I often look back at situations in my own children’s lives and compare that to my life now.
Even though I am an adult, I will always be God’s child, so I know that He would always want me to go to Him as a child would go to their daddy.
One thing that I remember about my children when they were little was that any time they were scared, they always felt better when they were together.
Often if there was a bad storm we would let them grab their sleeping bags and camp out under our piano in the living room. It was right outside our bedroom door and they felt safe there.
They would drape blankets over the top and have their own little getaway. Giggles always ensued and then the sound of peaceful slumber.
Right now we cannot get together with our loved ones or church members, but we are not alone. We have each other. Social media is not the same as actually being together, but I certainly praise God for it because through it we are able to stay connected with those we love.
So as we are camped out under the blankets of the four walls of our homes, let’s remember that we are here for each other. Even though we might be thousands of miles apart, we are just a click away.
Let’s use that to lift each other up. Post praises and post giggles. Post prayer requests and family pictures. Post ideas and post needs.
The more of Jesus we post, the less fear gets the victory. We are together in this.
Let the giggles we share ensue into the sound of peace around the world today.
ALL THE “WHAT IF’S”~ COVID-19
I’ll never forget that night long ago. The phone call came after midnight.
At a time when all we had were land lines, a phone call late at night usually meant something was wrong.
My daughter was on the other end crying. She was only in grade school and had gone down to the city to stay with my in laws for a week.
What was supposed to be a fun time ended up being very scary for her. She was a small town girl and found herself in the big city with a lot of unknowns.
And she was scared.
I’m sure as she lay there that night her mind got the best of her. She had heard stories of her daddy growing up here~ getting his bike stolen right out from under him, his brother getting mugged while doing his paper route, their house getting broken into.
Suddenly her heart was filled with all the what if’s. Fear got the best of her.
Let me tell you, that was hard for me. I wanted to do everything in my power to make my child feel safe and not scared, but we lived two hours away. Somehow she would have to handle this without me.
And as a mother, that kept me awake all night.
Even though I knew there was no imminent danger at the moment, just like my daughter, my mind started thinking of all the what if’s and fear grabbed a hold of it instead of faith.
And today~fear seems to be getting a hold of my heart more and more as each day passes.
One moment I feel as if I’m on a beach, listening to the peaceful waves of God’s word softly hit my shoreline and wash away all my worry~but in the distance I see a tidal wave moving closer and closer to my safe place. The closer it gets, the more fear grabs a hold of my heart.
I pray and tell God I’m leaving this in His hands and trusting Him, because I know this is no surprise to Him. I know He is in control, but a minute later I’m snatching all my fears right back.
Christians everywhere are posting on social media not to be afraid. To trust God. To find comfort in Him.
I’ll be honest ladies.
God is my refuge, yet I find myself being afraid.
Afraid for my children and grandchildren. My father and my in laws. My extended family.
I find my heart hurting for all you mothers who can’t be with your children and grandchildren. Who are too far away to see them on a daily basis and get that reassurance that they are okay.
If there is one thing I am absolutely confident of amidst all the unknowns,
it is this~God knows.
He knows my human heart. He knows my fears. He knows what will happen today, tomorrow, next month, next year.
He’s not asking me to not be cautious.
To not use wisdom.
To not be scared.
He’s simply asking that I allow Him to hold me and comfort me and seek His peace and presence through all of this.
In return, He promises that He will give it.
That night so long ago, I decided my daughter would not face this fear without me. I stayed on the phone with her until she fell asleep. Somehow knowing I was on the other end and hearing my voice calmed her scared heart. In the morning her daddy showed up with reinforcements~her sister.
God will stay with our troubled hearts until we can find that serenity.
He will show up. Make no mistake.
In His timing He will pull us through all of this.
Don’t feel bad for your fear.
