Friday, December 21, 2012

Giving What You Need the Most

** I wrote these words a year ago when life was remarkably different, painful and precarious. I revisited these words this week and decided to repost them, as they are still true today, one year later. I hope you all find the Love of God resonating deep within as you read. Blessings from my heart to yours.**

Did you ever think, right in the middle of your greatest need,that you can still give?
Have you ever considered that life is not about getting what you want?
Might you discover that going blind is just what you need to really see?

It's when you feel the most empty that your capacity to give becomes infinite.

When your ego finally collapses, starved from the inside out, then and only then will your true hunger be satisfied and your true satisfaction be multiplied and spill over.

When you look at the world in front of you as a vessel to be filled not consumed.
When transparency is valued more than knowledge and meekness is celebrated simply because what's left at the end of ourselves is HIS power alone.
When you understand that  real life comes after dying, never before.

Then will we understand that the only lasting gift is the LOVE God gave.....returned.

We have one life to give, one existence to surrender, to pour out and empty so we can understand true filling.
When we surrender all our human definitions and rest in our unknowing..trusting like a child..redefined.

This then is what he means when he says..HE makes all things new.

The laying down of a life is done is seconds and minutes thoughout a whole life span.
Life is a long drawn out dying. The joy is set before us and is encapsulated in trust.

In God we trust.

I want to know NOTHING: but Christ and Him crucified.
I am understanding that I can bring nothing to my Father but the sacrifice of his son...beautiful...and sufficient.

NOTHING else. I have nothing else to offer him.
No greatness, no gifting.
This life will not be buried, it will be lifted up, carried before me with his blood covering me.
It is HIS sacrifice that explains me and makes me acceptable.

We are asking for love and identity from the wrong people.
Everybody is wrong people.
We are demanding the thing we can never acquire or hold onto.
We feed from those we see and relate to instead of turning to the ONE who offers all and requires all in return.

It is much easier to turn to our family, our loved ones, our friends and say:
Love me. Hear me.Understand me.Validate me. Save me.

When we reach into the treasure chamber of God for what we need we can then begin to offer to the broken people around us ( and we are ALL broken) the very thing we lack. 

This is where we are supposed to dwell. This is the only place we can truly thrive

Only what is of God will remain.
The love of the world, the love centered in our relationships, dripping with expectations, will never make it through.

Thanks be to God...who ALWAYS causes us to triumph..through Christ alone. (2Cor 2:14)

He withholds no good thing.

Freely you have received...freely give. ( Matthew 10:8)

You can afford to be generous.... even in your own state of desperate need.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thanks Be To God

Lochiel Lake, Nova Scotia  ( photo courtesy of my sister Tracy Auton Stuit)

Thankfulness resides deep within my soul.

I live with it daily. I see no other choice when I look at my own heart and see my faults and failings and yet have such an abiding peace filling all the empty spaces left by the ravages of this life.

Circumstances change like the weather.
Harsh situations sometimes settle in like a long, cold, hard winter; others blast a path like a tornado, while some churn slowly through with hurricane force leaving utter devastation in it's wake.

The past year is littered with 'what ifs' and  'if only's'.

Questions dominate.

Bewilderment lingers.

This truth remains: The present is what it is. It simply is.
It is a gift for which I am truly grateful in spite of everything that has happened since my last Thanksgiving weekend.

Loved ones in my life no longer walk the planet.
Grief grips.
Friends have lost beloved family members to ravenous diseases.
Loss lingers.
Others have devastated relationships, crippled and scarred, littering the landscape of this past year.
Pain punctuates.

Leaning against the pillows as I write this post, my eyes drift closed.... my breathing slows:

I am still.


The world turns on its axis... the sun spins across the sky... the night approaches from the east as it ever does.

Life is precious.

I am alive.

My story continues along with billions of others.

He wills it: therefore I am.

God be praised, I am not done yet.


Grateful am I : for what He has done in all my yesterdays and is doing today and will do tomorrow.

All of life is His to command and He does all things well.

He resides at the center of all I am grateful for: He is the reason for my gratitude.

HE is.

Thanks be to God.

