Archive for God’s love

No Less Beautiful

Some forty years ago, I was on Interstate 5, driving south past Mount Hood, as a full moon rose above it. I was looking out the driver’s-side window at the spectacle, when I hit a patch of black ice and started spinning. Miraculously, I went full circle and was facing forward when I reached the end of the ice.

That story pretty much parallels the events of the recent weeks for me and Sherry. On that morning, forty days ago, we were enjoying a morning in our peaceful, comfortable home. All was well and life was good. Then, in a matter of minutes, we found our lives spinning wildly out of control. We’re still in the spin, but we’re not afraid. The worst is behind us and we know at some point things will be back to the way they were. We will have changed—our lives will have changed—but we’ll be okay. In fact, we like to think we’ll come out of this spin better off than we were when we went into it. We will press on.

mount-hood-moon 3

 

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:14

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The Sun Came Up Again

There will always be good and bad in our lives and in the world we live in, and it’s okay to feel the pain and sadness when it comes, but we can’t hold onto the bad stuff; we have to let it go and move on. I know, it’s a lot easier to say than it is to do, but we have to remember the sun will come up each day and spring will come each year; we know that and we have to know too, there is much to be thankful for, even in the midst of pain or sadness. Feel the pain–wallow in it, if you must–but then, get up and move on. Look at the good things, and leave the past in the past. If we’re too busy being sad about yesterday, or worrying about tomorrow, we won’t have time to enjoy today.

The Sun Came Up Again

 

The sun came up again L pic

Across the street

In the neighbor’s yard

Through early budding tree limbs

 

The sky glowed fiery red

Then golden

Then dazzling white

As another day began

 

A slash of light

Fell ‘cross my arms as I wrote

The thought crossed my mind

That I’d said too much

Heard too much

And it had changed things

 

I wondered

If they had changed for the better

I hoped so

 

I’ve changed things before

By being too open

Too honest

 

I’ve watched the sun come up

Regretting words I’d spoken

The day before

You would think I’d learn

 

I have learned

 

I’ve learned

That the sun will come up

Sometimes you will see it

And feel it

Sometimes you won’t

But it’s there

 

Love is like that

At times you can bask in its warmth

And feel its arms wrapped around you

A flash of it will lay across your heart

 

Then at other times

It falls silent

And cool

It’s still there

Just not as obvious

 

 You have to know it’s there

Never doubt it

Never turn away

Just know that behind the cloud

Behind the mountain

Behind whatever has made the warm glow fade

It is there

 

You have to let it be there

You have to want it to be there

It can’t always be glorious

It can’t always be spring

 

Copyright © 1998 C Mashburn

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Thank You, God, For Her

In the spring of 1995, I was just winding down from a period in my life when I had severely tested the boundaries between right and wrong. I look back on those days and wonder how I survived, much less became the somewhat decent man I am. I credit God for both, but he has a co-star in the latter; He sent a beautiful lady—an angel, I believe—to show me what love is all about.

I wrote the following, rather clumsy, amateurish poem a few days before the first anniversary of the day I met Sherry, and today, almost 24 years after that first meeting, the words I wrote are truer than ever. Except that is, I can truly say I no longer worry about her, because I know God will always bring her home safely to me; and I no longer have to hope it’s her, because now, I know it’s her.

Sherry will be home soon, and at the end of what’s been more than three of the most trying weeks of our lives, I know when she walks through that door I’ll say, “Thank you, God, for her.”  

God, I Hope That’s Her

 I remember when we met

It seems like only yesterday

You walked into my life

I knew I wanted you to stay

 

And it still makes me smile

Every time I picture you

As you walked up to me

In that pretty dress of blue

 

I spent my whole life searching

And wondering where you were

And the first time that I saw you

I whispered, “God, I hope that’s her

 

grin-big-earsOur love grew so fast

We couldn’t stand to be apart

We were meant to be together

We knew it from the start

 

I wanted to be with you

Every minute of every day

Every time you left me

I wanted you to stay

 

I thought about you all the time

And I wondered where you were

Every time the phone would ring

I whispered, “God, I hope that’s her

 

I promise that I’ll love you

For the rest of my life

I want you with me always

I’m so happy you’re my wife

 

Now, when you’re not at home

And it starts getting late

I sometimes start to worry

I walk the floor and wait

 

I tell myself, when you get home

I’ll ask you where you were

And every time I hear a car

I whisper, “God, I hope that’s her

 

Copyright © 1996 C. Mashburn

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Special Delivery

For much of my life, I fought against a world I perceived to be unfair, and I had no peace within my soul. And, it was not on one sudden day I learned how to be at peace. Nor did I suddenly devise a battle plan to defeat my foes. God delivered me from my enemies—many of them imaginary—and He delivered His peace unto my soul. That’s not to say I am now in a constant state of peace. But I am learning to let go of things more readily than I once did. Nowadays, I am quick to turn to Him for relief from the battles—whether they be perceived or real—of this world. Peace is an addicting thing, and the more I have of it, the more of it I want. And the best part is, it is always available for the asking.

peace within

 

He has delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many against me. Psalms 55:18

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Who Said That?

It was a beautiful, sunny day in east Texas yesterday, and this poem I wrote several years back came to mind. Some days it’s cold, some days it’s hot, but some days are just right. More and more, I’m learning to enjoy them all. 

The Sun on My Face

 

I stood there

Head tilted back

Eyes closed

The sun on my face

 

The sound

Of a twelve string

Began to play

A tune I didn’t know

 

walking with jesusI smiled

And God smiled back

It doesn’t get

Any better than this

 

As I continued my walk

I wondered

Did He say that

Or did I

 

Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

Please check out my website, Marbles In My Pocket, and my latest books:

JUST A BOY – A childhood memoir

JUST A MAN – A book of encouragement

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Ready, Set, GO!

