Listening—-one of the best things one can do for someone who is grieving–is to listen to them–just listen–just be with them. So often, people don’t know what to say, and so they say–well–really stupid things–  Things to try to “fix”, things to try to make the one grieving, “feel better.”  Perhaps there is a reason one can’t think of what to say–perhaps the reason is–that nothing needs to be said, but instead listening needs to happen.

After we lost Sean, some dear friends who were in the Pastorate, met with us once a week, for over a year, and they listened to us–and they gave us books to read, and they “were there” for us.  During one of our times together, I was telling our friends–that I could sense God’s presence with me, but God was not saying anything to me–He was “silent.”

Recently, I was reading a friend’s blog–and she discussed this idea of listening, and she discussed how God is listening to us.  Suddenly, it hit me.  When I sensed God’s presence–but He was silent–He was listening to me.  He was just being with me.

He wasn’t trying to fix my pain.  He wasn’t trying to “make me feel better”, He was just listening.

Even as I write these things–I cry.  Lord knows, I need to be fixed.  Lord, knows, I need to feel better.  Yet God listened.  And in the listening, it was communicated, “ I am here for you.  You are accepted by Me.  You belong to me.  You are my beloved.  You belong to Me.  You are accepted by Me.  I am here for you.”

All these things and more were communicated in the listening.

Listening—sometimes it is the best thing, it is the only thing….that is needed by the one who is grieving.

Let Me Tell You ‘About My Jesus!!

This week my daughter and I were riding in the car together, and this song came on. There is something about this song, MY JESUS, by Anne Wilson, that I love. We turned up the volume and listened to this bluesy singer, belt out, “Let me tell you ’bout my Jesus.”, as she also detailed the ways that so many of us today are in need. In reality, even if one does not “feel” the need for Jesus–we all “need’ Jesus. So enjoy this great song, but even more–be encouraged–because every thing she sings about is true–Jesus makes a way where there is no way!! Let me tell you ’bout my Jesus!! Amen!! Amen!!

LYRICS: Are you past the point of weary

Is your burden weighing heavy

Is it all too much to carry

Let me tell you ‘bout my Jesus

Do you feel that empty feeling

‘Cause shame’s done all its stealing

And you’re desperate for some healing

Let me tell you ‘bout my Jesus

He makes a way where there ain’t no way

Rises up from an empty grave

Ain’t no sinner that He can’t save

Let me tell you ‘bout my Jesus

His love is strong and His grace is free

And the good news is I know that He Can do for you what He’s done for me

Let me tell you ‘bout my Jesus

And let my Jesus change your life Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, amen, amen

Who can wipe away the tears

From broken dreams and wasted years

And tell the past to disappear

Let me tell you ‘bout my Jesus

And all the wrong turns that you would Go and undo if you could

Who can work it all for your good

Let me tell you about my Jesus

Who would take my cross to Calvary

Pay the price for all my guilty

Who would care that much about me

Let me tell you ‘bout my Jesus

May we Be Encouraged!!

Angels In My Garden

I thought you’d like to see some pictures of some of the flowers blooming in my garden. They bring a smile to me, and I’m hoping they will to you as well.

I also shared in my blog, “Gardening Awaits“, that I went around our yard, looking at all the work that awaited me, and wondering how it was all going to get done.   I started praying asking God for Help!!  What I said was that I was wondering if He could send some angels to help me get the vegetable beds ready for planting.  Well, not too long after this, my husband hired someone to dig a ditch with his small backhoe to help us with some drainage issues.  While watching this happen, I asked my husband, “Do you think we could ask him to use the backhoe to turn over dirt in the vegetable patches?”  My husband said, “Sure, we could do that.”   This young man did turn over the dirt—helping to prepare the beds, and shortly afterwards, I was able to plant my vegetable garden.

     Thank you to this young man, and my husband for helping to make this happen.  God did send some angels—after all! 🙂

Hope this encourages you!!

The Gift of Sleep–has been taken away.

Recently, I’ve been having some sleepless nights.  This is a rare event for me—the gift of sleep is something I have enjoyed since I was a baby.  After Sean died, several of my friends, (who are doctors), offered to prescribe me something to sleep.  I told them no, I would be able to sleep— and I did.  I have been given the gift of sleep.

I am not sure why now, of all times, sleep alludes me.  Perhaps, my anxiety levels are so high, that sleep is not a gift I am enjoying these days.

I have been reminded of a story in Genesis, chapter 16.  (My daughter and I read this story recently, as we are reading through Genesis.)  These words struck me again, as they have many times in the past:

“You are the God who sees.”  These are the words of Hagar, Sarai’s slave, whom Sarai gave to Abram as a wife, so Sarai could get a child from Hagar. (This is the first recorded event of a surrogate mother.)  Hagar did get pregnant, and the Bible tells us that Hagar despised her mistress, because Sarai could not get pregnant.  Sarai treated Hagar harshly, so Hagar fled from her.   Hagar ended up alone in the desert, probably facing death for herself and her unborn child.  An Angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar and told her to go back.

Hagar was astounded by the thought that the God of Heaven and Earth, would notice her and her plight—that He saw her.

The first time this story struck me, I was 23 years old, and I had moved to Columbus Ohio, starting my first job after graduating from college.

I was so lonely and felt so friendless; I read this story in Genesis and thought that even as God saw Hagar, God saw me.  That thought brought tears to my eyes.  God was seeing me!!  I was not alone; God was with me!

 (I love how the Bible does not sugar coat situations or people—people are presented with their flaws and foibles.  They are presented as people needing the Savior who is to come—in the Old Testament; and the Savior who came—in the New Testament.)

 Hagar’s words— “You are the God, who sees”, reminds me that nothing escapes God’s attention.  He knows when a sparrow falls from the sky, and how many hairs we each have on our heads.  He knows each star by name, and the number of grains of sand on earth.  He is the God who sees.

I have been hearing stories of people dying, (not just by the COVID-19 virus, but just dying).  Stories of women being pregnant, and fearful for their babies and themselves.  Stories of parents being fearful for their children.  Stories of children being fearful for their parents.  There is a lot of fear these days.  Maybe it has been there all along, but now it has made its way to the surface.

Hagar also said, “Truly here, I have seen Him who looks after me.”   Genesis 16:13

God does more than see us, He looks after us.  He takes care of us.  I need to remind myself of all the times God has taken care of me and my family.  God does not change.  He is the same today, as He was yesterday, and will remain the same tomorrow.  He will continue to take care of me and my family.  He will continue to take care of you and your family.

I hope to remind myself of these things.   (Maybe, I will relax enough to be able to sleep.)

I hope to remind any who read this—that the God of Heaven and Earth—is the God who sees and the God who takes care of us.

May we find peace in this thought.  May we find peace in Him!!

May we be encouraged!!