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

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Watching With Eyes of Love

If you know anything about me at all, you know I love being a grandmother.  When it comes to grandparenting, I’ve heard it said that the best two sights in the world are the headlights and tail lights, but not me.  I love to see that little fellow pull into our driveway, and when the visit is complete, a huge lump forms in my throat and tears well up in my eyes every time the car pulls away.  And so it was with great joy that my husband and I welcomed the little man into our home for a week’s stay.
With all the advanced technology and gadgets, I often wonder how I ever raised my children to adulthood.  One of those “advancements” is the baby monitor.  Of course, when my parents were raising us kids, they just had to stick pretty close and peek in on us every now then.  But by the time my children arrived, Fisher Price had come out with a baby monitor that allowed us to listen in on our little ones.  They obviously did a good job on that particular product as it still works some 30 years later.  Of course, I have to set the volume dial just right and even then give it a little tap on the table to get rid of the static.  But I was quite excited to pull it out when Jude was born and get it ready for his first visit – and then I learned there was a newer version and model out now: a VIDEO baby monitor.  Not only could we hear the little fellow if he made a peep, we could also see him – even in a dark room at night! 
So when mommy and daddy were packing Jude’s little Elmo suitcase to visit his G-Nan and Geezer, I requested they include his monitor.  I unpacked it, removed a picture from from the wall and replaced it with the small camera.
And morning after morning, I’d find myself holding the monitor in my hands just looking at him.  Sometimes he would be sleeping; other times he would be awake.  I watched him play.  I watched him read. 
I watched him bounce back and forth and from side to side. 
I watched him lay down and suck his thumb.  I watched him clap his hands with glee. 
I watched him throw his Murphy and Fred out of the bed ...
... and then just look at them as if he was thinking, “Now what do I do?” 


I watched him.  And the longer I did, the more my heart swelled for that precious child until I could bear it no longer.  I couldn’t just WATCH, I had to go and pick up the little fellow and love on him. 
But one particular morning as I sat there holding the monitor, just delighting in watching him, a strange sensation came over me.  I realized that God watches me.  And that His heart swells, too -- not because of my behavior or anything I do, but simply because He’s God and I'm His child and He sees through the eyes of love.  
And the same is true for you.
The Lord looks down from heaven and sees …  Psalm 33:14
Just an ordinary moment...


Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Cup Overflowing, 161-180

In his A Testament of Devotion, Thomas R. Kelly calls it "the immediate experience of the Presence."  As he writes concerning our weighing the past in preparation for the future, "The Now is no mere nodal point between the past and the future.  It is the seat and region of the Divine Presence itself."
I pray you're experiencing God in your NOW moments.  And counting...

#161  the season’s last berries


#162  a divine appointment at the gym
#163  praying at the pharmacy
#164  a rainy afternoon with Mike and Julie -- always a blessing...

#165  seeing a common duck's beauty for the first time 

#166  passages of Scripture that bring tears to my eyes
#167  acquaintances who become friends
#168  the way fog rolls in and coats the morning … and the way the sun rises and ushers it out again
#169  a would-be moment of complaining and grumbling turned into thanksgiving – a true work of the Spirit
#170  the early morning sound of approaching geese in flight
#171  the way my heart is transformed by taking the time to sit in God’s presence
#172  an early Sunday morning email that speaks encouragement and life to me
#173  the way a squirrel "talks" to me -- by swishing his tail and barking

#174  for establishing new relationships with old friends – and celebrating them on their birthdays … Thankful for the years, Debra
#175  that God loves beauty
#176  a 4th Century theologian and desert father named Evagrius – 1600 years later his words still speak to a woman in middle GA

#177  sitting with my daddy in church

#178  my daddy's hands

#179  sunshine and rain … simultaneously

#180  that every “now” is an eternity if it is full of God (Frank Laubach)

Thankful for ordinary moments ...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Toddler Teeth Marks

I see the pink votive before me on my small "altar" here in my garden-enclosed -- and I smile.  It bears the teeth marks of one precious little toddler.  Thus I journal: Oh, how I love that child.  My heart comes undone once again and my insides turn to liquid.  I long for him ... to hold him close.
Then as quietly and softly as the first rays begin to peak over the horizon to separate the morning from the night, I hear the Father whisper: I understand.  Such it is with Me towards you, My child.
Just an ordinary moment...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The "Family's" View on Heaven

I was switching from DVD to television a few days ago when, just in time, I heard Steve Harvey offer this statement: “Name something you’d like to do all day long if you go to heaven.”  It had been years since I watched Family Feud.  In fact, I think Richard Dawson was still kissing all the women the last time I saw an episode; but the topic itself was enough to make me settle in for a minute and wait for the top 8 answers.

