Don’t Stop. You’re Almost There!

Don't stop because you're tired. Keep going because you're almost there. (Mom's Thought for the Week with Traci Burns) via www.JeanWilund.comDon’t stop
because you’re tired.

Keep going
because you’re
almost there!

(Mom’s Thought for the Week with Traci Burns)

My friend Traci Burns sent me her Mom’s Thought for the Week.  

Now you have it, too. You’re welcome.

I needed to hear this today. Did you kamagra 100mg?  

I’ll make you a deal. I won’t give up if you don’t.

Actually, I’m not giving up even if you do. But don’t you give up. You’re almost there!

Besides, we’d just have to start over if we quit. Let’s keep going instead.

But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!
~ Habakkuk 2:3 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
~ Isaiah 41:10

Don't stop because you're tired. Keep going because you're almost there! Click To Tweet




When God Clears the Mist

When God Clears the Mist of Our Understanding (Music Video: Who Am I? by Casting Crown)

We don’t always know what God’s up to. His ways can seem confusing, almost misty.

Sometimes He parts the mist and reveals what He’s doing.

Other times, He asks us to walk by faith, not by sight.

No matter how confused we may be about God’s ways, we can walk in confidence that He knows how to lead us — even in the dark.

My friend Traci Burns was living in a dark, swirling mist of questions after her daughter Anna’s accident, until one day:


When God Clears the Mist

by Traci Burns

I often wondered why I was not home when Anna’s accident occurred. — why my husband and I were hours away.  

Months after Anna’s accident I got my answer.

Before I continue, I would like to share a thought:

The way Jesus showed up for me may not be the same way He shows up for you.

Jesus knows what’s best for us.

He created us.

He loves us.

As you continue to read, please keep these truths in mind.  

One night, I was sleeping and woke up at just about the time Anna’s accident had taken place.  

I lay in my bed and two thoughts came to my mind.

What if I had been home the night Anna had her accident?  

What would I have done when the highway patrolman knocked on my door or rang my doorbell?  

I knew exactly what I would have done.

I would have gotten to Anna as fast as I could.  

I would have seen the scene of the accident.  

I would have seen my precious daughter.  

By every account, Anna died instantly when her truck went off the interstate. If I was home and had gone to Anna, there’s nothing I could’ve done.

AND, THEN I KNEW.  

I knew why I had been with my dear friends in Atlanta instead of at home when the accident happened.

ANNA WAS ALREADY WITH JESUS!  

Jesus knows me, and He knew if I had gone to the accident scene and seen my precious daughter I’d have those images etched in my memory forever.  

Jesus spared me that scene and that memory.  

He even took me hours away to accomplish this.  

But, He didn’t stop there. He also placed me with dear friends who showered me with love and comfort when I got the news.  

Anna and I had spoken on the telephone the night before her accident, and the last words we said to each other were, “I love you,” and “I love you too”.  

THAT is the memory I’ll always have.

The lyrics to Casting Crown’s song Who I Am reflect my thoughts about Christ’s love for me and what He did for me in my darkest moment.

It’s the same love He has for you.


 When #God Clears the Mist of Our Understanding. Who Am I? by #CastingCrowns Click To Tweet




When Your Heart is Broken, Ask the Right Question: What For? not Why? or What if?

Why the Right Question to Ask When Your Heart is Broken is "What For?" not "Why?" or "What if?"

When your heart is broken, there’s a right question to ask and some wrong ones.

My friend Traci should know. Her heart didn’t just break; it shattered when her daughter Anna died in a car wreck on a lonely stretch of highway four years ago.

God taught Traci the right question to ask as her heart bled deep grief.

This question brings us comfort, healing, and peace.

Click the link to read her post: When Your Heart is Broken, Ask the Right Question: What For? not Why? or What if?


“What For?” Not “Why?” or “What if?”

by Traci Burns

In the weeks and months that followed Anna’s accident, I’d sit and wonder.

And I asked God a lot of questions.

What For? Not Why? or What If?Why?  

Why did this have to happen?

Was she tired and fell asleep at the wheel?  

Was there debris in the road?  

Did a deer or some other animal run out in front of her truck?  

