Wednesday, July 20, 2016

One Million One

I hear myself breath…inhale…exhale. The new clock I hung a few short weeks ago tics and seconds of my life fade away. The window is open and a slight breeze flows gently to brush against my cheeks as the birds sing from the treetops. I sit at my desk in a blank stare captured by stress and unable to move as my Bible lay open in front of me.  I am here again. I’ve been here before. At this place of contemplation, where all I want is joy to fill my heart, but sorrow has overrun me…I ache with pain and wonder. Could it ever be what I imagined…hoped for as a little girl with long brown hair and hazel eyes. 

No one will ever know those scars like I know them…feel them the way I do…remember the fear that overtook me at the onset of the infliction of the wound…but me. No one person could ever truly understand the constant daily struggle to overcome and not let defeat reign in my mind. After all, they were not there when my heart was shattered and played as a pawn of manipulation for someone else to win. Win what?! I don’t even know…all I have known is the loss of being pushed aside waiting for the next game to begin. 

Yes, the anger rises like a freight train running out of control. My hands form tight fists, the tears come, and roll one at a time down my now almost fifty year old cheek. I will probably do what I always do… revert within myself…away from everyone. My  hand raises to meet the sting of defeat and wipe away the millionth tear…but who’s counting. And then it happens…that soft whisper says to me…. 

“It is one million and one tears. I know. I have seen and counted them all.” 

I am then reminded I have never been alone. He knows my scars. He feels them the same as I do. He too also remembers my fear when the wound was inflicted. And yes, He does understand my constant daily struggle. He knows it’s real. And when I ask Him why Lord? He reminds me how much I am loved and the struggles He went through for me. He lifts my chin and brings back to mind the wonderful gifts He has blessed me with to use for His glory. And then I know…it’s time to write and use that gift. 

We all have that something in our life that haunts us. Everyone has a story. But He knows every story. He sees every tear. You are never alone. Pray, pray, and pray some more. Stand strong knowing you are a child of the King. Remain silent and meditate on Him and His precious promises for you. In your greatest moment of pain and anguish, cry out to Jesus! 

“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”
Psalm 126:5

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Praise and Pray Confidently

I may be only just beginning to understand the confidence I need in prayer. I have known the Lord Jesus now for almost forty years and prayer has always been a constant in my life.  But what does it mean to pray with confidence and believe The Lord will do what we ask? 

The starting point for me in prayer is actually praise. In most instances of prayer for me, I always begin with adoration to my Heavenly Father. I just begin to thank Him for His mercy, His unending love, and His immeasurable grace. I could not walk this path of life without any of these significant characteristics of Him. I thank Him for the death He suffered on the cross…for me…for you! I lift my hands to Him and thank Him for always standing at my side, being my best friend, and blessing me and my family. He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, mighty, majestic, a radiant light in my life…and I tell Him ALL these things and more before I ask for one thing in my time of prayer.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 
that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  
And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—
we know that we have what we asked of him.”
I John 5:14-15

And then…I ask him… usually for others needs first and then my own. I ask without hesitation with full belief at the time of asking that He WILL DO what I have asked. In addition, I ask the Holy Spirit to fill me with  a good measure of confidence, without question, to know God hears my prayers and will answer.

I end my prayer the same way as I began…with praise and adoration to a good, good Father. I thank Him for his open ear to listen to me. I thank Him in advance for answered prayer petitioned before Him. I praise Him for being ALL powerful, ALL knowing God who never leaves nor forsakes us. You can never go wrong with praise unto The Lord.

The hardest part seems to come after the “Amen” is spoken. The doubt creeps in like gloomy clouds before the storm. You begin to question if what you asked for is possible or could it really happen. Sometimes we even question our own boldness to make such a request to our sovereign Lord. Each time these Satan provoked thoughts of uncertainty come to mind, we must take them captive through, once again, the power of praise! 

“We demolish arguments and every pretension 
that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, 
and we take captive every thought 
to make it obedient to Christ.”
II Corinthians 10:5

When those thoughts of doubt begin to swarm my brain like bees on honey, I put my smoke screen up with the power of praise!  Just as the bees calm themselves with the presence of smoke, so too does the negativity dissipate from my mind and His presence takes hold once again! Praise equals power!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Thunder

The windows in the old Victorian house rattled and the wood floor shook beneath my feet as the oncoming train passed in the valley below my childhood home.  The whistle blew long and loud to warn all, the train was coming thru.  I can still hear that whistle and picture in my mind the puffs of smoke as they rose to meet my eyes while I watched from my bedroom window.  

