Archive | June 2015

sudden loss.

I carefully removed the oak tree sapling growing near the foundation of a house.

I planted it, watered it, and protected it for 2 years.

Recently, while I was mowing the grass, I got too close. The wire cage I surrounded it with got caught.

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It ripped the top off.

The life of the fresh, green leaves just beginning to unfold was cut short.

As I circled around with the mower, I felt the familiar disappointment well up inside me. It was very short-lived since I’ve learned, “No, not everything goes wrong.”

I thought about pulling it up and tossing it. Stuff happens. Move on.

At the same time, I thought, wait. Don’t give up just yet.

A couple of days later I noticed small sprouts of leaves at the bottom. But in a short time, they shriveled up.

Disappointed. But wait.

I had forgotten about my little oak tree until the next mowing a week later.

And this is what I found.

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I was prepared to toss if I had to. This is acceptance when things go wrong.

See the broken trunk? This tree will have a scar. But it will continue to grow strong.

scripture friday.

But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength …

– The Bible

Photo credit: Phil W Shirley / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: Phil W Shirley / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

whispers from God.

It’s been the little things in life that has helped make me strong. That’s because of my Christian faith, believing and knowing God is real, and the small ways he whispers his presence into all of our lives.

God is like that.

When he whispers, we pay closer attention.

It’s like last week when my local paper had a photo of a scarlet tanager and I thought, “I’d love to see one of those!” And a day later, I did.

Photo credit: Mike's Birds / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Mike’s Birds / Foter / CC BY-SA

And then the 6 quarts+ of strawberries I’ve picked out of my little 5×5 patch.

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And the cardinals I have been coaxing to the feeders for so long.

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Or my peony that would only give 2 or 3 blooms  each year, and this spring, it was covered with over 70 blooms.

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All around you are whispers from God. He wants you to know he is with you.

bloom.

We all face seasons of barrenness.

Times when things look bleak.

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    kathymoulton

But beneath the surface, there is hope.

Life will bloom again.

trail 2

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elisabeth elliot.

Our faith can get complicated. That’s because we complicate things. And often it is because we are not willing to face the truth, accept it, and be honest with ourselves.

But this woman, Elisabeth Elliot, always made it simple to understand.

Without apology, she spoke the truth found in the scriptures.  The truth really does have the power to set us free when we accept it.

One timeless phrase Elisabeth used in this stressful, busy world is, “do the next thing”. Our minds race some days, don’t they? Yet those 4 words had the power to settle me.

After my oldest son died, her books gave me comfort. That’s because she never ran from this truth: there is suffering in our lives. Face it. And then know that God will help us through.

Elisabeth died on Sunday, June 14th.

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friday’s quote.

And can it be, in a world so full and busy, the loss of one creature makes a void so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of eternity can fill it up?

– Charles Dickens

one

Photo credit: chibitomu / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

one thousand gifts.

Pain is everywhere. We can’t eradicate it. We can only live with it.

But how we live with it is what matters.

Sometimes, I just want to give into it. I want it to do it’s work and be done with it. Those are the times when I can’t … or I refuse … to take another breath. Just let me die.

It’s then when we see God. Not because he always reaches down and pulls us out of the despair, but because he gets down in it with us, and breathes that next breath into us.

book

“Ann Voskamp’s story is not happily ever after.  As a child, her sister was crushed under a truck in front of her and her mother.  Consequently, her mother checked herself into a psychiatric hospital and her father couldn’t find God.  As an adult, she stood beside her brother-in-law as he buried his first two sons.  Voskamp is a wife and mother who does not grin through the pain but battles to believe that in God is joy, and that there are as many gifts amid the grittiness of life as in the moments of celebration.”

http://www.onethousandgifts.com

start living.

The words are similar.

The words are familiar.

Mothers who have lost a child, wondering at the silence from the people around them.

One time, a friend told me, “Well, people probably don’t know what to say.”

News flash: mothers (and fathers) who have lost a child are not waiting for attention. The reason I think people don’t know what to say is because we live in a time of positive thinking and never-give-up and they know it can’t possibly apply.

So, the silence.

Not just for you, but for them. It’s scary to be jarred into reality.

Our world, and in many Christian circles, people do not readily accept tragedies or suffering as a part of life. This sets people up for disillusionment. When I think of other times and places, and the loss, pain, and suffering people endured, it cautions me to not believe in something that is not true.

Bad things happen. It is a part of life.

The hope we have is one day, God will wipe away every tear and there will be no more sorrow or death. We can’t live our lives being against God because of our situations. You can’t change it. It is what it is.

Start living. Would your child want anything less?

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scripture friday.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls.”

-The Bible

Photo credit: djwtwo / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: djwtwo / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA