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

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Cup Overflowing, 721-740

You know what I'm figuring out?  That there's a definite correlation between my thanksgiving and my attitude.  And evidence points to the need to pick up my pen and count more often.

#721  "The Way" by E. Stanley Jones -- I picked this little treasure up for 25 cents and what a blessing!

#722  peace ... as of a weaned child with this mother

#723  six nursing home residents "sunning" on the front porch

#724  rain streaks cascading in the distant sky

#725  the deafening sound of rain pounding the car

#726  streets lines with blooming confederate jasmine ... oh, the fragrance

#727  quaint seating and anniversary dinner at The Pink House in Savannah

#728  afternoon coffee among eclectic decor -- Coffee Fox

#729  what fountains are made for ... little children's energy

#730  church bells in the city

#731  the way evening shadows fall

#732  a mother's face watching her son pitch in the major league for the first time

#733  that ALL things came into being through Christ (John 1:3) -- and that includes ME!

#734  two lizards ... mating on my deck -- birds do it, bees do it, even little reptiles do it

#735  a fawn in the backyard

#736  a good night's sleep

#737  the end of the storm

#738  a 2-year-old cuddled in my lap and my reading the same story "again" and "again" and "again" ...

#739  a Sunday morning blessing

#740  for this journal of 1,000 gifts -- God's love-letter to me

Yes, that helps immensely.  Attitude adjusted...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Different Kind of Sunday Morning Prayer

When I sat down for my "sacred space" yesterday, I heard the "click-click-click."  If you keep up with my posts, you might remember the one I journaled a few weeks ago about the Unwanted Guest.  As far as I could tell, there was (is) some kind of critter making its home under the armoire that houses my computer -- though I have not heard it since I had the exterminator give me a couple of sticky pads.  However, yesterday's noise alerted me again to the situation.  But this time, it wasn't coming from my left, but from my right.  And knowing I could in no way concentrate, I got up to investigate.  

I first looked in a bag hanging on the back of the Jefferson rocker.  Nothing in there I could see.  So I attuned my ears a little more, determined to find this source of irritation.  And there it was.  A very small caterpillar, not more than a quarter of an inch in length ... caught in what seemed to be an invisible web.  Quite frankly, I didn't know a small insect could make such a noise. But I guess if I were to find myself in the same situation with an 8-legged creature hovering above me, I could make some pretty hefty sounds, too.  And that's exactly what he was doing.

I know this may sound really strange, but something about the whole scenario intrigued me; so I got my coffee from the table next to the couch and placed myself cross-legged on the floor, and for the next 15-20 minutes, I just sat and watched.  

Though there was some pity for the little creature that was caught, it was, actually, all quite interesting.  When the caterpillar would stop its clicking sound, the female spider would come down her web.  When she got close to her captive, he would begin his noise making again, and she would retreat back up the web to her mate (who would scurry away from her). Then I noticed something interesting.  The caterpillar was slowly being lifted off the floor.  Yes, somehow the spider was pulling him up toward her.

Like I said, the whole thing was so fascinating to watch.

It would be easy to surmise that my quiet time that morning was a total waste.  But I beg to differ.  Could it be that it was not only NOT a waste of time but a moment of sacredness as I entered into the moment ... the "now"? As I partook of the Creator by stopping to partake of His creation?  

Sometimes I think we confuse praying with prayerfulness.  For sometimes prayer happens without any prayers.

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always... 
Luke 18:1

Just an ordinary moment...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Morning Rituals

We all have them.  That sequence of events we do upon climbing out of bed each new day after a night of sleep.  Whether we rise early or late, with or without an alarm, I would venture to say that most of us go through the same repetitious actions morning after morning.  We likely even call it our morning routine.

