Would you take a hike?

A hot, summer day in Colorado, my youngest daughter and I were running the usual errands for groceries, animal feed and spending quality time together. I was driving home on the interstate when out of the corner of my eye I saw a man dressed in Bible time costume dragging /carrying a wooden cross. I was traveling the usual 60 MPH, when the traffic slowed to a crawl. If this had not occurred, I would not have seen this man.

It was near 100 degrees with 50 percent humidity. I said to my daughter, “I don’t know who that is, but I am praying he completes the call God may have placed on his day”. I was especially concerned about the possibility of hyperthermia, dehydration and heat stroke.

You see, I used to be an Emergency Trauma Nurse. Once a nurse, always a nurse. Ask my daughter. I couldn’t get off the highway to hand him a bottle of water as there were no close exits.

I have often wondered what kind of person would take a walk carrying a wooden cross like Jesus? I assume a devout follower of Jesus on a pilgrimage or someone trying the spread the Gospel message of Jesus.

I was amazed when a few weeks later, a longtime friend, brother in Christ, who I hadn’t seen in over a year texted me. Chris texted, “I am thinking of you, Mary, and I want you to check out an interview I did at my church”. I responded “Sure, no problem, I will check it out”.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Pexels.com

I had been praying for my brother in Christ, Chris, even more frequently the past 18 months, since his wife Tracey passed away suddenly. This amazing couple served in church, in Bible study, prayer teams, on the worship team, in kids ministry and also on children’s plays with me. They are humble and use the gifts the Lord gave them for serving others. Many people have been blessed.

I am so excited to share his testimony with you. If you have the time, it is an amazing example of hearing the Lord ask you to action, like the Bible story of Jonah and his call to visit Ninevah. In that story, the whale swallowed Jonah and he had a testimony that is still shared today.

We never know whether that still small voice of God exists. In our human perspective, it is illogical. But God can do anything. Are we listening for his calling on our lives? Are there other people created in the Image of God that need to connect with you and see Jesus in your words and actions? It is convicting but amazing.

Would you take a hike? Chris made me ponder that question. I plan to listen with two ears not one, and to slow down for rest. Who knows, maybe I will hear the Lord speak. Onward and upward, one step at a time.

Two roads

The Cascade Mountains near Mount Baker were breathtaking; interesting effect of a panorama photo done wrong and yet a beautiful metaphor for two roads to take. Each road may bring adventure or trial, the important thing is taking along a guide. The Bible is a map of wisdom, the Lord is the Compass that can guide us straight when we pause to seek the directions.

James 3:17   But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.

Foolish people think they can direct their path without a guide. They skirt the wisdom of those who traveled before them, they have two ears yet one ear appears to be blocked with the droning voices of the world. Or is it two ears blocked? Yes, it happens to me on occasion. 🙂

Proverbs 16:9   We can make our plans,
 but the Lord determines our steps.

I think I can get in the way of Gods’ best for myself and those I love. My need to be in control or take the wheel is a mistake. Today, I am choosing to seek wisdom from above. How about you?

Run away Horse

Opie( Mr perfect Valentine), our free spirited palomino, had two adventures this month as a run away horse. Lessons in life were gained through this crazy country experience.

As we ( the hubby and I) took two days in 104 degree weather to harvest 235 hay bales, we became exhausted and sweaty. In the past our young adults were a part of our harvest team.

This year, our teen daughter was excited to drive the pickup as the ole parents grabbed the bales from the field and stacked them in the barn.

Opie, our 16 year old Palomino and his side kick, Loute, the brown and white goat tag teamed running through the back pasture.

I watched Opie nibble from the final rows of 40 different hay bales as he sauntered up the row. His eyes wandering to and fro. I distracted him by encouraging him to visit friends (fellow horses) in the back field. Temporarily my ruse worked. I went back to stacking hay on the trailer.

Suddenly, I looked behind me I yelled to my husband, “look out he’s making his way to the open gate”. My husband ran fast but Opie bolted whinnying happily as he snuck out the side gate to the street. I ran the opposite direction gathering halter and lead rope. I caught up with my husband breathing like a steaming tea pot, muttering and praying for safety.

Opie galloped to our neighbors gate trying to get into his friends’ pasture then reared and ran around the corner onto a busy country road. Loute, his buddy ran along with him, adding to the chaos as she made loud sounds, Loute, her German name fits perfect it means “loud”.

This crazy country comic relief reminds me it’s easy to be distracted by world or culture. Apparently the world outside the pasture was calling a rogue horse and goat to run!!!

Loute waddled alongside her buddy into trouble and all the way back to the corral and pasture. Her voice was louder than usual and obnoxious.

We must laugh at the craziness but stay the course. Find joy in the crazy! Life can be a sweaty hot mess. Don’t you agree?

Psalm 33:11 But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.  

Opie snuck out again three days ago, due to distractions of life, kids decisions, heat, hungry and tired, my husband left the gate to pasture open ;)!!!A stranger came to inform us by ringing our door bell, saying, “ do you have a palomino?” 😉 The kind man brought an apple, yet our stubborn horse knew mom and dad were coming with halter and lead rope to safely bring him back to his pasture, where sustenance, clear water, food and a fan was blowing away the summer heat. This is the place Opie could be refreshed and renewed.

 John 8:12 Jesus said to the people, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

As I was trying to catch my breath the second time, I pondered how much each of us are like a horse, we need a halter and our Wise Creator to hold the lead line. Just like his owners, Opie must let us keep him safe and alive :). We must be willing to be lead to good holy places. So blessed Jesus wants us to seek Him and He will guide us.

Garden Gate

When I look at this photograph from a family trip to Victoria, B.C., I recall a heavenly Butchart botanic gardens with amazing beauty. Heaven will make this look simple.

Isaiah 32:18 NIV

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.

Our home is not here, it is in heaven. Someday, I will see it for myself and be in the Presence of Jesus. I hope to meet you there.

Healing

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com

Families are formed in many ways; single parents, grandparents, stepparents, moms and dads, and birth families, along with parents blessed through adoption. I fall into the last family group although it is not the last option. The heart beats of mothers who yearn for a child encompasses each of these family groups.

After praying a decade to have a child, God truly gave the gift of love through adoption to my husband and I almost twenty five years ago. We chose to have letters and in person contact (open adoption) with our childrens’ birth parents and family.

On this journey, I was humbled to develop close relationships with the birth families of our children. The media and many in community do not understand the love and sacrifice that it takes for a birthmother (and birthfather) to place their child out of love into the home of another Mom and Dad.

In addition, I have been blessed by contact with other birthparents/birth families. I have cried, grieved, prayed and rejoiced over the birth-families who shared their stories with me. Their willingness to allow my personal questions has allowed me to bring an open window to their hard but loving decision. It is with their input that I was called by God to write an E-book, “Healing Through Sacrifice”.

I decided to release ” Healing through Sacrifice: Bible Study for Birth mothers and Families” as a free E-book on my blog. The wisdom comes from a combination of personal and community experience.

Thank you to Temi from Christian Mommas for helping me with illustrations and providing your wisdom with formatting in WordPress. What a gift you are to me!

Please, consider visiting my free resources page to download a copy for someone who may need this resource. God bless you!

Numbers 6:24-26
 ‘May the Lord bless you and protect you.
 May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
 May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’