Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 48: Flowers of Beauty

“A lotus blossoming in a swamp of weeds—
that's my dear friend among the girls in the village.”

Song of Songs 2:2

Paging through my prayer journal I find the names of family and friends and as I read each entry, it never ceases to amaze me the emotion that can suddenly well up inside my heart. These are my dear ones, and somehow in life we have been entrusted to each other. We have been given the honorable and great privilege of loving one another, of hoping all things, and believing that all things are possible for each other.

Sometimes I pray for those listed in my prayer journal because I love them. I love them so much my heart aches and I want the very hand of my wonderful Father to reach down and comfort their hearts, heal their wounds, and show them the beauty of who they are in the reflection of His adoring eyes.

At other times I find that my heart is lead to pray for someone, perhaps that I barely know, and as I commit to faithfulness in seeking God on their behalf, I find that my heart is filled with love for them. This in itself in the first benefit of prayerfulness, that not only in the place of prayer do we have the opportunity to see the hand of a mighty God, but we ourselves begin to see others as He sees them, as He sees us, as “A lotus blossoming among the weeds.”

This side of heaven I will probably never know the tears that were shed and the prayers that were uttered on my behalf. I am simply grateful that someone, perhaps many someone’s have been praying for me. What I do know is the joy of having dear friends and loved ones that are themselves truly beautiful blossoms growing strong pushing out the weeds in my life. They are woman who have come alongside me through the dark days of night, friends who have seen in me what I was too afraid to hope for, and through prayer, and encouragement they have watched me stretch toward the sun and bloom.

In the garden of the Master Gardener, we are each a unique and perfectly designed blossom; the wispy white of a dandelion ready to spread it seeds far and wide, the sweet essence of a cottage rose vine climbing to the light, the strength of the lotus as it speaks it beauty from muddied roots. Each of us worthy of His care and tending as he plucks the weeds from our lives nourishes the roots of our very soul, so that each will blossom beautifully, under the gardener’s hand.


How I hope that these humble prayers I offer you are seeds planted to be nourished and fed at Your hand. I am so grateful for the women that you have put in my life, each one of them truly “a lotus blossoming.” Bless them Lord, for they have fed and watered me with the love of your word, and each has been so faithful. They have helped me to stay planted in good soil, and themselves bloom beautifully among the weeds. Thank you that You have loved me with their words, their accepting arms that embraced me, and truly, I am sure, their faithful prayers.

I love you,

Your Beloved

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 47: Prayer from a Hungry Heart

“Kneel and pray, you are in a holy place, on holy ground.” Acts 7:33

My Beloved Father,

My heart longs for You, and I have begun to realize that your holy place is all around me, that holy ground is at my feet yearning for me to bend my knee in recognition and believe. To believe with clarity of vision that You are never even a breath away, unless with strength of my own, I hold you at arm’s length.

I am hungry for your ways, to believe You for all that is amazing and good and pure, to recognize the wonder of your works, and to acknowledge the daily presence of holy ground. To know without a question of a doubt that my past has no bearing on my future, except in the beautiful ways that you will weave the dark threads of my fears and failures, against the dawning brightness of your forgiveness and favor.

I Need You…Lord all these years and I need your presence more today than yesterday, more than ever before; I NEED YOU. You are my mirror, causing me to understand who I am designed to be. You are the revelatory love that I long to live out day by day before my children, my husband, the world.

Fill my heart afresh, Abba, fill it to overflowing, each day new, again, and again. Make me my Inerrant Designer, the woman you have called me to be.

Your Beloved

“So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures, fill my life again.”

Hillsong United

"Earth is crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries."

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Day 46: Today

“Every good and perfect gift is from above…” James 1:17

I saw the works of your hand in the clarity of a blue sky
The purity of white dusted mountain caps.
I heard your voice
On the lips of my daughter
As she pulled me close and whispered in my ear, “I love you.”
I felt the depth of your forgiveness in the warmth of her embrace.
I saw the works of your hand in hillsides green with fresh life;
The promise of bare vines waiting for new birth.
I saw your face
In the smile of my daughter
As her eyes sparkled with the understanding that I love her
I felt the breadth of your provision in the dreams of her future.
I saw the works of your hand in a face flush with hope
The expectancy of miracles made memories
I felt your heart
In the eyes of my daughter
As her joy glistened blue brimming with tears
I felt the height of my gratitude in the goodness of your ways.

“Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:14


Your works are wonderful, and your ways more mysterious and generous than I can understand. I thank You for the hope of the future, and the promise that life will again come in the first green of the vine.

In You alone, Lord, is my hope. I trust afresh.

