Friday, December 24, 2010

Nativity


                               We celebrate because He Lives! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Gift of Healing

I love stories of reconciliation. Relationships can be most challenging. Isn't it awesome when a broken one finally begins to be woven back together? It is often difficult to find the very thing that will restore and bring healing to a severed bond.

Susan Panzica, my soulmate, invited me to return to her blog, Eternity Cafe today. Please pop over and visit her 40 Days of Christmas where I share how the Lord inspired a way to mend a broken relationship that I had with a member of our family. It inspires me to keep seeking Him for other relationships in my life where I haven't discovered what it will take to restore that which has been broken ... yet.

I am so thankful that the Lord coming has brought to us the ministry of reconciliation. God to man, man to God, and oh Lord, help us, man to man. The Lord is amazing, as you will see in my post, The Gift of Healing. Prayerful blessings!

Cheri

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear?



An angel spoke ... a handmaid humbled herself, bowing low to receive heavenly words, life altering words, brimming with redemption. Holy encounter sealed calling of great price.
"Holy Spirit will overshadow you and you will give birth" ...
Fruit of Spirit lay nestled in womb until the time of His revealing.
A handmaid heard ... sleeping world lay deaf to expectation.

Shepherds heard ... angels declaring promises, heavenly words of peace for men's souls. While hearing, angels words of proclamation transformed to dancing words, songs of rejoicing filling heavenly skies ...
Shepherds heard ... sleeping world lay deaf to Divine revelation.

Simeon heard Spirit of God ... Deliverer would be arriving, Simeon waited, anticipation rising, expectation filling every fiber of being, eyes seeking until door of temple opened and handmaid, arms filled with heavenly promise, caught his eye ...
Simeon heard ... sleeping church lay deaf to anticipation.

Humble folk heard Godwords ...
What were they doing when they heard celestial voices ...
was handmaid washing stained garments? Dishes? Changing a siblings diaper?
were shepherds counting sheep? Poking one another in fun? Perusing mountains for ravage beasts?
was Simeon dutifully stoking fire on altar at temple? Counting offerings in the treasury? Dusting scrolls and putting them in order?

Were they tending to humdrum life with faithfulness when the Lord saw and with joy blessed their mundane moment with awe?

Almost twenty years ago I was was going to have a baby. I was bedridden, sick, so sick, with four very active children playing around me. I could hardly move. I rested my heavy laden body, burdened with child and pain on our couch. I waited. Difficult day followed difficult day.  Several days before bringing our newest joy into the world, I had a revelation ... a silent voice powered with knowing ... the child would be a boy. Instruction was clear, "make Christmas photo cards with a nativity on them". My children would depict a handmaiden, a faithful carpenter, tiny shepherds, and a baby Jesus. Of course LambsyChops would represent a lamb in the manger scene.

Christmas cards from twenty years ago have been framed and continue to rest on mantles in homes around the country every year. Celestial spoke to simple and simple and others are still being blessed.

No one heard what Mary heard ... she had to share it ... Mary did not hear what shepherds heard ... they had to tell her. She did not hear what Simeon heard ... he was bursting with news ... you might never hear what I heard ... I hope you didn't mind that I wanted to share ...

We may not hear the same thing ... but hosts from heaven speak ... sometimes so that we can hear. We will hear, sometimes when we are listening for a voice of instruction, and sometimes when life is mundane or even hard.

Have you ever been inspired by heavenly voices? Your sharing would be a gift that I would love to open this Christmas.

My prayer for all, Word of God speak ...

Excuse me, the mundane calls ... must go and work out!

Merry Christmas Blessings!

Cheri

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sharing Christmas

My friend Susan asked me to be a guest on her blog today. I hope you have been following her forty days of Christmas where she has been posting wonderful Christmas devotions. I am humbled to share her vision. You may visit me there today. Forty days of Christmas . Many blessings to you, sweet friends. Cheri

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Lamb

  

                                              A Lamb was born on Christmas night ... 


                                              Born to give His life that others might live ...


                                             "Who for the joy set before Him endured the
     
                                               cross ..."


                                              Angels sang to shepherds praises about


                                              a Lamb, born to die, that men might live


                                              forever ...


                                              Shepherds said, "Let us go now ... "


                                              and they came with haste ...


                                              and they found the Babe (Lamb) ...


                                             then they told everyone they saw.


                                            All who heard  marveled ...


                                             
                 


                                              

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Words



The Lord whispered to me Sunday morning, "you need to ask her to forgive you ... ".

He didn't tell me why ... no need to ... my conscience has been wringing its hands and wringing its hands causing much grief and bother.

Words I had spoken had crossed boundaries that were not permissible. I was weary with wrenching of soul.

He did not rant, rave, throw a fit, or even try to hurt my feelings. He just wanted me to get it right.

Lots of sorrow had moved into me. It was stealing my peace ... filling me with regret.

So when He spoke, it moved me to a different path ... the right one ... the one He always treads. Suddenly I wanted her to hear my sorrow and know my regrets. They were a burdensome load. Confession had power to loose their hold on me.

Later that morning, I crossed the threshold of church looking for her face among the followers. Where was she? I couldn't find her so I went through the motions of service, wearing my cloak of heaviness.

There was lots of greeting with happy hugs, worship following, then sitting down with attentive ear, we listened to the message of the morning.

Words ... the message was about words ... about their boundaries ... things that should be spoken ... things that should not.

The Lord's whisper that had exhorted me earlier in the day was being confirmed by the preacher. It was time to right a wrong. Time to humble myself and admit that the bit on my tongue had gotten loose, unnecessary  fires had been started. Fires that needed to die. (James 3:1-12)

I talked to her today. I couldn't hold it in any longer. I needed to be free.

Pent up, anxious words were finally released as she attentively listened to my plea ...

"I am so sorry! My words crossed boundaries. Please, please forgive me!"

"Without hesitation!" she exclaimed, setting this captive girl free.

Then I ran to Him, "Lord, please forgive  me!"

"Without hesitation," He replied.

Oh, the power of words!

"Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips." Psalm 141:3



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Offering

What may I offer You in this sanctuary of worship? What is it that would please Your heart most? I ask for grace to bring You fruit ... the fruit of Your Spirit ...

