Friday, January 31, 2014

Spirit Lead Me

Not to scare you off or anything, but while I was soaking in the bath tub (go on...try to get that imagine out of your're so welcome) I was listening to music. Water and music go together for me so just play along.

I've listened to Oceans by Hillsong United many times. However, this time the lyrics really got me thinking. That is your cue to run if you don't want to read my thoughts. It is a scary place, my mind, so be warned if you decide you're brave enough to tread further into the recesses of my mind...

The song Oceans is the Biblical truth of Peter walking on the water. Jesus called him "out upon the waters. "The great unknown where feet may fail". Full lyrics in the video at the bottom of this post.

I don't like failing. Do you? It's embarrassing. People laugh at you...not with you as they'd like you to believe. I fail people. I fail with words. I fail with love. I fail with grace. I fail when I am more concerned with my hurt feelings or what others think of me. 

Aren't I to be more concerned with what God thinks of me? When I push aside what others think, I find myself only caring about what God wants. "My faith will stand". 

As the Biblical truth of Peter goes on, he takes his eyes off of Jesus. The minute he does I can just hear him thinking, This is impossible. And, he sinks. What once was possible became impossible and he no longer was a man walking on top of the water. Now, he was shark bait. How many, many, many (you get the point) times have I failed because the inner-voices screamed impossible! you're not good enough! you'll fail...again!

"And I will call upon Your name" as he cried out for Jesus to save him. Although Jesus was disappointed, He still helped him and Peter "rest[ed] in His embrace". In my humanness I try to do everything myself. I can do it by myself like a toddler cries. God wants us to do all things with him. Let God take the lead and we follow. Yeah, that is the part of Peter I can relate to. He thought he was walking on water under his own power until doubt entered his mind.

Peter realized his mistake after the fact. Boy, doesn't that sound familiar. "[Jesus] grace abounds in the deepest waters [and His] sovereign hand [is] my guide. [I] fail and fear surrounds me. [But He] never failed and [He] won't start now." Such peace and reassurance in those words. His grace abounds. Let that soak into your mind and soul.

May this be our prayer:

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

NOTE: while I was working on this post over the last two weeks, an author wrote about her experience with this song recently. I'd like to say "great minds work alike" and all that but she is much more eloquent on this subject so head over to her post. You won't regret it. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Christ's love for us is amazing. And, with that example we are to love others with the same unconditional love God has for us. Grace, mercy, forgiveness abound in His unfathomable love for us.

This morning I came across this blog post. The author is in Uganda and what she learned and is teaching us in the process is simply.beautiful.

This video has been appearing on my news feed on a social media site for quite some time. I've been ignoring it...until today. God's love in serious action. Simply.beautiful.

Friday, January 24, 2014

It's all a lie ~~ the end

Part I    Part II 

Standing on the bridge Emma felt like her life had come full circle.

"Come out, come out wherever you are." Emma sing-songed and shook her head realizing she had finally gone off the deep end.

Strangely Emma felt peaceful. Thank you, Lord. The moment the words formed in her mind she wondered why she hadn't thought to pray in the midst of the day's drama. Would she ever learn to trust?

A rustle among the trees and footsteps padding across the bridge alerted her.

"Mark." Emma flatly stated without turning around.

"Yes, Emma. You look well."

That voice! She whipped around to face him and whispered. "Matt." Her first kiss, the bridge where her and Matt kissed. Everything started falling in place until he spoke again.

"No. No, I'm not Matt."

Confusion and alarm covered her. "Well you are either Matt or his evil twin brother."

Mark laughed but the laughter never reached his eyes. "I can guarantee I'm not evil. But, I am his twin brother."

Silence became the enemy as Emma waited for more of an explanation. The longer the silence the more drawn her scowl became.

Mark, if that was his real name, had the nerve to laugh. Laugh.

"Enough! Out with it. You better start talking. Now!"

"Aren't you afraid I'm a knife-wielding murderer?"

"Now you're just mocking me."

"How'd you like to take a ride? I'll explain everything when we get to our destination." Mark asked as the sound of the air being cut by a knife quickly ended their so-called conversation.

