Sunday, February 4, 2018

Given With Me In Mind~

Our rosemary bush was in full bloom
sporting the prettiest blue flowers.

"You should try and get a picture of that,"
my husband suggested as he came out on the patio to check on me.

"Isn't it beautiful? I replied.

He smiled, nodded, asked if I needed anything
and then headed back inside.

Imagine my delight,
when just a few moments later,
a bird came and lighted on a twig
right next to the rosemary bush.

It was a photo waiting to happen.

As I snapped the photo -
(well, several photos
just to be sure I got a good one)
God spoke the words
"Be still and know that I am God"
on my heart.

I couldn't wait to put the two together
and surprise my man.

I didn't get a chance to start on this creation, however,
until a few weeks later -
late in the evening of Feb 3, 2016 to be exact.

"I'm going to bed, Beautiful. It's getting late.
And, you should, too. You need your sleep, Baby.
You can finish whatever you're working on tomorrow."

"I'm almost through.  It'll just take a few minutes more."

My man went on to bed
and I stayed up finishing his surprise.

The next day the hurry of morning rush
found me racing out into a brand new day.
And, later that very afternoon,
a phone call from my man
found me racing home to be with him,
only to find I was too late.

Just like that, he was gone.

He never got to see the picture
I was making just for him,
this very one,
the special surprise I was working on
two years ago tonight.

And yet, sitting here tonight,
I can't help wondering
if this photo was somehow intended
for me instead.

"Be still and know that I am God."

For in the stillness
that has become my life
these last two years,
I have come to know God
as never before,
and to know without a shadow of a doubt
He is God.

And, in it all,
I realize just how beautifully faithful He is.
And, how equally blessed I am.

To have known the love of my husband.
To know and be knowing still
the love of my God.

I am so very blessed.

Would you like Heartprints of God delivered to your email inbox each day?
 Simply enter your email address below.
If you don't receive a verification email, please check your spam folder.
Sometimes, it is sent there in error.

Delivered by FeedBurner

Thursday, February 1, 2018

When Out of the Blue Isn't Out of the Blue At All~

"And to think, I almost missed out on it."

Texting my sisters,
I shared with them
a texting conversation
I had had with a dear friend
just the night before.

Not having touched based with each other
in months and months and months,
out of the blue
(the place our God works all the time)
my childhood friend sent me a text.

Worried about her mother's failing health,
we talked about power of attorney,
wills, and other necessary end-of-life details.

seemingly out of the blue again,
(see, I told you - God is always showing up there)
my friend inquired as to whether or not
I had claimed a death benefit
I evidently was entitled to.

"No! I haven't.
I didn't know anything about it.
Can I still claim it?"

"You have two years."

My heart skipped a beat.

"Two years? It'll be two years on Sunday."

"Call them right away and schedule an appointment."

A phone call later
I had an appointment
and was "in process" to receive this benefit.

Here in the United States
through the Social Security Administration,
a surviving spouse or child
is eligible to receive a one time
lump sum of $255.

It's not much,
$255 is still $255 more
than what I have right now.
Truly it is an unexpected blessing
for this equally unexpected season of life
I have found myself in.

And, just like that
God reminded me of two precious truths:

1.  God's timing is always perfectly right on time.

While this text from my friend
seemed random and out of the blue,
God was orchestrating it all.

What are the chances she would decide to text,
then think to mention about the benefit,
4 days before the deadline?

Only God does that!

My friend apologized
for not mentioning it to me two years ago.
But honestly,
with my financial need so much greater now,
it is truly an unexpected blessing
sent straight from the Father's heart
to remind me once again,
"I've got you, sweet girl."

(And of course He does.
He has all of me
and I am so very thankful,
so very blessed.)

2.  You can't claim something if you don't know it's yours to claim.

Naturally, if I'd known about this benefit two years ago,
I would have claimed it right away,

I wouldn't have just let that $255 almost slip right on by.

But, I didn't know.

It wasn't until I found out about it
that I could act upon it
and start the process
to reach out and take hold of
that which was already mine.

Which reminded me again of my sweet sister in law.
Lying in a hospital bed,
cancer ravaging her body
and her life trickling away,
she told me this story.

Years ago, before transatlantic flight was common, a man wanted to travel to the United States from Europe. The man worked hard, saved every extra penny he could, and finally had just enough money to purchase a ticket aboard a cruise ship. The trip at that time required about two or three weeks to cross the ocean. He went out and bought a suitcase and filled it full of cheese and crackers. That’s all he could afford.
Once on board, all the other passengers went to the large, ornate dining room to eat their gourmet meals. Meanwhile, the poor man would go over in the corner and eat his cheese and crackers. This went on day after day. He could smell the delicious food being served in the dining room. He heard the other passengers speak of it in glowing terms as they rubbed their bellies and complained about how full they were, and how they would have to go on a diet after this trip. The poor traveler wanted to join the other guests in the dining room, but he had no extra money. Sometimes he’d lie awake at night, dreaming of the sumptuous meals the other guests described.
Toward the end of the trip, another man came up to him and said, “Sir, I can’t help but notice that you are always over there eating those cheese and crackers at mealtimes. Why don’t you come into the banquet hall and eat with us?” The traveler’s face flushed with embarrassment. “Well, to tell you the truth, I had only enough money to buy the ticket. I don’t have any extra money to purchase fancy meals.”
The other passenger raised his eyebrows in surprise. He shook his head and said, “Sir, don’t you realize the meals are included in the price of the ticket? Your meals have already been paid for!”
~ Author Unknown

This beautiful sister of my husband
had grown up knowing about God,
but sadly,
she had journeyed through most of her life
not really knowing God.

She had grown up going to church,
but until her diagnosis,
had never once opened the pages of God's word, the Bible.

"If only I had known," she had told me.

"What do you mean?" I asked innocently and oh, so ignorantly.

"All the promises!" she said.
"I never knew about all the promises of God.
All my life I lived on cheese and crackers
when I could have been dining on,
and most of all,
standing on
all the promises of God.

I settled for huddling in the corner
with all my fear and doubt,
instead of joining my Father
and partaking of His love, joy, peace, comfort, and strength.

All this time
I could have been living
the abundant life Christ died to give me.

But, praise God,
I know now!
But oh . . .
oh, if only I would have known
my entire life."

Yes, God's timing is perfect.
And maybe just maybe
that's why these words today
have come into your life
from out of the blue.

Losing out on $255 would have been
sad and unfortunate,
but not the end of the world.

Losing out on all you and I have been given
through the life and death of Jesus
simply because
we haven't opened His word
or searched out the scriptures, -
simply because
we have no idea
to reach out and take hold of
of all that is already ours -

That -

that would be tragic indeed.

Would you like Heartprints of God delivered to your email inbox each day?
 Simply enter your email address below.
If you don't receive a verification email, please check your spam folder.
Sometimes, it is sent there in error.

Delivered by FeedBurner