Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Musings

Its almost time for that yearly slow down and take inventory muse. I generally do it every year around New Years, a sort of step back and see what happened the last year, and kind of gauge where I might be headed in the new year. I like to take some time to think about what I might need to work on or lesson to learn.

I keep a prayer journal. It helps me to stay focused when I pray, and because writing helps me think and organize my thoughts, it helps me to notice what sorts of prayers I'm busy with. And it shows me how selfish I am. Too much, I tend toward selfish prayers.
So every year I like to take a walk through my journal and mark the dates prayers were answered, and really see in black and white how the Lord is working in my life. It's all there, plain as day, in the curly cues of black handwriting against creamy white paper. Seeing it in writing, seeing it unfold beneath my hand really brings it to life, and really shows me how God is leading my aventura de la vida.

Just now, I was thinking about the path of life. It's so fascinating to me to picture it that way. I began this blog with that theme, and lately have been thinking of changing my blog but the adventure of life and the path and journey still seem so relevant to me that I'm keeping it. And I keep bumping into verses in the Bible about the way or path of following God. This evening I was reading Psalm 139.

Psalm 139
O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in-behind and before; you laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. 
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. 
When I awake, I am still with you.
If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 

A beautiful psalm which spoke to my heart. May the offensive ways in me be shown to light, that I might be led in the way everlasting.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Joy

Every year, my Mom and the girls look forward to a favorite Christmas tradition: we all don aprons and turn on some Christmas music, light a candle or two, and then begin to cook. We each have a specialty which we are in charge of cooking, and we laugh, tease, joke and taste everything together in the kitchen. 
It's warm and full of good smells, good tastes, and is a lot of fun.
I'm grateful for family, for the joy of being together, of loving each other, and working side by side. For family traditions and for knowing that we'll always be there for each other. Because we're family. 

My sister and I

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Resplendent In Light

The heater is aglow with warmth. There's a candle, burning brightly on the table, near the lamp. The Christmas tree sparkles and adds a luminous quality to the room as it reflects off bits of glass and pictures.
A festival of light is happening in the living room.
Not a harsh light that blinds. A gentle, illuminating light that brings peace and restfulness to us.

Christmas is a celebration of Light that came to us in the form of Jesus. A Light that brings us peace and illuminates our lives and paths.

John 8:12
Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Shades

Just a little piece of the sunset I witnessed yesterday as I flew home from Atlanta. We crossed the river and it was so gorgeous.



How marvelous are your works, Oh God!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Psalm 91

A friend sent this Psalm to me yesterday to read, and it really settled into my heart. I thought I would share it here.

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Everlasting

A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame

My heart and my soul, I give You control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise, become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame

My heart, my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out, O my soul cries out

My Soul cries out to You
My Soul cries out to You
to You, to You

My heart, my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out, O my soul cries out

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out, O my soul cries out
From the inside out, O my soul cries out
From the inside out, O my soul cries out

Curves



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Flying

In the middle of November, my sister and I flew to St. Louis to attend a conference for those who are discerning whether their calling includes ordination within the United Methodist Church. It was an excellent conference, and came at a time when I was particularly struggling and wrestling with what my calling might be. That mysterious thing that nags and whispers and for which you have to find answers.
I've since been mulling over things that were said, or thoughts that came to me there.
But one of the highlights of the trip for me was the flying.

I love to fly.
I like takeoff, when the wheels are keeping me to earth and then suddenly, there's the lift and the earth falls away beneath me and I rise and rise and rise.
I like ascending. I like to look around me and watch the clouds. Flat on the bottom, puffy on top, with sun glittering and making it all seem like a marshmallow ocean.
I like everything suddenly coming into perspective, the little houses and neighborhoods suddenly making sense, and the roads and towns all become a real map spread below. No names or lines to distinguish things, just the big picture beneath me.
All the things that are usually big, suddenly made small, because I can see everything.

I like that. Big things made small because I can see everything.

One day, I will see everything that happens in the aventura de la vida and all the big things will be small. One day, things will make sense. I will be flying.

For now, I am still on the ground, wheels turning, keeping me here. But there is that hope that one day, one day I will see it all beneath me. And clouds, spread out around me like a marshmallow ocean, the Son glittering over it all.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Enveloped In Mystery




This photo was taken yesterday morning. There was such a thick fog, but the sun was glimmering through. It enveloped everything with a golden light that shone through the shroud of mystery and quiet of the fog.
I can't help but think of my life and how often my pathway seems to be shrouded and enveloped with fog. But the sun glimmers through, bringing rays of light and soon warms things up until it's all crystal clear.
A hope to remember and watch for.

I am grateful for the sun that cuts through the fog.
I am grateful for the beauty of the hope that shines, magnified through the mystery.
I am grateful for a lens that catches the hope and makes it tangible.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Loveliness


Today was a lovely day.


