Give God Your Failed Plans…God Prospers and  Encourages Us with Silver Linings, Smiles, and Truth

Sometimes you’re feeling down, maybe really down… and your eyes light on something out of the blue… something that makes you smile. Today it’s one of my daughter’s simple deer drawings. The notepad is lying open, because she’s working on her book, in my room, on the floor… because she never likes to be alone. They are all over the house, the books she creates… millions of them! She’s already the author and illustrator of many animal books about puppy dogs, deer, and lions!  If you’re struggling today, I hope this brightens your day; I find that children’s art always makes me smile. I love the innocence and cute charm of their simple pictures, don’t you? 

Today I can choose to look for the silver lining… the many gifts God gives me in spite of my struggles. There’s a mockingbird chirping outside of my window. Her mate has been feeding her yellow flowers all week long. It’s been so much fun to discover the male sitting atop our shed, being the lookout, then sailing into the woods, only to return and dash in to please her feeding her the delicious food he has found just for her. She’s chirped for him to come when she’s hungry. We’ve watched in awe at how he’s taken care of her. We laughed as I tried to capture the beautiful moment, only to see her “poop” on the deck. My daughter and I laughed until we almost cried! It was the silver lining in a moment that was not perfect.

I had perfection in mind for this weekend, with everything laid out exactly how it should go. But I forgot, as I still sometimes do, that my God doesn’t work like that. Everybody has free will, and because of that free will, there will be interruptions and problems which may interfere with my plans coming to fruition. But God’s plans always come to fruition, and His plans are the best, no matter what it looks like on the outside. I know this is how God works, but I forgot this weekend. I became extremely discouraged when a family argument prevented us from getting something completed that I felt was extremely important. 

And now as I write, God is at this moment revealing to me that He allowed it; not only because our family needed prayer time more than project time, but that He wanted me to see that this is often the struggle my husband has. My husband wants to “check things off the list.” He is learning that his list often does not coincide with what God wants him to do first. Well… in experiencing this frustration for myself this weekend, I realize now that God allowed it, so I could experience all the emotions my husband experiences when he doesn’t get to “check off that important item.” This helps me to better understand my husband, so I can keep praying for him. It also provides my husband an opportunity to empathize with me, because he knows exactly how it feels when something doesn’t get done.

God has a different checklist in mind than ours. His checklist is less about things getting done, and more about people’s hearts being changed to be more like Jesus. It’s a guarantee that if it comes down to a project getting done, or prayer time for hearts to be changed, God is going with the heart. Maybe we need to be less about getting things done, and more about spending time with God so he can change us. Yes, God cares about our projects too; but He cares more about our individual walk with Jesus. He cares so much, that when He knows a stormy argument is going to cause an upset, He provides the silver linings along the way; to give us hope, and to encourage us so we won’t give up! 

During the weekend which did not go as planned, God planned His gifts ahead of time, because He knew I’d need them to keep my spirit afloat when I felt myself sinking. Because of my abusive childhood, I tend to get extremely discouraged when there’s a family argument. I begin to listen to lies that tell me no one cares and that I’m not loved. As a child scapegoat living in a completely dysfunctional home, I was blamed for everything; neglected and ignored, told I should feel guilty, and that I ruined everything. The problems were not even about me. But when circumstances come along that feel familiar, so comes a spiritual attack, and I will feel myself drowning in discouragement. Though I’ve learned to battle the lies with the truth, sometimes I forget to use my power and authority in Jesus Christ and tell the devil to sit on a tack! 

The only way to chase away those lies is through prayer. Why? Because we can’t count on our emotions. Evil spirits lie to us, and strive to cause strife, division, and isolation in our families. But as my husband reminded my whole family last night; because our kids are fed and clothed and live in a nice clean house, some people may think from the outside that our family has it all together; just as people might have thought my family had it all together when I was a child. However, the truth is that all families struggle, but there is a vast difference when Jesus is in the middle of a family, as opposed to when he is not. My husband remarked that though Jesus was not at the center of my family when I was growing up, Jesus is at the center of OUR family now! All five of us have received Jesus into our hearts, and we all desire to have a relationship with him. 

