Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Just Try~

Just try.

Just two little words,
and yet in these two words,
I can't help but feel
gentle encouragement,
sweet confirmation,
and a much needed push
from my Heavenly Father.

Just try.

So - - -
I pull out my laptop,
dust off the keys,
make a fresh cup of coffee,
sit in my favorite spot on the patio
and

just

try.

And I don't know why.
I can't put my finger on it,
can't wrap my mind around it,
can't define it or explain it -
but for some reason,
a place that once felt so natural
and so inviting,
a place that was raw, revealing,
and so incredibly healing -
now feels daunting,
unreachable, distant.

So - I have stayed away.

But, this staying away
has left me feeling
pent up and full,
unsettled and misplaced,
completely unraveled,
with a whole mess of loose ends.

Because writing has always been
the one place for me
where God has taken all the loose ends
and tied them all together again.

Moments with Him,
just His Spirit and my keyboard,
have always been the moments when
broken pieces were scooped up,
and in the most amazing of ways,
put back together -
not as they were before -
not as I often wished they were -
but always, always, always in a way
that my heart could accept.

Maybe it's because lately
the loose ends
and the broken pieces
aren't from one single heartbreak,
one single disappointment,
one single challenge,
one single mess.

Lately, my heart
has been dealing with a whole lot of ends
and a whole lot of broken pieces
all at the same time.

And it only makes sense
that all these different pieces -
when mixed up all together,
have no choice but to become
one big, huge, tangled mess.

And I remember the words of my sister -

"It's a process you have to work through.
Just like everything else.
You process by writing.
So, write."

Just try.

Just two little words,
but again,
my Heavenly Father speaks them
deep to my heart.

It might be awkward and rough,
it might be uncomfortable and slow in coming,
it might be messy and complicated,
but just try.

So -
here I sit -
processing the all of it
the only way I know how -
one prayer at a time,
one word at a time,
one moment at time.

And amazingly,
my heart is already beginning to feel at home.

Maybe it's not about finding the answer.

Maybe it's not about tidying everything up
in a neat, jagged free bundle.
Maybe it's not about fitting all the pieces together
or making sure all the loose ends are no longer loose.

Maybe it's simply about
over and over and over again
finding God in the midst of it all.

Maybe it's not about making
these shattered areas of my life whole again -
but rather finding my wholeness
in Him
in the midst of all the brokenness.

Maybe it's not about working toward
a finished project,
but rather being willing to accept the finishing work
God is doing in my heart
as I make my way through
the doing,
the experiencing,
the learning,
the living,
the exploring,
the wrestling,
the juggling,
the untangling.

Maybe,
just maybe,
it's not all that complicated at all.

Maybe it is as simple as this:

Just try,
sweet girl.

Just try.




~Stacy


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Lacking Nothing~

I'm sure you've heard
the old saying
"waste not, want not".

My mother was as dependable as a rock
about quoting this particular saying
whenever I sat at the table
with a plate of liver and onions
in front of me or
anytime my plate was home
to some sort of creature
that used to reside in the sea.
(Hmm....looking back on it,
 the fact that I'm now a vegetarian
isn't that odd, after all.
But, I digress).

The point then and now is simply this.

It you don't use something in its entirety,
if you fail to
guzzle the very last drop,
swallow the very last crumb,
squeeze out the very last bit,
you may later find yourself
coming up short
and wishing you had.
You might find yourself  "wanting".

One day as I was driving home from work,
listening to my favorite Christian radio station,
a short, simple, to the point statement,
by the DJ got me thinking.

"Nothing is wasted in God's Kingdom."

The word nothing
always gets me thinking.
When used in conjunction
with God's Kingdom,
my mind simply had no choice
but to whirl this thought
around and around and around.

Nothing.
If nothing is wasted,
then everything must be used.
Right?

As this idea tried to wind its way
from my head to my heart,
I thought about one
of the most quoted scriptures of the Bible.

And we know that all things 
work together for good 
to them that love God, 
to them who are the called 
according to his purpose.
~Romans 8:28

All things.
Everything.
Nothing wasted.

