I saw a miracle

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I saw a miracle yesterday. If someone would’ve walked past, they’d have missed it. To them it might’ve been slight, nothing out of the ordinary, but to me it was huge.

If you know me, or about me, you’d know that my husband and I have been believing God for our daughter’s healing. (She was diagnosed with ASD when she was three.) Along with emotion control, we’ve been targeting her verbal skills in prayer. So here’s my miracle.

For years, when my daughter would get excited, she would flap her arms and squeal (kinda loudly).  In her exuberance, I would tell her to use her words. To say—I’m excited. She’d never done it, but I’d tell her nonetheless.

Yesterday, we were swimming, and she saw her aunt. Her arms started flapping and her voice started getting higher pitched, but then she stopped. “I’m excited!” She said, perfect and clear as day. 🙂

My heart turned somersaults. My sister-in-law was there to share the moment. Again, to most that would seem nothing. Others would want to see something earth-shattering, mind-blowing, but that moment put something in me. Hope. It inspired me to believe MORE. Why did Jesus perform miracles? Yes, to relieve the burdened and set the oppressed free, but also to captivate the attention of those around. To inspire them to believe on Him.

So to me, yesterday was a miracle.

How often do we search for the over-the-top, spectacular that we miss the miraculous? I believe God fills our days with these moments. I don’t want to overlook a single one.  At the pool, I saw His hand on my daughter. I took it as a faith-nudge. As a—Don’t give up, you got this—kind of reminder. That my faith is working and as a result He is working in her life.

So what about you? What has He been showing you?

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When God Wants Me to Be Brave

lucy-aslan-jpg-wikinarnia-the-chronicles-of-narnia-c-s-lewis-T5vy5r-quoteFear. The evil that’s persistent just as it is ugly. If you read my last post or are acquainted with me, then you’d  know that before my son was born I miscarried. Dread plagued me during that time. It tormented me until all peace was gone.

When I found out I was pregnant again, the same demon reared its ugly head. But this time, it was different. I heard a song . Nichole Nordeman’s Brave.

“It was fear that tied me down to everything. But it was love, Your love, that cut the strings.”

When I listened to that, something went off in me. God loved me with an undying, unfailing love. And that made me brave.

His love made gave me courage to look fear in its eye.

The image above was taken from the Narnia movie, Prince Caspian. It was my favorite part.  Thousands of enemies charged toward one small girl, Lucy. But the entire legion of soldiers stopped cold when they saw who stood behind her—Aslan. Aslan was a representation of Jesus. We may seem small, out-numbered, and feeling like the battle is lost, but we have to remember who is standing behind us. He wants us to be brave.

Your turn 🙂 God uses songs to help me through trying times. What about you?

 

 

 

 

A letter to the nineteen-year-old self on my wedding day

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Dear young bride,

I look at a picture of you on this day, and I think “Wow, what if I could relate the journey you’d be on for the next fourteen years with the prince charming beside you.” Thus, the letter.

You’re nineteen. So innocent and naïve of the world stretched before you. Hold tight to the hand of the man you pledged your life to, because together you will laugh and cry, sing and weep. Together, live your faith.

To start, you are going to move a thousand miles from all that’s familiar. Your hubby and you embark on a new life. But you’re not scared. You’d travel to the ends of the earth with this man. Be reassured that God drew the roadmap for you to follow before you even reached a mile.

The tiny apartment you share would hold some of your fondest memories. You learn that marriage is more than a glorified version of playing house. There are bills to pay, dinners to cook, and an unending pile of laundry. And that ring in the bathtub needs scrubbed. Regularly. The blessings of marriage far out-weigh the dirty dishes. You have a handsome roommate that now sees you without make-up and tousled hair, yet adores you. This, girl, is love.

He eats the nasty overcooked, or over-spiced food you present him with a dimpled-smile and an “I love you”. You understand quickly that you don’t talk during sporting events and never pause in front of the TV. You discover each other’s weaknesses, but that’s not a bad thing. You are blending lives here, two becomes one flesh.

The two of you sail through the next couple of years of marriage, growing as individuals and as a couple. I hate to write this to you, sweetheart, but you lose a child in a miscarriage. It hurts. Bad. His strong shoulder is there for you to grieve into. Cling to that man. And cling to God. Allow His grace to overwhelm you. Yes, there’s an ache in your soul, but with every tear that falls, there is a promise that He’d comfort you. A promise that He’d never leave or forsake you. And don’t forget the man beside you. It was his child, too. Even if he doesn’t want to talk, sit by him in silence. Be there.

A few months pass, and guess what? You’re pregnant again. A fear lingers from before, but every time it shows its head, you smack with the verse God gave you. You clutched onto that Psalm and wielded it like a sword. Both of you are thrilled. Hubby spoils you. You don’t lift or even vacuum!  He indulges you with your silly cravings. He keeps you stocked in Cadbury chocolate eggs. Just don’t eat too many. Trust me. You discover you are having a boy! So yeah, you both agreed on Andrew Joshua, but something happens to hubby when he views his son on the sonogram. He wants to give the child the one thing that belongs solely to him—his name. Of course, you gush and kinda squeal at this. Now Scott Andrew McDaniel Jr. is born and life is beautiful! You both dote on him and treat him likes he’s made of glass. You sterilize everything. And shush people when he’s napping. This can be viewed as rude, Rachel. Lighten up just a tad. Hubby’s the best dad you could ever wish for. When the child turns six months you get surprised again. No really you do. You’re four weeks pregnant.

