"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Thursday, April 28, 2011

On my mind...

There are a few things on my mind.
Don't hold your breath, they are not important really...
Just on my mind.  

Remember this...when somehow stink bugs and princesses made it onto the same post?
I have nothing to defend myself with..it just happens-
random thoughts
 that have no real connection whatsoever to each other, 
yet still end up sharing a post. 

I think it might be happening again

The whole world seems to be perched on the edge of their seats 
in anticipation of another Royal Wedding

These two

have caught the eye of nearly everyone who owns a 
computer or a radio.
And starting at some ungodly hour in the morning there will be live coverage
detailing pretty much every breath that anyone with royal blood will be taking tomorrow.

And SHE

informed me about an hour ago that she wants me to wake her up at 5am to watch it happen.
Had I known this, I would have shipped her to

 my sister's house for the night,
being that her internal clock rises her at 5am {or before} EVERY morning
 {not just Royal mornings}
But my mind doesn't work that quickly so she's down the hall as I type
in her own bed. 
Which means yours truly will be setting her alarm 
and watching next to her.

And really, I can't complain...when I was not much younger than her my grandmother had a
Royal sleepover so we could rise early to watch with her....
Which was MY mom's plan, too...

a slumber party with just the girls was planned at her house
a tradition, of sorts that it's only fair to carry on...
except, 
who gets married at the CRACK of dawn on a school day???
Really, Kate?  
Did you not know there would be girls of all ages in PA that would want to watch you wed your Prince?
You didn't think it would be an excused absence, did you?
It's not.

By the way, did you know that 
So, say, you want to know what time would be a good time to leave the tv to make a pot of coffee..
all you need to do is look at the schedule and see that at precisely 
"10:27 am Carol and James will arrive at the Abbey"
which, translated means
"I have no idea who Carol and James are and so NOW would be a good time to brew the beans"

The Royals are very accommodating in this way.
Thanks Will and Kate, I may need those beans to make it through the rest of the day.

Also, did you know that Will has opted out of wearing a wedding band?
Strange, but true.  
It says so here
and E Online has probably moved in across the street from the Palace
and has the inside scoop on such things.
Thanks E.

This morning I found out that I am just like my mom.
I love her, so I'm cool with it, 
but we might both have issues.

I inadvertently left my phone in the other room for about an hour 
and apparently missed her call several of her calls
She was watching the news
I was not.
She called to tell me in a very panicked voice that I should run for shelter in my basement
NOW
because a tornado was passing over my house. 
But, truth be told, I was on my way out the door to meet a friend for coffee
and that didn't gel with my plan.
But because I am a pleaser, 
I ran to the basement to turn on the tv, 
in time to hear them 
{the VERY excited-emotionally-charged-meteorologists-who-live-for-this-kind-of-thing}
 say they are lifting the warning.
Sweet...coffee it is

For the next hour,
even though my phone was turned to silent, 
I continued to get updates on the two other impending tornadoes that were about to crash through my house
from my mom...
{remember, when you're reading this, mom, I really do love you!}

I literally LAUGHED OUT LOUD at the absurdity of how similar this scene was to the texts my own son received from me just a few weeks ago when I was the one at home watching the 
BREAKING NEWS SPECIAL REPORT

He was the one out having coffee with a friend
and I was the one with the panicky voice telling him to take cover.

Two thoughts on this:
1. No matter what you say, you will always be just like your mom
2. You never really stop being an over-reactive concerned parent

Also, 
this weekend is Prom
He

is going with a friend
and I find it just too weird that son#2 could possibly be old enough to 
drive to the florist to order a corsage
for goodness sake, 
just last year he was cutting his first tooth

If I had the power to make 
time
stand
still

GASP!
I just looked at the clock...
it's 11:23pm and I have not had my Royal sleep yet..
this does not sound like a recipe for a good Friday.

The real GOOD Friday was last week...
tomorrow will just have to be named good.


{Aidan Caine captured the couple for me to score on google images}

"William and Kate, have set the date,
They’ve chosen, as the day they will marry;
April 29, for the second in line
To the throne, 
(just in front of Harry )."
lovely words from the pen of one Jim Bell

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

{Word-less Wednesday} Prom dress season...


{starburst}

{starburst}
 {toilet paper}
 {coffee filters}
 {duct tape}
{duct tape}

 {m&m}
 {phonebook}
{diapers}

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Restlessness...

I often find myself feeling restless at heart.  
It's not something I can define,
it's more of a feeling
a need to discover MORE.
I know enough to realize this is God
He is stretching me
 and 
breaking chunks of me
bit by bit.

He's not drawing me to be emotional or make hasty decisions
but He is asking me to NOTICE.

So I open my eyes to see what He is doing,
where He is making a difference.
Along the way I find Katie,
and she is challenging me
tugging at something in my heart.
Causing me to look closer at the things that He's put in me.

I am amazed by this 20 year old young woman.
She is brave and courageous
and she is following Jesus.

Her posts often make me cry
and they always make me think...

Let me introduce this young woman 
if you are like me, 
you will start reading
and find it hard to stop.

