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“See!” he said to all the people.

“This stone will be a witness against us.

It has heard all the words the LORD has said to us.

It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.”

JOSHUA 24:27

I’ve been working in my yard after school in the evenings.

Cutting back dead plants, planting a few new things.

My dream is to extend my memory garden in the back yard so that it wraps around our fence line.

I’ve had to move rocks to extend the garden’s boundary line and to help hold down my landscape paper until I can buy some mulch.

I don’t think a lot about the rocks as I’m lifting them and moving them around, except that I am thankful for their many purposes.

As I was reading in Joshua this morning, the rocks in my memory garden popped into my head.

I also remembered a sermon I heard as a young girl at a family camp in Nashville, Tennessee (I’m pretty sure that’s where-I’ll have to ask my dad).

Anyway, the man who spoke was a scientist.  He believes that everything around us that absorbs sound will one day be used to replay our words and life story in the presence of God.

The walls of our homes, the trees in the woods, the rocks in the fields.

I think about the sermon from time to time, and I wonder what it will be like if all of these things are one day able to “witness for and against us.”

It’s almost more than my mind can comprehend.

In the end, I guess it doesn’t really matter how God displays His wonder and power.

I just believe He will.

And I do believe it will be like nothing we have ever seen.

For today, what do I do with the thought of the rocks “crying out?”

I think I learn to be even more aware of my words, my actions, my heart………..

Praying that today we can all walk a little closer to the Creator of these rocks.

 

heartBG2

Boundaries……….

March 29th, 2012

 

This morning I was determined to get out of bed at 5 a.m.

I’ve pushed the snooze button way too many times this week!

It has been so nice having some quiet time again after several mornings in a row of waking up in a rush.

My Bible reading this morning from Joshua and I Chronicles focused on the assignments of land to the various tribes of Israel.

I would never be able to recall the names of all the cities and people who were listed in the chapters I read, but one thing rings clear.

Not everyone was given the same amount of land.

God knew just what every person and people group needed in the Promised Land,

and I wonder if the Psalmist was thinking back to this time in history when he penned these words in Psalm 16:

 

Psalm 16:5-6

LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.

Through the years I have discovered, through my own choices and those of my friends, that God still has a desire to assign us our portion and our cup……

so that our boundaries fall in pleasant places.

If you know me well, you know that I have struggled through the years to find that “pleasant place” for myself.

I tend to bite off more than I can chew much more often than I say, “I’m sorry, that doesn’t fit into my schedule.”

I often feel inadequate if I’m not able to be as relaxed, “together,” organized, etc., as this friend or that friend.

As I was reading this morning, my eyes caught the life of Caleb.

In Joshua 14, he approaches Joshua and makes a request for land for his people from the tribe of Judah.

Now 85 years old, he reminds Joshua of the events that had happened 45 years earlier when the two of them had spied on Canaan.

He reminds Joshua of the promise God had made to both of them at that time.

In his conversation with Joshua he mentions that he is “as strong now as when Moses sent him on that journey.”

He states that he can still travel and fight as well as he could then, and he asks Joshua to give him the land God had promised him.

The Scriptures say that “Joshua blessed Caleb.”

It goes on to say that because he wholeheartedly followed the Lord, the land still belongs to the descendants of Caleb and “the land had rest from war.”

I’m struck today with Caleb’s humility.

Joshua was chosen to take Moses’ place.

Joshua led the people into the Promised Land.

Joshua became a leader.

Joshua has a book of the Bible named after himself.

Joshua is who we think of when he hear the words,

“Be strong and courageous.”

 

But today I feel as if God is saying to me personally,

“Look at Caleb.”

 

Caleb, a quiet, passionate believer in the God of Abraham and Isaac.

Caleb, a man who kept his faith, remembered God’s promises, and followed God with all of his heart.

Caleb, a man who left a legacy for his family……

A legacy of provision and peace.

 

What has God promised us?

What does he require of us?