God has a purpose
for every single thing in our life.
The good.
The bad.
The happy.
The sad.

It is God's desire
to use them all for good.
Sometimes, though,
I wonder if I thwart His plan.

Sometimes,
when I go through a heartache,
instead of allowing God
to use it for good,
in bitterness or anger,
I turn up my nose,
push it away,
and turn my back on the whole thing.

Sometimes,
when I don't want to suffer,
I waste the heartache,
because instead,
I willfully choose to
detour around the purpose in the pain,
miss out on the lesson in the tears,
and sadly,
forgo the blessing
that is waiting to be squeezed out.

I want what I want
and in my wanting
I end up in want.

As a child,
I didn't want to eat
my liver and onions -
no matter how many times
my mother told me
they would give me iron
or assured me
they were "good" for me.

And, because I didn't want to,
sometimes
(when my stubbornness won out
and my mom was wore out)
I didn't.

Instead,
I went to bed hungry
and in want of something
to fill my stomach
and ease my hunger pains.

It's the same spiritually.

There is nothing wasted
in God's Kingdom
UNLESS
you and I choose
to waste the blessing
God has placed before us.

You and I won't walk away
from the table of God's will
hungry and still in need
of spiritual nourishment
UNLESS
we choose to refuse
the feast God has served us.

Now, as an adult,
I am mindful of mindlessly
throwing away that
which can be salvaged,
recycled, or re-used.
I try to be a good steward
of the money and the possessions
God has lavished upon me.

Shouldn't the same be true
in my spiritual life?

A chance to comfort others
with the comfort I've been given,
an opportunity to learn from the pain
and grow in the strain,
an invitation to become
more like Jesus through it all -
all these are too priceless
to throw out the backdoor of my heart
and into the dumpster of life.

How I (and possibly you, too)
need to glean all I can
from the ALL of my life.
How I (and possibly you, too)
need to reach out, embrace, and guzzle up
every last drop of the pain.
How I (and possibly you, too)
need to reach down,
pull out all the stops,
and squeeze out every last bit of blessing
from each and every teardrop.

How we need to
endure,
persevere,
press on,
so, in the end,
we won't be found in want,
but rather,
we will be found in Him,
in Christ Jesus,
complete, and lacking nothing*.

* James 1:4



~Stacy



Friday, July 5, 2019

Because I Failed Her . . . ~

She sits beside me
as I sit beside my husband.

We are there
waiting for our order.
She is there
waiting for attention.

As my husband
moves toward the counter
to answer a question
about our order,
she reaches for a jacket
as she looks at me and says,
"I love this shirt.
I really do.
It's one of my favorites,
but I hate the way
it is always
inching down in the front,
and I have to keep
pulling it back up.
It makes me uncomfortable,
ya know?
Don't you hate shirts
that do that?"

The shirt she is
referring to
is a low cut,
spaghetti strap style top -
v  e  r  y low cut.

Before I can answer,
she laughs,
and then this precious girl,
no older than
fifteen or sixteen,
continues.

"So, how is your day going?"

"Wonderfully well," I answer.
"And yours?"

"Good. Just hangin' out here
cuz there's not much else
going on, ya know.
I'll probably walk home
in a little while."

"Do you live far from here?"
my husband asks,
as he rejoins us.

"No, not too far.
And my dad might
come pick me up -
if he's not still
mad at me.
If he is,
he'll make me walk.
That's just the way
it goes with us.
It's not bad -
it's just us."

She laughs another laugh,
then turns to talk to one
of the young male workers
who is now on his break,
sitting on the other side of her.

And, I hear God's Spirit
telling me to tell her.

In a quick spin on her stool,
she turns to me again.

"So, since you ordered
a hamburger without the meat,
you must be a vegetarian.
How's that working out
for you?"

This time,
I laugh.

"It's working out ok.
I really don't miss meat at all."

She continues with small talk.

We talk about the way
she loves steak
and how her dad
makes the best
out on the grill,
marinated in his
special garlic teriyaki sauce.

We talk about my purse
and how she loves
the black, white, and tan
print pattern.

