The Whisper Within

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


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I turn the last page of the book, The Circle Maker , and set it on the sea glass table beside me. I recline in the wicker lounge chair and take a deep breathe in. A combination of salt and rosemary lingers in the air as I take in the amazing balcony views of the Greek island of Mykonos.

I am a million miles from home but which home? The new home I have made in Los Angeles, the city of angels or the place of my childhood and last 48 years, Chicago, the Windy City.

Mykonos is so windy I feel like I am being whipped like a sailboat on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Mykonos’ intoxicating turquoise waters lures me in, completely heavenly like the city of angels, Los Angeles. I observe the palm tree branches blowing in the breeze and think of my friends from Los Angeles to Chicago and like Mark Batterson, the author of The Circle Maker encouraged, I circle them with prayer.

I text :
“I read an amazing book on this trip called The Circle Maker. It is about an old testament man, Honi, who circled his prayers. He asked persistently for rain. Right now I am thinking of my friends from the West Coast to the Midwest; and circling them and their families with prayers of love, peace, and safety. I hope you feel lifted up .”

 

The response was overwhelming …

‘I do 🙂 you helped me through 24 hrs of travel. Just driving from airport home!!!! Had a weird delay at Charles de Gall, somebody left an unattended bag and it was creepy…felt uncertain with all the issues there this summer. Thanks for the circles :-)’

That’s amazing!! I feel peaceful this morning and optimistic. 😊 Thank you. I will read too and you are in my circle. 🙏

Thank you for sending love our way! Everyone woke up so happy and full of life this morning. Today is my Birthday and this was my first text .

‘Nice to hear from you! When I got your text just now I was outside gazing at the stars after my walk, thank you for your prayer!’

 

As the texts came in, I thought of how blessed I am. If I did not have this patio quiet time how could I lift up my friends to the one who hears me?
This alone time is all mine. No husband. No kids. Just me and the wind.

I picked up my book, glanced one more time at the cyan blue Mediterranean Sea and felt the wind whisper, “Your time is coming. Soon.” God’s timing is always perfect. The winds are changing.I will wait for the soft calming breeze.
“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.”
Psalm 107:29
“God is for you. If you don’t believe that, then pray small timid prayers; if you believe it, then you will pray big audacious prayers…Who you become is determined by how you pray.” ~ Mark Batterson author of The Circle Maker
I challenge you all to boldly circle your friends and family in prayer . Would love to hear your stories . Email them at laschomer@twc.com .

By the way, I have not lost my sweet tooth. I still crave a husband like the scrumptious taste of baklava topped with a creamy side of vanilla ice cream.IMG_2504


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Climbing through the tattered rubble this morning, I lost my footing on the steps of the Acropolis. I sat on the marble steps and watched my college kids race to the top . I wipe my smirk and sweat from lips . I no longer see Ancient Greece in the distance but visions of Mickey & Minnie dance in the haze.

Even though the long day of Disney left my kids acting like Grumpy ; they were not faking it – I was .

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Unknown to them we were not on a magical kingdom ride since I was Cinderella about to lose my Prince Charming . Soon I would be like Snow White lost in the forest . We were tossed on the Mad Tea Party Ride, spinning like cups , ready to vomit , until the ride broke . This is where the beauty started.

Sixteen years later, as I watched my kids race to the top , I kicked the rubble at my feet, adjusted my sun hat and my focus . Off in the distance, I saw the masterpiece of the ruins , The Pantheon and my kids . I climbed each step like an Olympian , torched raised high in victory .

We stood firm on the marble as the fellow tourist took our photo . That moment like the monument was HUGE!

We survived the merry- go- round of life .

No more faking smiles .

No more standing on shaking ground .

Sometimes you need to fall , breakdown , and kick some rubble to appreciate the beauty .

I may love the beach and the sand but ” In Christ the solid rock I stand , all other around me is sinking sand.”

There is beauty in the breakdown .

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Today Facebook reminded me of this special day, two years years ago.
July 17, 2015 will forever be etched on my brain. I am so grateful for all my friends who supported me through my journey, my new CA friends, but mostly to God who makes me brave and happy. He had the plan all along.
” The heart that is brave is not ours; it is God’s ” ~ Randall Wallace

