Category Archives: Relationship

August 10, 2021 bless the thing

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‬‬Good morning, DearHeart,
Wouldn’t it be perfect if we could always hold them like this and protect them from anything that tries to steal their peace? Totally, sweetly safe.
As a mom, I think the hardest thing to do is listen as your child goes through a painful journey. We moms just want to fix it. Yet, their growth is at stake, and they must walk it out for their faith and trust grow in the Most High God.
The irony is, that their journey is also mom’s journey. Right?! It doesn’t matter what age they may be. Growth is at stake for all.
Sometimes life challenges the beliefs of even the most loving people, doesn’t it? I read a quote from the Archbishop of Canterbury, and it stuck, (paraphrased) “When you see the depth of energy that people can put into evil, then there is a flicker of doubt in humanity. It would be inhumane not to react with sadness and doubt.”
Even when we know that it’s just part of life … people make tragic and hurtful and downright ugly decisions that have long-term impact, we still try to make sense of them. So, how are we to pray “positive” prayers while we are hurt to the core and we just want the relentless pain to stop?
The power of blessing is the key to our growth and healing.
There is a space that is given to you and me by our Maker.
This space … between this breath … and the next is a place of creation: we use that sacred space for
cycles that start or stop,
grow or fade,
live or die.
All possibilities exist from this place. Sit in this a moment … what kind of Creator sets that kind of power in place for us?
He thought of everything.
You and I have the choice and the power to change lives, our own life and the lives of others. We make the choice to bring peace into our hearts through the magical moments that we choose to bless the thing.
Bless the person.
Bless the event.
Bless the growth.
Bless the pain’s purpose.
Bless the journey.
Between breaths, decide, and bless it.
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life…” (Deuteronomy 30:19, NLT).
Your will, Lord.
Nothing more.
Nothing less.
Nothing else.
Wake up.
Bless the thing.
Even though it hurts, bless it anyway.
Go.

August 4, 2021 oops moments

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Good morning, DearHeart.
Last week, I was pretty obsessed with these sunflowers … this week, well … I think I killed them. 😬
I’m full of mistakes and awkward moments … Freudian slips, embarrassing moments, a hurtful word spoken, breaking an object of value, getting my heel stuck in a floor vent … 🤷🏼‍♀️
Every. Single. Day. I can be counted on for imperfection.
A mistake.
A wrong choice.
Regrets.
I’m so thankful for the grace given to me by others.
The silver lining to my “moments” is that I truly make those who hang out with me SHINE! 😂 ✨
I don’t think I’m alone here, I also, often regret failure to act.
The visit not made.
The card not sent.
The apology not extended.
The hug not given.
Life brings us through twists and turns. Some expected. Some, out of no where.
Some regrets are felt deeply and linger.
When regret comes to my life, I have learned that there is only one place to take it … lay it at foot of the Cross. When I “come to my senses”, much the way the prodigal son did, and return to my Father,
regret turns to restoration …
redemption …
I am redeemed.
What kind of God does that? What kind of unconditional love continues to erase mistakes, over and over again?
“Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to Your love remember me, for You, Lord, are good” (Psalm 25:7).
What kind of God? “According to His love,” that’s my God.
Wake up.
Start again.
Do overs.
Clean slate.
Go.

July 31, 2021 His truth, our joy.

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Good morning, DearHeart.
Summer mornings, on the front porch = Divine reconnection … where thoughts go a bit deeper, and His Holiness rises to the occasion.
For those of us who believe in God, who find rest in the intelligence of Love, and for those open enough to consider it …
For those of us in pain––from the deeply personal, to the sorrow of disunity we can taste …
For those of us who have Joy to offer because our faith keeps us running back to it––we know that Joy is where we are formed by the Master Creator … joy is our original state, Holiness empowers us …
For those of us interested in walking out these days … where spirituality is way more adventure than religion, where the heart calls the shots, where we believe in the miracle of the lessons all around us …
For those who choose to believe …
“He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
He guards the paths of the just
and protects those who are faithful to him.
Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair,
and you will find the right way to go.
For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will fill you with joy.
Proverbs 2:7-10 NLT
Everything here is meant to lead back to what your heart knows, way down deep, His truth is our joy.
Wake up.
Seek Truth.
Find Joy.
Go

July 13, 2021 hips

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Good morning, DearHeart.

