Thursday, June 12, 2014

In the Shade of Pecan Trees ~ An Honest Conversation

In need of a change of scenery, The Man and I took to the road a few days ago and are now settled into a campground not terribly far from home, a familiar place where pecan trees touch the sky and give shade to the earth below. From where I sit, I can easily count 25 pecan trees. Multiply that by 20 and you get the idea of just how many are here.

When the pecans arrive and drop to the ground, the gardeners gather them in trash bags for sorting and shelling and sharing. Year after year, these trees have been yielding their goodness, asking little in return.


On rare occasions, one of the trees is lost, diseased beyond saving, or a victim of the elements. Just down the hill from our campsite, this beauty lies, toppled over after a recent season of heavy rain, its hillside roots unable to hold on.

Dear friends, the world is filled with people who, on any given day, are fighting great battles, whether physical, spiritual, emotional, or financial. They may feel one more good rain will surely be their end. If you've followed my journey long, you know I don’t often write in specifics, when it comes to personal needs or obstacles or ailments. I avoid this for two reasons: 1) I believe personal things should remain private; and 2) My trials may not be your trials, but, oftentimes, what relates to one will relate to another. A struggle is a struggle. A trial is a trial. We don't have to know the details, for we share a common language.

If you're new to this space, I'll be the first to say that the last few posts have been sprinkled with an underlying tone of gloom and doom. I'm sorry for that because, while I do try to keep it real around here, I am not a glass-half-empty kind of gal. The blessings always outweigh the burdens.

But having said that, there are times when we need the prayers of our friends. And while I’m an advocate of praying specific prayers, sometimes, just the mention of a name is sufficient; God knows who, what, when, where, and why.

If you have a minute, would you do that for me, would you breathe a prayer for me and The Man? No one’s life is at stake, but God desires for us to bring every need to Him. We don’t always get the answers we hope for, but He has promised wisdom to those who ask, and strength for the journey. I believe there is power in numbers and I will be indebted to you.

Believe it or not, I set out to write about the beauty found under an ordinary sky, but I have pretty much thrown what resembles a pity party and that wasn’t my intention at all. I suppose I could draw a line through all I have scribbled on the purple notepad in front of me and start over from here, but instead let me end this rambling post by returning to my original thought.

As I write, I am seated at the picnic table just outside the RV. My coffee cup is now empty, but I am filled. Overhead, a blue sky stretches wide, while the healing sounds of nature whisper around me. It is this that first captured my heart and caused me to fall in love with the camping experience, some three decades ago. And I've never been disappointed.


Whenever I take the time to turn off the artificial noises that tend to rule the day, and step out into a natural environment—where birds sing and squirrels scurry, where the wind blows through the trees and the sun warms my face, where people smile and wave, where the sun slips behind the horizon in sundry shades of orange, where the hand of God can be seen at every turn—be it the ocean, the mountains, or under the shade of pecan trees, it is there, my friends, where I find peace, where I am refreshed and renewed.

Until next time, I am thanking God for all of you. You are a gift to my heart.

***


36 comments:

  1. Prayers right now this moment for you, and thanks that you are in a beautiful, protective canopy of trees.

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  2. I don't blog... but following yours is Always a blessing.... Living close to the ocean here in Fl.... I tend to run to the waves when I need that time.... Just me ... my lawn chair... and the waves crashing in.. drowning out the modern day noises..... God knows... He loves us and He knows our heart and He hears our voice! Praying with you and for you right now!

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    1. Terri, you are always a blessing. Like you, I adore the ocean.

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  3. Dearest Sister Friend, I have prayed right now for healing and resolution to whatever you and Stan are going through. I have prayed for peace. Everyone goes through good and bad times. That's life. You don't always have to be "upbeat". Share some of your downers with us so we can pray for you - it doesn't have to be specific, but if you're hurting, I would like to know so I can pray and show you extra love. You and Stan will continue to be in my prayers. I love you both.

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    1. Dearest sister friend, you have blessed me with your words and I can already feel the results of the prayers. I love you dearly.

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  4. May you and your husband feel the love, healing, peace and strength of Jesus surrounding you and flowing through you during this time.

    FlowerLady

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    1. Thank you so much, Lorraine. I have already begun to feel the results of the prayers. The good news is our marriage is rock solid, nothing wrong there, oh hallelujah! :)

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  5. Dayle, I understand what you're saying. Just this week (with great trepidation), I took the plunge and asked for prayer on my blog. And the response has been so encouraging.

    It's hard to be vulnerable. But, I know that the Lord has led you to reveal this need. And of course, I will pray for you and your husband.

    Dear Lord,
    You know the details of what is troubling Dayle right now. You know the unsettled feelings, the fear, and You know that she wants nothing more than Your intervention. I pray that You will be near to her and The Man, that You will be the Rock that they stand on, the secure port in the storms that they are facing right now. Bring Dayle the blessed assurance that You care, that You are there, and that nothing will be able to separate her from Your love. Work Your miracles, Lord. Thank You for the wonderful fellowship of believers here in Blog Land. May we uphold each other as You lead each of us closer to You.

