“Trust Me”

IMG-2494

“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

img_2272

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

IMG-2257

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

IMG-2227

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

IMG-2121

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

IMG-2120

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.”

 

 

Imitators

IMG-1780

The picture came across my phone screen.

She was sitting on a snow horse that her daddy made for her in the last big snowfall.

She looked so happy and my mind immediately went back to

twenty some years ago.

When her daddy was about 10, we also had a big snowfall.

I think it was the blizzard of 1993.

My husband went outside and built snow forts for the kids to play in.

He spent a good part of that day, all those years ago, creating a snow horse.

It was solid and carved and crafted so cleverly.

It held not one, not two, but all three of our children.

I had no idea in 1993 that in 2018, my son would also make a snow horse for his little girl. How sweet.

The warmth inside my heart is so full thinking that he would even consider imitating something that his father once did for him and now do it for his daughter.

I don’t think there is a better reward or feeling than to know that your child values what you did enough to repeat it or imitate it.

 

I think also of Jesus

The Bible says that we should be imitators of Him.

We certainly can’t do that on our own, but with God’s Holy Spirit within us, we can imitate His ways. We won’t always get it down perfectly. In fact, more often that not we will certainly fall short.   He can still, however, be recognized.

When we care enough to sit and listen to someone who is hurting, we imitate Him.

When we stoop down into the muck and mire to help someone in their situation, we imitate Him.

When our heart hurts with compassion, we imitate Him.

When we show patience, we imitate Him.

When we are joyful and happy for others, we imitate Him.

 

May we warm His heart today and each day

By allowing His Spirit within us to imitate Him.

 

1 Corinthians 4:16

“Therefore I urge you to imitate me”

Amplified Bible

“Imitate me, as I imitate Christ”

 

1 Corinthians 4:16

“So I urge you, be imitators of me just as a child imitates his father.”

 

The Noise

IMG-1763

My middle grandson has truly proven he can fall asleep absolutely anywhere!

He’s two and he’s always been able to just plop himself down on a couch, on the floor, in someone’s arms at home, at the beach, in the grocery cart and sleep, sleep, sleep.

Last weekend, he took it to a whole new level!

 

It was the Monster Truck Show!

My husband, his daddy, and my son joined the two “older boys” and attended the local show. The monster trucks racing and doing stunts all takes place on the inside of an indoor arena.

The noise level is deafening.

We knew enough to send the little ears some protection, but even that was not enough. My husband said the noise was so loud that it hurt!

Thankfully, there are booths that sell extra earplugs for novices like us.

 

The crowds are cheering, the trucks are blaring, the voices of the food venders truly cannot be heard because of the deafening noises they compete with.

Our little fella was sitting in his grandpa’s lap and slowly my husband could feel his little body swaying and going limp. He looked at him and sure enough his little eyes had closed and my husband just leaned him back in his arms and held his hand over his little ear to protect it while he slept.

He slept through most of the first half of the show and woke up at intermission!

 

How I envy him!!!

At my age, I struggle with sleep. My mind is going a mile a minute as I try to wind down to sleep. If I do lay down and sleep, I usually wake up in the middle of the night and need to get up and read to just be able to lull myself back to sleep.

 

The noise brings it to a whole new level.

Oh, how we need to be able to block out the noise!

The

“You’re not enough”

“You are not loved”

“You are a failure”

“You are a fraud”

noise.

That’s what it is…noise!

I love so many people that believe the lies.

They struggle through life trying to prove themselves worthy.

Trying to show the world that they are not a failure.

Trying to show the world that they have it all together.

They live in bondage to their past and fear rejection.

They believe they need the almighty approval of men.

In believing the lies and the noise,

They set themselves up for failure.

 

I don’t claim in anyway to have it all together,

But my prayer for them, for me, and for you

Is that we allow God and His life giving Word

To block out the noise…the lies…

And set us free.

 

 

May we be able to walk in such peace that we too can rest peacefully amongst life’s greatest noise!

Jeremiah 46:17

“There they will exclaim, Pharaoh King of Egypt is only a loud noise”!

