Thursday, November 8, 2018

Pictures in a Closet


Pictures in a closet, lend me a hand, 
 deliver warm delights of my bygone days.


Turning back pages, tearing away hard edges from me.


 I have been so hard on her all these years, but staring into her eyes now, I am wondering a long and deeply felt "why"? 

She didn't try... she simply was.  Flipping the old pages shook her awake in me.  She's sharing some nice things with 52 year old me.  I wish I had ran into her before.


Her small, yet powerful pose powerfully points the way forward to me in an easy, childish sort of way.


And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Last Night; Sharing a Prayer


Fluid falling, the yard is fresh and wet and cold;  bare feet and 2:57 a.m.  Puppy was sniper crawling under my bed, awakened by the need for his nightly puddle break, and it’s raining puddles too.

I’m beginning to like these nighttime wakings.  They are launchpads into thinking and thanking. Haze and clouds keep a full moon from shining in tonight, so unlike other recent nights, the light of the screen is all I see.
Its falling hard outside.  Barely perceivable before, and now a heavy sound, the kind that tucks you in cozy and rouses sudden awareness for soft beds, warm covers and dry rooms, and forever present Poppa always waiting for more time with me.  Yes, I am thankful, blessed beyond measure even before all my spiritual inheritance is fully seen and known. Let it rain.





I’m YOUR daughter, a rousing thought for nighttimes. Isn’t this the most amazing thing of all? Yours! You’ve had loads and loads of other daughters and sons awake under this same moon hung to mark loads and loads of nighttimes, but now I’m here in this one, and I want to rejoice in YOU and thank YOU and make a mark on Your heart that I am here loving You. Is there a mark yet, Lord?

I want to do something for You, to affect You and make You glad on account of me. Maybe I want to shout like no other, leap up like no other, lay myself down in regal devotion like no other.  I want to give to You, not the best above others because I'm not sure I could, but the best of me that I can give.  This is what You've given me to offer back.  Thank you for giving me to me and a chance to fulfill Your dreams in creating me like this.  We, each dear one, can touch You, God, in our own uniquely given way.  May it always be. 😊 

It says, "Rhonda Drain" on my shoe.
And I'm sitting on top of a mountain like daughters can do.

Only I can make my own mark on Your dear heart!  No one else can fully fill the place that is mine to fill in Your heart and only I can be the me-stone in Your building of living stones.  So, here I am. We are all here, side by side, arm in arm, sons and daughters headed toward "home", inviting all into the sweet assurance of Your love. 


I love the nighttime waking hour.

John 14:23

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hope Cannot

Hope cannot forsake me, not this hope that comes in the nighttime waking hour.  The house is fast asleep and me, awake in an unsettled state.  I pray.


I fumble to find a way through the feelings that seem held close by the dark room and the uneasiness in my mind.  But I am learning to hope, and to hope quickly.  Hope cannot leave me alone.

Then my slow and timid prayers feel the whoosh of His presence, find the WAY through to that familiar flow who fills my feeble sounds like the hand fills the glove.  I hope-- and He carries my prayer up and up and up.  I abandon my own then and get carried away in the power of His--loftier, better, higher hopes and prayer. Hope cannot leave me alone.
  
What is the fear of the night compared to His presence?  It is a wisp and a mere moment, a fleck of dimness chased away with sudden light.  

Hope cannot disappoint when we hope in God.

In the midnight hour I hear from God of a hope sublime, so I look it up.  Sublime hope is grand hope.  Sublime hope is lofty, exalted in thought, expression, or manner.  Sublime hope is of outstanding spiritual, intellectual and moral worth.  Sublime hope inspires awe  usually because of elevated quality or transcendent excellence, says Merriam-Webster, and they are never wrong with words.  😉

Now the darkness must fear, and the daughter goes free to hope in God sublimely.  



Sublime: (lofty, grand, or exalted in thought, expression, or manner
bof outstanding spiritual, intellectual, or moral worth
ctending to inspire awe usually because of elevated quality (as of beauty, nobility, or grandeur) or transcendent excellence
2aarchaic high in place

Monday, October 15, 2018

What the Water Said

Holiness:  What the Water Said.

