Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Stupid Clouds!

As I sit in my living room, the front door is open and a cool breeze is making its way in.  I have turned off all other distractions, so that I can hear the birds outside.  Even my dogs are asleep, everyone is asleep, except for the birds and I.
I woke up this morning in a way that I have done for many days now.  Eye one, then eye two, a stretch, and the thought, "another cloudy day" hits my mind, and perhaps my tongue, under my breath.  I'm sick of the clouds. I'm sick of the rain. I'm sick of my stinky attitude about my life and the stupid clouds.  I'm tired of not being inspired.
There I said it.  I'm tired of not being inspired.  I have waves of inspiration and grandiose-God moments, but they are nestled between the “should” and “shouldn'ts” of my days. I want continuity and consistency. I want to feel healthy and joyous and content for a larger portion of my days, weeks, and years.
I'm wondering if you can relate or if it's just me.  I feel like I pump myself up, and by the end of the day, and before I turn in to bed, I am there. Then, I wake up in the morning, and it's all gone. I have to start all over.
Even as I write this, the Holy Spirit reminds me that God is my missing link to consistency. He is the only thing that remains the same. He is the glue that holds together my moments and my days, He connects the past to the future, yesterday to today. I am living a life mostly made up of my own efforts and strengths, and the older I get, the harder it gets, ‘cause let’s face it, getting older is hard work. I am tired, crabby, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled when left to my own devices.
I cannot live a holy life without a constant walk with Him. How can I expect anything to stick with interaction of the loving God who created me in His image? 

“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his Holy Ones.” (1 Thess 2: verse 12 and 13)

When we come to each other after having spent time with Him, we are better for it.  It’s not just about us and our days, and muddling through them. It’s about coming to Him incomplete, and learning to be more complete, in Him. Then, when we are together in community, be that a large group or a small one of just you and another, we can commune with God and each other on a more intimate, personal level. 

Just as I am ready to hit SAVE on this reflection, I am looking out the window to sunshine on my lawn. If only for a moment, Father has reminded me that the way things are is not always the way things will be.  Enjoy this day!Have a most amazing, cloudy, God-filled day.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Refuse to Live a Life of Fear

I remember a few weeks ago my neighbor moved out and renters moved in. I remember peeking out through my bedroom window sizing up the new neighbors, thinking, “He looks a bit shady, I think it’s time to move.” Fear began to have its way and I actually began to look on the internet for more ‘suitable’ places to live.  After the second or third day of peering through the curtains, a thought came to me, “Who ARE you?”  I was ashamed and embarrassed that I had passed judgment on someone solely based upon their appearance. Since then,  have met my new neighbors and have begun to build a relationship with them. God’s whispered to me, “refuse to live a life of fear.

Two weeks ago, I slammed my baby-toe into our ottoman, as I am sure many of us have, and truly believed it was broken. Up until yesterday morning, I held onto that thought. Another thought came to me yesterday, “you have to try to walk on it.”  So I did. It hurt, but not enough to stop me.  Then another thought came to me, “try to run on it.” You see, I am a runner, and one injury after another has stopped me from doing just that. So, I tried to run on it, not too bad, not any worse anyway. (that’s my test…if it doesn’t hurt WORSE, it’s probably okay).  So I went home, put on my running clothes, and ran, for 22 minutes. It didn’t hurt any worse, and by that time, I had gained a little confidence!  It made all of the difference in my attitude.  I came home, feeling excellent, and even painted my toes. If you are a girl, you know that that means you are feeling pretty darn good.  I was afraid to walk, none-the-less, run, but I did it anyways.  God’s whispered to me, “refuse to live a life of fear.

Yesterday I turned on the news to the horrific story of the Boston Marathon attack.  Everything  natural in me said to be afraid, to not go to social events, to not run the Chicago Marathon. Everything that is God’s in me says to not be afraid, to not live in fear. Fear can be a cancer, invading every space in our lives.  God’s whispered to me, “refuse to live a life of fear.
Today, I woke up to a great-feeling toe. The running must have released it, because I was able to walk for a half an hour pain-free. Perhaps it was jammed and I was afraid it was broken? I don’t know, I just know that I faced my fear and did it anyways.  I have always wondered if I could ever buckle down and qualify for the Boston Marathon.  I don’t know about all that, but I will never know if I run afraid. I do know this, now I want it more than ever.  God’s whispers to me, “refuse to live a life of fear. 

Cheryl D. Wyatt

Monday, March 11, 2013


I woke up this morning with the feeling of, "oh great, another day. What will I do with today?" I know that I probably should wake up happy and perky and excited, but not today.  There are clouds packed into the sky, it's wanting to be warm, but it's still cold and wet. I have to get out of bed to get my water to take my pills that have to be taken one hour before food. Sigh. I have to get up. I am so lazy!

