And That’s How It Happened

It started with a rock. Not just any rock. This one was a painted rock. Someone had painted a flower on a rock and left it near a walking trail.

And she found it while walking that trail. It made her day!

A message on the back asked that she post a picture of the rock in a Facebook group. Which she did. And when she did, she discovered that there were many, many painted rocks being hid and found all over the city.

So she began looking. But no matter how hard she looked, she couldn’t find one. Not one in an entire year. She gave up.

But then one day, when she least expected it, there was another rock near her walking trail. On it was a message that she knew came straight to her from God. She hugged it to herself and continued on her walk.

Surprise! She found another rock. With another awesome message that lightened her heart even more.

By the end of her walk, she had found four rocks!

Now she knew she was supposed to rehide those rocks somewhere else so that other people would have the joy of finding them, too. But she also knew there was no way she would give up those special rocks.

The next time she took a walk, she found several more rocks. And kept those, too. But along with the joy of finding, a little touch of guilt began to creep in. If she was finding and keeping all the rocks, then what would other people be able to find?

She could rehide them.

Nope, that wasn’t going to happen. Each time she looked at them, she felt the same joy that she had felt when she first found them. How could she give them up?

She could squash the guilt. After all, the rocks were there to be found. Right?

Only she began to feel like Scrooge hoarding his gold.

So what could she do?

She could paint her own rocks to hide! Then each time she found one, she could replace it with one of hers so she wouldn’t be stealing anyone else’s joy.

She began with simple designs such as ladybugs, the beach, hearts, and flowers. But then she discovered paint pens!

Now she could easily write messages on the rocks like those first ones she had found. Now just any messages though. She would write motivational messages to hide in her devastated town to hopefully make the finder’s day a little brighter.

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And so she began painting and writing. And hiding. And as she hid, she hunted.

And she discovered the birth of a new ministry. One of encouraging others when they least expected it. And leaving certain rocks in certain areas as she felt God leading her.

And she discovered something else. She discovered that she couldn’t out-give God. The more rocks she hid, the more rocks she began to find!

And that’s how she got involved in both a new ministry and a new hobby.

The most amazing part? It got her mind totally off the depressing devastation around her in an inexpensive, stress relieving, life giving way!

Restoration

 

I don’t think I want to do this. It’s too much work.

Yes, it is a lot of work.

What if I don’t do it? What if I just let things stay as they are?

You won’t be happy.

But I can live with it.

Sure. You could if you insisted.

I mean, what’s wrong with living with some damage? It’s easy enough to cover it up.

The problem will still be there.

But if I can’t see it, I can easily ignore it and get on with my life. I don’t have to spend a great amount of time and effort on fixing what I don’t see.

What about the damage you do see?

It’s not THAT bad.

Really?

OK, so it does look bad. But I can learn to ignore that too. After all, no one expects everything to be perfect.

It’s not about perfection. Restoring what’s been damaged makes your life so much nicer and more comfortable. And getting to the root of the damage prevents further damage from occurring.

But there’s so much stuff that has to be moved. IMG_20181102_091158658

Yes, there is a lot of stuff that has to be removed.

And it’s soooo much work! And inconvenient and uncomfortable.

Yes, it is. But it will be worth it.

I guess you’re right.

I always am.

So, who do I get to do the restoration?

Me.

You?

Yes.

How can you fix all those things?

I have my ways.

Are you miraculously going to fix everything? Even the roof and siding?

Roof and siding?

Yeah, that’s were the most visible damage is.

That’s not the kind of damage I was talking about.

You’re not talking about the damage to the inside of my house?

Nope.

What kind of damage are you talking about then?

The damage to the inside of your heart.

Oh.

Silence

I don’t think I want to do this. It’s too much work…

Dear Little Ostrich (from Someone Who Loves You series)

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Look! I’m an ostrich!

Dear Little Ostrich,

Do you ever get so overwhelmed with life that all you want to do is to bury your head and escape for a little while? Even at your young age, I know you do. It’s so much work to grow and change – to build muscles, regulate bodily systems, and interpret all the sights and sounds around you. For those times you need to hide from it all, I’ll be here. Bury yourself in me. I treasure every moment you choose to spend with me. Even when you use me as an escape.

Always,

Someone who loves you

 

Psalm 32:7

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

 

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.

The Storm That Never Was

She watched the storm approach from the east. Dark clouds rushing towards her, getting darker by the minute. She could hear the thunder in the distance.

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“This is going to be a bad one,” she said to herself. “Better get inside and prepare.”

She was used to storms coming and going, but most weren’t this dark, or with thunder this loud. This storm was going to be intense, maybe even have dangerous winds and lightning. And if enough rain fell, the streets might even flood keeping her stranded at her house until the water level went down.

She ran around her house unplugging anything that didn’t need to be plugged in. She made sure she had good batteries in her flashlights. And she turned up the radio to mask the sound of the thunder for her dog who was terrified of storms.

Then she waited.

The dark clouds continued to move westward until they were above her. She turned on the lights in her house as the clouds caused everything to be darker than it should have been at that mid afternoon hour. She made her dog comfortable at her feet.

And she waited.

Hearing a few raindrops, she looked out the window. Yes, the rain was just beginning, although it was mostly just sprinkling.  She began imagining the rain falling harder until it fell in sheets, drenching everything, and flooding the yard. She imagined the wind blowing hard enough to knock over her old rotting fence. She should have taken care of that months ago. Now it was too late. Now her dog is probably going to get out of the yard before she could get it repaired. Or worse, something could get in and attack them. She had heard that there were coyotes in the neighborhood. She even imagined a tornado hiding in the storm clouds and coming down just as it got to her house, destroying everything and endangering her life.

Nervous now, she looked at her dog buried under at blanket at her feet and wished she could join him. How nice it would be to hide from this storm. To pretend it wasn’t coming. But that wasn’t possible. Even if she could hide, she’d know it was happening and not being able to see what was going on would be worse than not seeing.

So she looked out the window again and was surprised that the sprinkling had stopped. And where was the wind? There had been no wind. Yet, she reminded her herself. Surely it was still coming.

And she continued to wait.

After a while, she noticed the thunder was not as loud as it had been and that the sky was lightening. What happened to the storm? She walked outside and looked up at the sky. The dark clouds were now on the west side of her and receding into the distance. Light was breaking through the remaining clouds.

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She looked at her car. Just some drops of water. Not even enough to wash off the pollen.

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No drenching rain. No flood. No wind damage. The storm had looked way worse than it actually was. She hadn’t needed to fear after all.

She remembered Ps 23:4 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”

Well, she thought. This wasn’t a dark valley, but it did get pretty dark.  I think it’s safe to paraphrase this.  “Even though I wait as the darkest storm approaches, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”

Then she had another amazing thought: Just like the storms in my life, many look worse as they approach than they actually turn out to be.  But not matter how scary they look, I need not fear for God is with me.