When you need to let go…or when life runs full with love, forgiveness and all the colors mingling


These are the moments of our life.

So let’s not waste a single one.

Because they pass as quickly as summer.

Breathe deep.

Think deeper.

And choose wisely.

Know God.

And know that He loves you and me like crazy. No. Matter. What!

Hold tight to all that is dear but know when it’s time to let go.

Say farewell.

Then move forward.

With a tear and a smile.

So much grace.

And gratitude abundant.

For life is a gift in all the thousands of moments, one after the other after the other.

Unwrap each one fully present for they slip away like sand between our fingers.

Vanishing like vapor.

So let’s hold them in our hearts rejoicing more than regretting.

Forgiving all.

And foregoing the grudge so we can be free.

Free to live.


With intention. Like we mean it. Realizing the value of the gift.

Feeling deeply all our feelings yet controlled by none.


Letting our hearts be His.

Still, soft and wide open.


So we can give more.

Taking life moment by precious moment as it is not as we would have it.

All glory to God.

Savoring sunrises and sunsets passing in a heart beat.

And life flowing and overflowing like a waterfall tumbling over the edge, spraying rainbows as it crashes below.

Or like a watercolor where broad brush strokes of a thousand tiny dots of color mingle and meld.

Each one touching the other.


And together creating beauty to inspire.

Bleeding into each other.


Blood covering all in Light diffusing softly over mountains misty in the distance.

Rising to meet the sun…


The house is sold. Summer is unofficially over. The baton was passed yesterday in a significant shift within our close-knit church family. And after a summer together under one roof my sons {and daughter-in-love} have moved into their next chapters, one flying far away before dawn today, relocating to the West Coast.





All is as it should be even if my heart feels faint.

And what about your heart this morning? Do you feel a tug?

Because letting go can do that to us. It tugs and it tears. And God, He uses it to tether us more closely to Himself.

So are you reaching out to your Lord in your season of letting go?

Yet through all the changes we are under cover.

Banner over us is flapping in a summer breeze, love held high by the One who never changes.

Not in morning sun or evening shadows.

And though my woman’s heart is wistful today, and my Michael holds me long and slow,  and I am tired, physically drained and spent from a season full to overflowing with wonderful, wearying changes — —

I look up and open my hands and my heart. You, too?

Holding on to Him while letting go in love.

Only to receive…


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Summer morning splendid and suspended and my heart melting…


Slightly sweet scent of freshly sliced and very ripe cantaloupe greets me as I pad softly into the kitchen this morning.

Bowls of apricots, skin like micro-fiber velour, and bright red tomatoes still attached to the vine, rest on the counter.

All but one other than myself still slumbers. Him my beloved other. And our empty nest home now full of children grown returned for a season.

All of us together under one roof. Again.

Season of healing and of tying up loose ends as this old house — home to me and my three sons for so long and home to me and him, my wedded darling, for the last three years after so many days and nights alone — seems ready to pass on to a new owner.

And in saying so long to the home where my heart has hung for more than two decades, I embrace the gifts of past, present and future laid out before me.

So many gifts for my heart to hold. Opening each one slow in order to savor. To tuck away in memory for days ahead when winter winds whip cold.

Bravely and gratefully greeting each new day as it slides off the calendar as fast as my once little boys of summers long ago would glide down the big metal slide at the schoolyard.


Glorious season stretching before me with gregarious color everywhere and spilling from window boxes and sunlight long as it leans into evenings still but for the sound of crickets and children laughing.

Cracking open French doors to let in morning and birdsong sweet as prayers of praise and my heart soaring heavenward with the sheer pleasure of the moment.

Suspended and splendid.


Dawn has brightened the sleeping sky and slowly infused it with a blue like that of robin’s eggs. Limbs out back lush as key limes fill my view and willows languid blow lazily in the gentle morning breeze.

All of it such good gifts from a sweet Father who loves without limit. Me and him. My babies and their loves so big. You.

