Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Love Letters from God’ Category

If you have kept up with me this last week (here and here), you will know it was a week where blessing seeking, finding God’s love letters had to be intentional. Not only sought after, but accepted. Part of me was tempted to push away blessing, to push away His sweet love letters.

329) Wednesday, I almost cancelled lunch with my sweet daughter-in-law and lovely Grandbaby Girl. I thought it traitorous, almost sacrilegious to find an hour of joy when my friends were suffering so, when my boys were grieving so and my heart ached so. I went, inwardly debating all angles.  Immersing in hour of listening to my DIL talk was such a beautiful thing. There was blessing there – because I had little voice for things, I gained greater blessing – hearing my DIL’s voice, her ideas. I needed that .Grandbaby Girl’s smiles, finding happiness in my arms – my heart needed that, too.Yes, sometimes looking for these blessings, accepting these love letters from the Father needs to be intentional- all types of encouragement and lifting up would be missed if we decided they were not appropriate when He leaves them for us. Only heart-ache would remain. God doesn’t want us to shove away blessings, especially in tragedy.“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” (Psalm 34:18, The Message)

330) Stouffers 4 Cheese Lasagna, 2 loaves of wheat bread, blueberries, strawberries and grapes in a lime green bowl, carrots and broccoli in a blue bowl, carried to friends. My heart needed to give comfort or it would burst.“We want to avoid suffering, death, sin, ashes. But we live in a world crushed and broken and torn, a world God Himself visited to redeem. We receive his poured-out life, and being allowed the high privilege of suffering with Him, may then pour ourselves out for others.” ~ Elisabeth Elliot

331) Being told how my 11-year-old son, in the midst of tragedy, ran for help with his friend, and then gathered 3 little siblings in the midst of sirens and EMS, comforting his friends big and small, praying for them, ensuring they didn’t see things their hearts weren’t designed for. The knowledge that in crisis, he walked out his faith, well, thank you God!
332) Neighbors standing in a circle praying
333) Bed-time prayers with unprompted inclusion of hurting friends – that they pray like that, believe like that:
As I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my Soul to Keep
God Bless . . . . .(list)
Give me peaceful sleep and restful dreams
That the Angels encamp about us and protect us
That I love you more tomorrow . . .And each added prayers for their friends here“We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part” (2 Cor 1:8-11, The Message)

334) Finally having time to plant 15 burning bush and 3 forsythea rootballs – that in the 3 weeks since the UPS man delivered them, we kept them alive.
335) Boys helping, carrying dirt clods to the mulch pile
336) A scratched up place for zinnia seeds.
337) The Hope of red, purple, pink, yellow zinnia’s cut and placed in mason jars throughout the house.“He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:6)

338) Soldier son’s second interview for a job,
339) knowing there are people who care enough to be references
340) a call back for the 3rd interview contingent on reference responses
341) Having children who connect with all age groups to care enough for tears held back or released
342) Teachers who take good care of my son’s hearts
343) A window view at work of blue skies, big trees and shrubs cut back sprouting new growth.
344) A husband who tells our little one, “Life here is just a part of our journey. When we go to heaven, we continue living another part of our journey.”
345) Hot and Spicey Chinese Soup and egg rolls with hot mustard for a cold that keeps threatening
346) Coffee with my husband, outside early Sunday morning watching the red cardinals, mocking birds, doves, blue jays live out their backyard relationships.
347) The Hope of a Volunteer Cherry Tree, pulled out. A weary husband who says, “Maybe we should just let it die” as we hunt for a place to put this last transplant that we didn’t expect. The space available is rocky with Tennessee red clay. “Let’s plant it and give it hope. Otherwise, it won’t have a choice. Maybe it will choose to live,” I answered. He wrestled with the Tennessee red clay mixed with rocks and scraped out a place for it to live if it would.May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

 

feetwaterc16_edited-1“Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty [the Aramaic text says “Almighty God”], who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb” (Genesis 49:25) Joseph’s Blessing

Spring Break in winter doesn’t make sense – but here it is Spring Break, and we are taking another trip back to the Great Smokey Mountains.The boys have been anxious that I would submit them to another 4 hour trip to Cades Cove. They’re dreaming of slick tracks, car racing, spin outs and game places – and living in the cabin’s hot tub, if at all possible.

It was one of those mornings where I woke up ready for the day, instead of feeling like I was already behind. I read a bit of Ann’s 1,000 Gifts and A Beautiful Mess. Which inspired me – to not only include a hiking trip to a waterfall, but a  Blessing Lesson.