Therefore, Jesus has always been with our family, even when we’ve been on different walks in our pursuit of him, and even when we haven’t understood how a healthy family functions. For, neither of us experienced God’s truths taught in our families; the truth that we are completely forgiven for all of our sins, the truth that we can battle lies with prayer, the truth that we are loved and cherished by God unconditionally, and so much more! We are creating a whole new generation for our children and children’s children; as we all pursue God and learn together, and find that we are loved beyond measure! Because our family pursues Jesus, and because our family prays together, we can have hope, and be encouraged that God is taking care of us through it all! 

And God knows we need tangible proof of His love for us. After all, we are only human. A huge silver lining that carried us through this weekend was an on-the-spot invitation from our dear family friends, as we left church. It came when George said, ” Hey! Do you guys wanna come over later for a barbecue?” My daughter couldn’t wait. She was watching the time, and asked if our friends still had their cats. They did.

It was the most delightful evening we’ve had in a long time: laughter with friends, delicious grilled chicken, and another unexpected guest to add to the fun. My precious friend, Kim, even served homemade strawberry shortcake in honor of my boys’ belated birthday. She also served my husband’s favorite; rhubarb sauce. We even had the heavy whipping cream at home, which we were gratefully able to contribute, because my husband had bought some the day just the day before. We don’t normally have this item in hand, but we bought some to use with our new ice cream maker. God even cares about the tiny details! The night ended with everyone hanging out near the chicken coop. The chickens’ silly antics made us laugh. Their individual personalities came out, and many of them enjoyed being carried or sitting on laps! It was just a really special night, when another family made our family feel important and loved. God orchestrated that! 

I know that it’s these silver linings on which God wants me to focus; not the hardships, even though it’s difficult when you  feel those strong emotions, and the lies feel so true. Though yesterday was tough, there was an absolutely glorious sunset last night, reminding me that God is Lord above us all; watching over everything and everyone. And right before I went to bed, a text message came from my pretty, cheerful friend, asking if she could take my daughter today for a play date. It couldn’t have come at a better time, and with a girlfriend my daughter absolutely adores! Now I will have some time to write, clean, and be creative; which I’ve been trying to do, but just have not been able to find a slice of time that works for me. Even though things are far from perfect, the silver lining which shines brightest, is knowing my family is pursuing Jesus through it all… every single day… together. 

I pray for you to find the sweet silver linings today, which God has already gifted to you in advance, because he wants to bring a smile to your face. When things don’t go as planned, don’t be dismayed. Remember this: “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you” (Jer. 29:11-12 New International Version).


I’m going to meet with God today, and ask Him to brighten my day, and the day of anyone who reads this message of hope, truth, and encouragement. Today, I pray God reveals many of the silver linings He has prepared just for you, in Jesus’ name. May God continue to brighten my day… and yours!  

Boys at War… a Welcome Home Poem

I wrote this poem in 2003. So many U.S. Soldiers, both men and women, were leaving for Iraq, to fight in a war while the rest of us lived our lives in comfort and peace. My friend’s son was one of the soldiers who fought in Iraq. I presented her with a copy of this poem to encourage her and give her hope. I prayed with her, and together we asked God to bring her son safely back home. God heard our prayers, and every Memorial Day is a sweet reminder of God’s great mercy. But many soldiers were not as fortunate.  Many died, and many came back with severe physical injuries, and emotional injuries too. We don’t always understand God’s plan, but the silver lining is that God is good, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28 New International Version).

That same year in 2003, I had the honor of my poem being chosen for a reading at our small town’s memorial service which took place under the gazebo in Rose Hill Park. This poem is called “Boys at War,” as a tribute to the men who have gone before us, when only boys were soldiers heading off to fight in a war. But this poem is still meant to honor ALL those who have gone to war on behalf of our country, both men and women, who have sacrificed their lives for the rest of us. This is for the soldiers who have made it home, and the soldiers who have not. It is to thank you, because we understand, that freedom is not free.

