May 30, 2015

A near miss

Do you argue with God? 
Would you know that you were arguing if you did?

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

Recently, while reading the familiar story about Lazarus, (John ch.11) I was struck by Martha. I thought to myself, “How could Martha argue with Jesus?”

Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, said unto him, Lord, by this time he stinks: for he has been dead for four days.

So what? Who cares? Did she know the heart of Jesus, or His plan? No, though she thought she did. Jesus wept. She knew He loved, she knew about the resurrection at the last day. She also knew that Jesus would receive anything He asked of God. And now, here is Jesus telling her to take away the stone, but instead of obeying him, she argues. She puts forth her practical thoughts, probably with a complaining wince.

Haven’t we been in the same situation? I have, thinking, “If God was going to do something great, it wouldn’t be so messy, it wouldn’t stink.” Or perhaps you have thought, again, as I have, “God, You are asking me to do something so pointless and impractical, nothing good could come out of it.”

Martha argued because her faith was in her beliefs and not in the Person of Jesus. After all, she knew Jesus personally; therefore, she could trust all of her ideas about him. Unfortunately, her mind was too small to fit the impossible.

And so, when He gave the command, she argued.

Thankfully, because of His kind mercy, He did not yield to Martha. He went on with the plan…the plan for Martha, Mary, Lazarus, and the entire town of Bethany. Martha did not miss out on the awesome miracle Jesus wanted to do, but she could have.

I wonder how many miracles we miss out on because we have our Lord all figured out. We think we know His plans so we argue or disobey when it doesn’t make sense to us. I don’t want to live like that.

I choose JESUS, Himself, not my ideas of Him. He can do whatever He wants; it is always for my good.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit…And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28


May 20, 2015

What's outside YOUR window?


FOR TODAY

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Outside my window...

A sunset gilded forest and lawn.

Are the trees green or gold?
Is the grass yellow?


I am thankful...

For good friends.
For answered prayers.
For sunny days.
For tea and chocolate.
For long hot baths.
For good sermons about my Lord.
For my sisters.
For my children.
For good laughs and hard cries.
Life is full...

In the kitchen...

chili burgers and
lemonade

I am wearing...

navy polka dot skirt, hot pink top, ballet flats
a navy iridescent necklace to pull it all together.

I am hearing...

The quiet of the evening...chirping birds, frogs, crickets.
Has Summer arrived already?

I am going...

To be alone for four days this week.
I'll spend the time writing.

On my mind...

Miracles, Losses, Solutions.

I love this question from A.W. Tozer:
"Have you allowed leanness to come to your soul because you have been expecting that God would come around with a basket giving away presents?"

Along my path lately, I've heard of, or seen, many miracles and losses.
 I have sought solutions to deep difficult problems. 
God is behind it all, but for what purpose?

Our joy should go beyond the miracle.
Our suffering is more than the loss.
Our circumstances require more than a solution.

That more is God HIMSELF!

I wish you were here.
 I would talk your ear off with my thoughts and questions over this topic.
Writing will have to suffice.

I am reading...

Wendell Berry, one of my favorite authors.

Just pure and simple pleasure when I pick up his novels or poetry.

I am hoping...

to persevere this weekend. I don't want to get distracted with loneliness.
It is hard to have my children gone from me...FOUR DAYS!

I am remembering...

Their baptism.

Sophia, Naomi and Noah were instructed, then invited to be baptized.

It was their choice, and it made me so happy.





Around the house...

Small changes here and there as we prepare for a good friend to move in with us.

One of my favorite things...

The gold at the tops of the trees as the sun is setting.

A few plans for the rest of the month:

Writing,
Walking,
Welcoming,
Working,
Whistling,
Wondering...

A picture thought to share...


So happy that beach days are here again!

May 10, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
3 John 1:4


A beautiful gift to me!! 
This necklace is so pretty. 
I love how it catches the light making little rainbow prisms to dance around me.


Another lovely gift to me...A car wash. YEAH!

It fairly sparkles!

~oOo~


The Teacher

LORD, who am I to teach the way
To little children day by day,
So prone myself to go astray?

I teach them KNOWLEDGE, but I know
How faint they flicker and how low
The candles of my knowledge glow.

I teach them POWER to will and do,
But only now to learn anew
My own great weakness through and through.

I teach them LOVE for all mankind
And all God's creatures, but I find
My love comes lagging far behind.

Lord, if their guide I still must be,
Oh let the little children see
The teacher leaning hard on Thee.

~Leslie Pinckney Hill
(1880-1960)

~oOo~


Thai food, rhodies from my yard, and happy HAPPY times with special people.

Gene has our names written on his hands as a loving remembrance of Isaiah 49:16

"See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands..."


Betty, you are much more than a friend to me...more like a mother.

You can never know all the brushstrokes, highlights and shadows that make up the picture you are in my life.

"Few delights can equal the presence of one whom we trust utterly."
~ George MacDonald.

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.


A very delightful gift were the many many cards and poems from the kids.

"3 KIDZ NEWZ" (their personal newspaper)
was dedicated entirely to me.

But the BEST were the homemade questionnaires they filled out.

