Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Bold, Beautiful, All Me Thought~

There are moments in my day
when a memory of my handsome honey
slowly and nonchalantly
meanders across my mind.

Usually,
the memory starts out as
something completely different
that somehow eventually
leads me down a trail of thought
that turns into something I remember he did,
or something I remember he said.

But,
there are other times
when the memory of my man
is front and center,
capable of standing all on its own,
just because of what it is.

It is bold,
beautiful,
all him.

And, it is in these beautifully bold,
all him moments,
that I often find myself wondering .  .  .
what bold, beautiful all me memories
would remind my man of me
if it would have been my heart 
that stopped beating
and not his?

And without a doubt,
today was a day
that would have found me
plastered all across my man's heart,
via a bold, beautiful, all me memory.

A day when
rain found its way to the desert
and clouds hung low on the mountains.

A day when -
with camera in hand -
I  would've kissed my man good day
and drove around town
in search of the perfect photo
to capture my ideal
of a near perfect day.

My man knew I loved a day like today.

And I couldn't help thinking
if he was the one here today and not me,
he would have looked at the clouds
hung low on the mountain
and he would have
instantly, boldly, beautifully
thought of me.

This is not a conceited thought.
This is simply a fact
that my heart is sure of
and more preciously, understands.

And somehow,
thinking of my handsome honey
thinking about me
as I was thinking about
the fact that he would be thinking of me
blessed my heart is a most precious way.

To know
and to be known.

To think of and remember
and to be thought of and remembered.

How precious is that?!

And to think,
my precious Abba Daddy,
knows me completely,
thinks of me continuously
and remembers me always.

This is not a conceited thought.
This is simply a fact
that my heart is sure of
and more preciously, understands.

He, too,
knows I love a day like today.

And somehow,
thinking of my Abba Daddy
thinking about me
as I am thinking about
the fact that He is forever
thinking of me
completely,
continuously,
always-
blesses my heart in a most precious way.










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Saturday, September 23, 2017

What Kind of Print~




I pray 
I am leaving 
heartprints of God 
everywhere I go.







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Thursday, September 21, 2017

While We Were Yet~

Looking across the drive,
I spotted this tree,
and in it,
I spotted me.

Against the backdrop
of the setting sun,
I noticed for the very first time,
if you see it not for what it is,
but what it resembles,
you can see in it,
the outline of a heart.

And, I thought of me -
a mere human to mere humans,
but against the backdrop
of the light of God's love,
my God sees me -
not for what I am-
but for what I long to resemble -
a heart like His,
a love like His.

And I thought once again,
of His precious love -
love that was willing to die
before I resembled Him,
before I even knew Him or loved Him, -
while I was yet lost
in my humanness,
imprisoned by my sin,
a sinner through and through.

While we were yet,
Christ loved us.
While we were yet,
Christ died for us.

And it is because of His love,
and because of His death,
and because of my new life in Him,
that more and more,
day by day,
I - like this tree -
can reveal to the world,
not me,
but the heart of the Creator,
the heart of my Savior.











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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Moment in Time~

The sun has bid us adieu
and dipped behind the hill.

As the sky hangs on tight
to the last light of day,
birds are chirping their goodnights.

Unlike the birds,
I am not ready to say goodnight.

Just like the sky,
I am desperately trying
to wring out every last bit of this day.

To be able to pause time
and just sit here and linger -
for another few minutes,
another few hours,
another day or two more.

But, I can't.

With every tick, tock, tick of the clock,
with every rotation of earth on its axis,
with every single breath,
life is moving on.

We are only given one moment, -
one moment at a time.

But, sometimes it seems,
we aren't given enough time
for each and every moment.

Such is the case right here,
right now.

As the cool of the "almost here" night
brushes against my face,
I breathe it in
and hold it -
for just a few seconds -
then,
slowly let it out.

As the sky grows dimmer and dimmer,
I soak in the sun-tipped clouds
and hold them, too -
for just a few seconds -
then,
I slowly close my eyes in prayer
and give thanks for this day.










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Sunday, September 17, 2017

When You Hear So Much More Than Words~

As I meandered
past the small table where she was sitting,
she looked up.

"Good Morning," I said,
as I smiled and made my way
on over to the counter.

