Tuesday, December 12, 2017

100Years from now

There was a story I read a long time ago about a man bragging to his friend about all of the land and possessions he owned. “See what I own?” he bragged. His friend looked over the fields, meadows, and even a lake with a beautiful home beside it, and replied, ”Do you really own it?  For whose will it be in 100 years?”  That story has always stuck with me, maybe because it is such a hard struggle for me to completely open everything in my heart and hands and hold it out for God to use as He alone sees fit, rather than holding it tightly in my fists for “my plans”. But lately I’ve been thinking of this fact not just regarding material possessions, but my whole life - time, energy, effort, thoughts, ides, dreams.....  for what will any of those matter in 100 years either?  And it is really amazing, sort of “upside down thinking” if I honestly apply it to my whole life. It will not be the “stuff” that matters in one, two, three generations. It will not be my dreams, hopes, or ideas. It won’t be my work, effort, or “accomplishments”. It will only be my love, my character, the “little” things like faithfulness, persistence, compassion, faith in God and His Word lived out Day to Day, that will be passed from one generation to the next to the next...  Even then those values will be changed, dropped, added, revised...  but I think we have lost a sense of the true inheritance given to us, and squandered it like pigs stomping on pearls.  Our forefathers shaped us much more than just genetically or culturally or through family ties. And each of us can choose to add beauty, compassion, forgiveness, love, and a multitude of valuable assets into the “bank” or we can squander our inheritance and bankrupt the next generation. Debt, literal and figurative debt, is a chain of slavery from which I want my children to be free.

Help us, O Lord of the harvest, Lord of our hearts and minds, Lord of all creation and Lord of time, to pass along the things that truly matter and let go of all of the rest, leaving a pure and beautifully rich inheritance for the next generations. Amen.

Monday, September 4, 2017

You say it offends you.....

You say it offends you......
But how can a drowning man
fail to sing the praises
Of the lifeguard that rescued him?
How can the mother whose
baby was snatched out of a fire
Not shout the name of the rescuer?
How can the prisoner not tell
Of the wonderful Counselor
Who led him to true freedom?
How can the dying patient
Be silent about the Healer
Of heartbreak and deep terminal wounds?
How could she whose home was
Shattered by her own foolishness
Not proclaim the wonders
Of Him who repaired and restored
and paid for it all Himself?
So I cannot keep silent.
I must declare the name of the One
who does more than all
Of these put together
Not to offend you
But to share His love with you
And to glorify His name.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I'm a Runaway Bride

Sometimes I am astounded at the lengths those I love will go to to try to "hide" from me.  Sure, I've been a lousy, controlling, distant, hovering, make ever mistake in the book kind of parent or friend (yes, I recognize many of these traits are contradictory but hey, I've had years of practice on multiple children so I can do that!). But still.  They shouldn't doubt that in my messed up way I love them - always have, always will kind of love. And yet, I watch grown loved ones revert back to the toddler "hide behind the couch and grunt and Mom won't know you're making a mess" kind of thinking - so I am astounded.  Don't they know we know - and yet love them still?  Then here it comes from left field - those smack me in the face lessons - don't I run from the One who loves me - and His is perfect love!?  When I falter, or worse still, choose selfish destructive things over His beautiful and perfect will, I run behind the couch as if He won't see.  Or worse, crawl under the couch convinced He would never want me again. So my prayer for this year is to set the example - grow up, face up, soak up His love. And then reach out with loving arms to the other ones behind the couch.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

