Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Remember God...

You know when something so profound registers in the depths of your being?
Deep in the core.
Way in there.
As deep as it goes...

... kind of like where the red blood cells are formed in the marrow of the bones deep...

That's how deeply my Father went today...

It took my breath away and I am still recovering..
And I am soooo thankful.

How does he do that?

Just by-passing all the junk that has built up?
All the leftovers from all the storms of late?
All the frightening failures and ignominious defeats?

It is like the build up of dirt and debris that is left when the snow melts after winter.
The remnants of the season before merge with winter's remains...

We remember the storms..the dark..the cold..the pain...the loneliness...
The car breaking down...
The heater not working...
The bills piling up...
The food prices soaring...
The flu...
The lingering coughs...
The unemployment...
The loss...
We remember death...

At my Heavenly Father's instigation..

I remembered him.

He penetrated.
He invaded.
He permeated.


It's not like he wasn't there before.

I know.

But he reminded me.
To remember.

This was our devotional lesson for the day.

Trouble in Hebrew..means " a tight place".

How well I know.

Narrow is the way that leads to God ( LIFE).
Few there be that find it.

No wonder.

Tight places are not fun.
Not much room for maneuvering.
Uncomfortable at best.
Terrifying in the extreme.

Today is my Remembrance Day!
In his goodness my Papa is reminding me that he has always been with me...
Has always sufficiently sufficed..
Has always made a way through..
Has always provided..
Has always redeemed...renewed and restored..
Has always sheltered..
Has always counseled..
Has always loved...

I will always have trouble.
The joy comes when I realize (remind myself/get reminded)
...that as I meditate..think on...fix my heart and mind on : HIM
...the trouble no longer defines us....
It becomes secondary to the knowledge of WHOSE I am...not just what I am going through.

This is my life.
One life.
Under God.
In God.
By God.

Just the simple act of remembering.
Shatters the chains in my mind.
Springs the traps at my feet.
Frees me from the quicksand.

Today I pray you all... remember God.
He has not forgotten you.
You are His.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Truth and Meaning....once again with feeling!

A year ago I blogged this... and today I needed to hear my own words again...

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's been a while.
Blogging is good for the soul but there are times when even I...
yes I...
am so far deep in the muck that breathing is the only landscape.
Face down.
Full length.
I guess it's better than 6 feet under looking up at the dirt... pushin daisies...
But some days I am not too sure.
This emotional... feeling... experiencing... life...
is at times beyond expression... and the pain is soul deep.

What is the truth?
Where is the meaning?

Am reading a book.

"Searching For God Knows What " by Donald Miller, who is also the author of " Blue Like Jazz" and " To Own a Dragon". ( fantastic reads all around)

Among other things he talks about how we have reduced the bible to a Self Help Manual or a treatise on right and wrong. We have systematically created lists and systematically go about checking them off.

Just think about it.
God has somehow become like Santa... he's making a list and checkin it twice.
Check your list of do's and don'ts for the day.
Do pray.
Don't yell at your kids.
Do go to church.
Don't steal.
Do honor your parents.
Don't kill.
Do... don't ... do... don't
They did.... ooops..naughty naughty...
I didn't... way to go.... two thumbs up....
They bad.
Me good.
Me right.

Check the list.

What if you made a list of the physical features of your lover? Your parents? Your best friend?

Brown hair.
Green Eyes.
Slim build. Small feet.
Long Eyelashes.
Narrow waist.
Full lips.
High cheek bones.
Long legs.

What if you carried it around with you everywhere you went.

It is all true.

But has no meaning.

Separate from relationship.

Miller talks about how we have managed to separate truth from meaning.
What is the purpose of truth?
What is the purpose of the Bible?
What is the meaning of it all?
What are we missing?
What am I missing?
He goes on to speculate about what drives us and I think he hits the nail on the head.

We are desperate for something to give us meaning.
We search for it every second of the day.
We seek it out in our family, friends, co-workers, classmates.
Our religions.
We try to find it in our gifts, talents and percieved strengths.
We try to avoid it in our weaknesses and failings... obsessions and appetites.
We whisper it in the dark and scream it in the car on the way to church.
We wear it... read it... record it... watch it... advertise it.... hide it.... broadcast it
We collect it around the watercooler...
Gather it in our bank accounts.
Document it in our preformance reviews.

Someone tell me again who I am.

It's why we work so hard to make the rules... keep the rules or break the rules.

The problem is... it never lasts.

Human love...value... definitions... must be given over and over and over...
They are incapable of satisfying.

Think about it.

Telling someone you love them once is never enough.
Hugging someone.
Praising someone.
Encouraging someone.
Sexual satisfaction.
Emotional satisfaction.
Physical satisfaction.

These are vessels that constantly need topping up.


Can it be as Miller puts it that we need to look through the truth to find the meaning?

