The act of writing, of sharing the circumstances, the gifts and the graces planned and carried out by my Savior and God brings joy, peace, and contentment to know that He has my life in His hands. My prayer for those who read, who share in what I continue to learn each day, many times through my weakness, is that you will be encouraged to look for God's presence and grace in your life also.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lessons from a flower

2012—365 days coming to do, to work, to plan, to live, but praise the Lord I only have to be concerned with today, now. I only need to be aware of where my focus is now.

 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."     Matthew 6:34  

A first time flower in the 2011 garden was an hibiscus that taught much:
—it must be watered EVERY day
—needs to be fed often
—the blooms only last one day
—aphids drink the life out of green and blooms
—the flower is stunningly beautiful
—it speaks: "Take my picture!" 100's of times 
—the flower is used in teas to add color and flavor Red Zinger Tea

And so I brought the hibiscus in when frost came and wonder of wonders, it has continued to bloom—one flower a day as long as it is fed, watered and "de-bugged," and it continues to speak so more pictures.
AND the flowers are beautiful:

 "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin." Matthew 6:27-28

Funny how certain moments in the past are vividly remembered.

Over 30 years ago Sharon (my dear friend) and I sat in the kitchen (yellow sunniness) talking about the hard life changes since Larry's head injury.  She understood a lot—being a neurological nurse in Chicago while her husband went through seminary.  She had seen the worst and the bad and the better.  She knew life would never be the same for us but she knew God—and He knows us.

So what I heard her say was, "Darnly, you only have to get through today.  Larry will get better, he really will.  In 10 or 20 years or even 30, you will know how much better, but now all you have to be concerned with is today."

And so today......approaching yet another year—2012,  I still only need to live in the now.  There are plans for the Week, the Month, and a few for the Year but they are always followed by "...if the Lord wills, we will......"  

You see, I won't get it all done.....the lists......the to do's......it won't be perfect or even pretty at times. I will fall short of expectations (mine and others).

but IF my eyes are looking
      If my ears are listening
      If my heart is willing
      If my hands are open
      My mouth will move to "Thank YOU!"
      My feet will walk toward "I will"
      My hands will be lifted in praise
      My heart will be open to HIS WORD
and I will be full, WATERED and FED
and there will be a blooming every day for Him to see in His garden,
maybe more than one.


“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Matthew 6:26

 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6

Happy New Year!!!!!! (one day at a time)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's All Good

It's All Good
#175 Sunshine and Clouds
#176 Rain and Drought
#177 Soft breezes and Ferocious Wind
#178 Brisk Winter Days and Suffocating Summer Days
#179 Health and Illness
#180 Sleep and Sleeplessness
#181 Energy and Exhaustion
#182 Abundance and Poverty
#183 Sweetness and Bitterness
#184 Love and Hate
#185 Compassion and Apathy
#186 Safety and Danger
#187 Life and Death
#188 Good and Evil

And the list could go on with hundreds of contrasts, of opposites, of the "good" and "bad" that makes up the totality of our lives.  Most of our "gift" lists of God's graces lean toward the "feel good," the "easy," the "comfortable."  The circumstances that allow us to sleep late, have fun, and enjoy life with little or no inconvenience.  You know, the times when, without even thinking,  we shift on to auto pilot because God is really taking care of us....... right???? After all, "He is good....."

So what about the times when the "bad," the "hard," the "painful," become the norm.
When we think:
"What did I do wrong?"
"Why is God doing this to me?"
"God, enough all ready."

And then Scripture speaks: And he said, "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21( ESV)

 "He (Job) replied, 'You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?' In all this, Job did not sin in what he said." Job 2:10

So why do God's children some times act ungodly when the "bad," the "hard," the "painful," happen? Why do we struggle to trust Him with His plan for our lives?  With the circumstances He brings to teach us to trust Him and know who He is?

Many years ago I spoke at a college chapel service in Minneapolis, sharing my testimony of God's work and grace through the then 14 years since the car accident that left my husband with a serious closed head injury.

