Thursday, March 31, 2011

Linger over thoughts of laughter...

Today, I woke up laughing, and for most of the day, I've enjoyed at the very least, a smile. The day started like any other. Morning woke to bird songs and a puppy stretching at my side. A typical spring day. But there was this feeling of joy bursting. Not the kind that needs a precursor of something to react to, but a rogue tickle-type feeling. No, not a physical sensation, but one that came from nothing I suspected.

So what did I do? Well... I went with it. I giggled, grinned, and laughed at myself for being so ... so ... tickled. And I continued smiling and chuckling through the day. Scrubbed floors silly, danced with the mop. I swished toilet bowls, and polished countertops. I tackled the vacuum cleaning with equal humor.

Really, it's been a nonsensical sort of day... but I've enjoyed it.

... and I remember with lips upturned (which makes me laugh more)...

God named Abraham and Sarah's son: Isaac. His name meant laughter, yet God established His covenant with him. An everlasting covenant. Almost a conundrum of sorts... laughter in the mix of a serious Promise. I think that's why I love this portion of Scripture so very much. God has His plan for all of humanity, and in the midst of our reactions and actions, He goes with our "oh so human flow," and allows us laughter.

I wonder...

Does He know how simply overwhelmed we would be if we really attempted to understand His entire plan? Maybe... just maybe, laughter is a joyful reprieve for our human hearts.

But God said, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son indeed, and you shall call his name Isaac [laughter]; and I will establish My covenant or solemn pledge with him for an everlasting covenant and with his posterity after him.
(Genesis 17:19, Amplified Bible)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

a chain of swaying friendship unbroken...

Today, I'm lingering with thoughts thankfulness for precious friends...

I've heard it said there are friends for various seasons that fade through time. Perhaps. But I much prefer friendships that span the years - and even miles.

As a Brownie, I remember a circle of little girls, including me (and my mom, who was our leader), crossing arms and clasping hands. A chain of swaying friendship unbroken. We sang...

Make new friends,
But keep the old.
One is silver,
the other's gold... (author unknown)

My husband's career has relocated our family three times over the years.
Friendships forged through time blessed in each place are all (and each) golden to me. Email, Facebook, Skype... keep us in touch. Even though warm hugs may be lacking, warm hearts are abundant. And together, we form our own swaying chain of friendship unbroken.

And to quote the last line of the above poem/song...

Across the land,
Across the sea,
Friends forever
We will always be...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

His ever open arms...

I remember the open arms, the pure availability. Those arms that wrap warm and tender, that never grow weary from my attendance. Yet if I choose, I can wander as they release me bidding exploration, to enjoy the dwelling place... and others (family) - also equally welcome to the open arms - who reside with me here.

Yet the arms which release call me, not with a voice that calls for an obedience of attendance, but a beckoning invitation. A wooing of gracious, forever Love. I smile, knowing the always open arms, and am welcome to come and go as I please, by His grace and prompting... but always in the cover of His dwelling. Never far from His presence. Always in hearing distance even though I explore far and wide. His Creation is lovely and all expanse. I wander, and enjoy. It is all His.

And then, I return to... He. Altogether beautiful. Altogether lovely. Altogether worthy. He... Jesus. His arms. The Shepherd, and I His lamb.

And I gaze upon the One Who loves me pure and wholly as He holds me in His ever open arms.

One thing I ask form the LORD, this only do I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

Monday, March 28, 2011

transition... not yet finished

I bathe in the sun, not with intention of a blush, but for the comfortable warmth it brings in spring. Yet still, my skin mottles red. Buds, a promise of emerald, sage, olive, jade, and lime burst open with life anew and dance upon meeting the breeze. And I gaze upon the first rose of the season, brave with color, paving the way for the flamboyant procession sure to follow. All of nature transitions, and I am startled by beauty, even if I did expect it.

And then the north wind blows once again. Cooler air settles over the bursts of color carpeting the ground. Flowers shiver beneath the breeze, and so do I.

Transition is like that. Transitory. Seasons come, recede, and thankfully (or sometimes regretfully) come again. The movement of life does the same. Seasons come; they go. Sometimes they are all welcome and stay for a time. Other times they are unanticipated and stay far too long. Sometimes they offer beauty and sweet fragrance, comfort and warmth. Other times they cut with frigid cold and long storm-filled nights.

But by grace, all of life is transition. It moves, undulates, and is shaped by the hands of a Potter who knows His art medium intimately. And we, the vessels of His Hands know the change. We live it moment-by-moment, change unto change. In transition always... Not yet finished.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

return to authentic heart...

