Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Mom's Story

A friend, Sheryl, from Broken Bonds, Healing Hearts blog, had her story published in Guideposts magazine a while back.  Guideposts put out an online Thanksgiving magazine and republished her story.  Please take a moment to read Mom, Interrupted on Page 28. It brought tears to my eyes and a sigh to my heart. God is faithful. Sheryl's story is most encouraging for anyone believing for reconciliation. It will help build faith.

Please read her story and maybe take a moment to stop by her blog to leave her a note.  Click here for the Guideposts link.

Because of Him and Unto Him,
              Diane

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Morning After...

It's the morning after Thanksgiving and here I sit - on my couch, typing away.  I've been viewing life from the couch for the last five weeks because of an injury to my leg. I've been discontent and whiny that I cannot do for myself; angry because I've been experiencing such pain; wallowing in self-pity because I looked terrible and felt just the same. However, as of yesterday, my leg seems so much better.

My eldest son, Michael, has come week after week (sometimes staying over night) to do household chores, run my errands, take care of the dogs, cook, and serve me couch-side. Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I was depressed that someone else was going to have to do what I normally would do.  My pride seemed as wounded as my leg and I was fighting laying on this couch every step of the way.

Last Thanksgiving there were 13 family and friends at my joyous table.  With lying on the couch and unable to do even the smallest of things, I was not looking forward to Thanksgiving at all. I couldn't decorate or unbox and clean my holiday dinnerware.  I was huffy that I had to use my everyday dishes. But, Michael, came. Stayed. Cleaned. Cooked. Served. As difficult as it was for me, I finally surrendered to God about my situation, and I finally allowed myself to receive being served. It truly is a blessing to be served instead of doing the serving, once pride is out of the way.  As the four of us held hands at the dinner table, I was urged to give thanks.  I opened my mouth and the tears flowed in grateful appreciation for God's blessings; especially, for my son who has served me for all these weeks so that I could rest and heal.  Rest, heal, and be humbled.

It's been a most humbling five weeks. Maybe, just maybe, on this morning after, God feels I've learned my lesson. After all, He tells us to humble ourselves.  If we don't, He will.
God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty Hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. ~ I Peter 5:5-6
The morning after...My leg is much better today. Thank You, Father!  This morning, for the first time in five weeks, I came down the stairs normally.  WAHOO! (I've been crawling up and down the stairs as the dogs wait patiently behind me, concerned over the injured one.) Today, I've been up and around. Doing. Even outside on this beautiful Long Island autumn day - doing.  And grateful to be able to just "do".

Sometimes I've wondered if any of my adult children have any of me in them.  Do you ever wonder that?  Each one is so individual and I see the character likeness of their father in them, but I've wondered about me.  The last few weeks, I've seen me in Michael and I'm blessed that my Heavenly Father has allowed me to see the answer to that nagging question of my heart.  Had I not be couch-ridden, I never would have "seen".  Instead of just indignantly viewing life from the couch, now I see the blessings I would have missed had I not been on the couch.  Thank You, my Lord!  God has mysterious ways; but always with our best interest at heart. And always, He adds unexpected, undeserved blessings upon us.

So what I couldn't do from a true heart yesterday morning, I can this morning. And that is truly praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!


