Tuesday, May 24, 2016

On Looking Back

Hindsight is 20/20, it has been said...
often after someone has admitted a huge mistake.

It is a lot easier to see where you went wrong after the fact.

Looking back can also help you see some good things.

Some things that are seen more clearly when you look at them backwards.

The different view may also provide a new understanding.

We see things that we missed when we were walking through the situation.

We may even see where we missed God's involvement in our life at the time.

Like fingerprints on a wall give us a clue that a certain toddler was there.

God does not sit idly by while we struggle here.

He is involved in the details of our lives and if we look for Him, we can see Him;
present and active in our lives.

Looking back helps us to see how God has moved in our lives.

But when things are hard?
It is often easier to see only the hard when we look ahead.

Things tempt us to face the unknown days in fear instead of faith.

We stand in our hard, and can't imagine that it won't always be this way. 

Or we find it hard to believe that He cares enough to be involved in our little struggles
when there is so much pain in this world.

But then...
Then from the past, a perfect scripture verse that reminds us how very much He does care.
Or the song that meant so much to us in days past.
And encourages even more in this day.

And we see firsthand that His Grace is sufficient.

It's almost as if a light came on, and we just know...
He was there with us.
He loves us.
He cares.

But IN the hard, it can be almost impossible to see that there will be good.

I found a post in my gratitude journal dated October 2011.

It simply said, "I never imagined things could be so sweet."

I wonder why not?

What was lacking in my imagination that could keep me from imagining things could be sweeter?

I wrote that in 2011 at the start of my gratitude journal.
This place where I record those fingerprints of God's presence in my life.

There have been small things and there have been big,
but keeping this list into my sixth year now,
what I notice most is that they are constant.

They point always to the love of a good God.
To His grace that is unending and undeserved.

Now, here I was in 2015 having learned some things since 2011.

We had no idea when I wrote those words in 2011
that we would face the things we faced in the next few years.

So in 2015, I wrote:
"How time has shown me that all our imaginings fall so short!  
I have now seen what "sweet" really looks like! 
After accidents, diagnoses, surgeries and treatments.  
After casts and slings and bald heads. 
How could I in those days even begin to know the sweet I know now?"

And you know what?

I imagine that I haven't seen anything yet.

My imagination is growing to be a better informed imagination;
able to anticipate His grace in my hard instead of feeling dread.

Reminding myself just who it is that is walking with me, and continuing to trust Him.
Taking each day ... each step ... one at a time.

Just a result of expecting Him to show up.
Looking for Him

And one day as we live day to day expecting Him to work in our lives,
we will see it.

The result will be something marvelous. 

Most likely, something you never imagined.


A Gratitude Journal...
Kind of like a bound version of an Ebenezer Stone.
"Hitherto hath the Lord helped us" 

My 100
A list of 100 things I wrote at one time... right in the middle of 2011 and 2015

1) You being my Savior
2) Forgiveness
3) Amazing Sunrises spent at the Ocean
4) Sweet Sunrises spent in my recliner at my living room window (with a grandchild)
5) White African Irises blooming out like crazy
6) Tulip Memories
7) Azaleas Stunning Pink
8) English Blue Moon Roses
9) Blonde Waves on a Little Girl's Head
10) The Twinkle in a Little Boy's Eyes
11) Dimples
12) Moonlight on a Cloudy Evening
13) Glittering Stars on a Clear Night
14) Foamy Tops on Crashing Waves
15) Toes in the Sand
16) Little Fishes at the Edge of the Water
17) Dolphins in the Waterway
18) Cardinals in the Florida Bush
19) Ducks in the Backyard
20) Canadian Geese by the Pond
21) Light Reflecting off a Brass Trombone
22) Creative Clutter
23) Water Views in Front & Back
24) My Sweetheart's Smile
25) Your Mercy
26) E ...
27) I...
28) C...
30) A Friendly Voice on the Phone
31) The Play Chat of Grands
32) My Sweetheart's Voice
33) Music that Calms on Stressful Days
34) Praise Music
35) The Sound of Instruments Tuning Up & Anticipation
36) The Soothing Sound of a Flute
37) The Majestic Sound of a French Horn
38) Mathematics in Music
39) Thunder Crashing
40) Loud Crashing Ocean Waves
41) A Newborn's Cooing
42) Laughter
43) A Friend Who Gets You
44) Mellow Sax Music
45) The Hum of a Car Engine that Works
46) Musical Bird Chatter int he Morning
47) An Acoustic Guitar
48) Hymns - Deep Truths in Music
49) The Sound of Someone Praying for Me
50) The Words "I Love You"
51) Your Nearness
52) Your Goodness
53) The Way You Make Beauty out of Broken
54) Your Strength
55) The Smooth Taste of Caramel
56) Fresh Fruit
57) Ice Cream with the Grands
58) A Vegetable Tray that includes Celery
59) Anti-Nausea Meds given with Chemo
60) Psalms
61) Chocolate Cake Celebrations
62) Birthdays
63) Your Promises - Always Kept
64) The Sound of Singing Kids
65) H's future
66) The Hum of a Working Computer
67) Faxes Incoming and Outgoing
68) Email & Texts
69) Chocolate
70) An Early Cup of Coffee Kind of Morning
71) Bacon Cooking Smells
72) The Smell of my Favorite Lotion
73) Fresh Cut Watermelon
74) Chap Stick
75) Ice Cold Tea :)
76) Fuzzy Slippers
77) A Purring Kitten
78) Heaven One Day
79) Kara Tippetts and her Book, The Hardest Peace
80) Grands Hugs
81) Ann Voskamp and her Book, One Thousand Gifts
82) Mentor Women in my Life
83) Our Family
84) A Dry Comfy Place to Live
85) The Soft Fur of a Baby Bunny
86) My Big Wooly Blanket
87) A Warm Shower or Bath
88) Waves Wrapping Around my Feet and Ankles
89) Sitting on my Back Steps at Sundown
90) My Old Mimosa Tree's "Wings"
91) Cozying Up by a Fireplace in Winter
92) Building Snowmen
93) My Jesse Tree Devotions at Christmas
94) Being Able to Homeschool
95) Losing Control and Loving the Freedom
96) Your Magnificence
97) Just This ... It Is Well !!!
98) Eucharisteo
99) Psalm 27:13,14 - I Will See the Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living!
100) Psalm 73:28 - The Nearness of God IS My Good!!!

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