Monday, December 19, 2016

Advent 2016

In celebrating Advent and reflecting on all that Christmas means, I was struck this morning with what was a new thought for me.  I have heard all my life that Christ would've died and rose again even if I was the only person alive.  But this morning it came to me, He would also have been born had I been the only other one.  He was born for me, as He died for me.

Ever amazed at thinking about how almighty God was crammed into a tiny baby and ultimately a grown man, knowing He would do all that for me is as staggering as the cross.  In Hebrews 4:15, it tells us He was tempted as we are.  Isaiah 53:3, that He was familiar with pain and grief.  He was born for it...for me, for every one of us.  For leaders in the world, for Olympic champions, for addicts who can't get a handle on their addiction, for the down and out, for the wealthy, for the good, for the bad...for all of us.  He is familiar with the pains that can fill our hearts.

But He doesn't leave us there hurting, He holds a hand out to us, offering hope, forgiveness, redemption.  And the very things that can put us under, become springboards for miracles.  Miracles begin in the heart.  To dare to hope, and then watch to see what He does, often times, quietly, seemingly in such a natural way, when in reality, it could only happen super-naturally.

The unfathomable love of God for us!  He won't allow short-cuts, only when we realize our utter hopelessness in our own strength, and how painfully guilty we are of putting Him up there on that cross, we are faced with the baby in the manger.  We are the reason He came.  The more I meditate on it, the more I realize Isaiah 64:6, "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away."  But God.  But the baby we celebrate.

Once again, it's Christmas.  Time to realize all He is and worship.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


I look out my window and my soul feasts on the color of changing leaves, vibrant in their new Fall brilliance, the apples that litter the circumference of our apple tree, little balls of nutrients for the squirrels and birds that frequent our back yard.  This is my favorite time of year, and this particular year is interesting to me.  At 62, I didn't think much would be changing in my world, yet I did enjoy Summer and that is a revelation, a paradigm shift.  I was told that the past Summers here were unusually hot, and this past Summer was the norm.  It has been alluring in its beauty, drawing me outside every morning for devotions midst the starting of the day, not yet too warm, gentle breezes blowing, birds greeting the day in song.  Sitting outside with my love, conversations held watching the world go by on our little neighborhood street as he tends the grill, which gets a workout every Summer.  All in all, I am a convert and have to say that some sadness rose up in me for its passing. 

But then that little something in the coolness of the breeze, that hint of the coming of Winter....but not quite yet, grabbed my heart and I remembered that Fall feels most familiar.  Favorite colors, favorite soups, favorite clothes, how good it feels to come in out of the cold, yes, Fall is my favorite.  Ask me in Winter, and I might say Winter is my favorite...or Spring...and now, perhaps Summer.  But I do believe in my heart of hearts, that Fall will always be that time when my soul feels most fed, most at peace.

I hopefully have many years left, but I do feel the need to appreciate each season, because how many are left I don't know.  So as the candle holder sparkles its design on the wall through an Autumn sun, I appreciate each nuance.  Each day with Renaissance Man, cherished, thankful to a God who so lovingly granted 18 years' worth of prayers.  Time moves on, through the seasons, and I move with them, both of us silently.  I worry that I haven't done enough, and I haven't, either through inability because of finances or fear, but I am confident that when I get "Home," none of that will matter.

Right now, it is enough to have this unique, amazing man, my husband (how I love that word, "husband"), our sweet kids and our family and friends, our sweet, sweet little pup and see what each day brings.  The thing is not to miss the moments.  Be present as they say, and I am, and through un-telling eyes, I marvel at the gifts He gives with every sunrise.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


I am always carried away by scenes of hay-baling, chickens pecking the ground, big pots aboil on the stove, and other scenes of domestic bliss.  I realize that it is hard work this, and I wouldn't like it much most likely.  But I do remember working hard in Summer at this or that around our little tract house as a kid and how good it felt it to finally sit and rest in the shade with a glass of ice cold lemonade or tea.  There is a satisfaction achieved that can be found nowhere else.  I still work around my home, doing daily chores, but nothing too strenuous or physically demanding....and good thing, because i'm no Spring chicken anymore.  I find true wisdom in knowing my limitations.

But Summer's here and while I generally abhor the season, this year is different.  Perhaps because I sense the ones left are numbered.  Hopefully many, many more, but one never knows.  So I watch as my love mows the lawns, back and forth, back and forth....key word being "watch."  ;)  I open up windows all through the house as the heat of the day gives way to the coolness of evening, and then close it all back up when the sun lets me know it's time in the morning.  But this year, the grievance is gone.  I'm no longer mad at Summer, bringing such horrid heat that it takes my breath away when I step outside.  I am actually enjoying it.  My pup lays out in the heat of the sun on the hot concrete absorbing the warmth into her little bones, ultimately returning, tongue hanging out and many laps at the water dish, to retire atop the orange chair by the air-conditioner.  :)

The seasons change, people we love come and go.  It has been a battle hard fought, and I'm not there yet, but i'm closer, at releasing my loved ones totally into His hands and trusting that I will see them again one day in Heaven.  This is hard for us moms.  When it comes to our kids, we can leave nothing to chance, until I realize I would be robbing them of their intimacy with the God that loves them fiercely, perfectly, more than I do.  So I will proceed with the changing seasons, appreciate each one for what it offers and hold my little goslings up in prayer, trusting, hoping.  I Corinthians in my bones for these souls that are bound with mine.

