Daily Miracles of Life

Hi y’all!

It’s been awhile, and for that, I apologize. I’m committed to doing better in the future.

Sometimes life gets in the way of our plans, and that has happened to me in recent months. Yesterday, however, something happened that I feel compelled to write about. I have no picture for this blog – that’s probably a blog no-no, but it is what it is…

I hear with hearing aids, and have to change the batteries weekly.

Batteries of any kind are dangerous if swallowed, and hearing aid batteries are tiny and can be easily swallowed by small children or animals. I’ve known this since 2007 when I began wearing hearing aids, and I’m extremely careful to never leave the batteries where they can be a danger.

Yesterday, as I changed my batteries, both of the old ones dropped to the floor. All three of my dogs were in the room.

I, of course, panicked and screamed for them to get away, all the while searching the floor for the batteries.

The hound dog was looking for something to eat, and licking the floor near where the batteries had hit. I saw one of the batteries immediately and retrieved it. The second battery was apparently playing hide-and-go-seek, and had hidden itself quite well.

Through my panic and tears, I ushered the dogs from the room, as I prayed that none of them had found and eaten the missing battery.

Now, some may think God is too busy to care about things like this, and that I should never have prayed.

Scripture says that God knows the number of hairs on my head. (see Luke 12:7) If that’s true, and I believe it is, then God cares about ALL the things in our lives – even when we drop two tiny batteries on the floor and our pets are nearby.

As I walked back into the room, I saw the battery in full sight even though I hadn’t seen it before. A miracle!

You may say that I didn’t experience a miracle yesterday, and that’s your prerogative. However, for me it was a miracle, and I fell down before God and gave thanks.

Miracles happen each and every day. Some big, some small – all miracles. May each of us be aware of, and thankful for, the miracles that happen in our lives.

See you next time…

Always Look to Make Sure There Isn’t a Frog in Your Toilet

As we go through life, we often leap before we look – or at least I found that to be true in my life. Sometimes, I suppose, it’s because we think that we have all the facts, when in reality we only have part of the facts. Or, perhaps, it’s something that we want so badly, we really don’t want to KNOW all the facts, because if we really knew the facts, we’d use our better judgment and not do it.

Several years ago, my husband, Matthew, found an example of this in a most unusual place – the hall bathroom of our house, also known as the reading room in some circles. One night in the wee hours of the morning, he got up to visit the reading room. As was his custom, he flipped on the light so he could see.

What to his wondering eyes should appear? A FROG! It was in our toilet! Yes, a real, live frog peering up at Matthew as if to say “Hey buddy, why’d you turn on the light? I’m trying to sleep here!” Of course, Matthew yelled for me to come see. Then he ran and got the digital camera (because no one would believe this otherwise), and there we stood in our hall bathroom in the middle of the night with a frog in our toilet as the subject of our photo shoot!

After the photo shoot, we had to figure out how to help Mr. Frog (okay, it could have been Ms. Frog, but I never got close enough to determine that little detail) out of our bathroom and out of the house! We somehow coaxed him into a plastic cup (which was NEVER used again) and Matthew took him outside to live happily in the grass and hop away to his heart’s content.

To this day it is a mystery as to how he got in the toilet in the first place, but you can rest assured that on my nightly visits to the reading room, I now flip the light on to make sure he hasn’t decided to make an encore!

The same should be true of decisions we face in life. “Flip the light on” to be sure there isn’t something uninvited awaiting you before you leap.

However, in my old age I’ve decided that sometimes it may be better to just leap and worry about the frogs later. Some people refer to that as a leap of faith, and that really sets well with me. I’ve been waffling with this subject for years, and I obviously based on what I’ve just written I’m still struggling with it to some extent. But hear (read) me out.

Not to be preachy or anything, I am a person of faith – and by definition that means I don’t know the future or have all the answers. I just believe that decisions I make should be based on the best information I have, plus the feeling in my soul as I commune with God.

Sometimes no matter how much research we do, or how long we commune with God, there may be a frog or two in our “toilet”, also known as our future. We can’t know the ending to everything. Take this job, go to this school, marry this guy/gal – all of these decisions require faith. Faith is not knowing what’s around the corner and walking down the street anyway.

We can’t let our fear of the future freeze us from making decisions, and we can’t make decisions without doing some research. “Flipping on the light” to peer as much as we can into the future, by praying and communing with God, and then moving forward in faith.

See you next time…

 

 

 

 

 

The Eye of the Storm

Well, it looks like I’ve got a musical theme going again this time. I enjoy listening to various genres of music, so my personal playlist is very diverse, including rock ‘n roll, line dance music, waltzes, country, and gospel.

The country and gospel songs usually tell stories, and the ones in my playlist are the songs that touch my soul.

One such song, written by Bryan Fowler and Ryan Stevenson is In the Eye of the Storm

Growing up on the SC coast, I’m more familiar than I care to be with “the eye of the storm”. The picture above is Hurricane Hugo as it came ashore in Charleston, SC, in September 1989. The dot you see inside the yellow area is the eye.

The eye in a hurricane is the area where there is calm, coming after the initial hit and before the final hit. Thus it is surrounded by the walls of the storm. The strongest winds of a hurricane are typically on the right side of the eye, which is determined by the direction the storm is moving. 

Hugo devastated many cities and towns in its path. My hometown of Hanahan, SC (10 miles north of Charleston), was one of them. It looked like a bomb had been dropped. I had never seen so much debris and ruin. My friends who rode it out (meaning they did not evacuate) said they’d never do it again. They described the moment the eye passed through as a reprieve and calm from the winds and the rain, giving them just enough time to run outside and check on neighbors and have brief conversations before retreating back to their houses to batten down the hatch again for the second and more brutal wall of the storm.

