Choosing the Good Part

I sat on my six-year-old daughter’s bed and clasped her tiny hand. In her sing-song voice, she began her nightly prayers.

“Lord, bless my mama. Lord, bless my daddy. Lord, bless my bubba. Mama, you’re sitting on my leg.”

I apologized and scooted over. “Is that better?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Okay. Let’s start again.”

Head bowed once more, I waited.

“One plus one is two. One plus two is three. One plus three is four…”

A smile spread across my face. I peeked out of one eye and waited for her to realize what she was saying.

“One plus five is six. One plus six is…,” she began giggling. “I was saying my addition facts.”

“Yes. You’ve been busy today. You have a lot on your mind, don’t you?”

“I want to start over.”

She started once more and finished her prayer. I kissed her good-night, tucked her in, and switched off the light.

Twelve years have passed since that night. But the memory is still as fresh as if it were yesterday. Not only does it hold precious memories, but spiritual truths.

Work-Work-Work

During the years, when my children were small, my husband worked crazy hours. At one point in our lives, he worked three different shifts in three weeks. No full days off. So, I was alone with the kids most of the time.

elephant-830782_1280

Pixabay

Both refused to sleep once they arrived. My son was colicky and cried for hours. My daughter, the same. As babies, I rocked them while crying and praying for their relief. I did everything I could to ease their pain while ignoring my own needs.

Not bragging. That’s what mothers do.

Hair? Forget styling. Pull it up in a ponytail. No one is coming. Teeth. Don’t worry, you can brush, later. Eat? You have three meals. You’re bound to eat one. Never mind going to the bathroom.

When it came time for school, my husband and I agreed to homeschool so that our week-ends coincided with his.

During those early years, I grew tired. I loved being a wife and mother more than anything! But, I missed my alone time with God. At times, I felt guilty for not spending time with Him like I did before motherhood.

Ever been there?

As was His loving way, He led me to His Word.

“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:11 KJV

Funny how you never see a scripture until the Lord opens your eyes to it.

I knew the time would come when my children were older and I could once again have my time.

But, during those years I became accustomed to the busyness of life. I quickly learned to adapt. I ate on the run, wrote on the run, prayed and studied on the run. That was life.

I quickly realized I had a problem when the Lord called me to Him. I no longer hungered for the alone time. I was satisfied with what I viewed as normal.

My prayer routine usually started with me kneeling on the floor, my head on my Bible. The days I didn’t fall asleep, I fished forgotten Lego and sippy cups from underneath the furniture.

It’s not easy breaking a habit. But break it we must if we are to see what’s before us.

A Needful Rest

The Bible tells us when Jesus entered a certain village, Martha invited Him to her house. Can you imagine the hoopla that took place? Everything had to be perfect.

One problem.

Mary, Martha’s sister, wasn’t helping. She had chosen to sit at the feet of Jesus. Mary’s action—or inaction irritated the industrious Martha to the point she complained to the Master.

I don’t know about you, but I can see both sides here. 🙂

But, on the other hand…  Imagine Martha’s story.

“Oh, honey, let me tell you. I had to set up two extra tables. I didn’t think I would ever fit everyone inside. But you know me. I can do anything I set my mind to. For the main course, I served roasted lamb. And if I have to say so myself, it was delicious. In fact, the disciples said they had never tasted anything like it.”

Exaggerated? Sure. But, my point is, if we listen carefully, it’s what we sound like when touting the accomplishment deemed necessary in this life.

Yes. Things must be done. But, there’s a “good part” that we are missing.

Now let’s listen to Mary’s story.

“Oh, my dearest friend, I could never explain to you what I felt while seated at His feet. When He looked at me, nothing else mattered. Everything vanished. Every trouble, every care. And then, His love washed over me like warm oil and filled every part of my being. As I listened to the sound of His voice, my strength was renewed. I found new hope.”

Seasons change and so must we. In the busy times of life, we do what we must do. And when the time comes, we change. Whether we are running, walking, or sitting at this time, let us be mindful that we always have a guest. May we cast aside our cares of the day, sit at His feet and focus only on Him.

