January 17, 2015

wake up, sleeper



 
She'd been in a daze of sorts.  Feeling things so deeply. So much bad news. So much sickness. Such hard times. The unknown. So much sadness. It was all hitting her hard.

Wake up, sleeper.

Nothing eventful really happened to her, yet anything she heard or felt seemed to stick. She was so bogged down by everything and it all felt so heavy.

She was reaching for so much but it was too far. The greatness she heard about and aspired to felt so far away.

Wake up, sleeper.
Lift your head.


She went through the motions. She got it done, but only just barely. She just wanted to get through the day so she could watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix or maybe take a bubble bath.

Wake up, sleeper.
You were made for more than this.


 Yes, she was constantly trying to get THROUGH each day, but what she REALLY wanted was much more.

To live it.
To enjoy it.
To lead.
To shine.

She knew she was made for more than this. She always knew this.

But there was so much to be done, and always stuff to put away. Appointments had to be made and schedules kept. Friends are grieving. Babies are sick. People are hungry. Loved ones are scared. Strangers are lonely and looking for someone to care. Children aren't safe and don't have clean water. Family is dying.

And it all seemed like too much.

What could she do?

So she slept.

And then she finally heard.

So wake up sleeper
Lift your head
You were made for more than this
Fight the shadows
Conquer death
Make the most of the time we have left

You GOTTA
Let your light SHINE.


 So she wakes up.

She hears.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3

So she is not afraid.

She hears.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

So she lets go and she feels lighter.

 

lyrics from "Stars in the Sky" by Kari Jobe


She hears.

...trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world. John 16:33


 So she has faith.

She imagines Him knocking down the heaviness, stress, grief, sadness, hunger, fear, loneliness and death. She lets Him conquer it.

So she finds peace.

She was so tired of sleeping.

So she decided to wake up, lift her head, and SHINE.



*lyrics from "We Are" written by James Tealy, Chuck Butler, Hillary
McBride, and Ed Cash

January 5, 2015

resolutions

 

I used to be all about the whole New Years resolutions thing. I would doodle pretty headings, use stickers, and list my goals and some positive phrases, all in a beautiful journal. Truth be told, I never could fill in any pages of a journal beyond the resolutions, but I ALWAYS wrote down my resolutions.

My hubby is SO about goal setting. Even when we were dating, we would set a date in the beginning of the year with the sole purpose of sharing our resolutions, dreams and aspirations for the year. I remember attending a little presentation he gave his fraternity on the importance of setting goals. We would even make dream boards to share with each other, with pictures cut out from magazines.

Yep, big goal setters and BIG dreamers over here.

I say all that to admit that this year, I just don't FEEL like making any resolutions.  Gasp.

What I mean to say is that I want to make resolutions so badly that I get all goose-bumpy and teary-eyed just thinking about it.

BUT I can't.

I'm too scared and I'm too embarrassed.

I haven't made any New Years resolutions yet this year because I am scared that I won't accomplish any of them, and I'm embarrassed  to make the same exact resolutions that I have made for as long as I can remember, just to fail at reaching them once again.

To illustrate my point, I just found my journal from 2009. I turned the beautiful pages and realized that truly, I've accomplished very few things I listed in those resolutions. What's worse is I know I had written very similar resolutions for probably ten years before that. One of the few things I DID tackle is teaching our now six year old her ABCs. Thank God I can cross that one off.
photos from my 2009 journal

 


I know I haven't been sitting around doing nothing, and I know I have accomplished plenty in the last six years. I have a lot to be proud of, and more importantly, thankful for.

But still.

Still, I cringe listing the same resolutions that I've had for so many years. I'm embarrassed to share them with anyone else.  Well meaning friends ask me if I've made any resolutions and I just want to run to my bed and pull the covers over my head.  How can I claim that this year I will blah blah blah, and mean it, when I honestly meant it every other year and I never managed to follow through and make it happen?

Oh, so this is the year it will definitely happen? Yeah, ok.

Well, you know, that's the scared, pessimistic part of me.

The other part of me is so optimistic. I am excited. I am so excited for this clean state. This fresh start. This new year. 2015. I want so badly to say that this is my year.