This weekend, I am pondering in linger moments a return to authentic heart. Spending vulnerable moments with the One Who sees the deep crevices of me. My own unawareness of hidden things - in me - are brought to Light when I kneel before the All-Knowing Father, Divine and Hallowed.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I wonder ~

I wonder ~

Why do I craft words on this lonely page? In random quiet moments of the day, I open the laptop and load a program that offers the ability to communicate.

I wonder ~

What words will spill from my fingertips today? I ask the Father for guidance in penning a message. What can I possibly say... ? How do I unveil You... ? Am I self glory seeking or God Glory giving? Please weave the words before they fill this screen, Yahweh...

I wonder ~

If I had no followers. No friends or family to read the words poured out with prayer. Would I continue to visit this lonely screen each day?

And because I wonder ~

I ask the Lord... Is all of this really for You? Are You pleased? And I face the screen, ready now to please an audience of One. All of this, for Him. All of this, for You.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

a day to pray...

My neighborhood mourns one of ours today. And I am without words. Today is a day to pray.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

a thought about seed faith... and a dream

Today I read about faith in four different texts, One that counts far above the rest.

Mine is the Night (by Liz Curtis Higgs) weaves a fiction story similar to the Book of Ruth in Scripture. Man, The Dwelling Place of God (by AW Tozer) speaks of faith humble, gentle yet firm. Jesus Calling (by Sarah Young) pens the Father heart, increasing faith with God Word. The Holy Scriptures, The Word of God (inspired by God, Most High) reveals Him, that we can know Him.

This from His hand... The Apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you." (Luke 17:5-6)

And not only this Scripture, but another...

He replied, "Because you have so little faith, Truly I tell you, if you faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. (Matthew 17:20)

I desire faith increased. I need more faith. I want more faith! Lord, increase my faith! I shout with the disciples. I read God Word surrounding the verse texts above and discover the how of increased faith. The journey is hard... Experience of this nature comes at great price. Battle avails... and the weapons are not of this world. Yet Jesus offers the seed. But oh! to have a million seeds!

And the dream...

In the half-wake hours of slumber before sleep, I see a seed. Barely it comes into view, so small and inconspicuous. Yet I know, here in this time, it is a seed. It is peaceful, its presence in my near sleep. And then movement... The seed trembles powerful, and multiplies rapid out of itself. Thousands to a million seeds fill every pore of me and I can't contain. I am jolted awake fully. The half-slumber dream closed abrupt.

And I wonder...

One seed can move the impossible... What can a million do? Oh! to pour out those multiplied seeds! And then, I understand. Only one is needed. How many can I humbly give away? How can I spread the seed (the Good News)? Is this my labor?

And I wonder out of my heart, trembling in spirit... Am I serving well?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

all moments are fleeting...

I've never been first to leave a gathering. On the contrary, I often linger longer than expected. Not that I wouldn't want to make a hastier exit at times, but once the door closes behind me, moments of smiles, hugs, encouragement, and face-to-face relationship exit with me. I wonder if anything is left unsaid, or anyone's heart untouched. Do I make a difference in moments fleeting? It's not me I want them to see...

Am I a reflection of Christ?

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with an ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Monday, March 21, 2011

the everyday-ness of everyday... and tomorrow

Four-thirty this morning. I see it again. The raccoon feasting on seed and berries the birds leave behind. I see it there. Eyes shine piercing from below the feeder; and unsure of the masked creature, the Lhasa sees it too. Every morning sameness. The raccoon, the seed, the berries. At 7:00 AM, the squirrel pudgy with spring plenty arrives and takes his fill at his own table (of my suet setting). The sun peeks through the forest, and wakes birds from their slumber. They too, gather fluttering to feast. The morning dove coos gentle atop the fence.

I watch the scene unfold day after day. The sameness, the everyday-ness. And there is beauty in it all, grace unfolding provision. Morning-by-morning, new mercies.

And for a moment I wonder about tomorrow, and then, listen to Word whispers...

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. (Matthew 6:34)

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Praying this weekend offers opportunity to spend time... still... with the Father. His presence is comforting, peaceful, Love deep. Jesus is calling.

Oh Father, may I always answer. Time with You is full of wonder, and alive with Your glorious presence. Your invitation draws me. May I always be thirsty for more of You, so I will take more time to be Still...

Friday, March 18, 2011

two days and cattle on a thousand hills

On the road with the love of my life. We didn't go far... eight hours up the road. Oklahoma. A quick trip this time, but sweet fellowship with my husband's brother and his wife. We share over thirty years of together memories. Has that much time really gone by? Our children, cousins, now grown are making their own remember years.

