The Whisper Within

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


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christmas-tree
    I wrote this blog a couple years ago but I think it still holds true in my heart. Christmas can be a lonely time of year. Take an extra moment to be kind, really notice and love others. May the joy of Jesus inspire you .

December, 2016

 This may come to a surprise to my friends but I don’t like Christmas. I would rather “shoot my eye out,” than walk into a mall at Christmas.  Any single person knows what I am talking about; couples walking hand in hand, fused together like conjoined twins. This week as I sat on the couch watching The Holiday, surrounded in wadded up tissue from nursing a cold, the sadness crept in; tiptoeing around my Christmas tree like the Grinch. Not even Jude Law’s dreamy blue eyes could spark excitement. The holidays can be simply depressing for the single person.

Attempting still to get in the mood, I resorted to the classic, It’s A Wonderful Life. No matter how many times I have seen it, the ending still grabs me. I feel like I am swallowing marbles and my eyes are pools of emotion every time I watch it. That’s when  Christmas hits me like Santa’s sled going full steam.
     We know the reason for the season but in a commercialized world we need to make the joy ourselves. So, I wadded up my tissue and threw them in the trash along with pity and heard God whisper down the hall. I made little booklets that read, “You have been a gift to me. In turn, I want to give you a gift of my favorite Bible verses.”
Here were some of the responses:
“Your booklet helped me this week” ~ my massage therapist
“The best gift is when you give of yourself” ~ a client
“Thank you for the reminding me, that the thirteen-year-old me had good instincts. I can’t imagine how someone from so long ago and so far away could feel as connected right now, but I do.” ~ a High school friend.
Sitting on the bathroom floor, letting the tears pour down my face, I was transported back to high school Biology class with my braces, pony tail, and all. We all want love; whether we are thirteen or a hundred and thirteen.
 There is a week before Christmas and someone you may know may be lonely. I “triple dog dare you” to reach out and make a difference. Do you bake?  Bring cookies to a neighbor. Write a note “You are loved this Christmas.”  Give an extra Christmas hug.

 Be willing to give love. “No man is a failure who has friends,” God whispered to me. What is God whispering to you?

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Philippians 2:1 “Is there any such thing as Christians cheering each other up.”
I don’t like Christmas. I love Christmas. Be willing to find the true magic of Christmas


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Tonight as I was watering my plants on the front porch, I heard, “Is this 1740?” I turned to see a UPS driver carrying a package. I turned and said, “Yep,” as I made my way down the porch steps.

The driver handed me the package and I quickly tore open the yellow envelope. “Oh, it’s my Lyme disease book .”

He questioned ,”You got Lyme disease ? Where did you get it?”

I nodded and explained how I moved here from Chicago and was bit by a tick in my backyard and contracted the disease.

His head hung low, “So sorry honey . I’ll be praying for you .”

I turned to walk up my steps but then looked back and yelled out, “Hey, what do you need prayers for ?”

His eyes lifted off his hand- held computer, “What did you say?”

I walked until I was standing face to face with the delivery man and then asked again, “I said, What do you need prayers for ?”

His head hung low, “Truthfully, I want a baby. We’ve been trying…”

His voice trailed off as he shook his head, “I don’t want to be forty and just starting a family .”

I asked his name and shared mine. We hugged and agreed to pray for each other.

I gotta admit, I have learned to live with Lyme disease but I truly want to be fully healed. I believe God can and will do that. It is the hope I cling onto.

As I walked up the stairs to my house, a quiet smile covered my face as I silently thought Hope. Hope today was delivered right to my front porch . It is coming .

I sat on my wicker chair and thumbed through my book, and thought, What If we all took the time, like the delivery man to say the simple words , “I’ll pray for you ,” and REALLY meant it .

What about you? Are you willing to do it?

We all need hope and you, like the UPS delivery man, may be the special delivery of hope that someone needs. Open your mind. Open your heart and listen to the whisper within.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1


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My eyes suddenly flickered open this morning . What the heck was that dream? I turn on the light, sit up, grab my journal and pen on the nightstand,and start scribbling my thoughts.