This morning started off gray and rainy. I left for work and it was cold. Once I arrived at work I was busy and didn't even glance out the window until someone asked me if I'd seen the beautiful picture. I looked at her blankly and she pointed outdoors where I saw white snow flakes drifting down softly, making the world appear clean and soft as cotton. It started to fall with big thick flakes and then it came faster and suddenly the ground was covered. I enjoyed keeping on eye on the beautiful picture from my desk.
At the same time I was smelling a wonderful scent of cinnamon. The kids in the preschool upstairs were making cinnamon ornaments and they were baking them in the kitchen across the hall. Smelled absolutely wonderful.
There's a sweet little girl who comes to visit me at least a couple times a week. I keep a candy dish mostly just for her...and today I had little candy canes. The peppermint flavor tickling my tongue reminded me of freshness. And her excitement made it even more fun. :)
Every now and then the teachers upstairs cook things. Today they made chili and invited me to have some for lunch, too.
I was feeling so Christmassy, what with the cinnamon, the snow, the peppermint that I turned on a classical Christmas Pandora station. So lovely.
I came home and found a missing box of ornaments and helped Mom add them to the tree. We drank tea and ornamented. Then we watched a movie while I worked on several projects. It was nice to accomplish some things and finally cross them off the list.


So here's a list (I do love lists!) of things that made me happy and smiling.

Snow, softly falling outside, making the world white.
Peppermint, tickling my tongue.
Cinnamon filling my office with a wonderful scent.
Warm chili, at just the right moment.
A little girl eating candy canes.
Classical Christmas music.
Hanging ornaments and drinking tea with my mother.
Sudden laughter.
Satisfaction from accomplishing important tasks.

Thank You

  1. Thank you God for encouraging words.
  2. Thank you God for assurances that I am valued.
  3. Thank you God for prayers on the phone with friends.
  4. Thank you God for a positive and hopeful future.
  5. Thank you God that I am halfway through school! 
  6. Thank you God for family that hugs me.
  7. Thank you God for peppermint whoopie pies.
  8. Thank you God for being there, always.
  9. Thank you God for beautiful pictures glimpsed through the day.
  10. Thank you God for strength and grace.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Focus On The Goal

Focus on the goal. Straight ahead, there is the goal. Focus on it.
Focus on the goal. Even when the way ahead is blindingly hard, focus. Think above the pain of the going, think above the here and now. Focus on the goal.
Focus on the goal. Do not lose sight in the way when other things come into view. Think of where you are going and do not let it out of your mind. Focus.
Focus on the goal. The goal was predetermined. The goal is the higher good. Do not faint when it is hard to reach.
Focus on the goal. Focus on the strength and the endurance to make it to the goal. The strength and endurance is inside. Focus.
Focus on the goal. Work toward the goal. Race toward the goal. Make it to the goal. Focus on the goal.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Magnificat

And Mary said,
My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior,
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever.

My soul doth magnify the Lord.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Windows To The Soul


I love this picture of the windows. This was taken in Israel, at the Church of Loaves and Fishes by the Sea of Galilee.

It just looks so serene, the light coming through the window.
It's dark inside, but the windows let the light and peace in.
Like our hearts which are full of darkness and sin until we let the Light of Christ in. Then it's flooded with light and peace.
Windows to the soul.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Eucharist

Eucharist

Communion. The Great Thanksgiving.
For what?

Crusty brown bread. Sweet, fermented wine.
Celebrating a death and a resurrected life. Celebrating a death with a death, like this:
Bread, the body of Christ. Broken for me, for you.
Bread, yeasty and tasting of wheat.
Wheat which was ground up. Sifted.
Wheat from a berry thrown on hard, cold ground and left to die. Wheat lying silent and alone. Seeds die in order to live.
Wheat in us that brings life and wholeness and nourishment to our bodies and lives.
Christ in us. The bread represents Christ. It somehow becomes Christ in us. The bread of life. Life to body and soul.
Wine, the blood of Christ. Spilled, crushed, for me, for you.
Grapes. Ripe and purple and juicy.
Crushed. Crushed by the weight of a thousand pounds of stone, crushing out the life.
A thousand sins crushing out the life. Left to ferment in the dark. And why?
And every time we eat bread, and drink wine we remember.
Bread, an everyday necessity.
Wine, the most common drink of all.
Remember. Remember every day. Remember when you taste it. Remember when you eat.
Remember and give thanks.

Eucharist. Thanksgiving.
The Great Thanksgiving.

Give thanks for death? Give thanks for pain? Give thanks for these things? Pain that leads to a gain that is greater. Death for something that is more powerful.
Give thanks for...dying, every day?
We participate in His death by our own daily dying.


Monday, November 28, 2011

It's A Beautiful World


It's a wonderful life.
The aventura de la vida moves.
It swirls, it races, it dances, it sings. It's a shower of raindrops sparkling in sudden sunshine. It's a red leaf dropping to the ground. It's a flurry of white snow flakes. Always moving, always fresh, always active!
I love it.

Life is breathing and pulsing. Life is worth celebrating. Life is so much joy. It bubbles up from the deeps of my heart. And makes me want to smile!

Life is God.

And God is so good!
I will sing praise to the God most high. I will raise my hands to the heavens to acknowledge the power greater than I. I will use my tongue to bring praise to His name.
His ways are so much better than mine.
His blessings overflow.
His strength brings grace to my life.
His love is overpowering.

I wish I could find the words to express how I feel about how good God is. I wish I could reveal it all, I wish I could share the extent. I am continually amazed. Continually humbled. Continually glad to see the movement of God in my life.
But you will have to just experience it for yourself. Look for God in your life. Find the ways He moves and how He reveals Himself to you.

Sing praise!


