Give It All

When Sommer was about seven she needed heal cord lengthening surgery.  I had no reservations about putting her under anesthesia.  I had complete peace.

One night before the surgery I had a dream about Abraham and Isaac (Gen. 22) The next morning during my quiet time I heard the Holy Spirit ask, “Are you going to continue to trust me?”

I’ve always known our daughters were on “loan” to us.  Our job was to raise them in the way they should go.  We took them to Sunday School.  Taught them to pray.  Introduced them to Jesus as their Savior.  Each of them accepted God’s grace and mercy at young ages and then the job of discipleship began.

I knew my babies were on loan but I didn’t know it was a short-term loan.

The night before her surgery I dreamt that I was Abraham and Sommer was Isaac and me, like Abraham obeyed and put Sommer on the wood pile and said,  “I trust you with my baby.”

Sommer came through it and awoke to two lime green casts on her feet and halfway up each leg. She picked green because of Kermit the Frog not knowing the color would be lighter then the sample.  I remember we joked that she would now glow in the dark for the next eight weeks.

I continued to believe that our daughters were a gift from God but that they were on loan and I still had a spiritual role to play in their lives.  But I never really believed God would “call in the loan” before he called me home.

God wants to know if we’re willing to give up what we love to Him because He loves us much more.  He wants us to trust Him with everything. Yes, even our adult children.  Our most precious gifts.

Sometimes I don’t understand God or His ways.  Have you ever felt this way?  I don’t believe we are going to understand all His ways this side of heaven.  Until then I will continue to believe God is good and He is in charge of everything in my life.  Even if I don’t understand His ways.  He is good.

Blessings,

Heidi

 

 

Everything

Greetings!

Well, recovering from pneumonia has taken the wind out of my sails.  I do want to share something that I read today.

Jesus prayed to his Father, I brought glory to your name on earth by doing everthing you told me to do.

John 17:4 (NLT)

Did you catch that! “EVERYTHING!”

I don’t believe Jesus is just speaking about His three years of ministry I believe He is referring to his entire life.  Remember, he stayed at the temple while the family packed up and left town.  And he was not running around the city trying to hitch a ride with anyone going His way home.  He was calmly sitting and teaching and that is all He was concerned with.

I Can”t say that I always do things, say things that will bring glory to God. I wish I could but I don’t. Like when my phone went on a vacation and didn’t invite me. I am not one to live on or having it glued to my hand. However, that day I was frustrated with my phone because I know no ones cell number except my hubby’s.  Thankfully we still have the Flinstone land phone.

I have often told my family “All phones on the table while we watch this movie. First, one to pick their phone up owes five dollars to everyone else.” I end up watching the movie alone because everyone suddenly has an assignment due.

But I have a beautiful example through the life of Christ.

Six months before our Sommer died I felt so connected with God like nothing I have ever felt before.  God was preparing me for something way out of my ability to handle without His preparation.

Jesus, sweet Jesus help me to do everything to bring glory to our Father’s name.

Peace is yours.

 

A Time to Heal

Precious friends,

It has been a couple of weeks since I last posted anything for you to read.  Let me tell you what has been going on:

On July 29th I was admitted to the ICU because of a  critical case of pneumonia, hypoxia, and an upper respiratory infection.  I had a rough go at it but I am home and recovering.  I am as weak as the runt of the litter.  My recovery time will be a couple of months but I am hopeful God will heal me quickly and completely.

I will try to post as my body recovers because I have many learning lessons to tell you about.

Until then I covet all prayers and I am grateful for cards to lift me up.

Take care and God’s peace be with you all.

No If About It

Have you ever noticed every story told has a prologue?  Look at the Old Testament.  It must prolog the New Testament or there would be no order to the word of God.  If Jesus’ birth was not proclaimed in the Old Testament we would not have the beautiful “Christmas Story” in the book of Luke.  All the prophecies in the Old Testament are proven in the New Testament.

Sometimes Broadway shows will have an actor narrate the prolog.  That sets the stage for what we are about to see acted out.

Sommer’s story has a prolog that started six months before she died.  I want to tell it to you because I see God’s beauty everywhere in it. That being said, it is painful to write.  I think it’s because I could say “Oh, I should have seen this coming.”  But God does not work like that and that makes Him the Supreme Ruler over Heaven and Earth.