Mine is exactly that.  Routine.  I wake early to the sound of "beep beep beep" that only grows louder the longer I wait to roll over and turn it off.  Making my way to the vanity, I slowly open the door as not to wake my husband from the creak of the hinges.  And to the light of the 15 watt night light, I brush my teeth then grab a new wash cloth and wash the "sleepy" from my eyes.  I take my prescribed medication and proceed to putting my contacts in: the left one first, and then the right, emptying the soaking solution when I'm finished. I don a head band and this time wash my face with facial soap; dry it, and apply some toner before taking off the headband and placing it back in the drawer. I grab my watch, place it on my wrist and then turn to the metal calendar hanging on the wall.  Moving the magnetic pieces to the new day, I bow my head at my personal "wall" and pray softly -- and slowly ... for myself and for my family:

Lord God, Almighty and everlasting Father, You have brought us in safety to this new day.  Preserve us by Thy mighty power that we may not fall into sin or be overcome with adversity.  And in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of Thy purpose, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  
(Adapted from Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours)

My morning ritual.  It seems the most solid thing I do all day.

Just an ordinary moment...

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Cup Overflowing, 701-720

Graham Cooke tweeted this several weeks ago: "There is more kindness of God over our lives than we'll ever be able to use.  We are swimming in His love for us."  Yep...

#701  Mother's Day pampering

#702  my Mom and her prayers for our family

#703  that Jesus is the Way -- unqualified: the Way to think, act, feel, be - in every conceivable circumstance and relationship

#704  that leap that happens in my stomach when I open the Word

#705  for deeper truths learned

#706  late night texting with Traci and Julia Nell ... and the joy those amigos bring to my life

#707  Morning prayer: "Holy Spirit" by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend -- this piece demands my full attention.  HOLY OF HOLIES!

#708  34 years of marriage -- even he will tell you it has been the best 5 years of his life 

#709  the joy of seeing a little boy learning to count by twos -- his toes

#710  the fact that God writes Himself into all that's around me so that I might see Him

#711  for the people God puts in the lives of my children -- and the way they are encouraged and loved through them: Thank you, Keith, Jo, and Connie

#712  a relaxing evening spent with 2 special people

#713  the satisfaction and pleasure that comes with pulling weeds

#714  a baby shower and a room full of joyously chattering women 

#715  a milestones in a young man's life and knowing God has purpose for him -- celebrating Matthew Long

#716  for the coolness of a late May morning

#717  a leisurely evening spent with girl friends -- chicken enchiladas and back porch sipping

#718  a stolen lunch period with companions of the way -- and celebrating Retha (our first Bible teacher)

#719  A word: "Stargazer"

#720  3 finches lining a branch outside my window

Stroke .... stroke .... stroke ....

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Undercover Wife and Mother

If you haven't seen the Emmy Award-winning television show, surely you've heard about it: Undercover Boss.  A high-ranking executive of a corporation dramatically alters his or her appearance and goes undercover as an employee in their own company to "investigate" how the firm really works. And whereas I realize it is "reality TV" (are there any shows that AREN'T these days?), by the end of the hour when the overlooked employees are being rewarded for their faithful service and hard work, tears are streaming down my cheeks leaving trails of black mascara all the way down my neck. What can I say?  I like the show and have it scheduled to record each new segment on my DVR.

But bosses on reality TV shows aren't the only ones who entertain such clandestine operations.  As a wife and mother, I certainly don't change my appearance and infiltrate my husband or children's personal lives as someone they don't recognize, but in a sense, I do go undercover.  I pray for them.  Hudson Taylor was the one who wrote those lines and put me on to my own covert operations.  Before the young missionary left for England, and ultimately for China, he resolved to learn, as he himself said, "to move man, through God, by prayer alone."  Doesn't that sound a little "undercover" to you?  It does to me.

And so I pray, and when I do, undoubtedly, one of two things happen.  God either moves that man or woman to act ... or He moves me.  In other words, He changes MY heart.  

Do I understand prayer?  You bet your life I don't.  But this I DO know.  When we pray, things happen. And when we don't pray, things DON'T happen.  As E.M. Bounds wrote, "How vast are the possibilities of prayer!  How wide is its reach!  What great things are accomplished by this means of grace!  It lays its hand on Almighty God and moves Him to do what He would not otherwise do if prayer were not offered.  It brings things to pass that would never otherwise occur."

So why not engage in your own covert operation and do a little "undercover" work on behalf of those you love?  One way or the other, things are going to change.  But don't be surprised: it just might be you.

Just an ordinary moment...