Was this what was lost in Eden?

Were we separated from what gave us meaning?

Are we so deep into self-help...self-worth...self-esteem... that we can't get it?

a painting does not give itself worth.
a pottery urn doesn't assign itself value.
a crystal vase does not fill itself.
a rare orchid cannot give itself it's rare status.
a diamond has no capacity to define itself.

A husband is incapable of bringing meaning to his wife.
A child has no power to establish worth to its parents.
A father is powerless to bestow value on his children.

I cannot give myself meaning.
I cannot deprive myself of worth or value if I cannot bestow it in the first place.


If I cannot give it.
I cannot take it away.

I am not a list.

What if it is all about relationship?
All of it.
What if it is all about restored realtionship?
What was lost.
Is lost no longer.

What if God.
Who gives all things meaning.
With intent.
Has always.
Been about.





No wonder when Paul wrote the " Love chapter" in his letter to the Corinthians of the day, he said it was possible to understand all mysteries and have all knowledge.... and be without love.... and it was all nothing!

Getting it right and knowing true things was not what it was all about.
Truth without meaning reduces everthing to a list.

You have to look through the truth to the meaning behind it.

What am I searching for?

Someone to tell me who I am.
Cause I can't.
Neither can my husband, my children, my family, my friends, my enemies...
No one.

It is only the One who made me that has the power to explain me..to give me meaning.


I pray a lot.

I have to.

It seems like my whole life has become a prayer.

It's not about self help.
It's not about fixing the messes.
It's not about understanding everything.

It's about meaning....

try it.

You just might find yourself for the first time.
...the second or third time around...but who's counting?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Saving Daylight...and other assorted thoughts

My husband crawled into bed in the wee hours of the morning and informed me as he rolled over that we were having a snow storm.

It was dark when I woke up.
And having lost an hour sometime during the night, I still managed to get up at 7am.
( read: so proud of myself)

Winter's temper tantrum sure put a damper on my enthusiasm!
This happens every year...for us Canadians.
And yet I hope... for the magic of Spring to wave her wand and presto-chango...
Snow be gone...ice melt away...
No boots..scarves..ratty gloves..mismatched pairs...and warming up my car.

I like instant.

I like the word Instantaneous.

I love the word Instantaneous...

It's applications are myriad...and the possibilities are endless...

It is a pretty big word to represent an instant occurrence.

Instantaneous Spring has a nice ring to it...

This morning I wondered where the daylight bank was....
I wondered when we had stopped saving and started spending daylight and why only in March did we get a clue and begin again?
I don't remember draining the daylight account.. if someone had told me I wouldn't have over spent!
I need more light!
Right now.

There are a bunch of sick guys in my house today including my baby.
Who is 13.
What a joy he is.
When I look into his face...
There it is ...
Bone deep...unquestionably...relentlessly bombarding my heart.

Is this how God feels?
I mean really...
I know I am not remotely perfect in loving...
But all He is is available to me ( the fullness of the God-head bodily dwells within my soul)
... and I like to think..his loving is so unstoppable...that is is woven into our DNA...

This love..is so not dependent on success...or failure...
Whether my son(s) accepts it..believes it...walks in it ..
OR not...
The love remains.

In a measurable..measuring world...

We have an immeasurable treasure..
An immeasurable hope...
Immeasurable peace...
An immeasurable NOW.

How deep...how long..how wide..how high..
Is his love for me...
For us?

MY second son...
Is awkward in his speech...
Struggles with insecurities that are bone deep... in his relationship to his peers..and to the world...
HE wouldn't mind my talking about this..
Simply because...
He is..
and Unfinished...
Where his insecurities seem so obvious and his social skills and communication skills are a work in progress..
There is something about him that sinks into everyone he serves.
Luke sees people.
Truly sees them.
And as he has said to me many times...
I am most myself and happiest..when I am serving.
Luke has hands that heal.
His heart is laid bare.
Sometimes it is hard to watch as he sees people...very clearly..
But he remains unseen. or misinterpreted...misunderstood
Left out.
Not cool enough.

Comparisons suck.

There is a light inside every person on the planet...
Our vision is impaired.
Having eyes we do not see.

The world does not need two people alike.
It needs individuals.

Each of my sons is beloved.

The one who defines them...
Never abandons them...

He never runs short of light...
His light is the life of man.

Today I laugh.
And cry.

I am such a paradox .

To the six billion other souls out there...

I declare.
You are worthy of love.
You were born of it.
It is why you are.

Walk in the light...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

All's Quiet on this Western Front...

After a severe migraine attack yesterday at work.. resulting in a painful drive home... in surprisingly no traffic on a Friday afternoon...and a tumble into bed... and unconsciousness... after being greeted at the door by 4 concerned and helpful sons speaking ever so softly..
I am up before the birds this morning...having slept my life away!