We talk about everything
except
what God is telling me
to talk to her about.

Our number is called.
We pick up our order.
I walk out of the door
and out of her life.

As we drive home,
my husband oh so gently says,
"You should have told her.
I thought about telling her,
but it wasn't
for a man to say."

I know what he's talking about,
and he is right -
so
v  e  r  y
right.

"She probably doesn't
have a mother
or anyone in her life
to tell her.

It was obvious
she wanted attention.
And, it was obvious
she felt comfortable
talking with you.

You should have told her -
honest and straightforward,
but wrapped in love,
like you always do.

Don't let those opportunities
slip by, Stacy.

God placed you next to her
for a reason."

As I sit here now,
writing this,
I see her face.

I see
the innocence,
the loneliness,
the beauty,
the struggle,
the reaching out -
and I know
I failed her.

I know
I failed God, too.

I know
I was given
a divine appointment
and
I missed it.

And, my heart hurts.

I long to go back.
I long to hit rewind
and do it
all over again.

But, I can't.
The moment is past.
The door closed.
The opportunity missed.
The words unsaid.

And because
I failed her,
I am pouring these words
out to YOU here.

Everyday
God places
one divine appointment
after another
smack dab in front
of me
(and
in front of you.)

Sometimes I listen
to His prompting
and speak His words.
Sometimes, like tonight,
I don't.

And, as I think back
to the way God leads
and the way
I choose to follow
or not,
I know one thing
to be true.

The only time
I have regret,
the only time
I leave a divine appointment
heartbroken,
the only time
I feel like
I feel right now,
is when
I don't listen,
I don't speak,
I don't step
through the door
He has opened for me.

Don't be like me.

Don't miss His
divine appointments
in your life.

Don't hear His Spirit
telling you to speak
and then choose
not 
to listen,
not
to obey.

Don't miss a moment
to speak a word -
HIS WORD -
that can
turn a life around,
draw a heart closer to His,
completely transform a life.

Listen.
Follow.
Speak.

Don't find yourself
in my heart's shoes -
wresting with
regret and sorrow
because
I failed her.


(Note - this is a post I wrote on my Heartprints of God Facebook page on May 13, 2014. God placed it in front of me again today - and upon hearing His voice  - "tell them" - here it is.)

~Stacy



Sunday, June 30, 2019

A God Thing~

Sometimes
hearing God's voice
is easy.

"Thou shalt not steal."

"Love your neighbor as yourself."

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God."

Sometimes
hearing God's voice
is not.

And really,
maybe it's not
the actual hearing
that is difficult.
Maybe it's knowing if
the voice we are hearing
is truly God's
that makes listening so tricky.

This morning,
as I was sitting
at my kitchen table
working on some photos
for my Heartprints of God facebook page,
I got an alert
on my phone
that I had a message.

The message was from
a former student of mine
who lives in another state -
who is now all grown up -
a husband
and a father.

The message was a Facebook link
to a live church service,
followed by these words:

I know you can't 
be here today,
but if you can watch
and say a prayer
for our children,
that would be awesome.
We are commissioning 
our kids today.
We should be after this song.

Immediately,
I clicked the link
and instantly
found myself
joining this precious family
in worship
and the commissioning service
of their young son and daughter.

After words of
Godly instruction and encouragement
from the pastor,
followed by words of
declaration and commitment
from all of the parents
participating in the commissioning service,
the pastor asked those
who were there today
representing these families,
to please stand
and reach their hands forward
as he prayed over
these young children
and their parents.

Proudly,
I stood up
right at my kitchen table
and reached out my hands
in the direction
of my computer screen
and this precious family.

As the pastor prayed,
tears of joy and thanksgiving
made their way down my cheeks.

To have had the honor
to know this man
as a child.

To have had the honor
to speak words of Jesus
into his heart
and into his life.

To see him now,
with children of his own,
desiring nothing more than
for his own son
and his own daughter
to know and love
the Jesus
he knows and loves.

To be the one
he would invite
to stand with them
in prayer
and as a witness -
what an honor.