Some of my favorite answers include:

~ Mom is really good at...."playing catch."

~ I love my mom because..."she forgives me when I'm bad, she's there when I'm sad. Hey, I'm a poet and I didn't know it!"

~ Something Mom can do that I can't..."roll her R's"

~ Mom's really good at..."cleaning every nook and cranny and lecturing."

(oh my...sorry kids, I think)

~ Something Mom can do that I can't..."arm wave dance move."

(that one made me laugh)

~ Your Mom's nickname..."Big Momma."

(All three of them said this...what?! I assume Big refers to the one in charge and not my size...right? I hope.)

May 6, 2015

Looking forward

Some days grief washes over me. 

Even with the three year mark this summer, I ache to see my mother again. Occasionally, my heart breaks over my looming divorce, over the loss of my family dreams. The loneliness of home schooling and raising three unique children alone threatens to overwhelm me. A simple remembrance of my oldest child as a baby sends a pang.

Loss: inevitable with the passing of time.
Relief: the shower where tears are not so hot and groans not so loud.

While pondering and praying I had a vision of someone knocking on my door. It was Mom. I let her in. She walked to my kitchen and looked in my fridge. We chatted a little before she said, “Why don’t you come over tonight? We’re going to bar-b-cue.”  Without any explanation I knew that she would have a big spread, she was such a generous woman. I hugged her goodbye. Oh to feel that body next to mine again! She was three inches shorter than me, such an intimate and comforting memory. I felt joy at the prospect of a pleasant evening at her house.

My load was instantly lightened knowing that I could share with her the latest crisis with the children, knowing she would be on my side, and his side and their side…she was always on my side without being against anyone. How did she do that?



As I lingered a little too long in this imaginary possibility I remembered the promise of Jesus,
“…I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Then, for a moment, it was HIM knocking on my door, walking to my kitchen, opening my fridge. It was He who said, "Why don't you come over? I'm having a feast tonight."

Suddenly, I was filled with thanks, thankful for the picture of Jesus coming back to get me, an infinitely better reunion than being with Mom again. She loved me in her imperfect way, Jesus loves me Perfectly, but I hardly know about it. I want to know more of His love for me…it is everlasting.

I want that Christ may dwell in my heart…; that I, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all fellow believers what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that I might be filled with all the fullness of God.


I wiped away my tears and gave thanks for my grief. Without the loss I could not experience the hope and joy of its passing, the joy of its satisfaction.

 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Rev. 21:4

May 3, 2015

In the Merry Month of May


FOR TODAY

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Outside my window...

Warm sunshine
Dancing swallows
An inviting red chair...
too much moss in the lawn


I am thankful...

For the (not too hot) heat of the day...I run on solar power.
For divine appointments.

I felt like Philip with the Ethiopian Eunuch yesterday having three divinely orchestrated appointments, all a true blessing and adventure.

I am thankful that there is a Great and Mighty, LOVING Father who is in control.

In the kitchen...

banana-coconut-pineapple smoothies.
(with spinach)

I am wearing...

one of my blue polka dot dresses with red shoes.
Thankful for weather warm enough to wear dresses again.

I am hearing...

The chirping birds.
So glad to live in a quiet neighborhood full of trees.

And some "Buena Vista Social Club" in the background.

I am going...

to wash my car...really I am...maybe not today, but soon...probably this month.

On my mind...

Sibling Rivalry. 
God wants to provide for His body with His body.
I was talking to my daughters about this.

For instance, FRIENDSHIP.
God would like us to have friends who don't criticize, who know our faults, our weaknesses and fears, yet choose to love, accept, even encourage, rather than control or accuse.

He provides this first, I think, through siblings.

But we will not be it...or do it. We will not let Him love His way through our body. 

We love our life too much. Selfishness, pride, fear leads us to love people OUR way.
Thus, we don't often experience a tangible expression of God's love because God doesn't have our life...truly.

"I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and delivered himself up for me."
Galatians 2:20

I am reading...

Emily Dickenson.

and skimming a few books on how to help children
through the grief of divorce.

I am hoping...

To shed a few pounds.
Yikes!!

Not so comforting words lately..."Mom, I like hugging you...so soft and pudgy."

Cutting out carbs and walking more.

I am remembering...

Trees and students.

I use the trees to distract the students from bickering or roughhousing.

They can point out my favorite Flowering Dogwood or Lilac for a prize.
Often times it leads to them asking,
"What's the name of that tree?"

I Love It!

Once, I told the children I call the Golden Chain tree a "Corn on the cob tree."
After that we discovered "bubble gum" trees and "Grape Candy" trees...
so cute.

Around the house...

A change in chores.
Sophia, the new laundress, Naomi, the new scullery maid.
Noah still does the bathrooms...no one wanted to trade with him.

One of my favorite things...

Little kindnesses.
A friend gave me, not one, but two boxes of my favorite Jasmine tea. 
I was especially thankful because the store I shop at no longer carries it.
Yeah!

A few plans for the rest of the month:

Same old, same old...with Mother's Day, Memorial Day and hopefully a visit from my Don thrown in.

(and a car wash...probably...maybe)

A picture thought to share...




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