Rest, Respite, Recovery–For the Soul

May you each cup in your hand
rest and respite
quiet and calm
gazing and off-staring
dreaming day and dreaming night
breathing deep and sighing long
laying down and looking up.
So  when  New Tomorrow comes, you can get on her back, sailing off to all wonders of    Glorious New Day.
Rested and ready
For the all He has
For you and for me
To do, in Love
To do, in service
To do in the living.
Abundant Grace to you in Soul Recovery
May it Be,
For you
May it Be,
For we.
May it Be,
For Him.

Jesus said

Come off by yourselves; lets take a break and get a little rest.

For there was constant coming and going.–Mark 6:31

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Linking with Deidra and Heather on this Sunday.

Thanksgiving In July

They move from event to event, stoic, chin-up with game faces squarely on.

Determined, fierce-competitors, steely-glass eyes starring the moment directly in the face without blinking. Unflinching. Taking on the challenges with grace.Brave. Unwavering. Strong. And appearing to all the world as though they have no fear.

Mighty warriors on the world stage. Grace on display in diminuative packages. And they amaze.

I watch these young Olympians strong-jawed and graceful, gymnasts who take my breath away with their poise, beauty,and skill packed in lovely small packages of pure muscle.

They are like marathon runners pacing their emotion. Pacing the celebration and victorious grins and all-out over-joyed thanksgiving for their wins, the milestones.

Because until they are finished, they must pack their bags and unwrap their wrist-wrappings and move to the next big event.

But I am not an Olympic gymnast. Very far from it. But sometimes if I am not careful I will move fists clenched and jaw tight from one event to another without stopping to rest in moments of thanksgiving and praise for God’s goodness.

And I have seen God’s goodness in many areas of my life. So I have to stop. And be still for long moments of the heart. To let myself catch up with my living. To let the soul soak in the worth savoring. Because I have seen break-through’s and they are worthy of noting with praising lips.

They are worthy of big Alleluias and Hallelujahs back to the Giver. They deserve a return of praise. They require a thank you note of the heart.

If I am not careful I will race ahead without engaging my heart and soul in a long grateful embrace. The moment worth the long savor risks being passed over. The answered prayer of the heart and lips risks going by without an outpouring of gratitude.

I will rush ahead of myself and God into the forward moving moments of life. Without rightful praise. Without rightful thanksgiving. Without giving the breakthrough its long celebration of being born into my life. I risk being stalled out and stuck in a place of forward moving living which races into the next without pausing and looking long on the beautiful miraculous milestones of God gifts of the now.

The now is so deserving. The right this minute is so worthy of marking and noting. And of celebrating.

I see these as the happy middles. No longer wanting to desire only the happy endings in life, but rather finding joy in the happy middle moments. The good stuff on the way. The stumble upon small things which are truly grand. Like the small Olympic gymnasts we pack a pint sized punch, these little life-moments are grander and more glorious than we often give them credit for. They are huge if we but stop and marvel.

Just because its good. And just because The Giver of Good Gifts, a holy God, has given with and in Love.

If I miss the opportunity to walk into His presence with praise, I miss a holy moment of intimacy with God. And we were made by Him to praise Him. The praiseworthy moments then, are just what we were created for.

And some just seem due a longer pause, a wider smile, and an even more joyful heart. I don’t know why they seem to stand out, accept that when you journey with Him and cry out to Him, and pray to Him, there are moments which feel so glorious. Maybe its the ones we thought we’d never live to see. Or maybe its the ones that come after long periods of drought or what feels like extra-long waiting. Maybe its the ones which look so transformative as to have God’s mark, His handiwork so beautifully displayed that we are in awe. Of His Goodness. And His Love. Maybe it’s the ones that have a bit of the prodigal son peppered in the narrative.

That God in His mercy works beautiful gifts into  every day is worth an outpouring of gratitude every day. But sometimes it feels hand-stamped,hand-delivered right to the door of our hearts. Because it is.

It always is when it comes from God. And thanks be to Him, the Giver of Good Gifts.

Counting gifts today. And it truly feels like Thanksgiving in July. And grateful to Ann and her book 1000 Gifts for helping point me in a grateful direction of the heart.

*a beautiful worship service yesterday with glorious music and a very very funny guest preacher. Joy in the laughter echoing all through the sanctuary.

*a transformation in a relationship. Restoration, love, and tenderness.

*a moment to mark and celebrate a moment with a mother in church which involved seeing great things in the lives of our sons.Seeing her beautiful tears of joy at God’s hand in our lives. A gift.

*Seeing my man/child in his new home loving His job and seeing glimpses into his future with his career. Feeling God’s hand of protection and love on his life.

*Hearing my middle son say how much he enjoyed our family day together, after not wanting to participate. Hearing him proclaim the joy in the day. Amazing. Grace. A mother’s heart hears how very much we are wired to be in relationship.

