Dear Outraged One (from Someone Who Loves You series)

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“What do you mean I’m not allowed to sleep on my tummy!”

 

Dear Outraged One,

Things are not always what they appear to be.  They might look one way to you. If fact, they might look so clear to you that you would believe you had the only possible interpretation.  But if you would ask me, I can help you see them in a different light.  Like that warning label. It seems so clear and might not make sense to you since you love sleeping on your tummy when you’re being held. But if you ask me about it I could help you see that it’s not about that at all. It’s not a personal attack against you, but rather a protection against a danger you had not known existed. So come to me when you have questions. I love answering them for you.

Always,

Someone who loves you

 

James 1:5  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

 

Do you hear God speaking to you in these letters? If so, it’s no coincidence.  As I write to my new granddaughter, I can hear God speaking to me. And my prayer is that you can also hear Him speaking to you for He loves us even more than I love my granddaughter.

Dear Little Worrywart (from Someone Who Loves You series)

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“Sure, you fed me last time. But will you feed me this time? I’m going to scream just to make sure.” 

Dear Little Worrywart,

Do you not trust me yet to feed you when you get hungry? Since you were born, you’ve been fed around the clock. You never had to miss a feeding. So why do you fret so when you have to wait a few minutes? Relax, dear child, and know your needs will be met in the future as they have been met in the past. It’s my love for you – not your worrying, demanding, fussing, or screaming – that gets you what you need. And I will always love you, now and forever.

Always,

Someone who loves you

Philippians 4:19   And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Do you hear God speaking to you in these letters? If so, it’s no coincidence.  As I write to my new granddaughter, I can hear God speaking to me. And my prayer is that you can also hear Him speaking to you for He loves us even more than I love my granddaughter.

Dear Precious One, (From Someone Who Loves You series)

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“Am I still precious when I do this?”

 

Dear Precious One,

I take great delight in watching your expressions change as your body grows and develops. It’s true, some are cuter than others, like when you’re sleeping. Other expressions make me laugh, like the grimaces you make as you stretch. But they are all part of you – and so all are precious to me.  So, yes, you are still precious when you do that!

Always,

Someone who loves you

 

Job 29:24   When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them.

 

Do you hear God speaking to you in these letters? If so, it’s no coincidence.  As I write to my new granddaughter, I can hear God speaking to me. And my prayer is that you can also hear Him speaking to you for He loves us even more than I love my granddaughter.

Bella, part 10 – What Forest?

An hour later, Bella joined the other people heading to the lobby. The service had been way different than anything she could have imagined and she was still filled with that golden goodness that had filled the air as Pastor Toby talked. Funny, she couldn’t recall anything that he had said but it didn’t matter. Just being there was what counted.

“Can I help you?” asked an older woman. “You look kind of lost.”

“Are the services always like this?” Bella asked her.

“Well, yes and no. Each service is different in many ways but they are all filled with Pastor Toby’s special touch. He’s pretty wonderful, isn’t he?” The lady smiled at Bella. “Hi, my name is Amanda. Is this your first time here?”

“Bella. Nice to meet you.” Bella answered politely. “Yes, this is my first service.”

“Welcome! I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. And if I can’t, I can find someone who can.”

“Actually, I do have questions.”

“Let’s get some coffee and we can sit over there at that table.”

“Sounds good,” Bella smiled. Coffee did sound good but getting some answers sounded even better.

After getting their coffee and settling down, Amanda said, “OK, what do you want to IMG_20180730_170130302know?”

“How long have you been coming here?”

“Oh, hmmm, let me think.” Amanda took a sip of her coffee. “I guess it’s been about ten years now.”

“So you know Pastor Toby pretty well, then?”

“Sure. He’s friendly and totally approachable. Why?”

“He just seems to be too good. And a bit mysterious.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, for one, he seems to love me even though he doesn’t’ know me. And he’s very interested in whatever I say.”

“Yes, he does love everyone. I don’t know why. It’s like he can’t help it. And he is a great listener.”

