May 30, 2012

waiting in expectation


On bent knees and with a covered face I have fervently prayed for a specific need. A couple years have passed and I am still praying the same prayer. My knees have grown calloused as I call out to God. It has become very clear to me that my faith is being refined... and that God's timing is not the same as mine.

Month after month I have looked for God to provide an open door while inwardly asking,  Where are you, Jehovah Jireh? Like a grip that is loosening after growing tired of holding on for so long, I feel myself wavering. Yet it is now that I must resolve to trust - to stand firm and "re-grip" my faith in God's plan.

If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people. ~ Charles Spurgeon

Dear friends, there is so much joy and peace to be had when we rest in God's promises. While my heart quivers and my body grows faint by the fear I constantly battle against, I choose to believe that God is in control. And while I wait I will continue to strive for His glory as He prepares me for His answer.

Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let Your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in You. Psalm 33:20-22

Waiting! Yes, patiently waiting!
Till next steps made plain shall be;
To hear, with the inner hearing,
The Voice that will call for me.

Waiting! Yes, hopefully waiting!
With hope that need not grow dim;
The Master is pledged to guide me,
And my eyes are unto Him.

Waiting! Expectantly waiting!
Perhaps it may be today
The Master will quickly open
The gate to my future way.

Waiting! Yes, waiting! still waiting!
I know, though I’ve waited long,
That while He withholds His purpose,
His waiting cannot be wrong.

Waiting! Yes, waiting! still waiting!
The Master will not be late;
He knoweth that I am waiting
For Him to unlatch the gate.

~ J. Danson Smith 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Other great verses and quotes on waiting...

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning,  more than watchmen for the morning. Psalm 130:4-5

Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be. ~ John Ortberg 

Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work.
~ Peter Marshall

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

What then are we to do about our problems? We must learn to live with them until such time as God delivers us from them…we must pray for grace to endure them without murmuring. Problems patiently endured will work for our spiritual perfecting. They harm us only when we resist them or endure them unwillingly. ~ A.W. Tozer


May 24, 2012

A day in the life... {a Mayes family outing}

The strawberry season is nearing its final days here in North Carolina (at least in my neck of the woods). And boy does my family love strawberries. So, a couple weekends ago Aaron and I packed up the boys and made our way down to a local family farm to pick some of the juicy, red berries.


Even though Grant's anxiety can make outings more complex, Aaron and I are determined to pursue "normal" family activities as much as possible.


Grant's attention span has continually been getting shorter (or it's just getting more and more obvious as it greatly hinders his cognitive and social development), so I get excited about hands-on activities that engage him and foster learning.

Unfortunately, even with much preparation, Grant's anxiety spiked and he resisted leaving the comforts of the car. But my sweet, loving husband put forth a great effort to teach him how to pick a couple strawberries and then led him to another part of the farm so I could focus on filling our carton.


Wesley was a big helper. He stayed by my side and diligently picked the choicest berries.



After the strawberry farm, we headed out to Misty Meadows, a beautiful horse farm, for their annual Mighty Riders Spring Fling.


Grant enjoyed watching the equestrian shows and clapped, with much enthusiasm, along with the rest of the crowd.

Harry and Marilyn Swimmer, owners of Misty Meadows Farm, have huge hearts for children with special needs and developed a wonderful therapeutic program (learn more about it here: miteyriders.org). We are hoping Grant will get into the program when he turns five.


Sweet Grant, all tuckered out... In addition to ADHD and anxiety, Grant struggles with hypotonia (low muscle tone). So he tends to get fatigued a little easier. I can't help but to give him a few smooches while he is calmly sleeping on Daddy's shoulder. 


When we got home the boys enjoyed big heaps of fresh strawberries. They were bowl-licking delicious! I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning and preparing the strawberries for homemade jam, bread, cake, and strawberry-rhubarb crisp. Yum!


That evening we went for a walk and I was reminded of all the pockets of good times we have as a family. Life can be difficult, but we have much to be thankful for...


... and with the Lord's grace, we keep truckin' along. :)


I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 121

May 18, 2012

Teach me the truth {that never fades}


Make me to know Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:4-5

May 11, 2012

He came to heal {a short story}

And He [Jesus] went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So His fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought Him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and He healed them. And great crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. Matthew 4:23-25
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thick dust swirled up around my body with every step I took - each one bringing me closer to the destination of the five-day journey. My whole body ached as I urged myself to keep up with the caravan's steady pace under the hot, unrelenting sun. Thankfully, the jolting rhythm of the cart had rocked my son, Doron, to sleep.  

"Oh my precious Doron," I whispered, "how I wish I could make you better."

