Saturday, July 25, 2015

Happy Miracle Anniversary!

It is worth noting that today is my two year anniversary from being pronounced a miracle.

I just laughed out loud.

The truth is I had a health scare two years ago that lasted approximately four months and ended two years ago today when the doctors announced my latest blood work normal (not me...the blood work) and stated that they had ZERO explanation for what had happened and then used the word "miracle" to describe it all.

Hmmm....

Thank you God. I raise my hands even now to God for it...I am THAT grateful.

I have had some medical mysteries/issues in my adult life that have shocked, hurt, and in the most painful of cases had me close a door to having children. I don't talk a lot about any of them. In fact, I can probably count on two hands how many conversations I have had about any of them...until the last one. There I was in the throws of a spiritual meltdown/awakening/Come To Jesus period including an upcoming trip to Haiti (my first) and WHAM! God sets my butt down and starts spinning the ground underneath me....round and round and round. For the first time in my entire life, I got vocal and public about not only what was happening to me, but in asking for prayer. Like, please GOD, if you love me...pray for me...because I am at the end of the rope with no knots left to tie. None. Nada. Zip.

I found it ironic that today was my anniversary date (that memoir app will be the death of me) and that I had not remembered (you can't even scroll ahead on that memoir app...what is up with that???...actually a pretty cool/good thing) it. I mean, I remember it, but I did not realize today was the two year anniversary....until this morning when it popped up (literally) on my phone.

Hmmmm.....

...and me all having woken up at 6:30 a.m. (on a Saturday #forthelove) and doing an hour long Bible study with Lysa TerKeurst (which also popped up on my phone...me unaware). Again, at 6:30 In. The. Morning.....On. A. Saturday.

....and I started laughing out loud.

Because last night I had done a post on my writing page (FB) about this being my spa weekend of restoration and how I was all in flannel pjs (air on 71), essential oils percolating, freshly made bed, new book, yada yada yada....and I am passed out (from the Eucalyptus fumes I am sure) at 10 p.m. and wide awake 8 1/2 hours later...because God said, "Surprise. I have decided to plan your day." I know this because when I woke up at 6:30 a.m. (don't worry....I will get over it in a second), I rolled over and looked up and asked him WHAT in the world he was doing??? Hadn't he gotten the memo from me last night that I was going to sleep in????

God. What a comedian.

How about you and I spend some time together this morning? You, me, a cup of coffee...and a few surprises I am going to pop up on your phone that have you RUSHING for your Bible at 6:45 a.m.

Who am I to argue with God?

Don't say it.

More laughter.

Two years ago as I stumbled out of the doctor's office in shock, a song by Brandon Heath came on...called As Long As I'm Here, and I listened to it on repeat the rest of that day. I hope you will take the time to click on the link (link in song title) and listen to it. If you haven't had your own "touch the tip of Jesus' cloak moment" as I have nicknamed mine, then you are more than happy to meditate on mine...a relatively healthy girl suddenly is pronounced unhealthy and rushed in and out of multiple doctors, blood work every other day, a biopsy/surgery, numbers climbing (not good), and on and on for four months until THIS...


Normal.

...and just like that, I am okay.

Say what????
 
"Someday I will pass to the great sky above and the first thing I'll ask is how well did I love..."

I could NOT get it out of my head.

I think in some ways that song is what haunts me (in a good way) every single day.

"...you gave me the heart and the time I would need to find you and make it back home..."

I cannot not do better....or die trying. Seriously. Die. Trying. Why? Because clearly I am supposed to be here. YOU are supposed to be here.

God has been MORE than patient with me. More. Than.

How well did I love? How well DO I love?

Big questions for a Saturday that was supposed to be spent relaxing and having my body beat on (aka deep tissue massage by the masterful Gail).

What are you grateful for today? Where has God turned around in your life and said, "Go in peace, and be freed from your suffering." {Mark 5:34} Did you? Did you go in peace? Are you still suffering?

Jesus loves you. Jesus loves me. He is telling us to keep going. We aren't done yet. I am not done yet.

