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Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

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_1291There’s a party going on at any given moment in Riohacha, Colombia.

Blasts of music throughout the day (and often all night!) are part of everyday life in this city.

And we’re not talking about background music, either.

No ethereal Muzak tinkling overhead in these parts.

The volume level of the throbbing bass is enough to make your heart shake, not to mention the hotel walls!

Personally, I loved it when music blared in the late afternoon, just as my energy was flagging.  Naturally, my walking then began to have a bit of a lilt.

And I would smile to think of the people having fun, wherever they were.

We went to Riohacha with an eye team of 62 people from the US and Canada to do a project with Medical Ministry International Canada .

As we begin our work each year, I ask God what He intends to show me during the course of our time of service.

And He never fails to answer.

Miracles were prevalent, as always. Cataract patients who hadn’t seen for many years had their sight restored.

IMG_1128When Maria’s eye patch was removed, she exclaimed in Spanish, “Brilliante!”, and thanked God in the midst of her tears.

Children and adults with strabismus (crossed eyes) had the gift of having their eyes straightened – and no longer had to feel self-conscious about their appearance.

IMG_1134Ilona was thrilled that she would no longer would have to endure teasing from her classmates.

Thirty-two patients were fitted with prostheses for otherwise empty eye sockets. The results were dramatic, and their lives were changed as well.

The stories are endless.

One young man was brought in by a woman who had taken him in at age 7. He was deaf, and he had very poor vision.

This young man was 17 years old, and had never had a pair of glasses.

Imagine how different the world looked to him when he first put them on.

Sometimes God appeared in the smallest ways.

One day as I was trying to carry three cups of coffee, I heard a voice asking if I needed help.

IMG_1293After I said yes, I looked up at a man smiling at me who had only one arm.

Alexander graciously took one cup from me and delivered it to my co-worker.

My eyes welled up with gratitude for his generous help.

During our two weeks, the music played on.

What I came to realize is that the everpresent booming bass was merely a representation of God’s heart…beating nonstop, bringing light and life.

It was as if He wrapped His arms around the people of Riohacha and our team, and He was so very close that we could hear and feel His heartbeat.

God’s loves ripples through every project and every patient.

And we never know how far and wide the effects of His Presence will be.

What we do know is this…that the reverberations of God’s heart will never cease.

His steady beat will go on.

And I pray that we are always able to feel it.

I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart. I will tell of all the marvelous things You have done. ~Psalm 9:1

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The MMI team will return to Riohacha, Colombia,  January 14-28, 2017, as the need for vision care is great. Volunteers are always needed, both medical and non-medical. For more information, visit the MMI Canada website: http://www.mmicanada.ca/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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canstockphoto28940300Life in today’s world requires multitasking in order to process the  information that comes at us from all directions.

Just being can be such a drain – not to mention all of the doing that is required to stay constantly connected.

At times, the minute-by-minute communication punctuating our days, though affirming  – (we are worth keeping in touch with!) – can also be a drain on our focus, even anxiety producing. (What if I didn’t respond quickly enough?)

We are training our brains to continuously anticipate the next thing.

Why can’t the present moment be enough?

My word for 2016 floated in – and remained. No other word surfaced as I considered my guiding intention for the year.

Presence.

Plain and simple.

Just thinking the word brings calm, and invites me to exhale.

Two of the many definitions of presence resonated with me:

  1. the fact or condition of being present
  2. something (as a spirit) felt or believed to be present

For this oft-distracted damsel, living in presence is a perpetual challenge.

(Truth be told, the words for this post came in spurts – between making breakfast and doing laundry!)

I think God is asking me to be relentless in my pursuit of presence. 

He is inviting me to be awake to the world and the people around me, fully embracing each moment.

Noticing, as opposed to anticipating…what a concept.

This would certainly a be worthy departure from my task-oriented regimen.

I am guessing He will nudge me when the pull of messaging mania threatens to dominate.

God is also beckoning me to spend more time in His Presence.

When I begin my day with quiet moments of prayer and reflection, I do feel an inner peace that imbeds itself into the hours.

Both time and my soul expand as the day unfolds.

I am so grateful to be aware that God is always here, willing and ready to be with me.

His Presence is life-giving, illuminating.

How God will weave presence into my life this year?

I hope to notice every nuance…..

It is through gratitude of the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up. ~ Eckhart Tolle

Do you have a Word For the Year?  Please share!

 

 

 

 

 

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