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Welcome!

Welcome to Amazing God Stories!  Creative nonfiction stories that show the variety of amazing ways God has been working in my life. And if He has done all this for me, I can only imagine what He’s been doing for you!

My top three goals are simple:

#3.  To brighten your day with a little entertainment, for you to leave feeling a bit better than when you arrived.

#2.  To inspire you to keep on keeping on in your own walk with God.  God is working in your life as much as He’s working in mine. Maybe something I’ve learned or experienced will help you get through a rough patch or to grow in your own desire to know God.

And the #1 reason: To glorify God – to acknowledge and thank Him for all the ways He has been faithful to me! From the day I met Him, He has been by my side. He’s been my Friend, Coach, Counselor, Father, Teacher, Comforter, Defender,  Provider, and a million other things.

This blog is my way to shout to the world that GOD IS AMAZING!

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If my stories do what I hope they will do – like, comment, follow, and/or share them!

It would mean a lot to me to to know that they are being read and to hear what you think!

 

 

When You Pull Me Closer, I Come to Life

The words from one of TobyMac’s songs floated through her mind… “When you pull me closer, I come to life…”

“That is so true,” she thought.  “Spiritually, I’m easily lulled to sleep. But when God calls me, my spirit jumps and I do come alive.” Even though she could sometimes get into His presence through her own efforts, she knew ultimately she was totally dependent on God. Especially when she was as tired as she was now.

 

Later that day, as she gazed at her newborn granddaughter sleeping in her nursery bed, those words returned.  Turning to look at her daughter sitting in the chair next to her, she said, “It’s just like Ryn.”

“What is?” her daughter answered distractedly.

“That song… ‘when you pull me closer, I come to life’… that we heard earlier today. It’s just like Ryn. She lays sleeping in her bed but when you call her, she wakes up. And she’s totally dependent on you going to her because she can’t come to you. It’s the same with God. We are totally dependent on Him to come to us because we aren’t capable of going to Him. And when He calls us, we wake up. We come alive.”

“Yeah, OK,” mumbled her daughter, obviously impressed with her insight.

But that didn’t bother her. She had already turned back to the sleeping infant, enjoying her smallest moves and sounds – while God lovingly enjoyed all three of them.

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Being Born

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OK, what just happened here?

You got born.

Why?

Because being born was healthier for you than not being born.

Why?

Because your environment was becoming unstable and would have eventually hurt you. Being born took you out of that environment into a safer one.

Why?

Because now there are lots of people around you, loving you and taking care of you.

Why?

Because you’re not capable of taking care of yourself right now.

Why?

Because you are new to this life.

Why?

Because you were just born.

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Did you think I was writing the above conversation with Baby AJ in mind? If so, you were right. And wrong. I was also talking about a brand new baby Christian. And we are the staff that is responsible for caring for them; welcoming them into their new life, and making sure they are fed and loved.

Are we doing as good a job with the new Christians God places in our lives as the hospital staff is doing with AJ and the other newborns?

Now that’s a good question.

They’ll Be Back

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Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

For those who miss my normal posts… especially the creative nonfiction and Bella posts… they will be back as soon as my life gets back into a routine. I’m transitioning between my home and my daughter’s home. Just give me a few days, or maybe a week, to settle in. Bella is not giving up until she gets her answers! And there are more creative nonfiction stories hiding in my journals.

Plans:  Do I Believe… or Not?

I had planned to be there when my daughter had her first baby. Both my mother and my mother-in-law had been there when my babies were born. And I wanted to do the same for my daughter.

But I was 500 miles away when I got the call. “Mom, don’t panic, but they want to take the baby now…”

I knew my daughter had struggled with high blood pressure throughout her pregnancy, and that they were planning for an early birth. But that was a month away! Surely the doctor could wait twelve hours before inducing, giving me time to drive over there.

