Saturday, May 16, 2015

We Have Moved
For several years, I wrote a blog here. Then after my daughter, Carrin, was killed in an accident, it was time for me to take time out.
Losing a child, even though she was an adult, is a devastating loss and my world was re-ordered. Less than a year later my husband, Ray, had a quadruple bypass. God was not yet through rearranging the furniture in my heart. Frankly, some pieces needed to be given away and others needed to be trashed. Then we lost our home. All of this plus Ray losing three siblings changed who we were.

Sometimes you have to just begin again. And so I did:

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

This is the Now!

When I lived in Florida, I would go to the beach and stand at the edge. I loved watching and feeling the water coming and going over my feet. I like that feeling you get when all of the surrounding sand around each foot is pulled away and the "pad" you are standing on gets smaller and smaller. Finally, there is too little to stand on and you change positions.

That is where I am with life right now. Things and people are changing around me and some are being pulled away by the ebb and flow of life. And THAT'S OKAY.

Where did we get the idea that life is a bowl of cherries?

The reality is that life has some bumps. We experience highs and lows. We can't freak out just because we are feeling a bit mellow today. Perhaps today is a day when we really need to stop and smell the coffee.

If we don't, then that pervasive feeling will manifest in bingeing, melancholy, shopping sprees or any other dopamine rush you can find. We should not deny our feelings but, we have to be careful not to let our feelings steer our lives.

Sabbath rest is considered antiquated. Yet, if we took time each week to slow down, reflect and rest, we could be more focused and intentioned when we do the things we are called to do.

So maybe it is time to call a time out. Listen, instead of talk.

Stand on the beach of your life and let the ebb and flow gently wash away those things or people that are just busyness or distractions. We don't have to do it all or have it all. We simply embrace what is set before us.

I am de-cluttering my life, my house and my schedule. I am learning to make time for the things that are important to me. There were some things in my life's backpack that God never intended me to carry. I am laying it down and just when I think I am slowing down, He opens a door I had not seen before. It has meant new relationships, new experiences, new revelation from His Word.

Have you ever eaten a very rich dessert? I eat it slowly. I want to savor each bite. I want to feel it in my mouth. I want to enjoy its flavors.

Life is like that. When you eat it one bite at time, you can taste the complexity of its recipe, the tangy notes along with the sweet ones. If you stuff the whole enchilada in your mouth, you miss out on so much and you feel stuffed and puffed.

Choose to life your life fully.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Who Are You Walking With?

In this journey called life, there will be people who walk beside us and there will be times when we are called to walk beside others. No one should ever walk alone.

We may not think we are contributing much to those casual friendships, but when a crisis comes into their lives and you choose to walk beside them, it is a precious gift.

To walk beside someone means you are not leading or following, you are there to be gentle in the midst of their storm. They don't need your words and they may not want your hugs, but they want to know someone is walking with them without judgment or platitudes.

When my daughter, Carrin, was killed in a car wreck almost two years ago, a couple drove over three hours just to be there for us. They got a room across from ours at the hotel and she said, "We are across the hall. If you need us, call. If you need to be alone, we understand."

What a gift. I wasn't responsible for seeing to any of their needs. They were just available. It was a difficult three or four days away from home and we lacked for nothing. No one tried to fix what couldn't be fixed. I could cry, laugh over old memories and ride the roller-coaster of grief.

I learned more about how to minister to others by their gentle care for us than I learned in church or Bible school. I am a visual learner. I finally got it. Even though Ray had shown me for years what it meant.

Now I look for opportunities to walk with others. Some walks are shorter than others. Some are still going on. Some chose to sit alone and that's okay. It's their walk, not mine.

Who are you being called to walk with?

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Long Walk Home

When I was in the first grade, my next door neighbor, Margo, was in the fifth. Every day she would walk me to Fishweir Elementary School. The walk was less than a mile with the shortcuts, but to a first grader, it seemed a long way.

Several months after school started, Margo got sick. When the dismissal bell rang, there was no Margo, I went to the office and told them I did not know my way home.They called my dad.

