My God

We each have a view of what God looks like. He is different in the mind and eyes of each of us.

To me, He is hard to describe, as I know I won’t know His countenance until the day I see Him face to face. I also recognize that at that time He won’t be at all like I have imagined Him.

Today, while walking and praying about what to write, I went through my usual list of what I write about, the weather, the feel of the air, my grandkids, my kids, my hubby, experiences. I was at a loss for ideas. Then in the deep recesses of my mind I heard, “Write about Me.” I actually chuckled out loud. Yeh, right.

Then, I started pondering that comment. Yes, I write about my faith, what I think His many names mean, my faith, and , although those all point to God, I have never really written about Him.

How do you write about a person you have never met, yet have such a strong relationship with? How do you describe the Creator of the Universe? What descriptors do I use to portray Him? You can see my dilemma.

I was raised like my sisters and friends. God was God. He always was and will always be. He frowns at sin, yet He blots sin out with the blood of Jesus.

I confess over the years He has switched from being a big bad boogey man who randomly tosses lightening to fry me and thunders disapproval at me to my place of comfort.

After the death of my Dad, I read Psalm 68:4-5, “Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
Extol Him who rides on the clouds, By His name Yah, And rejoice before Him. A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation.” (NKJV)

This brought me comfort.

God is my Father. He is the perfect Father. As is true with fathers, God has taught me lessons, both the easy way and the hard way when I insist on doing it ‘my’ way. God has been there in the night time when tears fall and I am distressed. He listens to me drone on and on, never judging me and letting me talk. He brings me comfort, joy and peace.

My God is mighty and strong. He reveals Himself to me in His creation. I love how He paints the sunrise and sunset. I love how He laughs with me at times, and I know He laughs at me when I truly goof up. Sometimes kids make you laugh.

When I think of how to describe my version of God, I think of a quilt. An old quilt. A quilt that has been washed many times and each square is soft fabric, faded a bit, but familiar. A quilt that lays heavy on you, not to oppress you, but to bring a security and comfort you can’t receive elsewhere. A place where tears can fall easily, but they are wiped away gently.

A song that describes how I feel about my God,

He is our peace
Who has broken down every wall,
He is our peace, He is our peace.
He is our peace
Who has broken down every wall,
He is our peace, He is our peace.

Cast all your cares on Him,
For He cares for you,
He is our peace, He is our peace.

He is our peace
Who has broken down every wall,
He is our peace, He is our peace.
He is our peace
Who has broken down every wall,
He is our peace, He is our peace.

Cast all your cares on Him,
For He cares for you,
He is our peace, He is our peace.

Humbled

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 (NKJV)

Several weeks ago, our pastor challenged the people in our church to come early on Sundays and pray. The challenged hit me hard, as I used to do this all the time while living in San Diego, and had not considered doing this here in South Carolina.

I started to do this while Dale was practicing with the worship team before church. Of course, while we visited Little Miss, I spent time with her. Yesterday was our first Sunday back in church. I started walking through the sanctuary and through the hallways. I like to walk while praying, it reminds me of the children of Israel going into the promised land. They took possession of the land with each step they took.

The church we are in has been dormant for years. Rooms that have not been used for decades stand open ready to be filled with people learning, teaching, sharing, and discovering the goodness of God. I walk to claim that these rooms be filled with people searching for God. We live in a hurting world where circumstances and situations are unbearable. As Christians, it is our honor to reach out to these people. To love them and understand them. Deuteronomy 11:23-24, is what I think of, “Then the Lord will drive out all the nations ahead of you, though they are much greater and stronger than you, and you will take over their land. 24 Wherever you set foot, that land will be yours. Your frontiers will stretch from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north, and from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.” (NLT)

I don’t say this to brag, but to give you a basis of what I experienced Sunday morning. I walked through the sanctuary, the foyer, I looked out to the parking lot and prayed that it would be filled, that people would flock to the church. I went to the Children’s Church room, prayed for the leader, the children and that the room would be filled to capacity. In the hallways I prayed for laughter, giggles and children running rampant and parents yelling at kids for being too wild. In my mind I can hear the echoes of children.

I then went into the teen room. Our teen group is starting this Wednesday. I prayed for the teens. This is also where I am leading a Bible study next week for the ladies. This is what hit me. I felt the Lord overwhelm me with my inability to teach His words. It wasn’t a feeling of doom, dread or condemnation. It was a feeling of being honored and humble to do so. Humble like an undeserved honor to be able to share His word.

It reminded me, once more, of the gift of this blog, and my attempts that writing is to me. Thank you Lord for enabling me to put together words. They are Your words and I am grateful for the trust You have given me. Hide me as I write and teach, reveal Yourself through my attempts. May I always be aware of Your presence in my life. Amen.

