Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wrestling to Hope

photo credit: pixabay.com
I look up to the mountains—
    does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble;
    the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
    never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
    The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm
    and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
    both now and forever.
- Psalm 121, NLT -

The first Advent candle was the subject of many church services this past weekend. It stands for hope and so I joined our congregation to hear an enthusiastic message of the hope that Jesus represents. I remember feeling slightly dazed as I listened, hyped on coffee to compensate for less than 3 hours sleep the previous night.  I also admit to feeling sad.  

Maybe it’s just the holidays.  Although they represent one of the best times of the year, they can be so conflicted and conflicting for many families. The is particularly true if the family is dealing with a loved one with a disability. And, even more challenging when the loved one is a child. My mind skipped over all the family gatherings that became outright disasters, or the gatherings I spent in the garden, far away from the chatter and food, where J could be free from the expectations to be cute and cheerful, from groping hands and the noise. I also remember the gatherings I ignored, and the ones I didn't host. I remembered not being sure how to make the holiday meaningful for everyone and how to remember what it could mean to me.

So, what is my hope?  The speaker gave a list of who Jesus is to us, and in the moment, the list felt flat. Actually, the shadow of the past three difficult weeks, on the heels of the previous month of illness,  had me completely worn out and … dare I say it? hopeless. I will believe God’s word even when I don’t connect with it as my current experience, but I really wanted to feel something

'Blessed be the God of all comfort who comforts us …' Please God, some comfort.

Still emotionally ragged, I had a conversation with a wise woman who started our time together by reading Psalm 121 to me. Desperate, I just listened. 

The Lord keeps you … 
The Lord keeps watch over you …

The word keeps kept echoing in my heart. I’ll keep you. I was holding my coffee cup as we spoke, and I could almost see myself being held, cradled, just as I cradled my cup. This is His promise to me. This is my hope. The Lord will KEEP me. I took a breath, and rested, anchored in my advent hope. My Deliverer is here and yet, He is coming. While I wait, 
He keeps me.


Loving God, source of all we could ever need, thank you for the deep well of understanding that you have for us. Thank you for hearing and understanding the struggle to hope, in the face to daily challenges we face. Thanks for the grace that you provide, for the deliverance you provide, for the hope you provide, even when we don't recognize it. Please give us seeing eyes and hearing ears today, so that we can see your hope and your rescue as you come. Thank you for the mystery of your Presence, as we wait for you to come this advent season.
Amen

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Top 10 Reasons to Remember Snappin' Ministries on #GivingTuesday

"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’"
~ Acts 20:35, NIV ~

Every day of every year for the past 14, this organization has stayed dedicated to offering "Special Care for Special Caregivers." That only happens through the commitment and support of generous donors who fund our programming throughout the year. So what exactly IS this work and why should your donation dollars be directed to it on this #GivingTuesday? Let's take a look!

Here are the Top 10 Reasons to Remember Snappin' Ministries on #GivingTuesday when you are making your donation:

10.  We are a 2016 Top-Rated Non-Profit on GreatNonprofits.com. What this means is that volunteers, families served, and donors alike have all given us 4 and 5-star ratings on this platform for non-profit services. Be sure to check them out!
9.  AWESOME prizes are available to those who help us raise the most money via a Razoo.com #GivingTuesday fund drive! See our post from November 15, 2016 for simple instructions on how to become a winner.
8.  More funds are needed to build awareness with parents above all of today's internet "noise." We offer incredible support, but we need a much deeper advertising budget to be able to let special caregivers know what's available to them.
7.  Paid staff is needed to supplement our volunteer work. While our volunteers are second to none, we have only one paid staff member to sustain our work. Even a part-time secretary would help take our work to the next level.
6.  Registration just opened for our Refresh Retreat for Mothers in May, 2017. Scholarships are already needed by several mothers. Women from outside of the Southeastern Wisconsin would like to attend, but can't afford any costs beyond transportation. Your donation can get them there!
5.  Mentors are desperately needed. Parents are thirsty for the guidance of other parents walking their same journey. It takes time and resources to train each of these mentors for action.
4.  Parents need scholarships for materials. Books and study guides required for our Side-By-Side Parent Mentor Small Groups aren't always in the budget for parents leveled by medical expenses. Donations pay for these necessary items.
3.  Only a fraction of the cost of attending our family events is covered by attendees. Our Winter Water Park Adventure costs $31 per person, while we only charge $10 to keep the cost down for finacially stressed parents. Other events follow a similar tragectory. Your donation offsets two-thirds of the cost of each of these important outings for families needing affordable fun.
2.  Fresh inspiration brewed here daily. 7 days a week our authors usher readers into God's presence with their devotional posts. Practical help is shared along with spiritual growth. 
1.  The caregivers we serve spend every day of their lives pouring themselves out for others. Aren't they worth YOUR support? Jesus ministered to the broken, weary, and hurting. He expects nothing less of us. 

