Whispers

He usually leans into me, but instead he was pulling away from me.  He didn’t want to hear what I was trying to say.

We had just had a wonderfully long day at a perfect place for any child to enjoy. He was sulking.  He wanted more.  He wanted to go back again.  He wanted to purchase the new and latest toy.  

His parents sat across from him as we ate our dinner.  They were not pleased with his pouting, but were being kind and patient as yet again they decided it was best not to give into to their son’s requests. 

Sometimes, many times, it’s wiser to work on heart issues.

I decided to gently give it a try on my end since my seat was directly beside his at the restaurant.  I put my arm on his shoulder and leaned in to whisper.  I only got out my first five words that I had been rehearsing in my mind and it happened.  

He pulled away.  He shrugged my hand off of his shoulder and physically moved his body closer to his grandfather.  

Okay.  He’d hear no more from me.  I’d pray and with confidence knew his parents would deal with the heart issue that was rising up.

This picture of him pulling away has not left my mind.

It hasn’t left my mind because it’s me.

God can bless me in the most wonderful way and the most wonderful experience and I can turn around, spoiled child that I can be, and simply want MORE.  I can say things like “why can’t I just own my own beach house”?

“Why can’t I have that latest ‘toy’”?

Perhaps He leans in to whisper beautiful truths and I am too stubborn to listen. Perhaps I pull away.

I’ve asked for forgiveness and so did my grandson.

May we lean in and not away for God loves us and desires the very best for us, heart issues and all!

Job 37:14

“Listen to this…stop and consider God’s wonders”

Jeremiah 17:23

“Yet they did not listen or pay attention; they were stiff necked and would not listen or respond to discipline.

Proverbs 23:15

“My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad indeed”


Undeserving

I chose what looked to be “the fast lane” today at the grocery store. You know where I’m going with this…it was NOT the fast lane.

Ahead of me in line was an elderly woman. She had a check in her hand written to the grocery store in the amount of $57.00. The problem – the grocery store would not take her check because she didn’t have a shopper’s card with them. She seemed confused. He hand was shaking. I’m not sure if she has or ever had a debit card. I don’t know if she had any cash on her, but I began to pray and ask if there was something I could or should do. After a bit, I stepped up and told her that we are moving into celebrate Easter. I told her I was a believer and that Jesus loved her and I would pay for her groceries. It actually took her a bit to understand what I was doing. Once she realized that I had paid for her groceries, she paused and said “oh, but I don’t deserve this”…”are you rich?”. My response was (no, I’m not rich)…that’s the point. None of us deserved Jesus loving us and dying in our place and conquering hell that we might have eternal life with Him. He died in our place. He took our punishment. We don’t deserve this and never will, but because of His love for us, He chose to do this for us.

As for being rich, no I’m not rich…but in Jesus I am. I have everything and more because of Him.

The clerk thought this was very nice. I’m glad.

The lady…ugh…after pushing her cart about 3 feet turned around and said to me “I hope that big bunny is extra good to you”.

NOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I wanted to shout….there is no bunny lady!

But you know what…that’s also the point…underserving, undeserving, undeserving…millions will celebrate nothing more than a bunny.

God forgive us…and open our eyes and ears and hearts.

Thank you for your great love even while we are yet sinners.

I

The Secret

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He’d walked past me a few times and kept looking my way.

“Do you want to hold her?” I asked.

He nodded his head no.

I sat there again holding my granddaughter who is almost 4 months old. My 3-year-old grandson loves babies. This is his little cousin.

I sat holding her in a comfortable chair that sits in my kitchen.

He finally decided to come over and these were his words:

“Grandma, I do want to hold her.  BUT…I don’t want you to tell anybody.  I don’t want anyone to come over and I don’t want you to take any pictures.”

I reassured him that this would be our secret.

