Tag Archives: Hope

Merciful Days: Beautiful Words

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Ps 119v103“Your test results are really good.” My doctor smiled.

Oh what words!

I am one year and five months into a medical treatment that is projected to last for three to five years.  It feels like each day of the past one year and five months has been giant.  It’s been a fight.  One step forward and two steps back.  Battling an illusive monster.  It’s been quite a year… and five months.

My doctor is the only human who really knows what my past one year and five months has been like.  She has become very precious to me.  I long to see her.  She is my coach.  My trainer in this long race.  My cheerleader.  My advocate.  She knows my enemy.  She knows my story.  She knows how far I’ve come.  She is in the valley with me.  I have come to love her.

Her smiling words were so full.  Full of understanding and celebration. I have been so desperate to hear words like this.

Her words mean so much because she knows so much about me.  Her words carry more weight than any others.  Her words give me strength, joy, energy, focus, hope.

I’m thinking about my true Coach. Trainer. Cheerleader. Advocate. Guide. Mentor. Savior. Father. Shepherd. Hope.

[Continue…]

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Merciful Days: When Hope Vanishes

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mark 9v24b“I don’t want to keep living this way.” I prayed honestly.

“Have I failed you?” The Holy Spirit asked me.

I was praying about an amazing job my husband had applied for.  It seemed like the perfect fit for him.  And, to be honest, we are beyond ready for the lifestyle a traditional job brings.  So I begged God to open the door for him to have this job.  And I talked about the tiredness of my heart that has come in these years of gig-based self-employment.  … Oh, it was such a great job!  Perfect for my husband’s career journey.  AND it would change everything for us.  Regular income.  Medical benefits.  Paid vacation.  Please God.

“In all these years, have I ever failed you?” His Light pointed at the depths of my heart.

He showed me that in the depths of my heart, it was still there. [Continue…]

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Merciful Days: When There Is Pain

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Pain squareTheir giggles should have brought me joy but this morning I desperately needed silence.  Pain has wrapped me up.  Out of nowhere all my symptoms are back.  Such is life with chronic illness.  I asked my babies to “please stop” and play a quiet game instead. Their sweet blue eyes welled up with tears. Now my heart hurts just as much as my body does.

It is so deeply frustrating.  Because there is literally nothing I can do to change this. [Continue…]

 

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Surviving

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Ps 62v8bMy eyes can’t believe the images of Oklahoma. That storm was a mindless giant. Wild and ruthless. Leaving nothing in its wake. Just rubble. Miles upon miles of rubble.

Can you even believe anyone survived? It’s incredible. Many are dead but many are alive.

I looked at the eyes of the interviewed survivors. I saw utter numbness. But all too soon that will wear off.

They survived a horror. And now they will need to survive. Every day.

When the adrenaline is gone. And the shock wears off. And reality is all-consuming. And the disaster relief fundraisers are long forgotten by the rest of us. When night terrors hold them. And the memories stay strong.

Survival is chronic. A marathon. A lifelong companion.

Oh how we need Yahweh. For we have all survived something. And we all survive every day. And humans were created to be fueled by His power and sustained by His Love. To attempt survival without Him is a desperate and bare journey. Oh how we need Yahweh.

My heart lays low today for those who were whirled and thrown by that storm. That storm and all the storms in our world today. The natural storms. Political storms. Storms of war. Storms of hatred. Whirlwinds of hunger. Displacement. Ruin. Disease. We are facing storms on all sides.

Today I sit hidden in Him, my Rock. And gather strength and hope from His Love. He holds me amidst the whirlwinds. He carries me when the storms prevail. And he will deliver me into beautiful eternity when my days of survival here are over. Oh how we need Yahweh.

Praying for my human race. That our eyes would see His Love. That our hearts would embrace Him. None should have to be without Him.

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah. (Psalm 62:5-8 ESV)

Enjoy The Time

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Ps 23v5bIt was a terrible sad cry. A mix of pain and desperation. It was coming from our child at 6:30am.

I brought her into my room so she wouldn’t wake her brother. I consoled her and she calmed down enough for me to ask why she was crying.

“I want it to be seven-thirty but it’s not… (wailing sobs began again)”

7:30 is play time. When her little digital clock says “7-3-0,” she knows that quiet time is over and play time begins.  Today 7-3-0 is coming too slowly.  Today 6-3-0 is unbearable.

Oh my sweet child. 

“There is nothing we can do to speed up time or skip ahead. You need to be able to relax and enjoy the time it is.” My words were not just for her.

Sigh. How often I do this. Wanting to be in a different season. A fun season. A season of playing and joy.  How often I lament the season I’m in.

This week I’ve been side-swiped by three days of weird doctor appointments. Each day another wave barreled over us.  And I am squirming against the oppressive weight of this week.

It feels unbearable.

After my daughters tears this morning, I have decided to do something practical today.

Amidst administering doses of medications to the three of us at home, I’m baking a cake.  A cake that we can all eat and enjoy.  Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugars-Free, Soy-Free, Rice-Free, Oat-Free, Metal-Free.

