December 23, 2013

Songs in the Night

Psalms 42:8
Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime,
and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life

During a recent illness,
I had the blessed experience of God ministering to my heart in the night.
Parts of two different songs came to my heart throughout a difficult night:

"My God is a righteous God,
My God is a holy God,
My God is a faithful God,
He will surely stand by me."

"He's my shoulder to lean on
when I am down,
the Rock where He leads me
when I'm overwhelmed,
the place that He hides me
under His wing,
He's not just my song,
He's the reason I sing,
I have been blessed."

Christ Jesus is so tender, especially during times of sorrow or sickness.
And after getting me through difficult nights, each morning He promises four gifts.
I just need to accept them. 

Psalms 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.

Ephesians 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Lamentations 3:22-23 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Psalms 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

I find myself struggling to receive the last one, JOY, some days.
Christ Jesus knows this
and had a dear friend give me some blocks for Christmas that spell JOY!

Yes, in the night his song shall be with me
And He commands his lovingkindness in the day time.

I love you, Christ Jesus, thank You for leaving heaven for me,
For dying on the cross for me, for raising from the dead for me,
And thank You, Jesus that someday soon You are coming back for me.
Emmanuel, God with us, my Rock, my Deliverer, my Strength, my Comforter
Thank You for being my God

November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Chair

What a powerful video! How often I forget.......In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Please watch and then go sit in your own thanksgiving chair.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 19, 2013

The Sun Shining on Your Soul

Little Snurr came into my room late last night.
He couldn't sleep.  He had a lot on his mind. So we prayed, me silently and him out loud.
How precious it is to listen to a child pray when they are pouring out their heart for others.
A cherished young girl we know is in the hospital, doctors are battling bacterial meningitis to try to save her life.  Each morning this son asks me if she has lived through another night.

So last night, once again he asked God to help her live another night, to lower the pressure in her brain and to keep it down.  He prayed for a man who he overheard saying that today was the anniversary of the day his son died by suicide. He prayed for his grandma who has throat issues so she could eat and swallow chicken again.  He prayed for uncles and cousins to be saved.  He prayed his little heart out. 

After a long pause, my 7yr old said, "Mom, I feel such peace inside."  After more silence he said it was fading a little.  We talked about being in the presence of God is like being in a throne room before God.  And how it is a special place.  I told him how just like we feel sunshine on our skin and it warms us, being in God's presence is like having the sun shine on our soul.  When we step in the shade we still feel warm for a little while then in fades.  It is like that when we step back from being very close to God's presence in prayer. 

Our talk turned to other things, especially the man whose son died.  Snurr went on to explain to me how when someone dies a part of your love for them has to die or you will do crazy things like want to die to be with them or try to crawl in their coffin.  He reassured me that part of your love that was spiritual will keep loving them then.  I can't remember all he said but through his conversation I could tell God has been working on his heart, accepting that his own father's death has a purpose for good and that a part of healing is not staying so attached to him that you want to die, but that you want to live.

Thank you, Lord, for speaking to my son's heart in a way only he would understand.
And thank you for letting us come before your throne and hearing our prayers.  Thank you for sunshine in our soul, for your peace that passeth all understanding.

November 04, 2013

I stood, a mendicant of God

(A mendicant is a beggar.)
I stood, a mendicant of God,
before His royal throne
and begged Him for one priceless gift,
which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand,
but as I would depart
I cried, 'But Lord, this is a thorn
and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange and hurtful gift
 which Thou hast given me.'
He said, 'My child, I give good gifts.
 I gave My best to thee.'
I took it home.
And though at first
the cruel thorn hurt sore,
as long years passed
I learned at last to love it
more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn
without this added grace:
He takes the thorn
to pin aside the veil
which hides His face.

October 03, 2013

Jesus Moments Part 1

What has God been up to in our lives?
It has been so long since I blogged.
I really need to get more faithful in blogging.
I enjoy writing and it is always good therapy for me. Keeps my eyes looking up.

We are having a Sunday School Campaign going on right now called "Jesus Moments".

It has been such a blessing to me.I just love how Jesus takes lessons I teach to the girls and teaches me as well.

Week one was about Jesus healing a man with a withered hand.  We learned about how God wants us to heal others by praying for them, speaking words of truth to them, and serving them.  The very next day the Lord had a situation come into our lives where we were able to do all three for someone.

