Archive | February 2014

28 Years of Praying, 28 Years of Wait

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Thirty years ago I began to understand
Grown-up love and relationships
Twenty-eight years ago I wept in pain
I began to pray and kept on praying.
Not for love reunited, rekindled, reborn
But for a creation of God to see
God would shelter him in the storm
He was a cherished soul to The King.
Years ticked by adding one upon one
Sometimes I knew where he was
The battles fought and who had won
But mostly I knew only a deep silence.
Still he crossed my mind quite often
And all I could do was continually pray
That God would win in the end.
Prayer through Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Year 12
Year 13
Year 14
Year 15
Year 16
Year 17
Year 18
Year 19
Year 20
Year 21
Year 22
Year 23
Year 24
Year 25
Year 26
Year 27
Beyond year 28…
And the wall is starting to crumble
The demons are looking nervous
Excuses are beginning to tumble
Answers are filtering in and in and in.
So I will keep looking toward the hills
Keep praying day after day making years
Until the last stone crumbles to reveal
God’s might will see victory won.
One prayer
One day
One warrior
One year
Again
And again
And again
And again
Twenty-eight years more if needed
Until my very last breath because
Satan can and will be defeated
One prayer, one day, one year at a time.
          d.f.a.v. 2-27-14

Never stop praying!
–Donna

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Prayer from the Cottage by the Sea 5:00 a.m.

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Abba Father:
We stand in need of prayer Lord
Come by here today
Touch us with Your presence
Guide us in Your way.

A woman’s womb is empty
Where a baby began to grow
Nature righting something
Just what we do not know.

Yet her pain is in her heart Lord
Where the emptiness echoes
Heal her heart, mind and spirit
And physically as You know.

A man struggles with his lifestyle
Could he have been wrong
Was the different road he traveled
The unwise one all along?

He wrestles with his conscience
He ponders what was, is, could be
I think he’s tired of running
What is the truth he sees?

In a hospital in Tennessee
A surgery has gone bad
Now a young man slips away
His sobbing wife so sad.

His brain is dead say doctors
Let him go in dignity
But their time was so short
The months add just to three.

A country was at war within
Not even a week ago
Now peace is fragile
Is it just for “show”?

The people there are weary
Trust is shattered in the street
Who will prove to be the leader
Will it be You they seek?

Come by here Lord
We are in need of You
Come by here Lord
Guide us in what to do.

We stand in need of prayer Lord
Come by here and stay
Come by here Lord
Come by here today.
d.f.a.v. 2-27-2014

Amen,
–Donna

Brave

There are a few events that have occurred between our daughter and myself I will never forget as long as my mind functions.  The first time she called me Mama, out-of-the-blue with no provocation.  The first time she told me she loved me after I became her legal mother.  The day our adoption was finalized.  And now, when she handed me the poem below written as a classroom assignment.
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My being disabled means we function differently than an average family.  Daily there are struggles around simple things and tasks.  Life would be easier if financially we could afford some things, like a better wheelchair, a roll-in shower, a handicap accessible kitchen and a way I could come and go on my own. 

Then there’s the pain and unending swelling of my entire body that means little I do isn’t painful.  Simply brushing my teeth and hair hurts. Fluid collects and to the point it pours out of any weak point on my skin and I soak through layers and layers of towels and pads, for days, even weeks.

A few years ago the doctors were straight with me. We could amputate the leg where the numerous infections and blood clots occurred repeatedly, trying to get above all the lymph node damage or I could count on the next severe episode ending my life.

It was a choice. A difficult choice. But we decided to go with the amputation, it gave me the best hope of seeing our daughter grow up. Seeing our daughter grow up was important to me but increasing the chances my death would not appear as abandonment to her was vital.

I’ve wrestled with my choice more times than I can count.  In private, away from our daughters eyes, I’ve questioned whether or not she is better off with me still here. 

I’ve seen her eyerolls when I ask her to help me.  Bore her words of frustration when my manual wheelchair won’t go in the car right.  Tried to disappear so I didn’t stand out as different at her school events.

Until today I thought she was ashamed of me.  Embarrassed by my disability and the unkind and hateful things strangers mutter as they witness my struggle.

Now I know, underneath all of her eyerolls, huffs, and pre-teen attitudes she thinks I am brave.  Which makes me want to be.  So I offer this prayer,  “Lord, please help me be brave, for You, our daughter, my husband and myself.  You’ve done great this far, let’s finish the race. Amen.”

