Remembering

“I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done.” Psalm 143:5 (NLT)

I have been studying the Psalms. It’s a book of the Bible that is easy to turn to. There is a psalm for each mood, question, situation. In the Psalms I have found strength and encouragement. It is never redundant to me. I have actually spent years of turning to Psalms when I had no understanding of how or what to read.

When going through a long depression, Psalms were what kept my breath coming and let me continue in my days. The encouragement to know that what I was feeling and going through David wrote about.

My tears in reading the Psalms have sometimes matched the tears that fell when the words were written down.

God is like that. He is new every day. His word is life and new. He spoke through kings and prophets and donkeys. When I settle myself and quiet myself, I can hear Him. It’s not an audible voice, it’s not a windstorm that surrounds me. No, it’s this feeling deep inside me and the assurance that He is indeed speaking to me. Nothing earth shattering to the world, but, to me, it shatters my world. Breaking through dark trials, breaking through anger that I am holding on to, breaking through my doubt and fear and shining light on my days.

I choose to remember all the Lord has led me to and through. He is my strength, my comfort, my friend. He’s the same always and I know He isn’t done with me yet.

Today, I choose to remember and stand firm on Him. I know I won’t be disappointed. God is so good.

Mothering

“Little kids, little problems, Big kids, big problems” Evelyn McCarthy (aunt)

When I first heard my aunt say this, my kids were little. I thought to myself, how could anything I was going through be bigger? I was in the midst of little kids and little problems.

I was blessed to have never had big problems with my little kids. Many cannot say that. They have had to deal head on with childhood cancers and childhood serious illnesses. Thinking back, I can see the blessings that I had when my kids were little.

Last evening I was talking with a friend. We talked about our children and I quoted what I wrote above. We agreed that it was a true statement.

We talked about various times in our life where we realized that mothering never stops. As mothers we often have to deal with stomach issues. Not illness or virus’ or indigestion. But the feeling of being hit full force in our stomach when it comes to our children. Each mother experiences it at one time or another.

It is a feeling of having the wind knocked out of us. It is quick, like falling off the monkey bars when we were little. The fall happens and when you hit the ground, it hurts and takes a minute to catch your breath.

The difference between childhood and motherhood is major. As a child, we cry. As a mother, we breathe deeply and continue on. We check our voices and blink and keep talking, keep moving and pray hard.

The past few weeks people have been concerned about me and how I am doing. I am a mother. Like all mothers, I have taken big breaths, stood a bit straighter, and gone on.

When women become mothers our Lord issues an upgrade to our body. He implants in us the ability to cope with little sleep, little time, little everything. Our eyes open and although we promise ourselves a nap later on, we go through our day with little sleep and little energy and little,to no naps. We function tired. We look tired. We move tired. Our emotions are raw at times. But we carry on. We aren’t saints, but we are mothers.

It is a job with few perks. Except for the arms wrapped around you that are sometimes sticky, sometimes muddy, and sometimes just weary because they are mothers themselves.

Yes, problems are always there. It is life. Yes, sometimes those “knock the wind out of you moments” come one after another. Sometimes they are rare. But, as mothers, we are equipped, it came with the after market upgrade.

So, this day, if you are struggling as a mom, take heart, we have all been there at some point. Take a deep breath. Clear your throat. Stand a bit taller. Pray. Lean on a scripture I often turn to, “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NLT) God will be with you each step of the way, giving you courage and strength.

Thoughts and Prayer

During my quiet time today I read several scriptures that spoke to my heart in a deep way. The words incited me to pray for our country. I often do pray for our country, but today I felt such a need to really pray.

We are living in times where we sometimes wonder where this world is going. We are confused as to what is going on and why it is. As Christians, we know this looks like the end times. I then realize that many times in my Christian walk, I have felt that way. Then the season passes and we are still here.

I know only God the Father knows when the end times are. I do question Him at times and ask how it could ever get worse. Yet, we may recognize the seasons, but God… God knows the time.

The prompting to pray has followed me throughout today. I have tried to be obedient.

It’s not like I am frightened by the world. That is not it. I guess I am looking at the current season.