Week Two was about Jesus calming the storm. We learned how the Lord wants to us use to calm spiritual storms in other people's lives.  That week the Lord had directed the path of someone who had a tempest inside them pour out their hurt and tears in my presence.  I tried to be kind and understanding.  I tried to speak words of wisdom to calm the strorm.  I held my friend and hugged her; I cried with her.  I prayed earnestly for her.  She called a few days later.  I could tell in her voice the storm was calming. This week it was me who had the storm swelling up inside and I had to run to my Savior for the sea to calm and the wind to cease.

Week Three was about Zacchaeus.  How we need to be like Jesus and reach out to the unloveable, the rejected, the despised.  Jesus' friendship made all the differance in the world. I haven't figured out my Jesus moment about lesson three this week. I may have missed it or maybe it hasn't come yet. Maybe lesson three was connected to serving someone this week and I missed the opportunity to show the love of Christ to their unsaved friend. Maybe lesson number three was a child who was sassy and disrespectful who I failed to show compassion and mercy to.  Maybe I have been Zacchaeus and Jesus is befriending me..................

September 19, 2013

The Four Lands of Sorrow

A young widow friend shared this on her blog:

Sorrow can lead us into one of four lands:

the Barren land in which we try to escape from it,

the Broken land is which we sink under it,

the Bitter land in which we resent it,

or the Better land in which we bear it and become a blessing to others.

What a truth!

It was in a special Daily Bread on grief.

August 26, 2013

Where Jesus Sits

As I prayed one fearful night, I felt the Lord so close, like He was sitting at the top of the J stairs (of course, right!).  I felt Him speak to my heart.  "I'll watch over him, you go get some rest."  I hesitated.  "Don't you trust Me?"  I do, but.............oh, Lord, help my unbelief.  I am afraid........."Be not afraid,  only believe." Jesus said in Mark 5:36

Then I see my Lord holding him.  He isn't awake and the Lord carries him to an alter.  He lays him there tenderly.  I think of Abraham laying his son on an alter. Then I see it.....the ram in the thicket.

With that thought fresh in my mind, I check on them all one last time. Trust Jesus and crawl into bed exhausted.


As I prayed during prayer meeting, the above incident came to my mind, and I wondered if Jesus was in our church in bodily form, where would He sit?  The back pew so he could watch everyone?  The front pew eager to hear?  Next to the lonely or hurting?  I think He'd sit right next to our pastor.  He'd be Amening and cheering him on as he preached the message the Lord Himself gave him.


What does the Bible say about where Jesus sits?

 Luke 2:46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

Luke 22:69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.

John 12:15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

  Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Revelation 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

  Revelation 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.


August 02, 2013

School's In; Give a Grin!

School is back in session for us!

The LORD gave me an awesome verse to focus on this year: Proverbs 2:20

"That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous."

Isn't that my heart's desire for these men in the making to walk the path of good men, righteous men.

Glimpse of Hell

Last month something happened to one of my sons that will forever make hell more real to me.
I held my son as he cried out in pain from getting burned.  The torment on his face and his screaming was haunting...........For at least five minutes there was no comfort.  He clung to me and hollered and wailed. My heart broke for his agony as well as for my inadequacy to help him.  Finally God sent relief.  My son took huge gulps of air and was able to catch his breath.  And a gentle breeze greatly lessened the pain. Ten days later, the burn is all healed.  But the Lord let me see a glimpse of hell.

In hell there is no relief, no gentle breeze to lessen the pain, no one to cling to, and never any healing .....

Jesus told us in Luke 16:22-31 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Jesus also said in Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

 And again in Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Yes, God is love, but He is also just and He deserves our fear, not just our reverential respect but fear.
Jesus forewarned us because of His love for us.  He chose to lay down His life for us to provide the only way of escape.  Yet many will not be persuaded, though He rose from the dead.

Here is a very sobering thought:
They estimate that 6,974,000,000 people in the world. It is estimated that there is 2 billion Christians in the world. Only one in four Christians say they are born again as Jesus said we must be to go to heaven. So realistically only 7% of the worlds population or about 500, 000, 000 are really going to go to heaven when they die. 

It is said that an average of 107 people die each minute,
6,390 people die each hour,
153,000 people die each day,
1,071,000 people die each week.