I was so glad to see him when he arrived until he explained that it was time for me to walk alone. I cried and protested, but he assured me he would follow in the car and I would be safe. I was very afraid, but given no choice, I began. True to his word, he followed.

Then we came to one of the shortcuts, the only way I knew. Daddy couldn't drive across the field. Surely he would let me ride now. But, no, he said he would be waiting on the other side. And he was.

The final shortcut was across a foot bridge, but that was only a half a block to the house. Finally, I was home free.

Little did I know decades ago that the walk home was a blueprint of my life to come. There were shortcuts I would take because it was all I knew. When I did, I lost sight of my Heavenly Father, but when I recovered myself, He stood there waiting.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

If You Weren't a Perfect Mother...

Mother's Day may be a bummer for you.

I am convinced that you don't really figure out mothering until you become a grandmother and are able to step back a bit.

I made many, many mistakes as a mom and my children paid dearly. I was an emotional basket case and the more I needed love, the more I pushed people away.

Healing began for me about twenty years ago in a small kingdom called Lesotho in southern Africa. A chief named me Me'ma Lera'to, Mother of Love. I was the furthest thing from that. I never let anyone deep into my heart for fear I would lose them or they would hurt me deeply as I had been hurt. Some how though over the years, I hear that declaration and it pushes me to become just that,

Let me share a truth with you that has helped me forgive myself.

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
 marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret,
 and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect;
and in thy book all my members were written,
which in continuance were fashioned,
 when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139
God, Himself was there when each child was knit into my womb. He chose me to be their mother just as He chose my mother. HE trusted me with their lives.
I made mistakes, big mistakes, but my Father sees the beginning to the end and He can take my mistakes and fashion them into strengths and passages for others to be free.
I had to go to each adult child and repent. Some heard me; some did not. But my heart was right. This is not a time to make excuses. There is no excuse for not being available or lack of nurturing. If other things or people were more important and you justified it in the name of survival, recognize that you were operating out of fear. Where there is fear, there is lack of trust in God completely. Like me, you will need to repent to the Father.
When you are operating in fear, there is always a Plan B. There is never a point of absolute surrender and trusting the Father to meet you in the crisis.
I am hanging on to the promises in Joel 2:
25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm,
 and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God,
 that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.
He took my ALL my guilt and shame when I repented. I cannot replace the past, but I can forge peace, love and joy into each day for His mercies are new every morning.
So celebrate who you are and ask the Father show you how to be all HE sees you becoming. It's a journey, but it will not begin without taking the first step towards reconciliation.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Outcast and Judged?

The woman at the well came at mid-day to avoid the jeers and derision of the other women of the village. She had no girl time, no fellowship. She had no one to confide in and share her deep heart secrets and troubles.

In an attempt to come and go unnoticed, she was noticed by Jesus. He was able to look into the deep crevices of her broken heart. There was no secret too dark. He already knew it. Yet He offered life abundantly.

Sometimes in our attempt to cover up our sins, mistakes and bungling, we isolate. This is an open door for vain imaginations. The sin grows bigger in our mind. I can remember thinking if anyone knew who I REALLY was, they wouldn't like me, much less love me.

I would put on my plastic face and greet the world with a saccharin smile. Inside I was bleeding from the wounds I had taken in.

 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship:
for salvation is of the Jews.
But the hour cometh, and now is,
 when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:
 for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
 God is a Spirit:
 and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh,
which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
John 4:22-26
When I put on my plastic face, I worship what I know not. For I am opening the door to a fabricated personality and isolation. Either will keep me from being who God has called me to be.
Are you hiding behind your stuff today? Are you willing to tear down the walls and be real? This is the real closet we need to come out of. Just as Adam was unable to hide from the Father in the garden after he sinned, neither are we. He sees the real you and loves you and is willing to meet me right where you are. You don't have to clean up first.

Today be real. He will show you how wonderful and beautiful you really are.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

You Are So Beautiful to Me

Phil Driscoll like me is a trophy of God's grace. I was fortunate to being living in Jacksonville, FL when he made an abrupt turn back to his roots and began to glorify God with his music.
Phil opens this video with a little background and the real heart behind this song.

So much of this is what your Father sys about you, too.