“So he’s not just pretending?”

“Nope. That’s one thing he never does. He never pretends. He’s always honest with us.”

“What about his son, Jude?”

“He’s just like his father. He’s also a great problem solver. Talking with him always seems to help when I have a problem, or even just a decision I have to make. His insight is amazing.”

“Have you been in their backyard?”

“Sure.”

“Don’t you think it’s kind of strange?”

“No, why should I?”

“Because it’s so big. Way bigger than it looks from the outside.”

“That’s part of the magic of this place…”

Bella cut in quickly. “So there IS magic here?”

Amanda laughed. “No, not magic like magic tricks and trickery. I mean magic as in out of the ordinary, beyond words. Like if I said I had a magical time with my family on our last vacation.”

“Oh. OK. I get it. So how is the backyard so big? All those wild flowers. And a lake! How is that even possible?”

“They do have a lot of flowers in their greenhouse, but no lake. At least I haven’t seen one. But maybe it’s on the other side of the forest, where I haven’t been yet.”

“Forest?”

“Yes, it’s pretty amazing. I’m glad Pastor Toby didn’t cut down the trees when this church was built. His little forest is my favorite place to come when I’m feeling down.”

“Forest?” Bella asked again. “But there’s no forest back there. There’s only the garden, a large field of flowers, and a lake.”

“You must be mistaken. I’ve never seen anything but the forest.”

Bella stared at her. Were they talking about the same back yard? Just how big was this place? Then she thought about a holodeck again. And again it began to make sense. Different programs for different people. She could buy that, if only she could buy the whole alien thing.

“Amanda,” Bella began slowly. “Have you ever noticed anything… strange… about Pastor Toby or Jude?”

 

Bella stories:

I’m Not Hurt, Not Really Part 1 Part 2

Bella part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Dear Miss Guzzler, (From Someone Who Loves You series)

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Dear Miss Guzzler,

“Oh no, not again.”  You hate it when the milk quits flowing.  It feels so good as that yummy milk fills your mouth and tummy. I know how much you were enjoying it by how fast you guzzled it down. At least the amount I let you guzzle down. Do you know that I’m the one controlling that bottle?  If I let you have as much as you want as fast as you want it, you will regret it later. So, you see, my limiting your feeding is out of love, to keep you from future distress. It may be hard to believe, but I really do know what’s best for you.

Always,

Someone who loves you

 

Hebrews 12:11  11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Isaiah 55:8  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

 

Do you hear God speaking to you in these letters? If so, it’s no coincidence.  As I write to my new granddaughter, I can hear God speaking to me. And my prayer is that you can also hear Him speaking to you for He loves us even more than I love my granddaughter.

 

Dear Disgruntled One (From Someone Who Loves You series)

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Dear Disgruntled One,

I see that look. Not too happy with the outfit I chose for you today? Not really your style, is it? OK, what would you choose to wear to the doctor appointment today? Your gown? True, you look especially cute in that blue one, but you’re a bit too big to wear sleeping gowns outside the house anymore. Your unicorn onsie? Yes, unicorns are all the rage right now and you would look so cool wearing that out in public, but you outgrew that one earlier this week. Besides, it would have to slide up over your legs or down over your head to get it on and off for the doctor. And you HATE that in that cold examination room. So this outfit is actually the best choice for today. With snaps all the way down the front, it’s easy to take off and put back on. And that little jacket will keep you warm. So see, I really do have your best interest in mind. Your needs are more important than a particular piece of clothing. And, sorry, but that ‘yeah, right’ expression is not going to change anything other than to make me smile. You are just too cute no matter how you look!

As always,

Someone who loves you

 

Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

 

Do you hear God speaking to you in these letters? If so, it’s no coincidence.  As I write to my new granddaughter, I can hear God speaking to me. And my prayer is that you can also hear Him speaking to you for He loves us even more than I love my granddaughter.