So from this Sunday that you were in church till the next Sunday
 1 million 71 thousand people died and went to spend eternity in heaven or hell. 
And the reality is that only 7% if them are going to heaven. 
93% or 996 thousand souls (996,000) went to hell.

All of this mathematics is hard on my brain, BUT if we would just understand the simple statistic that every minute 107 people die and 100 of them go to hell!!! This is staggering. 

Hell is real and many people go there daily.  Are we forewarning others?  Are we reaching out in love?  My son is healed, but both of us got a glimpse of hell that day and I will forever be changed because of it.

July 13, 2013

Snurr's Lessons

As Snurr settled down for bed we reviewed lessons he had learned that day:
  • Liquid soap is awesome at getting copper pipe to slide off your finger that didn't belong there in the first place.
  • Messes take seconds to make and hours to clean up.
  • Locking someone in the pump house or a room is just like kidnapping.
  • Obey Mom the first time.
  • Sometimes lost dogs come home on their own; and only God knows of their adventures.
As I left his room, I encouraged him to talk to God about things he did wrong that day and share about what he learned. A little while later, I heard the mumbled voice cry out, "Why? God, Why?"  As I listened, my youngest was pouring out his heart to Jesus about his daddy.......I walked in his room and just held him as he sobbed.  My tears joined him as he said, "It never hurt like this before." I have walked this road with his brothers; it isn't an easy one.  He has grown more in understanding so it is natural for the grief to go to a deeper level.

We talked about many things, I then shared with him how I used to pray for the Great Comforter to come and hold me all night when I hurt so much missing Daddy.  I told him how God was faithful and He did it, many, many times.  We hugged and I prayed over him, gave him a Daddy pillow to hug and wrapped him up in my favorite blanket.  Soon sleep came for Snurr.

My heart was heavy and my ache was raw again.  This is the hardest part of being a widow, feeling helpless as your children grieve their father.   I know the LORD loves Snurr more than I do and I know He promised to heal him.  But us moms get used to being able to fix all the hurts or shield our children from them to begin with.  Grief is a hurt that is so deep and so personal, all I can do is try to help him express his grief in a healthy ways and pray intensely for healing.

Burdens like this are too heavy for one woman.  I poured out my own heart to the LORD.  Then I shared my aching heart with some late-night praying sisters. Their prayers, words, and understanding were comforting.  One encouraged me to pray Jeremiah 29:11-13 with and for Snurr.  What sweet verses:   
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 

This morning Snurr was in the same position he was when I last checked on him the night before.  He slept soundly all night.  Thank You, Jesus!  I told him about wanting to share some verses that a friend had shared with me.  I flipped to Jeremiah 49 by mistake and read verse 11: Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me.

Isn't that a widow's fear?  That the grief will destroy the children.  That the enemy will use it to pull them from God.  The Lord will preserve the fatherless children.....AMEN!!!  Let thy widows trust in GOD.....isn't that what we learn to do with these grieving children?  Carry them to the altar and lay them in His arms, then pray and wait for healing to come. And it will come.  The Lord promised:
 Psalms 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

After I read Jeremiah 49:11, we smiled how God can use a mistake of mine to be exactly what we both needed to hear.  Then I went back to Jeremiah 29:11-13.  We discussed what it meant then I prayed it over him.  Later, I heard Snurr tell his brothers that the verses in Jeremiah brought him comfort and peace.  AMEN!!  God's Word is very much alive and at work.

Another lesson for Snurr.  A very, very important one.


July 09, 2013

Mathematics for the Heart

Forgiveness + Gratitude = A Change in Attitude

July 02, 2013

The Rescuers

The other day when we were at my folks, Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr came shouting at me to come outside there was a kitten.  The little fellow was meowing loudly hiding in a busyh.  He was hungry, scared, and not really excited about being rescued. Snapp finally caught him.  We had to be wrapped the poor fellow in a towel to keep Snipp from being scratched.  Snurr got to close and got bit.  After much discussion and inquiring, we discovered he didn't belong to any neighbors and we delivered him to a farm up the road.  There he would have food and companionship with other felines.

