My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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Justice Like Snowflakes

The  weatherman’s predictions for a winter storm arrived as promised, delivering a healthy dose of snow accumulation. Before this, the season had only graced us with rapidly melting flakes and a scant  light dusting of powder. Perhaps  Mother Nature  had grown weary of being poked fun at  for her lackluster display of wintery splendor,  or merely saving her best for last.  Whatever the reason, it’s here now blanketing our neighborhood  with a soft hush that silents the clamor.  A glistening brilliant white coverlet stretching far as the eye can see.

Snow can have  a way of bringing out the child within, beckoning us to come out and play. Reminiscing about my childhood, snow days were counted as some of my favorites. My brother and I raced to get  bundled up quickly, braving the cold, enthusiastic to chuck freshly made snowballs at each other. Or simply relishing falling  backward into a pile of snow  imprinting  heavenly angels. Rounding out our day of fun building an impressive snowman together.

As the years passed, occasionally our age difference caused a natural chasm of joint activities. One particular evening,  twilight was settling as I constructed Frosty alone. Street lights cast a glow, as gentle flakes fell on my creation, growing increasingly eager to remove my damp clothes and wrap my hands around a warm mug of cocoa. Crossing my cold fingers hoping we had whip creme or marshmallows to garnish my steaming drink.

Toasty and settled in, it was  time  to peer out our second story  window to admire my work below.  Gazing downward expecting to be greeted by a beaming face, carrot nose and  smile made of small stones.  Instead, to my dismay, I was saddened to realize someone had  destroyed  Frosty  leaving him in a heap. Anger and hurt welled up as  I  lamented my woes  to my folks, dad wasted no time to rise to this newly appointed challenge. Legendary  in the neighborhood  for chasing  after anyone that messed with his  property.  No doubt he found this to be another golden opportunity to hopefully catch the culprits and bring them to swift justice. Fashioning a  snowman for his trap, he carefully slipped into our darkened garage which became his makeshift stake out. Willing to wait patiently,  the orange glow of his lit cigarette the only revealing clue to  his whereabouts.  Not long afterwards  two boys  appeared, kicking this decoy snowman to its’ demise.  Hastily they became aware of my dad’s trap, his notorious reputation, and stellar gazelle moves, simultaneously  running away pell mell!  Before mom and I  knew it, my dad had not only caught the mischievous boys, but  marched  them back to the scene of the crime instructing them to rebuild my demolished snowman… not to their liking or specifications no less, but to mine. Sharp contrasting  scenes played out through the same window, one moment destruction, the next, restoration… victim, to victorious. Now wholly justified, redemption rolled out from snow under my dads’ watchful eye. My soul  warmed to the depths where the the bitter chill of injustice once lay.  God’s word tells us in  Psalms 68 :14
“God scattered their enemies like snowflakes melting in the forests of Zalmon”.

What a comfort to know God’s  got your back, He is  mindful of every hurt and loss you have or will ever encounter. He watches over you like a protective Papa Daddy.  Comforting us with this promise…
“Anyone who strikes you strikes what is most precious to me.” So the Lord Almighty sent me with this message for the nations that had plundered his people: *

Even though I don’t know what is going on in your life, I’m confident of this  .. God is a God of justice and He sends the neighbor bullies running. Your rejection, false accusation, harsh sting of injustice, or loss.  With this be warmed with the promise of His love and faithfulness to you now and forever. Whether you see justice here or in eternity, God  will work out all things for the good. All things plundered tethered to His promise.

So, “baby it might be cold outside” and  inside your soul too… no matter the situation allow God’s sympathetic embrace to melt away any bitterly cold concerns… bringing sunshine to your inmost being.  His 100% emotional weather forecast  is always  accurate!

*Zechariah 2:8 GNT


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Last week I posted my story “Dancing Queen” and then remembered it was not the first time I was encouraged to dance. So here I am shaking my tail feathers in 2009 and the reason why below.Image

Approaching the church where our friends daughter was having her high school graduation ceremony it became clear that I had misjudged the travel time and arrived far too early.  This would account for the sparse amount of cars in the parking lot, upon which I double checked my watch, it confirmed my oversight.  Rather than waiting around with my two sons I suggested  a quick look at the Good Will store just down the road. Wasting no time, off we went, bargain shopping in our blood coursing through our veins.

Once there, it was “divide and conquer”, three people with seemingly choreographed moves fanning out to their promising sections of interest. The boys headed for electronics,  while I ventured to the wall hangings, acute to the fact our wall space is limited. Regardless,  there I stood  looking at a eye catching wooded sign.  Rich  brown tones, golden accents and letters gracefully  spelling out the invitation “I Hope You’ll Dance”. Promptly I began reasoning with myself how the colors were indeed perfect for our living room, softly in awe of this item while its’ tempting price tag boldly  declared BUY ME!.  Surely our  walls could accommodate just one more modest sized plaque. Looking at my watch yet again, being  mindful not to be late to the commencement, I made my purchase, found my sons and away we went.

Later after the sweet ceremony, my evening came to a close relaxing at home. “I Hope You’ll Dance” was my song choice for the night… listening to it over and over on YouTube, letting it’s lovely truths lull me.

