Grateful

Each November a grateful feeling
pulls and tugs one thought after another
from us, prompting a spirit of thanksgiving.
Large things, small moments,
family, friends, and food aplenty,
our list goes on and on.

My mind wanders in circles,
thinking, remembering, and thanking.

I wandered across the beautiful times in life,
easy to be grateful, so much to love.
Life was clear skies, sunny days,
the perfect times to be alive.

I wander through the cloudy days,
a little foggy to remember
the times of trials and challenges.
Life struggled to be full of sunshine,
but there were still
so many things to be thankful for,
even in the days of gray.

Still farther I ventured,
deeper into the darkness.
Before me loomed the hard days,
full of tears, heartache, and pain.
Was there anything in those days
to be grateful for?

There were times my faith was stretched
to the point of snapping and breaking.
But other times faith grew.
It was small moments, little drops of hope,
God planting tiny seeds, urging me
to keep believing His promises.

Days of turmoil felt endless,
restless, sleepless nights filled with anxiety.
Yet in the midst of them all,
a quiet peace was always below the surface.
His whispers were so gentle
and a hopeful hush would fill my heart.

There were prayerless days,
empty, hollow and still.
There were days of shouted words,
hurled at the open skies.
But always I came,
circling back to Him with tearful prayers,
pleading for forgiveness and answers.
His voice, a quiet whisper on the wind,
spoke deeply to my heart,
assuring me of His presence
even when I felt Him least.

My strength was depleted,
I lie prone and helpless, unable.
God in His great mercy
lifted me up and walked me
through day after day after day.
Never did He leave my side,
always my support and my strong arm.
When I was unable, He was able.

Those dark and heavy days
taught me to love unconditionally,
to hold family tight and enjoy.
They showed the beauty of Jesus
in the body of believers.
I reflected, remembering good,
finding laughter in memories,
and reveling in the gifts
I had been given.
In the quiet stillness, I learned
God is trustworthy, faithful,
and a dependable source of strength.

The dark valleys were not easy.
I was stretched and tried,
and slowly but surely my faith grew.
My heart knew greater dimensions,
fears were conquered
and challenges overcome with His help.

Am I grateful for the dark days?
I am thankful for the things I learned,
for new truths, a closer walk,
deeper communion,
and eyes that see the world
in a new light.
Even in the darkest times,
there are tiny specks of light,
just enough to be thankful for
and just enough grace for today.

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Four Years

Autumn’s beauty gives way to Winter’s chill,
Winter eventually thaws to Spring.
Spring slowly warms to Summer,
and Summer cools to Autumn’s crisp.
The changing of the seasons never cease,
each takes a turn, another year gone.

Another year of missing you each day.
Another 365 days of wondering;
what do the glories of heaven look like,
the streets of gold, the crystal river of life?
Do the walls of jasper glisten,
and the gates of pearl shine?
What does it feel like to be Home,
to gather with Jesus and the redeemed?
Another year of longing to join you in song,
singing “Holy, Holy, Holy” around the throne.

Family (107)

Four years ago when you left us,
we gathered to mourn, to grieve,
and remember the life you lived.
Over and over those days
Isaiah 41:10 played across the screen.
“Fear not, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed,
for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you,
I will uphold you
with my righteous right hand.”

And true to His word,
He has done this for us.
On the darkest of nights,
He was with us in our fears.
In the deepest valleys of grief,
He sustained and strengthened us.
His strong right arm upheld us
when we were weak and worn.
We learned to lean on Him,
to trust his unfailing grace every day.

Four years of walking this road,
and not a day has gone by
that Jesus has not walked with us.
Our faith and trust have grown stronger,
we know His Word to be true,
He is the strength He promised to be.

6-15 (10)

But still, we long for more,
every day we hope, waiting patiently.
We long for the days of grief to end
and our tears be wiped away.
We long for the day we will hear Him say,
“Well done, my child, welcome home!”

Tris, one day we’ll see you face to face,
one day we’ll praise His name together.
Until then, we miss you,
we watch and wait with longing,
walking by faith, until then.

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See you in the morning.

Drink in the Wonder

The smallest things in life can squeeze your heart the most.

Ordinary things take on a new light when seen through eyes of gratitude.

Observe the little things and watch them turn into something amazing.

Savor the moments. Sit and drink it in. Treasure today.

Sept (2)
See life through the eyes of a child. Drink in the wonder.
Did you know a worm can become a candy cane?
Enjoy the laughter, the chattering long stories, and even the arguing.
They are only this age once, it won’t last forever.

Sept (11)
Take the time to sit with family, listen to them, love them, make the most of the days with them. Overlook their faults and shortcomings, you have some too, by the way. Just love them because they are your people.

Sept (14)

Bless someone.
A man behind me in line paid for my pizza one night. It left me sputtering thank yous and “I’ll pass it on.” He smiled. I smiled. Another man smiled. The clerk was just happy to take his money since I had come up lacking.
Now it’s my turn to be a blessing to someone else and see them smile.

Sept (16)

Take a photo of the morning chaos that is breakfast, packing lunches, pulling on clothes, scrubbing faces and teeth, pushing and willing them out the door in peace.
One day it will be but a memory.

Sept (10)

Breathe in the smell of the flower passed from one woman’s garden to the next, carefully treasured flowers that speak of life and love.
Stop and enjoy the leaves turning a beautiful hue, the green becoming golden, and the whisper of the voice of the wind. It is life.

Sept (15)

Raise your hands to Jesus. Whisper thank you for all your treasures, the people in your life, the moments you’ve been gifted today.

_ _ _ _

Today as we watch and wait with bated breath, a little boy is slipping from his Mama’s arms into the arms of Jesus. Whisper a prayer for their hurting hearts and ask Jesus to hold them close.

Becoming

She rises while it is yet night and does good all her days. Running about buying and selling, still, she girds up her loins and feeds the poor. There she is, knitting, sewing, and making her clothes while speaking words of wisdom and kindness to her children. She is superwoman, so where does that leave me?

Who is this Proverbs 31 woman and is there any hope for me? I am not her. I won’t ever be her. She does more in a day than I will ever accomplish in my life. Yet, I am endeavoring, I am a process, I am grace and growing, I am becoming.

Becoming the Proverbs 31 woman is not about striving the work list to exhaustion and arriving. It is about life, living, heart attitudes and becoming like Him. It is not a 12-step checklist to do, but about principles and building on them. It is not about me, myself and I and all I do, but about living today for His glory. Becoming is being willing to move in His direction, one step at a time.

Becoming is seeking Jesus first. Life is full of important things, we always make time for what we value. Do you value Jesus so much that He comes first in your life? Are you devoted to seeking him like you are in keeping up with social media?

It is being relentlessly in prayer and intercession. The moments of falling before Jesus and seeking His presence and direction in your life. It is approaching the throne on behalf of others, pleading with the Father for them. Becoming is communion and time spent listening for that still small voice.

It is about being trustworthy and dependable. It is walking with people in your life, lending a listening ear or a hand. Becoming is encouraging and speaking grace to the surrounding hearts. It is being a blessing to someone because you know the warm circles that chased around your heart.

Becoming is seasoning your words with grace, kindness, and love. It is spreading joy and happiness like peanut butter. Spend time enriching other’s lives with your words, honoring them. It is about lifting and building up your friends; stop driving wedges and tearing down bridges.

It is being willing. Becoming is being deliberate about necessary changes in your life. It is being enthusiastic about jobs that are less than appealing. Finding the willingness to go the second mile and giving until you have no more to give. Becoming is digging deep inside for joy and willing your heart to sing, even when life feels less than joyful.

Becoming is meekness and humility. When the need arises, apologizing and asking for forgiveness. It is speaking words hard to say, but growing because of them. Times of falling and failure may happen, but getting back up and trying again is becoming.

Becoming is trusting with faith that God will be able to use ordinary you. It is not about knowing it all or being the best. When we are God-fearing women who are willing to stand in the gap and be used by Him, we are becoming.

It is about Him, not about me. Becoming is embracing God’s grace, bearing His image, and fulfilling His calling on my life. It is living with reckless abandonment and giving myself wholly to God. It is building upon those principles, applying them, and glorifying God with my life.

May 2017 (7)

I Am Jehovah

When the road before you looks dark, long and lonely,
Jesus whispers, “I am Immanuel, God with us.
I will be with you every step of the way.

I will hold your hand, I will guide you and lead you,
I will never forsake you.”