So what are you waiting for? If you have been blessed by our work, please invite those you know to get in on the support! Here's how you can engage:

PRAY: LORD, we are blessed to be a blessing to those around us. Open the floodgates and make this a successful #GivingTuesday all for the special caregivers we serve and for Your glory.

Monday, November 28, 2016

If Only I'd Known

"For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.  
Isaiah 54:10 ESV

My friend Laura lives on the other side of our state. We try and get together as often as possible, but circumstances in our lives makes it challenging. I am a full-time caregiver for my son who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  Laura not only works but also helps her dad care for her mom who is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s.

She has supported me through some very difficult things so when she told me she was planning a 75th birthday party for her mom I wanted to be there to help her. It’s been hard for her, especially the last year, watching her mom’s abilities and memory fade away.  Not knowing if she would understand it was her birthday, it was important to Laura to make this day special for her mom.  It was her 75th Birthday and we were going to celebrate!  

When I arrived at her house Friday night, we talked about her plans for the party and what still needed to be done.

Laura was gone when I got up Saturday morning.  She left to pick up her mom as she does every Saturday.  She brings her back to her house to give her dad a break.  I was in the kitchen when I heard them come home so I walked over to say Hi. Noticing her mom did not recognize me, she still reached out her hand to squeeze mine. I gave her a little hug and then went back into the kitchen.

A while later I heard music coming from the sun-room. I went to see what was going on and as I peeked around the corner I saw Laura sitting beside her mom at the table.  I paused in the doorway unnoticed and watched.   Her mom was eating lunch. Every few minutes Laura put food on the fork handing it to her mom while gently encouraging her to take a bite.  The music I heard was from a video of her mom’s favorite gospel music streaming on the computer.

I was surprised at my emotions as I watched them.  I thought of my own mom who lost her battle with cancer 3 years ago now watching my friend’s mom losing her battle with Alzheimer’s. Both of our moms were strong Godly women, good friends, and prayer warriors.  My mom kept a journal of people she prayed for, and Laura’s mom would often wake up in the middle of the night, get down on her knees to pray for anyone God put on her mind.  Now, she cannot speak and must be prompted to take a bite of food.

I stood there fighting back tears. The longer I watched the more my heart filled with peace. Despite the business of party preparations Laura chose to stop and be still. To be fully engaged in the moment with her mom.  The harsh reality of the situation seemed to fade as the calm gentleness of Laura’s actions helped create an atmosphere of peace.

I eventually walked in and sat down beside them. Allowing myself to stop to be in the moment with them.

The next day I watched again as Laura went to her mom to help her up out of a chair. Gently and unhurried explaining to her what she was doing. I watched as the family gathered around her to celebrate her 75th birthday with dignity, love, and honor.

It was an emotional weekend yet I am thankful I was a part of it. I went with the assumption I was going to help and support her as she has so many times for me in the past.  But  I received more from her than what I gave. I was encouraged by watching the way she ministered to her mom.  She stopped in the flurry of life and activity to be in the moment with her mom, to minister to her mother’s heart.