The words God gave me then, still ring true today.  I said, "People ask me why I think God brought this accident into our lives.  I  tell them that I have seen some reasons but the truth is I don't need to know why, I just need to know God."

Are there days when I struggle and get upset with God's plan?  Absolutely! There are days when I say, "Are you sure this was your plan?  Is this really what you meant?"  And then He reminds me of all I've learned about Him and His grace and love that I wouldn't have learned if I hadn't have been so helpless, so needy, so hurt.  He brings to mind people who wouldn't have crossed our path if Larry would have been the provider for our family, if I hadn't needed help through the years from so many, if it hadn't been so obvious that we needed others.

And then He reminds me of some that have been helped by our story—His story—that He is weaving so His strength and power and grace and love can be seen.......not Darnly's strength and power and love but God's.

Because He loves, she is learning to love.
Because He gives strength, she is learning to persevere in His strength.
Because He gives pain, hard times, bad things, she is learning to understand others pain and hurt, and then show compassion and love.

The most powerful life lessons don't come from the "easy" part of life. 

There is a proverb "If all we have is sunshine, we will end up with a desert."
But because of rain in the desert and water that runs deep, even the cacti can bloom and bring glory to their maker.

"Thank you, Lord, for the hard, the bad, and the painful circumstances that you have brought. Help me to always be aware of Your presence, your plan, your will in everything that happens; and then, even through the tears, help me to say 'Thank YOU.'   Father, also through your grace, let me find all I need in You even, yes Lord, EVEN in the 'good' times when my fallen nature turns inward and says, 'Me'. AMEN."

Monday, December 26, 2011

Thankful for His Gifts

Thankful for His gifts

174. the reality of God with us,
           in the manger,
               as a child,
                 as a man,
                    as a perfect sacrifice for sin
175.  the reality of God in us,
                the knowledge of Him
                      the remembering of HIS Truth,
                           the moving to do good deeds,
                                the fullness of Love—His perfect Love—come down
176.  the reality of our living not alone,
                                               not lost,
                                               not aimless
177. but HIM with us, in us, EVERYWHERE
         leaving us enjoying HIS presence,
                                           HIS guidance,
                                            HIS plan for me.

This giving of thanks for gifts, for graces continues to be a journey that God leads me on.  At times I go off the path, there is no time, little focus, and many interruptions but always bringing me back.

When I look back at the journey, to the poem in my first post  that I wrote those many years ago, I see how He began to teach me about being thankful for what He was doing in me and around me.

Then a book on journal writing that led to various attempts, none wrong but some not right for me, that led me to this:
       —Read some scripture or look up passages on a word or phrase.
       —Meditate for a few minutes.
       —Write down at least one of the verses (Usually a page or two and found that writing the whole chapter the verse(s) was in helped.)
       —This would lead to slowly writing thanks for truths taught and then faster as His work and character came into focus.
        —Then on to unstoppable worship and communion with my Father—just us—for His glory and honor and praise.
Then a gift from a friend,  A Praying Life by Paul E Miller
    —Freedom to "Practice the Presence of God" 24-7 and pray about everything.
     —Eyes to see God's answers in me, in others, in the world around me.
      —Words to say "Thank You" for His work in me, in others, in the world around me.
        —Ears to hear the Spirit say, "Pray," "Look," "Praise."

Then a gift from a friend,  One thousand Gifts by Ann VosKamp
     —Overwhelming desire to "Practice the Presence of God" 24-7 by penning "Thank YOU."
         —Eyes to search out His grace, His presence, His gifts, His glory
          —Words to write His graces, His gifts, His presence EVERYWHERE
            —Ears to hear the Spirit say, "Look," "Pray," "Praise," "Share His glory."

