Thursday, September 29, 2016

Grief

by Danetta Kellar

For my true father, and for anyone who has waited beside a loved one as they made the Last Journey.


I stood upon the edge of the sea,
As the gentle tide withdrew from me;
My feet stood sinking in the sand,
Upon the water, upon the land.

This in-between place waited I,
As waves retreated, then drew nigh;
All the while the distance grew,
Between life lost and life anew.

Watching, waiting, agony,
Memories gripping, chastening me;
Taken for granted, words and time,
Opportunities no longer mine.

You made me safe, you strengthened me,
Showed me honor I had not seen;
Led me on the higher road,
Loved me, made me your very own.

Brilliant sunset fading gray,
I held on wishing you would stay;
Receding day, hastening night,
My heart grasped after fleeting light.

Standing there watching dark descend,
I wondered if my heart could mend;
If sun again would ever rise,
Painting its beauty in the skies.

As the tide recedes from me,
I am swallowed up in grief;
Tarrying still I linger on,
Straining to hear the ocean’s song.

I will listen, listen still
Until its sweet refrain grows dim;
I will be here by the sea,
Even as you part from me.



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Single. Not Broken. Part Two

Last week I shared with you my most popular guest post ever, an honest exposition on singleness by my friend Anna. Anna gives a voice to the single friends who haven't had the words to tell you just how it feels to be single in a couple world. If you missed last week's first installment, click Single, Not Broken. Part One. 

guest blog by Anna


Please don't try to fix me. I'm not broken.
Remember I told you last week you have a role in my singleness? Well, you do.

Interestingly, my singleness is often really difficult for people to encounter. They don’t get it. And they desperately want to “fix it” by saying things like: “Aw, you’re so great! How are you not married!?” “You just haven’t met the right one yet.” “Have you tried online dating?” “As soon as you stop looking, you’ll find him.” and my personal favorite, “You should date So-and-So! He’s single!” as if that’s my only qualifier.
I am not single for lack of opportunity. I don’t want just some guy.
I want and need a man who is passionately pursuing the heart of God. Only a man who says, “Yes, Lord! Now what was it you wanted?” will do. Only a man who chooses obedience over security and wants Kingdom things more than earthly things can be my partner in life.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Single. Not Broken. Part One

This post, originally shared in August, 2015, has been the most widely read guest post to ever appear on my blog. I thought it was worth sharing with a new round of readers now a year later. 
I was recently enjoying rich conversation and reunion with old friends around the dinner table at a wedding. That is, until some thoughtless person (me, blush) made a funny joke about marriage and singleness. Everyone laughed, and then the table got a bit silent. 
I realized with hot embarrassment that my joke could have hurt a single friend sitting with us, and I had not even considered her before opening my mouth. I knew I would not sleep that night until I had spoken to my friend and asked her forgiveness for my insensitivity. Her gracious response to me gave me pause to rethink her fragility and my own habits toward my single friends. Fragile, Anna is not. My habits, however, need to change.
It is a privilege to introduce her to you today. She bravely agreed to share with you what she has taught me. I think you may learn from her too, or if you are a single reader, she may just give voice to what you wish your married friends would understand. Thank you, Anna.



In whatever the Lord has for me, I will be content.
guest post by Anna


My name is Anna and I am single.

I didn’t expect to be 37 and unbetrothed. And yet, here I am, at the corner of Will-I-Be-Alone-Forever and Where-Are-All-The-Christian-Men.

Most of my adult life has been spent attending the weddings and baby showers of my dearest friends and family, rejoicing with them over the blessings they have found on this earth. I have spent countless hours counseling women about relationship issues and praying with them through some hard break-ups and exciting engagements.

Many days, I rest deeply in the contentment of believing that the Lord is in control and things are exactly as they should be. Then there are the other days. On those days, I ache with deep longing for a husband I have not yet found.

Having been a single adult for more than half of my life now, I want to offer some insight into how it feels and what your role is in my singleness. Did you know you have a role in it? Because you do and we’ll get to that next week.

But first, what does it feel like to be single at this stage?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Power of Prayer in the Midst of Suffering






Sometimes a person comes into our lives with a gentle spirit that calms us like the warm wind blowing gently across a meadow at sunset. My friend, writer and blogger Kathleen Cope is like that. Get a cup of tea or coffee and sit awhile with her this week and let your soul be rested by her wise and gentle words.


Guest Post by Kathleen Cope


Lying in bed, I couldn’t sleep. Everything in my body told me I was tired. 

Exhausted. 

Emotionally spent. 

Physically drained. 

