In the Palm of His Hand

A few weeks ago at Moms, I decided to go check the concrete driveway to see if Ryan and Matthews feet prints were still visible. Keep in mind it’s been 25,almost 26 years since the concrete was poured. To my surprise, Ryan’s still prominently in tact. Matthew’s weren’t immediately visible until further inspection. Yet, I knew they were there. I helped hold him in the concrete. I watched Ned write his name above his feet print. The tiniest of etching remained. With my foot, I skimmed the surface and could feel the small indentions. Yes, the small feet were still there as well as the etching of his name. However, it wasn’t until I got on blended knee that I could more visibly see.

Isn’t that just like faith? Sometimes it’s clear and visible that we believe what we believe. There’s evidence all around that solidifies our faith. We feel so close to God and we see him working in and through our lives. There’s just no doubt. It’s real.

On the flip side, faith is murky at murky at best. You question everything, maybe not you, but I sure do! You know that you know that you know but where is the evidence that God is real and present? Where did he go? Why did he allow this thing? If he truly cares why doesn’t he do something? In those times, you have to know what his word is truth. You have to be reminded of how you’ve seen him work in the past. You just have to know that you know and when it’s not clear, you may have to get on bended knee to see with more clarity the evidence of faith.

I’ve often heard that faith is like a muscle and it must be stretched. I’m beginning to understand more each day the importance of both. When our faith is stretched it actually becomes more healthy over time with proper exercises. This is why reading, studying and memorizing God’s word is of high priority.

The one truth to remember from God’s word is found in Isaiah.

See, even when we lack in faith and we don’t feel like God is present. He hasn’t forgotten us because we are carved on the palm of his hand.

A little about my Hero

I know a man who has given his whole being for the good of others. He is one of the most selfless people I have ever been around. His joy comes to see other happy. That’s always been his chief aim. I’ve never met an individual like him and I’m quite certain I never will again.

His countenance displays joy and peace. His life reflects the joy of the Lord. His smile illuminates the room and just sitting his presence blessings abound. My husband says frequently, “If you don’t like Troy, you’ve got serious problems”

Who is Troy? Troy is my grandfather, commonly referred to as “my Popaw”. What makes him so special and unique? The choices he’s made in life.

On any given day of sporting events when asked who he’s rooting for, his answer, no matter who’s playing, “The underdog. The team that’s losing”. He has a heart for the downtrodden, for the weak, for the homeless, for anyone who needs a little extra help. He wants to see them have an opportunity to succeed. It’s just how he rolls.

As a young boy, Popaw made choice to follow the Lord. He has never wavered. At 16 years of age, he married my grandmother. He loved her through life and never wavered. He became her caregiver for almost ten years. He grew weary towards the end, but he never wavered in his care for his bride. Once moved to assisted living, he visited her everyday, except a few times when he was sick. He never complained and always thankful for the care she received there.

He loves and adores his two daughters more than anything. He’s always been there for them. Always ready, willing and able to do anything he could for them. The past two years, through Ned’s illness, he expressed to me several times how difficult it was for him not being able to help and really be there for Mom. Honestly, his existence has been a blessing and help to us all.

His grandchildren he doted on since day one. There’s never been three children anymore loved and adored than me, my sister and brother. Both he and my grandmother always made us feel like the sun rose and set in us. He still makes me feel that way When I see his sweet face light up as I enter his room and he says. “Honey, it’s so good to see you. It’s always good just to be with you”.

And then there are his great grandchildren and there are just no words to describe the vast love he has for them. He is always concerned over their well-being. He is constantly asking about their safety and he is consistently telling me how much he misses those little rascals.

Clearly he is a family man.

When I think of the fruit of the spirt

I can’t help but think of Popaw. His life is the embodiment of these things. Every characteristic I have seen on display I his life. And I find myself thankful and humbled. Thankful that I have been given such a powerful witness of a man in my life and humbled because I realize, I have a very long way to see all these attributes displayed in my life. Truth is, I may never get there because I am not always prone to making wise choices, like Popaw. I have a “prone to wandering” heart.

Popaw has staid his course and run his race with great vigor and endurance! He is a living example of a life well-lived.

Popaw is my hero!

Pearls of Wisdom

At the start of this New Year I decided to read through the Bible. It’s something I started doing in January 4 years ago but last year decided to take a break. I’m not telling you this for earn brownie points or praise. It’s been a remarkably exceptional way for me to see things I would otherwise miss in scripture. Which brings me to the point of today’s blog.

Two days ago a verse literally jumped off the page and I couldn’t stop thinking about it, which in turn, caused me to read some commentaries. When a verse does this instantly I know that God is revealing a deep level of truth and insight. It can’t be explained away. And then it also leaves me curious to know why I’ve read over that verse a hundred times and never really seen it. I think it has to do with my heart and when it’s ready to receive a truth from God’s word.

The verse, found in Genesis 35:8, says this, “Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak outside Bethel. So it was named Allon Bakuth” NIV

Upon first glance this doesn’t seem important at all. It’s just talking about a woman named Deborah, who was Rebekah’s nurse and she died and was buried. The one thing I’ve learned the more I’ve studied is that everything in scripture bears significance.

The first thing that struck me was the placement of this scripture. At this point Rebekah is dead. In fact she’s been dead for some time, And somehow Deborah ends up with Jacob, Rebekah’s son. Commentators have varied speculation on how Deborah ended up with Jacob. But she did,

It is speculated that she was probably around 180 years old when she died. She was well-regarded and respected. She brought with her years of wisdom and knowledge for the younger women who were caring for Jacob’s family. She was also well-loved. Jacob called the place of her burial, Allon Bakuth of “oak of weeping”. It was sad day for Jacob and his family when she died.

Think about that for a minute. Deborah most likely was the nurse who came to Canaan with Rebekah when she came to marry Isaac. She had been with the family for many years. She remained with Isaac, even after Rebekah’s death, and then helped Jacob with his large family. She was more like a member of the family, instead of just a nurse.

Think about the impact that Deborah’s life had on this family. She gave up her home to go with Rebekah. She cared for Rebekah, maybe from birth. She was with Rebekah when Esau and Jacob were born. She aided in their care. She cared for Rebekah through her death. Remained faithful to Issac until she was needed by Jacob. That says a lot about her character, even though we know very little about her. I love this because it tells me she took her job seriously. She was fully committed to her calling.

While pondering and reading about Deborah, God reminded me of the precious lady who cared for me. Read her story here My Caregiver

I was reminded of how she loved and taught us. Her wisdom expansive. Her faith so simple and true. Her joy complete. She knew her calling and she did it well. Just like Deborah, Mawmaw’s life impacted ours. She became our family. When Ryan, my oldest son, and I travels from our home in Bremerton, Washington home, she insisted on seeing him. She said to me, “I want to nuss (her word for cuddle and rock) that baby the same way I nussed you.” How could I refuse a request like that?

And so, here she is “nussing my firstborn”. I have now doubt that while she was holding him, she was praying over him. She was, in her mind, singing over and quoting scripture over him. How do I know? She did the same thing for me, my sister and my brother. Oh, how she loved us and loved us well.

Just like Deborah, the day she died was. sad day, But just like Deborah, her pearls of have been passed through generations and will continue to be passed down. Like she would sing, “Oh happy day! Oh happy day, When Jesus “warshed” my sins away. “. Like I said before, a real simple faith, that’s all she had and it’s all she needed to be effective.

We can be effective and influence lives as well. We just have to be dedicated to our calling, knowing and believing that God has us exactly where He wants us for a time such as this.