Friday, December 25, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: Pebble's Ripples

 The Pebble's Ripples

Without a faith in God that assures me He is at work for my best and that of those I love, many times I would have given up. The older I get, the more my life does not flow, as I had perceived it would.
We all make decisions and speak words, many times without much thought-or perhaps with much thought(?) that affect the lives of others. As a pebble tossed in a pond sends out ripples, our actions and words, our life pebbles, can touch another with life changing and soul scarring ripples.
In this my final few decades of life, as the last chapters of my life story are being written, and the pages of the past begin to yellow and take on that musty smell common to old and neglectfully forgotten books, it has felt as if I am standing on the opposite shore of all other lives that touch mine- and rocks are being thrown. I am losing my shoreline to the erosion of the choices, misunderstandings, and unkind judgments of others.
I could stem the damage being done, but at what cost to an innocent? I refuse to throw the huge boulders needed to stem the raging waves that are eating away at what should be my peaceful sandy shores. Yet, I like to think that these boulders will enhance my foundation of faith and trust, and one day I will realize that a shore of peaceful sand held a misconception of importance.
Unfortunately, knowing these things does not remove, or even diminish, the pain that holds me captive behind the growing wall of rocks amassing my life’s shoreline. However, I believe one day I will put on the harness of a rock climber and with the aid of my faithful  belayer (Christ) I will scale that imposing wall of rock and all will be chaos free. Then, as I stand atop what was meant to bury me and defeat my spirit beneath its crushing weight, I will see the entire vast array of what my life was purposed to be.
Until then my prayer is that I will choose to toss out into life pebbles of love and understanding, pebbles causing truthful and gentle ripples in the waters that caress the lives of others more often than choosing, inadvertently or selfishly, those that cause demolition and destruction. My biggest fear is that I would callously cause another life to withdraw from riding on the sparkling waters of life because my pebbles’ ripples caused too much pain. I pray I will never force another to retreat from rippling the hopeful and promising waters of their life by my choices.
Often we are not aware of how our ripples interact with those of another life. The pebble leaves our hand, hits the water and the ripples subside leaving what looks like calm waters; but water moves beneath the apparent surface stillness.  Our self-righteous shaming moral judgments and selfishness, done thoughtlessly or with intent, can shatter a hurting soul.
My hope and prayer is that the ripples that rise and fall from the pebbles I have tossed are ones that tug at the heart. I pray that as God orchestrates my life and the lives of those around me, that the swell from my pebbles will continue to touch those of others for years to come in a kind and gentle way.
I pray that God in His graciousness would send others into all our lives to toss pebbles that gently rock and comfort us and assure us of His unconditional love, especially when we are struggling.  Most of all, I pray that the pebbles you and I toss create ripples of the same beauty and love as those of Jesus.   

 October 26, 21015

© Copyright 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: 31 Days of Family Life-storm

Back from a weekend of a much needed adventure with my lovely married daughter. We had a fun time sitting up late chatting around a camp fire and saddling up our horses and riding some awesome trails. The trees were at peak color, the weather fantastic and the company grand.

Now to get on with this 31 days of writing. Today's prompt is Storm.

I love a good storm. Rain. Snow. That's about what I see in Minnesota. I am fortunate, I don't need to worry about Hurricanes, or many tornadoes. But rain with thunder and lightening I love. And snow-blowing wildly about, drifting and crazy-that is spectacular after the storm. Spectacular after the storm.

 I stop and breathe deep after a rain. I walk out in the cool damp air, the ground giving way under my steps. I marvel at the colors, exquisitely  vivid after their drink from heaven. I survey the branches strewn about and gather them for a quiet evening of s'mores. I accept the fierce winds, flashing sparks, and  bellowing thunder as an instigation for renewal.

After the howling cries of the blowing snow, I marvel at the beauty that lies before me. The white intensity glistening, too brilliant for my eyes to behold. Soft wisps of white dancing on the last  breaths of the wind.

 The storms of family and life can be like a good refreshing rainstorm. We can embrace the coming renewal from the storms of life. We can accept the winds to come and the earth to shudder under life's thunder and flashing lights. We can see these storms as a cause for renewal-with our relationships, and with our savior.

We can look for and  anticipate the spectacular of the outcome. We can be in awe of the diamonds in life we are given. The spiritual growth glittering in the sun as fresh snow, sharp and crisp, glitters in the sun lying beneath the frigid air.