And all the while, the learning, the pondering, the perplexing, the loving, there is this man by my side.  He does not always understand me, he gets it wrong sometimes, so do I, but he's there, he doesn't leave.  And when I call out to him, he comes, every time.  I suppose that it's true, you don't really know your marital mettle until hard times hit, whatever that entails.  They've hit, he stands firm, loves me faithfully, tries to help me.  We have hurt each other, but come out the other side.  The hurting was never intentional and apologized for with our hearts. 

I am still learning that no one is perfect but One.  And He is the covering for us all.  What safety there is in that.  Romans 8:28 is the bottom line for everything.  Even when human will gets in the way, He will use it for good. 

So as July 4th approaches, I am hoping to celebrate in fine American fashion, BBQ'ing in the driveway and pulling up chairs and a cooler to watch the fireworks from our front yard, grateful for my loved ones, those present, those not.  Always knowing that in every season God is still in control and loves us beyond measure.

Monday, May 9, 2016


When everything goes dim and muddy, how do you find your way out.  Things may never become clear and crystal, you may have to crawl your way over the finish line.  Other writers extol the virtues of never giving up on one's prodigal, while yours is in the next room, not okay.  I fear I may not live to see him be okay, so maybe he won't ever be.  And that one fact can steal every future joy and hope away from my heart.  I believe he came to know God, but i'm not seeing any fruit, any evidence.  But I do see some changes and that might be a seed for hope.  Even if I never see it grow to fruition.

There are writers who get to glean wonderful things from their lives and share it eloquently and succinctly.  I think I tend to write like I feel...confused, muddled, bewildered at times.  And my process is to talk it out, or write it out.  Therefore I become wordy and unclear.  All I know to do is write from my heart, get it out, look at it, or hear it.

Things have transpired between my prodigal and I that have wounded us both, wounds we won't ever forget most likely.  How does that make the Father's heart feel I wonder.  What does He think of these two wounded people, crippled in their own ways, who can't believe enough in Him to put things aside, put Him first and get on with healing?  Everyone who knows me knows how I love this kid.  That there's a soft spot for him in my heart.  When others would be done, or at the least turn away, I open my figurative arms and take him in, yet again.

Nothing I can say can keep me from sounding like a mom with blinders on.  Like I don't see the things that others see.  Like I have this Pollyanna view of him that turns every frown upside down in some wierd "Joker" style vision.  Not true, I see, I know, but my love for him is deep and wide, and forgiving and constant.  Some say I enable, i'm not sure.  Does my Father enable me when He still loves me and reaches down to pick me up yet again?

All that said, this child, my child, is a man now.  He has a man's decisions to make.  And I am finding it more and more feeling right to release my opinions and judgments.  He needs to make his way kind of on his own.  My years are numbered.  Bad health choices are taking their toll, every day is a gift, whether I have one more day left, or 20 more years, all by the grace of a loving God.

The one thing too, that this man doesn't realize is that there's a whole clan of cheerleaders rooting him on.  Sad that he sees them as critics and judges.

This really didn't start out to be about him, but unless I know that he is following Christ with his whole heart, the unrest will not leave.  I fear that life will simply be a series of letting go, giving him to God over and over until I am Home.

It's just life at the moment.  The realization you have at a certain age that many dreams will never come true, the ugly truth about certain choices you've made and consequences you cannot avoid.  All that said, there are other truths.  The joy that both children give, and grandchildren.  The love that you feel in the circle of your family...blood and not blood.  And the most precious, mysterious, blissful blessing of this man, this union that is so powerful, the love in it is unutterable.  The blessings of waking every single day, hearing the birds sing, enjoying every average day for what it is, a gift.  Nothing is guaranteed but Christ.  And in this muddled, misty space, Christ is over all and when I'm in His presence, I know everything will be Him.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


The pull and push of every day events can sometimes make me feel as if i'm being pulled apart.  This morning I decided.  I decided that I would just draw close to the One who knows me best and just rest there for a while.  Not for an hour, a day, but for some time to come....perhaps forever.  We have too many personalities in our home these days.  It seems someone is not happy about something every day.  Not an angry, fighting unhappiness, just a quiet, disgruntled unhappiness.  And me, wife and mother and grandma, wants to fix it all, knowing in my heart that I can't.  So this morning, when used as a sounding board yet again, and perceived as a stone-thrower, I just decided.  I will rest my soul in the presence of the Lord.  He will take me in, while I love and serve and do my best.  He will tell me that is enough and give me rest.

Something shifted inside me this morning.  It does no good for me to attempt to explain to those that either won't understand, or won't accept what i'm saying, so why say it.  I love all concerned and i'll just continue with that in the forefront of my mind and my heart.  In a sense it's that "take care of you" thing.  I love my family, I want the best for my family and i'm doing what I perceive as my best to contribute to that.  It is no longer up for debate, i'm just gonna be looking up as best I can from here into eternity.  There is no darkness in Him, He is safe, always, all the time.  I will simply fall into Jesus and operate from there.  I surrender all.