A couple of weeks ago we all noticed Rush (our grandson) walking with a limp. The diagnosis turned out to be an infection in his hip which caused us some concern … how does a toddler get an infection in his hip, of all places? He is doing good now (thank You, Jesus!) but, of course we read tons of stories during the limp … medical stories, personal stories, you name it. Some stories of hope and others that shot fear through our over-protective veins.

People’s stories are fascinating to me. And, the fact that each one evolves, moving us individually, and as families, and as friends from one point of growth to the next, well, that is even more fascinating. Each story grows us and we encourage one another when we tell them. I don’t know about you, but I prefer stories that are heartwarming … feel good … full of love and laughter.

But, life is not always neat and tidy. It’s not always snow cones and cotton candy.

In between those seasons of joy are interwoven seasons that cause us to pause and examine the shadows and the shifts … struggles with families, with feelings …

Adversity.

Suffering.

Shame.

Pain.

Illness.

Loss.

Hardship.

Discomfort.

I’d prefer to avoid all of that … yet, Paul slides in with a curious perspective …

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18, NKJV)

Also, read this and love the way The Message describes it:

“That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.” Romans 8:18-21 MSG

To put it simply … this story, your story of today’s suffering tells a story of perseverance, of pressing through in spite of wanting to give up. It tells of courage when fear presses in. It tells of a grit and determination to succeed when the odds seem stacked a mile high against you.

There is value in your present story. Suffering is part of the narrative, because nothing grows, nothing gets built when everything is easy.

Our lives are the smaller story inside of His grand story, and our stories do matter. Our stories can magnify Him, illuminate His power and compassion at work in every minute.

Wake up.

What is your story at this minute?

Notice how our Savior is revealed in it.

The joyful anticipation deepens.

Go.

May 25, 2021 sticks

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Mornin’ DearHeart.

The roses out back are over the moon. After the February -20 temps, I wondered if they’d bounce back. I hard-pruned the branches, leaving them 6-8” tall. They looked like sad, dead sticks coming out of the ground. I talked to them and sang to them (because I’m weird like that). Their longing to be closer to heaven, close to the heart of their Creator, won. They keep reaching higher and blooming deeper than I’ve ever seen.

Like the branches, you and I can not stop our longing for a deeper experience with God. It is with us always. A quest from which no one can hide. Even the emptiest and coldest heart longs for relationship with Christ. The pull on you and me – the pull by God Almighty is far more potent than

any set-back,

any dire need,

any situation,

and, that is why the Most High has led us here … to this moment … to be reminded.

We have a serious task ahead: to face challenges at odds with

human reason,

logic,

order,

justice,

fairness,

common sense.

We face trials.

We are driven red with anger.

We will be falsely accused.

We need walk-away strength.

And, we need stand-your-ground courage.

DearOne, answering the call to follow in the footsteps Jesus Christ requires that we are sometimes stripped bare. We are sometimes reduced. to. ashes.

Once that happens, from the pit, life yields growth:

Releasing old wounds.

Letting go of grudges.

Replacing hurt places with forgiveness.

Rising out of grief into new life with The Most High.

Starting over.

When your soul is called out, drive erupts that will will take charge of your life.

‘Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.’ (Colossians 3:2 HCSB)

Uncommon drive.

Supernatural drive.

Holy drive.

Set your mind there.

Go.

May 24, 2021 endures

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Good morning, DearHeart.
In the past I’ve written often about the prodigal son. Every time I read it brand new insight eeks out. Sometimes, truth so simple that it is profound.
God is Love.
Simple. So powerful.
God loves us for ourselves and not for anything we can do or give Him. We can’t cause God to love us more, or less, than He already does. Yet … we live in a performance-based culture, causing us to think we need to earn God’s love.
I can relate with each person in the story:

