Elsewhere

Elsewhere
by Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

I am sat just off the bark-strewn path. Legs curled seed-like underneath a spine glowing with the memory of pain. In my mind’s eye I come here often, cheating the seasons. That’s one good thing about having to travel by imagination. Now, when I come, the games teacher in the adjoining field cannot take umbrage at my taking photos of flowers and sheep home to paint from. The wheelchair attendant doesn’t talk on and on till I insist on sitting on the ground and still have to beg her for a few moments silence. Even then I could hear her thoughts chomping at the bit, revving their throttle. My sitting here is not now a delicious gulp of clear water thrown down my throat as quickly as possible, a slight wry smile at having to grab at eternity, but a soft, joyously sparkling spring, from which I can drink any time I choose.

I can sit here for as long as my heart can bear it, and the silence is not crushed in a vice, but spread out over me like a blue blanket. The sky is dancing with slender branches of silver birch and sweet chestnut. The robin who followed us by hopping along a dead tree trunk can take his time and bob up and down, sweetly doffing his feathered cap as often as he chooses, and he can let his aria swell with flaming chest and God’s glory with my heart held captive, for the longest concert of his dear, small life. It is of no matter. I am going nowhere. These weak legs and this sickly frame are rooted somewhere different now, and there is no desperation intruding on my time or my daydreams.

I have told you everything about it except the One Thing. Sat here at the Lord’s feet, in the woodland, amongst all the birdsong and the creeping tenderness of ground ivy and sweet violets, I have not mentioned the Holy of Holies. The bluebells. The cobalt chimes ringing out divine fragrance, their little elf hats swinging magically in the breeze, colouring the whole floor of the copse with such beauty that I cannot take even a fraction of it in.

They are why I have come and why I return, and their splendour built from delicate, short-lived late-April showers and shine, is what breaks my heart wide open, searching for the words to explain. Tiny fragments of fragile lapis blue have drifted down from heaven, and settled here on stalks, catching like sunrays on snow, and if this sight did not turn my thoughts to the wonders of eternity, then nothing on this earth could ever have bathed me in that fire.

 

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Keren Dibbens-Wyatt is a chronically-ill contemplative, writer and artist. She has a passion for prayer, poetry, story and colour. Her writing features regularly in literary journals (Fathom, Amethyst Review, The Blue Nib) and on spiritual blogs (Contemplative Light, Godspace). She is the author of the book Recital of Love (Paraclete Press, 2020). Keren lives in England and suffers from M.E. which keeps her housebound and out of the trouble she would doubtless get into otherwise. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and her website.

Make A Way In Me

Make A Way In Me
by Sarah Freymuth

You hear, O LORD, the desire of the 
afflicted;
You encourage them, and You
listen to their cry.
-Psalm 10:17

You are faithful, even in the midst of the raging storm. You are the God who calms the seas; surely, You can calm the sea in me.

Calm the raging sea in me; say to my mind and soul, “Peace, be still.”
Help me to be still and know Your goodness, Your timing, Your ways, Your presence. Joy and hope amidst the hard, my God. I ask for joy and hope, a sound mind and secure heart.

You are my firm foundation and I climb on top to stand, however unsteady my hands and feet. You are the One who sees and knows all the swirls within me. And You love me, though it’s hard to feel. But faith is not based on sight, but stepping one foot in front of the other in the unknown, choosing to trust You are over all, You are over me.

Be over me, my God. My good Father, whose plans for my life are good, for hope and a future. You are making way for my good future. Just help get me through the storm, get in the boat and soothe me to sleep as You slice through the waves, guiding me. God, steer me through. God, calm me through the middle of the water, when there is no shore in sight, when I tremble with fear and am frantic for land.
Be in the boat with me. You know these waters well. You know me well; call out my name and speak to my deep places where You know better than I do what I need. You know what I need, my Counselor and Comfort.

You are my fixed point on a shaky axis. Rescue me, out of Your great mercy. Restore me through the suffering. Give me Your grace for today, but bring hope to my heart and healing to my body, mind and soul. You are able, and You are near.

Faithful One, be faithful to me. I want to see You, hear You, know and experience You in deeper and new ways. I want a way out, yes, but I want You too.

You always make a way. I may not know what that way will be or how it will look or when it will happen, but Lord, make a way in me. I need You. Oh Lord, You are my light when I’m sinking in the dark. Lift my eyes, let me see Yours, sink Your love deeper in my heart.

