Conversations with God

Prayer by the Waterfall...Conversations with GodHave you ever been praying to God… and He answered back? Not in an audible voice but in that “still small Voice” you only hear inside? I have! Early in the morning, I sit out by the waterfall in my backyard and say my prayers. (The waterfall was in remembrance of my son, Kris, who is in Heaven now. As a matter of fact, today is his birthday.) I figured I’d share some of those “Conversations with God” here on this page. The first one I’ll simply call, “Reflections of Light.”

Reflections of Light

One chilly, fall morning during my prayer time, I was gazing into the pond by the waterfall lost in thought.  Suddenly, my thoughts were rudely interrupted as my mind took a right turn and I ended up thinking about how nasty the water in the pond looked — and when I would ever have time to clean it out. Dead leaves had piled up on the bottom and there were the beginnings of a gruesome black sludge forming from the dead leaves.

fall leavesSince it was the Fall season, the red and yellow leaves on the trees above the waterfall created a beautiful reflection on the top of the water. When you looked at the reflection covering the top of the water, you saw beauty. But when you looked into the pond down past the reflection into the water, you saw — black sludge!  The thought crossed my mind of how I couldn’t look at two things at once — I could look at the beautiful reflection on top of the water, or I could look at the sludge below but I couldn’t see both at the same time.  My eyes started to look at one side of this coin and then the other, darting quickly back and forth. (I know, I know — I was supposed to have been praying!)

I almost felt God smiling at my thoughts. That “still, small Voice” said, “That’s how life is. You can either look at the beauty or the ugliness but you can’t see both at the same time. What you see depends on what you are concentrating on.”

I said, “Wow! Your right, God!” I stopped then and reminded myself for the 100th time — Well, duh, HE’S ALWAYS RIGHT! And said a quick apology for saying such a silly thing yet again.

As I took that in and mused over the life lesson of either concentrating on the beauty or the ugliness, He said, “What is it that makes you see the beauty? What allows you to see the refection of the leaves?”

I am not a Rocket Scientist but even I knew the answer to that one.  So I quickly answered, “Light!  You can’t see the beauty without the Light.” As I said it, I realized that God is Light.   And you can’t see the beauty of life without the Light.

God just smiled.

They say in the Bible that there is no sun in Heaven. There is no need since God is so radiant. God IS the Light in Heaven!

“The city (speaking of Heaven) does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” Revelation 21:24

Heart Shaped RocksHow does God lead us, guide us, and direct us? In my life, this guidance and direction has come in many different ways — including heart-shaped rocks!

Huh? Did she say, “Heart-shaped rocks?” Yup, I did! It happened like this…

I consistently ask God every day for His will to be done in my life and I persistently ask for His guidance and direction — every day. I really want to do God’s will and I want to make sure the path I am on is the path that He wants me to be on.

I had been working for a large law firm going on 12 years and felt… well, uncomfortable. I had outgrown my position and had hit the glass ceiling. I didn’t feel as if God wanted me there anymore. I felt like I needed to be “somewhere else” but I didn’t know where that somewhere else was.

That’s about the time when God had put it in my heart to start writing about all the Miracles that had happened in my life and collecting other people’s stories as well. When I finished writing down my Miracle stories, I realized I needed a website to best be able to collect other people’s stories from around the world. I wanted to build the website myself and had always been interested in learning how. Since I’m an artist as well, I have a creative side that goes well with my geeky side.God leading me by my heart (shaped rocks

I started looking for classes on Dreamweaver (this was back in 2009). One of the popular online Universities wanted $2,500 for one Dreamweaver course! I just didn’t have the resources for this and knew that taking one course would only be the beginning. Besides, I didn’t need the credit hours. I started searching for an alternative option and found Lynda.com. For $25./month you can take as many courses as you’d like and they have over 1,000 courses! I was like a kid in a candy store — yes, I know — I’m a geek!

While taking the courses for web design so I could get the Miracles website up and running, I saw that the company had a “call for trainers.” Since I am a trainer and that’s what I do for a living, I applied. I few months later after extensive interviewing, I was flying to California to their production studios. I then became an Author myself (for a course on Word 2007 Styles in Depth)!

The second course I did for them was on “Creating an Effective Resume (May 2011).” While writing the course, I was showing the class how to upload their resume to Monster.com. I had become so miserable in my current position that I had rolled up my windows in the car on the way home and said, “OK, God, this is NOT directed towards you… just a warning to PLUG YOUR EARS!” And I just screamed at the top of my lungs. I was beyond frustrated. I got a call the next morning from an in-house recruiter and started my new job a couple of weeks later. Yes, God does answer our screams!God leads my by my Heart (Shaped Rocks)

On a business trip with my new co-workers and supervisor, I was asked how it came about that I found this new job and quit my old job of 12.5 years. I was sharing how one thing had led to another — the book, needing a website, finding lynda.com, becoming a student and then an Author, my friend needing a resume and the start of the course on Creating an Effective Resume, and from it the new job. I told my new friend and coworker how I felt like I was following “breadcrumbs” down the trail of life taking me from one place I was supposed to be to another.

The next day at the airport, I needed a book to read. I was in a hurry and quickly prayed for direction…“God, is there a book here that would help me on my journey?” I was drawn to Glenn Beck’s book. Strange… something told me if I did pick it up, I’d catch it from my boss. I put it back down. Then picked it up again — sometimes you just have to do what you feel you’re being led to do even if you know or feel you might catch some flack from it. A few minutes later, back in my chair, my boss said, “Mariann, what book did you get?” I had been trying to keep it out of his view but obviously wasn’t doing a very good job of it. He said, “Oh my gosh! Really? You’re reading that book?! Look everyone, Mariann’s reading that book by that person!” Obviously, he wasn’t a fan (smiling).

