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Currently Browsing: Finding YaHWeH
Feb
22

A Walk in the Woods

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In the early morning, He waits.

Marco does not.  He nudges a nose, cold and wet, under the edge of the quilt, searching for my bare arm.

My feet are quick to hit the wooden floor because this hour is sweet.  This is my time for peace and solitude before the waking of husband and son,

before the brewing of coffee,

before the ringing of the phone.

and the Blackberry, Thank you Sweet Jesus, is nowhere to be found.

Sleepy-eyed I rub his ears, get dressed, gather hat and mitten, scarf and coat.  Marco follows, nails clacking against the floor, me shushing, begging him to be still, to be quiet. Out the door, Marco lunges for squirrels, birds fly to the trees. Through the woods we amble, quietly, not much to say with words and woofs, but our hearts they expand fully in the presence of God.  Marco – he is grateful, his nose rustling pine straw and leaves stirring scents of rabbits and raccoons. In the woods of his new home, there is no shortage of trees.  He strides forward happy, content, with an occasional glance back to me, as if to say, “Gee life’s great.  You aren’t missing this are ya?”

Winds blow dark, clouded skies this day.  But God, He whispers snowflakes upon us and the morning becomes intimate, private.  Marco begs to venture off the trail, go deeper into the woods.  Happy to oblige, I follow him as through an enchanted forest we walk as winter branches reach out snagging hair and scarf.

Soon, I am lost in prayer so that I might follow Him for my day.

Oh please let today be filled with Your love.

Oh please let today be filled with Your peace.

Oh please Lord, let today be filled with You.

Oh please let today Your Words slip off my tongue so that others might know Your Goodness.

In this stillness, I fear the power of the broken places in me that gust like the biting wind, until Jesus whispers, “There is no reason for concern, today just follow Me. 

And today your love will overflow, today your peace will be unending, today I will bless you infinite. 

Today, child, you will be testament to my goodness.”

His words laden with grace warm my spirit, give me hope that I am not broken beyond His repair, allow me to accept my imperfectness within the perfectness of my creator. In the afternoon, the sun shines bright and Marco is already thinking ahead.  Tomorrow early morning peace awaits and Jesus knows, we will meet Him there.

 

Where do you spend your quiet time with God and what words does He speak to you?

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you,

Elizabeth

Jan
31

God and the Honeybee

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O taste and see that the Lord is good:  blessed is the man that trusts in Him

~ Psalm 34:8

I tend to wait until everything is perfect to get started on anything.  I am pensive and an extraordinary procrastinator. I have the ability to strategize to exhaustion and I capitalize on it. God knows this all too well.  Some might analyze this as a perfectionist complex or a fear of failure.  I say it is lack of trust, a sore lacking of faith.

I write and wonder who reads the words and what they may stir in a mind’s quiet moment.  I pray to God for more words and new places to find Him.  And on a rainy January afternoon, He answers with a gift of honeybees.

I know. I am as surprised as you are.  I did not expect this either.  I was diligently praying for a hive. But God loves to gift surprises.  So grab a cup of tea and settle in for a moment, let me tell you how I found God at Honeybee School.

I ride the winding roads across the mountain to the Woody Gap School in Suches, Georgia.  I worry the pouring rain might dampen our chance to hang out with the bees, might we be given the opportunity.  I watch the misty fog cling to the sleeping landscape like thin white cotton candy and I hope the day yields more than knowledge of a honeybee’s life.  I pray words will flow like honey from the comb once I am still.  I talk to Mom as she drives, silently plan what I might write although I know one cannot plan where God will show up, but must issue the invitation, wait patiently, be still.

I find it is easy to be still once inside a cozy auditorium with 50 other people, each hanging on every word. And because we are so smitten, so in love with the honeybee, being anywhere else at the moment would be, well, inconvenient.  And yes, the promise so hoped for, has just been dangled like a prize before us – if the weather permits, we will indeed go visit the honeybees.

A flood descends, fat drops splatter violently against the panes.  And I wait in stillness, awed by the intimate detail with which God designed the honeybee. 

The one fact that sinks in deep, roots itself in thought has only a little to do with the honeybee: a parasite does not kill its host and in my notes I write a thought so clear, the devil is a parasite.  I have all day to dwell in this revelation.  After lunch the rains begin to clear, leave a heavy mist hanging around the mountain tops and cold breezes swirling about us as we walk to the honeybee hive.  We watch the smoke swell in the wind and the bees fly around, investigate the people gathered in their midst.  Honeybees rest on hats and jackets and buzz happy.  In the cold mist, peace descends.