This is Katie, 

you can start her story here.
{But you've already been warned...you may end up reading the whole entire blog, which started in 2007!}

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means 
caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."
James 1:27

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Discoveries...

 I never thought of myself as being foolishly sentimental
but I've discovered some things about myself lately that surprise me.
Maybe the surprise is in the fact that I'm still surprising myself.
You'd think by my age I'd know everything there is to know about ME.

The other day this slipped out of the pages of an old Bible of mine.
It must be about 10 years old.
 I remember the day Nick drew this.  
We were sitting in church 
and he presented it to me mid-service with a grin.
I loved it then
but I loved it more the day I rediscovered it.
Look closely...
"God is God"
It doesn't matter that this son is not a natural-born speller,
I knew what he meant to say all those years ago.
"God is good"
But what he actually said blesses me all the more.
And I need to be reminded of this Truth just about 
every
single
day.

"God is God"
...from the mouth of babes...

"I gave in, and admitted that God was God."
C. S. Lewis


In the midst of a week of more rain than sun,
I managed to have lunch outside with something else that surprised me.
I've always loved old books
They've been around me most of my life
but usually as a piece of "art" 
and not so much because I make it a habit to read them on a regular basis.
I shared the other day of my love for my grandmother's copy of
I love it
 partly because it was her mother's
 and then hers
and partly because it is old.
And to me, old books like this represent 
wisdom
ancient words of Truth,
written down to be rediscovered through the generations.
Secrets, there out in the open
but often ignored.

It's how I feel about the generation of World War II veterans that are leaving us quickly...
there is so much history 
so much depth
that we have lost 
and replaced over the years.

Everything that is shiny and new has replaced what is old and weathered...
and without realizing it we have lost what was once prized.

The simple 
outdone by the complicated.

I suppose that is why when I found this book in our church library,
penned in 1895
it spoke to me....
There were others by this author,
all with shiny new covers
and written in modern-day language
But THIS one
this one needed to be rediscovered by someone.
I noticed that it has not been checked out of for over 10 years...
I couldn't put it down.
{Even when the librarian tried heartily to draw me to other titles by this author}
It was the appearance and the age 
I had no idea what the book was even about...
I just knew I needed to hold it for a little while.

"With Christ"
by Andrew Murray

Not coincidentally,
the words inside the cover were ones I need to 
hear
and 
practice

"With Christ:
In the School of Prayer"

The ancient art of a life dedicated to prayer
The pages are fragile,
unblemished by the markings of a pen
I forego my desire to highlight and mark it as I do in my own 
not because it's more sacred
but because it's not mine
and I have to return it May 1st.
{I'm working on a good speech about why I should purchase this copy from the library
and replace it with a shinier version that apparently others would prefer to borrow.}

"If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this."
C. S. Lewis


I've discovered a few things about other people this week, too.
HE thinks it's perfectly fine to grab his fishing pole and 
drive the mower down to the creek in our backyard to fish.
HE forgets that a gallon of gas costs more than a VALUE MEAL.
{and hopefully HE enjoyed that trip, because it's the last}
 SHE has discovered that  if you stretch several cords together, 
the laptop reaches out to the driveway and 
sunbathing is more fun when you're on facebook.

HE came home to visit last weekend.
And has discovered throughout the week that he is terribly allergic to SOMETHING.
HE is back again this weekend...with hives.
Benadryl is his new companion until a visit to an allergist can be arranged.

Yesterday, I discovered THIS
 Apparently it was 
"DRIVE YOUR TRACTOR TO SCHOOL Day"
Only in Lancaster County might you drive past the local high school 
and see these babies parked in between the lines.
I have so many questions about this:
1. Do you need a license to drive them?
2. Do they get good gas mileage?
3. Where can I buy one?

"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. 
Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home?
 For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."
— C.S. Lewis 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NOT {Word-less Wednesday}...just because...

So, after much thought, I've decided to boycott Wordless Wednesday 
because I have something to say after all.

I LOVE HOW GOD LOVES!

I've been struggling the last few weeks with God's seemingly silent self in the BIG things in my life...
You know, BIG things like 
finances
vocation
singleness
health

I've been struggling with knowing that
 I know
 that I know
that I know
that I'm following God's path here.
{are you tracking with me and that sentence???}

His SILENCE is overwhelming and LOUD sometimes
and it makes me question if I'm really hearing Him right.
Is He really drawing me
 to silence
to stillness
to complete trust
to wait

And for some reason I just need reassurance from time to time that I am hearing Him correctly.
And He is THAT good 
that He finds time to remind me that while He is 
patient
longstanding 
unruffled 
laid back
SILENT
in BIG things
He is PRESENT in the small...
{Which is His gift to me...His reminder that He still ministers to me along the path of solitude}

So here's His reminder for today...

I happen to be in possession of my grandmother's copy of "Streams in the Desert"
{Apparently my grandmother bought it for HER mother in 1951}

Anywho...I read it occasionally, but not daily.
If you are not familiar with the book, it was written in 1925 by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.
Which, translated means- it's in Old English language and I am a fan.