Friday, November 25, 2011

Bits of Beauty


During a very hard time, it is nice to have a bit of beauty.
These were cast off roses from a wedding. I saved them and brought them home to enjoy.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Broken

Brokenness

beautiful
jars of clay
crash
against the pavement
pieces lie
dry dust
useless

broken
beyond repair

broken
pieces
scattered
shards


broken
again


repaired?
Only through pain and suffering

repaired?
Only through endless time

repaired?
Only through
Christ

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Still Believe

Scattered words and empty thoughts
seem to pour from my heart
I've never felt so torn before
seems I don't know where to start
but it's now that I feel Your grace falls like rain
from every fingertip, washing away my pain

I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your holy word
even when I don't see, I still believe

Though the questions still fog up my mind
with promises I still seem to bear
even when answers slowly unwind
it's my heart I see You prepare
but it's now that I feel Your grace fall like rain
from every fingertip, washing away my pain


I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your holy word
even when I don't see, I still believe


The only place I can go is into Your arms
where I throw to you my feeble prayers
in brokenness I can see that this was your will for me
Help me to know You are near


I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your holy word
even when I don't see, I still believe

I Still Believe. Jeremy Camp.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Heartbroken

From the journal...


Heartbroken because my face is turned away.
Avoiding his eyes, walking a pathway
the opposite direction.

Heartbroken because my voice is quiet.
Silence filling the riot
of emotions.

Heartbroken because I do not believe
and there is nothing to relieve
the hurt.

If I feel this heartbroken over relationships and friendships that have seemingly gone astray, then how must my Lord feel when I forsake Him? When I forget Him, or fail to think of His part in my life?
How forsaken and hurt must He feel when I look for my fulfillment in other ways, with other things, idols that take up the room in my heart that should be His?
If I feel heartbroken over wrongs and hurts that really amount to nothing at all, how much more must He feel when I fail Him and hurt Him by hurting others?
If I feel heartbroken because I feel so much goodwill for someone who will not return it, how much more must He feel when He's the one that made me, and He's looking for my recognition and returning love?
If I feel heartbroken with disappointment because someone else fails me, how much more must He feel when I disappoint Him?

Heartbroken?
How much more so is my Lord.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Deep Within

Late have I loved you,
O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!
You were within me, but I was outside and it was there that I searched for you.
In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all.
You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.
You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you.
I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more.
You touched me, and I burned for your peace.
-St. Augustine

~

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.

-A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Trumpet Blast, The Call

The trumpet blast echoes through the valleys, across the fields. The leaves of the trees tremble at the notes, and the birds hush to hear it's voice.
It's a call to attention, a call to action.
The trumpet blast is a call to join the fight for the Kingdom.

Everyone has a calling from God to fulfill. Everyone has a job to do. Everyone should be responding to the call.
I've been struggling and wrestling this summer and especially the last few days and weeks with what my calling is. I've been exploring different options, searching my soul for answers and leading, and working toward a peaceful understanding of what pathway I'm to take, what action is mine to execute. I want to get it right. I know I'm called to something, and I know I have a mission to accomplish. I want to run the race and at the finish line look back and know I've done what God has asked me to do.
I don't want Him to ask someone else to do my job because I am shirking it.
The call is something deep within, something that He has created me to do, equipped me to do. Something that He can use to lead others to Him, something that will bring edification to myself and others.
The call cannot be denied. It is there, waiting, nudging, tugging. Ever present, it is like the echoes of the trumpet that rings in my heart and mind.
I cannot rest until the call is answered.

The call will bring fulfillment and peace. In responding to the call, I can know that I am an integral part of this universe, a piece to the puzzle, an armed warrior that helps to win the battle.

All I have to do is answer the call. All I have to do is obey the sound of the trumpet.

I still don't have the answers I would like to have. I still don't know exactly what I'm doing. But I know that in this journey of life, through the valleys and across fields God leads. Perhaps I will never gain a clear assurance of exactly what I am to do. But He will guide me, if only through a circuitous route. I have to wrestle with the call and do my best to answer.

The trumpet's notes ring out, calling to action all those who pause to listen and acknowledge it.
The trumpet's notes ring out, and I, must listen.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

¿Qué?

Today I was thinking about how I like to worship in different languages.
I was remembering how last year I worshiped using the same song in 3 different languages in 3 different countries.

And then I thought about all the different languages and ways that God speaks to us and hears us.

It's kind of mind blowing, really.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Not Perfect

Today the subject of perfection came up.
And I was reminded that God does not need perfection from us in order to use us. He doesn't even need perfection to accept us.
The beauty of it is, God takes us where we are, and uses us despite the imperfections.
He even can use our imperfections to bring more glory that we would imagine when facing our brokenness.
A truth that is a mystery and a comfort and a beautiful thing.


I can never be perfect.
I can never attain perfection.
I can only strive for it and remind myself of God's acceptance that I am exactly the person He can use this moment.

Thanks be to God.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What Faith Can Do

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it's more than you can take
But you're stronger, stronger than you know
Don't you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I've seen dreams that move mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do

It doesn't matter what you've heard
Impossible is not a word
It's just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody's scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It'll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do

Overcome the odds
You don't have a chance
(That's what faith can do)
When the world says you can't
It'll tell you that you can!

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I've seen miracles just happen
Silent pryaers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do
That's what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise

Kutless



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Looking At The Map


The adventure of life. Ever moving, ever changing the journey is continuing, and I'm still looking at the map.
The terrain of life changes so quickly. First it's smooth, then bumpy. Occasionally a hill or a mountain to climb. Sometimes a storm to trudge through, sometimes a cool breeze that makes the journey pleasant.
I was thinking today about the journey of life. And that map. I've got to figure out how to read this map, and it'd be helpful to know how to use the compass.