Being a caregiver is hard. Caring for those we love with special needs can be exhausting. We often find ourselves rushing through the everyday task just to get them completed. That weekend I was reminded how important it is to take the time, to slow down, to be in the moment. Focusing on the person, not just on completing the task. 

Laura has given me permission to share with you one of her journal entries. It expresses how important it is to appreciate those precious moments that can easily be overlooked. While her experience is with her mom and Alzheimer’s I believe, we can all gain some valuable insight from her words. 

If Only I'd Known;  by Laura Krieger 
If only I'd known that would have been the last time I'd hear you pray by my bedside I would have tried harder to stay awake to tell you thank you after you said amen.
If only I'd known that would be the last time we would laugh and dance together I would have asked for one more song and twirled until we got dizzy.
If only I'd known that dinner you fixed would be the last time I would eat something put together by your hands ,I would have lingered and eaten slowly.
If only I'd known that would be the last time I would hear you sing I would have stopped what I was doing and joined you in song.
If only I'd known that would be the last time I would hear your voice telling me how much God delighted in me I would have recorded it so I could listen to it over and over and over.
If only I'd known your hug would have been the last one given freely I would have clung to you and allowed myself to feel the strength in those arms that held me as a newborn, as a teenager and as a woman.
If only I'd known that would be the last time I would hear your laughter and see your eyes sparkle with mirth I would have committed to memory what I had said to make you laugh with such abandon.

You don't have to be a caregiver to get caught up in the business of life.  Is there anything you need to let go of? Are you taking time to "be in the moment" with those who mean the most to you?

Heavenly Father,

I pray that you will help us to slow down, to be able to be in the moment whenever possible with the people you have placed in our lives.  I pray that you will help us to see what is important and to let go of the extra business that tends to distract us. Give us a caring heart and wisdom to let go of things that don’t really matter. Thank you for my friend, Laura. I pray you will give her and us all strength as we deal with the hard things in our lives.

In Jesus name, I pray,
Amen.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Snappin' Saturday Share - 58



An InLinkz Link-up


Support us when you shop on Cyber Monday and throughout the holiday season. #StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/26-1750122 and Amazon donates to Snappin Ministries Inc.



Friday, November 25, 2016

Blessings in Disguise

Image result for praise God from whom all blessings flow
photo credit: the Christian Gift
Speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord. Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
~ Ephesians 5:19-20, NCV ~

Yesterday, I gave thanks for my many blessings; my family, our home, friends, enough food, and a lifestyle most of the world doesn’t get to enjoy.

And I gave thanks for the invisible workings of God - His amazing gift of forgiveness, His joy that strengthens me in this journey, the glorious hope of heaven, love that binds our hearts together, and His love that will never fail.

As I was contemplating all of our Father’s good and perfect gifts, a song began to play through my mind. The song was Blessings by Laura Story.

God gave Laura the lyrics on one of the many sleepless nights when her husband was struggling to survive a brain tumor.

She wrote:


We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?
 Image result for thankful grateful blessed
As I gave thanks for the obvious, I began to wonder if I could give thanks for my hidden blessings? 

Can I be thankful for the trials in this life and believe they are God’s mercies in disguise? 


Learning to live with the uncertainties of raising a child with special needs, the losses in life, broken relationships, battling depression and anxiety, an unexpected crisis, a derailment of my dreams and plans----

Can I see the hand of God in ALL of my life - and give thanks?

My brain may struggle with this but my soul shouts Yes!!!!

For He alone can take the pain, sorrows, and trials of this life and transform us by His glory. He can work in and through everything we experience because He is above all and is working ALL things together for our good - and His glory.


Pray: Thank you, Perfect and Good Heavenly Father! From Your hand and heart we receive Your blessings. Open our eyes to see the mercy and grace that are with us in our sorrows and pain - our questions and fatigue - our worries and our fears. You are truly good and You are with us in ALL things. We give you thanks today for our blessings in disguise.

