Awake one night I heard some chirping.
I wondered to myself what could it be?
I thought it could be baby birds calling,
from a nest, outside my window, in the tree.
I shook my head and said, “Maybe,
but this doesn’t sound like a bird I’d ever heard.”
I imagined some kind of creature singing.
In the still of night without music or words.
I walked to my window very slowly.
I didn’t interrupt the interesting song.
It sure wasn’t birdies that were lonely,
turned out I was totally wrong.
Hanging by tails eyes gleaming like a gem,
was Mrs. Opossum and her opossum family.
Some say they’re pests but I watched them.
It was like they became pets for me.
A family of upside down singing opossums,
hung out side my window from a tree!
I don’t mind saying I think it was pretty awesome
to watch them grow and hear them sing!
Upside down singing opossums are really very misunderstood.
Research, maybe you’ll agree it’s awesome,
even if yours doesn’t sing as good,
to meet a family of upside down singing opossums!
Awake one night I heard some chirping.
Out in the moon light under the stars there Mr. Skunk went, him minding his business and us minding ours.
All of a sudden, we each were surprised, when we found ourselves staring in each other eyes.
We both had choices we could make but really each hoped the other no action would take.
We started to step backwards, one step at a time, and Mr. Skunk stood still frozen, his eyes watching mine.
Trip the dog however just wouldn’t stay and Mr. Skunk was left with no choice but to spray.
It’s morning now. Wow! Does Trip the dog stink! But I am left with a question, does a skunk, who can make such a stink, not stink before spraying? What do you think?
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you[a]will have tribulation; but be of good cheer,I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV)
Reclined in the dental chair during a routine cleaning, I had already been informed all was well with my teeth and the hygienist began to clean the hidden places of my mouth thoroughly. Out of no where, he stops suddenly, “Oh no!” He says, “I can’t handle this!” And proceeds to put the suction in my mouth then then removes his gloves.
The thoughts running in my mind weren’t good. I was not in pain. I had nothing to indicate anything being wrong except for his expression but naturally I thought something was wrong.
Why is the first reaction always what’s wrong? Even my daughters say it, “what’s wrong?” Or I expect the bad news before the good when I ask how someone is doing. The fact is in general, we are more interested in what’s wrong than what’s right.
The hygienist wasn’t identifying something wrong with my pearly whites, rather a song on the radio he wasn’t willing to listen to. But isn’t it like God to use that experience to stretch me a little more.
I need to be more mindful of what’s right.
Aside from that, what else can I learn from this? The power of my expression AND the power of others expression on me.
The hygienist felt terrible after he realized my side of that experience. Then we both found humor in our situations and likely even at the next visit will do the same.
Check your facts before reacting. Consider both sides. Respond rather than react not just in actions but also in our thoughts. Then maybe this season will be able to be pearly white with peace.
Prayer: Lord, much like dental issues start in hidden places, my Peace starts in the hidden places of my life and my thoughts. Father thank You. You knew my life would be less than pearly white without Your Son. I will try as much as I can Lord, to focus on what is right.
What comes out in the dark, are easier to see with light, are sneaky, hard to stop, can hurt me, and can make you miss something beautiful? Any guesses?
While hunting ghost crabs during our beach vacation I felt the Holy Spirit’s nudge of a “teachable” series of moments. In the following I will share six reminders about sin that may seem a bit crabby.
1. Light helps me see, chase, and catch crabs. While we saw a few during the day, nothing brought the little speed runners out more than the darkness. “Over here. I see one!” With excitement the hunters raced over, lights and buckets in hand, and chase the little creature until they thought they could catch it.
Sin often hides in the “darkness” in secret places. Sometimes even in self deception. However once light is shown upon our sin, because God’s love for me, I am to be ready for the chase and, in some cases, a fight.
2. Crabs are sneaky. They lay and wait patient and still under the covering of their camouflage. Be that natural beach debris like our prideful or selfish flesh, or things left behind by the world like society and the lack of Truth within it, there are many things attempting to hide the sin in our lives.
“I must have squished it. Wait! There it goes again.” Personally it seems like I chase the sin down and have it “caught” but when if I let my guard down here it comes again.
The tempest lies and waits. The patience within his ploys are very effective. I must remain rooted in Gods Word to overcome the sin in my life it’s through Him I am an overcomer.
3. There are obstacles in my path that make catching crabs hard or makes me miss them entirely. “Hole, watch your step!” Even at one point deep in the hole we’re hot coals lending the idea of playing with fire. I might know there is something I want to catch in my life. Something that God Himself desires that I do yet some obstacle is approached and my pursuit is slowed down. How I respond to these obstacles greatly impacts my ability to continue on the journey of being remade in God’s image. Be that the journey to rid my life of sin or the journey to follow God’s plan for my life.
Obstacles present choice and opportunity for prayer.
Prayerfully, I must approach the obstacle. Obediently I follow direction. If I choose to ignore I’m likely to trip or burn terribly.