    In the precious and strong name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

    GOD BLESS! (and some xoxo!)

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    1. Dear Sharon, what a beautiful prayer. Thank you. I have been strengthened today and felt the assurance that you prayed for. I'm blessed to call you friend.

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  6. Pray out your way...right now!!!
    Take care knowing the Lord has it all under His control!!! psalm 46:10

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    1. Thank you, Addie. Thank you so much. I used to sing a song that said those exact words: "He's got it all in control." Thanks for the reminder.

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  7. This, too, shall pass. Praying daily for wisdom, patience and peace.

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    1. Thank you, sweet sister. You've been more than an encourager to me. Yes, this too shall pass!! I feel a corner has been turned today. I know I've said that before (LOL) but I really feel that in my spirit today, just since this blog post published.. Love you beyond words.

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  8. I pray that you will receive what it is that you need. It's good to ask - we all news a chance give, as we've probably all been on the receiving end!

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  9. I pray you will receive God's love and healing. Prayers are powerful ! God Bless you and your husband.

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    1. Thank you for your prayers, Pat. They have already begun to work.

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  10. Dear friends, Isn't it amazing what prayer can do? I think those are the words to a song, but I dare not attempt to quote it. I have truly felt your prayers today and I wanted to say thank you so much for taking the time to pray. As I stated in a comment above, this trial is not related to my marriage, and, as twin sis said, it is a temporary situation that will pass, given time. It's the interim that can catch us losing strength or hope, and that's why I sent out the call to the prayer warriors.

    What a blessing to have people pray for us. Much love to you all.

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  11. Hello Dear Dayle...You will have my prayers offered up for you starting now. Susan

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  12. You and the man will be in my prayers as you travel this journey.
    Hold on to simple pleasures and breathe . . .

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  13. "Unwanted changes can usher in magical new beginnings" ~ Dayle Shockley

    I have read this over and over and over again and again.
    You have inspired and encouraged me so many times with your words and prayers.
    YES, I will be on my knees for The Man and you!

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    1. Dear Christine, isn't it amazing how God often uses other people to remind us of what we already know? I wrote those words from past experiences, so I know them to be true. I've discovered, through the years, that whenever I'm in a fog if I return to old journals and writings, I can find answers to current situations. Thank you, dear friend, for your prayers and words of encouragement.

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  14. I am praying for you and The Man for whatever your needs are. I am much like you- I am open and honest on my blog but also a very private person in many aspects. But- you are right- sometimes we need to be open enough to let God work through others to help us (did that make ANY sense).... Anyway, enjoy your trip and I think sometimes just breathing in all that Nature has to offer us gives us just a glimpse of an unspoiled Eden....a snippet of what was. Blessings- xo Diana

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    1. Dear Diana, you are a jewel and, yes, your comments made perfect sense. thanks for your encouraging words and your prayers. I have turned a corner today.

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  15. I'm just a pecan tree in the wind right now, waiting for a big enough gust. I do get it more than you know. I have known that you needed to be lifted and just quietly done so for you in recent months. Today, though, when I finish this coffee and hit my prayer chair, please know that you and The Man will be lifted in earnest.
    When I needed you to pray for me, you didn't forsake me. I will not forsake you.

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    1. My dear Georgia friend, you are a blessing to so many, not only with your wonderful sense of humor, but with your prayers and insights. There have been times, in years past, and in recent months, when I looked up and said, "God, please impress someone to pray for me; I'm out of words." And it never fails that, whenever I have reached such a point, someone will come to me later and say, "I have had you on my heart and in my prayers." What a blessing. And now, dear friend, you are in my prayers. God will either calm your storm or give you peace within it.

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  16. I heard this this morning on GMA and thought of you.
    God has three answers to prayers
    1) yes
    2) not yet
    3) I have something better in mind for you

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    1. You have blessed me with your words ... again. May your weekend be one of peace and courage.

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  17. I finished rereading (italics) Home Improvement before we left Manila. It was a blessing to me all over again.

    Prayers for you, beautiful lady, from Guam. God bless you and the Man with peace that passes all understanding.

    Hugs to you both as you enjoy Cloud Nine,
    Kelley~

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  18. Dayle, it's Saturday afternoon and I am just now reading your post here...just got back into the "internet zone" after being at our cabin. I also have just read your latest post about feeling the power of prayers already. I celebrate my one year blogging aniversary next Wednesday and yours was one of the first I started reading and following...your writing showed your heart and inspired me so much. Throughout the past year I have discovered that we really can lift each other up whether we have ever laid eyes on each or not. The relationships that I have made over this last year has truly blessed my heart! Whatever the situation that has had you down, I am so glad that things are turning around! Isn't it wonderful to know that we are really all in the thing called "life" together?! Blessings, sweet friend!

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    1. Debby, you have always inspired me with your words and insights. I am grateful for the fellowship of kindred spirits, such as yourself.

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  19. I think we can all relate to this at some level. So prayers for you and hoping a few are returned to me (similar request in vagueness, anyway). Blessings to you.

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle