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

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Talk to yourself---but tell yourself the truth!

We sat across the table, our coffees cooling, and I couldn't help myself.  Some would call it "getting on my soap-box" or "preaching to the choir".  Almost half-aware, I just couldn't help myself.  I just had to tell her the Truth.  I was telling her who she was in Christ, who He was, and what His love meant for her.

When I paused for a breath, she smiled and said, "No one talks to me like this!"  

My immediate response was, "Well, then, you must talk to yourself like this!  Speak to your own soul!  David did it."

Reading this morning in Psalm 103, I was struck again at how much David "speaks to his soul."  He talks to himself. 

Do you ever talk to yourself?  I would probably off-the-cuff answer that question with a emphatic, "no".  I know people who talk to themselves... I have heard them in the other room.  But, I am just simply not that verbal.  When I am alone, I am quiet.  I even know people whose mouths move---just slightly and unconsciously---as they have an internal dialogue.  It is actually quite funny to witness this.  These people I am referring to are most assuredly not crazy.  It is simply that their mouth is displaying the action going on in the brain.  

But, yes, of course I talk to myself.  We all do.  All day, every day we talk to ourselves.  This is one of our brain's main functions.  In fact, our cerebellum is significantly larger than any other created animal because we do this "higher level thinking".  Animals do not.  We are always--and forever---working out problems, processing information, expecting the future, commanding our bodies, and discussing big ideas with ourselves.  Certainly that is one main function of our dreams, even as we sleep.  We are talking to ourselves.  

I am struck this morning at how important it is to tell ourselves the Truth.  We need to speak to our own souls, just as David did.  

Actually it makes me think of that memorable scene in the movie, While You Were Sleeping.  The main character, Lucy, says out loud---almost unconsciously--- "Oh! I was going to marry that man." (a man she had never met). A nurse, overhearing her comment, mistakes her self-talk as being reality and introduces Lucy to man's parents as his fiance.  Eventually when she comes clean of the misunderstanding, the nurse (who overheard) says, "Next time you talk to yourself.  Tell yourself you are single and end the conversation!"  

Sometimes I simply need to tell myself the truth and end the conversation. 

Is that what David is doing in Psalm 103?  What self-talk was going on in his head, I wonder, when he speaks to his soul, "Praise the Lord, O my soul!  Praise His holy name.  Forget not his benefits.  Praise the Lord, O my soul!"  The whole of the Psalm is filled with Truth after Truth after Truth.  He is proclaiming to His own soul, "This is who God is, this is who I am, this is what I have received from God..."

Or, in Psalm 42, what was going on within David when he says, "Why so downcast, O my soul?  Put your hope in God!"  He is commanding his own soul to trust God.  He stands on his own soap-box and speaks Truth to his own soul.  

So, this morning, me-alone-with-God, with my coffee cooling, I spoke Truth to my own soul.  "The Lord, Stephanie, is compassionate.  He is gracious and slow to anger.  Stephanie, your God is abounding in love!" 

What will you say to yourself today?

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Way Forward...

photo source
At times there is a passionate fight within that rises up.  This passionate fight is very difficult to contend with, to be sure.   Like a young child in tantrum with balled-up fists, stamping her foot on the ground, so my heart seems to cry loudly, "No, I don't want to!!"  

I don't want to!
or, ...My way, my wants, my rights...  or, This IS the right way...  You're not doing it right... No, this is what I want!...
...these words become the language of my heart.

When I feel this rise within, I am often of two minds, really.  One part of me longs to be like Jesus--- to walk this journey of selflessness and humility.  Truly.  And, in those moments, I pray.  Yet, still, it seems the screaming tantrum drowns out the prayers.  The childish-Stephanie rears up and like a loud gong her cries cover my heart blocking out softness and gentle tones.  It truly feels like I simply cannot "win" against her--- this stamping-foot-selfish girl.

I know what I should do and yet, I do it not.  (Romans 7:14-25)

She screamed at me yesterday.

 There was something my husband wanted me to do.  A discussion.  A plan.  ...and, I simply didn't want to do it.  Oh! The battle raged within.  Not words, but feelings--- "I don't want to!"  "You can't make me!" yelled one side of me.  And, this side of me won.  Hands down, no contest victory.

My husband was gentle and humble of heart and he gave way.  I am sorry to admit this.  Deeply sorry.  But, it is the truth.  He walked the road of humility and offered much grace.  He walked the hard road with love as his guide.

