Thursday, May 28, 2015

When You Measure Life in Months

The 28th has rolled around again. 
Life is like that. 
The beat ever steady. 
Moving forward. 
22 months have passed. 
Each day reliving, longing. 
Trying to shake the words, "There's been an accident."
Longing for my boy. 
Longing for the way things were. 

Yet, longing to be more like Christ
Yearning to made into His likeness. 

That my words and actions reflect the deep love He has shown us. 
And I fall short. 
My words and actions the very opposite of what they need to be. 
So, I surrender again the wishes and desires of my heart. 
I let them go;
give them to the giver of all. 
Knowing He has held me all these months. 
Carried us on the wings of His love; loved by a Community and friends. 
I wait for Him to make beauty of these ashes. 

Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

He will make all things beautiful in His time. 

I will trust. 
I will hope. 
I will rest. 
My God is fighting for me. 
He is fighting for you. 
He is doing a new thing. 
He has given much grace for our earthly failings. 

Elijah Todd Davis, I miss you with every fiber of my being. 

I long to see you smile and hear your laugh. 

I long for a witty conversation and to see the blue of your eyes. 
I long to make you a cup of coffee and hear your steps on the back porch. 
You would love the new porch. 
The deep ache that lives in me will never go away until I am face to face with my Savior. 
Until then, I will press on this side of eternity, in Jesus' name. 
Holding on to the hope. 
Living and breathing to share the love of Christ. 

I am holding on. . . 

David Crowder
I Am

Monday, May 25, 2015

Raising My Ebenezer

The smell intoxicating. 
I never knew how much those lilacs would come to mean to me. 

The years visiting my mother and father in law's grave. 
Breathing the deep scent.
 Now as I sit here at my sons grave, the tears flow and the ache gnaws  away; 
the heady scent is refreshing; comforting. 

For each moment needs to be turned to Praise. 
Because we are a people created to praise. 
To give glory and honor to the One who created all. 
It's strange to sit at your sons grave, in a century old cemetery and seek praise. 

But that's what I do. 

I give praise and thanks in the middle of the pain. 

Praise for the years he was here. 
Praise that I saw him graduate. 

Praise for the life he lived. 
The impact he made. 
I remember. 
I remember the day he was born. 
Even then, God teaching me to let go. 
I was so sick. 
Others held him before me. 

I look around the cemetery. 
Other beloved family members so close. 
Stones marking the lives of those loved dearly. 

Flags blowing in the gentle breeze, whispering of the past. 
I remember. 
Memorial Day. 
A day to remember. 
To honor. 
We must never forget. 

I Samuel 7:12
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. 
He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the LORD has helped us."

We erect memorials in our lives to mark events. 
We celebrate birthdays. 
We place markers at graves. 
It is in us to remember. 
Oral tradition of story telling originated from a desire to never forget. 

Deuteronomy 11:19
Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

God tells us not to forget. 
Teach your children in everything you do. 
Each step you take. 
Every move you make. 

He has equipped us to carry His word to the people. 
We do this in word and deed. 

Let this Memorial Day be a remembrance of what Christ did for you. 
Of what your fellow men and women endured for your freedom. 
Never forget. 
Share it. 
Live it. 

What will you do to remember this Day? 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Let The Storms Rage Around You

Twisting, turning, boiling. 
A child testing all authority. 
A friend in a health crisis. 
My mom's birthday. 
Laundry, dishes. 
Friction in the home. 
Graduation looming. 

Memories that bring searing pain. 

So many things to pull me under. 
So many distractions to draw my focus from the One answer. 
Deep grief weighing heavily. 

Change on the horizon. 

I can not quiet the raging pace of life. 
I can not control the responses of all around me. 
I can only quiet the inside. 

I can only reach for the beauty and peace of our Savior. 
For the grace given for the day. 

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

The storms will rage. 
The fast pace and repeated demands; never ending. 
See, it's not about just about ordering or controlling all that happens around us. 
It's about what happens on the inside. 
This world will throw all it's got at us. 
It's enough to push us down and keep us there. 

That is not God's plan. 

It is not His intent for us. 
He desires more for us. 
He yearns for us to live right smack dab in the center of the chaos. 
Right there. 
Between the runny noses and dirty diapers.
Between the drug and purity talks. 
Through the limited cash flow, low milk prices and repeated break downs. 
During lost game shorts, late nights, heated discussions and fiery tempers. 
When there's  homework, poor grades, poor attitudes and hurtful and hateful words.

