Hugs from Heaven
It’s a beautiful spring day. The temperature is perfect, not too warm and not too cool. I came outside to try and see if my mama’s hummingbirds had made it back this year, but my eyelids felt so heavy, I had to close my eyes.
Oh, the sounds of God’s creation. The sunshine brings out the most beautiful sounds from nature. It’s as if a new song is being composed as I listen. The beat is rhythmic, slow, and steady. It reminds me of our breath, when we are breathing as we are meant to. Inhale, 2, 3, 4; Hold, 2, 3, 4; Exhale 2, 3, 4.
There are two birds in the distance that seem to be vying for a soloist spot, but they wind up performing one of the most incredible duets ever. The rest of the birds in the neighborhood chime in like the perfect backup singers.
The wind blows gently, cooling my skin and playing a tune of its own on the many windchimes hanging on my back porch. The rustling of the wind through the palm leaves is incredibly soothing and the sun’s warmth on my face is like beautiful wrapping on the best gift ever. It feels like a sweet hug from Heaven, and I can’t imagine it getting any better.
But wait, what’s THAT sound? Is that a humming sound coming from the direction of the hummingbird feeder that hangs outside my mom’s old window? Could it be?
Yes!!! I opened my eyes to see that the first hummers of the season have arrived as if right on cue. I’m quite sure that some are my mom’s old friends, including her favorite blue/green little guy with the ruby throat. He and his friends look incredibly comfortable and familiar.
Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll make sure they always have plenty of fresh food. We miss you here on earth, but I’m thrilled you are now watching the show from the best vantage point ever!
My day, my week has been made. *Happy sigh.*
Friends, if you are stressed at all, I hope you will go outside and just drink it all in, if for only a few minutes. It’s almost physically impossible to be stressed and out of sorts when you let God and nature fill your soul and senses.
We are blessed.
Amen and Ehmen.
Joy for the Generations
As I walked along with my one-year-old granddaughter today, I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude. I am so thankful that God chose me, first, to be my baby girl’s mama and now this baby girl’s grandmama.
I see little pieces of many generations all melded together into one beautiful work of art. Each time I see the twinkle in her sparkling blue eyes and the joy that fills the room every time she smiles or giggles, I see the perfect blend of all the goodness of all the generations who came before her, all wrapped into one little bitty joy-filled package.
It makes me sad to know that, in this broken world that just continues to get more and more broken, it won’t be long before the enemy tries to snatch the joy from her. But, as her grandmother and a Christian, I pledge to do my part to help teach her that the joy of the Lord has nothing to do with what happens around us. In fact, the joy of the Lord abounds despite what happens. Hard stop. Read that again. The joy of the Lord abounds despite what happens.
Let me keep it real, though. Unfortunately, I’m not walking around emanating joy 24/7. I’m still a work in progress, too. I don’t always succeed at feeling or expressing the joy of the Lord when bad things have happened. Trust me, our family has had our fair share over the generations, and I used that as an excuse to not draw closer to God for many years.
Thankfully, though, He makes a way to bring good out of whatever evil throws at us. He never gives up on us and that means He never leaves us. I have seen this so many times in my own life and that is why I am a full, devoted believer of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I need to experience things personally, and, mercifully, the Lord understands that and obliges. But it’s also good to take His Word for it to begin with.
The Bible says in its very first chapter, in Genesis 50:20, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”
And, in Romans, 8:28, His Word says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good for those that love Him, to those that are called according to His purpose.”
Trusting the Words in scriptures such as these is what brings us the Joy of the Lord; an unyielding joy that
radiates from us, just like it does my one-year-old granddaughter; a joy not dependent on circumstances.
Lord, I praise your patience with me as I learn from and grow in Your Word and in the Holy Spirit. Thank you for never giving up on us and for pursuing each of us as if we were the only person on the planet. And thank you for the beautiful gift of family, children and grandchildren. May You always remain at the center of our lives and may Your joy follow us throughout our generation and the generations to come.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen and Ehmen.
Going All In
It’s amazing how many times and how many ways the Holy Spirit tries to get our attention. But, what’s more astounding, is the lengths some of us will often go to ignore Him.
Sometimes He whispers and sometimes it’s as if He is standing on the runway of life, trying everything to wave us down and get us to the right place. But how do we often respond? If you are like me, you sometimes look the other way and then come up with every excuse in the book for your state of total oblivion.
“Sorry, I didn’t see you,” you say, knowing full well both of you know that’s a lie from the pit of hell.
“I don’t have time right now,” you whine, knowing deep down that His timing is always perfect.
And, sometimes, you question Him or, worse yet, just downright ignore Him
We’re human. We all do it at some point. Some of us, more than others. But we are warned, this is a very dangerous practice, particularly when we do it for too long. For, if we do it too long, our hearts can become hard of hearing.
I cannot imagine forever living without the two-way communication we get when we accept Jesus and His Holy Spirit comes to reside in us. What comfort there is in knowing that we are never alone. No matter what is going on around us, He is there to guide us and give us wisdom, to protect us, to comfort us and to empower us to share our God-given talents and gifts with the people of the world so that they, too,
can see Him through us; so that they, too, will want to partake in the joy and power that comes from knowing Him.
In being completely transparent, I have been very sporadic in allowing the Holy Spirit to fully guide me during the tumultuous parts of my story that have unfolded over the past few years. Don’t get me wrong here, though, He has been with me every step of the way during this time, comforting me and giving me everything I need. Thankfully, no matter where we are, He is always all-in with us. The real beauty happens when we are all in, too!
This morning, as I breathe in all the peace and love that He has to offer me, I desire to bring myself to that same all-in status. I want to hear and feel every word He has for me; I want to embrace every bit of direction; every bit of promise and light and hope and joy and love.
Stop with me for a moment. Turn off all screens, close your eyes and breathe Him in. His breath is healing and full of abounding energy. It is rhythmic and melodious like a beautiful symphony. What’s that I hear? Ahhhh, it’s the clock keeping time, synchronizing its rhythm too. Oh, and the sweet birds outside the window are joining in the chorus.
What do you hear?
Breathe. Breathe. He loves us so much. Thank you, Lord.
Amen and Ehmen.