The Whisper Within

" Believing that God powers strange coincidences and the journey that lies ahead."


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The Whisper Within

What is the whisper within?

Some say we all have that little nagging voice that tells us right from wrong. It is the gut feeling you have deep inside your soul that something just isn’t right. Some call it a sixth sense or is it a sick sense? It is your conscience? Do you believe we all are born with a good and righteous morality? Or ethics? Are you capable of listening to your heart? To your soul? Do you believe in dreams? Or in signs?

So what is the whisper within?

I believe it something different. Something extraordinary.

Something that cannot be simply explained through a Google search or Wikipedia entry but through a life being led.

At this stage of my life, after journaling a decade of “strange coincidences”, I feel compelled to open the tattered, beat-up, spilled on, read and reread pages of my journals and share the recollections of “the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I Believe GOD powers strange coincidences and the journey called life. This will be a weekly blog of  stories that inspire hope, love, forgiveness, and anticipation of the joy that lies ahead.

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I look at finding blue sea glass as rare, like hearing God.

Tonight, as I walked the beach, I said,” I need you God and looked down at the sand and there it was. Undeniably blue. Blue sea glass.

Keep asking. Keep looking. Keep believing in The Whisper Within.

“You will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you . You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13.


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Today I swam laps at the YMCA.  I showered, got dressed, and wandered over to the dressing room mirror. As I smeared lotion over my face like I was finger-painting, I stared at my reflection in the mirror and laughed out loud seeing my eyes circled with indentations made by my swimming goggles.

To my left, a lady asked, “What’s so funny?”

I shook my head and replied, “Look at all these wrinkles. The googles didn’t help any.”

She quickly unzipped her cosmetic bag, handed me a tub of lotion, and said, “Try this. I swear by it . It’s a miracle lotion.”

“Miracle lotion?  Ya, I could probably use some, if I’m ever gonna date.”

She touched my shoulder and asked, ” You’re single? So am I. Are you trying?  Are you on any site?”

I shook my wet head of hair. “Nope.”

“Me neither. My husband died of cancer twelve years ago and I have been raising the kids by myself since then. What’s your story?”

“Well, I got divorced seventeen years ago and shortly afterwards my ex became a paraplegic. So ya, I have been raising the kids since they were five and six.”

We exchange details and discovered both our son’s were engineers back in Chicago and New York and our daughters are here in California. We both agreed we have a good life but miss companionship and can get lonely sometimes but have to trust God for the plan.

I touched her shouldered and said, “You know what I say before I get out of bed?”

She didn’t let me finish. The New Yorker quickly replied, “I say,’ How do you want to use me today, God? Show me.”

I giggled and hit her shoulder, “You stole my line. That’s exactly what I say.”

We laughed, hugged and exchanged phone numbers.

I grabbed my gym bag, headed out the door, and smirked at the sky. You do see me, God. You do hear me.

I jumped in my Jeep, pulled down my car mirror and thought That’s some lotion. A kinda miracle lotion.  

Before backing up, I received a text ‘Great meeting you. A walk on the beach soon!’

I thought I may want less wrinkles but I need companionship. We all do. God knows my heart and will bring the one who falls in love with my heart, wrinkles and all. No miracle lotion will be needed.

“God will meet all your needs.” Philippians 4:19

God can even use face lotion to connect strangers.
Be open. Be willing. Be expectant.


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This morning, I received many texts of snow-filled pictures from my Chicago friends and family. ” Snow! Ugh! Look what you’re missing .”

As I laid in bed, I thought I miss the snow.

Ok . Maybe not driving in it and shoveling it, but I miss snowy days, when you have an excuse to do nothing and stay inside. When I lived in Chicago, I always felt the urge when the sun was shining to make the most of it. Well, it really is always sunny here in California so I feel guilty staying in on a sunny day. I know, poor me. Yes, I am a stinker.

But this morning was different in a good way.

This morning the sun was not filtering through my sheers slowly waking me up, but the gray foggy mist lingered.

