Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Heaven Bent to Take My Hand...

This song was my “theme song” during the first year after my divorce. After a while, other (happier) songs began to take its place. But recently things have happened to cause it to resurface and to make it seem to ring true to my feelings once again. 

Thankfully, the pain hasn’t lasted *quite* as long this time…

Heaven certainly did (once again) bend to take my hand, and lead me through the fire… 

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” ~~Isaiah 43:2 

At first I didn’t want to reach up and take hold of the hand that was being offered to me freely… lovingly… patiently… 

I resisted vehemently. I wanted to wallow in my mess and my self-pity for a while longer. Surely if I did that, someone would notice and come wallow with me…misery loves company, yes?

No…that wasn’t what was to happen. There was a better lesson to be learned here. One that I have learned before, but easily forget. Which, in the circle of life, is how I end up getting myself into that big, hot mess laying on the bathroom floor sobbing my heart out over and over again.

Hesitatingly, I reached my fingers out…just a little…just enough to brush the tips of His fingers. But like a stubborn terrible-two year old, I jerked my hand back, stuck my bottom lip out, folded my arms and proceeded to pout and wallow just a little bit longer.

He didn’t move, though. He didn’t walk away, and He didn’t give in to my tantrum. As He always does, He remained steady and strong. He is the one constant in my life. And sometimes, to be really {REALLY} honest…it ticks me off!

Like that night on the bathroom floor… 

When I was crying… 
And screaming… 
And begging… 
And asking, “WHY MEEEEEE?” (Oh, yes – it’s always about *me* isn’t it? When will we learn?) 

When I had finally exhausted myself mentally, emotionally and even physically – that’s when it happened. Sweet relief. When I was completely spent, completely empty.

That’s when He caused me to look up again, to reach up and put my whole hand in His. And from that Hand flowed beautiful, renewed life. 

He wiped away the tears. He set my shoulders straight. He gave me… 

Faith that all is well with my soul.

Hope that none other can promise
(and keep that promise).

Love that none other can *ever* provide. 

I had to be empty to be able to receive those gifts (again). I had filled myself with so much worry, anger, self-pity, self-loathing, you name it! I had feasted gluttonously at the banquet table of my enemy and my soul was full of the sickness and death. 

God knew that He would have to empty me (again) in order to fill me with Life. 

So yes… 
I’ve fallen…
I’ve messed up…
I’ve sunk very low…
Yes, I should have known better…
I’ve been told “I told you so”– so many times my heart and soul have bled from it...  

But I have also been given unchangeable, unshakable, unmistakable Truth.  Truth that crushes my enemy and sends him back to the depths of hell…so, Satan…run…run with your tail between your legs. You have no power here!

Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”


Isaiah 54:17 says, “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, said the Lord.”


Ephesians 6:11-13 says, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” 

I am standing by the grace of God.
My small hand in His.
Fully clothed in the armor He made specifically for me.

What about you…will you stay in the viper pit? Or will you reach up to the Hand that is freely, lovingly and patiently being held out to you as well? 

Here is my new theme song…hope you enjoy it, too. Come awake…


“Oh death where is thy sting? Oh grave where is thy victory?” 
~~1 Cor 15:55

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fly Away, Little Birdie, Fly Away

Cradle Song
by Lord Alfred Tennyson

What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away.
Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till thy little wings are stronger.
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.

What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
Let me rise and fly away.
Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till thy little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little longer,
Baby too shall fly away.

Almost from the moment our children are born, we love them, nurture them, teach them, and grow them.  We shape and mold, we laugh, we cry (sometimes both at the same time) and we fall to our knees in prayer. 

All in the hope
that they will become strong, happy adults
who make the world a better place through the gift of their love for others.

Why, then, is it such utter shock when, before we blink twice, it has actually happened

When they first start to become independent, we are happy and proud and the little pang in our heart isn’t very noticeable.

It the teen years, the "pang" sometimes just outright feels like our hearts have been torn out of our chests.  There’s the chaos of a heart swollen with so much love you think it might burst, mixed in with the ache of watching them make many of the same mistakes that you also made at their age, and all the while they move away from needing you like they did before at break-neck speed.  They are just {{this little tiny bit}} out of your grasp.