~For those who have visited my ramblings today:

I pray that you are thankful for you.
I pray that your heart swells with gratitude for your very breath and the opportunity to love and glorify God for another day.
I pray peace and joy in the midst of your living.
I pray strength for today and hope for tomorrow.
I pray that simply trusting provides fertile ground for faith to grow in the coming year.

I am grateful for the chance to share this life with you.

Blessings from my heart to yours,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Of Times & Seasons

Here we are in the final month of summer and I can feel the familiar panic hitting.
This is a common feeling experienced by those of us in the northern hemisphere above or close to the 49th parallel north.
Living in a province known for having snow in June and the possible return of the white precipitation in September, while meanwhile experiencing huge golf ball sized hail in the hotter months due to severe thunderstorms....these dog days are welcome.

Hot, sultry nights where the smallest breeze wafting through the window is a gift might not sound like an enjoyable time...but for every humid night in August there is a corresponding night full of furious winds whistling round the eaves of the house with punishing temperatures of -45 degrees Centigrade.

The older I get the more I find parallels between my life and the natural world.

We live in a world of extremes, a world of struggle and dominance and surrender.

A world of inevitability.

Spring follows winter.

Autumn eventually comes.

There is rarely any room for comfort zones for long.

I sat on my sofa last night with the front and back doors open waiting in the stillness for a breath of wind. The leaves hung limply on the trees. The air itself was heavy. A thin sheen of sweat covered my skin.

When the first leaves lifted, it was if the world sighed....and breathed again.

We lifted our faces and smiled in relief.

Anticipation is an amazing thing.

Anticipation is powerful.

It is so intimately linked to Hope.

The seasons come and go, eagerly anticipated for the changes they bring, the newness and unique experiences of a landscape transformed are a gift.

Today, I revel in the last days of summer: knowing Autumn approaches and harvest draws near.

The daylight lessens.
The shadows grow longer.
The frost comes.

Winter hits.

There are barren days ahead, darkness lurks....


Spring returns. It emerges from Winters grave, pregnant with Summer.

Change, transformation.... tilling, sowing, nurturing, tending, harvesting... the fallow time.

These are the descriptors of my life.

God himself the vinedresser...
God himself the shepherd...
God himself the potter....

Transforming me into His image, for His glory alone.

Let the wind blow....

I surrender all to His capable hands.

I trust.

I anticipate.

I rest.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Just Breathe

Life is not going quite according to plan.
The specs on my summer somehow got mislaid along the way and I find myself nearing the end of August wondering what happened.
Night after night I lie in the dark, tears leaking from the corners of my eyes, whispering the name of Jesus over and over.

It is a plea?
Is it a hope?
Is it a crutch?

There are moments when I feel that I don't have the right to use His precious name.
Those moments are the ones when I cling anyways.
I cling tighter.
I grip with the strength of one going under for the third time.
It is not common sense... but an outlandish realization that: I have no where else to go !

Whom have I but you Lord ?

 The words escape my lips with every breath I breathe.

Just Breathe.

I have gone so far beyond reasonable faith.

I am past reason.

I will NOT let go.

I am declaring like the three who stood before the furnace:

My God will save me...and even if He does not: I will not bow.

He saves because of His nature.
He rescues, because of who He is.
His mercy.... is full of MERCY.
Grace.... unmerited... undeserved....unrelenting: is found in HIM ALONE.

Today ... stripped... standing in the light of day: I am the Least.

Not measured by possessions, education or station in life... but by what I have to offer in exchange for His perfection:


I am last.

Unless He raises me up:  I am NOWHERE.

He makes me SOMEONE.

I am who He says I am.

He makes me His.

As I sit here alone the world fades, even as the sun shines in a blazing blue sky and I hear cars passing, the sound of children's voices and birdsong are carried by the breeze through my window:

Just Breathe, I whisper to myself.

Just Breathe, the Spirit whispers deep within.

The breath of God: my creator, my designer... sustains me.

I am because He decided I was to be.

I trust because there is NOTHING else, NO ONE else ....

I know I need Him.


Like air.

All I need to do is: Just Breathe.

