Only three weeks and counting, yet my husband and I have been longing and aching this day for months.
From the calendar of our hearts a save the date has been sent to reserve a couple’s corner of heaven every year for the past twenty-nine.
Twenty-nine years ago this weekend was celebrated as Sweetest Day.
Twenty-nine years ago this weekend was also celebrated as our Wedding Day. Every year following, our anniversary has been cherished and honored as the sweetest day the Lord has blessed two people head over heels in love with.
Love is a gift we never want to take for granted.
Hence, we return to the place where our love began and plan this homecoming year after to year, watching the delicate bud of our lives together become a rose of splendor in our watering with time, patience, intentional acts of kindness and prayer.
A few minutes ago, my husband sent me these roses of words regarding our anniversary, not knowing I was also gathering a basket full of roses for him in my words. There’s just something special about this quaint little town whose hospitality wraps their arms around us as old friends.
It’s the gift we give to ourselves.
It’s what we do for us. An old fashion cottage overlooking the lake and the center of attention throughout our anniversary weekend, whose waves and playlist of music will lull to sleep or serenade us honeymooners for life.
Hand in hand wherever we go, though barefoot along the shore in wait for the tide to rush our feet, or side by side we sit in quiet as the sun nods off for sleep.
Time has been good to us.
Though time has aged and refined itself thru our mirrored reflections, our love has stood the test of time and anchored us during the most turbulent of times, remaining strong as the three-stranded cord not easily broken.
Every year our anniversary hearts leave behind a sand message written for those passing by after us, inspiring hope to those who may have given up on true love for themselves. Such is the power of the written word.
Much like the arrows which pierced my heart through the words from a Valentine card my husband gave me early on in our relationship.
When I think about our future, I just have to smile because I know We still have so much more to look forward to In our real life dream come true.
With David’s handwritten sentiment…
To love you is to live. I love you forever.
Wedding anniversaries are a couple’s homecoming to remember when God set aflame His love in two hearts intertwined as one.
Every anniversary we unwrap the gift of marriage we were blessed to have been given by our Almighty God and thank Him for another year together.
Anniversaries take us back to our wedding day at the altar, remembering the words a bride and groom vowed to each other as a lifelong covenant between these two.
Enclosed is an excerpt of my wedding vows to my husband David from twenty-nine years ago to remind myself…
You fit the mold He made for me, He found the perfect choice. How my heart does skip a beat, Just hearing your sweet voice.
So tender are the words you speak, The meaning they impart. Your eyes illuminate my soul, And ravish through my heart.
Because of this I want to give, To you my everything. I want to live my life with you, From summer though the spring.
I count it all but blessed joy, A privilege for me. To know and serve your every need, Though times you may not see.
For you I’ll burn a lasting flame, It’s warmth will be my love. If you would ever feel a chill, These words remind me of.
We’ve been celebrating all summer long in great anticipation for our twenty-ninth wedding anniversary getaway to Our Place.
I remember being that inquisitive young girl with my grandmother, asking her question after question about love and courting back in her day.
What an heirloom to pass on through the generations; a love story continuing in the chapters of your children’s lives, your grand-children and the greats beyond them.
Matters of the heart are timeless through the centuries of calendars, as we’re all looking for love to share our lives with; it’s just the specifics which date the romance.
Recalling one indelible detail I held onto from those conversations with my grandmother regarding her courtship with Papa, she recounted how he flirted for her attention by riding pass the window on horseback, while shooting his rifle in the afternoon air.
What a keepsake in my hope chest of memories, if only I had taken the time to record my grandmother’s accounts in its entirety on paper.
I didn’t want to make the same mistake with our love story, as stories are those sacred pages written in the family Bible, the history of our lineage documenting the faithfulness of God for the generations beyond our life to take comfort in, to hold onto, to mine the wisdom and believe for themselves when their hearts begin their travels of looking for love.
I was twenty-eight years old and looking for love.
Newly single and a mother of two young children, I was looking for love, but didn’t want to find love in all the wrong places, as my two year old daughter and seven year old son’s future depended on me while I depended on God with the matters of my heart for their sake, as well as mine.