I was anticipating a decision I would make today. While small, it will impact the next 2-3 years and perhaps longer. I wasn't terribly nervous about this decision, but it was beginning to make me a little anxious. And then I got up to it, and it was easy.
The swells got smaller and were easy to climb.
Is that how life is?
Is it that you anticipate having to decide and anticipate trying to look for the correct path to take, when really it happens naturally? And the answer is before us?

I believe that God speaks to us, and helps us to know which choice to choose. I believe that God can take our choices and use them for the best. I believe that God allows us to choose the path.
So why do I stress over it? Especially since I know God is with me, and I know I hear His voice. If I just slow down and stop worrying, it usually all works out with little trouble.
It really does.

I'm looking at the map of this journey I'm taking. I'm checking for road signs to follow. I want to get to the goal, I want to reach the end of the journey and I want to have taken the roads and paths that were those God would be most pleased with.

I feel I'm at a crossroads of sorts. The road stretches in a few different directions I could take.
And I am willing to go down each of them, if that be where the map would point.

I'm looking at the map.
And I'm listening to where the directions say to go.

Here I am Lord,
send me.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Small Delight


A quick view through my lens.

Don't the colors just grab you? The last couple of weeks over and over again I've delighted in color. On sunny days, the bright blue autumn sky against the yellows and reds. I notice it every day and it fills me with gladness. On rainy days, it saturates the colors and makes them stand out against the drabness of the day. And those beautiful colors bring the sunshine that the sky is lacking.

God colored my world so beautifully. I think the older I get, the more I notice and enjoy it. It's a small thing, but I'm glad that I can see these colors and appreciate them.

Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord or fully declare his praise? -Psalm 106:1-2

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Heart's Cry

I've been thinking about breath prayers all week long.
A breath prayer is a short phrase your heart can pray with each breath. Something easy, like this:
"Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy." or "Christ, I give myself completely to you." or any short phrase that is easy to remember and can quickly bring help. Here are a few more I use sometimes:

"Thank you, Jesus."
"Christ, hear my cry."
"Jesus I am yours."

Breath prayers are good to try to use, especially if it's a particularly stressful day or situation. I write them down and put them where my eye will fall on it and remind me to pray them. Then throughout the day, with each breath I am in a praying mode.
Pray without ceasing, the Bible says. I would love to get into the habit of prayer being the first thing to which I turn. I want my heart to be speaking with God before I do anything. I want my heart to be constantly listening for His voice.
Sometimes breath prayers help me in all the loud noisiness of life to remain focused on who is really important. And in moments of trouble or fear, they bring me back to the reality of a bigger force, a higher calling, a larger picture.

"Lord, hear my prayer."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Birthday Wish



Happy Birthday Daddy. I love you!
I wonder where I'd be if you didn't lovingly guide me and teach me.
I wonder where I'd be if you didn't show me what a Dad is like.
I wonder where I'd be if you didn't demonstrate character.
I wonder where I'd be if you didn't love my Mama.
I wonder where I'd be if you didn't love me no matter what.

Thank you Dad, for all you've done for me.
Know it?
TB

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

:Bounce Bounce:

Today has been a beautiful day. A few happy thoughts:

The colors of fall foliage. I think we're hitting a peak this week. I've enjoyed all the colors: purple, red, orange, yellow, and all sorts of shades in between with some green thrown in for contrast. My camera has been silent, but maybe tomorrow I can go on a hunt from some fall photographs.  Ever notice how beautiful colors are? Not just this time of year, but all the time? I always notice different shades and color combinations. This afternoon it has misted a bit and brought out all the colors even more richly. It's a beautiful, gorgeous world God is coloring for us. The artist in me loves it.

Flowers on my desk. More beautiful colors (red and yellow mums!). I love having flowers on my desk. I often pause to appreciate them.

A new Pandora radio station. I enjoy music going quietly through the day. Since I'm generally pretty alone, it helps to have some going. I have a new station that I'm enjoying. Claude Debussy may or may not be involved. And then I switched to salsa for a while. Complete with commercials in Spanish! :)

Pink grapefruit juice. Oh how I love grapefruit. Not quite the time of year...but a glass of goodness will tide me over. And it's pink! Who could resist!

Psalm 107:1-7. I typed it out for the bulletin today. It spoke to my heart and helped me realize how great God is.

Leftover pizza. Yummyness.

Purple scarves. I've got an extra long one on today and someone told me there was more scarf than girl. Made me laugh.

I'm thinking about not just blogging my happies, but journaling them everyday, too. Today I kept a list going whenever I noticed something. It was a good way to focus on things I am enjoying. God gives many gifts. I just have to notice them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An Aha! Moment

During devotional time this morning two brain cells collided and thought occurred. Nearly killed me. ha!

I was thinking about loving God. And then I was thinking about Deuteronomy 6:5.
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength."
And then I figured it out! Using my strength for God is loving God. Using my strength to work, to live, to do things for people, being strong and using my energy well is loving God.

I decided to look at the words in my key word study Bible.
Love denotes a strong emotional attachment for and a desire to posses or be in the presence of the object of love.
Heart means the most interior. The most deepest, hidden place.
Soul means our human spirit. What makes us human. Our personality and spirit.
Might means vehemently, diligently, especially.


A strong emotional attachment. That makes me think of how it feels to be in love and want to be with that person all the time. And if you're not with them, you're thinking about them. We should feel this way about God.
And we should love God with the deepest and most interior part of us. We should love God with our whole selves. Our personalities and spirits should be an example of loving God.
We should love God vehemently and especially diligently.

