"Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." John 7:38

Posts tagged ‘holding hands’

When Seasons Change

Who doesn’t love October, it’s the official start to “Pumpkin Spice” season when we taste and see the beginning of fall – and now it’s over! Winter will soon be upon us. How can that be?

October comes and goes, the weather is brisk, and while I know it won’t get terribly cold in Texas, it does signal the beginning of the end of yet another year. And the years are flying by faster and faster.

Both my dad and I keep reading here

Friends For Life

post250pix1“Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.” — Clarence the Angel from, It’s a Wonderful Life

Yesterday as I wrapped up a fantastic (and too rare) keep reading here

The Crucible: A Marine Mom’s Labor

Typically, I don’t publish a blog on Sunday afternoon, but today is a special day. You see, tonight my baby sister will be in labor and her family could use some prayers.

No, she isn’t pregnant, but she will be in labor, and her labor will begin at 5 a.m. Eastern time, 2 a.m. Pacific time.

When she and her husband go to bed tonight, they probably will not fall asleep right away. I suspect they will pray together and then talk about their son, their one and only son, who is far away from them. They will reminisce about his childhood. They will pray for his endurance and strength. They will try to sleep.

When her alarm sounds at 5, if she is not already awake, my sister will get out of bed and recall all the sleepless nights she had when her son was a newborn. She will think of the times she had to get up in the cold and dark and rock him when he was sick. Her arms will ache with the emptiness that comes when you can’t hug someone you love. She will ask God to wrap her son securely in his arms – he will.

As she laces up her running shoes, she will be reminded of her son’s first steps and of all the times she tied his shoes and sent him out to play. She will smile as she recalls her pride in his accomplishments, both then and now. She will ask God to keep his feet secure and steady over the next three days – he will.

She will pull her jacket on and wonder if her son is too cold, or too warm. She will remember all the zippers she zipped getting him ready for school. She will ask God to protect him wherever he is, whatever the weather – he will.

And then, she will run. She is new to running, but it has become her go-to activity for thinking and praying and breathing deeply. She will look at the stars and she will talk with God. She will cry out to him. She will surrender to him. She will trust him. She will hand over her fears and her worries because she knows that her son, her one and only son, is also at this very minute doing the same thing.

And if she, her husband, and her son are in the very same throne room of God, at the same time, seeking grace and mercy in their time of need, then they are all together. They are not a continent apart, and God is in the midst of them.

Zach begins The Crucible (read about it here), tonight. I imagine that is all he is thinking about today. He will probably be in church as you are reading this. He will most likely spend the afternoon thinking about what is ahead and talking about it with his new friends. He will probably not be thinking about what his mom and dad are going through. He has a lot on his plate.

However, I suspect that Zach is not so much thinking about tomorrow at 2 a.m. As he is about Wednesday. I imagine Zach is prepared for this, and has set his face like flint on finishing. He will do whatever he has to do to drop the label ‘recruit’ and become a Marine.

We can’t do anything to help Zach through the physical and mental aspect of this ordeal, but, like his momma, we can pray. And prayer has power because the God to whom we pray is all-powerful! There is nothing too wonderful for him!

When we pray, we do go directly into the throne room of Almighty God. We are allowed in because of the blood of Jesus, who set his face like flint to endure the cross, focusing on the joy that lay beyond it, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. He kept his eyes focused on the end rather than the process of getting there.

Jesus, God’s one and only Son, accomplished for you and for me the salvation and reconciliation that allows us to come into God’s presence for grace and mercy in our time of need. We are told that we are most like Christ when we intercede for others. I think that is true. Christ continually intercedes for you and for me.

The Marines ask that we turn our porch light on to show support for our recruits during the Crucible. My light will be on, because I will be interceding for Zach.

Will you join us? Will you pray for Zach? Will you pray for all of the young men as they become Marines (the ones who stand between us and evil, the ones who fight to secure our right to vote, to go to church, to kneel during the national anthem), and for Zach’s momma as she labors on behalf of her recruit who is becoming a Marine?

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If you decide to pray for Zach, and for all of our recruits, and if your porch light is on, will you post a picture of your front porch onto social media with  #TheCrucible. You can post to my sister’s FaceBook (here), Zach’s (here)… or mine (here), or share this post and upload your photo along with it.

Holding On for Dear Life!

Jake and Matt rode their first Ferris wheel on Saturday. They were excited as they waited to get on.
post85pic1Well, they may have been a little hesitant, but mom and dad were going to ride with them, so there was nothing to worry about – at least not for the boys.

A Ferris wheel is pretty harmless. Oh, there’s find more here

35 Years and Counting!

wedding photo 1 001On Monday, July 28, Brian and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. And I’m sure you all agree — we haven’t changed a bit. Well, OK, let’s be honest, there’s hardly anything about us that hasn’t changed!

But weren’t we cute?
wedding photos 5 001wedding photo 2 001

And what a good looking wedding party… wedding photo 4 001

When Brian and I got married we didn’t know a whole lot about marriage. Like most newlyweds, I think we continue here


mapLast Friday I had to drive to Brookfield, Wisconsin to lead a retreat. I felt confident that I knew where I was going, but I ran it by Brian before I left home, after all, he drives this route often.

He warned me,  … click right here!

Holding On! Walking Forward!

As a little girl, the biggest, strongest, most courageous, fearless and handsome man in the entire world was my dad. It seemed there was nothing he was afraid of, and when I was close to him, I didn’t need to be afraid either. I knew he’d take care of me no matter what.

If we were in a situation where he knew I needed to stay close for my protection, and his peace of mind, he’d hold out his finger and I’d grab hold. All of us kids knew to grab hold, and we didn’t argue. When my siblings and I grew up and had children of our own, we would laugh as we recalled stories of how trained we were to hold dad’s finger.

In the final hours of dad’s life, when he was barely speaking, and rarely opening his eyes, I asked him if he remembered how he’d hold out his finger to me. He nodded and slowly and lifted his finger off the bed just a little. I grabbed hold.

I asked him if he was going to see Jesus that day. He said, “Yes.” I told him that when he saw Jesus, to look for his hand, and to grab hold of Jesus’ finger and not let go. He said that he would. A few hours later, he did.

Why is this story my very first blog entry? Because today, my life is in transition, and I’m not sure where I’m going and I don’t want to wander off and get lost in the crowd, or find myself in a place that I am not prepared to navigate. God is moving me from my cozy little cocoon, where I’ve taught for over fourteen years, from the women who know me, love me, and listen to me week after week into an area that I am not sure I recognize. I feel like that little girl who needs to see her dad hold out his finger, so that she can grab hold and know she is safe and protected.

Without realizing it, my dad taught me well. He taught me as a little child, to grab hold of my Father’s finger. And, so, I look to my Father, God, and I am grabbing hold of his finger.

I am holding on tight, because I know that He will guide me and He will protect me. He is the One and Only, the biggest, strongest, most courageous, fearless, beautiful God in the entire universe, for He created the universe, with His finger. He created me. He has a plan for me, and He will bring that plan to fruition.

So, as I begin this next chapter, I want to say “Thank you!” to my dad, thank you for teaching me to hold on. And, to my Father, to whom I am holding, “I’m so excited to walk this path with you, for I know, that no one can snatch me out of your hand.”

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