My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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Sisterhood of the Travailing Plants

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While strolling with my friend through her enchanting cottage garden  I tried to stay focused on instructions  of how  to properly water her garden of Eden; while she was on vacation with her husband. Unfortunately, my visual senses were taking their own personal holiday. How could they not? Their property holds  breathtaking views of Oregon and Washington,  kicking my cell phone into digital roam, stunning pops of color displayed beautifully with annuals and garden ornaments. Whimsy and charm worthy of gracing the pages of Garden Gate magazine, made reining in my concentration difficult, rivaling  the enthusiasm of a  kid in a candy store.

We concluded our stroll poised underneath the house eaves gazing at a cleverly designed  rebar plant holder for three hanging baskets. The first basket a Fuschia plant was flourishing full of life and vibrant bloom, the second  basket’s plant was showing signs of distress; withered brown curled up leaves. The third plant was down for the count, the hanging basket removed from  the spotlight now placed on the ground, because the plants swirled up and died.

We discussed the dying plant as gardeners do, my friend saying she needed to take the second one down too, it was right then and there I shared with her one of my true confessions. Telling her there have been times when my beautiful hanging flower baskets have bitten the dust before their natural time to do so. Causing guilty feelings to arise within me, that I should’ve paid closer attention to their need.  This was poignantly displayed even greater when my mom’s illness escalated, her extra need care;  made my daily tasks more difficult to accomplish.

Wrapping up with this deeper confession… it was those times that whenever I happened to drive by a house and saw someone elses dying  flower basket, it brought a sigh of relief and an emotional connection.  Experiencing first hand the old saying, “misery loves company”.  After divulging my heart we gave each other the knuckle bump connection, the “New School” version of the original “High Five”.  In closing, this gracious and very compassionate friend choose to leave the second faltering basket up… to encourage other weary sisters that they are not alone. What a heart of gold !

C.S Lewis writes:

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

In the movie the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” four best girlfriends pass around a pair of secondhand jeans that flatter their figures despite their very different measurements. Planning to stay connected during their separate journeys through summer, equally sharing  the opportunity to  wear “the traveling pants”.

No matter what our differences we all put our pants on one leg at a time. Once our feet hit the floor of life we stand on common ground when it comes to facing our own  struggles, suffering and sorrows that come in all shapes and sizes.

What a comfort to know we are not alone!  We can have the privilege of a close friendship with Jesus our precious Savior. Plus the added blessing of  God bringing friends  and family along our path to share our highest highs and  lowest of lows.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 is both revealing and  comforting… receive God’s encouragement with His following words of love for you.

“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.”    The Message Bible
Thank you Lord that we are called your friend’s. May we walk this life with the full assurance of your outrageous love and friendship for us. Often times manifested  creatively through the love of friends, family and even strangers.  A perfect fit as we travel life in the well worn comfort of your grace.

Light is sown for the  righteous and strewn along their pathway, and joy for the upright in heart [the irrepressible joy which comes from consciousness of His favor and protection].

Psalm 97:11-12          Amplified Bible (AMP)

A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for a difficult time. Proverbs 17:17


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You’ve Got Mail

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When our boys were 5 and 7 yrs old one of my prayers for them was to have a dog. Growing up my brother and I had a lot of fond memories of Herbie our little poodle mix.  As parents my husband and I wanted our children to have some special moments similar to ours growing up.  Although we now wrestled with the fact our money was tight and our cottage home small… a tight situation on both ends. I began praying asking God with these specifications….for a little dog that was also CHEAP.  Trusting in a God who loves to  give us the desires of our heart.

One day while answering the phone I was delighted to hear my bubbly friend and mentor, Michelle on the other end. In her trademark cheerful tone mixed with  passionate zeal, she exclaimed… “Guess what Lisa !?”,  to which I replied,  “What”  trying to reach her level of enthusiasm. She chimed in with such exuberance it could have motivated a failing football team into the state championships.
“God says you’ve got mail” she said eagerly making me laugh at her perky statement. Being a routinely self confessing Eeyore from time to time, I greatly appreciated having a Tigger bouncing around to lift my occasional drooping spirits.

After our conversation ended there was a new found spring in my step faintly resembling that of “T  I  DOUBLE  GER” throughout my day’s errands. Finishing up that afternoon with a trip to our neighborhood post office, I amused myself while waiting in line by reading the signs below the counter. An unfamiliar sign was posted that caught my eye which  simply read “Lost dog ask clerk”.  When it came time to step up to the counter my casual statement to the clerk was , “Oh how’s the lost dog doing?” trying to engage her in a brief exchange of pleasantries, She didn’t miss a beat by saying, “Would you like us to bring her over to your house today?” I’m like whoa!.. that was not what I was expecting to hear, neither was I expecting  to hear myself blurt out an unwavering “Yes.” Walking away from the counter wondering what just happened.

That same day at 3.00 p.m a sweet lady mail carrier brought over a puppy cute as a button. A Blue Heeler–Boarder Collie– with a splash of Corgi in the mix.  All dressed in a striking black and white coat.  Upon opening the front door she wasted no time cleaning up a bounty of cheerios the boys had spilled the living floor.  This act alone sealed the deal for me, her efficient clean up worked better than any vacuum cleaner I ever owned… making Kerby, Hoover, or Dyson completely fitting names if my husband agreed to keep this loveable pooch. A petite four legged creature she  became fast a friend with the boys and I,  waiting only for a quick nod of my husband’s approval… and that is exactly what he did.

Within  24 hours we had our little, cheap (free!), and I might add, cute dog I had  been praying for. God is so good, He gives us exceedingly, abundantly more than we could think or ask for. When petitioning for a family pet my prayers never included asking for a new collar, or for our new dog to have all its’ current shots from the vet.  However, the kind woman that brought us our new doggie, provided both as a gift.  Through the generosity of this woman God added in all the bells and whistles for good measure.

I Corinthians 2:12 God says He wants us to realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly bestowed on us.   More appropriately than naming her after a vacuum cleaner we decided to name her Buttons because she truly is as cute as one.  Currently we have had our precious little dog for over 14 years. She has been sweet and dear companion to all of us.

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”  Ephesians 3:20

Today, God is saying to each of us,  “You’ve got mail”,  and we can be sure it’s definitely not junk!