"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Monday, April 30, 2012

To Borrow Worry again... and again...

His face was painted with worry.  What is wrong, sweet boy? Why that face?

In response, he broke down in tears.  Almost sobbing uncontrollably, he told me about all the things he had to get done for school.  He just knew that he wasn't going to be able to get it all done!

In that moment, he just knew that the day would be a failure.  Anyone looking on would have seen utter frustration and despair coming out in tears down his freckled face.  My sweet boy...  He is only ten years old.  But, sometimes even he, this light-hearted soul, feels overwhelmed and worried.

I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he would be just fine.  I knew he would have plenty of time to finish it all.  I knew, in fact, that he would have time to spare and much room to play!  But no words could convince his determined heart.  He just wouldn't believe me.  Does God ever feel this way, I wonder?

I knew He need not worry!  I knew it would all be fine... he would be fine.  But, his heart was convinced otherwise.  And so he despaired.  He worried.  He cried and lamented.

At about 4:00 this afternoon I found this same sweet boy playing on the computer.  He loves his computer-time play!  I found him here playing and creating a world on his favorite game.  He saw me and wanted to show me the digital world he is creating.  I enjoyed it and entered into his play world for a moment.

Then, I asked him...

This morning, son, you were very worried.  Were you borrowing worry, my sweet boy?  

With a sheepish, but tenderly sweet grin, he said, Yep.  Yeah... I was.  

Was it worth it?  Did it help you?  Was it necessary, my sweet boy?  

No!!  he replied, it never is!  

And then he paused and said with a confusing look and a quirky smile,  But, Mom, I seem to forget that when I am worried.  When I am in the middle of worrying, I can't seem to remember!

Me, too, son.  Me, too!

It has been said that our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.  ~Charles Spurgeon

Friday, April 27, 2012

The beauty of resting...

Her voice rang with simple joy as we talked, "Stephanie, I go to sleep each night so excited to sleep and so grateful for my warm, soft bed.  I wake up each morning so excited to start the day---what will He have for me today, I wonder each morning with joy!"

Sharing her heart and sharing this victory of perspective, she spoke these words over the long distance phone line.  Her words brought more than a smile to my mouth---they brought a smile to my soul.  Can a soul smile?  Mine did.

Happy to fall asleep.  Happy to wake up.  This!  This is joy.  This is contentment!

My friend---this mother, this wife, this daughter--- spoke words of deep contentment.  It isn't a place she was, naturally is---or has always been---no, this is a place she has come to.  Contentment is who she is becoming.  My friend was once a woman who might fall asleep exhausted, worried, or disappointed with all that didn't get done that day.  And, she was a child of God who woke tired, sometimes feeling unready for her day, overwhelmed by all that needed to get done.

Her Father in Heaven has brought her here.  She arrived to this sweet rest and contentment walking on the road of Love--- journeying with and in God's love for her.

I had just been thinking about contentment earlier in the morning.  Reading in Hebrews 13, I was struck with the command of God to "be content with what you have".  But more than just a commandment, what struck me was the why and how answers that are found right along side the statement from our Father.  "Be content with what you have... because God has said 'Never will I leave you and never will I forsake you!' Say to yourself, the Lord is my helper;  I will not be afraid!"  (Hebrews 13:5,6).

This contentment we are commanded is found in, and only in, a trusting of God's loving Presence and His help.  It is a trust and resting in His love---a love that is forever and never leaves.

...His Presence that is always enough.  His faithfulness and steadfastness is why we... it is why I... can be content.

I can trust God enough to rest well at night.  Surrender and lay down the burdens.  Lay down the work, done and undone.  Release and let it all go.  With a thankful heart I can rest and sleep in His Presence.

And, I can trust God enough to wake to the day ready for His loving Presence to guide, strengthen, surround and sustain.  I can trust Him to give me just what I need and to never leave my side.  I can say of Him, my God is my helper!

I, too, can fall asleep this way--- and so can you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Forever Foundation

I don't readily understand forever.

Temporary, I get.  Everything in our world dies or ends at some point, right?  All things have an end.  All things in this life are destroyed or wither away.  Things break.  They are consumed. This comes and that goes.