Now?  Waiting to see gifts/graces from Him— His work for His glory in His child.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Advent....I have to admit that Advent is something that has not really been a part of our Christmases.  Growing up it was never talked about at church. At home we had a cardboard Advent calendar that my Aunt Ruth brought us from Germany.  We did open and reopen the flimsy doors over and over until they fell off but no one ever talked about what it was about so it was just one of the decorations put up that time of year.

Later, one church had the Advent candles on the altar, lit appropriately, but no one ever talked about what Advent was all about.

Now we are in a church where Advent is observed and encouraged.  This is our 11th Christmas in that church, and finally I'm catching on to what it is about.

Advent means a preparation for something coming; a time of waiting and preparing while you wait.
Preparation, complete and focused preparation takes time and so those four weeks leading up to the celebration of Christ's birth can do just that for us if we ask God to lead us to focus in the right places.

This year, as my thoughts have been more focused on God and His presence with me, (due to God's grace in leading my dear friend Herma to give me One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp ) I have found my days less stressful, less hurried, less tiring. My mind is quiet, looking for "graces," looking for His work around me, looking for His beauty, His glory, His power displayed among us.  And I've seen more of God's grace EVERYWHERE.

170. On TV
     —The music shows and the Christmas carols (the message is always out there but truth rings out to those who know Him).
     —"A Charlie Brown Christmas" —God's amazing confirmation to millons each year as the Christmas story is read, word for word in this classic broadcast every year since 1965.
     —The news as story after story is told of people giving, and giving and giving to those in need.

171.  In friends
      —As God works in friends, teaching them the simple truth of "giving thanks," they and I watch God work a miracle in their lives, outwardly and/or inwardly.
     —Being more aware of their God who is always present, ALWAYS, for them to walk with, talk with, ask of as they are loved perfectly by their FATHER.

172.  In me
    —A quietness, a peace, an anticipation, a heart swell that cannot be contained as I thank my Father for His Son, for sending God, the Son to earth as a baby, Immanuel, God to be with us, the hope of glory.
    —A love for those around me, my friends, and even those who don't know me that only comes because "God so loved the World, that He gave his only Son......" A love given by Him that models His love for me, His love that loves me no matter what I do or don't do.  A love that doesn't judge me or remember sins forgiven. His love encourages me, enabling me to love those He places in my path.
173.  Outdoors
    —Clean new fallen snow that leaves all fresh and white....pure. Like the covering of  Jesus righteousness over me.
    —A waterfall still running in spite of the frozen pond below with no liquid available.  And then gift upon gift, a robin—a big robin taking a bath at the very top among icy walls.
    —The falling of snow—to provide a drink for the plants in a dry and arid time.  Just like the truths that come from Heaven to give His children truths to hydrate the dry and thirsty soul.

All of this was here before....All of it....TV and the shows and music programs, my friends and my everyday life but now because of more awareness of Him (I have a ways to go), my eyes, my ears, my eyes, my brain can understand it better.  I find my focus is on preparing and waiting (Advent) for His coming.....thinking about what it meant for God to come down and become flesh and what it will mean when He comes again.

"If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am you may be also."

Thank you Father for the HOPE of eternity with YOU!  Thank YOU.

Monday, December 19, 2011

An English Lesson

I walked into the big box store...a chain...my "20% off one item" coupon in hand.  Putting my purse in the cart's child seat, the glass doors slid away and I stood, amazed.....aisles only wide enough for one and one-fourth persons but stuff, beautiful stuff, piled beyond reach.

 Everywhere stuff, stuff and more stuff and with every step my heart sank. I circled around, back to where I started from. My purse still in the child's seat, the coupon still in hand—I went back through the glass doors—emptier than when I went in.

Shopping is not in my top 10, actually not in my top 100 things on my "like" list.  Watching people, contemplating why we do what we do is in my top 10.  Soooooooo..........

Is it any wonder that like Charlie Brown in A Charlie Brown Christmas we wake up this time of year and find ourselves sad, unhappy, and disappointed?  Those in the know say depression is the worst at Christmas, loneliness is the worst at Christmas with most of us feeling a big let down at Christmas—all the hype for weeks and months leading up to the big day and then suddenly we are overwhelmed by an emptiness, a void, a feeling that we missed it once again.