Life is like that. We get hit from all directions, and we intuitively know we are in the eye of our life’s storm. All around us the storm rages on, but if we have God in our lives we are never alone. God carries us and comforts us no matter what our storm may be.

The lyrics of In the Eye of the Storm touch my soul because the very essence of the song is God’s presence in the eye of our life storms. If you’ve never heard the song, google it. It’s worth the time.

And when you’re in the midst of a life storm, KNOW that God has your back. KNOW that you’re not alone. 

See you next time…

God Bless the Broken Road

I’ve enjoyed country music since before it was cool because even as a small child the words to the songs resonated with me.

The words resonate because most of the songs are about everyday things of life.

The song Bless the Broken Road was co-written by Bobby Boyd, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Jeff Hanna and Marcus Hummon in 1994. It was released by NGDB that same year, and by Hummon in 1995, but I never heard it until it was released by the Country group, Rascal Flatts in 2004.

The really cool thing about this song is that it was written the year my husband, Matthew and I met, and it tells our story! We both had been down some really broken roads in our lives on our way to each other.

The thing is, you CAN get down broken roads, it’s just tough to do. It takes strength, and character and patience, to navigate a broken road, and for me those qualities come from God. God and God alone gets me down those broken roads.

And that gets me back to the song resonating with me. The words that particularly touched my heart were “This much I know is true/That God blessed the broken road/That led me straight to you”.

On this our 23rd wedding anniversary, I wanted dedicate this blog to Matthew and let him know how thankful I am that God blessed our broken roads that led us to each other.

If you find yourself in a dark place, one prayer is all it takes for you to be able to feel God’s Presence and Light. God will hear your cries just as He heard King David’s cries, just as He heard my cries, just as He hears all the cries of people in need of Him.

May God bless your broken roads.

See you next time…

Aloe for my soul

You know how memories of your childhood can transport you back in time? Well, at age 66 I time travel a lot as I recall my memories. And, can you believe how many memories one can have in 66 years?! I mean, five a day for one year is 1,825 if it’s not leap year! So, we’re talking thousands of memories by the time you are my age.

That said, I can pick out the precious memories. The ones that are so etched into who I am, that they are with me always.

One is aloe. Yes, aloe. Daddy grew up in Pensacola, Florida, and, as an aside, if you’ve never been there you need to add it to your bucket list. Sugar white sand and the prettiest aqua-blue water you will ever see. With beautiful beaches comes beautiful and HOT sun; and with HOT sun reflecting off WHITE sand comes major sun burn if one is not careful – and sometimes, even if one is careful.

And so begins my aloe memory…

Visiting Granny, Daddy’s mom, was one of my favorite things to do as a child, and also as an adult. I learned how a grandmother could scratch the backs of two grandkids at the same time, and oh, did that feel good! I learned how a Christian lady lives. I learned how to be a stepmother from watching her, because she became my Daddy’s mother after his mother died, and she loved him as if he were her own. I learned how to keep my political views to myself, and know that God’s love for us isn’t dependent on our political views – actually, it’s not dependent on anything we do, but on what He has done. But that’s a story for another blog… Back to my aloe memory. I also learned it’s ALOE, not alloy – Granny got a kick out of my pronunciation, just sayin’.

I’ve lost count of the times I got sunburned in Pensacola, but each time all it took was just a cutting from Granny’s aloe plant to soothe my pain, to stop the burning. Recently, I bought an aloe plant for our house. The picture above is our plant. It makes me think of Granny, and it encourages me to be more like her, and remember all the many life lessons I learned from her.

It also still has the practical use of soothing burns. Last night cooking supper, I accidentally brushed my palm against the pan I was using. Y’all know how badly that hurts, right? I tried cold water, then ice – and neither was helping. All of a sudden I remembered the aloe plant. I cut a small piece off (you can see the stubby end in the picture). I thought of Granny as I rubbed it on my burned hand. Immediately the pain stopped. Today there isn’t even a burn mark on my hand!

I also thought of our Heavenly Father, because He is like aloe to my soul. When I’m hurting, when I’m scared, when I’m confused – regardless of my circumstances, I can call on my Lord Who soothes my soul, calms my fears, and holds me in His loving arms. He is always there for us. Always.

See you next time…

Walking Away from the Deep End

I had a therapist once who asked me what overwhelming felt like to me. I went with my knee jerk, silly response, and said something like “well, Doc, overwhelming feels overwhelming to me.”

It’s uncomfortable sometimes to really dig down to what our true feelings are, but on that particular morning it finally dawned on me that overwhelming to me felt like being at the deep end of the pool and and being pushed in. And once in the pool, flailing about because for some reason there are waves in the pool, and it’s hard to swim out!

It was such a profound moment, it took my breath away.

She pressed further, and as I opened up, it occurred to me that I was allowing others to pull me in too many different directions, and I wasn’t establishing boundaries. In an effort to be a good person, and to help others, I’d filled my plate too full. The result was feeling near enough to the deep end to fall in.

Philippians 4:13 has always been one of my favorite verses. It reads: I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me. (CSB)

I know it sounds crazy, but I’d interpreted that verse to mean I could keep all the balls in the air to do ALL things because God would give me the strength. Well, I began to learn that morning, that for me the “things” God gives me strength to do is be true to myself, and true to His will for me.

I began to realize who I was, and what I was capable of doing. God also put people in my life that helped me understand boundaries, and that saying “no” was okay. And you know what? My life began to change.

I’d love to say I never again got near the deep end of the pool, but I’d be lying. However, at least now I realize when I’ve wandered too close to the edge of the pool, and God gives me the strength to walk away. He’ll do the same for you.

See you next time….