After we headed home, Snipp held out his hand and said, "Smell, Mom!"  Phew!  He stank.  It was the same dead smell we smelled near the woodpile where the kitten was finally rescued.  We concluded that who ever he was traveling with must have gotten injured and crawled in the woodpile to die.  The faithful kitten must have stayed with his companion quite awhile after it died.  The little fellow stank like death even though he was a healthy kitten.

Isn't like just like us??
We don't recognize sin as sin.  It is our travel companion.  James tells us when sin is finished it bringeth forth death.  We hang around it until we reek of it.  Even after we are rescued, we stink and rebel.  Not realizing the wonderful blessings we have been given.  He gives a new life!  The Lord lovingly holds us, not minding the stink, as He gives us comfort. 

I can learn a few things from a cute, stinky kitty:

  • Hanging around sin will make me stink.  Call sin sin and depart from it.
  • Reaching out to help others may be a stinky job. Jesus did it for me, I can do it for HIM.
  • Don't lash out at Christ when life doesn't seem to be going so well. (Don't lash out at other loved ones either.)
  • When life seems to go from bad to worse, the LORD might be in the middle of rescuing me from something I didn't know I needed rescuing from.
  • When I feel afraid, lonely, stinky or hungry (spiritually), Jesus will hear my cry and come to me.

June 10, 2013

Psalm 15

After the last late night post, I want to say GOD was faithful. Today is a gift full of possibilities and I feel stronger.  The peace still reigns in my heart.

Psalms 15
   LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

I read this Psalm this morning.  And I like to try to personalize what I read.

You could say it is telling me how to be godly, how to be a Christlike.
  • Walk uprightly
  • Work righteousness
  • Speak the truth in my heart
  • Don't backbite with my tongue
  • Don't do evil to my neighbor
  • Don't take up reproach against my neighbor
  • Contemn a vile person
  • Honor those the fear the LORD
  • Swear to my own hurt and change not
  • Don't put my money to usury
  • Dont take a reward against the innocent
  • Do these and I shall not be moved.
Now that is the list.  But what is the meaning of them?
( Quotes are from KJV Bible Dictionary online)

Walk Uprightly: Walk is an action.  So it is doing things "Honestly; with strict observance of morally correct behavior or thinking."  Simply put Do what is right!

Work Righteousness: "Purity of heart.... and conformity of heart and life to the divine law. Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in which it is chiefly used, is nearly equivalent to holiness.. It includes all we call justice, honesty and virtue."  Simply put Put forth effort to be just and virtuous.

Speak the truth in my heart: No dictionary needed here. Tell myself the truth.  So often we believe and tell ourselves lies.  Get rid of stinkin'thinkin'! Let the enemy have no place in my mind and emotions.

Don't backbite with my tongue: "To slander, reproach, or speak evil of the absent" Simply put, talking about someone in a negative way when they aren't there to defend themselves.

Don't do evil to my neighbor: This one is simply stated. Don't do wrong to others.

Don't take up reproach against my neighbor: In other words, don't speak negatively about them,  being accusitory, instead do my part to get along with my neighbors.  I am to be a witness to them.

Contemn a vile person: Witness against their wickness.  Call sin SIN.  They are usually unrepentant so separate yourself from them.

Honor those that fear the LORD: Fearing the LORD is more than a reverance for God, it literally means fearing HIM, realizing HE is GOD and is in charge and we are not.

Swear to my own hurt and change not:  Keep my word even when it is difficult and hurts; don't change from what I promised.

Don't put my money to usury:  I had to do some digging on usury. Basically that is loans with  interests, usually high interest.  So don't loan money and try to make money. My Pastor recommends not loaning any money I wouldn't be comfortable giving as a gift.  On the flip side, don't borrow money that requires I pay alot of interest.  I am thankful my parents taught me not to spend what I didn't have.

Don't take a reward against the innocent:  This is fairly self explainatory.

Do these and I shall not be moved.  There is strength in doing life God's way.

This was a great Psalm to study.  I am looking forward to sharing this with the boys.
Now to work on being a doer of the word.

It's Back.

Ever feel like your grief is choking you? Some people say they get lumps in their throats. That isn't what it feel like to me. It feels like it hurts to talk or breathe. Gives a real understanding to the phrase "choked up". Well, tonight it hit.