Boys at War 

Say a prayer, for our boys are at war.
What in the world are they fighting for?

Just that… our world… to keep it free.
They fight for you. They fight for me.

They risk their lives to save our own.
They’re in our hearts; they’re not alone.

God bless our boys, and let them know,​
America’s proud and loves them so.

Protect their heads down to their feet.
So they’ll come marching down our street

To flags and shouts of, “Welcome Home!”
Where freedom rings, so they can roam.  

And for the boys who don’t return,
Our tears will fall, our hearts will yearn.

Dear Lord, we know that some will die,
And they’ll be welcomed in the sky.

Comfort loved ones filled with sorrow.
Thank you, God, for our tomorrow.

When we’ve lived past 97,
We’ll bring flags with us to Heaven,

Smiling at each soldier’s face,
We’ll rejoice, and then embrace.

At that parade with lots of noise,
We’ll all yell thanks to God’s Brave Boys!

© 2003 by Angela Royse Pelleman

No matter what happens here on Earth, soldiers and their loved ones who receive Jesus, will one day be reunited in Heaven! 

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’ ” (Rev. 21:24).

A Love Beyond Beautiful Birds

My daughter woke me this morning, so I could enjoy this beautiful gift! If God created even the birds to love and care for one another, then imagine how much more He loves and cares for US!

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care” (Matt. 10:29 New International Version).​​​

In His infinite love, God created beautiful living creatures, and He gave them a natural instinct to care for one another. But God sent His own Son to die on a cross for you and me! God’s glorious, infinite love for human beings extends beyond that of any other creature in the entire universe. When you feel alone, unappreciated, and insignificant; look towards the silver lining…  In God’s eyes you are of great value and worth. Remember that the love God has for you is immeasurable!  

God is The Potter

Today is my birthday, and I’m thankful to God for giving me life, and offering me the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Because Jesus lives in me, The Holy Spirit changes me every year, molding me to become more like Jesus. 

When you’re a Christian, getting older is a reason to celebrate, for we gain wisdom, and we get closer and closer to living eternally in Heaven with our Savior.

God, you are my Potter. I am your clay. I’ve been dropped, broken, and repaired. But the silver lining is that Your light shines through the cracks. Thank you for creating me. Let my life inspire others as you shape me into a beautiful masterpiece. 

“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Is. 64:8).

When Evil is Praised, God is not Mocked… Enjoy Your Orchard! 

Does it burn you up to see people getting praise who don’t deserve it? The devil blinds people to the truth. His job is to accuse genuine Christian believers, and to convince the weak to help him do his dirty work. The devil is the Deceiver, Father of lies, and the Accuser. He works hard to convince people to hate real Christians who love Jesus. The ONE and ONLY way to know the truth, is the PURSUE JESUS. 

People who ignore Jesus, choosing not to not talk or walk with him at all; might as well walk around covering their eyes and ears. There is NO way to be aware of the truth if you choose not to be its friend… for Jesus IS Truth! Only those of us who listen to God’s instruction can know the truth. We want nothing to do with the false praises of wicked people, and instead run to the arms of our Savior:  “Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them” (Prov. 28:48 New International Version).

People who falsely praise wicked people, usually do so out of fear. They want to stay in the “good graces” of someone they deem as “powerful,” or someone who can give them false security or what they consider to be favors. They choose to live a lie, instead of seeking the truth, when we should instead be desiring to stay within the good grace of God. God is the Only One Who can provide everything we need, and give us true security and joy. To not acknowledge Him, or lead others to Him, is to walk away from the truth. 

If we really want to know fact from fiction about a person, place, or situation; we need to ask Jesus about it. When we go our own way, we leave ourselves open to all the tricks of the enemy; and the enemy is very good at pretending! “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Cor. 11:14-15). This means there are people out there pretending to be Christians! These wolves are even fooling Christians who have abandoned the path of truth and righteousness! Jesus will be more than happy to talk and walk with those who find their way back to his path. We have nothing to lose if we follow Jesus… but everything to lose if we don’t!

