A Powerful Refuge

Driving long and late into the night,
black as ink all around
except where the headlights
pierced the darkness.
Suddenly far in the distance,
a flash of light streaked across the sky.
“Could that be Jesus coming?”
No, just a flash of lightning.

The wheels kept rolling, mile after mile.
The darkness crowded in close,
feeling a little bit like life.
Tears slipped down my cheeks
as I allowed my mind
to re-run last year.
Suddenly another bolt
ripped across the sky,
breaking up the darkness
in the split of a second.

I watched as I drove,
amazed to see the power and might
of God’s hand in the storm.
White flashes, red and blue bolts,
in jagged arrows, zipping to the earth.
Storm clouds were illuminated
with light flashing behind them.
It was majestic to watch,
to see the awesome display of light
and power in the sky.

With every mile,
we grew closer to the storm
and soon we were in the middle of it.
Bigger bolts and brighter flashes,
booming thunder along with
torrential rain pounding.

It was breathtaking to watch and see
this Almighty God,
so high in the heavens
powerfully displaying his hand
in such a majestic manner.
He sent bolts of lightning
flashing to the ground,
claps of thunder and rain pouring down,
and with a quiet word,
He controlled it all.

It was overwhelming
to imagine a God such as this.
Could this all-powerful really care
about the pain of my little heart?
Does one who controls
the universe really stoop
to my level?

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Yet there in the dark,
as the tears slid down my cheeks,
I knew even in all his greatness,
He heard my whispers
about the darkness of life,
I knew He listened to my weeping.
With peace, God quietly reminded me
that although He controls the raging storm,
He also cares about
the hurting heart still beating.
And there in the darkness,
amid lightning and thunder,
He gently covered me with His feathers
and under His wings, I found refuge.
Who better to care for me
then the One who holds this world
in the palm of His hand?
Who better to trust
than the all-powerful
such as He?
Who better to heal
a broken heart?

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Comparison

I look around.
I see her smile, abilities, qualities, her beauty.

I look at myself, I see flaws.
There are just so. many. things wrong with me.

I compare me. And her.

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I feel like I am just the smallest shell in the sea,
the most worthless, who would care about me?
There are so many holes in my heart.
The gritty sand that is rough and painful squeezes in
and makes the holes even bigger.

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She smiles, talks, laughs, loves people.
I am quiet, hurting, closed up tight.
Everyone loves her, they look right past me.

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I see my cracked pieces, rough edges,
my inabilities, my faults, oh how many there are.

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I line myself up, side by side with her.
She is white, clean, seemingly perfect.
I am small, dirty, and ugly.
My heart has spots no one knows about,
but I don’t notice any on her.

Comparison has stolen my joy.
I have become green with jealousy.
It’s consuming me, breaking off one piece of heart at a time.
I am miserable, I can’t even enjoy life.

If I would look closer,
there are things about her I didn’t even see.
She has some tiny pieces lodged in a spot.
Her edges are not completely round.
They were jagged at one time,
but are now smooth by the water of God’s love.
There is some discoloring, so at one time
she may have been just as green as I am.
But now, by allowing God to transform her,
she has been made beautiful.
Her imperfections are still there, she still has flaws,
but I didn’t even notice because I
have been consumed with comparing
her goodness to my inabilities.

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I have lost my perspective.
Things seem so much better in her life,
but obviously at some point in time
she fought battles of her own.
The scars are there, but her life shows she fought and won.
I have forgotten that I can too, with Jesus.

I’ve forgotten about Gratitude.
How much about my life is there to be thankful for?
So many good things!
Things I don’t even notice anymore
because I am consumed with comparison.
I need to take the focus off my hurts, myself,
count ways God has blessed me
and find my joy again.

I can’t compare my weakness with her strength.
Each of us are created unique.
God made me, He sees me, He loves me,
just the way I am, for who I am,
right here, right now.
Sure, He wants to work on me,
to smooth my edges,
but He loves the me of right now.