Maybe because Father's Day is coming soon.
Maybe because my oldest has entered youth group and that signals that the rough waters of teenager are coming fast.
Maybe because my youngest was crying tonight because he hurts not having any memory of his dad, not ever having met him.
Maybe because my middleman looks at me a certain way and he looks so much like his dad.
Maybe because being a widow, a singlemom, and a homeschool mom is just a lot somedays.
I don't know......there are countless little things that can add up to a grief wave or just one thing in particular.

Either way, tonight the floodgates broke, tears ran like rivers once again, and the old sensation of wanting to cry out and feeling choked instead come. I tried to voice it all to God, much of it wouldn't come out.

But as always after the tears, the comfort comes.
A peace that passes all understanding.
A reassurance of God's presence and tender care.
And as I remembered all the promises and how God has kept each one,
even more peace surrounds me.
So once again, I ask for Him to hold me all night long.
Till morning comes with new mercy and hope.
And I know HE will because He held me up through so much already.

I just stand amazed sometimes about how deep my grief can be,
even almost 7 and a half years later. It is a strong reminder to be sensative to others grieving.
We just don't know what they maybe dealing with, no matter how long their loved one has been gone.

I didn't go back and repolish this post.
I've decided to leave it, as raw and open as it is.
And with this final thought: God is faithful, no matter how much it hurts!

May 08, 2013

Only Almighty God....

As I sat and listened to my preacher Sunday night, Almighty God reminded me again that He is everywhere and knows everything, even the things hidden in the heart.

Only the Omniscient God could hear the silent prayer of my heart, and begin to answer it using my pastor's sermon.

Only The Great Teacher knew of my conversation with Snapp earlier that day and have the preacher uses the same biblical example in his sermon. 

Only the Everlasting Father knew about the struggle between me and Snipp that afternoon and had my preacher use the same key phrase I had spoken to my son about his father.

Only God knew.......
Oh, there are so many things if I would just notice them more....

Only the Maker of Eternity can make the timing work so I could go to my niece's concert and also make it to my 5th grader girls' spring concert as well, even though they were in towns 30miles apart.

Only the All Wise God could have me pick a curriculum two years ago that would require Snurr to memorize Psalm 1 and put it so deeply in his heart that is what he just had to preach at Preachfest. 

Only my Beloved LORD loves me so much that even though He knows how I messed up and failed yesterday in many ways, He still greeted me with sunshine and mercy this morning.  Only the Great Comforter can wrap His love around my heart and bring healing to my heart and soul.

Oh, dear reader, I pray that you understand how real and personal the LORD is and that you feel Him working on you and in your life. 

May 01, 2013


Years ago toothpicks were just something to pick up cheese or pieces of cantalope with. 

Then came the day I stepped on one in my bare feet.  It had been accidentally dropped and was stuck in thc carpet. I didn't see it, and it was at the perfect angle to jab deep into my foot.  The pain was horrible and it made my stomach roll seeing it sticking out of the bottom of my foot.  After it was removed, I hobbled around for days and I was very cautious about where my bare feet were. 

Fastforward several years:
At the funeral home memory table, I had a container with toothpicks.  For my beloved often had a tooth pick in his mouth, to pick his teeth with, to chew on, to play with with his fingers...  When we were dating he even added a wooden toothpick holder to my elephant collection! 

 And now whenever I see a toothpick, I smile and think of my beloved.  Unless my children have them scattered across the floor, then the old painful memory of a sore foot comes to mind. 

It is interesting how because of our experience, how a simple item like a toothpick can bring back painful or sweet memories.  It all depends on how we want to look at it.  The interesting thing is our minds cannot think of both memories at once.  So we choose.  Sometimes we let our minds wander.  Sometimes we conciously choose which one we meditate on. 

It is kind of like it depends it you hold a toothpick by the middle or the tip.  Roll it smoothly between your thumb and finger or poke yourself with it.  We choose.  Let us also remember we choose what we want to think upon.

Philippians 4:7-8
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.    Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

April 08, 2013

"It is Finished."

Well, I shared before that we had some "evidence" that needed gotten rid of.
Resurrection Sunday we went to my brother's place and said good-bye to Jim's truck.
Some of you are probably going "Huh??"

7 years ago several weeks after Jim died I asked my brother if he would take Jim's truck out to his place.  It was sitting in a towing company's storage shed costing us money, but I wasn't sure what to do with it.  Again some of you maybe wondering why I didn't just junk it.