–Donna

No, Really, but Thank You

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“Well, hello there Almighty,” the fallen angel Lucifer sneered.  Leaning against a column and looking defiant just like the days before he’d been cast from God’s presence. All in heaven knew he was no longer allowed to be one of God’s angels.

Why was he here? The other angels were presenting themselves to God, surely Lucifer didn’t come to gain God’s trust again?

“Lucifer?  Where have you been?” God asked.  Knowing the answer and knowing why this once heavenly being was in Heaven. 

For it seemed that despite losing the beauty of Heaven, the ultimate peace from being in his Creator’s presence and his place as one of God’s angels Lucifer still sought what he’d been cast from Heaven for; to become god himself.

“Roaming around on earth, creating as much trouble as I can for You.” Satan remarked. “But truthfully people have become too easy to catch in my webs. There’s really little challenge anymore”

Though Lucifer’s words and tone were full of boredom no one, least of all God was fooled. “You deceive them Lucifer. You don’t win them honestly.  You don’t, as children say, play fair.”  God looked at the ugliness before him and waited.

“I don’t play fair?”  The mocking question hung in the air as Lucifer’s chilling scoff was heard. All of Heaven watched the unusual confrontation.

All heard the underlying challenge in the next words. “Have you given much thought to my servant Job in Uz” God asked?

Lucifer’s eyebrows shot up and the anger he’d been trying to hide shone in his eyes.  “You know I can’t touch him.  Not dear Job whom You’ve babied and protected for all his boring days.  Not Job whom You’ve placed a hedge of protection around. You very well know I can’t get past Your protection.”

“Job is my loyal servant.  He obeys my Word, keeps my decrees.  Job is one of mine.”  God stopped to draw Lucifer’s attention solely back to Him.  “Job will pass your test.”

God had Lucifer’s full attention but the offer was too good to be true. Job was well protected.  Satan thought, “So He offers up His favorite?  Why?”

The clogs in Lucifer’s mind turned and he spouted, “Of course You offer Job.  He has every blessing You can provide.  But remove Your hedge of protection and Job will come to me willingly.”

“You may touch anything Job owns, anything around him, except Job himself.”

Lucifer was gone as quickly as he’d appeared and God looked down on Job and waited.

This is a paraphrase of the way the history recorded in God’s word in the book of Job goes in the beginning.  Job didn’t know what had transpired in Heaven.  He didn’t know the test of his faith in Jehovah was about to be tested, but what if he had?  What if the conversation happened today?  About you? About me?

These are the thoughts that occured to me during one our pastor’s sermons a few Sunday’s ago. Admittedly there have been seasons in my life I’m sure God has given everything in my life up for Satan to destroy but it has stopped when I stopped and counted my blessings. Perspective and reality told me I knew different.

Would I stand for God even when all I had left was a bitter spouse urging me to curse God and die? Three friends judging me and lecturing me on my uncommitted sins their imaginations conjured? These two things just named and the ashes I was kneeling in where I scraped my sores with broken pottery shards?

Yes, Job would have it all restored but he didn’t know that. Job’s view of his future was like his present. Yet, he didn’t give in to Satan’s attack. Job stood for God.

Because what Job really had left was what he started with, an unshakable belief in God. Job wasn’t a believer in God because of what God gave him. Job believed, Job had a deeply rooted faith in Jehovah because God is God and that was what his life was based on.

I still lack enough faith in my faith that if I had the choice whether to go through what Job did or not I would wrestle with saying one of two things:”Thanks, really, but no thanks or not my will but Your’s Lord.”

You?

Donna

Salvation is Free, Discipleship is Not

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Salvation is a free gift.  When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve the plan for the ultimate innocent sacrifice was already in place.  God would send His Son, Jesus, to be that blood sacrifice.  Jesus literally paid the highest of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual costs to provide a way for all to be reconciled to God  because separation was the cost of our sin.

Salvation, the gift of eternal reconciliation with God is FREE.  Yet, it’s not easy to get people to take the gift. You don’t need a coupon or to wait out in the ice and snow all night in the church parking lot to get it.

Romans 3:23 tells us that we all have sinned, not just a few people, or the majority of people, but all people. When you recognize that, when the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart and YOU INVITE God into your heart and life, that’s free. Jesus paid our sin debt 2000 plus years ago. All we need is God calling us to come to Him, and our saying yes.

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The Writer

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The words are beautiful in the openness and raw gaping view of hurt.  They are slow but steady upwards rungs on a ladder of hope provided by the increasing intensity of the writer showing you the light of hope. 

