Does God speak to you? Does He speak audibly, to our hearts and through His Words? I was pulling out of the parking lot anxious to drive straight home and relax after a long day at the office. Although it wasn’t audible or out loud I heard God encourage me in my heart to drop another gift card on the young Mom’s porch and also add a potted flowering plant. I followed God’s gentle urge, and although exhausted I was strangely energized as I hauled my sweaty and probably not so fragrant self to the HEB. I was filled with joy as I placed the beautiful heavenly scented potted gardenia and gift card upon her porch. I later shared at bible study and together we filled a big wicker basket filled with gift cards over the next week. I may never meet this young Mom but she is now on my heart and I’m open to God leading me to place whatever He wants me to place on her steps.
I love to take long walks every morning, but lately, my feet have taken me much further out of our quiet older neighborhood and closer to a bridge near an overpass of a toll road. Whenever I walk by this area, the noise vibrates my skin as dust stirs and exhaust smells hang heavy in the air. One day, a black lace bra was hanging from a tree. I struggled to reach it with a limb, but I was determined to remove it from the sight of the students I see walking by every day to the bus stop. A makeup bag containing bubblegum pink lip gloss, beige eyeshadow, charcoal, navy, and bronze eye pencils were wholly dumped onto the grass with an empty quart of Fireball cinnamon whiskey a few feet away. There was a beat-up amber leather roper boot in the middle of the street. In March, fake spider and spider webs decorations are adorning a Monte Carlo, a holdover from Halloween. A rusted pole and decrepit cinder blocks hold up the air conditioner. A single violet and yellow-colored baby push walker was parked in the once gravel drive somebody had a small child. I couldn’t help but smile and remember when we had a toddler—thinking of the giggles, wobbles, and sheer sense of glee in pretty much anything. Then I saw a box of size six diapers perched on top of barely navigable broken steps to a home experiencing hardship. I was a wreck. I didn’t want to seem intrusive, but I wanted to help. What business was this of mine? I can’t stop thinking about what I could do. How can I help? I prayed and dropped a gift card to HEB on the front porch enclosed in a lavender card a few days later. I’m overthinking it every morning as I pray and ask Jesus to direct my next steps.
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Being cooped up.
I’m an outdoor girl.
Mothers Day or my birthday are usually a day of canoeing, hiking or horseback riding.
Studying for my big exam this spring I missed taking in the grape kool-aid (mountain laurel) air with honey suckle top notes.
The scent of flowers and birds singing all calm me.
My coursework of memorizing laws and regulations kept me from my daily visit to the creek to breathe in the fresh air-conditioner free air.
Stepping out for a few minutes this spring, a young gentlemen from the next building whistled out the mocking jay haunting melody making me laugh.
I must remind him of a much older Katniss Everdeen.
Getting out of the routine of being outside scares me. Spring seemed to rush by without me noticing.
Don’t be scared… go outside.
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Go to Church
Find a bible-based church that’s not so large you get lost in the shuffle.
“See and be radiant and your heart will tremble and rejoice.” (first half of Is. 59v.5)
Experience the transformative power of God’s Word.
Sorrow is better than laugher, for sadness has a refining influence on us.
Just soak it all in.
Church is a safe place to weep.
The deeper the sorrow, the less the tongue has to say.
Develop relationships with people in their 90’s.
They have walked through great and irreparable loss.
A seasoned perspective.
My Aunt Virginia almost 94, and a friend Frances, who is 94 seem to have a quick way of pulling me to a feeling of ease.
Show respect to the aged; honor the presence of an elder; fear your God.
I am God.
Leviticus 19:32 The Message
A well dressed gentlemen walked past me in the library.
His perfectly polished cordovan dress shoes were in contrast to a strong alcohol odor passing by and nauseating me.
Liquor seeped out of his skin on a Sunday afternoon.
I was just relaxing catching up on the latest periodicals, but another story began to unfold in my mind.
Sadness so unbearable some turn to old vices.
My old vice was candy, especially black licorice.
Blue after visiting with a grieving dear friend, I bought a box.
A strange calm arrived as I bite into the chewy, salty, tart sweet.
Perhaps this well-groomed young man had suffered a loss of some kind.
When the dark angst hits go outside and read the psalms beginning at 100.
He saved them from their distress.
He sent His word and healed them;
He rescued them from the Pit. Psalm 107 v. 20 HCSB
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In line at the grocery store a young mom started setting items aside she could not pay for–
bananas, apples, and other veggies. I handed the money to the cashier and she, with her many lovely long braids, and her sweet children were on their way.
I’ll never see this family again, but I assured her it was from God and He loves her.
