Fresh Page of Living

Hello, friends! Inspiration is still a bit on the slow side just now, but really wanted to share something with you today as we close this hard year and look towards new beginnings. ๐Ÿ™‚

2 Cor.2:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Just as a butterfly’s wrap must

Come before it’s shed away,

The hour before dawn is darkest, they say.

The heavy drapery of night sky

Shrouds the approaching sun,

Yet, second upon second draws the

Sweet unveiling nigh.

Paintstroke by paintstroke,

Color invades

Until a fresh page of living has begun.

And, so we lay aside the year gone by…

Cruel as it’s been,

From the fingers of time it gently

Slides.

And, blessedly, we can find in Him

Burgeoning new wings;

We can embrace the arriving

Daybreak

And the renewed strength it brings!

Heartaches we will yet face this year,

No lie,

But, when we seek the Lord,

We will yet discover new ways in Him

To fly.

Blessings and prayers on your New Year, my friends! I pray we can find fresh resolve to seek Him in this time He grants us and discover new ways to soar! Thanks for reading and sharing 2020 with me with all its ups and downs! โคโคโค

“Blessed Be Your Name (worship video w/ lyrics)” on YouTube

And he said, โ€œNaked I came from my motherโ€™s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.โ€-Job 1:21

Hello, friends! Another day, another song. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is one that has always spoken to me.

The thoughts contained within it, inspired by the verse above, have long resonated deep in my heart.

I can recall singing it in both times of greatest joy and heaviest sorrow. And He has always met me in the midst and provided His incomparable comfort.

I don’t know why it took me so long, but it occurred to me yesterday as the youth group unexpectedly chose to sing this steady go-to of mine that it speaks incredibly well to this time of significant unrest in our nation.

For, whatever questions may rise, whatever uncertainty we are facing, whatever we see come and go, He always, always knows best.

And His name-that precious name of the Lord-always remains blessed, come what may.

Resting our trust in this fact can be a challenge as we look at the strife in our world-believe me, how my anxious heart struggles!

Yet, I know this ability to trust is a very necessary component to holding on to our peace and joy. So, daily I am praying He would increase my trust in Him and His sovereignity.

So…may we listen to the following, choose to add our voices to the chorus of praise, and be reminded of this powerful truth.

What a Friend

Hey, friends. Lots of thoughts rolling.

Some on the cusp of creation; some more fully formed but not just there yet.

Some honestly rather heavy.

Heavy but, admittedly, necessary.

Example: the news daily brings us countless reminders of the temporary nature of fame, fortune, and the like.

Worldly accomplishments beckon us here on earth yet they still shift and blow away sooner or later, much like the foolish man’s house on the sand…

For nothing comes with us-not a guitar prowess or a cool rep or or a knowlegable facade.

Not even our own “niceness”.

No…nothing but our faith we carried in life.

Now, it might be faith in a thing.

A person.

Our own abilities.

Our bank account.

Or-prayerfully-it will be in Jesus Christ alone.

For those whose faith proved futile, unfortunately, all that awaits is a darkness beyond darkness-an eternal separation from God.

A hard truth indeed!

But, for those who have trusted Christ alone for salvation, there is an eternity of joy and peace in His presence!

So…mixed into those tough thoughts of grief for others who likely may’ve passed without placing their faith on Him alone, is the gratitude for that sure salvation and the rest in that steady companionship-both here and now and in the life to come. ๐Ÿ™‚

And all that, be it deemed random or no in the midst of the heavyish and less heavish thought train here today, reminds me of a song.

I checked and, yep, it’s been a bit since my last song share. So…yes. It’s time.

Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today, after some (pretty major) deliberation, I decided I should share our community youth group “theme song”- “What a Friend” by Matt Maher.

Or one of the theme songs, at least. ๐Ÿ˜ We are a seriously musical lot.

Anyway…it’s such a comforting word in the midst of troubling times!

Now, this version is likely a lot more professional sounding than what our little group pulls off with our rudimentary acoustics.

But, at any rate, may we sing along with what is the most important key- sincere hearts, rejoicing at the truth of lives redeemed and an eternal home to look forward to.