We exchanged places and he took the comfortable chair as I knelt on the floor next to him.  I placed the baby on his lap.  I positioned her in a way that faced him.  He sat there for the longest time “holding her”.  At first he just looked at her and studied her.   He then gently rubbed her hair.  He eventually took both of her hands in his and began to sing a song to her as he moved her hands up and down.  To be completely honest, I’m not sure what song it was that he sang. It was a moment between the two of them in his eyes.   He talked to her.  He cooed for her.  He smiled at her and she smiled back.

I kept to my word and did not call attention to him.  I did not snap a picture.  I just let him have his time with his little baby cousin.  When he was done, he told me so and I removed her from his lap.

It was such a sweet span of time.

No one, not a sibling or cousin saw it.  Not one other parent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent witnessed it. I was the privileged one for this moment in time.

A moment I will treasure for a very long time.

It reminds me of the secret room.

The Bible talks of things done in secret.  Good things.  Honorable things.  Prayerful times.

No one “sees me” times.

But, The Father sees.

Matthew 6:4

“…so that your giving may be in secret.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Matthew 6:6

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Matthew 6:18

“…so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

May you have many secret times today to treasure in your heart!

One on One

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One on One

 

It was grandparent’s day last week at my grandson’s gymnastics school.    I was excited to be invited.  All 3 boys take gymnastics.  My daughter and I rotated as we interacted and observed all 3 boys engaging in their classes.

My oldest grandson was, of course, in the most structured class.

His coach, though now older, was once a fine gymnast.  He spoke with what I thought was a Russian accent.  The classes were small in size in order to give the best instruction.  I watched as the coach made his way from boy to boy.

He’d tap their legs to remind them to straighten those legs in their handstands. He’d brush his hands near their feet to remind them to point and extend their toes when needed.   He’d take turns helping each boy wrap himself round and round and round the uneven bars and then help them in their dismount.

My oldest grandson was often looking my way.  Without any words, his eyes were asking me…”Did you see that?”   “What do you think?”  “Are you proud of me?”

Once in a while when he’d finished a task he would give me a double thumbs up from across the room.

I loved watching his class, but there were other boys the coach needed to attend to as well.  During the coach’s rotations with the other 5 boys in the class is when I would roam about and watch his two little brother in their class.

As I sat down the next morning and read “He guides me in the paths of righteousness” (Psalm 23:3), I pondered at just how personal God is.

He guides me.  I don’t have to wait in line.  I don’t have to wait until God is finished with his rotation of the other billions of people in this world.

He greets me each and every morning.  He has a path and purpose He desires for me.  He is patient and kind, gently reminding me to “keep my legs straight” or “point my toes” (you know what I mean).  He leads me in His path for me.

He is the shepherd and each and every sheep matters to Him.

He creates a path for each of us.  A path is a way beaten, formed, or trodden by the feet.  He has walked this path before.  He knows it well and He desires to share it with me.

Don’t wait in line today.

Ask the Shepherd to Lead YOU in His path of righteousness.

He’s got the perfect path fitted just for you!

“Trust Me”

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“Trust Me”.  These were my words this morning with my oldest grandson.

He and I and his brother were on a bike ride  to get a smoothie.  He has a PJ Masks bike with training wheels.   (VERY cool)

I had one hand pushing his brother on his little tricycle and one hand at the ready for him as he both pedaled up hills and then coasted down hills.

He’s doing a great job these days on his bike.  His little legs pumped extra hard up the steeper hills and when I noticed his legs slowing down a bit or weakening in any way, I’d simply put my hand beneath his back seat and help to push him up the hill.

It was the “downhills” that had him worried.  A hill looks so big from the top.  “Trust Me”.  I said this a few times and he did (mostly).

I knew that I had my right arm free for him.  It is my dominant arm.  I have the most control and strength with this arm.  I knew that we could do this together.  If he would just listen to my instructions, we would be fine.  I had his back.

I told him to gently push on his brakes.  I had my hand on his bike seat the whole time.  I wasn’t going to let him go at any time.  I, too, wanted this to be a good experience.

“Don’t push too hard on your brakes.  Just keep them gently pushed upon.”

