Wednesday, December 31, 2014


I wasn't entirely sure that I had anything prolific to say on this last morning of 2014.  I got up early this morning, although I am on hiatus for a while from work and other obligations.  The firstfruits of this day had to be given to God before I gave anything to anyone else (husband, dogs, the rest of the world,etc.).  Truly, I couldn't help but think that during these final moments of 2014, there was a lot to consider and revisit mentally and emotionally before embarking on a new year.

I had to recognize that I have had many prayers answered and new encounters with the Divine, even when I wasn't at my best.  That is grace.  I thank God for the times during this year that God overlooked the me that was being presented because He knew the me on the inside.  That too is grace.

I had to also consider that my life could have gone a different path or ended at any point this year.  While I am not considered unhealthy, I have not cared for my body as I knew I should.  When I think of others that transitioned into eternity this year due to health issues they may or may not have known they had, I know that I have been given another chance to change.  This is another form of grace that I cannot take for granted.

This year has been probably one of the least creative for me, despite the urges to move into that vein.  I don't know why I didn't go into the studio more often or why I didn't work on The Esther Process when I was well aware that the writing has to happen in the trenches; there is no better time to put pen to paper.  Perhaps I was discouraged, knowing that after the book is written there may be no platform upon which to build an audience.

This morning after having spent time in the studio with paint on my hands, I realize that I have no excuse.  I was missing out on being creative, despite the desire to go into that place.

After the lessons that I have learned, I realize that entering into a new year has to mean more this time.  I have seen 37 new years; each time, I have made commitments and vows.  This entrance is not the same because of what I experienced this past year: the sacrifices that had to be made, the answered prayers, and the losses that can never be recovered.

I regret some things.  I cannot be so vain and proud to say I regret nothing.  But I also am celebrating the next season of my life, knowing that I must enter it with consecration, creativity, and caution.  This early morning, so cold and full of last things, I know that I am not entering alone.  God is with me.  My husband is with me.  My family is with me.

So I stand and breathe in the cold air.  I pay homage to Wanda and Amie and all the others that entered eternity in 2014.  I renounce the lack of creativity with each click of my camera.  My paintbrushes wait to paint a new picture for the new year.  And this is how it must be on the cusp of a new season and not just a new year....

"Morning Sky"

Friday, December 19, 2014


It has been a week.  She walked past my cubicle, head bent over a piece of paper in her hand and her eyes focused on the words.  She had a purposeful walk, like she was on a mission and had to answer the questions that paper must have raised.  She didn't look at me, but I saw her thick auburn locks and her professional gait out of the corner of my eye. 

I turned my head slightly to watch her walk past, my own work in my hand, and thought:  "God, she is beautiful...such a beautiful woman.  I wonder does she know."

And His voice, not silent but not loud, quietly impressed upon my spirit: "Tell her.  Tell her she is beautiful."

I shook my head and turned back to the work.  Back to the more important work.  Telling someone she is beautiful is not part of my job description.  Anyway, something that simple can wait until a more convenient time.  I turned my head and didn't give it another thought.  She probably didn't need to hear that she mattered and her beauty resonated from within and her life was impacting me from one cubicle down.  She didn't care about that last Thursday.

12/13/14....a strange day in the history of our world.  The numbers lined up in sequence, perfectly.  We would never see a day like that in our generation again.  That day, a day that would never be seen again in my lifetime, held something else that was prolific and powerful.

I would never see my co-worker's beautiful smile and caring spirit again either.  I would never be able to stand outside her cubicle and ask her things about work or hear about her children or listen to her thoughts about the children on her caseload.  I would never see that woman again in my lifetime.  On 12/13/14, two days after I put off telling her that she was a blessing and that she was a beautiful, vibrant person that mattered until a more convenient and not so random time, she took one last breath.  And she left.

I'm still looking for her to walk past my cubicle.  I am still hoping that all that has been experienced and all that I neglected to do (as simple as it sounds) would all be a nightmare; we would all wake up and she would be here.

But she is not going to be here.  She walked into heaven on 12/13/14 and the world will never see a person like her again.

You must never, ever ignore the whisper of God in your spirit.  I don't know why I should have told her any of those things; I don't know what she was going through (if anything).  I don't know if it would have changed the outcome; some things cannot be changed.  But you can tell people that they matter.  You can impact lives as if tomorrow isn't promised - BECAUSE IT ISN'T.

I knew this last Thursday.  I knew this, but I did not think for one moment that this applied to her the last time I saw her.  I did not get the chance to say it the next day.  And then there was Saturday.

When I felt the tug on my heart to say these most simple words to her, I assured God that she didn't need to hear them.  I told him that I could do it some other time.  After all, in February we were supposed to conduct foster parent training together and we would be able to prepare for those two Saturdays together after my vacation.  We would talk and laugh and compare stories and she would still be the beautiful person she always was in February and I had time to tell her then.

It is Friday. 

And I was wrong.

And perhaps caring about someone is not simple.

Perhaps it cannot wait until another day.

Maybe God whispers that you should tell people that they matter because they do....TODAY.  They matter right now.  They may matter tomorrow or in three months.  But TODAY they need to hear that they are not invisible and someone sees them for who they are.  TODAY they need to know that you care about them.  TODAY, more importantly, they need to know God cares about them.

Who are you going to love today?  Who are you going to show concern for today?

Monday, December 15, 2014

When God is Enough

The months have truly escaped me with so much life going on that it is hard to stop long enough to write about it.  I apologize for that.  Summer was way too short for my liking and then fall came and went with little fanfare.  It is December now, the season of Advent, and Christmas is already next week.  I am looking forward to a break from the constant movement and working and planning.  I need to be quiet while I am waiting for the Lord to manifest Himself in the midst of the sadness and grief, the pain and the hints of joy.  I am needing a reprieve from the pace.

Everybody needs that.

Everybody's body needs a break.  We need to rest when life gets to be too much.

And for me, lately, it has been.

I'm not complaining.  Please understand that.  I am just aware that I need to stop moving long enough to take it all in.  I need to breathe in the experiences of this season because when I am breathing, I am focusing on how much I need God.  I need Him to walk me through the difficult seasons and the blessed seasons combined.  Very seldom is there a separation between the two.  While I am thanking God for bringing a child into my life that I can impact with all of me, I am also cognizant of all those who will not be entering 2015 with me.  And I take it all in...very seriously.

That is what you do when you are busy living.  Thanking God for His manifest Presence in the rawness of life.  That is the best and the most mature response you can give - even when you don't think that response is enough.  You want to do more but know that unless the Lord gives you the next instruction, there is nothing you can do that will change anything.

I told my mom yesterday that I feel so out of control with everything (the bad and the good) and I honestly thank God for that feeling.  It sounds crazy to say that, but I recognize that I have no control over anything.  But He has the control over everything whether others want to acknowledge that or not.

I thank God that He is big enough and powerful enough and omniscient enough to handle everything that I can't.  I thank God that the atheists are wrong.  I thank God that He is enough in this season when I feel so inadequate. 

For me that is gift enough.