 

 

 

 

Dark Places

IMG-1762

I like to journal and occasionally go back and see where I’ve been and where I’ve come from. Maybe this is for someone today.

 

Dark times are difficult times.  They are difficult because it is in the darkness that we just can’t seem to “see”. I can’t see the “what to do” or the “how this will end.” I can’t seem to see through the mess to know what is real and what is just in my imagination.

I can’t see clearly.

It’s too dark.

 

There is a small ray of light. It might be a verse God gives me or a person He sends my way to speak hope into a situation.

But, even in that, it’s easy to return to the darkness, the loss, the mistrust.

 

I never know what’s around the corner when I’m left in the dark.

I feel alone.

I know in both my mind and my heart that I’m actually never alone.

People may fail me.

Perhaps, they too are in a darkened arena.

God never fails me.

He never abandons me.

He never forsakes me.

He believes the best in me and sees His Son in me because what seems like forever years ago…I received Him into my life as my personal Lord and Savior.

He took me from darkness that day and gave me light.

He showed me the steps to take and led me completely out of the darkness.

Like the Israelites, I too, will wander.

It’s so easy to judge this group of people who wandered in the desert for 40 years on what should have been a few days journey.

Today, I find myself feeling like I’ve been wandering for a very long time to absolutely nowhere.

You think you’ve been through something and fixed it.

You move on and cast aside your worries and pain.

Then you feel as though somehow you are back at the beginning and the wandering begins all over again.

But, as the Israelites wandered, God was visibly with them.

He was a cloud to follow by day and a pillar of fire to follow at night.

He did not abandon.

He did not cast aside or give up.

He did punish when needed and consequences came, but God never gave up on His plan for His people.

He loved and loves His people.

 

Whether you find yourself in a cloudy (foggy) place today

Or a patch of darkness…

Know that God is there with you.

He will never forsake.

He will never abandon.

He is here in our midst.

Allow Him to be your Pillar of Light.

 

Better One Day in His Courts

IMG-1754

She loves to be in my presence.

When she had all 4 legs, you would find her in whatever room of the house I was in. If I was in the basement…she was too.

If I was in the kitchen cooking, you can bet she was there and hoping for a taste of this and a taste of that.

If I was making a bed…she was there.  (and yes, often making it more difficult to make the bed)!

We had a routine of being together.

She is more limited now, my dog, with only three legs.

She does better on carpet than she does on hardwood flooring or tiles.

She can’t do steps anymore so that eliminates both upstairs and downstairs chores.

 

I still find her trying so hard to be around me.

If I am in the study and paying bills…she walks in slowly, gives a stretch, and lies down near me.

If I am reading a book or looking at a magazine, she is at my feet.

We both love when it’s yard work time…we enjoy being together side by side.

I miss our old routines and I’m pretty sure she does too.

 

She never gets mad at me.

I can go away for 2-3 days to visit and play with my grandchildren and when I get home she is not pouting or complaining.

She doesn’t try to punish me for having left for a few days.

She is wagging her tail and doing her best to get to me for a sweet reunion.  She pounces at the edge of the carpeted area waiting for me to get to her.  I greet her and she greets me.  She is ever so happy to have me near again.

Dogs have a great sense of smell, so I know she knows who I’ve been spending the last few days with!

 

She loves me.

She doesn’t love me for what she can get from me.

She just likes being in my presence.

Sure, I give her treats now and then.

I give her food and water, but during most of the day she is just nearby…

Enjoying my presence.

 

Honestly, I don’t enjoy my presence as much as she enjoys my presence!

But she does make me think.

Do I enjoy the presence of Almighty God?

Do I desire relationship with Him because of what I can get or what He can do for me?

Or

Do I just desire time in His presence?

In Him I find peace, love, kindness, mercy, and so much more.

It’s who He is.

The more time I’m in His Word and the more time I spend at His feet,

The more in love with Him I become.

He is trustworthy.

He is love.

He is God.

My mind cannot understand everything I desire to understand about Him,

But I know I’d rather one day in His courts

Than a thousand elsewhere!

 

Psalm 84:10a

“Better is one day in His courts

than a thousand elsewhere.”