Maegan is born nine months later, and she is beautiful. Life is perfect. You and hubby are so happy. Just make sure you don’t fuss over the little ones that you neglect your husband. Kids are demanding by nature, but don’t let things slip into the cracks with your marriage.

Next up is a toughie. Little Meg is diagnosed with ASD. Darlin’, I’d love to say you were faith woman, but sadly, you weren’t. You don’t listen to your husband’s advice—“Don’t lose your joy, Rach.” But you do. You’ll find that it’s simple to be filled with joy when life is roses, but what happens if you touch a thorn? It’s a struggle to keep peace when you feed on destructive thoughts. Don’t worry about your baby-girl. Did this surprise God? Did this catch Him off guard? No, He knew about it before Meg even drew her first breath. So don’t give in to the doubt. Don’t embrace the fear. Let His Word guide you. See yourself as God does. When you can’t lift a pebble, He sees you throwing mountains. Believe the impossible. Dare to dream for her!

And the irony is that it makes you and hubby stronger. You both learn to rid selfishness and strive to be the parents God wants you to be. And my-oh-my, he’s the best father, understanding the many needs and doing whatever it takes to provide. It melts your heart to see his compassion and tenderness.

So there you have it. Fourteen years in less than a thousand words! I know this is hard to believe, but you love him even more now than you do on your wedding day. A deeper love, a commitment so strong, that it soars above life’s storms. So yes, enjoy your wedding day! Hold his hand every chance you get. Dance with him. Say “I love you.” And maybe refrain from the York Peppermint Patties past ten o’clock.

Signed,

You fourteen years later

Being There

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It’s 10:24 PM.

I have a child wide awake beside me and another that just came in asking for a drink of water. The past few days have been a whirlwind. Not bad, just busy. And now, it’s late and I remember—Hey, I don’t have a blogpost for tomorrow. I searched my brain for some clever topic to write about, something moving and exciting, but all I got was static. Yet, I didn’t feel any guilt. No. Because of the definite reason-

SUMMER!

Yes, my days have consisted of library trips, park runs, McDonald lunches, and my personal favorite—water balloon filling. It’s important to me. Being there. Hearing my children giggle and sing. Laughing with them at jokes that don’t make any sense and spinning around in circles until we fall down. It may seem insignificant, but one day, I won’t have that anymore.

Soon they’ll be grown. And right now will be a memory.

I want my children to remember that mommy spent time with them. I want their minds to be filled with the stories I read, the Bible lessons I taught, and songs we sang.

What I don’t want is for them to recall that mommy was forever on her laptop or her phone. That mommy was always busy or said “give me a minute” and then forgot about them.

I want them to remember, I was there.

So yes, this post is a little different than my others. Sorta a “random thought” kind of spiel, but all the same, it’s an idea that has been stirring in my heart lately. Being there.

So how about you? What is one thing you hope for this summer? Tell me about it in a comment 🙂

 

 

When God puts two people together.

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“If the guy’s not a Christian, I don’t give him the time of day.” My fourteen-year-old mind was blown away at this statement. My friend, Leslie, said this casually, like she would if she was talking about the weather. But to me, I was shocked.

Only date guys who were Christians? I never heard this kind of “philosophy.”  Never read it in Cosmopolitan, never heard it on MTV. (Yes, I used to expose my teenage-self to those forms of media) I don’t believe she knew how much that riveted my thoughts. Not sure, if I ever told her, come to think of it. So back then, I did what any other girl would do. I watched. I wanted to see if she’d stick true to her claim.

Leslie had always been the silent gorgeous. Quiet and stunning. (She’d probably hit me for saying this, but it’s true.) Her large watercolor eyes sparkled, changing hues depending on her outfit. No joke. The girl has some spectacular eyeballs.

I witnessed her turn down the fellas. I’ve seen her subdue her attitude around the boys so they wouldn’t get the wrong idea of her. I’ve see her dress modestly as to not attract the wrong attention. I was fascinated. Intrigued.

Fast forward a couple months. A guy named Aaron walks on the scene, and every girl between the ages of 15 to 25 has a crush on him. (*minus me, I had my eyes on my future hubby) Anyways, Aaron makes a similar declaration as Leslie. “The next girl I hold hands with is going to be my wife.” Basically saying, the next girl he dated, it was for forever. Now, my mind is double-blown. So again, I watched.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I lost everyday contact with Leslie with the exception of an email here or there. Yet one day, I get a letter in the mail from her. I opened it and the first sentence reads, “Aaron and I are getting married.” I cried. It was like watching God’s hand. During those two years prior, I observed their godly behavior and never once did they trip up. God upheld them. Honored them. Then God placed them together, and today they celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary!

Over the past fifteen years, they had been such a godly couple, caring for each other and for the three beautiful girls God had given them. Leslie and Aaron Reese, thank you for showing me true love begins with loving Jesus and living for Him. When we put God first, we can trust him to bring the right person in our lives.

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