I just.
I just can't fail again this year.
I HAVE to figure this stuff out.

This stuff.

You know, this stuff will probably always be my stuff. I hope with all my heart to conquer it and never look back (if I could at LEAST be the most organized, size 2, creative genius in Kenosha, that would suffice). But, my struggle with my stuff may be life-long. I get that. We all have stuff. The struggle, as they say, is real.

But my stuff, my struggle, my perpetual list of to-do's, goals or resolutions does not define me. Yes, I want greatly to cross some things off of my reoccurring resolutions list once and for all. But, who I am - who I want to BE - is so much more important than these things on my list that I want to DO.

"Many of us create "to do" lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have "to be" lists. Why? "To do’s" are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. "To be", however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with "to be's"...it needs to be part of my nature—my character, or who I am." - Lynn Robbins

When I was a teenager, I heard Janice Sjostrand, a phenomenal speaker/singer/songwriter, give a sermon at youth camp that made such an impression on me, and will stay with me forever. It was about Esther - Hadassah - and although I can't remember all of the details as I'd like, I will never forget one sentence that Dr. Sjostrand said. She said, "When I grow up, I want to be lovely". Regardless of anything else we young ladies would strive to be, she urged us to resolve to be lovely.

I have set my sights on being lovely ever since. I'm not there yet, and I don't claim to be, but it IS who I want to be.

In 2015 I will continue to work towards becoming lovely, and I will add some more "to-be's" to aspire to. I like that a lot better than my usual list. Yet, I'm not ready to completely bid adieu to the usual list of resolutions. I truly want to meet these seemingly insurmountable giants head-on.

This year I hope to - HAVE to - be able to see notable improvement. I want to be able to look back next year and say that I took steps towards my goals. Some large steps. That I am on my way. That I am so close. So close that maybe I can actually tweak my resolutions for 2016. That would be amazing. I could live with tweaking.

So, since I've decided to overcome my fear of failure, and lean towards optimism and becoming a better me, what am I going to do to start 2015 off in the right direction?

1. Define who God would have me be and who I want to be. I'll try to make them match.

2. Find an inspiring, meaningful word and make it my mantra for the year.

3. Establish a Bible life-verse to pray on and cling to this particular year and/or always.

4. Yes, write down my same-old-boring resolutions, but more importantly, include real, attainable steps to getting closer to my goals. That way I can see progress this year and not beat myself up if I don't make it all the way to the finish line.

5. Read "Crash the Chatterbox" by Steven Furtick. Our church started this sermon series today and our life group will do a six week study on the book. I can already tell that this will be huge for me.

I don't know what I was thinking, trying to get around making goals this year. I am a dreamer and a goal-setter to a fault. I have been my whole life. So much so that I often find myself so eager for what is to come, that I can miss the joy in the season that I'm in. That is the last step to pointing myself in the right direction in 2015.

6. Practice an attitude of gratitude.  Be thankful for, and find joy in, all - ALL - things.

Here's to a New Year filled with acknowledging how far I've come, who He says I am, an admirable, yet attainable list of resolutions, a "to-be" list that's more important, old friends, new friends, family, good-books, belly-laughs, very few fashion faux pas, growth, thankfulness, lives being changed, lost being saved, doubts and fears overcome, health, love, prosperity, ingenuity, creativity, and joy unspeakable joy.



Ok, one more step.

7. I should also try harder to invent something this year. My hubby REALLY wants us to be on Shark Tank.

December 23, 2014

the gesture


I walked into the house after a long day. My husband and kids had run in before me and were excited that we had received some real mail.

Christmas cards. Our favorite.

There was one addressed to me. I eagerly tore open the envelope to reveal a beautiful, glittery card chosen with me in mind. The simple message was so beautiful and meant so much. There was a gift card tucked inside so that I could get a treat. My eyes filled with tears.

We are sort of new friends, so this was a very sweet, unexpected act of kindness. I'm sure she hoped it would brighten my day, but I'm also sure she didn't know just how much it would mean to me. I'm sure she didn't know it would touch my heart this much, and make me smile each and every time I see it.

A simple gesture.

