Archive | January 2010

Better Hands

Five years ago when my son signed up for boot camp I thought I was prepared to release him.  However, soon after his departure I discovered I was wrong. For although my son was absent in my home, his presence in my thoughts continued to be so real that, at times, I thought I could hear him calling from the other room.

Consequently, during his first week away, I not only became fearful that he would never return, but I also often awoke from nightmares with the sound of his screams echoing through my mind as I fought back images of him being shot or dismembered.  

Now, I was fully aware that I should not worry, and I needed to “trust” God with my son. But no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t “let him go” ….until I was given the revelation of laying him at Jesus’ feet. 

After that, whenever I would begin to worry, I would picture myself picking up my son and carrying Him to Jesus and gently laying him down. Lord, I love Him, but you love Him more. Only you know what is best for Him.  Then I would envision Jesus tenderly reaching down and gathering him into His arms.

Many times, since then, the Lord has quickened my spirit to pray for my son as well as for my other grown children, and occasionally, I have had the privilege of hearing the outcomes.  But regardless of whether I ever learn of the circumstances or the results, I can rest assured that in laying my children down at “Lord’s feet, I am placing them in better hands than mine.

Little Things

My latest picture of my now one month old grandson reveals his newest discovery…his tongue .  My daughter says that he is licking everything in his vicinity: his car seat, his stroller, his blankets, even his favorite comfy object…his mother. Aren’t babies incredible?  It is amazing how each new site, smell, sound and taste spells out wonder for them as they discover the world around them, for the mundane to us is mesmerizing to them.

Although I may not be literally” tasting” my world as my grandson is doing, there are days when I taste” of” my world. Those are the days when the world feels so alive and God’s presence seems so close that I can almost feel His breath. But then there are other days, when my taste buds become numb and I lose my childlike wonder as the weariness of life overcomes me; causing me to shut down my senses and move into survival mode.  Those are the days when I lose track of the little things.

It is during those times that I ask the Lord to open my eyes and ears again to reawaken me to behold Him and His creation. For whether it’s the tiny petals peeking out from the cracks in the concrete slabs, the  frightened lizard running across my path, the intricate patterns woven into the morning frost on the window of my car, or the gorgeous sunsets painted across the evening sky, I want to daily take in the wonder of the beauty of God’s creation… But most of all, everyday I want to enjoy Him… And that is not such a little thing!

Oh to forget the little things

Seems such a tragedy.

When bursting buds and babies’ cries

 Mean nothing more to me.

When heaviness invades my soul

And steals my peace away,   

It’s so very easy to forget

The simple joys within each day.

Oh to forget the little things.

Lord, let it not be so.

With mercies new, and greater faith

May this heart inside me grow.

May my eyes and ears be opened

To your glories all around.

As I taste of your awesome presence

May your love and joy abound!

  Jeannie B.

Psalms 34:8-“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (NKJV)

Freedom Isn’t Free

John 8:36-“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”(NKJV)

When my oldest son was 11 years old he dressed in his camouflage pants and shirt, grabbed our 5 ft by 3 ft American Flag and proceeded to march around the block with his three siblings in tow.  Two days ago he left for Afghanistan.

The same passion that stirred him then; still stirs him now.  For even as a small child reenacting battles with legos and micro-machines he knew that true freedom has a cost.

I am proud of my sons, my son-in-law, and of all the other brave men and women who have left the security of their homeland and the people they love in order to be the watchers on the wall.

We can sleep, because they don’t.

We can enjoy our families, because they can’t.

We can live in peace, because some of them will die in battle.

When people tell me that what our military is doing is useless and that we should just bring our soldiers back home, I tell them to remember 9-11. For I believe that if we don’t fight our enemies on their soil, we will be fighting them on ours.   

When people see how God has set me free from the lies I used to believe and the torment of the enemy, I tell them to remember Calvary where Our Savior fought for us and died.  Yes, freedom always has a cost…It cost my Lord everything!

You’re Just Not Getting It

When my four-year old son replied,” I like Smurfs so I wanted Bennie to be a Smurf.” , when I asked him why he spray- painted his cousin blue… I thought …”Child, you’re just not getting it.”

When my three-year old son answered, “ I wanted a brown, white and black dog instead of just a brown and white dog.” when I asked him why he put roofing tar on our Welsh springer spaniel.. I thought …”Child, you’re just not getting it.”

When my three-year old daughter stated, “Why do ‘YOU’get to break everything?” when I informed her that if I wanted things broken, I would break them myself.  I thought  …”Child, you’re just not getting it.”

