Monday, July 25, 2011

Life-enhancing impressions

I grind my teeth at night.  Who  knew?

A recent morning in the dentist chair was revealing - in many ways.

My dentist discovered that I grind my teeth when the effects of grinding left a mark on two teeth.  The teeth broke.

So, I found myself in the chair making an impression, so that a night guard can help minimize the effects of teeth grinding.

During this year of transformation - becoming, I am being transformed by the impressions I make and that are made in me. 

Words are transforming; I am using them; they are finding me - bringing healing and hope
 Worry weighs us down; a cheerful word picks us up. Proverbs 12:25 (The Message)
This week begins with gratitude for impressions - gifts - that lighten the spirit, soul and body.

#1038 - #1055

dental insurance
knowledgable dentist and hygienist

celebrating new parents
connecting with friends
dancing with a 21 month old girl

shared meal
movie night with friends
healing prayers

bringing order to deskspace
praying through challenges
receiving assistance

new neighbors
cooler temps
peaceful heart

hearing truth
extending grace
sitting still - knowing God a bit more

Impressions transforming...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What happens when faith leads the way

While pregnant with our second child, a request from the doctor led to blood tests for my husband and me in order to rule out a genetic disorder.  We already had a child and had undergone genetic testing in a large medical center, so I was unconcerned. 

When the test results came back trait positive for both of us, I sat stunned listening to the doctor list the chances (25%) that our child would be born with a genetic disorder. 

Throughout the remaining  five months of pregnancy, I memorized and meditated on scriptures I had written on index cards.  We prayed for health and wholeness. I had faith to believe for a healthy baby.

Ten days after our child arrived, the pediatrician called to tell me that the precious infant resting in my arms did have the genetic disorder. 

How could this be?!  I thought that my faith would prevent such a diagnosis.  My heart hurt with thoughts of what could be.  My child - now an adult - taught me, by example, how to live by faith.

What I learned over the years is that:
  • my faith enabled me to have peace with God - through fun times and tough times
  • faith gave me access to grace - the grace I stand in daily
  • I could rejoice in hope of the glory of God - no matter the circumstance
This faith-leading lifestyle unfolded step by step - not all at once.  When I faltered in faith, grace allowed me to stand again.  Faith enabled me to hope.  

Therefore, since we have  been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2 
I continue to grow in faith - rejoicing in hope.

Join me at the Faith Barista's Jam and share a story of faith.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Remember when...?

I enjoy hearing stories from parents and grandparents about their children (and grandchildren).  I often think back to years long gone when my two young adults were babies.  What lingers vividly in my memory are not sleepless nights and colic-y cries, but the curious looks and Gumby-like facial contortions; the doubled-over laughter and top of the lungs singing.

At the end of several hours of intense numbers crunching, a friend came to my desk to show a picture on her smart phone.  Two weeks old Sophia lay swaddled in a blanket nestled in a baby carrier.  That one picture changed my countenance. I felt gratitude bubbling from my heart and head - spilling over from my mouth.

How amazing to watch newborn babies acclimate to their new environments oblivious to all but required needs - sleeping, eating, and eliminating.

Their power to evoke Creator praise astounds me.  So with this in mind, I join thanks-givers at Ann's blog and write thanks to the One who gives and gives and gives. 

You've had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God's pure kindness. Then you'll grow up mature and whole in God. 1 Peter 2:2-3 The Message
#1028 - 1037

Sophia's hand to the brow at 2 weeks old

Milan leaning into her daddy's hands as he massages her scalp

Big brother, Jaden, gently kissing baby's forehead

Sydney dancing for the summer

Sienna prancing proudly in her ruffled dress

CJ's careful study of faces before him

Marguerite's four grands - who are grand indeed

Tales from Abby's curious and loving three grandsons and single granddaughter

Littlest one born so soon - living daily

Drinking deeply of God's pure kindness

Remember when...?

In joy,

Friday, July 8, 2011

Unstuck and Digging Anew

During the last two weeks of May this year, I took advantage of a family trip to schedule whitespace time for me (as defined by the Faith Barista).  I felt depleted and parched. The moments of spiritual rest - unhurried time with the Lord- restored my weary soul.

While in  the UK, I heard a sermon titled Wells Old and New that focused on the story of Isaac unstopping old and digging new wells.  As I thought about wells, I recognized that I am in a new season of life (age-wise) and I must dig new wells - new habits, renewed focus, expanded trust with corresponding actions in the presence of the Lord began the process.

As I sat with these thoughts, the words of Isaiah 12 played over and over again on my internal iPod. Within those words resided well unstopping and digging instructions for me in this season:
  1. Praise God - every day - throughout the day
  2. Trust and do not be afraid
  3. Recognize the Lord as my strength and my song
  4. Joyfully draw water from the wells of salvation - He is my salvation!
  5. Give thanks to the Lord
  6. Call out to the Lord
  7. Tell people what the Lord has done
  8. Proclaim His exalted name out loud
  9. Sing for joy
Since returning to my daily routines, I am more  aware of my wells that are unstopped and new wells being dug - this is a daily process.  Throughout the day I draw water from the well...and out of me living water flows...


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Please Sir, may I have some more?

One of my favorite books from childhood, Oliver Twist, implanted hope in my heart at an early age.  Oliver's sincere and open heart remained, even as he experienced tough
times and harsh treatment.  Oliver's caretaker sold him into evil hands all because he asked for more food.

As a child, I lived a timid existence - afraid to speak up and ask questions. As I grew to understand who I am in  all  aspects of my being: physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually, I noticed that hope can exist in my heart even when life circumstances turn my insides upside down!

Years ago, I learned from Habakkuk to ask the Lord questions.  He moved from asking two questions (a bit of complaining included) and waiting for the Lord's response.  Life did not magically get better for Habakkuk (it didn't for Oliver either).

However, hearing God's response brought a prayer to Habakkuk's lips and a resolve to rejoice in the Lord no matter what was happening around him.

Recently, when life circumstances turned my insides upside down; when my understanding of situations left me perplexed, I remembered to ask for what I needed.

Please, Lord, may I have some more peace, wisdom, strength?

I sat back and waited and experienced joy while waiting.  Amazing that Grace, isn't He?