Monthly Archives: June 2014

Missed Opportunity Or Mighty Blessing

I’ve seen him before walking the streets.

Very old. All alone. Slowly making his way to wherever he goes.

There was something about him that always caused me to wonder

what his story was.

People need the Lord. How will they ever know….

The words of the old song remind me that I am surrounded by people

on every side who need His Love.

Early this morning I was out for a walk – fresh morning breezes, sunlight sparkled moments

and I saw this same elderly man walking up ahead of me.

Do I go and introduce myself? I debated for a second.

I could so easily just keep walking my normal pace and stay uninvolved

or I could take a step towards him and see what happened.

‘We are called to take His Light

To a world where wrong seems right.”

So I quickened my pace with my daughters by my side and caught up to him.

“Excuse me, please. It’s a beautiful morning isn’t it and I just wanted to say hello.”

He raised his head and looked at me

and smiled.

Smiles bridging hearts in an instant.

I introduced myself and he told me his name.

And then I mentioned the Lord. That God loved him and was with him.

Suddenly he lifted his face heavenward and spoke,

“Yes, I can feel Him.”

Joy overflowing as we shared a few more words and then parted.

It is all too easy to look but not see the people we pass every day.

Open my eyes, Lord, I pray and help me to reach out and touch people in Your Name.

Every one is a walking book just waiting to be read but sometimes the quickened pace of life

and the multiple demands upon our time can pull us into a narrow, self focused life.

That few minutes of conversation lifted my spirits higher than the clouds overhead this morning

because I know that it’s just the beginning of something special.

God arranged moments are filled with extraordinary blessings

that cause a ripple effect touching so many lives.

So who do you see?

Have you been meaning to speak to someone but it just never seemed the time?

Have you planned to make that call but the days and weeks keep going by?

Reach out and take that step, won’t you?

It will take you out of your comfort zone and into His Grace like nothing else will do.

Can I share your burden today?bridge

Let me give you a smile or buy your groceries.

Life can be hard and filled with many difficult moments

but we are not alone. No, there is One with us urging us to build bridges with those close by.

How about it.

Who do you see? Look with your heart.

 

 

Me? Anxious?

As I sat down in my seat on that huge jet that night more than twenty years ago

waves of sickening anxiety rolled over me and clung to body like heavy chains.

This was it. I was on my way to adopt a six month old baby girl from Russia

and I had to go. Yes, I had to. My heart refused to miss this opportunity.

But as I sat there on that plane that had yet to take to the air

anxiety grew and I began to feel overwhelmed.

What if……?

Yes, what if I never even made it there?

Well, at least I’d know that I had tried, I thought.

Well, no I wouldn’t even know but God who knows all would know.

I was certainly willing but fears can all too easily prevent us from moving forward in life.

I glanced back and forth at the crowd people on either side of me and I suddenly felt so alone.

Alone in a crowd of people.

My hands trembled as I fastened my seat belt and reached for something to read.

Anything….

“Fear not, for I am with you.”

Deep within words that had been deeply etched in my mind and heart from childhood

became a life preserver for me to cling to with all my might.

Not alone?

I swallowed the lump in my throat and took a deep breath.

Gradually the mounting waves of anxiety and fear began to ease

And I felt the plane begin to move.

This is it.

What if I fail?

What if I’m not able to adopt her?

A million what if’s peppered my thoughts and once more I heard those penetrating words.

“Fear not, for I am with you.”

With me. Blessed assurance and inner strength for my weak spirit.

I closed my eyes and thought back to times of success.

Times when I thought that surely I would not make it

but I was still alive. Still learning.

Still discovering that it is all about His Strength and not about my weakness.

David before Goliath moments.

Learning to look up and receive His Resurrection Power in place of my fears.

Again and again I remembered His Faithfulness.

A piano solo when all of a sudden I went blank – totally blank with fear

but suddenly my fingers played the right notes and I completed the song and heard the huge applause.

A time in a new school when I felt so alone but suddenly I found a friend.

A test that I thought I had failed only later to learn that I had not only passed but done well.

His Faithfulness breaking through my weakness.

His Peace becoming my shield.

As the plane soared up in the sky that night and I looked down on Washington D.C.

Twinkling lights in the inky blackness

My own light of faith began to grow.

Fears may come but He remains.

Doubts may be there but His Words are stronger.

It would be two weeks until I came home with my little bundle of joy

but the growing bonds of connection with God’s Love and Truth

kept breaking the chains of anxiety and fear whenever they came.

Are you discovering that for yourself?

Let go of your fears, your anxiety and worry

and receive His Peace today. You were not meant to live in fear.

Contact me if I can help you to do this.

 

sunday sky 4sunset 8

Moments That Last A Lifetime

first grade teacherLife happens unexpectedly.

Yes, the good and the bad woven side by side.

But Friday was good and I am still smiling about what happened.

I was rushing to get my grocery shopping done for the week when suddenly

I heard a voice from behind.

“Hi, Miss Brani!”

I turned at that familiar greeting – the greeting that my first graders used so many times when I was a first grade teacher

and my eyes fell on a handsome young man – tall, big grin on his face.

“You remember me?”

And instantly I knew him and he gave me a big hug,

For a few minutes I was drawn back in time to when I taught this man whose face shone so brightly.

Big brown eyes. I remembered exactly where he sat.

Always a good student – a joy to teach.

We spoke for a few minutes in which he shared the exciting news of the recent birth of his little daughter.

Three kids now! Happily married. My heart swelled in pride for him as I would for my own.

My own – yes he is my boy.

You see down deep in the heart of this teacher I still carry the hearts of all those boys and girls I taught

throughout my twenty some years as a first grade teacher.

They blessed me with their child like trust and buoyant spirits.

They delighted me with their thirst for knowledge and enthusiasm for life.

You see I have always believed that teaching is more than academic knowledge.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” –John Maxwell

So I cared for my students spending long hours getting to know them.

Building on this one’s strengths and that one’s interests.

Creating a sense of family and acceptance.

In the process those students became treasures in my heart that continue to bloom with richness.

And when the last day came

as it did every year

I found myself with the biggest lump in my throat.

One by one they’d pass me as they’d walk out the door of my classroom for the last time.

Moment of pride/ moment of sadness.

It was time for them to move on –

But always I’ve held them in my heart.

It never changes. No the bonds of love and care created over time

never do change.

Aren’t you glad about that?

Thank you Todd for making my day!

I’m proud of you and of all your classmates wherever they are.