Storms can truly bring a spectacular renewal to our lives. We only need to accept the storm, wait it out, and open our eyes.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: day 7 of 31 Days of Family Life- Love


In romance novels it is
tingling touch in the firelight.

In reality
love is exhausting
late nights.

Crying and

Scratches and scrapes.

Gum in your hair.

Poo in their underwear.




when you DON'T feel like it.

 Love is knowing you will make it
because you promised you would.

And He is who you trust.
And He is love.

Grandparenting with Grace: Day 6 of 31 Days of Family Life-Possible

I am trying to catch up-only to get behind again as I am going on a weekend adventure with my lovely daughter this weekend, Away from internet. I will have to play catch-up again on Monday.


How is it possible
 that I could go from knowing to no longer knowing?

How is it possible
 to have been so confidant as a young mother
  to being this uncertain the 4th time around?

Oh I still know what I should do,
 and generally do it-

but I know the possibility
 of controlling the outcome is unrealistic.

Expectations most possibly will disappoint-
 unless our expectation
  is to submit to His perfect possibilities.

Then it is possible to be amazed
 beyond our expected possibilities.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: Day 5 of 31 Days of family Life-Home

My goodness how is it possible that 3 days have passed since my last post? I thought I could do this 31 days of writing every day, but it looks like I may need some "grace" in my failed attempt. The prompt for Day 5 is Home:


Home is a safe place, with warm fires and bread baking,
 and soup.
You can stretch out at home. 
Wiggle your toes. 
At home there is evidence that you exist- 
art on the refrigerator, 
books on the table, 
dishes in the sink, 
and shoes at the door. 
Home lets you experiment 
on becoming who you will be 
without giving up on who you are. 
Home offers another chance to get it right, 
even after you've done it wrong multiple times. 
A home with children is filled with grace,
children just naturally offer it -
every time it's needed. 
And I need it often.
Thank-you my precious little one.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: Day 4 of 31 Days of Family Life-Embrace

 Now that's a word.
First thought is: Embrace, as lovers embrace.
 I like that. Warm. Exciting.

Yet from there I moved to Embrace your life,
your gifts, your calling.
Not so warm or exciting for everyone.
Maybe terrifying.

I mean after living more than half my life I know the possible outcomes.
And they're not all pretty.
There's some trepidation sneaking in here.
Along side trepidation, there stands uncertainty.
Uncertainty allows despair to get all clingy.


Move into that life; embrace that fear.
Grab hold of those gifts, shake off that uncertainty.
Hear Him calling? He's expecting you.

Grandparenting with Grace: Day 3 of 31 Days of Family Life-Capture

I am a day behind. Life got in the way yesterday as I took my grandchild-almost adopted daughter- trail riding and we enjoyed some of God's beauty in nature and each other.

Yesterday's prompt was Capture.

Oh if I could capture joy and hold it each day, what a treasure that would be.

 I'm trying hard.
Looking for those little snippets placed in each day.
That toothless smile.
The giggle when I nibble/kiss her sweet little neck.
The "I love you Mama," breathed as she snuggles into her cozy bed exhausted from a day of play outside.
A walk in the woods with that small precious hand in mine.
Her silly way of charming the chickens-they follow after her as chicks after a mother hen.

But I get so tired from late nights, and the wandering restless little one.
All the spills, the messes, and the refusals.
It's hard work to grow a little one.
I tend to forget the joy in the midst of mess.
It so easily slips through my fingers.
Perhaps I need to start a Joy list, just to remember.
I need to remember. . . that smile, the I love you, those fingers, her sillys. . .
It's the best medicine.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22, ESV)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: Five Minute Friday-Family

I believe all families are messy, even those that look perfect from the outside are messy -and that's okay. I mean how can a number of people live within the same house and not make messes within the walls of their relationships? How can any of us pursue relationship with another and not take a misstep on occasion? From the smallest of babes to the eldest of us, we have needs and desires that clash. We often use words that hurt those we love the most, and in our imperfection we fail showing the small niceties to our family that are so easily given to others. 

Messes are a given in family life, but they don't have to be our ruination. No, instead our family messes can build our communication and deepen our relationships if we let them. All it takes is offering others our love and forgiveness, time and time again. Whether it is our biological family, or our church family, or a close group of friends-relationships need our attention and time. Family. Relationship. Important. And worth every moment of perseverance necessary to  build and strengthen the bonds.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: 31 Days of writing; a challenge every October, every day

You're welcome to join me in experiencing 31 days of writing for five minutes a day on Family Life- specifically Parenting as a Grandparent. This is an extension of the Five minute Friday group writing on a specific word prompt. Come here each day to find the days thoughts on Family Life while parenting as a grandparent.