What if she had been driving a different vehicle? Would the accident still have happened?

Better yet, what if her dad and I had never let her move out of our house so she wouldn’t have been on the interstate that night?    

The questions kept coming.  

Then I finally realized . . . let me correct that . . . then the Lord showed me:

If I knew every answer to every question I ever had, it would not change the fact that my precious daughter died instantly in a car accident on April 14, 2012.

At Anna’s memorial service, I heard sweet stories about Anna. Her friends and family remembered her with great love.  

Also, the minister shared the gospel message of how to accept Jesus and spend eternity in Heaven with Him.  

After his message, he asked if anyone had made the decision to trust Christ. More than 30 people raised their hands!  

One of those hands belonged to my 77-year-old mother-in-law.  

Another hand belonged to a friend Anna had known since third grade.

Why the Right Question to Ask When Your Heart is Broken is "What For?" not "Why?" or "What if?"I could name more because Jesus gave me the “gift” of knowing several of the people who made that decision.

When I started asking “What for?” instead of “Why?” or “What if?” I began to see how Jesus was working in my tragedy to bring Himself glory and lost souls to salvation.

And He brought me comfort by letting me see a small glimpse of the wonderful What For?

“Why?” or “What if?” will drive you crazy. “What for?” will drive you to God. And that’s the best place to be.

With a grateful heart,

Traci


If you’ve missed any of Traci’s posts about her journey and the wonderful truths God has revealed to her through it, check out her first post here: 

Are You Facing a Storm? Jesus Is Bigger Than We Let Him Be

Pt. 1 of "Are You In A Storm? Jesus is Bigger Than We Let Him Be." A true story by Traci Burns via @JeanWilund.com


Traci Burns "Thoughts To Think" on Join the Journey (www.JeanWilund.com)Traci Burns is a wife, mom, and messenger of hope and healing. She never planned to be a blogger. She also never planned to live a story that must be told. Now, wherever Traci can, she shares the peace and comfort she’s found — even in the midst of pain — in a God who’s good all the time. She spreads the news with joy and laughter that Jesus Christ, the One who stills the storms, wants to steer our boat. Traci and her husband Weyland live in Lexington, SC. Their two sons live in the Greenville, SC area. Their daughter lives in heaven.

When your heart is broken, ask the right question. What For? not Why? or What If? #Christ #Hope Click To Tweet




God is Good. Us? We’re Just Not That Good. Bless Our Hearts.

God is good. My friend Traci Burns and I? Nope, & I can prove it. God works His will into our lives in amazing and wonderful ways. He is good all the time.

Jean Circle Blog PhotoJEAN: 

My friend Traci Burns and I realized we’re just not that good while standing in her front hallway covered in paint. Bless our hearts.

I’m not talking about whether we’re “good” people. Jesus settled that for us:

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone” (Luke 18:19).

No, Traci and I already knew we’re not good in that way. Since we’ve trusted in Christ as our Savior, we don’t have to worry about that.

We’re still not good — our sin nature hasn’t gone away — but Christ now covers us with His grace and righteousness.

When we say we’re “just not that good,” we’re talking about our skills at working everything out perfectly.

We realized it while sponge-painting her front hallway in 1995.

We felt like artists, dabbing the perfect combination of tan paint onto her walls with paint-soaked sponges and our bare hands.

We stood back and admired our work. We were good

But then it was time for Traci to run carpool.

Apparently we needed mineral spirits to get the oil-based paint off our hands. We didn’t have any.

We slapped grocery bags over Traci’s hands and rushed her off. I’m sure she made her kids proud that day.

I stayed at her house trying to get my young toddler to stay in her playpen for her nap. She managed to escape more times than my oil-based, paint-coated hands could handle.

If we were that good, Traci wouldn’t have been pulling up in front of the school with grocery bags wrapped around her hands, and I wouldn’t have been trying to put my toddler back in her playpen with my elbows. 

Since that day, we’ve joked we’re the modern version of Lucy and Ethel.

In case you, tragically, have no idea who Lucy and Ethel are, enjoy this classic clip of the famous chocolate factory line:

 

I think I may have gotten off track.

I’m supposed to be talking about how God is good, and now I’m showing Lucy and Ethel video clips. 