Jesus says we can differentiate genuine believers from non-believers by inspecting their fruit. There are good trees, bad trees, and their fruit.  What kind of trees are in your orchard? Are they dead, or are they producing delicious fruit? Everything you need to know about real Christians and those who pretend to be Christians; is written in the Bible. We can find out about truth ahead of time, instead of waiting until we find ourselves in a desperate situation! 

When we see evil bring praised by men, the silver lining is God knows about it. His Word tells us not to worry about it, because He knows the truth about what is really going on. Even though it’s hard to watch when people praise men and women who are wicked,  God will not be mocked. He tells us that people who choose to participate in evil, will get what they deserve. He even reminds us in this Psalm “Of David. Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away” (Psalm 37:1-2). We can go about enjoying our lives, because God will provide justice in His good and perfect timing!

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:7-8).


Pursue Jesus, and enter an orchard where good trees bear good fruit! 

Join us at The Silver Lining, as we explore the topic of truth. Explore other related topics, as well. Find daily encouragement on The Silver Lining Facebook ministry page. There will be godly posts and scriptures shared by myself and other Christian writers who love Jesus! 

Pretty Ponies? A Mother’s “Short Tale”

Yesterday, my daughter asked if she could give one of her ponies a hair cut. We had given a trim to one of her My Little Pony pets before, so I agreed. I reminded her that the pony’s hair couldn’t grow back, and gave her a small pair of scissors, and a piece of cardstick to set underneath.

My daughter returned to ask if she could give another pony a hair cut. “I guess so,” I agreed, while casually mentioning that if she later decided to sell some of her ponies at a yard sale, the other little girls might be looking for long manes and tails. She nodded her head, and then we both shrugged. Who cared about a yard sale? They were her ponies now, and she had a bunch of them. She skipped off to take them to the pony salon; and snip, clip, and shampoo their colorful locks into new hairdos.

After about a half an hour, my normally cheery, confident little girl came into my room, downcast. “What’s wrong, little one?” I asked.

She lowered her head, and her voice slightly trembled, “I don’t think I want to give my ponies a hair cut anymore.”

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because…”

“How many ponies got hair cuts?”

“About eight…”

“Ohhhh!” I laughed; “Well that’s a lot of ponies. But that’s okay, because you have a lot of ponies. But that’s probably enough ponies getting haircuts.”

But I knew. I could feel the guilt, anxiety, and self-condemnation clinging to her; because it was all too familiar. I was immediately brought back to my childhood; where everything I did was wrong, every mistake was shameful, and no bad choices were forgiven.

NOT MY GIRL, DEVIL! NOT MY GIRL!

“Wait!” I grabbed her skinny little self and folded her into a hug. “Look at me,” I coaxed. She looked up with sad eyes. Her huge, teary eyes displayed a rainbow of colors; just like her little ponies. “Did you have fun?” I asked. Her head nodded up and down. “Do you like their haircuts?” She nodded yes, again. “Then that’s all that matters, Honey!”

I pulled her close into me, and said “Let’s pray…” But she was already bowing her little head, because she knows Jesus brings comfort when Mommy prays. My hands started at the top of her own long, curly, tangled mane. As I prayed over her soft, sweet head; I combed my fingers all the way down to the bottom of her hair, which ended at her waist.

I renounced guilt, anxiety, and self-condemnations for my daughter, in Jesus’ name. I told the devil to go “sit on a tack” in the name of Jesus, and that he was not allowed to steal her joy. I thanked God for my beautiful daughter and her endlessly creative imagination, along with the ability to try new, exciting things. I asked God to fill my daughter with His Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus. I asked God to replace her sadness with  joy and peace.  I thanked God for my little girl and her love for animals, including ponies. I asked God to bless her future and all that it entails! 

After praying, I gave her a kiss, and she ran off to play. It was GONE! The sadness, the worry, the doubt… it was all GONE! That’s because I have the power and authority in Jesus Christ, to intervene on behalf of my daughter, and tell the devil to get lost. I can only do this because of who I am in Christ, and my daughter knows she has this same power and authority within her too.