Emma was stunned as a ladder attached to the helicopter dangled in front of her. "Are you crazy?" she shouted at Mark who had the nerve to smile.

"Come on, trust me!" Mark grabbed the ladder like a knight in shining armor and yelled, "After you."

Emma decided right then and there she was about to do the craziest thing in her life.....

Her face was wet and something rough was sliding down her chin. Emma jumped out of bed so quickly she landed on the source of the wetness. Matt, their eighty-pound yellow lab, yelped and jumped away from Emma.

Heart pounding a zillion miles an hour, Emma sneaked a peek to the bed to find her husband of three years, Mark, grinning from ear to ear trying, without success, not to laugh.

"Bad dream?"

"You don't even want to know." Emma huffed feeling her blood pressure creeping into the danger zone. "That dog will be the death of me!"

"You know, Emma, you look beautiful when you're angry."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's all a lie ~~ part II

"... I've been sent to help you. If you can honestly tell me you know what I say to be untrue, tell me now and you'll never hear from me again. But, you know deep inside what I say is true. Think about. I'll be waiting...but I won't wait forever."

With a keen eye, Emma turned slowly looking for anyone who might be hiding in the shadows. The street was eerily quiet. Why hadn't she noticed before? People, cars, buses and even the ever-present alley cat were nowhere to be found. She was strangely alone. Emotions collided  - completely creeped out, beyond scared and full-boil angry. 

Yet, she understood his message. Deep down inside she felt Mark was telling her the truth. Emma never felt like she fit it - always the odd man out. Life never felt...right. 

No baby pictures of Emma. At all. It was like she just magically appeared at the age of three. Whenever she'd ask her parents they'd say the same thing, "Oh, honey, when we moved, your pictures never showed up at the new house. The movers and the moving company never found them." 

There were always subtle glances between her parents when she'd ask about her younger years. It was almost like they were scrambling to come up with a good story.

Emma made her choice. Good or bad choice remained to be seen. The now familiar drums in her ears kept in time with her feet as she high-tailed to the place of her first kiss. Well, if this is the end of my life, I've lived it well, taken chances and made mistakes. Many mistakes and this could be one of them.

"What do I have to lose?" Emma whispered as her heels clicked at a pace likely to break the sound barrier. She had already lost everyone she loved. Her father when she was a junior in high school. Three years ago, the day Emma turned twenty-one, her mother to an accident. Emma's parents were only children and were the last living relatives. She was alone. No one would miss her if Mark did indeed prove to be a knife-wielding murderer.

Emma's heart collided with her chest as she thought again of the mysterious email. Could her entire life be a lie?

The place of your first kiss...taunted her. She knew the exact place since she had relived the moment too many times. Do you ever get over your first kiss? Your first love? Or was it Emma never felt closure since Matt disappeared the next day. The police claimed he ran-away. Matt's parents wouldn't speak to or face Emma ever again.

The park came into view and brought Emma back to reality. The secluded bridge was just beyond the mountainous trees down a short trail. Music of birds filled the air. A familiar squeak of the swings with a child's throaty laughter did nothing to calm Emma's nerves. The biting wind whipped her long tresses made her wish for a sweater. But, her focus remained on getting to the bridge.

Emma stopped short at the mouth of the trail, took a deep breath, squared her shoulders and forged ahead.

To be continued...again. ;)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

It's all a lie

"Everything you know is a lie" read the subject line of a mysterious email from an unrecognized sender.

With her finger on the portable mouse and chin in hand, Emma almost hit the big X to delete the message. Almost. Looking around the coffee house to gauge if anyone was watching her, she found the patrons in their own little worlds. 

What could it hurt? Containment of her curiosity not her strongest trait, Emma opened the email. What she found written in those lines was not at all what her vivid imagination expected. 

"Act calm as to not alert anyone, but everyone around you is not who they say they are. You need to quietly get out of there and meet me at the spot where you had your first kiss. You know the place. My name is Mark."