* Four of the five riding back from Charleston and my daughter looking out at the marsh and marking the beauty. Then, passing the river and marking the beauty. Her words of longing to be on the beautiful water. Seeing her mark beauty.

* Hearing my son sing in church.

*watching the Olympics with my family

*Mother-daughter time of fellowship with friends laughing and savoring and spending hours, the four, for a celebration of birthdays. It is good. Friendship.

*Finally telling my husband how very badly my heart desires a literal white-picket fence, and having him sweetly receive, and try to see where and how he can provide my silly heart’s desire for one.

*A loving text message filled with gratitude from someone in my life, early this morning. A welcomed-Monday morning sight for these eyes.

*Seeing the joy in a woman’s heart upon receiving home-communion yesterday. Seeing  the power in breaking the communion wafer for someone for the first time. The beauty. The holy of the moment. Grateful for the opportunity to serve. Seeing her touched by the love of Jesus.

Writing in community today with Ann, who is helping me develop a heart of gratitude. And I am joining with Michelle at Graceful today.

A Still Quiet Place

We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.

(from C.S. Lewis)  
   Friends, my Sunday hope for you as you see this day begin its end is that you steal away to a quiet place for peace and friendship…wishing you His grace as you……….                  

                                                    

Take a minute,

Seek the silence,

Search out solitude,

Find a friend,

Grab the good,

Rest in quiet,

Think on blessings,

Knaw on words,

Release worry,

Ponder gratitude,

Curl up in the comfortable seat of Grace

And speak your heart to a precious friend.

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The Waiting Rock

I am a child.  It is one of my first memories.  I sit on a rock, the one I have named, the waiting rock.

Out in the country at my grandparents home, I am four waiting for my parents to pick me up after a visit.  It is fuzzy, but clear.  It is vague, but sharp.  It is a place I return to when I go back as far as I can. I am calm, expectant, a waiting child, knowing on this rock that my father will come.

A child like name, a simple place. A rock.

I am  on this massive stone which serves as a holding station for my expectant heart.  And I am collecting acorns which I will sell to my father when he arrives to pick me up.

I have busied my heart and my hands.  And dreamed up in my four year old mind, this acorn-selling venture.

A little distraction to ease the wait.

And now past the mid-century mark in years I struggle with waiting.  Sitting in a place of uncertainty, waiting for understanding.  Murky confusion settles in like dense fog on the mountain side where yellow blinking caution lights signal be alert.

I have been here many times before. It is familiar in its pain.  In my spirit I feel I should have earned knowledge, this waiting shouldn’t seem so challenging. I studied  like a student, text book in hand.  My teacher is Unknowing.  My lessons are tough but served in love.  Wait and see.  Be still and know.  Rest in confidence.  I should be further along when the waiting comes and lays heavy, rolls all cement mixer over my Hope and my dreamy childish plans.

I start over and over in a numbing place of pain, needing to re-learn and remediate the lesson, a big one to trust what will come.  To know it will be good.  To rest in the long corridors where the painful echo reverberates…..wait, child.  Wait. And wait some more.

These seasons marked with uncertainty about time-frames, periods of wonder  and questionning bear down hard on the heart.  This is a familiar place.  A seemingly endless black tunnel of dark wait during times of infertility when my lesson plan was Trust.  I learned. I saw the wait produces good. Shaping and molding and softening happen in these periods of unknowing.  A yellow light, not go green or stop red, but yellow signals me to calm down and behold the uncertainy.

The rock is not the waiting rock of my childhood.  It is not benign, offering a soft seat for a child.  The rock is hard and it hurts.  The waiting rock of today is a seat of confusion.

And the child, the one of God must lean on the Rock.  Must cry out to the Rock under which there is protection in the funnel cloud storm of wait.  The touchdown destructive storm of uncertainty that the flesh feels fiercy in the turmoil.  The rock of today is the Rock of Ages.

It is the one so sturdy and strong that nothing can tear it down and under which everyone can find protection.

But the heart and the hands look for acorns to gather. And a loving father to bend down and buy the trinkets that the child lays out in a row to offer.

He does this.  He offers to gather up the crumbs. He is willing  and even longing to wipe the tear. He seeks to  gather up the child in love and bring her to Himself. He gathers up the hurting waiting. He casts a shadow of protection and Security in the hurricane force winds of hurt.

Shelters in His embrace.  Extends a rock of certainty, his  very Love .Offers Hope even now, even here in unknowing.

His Love in the waiting is all that is needed. The weak, the meek and the broken find shelter in the storm of the wait.

And can stay hidden in His love until it passes, when it passes and after it passes.

The lessons of waiting.  They are hard.  I am weak.  But he is strong.

I am a child. Sitting on His lap. He is my waiting rock.  He is The Waiting Rock.

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