Standing in line at the gas station one of our coaches from the high school was checking out. It was less than $10.00 but it gave me the opportunity to thank him for all he does for the young people in our community and a simple God Bless you.
You are reading this and thinking I don’t have any extra.
Save a quarter a week till you have a dollar and give it away and bless another.
Perhaps one of my biggest adjustments to having an empty nest is the grocery store, mine is HEB. Feeling blue grocery shopping alone one Saturday, two teen girls stood in front of me at the checkout counter with a giant bottle of chocolate syrup. The only thing I said as I slipped several dollars to the cashier on their behalf was “God Bless you” to the two smiling young faces. It ended up being on sale and just one dollar, but it was my small way of demonstrating God’s love toward others, and God lifted my spirits as I gave just a little away, my unexpected blessing from Him.
A young mom from our neighborhood texted me to see if she could pick up some food for her three small children from our churches pantry. I could not get there, but the owner of the preschool was there to help, and helped her carry the groceries to her car where she quietly handed the young mom an envelope with extra cash. That mom called me later to say how she could not believe how God had met her need so quickly. Sometimes our random acts of kindness are really divine appointments– God’s way of letting others know they are loved and not forgotten.
Be the hand of God.
Yesterday I fell off my bike carrying too much on the way home from our mailbox. It was a pretty hard fall, contents of my basket flying everywhere, and blood dripping from scrapes on my wrist and leg as I rode home.
Share your load with others.
Todd would have been glad to swing by our box and pick up some of the bigger items on his way home from work.
Our family lost three loved ones in four years.
Multiple loved ones passing away or one is too much of a burden for anyone to bear alone.
Grief Group helped me lift my heavy heart.
Surrounded by people who have suffered the loss of a loved one, and a leader, the group gently persuades you to share your imperfect memories, portraits, all while putting you at ease.
Our leader had us write letters to our loved ones sharing that we wished they would have remained alive longer, our anger that they missed an important event, regrets, anger and how lonely we feel without them. We then read those letters at the cemetery or somewhere significant to the two of us. We then burned or buried the letters.
Somehow I felt lighter and more at ease with each letter.
In the Jewish faith when a loved one dies, they sit Shiva for seven days.
They stay home and allow others to listen to them, care for them, and bring them food.
When others are in pain, you will find yourself more compassionate and confident to walk through it with them.
Sit beside them quietly.
No advice needed.
When others are happy, be happy with them.
If they are sad, share their sorrow.
Romans 12:15 TLB
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A Holly Hobby stitching gently nudged my thoughts as I passed it each day.
Whenever you’re blue
Find something to do
For somebody else
Who is sadder than you
Fill your friends’ and families’ darkness with God’s spectacular paint brush.
Stopping off in Columbia to see Uncle Tom and Aunt Grace is always a powerful time of prayer. Celebrating their 51st wedding anniversary they are blessed by God. Grace stayed up till 1 am with me, and we prayed big and bold and color-filled blessings and prayers on everyone in our families.
Praying the Word of God over each one individually.
At the beach we sunned and swam every day, just the three of us, and occasionally Rick and Laura after work at Corolla Chapel.
I missed the family that had sat beside me the 27 previous years –with our Lord, or off to college, college bound and others spending their vacation elsewhere.
North Carolina was our state. My husband born in Chapel Hill, our daughter’s summers here at her grandparents’ beach house and my summers for 27 years.
Refreshed by salt air and my family’s laughter and constant teasing, God comforted me.
Fresh sun, vivid oranges and blue streaked memories.
We played new games and visited different spots rediscovering the Outer Banks.
I checked out of email, FB, text and all the rest.
The spaciousness of the ocean and expansion of my time with my family turned my attention upward Praising God and lifting everyone, many of you who are deeply hurting in intercession to our Lord. I am certain He is going to change your situation or your struggle.
Have faith and believe.
Look up and enjoy His favor and blessing.
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Healing is like a flower blossom each petal needs to open in its own time.”
My healing came through blessing others.
How could I change and be a little miracle to others, like Peg did all the time.
Peg knew everyone’s birthday.
She probably knew her mail lady’s birthday.
A simple step, but it would mean writing down birthdays.
For me, that often means a visit to my favorite florist, Lisa.
I love to hear her say, “So who is it for today!”
She listens and creates a visible expression of the friend I’m celebrating.
Healing happens very slowly as the petals unfold.
I lift you into the prayer below.
Jesus loves you so much.
You are His beautiful masterpiece created in the image of Almighty God.
Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think- according to the power that works in you- to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen
Anonymous Quote from a recent interview on the Today Show with Sara Connell author of “Bringing In Finn” and inspiration for the upcoming movie “Return to Zero” starring Minnie Driver
Sara Connell author of Bringing in Finn