                                        love born of sacrifice
                                        joy blooming, full measure, complete
                                        peace of heart, resting in gratitude
      

                                        patience, stilled soul, full of grace
                                        kindness, giving and forgiving, voiced love
                                        goodness, a standard exalted
                  
                                        gentleness, whispers of mercy, tender touch
                                        faithfulness, anchor of heart
                                        self-control, self bowing to Spirit

Oh, Lord of the heavens, would You but give me this one grace ...
that I may bring You an offering of a Spirit filled vessel, this jar of clay, brimming with fruit to worship You? Will You take it and feed hungry for Spirit nations ... fill and make full and pour ...

"Only that which is born of Spirit is spirit. The flesh can never be converted into spirit,no matter how many church dignitaries work on it. Confirmation, baptism, holy communion, confession of faith ... none of these nor all of them together can turn flesh into spirit nor make a son of Adam a son of God." Tozer


"A sinner cannot grow into repentance. God's power puts him there, and being there, then he grows in grace." Tozer
                      
                                         " ...  be filled with the Spirit ..."    

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Together: Bible Study Fellowship

We quiet our chatter and share praises and needs. We are about to join our hearts in prayer. The Lord is attentive to our cares that we knit into one garment of praise. We hand Him the garment of prayer. Mysteriously, concern is replaced with confidence. Together, we have felt Him hear us. 

We return to place of study. Our Bibles open to a familiar place. We will linger here for now. We are camped at a watering hole. We nurture one another with drink. How can we learn so much from so few words.

"Rejoice always"

Two words, acting as musical schoolmasters, training our soul to sing harmony with Spirit. We lingered here for a measure of time.

"Pray without ceasing"

Three words, a trinity of passion for prayer, exhorting us to meet at table, often, with the One who nourishes soul.  We find a staying place. We will wait while we grow here.

The cloud moves ...

"in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for  you."

Breath of gratefulness defeats a host of fears and doubt. We polish shield of faith while camped at the banks of this drinking spot. A cup runs over and spills into mine as we share the wine of the Word. I am filled ... yet want to return, knowing there is more to be poured from the pitcher. We rest in this place.

Well rested we rise.

"Do not quench the Spirit"

Our listening ear is quickened, to follow Him we must hear Him ... then obey Him. Living faith follows the footsteps of Jesus ... in His shadow you follow where He leads You. We repent here. We don't make a scene, but we have all experienced moments of hesitation,  times of resistance. Rod and Staff persuade us to return to the path. Willingly we make our way.

"Do not despise prophecies"

It is here we stop for now. It will take a few days to unlock the meaning of these few words. I listen to my brothers and sisters, their words filling my wisdom cellar. They have moved the tent pegs of my heart with new meanings. It is here we will return next week.

Knowledge puffs the proud, I sit among the humble. They speak truth with grace. The room is full with love for the Savior, His Word, and each other.

English lace veils windows, ceiling to floor, in the front room of our home. I pass by the lacy veils at midday when rays of sun flirt with patterns of ivy and roses. I return at sunset when sun blazes through. Orange of sky brings depth to beauty, adding more to much.

It also happens to us. Our little group of friends linger on passages, verses with few words, that have beautiful meanings. As we wait,  depth is added to beauty, much becomes more and it changes the glow of our souls. We regather to study, full of rejoicing, prayerful,with grateful hearts, full of the Spirit, willing ... (well, hopefully) because we have lingered, allowing ourselves to be changed by a few powerful words. Together.


.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Grateful


Thanksgiving is coming soon. It will be the first year that all of our children will be away. There will be three of us ... four ... maybe if my younger brother decides to join Scotty, mom and I. We are trying not to be sad and count every reason to    be thankful. We have 10 million reasons to be grateful, we know this. 
Our youngest left for the navy yesterday. I glance across the kitchen and there is his cap hanging on the  back of the chair. My heart aches with missing him. 
I am selfish in my sadness. Selfish and silly, I guess. I turn my thoughts to those who have told their children goodbye and they will not see them again until heaven. 
Caleb's best friend, Brock, died last year on Thanksgiving Day. My heart hurts for his momma. She is missing her sweet boy.
 My friend, Carla, lost her little girl, Asya, a 6 year old, eleven months ago today. Eleven months ago at this moment I was standing over Asya's little body telling her that I loved her ... telling her goodbye. This morning my heart is breaking for her momma. 
Would you please join me in praying for these momma's who are missing their children? Their sorrow is great. Please pray that they will feel the Lord's embrace.  

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Priestly Garment/Part Three

I decided to skip part two of this trilogy and share part three with you, my favorite part. I hope it blesses you.  Compose

Dialogue with Aaron continues:


"Of blue, purple, and scarlet thread they made the garments of ministry, for ministering in the holy place, and made the holy garments for Aaron, as the Lord had commanded Moses." Exodus 39:1

Aaron, you are going to be the one called into the holy place. God has commanded your brothers to fashion a garment for you. It is beautiful, woven with royal colors. You will be given a title, High Priest. You will see God again. He will meet with you there. He is going to make you look good.

He will even, once again, trust you with gold. 

Verse 2: "He made the ephod of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and of fine woven linen. And they beat the gold into thin sheets  and cut it into threads, to work it in with with blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen, into artistic designs."

Threads of gold, Aaron, do you believe it? Were those golden threads supposed to remind you of something from your past? Were they to remind everyone else? Or were they purely a demonstration of mercy. I wonder what the craftsmen were thinking when they were hammering that gold into thread for the garment that you would be wearing. Did they think about you and that cow?

Was God saying, "I know you misused gold before, but I am going to weave it into the garment that you wear, because I want you to know that I am merciful. I am going to trust with it, again. I want you to come before me with it on. I am going to make you look good. I am going to redeem your past and use the very thing you meant for evil to make you shine!"

As I read through the description of the priestly garments, I was moved to tears with awe! The Lord is a redeemer. He dressed you in the finest of the finest. You did not deserve that honor! You offended the Lord with a huge offense, and yet he called you beyond your past. He covered your shame with His glory. He put you in a position of honor. He brought honor to His name by redeeming yours. 

How great is our God, Aaron! Mighty to save! Full of mercy! 

What was it like for you the first time you went into that holy place as a representative for the people of God? I just wonder your thoughts? Did you once think, "I am not worthy of this honor!" 

