“…And She Laughs Without Fear of the Future”

 

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A few days ago I read through an old blog that has been “retired”  http://blog.prayfordaisy.com/   that was written by the parents of a precious 8 year old girl who passed away years ago after three rounds of cancer.  The blog is overflowing with God’s grace and merciful, loving care in the midst of immense pain, heartache, and suffering.  Below are direct quotes from Kate Merrick in the blog that I found to be poignant and applicable to my life:

 


 

“Love. Love your babies, your husbands, mothers, sisters. Love each day like it’s your last. All you mamas out there, you have been entrusted with the precious gift of a human life who depends on you. Enjoy your gift. Breathe in the scent of your child’s hair, breath. Let them cook with you and make a mess of the kitchen. Play hide and seek with them, build sand castles with them, take them on picnics, read to them!  Listen to them, value and respect them, never shame them.  Your words they will carry with them their whole life and you have the power to give them wings or stunt their growth. Motherhood can be tough but it’s worth it. It can be exhausting, boring, tedious, but never for long. You blink and they’re grown.”—Kate Merrick

 

 

 

“Sometimes the feelings and fears and stresses of our struggle are overwhelming and my heart travels north, while other times mercifully it stays put, safely in the niche of my ribs.  This week has held much soul searching, much exhaustion of our circumstances.  Upon waking, tears escaped my eyes and slid into my hairline above my ears.  My much loved husband gently reminded me (much kinder than Westley disguised as the Dread Pirate Roberts so harshly says to Buttercup) that often, life is pain. It’s part of the human experience, and if you scratch the surface of anyone’s story you will find it.  No one is exempt.  We must face our fears, believing that we will be carried through and held up by the One who made us.  Do I only focus on what hurts and is hard and what is being withheld, or will I thank Him for what is good and right and given freely?  I must not believe God is my cosmic vending machine, spitting out only what I’ve inserted a crisp dollar for, but instead trusting God with where He takes us, not just with our desired outcome.  If I believe God is good and sovereign over my life as well as Daisy’s, circumstances need not dictate our general emotional state, need not cause us to roll into a ball and hide under the covers for longer than necessary.  God is my refuge and my strength. Yes, I’ve been singing this song for months, years; and this week I needed a fresh reminder.”—Kate Merrick

 

 

“…One last thought, as a parent and as a human being; opportunities to love surround us. When we take those opportunities time seems to stop, and in that timelessness is where memories are made and beauty is beheld.  We will never regret rising to the occasion.  I believe it has something to do with the fact that God is love and we are made in His image. Suffering isn’t what we are made for, but it can be fruitful in ways we could never imagine.  We love because He first loved us. “–Kate Merrick

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Good stuff, huh?

 After I read through highlights of that beautiful blog I found this link:  http://kmerrick.com/ to a trailer and the first chapter of a new book published that looks excellent, “And she still laughs: defiant joy in the depths of suffering” …… by Kate Merrick .  It looks like a great book.  John just ordered it for me.
 
 I appreciated this analogy and direct quote by Kate Merrick  from that first chapter in the link above.
 
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“…I realized that often I feel like one
of those baby birds. All scrawny and weak and feath-
erless and pathetic, unable to get my own nourishment,
mouth open wide, crying for something, anything. There
I am, sitting in shambles, poop everywhere, unable to fly,
crying out for something to get me through—to move
me beyond this state of helplessness. Jesus has been to
me like that mama bird: taking care of me, feeding me
tirelessly while I’m sitting scared and stuck. Day by day
he helps me to grow shiny feathers, until I will become
nourished by truth and ready to fly.”
—-Kate Merrick
“… So what shall I do? I shall look up,
open my mouth, and allow my All Sufficient One to feed my
soul. Looking to the Source I shall rejoice with laughing,
and mourn with weeping. I shall give from my emptiness;
I shall receive the offer of abundance. And I shall keep
right on going, moving ahead in life, taking steps of faith,
and keeping my eyes on the One who is invisible—who
has, in his generosity and continuous provision like that
mama bird, taught me to laugh without fear of the future.”
-Kate Merrick
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May we too, be like those little birds with mouths wide open to the All Sufficient One to feed our souls.

