Far Above Rubies

 

“Great bursts of light flashed forth from him as from a glittering diamond or from a shining ruby . . . ” (Revelation 4:3a TLB).

“Great bursts of light flashed forth from him as from a glittering diamond or from a shining ruby, and a rainbow glowing like an emerald encircled his throne” (Revelation 4:3 TLB).

God created rubies and diamonds in all their splendor, brilliance, and beauty, but they are only tiny reflections of his glory.

And far above rubies is the wisdom of prayer.

I truly enjoy the rings I wear. Each of them has a story.

But this ring-story is about the ruby and diamond ring my husband gave me on our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

Jerry and I had taken some time away from work and were staying at our summer place in the mountains of rural North Carolina. We took a break from the painting we were doing and left to pick up a pizza in town. We planned to stop by the recycle center, which was on the way. As we drove, I took off my ring, carefully laying it in my lap for “safe keeping,” while I put lotion on my chapped hands. Pulling into the recycle center, I was distracted and totally forgot about the ruby ring, now hidden in the folds of my long dress. I was focused on dropping off the trash and empty bottles as I got out of the van.

It wasn’t until we were home and had finished the pizza that I suddenly realized my ring was gone! I made a frantic search of the van, hoping, praying, feeling terribly guilty and careless. Then I remembered precisely when and where I must have lost it.

The ring had fallen silently from my lap onto the driveway of the recycle center.

We drove, squealing tires and all, back to the center, where I searched the tarmac to no avail.

. . . However, as I was nose-to-the-ground, searching, I felt someone watching. Paul, the keeper of the center, looked over at me, his weathered face holding a broad grin.

“Did you lose something?”

Did I lose something! Well, the poor guy ended up being hugged after he dug into his shirt pocket, brought out a business card, and handed it to me.

And here’s my miracle, one more answer to my fervent prayers. Sue, a young woman, whose husband had passed away the week before, had found my ring and prayed about what to do. She’d seen the ring on the asphalt drive of the recycle center, sparkling in the afternoon sunshine and thought a little girl must have lost her Cracker Jack© box ring. Picking it up, she quickly realized the ring was no Cracker Jack© prize! She found one of her husband’s business cards with their phone number on it and used it to write a note: Found, lost ring. Call and describe, then she left the card with Paul.

Thankful and elated, I called her and described the ring. We ended up sharing our love and faith and trust in our Lord Jesus. Jerry and I drove to Sue’s home on the tip-top of a mountain to meet her. In spite of her grief, Sue rejoiced with me through tears and hugs as she returned the ring that always reminds me of the first twenty-five years of my marriage.

We are each so greatly beloved by God that he does not want any of us to be lost. The passion with which I searched to find my lost ring reminds me of Jesus’ Parable of the Lost Coin. In the parable, the woman, who lost a single coin out of her set of ten, experienced that passion. I imagine that she hoped and prayed she’d find it, like I did, but Jesus says, she lit a lamp, swept her house, and searched carefully until she found her lost coin. And she was so ecstatic when she found it, she rejoiced . . . well, we’d say partied, with friends and neighbors!

“I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’” (Luke 15:7-9 NKJV)

Are you, like me, constantly in awe of how when we live and walk in the light of Christ, that there are no coincidences, and that no detail is too small for God. I love how he weaves the lives of his children into a beautiful tapestry of love and caring.

Have you ever lost, then found, something you treasure?

Balancing Act

Life is a balancing act. You weigh the consequences, hope and pray like crazy, step out in faith, and then you . . . 

Balancing Act

. . . what? Fall? Fly? Sit down and stay safe? All of us, including Simeon the seagull up there, have something in common. We are forever trying to get our sea legs, make smart choices, maintain our balance in life, and when we love God, do our best to listen to him.

And isn’t it awesome when we’re trusting in the Lord and he suddenly opens our eyes and ignites a spark in our spirit and we are set on fire to glorify him in a new way?

We may not know quite where he’s leading us when we take that first step, but he’s with us. Excitement drives us. Prayer, fresh faith, and hope make up the fuel that keeps us moving ahead, and gives us fresh purpose.

 

Sometimes a single word can change our path because God has shone his light on it.

Well over ten years ago, my husband and I were spending some time away from a hot summer in Florida.

North Carolina home

North Carolina home

Sipping coffee and breathing in the cool, honeysuckle-scented air, I had curled up in a chair on the front porch of the little hundred-year-old cabin we’d brought back to life in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Summer Reading

Browsing through a magazine, a word, a name that was to become the catalyst  for a story, jumped from the page. Along with the name came an idea that drove me to my laptop and merged me with the keyboard as a story began to pour out.

What? In this late season of my life? I was newly retired, for heaven’s sake!

I’d always loved to write and kept an ongoing journal, but this was something new. A dream. Something I thought I could never do. And this is where Simeon and I are alike. We both sometimes struggle for our balance in life. He’s on automatic pilot with his Creator, but I go on to weigh the consequences, hope, pray like crazy, and step out in faith.

During the years since then there has been a lot of breath-holding, tons of hope and faith and time and effort and joy and rejection and small publishing successes. Now, two and a half manuscripts later, the novel, The Stonekeepers, the one that evolved from a single word, is to be published this later this year—and I’m thrilled!

