Everything listed under: Beverly Elliott

  • Thirty-five degrees and raining…


                 Not exactly my idea of a fun run but I had an emergency yesterday that knocked out my long run for the week, so I thought I’d try and make up for it today. Surprisingly the trail was not as empty as I would have thought. I would guess that most of those out had some form of cabin fever…In any case, there we all were, cold and crazy, enjoying a little fresh air. The funny thing is that it is on those kinds of days, that we all seem to feel some sort of camaraderie with each other. People smile, (albeit somewhat sheepishly) at each other or say something encouraging as we pass, that ordinarily we wouldn’t have. We all have something in common. We all are cold and maybe crazy, but wanted the exercise or fresh air enough to come out anyway. Additionally, we are all planning to get through to the end and back to our warm homes. So we all smile and give each other the thumbs up…

                 I started thinking. It is the same when we go through really tough times in life. Those that have gone before us, or that we know have suffered similar things are able to support and encourage us the most effectively. Ephesians says to comfort with the comfort with which we have been given. We are also to lift each other up and encourage one another. God does the initial lifting, and then through him we can connect and do the same for each other. If by chance we have also taken the same Suffering 101 course, or the more advanced 102 or 103 courses, we have so much more to offer in the way of how to not only survive but to thrive and come through it. There is a special connection and realization. “That person knows what I am feeling and I am not alone.” There is the encouragement of knowing that the days will not always feel like this and a new day is coming. Best of all we can know there is One who not only runs beside us but is lifting us up and carrying us in the deepest of valleys.

    -Beverly Elliott

  • Living with Joy

    Imagine the TV show, “19 kids and counting” and this would give you some idea what the Elliotts experienced when our family of five brought into our home, seven more girls at Big Oak Ranch. Those days were rich with blessing, spilling over with activity, challenges beyond our imagining, much laughter, and sometimes heartbreak.

    One October we took our girls to the Fall festival at their school, to be followed by the high school’s football game, a highlight of the week. One of our youngest, newly eight- year old “Trina” became enthralled with the cakewalk. After several failed attempts, she soon turned in all of her tickets to increase her chances of winning the grand prize … a goldfish. Knowing the longevity of such fish in general and the chances of survival of this little fish, in particular,  in our busy household, I was praying Trina would give up and move on to other games. She had already experienced so much loss and pain in her short little life; I just wanted to protect Trina from anymore. Unfortunately, the Mom running the activity began to feel so sorry for this determined little girl, she finally rigged the results and Trina became the proud new owner of the treasured goldfish. I inwardly cringed as she came running to share her exciting news. “I’m going to call her Joy”, she sang out. Now I was really worried, how could I let Joy die in our home when we were already facing so many challenges?

    Right off the bat, Joy led a blessed life. Her first night consisted of sitting in a plastic bag in a very cold van for about six more hours, while we attended the game, before we could get her home and situated. But survive she did. She was the namesake of a much admired sixteen year old in our home. Now, at least two girls had quite an investment in keeping her alive. I don’t think there ever was such a beloved fish. She lasted for almost a year, due in part to Trina’s devotion and in greater measure to God’s intervention and grace.

    Looking back, I have thought of how I almost missed the Joy, and in doing so, would have denied Trina that experience. In this Christmas season, we too can become so overwhelmed with the frantic pace that we, too, might not slow down enough to invite Joy into our homes. Don’t miss it! Keep your hearts and homes wide open and expectant, hoping for and inviting in, the full measure of all that God has for you.

    Merry Christmas from our home at Tapestry to yours….

    -Beverly Elliott

  • There’s No Place like Home

    Several years ago my son had a job assignment that took him to Western Siberia. It sounds like a joke but it’s really true! There was a tent city that had been built to accommodate the workers who came from across the country or around the world to build this facility. There were restaurants, gyms, even a movie theatre along with sleeping quarters. They had food and shelter and though with spotty coverage, even his phone worked occasionally, and he could communicate somewhat with the outside world.

    Sometimes this job took him to Moscow where he searched for something familiar in restaurants. He found one McDonalds and one restaurant called American Café where the wait staff dressed as cowboys and cowgirls. Though vaguely familiar, it’s just not the same. Nor should it be, for he is American through and through, and Southern to boot! Russian tastes, customs, and climate are not his own; his citizenship is in the U.S. of A.

    When he returned from such a trip, his family awaited his arrival with great anticipation. He could sleep in his own bed and enjoy his wife’s good cooking while surrounded by loved ones. This is where he belonged and it felt so good to be home.

    Do you ever feel like something’s missing in your life? The basics are covered and maybe even the extras are as well, but somehow it’s not enough. In planning for the holidays, you may do the best you can to have these days hold special memories for your family. When the actual day arrives, it falls far short of those dreams of perfection.

    That’s because you actually are designed for perfection and anything short of that leaves you feeling disappointed at times. Heaven is our home and that’s where our citizenship lies (Phil. 3:20). That’s why sometimes our lives fall so far short of our hopes, dreams and expectations.

