Posts Tagged: faith

Compassion for Old Hands

Rocking Chair Healer

I came to mend broken boards on a porch–just being neighborly–
and found my own clay restored
within your arthritic hands. “Lemonade, dear.”

Your voice, a windchime in the quiet
breeze, drew me away from
the incessant ding of my fast-paced phone. So
much unfinished work, on top of Jessica nagging
John Jr. needed new shoes and my layoff pressed into my soul like a branding iron. I never planned on being the neighborhood
handyman, I thought bitterly. “Sure.”

But even as I sipped your cool offering, the tension eased from my shoulders. “What did you put in this?” I asked warily.
“Nothing the Good Lord didn’t make.
Sugar and lemons,” you respond,
slowly working your bones into
rocking chair shape with your own glass
on the wrought iron table beside.

Silence spoke between us.
The rocking creak of your chair on the boards
was hypnotic. I snapped out of my trance and
realized I had long since placed the new boards and
my glass drained.
“That looks so nice dear, my sweet Paul
couldn’t have done it better. Refill dear? Come
sit in his chair and rest a while.”
I obeyed.
“Can I tell you about Paul?” You poured.
I listened.

He called me his ‘Rambling Rose’, you
pointed at the sweet fragrant
roses climbing the trellis in your garden.
“Planted those on our wedding day…”
The crickets resumed
their chorus as she rocked somewhere else.
“I miss him.”

Your voice was heavy with remembering.
Would I miss Jessica with the same weight in my voice?
I couldn’t remember the last thing I planted in my wife’s life.
“Got to tend to them daily.” You said as if listening to my thoughts.
With that, you got up, went to the basket at the end of the porch, put on gloves, and tended your roses.
I slowly packed my tools and returned them to my truck. Reluctant to leave.

But, my job was complete.
“Goodby MS Daphnie,” I said, tipping my hat in farewell.
You held up a crooked finger. “Wait, son,
I have something for you.” You handed
me a small pot with a freshly planted cutting from your rose. Your cray paper hand squeezed mine with surprising strength.
“It’s never too late dear.”
With that, you turned
and returned to your chair
rocking rhythm, sipping
lemonade, and gazing at Paul’s empty chair.

I climbed into the truck and cradled the
plant between my lunch pail and toolbox. And as your
frame shrunk behind me, my
heart suddenly longed for home.
John Jr. would be getting off the bus soon,
it would be nice to greet him for once.
He was getting so big. Jessica’s lopsided grin,
came to mind. She playfully splashed dishwater
as I read the Sunday paper this morning.
“I was irritated she got the sports section wet.” I cried out. I
shook my head, shocked at the bitter root I tended. I looked down at the cutting again. Never too late.

The dust trail kicked up behind me as I took the dirt road to our home. I watched Jessica come onto the porch as she usually did to greet me. She held two glasses of lemonade in her hand. Her auburn hair catching fire
in the evening sun. So beautiful.

I came to mend your porch Ms. Daphnie
but walked away with you mending me.
As I swept my surprised wife into my arms.
My heart filled with joy.
“Can we save up for rocking chairs?”

Turning Your Page: Become a Healer

For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastises every son He receives.

Hebrews 12:6 BSB

We need rocking chair healers in our lives. Those men and women who see our brokenness and do not turn away. They are the Ms. Daphnie’s of the world, who in slow and steady quiet, speak truth, and challenge our bitterness. Who do you have in your life that is a rocking chair healer? Write them a note of how their faithfulness has encouraged you. Take the opportunity to cultivate awareness of your neighbors so that you too can speak love, healing hope, and peace into their lives.

  • Describe a person who has encouraged you in simple or big ways. What gifts and talents did they use?
  • What areas in your life need encouragement? Seek out a friendship with a person who is strong in those areas. Ask them to mentor you.
  • Find a person to speak life into. Write a note of encouragement. Take opportunities to sit with, listen to, and be available when they are down.

Jesus you are my rocking chair healer. You sit with me, listen, encourage, and challenge me. Thank you. Teach me to slow down and be present in the lives of other hurting souls. Amen

Rocking Chair Healer

Here are a few of the Rocking Chair Healers in My Life:
Beth Moore– Breaking Free

Redeem This Day

For You have delivered my soul from death, and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

Psalm 49:15

Turning My Page

Tomorrow is an anniversary no one in my family wants to relive. Yet, every year, July 1st still arrives and we have to decide what to do with it. The sadness swallowed me up today so my husband asked me to share special memories of Jonathan.

Remembering and laughing brought me out of my funk and made me realize that I would have to be intentional about tomorrow.

  • Lord, I acknowledge that you are redeeming the ruins of my yesterday.
  • I remember and invite others to remember and share with me their memories of Jonathan’s character, his love for God, family, and friends, and the adventures and laughter
  • Have lunch at Moes
  • Sing and record my video on Psalms at the beach
  • Photograph what brings me joy and peace
  • Raise our Jarritos in memory of Jonathan

Father, redeem July 1st, and may I honor you, your love for Jonathan, and the perfect peace you give to me. Suicide is not the whole story. Amen


Turning Your Page

Do you have a day you need redeemed? Notice what makes the day hard. It may be injustice, it may be loss, anger. Don’t shy away from what you feel, because those emotions are as much a part of revealing God’s redemption as the good ones. There are so many things in this life that hurt. Learn to feel, but continue to write your story through the pain.