Today, my friends, I am going to sit down and eat cake.  I am not going to clean the bathrooms.  I am not going to do laundry.  I am not going to work on anything.  I am not going to push and strive against this season. Today I can’t. I would wail. I would lament.

Instead, I am going to relax and enjoy the time it is.  I’m at home with my two little ones.  We are too sick to go anywhere.  But we can eat some cake.

I am not saying that the way to approach hardship is to do nothing and eat cake.  I’m just saying that today, that’s what I feel to do.

I’m going to enjoy the time it is.

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The cake is cooked.  The kids are having their rest time.  The sun is shining.  And I feel good.

Funny thing is, baking a cake has changed me.  I was overwhelmed.  But now I feel hopeful.

Slowing down and enjoying my season has given me the joy and energy I was craving.

I think I’ll do a load of laundry. 🙂

You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. (Psalm 23:5b MSG)

At Home

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Australia

Wattle trees in bloom. Thick air laced with tropical smells. Glorious bird songs. Heavy warm rain that falls from giant clouds. Everything bursting with life. Sunshine fuelling the land. And its people. A fuel for joy and creativity. Australia is a special place.

This time at home has been so good for me. For five weeks, I have shared life with my parents and my children, together, in the city of my childhood. My yesterdays and my todays walking hand in hand. My heart is soaring!

“It’s my impossible dream come true. My parents have met my son! My children and parents are together!  Right now, my sweet 4-year-old is sitting on my Mum’s lap and they are chatting away.  It is medicine for my heart.  These days are so precious. Each moment feels like a not-to-be-missed photo opportunity but all my energy is being used simply to keep my eyes open to see it all.” – Journal, March 4, 2013

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Literally two days before I heard my dad had been ill, Yahweh had been healing some deep layers of my heart about the guilt I feel about leaving my family.  I had shared with my husband that I felt God had freed me from the desperate emotional need to go home I had been feeling for some years.  Then, two days later, Mum sent an email about Dad being sick.  After I no long “needed” to go home, I needed to go home. My church family and dear friends heard about his illness and gave sacrificially for the kids and I to go.

I landed in my homeland with a totally new state of mind and heart.  Our Father God had prepared me for this trip.  And the whole time we were there, He kept peeling away at the layers of my heart.

The Holy Spirit spoke the same thing to me over and over through family, friends, church sermons, and some strangers too: It’s a new season with fresh beginnings. Let go of yesterday and step into the new day.

He has uprooted old stumps and is planting new things.

It was not easy to leave my family again. Same airport. Same view of my sweet parents waving through the glass security wall.  But this time I came “home” to the US with anticipation for God’s plan unfolding in my life here.  No longer feeling so stuck in my past, I’m leaning into today and tomorrow with new hope and new joy.  Moment by moment, day by day, year by year, Yahweh is transforming me and bringing me into His freedom.  I am expectant and excited.

Yahweh is my home.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil 1:6 NASB)

Draw Near

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Sadness grips my heart and grief wraps like a too-heavy blanket.

A shooter in america took the lives of children and adults.

A friend’s baby was still-born.

A mother of small children lost her fight to cancer.

Here I am, once again, forced to stare at the fragility of life and the shortness of our years.

The kids are [supposed to be] napping.  I hear them each chirping away.  Playing pretend games.  Wishing for their rest-times to be done.  Their little lives are so precious.

I made a cup of coffee but can’t bring myself to drink.  Why should I have my daily comfort of coffee when others are in so much pain?

I am staring at the Christmas tree.  The little white lights seem so terribly small on the tree.  I want them to be bright and consuming.  I want them to overpower the shadows of the branches.

I want the Light to conquer all darkness.

I want only joyful days for all the people I know and love.

But, instead we are faced with days of desperation.  We walk through valley of the shadow of death.  And we walk through the valley of death itself.

I cannot explain why, but sitting here with this sadness makes me love Yahweh even more.

I have walked through shadows.  I have walked as dead through the motions of life when all hope was drained away.  I have felt the strong talons of darkness rip into my life and the lives of my loved ones.

And in those darkest days, Yahweh was with me.  The Holy Spirit was my oxygen: empowering my strength and clearing my mind.  The Word, Emmanuel, was my armor: True and strong for the battle.  The Father was my comfort and courage: His love urging me on.  I am not happy about it… but the darkest days really are my deepest days with Him.

In no way do I presume to know what other people are going through today.  I cannot imagine what the parents of those school children are feeling right now.  I cannot imagine the days of life that follow after losing a baby at birth.

I can only walk the path I am on.  And today, on my path, I am touched by the losses around me.  I hold this coffee.  I listen to my kids.  I stare at the tree.

And for me, on my path, this sadness draws me near to Him.  I throw my life into His arms again.  My tears soaking into His embrace.  Each second, each feeling, each tear is precious to Him.  Nothing escapes His notice.

I think about my dark days and I remember Him there. The comfort of His embrace is my hope.

Oh Yahweh, humanity is a mess.  Oh how we need You.  Comfort us God.  May we see the depth of your Love and Goodness amidst these days of terrible loss.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. (Psalm 56:8 NLT)