SO, this morning I walked past this book and deep in my spirit felt compelled to pick it up and read it.
But I didn't, I walked right passed.
A second time I walked past the book and very distinctly felt the impression that I needed to 
stop walking and read.

And it's not a coincidence that this is what it said...

"Did you ever hear of any one being much used for Christ who did not have some special waiting time, 
some complete upset of all his or her plans first...
God's love being unchangeable, He is just as loving when we do not see or feel His love.  Also His love and His sovereignty are co-equal and universal;
so He withholds the enjoyment and conscious progress because He knows best what will really ripen and further His work in us....

I laid it down in silence,
This work of mine,
And took what had been sent me-
a resting time.
The Master's voice had called me
to rest apart;
Apart with Jesus only
Echoed my heart.
I took the rest and stillness 
From His own Hand,
and felt this present illness
wast what He planned.
How often we choose labor,
when He says, "REST"
our ways are blind and crooked
His way is best....
There is a blessed resting
in lying still
In letting His hand mould us,
just as He will.
His work must be completed.
His lesson set;
He is the higher Workman:
Do not forget!
....
God provides resting places as well as working places.  
Rest, then, and be thankful
when He brings you, 
wearied to a wayside well."

Somehow the Sovereign hand of God knew that on this day
April 13th, 2011
I would need the healing balm of these words...
And somehow, way beyond my understanding,
His hand guided another's, back in 1925,
to speak these words for me
today
from Him.

I LOVE HOW HE LOVES....
{google pic}

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Leaning in close...


Sometimes I have no words to explain what God is speaking into me. 

Lately it seems I am in this state often.
He is speaking,
but often in what I perceive to be 
broken English
and
incomplete sentences
and
incoherent whispers.

I think He keeps me here because He likes the sight of my
leaning in close...
listening

But, quite honestly, I fight the desire to ask Him to 
speak louder 
and 
complete His thoughts...

Because some days it's just wearying, this silence..


While I
WAIT
and
 lean in to listen,
I count His goodness
and 
recall the ways He has spoken in the past
as a reminder 
that He still speaks
and 
will again.


"Lord of glory.
Make us worthy, to possess your name.


Give us a new name.
Call us your people, God.
Give us a new name.


[Ezekiel 36:26-28]  
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.

I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put My spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws. 
You will live in the land I gave to your forefathers.
You will be my people and I will be your God.


And through all of this, there is nothing, absolutely nothing.

No fear, no insecurity, no doubt, no hesitation that will ever, ever stop us. 
Because we are the sons of the living God.
Because we are the children of the Almighty.
Because we are the residents of the kingdom of Heaven. 
And we are soldiers in an army of the immortal.
And when we speak life, life happens.
And when we speak healing, healing happens.
And when we speak truth, truth happens.

And when we go and take what we have found to a dead world, we'll see it come to life again.
And when we take what we have found to a hopeless world, we'll see hope come back. 

We'll see the heart of our world start beating again. 
And we'll see the color come back into people's faces.
And absolutely nothing will ever stop that.
And mountains will move before us.
And oceans will part before us.
And the dead will raise before us.

And the world will know that our God is a God that heals.
That our God is a God that lives.
And our God is a God that loves unlike anything anyone has ever felt before.

Because we are fearless.
Because we are His hands.
And because we are His feet forever and ever."
Talmidim
by For Today

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow"


It always happens about this time of year.
While I'm busy with my head turned aside
Brown turns to green...
Green bursts forth with color
and tiny shoots of all things new
raise higher and higher
in praise of a new season.

And Spring isn't just a word anymore,
it's a state of mind.

Today isn't simply the day after yesterday, 
it's one day closer to the grand revelation of 
all things new 
and 
bursting with color
 and with it comes HOPE
 HOPE for all things new
 both in my yard...
 and in my life
 After many months of 
dreary
cold
dark
days
it's as if the very world has come alive
 for the first time
and is breathing its first breath.
 but it's not.
It's done this before
and it will do it again.
"There is nothing new under the sun..."
 and yet...
it is new again...

Just as His mercy is new every morning,
the earth is new every Spring.
And it is good
because it is a reminder that He is here
still
and 
again
 Just as
long and hard 
as the winter months of our lives are, 
is the goodness and grace
of the long awaited dawning of new things 
revealed in the Springtime of our lives.

 After winter
Spring always comes.
It works that way.
Always.

I'm waiting 
still waiting,
sometimes patiently
sometimes not
for the dawning of Spring
in many areas of my life

HOPING
PRAYING
TRUSTING
ASKING

that after the long-suffering days of winter have run their course
Spring will come 
with sprouts of 
new growth
new life
new instructions
and 
new color...
lots and lots
of 
vivid
COLOR

And it will come
I have no doubt of it,
because nothing is new under the sun
and
 God is 
the same
 yesterday
today
and 
forever
and He always shows up 
to 
show off 
His creative hand...


"Every spring is the only spring - 
a perpetual astonishment."  
Ellis Peters

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