It Was Only Yesterday…

DSC_0701
“Backyard Swings” – Debra Scowden, 2016

It was only yesterday that I dreamed of being a momma.  Prayed for God to answer that prayer.   It was about 16 years ago, just feels like yesterday.  The time has gone so quickly.  How about you?   What do you dream of?  Do you faithfully go to Jesus in prayer?

When we wanted to start a family, we were younger and filled with hope and the possibilities of parenthood.  Our own attempts to become pregnant fell short.  Leaving both of us feeling (me much more than my beloved) hopeless.

Then one day I woke up and felt the Lord asking me, “Do you want to be a mom?”

“Of course I do.” I responded in my mind.

God answered, “So, put your trust in Me and let’s make you a mom.  I have a plan, always have.  You now just need to let me work out the details.”  Just like Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

And that is what He did.  It took just under two years in the adoption process for us to bring our first daughter home.  I was a momma.   Yes, He did know, and He perfectly planned out every single detail.  Twenty-one months later we brought our second daughter home.  Our family was complete.  God just needed me to let go of my agenda, and let Him work out His.  His words says, “Your eyes saw their unformed bodies; all the days ordained for me and them were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” (italics mine)  A beautiful and amazing promise from God for each one of us.

The time has flown by.  Our eldest is 14 1/2, our youngest is 12 1/2.  No longer babies, or even little girls.  They are young women.

As I took this picture in our backyard the other day, I reminisced about them as little girls.  Then the Lord nudged my heart, there were words He wanted me to say.  Words that He had sitting in my heart.  My beauties will always be in my heart.  It is where their lives for me began.  The Bible says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)  The Lord is my treasure, I prayed for babies, He faithfully answered my prayer.

It truly seems like only yesterday when our daughters played on these swings every chance they could.  Now this play structure sits in our backyard, lonely and abandoned.  Our girls have moved on from playing in the backyard to visiting with friends, and enjoying other activities.  Growing up.

Seasons of life.  Like the seasons of the year.  Each one offering its own beauty and gifts.  “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” (Ecc. 3:1)   This season of parenting is full of rich and lovely rewards.  Knowing that both of my girls love the Lord, and have a growing faith.  They both have a sense of right and wrong, and mostly do what is right.  I love being their mom.  I love watching them grow into the most amazing young women a mom could ask for.

So, whatever you dream of, whatever God has placed on your heart, put your trust in Him.  The One who lead David to write, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.” (Psalm 139:15)

PRAYER:  Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for creating me, knowing me and caring so much about me.  I pray that anytime I doubt that I would look back and see all you have done in my life and the lives of others.

IT WAS ONLY YESTERDAY
by Debra Scowden

These swings are calling
from days not long ago.
Of laughter and of playfulness,
with sunshine and some snow.

Brightly colored clothing
represents their cheerful ways,
today my mind remembers,
all of summers dog days.

No longer do they swing,
yet lovely they still are.
Today I sweetly cherish,
my girls, my super stars.

What I know for certain,
what I hold onto so dear,
is the beauty of my babies,
whether far away or near.

They’ve grown into young women,
with hopes and many dreams.
Someday, Lord willing, they’ll be mamas,
with babies, and they’ll beam.

Their babies will be swinging,
with delight in their eyes.
Sweet laughter and playfulness,
as they reach up to the sky.

Where the Lord will always guide them,
to each place they’ll ever go.
He will clothe them with compassion,
from them kindness will overflow.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Pride

DSC_0688

Pride is defined as having a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit or superiority.  It can be a cherished opinion in the mind or can be shown in our behavior.

There are so many times that I can be so self consumed with my own importance.  Toward my daughters, my husband and other family and friends.   As I looked up scriptures on pride I came across Galatians 6:3 which says, “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”  I don’t wish to be so self consumed that I deceive myself.  No matter what I do or think, I will never deceive the Lord.  He knows my heart.  As I read further in scripture I find James 4:6 which reminds me, “But he gives more grace.  Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”    God alone gives grace.  God gives grace.  GOD IS GRACE.

There it is, God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  He wants me and you to be humble, to put ourselves in full submission to His good and perfect will for our lives.  I want to receive His grace.  How about you?

This kind of submission is not easy.  In fact we have to acknowledge that we are weak.  In this weakness, can He be strong for us.

DSC_0703

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke 14:11

Pride infects my very soul,
In ways too many to count.
Pride causes me to lose sight,
Of Jesus upon the mount.

Let go-let God, I’ve heard it said.
Lord, grant me freedom from,
My pride which does debilitate
Life under Satan’s thumb.

A humble heart is my desire,
A heart exalting You.
In Your grace I long to live,
My life, my hope, You grew.

The Word became flesh upon the earth,
You breathe all things to be.
My life, my mind, my heart You’ve made,
With You, Lord Jesus, from pride I am free.

PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, I ask for humble confidence in all I do and say; I pray for this same confidence for my sweet husband and our precious daughters, and for all who are reading this and needing Him.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Fabulous Fiery Forest

Fall tree

Alas, dear one, the day has come
From burdens, your heart is free.
In the distance – not so far your eyes see,
A magnificent sight, the tree of Calvary.