This is what the Spirit of God whispered into my heart this morning, "the language of love".

"Oh!" my heart soared this morning as a bit of Light dawned on my mind, "The answer!"

I had been asking Father to show me how I walk this road of humility.  How do I take a step forward, Father?  His first answer given last week was to look at His son, to follow Jesus.  His second answer came today--- the language of love.
Thank you Lord, for some light on my path!!  The pathway forward is love.

Love as the path.  Love as the shoes on your feet.  Love as the light shining forth your next step.  Love as the trusted cushion to shield your falls.  Love.

When my two children were young they threw tantrums.  A young child is bound to tantrum.  Mine certainly did.  And, I loved them through those tantrums.  But, love didn't mean "putting up with" the bad behavior---that wouldn't have been kind or helpful.  No, love meant discipline, training, punishment and often a non-responsiveness that discouraged the screaming fits of my two year old babies.  But, in love, we did indeed make our way through the selfish tantrums that both my children had.

So, this Lord, this is the way forward... love.   Look at Jesus, follow Him AND love.  

Today, I see a bit more clearly into this dark, hard road of humility.  I understand one more thing:  I can only walk it in Love, under Love, with Love and trusting Love.   Love is the only language that will drown out the ugly cries of my childish self and sin.

Passionate Love will crush that passionate fight within---these ugly tanturms.  Love will lead and release me into the beauty of humility.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A hard road...

There is a road that I believe my Father is inviting me to walk on... one, I truly barely understand...one that intimates me and feels like a dark, almost-scary path.  
But, His invitations to this journey have become frequent and His whispers more intense.  I know it is where He wants me and so I must follow, mustn't I?  
This journey I speak of is a journey into humility and selflessness.  Humility.  
Isn't there a funny Christian motto often repeated, one that goes something like, "Never pray for 'patience' or 'humility'" Or, something akin to "be careful what you ask for... you just might get it"?  
A. W Tozer speaks of the "self-life" or the "labor or self" as one of the heaviest sins that veils our hearts and dampens our walks with God.  (Pursuit of God)   My self-life does weigh heavy over my eyes and my heart often!  
Andrew Murray, speaks of humility when worn by believers as being exceedingly  "beautiful" and "becoming".  (Humility)  I can instantly recall and picture the beauty I have witnessed "being worn" by humble believers I have known.  It is attractive!  

Thomas A. Kempis, shares that humility should be one of our first and foremost goals as believers in Jesus.  (The Imitation of Christ)  Is this the top of my prayer list--- my "asks" of God?
And, C.S. Lewis says that, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but of thinking of yourself less".
To think of myself less.  Hmmm....   That is very hard.  Very, very hard, indeed.    
I think of myself a lot.  All day, every day.  How can I break free from this body of death?!  (Romans 7:24)
But, I hear the sweet call from my Lord to follow Him on this road and to learn from Him.  "Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:29)
Rest for my soul... that is the end of this road to humility.  And, closeness to Jesus... this is the end of this journey into self-death.  
And, so I will respond and I will continue to ask Him to teach me.  Jesus I will take this road with you.  Please lead me and walk with me.  Be at my right, my left, above and below me.  Jesus, teach me humility and gentleness---straight from your heart to mine.  
A man can counterfeit love, he can coutnerfeit faith, he can coutnerfeit hope and all other graces, but it is very difficult to counterfeit humility.  ~D.L.Moody
Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility. St. Augustine

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Crashing Lies... calming Truth

Sometimes a lie comes crashing into my heart.

Sometimes my mind is flooded with doubts and lies--the stream of accusation sending me on a distracted journey into guilt---a dangerous terrain.

This morning a lie crashed in and tried it's best to carry me away.  Today it was, "Your not doing enough".

  ..."not enough" hissed through the beginnings of my quiet time with the Lord.

I wrestled with these words, these thoughts.  Just before I was swept away, I uttered a slight quiet prayer, something like "Lord have mercy on me"... but coming forth from my lips as a deep sigh and an "ugh!!"

In response, I instantly felt prompted to pick up His Word and read.  Read truth.

As I opened God's Word, light streamed in and the noisy lies ceased.  As if a direct answer to the streaming lie, I read, "Jesus gave them this answer:  I  tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can only do what he sees the Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.  For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all He is doing."  (John 5:19)

Jesus was being accused by the Jews.  Lies crashed all around him.  They didn't like what He was doing or who He was.  They accused Him and tried to destroy Him. (John 5:18). In response to the accusation, he answered  them with the simplicity of His relationship to the Father.  He pointed to the Father.  And, He pointed to His actions as an extension of the Father's will.

