What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Secret Garden Chronicles - "Here I Am" ~Updated for 2018

I was just reminded by my friend Martha Jane Orlando in her timely post "A Blessed Lent" (Click HERE), that tomorrow is not only Valentine's Day, but it is also Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent...that 40 day season of preparation for the celebration of Easter.  I must admit that I was caught off-guard a bit to realize that we are already approaching this time of fasting, reflection and renewal...I've been too busy doing, and not reflecting.  I haven't spent any time yet this year in the Secret Garden due to weather and other interruption of life, but it is calling to me...and I believe this season of Lent will be a wonderful time to get back to where the Lord and I can walk in the garden together...

So here is a post written last year from the Secret Garden that speaks to my heart today. Perhaps it will speak to you as well as we begin this 40 day journey toward Easter tomorrow.  Let's see where the Lord will take each of us during this time, okay?  Sounds like a good plan.

Lord, help me to use this time to draw the closer to You, to truly seek this "renewal" You've been reminding me of lately...
Here's a few Camellia Blossoms gathered from The Secret Garden yesterday 2/12/18. Yes, the Lord is walking in the garden...I need to meet Him there...

Original Post 3/5/2017:
Okay, I have to admit that I've been struggling with this particular post for several days. I started on it Friday, and here it is Sunday, and it is as though God won't let me walk away from this without giving it another hearing.  It's one thing for me to struggle with a passage in the Bible because I can't quite figure out what the Lord is trying to say to me...and then wouldn't you know, that is the exact same passage that my husband decided to preach about this morning in our Home Bible Fellowship!  I thought, "Okay, Lord.  I got the message! You are NOT going to let me ignore this passage any longer.  You want me to hear what You have to say...and then do something about it!"  I still haven't quite figured that part out yet...but You've got my attention, Lord...so here we go!

So, this is where I was on Friday, sitting in the Secret Garden...and the first thing I wrote down was:

"So Lord, Do You have something to tell me today?  Here I am, waiting to hear Your voice..."

And then I turned to the book of Isaiah, chapter 58.  I've been thinking a lot about Lent...and fasting, and other ways to observe this season prior to Easter.  Isaiah 58 has a lot to say about fasting...and here are some of the highlights that spoke to me...

6.  "Is this not the fast that I have chosen;
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens;
To let the oppressed go free,
and that you break every yoke?

7.  Is it not the share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him
and not hide yourself from your own flesh?

8.  Then your light shall break forth like the morning;
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
and your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

9.  Then you shall call,
and the Lord will answer.
You shall cry, and He will say,
"Here I Am."

Okay, Lord, I guess I asked for You to speak...and You did.  Now I need You to show me how to do this...Give me wisdom and direction...for this sounds like a difficult thing to do in my own strength.
But You promised in verses 10-11:

10.  "If you extend your soul to the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted soul,
THEN your light shall dawn in the darkness,
and your darkness shall be as the noonday."

11.  "The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your soul in drought,
and strengthen your bones!
You shall be like a watered garden,
and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail."

Oh Lord!  I want to be this strong, "well-watered garden" person...Help me, Lord, to be what YOU want me to be.

So, here is a song that came to my lips as I sat in the garden praying about these passages and trying to open my heart to the Lord's message to me today...  
by Mary A. Brown

1 It may not be on the mountain’s height,
Or over the stormy sea;
It may not be at the battle’s front
My Lord will have need of me.
But if by a still, small voice He calls
To paths I do not know,
I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in Thine,
"I’ll go where You want me to go."

I’ll go where You want me to go, dear Lord,
Over mountain, or plain, or sea.
I’ll say what You want me to say, dear Lord.
I’ll be what You want me to be.

2 Perhaps today there are loving words
Which Jesus would have me speak;
There may be now, in the paths of sin,
Some wand’rer whom I should seek.
O Savior, if Thou wilt be my Guide,
Tho' dark and rugged the way,
My voice shall echo the message sweet,
I’ll say what you want me to say. 


3 There’s surely somewhere a lowly place
In earth’s harvest fields so wide
Where I may labor thro' life’s short day
For Jesus, the Crucified;
So, trusting my all to Thy tender care,
And knowing Thou lovest me,
I’ll do Thy will with a heart sincere,
I’ll be what You want me to be. 

I'm sure most of you have heard and sung these words at some time in your Christian life.  I know I have many times...and many times in response to this very song, the Lord took me at my word, and soon off we would go into some new ministry.  

One thing I've learned in this life...if you truly don't want to go anywhere for the Lord or do anything for Him, then don't sing these songs or pray these kinds of prayers...because God will hear you...and He will take you at your word...and you may find yourself on a foreign mission field...or praying with a neighbor who has just had some bad news...or who needs to know the Lord...or you may be taking food to the hungry or sick or lonely...or leading a Bible study, or teaching a Sunday School class...or helping the elderly or sick or lonely...or inviting people into your home from the neighborhood for a bar-b-que or tea party or luncheon...or just to visit and be a friend.  But I can assure you, if you are sincere in your desire to serve the Lord, He will never take you anywhere that He will not go with you...He will lead you every step of the way, and even go before you and prepare the way...and you need not fear where He will lead.  He will never leave you alone or on your own.