A Beautiful Mess said,”There is no relationship between pleasure seeking and happiness.”
From there, I shared Ann’s message from Luke 17 – where Jesus healed 10 lepers and only one came back to praise Him and thank Him. Jesus said, “Your faith has made you whole.”

Ann explained, “Our very saving is associated with our gratitude. . . . And the Leper’s faith was a faith that said, “thank you.”

God healed all 10 – but only one was made whole – inside and out. If their illness had created broken attitudes, broken tempers, resentment, hopelessness, knowing how to immerse themselves back into society, to stop living the outcast and live belonging – all healed – only one made whole because he lived thankfulness.

We talked about recognizing the blessings – not just the big ones. My boys know the big blessings of God in their lives – stories of healing, protecting and holding. Recognizing the little blessings of God in our lives, they are just as important.

So we went to our hike, to our waterfall – where part of me wanted an oxygen tank, maybe a helicopter to just carry me to that mountain top, a leg-wearing journey where I felt my physical weakness – and it was so worth it – hopefully, all of us gathered blessings.

The blessings I found were Love Letters from Shaddai, God of the Mountains.

Love Letters were written on the landscapes.

The high mountain trails warned me today’s journey might be hard and wear on me physically – but that it would be worth it. I asked for it. I wanted to do it. I wanted to take the boys. Do you have dreams? Things you want to do? Today, symbolized the journey of those dreams, those things I want to do. His love letter told me to keep going; it would be worth it.

He left me a letter in a big tree, its root-ball pulled from the ground. He wanted me to know that if I have strong roots in Him, I will not be overturned.

Tree Seeds, all over the path, held another love letter from Shaddai. Each seed was a message that He created me to grow strong, bloom and pass those seeds on to others. I am awed by the amount of seeds. Do our lives produce seed like that – everywhere, for anyone who comes across our path – an abundance, a more than enough – like this tree – does He expect that of us? Are there that many opportunities for us?

Another tree fallen down left me sad. He had a letter for me there, too. Shaddai told me nothing is wasted. Not even brokenness. Not even death. Someone had carved steps out of the tree, making a foot-wide step-bridge to help others reach the waterfall.

Shaddai, He said He placed stepping stones along the path, some challenged, some awkwardly placed, some easy to step on – but all His stepping stones provide a path to a Holy Spirit immersion.

So many roots, all reaching for the water. The roots, they work diligently toward that source – become stronger because of it. Shaddai, He wants me to be like that – to work my way, rooted in Him, filled with His Holy Spirit Source. He knows I cannot sustain myself, I need His Holy Spirit source like a tree needs water.

All day, we worked toward the waterfall.

All day long, I kept seeing water, symbolizing the  Holy Spirit. Everywhere I found  love letters on post-it notes from Shaddai: in the water trickling over footpaths, in playful streams, in dangerous, swift currents – and in the mighty waterfall.

“Was it worth it,” I asked one couple, as I desperately wanted a water bottle and an oxygen tank.

“Yes,” said the young husband.
“No,” said the young mother. “I expected it to be bigger.”

We passed another couple, an elderly couple – which brought us up short. How did they manage to get here? I was ready for a helicopter ride out.

“Was it worth it?” I asked.

“Yes, it was worth it. It always is,” He answered, his wife, holding 2 light walking staffs, nodded in agreement.

Our boys had reach the falls about 30 minutes before we did.

“You need help, mom” one asked as he watched me maneuver the slippery path, the uneven rocks and roots. He must have been pretty worried about me.

You know how people say that when a new mother holds her newborn child in her arms, that the labor of minutes before – “All is forgotten” in the holding of the child?

In reaching the waterfall, all was forgotten – the soreness, the need for oxygen and water.

My boys seemed a bit surprised to see their mom manage her way out to the big rock.  In return, I am always surprised about how little they know about me, how one-dimensional their view of me isl. I have no idea what theythought when I took off my shoes and socks to immerse my feet in the soul-piercing cold water.

I looked at the waterfall, at the pool below the fall, and the clear, bubbling water so clear you could see to the bottom – and I thought, I don’t want a Holy Spirit Trickle across the footpath of my journey. I want to immerse myself in a Holy Spirit Waterfall. I want to be that brave and courageous to live Holy Spirit like that!

 

Today, I climbed the mountains and found love letters from Shaddai.

Gifts 245- 257

Read Full Post »