The situation had not changed. The hair did not miraculously grow back.  But what did change, was the lies. The lies weren’t there anymore. They had been prayed away in the name of Jesus. The devil had lied to my daughter, and tried to ruin her day, by deceiving her, and stealing her joy. I was not fooled by his tactics. We had been here before when the devil had lied to her about her artwork mistakes.

NOT MY GIRL, DEVIL! NOT MY GIRL!

When our children are struggling with a  spiritual attack, the silver lining is that we parents who battle for our children, are already promised a victory! We don’t have to play or put up with the devil’s games; but we must pray, and fight back in the name of Jesus! There’s a battle for our children’s spiritual well being; so saddle up, and giddy up! The Bible says we win the race!

“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us”  (Phil. 3:14 New Living Translation).

Make your decisions, and ride your race without fear! 

15 Ways to Receive a Mother’s Day Blessing, even if You don’t have a Mom, or are Hoping to be One…

So many hearts find Mother’s Day to be a time of sadness and despair, instead of gladness and delight. Many have lost their mothers due to cancer or old age. Some have been abandoned or abused by their mothers, and are no longer a part of each other’s lives. Some have never known their mothers. No matter the reason, not having a mother leaves one with an empty hole; an ache to be nurtured, a desire to be treasured, a wish to be guided in godly wisdom and unconditionally loved.

Still others hearts are left feeling an empty spot, because they are aching to be mothers. It hurts when desire runs deep, and a woman has so much love to give and yearns to share it, yet it remains unfulfilled. It may be another miscarriage, a long struggle with infertility treatments, or an adoption process which is taking way too long.

But the silver lining is that there is hope for each and every woman; those who do not have a mom to love on them, and those who do not have a child to love. And there is hope for the precious mothers who have loved and lost their children too; children who are waiting in Heaven for their mothers to be reunited with them one day. As we wait for God to fully heal our hurting hearts, we can find joy in serving and loving the mothers who need us…sisters in Christ.

For God works in miraculous ways. As God blesses us, He uses us to touch the hearts of other sisters in Christ. NEVER give up on God; He knows exactly how to bless each and every one of us in His good and perfect timing! He can also fill up every empty spot that no one else on earth can… not even a mother.

Here are 20 ways to receive a Mother’s Day blessing, even if you don’t have a mom, or are hoping to be one…

  1. Bring a meal to a new mom who just had a baby. Stay and hold her baby so she and her husband can eat your delicious meal. In the meantime, get your baby cuddle fix!
  2. Volunteer to pass out carnations to all the moms at church. Seeing their smiles, are sure to make you smile too!
  3. Find a mom who treats you like her own child and give her a gift with a thank you card, telling her how much she means to you.  Or, send a card to a mom you admire, and tell her why. You’ll make her day with the unexpected.
  4. Offer to babysit for a friend who is overwhelmed. Bring a new game or toy with you. Play with the children while she runs errands or takes a nap upstairs! She will never forget it!
  5. Tutor a child in a subject where your mom friend is bumping heads with her own child. Mom gets a break from homework patrol and can bake you all some cookies while the math gets completed!
  6. Volunteer for a soup kitchen. Filling the need for hunger is one of the most important jobs a mother will ever have.
  7. Send some encouraging bible verses to a mom who is struggling with depression. Romans, chapter 8 is a great place to start:  “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 8:1 New Living Translation).
  8. Bring flowers to a Sunday School teacher who loves and treats the children as if they are her own.
  9. Sign up to lead Vacation Bible School or to help coach a kids’ soccer or softball team. It’s a chance to use mom skills which can benefit the whole team!
  10. Look into fostering or adoption. There is an incredible need for children to be loved. So many need emergency care, and many more need forever homes. Sometimes God delays pregnancy, because he wants to gift a mother with more than one child. Many women enjoy the amazing experience of both adopting a child and going through a pregnancy! After all, God has adopted us as sons and daughters through His Son, Jesus Christ. God’s plans are amazing!
  11. Thank God for the moms who have been significant in your life. Maybe one of them has even led you to Christ! Ask God to send these mothers a special blessing, in the name of Jesus. Reach out to some of them and let them know you are praying for them.
  12. If you have a grandmother, give her a call to tell her how much of a role model she has been in your life. A personal phone call is a great gift, especially in these modern days of emails and text messaging.
  13. On social media, ask for prayer requests from your friends who are moms. Let them know you would like to pray for them during Mother’s Day Week.  Ask them to message you with their prayer requests.
  14. Take one of your friends, who is a mom, out to dinner one night. Make an effort to really listen to her challenges about being a mom. Offer to pray for her.
  15. Visit a nursing home, and read a book to an elderly mom, or to someone whom might need the loving touch which a mom would bring.

