Quiet

“Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10 (NLT)

I have just come into the house after dropping Little Miss off for the bus for school.

It is a darker, rainy Monday. The kind of Monday where you truly wished it was the weekend and stay in the nice warm bed. Little Miss struggled a bit as she woke up, hesitant to open her eyes and move. But, she did.

By time we were waiting for the bus to arrive, she was full of conversations and questions. It was wonderful, and to me, it was a sunny day because I was with her.

Entering the house there was little light and there was a hushed feeling to the house. Quiet. No video games, no conversations, no television, nothing. Just the quiet.

As I sit here, I realize that we all need some quiet. A time to renew, to think, to pray, to ponder. There are so many references in the Bible that urge us to be still. To sit beside still water, to be slow to anger, to wait on the Lord, to stop.

Lord, today, quiet my mind, my body, myself. Let me remember this quiet time this morning and keep that quietness with me throughout this day. When I begin to get anxious, whisper to me and return me to this time. Thank You for allowing me to see You and hear You in this moment. Amen.

A Comforting Voice

“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. Isaiah 40:1 (NLT)

When I normally think of comforting, I think of times of grief, illness, hospital stays, any kind of loss.

Those are the times when comfort is expected. Most of those times the comfort is given, although it is sincere, it is also stilted and lacks, for the most part, true comfort. The words are not empty, nor are the hugs or holding of hands, but, during those times, the recipient is distraught enough that they accept the comfort but don’t necessarily receive it fully.

This week, I have been acutely aware that comfort is needed daily. Life is tough. Times are rough. The world doesn’t seem as stable as it once was. People are in a state of flux. Things we depended on for years, now look faltering.

The situation I find myself in this past week has only deepened my thoughts on the above scripture. We are commanded to comfort one another. I have tried to do this.

Little Miss has had her world shift into new patterns. Although she has dealt wonderfully with it all, she still needs an extra dose of a comfortable snuggle or hug or tickle. A reassurance that although this season is a different one, the people in her life are still the same people. We are capable of giving an extra hug, playing a game just a bit longer, of listening a bit closer to hear what is going on underneath the conversation. Little ones don’t always come out with what is bothering them. They talk about everything under the sun and then at the end the problem emerges. She has been a trooper through this all.

The adults in this home have also needed an extra dose of comfort. It may be in the form of a meal, a flower delivery, or just quietness together.

Above all, each morning I look out the window and see the sun rise. I hear the normal activity. The Navy jets fly overhead, the neighbor’s dogs bark, the wind blows. These all remind me that through this all, the Lord is near. He is in the little things, the normal things. He speaks through people. He brings comfort.

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (NLT)

Yes, this has been a different week. Yet, each and every need has been met. And I know that underneath all that is going on the heartbeat of our Lord is holding this whole situation in His perfect hands, never leaving us or forgetting to care for us.

A wonderful wake up today

Just before my alarm went off at 8 a.m., there was a little knock on the bedroom door. After the knock the door opened a crack and a beautiful little head poked in. It was Little Miss.

She came in to say good morning to Dale and I.

Nothing could have been better for us.

Thus began our day today. A snuggle, a hug, and day with my girls.

That’s all. My heart is full tonight.

Anticipation

Trying to think of a scripture for this title and all I can think of is Carly Simon’s song, ‘Anticipation’. That, and a heinz catsup commercial.

But, I am filled with anticipation tonight. Tomorrow we travel to see our granddaughters, Little Miss and her sister, Middle Miss. I haven’t seen Middle Miss for a couple of years and my arms are yearning for a hug from her. We both planned trips for early Christmas at the same time. I know the ride to their home is going to take forever. I am already trying to get out of the car and run into the house.

I never experienced grandparent visits, and so it is something I try to do right. Personally, I think I am an okay grandma. I managed to raise my girls, but my grandchildren are the very best things for my heart.I will try to keep my posts coming this week, but can’t guarantee anything. I have plans to sit, visit, snuggle and hold onto these precious girls.

Life is precious and at Christmas, I think we remember it more during this season.

“We love each other because he loved us first.” I John 4:9 (NLT)

Hide and Seek

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.” Isaiah 55:6 (NKJV)

There is nothing like a good game of hide and seek, especially if you are good at hiding.

When Little Miss was in kindergarten, the schools were virtual. Once while visiting her, during that time frame, we watched as she struggled with a new situation in her young life. She was starting school, but still she was at home with snacks readily available and toys near by. It was an odd time.

When she had a lunch break which was for at least 45 minutes to an hour, she would eat her lunch and then we’d play hide and seek with her Mom. Grampy also joined in. It was a fun adventure in the middle of a peculiar day.

