Breathing life …legacy, love and courage

This past weekend my husband and I traveled  to South Carolina to be with his Dad who has just lost his wife of 61 years just a few months ago.

His father is struggling in the toughest of circumstances– a broken heart along with a significant amount of critical physical conditions and now facing the choices of to have the convergence of tests and advice from 3 major specialist– the oncologist, the radiologist and the cardiologist. All vying for their opinion of which is the course to least resistance and harm in aged body of a man who is very physically fragile and on oxygen.

When we arrived he came briefly to the door– and then back to his special lift chair, the lines from the oxygen tanks spreading out across the floor. He has been waiting for my husband, his son and me to arrive.  We were in the car before 7 AM heading down the way the car knows well by now as my husband has consistently made this 3 + hour trip since his mother died and he and his brothers rotate weekends with their Dad.

So we come to spend time with him and to see what we can do to lend comfort and encouragement.  It is frankly hard to see him so very fragile and about to tear up when speaking. He has lost so much weight and the lights are dim with the blinds pulled because of the eye surgery on his corneas.  It is hard to look at his hands, gray and drawn up — these hands who played guitar in a band and for years worked in tirelessly to feed his family. A man who served his country in the Air Force and a man who has always loved his family now restricted to the house with the click and whoosh of the oxygen machine that is the constant sound in this now quiet house.

We expected to find him down and hopeless — facing these huge decisions of what to do about the myriad of tests this coming week. So many that they had to be written down for the family and my father in law to keep them straight.

Holding the paper in our hands and seeing them written out was staggering. So many appointments in a week– heading into uncharted territory for both him, our family and it seems even those specialists based on what Aunt Rita ( his sister and Arnold, his brother ) have gathered in the back and forth discussions.

A wee bit of guilt floods our hearts as we realize the importance of being with him and the happiness our presence has brought to him.  Groceries are short for cooking some nutritious meals of some of his favorites which have been more important since he know has a large growth on his neck that is interfering with his swallowing and desire to eat.

We zipped over to the Kershaw IGA and the Farmer’s market and bought what needed to be cooked also for our family knowing  that our daughter Olivia and husband Will , would be arriving soon with 2 year old Eila Grace and 8 month old Asher. We had tomatoes, peaches, cantaloupe from the local farmers and the goodies he had been missing like “sour cream potato chips”.

We got back to the house and  I began cooking baked beans, hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, and a milk shakes– he really wanted a milkshake and some fruit.  He loved seeing his granddaughter, husband and their family, his great grandchildren.   The most animation in his tired body came at this time and sweetly Eila told him,” I love you Great grandpa , very much!” It was wonderful to see him eat and enjoy his food. He later said with tears in his eyes, thank you for helping wake up his taste buds again.  The little things among the whoosh of the oxygen machine.

The house was for a time no longer a lonely place where Verda ( his beloved deceased wife ) the wafting memory in this house was missing but full of the sounds of family bound together by a long legacy of faithfulness and being there for one another. There is something quite reassuring by the steadiness of my husband’s family. Dear sweet, Aunt Rita who lived a life on the mission field in South America to now in her ” retirement years” being the missionary for the Buffalo Baptist community, greater Kershaw county and a Chaplin at the hospital in Columbia. Then there is Uncle Arnold and his wife, Faye who also came by. We swapped stories , laughs and prayers. The house was busy with phone calls from other Aunts and a friend dropping by to check on things.

He tired easily and took some needed naps. One of the sweet moments during his nap was little Eila jumping up on his chair and announcing to everyone in the room in a clear determined little voice “that she loved her great grand pa very much and he would be back very soon. ”  It was a powerful decree and will not be forgotten by her Papa, my husband who is still trying to come to terms with losing his mother and now is trying to be strong for his Dad.

The next day, Sunday morning he was up early waiting for some coffee and breakfast which he ate with us. We then watched RBC’s very worthy Day of Discovery which was filmed in Israel and was featuring what it means to be in the ” wilderness ” as  Christ follower.
He sat enraptured to what was being discussed and the encouragement of what God does in our wilderness seasons was a great blessing to him.

A few minutes later he is telling us about why he believes the Lord wants him to endure this season of insurmountable things— for his boys, for his grandchildren who he is trying to be sure know Jesus Christ. One granddaughter is on his heart — he wants to be sure she knows Jesus. A promise to himself and Verda — seeing this through.  Inspiring in all ways, this man who struggles to breathe and is a powerful lesson in the ” breath of life” as he goes through this valley.

In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.
Job 12:9-11

Before we left Sunday after lunch– Rita, my husband and I prayed. I had found the olive oil and together we prayed over him and anointed him while praying.

” For the Lord Almighty says, for those who know my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings” Malachi 4:2

Hebrews 4:12

Amplified Bible

    • For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

Facedown… to see His glory….the awe of it..

I have been waiting for about 2 months now for the release in my spirit to release this post. Prayerfully and with my heart and spirit still full of it, I have been waiting… and tonight after replying to an email from my kindred friend and sister in Christ,  Charmaine ” Garden Girl” http://runningfrombabylon.blogspot.com/  and some discussion with my daughter Olivia Adair http://livadair.wordpress.com/ the breakthrough finally came to share this.  With all humility I hope to share in a way that gives God the glory … for it is HE who is the Good Shepherd.

For those who have been reading my blogs, you know  that I have been in a season of some persecution personally involving the ministry the Lord gave me a vision to develop and lead over 23 years ago which is Yahweh Center Children’s Village. http://www.yahwehcenter.org  Should I have expected this ?

Probably, as this ministry  is  about healing children and God’s name  is on this place ..  but I was blindsided. You see , I work on the concept of being a giver.  I am a mercy person and also one that believes in accountability for when folks agree to be part of ministry—- that it requires hard times and faith times and respect for authority.  My heart is for people and  when I share the Word of God it is for encouragement and edification . How do we grow without being nourished and fed by it? But then it is all about perspective of the life as believers.  This is the great purging of  the ” church” and who we are and who we are not in Christ.  The worst of us —the chaff being shifted from the wheat. The deep cuts of pruning. He seeks a vineyard with fruit and we cannot grow without the purging.. ouch!

The scripture of the Lord in the Bible is precious to me– not something that I use for “manipulation” but the enemy knows that is my heart.. so that particular accusation  deeply pierced my heart.  Oh, but wait.. that is the point is it not ?  By circumcise of our hearts we get His heart. These are hard lessons. I do not profess to be a “perfect leader” but I do try with all I know how to do to seek Him of how to lead.  He is developing the gifts of spirit and the fruits of the spirit in me and to develop my faith in a deeper way.