Whether you are hoping to be a mother because you are struggling with infertility, have had multiple miscarriages, and didn’t get to even hold your babies, or are fostering or waiting to adopt; Jesus says you are blessed.

Whether you have had an abortion, and regretted it, and repented and asked God for forgiveness, and are now making your way past the guilt and self-condemnation with Jesus by your side, you are blessed.

Whether you’re a mother who has gone through the trauma of having birthed, raised, loved, and lost your child or children, and face the devastation of their death, which no mother should have to endure; Jesus says you are blessed. He died on the cross while watching his own mother pour out her heart of tears over his suffering and his death.  Jesus understands, and He is The One who will carry your burden and help you through your profound grief and suffering.

For Jesus loves us all: whether we are barren or fertile, orphans or claimed. If you are poor in spirit because of anything having to do with motherhood, especially mourning;  Jesus says you are blessed!  For the silver lining is that God is watching over you. Even if it doesn’t feel like it; God loves you and He wants to heal your heart and take away your pain. For God’s own beloved Son, Jesus, proclaims your blessing in The Beatitudes from The Sermon on the Mount:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Matt 5:3-4

The confidence we have in Christ of knowing we are blessed right where we are, in the midst of our deepest heartbreak and heartache, is a reason for hope. If we trust God, we can believe Jesus when he says we are blessed. It means he is taking care of us even now as we weep, and that he will provide blessings of joy for us both here on Earth, and up in Heaven.

Pray for whatever it is you seek regarding motherhood. If you want salvation for your mother, ask God. If you want truth to be revealed about your relationship, pray for it. If you want healing for your hurting heart, because you miss your mom in Heaven, pray to God and ask Him to comfort you. If you want to have a baby, pray for it to happen. If you want to adopt a child, ask God to lead you to the child who is waiting for you. And if you are among the blessed mothers who have a broken heart, because your child left this earth before you did, my precious sister in Chris;  ask Jesus to comfort you, strengthen you, and give you joy, rest, and peace. He loves you!

My own story involves four years of infertility, so I was already praying for a baby. As we started infertility treatment, since I was getting older, I decided to prayed for twins. So why was I so surprised God gave them to me?! When they were were born 2-1/2 months premature, I prayed for their very survival; I prayed for them to live. God heard my prayers, and He helped my babies to hang on, and to thrive! When one of my twins almost died at the age of three, God heard me pleading for his life, according to the will of God. God spared his life, and I’m forever grateful. God had a plan for my boys to grow up together.  God has brought my children through severe illness and traumatic injuries. God kept my daughter alive when years later, it was time for her to be born, and my doctor found the cord wrapped around her neck. I needed an emergency C-section. Many people were praying for my baby girl, and God brought her to us in perfect condition! Praise The Lord!

I don’t have all the answers to why things happen the way they do, but I do know that prayer is powerful, and that God has a perfect plan for His own children… all of us!  Keep trusting God and pursue Jesus through it all! Remember, you are blessed!

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jer. 29:11


We are NEVER alone or without hope, in Christ Jesus. God will heal us, show us joy, give us love, and provide us with everything we need! 

Two Cocoons: a Love Poem… My Premature Twins on their Teeny Tiny Miracle Journey 

Two Cocoons

When I see your tiny red naked bodies

clad only in diapers the size of a Kleenex,

I think that nothing is more fragile, and

you’re just like the wings of a butterfly.