The Rain leading to Autumn

“Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring.” Joel 2:23 (NLT)

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain falling outside our home. It was (and still is) the gentle patter that fills you with the longing of snuggling under a blanket. It is the rain that begins to turn the world around you into autumn.

I opened my curtains looking into our woods and knew that in a few weeks the leaves would begin to fall and the view would change. Fall is coming.

Some of our leaves are starting to turn yellow, some have a reddish tint to them. It is a forewarning of an approaching change. Summer is waning and soon the air will chill. Most of nature around us will become dormant, sleeping until spring when they will awake with beauty and new life.

I love the colder seasons. They are times of comfort for me. The air is brisk and assaults your senses, making your eyes water and your nose to feel cold. It is a time to feel alive in a different way than summer does.

September is almost half way done. The official start of autumn is approaching. But, today, the weather is alerting us to the change of seasons. I love how the Lord works in this way. His timing is always perfect.

My Baby

Almost 40 years ago today, my youngest was born. Dale was out to sea, and I had just moved our belongings into our newly purchased home with friends helping. We still had baby things and nursery things in our garage, not set up or ready to go.

Again, my brother from another mother and his wife were at the ready to keep me going. She was with me for labor and the birth of our youngest and he put the crib and changing table together.

Our youngest was a rainbow baby, a baby born after the loss of another. She was and still is a rainbow in our lives. She taught me joy, a deep abiding joy. She taught me to laugh harder than I had ever known. Her quiet spirit is evident in all she does.

I write about her birthday almost every year. It is a time of joy for Dale and I. We are blessed by this gift from our Lord. Each year I also struggle with how to describe this woman. She is multi-faceted in her abilities and her giftings, yet each time I fail to totally portray her.

Our children are precious gifts to us. Each one teaches you different things. Each one grows into an unique adult. I stand back often and think of my daughters. The women they are and how they got to be where they are. On birthdays especially, I look at their lives and remember the impact they made on me, how they shaped me into the person I am today.

So, happiest of birthdays my dear Rachel. You are a gift and a joy. I hope you are spoiled with gifts and love as you have spoiled me with the gift of you. Thank you for being you. Love you.

Reorganizing

We have lived in our current home seven years. Seven wonderful, memory filled years.

When we were unpacking, I basically put things away in the kitchen without much thought. Now, seven years later I have come to the conclusion that many things just do not work the way they are situated now. I have put off rearranging as I really don’t like to do that, but, I am now faced with the reality that this is going to happen now rather than later.

Currently, Dale is putting together a cabinet from Ikea. It is going in my kitchen and since it will be complete in a few moments, the time has come upon me to reorganize. I have opened each of my cabinets and studied them. I think I know what I will be doing.

As I looked in each cupboard and drawer, it came to me that God does a lot of rearranging daily. He has a perfect will for us, but, often we veer off in another direction. As many of us know, veering off into a different direction eventually causes us to arrive (a bit delayed) to the place our Lord originally wanted for us. His path is the better one, better scenery, better conditions, better everything. Our path is filled with what we see as a pretty pathway, only for us to discover the hidden vines and thorns and rocky pathways that we have to deal with. His way is better by far.

So today, as I start to rearrange my kitchen I will be thinking of this. Why did I put heavy plates on the top shelf where I now have to stand on tiptoes? Why did I stack platters in odd places? And finally, why did I just throw my cookbooks up above the sink when each time I open that cupboard they inevitably fall into the wet sink? All these questions will be answered in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, I will ponder the right path and what seems like the easy path.

“But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them.” Isaiah 26:7 (NLT)

Genesis 2:1-3

“So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested[a] from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.” Genesis 2:1-3 (NLT)

With each day there was a boundary established by God, day, night, sea, land, seed bearing fruit, trees, birds, fish. Each creation had a boundary. Then He rested.

For the past two weeks, I have not given myself boundaries. I did not schedule time to write or really exercise. I enjoyed the company of my daughter, her husband and our Little Miss. Each day held it’s own excitement and adventures, even if it was just sitting on the couch watching television and playing restaurant. Each day gave me memories to cherish.

Now, we are home. Today I awoke with determination to get back into full swing of schedules. I have half succeeded. Laundry is finishing, most of the groceries are put away, and although writing has been on the forefront of my mind, these words are my only accomplishment.

I tend to be pretty hard on myself when I am not in a regimen. I look at numbers in my statistics on my blog, each time reminding myself that stats are just numbers. That does not always work for me, because with each number I see a person that has reached out to me. Each person who reads what I attempt to say is a gift to me, after all, they have taken time from their day to see what I have tried to say.

