I Was Broken, Too is now available

I Was Broken, Too #3

Written from a Place of Brokenness 

book_Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

I never wanted to be defined by the death of my daughter, but it wasn’t my choice. I am forever marked by a sunny day in October that became the darkest day of my life. 

Everyone says a child isn’t supposed to precede a parent to the grave, but it happens, every day. October 11, 2004, was my day. Stacey wasn’t ill, so we were completely unprepared for her death… although, I doubt a parent can ever be prepared.

One simply cannot anticipate how hollow life can become, how effervescent joy can become a threatening hole, how silence can scream, feelings become numb, and loss be unfathomable, incomprehensible…bottomless. I wrote I Was Broken, Too from this place of brokenness.

Previous losses in my life were not as devastating but, unknowingly, they prepared me to endure the unthinkable and, step by step, through paralyzing sorrow and unstoppable tears, the unexpected happened━out of the blackest darkness I began to catch a glimpse of hope. I Was Broken, Too describes four paths I walked that restored my hope. 

I don’t know what losses you have suffered or what holes exist in your life, but I do know that the God who brought me through will do the same for you. You are precious and loved by Him. There is a purpose for your life, redemption for your pain, and hope for your future. 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

coverCroppedIf my blog encourages you, I trust my book will do the same. You can find I Was Broken, Too on Amazon, goodreads, and through Barnes & Noble.

Please drop in at my Book Launch Party on July 27 at Cornerstone Christian Church in Wyckoff, NJ.

Uncommon Sight

Uncommon Sense(s)

1_Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Eyes brown, green, blue, and hazel

  • Eyes wide, set deep, round, aslant, lidded, lash-fringed
  • Eyes blinking, searching, reading, observing, watching
  • Eyes alert and asleep, squinted and open, seeking and peeking
  • Eyes, gifts from the Creator, revealing wonders and ways and what’s ahead

Spiritual eyes

  • Seeing God’s invisible qualities revealed in mountains, skies, and sea[1]
  • Looking to the Lord, radiant and unashamed, seeking His face, receiving His strength[2]
  • Seeing Him, believing in Him as the Lamb of God[3]
  • Perceiving and receiving truth and revelation that those before us longed to see[4]
  • Seeing with certainty what is yet unseen[5]
  • Beholding, as in a mirror, the glory of God, transforming us into His image[6]
  • Opening wide to see fields of need[7]
  • Watching, waiting, yearning for Christ[8]

Tomorrow’s eyes

  • Look at Him face to face, seeing the glory we now dimly glimpse[9]
  • Behold Him and become like Him[10]
  • See Him and wear His name on our foreheads[11]

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him… So shall it be! Amen. Rev. 1:7

[1] Romans 1:20, [2] Psalm 34:5; 105:4, [3] John 1:29, [4] Matthew 13:16-17, [5] Hebrews 11:1, [6] 2 Cor. 3:18 NASB, [7] John 4:35, [8] Rev. 1:7, [9] 1 Cor. 13:12, [10] 1 John 3:2, [11] Rev. 22:4

 

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Re-live your Miracles

miracle_Image by Fathromi Ramdlon from PixabayOn her son’s second birthday, I wished my young friend a “Happy Birthing Day.” (Really, moms do the labor and babies get the attention!) Her response triggered something in my heart. She said, “I love thinking of what I was doing each hour two years ago.” I replied,

“I think it’s important to re-live our miracles and let the awe envelop us again.”

Those words nestled in my mind and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. So often I have rejoiced in a miracle, a special grace, a breath-taking beauty and let the moment fade. Life goes on, at a rapid pace, and so do I. But today I accept a challenge and extend it to you—

Let’s pause to remember and

re-live our miracles,

reflect on our special moments,

savor the grace,

feel the awe once again,

and allow our hearts to swell with gratitude.

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done. How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts! Psalm 92:4-5

Image by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay

I Love Spring

See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come. Song of Sol. 2:11-12a

spring2_Image by Couleur from Pixabay

I love anticipating the explosion of tiny green buds into a verdant canopy and carpet that cocoon me in new life, seemingly overnight. Is the sky bluer or it does it only appear that way against the contrasting green?

I love the bursting brilliance of color that shoos away winter’s gray—golden forsythia waving in the breeze, bobbing yellow daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths and tulips flaunting petals of pink and purple, yellow and red.

I love leaving my bulky coat in the closet with scarf and gloves, donning a simple sweater instead.