Maybe Traci should take it from here. 

Traci Burns Round HeadshotTRACI: 

Thanks, Jean. Try to stay on track now.

God is good.

All the time. In every way.

Recently, Jean and I were talking about when I first posted on her blog.  It happened to be on my daughter Anna’s birthday. Friday, March 11, 2016.  Anna would have been 27.  

Jean and I marveled at God’s timing. You see, Jean and I hadn’t planned that. We’re just not that good. 

Jean Circle Blog PhotoJEAN:

We began talking awhile ago about Traci writing a series of posts for my blog, but we never set a date.

I intended to feature her Mom’s Thought for the Week texts she sends her boys each Monday. I later told her I wanted her first several post to be about Anna. 

The timing finally worked out one week, so I called Traci and told her I’d like to schedule her first post for that coming Friday. I had no idea what the date was. I barely knew what month we were in. 

After Traci agreed, she told me it would be Anna’s birthday. 

God is good. 

Traci and me? Nope. We’re just not that good.  

Traci Burns Round HeadshotTRACI:

When I say God is good, I say it with great confidence.  

My life changed forever the day I got the news Anna died instantly in a car accident.

I had faith in Jesus before Anna’s accident, but it came to “life,” so to speak, when I heard the news of her accident.  

I cried everyday for nine months. 

My heart ached, and I grieved like I’d never grieved before. But God was good to me. He’s always been good to me.

In a past post, I shared that on the day we found out Anna had died, Weyland and I had gone to lunch at a restaurant in downtown Atlanta. Located 73 stories above the street, we ate in a glass-walled dining room that slowly revolved a full 360 degrees.  

I believe Jesus led us to that restaurant so we could experience just a hint of the view our precious Anna was already experiencing with Him in Heaven. 

God is good.

On that same day, when Weyland and I got back to our friends Mike and Janice Ripley’s home in Atlanta, their daughter, Michele, was there.

Michele is one of Anna’s dear friends. She lives in South Carolina, so we weren’t expecting to see her. She wasn’t at her parents’ home when we left for downtown Atlanta. 

In fact, she wasn’t even planning on traveling to their house that day. A friend of hers had to be in Atlanta so she caught a ride at the last minute.

Looking back, I know it was Jesus who led Michele to her parents’ that day. He knew Michele would have been alone in SC when she got the news about Anna. I don’t believe He wanted that for her. 

He also knew having Michele at her parent’s house would be a comfort for me.  

God is good!

That night, Weyland and I arrived back at our house in Lexington, SC, to find our street lined with cars.  

Family members and friends filled our home, waiting to comfort us.  

Our sons, Trey and David, had already arrived. Trey had to travel from Greenville, SC. David came from Charleston. 

I know Jesus led each of those wonderful people to our home because He knew we needed their love and support. 

God is good.

Jean Circle Blog PhotoJEAN:

I stood on the porch of Weyland and Traci’s house the night they returned from Atlanta with their shattered hearts. 

We embraced and she looked me in the eyes and said, “I’m going to be ok, right?” 

I said, “Yes, you will,” and smiled, even as I cried, because I saw faith in her eyes. 

All night long, Traci grieved and worshipped in a stunning display of what true faith looks like. 

As amazing as I know my friend Traci is, it was the Spirit of God active in her that enabled her to walk with such faith and courage. 

God is good.

Traci Burns Round HeadshotTRACI:

I’m learning that when we take the time to look, we can see God at work. 

God loves us, and He wants us to see His hand. 

I believe all of us can see Him at work in our lives if we’ll only take the time to look. 

“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
~ Psalm 46:10

God is good.

All the time, God is good.

Thanks for joining us today,

Traci & Jean
Bless Our Hearts


God is good. Us? Nope. We're just not that good, and I can prove it. Click To Tweet




When A Parent Loses A Child, It’s Common to Ask “Why?” (by Traci Burns, A Mother Who Knows)

Click to read "When A Parent Loses A Child, It's Common to Ask "Why?" " by Traci Burns, a Mother Who Knows. Traci lost her daughter and offers others great comfort. My Times Are In Your Hands Psalm 31:15 (via www.JeanWilund.com)

My friend Traci Burns is a mother who knows the pain of losing a child. She has some wise words to share with us:


When A Parent Loses A Child, It’s Common to Ask “Why?”
by Traci Burns, A Mother Who Knows


“Satan stole my child.”