Life there is different than mine. Cattle moan deep close to their home. A solitary cat roams the back yard, waiting for prey. And Martins flutter around dwellings atop tall polls, preparing to raise families (and make memories) of their own. My sister-in-law, like me, delights in watching colorful, singing birds enjoy seed and berries on feeders hung in strategic places, just outside of picture window views from inside.

Camera in hand, Lhasa trotting by my heels, I take some alone minutes and wander toward open field. A family of another kind (making memories) gathered in community, doing what they do. They surprise me with their interaction. Cattle. Eight month old youngsters fight imaginary battles with each other, the adults ignoring their antics for the most part. Though I see some tender nudges... A white-faced, two-week-old calf watches too. And his mother keeps watch over him.

... And I remember The Word.

I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the field are mine. (Psalm 50:9-11)

He has no need of them, but I feel Him smiling warm over my delight of His Creation. I smile in return.

I love lingering here... It's peaceful. And I'm grateful for family who opens their home for wanderers like us. So generous, caring. With an abiding love for Christ, Who shines through conversation and hospitality.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

grace to pray

There is a heavy place in me today. That catch in the throat that threatens tears. Desperation in the middle of catastrophe unprecedented. And I ache desire to fix something I can't. To help those so far away I can't reach. Longing to comfort grief, offer hope, share a shoulder.

Miles, seems a million or more, separate my world from those on an island quaking in the Pacific. But one thing I can offer, is prayer. Words escape me though. The need is unspeakable. I meditate on the God's omnipresence. He is here; He is there. He knows the need. He knows the beyond words feeling I carry in my heart. But He is beyond words.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are you ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts.. than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

There is a covering. It blankets all of creation. It is grace. We wear it humble when we believe. It clothes us pure as we pass through the torn veil into the presence of our Father. It gives us audience. This gift. And He sees us there, knows our presence with Him. He knows our understanding is limited in times such as this. And I believe He knows that we, ourselves, though we are not shaking a million miles away, we tremble with trepidation of the unknown. For them; for us.

Words may escape me, but I can be in His presence. I can utter half-sentences or even fragments of words. He knows.

Before Him...

Under His Grace...

To pray...

Monday, March 14, 2011

today is all prayer for the shaken

Trophies toppled from their high places on shelves above my baby brother's bed. In supposed slow motion, I pulled him from his rest to run from our shared room. My grandfather's trophies fell, but none scathed my brother. I was nine, and he had just celebrated his sixth birthday two days prior.

One room away, our mom leapt from her own bed and pulled us under her bedroom door casing. Grammy told us to stay there until the shaking stopped. We did as she said, and when the shaking stopped, we held to each other until our anxiety eased. News of bridges collapsed, a hospital destroyed, buildings crooked on foundations, and homes scattered with debris.

But my grandparents' house stood.

And the Earth moves still, and again. Other families are shaken, and worse. I cannot help but lift the lives of these before our Lord, the Creator of All... our Father, Who cares deeply, passionately for His Creation. He never stops calling.


God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High Dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; and the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Psalm 46:1-7)

And today, I trust in Him. And today is all prayer they will trust Him too.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

weekend wandering

Buds, barely visible, line bare branches. Blooms wake to the sun's warmth. Birds flutter frantic, dancing with mates and fighting for their place on the feeder. Dustings of yellow bring tickled sneezes. Yes, spring moves life slow into view. May you take moments to weekend wander through God's creation ...

Friday, March 11, 2011

when love is extravagant...

These days leading to Resurrection Day leave me in awe of Christ's passion for us. Can I fully comprehend His Love? His deep, deep Love... It defies all human explanation, all human knowledge, all human emotion. His Love is beyond...

I remember, as a child broken, how He loved me tangible. Outward circumstances remained, but His Love, Jesus, my Savior... His Love never fails. Make it stop! I ran to Him... every time. I took shelter in Him. He sheltered my spirit, my soul.

I remember, as an adolescent, nearly woman, yet a girl still. Confused. Who am I? Love?

I remember, a young woman undone. Hiding from emotion raw. I just want everything perfect. Everything has its place. Each nook and cranny filled. Like Tetris. But the edges ground irritated. Harsh.

I remember, a woman healed. How tears flowed down. And heaving shoulders pressed heavy. Crumpled to the floor. Freedom came there.