JULY 17, 2015
In the last 14yrs, through the divorce,the father of my children becoming a paraplegic,  being a single parent , being broke, dealing with a home robbery, and now Lyme disease, the grace of God sustained my hope and gave me strength to daily walk forward . Well today I did not just walk, I took a leap . I signed a lease in CA  and purchased a one way tix to LAX . Gotta trust God has the plan. So grateful to all my friends  and family who have blessed my amazing journey . I have seen Jesus reflected through you . I may not know where the path is leading but I know who is leading the path . I am ready yet scared to start the next chapter . I will miss you all dearly & until we meet again ” I thank God everytime I remember you .” Phil 1:3

lisa fl beach


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kayak

It is 2 am and I am awoken to my t-shirt soaked like I just jumped in  a pool. (Guess my swimming dream was my wet reality) . This “herxing effect” hopefully is sweating out the toxins and drowning my Lyme disease “bug” in the process. I grab the spare t-shirt and my phone off of the night stand. In hopes to coax myself back to sleep, I peruse Twitter. One of my “friends” retweeted a tweet from a Glennon Doyle. I am not that familiar with her so I click on the link that expands her quote.

“From an early age, we are conditioned to ignore the voice within when considering who we are and what our goals are, and instead to look outward—to our family, friends, church, community, and even our critics. In a million different ways we ask them: What should I want? What should I be? And the more our inner whispers fade from disuse….”

The words voice within & whisper jump off the page and lit up my screen and my brain. (How could it not, when my blog is called the whisper within?) I acknowledge Ms. Doyle’s voice so I continue to read her post.

“…In my latest column for @oprahmagazine, I share my coin-toss strategy — a tool we can use to trick our inner voice into screaming until we can hear her whispering.”

Reading her words, I am back in the deep-end of the pool, drowning in sadness. Why do we need” to trick our inner voice into screaming until we can hear her whispering?”

I am not challenging her words. Maybe they are true but I am asking,” Is that how most women feel? Is that why she has a loyal following of seekers?

I sit up in my soaked sheets and questions spin in my brain like the ceiling fan above. “Maybe it is me? Maybe I was born without the typical “girl” approval -seeking gene? Maybe I am a product of my father, a stoic German, who never allowed for a beer stein to be raised for an Oktoberfest “pity party”? But maybe I am the result of the last fifteen years when I became divorced, financially broke, and my ex became a paraplegic. I learned very quickly when I was caught in the racing rapids of my life there was no time for indecision.   I had to reach for that life- jacket (and fast) or be drowned plunging over the waterfall.

My memory blurs like the ceiling fan blades, as I recall all the potential boulders in my river; divorce, ex a paraplegic, being broke as a single mom with two little kids to raise , a lawsuit from my ex’s wife, for his snowmobile accident, a home robbery, and now Lyme disease.

I let my head sink back into the mushy pillow in surrender. And then it hits me, “The key is surrender. You need to armor yourself with a life jacket.”

I look down at the phone and read Ms. Doyle’s last words, I use it to ask myself what I want instead of asking the world what it wants from me. It helps me forget about being perfect and focus instead on being free.”

This is where I disagree. I do not ask what I want or  what the world wants from me but what does God want for me?

That’s right, I have learned to surrender that someone had all my twists and turns of my kayak figured out. God. He did not allow my kayak to tip. When I went to Him, he jumped in , gave me an extra paddle to navigate and His life- jacket as protection. And he still does.

“If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you.” James 1: 4

No need to trick our inner voice. No need for a coin toss .  And no need to kayak alone. All you need to do is be brave enough to get in the water , seek God in all you do and he will gladly whisper to you.

“Tell me what you want me to do, and I’ll do it” Psalm 119: 13

P.S. This came in HUGE this week as I asked God, “If you don’t want this, take my kayak out of the water.”… And he did.  ” He leads me besides the quiet streams… ” Psalm 23:1

 


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alma

Yesterday was a steaming hot Sunday at the farmer’s market. I laid my spinach, cilantro,  and zucchini on the table and a beautiful young girl took my produce and proceeded to weigh it.
The chocolate brown eyes looked up at me and sweetly said, “That will be 4.25.” I proceeded to hand her a twenty and without a calculator, she handed me three quarters and said, “75 makes five.” Then laid a five and ten in my hand, “ten and twenty.” As she took my zucchini off the scale, I caught my own reflection in the metal; not of the grown me, but the little girl I once was. I put my produce in my straw bag and smiled at the girl, “What is your name?”
“Arissa.”

“Arissa, you are a bright girl. How old are you?”

“Ten.”

“Arissa, when I was your age, I too, sold vegetables. My brothers and sister sold straight from our garden on a card table in front of my house. You are a hard worker. You have a bright future.”

As I started to walk away, I saw a vibrant woman standing nearby arranging produce under the tent.

I approached her and said, “Is that your daughter?’

“Yes.”
“My name is Lisa, What’s your name?”

” Alma.”
“Alma, you should be proud. Not only is Arissa here working on this hot day when other kids are playing inside but she is smart, good at math. She will do great in life,”

“Thank you.”

