HE WILL ALWAYS BEND DOWN
1 minute read
I walked into the auditorium.
Services would begin soon.
People were filling the pews.
People I should greet,
I should welcome,
I should encourage.
Amidst all the bustling and noise
I hear a little voice,
and I stop everything.
It is my 6 year old grandson, excited to recite his bible verse. It takes him a moment, but I smile. I patiently listen.
This is important.
I hear a voice,
it is my 7 year old granddaughter showing me a hurt. Tears are in her eyes as she seeks comfort. I stop. I hold her. I wipe her tears away.
It is my younger grandson,
He is 3. He is asking me for a drink. I lead him into Bapa’s quiet office and hand him my water.
And another Sunday it is my younger granddaughter, she is 5.
She is asking if I can show her how to play the piano. Since she was a baby she has wanted to sit with me there. And so, amidst all the people the piano lulls for a moment as I show her a few notes.
And I stop.
I bend down.
Amidst all the chaos,
Amidst all the responsibilities,
Amidst all the needs,
It all stops around me as I listen,
Because my heart is filled with a love for each of them.
A love that cannot be explained.
And I know.
That is the love my God has for me.
That is my Jesus
Who bends down to listen,
amidst everything this world throws at Him.
He still bends down to listen
He listens when I’m excited,
It doesn’t matter to Him how long I ramble.
He listens when I’m hurt,
and holds me in His arms as He wipes my tears away.
He listens when I’m needy,
and leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul.
He listens when I ask for help.
Despite the millions of cries for help all over the world, in that moment all is quiet to my omnipresent God except my tiny voice among many.
A love I don’t deserve.
A love I have done nothing on my own to merit.
The beautiful love of my Father
for His child.
I am that child.
You are that child.
And just as if you are
His only child in this world,
He will always bend down to listen.
I WAS HOPING FOR A DIAMOND!
3 minute read
You know the story~
and if you’re new here and you don’t know it, I’ll share it with you next week~
but I didn’t want to date my husband.
In fact, I hid from him so he couldn’t ask me out.
Once I got to know him though, WOW!~ I was pretty sure I was in love with him only a few weeks in.
Suddenly joy filled my heart. I woke up happy, my thoughts were always on him. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life
And even though it had only been a month, I secretly hoped that he would ask me to marry him at Christmas. If a proposal didn’t come I decided it would be okay, as long as he gave me some hope
(and maybe a little jewelry 😏)
that he saw our future together.
My hope did not.
He was so excited to give me my present, which made me excited to receive it,
until I opened it.
I tried to act happy, but my heart dropped.
I think my jaw dropped too.
He got me a stuffed animal.
A large Snoopy dressed in camo.
At the time my husband liked the character Snoopy, and he quite often dressed in camo. (I know, you’re wondering how I ever ended up marrying this man 😉)
He was so pleased with his gift.
He thought it would remind me of him.
Pretty sure a diamond would’ve reminded me of him a lot more. 😂
I wasn’t pleased.
It wasn’t anything I hoped for.
Did I break up with him? No. Did I complain and throw a fit and act ungrateful? No. Man, I loved him so much. SO MUCH!
And it’s true, every day that Snoopy reminded me of him and as time went on it always made me smile.
At times we all can be that way with God.
We want to spend every minute with Him. He brings joy and happiness and meaning to our lives. Life is good.
Until he doesn’t give us what we want.
We have a hope. A hope for an answered prayer. Perhaps a hope for a hurting heart. We pray and pray and when God answers, or doesn’t answer, and it’s not what we hoped for~
We get mad. We blame God. We get upset. We cry and complain.
Sometimes we even stop praying.
In our desperation, we give up that hope.
And all the while God is saying,~
I am here and I will answer~ but in my perfect timing, in my perfect way. If you knew the plans I had for you, you wouldn’t lose hope. I’m so excited to share this with you. Trust me. I love you deeply. I love you more than you could ever know, so much so that I gave you the gift of my only beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.
My love is a love you can’t fully fathom and because of that powerful love, my plans are what are best.
I ended up marrying that guy. Eventually a ring popped up and the question was asked. No it wasn’t when I had hoped for but man am I happy as I look back on the process. It always reminds me of how good God is and it always makes me smile.
Don’t be impatient with God. Rest all your hopes and dreams in Him. He will never, ever disappoint because there is no one that can love you more.
He already knows your future. His word is more precious than gold and gives us hope to cling to. Psalm 119:127, Psalm 19:8-10.
Right now that future might seem camouflaged and your life might feel stuffed with so many unwanted things~
But one day....
