Friday, March 18, 2016

And we all shall be white as snow....

Oftentimes, as I have noted in the past, God speaks to me through license plates.  Sometimes, he speaks through very ordinary plates.

Driving yesterday I saw a plate- REV 709.  It framed in my minds eye the way the Holy Spirit often frames things for me and I received the nudge to look up Revelation 7:9.  Later that evening, I was reminded of this and I looked it up.

Revelation 7:9-   After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

One day we will be united as one- standing before the throne praising our King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


My dad's going to be 90 this coming week.  Yes, 90.  And, you know how people say their kid is 5 going on 30?  Well my dad is 90 going on 30.  Or, so he'd like to think.  Atrial Fib, CHF and 4th stage kidney disease aside, to hear my dad talk he's healthy as a horse-- aside from this darn back that won't straighten, pressure when he walks and a few aches here and there.

Yet, he wants to drive. He won the vehicular 'lottery' in VA and his new driver's license is good for 6 years.  He does concede it may be his last driver's license, but he intends to drive every minute that he can.  It leaves me nervous and unsure of my role as his daughter. 

Planning to move 'south' for the winter to escape another long Chicago deep freeze he didn't renew his plates, nor winterize his vehicle.  Now two months later he is asking me and my sister to get everything in place for his return home.  Never mind that the winter he sought to escape has barely started, but homesickness has won out over the balmier temps of the southeast.

So now, as much as I want to 'honor' my father and be the dutiful daughter I have been for much of my life, I am faced with the dilemma of doing what is 'best' for all involved while already spinning plates, juggling balls and keeping my eye on the prize.

Seriously conflicted, I did what I usually do-- cry out to God.  "HELP!!"   or "Take this away...I just don't want to deal with this."  Yep, that is just about how this morning went, in the car-- between verses of praise and the hysteria of 'why me!?'   

As the Holy Spirit calmed me, I recalled the verse about trusting even when we don't know what's going to happen next.  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight."
 "Ok, Lord," I said, " I'm trusting you to guide me through this."
At that moment a small aqua colored vehicle switched lanes in front of me. 
The plates read, "GUIDED".   I smiled, as the Lord basically said.  "Consider it done."

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Who I Am

Today's Prayer

Holy Spirit guide me.
Lead me in the way of your namesake.
Teach me your ways.
Write your words upon my heart.

I beseech you-
Clean my heart and make my path straight.

Abba, Father,  I cry out to you.
Help me to see that my life is less about what I do and more about who I am.

For what I do reflects who I am.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Steps are ordered...even with...(especially with) unanswered prayers

Just this afternoon as I brought my daughter home from the YMCA, the radio played her favorite country station. We had just pulled into the garage.  I lost in my thoughts of things yet to be done, she turned to me and asked, "Do you thank God for unanswered prayers?"  Reflexively I said, "yes.".   She shrugged her shoulders and jumped from the car.  I noted the song title on the radio display..."Unanswered Prayers".  I didn't give it too much thought other than had I given it more thought, I'd have to admit that I wouldn't necessarily 'thank' him until I could see in hindsight the outcome it brought about. 

Fast forward 7 hours:  I am in bed reading a book I found at the library this afternoon.- Greater by Steven Furtick.  As I had  walked into the library I glanced at a display of new non-fiction books and saw 'Steven Furtick's' name even before the title of the book could grab my attention.  It was a name I had recently come across by means of Sandy Krakowski, an up and coming, dynamic social media marketing expert.   I picked up the book, fell in love with it almost immediately, checked it out and have stolen glances at it throughout my day until I was able to settle in for a longer look.

In chapter 8 entitled 'Trust Fund Baby', Furtick makes reference to all the prayers that go unanswered in our lives and mentions Garth Brooks' song by the same title.  This brought my 'little thought about incident ' to light and tied it all together.  In and of itself, the brief exchange between myself and daughter would not have been given all that much thought, yet in light of what I read this evening, in a book that I may not have picked up if I had not heard of the author through a social media expert who I had inadvertently discovered on Facebook, I have found myself linking the pieces to see how God uses ALL things to teach, prepare, and move us forward in the GREATER picture!

I hope I have not lost you.  I hope that you see that in your life, God wastes no event and that no prayer goes unanswered....even when we think it does.

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and he delighteth in his ways." Psalm 37:23 KJV

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Burden of Perfection

Are you living under the burden of perfection?

