Cara Mia



I have this beautiful friend. We delight in deep, spiritual and personal discussions. We also revel in pure joy when we are having our adventures, seeking how to bless others, or just speaking the love language of affirmation that we both share. But this friend displays another attribute which I value greatly. She has the ability to just be.


I am an affirmed introvert. Many of you say that I fool you because I am often displaying extroverted characteristics. I care deeply about people and I want them to feel loved, encouraged, and affirmed. That is what motivates me to reach out to you before you reach out to me. But when I am devoid of energy I don’t want to talk. Most people don’t know what to do with that and either stay away or endlessly continue to talk at me. Not my friend. She has the ability to just sit by me and let me be quiet. And in her presence, I know that I am loved and accepted, no matter what mood or state I am in. There is a beautiful quiet and loveliness about her friend presence.


I find this same peace in God. Sometimes I chatter and talk to Him about all the things I want Him to know and take care of and thank Him for. We plan our adventures, and how we’re going to to bless others, and speak our love language of affirmation. Other times, when I am devoid of words and animation, I just sit by Him quietly. He doesn’t talk at me. He doesn’t reject me. He doesn’t even mind that I am quiet. For you see, He made me this way, in His great wisdom and desire for diversity. He delights in us just being in each other’s presence and basking in each other’s love.


This relationship seems much like I’ve read about the Garden of Eden. Moment by moment, God looked down from the Heavens and saw what His beloved new creations were doing. But more often than not, He was found walking with His beloveds, Adam and Eve, in the Garden. Simply being. Side by side. Just delighting in each other’s presence.


So stop being driven to talk all the time. Just stop. Stop talking, stop doing, stop performing. Just be. Simply delight in being in the presence of our Great God. He wanted me to remind you.


Relentless Gratitude


I sat outside on our deck absorbing the Autumn sunshine, watching the turkeys, and delighting in our beautiful view of mountains and woods. I enthusiastically thanked God for giving us such a soul-feeding view that infuses me with peace. My mind reverted back to thinking about the miracle that brought this blessing about. You see, we shouldn’t have this view…….or even this piece of land. We spent 2 years searching for land in TN while living in NY. Every school vacation we got, we would travel to Knoxville, look up our realtor, and have her show us the few tracts of land that she had sent via email and we could… maybe, afford. In November of 2014, we finally walked upon this beautiful acreage and Robert knew within minutes that it was “THE” parcel. How could he possibly know? I convinced him to look at another parcel of land just in case his instincts were wrong. Then we put in a purchase offer and found out within minutes that this desirable piece of land was in probate and there were at least a couple of people ahead of us who had also put in purchase offers. Even more potential buyers had also stood in line for the land but had lost patience with probate and dropped out. It was impossible. But we left our purchase offer in and waited for the Probate Court date and the Judge to release it for resale. Finally, in the Spring of 2015, it came upon the desirable status and should have easily passed into the hands of the people who had been patiently waiting for the last year for their purchase offer to be accepted. Yet, nothing happened. We sold our NY home and moved into our children’s house in the summer of that year and began looking at other properties. Nothing was remotely appropriate or within our price range. Finally, one sultry August day, we got a phone call from our realtor and it changed our lives. The people who were to purchase the 30 acres had dropped out and the property was ours to purchase. We were delirious with excitement! We resubmitted our purchase order and waited for the Judge to approve our offer. We didn’t dare offer anything less than the $89K that was asked for on 30.5 acres. However, when we later viewed the submitted purchase offer, we noticed that it had been submitted at $85K. Oh, no! We weren’t sure what had happened but we held our breaths wondering if the Judge would think we had some nerve proposing that we pay even less for a prime piece of land that was already priced less than it was worth. However, the Judge easily approved our offer! Later, as we spoke with our Realtor we mentioned how aghast we were at discovering the purchase price had been lowered by $5,000. Our realtor insisted that she put in the Purchase offer for the exact amount that had originally been offered. And then we showed her. She couldn’t believe that she made a mistake and put in the offer for $5,000 less than the asking price. We, however, were ecstatic, as we could hardly believe that we were to be the owners of 30.5 acres, let alone afford such a beautiful blessing.

And here I am now sitting on the front deck of our beautiful custom-made home, thanking God, as I survey the beauty of our land. I do that almost daily. But today there was an awareness that I was already forgetting the significant miracle that God put before me. My covetous little heart was grateful…….but I had begun to move on and forget the unexplainable details of our miracle and how significantly it impressed upon us the depth of love and grace God has for us. I’ve already begun asking God for new and more prodigious desires and needs. There is nothing wrong with that, is there? After all, we always have new challenges and needs that we are dependent upon God for.

My mind began switching tracks again and I began thinking of my second oldest child, a daughter named Kaitlyn. From the time she was a little girl, Kaitlyn was that child that asked for little but when you gave her anything, she thanked you in the sweetest way, over and over. Kaitlyn has demonstrated gratitude every day of her life. And to this day, any gift that you give her, any kindness bestowed upon her, any visit endowed to her, you will receive a text, a thank you note, or a specially made Kaitlyn card designed for you and full of specific attributes she appreciates about you. She has a distinct gift of verbally affirming your worth. She does this most expertly with her extraordinary gift of writing and expressing herself.

I desire to take my cues from Kaitlyn. When I experience a miracle, or even a small gift from God in my life, I want to sincerely express my gratitude to Him. I don’t want to be like the Israelites who seemed to forget monumental miracles, like being brought out of Egypt and having a huge sea part in the middle to allow them to walk to safety. I am human and it is hard not to be dulled to the effects of a momentous occasion by moving on into the future. Our moment to moment needs and small catastrophes require us to continually go before God’s throne to ask for His intervention and prevention. But let me not forget the old and precious gifts. Kaitlyn doesn’t let me forget. Randomly, I will get a text or a letter reminding me of a small thing that I said or a kindness we bestowed upon her and how it impacted her life. I need to revisit the miracles and graces that God has lavishly interjected into every aspect of my life. I need to revisit those moments, and tell Him very specifically, over and over what it meant to my life and how loved He made me feel. As a parent, Kaitlyn’s epistles and remembrances stir me to feel as though I raised her in a palace and bestowed every parental asset and luxury upon her. How does God deserve any less from me?