Psalm 27:13-14 says, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. 14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (NKJV)

Lord, help me to wait on You. Strengthen and encourage me to be of good courage. Let me lean into You, knowing the times and the seasons are Yours and Yours alone. For our country, Lord, I ask that You cover this land, open eyes that are blinded and ears that are dull. Reveal Yourself to this land. Let us look up, recognize You as Lord and live for You. Amen.

No Weapon

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV)

Weapons come in many ways. When thinking of weapons, we usually go to firearms or the military. Our minds turn to hostile situations that fill the evening news, wars, revolts, or hostage and school shootings. These are all legitimate thoughts.

Many of us will never be in those situations.

Weapons formed against us can be a harsh word or tone, a situation where you feel boxed in and cannot escape, the panic you feel in a given experience. Weapons can be our mind-set, how we think we are and how we tear ourselves apart.

There was a season in my life where I felt besieged. In my desolation and loneliness I found no comfort. Dale was deployed on an isolated tour, which means he was overseas in a place where we, his family, could not go. I had my daughters, but I needed to be the strong one, the adult. I tried my best to be strong, to do my part, but inside I was crumbling. Falling apart like an old stone wall hit just the right way.

I went to church, but hid in the back rows, hoping no one would talk with me. I tried to pray but felt like my prayers went nowhere. I read the Word but the words seemed empty. It was a winter season for me. I was dormant and lifeless.

The Lord broke through this darkness with these verses that brought life back into me. It did not happen at once, but, it did give me the strength to move. “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7 (NKJV) and “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)

I remember in gaining victory over this season, I would walk through my house in almost a marching fashion. With each step I would declare, NO. Weapon. Formed. Against. ME. will. prosper. A declaration that my God did not forsake me. He was with me then and will be with me forever.

What’s Up With the Roses? Part 1 Background

Roses became a part of my life during our last few days living in Winter Harbor Maine. Below is the story of how that happened.

A group of ladies in Winter Harbor joined together each Tuesday morning for a Bible Study. We all lived transient lives, depending on the Navy to give us orders of where we would live and also let us know when it was time to retire.

Whenever one of us were retiring or changing duty stations, the girls in Bible Study would do what had become a traditional farewell gathering. Of course, we would eat (that’s a given), then we would each sign a book for the person leaving. There would be prayer for her and lots of tears and hugs. Parting is never easy, even when you know it is a part of the life you have chosen for yourself.

My going away party was no different. Brunch was served, book was signed and then the prayer time. One women had written a lovely note to me as she had felt God had given her. It talked about my life being a rose and that in our new life in San Diego I would blossom into what the Lord had planned for me. Pretty wonderful, right? I smiled, content in what I had heard. And then… there is always continuations, those three dots in your life, like waiting for a shoe to drop. The other shoe dropped shortly after that.

Another woman, while praying after the letter had been read cleared her throat and began speaking. I will never forget her words. She said, “And as a rose has many thorns for it’s beauty, there are many thorns awaiting you.”

Now, you would think that would deter me from lovingly following my husband cross country, a logical person would do so. Not me. Acts 21:11 says, “He came over, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, ‘So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.’” (NLT) I had often wondered how Paul could continue his journey into Jerusalem, and yet he did.

The night of my going away brunch we went to a movie, I can’t remember what it was because I was thinking about Paul going into Jerusalem knowing what awaited him. I was still wrestling with what had been said to me earlier. In between the popcorn, candy and soft drinks I realized that although my feet and hands had not been bound, I was facing the unknown.

A few days later, we packed our U-Haul and started our journey. Our plan at that time was to go to San Diego, my husband do his tour on his destroyer, and he would get out and go to Bible College. Our plan was 7 years and we would head back to Maine. Proverbs 16:9 says, ” We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (NLT) Determine our steps He did. 28 years later we left San Diego.

Were there thorns awaiting me? Too many to count! Did I want to give up? Yes. Many times I found myself on my face pleading for God to remove things before me.

What I learned was strength, trust, prayer, and faith. Our God will never leave us. He is our constant source of strength.

May your day be filled with the goodness of our God.