How's your breathing today?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Here and Now

Until recently, for months I had been in somewhat of a slump : void of goals, empty of vision, overflowing with need.
I would wake up and wander, hours drifted by, accumulating at the end of the day, comprised of a whole lot of nothing much.
Or so it seemed.

There was a waiting period after the pain receded and the symptoms started to die down.
I found myself guarded and hyper vigilant.
Fear gripped me:
What if I put a foot wrong and I fall down?
What if I slip?
What if I move too fast?
What if it happens all over again?

My heart would race, and in the darkest part of the night I fought... I fought hard.
For my life:
For : My HERE & NOW.

Prayers trembled on my lips,  spilling over into the dark competing with the snores of my husband slumbering beside me, worn out from a hard days work.

My insides determine my outside.

My insides are what is true about me.

It is the inner that sustains the outer....

A house, no matter how large and no matter how comprised of nails, boards, wire, rock and other small but very significant parts. Most of these parts will never be seen. A decorator will come through with paint and rugs and design and what you see is so far removed from what sustains and keeps out the rain.

Me, the real sustained in the dark so I can walk in the light.
When I shut my eyes and everything disappears....
When I realize that I stand...alone....and I choose for me....
There the battle is fought and won.
On the inside where decisions are made and where trust is forged and hope springs eternal.
Where God himself dwells with me.

here with me.


I am learning that my here and now is the most important factor of my there and then.

So here and now I am really focused on what is going in....and what is coming out as a result.

Garbage in, garbage the saying goes.

The battle is won on the inside....

For each of us, our here and our now are so individual.

Holding on. Letting go.
Building. Demolishing.
Feasting. Fasting.
Moving forward. Taking a retreat.

What ever it is... I pray today that you know and revel in the fact that God is with you.

Here & Now.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

One Life

I hear the statement quite frequently : "You've got one life, spend it wisely."

Life Life Large.

ummmmm...... why ?

Lately, I find myself captivated by this concept, the concept of my One Life.

The feelings that statement engenders are mixed. Middle age does that to you. A panic sets in at the measuring of time passed vs time yet to be.

Suddenly I am there. Questioning. Reasoning. Evaluating. Concluding. And the insecurities swamp the boat.

With whom do I compare my One life to see if it is adequate?
With whom do I measure to see if I am where I should be?
With whom to I adapt and adjust and accomodate so that the value of my days, activities and choices result in a life well spent?

Between what happens to me and what I cause to happen...I live. Those are the bookends of my life.

 I, for the most part, cannot control what happens to me: what others choose to do and say, that's beyond my control.

And then there is me, the girl who can while the day away with a book... while someone is off in Nepal scaling Everest, curing cancer or inventing cars that fly.

A bike ride through Fish Creek Park sends me soaring and tears clog my throat at the beauty of sunlight and shadows through the leaves, the sound of the creek in full flood fills my ears and drowns out any sign that there is a city all around: and my heart leaps.
 Fire in the fire pit, leaping and crackling at the end of a day NOT spent cleaning my house.... and the peace of sitting around the pit with sons: Its a GOOD day.

Conversations with friends, family and sometimes even strangers brings such joy.

People are precious. Even when broken and crushed beneath the weight of pain, suffering and chaos. PEOPLE ARE PRECIOUS.

 Maybe I am not ambitious enough. Maybe I should want more, do more, be more.

 I live in a society that has perfected the art of MORE....of wanting MORE... of doing MORE... and it is NEVER satisfied.
The struggle for me is to understand and believe that today.... my life ....has as much meaning and value as I sit and write from my laptop in bed: as any other day.
I am precious and priceless and my life has value because it was given to me by the Creator.
My worst day... is still FULL of His presence.
My ONE LIFE: Is who I am: I am His.

 Today, there are those I know and love just barely making it through. There are those I care about who are in a place of surviving...and to them thriving is a dream.
 I say to you today my friends: I am blessed to share air with you, privileged to have my ONE LIFE overlapping with yours.

There are others I know who simply live. Live simply.

