Monthly Archives: October 2012

Shining Moments

Prepare for the worst

      but pray for the best.

Prepare

   and pray

      and above all praise!

Today although it continues to rain a little

    we are grateful to only be dealing with fallen trees

        limbs

          and flooding.

But we did prepare. Yes, I not only put extra gas in the car

    but also bought a new battery for our flashlight

       and some jugs of water.

We prayed as the storm approached closer and closer.

Last night as the wind roared rattling our windows

   I looked at my girls while my heart turned upward.

I knew better than they that our tissue paper townhouse

    would not be able to withstand high winds.

I knew that that tree beside our house could tobble at any moment.

Again and again the gusty winds blew

     and the rain fell in torrents.

But while it poured outside

  and we waited for it to pass

   we prayed.

Eventually sleep took over

    but somewhere in the middle of the night I noticed a change.

Noah must have heard it too.

Silence.

The beautiful sound of silence.

The winds were stilled;

     the rains had ceased.

We would assess the damage in the morning.

The storm had passed by.

Peace be still.

It’s a lot like life, isn’t it?

For a season we are held in the ugly grip of terrible grief

    and changes we had not wanted or ever expected.

Our life rocks as we hold on

   One day at a time

    Praying for guidance and peace.

And then that moment comes.

That glorious moment

   when all of a sudden we notice the silence.

Peace has come again

   and we know that life

    our life

   will  be restored in a new and different way.

His Love holds us firm not only through the storm

   but also during the time of rebuilding and restoring.

His Love is a sure Foundation that we can trust.

Storms may come

  but the storm will pass

    and a new day will come.

Is it a new day for you?

Trust Him to guide you ever so gently through each moment.

His plans for you are good.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and

  to give you a  hope and a future.”

Lift up your heart, rejoice in the silence,

    a new day has come.

 

Shining Moments

Many years ago Hurricane Hazel showed me how severe

      a hurricane could be.

Then a few years later Hurricane Agnes  hit

    and I experienced again

     not only the pounding rain and high winds and flooding

     but also hours and days of the unknown.

So I watch the weather reports and find myself continuously scanning

  the hurricane tracks.

It is nothing to take lightly or dismiss.

The potential for great harm is there.

Last year I watched as my beloved hometown, Owego,

  faced heartbreaking loss and destruction from Hurricane Irene.

Stomach sickening

No words to describe the pain.

Today we watch and wait again.

While the rain pours outside my window

  my heart turns north

  and  I pray for so many.

The watching and waiting can be so hard, can’t it?

Then I remember Jesus walking towards Peter.

Do you remember the scene? (Matthew 14:22-33)

Peter and the disciples had gotten into the boat to sail to the other side.

A storm arose

    a big one.

While the waves crashed and the winds howled all around them

   all of a sudden they saw a form walking towards them.

Fear gripped them but then they heard His Voice

   calling to them.

“It is I.”

Oh joy. The Master! It was their beloved Master!

The waves were still thrashing.

The wind was still howling

    but He was there.

“Don’t be afraid.”

All around them there were still reasons to fear.

Everything they saw and heard.

They knew the waters well. They knew how deadly storms could be.

But Jesus called them to look beyond their physical senses;

   to look to Him. The Lord of all.

There He stood walking on the water

     showing them (and us) Who He really is.

Let’s never forget that He is with us

    calling our name

    speaking words of peace in the midst of the storms.

Accept the things we cannot change

    says the Serenity Prayer

The winds. The rain. The storms of live.

  Then change the things we can.

   Ourselves.

 Take steps to prepare as much as we can

    all the while receiving His gift of Peace

    and Presence.

In the midst of every storm He is there

    calling our name and speaking words of comfort.

Shining His Light in the darkness.

Let’s not ever forget that!

Shining Moments

Powerful truth that changes lives!

Focus on the good

and the beautiful

and what is going well

and we will see more.

The other side is also true.

Focus on the negative

the disappointing

the ugly and tragic

and we will see more.

A friend of mine recently posted this stunning photo

of our Virginia countryside on Facebook.

It touched me

and reminded my again of why I love this area so much.

Beauty all over

Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

But

although surrounded by beauty on every side

It is all too easy to not see it

to become blinded

as it were

in the routine of life

and the overwhelming challenges we all face.

Wherever you live

there is beauty to be found.

Just look

it’s there.

Those powerful words come to mind.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,

       whatsoever things are honest,

       whatsoever things are just,

       whatsoever things are pure,

        whatsoever things are lovely

        whatsoever things are of good report;

       if there be any virtue and if there be any praise

       think on these things.”
 Have you tried it?

When I discipline my thoughts to focus on the true,

the lovely, the pure, etc.

it changes my perspective.

I see even more that is true, lovely, pure, etc.

It is sad but true that we can be surrounded by thousands of gifts

of beauty and goodness

but fail to see them.

So let’s open our eyes

let’s look all around us

and intentionally see what we can see.

All the while praising the One

Who has gifted us in so many ways.

Beauty all around us.

In the smile of a  child,

the song of a bird,

the rolling hillside

the kind action of a friend.

Beauty that shines brightly

reminding us that we are never alone.

There is One Who walks with us.