Write this day upon my heart…

I have always liked the comfort of sameness. I have sought it and drawn strength from it, choosing the peace of predictability over the possibility of unforeseen circumstances.  It sounds like the chicken way out, I know, but it works for me and that’s what matters. It’s when I’m at my best and I hear His voice.

    • Mornings looking out my window to field and grove, taking in sky and birds at the feeder, the pair of doves on the power line, the occasional passing of cars, reading Utmost and the Word—thinking, writing, watching.
    • Vacations to the same place where I always find my smile and my heart expands in wonder as I breathe in the beauty of gentle waves, an unhindered horizon and blue beyond imagination.
    • Trips to the mountains to hear the familiar laughter of my one true friend, who I’ve known all of my life, even when time and distance separated us—the sister by choice who remembers the child I was.

Today is a new day opening before my very eyes,
a new page, perhaps a new chapter in the book of my life
that began with You when the worlds were made.
It is not a slate washed clean
but a fresh new page that awaits Your Hand.
Will I ignore tomorrow what You write today,
choosing my words of limited power
over Yours that have no end?
Will I glory in Your Words — or revel in my own?
When I look back someday at what I have written,
will I wonder what it was all about,
or will this day be written on the halls of my heart
where You abide with me?
Will I rejoice in bended knee at sin expressed,
at contrite heart at sin confessed?
When someday I read this day,
will it be as fresh as this crisp morning?
O Holy Father, write this day for me — indelibly —
on this sometimes resistant human heart that waits
to hear Your Voice saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it.”



Morning prayer…

Birds chirping high in the maple trees
Corn tassels rustling across the road
Hummingbirds clicking at my window feeder
Blue Jays calling in the distance…
Gentle sounds of a country morning and
the sweet assurance that I am where I belong.
For how long, I wonder,
before He plucks me from this place I love
and I begin again, yet continue on,
willingly living for Jesus,
doing all that I know to do?
I will listen for Him throughout my day…
His Voice, my True North, ever pointing the way
even through my tomorrows beyond this day.

And so, in the waning silence,
I breathe to Him my morning prayer…
Holy Spirit, fill me
Holy Spirit, guide me
Holy Spirit, use me.

Mourning thoughts…

Has anything changed in the last four years, I wonder, as I see the ‘Your Memories from Facebook’ post on my page. Yes, and no. It’s another beautiful morning, much like the one I wrote about some 1460 mornings ago…

I could not ask for a more lovely morning. Cool breezes, birds singing, stillness broken only by the distant strains of a train, the revving engine of a crop duster several farms over, and the gentle buzzing of the baby hummer filling up on sugar water. The current People’s Exchange and The Paper lay untouched beside me, but I restrain myself from planning my day, spurning pen and list for just a little longer.

I hear the mournful call of the dove and am reminded that half a world away, children are in peril because of the irrationality of men who think nothing of using the innocent as shields and for what? I want to be sick as I think of the children laid out in death for all the world to see like some insane punctuation mark on the unspeakable actions that put them in harm’s way.

A sudden silence outside, most likely the result of a hawk hunting for its breakfast, reminds me that the predictable whirring of a flight ended Wednesday in a terrible silence because of the political ambitions of a single man, stripped of restraint and drunk on power. I think of soldiers nonchalantly walking through the smoldering evidence of 298 lives, and I am grieved that those who regard life so callously can push a button and destroy, with no remorse, so much potential, so many dreams.

Somehow I know that I am to take these morning thoughts with me throughout my day, not to dwell on but to use as the basis of my prayers. A bright flash of red draws my eyes to the dogwood tree, whose symbolic blossoms in spring remind us of the Cross Jesus died on, and I am struck by the addition of the blood-red to the foliage as the cardinal alights and takes off as suddenly as he came. It is a Word picture of the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, who became the sacrifice, willingly shedding his blood for ALL of humanity.

Yet, unlike any other god, our Redeemer lives. With His ascension to the Father, we who believe in Jesus–who live and move and have our being in Him–have now become His hands, His feet, His voice. He didn’t leave us purposeless but gave us our mission for life. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations,” He said, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” And being the loving Savior He is, Jesus doesn’t end there but gives us a promise, and a really remarkable promise at that. “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

The cacophony of the blue jays bossing everyone around at the feeders fills the air, cars pass on the once quiet road, and I go about my day, thankful for thoughts of family and friends, for views of tasseled corn and grazing horses, for work that calls me to the garden, and for the still small Voice within.

