Tag Archives: faith

Bubbles and Trouble

May turns to June and we find ourselves embracing summer vacations,

swimming, picnics, watermelon and so much more.

As I reflect upon summer’s past, especially when my daughters were young,

so many memories come to mind.

And one of my favorite is the time we’d spend

simply blowing bubbles.

You know, those big, big bubbles that would glisten

purples, pinks and yellows

in the sunlight.

We’d watch them dance heavenward until puff-

they’d burst and be only a memory.

Alot like worries.

We worry and fret

thinking about this thing or that,

dreading one thing or another

but when it finally comes

only rarely is it a big problem.

No, the problem is in the anxiety connected with it. It can make you sick.

But just suppose you could learn to pop your worry bubbles

and begin to live free.

Free from anxiety.

Free from fear about today, tomorrow and everything else.

We were created to live in love.

to embrace faith, think faith, breathe faith and live free.

But all too often thought patterns develop, fear patterns are created.

and instead of living free

we live in bondage

to fear.

Horrible, suffocating, trapping —fear.

But, we were created for

Life,

Freedom

Growth,

Love

and there’s simply no way that we can do that

as long as we are trapped in cycles of anxiety.

But the fear cycle can be stopped

the chains can be broken

and we can begin to live fully.

Maybe you have tried to stop worrying in the past

without success.

Many people have had success, though, working with a coach –

one with whom they are accountable,

one who will help them meet their goals,

one who is familiar with the tools and techniques needed to burst those fear bubbles.

 

He said “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled and

DO NOT BE AFRAID. John 14:27 NIV

 

Powerful words. Words of hope and freedom.

Interested in talking more about how you can break the chains of fear in your life?

Contact me at

sharonbranicoaching.com

[email protected]

 

credit – NoelleBraniPhotography.

 

Just Imagining

I remember the first time I heard the song I Can Only Imagine years ago.

Actually 1999.

It moved me to tears thinking of what I would see in heaven. One day.

Being with the Lord.

Walking by His side.

Forever in His Glory.

Joy filled my heart just trying to imagine it.

Then in 2009 my beloved mom went home to be with the Lord and at her request

I Can Only Imagine was played at her funeral.

Tears.  Thinking of her walking those streets with the Lord.

Surrounded by His Glory.

Hope filled my heart as I thought of being with my mom again

and together being with the Lord. One day.

The song brought comfort to my aching heart.

Recently I saw the movie I Can Only Imagine and was moved to tears

as the story of redemption and forgiveness and hope unfolded.

Have you seen it?

This story that touched me deeply. I wept through the whole movie.

My heart feeling the pain of the son who was emotionally and physically abused. Overflowing with emotion for his father who inspired him to write the song.

Remembering….

Reflecting……

Simply hurting.

What a powerful reminder that forgiveness heals.

Forgiveness restores.

And forgiveness is possible.

How about you?

Do you struggle as you remember a loved one who is no longer here?

Daily dealing with grief and loss?

Daily feeling the emptiness of life without them?

And how about forgiveness—

Do you or someone you know need that story, that clear reminder that forgiveness

changes lives…even if that person is long since gone.

Breathe in the hope of forgiveness and grace.

Let it seep into those aching places of your soul and begin a work of healing.

Yes, it’s a song and a movie worth experiencing.

Let me know if you’ve seen it and how it was for you.

And together let’s imagine what it will be like…

one day.

 

 

The Sweetest Christmas Story – part 6

Back in the states the days dragged

as I waited to hear the dates for my return to Russia.

This was one of a number of things that was different on this second adoption.

But slowly the time moved forward.

I prayed and wondered knowing full well that not every adoption goes through.

Would I finally be able to return for Jenny?

I wondered.

But about the third week in January I received my invitation to complete the adoption.

Joy overflowing.

Between making arrangements for my oldest to stay behind,

getting airline tickets and working out details for my brother-in-law to go with me,

time passed quickly.

I remember those moments of packing my suitcase.

At the last minute I packed a pair of small pink shoes-

shoes that I had purchased in Kiev a few years earlier-

shoes that held so much promise and joy

that suddenly ended in a failed adoption.

Holding those shoes for a long second, I wondered.

Would they possibly fit my soon to be adopted Russian princess?

How strange that would be I thought as I placed them in the suitcase

and zipped it closed.

But hearts don’t easily close, do they?

No at least not mine.

The previous unexpected loss had taught me many things

among which was to hold all things loosely

 

and with a prayer to do that I grabbed my bags and walked out of the room.

I held my daughter extra long that day as I prepared to leave for one more trip.

All too soon I was thousands of miles above in the skies

on my way to Russia.

Again.

I love the country, the birthplace of my daughters.

The people I stayed with and met were always friendly and kind.

But it was far away and I longed to come home

this time with a toddler in my arms.

We arrived in Moscow right on time,

made it through security and we soon were on our way to Kostroma.

Snow covered the land and I marveled at the beauty as we rode along.

Many hours later we arrived at the hotel where we stayed for a few nights.

Looking back the details of each day have faded

but one shines brightly among the fog.

The day I stepped back into the orphanage

and I lifted my eyes and saw Jenny.

Sweet and small.

Shyly glancing down at the floor to then suddenly look up and meet my eyes.

Did she recognize me? There was no indication of that.

All that mattered was that she was there and that we were together.

We spent a few hours each day playing and sipping tea.

And then one day I reached for those pink shoes buried deep in my suitcase

and put them in my bag to take to the orphanage.

For Jenny.

She sat that day on the carpeted floor while I took off her brown shoes

and watched with interest as I put first one shoe

and then the other one

on her feet.

She looked up at me with the slightest smile

as if she knew

that they were for her. She stood to her feet and walked around the room.

A perfect fit.

Yes, bought two years earlier in another country

and kept to remember that time

They now fit those little feet like they were made for her.

How marvelous that our Lord cares about all the details.

Nothing is too small for Him.

Shoes that I had previously wept over

were now the shoes that I rejoiced over.

Our God Who knows all our disappointments and unanswered questions

Who knows our heartbreaks and painful losses

heals each one in His time.

He continues to make all things beautiful in His Time.

Has He done that for you?

Do you know this God of Love Who cares deeply for you?

Soon I would be walking out of the orphanage with my precious sweet daughter

but first there was the court date.

That had a twist of humor all its own.