Your Beloved

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 45: Boldly, Believingly

“Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.” James 1:6

As I approached my time of devotion this evening, before the cover of my Bible was folded back, or a scripture was read, I was drawn to my knees. As I tucked myself small, like a child before my Father, the requests began to pour from my heart.

I found myself praying for a beautiful young teen in my church that has been struck by a debilitating illness, leaving her wheel chair bound, daily suffering, and in need of a bone marrow treatment that requires her weakened lungs to be healthy. I prayed for her mother, who has already seen the pain of losing a child.

I prayed for my daughter, her tiny body large with her son, due date only days away.

I prayed for a family I have never met, who has walked the path of raising a special needs child, and almost lost her just before the Holidays.

I prayed for the safety of my son and my husband, each en route home, one via freeway, the other via airway.

The words flowed from my lips, and from my very soul, unexpected prayers, not written in a prayer journal, nor given much forethought. Prayers for healing; His glory revealed, His mercies made manifest.

There I sat, tucked on my knees as a child in the secure presence of my Father, heart bold with the knowledge of His favor, and I prayed, as if the very words were His, planted in my heart at the beckoning of His spirit.

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

My Father,

I humbly bow myself before You, grateful that you call me your beloved daughter. Fill my lips with the prayers of your heart, and my heart with the knowledge that as I tuck myself in close to You, I can trust with confidence that You not only hear, but that You care.

Your Trusting Beloved

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 44: Stop and Listen

“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord…” Psalm 84:1

My husband is away in another state, attending to the needs of his family. My children are out for the evening, busy with various activities. The evening is mine. Dinner eaten and dogs fed, my heart is hungry to hear from God. As a dear and wise woman I know has called it, I am longing for some “Sacred Solitude.” A time alone to speak with and listen to the One I love, to sit in His presence, and surrender my heart to His beautiful plan.

My house is quiet, and I settle into my unmade bed (remember I said my husband is in another state!) with my bible, a pen, a journal, and my devotional. Finding the first passage I read;

“I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Psalm 139:14

The devotional says, “Acknowledge your Creator,” and I do, but all at once my frustration pours from my lips and I tell Him, “Lord, I am feeling an absence of your presence. I am feeling concerned about my struggle with….” and my ramblings continue covering a range of topics, many devoted to my inadequacies and discouragement. I know that He hears, but suddenly I realize it is time to quiet myself, and listen…

In the quietness, He begins to remind me of why I am here, and I write in my journal, “Every interaction a representation of Your love.” Then my thoughts are transported to the remembrance of every celebration of the past two years that has taken place in my home, and with my family. I see weddings, and birthdays, holidays and family gatherings just because we could. Board games, and meals cooked, gifts given and hearts opened. Two years of gatherings, two years of a family being birthed; a season of celebration, building, and of rejoicing, and I understand that all along He has been working out His plan, and using my days to answer not only the prayers of my mouth, but the cry of my heart.

Peace floods through my heart and my mind, and the realization of His presence ongoing in my life literally delights me.

I have always been a better speaker than a listener, and I continue to seek the assistance of the Holy Spirit to change me, so that I can listen fully to others. It is a work in progress, and I am grateful that when it comes to my conversations with my Father, He is patient and waits until I get a clue, and come to an understanding that it is time to open my heart, and stop and listen.

Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts."
~ Mother Teresa


Truly, how wonderful is Your presence, and how gracious you are to let me dwell with You daily. Help me to come before you with a heart ready to listen. I offer you all that I am, trusting that You, my amazing Creator, will use me for just exactly the beautiful plans you designed me for.

Your Beloved

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 43: Prayer for a Busy Day

“For to me, to live is Christ…” Philippians 1:21


You know my day is busy, as so many of them can be; filled to the brim with important tasks necessary to meet the needs of a large family. It would be so easy today to lose sight of You, to focus on the checklist I need to complete, or the child that is moving too slowly, or any other obstacle that may not surrender to the importance of MY busy day. Let me not lose sight of You as I walk out my days, but rather teach me to keep my conversation with You continuous, my heart towards others generous, and my task list firmly surrendered to your perfect plan for this day. This day and every day, Guide my every thought and action by your Holy Spirit. Let me shine for You when I don’t realize that I am, and fill my heart, mind, and soul with a greater of understanding that to Live is Christ, and that each of my days belong to You.

Your Beloved

Day 42: Pillow Talk

“And lead me in the way everlasting …” Psalm 139:24

Do you ever have those mornings when even before you stretch that first toe from under the covers you are tempted to pull the pillow over your head, and hide from the impending doom that awaits you? This was one such morning. It is the first day since I returned from my recent out of state travels that I have not had a full agenda, and knowing that I have a very busy weekend ahead of me, I gave serious consideration to pulling my toe back to safety, grabbing my pillow and hanging on for dear life. As much as I love my pillow, and as truly comforting as it is, I knew giving it a good snuggle would not dispel my imagined doom, but rather cause it to loom with greater foreboding. There is only once place I could go to brighten my little black rain cloud.