Oh, Aaron, how I can relate to you! I have been chosen by a holy God, delivered from a horrible pit of destruction, set upon a firm Rock, and I am  treated by God as if I had never sinned. He pours mercy on my life every day I breath. He speaks to me as if I had never wronged Him, shamed Him, or despised Him. That isn't fair to Him! He calls me to a destiny that will bring Him glory, a position of servanthood for His kingdom, a doorkeeper for His house. What an amazing God to be so kind to me. 

I know you are relating to my thoughts, Aaron. Probably even more now, since you continually abide in His presence these days. 

I need to remember these things. I can get pretty discouraged with myself. And the past, whoa, how it loves to haunt! 

Oh, but your testimony gives power to my heart! It encourages me so! I am so thankful that your time of blowing it, big time, was written in the Bible. I needed to see it. I needed read about my redeeming God, who not only forgives, but forgets. Who uses something in my horrible past, for a wonderful future. That gives strength to me, brother. That encourages me, friend. I have learned something about my God and His willingness to forgive through you! 

Your priestly attire astounds me. The Lord commanded that pure gold be used over and over for you to wear. But this really got my heart. The Lord had them make you a crown of gold.

Verse 30-31: "Then they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription like the engraving of a signet: HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And they tied to it a blue cord, to fasten it above the turban, as the Lord had commanded Moses."

You were called into a holy priesthood even though you once created an idol that caused others to stumble. He put a title upon you that declared His holiness. Then He crowned you with it. 

And you know what? You couldn't see the words that the Lord put above your head, but others could see. The Lord would continue to remind everyone around you of your redemption with that crown.

Exodus 40:12-"Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of meeting and wash them with water. You shall put the holy garments on Aaron, and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest."

The Lord called you to minister to Him, Aaron. That had to be amazing. Just amazing! What an honor! Could you barely breathe when you went in to behold Him? I wonder. Did you marvel at the mercy seat, the place where He rested. Did you thank Him for saving you, being patient with you, and then placing you in such a place of honor? I imagine you must have. How could you not?

When you formed that golden calf, the priestly garments were far from your imagination, far, far out of reach. But when you put the garments on, there were golden threads to remind you that you were redeemed from your past mistakes. 

This is something to think on today. I am going to meditate on the Lord's covering. How lovely. How beautiful. Even glorious! How forgiving. 

I would not have chosen you, Aaron, but the Lord did. That is His way. 

1 Peter 2:9 says: "You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His  marvelous light......"

He is talking about me in that scripture, Aaron, can you believe it? I can't either...not in the natural, but by faith I am reaching for it! I am so thankful that He doesn't leave us behind with our golden calves, but calls us into a future where there is truth and light. And He does it without shame, covering us in His authority, calling us into His dignity, His integrity, and creating a new heart in us with His mercy. Oh, the greatness of our God! How this moves me! 

My heart just wants to bow in His presence and give Him praise for He is the One who lifts the lowly. He is the one who is worthy! 

We have so much in common, Aaron. We have both been redeemed, forgiven,  chosen, called to be ministers unto the Lord, crowned with holiness, dressed in righteousness, and blessed with His presence. How great is our God! 

I wouldn't have chosen you, but I wouldn't have chosen me either, but the Lord has. The Lord has!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Priestly Garment/Part One

This is a three part series that I posted before. I needed to hear it again and thought it might bless you as well. I will be posting the next two parts in a few days.  You might want to reference the chapters in Exodus 24-29. If you follow through to part three I believe you will be blessed. Oh, for the love of His great mercy! How great is our God! Blessings, Cheri


Talking with Aaron:

I can hardly believe it, Aaron! God is so merciful, I wouldn't have chosen you to be priest. Oh, perhaps in the beginning but you blew it! You really did! You destroyed my trust when you got impatient waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain! The people  that were in your  charge were impatient and you fell into the trap of trying to please them. It can be difficult to stand alone when there is a multitude persuading you, can't it? I can hear you saying:

"I know, I have an idea! A revelation! Let's make something!" 

Soon you had gathered gold objects in every form, placed them over a heated fire, and crafted a cow..........to worship. 

Aaron, what were you thinking? Did you not see God in Exodus 24:9-18? Do you not recall the moment of parting? Even before that wasn't there something special to recall?

"Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity."

Aaron, YOU SAW GOD! The real God. The LIVING GOD! How could you blow it so bad just forty days later? How could you forget the wondrous experience of seeing God?  

Verse 11: "But on the noble of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank." 

Okay, Aaron, the Lord not only let you see Him but He also fed you in His presence!!! He let you eat and drink from His table? Oh, will you please tell me what He served? I imagine it to be unforgettable! Heavenly! Beyond any picture I have seen in the best of cookbooks! Beyond the taste of the best of foods available to man! You ate from heaven's  table..........WITH THE LIVING GOD!

Is it because the Lord did not choose you to come into His presence? You were not invited into the glory cloud with the Lord like Moses was, tell me, did that bother you?

Verse 12: "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.' "

I am thinking it might have been different if you had been called into that presence for forty days and nights, Aaron. I don't think Moses would have blown it. Not that he never blew it, but he knew his God and he was faithful to Him. Surely, he would not have formed a calf for the purpose of worship.

Perhaps you all thought Moses was gone forever, taken into heaven, like Enoch. Where did he go? The Word says that your thoughts were that your leader had gone on. Who knew where! And he might never come back. Time for a new leader.

Okay, I get that part! BUT time for a new God? When you just ate with Him at His table! And it wasn't potluck! He provided everything you ate and drank! And it must have been very nourishing because Moses did not eat again for forty days and nights! 

The people were restless, weren't they? You needed a solution, didn't you? Think of something fast! "Well, God took our leader, so I will be the leader! Take off your gold and I will make you a new god." 

Whoa! And they didn't argue with you! And after you molded and fashioned that calf, they worshiped it, with singing and dancing. Where were the seventy who shared that meal with you? Did even one of them try to persuade you to stop? Think about it? Be patient? Challenge you to consider what you are doing?

Oh, I hope if I had been there I would have. I hope so! But I don't know! I really don't! I don't do well in the wilderness! It challenges me and I sometimes succumb to weakness and temptations that are not normally a problem for me. Perhaps, if I had been you, I would have been persuaded! Oh, but I know the rest of the story and I sure hope not!

I wonder if I would have tossed you my gold and begged you for a god, willingly handing over my earthly treasure entrusting you with it. 