It is important now that you see the creativity with which God spurs us on to His will for our lives.

First, a secret.  I rarely win prizes.  Standard practice is to never buy a raffle ticket.  But I bought a book and a hive was being raffled off. Did I mention how badly I wanted that hive?  So in desperation, I bought four.

As all the other nice quiet students are sauntering to the front to graciously accept their prizes, I stare intently at my numbers all lined up, believing God heard my prayers and explanations of way I need the hive not the bees because I need more time. I hear, “141” and  before I can restrain myself, I hop up and shout, “that’s me!” with my hand waving ticket in the air.  Too excited to be embarrassed, I rush to the front to receive my hive.  I am handed a sheet of paper.  I am sitting in my seat before I realize I have not won a hive at all.  I have won honeybees.

Mom says laughing, “Guess you better look at the hives.” 

But response is not possible when I realize God is speaking to me so truthfully.  What He says is always worth cherishing , always worth repeating.  With this gift, God tells me I was built for courage, strength and faith; for months now, I traded it for fear and striving, questioning and doubting.  Churning spins faith thin and my parasite eats well.  For most of my life, I have spread a banquet before my enemy fueling his war against me.

Yet, God says I do not have to wait to taste the sweetness of His gifts. No perfect circumstances or extensive planning is needed. Faith, He says, is all I need and promises to grow it in sweet Sonlight as long as I simply believe.

 

 

Jan
18

A Peace that Stills

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 On the same day when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”…And a great windstorm arose and the waves beat into the boat so that it was already filling.  But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow.  And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  Then He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”  And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.  But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful?  How is it that you have no faith?”  And they feared exceedingly and said to one another, “Who can this be that even the wind and sea obey Him?” ~ Mark 4:35, 37-41 NKJV

pink skies in Copper Hill, Tn

What is it about coming home that brings peace and the inexplicable sense of safety and happiness that abides in its midst where abundant love is freely given and accepted? The sky is pink tonight and I don’t know why, but staring into it settles a peace over me.  Blue rock rises creating shadows under a languid sinking sun along a winding back country road and I am stilled by hand-painted skies.

frosty December leavesHow sweet a gift, to come home to towering pines and old white oaks that fill fireplaces on cold winter nights. Dawn breaks with frosty leaves and gifts of first snows on birthdays and I feel cherished and lavishly doted upon.  

Even after a hard day’s work, the worst day’s problems can dissolve into a plate of smores and the rediscovered thrills of licking brownie batter from the bowl are beautiful gifts.

smores are a perfect homemade treat

 

 

The sweetness of childhood floods December mornings that soon give way to January skies and a new year filled with promise and hope.

 

 

 

Perseverance is rich in sweetness when I walk in faith of blessings waiting to be bestowed upon my undeserving soul as the striving to be worthy enough slowly subsides and fades.

 

 

 

 

And somewhere in the midst of wooded hills, in the quiet of the early morning’s frosty dew and gentle light, I find God smiling upon me with a peace that stills.

 

 

 

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

~ Exodus 14:14 NIV

Sep
16

In the Garden

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It is hard to believe that autumn is settling in and making herself comfortable.  This summer has passed by in a whirl leaving me grasping onto the last warm days before it is too cool for me to be in the garden.

 

This week I tended to a couple of gardens I neglected.  It had been something to dread.  I could see the weeds thriving, especially after all the rain Irene dropped on us.  I feared the weeds had choked out all the hard work from last summer.

 

But I ought to have known better.  There was nothing to fear.  Life was abundant in the garden this week.  Bees buzzed and butterflies fluttered and grasshoppers perched themselves on aster to bask  in the late summer afternoon sun.

 

I pulled weeds and found that my perennials were just fine.  They had managed to push up and through the weeds after finding shelter in them during the hotter days in August.  My neglect had actually protected them from the lack of rain and kept them in place when the rain flooded my back yard.

 

So I marveled at the beauty around me in the velvety lamb’s ear and the red yarrow and the lavender thriving.  My chrysanthemums are budding and blooming in rich reds and maroons, pinks and yellows.  Some are orange like sunsets and some have blooms like daisies.

 

This week I found God in an unkempt garden.  I found Him in the rich soil tilled by worms and bugs.  I found Him in a butterfly’s wing and a grasshoppers stillness. I found Him as my fingers moved across the softness of lamb’s ear that has filled in the crumbling stones around the garden’s border.  I found Him in the sunshine shining down on me and in the breeezes that cooled me.

 

So now it is your turn.  Where did you find God this week?

