The Loving Arms of God

The Loving Arms of God

   I started my week with some sad news.  One of my best friends from college, Tammy, lost her dad Sunday night.  He passed away after suffering from the horrifying disease, Alzheimer’s.  

Deu 33:7 a I don’t think it had been 2 full years since Tammy called me in tears when he was diagnosed.  She knew I could relate on a deeper level since I lost my mom years ago this disease and my dad was diagnosed almost 10 years ago now.  

Hearing of Tammy’s loss broke my heart and hit me hard.  It caused me think about my crazy life and to be thankful for my dad.

It is so hard for me to think of losing my dad.  As I journey with him through his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s it’s on my mind a lot that the craziness of traveling 220 miles one-way week in and week out, being away from my husband and family 3 days at a time will not be forever. Things are not easy and I am often tired but I am also thankful to be able to help take care of my dad.

This week my heart was also overjoyed with the love of a very special kiddo.

Tuesdays are Owen days.  Owen is my 23-month old grandson and he is a blast!  We have spent Tuesday’s together since he was 6 weeks old.  We very rarely miss our time together. But last week was he was out of town at his other grandma’s house and I missed my Owen day.

So when this Tuesday came around I just couldn’t wait to spend time with him, to just focus on him and do whatever he wanted to do.  It is funny to me that one of his favorite things to do is to climb on top of a chair or the playschool slide (we have in our living room when he visits) and stand there, look around pretending like he’s not looking at me and then just fall into my arms. Graha, & Owen

This week he added the wonderful sound of his sweet voice saying, “Graham” (which is what he calls me.)  as he fell!  It just melts my heart to have him fall into my arms, calling out my name, laughing, looking for a hug, maybe even a kiss or two, followed by some tickles too.

Spending the day with my Owen was just what I needed!

After my day with Owen I was praying for Tammy and her family.  Letting go is so hard to do.  As I prayed for them the Lord brought the image of my Owen to mind.

Owen falling forward with all confidence into my arms lovingly calling out my name with a smile and a giggle and no doubts that I would be there to catch him.

What a beautiful picture of trust!

With that image came a challenge from the Lord, do you trust me, like he trusts you?  Are you trusting me with your daddy and his health?

To be honest my answer is it depends on the day.  Some days it is easier to trust than others. When dad has an off day or he struggles with a caregiver I want to step in and fight for him.  Tell the doctors to change medications, or find new people to help with his care.  And though these might be things I need to do, what God reminded me that day was that first of all I need to jump into His arms and let him love on me and then go do what it is asked of me.

I am trying to remember to do that each day.  Turn to Him first in trust and then go take care of the things life requires.

I still dread the thought of my dad’s passing but I am trusting that when it is time to let go of my dad I will be able to just fall face first into my Heavenly Father arms and trust him to take me through the saying goodbye part of this journey too.  I don’t look forward to it, I know it won’t be easy but I also know that my Heavenly daddy will always catch me and I will be ok.

   I’m so thankful for the reminder God gave me of His love for me through my Owen!  How does God show his love for you?

I held my children in my womb but never in my arms….

My entire life like most little girls I have always wanted to be a mommy.  I never imagined I would be a mom of 2 precious children I never got to hold, cuddle, kiss or even have to discipline.

After my first marriage ended I was still hopeful I would remarry and have children.  No I would not be the young mom I thought I would be but I never dreamed I would not be a mom someday. Eccl 11:5

Then it happened.  Ron and I had been married over 2 years and I was finally pregnant.  If you have struggled with infertility you know what the monthly rollercoaster ride is like.  I didn’t even bother to take a test until I as a few weeks late.  We were so excited!  I was so sick.

It was an answered to many hours of prayers for sure.

Then it happened.  Just the Friday before our fist doctor’s appointment, I started spotting.  It wasn’t much so I was totally unprepared for the news that Monday.

As the nurse did the ultrasound she told us there were twins.  But the look on her face was not one of joy, rather concern.  Our first baby, Isaac, looked to have stop developing at a little less than 8 weeks.  The second baby, Lillian, was much bigger, at least 10 weeks old but there was no movement.  The doctor came in to confirm neither of them had made it.

I was in shock.  My heart was shattered! How could this be happening?  They were the answer to my prayers!

After losing the twins life went on and I did my best to trust God in this and wait for my chance to be a mom.  The longer time went by and we still were not pregnant the more my heart crumbled.  I had been through tough stuff before and always found God Good but this time I struggled.

How could God give me two babies and never let me hold them, play with them, or even celebrate their life?  It felt cruel not good!  I really struggled getting past it.

Thankfully I had a good friend who lead me to the lap of God and encouraged me to ask Him to understand.  Our father always wants to talk to us and bring healing, we often just don’t know how to ask for it.

That day my Lord helped me to see His eternal perspective.  He had answered my prayer.  I am a mom.  In my mind’s eye and in my heart He showed me my two beautiful children.  They were on his lap laughing and happy.  He reminded me that just because they did not grow up here on earth did not mean they didn’t exist; they just went on ahead.

They are waiting for me in heaven and we will spend eternity together.

That day I started to call them by name, Isaac & Lillian and I embraced motherhood.  Mother’s Day has always been a difficult holiday for me.  Between losing my mom to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis at 16 and the struggle of infertility and now miscarriage I would rather just sleep all day to be honest.