A Testimony

I slipped down under the clear, morning waters of the community pool and pushed away from the side.  With eyes open I can see straight through, so I probe deeper, leveraging the cool drink with swimming arms and legs.  I'm pushing through waters to hear a word from You, God, to understand.  In the depths I know the holy hush.  I've felt it before.  And I hear "Holy" as the water touches all of me--while bubbles rise from my lungs.  Is this a glimpse of "Holy"?

Once I heard the hush of mother's womb.  Conceived in her earthen baptismal, her watery vessel of femininity where she carried me, held me as if there was nothing between her and I.  I was hers and she was mine.  The thrum of her flowing blood soothed me, the strength of her body grew me until through her sure hips and her busted waters I burst into light.  It was like a giddy foreshadowing of things yet to come.  (.....unless one is born of water and the Spirit.....John 3:5)

I dove down into the morning waters again and again encasing all of me.  And like mother's waters, I saw there was no impurity.  And I thought of those standing walls of salty sea, churning and cheering--Moses and the rescued walking free.  And I thought of you and thought of me.  Baptized in the cloud and baptized in the sea--a picture of what walking Holy could be--a perfect surrender to God filling me.

I thought of piled up waters by Jordan's banks, all fluid and foam and our people marching through, Joshua standing bare on Holy ground, receiving the word how Jericho would fall.

"Be Holy", it's like a saturated surrender.  It's like baring down soles to His path while holding all of Him and Him holding all of me.  It's kind of like mother and me.  All soaked in saturated surrender---just might lead us between our own seas.

So, under the waters I swam day after day and pondered sins and rules, commandments and alters and lambs -- and being "holy".  I thought of the Garden, the Promise and the King, and being "holy".  And as I stand overwhelmed by all that this means I can hear the Water speaking to me, and He says,

 "I will gush forth in your wilderness! (new birth) and I will flow like streams in your desert.  Your burning sand will become a pool and your thirsty ground bubbling springs!"  Isaiah 35:7-8 NIVRA

Isaiah 35:1-4 Imagine the wilderness whooping for joy, the desert's unbridled happiness with its spring flowers.  It will happen!  The deserts will come alive with new growth budding and blooming, singing and celebrating with sheer delight. (The Voice translation)
So, with confidence and hope in this message, strengthen those with feeble hands, shore up the weak-kneed and weary.  Tell those who worry, the anxious and fearful, "Take strength; have courage!  There's nothing to fear.  Look, here--your God!  Right hear is your God! The balance is shifting; God will right all wrongs.  None other than God will give you success.  He is coming to make you safe." (The Voice translation)
verse 8-10  A thoroughfare will be there-it will be called the WAY OF HOLINESS.  Those delivered from bondage will travel on it, those whom the Lord has ransomed will return that way. (New English translation)
They will enter Zion with a happy shout!  Unending joy will crown them.  Happiness and joy will overwhelm them; grief and suffering will disappear. (New English)

💗💗💗💗Be Holy.  (Leviticus 19:2) 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Seven Point Four Billion

Crickets are singing in the fields. Cicadas chant tonight in Franklin County.   I walked the grounds while water buckets filled for tomorrow's heat.  It's still warm outside so near to dark. 

 I threw some grain for gathering goats while lightening bugs lit up an empty field behind them.  It felt ancient and I felt small. Seven point four billion people breathing in and out on earth tonight, and then there's me.  

Sweat gathered under the folds of my upper arms as I walked and waited for the watering.  I walked thinking about the heat and how I'm half way through my collective summer times, and half way through my winters, and springs, and half way through my days here.  I'm half way through and I still don't know how many commas to use and I am not sure how many words to write about it all.  There are some 7.4 billion people on earth, and then there is me sitting right here. 

My dog was waiting inside for someone as if the most important of all 7.4 went missing.  My dog was waiting for me.



I turned off the water and admired the shiny, summer coats of the goats in the dimness of the hot air.  I remember they are most radiant when the grass is green, the days are long, and the summer sun is sharp and sure. 

Seven point four and me breath in and out tonight, and what does it all mean? 

Morning glories sprung up from fallen seed in the yard again this spring.  I allowed them to grow onto the porch again simply by ignoring their ascent, simply by allowing their reaching.  Now I want to see what they will do!  They twist tendrils round and make their way up the chairs.  I cannot bring myself to stop them because I am reaching too-- connected in the "Vine".

