Sunday, October 30, 2016

It's Never . . . Or, It's Now~

I will never forget that moment.

Sitting in a staff meeting one morning, a colleague read a short devotional based on a passage found in Mark 10. Then, he led us in a short prayer.

On any other day, after the prayer, the Pastor would have dove right into our work assignments for the day and the issues at hand. Not this day.

The prayer finished and we were met with silence;
a silence that lingered, creating an uneasiness in the room.

After several moments,
the Pastor, looking at no one in particular,
yet speaking directly to everyone seated at the table asked,
"What do you want Jesus to do for you?"

Again, silence.

Minutes ticked by as we each allowed this question to penetrate our heart.

"What do I want Jesus to do for me?"

Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 

“Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him.

But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.

“My rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”

And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.

~Mark 10:46-52, NLT


I often wonder what it would have been like to have lived during the time of Jesus' earthly ministry. As He went from town to town and village to village, people young and old crowded around to hear His words and to witness His healing touch. If I had been there, I think, I too would have been among the crowd. I, too, would have followed Jesus.

I wonder, though, would I have had the courage, the boldness or the faith to cry out to Him with my own need. Sadly, I don't think I would have. I would have wanted to, to be sure......but, I think I would have let the opinions of the crowd and my own poor self-image keep me at a distant.

"Who am I to think I can interrupt Jesus while He is ministering to those who need him?"

"Why should I take up Jesus' time when there are so many more who needed Him more than I do?"

"Why would Jesus want to heal me?"

Yes, I would have wanted to run to Him, but...

As I have studied this passage of scripture, my eyes have been opened to see my own spiritual blindness....my own spiritual need. As I have looked deep into my heart, I now realize I am in greater need than the blind beggar, Bartimaues. When Jesus drew near, He had the courage and the faith to cry out to Him. But me....I often stay silent. I have the faith....but I don't ask.

Every single moment of my life Jesus is here, and I just let Him pass me by.

Oh, for the courage of Bartimaeus.

He didn't allow anything or anyone (not even himself )
to keep him from drawing near Jesus and experiencing His touch.
He boldy cried out and in faith, received.

Bartimaeus did nothing to make himself worthy of receiving this miracle from God. When he ran to Jesus, he was just an ordinary human being in need, just like you and me. He knew all he needed could be found in Jesus.

And, I think he also knew that Jesus invites us to come just as we are.

After all, aren't we powerless to come any other way?


Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.
{Photo Credit}
You see, Jesus doesn't see us the same way we see ourself.

Yes, He sees the real, ugly, sinful person that we are,
but He sees us through His eyes of love.

He sees us as His child.

He sees us as someone worth giving His own life for.

He sees our need,
but looks beyond it to see the ONE in need.

He simply wants us to come -
to not let anything or anyone,
not even ourself,
keep us from experiencing His love and receiving His touch.

Today, Jesus is passing by.

All it takes is one touch to change your life forever.

Are you willing to risk everything and run to Him,
or are you content to let Him simply pass you by.

It's never.........or it's NOW!







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Friday, October 28, 2016

It's All in the Timing~

Hurry up! Go! Hurry up! Go!

Looking back over the span of my life,
I can't think of a time when I didn't feel the pressure to hurry up and go,
(except for three weeks, in three separate years,
when my sisters and I were on our yearly sister vacation.)

From my earliest childhood memory
of my mom waking me up for school,
the story of my life (and most likely yours, too!)
has been hurry up and go.

As my mom placed breakfast before me, -
the minutes until the bus for school would arrive
ticking away faster than the speed of light -,
she would look at me with frustration on her face and say,
"Don't just sit there, do something. Hurry up! Go!"

From hurrying to catch the bus,
to hurrying to finish homework assignments,
to hurrying to graduate high school,
to hurrying to get through college,
to hurrying to find a job,
to hurrying to find a husband,
to hurrying to make a living,
to hurrying to get through life,
my life has been set on "hurry up and go".