"Excuse me," she said.
"Would you mind moving closer
so I can read the back of your shirt?"

Hearing her frail voice and her simple request,
I happily stepped back over to her table,
turned my back to her,
pulled on the bottom of my shirt
to remove any wrinkles,
and then listened
as she read the words written there,
out loud.


"Oh, I love that verse,"
 she exclaimed.

As I turned to face her,
her face lit up.

"I thought that was you!"
she said with an excitement
that took me completely by surprise.
"I think I've heard you speak.
You are a speaker,
aren't you?"

I couldn't help
but smile.

"Yes," I quietly answered.
 "I am.
As a matter of fact,
this T-shirt
is from a women's retreat
I spoke at several years ago."


"I knew it!" she said,
as she clapped her hands together.
"I've seen you on TV
speaking about God!"

"No, Ma'am, I'm sorry," I quickly interjected,
"You must have me mistaken with someone else.
I've never been on TV."

"Well, you will be, dear.
One day,
you will be!"

And in that moment,
it wasn't my ears who heard her words,
but my spirit.
And, I knew God,
as He always is,
was in this place,
in this conversation,
in these very words.

"I don't know what I would do
without God," she continued.
"You probably won't understand this,
being that you are still so young,
but I lost my husband 18 years ago,
and I still miss him terribly.
Every day, oh, how I miss that man.
God is the only thing that has kept me going
all these years without him.
It's a hard kind of missing
that you can't really understand
until you, yourself, have been there.
Losing him broke my heart,
but God has always been there for me."

Without even thinking about it,
my right hand met my left
and gently turned my wedding ring,
still on my finger,
a year and a half later.

"Life is all about
what you choose to see.
Like me, right now,
choosing to read the back of your shirt,
and finding encouragement for my soul.
Or, like the time we had car trouble
out in the middle of nowhere.
I've never forgotten that time.
There we were, -
Oh, I'm sorry -
I'm talking your ear off.
Do you have time for this story?"

"Yes," I smiled,
"I would love to hear it."

She smiled back,
a beautiful smile, heart deep,
and continued right where she had left off.

" . . .out in the middle of nowhere,
with no one around,
we were pulled off to the side of the road.
All my daughter and I could do
was wait for God to send some help.
Just wait for God to move.
But, do you know,
while we were waiting,
we saw the most glorious sunset!
And, then, if that wasn't enough,
we saw the most beautiful full moon come up.
No, I will never forget that."

"Are you ready, Stacy?"

The voice of my mother,
who had stopped by the restroom
on our way in,
floated into our conversation.

"This is my mother," I said
as I introduced my mom
to my new found friend.

"Hello," this precious lady said
as she reached out,
took hold of my hand,
and looked up at my mother.
"We've been having the most wonderful time."

Then she looked deep in my eyes.

"I've enjoyed visiting with you.
I'm so glad you took the time to listen."

And once again,
in that moment,
it wasn't my ears who heard her words,
but my spirit

I'm so glad you took the time to listen.

And, I knew God,
as He always is,
was in this place,
in this conversation,
in these very words.

And, I also knew
these very words
were just what my heart needed to
"grow in the grace and knowledge
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

For this precious encounter,
for this moment of "listening",
for this moment of "hearing"
far beyond what was said -

"To Him be the glory
both now
and to the day of eternity.
Amen."







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Saturday, September 16, 2017

When God's Plans Come Together~

2002.
The year God led me north,
and into the home of my parents,
and into the title of Principal and Teacher in a brand new Christian school,
and into the lives of so many beautiful people.

2007.
The year God released me to head back south,
and into my own home and bed,
and into the title of Nanny and later, Director of Children's Ministries,
and into the remaining years with my husband.

2017.
The year God once again led me north,
and back into the home of my mom,
and back into the lives of so many beautiful people.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, 
and he delights in his way.
~Psalm 37:23

I certainly can't claim to be good,
but my God most definitely is.
The way He has beautifully woven together
the steps of my life
is a precious testimony
of His faithfulness and love.

This past Tuesday,
a perfect example.

As soon as I heard her voice,
lifted my eyes up to see her,
stood up to meet her,
and wrapped my arms around her in a huge hug,
the tears came.