Solution?  More stuff? More food?  More parties?  More friends?  More family?  More fun? More, More, More? Addicts seeking a high.......to cover up the emptiness.

Stuff, food, parties, friends, family and fun are short term solutions that never deliver on the anticipation.  The "high" is over quickly, Each year the effort we make to recreate the smells, the sights, the wonder, the luster, the tastes of what we experienced for a few minutes at some point in our childhood or at least what we think we experienced falls short.  It's hard to recreate the best of childhood Christmases into one and so we feel like we have failed or been cheated. There has to be more to this.

Solution? Of course, it is exactly what Charlie Brown learned, we must focus on the babe in the manger.  On God come down to earth—Immanuel—God with us.......then,  BUT also now......here.....in my space.  God here with me.

How do I do that??

Perhaps it is a matter of focus so time for a lesson in prepositions:  This is an exercise that will help you identify how to find a preposition (they are in all caps)—and just maybe help you see God—HERE—NOW—PRESENT.

God is IN me.
God is WITH me.
God is ABOVE me.

God is OVER me.

God is UPON me. 

God is ON me.

God is AROUND me.

God is AFTER me.

God is BY me.

God is BEFORE me.

God is FOR me.

God is BEHIND me.

God is BELOW me.


God is UNDER me.

God is BENEATH me

God is BESIDE me.
God is BEYOND me.

God is BY me.

God is NEAR me.


God is WITHIN me.

God is TOWARD me.

and God is also IN FRONT OF me and ACROSS FROM me, and ALONGSIDE OF me.

Matthew 1:23  "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
   and they shall call his name Immanuel"

Then and NOW, He is with us, Immanuel.

The truth I must always be thinking about is, "God with us....... right here, right now, in this very place and I can talk to him about everything, I can thank Him for everything, I can see Him in EVERYTHING." As we look around us, we see His glory, His reflected glory in everything....everything.....and we give thanks.

 We can begin to practice His presence with our words, our thanks, our thoughts.    Just watch and see Him fill your cup full, to overflowing with Immanuel, God with us.

More graces to fill my cup—

151. Larry, to teach me trust in a Sovereign God
152. Larry, to laugh with
153. Larry, to cry with
154. Larry, to teach me humility
155. Larry, to slow me down
156. Larry, to drive me to prayer
157. Larry, to make me long for Heaven
158. Larry, to speak wisdom...simply
159. Larry, who never remembers a wrong done to him
160. Larry, who knows who is in charge—God!

I  pray for each of you to recognize the "Larry" God has gifted you with. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

God Answers Prayers....or does He?

"I know God answers prayer......[right?]"

"God does answer prayer.....[doesn't He?]"

"Sure, I'll pray for you.....[but, maybe it is too late;  maybe God won't answer.]"

I know in my head God can do anything, but my sick heart thinks maybe He really can't.

And so our minds go back and forth between knowing that God answers prayer and then not being sure He can/will. A downward spiral begins—when we don't see God answering specific prayers, we tend to stop praying.  After all then I won't be disappointed when He doesn't move mountains or provide the money for the bills this month or bring someone I dearly love to faith.  We also quit even thinking about asking for the "silly" things that we consider unimportant.

And then??  Cynicism becomes the operative thought pattern.  We trust no one. After all there really is no one we can trust.  Everyone or most everyone who supposedly loves us has let us down, disappointed us, not stood with us, or simply by their apathy (caught up in their own busyness) not cared.  Even God hasn't come through like we thought he should. Prayer becomes something we avoid, thus avoiding more hurt and disappointment.

And then at the back of my mind, I really know what the problem is—There is a right and wrong way to pray and my way is wrong. (a lie)

But then God begins His work to change our thought pattern. Usually He does that through other people sharing what He has done for them.

