Monthly Archives: February 2021

February 19, 2021 creek quiet

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Good morning, DearHeart.
The early morning hours are my favorite part of the day. The quiet and stillness found there are a balm to my soul bringing calm and courage for the day ahead.
In a world where everyone has something to say the silence of the morning is the time of day I so appreciate.
The quiet this morn reminded me of the silence on the creek a couple of days ago. A mysterious sort of quiet, the noticing kind … “ah, yes, God, here you are. I feel You. I hear You.”
So many people are experiencing hardship from this bitter cold. No water. No power. They are cold. Waterlines bursting. Ice and water causing damage. Frustration.
With all of the preparation, knowing it was coming, doing all we could do, even our animals have suffered.
Yet, I stepped out early into the dark.
Silence.
Snow blanketing everything as far as I could see.
But, oh. The quiet.
It is in the silence that God speaks.
And, here is where I am reminded:
“It is the same with my Word. I send it out and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” Isaiah 55:2, NLT
His Word accomplishes.
He brings life – even in hardship … especially in hardship.
“But the Lord is in His holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.” Habakkuk 2:20, NLT
Our souls need time to sit in the silence for God’s still small voice to be heard. May our words be few and His heard.
Silence – it has a sound all its own.
It has the sound of God’s voice.
Wake up.
Notice the silence.
Sit there.
Go.

February 16, 2021 snowdrifts

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Good morning, DearHeart.
Our mailboxes look strange – almost covered in a drift! Hopefully, our mail-servants know we value their safety over our mail. It can wait.
Lately I’ve been reading all things to do with sustainable agriculture, homesteading, nature, wildlife, following permaculture & gardening blogs, and such. I read this, and it stuck:
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.” Aldo Leopold, ‘A Sand County Almanac’.
It hit home, especially with Levi and Bryan and their crews working all night in this weather to help keep oil and gas flowing so we can get warm. This bitter weather is wreaking havoc on all of nature, and routines, and families … it impacts us individually, as well … physically … mentally.
Sometimes, I look back on the events of my life to be reminded of the grace that has come from the harshest seasons … every single time. What is it, I wonder, that is triggered when we endure great suffering? What kind of God is so absolute in His faithfulness, that in the most difficult, from the darkest of days, we can rest assured (in our inner-turmoil) that our Creator has a plan for our redemption … especially when we are at
the breaking point,
the I can’t do this another day point,
the “God, I need a miracle” point,
the point of being frozen and broken and hurt and empty?
My God.
That’s what kind of God will do that. Mine. He is that faithful. That’s why I believe. He has proven, over and over that I can trust Him every single time; because He has a plan
every. single. time.
Even when, like the mailboxes, I feel like I’m about to be overcome by a huge drift.
“let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering; for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
Wake up.
Press on.
God’s got a plan.
Go.

February 15, 2021 where does my help come from

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I’m back by the fire this morning. Out the window earlier, looking toward the barn, I wonder what we’ll find in the lot of Dale’s calving heifers on the other side. I’m also wondering how can air that rushes in my lungs so crisp and clean feeling be so harsh. Like the snow – so simple and quiet, calm …. yet, it is also haunting and brutal. Deceiving.

Ellie, my dachshund, stands at the back door that leads down to the barn when she needs to go out. This morning, she walked bravely out the door on the snow-free path that Luke shoveled before he left yesterday. She stood there, shuffling back and forth trying to decide which bank of snow she would dive through to make her way to the back porch where I let her back in. The snow was much taller than her.

It’s a difficult journey for every breathing thing right now.

There were no smooth, paved roads that took God’s people through valleys, through mountains and other rough terrain as they made their way back and forth to and from Jerusalem each year either.

Yet, they found strength in God Himself to keep returning to Him. The traveler’s fortitude, stick-to-it-ive-ness, help me navigate these hard winter days that can wear down our bodies and our minds.

God will be our help. “I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!” (Psalm 121: 1-2, NLT).

May you and I look to the Maker, our Maker, for all help.

He is our support system. “He will not let you stumble; the One who watches over you will not slumber” (verse 3, NLT).