My friend was able to show me that she cares. She was intentional about making me feel special and lifting me up. A simple gesture can go a long way.

I got to thinking about just how much the little gestures impact my day to day. A lovely text or message from a friend. A coffee or treat. A hug. To feel noticed. Appreciated. To know someone thought of me. If these acts of kindness mean so much to me, I'm sure they do to others as well.

Everyone is so rushed. Especially this time of year. I could go on and on about all the "stuff" that could keep me from reaching out. But, there will always be "stuff" and there will always be somewhere to rush to. I just try to remember that no matter what is going on, I can always do SOMETHING.

I can do something, and hope that it brings a smile and warms a heart. I can hope, that even if it's a small gesture, that maybe it can save a day from being lousy. Maybe it can make someone feel less alone. Maybe the simple gesture can go a long way.

Today I was able to be a little less rushed and a little more intentional. Reflecting back on my day, I was amazed that I was able to offer quite a few simple gestures, that hopefully showed love to others and made their day a little brighter.

- At the grocery store I bought a friend's favorite candy. It reminds me of her and I want to give it to her the next time I see her. I also bought a magazine for a friend that's been spending all of her time in her father's hospital room. It was a couple of dollars that can maybe give her mind a needed break for a couple of minutes.

- At the drive-thru window, the cashier dropped my gift card outside the window, onto the ground. She felt so bad, but I smiled and said it was totally fine (even though it was raining). I got out of the car to get the gift card, and noticed there was quite a bit of money on the ground, so I picked up a bunch of the coins and put them in the donation box.

- At Hobby Lobby, the customer behind me was purchasing some big ticket items without a coupon (noooooo)! I stayed through his transaction so that I could show the cashier the coupon on my phone and save the customer some money.

- At Kohls, I noticed a woman looking at a particular scarf for quite a long time. I fought the urge to go about my business, and commented that it was a good choice. She was so happy to talk. She talked to me about her gift exchange, and scarves, and material, and texture, and thread, and return policies for quite some time. But she was lovely, and it was ok to give her that time.

- After all the errands were finally over and dinner was overdue, I passed a car pulled over on the side of the road with the hood up. It was dark and raining, and I had three kids in the car. Plus, you can never be too careful. I drove on towards home, but decided to loop around and pull close to the car to get a good look. I rolled down my window and saw it was a younger driver. She rolled down her window and I asked if she was ok. She smiled and said she was ok and waved. I felt better that I asked. I've been in that position, and even when I don't need the help, it's nice to be offered.

I share these not to boast or convey that I've got it all together. Rather, I share these to show how easy it is to reach out and show kindness. Besides a couple of dollars for the grocery store treats, it cost me nothing but a little time to just be kind. If I only pay attention, I notice there are such easy things that I can do to engage with someone and hopefully be a light.

Maybe these acts won't change someone's whole day, but maybe they WILL. They sure changed mine.

I want to notice my family. I want to notice my friends. I want to notice my community. When I take the time to notice, opportunities to help are so easily spotted. A little gesture may just be a BIG deal to someone.

November 25, 2014

stop honking your horn

It seems like lately, I get honked at almost once a week. Seriously, nothing irks me more while driving than being honked at. If I am about to get in a terrible accident, please, by all means, honk at me. Please stop me from putting myself and my family in danger. That is really noble of you.

If we are not in danger, do not honk your horn at me. Please don't.

Just stop honking your horn.

You may be thinking I'm probably a terrible driver and deserve to be honked at. No. I just don't think so.

Then what am I doing to get honked at so often? Oh, I don't know...driving? No, really. Lately people are honking their horn ALL the time. For anything.

Maybe I decided I didn't have time to turn left during the yellow light. Maybe I looked down for a second and didn't go the very second the light turned green. Maybe I was going slowly down a residential street to read an address. Maybe I stopped for a pedestrian.

Whatever the reason, it was not ok by someone else's standards and someone else felt the need to let me know how much they disapproved. How I could be doing better. How they didn't like what I was doing. How it annoyed them. How that's not what they would have done.

Well, here's the thing. This is not a blog about driving.

