Friday, August 26, 2011

Older--Five Minute Fridays

This older hand holding the younger--it's an 86 year difference.

This older hand, which once held mine, is holding my baby's. This hand belongs to the one who brought me such security and love as I grew up wondering who I was and where I belonged.

She is now older. She reached her 90th birthday last fall and I wonder just how many more she will have. These older hands--what have they seen in this life? The wrinkles. The veins. Both testify to a life lived well.

It is a reminder to me to love well with these hands of mine. Will my children see love in my hands when one day they see my hands grown older? Will I look at my older hands and instead of seeing stubby fingers and wide palms, will I see the hands that baked cookies, taught children how to write, and loved them well?

....five minute fridays with The Gypsey Mama...the challenge to write for five minutes on one topic, no editing, no back tracking, just write.


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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

When the Barn Swallows Come

I mow. I mow often. My lawn mower is my best friend. If it could talk.

I had never mowed a lawn in my life until I got married. I had no idea how to run a lawn mower. My deere hubby gave me a quick lesson (and I do mean quick) and off I went. Believe me when I tell you I ran into trees and got a piece of wire fence wound round the blades. As the years passed (and every year for a few years I needed a refresher course on how to run the crazy thing), I got a little better at mowing. I am not the detail girl, Mr. Deere is, but I get most of it done. Let me explain what most is--we live on 5 acres and I mow around the house and three buildings and all the trees in our quickly growing grove.

I mow a lot.

Anyway, I noticed a phenomenon, not only can I not mow in a straight line, but I have company that joins me each time I mow.

Barn Swallows.

They are pesky little creatures. First one begins swooping about my head, then another and another until I have at least half a dozen flying about me. They can be a little distracting, especially for a girl who cannot mow in a straight line. (I've tried, truly I have....)

Those barn swallows are beautiful little creatures. They have an indigo back and a creamy underside and a cute little forked tail. But they distract and startle me from my mowing. Imagine mowing, and having a nice little quiet time, and then this bird swoops two feet in front of you! while you're moving forward!

So, I have learned to ignore those things and keep looking ahead, to keep looking at my goal.

'Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame' Isaiah 50:7.

This is what I need to do in everything. I need to set my face like flint before the Lord. I need to focus on Him, not on the distractions around. When those distractions come that tempt me to leave the path the Lord has laid out for me to walk, I remember the barn swallows and the mower and how I don't look at the birds, but I keep following the mowers swath. I know the birds are there, just as I know the distractions are there. The feelings of inadequacy, the fear, the comparisons, but I choose to focus on my Lord.

Set your face like flint on your goals and ignore those pesky birds!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Unexpected Bloom

Who new that within my birdbath filled with succulants, one would produce these exquisite teardrop blossoms! It is a good reminder that the Lord shows his grace in surprising ways.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Uncertainly Certain

‘He loves me, He loves me not. He loves me, He loves me not’. The refrain repeats as petals flutter to the ground, hoping that the last petal will be ‘He loves me’, but knowing the outcome is as random as the number of petals on the daisy and that the answer can change from flower to flower.

Uncertainly certain am I of God’s love for me....

This is a dichotomy of the war which rages within my heart and mind. My mind knows and believes that the God of the universe loves me unreservedly, but my heart. My treacherous heart whispers to me otherwise and whips the heart and bruises the heart until it is unwilling to unfurl and receive the love He freely gives. the rest here.

Blessings to you today,

Friday, August 19, 2011

New--Five Minute Fridays

New pencils. New books scattered around and throughout the house. New schedules. New wake times--yikes!

A new seventh grader, fourth grader, first grader, and one along for the ride. A new years lies open before me. A new purpose of teaching and training these gifts from the Lord above.

Beyond the surface newness of books and schedules is the new path the Lord is leading us down. It is listening for His voice in my ear saying, 'this is the way, walk in it.'

It is the newness of the dawn as we set out on a journey of living and loving and learning together with Him.

New years always bring joy and trepidation, but mostly they bring a chance to grow in new faith and trust in the One who holds my every moment within His hands. this may be our eighth year of schooling at home and sometime I think I have it all under control, but each year brings me a newer knowledge that our times and days are truly in His hands and I long to hear the Voice that matters most.

I love the start of new school years, not for the books, although, they are great, but for the new opportunities to walk in His ways.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Leaving a Legacy

'Listen my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.' Proverbs 1:8-9

As a mother I am in a unique position. I have been entrusted with four little hearts and minds. What will I do with them? Will I follow God's word in teaching them? Will I cover them with grace and love? What will their legacy be?

My prayer is that their legacy is a Godly heritage. That they would worship Him with abandon in all they do. That the Word of God would be the most important voice in their head. This is my prayer.

Oh--but for grace, this is not the legacy I would leave them. I am bound by selfishness that requires a daily removal. I am impatient. I snap. My tone doesn't always match my words.

Do I ever make it through the day without needing to apologize? Do I actually apologize when I need to? No, not always. Is this the legacy I want to leave? Absolutely not!

What can we do? Fall into the arms of grace and trust Him to take our feeble offerings and let Him work it out for His purposes.

Let's rest in His arms and stop condemning ourselves for our mistakes, but let's humble ourselves before the Lord, admit our weakness and seek forgiveness from the One who forgave first. Then let our children see us humble ourselves before them and do the same before them.

If our children see us modeling God's word, then His instructions will be a garland for their heads and His teaching a beautiful chain about their necks.

And that is the legacy I desire most for my children.


Monday, August 15, 2011

When Thanks is Hard

'He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.' Psalm 50:23

A sacrifice requires something of me. It costs something. At times I enjoy giving the sacrifice, but when my will crosses with the Lord's will, then it becomes something different entirely. It becomes hard. It becomes painful. It becomes costly.

My spiritual father, my pastor for the last 16 years is heeding the call of God to move his ministry, and I am grieving, not because I don't want God's will, but because my will is crossing His. The Lord has given me deep peace and a vision for the future, but that does not dispel the sorrow.

I want to see the Lord in all I do and in all that happens. I want to see Him in my marriage, my mothering, my teaching, and my church. What is the one thing that prepares the way so that I may see Him?It is in sacrificing thank offerings.

How does one go about this sacrifice? How do we offer up thanksgiving when the heart already feels sacrificed?

By simply thanking Him for the simple things of this life:

*love a husband
*sound spiritual teaching
*the moon glowing through a haze of clouds
*a new school year
*open doors
*closed doors
*absolute Truth

May your Monday be filled with the offerings of thanks for the simple things He gives. May you turn it into worship as you love and teach your children. May the sacrifice be a pleasing pain, knowing that you are honoring the one who gives all things. May you see Him as your thanksgiving prepares the way.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Can You Trust?

.....Just a little note, I have been writing for a Woman's Retreat I am speaking at this fall, (the deadline is looming), this is an excerpt from one of the talks I plan on giving. I hope as you prepare for the new school year that you listen for the Voice that matters and follow His plan.......

Is the Lord trustworthy? A resounding yes! But to get to that trust we must experience belief and submission first. It is a belief that he loves us with an unending, everlasting love. It is a belief that the only way we can be saved is by His grace through the blood shed on the cross for us. It is an accepting of the gift of life—eternal life. But what happens if life feels more like a consuming fire or a raging sea. What then? Does God change? Do your beliefs in Him change? It shouldn’t. But somehow, we will compare our circumstances with who God is, but he is so far above our circumstances for His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts, his understanding no one can fathom. He can do far above what we can fathom or imagine. He is bigger than my greatest dream or my deepest fear.

Take a look at Mary. What the angel told her would change her life. She would carry a stigma. Under Jewish law she could justifiably be stoned. Joseph, her betrothed, could issue a divorce. Yet, she calmly accepted the Lord’s plan. What we could learn from her. How many times does God use a seemingly awful situation for His kingdom purposes. He sees the entire tapestry of our world and we see only a tiny piece of thread. Quite possibly the thing that is causing you the most pain and heartache could be the thing the Lord is using to work out something amazing for His glory in your life.

Resting in his arms is a choice you make. Will you fix your eyes like flint before the Lord or will you be distracted by the circumstances? Will you allow His word to be a lamp for your feet and a light for your path or will you listen to your friends, or Dr. Phil, or Oprah? God’s word is true. It is trustworthy. What does Luke 1:45 say? ‘Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.’

Blessings to you this weekend,