I've always been a cry baby,
but there is something now,
since losing my husband,
that has me in tears
the moment my heart realizes
it is in the company
of someone that loves me.

And, this friend of the faith
and sister in the Lord,
loves me.
And, I love her.
The tears -
well, they simply had no choice
but to fall.

Having not seen each other
in almost a decade,
didn't matter.
Our conversation flowed
as easily and as freely
as our tears.

"I'm here to help you
in any way I can.
Really.
Call me anytime.
If you want someone to talk to,
or want someone to share a cup of tea with,
or need anything at all.
I'm here for you."

And,
my heart and I -
we both know she is.

Standing before her now,
ten years down the road
from the last time we spoke,
I realized this reunion
was strategically planned
and lovingly orchestrated
by the God who orders my steps.

Fifteen years ago
when He called me north,
when He brought me to the home of my parents,
when He brought me to a new job,
when He brought me into the lives of so many beautiful people,
He knew then
that I would need
these beautiful people now.

What seemed like an opportunity to
spend time with my ailing father,
help out my overworked mother,
and minister to children and their families,
was also an opportunity to
build relationships and a support system
that would be in place for me now.

"Lord, if only my husband was still here.
Oh, how I need his support."

This prayer has come from my lips
over and over and over
these past few weeks,
and yet,
this past Tuesday,
embraced in the arms
of one who knows and loves me well,
I knew God had already gone before me,
fifteen years before,
for such a time as this,
right here,
right now,
in 2017.

We don't always see it at the time.
We don't always understand His ways.
But,
in each step,
in each calling,
in each and every closed door,
and in each and every new opportunity,
God is at work.

Our God knows what we need.
And, our God knows where we need to be.

I needed to be here then,
and I need to be here now.
And God,
in His wisdom and tender love
designed, orchestrated and executed one beautiful plan
with another,
just as beautiful,
in mind.

It's who He is.
It's what He does.
It's how He works.

And, when we see it played out
and the pieces fitting perfectly in place,
it's where we come to know our God
in a way that causes us to
love Him
and trust Him
even more.

2002.
The year I came north.

2007.
The year I went back south.

2017.
The year God brought me full circle
and opened my eyes to see
more clearly than ever before

" . . . Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think . . ."
~Ephesians 3:20










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Thursday, September 14, 2017

When Your Momma Needs You and You Need God~

I stand in the hallway,
resting my head on her bedroom door
in the wee hours of the morning, -
a faint light from the night light
in the bathroom across the hall,
keeping total darkness at bay.

As my hand glides over the wood
separating us at this particular moment,
my heart is overcome with fear to realize
the differences between us,
moment by moment,
day by day,
might be causing my precious mother
to feel barricaded and alone -
alone in her battle,
alone in her fears,
alone in her confusion.

And, I find myself doing what only comes naturally -
wiping tears from my eyes while
crying out to my God.

Lord,
I don't want to fail her -
not now,
not ever.

Lord, she needs me.
But, more than that,
she needs to know
I hear what she isn't saying,
I understand her spoken and unspoken concerns,
I sense her fears,
I realize her struggle,
I'm on her side.

Lord, I need You.
I need Your patience and Your peace,
I need Your wisdom and Your instruction,
I need Your still small voice
whispering to me
boldly, loudly, clearly
what to do,
what to say,
what to meddle into,
what to leave alone.

She's my mother,
my precious mother.
All my life,
she has been the one standing outside
the door of my life,
praying for Godly guidance to lead me.

"Raising you girls was the hardest job I ever had.
I didn't know anything about babies or
how to raise children."

It's an admission she has confessed
and I have heard
time and time again.

But now,
it's my turn.

Lord,
I don't have a clue in the world 
how to honor a parent
in her golden years of life.
I don't know anything about
helping without insulting her independence,
questioning without insulting her intelligence,
interfering without insulting her privacy.

Serving my mom is the hardest job I have ever had,
simply and only because
I don't know how to do it,
right.

Through the door,
I hear the sounds of
what I hope are sweet dreams, -
slow, steady, deep breaths -
and I wipe another tear.

Lord,
may my presence here 
bring with it,
the sweetness of You.

May my being with my precious Momma
day to day,
bring her a sense of 
peace and comfort,
companionship and strength,
joy and relief.