He rested in the security of doing what the Father wanted Him to do.  Case closed.  End of story.

I have an accuser.  And, this accuser speaks only one language:  lies.  Lying is his mother-tongue.  Jesus always answered accusation with Truth.  He always speaks truth.

Now, granted, Jesus was much better than I at knowing the Father's will and His desires.   His clarity and discernment were unhindered by sin. Certainly sin and self often hinder my ability to know what the Father would have me do.  And yet.

And yet...  I am His.  I am asking.  And, I am attempting to listen, to follow and to do.  Failures and all...

...it is the deepest desire of my heart to do the Father's will.  I long, Father, to join You and to walk with You and do exactly what you would have me do today!  

So, when the "not enough" lie pummels my mind again, I will answer it with the truth that, Stephanie can do nothing by herself.  She can only do what she sees the Father doing!  And, her Father loves her and will show her what to do today.  
And, truth calms the crashing lies.

Monday, May 21, 2012

He is All

I feel my weakness.  I feel my neediness rising this lovely Monday morning.

I don't need a thing...  she sings and reminds me.

My good Shepherd brings me all---  You are all I need.  
You let me catch my breath, even in the valley of death.  You are all I need.  
All I need to be complete is Your love.  Your blood---it covers me!  
You lift up my head.  You provide the wine and bread.  
You are all I need.  

from JJ Heller's, All I Need

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Painful squabbling

When I hear them squabble... which they (indeed!) do from time-to-time...it grieves my heart.  Brother and sister.  They pick at each other and poke and bite.  It is painful.

It is painful to listen to them fight, to argue, or to be unkind.

In their words and their actions, I see so clearly the pride and self-centered-ness that plagues our human race.  In their tones and in the tenor of their voices, I hear so clearly the yuck that mucks my own heart.  Ugliness.  Stink.

"Did you hear the way you just spoke to your sister?" I ask of my son.

Why is it so hard, Lord to be kind.  I struggle, too.

I read in His Word about loving genuinely and preferring others above myself.  I read that we are to put on love, grace and humility. I read "as much as depends on you, live at peace with all men." (Romans 12:18)

And, I read Jesus' invitation to come to Him to learn about humility and gentleness. (Matthew 11:29)

And, I realize, again---it is something we need to learn.  I need to learn.  Simply put, it doesn't come naturally.  Both of my sweet kids came out of the womb feeling that they were the center of the universe and not wanting to share or to prefer others.  They didn't want to share their toys, their space or their mother!  And, yet, they can learn.  They are learning.

And, so am I.  ...slowly.

"Did you hear the way you spoke to your husband, Stephanie?"  the Spirit of God whispers to my heart.

Why is it so hard, Lord to be kind and gentle?  

I wonder how He feels when He hears me squabble... even when it is only in my mind... with my brother or my sister?  Does it grieve Him or pain Him as it pains me to hear my children?

How good and pleasant it is when they dwell in unity!!  (Psalm 13:1)  When His children are living in unity, in love and in genuine affection for each other--- it smells good to our Father, "like precious oil running down Aaron's beard".

Teach us, Jesus to live in unity and to be humble.  Lead us into all truth, Spirit of God.  Father, guard us from the evil one and make us one, just as You are one with the Son.  We have so much to learn!  I have so much to learn!  

"Hope and faith will both come to an end when we die.  But love will remain.  Love is eternal.  Love comes from God and returns to God.  When we die, we will lose everything that life gave us except love.  The love with which we lived our lives is the life of God within us.  It is the divine, indestructible core of our being.  This  love not only will remain but will also bear fruit from generation to generation"  -Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer

Monday, May 14, 2012

Healthy Tears

She really does cry a lot.   My sweet girl.

She can cry easily when angry or sad.  She can cry when she is happy or surprised.

In fact, she cried again on Sunday.  She was sharing about a loved one that is in pain and hurting.  She wanted prayer.  She cried her way through the request and the prayer.  It worried the youth leader a bit, I think.  It doesn't worry me.

She cries while she worships and she cries while talking about friends she loves.  She cries while others gather around and pray.  Compassion, justice and mercy issues being one of the top "sure" things that will make this sweet girl cry.  Tears come very freely to her and I truly, genuinely love this about her.