Blessings and Prayers, dear friends! Keep your eyes on Him! โค

https://g.co/kgs/tJtP7t

My Storymaker

Just some pontificating on my unfortunate tendency to attempt control over my little world, as framed through a writer’s perspective. Ironically, I wrestled a fair bit with pinning down the phrases for this one. Kept getting lost in the words. ๐Ÿ™‚

My Storymaker

Ah, my life-it often feels a long series,

One stumbly chapter to the next,

Where emotion both swells and

Wearies.

And the writer in me queries-

How best to play out a story

So complex?

Well, as I amass the content of my

Days

And lay them all upon my lap,

I fall quite handily into my own

Control freakish ways

And never quite see the trap. ๐Ÿ˜

For, in the desire to possess said

Control,

I must confess

It’s largely about this for which I am

Equal parts cursed and blessed:

Words. Glorious words.

How I love to weave them-

From the poignant to the absurd.

Words! Glorious words to aspire

Toward,

Thereby propelling

Forward my intricate plans,

Thoughts of relinquishing authorship

Rarely occuring, compelling in me

The stress of trying to arrange things

Strand by painstaking strand. ๐Ÿ˜

And so, I pick up the narrator’s pen

With relish,

Ready to begin, to tweak and to

Embellish.

Fresh page flipped open…

How shall I tell my tale?

How shall my life’s lines today

Unveil?

I sometimes think I know.

So I go to scribble down thoughts’

Shape

And only then do I note the troubles

That set in to grow…

Panic thumps my heart then,

As players and conversations away

From my hands spin.

Events take course in a direction

Wholly unintended.

And I feel all the worse for it-

Baffled, bereft, unfriended.

So…I attempt to crumple the errant

Papers of my existence,

Too spent to begin again with any

True sense.

Ah, but then comes the hand of my

Creator

To still my agitated own.

“Let Me, ” whispers the voice of He

Who is greater,

Smoothing out my wadded up life and

Reminding me I am not tinkering

Alone.

For, He is to be my Storymaker,

He points out with a Father’s

Smiling tenderness,

Lovingly showing me where I have

Gone remiss.

With kind shepherd’s crook

He causes me to pause and look

At what He has written for me,

Chastening me, yes, but oh-so-gently,

And hastening me to His side,

The very best narrative there could

Be!

And so I surrender my pen, my

Beloved control

And leave the wordcraft of my soul

Wholly over to Him…

It’s difficult many times, but may we indeed surrender control of the stories of our lives over to the Lord, knowing He has the very best in mind for each of us. Thanks for reading, dear friends! Much love, many blessings and prayers! โค

Another Day

A bit of pondering on the difficulties in this season to keep the Lord most dear in my heart. It is so easy- far too easy- to get pulled into the anxieties of the day…

Another day You wake my slumbering soul.

Another challenge yet to undertake

That will undoubtedly take some sort of toll.

And, as I go about

Seeking in the quiet sort of way

Of the shy and the meek,

The quest is posed, the answers yet to speak-

Will I indeed leap into the fray past my door,

Determine to seek Your face once more?

Or will I hang back upon my trusty fringe,

Hooking my hat to that which I consider the safer place

Than that which might be in store?

Oh, Lord, I want nothing more than to

Want YOU and nothing more!

Yet, the mind’s eye drags me aside,

The world’s various pains

Encroach and collide.

And I find the quickening of anxiety,

The surprising sickness of pride

Too often keeps me at arm’s length

From Your ever willing side.

Oh, that sort of social distancing

Should never apply

To You, my God, my chief ally!

I must draw near, come what may,

Hold You more than ever dear,

No matter what the world offers this day!

Oh, Father, so many fears has this season fraught!

But, help me to keep You placed as I ought!

May we each be prayerful to seek Him first. Thanks for reading, dear friends! Blessings and prayers! โค

We Can’t Always

Latest on Pastor Don: This is such a hard write-up, my friends. I can think of only one that’s likely going to be harder.

The progression of the cancer is profound and rapidly progressing, as is his pain. At this point, he and Deb are sure he is near his end here on earth. He can eat little, which is a heartwrenching thing to witness in anyone, but especially in one known to eat with gusto.

He cannot get out of bed except to go to the restroom and the strength for even that is fast fading.

He is understandably reluctant for hospice, but it’s looking like this is where his need is at.

It’s honestly devastating to watch one so strong become so fragile. But, then, we all are if we will admit to it.