What breaks our hearts “breaks His too”. How other people view this is God’s business and it is not my battle. Meanwhile, this caused me to learn a lot about sedition and rebellion and witchcraft and what this all really means… for we do not wrestle with flesh and blood.  This thing was much deeper than I understood. See  Rick Renner at

http://www.lightsource.com/ministry/refuel-with-rick/20100718/

Learning hard …about the walk we agree to when we go with Him. We must decrease so He can increase. That part is what is the struggle and so our Shepherd leads and sometimes the sheep scatter with sheep in wolves clothing lingering about.  I can take the wolf out in the open but it is the “hidden” ones that blew me away. I am prayerfully working on seeking Him to be a wiser shepherdess.

Pushing all vulnerabilities to the side– yes I have been broken and  “face down” in this time.  It has been a time for me of deeper intimacy with the Lord–leaning not unto my own understanding ( working on that daily ) and the most troubled and blessed of moments of learning what this journey of being called to His purpose really means.   This has involved all kinds of things– a myriad of emotions and trying to hang on to Him when it seemed He could not hear me at all.  But I find that is the beauty of it… the place where when all is still and lonely .. . He is deeper still.

The enemy of our souls knows just where to go for our weak spots-– and also how to try to use accusation as a weapon of self doubt and to attempt to quench the only real hope we have… the relationship with Jesus and our faith in our Abba Father through the Word and the power of His name.  The strategy is to break our confidence and wear down our faith by using our faith and His WORD against us.  Doubt and whispering, the relentless murmuring.. the issue of the ages.  What I have learned is truly very simple ,so simple it is almost too hard to grasp. It is that when we are weak, He is strong and when the enemy comes in like a flood… He raises a standard against it.

Isaiah 59:19
So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.

The details of all what went on are not even worthy of sharing– it is literally a narrow place  but a place that the Lord puts His children through to help us be a more worthy lamb for the Shepherd to lead.

Psalm 23: 5

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[a] in the house of the LORD
Forever.

I know as He has told me when trying to understand it all; it is for me as a leader myself to get me ready for things that will be revealed to me and others as we grow in the fruits of the spirit in these last days.  My heart is so full of praise for  friends, intercessors, ministry supporters and amazingly people I don’t even know who prayed.  How can I ever thank you

Oh my the power of prayer… how can we even grasp the supernatural factors in prayer. Moments when the calm of the storm around me was like a warm blanket — I could feel it surrounding me– the united prayers and hearts of believers who cried out in prayer.   Prayer is a gift for those you are praying for … an offering.  I read and do my devotional time with

Kathleen Dillard of  ” Prayer Central ”

http://prayercentral.net/devotionals/in-his-name

Kathleen says it this way….

Jesus is the Rewarder. He answers prayer and brings blessings on our obedience. He is generous, and we can never out-give Him. Consider these Bible verses, and let your faith be strengthened.

Scripture:
Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.”

Matthew 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

Ephesians 6:7-8 “With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.”

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So now the reason for this post — to share how the Lord gave me in my dark moments a gift I cannot ever forget. He showed me His glory!!

One night right when all the hullabaloo of this “warfare” was at a fervor pitch from events from the day. I was down in my kitchen table just sobbing. It was late and my husband was in bed and I was so broken and literally crying out to the Lord, that I woke up my husband.  He came downstairs, troubled and to comfort me.

Unbeknown to me, my dear friend Shirley was praying for God to show me His glory.  The next day the prayers of so many were wrapping me moment to moment through unbelievable events coming in like a “flood”….

That evening when home about twilight– suddenly the light outside changed into a golden and crimsom  hue , I cannot adequately describe. Still cannot.

It was if the sky had turned to liquid gold… but not just the sky but the atmosphere. It was about 8:30 PM and it was as if someone turned the lights on– I got up from where I was reading and ran to look out front— the wonder of what I was seeing immediately had me on my knees in praise.  It seemed as if the heavens had opened and I truly thought maybe Jesus was coming..  and I worshipped!  Then I called to my husband to come see and he did but it seemed not so remarkable to him. To be very candid, it seemed like there was something strange that he was not seeing what I was. So I was praying Lord–what did I see?

I then got a phone call from my daughter, Olivia who had been out walking their dog  and she mentioned being outside and seeing the most incredible light and then coming in to put my granddaughter Eila to bed, she reported that Eila age 2 had said” mommy close the curtains, it is too bright, I don’t like it “.

So buoyed by our conversation– I keep seeking the Lord on it and He revealed it was His Shekinah glory. This lead me to a search which I found at this link…

http://www.hope-of-israel.org/glory.htm an excerpt from this is with bold emphasis mine

Throughout the Bible YEHOVAH God speaks of His desire for an intimate relationship with His people. The “Shekinah,” therefore, refers to the presence of YEHOVAH that was — but is not now — physically manifested in the time-space continuum. It could be seen. The presence was A VEHICLE OF THE PERSON OF YEHOVAH GOD IN THE THREE DIMENSIONAL WORLD. Solomon’s understanding that YEHOVAH cannot actually be limited to Temples on earth because of His eternal nature can be seen in I Kings 8:27 —

The writer goes on to share also the following:

Whenever that presence was physically manifested, it was frightening to those who experienced it:

When Moses had ascended the mountain, the cloud covered the mountain. The PRESENCE OF THE LORD [“Cavod YHVH”] abode [“shakan”] on Mount Sinai, and the cloud hid it for six days. On the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. Now the PRESENCE OF THE LORD [“Cavod YHVH”] appeared in the sight of the Israelites as a consuming fire on the top of the mountain. — Exodus 24:15-17.

Writes Fred P. Miller: “Earlier, the seventy elders had gone up into the cloud and actually saw the “Shekinah” glory, and they were so afraid they asked Moses never to take them again. As far as they were concerned, they saw God! You can only imagine their hair on end and their wide-eyed appearance as they came down from the mountain exclaiming ‘We saw God! It was terrible!'” (Zechariah and Jewish Renewal).