The thought rattles me. My flesh can be so weak! That is the scary part. It can forget the wonder of eating at the table of God so quickly! All too soon I can find myself at the feast of my enemy, a god who poses as real! How can I loose sight of truth so quickly? 

Aaron, there is hope for you! Moses will intercede for you! Plead your case! Beg for mercy! Many will pay the consequences, but you will live! And the Lord will bless! 

You will die in the wilderness, eventually, but not before God trains you and raises you up as an example and calls you to pass on the priesthood. 

Tomorrow, I will expose the wonder of your God, Aaron. I am in awe of Him, for many reasons, and I marvel at His way with you.  

You fouled up so much and yet He used you! He did not thrust you aside and banish the idea of you being His chosen leader! I would have. I am sorry! I would have trouble trusting you with my people. I would find someone else.

But I am thankful that the Lord worked His way with you and not mine because that means there is hope for me. When I fail Him He is willing to forgive me. He listens to my intercessor, who is His Son, my advocate, who pleads my case and He chooses to trust me again. Praise the Lord! He lets me work for Him though He knows I am human frailty and I can mess up. I can form a false god with my words or opinions and cause the Lord's children to stumble. And yet, He knows that my mistakes can draw me closer to Him. It makes me realize my incredible need for Him. My mistakes make me grateful for my intercessor, Jesus! Grateful for the Holy Spirit! And so, so grateful for my Father God who loves the voice of my advocate! Praise Him!




Friday, November 12, 2010

Estate Sale

Ashli came home from New York City for the weekend. She gave us reason to pause from our busyness and hang out together. We went to an estate sale. We never do this. It was her first time to get a number at an auction. It was my third.

I am not very good at bidding. Ashli laughed at my attempts and gave me a big hug in front of everyone. She warmed my heart with her patience.

A collector of many years left behind a lot of stuff. It was fun to rummage through and find unique treasures. Together.We had a wonderful day.

Can you guess which one of these articles I brought home?

Ashli is like a fresh wind. She stretches us into new places when she comes home, leading us to places of adventure, forcing us out of our rut, challenging what is familiar. After spending a day among another's left behind treasures, I realized that I could have left it all behind and still brought home  treasure. Memories were born in the moments we shared and you can't put a price on that.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroys and where thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:20-21

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Confession

                                                              

I am old enough to know better.
I should have realized it a ton of years ago, but I had a revelation this weekend that was very helpful.
The thing is, I think everyone else already knows this about me and I am just figuring it out. I feel like I have been standing on a platform in front of a whole Bunch of people with my pants unzipped and everyone can see things that they shouldn't! It is an awful feeling.

I am an expresser.

That is who I am and it makes me cry to think about it.
I think I am probably a leader/expresser which is even more potent.

There are good things about expressers ... it isn't all bad ... but it is much more vulnerable to be one.

I probably make more mistakes with my tongue than most people.

I know that I do. And I don't like that part about being an expresser.

My heart is an open book. I tell about it. What I feel, what I like, what I see ... what is on my heart finds its way to my tongue.

When I don't feel that I  have freedom to share I feel all locked up inside. It is a prison of sorts and I feel miserable.

Sometimes I don't know who to trust. If I show others those precious things that are in my heart they have the ability to stomp all over them. And they do ... sometimes ... so I close up and I get all miserable again. It is a painful cycle.

The analytical can pounce on everything said. I have learned that my heart needs a shield from them. I must be wise with the buffer I choose.

Being an expresser doesn't mean that I can't keep a secret. I can and do. I want to be trusted because I want to be able to trust. My own life is the open book.

This is helping me to understand myself a lot better and I am understanding others as well.

Have you ever taken an LEAD test? (Leader/Expresser/Analytical/Dependable) Do you know what you are? How do you feel about it?

The thing is, the Lord made me to be an expresser. What a responsibility! Did He know what He was getting into? The tongue is hard to tame ... for anyone! Oh, but how difficult for an expresser! He and I are going to talk about it this morning. I will let you know what He says!

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love,  I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1


" ... be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath ..."


"For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body."


"Look upon me and be merciful to me, as your custom is toward those who love Your name." Psalm 119:132

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Treasure

I found a diamond on the sidewalk the other day. It was lying among broken glass but it out-glimmered the many shattered pieces, catching my eye. I am not positive it is a diamond, but it is cut very nicely and is very pretty. It is not a piece of broken glass. It is a gem.
I need to take it to a jeweler so that he might declare it a genuine stone. However, I do not want to be disappointed so I hesitate. It has been a delight to think that I found a diamond on the sidewalk.
I found it in another town that houses multitudes of people. It would be impossible to find the owner, therefore my conscience is clear. I am very sorry for the one who lost it. She must be very sad about losing something precious. I have lost precious stones before and it is very disappointing.
But finding one ... now that is a different story.
When I found this tiny little gem glittering in the sunshine I smiled all over inside. Not because it was going to make me rich. Nor will it make me happy. It was just fun to find something of value on the ground, just there, seemingly waiting to bless me.
I have reveled in the thought of it being real.
I have loved the reaction of my family when I nonchalantly tell them of my find. Their response is worth a million joys. I wish I had each reaction on video. Oh, what fun! Gonna keep enjoying this for awhile.

"I have not departed from  the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." Job 23:12

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Handmaid of the Lord



I met her the other day, the one I want to be like.

She is beautiful! No, absolutely gorgeous!

Her eyes are so beautiful that you would never notice if she forgot to wear make-up.

She has a radiant smile that makes you feel good all over.

She is a handmaid of the Lord. Genuine. Real through and through.

Not the look of a Hollywood girl.

She really, really loves Jesus. Deeply!

When you look at her, you see something of Him all over her.

As a result, she loves others well.

She doesn't know what I think of her. My deep admiration is tucked away.

How did she get to such a beautiful place in Him?

That amazing place of oozing the Holy Spirit of God everywhere she goes?

When I am with her I am a witness to genuine joy. Peace is present. Love embraces. Gentleness, kindness, goodness ... it is all there. The tasty fruit that nourishes a parched and hollow soul.

Our meeting was life inspiring. Feel like hanging out with her and those she hangs out with forever.

Hoping for a makeover.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Before the Day Gets Away

Trying to capture the vapor of time is like trying to manage a helium balloon without a string. It longs to escape my grip and float away with wings. I have charted my course, made my plans, and hope a few items will be crossed off  my list when at night my pillowed head surrenders to sleep.