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. 
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Yup. Right there
He wants our praise. 

Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 
my God is my rock, 
in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

He wants our deepest part. 
The yucky part that just yelled at the kids. 
The part that desires to just walk away from it all because it's too much. 
Yeah. That part. 
He's big enough and loves us enough to want it all. 
We need to be transparent; he knows it all anyway. 
We can't hide. 
So why pretend?
We're broken. 
We're frail. 
We mess up. 
Big time. 
And you know what? 
He gets it. 

When we turn and repent. 
When we say, I'm so sorry. 
He's there. 
With open arms. 
His message is forgiveness. 
His offering; grace. 
May you step into that grace today. 
Let the storms rage all around you. 

While resting in the sweetness of the One who called you by name. 

Isaiah 43:1
But now, this is what the LORD says-- he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Come, Sit At My Table

Come to my table and sit for a spell. 

Where generations have gathered. 

Stories and woes poured out.

Hot steaming cups of warmth in hand, as time passes.

Nourishment given. 

Come to the table where we share who we are.
Where we break bread and study the word.
Come, sit with me.
I long to hear the stories. 
 I long to walk a spell. 
Held captive by the road with which you have walked. 
Come to my table and sit for spell. 

Take a load of your feet. 
Lay down your burden, release your shame. 
You will never be the same. 

Matthew 11:29-30
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

There is plenty of room. 
Pull up a chair, slide over on the bench. 
Find nourishment and hope. 
As we gather at the farm house table. 
The door, always open. 

There is always time. 

Come, sit at my table and sit for a spell. 
Find rest for your soul, seek peace untold. 

Ephesians 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--

Breathe in the richness of deep, quiet joy. 
While you come to my table and sit for a spell. 
You may come as a stranger but leave as a friend; 
changed from the moment you walk through that door. 

Galations 3:26
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lessons From the Coffee Pot

No rich smell of coffee reached my senses as I stumbled through the kitchen. 
My caffeine deprived system trying to register the day, the mess all at once. 
That is when my eye sight cleared enough to see. 

My coffee pot. 
In pieces. 
With no rich, aromatic coffee smells emanating from it. 
No beautiful perking sounds. 
Just pieces and parts on the counter. 

I knew this might be happening.
I had inside information and I failed to act. 
Yesterday, it was a 2 pot kind of a day. 
After 20 years of marriage my farmer bought a timer and makes my coffee.
Such a gift!
So fun. 
But that morning we needed more than the one pot. 
And so, I made another. 
Per usual, I got distracted and after a time remembered there was more 
hot, steamy liquid ready! 
As a good hostess I poured my house guest her cup first. 
The look on her face alerted me to a lack of coffee bliss. 
The coffee was cold.
I touched that percolator. 
The usually hot exterior was stone cold. 
I fiddled with the cord. 
I checked the outlet for power. 
I stared at my friend. 
Could it be? 
Could the coffee pot be unusable? 
It's usefulness finished? 
God bless her she gulped the rest of the cold, dark fluid. 
I rushed to the stove to warm my cup. 
The days needs usurped anymore discussion of the fate of the percolator. 
Until. . . we went grocery shopping. 
My dear friend suggested we stop at the Kitchen Store to purchase a new Percolator. 
I declined. 
I declined the offer. 
Stating that I felt my farmer should look at it. 
He should see if it really needs to be replaced. 
Those percolators are not cheap. 
I wasn't willing to give up on my constant companion. 
My friend, being the wise woman, just shook her head; knowingly. 
She doesn't understand I thought. 
My other dear friends bought this pot for me. 
My other one failed the day Eleanor came into this world. 
Thinking back. 
They didn't ask. 
They just bought it. 
I came home from the hospital to delicious, freshly brewed coffee. 
It's been almost 10 years since that day. 
10 years of of perked coffee. 
The top long broken off. 
The contacts for the cord rusty and delicate. 
But this morning; when I stumble to the kitchen. 
I am greeted with parts and pieces. 
I could have had a delicious, hot, steamy, aromatic cup of coffee in my hands. 
But I had said, "No" to a gift. 
I call my farmer to share my shock and horror at 
the insides of the coffee maker on my counter. 
And my great distress at no hot coffee this morning. 
His words were compelling;  harsh in a loving way. 

