Friday, April 10, 2015

I Planted a Garden

I’m looking out the window into the south field where I have planted a garden.  I covered it with old hay and wood chips when I learned that the perfect balance and protection would only exist with a covering of all the soil.  I put a fence around it when I realized that the dogs would not see, nor respect the tiny, precious, seedlings emerging. 

Psalm 1

Blessed is the one.................

whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

I learned, as I was building my garden, and listening to other more knowing gardeners, that pests attack the plants when they are in distress, and not so much when they are thriving in a balance of moisture, nutrition, and sunlight.   It seems that over time, as this mulch covering decays, it becomes nutritious soil from the bottom upwards.  The health and vitality of the soil grows from year to year as it is left under this lovely, protection where seedlings can thrive.  ♥  It is good to keep planting in the covering.

Psalms 91:4   Like a bird protecting its young, God will cover you with His feathers,
    will protect you under His great wings;
    His faithfulness will form a shield around you, a rock-solid wall to protect you.

My family built an arbor for me for my 48th birthday which has become an entrance to the garden.  It has a double gate that my son, Jack, and I built.  I don’t let in the chickens, nor the dogs.  I wouldn't welcome our cats or goats or any animal through the gate; nothing can come in that does not respect and benefit the garden.  I’m becoming a good gardener.

Psalms 147:13  For His divine power reinforces your city gates, blesses your children in the womb.
14 He establishes peace within your borders, fills your markets with hearty golden wheat.

Once I looked out to find the chickens had flown over the fence and were madly scratching and greedily flinging the covering into the air in search of worms and bugs.  I removed them.  Now my family is building a coop where chickens will have a new home and will soon find that their wing feathers have been clipped.  I've decided to care for my garden well and remove any threats.

 Psalms 3:3 But You, Eternal One, wrap around me like an impenetrable shield. 

The sun is shining on the arbor now as morning grows long.  It glistens off of the fence, and is surely warming the wood chips.  I can see some green plants peeking out from here in my chair by the window.   As I tend this simple patch of ground I'm so perfectly and daily moved by heaven's  kindest metaphors, it's most comforting language.  And in mute remembrance knowing this utterance is heard and seen on every patch of ground, in every imaginable place where there are human eyes and ears who wish to "see" and "hear".

Romans 1:20  From the beginning, creation in its magnificence enlightens us to His nature. Creation itself makes His undying power and divine identity clear, even though they are invisible; and it voids the excuses.....

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

John 16:13 The Spirit of truth will come and guide you in all truth.
Philippians 4:7  And know that the peace of God will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, The Anointed One.

... Under His covering... 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Something for the Restless Heart

Today I read:

Oh restless heart—beating against prison bars of your circumstances and longing for a wider realm of usefulness--allow God to direct all of your days.  Patience and trust, even in the monotony of your daily routine, will be the best preparation to courageously handle the stress and strain of a greater opportunity which God may someday send—taken from the devotional:  Streams in the Desert.

Do you ever hear the Lord say, “Wait.  Wait.  Wait.” ? And you somehow know that you are lingering in some of His discipline for you?  It is h.a.r.d.  You might feel pensive and even confused.  Yet the answer to the struggle seems simply, “Wait............... I am coming.”  And He does.
In His responsive kindness I am transformed into a deep well of gratefulness like so many before me.  Thankfulness takes it’s seat in me.   He connects my intellect to Himself and I imagine He as much as says, 

“Here it is, child!--  See, I understand you and your hidden heart beats.”
“Here it is!-- a bright flag to draw eyes upward and trust onward into this holy mist”.
“Here it is! –the “soul-surrounding” that anchors you to Me.” 
“And here is it! –your deepest of life’s delights—connection with Me.”
“Here it is! –an invitation for hopefulness, and invitation to “see”.
“Here it is! –a chair in my presence and a cup of my peace in your hand.”

