A place of encouragement:

Living By Faith, Walking in the Light, Saved By His Amazing Grace

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weathering the Storm

And the storm came rolling in. Thunder roaring, lightning cracking. We've all heard it before. It was nothing new, nothing out of the ordinary.
The storm, it looked like any other. And then it happened, the loud boom. The house shook, lights flickered and things crackled. I knew we had been hit, but I didn't know where.
This poor old tree took the brunt of it all, along with our phone line and some raised shingles on our roof. My internet was down for a couple of days.
And I was alright with that. The internet being down I mean. We have weathered this storm. So many times His voice speaks like thunder and cracks like lightning to get us to hear. And other times It's like the calm before the storm, peaceful and quiet, just a slight whisper is all we may need......... to hear.
The storms in our life may split us wide open until we are all raw and bare. And they may leave us all shattered with splinters, splinters that run deep into the soul.
And the tears they do come, because the storm has been too hard and lasted too long, but it's in the storms that we find strength. It's in the storms that we find answers. It's in the storms that we cry out His name. And it's through the storms that He will carry us until we get to the other side. Until our wounds from the splinters have healed. With Him you can weather any storm. How would we know that He delivers, if it weren't for the storms.
We all came out after the storm to survey the damage. To see what was left, to see what we could salvage. And ya know, we were able to save the tree. We picked up what was broken and shattered. We cleaned up the mess.

Let Him pick up what is broken and shattered in your life. Let Him clean up the mess. Life will always have Storms, that's a given. But you don't have to weather them alone.

90. Thunder storms
91. internet down
92. after the storm
93. Strength
94. A tree saved

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tear Stained Freckles

She is home, after three weeks of being with her Grammy. And she is quiet. It's hard to tell if she is really happy to be home. No matter how hard I try to get her to smile and be goofy, the feelings are too strong. They are too strong to just tuck away and ignore.
And she misses her....."Why do we have to live so far away?"  Tears streaming down her beautiful freckled cheeks. I try to down play it all, try and make it like it's not that big of a deal. This is what makes the heart grow stronger, I said. grasping for anything that will make her feel better. Knowing that only time will help her broken heart.
Then she asks me "Don't you miss her?" I miss her every day and I hate that we are so far away, but that's life. Life is full of separations and I miss yous. Full of surprises and unexpected twists and turns. I spent 24 years in one place. I was with her for 24 years of my life and then I  fell in love, and I moved away from every one I ever knew, from all I've ever known. Just to be with him. To make a life with your Daddy. "Did you cry?" Oh yes, I cried a lot......but I grew stronger and stronger.
 And some day sweet baby girl it will be your turn.
Your turn to take flight and spread your wings. And it will be my turn to be Grammy. It all comes full circle. But ya know what? Some day there will be no more broken hearts, no more separations, and no more I miss yous. Some day, there will be nothing that will come between us, not even the miles could separate us.
And I am so thankful that you and I and Grammy all have Christ dwelling with in us......because that means when our time comes, our separation will only be temporary. So wipe those tear stained freckles dry and come sit with me a while.

For I am convinced that niether death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 38-39

87. hearts growing stronger
88. tear stained freckles
89. no more separations

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Surrender All

As I look through journals of the goals and dreams written for school years that have come and gone, I notice they all have one thing in common......
It's the same prayer, the same repeated prayer. I always pray that I'll get through another year, "God give me this, let me have that, so that I can be this, and I can have that." Could it be that He is not hearing me? I'm asking for all the right things, aren't I?
Or am I? Am I asking Him to be in charge? Am I letting Him take control? Do I go to him in prayer about what our goals are for the year? I take the time to prepare......That's one of my most favorite things to do,  to plan and prepare.
 Am I pretending to include Him? I only call on Him when things aren't going as I had planned..........As I had planned? Did you catch that?................. I guess it really hasn't been His plan after all.
It's funny to me how you see things differently when you tap your failures out for everyone to see. And the books are all lined up, ready for another school year. He should be included in everything I do even if I think I can handle things on my own, even if it's too small in my eyes. Did I not surrender my life to Him?
Didn't I ask him into my heart, to dwell with in me? There should be no room left for ME..... Shouldn't HE occupy every corner, fill in all the cracks, repair what has been broken? When I try and do it alone I always fail and then I repeat what I've done before. I repeat the prayer and repeat the failure.

So this year I'm letting it go.....I'm giving up control. I really wasn't in control anyway. Father God I'm giving it back..... this area of my life that I always seem to not do right. I'm in need of your guidance in everything we do this year, right down to the books we read and the chores that need to be assigned. I need you for the planning and the preparation. I need your advise on how to be more consistant. Father fill that space that I tried to fill on my own. I'm through with asking you for this so I can be that. Father I SURRENDER.......I Surrender ALL!....... AMEN.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Touching With Our Eyes

They called five times tonight between them both. You don't really appreciate the hugs and the kisses until the distance makes it impossible. You don't realize how much you need the embrace until your arms are yearning for them.
And they are my world, they are who I am, they are what I do, they are what I know, they are my life. It's hard to imagine it any other way......my life with out them, I mean. This tree is bare with out her leaves. I still have three at home, but I still feel bare. A part of me is gone when they are away.
I lean toward the Son to fill my emptiness, to cover what is bare. To feel the warmth of His peace as I pray for their safety.
And Mama bird, her nest is empty. They all flew away. I know that my heart is being prepared for that someday. Someday they will all fly away.

