Saturday, December 26, 2015

Behind Your Eyes

How about a little music to read along with me?  You will hear and feel this better if you click before you read.  :)  

I'm remembering Christmas day like all the days before it, in that space behind my eyes where I do my thinkin'.  That space, it connects me to remembering and imagining other days.  It was just yesterday, eh?  But it might as well have been 30 years ago because it has past.  How strange.  

The torn wrapping paper unveiled the thoughts I've been having towards my sons and my desire to bless them big...The wrapping torn unveiled the plans, the love, the listening I did to prepare gifts that would satisfy.  The smiles and thank yous said that I did it good.  Today I drove in the rain for 40 miles to secure more of the nice wrapping paper, half off, so that  I could do this all again for them.  I will wait 364 more days before I can wrap up this loving for them once again.  It is only like this on December 25th.  You know what I mean.  You did this for those you love, too.  They laughed and said I am planning so early, but  I've been planning about them for many more years than this.  ♥

 I love Christmas day because the birth of Jesus makes hope rise in the chest no matter the circumstances.  Like the baby in the manger, we can trust like a child.  This day is a mighty force against the darkness.  It is a triumph remembered and experienced.  The Lord is tender in everyone's on communion Sundays.   And the smiles and thank yous diminish any sorrow you feel, or concerns you bear. You can get swept away in the happiness of the moments of December 25th 'round here.  

And beyond the gifts there is so much more.  Because of His birth we can imagine things we wouldn't otherwise.  We can imagine our "forever days" in that space behind our eyes where we do our thinkin'.  I can imagine my Dad again and an embrace we will share when I arrive on the "other shore".  We can imagine all that we've lost surrounding us again.  We can imagine resurrection of dead bodies, we can remember, or experience for the first time, the forgiveness of all of our sins,  and we can live life in our heads and in our skin with the promise of peace even if everything or everyone around us is not peaceful.  Because of Christmas the words of this song mean something to us.  Freedom has bloomed and grown far and wide in us.  We sow seeds in a garden that has soil energized with heaven's life--our faith. 

Merry Christmas and may there be peace in the space behind your eyes and heart.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Moonflowers and Me

I want to paint a picture with both fine and sweeping brush strokes like the masters of old have done, but I am not good at that at all.  So I try here with syllables and whole words and I wonder if I dare even try?  But, stepping out into the air these past few days after the first passing of freezing nights and I see how much has changed for me.   I want to sort it out right here and now.  

It only takes one glance to miss those blazing red faces that met me each morning standing tall for the picking. The red zinnias are gone. Today they are devastated and look almost charred and abused.  The tangling vines that had my garden arbor and rails looking all gussied up for company each day, from my view now, look to  have succumbed to some awful fate as they only hang now, gruesomely by the death grip of their many, once tender tendrils.   And the parallels reach out and grab on like tendrils round my mind.

It's simple really.  It was not a plague or massacre, an attack or a mistake.  It came quietly as always. Just over night and under a nearly full moon it happened again;  the air changed.  The day before it blew fierce, forcing a change.........the air seemed like a weapon all day, yanking the leaves from the trees, tossing and throwing them,  pushing, pounding the farm and all of us.

It would not seem like much to me now except for the garden and the farm.  The response there I see is profound.  Life seems gone for death!--bursting red zinnias bitten and purged.  Moonflowers sort of melted on the rail, unrecognizable now.  "Response", that is all that it is.  My world has responded to the change in air.  

I do not like change. Especially when it seems to exchange beauty for ashes and life for some sort of death.   I have dreaded many of  them like a child dreading a vaccination.  My heart's plea is a quiet,  "No" and, "Please let it pass me by".   The cooler air told me that change was a comin', but I closed my eyes and imagined the sun.  The tall sons at the table tell me that little boy days are gone, but I close my eyes and remember bee bee guns and younger boys, sleepovers and tiny hands.  

But, it is time to respond to the changes in the air like the moonflower did;  like the tomato, the grape, and the zinnia.  It is o.k. for the vine to lay over and take it's winter's rest, right?   It is right for the Canadians to fly south and the bears know to enter their dens to sleep, yes?   It is right to respond to new times and seasons even if it is not our favorite.  Whatever time it is, He is there to help us and to delight in our good response.  

Some wise man once said that there was a time for everything under the sun.  He said it like this many moonflowers ago:  

 For everything that happens in life—there is a season, a right time for everything under heaven:
    A time to be born, a time to die;
        a time to plant, a time to collect the harvest;
    A time to kill, a time to heal;
        a time to tear down, a time to build up;
    A time to cry, a time to laugh;
        a time to mourn, a time to dance;
    A time to scatter stones, a time to pile them up;
        a time for a warm embrace, a time for keeping your distance;
    A time to search, a time to give up as lost;
        a time to keep, a time to throw out;
    A time to tear apart, a time to bind together;
        a time to be quiet, a time to speak up;
    A time to love, a time to hate;
        a time to go to war, a time to make peace.
Ecclesiastes 3

What time is it for you and for me?  Embrace it and respond.  ♥

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sweet Somethings

I went out for some breakfast.