The  very next day a dear friend and former neighbor stopped by to drop off a graduation gift for our son Trent.  During her visit she wondered if one of our two sons would dance with her daughter Evelyn at her Mis Quince Anos celebration, and much to my delight our oldest son Derek agreed to.  My heart  warming as my mind dawdled down memory lane. It seemed like only yesterday when this  wonderful family had moved into our neighborhood from California. My husband and I found ourselves instantly forging a friendship with them.  Their two children were the same age as ours, a three year old and the other, a mere eighteen months.  Now standing before us  was a beautiful  young woman and handsome young men. Where did the time go?

Just as quickly as vivid snippets of the past quickly inundated my thoughts, they just as rapidly took a  sharp turn. With a flip of the switch a light bulb moment illuminated my mind as to why I was so drawn to the “I Hope You’ll Dance”  plaque; a fresh new perspective, a fascinating mystery solved.  But you know how the saying goes, “there is always more to the story” and this is no exception. Shortly after Derek was asked to dance with Evelyn a change of events occurred,  leaving her first dance to now be with her father.

As the months passed, my thoughts didn’t reflect on that wooden plaque unless it was time for a occasional dusting, which come  few and far between.  Before I knew it October rolled around and the time had come for Evelyn’s Mis Quince Anos.  Decorations were up, people arrived and the celebration began. Halfway through the event the banquet hall  was hushed to stillness as a  beautifully touching slide show of Evelyn life was played. Thoughtful moving music added sentiment to the presentation and then the unexpected happened… the song “I Hope You’ll Dance” began to play… Those words  gave me  that same stirring that happened four months prior when I found my sign at Goodwill. Thus, it was not a big surprise when later in the evening the DJ invited the audience to a group dance, choosing to seize the moment, longing to conquer my fears of looking foolish and uncoordinated. Collecting myself together, and in one quick moment I stepped onto the dance floor and danced;… something I have not done for over 25 years!  It’s been said, “To conquer life is to take one step at a time”.  How fun to do it in the form of a dance step… having no doubt that I looked foolish, the unpolished dancer that I am, somehow it seemed rather okay, I was just obeying the “Sign”… I Hope You’ll Dance.


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No Regrets

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If there is one thing that Michelle my dear friend and mentor for over twenty four years likes to do is to pray big, bold, audacious prayers. Prayers that rock my spiritual world to its’ very core. Shaking its’ foundation with thunderous possibilities. Oh, don’t get me wrong I love praying larger than life prayers for others too, though my faith may be the grain of a mustard seed. This tiny seed of faith takes wings soaring with bated  breath, watching mountains careening into the mighty roaring sea. Knowing with confidence God is able and  more than willing to bless them. However, there are moments when prayers that are said over me wax bold and require wide-eyed faith tethered to tenacious trust. Causing my spirit to nervously gulp, while legs quake in my less then well traveled spiritual boots. How I long to grab a hold of the  horns of the altar refusing to let go until the grand answer is revealed. Assured these powerful prayers have become a fragrant perfume sweet to the nostrils of God, stirring Him to my attention. Tipping the bowl of petitions until each spoken prayer becomes reality.  Thus, releasing times of rapturous ensuing praise of my faith becoming sight.

Sad to say, my faith is less then stellar at times, falling short of God’s glory. Determined daily to set my heart upon a deeper trust in Him, while finding enormous comfort that we serve a God that loves far beyond our failings. Our lack or wavering faith never changes the character of a loving and compassionate God. Thankfully, His grace and mercy shows up over and over again triumphing over seeded doubt or mustered up faith.

Recently Michelle’s dauntless prayer came to fruition, unfolding before my very eyes.   Through the years her fearless prayers were for me to have no regrets with my mother.  For as the years went by, so to had my mounting tension and concern increased. Her deteriorating mental health issues loomed over our relationship….longing to help and her refusal wearied me. Michelle’s petitions for total reconciliation felt sorely beyond my grasp. However, she knew inevitably her requests were going to be answered. God had mended the breach between Michelle and her mother, He would surely do the same for me….and  indeed He did, beginning through a whirlwind of events.

For in April of 2012, within a 24 hour period, my mama went from living alone and driving, to needing around the clock care with a blown heart value and rapidly visible and increasing dementia. During the next three weeks I cared for her 24/7 until we could get her into proper adult foster care. My heart softening with each act of servant hood, every stroke with the hairbrush to her beautiful auburn hair, rubbing her swollen legs and feet, or being her memory as hers was growing dimmer. Slowly a deepening love and appreciation for my mother emerged. My initial frustration and anger vanished while her profound gratitude flourished; our love blossoming in the soil of adversity, blooming in spite of human frailty.

God using ashes to bring beauty, answering prayers in ways we at times grapple to understand. As the dust unhurriedly settles, we reverently gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, standing in awe, humbled and  profoundly grateful. God’s word declaring “Behold I’m doing a new thing, your going to have to see it to believe it. God’s splendid sense of humor allowing little old me to walk in liberating freedom of no regrets.  From one that masters an impeccable hind sight of 20/20, and rather quick to bemoan her lack of foresight to have ordered the soup of the day instead. Has found herself smack dab in the middle of a full blown miracle, shaking her head in joyful astonishment.

God’s grace is always sufficient in our time of need. Since God is no respecter of persons, what He did for me and my friend Michelle He wants to do for you. Whatever you may be contending with let God be your ever present help in times of trouble. Even if your faith is a little wobbly don’t you worry, your in good company…. so what do you say? lets go grab some front row seats and watch mountains be hurled into the sea, together.