Cindy Barclay         

Thursday, November 24, 2016

How to Pray on Thanksgiving Day

Image Courtesy of Naypong/freedigitalphotos.net

...And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and Union.  

Abraham Lincoln, Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1863


I typically use scripture to open my writing pieces, but today, Thanksgiving Day, it seems most appropriate to use the words of Abraham Lincoln which were his proclamation to a nation to set aside a day to give thanks to God for all our blessings. It's important to remember that this Proclamation was made during The American Civil War. The irony of that speaks volumes to me today.

We, as the parents of children with special needs, often are so caught up in our daily struggles, that we find it difficult to stop and be thankful. I recall a Thanksgiving when my daughter was going through chemotherapy and recovering from having had part of her kidney removed. She was not even two years old, and we were asked to recognize a day to give thanks to God. I knew we had much to be thankful for, but that didn't change the fact that I was on high alert at all times for fevers, illnesses, and infections. It's difficult to have a heart of gratitude when your heart is filled with fear and uncertainty.

Today, my heart feels burdened or those who may have trouble remembering WHY they should feel thankful.   

The Broken
The Lost
The Weary
The Invisible

My friends, Thanksgiving is a day created for you...

I know the language used by Lincoln in 1863 may be difficult to read, and seem like a "yawn-fest"...but, basically, in the passage I quoted above, Abraham Lincoln was encouraging a broken and wayward nation to turn to God and plead for those who had been affected by the civil conflict; to IMPLORE God to show mercy on us and to restore our nation to peace and prosperity through His sovereign and divine power.  

I especially love the words, "...fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand..."

We are supposed to pray today, whether we are enjoying a day of peace and happiness, or sorrow and strife, we are asked to pray that God's Will be done on earth and that in, all His goodness and mercy, He restores this land.

But, even more, we are reminded today that we are called to be THANKFUL for our struggles.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you trials of many kinds...
James 1:2 NIV

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  
Romans 12:12 NIV

I have been bombarded by messages from God this past week reminding me that we are created by God FOR God's purposes and that we are to be resigned to and in agreement with His Will. While that's sweet medicine for the soul when things are going swell, it's a tough pill to swallow when one is suffering heartache and loss.

So, how do we pray on Thanksgiving Day?

I have found the Prayer Hand to be a helpful tool in helping me to pray. It reminds me that there are five parts of prayer, and can help me when I'm not quite knowing HOW to pray for something. The five steps are:

Praise
Thanksgiving
Intercession (praying for others)
Petition (praying for myself)
Confession

With this outline in mind, I encourage you all to spend some time in prayer today.  
  • Praise God for His unfathomable power, and praise Him for the fact that we cannot understand all His ways.  
  • Thank Him for sending Jesus to die for our sins so that we may live with Him in Heaven some day.  
  • Pray for those who have suffered great losses this year:  deaths, illnesses, financial losses, security.  
  • Pray for God to shower them with mercy and love to restore the faith they may have lost in this world.  
  • Pray for yourself~for what YOU desire from God:  strength, courage, faith, joy.  
  • And confess...admit that your heart may not be in alignment with God's Will yet, admit that you may have gossiped, or hurt others in order to make yourself feel more important, confess to God that you are prideful or gluttonous, or unfaithful...confess that you, often will put other earthly things as a priority over God in your life.
We live in a dying world. Troubles surround us. But God is not absent in the trials, He stands in the middle of them.  Abraham Lincoln recognized this and knew that, while there was much to grieve in 1863, there was also much to be Thankful for...and the same remains true today.

There is nothing quite so glorifying to God as when His people are able to praise Him in the Midst of Chaos; and He shall bring them Comfort.