And here,
now,
in this season between seasons,
I feel the pressure to hurry up and go more than ever.

Having said "adios" to my last job four weeks ago,
and having yet to say "hello" to a new one,
I hear the words of my mom all over again,
"Don't just sit there, do something. Hurry up! Go!"

With days on the calendar ticking by
faster than the speed of light,
and knowing full well everything that the world demands of me -
I feel the pressure to
be about the business of being about my business.

Only, I have no idea what exactly my business is . . .

Should I look for a new job here, or somewhere else?

Is God calling me to stay here in my home, or move?

If I move, what am I going to do with all of my husband's belongings?

Am I ready to part with his things, with our home, with our life here?

If I choose to stay here do I really want to be here without him?

If I decide to sell our house, how long will it take to sell?

What will I do if our home doesn't sell quickly
and I haven't found a new job here
because I'm waiting to get a new job there (wherever there is)?

On and on and on
the questions,
the searching for answers,
the trying to make plans when I don't have a plan,
all have me feeling
the all too familiar pressure
to hurry up and go.

On the outside, that is.

Oddly enough,
(or maybe not odd at all)
deep within,
down in the center of who I am,
flowing from my inner, spiritual man,
I feel the overwhelming conviction to "be still".

While the world is trying its best to
push me into action,
prod me into moving,
pressuring me into deciding,
I hear God's voice telling me
to think and pray,
to wait and see,
to hope and believe,
to trust and obey,
to hold off and hold on,
to "be still".

And, because these are two directly opposite forces,
I feel as though I am in the midst of an intense spiritual battle.

Add to this,
the fact that my husband isn't here to
counsel and pray with me,
and it only makes matters worse.

Hurry up! Go!

"Be still."

Hurry up! Go!

"Be still."

And, I remember the story my husband told me over and over and over again.

How,
when young and "chasing the American dream",
while living in Phoenix, Arizona,
he was walking along one of the canals in the city,
wondering if there was more to life than
working and paying bills and going to bed
only to get up the next day and spend it
working and paying bills and going to bed.

As he walked along,
the Holy Spirit suddenly came upon Him.
He always smiled as he told this part of the story,
adding that when God's Spirit touched him,
he felt a warm sensation from the top of his head
all the way through him to the bottom of his feet.

As he took his next step,
it was as though the eyes of his heart had been opened,
and for the first time,
he really saw life.

He saw birds flying above him.
He saw flowers lining the path before him.
He heard children playing nearby.
He felt the warmth of the sun and the breeze on his face.
He saw the beauty of life,
and he heard God tell him,
"This is life.  Appreciate it - appreciate everything about it."

Knowing God's presence was with him,
he continued walking until he came to a church in the heart of the city.
He went in,
sat down,
and pulled out a Bible from the hymn rack on the back of the pew in front of him.

As he opened the pages of God's Holy Word,
God led him to Matthew 6:25 - 34,
the first words he ever read from the Bible:

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?


Therefore do no worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

And, I ponder all of this in my heart.

Time waits for no man,
this is true.

Bills will keep rolling in,
and I will need to find my new place in the world soon enough.
I can't sit idly by and do nothing,
and yet I know Godly wisdom is counseling me
not to rush into anything, either.

There is a time and a season for everything.

And in the meantime,
there is a God who is very aware of my needs,
very attuned to all that pertains to me
not only physically, but
mentally,
emotionally,
and spiritually, too.

While it seems time is ticking by and nothing is happening,
I have to trust
God is at work, -
that He is already in tomorrow,
going before me,
preparing the way.

For now,
I will be still.

I will do what He has asked me to do:
to think and pray,
to wait and see,
to hope and believe,
to trust and obey,
to hold off and hold on,
to "be still",
to seek first the kingdom of God,
knowing full well my God shall
supply all my needs,
provide all the answers,
open and close all the right doors,
guide, lead, and direct my path -
in His time,
in His way.