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The frightening of seeing the glory of the Lord helped me understand why Eila was “afraid and didn’t like it.  Putting this all together had me ” facedown” the awe of what I had been privileged to see… too precious to formulate. And even more a playing out of a covenant…. think of this my daughter and granddaughter saw it. Not my husband nor her husband but the 3 of us.She is my offspring and Eila the first of a direct generation…

And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
Genesis 17:6-8


Lessons in the heart.. ” You are for Me”

Here I am in the last moments of the day up here  in my “quiet place ” tending to my emotional wounds of the day and well yeah, frankly feeling lonely, misunderstood and having the proverbial pity party. Maybe I have good reason for this foray into this emotional indulgence but when I took it up a level to include the Lord in my concerns, teardrops turned into prayers.

One of my favorite quotes is the following:

You can draw near to God even though you cannot say a word. A prayer may be crystallised in a tear. A tear is enough water to float a desire to God.”

– Charles H. Spurgeon

Amazing how God reminds us in those bare and broken of spirit moments in life just how much He understands our feelings. After all His Son was sent here to earth  experiencing in the flesh the range of emotions. What a lesson He is teaching me about the “cup of His suffering ” … my minor earthly glimpse that has overwhelmed me. How much His heart had to have been broken by those who would so dismiss, mock, despise the Lord our God.. the Master and Architect of the Universe.
Boy… does that give some perspective to what He wants us to understand about walking with Him and yet He did the amazing thing.. He loved, and forgave and understood giving himself totally over to the will of His Father.

I confess to not being in the most loving spirit as I remembered the day and some of the thoughtlessness that was encountered in real life living that deeply hurt my feelings.  Invisible my feelings to others it seemed..

So in my little office  looking out at the night as it falls and having the blessing of iTunes and all of my favorite music before me I opened up my email. My emails  came flooding in which included some amazing teachings from folks who are fervent believers and seekers of Jesus  as well as notes from friends brothers and sisters in Christ. Many of whom, I have never met but have a deep fellowship with in the Holy Spirit and the trust, kindred spirit that has developed over the years . Likely some of you reading this post are in that group and others understand exactly what I am speaking of.

In my perusal of my emails,   I was  seeing the prayer requests of some in very deep need.  So with my “sufferings’ placed aside for reaching out-– the supernatural effort of encouraging others lifted my spirits.

Soon a change happened in me .

By listening to songs of worship, praise  and the effort to look up scripture for those I am praying for and with… some are members of my family who mean so much to me and are a blessing daily in my life–others whom I have not met but in “spirit” and sharing … He worked  on my heart.  His loving presence exchanged the place of “self” which regardless of what our  cultural  feel good “Church” is teaching is not what Jesus taught at all.  He taught that we must decrease so He might increase..

Chip Brogden teaches amazingly on this in “The School of Christ http://www.TheSchoolOfChrist.org  in this article

http://theschoolofchrist.org/articles/he-must-increase.html

He .. Jesus , Yeshua HaMashchiah , knew all the range of emotions and yet He took the full cup of suffering.  Truly I don’t want to  drink from it.. willingly but in His love and example He supernaturally imparts Himself into our hearts.
He is for me , for us.. the fruits of the spirit waiting for us to pick them up and develop deep roots in my ( our ) hearts. Roots deep enough to feed faith and wrapped in the daily fertile soil of His word and continual prayer.

So as I pray tonight for those who need it (including me ) … He uplifts my soul and whispers to me… that He knows..

Psalm 119:25-48

25 My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word!
29 Put false ways far from me
and graciously teach me your law!
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
31 I cling to your testimonies, O Lord;
let me not be put to shame!
32 I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart! [1]

From Daily Light….

The chief Shepherd.—“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me. . . . My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.—“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”—“I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak.”—For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 5:4; John 10:14, 27, 28; Ps. 23:1-3; Isa. 53:6; John 10:11; Ezek. 34:16; 1 Pet. 2:25

Selah and blessings on the journey….

Better than a Halleujah…the melodies of life part 3

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The trip to Indiana and our return back to North Carolina will be forever seared in my memory.  Actually the choice of the song theme for this post comes from the heartache which was to yet come. Still coming to terms with all that transpired, the amazing love of our Lord, His awesome power is the real message in the melodies of life that became as real as breathing. How little did we know the demand to catch that breath as the day unfolded…

My husband and I forged a plan of how we were going to manage the zany back time travel to NC.  The great “deal” for the airline tickets came at the less than optimal time to fly.. of course all of this depends on your point of view.  My family’s home is 95 miles or so from Indianapolis where we needed to be on board at 5:30 AM.  It did not make sense to go up and stay in a hotel near the airport as we would need to still get up so early in order to check the rental car, and get our selves checked in an hour ahead of time. So we decided to get up at 1:30 AM with the car already packed except for our carry on things and hit the road north to the airport.
Right when my husband had risen because of his alarm , he was in the other room when his phone vibrated with a missed call.  Getting calls at 1:30 AM is not the norm, so my  husband was startled to see that his youngest brother had called to let him know that his mother, Verda had been taken to ICU and that all the family had been alerted. Verda, as you may recall in my other posts is using only 10 percent of her heart and has to go each Monday for treatments at the closest hospital.

We knew the Doc had told her that she did not have much more time but then amazingly a new experimental procedure was available at Charleston, SC at the Medical School.  There was a glimmer of hope for her, and for my father in law, Jim; their marriage spanning 61 years.

So we were on alert not yet quite understanding what was yet to come.

How amazing that our wake up call by the alarm on the phone to leave for a flight would come at the same time of a family emergency. We got in the rental car and drove through the cool night meandering through sleepy towns all the way to Indianapolis. Towns, I had passed through frequently while in college at Purdue University on my way up and back.  Sweet little towns like “Beehunter”, Freedom and Spencer, where one of the remaining covered bridges still holds court. Memories of these towns brought back so many memories of songs that were popular when in college.. the melodies of life. Signs everywhere letting travelers know that in Indiana the Tea Party was alive and well as was the independent spirit for freedom, Constitution and faith, Christian faith…

We made each connecting road perfectly along with the right exit to the rental car drop off and once in the airport with very little time to spare, the US Air counter already full of travelers waiting to make their way.  Having slept little we were in need of some coffee but no time till we could get closer to the gates.  The whole time, I felt a consuming need to apply the blood of Jesus to ourselves, family and for the flight crews and passengers.  Praying and glad to be heading home.

Watching the people in the airport– seeing people who seemed happy, people who seemed sad and seeing the faces of reunion and all the unknowns played out in this melody of life which included the robotic voice talking on the speaker systems telling all to not leave packages unattended, and to realize the rules as per Federal regulation.  Wondering and praying over the people passing by. Surreal this exhausting trip long gone  the little farm towns and landscape changing by the minute once airborne.