When my stats go to ‘0’ or ‘1’, I chide myself. I see in my mind a finger pointing at me and scolding me for not being where I think I should be. There are a lot of “I’s” in these sentences. It is then, that I remember that this blog is a gift also. My words do not come without a lot of prayer and my Lord sees the entire perspective. This blog belongs to Him and only through Him can I write.

So, after pushing myself to get back on track, fretting and stewing that I am not back where I think I should be, I have heard a gentle voice whispering, “Chill out! I’ve got this.” Followed by my thankfulness that I serve a God who understands me.

New Beginnings

“School is a building which has four walls with tomorrow inside.” – Lon Watters

Last night we went to Little Miss’ school to meet her teacher for this coming year and see her classroom.

It’s been a long time since I was able to participate in such an activity. Her teacher greeted us and introduced herself to our granddaughter, who then took off to talk with friends and explore her second grade classroom.

It was fun to see the manipulatives on the shelves, the books in the library, the signs on walls. Everything was fascinating to me.

I was surprised that this simple trip brought back a flood of memories. I thought of my daughter’s second grade classes and most of all, I thought of my own second grade year. This took me back in time, thinking of my teacher, classmates the ones who remain friends, the ones that were goofy, but now are wonderful people. I also thought of events that happened in my second grade year. Little things that don’t matter much, except to seven and eight year olds.

Time has a way of fleeting by us. Sometimes we think that days, weeks, months or years drag by. We wait anxiously for milestones to occur, we look forward to big things and little things.

Last night I went to meet my granddaughter’s second grade teacher and was flooded with memories from sixty years ago. In the hours after attending, I wondered how the time had flown.

“School bells are ringing loud and clear; vacation’s over, school is here.” — Winifred C. Marshal

Hear That? God is a Gentle Whisper

 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.” I Kings 19:12 (NLT)

After Elijah killed all the prophets of Baal, he fled to Mt. Sinai and waited to hear from God. The above verse talks about all the ways Elijah thought God would answer. I love the end of the verse though, and after the fire was the sound of a gentle whisper.

How many times do we expect a boisterous answer? We expect fire, lightening, earthquakes, booming voices, we want the drama. God is capable of all of this. But, often He will gentle whisper. We have to listen carefully, but the answer is there.

The past two days and nights we visited Little Miss’ lake house. It was a quick trip and on the spur of the moment. The late summer weather was perfect for boating and watching Little Miss tubing solo and with her Dad. This morning as we were on the lake there was a feeling of end of summer. The sun was hot, but the air was almost fall-ish.

The past days as we have ventured out on the lake I have heard gentle whispers in the air. I truly felt the presence of God. He whispered to me as I watched a pair of bald eagles circle above us. The majesty of the birds, they symbol of America, strong, independent and soaring.

I heard the Gentle Whisper speak to me as we watched the sun start it’s descent in the west. The Artist of all creation painting the sky. Giggles and laughter from our Little Miss filled me with joy to see her grow in new ways. This too, is our God softly speaking to her, urging her to conquer adventures and new activities.

God, the Gentle Whisper fills us with peace and joy. We sometimes have to slow down to experience this. Like Elijah we expect major things to show us God’s hand. God does not always shout, instead, He leans close to us, and pulls us near Him and whispers.

God in the little things

Recently I have written about the names of God. I will most likely continue with these, but the past couple of days I have seen in action all that God is.

We are visiting Little Miss and her family. During this visit I have seen our God in action in this family. I have seen His protection over this home and extended family. I have experienced God our peace in the conversations and interactions.

God is bountiful. He is present. He protects and defends us. He answers prayer. He is all in all. I rejoice in the answered prayers I have felt.

I often look to see God in all areas and situations. These past few days, I have been immersed in the presence of God.

Walking into this home is walking into peace. It is comfortable. It is filled with teasing and laughter, giggles and snuggles. I have been wrapped in peace and for that I am thankful.

May your day today be filled with all the good things from our God.

“Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9 (NLT)

Isaiah 7:14 ~ God with Us

 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Listen carefully, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will call his name Immanuel (God with us).” Isaiah 7:14 (AMP)

This verse I love. It brings comfort to me, I can’t explain the calm I feel when reading it. It is often read during Advent, the time leading up to Christmas, but it is a promise from Father God that we know was fulfilled with Christ’s birth.

Emmanuel came to earth. He left the glory of heaven, the glory of being with Father and Holy Spirit and became man. He left His home, with all the infinite power and glory and became an infant. An infant that needed to be fed, changed, and clothed. He had to depend on Mary and Joseph, two He created.

Jesus was here on earth, He was with us. He experienced all that we learned as children, skinned knees, colds, the heat of the summer, the cold of winter, hunger, excitement. He felt all that we feel. God with us.

How incredible that the God of the Universe humbled Himself and became man. How incredible for us, that He did. Emmanuel, God with us, while He was on earth as He is now.