"Show me Your strong love in wonderful ways, O Savior of all those seeking Your help against their foes. Protect me as You would the pupil of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings as You hover over me." Psalm 17:7-8

Monday, November 21, 2011

Committed to Love

Recently, I sat down and thought long about my love for my children and asked God how I could better demonstrate it to them.  From that time with Him, I wrote the following, moreorless as a promise to keep and some guidelines for future communication:

I want my children to understand that my relationship with each of them is unique but equally special to me; that each is my personal favorite, celebrated daily in their uniqueness, valued, appreciated, adored!

I give my children freedom to be different, to relate to me differently, to challenge me, to have different requirements, needs, and preferences, and as individuals to dream their own dreams and choose different lifestyles.

I want it understood that no matter my child’s choices, performance, accomplishments, my love remains constant, only deepening day to day and year to year.  I want my children to feel secure in my love for them, safe in my acceptance of them, blessed in being a blessing to me.  I will do my best to foster this.

While I desire perfection, I will continually misrepresent God my Perfect Father, fail and disappoint my children.  I would like for this not to be misinterpreted as a lack of love on my part, and certainly not on His.  I would like my children to know I am but a toddler attempting to follow God in parenting and grandparenting.  I plead for grace and mercy in this.

I want to enter my children’s hearts and worlds to know them, but at times I will fail miserably.  I want them to know nonetheless that, under God, I cherish them above all else in this life and world.  I want them to know I am highly interested in them and cherish time spent with them.  I want them also to know I need them, but will endeavor in my need not to distract them unnecessarily or pull on them emotionally so as to interfere with investing in other relationships.

I want the next generation of my family to know how much I love them, more importantly to perceive God’s love through me.  I gladly choose to carve out time to nurture, support, and make fond memories corporately and individually with my family members.

I want it understood that at times circumstances will demand I focus on and attend to one particular child.  There will be seasons of devoting more time to one over another, and yet each in turn will be supported in crises and celebrated in victories to the best of my ability.  I am dust however and will make a mess of things not matter how hard I try or how sensitive I seek to be.  I plead for grace and forgiveness and promise to offer my children the same.  I am committed to making adjustments as life changes and whenever I realize I’m out of balance.  I welcome my family’s help in this.

I also am never enough, but I will seek to hear God and respond in my frailty with His strength to people’s needs around me, and trust Him in this rather than yielding to people-pleasing in order to feel liked/valued.  I need as much help with this as the next person and will strive to obtain and receive it.  I will grow and learn as a communicator and seek to humble myself and not be defensive or in other ways shut down communication.  I will apologize when wrong and seek reconciliation, no matter the cost.

I will use “I statements” in an unselfish way to reveal needs, hopes, desires, hurts for purposes of remaining intimately acquainted and connected to a few, most especially my family members.

I will use “You statements” to build up and not tear down.

I will back off and let the dust settle when I sense I’ve hurt or overstepped.  I will after a time however come near again and work on our relationship all my days, and no matter the ups and downs.

I will try to initiate reconciliation and when necessary agree to disagree, letting go of pride and anger for the higher good.  I will by God’s grace love well, remain open, and take risks to deepen bonds.

To the best of my ability, I will not sweep problems under the rug or allow resentment or bitterness to build or take root.  As soon as I realize I’m headed in this direction, I’ll seek God’s help to overcome and bring problems and feelings into the light.  I’ll not avoid healthy conflict resolution.  I’ll pursue love and thwart the enemy’s plans to divide.  I’ll identify and silence enemy lies with truth and good communication.

I’ll take risks and trust fallible people who love me to help me and care for me.

I will allow God to heal me of childhood issues and communicate when necessary to receive needed help.  For instance, I will admit, “This reminds me of a feeling I had often as a child of not being preferred, noticed, of interest, of being abandoned, of being expected to figure things out, of feeling stupid, unprotected, alone…  I’m therefore tending to overreact to the present situation and need help putting the past behind me.”  I will grow up into a deeper knowledge of Father God.

I will try my best not to manipulate, coerce, condemn, accuse, or in any way pressure or offend when I’m in need or hurting.  When I fail, I’ll quickly seek forgiveness and to right the wrong, strengthening my relationships and promoting healing and unity.

I will suggest what I believe will improve our relationship and open myself up to your suggestions.  I will own my feelings and practice “I statements” for the good of all.  Some examples to follow four pages of “I statements”!

  • I need more face time/one-on-one time with you
  • I want to plan a trip to ___ to spend time with ___ as a family if possible.
  • I feel I’m having to compete for attention lately.  I know you love me and would want to know this.  I trust you will respond to my feelings and needs as best you know how and I will wait patiently on God to move and bring us closer.
  • I’m feeling jealous and want freedom from it.  I need help with this please.
  • I’m feeling lonely, left out, overlooked, sad, stressed out, depressed, etc.
  • I just need to vent, need a hug, need my value affirmed, need prayer.  I do not need an answer or to be fixed.
I will express my heart honestly as best I can and even when misunderstood or disappointed will persevere in our relationship, doing my part to nurture it and grow in it.  I will love well.  For love never fails!!

By God’s grace I will keep this covenant with my God and my children,
Terry Anderson/Mom

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tell Me the Story, Pretty Please!!

Tell Me About Him, please!
Cheek to carpet, I faced my smiling grandson, arms waving excitedly, legs slicing air with rhythmic kicks.  Enthralled by a fabric block swinging overhead, he filled his lungs in preparation for utterance.  Over and over he repeated this routine, delighting in his newfound voice and ability to express sounds.  For days he heard, “Yeah, Apple Jax!!  You’ve learned a new trick.”  And seeing the corresponding smile on his Mom’s face, the face of God to him at this age, he “talked” on, discovering himself and the power to respond to and influence others. Encouraged, he spoke out his heart in new consonants, rather than cries of need. Like Jaxon, we all hunger for an approving parental gaze, for acknowledgement, encouragement, and for someone to narrate life so that we might comprehend God’s Story and respond appropriately.

