Tag Archives: plans

Two More Days

So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.” John 11:5-7 (NLT)

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I find books on my bookshelf and can’t remember how or why I purchased them. I’ve decided to add them to my morning devotional time as part of the various things I read. My latest one is Two Days Longer by Beth Lueders.

I had not given much thought to the fact that Jesus waited two days before he returned to the friends He loved in their hour of need. It appeared as if He didn’t care and arrived much too late to be of any help. The sisters were beside themselves because they knew He could have made all the difference. But now, Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days and the odor of death was evident.

I’m sure their grief, and His own, overwhelmed Jesus and the Bible records the only reference to Jesus’ weeping. He DID feel their pain. But He also heard the whispers of the onlookers complaining that He could have done something, if He had only shown up sooner.

How many times have I pleaded or cried or begged God to do something for me? Silence. At least that’s what it seemed to me. I felt like my prayer hit the ceiling and stopped. Those waiting rooms of life are the hardest of all to endure.

Yet, Mary and Martha learned that Jesus had a far greater purpose and mission for their story. He was on a timetable that transcended any single person or incident. When He showed His power and raised Lazarus from the dead, the stopwatch to the crucifixion and resurrection began to count down in earnest. It was part of the plan.

One thing I have learned about those times of waiting is that sometimes God allows me to see the “why” but, more often, He calls me to walk in faith and trust Him for the answer. He has my back. I don’t need to know what is going on in the heavenlies, only believe that His timing is right on time.

Ann Voskamp says it another way, ““It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can’t see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us …”

Two more days.

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New Perspective

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 (NIV)

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2013 is in the history book: 2014 opens before us with a book of blank pages. What will be written in the next 365 days?

Reflection is a good thing if the goal is to learn how to live better today and not get discouraged by the past. Perspective is also important: it adds dimension to our attitudes and often gives us a different point of view.

I’ve learned a little about perspective in the last couple of weeks. Experiencing my world from a wheelchair is the last thing I expected my life would hold at the close of 2013.

Who knew there was a piece of tortilla chip under the chair that Parker couldn’t reach? Or a piece of Styrofoam under the buffet — a leftover from Christmas packaging? And then, how do I get it? The crumbs on the counter-top seem to call me every time I wheel by—along with the spots on the floor. Those things never bothered me before. It helps that my vision is getting worse but you can’t miss is when it is eye-level.

How do I get my coffee cup or open the refrigerator door to get the milk for my latte? How do I get anything out of the garage?

Always independent, it has been humbling to learn how to ask for help. Mark has been wonderful and available when I can’t reach something or maneuver the walker, wheelchair, or scooter. Unlike those who spend their lives in a wheelchair, my confinement is limited. Hopefully, my foot will heal quickly and I will be mobile again soon.

One of my goals in life is not to waste an experience that God gives me. Sometimes, His plans are far different from mine and I may question “why?” Yet, I know that I can trust Him for my best. That is one reason why HOPE has been my word for the year.

In Jesus Lives today, the opening line was, “I give you hope—hope that the best part of your life is not behind you.” I’m counting on that! Any course deviations or detours are just that — detours. But it will not deter me from the path and plans God has in mind for me.

JOY is my word for 2014. God proved His word, HOPE, over and over to me in 2013. I’m looking forward, with great anticipation, for the ways He will bring me JOY.

Happy New Year.

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Oops!

Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. 

Proverbs 4:26 (HCSB)

20e7f715ecf045d26741879c61e1c58dThere was no reason to think last Tuesday would be any different from the day I had planned. Christmas was just around the corner and the month had been filled with choir concerts, neighborhood parties, and getting presents ready, wrapped and shipped. We decided last year that we would fly to CA rather than drive and I had found tickets early at a good price. Only one last fun event before the final countdown.

It was unusually warm for a Tucson December day.  A few girls were coming for a late afternoon tea and sitting outside seemed like the perfect place to chat. We enjoyed our conversation, Christmas tea, and a bite of Yule Log. But, the sun was sinking and everyone needed to return home. Hugs, happy wishes for a Merry Christmas, and waves as they headed to their cars.

