Remnants of Me

“Do you want that old dictionary?”

My college age daughter was in the process of cleaning out her bedroom. As she uncovered her own pieces from her childhood memories, she stumbled upon this…

It is a worn, somewhat tattered dictionary. I remember purchasing it for a $1 at a department store, perhaps Montgomery Wards. I remember being so excited as a fourth grader. I was already writing at that age. I have been a lover of words for as long as I can remember.

As I flipped through that old dictionary, I found random words highlighted.

Why?

Secure? Indignant? Abrupt?

I searched within myself… trying to guess why out of all the words in the English language, I would have chosen those words.

Now, there is one thing you should know about me. I love highlighters. A lot. I highlight passages in my Bible, in books I am reading, my to do lists… basically, everything. 😁

But, as a young child, what would have possessed me to highlight such random words?

As I reflect on those words, these are my thoughts…life is abrupt…change comes often and with little warning. Even as a child, I had recognized that fact of life.

Secure…I like to feel safe and free from doubt or fear and unlikely to fail. As a child, I know I valued that. As an adult, I am venturing into different territory where I can accept my doubts yet push on and where I am learning to embrace my failures as opportunities to grow.

Indignant? I suppose I learned early on that life is not fair.

Words…I love them. It has been fun to find that old dictionary and to go through glimpses into my child brain.

I know God was already working in my life from that early age. Those words are reminders that He has our lives in the palm of His hand.

Despite the abrupt changes in life and the indignation I feel at things in the world, I can rest in the safety and security of His constant peace.

There’s nothing deep in these words, but I hope they touch you somewhere within yourself and remind you that God has been, is, and will be with you always.

Sometimes, wisdom is found in remnants of our childhood. What pieces of your childhood still speak to you now?

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Mother’s Day reflections

If you scroll through Facebook today, you are likely to see your feed filled with pictures of moms and their kids.

What if your Mother’s Day doesn’t feel Facebook post worthy?

What if your Mother’s Day doesn’t live up to the expectations you were hoping for?

My day wasn’t perfect, but you know what?

That’s okay.

Authentic love isn’t perfect. It’s messy. There is beauty in brokenness. God does some of His best work in us when we are willing to be vulnerable and to allow Him to work through our brokenness.

I don’t know what Mother’s Day looks like for you, but I do know that every woman needs a gentle reminder to extend some grace to herself from time to time.

Pictures on Facebook are nice and hashtags with bestmomever are all fine and dandy, but everyone has a struggle of some sort behind their Facebook life.

Today, despite my unmet expectations of the “perfect” day, I was reminded to relish in the joy of everyday moments and to extend some grace to myself and those whom I love.

the meal my children cooked me

I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s day!!

Oh and if you need a little mom encouragement…. here’s a great collection of stories. Enjoy!!

Whispers

Uninspired.

That’s what I was feeling.

Exhausted, too, but that comes with the territory of life sometimes.

Then, an unexpected voice sharing with me that she reads my blog, my little collection of thoughts…it caused me to pause for a moment.

It always surprises me, humbles me to learn that someone takes time to read my words.

Words. They have such power. They can lift a person up, or they can destroy a relationship. Sometimes, there are no words. Sometimes fewer words are best.

Sometimes, we come so close to missing the words that matter. In a very noisy world full of noise where everyone thinks they have something to say, do we sometimes miss the important things? The words we need to hear?

One of my favorite Old Testament passages is this…

Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.

1 Kings 19: 11-12 NLT

We want big miracles when sometimes, it is the simple words of another like I experienced today that uplifts our weary spirit and refreshes our soul.

What ways has He whispered fresh life into your weary soul?

He Has Already Begun

Have you ever felt like you were in a dry wasteland?

I have been spending a lot of time lately in the Old Testament. I seem to be able to relate to these characters. They made mistakes. They doubted. They didn’t always see the bigger picture. They feared. And, they waited. For. A. Long. Time.

Sigh.

In our microwave, high speed society, we want instant messaged answers. It usually doesn’t work this way.

