Wildflowers From Heaven

Today I’m sharing a sweet card from a teacher that I worked with a while back.  I have read this card numerous times over the years since the year 2003.   You know the kind of cards that just hang around in your Bible because they have such an impact on your heart?   My heart is warmed every time I read it, not for the content in the card, but for the heart from which it comes.  Today I say thank you for always reaching outward to touch others.  You have touched me for a lifetime.  Thank you Donna Taylor.

Dear Judy,

Just a note to let you know I am praying for you and your precious son.  How hard it must be for your son to face these days of recovery again, and yet how precious it is that he has these days.  I can only begin to imagine his discouragement.  But even without knowing him, I know that he is truly adored by our Father.  While the enemy would want him to think otherwise, just as with Job, the Lord’s face is turned fully towards your dear son.  The Lord is not letting go of him.  I will continue to pray that he will look to the love of the Father above and daily turn from the lies that the enemy is most certainly pouring on him.

Though through the world’s eyes it may not look as though God is watching over all that is happening.  In God’s eyes is the reflection of your sweet boy.  “What the world may see as weeds to be destroyed and cast aside, we, his children see as wildflowers from heaven.

Much Love to you,

Donna Taylor

Faith Filled Helplessness

The moment I acknowledge helplessness, the Lord becomes actively engaged in my crying needs.   “He stoops down to hear me.  Our helplessness is one continuous appeal to His Father-heart.”  Halleby

Our helplessness is the foundation and the sustaining power of our prayer life.  John15:15, Jesus says, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”  Take Him at His word.  Sometimes it takes a lifetime to learn.  This knowledge puts us in a position to be helped.

Nothing can overtake us when we know where our help comes from.  (Psalm 121). We must not lose consciousness of our helplessness.  As we cry out helplessly lamenting to the Father, we are humbling our hearts in faith that leads us to believe His word.  Our faith causes us to see our need, turn to God, leave it to Him, and know He is in control.  He will help our unbelief and convince us to leave everything with Him.   We are helpless without Him.

That leads me to believe that we must take Him at His word and hang on.  I  feel that we as Christians would not suffer as we do if we could just take God at His word.   Think of a big winding roller coaster that we would jump on when we were youngsters and how we trusted it to stay on the track while moving at a high speed.  Remember throwing your hands up in surrender and screaming as you coasted to the end of the track and finally getting to the end laughing with relief?  We trusted the person in control and took him at his word that we would make it to the finish line.  We can trust even more so with God.  Faith filled helplessness is just that; taking God at His word while acknowledging we are helpless without Him.  He is big enough for anything we will ever face in life.

 

My Dad, My Father

When did it set in that fatherhood was evident and that he had an unknown task before him?  Did he have someone modeling the roles of a father to help him get ready, or did he have it all together naturally?  I wonder if he thought about me before I was born?  Well, I don’t know those answers, but I do know that he is my dad and God planned our lives before we knew anything at all.

Psalm 139 declares that He knew my dad from the beginning and was with him when he was such a young child walking to school every day and carrying a pail for a lunch box.  He was with my Dad when he had to drop out of school in fourth grade to work on the farm. All of this seems somewhat harsh, but I guess it built character and great work ethics for the future.  My dad has never complained about his humble upbringing.

Great work ethics is something he gained for sure from his childhood.  He has worked all of his life and still working little jobs that satisfy him.  He married my mom when she was seventeen and he was twenty-two years old.  My Dad always had a goal in mind and was constantly working to succeed.  He and my mom had three girls and two boys putting me in the middle of a boy and girl.  I don’t know how my siblings felt but I often wondered if he thought of me.

I would think so because it was snowing early that Tuesday morning when mom went into labor.  While driving to the hospital they ran out of gas, wouldn’t you know it.  So, he got out of the car, left mom on the side of the road and ran to the gas station which was over two miles and then back. WOW!  He made it to the hospital that morning but I waited until eight o’clock p.m. to make my entrance.  I love to hear him tell that story.  That’s enough for me to know that he was looking ahead and was ready for baby number three.