If someone were to ask me this question, most likely my answer would be 'no'. And I would begin to list all the ways that I am not perfect.  Stands to reason that if I were a perfectionist, I'd be turning out really 'great' stuff.   Yet, truth is, I am living under the burden of perfection when I consistently avoid writing in this blog because I don't have the right topic, am not overwhelmed by emotion, or the content doesn't personally wow me or knock my socks off.
I may not volunteer to lead songs at church even though I can carry a tune and keep on pitch--because it might not be amazing or sound like Taylor Swift.  I don't step forward to write a column for the newsletter because it sure as heck won't be pulitzer prize winning stuff. 
Living under the burden of perfection is not fine tuning your craft, belaboring a scrapbook and turning out top notch layouts, or decorating a cake for a friend's birthday in bakery style.  Living under the burden of perfection is being immobilized from action because you can't do it perfectly and feel that what you would turn out is unworthy.    I started this post over one year ago and never got beyond the first rhetorical question, 'Are you living under the burden of perfection?'
Yes, I am.   And it's high time, I focused less on doing whatever it is, perfectly and got to the business of just doing what I am called to do.  I will then be released of my burden and free to live the life God intended.
Ephesians 2:10  'For we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.'

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Open Hands

Open Hands


Carmela Mulroe

I hold my hands open in emptiness.

I hold my hands open in fullness.


I hold my hands open in emptiness waiting to be filled.

I hold my hands open in fullness waiting to be relieved of the heaviness I carry.

I hold my hands open:

accepting the ebb and flow of life,

the gift and grief,

the past, present, future,

and the desire to be whole.

I open my hands in acceptance of love, loss, life and death.

I open my hands in emptiness waiting to be filled.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Born This Way

Sometimes, especially in high school, I would ponder the thought…”What if I had been born ‘normal’?” Normal to me would mean--normal hearing, normal speech, and normal facial structures… You see I was born with a syndrome named Treacher Collins.
A syndrome I knew nothing about until we were expecting our first child.

I grew up knowing I was different--somewhat like my father, yet not quite the same. I had my rationalizations for why one ear was smaller--”I slept on it too much as a baby..” As for my voice--”one day I’ll have surgery and it will all be fixed.” And with child-like faith, I would go to bed at night, saying my prayer that when I woke up, I would be healed. There was no doubt in my mind that the day would come and I would be restored to my ‘rightful’ body. After all, somehow, I knew that I was beautiful. I would be a model. There was a stage with my name on it--and didn’t everyone want to hear me sing. So there it went, the voice of God whispering my name, I was loved, and was born for something. I wasn’t sure what, but I knew it was big.

Today, I have five children. Two of whom were born with an even more severe expression of treacher collins syndrome than mine. With a fair warning, that only the Holy Spirit could give, I prayed with all my might during labor with Michaela for strength in whatever lay before me. She turned purple in my arms as the nurse whisked her away to PICU for oxygen and to be monitored. She was trached only a few days later, the Friday after Thanksgiving. To say it was a trying time, would be an understatement. It was stressful, guilt ridden and full of worry. Somehow, God pulled us through, and showered us with other material possessions to make the time easier. We had been living as a family of five without a car--now six, with so many medical appointments and special equipment to cart around, the Lord saw to it, that we had proper transportation. People were placed into our lives, doctors, social workers, nurses, and therapists. Many of whom became friends. As I look back, I can see the grace of God leading us through the maze of trials, troubles and time of new challenges.

Wyatt came along 14 months later. He is the angel/light and companion to Michaela. Wyatt, though, unexpected to us, was chosen and expected by God. I still have the little red playsuit with his name on it. Wyatt was at University Hospital receiving his trach, and other procedures to make his life easier, when a nurse presented me with a playsuit that her sister just happened to have gotten at the LandsEnd outlet store as a deal. When she heard a baby boy had arrived with the name “Wyatt” she gave it to us. For me this is a sign, that, despite his troubles, Wyatt was destined and planned for his stint here on earth.

There are moments when I wish, it could all go away. Moments, when I wonder, what we would be if there were not the physical difficulties we experience. Just this morning, Wyatt asked me. “If God made me, why would he make me have problems?”
Good rationale. How could a God who is so perfect in every way, make me--not perfect?
So, I told Wyatt, that we are born into a ‘not perfect’ world, and that problems are a part of this world. I told him, that God would use his problems for His own purpose .I also told him that his gifts are special and that God had great plans for him. Most of all, I told him that someday, he would live with God and he would be perfect in every way. This excited Wyatt most of all. “You mean, I’ll have new eyeballs, and I’ll hear and not have any holes in my stomach!?” I nodded, yes, and he ran off with great excitement.

My life is far from perfect. I have troubles, but better than that, I have good times too. There are miracles which are so much more meaningful than if I looked like a movie star or had perfect hearing and speech. He gives me the opportunity to rely more closely on him. Sure, I have an ego, and get cocky about the things I can do. But these imperfections of mine, keep my life in check. When the speech I give at toastmasters moves people, when I win 1st prize in an area humorous speech contest, or am invited to tell my story, I have to chalk it up to a wonderful, awesome God who leads me on.

Would I trade it in? Oh, its tempting…, but, nope, because someday….as I told Wyatt, I will have my rightful body. For now, I am His servant. And, you know what? It is a wonderful life.

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