Love Letters: Thank You From The Waiting Room

waiting room chairs

I was only sixteen years old when you chose to have us meet. There he was standing with a broom in his hand and doing silly things to make me look and laugh. I couldn’t help but smile and let out an explosion of laughter at his every successful attempt. It truly took just one word he spoke to me to change my life forever, “Hello.”

Hello, and just like that you attached our heart and souls forever. You sprinkled our first date with memorable moments that would last us a lifetime, and would feed us joy and laughter with every recall. I love to hear him remember and even tell others how I spit my food out on his arm, yes those flying tomato seeds, as he made me laugh yet again. I was amazed that by the end of the night he still wanted to go steady with the girl who gave him a shower of tomato just hours earlier at the steakhouse dinner table.

I didn’t know that night would be the beginning of many curvy roads full of obstacles and traffic jams, but I did know that it was You who placed us together. Somehow because of that, I knew we would be okay, no matter what came at us. Everyone thought we were crazy and too young, but we knew we were destined to be on this journey hand in hand.

Today, as I look back over the last twenty-one years, I see Your hands all over us. Oh, how many times did we make the wrong decisions and choices, and how many moments did we come so close to losing it all. But You, being the faithful Father You are, You held us together. You weren’t about to let anything separate what you joined together. Never have I seen Your power so much at work in our lives before!

You blessed us beyond measure when You chose us to be the parents of this amazing and beautiful angel that has been a part of our lives for over fifteen years already. We couldn’t understand what You saw in us, but were so thankful for your mercy and grace. Our hearts were in pieces watching her experience such hard times at such an early age, but You mended them as ministry grew from her brokenness and her faith blossomed what seemed like way beyond ours on most days!

Today, as I sat in that waiting room, I felt You just like I had all the times before. I felt the peace You were giving me, I heard Your voice calming me, and I felt Your love surrounding me. I know my mind has went many places in the last several months, especially the last twenty-four hours, that I didn’t want it to go, and I just want to say thank You. Thank You for being faithful and reminding my heart how You have welded us together, for how You sustained us through some of life’s worse trials, and how You have always brought us safely through.

Although I felt out of my mind, You remain in control. More than ever I just want to say Thank You for bringing him into my life when You did. My life wasn’t going down the best path, and You used him to help change that. We have seen how much stronger we are together, not only with one another, but with You. Our lives may not be easy, and we may have had to travel down some damaged roads, but You have brought us through, and we know this time will be no different.

So today, Daddy, I come to You, You who have been faithful, merciful, loving, and forgiving, and I say I trust You. You’ve given me every reason to trust You, and no reason not to. Take care of Him please. I know the healing power that is in Your touch, touch Him. It hurts to watch Him hurt, it’s scary to not know what’s wrong, and sometimes scarier to think we might find out. I feel helpless to him in the midst of it. The waiting room is filled with many distractions and noise but it’s also filled with Your presence, the One who hears our voice in the midst of it all and has the voice we can choose to hear above all!

So tonight, I pour my heart out to You, everything I have, everything I am, and everything I could offer, and I am at Your feet asking You to do all that You do best, in His life, in our lives. I trust in You, You ARE our Healer! I know that in the coming days we’re going to see Your mighty hand at work in ways that will blow our minds and You’re going to do it all again! I really just want to say Thank You in advance for what You are already doing and how You are taking care of everything. Thank You for loving us, for forgiving us, and for seeing something in us especially when we can’t see it in ourselves. Thank You for being faithful! Thank You from the waiting room. 

I Love You!

Love,

Your Daughter who longs to sit in Your lap and lay at Your feet. <3 

P.S. Thank You for attaching our heart and souls together, with Yours. You’ve changed our lives!

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.” Psalm 62:5

love letters

Reeses, Recess, and Rest…Will I ever get it right?

blue mat

I’ve always been one that has a hard time slowing down and being still…

There I was lying in the floor of my kindergarten classroom on my big blue mat trying my five-year old best to settle down and fall to the fate of my nap. It didn’t seem to matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t be still. I tossed and turned and with every squeak of my mat I knew my teacher was listening and watching, and waiting.

I gave it all I had that day but my little mind kept wandering, my eyes kept looking, and the rest of me couldn’t get still as if recess depended on it! Oh, and it did! I knew that if I didn’t get still and fall asleep I didn’t get to go out and play with the rest of my napping friends, and I wouldn’t get to dip my tiny hand in that great big candy jar that was filled with Reese’s Pieces!

So I kept turning over, and over, and over until it happened. I remember hearing the sound of Mrs. Brown’s shoes getting closer and with each step my heart would beat faster. Then the dream of recess and Reese’s fell to its death as the words came flowing from her mouth, “No recess for you today young lady!” My little heart was crushed as tears of sadness began flowing from my little weary eyes. Can’t you just hear my pitiful voice saying, “But I can’t help it, I can’t go to sleep.”