Dear Goofy Face, (from Someone Who Loves You series)

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Dear  Goofy Face,

Your goofy smile makes me wonder what you are thinking. Relief from the digestive distress you so frequently have to deal with? Warmth from the comfy clothing that covers your little hands? Satisfaction from getting your way as you are held again in a soft yet firm embrace? Oh, I know what people say. Those smiles are just gas passing through your system. But somehow I like to think there’s more to them than that. That you are finding that life can be good, too. It’s not all pain and stress and confinements as you wait to grow stronger. There are moments where you can just relax and enjoy where you are – safe in my arms.

Always,

Someone who loves you

 

Song of Songs 2:6    His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.

1 Peter 5:10   And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

 

These letters have double meaning. On the surface they are letters I’m writing to my granddaughter. But they are also letters God is writing to you. Reread them, replacing the greeting with your own name, and the closure with God’s name – and get to know the great love God has for you!

Dear Little Adventurer (from Someone Who Loves You Series)

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Dear Little Adventurer,

Just look at those little feet! So tiny, yet they have all the bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons as adult feet – everything you’ll need to walk, run, jump and dance when you get older.  What potential in such an amazingly small package!  I can see them pedaling a tricycle, heading full speed to destinations that aren’t important as you exalt in pure motion. I can see them lifting you up to reach something just out of reach. I can see them running without restraint as you race to your father’s embrace. And I can see them kicking wildly in a pool, soaking everyone around you. What fun you will have with them!

Your marvelous, perfect feet! I wonder where they will take you one day. Will you be a dancer? A mountain climber?  A marathon runner?  Will you use them to help people in need? Will they take you to exotic and exciting places? I can’t wait to hear about all the journeys your feet will take you!

Above all, I hope they keep you on the path of the One who loves you most – and if they happen to stray, that they will bring you quickly back.

Always,

Someone who loves you

 

Psalm 44:18   Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path.

Psalm 18:33  He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.

Proverbs 4:26   Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.

Isaiah 52:7    How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

 

These letters have double meaning. On the surface they are letters I’m writing to my granddaughter. But they are also letters God is writing to you. Reread them, replacing the greeting with your own name, and the closure with God’s name – and get to know the great love God has for you!

If New Homes Could Talk

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“Do you hear them?” she asked her friend as they were taking a walk through their new neighborhood.

“Hear what?” he asked, looking around.

“Hear those houses.”

Now he looked at her. “Um… you can hear houses?” He frowned at her, concerned that she had finally lost it. “I know you’re a bit sleep deprived, but…”

She laughed. “No, I’m not going crazy. I don’t actually hear them talking like I hear you. But I do hear a message.”

“What message?”

Instead of answering, she asked him a question. “What if they could talk, what would they be saying to you?”

He looked at them a few minutes, cocked his head, frowned and said, “I give up. I can’t hear anything.”

“OK, then, what do you think of when you look at them?”

He studied them a bit longer. “I think of the potential each one has. And how they all seem to have the same basic construction plan but small changes makes them each unique.”

“You don’t think a finished one is better than an unfinished one? The finished ones are much prettier to look at.”

“No, they’re just in different stages of construction. One house is not better than another just because it’s further along. They are all interesting in whatever stage they’re in. And one day they will all provide strong, well built homes for the people who will move into them.”

“Exactly.” She sighed. “It’s just like us. Like people. We are all in different stages of development. Some look more finished than others. Some are nicer to look at, or listen to. But all of us are being built by the Master and are perfect in whatever stage we’re in. If only we weren’t so quick to judge others by what we see instead of by what God sees.”

“Is that the message you’re hearing?”

“Yes. We – people – are new homes being built. We are all made from a basic plan yet the Master has made each of us unique. We are all as we should be at whatever stage we’re in and we should stand content in the progress our Father is making as He molds and builds us. And most of all, we should allow other people to be at different stages than we are in. We should be delighting in their progress instead of comparing and judging them.”

She turned and looked at her friend. “I have to admit, I’m as guilty as anyone else. But that’s going to change. With God’s help, that’s going to change.”

He smiled at her, took her hand, and together, they continued on their walk.

