Monday, October 27, 2014

The Sweetest Flower

The chill of October steals into my room tonight and my  fingers, brittle with cold, touch the keys and write. 

And I remember colder days . . . 

It was the winter after my Dad left.

Barren, frozen winter and the days were cold and the nights wailed colder. 

We had no heat upstairs,

So my sister and I piled blankets high on our beds and we slept in the icy ache and we could see our breath in the morning. 

So cold that your bones creaked and your coffee cooled as soon as you brought it upstairs. 

It was the winter after he left, and we had nothing--

My sister and I worked at McDonald's --it was the only place where we could find a job --and the only place where we could both get a ride to every morning --

We sold almost all of our furniture. 

Because he left. Left us with nothing. 

Except Jesus. 

So our refrigerator was almost bare and we scraped and we sold what we could and the Lord was merciful to us and brought us through that wretched winter. 

Then the spring came and the days warmed and I remember thinking how good the new warmth felt on my frozen fingers.

How good . . . the Lord was and brought us through that winter--that winter of black nights and stifled tears and bitter memories. 

Brought us through. 

And it's easy to trust the Lord when all is well-- 

When circumstances dance hunky-dory around our days and a trip to Disneyland beckons in the distance.

It's easy to say that we trust Him when the money is rolling in and our bank account is padded and our children are not answering back and our cakes are never burnt.

It's easy to trust Him then. 

But take away every support, every aid, let the money in the bank dwindle, let the body be wasted by a disease or by debilitating depression or emotional pain.

Let the heart be wrent by an adulterous affair or a spouse who doesn't care or a child who turns bitter-prodigal.

Will we trust Him then? 

When our hands are cold and our hearts distressed and we can see the breath of our pain through the shadows? 

These are the times when our faith is tested --when we see that --

God moves in a mysterious way, His mercies to perform
He plants His footsteps on the sea and rides upon the storm

And we must--

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for his grace 
Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face. 

And today I walked under clouds, under cold October clouds that threatened to rain down. 

I saw a tiny, innocent sparrow, wing hurt, hopping under the leaves in someones' garden, and my hands were full with my two babies, so there was nothing I could do but leave it in God's hands--

And my heart was heavy, too--with a prayer unanswered and the heavens seem brass--

And yet--

The promise of His grace--

His purposes will ripen fast unfolding every hour
The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower.

And I read about it today in my sister's story that she's been writing, read of barrenness and silence and the brass heavens. 

Until mercy moved and the unexpected came and the prayer was answered. 


By the God of mercy, the God who turns winter to spring and who heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds and who waits that He may be gracious to us.


Because what sometimes seems like unanswered silence is only a ripening bud--

That the flower may be sweet - a glorious bloom in the spring of answered prayer.

So I wait upon Him--

In hope. 

You might find me on these link-ups:

Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, Yes They Are All Ours, Missional Call, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, So Much at Home, Raising Homemakers, Hope in Every SeasonA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries, Whole-Hearted Home, A Soft Gentle Voice, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Messy Marriage, My Teacher's Name is Mama, The Charm of Home, Graced Simplicity, Children Are A Blessing, Mittenstate Sheep and Wool, Imparting Grace, Preparedness Mama, A Look at the Book, Essential Thing Devotions, Count My Blessings, Beauty Observed, Christian Mommy Blogger, Renewed Daily,


  1. This is lovely. I've been cold like that but never bereft like that. Thank you for sharing about the warmth of God's grace.

  2. BEAUTIFUL! Thank you so much for sharing! <3

  3. I can completely relate. My father left when I was very young and it was devastating. I wish I would have had faith at that point in my life. I'm thankful to know today that God is real and will always bring the warmth of Spring. Thank you for this beautiful reminder!

  4. So many hurting hearts, so much pain... If we lean on Him and love Him now, there is a promise of the next world where it may always be spring.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful writing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays.

    1. You're welcome, JES! Thank you for hosting the link-up; have a blessed weekend :-).

  5. Precious words and insight into the heart of truly loving and following God. It is in the hard moments, the painful struggling moments, that we meet His sufficiency and know that the ultimate richness is the seeping of His life into our soul. It was a blessing to visit with your words this morning. Thank you for sharing!

    1. You're welcome, Dawn! Have a blessed weekend--:-)

  6. absolutely beautiful! I love how you placed the hymn into your writing! I just looked it up in my hymnal as I was unfamiliar with "God Moves in a Mysterious Way." Thank you for linking up at theology Thursdays! YOU WERE FEATURED!

    1. Thank you, Jessica! That hymn always touches my heart when I'm going through "deep waters."

      Thank you for featuring me and for hosting the link-up! Have a blessed week. :-)

  7. Wonderful post about your experience with faith. It is amazing if we looked around to discover what people have been through. God bless you.