Jax and Mommy the Narrator
Charlcie enjoys videoing Jax’s milestones, both those reached intentionally and accidentally.  In these videos you hear her, a faceless voice a few octaves higher than normal, narrating, telling the story as it unfolds to her baby son.  Dad puzzles over her narration, yet cannot deny the power of this teaching method for his son undeniably is learning to dialogue, to interact, before his eyes through these high pitched conversations reinforced by exaggerated facial expressions.  Little Jax is mirroring, parroting, mastering the art of storytelling himself as he tunes in to his life narrator.  (Check out my facebook page for most recent videos:  http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1166704144

I read a little about the role of a narrator this afternoon because this concept of a mother narrating life for her son fascinated me.  I learned that while every story has an Author, the Author may not always be the narrator.  The narrator helps the audience to comprehend the story the Author has written.  In fact, the act or process of telling the particulars of a story is referred to as narration.  The narrator paints a picture of the story being told expanding the imagination of the hearer.  "The role of the narrator influences the type of relationship we have not only with him or her but also with the story (Landy 75)."  http://www.essays.cc/free_essays/c2/xaj198.shtml

Oh the power that lies in narration.  What a mother says, the tone she chooses, the face she wears, and the life she lives while telling the story influence her child’s relationship not only to her, but to THE STORY.  I’m speaking of the power of testimony.  Bill Johnson defines testimony as … “the written or spoken record of anything God has done in history.”  He then goes on to say, “The testimonies of God are an invaluable inheritance because in each story of what God has done, there is a revelation of His nature.  But giving us a better theology is not the primary purpose of that revelation.  A revelation of God through a testimony is always an invitation to know God experientially in that revelation.” Taken from: Release the Power of Jesus, by Bill Johnson, pg. 35 and 36.

As a Mom forms in her child pleasurable associations with the narration or telling of anything God has done in history, whether yesterday or thousands of years ago, she invites her child into an experience of God as revealed in her testimony.  Sharing truth then facilitates the forming of a relationship, not the establishment of religion.  I’ve really been thinking about this in terms of how to pass on the joy found only in relationship with God as a parent/grandparent.  How does one begin in infancy to foster joy in relationships, and in association with the pursuit of truth and more importantly THE TRUTH HIMSELF, the Author of the story we live in as beloved characters, not puppets without purpose.

Visits with Aslan
By pleasurable associations, I’m not speaking of serving up Bible stories on a plate piled high with M&M’s.  Rather, that TRUTH itself is palatable to a child when delivered thoughtfully and in love, so that the child can relate to it (or should I say, to the One behind it).  For example, my daughter has a little stuffed lion that for some strange reason strongly appeals to Jax, her 3 month old baby boy.  In fact, he appears to have conversations with this smiling critter whenever Mom brings him into view on the play mat.  I’ve thought more than once that God is providing opportunities to put words into the lion’s mouth – narration opportunities to introduce the Lion of Judah, Aslan, and the Kingdom He rules.  Keeping it simple, playful, much like C.S. Lewis who masterfully paints for children a picture of God they can relate to.  I’m suggesting that we take any toy or interactive experience and ask the Holy Spirit for revelation into the life-giving narration of HIStory in the moment.  Afterall, it is Him we are introducing our child/grandchild to -- the One who will continue narrating life long after we are gone!!

If we really believe TRUTH is fun, and indeed it is, for TRUTH sets us free to be all we were made to be, then why not experiment with creatively attesting to the deeds of (and thus nature of) God consistently – through Spirit-inspired interactive play?!  Tune in for future ideas on incorporating testimony into playtime, for lessons in narrating HIStory for the blessing of the hearer, no matter his age.

Sharing testimony in His Shadow,
Terry (and my daughter, Charlcie)

For more inspirational reading visit Spiritual Sundays at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mission Impossible

I recently read the following in a book I highly recommend, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World, “If the miracle comes too quickly there is no room for discovery, for relationship.”  Substitute “answer to prayer” for “miracle,” and Paul Miller’s statement does not change.  The point:  God tarries in answering prayers and performing miracles only for GOOD reasons.

In the past few posts I’ve alluded to the fact that I’ve been struggling to understand what God has been up to.  This evening seemed a good time to come clean with the details.  Several months ago I began experiencing a stirring in my soul.  You might even term this stirring, restlessness.  In anticipation of the birth of my first grandchild, I strongly desired to be available to invest in his life as much as possible.  While my job in ICU permitted several consecutive days off and provided for invaluable experiences both as a nurse and a believer, working nights began to deplete me emotionally and physically beyond what seemed healthy for me.  I sensed God releasing me to pursue a day job in a less stressful environment – one even better suited to the way He made me.

Before I graduated from nursing school I contemplated serving as a hospice nurse.  Three years into my practice, the time seemed ripe to set out on a new adventure of comforting dying patients and their families.  Of course, my mind filled with preconceived ideas, and peaceful scenes of alleviating suffering in softly lit rooms set me up for a heaping dose of reality.  You know if you’ve read much on my blog that I live a lot of life in the fairy tale mode, in part because we were made for once upon a time and ultimately happily ever after, but also because as a passionate idealist, I cling tightly to the notion that the love of God in my heart can transform anything and anyone.

Another Small Hero Saves The Day -- My Kind of Story

Finding the job was step one in venturing out of the hospital with God.  This amounted to several interviews and a great deal of waiting for an official offer.  Prior to my start date, God arranged for me to take a little trip with Him and with my friend Sherrie to an isolated beach on the Florida coast.  From the moment I entered the car bound for unexplored shores, the breath of God blew calm and exhilarating, providing the pause much needed.  And in the breeze He spoke to me, through the sugary sand and mighty waves crashing rhythmic and constant, He prepared me to move ahead.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that in His mercy He shared only what I needed to know to advance confident – confident in Our relationship fitting me perfectly for the work.  That which I didn’t need to know, He kept to Himself, breasted, veiled, all the while whispering sweet and low, “Hope and do not doubt.  I am leading you into what you are made for, My calling on your life in this season.”  As we strolled along the beach several mornings together, He drew my eye to fragments of once majestic sand dollars. 