You are the God who makes a way and surrounds me. Oh God, calm this sea in me and carry me to steady ground. To Your firm foundation, the Rock in whom I choose to place my hope. Give me a glimmer of that hope on the horizon. Though the waves dash against the boat, the rocks, my mind and heart, You will take me safely through.

My God, do not leave me. Bring me close. Come to my rescue, my aid, and be that fixed point to still my racing mind and soul.

You are the God who calms the seas; surround me with Your strength, my God and Deliverer. Calm this sea in me. Clear the path, the storm, and make a way in me.

 

 

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Sarah Freymuth enjoys listening to the heartbeats of the world and conveying them through words. She is the editor of Awake Our Hearts, communications manager for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, writes for numerous publications, and has a strong affinity for dark roast coffee. Sarah is a member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries Contributor Team and Redbud Writers Guild, a vibrant and diverse movement of Christian women who create in community and who influence culture and faith. She enjoys her simple Midwest life in Wisconsin, especially when she’s on Washington Island. In the in-between moments, she likes to write narrative and lyrical essays exploring the longings of life and soul at www.sarahfreymuth.com and on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Renewal

Renewal
by Charlotte-Anne Allen

A sigh a stirring
Cool touch at day’s end
Moist whisper speaks
From night skies and
Hints of rain to come

Its indrawn breath
Stills the voices
Of insects and frogs
As the first taste of
Nature’s drink descends

From my open window
I breathe deeply
Releasing the day’s work
Welcoming the growing
Soft patter of quiet drops

Refreshing quenching
Soaking into thirsty soil
As downspouts begin
To gurgle and wash away
Accumulated debris

Drops rustle leaf and limb
As they dip and sway
Now flowing eagerly
Drawn into seeking roots
And renewing souls

 

 

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Charlotte-Anne Allen is a writer and a creative blogger who loves to offer encouragement and to share thoughts about life and faith, through poems and reflections. She was a guest author for a daily devotional for homeschool moms and has served as a speech-language pathologist for over thirty-five years. Charlotte-Anne is a member of Compel (a writers’ group) and was a founding member of Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild. You can find her at her blog, “The Still Small Voice – For Just a Weed” (forjustaweed.com).

Message on the Mountain

Message on the Mountain
by Ashlyn McKayla Ohm

Too trite, too terse, too stale, too small—ideas dangled in the air, yet I could hold none in my hands. I needed something to write, some prose to pin to paper. But again and again, my frantic fumblings ended with empty hands.

As always happens, doubt stalked on the heels of defeat.  What if all my ideas had vanished?  What if I had nothing left to say?

As any writer knows, this is the hiss from the empty hallways of the mind, the shadow specter that haunts—this notion that creativity, after all, might be a finite resource, that no matter how deep the well might seem to drop, one day I’ll dip my pen in ink and it will come up dry.  Was today the day?

I’d felt it before, the kinetic spark to unwind my words, so I laced up my shoes and went for a run.  The temperatures were unseasonably cool for spring in Arkansas, but the humidity was heavy, silver mist hovering over the newly green fields.  Up the mountain I ran, under the canopy of fresh-sprouting leaves—still fumbling, still flailing, still fearing.  Over my head, the ideas floated just out of reach, like the steely clouds in the sky.  But not a drop of rain fell.

I reached the top of the mountain—a wild and wooded place, where time and space intersect in odd coordinates.  And panting there, under the pine trees, I was captured by the thought of another mountain.  The story flashed before my eyes—Jesus wrapped in light, Transfiguration tremendous and terrifying, while the voice of God shook the hills.  Perhaps a weak parallel, but after all, wasn’t that what I’d done—come up this mountain to hear from God?

So what did I hear?

An echo of Scripture, John’s words to the church:  “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life” (1 John 1:1-2 ESV).

John had bowed on the mountain.  He’d seen the Shekinah shatter the everyday like lightning, and He’d glimpsed the Son of God—more profoundly than I could ever hope to this side of Heaven.  And what did he find?  Not a fresh idea, not a brilliant concept, but the power of a Person—Jesus.  And decades later, when he penned this letter near the end of his life, his heart was still overflowing with the Man he fully met on the mountain.

I ran back down the slopes, back toward home.  The fog still swirled over the fields, but it was beginning to lift in my spirit.