Simply put Jim died in that truck.
It was our last connection to him.

Snipp wanted it to complete it's journey home.
I didn't want it in my yard, but I wasn't read to say good-bye yet.

I wanted to touch the seat that had held my beloved when he left this earth.
My brother gave Snipp a center cap from the truck to suffice him for awhile.

He treasures it.

Snapp got older and wanted a center cap too.
He didn't know if he wanted it coming to our place.

Snurr grew and began to ask questions.
I asked my brother if there was one more center cap.
There was.  So now all three boys have a center cap with the Dodge Ram on it.

But the truck itself still sat. 
Then came the sermon I mentioned in an earlier post:
"Get rid of the evidence."
God laid it on my heart that it was time to junk the truck.
Stop keeping it; let it go.
It was our last connection to Jim.
But it was also a vivid reminder of the trama that caused Jim's death.

I discussed it with the boys.
They were all ready to have it leave.
Snapp wondered what junk yard it would go to and if there was still
any good parts on it.
Snipp said he could care less where it went.
Snurr wasn't so sure about all this.

We went and saw it one last time.
It was smashed up, worse than it was after the accident.
Seven years in the elements and getting moved several times
had taken their toll.

The older boys walked around it. Snurr stood by my side for awhile.
Snipp was the first to be done and walk away.
No emotion.  It was just a pile of metal now.

Snapp still found some good parts then shrugged his shoulders.
He gave me a hug and walked to the house.

Snurr walked around it and around it.  Many emotions came to his face.
Wonderment, sadness, even a mischievious grin.
Finally he stood by me, raised his hand and gave a little wave.
Then he walked away, looking back at me every so often.

Alone with the truck. I walked closer and touched the headrest.
Images of what those last seconds were like came once again.........
The longing came again, wishing I could have held him as he left this world.

Then I heard the words my preacher had said in his message that morning,
"Why seek ye the living among the dead.......if you've had a love one die, they aren't dead.  They are very much alive!!!"  I was looking at a crushed up truck, like the women who went looking for Jesus' body. 

I closed my eyes and smiled. 
Jim is alive. Reigning with the King!!
I turned and walked away never looking back.

March 21, 2013

Grief Can Be Like That....

Yesterday was the first day of Spring!!!!
I woke up to the wind howling and it being 18 degrees!!!
There is not a robin to be found as we have several inches of snow and ice yet crusting the ground.
Will Spring ever come????

Yes, it is guaranteed to come.

Grief can be like this seems like healing will never come,
that the pain will never go away,
that every time you turn around there is another memory
that knocks you down and brings you to tears.
Or maybe it is a dream that never will be....
But it all hurts,
A biting, consuming, overwhelming hurt ............

But healing does come.
Slow at first, but more as time goes by,
Sometimes the healing only comes after pressing through the pain,
sometimes it comes with just crying or writing. All of it comes from the touch of Jesus and spending time with HIM.  Clinging to Him and His promises.

So just as this cold wintry spring day will melt away eventually into a gorgeous day with flowers in bloom....

The grief pain melts away into an ache, a hope, a strength,
a peace, a purpose......

And one day you find that another wounded heart needs hope,
they need to know it too will heal. 
So you rip off your bandage and let the old wound weep a little.
But you go sit beside them on the road of grief.
And they let you walk with them,
because you know,
you have been there,
your tears speak a language they understand, and you can pray with understanding.

Every time I have done this, I find my heart bleeding some too. Within the first year of grief, I discovered that reaching out is healing for me also.  Whether I sent a card, gave a small gift, gave a hug, wrote an email or letter, gave a book, or visited,  it all was giving hope to another griever on this road. It is like the Lord gave me more hope as I gave hope to others.  As I encourage them to heal, I was healed more.  Every time I share my grief story, I find out how much I really have healed. I see better where each of the boys are on their journey of grief as well. Somewhere in the past 7 years, grief stopped being the enemy that  threatened to over take me.  Instead grief became a mutual friend that introduces me to others, and gives us a common bond. 

Grief can be like that too.

February 25, 2013

Giving Birth to a Manasseh

Genesis 41:51-52

And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.

And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.

Last year, I read a book that shared the above verses.  At that time, the word Ephraim, being fruitful in the land of my affliction, really touched my heart.  It gave me a longing.  That is what I wanted, to be fruitful after having such pain.