It had been obvious for years that something was very wrong with my son. In the beginning it had been easy to cover up his unseen illness from others, but as he grew from a baby to a boy it became very clear to all that he was sick with an unfamiliar disease. My husband and I frequently met with the priests and we spent our savings paying for sacrifices, begging Yahweh for healing. Alas, it seemed our petitions would not be answered. But my husband refused to give up hope and had recently heard that the great teacher, called Jesus, who could perform miracles was once again passing through Capernaum. There had even been rumors that he was the long-awaited Messiah. Unfortunately, my husband couldn't leave our little shop in Jerusalem so it was up to me to make the journey with our son.

With each step I took, I nursed my bitterness. Why did God give me such heartache? I felt it was wrong for the Creator to cripple my son's mind. Was He punishing me? I tried to follow the law the best I could. We made all the proper sacrifices, but even so, my son battled an unseen illness while I battled the judgmental murmurs that rippled around me as I walked to the market. Many nights I spent weeping and mourning the life I had been given.

With great relief the caravan finally arrived at the thriving fishing village. While my weary body throbbed with exhaustion, I knew I had to press on to find this great teacher everyone was talking about. It wasn't long before I could make out a swarming mass of people.

The crowd grew thicker as I inched my way closer to the voice speaking with authority. I could hear the teacher preaching and quoting the words of the prophets. I prayed my son would continue sleeping as I tried to weave my way through the crowd. But no one wanted to let me through.

"I need to see the teacher - the healer," I cried. "My son is sick. Please, please let me through."

One man roughly shoved me back and snarled, "Move aside, you filthy woman." I stumbled and fell to my knees. It was useless. I had come all this way for nothing.

Suddenly the crowd grew very still and I felt a shadow envelope my body. I looked up and saw Jesus standing nearby, his gaze directly on me. With shaky hands, I laid my son at the teacher's feet and bowed low. I began pleading through my tears, "Oh great healer, please, please help! We have traveled a long distance for a miracle. Have mercy!"

Quietly, Jesus knelt beside me and put his hands on my head. Wait. What was he doing? He began to pray over me.

"No, Master," I dared to interrupt. "Not me - my son - my son needs to be healed."

Jesus replied in a gentle yet commanding voice that calmed my soul, "Beloved, I have come to heal the sick - to bind up the wounds of the brokenhearted. My dear woman, I created your son for a great purpose. It is you who needs healing. You are hurting. You have carried the burden of guilt, sorrow, and fear for too long. Cast all your cares on me and I will give you rest. Release your unbelief and take up my yoke. Believe in Me... I am the way, and the truth, and the life."
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

As [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' Jesus answered, 'It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.' John 9:1-3
~ ~ ~ ~
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30


May 5, 2012

a joyful noise


While passing the day I often sing praise songs, hymns, and the boys' favorite "Sunday school" songs (and, occasionally, the national anthem - yes, there is a story there).

Now my youngest has begun to sing while he plays. In the background you can hear his little voice sing over and over, "B-I-B-I-Beeee... Meeee! Bible!" Apparently his favorite song is The B-I-B-L-E.

Add that to my list of things I will treasure all my life... What sweetness!

May 1, 2012

Redirecting Sorrow

Like a bear stretching from a long winter slumber, so my family has enjoyed emerging from the past couple weeks filled with illness, colder weather, and unusual schedules.

Oh how good it feels to deeply breathe the fresh air and run and laugh until our sides hurt!






. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I must admit my mommy feelings are on overdrive right now. I watch my youngest grasp his milk cup with his small, pudgy, toddler fingers. He peers over the top of the cup with his subtle blue eyes and they squint with a smile... and I blink back tears.

A few weeks ago Aaron painted over our striped baby room and transformed it into Wesley's big-boy room. Truth be told, I wept. I expected to be a little sad, but I didn't expect my heart to pulse with grief. I was caught off guard by the intense emotion.

As dear friends announce pregnancies and have more babies, I am left aching to have another child. Alas, Aaron and I decided, because I am a Fragile X carrier and because of the high demands related to raising a child with significant special needs, we will stay a family of four. And I stand by that decision - I think. :)

Perhaps it is just a case of me wanting what I cannot have (I am very fickle like that)...

However, this heartache has opened my eyes to the many women around me who cannot have children - for whatever reason. Quickly I realized how self-focused I have been. I am so very blessed to have two wonderful boys. It is impossible to hold back a smile when I think of all the joy they have brought to my life. What great contentment my heart finds in dwelling on what God has graciously given me!

I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

Therefore, instead of focusing on my wants, I will praise God for what I do have and pray for the women who yearn to have a child of their own to hold and love. 

 

My precious boys... sweet gifts from God.