It's Hard

It's so hard, O Lord.
So hard not to get discouraged.
So hard not to despair.
So hard to keep my eyes and heart and thoughts fixed on you instead of the hurt, pain and chaos.
So very hard to not wallow in despair when those I love so dearly, have poured my very being into them, are so viciously opposed to the beauty and glory of Your soothing love and mercy.
It's hard not to drown in the guilt of my own selfish failures that feed their lack of understanding of Your perfect forgiveness and grace. It's hard.
And discouraging.
And heart rending, heart breaking, tear filled sorrow at the lack of our love for the Lover of our souls.
Hear our cries , Oh Comforter of sorrows.
Hear our groans oh Healer of bone-deep pains.
Grant us peace, oh Giver of Perfect peace.
Forgive our grievous wickedness and prideful ego.
Hear us, O Lover of our spirit, as we cry, nay, scream out to you in utter despair as the huge ocean of tears for our family, our children, our selves, our nation drown us as we recognize how very, very far we are from Your Holy and perfect will and desires for us to become Your obedient and faithful children.
Oh Lord God how we need you, how we long for Your presence;
how my very marrow of soul aches for Your touch in our lives.
Grant us Your mercy, O Lord, for Your own worthy honor and glory.
For Your own praise. Hear my ache, O Lord Jesus.  

Monday, June 13, 2016

“Lord,

with my Jacob,” I would pray,
“wrestle till the break of Day”;
till he, knowing who Thou art,
tho’ asked, will not let Thee depart;
saying, “I’ll not let Thee free
saving Thou wilt first bless me;”
O God of Jacob, who knew how
to change supplanters then, so now
deal, I pray, with this my son,
though he may limp when Thou art
done.
Ruth Bell Graham, from “Prodigals and Those Who Love Them”

Based on Genesis 32:24–31

Thursday, September 24, 2015

This Wasn't What I Expected

Maybe it's the instant gratification, stay occupied with movies and video games, constant barrage of information, texts, posts, tweets..... or maybe it has always been this way.  Maybe since Adam and Eve men (okay, more women than men) have thought they knew what was coming, what to expect, how life was going to be.  The "Happily Ever After" fairy tale diet doesn't help.  The Photoshop, makeup covering, perfect way to take selfies environment feeds it, too.  Somewhere along the way most of us have come to think that we know what the future will look like, how it will be, what it will hold.  Yes, we make choices in life that have certain consequences, but there are so many things we can't "expect" (aka "control"!).

Recently I was blessed with a "reunion" of some very special Godly women who helped me through some tough times in life.  We shared young life - 14 month pregnancies (well, they felt that long!), sleepless nights with teething babies, potty training accidents and successes, how to teach math to very strong-willed right-brained children, when to participate and when to pull out of sports leagues, co-ops, play groups and churches, how to love on husbands who were sometimes very unlovable and how to forgive ourselves for sometimes being very unlovable wives, too.  Now, as our children approach their thirties and many in the group are grandmothers, we were all a bit shocked to realize that almost nothing went as we "expected".  We were not where we thought we would be at this point in life.

Broken relationships; strained or broken marriages (ours and/or our children's); prodigal children; grandchildren born out of wedlock; sexually, emotionally and physically diseased or dying children were not what we "expected" when we committed our lives, our energy, our love to have a God-fearing home.  And yet, there it was.  And in the center of the realization that nothing, practically nothing, we had planned and worked for had turned out as we had envisioned, there was such a sweetness and amazement that it was OK anyway.  For we shared - and still share even when we go years without being together in person - the hope, the unity, the peace, the love, the joy that only Christ can give to any of our hearts in this broken world.  And oh, the amazing joys and victories and blessings that we had never dreamed had come about, too.  For the sweetest and most beautiful eternal flowers are those unexpected blossoms pushing through this world's broken despair.  So thank you, Lord Jesus, that things are not what we expected.  And thank you for sweet and dear friends to help remind us that it is all about Your Eternal purpose.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Woman of Leisure

Leisure: "Washing dishes, clothes and floors; Grocery shopping with coupons and a budget, cooking with little time and discriminating 'customers'; planning, chauffeuring, cheering, nursing, encouraging, teaching, disciplining, and raising children; and multiple other tasks needed on an hourly basis". See - we ARE women of leisure :) [Note to self: It is all in the perspective!!]