Grab the Kleenex box for I know this momma will need one.

In late July of 2016, we had two young couples move in around us.  Both expecting babies.  I met the first couple earlier but not the second.  It was obvious they were self-moving and bring truckloads after work.  I didn’t want to get in the way so I waited.

A new super-plus HEB had just opened and I wanted to check it out.  It was an instant sensory overload for me.  Too many choices.  Bananas, Dole, Chiquita, organic or not.  Too much pressure and I was shopping with one of our daughters who believe in grasping bananas and “calls it good.”  Green, yellow or brown all the same to her.  The list said bananas and she picked bananas. Done!

I went to the bakery counter to look at creamed horns, my hubby’s favorite “little something” before going to sleep.  I didn’t have my glasses with me and so what looked like special creamed horns from the new super-plus HEB looked yummy.  I thought they had chocolate drizzle because it was a new store and they wanted to stand out.  After all, it was “Super-plus” shopping.

We get home and my helper is flying around the kitchen putting things away when I read the label on the creamed horns.  They were cannolis!  I thought to myself, “I can not feed this to my husband he’ll have a heart attack.” So I put them in the freezer.

Two weeks later I came from the meat market with my meet for the week and needed the space the cannolis’ were taken up.  As I stood up from inside the freezer I looked out my back window and saw the garage door up at our new neighbors and said to myself, “Guess who’s coming over with cannolis.”

I grabbed my sun hat, put on some tinted lip balm and stepped out the garage door.  It was incredibly hot outside and I was melting.  I reached their front porch and thought “Please come to the door, please come to the door, please, please, please.’ The door swung open and there stood a man a foot taller than me.  I was startled and just about through the plate of cannolis into the air.

I introduced myself welcomed him to the neighborhood gave him a card with the home phone on it and was turning to leave.  He invited me in to meet his wife and the dogs

During our conversation, I learned he was an Army medic and was wounded.  Shot in the back while rescuing a wounded man.

Now, let me walk you through what “IF” scenario.

  1. IF I had had my glasses with me in the store I would not have bought cannolis.
  2. IF I didn’t need the freezer space I would not have met the neighbors until Christmas when we take cookies around our little hood.
  3. IF they did not invite me in to chat I would not know Chester was a retired Army Medic, and retired EMT both were about to come in handy on November 28th, 2016 at 1:50 a.m.

God does not work in “if’s, should have, could have or would have.  He works on His time and He is never late.

God works in divine appointments and I don’t want to miss those moments when they come my way.  Say “Yes, God” I work for you today take me where you want me and help me share with someone how beautiful and incredible you are.”

There is a God of the universe and He loves you very much.  Tell that to someone then step back and watch God work miracles.

For His Glory!

Blessings,

Heidi

Not Our Home

Grief is a powerful thing.  I have said this before but I will say it again….It is a lonely place to be.  The first six months people are there for you as much as they can be.  But the truth is they go on with their daily lives whilst yours is broken. It feels like you have just finished a huge 1,000 piece puzzle and someone comes along and pulls the felt mat out from underneath and the pieces fly and drop everywhere some barely hanging onto the others but for the most part, it is gone.

Sure you could start over.  I have a dear, dear friend whose husband died unexpectedly February of 2018.  Her brain was on overload and no sleep.  One day she asked me if I thought she should marry again someday.  No judging. It was a fair question even though it was too fresh after his death to be thinking that, and she knew this.  But when you’ve been married over thirty years you get used to things.  Let’s just say you watch each other grow older.  She and I are in our early fifties.  I told her I probably would not want to have another man see me in the buff if you get my point. She did have a very good point she didn’t want to grow old alone.  I told her my daughters would have to give me their blessing if I was in her shoes.  Both of our kids are adults now and one day God willing they will marry and have babies of their own.  For the record, I am in NO rush to be a Gammie.

Grief is grief, no matter who you’re loved one, was to you.  But I have to say the death of a perfectly healthy 22 years-old for unknown causes takes the cake.  You don’t get back a daughter.  It’s not like I can have another baby and even if I could a new baby would never replace our Sommer.

