When Fear Threatens You

It happened in 1953.

The Polio Epidemic.

I have no memory of the fear that must have swept the country

as polio attacked so many – especially adults.

Leaving many paralyzed, some on iron lungs, some fatalities.

I have no memory.

But  I remember summer 1953 being a busy time

as we moved from Allentown, PA  to Levittown, PA.

My little baby brother was born in March 14, 2020

and there was so much to think about

for a little girl of 4.

Big bulldozers outside my window moved the dirt in the yard

and literally terrified me.

But there was something worse that would cause me to fear

for many years to come.

Polio.

I don’t even remember that word

until summertime

when my world was turned upside down.

After a time at the pool

my mother got a severe headache.

Suddenly a doctor was called.

Hushed voices.

My older brother and I stood in the hallway

waiting to hear about our mother.

The doctor came out of her room,

gave us each a shot

and made arrangements for my mother to be taken

to the hospital.

She had polio.

The next few weeks and months were a blur

as I was taken to Long Island to stay with my relatives.

I had no idea if I’d ever see home again.

Strange memories of those days

and lonely weeks.

Tasteless scrambled eggs

and long days.

I feared that my mommy had died

And I would never see my Daddy or brothers again.

How I wished to have the chance to be a good girl.

I knew that I would never cause them any trouble.

 

Today we face a the Coronavirus Pandemic

and daily news of how it’s spreading across the globe.

Schools are closed, churches will not have services

and many businesses are silenced.

Day after day I hear of more closings

and with it that sense of fear mounts.

But in the midst of it all

my heart remembers.

Long ago.

That verse of comfort and hope.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV

That verse reminds me of Who is in control.

It reassures me when I begin to wonder.

What’s going to happen next?

It comforts me and gives me clear direction.

Trust. Don’t trust my own understanding.

Acknowledge Him

and then there’s that promise …

He will direct my paths.

He is close, personal and has promised to be there.

I never have to feel alone

like that little girl of 4.

Never again.

No, God has promised

to take care of me as I trust in Him.

Years ago I waited for months

with no word about my mother.

Years ago I had no hope.

But suddenly when that car pulled up

and my Daddy came to the door

my heart overflowed with joy.

We were reunited again as a family.

The lessons remain

God is with us.

We can trust Him.

We must not lean upon our own understanding.

But acknowledge Him

and let Him direct our days, weeks, months and more.

No one needs to be overwhelmed by fear.

No one.

If you are reading this

and struggling at times

with fear.

Remember His promise.

It’s for you.

Trust Him.

Put your faith in Him.

He will guide, direct and protect you.

Always.

 

 

 

 

 

Love Is Something You Do

I knew something was different within the first few seconds I was home.

Downcast eyes, one word responses, walking away.

And suddenly I was met with a choice.

I could ignore those signs that something was wrong

or I could make the time to talk. Alone.

Thankfully I made the time.

Yes, sat on her bed, asked a question and listened.

Really listened.

True. I had a lot to do.

The house needed cleaning

the dishes were dirty

and on and on and on.

But something was wrong.

I knew it and her heart needed tending now.

Again and again I’ve seen that love takes time.

Yes, it takes time to show care and to listen

 and sometimes to stay with the other

in their space.

In our fast paced zillion-things-to-do world

it’s all too easy

to brush aside those relational red flags

and think that tomorrow will do.

But sometimes

sadly, tomorrow never comes.

Love is fragile and must be handled with care.

Love is tender and hearts are easily broken.

Love is sacred and involves many, many I’m sorry moments.

But in the end

its’ worth it.

Love takes time.

Time for hearts to stay in touch.

Sure, it’s easy to send flowers, or candy or some other gift,

But to truly care

takes time and a giving of yourself.

And that’s what can be so hard.

Busy, overworked single parents,

Couples running back and forth

Many times only passing each other before the next activity.

But love cannot be rushed

and love cannot be forced.

Love will demand the very best from you

And even then it won’t be enough.

Human love is so limited.

Gives up, gets petulant. Sometimes keeps score.

But love that is from God has staying power

and the strength to keep giving and talking and

believing again

that love is eternal.

Love keeps in touch with those we love.

Reach out today,

 and ask God to help you love

with His Love.

 

 

 

 

 

How’s Your Temple Care?

I guess I heard it years ago – that phrase ‘temple care’.

I listened as the conference speaker spoke of the importance of caring for our bodies.

The need to be intentional about self care –

 sleep, exercise, eating nutritionally, drinking plenty of water, etc.

I remembered those words – Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? I Cor. 6:19-20 Msg.

My, very body – my 5 ‘ 2” body a sacred place?

Our bodies are the place where His Spirit dwells in the life of every born again believer.

The more I thought about it the more I realized that my body

 was not mine to just do with as I saw fit.

Stay up late, binge on Doritos, deprive myself of sleep as I stay  up reading or

watching a UVA basketball game.

No, my body belongs to the Lord – the One Who gave His life for me

and it was up to me to take care of the temple.

Yes, this earthly body of mine made of dust and aging rapidly.

To intentionally care for it – with this understanding was a change for me.

I needed to respect the limits of my body.

Get enough rest.

Say no to over extending myself. Make time to exercise.

Not necessarily spending all my resources on health supplements

but choosing to eat nutritious food.

Temple care. Yes, good temple care.

Oh, I still have those moments – particularly when under lots of stress –

that I’ll reach for that red bag of Doritos.

Yes, my weakness –

But then I’ll remember – almost as if there’s little voice inside –

and I hear that call to good temple care.

Resting in Him – in His Presence-

God cares about it all. He not only created us for His Purpose

but He calls us to be wise stewards.

Taking good care of our bodies.

So how are you doing with that, my friends?

Join me, won’t you, in asking the Lord to give you wisdom and strength to

practice good self care-

temple care.

Trust in His care to provide for all your needs

and practice good temple care.

It will make a greater difference than we all realize in the moment.