I wish I could have held the hand of the twenty-eight year old version of me during those lonely evenings when the children slept, and uplift her continence to remember, this too shall pass.
I would reassure her that Valentine’s Day won’t always be celebrated seated at a table for one.
I would remind her in this painful separation from love…
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart… Psalms 34:18 NKJV
I would shower her with hope for the new beginnings God has already planned for the three of them.
Although not to overwhelm, I would save the part of the five year wait ahead of her,
Instead, I’d bring a mother’s comfort in the wait she currently endures,
But those who wait on the Lord, Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings of eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and be faint. Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
It was in the waiting where I struggled most.
With my love language being quality time, I longed to share my life with someone wanting the same.
In looking for love, a tug of war with God over the reins of my heart was a constant struggle, yet peace waited for me in my surrender to His control.
In looking for love, somehow I believed I knew what was God’s best according to me,
and wrote about it during the fourth year of my wait, on March 7, 1993.
GOD’S BEST ACCORDING TO ME By Lori A Alicea
As I sit and ponder, And search to see. What truly is God’s best, According to me.
It all comes to mind, In my quiet place. I begin to know him, And sense his face.
He’d have a beard, Kept up each week. To be ever soft, Against my cheek.
He’d stand so straight, But not too tall. And have arms of strength, To protect us all.
He’d enjoy the laughter, And enjoy the peace. And enjoy it with measure, That never would cease.
He’d be so excited, About the children I’ve known. And would treasure their being, And make them his own.
He’d be the likeness of Christ, And bear his name. And be the priest of our home, Just the same.
He’d cover me with prayer, At the start of each day. And I’d feel his compassion, By the words he’d say.
And more important than ever, More important to me. Would be his race towards Jesus, And the heavenly.
And all this is beautiful, What a dream he’d be But this is only God’s best, According to me.
My thoughts are so limited, And ideas so few. And all this together, Would not be dreams come true.
For just as the heavens, Are higher than the earth. So are His ways far greater, In value and in worth.
For it is he that knows my desires, For only he can see. What truly is His best, For me.
And even though on paper, My special needs I state. I must allow the matchmaker, To select my mate.
Another year of waitingon God and with God still remained.
In looking for love, God longed to reveal His heart of love to me before I shared my heart with another.
…God is love. 1 John 4:8 NJKV
“Why did this journey take five years?
I will have to ask God someday when we meet face to face, as the answers haven’t yet been revealed.
But I must confess this five year quest in looking for love developed in me “a strength and confidence” in God I had never known before.
This was so worth the wait.
A wait and our complete love story written in this former blog titled…
SO WORTH THE WAIT
By Lori A Alicea
TRUE LOVE WAITS.
True love “waits on God” for His perfect best, for however long it takes.
True love “trusts in God” the steps he’s planned for your journey, resisting the lead when guided thru the “wrong way appearances” of the back roads.
True love “believes in God” that He hasn’t forgotten you during the lonely hours spent by yourself.
True love “rests in God” no matter our tears as He notices and collects them all in a bottle where not one is lost, recording this in His book of remembrance. (Psalm 56:8 TPT)
True love waits.
Waiting though is easier said than done.
As a single mom of two I never imagined a five year wait for “God’s best in marriage.”
Twenty-eight years old and starting over again was never my plan, nor was it God’s plan. Nevertheless, I am a “lady in waiting” for the second time.
I must confess the countless lies I believed regarding who would want me and my ready-made family. God reminded me over and over though the double blessing His “hand-picked man” would receive bringing all three of us into his life.
For most of the time I didn’t sense the loneliness of my life surrounded by sisters, a great family, church, a few dear friends and all my time filled with the responsibilities of raising two small children.
During the summer months most days on my calendar were filled with Little League. It helped having somewhere to go at night and on weekends, at least for the summer.
School and shift work kept me exhausted but I always saved a reserve of my time, energy and love for that little girl and boy who needed me to be present in their day. We had to go on and God would want us to enjoy life and be thankful in all things.