Immediately, the oldest son from family #1 hit the buzzer: “Sing!”  And sure enough, it was there … but only in the next to last place (#7) – which meant the oldest son from family #2 got his shot.  “Sleep!”  Bingo.  # 1 answer.  Really?

The guessing continued.  “Eat” (#5). 

“Be with dead family” (#2). 

“Play” (X). 

“Read/learn” (#3)

“Boink” [a.k.a. sex] (#8) … I cringed when the young woman said, “And if not, I don’t want to go there.”

“Chill with God” (#4) … their words, not mine.

“Watch TV” (XX)

And finally, “Be at peace” (#6).

Of the 10 answers given, I think all but two or three of them are viable options.  (I’ll let you make your own deductions.)  I also have to admit my shock that "worship" didn't make the list.  But if anything the secular world might have on the Christian concerning the concept of heaven, it might be their belief that heaven is actually a fun place to be. 

You know, the enemy need not convince us that Heaven doesn’t exist.  He only needs to persuade us that Heaven is monotonous and dull, because if he can do that, not only will we be robbed of the joy and anticipation, we’ll also be tempted to set our minds on this life and not the “one to come.”  We might be drawn to sit inside and watch game shows and sitcoms rather than marvel at the night sky with a million stars.  Or be lured to hang on to earthly treasures rather than give them away.  Or be tempted to engage in trivialities and petty arguments rather than invest in what’s eternal – such as people’s lives.  Besides, how excited can one actually get about sharing the “good news” of a boring place ... a place to which even we are not looking forward?

Hmm.  Maybe setting my mind on heaven is a discipline I need to employ a little more often.  You?

Just an ordinary moment…

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Cup Overflowing, 141-160

This practice of blogging my 1000 gifts takes the discipline of counting gifts to a new level for me.  Rather than just noting the individual gifts moment by moment, day by day in a journal, going back and recounting them – seeing them in “clump” form on a page again, takes me to a new level of faith.  I just can’t out give Him.

#141  up close and personal communion -- sitting on the front row of my son's church allowed just such an experience.  Over and over and over I heard, "Jesus died for you." 

#142  a taste of the wedding presentation in heaven … to the tune of Scottish bagpipes

#143  receiving personal ministry for this weary soul and experiencing physical and spiritual healing
#144  shoeless worship
#145  a cool August morning after a series of hot sultry summer ones
#146  a long-distanced friend and spiritual treasures shared
#147  haunting early morning train whistle that returns me to a child growing up at 637 Hillcrest Avenue
#148   a moment that takes my breath
#149  color at breakfast

#150  a day spent with girlfriends doing girlfriend stuff  -- I appreciate the words of Frank Laubach who wrote, "I disapprove of the usual practice of talking "small talk" whenever we meet, and holding a veil over our souls.  If we are so impoverished that we have nothing to reveal but small talk, then we need to struggle for more richness of soul .... And I hunger -- O how I hunger! for others to tell me their soul adventures."  Yes....

#151  guys doing guy things -- his first camouflage!
#152  “Wow” – my grandson’s new word …. breathlessly pronounced “Wooooowwww.”

#153  spontaneous applause at a wedding reminds me of heaven and the joy that will take place at the final consummation
#154  seeing God’s redemption story in the Old Testament

#155  a weekend guest

#156  waking up to “joyful praise”
#157  learning to hear God’s heartbeat -- I've always heard it within the church walls; now I'm learning to hear it in the world

#158  that really empty feeling that occurs when the grandbaby leaves

#159  whimsical

#160 a farmer’s testimony

My cup continues to be filled to the brim -- with just ordinary moments ....