As always,

mercy, peace and love

be multiplied to you,

Elizabeth

Sep
9

A Wife’s Happiness

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If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him.

For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.

~ Deuteronomy 24:5 (niv)

 

Randy, Hawaii 2011

Randy, Hawaii 2011

My husband has never gone to war.  He rarely takes a trip with his friends and leaves me alone.  He doesn’t hunt, but loves to fish.  We watch football together so I can’t even say that he watches television without me.  I know he is faithful and he is honest.  And I know I am richly blessed because God saw fit in His divine plan to me place in the care of a husband who would not only take care of me, but who would give me my heart’s desires.

 

He isn’t perfect, but this is good because neither am I. He still leaves his flip flops in the middle of the floor or forgets to recycle the junk mail and leaves it on the kitchen table – just for me.    I have my own faults (and they are many), but he is always good to take me out to dinner if my day has been bad, or like this week, to surprise me in the nicest way.

 

Today I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  It reminded me of the first flowers he sent me a week after we had been dating – full of beautiful daisies – just because he knew that I would delight in them, just because he loves me.

 

In this God has taught me something important.  Life is messy.  Life is hard.  My marriage is not perfect because neither Randy or myself is perfect, but there is beauty in the imperfectness of us.  Why?  Because in the midst of hurts and wrongs, tragedies and sacrifices, there is also adventure and happiness and love.  And isn’t love what it is really all about?

 

Blue Fish enjoying the new flowers....and her new home.

 

 

It is your turn.  Who did you find God in this week?

 

The first 3 people to leave a comment will receive,

“A Pocket Book of Prayers for Women.”

 

As always,

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you,

Elizabeth

Aug
19

God’s Provision

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Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

Psalm 29:2

Today I found God when the sky opened up and poured down beautiful, beautiful rain.  My gardens have been begging for it.  The sky darkens and lightens and darkens again as the storms roll through.  It brought me memories of what my Granddaddy used to say. No matter how much you water with the garden hose, there is just no substitution for one of the good Lord’s rain showers.  And he was right every time he said it.  When I am prone to wonder about what may be a necessity in my life, I find there is never any substitution for the provisions of God.  This morning, I realized that last night I forgot to change my daily scripture here on the website.  I usually do this just prior to bed so all of you early risers can see it at the crack of dawn which is way before I crawl out of bed.  This morning during my quiet time I found these verses in The Message:

 

Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one. Acts 4:11 &12

 

When we were in Hawaii we saw the neatest thing.  One side of Hawaii is all lava rock with little vegetation.  The other side has all the lushness because of the tropical rain showers every day. We stayed on the lava side.  It looked like the moon.  All along the roads in the crumbled up lava were words written with coral.  Some big, some small, some just names to let someone else know they had been there.  One day we took a ride up the coast for a short sightseeing trip and this is what we saw on a foothill of a volcano:Hawaii Jesus loves, lava and coral

 

So I find a provision amidst the desolation of lava rock. There is just no substitution for Jesus.  He is God’s ultimate provision. There will never be another name we can call on for salvation of our souls.  There will never be another we can call on for healing and peace and miracles.  The world can offer nothing greater as a replacement because Jesus is a Holy gift.  Even thousands of miles from home, as I look out a car window for a glimpse of scenery, a little beauty, I see the reminder that my little evangelical heart needed – JESUS LOVES.  With that love, He saves and I know this: It is the only truth worth holding on to, it is the only thing worth giving up everything else to follow wherever He may lead me.

 

Now, it is your turn so leave please leave a comment below and tell me…

 

Where did you find God this week? 

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you,

Elizabeth

 

Aug
11

Island Time

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Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. {Psalm 29:2}

Aloha!

Beach, Big Island of Hawaii

 

Randy and I have returned from our beautiful vacation in Hawaii.  It was amazing and I am looking forward to sharing some of the wonderful experiences we had there.  During the next few days, I will be revealing all the new things about A Quiet Chaos’ new home.  It had been planned for this week, but I am having a little trouble shifting from Island time to Northern Virginia time.  Then to top it off, I had some crazy reaction to something in the air and I have been taking Benadryl for four days.  So I am a little behind this week to say the least.

 

Between bouts of scratching and unpacking, I literally stumbled across my journal and opened it to find some scrap pieces of paper I had written on during the overnight flight home.  So I thought, what better way to kick off the revealing of all things new, is to tell you one of the many places I found God.

 

Each Friday, I will reveal my favorite place that I found God during the week and I will ask you to share where you found God.