A collection of letters forming words forming thoughts that seem to give you strength to pull yourself over to where, even though you are a sweaty mess, you manage to wrap your arms around the ladder leading up and out. You are ready to follow this hope anywhere. 

With a powerful gentleness these indescribable words have penetrated your fuzzy mind, fueled your muscles and you have begun to climb out of the pit you are in. Gratefully you realize you are not alone in your suffering. Someone else knows, someone else understands, someone else gets it. They have made this climb themselves.

Then the thoughts you’re reading are supported by the writer pointing you to ancient inscribed words of God Himself. Deeply rooted truths anchored to the very beginning when by His spoken words the universe and all of this Earth including man and woman were formed.

You can see sunshine. You can see unexpected beauty. You feel the hand of God as you view His handiwork.

It is a rare gift, this talent for writing this man has been given. A rare gift of compassion within his heart. It is uncommon, his ability to tell a person’s story as if it were your’s or his own.

He is no saint. He stumbles in his journey with God. Yet he writes, oh, how he writes. He doesn’t preach. He doesn’t condemn. He pours out a portion of himself to aid others struggling like him, like me, like you.

His blog, Scribing the Journey, can be found here; http://www.scribingthejourney.com. Trust me it is well worth a visit.

Thoughts from the Cottage by the Sea 5:47 a.m.

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Always Abba the call of the Sea draws me.
The power of the waves swell
The wind fragrances the air…
     Salty…
     Fresh…
     Clean…
The rhythm of nature’s drum…
     Come…
     Come…
     Come…
The voice of the Sea calls to me.
It is You the truth it tells
It’s presence proof You care…
     Pure…
     Honest…
     Reality…
Come to Me you who need, come…
     Come…
     Come…
     Come…
I answer for I cry out loud…
Here I am Holy Deity
Here I am in the wildness of…
     You…
     Your love…
     Permanently…
God of Earth, Universe and Sea…
     Come…
     Come…
     Come…
Humble before You with heartbeat wild
Trusting Father in the Trinity
Your presence, spirit and perfect love…
     Complete…
     Whole…
     Mended…
Product of the God who calls to me…
     Come…
     Come…
     Come…
-d.f.a.v. 2-19-14
By the Sea,
–Donna

a.k.a. Faye

    

Jehovah

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Picture of ancient Hebrew manuscript with the name YHWH (which translated into English is Jehovah).

Jehovah, God who is actually present.
     God who is always with us.
     God who is always beside us.
     God who now will dwell within us.
Jehovah, I am who I am!
     Actively present as & when I choose.
     Bringing to pass whatever I choose.
     I am who I am is who I choose.
Jehovah, God who speaks before He acts,
     Has He not always said how it will end?
     He still speaks through His Word right to the end,
     Israel and our Covenant Redeemer never to end.
Jehovah, God who is actually present.
     God who is always with us.
     God who is always beside us.
     God who now will dwell within us.
Jehovah.
          d.f.a.v. 2-7-14

Even now Jehovah is with us!
–Donna

When a Blessing Dies

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Her eyes open and her heart pounds,

Her pulse skips a beat and a spark twinkles

Slipping from the bed she quietly steps

Gently shutting the bathroom door

A dream that has budded before

As the wrapper comes off the test

Whispered prayers for positive

Three, five minutes she knows and

Soon they celebrate…

Doctor confirms and they share

Grandparents rejoice, friends congratulate

Plans begin to form for the future

All she can see is a sweet little face

Precious life wrapped in lace

He comes home with a doll and ball

There is a new smile on their faces

Nursery decorating is discussed

Dreams are real…

Then there is a little cramp

A slight discomfort

She can’t ignore the fear

And she prays and she hopes

There has to be a way to cope

Then in anquish it is over

The life is gone like it came

Silently slipping away and

Before the doctor…

Her eyes open and her heart pounds,

Her pulse skips a beat and a breath catches

Slipping from the bed she quietly steps

Gently shutting the bathroom door

A dream that has died before

As the blood washes away

Whispered prayers for strength

Minutes passes in sorrow and she knows

Soon they mourn…

Why would God answer “yes”

Then take away a blessing

Was she not good enough

Did He no longer love her

She’d always been so sure

Then a quiet voice reminds

“Be still and know that I am God”

He weeps with her

Records her tears*…

    d.f.a.v. 2-2-14

The pain of a miscarriage is great and recovery never happens quickly. A woman’s body has to adjust but her heart and spirit also must recover. I’ve known this misery and eventually had to accept my body would not carry a child to term. Physically sometimes the pain was barely noticeable, other times it was terrifying. But for women everywhere who desire to have a child and can’t, God knows your anguish and stores your tears. Don’t give up on His ability to bless your life or forget that there is equal joy in adoption.