I am in the midst of a waiting season. In the waiting, a lot is happening. God is doing work in my life, but it’s hard, and it often doesn’t feel good.

I read this passage in Isaiah 43:19 NLT:
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

The thought that hit me after I read that passage is this…I am that dry wasteland!

God is working in my life. Through these seasons as I wait and trust Him to unfold my dreams, He is doing something new. It is already underway even on days when I feel exhausted, depleted, and defeated.

And another amazing revelation? He doesn’t need my help!!

Wow, the God who created the universe does not need my help. That has been so freeing.

So, wherever you are on the journey towards your dreams, know that God is already paving the way.

He has gone before you. He only needs your response of obedience.
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8

God is with you. I have spent a lot of time in worry trying to figure out the next steps. He is already with me, and He’s with you.

Enjoy the new life springing forward in you!

He has already begun the good work in you.

Story

This captivates me.

I drive by this dilapidated house and barn daily on my commute home from work. It fascinates me. Something about old abandoned buildings have always grabbed my attention.

A story lies behind this falling apart barn and farmhouse. It begs to be told.

My mind is racing on the way home from work, but this building always causes me to refrain from the rush of thoughts in my head to imagine its story.

Sometimes, a story, an escape from reality is exactly what I need.

What catches your attention?

He Fills My Cup

Sometimes, it’s a cup of coffee in a cozy local coffee shop amidst the chaos of life and a winter that lingers on forever that fills your soul like a fresh breath of life.

I’ve been quiet on here. Days have felt long, exhausting.

Sometimes, it’s okay to be quiet.

Then, when you least expect it, God fills your empty soul very, very full. He places special people in your life. He allows your soul to be filled at a worship concert with thousands of people.

Sometimes, you just need reminded you are not alone in this world. Your struggles are not unique. He provides those special people who listen, who get your struggles, who just know how to give you the courage to get up and try another day.

This day wasn’t easy. Actually, it was hard. So hard that someone made the comment to me…”You really have had a crappy day.”

“Yeh, I have.”

It didn’t end on that note, though. Another special person poured into my soul.

I step back, see the tapestry of my life. People. They are from all different seasons of my life. Our paths have crossed. Connections.

He fills your cup, your soul. Allows you to connect with those precious safe people who love you for who you are.

May the God of Hope fill you with all Joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Not All is Lost

Sometimes, we lose things.

This past weekend has been challenging for me. I dropped my phone for the umpteenth time. Unfortunately, I cracked my internal screen, and the black screen of death stared back at me. I lost pictures, notes, and other odds and ends stored on that phone.

My wedding ring broke. The band came apart. This is likely from excessive hand sanitizer use in my daily job. I have lost the familiarity of having my ring on my finger until it is fixed.

We lost our freedom temporarily the other day when our Jeep stranded us miles from home. We were at the mercy of others to come rescue us.

Over the past several years, I have lost the ability to eat whatever I choose due to chronic stomach issues and an autoimmune disease.

Yet, sometimes, the things we lose aren’t tangible things we can touch.

What do we do when the things we lose are intangible? When we can’t touch them or easily replace them?

Things like patience, hope, peace…

I have been reading the book of Joshua. In chapter 7, Joshua and his people are defeated. Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the ground. He cries out to the Lord…why have You brought us here to destroy us?

God had called them out of their comfort, but He had also just brought them victory over the battle of Jericho. Oh, how easily we forget God’s miracles and blessings in our life when things seem hopeless.

How did God respond to Joshua?

Joshua chapter 7:10… So the Lord said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie on your face?”

The chapter goes on to talk about holding people accountable…they have a second chance at the battle…they win and all praise is to God.

How many times have we felt defeated? Hopeless? Exhausted?

The story doesn’t have to end there.

In loss, there is much to gain. Jesus gave up His life so that we may live and live more abundantly.

God is the God of all our days…the good ones, the bad ones, and the really hard ones.

Sometimes, the greatest blessings are found in the times of loss. Sometimes, we have to die to self-our pride, fears, self reliance- in order to discover the blessings of all He has in store for us. Not all is lost.

May He be the God of all your days.