Blessings

Gail

 

 

Season’s Purpose

Changes Revealed

Phot~pixabay

Pixabay

This time of the year brings a breath-taking transition to our surroundings as emerald-green leaves turn a myriad of gold, orange, and crimson for all to behold.

Not so in my neck of the woods. This year, the oak trees have decided to skip that particular process and turn a sickly greenish-brown just before falling to the ground. Sigh.

I felt robbed of the autumn experience until I remembered the purpose of the transition is growth. Still, that didn’t help the way I felt as I frantically searched for a little color each day.

But then, while wading through leaves to water the flowers yesterday, the Spirit of the Lord gently reminded me that even when we understand the reason, we often lose sight of the beauty.

 

Beauty Revealed

Photo~pixabay

Photo~pixabay

Ahh. There are seasons our colors shine for all to see as we demonstrate strength, long-suffering, humbleness, love, or even joy in the midst of excruciating pain. But then, there are seasons when our ugly greenish-brown comes out as God strips away the old.

Our secrets are exposed. Our faults and failures revealed. We feel naked to the world. We become vulnerable. We question ourselves and everything around us. We search for someone to blame. Angry, we storm the gates of Heaven for answers. Nothing. We wait. Winter sets in. There’s no solace as we face the icy winds and rains. Our foundation is shaken.

Photo~Wikipedia Public Domain

Photo~Wikipedia Public Domain

We try to regain some normalcy in our lives as we stubbornly continue to forge ahead. We watch as the days turn into months, and months into years. And when it seems we have reached our limit and feel we cannot go on, the sod beneath us begins to warm. Our roots stretch to take new ground. Our branches stand taller bursting with new growth. And once again, we are arrayed in His purpose, beautiful in His sight.

 

Purpose Revealed

Are you in a season of glorious color or sickly greenish-brown? Both have their purpose, Beloved. Both have their beauty.

It’s easy to focus on the surroundings when God wants us to open our eyes to the miraculous process taking place within us. In Second Kings, the servant of the man of God awoke to an army surrounding the city with horses and chariots. When he asked the man of God what they were going to do, Elisha told him to “fear not” and then he prayed.

And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha (2 Kings 6:17 KJV).

 

A Seasonal Prayer

Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver~wikicommons

Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver~wikicommons

Lord, during this season of transition, I pray that You would open our eyes to the beauty of Your purpose in us. Help us to not focus on the situation, but the outcome. Strengthen us for the journey. Instill in us a determination to make it, no matter the obstacles we must face. May we be reminded, Your grace is enough for every season and Your power is made perfect in our weakness. May we grow in grace and shine forth as a beautiful, fruitful testimony of Your incredible faithfulness in the lives of Your children. And for all of this, I offer You thanks. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

 

 

Trust His Heart

Rainbow TreeThis weekend I was reminded of God’s faithfulness to His children as I watched my friend smiling and laughing with a friend he hadn’t seen since his surgery. It was a happy reunion as the two—like school boys—caught up on old news.

Both are walking testimonies. Both have had open heart surgery. The elder—in his eighties—has been in and out of the hospital this past year. Twice, we’ve feared for his life. Yet God decided his journey wasn’t over. The younger, not feeling well, was diagnosed with a 100% blockage of the widowmaker earlier this year. Needless to say, God was truly the strength of his heart. He is doing well. Thank you for your prayers.

On the other hand, I’ve watched several family members grieve the loss of a loved one who unexpectedly slipped from this world. Yet, through their struggles, God is still faithful in the midst of their heartache.

Why does He choose to leave some, while others are taken? I don’t know. But, I do know one thing. He has my best interest at heart. He loves me and wants the very best for me. So, with each heartache comes a choice. Do I trust Him when I can’t see His purpose?

Easy? Sometimes. Other times, not so easy. At times, trusting Him has been the hardest thing to do. But through my heartaches, I’ve held on to His promises like a drowning man clinging to a life-preserver.

His ways are higher

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

I am not alone

“for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5b

I will find comfort in Him

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:18

I will see my loved one again

Jesus said unto her, “I am the resurrection, and the life:” John 11:25

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” 1 Thessalonians 4:16

I have hope

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

 

Yes, I have hope in Him. I may not always see His hands or know His thoughts. But I can always trust His heart.