Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I caught the sky today at a strange window of color. There were dark clouds, and I thought the sun was already at the horizon. But then I saw it peek slightly under the darkness, and start to add color to the sky below. It started me thinking about scriptures of light and darkness and I remembered this one:
You are my Lamp, oh Lord;
the Lord turns my darkness into light.
With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall.
2 Samuel 22:29-30
I had a marvelous day today, so no dark clouds. But I know they will come again. We will have trouble in the world. My Colorado friend reminds me that 'it came to PASS', when the 'it' seems to be overwhelming and not budging. I know that my cries for help sent out from those dark places have been heard by the One in his temple. He is my ever present help in trouble.
Monday, February 21, 2011
I have been trying to get a good picture of these bighorn sheep for years. They hang out around Georgetown and Idaho Springs in Colorado. I scan the cliffs that look over Georgetown as we pass by on I-70. I have seen them there but there is not a place to stop and get a picture. Usually they are very high up on the jagged crevices of the cliffs, and would not show up well even if using a zoom lens.
The last time we travelled to Colorado we took a drive up north of Idaho Springs to check out Winter Park. On the way back we turned the corner to see a woman with a camera looking at something fairly close. I could see the object of her focus: bighorn sheep right next to the road! I could still get a great close up without disturbing her. I not only got one of the desires of my heart, but could hardly have posed them better!
We all have dreams, aspirations, desires of our hearts. God puts that nature in us. But sometimes when we yearn and ask for something and it does not come in our time we assume the answer is "no". Other times we think we did not get the thing or relationship because we were not worthy. We may get a washing of guilt in being told that we did not believe enough. Or, perhaps, there are more things we need to do to be ready to receive that thing. Sometimes our asking becomes demanding, like God is Santa Claus on retainer to make everything we want appear under the tree.
I know that sometimes, in retrospect, I have found myself grateful for NOT getting the thing I so wanted. Other times it was made clear to me that I was not ready for that thing yet, and the answer was, "WAIT!". Many times the answer was, "I have something prepared for you that is much bigger than what you ask."
God DOES answer.
When they call to me, I will answer them.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Eric says, "Peace". He traded the Harley today for a Kawasaki 900. I got a ride and it is much more comfortable.
I think he has finally been swayed by my 'matching' thing. After all, what is a Nebraska boy doing riding a purple motorcycle with a blue jacket on? Has to be red, just sayin'
(c;) <- (smiling Eric with helmet)
Friday, February 18, 2011
I was out this morning getting a very much needed Shiatsu treatment. Just before getting back to my house I noticed some fabulous clouds being shaped by the blowing wind. I parked the car, got my camera, and hoped they would still be there when I got back outside. They seemed to have moved right over my house and were in better position than when I had gone in to get the camera. I took it personally, in a good way.
About ten minutes later I was out the door again to go meet my daughter. Only ten minutes had passed and the clouds were completely gone. I took it as a special gift that I was given the window of opportunity to see these magnificent white brush strokes splashed for an instant above my house.
I believe we are very privileged to be able to have a personal relationship with God. The order of the universe flies in the face of mere chance. God, my heart thrills to understand and see you through the special things you send to me each day.
For what can be known about God is plain... since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.
I spent parts of yesterday helping with the new grandbaby and being able to see my kids and grandkids. It has been a blessing to spend time with them this past week. Lots of food, memories, sharing, and special times have transpired. But a room full of personalities, and emerging patterns of newer human beings mixed up with grown up and older ones can be exhausting!
I think I hit the wall physically and emotionally at about 5:30. I excused myself and headed for home and a hot shower, early to bed. On the way home I realized how tired I was as I watched the sky starting to change. God brought to mind an expression that 'we need to have our head in the clouds and our feet on the ground'. I knew that there were several patches of water that offered a stopping place to get 'grounded'. I could look at the heavenly realms and thank God for all my blessings here on Earth.