My heart broke when a friend told me about a grieving mom who uttered that tragic declaration.

When a parent loses a child it’s common to ask, “Why?”

Some blame Satan. Some even blame God for “taking their child.”

I understand too well the emotions that come with such a terrible loss.

I understand we have to grieve.

However, while Jesus may have allowed my daughter Anna to die in a car accident, Jesus didn’t take her away from me. He wasn’t punishing me.

And, Satan certainly didn’t take Anna. Jesus has power and authority over him.

It’s common for a person who’s hurting to want to blame someone or something for their pain or loss.


As humans, we want answers and explanations on why things happen. But there are some things in life that can’t be explained.

If everything could be explained, there’d be no need for faith.

As a Christian, I must have faith and believe God knows what’s best.

It isn’t always easy.

It helps, though, when I remember that I only see part of the picture, but Jesus sees the picture from the beginning to the end.

And, better yet, He sees all the “in between.”

For me, the “in between” is where I have the most questions.


I know where I am, and as a child of God, I know where I’m going. Heaven! The beginning and the end.

Click to read "When A Parent Loses A Child, It's Common to Ask "Why?" " by Traci Burns, a Mother Who Knows. Traci lost her daughter and offers others great comfort. My Times Are In Your Hands Psalm 31:15 (via www.JeanWilund.com)But, all the “in between” stuff, I don’t know.

I serve a mighty God. I serve a loving God. I may not always understand His ways, but I know they always serve a purpose.

Acts 13:36 says, “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.”

None of us knows how many days we’ll be on this earth. My precious Anna, didn’t know she only had 23 years.

But she knew, as it says in Psalm 31:15, that her times were in God’s hands.

It comforts me to know she not only read that verse, but she also wrote those words in her Bible.

We all have choices.


I could have chosen to be a victim.

Blame God.

Blame satan.

Blame other people.

Blame circumstances.

I could have chosen to be bitter.

To be angry.

To be miserable.

I could have chosen to say that I have every right to pull the covers over my head, stay in bed and live as if my life were over.

Instead, I choose Jesus!


He’s been too good to me before, during, and after Anna’s accident to do or be any of those other things I just mentioned.

God’s Word is true.

God’s love is real.

For me, and I believe for you too, if we’ll take time to look for Jesus, we’ll see He’s always there.

And He’s good all the time.

Until next time,

Traci


Anna’s Bible


The photo of the Bible page above is from Anna’s Bible.

When Traci found Anna’s note “My times are in your hands!” written in her Bible, a wave of comfort flooded over her.

We never know how God is working.

Anna didn’t even know that God was already preparing her to come home.

And she didn’t know the little note she wrote in her Bible would give her family such great peace.

But God knew it all.

Whatever you’re facing today, God knows it all, He cares, and He’s working out His good and kind will for your life.

Our times, our lives, and our future are in His loving hands.

Thanks for joining the journey with us today.

~ Jean


When a parent loses a child it’s common to ask Why? #MyTimesAreInGodsHands #Faith #GodIsGood Click To Tweet

Traci Burns "Thoughts To Think" on Join the Journey (www.JeanWilund.com)If you’ve missed any of Traci’s posts, check out Thoughts to Think. She’s been traveling down a path every parent dreads, but Christ has filled her with hope and thankfulness. 

Follow along with Traci and be inspired to know Jesus the way she does.

Traci Burns is a wife, mom, and messenger of hope and healing. She never planned to be a blogger. She also never planned to live a story that must be told. Now, wherever Traci can, she shares the peace and comfort she’s found — even in the midst of pain — in a God who’s good all the time. She spreads the news with joy and laughter that Jesus Christ, the One who stills the storms, wants to steer our boat. Traci and her husband Weyland live in Lexington, SC. Their two sons live in the Greenville, SC area. Their daughter lives in heaven.

Join us next time as Traci continues to share some thoughts she thinks about our amazing God. 