Last night we had a visiting preacher preach out of those same verses.  He said, "Before you can ever give birth to a Ephraim, you must give birth to a Manasseh."  Before you can be fruitful from your tragedy or pain, you must do some forgetting and forgiving. 

Oh, and as we know, the birth of a child is not easy or without pain, but what joy comes after it has been delivered.

One of the stories he shared was about a poor wife who saved feed sacks to make a new dress.  She sewed it beautifully so she could wear a nice dress to look beautiful for her husband.  When she showed it to her husband, he mistakenly thought she had took the little money they had left and spent it on the dress.  He took it angrily and tore up.  She gathered up the shreds and put them in a bottom drawer.  But the marriage was in shreds too. She looked at it daily and became so bitter with her husband.  One day she heard a sermon on forgiving and forgetting.  She hurried home and took that torn dress she had put her heart into and put it in the wood stove.  Her husband caught her and when asked what she was doing she said, "I'm getting rid of the evidence." Healing came to her heart and healing came to their marriage that day.

"Get rid of the evidence." 

It is hard to forgive and forget when you keep hanging on.  Sometimes it isn't something you can touch.  Sometimes it is a memory that you dwell on.  Hurtful words or feeling abandoned or unloved.  Sometimes it is disappointments.  Sometimes it is our own selves we need to forgive and stop dwelling on.  We've all done stupid things and then done them again.

Forgive & forget......................
But it is hard!  All the Lord asks is for us to be willing. Be willing, then HE will give you the grace to forget. 

The Lord spoke to me about a couple areas of my life where I am doing that.  I want to be fruitful from affliction that comes my way.  I want beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, I want my life to be a testimony of the glory of God.
But first I must give birth to a Manasseh.
Only then can I give birth to Ephraim.


February 22, 2013

The Ship Poem

After much searching,
I finally found a poem I heard read at a funeral several years ago.  It was a vivid reminder that even while we are watching someone we love slip away from us, that others who love them dearly too are watching their coming. 

"Gone From My Sight"
by Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white
sails to the morning breeze and starts
for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come
to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says;
"There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"
Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull
and spar as she was when she left my side
and she is just as able to bear her
load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone
at my side says, "There, she is gone!"
There are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad
"Here she comes!"
And that is dying.

February 19, 2013

Holding a Bit of Heaven

I held a baby today,
the son of a dear friend,
a precious little boy who the doctors said wouldn't live this long. They were wrong.
They didn't factor in what the LORD might have planned. Instead of the little fellow having heart surgery, the LORD has used this difficult situation to work on the hearts of hundreds of others. 

As I gazed into this little bundle of miracle, I was captured by his eyes. They were the eyes of the wise.  What sweet secrets had the Father whispered to him?  His eyes seem to have a message to tell, yet God hasn't planned for him to grow up to preach it. For the LORD has chosen to show us that message instead, yet it is not just one message, it is a thousand personal messages to a thousand different people. Each one loved so grandly by the LORD. Just like He loves this little bit of heaven.

Christian parents all have the ultimate goal for each of our children to do two things: Point others to Jesus and live with Jesus in Heaven.  This little baby is fulfilling the first and will soon do the second.  The Lord in His tenderness is giving this family a special time to make treasured memories.  He is giving them days full of grace moments to store up in their hearts for the days ahead when the tears will flow like rivers and their arms will be aching and empty. 

The Lord is giving them extra time to hold their son.  It is a miracle.  Yet another miracle goes by unseen.  For the LORD, the Creator of all, the Almighty God, is holding them. Tenderly, Lovingly, Securely holding them all.....

I held a little bit of heaven today.  It was a blessing I shall never forget.

February 12, 2013


Every soldier is trained in survival.
What to do if you find yourself alone behind enemy lines.
How to stay alive and get out.

That is much how I feel about grief.
It is survival, especially at the first heartbreaking blow.
You do feel all alone, no matter how many others are around you.
And the only way out, or to healing, is to press through.

Recently, I once again shared with a grieving family my survival tips.
I don't think I have shared them on here before so here they are:

  • B-R-E-A-T-H-E  I found that it hurt to breathe at times or that I would almost forget to breathe deeply at times.  For the children's sake, I knew I had to keep breathing. There were times that I felt I had so much to do and it overwhelmed me.  I would tell myself, "All I got to do is breathe."

