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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mere Christianity...


"Give me all of you!!! 
I don’t want so much of your time, 
so much of your talents and money, 
and so much of your work.

 I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!!
 I have not come to torment 
or frustrate the natural man or woman,
 but to KILL IT


No half measures will do. 
I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there;
 rather I want the whole tree out!

 Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, 
all of your desires, 
all of your wants and wishes and dreams. 
Turn them ALL over to me,
 give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self---
in MY image. 

Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. 
My will, shall become your will
My heart, shall become your heart." 


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Creatures...

Remember last Fall when I posted this?  
And a few months ago when I posted this 
{some of you thought it was a little too much information-but it's nature, right?}

Well, the other day I was sitting outside reading and heard a crash out in the yard.
One of the wild cats had chased a bird into a birdhouse on my shed
 and was literally sitting on TOP of the little house.
{Can you see him through the trees?}


she didn't like that I yelled at her...


It's hard to see in this picture, but can you see what's behind her?
That's right...nature has, in fact, taken its' course
because there are two kittens standing in the background, watching.


We never seem to have normal experiences with animals, though...
these kittens are adorable, but destined to be wild and mangy like their parents
{AS I'M TYPING THIS, there is a cat fight happening out in the yard!}
The neighbors have determined that someone dropped the original cat off..
and generations of cats have become wilder and more headstrong than the last.
I'm not really a cat person...
I like them from a distance, so it works for me 
as long as one of them doesn't come down with a nasty case of rabies.

Lately, we have quite a few of these critters, thought, too...



This one was walking across the yard the other day...
it's blurry {that's a quarter it's sitting next to}
 but it's the HUGEst beatle I've seen since 
we discovered this one in Africa...

 Kind of makes you not want to walk barefoot in the grass anymore...

The other day Emma went to the fair and came back with this:
She named it Kesh...
This morning Kesh looked like this:

Yes, that's my floor!
We didn't have a fishbowl 
{because I know we kill them}
so, she found a suitable bowl for him and left it on the counter.
{next to the pile of papers is a glass bowl where Kesh used to live}
Apparently, fish can jump to their death.
Kesh did.

The only creature that seems to survive around here is this one in that cage back there...
she's a parakeet that we purchased on a whim
{we purchased a mate for her who we found dead in his dish one morning}
She does this fabulous screeching sound when she gets all excited.
It grates on you.
But, she keeps living
and we're not sure how
because we're not exactly the best at keeping animals alive around here.

Don't get me wrong, we love animals...
but we're so stinking bad at keeping them alive.
Only the annoying ones seem to stick around...forever.
I prefer to enjoy other people's animals
and the ones that roam in the yard at a distance.


All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
     Cecil F. Alexander

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In the stillness of the morning...

I sit here again this morning...

In the stillness
the quiet of a household still in slumber
It is not unlike other mornings I have sat here, 
but this morning holds a new chapter ready to unfurl.
  
It involves change and transition 
and lots of unknowns.
It is part anticipation 
part mourning
part resolution
and 
part awakening.

This morning marks the end of another school year
and the beginning of another summer together.
But it is a different summer already
There are children with jobs
schedules to coordinate
and somewhere in the midst of it all I search to find a time to 
connect 
and 
gather together.

And I recognize that if I don't make it happen
it will not.

So there's this on the door
waiting for everyone to input their 
work schedules
and
social schedules

And I think perhaps I may need to schedule family dinners, too.
But one works in the morning, 
while the other works in the evening
and the third 
who doesn't work at all
 has already decided that summer will be horrible
if she doesn't have a social calendar of her own 

And then there is me.
My relished quiet time has taken on a shorter life-span
It will require my
 getting up earlier
staying on task
and
intentionality

And come next week all of this changes...
And I will need to learn time management
and plan ahead
and flexibility
Because
I finally have a glimmer of an answer to the questions I've asked for so long...
"What do You want from me?"
"What do you want me to do with what You've given me?"
"How do I take what You've placed in me and 
use it to help support my family?"

And while I wanted answers
longed deeply for them
the answers involve change
and 
change is hard.  
But it's a good hard.

I've spent almost two years in a volunteer position
and I've learned things about myself I didn't know were there.
And somehow
at just the right time
there was a need to create a new PAID position
that has been handed to me.

And because God's hand is all over it, 
I know the time is right
and it is good.