I loved it when I could hide. I am pretty good at hiding. Most of the time, Little Miss had to seek me for a bit. It was so much fun. Her Mom and I would talk later about hiding spots and the best times we had hidden ourselves.

This morning during my quiet time I thought of the game of hide and seek. It occurred to me that I often play the game with God. Sometimes I hide from Him, thinking that He won’t find me. I know that sounds ridiculous, as the One who created the universe and everyone in it, couldn’t readily find me.

But, like playing with a young child, you give them grace. Although they may be hiding in plain sight, you pass by them questioning where they may be. Eventually with giggles resounding they will reveal themselves.

How often are we like little children when we try to hide from God? The difference, though, is when we reveal ourselves it is with repentance and tears.

In the great scheme of things, when we grow distant from God, we think He is hiding. We wonder why we do not hear Him, we do not see Him in our daily lives. We question why the distance from Him is so great. Actually, God does not hide from us. We fail to see Him. He is daily visible, in the outdoors, in our family, in our friends. He gloriously reveals Himself in every aspect of our lives.

Psalm 9:10 says, “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (NKJV)

The Creek

Last Friday, Little Miss wanted to go on a nature walk. I went with her. As we walked out the door, she headed up the driveway and I said, “Let’s go through the woods.”

She gladly obliged, and talked and talked and talked and talked. It was glorious! Halfway down the hill, I asked if she could see the creek. She excitedly looked up at me and said, “You have a creek?” I had thought she would have remembered.

I then realized that I hadn’t been down to the creek in a couple of years, and she was carried on her Mom’s back the last time she was down.

The dull nature walk turned into an adventure for her. She was so excited to know her grandparents owned a place that had a creek running through the property. She was fascinated by the little water falls and the bigger ones that had been carved by the water running down through the woods. It opened a whole new door for her.

The next day she took down a ‘man’ she had made from twigs so that she could send him down the little water falls and off into the great creek unknown. Her Dad accompanied us, which I was thrilled about. He was able to really play in the creek with her, as I know I would have ended up in the water or slipping on a rock, landing face first looking at the creek rushing by me.

Once more I re-learned the lesson of seeing the world through a child’s eye. The world is an exciting place to be when we stop to remember and to look. My son in law and I began to reminisce about our creek adventures when we were kids. Standing at the edge of the water, talking , two different generations and watching the third generation experience similar times as we had.

Children are indeed a blessing. I remember watching the kids in my class in Japan. It was such a novelty to me to be in a foreign classroom, teaching my native tongue. In front of me were children. They would have the same antics I had seen and participated in as a student. They drew a picture of their sensei on the board, it was not flattering. They played football (or most likely soccer) with folded pieces of paper. They played the game with string, cat’s cradle, wrapping them around their fingers into different shapes, hoping to stump their game partner.

I was amazed that kids were kids all around the world. I once more saw that in my Little Miss as she played like her dad did, her mom did and her grandparents did.

Children teach in their lives. I have learned so much from the children in my life. I am grateful for the refresher I had this past week.

13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19: 13-14 (NKJV)

Good, good Father

“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families;” Psalm 68:5-6a (NLT)

Shortly after my Dad died, I saw this scripture and it ministered to me. My Dad was a good Dad. He had his faults, but, so do we all. I know that he did the best he could raising three daughters in an era that raising children was usually the Mom’s job. I often reflect on how he must have felt and what he faced mentally when he landed into the single parent household. But, my sisters and I not only survived, we flourished.

What this scripture spoke to me was that although my earthly father had passed away, I had a heavenly Father who was my father. He was there to talk with, to lean on, to rely on. His wisdom is unmatchable. His peace and comfort is limitless. He is God the Father and He is my Father.

Yesterday at church we sang Chris Tomlin’s song, Good,Good Father (click on the title for a listen). As I sang the words I was reminded of the above scripture. I thought of my Dad. Then I heard, “You saw an example of a good father this week.”

I did see an example of a good father this week. Little Miss was here and I watched daily the interaction between her and her Dad. My son-in-law loves his daughter(s) with an enduring love. He is strong when they need it. He is playful. He is stern when it is needed. He corrects at the right time also. Yes, he is not perfect, but none of us are.

What I saw was a man who is fully invested in Little Miss’ future. He is working out plans for her, allowing her to grow and experience things, sometimes the hard way, some times a bit easier. But he is consistent, steady and available.

When you think of it, he is showing an example of what our Heavenly Father is like. (Besides the imperfection part).

The Lord is a good, good Father. It is who He is. He is perfect in all ways. He has a plan for us. He has a future for us. He will never leave us, nor turn His back on us. His hands reach out to us for comfort, security, wisdom and yes, correction.