And it’s as if He says, “Isn't it great that you, my child, can do nothing outside of me?  (John 15:5)  We will always do your greatest work together?”

If you are waiting in the midst of something hard,  rest assured............. He is coming to you ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Making it Home

A phone call and my life is distinctly changed this morning because my friend made it home.

Should I cry or should I just sit here in awe of the sinking knowledge?  It’s sinking in all around me in that heavy and wondrous way.  It is filling up my consciousness, and once again I go to the place of profound awareness of the “over there land”.   Many just call it home, and my friend made it home. 

A few years ago (and for many years before) she was raising a few chickens in her and her husband’s retired, full scale chicken house operation.  The houses are old now and run down, but all the better for her to enjoy her hobby of bringing up new chics of interesting varieties, rabbits, and pigeons.  She raised pure breed dogs in another old chicken house for some time and she tried her hand at raising a few goats from our place, but that never took off for her.  What a kind, generous, and wonderfully interesting friend she was.  I miss her this morning knowing that she’s gone home.  An achy knowing lingers now that I can’t depend that she is over that north hill doing her thing and being who she was. 

Just a few years ago she came by for a reason I can’t remember now, but visits were always involving our love of raising critters.  She shared with me the extraordinary miracle that had happened to her-- and later, after she’d gone, I cried for joy.  She said she had entrusted her life and soul to Him who holds all of our eternal fates in His hands.  She had “believed unto her salvation” and now knew she was going to heaven.  I remember her mentioning that fact;  she was now going to heaven.  Wow, my friend is home.

They say that home is where your heart is, and it is surely true.   Our life here is like the tender flowers in the springtime field;  here for a little while and then faded and gone away so soon.  I never like to see the flowers go.  Now it is right to be glad that  I saw her blooming here, knew her, and enjoyed some of the beautiful ways that she graced the world just being "her".  I'm so grateful to be comforted in these morning hours knowing that she is alive and well beyond this veil of flesh and blood;  she is  home.



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Beautiful Dead

In the quiet of this winter morning I was struck by the thought of "the beautiful dead".  The lonesome corpse laying quiet behind the stone. The whole thing seemed so deeply grim from their view, but to mine it is tenderly different. 

John 19:40
40 Together, they took Jesus’ body and wrapped Him in linens soaked in essential oils and spices, according to Jewish burial customs.

It was a dismal tragedy upon all of their hopes and understanding, and a tragedy of their love for Him!  

His skin torn by a cruelly placed thorn crown, His wounded side now hidden beneath grave clothes, and His hands;  the hands that will forever point the "eyes of the willing to see" to His magnificent and willing surrender.   I hold my face in awe of this.  How can this be?

Romans 5:7-8 Now it is rare to find someone willing to die for an upright person, although it’s possible that someone may give up his life for one who is truly good. But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed His powerful love to us in a tangible display—the Anointed One died for us.

Yet beyond the tenderly wrapped up arms and legs that did no harm....just beyond that cloth-wrapped head and his once walking feet, He flew into the "mystery-land" to the Father's side.   "It is finished!  Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit!"  Just then, in an exhale, on past His tortured, manly frame, He flew.   

What has He done?!  What has He done?!  It is finished!

And when that magnificent life-swell plunged back into that privileged, lifeless dust again it must have fairly PULSED with "heaven's sweetest" once again!!!!!! Once as the sweetest baby boy in Bethlehem, and now conquering God-man-King in Israel and of ALL.  Hallelujah!  Our God made a way!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Laughing Out Loud

The air is cold out, the cabin is warm and peaceful this morning.  My heart is full listening to Jason Gray's song again (for the "many-eth" time).  I know this is good for me.  The lyrics are kindly on his video..though you don't need lyrics to laugh ......Have a listen! Joy is contagious.  

And some laughing lyrics written by my overflowing heart on this January 14th:    (maybe you'll write some, too!)

