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Embracing the Act of Waiting

Vern spends a large part of his day waiting. If you happen to step up to our back deck, he will have his nose up against the screen watching for our return. In the evening, you can find him seated near his bowl in anticipation of his food being placed on the floor. In the late night, he can be found waiting to jump up on our bed and snuggle.

And with all of his waiting, he never complains. Instead, he appears in great thought as he spends his time in the limbo between wanting and having what he desires.

Yesterday, my husband and I flew home from Philadelphia where we were visiting our daughter. Our flight was delayed close to two hours which was an inconvenience. All we wanted was to get home and resume our lives. But instead, we were seated in the far end of the airport, waiting.

I have recently discovered that waiting is when the good, bad, and ugliness of my soul is uncovered and laid bare. As the limbo of time passes with no clear destination, I find my true self.

On the other hand, instant gratification breeds off of endorphins and the adrenaline the physical body releases. But waiting goes beyond the emotional and physical triggers and takes us into a spiritual realm where the soul resides.

No one understood waiting as much as Jesus. From the beginning of his ministry until he was nailed to the cross, he waited. He spent forty days in a desert and then walked thousands of miles with a group of men who would never understand him until his death. All the time, waiting to return to his Father in Heaven.

Yesterday, when we entered the back porch, Vern was found waiting. And as we opened the door, he jumped up and stretched his paws as high as they could reach to let us know it was worth the wait.

And as happy as we were to experience the love from our dogs, I can’t imagine the welcome I will receive when I enter into heaven and am embraced by the One who has been waiting for my arrival.

In the Midst of a Blessing

Have you ever put a little of yourself out for the world to examine and scrutinize? If so, you might understand what its like to be an author. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been promoting my new book Scattered Pieces. Now if you’ve been reading my blogs, you probably know that I love to write. On the other hand, promoting myself feels awkward and even a little scary.

Over time, I’ve realized that when I enter into an uncomfortable situation, I usually receive a blessing of some sort. It might come in the form of a new friendship or a bit of wisdom. Whatever it is, I had to go through the door of being uncomfortable before I could receive the gift.

It isn’t difficult to know what makes you uncomfortable. When you get that funny feeling inside the pit of your stomach or thoughts of failure rise up, then you know you’re standing at the door. So I want to challenge you to take a couple of deep breaths, say a little prayer, and walk through your own personal door. And before you know it, you’ll find yourself in the midst of a blessing.

Oh, and if you want to purchase my book, here is the link.. coradarrah.com/product/scattered-pieces/

Vern’s Peace of Mind

Vern looked out the window of the truck, ready to hit the road. After a week of living in the basement of my daughter’s house, it was time to go home. Given all the comings and goings of little children and adults, Vern seemed happy to get back to his homestead where he could experience some peace.

What is peace and how can we obtain it? For me, it comes from making decisions that are righteous in nature and leaves no regrets. This is far easier said than done. Particularly when the decisions aren’t clear cut. This week, I had to make decisions regarding how to discipline my grandchildren. Some of the decisions didn’t go over well and left me with feelings of guilt. Was I too harsh or too easy on them?

Paul understood in all circumstances how to obtain peace. He tells other believers to rejoice in the Lord, take everything to prayer with thanksgiving and the peace that surpasses all understanding will be theirs. And he assured them that Jesus was at hand. (Philippians 4:4-7)

Given Vern is a dog, he doesn’t feel the guilt that we humans live with. He is pretty content in all circumstances. A little food, water, and attention is all he needs. But humans are given a conscientiousness that helps steer us if we apply the principles Paul gives fellow believers. As for Vern, he is just fine.  

Writing a book is a journey that has some very unpredictable turns in the road. Some of the turns can be exhilarating, but many times down right humbling. After months of writing, editing, and allowing others to give input, the day comes when the written words are bound between two covers and are placed out into the world to fly.

Today is the day my book is set to fly. I have no idea how far it will soar or with who it will land. All I can do as the author is give it the push it needs and look to the skies for where it finds its home.

I would like to invite you to be a part of this unique journey, Scattered Pieces is presently taking. You may purchase the book through this website or if you would like to purchase it on Amazon, click here. https://amzn.to/2SDnlge

Thank you for reading my words and supporting me as I share my voice.

The Gift of Friendship

Friends are like wild flowers. They live among the masses of others that weave in and out of our lives. Particular flowers, just like friends, stand out and should be grasped before they wither.

I count myself blessed because of the incredible friends that flourish around me. This morning as I chose the flowers that would go into my vase, their beauty made me ponder about the friends that have encouraged me through the years to bloom into my own unique flower.

