Monday, May 31, 2010

Forgiving is for Giving

For several  weeks, thoughts of giving forgiveness bubble up in my mind and heart...and for good reason.

Murmuring has been easy when the workload is heavy and the help is sparse. 

Deep sighs escape frustrated lips as annoying habits resurface.

Blank stares replace aha! moments of creativity.

Then I remember The Key to Everything!

Forgiving is for giving.  Giving keeps my heart softened.

"Forgotten grace breeds unforgiving living." Jack Hayford
Today, I remember endless grace gifts as I give thanks for:

#272  family-filled days of fun and food

#273  father and father-in-law who served in the military for this nation

#274  digging in dirt to make a home for new plants

#275  dancing to the rhythm of love

#276  giving forgiveness - again and again

#277  receiving forgiveness - again and again

#278  lingering conversations after dinner

#279  laughter from the depths of souls

#280  tears falling in empathy

#281  grace, grace, and more grace

holy experience

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Room for One More

Recently, I attended a baby shower for my dear friend Vicki's son and  daughter-in-law who are expecting their first child.  What a joyful time we experienced as gifts were unwrapped and the air carried expectation for the very soon transition from young married couple to couple plus baby!

One of the highlights of the day occured when Vicki's mother, Louise, shared the story of how she and her husband added over 8 foster children to their family of two parents and four biological daughters.

The story went something like this: Louise's mother wanted to open her home to foster children, but it just did not come to pass.  Louise and her brother grew up together until her brother died at age 12 years.

After seeing the movie, Room for One More , Louise began the process of opening her family's home to children with special needs.  The children came, one after  another, even a set of twins!  In fact, one of the children (now an adult) stopped by to see the family at the shower!

After the baby shower ended, I had the pleasure of seeing the house in which this remarkably generous family lived.  As I walked from the kitchen to the living room and from bedroom to bedroom, and outside where the large garden once laden with corn and fruit trees lay quiet, my mind and my heart opened up to the sacredness of what transpired in that home...

No matter how severe the loss or how recent the trauma, the power of being chosen to join a family - to belong - brought light and life to so many children.

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows...God sets the lonely in  families."   Psalm 68:5-6
As I continue counting to 1000 gifts along with the Gratitude Community, I am so grateful that there is room for one more, always....  Today, I am grateful for:

#262  my mother and father who gave me life and lessons

#263  grandparents I did not meet, but who helped shape my life

#264  my siblings whose wisdom was often conveyed by observation

#265  my siblings for memories and shared experiences

#266  the many aunts, uncles, and cousins who added to family life

#267  my husband, my dearest friend - loving you and living with you is an honor and pleasure

#268  my daughter - the winsome and wise one who continues to delight with words of life

#269  my son - so wise, so determined - joy boy grown into man with purpose and destiny

#270  my family through marriage - a tangible example of what it means to be accepted in the Beloved

#271  my Father, Jesus, my Redeemer, Holy Spirit, my Comforter who made room for me

holy experience

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gratefulness is flowing from my heart...

What a joy it is to come upon a child quietly singing while playing in the spring sun! 

As I intentionally notice the multitude of gifts all around me, I am delighted to note a return to the spontaneous songs that come from my grateful heart. 

Today, I continue joining the Gratitude Community in listing the endless gifts from the Gift Giver, singing thanks for:

#252  walking through the neighborhood

#253  whimsical shutters with bird and moon cutouts

#254  water flowing freely


#255  creative care and provision
  #256  the fragrance of worship

#257  expanding my heart space

#258  knowing him and being known (since college years)

#259  discovery, inside and out

#260  dreaming together

#261 the Lord singing over me

holy experience

Monday, May 10, 2010

Love Calling

Being a mother is a gift I cherish.  The memories are still fresh as I recalled the moments when I first saw my children.  Now they are adults, still bringing joyful surprises on Mother's Day.  I squealed with delight when my young adults (who live far away) coordinated a call so that I could speak with them at the same time, despite the challenge of different time zones!  How delightful to experience the privilege of parenting.

I join the  gratitude community today as I continue counting 1000 gifts.  Today, I am grateful for:

#242  the love of my Lord, who taught/teaches me how to love

#243  my beloved husband whose love, wisdom, and commitment multiplied over the years

#244  my children, each one a gift from the Lord

#245  my mother, the one left motherless at such a young age, yet cared for and nurtured by God's hands extended

#246  my mother-in-love, living to give

#247  my true love's laughter, complete with twinkling eyes

#248  a weekend of connecting with Jesus and with 44 lively youth at concerts

#249  facilitating conversations of mother journeys at a middle school  mother/daughter gathering

#250  dear friends who provided the container of support for one another over the years

#251  family - Lord, you grafted me into your family and you gave me family; I am yours!

holy experience

Monday, May 3, 2010

Clinging souls upheld

Hospitalizations of loved ones unleash prayers for mercy and health.  The faithfulness of praying family and friends adds strength and grace during busy days and long nights.  What a blessing to experience such support and comfort. 
In addition to praying friends and family, the Lord holds and sustains the one who cries out; the one who clings to Him. 
"But you are a shield around me, O  Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.  To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill."   Psalm 3:3-4 
"My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me." Psalm 63:8
While clinging to the Lord and receiving the gift of support from family and friends, my heart is grateful for:
#232  restorative power of blood
#233  oxygen for body and soul

#234  check in phone calls
#235  overstuffed chair time for reading, writing, praying...
#236  trust lessons that emerge from unlearning the tendency to lean on my understanding (still unlearning)
#237  His unfailing love resting upon us
#238  child-like ability to carry on in the midst of pain

 #239  singing - really singing - in the shadow of his wings
#240  visits to help family and friend
#241  Strong and Loving Lord
Interested in joining this Gratitude Community? 

 holy experience

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Diamonds and Doves

Celebration of Enduring Love

A friend shared the story of her beautiful wedding rings:

*diamonds from a piece of jewelry purchased by a teen that was stored for years until he found his bride

*a gold band with doves he designed for her

Diamonds and doves seems like such a contrast:

- diamond, so precious; formed at high pressure and high temperatures; hard enough to be a mighty tool; dispersing light of different colors

- dove, so graceful; flying straight and fast

Yet, paired in the heart and on the hand of a bride, speak of enduring love, peace and creativity from a bridegroom...shared love; shared life...