“O God, you are my God; early will I seek you: my soul thirsts for you…” Psalm 63:1

I asked God for the amazing this morning, and it made me smile.

I know that He wants the very best for me, and I have also learned that I am not always the very best judge of just exactly what that might look like, but the more that I seek Him, the more clearly I understand myself, and His very good plans for me. I have also learned that scripture is very clear on the subject of asking; He wants us to ask, we often don’t have because we don’t ask, and He wants us to ask with pure motives and according to His will.

Now this last part can get a little tricky, as I know that my own heart can be a raging battleground when it comes to purity in my own motives, and being as I often don’t understand my Father’s ways, I also seem to struggle with the according to His will part. Nonetheless, I have absolutely no desire to miss out on a blessing He intends for me, or for someone He has encouraged me to pray for, so leaving my humanness to Him, I simply ask, and I ask for the amazing, trusting that He will purify my motives, and guide my prayers.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we think or ask...”
Ephesian 3:20

I want to be a bringer of life. I want to be a source of encouragement those I dearly love, and those God brings into my life. As a friend of mine recently stated, “What's the point? To love and to love hard.” I believe this to be a great truth, and I have watched her walk it out in her daily life. I also know that there are circumstances in her life that may cause her to want to pull the pillow over her head, and draw her toe to safety. Yet day to day, she chooses to be a living example of a woman whose soul thirsts for God, and she takes her concerns and the concerns of those she loves to first to her Father, and from Him her love flows freely. As she commits her way to Him, not only has God answered some of her prayers in astounding ways, He has caused her to be a woman who is greatly respected, a bringer of life.

“…He who waits for his master will be honored.” Proverbs 27:18

Many mornings for each of us, I am sure that the covers are a far more comfortable option than the cold air and early morning hours we may have to conquer to spend time in conversation with God. Still I must confess, I want to see the amazing, even if this morning the amazing may only be that I pulled the covers off those toes and came to sit with my master.


Thank you that I can ask You for anything, just the knowledge of such a privilege makes a smile spread across my face. In the asking I know that sometimes You will choose something other than what I ask, still I know your plans are good. I entrust myself to You, and pray that You will call me daily to your throne, and give me the heart to pull the pillow from my head, and run to You that you might truly lead me in the way everlasting.

Your Beloved

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 41: Blank Page

“If you don’t know what you are doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help.” James 1:5

I am here to write, because I have made a commitment to write. I am seated in front of my computer finger tips poised to discipline myself to follow through, because I want to be a finisher, and because in the wise words of the author of Proverbs, “All diligent effort leads to profit.”

My mind is as blank for writing ideas as the Word Document in front of me, and as I sit I am trying not to let my mind wander to plans for my daughter’s upcoming wedding, and with even more diligence I am trying not to let my fingers do the walking right over to my favorite social networking site. Just a slip of the hand and I can escape this blank page and enjoy the goings on of friends and family.

My devotional time was rich this morning filled with Proverbs and other verses of encouragement, and my time of prayer was intimate and sweet, sharing with my Lord my hopes and dreams, and talking to Him about each of my children one by one, and thanking him for my husband and every good thing He so continually bestows upon me. I prayed for a dear loved who is longing to buy a home for the first time, asked Him again for discipline and self-control in key areas of my life, that he would make me a kind-hearted woman, and a true and devoted friend. I noted the scrawls in the margin of my journal indicating prayers that had been answered, and gave my day to Him. None the less, as I sit to write, my mind is vacant.

I am seated in the place of obedience, knowing that today, although my mind seems blank, and filling the page with any words of value seems too awesome to be achievable, I need only pray to my Father, and He will help me. He may cause my words to flow with the ink of the Holy Spirit; He may take my feeble words and infuse them with life for someone, somewhere, or He may simply fill my heart and mind with the understanding that my commitment and obedience were the goal of this exercise.

Whatever the outcome, whatever the need, He fills the blank pages of my life with words that not only inspire but comfort, and I rest in the understanding that I serve a Lord who not only hears me, but Loves to Help!


How often I find that I simply don’t know what I doing. I wander my hallways aimlessly, unsure of why I even walked into the room at all. I need your help. How grateful I am that you bend your ear to my requests, and lovingly bend your knee to come alongside me and help me with every confusion and concern. How I love knowing that I serve a Lord who simply is waiting for the opportunity to come and help.