He calls again, "Mama can you get on Skype?" But son I just talked to you. "I know, I just want to see you." It's funny, we can't touch, but we can touch with our eyes and some how it helps. It helps to ease the ache we are feeling inside. Touching with our eyes, it's so nice to see the smile attatched to their voices. So nice to see their eyes light up! Someday my nest will be empty, but for now, this is my life and it is a full one.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Gift of Another Day

Sunday night and he quietly says to himself " another Monday." He is not the only one that feels this way.....I've been finding myself saying, nothing new, It's just another day. Just another day of laundry, dishes, and dirty floors.

Why is it that we only make the best of things when we are threatened by this world, by death, by anything negative. We feel we have to hurry up and make the best of these next days because "you never know." And then, when the scare is over and the routine becomes normal, we fall back to," it's just another day, another day of doing the same old things."
What if we looked at life, if we looked at each day as if it were a gift....Would we smile and whistle while mopping the floor? Would we be happy to wash just one more dirty dish? Tell me then, would we make every day the best it could be? 

These days are given as a gift why make them normal, ordinary days? Isn't it polite to say thank you after a gift being given? Don't we smile? The gift of a day shouldn't be any different.

It's one more day of hearing them giggle, listening to her read, watching him swim like a fish, and seeing her reach for you for the second and third  time. One more day of cooking a great meal, and hearing your Mama's voice over the line. One more day of serving others, because when you serve them your serving Him. And doesn't that make Him smile? Isn't that one way we can say Thank you?

 Excepting every day as a gift is something I'm still working on.........How about you?

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

82. Dirty dishes
83. A mountain of Laundry
84. Floors that need mopping
85. Mondays
86. Another Day

Friday, July 16, 2010

Truly Humbled and Ten Times Blessed!

I sit here humbled by the kind words given. Not so sure I know how to react.....The words I tap out are just simple, not flowery, my vocabulary is not a large one. And even though I'm not always grammatically correct it doesn't seem to matter much.
You still seem to relate to me. I believe that we are all here for eachother...Sharing life stories, giving words of encouragement, words to make us think,  we are here to share in the happy times,  times of tapping out frustration and feelings of inadequacy, Letting eachother know how we all fall short, It's knowing that we need eachother. That our days aren't always rainbows and sunny side ups. We all know the rain does come and the winds do blow.
My words are mere utterings compared to His word. So when your feeling like you can't relate and no one understands. Go to His word. His Grace is Amazing.....His Grace is LOVE that cares and stoops and Rescues. {John R. W. Stott}
As for me and my tapping of simple words ......I want you to know that I'm real, I'm here for you, to let you know of the love that I know.

 Jesus said to Him, I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man comes to Father, but by me. John 14:6

 You will find this Amazing LOVE in the Living WORD.

 I love the book of Romans, the book of GRACE.

 Romans 10:8 is a good place to start.

And by the way, thank you all, for your kind words. I am truly humbled, and ten times blessed!

Where I Grew Up

My old stomping grounds. This is where I grew up, this is where I'll always call home..........
And I'm 1200 miles away, away from the sights and the smells I know so well. The things that are still engraved in my mind.
I used to pick these as girl, bringing them home for mama to fill the vase with. My daughter is up there now spending time with my family........I long to be there. It's a yearning I get, at times it's stronger than others. The yearning and the ache to be up home I mean. Her voice comes over the line, "Mama I picked these just for you!, but they died before I could bring them home."
And I can almost smell their sweet wild smell through the computer screen. If I just close my eyes I can remember their sweet frangrance. It's not just the flowers that have that sweet smell, It's the walk down the dirt road, wind in our hair, my sister and I. Two little girls loving the out doors. Mama had to beg us to come in.
And it's the black caps that use to grow out in our back yard behind the garage. Mama would give us each a bowl and we would try and bring back just enough for her to make her famous turnovers. Smashing the breyers down with our feet as they scraped and scratched our legs. I can still hear the thump, plunk of the berries hitting the bowl as we dropped them in.
This old tree has had many a young girl hang from it's branches. This old maple has shaded many picnics and if you could hear her branches talk she would tell you how lonely she has been over the years after we grew up. The picnics don't come any more.
This Old Rugged Cross was made by an old man....He made it for his wife after she had passed away. I remember it always being there and I know it has long been there before me. I never thought that someday she would be standing next to it. She is living my memories, of places I've been, the things I use to do when I was her age. And it's coming full circle, this life of mine.
Chasing memories in my mind like the ducks we use to chase on my Grandmothers farm. I never seemed to catch up to them {until now}.....the ducks I mean.   Yes I'll always call this home here on earth. They say your home is where your heart is.........My earthly body longs for this home but my heart and soul longs for heaven. His name is engraved on my Heart. And my soul longs for Home, my Heavenly Home. Oh the smells and the sights, the flowers that will never die, and all the black caps you can eat.