Holidays were the hardest though, especially at Christmas. I found joy in the decorated trees trimmed with bright lights and sparkle. I loved the Christmas music played on every station. I found warmth beside the fireplaces lit for the ambiance of the season. I too shopped and baked and hid those gifts under the tree. But I wasn’t sending out Christmas cards from the “two of us”. I didn’t share a kiss with anyone under the mistletoe. When you’re not a couple at Christmas you feel like that burnt out strand of lights that went dim on the tree. People aren’t watching, but in your loneliness you just imagine that they are.
Year after year when the New Year’s Eve clock counted down to midnight, I held on to the promises of God that this year might be different.
GOD’S WORD KEPT ME HOPEFUL AS HE IS FAITHFUL
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; Psalms 130:5
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desiresofyourheart. Psalm 37:4
One day I decided to write God the “desires of my heart”. These desires surely pale in comparison to His Best, but these words longed to give a voice to my heart.
GOD’S BEST ACCORDING TO ME Written March 7, 1993, One year before God’s Big Reveal
By Lori A Alicea
As I sit and ponder,
And search to see.
What truly is God’s best,
According to me.
It all comes to mind,
In my quiet place.
I begin to know him,
And sense his face.
He’d have a beard,
Kept up each week.
To be ever soft,
Against my cheek.
He’d stand so straight,
But not too tall.
And have arms of strength,
To protect us all.
He’d enjoy the laughter,
And enjoy the peace.
And enjoy it with measure,
That never would cease.
He’d be so excited,
About the children I’ve known.
And would treasure their being,
And make them his own.
He’d be the likeness of Christ,
And bear his name.
And be the priest of our home,
Just the same.
He’d cover me with prayer,
At the start of each day.
And I’d feel his compassion,
By the words he’d say.
And more important than ever,
More important than me.
Would be his race towards Jesus,
And the heavenly.
And all this is beautiful,
What a dream he’d be.
But this is only God’s best,
According to me.
My thoughts are so limited,
And ideas so few.
And all this together,
Would not be dreams come true.
For just as the heavens,
Are higher than the earth.
So are His ways far greater,
In value and in worth.
For it is he that knows my desires,
For only he can see.
What truly is his best,
And even though on paper,
My special needs I state.
I must allow the matchmaker,
To select my mate.
God is a personal God.
He cares about our thoughts and desires.
One year later
When you least expect, God shows up on the scene of our life.
In our waiting, may we wait with EXPECTANCY.
Be ever confident that God hears and answers our prayers.
And SUDDENLY God shows Himself faithful
By SHOWING up with His Best for my life.
IN A SUDDENLY MOMENT – LIFE HAS NEW MEANING
Song “Suddenly” by Billy Ocean
Video Courtesy of Brad Ebert
As wonderful as this “dream come true” appears, I’m mortified to say I almost MISSED and PASSED UP the best blessing of my life in David when I questioned God and his choice. How dare me but I did. Everyone in my life, especially my pastor, was aghast at my indecision.
God reveals His best after five years of waiting on Him yet I fought an inner battle waged on myself whether I could receive this amazing man into my life as well as my children’s.
Faith required me to believe what eyes couldn’t see.
My trust in God required blind eyes walking.
Another song of my heart is written.
The War of My Own Will
By Lori A. Alicea
I toss and turn and try to sleep,
The night it seems so long.
I try and figure out myself,
To see what might be wrong.
But harder that I make it seem,
This mountain or this hill.
I know I’m fighting deep inside,
A war of my own will.
I see things as I know I should,
I hear His guiding voice.
But oh the path I’d rather take,
The trails of my own choice.
It all just seems so right to me,
The pieces I make fit.
But why can’t I rest peaceably,
And sleep a little bit.
The answers that He has for me,
No doubt will be all right.
But war of my own will goes on,
I can’t give up the fight.
My fight with Him will have to stop,
But who will have to die.
Though all along this fight is with,
One, Me, Myself and I.
He never makes me eat His will,
The restaurant is free.
This gentleman just holds the door,
And only waits for me.
I feel this way as others have,
I know I’m not alone.
For His own Son did feel the same,
His will He did make known.
For in Gethsemane He prayed,
In sorrow He did spake.
