Playing With the Stuff

I was intrigued by Allison Bown’s phraseology in Joyful Intentionality when she encouraged the reader to “play with the stuff.” I am an elementary teacher by profession and in the last ten years of my career before retirement, I worked for a tutoring firm: BridgeHaven. I designed my lesson plans by teaching academics through play. Many of my students were challenged academically  and my specialty was designing a specific plan for that student created around their individual interests. I called my skill…….. finding their rhythm.

Abba knows my rhythm and the deep desire of my heart is to “see Him” in the Shadow of Death I am walking with my sister who is a well child of God battling cancer. Our mother entered eternal life at the age of 53 after a twelve year battle with cancer. My sister is 58. I have been spending seven days each month with her since December  2015 helping her husband take care of her. January 2016 was her lowest ebb…the month I joined the Warrior Class. She was depressed, in a state of despair and speaking of approaching death. As I flew to Texas in February, I was fine tuning my receiver by singing daily on my prayer walks:

Open my eyes, Lord, I want to see Jesus.

To reach out and touch Him and say that I love Him.

Open my ears, Lord,  and help me to listen.

Open my eyes, Lord, I want to see Jesus.

Open my heart, Lord, that I might receive You.

Open my spirit and teach me to worship.

Open my lips, Lord, and teach me to praise You.

Open my eyes, Lord, I want to see Jesus.

I traveled first to Georgetown, Texas to attend the memorial service of my aunt on my mother’s side of the family. When I did my prayer walk around my hotel after the funeral I found four heart images.

February 6, 2016


The next day I was visiting my brother and I did my prayer walk in his neighborhood and found finve more images. 

Samples from February 7, 2016


Samples from February 8, 2016 above.


I found three more in the parking lot of my hotel  February 9, 2016


On February 10, I fly to Dallas to take care of my sister for a week. I feel NO HEAVINESS or ANXIETY as I make the flight to be with her. I do my prayer walk that day around her treatment center while she is receiving radiation on her chest for the tumor that is causing her the most pain. I found  21 hearts.

Samples from February 10, 2016


I am awed by the peace I feel each day and the joy and anticipation of the treasures I will find and the FUN of making the discoveries with Abba and feeling His pleasure, as well. I find nine more around the treatment center the following day.

Samples from February 11


Saturday, February 12, there were no treatments so my sister and I walked her neighborhood and I found 36 heart images.

Samples from February 12 


Samples from February 13 out of 17 images


February 14


Samples from February 15 out of 12 images


Samples from February 16 out of 16 images


I discovered a total of 151 heart images during my February trip to Texas. Thank you, Abba, for the abundant physical reminders of Your presence with me in the Shadow of Death. Thank you for lifting the heaviness off my heart and showing me in such a tangible, visible way, that is possible to experience joy on the battlefield. I had NO IDEA what that looked like before this week. There are INSTEADS waiting to be discovered…… from our Creator who promises: seek and ye shall find. My God can do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine. Thank you, Allison, for sharing your insight through your book, Joyful Intentionality, that helped facilitate a process that brought healing to my soul and a joyful intentionality to go deeper into the heart of God that dwells within me.

John Stetzer