Once on board, we were looking forward to being back in Wilmington by 9 AM and at our house and our own beds.  Our little dog Quigley had been in the watch care of our son’s childhood friend; who had kindly house sat for us and watered my new spring flowers and got the mail. We spoke with David earlier letting him know we were back in town and it was okay to leave. He had shared that Quigley was okay but sad, missing us terribly and would lay whining at times for us.   So when we pulled up– he was face at the window with his favorite toy in his mouth dropped for joyous barking at our return.

We decided to quickly unpack as we had washed all our clothes before leaving and then settle into our recliners

and just relax. Quigley jumped up in my lap back and forth from my husband to me and contended after much ear stroking. We had been checking with all the family’s cell phones in SC and could not get an answer. Then upon calling the ICU were connected to Aunt Rita and told to come quickly.  Truly startled and home less than 30 minutes with the understanding that we had a 3 hour drive, we threw things into the suitcases we had just unpacked. Our little dog overwhelmed with seeing us do this– the high anxiety of my husband’s fatigue and fear of not making it in time to see his mother alive… had us in a foggy frenzy.

We were in the car, calling back David our wonderful housesitter who said he could come back that night.  Then on the phone with our daughter, and trying to connect with our son and others who needed to know.  Our prayer in the car, please Oh God, please grant us favor to see Verda alive.. praying for healing, praying and praying.  Suddenly so thankful for those crazy early flight times so that we would get this news while on the ground and able to take control of car travel. Oh Thank you GOD!

My husband’s face etched with the trauma of it all… my feeling sadly guilty that he had worked so hard all week and that my parents needs had taken him so far from his mother.   The time seemed endless and we kept praise and worship music on for the power of it.  My staying awake, vigilant for my husband whose fatigue was so obvious.

We got to the hospital and raced up to ICU only to find a waiting room full of family. Beloved maternal and paternal  aunts, uncles, two brothers and an array of cousins.  The situation spoke for itself and we were greeted by the rock of the family, my  husband’s aunt Rita, a retired missionary from years in Brazil, Guiana, Trinidad but not ever truly retired as she is ever a servant for the Lord. A community sub-stainer of salt, light and strength. She is a very dear sister in law …more a sister to Verda.    She is my husband’s father’s  sister  There stood  his uncle Arnold also the support and encourager to the family.  Another aunt, Verda’s sister who married his father’s brother who has since died–  there are double cousins and strong family ties.

All who love Verda.

It hit us clearly she was possibly dying. Prayers floated up — prayer for the will of God, prayers for a miracle, prayer for Jim whose heart was breaking.  Close family allowed in.. the sons, wives, Jim and with wisdom efforts by the nurses in ICU and others urging to keep so many out of the room.

Verda there trying to hold on.. cold to the touch as her organs were shutting down.  His mom hearing my dear husband say he loved her and hearing her say she loved him too and my being able to pray over her and with her. Telling her that our children wanted her to know how much they loved her. Her on 8 percent of her heartworking able to say, I love them too…
Thankful and utterly overwhelmed that he was able to see her still alive, my husband stroking his mother’s face and hair. His Dad weeping in his wheelchair with oxygen attached, which is his routine now.  Watching this play out in disbelief. The hope in prayers reflecting one of my favorite quotes:

“You can draw near to God even though you cannot say a word. A prayer may be crystallised in a tear. A tear is enough water to float a desire to God.”

– Charles H. Spurgeon

Hope being intermingled with sobs and the spoken out loud acceptance by some that nothing could be done.  Our request that no negative be spoken in the room but the word of God.  This very painful melody of life…  yet the way the Lord had gone before this .  A favorite sister in law of Verda’s who is a widow many years now losing her husband, Verda’s brother  many years ago— already coming from Atlanta, a planned trip to see  her before her health had taken such critical downturn.
Their arrival a sweet reunion and the timing with Verda’s rallying a bit, and her able to recognize and speak to them. The many conversations in the waiting room, the bravery of Jim ( James Olin ) to try not to dip into despair.

The day passing on — the waiting and finally the agreement for us to leave, so she can sleep and the plan to return early in the morning.  The drive to the house and walking in to it — Verda’s roses the Queen Elizabeth’s pink in full glory, more radiant than I had ever recalled seeing. The essence of her everywhere.  Rita, tired, managing emotions too being strong and making sure all had a place to sleep. Tony and I staying with my father in law.  Hoping he can sleep– he is utterly exhausted. The concern that the oldest brother is still traveling from Missouri and a long way to come.  Praying for him to be safe and to get there in time….

The prayers of my husband — quietly upward in fervency as hard as he can..

We are so tired we go to bed going to shower in the morning early. I cannot sleep mid night needing to use my air-card with my laptop so I can use my daily devotionals. I am hungry for this time with God, needing my daily 4th watch time with Him…

My computer “suddenly ” having a screen that is flipped so that you  have to pick it up like a book to read it… Not being able to do anything to fix this and feeling so frustrated. It was a form of spiritual warfare– I needed my Bible time and teaching.  Back to bed.The next morning very sleepy and not getting up as early as normal for me.  My husband already showered and my attempting to do that, but helping to put out breakfast for Jim.  My husband cooking eggs and all of us — joined in this ritual of family around the table , so odd she is not there.  Then the phone rings and we are told to come right now!!!

My father in law in a virtual panic, with air hoses flying heading out the door, my husband getting the van with the wheelchair lift ready. My rushing to pull on clothes wishing so much, I had taken the shower the night before. Not important now but what is… stopping to hand pull some of those roses blooming with a vase from the porch as I go by– just in case Verda is awake enough to enjoy them.

Knowing I had a vision of her while praying holding her little boy Myron who had died in her arms at age two from Leukemia.  Knowing but hoping…

Tony’s ( my husband)  brother and wife along with Rita all rushing to get to the hospital about a half- hour away. Tony going on ahead with his Dad and my following behind his brother. Prayers and prayers while driving and trying so hard to find a Christian station while looking  for one– a song from long ago comes on ” The Mother and Child Reunion by Paul Simon. I am listening to this song remembering the vision of Verda with Myron while praying thinking how remarkable this song would be on now…

Mother and Child Reunion

Words & music by Paul Simon

No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reu-nion
Is only a motion away, oh, little darling of mine.
I can’t for the life of me
Remember a sadder day
I know they say let it be
But it just don’t work out that way
And the course of a lifetime runs
Over and over again

No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reu-nion
Is only a motion away, oh, little darling of mine.