If it is possible for me,
This cup I plea you take.
The troubled Son was overwhelmed,
His face fell to the ground.
But in the midst of darkest times,
No chains would make Him bound.
For He did yield His life to Him,
To save the life of mine.
When with His lips He spoke these words,
“Yet not My will but Thine”.
To be like Him, the war would end,
The peace that would be still.
The only words my Father wants,
From me is, “Yes I will”.
After much prayer and repentance, I’m at peace to embrace a new chapter in our life.
Two months after our first date on Valentine’s Day, David and I became engaged and married eight months later on October 15, 1994.
Becoming a family of six, blending lives and hearts meant years of God touching and healing our brokenness in discovery of a new beginning for all of us.
God is so good and faithful.
You can trust Him.
During the lonely five years of my wait and wonder,
God was writing our love story.
I couldn’t see it.
I couldn’t imagine it.
But in the silence God was singing a song on our behalf.
He was preparing our new beginning.
We just had to wait for it with great expectancy.
9 “What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[a]—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV
David my love,
YOU WERE SO WORTH THE WAIT
28 YEARS LATER
We are still Living Happily Ever After
SOME WEDDING FUN
Twenty-eight years ago bride and grooms couldn’t afford the high cost of videographers; our wedding included. David and I just wanted to get married. All the extras came as love gifts from the hearts of family and friends.
Our sweet nephew Adam, all of twelve at the time, blessed us greatly when on his own initiative visited guest after guest at the reception to record wedding wishes from them to us with a hand-held recording device called a Talkboy.
Listening to these well wishes the “old fashioned” way, I captured a few of them for our delight as parents cherish hearing their children’s voices from twenty-four years ago. Included are a few family members as well.
Have grace for the misgivings of old technology.
Our nephew Adam / Well Wishing Recorder
Daughter Candace’s Well Wishes
Son Jake’s Well Wishes
Daughter Audra’s Well Wishes
(I guess I’m an aunt now…lol)
Son Nathan (No Well Wish Recorded)
Nephew Adam / Well Wish Recorder
Nephew Adam / Recorder stopped any Well Wish that wasn’t PG rating with this:
Nephew Adam / Recorder even got comments from the little ones
The double doors of 2022 are soon to be drawn and the lights will dim to darkness on the past twelve months of our lives.
Standing still in the doorway while looking over my shoulder one final time as the past three-hundred and sixty-five days of the calendar bid their good-by, I find it a gift to close my eyes and seal into memory the joys and the sorrows, the victories and the trials, the wins and the defeats, the highlights and the lowlights; remembering after retracing the steps of another year, I traveled not alone, but with Immanuel, God with us.
When the clock strikes midnight to a brand new year, and celebrations all around the world transform into snow globes of confetti and balloons; yes, there’ll be cheers, hugs and kisses around the room to those which we love in great hopes of new beginnings; and after those years which proved to be difficult, we all can believe and hope, can’t we?
Which is why when the unknowns of our itineraries are handed out for the year with the mountains still standing before us, as do the valleys, the road blocks, the detours and finish lines; we fear not because we forget not, we travel with Immanuel, God with us.
Peering thru the Christmas windows of my life in 2021, and continuing into the hallways of the New Year’s festivities of 2022, I had to fight feeling alone when I was sick and by myself during the holiday month of December and into January, with my husband fighting for his life in the hospital alone.
The calendar reminded me about dinner during Christmas that year of 2021, where our children and grandchildren should have been seated around the table with us. Yet God was with us still and took his seat around each of our tables, regardless of the miles which separated them.
God was with us during those weeks of telephone calls, midnight text messages, groceries left at the doorstep and grandchildren peering thru my Christmas windows with their smiles of cheer.
Yes, we celebrate God in the good times because our memories dare not forget, and bring to our remembrance His nearness against our tears in the difficult ones.
There were tidings of great joy this Christmas of 2022 when David and I found our seat at the holiday dinner table once again. While our December season together has been a winter wonderland of ornaments and white lights in every room of our house, there have been moments when we’d shake the snow globe blizzard from a year ago in our conversations, though counting and naming our blessings thru the valley with Immanuel, God with us.
