Posted in Journal

On Birthdays, Military Life, and Freedom

Next week, I will celebrate my 60th birthday, and this week we celebrated Veterans Day. This particular time, combined with everything going on in this country, has caused me to look back and write down a few thoughts.

As a young married couple, Dan was in the Navy and deployed when I gave birth to our daughter. Meagan and I stayed with my mom for several months so I wouldn’t be alone. We then moved to Zion, Illinois. It was the first time I had ever been away from home for more than a couple of days.

When James was born two years later, Dan was there; but he left for a deployment when James was six-weeks-old. That time I stayed in Navy housing with my two babies. Don’t ever think that our military members (and their families) don’t pay a price well beyond a small paycheck for our freedoms. Do we regret that life or that circumstance? No way!!!!

No way, no regrets….but there were many weeks we ate soup and crackers daily so our kids could have what they needed. We lived far away from our families, back in the day before internet and cheap phone service (one 5 minute call per week was all we could afford). When Dan’s mother took a turn for the worse and died of cancer, we were too far away to get back in time. It was a price – but then we saw our country step in to send us back to PA to be with family for the funeral.

The nation watched the TV as CNN covered the Gulf War. I did too, alone at first. But then I watched with a community of wives as we went through it together. Are there wives that go astray? Yes! But most military wives that I met were struggling to keep their families taken care of while their husbands were gone. Our husbands (like so many others) were in the middle of that gulf. We helped each other in so many ways. We helped each other through the day to day chores, with childcare for doctor’s visits and to even go buy groceries (since at that time the commissary did not allow children), and we helped with the emotions military life brings. These were the things our children couldn’t provide and our husbands couldn’t provide – they were in a war! It was quite a great community of women – stronger than any of us knew.

It isn’t easy to be the one to leave; it isn’t easy to be the one to stay. Regrets? No, not one!!!! Complaints? Never!

Things of value rarely come without costs. Those were hard days, but precious days for us. When apart, we wrote letters to each other every day. When together, we sat at dinner and talked and dreamed of our future. We read books, walked in parks, flew kites, and fished. Those days helped make us who we are today, and those days were indeed some of the greatest of our lives.

Money can’t buy so many great things, but so many don’t know that because they are distracted by the things money can buy.

Dan and I were always very proud to do our part for this country. We knew at the time, and we know now that there is a price for our freedoms. We knew, and we volunteered for it. What a gift those prices now have become. Because of them, our freedoms hold great value to our family. We don’t take them lightly. We know that even if things get hard or we face challenges and even temporary separations, we can make it if we press on as a team.

When your spouse is gone for months on end and then comes back for a little while only to leave again…you both learn quickly not to make each other pay a $5 price for a one-cent bill, or you will spend your entire time together fighting. Time is precious. Love one another and don’t take each other for granted, or the things they do daily.

And never, never take your neighbors for granted because you never know that it might be you next in dire need of help or support or just a friendly ear!

Laugh every chance you get.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, stay in His Word, and in prayer. Serve Him and let everything you do flow from Him.

Posted in Journal

You Must Wait

Does anyone read poetry anymore? I never hear anyone talk about it much. As a young girl, I remember all I wanted to be in this world was a poet. I don’t know who wrote this poem, but it touches my heart because I am once again in a place of waiting, and this season of waiting has been a hard one. I have been tempted to run, but I haven’t. I have been tempted to give up, but I haven’t.  Oh yes, I have been tempted over and over, but I sit here and wait with God’s help. Still, let’s say I haven’t fully learned the discipline of waiting gracefully…yet!!! But I am trying.

I hope this beautiful poem, that I originally published in my FB notes on this day in 2009, touches you the way it has touched me once again this morning.

You Must Wait  

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master gently said,

“Child, you must wait.”  

“Wait? You say, wait!” was my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or, have You not heard?
By faith I have asked and am claiming Your Word.  

My future and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me WAIT?
I’m needing a ‘yes,’ a ‘go-ahead’ sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.  

And Lord, You promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
Lord, I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply!”  

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.”
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting… for what?”  

He seemed, then, to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause the mountains to run.  

All you seek I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want – but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.  

You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust by knowing I’m there;
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.  

You’d never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You’d know that I live and I save… (for a start),
But you’d not know the depth and love of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.  

You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’
Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight could come true,
But, oh, the LOSS if I lost what I’m doing in you!  

Be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And, though oft’ may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still ‘WAIT.’”  

~Author Unknown

The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.  It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” – Lamentations 3:25-26

Posted in Hiding His Word

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Take a season and speak the following declarations over yourself or pray them for someone you love.

Every statement here is true and backed up by the Word of God. Look them up. Engage your heart. Speak them! PROCLAIM them!