And Love extravagant... He caught the shattered pieces of my heart, and pulled it whole to His. And grateful, thankful, I move to the rhythm of His grace.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

before the 40 days...

Heavy with child, I wade careful into the water. Grey hair, grandfatherly concern, he takes my hand to be sure of balanced footing. I'm twenty. I have loved God as long as I can remember, yet never have I waded into these tepid waters.

I turn shy and look through the faces of our congregation for the father of my child. He is there. And he smiles... encourages.

I turn toward wrinkled eyes and wispy grey hair and nod. He asks if I would like to say anything. I do. I can't remember my spoken words, but I remember the heart, the spirit guiding. I feel gentle movement of the little one hidden in the warm liquid of my womb, gently lifted in the waters surrounding me.

I think of Him, Jesus. Him, led by His Father (our Father) to His cousin. John invites the repentant into cool waters of the Jordan. A voice of one calling in the wilderness, Prepare the way for the Lord, make st
raight paths for him. (Matthew 3:3) I baptize you with water for repentance. [John says] But after me comes one more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry... (Matthew 3:11)

Jesus, Son of God, Son of man, God walking the soil of His created Earth. He approaches John for baptism. Jesus colors outside of humanity's line. He, perfect and holy. He, righteous and just. John, unsure, tried to deter him, saying I need to be baptized by you... (Matthew 3:14). Jesus knows the why. He explains to his cousin. And John consents.

I hear the pastor. "I baptize you, my sister, in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit." I hold my breath, buried in warm waters, only for a moment. He helps me find the ground underneath me again, and I stand. He helps me climb the steps toward a woman waiting with a towel.

I recall... And a voice from Heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17).

And I pray silent... I hope you are well pleased with me, my Father.

And Jesus walks toward the wilderness... for 40 days.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I wonder about the cross of ash...

I wonder about the cross of ash on foreheads. About the fasting of this time. The giving up of something here meaningful (is there really such a thing?). I think about the word, Lent. Something I don't fully understand, yet the essence is carved deep in my spirit.

What Jesus did. The offering of Him, by Him.

For me.

I can scarce take it in. It disturbs to the very core, what He did.

For me.

Appalled by by the cruel lashes, 39. Prostrate under the burden of the Cross. He, making the way to Calvary.

For me.

I don't have an outward cross of ash on my forehead to be seen. Yet, I'm wearing it inward. And I'm remembering, this 40 days ahead are about Jesus, and what He did.

For me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

a million tears

How many tears, Lord, do you keep an accounting of? How many bottles are full to overflow?

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. (Psalm 56:8)

A million is a number inconsequential as I consider the abundance of life here, in this world fallen. Though I also see through tears of purest joy. Yet You say, all my tears, yes, You say, All.

When tears flow down, no matter the cause, You place Your bottle - just so - to catch with compassion each one.

Lord, I trust You with my tears. They are the expressive part of my heart. Deepest grief; furthest reaches of delight. They are personal, vulnerable. Tears are the essence of my authentic self... And if they are sincere, they are humanity's gift of expression. God-given.

Monday, March 7, 2011

tears from memories past

Breezes gentle paste wisps of my hair against my damp face. I face the open window and weep in the wind. I am eight.

Why do young children suffer so?
Daddy clears his throat. I turn slight to face him. Is he going to speak? Just the slightest sound of his voice will tear my heart in two. I watch his Adam's apple bob up, and then down on his neck. He clears his throat again.

"Daddy?" My brother, unrestrained in the back seat stands, feet on the floorboard, leaning close to our father's ear.

"Sit down, son," Daddy whispers tender and pats the side of my little brother's head. My brother sits.


Why must a child's heart pound with pain profound?

Without turning to look, I reach for my daddy's hand, and it envelopes mine complete. He holds my tiny fingers with gentle fervor. I feel safe. I can't think about it now. It's not real. But I know in my heart it is. I hate divorce!

No longer able to contain my tears, my shoulders tremble and I cry. My daddy's grip tightens on my hand, and he steers the blue sedan to the side of the road and stops. My stomach churns.

"Daddy, I don't feel good. My tummy hurts."

Raw emotion cuts deep, even in the heart of a child.

"Do you feel like you're going to be sick?" He brushes the back of his hand light over my forehead. And I nod.

He helps me out of the car, into the muggy June night. Crickets and locust surround us with night songs. "Do you feel better, now?" I shake my head. He scoops me secure into his arms and I lay my head on his shoulder. His familiar cologne wafts heavy in the humid air.

"Better?" And I nod barely.

