Mall Walkin’

My sons are both in their forties now. They were teenagers when I wrote this piece. I was much younger, too, and had much to learn (still do!) as I continued my walk with the Lord. I intentionally did not change any of the thoughts I had at the time I wrote this, so please grant me grace and just enjoy the story. I thought it might be timely during the Christmas season and maybe some last-minute shopping trips. 

            I was not born to be unseen, unheard, and unknown. I was born to take up the space my body fills, to say the words my heart needs me to say, and to be known and loved by at least a few family members and friends.

            Sometimes, I feel so insecure and insignificant that it’s hard to remember to talk in a normal voice instead of a quiet, meek whisper. It’s hard to remember not to curl into a tight little ball in my husband’s arms, thinking “nobody can hurt me now.” Sometimes, I guess we all want to hide from the world and all its craziness.

            Then there are times so joyous that I want to shout and sing at the top of my lungs. I want the world to know I’m here, look at me! On these days, I remember when my sons taught me how to “mall walk.” I was always trying to get out of everyone’s way, not to be a bother, and saying “sorry” every time I even slightly bumped someone. It always took me forever to get from one place to the next. 

            One day when both my guys were with me, they decided to teach me how to walk assertively. So, mall walkin’…it’s really just slinging your arms high, walking with your feet wide apart, long strides, completely taking up your space. They told me “people will move when you walk like this.” They were right. People move. They see a confident person. They make room. It reminds me of that saying I first heard in the movie, Spencer’s Mountain, “The world steps aside to let a man pass when he knows where he is going.” 

            I want to fit into my world, Lord. I don’t want to be just a quiet little nothing. I want to make a difference, a good difference, and it takes a confident, happy person to do that. Help me to serve you, Lord, the best way I can and maybe, one day, when I’m mall walkin’ –  simply trying my best to live the life you want me to live – You will smile.

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Ready to Receive

During a conversation with one of my sons about a problem I couldn’t fix, I said to him, “You know I have faith. I can look you straight in the eye and tell you in all honesty that I trust God. So, I don’t know why I don’t have peace about this yet.”

Our family has walked with the Lord, and grown in His grace, for many years. We know to ask for His help, we know to “let go and let God” and we have thanked Him for more blessings than we can count. We also know that we have much, much more to learn…

 Usually, when I face a challenging problem and don’t know what I’m to do, I ask my Father for His guidance. I remember His promises to be our help in times of need and I try to wait as patiently as possible for His answers. I remind myself that God has never once failed me when I have called out to Him.

 This particular problem, though, just kept right on nagging at me, and nagging, and nagging. My mind kept spinning, even while I knew that the end result would be God’s provision. Maybe not knowing how or when it would be solved was causing the problem, but again, isn’t that what trust is all about?

 It was if I could almost see a wonderful solution – just out of my reach – and in fact, out of my control and in God’s hands. So, where was the peace? What was I missing? I continued to talk with my Heavenly Father. I knew He could give me the peace I was seeking.

 His answer came through loud and clear when He gave my son these words of wisdom to share, “Mom, I think we just need to be ready to receive.”

 Aha! Ready to receive God’s answer, in God’s time!  He will provide the trust and the peace I need. His answer will be the only perfect answer to any problems I take to Him.

Now, I’m “ready to receive” – I’m gratefully aware of His presence and His love, mercy and grace. I can relax, trusting my Father once again.

Matthew 21:22 (NIV) If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Psalm 62:8 (NIV) Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

 

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Today’s Blessing

I asked the Lord to help me be aware of the blessings He sends today. He did.

My husband and I were shopping in Walmart. I noticed three fireman who were shopping for groceries for their fire station. Immediately, I was drawn to one of the young men. I felt God’s gentle nudge, so I told my husband, “I’m going to go over and speak to those firemen and give them some bookmarks.

The book is 100 stories of blessings. I could hardly wait to talk with this young man about God and His blessings!

Walking over to the men, I thanked them for their service as firemen, and told them I’d like to give them some bookmarks. The one man smiled after reading the information on the bookmark, and said, “You know, people have blessings every day and are just unaware of them sometimes.” We had a wonderful visit about our Heavenly Father, His blessings, and being aware of being in His presence daily. This fireman loved the Lord and it showed. His words brought me such joy!

One of the reasons this incident made me so happy is because it confirmed what I’ve known for a very long time. One of the ways I can serve the Lord is by writing of His awesome love and sharing the writings with others. I’ve been asking the Lord, “What’s next?” The book was published in June, a heart’s desire of 40+ years fulfilled. (I’d been writing and sharing with family and friends for years, but didn’t have time until I retired to work on a book.) I know there is more to come, but I’m not sure where God is leading. That’s okay, because in conversation with my Father, He confirmed that my calling was not just about writing; I’m called to serve Him and to share His love with others in whatever way He provides.