My Dad gave me the name Judy Ann Carter.  I will always cherish that gift.  I see my dad as an extension of my Heavenly Father.  He is kind, tender, strong, loving and giving at all times.  Psalm 103:13 says,  “A father is tender and kind to his children.”  In a few days, he will be ninety years young.  He has been constant through the years and like some will say, set in his ways.  It just proves that what’s in his heart is solid.  He’s unshakable.   I can’t put a price on the riches in my heart that he has bestowed on me throughout the years.  He provided a wealth of love, honesty, and everything I ever needed.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad.  “You’re a good, good father,  it’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are,  and I’m loved by you,  it’s who I am,  it’s who I am, it’s who I am.  You’re a good, good father.” (Chris Tomlin)

 

It Still Shines

“As the light appears again and I begin to win, there is no greater presence than YOU, my friend.  I know that YOU are here whether I am far or near as the light appears again.” (quote unknown)

Heavenly Father, I know YOU are here for me.  You are and have always been my keeper.  In every situation I have faced, YOU alone always beat me there.  YOU seem to show up and remind me not to worry because YOU have the ultimate GPS.

I will not fear even though it is pretty dark at times.  I realize that the first light was spoken into existence from out of darkness.  So, I will be patient as the light appears.

Yes, YOU and only YOU keep reminding me that the first light is still here.  It still shines.  John 1:5, John 8:12,  Ephesians 5:14

Pay Day

“Good morning students.  How are you today?” With big smiles on most of the responding faces said it all.  But one response was a stern face and no comment at all.  O-kay, instantly the day is set for the whole class.  The sour look did not match his sweet face but was not the first time we had to redirect our thoughts about the daily plans for him.

Morning routines are in progress all over the classroom except for one sitting with his arms crossed refusing to move.  Mind you, this is a fourth grader and he knows better.  He finally asks to leave the room for the restroom and water, the reciprocative response was, “finish your morning work and we will talk.”  With arms crossed and lips poked out still refusing to cooperate.  The whole day was nonproductive for this one student as he tried to get the attention of the other students to follow him.  He totally refused to ask for help in all the tasks the class was engaged in.

So the day is about over with a short recess left before the bell rings.  All the students are playing, sliding, swinging, running and doing what students do on the playground.  It was awesome and felt food to see smiles and students playing together.  Of course, it was hot and students screaming with laughter when all of a sudden we heard this curling voice screaming, “Help, Help, Mrs. R, help”  He is crying and couldn’t move.  Needless to say, it was our student that had not been cooperative during class and had not answered the teachers positively at all during the day.  His wrist is stuck in the jungle gym and beginning to swell because he was moving it back and forth.  Staying still is key but he was moving nonstop.   At this point, I called the front office nurse and gave a description of what had happened and was able to get him to stop moving and kept him calm.

I thought it was ironic that he had to call for help after being a sourpuss all day.  He realized that I was his friend and that I would not let anything happen to him from this point on.  He was calm and relaxed as I removed his arm with no problem and then the nurse comes out.  All is well and we are smiling with relief.   We call the students to line up and go back to class before the bus call.  WOW, what a day!  Yes, it was a little chaotic but I think a lesson was well learned.  He had to ask for help and he learned something he knew all along.  Teachers care no matter what.  Needless to say, after the students left we had a big laugh, not because of the accident but because we didn’t have to reprimand the student.  I am sure he remembers that day even though it was many, many years ago.   Like families, a classroom of students are together all the time and need to stay close and trust each other.  Ugh, imagine that.

 

Bring Them to Me

Emma Lazarus was famous for the inscribed words on the statue of Liberty which depicts the Mother of Exiles.  It was a symbol for the melting pot opportunity.  What an incredible accomplishment her writing posed for our country.  The last two lines quote, “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door?’  Like with God’s promise of heaven,  made for all to have a life of opportunity if we choose,  do we lean on Him as the early Americans did the Statue of Liberty’s symbol of freedom?

