Love, Mercy

Dear Hurting,

I love you.

You are never too far away.

You have fallen.  Let me help you up.

What you have done, can indeed be forgiven.

I will never leave you.

I will not break my promises.

I don’t lie.

I am here.





Fanning the Flames of Thankfulness

Jar_Candles_Kelly _Sikkema_@creationswap

““Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now.””  –
A.W. Tozer

I was first diagnosed with Depression toward the end of 2005.  It was a devastating diagnosis to me.  Not because I was ashamed to be touched by the word “depression”, but because I was shocked to find out that these were words that could possibly ever describe me! Natural born sunny disposition aside, I usually choose to look at things through rose-colored glasses, find the silver lining in every possible situation, and see the best in people.

However, I also consider myself practical, and more of a realist than a dreamer.

So, back in the fall of 2005, when Sweetman and I first received Sweetboy’s Autism diagnosis, I wasn’t completely taken by surprise.

But, you can bet your bippy that I was surprised to hear The Counselor utter the word “Depression”. To describe me! And this, just months after receiving Sweetboy’s diagnosis.

God and I? We were tight at the time.  I wasn’t asking Him “Why?”.  I was begging him to show me how to parent this child He’d decided Sweetman and I could handle.  Because, clearly, I didn’t feel like I could handle this kind of parenting.

As evidenced by my, you know, sitting in the chair facing The Counselor.

Thanks to the encouragement and Godly wisdom that this Christian Counselor poured into me that year, I learned some important things.  Things that carried me through then, and continue to carry me through, even now.

1) “I can do all things through Christ Jesus, who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) Oh, indeed I can.  Maybe not immediately; but, if I am faithful to pray and commit my way, my plans, my hopes to Him, I most certainly can. I am blessed to be called Mama, and some days, I just needed to start the day by crying out in thankfulness for that one thing.  Anything else that I am to take on for the day, I needed (and still need) to remember will be accomplished through Christ. Amen?

2) Take note of the kindling.  Oh, how I must take note of any kindling that’s going on. Kindling is a metaphorical term used to describe those little tiny embers of suffering that can can be fanned into a full-on Five Alarm Fire, if not tended to. In Psychology, it is often used to describe one who is going through nothing big and everything small.  That seemingly endless pile of Everything Small grows until, finally, your body decides it’s had enough and begins to show symptoms of deep stress.

I feel some kindling going on, lately, my friends.  And it could become an arsonists dream, if I don’t get on my knees about it. I need to focus on God. Here. Right here, in the midst of all of this potential kindling.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

(Deuteronomy 31:8)

I can fan the flames of thankfulness by remembering that God is not a Firestarter, but The Fire Quencher. 

“For I will pour out water to quench your thirst
and to irrigate your parched fields.”

(Isaiah 44:3)

I’m resting in the Hope that I have.  Hope that springs to life at the thought of unrealized blessings.  I choose not to fan the flames of death by a thousand cuts, but to fan the flames of a thankful heart, catching fire at the thought of all that there can be or even could be, to be thankful for.

“What am I doing in the meantime, Lord?
Hoping, that’s what I’m doing—hoping”

(Psalm 39:7)

A Rememberance and A Hope


Sweetboy commented to me, this morning, “Mama, it doesn’t really feel like Martin Luther King Jr. Day to me today.”
To which, obviously, I replied, “Well, what is Martin Luther King Jr. Day supposed to feel like?”
I readied myself for any number of Sweetboy-ish types of possible responses. But not this one:
“No one at school really talked about it. You know… like did projects and stuff.”
That hit me a like a sucker-punch to the gut. We are, and there’s no denying it, a Caucasian family. Blonde hair and blue or green eyes for the whole lot of us. We are, also admittedly, defiantly hopeful.
And to me, that message of hope for a brighter tomorrow for all of God’s children, is vitally important. We ask ourselves, as often as we can pull ourselves out of our own messes, what we could be doing to help others. It’s not as often as we’d like, mind you. But, it’s one of our family’s intentions – improve the life of someone, anyone, however and whenever you get the chance.
Martin Luther King Jr. was endowed with a foresight and brilliance that I’m not sure that this generation really truly understands. One of his less famous quotes is one of my favorite quotes of all time.

“We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society.” –Martin Luther King, Jr


That is my hope today, as I remember this amazing man’s dream for us all.  That we will indeed consider the people that make up our society. Those oh-so-fortunate and needing encouragement, those not-at-all fortunate and needing encouragement, and everyone in between! 
We are reminded of this, by the same God MLK Jr. believed in, in His Word over and over. “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.” from Matthew 7:12,(The Message) sums it up beautifully.
And that we’ll make every effort to talk about it.  All year long; and certainly not just on one day. Or worse, not at all.


Yes indeedy!


What is your favorite quote from Martin Luther King Jr.?