Ruthie 9 years old...diagnosed
            It’s funny the things that come to mind sometimes from my childhood.  But maybe, just maybe this is something the Lord wanted me to remember this day.  I found out that my lovely little girl might have a form of Autism.  There is no firm diagnosis at this time.  She must go through many tests and evaluations.  You see, Autism, causes a person to not be able to understand the emotions of a relationship with other people.

There are a lot of things that now seem so unimportant compared to the health and well being of my daughter.  Just as I remember the thunder of the train as a child, God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways.  He does great things beyond my understanding.  He makes my eyes see past the given circumstance to reveal the cross before me causing me to always have hope amidst the storm.  He makes my feet rumble as they move to seek a closer walk with Him that I may gain strength in his infinite wisdom as his Holy Spirit whispers sweet comfort.  I want the sound of the oncoming train, the train of God, to always be near reminding me of his great power.  I want his voice to whistle in the wind thru his Holy Spirit and gently nudge me on as a champion for Christ.  But, I also want this same thing for my daughter.  If her mind works in such a way that she can not understand the emotions of a relationship, can she have a friendship with Christ as I have prayed for since the day she was born?

            I know there is nothing… nothing beyond my Immanuel’s most capable hands and nothing I can not overcome thru Christ who strengthens me.  He will be my rock in this time of need.  He will be the one I seek when I want to just cry.  He will be the one to wipe the tears and put me back on my feet and say, 

“Stand up my child and walk with courage.”  

No, I know he never gives us more than we can handle.  He chose me to be Ruthie’s Mom.  He knew I would be strong enough to help her learn about Him and love Him despite the obstacles that together we might encounter.  He chose Ruth to be my daughter.  He gave her to me, because he knew I had what it would take to raise her to know and love the Lord! 

I wrote this piece 10 years ago and Ruth was diagnosed on the Autism spectrum shortly thereafter. She is now 18 years old nearing her 19th birthday. It is has not always been an easy ride  
Ruth now 18!
having to be an advocate for her. But I would have it no other way. I would never change a thing.  And all the questions I wrote about above...God has heard my prayer and answered loud and clear. Ruth does have a relationship with her Heavenly Father. Sometimes I think she is closer to Him than most would ever know. She is precious, sweet, tenacious, and never ceases to surprise me! She is joyful, funny, and such a pleasure to be around. She will graduate high school this June and will attend college seeking a four year degree in Marine Biology! I love her and for as much as I thought God gave her to me because He knew I was the right mom to raise her for the Lord, He also knew I needed her to see Him in an amazing way! 

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well."
~Psalm 139:13-14


Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Regroup Day

My cousin Joy always speaks of needing to “regroup today”.  It’s a day she designates to stay at home, get her house in order, and just chill. I always chuckle when she proclaims a “regroup day”. But actually we ALL need a day to do this…not only in our everyday tasks…but we need days to regroup within our hearts. I like to think of  it as deep soul searching and tree pruning, as we don our coat of love to walk out into the bitter cold world to share Jesus.

Last night as I sat at my kitchen table reading God’s Word, I did just this…regrouped. It has been a tough week and emotionally I am tired. I have been on the phone endlessly to work toward answers as to how to reinstate and IEP (individual education plan) for my daughter. My youngest son was sick and he has been walking through some growing pains as a 14 year old. All of this combined with a parent who likes to make life difficult for her children at 80 years old has left me breathless at times.

I knew I needed some fresh air and I knew just where to find it…read some scripture…pray…and be silent before The Lord. In my reading, I came to Psalm 27:14…

“Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart,
and wait for the Lord.”

Sometimes in my busyness to accomplish…only to be frustrated by no results, I need to be reminded of my helper, the Holy Spirit. I need to take time to just do nothing, but quietly sit in His presence and listen for the soft whispers of a redeeming love that woos my soul back to tranquility. I need to wait with expectant hope and abide in His providence…secure in His unending love…and seize, take hold, and capture moments of His amazing grace for me. In return, I leave with courage and enthusiasm to run this race called life well managed as a marathon and not an all out sprint. So don’t be afraid and know that we ALL need a time to regroup with Him to allow Him to lead and us to follow.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Heavenly Hug

The moon in all its brightness peeked from behind the pine trees as dawn approached. As I turned and faced the opposite direction, there before my eyes was the start of the rising sun. The white rippled clouds had purple hues and shades of red and pink as the top of the sun began to appear on the hillside. A beautiful morning indeed with shades of His glory embracing the depths of my soul. It was if my heavenly Father wrapped me up in a big hug between the hems of His white linen robe. A special, “I love you”… sent from heaven above!

“Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him all ye stars of light.”

~Psalm 148:3