In all this, reliance on the Lord is his and Deb’s hope and stay. They deeply appreciate all the prayers and want you to know they can definitely feel them! Thank you.โค

A small, spur-of-the-moment poem for you, friends. Well, mostly for me, as processing generally lands me here, but, it also helps the heart immensely to share…

We Cannot Always

So often, thoughts will bubble to

The surface of the brain

Only to pop or settle back down

An unreachable drain…

I have many such moments

Throughout my day;

Many things that never quite have their say.

They begin with “coulds”,

An awful lot of “shoulds”,

But too often end in being tucked away,

To be examined through the deceitful veil

Of “I can always…”.

That phrase of procrastination

That causes little but consternation

Not to mention an inescapable frustration

Of pent-up plans and dashed dreams,

Of unextended hands and undiscovered streams.

We say we can “always” go and do later on

As if all will ever keep clicking along untroubled,

But, one must only take a cursory glance to know

Even craters eventually crumble and blow away, gone.

And so goes the unanswered thought bubbles.

Perhaps, this is what regret tastes of:

All bitterness and bile on my tongue.

Ah, but God in His infinite wisdom and eternal love

Cannot leave me dangling on that unproductive rung.

Instead, He sweeps the past like so much dust,

Guiding me gently to places of deeper trust.

Kindly agreeing in, “Yes, we cannot always….

At least, not here in this earthly suit, my child.

For, eventually, labors cease for each someday.

Time comes to examine the fruit,

To shed these cumbersome boots

And dance in the beautiful undefiled.

Free at last of decay

In that which will go on for always…”

Friends, in these hard times of various trials and heartbreak, may we rest ever in the knowing where there isn’t really any reliable “always” here on earth, there is one surpassing our wildest dreams in the life beyond. May we live for Him here to the fullest each day while looking forward to what is to come! Blessings and prayers! Thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚โค

Crafting Changes


Hello, my friends! It feels like another longish stretch since I have been here! I hope no one feels too neglected. Though my days have taken a different shape in some ways, my heart and my prayers are ever with you. โ˜บ Hoping this finds you well and seeking the Lord.

I am striving ever for that myself in the midst of crafting a new way to do school, but, I think I am due for some stark honesty here.

It’s funny, really…

Despite my longing to craft other things-to write, to inspire and to be inspired, I am finding it much more taxing to gather my words when I finally do find a moment.

Perhaps it’s just circumstantial.

Circumstances are admittedly…unorthodox, shall we say?- at this stage of our lives.

For all, of course, but, I think especially of us impromptu home schooling parents right now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now, I am in the somewhat unique position of being accustomed to the life of a relative recluse for a variety of reasons ranging from my physical struggles to my carefully guarded, incredibly introverted nature. ๐Ÿ˜’

Not to mention, frankly, long years of the instinctual limitations that often come of parenting special needs.

I do miss church in-person-even if I was frequently the quietest one in the place- as well as cooking for and listening to the banter of our youth group.

Not to mention the simplicity of just strolling into a store on one of my good days with a modicum of abandon.

I am also finding it a bit deflating currently that our technology is too old and creaky to participate in many of the neat things others are doing virtually, as well as the fact my pocketbook isn’t too giving for the updates (Yet, for our actual needs, what we possess suffices, so, I feel gratitude should have its way over such complaints, really. ).

And, much as I am adoring this gift of extended hours with my dear children, I do find moments of longing for the few quiet chunks of the day I had formerly possessed, naturally.

But, all that aside, I can really chuckle to myself that I was born to “stay at home” and scarcely needed an order to do so. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So…it isn’t truly these aspects draining me of creative juices. Not really.

Maybe…maybe it’s just time in of itself that has me thrown- paradoxical thing that it is.

Such a precious commodity.

So daunting yet interesting to be presented a drastic reordering of it.

I am cheering on those who are and praying others will be able to capture the silver lining gleaming in the clouds here.

Yet, it’s also consternating how oddly the hands of the clock move these days.

Meandering down unfamiliar paths yet still remaining swift as ever.

Routines upended and rearranged. Things to be let go of, new things to be embraced.

I have to say management in our family of all such has been remarkably blessed by God’s ever-guiding hand.

In any household, that’s something to rejoice in.

In an autism household? Truly miraculous.โ˜บ

We are poised for our last three weeks of school already and in pretty good stead with all that it entails.