  • What makes the day hard? Sum up why this day seems to unwind any progress or growth you have made since your first moment of trauma.
  • Are there others who can help you through this day? List out some activities that bring you joy and pick one to do on your hard day.
  • Pick a song, psalm, or passage as your focus to read out loud throughout the day or meditate on. Acknowledge your heartache while moving your thoughts towards God’s perspective on your suffering.

Lord on my hardest day, you were there. Though all I may be able to do is cling to you when I remember that day, I know that you care for my every wound and bring healing and wholeness to my broken soul. Amen



Frozen Teenager

My walls look different.
My son’s sad eyes stare back
emptied of soul. Despair thinly masked
behind smile. A frozen teenager.
He doesn’t hand me new photos
of girlfriend, wife, or family,
at gatherings.

He stares.
Add photos to your story.

Hang snapshots of love,
forgiveness, generosity, and hope on
the wall of your soul–you are my new photos of him.

Turning Your Page

Our stories now overlap. I would love to frame a picture of you on my wall. Keep Jonathan’s story alive by living yours to the fullest, come what may. Email your story at [email protected]

Lord, bless the reader. Encourage their heart to see the possibility beyond suffering. Embrace them as they journey through this life, and may their walls be filled with the bigger picture of your story. Amen

The Promise of Hope

I am a seed, DNA of hope, dying
to self so that others might live. Elevated
by Holy Spirit wind, to disperse
gospel truth. Trusting no
matter the path blown,
God will snuggle me deep into the
rich soil of His love and I
awaken, blooming in the Promised Land.

Turning Your Page

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

Genesis 12:1

Do you trust God to lead you to good places in your depression? or grief? Abram knew nothing about God or his trustworthiness. God called Abram. Abram went. Why? There is always an initial intentional act of the will to follow God and leave the familiar, those things that once grounded and rooted us to strike out and follow where God leads. You may not know much about God’s character, yet, but he knows yours, and when he calls you into unknown places he also equips you to get there.

  • List ways God is leading you through grief, depression, circumstances?
  • Do you have a clear idea of God’s promises, (his covenant) with you? Here is a resource to begin exploring the promises of God. Bible Study Tools
  • Pick one way you will step out in faith today to trust God.

Master, you have authority over my life. I once feared and even loathed your control. Now I find security and comfort. Guide me in the way that leads to your everlasting glory. Amen

Turning Over Agitation

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

Romans 7:25 MSG

Turning My Page

Red Ball of Agitation

I woke up to a red ball of agitation, bouncing angrily against the wall of my mind. The simplest tasks felt heavy and frustrating. The red ball is hard to ignore because it is continuous friction of thoughts, feelings, ideas, and physical stress. Sometimes what we do and how we feel gets so compacted it requires sorting or turning over. Much like a compost pile.

Growing up, my family composted. Regularly we took a pitchfork and turned the pile over. I still remember the steam that rose as we began fluffing the highly compacted substance below. There was a delicate balance of microbes doing their job to break down the material, and the heat they produced ended up killing them if not given fresh oxygen.

At its core, my agitation stems from my flesh and spirit at war with one another. I am continually turning over all these fantastic new, useful, life-giving opportunities God has placed in my path. But, sharing a story of hope creates friction. In my own selfish desire, I want to withdraw every time God asks me to engage. My sinful nature says that says I will fail when the Holy Spirit teaches I am a part of a bigger story.

Even good things get compacted. I turn them over again and allow the fresh oxygen of God’s perspective to reveal truth, faith, love, and hope compressed within. Agitation isn’t a bad feeling if we choose to let it expose the fertile soil beneath and give oxygen to grow.

Turning Your Page

Agitation is a part of our lives because there is both good and evil; flesh and spirit at war with one another. Agitation is simply your soul’s cry to turn things over, air out, and create more fertile soil for growth.

  • List some areas of agitation right now.
  • Is God directing and ruling over all aspects of your life?
  • Are their areas that need to be turned over, re-purposed, or removed?

Father, my soul is turning within me. There is no rest. Reveal to me the most productive part of my life, and help me to cultivate a place your glory can grow. Amen

Study Courage


though fear knocks you awake
to a relentless enemy. Ill-equipped, broken,
resources exhausted, you lay in a pool of despair.
Listen to those who know there is a way to win.