And I am humbled by 
His kindness
His timing
and
His continued provision

It will take time to adjust around here
and we will have to pull together 
to remain together

But the One who orchestrated it
will surely keep it together...
of this I am sure.

And so, this morning, in the stillness
I am ever aware of His continued goodness to my children and I.
And I anticipate how He will use me here
as well as there

The title I wear HERE remains first and foremost...
it is constant
and priority.

But there's a new title,
and because I see it as a gift given,
I am grateful
and 
humbled
and excited to see it all unfold...

There are young mothers to love on
babies to help save
LIFE to affirm...

And who doesn't like that their NEW JOB is really their OLD JOB, but with a paycheck...
And, that their first day of work isn't really their first day of work
and no butterflies are involved...
It is good...

"Open your mouth and taste, 
open your eyes and see—
         how good God is. 
   Blessed are you who run to him." 
Psalm 34:8-10

In this morning stillness
my thoughts run far
and my need to be intentional is firm 
it will take the whole family to make it work well...
but I think we are all up to the challenge.

"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart..."
Celia Thaxter

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This happened....

  Last week she was drinking from a sippy cup
and just the other day 
she decided she was old enough
 to get all dressed up for a school social..
 She decided she was old enough 
to borrow these from her cousin...
 She decided she was old enough 
to have someone else do her hair and makeup
And I decided that time with her is short...
She is growing up.

In about 25 years,
when I think about letting her loose to date,
 this will be posted across the door frame of my house:

"He that would the daughter win, 
must with the mother first begin."
 ~English Proverb
"If you want your children to improve, 
let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others."
~Haim Ginott

Emma..
If you're reading this, I hope you hear me...

YOU
are a beautiful reflection of God Himself.
He planned it that way.
He placed in you everything you would need for
LIFE
and
GODLINESS
and then He said that everything you need
HE will be.

Beauty 
comes from Him
We can't force it
can't slip it on
can't paint it on

It happens
when day upon day
we focus on Him.

What HE has given you as a gift on the outside
He is cultivating on the inside...
Let Him.

“Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon you.” 
and 
IN you....

You are beautiful...
You are sacred...
A planting of the LORD 
FOR THE DISPLAY OF HIS SPLENDOR...

display Him well...

I love you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

 I stopped here the other day while I was walking... 
this patch of roadside weeds caught my attention
Ever thought about how many variations of weeds there are?
In this one square foot of weeds there are handfuls of variety.

Weeds are such a nuisance to me that, had I created them,
I would have made them all the same
cursed them as WEEDS
 and been done.
I wouldn't have put much thought into them.
But God did.
They're all uniquely different
because for some reason, this mattered to Him.
and isn't that just it?
Creation MATTERS to Him

It may have only taken 6 days to create
but in those some 144 hours
millions of detailed organisms were created.
And each and every one of them must have been important
He must have wanted us to notice them...
otherwise, why bother?

"Nature is school-mistress, the soul the pupil; and whatever one has taught or the other has 
learned has come from God – the Teacher of the teacher."
De Testimonio Animae


Maybe weeds didn't come along until after Adam and Eve sinned..
maybe they were just a result of the fall.
But even if this is the case,
a lesser-god would have deemed them all the same and moved on.

I can only assume that there's a reason each leaf and stem is different...
and that it has something to do with God wanting us to know that
even the little things matter to Him.


I'm reading through the book of Genesis, 
finding new perspective from old Words
 marveling at the wonder of

 life
death
creation
order

Sometimes it becomes too familiar to us
The details blur
and God's creativity is lost
His attention to the most minute of details is forgotten 
and unappreciated.


He's reminding me that the Words on the pages of His Word
are encounters that
real people had with a real God
they are a picture of 
who He was
and who He IS
they tell me about 
ME


I'm not all that different from Eve....
She too walked with the Sacred
saw His creation all around her
became discontent
wanted more
she, too, had all that her heart needed
and
forgot


"We worship the one God who fashioned the whole fabric 
with the instrument of elements, 
bodies, spirits, and by His Word commanded it, 
by the reason with which He ordered it... 
whence it came about that the Greeks also 
give the universe the name of "kosmos." 
Invisible though He is, 
He is seen. 
Incomprehensible though He is, 
He is by grace revealed.
Apologius XVII




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