“I mean it. You see, I was just like your little girl. I, too, worked with my brothers and sister selling vegetables back in the day before organized farmers markets. I loved to count the money at the end of day and today I am a wealth manager. Your daughter can and become anything she wants,”

Alma smiled and then with her head held high said, “Thank you. She is good at math and I keep encouraging her to do well in school.”

“Alma, you are a good mom.”

My eyes glanced at the beautiful dimpled cheeks, “Arissa, keep working hard. God has big plans for you.”

They say the purest vision of our self is when we are children. When our dreams cannot be altered at corrupted by the world influences.

As I stepped out of the tent into the blasting heat, I looked back at the Alma and Arissa, and I felt God whisper questions.

What are we teaching our children? Do they know how to work? Are we depriving them opportunities to learn basic skills and develop a work ethic? Or even realize their talents and explore their gifts?

I was lucky. My parents “allowed” for me and siblings to spend Summers in Chicago around a card table and a scale, selling vegetables grown in our yard. Today, ironically, because of that road-side stand, my oldest brother Don is the CFO of an organic agriculture company. My brother Roger, was the best salesman hands down as he would rattle off tomato deals, “59 cents a pound or two pounds for a dollar.” Today he owns Blue Creek Produce, a produce distributor specializing in “garden to table food.” My sister Debbie was the most likeable little worker is the best accounts payable supervisor, and I loved to count the money in the green tin box at the end of day. Today, I manage my own wealth management practice. Summers spent working on our road side stand as kids  helped us realize our gifts.

Today, I saw the gift that the world has, in the potential of an ambitious girl named, Arissa. Don’t overlook your child’s gift and potential by not allowing them the opportunity to work. Can you be brave, like Alma, and listen to the Whispers Within?

” Teach a child to choose the right path & when he is older will remain upon it.” Proverbs 22:6


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south haven

Happy Fourth of July. As I walked by flag-adorned lawns this morning, my thoughts brought me back to our forefathers. They fought for independence and to not be held a hostage to England. They wanted a fresh start, to escape. My mind jumped like a cricket on the grass as I recalled a time I wanted to escape, roughly fifteen years ago.

 As a single mom, with money being tight, the kids and I rarely ever ate out. But tonight I did not have the energy to cook, so I took the easy way out for a change and ordered a pizza. Parking the car in front of Jake’s Pizza Parlor, it should have been a routine pick-up, but it was anything but routine. Walking in with Jake and Tarah, looking at the cashier, I said, “Hi. I’m picking up our pizza.”

“Okay. I’ll be right back.” Then I saw it on the wall. As the man walked to the back of the store, I saw it clear as day—a flyer that read:

               “ John, a thirty-seven-year-old police detective, is paralyzed from the waist down after a February snowmobile accident in Wisconsin. He is a fourteen year veteran of the department, battles escalating medical costs from his permanent spinal cord injury.

  On April 6th, a benefit will be held.

 Smack dab in the middle of the flyer was John’s picture in black and white. As the pizza guy laid the pizza on the counter, Jake, tugged at my jeans and pointed at the flyer, and asked, “Mommy, why’s Daddy’s picture on the wall?”

Suddenly, I lost my appetite.

As I was fumbling through my purse trying to pull out my wallet, I caught the pizza guy looking at me, dumbfounded. His face was stone cold. He glanced down at receipt outside the pizza box, then looked up at me.

Jake always demanding answers to his questions. He tugged at my jacket and once again asked, this time a little louder, “Mommy, why’s Daddy’s picture up there?”

The pizza guy looked at the picture then into my eyes. I did not say a word. He quickly covered his mouth with his hand and closed his eyes ever so briefly. Looking down at Jake, then at me, almost right through me, his eyes offered condolences. He then pleaded, “Please just take the pizza. It’s on us.”

I did not know what to say except the obvious, “Thanks.”

By nature, I don’t play needy, but needy was being dished my way and it was a very deep dish, indeed.

 Back then, I felt held hostage to my life in Schaumburg. I needed to escape. I hated that my life, my story, was plastered around town. The only escape I could afford was a short ride around the bend to South Haven, Michigan. In Michigan, my monkeys and I were free and happy.

That was my story but I like our forefathers I opted for a different ending. I decided to dump the bitter “tea” and start drinking coffee. Are you free or are you held hostage to your “England” and to your past? Is it time to dump the tea and start drinking coffee?

Don’t wait until you hear the loud boom of fireworks to claim your freedom. God’s loudest directions are through his whispers. What is God whispering to you?

Follow me on FB  @ The Whisper Within.