His love is deeper

“There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”

-Corrie Ten Boom

[All images sourced from my collection on Pinterest here]

Blessings in Disguise

Perhaps longer than some songs at five minutes this particular gem has been soothing my heart during repeated plays lately. There is nothing quite like beautiful music and a melodious voice talent combined with poetic wisdom to penetrate through the mire and pierce our heart with much-needed light. May this song bring light to your heart as it does for me.

“Blessings” by Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
prayer mattersWe pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes
To know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

refreshing rainWhen friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It’s not our home

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes
to know You’re near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise.

Allowing for JOY

“When a sword is tempered, it is first heated to melting point then hammered into a desired shape. It is plunged into cold water. Once cooled it is fired and hammered again until it grows sharp and strong. This tempering makes the sword worthy of being carried by a King. As we learn to endure and surrender to the fire, the hammer, and the cold, we grow strong and uncomplaining. We are able to face whatever comes, holding our temper, while we ourselves we are being tempered.” ~Ann Mortifee, In Love With The Mystery

LUKE 12:7~ But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.


These 3 lovely images are not my own; sourced from my “UPLIFTING” Pinterest board

Allowing for Grief

A wonderful post by my dear blogging friend, Eliza Waters, really brought up my unfinished grief over the loss of 3 of my 4 pets recently, all within a six month period. While a tribute post will be shared once I am able to not sob over their photos and even their names, this post is about allowing ourselves time to grieve. When a loss is suffered, no one can say how long it will take or when we’re ‘over it’. To feel tremendous love is to feel grief deeply. This is a part of life, and a component of healing is giving ourselves permission to feel sad. It’s a lesson I’m certainly learning these days. Even the recent season of joy and light was a rough one for me. Normally I put up the tree and my large ceramic Nativity scene as early as December 1st but this year the tree went up on the 20th and the large Nativity never came out of its box, having two smaller one-piece ones around my home subbing in for it. But these seemingly small events meant a lot to me, and showed me how sad my heart still is.

no longer at my side but always in my heartSince it is my own comment, I am trusting Eliza will be fine with my sharing of it here. This is what I wrote to her this morning:

“Eliza, this post made me cry and that’s perfectly alright! Thank you for helping me with my healing through my grief of losing Nikki in September. Sadly we lost Jade, our Abyssinian tabby in May and our gorgeous long-haired Siamese (Ebony) in November, so a very rough 6 months I’m still reeling from. I began to cry as you shared about Ruby, whose sweet face (and coloring!) looks so like my Nikki-girl, and the loneliness on walks… I am SO glad you found Wren (what a great name!) and I hope to be there someday soon, but my heart is still so broken from losing 3 of 4 four-legged children recently. Yes they age, and some battles cannot be won no matter how advanced veterinary medicine is. Anyways, sorry, long comment here! Really just want to say Thank You… so much. For sharing, for adopting a new ‘fur-kid’, and helping me heal a bit more. Love & Light, Gina”

On the bright side, our 17-year old feisty tabby girl ‘Katie’ who was adopted from the pound 15 years ago, is doing her best to help my family and me still get our ‘cat quota’ in. She mostly sticks close to me, but the other day, while on my lap – again – and my husband within ear shot, I told her that she needs to give ‘dad’ some love too, since he’s below ‘quota’. (Our Siamese ‘Ebony’ practically lived on his shoulder, especially in the last few of her 17 years). So that night as we settled in to watch a program together, what did she do but spend the hour in HIS lap! Whatta good girl! He needs his cat-pats too.

Time passes and the healing comes. Achingly slow at first. Then a morning walk without thinking of Nikki for a while (as Eliza shares as well), then a whole day passes without tearing up about how much quieter our house is. So while this morning’s unexpected crying burst reminded me of how the pain is still there, I know it is lessening. It isn’t constant, but rather in scattered moments. Someday, when we’re ready, my husband and I will be ready to begin visiting rescue shelters to find another 4-legged ‘fur-kid’ that Katie can teach the ropes to. Until then, she’s helping us feel loved (and bossed around a bit too!).

Image sources
2 square images at the top are from my Pinterest boards without sources being evident.
The incredible drawing of the crying eye is called ‘Don’t cry to night’ by Omar Gordillo Soto [source]
And the touching pawprint in the clouds is from Facebook/RainbowBridgepetloss [source]

Timeless Insights on Humility

Humility. A tremendously huge lesson for us all. As a person of deep faith, I believe it’s important, essential even, to acknowledge the workings of God in our lives. Gratitude helps realign me with the bigger picture. I look in the mirror as I brush my teeth in the morning and think of so many things to be thankful for… such as running water (which I turn off when brushing my teeth), and good health, my loved ones, this day! The list grows! There is so much to be thankful for, yet we too often forget to acknowledge how gifted, how blessed, we truly are. Humility to me includes respecting this gift of life I am given every morning. As they say, never regret growing older for it is a privilege denied to many.