You are not saying a sweet little prayer… asking nicely if these can be so. These ARE so. The Bible says so. You are announcing the ruling of the King, like a town crier, to all of heaven and all of hell.

Hear ye, hear ye! The King has declared…

I am [or they are] complete in Him Who is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10).

I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).

I am free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me (Isaiah 54:14).

I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:18).

I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16).

I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).

I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).

I have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened (Ephesians 1:17-18).

I have received the power of the Holy Spirit to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, to cast out demons, to speak with new tongues. I have power over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm me (Mark 16:17-18; Luke 10:17-19).

I have put off the old man and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of Him Who created me (Colossians 3:9-10).

I have given, and it is given to me; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, men give into my bosom (Luke 6:38).

I have no lack for my God supplies all of my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

I can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one with my shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16).

I can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).

I show forth the praises of God Who has called me out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

I am God’s child for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23).

I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).

I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I am a spirit being alive to God (Romans 6:11; Thessalonians 5:23).

I am a believer, and the light of the Gospel shines in my mind (2 Corinthians 4:4).

I am a doer of the Word and blessed in my actions (James 1:22,25).

I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).

I am more than a conqueror through Him Who loves me (Romans 8:37).

I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11).

I am a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).

I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).

I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1 Peter 2:9).

I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

I am the temple of the Holy Spirit; I am not my own (1 Corinthians 6:19).

I am the head and not the tail; I am above only and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13).

I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).

I am His elect, full of mercy, kindness, humility, and long suffering (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12).

I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the Blood (Ephesians 1:7).

I am delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13).

I am redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness, and poverty (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Galatians 3:13).

I am firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith and overflowing with gratitude (Colossians 2:7).

I am called of God to be the voice of His praise (Psalm 66:8; 2 Timothy 1:9).

I am healed by the stripes of Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).

I am raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12).

I am greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).

I am strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Colossians 1:11).

I am submitted to God, and the devil flees from me because I resist him in the Name of Jesus (James 4:7).

I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward (Philippians 3:14).

For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).

Posted in Hiding His Word

Elections, Prayer, and My Little Sister

Elections make me think of my little Sister, Karen, because I had to return to Virginia to vote on the day of her second funeral. She had one funeral at her church in Mississippi and one at the church we grew up in the morning she was buried.

It was cold and dreary and so hard to leave my mom to return. I was with her for two weeks following my sister’s fall in the bathroom that ended in her death. I sat in silence and cried most of the way while Dan and the kids sang to the radio and played travel games to pass the time.

We had been through a loss I didn’t think mom could bear, and I had lost my only sister and my lifelong best friend. I didn’t feel in the grand scheme of things I should care about such things as voting, but I knew it was something I should do even still.

We were one of the last through the polls that evening. I voted for Bob Dole. He lost…but I had done my part. Voting is both a duty and a privilege.

Karen has been gone 24 years now. Mom was younger at the time than I am now. It was one of the hardest losses of my life, and I didn’t like or understand why I had to lose my sister, but even so, I saw so many miracles during those two weeks and beyond. Though it would take another decade of me fighting God and even feeling angry at God for my loss, Karen’s death is part of what would ultimately bring me back to Jesus, and her death would help me surrender my life fully to Him. Karen’s death is also part of why I am back in NC and living and serving where I am today. I am fully convinced the miracle of my salvation was an answer to her very own fervent prayers.

24 years! Life goes on. Some days when things make no sense…we forget even why!!! But we are all still here – for such a time as this!!! Just as voting is a duty and privilege, so is prayer! Pray, pray, pray! Pray fervently! There is no telling how God will use our prayers and the things we don’t understand for His purposes and our good (or someone else’s).

Still miss you KK, but I am so very thankful for your love and your prayers for me. See you soon, my Thumbelina 😘❤️

Posted in Hiding His Word

A Rushing, Mighty Wind

Last night, my husband was not feeling well, and so around 3:30 am, I had to get up to take the dogs out. When I opened the back door, the wind was blowing pretty hard. It was blowing in my yard, but I could hear an even stronger wind in the distance coming through the trees. It was so loud that it scared me, but I had little dogs out, and I couldn’t go back in. Within a minute, the wind came through the yard, and although it was strong, it settled after the initial impact.

Even at 3:30 am, when everyone and everything is asleep and most all the world is and should be quiet. Even when I am standing outside, alone in the middle of a dark night…My God is still and always there! Last night the Holy Ghost came, even to me, in the mighty rushing wind that came quickly, made the impact, and then settled right alongside me. Of course, then I couldn’t go back to sleep. So we continued in that blessed Nightwatch.

Have you ever wondered what that mighty rushing wind of Acts 2 sounded like? I have, and I believe now I know.

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” ~ Acts 2:2