So here I am, weaving these words while rain soundly soaks the world outside my window.  Showers of blessing, perhaps?  All I know is I don’t need a new idea; I need a new heart.  When all is said and done, my only offering is a simple song—the song of my Savior, the story of His sacrifice.  And with my fears and failures, mistakes and mishaps, I will continue telling what I have seen and heard.  Not new ideas, not trendy takes—just the old, old story of Love—still the best news I could ever bring.

 

 

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A passionate follower of Jesus Christ, Ashlyn McKayla Ohm finds her writing calling where her heart for God and her love for His creation intersect. Born and raised in rural Arkansas on the shoulders of the Ouachita Mountains, she’s most at home where the streetlights die and the pavement ends.  She is the author of the devotional A Year in the Woods and is forever grateful that God has given her the gift of not only exploring His beautiful world but also using her words to prayerfully draw others to Him. Follow her adventures on her blog, Words from the Wilderness, or on Instagram and Facebook.

Mining the Moments for Joy

Mining the Moments for Joy
by Sue Fulmore

This morning I noticed the ghostly image, as the sun traced the outline of my window upon the sloped ceiling of my writing room. The edges were indistinct, soft.

Last night the sun slanted across our kitchen table, haloing the ordinary bowl of soup and freshly made biscuits. A simple meal turned elegant with the sun’s warm glow.

Maybe it is because, for the majority of the past two years, life has been lived within these four walls, that I am noticing more. Since there are fewer distractions from outside, fewer social engagements or calls for my attention, I begin to see the small, everyday moments. I am aware of how often I have passed by the small on my way to something bigger and better. This enforced slowing has taught me to remove my sandals and notice the moments of holiness right here in the ordinary.

It was only when God saw that Moses had stopped what he was doing and was paying attention, that He called to him from the burning bush.[i] This story makes me pause to wonder how often this has happened in my own life. I wonder how regularly have I been so intent on my plans, my efficiency in all things, that I fail to stop and take note.

I am learning to pause long enough to hear the inner rumblings of my heart and soul. The longings are making themselves heard as I spend time in stillness. The emotions I would normally push aside while I went on to the next project or chore, are now held up to the light and examined. I am learning more of what it means to “listen to my life” as Frederick Buechner says. I am starting to “see it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness…”[ii]

For the first time in many years, I have been bored. The days stretch out before me with no scaffolding or boundaries. There are times when the canyon between morning and evening seems too wide and too deep to traverse. Boredom becomes my teacher, asking me to pay attention to the often overlooked, sparking a desire to create and try new things.

I pay attention to the world outside my window. Every arrival of a new variety of bird is noted, their antics observed. I was on hand to witness the murmurings of flocks of cedar waxwings as they dipped and soared as one unit. I watch as they strip the mountain ash of its berries, becoming tipsy from the fermented fruit. As the sun goes down, I celebrate the intricate dark web of branches back-lit by cotton candy skies. Watching the trees for signs of life, I wait for the bursting open of the scales protecting the tender buds at just the right moment. I listen for the spring call of the chickadees, and look for the gradual browning of rabbit fur. I notice the squirrel outside the window, safe on his perch high in a tree, as he scolds the neighbor cat, and laugh at the absurdity.

Small children have always known how to pay attention to the little things. They are the ones who stop to watch the caterpillar make its way across the sidewalk, or get close to the ground to see the patterns in the thin layer of ice on the puddle. I feel like a child again and I search for all of the gifts wrapped into each moment by the Giver. Is this what Jesus means when He tells us to become like little children?[iii] That we pay attention to the moment we are in, searching for the sight of Him in the midst of the mess of where we are? Can we be like the children, welcome each day, each hour, and moment with trust, openness and hope?

This noticing, this paying attention is grounding me in the present. I am not looking back to the way things were, nor forward to what may be, but only allowing myself to root in the moment I am living. I am becoming like a child who only knows how to dwell in the now. I pray for daily bread, not weekly bread, and trust the good Father to supply the need of the moment.

I am realizing this is where joy resides.

Collectively we have become more aware of our fragility lately. Maybe for the first time in our lives we contemplate the number of our days as we see many around us succumbing to an illness, we never knew 2 years ago. It is often those who are on the threshold of death, who become most keenly aware of life. I read about an oncologist who tells his patients to start the day with this mantra, “I do not know what will happen next week or next year. But I know I have the gift of this day, and I will not waste it”.[iv] This outlook makes us laser-focused on today, and all the joy to be had from each moment it contains.