Beds are stripped. One set being washed. One set warming in the dryer.
My wish, beds will be tucked back in place by bedtime.

Apple pie is on my mind. Make the crust. Chill in fridge. Buy apples. Peel, cut, slice, sweeten. Bake.

Finish writing project. Write. Edit. Prepare letter. Fold. Stamp. Send.

Warm up leftover Butternut/Acorn Squash soup. Serve with warm garlic toast. mmmmm

Fold, sort, toss, put away, straighten clothes in closet and drawers. Today. Must do.

Take a walk with the man of the house. Brevity of fall is on my mind. Must enjoy.

Dinner. Chili perhaps?

Evening open for surprise. Expecting blessings on the horizon.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On Down the Line




I am waiting for grandchildren! It might be awhile. So aware of that but it doesn't stop me from looking forward, anticipating that blessing with much joy and expectation.

My friend's families are expanding circles around circles. I am not envious. Just can't be! I am so delighted for them. It is so much fun to watch my friends get so silly with love for their little ones. It literally tickles my insides to listen to them chatter on about coos and grins and cuddles.

I love how they pray for their precious little bundles. Their petitions are focused far beyond now, way into the future of the child, beyond my friend's own lifetime. I LOVE that!

It reminds me of a verse that I have prayed for our family so many times.

"As for Me,"  says the Lord, "this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants," says the Lord, "from this time and forevermore."  Isaiah 59:21 NKJV


Praying this verse today and believing for a whole houseful of grandbabies and a message passed on down the line!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When We Walk Together

A friend and I have been walking together in the wee early morning hours. We pull on all our wraps, head for the walking trail, and share with one another rich conversation. We never run out of things to say.

I have walked this trail alone many times in the past. It is a long and seemingly arduous journey when traveled all by myself. I have to talk to faithfully talk myself into taking the next step of the journey. Over and over I say to myself, "Its not so far!" but inside I am thinking, "When will I get to the end?"

However, when walking with my friend we are turning around and heading back to our starting place before I even realize how far we have gone. We are enjoying sweet fellowship so much that we want to slow down at the end of our trail to stretch out our time together.

When there one of us has an ache or pain it can be a little more difficult. The first day we walked, I got two huge blisters on the back of my heals. I came home with some bloody looking shoes. Truth is, I was enjoying our conversation so much it didn't seem to matter that my heals were getting raw.

Our rich fellowship has spurred some thought. Was it easier for Paul to sing in prison with Silas beside him?

Perhaps they sang in harmony.

They might have made a pretty sound.

Maybe not.

But it made the earth tremble.

Sunday, Pastor shared a story of the prize fighter George Foreman. George was asked what was the most memorable moment of his life. Everyone expected his response to be the moment he was named heavyweight champion fighter of the world. George told a different story instead.

He had attended a special olympics event. A race was being run, with a little guy, "Billy" in the lead. Billy was dragging a lame leg but running the best he could in spite of his handicap. He got to the finish line, stopped right at the tape and looked back. His best friend was in second place. Billy went back to his best friend, took his little hand, and they crossed the finish line together. Victory with double joy.

Memorable for George and me.

We can accomplish so much more when we walk together.

Friday, October 22, 2010

New York City Cab Driver






I woke early. The city noises had crept through the panes of the third story windows all through the night. I had wrestled with sleep through the midnight hours. Before daybreak, I woke for good and decided to dedicate the remaining time to prayer. I prayed for he and she, this and that, them and those. It was a good time of prayer. I felt assurred that I had been heard.

Nothing seemed trivial. I asked about it all. I even prayed about the taxi cab driver who would be delivering me to the airport. I don't really remember specifically what I asked for but I do remember spending some time on it.

When it was time to go, my son-in-law, Drake, helped me to the curb with my luggage. A cab was waiting for a green light at the corner but I am pretty sure that the Lord had him waiting for me. Drake called him over to the curb.

The driver's face was dressed with a sober scowl. It made me shiver.

"Is this the driver you had in mind, Lord?" I whispered with wonder so only He could hear.

We loaded the trunk and I got in the back seat. I had barely shut the door when the light turned green and we began to fly through city traffic. He moved that car like a gazelle as he whisked in and out of busy lanes trying to get me there as fast as he could.

My imagination can easily get carried away. I began to wonder if he was a kidnapper and we were on our way to his hideout. Imaginations can be cruel!

My mind began to ease as signs for the airport began to appear. I got to the airport in record time. I was a very satisfied customer and  I told him so.

"You are amazing! You did such a great job getting me here! Thank you so much!"

His whole body reacted to my gratefulness.

"What," he said with both arms in the air turning to look at my face. "No one has said that to me in my entire life."

"I am sorry," I replied, "they should have. You did a really good job."

It was fairly early in the day when these words were spoken. I have reflected on them several times since then. I wondered if he did. Did they make a difference in the rest of his day? In the rest of his life? Had those few words been able to turn that sober scowl into a pleasant face with twinkle in eye? It would probably take a few more positive words in his life to get it to that place, but I would like to think it was a start. Perhaps he softened some.

It was a small thing. I wondered if I would have spoken those words if I had failed to pray about it that morning. Probably not.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

21

There are some things I really didn't know when I was twenty~one. I did not have a need to know some of them, some things were not invented yet, and some of them were beyond my life experience. I thought I might name a few of those things.

1. I did not know that there was such a thing as a mirror magnified to the 15th power.

2. I had never heard of spanx. Nor did I need them at the time.

3. Cell phones? I did not need a pocket in my purse for one like I do now so that I can find it when it buzzes or rings.

4. Blogging might be a word that my toddler might say while rolling his dump truck across the kitchen floor.

5. Travel the world? I thought making it to the store was an accomplished feat!!!

6. I did not know that God really, really loved me ... until the day I read Romans 8. It changed my life.

7. I did not think I could be successful. My husband was extremely successful. Thought my success in life would come from being in his shadow. I had a wrong definition of success.