I just can’t believe it’s so,
and though it seems strange to say
I never been laid so low
In such a mysterious way
And the course of a lifetime runs
Over and over again

But I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
When the mother and child reu-nion
Is only a motion away,
Oh, oh the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away
Oh the mother and child reu-nion
Is only a moment away

The day was glorious — picture perfect with no humidity and the streets of Camden SC dressed in spring finery, birds singing the melody of life…

Arriving at the hospital a full parking lot– then praying for a space, getting one and all us moving fast- my father in law and Tony already inside. Seeing the nurses in ICU looking at the roses in my hand looking kindly at me when I ask if I can use their sink to fill the vase with flowers.. they exchange glances.

Stepping into the room and realizing she has already died and my husband and James did not make it in time by 2 minutes..  my seeing my husband and his brother in tears, my dropping to my knees and holding my father in law’s hand while he is saying he cannot make it without her.  He is so fragile, looking at me saying,” what am I going to do “… my praying with him and saying you will make it only with Jesus then seeing my husband who needed me..

Her passing on April 27th at 8:30 AM to the arms of Jesus walking the streets of Heaven. The mother and child reunion only a motion away.

The love, tears and shock of a waiting room of multi generations.  Our own children who were on their way to tell their grandmother goodbye.. getting the news and realizing they needed to turn back home, with their children , her great grandchildren with Asher never have met her. Our last shot of her with Olivia ( daughter ) holding Eila ( great granddaughter ) and Erica ( daughter in law ) and me with them and Verda. This was taken on Christmas Eve for their 60th Wedding Anniversary in 2008.

The rest a blur — the sadness, the reality, the emotions of the ICU staff who loved her too. The sister breaking down.  The young Pastor who was did not know Verda but had been asked by her brother to come in and pray with the family.

The final goodbyes in her room and James not wanting to see her like that again, but waiting to leave.  Going back to the house, where he says ” Oh my girl , you are everywhere.”  Comfort and pain rolled into the range of emotions…

Food, family, decisions, funeral plans  the ebb and flow. The missing brother who will find out when he calls his wife to check in. He does not have a cell phone and has physical challenges driving and driving.  We later learn that he was driving about 10:30AM the morning she died and suddenly he hears music and is puzzled as he does not have a radio on. Then pulls over shuts off the engine and hears music “singing ” for a few minutes.  This brother saying it had to be angels.. and I like to believe in my spirit that Verda was among them comforting her son … the melodies of life.

My husband and I decide that we will go home to get our clothes and he will come back in the morning and I will stay at home for a day, and follow on the morning of the funeral with our children and grandchildren.

We leave Kershaw, SC to go back to Wilmington. Tired, sad and when almost to the Cape Fear River bridge.. we both see it at the same time– eyes in the sky. I try to take a picture but it is gone. Then we turn on Christian Radio and hear this haunting melody “Better than a Hallelujah ”  and we both are captivated by it  A love touch of grace, mercy and compassion all in a series of events.  As we grow closer to Wilmington we see the burst of great light the prism of a bright colored rainbow just behind the clouds.  He is showing His covenant with us and for us…

Arriving at our house to our waiting children who have dinner ready, our happy dog, loving grandchildren and the news that there were triple rainbows out in the front of our house which were captured by camera. One brighter than another… His love coming down..

Then our daughter writing a beautiful tribute to her grandmother called of  ” Songs and Shells” at her site ” A Work in Progress “http://livadair.wordpress.com/

Upon reading it that next morning and calling my husband to alert him, I was forwarding it and perhaps they would want to consider it as part of the funeral. Later our lovely Olivia reads it after Rita does a wonderful eulogy reminding us of what we already knew. What a special woman Verda was.  While reading, the very personal memories, the sharing touching the other granddaughters and it hits their emotional core and the tears are flowing. Her memories echo theirs too…  A video played  of family during the visitation. Oh how we remembered.

We then gather this family that Verda has left behind, this amazing legacy on earth of her life as a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, great grandmother, role model .  She had 5 boys, now one she is reunited with and the the ones remaining giving her and James 13 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren.
The family eating together afterward at the house  of Rita  where there is food and more food shared by 4 generations.  Our granddaughter Eila grace playing with another little girl Ella who matches her in age and verbal skills both being held at one point by their ” Papa’s ” my husband and his cousin who is a double cousin and whom both look so much alike..

The swapping of stories, recipes,  among the low hum of the best of family conversation in the worst of circumstance while gallons of ice tea and the love offering of the ladies of Buffalo Baptist Church in food graces the tables put up where space allows.
We see her everywhere. This amazing lady — Verda in the faces of those left behind, my husband, my family …. the melody of life.. knowing she is saving a place for us . The fleeting smell  of her roses drifting across the street and across our memories…  the melodies of life.

We will miss you …

Psalm 139

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall[a] on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
20 For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.[c]
21 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting
.

Better than a Halleujah.. Life’s Melodies part 2

  ( Amy Grant ) Better than a Hallelujah.

When my husband Tony and I went back to my childhood home, we prayed it would have redemptive processes. My family relationships needed work. My mother is an independent tough, hard working woman whom time, age and life have mellowed.  My feelings on my sleeve as I would contemplate what our reunion might be under her new dependency and my coming home specific at her request.  During the nights before we actually left to go, and somewhat overcome with so much to be done at work –before we left for both of us.. my prayer was to have a “servant’s heart on this trip.   You see, as a child and often as an adult,  the words exchanged between us ( and lack of them too )  were often problematic memories.  Her whole understanding of me was that she did not understand me and as a little girl, often my desperate need for her to see me for me was a feelings pushed down– heartache.

