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Updated: Apr 29, 2021



If Only for a Moment


If only for a moment you could pause to the see the sun, let it shine upon your face and let yourself be overcome If only for a minute you could stop to feel the sky let it sweetly kiss your cheeks and let it set your wings to fly If only in a glimpse you could see through Heaven's doors let it fill your heart with joy and let it seep into your pores If only in one life you could somehow know the way to hear just one more breath to have just one more day If only for a moment you could turn the hands of time turn the pages in reverse and change the story line By Jenny Muscatell



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Updated: Mar 7, 2021




Not every gift comes wrapped in pink and blue ribbon. Heart mamas know this full well. We carry the magic of creation in our womb for several months, 9, if we are lucky. We grip hands and clench teeth through the pain of contractions and labor, longing for the moment of delivery - the very minute a precious life reveals itself with the long sought after first cry. A baby is laid on our chest and in a split second, life changes forever when we are given the most beautiful gift to be treasured beyond all others. My mama heart almost bursts at the seams just remembering the magic - little fingers gripping my pinky, the adorable turn of the head with just a stroke of the cheek, confirmation the rooting response is working. For heart mamas, this memory is often interrupted.


What is Hard to Live is Hard to Read


It's near impossible for the heart to prepare for demolition. Rebuilding is painful. Heart babies are whisked away, moments or days after birth - handed to a surgeon whose healing touch will be required in a just few short hours, to break more than one heart wide-open in order to fix it.


Moms and dads suffer through a new kind of labor begging for yet another delivery. Our hearts ache with anguish, powerless to change the circumstances, humbled to the smallness of who we are, longing for mercy and favor to be doled out once again. The moment of reunion this side of heaven, is a blessing of such magnitude that I struggle to describe it in words. Our gift has been returned, but the wrapping is different.


What's Happening on the Outside

is Evidence of

What's Changing on the Inside


Beyond the stitched-up tissue and bandaged cells, is a heart that is literally so beautiful it carries with it a story only God could write. One full of suspense, tragedy, heartache, but dazzled with joy, victory, truth, and miraculous events. The path of a miracle maker is never easy. It means reaching a crossroads where hope relies only on the divine intervention of God. These children are the faces of the innocent, destined to change history. They are a promise fulfilled - heroic and brave. They are precious children, His before ours.


Jesus Paid it All

Isaiah 61:1-3

"...He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

...to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor...

to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve... —to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."


The Lord has already accomplished the unimaginable. May our hope rest in Him - He who is the same yesterday, today, and always.




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A Closer Look at the Book of Ruth (CSB)


It is known that there was a famine in the land - one that was hungry on its own accord, devouring anything in its path. The land was not safe, and lives would be lost. Naomi, and her daughter-in-law, Ruth, knew its destruction far too well. Naomi lost her husband, And Ruth her father-in-law, Ruth her husband, and Naomi her sons.


The battle raged on for years before the famine waved its victory flag. There was no viable choice. Its victims needed to leave the land. Naomi intended to return to her home town, and encouraged Ruth to do the same.


Ruth replied,

"...Don't plead with me to abandon you

or to return and not follow you.

For wherever you go, I will go,

and wherever you live, I will live,

your people will be my people,

and your God will be my God.

Where you die, I will die,

and there I will be buried.

May the Lord punish me,

and do so severely

if anything but death separates you and me.”


We often talk about Ruth's poetic selflessness, her devotion and desire to remain by Naomi's side, but often miss the tragic bond between the two.

They lived through devastation and hunger. Their family was torn apart. Together, they buried the loves of their lives. They grieved - deeply. Despite their grief, each wanted something better for the other. Both were determined to guard the other's well being. Both held a deep heart of gratitude with warm wishes for peace.

Though Naomi encouraged Ruth to return to her family, giving her a blessing to move forward in a new marriage, Ruth could not leave her. She understood what Naomi had been through. Who else could have loved the deceased more? Who else could have understood what the other was feeling? Who else could have seen what the two had seen?


Ruth felt this so strongly she vowed never to leave Naomi, even begging God to punish her severely if she were to break her vow.


Love, Sacrifice, and Survival is all they had known for years, and moving to a new land was not going to change it. Their compassion proved stronger than any hurt or sacrifice.

Naomi no longer had her sons in this life, but now would have a daughter, someone to love her, and help her through her grief. Ruth no longer had her husband, but would have her mother-in-law. Together, the could escape the cracks of oblivion, preventing each other from withering away.

When Naomi returned to her homeland, the community recognized her and identified her by her name. Naomi said, "Don't call me Naomi, call me Mara ... for the almighty has made me very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty..."


Imagine the sadness. All she had been through made her unrecognizable to herself. Others knew it was her, but she could no longer identify with the woman she used to be. Life changed her. She was empty - her self-report said “nothing's left.” But deep beneath the hurt- love, kindness, and compassion remained. She was broken, but not alone. Ruth was with her.


Searching for food and the need for survival was not a new concept for either, so Ruth, with Naomi's blessing, went to gather grain in a field belonging to Boaz. When he noticed her in the field, he asked the workers where she came from. They told him who she was, how she helped Naomi and wouldn't leave her side, and the story of all she had been through. They admired what they believed to be strength, noting she had been on her feet all day.


Boaz went to Ruth and told her she could stay and gather grain. He reassured her that he ordered his men not to touch her. He offered her drink when she was thirsty or needed to rest. Ruth’s response can steal a tear from even the hardest of hearts, "She fell face down, bowed to the ground and said to him, "why have I found favor with you, so that you notice me, although I am a foreigner?"


He answered, "Everything you have done for your mother-in-law since your husbands death has been fully reported to me: how you left your father and mother and your native land, and how you came to a people who you didn't previously know."


Ruth never had time to be broken. She had to keep moving, keep standing, keep pushing forward. There wasn't a moment for vulnerability. BUT THEN, HE NOTICED. His kindness washed over her and left her melted on the ground in a complete heap of gratitude.

Someone cared for her. She had forgotten how that felt. She had been in survival mode for so long. One could say she lost most everything, but not those things which mattered most. Not her love, not her ability to persevere, not her loyalty and compassion, not her hope. See it wasn't strength that kept her going. it was hope.


How else could she have risen to the laborious task of being on her feet in despair, searching for a way, hoping for food and a fresh start, hoping someone would show her favor? Imagine the relief when someone did. In one moment of grace, Boaz struck that exposed nerve of vulnerability with heartfelt kindness - in a moment she was seen, really seen.


She was beautiful no doubt. Tragic and battered from life's bitter lessons, yet lovely nonetheless. Her beauty was wrapped inside an innocent heart, one that should have burst with grief, yet didn't. Boaz saw it , and she fell to the ground. She bowed in humility. She had done all that was right, no matter the cost, and someone noticed and showed her grace.


He wasn't the only one. Naomi noticed too. She never stopped noticing. She said it early on, "you have shown kindness to the dead and to me," and she would note it again. She had a plan to provide Ruth with a life that would bless her, one she deserved, one full of harvest and goodness, one where the wells were full and not empty - a life that that would lead to a marriage with Boaz.

Lord,


Your grace is amazing and your mercies are new every morning. Forgive our blind eyes when we do not notice the needs of those around us. Please help us pause to see the hurt. Guide us to bless those in need. Help us to accept and not dismiss, to listen and not talk. Give us humble hearts full of compassion and guide us to make a change in this world.


In Jesus' name,

Amen.

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