Back to the prophet Isaiah...and early in the book, chapter six, verse 8:

"Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying:
"Whom shall I send,
and who will go for Us?"
Then I said, 
"Here am I! 
Send me!"

Okay, Lord, I think You've gotten Your message through to me today.  I know I tried to wiggle out of this and not put it out here for the world to read...but now that we've gone this far...Here I am...send me...wherever You please...and to do whatever You ask.  I know You will go with me, so there is nothing to fear. Thank you, Lord, for not giving up on me. Amen.

Meanwhile, back in the Secret Garden...the Chickadees are busy preparing their nest in the birdhouse.  Here's mama (or daddy?), with a mouth full of nesting material, sitting patiently on the branch of the tree overhead, waiting for me to leave so she can safely go about the business of building the nest. Daddy bird showed up after a while to ask why she was still waiting there. She sat there the whole time I was writing this, and finally when I got up for a minute she flew into the birdhouse to deposit her nesting twigs. I guess I need to be more considerate of their building schedule and try not to interfere...

The End...for today.  Stay tuned for further developments.

(Click HERE for a link to a previous post from Isaiah 58)


  1. Pam: I have never heard that hymn.I love the message. We need to realize that God will guide us through whatever He has for us to do for Him.

    1. Wow! I guess I just figured everyone had heard that song...but I guess maybe because we were in a missions oriented church denomination for many years...and that was often a closing hymn of dedication and service. Yes, the Lord will definitely guide us as He leads us into whatever ministry He needs us to do. He will never just throw us out there and let us struggle alone. But when you're kneeling at the altar and praying through that song, it can be kind of scary. I can honestly say He never took us where He hadn't already gone before.

  2. Your thoughts and the Scriptures shared here today, Pam, truly touched my heart and made me rethink: Am I doing all the Lord would have me do? This is something I will purposefully pray about during Lent, that God give me a vision for how I can spread His kingdom right here and right now.
    Confession: Having been ill for so many weeks certainly doesn't help in wanting to "go out and do." Hopefully, those days are waning, and I will be fully back on my feet, ready to go for God.
    Blessings, my friend!

    1. I am so sorry about your illness, Martha Jane. I know that is frustrating as well as uncomfortable. But the Lord has been using you right where you are...as you write your blogs and books and as you pray for others and encourage others here...that IS ministry. That IS spreading His Kingdom right here and now!!! God takes whatever we have to offer and uses it for His glory. You are a blessing to many right where you are. But I still pray you will soon be feeling much better and back to your happy active life.

  3. Always giving me something to ponder. Your spiritual journey is a blessing to others, thanks for sharing with us.

    1. Thank you Mary. God does this...gives us all something to ponder. He is working through each and every one of us as we write, pray, and share His words of hope and love and encouragement to others. This IS ministry!!

  4. Thank you for sharing this. Sometimes He leads me down a path I never expected, but as I yield to His will, He surrounds me with blessings I could never have imagined.

    1. Isn't that the truth? He does often lead us to where we never expected...but He always goes with us!!!Praise God for that!!!

  5. Beautiful words Pamela! The Lord desires to prune us, trim us, and shape us into His image, and being willing for that is not always easy, but like you said, He is always with us! What an amazing thing to know that when we are obedient to His call, He will be there to walk with us, we are never alone. Fear paralyzes, but love empowers. Praying that the Lord continues to do mighty things in your life, my friend! And I really enjoyed the pictures of your sweet friend too, so amazing that she would sit there that long waiting for you to leave! :)

    1. I love what you said: "Fear paralyzes, but love empowers"...Yes, that is so true...and God sheds His love light on and through us so that we CAN do whatever He asks us to do. Yes, the pruning and trimming and shaping continues in our lives as long as we have breath! God is NEVER finished with us until He calls us home to heaven! And then we start a whole NEW life!! Praise God!

  6. Pam, Like several others, I'm not familiar with hymn you mentioned. However, I'm familiar with "Here I am, Lord"--based on Isaiah chapter 6. God delights in the unexpected and in doing what we think can't be done. He also delights in using the most unlikely, the most flawed candidates! My mission field appears to be my blog and my church/Sunday school class. My denomination needs all the truly saved by the blood of Jesus people it can get!


  7. Pam, thank you so much for this re-post and how I have been reminded that wherever He sends us or whatever He asks us to do we are guaranteed His power, strength and grace to see it through...for we are complete in Jesus...another beautiful promise from Him in Colossians. The Cameillas are just beautiful. Enjoy your time in the Secret Garden where you meet with Him.

  8. Thank you so much, Pamela, for linking my most recent post here! I am honored! And I loved rereading this post of yours from last year. Once again, you have encouraged and inspired my heart.
    Blessings to you!

  9. Pam, thank you for this encouraging post. Preparing for Easter is important--the journey towards Easter can be meaningful IF we stop long enough to ponder what Jesus did for us.



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