My calendar of 2023 is a blank slate where God will begin to pencil in divine appointments, opportunities for reaching neighbors, reminders to call that someone you’ve been putting off.
There’ll be fishing and sledding dates with our grandchildren regardless of Papa’s hip, craft time with my glue gun and glitter, coffee dates, cousin camp for those who still want to come, gym time with my circle of friends, and Friday night dates with my love.
Let’s not forget those hours set aside to dream new dreams and dust off old ones still vying for my attention, remembering also to reserve time with myself for pampering, resting and window shopping my goals.
Most of all, might my mornings be blocked and penciled in with appointments of prayer and reading his Word as God awaits us in the early hours of our tossing and turning and inability to sleep; His way of starting the coffee and setting an early table for two, where His presence is near, and sensed in the seat close beside…God with us.
Years ago, a set of railroad tracks ran east and west through the country acres we were living at the time, whose locomotive whistle called the little feet of boys and girls from the other end of the house down the runway of the hallway in screams of delight, dragging a kitchen chair to their window seat for the few short minutes this parade of train cars was passing through.
From the window view parade a child no doubt longs and wishes for a ride of adventure to the moon and back before their nap.
Adventures these little passengers have taken from those pages and chapters of books who’ve handed them their passports to experience the magic and wonder of the world at their fingertips.
From the window view, there’s a small child in me and probably each of us, waiting and standing in lines which seem to never move at times…
For stamps on our passport to summit our hopes; summit those dreams; summit the mountains to our answered prayers.
Until then, we find ourselves looking and waiting on God.
Waiting with a…
A constant look from the window view for our miracle…
A constant look from the window view for relief for our finances…
A look out the window view for our new direction…
A look out the window view for those things unspoken…
While God is not trapped nor bound by the boundaries of time, the calendar, the clock; we are encouraged to wait as He is a good father who keeps his promises forever.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 NIV
…He keeps every promise forever. Psalm 146:6 NLT
In our Bible we discover many also waited for the fulfillment of God’s promises in their lives.
Abraham waited twenty-five years for his son Isaac.
Abraham also waited four-hundred years for his land of inheritance.
And all those thousands of years we waited for the birth of our Lord Jesus beginning from the prophecy of Isaiah.
But yet, we wait by the window in hope as God keeps his promises forever.
God doesn’t forget the orphan child.
God remembers the widowed woman.
He’s aware of our existing lack…
He hears our silent cries at night…
He counts every fallen tear on our pillow.
He sees His children from the window view and blows them kisses…
Encouraging them to continue their adventures and experience the wonder of God’s promises through the pages of His Word at their fingertips.
While waiting well for their fulfillment from the window seat of their view.
You never realize how much you need the body of Christ until you find yourself quarantined behind the front door at Christmas.
Holiday festivities came to a halt two weeks ago and the Christmas rush ended before I even had time to pick up the last minute push.
Thankfully, all my decorating and shopping were done two weeks prior to Thanksgiving, but due to the circumstances behind the front door of December, the remnants of the holiday will be salvaged early January, though minus a bit of Christmas magic.
Hardships are put into perspective against the backdrop of those recent tornadoes which decimated complete towns, dreams, lives and any hope of Christmas.
So when I start to feel sorry for myself for the grandchildren and family I won’t be gathering around the dinner table with on December 25, I have to remember Christmas is an attitude of the heart, a child like faith that can be celebrated every day of the year.
‘Tis the season to count it all joy; the body of Christ has been the hands and feet of God these last two weeks outside our front door at Christmas.
You realize how grown-up your daughter has become over the years, showing up with grocery pick ups, video calls and bringing the grandchildren to smile at me through the front door window. Kissing their faces smeared against the glass, both begging me to open the door and let them in is almost too much to bear.
Even Santa took the time to lift our spirits, as grandson Ethan sat in his Texas lap while visiting his father.
I’m sending Mrs. Claus a thank you note for this one.
Our son ‘n love goes above and beyond by bringing us comfort things not on the list, things he believes might bring us joy during these hard times.