Of all trees, I observe God hath chosen the vine, a low plant that creeps upon the helpful wall; of all beasts, the soft and patient lamb; of all fowls, the mild and guileless dove. Christ is the rose of the field, and the lily of the valley. When God appeared to Moses, it was not in the lofty cedar nor the sturdy oak nor the spreading palm; but in a bush, a humble, slender, abject shrub; as if He would, by these elections, check the conceited arrogance of man.

~Owen Feltham (1602 – Feb 23, 1668)


I hope you’ve enjoyed my old-fashioned quotes in this brand new year of 2015. I believe humility is always timely, even if the teachers have been gone for hundreds or thousands of years, their lessons live on.

Luke 18:14 KJV ~ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Wonderful Winter Fog

winter fogA few days ago, in my neck of the woods, we had a morning of rare thick fog. It hovered deep over rooftops and created frost linings along wires and tree branches. The sky was white, with no hint of sun through the haze, just the glow that bathed everything. It was utterly magical.

On this frigid Saturday morning at 8:00 am, I wasn’t concerned about throwing on my yoga pants and a t-shirt to go buy some groceries since I’d be mostly hidden beneath my black parka anyways. As I hopped in the car and backed out of the garage, the awe escaped me in a gasp of wonder. If you live in a northern clime and have experienced a hoar frost in the making, you know what I mean. If you live more southerly and haven’t experienced this incredible wonder of nature, it’s difficult to describe how beautiful it is. Photographs, no matter how artfully taken, fail to grasp the beauty of this natural phenomenon.

My local grocer is only a few blocks away but I kept on driving. I’m very grateful to live near a huge wild park preserve with a network of paths, some that run along the river, and picnic table areas scattered among the acres of old growth forest. It was definitely a ‘selling feature’ when we were house hunting.

As I drove past the grocery store and into the wild preserve, I was pleased with the lack of traffic. Indeed, everything seemed hushed and in slow motion. I found myself driving under the speed limit just to gape and marvel at the incredible sight of the trees frosted with white, their tall tips melting into grey fog. Luckily the speed limit is already very slow into this family-friendly park as I kept inching along. Keeping a close eye on my rear mirrors, I saw that no one was coming, or going, on this incredible morning.

Then I saw one person, with a small dog on a leash, walking out of the fog in front of me to cross the road. I happily stopped and leaned forward to look up at the exquisite splendor of the tall trees being painted with hoar frost icicles on every surface. Glancing in my mirrors I saw, again, no one behind me. I drove slowly deeper into the park, approaching the lake and the turn-around where the road ends.

The beauty of nature always feels like a painting by God to me, and the more beautiful the sight, the more deeply I am moved. This particular morning I was moved to tears. Perhaps that I was listening to Amy Grant’s ‘Better than a Hallelujah’ might have something to do with it, but mostly I was just overwhelmed with gratitude for life, and the gifts we are so freely given, every day, if we but open our eyes.

hoar frostAs I finished the drive and looped back towards the grocery store I realized, I wasn’t finished. Not yet. I wasn’t done admiring this incredibly beautiful and rare event of nature. I had to go back! Pulling a careful U-turn on that deserted road, I drove back to the one parking lot in the middle of the main cluster of picnic areas, a place I visit often in the warmer months. A place one can easily walk down to the river. I pulled in and parked not too far from the only other vehicle, a mini-van.

As I turned off the engine, wrapped my scarf around my neck a couple of times and pulled my wool hat and gloves from my bag, I saw the occupants of the van slowly heading towards the river. From their sizes I guessed one adult and three young children, all bundled in snow pants and parkas.

Seeking solitude, I headed the other way along a path following a creek that feeds into the massive river. The hush upon the forest couldn’t hide the occasional squeals and joyful shouts from the small gathering behind me, and it made me smile. I looked up at the treetops in the blanketing fog and quietly recited a poem aloud, knowing no one was around to hear and wonder about this woman speaking to herself.

There was tremendous duck and goose chatter at the river, and I was compelled to stop walking away from the commotion and instead go and see what kind of bird action was happening. As I turned around I noticed that the family hadn’t gone far, and instead were playing in a small copse of trees just beyond the parking lot. I walked past them towards the river, pausing at a small cluster of young aspen beside the path to touch the intricate frost icicles that formed along their thin branches.

As I approached the river I noticed more birds than I’d ever seen on this section of river before, and seeing as some were on this side of the river, I stopped well back since I didn’t want to disturb them. For several minutes I stood and watched this massive display of wildlife. There were Canadian geese intermingled with black Coots, and ducks of various species, and I estimated their numbers to be in the hundreds. Shuffling about for position, drifting into the swiftly flowing, deep river to glide to a new spot, these waterfowl were busily settling in for something, or conversing with relatives, re-establishing friendships… who knows for sure. But their noisy bustling was a wonderful sight and it helped swell my already happy heart up to nearly bursting with joy.