By the time I got home I felt physically not well. My feet were cold and my whole body ached. Don't know if it was contaminated food or a bug of some kind, or just exhaustion; but rest was the answer. So, I am 'grounded' for awhile today to take care of myself. Will have my head in the clouds as I cooperate with God in my healing. When the world wearies, I regain my strength to keep moving by leaning on the maker of the clouds and letting his arms lift me up, giving my soul rest.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I have heard the expression that 'God is in the present', meaning right now at this very moment of your day. It seemed as if, last night, we were overcome with love and had to start hugging and kissing each other. My two oldest grandchildren got great joy out of dog piling Gram. The 18 month old was kissing everyone and dancing with delight. It was so good to just be with each other in such a richness of expressed gratitude and for the stacks of presence of God throughout the evening. Playing together strengthened our bonds and increased our joy in realizing our blessings. We were opening the presents of your presence; the gifts of love.
In the presence of the Lord your God,
you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice
in everything you have put your hand to,
because the Lord your God has blessed you.
You have made known to me
the path of life, Lord;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Blessed are those
who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence.
"Will you be my valentine?"
I remember in grade school constructing valentine boxes out of old shoe boxes. Homemade valentines, suckers, heart candy messages, and who knows what would be distributed on Valentine's Day. It was always exciting to read the messages and hopefully get a special message from the one on whom you had a crush.
There were tons of affirmations of love in our family last night. Papaw was home from his ski trip and getting to meet Ashlyn for the first time. Lots of hugs and kisses were going around. It was a marvelous night of family. Papaw and I, seeing the bearing of much fruit, didn't mind postponing our own Valentine's dinner to tonight.
God made us for relationship. He will be asking each of us through things like a sunrise, a friend calling, a smile from a stranger, or a nudge to be the giver of smiles and hugs today, "Will you be my valentine?" He is crazy about us. He IS love. Spend some time with Him and thank Him today every time you realize He has just sent you another Valentine. My box is pretty full from last night! But I will keep my eyes and ears open to give Him praise! He is not a passing crush...His love endures forever!
Sunday, February 13, 2011
I realized that I had to change my profile to four grandchildren instead of three. As per tradition, Ashlyn has her first song:
where u bin? where u bin?
"Bin kicking in my momma;
tryin' to get out of there!"
now you're here, all is well!
Big toes, pretty lips,
and silky dark hair.
Yes, indeed; we are wonderfully and fearfully made, each one, by an awesome, loving God!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
The Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest
and in all the work of your hand, and your joy will be complete.
I am having A GRAND TIME with my children and grandchildren!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Today our family grew with the addition of Ashlyn Michelle. Our hearts are all bursting with love for this new manifestation of future and hope. We finally got to love her up after a bumpy start in the NIC to get fluids and breathing problems resolved. The problems were short-lived and she was soon transfered to the regular nursery for her first bath and then to momma's room to meet her family. We are surely blessed and remember that each one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I don't pretend to understand the book of Revelation. But sometimes a snippet of scripture there resonates with my spirit. One of those scriptures, found in a letter to the Church in Pergamum, is a reference to a new name:
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
I am sure, as He makes us white as snow, that the name he will give each one is full of love. It will replace all those names we or others took on that were mean, unkind, and judgmental. I have a strong feeling that my friend, Lynne, will have a name that translates somehow to the concept of 'JOY"; my friend Karen, 'PRAY-ER' ; my friend, Lessy, 'BLESSY'! I have other names I would give to Gwen, Judy, Lynda, Mary, and others that have been such encouragers to me. Our new names will encompass the many dimensions of beauty in spirit and demonstrate how precious we are. How can they not? It is the nature of the Giver!
I went down to the creek at noon after the wind and sun had gotten the ice to melt. There wasn't much snow left, but there were still some wonderful ice sculptures and birds. I also came across a handsome cat that reminded me of my good friend, Y.Boo Raley, who lives up on a mountain in Colorado.