When Shannon gave me  A Praying Life by Paul E Miller, she reminded me of my forgotten statement, "I wish my prayer life were better," and then she added, "This book will do that."  I saw the look in her eyes and knew she had found it true.  I began reading and couldn't stop.

As I read, I couldn't help but think about what we were seeing in the book of John in our women's Bible study....Jesus talked to His Father all the time about everything. Their intimate relationship was obvious as he prayed in public and then privately for long periods of time.  He told his disciples and followers that He could do nothing without the Father.  He was always aware of the Father, "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)

Of little consequence is my prayer "life."
Of big consequence is my awareness of God's presence.....if He is right here, right now, then I can talk to Him anywhere, anytime, right NOW.  When a friend is sharing her "life," the good, the bad, and the ugly, I can ask my Father right then to bring change of heart, change of circumstances, change of focus.  And I can believe He will work, He will move, He will accomplish his purpose.

Then I watch.....and watch....and sometimes watch some more as He writes the story, a story that usually is not simple or short. I talk more to the Father when reminded, and soon find that I am also changing as I pray Scripture for others...I see changes in me as I watch for changes in others; and then when the change begins to be evident, I praise, I thank, and do a happy dance with my ever present Father.

And so my faith grows.  My awareness of God right here, right now becomes solidified.....my wall of belief grows higher and higher and higher.  God is alive.....He answers prayer every day....He is working in me and others because of His STEADFAST LOVE and FAITHFULNESS.

I just need to keep asking as I keep my eyes open—wide open—and watch Him at work.

James 4:2b  "...You do not have, because you do not ask."

[Let me know what you think after you have read A Praying Life.]

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Love Came Down....

"Love Came Down"—I've heard that dozens of times, but today as I was standing in the store I saw it on written on some merchandise, "Love Came Down."

Love, God's love, for me, for you, for His children—perfect love.
Love that was not selfish, wasn't greedy, would ask nothing of me but everything of HIM.
Love that would give up the glory of Heaven for me, for sinners.
Love that would sacrifice LIFE so I could have LIFE, His life.
Love that would fill me up when I was empty, so empty.... with His Love. 
Love that would never ever back off, or waver, or hide because of embarrassment
And not just Steadfast LOVE but He would be FAITHFUL
To me who is so not faithful....
To me who has idols....
To me who many times doesn't think about God and His presence, His nearness....
To me who finds being thankful for EVERYTHING, hard.

LOVE did indeed come down, down, down.......for me, for you.

God, let your Holy Spirit remind me of that over and over and over again as I prepare a celebration for Jesus, that LOVE did indeed come down.

More gifts of grace for which I say "Thank You":

146.  Raspberries, plump and red, in December
147.  Laughter over tea, with friends, in a castle
 148.  A holly bush right outside the front door to supply greens for decorating

149.  A cat, lap cat, who purrs

150.  Beloved Christmas carols that remind us that "Love Came Down."utube Love came Down
Lyrics for "Love Came Down" by Christina Rosseti

Love came down at Christmas,
love all lovely, love divine;
love was born at Christmas:
star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
love incarnate, love divine;
worship we our Jesus,
but wherewith the sacred sign?

Love shall be our token;
love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
love for plea and gift and sign.

Words: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), 1885

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Looking for God's Glory

Beautiful flowers never cease to amaze me, even take my breath away.  Then there are the fall colors, setting my soul on fire, making my heart sing.

Almost 35 years ago, when my world had fallen apart, when Larry was still in the hospital almost three hours away from us, while two children were running through the house and I was laying on the couch, our third waiting to be born into an unknown, chaotic world—a dear friend, Sharon, brought me a gift.  A small gift, in a box—something new she accidently found at a little drug store—a little statue—one of the first Jonathan and David figurines ever made—Beautiful, with simple truth, that somehow, in God's simple way spoke truth to my wearied soul...... "Praise the Lord Anyhow."
(God, speaking to me once again, to say "Thank You.") And everytime I held that little piece of pottery, I did.  I thanked God.  I thanked Him for what He was doing, what He had done and what He would do.  All I could do was PRAISE THE LORD, ANYHOW.