I've been bothered by this honking issue for awhile now, and it dawned on me that is going on in all aspects of life. This honking is happening on the road and in our relationships. On the internet where we can hide behind our computer screens. One friend told me that I should consider writing about moms being judgmental of other moms. How sad that this is such a problem! We are honking our real and metaphorical horns ALL the time. It's kind of an epidemic.

I'll let you in on a little secret. I don't have to honk my horn unless it is an emergency. Unless someone is in danger or is seriously going to cause a major catastrophe.

I don't have to honk my horn whenever I am bothered.

I don't have to say everything that comes to mind.

Guess what? Nobody wants to be corrected. Yes, sometimes it's necessary. If you are my friend or loved one, and want to say something to me in love, of course, you should! If you want to correct something that I already feel bad about, then maybe it's not necessary. If you have to say something, say it in a really loving way.

Because.

Don't you think I know? Believe me, I keep a huge list of my shortcomings right here in my noggin. Do you think I need you to point them out to me?

My husband, bless his heart, does a lot of things that bother me. I feel the need to remind him all the time. I usually sigh heavily first, and then dive into what he did wrong. He's going to get such a big head, but I'll still admit it. He hardly ever tells me what I am doing wrong. He must be bothered by the little things I do too, but he rarely mentions them.

I actually don't think he knows what he is doing half the time with these little things that bother me. Maybe I should say something so he stops doing them.

Well, first of all, no. I've been reminding him for almost 9 years now, and he's not catching on. I'm not sure he ever will. Second of all, he may not remember to rinse his dish, but he WILL remember that his wife always has something to complain about. That his wife is always correcting him.

Why do I need to tell him everything he does wrong? Can I not overlook some minor annoyances and see and appreciate him for all that he is and as the man that I love?

I don't have to say everything that comes to my mind.

Like I said, sometimes a warning or correction truly is necessary. But before laying on the horn, I should ask myself:

Will it warn or keep safe?
Will it edify?
Will it encourage?
Will it be given in love?
Will it be received in love?
Is this something that truly needs to change?
Have I prayed about it and do I feel certain the Holy Spirit is leading me?

I should NOT honk my horn if:

It will be done in anger or jealousy.
The hurt it brings will be more costly than the result.
I am unsure if it is truth or just MY opinion.
It is unnecessary to growth or salvation.
I just want to be right.

So, what can I do instead of saying something negative, hurtful, unhelpful or critical?

ENCOURAGE
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

BUILD UP
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

EDIFY and DEVELOP
So let us then definitely aim for and eagerly pursue what makes for harmony and for mutual upbuilding (edification and development) of one another. Romans 14:19

BE FULL of GRACE
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6 NIV

BRING out the BEST
Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. Colossians 4:6 The Message

As long as it's not an emergency, I have time to encourage, build up, edify, develop, be full of grace, and bring out the best BEFORE turning to loving correction, and certainly before judgment.

And I might add, if there is someone in my life that I see struggling, and could feel tempted to look upon harshly, maybe I could find a way to help them instead of judge them. A hot meal goes a long way to making a struggling Momma feel loved. Or something else. But maybe I could DO something positive and helpful, instead of thinking or saying something unkind.

So, when driving, and living life in general, let's remember: Just because we have a horn and CAN use it, doesn't mean we SHOULD.

We need to start loving and giving grace and STOP honking our horns.

November 12, 2014

a beautiful mess

 
Can I just be honest?

I am a mess.

I mean, it is really bad sometimes. Sometimes, I am such a mess, that I would almost consider it a disaster.

I am overwhelmed.
I am impatient and crabby.
I *sigh* too audibly.
I'm disorganized.
I make mistakes.
I let people down.
I'm out of shape.
I have a messy house.
Sometimes I am so stressed or anxious that my body shuts down on me.
I say things I regret.
I make bad choices.
I worry.
I make excuses.
I can be negative.
I dwell on my shortcomings.


The CRAZY thing is - and this is what I wrestle with every.single.day - is that I know - I KNOW - that I have been made for so much more.

I recently wrote, "greatness seems pretty far away when there are dishes piled to the ceiling and your kid has been wearing the same pajamas for three days."

The OTHER crazy thing is that after I wrote that...after I put myself out there, and was just really honest, and real, and vulnerable.  Even embarrassed.

