. Instinctively, I follow the path to the cemetery. Without even thinking I write "T.I.D." Then smile at my Jim's picture and use my boot to snowplow my words of love into forever. Into eternity.
Using my sleeve, I remove the tears from my lashes and finish drying my cheeks. I walk back towards reality and the boys who need me. I glance at the time. 6:11 p.m. Sixteen minutes have passed; it seemed like hours. Where will we be in five years? Who or what is in my future? I round the corner of the house and light from within streams out across the snow. Home awaits.
I open the door to reality, to continued healing, to the possibilities of the future, and shut the door behind me. And Grief remains in the cold, waiting for permission from the Almighty to visit me again.