“Trust Me”.    Little by little we descended those hills.  I had my eyes riveted and knew the  dips in the cement that I wanted him to avoid.  I saw the turns ahead and knew how I planned to coax him in the turn…not too sharp…as that would cause a sure tipping over moment.

As we enjoyed our “bike” and smoothie time, I heard another voice in my head.

“Trust Me”.

Yes, you see, my husband lost his job back in early April.  His company did some realigning and his area was let go.

For the most part, he and I are doing fine.  He’s been in the business for over 30 years now and has a lot of contacts.  He’s been on top of his job search each and every day.

We’ve been able to enjoy extra time together and trips to see the grandchildren together. We’ve celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary during this time.

We trust in God.  We have a faith in Who God Is and What God Can do.

We’ve walked life in a relationship with God each and every day of our marriage.

“Trust Me”.

See…It’s been 3 months now.   He’s had lots of interviews.   Companies have interviewed him over and over and over again.  Is the job coming Lord?

When?   What company Lord?  Will the pay be good?  Will it allow us to maintain the lifestyle that we’ve become used to?  How much longer Lord?

“Trust Me”

I’m now the little kid on the bike of life with training wheels on.

He is the parent (grandparent in my case)…He’s got his hand on the back of my bike.

He sees the bumps ahead that he desires me to avoid.  He sees the sharp turns in the road and He desires to show me how to navigate them.

He loves me.  He loves my husband.

He isn’t about to take His hand off of our bike seat!  He’s got us, yes He does.

Sometimes it’s just nice to hear His words as I did today.

“Trust Me”.

Okay Lord.  I do.  I will.  Your arms are strong (both of them).  You’ve got me, I know you do.

 

Job 40:9

“Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like His?”

Psalm 77:15

“With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.”

Song of Songs 2:6

“His left arm is under my head, and His right arm embraces me”.

Sensing His Way

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My dog was freaking me out the other night.

It was a beautiful night and I was the only one home.

I took a book, a few magazines, a glass of lemonade and a few candles and set myself up on my patio for an enjoyable evening of reading.

I turned on the patio lights and my evening began.

My Sophie (my large Bernese Mt. Dog) lay still in the soft green grass just a few feet from me. Every once in a while she’d pick up her head and her ears would perk up as if she were hearing something important.

She’d done this several times on this particular evening and each time it unnerved me a bit. What was she hearing? Was there a raccoon nearby?

Was it a skunk? A person?

Why could she just not lay there and relax?

She was beginning to ruin my otherwise peaceful evening.

After a bit, she got up and left her spot in the grass and sauntered onto the patio with me. At first I thought she was just going to lie down on the patio carpet. She not only walked onto the carpet and past the carpet, but she then circled and went behind my patio chair! This put her behind me and between my chair and a corner of our house.

Now I was freaked out alright!

What on earth was she so afraid of?!

She’s down to having only 3 legs so I told her to “stay” as I entered our home through the back door.

She can only enter and exit now through the front door due to her leg strength. I went in through the back door, freaked out and annoyed. I exited through the front door to be able to walk around the house and get her and take her in the now unlocked front door.

As I exited the front door, I was able to see what had scared her and had her on edge.

There were flashes of lightning far off.

I hadn’t been able to see them from the back patio, but Sophie sensed them.

Now, not so annoyed, I took her around the house and in to safety. I pondered the idea of staying on the patio by myself for a bit, but decided against it. I no sooner had gathered all of my reading materials and shut off the patio lights when the thunder rolled in.

A few minutes later I sat close to Sophie (now inside the house) as the thunder and hail raged outside.

 

Sophie had senses that were more in touch with our surroundings than I had.

God, Our Father, knows all things

In all seasons

In all matters.

May we tune into Him

As close as Sophie tuned into her surroundings.

 

May we not run and “hide” as she did,

But trust and embrace God

And walk through the circumstances that surround us knowing that He is in control.

 

May we lean on Him

In our times of fear and receive the comfort that only He can give.

 

Philippians. 4:6

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

 

Proverbs 3:5

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Walking With Confidence

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I’ve said it before and I will say it again…I love watching little children walk.