I love that she cries.

You see, I can't.  I have trouble crying.  I always have.  Well, I should say, I always have---as far as I can remember.  Did I cry more at one time in my life, I don't know.   But, in these adult years... these past 20 years, to be sure... tears are hard to come by for me.  It isn't that I am not sad.  It isn't that I don't have sadness and pain that could fill a bucket of tears.  I do.  I just can't seem to cry them out.   I am learning.  And, I am crying a bit more these days.  I have indeed asked God for this gift of tears.  And, He has answered slowly.    But tears don't flow freely for me like they do for my girl.

Free flowing.  Freedom.

Last night before bed she asked her daddy how it is that I contain my emotions so easily.  She was asking, so it seemed, in manner of admiration.  How does Mom do it?! she wanted to know.  She wanted to learn the trick.

Oh!  Baby-girl, you don't need to learn how to suppress tears!  Yes, there are appropriate times and places.  And, you will learn that.  You are learning that, already.  But, please don't learn from me how to not cry!  Your tears are beautiful.  Just beautiful.  Please keep crying.  

Today in science, we read the most fascinating thing about tears.  Did you know that the tears you shed while cutting an onion, or getting sand in your face, are different than the tears you shed when you feel a strong emotion?  These two type of tears are unique from each other and have different chemicals.  One has the chemicals needed to protect the eye and fight off disease.  The other, the emotional tears, have three remarkable, medicating chemicals to help you handle the strong emotions.

"These chemicals include manganse [to calm you], luicine-enkephalin [a chemical to control pain], and the adrenocorticotrophic hormone [to help cope with stress].  When you get rid of these chemicals by crying, the net effect is to make you feel better.  By releasing these toxins, then, the tears serve to chemically and physically make you feel less depressed!  Thus, it really is true that you tend to feel better after a good, long cry.  ...the emotional tears we shed are a gift from a Designer.  Since He built in us the capacity for emotions, He also built in us the ability to deal with those emotions.  One of those is the ability to sit down and have a good, long cry." ~  Dr. Jay L Wile, Exploring Creation with General Science.  

My girl smiled big when we read this section today.  She laughed and said, "I must be very healthy-- Releasing all those toxins!"  She isn't wrong.

She is healthy!  It must be because she cries alot.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

So much to learn...

I have so much to learn...

With a slight smile and a gleem in his eye, he begins to sing and dance around the kitchen. A silly, silly song.  Nonsense, really.  But, it brings a chuckle to my heart and a giggle rises up parting my lips to a smile.  I can't help but smile.  So, so goofy is my sweet boy.  Dancing and singing in the kitchen, while cleaning a cucumber for lunch.  Such joy!  Such fun.  And, he teaches me.

We all sit quietly side-by-side, hours of waiting, to process the renewal of passports.  In a room heaving with people, other applicants, I am annoyed and impatient.  She leans in, my sweet girl, and tells me that a woman behind me is about to break down in tears.  My sweet girl wants me to know so I, too, will pray for this woman---because she is praying.  She has been praying for those throughout the room whiles she waits.   And, she teaches me.

They sit and share the ins-and-outs of a difficult conversation last night.  Their future and livelihood are in jeopardy---ambiguity reigns in this circumstance.  But, they shares their deep and confident trust in God's provision.  They talk of the passion that wells up within them:   it is God's job to fix this---to lead and to provide... not mine, not theirs.  And, they teache me.

She doesn't comb her hair before she answers the door---a "bed head" mess from a quick afternoon nap.  And no makeup has touched those lips today.  And, yet she confidently, joyfully, and with out hesitation welcomes me in.  It is as if she is completely unaware of her outward appearance.  She rests in who she is and simple beauty exudes from her.  And, she teaches me.

We sit quietly next to each other, reading.  But, he just must share about what he is thinking as he reads.  He can't help but lean over and show me, engage me in the "discussion" that is going on in his head as he wrestles with the writer and her thoughts about God.  He questions and pokes.  He doesn't just read and take it in as I might do... he "talks" with the author and His God.  He prods and he argues.  It doesn't sit right.  "Something isn't right about what she is saying here," he says.  And, he teaches me.

She stops, while on her way, to answer my question.  A stupid question, really.  But, she stops in her tracks and gives me her time.  Her space.  Her heart.  She communicates with words and her eyes that I am her priority right now---as if she has all the time in the world.  I know she doesn't.  But, she gives of herself so freely, so naturally, so graciously.  And, she teaches me.