 

While one of you cries out like a hungry kitten,

the other cries out like a bleating sheep.

It hurts to see you suffering,

but I know God is good.

All the other newborn babies are giants

lying near your skinny, premature bodies.

I long to hold you in my arms,

my two little boys, and breathe in your warmth.

 

Already, you both have heads with hair.

Your daddy smoothes it down for you,

making you look like little men. He holds

your hands in his, no bigger than his thumb.

Deep blue eyes peep out to take a

look around at the world, but bright

fluorescent lights make you pinch them shut.

You frown, and we laugh at the wrinkles between your eyebrows.

And with our laughter, and time,

comes more light. This light from

God brings changes, which give

us more hope and double happiness.

Bare naked bodies are leaving soft downy hair behind.

Wrinkly elephant knees are going away.

You’re filling out, and I’m so filled with joy

that my milk is helping you to grow.

 

I can see your ribs beneath your skin,

starting to disappear, and your tummies are poking out.

The hollow of each chest pulls in,

as you both use all your strength to breathe.

I marvel at the sight of your hands in mine.

You can barely curl them around my

magnified pinky, but you try, and you succeed,

and your knuckles turn white, because you don’t want me to go.

 

When you are both finally four pounds,

you still look like peanuts in your isolettes

or happy lima beans when you are all curled up.

You are happy that you are no longer bare,

but wrapped up snug and safe,

like caterpillars in your cocoons.

I’m your mommy,

your butterfly,

holding you tight,

and I can’t wait to fly you home with me.

© 1999 Angela Royse Pelleman


“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13 New International Version). 

My babies have grown up before my very eyes. Today they are 18 years old, and no longer boys, but young men. I thank God for bringing us through our many trials. Their very lives are a miracle, for they were born 2-1/2 months early, at 29 weeks. The older by just 15 minutes was only 2 pounds, 15 ounces. His twin was not much bigger, at 3 pounds, 5 ounces. The older spent 1-1/2 months in the NICU, and his brother came home after two months. Our family was finally together!  Both babies spent five months attached to heart and lung monitors, and the second twin needed an oxygen tank. We had to learn CPR.  It was not an easy road for them, nor for our family; but God has never left our side. There has been trauma and severe illness along the way, but our God has been Faithful; and He has given us miracle healings through Jesus Christ. My young men are overcomers; victorious because their strength lies in Christ alone.

I am grateful for the many gifts and talents which God has bestowed upon them in His infinite mercy, grace, and love. As homeschoolers, they are now graduating from high school, and we look forward to what God has planned for their futures. God has given them some amazing gifts and talents in the areas of art, music, computer science, and politics; and we are excited to watch them fly!  But what gives me the most joy, is the comfort that both of them have knowledge, wisdom, and discernment in the Word of God. They chose to give their lives to Jesus at the tender age of four. So, as I struggle with a bit of sadness for having to say goodbye to their childhood years, I look towards the silver lining: My young men will always be children of God! They can go to Him in their greatest times of need, for they have privileges which are only given to children of God, through Jesus Christ. They have God’s protection and the ability to approach His throne without fear. They are cleansed by the blood of Jesus for their past, present, and future sins. Rejoice!

Thank you God for watching over my children who are men today. Thank you for watching over them as they get ready to make their way into the world as adults. Watch over them, guide them, and give them extra wisdom and discernment. Cover them with the blood of Jesus, and surround them with your hedge of protection, in Jesus’ name. Be their spiritual eyes and ears, as they go about working, and being the hands and feet of Jesus. Give them courage and strength to reach the lost. like King David; bless them, Lord, and make them men after your own heart. In Jesus’ name, I pray, and I thank you for the privilege of raising these two precious souls, who received you so young; and were baptized in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit! Amen! 


“Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer. 3:15).


Before Your Loved Ones Die, Give Them Jesus… Expect a Miracle!

I can’t believe it’s been six years since my friend Donna Dehart passed away. I love this photo of the two of us giggling, trying to play the Wii (and failing miserably) on Christmas Day, 2008. It’s the only photo I have of the two of us together. 