This world I see and touch and taste has endings each and every day.  Good-byes are a part of life, sometimes everyday.  Even saying goodbye to the smallest of things.  Temporary, I get.

Not to be morbid, but, temporary is something I think I even unconsciously plan for.  I assume.  Whether this is a product of my nature or my nurture/background--- or just my human experience, I can't discern.  But, truly, I am generally ready on some level for the end.

And sometimes I wonder if this depth of understanding... this "getting" of temporary trickles into and informs my thoughts about God and who He is.

And then I read, His love endures forever.  (Psalm 136)


I don't readily understand forever.  And yet, when I read this ...and think on it and ponder and pray...  I am moved and encouraged somewhere deep within.  The concept of a love that never ends and always has been settles me and surrounds me.  I can sit here.  I can rest on this foundation.

Do I sometimes assume or plan for God's love to end, too?  Do I wonder, from time to time, if I (or this world) have used it all up?  If His love endures up until this or that...  rather than forever.  His love endures forever.  

Where temporary slips and moves and falters, forever is stable and solid.  Forever speaks to my heart of something more, something beyond, something wonderfully above me, my world and my 'planning for'.  It speaks of a foundation that is bigger and broader and beyond me:  His love.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Catch up, Soul...

I heard a phrase some time back that has been bouncing around in my head this week, "Sometimes our souls just need to catch up with our bodies"

My soul most definitely needs some catchin' up!

Less than a week ago, we boarded a flight and jet-set over and across the Atlantic.  Right now, my body has settled down in our overseas home.  We are unpacked and starting back to schooling today.  Back to laundry, grocery shopping, work and friends.  I am physically back to "normal life" and Father's work... but my soul seems to be lagging behind my body.  My soul has not quite caught up!

Sometimes I think the 3 month sea voyage that our colleagues took some 100 years ago had its advantages. (albeit, I admit the scurvy and pirates were a problem!)  If anything, though, their long journey gave them plenty of time to prepare and to process.  Time to think and read.  And sit and wait.

Now with modern travel, as my husband is fond of saying, "we just step into the wardrobe and blam! we are in Narnia"--- and it is cold here!

I think in the past few weeks, I simply ran too fast and too far ahead.  Do you ever feel that way?

So, I am requiring of myself... in love...a sit and be still moment often during my day.  Just sit and be still for a few minutes and let your soul catch up, Stephanie.  Think a bit.  Wait a moment.  Sit.  and Pray.  and read.  And do nothing... for a moment.  Or, two, or three...

Silence.  Stillness.

Yes, the laundry needs to be hung to dry... but it can wait 2 or 3 minutes, right?  Or, can it even wait until tomorrow?  Yes, that email needs to be written... but it, too can wait, a few minutes, even a few days.   Yep, my girl needs me to explain her math...  "Sweet girl, I will be there in 5 minutes.  I am just finishing up a quiet moment with Jesus."

I am attempting to push through the tyranny-of-it-feels-urgent, in order to allow my body to sit, my mind to rest, my hearts to ponder and my spirit to pray.

It takes time for a soul to catch up.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Blessing of blogging

I have found such deep joy in blogging these past three years!  I find that lessons and themes my Father whispers become crystalized through the act of writing.  After writing, then, comes the sweet opportunity to share with you-- you who are kind enough to join me on my journey and read.

I will be taking a short break from writing now. As we finish out our Stateside furlough we will be traveling quite a bit and consistent writing will be a challenge for me.

Please feel free to poke around the site and read past posts.  Or, check back in a few weeks ---when I will join you again to share a bit of my journey into Father's love.  May you see Him, and His hand of grace, each new day.  ...thank you for reading and walking with me.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Good Medicine

She makes me laugh like very few others can.  And, laughter is indeed good medicine.

I need to laugh.  We all need to laugh.

There are certain people who touch our funny spot in ways others simply can't.  And, I happen to be spending the weekend with one of my favorite people on the earth.  And, man, can she make me laugh! 

God is so kind to give us the gift of laughter... such a release and a place of rest...  a place of peace and friendship.

I truly hope you can laugh a bit this weekend, too!  It is sweet, powerful medicine. 

Thank you, Lord for laughter and friendship!
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