Little Man Lesson #3

(Originally from September 2013 on my dearanonymousfriend blog.)

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.” Psalm 9:10 (NLT)

This morning I took little man for a walk to the local library.  It was a half hour program of music, movement and singing.  My daughter had wanted him to experience this time and so this lovely morning I put him in the stroller and we set out.

It was a great adventure, the weather is fall like and the walk to the library was filled with seeing buses and cars and construction cranes.

Little man was enjoying himself and did not realize he was going on a new adventure.  Grammy did.  There was a part of me that was very hesitant about going.  What would be required of me?  Where should I park the stroller? Would I have to sit someplace other than holding on to my dear little man?

No, I do not take well to new experiences.  I don’t welcome them.  Give me the same routine.  Don’t put me out of my comfort zone.  I don’t like it.

So, my lesson for today?  Go with the flow.  Check out the situation, take a few steps into the thick of things and hold on tight to what you know.  That is exactly what little man did today.  He checked out the surroundings and studied the other toddlers.  He took a few steps out on his own, but did not wander far from Grammy’s reach.  When he needed reassurance he climbed back into my lap and sat watching it all.

I was so very proud of him.  He joined in and smiled.  He was a bit reserved, but he participated.  Lesson learned.  This old grammy saw how he handled this group.  He didn’t kick and scream.  He went in.  He didn’t cry, he let me do the arm motions with him.  He was brave.  He had a new experience.  He got a stamp on his little arm of Mother Goose.  It was his badge of honor.  He made it through his first group experience.

I think I got a bit braver too, but I didn’t get a stamp on my arm.

New experiences are part of each life. For those of us who are leery of any new situation, it takes boldness to step out of our familiar places. When faced with new things, how do we react? Personally, I try to avoid them at all cost. This does not always work for me, so I go to my Father, my protection, my safety and rest in Him.

“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3 (NLT)

I Trust Your Hands

This morning we went to vote in the primary here in South Carolina. Dale was helping me get ready to go out. As he was fixing the back of my sling he apologized for moving my arm more than what he thought it needed to be. I simply replied, “I trust your hands.” I knew that he would not cause me pain or harm in helping me.

As we were coming home after voting, the phrase ‘I trust your hands’ came back into my mind. In fact it echoed in my mind the entire way home. I started to think about that phrase. The simple fact is that since I know Dale and have lived with him for almost 50 years, I trust him.

Isaiah 59:1 from the New King James Version states, “behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.” This verse also came to me on the way home from voting. God’s hand is always there to help steady me. He does not drift away from me or allow me to stumble or fall. I need to trust His hands.

Too often, I don’t think of this. And yet as the loving Father our God is, He is always near to us, His hands are open and ready to be there for us in any situation. Today’s lesson for me was Trust. Trust is sometimes an area that is hard to come by.

Everyone at some point, has had their trust broken. It takes time to recover from that lack of trust. Trust in our God, is something that is not easily broken. Our God is faithful even when we are not faithful, we can turn to Him, take His hand, and live out our lives. Trust in the Lord was not what I thought today’s lesson would be for me. In fact, I really did not think I would be writing today.

Sometimes a simple phrase given glibly has a profound lesson in it. That was my case today. When Dale apologized for possibly being too rough (he was not), and I merely reaffirmed to him my trust in him, I thought it was just a comment. The Lord uses everything in our lives to teach us, to guide us, and to instruct us. I am grateful for the little things that the Lord has shown me. I stand encouraged now, knowing that yes, I do trust in His hands. Matthew 28:20b states, “and low, I am with you always even to the end of the age.”(NKJV) This scripture is one that I love. It is like a quilt wrapped around me. It assures me that no matter what I am doing, where I am going, or what I am experiencing, our Lord is right there with me.


“What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31 (NLT)

There is a part of me that has always worried about finances or lack thereof. I am much better now, but I confess in the shadowy recesses of my brain is a darkness lurking and maliciously whispering to me, but, what if…

It is these thoughts that come to parade through my brain in the middle of the night. It is fear. Fear comes in many shapes and ways in people’s lives. Each of us have a fear.

I have battled fear my whole life. It has been an unwelcome companion. I recognize him now. He has been evicted, but like an unwelcome visitor he will try to sneak in. Sometimes he tries to barge in.

It was suggested once to quote scripture against attacks like this. At first that was difficult, but now it has become a way of life.

Fear? “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)

Needs? “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NLT)

Loneliness, Abandonment? “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b (NLT)

In 1994 Dale was medically retired from the Navy. We had two weeks to prepare for this new stage of our life. We were not set for this. It was a shock to us. We had been comfortable in what we were doing. We had wanted to stay in the Navy for thirty years. We had made our plans. God had other plans. I wrote in my journal asking for provision. I wrote the following, ” But, most of all, let our focus remain on You, what You want to accomplish and work out in us. For if we get ahead of You or insist on our way, or will, then we will have missed everything. For to move, to live outside Your perfect will is to be without a true life. I only want Your will to be done, and Your peace to reside in our hearts and home.” I continued writing, but you get the gist of what was in my heart.

That season was the beginning of a lesson on trust. Did I learn it right away? I would love to say yes, but, as I have written before, I want to be open and honest. Trust grows through many circumstances, some can be good, but, in my case, trust is like playing hide and seek in the fog at night while in a forest. I learned it in fits and starts.

Through the past twenty eight years I have learned that our God provides. He provides security when illness strikes. He provides comfort when dear ones move on to heaven. He provides food when the pantry is empty. He provides friends when you feel desolate and alone. He provides family when you need a conversation with sisters. He provides. Always. Every time.

I need not fear, worry, or become distraught, for He is there. Yes, I do often have to remind myself of this. Each reminder, though, strengthens my faith to believe that He does provide.


He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Mark 14:35-36 (NLT)

According to Strong’s Concordance, the term Abba means, “Father, customary title used of God in prayer. Abba, approximating a personal name, framed by the lips of infants betokens unreasoning trust. Father expresses an intelligent apprehension of the relationship by the child. The two together express the love and intelligent confidence of the child.” The New Strong’s Concordance.

The above verse shows Jesus’ relationship with His Father. He addresses Him with a child-like expression and an adult expression. We see His trust in His Father as He is about to go to the cross for us. In my opinion, this is a prayer for strength and compassion and trust in what is about to happen.

How often are we in a position where we want to pray like this? We know God is in control, that He loves us and yet do we approach Him in a child-like way? Do we have a child-like trust in Him? Knowing, from experience in times of looming appointments or situations I tend to allow dread to fill me instead of trust. In those times I have to put myself into a quiet place alone to truly remember that I trust in God to do what is appointed for me.

There is a man in our church who is an example to me when he prays. His prayers begin with ‘Papa’. A simple address for a mighty God. The first time I heard him pray I was stunned at such a familiar greeting. As he continued I realized that this man knows God. He spends time with Him and is accustomed talking with Him. There is no straight laced formality. He comes to our God and is honest with Him.

It is an incentive for me to get to the place in prayer where I can imagine myself crawling up into our Father’s lap, leaning in and listen to His heartbeat. When I was a child I remember being at an aunt’s house with my parents. The adults were sitting around the table talking and I climbed into my mother’s lap and sat curled up, listening to her heartbeat while she talked with the others at the table. It was a comforting moment in my memory. I have had those times in prayer also. Those are the times where I can truly say, Abba, Father, Papa, I trust you.

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 (NLT)

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.