Compelled, I collected them and at one point spilled and arranged them on the beach at my feet.  I perceived God doing the same with my life at this juncture – arranging and fitting together broken isolated pieces at His feet for me to study.  There, like a puzzle coming together, a tapestry topside exposed, He showed me how past experiences with loss, with death were preparatory for “new life” in my fifties, life lived peace-filled alongside fellow dying ones.  I recorded the following one morning as God spoke reassuringly:

You have stared terrified at death through unredeemed secular eyes, thus you’ve some understanding of what many face and feel on their deathbeds.  Your work at the funeral home put you in touch with your own mortality, but it also taught you that all people will indeed die, and that on the surface of things this business of putting off earthly life seems anything but “pretty.”  You know death raises many questions and are comfortable with that fact.  You understand why most people dismiss thoughts of death until unavoidable, and when forced to acknowledge death as part of life, tend to shrink back and dance around both the subject and experience as much as possible.  You know what striving hard to keep death (and Me) at a distance is all about!!

You have within you My courage for the task – the courage of Father sending son, of Jesus in the Garden and on the cross, of Comforter who comes near to touch lepers and dying ones.  Herein lies your confidence:  I AM in you and you in Me.  Knowledge of drugs, procedures, methods, and earthly documentation will come.  Move ahead bold and confident in your weakness, for I AM in you, strength to meet death face to face on a regular basis.  Remember, I’ve overcome the grave, and absolutely everything associated with it.  Carry my good news joyful and unafraid.  My peace I give to you.  Draw near, be present, give away My peace to others.  I promise to fill you anew and be with you.

I’ve walked the halls of nursing homes and hospitals with you to touch those who suffer. I’ve stood at the bedside of your mother-in-law and your own mother with you.  I’ve consoled your dying aunt through you.  I’ve walked with you through the sudden death of your husband, and through the valley of the shadow of death with your son.  I have convinced you that you are not alone – that I will never leave nor forsake you, Terry.  Carry this bedrock of security with you into your practice as a Hospice nurse.  Laugh in the face of doubt – remain in My love convinced.  Share your otherworldly security in Me liberally with those whose paths I’ve arranged for yours to cross.  I’ve blessed you, My little nightingale to sing of Me in the dark, to proclaim the empty tomb!!!  Indeed, it is what I’ve made you for, trained you for, called you to do for My honor and glory, and your fulfillment in this hour.  BELIEVE AND BE BLESSED in My love and calling on your life!!

During my first week deep in the learning curve of a new job as an RN Case Manager for VistaCare Hospice, I reread often the above and soaked up like a thirsty sponge volumes of new information.  Tired, but still not overwhelmed, I forged ahead confident that God would master all of this in and through me.  My first ride out opened my eyes to practicing medicine in the field – to the field itself.  I confess to no small degree of shock.  At the same time, adding to a growing feeling of panic was a commitment made long before changing jobs to coordinate a wedding reception for a dear friend.  This entailed spending many hours (essentially every hour of “leisure”) crafting handmade decorations and planning food for 250 people as well as setup the day of the wedding.  Realizing I had committed to being on call for a total of 90 hours per month with my new job, reduced me to inconsolable tears on more nights than I care to admit.   I envisioned trying to find my way in the wee hours of the night to people’s homes located in the middle of nowhere to assist in crisis, and terror crept into my heart to steal peace, sleep, and the hope God had instructed me not to let go of!!

Wedding Day Success

I felt foolish, uncovered, “much afraid.”  I began to think as one who self-protects, who takes up responsibility for their own life, safety, comfort, wellbeing, (as if that is possible).  My daughter, Lori, verbally took me by the shoulders when others, while deeply concerned, hesitated to tell me what to do.  She emboldened me not to quit, and unbeknownst to her or I, opened the door to the invisible cage I felt I’d flown blindly into.  My prayers on those first morning ride-outs to meet new patients were simple, “Help me, God!!!” repeated breathing in and breathing out tearfully.  Though I prayed desperate, I felt God was playing hide and seek with me, and that He had somehow allowed me to put myself in harm’s way and to commit to working more hours than I’d ever worked.  It seemed He had invited me on a mission impossible – irreconcilable with spending more time with Apple Jax (my grandson).  To cap it off, He chose for a time to remain painfully silent.  My efforts at interpreting His silence began the process of discovery and of Him deepening Our relationship.  At times a messy process that included embarrassing meltdowns, sleepless nights, belly and head aches, and a lot of frantic scurrying about, the journey to becoming a hope-filled hospice nurse began with a necessary duel with doubt and FEAR.  Really the two are one in the same, I doubted God was for me and with me and therefore I feared anything and everything for few miserable days.  All to arrive at where I started, God in me and I in Him shall overcome death together for the sake of others and His glory.

Although I stated God remained silent, I must humorously recount His visible encouragements along the way.  As we were leaving the condominium in Florida, I peered out at the ocean one last time from our seventh story balcony, and there looking out with me perched a white dove on the railing.  He remained long enough to turn and make eye contact with me and then took wing.  I don’t know if he had taken shelter there all night to escape the tropical storm, but he definitely was there for me to see and receive a message from – one heaven-sent.  Several weeks later, while in an interdisciplinary meeting at work, facing the windows along one wall of the boardroom I noticed a white dove.   There outside those seventh story windows flying in apparent slow motion another white dove carried a message to me.  Highlighted against the cobalt blue sky, He took my breath away.  The timing could not have been more perfect, for just prior I was thinking to myself, “I’m really enjoying this meeting, the team’s approach, and the education I’m being provided here.”  On yet another morning, the first I set out on my own, a white dove flew alongside my car just outside the passenger window for several car lengths and then disappeared heavenward.  Three doves, appearing through glass “dimly”, two outside seventh story windows – coincidence? – I don’t think so!!

Finally, on the morning I received God’s peace from heaven concerning my job while driving on a country road outside Mexia, He sent as a seal a virtual sea of butterflies to accompany me on the journey home.  I lost count of the butterflies (and plump dragonflies) I saw on this forty mile stretch of road through field after field of scorched pasture.  Not one flew into my windshield, but in turn they flew as companions, winged messengers of hope and new life.  Autumn orange against sleeping fields of faded gold, God used them to reassure me of the new season He has begun with me, a season of  harvesting and of investing carefree into the lives of many – including my grandson.