I found many ways to escape from these feelings. Long walks in the pastures bringing in the cows where I would hide out on my favorite cow, Sapphire’s back.  This big ole Holstein cow would allow me to lay on her while she was taking her breather before the next big milking assignment at 4 pm each day.  The sound of her breathing among the other ladies in the herd– cud chewing and sweet alfalfa breath in my face when I hugged her was a resonance of the melody of the fields.  My songs were made up and sung to her and all the other cows who were my audience.  Silent critics who let me belong in their fold.  A playground all of my own. My melody of life alone with the cows and God in the fields. It was there, I begin to love writing. Developing poems and stories about what I was seeing, feeling and hearing in those long dairy farm days.  My Mother looked out for me in her way when she was concerned using her binoculars to see me out in the field with the cows.  Which I didn’t know till much later…

Tz’fanyah 3:17 [Zephaniah 3:17]
“The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you in His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” NKJV

My Dad and I were much alike in personality and were drawn to want to examine the world beyond our farm like borders. That frankly threatened the heck out of her.  This ongoing conflict was complicated. All I knew as a child was that if I rode my bicycle or horse to our neighbors house or my paternal grandmother, suddenly I was unconditionally loved and made to feel special.This grew to a list of adopted older women about and around our farming community.  Unconsciously this list grew and grew and I was many people’s child as well as my own parents too.
Upon my return with the cows back to the milking parlor, the sound of country music would be belting out loudly among the rhythm of the milking machines whoosh and swoosh.  The little calves  would be waiting for me and my younger brother, Doug to mix up the Purina calf mix for them in bucket with rubber teats for them to drink.  Their anxious to eat bawling blended with the barn sounds a melody that still rings as I remember … remembering now as well how hard my mother worked.  Milking cows twice a day, making a big mid day dinner ( lunch in suburban language -dinner is supper ) of fried chicken she had to get fresh chickens for, killing, plucking, cleaning, frying.
Then the numerous assists to my Dad and brothers in the fields, sometimes on the tractor herself.  Giving birth to me after milking the cows and realizing she had minutes to get to the hospital.  She had no time for things other mothers could do and little time for herself.  Her yodeling and singing and playing the violin ( which fascinated us ) long put away.  Her songs now only heard in church on Sunday mornings  replaced  by the life melody as a farm wife who was likely more tired than I could understand.

Flash forward>>>>

Our time in my parents home in Southern Indiana involved an incredible amount of cleaning their house .  The amount of dust they were breathing was immediately obvious to us but not necessarily to my parents. Although they had difficulty with colds and coughs which they struggled to be rid of … it did not register that there was so much dust and likely mildew. An anger also rose in me that it had been allowed to get to this point. Now mind you, they are not easy to subdue with such things but oh come on… the bathroom conditions in the tub and showers just broke my heart. So we were on a mission and surprises lie in wait to what might be revealed.

The cleaning in itself became our daily routine. I probably have never admired my husband more than the temperance he displayed during this perpetual “dust fest”.

There was more to this than cleaning their house– it was a moment of internal emotional cleansing too– holding my breath and allowing  my mother humbled by her inability to do things for herself, to allow me to be her daughter. Doing things that daughters would do for their mother– be tender, and respectful and a benevolent dictator with a new understanding in my later life maturity which helped me  to respect the boundaries.

So clean away… coughing and with amazement sometimes to the amount and bounty of worthless knickknacks, and to our hysterical shock, a pair of teeth in a glass shoved way back in the cabinet.  The discussion over this became hilarious, as we thought they were my Dad’s as did my Mom when finally nobody knew whose they were or how they got there.   Out they go!

Well kinda, my Dad was now obsessed with the trash.  He did not want coffee grounds loose in his trash bags . My husband and I exchanged some looks and conversation about this compulsive trash ritual, my Dad had developed. My mother said it was not being as busy as he once was and being in her “back pocket”.  Dad making sure each thing was sorted then burning trash frequently, too frequently which we exasperated by all our cleaning.  Then realizing something had physically changed my Dad too, maybe an unknown stroke and that the two of my parents had enough physical and mental resources together in their 63 years of marriage  to make it day by day.  Their aging life melody that we watched being played out before us.
Down came curtains as we coughed through their washing, out came the vacuum sweeper to deep clean and floors scrubbed.

In our cleaning mania we learned that spiders and nests were everywhere and that the garbage disposal did not work.  Our investigation led to many things that needed repair and a plumber was called who was a minister to boot. We loved talking with him as he made the repairs.  Kinda of prophetic that too. The garbage disposal that would not work– now humming along taking out debris. New sink facets bringing in flowing water.  These things speak of letting go of the emotional debris and allowing cleansing to come.  It was part of the daily melody of life for us that week.  Looking at the past and what it had meant.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then we came to the antique and heirloom dishes.  This was a delicate new junction in my relationship with my mother. She had never been one to release easily her things to me.  Now she suddenly tells me that the antique bowls, glasses, cups, plates, keepsakes from generations past and some from the home of one of the “adopted grandmothers”  could be mine.
This was simply amazing to me and I was troubled she would change her mind.

So I gingerly began to select items and discuss those with her.  She was eager for me to take them but alas the next day said she had others in the family who needed to also have these. My brother inherits the farm and many things and suddenly my feelings wounded anew by her swift change of position upon praying decided not to take any. Praying hard so I could just be contented to have had great moments on this trip with her.

The next morning when she wobbled into the kitchen where I was having coffee and busy on my laptop with issues at work that needed attention, she makes a verbal observation.  ” I see you did not pack up the dishes last night, and I thought you would have already” . Her way of saying she was sorry.

So we went out to get boxes , bubble wrap and packing peanuts.  Our journey had us cleaning out all these items in every small town post office around us and then some.  We also visited UPS who told us to visit a place in Vincennes that was owned we learned  by a friend of my deceased brother. We were ready to begin. After hours of washing dishes, sorting and pulling these out for display the dining room table was covered in dishes and generations of memories. The gentle clinking of the crystal combined with the discussion over the history of the dishes… memories flooding back of my adopted grandmother who hand painted many cups and signed them. Of my German grandmothers, aunts and great grandmothers whose young bride treasures –these many heirlooms, that had graced their tables.  We were wrapping  the unheard dinner, breakfast and family celebrations in each item we packed.

My mother sharing stories of her remembrances of her mother’s things and the auctions where my brother Doug ( he was also an auctioneer ) would bring her home, the  treasures he had bought. Making them even more special to her now special to me.  This was her way of loving me an unspoken melody understood between us. My joy and hers full in this mother and daughter exchange.

When finished we took these to the friend of my brothers who tenderly put each of our packed boxes in yet another air packed box to protect them.  Then he shared that he had been with my younger brother the night before he died. I was so thankful to the Lord for this unsought but divine appointment to learn things that I would have not known.

How amazing this incredible sharing of sorrow and joys with someone whom I had not crossed my memory again till now.