After I decided to take that leap and expose some of my weaknesses more than I ever had before. There's been a shift. A change. I've been realizing, and seeing, and believing, that God is actually using me through the mess.

Things are happening.

God's greatness feels closer.

I didn't think I could hear God this audibly in this mess. I didn't think I could pray with people or encourage them like this in this mess. I didn't think I could see clearly in this mess.

Yet, here I am in my messiness, and I am hearing. I am praying. I am encouraging. I am finding clarity.  More than I have in a long time. 




What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.
I am finding the beauty in the mess.

I don't WANT to be a mess or stay a mess. I'm bothered by it. I'm often smothered by it. There are some things that are truly not as they should be and have to change.

But if I wait. If I wait for the mess to be cleaned up. If I wait for all my ducks to get in a row already. If I wait for the perfect timing.

I may always be waiting.

I'm not going to wait. I can't wait.

One of the cool things about God is that He is know for using people that are ordinary. He uses people that are all kinds of messy.

You've probably seen this list of people in the Bible and their shortcomings. Their mess.

Abraham lied.
Sarah laughed at God's promises.
Moses had a short fuse.
Jacob was a liar.
David had an affair.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Jonah ran from God.
Thomas doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed.
Elijah was burned out.
John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
Martha was a worrier.
Noah got drunk.

See, that all seems a little messy. 


But aren't we ALL a little bit of a mess?

Thank God that He uses us right where we are. Thank God He uses regular, ordinary people. He sets us apart and he calls us by name.

He justifies us. Justified means marked for a good and legitimate reason, or made righteous in the sight of God. He justifies me. Even in my chaotic, icky, unworthy messiness. Now THAT is crazy.

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun. 
-Romans 8:30 (MSG)

I'm so thankful that there is so much more to me than my shortcomings. I'm so glad that in the midst of whatever else is going on, there are still great things happening. It feels like something is really stirring.  Some days are so hard and the tasks seem too daunting.  BUT God will stay with me to the end and complete what he began.  Seriously, there is almost a tangible hope.  There is so much beauty right here in the mess.

A beautiful mess. I'll take it.


 All Around.
Hope is springing up from this old ground.
Out of chaos life is being found in You.

You make beautiful things.
You make beautiful things out of the dust.
You make beautiful things.
You make beautiful things out of us.

 "Beautiful Things" by Gungor
 
 


 
God,

Please make my mess beautiful. I want to be called and used by you NOW. Do a work in me, so that you can work through me. I thank you for the calling you have on my life, even when it's messy.

I pray that you turn my overwhelmed into ease, impatience into self-restraint, crabbiness into happiness, sighs into laughter, worry into peace, stress into faith, negativity into joy. Help me be organized, make better choices, build people up, choose my words carefully and kindly, own my mistakes, and take responsibilities of my actions. I pray that through you, I can let go of the things I've been forgiven for and delivered from.

God, YOU make beautiful things. I pray that you continue the work you started in me.

In Jesus Name,

Amen





*I occasionally follow an artist's blog called "A Beautiful Mess", and I love the song "Beautiful Disaster" performed by Kelly Clarkson.  Both phrases were inspiration to write this post.

October 28, 2014

to my third child on his first birthday

It's hard to believe that you are one year old. As cute as you are, and as exciting all of the new things you are learning are, I am actually sad to see this milestone come. With you, I am not in a rush for you to do things. I am content for you to stay the baby as long as possible.

This year went so fast. Too fast.

In honor of your birthday, I wanted to write you a letter.

 

Dear Eli,

First of all, I want you to know how much you were wanted. We waited and waited for you. You were always supposed to be part of our family and we are SO thankful you are here.

I hope you always know how wanted and loved you are. Completely and Unconditionally.


 
Before you were born, we knew you had a divine destiny to fulfill. Something big and great.

I hope you always remember God has a purpose and a plan for your life. It's bigger than you could ever imagine.

Being the third child, you have had to cry and wait more than I would have liked. It breaks my heart when you cry. Yet, you are so patient (for a baby). As soon as we come to you, you snuggle in and stop crying. You are extraordinary.