I am so drawn to the grasses and water because they always bring to mind some of my favorite life verse scriptures. The two that came to mind today...
As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children~~~
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower
and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth;
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Conversation with God:
me: Lord, I am asking for you to keep me safe; to keep my feet from slipping.
God: I gave you the gifts of discernment and common sense. Work with me, girl. Don't go outside!
The sidewalk and drive were icy and my car had layers of sleet and snow on it when I went out to get the paper. I realized there were three layers already before 6:00 a.m. The first was rain turning to very slick ice. It was followed by grainy, slippery pebbles of sleet. The third in progress is snow that seems almost slushy, but with cold temps will be freezing over the first.
As I watch the overpasses in Dallas and Ft. Worth crammed with stalled cars due to ice, I am extremely grateful that my very pregnant daughter is not going to have to make the icy commute to Arlington this morning. The weather folks are predicting that those lanes of traffic may be there for over an hour; surely resulting in many running out of gas in below zero wind chill. The camera lenses of the news reporters keep icing over, making the live cam shots very blurry. I recall the police chief's send off to his work force on Hill Street Blues: "Be careful out there!"
My steps have held to your paths;
my feet have not slipped.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
If our local weatherman, Pete Delkus, is to be believed... our morning vista will be a revisit of a layer of ice topped with snow. The metroplex, finally melted from last week, will be transformed again to blanketed white shapes. Personally, I am not looking forward to the slick streets. But I am thrilled to go out walking in the snow again to capture those reflections of glory and pass them on to you.
We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Cor. 3:18
Monday, February 7, 2011
Sometimes you just have to be grateful for what you didn't get to do in hindsight. I am glad ice didn't fall off Cowboys' Stadium onto my head. I am glad I didn't have to stand in line for two hours and then find out the seat I paid thousands for does not exist. I am glad I got to sit in front of my own TV, eating homemade enchiladas, and sneaking my grand daughter away to have a great splashy bath along with favorite Dora and Sponge Bob bath toys.
We had a Super Sunday all snuggled in and enjoying each other's company. One of the blessings of my age is that I am trusted by my daughters and their husbands to take care of their children. I know that they all love me and appreciate what I do for them. I think I had the best seat in Texas. The Packers might have gotten the trophy, Riley might have worn the tiara; but I know that Eric and I got the crown!
Old people are proud of their grandchildren,
and children are proud of their parents.
May your father and mother be glad;
may she who gave you birth rejoice!
Sunday, February 6, 2011
I have found ways around buildings and power lines as I try to capture sunrise and sunset in the city. There are a few sweet spots I can get to in less than five minutes when I realize there is a stunner sky that I need to rush out and capture.
As I was watching the Super Bowl coverage this morning I caught a glimpse of the sunrise taking shape behind the stadium. I didn't want to wake up my husband, so left him a note by the coffee pot that I had gone to take pics of the sunrise. When I returned home he smiled at my get up and said, "I wondered what you wore!" I hadn't wanted to disturb his sleep, so gathered what I could without going into our bedroom. I put on my black shaper tennies I had left under the coffee table and grabbed my fancy long red coat that would keep me warm and discretely cover my short pink and turquoise sleeping shirt. I looked ridiculous, but didn't really care. I just needed to get out of the house quickly and be covered up in case I would be stopped by a police officer at my sweet spot down at the corner.
I used to tell someone that I mentored that she had an assignment to go out and look for good things to blame on God. Sometimes I would slightly change the assignment to report back to me something she had seen that was funny. It was an exercise in positive expectancy. One of the times early in these endeavors she reported back glumly that she wasn't able to find anything funny. We both started laughing, because that was pretty funny in itself.
We have to be willing to train ourselves to receive the mind of Christ. We CAN find a sunrise in the city. We CAN receive the peace that passes all understanding. We CAN have joy in the midst of any circumstance. Our hope is in the One who CAN change hearts and minds.
We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus...faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3