Laughing in the light of Him...Standing in the joy-field----surrounded and held tight. 
Laying in layers of unloaded love upon me and you.
Whatever you do, don't miss this
Don't let a day go without standing in these love rays warming your skin
Look up, don't miss this...don't miss this

Loose your control, gain amazing grace
Loose face and gain his integrity
Loose yourself and gain all of Him
Don't miss this, not today

Laughing in the freedom, looking up ahead...nothing but sure steps and all being lead
Turning from the old ways and running with the new
Whatever you do, don't miss this
Not for a day, don't miss standing in these love rays warming your skin
Whatever you do, don't miss this.


And I will leave you with Jason's words:  

"When you find you've been forgiven laughter will arise like a holy kind of praise."   LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

If Our Hearts Awaken ♥♥♥

If our hearts awaken to the nearness of God, then we know that He Himself, His amazing, wonderful self is at work in us.  If we wonder about Him, we can know that He is holding the other end of that priceless strand of thought with His own hands because, as Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them." We have been thoughtfully "drawn" into this place, we did not arrive here on our own.   When we wonder of God, we are being wooed of God.  Isn't that amazing?  And we know that when we presently seek Him, He is found by us...our hearts awaken to His nearness.......our hearts feel the explosive wonder of HIM ♥♥♥

  An early morning "explosion" left a rubble of words in my diary; a teeny-weeny attempt to submit a pile of meager vocabulary to render a glimpse of who He is on January 6, 2015 to me.    You are welcome to add some of your own--  lofty adjectives and all!

Who Jesus is to me today! Some words may be home-made. :)

 Darkness Lifter

Veil Tear-er !  {The one who tore the veil (Matthew 27:51)}

 Dungeon Crasher !

Joy Exploder

Soul Liberator

Heart Chaser -Heart Finder - Heart Lover

Kind Watchman over we, His flock

He is Laugh Bubbler

Name Caller---  He calls us beloved

He takes all of life and composts our days and experiences (good and bad) into rich, dark soil that He can plant and harvest in.  Nothing is wasted!  He is Farmer Extraordinaire

He is Eye Opener

Great and Gentle Leader

Faith Author and Faith Finisher

He is Lord over Details

He is the Un-muddler of Minds

Un-tangler of epic life tangles

He is  Hand Holder

Sin Forgiver

Mind Changer 

Mind Easer

Joy Stirer

Dream Author

Enemy Stumbler

Grief Lifter

Future Holder

Freedom Flavor

As our hearts awaken, He is seen for who He is:  Everything to Us.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Severe Simplicity; Could It Really Be?

Is it that severely simple (?);  cut off from complication, exempt from misunderstanding,  the truth about love;  His love???  (John 3: 6) 

 He put His love on full display.  

And what a display it was--and what a love;  the betrayal, the beating, the lies, the trial, that struggle to the cross and His haunting silhouette hanging there.  It has been discussed, mocked, studied, told, foretold, hated and marveled at by countless humanity.  It has been explained and rebutted.  It is so very large, yet so strikingly simple.


And I was remembering how in the garden when it all went down that day, how they remembered His words from before:  ".........if you eat of the fruit of this tree you will surely die", but they ate it anyway.   And I wondered at His use of the pronoun "you" shall surely......."  because, as my heart beats quicker, I embrace again with both horror and glee that at that moment of decision and consumption the clock began to tick and tock for a day when He, too, would surely die----for us.   What love! 

And it has taken such a long, long time, it seems, to "see it" more clearly.  Like a child who doesn't realize, until too much later, how much their parents loved them, I find myself moving into these last hours of 2014 with wonder over His true love........ and hope for mine.

And among my fondest hopes for 2015, this is the one that is catching my imagination and desire more than any other;  A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  (John 3:34)  and then this;   By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, IF you love one another. 

