Monday, June 25, 2012

White Water

There once was a girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was bad...she was very, very bad. Well actually, she didn't behave very, very badly, but she was very, very bad in her heart. Sometimes, she felt so bad that she would lie on her bed and cry, struggling in confusion over the flesh and spirit battle within her little curly head. Ultimately, God kept her from destroying or even tarnishing her life and that of those around her very much, because of His great mercy. 

Although very thankful for His protection, there was always a teeny tiny part of her mind that wondered what it would have been like had she went ahead and acted on some of those curiosities and self centered pursuits. Not ever enough to actually act, but enough to cause certain emotional times to become much more traumatic than appreciated. Kind of like holding on tight to a life preserver while white water waves try to pull her under to the deep darkness (we did a lot of canoeing growing up). Those testing episodes never ended, but they did grow weaker and less frequent. Too many examples of painful lives all around you eventually convince a person to stop entertaining those lies and just trust that God knows what He is talking about.

With many silver strands now highlighting those curls, the little girl cherishes those often unappreciated principles and precepts of scripture. Like Thomas, she is tempted to ask Jesus to show her the scars to prove His truth. How much more blessed we are when we have the courage to trust His word, rather than to insist on experiencing the truth and bear the scars ourselves.

Thomas said:
“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” John 20:25

Jesus responds:
“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

The heart never stops having moments of distrust, but the closer we stand next to the One who bears the scars for us, the less intense and powerful those moments become. All the enticements of this lying world cannot compare to the joy and peace found in Jesus. Being well past the eye of this spiritual storm, I see many young souls just heading into it. My heart prays that they will find courage to brave the storm, hold tight to His nail scared hands and  overcome the waves. As Michael Card so eloquently captured the thought:

"So surrender the hunger to say you must know,
Find the courage to say I believe"

...and be blessed.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Jots and Tittles

It's difficult to write when there are so many thoughts going through your head at once. Sometimes it's easier, and safer, to not write. A fool says everything that is in her heart. Once the thoughts are calmed and the intentions of the heart are discerned, then God can lead the pen. The Bible instructs to let every word be for edifying and building up, not for tearing down, so careful jots and tittles are necessary. I am so grateful that God is refining my heart and saving me from myself everyday. Rescuing me from certain shame and causing damage to the souls of others. This explains great gaps of time between blog posts. Sometimes it is better to remain silent and enjoy the pure white paper.

The last couple of weeks have been really enjoyable with school events, garden planting and GORGEOUS weather!! I love to do laundry in the Summer. I hang the clothes on the line very slowly, taking in every ray, breeze and bird chirp. 

My hammock and mountain view give me a reprieve from the days requirements. Stealing a few moments in this peaceful prayer place is an allowable offense.

New summer reading (with kids and without) provide cheap and hassle free vacations to amazing places and people. We are enjoying our first Lamplighter book, "The White Gypsy"...very pleased. 

The berries are starting!! Another small blessing to focus on is the sweet, juicy little bundle of freshness that only summer can provide. I have an unhealthy aversion to the slimy frozen then thawed strawberry. Nasty critters...good only for the blender.
When the ragamuffins come in at the end of the day, with tree pitch in their hair, dirt on their feet and stories of adventure, I embrace the scent. Cuddling them very close, I smell their sun-kissed cheeks, stroke their wind blown hair and listen (not so closely) to their tales. Hugging them like a cherished Teddy Bear has come to life.
Jumping into my world of color also brings joy. I thank God everyday for the opportunity to create.
 At the end of the day, I get to cuddle with my best friend in the whole world...and eat popcorn...with butter. It's the simple things I reference to the popcorn, not my husband :)

When the big things in life are too overwhelming to ponder and bring "junk feelings", it's the little things that need attention. Get the microscope out and ponder the wonder of the joyful details of life. Don't overlook the regular. Take a closer look and stay awhile.