Pray:  Dear Father, You are beyond anything my mind can understand.  You have written our stories before we were even born, and for that I thank you.  Today we celebrate Thanksgiving, and we celebrate all that you have given us.  The most important gift you have given is the Hope for Heaven, and living with You for all eternity.  When all else crumbles around us, we have that Hope, and for THAT we are THANKFUL.  Amen.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Forced into the Storm

Photo credit: Milo McDowell
 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Matthew 14:22-27 (NIV)
Storms have buffeted my children and me for so long that I can't remember the last time we weren't in one. My pastor is fond of saying that everyone is either going into a storm, coming out of one, or in one right now. This week he pointed out something I've never noticed before. In Matthew 14:22, Jesus makes the disciples get into the boat, knowing they will run into a storm before they reach the other side of the lake. Why would he do that?
The answer is more simple than I ever imagined. He knew he would meet them there.
As I soaked in the truths in this passage, I realized that during these unrelenting storms, I am experiencing God in ways I never have before. He didn't cause all of the storms I experience, but he always, always meets me in the storm, revealing himself to me in ways I never expected.
I don't enjoy these storms. They're difficult and painful, and I get weary. But God meets me in the storms. He meets my children. I see all three of us growing in our knowledge of who God is and becoming more secure in his love and care with each passing day.
I'm looking forward to the day when we're coming out of these storms and have a breather for a period of time, but I'm learning to trust him until that time and to seek him with everything in me, knowing all the while that's he's right there in the storm with us.
Pray: Father, I don't like these storms. I'm tired and frustrated, and I just want out. I have to admit, though, that I am learning things about you that I never knew before. Your love is bigger than I imagined, your provision more creative. I love what I see you doing in the lives of my children - how they are growing to love you and trust you more than ever before. Thank you for being with us in the storm and for never leaving us to figure everything out on our own. Amen.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Living Gratitude ~ #GivingTuesday


Dear brothers, what’s the use of saying that you have faith and are Christians if you aren’t proving it by helping others? Will that kind of faith save anyone? If you have a friend who is in need of food and clothing, and you say to him, “Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat hearty,” and then don’t give him clothes or food, what good does that do?

So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. You must also do good to prove that you have it. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good works is no faith at all—it is dead and useless. 


But someone may well argue, “You say the way to God is by faith alone, plus nothing; well, I say that good works are important too, for without good works you can’t prove whether you have faith or not; but anyone can see that I have faith by the way I act.” 

Are there still some among you who hold that “only believing” is enough? Believing in one God? Well, remember that the demons believe this too—so strongly that they tremble in terror! Fool! When will you ever learn that “believing” is useless without doing what God wants you to? Faith that does not result in good deeds is not real faith. 

Don’t you remember that even our father Abraham was declared good because of what he did when he was willing to obey God, even if it meant offering his son Isaac to die on the altar? You see, he was trusting God so much that he was willing to do whatever God told him to; his faith was made complete by what he did—by his actions, his good deeds. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say, that Abraham trusted God, and the Lord declared him good in God’s sight, and he was even called “the friend of God.” So you see, a man is saved by what he does, as well as by what he believes. 

Rahab, the prostitute, is another example of this. She was saved because of what she did when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. Just as the body is dead when there is no spirit in it, so faith is dead if it is not the kind that results in good deeds.
~ James 2:14-26, TLB ~

Thanksgiving. It doesn't take a very deep examination to reveal those who have truly cultivated the habit of gratitude and those who make a cursory statement once a year. There are those who go through the motions because it's a holiday and those who express what spills out of their heart every single day.

For those who measure their lives in simple blessing by simple blessing, generosity can't help but pour out. Grateful people are charitable people. Their thankfulness enlarges their hearts which naturally produces kindness. That sounds an awful lot like the fruit of the Spirit to me. It is proof of a love that flows back and forth.

Even in a life that includes major difficulties with our children, their health, their schooling, their behavior, we have more to appreciate than to dread. Over the past 16 years, I have repeatedly reminded myself and my children that we are incredibly blessed to have access to the medical care we receive in this country. God has given us the gift of one another as a family. We have a roof over our head, food on our table, clothes on our back. Most of all, because of Jesus, we know how the story ends -- We are guaranteed the glory of heaven with no more pain, sorrow, or tears. That is more than so many other hurting people around the globe enjoy.