4. Crabs can hurt me especially when they are afraid. “Ow! It won’t let go!” Just like the idea that hurting people hurt people we must remember removing sin hurts too. Just like the pincher of the crab at time sins hold on. Removal of the sin in our life can cause others to lash out or choose to leave our lives. This hurts. In time, God’s hand will become apparent and appreciated. Ours is to pray through and seek Him even in our pain.
5. I can miss beautiful things. “I didn’t even see all those stars!” After an hour chasing crabs in the darkness the hunters never stopped long enough to take in the beauty of where they were. Between the sounds of the waves and the beauty of the clear night, they were reminded to look up, and stand in awe of God’s creation.
6. The pursuit is hard, and often results in failure. This doesn’t mean it lacks joy. Insert contagious laughter as the crabs challenge the hunter and slip between their legs. Many times as Christian’s we fail. Over and over again at times. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Not some unattainable dream. Joy along the journey is evidence of the Holy Spirit in your life. Jesus died that we may glorify God in our everyday, every moment life, regardless of or circumstances.
Have you ever been part of a ghost crab hunting crew? I’d love to hear your stories!
Haley asked me to read Max Lucado’s The Oak Inside the Acorn tonight. I resisted that particular story but she, in her persistent Haley charm insisted. (Incidentally, it is an awesome book!)
“Lord, of course You’d have me read this after my girls went back to school and marked The End of one MORE of the few summers I have left with them at home.” God and I often have these kind of silent yet emotionally charged conversations.
As I read I felt the tears welling up but Haley’s intensity in her listening and attention to the deeper places the story touches were remarkable. Questions like, “The Mom Oak wanted the Little Acorn to let go? Is that what you want for me?” Or, “Hey, I wonder what I’m supposed to do too. Did you ever do that Mom?”
God, Your creation of this child and this moment more than amaze me. I stand in awe of You daily, yet sometimes words cannot touch the expression. Father I pray a hedge of protection around this child and several others tonight. This haste to grow up that is all around our children Lord, I know You hold it. And at the same time I ask that they to can some day walk in that confidence too.
As I read in Ephesians 3 she drifted to sleep saying, “Momma I am happy it’s not time for me to let go yet.”
Me too child, me too.
😉 Join me… complete with hand motions… 😉
🎶 The itsy bitsy spider, climbed up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the spider out. Out came the Sun and dried up all the rain and the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again. 🎶
How many of us can relate to the spider on the spout?
Did you know, there are three things that must be present for a rain storm. I find that extremely interesting as God seems to often have me facing internal storms. These things are.
2. Unstable air
3. Upward lift
As I researched, it dawned on me how The Creator didn’t go to extremes to hide the storms neither while they are occurring nor their aftermath. Dark skies, big clouds, wind, rain, thunder, lightning, sometimes so big it shakes the Earth under our feet.
I cannot say the same is always true in my life. I used to be quite proud to be the queen of the mask. I had fast answers, “I’m good.” “I’m okay.” “Yes I can.” When really on the inside I may be screaming out, “Help Me!”
I would venture to guess many reading this are like the little spider… facing this upward journey that is life with a forecast of cloudy with a high chance of thunderstorms. Some may be very isolated. Then there are some in the midst of a category 5 hurricane… yet seeking no shelter.
Indeed the makings of a storm exists EVERYDAY of our lives this side of Glory. The only one who has ever been able to calm a storm that I know is Jesus Christ.
The way I see it, our tears, whether we allow them to fall or not, or be seen or not, are the moisture.
The world around us and our sinful flesh is unstable air. And yet we have an upward lift to our Heavenly Father.
I encourage you today to reach out to someone. Perhaps it is a faithful friend. Perhaps it is a leader at a church. Maybe it’s a time of deeper prayer. Sometimes allowing someone else in begins the healing. And when indeed the Son comes up in your life. You can lean on Him to dry up the rain within it and halt the storm.
Happy Fathers Day to all the Dad’s in my life! But this Father’s Day is extra special for one Dad I know. His baby girl will be baptized today and I know he couldn’t feel anymore blessed!
For anyone who is grieving this day. Either because of the loss of a child or a loss of your Father, know that the Lord is with you and He see’s you.
I wrote this for my girl today.
“That’s My Girl”
Haley Mae Harris is her name
Mom calls her Hot Shot
Energetic and always on the move
One of her Daddy’s little bear cubs
She’s quick to see a need in others
She’s caring and helpful too
There are many nick names we call her
Like Happy and Huggable
And sometimes Hurricane too
But this day Lord,
she’ll announce to the world
she belongs to You.
We get to call her our
Sister in Christ now
And the tears they start to flow
It is so beautiful
to watch her character grow!
It’s an honor Lord,
to guide and watch and see
this treasure that You gave to us
Learn what You call her
and who You’d have her be
You say she is: Chosen
Chosen by name
You say she is: A Beautiful
You call her: Dearly Loved
Purposed and so much more!
Lord we pray with wings of faith
she gets to soar
That she longs to love You
more and more and more.
