Puddles

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I sat there warm by the fire amidst the snow-capped hills so many saved dollars and a million expectations in, as the perfect weekend that had played out in my mind time and time again seemed to be crumbling at the seams. It can be so easy to make oceans out of the puddles of our problems. Yet, these times, just me and him, quiet, still—so rare, so precious. But there he was lying alone, hollow in that hotel bed, struggling to breathe and fight those heavy lids that matched my heavy heart. He was sick and I was unsympathetic. With a bitter heart and unmasked disappointment, I was sure my pity party would at least make him feel guilty for ruining our perfect plans if it couldn’t change the truth of the situation. He asked me to lie with him and I childishly shook my head. He couldn’t help but fall deeply into an unsound sleep, each labored breath serving as a reminder of the moments we wouldn’t spend together. The enemy had me trapped right where he wanted me, bound to that leather chair across the room, thoughts traveling to all of the times the Renaissance man had “let me down”, to all of the prayers I had prayed over this weekend that were going unanswered. God, don’t you love me enough to give me this one gift?

The truth is, when we cry out to God, He answers.

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He reminded me that just that morning I stood weeping on the front steps of my neighbor’s home, staring grief in the face as we clasped hands and shared in the mourning of the loss of her husband and her sorrowful encouragement to always love my family well. He reminded me that just that afternoon, I poured tears over the grief-filled words penned in a letter from a relative whose husband had just been laid to rest. Both taken too soon, both taken by cancer. Both leaving a hollow mark in the hearts of the wives who would do anything to once more be beside the one to whom they said their vows, hear them breathe just one more breath, labored may it be, feel their heart beat one more time, respond to the their request to  ‘come lie with me’ just once more.

“Yes, I love you.” my Creator speaks to me. “I love you enough to remind you, even in your selfishness, even in your lack of gratitude that this life is full of beautiful gifts that can’t forever on this earth be held —and right now you’re gift is lying right in front of you. Take this time to rest and cherish what you have. Take this time to love your family well.”

I stripped off my socks, shoes and pride and curled up next to the one I love. Wrapped my arms around him and thanked God for that moment of stillness surrounded by the beauty of his creation. I listened as each labored breath now serving as a reminder that he, in this moment, was here. That God had granted me one more day to love and be loved by this man.

It wasn’t what I pictured. A weekend away with no kids, filled with Kleenex and cough drops. Mustering just enough energy to enjoy the slopes and scenery. Yet, in the end, it was exactly what my soul needed. True R&R for the heart in the form of deep Reflection & Restored gratitude. It’s in these messy real life moments that our love grows for one another—stronger, profounder, and more deeply anchored in Christ.

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xo,
Tamara

WorshipI love music & I love to share it. Each song is for each post. Listen and Enjoy! You Make Beautiful Things
Reflection:
Gratitude:  Are you facing any puddle-sized problems that you are currently turning into ocean-sized ones? What areas of disappointment can you surrender to Christ and find in them a reason to praise?
Grow:  How has God loved you well? How can you pour out the love and blessings he has poured into you and unconditionally love your family well?
Give: “Love suffers long and is kind” 1 Corinthians 13:4.  What does it mean for Love to suffer and for Love to be kind? What is one way you can live this out today?

Each LSLW post includes three areas of reflection in hopes to offer a chance for us to give thanks, grow in our personal faith and find ways to pour out from our lives what Christ has poured into us.

© Tamara Gurley 2014

Treasure

This gallery contains 4 photos.

She stared across the room at the girl who held the gift she so desperately wanted and dreamed of what it would be like to hold that beautifully ornate box in her hands. The jealously that welled up from deep … Continue reading

Found

couldn’t tell you what the speaker said that night

What songs were sung

Who I sat next to or what I wore

Why I was even in that lecture hall

found (2)But I can tell you, that through the brisk cold air the short walk back to my dorm room seemed like an eternity as the weight of the call to stop living one foot in and one foot out came crashing down on me.

It wasn’t like a 1,000 ton brick or a fierce storm, it was in the way God speaks–in the stillness, in the whispers.

That night as I sat through a Campus Crusade Meeting he whispered to my heart—“I want you, Tamara. I want all of you, and I want to be all you want because I promise, I am all you need.”

I fumbled through the front doors of my 23-story building, dreading the elevator ride to the only home I had. A room with 5 girls I barely knew and who barely knew me—at least not the real version of myself, just the one I pretended to be.

Thoughts swarmed in my mind like bees in search of nectar, or a rebellious soul in search of forgiveness. Accepting forgiveness for every false god I placed before you to provide me the temporary fix I needed to feel loved, to feel wanted, to feel numb. Could I trust you enough to give all of that up? And if I did, would my broken and repentant heart truly be forgiven?

Again, I hear your voice as the elevator climbs, “I want you, Tamara. I want all of you, and I want to be all you want, because I promise, I am all you need. And it’ll be worth it, it’ll be so very worth it.”

It was a beautiful fall morning, when my children and I paid a visit to Target for what should have been a quick in & out type trip. Mid-way through gathering the few items we needed, my fire-filled son jumped out of the cart and took off running, instantly out of my sight.
I couldn’t find him.
I called his name and he didn’t come.
I was so desperate to see him running back toward me because the thought of losing him was more than unbearable, it was impossible. He had to be found.

I imagine, that long and weary night over 10 years ago began with Jesus being desperate for me. He had called me by name so many times and I didn’t answer. All he wanted was to see me turn around and come running back to his arms where he had always been waiting. Waiting to wrap me in forgiveness, shower me in healing and set me on the foundation of his love which is only birthed through trust.

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I found Josiah, fittingly, in the candy aisle. So many sweet temptations that drew him far from the safety of my arms. I grabbed him in love, not in anger for his disobedience, to let him know I would never, ever give up searching for him. He stared those soft, big brown eyes right into mine and sweetly spoke these words as if we had been playing a game, “mommy, you found me.” And the only words I could muster were, “I love you.” 

I unlocked the door to my dorm and tripping over a line of passed out college kids laying on the living room floor, I went into my room, shut the door and fell on my bed, tears streaming down my face. Through heaves of breath and sobs of sorrow, I answered God that night with the only words I could speak, “you found me, Jesus, you found me.”

He didn’t punish me, he didn’t turn his back, instead he simply answered, ” I love you, Tamara. You are my beloved child, and in you I am well pleased.”

And yes, it’s been so very worth it…

Reflection
Gratitude:“After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” 1 Kings 19:12. When is the last time you heard God’s voice whisper something to your heart? Thank God that He speaks to His children and that He has given us the gift of recognizing his voice.
Grow: “But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” Rev 3:16. Are there any areas that you are struggling to walk in full obedience to Christ?  Where are you living one foot in and one foot out?
Give: “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ Luke 15:6b. Are we as desperate as we should be for those who don’t know Jesus? What part of your story can you begin sharing with loved ones, friends, neighbors that shows the beauty of God’s pursuit of you?
Worship: I love music & I love to share it. Each song is for each post. Listen and Enjoy! Worth It All

Each LSLW post includes three areas of reflection in hopes to offer a chance for us to give thanks, grow in our personal faith and find ways to pour out from our lives what Christ has poured into us.

© Tamara Gurley 2014