Tag Archives: psalm 121

Expectant Worship

Expectant WorshipI came downstairs one morning, sleep still in my eyes, hair wild, and hands feeling around for the coffee machine. Then I remembered to turn on the lamp above our frog terrarium and spray some instant humidity into the screen at the top. As I wiped away the blur from my morning stupor, two of our three baby tree frogs were sitting reverently together with their eyes toward heaven. It occurred to me that perhaps they just might know something that I did not in that moment.

There was an awareness, awe, expectancy.

If I didn’t know better, I would have thought they were having a moment conversing in their amphibian tongue with God.

But do I know better? I am not so sure. Instantly, this verse came to mind:

Psalm 121:1-2, ESV
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

Much to my chagrin, we haven’t named the frogs yet. My 12-year-old son wants them to reach a more significant size so he can name them with greater precision, aligning his name choices with what he assumes is gender. Not me. I’d rather just jump right in (hahahaha) and call them “Jeepers” and “Fly Breath,” but he has insisted that I wait.

After observing these little web-footed friends since their tadpole stage, I am convinced they are identifiable and that they each have a God-given personality, an imprint from their Creator.

“A frog, Bonnie? Seriously?” 

I don’t pretend to have conversations with them that they reciprocate in any way, but I can see their expectant eyes. They know they are cared for. While they follow instinct leaping around their habitat rapidly extending those amazing tongues to catch fruit flies, I see the care of God in their eyes. They look up, frequently. They do something we humans don’t often understand: Read the rest of this entry »


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When Airbags Deploy

When Airbags DeployI was happily driving my daughter back from camp in Keene, NH. We “processed” the week, reminding the younger brother to not interrupt during this time, and by the time I pulled up to the traffic light at the end of the ramp to my exit, my mind was on unpacking, tadpoles going AWOL upon reaching froglet status in my house, and dinner. I pulled to a complete stop, waiting for that green left turn arrow. And there it was.

Awesome. Just a few miles to go. I entered the intersection gradually, only to hear my youngest son, Little Man, make a comment to get my attention as we both saw the sedan speeding toward us on our left, running the traffic light.

Slam! Crash!

I remember crying out to Jesus. And waiting for a secondary crash that never happened. When the airbags went off around me and my daughter who was sitting in the front, I detected the classic burning smell as well as other fluids now leaking out of the car at a fast rate. I asked the kids to exit the car if they were able.

But then my own door wouldn’t open. Airbags trapped me. My brain was in slow motion. I remember the kids in view as they exited the vehicle, and then it registered that I was physically able to crawl across the debris to get out the passenger side.

For what seemed like forever, I stood there mumbling over and over again that there was a green arrow. My kids told me later that I repeated that many times as I trembled and tried to find more words. It was a full hour, an ambulance ride, and a few x-rays among us later before I could speak in full sentences. But we were okay.

Bruised, stiff, sore, shaken, grateful.

A few more inches into that intersection, and the speeding car would have hit my driver’s side door more directly.

My Honda Odyssey did exactly what we trusted it to do in this accident. It bubbled us with airbags to ease the impact. Had my daughter been incorrectly sitting in the front passenger seat, had she not weighed what was necessary for the airbag sensor, it would have been a completely different story. I shudder to think of it, especially when I see the totaled van and the items within it tossed and shattered.

So, let me ask you something right now: Read the rest of this entry »


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He Meets Us at the Rails

Where Is God When We Go Off the Rails

[This blog was first a featured column at Your Tewksbury Today on Mother’s Day.]

I thought about writing a Mother’s Day piece. I really did. But as awesome as that sounded to me, it ruled out so many people. I appreciate these Hallmark holidays in some ways, but I also know that for many, days like today can be difficult reminders of dreams yet unfulfilled or even crushed, or of family relationships that haven’t been or aren’t what they should be. Without going into the many manifestations of that, I wanted to address the pain, frenzy, panic, and weariness out there today. I’m going to lay it bare.

We may not all have our Sunday best on, with a handful of flowers, reservations at the local restaurant, gifts on the counter, and a trip planned to see family. Maybe this week was full of pulling ticks off kids, walking in late to that work meeting, facing three days of piled dishes at once, a car that wouldn’t start, a kid who mouthed off, a relationship that looked like it was heading toward marriage and abruptly broke off, a bad job review, a betrayal of some kind. Maybe it was an argument with a loved one, a bad report card, a miscommunication with your spouse that doesn’t feel like any “Hallmark moment”—or holiday, for that matter—that you’ve ever experienced before.