 

This week I found God in a thunderstorm.  The plane hums  in the darkness and a thunderstorm brews in a velvet sky full of stars.  The lightening strikes and illuminates towers of clouds. The one in the middle looks like a throne. The lightening strikes so quickly, it appears as sharp flickering lights – as if many people have their hands on light switches, flipping them up and down, on and off, over and over again.  We are flying on the edge of the storm.  It stretches for miles and more; mere glimpses of God’s almighty power.  It is mesmerizing and I sit in awe as a shooting star falls from the Heavens to the Earth below me.  A gift, as I fight sleep like a toddler who is not quite ready for bed, waiting for one more sliver of beauty before I relent and close my eyes to accept sleep.  The plane rocks on the turbulence , lulling me and I count stars and write words.  I love to fly because I feel a gain a glimpse of what the earth below must look like from God’s view.  I feel closer to God as I fly through the midnight skies as if it only has to do with proximity, but it is so much more.  I am present to feel God’s creative power with wonder like a child, reaching out as if the shorter distance might allow me to touch Heaven for a moment – just one ephemeral moment. I want to close my eyes, but the insomniac in me says, “no,” so I continue to write words, slow down my mind, empty it to just exist for a few moments in stillness.  I doze and awaken to dawn begging to make her entrance as the pale morning light washes away the velvety darkness and the twinkling stars.  The half moon hangs on, luminescent, pure. An orange ball of fire rises in the east lifting the fog from the slumbering earth, and the coolness of the night clings to my skin in a chill as I exit Dulles into the waiting morning sunshine.

 

Now, it is your turn so leave please leave a comment below and tell me…

 

Where did you find God this week? 


Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you,

Elizabeth

Jul
2

Beautiful

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Elizabeth Marchman Flower #15

If you keep on biting and devouring eat other, you will be destroyed by each other. ~ Galatians 5:15

 

Yesterday afternoon, I found God in a subway tunnel.
Randy and I took the Metro down to Arlington to his office so he could pick up some files he needed for the weekend.  When we arrived at the Courthouse station and began to exit the train to his office, Randy grabs my hand and says to me, “There is a guy we will pass in a few minutes – he plays his guitar and sings Jesus songs.”  We ascended the stairs and swiped our cards at the turnstile. As we rounded the corner,  heading for the tunnel that runs under the street to his office building, I could hear the music.  Softly, quietly it drifted and swirled around me pulling me forward to the center of the tunnel where it splits off into different directions. His sweet voice carried simple words, but friend, they were such powerful words. 
“Jesus, I want to be in Your presence. 
Jesus, I want to know you. 
Jesus, I want you to fill me up with Your love.” 

Elizabeth Marchman flower #16

As we drew nearer to him, I could feel love and encouragement in my heart.  As the words he sang made my heart swell, I let the rest of everything fall away – the stress, the anxiety, the problems to big for me to handle, the meanness of the world, the fear that keeps me in idle much too often- I just let it go.  And for the few brief moments as we passed by him, I truly felt God whispering to my heart.
“Here I am.  I will take your problems because they are not to big for me.  I will take your stress and your anxiety, your worry and your fear.  I will take your doubt.  I will use it to build you up and never let you down.  Trust me.”
As we continued to walk through the tunnel under the street, the music faded slowly away.  We emerged into the sunshine of late afternoon.  I felt grateful.  I felt peaceful.  Would it last? I did not know. 
When we re-entered the train station, retracing our steps, the music slowly, quietly began to drift through the tunnels to me once again.  God showed me how this man had placed himself strategically in the center of the station’s tunnels where Jesus’ name could be heard throughout.  I began to think about how God places us in a certain time and place for His specific purposes.  We may never know this side of Heaven who we affect with our actions – good or bad, but I believe if we are obedient to our calling and the ministry God has laid before us, then the outcome is change.  
Changed hearts.  
Changed minds.  
Changed lives. 
Changed for the good, not the bad.  Is that not enough for us to know?  Should we not, every one of us whatever our beliefs are, just try to be a source of encouragement to one another?  Should we not always try our very best to show kindness and love to another fellow human being?  Should we not care about another’s burdens and show them what God can do with those burden’s?

Elizabeth Marchman Flower #17

He can take them, crush them and make us whole. I think I will let Him take mine.  Will you?
When I passed by this man, each time I felt a holiness and reverence that had been missing in the rest of my day. I felt it because Jesus was with him.  It made me want to touch this man in the subway tunnel as if I might draw on his love for Jesus, might benefit somehow from his obedience, that somehow magically it could be transferred directly to me with just a mere touch. I wanted what he had in Jesus, but I did not have to touch him to get it.  Because Jesus was present and He made Himself available to me in the busiest of times to calm and refresh my heart, ease my worries and anxieties. He filled me up with His peace and love and all I had to do was exist in His presence.  It is the most beautiful thing to experience and I want to encourage you to seek Him out today.  Let Jesus love and spoil you with His perfectness and His beauty. Let it be today.