  • The younger son, who the father restores all the rights of sonship, so that he loses nothing.
  • The older brother, who had remained faithfully with his father, had a problem with the grace extended. Sometimes we can be just like the older brother – stuck and smug in our self righteousness, forgetting our God is gracious to all.
  • The father who extends forgiveness, grace, and love in spite of all of the heartbreak that he had experienced.
    In my life, I have been the prodigal … the one in need of God’s forgiveness and grace. I have also been the older son … wanting to withhold God’s grace and celebration of another. And, I have been like the father … having to
    embrace,
    and forgive,
    and restore position to another. Maybe that is why I love this story so much. We can see ourselves in the story and recognize the depth of God’s love and mercy and grace in our own lives.
    With the prodigal in mind, flipping a few pages to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
    I read verse 7 over and over.
    “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
    The word “endures” stood out.
    God’s love lasts – it has stood the test of time.
    In Psalm 136, all 26 verses end with the words “His love endures forever”. God knows we need reminding and repetition.
    God’s love toward you and me is
    higher,
    deeper,
    wider,
    and longer
    than anyone can comprehend.
    Throughout all the craziness the past year has delivered, through each trial and each victory, God’s covenant love for his people, like a mighty river, flows into you and me – as strong into the future as when it first began in the ancient past. This means that you and I receive the awe-inspiring wonder of being the special object of His everlasting love.
    God’s love endures forever.
    Wake up.
    Remind, repeat, and receive fully His enduring love.
    Go.

May 14, 2021 in the winds, in the stillness

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Good morning, DearHeart.
There is something about the stillness of the morning, when the wind doesn’t blow, that creation seems to be heightened.
In the stillness, Russell Crow (our rooster) begins to sound off about 4:30AM. (He has chilled a little and hasn’t tried to attack me since before the February freeze). His early morning crowing seems to echo off of the trees on the creek.
Dale’s coffee pot, on auto-start, brews and wafts into each room. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but love the smell of coffee the morning – especially mornings that are calm and easy.
The tree that sits north east of the porch begins to come alive with chirping around 5:45. The songs of the morning birds build and build like an orchestra delivering the peak to a movie plot.
All, a part of my early mornings.
All such a contrast to mornings when the force-filled Oklahoma winds are humming.
The sounds all remind me of Elijah … running for his life, has an encounter with God. The Lord tells him to go out on the mountain and stand there. As he was standing there, Elijah experienced a windstorm which was so terrible that the rocks were torn loose. But the Lord was not in the wind.
He then experienced an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake either.
After the earthquake, he experienced a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.
After the fire, there was the sound of a gentle whisper.
“And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.” (1 Kings 19:12, NLT)
And Elijah encountered the Lord.
At times, the storms of life will blow cold and harsh upon our days. Our foundations may quake and shake a bit on those days when unexpected (and unwanted) news is delivered to us. With a single strike, our emotions can feel like they have been set ablaze.
And it is right in those moments, if we lean in ever so slightly, our souls will encounter the Holy Spirit of our God …
“I will never leave you nor forsake you!”
“I have loved you with an everlasting love!”
“You are bought with a price, you are Mine!
“I am the Lord, your God. Is anything to hard for Me?”
Perhaps it is why I love this story in Elijah so much. The winds, the earthquake, and the fire could all be experienced by others… but, the gentle, small whisper? It is meant for the audience of one. His child. It is heard only by the one to whom the Lord is speaking, to the one who is listening. The one who is expecting a Word from their Savior.
Wake up.
Expect His whisper.
Listen.
Go.

May 13, 2021 ethics

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Good morning, DearHeart.

As my sons have grown from little boys to men, our conversations have grown, too. We talk a lot of how life throws in unexpected curve balls.

I find myself wondering sometimes … have I been wise and right to remind them to continue to live with character and integrity in spite of the odds seeming to go against them?

Had a tough conversation yesterday about fair/unfair that left me searching … how do you hold onto integrity when it seems like those with none seem to get it come out on top? Or, when those with pizazz and pop out-dazzle the rest who thrive on steady “do-the-work” principles?

Should I have instilled in them to be more aggressive, more conniving, to plot more? Should I have taught them it’s a dog eat dog world and be certain to be the stronger dog?

I woke up wrestling these questions in the still of the night … went to my Holy answer book, and was reminded:

“Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?

Who may stand in His holy place?

Those whose hands and heart are pure, who do not worship idols or tell lies.

They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior.

Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.” (Psalm 24: 3-6, NLT)

He desires a people, you and me, with pure hearts and hands who commit themselves fully to the Lord and the evidence is seen in their strength of

character,

transparency,

and selflessness.

And, I find myself this morning, asking … ‘Lord, help me, help them, to desire hands that are pure. Hands that uphold truth and stand for just ways – ways that are right, true, good, and praiseworthy. May our lives testify of You Who deposits character and integrity and ethics into Your people.

