Celia’s prayer & pelicans

Flock of pelicans for book

Photo copyright 2017 Lori Heavner. Used with permission

From the book ‘Finding Hope in the Olde Fishing Village’ by Abigail Sands.

“Oh, God, if you can hear me, if you’re listening, please help me. Please change me. I can’t stand myself. I feel like such a waste of a human life. I want to be different but I don’t know how. The pain inside of me is so big. The disappointments and hurts suffocate me, I can’t breathe. It’s like an invisible hand around my throat, strangling me. I want to be free of the pain. Help me.” Celia’s soul cried out with little expectation of response.

Something flowed over Celia, giving her a sensation as if her insides had experienced the cleansing of a refreshing spring shower. A bit of a weight seemed to lift off of her. She felt as if the sea breeze had blown through her entire being. Sunlight shimmered and sparkled on the surface of the water reflecting a rainbow of colors like multitudes of gems. A few cork floats bobbed on the surface of the water, occasionally disrupting the dancing specks of sunlight.

Catching movement in her peripheral field of vision, Celia viewed a squadron of brown pelicans advancing from her left. Her eyes took in the scene as the large sea birds silently approached. Gliding gracefully, the birds passed in front of her in a jagged line. The last pelicans seemed to contentedly trust the leading of the first. No noise, no conflict, no contention. How did the birds know that they would arrive at a good destination? What if the leader made a poor decision? What if something bad happened? Within moments the group had quietly disappeared from view, leaving no evidence of their having passed through the panorama of grayish sky. The only remnant of their passing was the visual imprint stamped into Celia’s thoughts. Celia slowly rose, brushed the sand from her capris and slid her feet into her sandals. The peacefulness which had settled over her seemed to have chased off the lethargy…”

Will Celia allow God to be her ‘leader’? Can she surrender and learn to trust His guidance?

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Summer Sunrise Over the River

Sunrise in the Cove Aug 5 2017

God’s beauty awakens the cove from its night’s slumber. Yesterday’s disappointments and unfulfilled dreams can be cast aside with the waning darkness. There is renewed hope because this day is full of opportunities. A fresh start. Thank You lord for many blessings.

Lamentations says that God’s love is new every morning.

God’s Precious Gift of 1,000 Sparkles

Sparkles on the river July 2017

God has given me a precious gift that only He could give – in addition to His gift of Jesus.

A few years ago I sought the Lord in my morning prayer time, for help, for an additional reminder to express what I was thankful for each morning so that I wouldn’t let the cares of life take hold of my mind.

In addition to thanking Him for salvation, I routinely thank Him for the abilities that I still have, for my husband, children and family, for our home, fresh water, heat & air conditioning, food  and a litany of countless other blessings. I also thank him for the view from my window.

In response, the Lord told me to thank Him for the sparkles. Sparkles?

Yes, sparkles. For perhaps 45 minutes each morning, if it’s not overcast, the sun hits the river in such a way that it looks as if a thousand diamonds are dancing on the surface. It’s so beautiful. Every morning when I see it, I thank God for the sparkles. Even though the view is available to others as well, to me, it feels like it’s His special gift to just me and a reminder to me that He’s here, He cares and He loves me.

To me it’s also a special reminder that there is hope afresh every morning.

 

 

Book ‘Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely’ by Lysa TerKeurst

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

Grandma Abigail strongly recommends the book ‘Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely’ by Lysa TerKeurst.

Lysa TerKeurst is honest and real in what she shares. This book is another valuable tool in women’s journey to healing and wholeness.

http://uninvitedbook.com/

http://www.amazon.com

 

Lovely, lovely

Angel cloud May 31 2013 5

Sitting on my deck last summer, I had just asked the Lord for confirmation about some direction I was praying for. The clouds took on a formation that to me, resembled an angel. I don’t know if it was a sign from God or not but I felt at peace afterwards, which is a good indicator.

This week, I have ‘met’ a number of new lovely bloggers. Sweet ladies pouring out words of encouragement and hope to anyone in need. Some of these ladies have garnered great courage and shared stories of past abuse & brokenness, followed by their paths to wholeness and victory. Many share scripture verses. The words of these assorted ladies are issuing trumpets calls stating: “You can make it! Hang in there! Keep putting one foot in front of the other. We’re cheering you on! You can do it! Turn to the One who is the Anchor of your Hope! Simply call out to Jesus.”

So many lovely ladies reaching out, pouring themselves out to benefit others.

The Hands of God reaching out. Indeed, they are lovely angels.

Happy Memories – I love the holidays

Flag and river background

I always enjoy the sounds of family activities in the Cove, especially on holidays.  Family-filled golf carts jostled to and fro throughout the community. Folks were on the river enjoying their jet skis and others were swimming and splashing playfully.