Sometimes I just can’t be still. There’s always a list that plays in my mind like the credits rolling at the end of a movie of all the things I need to do. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been told, “You better slow down” or “You need to stop going all the time”, and the most repeated words, “You need to take some time and rest!” Now, please don’t get me wrong, I love every single person in my life that has uttered these truthful words to my ears over the years. I know they say them because they care, but I still have to stop and wonder, why do I have such a hard time doing them?

I grew up watching my Mom and Dad work so hard to take care of us, provide all of our needs, and give us a good life. I also watched as my Daddy never could be still or slow down until life had a way of forcing him to. Five heart attacks and a few surgeries later, I heard my Daddy say the words that I think I needed to hear as much as he needed to say them. As he sat on my couch and we talked he said to me, “I just don’t stress out like I used to. I’ve realized it just isn’t worth it.” My Daddy doesn’t know this but at that moment, my heart slowed down and my mind was frozen in its never-ending tracks.

The beauty of it is, I have now heard the three most important men in my life say those words to me, maybe in different ways, but the meaning all the same. My Heavenly Father, my Husband, and my Daddy all have spoken to me on the need for me to slow down, be still, rest, and stop stressing. As I sit here and type these words, I sit in front of my living room window looking at the most beautiful painting I have ever seen, it’s God’s message to me in the most gorgeous shade of white, “Be Still, Slow Down, Rest, and Stop Stressing.”

I may not have been allowed to dig my hand into that candy jar that day or rush out on to the playground and be the first to get on that big wheel bike, but I have learned a lot since that day…

1. Sometimes being last out on the playground might mean you’re the first to learn a lesson from it years later in life. (Love the parable of first and last in Matthew 20)

2. When you have an addiction to a candy in your adult life that you can’t quite understand, it may come from not being allowed to have any in Kindergarten. (Okay, this one might be a stretch but hey, I have often wondered!)

3. When God sends a message to us repeatedly it’s because He cares about us, love us, wants the best for us, and He doesn’t want us to miss it! (And maybe because we have the tendency to be a little on the stubborn side so He has to reinforce it just a little more than usual!)

I’m grateful we have a teacher who is listening, watching, and waiting on us to surrender to what He knows is best for us. With the sound of Him drawing closer, we don’t have to be afraid, we can be thankful to know that this is when the dreams He has for us comes to life as He whispers from His heart, “Be still.” It’s often when we get still and be with Him that He is most glorified in our lives!

IMG_2937

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Hurdles, Falling Wardrobes, and Our Cheering Coach!

hurdles

WARDROBE MALFUNCTION right over the HURDLES!

It happened, again, yes again!! I was humiliated, and I felt it right away. If there could have been a hole for me to crawl in, I honestly would have! Oh the dread that takes place each time it happens.

My heart feels extremely hefty in weight, my mind won’t stop swirling in never-ending circles, and my eyes, well they feel by running an ever flowing fountain that they are doing what they know to do. The crushing I felt makes me just want to run away, far away, and hide, never to be seen again. Okay, at least until a few days go by.

So exactly what happened during this wardrobe malfunction? My spirit fell and my flesh was exposed! In my world, this is the one malfunction that throws me completely off kilter! Nothing feels right inside of me, and it feels as if I’m going to be sick. Why does this keep happening?

Truth is, I’m human. I live in the flesh, but everyday have to stay focused and determined to walk in the spirit. I think I remember sharing not too long ago that I knew I would lose my focus again, but boy, I didn’t know it would be so soon after saying it! I think I give Jesus a good run after me some days! Sometimes I can just imagine Him standing at the finish line, sure He’s cheering me on, but I know there are times He’s shaking His head, saying, “Love, what am I going to do with you? But because of how amazing He is, I know He finishes it by saying,” Let me show you, sweetheart.”

He’s so patient with me and so graceful. When many coaches would walk away saying there’s no hope for her, He has stayed right there with me being my biggest encourager! That tumble I just took as I tried jumping over hurdles that were set before me, yeah, He didn’t laugh at me, He walked over and helped me up and told me the best way to recover so that I can keep going!

As I attempted to stand back up in humility, I’m grateful that I have the greatest Life Coach that has ever existed! My heart feels light again, my mind has stopped the endless race, and my eyes, we’ll I think they finally ran dry!

It doesn’t matter what anyone tries to get me to wear, I’m wearing what my Life Coach gives me to run in! I know that His wardrobe fits perfectly, and it’s specifically designed for this race I’m running!

Hey, we all mess up, and we’re all going to stumble over the hurdles and blocks in life. Those mess ups don’t have to be the central focus, because when they are, we’re going to keep tripping over them. Our central focus is better off being placed on our Coach who knows the game plan, and who knows us even better than we know ourselves! Instead of the blind leading the blind, we have the All Seeing leading us! I’m not sure how you feel but I think I want the One who can see what’s coming ahead to be the one who trains me!