It is then that we stand in Your presence with hands and a heart that is pure.

Wake up.

Philippians 4:8 ‘Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies. (Msg)

Go.

May 11, 2021 compassion

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Of the vices I carry, one I would leave in a heartbeat is tears. I cry. It drives me insane. The more I will it to stop, it seems the more intense it becomes. I’ve researched and tried every determination technique I can find. And, still. Ugh. It’s embarrassing and it makes people uncomfortable – it makes me uncomfortable. It’s a pain. If you are a crier, then you can relate. I realize they are a common occurrence in many, although the reasons may differ. Some cry out of sheer joy and laughter, others from stress, anger, or sadness. Or, all of the above. Jesus cried, too. The shortest verse in Scripture tells us, “Then Jesus wept”(John 11:35).

We are also told Jesus shed tears in prayer (Hebrews 5:7) and was well “acquainted with deepest grief” (Isaiah 53:3). Tears were no stranger to Jesus.

While the world may often see tears as weakness, they may well be indicative of a deep strength – compassion. This hit home:

“I strongly repudiate any man who is so haughty as to condemn tears in men. He may think himself brave for not shedding tears. He may deem himself as nobler and superior to others. But facts just do not bear this out! Let me tell you, a dry eye reveals a dry and hard heart. Such a heart has become rebellious, void of feeling, insensitive as wood and stone. Oftentimes, tears betray the true heart condition of a person. It may be said that nothing discloses the inward state of a human heart more than do tears. Let me say from conviction that tears are the outlet of the heart.”

(by Watchman Nee, Practical Issues of This Life, page 2)

I suppose they have purpose … a cleansing effect. “For the kind of sorrow God want us to experience leads us away from sin and result in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow …” (2 Corinthians 7:10, NLT).

I believe they also develop us- move us. “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation” (Romans 5:3-4, NLT).

I do know this, tears matter to God. He sees every one. Not one falls to the ground unnoticed …

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalm 56:8, NLT)

Tears in our darkest times are truly precious to our God.

God has promised to one day wipe every tear.

And I believe He will do that with His very own hand.

Wake up.

Embrace your compassion.

Go.

May 7, 2021 shattered

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Good morning, DearHeart.
It’s been quite a week. The other morning I reached for the shower door, the hinge at top broke, the bottom edge of the glass door hit the tile causing it to explode into a million pieces. It happened in a split second – I screamed. For some reason my first thought was “have I been shot?” There was blood everywhere and I was covered with glass. I froze in place, scared to move – Dale came running. He got me to safety and cleaned up, put his first aid skills to use, and then cleaned up glass for over an hour. I feel sure tiny, broken pieces of glass will be found in there from now on. Broken glass … it’s amazing how brokenness can raise so many questions. Is it any different with the brokenness in our lives? I don’t think so. Brokenness comes to each of us in different ways…

  • a job loss
  • a relational loss
  • a divorce
  • a failure of any sort
  • abuse
  • illness
  • death
  • handicaps
  • betrayal
    Dictionary.com defines “broken” as…”reduced to fragments, out of order, not functioning, changing direction abruptly, incomplete, infringed or violated, weakened in strength, disrupted, divided.” I think you get the picture & it is not pretty.
    Psalm 34 is probably one of my favorite passages of Scripture, if not, my favorite. When you have time, read it all. There is not one part of it that will not speak to your heart. This verse came back to me. It simply says:
    “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (verse 18 NIV).
    It is those very times that we are broken that He is the closest to us. It is also those times that the enemy of our souls would taunt, “Where is your God now?”. May you and I be wise to His ways & quickly respond, “He is right close to me.”
    The Message words it this way:
    “If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, He’ll help you catch your breath.”
    If your gasping for breath, trying to come out from under your circumstance, KNOW that He is right there with you to help you catch your breath. It is God Himself performing the CPR at those times.
    The funny thing is this….I couldn’t put that shower door back together even if I wanted to. But our God takes every bit of our brokenness & somehow He “saves those who are crushed in spirit”.
    He puts us back together.
    He brings wholeness.
    He is “Always Enough” to take care of us in our brokenness.
    Wake up.
    Trouble will come.
    God will carry you.
    God is way more than enough.
    Go.