24 Hours Before: Christ’s 24 Hours Before Changed Everything Forever

24 Hours Before. Christ's "24 Hours Before" changed everything forever. None of us know when our 24 Hours Before will be, but Christ did.

On this beautiful Good Friday, I’m thrilled to bring you the continuation of my friend Traci Burn’s reflections.

She’s walked a painful path but has found the Lord faithful every step of the way.

Even 24 hours before.

My daughter Anna had one of the best 24 hours of her life before her fatal accident.  

I’m so thankful for that. It gives me great comfort to know how happy she was. Jesus, on the other hand, did not.

I’ve thought a lot about the 24 hours before Anna died and the hours before Jesus died.  

I wrote some thoughts about each of their days:


24 HOURS BEFORE ANNA DIED:

•  Got the job she wanted.

•  Turned in her resignation letter at the daycare where she was working.

•  Made arrangements for housing with a close friend.

•  Made sure her dad would be available to help with paperwork for her new job.

•  Called or texted just about everybody she knew to tell them her good news.

•  Was extremely happy.

•  Died instantly.                                  

•  John 3:16

 

24 HOURS BEFORE JESUS DIED:

•  Friends abandoned Him.

•  Peter denied Him.

•  People beat Him.

•  People spit on Him.

•  People mocked Him.

•  Nailed to a cross through his hands and feet.

•  Hung in public for hours.                        

•  Luke 23:34

ANNA AND JESUS TOGETHER FOREVER.


Anna and Jesus’ last 24 hours couldn’t have been more different.  

The 24 hours before Weyland and I heard the news of Anna’s accident were also quite different from Christ’s.  

Weyland and I were having a wonderful day. We were in Atlanta eating lunch at a restaurant 73 stories above the street with a glass-walled dining room that slowly revolved a full 360 degrees. We could see for miles.

Weyland took out his cell phone and started snapping pictures. When I asked why, he said, “Anna would love this view.” He sent the pictures to Anna’s cell phone.

We had no idea that Anna was already in Heaven with a view that was far beyond the one we were experiencing.

I could say we just stumbled upon that restaurant. We hadn’t planned on eating there. We didn’t have reservations. We’d never even heard about it or its view. But looking back, I know it was Jesus who guided us to that particular restaurant.

He let us experience just a hint of what our precious Anna was already experiencing.

Anna didn’t know she was enjoying her last 24 hours here on earth. None of us really knows when our last 24 hours will be. Except Christ. He knew.

Since before the foundations of the earth, He knew exactly the day and the hour He’d walk to the cross so we could spend eternity with Him.

The most important thing we must know is where we’ll spend eternity when our last 24 hours are up.

Anna knew. I know, too. And one day I’ll join her and the Lord there.

I hope you know before your last 24 hours. Romans 10:9-11.

Until next time,

Traci  


24 Hours Before. None of us know when our "24 Hours Before" will be, but Christ did, and He used them to change everything forever.

Christ’s “24 Hours Before” changed everything forever.

Without them how could any of us find comfort in death? What a difference a day made. 

If you haven’t placed your faith in Christ yet, there’s no better time than now.

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.’” ~ Romans 10:9-11

Spend this Easter as a child of God and co-heir with Christ.

Please don’t wait.

We don’t know when our “24 Hours Before” will be.

Christ's ''24 Hours Before'' changed everything forever. #Easter #Christ Click To Tweet


Traci Burns "Thoughts To Think" on Join the Journey (www.JeanWilund.com)If you’ve missed any of Traci’s posts, check out Thoughts to Think. She’s been traveling down a path every parent dreads, but Christ has filled her with hope and thankfulness. 

Follow along with Traci and be inspired to know Jesus the way she does.

Traci Burns is a wife, mom, and messenger of hope and healing. She never planned to be a blogger. She also never planned to live a story that must be told. Now, wherever Traci can, she shares the peace and comfort she’s found — even in the midst of pain — in a God who’s good all the time. She spreads the news with joy and laughter that Jesus Christ, the One who stills the storms, wants to steer our boat. Traci and her husband Weyland live in Lexington, SC. Their two sons live in the Greenville, SC area. Their daughter lives in heaven.