Get up! Cry out! Help is close at hand!


each warrior as they strap
on their armor. The defense and
weapon they choose. Feel the quiet
dissidence of preparation, as each
gazes beyond self to become one body.
Brother strengthened by brother.


to the early riser, the soldier with tear-stained
cheek and dogeared photo–
intimate with the cost. They remain secure
through the routine of prayer. Bed of hope tucked
tightly for inspection.
Their bodies battle-ready,
no longer dependent upon the fat
of fleshly desire or wine of apathy.


muscles of confidence in a God
who eavesdrops at tent flaps
and reports the fear that weakens invading camps.


the dirt on the unwashed face
of the midnight watcher. The one who
stands on the perimeter of your knowledge
so you can sleep.


for singing. Oh, the glorious
song recorded by all who put their hope in God.
Feel the heightened joy as the trumpeters
announce, you never fight alone!


up the Sword of Words and wield truth
that penetrates to marrow, revealing every spirit
that hides in the hollow of our flesh.


with the one who strategizes with
generals and glows with the
assurance of heaven’s mapped out peace.


the one who runs across enemy lines to sacrifice
and lift the spirits of the fallen, the weary surrounded by despair.
They are not abandoned. Pinned in.
Show them how to push out like defeat is not an option.


a God who surrounds the enemy
and causes the wicked to crumble.
Lives depend upon you
knowing who wins.

Pass on the good news.

Turning Your Page

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Ephesians 6:13

What was the last true story you read where the protagonist overcame impossible odds? Share in the comments. History is plump with stories of victories. Study what makes a person stand when others do not. What qualities did they already possess in going into battle? What strengthened them? Where does courage come from?

  • Do you feel courageous? If not, study scripture and true stories of courage and list out characteristics. If so, write down the daily habits you have. Are their areas you need strengthened?
  • Who do you listen to for direction? In what ways have you grown from their counsel?
  • Find one person to spend time with who loves you enough to strengthen and challenge you.
  • Write your own poem about courage or study Ephesians 6 and write a Haiku about courage.

Lord, I learn so much from scripture about courageous men and women. Open my eyes to steps of faith you want me to take. Help me to encourage others in battle. Amen

Isolation Response

Sing like the
stones would cry
out if you didn’t. Sing
like you know you have
the key of salvation. Sing
like other lives depend upon it.
Sing like there are no bars that
can keep heaven out. Sing because
God sings a song to you.

Turning Your Page

Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

Psalm 33:3

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

Acts 16:25

God sings over you with song, not only does he sing, but he sings loudly. You can’t help the current circumstances you face with this pandemic, but you can respond well. Sing at the top of your lungs about the good things God has given to you. Turn heads with your singing.

  • My one and only challenge for you today is to sing and encourage others by sharing your song with others while you work around your home.
    • Post a video in the comments of you singing to your favorite song.
    • This isn’t about perfection, this is about praise. Recognize the good things in your life and sing at the top of your lungs.

Lord, I sing, though I am unsure of what comes next. You are with me. Lord, I lift my hands, because I know my freedom is found in you. Lord, I praise because the prison doors will shake open to glorify you. Amen

Jesus, the Spirit of Truth

I was lowered into a grave of fickle flesh.
Royal robes stripped, I submitted to the battering
will of I AM.

His love pulls starved faith
onto nourishing knee and tucks truth
into my stories–stirring souls to adventure life.

My life willingly pick-pocked by man’s understanding,
as Satan plumps his purse with the clink-clink of despair.

In the garden, I grafted man to me.
Plant saints and sinners in the fertile
soil of my tilled blood.
Root righteous oaks of transformed lives
by streams of fulfillment.
Display my glory.
Build a testament with the screaming
Tap, tap, tap,
of nails into my hands.


Poetry Posts every Thursdays at 7p.m.


Turning Your Page

Poetry is a way of studying the nature of God and how he loves you. Spend time walking wooded paths, well-tended gardens and linger by streams. All described in scripture by the psalmist, God, and Jesus. Growth comes from an awareness that he is both sovereign and near.

  • How do you view God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit?
  • Describe something in nature that stands out to you as an aspect of God’s provision and nature?
  • What questions do you have about God’s character?

Lord, open my eyes to the truth of who you are, not who I think you might be. Quicken my heart, that I may know what part you have in my life. Amen

Familiar God

Am I too plain with you God,
leaning into converse with my Master
over chai tea?
I delight in your presence.
Hold your secure hand like a child as I explore your
I sob and pour out my heartache as
if you are my best friend.

Should I grovel before
your throne, weighted by the
the burden of all I have done?

You are Creator of the universe,
Lord of the harvest, King, Sovereign,
Judge. Your robe of titles drapes across your pedestal,
demanding holiness.
Your throne is established in the heavenly realms.
Your footstool, the earth.

I should tremble as I enter your
throneroom in prayer,
but yet,
I trace your face in the image of my children.
Experience church in the embrace of my husband,
Recognize your rich provision in the
worship song of sparrows,
and draw near to the Holy of Holies in scripture.

Throneroom of God

Jesus’ love tore the veil and developed a familiarity between us.
You know my sorrow and put to death
the limitations of sin. So I push
open the
massive doors of separation as a joyous child
running barefoot into the arms of her loving Father, Savior, and Friend.

Run into the arms of a Familiar God
Suicide & Prevention Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

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