Because you see,
six months before
my husband passed away,
my man and I
had sat at the funeral
of this student's father.

And,
because you see,
six months after
my husband passed away,
my sister-in-law and I
had sat at the funeral
of this student's mother.

And,
because you see,
earlier this year
in another message,
speaking about himself
and his two brothers,
this student had left
these words behind:
Thank you Stacy
for all you've done
in our lives.
You've helped us
grow into the men
we are today.

And,
because you see,
just this past Mother's Day,
this student
left this comment
on a photo I had posted
of my own mother and me:
I've decided that 
you're now
my adopted mom.
You've given enough
lectures, scoldings, 
praises and encouragement
through my years
that most mothers 
give their own children.
Happy Mother's day from me
and all of your former children.
Love you.

Today wasn't simply about
witnessing,
and standing up for
and supporting this family
as a former teacher,
but. as. family.

And I tell you all of that
to tell you this:

When I went to bed last night,
I couldn't shake the feeling
that I should
stay home this weekend
and not attend church.

I kept hearing this
over and over and over
in my spirit,
and as I did,
I kept trying to figure out
if it was God's voice
directing me to stay home
or if it was mine -
choosing to be selfish,
choosing to be anti-social,
choosing me instead of choosing "Thee".

But,
after much time in prayer,
I finally decided
for whatever reason,
this was indeed God's voice.

So, I obeyed.

I stayed home
and decided
to spend the morning
working on photos.

And,
that's when the message came.

The very same message -
that -
if I had been attending church -
would have went
unnoticed,
unread,
un-acted upon
until a couple hours later
when it would have been
over,
done,
finished,
too late.

Yes,
sometimes
hearing God's voice
is easy.
And,
sometimes
it is not.

Especially when
the voice we are hearing
seems to be contrary
to what we think
His voice should be saying.

"Stay home from church."

But,
what God is teaching me -
(and maybe you, too)
is this:

Sometimes,
God will ask us
to let go
of a good thing
so He can
exchange it with
a God thing.

There would have been
absolutely nothing wrong
with my attending church, -
that is definitely a good thing to do -
but
if I would have been there,
I would have missed
this very special God moment.

Looking back now
it's easy to see,
God didn't want me
to miss church,
He simply had
a different location in mind.

And I found myself,
once again
with tears in my eyes,
thanking God for
arranging it all
so I might be a part -
even if only via online.

And I found myself
once again down on bent knees,
praying earnestly for
ears that will always
hear His voice clearly,
a spirit that will always
discern His voice distinctly,
and a heart that will always
obey His voice completely.

My sheep
hear My voice,
and I know them,
and the follow Me.
~John 10:27

Speak, Lord.
Your servant is listening.


~Stacy

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Real Deal~

My grandma,
born and raised
in the deep South,
was a spunky lady,
to say the least.

She had a dry, witty
sense of humor
and was famous
for her one-liners.

While her words
always brought a laugh,
they also revealed her wisdom.

Long after the laughter faded,
her words
resonated in my heart.

As a young, single woman
in my early twenties,
I often traveled by myself.

I thought nothing
of getting in my car
and driving seven hours North
to see my parents,
or ten hours East
to spend time with my sister.

My parents, however,
worried about my safety.
Time after time,
they cautioned me
of the dangers
of traveling alone.

One time,
this familiar
topic of conversation
came up
while we were visiting
my grandma.

"I don't know why
she insists
on traveling by herself,"
my mother said,
as I sat right beside her
on my Grandma's couch.

"I keep telling her
to get a man's hat
and place it
in her back window.
That way,
it would at least
look like a man
was traveling with her.
For all they know,
he could simply
be taking a nap
in the backseat!"

Without skipping a beat,
my Grandma leaned forward,
looked directly at me
and remarked,
"Forget about the hat, honey.
Get a man!"

Laughter spilled into the room.

Then Grandma continued.

"Who wants
a silly ole hat
when you can have
the real deal?!"

And of course,
for all practical purposes,
Grandma was right!

I understood
my mother's reasoning
and felt her love for me
in this odd request,
but I had to agree
with my Grandma.