–Donna

Psalm 56:8

Lie vs. Truth #2: Words Betray the Veteran

What was passed along to my Facebook notifications was this:


“When I first saw this I thought
the girl was one of his daughters.
Green and white shirt, black tee shirt, …
gray pants and tennis shoes.
How many people know that President Bush
hosts a few Wounded Warriors at his ranch
10 weekends every year?
Every year! All expenses paid!
Not what you expect to see, huh?
There he is, dancing with a
“Wounded Warrior”
who has lost a leg but still dances.
I guarantee we will NEVER
see a story or picture like this
from NBC, CBS, ABC,
The New York Times, or The Washington Post.”

 

 

 

 

Truthfully, what made me look twice at the post was the line, “There he is, dancing with a “Wounded Warrior” who has lost a leg but still dances”. The implication that former President George W. Bush was consenting to dance with a woman wearing a prosthesis, as if he was bestowing upon her some great honor he’d not usually lower himself to do.

It irked me and pricked my sensitivity as I am an amputee and pity is something I detest. Really the un-named woman in this photograph is certainly not the reason for the internet pass-along. But her presence is what screamed at me and a few clicks of my laptop mouse soon revealed a lot of truth behind the photo and a “pity dance” was not one of them.

The first line of the post could be true, the writer clearly says this is their opinion, their first thought when seeing the photograph. The second sentence, “Green and white shirt, black tee shirt,…gray pants and tennis shoes” call your attention to the attire of the man in the photo at which point you are to notice the man is the former President of the United States, George W. Bush. He’s dressed so casually because he’s removed himself from the spotlight (which is true, he doesn’t seek public attention) which sets the reader up for the good work President Bush is supposedly doing behind the photo.

Per this short post President Bush hosts a “few Wounded Warriors at his ranch 10 weekends every year” “all expenses paid”! You do the math, 10 weekends a year is one weekend 10 of the 12 months of the year. That’s a lot of entertaining of wounded veterans.

Our men and women in the military give a lot to our abilities to remain a free country. But, even if this didn’t have a veteran involved in the story or a former president of this country, why stretch the truth? Why not just tell the truth like it is? The lie sure sounds good. The words attached will rile up the blood of some. It’s a reminder that the truth isn’t told. But there’s various versions of the “story” according to the Truth or Fiction web site. All with remnants of truth, none accurate.

In this case, as written about in Lie vs. Truth: Steepek or Lyle published on this blog, the truth is better than the fiction so why not post it?

The woman in this photograph is 1st Lieutenant Melissa Stockwell, US Army Retired. Leading a convoy in Baghdad a roadside bomb exploded and she became the first female to lose a limb in the Iraq War. Dancing is truly one of the little things this amazing veteran does since retiring from the military.

The Wounded Warrior Project has had her on their board since 2005. She is a motivational speaker for other veterans who have lost limbs or have other challenges from incidents in the war. In 2010, 2011 and 2012 she competed for the United States in the ITU Triathlon World Championships, taking the gold in all three years in the Tri2. This is just the beginning of her accomplishments.

As for the picture, on April 26-28, 2012 the George W. Bush Presidential Center hosted a 100K mountain bike ride in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. As part of the festivities after the ride 1st Lt Stockwell and former President George W. Bush danced. Someone took their picture. Now this post and email “pass along” post accompanying the picture dishonors two people, Stockwell and Bush.

Turns out the former president hosts this 100K, three-day extreme mountain bike ride annually. He does a lot of “good deeds” since his years in the White House have passed and he tries to stay out of the spotlight but today the greatest injustice is the one this post does to the first lieutenant.

The former President George W. Bush is pictured here, also with 1st Lt Stockwell, shortly after the 100 K was completed. (Photo from Truth of Fiction web site, photographer unknown or not listed.)

Here is a remarkable woman, strong in every way, inspiring others to push beyond their limits regardless of their challenges and she’s used as fodder for a “pass along” social media post to highlight the good deeds of a former United States president whose time in the spotlight is over at his own choice. This is what I find most offensive about this “story”.

The truth would make an even more remarkable report and social media again chooses to pass along the lie. Sometimes, though I know human nature is fickle and Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 that the time will come when men will only want to hear what pleases their ears, not sound doctrine, I never thought Paul’s words would also be talking about the same ailment in every day news.

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

–Donna