Just thought I'd share a bit of what I was thinking about this morning. I like it when these aha! moments happen and it all clicks into place. :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happies

Happies

Caramel Macchiato. I recently discovered this drink thanks to a friend...mmm. Yup. I like em. :)
Sunshine! (Makes me happy!)
A blue sweater that is just too cute.
Caramel Corn (I'm detecting a trend toward caramel. Maybe.)
Time with my best friend- my beautiful Mother.
Finding forgotten cash in an odd place. Always a plus.
Hugs from a 12 year old brother.
Red leaves.
Some photo editing = satisfying creativity.
Giving a fun surprise.

Just a few of today's little happinesses.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On The Topic of Babies

*Warning. This blogpost is not for the faint of heart.

Today I held a baby. And it was bliss.
It's been so long since I've had the chance.

Usually it's all I can do when I see a baby to keep from touching or asking to hold it. A mother doesn't usually like a stranger to take over her baby so I try to bear that in mind. When I see a baby, my fingers just itch to hold it and kiss it.

Today there was a funeral at the church I work for. A mother with a 4 month old baby needed someone to keep an eye on him and I jumped at the chance. I think I scared her. But she left her baby with me while she went to the service.

Such cute fat cheeks.
Such sweet fat hands.
Such tiny fingernails.
And then he smiled at me.
I think I fell in love with the little mister.

I dream of the day it's my baby I'm holding. I want many babies. And many toddlers. And many children. And many pre-teens. And many teenagers. And many adult children. And many many grandkids. All in good time, eh?

It just breaks my heart to think of the babies that were killed by people who have no concept of the precious life they hold in their hands. Babies not allowed to live. Babies aborted. Babies abandoned. If anything makes me mad or makes me upset or makes me hurt, it's the idea of not allowing that life to live.

Perhaps that is one reason why I simply can't bear the thought of doing anything that would cause my baby to die or fail to thrive in the womb. This is one of the few issues that I feel very passionate about.

There are a lot of strange looks and reactions when people learn my stance on this issue.
They wonder how anyone can afford a lot of children.
They wonder how anyone can do that to their body.
They wonder how anyone can live with all the responsibility of many children.
They wonder how anyone can want to give up the freedom of being alone.

I wonder how anyone can be so selfish. Lets kill the baby so we can _____ (fill in the blank).
I wonder how anyone can say to God, "I know better than You! I know how many children I can handle, how many I can provide for, how many I can bear!"
I wonder how anyone can take the responsibility of deciding which child lives and which one dies.
I wonder how anyone can say no.
I wonder if I would be haunted by the little faces I would never see. The little voices that would never speak.
I wonder what would happen if Mom and Dad decided that I was too much.

Hard thoughts for people, I know. But thoughts that I cannot ignore.

There are lots of issues to consider besides how I will look after having many children. Lots to consider besides whether I can afford a baby, a house, two cars, the latest technology and the coolest clothes, and the trappings that go along with popular culture.
Lots of issues besides whether I will get the "me" time so many consider necessary.

I held a baby today. And it reminded me again of my dreams, and of my passion.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Open Wide The Door


Opening one's heart to what God wants can be such a hard thing to do.
It's scary to let go of the known and venture into the great unknown.
Who knows what might happen?

But then I consider that God is the one who made me. I think He can handle my future.

I often think I have the best idea of what that future should look like. And on top of that, I think it should be happening now, not later. So I keep a firm grasp on the door of my heart and what I have in mind and what I want and nothing will make me change my mind.
Until God whispers in my ear. I hear Him saying "trust me!" and a finger loosens its hold on the door of my heart.

I want something more than anything else on earth. I want it so much that I think about it all the time. The thought is there when I go to sleep, and when I wake. During the day it pops up continually.  That something is the desire to follow Jesus and His plan. Oh I want it so much! I want to make Him pleased that I am walking His path on this journey of life. But my troublesome wishes sometimes cloud the thought, drowning out the whispers.
Sometimes I just want to shout, saying, "Jesus! Take me!" and run as fast as I can toward what He wants.

But the door of my heart is stuck, sometimes. Locked for fear of hurt or disappointment, afraid of what might be beyond. And why? God has only proven Himself to be good, kind, and faithful. Not asking too much or more than I can do.

The door has to be flung open, welcoming God in.

Oh God, open the doors of my heart. Unlock the fears and help me to give my heart into Your hands. Take me and my life and use it as You wish. Show me Your path and let me walk in Your ways. Through Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A psalm of David

 Psalm 20
May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.
May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
Now this I know:
The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of hte Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
Lord, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!


My God helps me just as the Psalmist writes.
This is my ebenezer, my stone of strength. Here I raise it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Present


Just got back from a church conference that I attend every year. It's huge. This year there were 13,000 in attendance.
It's always awesome. So many people, great bands (think Steve Fee, Hillsong, etc) and wonderful speakers. This year Mark Driscoll, Priscilla Shirer, Andy Stanley, Dave Ramsey and Francis Chan were a few of the main speakers. Then there's all kinds of random weird off the wall stuff they throw in just for fun.

Top take-away memory: 6:30am, and I'm on the top of the ferris wheel, looking out at busy big-city traffic and listening to a live jazz band. They're giving out free coffee and the fun is just beginning.