 

I believe that Caleb lived within his boundaries all of those years as he waited for God’s promise to be fulfilled in his own life.

You don’t see him trying to step up before his time.

Maybe that is why he was still so strong at the age of 85………

 

I love Micah 6:8,

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
   And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
   and to walk humbly with your God.

Oh, to live within these boundaries……

Act justly

Love mercy

Walk humbly with God

 

Today, I’m feeling peace about some decisions I am trying to make.

Looking at life through God’s lens and not man’s frees me from a lot of guilt.

If you are feeling overwhelmed today, as if the responsibilities of this life are feeling anything but pleasant, try to view your life from God’s perspective.

What does He ask of you?

Not near as much as you might think!

 

Take a deep breath today and know that loving Him is the most important decision you will ever make.

He longs to set your boundaries in pleasant places.

 

And just as he did in the life of Caleb, He will fulfill His promises “in His time.”

 

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I rise before dawn and cry for help;

I have put my hope in your word.

My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,

that I may meditate on your promises.

Psalm 119:147-148

It’s one of those weeks!!!!!!!

heartBG2

It’ll Be Worth It……..

March 27th, 2012

 

I woke up in the middle of the night with all kinds of questions running through my mind about the field trip I have planned for Friday.

The names of people I need to talk to today seemed endless……..

Last minute details that seem to be piling up quickly.

I tossed and turned, realizing that going to bed early was being totally defeated by my 3 a.m. restlessness.

I finally fell back to sleep by repeating the verse “Do not worry about anything, but by prayers and petitions, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.”

I tried to keep saying, “Thank you, Lord, that we will be able to take over 200 kids on a trip they are so excited about.  Thank you for the opportunity.”

The next thing I knew it was morning and my snooze button became my best friend which means I am now running late for school.

Shew!

I think for the next three days I am going to have to keep repeating, “It will be worth it, it will be worth it, it will be worth it….”

Life is kind-of like a journey to a long-awaited field trip!

As I type this, Olivia is getting ready for school and listening to the theme song from “Tangled.”

The words “At last I see the light….all at once everything is clear, now that I see you.”

Oh, life.

It can become so tangled, can’t it??

Finally, finally, the day will arrive………..

The eternal field trip will finally be here!

And all the things we have dealt with here, all the questions, all the difficult moments…..

They will be untangled, washed away, replaced by the sight of Him.

And we will all say, “It was worth it!!!!!!!!!!!” 

At last we’ll see the Light. 

Everything will be clear.

Oh, what a day that will be!!

I can’t wait to share that eternal field trip with all of you!

If you think of me today, I would be so thankful if you would whisper a little prayer of peace for me as I untangle the last few details of a field trip that is quickly approaching.

I love you all so much!

heartBG2

What "Carry" Means……..

March 26th, 2012

 

Every Friday evening, Carrie cries as we sit with her in Bible study at the jail.

Her mistakes, her addictions, her sins…….they’ve taken a toll on her life.

Indefinite jail time, an angry son, an uncertain future……just a few of the results of her life choices.

But she cries mostly because she cannot forgive herself.

This past Friday evening as we were ending our time with the girls from her cell, she opened up about her struggle to forgive herself

– tears falling much more freely

-still sitting in the circle of inmates

– none of her inmate friends reaching out to her. ( I think tears are a pretty common site in jail.)

As I looked at her pitiful face, I sensed a nudge to hold her on my lap.

I remember almost shaking my head as if I were crazy for having such a thought, but then I felt it again.  My heart started beating so strongly that I knew I was resisting the Holy Spirit.

So I stood up and said, “Please don’t think I’m crazy, but I feel as if I am suppose to hold you on my lap.”

There was a chuckle as I took Carrie’s hand and brought her over to my lap, but as soon as she sat down, this woman who is in at least her mid-30s, fell onto my shoulder and began weeping so loudly and holding me so tightly that all I could do was rock her back and forth and hold her tightly too.

Abby, one of my friends who was part of our study, gathered all the inmates and ladies from our church around her and began praying the most beautiful prayer.