And when the time is right,
when God gives me the green light -
when He is the one
pushing,
prodding,
pressuring me to move -
then,
my only appropriate response will be
to listen and obey,
and to hurry up and go!









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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

When Giving Feels More Like Taking

I stood in the shower,
my tears more of a steady stream
than the water running down my back.

The tile walls,
the light from the small window,
the pulling of the curtain,
the feel of the washing of the water,
the undeniable presense of my God -
this is what makes this space,
my sanctuary.

For eighteen years,
and longer than that -
just not in this particular home,
the shower has been the place where God and I meet.

It's the place where
I give thanks and He receives,
I sing praise and He empowers,
I rejoice and He delights,
I confess and He forgives,
I unload and He restores,
I wonder and He confirms,
I dream and He nudges,
I wrestle and He (sometimes, sometimes not) reveals.

Last night,
we wrestled.

With tears streaming down my face
(and admittedly, feelings clearly drowning out my faith)
I unleashed my
heartache,
disappointment,
frustration,
loneliness,
and anger,
on God.

As always,
He patiently and lovingly
let me get it all out.

It wasn't until I could hardly breathe
and I was completely worn out from purging it all,
that He graciously spoke
and tenderly revealed.

"You think I am taking, Stacy.
This is why you are so upset.
But, oh sweet child of mine,
I am simply longing to give."

8 months ago - the loss of my husband.
1 month ago - the loss of my job.
In the last few weeks - the loss of "fitting in" in familiar circles.

As His words trickled down from Heaven and flowed into my heart,
I was reminded of a beautiful truth He spoke into my heart on my 48th birthday.

Wanting to make a list of 48 lessons I had learned from life,
I had awoken early on this day that found me one year older,
and in the still of the morning hour,
I had prayed for God to remind me of truths He had revealed over the past 48 years of my life.

Now,
almost three years later,
in the middle of my outburst in the shower,
God brought #22 on the list back to my mind:

God gives. God takes. When we live life open-handed, it makes both easier.

"Look at the hand of your life, Stacy."

I didn't need to look.
I knew it was closed as tight as tight could be.

What is it about losing that makes you want to hold on tighter?

"Don't fight me, sweet child.
Just let it go.  Let it all go.
I'm not taking from you.
I want to give."

And honestly,
my faith knew this to be true.
My faith knew that it knew that it knew
God was in control,
God was moving,
God was up to something new.

It was my feelings, my emotions, my tender heart that was wrestling with all this loss.

"Don't resist it.
Embrace it."

"Don't feel as though you have been maligned.
Rather, see it as an opportunity
to willfully align your will with Mine."

It's so easy in the wee hours of your 48th birthday to write
about living your life open-handed.

Living it at 50,
here after losing my husband,
here after losing my job,
here after losing the "fitting in" in familiar circles -
this was where the rubber was meeting the road.

This was where God was revealing to me His plan.

This was where God was counseling me
to take what seemed to me to be "maligning"
and to turn it into me "aligning" my life with His plan.

As long as I refused to open my life -
all the way -
God couldn't truly take all the
heartache,
disappointment,
frustration,
loneliness,
and anger,
and
He couldn't truly give me all
the new
He longed to give.

"Remember when you wanted to give fruitcake, Stacy?
You thought I was taking from you then, too.
Remember, sweet child?
But, just look how I gave.
When your faith grows weak,
when your feelings start to overshadow,
look back and remember."

Tight-fisted?
Open-handed?

Heart closed tight?
Heart open completely in surrender?

The choice was mine and mine alone.

As I climbed into bed and turned off the light
I felt impressed to scroll down through my facebook feed one more time
before closing my eyes on this day.

Reaching for my phone,
I started to scroll,
one post after another,
until
my eyes landed on these words:

"Give me some cooperation, says the Father-
I will give you some change.
Align yourself inwardly, with my Spirit,
and your life with spontaneously come to blessing, and benefit"

And, I heard my Saviour's sweet voice once again,
here in the midnight hour-

"You think I am taking, Stacy.
But, oh sweet child of mine,
I am simply longing to give."