There is a day in the life...but there is also a LIFE in the day.

i.cherish it. 


today is my life.

today is your life.

you don't have to fill it: just live it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Everyone has a mother.... she is an irrefutable fact.
I have one.
I am one.

Such a precarious perch we maintain as mothers.

Once assumed, this role, this path..this hat we wear to signify our changed position in the world becomes such a defining parameter that we often forget we are just girls.

All of us.

Pigtails and Pinafores. Ballet shoes and Barbies.
Cutoffs and Cartwheels. Ribbons and roller skates.
Barrettes and books. Puppies and polkadots.

I often ask God why he gave us women the ability to carry a child in a season in which we are still children ourselves. I haven't gotten a definitive answer to that yet but have come to some conclusions over the last few decades watching my sons grow into manhood while I grow up with them.

Repeatedly over the years I have heard, in some form or other, this truth:

"God becomes all we want,
when we realize He is all we need."

As the last of my sons work their way towards their twenties I am reminded over and over again that there is ONE model, and that is God himself.

Like David says in the Psalms:

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower. 
The righteous run to it and are safe. "
~ Psalm 18:10 ~

The name of God can be taken for himself.
Who He is defines all that there is.
The refuge I have as a girl raising my sons is found in Him alone.
Awake my soul...awaken to the truth: He is all there is: far above all the wisdom of the earth.

All that this.... He NEVER fails.

It is from the safety of that truth that my mother raised me, and where I take strength from as I raise my sons.

My mother, a girl. She grew, this girl, into a beautiful young woman and married and gave birth to five children over a ten year span.  Life flew by, her youth spent, poured out on us kids and those God brought within the reaches of her influence.
The girl remains still.
Her hair is grey now, wrinkles line her face, her hearing is going and she gets worn out more easily. 
Her hands remind me of my grandmother's hands, and that startles me for a second.
However, I look into her face and catch glimpses of a soul that does not age. 
The older she gets the more clearly I understand how the aging process is a stripping process. 
Our skin becomes thinner and our souls enlarge with all the living.
We are stretched... as we grow in grace and wisdom and humility.
These are the lessons of motherhood.
As Christ becomes more, we decrease. 
As God takes up more room and we make more of ourselves available, surrendering and bowing down, laying down our LIVING lives... the girl reemerges. 
She has always been there
She is His.
Has always been.
His beloved.
His great passion. 
I see my mother more clearly now from middle age. But what I find fascinating is that I am seeing as one GIRL to another. One beloved to another.
The struggles, the differences, the comparisons, the failures and successes fade.... 
We have the gift of one life. 
I was gifted with her...
He chose Her for me... to walk before me and as time passes I see we are walking side by side.
We are His. Intended and purposed. 
For His Glory alone.
I love you Mother -mine.
Your life is a priceless gift. 
Treasured you are!

I am wishing you a Happy Mother's Day from my girl heart to yours !


Monday, May 7, 2012


It's been while.
Three months since I last posted.
Three months of life filled with so many difficult and wonderful days.

That's what I am doing.
My one life.
My precious life.

The vantage point from which I write today:

 Reclining in a comfy chair on that screened in deck I stare out at this:


Not the view.
Not the created things.

The Creator.
I overflow with gratitude and an awesome sense of wonder.
I spills out of me in smiles, tears....laughter.
 Sheer joy overwhelms.

A loon calls ... it echos ...
The wind stirs the branches of the cedars;
a spring breeze that reminds me: it is still only the first week in May.
The mountains in the distance are still capped with snow.
I am cozy in my fleece blanket... as I ponder:
What is man that God is mindful of him?
Who am I that He should desire to commune with me?

This beauty exists even without me being here to witness.

But here I am, Juanita Rose, and I testify, I bear witness:

For His Glory.

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities ~ His eternal power and divine nature ~ have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

~Romans 1:20~

God is magnificent.
Full of Splendor.


He shares.
His creation.
His beauty.

With me.


Will you join me today?