Has there been a God-directed single event or series of events, that invaded your life and caused you to switch direction? Did you start a new hobby? Simplify your life? Decide to go into business for yourself? (Gulp, I did that!) Meet someone?

How is your balance? I’d love it if you’d share a point in your life-story when your path veered in a new direction–or just to say “Hi.” Click on Comments, below.

Everyone has a story… more than one … filled with memories … experiences …
the good, and the not so good–even the miraculous.

“To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
every cubic inch of space is a miracle.” Walt Whitman

“Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths” (Psalm 25:4 NKJV).

 

 

 

Reflections, Ripples, and Hanna

 [Beautiful photo above is by David Morgan, courtesy Flickr CC]
Reflections

Reflections

Empty, alone, and exhausted, Hanna knelt in the grass beside the pool of satin-smooth blue water and gazed at the reflected clouds. What was she supposed to do now?

He was gone, yet he seemed to stand beside her, in her grief, in her turmoil—in her heart. And she remembered his words.

“Keep your mind on the Lord, sweetheart, and focus on your dream. You’ve set your heart on it, hoped, worked, and prayed for it. You’ve set goals and prepared yourself. Have faith. ‘Dreams are the stuff reality is made of.’”

Hanna reached to touch the shimmering water and watched the ripples transform the sapphire flatness into soft circular wrinkles moving ever outward . . .

Here’s a fun challenge for you: In the comments section add to or change the last paragraph of Hanna’s mini-story, or write an additional paragraph that finishes it–your way!

Do you have a dream that seems to be in limbo, just not going anywhere?

Here are a few thoughts to help you jump-start that dream.

1]  Let your God-given imagination flow freely as you picture yourself in vivid detail as having achieved your dream.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory . . . “ (Ephesians 3:20-21a NIV).

2]  Ask the Lord to walk with you through your journey, have faith that he will, and thank him for every milestone.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV).

3]  Use every available circumstance to practice and prepare.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV).

4]  Allow yourself to experience joy in the present as it becomes the future from the practices of the past.
“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11 NKJV).

 

Young Dreamer

What’s your story? Do you believe God is leading you in paths that are preparing you for your future, the fulfillment of your dreams and goals? Trust him to guide you in and through circumstances.

Yesterday I practiced for the dream that is becoming today, and today I joy in the practice for tomorrow—my future.

After many years of working through “all of the above” thoughts, a dream I had is fast becoming a reality!

I’d love it if you shared one of your dreams here.

Welcome to EVERYONE HAS A STORY blog!

[Beautiful photo above is by David Morgan, courtesy Flickr CC]

In the weeks to come, I’ll be posting about down-to-earth, everyday stories,about fun or funny or embarrassing or even scary things from life, mine and other guest bloggers. Check out About Me tab as well as the World of Words page. Enjoy the Photo and Poetry page of short poetry and photos that relate.

I hope you’ll join me as I count the days until the publication of The Stonekeepers,a suspense novel  laced with light romance written Young adults, “New” Adults–for women of all ages. Watch for updates in the Countdown box on the sidebar.

I’m thrilled you’ve stopped by my  blog and that you enjoy the first post on Everyone Has A Story!

Does your life holds close calls? Do you go through instant replays when you mess up? Do you panic at an incoming email?

. . . or am I the only one?

 

YOU’VE GOT MAIL!

Flickr - Image by Freddycat1 https://www.flickr.com/photos/15157516@N02/

Umm . . . You’ve got mail in here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flickr - Image by Derek Gavey

Yep, the cat’s right.

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A funny, or not so funny, tale to share . . .

So, I’m at my computer working, concentrating, minding my own business, my e-mail program up and running in the background as usual.

Flickr - Image by BB https://www.flickr.com/photos/freudianslip/

“On my wish list!”

Earlier I’d sent a serious e-mail to a business acquaintance whose first name is Scott. The Subject line of the e-mail I sent him read: “A Question”. I’d hoped for a quick reply.

No problem.

Except, as my fingers flew over the computer keys, up came the announcement of a new e-mail—from Scott— Wonderful, I think. That was fast!

But—instead of the Subject line reading “RE: A Question,” it says “RE: Blessings and Love!” Gulp. What had I done?

Flickr - Image by Tambako The Jaguar https://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/

She did what?

Had I accidentally forwarded something I hadn’t meant to, to businessman, Scott? No way!

I instantly lose my breath, my composure, and nearly my lunch!

Until I remember that a week earlier, on a special occasion, I’d sent an e-mail to a dear friend who uses her husband’s e-mail address—one that comes into my Inbox showing his first name—Scott!

What had I put in the Subject line of my e-mail to her? “Blessings and Love.” And she was the one who had sent the reply.

Yep. I owned that snowy owl‘s expression for a minute today. It felt like a close call, a reminder to be careful, that sending an e-mail to the wrong person can happen.

And that woman, flat out on the bench on the beach is expressing exactly how I feel now, thinking of the what-ifs.

Flickr - Image by Britt-Knee https://www.flickr.com/photos/lsuchick142/

Whew!

This little event came along moments after fervent prayer over what in the world my very first blog post should be about.

And isn’t that how the Lord works in our lives when we pray and trust?

So, am I the only one who has a mini panic attack when something like that happens?

Or are you, like me, still learning and exploring the depths of the relationship between yourself and God, completely in awe of his patience and love?

What’s your story? Share your comments at the bottom of this post and join the conversation.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
 It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8 NKJV