I looked over at Kipper as she was draped in a sheet with her head resting comfortably on my belly.

I grabbed my journal. I grabbed my pen and the scribbling began.

I miss snowy days.

An hour passed. Then another. I read. I journaled and Kipper did not move .

In my mind, I visualized the list I wrote the night before of everything I wanted to accomplish today.

Then it hit me, this is what I craved. This is what I needed. A snow day.

Even Kipper did not want to move.She gave me a look that said,”Seriously, mom, let’s stay in bed.”

So in honor of my Chicago friends, I stayed in my Pjs and made some pancakes. As I drank my coffee and enjoyed the fog, I heard the whisper that said, quit pushing. Quit trying. Be quiet. Be still.

Enjoy the snow day.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Psalm 46:10


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Today is Good Friday.  This past week, I walked by this cross several times and thought of Jesus and his ultimate sacrifice so that we, as Christians, may have eternal life. Jesus was the ultimate example of suffering for your friends.img_5258

The story while it is quite familiar, always amazes me, that even Jesus suffered so greatly that he could not carry his own cross but needed help. Simon, helped carry Jesus’ cross.

Who helps carry your cross?

Ultimately, we all have the opportunity to go directly to God in prayer but we also have each other to help when our sufferings are too much to bare alone.

Who helps carry your cross?  For me, I know. They are just a prayer or text away.

Are you willing to put the heavy cross on your back and carry it for a friend? Are you willing to sacrifice comfort to be a comforter?

Happy Good Friday! There is no Easter without the sacrifice.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 NLT

 

 

 

 

 


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About a week ago I wrote on my Facebook page:

“Sometimes you get your dream but realize, you are Dorothy and ‘..there is no place like home.’ I am moving back to Chicago.”

Within minutes the floodgates were open as I was bombarded with texts, private messages, and phone calls; pretty much all saying the same thing, “WHAT THE HECK? What is going on ?” Even my own children texted each other. “Has mom lost it ?”

What occurred to no one was the date of the post, April 1st.
Yes, it was an April fools joke, but was it ?

I have to admit, I love Santa Barbara. I always dreamed I would end my days walking on the beach, and most days, watching the sun kiss the ocean goodnight, does not disappoint. I did think however, I would be walking hand in hand with my husband doing this. Yep, not yet.IMG_7824

So in the past few weeks, something crept in my thoughts, kinda like the rain in Santa Barbara, unexpected and unwarranted. I missed home. I miss my parents, my family, and my friends. As I tied my running shoes this morning I questioned, “Do I really belong here, God? Umm, not sure anymore. I am not feeling it. Are you with me, God? What is your plan?” I grabbed Kipper’s leash and soon, my German short-haired running partner, and I were out the door.

A few blocks from home, a lady being pulled by her Husky yelled, ” Hey neighbor.” I waved and Kipper and I crossed the street. A few blocks later, a man stepped out of his parked car and  blocked the sidewalk and asked, “Are you, Lisa?”

Puzzled, I asked how he knew my name and he quickly explained that he met me a year ago when Kipper was just a puppy.We exchanged pleasantries and soon Kipper and I were back on our morning routine. As we neared home, another neighbor stopped to say hello and wanted to know my story. The short conversation ended with a gentle smile and her nodding, “We should go out sometime, Lisa and better yet, we need to get you out dating.”

I giggled and walked away.

The day went on. I worked and once again Kipper and I headed out the door for a walk. Just as we walked down my outside stairs, Heide from my Bible study group passed by my house with Cooper, her Golden Retriever, and she invited us to join them.

A quick walk and then a glance at my phone Oh! I gotta go. It’s book club night.

At the library, we sat in a circle, shared our perspectives and our insights on Less by Andrew Sean Greer. The hour was over and as I walking away,  Libby quickly tracked me down ,her hand touched my shoulder and said, “Hey Lisa! It was nice to meet you. I hope you come back next month and since you’re new in town, if you need a friend, I would like to get to know you better, maybe hang-out.” I nodded, smiled, and walked away.