Even if you have to talk to God all night long. Speak to Him often throughout your day. Cry your heart out to Him. Tell Him you’re scared. He is your Daddy and He understands. And as each new morning dawns you will find His reassuring presence right there next to you, as you face another day of unknowns and what if’s. He will never leave you.
Funny thing, my daughter felt less anxious having her sister there, and I believe all of us can take a lesson from that.
We are sisters and we have each other~
to lean on and pray with , to share our burdens and concerns, to laugh with and cry with.
The next night the two of them were eating Chips Ahoy cookies together in bed, having the time of their life. All fear gone.
Let’s look to our future, knowing God holds all our tomorrows. Let’s look forward to the simple things, like sharing a package of Chips Ahoy cookies and a cold glass of milk together.
Together sounds wonderful right about now. 😊💗
DON’T BE SCARED, I AM HERE.
2 min read
As we sat in the hospital waiting room, we finally heard the lullaby playing over the speakers.
Every time a baby was born the lullaby played. We were so excited. We were sure our little Ellie had made her grand entrance.
But the wait continued, with no proud father emerging.
When my son in law finally came through the door, we all knew something was wrong.
They had taken Ellie away immediately. She had a collapsed lung and in the process of taking care of her, the doctor found out she had a serious strep b infection.
I can remember standing next to my daughter and looking across the hall as they all worked on little Ellie. When they came in and told us they had to transfer her to a larger hospital 30 minutes away, Jessica was devastated. They would not allow her to go. She hadn’t even gotten to hold her child, or even see her.
My husband stayed next to Ellie in the NICU that whole night trying to bring some sort of comfort to Jessica, but the next morning despite many obstacles, Jessica walked through that door to her child.
She whispered the barely audible words “I’m here Ellie. Mama’s here”
In that moment I saw my daughter in a different light. She was my hero.
She endured tremendous pain to be there for her child. Her love for her daughter was overwhelmingly beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. I remembered the pain of child birth and the amount of time I was allowed to recuperate in my hospital bed, yet here she stood next to her child just hours after giving birth. The love she had drew every ounce of strength from her weak body so that she could be there for her baby.
The love of a mother is fierce, it transcends all obstacles for its child.
That love, that incredible fierce love we have for our kids is only a shallow puddle compared to the ocean of love our Heavenly Father has for us.
His love transcends all obstacles. His love endured tremendous pain on the cross for us, because of our sins. He took all our brokenness and sin and nailed it to that cross where His only Son died in our place. John 3:16.
Ellie didn’t do a thing to deserve Jessica’s love. She was born into it and it was all hers.
Jessica loved her because she was her child. There’s nothing we can do to deserve Gods love either. God loves you and wants you to be born again. Born into His family. John 1:12, 3:3. No amount of good works could take Christ place on that cross. Ephesians 2:8-9. No amount of church attendance could wipe away the pain that He endured. Acts 4:12. He gave the very gift of Himself to us. John 5:24
The gift of life.
Once you believe that such a love is possible~your heart will be changed and you will desire to give all of it to the One Who could love you that much.
Our ultimate Hero.
And when you truly understand that God’s love is fully yours, your heart will know without a doubt that He will do everything, EVERYTHING, to take care of you, His child.
No matter the circumstance, we are not alone.
Almighty God, the Creator of this universe, the Giver of life and peace and strength~
He is in us.
He is with us.
He is in control and He will take care of us.
Think about what Jessica and mothers everywhere have endured, and overcome for their children. The bible tells us that if our earthly parents will go to such extents~ how much more will our Heavenly Father do for us. Luke 11:13
He is whispering to our souls even now~
Don’t be scared~
I AM HERE, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS. Matthew 28:20
This is His promise.
Believe His words.
He will not fail us.
Because not only is He our Hero~
He’s our Daddy and we are His child.
IN THE WAITING
2 minute read
When she was a baby, my daughter Jessica was almost bald. The first year of her life she remained that way. When she finally had enough hair to put into little pig tails, I think I was more excited than she was. I told her to wait by the door for daddy to get home so she could show him.