Your Beloved

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 40: The Life Abundant

“I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness”
John 10:10

The life abundant; a desire that resonates deep within the heart and soul of every individual, and for each it is a clarion call to fulfill the unique and specific design that is the cry of their very existence. Some refer to this yearning, as the God-shaped hole waiting to be filled by God and God alone. It has been named purpose, calling, life’s-work, legacy, mission, or our true north, and even those who spend a lifetime seeking to serve God, can find it elusive.

Just as each and every snowflake is shaped as no other, but rather crafted as a one-of-a-kind by an Artist that delights in the nuance, so the definition of “life in all its fullness” takes a different meaning for every uniquely created human that walks the earth.

To me, it is as if God has put a road map inside of me, a treasure map that when I follow it carefully leads me on an adventure of such astounding proportions that every step brings a new sense of awe, excitement, and an abundance of joy. I find fullness in the places that I go, the people I that interact with, and the activities that I am engaged in.

Sometimes, the map seems to be written in a foreign language, and my attempts at reading it are laced with trepidation, or even worse, I realize I am reading the map accurately, and find myself suddenly frozen in my tracks, afraid of the rocky terrain up ahead. I may choose to dig in my heals and not move forward, or turn around and attempt to go back to what used to feel safe, only to find it stagnant and no longer welcoming, or I can go bounding forward trusting the map, and the maker of the map.

As a young Christian, I often found myself following in the pathways of others, and for a season this was good, as I learned to navigate this new journey laid out before me. A veteran traveler can always lend a helping hand, but in time I would find myself following them, and failing to open my own map. Sometimes, I would fail to move forward in any direction, fearful that I had not read the directions carefully, and that I might be vainly trying to create my own treasure hunt.

Ultimately, the map-maker has a vested interest in my quest for the life abundant, and asks only that I seek his wealth of knowledge when the map seems confusing, or the terrain difficult. His greatest desire is that I will move forward in my quest passionately with all my energies, and all of my intelligence, knowing that with every step He will be there to guide me to the treasure that will unfold within my very soul.

“So love God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.” Mark 12:30

Lord of my Journey,

You are my greatest treasure, and my most worthy pursuit. In you I find my life abundant, my unique design, and the purpose which makes my heart rejoice. May I always trust your ways, and the accuracy of the map you have created for me.

Your Beloved

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 39: Winds of Change

“Are you tired? Worn out?

A dear friend of mine has been struggling with the winds of change, a physiological force that is familiar to us both as we have moved through deep losses and unbridled joys. As she shared her confusion at the loss and sadness she is currently experiencing as she prepares for her daughters impending wedding, I thought of the changes that I too am facing in the year to come:

The birth of my first grandchild, two of my adult children moving out of state to further their professional aspirations, my youngest son graduating from high school, and moving out of state to attend college, and my youngest child passing the threshold from pre-teen to teen.

Perhaps, I am coming of age, if you know what I mean, and the sheer velocity at which the changes seem to be coming are earth shaking. I have found myself unexpectedly moved to tears, each and every time I am reminded of the changes that are to come, even if they can truly be considered beautiful and good gifts.

“Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.”

As I considered what my dear friend is experiencing, and what it seems we each face as we daily release ourselves into the hands of our loving Father, I could not help but wonder if the feelings were not only a sense of loss, but even more accurately the pains of change. Like growing pains, they stretch our muscles, and lengthen our gait, but at the same time exhaust and weary us, until we can get out the ruler, stand up against the wall, and prove that we have increased in stature.

“Walk with me and work with me---watch how I do it"

As women, our very design suggests that we will be forever releasing. Our bodies give up our children from the safety of our womb, and from that moment we will always be opening our hands in a form of surrender. A birth, a death, launching a child into their future, these are the true seasons of change, and of life, and like a torrential rain storm they can force us to take cover against the whipping winds that will eventually create change; Undeniably painful for us as women, who in some way are always releasing, always letting go.

“Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”

I have spent the better part of the last two decades facing this one simple constant in my life; change will come; it will come early and often, with or without my permission, and always, always, God is in it. He has whispered in my ear, “Trust me,” and I have confirmed that I do. Sometimes that trust is mixed with trepidation, weariness, sadness, and even joy, but when I hear His voice reminding me to trust, I know something is going to change, and often I realize, it is me.

“I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.”

Despite the letting go, I love being a woman, and even more, I love being a woman who loves God. I know these things are true of my wonderful friend, and while her heart rejoices in her the preparations for her daughters wedding, her soul knows, change is coming. Loving Him makes every release purposeful, every sadness worth bearing, every delight richer, and ultimately, as women of God we know that we can trust that each time we open our hands in surrender He will teach us to live freely and lightly, and will ultimately, make every moment of every hour of each of our lives for His good use.

“Keep company with me, and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30


Be the God of encouragement to each of us as we seek to serve you faithfully in these lives filled with constant change. You and you alone, make the winds work worthwhile, and You and you alone comfort our souls when the winds weary. Help us to live freely and lightly in your unforced rhythms and grace.