It's not a temporary lazy either. I've been working on this one for many months.  Nothing is getting done without excruciating effort. I hate being here.  As I lay in bed this morning, I try to imagine a better place, a healthier place where I don't hurt so much-both emotionally and physically. My body hurts, it is aching. My soul longs for God's presence.  I know it is I who has moved but I find little comfort in knowing that fact. There is still a proverbial separation. I am gaining weight and I know that it is my fault, too, but again, I find little comfort in the fact that I know that. I feel like I am watching a very bad movie that I can't get up from. I feel so sorry for this girl, for this 49 year old woman who is stuck on 'rewind.' 

So I pulled my body out of bed, got the water, took my pills, then started the countdown. 59 minutes to go 'till I can have my coffee the way I like it, with cream. Thinking, "is cream really considered food?"  The living room is dark, but I go look for Maddie. Oh, she's sleeping on the futon in my office this morning.  She makes me smile, always makes me smile.  I go to her and say , "Hi Maddie" and scratch her bellie. She licks my nose and rolls over. She's not in any hurry to go outside.

So I saw "Silver Linings Playbook" this past Friday.  I didn't know what it was about before hand.
If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It made me come face to face with my own untreated bipolar.  I remember thinking during the movie, "so I guess I thought if I didn't talk about it or even mention it, it'll be better for everyone involved in my life. It will just be easier. But what about for me Will it be easier for me?"

Honestly, I don't know what to think. I can't continue to gain this weight. I can't continue to be afraid to just take that first step towards wellness. I don't even know if I know what 'wellness' is for me. I've been good so many times, and then it all falls to crap. I am interested in finding out, in finding a Dr. who can help me, but I've done that before, too. I also self-medicate, self-diagnose and then self-implode. 

Jesus sits patiently by, holding my hand. I know that He is here. He keeps reminding me that I need Him to function on a daily, minute-by-minute basis. It seems such a long road back, full of places I've visited  so many times I'm tired of re-visiting. Maybe it's a different road that will lead me back this time? Trying something new?  Or perhaps, trying both the old and the new, together.

Happy Rainy Day All, Cheryl

Friday, August 24, 2012


“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.  I will be glad and rejoice in you;  I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:1,2.


I would love to say that I wake up each morning ready to go, ready to praise, feeling great about my day  and looking forward to what is has for me. I would like to say that, I cannot. 

I would also like to admit that most Sunday mornings when the alarm goes off at 5 am, God and I are having a discussion about whether or not He really needs me on the Praise Team that morning. Yes, I said it; I don’t walk around in a constant state of wonderment and holiness.

I choose to praise. I choose to worship. That’s what makes my praise and worship so precious to God…because I don’t have to, I choose to.  The word “will” in the dictionary is defined as “determined,” or “sure to.” Plug this into the above scripture and you get, “I am determined to give thanks to you, Lord,” and, “I am sure to be glad and rejoice in you.”  It’s a choice.

So, on Sunday mornings when God and are have our discussion, (well, I whine, he listens,) it’s not about if I feel like going to church, or feel like giving Him praise (hey, I just woke up, give me a second.)  It’s all about deciding that no matter what is going on around me, I will choose to be thankful, in whatever I can find to be thankful for. I choose to have hope, even when it looks hopeless. I choose to get up, get dressed, and get into praise.

PRAYER: God I don’t know why you have so much patience with me but I am grateful that You do. Thank You for waiting for me to catch up, and teaching me to “get there” a little sooner each day. Amen

Additional Scriptures: Psalm 54:6;  Jonah 2:9; Hebrews 13:15

Cheryl D. Wyatt

Friday, June 29, 2012

Jesus on the Road

“Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:21,22.

So there we all were, getting off the back of a pick-up truck, having just ridden a few miles up and down the rocky, pitted terrain to El Progreso, El Salvador. We stood the whole way, holding on to the sides of the truck. There were periods of nervous laughter mixed with those of quiet reflection. I’m sure each one of us had a picture in our minds of what this day would look like.  I tried to picture the road we would help to build/rebuild on this mission trip, but when I stepped off that truck, that picture shattered and my heart started to beat through my chest. What if I’m not strong enough?

There wasn’t a nice little country path before me, not the one I meagerly underestimated in my mind. No, there was a mountainside. Thick bedrock lay under our feet. A couple dozen locals were already there, as curious as each one of us. I’m sure they were also wondering what this day would look like; all of us working together towards one cause: a road in and out of El Progreso.