Don’t let this moment go by…

        Fathers Day has always been a difficult day for me. I only had my dad for 24 years, but during those years, I knew what it was to be loved unconditionally, and I’ve never forgotten what that was like. There are no arms now that hold me close but there is a Love that will not let me go.

      My dad went to church his entire life but didn’t accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior until two months before he met Him face to face. He was 70 years old. No one would ever have thought that my dad was not on his way to heaven. He never gossiped or said unkind things about anyone. Dad never talked much–except about farming–but when he did it was always worth listening to. He loved life and the land, his family and being at home. He was respected in the community because he was a good man and a good farmer.

      On one of his frequent visits, our pastor, Kenneth Pickering, who knew that Dad didn’t have long to live, asked him if he was ready to meet Jesus.  Dad admitted he wasn’t totally sure but said he’d always tried to do what was right and had gone to church all of his life so he supposed he would go to heaven. As Kenneth shared Romans 10:9-10 with him, Dad realized that, even though he believed in Jesus, he never had asked Him to be the Lord of his life.

      That afternoon I got a call from Kenneth, who told me I should go see my dad, so I drove the mile to Mom & Dad’s house. When I went in the bedroom, I saw the huge smile Dad had on his face, and I sat on the edge of the bed while he told me how he had asked Jesus to come into his life and knew he would be in heaven when he died. Even though Dad was bedfast and in constant pain, there was a new peace in his voice and in his expression too—a peace that had never been there before.

      During the next two months, as the cancer claimed more of my dad’s once-healthy body, he didn’t complain about the increasing pain but always tried his best to manage a smile. One night when I was spending the night so Mother could sleep, my dad cried out, “Sara, Sara, come here!” I was just a few steps away in the den and was by his side in a few seconds. Grabbing my arms with his trembling hands, he looked into my eyes and said, “Make sure they go to heaven. Make sure they all go to heaven—all of you and the children—make sure they all accept Jesus. I want to see all of you again. Will you promise me you’ll do that?” he cried. As I comforted him, I assured him I would tell everyone in our family what he wanted, and through the years I have. Two weeks later, my dad met the Jesus he had heard about all his life but had only really known for two months.

      It dawned on me just today that I am the same age Dad was when he went to his heavenly home; and although I have no life-threatening illness, who knows except God how much time I have left on this earth? I’ve shared my dad’s story with many people, and the bottom line is, someday, and it may be today, we will go from this place we call home to the place we will spend eternity—either with God or without Him. Don’t let the opportunity go by to say ‘I love you’ or ‘Forgive me’ or ‘Do you know Jesus?’ This moment–right now–might be your last chance.


I am…

I am a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant, raised in a Quaker family where I heard the merits of the love, joy, and peace of Jesus every Sunday and most Wednesdays for the first 18 years of my life.

I am peace-loving, inclusive, thoughtful because of the gentle people who influenced my life the most. I do not see the world in black and white but in the myriad of colors of those around the world I pray for–the children, mainly, for once I was lost but now I am found.

I am wise to the deceptions of this world, for I have seen them up close and personal in valleys where I came to know the One who loves me like no other. The naivete of childhood was never a luxury I enjoyed because of battles fought to find the child I really was.

I expect from no one but God, because I learned early that He is the one who will never fail me or leave me like the orphan I once was in a storm of others’ making. I am a child of my Father, whose sons and daughters are my brothers and sisters for whom I pray.

I am unapologetically me, unabashedly His, and unqualifiedly a champion of all that is right and good in this world. I am spiritual, comical, political, thankful, and careful, because once a long time ago someone saw me as salvageable.

I can be long-winded at times, but I am a good listener. I want to talk sense into those who do the same destructive things to themselves over and over again, all the while knowing the outcome will be no different than it was the first time.

I believe that God has the ability to change the lives of those who choose to believe in Him, and I believe that God will protect the right of those who choose not to believe in Him. I believe that I am proof that God is no respecter of persons and can change anyone.