When my toddler begged me to let her go the bathroom by herself, and I found her bathing in the toilet bowl with her dolly, I turned aside trying not to let her see me laugh as I thought …”Child, you’re  just not getting it …and I wish I had video camera!”

You see, although my little darlings were doing what was right in their own eyes, I knew better. For it is not good to spray paint cousins, tar dogs, break things, and bathe in toilets.

Hmmm….makes me wonder how many times when I am doing what seems right in my own eyes, my loving, omniscient, Heavenly Father, who definitely knows better is thinking “Child, you’re just not getting it.”

Proverbs 13:15  ”The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise . .” (NKJV)

Proverbs 3:7  “Do not be wise is your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.” (NKJV)

Deuteronomy 6:18-“And ye shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may be well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land of which the Lord swore to you and your fathers.”(NKJV)

Lord, I am so thankful that you love me, (even when I am just not getting it)and that You know what is best for me. Help me to trust you and give me wisdom so can do what is right in Your eyes.

Wrappings

        Each four lines of the following poem reads as a stanza.  For some reason this program will not save it that way. 

          Wrappings

Two packages lay before me,

One elegant; one plain.

The one in finest wrapping.

The other brown with string.

With delight I grabbed the first one;

Gently removed the bows

And folded down the paper

While anticipation rose.

But disappointment surfaced

Almost immediately

As I opened up the box

And it contents I did see.

For instead of finest treasures

Of diamonds or of gold,

It was filled with thorns and thistles

And miseries untold.

So reluctantly, I reached out

And laid the second on the floor.

With it’s drab and plain appearance

What horrors were in store?

Then cautiously I cut 

The fraying well-worn string ,

And removed the Plain brown paper

To open up the awful thing.

But disappointment left

As delight filled up my soul

for in that plain and simple package

were treasures to behold.

                                         Jeannie Boatright (Diane)

I have learned that sometimes the most incredible gifts come in the most unusual packages.

 Have a blessed day!

The Exchange

While standing at the airport currency counter, my team leader spoke up, “Don’t exchange your money here, I know someone who will do it for free.”  So I slipped my money into my purse and stepped out of line.

While sitting in a crowded auditorium an evangelist spoke up, “You can’t change your broken life, but there is someone who can do it for free.”  So I slipped out of my seat and stepped into line.

Free- It’s one of my favorite words

It’s how I got my entertainment center (one man’s trash is another’s treasure).

It’s how I got back my life.

My US currency couldn’t purchase me anything in a foreign country, and my good works couldn’t purchase me anything eternal.

In both cases there had to be an exchange: worthless paper for valuable bills; ashes for beauty.

Throughout the scriptures we see Jesus exchanging the worthless for the priceless.

When the woman with the issue of blood reached out and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment… there was an exchange as she received healing for sickness. (Mark 5:25-34)

When the woman caught in adultery was spared by Jesus’ words fingered in the sand… there was an exchange when she received acceptance for shame. (John 8:3-11)

When the man stood in amazement as clay was plastered on his useless eyes… there was an exchange as he received sight for blindness. (John 9:1-11)

When the demoniac watched a pack of possessed pigs dive to their deaths after Jesus cast out his demons…there was an exchange as he received peace for torment. (Luke 8:27-36)

When the grieving mother was presented with her very much alive son after Jesus told him to arise…there was an exchange as she received joy for  sorrow.(Luke 7:11-15)

As we bring our sin, fear, brokenness, despair, and heartache before our precious Savior…there is an exchange as we receive salvation, faith, wholeness, hope, and joy…and He does it all for free.

May you rejoice in all that the Lord has done and will continue to do in your life…today and everyday!

Puke and All

Romans 5:8-“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

 A couple of years ago I was blessed to be in a relationship with a wonderful, godly man, through whom God brought healing to some wounded areas of my life.  One night, when he was visiting our family, I suddenly became ill.

 When he followed me into the bathroom, where I was puking my guts out, I demanded that he leave me alone and go home.  However, in spite of my protests, he continued to approach me, knelt down, gently pulled back my hair, and declared that he was there for me.  

 When I felt the least attractive (puke on the face does not rate real high on the desirability scale) and the most repulsive, he drew near and pulled me close.

 Isn’t that how God is? Instead of being repulsed; He receives.  Instead of waiting for us to “clean up our act”, He steps into the bathrooms of our lives when we are still covered in the depravity of our sin and says, “I am here.”   Then He reaches out and receives us into His arms.

 May you be reminded today that no matter where you are at or what you have done, God loves you and is there for you…puke and all!