The eyes of your understanding will be opened and you will know what is the hope of His calling and the riches of the glory of His inheritance. You will know the exceeding greatness of His power to us who believe and you will continue to hope, knowing~
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.”
Ephesians 1:18-19, 1 Corinthians 2:9
Rest all hope in that powerful love.
ALL THE LITTLE THINGS
2 minute read
I wanted so many big things for my children when they were younger.
in their grown up lives apart from me~
I want all the little things for them.
I want all the little things for their children.
Small things that don’t merit recognition. Insignificant moments that turn into beautiful memories.
When my adult children get together, their accomplishments aren’t the topic of conversation. Their fulfilled goals aren’t what fills the room with laughter.
The memories they have of home are what brings beauty.
Building forts under the piano.
Hide and seek with daddy.
Playing in the mud an hour before church. (and getting in trouble for it)
Walking on a snow covered street at midnight with mom.
Making chocolate chip cookies, pancakes every Saturday and birthday dinners.
Getting up on Thanksgiving morning to gather wood for a cozy fire.
Practicing “waking up” on Christmas morning.
Growing up in church.
Bringing others to Jesus.
Watermelon and swing sets.
French fries and long talks.
Evening swimming at the lake.
Redeemable coupons for hugs and kisses.
Camping in the backyard.
Hunting with daddy.
Baking with mom.
Roasting marshmallows and making s’mores at the cottage.
Jr. camp and The Beach.
Bike rides and sleigh rides.
Snuggling on the couch.
Just Being together.
Twenty years from now, as my children sit with their spouse or with their children~ those are the things I want for them. Those are the memories I want them to hold close.
I don’t want them to miss out on all the little things while chasing what they believe are the big things.
I want those little things to live on in the hearts of my children.
The joy of home.
The joy of just being together.
The joy of Jesus.
That is the joy I want them to experience.
My children are all grown now.
They have families of their own.
Looking back, one of the most important things I’ve learned is that the things this world says are so important~those big things~ aren’t what’s truly important for your children.
The ONLY big thing our children need is Jesus.
Jesus and all those little things that make life beautiful.
Ecclesiastes 2:24, 3:11, 13, 5:18-20, 11:9
ANYTHING I CAN’T STOP THINKING OF..
2 minute read
I sat in my bedroom. The world was still dark in the early morning hours.
I listened to the words as the vocalist sang.
They touched my heart and I asked God to whisper to me.
He showed me I could write all the right words and still get worship wrong, because worship is more than just words.
I told Him how desperately I wanted Him to shine His light on every corner of my heart, but as the song continued and she sang the word “idol”~
I said “no”.
“I don’t have idols.”
But then her words pierced my heart.
“Anything I love with all my heart is an idol. Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol.”
The words poured over me.
And I knew.
I had idols.
Not one, but many.
Worry. Stress. Fear. Anxiety.
My husband, my children, my grandchildren.
My trust issues.
My “to do” lists.
My idols might not be money or material wants~
but I have turned the inward thoughts in my head into my own idols.
They are there.
Constantly chiding me.
I allow all the emotions that stem from my idols to control me.
Instead of my Savior.
I am my own idol.
How often do I bring these to Him and lay them at his feet? Not often enough.
How often do I think on these more than on Him?
All the time.
“Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol.”
No matter how eloquent I might think I am, I am broken in the realization that I continually mess up.
Over and over again.
Too often I am not walking in the words that I write.
I ask to start anew.
I fail Him again.
Yet every moment of every day He is merciful.
He forgives, because He loves,
Oh how He loves!
What do your thoughts and prayers, dreams and desires reflect?
Do they reflect you, or are they a reflection of Jesus?
If it isn’t Jesus-~
It’s an idol.
I find myself clenching every idol I’ve ever had tightly, not wanting to let go.
I somehow think I can control them.
But I find that the tighter I clench, the more unhappiness fills my heart.
Like smoke in a bottle.
I cannot see clearly.
It is cloudy and messy.
So I hold on to my idols with one hand, and with the other I try to wipe away the messiness.
It only makes it worse.
It smears and everything becomes blurry.
But when I let go~ when I give those idols over to my Savior, they float to the top of that bottle and peace falls freely down and fills it.
It becomes clear again.
And then I see Him.
In all His beautiful, loving glory.
He’s been there all along.
He is cradling every idol I have ever had beneath His wings.
He is telling me it’s okay.
I don’t have to hold on any longer.
Because He is.
And then~He is glorified.
“Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.”
*I highly recommend listening to the song I posted in the comments below. https://youtu.be/4VkHd7froJo