Reflections

Photo: Michelle Suarez Denning

Guest Post by Susan Tolles

I was blessed to have an earthly father who was a picture of my Heavenly Father. I often call him a saint for putting up with my mother, who was difficult to live with. He was patient, kind, wise and pleasant to be with. And though he rarely said “I love you”, I knew he did.  As I look back at my life with him, I see much more than the usual God analogies. I also see vivid pictures as perfect examples of who God is in my life today.

He cultivated the earth with his loving hands. My father was a Soil Conservationist with the USDA and knew everything there was to know about soil, water, plants and trees. He lovingly grew fruit trees and vegetables, and even had a “tree farm” as a hobby. My Heavenly Father is the Creator of the earth, and nurtures it with the same love and care as my earthly father. Everything I see around me is part of God’s creation.

He had a built-in GPS.  My father always knew which direction was north, south, east or west. It was like he had a built-in compass giving him direction, and he loved maps. Likewise, God’s way is clear. He knows the way I should go, so I trust Him as He leads me through life.

He was loved by everyone he knew. We lived in a small town, and everyone knew my father. He was a well-respected member of the community, loved by friends, family, and those who had only heard of him. To know God is to love Him.

He was a generous man. My father was giving, with me and with others. He always made sure I had the material things I needed, and throughout my life would “sneak” little cash gifts to me for special things. If I ever needed help, I knew I could ask and he would provide. Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find. Knock and it will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds and to him who knocks it shall be opened. Matt 7:7-8

He loved a great vacation. My father loved to travel, exploring new places and meeting new people. When I was young, we took long road trips in the summers, and later he and my mother traveled the world with tour groups. Life with God is a great adventure. If I just let go and allow Him to plan my journey, it will be an exhilarating trip to destinations unknown. I explore the side roads with Him, expect a few curves and bumps along the way, but always know that He has a wonderful plan to reveal new places and people if I just sit back and enjoy the ride.

When I close my eyes, I can see my father sitting in a lawn chair, under a pear tree by lake where I spent so much time when I was younger. My two young daughters and toddler son are splashing in the water as he lovingly watches over them, providing safety and security while enjoying the time with his grandchildren. He is peeling a pear with his pocket knife, cutting it into slices for a delicious afternoon snack. My children adore him and are laughing in delight just to be with him.

Walk hand-in-hand with Me. Sit by the water, enjoy the rest, and delight in Me. I will watch over you and take care of you. Taste the good fruit I give you, cultivated by my loving hands and prepared especially for you. I want nothing but the best for you. I will bring you joy and freedom from stress if you will trust Me. You are my precious child and I love you.

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 P.S. We’d love to know your thoughts; be sure to share in the comments section below. This month we will draw TEN winners from our commenters and the winners will receive one of these two  books, Hope for a Hurting Heart or To Let You Know I Care by our featured author this month, Cheryl Karpen

Susan Tolles is an Expert in Midlife Reinventions who inspires and equips women around the world to flourish in midlife and beyond.  As a Certified Dream Coach®, website creator and published author, Susan helps women celebrate and enrich their true inner and outer beauty as they live life to the fullest.  Her website FlourishOver50.com gives them the resources and tools to radiate outer beauty with style, health and balance. Her Midlife Reinventions Road Trip in a Red Convertible™ and Powerful Me™ programs teach women how to live more purposeful, soul-driven lives as they flourish from the inside out. Susan would love for you to contact her at susan@flourishover50.com

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

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