  • Run and cling to JESUS.  This wasn't always easy, the pain was so great.  But just like a parent responds to a newborn's cry, our loving Lord responds to our deep groanings.  Many times I cried out for the LORD to just hold me up. He did. I would curl up in a chair and ask the Great Comforter to hold me all night. He has been faithful.
  • People told me to take it one day at a time.  Are you kidding me?! A day is full of minutes, 1440 minutes to be exact, and each minute can be agonizing.  So I made my own saying, "One moment at a time, one breath at a time, one prayer at a time." And I told myself this often.
    These three basic survival tips helped me through those first hours and days and even weeks after my husband died. Then as a grieving parent with children who were grieving, I learned more survival tips:
  • I asked the LORD to give me, from scripture an answer I could give the children when they asked why. Again He was faithful.
  • The LORD also showed me how helpful it was to the children to have journals to draw in.  It really helped me to understand what was going on inside them.
  • He also showed me that it was comforting to them and to me, to have me read books to them. So we read tons of books.
  •  I clung to promises from the LORD and shared many with the boys. For over half a year, I read the Psalms. And I was given promise after promise to help me, comfort me, give me hope, and help me feel understood.
  • I made us go to church.  I will admit.  It was a battle some days.  But once we got there, I felt strengthened.  Even when we had bad days and I was in the nursery more than I was in the church services, we kept going. 
  • I journaled.  To me, writing helps me sort out the tangled twine of emotions and thoughts.  God knows me and He knows I needed to cry and write, write and cry.  These two things were essential to my personal healing. When I didn't journal or cry for awhile, when I stuffed it all down inside, it would make me easily angered or upset or almost paralyze my thinking. Writing would unbury those feelings.
  • We filled the house with music.  We played it all night and left music playing while we were gone.  It filled the emptiness with something soothing.
So there you all have it.  My brief but necessary survival tips of grief. 

February 05, 2013

I Stand in Awe

7 years.

It has been 7 years since I touched my beloved's lips with mine.  Seven long years since I stroked his beard and looked into his eyes and see that mischievous twinkle. Seven years that I haven't heard his strong, tender voice in my ears. Seven years since I laid my head on his chest and felt his strong, comforting arms surrounding me with peace. 
Seven years of learning to breathe again, learing how to live like an emotional amputee, learning to trust God at a deeper level, learning how tender God's mercy can be, learning to be content as a widow in a couples' world.  Learning...............

I stand in awe of what the LORD has done with me.
That HE would work so carefully and diligently on me.
Me--who fails most of the time and seems to never get what He is trying to teach me.
I am a living, breathing, miracle.  A testimony of His mercy.
For I am alive, only one who has had their beloved tragically torn from their side,
understands how amazing it is to be alive, when the hurt used to be so strong, it took great effort to breathe.  A hurt so heart wrenching, so physically strong, death seemed certain.

I stand in awe of what the LORD has done in our boys.
They all love the LORD!  They aren't perfect but they have a love for God that amazes me.  They still miss Daddy, but they are learning to trust God, learning better than I am, I dare say.

I stand in awe of what the LORD has allowed us to go through since then.
There has been many more tears and desperate cries since that cold February night.
Many fears overwhelming us, many emotional wounds, many unthinkable events....
The LORD allowed each one and HE sustained us through each one.
I stand in awe.

I also humbly fall on my knees when HE gives me a glimpse of what He didn't allow.
When I am shown what He kept us from, when I realize that even the pain He did allow He limited.  I cry tears of gratitude again for His mercy.

7 years......those words bring awe, fear, and encouragement. In some ways, it seems like just yesterday when the police car pulled in our driveway and my heart stopped beating. I never thought I could live this long with out my beloved.....  It is frightening how much I have forgotten, how much my life with my beloved is like a wonderful, but distant dream. It is encouraging and strengthening to recall how the LORD provided and protected and guided us through these 7 years.

I don't know what lies ahead.  But I know my LORD is already there.  He has a plan.  I just need to listen and keep my eyes on HIM.  And to never forget how tenderly loving He is.  How He understands each tear and understands me like no one else does.

He loves me more than I could ever imagine. 
And He loves those that I love even more than I do.
For He IS love.