I returned to clean up the dishes. Parker lead the way, always looking for any stray crumbs. I took a couple of steps onto the patio, when I bobbled over an uneven paver and in an attempt to right myself and not fall, I leaned one way and my right foot, the other. I heard the crunch. The pain spiked through and I called for Mark to bring me a bag of ice. Half an hour later, we headed to Urgent Care. Was it broken or just a severe strain? I sure hoped and prayed it was just a strain.

I was the last patient of the day and ex rays showed fractures in two places. The nurse arrived with the fashion-forward black boot to stabilize it, a copy of the ex rays, and instructions to see an orthopedist as soon as possible.

I sat in the car while Mark picked up some pain meds. My heart was breaking with disappointment. Not only were we planning the trip to see the grandgirlies for Christmas, but a week later, we were headed on a cruise for our tenth anniversary.

I called my daughter and we both cried over the phone. All those wonderful plans were dashed in an instant. What were we going to do?

Mel texted a few minutes later that they would rearrange things and drive to Arizona for Christmas. Relief, joy, hope.

But the foot? I know that God was nudging me because I remembered that a neighbor had been suffering from foot issues for years. Surely, she would know a good orthopedist. By the time the phone call ended, I had the name of the doctor and the offer of a walker, wheelchair, shower stool, bed wedge, and hints for how to make this all work. We were set. The plans had changed but God was in control. I still wondered whether surgery or a cast was in my future — neither option appealing.

We were both up early and when I called the doctor at 8 AM, the only appointment of the day was at 8:50 AM and I took it. After looking at the ex rays and my foot, the doctor said it would heal fine but I had to continue with the boot and could not put any weight on it for 6-8 weeks.

Again — relief, hope, joy.

Plans changed. No trip to California. No cruise. But some new Christmas memories will be made.

Life in a wheelchair is a different experience and I’ll be sharing more in the days to come.

The baby Jesus arrived on that starry night to bring us HOPE. Even if our plans get turned upside down, that HOPE will never leave us. The King was born that night. He is in control.

 

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Something New

For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)

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2012 was a tough year for many reasons and I was glad to ring in the new year. A week into 2013 and I sense that something new is coming.

New…new calendar, new journal, new look in the home accessories, new Bible Study, new devotional. New. Even the journal that I purchased has one of my favorite verses printed on its cover, “For I know the plans I have for you.” What are they, Lord?

I loved reading Jesus Calling last year with its subtitle of Enjoying Peace in His Presence. However, this year I decided to try a different one from Sarah Young entitled, Jesus Today: Experience Hope Through His Presence. As much as I needed His peace last year, I want this year to be filled with hope for new direction, new experiences, new love for family and friends. There is a quote at the beginning of the book that really resonated:

Don’t you know that 

day dawns after night,

showers displace

drought, and spring 

and summer follow 

winter? Then have hope!

Hope forever, for

God will not fail you!

Charles Spurgeon

Are you ready for something new? Is your hope strong and secure in the One who holds your future? Walk with me and let me know what dreams stir in your heart for 2013. We will see what God has planned.

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Impossible?

For nothing is impossible with God.

Luke 1:37

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 I like to get up early when all is quiet. In the summer, I sit on my back patio and listen to the birds chirp and watch them bathe in the fountain. But in December, it’s dark out, even chilly, so I curl up on the couch in my library/office to sip a latte and read Jesus Calling. For the Advent season, I’m also reading Preparing for Jesus by Wangerin. Today the two devotionals dovetailed over a miracle…seemingly impossible situations.

Sarah gave birth when she was long past childbearing. And, teenage Mary gave birth as a virgin to the Son of God. How can these things be?

But God.

However, the thought posed by Wangerin that caught my attention was Mary’s willingness and her immediate response of “Yes” to the angel’s proposition. I might have had a few questions for that angel. But Mary trusted God even when it didn’t make any sense to her.

We’ve had a year that didn’t make sense to me. If I was in control of my calendar and life, I would have added much more pleasure and fun and taken out all the sorrow and pain. Yet, God has chosen this path for me to follow. I have the option to catch His hand and keep up or go my own way and stumble around in the dark. I choose God and know that without Him, I will never make it.

When life is arduous, I want to sit in God’s presence and soak in the hope and peace He offers. The hard part is staying there when life is easy—when I think I can handle it.

I’m looking forward to celebrating Christmas with my family. We have all been challenged this year…but God. As the New Year approaches, I want to say “Yes” to God’s plans because I know He will do the impossible.

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