When each breath and each day are viewed as gifts we are awakened to all that is beautiful, good and true. We become aware of the ways God is bending toward us, attentive to our needs, in it all alongside us. It is in His presence, and ultimately nowhere else, where we find fullness of joy.

Today may we listen more closely to our lives and “touch, taste, smell our way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”[v]

[i] Exodus 3:4

[ii] Frederick Buechner, Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation

[iii] Matthew 18:1-6

[iv] How to Overcome a Fear of Failure – The Atlantic

[v] Frederick Buechner, Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation

 

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Sue Fulmore is a freelance writer and speaker, seeking to use words to awaken mind and soul to the realities of the present.  Some of her work has been published at Red Letter Christians, The Perennial Gen, Convivium Magazine, Joyful Life Blog, and Asbury Seminary Soul Care Community. Like a prospector panning for gold, she uses her pen to uncover beauty and truth hidden just below the surface of our lives. She is the mother of two adult daughters and lives in sunny Alberta, Canada with her retired husband. You can find her at Instagram and www.suefulmore.com.

A Season to Love

A Season to Love
by Jodie McCallie

Everything is brown and gray
The earth, the trees, the sky
It’s the winter of despair
It seems to go on without end
Until, as if overnight
The camelia blooms victoriously
A burst of hope in pink and red
And another day
The Japanese magnolia triumphs
Though branches still bare of leaves
Its daring display of flowers erupts
Daffodils push through
Green shoots start to appear
Even the sky on occasion is blue
And those first warming rays
Warm me right through
New life seems in the air
Possibility returns
I relish this “in between”
For all too soon the days will scorch
But right now, is a season to love
Full of beauty and promise

 

 

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Jodie McCallie is an Australian who has embraced her life in the United States. She is a part time poet, who makes her living in corporate America. Jodie loves nature and connecting with God through the beauty of His creation. She uses poetry to worship, and to make sense of the world around her, and is currently exploring the value of poetry as a gateway to healing and personal growth. Jodie lives in Georgia with her husband and two rescue dogs. You can find her on Facebook.

A Turn in the River

A Turn in the River
by Melanie Weldon-Soiset

We visit caverns, meadows and reefs after this—
a turn in the river that leads us to sleep.

The gates to these landscapes unlock behind
our eyelids; rest is the key that opens them.

These places mark their own music: a symphony
in rhythm with our rapid eye movement,

breath, and pulse. Can you hear the waves
from other voices, singing new galaxies?

From other voices singing new galaxies:
breath and pulse. Can you hear the waves

in rhythm with our rapid eye movement?
These places mark their own music, a symphony.

Our eyelids: rest is the key that opens them.
The gates to these landscapes unlock behind

a turn in the river that leads us to sleep.
We visit caverns, highlands and reefs after this.

 

 

Melonie Headshot

Melanie Weldon-Soiset’s poetry has appeared in Tipton Poetry Journal, Better Than Starbucks, Geez, Amethyst Review, and others. A 2021 New York Encounter poetry contest finalist, Melanie is a #ChurchToo survivor, and former pastor for foreigners in Shanghai. Find her online at melanieweldonsoiset.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @MelanieWelSoi.

Sweat and Sacred Sunrise

Sweat and Sacred Sunrise
by Leslie McLeod

When I head out to the gym in the morning, the sky is still dark, the stars fighting for the last word with the approaching dawn.

I don’t really like to exercise, but I like the feeling a good workout gives me. So I crawl out of bed, swap PJs for yoga pants and a sweatshirt, then drive half-awake to my small group training session, just 10 minutes away.

When I’m running late, I can usually grab a corner space among all the other women focused on their fitness.

But a secret reward awaits me when I show up early.

I get to claim my favorite spot at the end of the corridor across from the gym’s east-facing front window. As we warm up and stretch, I watch as shades of deep indigo and gray gradually surrender to a spectacular light show, a slow explosion of shimmering crimson and gold. The powerful beauty infuses my cardio with energy, my muscles with strength, my spirit with delight. Fiery brilliance of sunrise subsides, breathless, into gentle pastels…lilac, pink, coral. As we finish our workout, the sky settles on a hue barely blue, silhouetting the trees and street signs outside.

Working out is drudgery, no question. But for those few moments, my sweat has been sanctified by extravagant, fleeting glory. I tuck away the memory of this morning gift along with my water bottle and towel, then step out into the day with a hallelujah smile.