One week from today, we have the opportunity to celebrate a living, active gratitude for all these boundless blessings on #GivingTuesday. Our prayer is that each person touched by our ministry will not only give generously but will also encourage their friends and family members to support our work. We have created some very simple ways to donate online:

Every single dollar that is given goes to work immediately. An amount as small as $10 can buy a cup of coffee for that weary parent. Only $25 provides gas for all of the back-and-forth during a hospital stay. While dates are common for the average couple, they rarely occur for parents of kids with special needs, so a $50 donation will make a date happen. It's just that simple to display our faith through our generous actions.
Let's make our faith reality by sharing lavishly this #GivingTuesday. After all, we can't out-give God! Let's show the world and parents walking this difficult path what the practical love of Jesus looks like. Please give today.

PRAY: Lord, we want a living faith. We don't just want to be smarter sinners who know Bible verses as demons do. Pour Your generosity through us and motivate us to give as an act of thanks and praise to You.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Seeing the Unseen

photocredit: pixabay.com 
And, "But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back." 
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Hebrews 10:38-39 (NIV)

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

I can't see it!

Today is a day for straight talk. About faith and what it means to see the unseen.  Now, we have lots of practice with the unseen. Your child has unseen 
  • milestones
  • social skills
  • attention and other desirable behaviors
  • sleeping through the night. 
That list of unseens has a companion list: my unseen 
  • energy
  • joy
  • sense of purpose
  • full night’s sleep. 
Yup! We definitely know what the unseens are.  And handling these unseens take up a lot of mental and emotional resources.  Downright tiring.

This past week, J’s (18, ASD, SPD) sleep was unseen, as was my energy and good mood.  2:42 am is the witching hour and all the unseens congregated into the hallway as I listened to J race around the house. I faced the ever-present opportunity to entertain the unseens and I confess, their company is very compelling. And depressing. I crave a change of scenery, filled with the unseens that God sees and says are mine: joy, peace, rest, courage, strength… I'd also like to see J meet a few of those developmental milestones and behavior goals! Lord, I want to see.

How do we see with faith’s eyes?

Since sleep was impossible and faith was scarce, I decided to look for ways to change my scenery and defuse the chatter robin my peace. 3 intentions helped that night:
  • Focus on Love (Gal. 5:6). Faith is expressed through our love.  My list of unseens that were fighting for my attention were all connected to my fear of the future and my anxiety about my ability to cope with the stuff that comes my way. The perspective of love (1 Cor. 13) helps me stop listening to the compelling arguments of fear and anxiety, at least for the moment.  What does J. need? How do I express God’s love to him right now, at 2:42 am?
  • Act in Love (James 2:20). Faith shows up as action. What loving, courageous action is needed in this moment?  Imagining what God is able to do, through me, as an expression of love, helps me to close my eyes to the unseens. Instead, I see the grace and healing that He can offer to J, through my hands and presence. I imagine God’s immeasurably more and lean into the action I see.
  • Receive His Love Gift (James 1:2-4).  The experience of focussing, imagining and acting as a conduit of God’s love is a gift to me, thrust upon me at 2:42 am. Accepting it as a gift seems to explode the value of the experience, rushing it into all the corners of my being. And my faith grows.

Seeing

Through the eyes of faith, my vision is healed. I see the goodness of God, who woke me up at 2:42 am to show me a little more of His love, demonstrated in His mighty power through me, to J, helping, calming, healing. I see the intentionality of God, knowing what I need to move my heart towards faith and transformation. I see the creativity of God, giving words to share this experience with others. I see the mystery of God being unfolded through a son who is mysterious, yet, if I pay attention and get very still, another magical seed of understanding is deposited in my soul, and I grow.

Thank you, Loving Father, that you are at work in our lives, helping us to see the unseen.  You help us to notice the realities that we have embraced and your divine power helps us to deal with their voices and images. You empower us to create your messages and images, in spite of the tumult of those realities, by filling your heart with your love and helping us act in faith. Please God, help us see the opportunities to act in faith, to serve our families and those that you gift us with as we walk with you today.

Amen.