Where Do You Go In The Storm?

These past few weeks, we have been reeling from the recent storms and natural disasters all across our nation. There have been hurricanes, floods, fires, tornadoes, and various fallouts because of these natural, yet horrific, occurrences. So many have been evacuated, displaced, overwhelmed and even killed in the process. It can leave a soul weary and weathered from it all.

Yesterday being 9/11, reminds me of all the turmoil and heartache that can brought in an instant. It reminds me of the precious lives that were lost and the heroes who spent their last dying breath to save another.

It causes my heart to ponder the simple question, “Where do you go when the storms roll in?” Some hunker down and ride out the winds and the waves. Some run, drive away, flee from the danger that blows in, and still others try to go back and forth, running in wisdom or fear, only to find themselves anchoring back in for the long haul of destruction, evaluation, rebuilding and praying the restructure will hold. Still others are lost for every in the disasters and debris that come tumbling down.

Where are you in the midst of a storm? How do you survive it? What or who is your anchor? Without true security and a solid anchor that holds, a ship will be beaten and worn by the mighty winds. Without a firm foundation and support measures put in place, a house will surely fall when the grounds shake. Without a firm grip on Truth and love, the storms of life will only bring destruction and heartache to your very soul.

Yet, there is Hope. There is a better way to survive the storms of life that wreak havoc on the heart and mind. Jesus is the only Hope we need. His grace is sufficient for every storm. His mercy will survive through every disaster. His love will cover you and comfort you through whatever destruction might come.

If you don’t know Him today, why not talk to Him now? Why not reach out your hand to Him and let Him carry you through? He loves you and longs to cover you and shelter your heart today.

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Looking for that Moment

I wouldn’t say I’m not a really bold person. Too often, I wish I were more bold, but my prayer lately has been for God to help me to see. “Open my eyes and let me see what and who You want me to see, and if you want me to speak, please, give me the courage, and I’ll speak. ” That’s been my prayer.

A few days ago, my husband and I walked onto a used car lot in town, met one of the salesmen, and he ended up sharing his story with us. He’s a retired South African pastor, living now in Georgia, and his wife is battling cancer for the second time. They’ve been married for 40 years, and he hopes and believes for 40 more; yet, when circumstances arise like this, it naturally brings doubts and fears. We stood right there in the parking lot and prayed for his wife’s healing.

Today, a lady showed up in our church foyer lost in her way to Florida. Mind you, our church is not just a step off the interstate; yet, her GPS had brought her down this street, and she stopped in for directions. She was on her way home to take care of her house before the possibility of Hurricane Irma sweeps in. I gave her directions and asked her if I could pray for her before she left. She said yes. We prayed; she cried, thanked me and went on her way. I have no idea if I’ll ever see her again, but I haven’t been able to get her off my mind all day. I pray she makes it home safely and that her home stays safe through the storm.

You never know who God will bring your way or why. The most important thing is to keep your eyes and hears open, ready and waiting for when He says, “Speak. Move. Tell them about Me.”

This is an older song, but it really puts “teeth” to what I’m trying to convey here. 😉 Hope you enjoy.

https://g.co/kgs/ubCQ8H

*This is a YouTube video. I do not have access to, nor do I own, this video.*

Storm Wisdom

Found this quote today, and I thought I'd share it. With the storms that have brewed and blown through in the states southwest of us, this just seemed appropriately placed. I hope you will be encouraged…

Knowing what to do when the storms of life blow in is essential to our survival. The storms are inevitable, and if you simply remain unprepared, believing they will never affect you, you will find yourself sadly disappointed and, possibly, even drowning in the floodwaters of the aftermath.

Lessons for the storm…
Sometimes, when the winds blow in and the rains threaten to overpower us, we have to simply adjust our sails and head a different way. Other times, heading straight into the storm will give us enough gust through the sails to carry us beyond the storm before it bellows in force. Sometimes, we may need to lower the sails, batten down the hatches and make a "bee line" for the shore. However, there are those few, rare occasions, we will even need to hold on tight and wait out the storm, because the safety of land is just too far to reach, and the storm has a lot of bravado but no real depth or harm. It blows in with a furry yet stops just short of any real threat.

If we are to survive through life's storms, we must develop the art of perseverance and a deep gratitude for the vessel in which we sail. When we have these two attributes as the foundation upon which we stand, we can face any storm that may come, because gratitude will always bring you to the wisdom of who you are and who you are not, and it will give you the ability to ask for help from the right people at the right time. Perseverance will give you the ability to withstand the battering of the winds and waves while still learning the skill it takes to get the boat to where it needs to be when it needs to get there.

Lastly, we need to know the Master of the winds and the waves. With Him by our side, we will not drown, no matter the depth of the sea, the force of the wind or the terror of the rains. He will guide us. He will comfort us, and He will protect us. He may not always remove us from the storm, but His hand will always be with us through the storm.