Paula

 

I hold you by your right hand- I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, “Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)

 

 

 

 

Gianna’s Gift

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Yesterday I got this email from a precious young woman who is a special friend of our girls:

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My Hair Donation in Honor of a Strong Woman I Know

Dear Paula and Family,

 
My birthday was March 4th,2017. I decided that I wanted to do something different to give back to those I have met throughout the years who have struggled from issues such as low self esteem, cancer, and suicidal tendencies.
 
So, I shaved all of my hair off. I will be sending it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths!
You may view the videos of me having it shaved off below, and feel free to share them with others:
 
 
 
Thank You Mrs. Paula for inspiring me as such as sweet, strong, woman of God.
 
I love you and will continue to keep you in my prayers. 😙
 
God Bless You,
Gianna
 
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Thank you dear Gianna for making the donation of your pretty hair ( to  http://pantene.com/en-us/brandexperience/about-the-program ) in my honor and in the honor of others!  I was moved by your lovely gift that will bless someone else who has lost her hair as I have in my battle against cancer.   BTW, you rock the bald look with those gorgeous eyes and dazzling smile!  You are beautiful inside and outside, Gianna!  Thank you! We love you.
P.S. Gianna was not referring to me in her reference to honoring those with suicidal tendencies with  with her hair donation.  Just thought I’d clarify that so nobody worries about me in that regard. 🙂  I consider every day as a precious gift from God, am hoping to live ’til a ripe old age,  and won’t be leaving this earth one moment before He takes me Home Sweet Home.
 
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“How big is your God?

Is He big enough to heal your marriage or heal your child? Is He bigger than a positive MRI or a negative evaluation? Is He bigger than your worst sin, greatest fear, or biggest dream?

If He is bigger than all of those things, then pray like it.”

-Mark Batterson

Solid Rock Under My Feet, Breathing Room for my Soul (Ps 62:5-8)

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Pondering different versions of Psalm 62:5-8

Psalm 62:5-8  (MSG)

God, the one and only—
    I’ll wait as long as he says.
Everything I hope for comes from him,
    so why not?
He’s solid rock under my feet,
    breathing room for my soul,
An impregnable castle:
    I’m set for life.

7-8 My help and glory are in God
    —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—
So trust him absolutely, people;
    lay your lives on the line for him.
    God is a safe place to be.

Psalm 62:5-8  (NLT)

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
    for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
    He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
    Pour out your heart to him,
    for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:5-8 (AMP)


For God alone my soul waits in silence and quietly submits to Him,
For my hope is from Him.

He only is my rock and my salvation;
My fortress and my defense, I will not be shaken or discouraged.

On God my salvation and my glory rest;
He is my rock of [unyielding] strength, my refuge is in God.

Trust [confidently] in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him.
God is a refuge for us.

Psalm 62:5-8 (CEV)

Only God gives inward peace,
    and I depend on him.
God alone is the mighty rock
    that keeps me safe,
    and he is the fortress
    where I feel secure.
God saves me and honors me.
    He is that mighty rock
    where I find safety.

Trust God, my friends,
    and always tell him
each one of your concerns.
    God is our place of safety.

Intentionally Building Our Best Word-Robe

"When we tested this drug on mice, nobody noticed any side effects." ...too funny ~ Reader's digest:

 

 

 

There are some excellent thoughts in this article:

http://annvoskamp.com/2017/02/how-to-be-intentional-about-building-our-best-word-robe/?utm_source=email+marketing+Mailigen&utm_campaign=daily-newsletter&utm_medium=email

 

“If today were your last, would you do what you’re doing? Or would you love more, give more, forgive more? Then do so! Forgive and give as if it were your last opportunity. Love like there’s no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again.” —Max Lucado

 

Thanking God for the gift of every day,

Paula