When we waste our days—sometimes years—doing harm to ourselves and others, there is no do-over. But! There is “start over”. No matter how many times we fail, we can always turn to God and begin anew. He never gives up on us, and no matter how terrifying the things are that want to lure us back to their den, we can walk away and do so without fear of them.

5-6-17 3 quote

Whatever demons might be chasing you:

“Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and I will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 1:8

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The World Stopped Turning

Wednesday, January 2, 2019 was like most other mornings; I got up around five, Sherry got up at about six-fifteen or so, got her cup of coffee and toast, sat down in her chair and started reading her book. A few minutes later, our lives slipped into quiet chaos.

Without a word, or sound, Sherry got out of her chair and rushed to the hall bath. The sounds coming from there were not good and within minutes she called weakly for help. I grabbed my phone—I knew I was going to need it—and went in to find her leaning on the counter, clinging to the sink, and throwing up clear mucous. She was burning up and could not move. She asked me if I could get her to bed, and I told her no, I was calling 911. She was almost incoherent as she said, “No, I’ll be okay.” I was literally holding her up at that point, and I told her I wasn’t going to stand there and watch her die. I called.

It seemed like forever before the ambulance arrived, but was probably only ten minutes or so. As they were taking her out the door, one of the paramedics told me to take my time getting to the hospital, as it would be twenty minutes or so before they got her there and into the emergency room. I got dressed, texted then called our son-in-law, Sean, told him what was going on, and told him to call our daughter, Tracey. Both were out of town. Sean and our grandson Sawyer in San Antonio for the All American Combine—a football thing—and Tracey and our granddaughter, Savannah, were in New York, enjoying a holiday break mini-vacation. Tracey and savannah were due back Thursday. Sean and Sawyer wouldn’t be home until Saturday.

When I arrived at the hospital and found Sherry, a doctor met me immediately and showed me a CT scan that showed a large amount of blood on Sherry’s brain. He said they needed to operate as soon as possible. They asked Sherry if she would consent, and she didn’t want them to operate. Who would? I was astounded they would even ask her. I mean, really? Her brain was not functioning properly! When they turned to me and asked if I wanted to make the decision, I said, “Yes.” Then they asked if I would consent to the operation. Again, I said yes. Within a matter of minutes all the forms were signed, and they wheeled her away. As I signed the last form a nurse asked if I understood the forms. I said, “You’re kidding, right?”

I was directed to a waiting room and told the surgery would take about two hours, and they would let me know when she was out of the operating room. I sat there alone and dazed in a world that was very silent and very still. It felt as though my world had literally stopped turning.

I had only one phone number in my contacts; Jaylynn, a friend from our workout class at the gym, so I texted her at around 8:30 AM, or so, and stated simply, “I need some help. Longview Regional. I can’t talk. Too upset.” Yes, I know I talk like I’m tough as nails and make people think I can handle anything but, well, I guess neither is true when something like this happens. She didn’t get the text until about 9:15—she was in our exercise class—but as soon as she found out and texted back, she said she was on her way.

Of course, I couldn’t know all the things that were taking place. I’d gone outside to take a phone call from Sean’s dad, Danny, after I talked to him, and I was standing outside trying to get my thoughts together, I looked up to see one of Tracey’s friends, JoCarol, coming toward me. My mind said, Oh my God. My heart said, Thank you, Jesus. I hardly knew JoCarol but at that moment she became one of my dearest friends and she will ever be so. She gave me a hug—I have no idea what she said to me—then we went inside, and we talked. After a few minutes, the words started to make sense and we talked.  Mostly about football and the Lobos (her son, Parker, is one of Sawyer’s best friends, and plays on the team.) The team, the Lobos, for those who don’t know, are the 2018, 6A Division II State Champions in Texas high school football. Sawyer is a defensive tackle, and Parker is the center. Both are juniors, and I’ve already told them I expect a repeat next season.

Jaylynn showed up shortly after JoCarol did, and so I had friends at my side. I will be forever grateful to these two wonderful ladies.

The operation was completed in less than an hour. They’d told me it would take at least two, so when the lady at the desk called my name, my mind froze, and all I could think was, it was too early! But when they told me the surgery was complete and all was well, I literally felt like I was floating above the earth. I think maybe Jesus picked me up and gave me a celebratory hug.

JoCarol left soon after we got the news. She has three big football players for sons and had to go feed them. (Her grocery bill must be astronomical!) So, it was just me and Jaylynn, and we waited for them to call and let us know what room Sherry was in, so we could go see her. I don’t know how long we waited, but Jaylynn kept pestering the lady at the desk. The lady was a volunteer, and she was awesome. She never stopped smiling and would call somebody every time Jaylynn would ask her to find out what was going on. At some point during the wait, I told Jaylynn she could go if she needed to, and she gave me a look that said she might be fixin’ to smack me upside the head. She stayed.

Time had become non-existent to me, so I have no idea what time it was when we were finally led to the room in the ICU where Sherry was recovering. All I knew was she WAS recovering, and at some point in time, we would go on with the rest of our lives. The world began to slowly turn again.

~~~~~

Nine long days have passed, seemingly in the blink of an eye, and Sherry is now in a rehab facility. All things considered, she’s doing remarkably well, and appears to have no lasting effects from the brain trauma and surgery. There are some minor motor-skill issues, and of course she’s weak and tires easily, but other than that, all is well.

sherry's cloud

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