Yet, all that it entails adds up to… well, an awful lot of this baffling time thing we speak of, leaving little room for expanding thoughts to the avenues once enjoyed.

Words have been fading away from something to skip in a field of flowers with.

Words, rather, have morphed into something to teach how to sound out and how to spell.

To write neatly on the line and to properly define.

Perhaps inserted into a bit of essay coaching for flavor.

Which can have its own brand of satisfaction-don’t get me wrong.

It’s a rare joy to shape my kids in this way.

But, delight in shaping words unto the Lord?

The thirst remains, but time seems to be sapping the wherewithal lately.

Even writing all this, my mind is so…back and forth. It’s not coming in the flurry of phrases that I typically enjoy.

This is certainly not the big revelation I hoped for in time away, nor the encouragement I wanted to be able to give.

But, then, the time away is not really the time away in the sense of sabbatical.

At least, not in traditional sense.

Ah, but He reminds-when was anything ever traditional with me? ๐Ÿ˜Š

So…I am left with this, as I have ever been left with this in my very interior yet very demanding world…

Shaking off the whiny, first-world-woes and grabbing hold of God, where I can, as I can, surrendering to the fact He is resident Keeper of the times, even these seemingly crazy ones.

And I rest in knowing He is ever there, smiling down on me in His infinite love, whether I am crafting an intricate poem to Him or just a shiny aluminium foil robot costume with my youngest for art time. โ˜บ

When our hearts are right, they each honor Him, after all.

I am so selective on sharing pictures of my kiddos. But this one begged to be shared. Literally. ๐Ÿ˜€

Blessings and prayers, dear friends!Appreciate the read! Keep resting in Him!

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!

Cluttered Sinks and Fresh Starts

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19

Love that verse. โค

Even put it in my wedding vows 8 years ago come March. โ˜บ

I pulled it out here originally seeking to pen a more standard thought on this New Year’s Eve.

But, the exhilarating freshness to a new beginning puts me in mind of rather an odder thought today.

So…bear with me while I rustle up a mother’s analogy ๐Ÿ˜‰:

A year’s end is like watching a cluttered sink of sticky plates and seemingly endless cups diminish at long last to none. We get a glimmer of satisfaction in the shiny and clean.

(By the way, how do we go through so many cups in such a short time?! ๐Ÿค”)

Anyway….

New Year’s Day is like the wow of empty stainless steel staring up at you for a moment!

Note the word “moment”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

For, all too soon, here comes more cups out of the woodwork to create a new version of the old tower…

Some very familiar cups, naturally… the chipped one, the cartoon-adorned, the industrial- sized coffee mugs… but, maybe in a different order this time.

Or, there could be that stray you know you haven’t seen used in an eon.

The one you’re pretty sure crawled out from under the depths of your son’s bed. ๐Ÿ˜

Much like another day layering itself on another day.

Some will look like the ones gone before.

Maybe not so bad.

Maybe yucky-but survivable.

Or, maybe, something is in a different order.

Something goes an unexpected direction.

The Lord shifts you into a place you’ve not been before.

Or, perhaps, even considered.

It could look daunting-like dishes multiplying in a sink unabated.

Or, it could be something far more thrilling than wielding a scrub brush, when we can lean on His scouring power to help us perceive it as such.

A way in the wilderness, a stream in the wasteland even.

Tasks may be completely unknown in some cases. Odd or clumsy at first.

Or, in fact, they may not change all that much in other cases. Maybe seemingly routine. And yet, even then, there’s still a something new….

But, the point is, in whatever He asks of us, whether new or familiar, He is there, providing a pathway, equipping us for the call.

Carving out twists and turns to grow us, steadying passages to shore us up, pouring out places of refreshing to gladden our souls.

For, where these days will be ones we’ve never lived before, He has been the forerunner of our journey, lovingly mapping all that is to come.

And, so, as a new year dawns shortly, He beckons us on.

Go ahead. He says. Fresh start. Trust me.

Add to the tower of cups.

You and me- we’ve got this.

Bright blessings, much love, and many prayers for you, my friends! Thanks for indulging an odd analogy this New Year’s Eve! May we enter 2020 embracing all He has for us, knowing that sink will be added to, but also knowing He’s got the stuff to help us scrub it clean! ๐Ÿ˜‰