I got on the plane and started reading… and found out why I felt lead to pick up that book. Glenn was talking about following your God shaped breadcrumbs! Funny how just the day prior, I had been telling my co-worker about following my breadcrumbs. Was it a coincidence that Beck was speaking of having the same experience and even used the same words that I had? I showed her when we got off the plane and heading towards luggage. “Wow, that’s exactly what YOU said! That’s amazing!”

A week later, I was jogging on the beach after a day of production at the studios for the resume course in sunny California. I started noticing rocks laid out in a perfect line under my feet as I was jogging along. I said, “Hey, Father God, look at those rocks. They look like breadcrumbs!” And then I saw one of the rocks was shaped like a heart. I stopped, reached down, picked it up and began examining it. I put it in my jacket pocket and started jogging again and saw another heart-shaped rocked. I picked it up also and put it with the other in my pocket.

Gods Miracle of Amazing Sunsets with Blues, Pinks, Purples and Oranges over beachI started racing a sailboat a I ran down the beach (of course they didn’t know they were in a race). I was feeling happy and free and had a huge smile plastered on my face as I ran along. Out of breath, I stopped and looked out over the ocean towards the Channel Islands and there was a beautiful… I’m not sure what to call it. It had all the colors of the rainbow but it wasn’t in the shape of a bow. It was more like a line then a bow — straight up and down. There was no rain and now bow — just all the colors. Even though it wasn’t bow shaped, I started calling it a “God-bow.” I had never seen anything like it. I turned around and jogged back towards the hotel and stopped again to look out over the ocean. Without a cloud in the sky and no rain in sight, there was another God bow directly in front of where I stopped. Two of them — both in the spots I stopped! My Mom later said she had never seen anything like that in her 82 years hear on this earth.

The next day, I was getting my makeup done by Samantha — Sam for short — who is a wonderful young Christian woman. I was telling her all about my heart-shaped breadcrumbs and the beautiful God bows. As I was telling her the story, she turned me towards the wall in my chair to get the back of my hair. On the wall was a photograph someone had taken of rocks. I said, “Wow, Sam, look at that picture on the wall… there are two…” Before I could get the words out, she said, “…heart-shaped rocks!”

I felt that God was telling me I was in the right place in my life and following the right track — HIS track. I’m still following my heart-shaped rocks. I since felt led to start my own business and work from home so I could better concentrate on the Miracles book and collecting your stories and praying for those in need of their own Miracles. And that’s where I am today!

(If you feel your heart-shaped rocks are leading you to share your Miracle story for the book, please click here to do so!)

Update: Since I quit my full time job to better dedicate myself to collecting these stories for the book, I’ve questioned several times if I’m still on the right path. While gardening out by the waterfall and asking God if I was doing the right thing and on the right track, I started finding more heart-shaped rocks… I guess I’m still on the right track! Here is a picture of my “heart-shaped rocks.”

God leading me by a Trail of Heart-Shaped Rocks

Did you know that King David wrote (ok, ok, he didn’t blog) about Jesus dying on the Cross? What’s so amazing about that? Jesus wasn’t born for another 2000 years! Sound like a headline in the National Enquirer? It’s not and it’s true! Yes, David wrote the following 2000 years before Christ was on the Cross:

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent. 3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel. 4 In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. 5 They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. 6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: 8 “He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” 9 Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast. 10 From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. 11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. 12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. 13 Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. 18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. 19 But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me. — Psalm 22:1–19

Every time I read this I not only get chill bumps but tears in my eyes. What Jesus did on the cross for me — and how He felt — it’s almost too much for me to bear. Oh, how He loves us!

[Note: Did you know that Jesus is a descendant of King David? (David was a Shepherd boy — the one that killed Goliath — God later made him a king. He wrote a lot of the Psalms.]

(Another Conversation with God by the Waterfall)

Country RoadOne day, while praying by the waterfall, I asked, “God, why do I pray for so long about some things and nothing ever happens?  It’s been so long that I’ve been praying for this.”

He answered, “I’m working behind the scenes. You just can’t see it. You have to have Faith.”

I whined, “But why can’t it happen now? You can make anything happen when You want it to.”

He said, “Imagine this… let’s say you had your toddler in the car and were driving along at 55 miles an hour.  The child, tiring of the long ride decides he wants to get out and begins kicking and screaming.  He is throWaterfall with fish and Rockowing a real temper tantrum.  You are trying to calm the child and are saying gently, “Hold on, we are almost there!”

They continue throwing a fit — they don’t want to wait — they want out this very minute!

If the child decides to just open the car door and  jump from the moving car at 55 miles an hour, wouldn’t they get badly hurt or wounded — even killed?  Would the child have been better off listening to you and waiting until you slowed down and stopped the car?

I answered, “Yes, of course.”

He let me ponder that for a moment then He asked me, “Where is the car going?”

I said, “It’s heading somewhere… in a certain direction.”

He said, “Yes, it’s heading to a certain destination. If the child jumps from the car while the car is in motion, not only do they get hurt, but they never reach their proper destination.”

I said, “So God, in my own life, how do I know where my destination is?  How do I know where to drive and where we are going?”

He asked, “Who’s driving the car — you or Me?)”

I learned that as hard as it is to wait sometimes, God’s timing is always perfect.  There may be reasons that we cannot see of why our prayers aren’t answered in our own timing.  I also learned that praying for God’s will to be done in my life gives me the faith that He is driving and in control of my life and destination along this journey.  If I have faith that His will will be done in my life and that I ask Him to take the wheel, I know that I will end up exactly where I am supposed to be.  God is not my Co-pilot, He’s my Pilot!  That is, if I ask Him and allow Him to be.  God is always the Gentleman — He will never grab the wheel when you want to go gallivanting through life yourself.