Barefoot Path: Cherished

Pa's Violin
“Pa’s Violin” by Cherish Flieder

Cherished

Hero of Our Dreams by Kathleen Groom

Cherished

Abba or Father? by Jean Roach

Poetry

Watchful Eyes by Joe Fanning

Calmer of the Storm by Christine St. Jacques

Roaming the Path

About the Art Pa’s Violin by Cherish Flieder


Hero of Our Dreams


By Kathleen Groom

Every mother wakes at the sound. Each maternal heart recognizes instantly the source of the cry. In the middle of the night, from down the hall, fearful whimpers jolt Mama from her sleep and she knows. Immediately she throws back her covers, jumps onto the cold floor, and rushes to calm her frightened child who has suffered once again from a troubling nightmare.

For years my youngest daughter had scary dreams, some so terrifying they made her inconsolable. I scrambled to her room each time to hold her, to try to awaken her, and to assure her that everything was all right. One night another Comforter took my place…and my eleven-year-old daughter’s faith matured overnight.

I heard about the nightmare the morning after it occurred. Molly quietly entered my room before I awakened and stood beside my bed.

“Mama,” she whispered.

“Mmm?” I replied as I sleepily turned towards her, wiping my eyes as they squinted to adjust to the early morning light.

“I had a bad dream.”

“I’m sorry, honey. Want to tell me about it?”

I pulled back my bedspread and she crawled into the warmth beside me. As she snuggled under the covers, she told me her story.

“My friends and I were at the mall and this bad man kept trying to kidnap us. We were all scared and we couldn’t get away from him. Everywhere we went, he was there.”

I gently stroked her hair as she cuddled close and described all the details.

“But then,” she continued, “I prayed to Jesus. He made the bad guy go away. And then I woke up.”

A peaceful look covered her face as she reflected on her story. Her child’s heart rested, completely confident that the Hero of her dreams is real, that He transcends sleep-time fantasies and faithfully guards her every day. He had revealed himself to her in a way she totally understood. Much like Jesus telling parables in the days of old, He played a movie for her in her dreams, one in which goodness won over evil and He was there when she called.

I doubt my daughter will ever forget that dream. In the wee hours of the morning, her silent cries of fear met the ears of her heavenly Father, who calmed her by chasing away the nemesis in her dream. She saw Jesus protect her and she felt the power of His loving presence.

When she awoke, her spirit basked in the memory of her dream. She was reminded of His promise. “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world (I John 4:4 KJV).” As we talked about how Jesus took care of her, she felt the assurance and excitement that nothing is strong enough to harm her when she prays to Jesus for help.

I relished the sweetness of Molly’s post-dream morning. God had met my child’s needs without me. Watching her drift back to peaceful sleep in my arms, I took comfort in God’s promise of protection. When my abilities to comfort my child fall short, He brings peace. When I cannot prevent my child from being hurt, He shelters her. And when my efforts fall short to convince my child of God’s truth, He reveals Himself to her in ways I never could.

© Kathleen Groom

Kathleen Groom is a freelance editor and copywriter in Colorado. A large portion of her writing has been for a nonprofit organization she founded and developed into a 501(c)(3) charity. She wrote all of the resource materials, including the website content and blogs for prayersisters.org. Prayer Sisters is an international ministry designed to help women connect with each other in friendship and prayer support.


Cherished

Is there a small item that you cherish above all others? Perhaps it is a family heirloom, a gift from a loved one, or something extremely fragile. How do you treat that item differently? How would you hold it, display it, protect it, or care for it?

Take that item and hold it gently in your hands. If you have no such item, think of something that you would cherish. As you think about how you would treat a precious item, imagine God holding you in the palm of His hand, cherishing you as the most beloved of His creations—one of the children He created in His own image.


Abba or Father?


By Jean Roach

“As proof that you are children, God has sent the spirit of His son into our hearts crying out “Abba, Father!” (Galations 4:6 NAB)

One morning in prayer, I asked, “Father, tell me. Which do You prefer—that I call You Father 
or that I call You Abba [Daddy]?”

In the silence, words formed in my heart, “Tell Me. Which do you prefer—that your daughter call you Mother or that she call you Mommy?”