When the mountain to climb is steep and wrought with trenches,
Jesus says, “I am El-Roi, the God who keeps watch.
I will climb by your side, I will not allow your foot to slip.
Even in your darkest hour, I will be with you. ”

When the stress and worries of the day threaten to overwhelm,
Jesus calls, “I am Jehovah Shalom, the God of peace.
Give me your fears, lay them at my feet.
I am the bearer of all burdens and I will carry yours.”

When worry of the future and for your family overtakes you,
Jesus replies, “I am Jehovah Jireh, I will provide.
I will care for your needs in ways you cannot imagine if you trust in me.”

When the long nights swallow up your lonely cries,
He whispers, “I am Jehovah Raah, your Shepherd.
I care for you and will be a friend and companion to you.”

When the questions go unanswered, time after time,
He says, “I am El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty.
I have heard your cries, I know my ways are hard for you to understand.
Put your trust in me, rest in me, even when life seems unfair.”

When no songs of praise fall from your lips,
Jesus speaks, “I am Jehovah Nissi, I will give you a new song.
I will revive your spirits and bring life to your soul once more,
put your hope in me.”

When your heart is broken and nothing will mend it,
Jesus calls softly, “I am Jehovah Rapha, the one who heals.
I will heal your broken heart and bind up your wounds.”

No matter the problem, no matter the hour, Jesus is there.
“My Child, I am El Rachum, the God of compassion
and I feel your pain because you are so precious to me.
I hear your cries and collect your tears in a bottle.
I know the number of the hair on your head,
I care more for you than you will ever know.
You are my beloved and I love you with an everlasting love.”

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A Masterpiece

You are a masterpiece.
You are His work of art,
His treasure, His prized possession.

With care, The Potter works the clay
and begins a transformation of you.
Tenderly shaping and forming,
you are molded into His image.
He sculpts and masterfully designs
and with intricate beauty,
crafts you into a piece for His glory.

Along with the spinning of the wheel,
there is scoring, trimming and carving.
The ribbing and scraping of His hand
bring sorrow, pain, and tears.
He is shaping and stretching you
far beyond your comfort zone,
to be molded for His glory.

As the roar of fiery kiln surrounds you
and you feel the heat against your skin,
your heart cries out with pain,
“Jesus, it hurts! It is too much.”
But The Potter knows that raw clay
will crack and soon crumble under pressure
unless it is heated by the fire.
When it feels overwhelming and your tears fall,
know that He is near, He feels it too,
but with His loving hand
is conditioning you to be used for His glory.

As He works, He perfects your place in this world,
your family, your life, your story.
Each refining moment, every point in time,
show the marks of his gentle touch.
He fine-tunes and carves away the rough edges,
He sands, smooths, and polishes,
bringing your shape to its ultimate beauty
to bring honor and glory to Him.

Throughout your life, He will continue to refine,
burnish and polish your character into his Image.
You are an ongoing work of art,
never complete to just hang on a wall.
You are a beautiful instrument meant for use,
fit for the glory of the One who created you.

You are perfectly you, the only you,
just the you He meant you to be.

You are a masterpiece.
You are His work of art,
His treasure, His prized possession.

potter's hands

To Love Someone

The world is full of hurting people.
Aching people, crying people, broken people.
People needing care, time, encouragement, love.
People needing me. People needing you.

But we so are busy, running to and fro,
doing this and that, creating chaos as we go.
We are all wrapped up in ourselves, tied up in our lives,
we are really too busy to stop for just a minute,
and listen to the crying hearts around us.

What if it were you or I crying?
What if it was my heart broken, needy, aching?
What if no one was there to encourage you,
to lift your weary arms, to pull you through?
What if no one loved me or you when we needed love?

This song plays often at my house.
It is my reminder to be there for someone.

You know someone, I know you do.
Search their heart for where it’s broken,
find the cracks and pour your heart in.
Be there for them today.
It won’t be fun or easy to enter their pain,
but there is always Jesus for those moments.

love someone

If I would have had no one walking beside me,
I would not have made it.
People stepped in and poured themselves and Jesus
into my life at a time that was most crucial
… and I lived because of them.
I’m sure you can think of someone who pulled you through,
who was there when you needed them the most.
Be that for someone else now.

Love someone today.