I closed my eyes
and once again,
I opened wide my heart.









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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sometimes~










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Monday, October 17, 2016

Following the Leader~

To be a true follower of Christ,
we have to be willing to follow Him.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].~Matthew 16:24

It is not enough for us to simply hang around in circles and places
where Jesus is seen and Jesus is heard.

It is not enough for us to simply be where He is -
at church.

In order for us to be a true follower,
a true disciple -
we must be willing to follow.

And, this following,
no doubt,
will "cost" us.

And, it is this cost
that keeps so many Christians standing still,
"playing church",
content to follow until . . .
it means losing your friends,
it means losing your job,
it means losing your "worldly reputation",
it means losing your "worldly status",
it means losing your financial security,
it means losing your very life.

And yet,
what most people don't realize is this:
it is in the following
and it is in the losing
that God is truly found.

Jesus didn't call the disciples to follow Him
so they would lose all they had
(although some did, even their very life.)
He called the disciples to follow Him
so they would gain all that really mattered in this life -
and the next.

It's not the ones who sit safely on a church pew,
week after week,
who receive of all that God desires to give.
It is those who are willing
to hear His call,
to surrender to His leading,
to pick up their cross of self-denial and self-security
and follow Him
who gain the riches of His kingdom.

If we are not willing to open our life completely to our God,
are we truly His follower?

If we are not willing to leave the things of the world
for the things of our God,
are we truly His follower?

If we are not willing to step out
and truly follow,
are we truly His follower?

Today,
I pray God will give you and I
the courage,
the boldness,
the faith,
and the conviction
to follow Him -
wherever He leads,
whatever the cost.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keepto gain that which he cannot lose."~Jim Elliot









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Sunday, October 16, 2016

No Man Is Alone Who Has God~

While I was never one to watch westerns,
(unless of course my Daddy was
and I could climb up in his chair, sit next to him
and pretend I was watching, too)
I always felt a connection with
The Lone Ranger and Tonto.

No, it wasn't the mask the Lone Ranger wore.

Anyone who knows me even the teeniest bit,
knows I don't like masks.
I like to see exactly who it is I am dealing with.
Santa - nope.
Clowns - nope.
Show me your face, your real face, all of it -  and we can talk.

And no, it wasn't even what the Lone Ranger did,
riding around
helping who ever needed help,
always coming to the rescue
(as wonderful and admirable as that is).

I liked the Lone Ranger because
he was,
the Lone Ranger.
His name said it all.

And while I can't claim to be the Lone Ranger,
I can certainly claim to be a loner.

I don't need a huge circle of friends.
I don't need a calendar filled with social events.
Give me one friend, and I'm good.
It's the way I prefer to do life.

One good friend.
Or, in my case, one very good friend who was also my husband.
Even the Lone Ranger had one friend, Tonto.

But, what happens when you lose your Tonto?

I think for us Lone Ranger types,
death of our Tonto,
takes grief to a whole new level.

Because you see,
as long as we have our one friend,
our life is full.

But, minus our one friend,
our life becomes extremely empty.

People on the outside looking in
might give us a quick up and down glance
and jump to the conclusion
that we aren't doing well,
that we aren't handling our grief in an appropriate way,
that we aren't our old usual self,
and yet they never stop to realize or understand
that we didn't just lose someone
we lost the one who brought the some into our world.

There is a difference,
a huge difference.

Losing my father was nothing like losing my husband
because when I lost my father I still had my husband.

Losing my father was nothing like losing my husband
because I still I had my best friend to
sit with,
walk with,
sleep with,
cook with,
dream with,
pray with,
cry with,
do life with.

This is different.

It's not the end of the world,
it's just the end of my world as I knew it and lived it every day.

And, it takes some time to adjust to that.

And, I often wonder how others would do in my place.