I had three women, whom I consider to be Godly women, say to me on different occasions: “God must have been protecting Sommer from some evil thing that would harm her.”

I’ve looked and that is not in the bible but I did ponder that for awhile, then had a tug of war with God.  Remember playing tag, Red Rover, and tug of war at kids birthday parties. Great times.  I knew of a young couple that played tug-of-war while she was having contractions.  Pop! Their baby was born in five pushes.  That’s amazing to me because I pushed for hours with my three.  The saying that the pain goes away when you have your newborn placed on your protruding tummy.  Not so much for me.

My tug of war lasted an hour in my prayer closet.  I was angry with God for taking Sommer away from all of us.  “Why, God, would you even think about having someone harm her in some way!” I screamed.  “What sort of God are you that would give approval for something evil to happen to her?”

Then came the small still voice of The Holy Spirit say: “Ok, Heidi, you want her back and if I told you the awful thing that I approved would happen do you really think YOU could protect her the way I am now?”

I was moved to tears of praise for how magnificent our God of the universe really is.

No, I can’t protect anyone I love from God’s will.  I do pray, however, Jeremiah 29:11

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”

Sommer’s plan was to go to Jesus at a tender age of 22.

We can not truly understand heaven and what awaits us as born-again Christians.  The Bible gives us a hope and we need a longing for heaven and not worldly things.

“In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 KJV.

I have yet to read in His word anything about cleaning these mansions.  We get a new body but not a new wardrobe.

Sommer is in Heaven.  Where she belongs.  No looking back, no tears and no pain.

Yes, God, I struggle with not having my baby girl, best friend, first born.  But having that blessed assurance she is with Jesus and one day I will join her and she will say, “Hey, mom you gotta see this…”

For His Glory!

Blessings,

Heidi.

Angels Watching Over Me

Psalm 91:11

I used to be afraid of the night.  Or being alone in the house at night.  I would lay in bed and hear every little sound and freak out.  I was not sleeping with a baseball bat or had dead-bolt locks on our house I was just unsettled.  I would toss and turn over and over.  Sleep would eventually envelop me until I heard two cats having a fight or a dog bark in the night.  It was insane.  I would wake up the next morning completely exhausted and my nerves were frazzled.  I was frazzled.  This started in childhood for reason beyond my control and it stuck with me into adulthood.  I took this into my marriage.  I was not in the house alone but if something woke me from a sleep, more like a snooze, I would have the same childhood fear.

I didn’t have the happiest childhood, in fact, most of it was very traumatic.  My dad drank a lot and would come home very late at night and the fighting would begin.  It was horrible and I am so thankful God heard the prayers of a little girl and blessed me with a wonderful husband who loves me and protects me and our daughters.  God has given me a beautiful life.  When Sommer died I didn’t know if I would ever have a beautiful life again. I have felt at times that God let me down. He took away one of the most beautiful women in the world. My first born.  My little buddy.  She was the “Head of the Posse,” that’s what I said to my girls I was the sheriff and they were my posse.

The first time my husband traveled for work I could not sleep so I called a friend.  She already knew I had a sleeping problem because we discussed my fears before my husband left.  She told me to imagine angles guarding my house.  She asked me what I thought of when she said angles?  “Little cubby cherubs floating on clouds,” I said.

She told me that God’s angles are huge with wingspans wider than an eagle.  She gave me a visual and a prayer to hold onto to help me sleep.  The visual was Shaquille O’Neal size angles guarding every door and window. And the prayer was:

Psalm 91:11

“For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

I meditate on that verse even today.  When my mind races to that night we found Sommer unconscious and unresponsive.  It is like a vinyl record stuck and playing over and over until someone would push the needle forward.  In this case, it was the bible verse.

Psalm 121:3 tell us:

“….he who watches over you will not slumber.”

I have found comfort in this verse as well.  When our girls were little, around 4 years-old, they each developed a fear of the dark.  By the time the 3rd one became that age I was a pro at the “I am afraid of the dark” problem.  I typed out Psalm 121:3 and laminated it and tacked it up above their headboard so they could see it “watching” over them.  We would memorize it and repeat it if they woke up.  It took about a week for them to get the hang of memorizing the verse.  We talk about it sometimes.