They seem so sure of where they are going, so determined in their daily stretch.  They pulled clear up the legs of the chairs and pushed out a few vibrant, purple blooms in obvious triumph!  How I admire their ever expanding vines! How I admire the sureness of where they are going!






And now it is time to sleep, and I tuck in among my questions and thoughts about my reaching.  I rest easy in the wondering with 7 billion others. I am just one, but I am dearly loved, like you, like all. 😊  I close my eyes without all of the answers in their place and realize how completely fine that this is for now in this summer night in July.  

Don't be mad at me about the commas. ;)

Nighty-night.










Tuesday, July 10, 2018

What Have You Done With Introverted Me?

On the street you look at me and I look back at you. In your car, across the intersection I see you and I wonder.  On the street I see you walking there, and groups of people making their way to somewhere. They would be mine, if they were His, all the people  in one family. 

 I see the people and I long for connection.  Who are they, each one? What do they like?  Do they laugh at the dining room table as they eat a meal? Do they tell stories, do they cook? Do they like to read, or write?  I see the worn man, tattered and torn walking briskly along the road.  Could he be my brother?  Is he funny?  What are his dreams?  I want to know them all. Yes, it's me the introvert, yes, me the fearful one.

I see them on the street and I see the family that could be mine.  I pass by the woman sitting, watching her son swim in the community pool and I want to know her.  She may be someone's sister, someone's cousin. Why can't she be mine, my family?  I want to know who she is and what wonderful things she knows and does.  

I see them on the streets, in their cars, in the windows at restaurants and browsing in clothing stores and I know they are meant to be His and in turn, they'd be mine.  We would all be family.  

If I continue to think this way maybe I will be hurt.  Maybe they will not want Him, maybe they won't want me, or a big, forever family.  But maybe they do.  It really could be.  Maybe I could ask and see.

Lord, what have You done with introverted me?  

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Chase

In my room on a Saturday, I seek.

                                 
I would have jumped out of bed and into a chase to get enough stuffed into a Saturday--you know, the amount that can make me feel good about it all at the end of the day.  But, before my feet reached down to the old gray floor I saw Him there, or I felt Him there with me, which has somehow become the same thing. So I spoke to Him and I asked Him to speak to me.  💗

 And I saw Him at the well, dipping cool water out for me. And waters rippled with the touching, and stirred with the dipping.  I heard His tender tone inviting me to linger there, to sit a spell in cool fellowship. Oh, where is the pull of the chase now?  What better could I achieve in the flurry? In the hurry?



And in the conversation, and in the fellowship of God to man, appears an inspiration for a Saturday.  It's a gift tucked in with all the ability, motivation, and time right inside . The chase is replaced, and something better takes root in me.  This root is powered in soil--not in a woman's fretting, and in air, not a lady's hurried pace,  and light, not my own might.  Like a key that started a motor, or the wings of the hang glider caught up in a thermal, the ease of moving on into a Saturday comes in peaceful, tranquil delight--lifted by an inspiration-- lobbed into my hands with the ease of a dream.  Him in me and I in Him.  His life, like an easy flowing river moving me along in mine.  The chase is replaced.



I'm ready to set my feet down on the old gray floor now, and step into a Saturday. 






Thursday, May 31, 2018

Come Into My Room


Come into my room, Sweetheart. Come into my room and dine.  I, myself, will serve the bread. I’ll bring the salad and the wine.



And when I see you are through, I’ll serve the main course to you.



 
I will tend to you in the dining chamber like the fine waiter does.  At the fine restaurant you won’t be ashamed.  

 Turn the pages, my Dear, let me feed you your fill;  choice morsels, rich blends with the sage or the dill.



Let me surprise you by quenching your thirst. Let me awaken your hunger for more. Then come again, and I’ll wait at the door.




Your love, O Eternal One, towers high into the heavens.
    Even the skies are lower than Your faithfulness.
Your justice is like the majestic mountains.
    Your judgments are as deep as the oceans, and yet in Your greatness,
    You, O Eternal, offer life for every person and animal.