In the prayer she said something about God carrying all of our burdens.

When I heard her say the word “carry,” I couldn’t help but think of the significance of Carrie’s name.

God wants to carry Carrie.

God wants to carry you.

As we closed our time with these girls, I whispered to Carrie this promise.

Later in the evening after we had met with another cell, the guards came to tell us that someone from the other cell wanted to be saved.

We watched as the door opened and not one but four girls came back to give their lives to Christ!

One of them was Carrie!!

We prayed for the girls and made arrangements to baptize them Sunday night, and as they were leaving Carrie said, “Thank you for holding me so tightly.  I haven’t been held like that since my mom held me when I was a little girl.”

Last night we went back and ended up baptizing five girls!

Today, my prayer is that you will allow God to carry you.

 

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:4

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When I started blogging in 2007, I remember thinking “What in the world do I have to say that anyone needs to read?”

As I  sat and pondered my blog name, I felt a sense of unworthiness  even thinking I needed a public place to click away at my keyboard.

But, I knew deep inside that this whole blog thing wasn’t really about me.

At the time, it was definitely about Nick and trying to find a place where I could share the highs and lows of his fight with cancer……

But it was also about God and having a place to share what He means to me and how He works in my life and how His Words are what keep me going.

As I thought and thought about “His Words,” I began thinking about “My Heart.”

My heart wanted to share……

My heart needed an outlet……

But without His Words, I had nothing to say.

Thus began, “My Heart His Words.”

Many times I sit down to blog in the morning and thoughts are stirred inside me by something I have read in my quiet time.

Other times, though, I read His Words and even though my heart may be moved, I still feel wordless.

I’ve been feeling wordless off and on recently.

I’m not sure why.

I wonder if Joshua ever felt wordless in the days following Moses death?

Moses had delivered so many instructions, so many songs, so many blessings to the various tribes of Israel in his last weeks of life, and then he slipped off to Pisgah Peak and died.

I can’t imagine being the person to whom everyone turned after they had been led for 40 years by such a great man.

In just a few verses, God tells Joshua “be strong and courageous” multiple times.

I have to believe God sensed fear deep in Joshua’s spirit.

I love that God knows exactly what we need to hear and when.

For me, the listening part of my relationship with God often gets overshadowed by the talking part.

I want to be someone who patiently listens for His voice, His message.

Not someone who plows ahead without His guidance.

I’m glad Joshua stayed calm and listened to God in a season of his life when panic could have been the easiest option.

It’s not until after God speaks to Joshua that Joshua chooses to open his own mouth and speak to the people.

I want to be like Joshua.

I want to listen first and share later.

I want to trust God for the next word and not try to come up with my own.

Today, if you find yourself wordless in a situation, I think it’s okay to just be quiet.

heartBG2

 

My fingers seemed frozen this morning as I placed them on the keyboard.

A blank screen.

A song from Moses to the Israelites about the power of God in my morning Bible reading.

The Israelites………….

a chosen people so prone to wandering.

Why was it so difficult for them to stay focused on the Lord of Lords when He spoke to Moses through a burning bush and lead all of them with pillars of fire and clouds????

Why did they wander away from Him so often, like sheep without a shepherd, when they had Moses as their leader?

And then I glance down at the Bible next to me, and I realize I’m no different.

I have His Words with me 24/7.

I have His Spirit inside of me continually and yet my mind is wandering………

to things so insignificant in the scheme of things.

Early duty quickly approaching and Olivia wanting pancakes.

Field trip papers to organize for over 200 students.

A meeting after school to learn more reading strategies.

Laundry in the dryer that needs folded.

And the list goes on and on.

No, I’m no different than the Israelites.

I’m a wandering sheep, longing to be gently pulled back to Him by His loving arms.

So, I take a deep breath and remember, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”

With that knowledge and comfort, I will stand up and go……..

I’ll warm pancakes from last night’s birthday dinner for Maria,

I’ll get ready for school.

