Posted in Faith, Family

Little Miracles Matter Too

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At six months of age, my grandson has already endured two open heart surgeries, numerous tests and procedures, and countless doctor’s visits. He is often referred to as a miracle baby.

Because of this journey with Elijah, it is not unusual for family and strangers alike to assure us God is still in the business of performing miracles. And I agree whole-heartedly.  God is most definitely capable and eager to perform miracles, and we are so very thankful for the miracles He has worked in Elijah’s life. 

But I began to wonder … how often have we missed beautiful everyday miracles while waiting for the big ones to come along?

Have we lost sight of the fact that every single one of us is indeed a miracle?

Conceived and knit together in our mothers’ wombs.  Given complex bodies designed to function exactly as needed. Placed in an atmosphere perfectly suited to sustain life. Gifted with a sun rise each morning. Given the moon and stars to light our way each night. Oh what delightful, common miracles these are, and how often I’ve failed to see them as such.

Each day we breathe in the amazing miracles swirling around us, yet we are blind to their beauty, barely noticing them.

We trust we’ll awaken healthy and strong.

We expect our homes sufficiently cooled in the summer and comfortably heated in the winter. 

Water should flow when we turn on the faucet; lightbulbs should brighten the room when we flip the switch.

Our refrigerators should always hold our favorite foods; our closets should overflow with shoes and clothing.

We presume these blessings will be a part of life.  So much so we forget to think of them as miracles.  We overlook our very existence — and God’s faithfulness in meeting our needs — as some of the loveliest miracles.

Until the unexpected happens. 

Our health fails. Our security vanishes. Our homes are lost. Our marriages fizzle. Our babies are born in less than perfect health.

Oh friends, the unexpected sure has a way of grabbing our attention.  It causes us to reassess those things we’ve taken for granted. It moves us to seek relief, search out help, and pray, pray, pray for a big miracle.

And although there is nothing wrong with requesting a big miracle, let’s begin to call attention to those small miracles as well.  Let’s point out their value. Let’s intentionally share the joy of those miracles with others. Let’s ask God to open our eyes so we may see vividly the miracles fluttering about. 

Have you missed any miracles today, sweet friends?  If so, take a moment to reflect on them. Take note of them. Pay attention to them.  And do the same tomorrow.  And the next day.  Until you find yourself identifying miracles at every turn and in every situation, recognizing there really is no such thing as a little miracle.

Posted in Faith

Coping with Change

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At the time of this writing, it’s been ten days since my last post.  It seems like a lifetime.

The previous three or four weeks have been both breath-taking and heart-wrenching.  We faced our grandson’s second open heart surgery head-on.  We had no choice. It was time.  And, might I add, Praise God! Our little Elijah is doing well.

We also ran smack into our oldest son’s final high school basketball season.  Again, we had no choice. It was time.  This may seem insignificant to some, but for a family who so closely does life together, this -and what it represented- was a big deal.  Granted, it wasn’t the same caliber as our grandson’s surgery, but it still had its place, and our hearts still ached at its happening.

To be honest, I didn’t receive gladly these changes in my life. But unwelcome change is inevitable, whether we’re ready or not. It’s part of this journey we live.

So what happens when we are burdened by change?  When we have no choice but to encounter our fears. When regardless of how hard we’re attempting to brake, we cannot stop the train we’re riding.  It has one destination in mind, and we have no power of our own to alter its course or to even slow it down.  How do we cope during these times?

I can’t answer for everyone, but I will share with you what I have found to be helpful.

I pray, for there is power in prayer.  I ask for the peace, courage, strength, and wisdom I so desperately need.   And when I need help praying, I summon reliable prayer warriors to stand in the gap with me.

Then comes surrender and trust.

These are not easy, but there is nothing more freeing than truly surrendering your trouble to God and trusting Him with the end result. This is not a sign of weakness or defeat.  Rather, it is an intentional step toward victory.

Victory because I am choosing to lean on Him.  Because I can trust Him to handle whatever comes my way — despite the outcome, He is there and He is faithful.  Victory in knowing problems will one day be no more; one day all will be good again.  Victory simply because I am His.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

 

Posted in Faith, Family

Peeking at a Younger Me

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I unexpectedly stumbled across an old journal of mine.  One I had started as a senior in high school, and had again picked up a few years later as a young married woman thinking about starting a family.

Its pages contained prayers I had forgotten I prayed.  Frustrations I had forgotten I felt. Even the treasured details of my husband’s proposal to me so many years ago was penned within its pages. As I flipped through the small book, I was both amazed and surprised by the words and opinions voiced by my younger self. And I wished I had written more.

At times the younger me sounded so mature; my faith seemed so strong. Other entries left me sounding youthful and confused, undoubtedly struggling with the differences in what society expected of me and what God was impressing upon me.

I was searching for answers; trying to figure out life, attempting to find my way. Certain of some things, completely unsure of others. Doing the best I could with what little wisdom and knowledge I had accrued.  Never suspecting there was still so much to learn.

As I look back upon those years, I find myself thinking about what is not written in that journal.  How I married my high school sweetheart and moved out of state with him, breaking my momma’s heart (though she didn’t tell me for years). How, in the midst of all our fun and excitement, God allowed some tough circumstances to turn our hearts back toward Him, bringing us back home, closer to family and closer to experiencing the life He had planned for us.

I remember how God faithfully provided for our needs.  How he placed certain people in our lives to help point us in the right direction.  How he began to bless us with the family we had been praying for all along.  How He was always with us – even when we had no clue He was there, and no idea how much we actually needed Him.

Yes, I am grateful I found that old journal. I’m thankful for the memories it unlocked.  I’m pleased to have glimpsed the person I once was.  And I’m blessed – so very blessed – in knowing how much God truly loved me then, and how He continues to love me now.

And friends, remember, I am no one special.  God loves you just as He loves me.  He is there for you, regardless of where you are in life.  If you find yourself searching for something more, may I encourage you to search for Him? He is all around you.  He is there for you.  He loves you, my friend.  He truly loves you.