Your Beloved

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 38: Disappearing List

“Love keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:5

I am a list maker.

I have a list of to do’s, a list of errands, a list to keep track of possible gift ideas for those I love, an entire notebook devoted to dreams, and goals, a list of books to read, a list of places I might like to visit, and then of course, there is the grocery list, the daily lesson plan for my daughter’s home school lessons, and to tie it all together, the daily, weekly, and monthly planner. When I travel there is a packing list, a list of to do’s for the dog sitter/house sitter, and then the list of places to go and things to see once I arrive at my destination. Now that I am back in college there is the list of classes I must complete, a list of reading assignments to be tackled, and the most foreboding list of all: the list of papers to be written.

Simply creating a list of all my lists can seem confusing, and there is perhaps the concern that I will be found one day buried under a mountain of hand-scrawled to do lists having met an inky demise, but in practice they are the key to organization in my little world, and often are the lines that string together my otherwise disconnected dots.

I take comfort in the knowledge that I also serve a God that takes the time to make a list or two, keeping track of every tear I cry, listing my name in His book of life, keeping a record of the genealogy of Jesus, so that I can see that He uses ordinary people to bring forth the extraordinary. Lists of the building materials and specifications needed for ark building tell me He is a God of detail, and order, while the lists of the design and job assignments for the temple built by the Israelites show that He is a God who loves beauty and workmanship.

Of all these lists, some penned on scraps of paper by human hands, and some breathed into life and written for eternity by the Holy Spirit, it is the two lists that are not kept that overshadow all the others:

As if with disappearing ink, the list of my sins no longer can be seen, in its place a sacrifice that exemplifies the very definition of perfect love; it keeps no record of wrongs. It is much more difficult to eliminate the second list, as it must be created by the paper and pen that I never choose to pick up, the offenses I choose to cover with love, the wrongs I do not record.

In my humanness I find there is a great propensity to not only keep a list of the wrongs perpetuated against me, but on occasion, I find myself trying to erect a full size billboard in a place of prominence, and my flesh wars with those six giant sized words: LOVE KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS, and then I am reminded of the most beautiful list of all, and I hear, “As you have been forgiven, my darling one…



Teach me to love with Your heart: Moment by moment, in the sweet, and in the hurtful moments, day by day, and for all of my days.

Your Beloved

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 37: Sink-Hole

“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17

Tonight I hit a bump in the road.

Not the fun kind of whoopti-do that makes your stomach drop with excitement, but something more accurately depicted as a sink-hole. A familiar place in the road that once was smooth, but that the rains of the season have weakened and the constant travel back and forth over the same stretch of road have buffeted, and now the paved road has given way to cracks, puddles, and a spine –jarring experience for those who travel there.

I could see the bump coming, and tried to swerve appropriately, and perhaps coulda, woulda, and shoulda chose another road, but there I traveled nonetheless, hoping perhaps previous road repairs had smoothed and corrected the damage, but there I landed jarred and shaken by that same old sink-hole. I sat frozen and confused, mumbling at God, while the shock set it, and realized that I needed the services of a good emotional tow: Automobile club for the heart, soul, and mind. I could spin my wheels in the grit, gravel, and mud of my sink-hole or I could call out for a friend with a strong hand and a mighty heart.

And so I did.

I could not call just anybody. I could not call somebody who would be shocked by how I had again ended up in a sink-hole, grumbling about my inability to navigate properly, or my foolishness at not knowing that there was a sink-hole on that particular road. I needed someone with the right equipment. Someone who would say, “Wow that is an ugly sink-hole, I have spun my wheels in one or two just like that myself. As a matter of fact, I think you might have helped tow me out a time or two. Don’t worry, I know you, we’ll be able to get you out of there.” And all the while, they are hooking up just the right kind of tow cable to help yank me to freedom.

Sweet and soothing words came through my phone, and an invitation to explain the dynamics of just what I experienced as I hit the bump. She listened carefully, not assuming she understood just exactly what kind of damage the bump might have done, and then wisely and expertly she attached a tow cable made of the strongest materials of empathy, encouragement, and prayer and pulled my wheels from the muck.


You have made us for relationship, and you have made relationships for us. I thank you ever so heartily, that when I need You in the flesh, You are there in the form of a godly and faithful friend. May I be a friend who is available to lend my heart and my hand, even as my dear friend did for me tonight.

Your Beloved

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 36: Every Tear

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 21:4

There is almost nothing more difficult than watching someone that you love truly suffer.

