Category Archives: Hope

You’re Pretty

She was a cute little girl, about 9 years old, with her hair in corn rolls and little rubber bands at the end of each braid.  She and her mother were walking up the sidewalk toward the restaurant, but her mother forgot something and stepped back to her car.  The girl just stood on the sidewalk. 

We were leaving, and quite frankly, I was talking to my brother-in-law as we obliviously walked past the little girl.  Turnabout is fair play, because I suspect she didn’t give either of us a moment’s notice either. 

She did, however, zero in like a heat seeking missile on my wife, Janet.  After passing a few parked car bumpers, we realized Janet was no longer with us.  We turned around and Janet was kneeling down looking the little girl eye to eye. 

The little girl was mesmerized as Janet spoke to her with a compassionate, peaceful smile on her face.  She  stared in her eyes soaking up the gentle words and kindness that naturally flow from Janet’s spirit as they talked briefly back and forth.   Continue reading You’re Pretty

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The Valley Waits

You took me to a valley, a deep, dark, ominous land.  You pointed the way and asked me to go through.  You made it clear that only I could walk through it, alone, but you weaved character and stamina of heart together with thread and twine of pain and hope.  The twine seems so harsh and hard, rough, painful as it cuts into the heart beating flesh, but the thread is fine, gold laced, with soothing salve that brings peace with every beat.

It is velvety soft, but iron clad, happy yet sad, good and bad, all at the same time.

And now, You tell me:

Go now through the dark place.  I will not carry you, nor walk for you, for you alone must take the steps.  You must both descend, and climb, the rugged trail.  Know this, however, know that I number your steps as I do your days.  You lift your foot. I’ll light your path.  You take the steps.  I’ll guide your way. Continue reading The Valley Waits

Laughter in the Mind

Somewhere in the forest of the mind, echoing between growth rings of the trees, laughter is held captive.

Over time it dies, or at least settles in the hard wood, and many don’t really remember laughter at all.  We remember moments, the freedom, the feeling, not the laugh itself.

Laughter bubbles up from fresh water wells that runs deep in the soul. It spills over, runs across the ground, even the stony parts of the heart.  If there is enough joy, the water rises soaking even the high, arid places of the heart allowing lush green fields of Spring grass to once again grow.

In its sincerest form, laughter is kind and gentle. It happens when the heart is full, safe, secure.

It’s the kind of laughter children have when wrestling the family pet, and to their delight, the dog plays back.   It’s baby laughter when they first become old enough to respond to silly faces that cause hysterical laughter.  It’s a toddler’s uncontrollable belly laugh in a fullness and purity that we adults often crave to experience again. Continue reading Laughter in the Mind

Dear Easton,

Dear Easton,

Welcome to the family!  Welcome to the world!  At six months old now, you’re learning all kinds of things!

Even before the gender reveal party, when your mama pitched a baseball to your daddy and he hit the ball that exploded blue, we were waiting on you!   You’ve been loved from the beginning!Janet and Easton (2)

There’s so much ahead of you!  You’ve already grown like a weed the last six months and now you stare in people’s eyes when they hold you and start smiling and laughing.  You’re even working on turning over!  Soon you’ll be doing all kinds of things!

It’s funny how it will all seem so extraordinarily slow to you, but so incredibly fast to the adults in your life!  In fact, the longest year of your life will be when you turn 15 and waiting on your driver’s license.  Then, it will seem like forever before you graduate from high school, become a legal adult and then turn 21.

Don’t begrudge those years, Easton.  They are full of fun, adventure, life and memories!

After you reach those milestones Easton, and every other one in life, time will start to fly by faster than you can possibly imagine! Continue reading Dear Easton,

Stand in Respect

It was refreshing! Every year the local Christmas parade across the old brick streets of the oldest town in Texas starts the same…a police car with lights on twirling red, white and blue flashes followed by men and women who have served in the military carrying the colors.

Maybe it’s the way people are addressing the flag right now in the U.S., or maybe it’s just as simple as a sign of respect, but something simple happened the other night that made me smile.

Everyone stood. Continue reading Stand in Respect

Baby Jesus Dreams

Joseph and Mary watched baby Jesus sleep.  He stretched, smiled, then let out a little complaint as Mary removed a piece of hay scratching His neck.  His little face relaxed into deep, silent night sleep.

His eyes moved back and forth in rapid eye movement sleep.  Sometimes He smiled when He dreamed. Sometimes deep agonizing pain came across His face.

Mary asked, “What do you think He’s dreaming?”

Without looking away Joseph whispered, “I really don’t know.”

There’s no guide-book on how to parent the Savior of the world.  The immensity of raising a son, who’s also the Son of the Living God, is beyond comprehension. They really didn’t know what to do except the things that were in front of them minute by minute.

The sleeping newborn was completely, physically dependent on His parents, but there was so much more.  How could Mary and Joseph understand that as they smiled upon their sleeping child, He smiled upon them?  How could they fathom their dreaming baby was hearing people praying to Him at that very moment?  How could they know He was dreaming in human form, but in God form knew everything? Continue reading Baby Jesus Dreams

Again

Asleep.

3:38 AM.

Phone call.

Disbelief.

No!! Again, poem

Adrenalin.

Rambling words.

Panicked thoughts.

Drive.

Get it together.

Just facts, please.

Numb.

Please, God!

Hope.

Crushed hope.

Be strong.

More facts.

Anger.

Wait.

Honest words.

Prognosis.

Asleep? Nightmare??

Pinch hand. Bite lip.

Real. Surreal, but real.

Again story
Herod’s pool, Caesarea, Israel on Mediterranean Sea

Sorrow.

Why, God, why?!!

Sterile environment.

Head in hands.

Tear on floor.

Would switch places.

How?

Oh, God! Oh…God…

Resolve.

Forward.

Never the same.

New normal.

 

Climb The Mountain

Shake the desert sand out of your shoes. Get the pebble out of the toe. There’s a mountain to conquer.

It’s not too big or tall, not too steep or too rocky to be settled. It can be done. No matter what the circumstances, it can be conquered. There is a way.  The size of the mountain is not as much of a limit as how we think about it.

There’s always fresh challenges, additional issues, new problems. There’s always something different that starts to make the mountains look the same.

I want the green, lush valley of rest, where gentle breezes and bubbling brooks wind their way through the trees and flowers.  I want the easy path instead of a hard climb, the gentle road, not of the stony trail, but that’s not how it usually goes.

Climb anyway. Continue reading Climb The Mountain

No Logical Answer

True story — It was Thanksgiving Day and he got up ready for a day of family, feasting and football, but something was bugging him.  He couldn’t get a co-worker who had been in the hospital and hadn’t worked for a month off his mind.

A crazy idea kept bouncing like a rubber ball in his head.  He kept feeling like he was supposed to buy bags of groceries, including a turkey and all the trimmings, for the man and his family.

He dismissed it several times, but couldn’t shake the thought.  A little later, the man’s wife needed something at the last-minute from the grocery store, so he loaded up two of his young sons to go with him.

At the store the thought was stronger than ever, so he grabbed a buggy and started filling it with canned goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, a turkey, milk, flour, eggs, the whole works.  When his sons asked why he was getting so much, he told them they were about to give the food to someone. Continue reading No Logical Answer

What Words Cannot Say

I put the rose from his garden in his rigamortis hand.  It didn’t look natural.  A snap of the stem to shorten it, then working it under his cold fingers and folded hands made it presentable.

Yes, that’s better.

I slipped a note I had hurriedly written, almost as an afterthought, and slipped it inside his suit jacket, hidden from the world, never to be read by anyone, not even the one it was written to. Continue reading What Words Cannot Say