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Comfort is such a comforting word.
Touch is what first comes to mind accompanied by indistinct murmurings, words blurred together into more sounds than syllables.
Seeing the familiar views, people and objects from my growing up years also evokes a sense of comfort to me.
I am blessed. 
Sights, sounds...stories shared and experiences recalled... COMFORT.
I write this post from the livingroom of my family home in South Lochaber, Nova Scotia.
I am surrounded by the familiar.
~Gorgeous landscape, sounds of logs cracking and popping in the wood stove, flames dancing and the ticking sounds of metal expanding and contracting in the heat.
~Crows are cawing this Sunday morning and the ice on the lake is groaning and popping and cracking. Deep sounds of air pushing from underneath ripple down the length of the lake and split the silence.
~My mom's voice calling good morning or bidding me goodnight.
~The arms of old friends wrapped tight around and kisses placed firmly on top of my head.
~The joy of nephews as they crawl into my lap, hold onto my neck, whispering: "I love you Auntie Juanita", as they snuggle close for a bedtime story.


I have been home just over a week and have spent hours contemplating the sheer wonder of my surroundings and my history here. I say it over and over again inside:
That in this one life I have been given, I have this to call home, these people to call family and friends, this overwhelms me and fills me with limitless gratitude.
Ordinary people surround me and yet as the days pass and I reconnect, I find myself marveling at the faith and the hope that resides in each of us. That connection deep inside us that surpasses genetics and proximity, memories and experiences.

The snow has begun to fall softly, I watch, embracing the stillness, captivated by the dancing flakes, the quiet..the rest and comfort.. what a precious gift today is.

My friend Shawntele recently started a  5 Fav's meme on her blog Rambling with Grace. Friday's topic was comfort food. This fits in nicely with my surroundings and circumstances, so today I am linking up with her and thus I offer you my Five Favorite Comfort Foods:

1. Gang-Gang's Biscuits with Molasses. (Pour molasses into a pool on a small plate and swirl half of a hot biscuit loaded with butter through, bringing the tasty morsel in an arc straight to your mouth!)
2. Lochaber Strawberries...sit in a row, ducked down and out of sight of the supervisor..proceed to pick the juiciest berry within range of your hand, remove the hull and pop in it's entirety into your mouth. (nothing else compares)
3. Fish Chowder: Befriend someone from Port Bickerton Nova Scotia and let the halibut, cod, haddock etc ROCK YOUR WORLD. With cream, bacon, potatoes and onions and whatever your family recipe entails, the rich goodness of our seafood is UNPARALLELED.
4. Baked Ham with Scalloped potatoes. (self explanatory) ( DO NOT COUNT CALORIES)
5.Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese sandwiches.

I realize that it is not the food that comforts, but the experiences, people and memories associated with those meals that make it such a wonder.

I pray that today as you face whatever is right in front of you or around the corner, or as you spend time looking back over your life, that you find comfort in the fact that at the center of it all is God.
Author. Finisher. Sustainer of all that is...
It all comes down to love...
That is the greatest comfort of all: Love remains.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Under the Influence

We're all telling a story.
Every minute of every day we live to testify about something.
Our moods indicate our state of mind.
Our actions reveal our thoughts.
"As a man is he."
We reflect.
It is very hard to maintain a secret inner life: at some point down the road your actions mirror your inner beliefs.
You is what you think.

I can give you information about myself:

I am a middle aged mother of four AMAZING sons.
Married for almost 23 years to a GIFTED man.
BELOVED daughter to divorced parents.
Sister to 4 siblings whose homes are separated by the width of the entire continent.
I am a niece to WONDERFUL aunts and uncles.
I am cousin to their equally WONDERFUL kids.
I am a grand-daughter.

 I am more.

Yesterday I drove my old bus route to my old high school with my sister.
Driving through Sherbrooke Village, I passed buildings I worked in, recalled the faces of my classmates and workmates and as we approached the bus garages by the high school I saw my grandfather as clear as day. I could hear his voice and feel his huge hands lifting me up and twirling me around. I could smell the grease and oil that shrouded his form, felt the solid comfort of his barrel chest as he held me tight.

I have never known a day without love.