May you exist in a showering of His Peace and love, 
Elizabeth
Jan
6

The Gift ~ part one

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Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”~ Luke 2:8-14 
Elizabeth Marchman Lights #1


 A Little Piece of Wisdom

When I was a senior in high school, three weeks before Christmas, God gave me a special and unique gift.  At the time, I underestimated the significance of the gift, I barely recognized it as such.  But through the years the memory of a moment, in a back alley, on a cold winter day, spurred a non-linear pondering that cultivated two things: passion and a little piece of imparted wisdom.

One Sunday afternoon, I attended a matinee showing of “Driving Miss Daisy” at the Alliance Theater.  When the play was over and dusk eminent, I ambled alone, down the sidewalk, back to my car.  The city already reflected Christmas.  Wreaths and twinkle lights adorned many of the buildings and trees.  Distracted by thoughts of colleges I might attend and holiday party RSVPs and pretty Christmas lights all around me, I did not realize I had strayed in the opposite direction of my car.  The cold wind pierced my body even though I was dressed in a wool suit and long leather coat.  I burrowed deeper inside my scarf and shoved my gloved hands down into my pockets.  I scurried across the street, pausing to watch the sun as it drifted down, down, out of sight behind a hotel.  The sidewalks were deserted and quiet on the back streets.  My nose crinkled as it caught the smell of something burning.  I turned around and stared down the alley way.  A homeless woman sat on the frozen ground trying to light a small fire, but the fierce wind blew out each match she struck.  I could see the smoldering ashes of the last fire.  Beside her, a red milk crate held what appeared to be all her worldly possessions.  When she looked up, I could see the loneliness in her eyes.  I was overwhelmed and panicked.  She stared at me for a fleeting moment, but it seemed an eternity to me.  I stared at the torn clothes upon her emaciated body and beyond to the dumpster that partially concealed a torn cardboard appliance box.  I took a step closer and she feebly stood.  From her pocket, she pulled a dead dandelion, handed it to me, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

I walked away confused and feeling conflicted.  Should I take her home with me?  Should I buy her something to eat?  Should I give her my coat?  I do not remember my parents ever preparing me for this particular situation and I did not have a handbook to consult.  I know what I wanted to do. I wanted to take her to the nicest hotel, feed her a fancy meal, let her soak in a hot bath, but I did none of these things.  I just went home to a hot dinner waiting on me, a warm bed and soft pillows.  My dog slept across my feet that night as I dreamt of haunting eyes and eternal stares.  In my dream, I take her to the hotel and her smile sweeps away my hesitation to do what is right and good.

Over the years, I have often thought about this woman.  I try to imagine that someone helped her and she lived happily ever after.  I always wondered how I must have looked to her and why she wanted to give me something when it appeared I had so much and she had so little.  She did not boast or ask anything in return.  She was quiet and gentle in her words and in her actions.  It was a simple gift, one she must have treasured because the poor dandelion was like a much loved teddy bear, worn and twisted and held together by the bare threads of the stalk.  I gave her nothing but a smile and an enormous amount of pity.

In my life I have been, financially, in many different places.  There have been times when I worked more than one job to make ends meet.  I have taken a calculator to the store, carefully adding each item to make sure I had enough cash and stood stoic, heart pounding, sure I would have to put something back because I maybe added the tax wrong.  I have been at the opposite end where I could afford a little luxury – maybe not my own island – but maybe a dreamy, week long vacation in the Bahamas. I have been at every place in between. I have gleaned there will always be people with more, there will always be people with less.  And it is nothing to be ashamed of, not anything worthy of boasting.  Money is essential to existing in this world, but it will never buy you happiness or peace of mind.  Being financially wealthy does not make anyone more important than another in God’s eyes.

My Granddaddy always said that Christmas had become commercialized and it was a money making endeavor.  Sadly, I have to agree.  I must admit that I am as guilty as anyone to buy too many gifts.  It is all too easy to get caught up in all the hype and forget the real purpose of Christmas.  In the midst of all the shopping and checking names off lists as I fight the crowds at the mall, I forget the One who really deserves a gift.
I consider the charities and three sponsored families we support.  At church, a few weeks before Thanksgiving, items are gathered for gift baskets for families in need and Angel Tree tags hang from a fake fir tree.  I participate, then contemplate the rest of the year.  Jesus never said to love and serve only at Christmas.  He said to do it all the time.  Each and every day.  He never said it was the price of the gift that was important.  He never said spend equal amounts on everyone.  He never said, “go to the mall and buy bright shiny electronics.”

