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Soulful Media

During my quiet time this morning, I reflected on the passing of our dear friend Owen, who lost his valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. He will be long remembered for his gentle spirit, his kindness, and his unwavering faith which sustained him through his illness. We will carry a piece of Owen in our hearts, always.

When a friend’s death occurs, we remember their character; status, possessions, and travelogues fade into obscurity.

It is the legacy of love we leave behind that is most important.

It’s funny how clearing out mindspace can open the window for more meaningful thoughts.

After deleting my Facebook account, I was pleasantly surprised at the arrival of the words for this post. At the outset of beWARM, my intention was to write only when thoughts from the Holy Spirit filtered in. The number of followers was never a high priority; I believe that God knew all along who should read my words.

From time to time, I wondered if I had any more to write. When I considered stopping, there would be a random message of affirmation that told me to continue.

In light of facing a friend’s end of life, I realize that this blog is my SoulBook.

Through beWARM, my desire is to continue to embrace realness, vulnerability and encouragement, while also sharing my faith. And one day, I hope my grandchildren will read my words, and know my heart.

We all need our foundations to be shored up along our life journeys, especially now with all the anxiety and unpredictability in the world.

Thankfully, our omnipotent God is always there for us to lean on, even in the worst of times.

My prayer is that you, dear readers, will find your own Soulful Media outlet – one that is an instant and direct line of communication with God, where you can express your heart to Him.

He will hit the “like” button on every one of your posts.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us. 
~ Psalm 62:8 (ESV)

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beWARM celebrated it’s 10th birthday in October! My deepest thanks to my daughter Kristy for the gift of this blog on my 60th birthday. It is hard to believe that this is my 150th post! And I am ever grateful for you, dear readers. I appreciate how you have shared your SoulBook thoughts with me. Sending much love to all of you…

Gimme Shelter

Since the invasion of COVID-19, a new normal exists for everyone. The idea of infectious droplets floating in the atmosphere has us going about our daily tasks armed with masks, wipes, and sprays, which we use in hopes to eliminate those dangerous germs. The daily news is rife with reports of sickness, death, and an increasing variety of symptoms, some alarming, that accompany this disease. We thought children were protected from becoming infected – until recent reports show that they, too can be at risk.

Our minds can easily become fearful, confused, and weighed down with all of the what-ifs of the future.

When we think of how free and easy life was just a couple of short months ago, it seems an almost dreamlike existence. It has taken a pandemic to make us realize what a pleasurable life we took for granted.

The effects of the Coronavirus have been compounded by closures and restrictions that will have long lasting effects; all of us know someone who has been deeply affected financially – and who may never recoup their losses.

Now, our thoughts are consumed with prevention and recovery – and Personal Protective Equipment. Who knew that PPE would become an object of necessity – and desire?

While our main focus has been warding off this virus by protecting ourselves in every possible way,  this preoccupation has diverted our attention from other invasive pathogens that can so easily creep in.

Do we have adequate PPE on board to safeguard our hearts and minds? What is in place to deflect the infiltration of common diseases of the soul, such as fear, doubt, pride, and greed, to name a few?

We need clarity of mind – and connection with God’s Presence – to equip ourselves with the ammunition to keep these subtle invaders at bay.

God can provide the shelter and protection we need to ward off the disruption of negative thoughts and direct us back to the security and refuge He alone can provide.

There is never a shortage of His unending love – and His constant goodness and mercy never mutate.

Let’s run for shelter under God’s wings – and hope that with courage and strength that comes from Him, we will be equipped to deal with whatever life sends.

His shelves of comfort and repose are always stocked.

He will cover you with His wings. And under His wings you will be safe. He is faithful like a safe-covering and a strong wall. ~Psalm 91:4

 

 

 

Every Port in the Storm

These days, we are all navigating uncharted waters. In a flash, our daily lives somersaulted into never-before imagined routines. What we knew as casual and commonplace personal interaction now requires antiseptic treatment before and afterwards.

We’re not sure how best to adapt to what appears to be a murky and uncertain future. Each of us is plagued by questions we never dreamed of asking.

~When will we get to be with family and friends again?

~Will I ever be able to go back to work – or will I even have a job?

~If I or a loved one do contract the Coronavirus, will I /they recover?

Life before COVID-19 seems a distant memory.

I’ve never before considered becoming an “escapee” from reality – but I have to admit that I have employed various distraction techniques during these past weeks.

There have been days of plowing into long neglected house projects, hours of yard work, ambitious cooking escapades (pasta making and bread baking) balanced with long stretches of wandering around the internet and binge-watching Netflix series. And of course, there is comfort to be found in music, piano playing, and long walks with my best friend. :)

Regular Zoom gatherings with family and friends have sprinkled joy, laughter and connection into the isolation world, allowing us to express love and give virtual hugs.

But yet, whatever the diversion, the truth is that this virus – and its ramifications – aren’t disappearing any time soon.

The even bigger TRUTH is, whatever our escape route may be, God is there, waiting for us with His safety net. 

Our loving Lord is our Navigator, our Companion, our Protector, and our Refuge. He waits patiently with open arms for us to arrive; He is happiest when we spend time with Him.