Donna’s daughters were at their dad’s on Christmas Day, so we had the blessing of having her spend Christmas Day with my family.  We enjoyed good food, love and laughter, and the fun of playing with Christmas toys! That Christmas, Donna gave me a beautiful gift. I opened a small, delicate ceramic angel box; and what was inside, took my breath away: Donna had written wise sayings on teeny tiny pieces of long paper, and she had curled them around a pencil. Then she had lovingly placed them one by one, into the angel box… just…for…ME! One of the sayings said, “Expect a miracle… Expect a miracle…”

Even though I knew Donna struggled greatly with chronic illness, I had no idea God would take my friend home just three years later. Donna was adamant that Jesus was a great teacher, and that was where it ended. She was stubborn when it came to her beliefs, so I decided to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus for my friend; so she could see Jesus living me! We had lunch dates, painted in art class together, met at the Farmer’s Market, shared secrets, and had spiritual conversations on the phone. 

Finally,  against everything she said she wouldn’t do; she began to attend my church, where some of my friends had been loving on her and ministering to her too. We also formed a team to help her with house repairs, and another friend fixed her vintage car; which was in the garage more than out, and ran on a few bucks and a prayer! My sisters and brothers in Christ let our love speak for itself. 

Donna didn’t have much as far as earthly possessions, but she had a contagious laugh and positive attitude that filled me up. She had a fierce love for her daughters, and great empathy for animals without a home; so great, that she gave them a home at her own house! Though we didn’t always agree, our friendship was one of respect, trust, loyalty, and love. Donna did believe in Jesus and his death and resurrection, but she would only let me witness up to a certain point. I had to trust that God would reveal Himself through compassion from our church, other godly organizations, and her Christian friends. 

When she lay in the hospital, close to death, and unresponsive; I thought of the silver lining… Expect a miracle. I prayed an intercessory prayer for her. I held her hand and whispered in her ear, and I asked her to receive Christ if she had not. I told her it wasn’t too late, and she could receive Jesus without talking. While still whispering in her ear, so she could hear me above the noisy machines working hard to keep her alive, I asked God in his infinite mercy to let her hear my prayer. I asked God to lead her to say yes in her heart, and to have peace, so she could go to Heaven. I told her I would meet her there, and I kissed her goodbye. And to this day, I… expect a miracle!

We never know how much time we have with our friends and family here in earth. Tell them about Jesus while you can, even if it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do! People need Jesus, and they are more ready to receive him than we realize. Out of every act of friendship, telling someone about Jesus is the most loving thing you can ever do! 

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 Jn. 4:11).


Here’s how I think of you, up in Heaven, my dear, precious friend! Peace be with you!

This is the poem I wrote and read for Donna’s memorial service:

Dear Donna, this is what I know;

that lots of people loved you so.

 

You truly had a heart of gold,

so kind to others: young and old,

 

Accepted people as they are;

It’s why you’re still a shining star.

 

Down on his luck, you’d find a friend,

Make up a bed, and take him in.

 

A dog or cat left out to roam

Could find your house and call it home.

 

I’ll not forget your loyalty…

You named a chicken after me!

 

Nature, music, animals, art:

Happy passions of your heart.

 

But even more, you loved your girls,

Who brought you pride and filled your world.

 

Long black hair, and a great big smile,

Always time to chat for a while.

 

Your hearty laugh would make my day,

My troubles would just melt away.

 

A flash of green erased my frown;

Your Ford Galaxy on the town!

 

 When my heart hurts, I’ll feel a tug,

and give myself a “great big hug”.

 

My friend, why did you have to go?

It’s hard, but now I think I know.

 

God must have had some extra paint.

He looked until he found a saint.

 

He thought He’d free you from your pain

And since you loved the sun and rain,

 

He’d give you something fun to do,

And make you feel much better too.

 

You’d paint His rainbows with His brush

To be enjoyed by all of us. 

 

When orange and purple clouds roll by,

I’ll know you’re painting in the sky!

 

 ~Angela Royse Pelleman

   © 2011