Our other children have been just as attentive with their gifts of chili, consistent calls of concern and care. We parents stand back and praise an almighty God for their maturity in honoring their parents when we need them most.
Such are the friends we’ve worshiped together with over the last thirty years who have stood outside our door as ambassadors of Christ, handing out hope during our hours most bleak.
You realize how blessed you are to have a Pastor who calls along side his wife who drips of true love in her encouragement.
How do I say thank you to the intercessory team who answers every text message with a powerful word of prayer.
Our life group leaders have stood closer than any brother; they are an extension of family and we can’t imagine not having them in our life.
David’s buddies have taken turns checking in on their friend; passing on the word to the other friends in their circle of influence.
My sisters have been an extension of our mother, reaching out in her simple ways had mom still walked this earth.
My older sister sends her heartfelt life verses taken from the trouble waters she’s navigated through the years, for which I find great comfort.
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth and delivers us out of our troubles. Psalms 34:17.
My younger sister’s compassion gift lines the bottom of our tree with all her heart can unload. Her generosity will never find her lacking in life with the seeds she has sown throughout the years.
Standing behind the front door at Christmas I look back and remember mother never complaining when the holidays found her behind closed doors herself.
Whatever God allowed and provided, mother seemed to capture the spirit of the season with her daughters looking on. But I only imagine when we left, a mother longed for Christmas in her own home, around her own tree with her kids and grandkids nearby.
Mother is my inspiration to harness the joy of Christ this Christmas, even with the remote possibility of David and me spending the holiday apart.
Then are the late night text messages dear friends send because they can’t sleep and want to inquire of us no matter the hour. Lord, thank you for friends who shoulder the burdens, lighten our load too heavy to carry alone.
My youngest granddaughter Cova appeared in my dream singing about the power of Jesus, for which I woke up thanking God for this small gift through her.
I opened the dearest Christmas gift just yesterday when the telephone rang. A dear friend hosting a holiday gathering called as a group to encourage me after I unknowingly encouraged them thru an old blog of mine, “Countdown to Christmas Miracle”, for which was read at their table.
Only you Lord could orchestrate this moment of surprise. You never realize the power of words, even words spoken years ago. God’s words through us never go out void.
Without rush these beautiful ladies spoke a Christmas prayer over us through the phone, a gift I treasure more than they know.
David and I have been caught and swept away in the waves of the body of Christ; their hands and feet of generosity have brought a deeper meaning to our front door at Christmas.
Even after all of this, my heart keeps returning to those Kentucky towns minus so much this Christmas.
The news captured a man in the midst of his personal devastation, sitting at the remains of his piano giving God his Christmas gift of song:
There’s Something About That Name
By Gloria Gaither and Bill Gaither
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there’s just something about that name. Master, Savior, Jesus, like the fragrance after the rain. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all heaven and earth proclaim. Kings and kingdoms will all pass away, but there’s something about that name.
Yes, there’s something about that name.
Countless times over these last two weeks I’ve called on the name of Jesus to intervene on my husband’s behalf while praying in the hospital parking lot for him.
I must tell you the peace that passes all understanding when you call on the name of Jesus.
Jesus was born this Christmas; for you and for me.
Might we all find a moment to personalize this powerful song at Christmas.
As Jesus came to give us hope in whatever circumstance December finds us in.
We find ourselves consoled in the brushstrokes from those who understand. We take comfort in the sunsets that calm our weariness.
As the morning dew weeps over the spring flowers, we also are given permission to weep.
Jesus himself wept in grief over a dear friend who died.
Jesus wept. John 11:35 NIV
This portrait of grief is an open book of our heart where its pages are stained from runaway tears, yet caught by the hands of a loving God who notices and stores them in a bottle, recording these raindrops of pain in His Book of Remembrance.
…You’ve stored my many tears in your bottle – not one will be lost. For they are all recorded In your book of remembrance. Psalms 56:8 (TPT)
This portrait of a thousand words has been hanging in our personal gallery over the last eleven months as a tribute to us in our season of showers titled,
“A Family’s Ten Good-byes.”
On September 20, 2020 the angels of heaven came for our mother, our pillar, matriarch and heart of the family. Her loss on our plate would have been a full plate to grieve over this past year. But there would be nine more good-byes added to an already full plate.
On my side, we lost my mother, brother and papa.
On my husband’s side, we lost two brothers, a papa and two cousins.
Together, we lost two dear friends from church.
Yes, ten good-byes in eleven months, each farewell unique, each remembering a life well lived.
This season of showers,
Whether flowing outward from the windows of our soul or inward from the depths of our heart, Our tears watered a great reminder of a family reunion one day, in heaven.
From each shower, A “rainbow in full view” nestled in the open sky whispering the nearness of God.
These April showers brought forth May flowers of joy, because in God:
Weeping may endure for a night, But joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5 (KJV)
The season of grief most difficult, The season which wrestles and fights to hold onto your heartstrings, Yet a season you must find His perfect peace in,
Our season of healing, Our season of letting go.
In our letting go, We are letting God…
Sit with us beside the empty chair. Be that telephone call when we long for theirs. Be a song when we miss their voice. Be an arm of comfort in the middle of the night.
Give us eyes to see our family portrait still complete, while their picture now hangs in our heart.
Be a father to the fatherless. Be a husband to the widow. Be a friend to the friendless.
Lead us beside still waters.
Be our everything; Whatever everything needs to be.
September 20, 2021 will mark a family’s one year anniversary of their mother’s good-bye. Her first birthday, first holidays, first anniversary and first Mother’s Day without our matriarch has been honored and grieved differently by each who loved her, though grieved nevertheless.
God has wiped our tears when they’ve fallen outwardly.
God has been those words or song when we wept from the inside.
For the nine farewells which followed our mother’s, God has been a faithful post to lean on when the weight of our heartache was far too great a burden to shoulder and stand alone.
As a faithful friend who keeps his solemn promises, morning greets us each and every day with a kiss of new beginnings.
New beginnings that promise a “blank page” if you dare to write the next chapter. New beginnings that promise another “chance” if you dare to try. New beginnings that promise “hope” if you dare to dream. New beginnings that promise “life” if you dare to breathe. New beginnings that promise “friendship” if you dare to be a friend. New beginnings that promise another “race” if you dare to lace up your shoes. New beginnings that promise a “song” if you dare to sing. New beginnings that promise “relationship” if you dare to forgive. New beginnings that promise “love” if you dare to open your heart. New beginnings that promise “the moon” if you dare to shoot for the stars.
New beginnings that promise a “kiss”
If you dare to kiss back.
New beginnings are birthed with new promises, all yours for the taking.
Do you see them?
Do you look for them?
Do you want them?
The author of our yesterday, today and forever;
our beginning, and our end (Revelation 22:13 NIV)
is the author of our new beginnings, the author of another day.
Might we be encouraged to take the dare of a new beginning?
Might we take our blank page and write the words we wanted our life to say yesterday?
What do you have to lose?
Our faithful God is a “God of Second Chances; everyday”.
His mercies and compassion’s are new every morning;
a clean slate for us to try again.
22 …for his compassion’s never fail. 23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV
Might we dare to walk the “high wire” of a new beginning risking the fall for the promise, relying on the “safety net of your father’s arms to fall into” if something does go wrong.
For I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness. Psalm 26:3 NIV
Be confident in taking the next step of your new beginning without the security of yesterday’s training wheels.
Your Father’s got you.
You’re not alone in this world of new beginnings, your Father sees you.
Allow your Father to sing over you,
To remind you: “You’re everything he hoped for.” “You’re everything he dreamed.”
Song YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL
by Joe Cocker
“Today” is that faithful friend who keeps his solemn promises, like morning who greets us each and every day with a kiss of new beginnings.
But new beginnings come with a dare.
Dare to try.
Dare to dream.
Dare to breathe.
Dare to be a friend.
Dare to run your race.
Dare to sing your song.
Dare to forgive.
Dare to love.
Dare to kiss back.
New beginnings are birthed with new promises.
You must see them.
You must look for them.
You must want them.
You must reach for them to take them.