Give a KISS from God every day : LovelikeJesus2

AmberOBrien"

Love is Kind. I Corinth. 13:4

Yesterday was my daughters “Heaven day”; the anniversary of when I held her 40 day old perfectly formed body and she breathed her last breath. God’s peace covered me that day. She had been born premature and a staph infection in a blood clot attached to her central line caused her heart to fail. Her body was purple and bloated and she had so many pricks, and my soul knew deep down that she would be “healed in heaven”. This peace continued to cover me, as a soft snow covers a barren tree, days later as we picked her tiny coffin and throughout her funeral.

And then after everyone went back home and on with their lives; my heart and faith began to fail. When I look back on this lowest time in my life, I remember a kind act from a stranger that at just the right time and in the right way gave me hope.

I call these inspired and spirit -led acts of kindnesses: KISSes From God.

Instead of a “Random Act of Kindness” or RAK, I prefer to call these “kisses from God.” I created this acronym recently and wanted to share this with you my sweet sister.

K- Kindness

I- in

S- spired by the

S- Spirt (The Holy Spirit)

My daughter Megan Elizabeth lived such a short time on this earth and the anniversaries of her birth and death still can brings tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat.

But then I remember how the super kind act of a stranger (KISS) soothed my tired and wounded heart when I needed it the most.

A few months after the funeral, I bundled up my two year old and 3 and half year old daughters and went to the local Harford Mall. How lonely I felt as my husband and I were both so wounded and grieving in our own ways. He threw himself back into his job and spent most of his time working. My sensitive daughters both regressed and acted out sensing the rollarcoster of events and emotions. My oldest, who before Megan’s death had been potty trained, regressed and started to cling to me. They both sought my attention and bickered among themselves and I struggled to care for them as the grieving sapped so much of my energy. I remember standing at the sink one day yelling out to God, “why did you give her to me …. only to take her away?” Underneath the anger was a hurt little girl who felt that God had ignored her prayer

I went to buy ice creeam for my girls in the food court and the cashier explained that they were paid for. He explained “ That a man each day picks someone to buy ice cream for and this day he picked you and your little girls.”

Sisters…..I had money to buy ice cream. My need wasn’t money. But what I needed was to know that God saw me; I needed to know that He cared about me and my sore heart.

As cool, sweet, soothing ice- cream runs down and coats a sore throat, I felt God’s loving and healing touch cool my sore hurting heart.

This act of kindness opened the eyes of my heart. I gradually started to understand that God, who I thought was ignoring me, saw my sore heart. I was not alone I realized. God cared for me and would gently walk with me through my grief.

What did that masked man see in me? Did he see the hurting girl underneath? I’m sure I probably looked like a tired mom (he didn’t know about my grieving heart for the NICU baby) but God did and I am so glad that this man followed this nudge from God. Thank you sweet stranger from the bottom of my heart. My heart wells up with joy so much that I want to collaborate with God and give God KISSES every day just like you dear stranger did for me.
Even now, (23 years later) the tears that flow when I remember this lowest time in my life, include tears of gratefulness.

I now realize the importance of doing kind acts in secret. For then the recipient does not have to use up energy on how to repay the person back. And the recipient can truly receive the gift from the hand of God; the one who is the giver of all gifts.

So Sweet sister. Let us keep our eyes open for someone who is struggling.

Let us give anonymously ( if we can) Let’s let God get the credit for our small act of kindness. Everything we have is from Him anyhow. I know that the ice cream cones mean more because of the mystery of who it was from and how he picked me on the day I needed it the most.

God is the one who knows who in our lives is struggling the most and He knows what will help them to realize God’s Love. Just as this wonderful man picked one person a day to give A KISS from God to, why don’t we ask God each morning to show us one person who may cross our paths this day? Also, let us pray for God to give us creativity as to how to bless them.

Our actions shouldn’t be a random scattering of seeds on hard soil but instead intentional seeds of kindness on the soft heart of someone who needs a “Kiss” from God.




So ask God each morning to give you fresh eyes to notice the person around you who needs some cool refreshment.

God’s agape love is one that is not self-seeking but instead spreads outward to help others. God’s love is kind, refreshes others and will be a sweet reminder that God sees their suffering.

Who will you give a “Kiss from God” to today?



gave me a baby only to take her so back again.

Pedaling Out to Sea… No Steering Included.

AmberOBrien"

What was that thrumming noise overhead? I looked upward and realized it was the pulsing, whirling sound of helicopter wings. A Coast Guard helicopter made a big circle as I waved one hand to signal that I was alive and the reason for the sirens ringing out over the island.  However, this chop, chopping was not music to my ears. Awkward visions of having to climb aboard a hanging ladder filled my head and I continued my pleadings with God. 

“Lord, I don’t need a helicopter,” I said out loud. “Just send me a motorboat. I don’t need a helicopter.”

 Shivering in the pre-season Atlantic Ocean, I treaded water, trying to make headway back to the shore. But the handlebars of this brand new elliptical paddle board having sunk below the surface, along with the offshore breeze were just too much for me.

 Numerous rescue vehicles awaited on the shore: an ambulance, police car, and even a fire truck. As the helicopter also continued to hover overhead, a crowd of people gathered on the shore, and I knew they were wondering the same thing I was – How did this middle-aged woman end up so far off shore alone in the early morning clutching a bright yellow board?