Alexander James Malloy passed away from a heart attack in June of my grade 11 year.
His mother taught me to bake biscuits in her pantry in the old farm house on the west side of the lake I see out my windows this morning. I can still feel the papery thin skin of her strong hands as we kneaded the dough together.
I learned hard work and steadfast values here in the heart of my family.
Their hands are all over my inner life and my outer life is a direct result of their love and their faith.

I am blessed. I am grateful. I am resilient. I am strong.
I am broken, unfinished, sometimes weak and afraid: but I know the healer of all wounds, the great physician, the wonderful counselor,  because they lit the way.

The influence of lives lived with integrity, with grace, with kindness and generosity...
The influence of everyday people working out their lives surrendered to God, growing in wisdom and grace and offering mercy....that influence lasts.
It outlasts recessions, hardships, sickness and disease.
It is stronger than addictions, bitterness, disappointments and unforgiveness.
It spans the distance and time zones that separate.
It touches eternity.

As I sit here in Lochaber, Nova Scotia, under the influence of the landscape, the memories, the lives of those long gone and those still living and the ever present, indwelling Spirit of God, I close my eyes, inhale, and feel the roots of trust grow ever deeper anchoring me even more securely.

I can change the world, do big things .... influence ..... by simply living and loving wherever I am and whoever steps within the reach of my life.
I know the results of that kind of life first hand.

If you are visiting my blog today ask yourself this...

What influence have you been living under?
What type of influence are you exerting on your landscape and the lives around you?

What story are you telling?
What does your life testify to?

Mine....I testify to Love.

Living under the influence every day,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


It's when I come home that I am reminded again and again of the vast difference between a photo and the real deal.
Don't get me wrong: I marvel at pictures and ooh and ahhh with the best of you over the scenery presented to me on facebook, videos & tv.

I am soooo thankful for technology that bridges miles and oceans and time.

We are obviously a very visual society given that TV's have gone from tiny black and white screens to MONTROUS wall mounted beasts.
The bigger the better.
You almost feel like you are there.
NOTHING surpasses presence. 
Nothing surpasses being and participating in the environment, interacting with the people.
Active involvement. INVESTMENT.
People ...touchable, huggable...talking ...walking...moving...BEING.
Mountains, rivers, lakes and valleys.
Wind blowing, rain falling...fires crackling, snow drifting, kettles whistling.

This understanding of presence reminds me of my relationship with God.

I can view him from afar off:  Jesus died over 2000 years ago and the bible was written millenia ago. Jesus ascended into heaven and after all of that who has really seen God since?

When Jesus went to his father he gifted us with the INDWELLING Spirit.

No distance.
His Spirit...within me.

As I walk the land of my youth and memories gab hold and capture me, the most precious recollections I have are wrapped up in the understanding that:
It was HERE I knew HE was GOD.
It was HERE I knew I was His.

This is my heritage, this is my down home legacy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Am Not My Own

If everything comes down to love 
Then just what am I afraid of
When I call out Your name
Something inside awakes in my soul
How quickly I forget I'm Yours
I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free

When my life is like a storm
Rising waters all I want is the shore
You say I'll be ok and
Make it through the rain
You are my shelter from the storm

These are some of the words to a song by Addison Road called : Hope Now.

 I know from experience there are those of you who are already struggling to pick yourself back up after being effectively knocked off your feet, and it's only the 11th day into a year 365 days long.

Everywhere you turn someone is trying to motivate you to work out, buy something on sale, refurbish, remodel, renovate. Change is preached like there's no tomorrow. Maybe there isn't. For some there isn't another tomorrow.

Maybe your hope has drained away bit by bit over the years, nothing left to replenish and rebuild.
The glass is not half full or even half empty, all you can see is the grounds in the bottom of the cup.

You could be battered inside where no one can see the bruises from the battles.
You might be emotionally starved, malnourished....ignored, abandoned.

The discovery I have made in the first 11 days of 2012 is that hope only lasts when it is placed in the right hands.
It only remains when it is entrusted correctly.
It is only replenished and refilled when you go to the source.

Faith, Hope & Love ABIDE. They ABIDEThese three.


If they abide, then they abide in God alone: they are held in Him.
He never changes.
As we learn to abide in Him....these three anchor us to Him securely.
It's how we were designed. It's what we were made for.
He's the only one who can be trusted.

