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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Seeds of Promise

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New garden catalogs are arriving in my mailbox brimming with endless possibilities, my eyes drinking in the bounty that could await me. Realizing before you know it sunshine and warm breezes will replace this bitter cold as it bows to a new season. With each turn of the glossy pages I’m practically able to taste the  juicy vine ripe tomatoes, fresh basil  and sweet  strawberries some of our favorites.

Presently cold harsh winds swiftly blow over our barren and bleak garden that at the present moment lacks color and bounty,  However as I examine these vibrant photos, curled up with a steaming cup of a tea and toasty quilt  I’m reminded of the endowment presented in a  tiny seed of promise. Hope planted in my heart not just for my lifeless gardens to one day flourish again, but an assurance that when bitter winds of adversity charge across my soul they will not stay forever. Winter will give way to spring  and spring to summer carrying optimistic seeds of change. Gardens void and bare will rally to natures gentle nudge bursting forth in all their glory,while winter’s severity will become a mere memory. So, it is with our heartaches they too shall mellow with time,  and we will not only survive but thrive with spring in our hearts once more.

“Grant me, O God , the power to see in every rose, eternity.  In every bud , the coming day; In every snow the promised May; In every storm the legacy of rainbows smiling down on me!”  …Virginia Wuerfel
“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.”  Isaiah 35:1


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Cherished Christmas Fudge

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This last Christmas began a new season in my life, the boys all grown up causing childhood traditions to mature right along with them.  Having to face my first Christmas in 52 years without my dear mom since her passing, a brother’s intensifying battle with  Lewy Body Dementia, along with other family dynamics that have sadly been altered.

Where do you go for a Merry Christmas when your riding a cowabunga big wave of grief ?  Longing to cram all my sorrow and mourning into a sturdy suitcase perching myself on top of the lid to secure all its’ contents, making absolutely sure  all  gets packed up completely for a one way ticket far far away.  Aware this a not a healthy way to process grief… stuffing your feelings result in delayed hardships.  Knowing this all to well  from previous  unpacking of overcrowded luggage of  past abuse and loss, trying so hard to make it go away.  So I ride the wave and  “be present in the  moment” as my friend so graciously reminds me from time to time.  Letting tears, and the memories of past joys come as they may, giving myself permission to grieve and allowing uncomfortable emotions to visit my reluctant soul. What is gone is gone and  what has changed has indeed changed; at least for now.  Bringing to mind Doris Day’s Classic song:
“Que Sera, Sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera

And so it was during my husband’s recovery from meniscus surgery last month as  we entertained ourselves snuggling up on the couch to Net Flix marathons.  One night after scrolling through our options we decided to watch ” The Ballad of Lucy Whipple” with Glen Close.  Before the movie began Kevin casually said  “maybe something in the movie will speak to us”.  Truly it was a kind and rather hopeful thought, seeing I was grumpy, hormonal, and needing a platter of crackers to go with my whine.  Giving him a faint smile I continued to mope on the recliner sofa with my loving husband and two of our three cuddly dogs; straining to find joy and shake off the weight of depression.  As the movie unfolded my ears perked up to glean the “take aways”.  Throughout the show little nuggets of truth revealed themselves as scene after scene unfolded.  However, my biggest “take away” was saved for last,  when Lucy’s  father spoke this  juggernaut thought,  “Change is a gift… Though some change is unpleasant, where would we be without the gift of change ?”

Hmm … seems the Lord is having me go around this familiar mountain again having already gotten the memo, even wrote a blog  called “Welcome Change”.  T’is sad to say, but I’m indeed a slow learner at times, and retrieving past knowledge can come with its’ difficulties.  So… once again I will try to embrace change, look for silver linings, allowing myself gift of grace if there seems to be a cloud without one.  I will sit in grief and stand up inside to accept change.  Scouting out new creative ways to celebrate my past and gaze with hope for my future.

Thus, this  holiday season  I set my sites on making my brothers famous Christmas fudge.  This little endeavor would be a  labor of love and an exercise  in prayer, unable to recall the last time I made fudge let alone his “famous” recipe.  Determined to be his hands which now can no longer make his beloved Christmas tradition.

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Tears spilled on my mom’s well worn  Better Homes and Gardens cookbook as it lay open, looking for his special recipe. Experiencing the gravity of her absence , reminiscing how my childhood family once was, identifying with Dante’s quote” There is no greater grief , then the misery of recalling happier times “.  Pouring into the bowl four cups of sugar to execute the recipe , yet it still remained bitter sweet.  God’s word comes to mind as He promises us,  “weeping endures for the night  but joys come in the morning”. 

In the morning much to my delight the fudge had turned out delicious and I had the joy of presenting my dear brother a Christmas plate of cherished Christmas fudge.

Lord, thank you that you turned  bitter waters into sweet. Bringing sweetness to the bitter things of life. Causing us to hope in You when all our hope seems gone.  Turning prisoners of hopelessness into prisoners of hope, chained only to your goodness and unfailing mercy and love. We love you

‘Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.”
Zechariah 9:12 ESV

Psalms 119:26-28  “I have declared my ways and opened my griefs to You, and You listened to me; teach me Your statutes.Make me understand the way of Your precepts; so shall I meditate on and talk of Your wondrous works.  My life dissolves and weeps itself away for heaviness; raise me up and strengthen me according to [the promises of] Your word.”

“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”
― Jay Asher