What We Stand In Need Of

I was outside the other evening locking the girls (my chickens) in for the night. It was quiet, the moon was big and the barn was just a silhouette against the sky.

It was a good time to just stand out there and think about what is happening all around me. To be honest, I avoid the news as I don’t really like thinking about all the crazy that is going on right now in this country.

I got to thinking about my dad and how he prays. Somewhere in his prayers he always asks for “what we stand in need of”. Those words are really a huge leap of faith.

Saying those words gives over control of our lives to our Creator and that can be scary because you never really know what He will use to work for our good.

Sometimes the way is easy and we, at least me, are positive that we are indeed blessed because it is easy. Sometimes, like the world now, the journey seems bleak, dark and so twisted that we will never find our way through. It does not always feel like a blessing on that journey.

I stood outside in the dark, listening to the night sounds…the rustling of little critters in the grass…the soft cackle of a hen from the chicken coop and the distant sound of a combine still in the field. My mind wondered if this twisted journey is “what we stand in need of”.

Perhaps all the “stuff” going on right now…from covid to unrest to crazy debates is what is needed to make us sit up and listen. Maybe it is the refining we need; so when we make it through to the other side we will end up where we are supposed to be.

Maybe, just maybe, it isn’t so much about what is happening around us, but what is happening inside of us. And Maybe it isn’t so much about where we are right now, but where we will be down the road.

May we use this somewhat weird time to grow, to learn, to listen and to follow the One who never changes. May we be given “what we stand in need of”.

“We must be able
to let go of the life we have planned
in order to live the life
that is waiting for us.”

“Life is 10% what happens to you
and 90% how you react to it.”
– Charles R. Swindoll

A Lesson In Hope

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I spoke with a friend last week. There is nothing unusual in that because I tend to speak directly, or through texts with friends everyday. What was unusual was the news she told me.

A friend of hers has been diagnosed with cancer….incurable….inoperable. I know this friend of hers. This friend posted on Facebook and I was blown away at the words she wrote. They were words that acknowledged pain, wondered about the unknown, and her words were fearless.

Her words were HOPE. Not hope in the days spent on earth. Not hope in the friendships. Not hope in the things of this world….but hope in the One who orchestrates our days. They were words of a life to be lived while still alive.

The past week has been a time of news that is not good to our way of thinking. Too many friends, relatives and acquaintances with diagnosis of illnesses that are going to be a challenge and going to bring pain to them and those around them. It has been a week of hearing about family issues that hurt. It had just been one of those weeks.

The news makes us want to ask “Why?” Years ago I had an aunt who answered that question with “Why not me?” It was a perspective shift for me. It is a question I try ask when life seems to pick me up and toss me around like an amusement park ride.

I don’t know the answer to either of those questions. What I do know is that hope sustains…hope comforts….and hope never disappoints when your hope is in the One who created you.

Hope gives you the ability to put one foot in front of the other when the way is dark. It sustains through physical, mental, and spiritual anguish.

And so I will watch these people that I know…these people I love…these friends, acquaintances and relatives who make this journey. I am in awe of their faith. I am in awe of the way they handle these days and the thought of the days to come.

They are an inspiration….they are a witness. They have Hope with a capital H because God…..God in the dark and God in the light. He shines and because they have hope they reflect the shine and I stand in awe.

Yes….life is hard and sometimes feels like an amusement park ride that will not let you get off. But Hope……..

 

Hope is being able to see
that there is light despite all of the darkness.
Desmond Tutu

 

Weddings

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This past weekend we were privileged to go to my nephew’s wedding. The location they chose was absolutely beautiful….The Mighty Oak Lodge.

As we sat on rough-hewn oak benches underneath the wide blue sky I had time to look around and ponder in a “Somewhere North of the Moon” kind of way.

Thoughts on marriage, life, family, love and perseverance swirled through my head as the couple promised respect, love, and lives to each other. I wondered if they, like me 35+ years ago, had any idea what the next decades would bring. I have a feeling they don’t and perhaps that is a good thing.

Marriage is the start of a journey, a lifetime of learning and a great adventure. It is a blending of hearts and traditions of two families. It is a choice to wake up every morning and remind yourself to honor, respect and love.  It is a promise to God, each other and to oneself. It is trust covered in grace and love.

Looking back at the journey my husband and I have been making; reveals laughter, tears, joys, heartaches, memories so precious and all rolled up in the word Love.  I wish the same for my nephew and his bride as they start their own journey.

We made the 9+ hour journey to get there and when we drove on the yard by my in-laws it was filled with vehicles and campers. Four states were represented on that yard. Four states that love brought together.

My sister-in-law asked that I take a picture of all the cars and campers on their yard……

 

To her, seeing all those vehicles that arrived full of family, spoke Love. I told her I would not have missed this weekend and this wedding day. The reason it was important to me was because it was family, it was relationship. And yes, it was love.

Sitting on those wooden benches gave me time to think.  Material things can be bought and paid for; but love must be given, shared, accepted and returned; to flourish. As I sat next to my grandchild and my husband on that bench, I realized that in life, these are the moments that count. This was a precious gift. This was love.

My brother used to tell me that “the joy is in the journey”.  He was so right. May your journeys be joyful,  May you choose to love and may you look back on your life and know it was all worth it.

“Above all, love each other deeply,
because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8

 

I do need to thank my son Joe for taking the picture of the big tree for me. I had forgotten my camera and he stepped in and used his phone.  (You know…..one of those phones that are smarter than me).