He said, “love one another.”  He said, “give to those in need.”  He said, “feed my sheep.”  And I do, but do I do it every day?  Am I drawing on my God-given talents?  Am I freely giving of my time?  Am I giving gifts from my heart?

Now all the pondering gives way to clarity and this is what I know. Gifts should never be given to impress and need not be expensive to have meaning. The lavishness of a gift should lie in the heart of the giver, not in the wallet.  It should only matter how big my heart is and that it stays big all year long.  The reason behind Christmas should be remembered always. It is about a gift that was given to me and to you.

More than two thousand years ago, God gave every person an equal opportunity gift.  It was not just for the rich or the poor, the best or the worst, the most or the least. Under a starlit sky, in a stable, God gave us the best He could offer.  He gave us Jesus. There was no parade, no fireworks.  He came quietly.  He came gently. He came to us all in the middle of the night; while shepherds kept watch over their flocks, kings sat on their thrones, gifts traveled from afar.  It was a night like no other.  It was a perfect night where angels sang to shepherds and Kings bowed down to an infant. It was a night that should leave me awe struck and bring me to my knees in reverence of a child that was sent to die so that I could live.  He gave all of Himself for me and I struggle to give even a little.


Many will tell you that signs and miracles and wonders must come to us in a grand way, but Jesus didn’t come that way at all.  He came to us on an ordinary day.  God sent His best to us and never boasted about. In return, can I say that I give my best to Him?  Can I say that every gift I give was given from my heart?  Can I say it contained even a little bit of Jesus?  I do not know that I have ever given away something I truly treasured above all else.


I want to believe my heart is bigger than the bad things that have happened in my life.  I want to believe I am not selfish and self-serving.  I want to believe that I walk in humility. I want to believe that Jesus shines through me every day. I want to say that I give the very best of me that I have to offer, that somewhere inside of me is something that makes me worthy enough to be loved by Jesus.  The truth is I am not, even in my best and most extraordinary moment, worthy enough to stand before God without Jesus to wash away my sins. And believe me, there sure is a lot of washing to do.

When I was seventeen, I stood still and watched a woman who seemed to have nothing, give me a gift.  In that gift, I found God.  I did not see Him at first, but over time, as I’ve grown, He revealed Himself to me.  I see Him in the wrinkles on her face.  I felt Him as her hand graced mine.  I heard Him as she spoke to me.  I have held the memory of her in my heart.  I accepted her gift and gave her nothing in return. Jesus has given me life, and I have given nothing to Him that would ever compare to what He has given to me and the humbling truth is, I will never come close.

Please watch this before you leave:
Dec
15

A Little Extra Love

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The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. ~ Zephaniah 3:17
God loved on me a little extra last week.  It was one of those weeks that was filled with surprises and excitement, happiness and joy, peace and love.

Elizabeth Marchman Football #1
In Indianapolis November 14th for the Colts game.

And a birthday.  Last Thursday, it turns out, I have spent 40 years on this earth.  Twenty years ago, I would have thought it would surely be the death of me to turn such a old and ugly age, but I have found that with each decade that passes, things truly get better with age.  Personally all my “decade” birthdays have been excellent years, but just between me and you, I don’t remember my tenth year perfectly, but I am certain that it was good.


I don’t know when the change began, but I have noticed in the past month that I have become comfortable being me.  I have always considered myself a middle of the road kind of person.  Nothing really special or great and nothing really terrible or bad.  Just average.  Being myself has not always been an easy task.  I have never had a very high opinion of myself.  I have always thought I was somewhat like a chameleon- ever changing to blend into my surroundings.  I was happy to float under the radar.  I enjoy attention (I mean who doesn’t?), but I never know what to do when I get too much.  I feel awkward.  This past week though I was showered with attention and love and gifts.  I am going to share some of them with you.  Some may leave you scratching your head thinking – what is the big deal about that? The point, I believe you will find, is that they were all God inspired and He left His fingerprints everywhere.  It made me feel as if I was the only one He was paying attention to this week.  I felt special and, not for a moment, awkward.  This week, for the first time ever, I found God in my birthday.