I am happy to report that after two glorious weeks of worship behind the wheel en route to see patients, of riding out with God to offer love, hope, and comfort, that I absolutely love my job.  Moreover, I love the patients and families He has privileged me to meet and share a span of life with.  Thank You, Lord, for helping me to assume the risk of living JOY-FILLED THAT I MIGHT LEARN TO DELIGHT IN JOY-SPILLED into the lives of others.  On a final note, I have had many stress-free hours to reflect, spend time with family, and love on that chubby cheeked little boy Jaxon – proof that all these things shall be added unto you, even when one such as I fails a test or two and grapples with doubt.  God knows my heart is to seek first His kingdom and righteousness, and that in my frailty I sometimes cower – but He never fails to come to my rescue, to write the happily ever after to each chapter even on this earth.

Me and Baby Jax

Blessed in His Shadow,
For more inspirational reading, please visit Spiritual Sundays at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Notes From A Date With God

I’ve stopped moving, driving, running.  All that moves is pen across page.  The wind blows outside our meeting  place ‘neath the moon and street lamp.  Truly I am privileged to park at night with God, to drive for miles nowhere with Him at my side unpacking my thoughts – explaining, coloring in the gray, desiring me more than I ever dreamed of being desired.  Pure!

My heart is a jumble of words and ideas, pictures, stories – I need You, Lord, for anything to hold together, consist, congeal.  I need Your Spirit to flow, and blow upon embers hungering for Your life breath.  And so I wait, child upon lap.  I close my eyes and listen to Your song in the wind.  Ask me whatever You will, Lord.  Search me, know me.

Why do I run from what I love, Lord – from Who loves me more than all others without end?  I run to share the joys of Your love with others and sometimes I get lost.  I get lost in trying, in wanting to share my heart – and then I come home, for only You know my heart.  Only You want me with an everlasting love that welcomes me, explores me, comes into me and satisfies.  Deeper and deeper You take me, the two of us alone in Your chambers.  There I discover the joys of being all alone with the One who never leaves.

Held in the Shadow,    
For more inspirational reading, please visit Spiritual Sundays at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Night Flight

I’ve not written lately except a few desperate pleas for help and deliverance hastily scribbled, faith quivering like frightened bird.  Terrified dove, am I, flying blind, mounting storm blackened skies, Your good plans unfolding, leading me deeper into realms of steadfast love from which nothing can separate.  I’ve doubted, though my heart knows better – for my heart knows You.  Forgive me, Lord.  You warned before I took wing to hope and not doubt.  So sweetly You assured You had me covered forever.  Helpless bird flying in shadow of Almighty, safe against eternal breast, tucked under downy pinions, shielded from harm.  Wings spread wide and confident I took off in Your shade, believing this flight would look and feel different – “Mother Teresa-ish” minus Calcutta, perhaps.  Week two of new job, sky turned ominous enveloping me in disorienting pitch.  Enemy taunted, “You’ve been tricked!!”  Romantic view evaporated.  Despair.  Panic assailed, agonizing questions surfaced, tears rained heavy, and guilt and shame joined to torment.  Diving low, wailing, groaning, drowning out still small voice of comfort, tiny carrier of love of God remained airborne, supported by updrafts of grace. 

Then Son rose compassionate glowing behind billowy veil, and flight-weary bird caught glimpse of gold, hope winked lid of silver cloud.  Beloved dove took courage, and determined to snuggle deep into Abba’s down, trust, rest, and enjoy predetermined flight plan.  Striving ceased and dove again knew, knew God.  Good God, Constant Dad, patient and adoring, fielding accusatory questions of immature child, calming anxious heart, teaching little one to fly securely anchored only to Him.  Hope wins again, and again, and again!!

Anchored Beneath His Wing,
For more inspirational reading visit Spiritual Sundays @ www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com

The Dance

“Hope in Me, and trust that we travel together on this road of comforting dying people.  Know deeply that I am with you, like the ocean waves constant, washing in and out fresh and new, moving near in meekness and power, breaking beautifully, retreating never far, as lovers do prior to a twirl in the dance – never letting go of you, pulling you in close again and again.  In the twenty-five years We’ve known each other you have learned to dance!!  We are forever near, Father, Son, Spirit, covering, comforting, and dancing with you on the shoreline of heaven.  We will be with you as you walk many people home.  Fear not!!  Go out with Us and cover, comfort, and teach others to dance!!"  -- Assurance offered on Florida beach

Safe In His Arms,
For more inspirational reading, visit Spiritual Sundays @ www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Holding Pattern (Dedicated to Charlcie and Baby Jax)

Have you spent much time in a holding pattern?  For the past couple of weeks I’ve lived in one.  At times it has been exhilarating, at other times anxiety-producing.  The pattern began in a hospital waiting room as I paced excitedly awaiting the birth of my first grandchild.  He arrived by C-section, healthy and handsome, but required an ultrasound in his first weeks of life to rule out a dislocated hip. Yet another opportunity to study the geometric design of a waiting room floor and to follow the hands of a static clock hung between artwork selected to make waiting pleasant.  Waiting, and then more waiting, before and after the test to obtain thankfully pleasing results.  The next round in the holding pattern involved a second ultrasound, which of course included waiting on technicians to perform the procedure on my distressed grandson, and on the pediatrician to call with results.  Again, thank You, Jesus, for pleasing results.  I’ve been reminded that in many respects life slows to a crawl for a new parent (and a new grandparent, if she elects to come along for the ride of a lifetime).  I’ve also learned God enjoys meeting in waiting rooms and holding patterns!!  There He waits quietly to visit with His children about deeper matters.  Sadly, we tend to drown out His still small voice in life’s waiting rooms with the noise of our internal grinding gears.

Out of curiosity and for purposes of hearing God in my holding pattern I did a little reading up on the subject.  I learned that a holding pattern resembles an oval racetrack in protected airspace.  Holding patterns cause us to feel we’re traveling nowhere fast, when in reality a lot of spiritual ground may be gained through “waiting,” or flying in circles over the same territory.  Planes execute this maneuver at a slower speed, generally making 180 degree right turns at the end of two short legs.  This minimizes fuel consumption and distress to passengers, in terms of motion sickness.  However, most passengers would agree holding patterns are stressful events.  Thoughts of missing a connecting flight, and dread of remaining in one’s seat unable to go to the restroom at will… plague passengers caught in a holding pattern.  Holding patterns bring us face to face with our lack of control – serving as good reality checks!!  They are predetermined generally around invisible fixed points.  I’m reminded that all holding patterns in life are predetermined by God and much about them remains visible only to Him.  Holding patterns are wide open opportunities for exercising faith.   The purpose of a holding pattern is to delay an aircraft above the destination until conditions are right for safe landing.  Bottom line, God wisely governs our times, comings and goings.   Occasionally, planes are vertically stacked in holding patterns.  Similarly, I may be in several holding patterns at once, in essence waiting on God alone to move and act on my behalf.  Flying an aircraft in circles is inefficient and costly, requiring fuel reserves, and therefore only executed when necessary.  Wind is a major factor in holding patterns and pilots must know how to correct for it.  Eternal God operates outside time and yet teaches us so much through it, making all necessary corrections for our good, bringing us home safely to Himself.  Thank You, Lord!!

