There’s No Crying in Softball

Me and Rachel softball 2016 CROPPED“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:19, NIV)

I pull on my favorite JMU sweatshirt, elbowing the tiny faucets at the corners of my eyes. Tears trickle down my face.  Eager to pitch, Rachel pounds her fist in her mitt.  Wearing a determined game face, she appears older than ten and a half.

Rachel tosses a glove in my direction. This is my glove, the one I’ve owned since I was a teen. I stare at soft leather glove as if it is a foreign object.  Slipping it onto my left hand I examine the look. Rachel counts out thirty paces and asks, “Are you sure you can do this Mom?”

“Let’s give it a try.” I respond.

I stand amazed at what is about to take place. I lift my eyes to the sky and say a prayer of thanks. I’m about to play catch with my daughter, a feat I’ve lacked strength for over four months.  The faucets creek more and I turn so she doesn’t see the tears.

Every pitcher needs a catcher so I squat down, just a little. Rachel winds up and releases the ball.

“Steeeriiiike!” I yell out.home plate CROPPED

A slow grin spreads across her face and mine too.  She throws a few more over our chalk drawn plate. The faucets are creek more and I am weeping in my middle of our street. I weep for lost moments with my children. I weep because I didn’t think I’d be able to do this again.

I weep because this feels like an old self activity and I thought that old self had vanished.

Rachel understands my concern. “Mom, are you okay?”

I nod, “I’m fine, I’m fine” running the arm of my sweatshirt across my face.

20150520_175828-1In her best Tom Hanks impression from the movie “A League of Their Own” Rachel playfully jabs, “There’s no crying in softball!”

I release a full body belly laugh. This too feels like an old self activity.

Rachel continues to throw strikes and balls across our imaginary plate. With the strength given by God and new medication, I am able to pick the ball up and throw it back.

Even in these times of uncertainty. I take joy in finding God’s goodness in the land of the living. I will soak up every good day I have because “It is well with my soul.”

~April Dawn White

Photos courtesy of Author

Thirty Promises for Strength

By April Dawn White

Bible scholars estimate there are over 8,000 promises in the Bible.  We could read a promise a day for almost 22 years!  When I learned this statistic, I decided to record a promise a day. This assignment has been like a one-a-day vitamin for my soul.

Daily, I fboxing glovesight a battle with a neuromuscular disease. My pain is invisible. I have good days and bad days. We each have daily battles and challenges we face, visible or invisible. Below are lists of promises I’ve been clinging to in recent days.

Please share this article with anyone God lays on your heart.

 

Thirty Promises for Strength

 

“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” (Psalm 29:11, NIV)

“Strengthen the feeble hands; steady the knees that give way.” (Isaiah 35:3, NIV)

“I have upheld (you) since your birth, and have carried since you were born. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:3-4, NIV)

“I the Lord do not change.” (Malachi 3:6, NIV)

“In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15, NIV)

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweigh them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV)

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left you” ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21, NIV)

“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, NIV) *This is my verse for 2016*

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8, NIV) *This was my verse for the 2012.*

“Your right hand sustains me.” (Psalm 18:35, NIV)

“Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your most Holy place.” (Psalm 28:2, NIV)

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NIV)

“I will take hold of your hand” (Isaiah 42:6, NIV)

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40:29-31, NIV)

Your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:10, NIV)

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13, NIV)

“The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24, NIV)

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV)

“Your promises have been thoroughly tested and your servant loves them.” (Psalms 119:140, NIV)

“May your hand be ready to help me.” (Psalm 119:173, NIV)

“My comfort in my suffering is this: your promise preserves my life.”(Psalms 119:49, NIV)

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”(Hebrews 6:19, NIV) *This is my verse for 2015*

“’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12-9-10, NIV)

“In your unfailing love preserve my life.” (Psalm 119:50, NIV)

“He guards the lives of his faithful ones.” (Psalm 97:10, NIV)

“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”(Psalm 94:18-19, NIV)

“Those who know your name trust in You because You have not abandoned
those who seek You, Yahweh.” (Psalm 9:10, HCSB)

“You will fill me with joy in your presence.” (Psalm 16:11, NIV)

“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9, NIV)

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13, NIV)

“For the battle is the Lord’s.” (1 Samuel 17:47, NIV)

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Truly walking by HIS strength,

April Dawn White

www.RedChairMoments.com

 

 

Strength To Rest

Last night I wrote in my prayer journal “Lord, please give me the strength to rest.” That almost sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it; like jumbo shrimp or white chocolate. I am asking for strength to rest.

My husband and I are in a period of waiting. There are many uncertain areas in our life right now that are completely beyond our control. My natural tendency is to try beg and plead for God to come through. Then my need for control kicks into overdrive as I begin to work it all out if God doesn’t do what I think He should do, when I think He should do it. Anyone know what I’m talking about?

This summer a friend, introduced me to a Dutch missionary named Otto Koning and his Pineapple Story Series. In the first of many funny stories, Otto shares about his experiences of being a missionary to the cannibals and head hunters in New Guinea. In the Pineapple Story, Otto tells a hilarious and yet powerful message about what God can do once you surrender your possessions, occupation, finances,health,  reputation,etc to him. I highly recommend you watch the video. You can view the Pineapple Story on You-Tube.

Surrendering and resting is not easy. It’s hard work especially for a control freak like me. This concept of surrender has radically changed my prayer time.  Each day I have a list of areas that I specifically and purposefully surrender to God. I recently attended a Beth Moore Event and the one thing that resonated with me was when she said “It’s hard work to rest.” Yes! That is so true! I guess that’s why I get so excited when I see little things happening in my life. I see glimpses of God working. I know it’s God working and moving because I didn’t do one stinkin’ thing, but surrender control to God. As Otto Koning always says “God takes good care of his property.”

“You can not come up with a plan better than God’s
He will blow your Stinkin’ mind!”
-Beth Moore

I had to laugh when she said the work Stinkin’ because I use that word all the time. So much so, that I have noticed my children saying it. (Oops.) What this bible teacher was saying was a her own version or her paraphrase of these following verses. Read them and then think about when these verses where written. I want you to see how cool this is.

“Since ancient times no one has heard , no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any

God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:4

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has ever conceived that

God has prepared for those who love him.”1 Corinthians 2:9

Those verses are almost identical with the exception of the words …For those you love him….for those who wait for him. Those words penned by the prophet Isaiah anywhere between 700-450 BC and penned by Paul approximately 55 AD.  Those two almost identical verses were wrote approximately 505-755 years apart. That’s awesome! I love how God can use something written such a long time ago to speak directly to my heart in 2012 AD.

Resting and surrendering is not easy, but I know God will give me the strength to rest. When the day comes that he “blows my stinkin’ mind” I will be all rested up and ready to celebrate and praise his holy name!

~April

“May you and I be mutually encouraged by each others faith.” Romans 1:12

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