And, of course, no one truly knows
what another is going through,
what another feels,
what another has lost because
no two people love alike,
no two people feel alike,
no two people give of their hearts alike,
no two people experience loving and living and losing alike.

Death is hard.
It leaves its mark.

But, when death comes to your one and only friend,
death touches everything,
. . . at least everything here in the physical world.

Thankfully, (Glory, Hallelujah!)
the one thing death can never touch,
is that which is of God.

And while my husband and I might have looked like a couple,
we were actually a trio, -
united heart to heart with each other, yes,
but also with our Heavenly Father.

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated,
but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.
Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord in not easily broken.
~Ecclesiastes 4:12

Together, we were a triple-braided cord,
and while my husband is no longer here,
I rejoice that my God still is.

He is the one thing death can't take from me.

So, yes,
this Lone Ranger is missing her Tonto,
and yes,
this Lone Ranger feels so alone in the physical realm of life,
but,
when it comes to being alone in the spiritual realm,
praise God,
I can't even being to imagine how that feels
because my God is here.

24 - 7.

And, maybe this relationship,
the relationship between a child of God and his or her Heavenly Father
is something no one else can truly know, either.

For just as the love between a husband and wife
is uniquely and holy matrimonially theirs,
so is the love relationship between God and each and every person.

And maybe this is why,
people on the outside looking in
might give you and I a quick up and down glance
and jump to the conclusion
that we aren't doing well,
that we aren't handling our grief in an appropriate way,
that we aren't our old usual self,
simply because they
never stop to realize or truly understand
that we don't just have God,
we have the God who is our whole world.

There is a difference,
a huge difference.

At least in my case there is,
and for this,
I bow my head and give thanks.










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Friday, October 14, 2016

When a New Door Opens~

I can't help but feel a new season is beginning in my life.

As I pray to God for guidance and direction,
He keeps stirring up inside me
a passion to want to speak to others
what He has so faithfully and lovingly (and amazingly!) done for me.

I feel He is calling me to continue writing, yes,
but also to step out in faith and embrace a speaking ministry as well.

And that is where this latest page on my blog,
my "Speaking" page -
was created from -
the deepest desire of me heart.

Hope you don't mind me sharing it with you, my faithful readers.

Please be in prayer for me concerning this new adventure.

I have no doubt
it has been the prayers of so many of you here
that have sustained me over this past year.

Thank you for each prayer spoken on my behalf.

God has been faithful to hear . . . and answer.

---------------------------------

Stacy is a seeker of God's heart. 
Daily she is learning who she is IN and THROUGH Christ Jesus, her Lord.

She is
-  a heart transformed by His love
-  a life changed by His presence
-  a sinner saved by His grace.

As she seeks to know God more intimately,
through the ordinary,
day to day happenings of her life,
she marvels to discover God is always faithful
to leave heartprints of His love
scattered across the pages of her life story.

It is these heartprints that Stacy writes about here on her blog,
and that she loves to speak about.

"Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] 
and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."
~Jeremiah 29:13 (AMP)

It is the desire of Stacy's heart,
that through the sharing of her own heartprint of God sightings,
others will start to seek out the heartprints of God in their own life
and be drawn ever closer to God.

Stacy prays that as the Holy Spirit speaks through something she writes,
or something she says,
others will find God,
and is so doing,
find the very heart of who they are.

Stacy is a wife of 15 years, a teacher of 18 years, a writer and a speaker.





2017 Events


March 4  -  Wilmington, Delaware






2016 Events

July 22-23 - Women's Retreat

August 22 - Aglow

November 15 - Mops




For more information on having Stacy speak at your next event, please send an email to heartprintsofgod@yahoo.com








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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Glorious End~

So many times
we look at the end of something
and think life as we know it
is over.

And,
maybe it is
for that particular season of our life.

But,
what we fail to remember is that
our God is a God
of new.

When one season is over,
it's only because God is ushering in a brand new one.

And Fall,
more than any other season,
reminds us that
"the end"
can be a glorious part
of the new beginning,
for God
is in it all.