To be known as His own, what an idea...what a hope!  And if all of my life came to a screeching halt and 2015 wasn't mine after all, would I leave joy drowned in the knowledge that He loves me?  And would the loftiest new goal in my small life be accomplished this far; to love as He loves me?  Have I loved well?  Can I love truer and better, like HIM?  

His love Is too good to be true, yet it is true.   My hope for 2015 is Love.


Happy New Year! 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Etchings in Contrast; Some Things I Couldn't Say Just Yet

2014 will forever be etched in my mind with images of this mesmerizing contrast:

It was the year when 3, powerful little whirlwinds blew through our hearts and home on their way to...... I'm not sure where.  I thought that they would stay here. We all did.  But, as some would say,  "It was not to be".  

 I had never had girls, and I found that they liked to wear my high healed shoes, fix my hair, and wear my clothes and what little jewelry I had. Before long they had me buying giant pickles and hot cheetos.  I began making a lot of deviled eggs and pancakes, oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins and home made bread.   My mom said girls would add something wonderful to my life.  I didn't understand, but now I understand a lot more.

 Along the way, we met a young lady who drove almost an hour to come to our house and spend an entire day working some kind of magic on dark, short hair.   She would do this every 6 weeks; washing, combing, conditioning, drying, and then braiding and braiding and adding length and brightly colored beads, spending no less than 6 hours on each.   The beads always went "clickity- click" when a girl does just about anything, and they don't mind at all.  They just love feeling pretty.  And they are.  

And like some miracle, in 2014, I was also mom to another son who loved justice and kindness and, I think, could charm his way into the hardest of hearts.  He was funny and full of life in an intense and marvelous way.  He asked questions and questions and questions.  He wrestled and wondered, and woke up really early in the morning.  He sang and clapped real loud and danced with his sisters whenever something good was playing.....or just when anything was playing at all.

  By  now, I expected that they would share our home and our last names.  But instead they had to go forward into their journeys without us.  I can't explain it to you in print and paper or white computer screen.  It is their lives too, after all.  Some things I can share if I see you sometime, or if we talk on the phone.  And if you wonder--- I am not so tempted to ask why it had to be this way.  I trust in His plan for them and for us (Jeremiah 29:11).  But I do flounder at the task of processing the feelings and taking it all in now that we are a giant 3 less.   I have lived awhile and know it's o.k. not to kick against this God-current and it's o.k. to wait to see where it is taking me without a map of my own.  I imagine that most of the questions will be answered without my asking and the next path will open up without my pushing on the gate. 

It is true that sorrow, pain and this hard work are not wasted around God's kind kingdom and it serves to bring deep hues and contrast concerning this life--the one where He walks with us and the ones who love Him, and never leaves us for a second.  (Matthew 28:20)  A year like 2014 seems to only serve up the contrasts of joy and sorrow in the brightest hues imaginable.  I am learning among the contrasts that when you live in the pages of a story that God is writing with you and for you, there are twists and turns and sometimes the endings aren't what you had assumed that they would be based on the beginnings.  I am learning to carefully hold back my assuming of what the pages will hold next, and instead just intently "follow along".  I learned that these surprises and "seeming" plot changes are not necessarily mistakes made that have changed my intended outcome, but they are stories; our stories to be lived in and remembered, and sometimes told.  I learned that even these short brushes of lives against other lives (people brushing up against people) are powerful events.  They are powerful enough to last a life time and have invaluable worth.  They have been in mine.

And the illumination and learning is only beginning to arrive for me in glances and shorts, and seems to always emerge from the mist rising off the settling grief of the unexpected ending--the story that wasn't what I expected.

 Of course, it wasn't really an ending, but a chapter that I had not anticipated and my role in it all is not what I had been gearing up for. Their story continues and as it does we go with them in a different way.  Instead of washing their clothes and teaching them new things, I pray for them like a woman possessed with a new mission.  For now we are able to send our "love reminders" on birthdays, and this week, with Christmas gifts.  Some day that role may change again, but I am not trying to read ahead.............. ♥♥♥