Just an hour earlier when we arrived at the seashore, the ocean appeared unusually calm.  My husband was so excited for me to use the new toy he had given me as an early birthday present: a paddleboard with handlebars for steering and bicycle pedals for more control than the typical paddleboard.

Dave pushed the spanking new paddleboard, with me standing proudly on top, out over the waves, and I happily used the pedals to move the Mirage eclipse forward – straight out into the vast sea.

After pedaling straight out to sea for a couple of yards, I squeezed on the right handle and expected the new hybrid paddleboard to follow along to the right. Nothing happened. I had been told before heading out that I would need to pedal fast for the steering to work, so I pumped my legs faster as I squeezed the handle with all my strength. I wouldn’t find out until much later, that the screw we tightened before I set off that day was actually supposed to be loose. Our tightening it prior to my departure was the reason behind this whole ordeal – a tight screw meant no steering.    

My husband kept yelling, “Turn! Turn!” as I moved out further from him, my daughter, and most concerningly – the shore.

“ I am! I am trying to turn! ” I shouted back.

  At this point, I became more and more panicked as my adrenaline increased and my muscles tensed. I thought I must be doing something wrong and not peddling fast enough or squeezing hard enough, so I stayed on the board and pedaled on. I eventually ended up about one fourth of a mile out to sea.

Then somehow, maybe just by leaning my body, I turned enough so that I became parallel with the shore.

I kept pedaling and squeezing the handlebar, trying with all my might to turn more so I could ride back into shore. The current was going out to sea and with a 15 mph offshore wind, it took all my effort to stay on the board as I traveled parallel 10 beach blocks, while my husband and daughter Mary ran alongside me on  the shore.

My heart beat faster and my panic grew as I continued a pattern I’d developed as a new driver. You see, as a teenager, if I became lost while driving, I would drive faster instead of stopping and often made my situation worse.  Similarly, as I pedaled along in the sea that day, instead of just stopping and regrouping and asking God for help, I made the situation worse as my adrenaline and panic caused my legs to pump faster.

I said loud prayers of desperation over and over as I squeezed the handlebar with all my might, “Help!” “Lord Jesus, Help me! Help Me!!”

The board still would not move to the right, and I continued to move parallel to the shore. The lifeguards were not on duty yet, and I did not spot any other small water crafts. “Lord Jesus, please Help me,” I begged again and again.

I started to use my body more in one last desperate attempt to move the paddleboard to the right, and splash!  the waterboard and I capsized. Shocked by the cold water, I quickly put my arms around the overturned board (I didn’t want to lose my new present,) and started to kick to see if I could move myself forward toward shore.  

“Can they see me?” I thought. I prayed not just for myself but that my husband and daughter would have peace and not worry about me. An offshore wind pushed the top warm water out to sea leaving me in the frigid Atlantic and my legs were becoming numb as I tried to kick and move forward. Were they waiting for me to come to shore by myself? Oh, I hope they are getting help. At this point, I was cold and exhausted from traveling a half mile along the shore as my heart palpitations worked overtime.

And then I heard music to my ears. Sirens. The loud emergency sirens echoed my cries for help and could be heard not just by me, but by everyone living on the Seven Mile Island calling out to all the rescue volunteers. I was hoping perhaps a motorboat would come to rescue me. I felt embarrassed that everyone on the island now knew there was trouble and that someone would have to come to help me.   I waited and held on tight to my floating toy and hoped that they would hurry. 

And that is when I heard the helicopter wings overhead. And I told the God of the Universe how He should rescue me.

“Lord, I don’t need a helicopter” I said out loud. “Just send me a motorboat. I don’t need a helicopter.”

And then I heard a calm and authoritative voice in my mind say,

“I know what you need.” 

My panic became peace and my breathing slowed as I waited to see what would happen next. I knew that I was going to be all right and I now just waited with trust to see how God planned to do it. I must have waited at least ten minutes as I clutched the board and faced the shore trying to spot my husband and daughter among the crowd of rescue vehicles and spectators who lined the water’s edge. 

And then two lifeguards came to my rescue aboard a jet ski.

The sun shone behind their flowing hair and bounced off their kind, handsome faces and strong shoulders. My relief and gratitude were immense. I keep telling them, “Thank you so much,” as I gazed into their beautiful glowing faces.

The jet ski had a board on the back with handle bars and they helped me to lie down stomach first as I held on to the handles. By this time I was exhausted and shivering and I’m sure the lifeguards could see my weariness.

“Lie down here,” one told me, “and I will lie on top of you.”  

The lifeguards strong warm body lay on top of me and I felt God’s strength, help, and love through this unexpected gift of protection and deliverance.     

We flew across the ocean waves on the back of the wave runner into shore and I giggled as my body would slip under his and the thought of how I was being rescued made me laugh with delight.

“Yes, this was much better than a motor boat.” I thought with a smile.

As we approached the crowd of people lining the shore, I continued to giggle at the thought of being sandwiched between a jet ski and a lifeguard. A warm blanket was placed over my shoulders. The lifeguards lifted my board, and they (and the crowd), were especially surprised to see the handlebars underneath.

I believe I felt the reality of God’s feathers of protection as I lay under the lifeguard’s strong body and I rode in giggling with joy.  I am thankful that God knows just what we need – and sometimes that means two strong, beautiful angels who know how to drive a jet ski. 

He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His fatithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalm 91:4