In The Message, Psalm 46:10 says, “Step out of the traffic!  Take a long loving look at Me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”  In the Amplified version it says, “Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!”  God graciously helps us at times to step out of the stream of traffic to get a better look at Him!  I’m thankful He does.  Even though in places of waiting my first inclination is to whine, complain, and wage war with impatience.  All waiting in the end boils down to waiting on the Lord.  And we know the reward for waiting on Him is great.  Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.”  Psalm 40:27-31 in the Message says, “Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or whine, Israel, saying, "God has lost track of me.  He doesn't care what happens to me"?  Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening?  God doesn't come and go. God lasts.  He's Creator of all you can see or imagine.  He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath.  And he knows everything, inside and out.  He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts.  For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall.  But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.  They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind.”

Precious Apple Jax

For nine months I waited eagerly to meet this precious little boy, Jaxon Charles.  Everytime I sensed a threat to his or his mother’s well being, I fought hard the temptation to worry, and ultimately chose to be still and know God – to stand still and see His salvation.  A Grammy for only three weeks, I begin to understand that grandparenting will involve much waiting on the Lord, while standing still so as to see Him save!!  My education is underway.  Some of my first lessons follow.

Postponement and reordering of tasks is routine with a new baby.  His needs come first and only then can remaining time and energy be directed elsewhere.  My daughter and baby Jax came over Monday of this week for a visit and to help me prepare a reception sampler of food for a friend who is getting married.  I expected little help and wanted her to feel free to care for Jax and to rest herself as she gets little sleep at night these days.  Like Mary, she chose the better part and yielded to her own need for rest and to baby Jax’s desire to be near her and nurse.  She stretched out across my bed with him and soon fell asleep.   Meanwhile I baked pie pops, cake balls, and rolled up pinwheel sandwiches.  My mind flitted between lists of completed tasks and those yet uncompleted.  Martha, troubled about many things, I bustled about the kitchen, wanting to hurry and THEN when through, to settle down to rest beside the two of them, if only figuratively!!  My desire to bless spun out of control, motives began to twist and warp as I worked, and I grew anxious, competing with an unforgiving clock.

How I Measure My Worth Influences How I Value Others!
When my daughter woke, I invited her to run errands with me in the name of spending time together (efficiently killing two birds with one stone).  She spent most of the remaining afternoon sitting in the back seat of a hot car with Jax, the air conditioner sucking down fuel (in her tank!) while I ran into various establishments to make purchases and conduct my business.  At one point, Jax tired of being in his car seat wanted to be fed.  I came out of Hobby Lobby after waiting in line for seemingly an eternity to find her feeding him.  Making best use of time while parked, I ran in to the business next door to do some pricing for the reception aforementioned.  To top it off, while driving back to my house, one of my out-of-state sisters called and due to our both being admittedly “too busy” to find another time soon to talk, we took the opportunity to catch up.  Lord, and Charlcie, please forgive me for losing sight of priorities, for not focusing on the person(s) before me!!!

I woke the next morning -- waiting – for you see I’ve been in another holding pattern not yet explained, one I’ll detail perhaps in a future article.  Safe to say, I opened my eyes to day twenty-one of waiting and to associated uncertainty.  It dawned on me I had been running or busying myself much of my vacation to avoid getting still on God’s lap long enough to face head on this monster of uncertainty.  A lot was mingled in with this compulsion to run into activity, including guilt, and the desire to be all things to all people to keep from facing fear and failure and the real me in the mirror.  Thankfully, I broke at the feet of Jesus and He picked me up gently and rocked me upon His lap, comforting me while I cried and confessed all my insecurity to Him.  He helped me to see for the umpteenth time how necessary letting go is to joy-filled survival!!  And how blessed it is to be cleansed and forgiven!!!

This morning, I reread a quote scribbled on a receipt during a recent sermon, “Never clench your fists.”  I seem to remember that the person in the story consciously kept his hands open at all times having heard from the Lord the admonition to never clench his fists.  God has with the tenderness of a doting mother warned me to avoid the same.  Not long ago a friend of mine related the story of her granddaughter’s birth.  On hearing it, God immediately gripped my heart unforgettably applying the message to my life.  On the heels of a healthy pregnancy, this young mother labored to deliver her precious little girl.  As labor progressed, the baby who had the umbilical cord in her tiny hand clenched her fist tightly with each contraction, cutting off her supply of oxygen rich blood.  Engaged and ready to be delivered into a new realm of life, this little girl responded to the pressure needed to expel her by exerting a force of her own, unknowingly endangering her life.  Thankfully, she was speedily delivered and tragedy averted.  God powerfully warned me through this story to let go (cease all attempts to control), for in doing so I would be brought through the dark and constricting birth canal (my dark night of the soul) into a new life of freedom unbound, unimaginable.  I consider it no coincidence that at the same time I heard this story the main entrance to the hospital where I work was systematically being dismantled to prepare for the construction of an all new labor and delivery wing.  Week after week I entered the building, observing the promise of a labor and delivery wing, and atop the building I glanced up to see “Providence,” emphasizing this all important key to Kingdom life.

You might think, as often I have, that having heard this from God I would from then on cease striving to control any and all circumstances.  You would expect that I would rest in future pressure packed canals leading to new realms of life in God, knowing full well His power and promise to deliver.  You would anticipate that having once been engaged in a dark canal of uncertainty awaiting birth and then emerging free, that I might resist the temptation now to clench my fists, instead relax and give way to the process of deliverance and provision for my life.  Alas, I am still an infant learning through repeated rebirth, and will be until I die.  This, too, takes patience!!