My soul longed for restorative sleep and renewed strength. I prayed, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” {Psalm 4:8} Sleep finally won over the reigning heavyweight champion of my thoughts.

My son was having seizures. Every. Single. Day. 

His seizures were getting less predictable and more irregular. Medicine wasn’t doing its job and he seemed to be getting worse.

Answers were nowhere to be found. The smartest doctors in the world couldn’t tell me what was wrong with my son. 

They told me what I already knew. His brain was “misfiring”. But no one could tell me why.

It was mind-boggling. I didn’t understand it. Every fiber of my mama-bear-being wanted to know why and how to make him better.

At the time, my son was the oldest of three. My youngest was just nine months old and still nursing. With three children five years old and under, epilepsy pushed me over the edge into dark waters that threatened to overtake me. 

Drowning, what choice did I have but to swim?

On my own I couldn’t carry the weight of it all. My head kept going under as I tried to swim with all my children’s needs in tow. My hands were full and I couldn’t kick hard enough to keep all our heads above water.

When God handed me a life jacket, I grabbed hold of it. Our very lives depended on it.

Prayer was my life preserver. 

The reality that I’m not in control of this life was staring me straight in the face. So in desperation, I waved my hands in surrender, reaching out to the One who is in control. 

Prayer tethered me to the Lord in a way that made me, and us, as a family, unsinkable

The power of prayer is found in the act of reaching out to God. Trust is built in the sacred place of prayer. 

Over-thinking prayer can be what keeps you and I from praying at all. We might be busy conjuring up our own rescue plan, or be so paralyzed with panic, that we don’t reach out for the very thing that could keep us afloat. 

As a family, we prayed for my son’s healing on a daily basis. As the days turned into months, and months into years, we continued to pray every night before bed. Our dependence on God and our trust in Him grew. Walking through suffering, as a family, sowed seeds of genuine faith into the hearts of my children.  

No one ever chooses suffering, but the toil of suffering digs deep roots of faith.

Through the Scriptures, Jesus personally spoke into the types of challenges my son was facing. This difficult season of suffering is what the Lord used to lead my son to accept Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. 

God turned my mourning into dancing {Psalm 30:11}.

As my son approached his ninth birthday, the day came for yet another EEG. He had been seizure-free for three years due to the strictness of a doctor-prescribed-diet for epileptics, called the Ketogenic Diet. (link: https://www.charliefoundation.org/explore-ketogenic-diet/explore-2/classic-ketogenic ) The results of the EEG held the key that would unlock the door to my son’s future. 

The night before his EEG, panic threatened to paralyze me as the all-too-familiar dark waters surrounded me. 

By God’s grace, I reached out for my life preserver. 

This time I asked my prayer warrior friends to join me in praying,

“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” {Mark 9:24}

My son and I watched the sunrise that morning before his appointment. We opened up the Bible and read these words, 

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you.” {2 Peter 3:8,9} 

God never promised healing for my son but He promised to be patient. God is never late and always on time. 

I could trust Him.

The call came that I didn’t know I’d ever receive. 

My son ~ healed from epilepsy. 

It was an absolute miracle. One that didn’t happen overnight but in the end it all had a purpose. 

Nothing was wasted. 

God answered the deepest utterances of my heart. He saved my son not just for this life but for the life everlasting. 

TWEETABLES


Kathleen Cope is a wife and mother of four precious children.  She is  passionate about mothering and raising up the next generation to know and love Jesus. Kathleen is an active leader in her local church and loves to pour into younger women in the context of discipleship.  

Kathleen began blogging when her son was diagnosed with epilepsy as a way to cement God’s Truth into her heart during a tumultuous time.  

She writes regularly at www.kathleenevelyncope.com 
Follow her on Instagram @kathleenevelyncope or 
Twitter @kathleencope





Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thoughts on Endurance

by Danetta Kellar

How does one really endure long, difficult circumstances? How does one wake up each day, face life and do it well, against the struggle?

I heard the story recently of a young boy who was spending a weekend with his father in their cabin in the beautiful wilderness of Alaska. From their front porch, they could watch the bald eagles soar and dive into the water to catch fresh salmon. Over and over again, the eagles would carefully survey the water, dive, and lock their talons on their delicious prey, soaring high again into the sky.

One particular morning, an eagle circled and circled, and circled again. Finally, with a majestic bow, it dove into the clear waters below. However, the salmon it pursued was not willing to give up easily. Apparently much larger and stronger than the eagle, the salmon pulled him under the water. The eagle’s talons were locked onto his prey, and he could not let go. The eagle never returned to the surface.