Some walk with a strut and authority.

Some walk a little wobbly and end up on the ground more often than not.

Some use what we might call “Frankenstein arms” as they have those arms out in front for protection of the up and coming fall.

I love when little legs just can’t help themselves and they start to run.

The run goes faster and faster, each step seems to be a little more out of control.

Watching little ones walk might make us wince now and then, mostly because they are not even paying attention to where those little legs are taking them!

 

Recently I watched my grandson transform his walk in front of me.

For most of the day he walked and ran like he normally does.

When he saw the Buzz Light Year costume that I had just purchased, everything changed. He changed on the outside, yes, as he put on the entire costume from head to toe. But, he changed on the inside too.

All of a sudden his little hands went to his hips.

His elbows were out.

His chest was a little more puffed out.

He held his head high and suddenly walked with

Downright authority!

He had BECOME Buss Light Year!

Complete strangers commented on his costume and there wasn’t a shy bone in his body.

He was Buzz!

 

I’m reminded that we can choose to walk hand in hand with Jesus.

We can have Him with us on any occasion and at anytime and every time if we desire.

That should put some confidence in our step!

By faith, know that He can be with you.

 

To quote Ruth Graham

“Stop studying the problems and start studying The Promises”

 

He is in our midst.

 

 

Shades of White

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Cloud white, marshmallow white, antique white, bistro white, bungalow white, and cameo white are but a few of the choices I recently looked at as I was planning to paint our interior doors and trim in our home.

Our doors were originally white. I’m not sure which “white” they were.

It’s been 14 years since they were last painted!

(No judgment please)

I brought home the samples and taped them to my doors to see which “white” I preferred. I ended up choosing one.

As of today, I have finished all the interior doors. Hurray!

As I painted each and every door (19 all in all) the thought would run through my mind “this is VERY white”. So much whiter than the last “white”.

I really need to work on the trim because theses white doors sure make the trim work look dull and “not so white”.  My eyes would them roam to the light switch plates…these will also need replaced.  How on earth did I think this was originally white?

Where am I going with this?

Glad you asked!

The Bible says:
“Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”

Psalms 51:7

Jesus is the ONLY one who can cleanse us and make us whiter than snow, pure, and acceptable in The Father’s sight.

When we try to cleanse ourselves…if falls short.

In our own efforts we might take a sin and realize it’s a sin and in our own efforts we try to make it better and acceptable.  Perhaps good works will make my sin look “whiter”.  Perhaps certain prayers will make my sin appear “whiter”.  Perhaps giving money to a charity will make my sins appear “whiter”.

The thing is we can never make it “white and pure” as Jesus does and only He can.

We will always fall short.

We might think we’ve got something under control and maybe we actually do so many good works and donate so much to charity that we believe we are now in the white category.  But bungalow white, cameo white, antique white, bistro white are still just shades of white.  It’s still not Jesus white!

We need Jesus.

God sent His Son to live the perfect life that we could never live and to die the death that we should have died.

May we not trust in our own doing, but in His perfect sacrifice alone.

 

As a side note …

It was my daughter in law who inspired me to paint all my interior doors.

She was doing this in her home and each time I’d visit I would see how clean and how beautiful they looked.

I was inspired.

 

May this little blog, these words of truth…

Inspire you today to receive and accept God’s Son

As your savior.

May you go to Him for true cleansing and become

Whiter than snow.

Navigating

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It was my first and only time white water rafting.

The sign read that they accepted people between the ages of 4 to 94.

That sounded promising.

I was a lot older than 4 and a lot younger than 94.

I pep talked myself into going through with this plan that my family had decided on.

It hadn’t rained in a while and I thought that would be in my favor.

I would prefer to do this in as shallow of water as possible!

It was the Delaware River and our children were in their early teens.

We put on our life vests and climbed into our family raft.

We had already been coached by the people who run this operation. I paid close attention to all of their directions. I didn’t want one mishap. I wanted to end this day with everyone alive!