Day 1: 31 Days of Family Life: Calling
Day 2: Five Minute Friday: Family
Day 3: 31 Days of Family Life:Capture
Day 4: 31 Days of Family Life-Embrace
Day 5: 31 Days of Family Life: Home
Day 6: 31 Days of Family Life:Possibility
Day 7: 31 Days of Family Life: Love
Day 12: 31 Days of Family Life: Storm

Grandparenting with Grace: Day 1 of 31 Days of Family Life- Calling

31 Days of Family Life: Calling

Family has always been important to me. I remember as a child wanting to be a mother. I knew I'd marry and have children; you could say I felt it was my calling from a very young age. I loved children, babysat often, and sought out kids in every setting. Now as a mother/grandmother, I still believe mothering to be  a divine calling.  However, not every woman is content to mother. Many other occupations and endeavors are calling for a woman's time and attention. Society can cause a mother to doubt the importance of the call to motherhood. Mothering is difficult and demanding. It asks a woman to put the needs and desires of another first over and over again. A woman can get lost mothering. I know I did. When the calling of motherhood seemed more like a call to suffer trials and persevere through heartache I felt myself slipping- but I found: Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  And I claimed that verse, not only for myself, but for my children.

Now as a grandmother, once again mothering the grandchild, I can become discouraged as I see my peers free to indulge themselves in life. Their Grand-parenting is limited to a day here or there, piling on the fun stuff, while I'm once again called to the role of parent. I don't send the child home after spoiling her, I am the parent. I'm not called in as support staff, I am the full-time 24 hour staff. I get tired, lose patience, feel selfish in my desire for quiet, and time to pursue. . . What? Something of little Kingdom value? Indulgence in earthly things? Over and over I struggle with this, yet I know the eternal value of this little life I have been entrusted with and I realize my life is His and not my own. After all, I am called to give glory to God, " Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them." (Isaiah 47:7, NLT) and I am called to eternal glory in Christ,  "And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." (1 Peter 5:10, ESV) What can be better than to be called to glorify God with our life and be called to glory for eternity in Christ Jesus? Nothing. Yet it isn't always easy to fulfill His call. It will stretch us, purify us, burn out the dross that tarnishes the hidden corners within us, and although we are all given a choice to follow His call on our life (that thing called free will) one can be sure the call is immutable. "For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." (Romans 11:29, ESV) We can deny Him or ". . .We can walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we (sic) have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3, ESV)

I'm still working on this last one, I think it is a not done till eternity thing.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Grandparenting with Grace: When did I stop hoping/praying?

 Today I visited my own neglected blog and read through these writings from years ago; I wonder when it was I lost my hope. When did my faith crisis begin? I don't believe it occurred suddenly, but creeped in stealthily like a thief in the night.This thief with his lies has stolen my hope and my joy. I am struggling, holding on by only my raw and bleeding fingertips to a rocky ledge of despair, not only in grief for this lost daughter but for so many of my broken dreams and mangled expectations. My life feels dry and my soul thirsty. I know the answer is to cling to Him, but it feels like clinging to Him is akin to that rocky ledge and I'm bleeding. It's hard to hang on alone without trust in my belayer. Even with my climbing harness on, I cannot go it alone. I need to know I'm held in His hands (reminded, encouraged). "Belayers (Christian friends) need to be watchful and alert for any dangers as well as pay attention to the climber so that the rope is allowed to feed smoothly when the climber is leading, climbing, or lowering. Many climbing accidents happen because of inattentive belayers, who drop the climber by not paying attention."   Belaying is a Sacred Trust

I know Jesus is my Rock; and I am clinging- but I am bleeding. I've been bounced around; I've slipped and crashed against this mountain in life and I'm feeling so alone. My belayers are focused else where and have left me hanging. My cries echo back to me hollow. I'm slipping-even as I'm trying to hang on.

 Christians do you know that-

Belaying is a Sacred Trust

  Grab the rope and help another fellow human who is struggling to make the climb.

Wearied By Life

Wearied by life's long climb to broken dreams
and trapped on the precipice of despair
is my soul backed against the cold hard
crumbling wall of total abandonment.

A lonely cry of anguish uttered;
through the valley of lost hope.

