Women’s History Month Spotlight – Mary, Mother of Jesus

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As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a mother. Little did I know back then, that role would far surpass any joy I’ve ever experienced. And that it would rocket my capacity to worry past the moon. I’m pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of nights of uninterrupted sleep I’ve had since my boys were born. And this month they turn 24 and 27!

Mary, on the other hand, knew she was going to lose her son. She knew she was going to give birth to the Lord of heaven and earth, and knew from Jesus himself what was forthcoming. Could you imagine? I’m not sure–no, I am sure–I would never have been able to handle that with such grace, such trust in God, such beauty, as she did. She was the epitome of what a mother should be.

I’ve kept journals for each of my boys until they were 12 years old. I wrote in those journals every day when they were younger, a little less frequently as they got older, but even then, at least a few times a week. I tried to capture the miracle of everything life gave them every single day – the joy, the hurts, the lessons. When I read those journals, it’s like experiencing those magical days of motherhood again. What a miracle! My boys have taught me the definition of real and unconditional love. They’ve taught me how beautiful it is to see life through the eyes of a child. And through it all, they’ve taught me to trust Jesus.

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Another miracle of being a mother? I’m a grandmother. And what a joy that is! 🙂

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Valuable and Timely Lessons

Jesus Calling

After reading my daily devotional this morning and while searching for the suggested scripture readings, I came across another devotion by Sarah Young in my Bible (Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, Enjoying Peace in His Presence) that spoke directly to my heart. I don’t believe it was mere coincidence that this particular devotion came to my attention or that I stumbled upon it by accident, but rather that I was led to it. Because it was exactly what I needed to hear at the exact time I needed to hear it.

“To live in My presence consistently, you must expose and expel your rebellious tendencies. When something interferes with your plans or desires , you tend to resent the interference.”

That resentment only builds upon itself like building blocks carelessly and unsteadily piled one upon the other. How often I try to hide my misbehavior from the One who sees and knows all, every hair on my head. That I even think I can is delusional in and of itself. The slippery slope of a lie leads to yet another, and another…

I need not hide in shame at my behaviors and less-than-loving attitude, but bask in the glow of His forgiveness, and to seek His intervention in removing the splinter from my heart.

Isaiah

It also reads: “The ultimate solution to rebellious tendencies is submission to My authority over you…the best response to losses or thwarted hopes is praise: The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

I am not entitled to anything I have. All I have are blessings from an amazing God who blesses me beyond my wildest dreams. May I praise Him this day for all He has given me, and all He will give me. I am truly blessed.

“When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.” C.S. Lewis

Wishing you peace today.

Namaste.

T.G.I.F. – Gratitude Friday

Denali National Park in autumn, Alaska, USA, North America

The top three things I’m especially grateful for this week are:

3.  The songs Need You Now by Plumb and Oceans by Hillsong UNITED playing back to back Thursday morning on Pandora at the precise moment I needed to hear them, proving the Hand of God in my life. A blessing indeed!

2.  The proof of my novel, The Inheritance, arriving on my doorstep in the midst of a most difficult week, bringing a glimmer, that spark, that I needed.

1.   My sweet, precious nephew, a true lover and servant of the Lord, overcoming serious brain surgery this past week, and on the mend from a setback last night. And the lesson in obedience he taught this humbled auntie when he asked not for a miracle but for God’s will to be done. (I will post about him in the very near future, as his story of survival, hope, and love is one that deserves telling.)

May peace and grace be yours–and with yours–today. 🙂

 

 

 

The Rainbow After the Rain

This morning as I was doing my “prayer and meditation time,” finally feeling better after having a flu bug that knocked me down harder than I can ever remember, I thought about something my sweet grandma said I told her numerous times years ago.

“Grandma, I like getting tummy aches ’cause it feels so good when they go away.”

She said she thought it was so funny when I said that.

However, maybe I was on to something at that young age, with that sentiment that was difficult for grandma to understand.

It’s not by avoiding the difficulties that we get to see the joy, but by going through them. By embracing them even.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (James 1:2)

Going through the pain of losing loved ones has led me to a greater appreciation for the people who are still in my life.

Going through the devastation of suicide with a boyfriend years ago and with my stepdaughter later has led me to an empathy for others experiencing that devastation, enabling me to shine a light so they, too, can get through that very black space of so many questions and so much guilt.

Going through the process of healing after being sexually assaulted by a stranger at the young age of 18, working my way through the fear and turmoil that followed me for years, the PTSD, has given me the aptitude to help other victims of crime along that dark, lonely path. The path that only a survivor can possibly understand and give hope to the still suffering that there is light at the end of that tunnel.

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At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s not until after the rain and the cracks of thunder, frightening bolts of lightning, that we can see the incredible rainbow that brings peace and awe.

While I wouldn’t count it joy while in the midst of those dark times, the fact that there was joy in my life afterward is nothing short of miraculous. Those trials have led me to a closer relationship with my God. My Savior–literally. Left to my own, I would not have survived, but He carried me through those troubling times. Like the footprints in the sand poem.

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I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

And today? I’m so thankful I’m feeling better and embrace this day with renewed energy and passion for health.

Peace, my friends. Have a beautiful day.