But now I have the vision of my mom, Isaac and Lillian all together in Heaven with my Lord and I praise my Great God for answered prayer.

Of course I would rather have had them live here with me first but I know that God is faithful, loving and good and I trust that eternity will be long enough!

Is there something that you have experienced that doesn’t make sense or goes against the character of God?  Go to Him.  Ask to understand, He will give you clarity around the situation if you ask with an open heart.  People often stay stuck in the whys of hurts when clarity can help you move forward.  Clarity gives us hope.

Being able to ask God what I needed to heal gave me clarity and brought healing I wasn’t even sure was possible.


When has God met you in a place that helped you find clarity?

Review by Rayna~Believing Jesus

Believing Jesus:  Are you willing to risk it all?Believing Jesus Book

Believing Jesus is a fun, entertaining and challenging look at the book of Acts.

Lisa’s style is one of a story teller.  The journey through Acts takes us on a walk with the disciples after Jesus has ascended and they were left to learn to walk with the Holy Spirit even when they didn’t quite understand who the spirit was.

Lisa keeps the journey real in every way, from sharing personal experiences in same the style in which she shares the scriptures.

Though it is a fun read it does not lack the power of the word of God.  Lisa is both a gifted storyteller and theologian.  There is no doubt God has things for you to learn as you journey through Acts in a whole new way.

Each chapter is laid out with her personal journey into motherhood, moves into the scriptural account of Acts and then application.

Scriptures came to life in Lisa’s fun style.  She substitutes modern modes of transportation and takes a friendly approach with the apostles; for example calling Peter, Pete all the time.  Lisa makes the experience of reading Acts like living there.

I was especially touched by the chapters sharing about Pete’s conversion and very difficult road of walking in obedience.  It both made me love the Lord more because of seeing His hand in all of Pete’s experiences and respect Pete more due to the fact that he remains faithful.

Pete’s persecution was mind boggling in so many ways.  I am so thankful He was faithful and the Lord gave Him just what he needed to stay that way.

If you are looking for a light hearted read with a truly spiritually challenging message then pick up *Believing Jesus!

Are You Living With Regret?

Are You Living With Regret?

When you see the word regret what comes to your mind and heart?  Regret by definition is a sadness related to something that was done.

But that is not what many people stated in this recent study.

As you watched this, what regrets came to your mind?

 

Was it a regret of an action taken or not taken?

Living with regrets can be a burden as the video showed.  For those in the video there was hope in realizing that it is not too late to make a different choice when it comes to regrets.

But for those of us who beleive in the Lord Jesus Christ it is so much bigger than that.  Paul talks about not letting the past determine the future in Phillipians 3:13 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it on my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”

Paul was definitely a man who had regrets for things he had done.  But he did not dwell on those things, rather he lived in the newness of life he was given.  In 2 Corinthians 7:10 he says “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”

Have you taken that step to embrace repentance that leads to salvation?  If so you can join me in rejoicing in the truth of the Love of our Lord.  Lamentations 3:22-23 reminds us, ” The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

If you have not taken that step of salvation I would love to talk with you.  Contact Me

 

What regret will you erase, embrace and run toward the new morning with determination to do something new?

No Way, I Can’t Do That

Isa 40 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (1)As a freshman in high school one of the things I looked forward to most was playing volleyball. I had watched my sister play in Jr. High and fell in love with the game. I played basketball and softball and loved sports but playing at the high school level was a whole different ballgame.

Volleyball is a fall sport where I grew up so that means before school started for 2 weeks we had practice twice a day, two and a half hours each time. I loved morning practices, we actually got to touch the volleyball, we learned basics, we drilled skills, plays and learned to play as a team.

The second two and a half hours of the day was in the heat of the afternoon and it was nothing but conditioning. We didn’t see a ball the entire afternoon. We ran stairs, we did sit ups and push-ups, we jumped rope and we even did Jane Fonda’s workout. The true torture was the sprints!

Coach Schuler became one of the people whose influence significantly impacted my life. She was the person in charge of our afternoon conditioning. She knew how to push and motivate me beyond anything I could imagine I was capable of.

She ran us so hard there were people that were throwing up. Even that was not a reason to quit, they had to be back to the line by the next set of sprints ready to start or we all had to run more. She timed us every day and challenged us to run faster than we did the day before.

There were many times that I thought there is no way I can keep going. Coach would say hit the line, ready set go and I would do it.

By spending time under Schuler, I learned that I really didn’t know the limits of my physical body. She knew I could do more than I ever dreamed I could.

Learning to understand that I am capable of so much more than I think I am has made a big impact in my life!

I didn’t think I could handle the heartache of having my mom diagnosed with terminal illness(Alzheimer’s Disease) when I was 16. I didn’t think I could handle my marriage coming to an end. I often think I can’t handle watching my dad struggling with Alzheimer’s today.

But I have found that God knows what I can handle even when I think I can’t!

Trusting Schuler to push me physically beyond what my brain thought I could do helped to build a foundation of understanding that I do not know my limits.  Not to mention I can trust God to push me beyond where I think I can go. Because He knows me even more than Coach did. He created me.

When I am trusting Him I know I can do all things! I trust Him and I praise Him, even in the middle of times where I don’t think there’s any way I can do what he’s asking me to do.

Have you experienced a time where you were able to do more than you ever thought you could? How has that helped to grow your Faith in the Lord?

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