Goosebumps covered her entire body as she read and re-read the lines. Glancing around to see if anyone was really watching her, Emma couldn't decide if this was real or a joke. Her breathing began to quicken as she suddenly felt as if someone might be watching her from a hidden location. 

Calm down, calm down, breathe... became Emma's mantra. 

Feeling anything but calm, Emma casually closed her laptop and gathered her bag, sliding the laptop inside. Pushing away from the table had never felt like such a chore before but she finally managed to stand on her shaking legs. 

Who can I trust? Am I to really believe this "Mark" person isn't really a rapist, stalker, kidnapper or human trafficker? Come on, Emma, be smart about this.

With tunnel vision, Emma sauntered to the exit and pushed her way into fresh air. Breathe, breathe, breathe... It took her only a moment to determine which direction to head - in the totally opposite direction of her mystery man's wishes.

The tiny hairs on the back of her neck refused to lie back down. But, with a determined look and hitch of her chin she placed one foot in front of the other until...the unmistakable chime of a text message.

Hands shaking, Emma reached into her bag and withdrew her phone. Heart pounding in her ears and one eye closed, Emma unlocked her phone and gasped. She nearly dropped the phone when she saw the word "Mark". A text from him. Her feet betrayed her and immediately felt cemented to the sidewalk. Her mind told her to run but her legs wouldn't obey.

How did he get her number? Who is this guy?! Now Emma was just downright angry. How dare he?!

Punching the screen to select "read now", Emma blew out a frustrated breath while waiting for the words to appear.

"Emma. You know you are going the wrong way. Trust me. I'm not any of those things you're imagining in your mind. Trust me. You remember the place. I'll be waiting for you. Mark."

Taking a chance, Emma furiously tapped out a hasty reply.

"You say I need to trust you. Then trust me. Who are you...really?!"

Less than the time it took for her phone to lock and place it safely in her bag, the familiar text alert chimed.

"You're beautiful when you're angry. I've been sent to help you. If you can honestly tell me you know what I say to be untrue, tell me now and you'll never hear from me again. But, you know deep inside what I say is true. Think about. I'll be waiting...but I won't wait forever."

To be continued...

**My imagination took off when I read a writing prompt on Writer's Digest website. The first email message was the prompt. The rest of the story is my imagination gone wild. ;)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It was a cold, snowy night...

Meteorologist were all in a tizzy leading up to the big snow storm. At first, Old Man Winter made it difficult to track the storm which made the meteorologists squirm. Old Man Winter is like that. All sly and unpredictable. 

He hit with us with the power of a woman with bad PMS. Seriously grumpy and mean. I personally think he needs to make an appointment with a pulmonologist to deal with all his heavy breathing. He is breathing so hard one of our vehicles is almost buried...okay, it's only up to the windows but all of our vehicles are surrounded by drifts; it's like the wild-wild west out there. 

And, boy oh boy, is Old Man Winter bitter. Bitter cold weather, blowing and drifting snow make it a miserable mess out there. So thankful for electricity and heat and Mr Sun who has been shinning for two days straight!!

Being stuck in the house and not wanting to waste my time cleaning has turned me into a web surfer. 
Now, I'm going to say this in the nicest way possible and try not to insult anyone. Does anyone remember life before social media? I saw so many posts, pictures and videos of people doing the same things we did with our children years before the invasion of social media and the need to share every aspect of your life. Yet so many people comment wondering how they came up with the idea and how creative they are. What the what?! 

People. There was life before social media. There was creativity before social media and creativity will be there after everyone gets tired of their lives being open for judgement 24/7. And this rant was brought to you by......

In other news, despite all the ranting and giving Old Man Winter a hard time (which he totally deserves!), I am enjoying the extended family time. We are home bodies and this forced time of isolation is enjoyable. The house is a mess but I don't care. Clean up can resume another day. 

For today, I'll enjoy doing the laundry...okay, that was a lie but I will pretend to enjoy it. I'll look out the window and watch the snow blow around making the fields and yards look like frozen waves. I might even applaud when a snow plow goes by. And when summer comes with it's humid, hot days....well......that will be another story for another day.