May 30, 2012

waiting in expectation


On bent knees and with a covered face I have fervently prayed for a specific need. A couple years have passed and I am still praying the same prayer. My knees have grown calloused as I call out to God. It has become very clear to me that my faith is being refined... and that God's timing is not the same as mine.

Month after month I have looked for God to provide an open door while inwardly asking,  Where are you, Jehovah Jireh? Like a grip that is loosening after growing tired of holding on for so long, I feel myself wavering. Yet it is now that I must resolve to trust - to stand firm and "re-grip" my faith in God's plan.

If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people. ~ Charles Spurgeon

Dear friends, there is so much joy and peace to be had when we rest in God's promises. While my heart quivers and my body grows faint by the fear I constantly battle against, I choose to believe that God is in control. And while I wait I will continue to strive for His glory as He prepares me for His answer.

Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let Your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in You. Psalm 33:20-22

Waiting! Yes, patiently waiting!
Till next steps made plain shall be;
To hear, with the inner hearing,
The Voice that will call for me.

Waiting! Yes, hopefully waiting!
With hope that need not grow dim;
The Master is pledged to guide me,
And my eyes are unto Him.

Waiting! Expectantly waiting!
Perhaps it may be today
The Master will quickly open
The gate to my future way.

Waiting! Yes, waiting! still waiting!
I know, though I’ve waited long,
That while He withholds His purpose,
His waiting cannot be wrong.

Waiting! Yes, waiting! still waiting!
The Master will not be late;
He knoweth that I am waiting
For Him to unlatch the gate.

~ J. Danson Smith 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Other great verses and quotes on waiting...

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning,  more than watchmen for the morning. Psalm 130:4-5

Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be. ~ John Ortberg 

Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work.
~ Peter Marshall

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

What then are we to do about our problems? We must learn to live with them until such time as God delivers us from them…we must pray for grace to endure them without murmuring. Problems patiently endured will work for our spiritual perfecting. They harm us only when we resist them or endure them unwillingly. ~ A.W. Tozer



Pin It

May 24, 2012

A day in the life... {a Mayes family outing}

The strawberry season is nearing its final days here in North Carolina (at least in my neck of the woods). And boy does my family love strawberries. So, a couple weekends ago Aaron and I packed up the boys and made our way down to a local family farm to pick some of the juicy, red berries.


Even though Grant's anxiety can make outings more complex, Aaron and I are determined to pursue "normal" family activities as much as possible.


Grant's attention span has continually been getting shorter (or it's just getting more and more obvious as it greatly hinders his cognitive and social development), so I get excited about hands-on activities that engage him and foster learning.

Unfortunately, even with much preparation, Grant's anxiety spiked and he resisted leaving the comforts of the car. But my sweet, loving husband put forth a great effort to teach him how to pick a couple strawberries and then led him to another part of the farm so I could focus on filling our carton.


Wesley was a big helper. He stayed by my side and diligently picked the choicest berries.



After the strawberry farm, we headed out to Misty Meadows, a beautiful horse farm, for their annual Mighty Riders Spring Fling.


Grant enjoyed watching the equestrian shows and clapped, with much enthusiasm, along with the rest of the crowd.

Harry and Marilyn Swimmer, owners of Misty Meadows Farm, have huge hearts for children with special needs and developed a wonderful therapeutic program (learn more about it here: miteyriders.org). We are hoping Grant will get into the program when he turns five.


Sweet Grant, all tuckered out... In addition to ADHD and anxiety, Grant struggles with hypotonia (low muscle tone). So he tends to get fatigued a little easier. I can't help but to give him a few smooches while he is calmly sleeping on Daddy's shoulder. 


When we got home the boys enjoyed big heaps of fresh strawberries. They were bowl-licking delicious! I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning and preparing the strawberries for homemade jam, bread, cake, and strawberry-rhubarb crisp. Yum!


That evening we went for a walk and I was reminded of all the pockets of good times we have as a family. Life can be difficult, but we have much to be thankful for...


... and with the Lord's grace, we keep truckin' along. :)


I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 121


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May 18, 2012

Teach me the truth {that never fades}


Make me to know Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:4-5


Pin It

May 11, 2012

He came to heal {a short story}

And He [Jesus] went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So His fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought Him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and He healed them. And great crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. Matthew 4:23-25
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thick dust swirled up around my body with every step I took - each one bringing me closer to the destination of the five-day journey. My whole body ached as I urged myself to keep up with the caravan's steady pace under the hot, unrelenting sun. Thankfully, the jolting rhythm of the cart had rocked my son, Doron, to sleep.  

"Oh my precious Doron," I whispered, "how I wish I could make you better."