And my heart melting on an early summer morning late in June…


Blessings on your weekend, friends! And my apologies for being absent these last few days from blogging, but with the pending house sale and waiting for contracts to sign, looking at local apartments and tending to beloved family members these blessedly long hours of summer seem fleetingly short. Thank you for grace…



Words to heal any mother’s heart this Mother’s Day: We did do good! And an empty nest refills…


I cannot tell you how much I owe to the solemn word of my good mother.
Charles Spurgeon

From the moment we discover new life living inside our wombs we have no idea how having babies and raising them and watching them grow into young adults will stretch us.

How motherhood will squeeze our hearts with love oozing out all over and so much joy.

Or sometimes how pain like a knife will stab hot with so many tears flowing.

And all along this glorious way we can doubt ourselves, or blame ourselves when things go wrong with our kids, when they get in trouble or get their hearts hurt.

Feeling like a little girl lost trying to figure out a mighty and holy undertaking for which we are often inadequately prepared.

And how we worry all through the years!

Did we do anything right?

But God.

Him always, always holding us through the ups and downs and days at the soccer field and nights cradling little ones feverish and us trying to get it all done. Running, running, running and huffing in the hectic yet always with time for hugging.

And needing to be still and just breathe.

Breathe in the Holy Spirit, breathing in peace. And our Perfect Father picking up the broken pieces and growing us up as we watched them grow.

And in moments unexpected pulling us close to Him with whispers of love straight from the Father’s heart.


Driving recently with my second oldest son the conversation turned to when he and his two brothers were very little and I was raising them as a single mom.

Times were tough.

My heart was shattered.

I was attempting to get my life right with God and stumbling along the path.

And so many times lying awake late into the night recounting what I had done wrong that day and chastising myself to do the mothering thing better. To do the daughter of God thing better. Wondering if my mistakes were ruining my kids.

Have you ever felt that way?

Yet all the while He was leading me — just like He is going before you — as I was trying to lead them. His grace, and tender loving care overwhelmingly good and filling in all my cracks.

Him the head of our household down one, holding us together through all the years of good and bad and everything in-between.

And after coming through some rough patches, I bless and thank God that my three sons are all okay. Finding their way and figuring life out one day at a time, tucked in Father’s hands.


And then Ben’s words to me in the car that day.

You did a great job with us, Mom, you really did. We all turned out good because of you and the sacrifices you made. You spent so much time with us even giving up your career to raise us and be at home. And even though you have no 401K or retirement savings now you did the right thing. You made the best choice by devoting yourself to me and my brothers instead of a job.

Wow! Am I rich!

Speechless for a while, taking in the magnitude of his words, I silently thanked my God who had walked with me through all of it and my heart humming with sweet confirmation.

And there is therefore now no condemnation and my son’s words like a loving pat on the back from Father to daughter and Him smiling down on us.

And me so very humbled and tears brimming.

And your kids probably thinking the same thing about you, Mom. So rest, my friend, we all do the best we can.

BOYS 5-6-14


And Mother’s Day is any day and we celebrated last night at Longings End with not one, nor two, but all three of my sons, and my beautiful daughter-in-love, and all of us sharing a meal — living, laughing and loving together.

The empty nest filled, but differently now.


With Son #2, who returned in December, trying valiantly each time he visits for dinner to close the gap of his loses to the Chess King’s wins.

Dan 1

And my baby boy stepping off the train a week ago after a red-eye brought him east and me just holding him.

Just holding.

And finally the first born and his bride the last to relocate back to New York getting here yesterday and staying with us while they search for an apartment before grad school begins.




My heart and home filling and overflowing.

And after the last two and a half years of adjusting to all the empty and grown children far from home establishing their own lives, we are back together again at least for a season.

Empty nest tears all dried. Heart stronger for having traveled through it. Hands more open to the changes that life and time bring.

Lessons in loving and letting go learned and learning still.

And thankful for such a loving husband who held me through it all.

Like the day my second oldest left for Hawaii — enroute to Salt Lake City several months later — with just the clothes on his back, a tree hammock, a little bit of money and no cell phone. And God gently teaching trust.