I am not my own. He has carried me all my life. 

I have FAITH in Him.
My only HOPE is  in Him.
He is LOVE

What are you waiting for? 

Renew your Faith. Hope in God alone: Love with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
The gift of Salvation has been given. Full. Free. Complete.
He gave Himself.

Return the favor.

Whether you have acknowledged Him or not in the past or even in this now moment....

It comes down to this truth: You've been His all along.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Do You Yield?

Four sons.
Wrestling matches threatening my centerpiece on the coffee table and anything breakable from the kitchen to the living room including the bodies engaged in the battles.
This has been the story of my life for the last two decades.
Actually, long before I had sons of my own I was wrestling with siblings and cousins: arm wrestling, knuckles, hand slapping and all out throw downs with the furniture pushed back.. not to mention games of Dutch Blitz and Spoons.  
{ Battles of EPIC proportions}
Everything was a contest of skill, supremacy and dominance.
I was definitely NOT a girly girl.
I wanted to climb higher, throw harder, swim further, run faster....hold on longer.

Giving in was not an option. I fought to strengthen, to become skillful: I had to overcome.
I was so incredibly insecure.
Sports saved me. Academics gave me focus. I didn't care about what I was learning, just that I had to figure out what the teachers wanted and excel. It was about the points, the marks and the approval.

We don't live in a society that admires surrender.
Having a Lord and Master is simply NOT kosher.

No one is going to tell us what to do..who to be....

We are already into week two of 2012 and I am in the fight of my life.{again}
The battle rages and the battlefield is littered with all my excuses, all my definitions of a good life.
My expectations and demands have been read  yelled into the no mans land between us.

Opposite me on the landscape is not a dragon, a demon,  or an evil human enemy.
I am not squaring off against another person...I am squaring off against God himself.

I have spent the better part of 2012 so far telling him my demands,explaining what can and can't be done and he has stood close by while I battered myself against his indomitable love and unflinching will.

Do you believe in miracles?

There is no greater miracle than a life surrendered.

 It far surpasses a healed body, or a raising from the dead.

 "The grave up on the mountains is at the very edge of the High Places and beyond the reach of Pride and Bitterness and Resentment and Self Pity, yes, and of Fear too, as though she was in another world all together, for they can never cast themselves into the grave. She knelt there feeling neither despair nor hope. She knew now without a shadow of a doubt that there would be no Angel to call from heaven to say that the sacrifice need not be made, and this knowledge caused her neither dread nor shrinking.
She felt nothing but a great stillness in which only one desire remained, to do that which he had told her because he asked it of her. The cold dull desolation which had filled her heart in the cave was gone completely; one flame burned there steadily, the flame of concentrated desire to do his will. Everything else had died down and fallen into ashes.
After she had waited for a little and still he had not come, she put out her hand and with one final effort of failing strength grasped the natural human love and desire growing in her heart and struggled to tear them out. At the first touch it was as though anguish pierced through her every nerve and fiber, and she knew with a pang almost of despair that the roots had wound and twined and thrust themselves into every part of her being. though she put forth all her remaining strength in the most desperate effort to wrench them out, not a single root stirred.
For the first time she felt something akin to fear and panic. She was not able to do this thing which he had asked of her. Having reached the altar at last she was powerless to obey.....the indistinct figure behind the altar stepped forward and said quietly.' I am the priest of this altar-- I will take it out of your heart if you wish.'....then she continued entreatingly, 'I am a very great coward. I am afraid that the pain will cause me to resist you. Will you bind me to the altar in some way so that I cannot move? I would not like to be found struggling while the will of my Lord is done.' "
 ~~ excerpt from Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

Today I stand on the edge of my life...hurting, struggling.... surrendering....trusting.

In My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers says that :

"..before we choose to follow God's will, a crisis must develop in our lives.This happens because we tend to be unresponsive to God's gentler nudges.."

I am at a crossroads again today...but like Oswald..and even Much Afraid up on the altar :

"I am determined to be absolutely and entirely 
for Him and Him alone."

I yield. 

 What about you ????