It had been obvious for years that something was very wrong with my son. In the beginning it had been easy to cover up his unseen illness from others, but as he grew from a baby to a boy it became very clear to all that he was sick with an unfamiliar disease. My husband and I frequently met with the priests and we spent our savings paying for sacrifices, begging Yahweh for healing. Alas, it seemed our petitions would not be answered. But my husband refused to give up hope and had recently heard that the great teacher, called Jesus, who could perform miracles was once again passing through Capernaum. There had even been rumors that he was the long-awaited Messiah. Unfortunately, my husband couldn't leave our little shop in Jerusalem so it was up to me to make the journey with our son.

With each step I took, I nursed my bitterness. Why did God give me such heartache? I felt it was wrong for the Creator to cripple my son's mind. Was He punishing me? I tried to follow the law the best I could. We made all the proper sacrifices, but even so, my son battled an unseen illness while I battled the judgmental murmurs that rippled around me as I walked to the market. Many nights I spent weeping and mourning the life I had been given.

With great relief the caravan finally arrived at the thriving fishing village. While my weary body throbbed with exhaustion, I knew I had to press on to find this great teacher everyone was talking about. It wasn't long before I could make out a swarming mass of people.

The crowd grew thicker as I inched my way closer to the voice speaking with authority. I could hear the teacher preaching and quoting the words of the prophets. I prayed my son would continue sleeping as I tried to weave my way through the crowd. But no one wanted to let me through.

"I need to see the teacher - the healer," I cried. "My son is sick. Please, please let me through."

One man roughly shoved me back and snarled, "Move aside, you filthy woman." I stumbled and fell to my knees. It was useless. I had come all this way for nothing.

Suddenly the crowd grew very still and I felt a shadow envelope my body. I looked up and saw Jesus standing nearby, his gaze directly on me. With shaky hands, I laid my son at the teacher's feet and bowed low. I began pleading through my tears, "Oh great healer, please, please help! We have traveled a long distance for a miracle. Have mercy!"

Quietly, Jesus knelt beside me and put his hands on my head. Wait. What was he doing? He began to pray over me.

"No, Master," I dared to interrupt. "Not me - my son - my son needs to be healed."

Jesus replied in a gentle yet commanding voice that calmed my soul, "Beloved, I have come to heal the sick - to bind up the wounds of the brokenhearted. My dear woman, I created your son for a great purpose. It is you who needs healing. You are hurting. You have carried the burden of guilt, sorrow, and fear for too long. Cast all your cares on me and I will give you rest. Release your unbelief and take up my yoke. Believe in Me... I am the way, and the truth, and the life."
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

As [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' Jesus answered, 'It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.' John 9:1-3
~ ~ ~ ~
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30



Pin It

May 5, 2012

a joyful noise


While passing the day I often sing praise songs, hymns, and the boys' favorite "Sunday school" songs (and, occasionally, the national anthem - yes, there is a story there).

Now my youngest has begun to sing while he plays. In the background you can hear his little voice sing over and over, "B-I-B-I-Beeee... Meeee! Bible!" Apparently his favorite song is The B-I-B-L-E.

Add that to my list of things I will treasure all my life... What sweetness!


Pin It

May 1, 2012

Redirecting Sorrow

Like a bear stretching from a long winter slumber, so my family has enjoyed emerging from the past couple weeks filled with illness, colder weather, and unusual schedules.

Oh how good it feels to deeply breathe the fresh air and run and laugh until our sides hurt!






. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I must admit my mommy feelings are on overdrive right now. I watch my youngest grasp his milk cup with his small, pudgy, toddler fingers. He peers over the top of the cup with his subtle blue eyes and they squint with a smile... and I blink back tears.

A few weeks ago Aaron painted over our striped baby room and transformed it into Wesley's big-boy room. Truth be told, I wept. I expected to be a little sad, but I didn't expect my heart to pulse with grief. I was caught off guard by the intense emotion.

As dear friends announce pregnancies and have more babies, I am left aching to have another child. Alas, Aaron and I decided, because I am a Fragile X carrier and because of the high demands related to raising a child with significant special needs, we will stay a family of four. And I stand by that decision - I think. :)

Perhaps it is just a case of me wanting what I cannot have (I am very fickle like that)...

However, this heartache has opened my eyes to the many women around me who cannot have children - for whatever reason. Quickly I realized how self-focused I have been. I am so very blessed to have two wonderful boys. It is impossible to hold back a smile when I think of all the joy they have brought to my life. What great contentment my heart finds in dwelling on what God has graciously given me!

I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

Therefore, instead of focusing on my wants, I will praise God for what I do have and pray for the women who yearn to have a child of their own to hold and love. 

 

My precious boys... sweet gifts from God.



Pin It