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” ~Colossians 3:12-14

Lord, thank you for being so gracious to us when we mess up and trip. You’re so faithful to be right there with us and dust us off. Thank you for healing our hurt feelings and stopping the merry-go-round that lives inside our minds. Help us to stay focused on You, our Life Coach, as we run this race! Let your coaching be what we hear the loudest and what our actions are based off of, because You have the plan, Your plan, and it’s all designed with what You have in mind for us. In Jesus Name, Amen~

They Say It’s Your Birthday…I Say Blessed Beyond Words

blessed with love

They say it’s your birthday!

Here I sit, another glorious year older! Life is a blessing and every day I realize just how much more that is true!

I have to say I don’t normally look forward to my birthdays. I always felt like they were another day. But this year, something felt different in my heart and in my mind. I couldn’t quite pin point it until today.

Life is full of blessings, and by blessings I don’t mean material things.  It’s always been the little things that mattered most to me. I think I frustrate my husband at times because I could never tell him anything I wanted. Poor soul, I keep him guessing and don’t make things easy on him. This time was no different when he asked, and this morning I woke up to a card full of written words of love and adoration and my heart leaped with excitement and gratefulness. Words seem to satisfy my heart more than any other gift.

I look all around and I can’t help but see the evidence of God’s hands at work in my life. His blessings have poured out on me in ways that I feel I don’t deserve, yet He poured anyway. He has placed some amazing people in our lives, people who genuinely love and encourage us like we have never known before. People, that for the life of me, I can’t figure out why they love us so much, but yet remain eternally grateful for their presence.

Our days come and go with each rising and setting of the sun, but the people in it leave an imprint that doesn’t fade with the sunset. They are a gift that gives in ways that nothing bought from a store can give. Many of them don’t even realize how much they mean to us, or how much they have contributed to our lives, but oh how I wish I could show them the extent of their influence and love.

I’m not sure why this year everything looks different, maybe it’s because God has really opened my eyes to see things differently. But I’m seeing life as a reason to dance, a reason to celebrate, and a reason to just be joyful, laugh and sing! A life filled with love is a life that feels complete. I have a Savior who has lavished me with His love, who never walks away from me no matter what, and who has been with me through fire, rain and sunshine! He’s been so faithful to this messy daughter of His!

I have a husband who loves me, and I guess it would only be fair to say who really loves me, especially on those days when I’m not quite as easy to love! He listens to me when I talk (and boy do I talk!), He helps me see things through a different perspective, He teaches me, He leads me, and He picks up in so many areas that I have struggled. I have a beautiful daughter who is a complete joy in so many ways and with a voice of an angel that I just fell asleep to last night as she sung over me through the speaker of my phone.

My life is full of family and friends who bless me with their presence and love! How could I possibly want anything else? I have received a great gift from God though the many wonderful people He has divinely orchestrated into my life. I don’t think I could have a happier birthday than I have had this year!

I say I’m blessed beyond words!

Just for kicks because I know that you sung this in your mind when you read that first line, because I did too! 😉

Beatles Birthday Song

Wait, I’m not suppose to be going that way! Rerouting…

 

potholes

Wait! That’s not the way I’m suppose to be going Lord! Rerouting now….

Those are the words that came shouting from my thoughts as I seemed to have passed my exit! Thump, thump, thump, thump went the sound of my heart as the rhythm danced to the sound of a drum I had never heard before! Panic filled the very fiber of my being as my heart began to realize I’m going a different way than I had planned! Am I lost? How do I get back on track?

There are times that God leads us down a path and a long the way that path can shift a little. While the purpose of the path, or the direction it’s headed might not change, sometimes the route does.

Even when the route change leads us to a better destination than we could have ever dreamed of, it doesn’t mean the pavement traveled won’t be bumpy. Any path that has been greatly traveled by the many who have gone before us will be a path that is worn. The wisdom comes in knowing that the worn places aren’t gaps for us to fall in, but reminders of who carried them when it became too much.

Is God leading you down an unfamiliar path that seems to be filled with bumps, holes, and puddles? I know the anxiety that can come with traveling unknown plans all too well, but let’s stay encouraged! Nothing surprises God, He is all-knowing at all times! Anything that touches our lives goes through His hands first. Every bump, hole and puddle are mercy filled and strength covered by the One who takes our anxiety and holds us in His arms as He carries us!

So did I get back on track and find my way? As it turns out, I was never truly off track, I was just off my planned track! God knew what He was doing all along! Much to my amazement, He showed me just how much He knows best and fulfilled some of the greatest desires of my heart, ones that I thought had been sealed!

 “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” {Proverbs 16:9}

Lord, thank you for divinely guiding our plans, our steps, and our lives. There’s no one who sees what You see, the road up ahead. Thank You for Your protection, Your direction, and Your guidance that sets us upon the right course, even when we think we’re being thrown off track. Thank You for carrying us to the exact place You desire us to be. In Jesus Name, Amen~