The God of the Angel Armies stays ever positioned, ever alert to our needs. To your needs even in this very moment. To my needs. To the needs of the livestock, wild animals, birds, the needs of the fields and streams and the skies.

“The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever” (verse 8, NLT). The words “watches over” are used five times in this short psalm (verses 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8.)

Discouragement and harm and snow stacked higher than us will threaten to invade our space, but God deposits into each of us all that we need to press on in our journey. All we need to press into Him. There is never a moment He is not faithfully watching over us.

May we look up, from the bottom of the high drifts and see our Help.

Wake up.

God’s got a plan.

Press on.

Go.

February 3, 2021 rocks and sand

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Good morning, DearHeart.
It’s been a hard winter. It is still taking its toll. And, while some folks step up for the challenges of adversity, others respond differently … and some just get downright ugly.
Yep, the winter has been hard. But, you know … it’s been hard on everybody. For many, a vibe of irritability is alive and active – but, there are still those who are not. I wonder …

  • Could it be that the virus has given people permission to be irritable on a public/ social stage?
  • Could it be that they have been grumpy all along but kept it under wraps?
  • Could it be this was the new “them”?
    I’ve been thinking about this … attitude … for months now. And yes, I do realize I have probably been cooped up way too long.
    A familiar passage of Scripture came to me yesterday, along with a children’s song I learned in Sunday School.
    It’s the story of the two builders – one builds his house on the sand and one on the rock. A storm hits and we know the outcome. The one on the rock stands firm. The one on the sand “fell flat”. Check it out …
    “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:24-27‬ ‭NLT‬‬
    Here’s the thing I missed all these years. Or maybe it was because the rock and sand foundations were always emphasized. But, as I read it now … I realize the same storm hit them both.
    Same storm.
    Different outcome.
    Scripture describes the storm exactly the same way for each of these builders. It wasn’t that one experienced a drizzle and one a hurricane.
    It was exactly. the. same. storm.
    No matter what we experience in life, we will not be the first to have experienced it and we will not be the last. There is nothing new under the sun. I fully get that the details of our situations can vary yet there are more similarities than differences.
    Wondering … why can some go through difficulty and remain pleasant while others become as unreasonable as all get out?
    And there, before me lie the answer. It was in red – the very words of Jesus Himself –
    “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice……” (verse 24)
    It is in the practicing of His Word, intentionally living out each day according to the way He has set out, that we are able to stand the storms of life with joy. It is not solely in the hearing. You and I must apply His Word, actively living it out, day in and day out.
    In good times,
    and in bad.
    In joy,
    and in sorrow.
    In abundance,
    and in want.
    In sure times,
    and in the uncertain.
    Storms will come.
    Take that one to the bank.
    But, how you and I handle it and come through is entirely up to us.
    Wake up.
    Choose your house.
    Go.

February 2, 2021 laughter

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Good morning, DearHeart.
Our Rush has the best laugh ever – and it is contagious! I love it! When was the last time you laughed?
In the middle of the night I woke and realized I was about to push Dale off the bed. He told me about the bizarre dream he was having – and I laughed until my sides hurt. It was 2am.
Laughter heals.
It is a gift from The Almighty that comes as a medicine for the tough times – a strengthener for all times. It leads to wholeness and a certain mending of the heart. Whatever brings healing laughter is sacred. We fail to realize how sacred. We tend to get stuck in goggles of gloom and doom and political hogwash and virus talk – all lenses that need to be shattered away.
Laughter lightens,
realigns,
reorders,
reasserts strength and power – this is the laughter that heals.
It severs us from anger,
changes our habits of thinking,
adds color to the dullest darkness. Laughter makes us better,
more generous,
more sensitive.
Laughter is sacred.
Search it out. Make a note-to-self of the people and places that bring you to a doubled-over, hold your gut, roll in the floor, tears streaming down the cheeks – that level of laughter. Make it a point to go there. It is your healing. It is the healing for those whose lives you touch.
“We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.””
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭126:2‬ ‭NLT‬
Wake up.
Find the place.
Laugh there.
Go.