The body is so good at protecting..and repairing.
Yesterday I could barely see..was barely coherent...and incapacitated...

Today I am rested and although my head feels a little rattled..like pain takes up so much space and when it's gone..the emptiness is a bit disconcerting..
I feel a bit hollow.

Nothing stirs here in my house.
The quiet is miraculous..soothing and much appreciated.

Dawn is breaking so much sooner these days and tomorrow is daylight savings...
Although this last week looks like winter has fought back...
I know differently.
Spring is fast approaching...relentless... determined...

Thank God for seasons.
They save my sanity.
Like day turning into night turning into day..
They paint such a picture of life.
This too shall pass...
This too shall return...
Life wins!
To everything there is a season.

The silence of this morning fortifies my spirit...
Sometimes in the chaos that is my life..
I can't see the forest for the trees...

OR I focus on what is not happening..
What is not working..
What is absent...

Instead of what is.
What we have.
What we are.

Thank God.
All I need for the day..
Is available.
No good thing...will I lack!


And I know..
Since God is the same...unchanging...

That he is that for all.





God is not in recession.

All's quiet here this morning...
A new day dawns.. it is breathtaking...
Be blessed...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pain...the wise teacher

It's Monday morning..what do you expect me to write about!!

Good grief.

I wracked my leg/ankle/ knee two weeks ago and have been hobbling around and popping ibuprophen by the end of the day..

...for T W O W E E K S... count them... One....Two.... 1....2...

Sigh...confession time.

I don't do well with physical limitations.

I whine.
I complain.
I mutter.
I moan.
Drama drama drama...

Pathetic really.

I grit my teeth as I write because I am big on transparency...so all you who are on the journey alongside..this is me...

There are so many things I want to be today... that I am not yet...

But the first call of the day was from my husband...
He called to inform me that our van..wouldn't start when he got out of the paint store where he was picking up supplies.

IT is like the information went into my head and roamed around looking for a place to latch onto and start feeding....sucking the life out of me...
But it didn't...
It just sat there.


I can't figure it out.
It is an incomprehensible concept when faced with an inscrutable creator...and a crazy world.
It obviously doesn't originate inside of me..so I just have to accept it as a gift from the one who knows me... best.

Sometimes things have to get so hard...so unfixable...so....uncontrollable...

For me to realize...that I am NEVER in control.

The topic of our devotional this morning was : Pain the Preacher (( I edited it for the blog title))

Here is the beginning quote:

"In the modern view pain is an enemy, a sinister invader that must be expelled. And if Product X removes pain 30 seconds faster, all the better. This approach has a crucial, dangerous flaw: once regarded as an enemy, not a warning signal, pain loses its power to instruct. Silencing pain without considering its message is like disconnecting a ringing fire alarm to avoid reeiving bad news. Pain is no invading enemy, but a loyal messenger dispatched by my own body to alert me to some danger."
Dr. Paul Brand

Later we read that: "..gratitude is the single response most nourishing to health.."
..and.... " The emotions of fear, anger, guilt, lonliness and helplessness increase a person's sensitivity to pain."

We were encouraged to consider what life would be like without pain... and the image I got was the image of the lepers in Calcutta....losing sensitivity to pain causes loss of limb and life...

Pain is a friend.
Life would be untold misery without it.

Today things are so far out of my control...so far out of my capacity to understand...

My heart is beating normally...my mind is at peace....

Gratefulness...gratitude are rooted in trust.

God is good... because of his nature.
His goodness brings him glory.
Not my striving.

He is good...all the time...
Everything is under his command..his jurisdiction...his power...
Nothing escapes his purposes...
He doesn't lose...


My soul waits.
Finds rest.
Is defined.
In him.

Then sings my soul...How Great Thou Art...

Today I count it all as LOST...

And part of me found...Him...much more satisfying....

My leg isn't fixed.
My van isn't working.
I don't have the answers.

Pain is present today.
In my life.
My body and mind registers the fact.

...but like the companions on the journey to the High Places with Much Afraid in the book: "Hind's Feet on High Places" ( Hannah Hunnard).... Sorrow and Suffering are necessary for transformation...

...they are what help bring about total surrender... a crucified will laid down in humility...a life offered in trust to the shepherd....at the last moment, Much Afraid asks the shepherd to bind her to the altar so that in her pain she does not turn back from him.
After the Shepherd tears out the root of self love from her heart, Much Afraid receives her new name: Grace and Glory, and her two companions are transformed into Joy and Peace.

Pain...is necessary...
...it exists under God's control...
...he nevers gives us more than we can bear...
...it is only temporary...he will wipe away every tear!

Pain is a wise teacher... I don't want to waste it..
It is what leads me... to where I truly want...need...crave to be...

Through.... the darkness...

Into His glorious light.

Teach me your ways...so I might walk in your truth...

No matter what...