IN THE NOTICING By Lori A. Alicea

When you least expect it, God reveals himself
in the noticing.

In the obvious, in the subtle, when we’re not looking, and sadly,
When we fail to notice at all,
God is always faithful to
reveal Himself
in the noticing.

In these trying times the world is experiencing together, God is still a personal God and intimately aware of us individually in the smallest of our details, those too minute for even the strongest magnification; yet God sees it all and wants to reveal Himself
in the noticing.

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.
Psalms 139:1-3 NIV

Which is why I shouldn’t have been taken off guard by the surprise of God, as I am fully aware that he knows me, perceives my thoughts and is familiar with all my ways, continuing to find me in the back roads, the hidden intersections of my life, and even down the aisles of the grocery store,

revealing Himself in the noticing.

Recently I found myself walking a bit slower than usual down the aisles of the grocery store, a gaper in a fog I suppose, stunned and close to tears at the barrenness of the shelves.

Shelves usually full of food unless a holiday is approaching.
A scarcity I’ve never seen in my lifetime.

Panic didn’t set in, yet I could see the unsettledness written on so many faces of the other shoppers.

As a mother I wanted to reach out and hug each passerby, especially the young parents with children in their cart, parents I imagined were fretting about “tomorrow”.

As a grandmother who has rocked ten grandchildren through their endless sleepless nights, I longed to comfort these moms and dads and remind them that everything is going to be alright.

Yet quite honestly, the barren shelves that afternoon were bothering me too.

In the noticing though,

God scattered “words of encouragement” throughout the store by someone thoughtful, words painted on rocks and left behind on shelves for shoppers to find, a word God knew
I needed in the noticing.

While rock hunting is not a new idea, as I have personally stumbled upon these decorated stones in the town park and rocks our grandchildren have found hidden by next door neighbors.

But this particular day God gave me a “now word”, a “word in due season” on a shelf at the grocery store, just waiting beside the few boxes of mac-n-cheese left behind for me to discover.

A word God gave me in the noticing was BELIEVE.
IMG_7231Lord, in the noticing

You know me….
You perceive my thoughts….
You are familiar with all my ways….
Psalms 139:1-3 NIV

Lord, in the noticing you saw a weak moment of doubt in me, and now you were encouraging me to remember what I BELIEVE.

In this new pandemic storm unlike no other, boats all over the world seem tossed against the rage of the ocean, taking in and overwhelmed by the “waters of the unexpected”, whose compasses seem to have lost direction, leaving some to feel abandoned, stranded and lost at sea.

But in my boat and in the noticing,
God, you are encouraging me to remember what
I BELIEVE.

When boats are calm, it’s easy to say what we BELIEVE when
sailing waters that are sound asleep.

But when the tides wake up with a fierce headache and vessels everywhere are tossed in the sea of its anger, we have to firmly know what we BELIEVE, as our lives depend on it.

What I BELIEVE is God controls the storm.

The disciples experienced this first hand as Jesus calmed the fierce storm that held their boat captive and stirred their fears of drowning.
Witnessing this miracle the disciples in their amazement replied,

“Who is this?
He commands even the winds and the waters,
and they obey him.”
Luke 8:25 NIV

What I BELIEVE during these unexpected times when so many have lost their jobs or successes, the world will come to realize when provisions miraculously continue, that God has been their provider all this time.

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
Psalm 37:25 NIV

What I BELIEVE in this great time of sickness, God still heals. God longs for our faith to arise, to reach out for the “hem of Jesus’ garment” as the woman with the issue of blood did for her healing.

“Who touched me? Jesus asked….
But Jesus said, “Someone touched me;
I know that power has gone out from me.”
…..
Then he (Jesus) said to her,
“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
Luke 8:45-48 NIV

What I BELIEVE in this great time of lack,
People have revealed themselves full of generosity.

What I BELIEVE during these times mandated to our homes is a gift,
As families preoccupied and disconnected from the distractions of work, school, sports and play, needed to find their way back home and reconnect with those that they love.

What I BELIEVE is prayer is powerful, that prayer is bringing neighborhoods to their balcony’s, prayer is filling hospital parking lots of cars filled with people, all humbling themselves and calling on God to have mercy on them, seeking his face to heal their lands.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV      

What I BELIEVE that however painful during this great time of grief and sad goodbyes, we still have great HOPE of eternal life with the Lord for those who know Him as Lord, for those who:

…declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10 NIV

 In the noticing

God knows us….
He perceives our thoughts….
God is familiar with all our ways….
Psalms 139:1-3 NIV

If you feel abandoned,
If you are feeling alone,
If you are worried about tomorrow,

God is noticing.

You are not abandoned,
You are not alone,
God has tomorrow already prepared.

Find calm in the storm,
As the winds and waters obey Him.
(Luke 8:25 NIV)

Determine to BELIEVE.

Find calm
In a loving God
Who Notices.

WHEN LITTLE EYES MUST PEEK By Lori A Alicea

It’s hard to wait for God’s reveal,
His answers when we pray.
God seems to take His precious time,
In years, in weeks or day.

We feel the urge to check on Him,
For answers that we seek.
Unable to withstand the wait,
Our little eyes must peek.
ethan looking in screenThe corner’s bend we dare to see,
The Lord at work this week.
Instead of resting in His time,
Our little eyes must peek.

We bat our eyes, we blow a kiss,
To tug the heart of God.
He gently gives a sweet reply,
My child “I’ve got this” nod.

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God loves when children ask of Him,
He listens when they pray.
Requests, he answers every one,
Keeps secret though the day.

His faithfulness should fuel our faith,
Our doubts they make us weak.
Believe in Him and calm the need,
For little eyes to peek.
brodie and brystol peeking inRemind me Lord, your precious child,
With answers that I seek.
To trust in you when silence screams,
When little eyes must peek.

The answers to our prayers will come,
Take heart He’s never late.
Be confident we’re not alone,
He’s with us while we wait.

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I call on you, my God,
for you will answer me,
turn your ear to me
and hear my prayer.
Psalm 17:6

WHILE ON MY KNEES IN PRAYER By Lori A Alicea

        By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me…a prayer to the God of my life.
Psalm 42:8 NIV

Dear God, I kneel before you now,
My heart is prostrate too.
I yield my thoughts, I cast my cares,
That I may hear from you.

A moment just the two of us,
A conversation share.
Reveal a Father’s love for me,
While on my knees in prayer.

lito and theia praying

In silence I will wait for you,
But yet, you beat me here.
A Daddy longs his children close,
Delights to have them near.

It’s not my eloquence of words,
Or list my tears prepare.
But heaven stops to hear a child,
Who comes to him in prayer.

Praying at altar 2

A child’s faith can tug his heart,
A father hears their need.
See mountains move with faith the size,
As small a mustard seed.

You know my words before I speak,
My needs you’re so aware.
But yet you beckon me to ask,
While on my knees in prayer.

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I thank you for my daily bread,
Each meal you’ve given me.
No lack, but full my cupboards are,
Though empty I might see.

Oh stir my appetite for you,
Dear Lord, I tarry there.
That place to hunger for your love,
Please satisfy my prayer.
2019 cumbee ayva praying
Where two are gathered in your name,
You’re here for us, for me.
Oh Lord we listen for your voice,
In patience wait for Thee.

My simple words this child speaks,
For more of you I dare.
A Father runs to hear his child,
Who folds their hands in prayer.

ethan kollin praying prayer

No matter what the age we are,
A child to God are we.
Such gifts a Father wants to give,
If wait for Him to see.

Present to You a child’s heart,
Sweet hands I cast my care.
So loved I feel in your embrace,
While on my knees in prayer.

Praying at altar 2

…but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.
Psalm 66:19 NIV