Recently, while reading One Thousand Gifts a connection was made for me.  My desire, my need, my love of beautiful things, beautiful, magnificent, awe inspiring sights comes from my desire to see and understand God's glory.  In His steadfast love and faithfulness He continually reveals Himself to us even in the times of our deepest struggles. He shows us His glory through creation and work of artisans who create for His glory. You see, we were created with a need to know God, to see Him and through His revelation of Himself in creation and in our desire to create we understand His glory in that creation. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Steadfast Love of God

The Steadfast Love of God

Believing in the depths of my heart that I am loved by my God is hard.  Keeping track of my inadequacies, my shortcomings, my sinful attitudes, my failures puts a wall between us—God and me.  I understand that the whole "I think I should be punished;" "I don't deserve His love; I deserve Him to turn His back on me," keeps me from seeing Him and His love.  Maybe it has something to do with how I feel when others disappoint me.  Do I turn my back?  Do I love less?  Do I want them punished?  And even when I know I have disappointed others, there is that tendency to stay away, avoid, not make eye contact....not look in their face—does my God do that when I disappoint?

No, NO, NO!!! And He loves no matter what I do or don't do. He NEVER turns His back.  He looks at me full in the face and calls me "Child."  Even now He is keeping on loving, and loving, and loving no matter my inadequacies, my shortcomings, my sinful attitudes, my failures. There is nothing I can or can't do that will remove me from His "steadfast love and faithfulness."

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
   his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness."  Lamentations 3:22-23

"Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
   your faithfulness to the clouds."  Psalm 36:5

Graces remembered today:
*love that never ceases
•mercies that never come to an end
•love and mercy that are new every morning
•The heavens (and the huge, white, moon last night is only the beginning of a forever and ever Universe)
•And YES, the clouds

And more graces:
135.  Mail....Christmas cards and letters to read and read
136.  Larry's praise "I'm praising the Lord.  If you can't do that, you are in the wrong crowd."
137. Grown-up children who care and love and advise
138.  Down comforters to warm
139.  Windows to let light reflect on goodness inside and out
140.  Computer music to accompany thought
141.  Christmas carols, the Birthday songs of December
142.  Washing machines and dryers
143.  Christmas smells
144.  The Holy Spirit's abiding presence, urgings,keeping power
145.  A friend, friends, and more friends

Friday, December 9, 2011

Being Content

Being Content

One thing for certain, God wants me to figure out this contentment thing.  After being asked last spring to speak on contentment at a day long retreat only one month away, I actually thought, "This  will be easy.  Contentment is something I "kind of" have a grip on."

Then, the thinking began.
Then, the reading began.
Then, the listening began.
Then, the writing began.

And I realized I knew nothing about contentment.....well maybe something....but only because I was 63 years old and God had been working hard on me for awhile.....problem is.......I keep forgetting.

I do know this for certain—God wants me to be content—not so much figuring out contentment but to just be content.  To reside there (ie. to walk in contentment, to sleep in contentment, to eat in contentment, to talk in contentment, to befriend others in contentment, to even suffer in contentment, to just be content).


To know HIM; to be aware of Him constantly.  Practice the Presence of God
If I am continually aware of His presence, continually aware that life is about Him, that everything I have comes from Him, then it won't matter what I'm doing, who I'm with, what I have or don't have because I know that God is always with me.  ALWAYS here.

I had been given a book months before that God used to change my thinking about prayer.  I could, should and must pray all the time and I could, would, and must look for the answers because God does answer. A Praying Life
And then much later....... one more book 1000 gifts; A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are to stretch me, to change my words, to make me more aware of God right where I was, am and will be.

And now.....once more to speak on contentment to moms.....moms on a journey to become more aware of their God in all the moments of their days, their hours, their minutes.  God's purpose for our stories is for His Glory and praise that comes through our awareness of Him always in every second.