LAMcLeod-2021-editLiving near the Southern California coast, Leslie’s artistic leanings balance her role as co-owner of a tech company with her husband. She picks up her pen again after a hiatus to raise their two children and develop a passion for painting. Having lost her parents a few years ago, she is writing a book to help other women walk through that painful season without the added burden of unresolved relationship regret. Leslie also writes articles, poetry, and a blog. She loves to share the voice of her soul’s Beloved. She writes and paints at www.lamcleod.com and you can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

The Spiritual Practice of Gardening

The Spiritual Practice of Gardening
by Jody L. Collins

“The seed catalogues are a further promise of warm days to come. I class them as fiction and love to read them. Oh, the beautiful roses and tall spikes of delphinium and the flowering bushes-not to mention the carrots as big as telephone poles and the peas that practically shell themselves… We get some pretty fine vegetables and some nice flowers, but they definitely do not resemble the champion parade in the catalogues.”           Gladys Taber, ‘Stillmeadow Seasons’

* * * * * * * *

I am a Southern California girl, born and raised, transplanted 25 years ago to the Pacific Northwest near Seattle.  The weather is starkly different than my old Orange County clime. There are no, ahem, seasons in Southern California, only a variation on the words ‘sunny’, ‘partially sunny’, ‘mostly sunny’, ‘warm’ and ‘cool’.  Flowers bloom year ’round, vegetables can be picked at any time and trees never drop their leaves.

I’ve grown to love the weather changes here in this Northwest corner of the world where there are definitely seasons –fulsome Springs, rich, green Summers, colorful Autumns and the bare bones gray of Winter.

Of course, this particular location on the globe precludes a lot of extra care in gardening and upkeep. My husband and I spent a few hours outside the other day in unseasonably warm March weather to tackle the pruning of our trees. There are no buds yet on the empty, gray branches of our maples and magnolia, so the timing is right for this necessary husbandry. In the backyard, buds are just surfacing on the lilacs and the forsythia are threatening to burst into yellow like an invisible promise. We need to hurry–blooming is in their botanical blood and the flowers will come whether we prune or not.

Inside where it was warm I pondered the view to my back yard and the bare spot of my vegetable garden. I’m in more of a pondering stage about that space right now–do I REALLY want to invest in the time it takes to get that spinach in this year? If I do, should I add carrots and beets like last time? The lettuce worked well, the potatoes took off, there’s even leftover garlic and the Mint that Will Not Die.

The thing about seeds is, given soil, scattering, sunshine and water they’ll pretty much grow without looking. That’s always a startling miracle to me—that I would plant a zucchini or lemon cucumber seed and 2 weeks later, up comes that lime green curl, sprouts pushing through the dirt and why, look at that! Overnight it’s a vine.

(And then of course, you have more zucchini and cucumbers than you know what to do with, which is how you meet your neighbors. But that’s another post….)

I was thinking about my life and growth in Jesus being like that.  When He plants the bare shell of a seed with an idea or a dream, I really have to trust He will do what he says. There is life in the seed.

Regardless of the weather, regardless of the bleak, bare soil, there is hope.  There is life. Besides the hope, there is power for growth in the seeds; I can’t do anything about making them grow.  Nothing.  Just rest and trust it will happen.  In God’s time, by His power.

Likewise, when God plants something in our lives, a dream, a desire, a gift, He intends for it to grow. I have despaired often that the changes and growth I want to see in my life often bring me back to repetitive prayers and the question of whether what God has said will ever come to pass. But its clear, his promises come in their own time. We really can’t force them, we can only make room, let God water the seed, and live in the light of His Son while God brings the miracle.

What gift or promise has God planted in your life? What dreams are you living into right now? If it is God, it will grow.  

* * * * * * * * * *

“It is all very well to keep other men’s vineyards, but we must not neglect our own spiritual growth and ripening.  Why should it always be winter time in our hearts?  We must have our seed time, it true, but O for a spring time–yea, a summer season, which shall give promise of an early harvest.  If we would ripen in grace, we must live near to Jesus –in his presence-ripened by the sunshine of his smiles.”

