Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Choice

As I gazed out on the busy street in Kiev, my tears flowed freely.

My journey to adopt a little girl had come to a crushing end leaving me with empty arms and a broken heart.

“I’m beginning to learn,” I wrote in my journal that day “not to ask why. I will trust you no matter how much it hurts, Lord. I will trust you.”

I brushed away a few more tears and scribbled a few more words on the lined notebook paper.

“I know that you love me and that your plans for me are good.

I will trust you when I can’t see anything.”

That decision paved the way for me to not only move forward with my life

but also to receive peace in the midst of the pain of disappointment.

Two years later I adopted a precious little girl from Russia and my heart was filled with praise.

But this is not a lesson one learns once for all. At least not for me.

Again I am dealing with the pain of disappointment and brokenness.

About three months ago my daughters and I discussed the possibility of getting a Labrador retriever.

A vacation that would last one week

or a dog that would share our life for many years? We discussed it again and again.

What would it be?

We all agree that we wanted the dog.

So we gathered items together and sold them

always putting the money in the big jar with the red top.

It took time and a group effort but there was no doubt about it.

It was time to get a dog. Excitement grew.

I longed for an sweet lab that wanted to would curl up beside you

finding pleasure in just being close.

My youngest longed for a dog that she could play with

and my oldest who had begged for a dog for years

sought a special companion.

We were all on board.

I spent hours and hours searching breeders and asking questions.

Many more hours looking into rescues of which I was up to this point unfamiliar.

Finally the day came.

I saw a photo of a beautiful six month old female lab/hound and said yes.

Within days she was transported to a nearby city and I traveled  to get  her.

It was perfect

or so I thought.

Day after day we worked on puppy training and socializing the lab/hound

with our other dog. Long walks.

All was well. All was calm.

Nothing could have ever prepared me for that day

When suddenly  our dream  came crushing down with an attack that threatened

the life of not only my other dog but also that of my oldest daughter.

Within days the puppy was sent back and the wounds we had experienced began to heal.

What? No dog? My heart questioned.

After all that?

After all the selling and saving and selling some more…

After all the hopes and dreams and wonderful long walks…

After all the sweet doggy kisses and thinking it was all perfect

to suddenly experience

reality.

This was not the dog for us.

Hopes crumbling down as quickly as sandcastles fall.

Hearts shattered

and filled with pain. I do not understand.

But down deep inside there is always hope

and we wait.

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe

The wait might very well take years but He is Lord of the wait as much as He is Lord of the Answer.

Broken hearts choose to trust Him

and to hold onto Who God is when things get messy.

His promises never fail and He is love.

There is a plan –

I just know it.

So as I brush away another tear

I remember His words of care,  2 Corinthians 4:16-18  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

 

Trusting is a choice that does not depend upon feelings.

Trusting knows that He’s always working behind the scenes.

Trusting believes in His goodness, love and glory.

 

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

 

 

 

 

Gracie October 2014

Are You Chasing Butterflies and Birds?

Has it really only been a week since I’ve had Bella, our six month old black lab?

I know that its true on the calendar

but it seems she has been with my daughters and I

much longer than a week.

Romps and walks

and sweet puppy kisses fill our days.

While on an early morning walk,

I noticed how easily distracted my energetic puppy was.

Everything pulls her attention

but especially butterflies and birds.

Quick movements grab her focus like a magnet to a paper clip.

It’s impossible for her to resist

first, looking

and then yanking to explore

rather than to do what she is supposed to do.

Curiosity is stronger than call.

Could it be that the same challenge threatens the life in us too?

We hear His Call

and create a plan.

Excitement is high. We know our purpose.

But along the way

something crosses our path

maybe an idea as distracting as a butterfly or bird

and we turn to explore it.

Answer the mail, look at the computer, pick up the phone

and suddenly our plan is forgotten

Hours can easily go by. Sometimes days, weeks and months.

That manuscript I planned to finish;

that project I had started to complete

lies untouched and gathering dust.

Waiting.

Yes, I have some puppy in me. How about you?

Peak Performers written by Charles Garfield

states that those people who become peak performers in life

develop a balance in their lives

between professional and personal,

and vocations and hobbies.

God wants us to have fruitful lives and to succeed.

In order to do that we must discern what the distractions are

that throw us off balance.

We must look for what is choking our growth?

“It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the think of thin things.”Steven R.Covey

 Those words of Jesus to Martha “You are worried and anxious about many things. One thing is necessary.” Words that touch my heart and grip my attention.

His Call must grow stronger than our curiosity

as we spend time in the quiet stillness

and listen to His Voice.

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. Psalm 119:15

As we focus on His Way

everything else

including our curiosity

will diminish

and there will be abundant fruit in our lives.

Our world is crammed full  with distractions but we must not settle for an unfocused life.

Join me today in keeping your focus on Him, won’t you.sissy9

Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you. Proverbs 4:25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Time To Finish It

 

 It’s sat there on a chair for many months.

The story that’s yet to be finished.

Maybe for you it’s something else.

That song that’s never been written;

the course that’s never been taken;

  the degree that’s never been completed or

  the race that’s never been run.

It was so easy to just ignore it –

    push it away

    cover it with other papers

    do what is urgent

  Day after day unfolded into week after week

    month after month and year after year.

Yes, I’d meant to complete the manuscript this year

    but life can become so busy, can’t it?

There was always something else that I needed to do.

But

   today

     I felt a nudge

      or a strong tap on my shoulder.

And I knew that it was time to get out that half written manuscript,

  blow off the dust from the pages

  and finish it.

How did I know?

Well, on an ordinary day I went out to walk my dog.

   Yes, my cocker that either charges ahead with unbridled enthusiasm

    or stubbornly drags her feet.

After an invigorating walk of push and pull

   I came home and sat down to catch up on email and recent posts.

The title of the blog ‘The Story of a Half Written Book’

     by Glenys Nellist caught my attention. Be sure to read it.

   http://www.glenysnellist.com/?p=1263

Suddenly I knew that it had been written for me.

Has that ever happened to you?

My heart beat fast with excitement and joy.

I knew that I had to get out that dusty old manuscript.

I had to complete what I had started long ago.

Sure, there were many reasons why it had been pushed to the side.

Good reasons

    but this was now.

I had to begin again and push through to the end.

So I will.

  It’s always too soon to quit, my friends.

Join me, won’t you, in finishing what you have started?

Let’s stop making excuses

   and instead be strengthened to stretch ourselves

   and dream

   and work

   and discipline our livesbridge

   to finish the task He set before us.

Taps on the shoulders, nudges of love,

   all designed to speak focus and direction.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8