A rose can never be a sunflower and a sunflower can never be a rose.
All flowers are beautiful in their own way and that’s like women too.

If I take my eyes off myself,
focus on Jesus and His love,
my perspective changes
and I soon find myself
wanting to become more like Him
instead of someone else.

Bedtime Little Boy

Oh the things a boy can do when it’s time to go to bed.

A drink he needs to quench his thirst.

On the way to get a drink he finds a toy airplane.
A fly by is needed.

Bored with that, he sits on the floor and picks at his toes.

Once cleaned, he ambles around and finds a book.
Lie on the floor and read awhile.

He hears Mom in the kitchen.
Kitchen?
Oh yes, he’s hungry.
Is there a snack?
Munch. Munch.

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Now, time for bed again.

Oh, he forgot about those teeth he was to brush.

Why walk to the bathroom?
Why not roll tonight?
Roll slowly.

And on the way to brush, tease a sister or 2.

Toothpaste, oh the joys of something so blue.
Check out the pictures on the tube.
Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze.
Oops, got some on the counter.
That’s ok, I’ll just play with it.

Oh no, the tooth paste slipped off the side of the brush.
Cry because it’s not on straight.
Straightness is a must.

Mom fixes it.

Finally brush, brush, brush.
Make some faces in the mirror.
Brush some more.
Spit some bubbles.
Laugh.
Left handed boys have a hard time getting all the corners.
Scrub-a-dub.
Blow some bubbles.
Stick out your tongue.
Laugh.
Oops, dripped some.
Rinse, swish, spit, spit, spit.
Drink some more so we can spit some more.
Done with that.

Potty break.
Have a chit chat with yourself.
Laugh.

Throw pillows at girls.
Laugh.

Ask a bunch of questions.
“But what are we doing tomorrow?”
“Can we go swimming?”
“Why do cats need food?”
“Can I drive a jeep when I’m big?”
“I like when Kennedy squeals!”

Get a bedtime reminder.

Goes downstairs.
Chats with Dad.
“Is it to late for a Bible story?”

Read, wiggle and pray.
Time for bed.
Flip flop across the floor.

Arrange the pillow.
Straighten the blanket.
Oops, flip the blanket over.
The right side is a must.
Crawl in.
Fix the blanket.

Hugs and kisses goodnight.
Tuck Little Boy Blue in.

Sigh with relief.

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Hear noises.
He’s fixing the nightlight.
Again.
Back in bed.

2 minutes later.
Pitter patter.
A drink is needed to quench his thirst.

14 Years

Today we celebrated 14 years of marriage.
Where has time gone?
Once upon a time we looked at 14 years and thought,
“Wow, that is a long time.” Or “My, they are old!”
Not anymore.

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14 years ago we had no idea what life would bring.
Today we are older, wiser and happier,
even though we thought we couldn’t be happier at the time.
We may have some gray hair, wrinkles and a few extra pounds
but we’re loving growing old together.

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I am blessed to be married to him.
He knows me like no other.
He understands and cares about me.
He makes me slow down and enjoy life.
He is loved.

Tonight we were working on supper together
and it was loud and wild, I asked him,
“Did we sign up for this?”
And we laughed.
We are so blessed to be together and have these kids.

Chad & Rochelle’s Wedding

In September Chad and Rochelle got married in the lovely State of South Carolina. Eric and I left the 4 kiddos at home with a very capable babysitter and headed south for the weekend.
I wish we would have had more time and less work with a weekend away but it was good all the same.

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The day was a little dreary, some sprinkles, but they had big smiles and happy hearts!

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Beautiful!

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She was a very relaxed bride. So much fun to work with.

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All the pretty ladies…

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He was a happy man!

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The guys made sure everyone knew they were from Ohio.
Except for 1 of them.

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I loved her shoes and her flowers.

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Her family

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His family

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A beautiful day it was!