I saw some pretty things along the way.

The path and entrance to this garden place is friendly.

He likes to come with me, but has to wait by the gate until I'm finished inside. 
He doesn't mind waiting at all.

There was much more to eat, but I only took enough for now.

Much more to eat.


No matter what is humming around us today;  in the world, in our communities, in our lives, there is  garden peace, garden food, garden wisdom available for all of us.  


Proverbs 18:20-21New King James Version (NKJV)

20 A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Truth About Planting

 As I walk past my garden day after day, I remember this,  "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."  (2 Cor. 9:6)  
I am both the soil for the Master to plant in and the sower of seeds, as well.   I planted well in the spring time. I was hungry for tomatoes, so I planted many seeds.  I was hungry for greens, so I made several rows, I thought of carrots and potatoes and so I planted from this, my heart's desires.  My eyes were hungry for flowers, so I sprinkled the reds, purples and pinks all around.  To the songs of birds I planted.   In the aroma of spring I opened the soil, with the memory of a hungry winter I planted each tiny seed with purpose.

And how I have feasted all summer long!  Not just in sweet fruit, but in the solidness of vegetable and vine, too.  I was like a woman longing for proof and surprised when it burst forth in the heat of the day.  We reap what we sow.  It sprawled out like a long legged man laying in the garden beds, and laying all over one another like giddy girls at a slumber party.  I needed to see it, this proof about the planting, this profound scene from the sowing.  I will always reap what I sow.  

And now in the fall as the flavors and colors reach their climax, it is time to sow again in this continuous cycle of planting.   Proverbs 18:21 Good words satisfy like a fine meal;  and in our gardens we plant for our harvests...the fine meals of our homes and tables.  The good words bringing in a bounty. The morning sun lights the stage for a second curtain call and I am ready to plant and ready to be planted some more.

 For each tiny seed tucked in like a question has bolted to a vision of His answer;  His goodness and truth about the planting.  I am both the soil and the sower and we reap what we sow.

Proverbs 18:20-21New King James Version (NKJV)

20 A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

From My Thinkin' Spot

From the disposition of the cross..... He rose from "surrender".  As the shadow of evil engulfed  Him He did not blame, did not complain, did not reject those inhumane circumstances.  What circumstances has He called us to do likewise in?  What trials and sorrows can we throw open our hearts in surrender to and allow Him to do His work in us?

Do we think we do not belong in trials?  He did not belong there.  He did not deserve disrespect, cruelty, torture, judgment, and the sentence of death was not right for Him.  His surrender was paramount.  And I notice His surrender was so quiet, so un-regarded and missed while his friends plunged into grief and confusion. His friends thought they should fight off the attack, but His surrender to this plan that poured freedom through blood-- loosed joy through the shriek of death, and hope through the turning away from rescue........  has rescued me.  His "choosing" enabled me to choose.  His barter enabled me to ponder the riches of His sold-rock promises that I am covered up in;  covered rich, like the roots in my garden beds.

Today I came out to my garden to meet with Him, but instead I soar with Him.  I sit in the old metal lawn chair, but the heart floats buoyantly in this swell of knowledge too high for me!  And in it's vastness I know abundance so great that I can't find the end of it in any direction.  Like a happy swimmer in the middle of a vast ocean, my feet will never find the bottom, nor limits of His love will ever bear in on me. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Gift that Can Fly: Thoughts From my Room by the Window

I found the gift that Christmas.  It wasn’t wrapped because it was not something my mother could easily cover with green and red paper and tape.  She decided to give me what I had asked for. She couldn't know how deeply my heart had desired it and maybe even needed it.   I see now that because of her love for me she gave to me what I wanted,  a good gift.  

I named him Chucky.  He was blue and white with some black and he sang a bird's song in a cage hanging from the hook near the patio door.  I think we were all smitten with him and all took turns singing and talking to him.  My mom, I think, did it the most because he learned to say what she said to him.  And we all learned to say her words to him; “Pretty Bird!”  And she would make a smoochy sound to him and we all learned to smooch.  And Chucky learned too. 

After I had had him for a while I wanted to let him out of the cage.  My Uncle, Jim Stevens, suggested I tie a little string to his ankle the first time so that I could take Chucky’s freedom back at my own will.  Chucky did not feel free with the string on his leg and he would only crash and awkwardly waddle around with the string on his ankle.  He would not fly with the string.

Sometime later my mother just opened the door.  She opened the door, no strings attached and Chucky flew.  He flew in the big family room and sang his “Pretty Bird” song and smooched at us all.  I think he smooched more having been set free.  After he flew around and around he landed atop his cage and sang most of the day. He sat up there telling us all that he was “pretty”.  And he certainly was as pretty as he said he was.  That is what he did best after all.   And when evening came he put himself to bed, going into his cage.  Mom would close the door and put a towel over the cage to help him rest and to see that he didn’t start his singing too early in the morning.