But before I finished  packing, a picture of my newborn granddaughter popped up on Facebook. Proud daddy and adorable AJ. An awesome shot of the two of them together moments after the birth.

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I knew I should be happy. I knew I should be thankful for both mom and baby doing well.

But all I could feel was disappointment. Which quickly turned to bitterness as I added this event to so many others in which I didn’t get my way. Why couldn’t I be there with them at this incredible time? Just one more example of the bad luck that followed me my whole life? Another dream that was not allowed to come true?

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But was it luck? Did God really have control over every detail of my life? If He was in control, then it wasn’t luck, it was His plan.

Grieving over my broken dream, I wailed out at Him: “Why didn’t you want me there?” He let me cry, but He didn’t answer me as I struggled with questions that rose up from deep within. Why was I denied what so many other grandparents got to have? Didn’t God love me as much as He loved them? Was I inferior to other people, as life had convinced me I was since I was little? Always second class, never first? Never worth enough for God to bother with fulfilling my dreams? Always dealing with second best answers?

I knew God loved me regardless of what I felt at this moment. I tried to choose to believe His word over my feelings. “God, I don’t understand this. But I know You are good and that You love me.”

I wish I could say that peace flooded me or that light filled me or some other wonderful result of my prayer. But nothing changed. I still hurt. I was still 500 miles away. And I still had questions.

An hour of packing turned into three, and an eight hour drive turned into twelve. I couldn’t figure out how getting to my daughter took an extra six hours. There had been no incidents that would account for that much delay. Where had the time gone? Was it more bad luck – or God’s plan?

I didn’t want to get into that again, so I ignored the pain, put on a happy face, and went up to the third floor of the hospital. At least I would be able to spend time watching my grandbaby through the nursery window.

But that was not to be either. Baby AJ, being six weeks premature, was in a special ward where visitation was very limited. I wouldn’t be allowed in there without my daughter or son-in-law, and then only for a very short time.

Eventually, I did make it to my daughter’s room, And meet my new granddaughter. And watch with pride the strength of my daughter and son-in-law as they dealt with the curve ball God had also thrown at them. They hadn’t planned on such an early birth either. In fact, their curve ball was much larger than mine. My daughter could hear the other full term healthy babies as they passed in the hall on their way to visit their moms while she was denied her own baby due to medical concerns. Her husband also had to deal with the stress of closing on their new house, which should have happened months ago but kept getting delayed, and packing/moving/unpacking pretty much by himself. Were they questioning God’s love for them also? Were they also feeling inferior to others who’s plans always seem to work out?

“Count your blessings.” “Focus on the good, not the bad.” I can hear people saying as they read my words. I know it’s good advice. So many years I have walked with Him, learning of His love and faithfulness. Time after time I have seen Him intervene in my life in one form or another. Yet evidently this whole experience has revealed that I still have deep issues that need healing.

I know that God is in this. My husband and I were both able to leave at a moment’s notice and drive through the night without an accident despite how sleepy we became. And I am able to stay here with my daughter indefinitely, helping with the move, and later with the baby. Hearing my daughter’s story, it’s amazing how many things “just happened” to happen at just the right moment from the time her body went into crisis and continuing even as I type this.

The bottom line? None of us got what we wanted. God had a different plan. Now we have to decide whether or not we truly believe God has full control over our lives like we profess, and whether His plans were made with our best interest in mind. Are we going to believe our circumstances – or – are we going to believe God’s Word?

The struggle is real.

Life is Like a Beach, section 8: Out of Place

The following is part of a book I would like to publish someday. It’s too long to blog as one post so I’m breaking it up section by section.  Each section can be read as a stand-alone, and hopefully my analogies will provide food for thought as well as encouragement to keep on going no matter where you find yourself in life.  I’ve added links  at the end to the previous sections to make them easier to find should you want to read them. Oh, and all photos were taken by me and are untouched other than cropping when necessary. God’s creation is so awesome just the way it is!

