Because You Can’t Make Miracles Happen, They Just Do

by | Dec 12, 2012 | Uncategorized


We scooted into the two empty chairs in front of the end cap with Christmas doggy chews and portable dog baths. Under the red furry stocking hanging from the ceiling big enough for a puppy to fit inside. At least that’s what I told my daughter. She said I was rubbing it in, how I wouldn’t let her have another dog.

We were laughing about that when a lady wearing a broach on her  green coat walked by. She asked if we were waiting for our flu shots. “We’re waiting, I said, “but not for flu shots.”

She turned around and asked Murielle where to sign in to see the nurse. We both pointed to the kiosk she passed on the wall at the Minute Clinic.

Hunkered over, she picked up the pen attached to the screen and stared like a foreigner trying to read a Chinese menu.

Murielle got up and stood next to her to help. And a stranger relinquished the pen to my teenage daughter.

While Murielle read every page, showed her how to make selections, the lady fired off sarcastic jokes that made us both giggle. She struggled to remember her address, stood with her eyes slanted toward the ceiling in an uncomfortable pause about her phone number. Somewhere around the tenth question, she turned to Murielle and said, “Can I graduate now,” and sat down.

And throughout her second strep test, probing in her ears, and answering questions about how she felt, every time the nurse turned her back away from Murielle, she mouthed that she was worried about the lady sitting outside the door waiting for her flu shot. Concerned because she didn’t answer all the questions and feared a stranger was lost in the system.


The next day Murielle came out of her bedroom wearing a black print dress with a belted blue cardigan on her way to school. On the day she would sit on a bus – next to someone in the providence of the alphabet – to a movie field trip. I told her to be careful about how she sits on the bus wearing a dress.

When she calls me after school, I ask her if she liked the movie. “It was good,” she said, “but I sat on the steps in the theater the whole time.”

It was her choice.

The school rents the entire theater but the staff inadvertently let a few elderly people in, leaving six people without seats. When she and a friend notice two teachers leaning next to the wall, they offer to give up their seats because one of them is pregnant.

All I can think about is the way God turns children into adults while their parents sleep. How He cupped His hands over the Light she carries into the world, before a semi snuffed it out.

In my barrenness, the incarnation of Christ came down in the unselfish kindness of my daughter toward others, daring me to believe He is present in the silence. I may be deaf but He is not mute. He withholds no good thing from us.

“You did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations . . . .” (Isaiah 64:3)

Where is God breaking into your life, daring you to hope?



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  1. Jennifer Anderson

    Murielle is such a caring, wonderful girl. Thank you for your encouragement to parents, Shelly.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Our girls are growing up so fast Jennifer, I still remember them vividly as little ones on our hip. Where does the time go?

  2. Lynn Morrissey

    What a beautiful, unselfish daughter you have, Shelly. God truly has preserved her miraculously and He has plans that she is even now living out. I know you must be so proud of her. This writing about her gracious generosity to an elderly stranger and the setting of a doctor’s office, reminded me of when Sheridan was in middle school and had broken her arm in a serious fracture, where her bone had actually pierced through her pale skin. As she waited in agony in the E.R., she broke silence not with complaint, but by commenting that she was glad that this had happened so she could understand how others who suffer feel, so she could empathize (a mature word for her then) with them. How is it that our young express such mature empathy for those in pain or in need? I thank God for my precious girl and yours.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      It’s what I’ve prayed for many years Lynn, that my kids would have a heart like His for others. We are blessed mama’s for sure.

  3. Elizabeth Stewart

    A beautiful testimony of God’s grace to and through your daughter’s life.

  4. Mia

    Hi dear Shelly
    Yes, kids of that calibre are few and far between. I also taught my boys that you stand up when a lady or elderly person needs a place to sit. You open a door for a lady. …. Treat her with respect, and the whole enchilada. That is true gifts from our Pappa’s hand.
    Hugs to you, dear one

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I’m working on that now with my son Mia, I think it is so important. Hugging you back.

  5. Jillie

    It’s funny Shelly…Just last night my husband and I were once again watching an old episode of ‘Reba’ on DVD. There was a line where Reba’s ex said he remembered a time where, IF he’d had the money, he would’ve sent their daughter away (in her turbulent growing-up years). Dave and I laughed, because we could so well relate. Our daughter was, shall I say, very ‘challenging’ to us as she was having her ‘growing pains’. She was so emotional and ‘passionate’ about EVERYTHING!
    Today, she works in the wool and craft department of a popular chain store here in Ontario, and tells stories of the “little old knitting ladies” who come into her department. They bring a myriad of questions to her, seeking advice. And our impatient and impetuous girl takes extra time with these ladies, listening to their knitting nightmares and stories of their families. She absolutely loves what she’s doing and she loves the people. We’re so proud of her and so thankful God worked it all out for good. She works very hard every day, and may soon be managing the entire store! God is using her gift for leadership.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      It’s so fun to watch them mature and find their spot in the world, isn’t it? Thankful that you have been able to do that with your daughter.

