Encouragement, Poems/Songs

Life Happens

 

It is the middle of the night and here I am writing to whomever may read this.

  • Many loved ones (friends and family) are on my mind right now.
  • Life has happened to me and to them.
  • Life has effected even you.
  • We all are on this road that has twists and turns, beautiful scenery but also stormy, difficult and sometimes devastating roads that must be crossed on this journey called Life.

We make a plan, start our journey, see our goals being met and are peacefully enjoying the trip.

  • Suddenly out of nowhere we stumble across obstacles on our pathway.
  • So much of the time, this is the way Life goes.
  • There’s a line from a song that comes to mind...”I didn’t promise you a rose garden.”
  • With roses there always come thorns.

When this happens, what do we do?

  • Some of us too many times make poor choices.
  • I feel safe in saying that all of us at one time or another have wanted to choose what really is a selfish way out.
  • We take the easy road and quit.
  • We give up or make a wrong turn.
  • We live in denial.
  • We grieve and have a life long pity party.
  • We seek escape by working too much or indulging in too many pleasures.
  • We may hide ourselves in front of our electronic devices.
  • We blame ourselves and withdraw from life.

When this happens, what SHOULD we do?

  • The poet Robert Frost put it this way: “The best way out is always through.”
  • We pick ourselves up and STAY ON THE ROAD.
  • Choose a good support system: faith, prayer, family, friends.
  • Talk to yourself in a positive manner.
  • Fill your mind with the things that encourage you.
  • See the beauties of nature and listen to the message she teaches us all.
  • Put the words angry and bitter out of your life.
  • Leave dreary, negative entertainment alone.
  • Always believe in yourself and others.
  • Be of help to someone else.
  • Let your life and love shine.
  • Count your blessings.
  • Keep on, keeping on.

The good news is: no matter how disturbing and restless the night…

  • The morning always breaks through to dispel the darkness.
  • This truth was brought home to me in a very significant and powerful manner.
  • It was a long, painful and tortuous night.
  • At times I felt my heart would burst and I would not survive the approach of a new day. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5 kjv).
  • You will make it through.

When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high

And don’t be afraid of the dark.

At the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky

And the sweet, silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind.

Walk on through the rain.

Though your dreams be tossed and blown.

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your heart.

And you’ll never walk alone.

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your heart.

And you’ll never walk alone.

You’ll never walk alone.

(You’ll Never Walk Alone: Rodgers and Hammerstein 1945 from the musical Carousel)

This Song has been an important part of my thought life for many, many years.

  • I heard it for the first time when I became a member of the seventh grade choir in Junior High School.
  • The music and lyrics have stayed with me since that time.
  • The words are beautiful, true and challenging.
  • “You’ll Never Walk Alone” has in many ways been my “go to” song when Life Happens.
  • I know I don’t walk alone.
  • That thought has been my constant companion through the rough times; the darkest of nights.
  • It can be yours. 

“The strongest people are not 

those who show strength

in front of us, but those 

who win battles we know nothing about.”

–Anonymous

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Encouragement, Life's Journey

Storms

It is now shortly after 4:00 a.m. and a STORM is raging outside of the security of my home. 

  • The winds are howling, the thunder clouds clashing, the lightning flashing, the rain assaulting the four walls that provide shelter for myself and my husband.
  • For about an hour now; this Storm has raged on and on.
  • It started with a loud clash of thunder, brilliant lightning and the sound of wind chimes working overtime.
  • Our power has jumped on and off a couple of times.
  • We’ve already had two inches of rain.
  • This Storm is coming in waves; sort of like the tides.
  • It loudly announces it’s presence, after a while it seems to silently fade away only to return again with more force.

Many times I sleep through a Storm in the night, but this one said; “not tonight, I have things to say to you.” 

  • It spoke of the security of my home….of my life, and of Storms passed.
  • I was reminded, again, of a Stormy night many years ago when I thought my heart would literally break in two….a night I might not even survive.

This Storm of nature, just like the Storms that come into our lives, arrived on the heels of a good day, a day of blessings. 

  • When we’re on the mountain top, we must be aware that the trip down can bring us into a valley.
  • Storms can do that.
  • They effect our lives for the good, and if we let it we will be influenced for the worst.
  • The out come is determined by our personal perspective.
  • Will you let your spirit drown in the Storm, or will you rise above it?
  • Your times and choices are in your hands.

This Storm reminded me of something I observed one time as I was making a drive up into the Rocky Mountains. 

  • Before our destination was reached a strong Storm erupted.
  • We hadn’t been in the rain very long when I noticed a corral with about eight horses in it.
  • What caught my attention was the fact all of these horses were tightly huddled together in one corner of the pen and every one of them had their noses pointed in the same direction.
  • This group of horses were all facing directly into the wind….they were all turned into the Storm.

That’s what a ship at sea will do…..turn into a Storm.

  • The bow of a ship is designed to cut through the waves, to give it more strength.
  • The strong forces of the waves are more easily dispersed along the sides of the ship.
  • When the stern faces a Storm the craft itself is more exposed and may take a damaging blow to itself and makes all who occupy it more venerable to harm.
  • We too have more strength when we choose to turn and stand in the face of the Storms that come into our lives.

Sometimes, as with the Storm outside of my home tonight, we have a warning of it’s approach. 

  • Yesterday the air was hot and heavy….you knew something was going to break in order to clear things out.
  • But, at other times, we are hit with a Storm we were not expecting and possibly not prepared for.
  • It can come from an unexpected phone call or just about any other avenue that you have experienced.

Tonight’s Storm told me “I was safe and secure, that I had nothing to fear. My home and my life has a strong foundation. All this uproar will pass. Tomorrow will come. The air will be fresher and the sun will once more make an appearance. There will be more Storms to come, but you have grown in strength with each one that crosses your life. You can make it through the Storms of tomorrow because you depended upon ME to make it through the Storms of yesterday.”  In Scripture there is a well known account of a Storm. 

  • I have applied this story many times to my life experiences, and shared it with others when they were in the midst of their Storms.
  • As Jesus and His disciples were on the sea, a great Storm raged.
  • Most of the time the emphasis of this account is on Jesus sleeping, His disciples’ fear, Him calling for peace and calming the Storm.
  • What encourages me is the beginning of this story.
  • In Mark 4:35 Jesus has a journey to make to the other side of the sea.
  • He says to his followers: “Let US go to the other side.” 
  • In Matthew 8:23 the Word says “When He entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him.” 

Take time to reflect on this:

  • He knew there would be a Storm.
  • He entered the boat first.
  • He was with the disciples (US).
  • There was a purpose to be fulfilled across the sea and He knew that all would arrive safely.
  • If you have a personal relationship with the Savior, you can depend upon the fact that He is with you in your Storms.

Last night’s Storm is now over. 

  • The air is cool, clean and fresh.
  • As you read these words, know that you too can have a freshness and renewal in your life.
  • If you would like to know more about surviving and growing through the Storms, please thoughtfully read my blog of this past February entitled “OPPORTUNITIES.”

“In fierce storms,” said an old seaman,

“we must do one thing; there is only one way:

we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there.”

(Streams in the Desert)

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