Wonderful Mommy, Charlcie, and Sweet Baby Jax

I’m thankful God has chosen to teach me so much through waiting, and through my precious daughter, Charlcie, and her sweet baby Apple Jax!!!

On a final note, I drove to my daughter’s home to lay out the presentation of reception food after pouring out my heart to God.  He not only renewed my strength, but He sent me a token of His love while I unloaded the car.  Into my steamy car flew an iridescent lime green dragonfly.  I heard him buzzing before I spied what type of insect he was.  Smiling, I cupped him in my hands and released him to the open air.  Then I gave thanks to God who times His, “I love you’s” so perfectly!!!  If you’ve read much on my blog, you know that dragonflies are God’s personal reminder to me of His love for me and presence with me!!

Waiting Expectantly In His Shadow,

For more inspirational reading please visit Spiritual Sundays at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Receiving the Kingdom Like An Infant

I am currently awkwardly bent over my precious new grandson, Jaxon Charles, pecking away with one hand my thoughts.  Beside me on a little polka dot velour blanket he lies, one tiny hand coiled about my index finger, his forearm cradled in my hand.  His breathing has turned peaceful, deep, quiet, with only an occasional sweet baby sigh signifying, “I feel comfortable and safe and now will rest.”  A breastfed baby, his little pink cheeks and lips with a million and one expressions are most at home when in contact with Mom’s warm chest.  For now, he single-mindedly desires to live united to his life-source and sustenance.

Supportive caregivers endeavor to teach him to receive from them love and nurture in varied forms, gaining sensitivity to his preferences.  Mutual education underway, an all new relationship begun, we set out on the adventure of getting to know one another.  He teaches even in his sleep, lips puckered in an involuntary kiss as he dreams of a warm flow of milk – filling, satisfying and comforting him.  Should he experience even a twinge of pain, only the breast provides needed reassurance he’s not alone but living in partnership, secure/loved.

I try my best to convey the same message.  Grammy speaks softly, cups velvet head and traces contours gentle and slow, exploring with time worn fingers and cheeks this wonder of a boy.  “Gentle and slow,” he seems to whisper repeatedly.  “Calm yourself, Grammy, slow down and savor the seconds, you know like Father, that I might perceive Him in you.  The peace of God – that is what I search for in your arms.”  “When I’m fretful, I need to sense you are un-phased, consistent, FAITHFUL, moved only by and in sync with Abba who comforts all.” 

I study his fretful moments closely and learn more about him and myself all at once.  Life easily disrupts our peace – the temperature of the room, sudden unforeseen movements, feeling there’s nothing to hold on to, hunger, need for cleansing…  Baby Jax rests best when holding my hand.  A manmade pacifier holds no candle to a finger to grasp!  He wants to wake to my being near him -- connected, to knowing Grammy watches over him while he sleeps.  With full tummy, he gives in to sleep when rocked to his favorite CD, Sing Over Me.  And when he sleeps in worship upon my chest, I worship with him, and God holds the two of us filling our hearts anew with His love.  A gratitude river swells and overflows the banks in my inmost being.  Meanwhile, the room glows with God’s presence.  Here, in this rocking chair, I know as a new Grammy the love of Father for generations!  I am so blessed!!!

I’ve noted in these first few days that Jax prefers to sleep in the valley between breasts, ear pressed to skin, listening to the rhythmic beat of home.  Surely he recalls the womb, where abiding he experienced unparalleled freedom in a constant embrace.  Flailing limbs terrify him now.  He wonders where the walls on life and the hands of Maker God are.  I place my hands often on his little back and pat rhythmically while God ministers to His little boy in this new realm.  Soon Jax will begin to understand God’s everlasting arms ever widen in an embrace to accommodate growing children.  He is there with us, Emmanuel, there in the valley resting us, soothing us with the affection of a Tender and Good Shepherd.  And He is suckling us at His own sweet breast – El Shaddai – God Almighty.

When Jax first wakes, hungry, he tends to cry out sensing momentary separation.  When put to the breast he gulps for fear there might be an end to the supply; voraciously he sometimes drinks to neglect of breath, until finally he relaxes, trusts, rests again to receive the flow of life that reminds him he belongs.  We’ve tossed around a phrase the past two weeks, “Eat, sleep, repeat!” and laughed.  In truth, the life of an infant depends on this routine.  Were we only as passionate as Jax in our pursuit of true satisfaction at God’s breast!!

Recently I learned Jesus spoke of an infant when He said, “Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:17).  This has fascinated me ever since, and I’ve determined to learn from baby Jax what it means to receive like an infant – helpless in every respect.  On the flip side I’ve also meditated on the delight of God in caring for infants while cradling my grandson!!  Pure joy!!

Thanking God in the Shadow,

For more inspirational reading visit Spiritual Sundays at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vintage Bridal Shower

Extravagance – that is what one prayed Sarah would receive from Father – the desire of His heart to lavish on her extravagant love.  And every moment spent over burlap runner sewing on trim, every wildflower picked in scratchy field, every stroke of brush applying paint to canvas was understood to be union with Him in lavishing love on His precious daughter(s).  On Sarah – and yes, on Terry and on Charlcie, as they united their hearts with His in pouring out to bless, to value, to communicate love of heaven in tiny measure.

Sarah and I

Sarah and daughter Charlcie
He showered His lovely ones both in the preparations, in the uniting of efforts, and in the laying out of a sweet feast under twinkling lights with tables hosting vintage pretties from all over the world.  Much was borrowed from another time and from bridesmaid’s and sister’s homes – old windows and doors, small leather bound books with yellowed leaves, candelabra abloom with rusting flowers, Morrocan treasures brought home by missionaries, set among flowers of the field in jewel-filled jars.  There in the sun’s afterglow, crystals split light into diamond fragments, and tissue roses swayed happy in the trees.  Torches burned chasing night and all that would distract away.  Glory filled, and spilled from Sarah sitting beneath spangled tree opening gifts.  Her face glowing under soft light, seated bride in Bentwood cradle, being loved by God.  She looked exquisite, pregnant with His love.  I stole many a glance between low lying branches as she pulled from the trunk gift after gift, and gave thanks.  Eucharisteo!!  And His joy was hers, and was mine also– communion at foot of tree.  Seems to be a favorite trysting place for the Lord and me!!