As I walked over to my Jeep, I received a group text from ladies I met outside my home the previous week while pulling weeds, “Free on Friday?”

As I recalled all the events of the day, I threw a smirk to the sky, and silently acknowledged, You do see me. You do hear me. I do belong here. You have provided friends.

Driving home I recalled what Brenda, another neighbor, another Chicago transplant, said to me a few weeks ago,”Moving ain’t for sissies, let alone as a single woman. But you did it! It takes work but you did the work and now have friends.”

I parked my Jeep and walked up the poorly lit staircase to my home, and I thought of my birthday a few months ago.

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I do have friends. Next is the husband .God has the plan.
Can you trust the plan even when you are feeling lost in the dark, walking up poorly lit stairs?
“ The Lord will accomplish what concerns me.” TLB
~Psalm 138:8

 

 

 


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Today, I walked Kipper around the park and wondered, What is my purpose, Lord?

As Kipper sniffed the grass looking for a critter, I stood in front of the fence and looked out far for answers. How do you want me to best use my energy God? My mouth twitched as I pondered the answer. I love my job and my clients. I run every morning. I swim. Hike. Do yoga. I am in book club, a movie club, a bible study… so why do I still feel unfulfilled at times? Am I just trying to fill a void?

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Kipper pulled on her leash so I walked away from the fence but my thoughts still lingered. I know! I should be grateful God but why today do I feel kinda empty? Discouraged?

We left the park and drove away. At a stoplight I asked, What do you want, God?

Then I heard a whisper. It was almost straight from a voice like Clarence the angel telling George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life. Lisa, you really have had a wonderful life.

I looked in the rearview mirror and caught the image of the mountain I just hiked and then the whisper continued. No, Lisa it is not about the beautiful place but about my people. How have you made a difference?

The light turned green and I thought about George Bailey in the Christmas classic. He had a wonderful life because of difference he made in his friend’s and family’s lives.

Later tonight, as I was getting ready to be a greeter as part of the welcoming committee for new residents who have moved to Santa Barbara, I thought, Maybe I’ll meet new friends? Maybe a love interest?

I looked at my reflection in the mirror and felt guilty as my conscience whispered to me. This isn’t about you.  It is about them, the newcomers. I applied some lipstick and looked in the mirror and asked God, then how do you want to use me?

I heard the whisper. Be warm. Be kind. Be inviting.

I headed out the door with a little bounce in my step and felt happy, purposeful.

So I am asking you… Do you feel discouraged?

What is your purpose? Have you made a difference like George Bailey?

Or will your life be just a scrapbook or Facebook record of all the things you’ve done, the places you visited, instead of the people you have touched with your heart.

I know I am constantly searching for my purpose and it changes with each season; frustrating at times that’s why just like today I look up and say, “How do you want to use me God?”

Ask that question and he will show you and bring you purpose. I am wishing that for all of you. I am challenging you daily before you get out of bed ask, “How do you want to use me God?”

“If you  want to know what God wants you to do, ask him and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give bountiful supply and he will not resent it.” James 1:5

 


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I am the silly, hopeless romantic who eagerly admits that Valentine’s Day is my favorite day. You have four more days to make someone happy, so get busy!

The Whisper Within

Happy Valentine’s Day, my favorite day of the year.

I remember as a kid decorating a shoebox and excited for it be filled with paper hearts. Yep, I am the biggest hopeless romantic. Just ask me how many Rom-Com DVDs I have in my collection, I dare you.

On Valentine’s Day, I am confident of this one certainty: true love does exist. It is extremely rare but oh, so, spectacular. I received my first lesson in love from the 1974 movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Robert Redford, need I say more. My heart was swayed at the mere age of seven.

“He knew when he kissed this girl… his mind would never romp again…”   Gatsby has ruined me.

 But honestly, I wasn’t feeling it this year. Don’t know why…

My shoebox was empty and so was my heart.

But then…I came across a…

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