Peace in the Storm

In the Moment

Was it ever going to stop?!!

My mind was racing in so many different directions much like the raging wind storm outside my vulnerable home living on a foundation of wheels nestled on the edge of my sleepy little town.

This hot and muggy summer morning was anything but sleepy as the raging twirling winds and the pounding rain battered the outside walls and shook the windows mercilessly. A dark blue and green sky blanketed my world.

As I grabbed my 6 year old girl with one hand and dragged her down the hall in panick, my other arm clenched my 9 month old daughter in the tightest football hold against my chest…trying to protect my little family as best I could in this moment from the unknown in my shaking home.

In those fleeting moments my mind flashed back to all my fears of storms as a little girl…

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Legacy of Love

In the Moment

Good-byes had been said for the two months prior to this day since my grandma had been given the fateful news of brain cancer.

My best friend was leaving earth this day as she was taking her final breath with her family surrounding her.

I had prepared, as one really can, for this day in my heart since I had been a child, and now being 28 years old and a mother to three young daughters , no preparation really was ever enough, but what was enough was God preparing my heart from my loss as I drove to the hospital in the early hours of that October chilly night leaving my sleeping family tucked in their beds.

I drove the few miles gripping the wheel with uncertainty of what I would encounter, and in that moment I offered up a prayer of help for my grieving heart and for…

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Mirror Mirror

In the Moment

Barely tall enough, my little chin gently touched the top of the brown shiny dresser built new in the sixties, my eyes gazed intently into the marbled mirror, the copper lines fading across from end to end telling of its age.

A partial wisp of medium brown hair cut into a pixie as my dad always preferred so as not to hide my eyes, came into view. Half a brown eye sitting on top of a chubby dimpled cheek gazed at the whitewashed tile ceiling that came into view bordered by the view of a matching dresser.

I was always trying to find new things in the reflection in my young world.

My reflection in the mirror was tainted by a number of things. The sight line because of my young self… the cracks in the mirror…it all did not give me a true reflection of the True me and…

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Here For a Reason

In the Moment

I used to think the Billy Grahams of the world where the only people chosen for such a life of influence. The mass crowds over the decades, the changed lives as a result of one man’s influence and obedience to his calling and gifting. How could one match such greatness and influence.. where would one begin..

well… in the same place Billy Graham did. He was born into a modest family in South Carolina.. mom, dad, brothers, sisters. He grew up on a farm working hard from an early age as was common. He did what young boys did barefoot in the Carolina dirt, fighting on occasion with his siblings and even disobeying his parents once in a while I will venture to guess.

Sounds like almost anyone on the planet even if one couldn’t identify with family and siblings… you were all young boys and girls once upon a…

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He Knows You By Name

In the Moment

What’s in a name?

Our tiny bodies get a label as we make our way into this world. Culture, interests, religion, meanings, and more guide us in our choices for a name in our first attempt at identity.

In the summer of 1965 I entered this world with a smile as my mother tells it, so my middle name became Joy. Years later I searched the meaning of my first name Arlene and found it to mean “The Lovely Promise”. I don’t believe my mother knew the meaning as she named me yet it has spoken to my identity.

I always wanted to change my name growing up since I had never heard of the name Arlene before. I’m glad now I didn’t change it. The meaning has spoken to my heart over the years and I don’t think it was by accident…

The “Lovely Promise of Joy”

Working in…

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The Notebook

In the Moment

Hurrying to my dad’s 1974 Ford pickup during my school lunch hour in my grade 12 year 35 years ago now, I jumped in and started it, heading out to the local burger joint to meet my regular group of friends.

I spotted a not-so-perfect note fluttering in the wind tucked tightly behind the windshield wipers. As I pulled into the local burger joint I could hardly wait to put my dad’s truck into park to read the mystery note even though I knew who wrote it. I jumped out and slipped the note quickly out from under the wiper. I opened it. It read:

Meet you at the restaurant..love me

Nothing earth shattering or fancy by any standards but to my heart it left a flutter because it came from the one I loved.. my future husband. 35 years of birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas and anniversary cards later, my…

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“Fear Not”

In the Moment

As she popped the tasty morsel of decadent chocolate dessert in her mouth, my daughter’s eyes instantly got that look I had come to recognize all too quickly. She jumped up from the dining room table and said with a tone of angst..

“I got to get to the ER!”

I knew instantly that the situation was dire…we’d been here before.

Rushing out the door with her dad right behind her, decision already made, her eight month old nursing baby stayed happily in her aunties arms.

I rushed out behind them and jumped into the back seat right behind my daughter who had already settled in the front seat..eyes intently gazing forward swallowing slowly in a very calm way as to keep her throat from swelling too quickly as anaphylaxis started settling in.

My daughter had been diagnosed allergic to cashew nuts at the age of 3 after a scary…

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Living Water

In the Moment

Placing the thin long-handled metal ladle under the thin spout in the farm milk house, I could hardly wait for the icy cold well water to fill the wide mouth ladle to the top.

Tiny beads of sweat sat on my eight-year-old forehead from the sultering midsummer heat. I could hardly wait for the ladel of iciness to touch my lips…the metal taste of the ladle just complimented the dance in my mouth.

Hours before, my young self had followed my uncle to the other side of the farmyard, two large metal shiny pails of ice cold water splashing slightly over the rims with each step in each hand for the bellowing calves living in the old cow barn. They too needed to quench that incredible thirst in the July heat.

Happy but tired from all the farm life activities, I was now spilling icy drops of the water as…

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He loves me…

In the Moment

Hanging out in the backyard of my family home in the ’70s, my young self dressed in green shorts and a matching green tank top my mom had sewn(as she did in those days and for many years to come), I wandered around admiring the array of blooms planted and unwanted from the orange lilies planted at the back of our house to the white petaled daisies to the dandy lions peeking through after the Saturday mowing by my dad.

My young heart was already then looking to make someone smile, so that day a hand-picked bouquet for my mom was first on my mind. As I gathered an array of blooms, my eye caught the pretty petals of the daisies as they sat perfectly in the gathered bouquet in my little fist.

I remembered the children’s rhyme: “He loves me… He loves me not… He loves me”.. and as…

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Eyes Wide Shut

In the Moment

Walking through the tail end of suffering through a nasty bout of pink eye, my eyes were finally capable of opening fully as the last bits of gritty sand like feeling finally left me.

For a good week my swollen eyes had been working hard to open with much effort, they felt like they were opened as far as I could stretch them yet I was startled to see them only half open and swollen when I glanced at my reflection in the mirror in passing. There seemed to be a disconnect between what my mind was telling me and what I was seeing in the mirror (life).

Thinking back to this very uncomfortable experience, I can’t help but think that there is a big correlation between what we tend to think in our head to what we see with our eyes at times. Our hurts from the past and…

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