I hope you always focus on the good and find a way to forgive easily and completely. You are an example and a world changer.



What a sweet boy you are! You are funny and cuddly. We have so much fun with you. You know just how to put a smile on our faces.

I hope you always take time to laugh and have fun. Your smile is contagious.



You are a very easy, content baby. Honestly, I think you have to be, because your siblings aren't always so easy (shhh...don't tell them). There is a peace and joy about you that is infectious.

I hope you always find a way to be happy and strive to be a peacemaker.

From very early on, we have been protecting you from your siblings. They are just so excited to love on you! I am sorry if you haven't always been approached with the gentleness that a baby deserves. I am convinced it has strengthened your character and abilities.

I hope you always stay strong and go after what you want and what is right. You are a fighter.



You may not have a baby book yet (I'm so sorry...it's coming!), but we have taken so many pictures of you. We all adore you and have tried to capture every moment of this year. It brings tears to my eyes to think I could forget even one precious moment of you as a baby.

I hope you always savor the moment and appreciate the joy of memories with loved ones. Every moment counts.



I could never have imagined how much joy you would bring to our family and friends.
You are a light.

I hope you always find a way to shine bright little one.   We love you so.





Happy 1st Birthday Elias Allan!

October 22, 2014

put your hand in mine



The other night the baby was crying. This is nothing new. He is eleven months and has never slept through the night. It goes without saying...I'm tired. Really tired. For real.

So, he cries.

It is maybe 2 am. I decide that this time I am not getting out of bed. I will let him cry it out. I let him cry maybe ten minutes. I can't take it.

I go into his room quietly. It is unusually dark that night, but I can tell he is standing up in his crib. He is always standing up in his crib.(*This is why my babies have never put themselves to bed. They will out-stand me and out-cry me. Every time.)

When I get to the crib, my eyes still haven't adjusted to the darkness. I put my hand on the crib railing. He stops crying.

This moment took my breath away.

He stops crying and he puts his tiny baby hand on top of mine.

I didn't even know he could see me. I didn't think I made a sound.

Maybe he could see me better than I could see him, but it felt like a poignant moment. It felt like he just knew. He knew I was there and he just stopped crying.

Then. Then he reached out and put his perfect little hand on my hand. I got chills down my spine.

Remember, I could barely see him, so this simple act stunned me. It melted me. For him to find my hand like that when I didn't expect it, was so powerful to me. I could feel God so strongly in that moment.

I can't stop thinking about it.

It really made me wonder. Do I sense God when He is right in front of me? (This is always, right?)  I did that night. I do sometimes. But do I typically?

Even when it is dark.
Even when I am scared.
When I am crying out for Him.
When I am sad.
Distressed.
Worried.
Confused.
When I don't understand.

Do I know He is right here? Do I stop my crying and feel His presence? Am I immediately comforted? Do I realize how near He is? Do I reach out and put my hand on His?

I don't think I do. Not usually.  Not like I could

If only I could be like my sweet baby. My very presence quiets him. My voice. My smell. My touch calms him even after crying for ten minutes - an eternity to both my little guy and to me. I am everything he needs. As my Mom says, "Mommy is his favorite" right now. All is right in the world when he's in my arms. Almost always.

Could I let God comfort ME like that?

I ask God every day to help me. I beg him. Please God. Whatever I'm facing today. Sometimes it's small, but it feels so big in this moment. Be with me. Help me through this. I can't do this alone. I'm not cut out for this.

Yet, He's right here with me.


 
 The LORD remains near to all who call out to him, to everyone who calls out to him sincerely. Psalm 145:18


 He is right here - NEAR to me. He WILL help me. I have just to dry my tears and reach out for His hand.


I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand and say to you, 'Don't be afraid; I will help you.'
Isaiah 41:13


Lord, let the mention of your name calm me. When I am sad, distressed, worried or confused, let me feel your presence and grow quiet and still. I know I only have to reach out and you are there. 

I never want to forget the moment when my precious baby reached out to me in the dark and put his tiny hand on mine. I never want to forget how it felt. Allow me to hold onto that moment and more importantly, what you were trying to teach me. Always. 

Amen.