Sometimes it is physical, an illness that buffets their body, and we long to see them free from their pain, able to rest and enjoy life. Often it is a hurt of the heart, and the depths of the soul: A brokenness that for a season or a lifetime defines their outlook on life, on love, and even on their Heavenly Father. A wound so open and infected, that the pain blinds their eyes to the presence of a God who loves them or worse becomes their evidence for His lack of existence. A pain so deep, that it not only impacts my loved one’s view of God, but has an effect of every aspect of their life and each relationship that they experience.

As I turn the pages of my prayer journal, these are the entries that are most prevalent, and are not usually the ones that are answered in a day. They require my commitment; I must pray and keep on praying. They are also the concerns that need no written entry for me to be reminded to pray, as I find my soul cries out consistently and spontaneously with my desires for them. They are my dear ones, my heart is heavy for their freedom, and as I ache for their pain, my mouth is filled with requests that pour from my lips to the Father that I know hears me, and I hope that someday they will be confident in this as well. That in time He will wipe the tears from my eyes, as well as from the eyes of those I love.

I find that prayer is just like relationships; we are made for each, and they both require availability and commitment. We must be in them for the long term, but building and nurturing the relationship in tangible ways in the here and now. Our Father Who Loves Us is also in it for the long haul, but wholly available to intimately relate with us as we breathe out to Him, the pain in our hearts and our concerns for those we deeply love. He cares about each one that we love, just as deeply, and even more, and in time it is His deepest desire to tend to each and every wound. He is here tending to the deep wounds today, and will be here for them tomorrow. He is in it for the long haul.


You know the ones that my heart travails over. I will seek You on their behalf for as long as I have breath. Father, please heal their deep wounds, and comfort their broken hearts, just as You have healed mine. Where I have caused pain, let my life become one of healing. Draw each heart nearer and nearer to You, until they know the joy of freedom in You, and can rest safely in your loving arms.

I trust You, when my eyes cannot see for the tears, and my heart aches, I trust You.

I need You.

Your Beloved

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 35:In Faith

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” Hebrews 11:1

Paging through my prayer journal this morning brought me to tears. Not tears from a saddened heart, but the kind of tears that escape from your eyes when you don’t really mean to cry, but rather, find yourself overwhelmed by the goodness of life and the Creator who gave it to you. Not every prayer has been answered, many may require a lifetime, but still, there is a deep well of hope that lives inside of my soul, that the answers will come, and I will be awestruck.

My prayer journal has grown since I started writing in it this last July, and recently I have found myself overwhelmed by the sheer number of important concerns that I have made a heart commitment to pray about. In truth, I have found myself avoiding my journal, and some days, avoiding truly taking time to sit with the One to whom I address these concerns. In other words, I am having stilted conversations with the Lover of my soul. My prayer has felt rote and lifeless. I have not wanted to abandon the discipline I had begun, but I also did not want to dishonor God with heartless repetition.

I began the process of keeping this most recent prayer journal for two reasons:

First, I want to commit to be disciplined in prayer. I want to be a woman of integrity that follows through on my word, and is obedient to the instruction in the Bible that calls me to take my needs, desires and concerns to Him. Also, I want a way to remember to follow through when I had told someone that I would pray for their concerns.

Second, I need a place to record the mighty and mysterious ways that I have and will see God move in my life, and in the lives of those He calls me to pray for. I want a tangible reminder of His faithfulness, for the days when my human mind simply cannot grasp His amazing goodness, or what plan He could possibly have in mind. There is a key to this remembrance though, one that requires action on my part; I must open the cover, turn back the pages, and see what my God has done, and I must ask, and keep on asking. Seek and keep on seeking, and simply talk to the One I love.

I am sowing seeds of faith, disciplining myself with the hope that I am pleasing Him.

I am stepping out in faith, praying that God will direct my thoughts, my prayers, my words.

As I pulled my journal to my lap this morning, I felt Him encourage me to just read and pray through a couple of pages each day, remembering the answered prayers, and rejoicing, and renewing again my commitment to pray through until I see, with my own eyes, His everyday miracles.


Even when I struggle to pray, I know that You do not forget a tear that I have shed, nor a request that I have brought before You. Always, You are faithful. Make me a woman who is faithful in prayer, a woman who delights in her Creator, and let me rejoice continually in the goodness of your plans.

Your Beloved

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 34: Enough

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” Psalm 62:5

A little frazzled tonight…I suppose that is the logical cause and effect of a fifty year old returning to college. It is a peaceful sort of tired: the kind that comes when you have simply used your day to the best of your own frail abilities, and rather than worrying it to death, you simply let go, bite the head off a gingerbread man left over from the holidays and give it a good soak in a cup of steaming tea.

I am letting go.

