Friday, November 22, 2013

Grace for the Storm

The storms in life, they kick up and kick in, pick up and toss, knock me right down to my knees. On bent knee, I find Him - refreshing me, tucking this little chick under His wing of protection. I am overwhelmed by the grace in the storm and the love of the Father that sends the swirling winds and pounding thunder. A day after crying out in agony to my sister, the Lord speaks and I give thanks that He has not left me alone...that the midst of the driving rain of life, He is right here holding open wide the umbrella of His love, covering me with His mercy and grace.

Just thankful today for the miracle of His grace, the abundance of His provision in the midst of this storm. He does not forgotten nor does He overlook His own.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Growing up, we had wide open fields to run in, a creek to explore and trees to climb. Our house, it was on an acre caught between my grandma and my aunt's acres. We were free to roam the no longer farmed fields...and we did.

But it was Grandma that called us back...over to her house for an ice cream cone or an orange push-up. It was Grandma whose garden grew the best tomatoes, whose kitchen produced the best grape jelly. Mama's Thanksgiving table was always blessed with Grandma's homemade applesauce and delicious pies. She filled in as chauffeur when Mom worked, cheered us on at our sporting events when no one else could come - she even did a cartwheel once when my sister's volleyball team won an important game. Grandma, who could turn our faces red with an inappropriate comment or could make us giggle with her cat's meow. And her hair, she always let us brush it back. She would rest on the sofa davenport, while one of us girls would sit behind her and brush her hair long blinks of time. She taught me to play to laugh over loses and how to win gloatingly graciously.

It was Grandma who harassed me when I came to know Jesus and called me fanatical when I spoke of Him as friend.

It was for Grandma and her Polish roots, my Polish roots, I took polka lessons when I was a grown woman. I came back from life in Texas to dance with her around that small living room that always seemed just the right size. She laughed and told me that I was doing it all wrong...and she taught me the right way - her way, with laughter and shortness of breath, a woman well into her seventies by then.

Grandma, she held us as babies, pride and joy gleaming in her eyes. The same woman held each of my babies, a day from the womb, tears glistening and joy in her eyes.

When life was hard and Grandma needed to think, we would find her on her John Deere. She loved to be outside, mowing, raking leaves, trimming bushes, digging in the garden. She worked hard and breathed deep of the great outdoors.

My grandma, her life wasn't easy. Her husband died the day she buried her mother - her a widow at the age of thirty-three with two young girls to care for. She, with the help of her brother, took over running the business in those years before a woman in business was popular. When it failed, she went to work in a factory, then became a custodian for the local public school where she worked faithfully until retirement age. She would never remarry.

Her growing up years were never easy. She wouldn't finish school - dropped out sometime before eighth grade...but man, could she add numbers in her head quicker than a calculator. Her parents owned a strawberry farm and she worked...hard, long hours as a young child. She had eight siblings..and has buried all but one. They grew up in a small farm house, all the children sharing a room. Floors caked with dirt, either from neglect or perhaps there was no floor but dirt - I can't remember. She has spoken of the bedbugs that deprived of sleep and remembering the catching and crushing of them between "Don't let the bedbugs bite..." was not just a silly saying, but almost a prayer.

One thing I know about my grandma: she never made excuses. She never complained about all the bad. She may have cried long when she suffered loss, but she somehow managed to get up and move on.

Last night she fell, her near century old body crumbling under the strain of years. She lay there alone for several hours before being found by my mom. She was rushed to the ER, where the doctor found her broken hip. She waits in pain for the surgeon, crying out just to go home. She just wants to be in her own bed, her own little house...the same one she has been in since before her husband died. And I cry with her, praying that God will call her, open her heart to His amazing grace and overpowering love. May God write the peace in her heart that is found only in Christ...the peace and joy that have been missing for nearly a century. In this, the twilight of her life, may she find the Light for all eternity.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dark Before the Dawn

The threatens to consume this soul, to steal its joy. It presses in like a weight, crushing the chest. I fight for every breath, I scream and cry and struggle against the night, only to slip again in to its blinding depths...darkness so black that it hides all light. Its weight forces me, pushes me; stumbling under the pressing darkness, I fall to my knees...where I find voice to petition the God of Light for His intervention...that He will come and illuminate the darkest night. His promise is sure and His Word is true: No darkness can hide me from His presence, nothing can separate me from His love, and even in the shadow of this darkest night, He breathes life. Him, breathing life into my nostrils like He did that first man...I know it and feel it as I choose...choose the only thing I can: give thanks in all things. Give thanks to Him who laid the foundations of the world, for the life He breaths in to me, for the hope that He promises me, that perhaps I am not being consumed by darkness, but am living in blindness. Yes, in giving thanks, I find His healing salve upon my eyes.. restoring my sight that I might see the light of His presence always shining. And the darkness breaks to dawn and the Son, always shining, I see. His light not hidden from me.

And so, I kneel in thanks and find His light in the night, His hope shines in the darkness. He is always good and His mercies are new every morning. He upholds me with His righteous right hand. His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

Thanking Him today