And then – it truly seems like only a very short time – “suddenly” – ha!  Yes, suddenly they are driving, they are spending time with “significant others” (whose names are not mom and dad); they are working and schooling and you barely catch a glimpse of them as they come in the door and head off to bed.

Before you know what has happened, shelves and closets are emptied; boxes are packed and vehicles are loaded to the brim with all their worldly possessions.  You stand at the doorway or in the driveway with them, giving “just one more” hug, not wanting to ever let go, but knowing you must.  This is their time to fly.

It leaves an empty feeling in the heart.  A place that is not easily or quickly filled.

Yet, every time they come back for a visit, it’s beautiful to watch how the gap seems to close back up – little by little.  There is a new respect for life, for how the world “really” is, and sometimes – just sometimes – the realization that mom and dad were not as wrong as they seemed to be at one time.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it.
~~Proverbs 22:6~~

Friday, August 12, 2011

Time Marches On

In my part of the country, it seems like we are going to dry up, shrivel up and blow away if we don’t get some rain soon. 

And all over America many of us are feeling the crunch of an economy that seems to be drying up, too.  

But time does march on. As the old saying goes, “This too shall pass.”

In the meantime, I am finding that the more time I spend recognizing and being thankful for the good things I’ve been blessed with, it makes the hard stuff just a little easier to bear. 

So, this week – as the clocked ticked, perfect and staccato – I found a few things that gave me some joy. 

 – oh, what a sweet new addiction! It’s a place where you can make several “pinboards” that show collections of things you love. If you haven’t heard of it, or haven’t had a chance to check it out, head on over HERE right now! 

An Unfinished Project – I have been working on this beauty for a couple of years off and on, and I am getting the desire to pull it out and {{hopefully}} finish it by the end of this year. 

A Culinary Delight – in a town near where I live, there is a beautiful British cafĂ© called Friar Tuck’s Pantry. I went on what I call a “God date” (time alone, but not isolated from the world, with God to enjoy His creation while studying His Word and listening). I ordered a Brie & Bacon Sandwich, and it was so yummy – it has this delicious raspberry spread on it, oh my! I paired it with a nice pot of Tropical green tea, and I’m pretty sure I got a glimpse of heaven! 

 Laying a Foundation – for my future. Yes, I’m actually sacrificing time with someone I care for very much in order to do a couple of things I’ve been wanting to do for a while: 

I’m taking a Conversational Spanish class. 

And I’ve finally found a volunteer niche that I believe I will fit in to – a volunteer Financial Coach to low-income individuals/families. And although these two things will be fun and fulfilling, they will both also be great resume builders! A two-for-one deal if there ever was one! 

And last, but certainly not least – no, not at all… 

This? Well, this…it’s just ~WRONG~ on so many levels, but– it just plain made me laugh (and we all need a good laugh every now & then). 

What about you? What have you done for you lately? What things are bringing joy to your world?

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16: 11

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chicken on a Chain

Did the title catch your attention?  Good, keep'll understand later!

This is one of those days when I've really had to search for something to make me smile, much less laugh.  And I WANT to laugh - no I NEED to laugh.  Because quite frankly, if I don't...I'm pretty sure I will cry.  

And not just any kind of cry - the big kind.  Oh, you know've done it.  Your chin starts to quiver and your eyes start to turn red.  Then your bottom lip starts to stick out and before you know it, your whole face is red and swollen and you can't even breathe because of all the *snot* that has accumulated in your head.  


(Ok, yeah so that last part might have been
a little T. M. I. - but it's true.)

So, on days like this I need to find things that make me smile and laugh - even if it's just a little.

Here are a few of my favorite things...if you're having one of *those* days, maybe these will make yours a little brighter, too.


My Puppy


Daydreaming of being at the beach

Weird stuff in my city (Austin, TX)
This isn't the clearest picture, but here it is folks...

Chicken on a Chain
Only here in Austin where we "Keep Austin Weird"!

I guess today's blog could be considered FLUFF, but it made me feel better!  What about you?  If you're having a hard time putting a smile on your face, what things might help to bring it back?

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
--Psalm 126:2

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