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Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

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…

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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.

 

 

 

 

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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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Heavy Lifting

How gratified we feel when we can walk further, run faster, increase to a heavier weight – or rise to any other physical challenge we aspire to.

To accomplish such goals, we muster up everything in our power to achieve our desired results.

And we have a great sense of satisfaction when the end result is so pleasing.

Relying on our own strength works well in many instances.

But how do we manage when the challenges we are facing are emotional or spiritual in nature – having to do with relationships, health, work, or family?

I can think of painful circumstances affecting people I know at this very moment….

~a sudden diagnosis of stage 4 cancer

~ sudden rejection by a family member

~a skiing accident resulting in surgery for a broken leg

I’m sure you know friends or family who are dealing with difficulties as well.

How do we search our depths for the wherewithal to face disappointments, worries….and heartaches?

And what recourse do we have when our troubles just seem impossible to bear?

When we can no longer rely on our own fortitude, we can ask God to do the heavy lifting.

He alone can bolster our strength, bring us hope, wrap us in His warm and enduring comfort.

Author Sarah Young continues to inspire me with her words.

In Jesus Always, March 16,  she writes, in God’s voice:

 Close your right hand, as if you are grasping onto My hand. This symbolic gesture helps you feel connected to Me – to My living Presence.

I have tried this, multiple times.

And amazingly, this simple gesture makes God feel very near.

How encouraging it is to know that we have immediate, constant access to God, at any moment.

He never makes us wait on hold, or tell us that we need to do just one more little (or big) thing to access His grace and mercy.

Next time you find yourself wondering where to turn, think of His right hand, extended to you.

Just waiting for your grasp.

Give Him all that encumbers you.

God – and only God – can handle the heaviest weights of all.

For I hold you by your right hand—I, the Lord your God.
And I say to you,‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’  ~Isaiah 41:13

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IMG_1375I opened my eyes, and there he was.

Quiet, still.

Staring at me.

My saucer-wide eyes were astonished to see such an animal appear in our residential area.

Thankfully I was able to snap a photo before he sauntered away.

My encounter with the Ethereal Elk was brief; but the seconds that passed seemed expansive – and powerful.

During my daily prayer time since he appeared, I continue to remember that moment.

What struck me most was the tangle of ropes that hung from his rack.

Did I imagine that he looked helpless and forlorn, unable to discard them?

I so wish there had been a away for me to take them away.

My thoughts have churned about the jumbled mess that elk had to carry around.

And what God has shown me is that I have my own entanglements that need to be discarded.

Some of my doubts, fears and mistaken thinking have been part of my carry-on baggage for so long that they are in danger of becoming permanent accessories.

It’s time for some serious shedding.

Brené Brown, in her book, Rising Strong, talks about the stories we make up.

 We can actually become trapped in those stories – so deeply that our brains begin to compose a story (however untrue) that we expect to hear. (parentheses mine)

It would be so nice if there were a special “mind conditioner” that we could use to comb through our knotted thinking.

Alas, undoing our wayward thoughts isn’t so easy.

Here’s where we need God’s help.

Courage and determination may start the process, but He is the one who can unravel the twisted ropes in our minds.

And allow us to shed them for once and for all.

Imagine how would it look if all of us walked around with our gnarled strands of “stuff” hanging outside of our heads.

Quite an image, wouldn’t you say?

Indeed, we are all lugging something around that we would love to dump.

Unfortunately, the Ethereal Elk had no choice. He was stuck with his ropes.

But, thankfully, we are not.

I pray that, with God’s guidance, we can all be brave enough to determine what we can dispose of.

And in doing so, enjoy the peace and serenity that result.

 

 

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