  6. LuAnn

    I can’t help but think about our lunch one day long ago when a very young Murielle was being “trained”. She has such a tender heart and deep insight. Remebering and thanking God again today that He is faithful.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I don’t think we will ever forget that lunch will we? Makes me laugh just thinking about it.

  7. Brenna D (@chicagomama)

    I have three girls, the oldest five, and I can’t wait to see how they grow up!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Me too, can’t wait to see how their live unfold as they grow up.

  8. Danelle

    There is something amazing and beautiful about the recognition that we are not in control of our children and their choices. That God really does have a plan, that Jeremiah 29:11 isn’t just a sign on their bedroom wall. I loved this post Shelly. You’ve captured that moment well, as hard as motherhood is, the ups and downs and in-betweens. I would love to meet Murielle. She sounds strong and loving just like her momma. 🙂 Love you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I would love for her to meet you Danelle. I have many ah-ha moments as a Mom about how little control I really have over the outcome of their lives. They come even more frequent as they age. And she is much stronger than I was at her age. I’m so thankful.

  9. messymarriage

    Sounds as if you have a lovely, caring daughter, Shelly! And I hope the people she helps and gives to recognize that her love is from Christ. Beautiful story!

  10. Maureen

    “I may be deaf, but He is not mute.” I love that line! It made me laugh because it pointed immediately to my silly short-sighted narrow view. But it also made me gratefully acknowledge that we do have His Word, His help, His hand weaving in our lives – even when we don’t see or hear. Thank you – well told story, well revealed hearts. You are blessed!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thank you Maureen. I feel like motherhood is the manual for maintaining humbleness on most days.

  11. Sherri

    I realize the Lord is working in and through her, but there is a direct reason this is happening, aside from the obvious ( the Grace of the Lord ), and that is the example that has been set in her own home. It is true what they say, children learn what they live, and your children live this is their home daily, to be sure.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      And then there is grace for the messy too Sherri. I’m thankful for both, for Christ in our home and for the grace when He isn’t represented well.

  12. Judy

    Isn’t it a joy to see them walk the way of Christ? My fifteen year old daughter recently came home from school having heard about a study into homelessness in our city. One of the questions that had been asked of them was, “What is the most difficult thing about being a street person?” More than one had responded that they missed the human touch – yes, the physical touch of another human being (one dear man said it had been 10 years). My daughter had a plan. We are each making a scarf (hers is completed) and over Christmas we will find two homeless ones to whom we will give them. Her plan, if the recipients seem comfortable, is to place them around their necks and to offer a Christmas ‘hug’ along with a mug, a candy cane and some hot chocolate.
    She’s not been listening without understanding each St Nicholas Day, all these years, when we’ve read “Shoemaker Martin” – ‘giving to least of these’. The grace of God in a young person’s life is such a gift to a parent.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Oh my Judy, that really touches my heart, I love that. I hope it goes well and would enjoy hearing about it afterward if you think about it.

  13. Lisa @ simply living photography

    Isn’t it grand to see God work our little people into big people who seek Him and live Him out loud for others to see. My daughter is 15 this year, and she astounds me almost daily. She is wise beyond her years, and I marvel in her God centered character. What gets me most is how natural it comes, when I seem to have to work at mine daily. Oh come little children 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I think we are all a work in progress but I do echo your thoughts here. I’ve learned so much about life by watching my daughter respond to it in mature ways I just didn’t at her age. So thankful that we both have daughters like this, I don’t take it for granted.

  14. Kati Woronka

    Wow, what a proud mama you are (and should be indeed)!

  15. Dea

    Packing my baby boy (age 17) to Haiti at the end of the week. This will be his second time down in 6 months! Last time Dad was with him. This time he’ll be with a team of teens and adults. You think Murielle likes boys that like to go on mission trips??? Just kiddin’ of course— no matchmaking through blog comments! 🙂 I am just praying for God to guide girls of character and faith into my boys lives. Love Murielle’s heart of compassion!!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Laughed and read your comment out loud to my husband. Nothing surprises me in God’s economy anymore. I’m praying the same for her. I hope your son has a good trip to Haiti.

  16. suzannah | the smitten word

    “present in silence”–absolutely. i keep thinking of hope in the darkness…that there exists so much more than our eyes see (or ears hear). let us be those who watch and listen.

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