Friday, March 25, 2011

God in the Yard Week 5 Part 1

"I am comforted by the idea of leaving "openings" because..."

If I close up every opening it would mean that everything is up to me. THAT frightens me! I know the scope of my abilities and they fall short of accomplishing anything of value. I am not minimizing myself but being realistic and understanding what the Bible says in John 15:5, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." 


Having openings does make me feel quite vulnerable. Thankfully my very human and limited understanding of His Character and His Word tells me that "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13) In the Bible it also says the Holy Spirit prays for us, "And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will." (Romans 8:27). So, I am covered. Even if I have no idea what is next. He does. The "openings" allow me to experience the blessing of trusting in Him.

 "Openings" allow Light to shine, Water to flow, and Receiving to happen. When I stay closed, there is darkness, dryness, and emptiness. I can't be a light without His Light. I can't be refreshing if I am not walking in the Water of His Word, and I cannot give if I cannot receive.

"OPENINGS" = GOOD when I am open to God!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

God in the Yard Week 4 - Part 3

The statement I am responding to is "Religious celebration and healing of painful times seem connected, because..."

When I specifically think of Why I love Easter, it is the season I ask God to take me deeper into the caverns of my soul, the tunnels of my mind, and the trenches of my habits. I press in to Him seeking more of His presence to fill those places.

The ashes on my forehead remind me of where I've come from and the celebration that is yet to come.

I don't always plunge into His arms during this Lent season. Sometimes I sneak glances at Him like a lowly wall flower cautiously peaking at the handsome fellow she'd love to dance with. When I catch His gaze I am stunned by the intensity in his eyes, yet again. I look away knowing He can see my depths. I long to let go of the deep dark places, but there is comfort in the familiar even if it is getting in the way of our connection.

I muster the courage to look up again to find His focus is me. I take in a quick breath, physically affected by His eyes. The beauty and the kindness in them reaches for me from across the dance floor. Slowly I stand, taking one step in His direction. Instantly He has me in His grasp, enveloping me in His peace.

"It will be okay My Love," He whispers to my heart. I believe Him.

Our breath mingles together as I rest my head on His heart and His head is bowed over mine. I am encircled by His love, hearts beating in harmony as His warmth draws the coolness of the pain from my caverns, tunnels, and trenches.

We spend 40 days entwined. I look around from time to time, the intensity of our connection is overwhelming. I am tempted to be drawn away, but I stay because I know there is no Lover as true, as strong, as good as He is. The discomfort comes and goes with dancing so closely. He shares my pain, my letting go. He never loosens His hold on me. It is never confining, only inviting me to stay tucked close for these days. Encouraging me to allow Him to draw out those things neglected or wounds unhealed.

His endless patience astounds me. His rest covers me in my unsettled moments. He reminds me that this is OUR time. Our sacred 40 day appointment.

On the day of Resurrection I will be released to walk in fresh healing, freed from His intensive ministry out into the field of "fruit-fullness" to pour out, comfort, encourage, explore, adventure, and leap into another layer of who He has called me to be. I am on day 6. Thirty-four more days  of cleansing intimacy remain.

I embrace Him back. I will know Him as El Shaddai, The All Sufficient One. I am eager and cautious at the same time knowing there will be pain, release, grief, discomfort, joy, and hope all culminating in my deeper love and greater freedom in Him.

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 in the New International Version " But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit"

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 from the Message "Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him."

He has that for me. I want it. 

God in the Yard - Week 4 - Part 2 - Why I love Easter

The statement I am responding to is: "My favorite celebration is... "

EASTER!

It represents to me the end of death and the beginning of life.

Also, I have fond memories of family times at Easter. Lots of them. We often had my grandparents come to our home in Southern California for Easter. It was the perfect time of year for them to leave the cold grayness of the Pacific Northwest winter and come to warmer and sunnier Cali. One of my favorite memories is my mom used to hide REAL decorated eggs at Easter. She would often forget where she hid one or two and it would be months before we found them... they got a little funky after a while, that is for sure. It still makes me giggle to think about it. Back then I had no idea what being a mom looked like, now, with three of my own I totally get how she could forget where she put a few eggs!

I always love going to church on Easter. The hymns, the lilys, the feeling of celebration in the air, and... Easter happens on the inside of me every year. I am not sure when it started, but for as far as I can remember, I am very aware of Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent ). I spend the 40 days leading up to Easter reflecting and contemplating the meaning of Easter . I ask God where in my life He wants to bring new life, His Resurrection life in my heart and mind.

It is a sacred time for me to celebrate intimately with Him, His gift of Life to me.

Who am I?

My photo
I am a wife and mother of 3. I have been married to my best friend for over 25 years and our children are 12, 11 and 9 years old. I have struggled with infertility, suffered the loss of a baby by miscarriage, and endured multiple career paths. I have experienced a crisis of faith that shook me to the core and lost a dear friend to a tragic death. I have had a personal relationship with Jesus for most of my life. The Bible and my relationship with Christ has been essential to my surviving and even thriving in my circumstances. I hope you will be blessed by joining me in this process of life. I thank you for showing up to read what I have written.