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Monday, October 10, 2016

A Text Between Sisters ~ 10-10-2016

Has everything calmed down?

No. I still hear from people trying to understand what happened, and of course, because none of it makes sense, I can't explain it, and yet people want to understand it, so it just keeps going and going.

Sure.

This too shall pass. It will just take time.

Yep. That's true.

It makes me miss Steve in a brand new, all over again way. Like I'm mourning all over again, and it's tied to him, and it just makes me want to hug him so incredibly bad and so incredibly much.

Sorry.

Can't really explain it - maybe it makes me feel alone in a new way - facing this without him.  Although, I know I'm not alone because I have so many people who love me. I just miss him.

I think it makes perfect sense.
But, no need to justify feelings, right?

(Tears immediately begin to stream down my face.)

Part of me is starting to feel angry.  I think because the way this has been done won't let it go easily. 

Yea. I can see you are a little bitter.
It's coming out in your writing.

(Now, the floodgates burst open and I begin sobbing with all of my being.)

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

Yes. 
I don't want to impact others negatively, though.
It probably is and probably isn't honoring God.

You aren't impacting others negatively.
Quite the opposite!
You are just being honest and there's nothing wrong with that!

If you can feel the bitterness, maybe others can too, and that might not be a good thing. 
I've been trying so hard to keep it positive, but I'm so tired of all of it.

But, that's normal.
You're not super woman.

It's so frustrating. And yet, I know God has a plan - a beautiful plan. I'm excited. I really am.
It's just this in-between place I'm in.  It's tough.

I know it's tough!
And you are handling it all WAY BETTER than I ever could!!!!

And, so much hurt.  
Hurt on top of what was already hurt.  
Hurt upon hurt upon hurt.

Right. I get that, too.
Lots of healing to come.
But, God will help with that, too.
I didn't mean to upset you.

(How does she know I am crying?)

No. God used you to speak to me because I have been asking Him if the things I have posted recently have been appropriate or not. I don't want to get even, I just want to point to Him.  Well, maybe I DO want to get even, but I know God is calling me to take the high road and just point to Him through it all.

Read this:
I just want you to know this. I only met you about a year ago. From the very first moment I felt the holy spirit in you. God is so proud of you. You have blessed so many lives just with your heart for God. He radiates from you. It was hard to hear what has happened with your job. It seems unbelievable that your church Staff would put you in this position. I truly hope they heard from God on that one because they just lost the best representation of their church I have seen. Then there is your beautiful forgiving heart that shows love even though it is hurting beyond words. Stacy I wouldn't be able to breath if I lost my husband and I would have to fight being bitter, and in the middle of all your struggle you still minister to people. I have been thinking about you and how could you possibly do that.....then God showed me it is because you have a true honest relationship with Jesus and it doesn't matter what people do to you. It might sting for a while but GREAT IS YOUR REWARD. It is an honor to know you and I am praying that you receive all the beautiful things life can offer and more.

So many people leave me comments like this. How can I tarnish this with bitter posts?
I needed your words today.  Thank you.

That was a beautiful message.

Thank you for always being honest.
For "getting me".
I feel a lot of pressure - like the whole world is watching me walk this walk.
More now even than when I lost Steve.

Sure.
You do have a lot of people watching you.
That's hard!
But, it's also a beautiful blessing!

This whole text message might end up in a blog post - just saying'.

Gotta walk this walk right!
Gotta "go good'!
Not bitter, but good!

You are doing good!

Don't ever want to use this precious gift God gave me (writing) in a way that is selfish or to get even!
It's sacred! It has to stay sacred!

It will!

Thank you! I feel so much better!

I really didn't mean to upset you.

(How did she know?)

You didn't. 
You redirected me back to my calling.
SO blessed to have you in my life.

Love your heart!
Love you.
So much!!!!!!

I am so glad you do!!!!
Love you right back!









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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Not How, But If~

His question absolutely floored me.