Whatever your diversions of choice are during this time, I hope that you will devote some of your attention to God. Being in His Presence is a balm for the soul that has ultimate staying power.

Rather than seeking any port in a storm, look in God’s direction.

He is our Every Port, for all journeys.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life.~ Psalm 138:7

 For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. ~ Isaiah 41:13
    

 

Mission? Impossible.

The rhythm of daily life takes on a new tempo when you have been stopped in your tracks.
Physical activities that were previously routine and enjoyed, social and church events, and gatherings of friends at home are temporarily on hold.

When life comes to a screeching halt, God has a way of grabbing our attention.

And the challenge is to gracefully accept that we aren’t able to do many of the things that bring us the greatest joy.

For us, traveling to Third World countries with Medical Ministry International each year and serving on an eye project  has been part of the fabric of our lives for decades. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve God by having the opportunity to help improve and restore vision to those who don’t have access to eye care.

We will dearly miss being part of the team in Yapacani, Bolivia. This year, we can serve best by being prayer partners from afar.

And that will have to be sufficient.

When our hopes and plans change course, we have to trust that God will work things out.

And He has. Well-seasoned team members with years of experience have joined the team. Together with the experienced and new team members who had already signed up, another amazing group of volunteers is ready to bless many.

God knew ahead of time just who He needed.

And how grateful we are for His providence.

In this time of healing since our accident, God has spoken to us in countless ways.

When physical rest is necessary, God asks us to invite Him into our hearts.

He, too needs a place to rest.

And what a beautiful feeling it is to know that He is there, simply happy to have been welcomed in.

His peace and quiet restore our spirits, deepening the well of our faith.

And we are thankful.

When we aren’t able to do the things we love most, God helps us reassess our priorities.

We have had the gift of time to focus on what is really important.

Having days with empty spaces has actually been refreshing. We haven’t had to live by the clock, rushing to do the next thing, distracted by too many plans.

Open ended time with family and friends, where we can be truly present to one another, has been restorative.

And a life-changing blessing.

When time and God is all we have, we can refocus and refine our mission.

Sometimes, simply being with – and loving HIm – is enough.

The disappointments of life are simply the hidden appointments of love. ~C.A. Fox  (From Streams In The Desert, February 1)

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Please join us in prayer for the MMI eye team in Yapacani, Bolivia, February 9-23, 2019.

 

 

 

 

It was a typical Friday evening in Santa Fe; we were off to an art exhibit, followed by dinner with dear friends. Snow was lightly falling, the smell of burning pinon in the air.

A few steps into an intersection changed everything.

My husband pushed the crossing light button, and we waited for the signal. We noticed the snowplow opposite us at the intersection, but never anticipated it would make a left turn into our path.

What followed was the stuff of nightmares; as I laid in the street looking at my husband, his face bruised and bleeding, I prayed to God that he would save us.

Kind strangers came to our aid. Ambulances appeared. Wonderful ER personnel gave us prompt and careful attention. City police documented the details of the incident, and transportation officials sent messages offering support.

Our dear friends arrived, full of love and compassion – and prayers.

Having suffered the worst of the injuries, my husband was transported to a university medical center, where he spent 4 days recovering. Again we were surrounded by expert, caring medical professionals.

Our precious friends went above and beyond, riding in ambulances, following behind, spending the night with me, and getting me to see my husband in the hospital the next day.

Our three angel daughters appeared, calm and competent. They shopped, cooked, took care of details – and loved.

Through it all, we marveled at God’s Providence; He protected us from injuries that could have been so much more severe.

A split second further into that intersection could have resulted in dire consequences.

One sweet friend shared that she was sure an angel had pushed us out of the way.

And we agree.

And we have received the clear message that God isn’t finished with us yet.

In the weeks prior to our accident, we had many a conversation about surrendering our lives and our future to God. We laughed about being in “the 4th quarter” of life, and prayed about where we could serve God in the most meaningful way during this time.

The phrase “living a life of eternal significance” resonated with me. I adopted it months ago as one of my personal aspirations.

In the months ahead, we will be moving to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to our family. We have trusted that we are following God’s direction, knowing that we will be “stepping out of the boat” into uncharted waters.

We have felt God beside us, guiding us every step of the way.

And in the craziest way, He met us at the intersection that Friday night.

Our hearts are overflowing with thankfulness that we are alive! And we have been both overwhelmed – and humbled – by the outpouring of prayers, good wishes  and offers of help we have received from so many gracious people.

We continue to recover, bolstered by faith, anchored by hope and trust, embraced by God and surrounded by the love of family and friends.

In the weeks ahead, God will help us restore our energy and repair our injuries. He is stitching our hearts, souls and bodies back together as I write.

And, God willing, the “Whirling Dervishes,” as we have been fondly referred to by our family and friends, will return in full strength (or maybe at a few less RPMs).

With all the credit given to God.

I pray that your close encounters with God will not be as dramatic as ours – but that you will have the exquisite awareness of His Presence and His Plan for your lives.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11

 

 

 

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