Monday, April 18, 2016

Happy Monday Morning ~ Keep Singing

Hi friend!!!


Happy Monday Morning! 





"Hope" is the thing with feathers---
that perches in the soul--
and sings the tune without the words---
and never stops--
at all."  
~ Emily Dickinson
 


So is this just a cute quote or is there some real truth in it?
{the little purple birdie is definitely cute}

As I thought about this I had to giggle that feathers in my soul might just tickle. Ha!

But than I thought a bit more about it and got serious.

I feel it's more than a great quote or thought and we can find some encouraging stuff in it.

You see friend, when your source of hope is found in God - in His promises and His character (loving, caring, faithful, good, true, just, etc) - than we are able to have a hope deep in our soul that doesn't stop singing.

Having a hope like that in life's difficult and hard time could be like singing a tune without knowing the words. But, that hope inside us? It's there. And it's still real.

I admit I don't know a lot about birds, or there habits {except they love leaving me "presents" on my car's roof  and windshield when I park under the tree at work}. But, I have seen birds perched in a tree or on top of our backyard fence. They can hang on tight even when the branch sways and a breeze blows. And they just keep singing their song.

If that hope inside us is real, then I believe that even if it feels like we're perched high up in a tree and there's a wind blowing .....

.... We can still sing -

         "It is well with my soul."

                                   "I still believe."

                                               "Yet will I rejoice in You."


And even if you can't find the words - don't you still feel that hope?



Dear Jesus,
Please help us recognize the truth in your Word and know that You are able to give us hope and bring us peace. Help us to never give up and never loose hope. And if at times we feel we can't hear the tune any more or we've forgotten the words or our life feels like a bird has pooped on it, please restore the joy of our salvation* and sing over us with gladness** until we again can hear Your song of hope deep in our soul. May that song of hope never end.
Amen


*Nehemiah 8:10 
"...for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
 
**Zephaniah 3:17
"The Lord will take delight in you, and in his love he will give you new life. He will sing and be joyful over you."


Will you sing with me friend? {it's ok to just hum along until you remember the words again}

Love ya, 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Evie the Evergreen

Hey there friend!

Today I'm posting something totally different. 

It's a short story and.......

TaDa! It was written by me.

Yea me! My high school English teacher would be quite surprised. Me and creative writing did not click way back then.

Then how did I come up with this story?

I guess to start with I was inspired by a picture of an evergreen tree. Add to that the lessons learned as I spent six Monday nights in a ladies Bible study called Missing Pieces by Jennifer Rothschild. {by the way it was an awesome study!} And then there was a Bible verse in Habakkuk that was the theme of our study. Put it all together with writing, rewriting and prayer and this is what I got.

I'm not sure how good my little story is.
Cute? - yes.
Makes sense? - I think so.
Ever be published? - nah.

But hopefully, it gives a message of encouragement to the reader. And hey! That's what my little place in bloggy land is all about.

So friend, I hope you enjoy it -

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
The Story of Evie the Evergreen:an Encourager
~by Debbie Gabelman

Up on the mountain top where Evie lived in her home tree sometimes the wind was wild and crazy and sometimes gentle and soothing.
Ever since Evie was just a seed-wingling in her pinecone she could hear the wind sing through the branches of the tall and majestic evergreens. It would sometimes shout the praises of Almighty God and His greatness. And sometimes it would whisper and seem to speak her name.  More than once she heard it say her name and tell her that there was a special purpose for her and the tree she would one day become.
 
photo found on Photobucket


So when launch day came Evie squeezed out of her pinecone and leapt joyfully and expectantly onto a gentle breeze. She was followed by quite a few other of her seed-wingling friends.

From the tippy top branches in the home tree they twirled and drifted down, down to the soft and rich soil below.

But then something unexpected happened. A single gust of wind blew Evie – and only Evie - right over the mountain top’s side. She started spinning wildly. When she finally made an abrupt and rather hard landing she found herself part way down the mountain on a small shelf of rock that jutted out from the side of the mountain.

When she peeked over the ledge’s side she could see she was still very high up.  If she had continued down to the bottom she most likely would not have survived. There was a road that ran around a lake that sat at the bottom of the mountain. If the cars on the road hadn’t squished her, than the lake’s water certainly would have drowned her.

She looked around at her little landing place and found it to be small, but comfortable enough. It even had some soft and fertile soil on it. Just enough for her to wiggle down into and start the process of becoming a tree.

Over the years she did grow. Oh but she often felt so alone. It was bad enough that all her friends from her seed-wingling days were up on the mountain top becoming beautiful and majestic trees. But she rarely heard the wind speak to her any more. 
She started to think how it just wasn’t fair. And she started to doubt. Maybe what she thought she had heard as a seed-wingling had only been her imagination. Or maybe she didn’t understand. Or maybe God had changed His mind. Made a mistake? Didn’t care? And if He did care was He even aware of her and what had become of her?

