The Becoming

This poem grew from a comment I made the other day on a post on Heavensreef, a very encouraging blog I recently started following. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, it’s not what you’d call a traditional valentiny sort of piece, but, truly, what better love is there demonstrated than in His redemption of our lost souls? โค

Query:

What were you before Jesus?

Answers circle, haunting truths

So heavy to carry.

Surprisingly daunting task, this-

How to describe what I was

And not lose sight of what now is?

Well, best to just begin, I concede-

Filthy hands had I,

So foolish and full of sickening pride,

Pawing desperately

After a love I tried to define.

Hardly kept a head above

Quicksand most days;

Crackling lungs scarcely held

More than shallow breath;

Fingers curling over

Broken strands of impending death,

Numbing to my own rapidly

Increasing decay.

Ah, but, one word could I rasp to the skies:

“Help.”.

In that moment, stretched out the Lord’s clasp to mine,

Pulling me free of my self-made muck,

Suddenly to solid ground I found myself,

Startled near to being thunderstruck.

Brought me to His river then,

And washed me pure within.

New garments was I given,

Royal robes fit for heaven.

And after?

Well, we’ll call that the becoming.

His truths started in to humming,

New and strange beats on my heart drumming.

Set out to learn this different rhythm,

Untried feet sometimes skipping,

Sometimes stumbling.

Yet, the travels with Him,

Dear companion God,

Are ever onward tumbling…

Oh, this becoming has been quite

A journey for me,

And He’s not done with me yet,

By any means.

Yet so grateful to see

Just how far His love’s brought me-

Long miles streak out behind

Like light-years of shifts and sighs,

From the life that really wasn’t life

To the life He intends there to be.

And one day, this becoming will

Become a became

And, at journey’s end, all the rest

Will fall away,

With nothing more left to do than

Simply bless His name…

Oh, friends, the wonder of the journey from the depths of sin to becoming like Him! There’s nothing like it. May you feel His love on this day and always. โค Thanks for reading. Blessings and prayers to you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Our Story (A Reblog)

Hi, friends! I know this is unusual for my posting schedule ( do I really have one? ๐Ÿค”) and style, but there are times God sets a person or a story or both in your path that is a bit different yet so relatable, you simply must break with the usual to see where He wants to take you.

Sarah Walton is such a person with such a story.

From the pain of chronic illness to the struggle of raising special needs to the pinch of major financial need- and maintaining faith in the Lord all the while, this story echoes with amazing familiarity in my heart.

Firstly, if you are not following her blog, Set Apart, I highly recommend it!

I leave every post so blessed by the honesty and Godly wisdom.

Secondly, she and her husband, Jeff, have a wonderful-sounding book coming out shortly. I eagerly await the opportunity to read it! Follow the link to find out more…

https://wp.me/p5exjO-1B7

I know my reach is fairly small potatoes to the world’s eye, but I trust the Lord will help take this where it needs to go.

Prayers and blessings, dear friends! If you feel so led, pass the word on…

God’s Reality in a Fake World

If there’s one thing I have surmised over the years, it’s that the world is chock-full of false fronts.

Propped-up guarantees.

Surreptitious happenings behind the scenes.

Manipulated headlines.

Scriptedrealities”.

It’s a practice as old as a slithering snake deceiving Eve.

Only now, it’s found a whole new venue, often splashed across the various screens of our various devices.

It’s what tweaks the phrases, alters the photographs, teases the heart with carefully calculated angst, plies the mind with double and triple speak.

It twists the truth up into pretzels worthy of cheese dip at the mall. ๐Ÿ˜

It even jangles through the dinner hour on our phones with robo-calls trying their darndest to convince us we’ve earned a free trip to the Carribean if only we will stay on the line ( And shell out lots of personal info and possibly a “minor” fee, naturally. ๐Ÿ™„).

And, along those lines, let’s not get into the vast piles of info raked in from us by the social media empire…๐Ÿ˜ฎ

These sort of ramshackle happenings even apparently infiltrate happy little restaurant games-to the extent there’s now a three-part documentary outlining why no one we know ever won more than free fries from the Monopoly tabs. ๐Ÿ˜

Makes it tough to know who and what to trust in this world!

Now, despite all that spiel, though, I am not what you’d call a hard-core conspiracy theorist.

That level of sniffing out the nefarious takes up more time and energy than I’m able or willing to sacrifice.

It can also lead a person down more than a few rabbit trails!

But, this I will say. Though the devil may try his best to fool us, there is One who has a firm grip on reality.

The real reality.

In fact, He is the maker of it.

And never will He ever pull even a scrap of wool over our eyes.

For His word is truth itself.

And where there is God’s perfect truth, there is the ability to trust.

A rather refreshing thing to realize in an all-too-often fake world! โ˜บ

May we ever rely upon His truth to guide us through these times of deception. Blessings and prayers to you, friends! Thanks for reading!

