God’s Steady Heartbeat, 2020

There is a steady heartbeat I hear. It is strong. It is steady.

In these moments of serenity I see my God going before me. He sits with me by still waters. He prepares a table amidst my enemies. One word from his lips quiets the accuser.

There is a steady heartbeat I hear.

I know many of us have had a year of heartache and trials. Many have endured through injustices while others have whispered dreams out into the open, hoping this year would be the year of unfolding.

It is the time of year where people wind down. Some cannot wait for the year to end. Others are indifferent or thankful for what is.

Every moment matters to God. There is not one second lost on our behalf or on the behalf of those we love. Now is not the time to settle in or give up. God is a miracle worker and not one moment is forgotten in his hand. These last few weeks are of high importance to him as he works on our dreams and whispered prayers. Or perhaps words have barely formed from our lips as we have wept. God has seen every tear and knows what is written on our heart.

Let us not give up what has yet to happen in 2019. Let us enjoy our favorite holiday beverage (coffee anyone?), sit back and see what God will do. As we pray, as we go to the front lines of intercession, the Lord has made a table amidst it all for us. He has done this for us to learn to enjoy and walk in the victory that is ours even if we have yet to see it.

As this year winds down, enjoy it. Walk from victory into 2020.

There is a steady heartbeat I hear. It is strong. It is steady.

A Piece Of Heaven

Five years ago my Mom breathed her last breath here on Earth to make her journey home to Heaven. Those who have walked a similar journey understand the longing for that person. Some days Heaven feels far.

Many have followed the journey the past five years and I am grateful for you. Today, I am opening myself up a bit. I miss my Mom dearly but I have hope and joy. Please read my raw processing of the fifth year anniversary of her passing:

All I want is to experience a piece of Heaven with you today. I see you, you’re young and radiant. I thought you were beautiful as I grew up but today you radiate the light from the son and you’re breathtaking. You even smell good. I never saw you so healthy and your hair so thick. Aunt Shorty is smiling as she stands by your side. Michael is in your arms and your other grandkids are running around your legs giggling. My oldest sibling cannot wait to meet the rest of us as I see them waiting with excitement for our homecoming. The joy is indescribable!

Just a piece of Heaven.

To my Dad who saw your slow death from the beginning and battled on your behalf, will a piece of you come visit him in his dreams tonight? Just a piece of Heaven, a glance of your eye and your smile that radiates such love. Just a bit of your presence to touch the ache and bring a little more peace than before.

Just a piece of Heaven and I can tell you face to face how so many of your prayers for me have been answered. The horors of your childhood, a piece somehow did not elude me and it tore your heart to pieces. If only you could see me today and know I’m free, healed and whole. I know now that you prayed dreams and hopes would somehow be restored and the joyful spark would return to my eyes. Just a piece of Heaven is all I ask today, so that we could laugh a bit more over coffee. I could give you a hug and you could see the dreams that are unfolding in my life.

Just a piece of heaven, it is all I ask for my siblings who miss you too. You could be with all of your grandkids, some of whom you could kiss for the first time. Swingset swinging, going down slides, dancing, and laughing together even for a moment.

Just a piece of Heaven, it is all I ask.

Just a piece of Heaven for everyone.

Mom, I love you!

Baking and Dandelions

The aroma of homemade banana bread fills my home. It brings back memories of my Mom. I sing and dance in my kitchen as I whip up my own recipe. My eyes get misty as I remember her. As much as my Mom taught me how to follow recipes we never really stuck to it much.

I remember how we would get distracted talking or letting someone in our home in the middle of baking. When this happened it usually resulted with us forgetting an ingredient. I still laugh about the time we forgot to put sugar into our pumpkin pie. I tried pouring sugar over every bite but it still tasted awful.

I can laugh at these memories. I look back fondly on those moments where I know my Mom poured all of her love into me. It has caused me to reflect and ponder the legacy I am leaving behind. Will people remember my love?