May she find in me now,
what I found in her so many years ago -
safety,
security,
protection,
wisdom,

home.

May she know that she knows that she knows
that I love her,
with every bit of my heart,
I love her.

Lord, 
I need You,
now more than ever
because she needs me
now more than ever.
She needs
what only You can do
for her
through me.

I don't want to fail her, Lord.
I can't fail her,
because she didn't fail me.

Lead me,
that I, in turn,
might have the 
incredible honor
and the undeserved privilege
of leading her.

I stand in the hallway,
resting my head on her bedroom door
in the wee hours of the morning, -
an ever present light
from the God who never fails His children
keeping total darkness at bay.

And, I find myself doing what only comes naturally -
wiping tears from my eyes while
thanking my God.











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Monday, September 11, 2017

God's Waiting Room~


Have you ever been in God's waiting room?


You prayed for an answer.

(Silence)


You prayed for God to move.

(Stillness)


You prayed for God to open doors and make a way.

(Closed doors and dead ends)




Waiting.

(It's not easy.)




God IS faithful, we know this to be true.

But.....


Why?


WHy?


WHY?


Why does God sometimes choose to delay?
Why do we sometimes (often times) have to wait?



Could it be

- in the waiting -

we discover if WE are faithful?



Will we wait

UNTIL the answer comes,

UNTIL God moves,

UNTIL the door opens?



Will we persevere in prayer?


Waiting for Grownups
{Photo Credit}


Maybe God is waiting to see.


I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
 ~ Psalm 130:5







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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Just Wondering . . .

"Where are you?
Where did you go?"

Arriving home and
stepping out of the car,
I saw it immediately.

As I shut the car door behind me,
I was drawn straight to its beauty.

Pulling out my camera,
I was hunched down low to the ground,
focusing and shooting away,
out of sight from my mom,
who was now wondering where I was.

"I'm over here," I said as I stood up
and starting walking towards my mom
and the front door.

"What were you doing?"

"I was trying to capture the beauty
 of the flowers there by the car."

"What flowers?"

And with that,
she started walking
to where I had just been.

"Oh, this?  This is just alfalfa.
It doesn't belong here.
It started coming up all on its own."

"Yes, I know it's alfalfa,
but look at the flowers on it.
Isn't that a gorgeous shade of purple?
These flowers are so beautiful."

"Well, yes, but it's just alfalfa."

And with that,
she headed back to the front door.

 . . . just alfalfa.

And, I couldn't help wondering,
how many times in my life,
I had looked at that
which was right in front of me
as just a this or just a that.

And, I began to debate,
with no one but myself,
if referring to something
as just a this or just a that
was truly a just judgment.

Who decided a flower on an alfalfa plant
isn't just as beautiful as a rose
punctuating a long stem of thorns?

Is anything in life
worthy of being classified
as just a __________?

Just a glass of water.
(How in the world
does hydrogen and oxygen
combine to form a liquid
necessary for life?)

Just a another day.
(How in the world
does the sun orbit in the universe
and rise and set every 24 hours?)

Just a coincidence.
(How in the world
does something happen
in just the right way
at just the right time?)

Just - what an unusual word.

So often when we use it,
at least, in the way I seem to hear it most -
it is used to convey
"merely, only".

And yet,
this very same word can also
convey just the opposite -
"exactly, precisely, actually, positively" -
such as:
The alfalfa flowers were just gorgeous!

And,
I wonder if we are looking
at our world,
at the people in our lives,
at the every day things
in our every day lives,
at our very God,
in just the right way.

Is our assessment,
our opinion,
our judgment,
just?

Just maybe,
we our missing out on
the reality of what is
because we settle for
just seeing this
or just seeing that.

What if the all of our life
isn't simply
just this or just that
but
incredibly,
miraculously,
unbelievably,

just amazing?!

How would
our attitude,
our contentment,
our satisfaction,
our enjoyment,
our joy,
our fulfillment in life change
if we just
justed (yes, I just made that word up!)
in a more positive way?

 . . . just alfalfa?

Maybe.

But,
with the Holy Spirit's help,
I pray I see life,
all of it,
just as He intended for me to:
with awe,
with wonder,
with appreciation,
and with thanksgiving -
a gift from His hand,
just for me,
just because,
just incredible!










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