"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Learning a New Language

I was given a prescription a couple of weeks ago. No, not the kind the physician writes and you take to the pharmacist. This one was administered by a close friend. She had already spoken a word of "rest" over me -- telling me I needed to take a season. And then she said, "And here's what I want you to do. I want you to get yourself one of those journal/sketchbooks and begin putting color on a page. You'll be surprised how much being creative will release the stress in your life." I immediately went into complete left-brain mode. My breathing got shallow and I broke into a full fledged sweat. "Do something artsy? Me? I wouldn't even know how to begin!" She told me to go to Wal-Mart and buy some paints. My breathing became even more shallow? "But what kind of paint?" "I'll go with you," she replied.

Three days later I found myself standing in front of the journal/sketchbooks section at Barnes and Noble. "O God, help me here! Can't You just let me cruise the Christian Inspiration aisle? It's a lot safer for both of us over there!" But alas, my eyes fell on a journal that shouted, "Pick me! Pick me!" And so with a deep breath, I reached for it.
For the first week, it remained right where I put it when I brought it home: on my dressing table bench. At first I totally ignored it, thinking it might go away. And then when I would give it consideration, I could feel my stress level rising, and so I'd push it to the back of the pill cabinet. Each morning as I put on my make-up, there it sat right next to me. I swear it was smiling at me. And finally, by the end of last week, I moved it to my sunroom. At least if I did decide to take this "pill," it would be within reach.

When I told my friend the stress it was causing me, she suggested I take a magazine and just begin flipping through it until something jumped out at me. Then I was to tear it out and PASTE it in the journal. Wow, I could do that. There's no "sketching" involved. And so yesterday it finally happened. The Lord had already placed a word on my heart last week when I was with my son. "Soak." And so here's what transpired.
Yes, that's where I am right now in this season -- or am suppose to be. Soaking. Not sure what all that entails, but in time, He will reveal that to me as well. For now I'm just saying it slowly, letting it find its place in me until I understand the truth in it.

When I finished, I took a quick picture and sent it to my friend. She responded, "That is awesome, girl. How did it feel?"

Feel? I'm left brained! I didn't know "it" was suppose to feel anything! She was quick to respond, "Don't analyze it. Just run show it to Daddy. He LOVES it."

And so I did. Just like a child. And, yes, He seemed delighted.

And you know what? I was delighted, too. I really did "feel" something. Joy would be a good place to start. There truly was a release of stress as I pasted those letters on the page -- once I got past having to line them up perfectly, of course. But more than anything, what I've come to realize is that this isn't just my journal. It's "our" journal. Mine and the Lord's. We're working on this thing together. And who knows? By the time we get to the last page, maybe He and I will have been somewhere together. But for now, I am an infant -- a left-brain girl in a right-brain world even -- and this is a new language.

Just an ordinary moment...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yet Another Milestone

I sat down here to check some of the blogs I follow and found that Mel's Coffee Break had a new post. Only 10 minutes old, in fact. Seems a milestone occurred tonight: her "baby" lost his first tooth. She said she had no idea why she would do such, but when he ran down to tell her, she cried. Oh, sweet Melanie, may I suggest that you go ahead and invest in your favorite brand of tissues.

I've shed my own supply of tears this week. Our middle child took a monumental walk himself. Along with his wife, dad, older brother and in-laws, I watched him receive his college diploma from Kennesaw State University on Thursday. Yes, there's something about a graduation processional that makes my eyes water each time I experience it. Thursday's graduates marched in to the long standing tradition at KSU of the bagpiper leading the way piping out Beethoven's Ode to Joy. But it has been 3 days now, and I'm still crying. Maybe it's the hard work I know he had to perform to get to this place, or maybe it's just knowing what a major milestone this is in any young person's life. But it probably has more to do with the fact that I'm just so stinkin' proud of him for hanging in there and doing the hard thing. And for doing it well.

But, Melanie, I remember when he, too, lost his first tooth. And it wasn't so long ago when he graduated from pre-school. And, yes, he really did accept his diploma with his little neck tie bound around his head like Rambo. Those years from that graduation to his high school graduation and now his college were full and fun, but they went by like a flash. And so maybe that's yet another reason for the tears. And as much as a mother wants to hang on to them, they come and go very swiftly, and she's left standing with a full heart but an empty nest.

But truly, would I want it any other way but this? Is this not God's purpose for parents and their children? To do anything less than let them grow up is to deny God's plan for their lives. To do anything less is to deny the command given in Genesis to multiply and subdue the earth.

And so, Robert, we bless you tonight as you stand at this door open before you; for beyond the liminal is a country that is as bountiful as it is plentiful. It is the land of More. More revelation, more authority, more kingdom power. More victory, more vision, and more territory. It is in this place that God calls you to know more of His passion, His love, His grace. To experience more of Himself.

Yes, your father and I bless you. Go and subdue the land.

Now would somebody please pass those tissues.

Just an ordinary moment...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Color: the Sound of His Voice

I've become acutely aware of color lately. Maybe it began with the brilliant red male cardinals outside my window or the indigo bunting that made a quick stop at my bird feeder a few weeks ago. Or maybe it has just been the incredible green resulting from all the winter rains. I do know that I adopted a prayer by Henri Nouwen earlier this year that simply says, "Open my senses to Your presence, Lord." But whatever has brought on this new spark of interest, color is everywhere.

A new dimension was added this week to my latest pursuit by my friend Vicki: that of allowing God to speak through color. Who says He can? Who says He can't? After all, isn't He always speaking? Maybe sometimes we just need to listen with our eyes.

My journey began by looking up the meanings of colors.

For example, blue symbolizes the heavenly realm; the revelation of God and His revelational knowledge.

Among the symbols for green is eternal life, prosperity, health, new beginning and harvest.

Plum symbolizes richness, abundance, and an infilling of the Holy Spirit. Pink: child-like faith.

And yellow/gold symbolizes the glory of God, among other things.

Brown: man as we are on earth -- the ordinary day-to-day. Cream: healing.

And so I began to allow color to be a tool to hear God. How? Let me share a couple of examples.

This morning I was praying for my children; each one individually. As I prayed for my daughter-in-love Adrianne, I sensed a pause, not knowing exactly how I should continue. So I sent a quick text that read, "What color are you wearing today?" She immediately responded, "Brown and blue." My prayer resumed. I pray You would open the heavenlies today to Adrianne and she would see -- and recognize -- You throughout its course. Reveal Yourself to her in the "daily," the ordinary. Open her mind and heart to the great mystery of Your active presence in her life.

As I thought of my daughter Marynan, I remembered the orange purse she had slung over her shoulder yesterday as she got out of the car from our lunch date. Thank You for calling this one out and making her Yours. May she dwell in Your tent in deep intimacy with You... You see, orange is the color of passion.

I've even added color to my journal. Earlier this week I wrote out Eph. 4:23-24 as my Scripture memory. "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." This morning I took out a colored pencil and shaded the entire space green, because the verse speaks of "new beginning."

What an exciting journey I'm on: allowing God speak to me through color. And not only that, He's allowing me to speak into people as a result. Keep your eyes open, dear readers. He's talking to you, too.

Oh, and have you ever smelled green? That's another blog.

Just an ordinary moment...