Relax, Reflect, Recharge

The Longing in Me

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Today is filled with lots of emotion…as a nation, we honor those who were lost on 9-11.  We continue to struggle with the evil that plaques our nation.  We mourn for those lost and honor those whose lives have forever been changed.  On a personal basis, this is a day of tear.  It has been 5 years since my Aunt Edythe became a Weston angel.  For I know she is in a better place, yet for those left behind, the struggle is real.

Edythe

Thank you to SHEILA WALSH and Encouragement for Today for today’s post:

It was a moment I had prayed for and yet, honestly, it was a moment I dreaded too. My husband, Barry, and I have only one child, a son named Christian, and it was finally time to let go.

Christian had been accepted into a college only a 3-hour drive from our home. That made this mom’s heart rest easier … a little!

We’d been collecting things all summer long.

Bedding.

A shower curtain and towels.

A coffee maker.

“You don’t drink coffee,” I said.

“I think I’ll start now,” was his response.

The list got longer and longer and the piles around the house got higher and higher.

When I woke up the morning of his move I prayed the words of a Psalm that I pray every single day, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love …” (Psalm 143:8a). I paused there to let the weight of those words fill me. What a promise! God’s love will never fail.

On days when I feel strong, His love is with me and on days when I feel vulnerable and weak, His love is with me.

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love for I have put my trust in you.” I reminded my soul that this is a choice. I choose to place my trust in God when my heart wavers. I choose to trust God with my son’s life just as I choose to trust Him with my own.

“Okay, Lord. Let’s do this!”

We arrived at the school about the same time as half of the state of Texas, or so it seemed. Christian checked in at student housing and got his key. He’d be sharing a two-bedroom unit with his best friend, Brendan. That made my husband, Barry, and me very happy, as we love Brendan like another son.

Let me pause here to say, August in Texas is really not the month you want to carry boxes up three flights of stairs. Halfway through my fourth trip I flopped down on the stairs and announced to anyone who was listening, “I’m too old for this!”

By sunset we had most things in place. Barry and I were staying for the night in a local hotel so we left the boys in peace to enjoy their first night as college freshmen. We grabbed a quick dinner in a local diner and then flopped into bed.

“Do you think he’s ready for this?” Barry asked. “Did we do enough to prepare him?”

“I don’t know,” I replied. “But I do know he loves God, and even more than that, I know God loves him more than you and I ever could … I’m just wondering though, do you think he’ll ever remember to change his sheets?”

The following day we stocked their refrigerator, vacuumed the rooms and took the trash and empty boxes to the dumpster. Then it was time to leave. I asked the boys if we could pray over them and their new home. I shared my morning verse, my daily prayer and reminded them that when you trust your life to Christ, He’ll direct your steps.

Christian walked us out to the car. He hugged his dad and me and said, “Thank you! Thank you for loving me. Thank you for making this possible.” Then he turned and walked into all that God had for him his freshman year. I cried all the way home. Can you cry for three solid hours? Why, yes you can!

Life seems to be full of moments that ask us to let go when we long to hold on.

I don’t know what you face right now, what season of life you’re in, but my prayer for you is simple and from the heart. May you know the comfort and strength of the One whose love will never fail you, and whose mercies are new every single morning!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

God Thinks You’re Beautiful

 

Psalm143_8

I looked out of the window as our plane began its descent. The sky was a glorious collage of pink and gold as the sun began to set. I knew a 2‑hour drive awaited me, so it would be dark by the time I got to my hotel.

As I made my way to baggage claim I checked the information sheet I’d been given for the following morning’s event, to remind myself of the names of the couple who were kind enough to pick me up. I’ll call them Jean and Stan. They were waiting by carousel 4 with big smiles and a sign with my name on it.

“It’s so kind of you to do this,” I said.

“Our pleasure,” Stan replied. “We love to drive and we love to make new friends!”

The baggage carousel began to move and I watched for my bag. One by one the other passengers picked up their suitcases until all that was left was a lone sneaker going round and round, forlorn and unclaimed.

I took my baggage tag to the agent and asked her if she could see where my bag had gone.

“I’m afraid it’s still in Dallas,” she said. “We don’t have another flight due in tonight but we can get it to you in the morning.”

I had a problem.

The following morning, I was attending a church conference and all I had were the jeans I had traveled in. I knew the other ladies would have brought their prettiest outfits to wear and I didn’t want to look like I’d just climbed off my horse!

I asked Jean if we would pass a mall on the way to the hotel.

She said no, but we’d pass a large well-known chain store if I wanted to give that a try. I said, “Lets go for it, Jean!”

Well, apparently there had been several school proms, two weddings and a big sale at the store the previous week, so there was nothing left in my size. The only dress I could find was two sizes too big (better than too small) and made for a much taller woman, but I bought it anyway.

The following morning I got up, and before I stepped out of bed I reminded my heart, as I do every morning in life, of my favorite verse to begin the day, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life” (Psalm 143:8).

I treasure this verse. The psalmist speaks of God’s unfailing love, not ours — for we will fall and we will fail, but God never will.

I showered, put my dress on and surveyed myself in the full-length mirror.

“Well, Lord!” I said out loud. “What do you think?”

What I heard in my spirit was the gentle voice of my Father saying, “Beautiful!”

In that moment every chaotic emotion fell into place as I remembered whose I am and the undeserved privilege of being a child of the King, a partaker in His grace and mercy.

I didn’t hit a fashion home run that day, but I had a deeper sense of the value our Father places on us … on the days we like what we see in the mirror and the days we don’t. It was a gift to have some of the things I normally rely on stripped away to lean on Christ and Him alone.

I don’t know what you see when you look in the mirror.

I don’t know what you depend on to feel okay about yourself.

But I do know this … if every time you catch your reflection you would remind yourself that you are a beloved daughter of the King above all Kings, peace would flood over you like a river … even if your dress is two sizes too big!

Thank you Sheila Walsh