Sarah and daughter Lori

Sarah, Abby, Jessica, and Leah
Then I heard Him say, pour out my heart in human language -- pray.  Let her know how taken I am with her, how her hungry heart melts Mine, how her upturned face lights night sky, and takes my breath away.  Plant seeds of hope in her concerning the future I’ve planned as she joins her life to Al’s, and a cord of three strands is formed to change the world forever.  Tell her to fall on Me, into My Great Arms, in this season of preparation, that I might make My little bride ready, ready for union.  Tell her there will be many surprises, small tokens of My love that to her will seem straight off the pages of fairy tales, romantic and sweet.  For that is My heart, my veiled passion for her she sees in handmade things, in desserts dripping sweet, in lights and music, in summer breeze kissing her face.  How very taken I am with her!!!

Romanced in His Shadow,
His Beautiful Bride(s)

Visit www.andersoneythphotography.com to see more of Charlcie Eyth's beautiful work!!
And for more inspirational reading visit www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com

Graveyard Dance

I chose the route through town, stopping at McDonald’s for an Egg McMuffin and a yogurt parfait.  Typical of my first morning off, this meal signals mind and body that we are now headed home and can begin the unwind.  On this particular morning, I returned a call to my sister Susan, waking her, and determining to talk later in the day.  I drove past cornfields, my camera on the seat beside me, hoping to find the morning light dancing gorgeous on the backs of newly rolled bales.  I’d witnessed this the morning before but didn’t have my camera.  This morning, all bales had been removed and half the field already plowed, dark clods of dirt burying all evidence that corn once stood tall, lived and died there.

I drove past my house in search of a similar scene.  Cornfields have of late been calling my name – beckoning me to study them under different conditions though I’m not sure of the reason why.  Just past my neighborhood an elderly field of stalks remains standing, backs bent, waiting to be cut and rolled into winter feed.  The harvesters work in neighboring fields and honey wheels dot the landscape.  Ahh, closure, happy ending, for what grew only to wither under brutal summer sun now will nourish and give life to another.  This I waited to see.

Before going to bed, I responded to the commotion on my front porch, parting the wood blinds and gazing up at the mud nest, home to two baby birds.  One sat perched precariously on the porch light a few feet away, fluttering untrained wings to keep from falling.  The other, as if to encourage his brother, chirped anxiously from the edge of the nest.  Below, my cat Mitty yawned and lazily licked her lips.  This had become her favorite resting place for obvious reasons.  She knew something of the benefits of patience.  Day after day, she settled in the shade of the porch waiting for manna to fall.  I opened the front door and chased her off the porch, hoping to give the tiny bird a chance at life.  About that time the daring bird took flight and came to rest like a plane without landing gear on a nearby shrub.  Before I knew it a terrible scene ensued.  The virtually helpless bird tumbled through the leaves and just as I reached to rescue, a stray that often hides in this flowerbed leaped and barely averted a collision with my forehead.   He caught the bird between his two greedy paws and quickly scampered off with it in tightly clutched jaws.

With that, I went to bed hoping the other bird had better sense and a future!  My son, on seeing light escape from under my bedroom door, came in to report hours later that the birds had flown the nest and one now fluttered and hopped as though in a frying pan on the driveway.  Did this bird not realize the territory he had ventured into was fraught with danger?  My son moved the bird into the grass.  Unable to just let nature take its course, I went out for a look, knowing full well my temptation would be to intervene likely without obtaining positive results.  I walked past my favorite cat, Garfield, in search of the struggling bird.  We spied it about the same time and Garfield promptly did what all cats instinctively do on sighting easy prey.  I scolded him and held him by the scruff of the neck, telling him to let go.  Obediently he released the poor tormented bird.  I scooped it up into a small plastic box and brought it into the air conditioning until I could come up with a plan.  Then I left for lifegroup.

I could spend several pages on lifegroup, but for the sake of continuity, I’ll return to the rest of the story concerning the baby bird.  My son decided when night fell to put the plastic box out on our mailbox in hopes the bird’s family might swoop in and instruct the foolhardy bird or take it by the wings and teach it to fly under cover of darkness.  Knowing my cats have no problem jumping atop the mailbox, I moved the box to the backyard where cats dare not to venture.  I placed it securely in the branches of the largest tree in the yard and thought about the Lord being aware of even the tiniest sparrow falling to the ground.  I prayed hopeful and went to bed after a good read.

Like a child on Christmas morn I looked out the window early and noticed the box askew in the tree.  While, I didn’t cross my fingers, I hoped like a na├»ve child that the bird somehow flew from this “magical” perch to safety, rocking and leaving the plastic box behind forever.  In search of truth, reluctantly I scanned the grass beneath the tree.  There in a little hollow lay the bird motionless.  A colony of ants had come for breakfast which fell from the sky like a blessing to them.

Perhaps around fifty one begins to take notice of death, to study it, to prepare for it, to see the “good” God causes to arise from it.  As I watched the corn sprout this past spring and delighted over acres of green, I gave little thought to the seeds that split beneath the earth to produce stalks tall and strong waving youthful in the wind.  And then as the rains refused to provide drink, I observed somewhat desperate the hardy stalks bearing immature ears fading colorless, lifeless.  What a waste, I thought, on driving by field after field of dead corn.  However, the Lord made certain to inform me this year that these fields at the proper time would be harvested, and then stored away until barren winter months when hungry livestock would feed on the store.  God wastes nothing!!  And He is good, good when fields are flourishing green and good when fields are pale and bent low in death.

On my last round of days off, God drew me to the cornfield near my house.  Somehow I knew He wanted to be with me there, so I went, taking my camera, paper and pen, and most importantly my hunger to be with Him in that crunchy graveyard from which life would spring anew.  I parked and entered the field, the sun low in the sky just beginning to paint my surroundings with rich evening colors.  I felt like Ruth, a widow gleaning on the field perimeter all the Lord had for me there.  I wrote my impressions, what I felt, saw, and heard from Him.  I’ve wanted to return to my notes and eat of what He gave me in the field – to ruminate and meditate on truths nesting inside the images and feelings.  What a blessing to be given that opportunity today!!

