Monday, June 27, 2016

The End of the Day

The evening has arrived in the land.  I hear the birds holding a very busy conversation.  One starts and another finishes, and I wonder what they may be saying.  As dusk encroaches on their banter, are they making plans to see each other tomorrow?  Are they finishing up their day's work before retiring until the sun breaks the twilight and rises from its sleep?

The crickets will soon take over the quiet of the still night air.  Their chirping will awaken the cicadas and an insect party will begin. The owl will fly and the animals of the night will begin their day.

And I will rest in the arms of my beloved once more, peaceful and unaware of the night games.

"The flowers are unfolding in the fields; the birds are warming up their songs, the cooing of the turtledove is heard throughout the land."  Song of Solomon 2:12 Voice

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Her Name is Morgan

Her name is Morgan Elizabeth Woods and she is captivatingly beautiful like her mother and older sister. I'm sure her eyes must be blue and clear and deep. Her hair is light brown and curly. Her nose is that sweet little nose that only babies have, and her lips are perfect. I imagine they speak intimate words to God all the time. The day her life began in heaven was a Monday.  Monday's child is fair of face. Yes, that's a sweet way to put it. Fair of face. 

She will never know earth and the beauty of a mountain sunset, or the sun rising over the ocean on a tropical isle. She won't know snowball fights, or competing in a swim meet. She will never have a bath or pull her hair up in a bow. She can't wear frilly dresses and highly shined patent leather shoes on ruffled socks. She won't feel her mother's caress or her father's kiss. She won't play games with her big sister. She'll never swear and she'll never lie, she'll never get caught up in the ways of the world. She went from the womb to heaven.

Each Mother's Day I post something for those Moms that have lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, hours or days old, or abortion. I always emphasize that they are Moms, even if there was no other pregnancy in their lifetime. You can read one of those posts here

This year, I know what it is like to not meet a grandchild.  I try not to use the term 'lost a baby', because we never lost her, we know exactly where she is - in Heaven, playing with and worshipping the only One she has ever known - Jesus Himself. She was not born, and she didn't die. There is no birth certificate and death certificate, only Morgan Elizabeth Woods, daughter, 21 March 2016.  She was 28 weeks along, 2lbs 13oz, and 16" long when she decided to spend her 'life' with Jesus. She chose to live for eternity instead of being born into a corrupt and sin-filled world.

The fear and pain we felt was tremendous. Our daughter's placenta had separated from her uterus and she hemorrhaged.  Her own life was in grave danger, and here we were almost 500 miles away. The feeling of helplessness was overwhelming.  Although the doctor tried to give Morgan life that day, his efforts were futile. We called our Pastors and asked for some prayer and counseling before we began our long, trusting God-filled ride from Central Texas to Southern Arkansas. We spoke for almost two hours and they filled us up, and gave us encouragement and reminded us that God has a purpose for everything, whether we understand it or not. They comforted us and told us that they were always available to help.

Mary was in ICU and then transferred to Little Rock ICU, three hours away. She was given more blood, plasma, platelets, and saline than I ever knew the body could hold. She was in a good place being well taken care of, and was able to come home on Easter Sunday! Just as our Savior rose that day, so did our hearts soar that He chose that particular day to remind us that life is everlasting for those who believe.

It is heartbreaking to not hold a child you looked forward to knowing. Everyday from when we found out Mary was pregnant, my husband and I each wrote in the book I wrote for her and her three year old daughter, Makayla.  Dear Child of Mine is a devotional for pregnant women to read out loud over their unborn baby. There are 141 different devotions from week 6, Day 1 until Week 41, Day 2, and finally You Are Here! Each day has lines for the mother or grandmother to write her own thoughts and prayers for the baby she being carried.  We wanted this baby to know her grandparents, so we wrote in our own copy each day.

Morgan will never read those words, but they are there for Mary and her husband to read and remember how much Morgan was loved and how much we couldn't wait for her arrival. I wrote funny things, and my husband always called her, 'Little One.'  I hope our words give them comfort for years down the road.

I wish my daughter a Happy Mother's Day from the bottom of my heart.  My Mary has suffered a loss only a mother could feel. I only wish I could take all her pain away.  She is a wonderful Mom to Makayla, and one day she will once again see Morgan.  She will be that beautiful child with the light brown curly hair and cute nose who will be standing with Jesus with a big smile on her face!  She will know Mary, and Mary will recognize her immediately! 