The theme this year was "Be Present" and it kind of underlined what I've been mulling over all year. That there's so much distraction and so much going on, and so many people busy escaping reality that they miss what is going on right in front of them, and they miss what is happening at the moment. So I'm sitting there, listening to message after message about being present, and thinking about the next tweet to sum it all up. Talk about ironic.

Being present means living the life that is happening now. Not wishing for the next thing, or trying to run ahead of the season you're in. Being present is noticing the leaves changing, or taking time to listen to the person speaking to you.
Being present means not being fearful, but saying yes to the adventure of life that is happening.
Being present means taking today and making something of it. Taking today and reaching out to others. Taking today and storing up eternal riches.

It's kind of another reminder to be contented and happy where I am at the moment and let God work here and now in me and through me. It's so easy for me to want to quickly finish this up and go on to the next thing. The next thing always looks more fun, more exciting, more fulfilling.
But it's now that matters.
I may never make it to the next thing.

More on being present coming in the next days and weeks.
I don't want my life to pass by without me.

I want to live, really live. I want to see and experience everything that is going on. I want to stop to smell that flower, or admire that view. I want to feel each footstep on the pathway, to enjoy the journey, not just rush to the destination. A life full of vibrancy and dancing and laughing.
A life of following Jesus and letting Him reach out through my hands to touch the people around me.

Don't forget, Katie. Don't forget to live. Don't forget to breathe. Don't forget to be present.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Hands of God

Today I was thinking about the hands of God.

I was thinking about a person reaching out to God. Maybe standing on a hill, arms outstretched.
And I was thinking of God's hands, reaching out to the person.

And then I started looking at His hands.

They're big enough to hold the world. These hands hold the world and everything in it. The seas, the moon, the mountains, the animals. The galaxy.  And who knows what might lie beyond. And it all fits in the palm of His big hands.

His hands are gentle enough to form a baby. Tiny fingers and toes. The little heart. So small, so delicate. Carefully touching, carefully forming. Gentle, tender.

God's hands are strong. They cover us, protect us. They fight the enemy and do no allow him to win. Muscular and flexible. They define the word strength. They are mighty.

They're able to withstand nails being hammered through. God's hands are the picture of Love.

God's hands heal. The brokenness and pain that is in our lives and hearts, His hands touch and make whole and well again.

Reaching out to God, you are always assured of God reaching back to you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happies

Today's Happies were:
The feeling of energy and contentment I get from being with people. And I was with a lot of people this weekend!
Warm pasta with butter and parsley
A pumpkin spice candle from Daddy for my office
A hug from my Mama
Cool water
A brisk walk
Cotton fields up close and personal with Carrie (photos coming)
Jewish fiddle music
A quick falafel
A talk with a good friend
One of these: :D

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

Life is hard.
Complaining is easy.

But there are many things for which to be thankful. Instead of spending time thinking about what I am anxious about, I thought it was high time I posted some happies.

Maybe not a thousand of them today, but I'm going to start a list and see where it takes me.

Things to be Happy About
Lists-I love them so much
Little Girls with sea shells and salt water taffy
A friend who prays
Sunshine after several rainy days
A working lawnmower
Cherry Limeades at happy hour
Rosemary scent on my hands
Purple shoes
Hot dogs on sale- just time for a bonfire tomorrow!
Blackberry Cobbler scented candle that made me hungry all day
Cotton blooming in fields
Goldenrod shining in the sun
A little love note in my notebook from a sister
Leftover Cajun sweet potatoes for supper
The perfect song on the radio
A stranger's kindness
A bit of beauty tucked away in my heart

Quite a list when I get going! :)
More coming soon to a blog near you!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Call

A calling. An almost ambiguous term to describe the indescribable urge placed in our hearts to accomplish a certain task or lifework. It's a tug that is more than just a tug. It's an inescapable compelling command that we must acknowledge or live a miserable existence.

A calling. A calling that is from God, whispering in our hearts, and sometimes shouted from the rooftops for our ears alone. Even though (as with everything from God) you have a choice, you can't get away from it. When you wake up, it's there. When you go about your everyday business, it peeps at you from behind the ordinariness. When you go to sleep, it's in your dreams. It's the click that makes everything fall into place and makes you the most satisfied and fulfilled as a person.

It's in your heart. It's waiting for discovery. God is speaking to you about what He has created you to do, about why you're here on this planet and all you have to do is look for it and act on it. God's call is not something to be ignored. It is not something to be dabbled in to trifled with. It is a force that must be reckoned with and He is gently asking you, irrisistably drawing you toward the potential He has placed in you.

How will you respond to this call? How will you act toward it? Will you surrender your ideas and feelings, or will you stubbornly continue on your own miniscule way?

The call is different for each person. Each one has something as unique as they are to accomplish and work toward. Each one is equally important.

The call is like the trumpet blast of the bugler, ordering a charge! in the heat of battle. It's a call to action, a call to faith, a call to moving forward. The kingdom of God is not static. It is constantly moving. It is a violent assault which requires work and alertness to win.

The trumpet has sounded. The charge has been ordered. And you must respond to the call. You must act on what is required. You must help win the kingdom.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hat Day

Today feels like a hat day.
Not that my hair is misbehaving, but it's a really cute hat, and with some cooler temperatures, it just feels like a good day to make a fashion statement.

I've got a cup of coffee in one hand, my school books nearby, and I'm settling down to a day of writing. But before I start on the scholastics, I wanted to do a bit of blogging.