We are now preparing to go back to NC. My mother is happy for all the cleaning but thanks my husband not me, and I realize this is a good sign her old ways indicating she is becoming herself  again.   This is hard this up and down time. So I go and walk out to the lilac bushes taking in their smell while a slight gentle rain falls… dropping down watering my face hiding tears as I struggle to stay in the right place recognizing that my mother loves me the best she can.
My uncle Max shows up along with my older brother and his wife  about this time with  his  zany stories making us all laugh and the sound echoes into the night air, blowing in the windows as the sun begins its drop for the moon to come up.  Their story swaps better than a hallelujah I imagine, as this family struggles to forge our relationships and I am  hoping God is pleased.

To be continued….

From Meet Me in the Meadow


Great Is The Lord  by Roy Lessin

Today, may you love Him as your Father,
Thank Him as your Creator,
Look to Him as your Guide,
Depend upon Him as your Protector,
Trust in Him as your Provider,
Seek Him as your Strength,
Yield to Him as your Lord,
Worship Him as your God,
Serve Him as your King.

Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done. Sing to Him; yes, sing His praises. Tell everyone about His wonderful deeds. Exult in His holy name; rejoice, you who worship the LORD. Search for the LORD and for His strength; continually seek Him. Remember the wonders He has performed, His miracles, and the rulings He has given, you children of His servant Abraham, you descendants of Jacob, His chosen ones.
Psalm 105:1-6 NLT

Better than a Halleujah.. the melodies of life part 1

The last two weeks have been a collage of memories that have collided with things past.. things now and things future. As I sit here trying to put these events into words.. the full moon is beaming in my window and the pure night air drifts in and it is a comforting feeling. The comfort needed due to the utter weakness felt in my spirit and soothed by the ritual of the night sounds and His creation sounding a much-needed lullaby for my soul.

Maybe it’s the overwhelming realities of life confronting me and my family at this time.  It’s been a time of conflicting emotions running around in my head bumping into the feelings long buried in my heart, awakened now for so many reasons.

Last week  found me being in the rolling farm land of Southern Indiana where the weather is the most important topic of conversation because it links to crops going in ( and coming out ) to not only be the provision for the farm families involved in planting them but for the livestock to be feed, and the literal breadbasket that we enjoy abundantly in this country.
Mornings where 5:30 AM is the expected rising time and the sound of cows lowing and roosters crowing blends with birds melodies coming in an open window or banging screen door.

Mornings begin where my once agile parents “shuffle ” into the kitchen. The sync of coffee, and breakfast over the “farm report” turned up so loud that my husband got a pair of earplugs to endure the blaring noise of it. Tough way to ease in the day but since they are becoming hard of hearing, it sounds just right to them.  So we patiently explain that if you hit the “mute ” button on the remote.. they would not have to keep trying to get the volume to come down but one “hit” and it would be back where they like it.  A compromise we sort of negotiated while there. Days when my childhood memories came tumbling back as we drove around the large land townships which make up the county where I grew up.  A drive on my father’s 1000 plus acres where instead of the beautiful Holstein dairy cows, calves, heifers and steers there now are natural gas wells and mini gas plants pumping and they are everywhere. They are in-between the hollows , lakes and ponds mixed strangely beside fields where rich dirt is being cultivated and planted. Gone the solitude of these areas now with strangers in trucks who come with this new industry. A new melody in the best of my childhood. North of town the coal mines have taken out the 4th generation family farmhouses built by the German immigrants who came to build the most beautiful of barns, homes and gardens here in the heartland of America.  The house of my mothers childhood mowed over by the vast underground mine development and left are the ghosts of hedgerows and a rare grove of trees, or fence running along the lanes.  The loss of what used to be there was strong and on a day when my fragile mother wanted to be taken on this ride, she mentions the places and whose family farmhouses and farms are no longer recognizable to the extreme.  The melody of the land different now and patched here and there are the places that remain.  Back to our small town, where the local restaurant is full of the old and new generations that come for real fellowship.  The regulars there swapping stories, political commentary, jokes and the comfort of folks who come in their “work clothes” shoes covered with dirt, the uniform of  overalls,  and hats advertising the local agricultural vendors covered with dust from plowing. Where when one man or woman gets up, another comes in sits down to join the group eating like family members.

I was there with my husband and parents on “catfish” Friday, when it was all of it you can eat and pies dotting the counter.  A true deal of food including the drink and pies with your meal for $6.50.  Older ladies who squinted to see me and came over extending hands and hugs of welcome.  To them I am the hometown girl come back and embraced with my childhood nickname spoken which made my husband laugh out loud. A community who tipped hats and greeted my mother who made this public visit back into the circle with my husband and I steadying her from the car her cane in toll and seeing her sway as she reached the curb. They had taken up a collection to send flowers during her stay in the hospital. She had a remarkable 25 arrangements sent to her while in the hospital .. this melody of life played out before my eyes through the sound of clinking glasses of tea, forks on pie plates and voices of people I had not thought of for so long…

We travel my husband and I in the car across Amish country which is a county over and the place I remember well. There too are the gas wells but the generations of farms, barns and houses are intact. They comfort me as we pass them, neat as can be.  We go to the Amish restaurant where again, I am welcomed for family maiden name, older folks who remember me and one relative who finds out I am speaking at Bethel Church on Sunday and they come to Sunday School just to  hear me share. Do I feel like crying about it all , yes I do. Because not only of failing parents who cannot do all they have done but because of the era of America vanishing from the landscape but not the spirit of the people who for the most part don’t lock their houses when gone all day because they know each other near and far…

Then to the cemetery at our family church ” Bethel ” where the carillon bells play at sundown on Saturday night.

A tribute in gift from my parents a melody of life where this rings across the land for a 26-year-old son who died in an accident in 1981 on a picture perfect June day. My brother Doug who is still so beloved.. suddenly  is bigger than

life in my memories of him as we see his grave stone among those of family all the way back to 1847 when early family settlers lost loved ones to yellow fever, and hard times.

Roses grace the cemetery, wild roses and the sound of birds chattering in the maple trees that tower in this place.

My Dad is out and about in his pick up truck driving to see what crops are coming up and what fields my older brother had not yet planted. Going without a cell phone nor often telling my mother who is still quite sick where he is going but driven all the same. A sadness in him that was not there before because of the age changes in his body that have changed too his light- hearted personality.  He hears a different melody of life now and is interested most fervently to hear the sound of the trumpet — of our Lord. He measures each day with one closer to the rapture.  His hope to see Doug again in heaven ever-present daily.