Children’s voices as they frolicked in the river and rode their bicycles up and down the road created an echo from long ago and stirred up pleasant memories.

I sat in the shade, alternating my gaze between the views of the water and the breeze rustling through the tree leaves. When I closed my eyes for a moment, the coo of doves nearby joined with the distant voices of the children and evoked my own childhood memories of my family gathered beside a small body of water for a day of fishing and picnicking. Innocence, security, stability, freedom. Nearly 60 years have passed, yet the scene and its essence are firmly established in my memory. For that, I am eternally grateful.

American holidays awaken joyful childhood memories for me – I love the holidays!

American flag

 

 

Not just a casual spring ‘read’

Before We Were Yours

Spring greetings to everyone! The redbuds have been showing off, the dogwoods and azaleas are just beginning to announce their arrival. Millions of verdant leaves are beginning to unfurl. I had intended to post a photo of an azalea and life stirring on the waterways, however…

Last weekend, I received my Advanced Reader’s Edition of ‘Before We Were Yours’ by author Lisa Wingate and immediately dove into reading. What an impact it had upon me. This is not simply a casual read. Unfortunately, though the family of Rill is fictional, the orphanage in Tennessee and the atrocities which occurred there are not fiction, they are a sad part of American history.

I soberly encourage everyone to read the book, which will be available June 6. Expect your life to be changed, expect your heart to be rent.

The following is the review I posted on Goodreads.com

“Lisa Wingate’s historical novel ‘Before We Were Yours’ is a book I read hour after hour, unable to put down. The story kept me captivated. I feared the worst, hoped for the best, agonized with Rill & the others, encouraging them to hang on through the difficulties. My tears flowed with the knowledge that the atrocities in the story were based on real occurrences in America’s not too distant past. When I closed the book after reading the last page, I could only sit, silently pondering the historical truths, struck with the impact.

This author is truly gifted at developing the numerous contrasting components of an intricate story and the complexities of multiple characters. She is also impressively adept at leading her characters through their painful experiences towards hope, recovery and redemption. Lisa Wingate’s writing gift, skills and talent appear to grow exponentially through each new story she creates. This was another phenomenal example.”

https://www.amazon.com/Before-We-Were-Yours-Novel

 

One happy grandmother!

Go over the river, through the woods, to Grandmother’s house and she’ll be quite happy!

“Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house away!
We would not stop for doll or top,
for ’tis Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river, and through the wood—
oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose
as over the ground we go.
Over the river, and through the wood—
and straight through the barnyard gate,
We seem to go extremely slow,
it is so hard to wait!
Over the river, and through the wood—
When Grandmother sees us come,
She will say, “O, dear, the children are here,
bring a pie for everyone.”
Over the river, and through the wood—
now Grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!”

          by Lydia Maria Child

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over_the_River_and_Through_the_Wood

Gratefulness & Thankfulness

Fall arrangement 4

Gratefulness and thankfulness fill Grandma Abigail’s heart! Her daughter and grandson will be traversing “over the river and through the woods” approximately 1,200 miles to grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving this year. This will be one year that her heart won’t feel ripped apart and wounded when she hears that song, a song which she truly does love a lot but which is painful to listen to most years. Thankfully she and Pap Wayne get to see others of their children and grandchildren occasionally throughout the year and are always truly thankful & blessed that they too travel to see grandma & pap but holidays without them are difficult. Grandma Abigail tries to keep on a happy face but sometimes there’s pain lurking underneath.

Holidays were all about family being together when Grandma Abigail was growing up but times have changed. In her mind it should still be that way yet they encouraged their children to become independent and to discover & develop their life courses and their grown children have done so. This is the result. They are proud of their children’s achievements and the new roots which they have established as they accomplish their goals and grow their families.

Grandma Abigail and Pap Wayne say, “We count our blessings day by day and we are truly grateful and thankful for the extras!”

I wonder if Celia will be spending Thanksgiving with her daughter and granddaughter this year. Perhaps they will come down and visit The Olde Fishing Village. Only time will tell.

 

 

 

A good book to capture the last days of summer.

The Sea Keeper's Daughters Cover

I know that the season doesn’t officially change for another month but with Labor Day approaching and children returning to school, it ‘feels’ like the end of the summer.

Growing up, Labor Day weekend was the unofficial end to summer because the swimming pools closed, the activities scheduled by the Parks & Rec department at the community playground were finished and there would be no more family trips to the Chesapeake Bay until school let out the following year. Even as a kid I found that to be depressing.

For now however, the weather and temps continue to be fantastic so it seems to me that it’s a great time to slip down to the beach with your big umbrella, sunscreen, tinted glasses, a cold drink and the book The Sea Keeper’s Daughter’s. An excellent way to extend the fun.

Happy reading everyone!