It all began on Friday the 3rd.  I woke up with my husband’s cold and was unable to attend my journaling group’s monthly meeting.  However, it didn’t stop everyone else from celebrating.  A friend dropped by afterward and brought my gifts.  Everyone had given me 40 of something – mostly chocolate – (yeah!).  I even got 40 pencils so I have no excuse not to write everyday.  Then came the weekend.  I spent the weekend nursing a cold while my husband did all kinds of things for me.  He even fixed a cracked toilet seat.  For me, this was a great start to my birthday week.  In this household, I usually do these things.  Randy is a financial whiz, but construction and repairs of any kind – we will just say, I usually enjoy those projects a little more than he does.  On Tuesday, gifts poured down like rain from a summer thunderstorm.   They were little things – Logan and I went to the post office and Chick-fil-a is right next door.  Now I have been craving a chicken biscuit for weeks and my rear-end has threatened me if I so much as think about going to get one…but my craving won and I still fit into my jeans.  Of course, we were running late, it was almost 11am and I was sure there were no biscuits left from breakfast. There never are.  But on Wonderful, Glorious Tuesday, there was one.  One. So Logan graciously gave it up for a sandwich instead.  I know – little things make me happy, but it tasted soooo good.  In my change, I received a 1967 half dollar.  I have not received a half dollar in change since I can’t even remember when. When I was little, my Papa used to fill little outstretched grandkid hands with these magical coins.  I still have one in my jewelry box with a $2 bill my Granny gave to me.  It brought back all those memories of climbing around in the attic of their old house and Papa climbing up there with us to tell us ghost stories.  The dust would swirl in the light at the edges of dark corners as we listened to stories about creaking bones and footfalls on the stairs. I remembered Papa’s dog, Tiny, who would “sit like a human” right next to him on the sofa while they watched the television and Granny’s nut roll at Christmas and the perfect dressing she always made when she roasted a chicken.  She used the broth and added all those wonderful bits of moist, tender chicken.  My mouth is starting to water right now and I am thinking that soup may not satisfy me for dinner tonight.  That old worn out coin in my hand brought back childhood memories and it began a pattern of thinking about how of these little things form a shroud around me.  Each year is another layer added and my shape changes. I have accumulated scars, opinions, attitudes, knowledge and wisdom – among other things.  It all melts together and each new year of my life transforms me into this person I sometimes fail to recognize.  In the mirror, I look so different. In my stomach, I used to feel this panic.  No.  Not forty.  Not yet.  Rewind the clock.  Stop the clock.  Just stop it for a little while and let me catch up to where the year tells me I am, but my head tells me that it is still running the numbers and not to panic just yet because we must have added or subtracted something wrong.  So very wrong.  But I remember the three “wisdom” hairs I found a few months ago and my heart whispers that there has been no mistake.  I can’t see them now, but by the summer the perfect dye job will fade in the sun and the heat while I garden.  I am certain those three will have company come July.

Elizabeth Marchman Insect Art #1

On Tuesday, I also received my first Christmas gift of the year.  Before Logan and I left, he was standing outside drinking his coffee and I stepped out to tell him something.  Right next to the door was this beautiful table with a dragonfly on it.  Back in September, I met a new friend and she is an artist.  She lives across the street.  While I was working on my rock wall and garden, she would come over and we would chat.  The table is so beautiful and fits perfectly in my writing room next to my chair.  Wednesday brought the decorating of the Christmas tree.  Normally, we would do this on my birthday. It has always been tradition every since I can remember.  I really wanted to wake up to the tree decorated on my birthday so we did it the evening before this year.  I had already decided on my gift.  I had originally wanted to have a big, fancy party with all my friends and lots of cake.  I opted for something else.  I asked for something I really want…and need.


A handyman.  


Laugh all you want, but I will direct you to the above paragraph where it states very plainly that I do the construction and repairs in this house.  This is the best gift I could have been given because our house is older than I am and it needs a little extra love.  Well – love may not do it.  I have a million and one projects that need to be finished.  My husband has given me the gift of time so can write.  That tells me he believes in me, he believes in my dream, he wants me to succeed.  So on Thursday night, while Logan hung out with friends, we rang in my new year, my fortieth year, at our favorite restaurant – The Blue Iguana – and it was the best date we have had in a long time.  I felt as if I were 21 and had my whole life in front of me.  It gave me time to dream about what I would do with another 40 years.  It made me think about being 80 and all the wisdom hairs I will have then.  It made me miss my Granddaddy and Grandma.  It made me miss listening to Granddaddy reading his Bible to us and teaching us about the Roman Road to Salvation.  It made me think about the only real wisdom I have, but can not even claim as my own. Now I will share it with you…..


My grandma always said this, “Be grateful for every year you are alive and the moment you wake up dead, be grateful you were right with the Lord.”