This soon became a habit of hers, waiting for daddy at the door. She seemed to know exactly what time to go and wait. Often peeking through the windows, or just sitting happily in front of the screen watching for him.
She never got tired of waiting. She knew without a doubt that he would come. There would be times that he was running late due to traffic or errands, but that little girl never grew impatient. And when he finally showed up, you would’ve thought it was the best day of her life, every single day. The joy and excitement that sweet girl had always brought me to tears.
He was daddy.
He would pick her up and hold her and tell her how beautiful she was. If she was hurt or sad, scared or sick he would tell her it was going to be ok. He would kiss her boo boo and just like that, everything was made right.
What happens that steals that childlike faith from our hearts? That trust in the waiting that turns to impatience?
We want everything fixed right now and when it isn’t, we lose all faith that things can change. Our prayers become words that hold little hope. We stop believing He will come home to our hearts and make all our hurt and sadness, fear and discouragement go away.
The wait becomes harder and harder and pretty soon we close the door of our hearts and give up on God.
But my friend, He is coming.
He is not limited by errands or traffic.
He is never so busy that He can’t get to us. He is constant.
Always hearing our prayers.
Always working on our behalf.
His timing is perfect and we must trust Him that He has a purpose for the wait.
The end of your wait might be right around the corner, and when that day comes~
and it will come~there is nothing like it. The joy your heart feels and the excitement it holds will wipe every tear away. He will come in and kiss the hurt that your heart holds. He will lift you up and make your heart beautiful. Everything will be made right.
Don’t give up in the waiting.
Don’t close the door,
worship in the doorway.
He is your daddy~
and He is coming home.
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”
“I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.”
“He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.”
“It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
“Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.”
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him...”
YOU CAN’T DO THIS
Everyone deals with grief or pain or heartache differently.
Some people talk about it.
They cry openly. They pray and seek God.
And the harder things seem, the more they seek Him.
Sadly my flesh is not that way.
Ever since I was a child, whenever I was faced with something sad and overwhelming I would determine not to think about it. I would push it as far back in my mind as I could and if it popped back up, I would shove it down further.
Until I broke.
When my mom passed away I remember being on stage at her funeral. I sat at a large, white grand piano with my girls and we sang~”There Will Always Be A Christmas in Heaven.”
My mom loved Christmas.
I didn’t shed a tear that day, and so many people asked how I was able to do that. I smiled and I lied and I mumbled something about God giving me the strength, when in reality I refused to think about it. When people asked, I said I was fine.
But I wasn’t.
A month later, on Christmas night I broke.
I didn’t just cry, I sobbed heart wrenching tears that wouldn’t stop.
I finally admitted I wasn’t fine.
I told God I couldn’t do it alone.
And yet, every single time I’m faced with heartache, somehow I think I can handle it on my own.
I shove it back into my mind and down deep into my heart and press on in my own strength~
but every single time I break.
I fall before God and cry out to Him. And I wonder how He continues to love me, lift me back up and restore my brokenness.
I do this with big things like grief, and I do this with little things like the pressures of everyday demands that weigh on my shoulders and get heavier and heavier until I can no longer carry them anymore.
Why do I do this? When will I learn?
I can’t do this. Not without Him.
And so, this morning when I woke up and looked ahead at everything that needed to be accomplished today, this week, this month~
Today when I didn’t want to get out of bed. Today when I drank a little more caffeine and tried to give myself the pep talk of “you can do this Charisse”.
Today God told me I can’t.
Today God told me to pick up His word, to listen for His words of encouragement and to give it all to Him.
And so I did.
Tomorrow I might fall again. I might fall over and over again. But I am so thankful for my God Who doesn’t look at my yesterday’s and hold them against me.
My God Who gives me a brand new day to start over.
My God who continually picks me up, wipes away my tears and tells me~
I will do it for you.