Google search forest+fogWith a smile on my face I turned to head back towards my car, since I hadn’t dressed appropriately and my legs and feet were getting quite cold. Seeing the mother and children (I’d heard her voice so now presumed the adult under the parka to be ‘mom’) slowly spreading onto the narrow footworn path I’d taken from the main path towards the river, and not wishing to interrupt them, I turned to the left to follow the main path. After several feet of walking I realized this route would take me much farther from my car before I could head back towards it, over a bridge.

I was too cold to walk the further distance so I turned around, deciding to head back through the family gathering on the pathway. They were climbing up out of the lower ground amidst the copse of trees they’d been in. I was about 20 feet away when the tallest child turned and saw me, a boy maybe 5 years old. He reached his arm out full length to point towards me and exclaim excitedly, “Look Mom! A PERSON!!”

I laughed out loud with the most joyous love overflowing from every part of my being. It was already a magical, meaningful morning for me, but NOW to be someone’s sighting! How fun is that?!

I waved as I laughed again, and said, “Yes, it’s me. A person!” and the mom smiled at me, undoubtedly having known of my whereabouts ever since I arrived in the park, just after them. The youngest one at her feet, about 2 years old, slipped and did the cutest little slide in his snow pants, down the one-foot embankment the snow-blower had left beside the paved pathway. He was smiling at me as he laid there. I said ‘whoopsie-daisy’ and his mom gently asked, ‘Are you alright buddy?’ to which his smiling face, still looking at me, replied, ‘Oh yes, that was nothing.’ My heart melted even more.

My walking had now brought me right amongst them, and I smiled at the mother and said, “This fog is really rather magical, isn’t it?” waving my hand in a sweeping motion, and she replied immediately “It IS rather magical! That’s why we’re out here.” “Yay. Good for you. Have a wonderful day!” “You too” she replied. The five year old ‘wildlife spotter’ called out, ‘There’s a great big hole to play in there!’ indicating the hollow in the wooded copse they’d spent much time in, and where I was walking past. I called back ‘Yay! What fun!’

I was someone’s sighting! I felt like Bigfoot, or better yet, Buddy the Elf in the forest when he was ‘spotted’ during his assistance of Santa’s crashed sleigh in that sweet, funny movie “ELF”. I chuckled and smiled all the way to my car… and all through the grocery store actually. That sweet child, and his enthusiasm at spotting ME coming out of the fog, made my day. How wonderful that I’d chosen to go beyond merely admiring the fog’s beauty from my car, and decided to actually walk in it, correct clothing or not. God gifted my choice with the pure sweet joy that radiates from happy children, and just remembering that moment makes me smile. And the chorus was playing in my mind, ‘We pour out our miseries… God just hears a melody… Beautiful, the mess we are… the honest cries of breaking hearts… are better than a hallelujah’

Yes I wasn’t dressed perfectly for a winter outing. Yes I felt overwhelmed with grief and sadness much of the time, but the beautiful fog captured my imagination and I forgot everything else. I went for it and was rewarded with a most joyful gift. This helps me remember to go with the flow and be open to whatever might happen. Things don’t need to be preplanned or perfect. I am not perfect and that is perfectly alright. God loves me, and all of us, just the way we are… hurting or not… right here and right now. He knows we’re working on it. We’re trying to get better, to be better, but we’re already good enough. Right now.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my frosty and magical morning foray. May nature’s beauty gift you always with joy, love, and learning. And may we embrace the understanding that we are enough, just as we are.

This is what I felt like…


Okay… who am I kidding. You know I’m more like this!

Elf sighting

An Amazing Lesson within a Song

This song is very meaningful to me, as a reminder that we do not need to be perfect to be loved. We are beautiful just the way we are. Amy Grant’s song reminds us that our cries of loneliness and pain are as meaningful and beautiful to God as a ‘hallelujah’. This is an important lesson I am learning and integrating…. that I do not have to always be in my ‘joyful’ place, shining and bright and overflowing with love. Sometimes I’m sad, and low energy, and feel like I have nothing more to offer anyone. This song reminds me that in those moments of sadness, we are as loved as ever.

I do not need to always be happy and shining to have something to offer the world. I may not feel up to complimenting the store clerk, to help brighten her day, but I do seem to always have the ability to offer a smile… if nothing else. And a smile is a beautifully healing thing. More powerful than we know. So here’s a song on a topic that means a lot to me. I hope you enjoy. May we all remember we are good enough, just the way we are, no matter what. Blessings, Gina