CH Spurgeon, Morning by Morning

 

 

head shot b, w, Kris Camealy at Refine March 2019

Jody Collins is a blatant philologist and poetry lover living in the Pacific Northwest with her very patient husband. She uses both gardening and writing as therapy, often featuring her 6 grandchildren, whom she thanks God for daily. Jody’s been penning words since Smith-Corona typewriters graced the desks of her middle school, but nowadays you can find her thoughts at www.jodyleecollins.com.  Twitter: @JodyLeeCollins2  Instagram: @jody_lee_collins

Our One True Constant

Our One True Constant
by Rochelle Bauer

Nineteen years old and ready to take on the world. I was invincible and had the world at my fingertips. I thought I knew all I needed to know to get through life. Oh, how naïve I was.

There was so much to come—so much heartache, so many losses, so much to learn. I had no idea. I thought I understood it all. I thought I had already fully lived because of the struggles I’d already faced as a teen. Boy, was I wrong.

Married at twenty and trying to mesh two very different lifestyles wasn’t easy. We both grew up differently and found ourselves set in our ways. Yet somehow, we made it work.

Little did I know that no matter how much you want it, only God gets to decide when you can start a family. I learned that particular lesson over and over and over again, too many times, in my opinion.

When I did get pregnant, no one prepared me for preterm labor, a baby in the NICU, and the fact that I would have to leave the hospital without my baby. You only hear of the great miracle of childbirth and the indescribable bond. No one tells you that you might not be able to hold your baby for days, let alone feed them or care for them. Who can prepare you for seeing your newborn in an incubator with tubes going every which way?

Then there are the unthinkable, unimaginable situations. Childhood cancer. The plane rides, surgeries, chemo, and the daily ups and downs. What parent prepares to see their child in such a state? I surely wasn’t prepared, even though I was now twenty-eight.

The white casket. The white roses and greenery at the front of the church. The family picture displayed that will never be retaken. There’s no preparation for that moment. There’s no way you can fully prepare to kiss your baby goodbye for the last time.

Two years later, you’re being rushed into surgery to deliver yet another baby. Crying because you’re so scared something is wrong with this child, as well. Why else would they be scurrying around?

But when you see the face of your third son, you have only utter and unexplainable joy on your face. You see the miracle God has provided for you once again, and you have all you can do to contain your emotions. So, you don’t. You cry and thank God for this precious gift of life. This is what thirty looks like. A six-year-old and a newborn. Years of loss and years of gain. Does this mean it all balances out? I’m not sure yet.

Then cancer comes again. This time it’s your mom. You’re thirty-six and driving her to and from appointments as your life melds with hers. You juggle parenting your kids, having a marriage, and taking care of your parent. It seems like so much, but you wouldn’t change this time for the world. Your own immediate family appears to be left in the dust, but they learn the importance of helping others. It’s a lesson you can only teach by example. You pray you’re teaching them correctly and not neglecting them. What choice do you have?

When forty comes, your mom is gone. You wait for her phone call that never comes. She’s with Jesus now, and phone calls aren’t part of heaven, although you wish they were. You miss her and wonder how you’ll live the next forty-odd years without a mother. Yet, somehow you do. This is adulthood, take it or leave it.

Forty-four comes in quietly during a pandemic and appears to be leaving chaos and more loss in its wake. No one can prepare you for all that is to come in life: not at nineteen, twenty-three, twenty-eight, thirty, thirty-six, forty, or forty-four. Just when you think you have a grasp on life, it throws you another loop and finds you gasping for air.

The only constant in my life is Jesus Christ. He was with me in each circumstance when others weren’t around. He was in the NICU with my son, the funeral for our second son, the operating room with our third. He was in each exam room with my mom and was with me as I waited for the birthday wish that would never come. He’s with me now as I face uncertainty.

He is the calm amidst the storm and the only One I can truly depend on. How about you? Do you know Jesus? Do you know He is beside you and will never leave you? He is worth getting to know, and He can carry you through.

Dear Jesus, Thank You for being the ever-present constant in our lives. When life throws us around in the wind, we know You are at the center, ready to steady us. No matter what we’re facing, help us look for you like a beacon of light in the dark. Remind us You will never leave us nor forsake us, even when others do. In Your Precious Name, we pray, Amen.

 

 

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Rochelle lives in rural Minnesota where the winters are long but beautiful and the summers are short but sweet. She is wife to Daniel and mom to three sons, one of whom is with Jesus. Rochelle loves music, long baths, a good book, and a long nap. She has a deep desire to share how God has moved in her life, and how He continues to show His faithfulness.

You can find her on Instagram at @rochelle_bauer_writer and on her blog at www.rochellebauer.com.