Your strong love, O True God, is precious.
    All people run for shelter under the shadow of Your wings.
In Your house, they eat and are full at Your table.
    They drink from the river of Your overflowing kindness.
You have the fountain of life that quenches our thirst.
    Your light has opened our eyes and awakened our souls. Psalms 36:5-9

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A Peaceful Lil' Ditty in May

In the cleft of the rock I lay down.
The world thrashes and throws, I sleep sound.
Behind the surges and sounds
Peace surrounds.
In the cleft of the rock I lay down.

In the light of Your Word I stand tall.
With a handhold and staff
I don’t fall
Let rivers empty on me
But soon they will see
That in the light of Your Word I stand tall.

In the garden the plantings grow strong
Like the lilies and vines, I belong
Toward the sun’s glow we go
And all men will know
That in the garden the plantings grow strong

Friday, May 25, 2018

Light is a Beacon of Love


The light outside is muted by cloud cover today in May.  Verdant leaves are shaky-shaking on limbs outside my window, hinting of the spring breezes.  I was out in the yard early when only a dim outline of the farm was visible, and only the hint of the coming morning could be seen, yet the faintest light had set the birds all to singing.  The dimness was warm and full of a chorus.  I think light is a beacon of love, and even the faint glow of predawn has the power to erupt the morning with song.



When He launched forth the first words in the story of Him and humanity, I think God launched a beacon of His love for eternity, “Let there be light”. Out of His throbbing love-heart He spoke His ancient love language, “Let there be light” and through the misted window I see it today.



I search the words of ole’ Merriam-Webster to explore some more. A beacon is a signal fire commonly on a hill, tower, or pole, they say. It’s a lighthouse or other signal for guidance, and it is a source of light or inspiration. Yes, I think it’s HIS beacon of love sitting here in my room lit now with the rising sun, the waking kind. It is a beacon to God.

He lit up our world before giving us eyes to see it.  When He spoke the light, he spoke a comfort for every generation to come. He spoke the way forward in Him. 




In the light He spoke out His kindest intentions for the earth, a glow that feeds us, shows us the way, comforts us in the midnight hour, and shines to make a new day.  Light is a beacon of love…I just like to say it.  And if you are surrounded by it, if your face is warmed in its rays, if you can see the words lit up on this screen then you know some about a beacon and you know a bit about an ancient love story that’s pages begin in light.





God: Let there be light.
And light flashed into being. God saw that the light was beautiful and good, and He separated the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:3-4

Monday, February 19, 2018

A Farm Forum

A farm forum, ready to convene just for me.  A choir of frogs sing praise from a small pond out back in the middle of February.  They pass their invitation to join the preliminaries of song; their funny prelude to the discussion-- the discovery. 


 A surging within the forum of fields and yards tucked round with fences opens a morning wide.  A garden plot ready to tell mysteries to me, share ideas, reason it all out in the softness of ready soil; ready to receive the seeds that are questions in me.  I will tuck them in and wait-- soon to poke quietly through the earth in answer.









A forum of land and sky calling a morning meeting, preparing for a rousing discussion for a searcher and seeker! How have I attained such good fortune to be invited among such wise handlers of divine secrets? 

                                   

I stand among the furry-wise who take their places at their own gates, live their good lives, sowing and reaping just what they were perfected to. Minding their own business. One calls the meeting to order with a “baaa!”  I take my seat among them.

                               

A magnificent forum of farm and feeling, of astute players all knowing their place.  OH!  I hear a pony pounding his gavel down, with fine hooves he calls this session to order.  I humbly join the meeting, pen in hand.  

                                


Where is your forum of friends?  Where are you planted to preach a good word from the wealth of your own sown heart?  Where does your forum convene? :) 

                                   

Monday, January 15, 2018

If My Words

If my words had substance and could be seen as they launch out, would they lift and fill the morning sky? Would they praise up with the clouds?




If my words spoke out in shades of color, and if they were hot or cold, would my world be bright with rainbows, and would You cuddle in their warmth?




If my words had weightiness and could remain just where they fall, would they pile right up to heaven, and build a monument to Your worth?





If my words were lofty, and could speak to kings and queens, would  they hear Your invitation and come to the great wedding feast?

                                             




If my words were humble and if they were safe for all, would You trust me with the "least of these", and would You send me to the lost?

If my words could reach You, and I know that they do, I would set an echo in the wind to repeat my LOVE for You!