I love days that stretch longer and seventh-inning stretches at Yankee games.

I love blossoming cherry trees, magnolias, and dogwoods.

I love stepping outside into sparkling sunlight shining from the bluest of blue skies, dotted with cumulus clouds, cheerful, puffy and white.

I love strawberries for $1.99, sweet and juicy, which promise to become sweeter and juicier.

I love spring rains that produce rushing streams, full reservoirs, and splashing puddles.

I love swaths of rich brown, freshly, plowed earth intersecting green farmland, ready for seeds.

I love spring because it’s a season of promise. It reminds me that winter—in nature and in my life—is not as harsh or fruitless as it appears. I have seen many winters pass, annually and personally, and each one was followed by a season of singing.

Spring. Promise. Hope. Beauty. Life. Singing.

Image by Couleur from Pixabay. 

“Just as He Said”

Image by TC Perch from PixabayWhen the women arrived at the empty tomb Easter morning, an angel explained that Jesus had risen, “just as he said.” His faithful followers saw for themselves that death could not hold their Savior. Death cannot hold us either, “just as he said.”

The stone that would seal our fate, entombing us in an existence of death and decay, hopelessness and fear, unsatisfied desires and frustrated dreams—that stone was rolled away. “Just as he said.”

What is the heavy stone you can’t move?

  • Fear? Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you…Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
  • Guilt? Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matt 26:28
  • Problems? Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…you will find rest for your souls.” Matt 11:28-29
  • Emptiness? Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit.” John 15:5
  • Anger? Jesus said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37

There are more stones—and more promises. No stone is heavier than the one on Jesus’ tomb, and it proved too weak to secure death’s victory. Because that stone couldn’t hold Him, your stone can’t hold you.

Live in peace, unburdened and fruitful, forgiving and forgiven.

Live… “just as he said.”

Image by TC Perch from Pixabay.

Being Present

get_together_pixabay

My dear Friend,

I love our relationship and that we talk every day. You mean so much to me! But… I long for the conversations we used to have, before life got so busy. I treasure our time together and I want our friendship to deepen, not diminish. That’s why I’m sharing my heart with you today.

It just seems that you’re not “present” when we’re together. There’s so much I want to talk about but I feel like you’re distracted. I long to hear about your life—what you’re thinking, feeling, loving, struggling with, excited about. I remember when you would eagerly share your hopes and dreams with me and I really liked that!

I love it when we exchange ideas and make plans. I love seeing you happy and enthusiastic, on the cusp of a new venture. I even love the times when you come to me crying—I want to be involved in the good and the sad parts of your life. I want to do life together.

I guess what I’m asking is, can we go back to the way things were? When we get together can we be present and engaged? Can we shut out the roar of the urgent and relax together? Can we again share what’s important to us, what makes us laugh, and what brings us to our knees?

I would love to do that… regularly. Do you have any time today? Whatever works for you, wherever, I’ll be there. I love you!

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you,” Jesus. (Rev. 3:20, paraphrased)

Graphic credit: AnnaHelsinki@Pixabay

Magi, Camels & the Ultimate GPS

Christmas Travelers

“We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2

9Angeleses_Pixabay

Most stars are not visible from my suburban backyard. I can barely discern the constellations, let alone discover a star of rare significance. And follow it? I would likely end up at Newark Airport and watch my star land on the tarmac. Thankfully, this was not the scenario of the three magi—wise men—kings—who followed the celebrated Christmas star.

What kind of people are willing to follow a star? Were the Magi adventure seekers? Wise men with a nagging emptiness? Kings with too much time on their hands?

  • They were magi—astrologers, dreamers of dreams, interpreters of omens—who saw a momentous, significant star and followed it. The God-sent, heavenly GPS led them to the most pivotal, momentous point in history. Oh, that I would live so courageously!
  • They were wise men who recognized a sign when they saw one and willingly followed it, believing their journey would make them wiser still. Oh, that I would pursue wisdom so eagerly!
  • They were kings, men of wealth and power, who bowed before greatness embodied in a child and offered their riches to One whose significance they did not comprehend. Oh, that I would worship so humbly and give so generously!

Lord, I acknowledge that you have put stars in my sky to point me to you. May I follow with the determination, enthusiasm, and humility of the wise… and bow in worship.

The star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was… On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. Matthew 2:9, 11

Graphic compliments of Angeleses@Pixabay

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