My daddy. Rescuer in midnight hours, chasing away monsters and soothing fears beyond nightmares. Singer of Jesus Loves Me in the middle of thunderstorms raging. "Daddy?" He sets me on the ground and kneels beside me.


"I'm leaving tomorrow with Mommy and my baby brother..." My eyes fill with the sting of fresh tears. My little brother opens the back seat car door, and wipes his own damp face. He runs toward us wobbly on four year old legs. The two of us, wrapped in our daddy's embrace. It's real.

Fairy tale stories of happily-ever-after only exist in the land of pretend.

"Will we ever see you again, Daddy?" I barely have voice to ask, but he hears me.

"Oh yes, you'll see me again. I love you. I love you both so much." He holds us for what seems hours, but not nearly long enough. Finally, he lifts my brother, takes my hand and walks us back to the car.

"I don't want to go home now, Daddy. Not yet."

"Your mom will be worried if I don't get you back soon." He pulls a handkerchief out of his pocket and wipes his tearful face. He starts the car and drives us home.

Today I linger in prayer for children wounded.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Release... to Linger

This weekend...

Release me, Lord and all my sisters, to see You in everything we see, to hear You in everything we hear. Our eyes; Yours. Our ears; Yours. Our hearts and every beat; wholly Yours. Each one of us; Yours.

And thankful...

Friday, March 4, 2011

heart and fragrance

White roses smooth like satin wired to grapevine backing. A gift of heart for my grandmother, Grammy. I remember the act of giving, my heart toward her. All precious, all sweet, all caring, and kind, Grammy. If only I could have used roses unfeigned on this gift, dream of fragrance never ending, color never fading. Greenery fresh surrounding the beauty blooms. But my desire for her enjoyment was meant for an enduring time. The real would not have lasted.

Grammy's mind, failing with Alzheimer's, her life, short for our world. But if she could see beauty, and if it would make her smile... To the Father, will You breath Your breath and exhale a sweet fragrance through my gift?

And now, the roses home with my "I love you infinity" mom. She added pink to the white, a touch of her. I love her touch... And again... Father, will You breath Your breath and exhale a sweet fragrance through my gift?

I linger in thought of heart and fragrance and Mary comes to mind...

Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (John 12:3)

Jesus, well pleased. And how I desire to be Mary, washing the feet of my Lord with tears and hair mine

And then...

And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:2)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

when it takes a second touch...

Morning breaks with shades of grey. Distant treetops barely visible, except to the discerning eye. I wonder - if sometimes - God clouds our vision of the distant. Futures we aren't meant to see... yet. Days we aren't meant to experience... yet. Emotions we are incapable of processing... yet.

I wonder about the blind man...

He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”

He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”

Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.

(Mark 8:23-25)

Full healing came as a two-step process, at least as we can see. Yet, I wonder how long was the process, really? What series of events placed him in front of the Healer in that very moment? Why did Jesus spit into the blind man's eyes? Why was the man incapable of focusing initially? Why did it take a second touch of Jesus to clear the blind man's vision?

For some heavenly reason, the process mattered.... and the man's sight was restored. I don't know why. But I trust in this: all experience with God is grace and love.

And the offense clouds and sin mist were swept away... Because when Jesus heals, He heals from the inside out.

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you. (Isaiah 44:22)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

beautiful gathering...

Beautiful by MercyMe

I'm late, I know. This post is showing well past the norm of daily time. But today started early... and sweet. Sisterfriends gathered around wooden tables, and supped on a variety of French cuisine. Today... a beautiful gathering.

Each of us with a story inside. Each of us with a past. Each of us having suffered pain somewhere along this journey, life. Some of our pain self-inflicted. Some served from misguided hands of others, sometimes purposely inflicted. And some hurt, some pain a result of the Fall, and some pointedly enemy-driven.

But as I gaze around the room I see grace. All grace. All mercy. And joy. Even in the human weathering of seasons gone by.

And I wonder...

Does each one know their value before the King? Do they know He is captivated by their beauty? The past is put away. He's calling. Jesus, calling...

Now listen, daughter, don't miss a word: forget your country, put your home behind you. Be here—the king is wild for you. (Psalm 45:10-11)

But today, each of us embracing others with smiles and lightly brushed kisses on sides of faces. New sisterfriends and golden sisterfriends.

How I pray each one knows her worth

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

... of few words

Quiet. In my mind, in my heart, in my soul. All is quiet. I listen. Noise is all around me, like a tuning of fine instruments before the symphony, random in tone, yet equal in note.

But still...I am quiet.

Today is a day to listen.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)