As the work day began, we all learned to somehow become one team. The road began to slowly take shape, (Okay, so it didn’t just “slowly take shape,” there was hard labor, I would say “labor-camp” hard labor- I don’t think I’ve ever been so physically engaged in an endeavor in my life!)  Through the pick-axing of the bedrock, the carrying of the very large rocks up and down the mountain, the 5 gallon buckets of wet sand and cement, all by hand, (male female, didn’t matter), the road presented itself. As each day ended, more and more of the road was completed.

After what seemed like an eternity, we were standing at the dedication, hand in hand with our brothers and sisters of El Progreso and beyond. Mind you, it had only been three-and-a-half days since we started, and we all looked around at a miracle. The children were giggling and playing on that road that all of our hands built together. The natural, the working of our hands and feet and backs, was mixed with the supernatural, the Spirit of God, who connected us all in a mysterious way. 

I believe that miracles are all around us. I believe that I am a miracle, and you are a miracle. When is the last time you thought, “oh, I am going to make my heart beat?” It is the hand of God that makes your heart beat, and it was the hand of God that visualized and created that road to El Progreso.
There are amazing moments in our lives where we get to be part of something huge, bigger than ourselves, but there are so many small, powerful miracles that happen every day, every moment of our lives. If you can, take a moment now to close your eyes, and breathe in, and then out, slowly. There, that was a miracle. Find your pulse; did you find it? Another miracle. You are a miracle.

Cheryl Denise Wyatt

Prayer: God, we are so busy and take for granted all of the life and love and miracles around us every moment.  Help us to slow down and see….see the amazing awesomeness of your creation and timing and wonderment. You are God, and I am not. Please remind me of that daily. Amen

My roommate Donna & I

Part of the road we all worked on.
Cross at a home we visited.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Be Still and Know

“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Acts 2:17


As I write this devotion, I am sitting in my back yard, under my magnificent magnolia tree, in my blue and white striped lawn chair. Up until about 10 seconds ago, my dog, Oscar, was sitting in the chair next to me, as he usually does when I am sitting in the yard.  I say “up until 10 seconds ago” because I thought I was going to tell you about how peaceful this moment was, and how we could miss it if we are too hurried.  Now, I am smiling as I type because I see that this is not my intended direction at all, because Oscar has shot across the yard barking at a neighbor, there is an ambulance screaming in the distance, a power-saw from the yard behind me, and the once-peaceful birds are now in some kind of ornithological riot!

Quiet, still moments are few and far between. Everyone and everything is on its way to somewhere, and undoubtedly, someone or something else is going to get in their way. We seem to be in a constant state of “catch up” and “stock up,” that we miss so many of the normal, everyday occasions to praise God. Even now, I am fighting with the thought-trains that are forging through my mind, “what is next for this great backyard? I need to call the dentist today. Oh, I should call my Mom today, too.”
I believe we have to be in a place in our hearts and minds to receive God’s best for us.  If I keep telling God, “Oh! Hold that thought, I’ll be right back with you, as soon as I finish this…,” then I will continue to walk around exhausted and unfulfilled. Nothing will ever be good enough, clean enough, or “mine” enough.

Do you have time to dream dreams or see visions? Take this fleeting moment in time, find a quiet spot, if even for 5 minutes, close your eyes, and breathe. Thank God for at least one thing He has done, is doing, and will do. God is the great “I AM,” and you are His precious child.

Prayer:  God, I am so tired, breathe for me. God, I am so grateful…for what you have done, what you are doing, and what You will continue to do for me. Most of all, I am just grateful for YOU. Amen

Cheryl D. Wyatt

Additional Scriptures: Psalm 46:10; Proverbs 17:1; Psalm 23:2

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Use Your Words to Bless

1 Thessalonians 1:1--3:12
I am struck by the way that Paul writes to the church,  to the people of Thessalonica. It is so tender and yet, so forward.  He wastes no time in getting to the point.  He is blessed by what they have accomplished, and in what he is hearing about them, but there is still so much to do!  

I wonder if people in other churches around the city, around the country, or even around the world, are hearing of the things we are doing for Christ in our congregation at Congress and Wabash?  I don’t know about you, but I only want to be known as a group of Christ-followers who are doing the important, hard tasks of the church.  Going out into the streets and alleys and finding those who need Him most, ( and that, I have found, is all of us.)
I am also struck with the way Paul is talking to them and God simultaneously. 

His words to them are really prayers in disguise.  For instance, starting in the 11th verse he says ,“Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you.  May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.  May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”

I just find these passages beautiful.  It is apparent the love that Paul, Timothy and Silas must have for them, and what a burden of prayer and supplication they bear for that church and its people.  

I pray that we can have that same kind of fervent prayer for even our own church. “ We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.  We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thess. 1:2,3.

Prayer for Today: May OUR words bless another as deeply as the ones we have read today. Thank you for showing us great leaders in our faith like Paul, who gave up so much to follow You, but got so much more in return. In Jesus, Amen.