Because of Him and Unto Him,




~~~
This post was shared on Tell Me A Story

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Grateful Hearts...

May you have a blessed
Thanksgiving
with family and friends.

Because of Him and Unto Him,
               Diane

Saturday, November 19, 2011

And After the Tears...


The soul would have no rainbow
if the eyes had no tears.
~ Native American Proverb


Amen and Amen!


Because of Him and Unto Him

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Six Little Words

Oh, God, how I need You!




Because of Him and Unto Him 

Monday, November 14, 2011

One Shoe Can Change Your Life!

As the evening climaxed, Cinderella thought she may be dreaming.  For a few hours, her life was transformed.  As the Prince whisked her around the dance floor to the envy of every aristocratic woman awaiting her chance to dance with him, she felt beautiful and experienced joyful bliss. Dare I even dream that the Prince will pick me as his wife? she breathlessly wondered. All things are possible, her gleeful mind assured her. Her bliss was jarred as her mind picked up the sound of the clock striking midnight. Oh, no! I knew this was too good to last, she sobbed as she ran back home. Misfortune is my lot in life. Who am I to expect anything different?

Back in the old familiar place she knew as home, Cinderella quickly fell into despair. She assumed she lost it all - the prince, the castle, the magical lifestyle. With no token of the surreal ball, and back under the tyranny of her circumstances, Cindy fell into hopelessness and self-pity. I don't even have my glass shoes to pretend dance with. As time wore on, she began to think, All things really aren't possible. She resigned herself to this unhappy life and dancing with only an old, dirty mop for the rest of her life. Despondent at life's cruelty, she no longer allowed herself to imagine dancing with the Prince, let alone being his wife and living in the castle. I will never be free from this bondage that enslaves me!  Her bitter disappointment caused her ability to imagine herself living in any other manner to shut down.

Suddenly...

and seemingly out of nowhere...

there came a knock on the door...

"Anyone missing a glass shoe?"

As the Prince's attache slipped the missing shoe on Cinderella's foot, he knew this one shoe was going to change everything in her life.  As he explained why he was seeking the woman who fit the shoe, hope began to arise within her heart again - hope that she could have a better life, a bright future. It took a seemingly insignificant item - one lost shoe - to bring about restoration and positive change in Cinderella's life. And, as we all know, Cinderella's story had a fairytale ending!

In Scripture, there are many references to God moving suddenly in a situation.  He does restore and bring positive change in our lives, just not always in our timing. We may feel like we're at the midnight hour and that we are losing the strength to keep believing, but suddenly, God will peform the miraculous.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you", says the LORD, "thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."                  ~ Jeremiah 29:11
So keep imagining, keep believing, because when you least expect it - suddenly - something as simple as one missing shoe can change your life.

Because of Him and Unto Him

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Listening, As Jesus Did

Have you ever been alone in the woods?  
As silence enfolds you, you intently strain and listen for the slightest whisper of sound.  


The LORD God Almighty didn't speak to Elijah through the wind, 
earthquake, or fire.  
He spoke to him in a "still, small voice".  (I Kings 19:12)

In decision making or in daily routine,
Listen for the whisper of The Holy Spirit
and then
follow your heart.

Because of Him and Unto Him

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Oh, Those Eyelashes!

Would you like to read about my giraffe story?  It is one of the highlights of my life and I’d like to share it with you. God has answered many prayers in my life, but this answer showed me how intimately our Heavenly Father truly cares for us. May you find the inspiration from this story to pray about the tiniest, seemingly insignificant things in your life. As God's Word says, "You do not have, because you do not ask." (James 4:2) It is our Heavenly Father’s pleasure to bless us.


My only daughter was a Missionary to South Africa. She had left home and country at 19, giving a year of her life to serve The Lord.  One year turned into twelve.  In 2001, Alece was getting married in South Africa, so her dad and I, and her two brothers flew over for the wedding.  Alece and Niel planned a magnificent two-day safari for the bridal party and our family prior to the wedding.

On day one of the safari, the trackers gave us fare warnings: do not get out of the jeeps and we had to be back at the chalets before darkness set in. They found all kinds of animals for us – elephants, hippos, and rhinos.  (And earlier that week we had seen lions.)  It was the most incredible experience.  But, as day one came to a close, we still had not seem my favorite, the giraffe. The trackers were driving us to the two chalets within the reserve that Alece and Niel rented for us.  The sun had set and it was dusk. Our family was riding in the second jeep. Suddenly, the first jeep stopped and the bridal party hopped out and were running into the bush yelling, “Giraffes!” With cameras in hand, we followed blindly and without thought. But, it was darkening quickly. We could only make out the form of the giraffes running (in a slow lope) away from these screaming humans. The trackers rounded us back up into the jeeps, giving us fare warnings - again.