8. I thought that people in their 50's were old ... or getting there!!! (Recalculating!!!!)

9. I really felt like beds should make themselves!!!! (Wouldn't that be cool?)

10. I really believed if you loved people well they would love you back. Now I know that they do ... sometimes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Missing Anna

Scotty and I are in Chicago. We lived here a long time ago. I reach back into memories that I filed away so very many years ago.
We had a lot of friends here. They were hard to come by and it took a long time to win them over but once we did I thought we had made lasting lifetime bonds. I learned after awhile that people here do not plan to make lifetime bonds with transient people ... students and their families. Students come, they go, life goes on and circles of relation change their course.
I still miss some of them ... a lot.
One that made a lasting impression on me, the one that I would love to see, face to face at least one more time is sweet, sweet Anna.
I don't know if she is still living, if she is living, I have no idea where she might be. In an age where it is difficult to hide away and not be found, Anna has successfully slipped through my fingers. It seems that I will never again see my dear friend again.
I wonder if she thought we were as close as I did. There have been times when I thought my relationships were tighter than tight only to find out later that I was the one keeping the ropes tied between us. Just because I felt close to someone did not mean that we both felt the same. How sad it has made me when these truths has been revealed to me.

Anna and I could talk for hours. She was a mother of three, I only had one child. She was patient with my immaturity and insecurity as a mom. When I walked into her house I felt like I was home. She had a calm about her all the time regardless of the chaos that might erupt on her daily path. She was gentle and kind, peaceful and loving. She seemed so confident, so practical. I learned a ton from her. Hopefully some of her incredible virtue and wisdom was woven into the woman I was becoming.

My journey with Anna was short. Scotty and I moved away and Anna and I lost touch. But I remember so much about her. I will never forget her. She impacted me in so many ways that I cannot count them all.

I am in Chicago, but it doesn't feel like home. I am missing Anna.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grateful

She called in tears, no, hysteria!
"Is dad there?"
I wanted to know, had to know, what was up? She (our daughter) never cries. Not unless it looks as if the moon will fall from the sky and the sun will no longer shine.
My heart nearly stopped but she would not say. She wanted her dad.
I watched his face as he took the call. It was covered in every kind of sadness. Her tears ... was that all it was that was making his face draw up and his eyes fill with tears?
I waited.
Was it really serious?
After four years of marriage, our daughter had never called to complain of one misunderstanding. They are an independent couple, working things out on their own. I was sure that it was trouble of another sort.
"Drake has been stabbed."
I screamed and my whole body began to tremble.
Drake is a darling. I think I have told you before. My eyes swell with tears as I describe to you my one and only son-in-law. I love this young man as my own son. He is wonderful. I adore him. The more that I know him, the more I appreciate him.
My husband and I began to run in circles trying to get ourselves ready and out of the door, through traffic and to a New York City hospital to see our dear ones, Drake hurt, Ashli by his side, both suffering in different ways.
We got our son Caleb (who also lives in New York) to drive us there. By the time we were on the road and in the heavy traffic, Drake was released from the hospital and they were both taken to a New York City police station where we would wait while he was being interviewed by detectives.
I will never forget the relief I felt when they walked through the doors of the waiting room where we sat waiting for their arrival. Ashli melted in my arms. I thought I might never let her go.
We had not been to New York City to visit them since Christmas. We had been there a whole 12 hours when Drake was assaulted and robbed and injured. He is a strong young man and fought back hard. The Lord protected him and spared his life. He will be alright. Soon. But it was hard.
We have been traveling for many days. We have been in many states and done many things but on the day when our children needed us, we were within reach. We could be there. The Lord knew.

It seemed as if we had planned our way, but the Lord had set our pace. We knew that He was the One who was in control. And we are glad.

"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." Proverbs 16:9 NLT

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Branches


We are in Tennessee, in the mountains where fall is just becoming. We are in a cabin, a three bedroom, a beautiful place. My favorite room is the screened in back porch. It sits high in the air with gigantic trees all around. A treehouse of sorts. A peaceful retreat.
The cabin is dressed in tree branches. The door handles are branches, they are pushed and pulled to open doors into bigger spaces. The stair railing to the downstairs is made of many branches woven and held together to make a very sturdy barrier and guide. It is lovely.
Curtain rods made of branches hold lacy little curtains.
My favorite is the large branch that arches over the bed in one of the three bedrooms. Nests and little birds nestle all along it's crooks and crannies.
This is the perfect resting place for a Seven Branches momma. An unexpected surprise.

Branches used in various ways. Which of the branches would you like to be?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Worth It

Pressing on.
Loving unconditionally.
It is worth it.
Forgiving before sleep ends my day.
Worth it.
Giving time, energy, self.
Worth it.
Seeking when I can't see anything ...
revelation will come.
Worth it ... all.
Loving ... without reciprocation

or expectation ...

sometimes without trusting.

Pressing on because it is worth it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Surrender

We have been studying together for almost two years now. Our small group is growing, two babies have been born to us since we began to gather. We have dug in the Word and sharpened one another week after week. There are times I hang on the wealth of wisdom that others share throughout an evening. Other times I am like a water fountain, full, and ready to fill and encourage. We are becoming like family.

One of the little ones, that usually plays quietly at her granny's feet during our study, doesn't say much to me. She looks at me with big eyes and speaks volumes with her smile, but she still holds her words back. Sometime last summer she embraced me as soon as she caught my eye. The first time, we had not seen each other for a few weeks, she ran to greet me with a big hug. She melted into my arms, surrendered completely to our embrace. Since that time she faithfully greets me in this precious way.

Surrender.

It was the word that I have been meditating on since we gathered two evenings ago.

The little three-year-old's grandpa is our leader. He was the first to quicken the word, surrender, to my soul this week. He began with a quote that someone had sent to him. He paraphrased it this way.

"We don't talk about commitment in my country the way that you do in the American churches. In my country we talk about surrender. Commitment is something you do with an equal." Romanian Pastor

I was immediately quickened with his words. I have been very committed. I realized that I have boasted that I have that strength ... I can hang in there even when the going gets tough. I don't enjoy the ride  so much and I have sometimes whined along the way but I hang tight until the end. We can go through the hardest of things together and when we arrive at the other side of a trial, I will still be hanging out with you. I am committed.

But am I surrendered?

This is a new concept ... not really ... it is an old concept presented in a new way ... a way in which challenges,  convincing me I need to change.

Someone else posted a few more quotes about surrender this week. Here is the one that pierced me.

"One of the challenges of complete surrender to  Christ is that we don't know what lies ahead ...
God says instead, "Here's the blank piece of paper, I want you to  sign your name on the bottom
line, hand it back to me and let me fill in the details." Nancy Leigh Demoss

Will I sign my name to that blank page and be content with the way He fills in the details?