I read today something that made perfect sense to me, and I hope I will remember it in the days to come. Days that will be brimming over with home-schooling, and chauffeuring to ballet, and fittings for point shoes, intertwined with my own courageous bouts with my college texts, writing, reading, cleaning a toilet or two, and prayer. I cannot forget to pray! And then there is making time to love and appreciate those around me; starting with the ones who have to live with me day in and day out.

What I read went something like this:

God is His infinite wisdom designed day, and He designed night. He designed them to encompass a total of twenty-four hours. No more, no less. Having designed them as such His express intent must have been that they would be enough. Enough…He also designed each of us, and gave us day and night with the knowledge that as we lived our lives in harmony with His design and desires for us, the day would fit to us, like a well- made garment. We could wear it well, and it would look good on us. Only when we try to “wear” something that is not expressly designed for us, will we feel weighed down, and as if we have been given too much.

As I write, I am reminded of David as he went out to fight the giant Goliath. King Saul tried to give David armor that belonged to him, but the armor was designed for the king, and was much too large for David. Though it was skillfully fashioned, it was made for another man, and would have only hindered the young shepherd as he faced the enemy. It was too much, while his rocks, his sling, and his faith in the Lord were enough.

I only need enough.


You made the day for man, not man for the day, and you told us to trust You, and not to worry. I am trusting You. It is, and I am beginning to realize, always has been, enough. For this I greatly praise You. You are enough.

I am at rest.

Your Beloved

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 33: Heaven on My Mind

“For surely there is a hereafter…” Proverbs 23:18

Heaven is on my mind, but so is Earth, and the life that I am leading, while I walk this earth.

In less than a month, my first grandchild will make his inaugural appearance on this spinning planet, and I care deeply, that my life will make an impact on him for eternity.

Fifteen years ago his grandfather left this earth, never to know this sweet baby boy that I will soon have the privilege to coo over, and yet, I have the hope that the legacy of the grandfather will live on in the grandson.

I am reading through the Proverbs in my daily time of study, and today came across the following scripture:

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her who bore you rejoice.

Proverbs 23: 24-25

Immediately, I underlined the passage and scrawled the date, and these words, “For my Grandson,” and as I did, my heart knew the perfect way to share this blessing with him in a lasting and impactful way. I walked to my bookshelf, and pulled a beautifully bound edition of the wilderness stories of Jack London. I opened the cover to reveal the sepia tinged paper and inscribed the scripture on the title page along with the following message:

My dearest first born grandson-

This book belonged to your Grandpa Darren, and was a favorite of his.
Your mother remembers the stories from her childhood,
May you enjoy the adventure as well.
You are a precious gift of God, designed for a beautiful purpose.
I look forward to watching you grow.
Be wise my grandson.
I love you,

Grammie Stacey

My Father in Heaven,

Your name is truly holy! I am so thankful for this little life that You are bringing to my daughter and my son in law. How I ask that You will somehow use my life to help raise this little boy into a godly man, a man who will leave a legacy that will endure for generations, even as his grandfather, and even greater. May your will be done on this earth, in our lives, Lord, and to your glory.

Your Beloved

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 32: Treasures

“Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.”
Proverbs 24: 3-4

The day has slipped away again, swiftly, silently, like a star shooting through a midnight sky, causing me to blink and wonder if I saw it at all. My husband sleeps soundly in our bed, tired from the pre-dawn alarm that called him back to his first day of work in this New Year, and I too long to pull the downy comforter up over my ears. My soon to be a man of a son sits at his desk still pouring over his senior year studies, and my energetic pre-teen gets out of bed for yet another hug, a pretense, but still one I have trouble turning away.

Laundry still sits waiting to be folded; dishes wait patiently on the counter, asking to be tucked in the dishwasher. The tasks will be there tomorrow, and for that matter the next, as well. For now my thoughts run to the moments of my day that I hope will have a value that will last beyond the minute trajectory of my lifetime. I am searching the corners of my mind for the treasures, the “precious and pleasant riches”, and hoping I have filled my house to rafters with these shining wonders:

An I love you and a smile to my husband.

Ten minutes on the phone encouraging my daughter, as she puts her life in order to move across the country, as well as another hour spent talking to her older sister as she awaits the birth of her first child.

A ticket purchased to fly out to celebrate the birth of that sweet baby, my first grandson.

A little back scratching at bed-time, a silly lullaby, a kiss, a hug: acts of love.

A few sweet breaths leaning in the door jamb of my sons room, watching him work. A teasing comment, a smile, an apology for an earlier act of thoughtlessness.

Time spent on my knees praying for each and every member of this beautiful family that has been entrusted to me.

This is the wealth I seek. A moment invested wisely, a concern truly heard. A hug, a prayer, a kiss, a smile; time stopped so a memory can be painted on the heart of someone I love. May it be a priceless work of art, almost as beautiful as the canvas it is painted on.