I thank God for His goodness and love.  I thank Him that Morgan's life touched ours, that it was not for nothing. The excitement we felt at another grandbaby was joyful!  I smile even now remembering it. I still smile, although I won't hold her in this world, because I know I will hold her in the next.

For all you Moms that have felt the stabbing pain of not watching your precious child grow up, rest assured that they are in excellent hands, those of our Creator.  They are more alive than we are, and will be forever more! Whether you didn't know your baby or grandchild because of miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, you will someday, if you have become born again. So smile in your heart and know that they are in the midst of love so beautiful and strong there are no human words to describe it.

I wish you all a very Happy Mother's Day, and I wish you love and comfort and peace. Your baby is alive!  God bless you and keep you close to His heart. Rely on Him for your answers.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Just Call!

I wasn't paying attention; I took my eyes off the Lord because things were going well.  Then, like Peter, all that supported me caved in and I collapsed into the sea of despair.

I hadn't lost faith, I lost sight! I forgot to grasp my life preserver when I ventured out. Life had been going 'my way' and I never noticed myself drifting.  I blamed everyone but myself for my misery. I even shied away from my Savior, feeling totally unworthy of His love and forgiveness.

But then like Peter I shouted, "Lord, save me!" and a strong and loving hand grasped mine and pulled me out of the abyss I was in and held me close to His heart.  He said He loved me, even now! Always had and always will, in spite of my failures.

So if you find yourself sinking, just call out for Him.  He won't let you drown.

"And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him."  Matthew 15:31a NKJV

From:  From My Heart to Yours by Deirdre Tolhurst

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Move Forward!

There are days I am not sure about how to get through a situation.  Do I move forward, even if I don't have all the answers I think I need, or do I wait until I am confident success is ringing my doorbell?

I have learned that in my moments of uncertainty I must remember that God has already been there and seen me through.  I must take that deep breath and release my anxieties with it, and move my feet forward.

Where He has already gone, I must follow.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight."  2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

From:  From My Heart to Yours by Deirdre Tolhurst

Saturday, March 5, 2016

All Creation Knows

I am sitting in the cool of the morning.  My only company is God and His creations.  There is a hawk flying around.  He catches the stiff breeze and glides so smoothly!  I know what he's doing--he's laughing and playing in the wind.  This moment is his gift from God to enjoy.  He isn't hunting; he's dancing and praising his Creator.

Two hummingbirds dart over to me, quickly stop and then off they go, playing tag and praising God.

The tall trees dance for Him, and the sound of their leaves rustling are nature's hallelujah! And I am compelled to join them, so I lift my arms in worship, and with tears of surrender and love, give thanks and sing, 'How Great Thou Art!'

Oh how He loves us! If you have eyes, see!  If you have ears, hear! All creation knows the Lord!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Be More Childlike

When my little granddaughter doesn't want something, whether it is certain foods, going to bed, or meeting someone, her first reaction is to turn away from what she doesn't want in her life with such a frenzy while saying, "I don't want it!"  She will not look at the person or thing as if repulsed by it.  Sometimes my cajoling only makes her cry harder.

There are many things in my life that I don't want as well--anger, fear, doubt, and temptation.  Especially temptation to do all those things!  Why can't I be like her--a two-year old who only wants to be at peace.  Satan has had many years to cajole me, and along the way he has deceived me into seeing things his way.  It's more fun to hang out with cool people than godly ones, or to agree that some people aren't worth loving, or it's okay to be mad, healthy even!  Lord, help me to turn away in disgust from the temptation to sin.  Help me to turn my back on what doesn't bring me peace.

"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 18:3 NIV

From From My Heart to Yours by Deirdre Tolhurst

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Best is Yet to Come!

On those days when life seems to be getting the best of you, when all your attempts at success seem to be less than you desire, and failure looms like an albatross around your neck, remember that it is in your weakness that you gain your strength.

If not for those times when you fall on your face, how would grace be able to lift you up to see a new achievement? How dull your life would be if you remained stagnant, never moving ahead!

So look at your trials as building blocks of faith.  Look at what you have learned, and remain steadfast. This too shall pass, but you will have grown in faith and strength, God's warrior, no longer afraid of the battle!  Onward, mighty Christian soldier!  Your heavenly reward is great!

"That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."  2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV