Friday, November 11, 2016

Passing Seasons

While raking and sweeping up the leaves, I thought to myself how the fall season passes all too quickly, and how we can often miss its beauty when consumed by the anxieties of life. But thankfully there is beauty and hope in every season, seen especially by those who release the baggage of yesterday and the fears of tomorrow and learn to live today, trusting God with the details.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Strength for the Journey

I've seen many eagles over the years while spending time on the water. However, I feel that they have been watching over us more closely during our fishing excursions as of late. It's almost as if they are messengers, reminding us that we are not alone. Ever. 

The eagle pictured below was perched a stone's throw away from our boat (if you have a decent arm). As always, the creature's strength, beauty, and stealth captured me. And with night drawing near, I felt that strange but familiar comfort in its presence. 

I look forward to future encounters with my winged friends, and remain grateful for the innumerable fingerprints of God that decorate our lives and strengthen our journey.   

"He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:29

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Consider the Ant - Work Hard

“Go to the ant, you sluggard. Consider its ways and be wise!” –Proverbs 6:6

This verse from Proverbs 6 came swiftly to mind one morning when noticing an ant on the concrete walkway in my backyard. Before I continue, let me clarify that ant-watching is not a regular practice of mine. However, I think it’s fair to say that we have all taken a moment or two in our life to observe ants—those tiny little creatures that rarely travel alone and who always seem to be hard at work.  

This particular ant was no different, as it was part of a legion that was marching back and forth along the walkway. But what really caught my eye was that it was carrying (or at least trying to carry) a blade of grass that was considerably larger than itself. The ant struggled with the blade and lost control of it numerous times, but never gave up.

What can we learn from this?

The ant was not sitting on a sand couch waiting for something to happen. It was working, preparing.
The ant took on something larger than itself.
The ant was focused.
The ant was part of a greater team that worked together to achieve a purpose.

We ought to consider the ant in everything we do. Work hard, prepare, don’t go it alone. If we’ve stumbled into apathy and laziness, get up and start over. Don’t put too much (if any) stock in our titles or accomplishments. And remember to breathe, and breathe deeply, no matter what challenges come our way.  

"Hard  work  ought  to  be  the  normal  routine  of  us who  serve  a  carpenter-Christ, who follow the lead of a tent maker-apostle, and who call ourselves children of a Father who is still working (John 5:17)."  David Hubbard

Monday, July 18, 2016

Slow Drops of Rain--An Excerpt from 'Ride With Me'

July 12, 1943
From Ruth’s journal

    He has been gone nearly seven months now. To say that I miss him any less than the first day would be a lie, though thankfully the intensity of the pain has lessened. But there are those days, those moments, where the angst is so deep, the desire to ask “why” so overpowering.
    As they so often do, these mornings bring renewed hope. I wake and go to my knees where life fills my soul, refreshing my spirit and allowing me to see beyond the unknown. And for better or worse, the message comes that today may be the day that I learn of his return.
    But as the day progresses, that hope seems to fade, and at times a thick haze seems to cover over everything. And it is in those moments when all seems lost, when every good thing in life seems to be overrun, that I cry out for help, and though my eyes may not see anything, my heart is provided with a small glimpse of light that provides me with just enough strength to keep going.
    I also have to remember to look outside myself. I am not the first young woman to have her boyfriend leave for war, and in many ways our situation is so much less painful than others that I know. There are women with children, pressed down by challenging financial circumstances, whose provider is across the ocean, with no way of knowing if they are even alive apart from occasional letters.
    Those last words were hard to write.
    Though I know I must keep taking the day and blessing others in my path, I sometimes feel that I cannot carry the pain that comes with his absence. And the pain is especially strong on this beautiful midsummer’s day, where the drops of rain seem to fall so slowly, as if they themselves are sad and faint-hearted. I know that we grow through pain and trials, though I confess that today I feel my patience is so fragile. I want him to be home, safe.
    God, please watch over him.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Country Store Romance--An Excerpt from 'Ride With Me'

May 5, 1942 From Ruth’s journal

    I met a handsome young man in an old country store this evening. To be completely honest, I was melted by his crooked, genuine smile and drawn to his eyes that were lit by a touch of fire. He also had what I perceived to be an unusual dose of humility for one his age. I know I may never see him again, but if we are to return here, I cannot deny that hope is within me.

May 5, 1942 From Earl’s journal

    I’m not sure that I ever truly stopped breathing, even for a moment, when meeting a girl—until today. Her name is Ruth, and the only thing more beautiful than her physical appearance was her spirit that flooded the country store where I met her. Her eyes were deep and exuded life, and she possessed such a soft and sweet demeanor. Yet she was also strong and steady in a quiet, gentle way. God, I know you don’t look more highly upon man based on what he does, but I have to say that I’d do just about anything if you bring her back this way.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Thank You - A Memorial Day Reminder

This is the kind of relaxation and enjoyment we should all enjoy on Memorial Weekend. Thank you to all those who paid a dear price on behalf of our freedom.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Twilight Reflections from the Porch - An Excerpt from Ride With Me

It is said that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity on this earth. These words have intersected my path and fortified my course countless times, and they do once again as I sit here now, a day of remembrance almost upon me.

           To all the years that have passed,
               Full of sweet times and memories that will forever last:
           I am again opening my door wide to you, despite my fears,
              And I trust that you shall again bring more laughter and tears.
          Come, yesterday, come, for a time.

                   - From Earl's journal, September 2000