On parking my car, I opened the door and heard sleet falling as the breeze stirred the corn to greet me.  God directed the wind like a conductor to play upon brittle stalks, and I then heard rainfall on a tin roof which calmed and became a gentle snowfall.  I closed my eyes for the concert and thrilled at the crackling of Spirit fire that accompanied His approach.  At times I heard the swishing of antebellum dresses as though angels danced all around, their hems swirling on cracked gray earth.  Submissive stalks bowed with the wind as happens in the presence of Kings.  They moved together with the angels in a well choreographed dance.  Brown silk tassels fell to the floor in celebration, a ticker tape parade in His honor.  The moon hid her face at the sight of His glory!!  The field’s music intensified with the cool breeze and then fell hushed and steamy warm.  “I jumped up to open the door for my love, and my hands dripped with perfume. My fingers dripped with lovely myrrh as I pulled back the bolt.”  Oh to be near Him, to let Him in, there is nothing like it in all the world!!!  The sky turned crimson and silvery clouds came late.  Husks cradled life, and cobs nearly cleaned littered the ground spilling jeweled kernels like confetti.  It dawned on me that this dance occurs night after night in the fields.  They dance for Him in the breeze until finally they fall to the ground in reverence and return to dust or are harvested.  I think about all the seeds of life tucked in to sleep in crisp graveyard linens until time comes to produce new life.  I hear the wonderful sound of brokenness pealing sweet in the fields.

Night falls silver and dim and I am tempted briefly to fear, to flee, imagining I hear the rattler of a serpent slithering near to harm me in the field.  Compelled to turn in all directions to catch sight of those moving around me invisible, snagging their shrouds on the arms of sentries forbidding them to trespass, I take captive my thoughts.  I crouch and abide with the sense of Someone near as breath that I cannot see.  I kneel small with the humbled grain.  From here, I look up the rows and see the celebrating stalks forming a receiving line for their King, and dancing the cornfield CanCan, and I laugh and rejoice with them.  I’m struck by all the life in this dead cornfield, by song of insects and evidence of visiting creatures, by what appears to be discarded hairnets on this marble dance floor.   I sense many have come and “let their hair down” to dance with the Lord in this place. 

Meanwhile, life rushes by unaware on the highway that borders this field.  Stalks lean to touch me, to observe my choice, and to remind me to attend to my Groom.  Then I hear a great waterfall in their movements and I stand, my dress swirling in the wind about me.  I close my eyes again to hear the “real” sounds of life in this dusty graveyard.  Playful sounds like the popping of bubble wrap, like clapping and tap dancing.  I hear feasting – a party getting underway in the field as night falls.  The world’s traffic slows and disappears.  Crickets play a happy dirge!!  The wind moves in the field toward me and I see Him coming as the stalks animate and in excited waves express their awe and wonder.  They dance and dance, and clap crunchy palms.  There is constant movement when He walks through the field – He oozes life and animates everything in His path and presence!!

Planes fly overhead lit against the night sky.  I hear their props whirl and for a moment I sense I’m standing on a battlefield safely hidden beneath the train of my Lord.  This brings me to think about the fact that when I’m attacked or hurt (as was the case the night before), I like the dry husks about me tend to split open before God.  Then He works His “magic,” exposing and cracking the jeweled seeds that contain life after death.  For life is a series of tiny deaths, of ascending to higher and higher places with Jesus as one learns to let go and follow Him on the path of death to life.

Behind me I notice two stalks embracing in death.  They make a great deal of noise in the wind as they hold to each other tightly.  I turn and cling to HIM!!  I am learning in death to cling to Him and let go of all else, and when the wind blows on the two of us embracing a new song rises to fill the air with a joyful noise.

Deeper shades of night fall on the field and I see like white icecicles slivers of moonlight reflected on raised arms.  Fireflies add their light to the glory of the stalks praising their Maker.  I realize, sometimes it is in fields of imperfection, tragedy, untimely, cut-short life – fields of death where we meet The Resurrection and the Life face to face and cheek to cheek.  And so He calls and woos.  “Come, My love, to this seemingly barren crackling place and hear My heart in death as in life.”

I came and I heard.  “Perfect on earth is never what it seems.  I’ve much to teach you and to show you, My little harvester, My sweet little widow in the corner of the field.  Long We’ve been together, and yet We’ve only just begun.  It will always be so!!”  I hear the barking of dogs in the distance which turns to howls of agreement.  “I’ve loved watching you change, grow, become.  At every stage, SEE ME – SEE ME PLEASED!!   I See you – I notice everything.  Nothing escapes My gaze nor deep, infinite knowledge.  I move about you in the fields.  I watch.  I die with you.  I touch.  I feel you move, brush against me.  I clap, I bend low, I surround, I invite you in as does this field.  You are Mine and I AM yours, and I’m so thankful.”

I stepped out of the field as from lover’s chamber.  I looked back at the quivering stalks and remembered the fields of Uganda with faces of children innumerable smiling up at me from the cornfields.  And I remembered His love, making love, pure and simple and fiery hot and thanked Him for all He conceived in me there, and here too that is yet to come to full term.

The Lord and I shared one of Our first dances twenty years ago in a quiet field bordered by a busy highway.  Beneath our feet, in cemetery bittersweet, lay my husband’s body.  I came hungry and to be held, and there God took me in a marital embrace and nurtured my budding faith convincing me of the undeniable reality of HIM.  I recall that first dance like yesterday.  I parked and walked toward the small circle of shade under a liveoak beside Chuck’s grave, leaving the van door open so I could hear the praise tape in my cassette player.  It was just the “three” of us there, and I began to sing, trading in sorrow for the joy of My King.  He then through the song on my tongue spoke concerning my husband, informing me of his new life and granting me peace concerning mine.  We both had new lives to live in death’s aftermath.  We danced in resurrection celebration and I heard, as in memory of the future to be, my husband cutting a rug on the Crystal Sea and shouting a new song, a hymn of praise and freedom to His God.  I continued to sing “Jesus Is Alive,” with Ron Kenoly and choirs of angels, the veil between heaven and earth opened wide.

Twenty years later, God still woos me into fields, figuratively into graveyards, where life sleeps hidden beneath gossamer sheets.  Death where is your sting?  Grave, where is your victory?  For Jesus is alive.  He’s alive!!  And He will eternally and with great joy never cease to breathe new life – His very own -- into His loved ones as He plants tender kiss after tender kiss on their lips.

Dancing in His Shadow,

For more inspirational reading visit Spiritual Sundays at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com