I’m a member of a group of moms that share stories privately with each other in hopes that we help ease the pain of those that are hurting because of a son or daughter that may be struggling with addiction. Some of the stories I’ve read just bluntly say, “Well I’ve lost my son or daughter today, or that they lost the battle to an overdose,” and it simply breaks my heart.  It breaks even more to hear very little about their faith in God.  These precious lives matter and some do get better.  Yes, they get better.  I just wonder how many could make it if we were more equipped spiritually to bring them in?   Please remember “The Addicts Mom.”  So, while praying today these words popped into my heart and head.

Bring them to me.  Bring me the hungry, the homeless, lonely, the abused, the murderers, the drug lords, thieves, the prideful, the prisoners,  the addicts, the lost, the saved.  Bring them all.  I died for every sin under the sun.  I am here.  They only need to reach for Me, hunger for Me and seek Me.  Just call my name.  There’s power in my name.  Demons scatter when my name is spoken.  If you only knew the power and authority you already have.  Oh, if you only knew.  You’ve been through enough and I’m big enough for anything you will ever encounter.  Time on earth is closing.  I’m gathering those for that new city where there is no shame.  Oh people, don’t you want to go to that place where you will never have to beg, hide, or be mocked, shamed, misunderstood and stepped over as if you were nothing?  Oh, I have big plans for you, my people.  I have promised that the old would pass away into the new.  Come to me, stop running.  Find rest my son, my daughter.  The promise is yours when you reach for Me.  Bring them in.

Ephesians 5:1-8

 

Who’s Planning Dinner?

I love holiday cooking and planning for the family to drop in.  It gives me a sense of joy and excitement that I don’t always experience with a normal meal.  Empty nesters beg to share a meal.  Well, at least that is my perspective on special meals.

Some families may not cook at all and gather at a nice restaurant to break bread.  Then others take a poll where they will meet for a meal depending on the season and how many will attend.  My whole point is to focus on how women or the cooks love to plan well and please those that surround the table.  We just want to hear that satisfying moan and groan that says it was worth the wait. Love and comfort in the eyes of the partakers during and after the meal.

How is it that we are so confident that our meal will be great or pleasing to everyone?  We really don’t know that because most of us use that southern hospitality and say, “Thank you, it was great,” therefore we never really know the real truth.  I think if it was the all-time last meal we would behave differently.  Every minute would probably be at the top of the list and more than just eating would take place like sharing sweet memories and blessing each other for the future.

Have you ever thought about the disciple’s feelings and the planning of the Passover meal?  They didn’t have a nice home to entertain in but they had Jesus tell them to go to a friend’s house to commemorate this special meal.  It wasn’t a spread like we would put out to serve, and it wasn’t Jesus’ Mother Mary planning for this last meal, but Jesus’ disciples, WOW!  I think Mary had no problem with that because in her heart she knew how miraculous Jesus’ birth was and decided to trust God the Father to lead.  I also think she knew what was about to take place and that she would soon be losing her son to this promised crucifixion.  Her heart had to be filled with anxiety and sadness.  Could you plan a meal in that state of mind?  I don’t think so.  Instead, she acted in a magnanimous nature.  She flowed with God’s plan.  His will was enough for her.

Sometimes in the everyday hustle of life, we forget who is leading us and veer off to our plans and find ourselves in a trap of despair and anxiety.  Oh God, enable me to always think first about everyone around me in all that I set out to do.  Allow me to give, even when it hurts, until I am empty of me and filled with only You.  Give me the heart of a servant like Jesus’ disciples and Mary that I might follow with the hope of witnessing comfort and love in the eyes of my family and friends.  It’s not the kind of party we have that matters, it’s how we serve the party.  Yes, sometimes we may resist the call and sometimes we go in with unabandon.  However we find ourselves serving, may it be from the heart and not just the eyes.  Oh, I so long for the next meal with family.  What about you?