Life in a Swimming Pool

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The pool was filling up. Maybe she should leave now, before it got too crowded.  But not really wanting to leave the cool water, she decided to watch the people around her instead. Everyone was enjoying the water in different ways.

“Marco.” The voice caught her attention and she looked to her left and saw a young girl standing in water up to her chin, eyes closed, calling out, “Marco” every few seconds. Each time she called, several other children moving around her called back, “Polo.”  As she heard their responses, she would turn in their direction and, without opening her eyes, reach out to try to tag one of them. But she never moved from where she was. It reminded her of something she had read in Proverbs. “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.” That’s so much like us, she thought. There is wisdom all around us, and if we call out, we can hear it. But we won’t ever find it if we just stay put in one place and make half-hearted attempts to touch it.

Laughter caught her attention. She turned to look and saw some mothers and daughters playing keep away. They were laughing as they tossed a water ball back and forth, no one having very good aim, and teams changing places in the middle frequently.

“Keep away,” she muttered. “I hate that game. Either the players on the ends are too good at tossing the ball high over the middle person’s head, or no one really cares about the game and end up half-heartedly tossing the ball. There’s no good challenge either way.”

So why are they laughing?

She had to think about that for awhile. Maybe the kids are laughing because they’re so little and don’t really know anything about the game. They just enjoy being in the water and throwing a ball around. And maybe the moms are laughing because their daughters are laughing. Is that how God sees us? He takes delight in watching us enjoy His creation?

She watched another group play a game she wasn’t familiar with. Evidently, one person is a shark and calls out “Swim”, then tries to catch the other people (minnows) as they swim from one side of the pool to the other. Most of the time, the minnows would just start swimming as fast as they could hoping to out swim the shark but the shark was able to catch whichever minnow it was after. However there was one minnow who stood out. She would watch the shark intently , wait for the shark to go after a minnow, then move quietly in a different direction, staying as far away from the shark as she could. If the shark happened to see her, she would sink into the water, causing the shark to have more difficulty seeing her. Underwater, she could swim faster and when she emerged, she’d be ten feet away. Time and time again she got away from the shark using this strategy.

Now, that’s a whole like us and temptation, she thought. Most of the time when temptation arises, we either fall easy prey to it, or we try to use out own power to avoid it. It might work now and then, but eventually that shark is going to get us. We should be more like that wise girl. Stay as far away as we can, and, when that doesn’t work, dive deep into Jesus, allowing Him to cover us as we make our escape.

A loud cry from the other side of the pool brought her attention to a man holding a very little girl, trying to talk her into letting him toss her up and catching her. She cried each time he mentioned it. The mom called from the side to quit talking about it and just do it. So he did and the little girl laughed. He repeated it several times, delighting in her laughter. Then he tried to talk her into going underwater with him so he could toss her higher. She refused and began crying again.

So much like us and God, she thought. It’s probably why He won’t tell us all His plans for us. We’d be as terrified as that little girl and refuse every invitation He gives us. Yet, He knows how much we would enjoy it once we got past the fear.

She was intrigued watching a young girl chatting with her friend, totally ignoring a younger girl who kept hitting her with a water ball. How could she do that? She knew if anyone kept hitting her with something, she’d get irritated and angry. But then she thought, isn’t that what Satan does? Constantly hitting us with something to mess with our peace and cause us to get irritated and angry? “God,” she prayed silently, “help me be able to ignore the arrows Satan throws at me as well as this little girl is ignoring the ball being slammed on her.”

There was a man floating in the midst of all this, eyes closed, ignoring everything around him as he relaxed.

Now that’s the right idea, she thought. To be able to rest on Jesus and ignore all the problems around us would be amazing!

She was dismayed to see another group of people enter the pool. OK, now it was just getting too crowded. Regretfully she climbed out of the pool and prepared to go home. As she did, she had one final thought: “This is like how one day I will climb out of the swimming pool of life and head to my heavenly home!” She smiled.  “Only I’ll do so with way more excitement than I feel right now!”