One wrong step will send
 the loose fragments of lost dreams
 clattering down the hillside
of a life half lived.

My life falters on the edge of its necessity.
Back from the rigid canyon walls of time
the echo of time past taunts me--
accusing me.

What of priceless value has been achieved?
What of timeless treasure has found
a path from the abyss of days now gone
and into the anguish of the present moment?

What will advance bravely into a future of yearning?
Is there nothing?
Then how can I?

 © Copyright 2010

And yes all things are possible with Him, I will continue hanging onto to that promise.

A mother's prayer's from Many years of hoping

Following is the beginning of the brokenness of a mother's heart as I cried out to God. There is despair, pain, anguish, and hope in these words/prayers of mine. I believe God hears. Although I believe He is working, at times --after so many years-- I lose hope. I am working on regaining my faith and hope in my God who promises me only good things in the end.

All is written by me and is protected by copyright . 


Poetry and prose for parents loving a child through rebellion

These poems are dedicated to my precious daughter, and to all the brokenhearted parents who are loving, or have loved a prodigal child.  May you find comfort in knowing others do share your pain.  May these words give you hope and a place of rest for your burdened heart.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.
Matt. 28:11

There is always a place called home,
And if we’ve lost our way in the darkness,
We only need to look to the Son.
You are loved.

          (Written for the Senior yearbook, October 1998)

Who are you? I don’t know you any more. Sometimes I catch glimpses of the girl you used to be, but you’re changing into a woman, a different person, a stranger.  I’m afraid some day I won’t be able to recognize you in any way.  That frightens me. 


There was a time I believed in love.
Then my daughter told me she hated me
And I lost that belief.

There was a time I believed I was a good mother.
Then my daughter told me she didn’t want me to be her mother any more
And I lost that belief.

There was a time I believed I could be happy.
But my heart is broken because my daughter is now gone from me
And I lost that belief.
I don’t believe in anything any more.

I never wanted money
 Or fancy cars to drive.
I have no need for jewelry
Or the fashion trend to buy.
I’ve only wanted simple things-
Most nature can provide.
To hear a songbird’s clear sweet song
Or watch the setting sun.
To feel a puppy’s rough wet tongue
Or enjoy a child’s laugh.
A richer life no one can find
Than one that’s filled with these.
A quiet simple kind of life
With pleasures bound to please.

My soul aches.  My heart cries.  Part of me has died.  The child I once cherished no longer exists.  Someone else has moved in and my daughter is now lost.  Where can I go to find her?  Will she ever return home?  No one ever told me it would be this hard or it could happen this way.  I had hopes, they’re ashes now—dreams, but they’ve been shattered.

I gave her life; she took it and ran
Away from me.
I’m not what she wants me to be.
I’m not what I want me to be.
Am I at all near to what God wants me to be?

I tried not to think of you today.
It didn’t work; the thoughts came anyway.
All I ever wanted was for you to have a good life and be happy.
I wanted to be a part of what you became and where you went-
To stand in a corner and applaud your arrival at you.
I loved you, maybe too much, or, perhaps not enough.
Do you know which?  Tell me; I’d like to know.

A continuation of the writings from those beginning years of heart break. (It's been 16 years now and I am still waiting and praying.)

It hurts!  It hurts!
I just want it to stop.
This pain in my heart.
This knot in my soul.
It hurts!  It hurts!
I can’t be a part of something she doesn’t want to share.

The pain won’t stop!
I cannot hide.
Sometimes it’s so intense
I wish I would just die.

My heartache won’t cease.
I can’t get away!
I cry!  I scream!  I pray!

No matter, it won’t go away.
Go away, go away, go away.

Wish I could, but there is nowhere to go
To escape the pain.
It follows me, haunts me,
Day after day.

How can one live with rejection?
Christ didn’t—
He died because of it.
I now know how he felt.
Sometimes I’d like to trade this rejection for death.
But there was victory after Christ’s death--
In the resurrection.
I’m waiting for the victory.
It’s been promised.
So I will live,
If only for His victory
And the resurrection of a life lost
That will again be found.

I had a daughter once, but she went away,
Told me she didn’t love me—I wasn’t her mother any more.
I am slowly beginning to believe it.
She never calls or writes.
It’s like I never existed for her.
But wasn’t it just yesterday
I held her to my breast and satisfied her cries?
Why can’t I comfort her anymore?
Why does she need things I can’t provide?
Maybe it was all a dream
And I never really did exist for her.