Me reduced to a crying mess who called into work and drowned my sorrows in an extra bowlful of gravy at the diner my Michael dubbed The Farewell Cafe, a place of refuge and comfort food following each son’s leaving.

Then my oldest and his wife next to travel west and my mother’s heart bid them a tearful goodbye. And then my baby boy, at 19, leaving since his brother-best friends were in Utah and he wanting to join them.

And I ran on empty some days.

Mother’s heart aching with longing.


And long ago wisps of them everywhere I looked in our home from pb&j fingerprints on glass doors to socked feet sliding down long hardwood hallways to tea parties in a snugly warm kitchen on snow days complete with chocolate chip pancakes and at the end of all the busy every 24 hours tucking in sleepyheads with prayers, stories and always Goodnight Moon.

Then my sweet Michael driving us 2,200 miles with sinuses completely blocked before surgery so I could see them for a birthday to long remember and ribbons of love and so much grace knitting all our hearts close even though many miles separated us.

And other mothers who had gone before me soothing: We let our chicks fly but they come back eventually, you’ll see.

But some of those empty nest days — and especially the nights sleepless — were hard and I wondered if I would ever adjust.

God’s grace is abundant and we hold His hand one day at a time in each new chapter of life as He leads us into what He has next for us.

Filling us in new ways very fulfilling even as our mother’s hearts linger on all the little things long remembered.


Tiny treasures locked forever in hearts grateful.

But the deceiver always wanting to steal every good gift. And lies leading us astray focusing on what we may have done wrong.

God’s amazing grace and love covering over the multitude of mommy messes.

And if we listen very closely we will hear Him whispering words of love and comfort regarding our calling as mothers.

We did do a lot right.

As right as we could at the time and children so forgiving as we humble ourselves before them, asking forgiveness. Being the best examples of love that we can be as we journey forward learning to love better all the time.

Lessons in the moments.

And Him continuing to heal our hearts one day at a time.

Life of Child

Setting us free from a mother load of guilt so there’s room in our hearts enlarging to welcome new daughters or sons, gold bands binding them to our children’s hearts and them into our hearts as if they themselves had grown under our hearts long ago.

Then some day in God’s good timing, God willing, the pitter-patter of little feet, and tiny sticky fingerprints and finger painting on the deck in sun warming and splashing in puddles and splashing in bathtubs and cookies baking.

And chubby little arms once again wrapping themselves around a mother’s heart that never grows old…

All our longings end in love

Linking with Holly at holleygerth.com and these lovely blogs at the end of this page.

Putting the past behind us … And a free online journaling workshop beginning January 31


Sometimes we can’t seem to let go of the past.

It haunts us and hurts us and holds us back from fully living the life God has created us to live.

And living a half-life, with much of our heart in darkness, causes those around us to suffer for the Light inside won’t shine as bright.

This is when we must turn to God and think His thoughts towards us. We must choose to stop focusing only inward and look up and He will create in us a new heart.

A heart that is free to live forward, both hands open, receiving all that God wants to give and then freely sharing that gift with the world.

Are you ready to take the next step?


Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love…
    and renew a right spirit within me.
From Psalm 51

When our sin is breathing down our back and heavy upon our shoulders it can seem like we are doomed to be forever dirty.

At least that’s how we feel.

Especially if we have a relationship with Jesus and we know what scripture says about what’s right and what’s wrong.

We may be thinking we’ve blown it one too many times. Like there is no hope for us anymore. We’ve lost our joy and it feels as if God is shaking His head.

But He isn’t.

So we cry out to Him for forgiveness and mercy. Because He loves us so much He diligently forgives and forgets, showering us with cleansing.

He wipes our slate clean. He drops our sins into the bottom of a bottomless ocean where He remembers them no more.

Allowing us to put the past behind us and start living for Him for real this time. No more shortcuts. No more pleasing self above God.

For when we sin we sin foremost against our Father.