 "When a wave of grief hits you, do you surrender to the tears or do your suppress your feelings and wait to cry until -what you feel is - a more appropriate time?"

Surrendering to tears, I understand.
Suppressing your tears - until a more "appropriate time" - this is what blows me away.

People can actually do that?  

And yet, I know they can.
I have been around many who do.
It's not that I don't know that they can,
it's more the knowing how they can that leaves me completely at a loss.

But, loss will do that to you.

As I spoke to my grief counselor,

(Yes, for those of you trying to keep up with the story of my life, I had welcomed counseling it into my life before my place of employment decided to mandate that I receive it. For the record, I don't have a problem with counseling; I have a problem with ultimatums from those who make them without first stepping into someone's life and finding out exactly where they are and how they are doing.)

he had first asked me how I was getting through this time of grief and mourning in my life. When I explained I was writing about it, he smiled through the phone and asked how long I had been writing about it. When I told him I had started writing about it a week and a half after my husband died, I could hear another smile.

This, followed by the question about tears, had led him to this conclusion:

"Stacy, you are an intuitive griever.  The fact that you are raw, honest, and open with your feelings leads me to know you are well on the way to healing."

But, I wondered, what about those who aren't raw, honest, and open?
What about those who can conquer their tears and wait to cry at a more "appropriate time"?

I soon discovered this type of griever is the instrumental griever.  The way they deal with grief is by not dealing with grief.  They head right back into their normal routine and usually with more gusto than before.  It's their way of feeling in control of something they can't control.  Instead of expressing emotion, this type of griever does something in place of the emotion. It is the way they find healing.

Neither way of grieving is right or wrong,
but rather the way that is necessary for that person.

And it makes sense doesn't it,
that the intuitive griever would look at the instrumental griever
and find him or her to be cold and unfeeling,
just the way
the instrumental griever would look at the intuitive griever
and find him or her to be weak and "stuck" in grief?

And, in loss as well as in the very act of living,
we find again that we are all so very much the same, and yet so very different.

And, in loss as well as in the very act of living,
we understand anew why Jesus commands us not to judge.

We understand why He tells us not to look at another life through
our eyes,
our emotions,
our personality,
our take on things,
and pass judgment -
that will most always be
distorted and marred, at best.

It is not our place to take a life and measure it against ours;
it is our place to take our own life and measure it against the life of our Heavenly Father.

It is not our place to come along and side against someone;
it is our place to simply come alongside.
Period.

For healing, true healing,
isn't found in how many tears fall
or how quickly you can get back to normal,
it is found in the process of grieving,
and finding God in the midst of it all.

He is the true Healer.

And grief,
no matter how it might look,
no matter how the one suffering through it might be "labeled",
no matter how messy or neat it may be -
if embraced and welcomed into our life,
will always lead us closer to the heart of our God.

This is where beauty rises out of ashes.
This is where compassion for another is stirred from a place of deepest sorrow.
This is where I can help you and you can help me
no matter how different we may be.

This is where healing begins, where healing continues, where healing goes beyond.

It doesn't come down to how,
but if -
if we will love others enough to let them be them.









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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Go Good~

When you feel the touch of God,
you feel the touch of God.

There is no denying it.

And the most amazing thing is,
because God is anywhere and everywhere,
He can touch us anywhere and everywhere.

Even -
in a parking garage at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

After an amazing week long sister trip through the beautiful Pacific Northwest,
my sisters and I were back at the airport.

As my sisters stepped out of the shuttle, our shuttle driver lifted their suitcases from the luggage rack and placed them on the sidewalk beside them.  Then, he smiled and said, "Safe travels."

As I stepped out, he placed my suitcase on the sidewalk in front of me as well,
but then,
he placed his hand on my shoulder.

As he did,
he looked me right in my eyes,
and with a touch from God I will never forget -
he boldly and gently said,
"Go good. Go good."

As my sisters and I had traveled around the Pacific Northwest,
thoughts and prayers about what God was calling me to do about my future
at my current place of employment
had been traveling around my mind.