A tree, so plain and ordinary,
Yet appearances are not all they seem.
Look closely with your heart, dear one.
From it God’s living waters stream.

Its beauty and sweet fragrance
Brings you, sweet child, to your knees.
In praise and adoration to Him,
His death your sin appeased.

Your burdens so lovingly He carries,
His joy and love for you runs deep.
May Jesus be your one true pleasure,
May He be your shepherd – and you His sheep.

And so, dear one as this day closes,
Your burdens at the cross you rest.
Sleep well, sweet dreams, He’s with you
Each precious day, our God knows best.

Debra Scowden © 11/2015

 

”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”   Romans 15:13

A Wave of Hope

hawaii waves and sunset
Waves in Hawaii, by Debra Scowden

One of my most favorite places to go is the beach.  There is a peace and calm I feel whenever I hear the waves.   Several years ago I had the sweet opportunity to go away for a personal retreat weekend.  I know the photo I’ve included is from Hawaii, but it is the same ocean, just from a different state and perspective. 🙂

I had a bit of an agenda for my get-away.  Mostly to be by myself, enjoy the quiet and spend time with the Lord.  On the last morning I sat in my small cottage that overlooked the beautiful Pacific Ocean in the Northwest.  The day was clear and crisp November morning.  I observed the ocean and its magnificent power.  I likened its power to that of God’s.  It’s great and also so much of it is unknown to me.  I can get lost in its beauty, just as I can get lost in God’s great love for me.

In Jeremiah 31:35 we read, “Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; the Lord of hosts is His name.”  A beautiful promise.  That is what I see when I gaze upon the ocean.  I am filled with God’s hope, the Lord of hosts, with every wave that He brings to shore.

So the next time you are standing on a beach looking at the ocean, I pray you would be filled with the amazing, never-ending hope for Jesus.

 

A WAVE OF HOPE
Debra Scowden © 11/2013

I hear the waves a crashin’,
A thunderous roar for sure.
The power behind each white cap,
It’s strong, but so much more.

The sand submits to the power,
It understands it’s place.
Like me when I am truly focused,
On living in God’s grace.

At once the waves are gentle,
A soft lapping on the sand.
Like the Lord who is benevolent,
Never pushy, yet always on hand.

The water forever moving,
A fluid motion to behold.
Like Jesus who’s ever present,
Tender, kind and yet bold.

The ocean may be a mystery,
To many a man today.
But nothing’s more certain in life,
Than God filling us with hope-we just need pray.

Don’t let your heart be led,
By things that rust and burn.
Nor be at the mercy of others desires,
Toward His light completely turn.

And like the waves that touch the sand,
Trials are sure to come.
But stand firm in the Words of Jesus,
Where true peace and joy come from.

And when our days are over,
While we watch the sun slowly set,
We’ll be ushered gently into heaven,
By Jesus Christ, who selflessly paid our debt.

The Purity of the Womb and the Tomb

Photo credit: D. Scowden 12/2015

Jesus-born from the seed of a woman,
Came into the world from the virgin’s womb.
Nursed and nurtured from that same bosom,
To later come forth from a virgin tomb.

                 In Matthew 27:57-61 we read about the details of Jesus’ burial.  I wanted to know more so I read a Bible commentary that spoke of His virgin birth and His resurrection from a virgin tomb.  We know the virgin birth is one of a kind.  The fact that Jesus rose out of a virgin tomb was something I’d never thought of before, never really knew.

In a way that only God can, He showed me Jesus’ pure, undefiled majesty this morning.

Why is this so significant?  I think because I am the exact opposite.  Impure.  Defiled.  Plain and ordinary.  In these details, I’m given a different picture of Jesus.  One that has opened my eyes and heart to the great love He has for me, for you.  It’s not that I haven’t know His love for me before this morning.  It’s just that I am seeing it differently.

Humanity – broken and defiled by sin.  A treacherous, evil-hearted people, whom the Father loves so much that He brought forth, not just once, but twice, His innocent Son, from purity.  The ultimate price for me.

The purity of the womb and the tomb.  The undefiled nature of God.  The miraculous and majestic resurrected Christ.  A beautiful picture of the gift our Heavenly Father has given us.

On days that feel hopeless, dark and dreary, remember those few hours of utter darkness before Jesus gave up His Spirit.  Then the veil was torn, light was everywhere and for everyone. (from Matthew 27:45-54)  Close your eyes and imagine the scene.  Know that He did all of that just for you and me.

So, not matter what is going on in your life, the Lord knows, cares and will – take care of you.  He shows us in the beauty of His creation.

 The trees are barren
no life do I see.
The air is bitter
and cold.
Is there hope of life
outside?  I ponder.
In brokenness and strife
my heart wants to flee.

Yet in the quietness
of this winter,
I see a sign, a glimmer
of hope.
A bird is perched
on yonder branch.
Of life and love
will beauty enter.

I thank You, Lord
for this strife.
For the days of
winter and of cold.
Your hope is real
and true, and sure.
As true as when from
purity came your life.

The trees are barren,
life will unfold.
Of time I will
no longer fear.
In quiet moments
do I hear,
Your sweet song,
my hope it holds.