I had been offered a gift and I had turned it down. 

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

My friend had offered a gift. 
I was unwilling to accept. 
It's hard to accept sometimes. 
Even after all these months of God's lessons in accepting from others. 
It is still hard. 
So this morning I drink a cup of coffee from the Keurig. 
It is not the same. 
But it does the job. 
A warm cup of java in my hands. 
My way to start each day. 
The Keurig a gift as well. 
A sweet gift given. 

I think on these events. 
The giver of the gift sought the joy in giving; in meeting a need. 

God's gift of love is given so freely. 
To all. 
Offered at the cost of, "yes". 

May you all know the joy of receiving the best gift ever given. 
All you need to do is say, "yes". 

Friday, May 8, 2015

He's #10 but wear's a #6

I reach into the pile. 
I pull out his shooting shirt. 
It is nice and white. 
I smile. 
He's playing so well this year. 
A place for him to burn off steam. 
It's been such a hard year. 

The number catches me off guard. 

Wait. . . he's #10.

I am reminded one brother wears the shirt of the other. 

A number now retired in memory of one so young. 

A jersey signed by all his team mates

My heart aches. 
This journey day to day can get heavy. 
Thoughts and memories swirl. 
The loss of a child never leaves you. 
Your heart is never the same. 
Life is forever altered. 
I close my eyes and I can see his face. 
I hear his laughter echo in my mind. 
While I try to move forward each day the reminders are always there. 
I hold the shirt to my face. 
My #10 wears his brother's shirt. 
He proudly where's the #6 under his #10. 
For a moment I hold in my hand my boys together. 
How I miss that. 
My boys. 

We are approaching another graduation
I struggle to stay in the present. 
To live in this moment. 
My mind wanders to another graduation.

The final days of my boys life and I didn't know it. 
Yet, the sweet and tender mercies given to us in that time. 
How everything shines in technicolor from those days. 
Such vivid memories. 
All the excitement. 
A new journey. 

We all struggle with trying to remain in the moment. 
To be present and grateful for here and now. 
Each of us carry the weight of our trials. 

I fold the shirt. 
I place it in the pile. 
He will wear this shirt today at his game. 
He will put it on. 
No one will know that under his #10 he wears a #6. 

Each day we clothe our selves with virtue. 
Whether you ascribe to a moral code or not. 
Choices are made. 
Armour placed. 
I choose this day to serve the Lord. 

This day I choose to lay my heart before the LORD. 
He will take the broken pieces and hold them together. 
I will plant my feet on solid ground. 
It is by his grace I will walk through another graduation. 
My eyes will search for truth. 
I will remember His faithfulness and His promises. 
By his grace I will remain present in all that is taking place. 

What will your armor be today? 

Ephesians 6:11
Put on the full armor of God, 
so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A weekend Off

Bright sunshine greets the day. 

New babies. 
It's finally arrived. 
The landscape a virtual palette; changing in moments. 
A gorgeous weekend. 
A gift. 
One in which we had off. 
Technically we have every other weekend off. 
Lately, each "weekend off," has been full. 
College visits, travelling. 
Farm issues. 
But not this weekend. 
This weekend was a treasure. 
My farmer stayed close by. 
Trimming bushes. 
Raking the lawn. 
Cutting down trees. 

Beginning to take care of this beautiful place we call home. 
I brought him iced tea to drink. 
We chatted. 
We sat together in front of a bonfire. 

We picnicked together out on the rock enjoying the beautiful view. 

It was glorious and I am so grateful. 
These weekends "off" are a treasure. 
The pace seemed slower. 
The tension lifted. 
The financial stress pushed aside. 
The glaring imminent pressure for equipment to be ready, placed on hold. 
A glorious gift and sacrifice for my farmer. 
This little boost was much needed. 
We ended the weekend visiting friends and sharing a meal together. 

I Thessolonians 5:18
give thanks in all circumstances; 
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Developing eyes to see the beauty takes time. 
Marriage is hard work. 
Life is hard work. 
Holding on to Jesus every moment is hard work. 
Yet, as this work continues, grace abounds. 
And moments like this weekend happen. 
Eyes wide open. 
Seeing the grace. 
Appreciating the moment. 
As Spring continues to have it's affect on this beautiful landscape. 
I pray that you too will see the potential in each bud. 
There is hope. 

Isaiah 43:19
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? 
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.