When the Helper Feels Helpless

Been especially tired of late. Just some thoughts as I deal with the cantankerous side of living with physical limitations…๐Ÿ™‚

Lord, want to be doing.

Want to be moving.

Want to be seeking.

Instead, here I sit stewing,

A vast little proving,

And deeper purpose?-

Long, long years ago it seems

Since I was peaking!

Oh, I know that’s not really so!

But, oh, Lord, I am tired!

Body and soul are fizzling.

The “shoulds” all pop like a

Stovetop sizzling!

But, nevertheless,

I confess, I am feeling…

Uninspired.

Lofty words are coming

Unwired.

Supposed to be a helpmate.

Yet, why am I made so helpless

To so many tasks?

Perhaps, mine is not meant to

Fret on how I feel I don’t equate.

Yet, in me still exists this

Yearning,

A burning to ask…

Some days, maybe, it’s just the

World’s arbitrary demands

That are too much weight

For me.

If go based upon such a heavy slate,

I will never be able to pony up

The fee…

Yet, I know Your hand,

Ever there it is to heal and to

Understand.

Though, in the physical realm,

The tiredness is sometimes,

Oftentimes, known to remain,

You, too, remain,

Ever there to guide and to

Sustain,

And ever worthy of

Highest praise-

That which You lend me strength

To give, so sweet and so free,

No matter what persists

Externally.

And You gently remind how

I will feint not!

As I step into Your existence,

To feel the reassuring touch long sought,

And You call out the praiser

Yet inside of me…

Lord, want to be doing,

Want to be moving,

Want to be seeking

Yet, you remind me Your purpose

Above all else is what counts

In the midst of humanity’s

Desperate eking…

The Before and After Tag

Thanks to Robert for the thoughtful tag. I so appreciate your blog. It is full of wisdom that blesses me daily!

Photo courtesy of the Canva App.

Now, the idea here is to discuss befores and afters through a series of questions.

For me, that means before the Lord redeemed my critically wounded soul and after that transformative work. I love the way the above photo communicates that! ๐Ÿ˜Š

So, on to the questions…

1. Who was family for you growing up?

Well, that is actually a weightier question to begin with than one would think! At least, for an (overly) introspective sort like me!๐Ÿ˜

So, I had a mom, dad, and one older brother, but, in between dealing with childhood abuse via my mother and a father that was rarely present, I would call my brother the most consistent form of family then. He was my safe place. My maternal grandmother also figures highly in there, though our visits were mostly during holidays. Those were among the happiest times of my younger years. Oh, and I shouldn’t neglect to note the occasional cats ( this was in the days I was blissfully unaware my constant sneezing and itchiness meant I was allergic! ๐Ÿ˜) and two funny little cockaboogle dogs ( My granny’s made-up term for Cocker Spaniel/Beagle/Poodle mixes ๐Ÿ™‚).

2. Who is family for you now?

Now, my family is my second chance at love, my husband of 8 years come March, our four kids, three of whom he adopted upon marrying me, the fourth my bonus boy from our union. And two rescue dogs, a Dachshund/Mini Lab mix and a Dutch Shepherd ( as best as we can estimate) . Also, much, much family added via my husband’s massive group of relatives, only some of which I have met. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ And, lest I forget, the family of God at large, many of whom I enjoy through fellowship in church and here on WP. โ˜บ

3. Where did you grow up?

I was born in Oklahoma, spent a few grade school years in southern Texas in various rental homes as my dad’s work prospects shifted. Then, after moving to Kansas at age 9, I stayed more put, only living in two different residences, the second of which was a crackerbox rental dubbed “the hot house” for its distinct lack of cooling capabilities. ๐Ÿ˜

4. Where do you live now?

I am now out of the city in a tiny township still in Kansas in a hundred years+ house we are in a perpetual process of renovating. It’s quite a lot nicer than its dilapidated beginnings, though.๐Ÿ˜

5. What did you want to be when you were older?

I dreamed of a few things, such as acting and various types of art, but writing has been the most constant ever since I figured out how to string phrases. I use to lean heavily towards fiction until I realized my truth was stranger. ๐Ÿ˜

6. What do you do now?

I taught preschool for a lot of years. Life and physical pain intervened, however. So, now, I stay home, fend for my kiddos, which takes up quite a bit of time, especially with two on the autism spectrum, and do lots of secretarial stuff for my husband’s repair/remodeling business. Oh, and I had a memoir published a few years ago. It was less than a roaring success in a worldly sense, but it has been a witness to those God intends. In that way, I guess you could say it’s a dream fulfilled.