So I rise in the quiet of the house while there .. which has floors that creak and is filled with dust of a much needed cleaning, washing of almost everything in it because my parents cannot do these things anymore.  I sit in the moonlight with my laptop and my air card to pull my devotionals and the online Bible.  The stillness of the night comes like a friend where my ritual of rising in the 4th watch has me talking to God about the melodies of this life and feeling so out of sorts. I sit and pray for my mother, Dad, folks back home, online friends, staff and children at the ministry in NC that I lead and our own children and grandchildren. Thanking God for the legacy of life and the childhood filled with fields where among the wildflowers and cows.. I knew Jesus as my friend and later as Savior and the Son of our Almighty God.  Praying too for my husband’s mother whom was struggling with a body that was becoming weaker and in this night watch knowing He knows my every thought and need. I worship Him there in the moonlight which cuts a shadow across the grain bins standing tall with a harvest to come. The hallelujah of it all resounding the  wonder of His ways…

Psalm 5

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my meditation.
2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,

And I will look up.

01 Better Than a Hallelujah

To be continued….

God, ever loving in the details of our lives

I am writing this in the morning quiet of my childhood home in Southern Indiana.  Here in the morning mist of a farming community I am out of the periphery of my normal everyday life.  My mother who is an independent, very tough woman humbled herself and begged me to come home to care for her for during her immediate release from the hospital. She had fallen several times and the last time fell out of bed unconscious in the middle of the night. She and my father are very co-dependent on one another. He is much more like me in personality, my Mom and I are exact opposites. That in itself makes our relationship a challenge. So she calls and asks and I know we need to go. My Dad is more befuddled during her hospital stay .. upon her discharge they are both floundering.

My husband and I both had things to organize at our places of work and then we made plans to fly up to take care of them both.

We had to catch a fairly early flight at the airport which was not crowded nor busy at the US Air counter.  As always we had prayed and sought the Lord for safety and His protective covering.

We got to the US Air counter ONE … minute past their half-hour cut off time for checking folks in. Truly, just one minute. The fiery darts for the trip were beginning with this one female representative at the counter. She insisted we were past the cut – off and she was already booking us on another flight. She also mistakenly was insisting we had to pay for our carry on pieces that my husband had meticulously measured as per the US Air webpage.  They qualified. A vigorous debate ensued and she was set on making things difficult. Thankfully, a manager intervened.

Off we go– now really rushing because of the hullabaloo. We get to security and a very kind security officer told me to “declare” if we had any liquids.. so the water bottles were given over. My favorite Crabtree & Evelyn fragrance.. Wisteria was then subject to loss.  I had put more in my purse such as my jewelry, make-up etc because of what one can take on the plane. I pulled out the perfume which had been carefully wrapped in my jewelry wrap and next to it in a little bag were my diamond earrings.  The security guard looking at my beloved Wisteria bottle .. waved it on and said the ounces were just under. But alas in the rush, my little pouch with my diamond earrings fell out on the floor. I swooped down picked up the pouch and put it back in my purse. There was not any opportunity to dump out the contents of my bag anywhere till we arrived at our destination.  At long last I did and there were no diamond earrings to be found.

Now, I know this is just “stuff” but these are dear to me because they came from my husband on our 20th wedding anniversary. I was so upset and did not want to share this news with my dear spouse. But finally, the courage to do this rose up in me.  He was not a happy camper and proceeded to lecture me and my father who was present listened to this martial discourse. I said little in defense of myself … because I didn’t want to cry. I told them both, that I was going to call airport security to see if they had been found.

Both of these men, my Dad, my dear husband scoffed at the foolishness of my doing so and said I could kiss those goodbye.  But I prayed and prayed.I did make the call however, and was told by a sympathetic airport security officer that no diamond earrings had been found. He said anything like that would be unusual but to go ahead and describe them… so I did with my heart in my throat.

A few hours later, my cell phone rang and I missed the call. It was 1o PM long from 6:45 AM back in North Carolina at a busy airport. I called back to find the airport security officer on the phone. Could I give more detail on the earrings? The description rushed out in a flood and YES they had them. The both of these small earrings laying on a floor in a airport all day.
My heart rejoiced and I could hardly contain the joy of this miracle …. full of praise ( BTW — the security officer also agreed it was a miracle as I witnessed that to him in my babbling praise the Lord over and over )

My Dad and my husband were both incredulous! Agreed it was a miracle.My ( our ) Heavenly Father had protected those earrings for me.. a detail of His loving touch, favor, grace and mercy.. it was a strong message. So I feel this bears the need for testimony too.

My son  in law retrieved these for me for keeping till back home. He reported they were neatly placed in a box with my initials on them. WOW

This all seemed a bit prophetic to me as well.  I have been pondering this ever since and wanted to write these thoughts today. Our Father is merciful, gracious and His loving-kindness lasts forever….

Several scriptures:

Matthew 10:29
What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin ? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.

Oh such is our Heavenly Father in control of the finite details of our lives as His word states above.

Then…

and the second row an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond;
Exodus 28:17-19

17 And you shall put settings of stones in it, four rows of stones: The first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald; this shall be the first row; 18 the second row shall be a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; 19 the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;

This is talking about the breastplate of judgment. It is interesting that in this scripture in the second row are the stones that are my favorite here on earth. I had not noticed this when reading this scripture before… another personal detail for uniquely me in this situation as I study it.

The other interesting thing to note is that my loss was at the gate ,where security was waiting. There at the place of security the smallest details of my journey were protected…it was a little thing but then again it was not.  A stone of remembrance in my life.

The older I become.. the more it is noted by me in daily events that the Lord speaks to us in the physical often with a parallel in the spiritual.

So I come away with this .. He is at the gatekeeper of my security, the Great I AM … the gatekeeper of protection and yes judgment. The choices are mine. the symbols in stones in the second row of the ephod reflect the stones of my remembrance and He is our High Priest. When I look to Him for protection, guidance and He is always faithful. The are 12 stones in the ephod– and it was 12 hours before I reported my missing “jewels’ to security.Oh how He is a God of the details. Still seeking Him on more on this…

I did not put some of this together till seeking the scriptures referenced here and so will continue to pray into what He wants me to learn. Rejoicing that He cared enough to hear my heart .. and all of ours for the asking when we truly cry out.. amazing — it is simply amazing! This watch care

Oh how He loves us….