    Sometimes we are blessed enough to feel as if we are experiencing heaven right here and now. But sometimes, we are reminded by the pain of unresolved hurts from the past, current struggles in present relationships, job loss, economic uncertainty, health issues, loss of loved ones, or unmet expectations, that this life is not all there is. Remember at such times, we are not home yet! A future awaits and loved ones await with Jesus at the head of the line, looking to welcome us home!

    In the meantime, get on with the business of living out His purpose for your life right here and now. With His enabling you’ll find “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow”. For the joy set before him, Jesus endured and persevered (Heb.12:3), and He will be faithful to help you do the same….

    -Beverly Elliott

  • In God We Trust

        Watching the Dow and daily economic news along with the Presidential campaign while anticipating the upcoming momentous election, I am tempted to get anxious. While running today the following story came to mind.
        It was Fall, twenty six years ago when our youngest was four. She and I were going on an adventure together to fly and see cousins in Cincinnati, and we were both very excited. I had even bought one of the “new” wheeled suitcases in honor of the occasion. The night before I had packed our bag and left it by the back door in anticipation of loading it into the back of the car, the next morning. In the morning I fed everybody breakfast and we said our goodbyes. The bag was no longer by the door and I assumed my sweet husband had already loaded it into the car. When we arrived at the airport, I discovered the bag was not there. (It turns out that my daughter, enthralled with the concept of a suitcase on wheels, had been rolling it around and had left it at the base of the back stairs.) At that point it was too late to call and ask my husband to bring it, so I made a decision. Being before the days of cell-phones, I didn’t know whether he had noticed the missing bag. I knew if he had discovered it, he would immediately try to bring it down and catch us. Otherwise, it could just go up on the next flight to Cincinnati. Worse case scenario, I would just have to drive back down to the airport to pick it up. With that in mind, and with one eye on the curb, I got into the line for curbside check-in. “We’ll just wait here and see if Prince Charming brings our suitcase before we get to the desk,” I told my daughter. When we got to the front of the line, you guessed it, up drove my husband. He jumped out and brought us the bag in perfect timing…We laughed for years at that story and my absolute confidence that my sweet husband would come to the rescue if he had spotted that bag.
        Are you standing in the lines of uncertainty, with what-ifs scenarios and backup plans running through your head? Your “Prince Charming”, (Rev.19:11-16), is standing at the ready and will absolutely come through in His perfect timing either to deliver you out of your situation or walk/dance you through it. He is near, and will never leave you nor forsake you, (Heb.13:5). For this reason you can trust him, and leave your anxiety at the door…( Phil.4:5-6).

    - Beverly Elliott
  • Hope

     On a warm summer night, after prayers and Bible story, four-year old Abby Jane and her parents tip-toed out of the sleepy-eyed two- year- old twins darkened room. Suddenly, Abby Jane spun around and exclaimed, “Santa’s coming tomorrow!” The news propelled Joy to her feet in delight while Blythe dissolved into tears and crumpled into a heap….It took five more visits to the room that night to disappoint Joy who had a 1000 excited questions, and reassure Blythe who kept crying out ”No Santa! No Santa!”

    How many times are our hopes without form or substance? Built upon “positive thinking”, “name it and claim it” prayers (as if God was some vender in the sky), or what ever the current philosophy or spiritual formula is, rationalizing our entitlement to our expectations of how we think our life should be. How many times does this road lead us to frustration, disappointment, anger or maybe even depression?

    In this uncertain world we do have one certain thing. “I know the plans I have for you “, says the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”(Jer. 29:11) Reality is that “Our hope is based on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” If you are looking for hope that is built on solid rock, not shifting sand (Matt.7:24), hope that doesn’t disappoint (Rom. 5:4) promises that are true, One that will never leave you nor forsake you (Jos.1:5), look no further. Jesus stands at the door to your life and knocks. He is truth. On that solid rock we stand, join his story for us, and dream dreams he has planted in our souls.

    He may or may not be coming tomorrow, :) but he promises to “never leave us nor forsake us”, and that “I am with you always even to the end of the world…

    -Beverly Elliott
  • Olympic Parenting

     In watching the Olympics I have so enjoyed seeing the parent interviews and their reactions in the stands as they watch their stellar children’s performances. Their faces reflect the whole gambit of emotions, from excitement and anticipation to agony and pain then back to joy and elation.

    It brought back to mind Derek Raymond’s performance in the 1992 Olympics where he was favored to medal in the men’s 400 meter sprint. At 150 meters into the race, he unexpectedly collapsed in a heap on the track with what was later discovered to be a torn hamstring. The race was over. Nevertheless, picking himself back up, he determined to finish it for himself and began hobbling his way down the track. Suddenly his father, having pushed aside security guards, made his way onto the track, and came alongside his son. Putting his arms around Derek and supporting him, they made it the rest of the way… together.

    What a picture of our roles as parents. We are to equip, nourish, and nurture our children, giving them dreams to dream of what possibilities God has in store. We are to share their joys and sorrows. But more than that, we are to come alongside, sharing their burdens, lifting them up and encouraging them.

    When life’s sometimes crushing disappointments and disasters come crashing down, we also have One who is not just a distant observer or critic, maybe cheering us on from afar, but One who comes down alongside us, raises us up and carries us across the finish line.

    When we offer the same to our children… it is gold.

    -Beverly Elliott