Most importantly, He loves us. He knows our name. He knows the number of hairs on our head, even those in the sink and in our hairbrushes. He is my good, good Father.

Thanksgiving Week #2

“Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!” 2 Corinthians 9:15 (NLT)

My Little Miss came in Tuesday night. She is spending the weekend with us along with her parents. When you are a grandparent, seeing your grands is what it’s all about. I can be hugging and playing with Little Miss (Little Man also) for a half hour before I realize the child I brought into the world is standing there waiting for a hug.

I never thought that grandchildren would have as much impact on me as they do. Little Man was our first grandchild. He grasped onto my heart and has had a squeeze on it for the past 10 years. When I get to have time with him, it is like my heart continues to beat in a rhythm that I didn’t know was missing. Our eyes will meet and it is an instant call to be goofy together, much to the chagrin of his parents. But, goofiness is our love language, except when we can take a walk just the two of us. I love those times.

Little Miss is another story, she not only squeezes my heart, she takes a piece of it with her whenever we part, making certain that piece is covered in glitter and glue. Having raised two girls, I fall back into the pattern that little girls have. Their activity is like jumping on mattresses. You bounce different ways each time you land. It is full of giggles and nonsense and plans.

After Little Miss I was introduced to my bonus grands. Again, two girls. I carefully stepped into the relationships. I did not want to ruffle feathers and be a nuisance. After a couple years, I just barged in and claimed them as my own. To my surprise I was warmly welcomed and loved. With the bonus came bonus great grandchildren, a boy and a girl.

My heart is full. As I thought of my family today, I realized what a wonderful gift my loving Father in heaven has given me. My life is fuller and brighter. My prayer life tripled, but, as the Lord has guided and kept my daughters, I know He will be the loving and caring guide to the next generation.

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and remember what we are thankful for. Today, I am so grateful for this family the Lord has built around me.

My Sweet Girl

“Children’s children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father.” Proverbs 17:6 (NKJV)

Dale and I are blessed to have two grandchildren, two bonus grandchildren and two bonus great grandchildren. Each one bring us joy and laughter.

Today, our granddaughter turns eight. Little Miss came as a surprise to us. She is always filled with surprises. Her middle name was given in honor of her aunt, our youngest. Like her namesake, she comes up with the wildest things. Also like her parents, she is full of the energy of them. She is blessed with a history and genetics that provide gasps and more gray hair for me. I love that about her.

My daughter did not want to give birth on Halloween. She was adamant about that. She vowed that she would hold off until November. I smiled and asked if she talked that over with the Lord. She now often quotes that we make our plans and the Lord laughs at them.

Our Little Miss came at just the perfect time. Her life has been ordered of the Lord. She is our pumpkin. Her zest for life astonishes me. Her caring and kindness oozes from her. Yes, I am bragging a bit, grandparents are allowed to do this.

So, precious one, have an awesome birthday. May you always have a zeal to meet and conquer whatever is before you. May you greet each challenge with the boldness of your Daddy. May you love unconditionally like your Mommy. Most of all may you continue to love your Creator who blessed us with you.

Genesis 2:1-3

“So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested[a] from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.” Genesis 2:1-3 (NLT)

With each day there was a boundary established by God, day, night, sea, land, seed bearing fruit, trees, birds, fish. Each creation had a boundary. Then He rested.

For the past two weeks, I have not given myself boundaries. I did not schedule time to write or really exercise. I enjoyed the company of my daughter, her husband and our Little Miss. Each day held it’s own excitement and adventures, even if it was just sitting on the couch watching television and playing restaurant. Each day gave me memories to cherish.

Now, we are home. Today I awoke with determination to get back into full swing of schedules. I have half succeeded. Laundry is finishing, most of the groceries are put away, and although writing has been on the forefront of my mind, these words are my only accomplishment.

I tend to be pretty hard on myself when I am not in a regimen. I look at numbers in my statistics on my blog, each time reminding myself that stats are just numbers. That does not always work for me, because with each number I see a person that has reached out to me. Each person who reads what I attempt to say is a gift to me, after all, they have taken time from their day to see what I have tried to say.

When my stats go to ‘0’ or ‘1’, I chide myself. I see in my mind a finger pointing at me and scolding me for not being where I think I should be. There are a lot of “I’s” in these sentences. It is then, that I remember that this blog is a gift also. My words do not come without a lot of prayer and my Lord sees the entire perspective. This blog belongs to Him and only through Him can I write.

So, after pushing myself to get back on track, fretting and stewing that I am not back where I think I should be, I have heard a gentle voice whispering, “Chill out! I’ve got this.” Followed by my thankfulness that I serve a God who understands me.