I pondered the question for awhile. To my knowledge, my daughter has never called me Mother. However, there was a time when she called me Mommy. The Mommy days were my favorite days of all. I could scoop her up into my arms and kiss her anytime I wanted. She would snuggle beside me early in the morning as we watched the sunrise. When she got home from school, she would tell me the details of her day, like what food she traded at lunch and with whom. I was the honored guest at many of her tea parties where she shared with me her deepest wisdom. At night, she could not go to sleep until I sang her favorite song. I loved the Mommy days.

“Father, she does not call me Mommy anymore. She is grown up now. She has her own home, a husband , and a career. We are at a point in our lives where she calls me by another name. She is allowed to call me any name she wants to call me as long as she calls me. As long as the door of communication is open between us, she may call me anything she needs to call me. I don’t care.

“

Once again, in the silence, words formed in my heart. “Neither do I care what you call Me as long as you call Me. As long as the door of communication is open between us, you may call Me any name you need to call Me.”

© Jean Roach

A resident of Gainesville, Florida, Jean Roach has had an intercessory prayer group for over 25 years. Jean feels the Holy Spirit is calling her to lift up the name of Jesus through the publication of His glorious deeds.


Poetry

Watchful Eyes

by Joe Fanning

I heard a sound,

a muffled sound

and wondered what it was.

I thought a bird,

but then I knew

’twas not a bird at all.

A chipmunk
in the prime of life

was sitting in the sun,

oblivious to a striped cat

waiting for the kill.

I pecked upon the window sill.

He darted across the yard.

He never knew the simple truth

I’d saved him from the cat.

Are we like he
 when life is good?

We’re sitting in the sun,

oblivious to the simple fact

God leaves us room to run.

© Joe Fanning

Joe Fanning lives in Mount Sterling, Kentucky.

 


Calmer of the Storm

by Christine St. Jacques

When you feel the waves

Crashing against you

It seems dark clouds

will never disperse.

The wind has left you

breathless.

Your heart aches with the

emptiness

you feel.

There is Someone

greater than the pain

Whose arms wait

to hold you.

He is the Calmer

of the storm.

© Christine St. Jacques

Christine St. Jacques’s writing has appeared in Brio, Breakaway, Focus on the Family Clubhouse, Church Libraries, and Shining Star Magazine. Some of her devotionals were published in the book  From the Heart of a Lion, published by Bryan College.

 


Roaming the Path

Resources

Here are some resources you might enjoy as you continue down the path of childlike wonder and faith:

In Little Blessings from a Big God Michelle Medlock Adams takes the reader on a journey of discovery as she learns new lessons about God while interacting with her two little girls. If you are a parent, this book will encourage you to seek God’s messages even in the most trying times. If you are not a parent, this book will warm your heart as you discover truths about God’s relationship with you through the lives of Michelle and her children.

Godsight: Renewing the eyes of our hearts by Lael Arrington is a beautiful paperback creatively printed to look like an ancient manuscript. Lael’s insightful commentary and her candid portrayal of her joys, struggles, and pain will both inspire and challenge readers to seek a more joyful, fulfilling, and honest relationship with their heavenly Father.


About the Art

Pa’s Violin by Cherish Flieder

“Pa’s Violin” by Cherish Flieder evokes memories of family life on the American prairie, as depicted in the Little House series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Ma gathers the children as the sun begins to set. Pa’s violin rests on a quilt, ready for their evening of joyful music and loving family harmony.

With a heart for children, artist Cherish Flieder has a passion to create whimsical pictures that illuminate and enrich the lives of her young audiences. Based on the needs of her clients, she closely integrates traditional painting methods with digital technology. Her conceptual illustrations generally follow a unique mixed-media technique utilizing traditional watercolors, oil paints, pastels, and colored pencils. The images are then scanned and fine tuned on the computer in preparation for digital output, resulting in vibrant, lyrical, delightful, and wholesome child-oriented paintings.

Cherish happily pursues her love for art at the foot of the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado with her husband, illustrator Benjamin Hummel. She studied illustration, painting, design, and critical thinking at Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design (BFA) and Colorado Christian University (BFA). An active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Colorado Alliance of Illustrators.

Besides painting, Cherish and her husband, Benjamin Hummel (who did the illustration for our Renewal issue), do website and logo design, art licensing, and illustration. For more information, visit the website at cherishedsolutions.com.

 


Barefoot Path

Editor: Jeanne Gowen Dennis

Associate Editor: Sheila Seifert

Assistant Editor: Christine St. Jacques

© Heritage of Truth, LLC

 

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