Out of Place

Imagine your surprise to look up and see this washed up on shore! Imagine the captain’s surprise!  Well, I imagine that wasn’t his main emotion. Makes me wonder what went wrong for him to end up where he was. Captain error? Broken part? A storm? Good thing for other captains and other boats who can get him out of this mess.

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Or imagine the surprise on people’s faces as this bird tried to take off with someone’s flip flops! I wonder what the bird thought it was. Did she think it was a new kind of food? Or something to add to her nest? I know she worked hard for quite some time to take off with one then the other flip flop. Eventually she gave up and flew away, but not before she managed to get the flip flops about ten yards from where they originated.

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Sometimes in life we end up in a place we don’t want to be. Something went wrong somewhere. A wrong choice on our part such as a captain’s error, someone else’s choice such as the bird’s choice to move the flip flops. Maybe it was because something in us broke and we were powerless to change our circumstances.  Or maybe it was  a catastrophe in our finances, marriage, health, children, home – the list is endless. The result is the same. We end up in a place we never thought we would. And we don’t like it.  However, the good news is – we don’t have to stay there.  God knows how we got there, and He knows how to get us out. He won’t let us stay there if we turn to Him for help. He can deliver us miraculously like only He can do. But more often He puts people in our lives to help us when we get in difficult places. And in return we can help other people when they get grounded or are pulled from where they should be. We don’t have to do life alone.

 

Continue to have faith and do what you know is right. Some people have rejected this, and their faith has been shipwrecked. 1 Tim 1:19

He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. Ps 91:15

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

 

Previous sections:

Section 1: The Path

Section 2: Red Flags

Section 3: Water

Section 4: Waves

Section 5: Sky

Section 6: Surprises

Section 7: Puffer Fish

Life is Like a Beach, section 7: Puffer Fish

The following is part of a book I would like to publish someday. It’s too long to blog as one post so I’m breaking it up section by section.  Each section can be read as a stand-alone, and hopefully my analogies will provide food for thought as well as encouragement to keep on going no matter where you find yourself in life.  I’ve added links  at the end to the previous sections to make them easier to find should you want to read them. Oh, and all photos were taken by me and are untouched other than cropping when necessary. God’s creation is so awesome just the way it is!

Puffer Fish

A common washed up fish on my favorite beach is the puffer fish. Puffer fish are called that because of their ability to puff themselves up to make themselves look bigger and meaner than whatever they feel threatened by. Yet with all those spikes you would think they had enough defense without the need to puff up too.

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I can’t help but think of how we do the same thing in life. When threatened we puff ourselves up with heated words and try to make ourselves look bigger and meaner than we are, relying on our own strength to protect ourselves. And all along, we are outfitted with the armor of God which can protect us just as its spikes can protect the puffer fish.  And, even better than the armor, God has give us His promise to defend us Himself! Who needs to puff up when the King of Kings, the Almighty One, has our back!

Therefore pout on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

The LORD is with me, he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies. Psalm 118:7

This is what the Sovereign LORD says, your God, who defends His people… Is 51:22

“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My Name.” Psalm 91:14

 

Previous sections:

Section 1: The Path

Section 2: Red Flags

Section 3: Water

Section 4: Waves

Section 5: Sky

Section 6: Surprises

Life is Like a Beach, section 6: Surprises

The following is part of a book I would like to publish someday. It’s too long to blog as one post so I’m breaking it up section by section.  Each section can be read as a stand-alone, and hopefully my analogies will provide food for thought as well as encouragement to keep on going no matter where you find yourself in life.  I’ve added links  at the end to the previous sections to make them easier to find should you want to read them. Oh, and all photos were taken by me and are untouched other than cropping when necessary. God’s creation is so awesome just the way it is!