I'm feeling high as a kite and happy as a lark today. Fall is coming! I detest cold and being cold, but I love the fall colors and smells. Apple pie in the oven, the smell of fallen leaves, candles burning. My fingers are itching to get the camera out to document some of these beauties.

Today Mom and I are going to pull out our fall decorations and cozy up the house. If it doesn't happen soon it won't happen at all, and fall decorating is our favorite time of year. We like things like

apples
candles
fall foliage
little pumpkins
dried okra

Things that make the house smell good, and feel cozy and warm.
And I like old quilts and antique rolling pins, and iron skillets.

Which reminds me: ya'll should check out this blog:  Sugarpie Farmhouse. I love her decorating each season.

I like to say that Mom can make a home out of a cardboard box. She does it each time we move (which is frequently). And she taught me how to make a house (even an ugly one) into a home. Mom and I like to decorate seasonally, changing things out and moving things around to keep it interesting. And I like it that Mom doesn't use the bland decorator objects found in your local decor aisle. We use things that mean something to us. Family heirlooms, bits and pieces from places we've been, or things that we love. It makes our lives beautiful.

Making our home beautiful makes our hearts happy.

Thanks Mom.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Simple Things

As you can see, I was thinking today about the joys of receiving messages. Emails, text messages, but best of all, letters. In real envelopes. With real stamps. Anyone remember those?

It's fun to know that someone is thinking about you enough to stop and send a message.

One of the simple pleasures of life that I enjoy.

Texts

The screen is dark. A touch of the button, and it dimly shines, and then to the great joy of the beholder:
"1 New Message"
bouncing up and down, waiting to be discovered.
The heart races. The mind gasps with delight. A message!
Perhaps the vibration continues and then, two, three, four new messages! All waiting, all expectation.
Quick! Unlock the screen and discover what is being said! Quick! Mash the button and the contents glow, bringing delight to the beholder, disclosing friendship, love, and a sense of pleasure.
Just a phrase. A mini communication that tantalizes and taunts and tempts us to reply.
A confidential note to bring a splash of sunshine.
All behind the bouncing promise,
"1 New Message"

Inbox (1)

Inbox (1). Just glimpsed on the tab of the browser window. 
A glimpse of hope, a glimpse of promise, a glimpse of friendship. 
Who knows what Inbox (1) means...who knows to what it might lead.
Inbox (1) what kind of promise is hidden there, waiting for the click to bring the mystery to light? 

What kind of secret do you hide, what kind of insight, what kind of procrastination will you provide? 
A click will bring it all forth, all to the eye. 
A click will bring understanding, will show it all. 
A click will reveal, a click will proclaim. 
A click will leave nothing else to remain. 
Inbox (1) will no longer be the same.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Beauty of Pain

Pain, deep and abiding. It feels ugly, because it is not pleasant. It cuts deeply, it is ever present. And yet there is beauty in pain.
Pain, the dull ache of reality that will not fade. It numbs and blurs, like a thick fog.
Pain, changing and teaching. We change because of fear of it, because of experience that is taught by it.

The beauty of pain is that it changes us. The deepest pain in my life journey has taught me the most lasting lessons. Lessons I can never forget. Even today, it shapes and colors who I am and how I think and how I react.

The beauty of pain is that it instructs us. When hurting most, it's a constant reminder of the lesson to be learned. It sears it into our minds and hearts in ways that nothing else can.

Who can describe pain? There are so many ways to feel it. Sharp stabbing pain. Dull ache, deep and strong. Throbbing pain. Gut wrenching pain. Blinding pain.

Ah yes, there is beauty in pain but you must look for it. There is beauty in pain but you must appreciate it. There is beauty in pain but you must find it.

There is a small child who feels pain from discipline it needs to learn to obey. The pain changes the child.
After touching something hot, one learns to be wary. The pain changes us.
One who knows the feeling of pain learns to touch gently those who are hurting. The pain changes us.

The pain has already changed me. And will continue to do so until it is healed. Even then, the change will be there, a constant reminder of the pain even after it has faded.

Only I can control how it changes me.

I could become fearful and avoid anything similar to the cause of the pain.
I could become bitter and resent anything similar to the cause of the pain.
I could become hard and unforgiving of anything similar to the cause of the pain.

Or I can let the pain cleanse, and teach and instruct toward higher and better things. I can learn lessons, and change to accommodate what I am learning. I can become softer and kinder because I know how it feels to hurt. I can become thoughtful and wiser because I know what causes the hurt.

The beauty of pain deep within.

Somehow, when the pain hurts the most and when I'm crying out for mercy, the voice of Christ reminds me of His pain. When the pain is overwhelming, somehow I am reminded of His love. Its tempting to think that no one else has experienced the pain, but then the image of Christ and His suffering is flashed across my mind. Christ, the one who came to heal pain. Christ, the one who touches our lives and makes it whole. My pain is pitifully small in comparison. My pain is nothing.

O merciful Father, who hast taught us in thy holy Word that thou dost not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men: Look with pity upon the sorrows of thy servant from whom our prayers are offered. Remember him, O Lord, in mercy, nourish his soul with patience, comfort him with a sense of thy goodness, lift up thy countenance upon him, and give him peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Here I Am, Lord




I the Lord of sea and sky
I have heard my people cry
All who dwell in dark and sin
My hand will save.

I who made the stars and night
I will make the darkness bright
Who will bear my light to them
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord
If you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart.