Thank you friends for making my birthday so special. But most of all thank you for sharing your uniqueness with me. And as we are swayed by the winds among the fields of wild flowers, let us always be grateful for the beauty that we create together.

It’s My Birthday

It’s my birthday and I can cry if I want to.

It is my birthday but so far, no tears. Instead a realization of another year to add to all the others that have piled up over time.

What is a birthday? A place in time that marks how many trips the earth has rotated around the sun while I’ve been on my personal ride called life.

It could be a time for reflection and a chance to make goals for the future.

But mostly, for me, it’s a time of giving thanks to my Maker for all that He has blessed me with. A husband and two daughters who love me and an adornment of grandchildren, sons in laws, and grown siblings.  And I can’t forget the many friends that have come beside me in my walk through this life. I am eternally grateful for them all.  

Oh, and did I mention my little dogs that live at my feet, providing me with an abundance of unconditional love.

So, it’s my birthday and if I do shed some tears, it will be out of gratitude for all the gifts that I’ve been given over my personal trips around the sun.

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Our Own Unique Voice

Everyone has a voice that yearns to be heard and a story wanting to be told. That is why books are so important to our culture, particularly today. This past year we have all grappled our way through the pandemic and looked at life through the lenses of individuals very different from ourselves. It has brought both the good and the bad out of all of us.

Scattered Pieces is intended to provoke us to consider how we actually feel and think about others that are different from ourselves. This book allows us to see through the lenses of others and find common ground based on only one factor, forgiveness.

Come inside the minds and hearts of three very different women who are trying to find a sense of value and self-confidence. Walk through their unique experiences and find yourself in the process.

Experiencing Healing

I’m sure if you think hard enough, you can identify someone in your life that you want to please. Usually it’s someone that you respect and look up to. Someone who doesn’t care for you in the way that you care for them.

In my case, it was my father. From an early age, I felt the sting of being overlooked and dismissed. No matter what I did, my attempts of making him proud never seemed to appear on his radar. In his presence, I was invisible.

So many of my memories of this man are all tangled up in the insecurities that I acquired over the years. One memory in particular stands out. It was at a party that we were both attending. I hadn’t seen him in over a month and desired to spend some time in conversation.

Once I entered the room, I saw him and he saw me. But instead of drawing close, he turned away and immediately became engaged in a conversation with another woman.

Even though my father has passed away, the tinge of hurt occasionally resurfaces. It was in one of these times I was prompted to write my new novel, Scattered Pieces. A story about two women with damaged pasts and how they experience healing through forgiveness.

If you can relate, this book is for you. https://coradarrah.com/product/scattered-pieces/

Being Intentional

Vern can be very intentional when he wants something. Take for instance, when he wants to go for a walk, he‘ll jump high off the ground to tell us how excited he is about the possibility of roaming the neighborhood. Or if he wants to play with Bee, he will crouch down and then dart over to his Frenchie sister with incredible energy.

We can also go through life in an intentional manner or we can just live without much thought to the purpose behind our actions. When we choose to be intentional, goals can be met and life is richer.

Jesus was the most intentional man who walked the earth. Every move he made had a specific purpose. Take for instance in the book of Mark after Jesus had fed the four thousand.

 “Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”(Mark 6:45-50)

Notice how Jesus made his disciples get into the boat, knowing they were heading straight into a storm. Many would ask why? Isn’t Jesus supposed to smooth out your sails in life? So if he intentionally pushed his disciples out into rough waters, why should we expect Jesus to treat us differently?

Could Jesus want us to go through the storms of life so we when he walks by, we would be more inclined to call out to him?

Vern’s intentional nature helps me to reflect on my creator and how he works in a deliberate manner in my life. So as my little furry friend lives each day with purpose, I need to be just as deliberate with my actions and words.

Blessings or Worries

Vern doesn’t have much to worry about. All he cares about is a dish full of food and the freedom to go and come as he pleases. His days aren’t filled with the worries of the world. Instead, he is only consumed with finding a place to rest during these hot days in North Carolina.

On the other hand, I can easily find myself focused on the weeds in my life. So often, I neglect to see the flowers that sprout up in the mass of unwelcomed wild plants. Instead of counting my blessings, I am centered on how to remove the unwanted happenings of my day.

It’s only when I think about the gracious gifts I’ve been given that I can be content with life. Gifts that have been provided by God to demonstrate his goodness towards me and to reveal his glory.

When I realize that life is a gift, I find myself filled with gratitude and the negative thoughts flee. And just like Vern, I can calm myself down and relish the days, no matter how hot they become.