That, THAT is redemptive living breathing grace, and I am so grateful for it. I also hope I am getting a little better about living it and giving it...Every. Day.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Love Letter To My Friend

Dear Friend,

I know you believe that all you have been praying for is lost, but that is a lie...from the enemy. I need you to repeat after me, "That is a lie. That is a lie from Satan."

I know the world seems crazy right now. Lots of opinions and hateful words. Family members warring against each other on every form of social media available to them. Unfriending or defriending. Who knows what it is anyway. You wonder do I even use my voice? Yes. You do. Now, more than ever. Your gentle but firm voice with its wisdom and love is needed, desperately needed; especially now.

I know you are sitting in your home praying, probably at this very minute, to a God you love asking, "What if?" and you wonder if he is still listening. He is. I promise you. He is.

I know you might have lost a son or daughter, and you are wondering what that means for your family? How will your heart go on? Where is God in this? God is with you...even in this sorrow and loss.

I know your love is gone. Words said. Hearts broken. The future, your future, forever altered. Where is God in this you ask? Will you ever laugh again? Smile? Love? Yes, yes, and YES! God will get you there...it will take time; give it the time it deserves.

I know you are searching for time with your family. In between the to do lists and practices and VBS. Where is the time for PLAY? It is there. God is in there too. He is giving you permission to rest. He gave it to you, spoke of it in Genesis, and he is reminding you of it now. Let him show you how; he will.

I know you are headed into surgery this week and wondering...will this be the silver bullet? Will I really feel better? Will I ever feel like myself again? Where is God in this? God is here, and you will. I promise.

I know your life is going crazy...new jobs and new towns and new adventures. Is it right? Wrong? Crazy? Probably a little yes to all, but you will be fine. God has surrounded you will love and support, more than you know, and you will be great!

I know that the bills are coming at you faster than the income and it feels like your health, your family, your finances, your dog...everything...EVERYTHING is up for grabs by the enemy. God is with you, and he will provide for you...and your family. Trust in him...even there in that icky space of money where so many of us are uncomfortable.

My sweet friend. I love you. I am here for you. I am praying for you. I am looking for ways to be intentional with you and for you. To love you well. I know the world is spinning faster and faster. I feel it too. I grow weary. I long to hit pause. I am learning how to, when I can, and lean on others when I cannot. Lean on me now, as I know I have and will lean on you again very soon.

Isn't that life? The dance of leaning in and on others whether in embrace, anger, hugs, handshakes, or love. We are strong for others and then they are strong for us. It is only when we are completely isolated from the acts of leaning that the enemy can take us out (literally or figuratively) and so we must be intentional in our allowance of others to love and lean into us and in return give ourselves permission to lean on others when our own strength is gone. Isn't that how we love each other well?

*****************************************************************************

I wrote this post a week ago, but did not publish because I just thought who am I to speak to all of this?! Then I had nephews texting me Friday wanting some Aunt-time, a business partner needing some business time, a friend whose son passed away, another traveling for a long-overdue vacation that I hoped to see, birthday parties, illness, weddings, lost dreams, and I prayed and took the one physically closest to me and the one God was pushing me to be the most intentional to/with...so I worked late and took care of business and then I threw some bags in the jeep...and drove to my family....leaving others in the dust.

There will always be items on the list left undone, people left waiting, choices between priorities, and there is NOTHING you can do to change it. This is LIFE. 

If I am to be more intentional with others, and I am determined to be, then I must also be intentional in acknowledging that there will be people and things I just cannot get to or serve well. *Deep Sigh* 

There will also be people and things that I am not meant to serve...well or otherwise. *Deeper Sigh*

Dear Friend, you are loved...by me, but even more by a faithful God. I will fail you, but he will not. Lean into his love and mercy to find ALL that you need...which will allow everything else in your life to be gravy and frankly ENOUGH.

Love,

Your Friend


A friend made this graphic in a group I am in, and frankly just that alone made me cry. Part of this I took from a Rumi quote and some from a line in my favorite childhood hymn...I say it all the time though...so I guess it is becoming my "thing"....mainly it represents to me the heart of TRIBE and what we all need to remember in being intentional with others. 

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)