She writes with such vulnerability it almost hurts to read.  She allows me in as she shares her heart and pours out pain onto a computer screen.  She is weak.  She is faulty and fragile.  She is in need of God and doesn't care who knows.  And as I read her writing, she teaches me.

I have so much to learn today.
And, I have a world of people to learn it from.

My brothers and sisters are always teaching me, if I am ready, willing and able to see and hear.  They teach me.  And, today, I am aware I have much to learn.  So, I listen to his silly song and watch the gleem in his eye, the joy in his heart.  And, I learn a little today from this sweet boy.

I listen to her compassionate heart and ask the Lord to open mine.  And, I learn a bit more today.
They teach me.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Insecurity again... or, should I say... pride, again.

I just naturally and generally think I am right.
In my gut somewhere, my opinion on a certain subject feels correct and right. It isn't that I don't question myself--- I do often.  And, I often feel insecure, as well.  Insecurity and pride are so closely linked, though, it is hard to separate the two.  Like friends in a vicious, spiraling, twisted up, co-dependent relationship so are arrogance and insecurity.
But, generally, I do feel right about a lot of things.  And, I judge.  I compare.  I am talking about my way of doing things, the values that I hold, the deep seated truths about how to do or to be...  in these things it is hard to see beyond self--- beyond Stephanie.
C.S. Lewis says, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less." 
I think of me way too often.  I know it is ugly.  Ugly and twisted.  It sounds particularly horrid saying it out loud or to write it down, I know.  But, it is true.  Am I alone here?
Sunday morning I was struck with Christ's words, "learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart."  (Matthew 11:28-30)
Yesterday morning I read, "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." (Ephesians 4:1-2)
And this morning I read, "No matter how far we have moved in the Christian life, we can still know that every opinion we hold and every act we perform is something less than the best.  We never have the Holy Spirit in our pockets, completely domesticated and supporting everything we are doing." ~Harvey Seifert, Liberation and Life 
Three days, three separate places...  is there a theme here for me, Lord?  (smile)
So, I wonder today if it is time (again) to pick up that classic, deeply challenging book by Andrew Murray, Humility.  
Is it time, again, Lord to delve into my pride, self righteousness and my self centeredness?  That is never a fun journey, I might say!
But, how can I resist the sweet invitation from my Jesus as He says to me, "Come to me!"  "Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart."  For with this invitation comes a beautiful promise, "and I will give you rest for your souls."
Pride and Insecurity takes their toll on a soul.  Self righteousness and self centeredness are tiring and bring exhaustion to the spirit.  Jesus offers Himself and He offers rest.  Teach me Jesus.  Teach me to be gentle and humble of heart.  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I do love the Church...and church

"Together in Battle" photo source

As, I wake and pour my cup of coffee, I realize that within me there is a distinguishable excitement rising this morning.

What is it?

In one moment, quickly, I know...I get to go to church!

What an opportunity to come together with brothers and sisters... from different backgrounds, ages and races... and worship together in song, prayer and the hearing of the Word!

I didn't grow up going to church---at least not regularly.  But, through the years, it has become such a beautiful part of my week .  A place to give and receive warmth and friendship.  A place where I can come and think on my Lord...  lift my eyes and remember.  Another point in my week that ushers me into Truth and Life and Him. A place where I can sing and worship.  An opportunity.  

Regardless of where we have lived, we have always looked and sought out the gathering of His people.

We have walked many miles to go, taken 45 minute bus rides or paid the extra cost of a taxi each week.  In each place our family has longed to gather with His people, and God has always given us this opportunity.

And, I love that everywhere we have lived, it has looked very different---taken different forms, different modes, different ways.  I love the versatility of the church---throughout history it has moved and morphed---  it has looked different in Greece and Africa.  It still looks different in Kazakhstan, Turkey and Japan.   When the village Kazakhs worship they do so on a dombra, sitting on the floor around the dasterhan.  When the Russian Baptists worship, the women cover their heads and the children stay in for the whole service.  When the Africans worship, you can bet there will be dancing, clapping and vocal expressions of "hallelujahs!"  I love this!

I love that church can be a place where I sit with, interact with and serve along side brothers and sisters that I might never know or normally have lunch with!  I love that church is a place that honors the Word of God.  I love hearing the thoughts and journey of my brother's interactions with Scripture.  I love that my Father often uses the words spoken, the prayers prayed, the songs sung and the Word shared to challenge, stir or encourage my heart.