All I ever wanted was to love you.
To brush your hair,
Hear you laugh,
Kiss you goodnight.
Enjoy your friends,
Give you hugs,
Watch you become an adult.
I never wanted you
To hate me
Or feel unloved.
Or, hurt you in any way.
I guess wanting isn’t enough.
No one ever showed me how to do these things
And I have failed.
But I so wanted…..

I wish I knew if you ever cried—
Or needed me.

I wish I knew if you ever even—
Thought of me.

You see, you’re on my mind—
Every moment.
I even dream of you.

Did you know I miss you?
But when I see you—
I don’t even know who you are.

I remember a different girl—
One with smiling eyes
And laughter.

You were so excited about life then—
What you were doing,
Where you were going.
When I look at you I don’t see her any more.

Do you know where that girl went?
I’d like to talk to her.

You see—
I love her and have so much to share with her
If you see her—my girl—
Could you tell her
to come home?

 Here are the final recorded cries of a mother's heart over a rebellious child. My crying has not ended. I have no idea when it will end. I can only pray and trust that one day God will be honored and glorified through the brokenness of our family.
Life can really knock a person down.
Before the first round it gets tough.

Beyond my reach
     As if dead,
May as well be,
     I cannot touch
That wandering child
    So far from our home.
Freedom worn-
     A ball and chain;
Thought to be a prize,
     Instead a weight.
Weighted down by rebellion-
     The destroyer of youth.
All innocence gone; given
      In a frenzy of impulsive lust
For all one can experience.
      Not ready, but ready thought.
When will it end? 
       Where will it end?
And will there be anything left?

     Help me to remember that You love her more than I.
But then, I’m at a disadvantage; You know the outcome.
I can only trust and pray.
                                Each day.
                                           And pray
                                                   Oh, pray—all day.
Do You cry as I?  Does it break your heart as mine,
To know she is running from You too?
I can’t catch her, But You can.
So do!  Please hold her fast!
So some day she’ll return; to You, to us
                                                           At last.
What’s Out There?
What’s out there in the shadows, unknown in the dark,
So attractive?
Who wants your company, but fears the day?
Evil lives in the recesses of the night.
He lays in wait to catch you unaware and draws you near,
 Until his hold is clasped about you so tight that the light is out of reach.
Turn and flee!
Get away while there’s still time.
Before the Dark swallows your very soul
And leaves you raped, ravaged
And for dead,
In the dark hollow of your mind
Without a flicker
Of Light for hope.
Where did it all go wrong?
Who wrote this chapter of my life’s book?
It’s written all wrong!
I didn’t want it to be lived this way.
The chapters are all mixed up
With some one else’s story.
Can we crumple up these pages and begin again?
I’ll write it how I want it to be read.
It will be more comfortable, easier to follow.
Like a Fairy Tale
Without an evil witch or dragons.
But then, what will be the plot
And who will want to read it?
Okay, continue on.
But I’d rather it be less than one hundred pages.
I’m impatient and want the happy ending.
                                 Besides, the story hurts while it is being written.
The other day you stood handing out roses and it made me think………
You are a rose-
A beautiful young lady,
But when I’m with you, I can only feel the thorns.
They prick and draw blood,
Injure my soul.
Did you know that there are thorn-less roses?
With breeding and care:
A flower so beautiful and delicate
One which does not injure or hurt
Does not draw blood and leave wounds
It grows and unfolds slowly to maturity
Carefully tended by the gardener
Until it is cut loose from the branch and presented to the world
Beautiful and confident in its radiance 
To be placed among the best of the flowers
Ready to unfold on its own
To capture hearts and make a most positive impression
Taken from the branch too soon—
The petals will not unfold to show all it can offer of its inner beauty and rich fragrance
Taken too late and the fragrance is past its best
The petals fall before they can be enjoyed for their beauty
We were only trying to tend your inner beauty and radiance,
To cut you loose at the correct time,
So you could unfold on your own confidently, positively, and fully,
Into a beautiful and complete rose
Surrounded by fragrance.
But the elements of life have invaded our garden.
The insects of hate destroyed all we had accomplished.
Now we cannot see you among the flowers;
Our plant has been hit by blight
And only through constant attention, hard work, and patience
Can it be restored miraculously to its state of pure beauty.
But, God is known for His miracles
And He began our garden.
We’re waiting for our miracle.
The pain is indescribable;
There is an ache within my heart.
This grief that has a hold on me
Is tearing me apart.
There are no easy answers,
No place to lay aside
This burden I must carry
Until in His arms I can abide.
The road that I will travel
Has many times been trod.
And when all take the long route
Our Lord must think it odd.
For the peace that passes from Him
Is only a prayer away,
And if we pause a moment,
A moment every day,
To give the burden to Him
With Him it would stay.
Then in grief’s place we’d find His peace,
And a gentle quiet rest.
We’d learn what He has planned for us
Is always
What is best.
Be quiet inside, in your heart with the lasting charm of a quiet and gentle spirit which is so pleasing to God.  I Peter 3:4
My heart;
A spirit
Pleasing to God
My prayer...
You know all:
All the joys
All the pain
All the fears
All the loss
All the beginnings
And where it all ends
I look on as a stranger to a stranger and wonder ---why?
All I ever dreamed of is unattainable, vanished, not to be.
Uncared for…
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
Oh, to trade places with my child.
I would have loved the nurture and love given,
So missed and coveted at one time.
A life invested, questions asked, eager encouragement.
But it all still remains unattainable.
But now from both sides—
Never given,
Never accepted,
Full circle—Rejection