Elizabeth Marchman Clouds #1It is the only real wisdom I possess.  I want to believe I have lived long enough to always be right, but I know that the Lord has so many more things to teach me.  I am excited to look ahead to my future.  I feel at peace with who I am.  I look forward to a whole year of being 40.  On Friday, my friend and I went to The Pink Bicycle for tea to celebrate my 40 years.  Another gift – really good Christian friends. Friends you don’t have to explain anything to because they just know you that well. Snow flurries whirled around in the wind and the clouds were thick and gray.  But it didn’t bother me a bit.  Those were the first snow flakes of the season and they floated down to earth on a perfect December day- a final little birthday gift from above, a reminder that happiness is found in the simplest of things.  Last week, I found God in every day.  I found Him in half-dollars and memories.  I found Him in my husband and my son, my birthday e-mails, cards, Facebook messages and texts.  I found Him in friends, old and new.  I found Him in my Christmas tree. I found Him in a perfect white snowflake that landed on my nose.

Elizabeth Marchman 15th wedding anniversary #1
15th wedding anniversary dinner at Oceanaire in Indianapolis

Today, I look in the mirror and I find Him in me.  I look past the crow’s feet and the dyed wisdom hairs, the scars and the rear-end that reminds me it could be just a little bit smaller.  I look past the shroud that covers and visually defines me to others at a glance.  I look deeper.  I look at my spirit and I see a soft glow that one day I hope will be a bright light.  I look forward to meeting Jesus one day.  I look forward to telling God face to face that I am so very grateful for the life he gave me.  And I hope that when he looks at me, He will be pleased with the way I lived my life, that He will be proud and count me as worthy enough.

Feb
22

A Walk in the Woods

In the early morning, He waits. Marco does not.  He nudges a nose, cold and wet, under the edge of the quilt, searching for my bare arm. My feet are quick to hit the wooden floor because this hour is sweet.  This is my time for peace and solitude before the waking of husband and son, before the brewing of coffee, before the ringing of the phone. and the Blackberry, Thank you Sweet Jesus, is nowhere to be...
Jan
31

God and the Honeybee

O taste and see that the Lord is good:  blessed is the man that trusts in Him ~ Psalm 34:8 I tend to wait until everything is perfect to get started on anything.  I am pensive and an extraordinary procrastinator. I have the ability to strategize to exhaustion and I capitalize on it. God knows this all too well.  Some might analyze this as a perfectionist complex or a fear of failure.  I say it is lack of...
Jan
18

A Peace that Stills

 On the same day when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”…And a great windstorm arose and the waves beat into the boat so that it was already filling.  But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow.  And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  Then He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea,...
Sep
16

In the Garden

It is hard to believe that autumn is settling in and making herself comfortable.  This summer has passed by in a whirl leaving me grasping onto the last warm days before it is too cool for me to be in the garden.   This week I tended to a couple of gardens I neglected.  It had been something to dread.  I could see the weeds thriving, especially after all the rain Irene dropped on us.  I feared the...
Sep
9

A Wife’s Happiness

If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married. ~ Deuteronomy 24:5 (niv)   My husband has never gone to war.  He rarely takes a trip with his friends and leaves me alone.  He doesn’t hunt, but loves to fish.  We watch football together so I can’t even...
Aug
19

God’s Provision

Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Psalm 29:2 Today I found God when the sky opened up and poured down beautiful, beautiful rain.  My gardens have been begging for it.  The sky darkens and lightens and darkens again as the storms roll through.  It brought me memories of what my Granddaddy used to say. No matter how much you water with the garden hose,...
Aug
11

Island Time

Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. {Psalm 29:2} Aloha!   Randy and I have returned from our beautiful vacation in Hawaii.  It was amazing and I am looking forward to sharing some of the wonderful experiences we had there.  During the next few days, I will be revealing all the new things about A Quiet Chaos’ new home.  It had been planned...
Jul
2

Beautiful

If you keep on biting and devouring eat other, you will be destroyed by each other. ~ Galatians 5:15   Yesterday afternoon, I found God in a subway tunnel. Randy and I took the Metro down to Arlington to his office so he could pick up some files he needed for the weekend.  When we arrived at the Courthouse station and began to exit the train to his office, Randy grabs my hand and says to me,...
Jan
6

The Gift ~ part one

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the...
Dec
15

A Little Extra Love

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. ~ Zephaniah 3:17 God loved on me a little extra last week.  It was one of those weeks that was filled with surprises and excitement, happiness and joy, peace and love. In Indianapolis November 14th for the Colts game. And a birthday.  Last...

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