As Easter approaches I miss her. When I see dandelions in full bloom I pick them and place them in a small vase because as a child I knew my Mom would put them on display. My Mom was able to recognize my gift of “weeds” as a treasure.

If my Mom loved me like this then how much greater does Jesus? I am in awe of this truth. He sees my weeds and makes it beautiful. He turns my mourning into joy. He waters a beautiful garden with every tear. He is faithful.

As I bake in my kitchen in my beautiful home, a tear may fall but a tender smile remains knowing the gift my Mom was. Not all Mom’s are able to show a small portion of Gods heart towards their children. I realize this precious gift that was given to me was intended for me to also give away.

I hope to leave a legacy of love.

My Dear Angel Child

Today you would have been 5 months old. A year ago you made your grand entrance into heaven instead. I will never understand why you had to go so soon. I will never understand why out of nowhere you came and out of nowhere you left. You were a gift that sparked new hope. Because of you a promise came.

In the E.R. I remember breathing through the rolls of cramps asking God to save you. Despite the pain. Despite not receiving the care I went there for. Despite sitting in a plastic chair amidst strangers. Despite losing you in the bathroom I still had hope.

All I did was praise. In those moments of both physical and emotional pain I focused on prayer & worship. At this point I had already lost you and the pains kept coming. I had not been given any medicine so I just breathed through and began to sing quietly under my breath. Somehow, deep down I knew God would turn all things to good and be glorified in all this. So I sang for God to be glorified. I sang the truth of who He was because He was the only constant and unchanging thing in my life. He still is.

It has been a year. Since then I have run after the enemy in pursuit of justice. I have been prayed for almost every month. Issues I’ve had for over 20 years gone because of prayer. My faith has grown. In the Philippines I prayed for many wombs to open and for babies to come. I expect to see babies in those ladies arms.

The enemy can try to steal and try to keep what’s ours but only for the length of time that we are believing lies about our inheritance. Once you realize who you are and whose you are there is no stopping you from storming enemy camp and claiming what is yours.

But goodness, this past year has been intense! The past 3 months have been the most intense of all. Waiting for a promise (or 2 or 3) is not an easy feat. There will always be a battle before your victory. I also believe that because of you my dear angel child in heaven, that my faith grew in order to claim new territory for our family. As I have done this I have realized how important it is to remain steadfast because claiming new territory can awaken dragons intended to cause delays or destruction. That new territory is worth a lot otherwise it would be easy.

Today I choose to celebrate you my dear child. I choose to praise through the tears. I choose to sing like I did in the E.R. God has not changed. He never will. He is still the miracle worker. He is still the way maker. And He is still the promise keeper.

Happy Birthday Michael! I love you.

Boxes and Bows

When did our lives become so busy and self-consuming?

The other day a longing came over me for the pure joy over simple things.

Everyday we miss extravagant happenings and miracles. Because of technology, our blessed country full of provisions and our selfish culture, we lose sight of beautiful things everyday. We can get caught up in our crazy world that we forget to live with a grateful heart.

Have you ever given a present to a child only to have them be more excited over the box or bow? We act disappointed when the gift is rejected over a free box or five cent bow.

It is time to get excited again over boxes and bows.

When was the last time that you noticed the little kid on your street laughing? Have you noticed the color of the sky on your way home? Did you realize that your spouse looked at you like you were the only one in the room? Did you notice the view from your house that you see everyday yet finally stopped to breathe in the beauty of it all?

Life is beautiful. The simple things are astounding. The simple things are miraculous because no matter what may be going on those simple things remind us of the goodness of God. Your circumstances will never change the goodness of God. He never changes. He is faithful, loving and mighty.

Breathe in the crisp night air amidst the sparkling sky. Laugh at the cheesy joke. Hold your spouse’s hand and memorize the way they look at you. Slowly sip that hot cup of coffee. No matter what may be going on in your life, these simple things are your boxes and bows.

God is waiting for you. He is amidst the simple things.