What good would a hat do?

It was, after all, just a hat.

At a quick glance,
it might give
the appearance
that a man
was along for the ride,
but appearances and reality 
are two totally different things!

Could a hat
change a flat tire for me?

Could a hat
take the wheel
and drive for me
if I got tired
and needed a break
from the driver's seat?

Could a hat
protect me
from a would be assailant?

No,
the hat was merely
for show
and would only provide
a false sense of security.

I didn't need a hat.
I needed a man!

As ridiculous as I found
my mother's idea to be,
I couldn't deny
the joke was on me
when it came to my spiritual life.

I had grown up
in a Christian home
and had attended church
from a young age.

I knew all about God,
the Bible,
and what it meant
to look like a Christian.

In fact,
anyone who spotted me
cruising through life
would have been sure
to notice my Bible,
my Christian lingo
and my Christian ways.

But,
if they would have gotten
close enough
to peer into
the backseat of my heart,
they would have discovered
all these
were just for show.

I was traveling life alone.

I had religion,
but what I needed 
was the man, Christ Jesus.

It wasn't until
my earlier thirties
that I traded in
my religious facade
for a true, vibrant,
living and breathing
relationship with the Lord.

Through the power
of the Holy Spirit,
God became real to me
for the first time in my life.

Now, my Bible
is no longer on display
for all to see,
but instead,
it's words
are hidden in my heart,
guiding, leading and transforming me
little by little,
day by day.

The words I speak
are no longer spoken
to impress others
with my spirituality,
but rather
to impress upon others
the beauty and freedom
that can be found
in a relationship with Jesus.

I pray each day
God will take
the wheel of my life
and live
in and through me.

I am no longer satisfied
with religion.

I am no longer content
to live a life
"just for show",
and why should I be?

Think about it.  

Can religion
forgive my sins?

Can religion
create a new heart in me?

Can religion
live in and through me?

Can religion
feel my hurt,
understand my fears,
or speak to my heart?

No, only Jesus can.

Why would I want to settle 
for anything less 
than Jesus?
...and why should you?






~Stacy



Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Saying Goodbye to Rose-Colored Glasses~

Have you ever
seen yourself
in the behavior
of someone else?

Lately,
everywhere I look,
through unexpected Stacy-sightings,
the Lord has been revealing to me,
the real me.

Minus a sugar coating
to sweeten each revelation,
these new insights
have been pretty hard to swallow.

It's easy for me
to fool myself
into thinking I am
something (or someone)
I'm not.

Especially,
when I look at other people
and then compare my behavior
in light of theirs.

Sure, I'm hopping mad, 
but at least my temper 
isn't as bad as his!

Wow, I can't believe 
how critical she is. 
I would never judge 
someone else 
like that!

I hear you laughing.
You know exactly
what I'm talking about
because you, too,
have said or thought
the exact same thing!

We humans are funny creatures,
aren't we?

And yet,
there's nothing like
catching our reflection
in the actions of someone else
to steal the chuckle
right out of us!

Why is it
we have such
a hard time
seeing the real us?

Good or bad.
Positive or negative.

Those with a chip
on their shoulder
often see in themselves
qualities, gifts and talents
the rest of us
can't quite see,
while those
with a poor self-image
have trouble spotting that
which is so obvious
to everyone else.

I think it is because
we tend to look
at ourself and others
through human eyes.

But God,
He sees our heart.

And, it is the ugliness
in my heart
that has been popping up
in the least likely places.

I really shouldn't be surprised, though.

A few days ago,
after getting
an unexpected heart-revelation,
I decided to pray
the same prayer David prayed.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
~Psalms 139:23-24, NLT


The great I Am,
the Lover of my Soul,
the Spirit of Truth,
is He.

And,
mercifully,
tenderly,
honestly,
and often painfully,
He is revealing me ... to ME.

The real me.

Not my reputation,
but my character.

Not who I like to think I am,
but who I really am.

And...
it hasn't been pretty.

But,
it's exactly what I need.