Evie continued to grow into a very tall evergreen. She wasn’t as beautiful as she had imagined she’d be. She certainly would never be considered majestic. It had been rough trying to grow on that mountain’s side. She had a few bare spots where branches had snapped from a heavy snow one year. A few other branches just never seemed to stretch out very strong and straight. What with them always being whipped by the strong winds that came around the side of the mountain in the spring.
Every now and then she thought she heard the wind whisper her name and even speak words to encourage her. That she was still significant. That God did see her and did have a plan and purpose for her. That she would be an encouragement to many. She wanted to believe … to have faith… but the missing pieces in her branches seemed to match the missing pieces in her faith.

Until one day when a piece of paper came drifting down on the wind and landed in her branches. “Oh that’s just great”, Evie thought. “Now on top of everything else I’m a garbage collector. I can’t even get any birds to nest in my branches, but I can catch garbage.” And with that her branches seemed to droop a little bit more.
Just as she finished that thought - the wind suddenly blew from a different direction than usual for that time of year. It was a mighty and strong gust of wind. And she heard it as clear as she did back when she was just a seed-wingling. It told her that God had a purpose for her. That her sparse and bare places are the things that make her truly beautiful.

Evie began to weep. She bowed her head and asked for Him to show her.

She waited and soon a soft breeze came and lifted the paper out of her branches. The piece of paper blew up and around. It seemed to dance on the wind.

That's when Evie saw that it was actually a photo. What?! It was a photo of Evie!

There were words written on it. They said - Yet will I REJOICE in You!. Someone had seen her. Someone had seen beauty in spite of her imperfections. Or maybe because of them.



Picture by Jessi  / Design by Debbie

From that day on Evie stood as tall as she could and hoped others would see the beauty in what God had done in her life. She truly had become an encourager. She now knew that God is true to His word and promises. And she rejoiced with the wind that blew and sang that truth all around her.


The End
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Love ya,

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Five Minute Friday Fun: Focus

Hey there friends!

A little confused by the title of this post? Oh! It's not Friday is it?

Oops! I kinda missed Friday's blog land party at Kate's place.
But thankfully, she allows us to link up after Friday and doesn't mind if we come to her party late.

I just couldn't pass this Friday's one word prompt by - FOCUS. It's been on my heart all weekend.

The truth is that I have quite a few posts still in draft stage waiting for me to figure out what and how to say what's on my heart. And then sometimes I just.... have. to. write. This is one of those times.

Let me explain why and then I'll start my five minutes.

On Wednesday night there was an urgent prayer request on Facebook from a friend. It's for a seven year old boy's dad..... a motorcycle accident.... in surgery..... mom passed away a few months ago.... he has a baby brother.

And so I pray and ask hubby to pray.

The next day, Thursday,  I see the update that the dad made it through surgery and is in very critical condition in ICU.

And I continue to pray. Update hubby and he continues to pray, too.

Surely God will be merciful and allow this dad to heal and recover and live. And my heart breaks for the seven year old who has already experienced enough grief .... more than a seven year old should ever have to.

And that evening I ask if there is any update. And I read my friend's reply. The dad passed away earlier that day.

No!
Why?

I am angry that this is the end of this life and the beginning of unimaginable grief for the families. That this is the way prayers are sometimes answered. And it seems so unfair for the two boys left without a mom and now their dad.

And what do I say?

How do I respond? What should my comment be?

You see I'm leading a ladies Bible study {Missing Pieces by Jennifer Rothschild} and we're talking and learning about things like -
is God fair?
does God care?
is God there?
does God ere?

That Facebook prayer request on Wednesday?
It was posted on our Bible study group's FB page.

I sat there for the longest time trying to figure out what to write. How to encourage.  And it was really hard. There are no answers that will satisfy when an event like this happens and makes us ask "why".

So I wrote -

"I too feel heartbroken for the children and the other family members. Yes, it is things like this that make us ask all those hard questions we're learning about each week in our Missing Pieces study. Hubby and I will be praying. And like you, trusting God and His perfect will."

And than this one word prompt on Friday. Yes! That's the answer we need in times like this.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
and GO!

FOCUS

When life lands a hard blow and knocks you off balance - don't loose focus.

And when the answers don't come easy... or at all - don't give up.

What should you do? How do you regain your balance?

The answer is where our focus lies. It does not need to be on the "Why?" or the "What if?"

Our focus needs to be on Who.

On the One who knows what we're going through. Hebrews 4:15
On the One who counts our tears. Psalm 56:8
On the One who will never leave us or forsake us. Deuteronomy 31:8
On the One who is forever faithful. Psalm 100:5
On the One who is close to the broken hearted. Psalm 34:17-18a

In order to stand back up and find peace when life knocks us down, our focus needs to be on our faith and on the facts.

Faith - choose to believe and stand on the promises of God that are found throughout His word.
Facts - God's character is: faithful, just, loving, gracious, merciful, good, righteous, all-knowing.

Faith + Facts = Peace

"You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in You."
Isaiah 26:3

and STOP!



~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

  "Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each morning."
Lamentations 3:21-23


Love ya,