And He will in grace and tenderness towards us create in us a clean heart.

A heart that will grow soft again as it understands how deeply it is loved.

A heart that can lift its head for its shame is taken away.

As we surrender our will to Him, and keep surrendering over time, we will again feel His presence ever close — even though He was always close by — and our joy in the Lord will return.

But it may take some time.

Especially if we’ve been dallying in sin for a season.

Or believing satan’s lies for too long. 

And how our enemy works overtime to convince us we are worthless, unloved and unlovable.

And the lies stick when we are not giving our brains a good washing each day with the water of the word.

Being in God’s word, tucking it deep within our hearts, helps us avoid repeating our mistakes from the past. And helps transform our thinking about the present.

While it’s so much better to just say no to sin in the first place, we can join hearts and do life God’s way at any time. With no regrets, no fears, no shame about our past.

It is finished, Jesus said.

There will still be surrender and sacrifice and our self may balk, but at the end of a day lived for Him and through Him we will be able to exhale, close our eyes and sleep in peace knowing that we have pleased the Father.

Trusting and resting in His love, knowing He is watching over us.

And in this we will rejoice with a deep holy contentment unlike anything we have known before…

***Today’s post is adapted from Day 21 in my new book Heart Cry: 40 Reflections for a Woman’s Soul.

Heart-Cry-Cover-Image MEDIUM

Heart Cry was written to help your heart as God has helped mine to heal and continue healing. And the reflections in Heart Cry are based upon what I received spending time in the Word from the One who journals all our life stories.

And to further help you, Longings End will launch Heart Cry Healing.

This free, private Facebook group for women opens January 31.

Structured as a journal writing workshop, the online group will continue at least through the end of February.

By invitation only, this confidential community will include:

>>instructions for journaling

>>questions to get you started

>>prompts from Heart Cry, scripture, poetry, photos and song

>>encouragement to continue writing your heart out offline in the privacy of your own time

>>a place to share your comments as you are inclined and comfortable sharing

>>a haven of mutual support in a respectful environment where words of edification are exchanged in love, free from condemnation

>>prayer requests

>>and always the truth that God’s love for you is your greatest healing tonic

Whatever has caused your heart to hurt, whatever pain you are struggling with, you will find a warm welcome at Heart Cry Healing.

While I will administrate this page, offering direction, encouragement and prayer, the intention of Heart Cry Healing is to point you towards the Wonderful Counselor, our Everlasting Father, from whom true healing flows.

And journaling helps.

For many years I have used journaling with prayer as a method of healing, receiving countless benefits. There is great therapy in letting our pain spill from our hearts and via our pens onto the page.

Journaling helps us process loss and sorrow, understand our sinfulness, and can in time help reveal nuggets of gold — God’s will for our lives.

Whether you grab a notebook, a beautiful leather-bound journal or create a private online file, get ready to write. Rest assured you don’t have to be a writer to keep a journal. And no one will be looking over your shoulder grading your efforts!


But healing, like writing, takes time and can be lonely when done alone.

So will you join me on this journey by becoming part of the community at Heart Cry Healing? 

I hope so! Please email me at Sheila@LongingsEnd.com for further information and let me know you would like an invitation to the page. Please put HEART CRY HEALING in the subject line. Thanks.

And then we can all meet together at Heart Cry Healing on January 31.


Here’s to hearts being made new and free, intentionally set upon healing through the power and love of Christ, and the power of the pen.

God bless you and keep you, my sister friend…


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Filling an empty nest with Love, and tips for a romantic date night – Day 9 First comes Love


Filling an empty nest begins by accepting the emptiness.

And by emptying ourselves of all the expectations that so easily lead to disappointment.

But it doesn’t happen overnight.

The last two years have been a season of sad encompassing my mother’s heart, not in every moment but many, as I say goodbye to a life I lived for decades.

A life where I was knee deep in skinned knees and never ending nurturing. Rarely able to see past the garden fence in those days with little ones in the home, and always busy and tired, full with joy as well as frustrations.