7. Whatโ€™s your earliest memory?

Hmm… probably playing in the mud out behind our house with my brother when I was around 2. I remember it was a warm and peaceful day, a rare commodity even then. ๐Ÿ™‚

8. Whatโ€™s one of your most recent memories?

Sitting here sorting out phrases to type while my youngest and his school buddies play superheroes on this very snowy snow day. ๐Ÿ™‚

9. What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?

Most people would say my book, but, eh, that’s too pat a response. I’d say it’s making it through all the struggles set before me with sanity intact. But, truly, that’s owed to the Lord who carried me and carries me still.

10. What is your biggest hope in this life?

That I will see my children live for Christ and fulfill all He has instilled in them.

So, that’s it. Thanks again, Robert! Good questions!

So, on to tagging. You know, I am never sure on this point, so I think I will leave it open to any reading this that are game to try. Just answer the above questions, remember to use the image in your post, and give me a tag so I know it’s out there to read! Blessings and prayers to you, friends!

And P.S. I break out in hives when it comes to selling. ๐Ÿ˜ But, I do occasionally find myself being asked more about this book I allude to off and on. So, for any who want the fuller scoop on pieces of my testimony, here’s a link:

Holding the Standard

I haven’t absorbed as much as you’d think being married to a handyman for nearly eight years.๐Ÿ˜

(Maybe it has something to do with aptitude…or my downright clumsiness with tools. ๐Ÿ˜)

But, despite that, there is one thing I have learned.

When it comes to any aspect of building, there is a standard to be met and held.

Without it, you stand a risk of all sorts of problems, to say the least!

The same can be said for our spiritual walk.

Now, I am not one to beat folks over the head with a list of “do’s” and “don’t’s”.

Such legalism can leave a person feeling mighty hopeless.

But, I must say that often, too often, it seems the bar is being lowered in this land of the living.

Particularly, sadly, for those of us who count ourselves the Lord’s own, more and more so as the clock wears on.

Oh, we have God’s grace. And we mustn’t ever forget we have that grace.

His grace is the only way we will ever measure up, after all.

For that matter, His grace is the only way we even recognize the sin stain which causes us not to measure up-on our own, that is.

Because, yes, our redemption is that amazing grace, found solely through the death and resurrection of the Son, praise God.

But, that said, so many of us, too many of us, take this beautiful sacrifice as a free pass.

“I have my ‘God Insurance’ in the game of life, so, now, I can just hop on the do-as-I-please express!” ๐Ÿ™„

But, oh, friends, you don’t want that ride! It’s a ride, I’m here to tell you, that does nothing in the end but disappoint at best!

And at worst? Well, let’s just say a crash and burn is painful beyond description. ๐Ÿ™

It’s not always easy to provide such cautions.

I always want to make sure I am coming from a place of love.

Too much danger of tipping into the sanctimonious otherwise.

Now, it’s great when you encounter those who get the spirit you intend, or, better yet, are at the table, already hungry for such truth.

But, try to kindly counsel others, especially those who look around and just can’t seem to recognize their own emaciation staring back at them, and it’s a whole new ball of wax.

It can be rather dismaying to watch the hostility, labels, and angry epithets fly then.

Or, worse yet, indifference.

For, there’s a disturbing trend to keep a tight grip on spiritual compromise in these days.

It’s everywhere we look.

Media. Government. Schools. Homes. Churches.

Our hearts.

It’s becoming increasingly unpopular to do otherwise!

Oh, perhaps, it’s not really so new. One only has to peruse the scriptures to see such littering page after page.

It’s only become more prevalent, perhaps, as everything’s on a twenty-four-seven information overload.

The world’s got more opportunities than ever to spew out an ongoing parade of violence and vulgarity.

Not to mention, time is drawing nigh and satan, the defeated foe, is seeking to entangle and take down all those he can with him.

And no one is what I’d call immune from his schemes.

For, even for those of us saved by God’s grace, there is the endless subtlety of distraction, in all its countless forms.

The strategy being if the devil can’t snatch our soul, he can at least sideline us with the world’s many “goodies”.

That way there’s no one left to hold up the standard.

Or, after a while, as our Bibles collect dust in favor of a pulpit pep talk, even remember what the standard is supposed to be.

So, what is one to do? Hole up from the whole world, singing our Kumbayahs under a blanket and wait on the Lord from the comfort of a hermetically sealed bubble? ๐Ÿ˜

Well, no, of course not!

That defeats the “in the world, not of it” principle set out in scripture.

Not to mention it’s kind of difficult to shine a light for Jesus burrowed in your down comforter. ๐Ÿ™‚

So…no…we mustn’t duck and cover from it all.

Rather, ours is to remain firm in the Lord in the midst of it all.

To celebrate that grace that saves us, but never allow it to become cheap.

To seek the light of His truth that it might grow us and direct others to the same.

Ours is to know the standards set forth in the Holy Word and hold it fast.

And to refuse to build our house on anything less.

Blessings and prayers to you, dear friends! May we be mindful of the many distractions this world throws at us and may we indeed hold up the standard the Lord set forth for us in the midst of it all.