Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Fast Chose Me

As I approached the season of Lent, thoughts about fasting swirled in my head. The prevailing thought that emerged was to use the weeks of Lent to focus on my "ways." My "ways" would adjust as I focused on taking off and putting on a variety of attitudes and beliefs that bubble to the surface throughout my days.

During the first week of Lent, I have seen aspects of my heart that remind me of my need for the Savior. I cannot take off and put on without Grace. Thank you, Lord, for abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness that enable me to live a life that is pleasing to you.

The fast chose me. I yield.

The fast that chose me...

holy experience

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Lovely Day

Today, I woke up with work and other responsibilities on my mind.  Then the words of the Psalmist bubbled up and over my lips.  I knew it would be a lovely day, no matter what came my way.

The Psalmist wrote:
Surprise us with love at daybreak;
then we'll skip and dance all the long.    Psalm 90:14

Today, I share my gratitude to the Lord for His indescribable gifts, which include:

#132   maintaining peace in the midst of chaos on the road leading home

#133   discovering and reading Everyday Miracles, a book written by dear Karen who is now in heaven (Katie, thank you for posting the book!)

#134   remembering, with joy, Saturday's date night and wordless expressions of connectedness

#135   hearing son's pleasure when he gives an update on school and career

#136   planning afternoon tea and conversation over the telephone with daughter

#137   sharing deep conversations with friends that touch the soul

#138   dancing to the rhythm of my heart

#139   singing the song that Love placed inside me

#140   enjoying the opportunity to provide food for the body and nourishment for the soul

#141   experiencing His new mercies each morning and His faithfulness every night

Thank you, Lord...

holy experience

Thursday, February 18, 2010

But One Thing I Do...

Well, I finally admitted that my multi-tasking ways are not reaping the benefits I desired.  This week, I am growing in the area of focus.  Instead of juggling several items at the same time, I am choosing one thing to do at a time.  The focus on one thing at a time has been stretching and rewarding.  I have accomplished more "whole" items than usual in the workplace.  At home, I find it a bit more challenging to choose one thing to do at a time.  I am still reaching for that goal.

Not suprisingly, while spending time with the Lord, I am also learning to choose that one thing - focus on Him - as opposed to the all too frequent mind sweeping thoughts in which I engage.

During this season of Lent, I plan to focus and press toward the goals to:

worship the Lord with singleness of heart, soul, mind and strength;

love people as Christ loves; and

maintain wonder at the truth of the Lord's unfailing mercy and abundant grace.

Help me, Lord.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Wealth of Wisdom

Over the past week, I reflected on the wealth of wisdom I have received over the years.  Many generous hearts and minds have poured into me personally and through books.  Today, I am grateful for wisdom from:

#121 Mama and Mom (my mother-in-love), wisdom given in word and deed;

#122 Daddy and Dad (my father-in-love), both now in heaven;

#123 my precious sisters, including the one now in heaven, and wonderful brothers;

#124 gracious sisters and kind brothers from marriage;

#125 men and women of faith who poured into my life from childhood through the present;

#126 my best friend, lover, husband whose wisdom deepens daily;

#127 my daughter and son who provided wise words as children and now as adults;

#128 shepherds who taught and modeled how to walk in wisdom;

#129 authors I never met, but who taught me much;

#130 Anne Ortlund, whose writing and encouragement have greatly shaped my life over 20 years;

#131 the ever present, loving, powerful, wise God who teaches me daily...

holy experience

Friday, February 12, 2010

Joy Comes

I called to say hello to the one who bore me.  When I heard her voice, I knew the night had been long.  "My arm aches so badly."   Tell me about it, I replied (didn't I learn to say those words from her?).  She talked; I listened.  She had a plan; an appointment to take care of herself.  I wanted to come quickly.  The snow said, 'no way.'  In the car were containers of soup, lovingly prepared for the one who fed me for many years.  I could not get there.  Later we spoke.  The doctor gave help and hope.  Her voice had a lilt.  "Bring the soup another day.  I am fine now." 

Long night
Pain so strong
Morning came
So did help and hope

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Heart of Compassion - Loving Like Jesus

I still am not sure why it happened.  We grew up together; shared good times and tough times.
What I do know is:
the conversation stopped;
the cards went unacknowledged;
the phone messages were not returned;
the invitations to visit never pursued.

I told the Lord how much it hurt to be cut off from her presence.

I cried at times, missing her.

I willed myself to forgive her for turning away.  I wondered what I had done that required her forgiveness.

Then, the it came to me...I  was protecting myself from more hurt, so I was tentative now.  A phone call made with the hopes that no one answered.  The cards mailed because the postal service was a "hurt free" zone. 

So, what now?  Isn't it enough to pray for her?  Do I have to reach out...again...and again...and again?

The answer came in Words of Life: Jesus was moved with compassion for the hurts of all people.  He did not shrink back when he was hurt.  Lord make me like you.

I reached out - again...walking the path of love.  Lord, thank you for walking with me and being before me.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Serving Side of Love

The slow down continues...

I am enjoying the pause from everyday activities that the weather brought our way.

Today, I am singing my gratitude; you may not hear the songs, but they are truly springing up inside.

I am thankful for: (112 -120)

sounds of snowplows and their drivers clearing the roads;

smiling neighbor boy who helped me clear the one last bit of snow from the drive;

calls from Mom to see if we are okay; calls to mothers to check on them;

scarves, hats, and more scarves made from Mama's hands as she "twists the yarn";
prayers received and prayers spoken for peace, healing, and wholeness;

extended time together - playing, discussing, dreaming, serving;

Lord's new mercies everyday and faithfulness always;

chatting with sisters from birth and from the heart;

friends who graciously supply butterflies for the windowsills...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow Down

Well, they said it would come and it is coming.

The snow is plentiful; the snow is beautiful;

The snow - massive amounts of snow - is a reminder for me to  snow slow down.

I have needed lots of reminders to slow down as the:
  • work days lengthen
  • relationships with youth grow deeper
  • flames of love with my husband are kindled
  • mama heart cries out to God on behalf of the young adults
  • daughter love shows up with soups for nourishing heart and body
  • friendships long for tending
  • the harvest is plentiful
The Lord provided words of life this week - words that stopped me in my hurried life.  I sit in the place by you, Lord.  I see you in all your goodness, grace and glory.  In the midst of it all, you remain. Thank you for your glorious, grace-filled presence.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

We Came; We Saw; We...

A group of geese greeted my friend when she arrived home from work.

She graciously shared the photo she took as daylight was ending.

The picture of the geese reminds me to:

Take time to chill at the end of the day;

Be curious about the surroundings;

Spend time with friends; and

Shake off the weight that accumulates in body, soul, and spirit.

Monday, February 1, 2010

No Worries

My daughter often says, "no worries."
Those two words are a reminder for me to trust the Lord - always.
Over the past several days, I have embraced this truth:
The One who watches over me always does just that - watches over me!

With that in mind, today I am grateful for...

99.      the healing hand of God

100.  protection from harm (the car damaged, not humans!)

101.  growing awareness - eyes wide open

102.  a ride to work from a friend

103.  gracious husband preparing the car for me to drive

104.  a heart that says - 'please help me'

105.  perspective that grows daily

106.  evening sunshine coming through the windows

107.  mentors who freely share life and wisdom

108.  enduring memories that music gently awakens

109.  a husband's loving whispers and actions

110.  a heart cleansed with words that are spirit and life

111.  a home built on covenant, caring, cherishing, and more...

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!  My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.  Psalm 84:1-2