Today, that fireman and I appreciated the time of being together and in God’s presence. We shared God’s love with each other and I believe we were both blessed.

This afternoon, my husband and I are making a trip to Hobby Lobby. Wonder what the next blessing will be…

Whatever it is, I will be thanking God for His awesome love!

 

 

 

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Today I Choose…

I know that what we bind on earth is bound in heaven and what we loose on earth is loosed in heaven.  (Matthew 16:19 and Matthew 18:18)  It is my choice, so for today, I choose:

 …joy over sorrow

…laughter over tears

…treasured memories over heartfelt regrets

…full over empty

…brightness over darkness

…skipping and twirling over slowly plodding along

…compliments over criticism

…smiles over frowns

…peace over anxiety

…courage over fear

…faith over doubts

…blessings over hardships

…serenity over chaos

…prayer over worry

…praise over pleading

…patience over pushy

…compassion over intolerance

…forgiving over begrudging

…freedom over bondage

Because today, I choose to follow Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and I prayerfully request that the love He shares with me daily is reflected in my eyes, in my actions, and in my words.

 

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A Real Visit!

Talking with the Lord, seeking to be in His presence, I was excited when He allowed me to understand a bit more completely what that means.

We all know God never, ever leaves us. He is ever-present and always available to us.

(Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.)

Being totally focused and in God’s presence is even more than knowing He is always with us.

Imagine being in a room and another person is in the same room. You see him and know that he is there. He is present in the same space as you.  Like a bodyguard, always present.

Then, you decide to walk over to that person and start a conversation. During the visit, you sit down together and start to share your hopes and dreams – real thoughts, not just everyday chitchat. You feel as if you’ve known that person forever as you communicate face-to-face; not just hearing each other, but listening with understanding and compassion. Time seems to stand still as you bask in the joy of being heard and hearing. You realize that this awesome being is your Heavenly Father and He has welcomed you, lovingly, into His very presence.

You really don’t want the time together to end, but eventually you turn to walk away, feeling refreshed in the very depths of your soul, and looking forward to another amazing visit. You also are comforted by the fact that He will never leave you!

 

 

 

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Just a…

Note: a wonderful post written by Dawn Paoletta at enthusiasticallydawn.com triggered a memory of this thought, written several years ago. (Thank you, Dawn!) My walk with the Lord is ongoing and I’m very thankful for each lesson and blessing God shares along the way. 

I can thankfully say that I have almost deleted the words “just a” from my everyday vocabulary. You know, when people ask what I do and the words, “just a secretary” or “just a homemaker” fall from  self-negating lips. Even my innermost thoughts often begin with “just a” when I think of my achievements, or lack thereof.

It is really difficult to recognize my own worth. It does not register that  my  husband has truly loved me for more than a quarter of a century,  or that my sons listen to, and sometimes heed, my advice. The employer that has complete confidence in my abilities and has paid my salary for the past 23 years, well…, he couldn’t have a clue how many times I’m unsure of my work or how hard I struggle to maintain a professional calm.

I have always tried to do my best at whatever task I was given, but I do not remember stopping to appreciate a job well done, or truly accepting a heart-felt congratulations at face value.  Sometimes I get so caught up in the striving that I forget to stop along the way and measure the distance I have come toward my goals.

And sometimes I remember that God did not create “just a” person when He made each of us. He thought each of us valuable enough to give individual talents, gifts, ideas, thoughts, emotions and desires. He loved each of us enough to send His Son to save us.  So, since God Himself, with abundant grace, accepts and loves us, perhaps it’s time I learned to value myself, who I am and what I will become with the gifts He’s given me to use for His glory.

I once read,  “Being human is a privilege, not an excuse.” Maybe being “just a” is really an excuse for not accepting ourselves as the redeemed people God created to carry out the plans He has for us.

 

 

 

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Psalm 37:4 – heart’s desires

Psalm 37:4 NIV Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart

When I was younger, I thought this scripture meant that, as we focus on a closer walk with the Lord, He would give us whatever our hearts desired.

During a visit with a friend, she explained that she believed the scripture meant that, not only would God grant us the desires of our hearts, but that God is the one who puts the desires in our hearts to begin with.

I now know that not only does God place the desires into our hearts, but as we seek His will, He gives us the passion, the gifts, talents, and skills to fulfill the desires He has placed within us.

Today, I was thinking of the scripture again as I praised the Lord for this particular season in life, a time of contentment and fulfillment.

Just wanted to share.

and for today, blessings!

 

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