Upon reaching the chalets, the trackers asked what animals we wanted to see in the morning.  I shouted, “Giraffes!”  Then under my breath, I asked my Father to please bring giraffes into our path on tomorrow’s safari, so we weren’t wasting our time looking for them.  “Please bring the giraffes to us", was the desire and prayer of my heart.

The women settled into one chalet, the men into the other.  My daily routine in those days was to be up at 4 AM to spend time in the Presence of The LORD and His Word.  So, I asked the women in my room if they would mind if I set the alarm.  I was encouraged to sleep in; after all, I was on vacation.  I was so tempted!  It had been a full few days and I knew I could probably use the extra sleep.  But, after climbing into bed, I hit the “on” button.

The alarm rang on time. Trying not to wake anyone, I grabbed my Bible and very quietly worked my way through the house to kitchen to make some coffee. In the dawn of early morning (the sun rises early at that time of year in South Africa), the only place I could find an outlet to plug in the coffee maker was in the dining room.  I bent down on the floor to inset the plug and I turned my head to the right toward the large picture window.

There, bent down, and looking directly into the dining room, was a huge giraffe. His nose had to be a ½ inch from the window. Holding my breath, I slowly I stood up and went to the window. Our eyes met and we just beheld each other - God’s creature meeting God’s creature. He stood there so still - as if he was allowing me to absorb his every detail.  Oh, those eyelashes!  They had to be two inches long. Tears streamed down my face as I gazed on this gentle giant of Africa. It was one of the most stunning moments of my life.

I ran through the house screaming, "Giraffe!  Get your cameras!", jolting all the women awake. I then ran next-door, pounding on the door and windows, to awaken the men. I didn't want anyone to miss this Divine Appointment we had with the giraffe. We all gathered outside in our PJs, camera ready.  To our great surprise, God had not just brought one giraffe to us, He brought a family of seven - all who seemed not to notice the flashes from the cameras. Eating breakfast from the tops of the trees, they just naturally went about their business, as if their Creator had whispered in their ears, "It's OK. Just let them watch you." And there we stood in the midst of them for about 45 minutes until, as a group, they stopped eating and went their way.

I specifically asked my Father to bring the giraffes to us. In my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have thought that this is how He would do that.  He bestowed a gift upon me, His daughter, just because He loves me and wanted to bless me.  I will never, ever forget His loving, intimate answer to my prayer; and I will never, ever forget those eyelashes!

Because of Him and Unto Him,







This was posted over on Tell Me a Story on 4/3/12

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

SIGH!

In quietness and confidence shall be your strength. ~Isaiah 30:15
God's Word always encourages me and I sure do need strength for this journey.  The LORD knows that, so I awoke this morning with this Scripture playing over and over in my head like a broken record (for those of you who remember records!) I know it was Him just encouraging me by letting me know that He was waiting for me this morning.  I've had the I'm-moving-to-Alaska-and-living-out-in-the-woods-all-by-myself silent tantrum the last few days. As silent as it was, God heard it. Running away seems to be a strong pull for me at the moment. But, my "maturity" won't allow that. So, I've been sharing my heartaches with my Heavenly Father. And what does He do? He puts a Scripture on my heart when I wake up.

I opened my eyes way before dawn this morning with God's Word already on my mind.  I knew He was calling me to come and just sit in the stillness.  I poured a steamy hot cup of coffee into my favorite elephant mug and snuggled down in my only chair facing the picture window.  I can't wait for sunrise. It will be beautiful this morning. So, I settled into the dark - in the stillness - and quieted my soul.  My heart and mind turned toward Jesus and praise and thanksgiving bubbled out from my lips. Before I realized it, the room was illuminated, but there is no beautiful sky this morning. Just massive, cold clouds that look like they want to dump snow on us. Okay, that's not what I expected. My stillness and quietness was then interrupted by the twanging of the radiators as the heat was coming up.  My soul sighed... actually, I think it was more of a huff.

My confidence is in God's Love for me. I know He knows what my yesterdays were like and what today will be. He knew there would be massive winter cloudage today instead of a crisp, beautiful autumn morning. I know He knows I won't actually pack and move to Alaska. With a smirk, He waited for me in quiet stillness and then listened to my aching heart, beckoning me to still be still. Just remain still, Diane. So, I continued to sit. Sit still and enjoy His Presence. And now I'm strengthened.

I started my day out on the right foot.  I started it with Jesus, with His Word, and in quietness, allowing my confidence in Him to rise above all the other noise in my head.  Now, Alaska seems way too cold a place to run to. Oh, Thank You, my Father!  Thank You for the blessing of a nice warm home on Long Island.  Thank You for strengthening me.  Thank you for waking me with Your Word and then waiting for me to join You this morning. I am blessed.
I pray for you today that in quietness and confidence you will find strength for your journey-day.  God bless you!


Because of Him and Unto Him