I want to.

I want to be with the Lord like my little friend that has learned to embrace me, completely, unreserved, with her whole heart.
I want to be surrendered like that  ... every day ... without hesitation ... without considering the cost ... fully trusting knowing that He will faithfully bless a heart of surrender.

I want to remain committed to you. I think I will be able to do it even better if I am completely surrendered to Him ... perhaps I will be able to do it with a lot less whine.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Extreme Believing

I wish that there had been such a thing as blogging when my  children were tots. I kept a journal for each one of them as they were growing up and tried desperately to capture their darling expressions and their words of wonder and songs of joy, but truth is, I failed to capture so much. They all had amazing faith. They believed God for everything. My faith would begin to wane when the fire got hot and the trials became intense but theirs never failed. And God heard them. They would pray and He would answer and they saw the works of His hands and they believed for the impossible and He would quickly respond to their words of petition again and again. I was humbled time after time. They believed for the extreme without fear ... without criticism ... without doubt. They just believed. 
I envy young mommas who can capture amazing moments with their children and share it beyond their journal pages to minister to others so that extreme believing might spread. 
My friend Laura has shared a beautiful story titled, Breathe, about the faith of her son. Her story ministered very deeply to my heart.  As you read it, I hope that you will be blessed into extreme believing, too.

Cheri

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gold Meadows

The meadows are hosting church, golden flowers gather to worship their Maker with uplifted faces and glorious smiles. I would be moved by one simple flower however their unity stirs delight. Sunkissed, smiling, my heart is raptured as I join in their glory, standing in the meadow beholding the sight.

"How good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Psalm 133:1

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wild Plums


This post is to be read with a LARGE dose of humor. I was in a store the other day and there was a little girl with her momma. The momma was past ready to leave but the child was intrigued with something in the store and did not want to. Momma beckoned child again ... was it the third time? ... and the momma used the child's first and middle names. The child immediately rose and walked away with her momma. The momma did not use the child's name in anger, no, it was rather like she loved the name and was blessed that she got to use it with audience. Thus this story formed in my mind.  The scene brought back memories of when my children were small and they would not come when I called them. I love their names. I dreamed of being a momma long before I got to be one and I meditated long hours on what my children's names might be someday. 
My daughter was in India when she was 18 and our youngest was a boy of 8. He would write to his sister and say, "Ashli, come home ... right now!!!" He missed her and that is how he let her know ... thus the reason for the end of this tale.
My children are grown and gone ... my youngest will leave in two months. Their childhood lives on in the 10 million memories that I cherish. 


Looking back, I'm so grateful that my children didn't always respond the first time that I called their names to come to dinner, etc.  ... sometimes they failed to respond the second or third time, too! ... It gave me opportunity to use their middle names which, when choosing, took me so long to decide upon and so long for my husband and I to agree upon.

Joshua David
Ashli Elizabeth
Caleb Scott
Luke Jonathan
Josiah Benjamin

Come home to dinner! Right now!

And that is what middle names are for?!?!?!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Learned from Experience

It isn't a good idea to scare someone who is curling their eyelashes.

Hairdressers should not speak on the phone while mixing (my) hair color.

I have fed my teenaged sons chili on Saturday evening only to regret it at church on Sunday morning. 

Always hated it when my children would grab their bottoms and yell "don't spank me" when we were in a crowded room.

Living on the edge can be tricky especially when the arches of your feet will not bend very well any more.

Starbuck's coffee will make you want to sing ... at three in the morning!

Children cannot look you straight in the eye and lie to you.

I do have a green thumb! Just look at the cheese in my fridge!

Do you any little secrets that you have learned from experience? Please share!



Thursday, September 2, 2010

As Evening Sets


Magical moment! We are exploring back roads discovering lands dressed in beauty that we have never seen before. Afternoon becomes evening then night. We are sharing the awe of togetherness.

We share story after story. We have been married so, so long ... we can hardly remember when our life of singleness meshed into our life of togetherness ... some of our stories have been repeated to one another at least a hundred times. We listen to each tale as if it were the first time spoken. This is love.

We share several stories that we had never disclosed to the other. Amazing! There remains mystery between us.

Suddenly we witness one of the most glorious sunsets we have ever seen. We pull off the road, fully facing the expanse of glory in the sky. I listen to him breathe next to me.

Are sunsets like fingerprints, each one unique with its own identity? A symphony of evening noises accompany my wonder.

I focus completely on hues of purple, crimson, and bursts of orange blazing before me. The Lord has blessed the close of day. We bask in His glory. We sense He is near.

Changes in the sky happen so quickly. Evening sun gracefully bows to earth dropping beneath the horizon before we are ready to bid it farewell.

As evening sets, nature, our awe of it, and our love for one another reveal beauty in four dimensions.


"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalm 19:1 NIV

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Caleb's Ashley

I have another Ashley! Caleb married her last October so she has been part of the family for a little while.
She is darling.
I talked to her on the phone today ... tomorrow is her birthday ... wanted to tell her that I am celebrating her before she receives a million phone calls from everyone else that loves her.
Caleb found the perfect match for him when he found his Ashley.
She is thoughtful, kind, loving, gently, sweet, merciful, but bold as fire!
She believes in Jesus and she wants everyone to and so she talks about Him everywhere she goes. Everywhere! All the time!
Caleb has had the gift of evangelism since we was about four years old. I would say he has met his match with this sweet girl.
I love this girl so dearly! What a gift from the Lord.

So I feel as if I have been blessed with a double portion ... Ashli and Ashley ... my wonderful daughters!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Perspective


A young girl got baptized at our church today.

She had been to summer camp and heard the gospel in a whole new way and decided that she wanted to give her heart to Jesus. Her whole family gathered to watch her dip in the river (baptismal) and her sins roll away.

It was a beautiful sight.

It made me remember.

I gave my heart to Jesus when I was but nine years of age.

My dad did not want me to. He thought me too young to be making such a big decision.

Mom, the pastor, and I talked and I think I begged some until my dad finally relented. He didn't come to my baptism. He did not approve he had just surrendered.

I will never forget that day. I made my confession of faith, followed the pastor to the dipping tank, stepped into the freezing waters, and believed with all of my heart that Jesus had suffered and died and rose again ... for me! Sin lost it's hold on me as the pastor's strong arms helped guide me out of those freeing waters.

