1. Remembering as far back as a young girl, I always loved solo walks in the woods. It was a time of reflection and maybe even at a young age the beginning of some soul searching as I began private conversations with God. On my walks in the woods near my childhood home there was a babbling brook, and in the middle of the brook, a large flat rock that my sister named Mermaid Rock. Navigating over smaller rocks to get there, I would sit, sometimes write, even nap a little in this special place which gave me a sense of peace and belonging.

What are conversations with God ? Some would say prayer, others contemplation and reflection and for me I would simply say the dialogue of my heart connecting with His. I think of the delight that our God of the universe must have when His children take time out of their lives to give thanks, to make heart-felt pleas, and to simply be quiet and listen to His voice. I am forever grateful for these moments spent.

We have beautiful meadows and fields next to our home and my children and I  would hike through the fields and woods with our English Springer Sam, on late autumn afternoons after school. So, I decided to take a bike ride and hike today through the deep fields and meadows to a favorite spot that we use to go.  There was a little bridge crossing over a babbling brook with a tiny waterfall.  This place gives me peace of mind, solitude and an amazing natural spiritual connection to God. I decided to spend some time, have a conversation with God, and write my blog.  I am forever grateful for this spot.

IMG_1337  click on this link to have a moment at the tiny waterfall at the bridge.

There is another place where I connect with God. Sitting, standing, and even kneeling in front of a beautiful picture that I have of Christ which hangs on our bedroom wall. I have found myself in front of it while having tear-filled heart-felt dialogue with my creator. The creator who blessed me with two beautiful children, with love to last a life-time but, who also allowed me gigantic parenting struggles and deepest wounds as I suffered through some of the toughest days of my life.   I believe that God desires for us to need Him.  I would gaze at the picture of Christ and contemplate what it must have been like for God, our Father to see His own son suffer in the manner in which he did. And following Kenzie’s death I could imagine her sitting in heaven with God looking down pained as they watched me suffer as I tried to make sense of it all.   I do believe that it’s why I’ve been gifted with Godwinks. Kenzie inspired and as God provided small tokens to keep me focused on healing and in finding joy even in the unfathomable.  I am forever grateful.

I wanted to share my Godwink from this past week. I had finally after seven years emptied and remodeled our daughter’s room. A very big and long process. I sensed my daughter was inspiring me to get the job done. She liked the color yellow and I felt drawn to a bright happy shade for my new office space and yet still and always will be Kenzie’s room. It is now painted a sun/fun filled shade of yellow and decorated with art that has been a part of this journey.  Makenzie’s senior portrait with her car hangs on the wall.  Anyway, last week I found a couple of straggler paper bags filled with Kenzie’s schoolwork that I had labeled ” BURN ” . My thought was that I could not have any of my daughter’s things ending up in the landfill. I remember talking with God and imploring Him of what to do? I simply could not keep everything. So, I decided to take one last look over her academic work, her silly doodles and such and ended up with her English composition book in my hands. As I thumbed through it I stopped at a page with a title ” The Queen of Warwick”. This made me laugh as it was the title that I gave myself when my children were small. There was a time when my son would only answer to the name Sonic for a cartoon character “Sonic Hedgehog” and a time when Makenzie would not respond to anything except “Pocahontas”! You can imagine being a mom at a park or in a store calling out these unusual names to get the attention of my children. The only rule was that I too would be called something different and would only answer to the name “Queen of Warwick”. So there in that English composition book I found an essay that my daughter had written about me, her mom. As I read it I got that oh so familar lump in my throat and the tears, happy tears flooded my eyes. I am forever grateful for happy tears.

Here is her handwritten essay:  (also typed below)… I love finding her hand writing!

The Queen of Warwick”
by: Makenzie Goode
– English/History-

People in history have done things to change and impact other people’s lives. Bono for example raises millions of dollars to help fight AIDS in Africa. If we go back a couple of years, other famous people have impacted lives such as Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. They wanted peace and equality for all races, religions, and people. Although these people inspire me to change, there are people everywhere making changes that don’t get enough recognition for it. One of these people is my mother.

My mom has done so much for me and my brother, and loves us more than anything. She wants us to be the best we can. My mom teaches us right from wrong and raised us in the church. What my mother does that I think is so special is how she donates so much of her paycheck to the church. She will spend about $1,000 dollars a summer, for me to go to a Christian summer camp, to become an amazing person. We also sponsor a young girl from Kenya. Her name is Naeku and she lives in an HIV/AIDS infected area. My mom donates money to an organization called “Compassion” and the money goes to Naeku’s family. Naeku is five years old and has five brothers and sisters so I imagine things are hard for her family. I’m proud of my mom for going out of her way to help this family in need.

My mom is the most patient and easy-going woman that I know. I would like to be like her when I grow up because she is so close to God and has faith in Him. I feel happy knowing that we’re doing something to help even one person.

I too, have helped students in Africa with my sixth grade class. We created hand-made greeting card packages and sold them raising $1,050.00. After that a lady from my town (Pat Lemon) doubled it, helping us to donate about $2,000.00. This money went to buying school supplies and was used to build a well for good healthy drinking water. I feel like my mom in that sense, because we chose to help by donating.

I hope that when I’m older, greed doesn’t overcome me, and I can give back to the world just as much as she does. My mother is quite an amazing person and she inspires me to change every time I see Naeku’s picture on the refrigerator.

Wow! What an amazing discovery for me!   This sweet Godwink gifted just before I randomly tossed her school papers out. I was led to read that paper that Kenzie wrote as she honored me, her mom.  I never knew she had those thoughts, and relieved to know she truly understood how much I loved her and her brother.  Thank you Kenzie, and thank you my father in heaven, for always knowing exactly what I need; in helping me to find the joy in the journey.

How blessed I am to have conversations with God the creator of the universe who knows me simply as his own.

But the water that I give to them becomes a perpetual spring within them, watering them forever with eternal life.

( from my devotional: Living Light )