I just had the weirdest dream. I was drowning in a ocean. Struggling to swim in a storm. My arms were grappling at waves as my head fought to not go under. Then suddenly unknown hands dragged me to the shore. I got in my car only to see a tornado in my rearview mirror. I pulled over and ran into an unknown house and hid under a table .

I stopped scribbling and rubbed my eyes and thought, That was weird.

Morning came and I went about my workday but tonight as I walked the beach I thought more about the dream.

Dreams. They are weird, aren’t they ?

I looked at the waves in front of me and remembered that today Facebook reminded me of a memory from two years ago today. It was the day I moved to the Santa Barbara .

Moving to the beach was a dream but the lingering dream is to be cured from Lyme disease.

As my toes mushed in the sand, I thought , Last night’s dream,was that you God? Are you trying to tell me everything is going to be alright, that you have me?

I threw a ball to Kipper and watched her splash in the waves

and then looked at the sky. If you could make this dream come true … then you got Lyme disease !

I may have my beach home but I would trade it in to be fully healed. IT IS COMING !

Hope is in the hallway of this thing called life . Until the next door opens, keep trusting, keep believing. God does have the plan. He does have our dreams.


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One of my favorite quotes comes from my daughter,Tarah,” It’s just a day.”  What she means is, simply if you are having a bad day, it’s just one day. It will pass. Tomorrow may be something completely different.

Well, the last couple months, I have to admit I have been in a lot of pain. Not fun! But today I felt like the dark clouds were lifted and felt nothing but sunshine.

As I ran the streets of my neighborhood with Kipper, my running partner at my side, I almost could hear Tarah’s voice,”It’s just a day.” Yes, but today is a good day. With each step I wondered why is today different. I mentally reviewed my list.

-Was it my 9 hours of sleep?

-Is it that I started running again?

– Was it the B12 injection for pain?

-Is it my “happy playlist” on my phone?

-Was it the walk on the beach last night?

-Is it that the stock market is having a banner year?

I looked down at Kipper and commanded, “Kipper home.” As we trotted home I thought, It’s just a day but today there are no red cross-out lines across my page but a gold star next to my name. I looked at the sky and said, “Thank you God.”

So this is me, no filter, no worries, and yep, no husband YET ( It is coming! LOL.) I am trusting God’s plan, through pain, topped with a heaping pile of hope. God has us day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. It’s just a day.

“This is the day that the Lord has made . We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 TLB


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Yesterday, I went berry picking so tonight I sat on my deck plopping them into my mouth. As I savored their sweetness, I thought why isn’t life always this sweet ?

Well, because it isn’t . We all suffer one way or another and in this past week I felt my bad symptoms intensify;burning, electric shocks, vibrations. I have to admit, I did beg God or tell God,”Enough! Have mercy. How much longer must I suffer? Why do you allow me to suffer?”

As I plopped another raspberry in my mouth, I thought of who God put in front of me this past week; others who suffer, one way or another,like myself. Here’s a list of a few:

A colleague inquiring about his wife’s weird symptoms of numbness, tingling, electric shocks,and vibrations; symptoms I feel most days from Lyme disease.I told him,”Scary stuff. Let me know if your wife needs a doctor or someone to talk to.”

A client who just retired with her husband expressing joy that they bought the fifteen acre ranch in Montana ,”HE is so happy but truthfully, I am lonely.” Do I understand loneliness? Yep, you bet. I told her I would pray for HER JOY!

A parent who is having difficulty raising his teenage boy, “He’s just a jerk.” I quickly replied, “Don’t beat yourself up.They all are at the age. You will get through it and trust me they become sweet again.”

So as I plopped a black raspberry in my mouth, I thought why isn’t life always sweet? Because it isn’t. Sometimes life is painful and hurts. I know God allows suffering so that we may help, encourage and love those around us, with greater understanding. Who can you help through your trials? Be open, God may want to use you.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.


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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