How much energy I expend on caring for my home, and it is good, and worthy that I do so. Still I ask You these most important things: Fill me with wisdom, that I might be a builder, Give me understanding so that all that You enable me to build will be lasting, and Finally, fill me with the knowledge of You and your son that so I will have a heart and a home that are abundant with the pleasant and precious treasures that will create an inheritance of joy and peace for my children, their children, and all You bring into our lives.

Your Beloved (Sowing Seeds in Faith)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 31: Land of Lush Beauty

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

I rediscovered a familiar place that I love today, a place I have been unable to get to during the busyness of the holiday season, the illness that followed, and especially while I was digging the trenches to prepare the embattlement of my own rightness.

I first discovered this land of lush beauty, nearly two years ago on my honeymoon. My discovery came set against the blue skies and sparkling crystal waters of a tropical Caribbean paradise. Our days were to be filled with luscious island fruits, sailing to volcanoes still clouded with steam, and hiking trips that led us through botanical gardens that whispered of Eden. And there it happened: My 48 years of humanness collided soundly and irrevocably with my husband’s 53 years of the same disease. It could not be mistaken, like Adam and Eve, lips still wet from that first juicy bite, we saw each other as we really were…

In the months before my wedding, I had been reading through parts of the New Testament, and found myself praying fairly consistently that God would make me pure in heart. My motive, to the best of my own understanding was upright, and straight-forward. I simply had a desire to see God more clearly, in my life, in others, in creation, and truly, in ways I had never imagined. A friend and mentor calls this God-sightings, and she looks avidly each day for His presence evidenced in her life.

The choice of location for our honeymoon had been a gift to me. I alone had been given the final decision on where we would spend our days, and I chose an island that I had read of years before in my days as a scuba and travel writer; St. Lucia. First class seats were secured for much of our trip, and having only flown with this privilege one other time some 28 years before, I was delighted at the care and detail taken by my new husband in the planning of our trip. Still, just days into perfection, it seemed I could only see flaw in the planner, and began to allow my vision to cloud. Not only could I not see God, I could simply not see the wealth of beauty that surrounded me.

In my blindness, I felt a whisper:

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for she shall God, in her husband.”

The message was as transparent as the ocean beyond the balcony of my room. I would see Him the moment I opened my eyes and started to look around. I would see Him, in the imperfections that make my husband utterly perfect for me. I would see Him in the generosity of a man who simply wanted our first trip as husband and wife to be a memory of a lifetime. And as I open myself up to appreciate every good and perfect gift that surrounds me daily, I will see Him: In the smile of my children, the faithful words of a friend, the food on my table, and the crisp sound of the rain as it dances outside my window.

I have found my paradise again, that sweet taste of heaven He so richly offers me if I will but look, the land where my eyes fill with tears of joy, and my arms are compelled to embrace those around me. May I learn to live in the land, for truly, it is overflowing with glimpses of Him.

Lord of All Creation,

How sweet is the place that You have planned for me, if I will but look at the beauty of it, and dwell in the land. You are never far for me, oh even, when I am so distant from You. Teach me YOUR ways that I might walk in your disciplines, and always look with a diligent eye for your presence. May I see You, that my heart might be pure!

I love You,

Your Beloved

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 30: And Do Good

“Trust in the Lord and do good.” Psalm 37:3

Forty-eight hours of illness; body aches, headache, and a sinus infection followed by an upset stomach and then I awoke to a New Year. I drank a glass of orange juice to herald in the advent of another year I have been graciously given, and then continued on with the mental wrestling match I had been participating in prior to the onset of my fury of symptoms. Oh, the waste, and the general lack of gratitude that I have been letting rule my universe…and I am sorry. I am a stubborn one, and yet the Creator of all that is beautiful, and perfect, and worthy of praise, loves me, and still, I forget to trust Him. I am struggling with this common theme right now.

How simple it is for me to trust when all goes my way, but like a spoiled child, I do not want to trust when it is hard. And of course, I do not want to, for that very reason: because it is HARD!

His message to me is simple and straight forward:

Trust in Me, when all is beautiful, and do good.

But also:

Trust in Me, when someone has wronged you, and do good!
Trust in Me, when you have no idea what I have planned for you, and do good!
Trust in Me, when you are afraid of the future, and do good!

The trusting part can be so difficult, but to actually act in opposition to how I feel and do good? Impossible!

Except for Christ… How grateful I am that He is patient with me.

Merciful Father,

Forgive me for becoming entrenched in my own fear and stubbornness, so much so that I would not thank you for this new and amazing year, nor for all that You have done in my life over the past year. I am not worthy of your name, but ever so grateful for your grace and forgiveness. I start afresh with the sudden realization of every good and perfect gift You so continuously bestow on my life.

Your Grateful Beloved