I’ll decide if the laundry can wait until I get home.

I’ll smile, because He is with me and He is my everything.

This life is fleeting.

I will remember the words in Moses’ song to the Israelites,

“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”

That’s what I want ultimately….

to grow in wisdom.

Today, as you face the many things that this life throws your way, remember, life is short.

Eternity is forever.

Spend some time today storing up treasures there………where it matters.

heartBG2

The Promises of Spring!!

March 20th, 2012

 

If you think about it, every season has spiritual meaning.

Fall use to be my favorite season………

the orange and yellow leaves, the crisp, cool air.

But anymore, I’m a spring girl!

I love the promise of new life after winter!

I love seeing hope in the branches of what appear to be dead bushes and trees!

Yesterday, I mowed after school, and I had to take a minute to capture a few images of God’s promise of life after what appears to be death!  Truthfully, life was always there….we just couldn’t see it with our human eyes!  This brings me such comfort when I think of those I love who have left this earth “for now.”  They are still alive, and eternal resurrection is coming for us all!spring 2012 1530148

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If you are friends with me on Facebook, you have maybe already seen my biggest gift of spring!

Look what Olivia discovered in our backyard right in the path where Nick would zip back and forth in his electric wheelchair!

 

 

spring 2012 1260124

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Thankful this morning for the promises of Spring!

 

‘For behold, the winter is past, 
The rain is over and gone. 
‘The flowers have already appeared in the land; 
The time has arrived for pruning the vines, 
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land. 
‘The fig tree has ripened its figs, 
And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance. 
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, 
And come along!’ ”
Song 2:11-13 (NASB)

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Monday………..

March 19th, 2012

 

Martha and her husband board a plane today at 2:30, headed back to MD Anderson where Martha will learn the date of her surgery and the treatment plan to follow.

Leaving everything she loves for an indefinite amount of time isn’t easy, though, so please keep Martha and John in your prayers.  Spending a little time with her yesterday, trying to do a little something to help her with her packing, and hugging her goodbye, I realized once again what truly matters in this life. 

Faith.

Family.

Friendship.

In the end, that’s what we have surrounding us.

Not the stuff we have accumulated,

But the treasures we have stored up

in memories,

in laughter,

in sharing life with those we love and with Him.

Please keep Martha and John in your prayers today. 

I’ll let you know her surgery date as soon as they received the details.

 

The reality of what matters most hit hard yesterday morning when I walked into Sunday school and learned that one of our friends from church had lost their son in the night.

Remember our friends Tracy and Cheri who lost their daughter, Sasha, two years ago in a car accident?

Their only other child, Derek, passed away unexpectedly Saturday night.

Derek  has been an active part of our church as a Sunday school helper with his grandma and as a volunteer at Vacation Bible School every summer for as long as I can remember.

Please pray for Tracy and Cheri and their parents every time they come into your heart and mind.

I am so thankful that God promises in His Word that He is close to the brokenhearted.  Pray that they feel His presence in a powerful way as they walk this extremely difficult road.

 

I’m feeling the insignificance of daily routines today, longing for the day when our faith will be made sight.

 

I hope your week is filled with many opportunities to share His love with those around you.

 

As you walk through today, know you do not walk alone.

 

I love you all so very much,

heartBG2

 

I didn’t teach yesterday.

I wasn’t feeling well, and I knew a day at home would be the best medicine for me.

I had planned to work on lesson plans, grade papers, and rest under a blanket; but I guess my body needed rest more than productivity.

After being up for a little while with Olivia, getting her off to school and doing just a bit of paper sorting, I pulled a blanket up over me on the couch and decided to take a short nap.

Five hours later I woke up, just in time to pick Olivia up from school!

I’ll have to admit, I was a little disappointed when I realized I had slept the entire day away; but honestly, I knew it was exactly what my body needed.

Sometimes, productivity equals rest.

I hope you have a productive Saturday – whether you are getting something accomplished on your to-do list or enjoying a quiet day of relaxation!

I love you all,