…I hope you might take some time to share with me your own perspective on this quote…

Friday’s Friends #27


Hi there! It's Friday, and I'm a little late (my sincere apologies for that!), but I'd like to still share with you a new Friday's Friend!

Tristastar is new to this blogging community, and I hope you enjoy reading her posts as she shares about home, family, faith and even favorite recipes. She's seems like an amazing person, and she has a great story to share. Check her out at Where The Staircase Ends and Faith Begins. 😊

Friday’s Friends #25

Today is Friday, and that means I get to share with you a new friend in this blogosphere! 🎉

Today, I’d like to share a new friend who is also relatively new to this whole community of bloggers. On Andrew’s site, you will find wonder, encouragement and a sense of self discovery that is both enlightening and refreshing. His words are raw, unedited and self-revealing, and I hope you enjoy reading his entries as I have. 

Hope you have an AMAZING Friday! 💗

What Do You See?

Recently, I had lunch at the Swan Coach House in Buckhead, Georgia. If you want to see the Old  Southern Belle style of Old Atlanta, this is your place! It is rich in history and character. 

Behind this restaurant is the original Swan House (mansion) steeped  in even more history and character.  It was amazing to see the richness of decor, even to the detailed carvings above the door frames entering the library study. It seems this family spared no expense, lavishing the halls with beautiful furnishings of the time and even building out the master closet wth marble and huge vanities and closets. The gardens, lush and magnificent, capturing the attention of Hollywood with the filming of The Mocking Jay and various weddings of the area. It was simply breathtaking. 


Yet, as we traveled up the four flights of stairs to the very top floor of the house, we entered two rooms which were very plain and practical with no decorations or fanfare. It became apparent this was the former slave quarter and the ironing/folding/cleaning room. The slave’s room was said to be very close to what the actual room had been like. There was a bed with a simple quilt, a dresser with a few essentials, including a handwritten note on “How to prepare a perfect evening (bed) turndown,”  a little side table with a fan, and a rocking chair by the window. 


In comparison to the rest of the mansion, this room was so unattractive, it shouldn’t have made much, if any, impact. However, as I walked over to the gigantic, porthole-like window, I was struck in awe of the beautiful view. It looked out over the magnificent gardens below, and I began to imagine what it might be like to live as the slave within this home. 


The work would probably be unimaginably difficult, taking care of all the household chores, caring for the children (the children’s room was just down the hall), taking those four flights of stairs everyday to go to and from the various duties throughout the home. Oh, but that view kept drawing me in. It was simply breathtaking. 

I could imagine sitting by the window at night, gazing up at the full moon that might shine through. I thought of the early rising sun, chasing away the dark of night, the dew glistening in the gardens below. The work of the day ahead shadowed just a bit by the beauty which greets you in the morning light. 

In this life, we will have trials. We will have tough times, hard work and difficult obstacles which will threaten to overwhelm us. Yet, we must push through to survive. We must set our sights on the important things, and our perspective must be in the right place to not only survive but to thrive

What do you see before you? Do you see pain? Do you see difficulties and turmoil? Do you see brokenness and despair?

Or do you see an opening to life, a porthole of hope, a window of beauty that will sustain you through the storm?

I Survived!


Well, my phone acted like a fish this last Monday evening. We had had a wonderful evening with friends, out on the lake, watching the sunset, docking at a great restaurant to enjoy a delicious meal, and we were headed back into the marina to call it a night. The sun had set, and the sky just had the last few remnants of the beautiful color and light. I decided I needed one more picture to add to the beautiful collection I had gathered throughout the evening. I aimed and attempted to click the button. 

All of a sudden, the phone literally flipped out of my hand, bounced on the seat, flipped once more and splashed ever so slightly into the lake. I promise you, had it been a fish, it wouldn’t have surprised me, because it seemed desperate to reach that water! Had it not been so shocking and annoying to lose all that information and photos in an instance, it would have been quite comical. 

So, I’ve spent the last 3 days pretending to live back a few decades when you actually had to tell someone where you’d be and wait until your arrive at the given place to actually talk to someone. I’ve spent the last 60+ hours using my Mac to do a little texting communication and to check FB and to blog. It’s been an interesting week, and I can say, I survived! 😂 For those of you who think you can’t live without that little handheld black box of communication, you might want to try it…maybe not by dropping your phone in the lake, but maybe by allowing it to sit alone by itself for a few hours in a day. I stand as a witness, it can be done. 😉

It actually was nice to not have the pressure of answering phone calls, checking for text messages and following up with Messenger messages. It was nice to be able to tell my family exactly where and when I was going to be somewhere and allow my boys to depend solely on their father while we were a part. It was nice to have hours on end of quiet and focus without the distraction of the phone. Actually, this separation from my phone happens more often than you might think, but the presence of it was always near, and to not have it there was both enlightening and strengthening. 😊

If I’m being honest, I’d have to confess, it was not so nice, however, to not have my calendar to keep up with appointments and to wonder if my sweet memories held in photographs might be returned. It was, also, not so nice to not have the convenience of google when I needed it at my fingertips to look up bits of information. Yet, it was doable, and everything in the world didn’t fall apart due to a simple phone loss. Yeah…

Oh, and my almost 16 year old son was sweet enough to allow me to “hold” his phone for a few hours while I drove to and from Atlanta one day this week. That was both surprising and refreshing. Miracles do happen. Imagine that! 😂

What Are You Feeding?

