Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quiet Moments With God ---Human Hands

I've been out of touch for a couple of weeks. And I've missed you. It's wonderful to feel well enough to write again. Praising God!

A few weeks ago I injured my chronically ill back and was laid up here at home. Then Sunday, the fifteenth of August while my husband was helping me sit, an explosion of pain went off in my low back. I've lived with back pain and muscle spasms for many years, but have never experienced anything like this.

I have the dearest husband. Greg held me tightly. We cried together and knew we needed outside help.

I was soon on my way to the hospital, via ambulance--not something I wanted but we had no choice. I'm a strong believer in God's sovereignty. There is a reason for this journey. I understand some of those reasons and some are still to be revealed.

I spent six days in the hospital and while there experienced God's love through friends, family, hospital personnel, nurses and CNA's. Their care, compassion and hands-on help were a balm from the Lord. I wished they could understand how much their care meant to me, but words weren't adequate to express my gratitude. If only they could feel my heart.

Much of the time my mind was in a drugged fog so names are unclear, but the faces of God's angels remain with me. Some offered gentle words, medication and confidence. Others massaged sore muscles and some cared for my very personal needs with tender respect. One young woman gave me a soothing bed bath in the middle of the night. All offered love and kindness through gentle words or the tender touch of their hands. I had an amazing conversation with a woman who worked with the hospital chaplain. And there were two physical therapists with very different approaches who helped me face my fears and do what I must.

I had apportunities to share my faith and even gave away a few copies of my new book. So much of what happened in the hospital felt like a gift.

I'm home now and my older daughter, Kristi, is taking care of my physical needs. She's wearing a smile and is overflowing with empathy and encouragement. My younger daughter visits and provides the gift of her smile and makes me laugh. My grandchildren are full of sweetness and hugs.

I don't like pain and I'd never choose to be in this situation, but I believe that what happened is part of God's plan for me. I have much to learn. Through the hands of his servants I feel His love in the midst of this trial. I'm grateful, beyond words, for those who have reached out in love and have made this time more positive than negative. Thank you.

Love comes in all shapes and sizes, and when given it is never wasted. Look about and love those around you. Blessings will flow.

I love you all.

Grace and peace to you from God.


Monday, August 09, 2010

Quiet Moments With God -- A Cheerful Heart

Over the weekend, my husband and I moved . . . again. We've done a lot of that in the last year. At this stage of our lives, it's difficult. We couldn't do it without assistance and we're thankful for the helping hands that shared the work.

Our son traveled from Central Oregon to offer up his brawn. And our youngest daughter and her children also helped, plus another friend. It was a lot of work, but it was also fun and I'm very happy to be settled in my new home. I'm hoping to stay here a good long while.

Our home is actually two houses. There's the main home plus an addition.We moved into the addition.

I made a lot of trips back and forth. On one of those trips I carried family treasures while one of my grandsons and my granddaughter walked in front of me their arms loaded with sheets and towels. Smiling, they chatted, happy they could help. It was a precious snapshot that will remain imprinted in my mind--a picture of God's grace "in action". He wants us to help one another. Later that day I attended a memorial service at my church and again I witnessed God's love, given through the hands of people.

A wave of blessing washed over me as I felt the mercy and love of The Father through the love of people. Helping hands and hearts are an expression of His love.

May we always remember it is an honor to be part of God's family. And that being part of the family means caring for and loving one another.

Grace and peace to you from God.


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Tips For Triumphant Living -- New Every Morning

Have you ever wished you could go back and do something over--do it right--do it better? When you're hit by the reality that you can't go back it can be downright painful. I had a moment like that this morning. Tears were quick to come--I wanted another chance.

Sadly, life cannot be rewound. Opportunites for do-overs just don't come along very often. And sometimes I'm sure if we could go back and "fix" something we might actually be messing everything up. God may want things to be just as they are. We have lots to learn and getting something wrong the first time can go a long way toward growing us up.

No matter where we find ourselves, we're here. And we've got to begin right where we are.

As I think on this the verses from Lamentations 3:22-23 come to mind. "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." And Psalm 30:5 says, "For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."

I love these verses. They're filled with mercy, love and hope. We can weep over wrong decisions, lost opportunities or wasted moments, but after the weepiing is over, we begin again. Every morning we awaken to a day filled with God's love, forgiveness and new opportunities.

May we rejoice for the gift of today.

Grace and peace to you from God.


Monday, August 02, 2010

Quiet Moments With God -- My Hero!

Do you remember the old dramas where the bad guy twirls his mustache and then ties a damsel in distress to railroad tracks? All looks lost. The train is coming and there seems to be no way to save the young woman who struggles to free herself. But . . . along comes a hero just in the knick of time. We watched the dramas, hoping and praying for a savior, and always knowing he'd show up.

I'm still doing that. Waiting, watching, wringing my hands and hoping for my hero to rescue me. Since the hero in my story is the Lord, it's silly of me to worry. He's never let me down.

In a Bible Study I attend we're going through 1 Samuel. In chapter fourteen, verse twenty-three it says, "So the Lord rescued Israel that day." If you go back and read the story all looked lost for Israel. They were facing a battle against the Philistines and they had no weapons. Except for Saul and his son Jonathon, the army was unarmed. They needed a hero.

Jonathon believed and trusted God. He knew God would come to the rescue, and he did. On the day of the battle the earth shook, the Philistines panicked and Israel was saved.

We have our own battles. Some feel insurmountable and sometimes I feel as if I'm going against them unarmed. It's not true. I'm not on my own, not ever. God is with me and he is the one who rescues me. Scripture tells me that when I pray he hears and he will not turn away. With him at my side I can stand strong against any foe. God is mighty and righteous. He is my hero.

Grace and peace to you from God.