But most of all Lord
as she finds her purpose
in this world
I pray she has peace in knowing
“That’s My girl!”
For they considered not the miracle of the loaves for their heart had hardened. Matt 4:52 KJV
“Watch and be amazed,” the precious child said;
After waking briskly and jumping out of bed.
“Amazed in what?” Mom busily did say.
“I do not know yet, Momma, it’s a brand new day!”
“Of course,” Mom said. Taken back to the day;
When whimsical wonder was her worldly display.
“Want to color, read books, or play some games?”
Mom asked her child while placing the dishes to drain.
“No,” she said proudly with her gapped toothed grin.
Mentioning things that she wanted to do again.
This was the meaning behind what was heard;
Though not in as many, or exactly these words.
“Let’s explore new places; far, vast and wide.
Let’s go outside, you’re the seeker, I will hide.
Let’s taste falling rain, smell a bright red rose,
feel the sand under our feet and between our toes.
Let’s hear birds and listen for crickets to sing,
Throw rocks in the water to watch the circling rings.”
The sunset drew the day quickly to close.
They ate then bathed between ten twinkling toes.
The child mumbled; Her bright eyes filled with sleep.
Her blanket wrapped around her; her arms round Mommy.
“Dear God, I thank you for this day. Amen.
I wish Momma could watch and be amazed again.”
Mom prayed over her; broke to silent tears.
Wishing days didn’t so quickly turn into years.
So goes the saying, “From the mouths of babes,”
Thank you God for moments to, ‘Watch and be amazed.’
Father, I thank You for the glimpses of perfection in Your word and this world. As I ring in 2018 may my heart be in tune to Your will and Your will alone. Soak my hardened heart in the living water that the beauty of Your creation resounds. All that I am is Yours.
The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.
Exodus 14:14 NKJV
While in prayer for words to share with a dear Sister in Christ, Father laid these on my heart. Just as they were presented to her as a gift I pray they are a gift to you. From my heart to yours, Merry Christmas.
Like the Israelites standing at the sea, staring at the army and crying for me.
I see you.
A fear comes when you shift your eyes.
When your circumstance mounts up to the highest of highs,
and something else comes before the last tear dries.
I see you.
You wage war on yourself.
Then you bleed on to someone else.
I see you.
I am the Lord your God.
I will fight for you,
and you shall hold your peace.
I tell you my child,
you’re not under fire.
Cease, with the guilt.
Cease, with the shame.
Cease, with the unworthiness.
I called you by name!
Follow My leading.
My whispers be heard.
Let flesh emotions be fleeting.
Let your actions show My Word.
I love you My child, more than you know.
I’ve got this fight, I tell you, let go!
Then, like for Moses with his arms high and wide.
I’ll part the waters and cause the sea to divide.
Lord, sometimes the greatest amount of courage is required to be still and heed Your leading amidst adversity.
“You just seem to have it all together.”
I have heard this compliment, many times, yet the Holy Spirit has moved it to a point of conviction. It’s a trigger point telling me, “I need to level with this person.” Here is a small bit of transparency.
What I do have “together,” is only by the grace of God through the covering of the person of Jesus Christ. Not to mention “only” a small portion of my life is “together” some of the time.
At least according to my finite perspective. But the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all of His I Am-ness are mixed in,I am blown away. His plan and my plans don’t always agree. Can anyone relate here?
Sometimes God calls us to stay in uncomfortable situations. Sometimes situations are down right painful.
Sometimes it’s not just sometimes. Sometimes these times go on for a long time; days, weeks, months, years, a lifetime.
My heart breaks. So much pain facing so many. Everything begins running together and surmounting such to a point that it’s hard to see God’s hand in it. Yet I know it is there.
Financial Pain. Physical pain. Emotional pain. Relational pain. Spiritual pain. Sometimes the pain of and in this life seems unending.
Let’s not forget, PAIN HURTS.
Too often I try to act as though it doesn’t. I pull away from the emotion. I fake a smile while on the inside my heart is silently crying. My pain bleeds over into and onto others through my actions, or words.
I worry such about my own brokenness, because I feel I need to be strong for others. And God whispers, “it’s through brokenness that Jesus reaches people.”
I am not a stranger to pain. But very few have actually seen my sadness. I’m not talking silent managed tears. I’m talking the ugly, sob my heart out through my eyes, tears. Why is this?
One word. One dirty, five letter, “P” word. PRIDE.
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
But if you will not hear it,
My soul will weep in secret for your pride;
My eyes will weep bitterly
And run down with tears,
Because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive
Jeremiah 13:17 (NKJV)
Pride is me putting me, and my circumstance, before God and His will for my life. Pride is making finite flesh bigger and God smaller, not only my own flesh but others. My pride is a stumbling block.
Father, I rejoice, praise, and cry with You for the togetherness and for the turmoil. For I trust You are working in it all. As I move forward, may the humility and meekness of our Lord, Your Son, Jesus Christ be displayed to the world through His Holy Spirit alive in me. Help me Father place my boast, and my pride only in You.