I remember distinctly that the guide told us that we would come to two forks on the river. We were to go right at the first fork and then left at the second fork. Got it. The consequences of not following his directions would mean that we would get stuck amongst the eel traps. No sir…not me…

I’ve got this cemented in my brain.

Two forks…right…then left. Got it!

 

We set out. At first it seemed like fun and the water wasn’t too bad.

We were doing a good job as a family paddling and staying on course. We began to relax and even laugh a bit!

The sun felt good on our shoulders, the splashes of river water were welcome and I began to wonder why I had even felt anxious about this at all!

First fork…

I could see it in the distance. Right. Go right.

We were pros. We sailed through the first fork without a hitch! This was too easy!

We even navigated our raft near some rocks to climb out and enjoy a packed lunch.

This was turning out to be one great adventure!

 

With more laughter now and feeling more sure of ourselves, we cast out into the river again. We were having a grand old time!

Second fork…

We could see it coming up.

Left…that’s what we’d been told.

We certainly didn’t want to get stuck amongst the eel traps!

Left…

And as we paddled left…

We noticed that all of the other rafts on the river were going right.

Right? Could we be wrong? Did we not get the directions correct?

Raft after raft after raft swept past us and they were all going right at this fork.

We were so close…we were almost completely at the entrance of the left side of the fork and we decided that we must be wrong.

I began screaming for everyone to paddle backwards!

We’ve got to back paddle. I don’t want eel traps.

Back paddle…faster!   Put your oar in and use some muscle!

Go, Go, Go!

After much yelling and screaming and even crying…we managed to paddle against the current to get our raft lined up to enter the right side of the fork.

Phew!

We weren’t going to need the coast guard after all!

Or were we?

 

Traps. Lots of them. Sharp rocks…eels!  We had made a horrible mistake!

It seems as though we were right the first time, but had decided that since everyone else on the river was going right …they must be right.

But they weren’t. We followed the crowd that day and regretted it big time!

My husband had to climb out of the raft and deal with the sharp rocks and pull us to a reasonably safe place.

 

Our hearts were beating extra hard as we watched him struggle and slip to help us.

He did what he needed to do and I’m happy to report we all made it out alive.

We haven’t been white water rafting again and I can’t say that I ever want to again.

I’ll skip on the eels, traps, sharp rocks and strong currents.

 

The hands on lesson that day was a lesson my children will never ever forget.

Just because the world says to go “this way” does not make it the right way!

 

The world says many things today.  The world has many opinions.

In some instances it’s as if people wear their “rights” as fine jewelry, but it doesn’t make it right in God’s eyes.

 

Joshua 24:15

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…..But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

 

Proverbs 14:12  “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.”

 

May we dig into God’s Word and learn His ways for ourselves!

Eyes for You

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I’m in love with a recent photo that came across my screen.

My son and his family went on a vacation recently to Europe. In this particular picture he is crouched low holding his camera in his hand, but the camera is not focused on the ancient castle that seems to enclose them.

His camera and his eyes are focused on his little girl.

His back is to the castle and he’s capturing his little girl as she walks among the ruins.

He could be taking pictures of the ruins  or the beautiful landscapes.  He could be taking pictures of the plaques describing the ruins or silly tourists, but his eyes are focused on the little one that he loves and adores.

She brings him joy.  She gives his life new meaning.  Being her daddy is a high calling.

God in heaven has taken on that calling.  He loves you.

He loves you more than you can possibly understand this side of heaven.

His focus is on you…because He loves you.

It’s such a simple and beautiful message and yet we so often miss it.

We are the little girl…

We are the one who stumbles when she falls or gets distracted and walks off the path.

His eyes do not waiver.

They are zoomed in on us. He is our protector and our defender.

He will forever love us because He is Love.

As my granddaughter trusts her daddy and receives his love, may we trust our Heavenly Father and Creator…the one who knows us better than we know ourselves and yet loves us still.

 

Romans 5:8

“But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”

 

Jeremiah 31:3

“Long ago the Lord said to Israel I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”