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Seeing God in Action on An Ordinary Day

Poetry and PromisesFew things in life compare to seeing God in action on an ordinary day.

Of course, I knew it really wouldn’t be all that ordinary. Two years ago I was invited to lead a writing workshop during a Heartstrings Day Retreat for mothers who have felt the gut wrenching loss of a child. So when they invited me back this year, I knew the blessings that awaited, or so I thought.

Two years ago, a woman walked through the doors of this day retreat feeling uncertain if she’d made the right decision. She didn’t know anyone and the sudden loss of her adult daughter had left her feeling raw and vulnerable. I’d met her once through a mutual friend so I watched out for her and we sat together through the large group meeting and the lunch that followed. She was polite but a bit withdrawn, which was understandable.

Heartstrings Day Retreat

Thank you for sharing this photo, Kathy Elrod.

Soon after the 2014 retreat, this woman was diagnosed with cancer. We stayed in contact over the years so I was especially delighted to hear that she would be returning to this year’s retreat. I arrived first and saved her a seat beside me, like I’d done two years ago. I searched for her in the crowd but had trouble recognizing her due to her massive weight loss. She looked great, and even though she was admittedly tired, there was a joy about her I’d not seen two years ago. During our conversation, she shared how she is now cancer free. {Thank You, Jesus!} I told her I’d saved a seat for her, pointing to the table. She smiled, and said, “I hope you don’t mind, but there’s a women who is here for the first time and she’s sitting beside the place where I put my things. I think she could use someone to talk to.” And there it was⎯God in action.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 (emphasis mine)

Which reminds me of a beautiful poetic promise, found in Psalm 94:17-19:

Unless the LORD had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
When I said, “My foot is slipping.”
Your love, O LORD, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.

Heartstrings Day Retreat

Beautiful in every way.

She remembered how it felt two years ago to sit in a chair that felt awkwardly comfortable. Comfortable in that she knew she was surrounded by other women who understood her pain, and yet awkward because she didn’t know anyone. And now, God is using her to comfort someone else in the same way. I could barely fight back the tears as I made my way back to the table, happily removing my “this place is saved for someone” purse, making it available to another woman.

Seeing God at work on an ordinary day makes it anything but ordinary.
In fact, it’s quite extraordinary.

 

How about you? Can you remember one moment when time stood still as you marveled God at work right before your eyes? Celebrate that moment here by sharing it with us in the comment section. Thank you in advance!

Further Reading: Week 1, When Poetry and Promises Mingle

The beautiful artwork used for my Poetry and Promises graphic is courtesy of Ann Marie Bone. Please visit her Facebook fan page to connect with her and to see more of her amazing work.Thank you so much, Ann.

If you live in Upstate SC and would like to learn more about the Heartstrings Ministry, please leave a comment and I’ll be happy to connect you with Jan James and her amazing team. Or perhaps you’re interested in learning how to start your own support group for grieving mothers where you live. Please leave a comment. I know Jan would be happy to share what she’s learned from her experience.

The Fragrance of a Faithful Walk

by Cathy Baker

A mother whose teenage son is battling cancer but relentlessly clings to her faith, giving God glory in all things.

A US pastor, Saeed Abedini, has now been in an Iranian prison for two-and-a-half -years. He suffers from prolonged internal injuries from beatings and recently witnessed his six fellow inmates be executed, and yet he holds fast to his Christian faith. (Click here to sign the petition for his release.)

Weary parents of four who recently had a baby and welcomed another in need to their home, volunteer to help watch a room full of restless children so other parents can celebrate Good Friday services. 

When I see Christ followers living out what they believe on a consistent basis, joy takes hold of my soul like spring tendrils clinging to worn wood. This 3 John 1 kind of joy can’t help but refresh and revive us!

It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.  
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:3,4

Consider the last time a fellow Christ follower’s consistency in living out truth made you rejoice. What if we all contacted the person who just came to mind and shared why the simple mention of their name evokes such joy within us?

And finally, the hard question…

Is my walk consistent with truth (albeit not perfect) to the point that it would cause someone else to rejoice? 

Sharing Life Together…One Sip At A Time

Welcome! 

Please pull up a chair, make yourself comfy, and I’ll pour us a cuppa tea. 

I wish we could physically sit across such a table together, but since most of us cannot, I created a tea time on Tuesday’s for our summer months. As mentioned in last week’s post, I’ll be the first to say there is no replacement for Bible study in a Christ-followers life. Another vital part of our walk is making a continuous low droning sound while sitting in a certain position meditating on His Word by taking a morsel of scripture, praying about it, and pondering its meaning for our lives. It’s something we’ll do together each week.

So, let the tea time begin! How was your weekend? I hope it overflowed with hellos, joyous moments and rich times with the Lord. I have to admit that ours was a difficult one as we buried my cousin’s twenty-one year old son, a rising senior at The Citadel. 

Today’s scripture came to mind soon after learning of my cousin’s loss while posting a prayer request for her on a private Facebook group. This isn’t just any group but one composed of women I recently had the privilege of meeting while leading a Writing to Heal workshop. It was part of a day retreat for mother’s who’ve lost children of any age. (I wrote about it here.) These women wholeheartedly live out today’s verse.

Heavenly Father, stir our hearts now as we pause, catch our breath, and concentrate on You and Your Word. Thank You that Your Word is active, living, wielding great power and penetrating our hearts with truth. Help us to receive and walk in this truth. Amen.

This week’s morsel of truth that we’re praying will steep deeply into our heart and mind:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who
comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort
those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we
ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

Now, let’s choose one word, or a few, we can “sip” on throughout this week. Jot it down on an index card or sticky note and place it in a visible spot. Let’s ask the Lord to show us why this one particular word or phrase may stand out to us at this particular time in our lives.

My words for this week are “so that.” Two simple words convey that God never wastes a trembling lower lip, a wash of tears, or a secret scar buried beneath a smile. He is never caught off guard. For me, I saw this truth lived out after my second divorce by the age of 27. Since then, God has given me countless opportunities to come alongside other women who are contemplating leaving their husband or those crushed by the weight of rejection. Only God can transform our difficult circumstances, and the journey that ensues, into a glorious gift to others so that they might benefit from the same comfort we ourselves once received.

Write down one tangible way you can “pour” yourself into another this week, based on the word(s) chosen above, if possible.

Did you enjoy our time together as much as I did? Feel free to leave a comment to continue the conversation. 🙂 Blessings!

Tea Tips: Interested in knowing how to brew a great cup of tea? Twinings is a great place to start. 

If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
if you are depressed, it will cheer you;
if you are excited, it will calm you.
-William Ewart Gladstone
Tiny House on the Hill

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