I love that I get to dress up a bit.  (I know this is my cultural form---but this stay-at-home, work-from-home, home-schooling mom loves this!)  I love that it feels somewhat similar to the excitement of going to a party.  ...A bit dressed.  ...A bit anticipating.  ...my heart filled with the expectancy of a good time with friends.

I know this blog is simplistic.  I know that I am not dealing with any or all the challenges and troubles in the Church and at church.  But, I just had to share...
I am so excited that I get to go this morning!

What can I give this morning? I ask the Father.  Who would you have me pray for or encourage?
What will I receive this morning? I ask my Father.  ..excitement is rising in my heart for what He might show me today.

Thank you Father for Your Body, the Church.  And, thank you Father for the church, the gathering of the Body, Your church.  What a wonderful opportunity!  

Friday, May 4, 2012

Brick Like News

photo source
There are pieces of news that come at you like a stinging slap and then settle down on your heart like a heavy brick.

I have just heard a piece of news that is sitting heavy on mine.

Even as my fingers type out the words, my eyes brim with tears.  Such a shadowed piece of hard news.  ...a hurting heart.  ...a wayward daughter.  ...a child of God who is walking in darkness, unaware of her heritage---her birthright.  

I hear about her choices and the state of her soul and all that is within me sinks and wants to weep.   ...longs to lament and intercede.

There is so much more that is offered to this loved one---this dear woman.  There is so much more that He longs to give her.  Freedom He longs to drape over her shoulders.

Moments after hearing about her, I found myself wandering around the kitchen as if I couldn't remember what I was supposed to be doing.  Stopping myself, I realized that I was simply wandering and looking to "do" something.  There was nothing I was forgetting.  I was just looking for something to do.  ...to make it stop.  ...to turn her heart.  ...to open her ears to the whispers of a her Savior's love.

But, what can I do?  What can I do to save a soul?

I can do nothing, Lord.  I can only release and plead.  I can only offer this one into Your kind heart and expect from You pursuing mercy, grace and Your peace poured out.  

Only You can lift this heaviness from my heart and hers.  Only You.  

And You are enough.  

My daughter found me in the kitchen with tears.  She wrapped her arms around me and asked me why I was crying...  Then, she quietly told me she had overheard the conversation.  She had heard the news, too.

Jesus will keep after her, mommy, she whispered into my ear.  Jesus won't let her go.    

But, she needs to choose to hear Him, my sweet girl.  She needs to listen.  She needs to be willing to hear, respond and look at his face.  My words filled with choking tears.

Then, we must pray!  

Yes, my girl, that is what we can do.  That is what I can do.  And, He is enough.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Eternity Whispered

There has been a quiet, misty-something happening within me lately.  I don't have great words for it.  It has been a soft whisper.  I have been barely able to hear what is being said...  deep within.

On Sunday, as I listened to God's Word being honored, taught and spoken from, I was reminded by His Spirit of the hope I have in Him alone (Hebrews 6:19).  As my brother shared his heart with the Body, there was a moment when the almost-silent, barely distinguishable Message slightly raised in volume and seemed to say to my soul:  Eternity.

Words that I hadn't been able to grasp for days... a theme rising.

Eternity, Stephanie.  
You see, I am a very temporary-minded girl.  Are you?  Today's dishes and laundry.  Today's plans and excursions.  Today's food and today's clothes. Today's ideas and to-dos.  Today's worries and excitements.  When tomorrow is thought about, it is still very earth bound and temporary in nature.  Tomorrow's dishes and laundry.  Tomorrows meals.  Plans.  Ideas.  and To-dos.  Tomorrow's worries and fears and excitements.  
He seems to be breathing something within me to remind my heart of tomorrow's tomorrow, somewhere beyond the temporary and earth bound thoughts...  He whispers an invitation to my heart to raise it's eyes and seek the light of a place with awe-filled hope and brimming contentment.  A place of beauty and rest.  A place of no tears, no pain and no worries.  No sin.
A place beyond me, beyond my ideas, my dreams or my excitements.  ...Eternity.
Look up and look out, Stephanie.  Gaze into eternity.  It begins today and looks forward to tomorrow---and tomorrow's tomorrow.  
Can you catch a glimpse of it's beginning today?  Can you just see it there in the distance, just around the corner... not far now, my friends.  Not far now.

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."  ~C.S.Lewis
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