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,
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.)


Thursday, June 13, 2019

All I Need~

I never knew 
what alone felt like 
until one hot August day.

Standing on the sidewalk
leading to my college dorm,
away from all that was familiar
and smack dab into
all that was foreign,
I knew.

My parents had made
the long trip with me.
Mile after mile,
hour after hour
we traveled
until we arrived
at the next chapter
of my life.

What seemed to take
forever to pack
was unloaded in minutes.

Tommy's Truck
{Photo Credit}
Now, my parents were leaving.

As I stood on the sidewalk,
watching my parents drive away,
tears fell without reservation.

But then,
through blurry eyes,
I saw the red of brake lights.

The truck headed
to the side of the road
and stopped.

Moments later,
my father stepped out
of the truck
and began walking
toward me.

As he did,
I walked to meet him,
happy for one more
moment together.

As we met,
he took my hand in his
and said,
"One friend, Stac.
(My Daddy always called me Stac.)
All you have to do
is make you one friend
and everything will be fine.

One friend.
That's all you need, Darlin'."

He smiled a smile
that was bittersweet,
then, he turned
and walked
back to the truck.

This time,
I watched the brake lights
disappear into the distance
and then,
out of sight.

My father's words,
stayed with me.

And as usual,
Daddy knew best.
One friend later,
"everything was fine".

One friend
made all the difference.

Now, years later,
I remember His words,
and I smile.

You see,
Daddy's darlin' has found
the ONE friend
that sticketh closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24)

His little girl
has found the ONE friend
who loves her enough
to die for her.

I've found THE ONE
who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life,
and everything is fine.

Yes...Daddy knew best.

This ONE friend,
is all I need.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

For His Name's Sake~

I don't tell you this to boast,
but to make a point.

When I was little,
I almost never got in trouble.
(At least not while I was
 outside the walls of our home.)

I never got sent to the Principal's office.
I never had a "run in with the law".
I was a good kid who always tried
to be on my best behavior.

Like I said,
I don't tell you this to boast,
but to make a point.

And, my point is this:
How I behaved reflected on my parents.

I knew what I did would either
bring them praise or....

I knew this
because my father
had told me so.

"Stac, (my daddy always called me Stac) 
wherever you go and whatever you do, 
remember this. 
You're a Mitchell. 

You're wearing my name. 

When you were born 
I proudly gave you my name 
as your own. 

Wear it proudly. 

Never do things 
that will bring shame to you, 
to me, to your mother, to your sisters 
or to our family name."

Now, I have a new name.
I have been adopted into a new family.
I am now a daughter
of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I now wear HIS name.

As a Christian, I, too,
have a responsibility
to be on "my best behavior".

Not to bring praise to me,
but to uphold the name of my Heavenly Father,
to live my life for His name's sake.

As a Christian, 
my behavior is directly interwoven 
with God's reputation.

Through reading God's Word
and the guiding of the Holy Spirit,
you and I have come to know
the true character of God.

He is merciful and just,
forgiving and kind,
faithful and true.

We know who God really is.

But sadly, not everyone does.

Your life may be the only Bible some people read.
 ~Author Unknown

When our behavior 
tarnishes God's reputation,
His true character is in jeopardy 
of never being seen 
by those around us.

When we call our self a Christian,
we are wearing Christ's name.

As our children, our neighbors and our co-workers
watch us living out our lives,
are they seeing Christ for who He really is?

As we
drive down the street,
shop at the local grocery store,
step into the movie theater,
cheer on our favorite team,
wear our favorite outfit,

are we helping others
to focus in on who God is


does what we do
make is difficult
for others to see God at all?

Are we bringing glory and honor
to His name,
or are we tarnishing His reputation
by our un-Christlike behavior?

What is your life telling others about your God?

What is mine?

Are you and I ruining God's reputation?

Or, are we living in such a way that the beauty of His character is
                         and oh, so very inviting?

Are we living our life for His name's sake?

Let your light so shine before men 
that they may see your moral excellence 
and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds 
and recognize and honor and praise and glorify 
your Father Who is in heaven. 
~Matthew 5:16, The Amplified Bible