I the Lord of snow and rain
I have borne my people's pain
I have wept for love of them
They turn away.

I will break their hearts of stone
Fill their hearts with love alone
I will speak my word to them
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord
If you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart.
I will hold your people in my heart.


Such a beautiful hymn. And my prayer for today.
Here I am. Is it I? Send me.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fresh Month

A new month. A blank slate, with all the writing from the past wiped clean, ready to begin again. A tomorrow with no mistakes. A chance to start over, begin again, and do better.

Our church usually has communion on the first Sunday of the month. I missed church today, but it strikes me as a very fitting thing to begin the month with communion. Or the week with communion.
A symbol of Jesus entering us. A symbol of Jesus' sacrifice for us. A symbol of being new, clean, forgiven. A symbol of a new start.

The adventure of life moves on. The journey continues every day. Every day I look and listen for what I should be doing to follow Jesus. There is a call echoing in my heart, and every day is a fresh chance to listen to the call and find how to fulfill it.

I'm glad for fresh starts.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Psalm 139

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down.;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in - behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is to wonderful for me, to lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I priase you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord,
and abohor those who rise up against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts,
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139

Monday, August 29, 2011

Win!

I'm sitting here shaking from a latte caffeine and also because I'm happy that I succeeded in passing another test.

It feels so good to win! To succeed! To prove that I can do it!

I used to be passionately against testing. I hated it. Hated it. Hated it. I greatly disliked it. And I thought that I couldn't do it.

But through a series of events, it has come about that I am getting a college degree through testing. And it's easy! I can't get over how easy it is. And this is college???
(Of course, I haven't attempted math yet. We'll see how I feel then about it being easy.)

I was thinking about this the other day. I was remembering how dumb I was when I graduated from high school eons ago, and how I was determined that I couldn't succeed with college so I wasn't even going to try. I was afraid to try.
But once I stepped out and faced my fear, it dissolved. And now I'm zooming through, and feeling confident.
There's just something about facing fears.

One of my greatest fears (in addition to testing) was the fear of communicating with people when there is a language barrier of some kind.
To face that fear, I visited and worked in a Spanish speaking country. I did not speak or understand Spanish. But while there I discovered that it is possible and even fun to communicate despite language barriers. Once again proving that fear should have no place in determining what I do or don't do.

Anyway, I was excited about passing another test and thought I'd share the joy. And the latte buzz.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Prayer

Deeply searching.
Constantly questioning.
Navigating silence.
That really isn't silence.
Answers come if you listen.
Ear trained to hear.
Heart trained to obey.
Quietly waiting.
Prayer.




When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them;
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
I will put in the wilderness of cedar,
the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive.
I will set in the desert the cypress,
the plane and the pine together,
that they may see and know,
may consider and understand together,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Isaiah 43


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Inner Drive

I wish I could accurately describe the inner drive that keeps me going. The inner drive that propels me forward. The inner drive that won't let me back down, or turn from things that scare me. The inner drive that makes the impossible possible.
The name of the inner drive is
Jesus Christ.

Because I know Jesus Christ, and because I have allowed Him to live in my heart and soul, I have the desire to change and grow and become more like Christ every day. Once I accepted Him, I couldn't deny Him. Once I accepted Him, I couldn't not listen. I couldn't say no to what He was asking me to do.

Christ is in my heart and soul and He has to shine out. He has to use me to shine out. And I must let him. It's a glorious, sparkling, amazing mystery.

The Christ in me is the inner drive that keeps me going.
To do everything.

Like face my greatest fear. Last year I faced my greatest fear and it ended up changing my life. Forever!


Like give up my greatest dream. The Lord speaks, and I follow. I can give up my dreams because His are better.

Like keep on with steel determination in impossible situations. Christ drives me to keep going, to not give up, to keep loving the impossible people.


Like accept changes as they come. Change is so difficult to welcome. But Christ is ever present and unchanging.


Like travel to unknown places. Physically, and spiritually.


Like work with excellence on the task that is before me today.


I'm still not really satisfied that I've really described the feeling inside me that won't let me go. It doesn't force me to do things, but it asks and I can't deny because I love my Jesus. And I know that feeling is His Voice.










My Blog

Life has been a crazy rush lately.
But in between work and study, trips and appointments, I have had one or two thoughts I wanted to blog to remember later.

And so I shall blog.

But first, another little item on blogging.

I used to spend Sunday afternoons napping and resting in my room, with a big purple notebook handy. It was the day for journaling and thinking about the past week reflecting on life. It was a quiet time with me and my Lord, taking moments to be quiet and listen.

Nowadays, my blog has become that purple notebook of sorts. In the afternoons I like to write and blog. Sometimes it's reflecting the week, sometimes it's just thoughts that I've been mulling over.
But I'm not sure how I feel these days about blogging vs journaling. My journal is paper, with ink and the reality of handwriting. You can feel it, and experience it. There's something to turning the pages and hearing the crinkle.

My blog is like an open book on a screen. It feels private because it's so quiet around here. But all you have is a mouse in your hand as you scroll down the page. A typo is more irritating because it lacks the character of handwriting. And any readers that happen along would never recognize my handwriting.

So I'm mulling over my blog a bit, and whether I like the blogging vs journaling. Maybe I'll go back to my journal. Maybe I'll keep up my blog. Either way, I like having the record of thoughts and feelings hidden and unhidden. I like to go back and read through the last year and think about what has happened in my life.

Either way, I write.

And now on to more blogging.