Unless we come 
face to face 
with real us, 
we will never come 
face to face 
with our need for a Savior.

The closer I get to God,
the more I realize
just how wretched I am.
(You, too?)

The more I learn
of His spotless character,
the more I discover
the sinfulness and filthiness
of my own.
(You, too?)

The deeper I fall in love
with my Savior,
the more I humbly bow
before my God
and thank Him for
the gift of Jesus,
the gift of salvation,
the gift of redemption,
the gift of re-creation.

This means that anyone 
who belongs to Christ 
has become a new person.
The old life is gone; 
a new life has begun!
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT

Slowly,
but surely,
one revelation at a time,
God is remaking me
into His image.

At times it is
painful,
embarrassing
and down right humiliating,
not to mention,
depressing.

But,
I am learning
to let God search me
and try me,
and then,
to miraculously change me.

Nope!
Upon Godly inspection,
I am definitely not 
who I thought I was.

But, hallelujah,
thanks to Godly sanctification,
I'm not who I used to be either!



~Stacy



Monday, June 17, 2019

The Seen and the Unseen~

I often think,
and have even went so far
as to tell some people,
if my husband
(who passed away three years ago)
was somehow able
to come back now,
he would take one quick look at me
and exclaim,
"Girl! What happened to you?"

To which I would reply -
"You! You leaving is what happened to me!"

Now three years later,
in so many respects
and is so many ways,
I have no doubt
I would be
almost unrecognizable
to the one
who knew me so well.

For starters -
I feel as though
I have aged
at least thirty years
in the last three.

Make no mistake about it.
Grieving is hard work.
It is taxing and exhausting -
physically,
mentally,
emotionally,
and yes, spiritually.

Tears that fall uncontrollably.
Sleep that comes sporadically.
Reminders of loss that pop up unexpectedly.
Forward motion that happens hesitatingly
(and only by God's grace and strength -miraculously).

My hair, grayer.
My face, deeper wrinkled.
My stamina, weaker.
My breathing, more labored.
My eyes (I fear), a bit dimmer.

To be honest,
sometimes I
even look in the mirror
and ask myself,
"Girl?! What happened to you!?"

Grief definitely changes you.
Sorrow no doubt affects you.

And while my physical appearance
would definitely
catch my husband by surprise,
once he got over the shock
and spent even the tiniest
amount of time with me,
he would soon discover
I have changed in other dramatic ways, too.

A slowing down and soaking in,
a taking notice of, marveling at, and giving thanks for,
a deeper realization of what matters most,
a greater understanding of the brevity of life,
all interwoven and completely intermingled with
a dire urgency to make each moment count.

An intentionality and purposefulness in each "yes" or "no".
A uncompromisingly bold resolve to not
be swayed by the opinions of others,
be governed by the approval of man,
be sold-out to the system of this world.

A deeper, truer faith and an unswerving desire
to surrender my plans for God's,
to submit my will for God's,
to hold on if God says so,
to let go if God says so,
to trust all the way,
to obey all the way,
to serve, honor, please
and glorify
my God,
not half-way,
not two-thirds of the way,
not three-fourths of the way,
not even 99.9% of the way -
but ALL THE WAY.

No. Matter. Who.
No. Matter. What.
No. Matter. Where.
No. Matter. When.
No. Matter. Why.
No. Matter. How.

To seek first His kingdom.

To walk by faith, not by sight.

To lean not on my own understanding
but in all my ways to acknowledge Him.

To be transformed by the renewing of my mind
so I won't be conformed to the ways of the world.

To desperately pant for God
the way a deer
desperately pants for water.

To desire His truth in my inward parts.

To worship my God in spirit and in truth.

To live a life worthy of the calling of Christ Jesus my Lord.

To die to self that His Spirit
might live in me, and through me, despite me.

Yes, if my man looked closer,
he would discover
soon enough,
that alongside
the obvious,
not to be missed,
can't help but be seen
physical "decay"
and wear and tear of grief,
there has also
risen up in me
a deeper spiritual strength
that cannot be missed.

A strength that
no doubt
was born out of my sorrow,
a direct result of my grief.