Bur my sadness has been juxtaposed with the happiest of times in my life as the wife of the dearest man I have ever known, my Michael, with whom I  joined hearts in the later summer of life, never expecting such dreams to come true.

And all this transitioning up and down and back and forth is taxing if I hold too tight.

Tying knots in the ribbons that reach back to days gone by as if the strongest knot could prevent them from slipping away.

But in the not letting go of what was, hands clenched shut, I am not fully open to receive the gifts given in all the moments of now.

Still a season of grieving is normal and necessary for anyone transitioning to an empty nest as memories tug at heartstrings, pulling us this way one day and that way the next until we finally choose to be grateful for all that was.

Thanking God for every single minute of the precious past.

And then letting it go, never forgotten but relegated to its proper place.

Opening up hands to take hold of all God has planned for this new season, these days that all too quickly will melt into memories, too.

And I don’t want to miss out on these rare and treasured empty nest days that are full of life and love, though different than before.

I want to dwell in these days of precious gifts all new, with an open mind and a soft heart, savoring every one.


And if your heart is running on empty as your nest has emptied then turn to your First Love and fill from His fountain with  thoughtful time spent in His word each day.

Let it wash over you and speak to you in His language of love, filling the cracks in your heart that are aching. For when we are no longer chasing the wind trying to catch a runaway toddler, we have the time to sit still and let the wind of His spirit fill us afresh in a whole new way with holiness that makes us whole.

S and S

We can also reach out to girlfriends who are in the same season of life, sharing feelings, laughter, maybe a tear or two. And chocolate! Always chocolate.


We can start a new exercise routine like yoga which helps tame the tension with breath work and stretching. Or boost endorphins outdoors with hubby, hiking in breathtaking places.

If your budget allows take a class. Learn something new, or go back and finish your degree. Start a business, volunteer with your favorite non-profit or finish writing that book that sits on the shelf in your heart.


When wanderlust strikes, hit the open road, exploring places never seen before.

Rediscover your husband, the one you vowed your life to before the days of diapers and waiting up past curfew for teenagers.

After the Lord, your husband is your primary ministry in life. Focus on being the helper to him that God wants you to be.

I learned the beauty, fulfillment and joy of this later in life, after miserable missteps cost me and my loved ones greatly. My selfishness in days gone never allowing me to see the blessing in servanthood, of putting another before self, of sharing goals and dreams that belong uniquely to two.

And a fun way to rediscover the wonderful guy you married and the romance that you share is on a date night.

Whether simple or elaborate, what matters is that you set aside time solely for the two of you, no interruptions allowed.

For a romantic night on the town without leaving your home, try something like this:


Set the table pretty with soft, glowing candles and cook a favorite meal.

Slip into that dress he loves for you to wear.


Share a sweet dessert.

Listen to music that sets the mood for an evening of intimacy.


Draw close to your beloved as he takes you in his arms, remembering that he is your one and only partner for this dance of life.

Just because your nest has emptied and the chicks have flown far from home to find their own lives doesn’t mean your life has ended.

The best is yet to be.

Your life is hidden with God in Christ. And His love is ever constant, enfolding you through all the seasons. Ever calling in whispers that often slipped away upon the wind during the whirlwind days of raising a family.

And your life is shared with this man you go to bed with each night, the one you sometimes fight with, the one you love with all your heart and soul, the one you wouldn’t want to live without.

Life in this later stage of empty can be overflowingly full with love, adventure, and dreams coming true once you surrender it all to God.

So let the grace of God wrap around you and your husband, swallowing you silver into the moonlight casting shadows on the wall.

Where memories lush and lovely are in the making…


Today’s post is Day 9 of a #31days series called First comes Love…

All the posts in the series can be found here. And so you don’t miss a single one, please subscribe here.

Heart Cry by Sheila KimballIs someone you know hurting? Or maybe your own heart is breaking? Heart Cry, 40 Reflections for a Woman’s Soul  Purchase your copy today at our Heart Cry eStore.

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