And then we will be content.  All of us.  It's called Jesus Contentment.

"Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment..."  I Timothy 6:6 ESV

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Struggle with Depression

The Struggle of Depression

Isn't God good?  I mean really good?  To think that He took the circumstances of a car accident almost 35 years ago and gradually bit by bit, moment by moment, detail by detail taught me more and more about Himself as He walked with me and sometimes crawled beside me and sometimes pulled me through the days.  I think of the poem I put in yesterday's blog, the one written 33 years ago and I understand that even then He really was teaching me to say "Thank You."  Acknowledging that the rough places give us much more to be thankful for than the smooth, easier paths.

Today a friend said to me, "You are one of the most giving, serving, caring people I have ever known."  I smiled and thought that was only because of God too.  Early on, after I brought Larry home and was caring for him, three kids (6, 4 and a baby) plus a house, I had times of depression.  Really tough depression but God led me to begin doing things for others whenever I could.

During Autumn, one year after the accident, in South Dakota, I went and bought snow shovels for all of us (except Larry)—even one for the toddler who would soon be old enough to use it.  I thought we would need to shovel our long driveway that winter (Larry had always done that).  Little did I know that this would become a big part of my "therapy" that winter.  It wasn't long before we began not only shoveling our driveway but the one across the street (he worked and she had MS), our elderly neighbor lady's driveway and all the sidewalks around the block. Exercise is also good for depression.

Feeling sorry for myself and my lot in life would hit me at times like a hammer and the bottom would drop out of my world.  There were many nights I got no sleep between the baby and then Larry who never seemed to sleep but thought he had to get up and go to the bathroom dozens of times.  Of course, I had to go with him to keep him from falling.  After one of those times hitting bottom, I spent a sleepless night "thinking."

Out of nowhere came, "You need to show others that they are loved.  That God loves them. Make  something to show them His love, something tangible, something they can touch, touch every single day, something to remind them over and over again—You need to make heart-shaped pot holders."  Pot holders????? "Are you sure?????"  He was, and I began sewing.

.....I spent hours, days, cutting out and sewing potholders for all the women in our church (maybe 70 or more).  I don't know if anyone even used them, but I do know that when the kids and I put those potholders in the mailboxes at church, I felt much better and I felt God's love for ME.  I still have one, in my pot holder drawer, well used and worn but still reminding His child that He does indeed love her very much with a Steadfast Love and Faithfulness.

Isn't God good.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Thank You Lord for......"

To begin.....a poem that I wrote 33 years ago—God teaching me to say "thank you" for His work in my life. A process that has continued continually—fits and starts—but always because of His grace.

Thank you Lord for teaching me to say "Thank you,"
Thank you for being patient with me while I learned.
Thank you for the friends that were there
and they weren't just a few,
Who stood by me and loved and cared while I yearned
for the things I thought I had lost.
Thank you Lord for teaching me that I had not lost
but had gained so many things that only you can give.
Thank you for peace.....
The amazing peace in my heart when my world has gone mad.
It comes from knowing you care and this journey will end
In the glory of your love and light.
Thank you for letting me meet others who have greatly suffered too.
They have taught me much about becoming more like you.
Thank you for trials, both big and small
And the knowledge that in my life patience they are "working."
Thank you for your love.
A love that has held me close when no one could fill that loneliness so deep.
Thank you for loving me when I doubted your very existence—
You never ending presence that You would always keep.
Thank you for opening my eyes to the wideness of your mercy
when it all seemed so very unfair.
Thank you Lord for the songs you have written through those
who have suffered so deeply in years gone by.
Thank you Lord for teaching me to listen to the words
and not to question why.
Thank you for the truths in your precious word
Those that help me see more clearly
That this life I have dear Lord
is yours and yours alone
To do with as you will
and all I have to do is yield myself completely
And my needs you will fulfill.
Thank you Lord for teaching me to say "Thank you."