I knew what God was calling me to do.

As I had stood on our balcony overlooking Cannon Beach, Oregon,
earlier in the week,
God had spoken.
I had heard.
And, I had surrendered.

It was the going back home,
the going back to do what He had called me to do,
the going away from all that was familiar and out into the deep,
that had me dreading the end of this shuttle ride,
and the end of this wonderful vacation.

But,
in that moment,
in this most unexpected place -
a parking garage at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport,
God was faithful to make His presence known
and to once again speak His word into my heart.

For I know,
in the deepest place of my heart -
this hand resting on my shoulder,
was the very hand of God.

For I know,
in the depth of my inner man -
the words "Go good"
had nothing to do with my upcoming flight,
and everything to do with God
counseling me,
confirming to me,
blessing me,
and sending me forward to the new place He is calling me.

Go good was the way God was telling me to leave -
peacefully,
graciously,
lovingly,
honestly,
faithfully.

Go good was the way God was telling me to conduct myself in this transition -
God-fearing,
God-pointing,
God-honoring.

Go good was the way God was telling me to move forward -
hoping,
believing,
trusting,
praising,
declaring.

And maybe, go good is the way God is speaking His plans to you.
For I believe this is the way God would have all of His children to go.

Are you in a time of transition?
Is God calling you to go?

If so,
consider these words the laying of God's hand upon your shoulder.

If so,
consider these words the voice of God speaking over your life.

If so,
go good, my friend.

Go good.










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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Comfortable in Him~

I read somewhere
that the number one stressor a person can experience in life
is the death of a spouse.

A few places down on this top ten list,
losing your job.

I wonder how they would measure the stress level of both happening within an 8 month period.

Eight months today I said goodbye to my husband.
And yesterday, I cleaned out my office.

And I say,
I wonder how they would measure this kind of stress level,
because
the why and the stress behind all that has happened
fades immensely in comparison
to the overwhelming peace I feel in my heart.

Don't get me wrong.
Losing my husband has shattered my world.
Trying to adjust to a new life without him -
the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

In fact,
it is the loss of my husband,
and the opinion of others that I was not "dealing with it well"
that has me sitting on my patio, soaking up sun, and writing at 1:30 pm in the afternoon.

In order to continue working at my current place of employment,
I was told I needed to attend three counseling sessions.
If I chose not to,
well,
I would no longer be employed there.

I prayed. God spoke. And, here I sit.

Because you see,
the thing of all of it is this:
Yes, I lost my husband.
Yes, everything in my life has changed.
But, the me sitting here 8 months later
is not the same me who first stepped into this grieving process.

The me who is sitting here on my patio
has experienced first hand, -
in the most personal and intimate ways -
the faithfulness of a God who remains the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

The me who yesterday was cleaning out her office after 7 years of calling it "home"
has over the past 8 months
come to know, -
unlike I have ever known before -
that my God has this and my God has me.

The me who felt backed into a corner with an ultimatum
has come to discover and realize
that I don't need to "give in" and surrender to man
if God is calling me to give it up and surrender my life to Him.

I am not the same person now that I was 8 months ago.

8 months ago,
losing my job would have been a huge stressor in my life,
definitely worthy of being on that top ten list.

But, here -
now -
after losing my husband,
I feel only God's peace.

My God has been with me in the most amazing ways these past 8 months,
and my God will. not. fail. me. now.

The past 8 months have not been easy.
I know the days ahead will not be easy either.

But,
the one thing that remains the same,
the one thing that will never change,
the one thing that holds me steady,
gives me peace,
and strengthens my heart is this:
My God is faithful.

So,
here I sit,
doing what my heart longs to do most:
sitting on my patio,
soaking up sun,
writing about the faithfulness of my God,
at 1:30 pm in the afternoon.

Only God,
who,
when we delight in Him,
grants us the dearest desires of our heart,
could orchestrate that.

Thank you, my Abba Daddy.

How you love me!








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