Psalm 91:11 ….”For He shall give His ANGELS, notice the plural, more than one.  That is beautiful.  God cares so much for us that He gives us more than one guardian angel. All angles are commissioned to watch over us. What comfort that is to me.  We who are followers of Jesus Christ we can be secure in the thought that we are always in the company of angles.

Those angels are not limited in any way.  They work overtime and watch over us “in all our ways.” The protection here promised is exceeding broad as to place, for it refers to all our ways, and what do we wish for more? How angels thus keep us we cannot tell. Whether they repel demons, counteract spiritual plots, or even ward off the subtler physical forces of disease, we do not know. Perhaps we shall one day stand amazed at the multiplied services which the unseen bands have rendered to us.

When Sommer was in the hospital and off life support I could feel angels all around the room.  So many Godly people praying her into heaven amid tears there was joy and that can only come from the presence of the Lord.

For His Glory.

Blessings,

Heidi

More Jesus Less Me

1+1=2.  It is a mathematical fact.  Simple math but always true.  Math has never been my strong area.  Aske me to speak before 500 people it’s not a big deal for me.

One of Albert Einstein’s revolutionary scientific papers published in 1905; E=mc2 was introduced; where E is energy, m is mass, and c is the speed of light in a vacuum.

Since then, E=mc2 has become one of the most famous equations in the world.  I say, “Well done, he.” God did not wire me that way at all.  In fact, when I was first married I really thought:

“How can we be out of money when I still have checks in my purse?”

Needles,s to say, at the time it was not funny to my sweet husband or the bank.  Ugh!

Go ahead and laugh, it is funny now.  But my, still sweet husband, just rolls his eyes when I tell the story which is not often.

I am “God wired” to connect with people.  Meet them where they are physical, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  These things drive and strive for me.

Drive me out of myself and strive to be more like Jesus and less like that “old man inside of me,” not easy most of the time.

We live in a fallen world.  I said this to a friend and she had no idea what I meant by “a fallen world.”

I tried to explain that we live in a fallen world because of sin.

“Whose sin?”

We can blame Mr. Adam and Mrs. Eve. The moment Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, they brought sin into the world¾and deadly accidents and murderous acts soon followed. Cain, the very first human baby, grew up to become the very first human murderer (see Genesis 4:1-8). And accidents have plagued humankind ever since the race was driven from Eden. Sin entered our world that day and it has been getting uglier with every generation since the dawn of time or Adam and Eve.

None of us are exempt from sin.  We all have a sinful nature within us and even the godliest among us has a problem with it.

I love the story of Corrie ten Boom and her family in the Netherlands in World War 2.  Corrie ten Boom and her family helped Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II and, by all accounts, saved nearly 800 lives.

In May 1940, the German Blitzkrieg ran through the Netherlands and the other Low Countries. Within months, the “Nazification” of the Dutch people began and the quiet life of the ten Boom family was changed forever. During the war, the Beje house became a refuge for Jews, students, and intellectuals. The façade of the watch shop made the house an ideal front for these activities. A secret room, no larger than a small wardrobe closet, was built into Corrie’s bedroom behind a false wall. The space could hold up to six people, all of whom had to stand quietly and still. A crude ventilation system was installed to provide air for the occupants. When security sweeps came through the neighborhood, a buzzer in the house would signal danger, allowing the refugees a little over a minute to seek sanctuary in the hiding place.

All ten Boom family members were incarcerated, including Corrie’s 84-year-old father, who soon died in the Scheveningen prison, located near The Hague. Corrie and her sister Betsie were remanded to the notorious Ravensbrück concentration camp, near Berlin. Betsie died there on December 16, 1944. Twelve days later, Corrie was released for reasons not completely known.

Not only did she survive but she strived to go into the world and tell her story and share the gospel.  Her tragedy did not make her turn away from God who had allowed this evil into her life probably for the same reason He allowed our Sommer to die at the tender age of 22.  He wants us to trust Him more, draw closer to himself and stretch me to mature my faith in Him.

More Christ and less Heidi

Blessings,

Heidi