Lord I never knew how to love
one who didn’t love me.
Thank you for teaching by
Your example on the tree.
            For that I had the need.
I hope for your return;
I am eagerly waiting for the day
I do not yet see.
But I know it’s coming
For I have prayed and been promised
The desires of my heart.
Romans 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, then
 we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Keep her safe….yet break her.
Hold her close…yet let her fall
Draw her near…as each step taken farther from You she strays.
Never let her out of Your reach…only show her where self leads.
Love her…even when she’s filled with hate.
Claim her as Yours…although You she has denied.
Bring her back home…You know where she belongs.
Does she never wonder how she got to where she is?
Lord, she’s some how lost her way.
Can she not retrace her steps back to You one day?
Tell her You are waiting, where the path taken—
She was mistaken.
You’re there to guide her back to where she used to be.
But only with a willing heart can she be enabled to see
All that You have planned for her-
As Your child she’ll receive.
I Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Do we thank Him for the answer to the prayer that we have prayed
Even though the answer given was strewn with pain along the way?
We ask to be made Christ like, yet shudder at the thought-
To walk the path that Christ walked when we are asked to bear our cross.
Do we thank Him for the heartache we live with everyday
Knowing we’re a sinner—
Ahhh, but a sinner saved!
Do we thank Him in the shadows when we’re in the Valley of Despair-
Where He shows us what is meaningful and our soul has been laid bare;
And all else that we had hoped for seems to wither in compare?
Do we stop to offer thank-yous for our pain along life’s way-
Knowing that His greatest work in us is done when our heart on Him is stayed?
 Or, do we only offer thank you when we’re where we want to be-
When we’re so full of what He’s given,
Or only on
Thanksgiving Day?
Do we dare, or even think, to give thanks when we are empty
And what lies ahead looks grim?
Do we take the time to stop and humbly give thanks
Just—for Him?
(Written and read Thanksgiving Eve 1998, Kost Church)
I’ve heard it said that there is a correct way to pray, a correct way to ask for forgiveness, and a correct way to forgive.  Does God not know the heart? Is a broken and contrite heart not the correct way?  If God gets so caught up in a particular formula for prayer and forgiveness- what happens when one’s heart is so heavy and hurting that the formula is forgotten?  Does that prayer go unheard? Is that cry ignored?
 No, God does not despise the cry of a broken and contrite heart.
Psalm51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and contrite spirit-
These, O God you will not despise. (NKJ)
A true heart.
A need for Jesus.
A plea for help in all weakness.
I understand it now;
I am being pruned to bear more fruit.
And how can one be pruned without it being at first
 a seeming hardship-
until the fruit comes forth?
  I’m yours Lord, prune away!
It’s hard to take that first step, but once it’s taken we are on our way.
Each day I’m hoping for a miracle,
And still, it hasn’t come.
Yet I’ve been hoping for awhile now
And pray as each day ends…
That God would work His miracle
 In this life that He has given.
A miracle of healing
To surround my broken heart;
A miracle of wholeness
And restoration for my soul.
Returning all that has been taken,
Or squandered in despair.
Adding more, much more, to fill my heart
And joy to sooth my soul.
The miracle is coming down
The question is not whether--
They only question’s when?

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