Mother or no mother, maybe your week doesn’t feel like walks in the sunshine and tea with biscuits.

Maybe your week chewed on some rocks, spit them out, and crunched down on them again.

Let’s be honest: Sometimes, we simply go off the rails.

Read the rest of this entry »


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Count It All as Pure Joy: A Tale of Heartache and the Gift of Adoption


Espressos of Faith welcomes another guest blogger today. I don’t know Joan. I was sitting at breakfast the other day with a very dear friend sharing my vision for this blog site, which was to feature stories of hope, faith, healing, and endurance in tough trials—at the end of them, or even in the middle. From time to time, this involves bringing in guest bloggers/writers, or even just courageous non-writers willing to send me sketches of their personal stories to share God’s hope with the world. Upon hearing this, my sweet friend shared Joan’s story with me, and I knew, if she was willing, it could touch others who have walked, or are walking, a similar path. We live all the way around the world from each other; I will likely never meet Joan in person. But, I am honored to meet her in this space and share a piece of her inspiration with you. I think you will find her heartfelt honesty refreshing. She begins with a poem she wrote during her struggles with infertility. Without any further introduction, here is Joan…



Treasure the flutters of first life
For those whose wombs will ever be empty.

Treasure your bump
For those whose bellies will never swell.

Treasure that sleepy 3 AM hug
For those whose sleep will never be disturbed.

Treasure every “Mommy, I love you!”
For those who will never hear the words “Mommy” or “Daddy.”

Treasure your mad and cluttered house
For those whose house will ever be tidy.

Treasure your children
For those who dream of having children every day.


With celebrating Nicole’s adoption day on Monday, I wanted to write about our adoption story and what I learnt about God along the way.

Our journey began Oct 1, 2001. That seems so long ago. We decided as young married couples do, we would start trying for a baby. So full of optimism and hope, we started trying. In December, I was convinced I was pregnant, so off to the doctor I went. The result was negative. I remember thinking, oh this was not how it was supposed to be. But, it was it how was going to be.

Many months of negative results, wondering, hoping just maybe this month will see me pregnant. The niggling thought: What if I never do? In the end, I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility. In other words, there was nothing wrong with me; I just could not fall pregnant. And so began a journey of tears, heartache, and shattered dreams.

We began fertility treatment. Every cycle I would pack up my broken heart, put it a box, go for the treatment. For two weeks, we would hope. Then, my heart would break, I would be angry with God, cry and pick up myself up again.

And we would try again.

It was one of the most difficult times of my life. I know some people wonder why infertility is so hard. If you are a parent, close your eyes. Imagine your child comes running to you calling you “Mommy” and gives the biggest hugs. Every couple dealing with infertility dreams that dream, but in their world, it’s just a dream. Never becoming reality. You have a monthly reminder you are not pregnant. Everyone around you is falling pregnant, and your body is not doing the one thing you were designed to do: carry life. It is heart-wrenching and devastating.

For many, it is a silent pain. What I learnt about God is: God knows our pain. It might feel as if He is far away, distant, but He is right there holding us in our darkest hours. His plan is not our plan, but He holds us in the unfolding of His plan as a mother eagle holds her babies. He sends His angels to watch over us. I count several dear ones as our angels during this time. They cried with us, prayed and ultimately celebrated with us.

Two turning points occurred. One was that I suffered a miscarriage. During that hard time God gave me a glimpse of eternity. And the second was my final treatment. After it was negative, I was broken and empty. I let go and let God. When we can longer carry on ourselves, God can. We get in our own way, and when we let go of holding on with our own strength and let Him carry some of the weight, we can rest and just breathe. When James mentioned the option of adoption, for me it wasn’t a second choice; I knew it was God’s choice. I knew this was the way it was supposed to be.

After several months, we were matched with a little girl. When we held her for the first time, it felt as if our hearts were lit up from the inside. I am the picture of the girl standing in front of the Cross holding her suitcase full of her hopes and dreams for her King, not knowing that what He has in store for me is far more than I could ever have imagined!

At Nicole’s dedication, I stated that if God had given me a choice, one road with happiness and biological children and a road with suffering and Nicole at the end, I would choose the road with suffering and Nicole.

Because God’s plan is perfect. And because He loves us.

Psalm 121, King David speaking

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.


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