Therefore,
we do not lose heart.
Even though 
our outward man
is perishing,
yet the inward man
is being renewed
day by day.

For our light affliction,
which is but for a moment,
is working for us
a far more exceeding and eternal
weight of glory,
while we do not look
at the things
which are seen,
but at the things
which are not seen.
For the things which are seen
are temporary,
but the things which are not seen
are eternal.
~2 Corinthians 4:16-18

It's interesting,
how sorrow and strength
can be so interconnected.
How what feels
as though it will
completely break you,
if placed in the hands of God,
is what becomes
the very thing
that will make you -
stronger,
bolder,
wiser,
meeker,
and more humbly
desperate for God.

And, I often think,
and have even went so far
as to talk about it
with the Lord in prayer,
if my husband
was somehow able
to come back now,
he would take one quick look at me
and exclaim,
"Girl! What happened to you?"
but then,
then . . .
upon closer inspection . . .
he would take another look,
smile a smile uniquely his own,
and with the nod of his head, remark -
"I like it.
I do.
I like these changes a lot, Beautiful."

Me too, Handsome. Me, too.

I'll gladly take the unseen
(even if they come
at great cost to the seen)
any day,
and every time.

. . . being confident
of this very thing,
that He who has
begun a good work in you
will complete it
until the day of Jesus Christ.
~Philippians 1:6




~Stacy


Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Voice of My Father~

My father passed away
over fourteen years ago,
and yet, at times,
it seems as though
time has stood still
since I saw him last.


In my mind's eye,
I can see him still -
sitting out on the back porch,
legs crossed,
one leg resting atop one knee.


And of course,
punctuating
those long legs of his,
cowboy boots.


One arm is resting on the arm rest,
while the other one,
bent at the elbow,
is providing his head
with a bit of rest, too.


While I vividly recall
his mannerisms and gentle ways,
it is the words he spoke to me
that I remember most.

I think this is because
he was a man of few words.

Even now,
I hear his voice
of instruction, guidance, humor and spunk.

In winter:
Don't forget to pack a sleeping bag
in the trunk of your car.

In summer:
If you get a flat tire,
make sure when you pull over
you aren't parking on tall, dry grass.
You wouldn't want to start a fire.
Oh....and watch for snakes.

In fall:
Isn't that the prettiest harvest moon
you have ever seen?
(It's easy to see
where my own
love for the moon
comes from.)

In spring:
Watch for snakes.
(Snakes seemed to be
on his mind a lot).
The weather is getting warm
and they'll be coming out.

In conversation in our home:
Talk nice.

When traveling:
Don't drive too fast.

After dinner:
How about warming us
a piece of that peach cobbler
and putting a little shot of ice cream on it?

When shopping:
Let's just pop in here for a minute
and see what they have.

When someone in our family was angry:
Why are you mad at me?
I didn't throw any rocks at your dog.

When referring to me:
How's Daddy's Darlin'?

It is these phrases, these words,
that now give me comfort,
keep me packing a sleeping bag
in my trunk
during the cold months of winter,
keep me watching out for snakes,
and smiling.

It is no different
with my Heavenly Father.

Every day, in my heart,
I hear his voice
speaking to me, too.

In relationships:
Love another
as I have loved you.

In trials:
Be of good cheer,
I have overcome the world.

In decision-making:
Acknowledge me
and I will direct your paths.

In my mistakes:
Confess your sins to me
and I will forgive you.

In my fears:
I didn't give you
a spirit of fear.
I gave you love,
power and a sound mind.

In my day-to-day life:
I am with you always.

I am so thankful
for my earthly father.
His wisdom and love
guide me still.

Yet, I am most thankful
for my Heavenly Father,
The Giver of all good gifts,
the One who gave me
the precious gift of my earthly father,
the One who knows me better
than I know myself.

It is HIS voice
that leads me into
the paths of righteousness.

It is HIS voice
that leads me to
my eternal home.

It is HIS voice
I want guiding me
each and every day.~

(Re-posting in honor of Father's Day and my Daddy's birthday, June 22.)

~Stacy