 

A Call To Tarry

How incredible it is to think of the message of Christ and how it thrusts us into a hunger to tarry until He comes back for us.  Tarry, yes, but to stand vigilant and determined to finish strong for the kingdom.  That simply amazes me.

His word is so powerfully stirring and draws us to a daily stance that equips our fight and helps us stand tall in more places than just the sidelines. This word teaches us to identify the enemy’s deception with a bold assurance and enables us to defeat his schemes against all odds. Defeat and tarry.  That tells me that tarrying is work not just waiting.  Oh, I don’t mind saying to the enemy, “I will cut you deep,” with the word.  That’s an easy task because when we speak he flees in all directions.  “My chains are gone, I’ve been set free. My God my Savior has ransomed me.  And like a flood His mercy reigns, unending love Amazing Grace.” (Chris Tomlinson). Q

Yes, indeed he has to run for cover when we speak the holy word.  That is evidence that “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.” 1-John 4:4. With that being said, why would we not fix out gaze on heaven where we have loved ones, and witnesses waiting at the finish line.  Child of God, work hard, run steady and complete the race with one goal in view, Heaven’s gift.  It will be worth the wait.

In The Wait

It seemed like the longest hall I had ever walked.  The walls were dull grayish blocks with glass and a tile floor.   We reached the end of the hall where the door opens automatically.  My heart pounding in my chest as I hold back the tears.  I was angry, but hurt and a loss for words.  I wanted to show kindness for sure but had questions also.  So many questions.

We reached our destination which was a green cubical with a glass window and phone.  I forgot about questions when I saw his face.  I picked up the phone to speak to our first born son as he cried with shame.  Instead of asking “Why” I asked, “How are you? and What is next?”  After talking for a while and reassuring him that we loved him always, we pressed our hands on the glass to touch his as we prayed.  We said our goodbyes and walked back down that long hall to get out of the building.  So we wait.

Have you ever been at this place before?  I was reminded of the day our son was dedicated to God and how my husband and I affirmed to protect, provide, and take care of him before God and witnesses, and how it meant more than just the infant in my arms.  The infant was easy.  The adult, not so easy.  I had a panoramic view in my mind of the moment I said, “yes,” that I would raise him in Gods house, teach him the word so he could love the Lord God with all his heart.  WOW!

I never imagined how the pain in this action could totally wipe me out.  That’s when I knew I had to stand, be still and allow God to lead.  Yeah, sure, I was in no shape to lead at this point but I realized God was in control and had been all this time.  Now I must trust Him for the outcome.  He promised so I trusted and waited.  As Denzel Washington has said, “When you pray for rain, you have to deal with the mud.”  You think you’ve sought God in the fullest, and then there is a waiting period.

Brokenness is for a season.  Life can’t always be broken, it changes, it always does.  I was aware that I had to continue to seek God with all my heart, trust Him although I could not see.  This was my waiting period and it would be alright if I kept my eyes upon Jesus. As David declares in Psalm 62:6-8 “He only is my rock and my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength and my refuge is in God.  Trust in him at all times you people; God is a refuge for us.”  Even David realized that God was his refuge but sometimes we carry on in silence.  But don’t stop waiting. Remember, things happen when you trust and WAIT.

 

Welcome to my Blog

I’m starting a new chapter in my life that I’ve been dreaming of for a long time.  You will find over time some of my thoughts, fears, weaknesses, passions, and victories on this journey.  I hope you find a nugget or two that clings to your soul for a lifetime. Do you need to make an effort to wait for something to come to pass?  As you know time is priceless, so whatever the wait is, make it worthwhile.  There is the perfect time for everything. Finally, something always happens in the wait. Romans 5:4-5   Judy Ramey