Recently, we went to the Alligator Farm which basically borders the Everglades National Park. If you are in south Florida and have never been, or if you are going to be passing by, this is definitely worth the trip! While there, we saw all kinds of alligators of all different sizes. They had them actually “sectioned off” by “age.” They had the large ones in the ponds and marshlands of one area, the juveniles in another, and even the little hatchlings in another. Apparently, they have to do this, or the grown alligators will eat the younger ones.

This experience and knowledge caused me to ask myself a question, and I’d like to pose it to you as well, “What are you feeding most in your life?” What you feed will be the dominant source of sickness or healing for your soul. What you feed will either bring you abundant joy or overwhelming sorrow. What you feed grows and grows until it is the leading voice and commanding power in your life.

If you are feeding the positive sources, the faithful things, the good nature within, then, you will reap a harvest of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc. If you are feeding the negative sources, the unstable things, the evil nature within, then, you will reap the whirlwind of anger, greed, pride, deception, etc. It is the simple principle of reaping and sowing. It is like a seed that is planted, watered and brought to the harvest time. Your soul and thoughts are the soil, and your attitude, actions and words are the harvest.

What you feed will grow and mature into a monster that devours everything in you and around you. That “monster” can either be for good or evil. You decide everyday which it will be.

joshua-24v15

Back In the Saddle!

 

 

Ok, so my deepest apologies go out to those of you out there who might follow this blog rather frequently and who might have wondered for a bit why I’ve been so lax over the last month… There might not be too many of you, but I know there’s some, because we’ve kind of formed “friendships” along the way. So, I felt like I should take a minute to tell you that your attentiveness and caring to this little blog space, in the vast and vague world of blogging, hasn’t gone unnoticed. I appreciate you, and I thank you for your kindness and patience in my “lag time.” ❤

June just kind of came and went in a whirlwind, and I found myself covered up with our boys’ summer plans of constant activity and busyness. I also found myself in a lot of reflective moments but not a lot of moments where I wanted to write and share what was going on in my heart and mind. It was almost like I was in those last few minutes after a surgery, where the anesthesia is wearing off, and you hear and feel things; yet, you’re still too groggy to make sense of any of it, and you can’t speak or see to really share it with anyone anyway.

So, all that to say…I’M BACK! I have so many things to share with you; so, it’s time to start inking up the pages! 😉 … I hope you’re ready for a great adventure ahead!

PS. I hope you’re having an AMAZING summer, and I hope, maybe, you will share your summer stories with me, too! ❤

Happy Father’s Day to You!

As I sat there preparing for Father’s Day weekend and enjoying a great lunch with my little family, we received a text from a precious friend who is about to say goodbye to the love of her life who has fought valiantly in his battle with cancer. Just an hour prior, I was speaking to a mom who tragically lost her husband last fall and listened while she shared her heart of the struggle, challenges and faith to which she clings. My mind thinks of so many more who will shed tears instead of celebrating this Father’s Day…

We are never guaranteed tomorrow. We are not even promised our next breath. Cherish the moments you have. Make the encounters account for more than just whispers on the wind…

Almost fifteen years ago, I said goodbye to the one man whom I loved as a Dad. He was my grandfather, but he was with me every step of the way. No one will ever be able to take his place in my heart. I miss him to this day, and I will always cherish the memories we made. 


After 40+ years of brokenness, my biological dad and I have a reconciled relationship of acquaintances being built. It will never become what it should have been, and even though, my heart still aches for the little girl who had dreams for what could have been, I appreciate the reality of what is. My soul breathes a little deeper with the hope we now have. 


Thirty-two years ago, a man walked into my life and became a father he’d never had the chance to be. To many, a stepdad is just a man, one who lives in the house, pays the bills and sets the rules. This man came in and became a father. He had his own mistakes, and I had mine. We kind of grew into this thing together. It might not be the best father-daughter scenario, nor one of perfection, but it is one of love. For that, I am grateful. 


No matter where you find yourself today, whether you are in your Daddy’s arms, or at the graveside, saying goodbye one more time, or saying hello to a new relationship, or trying to figure out what to do with all the pain and sorrow of those yesteryears, there is One who will be there for you always. Place your heart in His hands, for, He will carry you through, and He will never leave you. ❤️