  

Saturday, January 13, 2018

It's a Saturday


It's a Saturday and a picture taking kind of day it seems to me.  Everything outside seemed to expand in my mind's eye as I walked around to enjoy a Saturday, doing chores and feeding the critters.   I snapped photos here and there, but the best things that I saw were in another lens. 



 In "another lens" I saw new fences stretched tight across the back acres, mended and painted ones on the north side, and new pickets around the little red shed out front. Such expansion!


I saw new babies on tiny hooves storming the little pasture with exuberance while their mothers were watching them with a cautious eye.  




  I saw more mulch on the garden holding in the rain and holding back the weeds. I saw rows of vegetables sprouting up, vines clinging to the arbor, Arkansas black apple trees lining the south field, flowers waving in the warm breeze, and such good things as that.


summer
                               

It is January, though, and cold.  All of this envisioning reminded me of this: 



Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.

Outside, the baby goats are still snugged tight inside their mothers, I can not see them yet. Maybe they will arrive soon.  The apple trees are on order at the nursery, the fencing is yet in a roll on the ground, and the pile of mulch waits to be spread over the garden ground on a warmer day.  The seeds are in bottles in the kitchen, and Hope is a wonderful thing.



HOPE !



Friday, January 12, 2018

Soup and Jesus

I drove to the other side of our small town and then up the snaking and steep hill to the top of a mountain called Manitou. I've made the climb many times over the last decade, and then some.  The sign at the top says, YWAM Ozarks., which stands for Youth With a Mission, which, to me, stands for laid down lovers of Jesus who serve and traverse the world to bring His life to all they encounter, including me and this little town.  It stands for missionaries, teachers, friends and a family. 💓

Now I'm back in my room remembering the evening there called, "Soup and Jesus".  "Soup and Jesus" is a meal, a celebrating friendships, an offering of song and teaching and time together.   A verse sat beside each plate in keeping with the theme of the evening;  Remembering.  Look! Here is my verse on the bright blue card! I took a picture of it for you.   


I want to remember.  This call resonates deep within me. I want to steward the "wonder" of Jesus well with the remembering.  Always remembering. 

So, we ate the salad, the wonderful soup, and the bread that no one can get quite enough of.  Over dinner and coffee we reconnect and renew with time spent together. 

It is late now, but before I rest, I'm remembering the faces around the table and around the room.  I'm remembering the words spoken and songs sung.  I'm sleepy now, but remembering just a little longer.  😊  



Thursday, January 11, 2018

The First Step

“Sit” You say, “sit down”.  And how this puzzles us all.  “Sit” You say, “sit down” while you watch us run far down the road. 
“Sit”, you say, “sit down”, as we raise boulders over our heads. We flex and strain in the heat of the day to show You that we are saved. 
“Rest”, you say, “rest in me”, for my blood finished it all, but we work on through the night hoping that what we do gives us a better right. 
“Recline”, you say, “lie back on the grace that makes you Mine."  Take the first step, and just fall back being caught up in His love. 

And once seated with Him, once reclined and laid low, then in the same grace we walk with Him, hand in hand down that same road.  

Ephesians 2:6 He raised us up with Him and seated us in the heavenly realms with our beloved Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King.

8-9 For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Carryin' a Happy Load

Waddling around the south field are these funny little ladies. This morning I had an urge to capture them in their last few days before babies come again.  Here are my spoils: 










These girls are carryin' quite a happy load, and it will appear more so with every passing day until just the right time, when delivery day comes.  

The swelling sides,  expanding udders, and the giddy feeling in my chest all tell me that the time is soon.  😃  I've been through this many dozens of times before and I know that babies tumble to the ground with tiny noses, ears and hooves in their perfectly adorable places.   I wonder if they are pregnant with browns, whites, blacks and blues?  I wonder if I will get lots of girls this time.  I hope.  It is the season! 

The giddy feeling in my chest stirs up for a Kingdom, too, always pregnant with expectation, always carryin' quite a happy load of hope in every season.  And the same Holy Spirit that filled Mary full with the Hope of the World, also fills our heart, too.   We are a Kingdom and a people impregnated with hope that never fails to deliver, though it may labor and wait until just the right time, it always delivers.  It is the season!