Freedom must be intoxicating because before long Chucky acted intoxicated.  When I would wear a ball cap, he would fly to me and land on the cap’s bill.  Turning upside down like a bat he would speak into my laughing face, “Pretty Bird!” and “Smooch, Smooch!”   Sometimes he took it too far and would land next to my plate of food thinking he might help himself.  The farther Chucky flew with his new freedom, the more my family and me delighted in him. 

Luke 11:13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” 

How can I fully absorb the magnitude of THIS gift given, not on a Christmas morning.  This gift I read about and know in my spirit recorded in Luke 11:13.   How do I absorb it just sitting here in my room by the window? 

Luke 11:13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” 

 The gift that is far too much to wrap up in red and green paper and tape. The gift that is given on any day we ask, not just at Christmas.  

Luke 11:13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” 

 My heart knows that I always need this gift far more than even I can realize.  I think it is a living gift that should not be contained.   And  for it to do its complete work of delight in me and you it must be free to set us free.  

 Will you join me in a state of wonder today?  Will you stay awhile to think this out for a time with me; the implications, intoxications, the filling up of our heart's desires?  How about our life time in holy contemplation? 

Romans 8:5  If you live your life animated by the flesh—namely, your fallen, corrupt nature—then your mind is focused on the matters of the flesh. But if you live your life animated by the Spirit—namely, God’s indwelling presence—then your focus is on the work of the Spirit.      

Monday, April 20, 2015

Garden Words

From the shade of my arbor this garden lends me words.  The other day, when the spring sun was having it's "de-LIGHT-ful" way overhead, I saw some weeds that had seemingly snuck up through the heavy mulch and were greedy, reaching for the sun.   These that were seeded before the covering was laid are the hardest to remove as their root is down deep and established.  How had I missed them before? Now some are a few inches tall.   Maybe it was all of those recent clouds dimming my light.

I reach deep into the mulch to pull them, knowing from experience that if left to grow they would take over and ruin my garden. They would steal from all I had planted, it has happened to me before. I tug for the root but it snaps at the stem and I know that soon it will be back again.  I will keep pulling them, but they will return until they are pulled from the root.

Hebrews 12:15  See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

It rained all day yesterday, the old folks would call it a gully washer. That means I, too, am getting older since I think it was one.  This ground of ours is soaked and saturated.  Like a deep drink that is more than enough, this place overflows into a running brook right in front of my garden.  By the kale, carrots and lilies I can hear its flowing waters.  It empties into the little pond out back;  that little pond that really does nothing more than gives a home to frogs and frog songs, which is plenty enough for me.

Psalms 23:2  He provides me rest in rich, green fields beside streams of refreshing water...........

Oh yes, back to the weeds.  The next day I found them growing right next to, and among the new seedlings that I had planted. I didn't notice those because I hadn't yet recognized which were those I'd sown. Pulling one by one, I found there were many.   Using my hand so carefully, the seedlings were not disturbed, even those whose stems were touching weeds.  It seemed almost kind how the rain made soft and easy the ground to give them up.

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

My hand is worn some with age and as I pulled the little weeds, I noticed them.  It reminds me of my Dad's hands which were known to be giant, sure and strong.  Because of his I can so well imagine a Poppa in Heaven whose hands exact His care over me-- even when His "care" is correction for me.  And I have felt that tugging of "heart weeds" like the tugging of the weeds in my deep mulch.  And when He has finished pulling them out  I'm like one who's been cleaned free of those invading, choking greens.  And once cleaned and free of them,  a clear path is opened up before me to walk and grow in, except it is very hard to walk;  I want to run.  

Romans 2:4 
....His kindness is guiding our hearts to turn away from distractions and habitual sin to walk a new path....

It rained hard yesterday and today I did a bit more weeding and thinking, too; grateful that my Great Gardener so surely cares.

Psalms 23:3  He makes me whole again, steering me off worn, hard paths to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name. 

Later today, in the safety of my deep garden mulch I planted tomatoes, fennel and onions.  In ready soil plants and joy will spring up!  We need not dwell on just the weeds.

Psalms 92:13   For they are transplanted to the LORD's own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.

And as my eye is keen to watch over my garden, I marvel at HIS over me (and you ♥).  As if I am the only one with needs or weeds, and as if He has no greater duties or desires than to carefully tend to all of them that I so easily and constantly generate.  I bet the forest and the hills quiet down to watch Him and the winds soften their blows as the Master comes with purposeful love to my garden gates.

Psalms 103:12 far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.


Your will done your way

Your will done your way

Your will done your way

I will not fight You

Take me past the line that my heart draws

I will not fight You

Take me beyond the laziness of my thoughts

I will not fight 

Lead me further than I've gone before

I will not fight You

I'm abandoned to Your call

Do not let there be, any part of me

That’s untouchable, unreachable

Let my delight be, living out Your dreams

Washing dirty feet, and kissing yours

 “Those I love I also correct and discipline. Therefore, be shamelessly committed to Me, and turn back. I am standing at the door and knocking.  If any of you hear My Voice and open the door, then I will come in and visit with you and share a meal at your table, and you will be with Me.  --Revelations 3:19-20 

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.