Surprises

As wonderful as the beach is just as it is, random surprises, which I think of as treasures, keep me from taking it for granted.  A large sculpture left by someone for others to enjoy, a thought-provoking crucifix fish skeleton,  or a beautiful feather are a few I’ve found.  The only thing about these surprises is I had to be walking down the beach to find them. If I had just plopped myself down in the nearest spot and stayed there the entire time, I would have missed them. And it’s very  possible that even if I had been walking, if I was doing so with a bad attitude like when I’m angry and fussing at God about something, eyes focused on my feet and refusing to look around, I still would have missed them regardless of their size.

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Life is full of surprises also. Unexpected money in the mail, the announcement of my first grandchild, or a trunk load of plants given to me by my brother were especially fun. These surprises help keep me from taking my life for granted and provide a welcome diversion from the less fun aspects of my life. I bet you could think of examples in your own life. God loves to scatter these surprises as evidence of His love but we need to be walking the path He’s asked us to walk in order to find them. If we keep to ourselves and refuse to leave our comfort zones, we might just miss something amazing He left for us to enjoy. And we need to keep our eyes open as we walk. Some of the surprises will be hard to miss, but others are a lot smaller and can be easily overlooked. How fun would it be if we viewed every day as an opportunity to go on a treasure hunt!

They will enjoy the abundance of the seas, and the hidden treasures of the shores. Deuteronomy 33:19

I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Isaiah 45:3

Previous sections:

Section 1: The Path

Section 2: Red Flags

Section 3: Water

Section 4: Waves

Section 5: Sky

Life is Like a Beach, section 5: Sky

The following is part of a book I would like to publish someday. It’s too long to blog as one post so I’m breaking it up section by section.  Each section can be read as a stand-alone, and hopefully my analogies will provide food for thought as well as encouragement to keep on going no matter where you find yourself in life.  I’ve added links  at the end to the previous sections to make them easier to find should you want to read them. Oh, and all photos were taken by me and are untouched other than cropping when necessary. God’s creation is so awesome just the way it is!

Sky

I love looking at the sky when I’m at the beach. It seems no two days are the same. From bright blue with ever changing clouds…

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to gray overcast…

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to stormy with a chance of a rainbow,

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each day’s sky has its own fascination. Even distant storms! And those sunrises and sunsets are too beautiful for words!

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Life is the same way. No two days are exactly the same, even if they are similar. And no matter how our day is going, we can find beauty in it if we try. Though I have to say that it’s much easier on some days than others. In any case, to see the beauty, it helps to look up, up to the God who made it all.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11

Previous sections:

Section 1: The Path

Section 2: Red Flags

Section 3: Water

Section 4: Waves

Three Day Quote Challenge, Day 3

Here is my third and final quote:

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I can’t see the future. I can’t see how my decisions today are going to impact my future. I can’t figure out everything I need to do today to make my future a good one. I can’t see how all the details in my life – both good and bad – are going to work together for the future God promises me. But I know the One who can. And I can trust that He knows what I need to know and experience today that will get me to that future. All I really need to do is listen, obey, and enjoy the ride.

And that includes becoming the person He made me to be.

And a bonus quote I just ran into…

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just because it made me laugh.

I laughed again at Dorci Harris’ response: “Oh yes, they can swim. They can float, dive and hold their breath. For years. But only God can walk on water.”  Let’s hope more of our enemies are like the Eygptians who got swallowed by the Red Sea than the ones Dorci it talking about!

 

Thank you again Sue Love at Run With It for nominating me for this Three Day Quote Challenge.

Now I would like to nominate  Faith on the Farm for the 3 Day Quote Challenge because she reminds me of my brother and his family who live on a plot of land with all kinds of animals also. Faith on the Farm is an awesome name and just right for this lovely Christian girl sharing her faith!

Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

For 3 days, provide a quote each day and why you like or chose that quote.

Nominate one or more bloggers each of the three days for the Challenge and then send them a comment letting them know they have been nominated.

(When you receive a nomination, if you’re too busy, you can do it later if need be.)