72. Black Caps
73. Brown eyed Susans
74. Old red leaf Maple Trees
75. Chasing Ducks
76. Full Circles
77. Mama's Turn overs
78. Long Walks
79. Dirt Roads
80. Heavenly Home
81. His Name engraved on my Heart

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sweet Faith Filled Memories

Built by hand and put together with love.... This old hope chest, you will never see another one like it. Made by my Great Aunt and Uncle so many years ago. Together they nailed the boards and painted it red. To hold their hopes and dreams, their memories of yesteryear.
I remember the day she gave it to me.  She was moving into an assisted living home, she was getting on in years and she didn't have enough room for all her things. So she was giving them away, Her precious memories. Her husband Ray had long since passed on before her. It was bitter sweet for her, for us. She gave away so many treasures that day. And with each one came a story where it was from, how she happened upon it. And some came with tears.
I learned a lot that day. I learned that although it's nice to have things passed down from generation to generation, especially if there is a story behind it. It's the memories that mean more, those are what we hang on to. That's what we cherish. And I'll always remember her happy, always with a smile. I miss her, And even though I have her things they don't mean near as much as the time that I spent with her, talking, listening and laughing.

Old family pictures are what fills the hope chest now. And some day I hope to pass it on down with the memories of her. How her smile would light up a room and her sweet voice would calm your soul. That she wasn't afraid of dying, that she talked of how great it would be when she sits in the lap of her Maker. That's what legacy's are made of..........Sweet Faith Filled memories. It's nice to pass down family heirlooms, but it's more precious than Gold to give your time to those you love, that's what they will remember the most. Long after the things of this earth have faded away.

67. Sweet Faith Filled Memories
68. Hope chests painted Red
69. Family heirlooms
70. hopes and dreams
71. Sweet Time

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Into a Uniqueness All HIS Own

They look like little men in green hats. Up from the ground they came. growing in deep purple, almost black.
It's funny to me how life grows. Starting from a tiny seed, and then forming into a uniqueness all it's own. From the dirt this eggplant came. From the dirt we all came. It's the dirt that reminds me of how filthy the soul can be. My heart and soul knows all too well how unworthy I am.
My soul longs to stay clean. White as snow, forgiven by The Magesty of Purple.  And so I keep asking  Him for the soul drenched rain washing. The rain that makes you grow into a uniqueness all your own.
And then after you have been drenched with forgiveness The Son dries you off and shines upon you bringing out what was once almost black into beautiful vibrant colors.
And this is how you shine, this is where the light comes from. With out His forgiveness your soul stays black and dirty, like the ground you were made from. And in the end this body of mine will go back into the soil, but my soul will soar. With all the light that lives in me, my soul will soar to the heavens.
This cleaning of the soul, you can't do it on your own. There is nothing you can do that will be good enough. The work has already been done. The price has already been paid. The only thing that's left, is for you to surrender your dirty soul and let His forgiveness rain down upon you. Let the Son shine through you. Allow your self to grow out of the dark and into the light. Into a uniqueness all HIS own.

61. Eggplant
62. The Son
63. The deepest of purples
64. Little green hats
65. Eggplant lasagna
66. I'm Forgiven

Monday, July 12, 2010

Is There Beauty in a Rock?

It's just a pile of rocks and for some reason I find myself taking pictures of them.
Is there beauty in a Rock?
The rocks tell a story, with in them holds the truth, even Charles Darwin said: "As by this theory innumerable transsitional forms must have existed, why do we not see them embedded in countless numbers in the crusts of the earth? The number of immediate links between all living and extinct species must have been inconceivably great!" Which means that there are no fossil records that proves one animal evovled into another. Even Darwin himself was not convinced of his own beliefs and theories of evolution. There is no evidence that proves evolution. NONE!
So is there Beauty in a rock? I believe there is. In their cracks and crevises tells the story of creation. Do you think it's a coincidence that God's word says:
 He only is my ROCK and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved. Psalm 62:2
When the King of Kings had a crown of thorns placed on His head, He was taking our place. He was put in a tomb where a large STONE or ROCK covered the opening.

 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the STONE from the door, and sat upon it. Matthew 28:2

Oh how beautiful a story the Rock has to tell. If we would only listen.......
My littlest ones also found beauty in the rocks. They found what I couldn't see. Sometimes we are not willing to roll our own stone away to see the truth. It  takes more effort to beleive in the fractures of evolution than in the ROCK of SALVATION!