Something magnificent happened in my heart that day! I became a new creature in Christ!

I wish I could say that I never made another mistake after that ... never sinned again ... never had reason to regret. I have fallen short so many times. Perhaps that is what my dad knew would happen. Could it have been the cause of his hesitation?

The difference was that the Lord no longer would see me as a sinner ... from that moment on He saw me as His child. What would He ever do with a child who would make so many mistakes? He would correct me, love me, and call me back until I got it right. He still does that today.

Was I too young to make such an important decision? Perhaps, but the Lord has enough grace to keep me until the day when He will come again. Thank you, Jesus!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Crossing Rivers

I recently made a trip to Illinois with my mom to visit family. We crossed several rivers, notably the Ohio, Tennessee, and the Mississippi.

We took a ferry across the Ohio ... a family member called it the "scary ferry". She advised that we keep our windows rolled down in case the ferry failed to make it across. I immediately agreed with her upon seeing the ferry.

The ferry ride was free. We shared the ride with a truck and trailer hauling cattle which made having the windows down a bit unpleasant.

The Ohio River crossing at the location of "scary ferry" is absolutely gorgeous which encouraged my nerves to settle. The view was so spectacular I even forgot about the cows. I must return to that location again someday.

We crossed over rivers on high old bridges and beautiful new bridges.

I love to cross rivers. It is more than the fact that there is somewhere that I long to be on the other side. I get caught up in the journey.

This morning I was thinking about the streams of living waters that are inside of us. I love it when I find a soul with the river of life flowing inside their soul. I savor the ambiance, the wisdom, the power to create, to teach, to pray that flows as a result of that internal river. I am always encouraged, exhorted, and strengthened when those eternal rivers touch my life.

I am grateful that our "rivers" have crossed.

Blessings~

"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow within him." Jesus said in John 7:38

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bringing Home Linens






I love to browse in antique stores.

My daughter and I used to visit this one. We would try on hats, making faces in the mirror, pretending. Draping vintage clothing over our shoulders, slipping our feet into high heeled shoes, imagining ourselves dressed for occasion.

Alone, I made my way back to one of our preferred mercantiles.

It was void of chatter.

I was drawn to the vintage linens.

My thoughts were on dressing my table for company,

family,

friends,

acquaintances,

strangers passing through town.

I purchased some, pressed, starch, crisp table coverings expecting

I will have opportunity to share my table.

"Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless ... cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help. That way, God's bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything ... encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!" 1 Peter 4:7-11 The Message Translation

Monday, August 16, 2010

Beauty and the Beast


Scotty and I went to Starlight Theater in Kansas City last night to watch the beautiful production of Beauty and the Beast. I was completely captivated by the set, the cast, the music, the gorgeous night. Everything was absolutely perfect! I don't know if I have ever enjoyed a musical production as much as I did that one ... which was a complete surprise to me!

In reflection, I have pondered the different morals that the musical presents. Genuine beauty hidden in the Beastly looking one. The proud beauty (Gaston) filled with the obvious disease of self-absorption. Belle, the reader, the thinker, the practical, quick-witted prize that both men desired. Her profound portrayal of a discerning woman was brilliant.

The spell. The captivity one can be under because of an incident from the past and

the power of love to liberate an imprisoned soul.

I loved the faithfulness displayed between Belle and her papa.

2 Timothy 3 talks about "weak willed women" another version says "gullible". Belle was not weak willed or gullible. She was strong and stood for what she believed in.

Of course it is just a fairy tale. For me it was a magical evening full of beauty and prose.

Today it is food for thought.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Special Day




There are some lives that ebb away while others are taken from us so quickly. My dad was one that seemed to vanish, his last breath taken while I slept dreaming of his recovery. He was never to recover from a heart that was torn and couldn't be put back together again. I had been fooled. Deceived. Believing what I wanted to believe. Then he was gone. One minute I was telling him goodbye for the day, the next day he was gone for life. He was stolen from me in the night.

His birthday would have been last Friday. I miss him.

His big sister and I went exploring the old home places again a few days ago. We went last fall. We both love the history and had to do it again.

My favorite place we explored was the home place where she and my dad grew up. He was six months old, she two and a half when they moved there.

The farmhouse is a memory in both of our minds. She of many days, me of few. The porch remains. Footprints from my little girl days have been washed away by many rains. I remember dancing there.

I remember the old house where grandma's home was. The squeak of the screen doors, the smell of fresh bread, the coal stove in the front room linger in my mind. It had an upstairs, wasn't it a big house? My little girl memory thought so.

Grandma passed before my fourth birthday. My mom says that I am like her. I do not remember the soft of her face or the sing in her voice, but I feel a kindred bond to her heart. I remember the day of her funeral. The sadness of it settled upon everyone. Even in my youngness I could not escape it. It is etched in my mind forever.

As I grew, I would sit on my grandpa's lap and asked him about her many times. His love for her was seasoned, deep and real. I felt it when he spoke her name.

Dad's big sis and I wandered all over the boundaries of old home. I was thrilled with her delighted squeals when she discovered something familiar.

"We pumped our water at this well and carried it to the house! It is still here! Does it still work?"

Answer, "Yes, the grandkids still pump water from it when they come."

"Look at this pear tree! I couldn't even count all of the pears that I picked for mother for canning!" Pears were hanging from every bough. She touched them remembering then leaving them for the new owners.

I am tickled by her delight.

The old barn stands. Steps to the loft beckoned me to explore among the rafters. The word "snakes" held me back.

I pictured my dad, in work and play running up and down those old wooden steps. The stories they could tell me! Stories he would have long forgotten!

A Monarch butterfly settled among the flowers, eavesdropping memories.

It was one of my favorite days. I will remember and treasure it for a very long time. I must take my children there so that their footprints will mingle with mine and those I have loved.

It is where I have come from.

Remembering where I have come, inspires me for where I am going.

My grandpa, grandma, dad, are treading heavenly ground now. Someday my feet will dance over the holy places they now enjoy.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Thicker Than Blood

Loved this wonderful novel written by C. J. Darlington. C.J. began writing this tale when she was homeschooling. It is an amazing read. I think you will find that the story is as wonderful as the cover.
Have you read it? Your thoughts?

Blessings,
Cheri