Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Memory for Katherynn

Katherynn is almost four and loves pre-school at my house.

Fascinated with the delight of learning to read, letters and sounds are "smooshed" into words. Slowly and methodically she writes each letter and sounds out words learning to spell. Every new story we read is added to our list of ones to enjoy repeatedly. Each new day is the "best day ever".

Today after a busy morning of doing her chores, writing, spelling, reading and playing with numbers, I suggested that it was time to go outside for a nature walk. After checking on the busy spider, visiting caterpillars and finding shoes we headed into the neighborhood to see what we could see.

Our nature discoveries were simple, but numerous. A blue jay feather, various flowers, a pine cone, a heart shaped leaf, two peaches picked from a tree and a dragonfly sighting by the lake.

As we sat enjoying the rippling water, Katherynn reached over to hold my hand. "This is the best minute ever in the whole world," she said softly. "Isn't it?" Her eyes, sparkling with the joy of walking in God's world, were wide-eyed with wonder.

"It's a wonderful minute, Katie Kat. God loves us very much to give us such a wonderful and interesting world."

"Indeed," she agreed. "Let's draw stuff in the nature journal so we never forget."

God of Wonders

Father, Glorious and Majestic,

You are the God of blessings, the Giver of every good and perfect gift, the Lord of Joy. You are the Alpha and the Omega who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. You are alive forevermore, the Master of the universe.

You alone hold the keys to death and to hell. You alone are Jehovah, the One and Only living God. What a wonder You are!

With a voice like Niagra thunder and with lightning in Your fists, You reign over all. With tender love You feed Your flock like a shepherd. With compassion and kindness You woo us to You, longing for relationship with us.

Your grace is sufficient for me, oh, Lord. You are all I want and all I need. From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, may Your name be praised. In every nation and in every people group Your grace and love are available to all. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

My Mother's Daughter

My mom saw weaknesses, strengths, talents and interests in her daughters as a gift from God.

Intrigued by our differences, she was quick to say that something was a strength or weakness and to share how she was strong or weak in that way, too. She would point out excellence in one, but encourage change in another. In areas of weakness or desire to be like the world, she was very firm, very plain, in what was right or wrong. She wanted us to know the areas where Satan can catch us up, to be wise and alert.

There is a different flow of life at each stage of a daughter's life. Mom used the time she had with us to love us and listen to us. I got much more time with her alone during my younger years, but by age 12 I seldom was alone with her. My youngest sister was seldom alone with her during her younger years, but after the rest of us left home, she had some "only child" years.

You train a child as you walk along. Scheduled times are a blessing. I would have loved more regularity of those individual times, but looking from adult eyes, I'm not sure where it would have fit into daily life in an ongoing way. More frequently it was long talks here and there, little talks along the way and questions answered as they came up.

Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and daughters. You shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (from Deuteronomy 6)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Breakfast to Remember

God is bigger today.

We had breakfast together, the Lord and I. Vanilla coffee and farm fresh eggs. Hot biscuits with melting butter and honey. Antique tablecloth and cloth napkins. I love a God who is always faithful. Always shows up before I do. It teaches me to notice Him, keeps me fully awake to His goodness, makes me overflow with joy and gratitude.

After you've been with Jesus awhile, begun to train yourself to be thankful, to thrill in His being sovereign, every year you grow, you find Him bigger. And, sometimes, like for me this morning, you have a sudden realization that His care is not only personal,faithful and good, but big. Huge. Gigantic.

"Wow,"I said aloud to Him. You absolutely blow my mind!" The trees must have clapped their hands. Three squirrels, a garden of flowers, one Monarch butterfly and a hummingbird all heard me say it, saw me raise hands and burst forth into song.

My life song, my masterpiece, the art God is sculpting out of the junk of my life is not that I am fulfilling my calling to become a spiritual mother, that I have spent a lifetime discovering what that means. It is not the 33 years and still counting I have spent on the college campus loving students to Jesus. The opus of my life is the lives whom I have influenced while being available in such a place as this wonderful world.

Even my life song, the masterpiece of my life, is not about what God can do for me or in me, but through me. Even my life song is all about Him.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The God of Peace

A rainbow greeted me on my walk early this morning, Father, and I thank you for it. The soft rains falling on my yard will cause greener grass. Vegetable and flower gardens will be revived and renewed. The hot humid air that was so staggering in the Midwest this summer has given way to a cool breeze that promises a refreshing of minds and bodies. Joy bubbles out of me and peace reigns in my heart.

But in other yards there is no green grass and in other gardens there is no fruit on the vines. Somewhere on this planet live children who have never seen a rainbow streak across their sky, never danced in the rain.

You are the God who sees. You are the God who is able to cause joy, to provide abiding peace in a dry and weary land. Such power and mercy is too marvelous for me. Your ways so far beyond my understanding! Grace like rain falls down on Your people whatever our circumstances and wherever we are on earth. Send a renewal of joy and peace to Your people, Father, a newness of life and an abundance of rich healthy spiritual fruit. You alone are the God who is able.

"Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. The beasts of the field will glorify Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I have given waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert to give drink to My chosen people. The people whom I formed for Myself will declare My praise." ~Isaiah 43:18-21

Monday, August 15, 2011

Soaking up the Sunbeams

I took a break from blogging to seek peace, to pursue God's specific goals for my life. Time spent in shady green pastures soaking up the sunbeams and drinking in the Words of the Good Shepherd have refreshed me indeed.

Sometimes, when we least expect it, the Father of every good and perfect gift surprises us with an overflowing of joy, a deepening of peace and an increase of faith and love that steals our very breath away in its glory and power. While I have rested, He has been working in me, for me and through me. He takes the small offer of myself and creates amazing and beautiful things for me to behold.

I called to Him and He answered me and told me wondrous things that I did not know. (Jeremiah 33:3, God's cell phone number)

God is able to do abundantly more than all we ask or imagine that He can do. He wants our questions, our ponderings, our doubts and concerns. It is from our faith the size of a mustard seed, smidgens of love and handfuls of hope that He does His best work. Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him! How I've proved Him o'er and o'er.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusts in Thee." ~Isaiah 26:3