When In Doubt

She’s sitting on the edge of life looking back,
she stares off in the distance
what was it 
she was never supposed to forget?
What was the one thing?
The most important thing…
She ponders
stroking her chin
searching archives 
wrapped in bone and flesh.
She winces.
is harder these days.
Memories grow dim
yet still
sometimes skipping to the forefront
of her mind.
She sighs
sweetly smiling,
what she promised to never forget.
to never stop believing.
His promise
of Love.
He promised.
She remembered.
She knows.
His love 
never fails.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. 
            His love endures forever. 
Give thanks to the God of gods. 
            His love endures forever. 
Give thanks to the Lord of lords: 
            His love endures forever.
 to him who alone does great wonders, 
            His love endures forever. 
who by his understanding made the heavens, 
            His love endures forever. 
who spread out the earth upon the waters, 
            His love endures forever. 
who made the great lights— 
            His love endures forever. 
the sun to govern the day, 
            His love endures forever. 
 the moon and stars to govern the night; 
            His love endures forever.

The Lessons of Less: Take Me To The River

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 
streams of living water will flow from within him.
John 7:38
Well here we are approaching the last few days of the first month of the new year. 
The path I have been travelling on has become narrow. Squeezed. Where it leads I’m not sure, but my faithful God has been revealing a few lessons on my journey. It’s early on this road trip, but I’m brave and foolish enough to share what He’s shown me so far. 
The Voice
Early morning. I feed the pets and prepare myself for my “quiet time”. The thought comes and is somewhat startling in it’s interruption into the space of my own mind. 
I hear, “Come away with me, alone”
I gather my things. I hear it with more clarity. Directly addressing my immediate plans.
Come away from the busyness of your quiet time. 
Oh, boy. I sense a gentle parental tone in this quietness.
Come away from all of your big ideas for yourself, Me and others.
Come away from your agenda, 
away from your thoughts, perceptions expectations, frustrations.
I confess I am stubborn.
Thickheaded. Coincidentally, Italian. Not that it matters. Just sayin’.
On this morning, I heard Him.
He wanted me alone. 
You’d think the reality of this would bring me to my knees, the impression was so strong.
So not of me.
I confess here the truth. I didn’t want to make the trip.
I felt God calling me away with Him and truth be told, I had more important things to do.
Hold your stones!
Hear me out, first.

The Argument

You see, there are obstacles…
after all the dog stared at me through pleading eyes with happy anticipation as I got dressed.
It’s not like I don’t have a “quiet time”. Planned.
How can I go for a walk, or even get out of the door with only the purpose to be with you, Lord?
Lord, look at this dog. Surely it’s selfish for me to walk without Him.
No camera?
You know I love to capture the beauty of your Creation.
No camera. Just to walk alone.
I’ll miss something, for sure.
(missing it already…still, keep your stones, Pharisees -Wait for it!)
But, I reasoned, at least I should walk briskly to get some exercise.
 That would be OK, right?
No itinerary,
No motive, or agenda…
away with Me.
So I went.
My Crowded Mind
As I ‘m walking on the beach feeling unsure, He speaks to me.
He tells me my head is crowded.
Then He reminds me of how I used to walk alone with Him along the shore.
Many years ago. Early in my Christian walk.
Early in my journey of seeking Him.
With only the purpose being to be with Him.
I forgot…
no dogs, camera, agenda.
No mission oriented search for stones.
Empty hands.
Open heart.
Soul Distraction

He told me my mind is busy and too crowded. 
He told me my soul is distracted.
I walked the full length of the beach.
The hissing, roaring waves chasing the shoreline and my head 
crowded with resistance to this very moment.
Finally, as I approach the place where the ocean and the river 
meet in a glorious union of strength and gentle perseverance, 
I am ready…
 to listen.

Peace Like A River

When you stand in this place, one ear hears the roar of the waves in the distance. As you get closer to the river, the trickling of the current, teases the other ear, like a sweet invitation to peace, tranquility, calm. Gentleness.

I realize my mistake.
As I walk alongside the river, my mind begins 
to quiet.

You can drop your stones now, if you haven’t already.

The ocean reminds me of the demands, distractions and presence of my earthly life.
Roaring, hissing, commanding my attention.

Yet the river ushers me into a peaceful, stillness, quietness. 
The promise of His Presence. 

The Lord desires this intimacy with each of us.
 So often we complicate the beauty, simplicity and magnificence of this truth.

We let the roar of the ocean drown out the trickle of the river.

Lord, I thank you for the lessons of less that you want to teach me. That you being God, would want to walk with me, talk with me, spend time with me.That you desire to touch each of us in the deepest places of our mind, heart and soul. You long to free us from the hold of earthly distractions that we may enjoy the precious promise of your presence. Let us never take this for granted. But when we do, return to you again, comforted by your Faithfulness and Everlasting Love.
In Jesus name, Amen.

This is how the LORD responds:
   If you return to me, I will restore you 
      so you can continue to serve me. 
   If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, 
      you will be my spokesman. 
   You must influence them; 
      do not let them influence you!

Jeremiah 15:19

A Blood Bought Sisterhood

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

~Martin Luther King

Dare to Love.

“Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable.”
Dr. Joyce Brothers
It all begins and ends with love doesn’t it? Anything that is worthwhile and lasting in this life will be that which has been done for, through and with love. Ponder that. What is your greatest labor, endeavor, or focus?
What causes you the most pain, pleasure and passion? Is it not that in which or whom you love? For what do you expend your energy, invest your time and pour out your concerns, but upon and for that which you care greatly. I myself am pondering all of these, as I consider the beautiful morning I shared with some lovely ladies for breakfast yesterday. We share a ministry of prayer with moms, for our children, their schools, and teachers. We share a passion for prayer and a burden for encouraging other women into deeper fellowship with the Lord. Yesterday, it all seemed bittersweet, as we met together and the Lord’s hand was evident in  our changing  lives. We serve on the State Team for RI and our little state, seems once more in flux with regard to this ministry. One of our team members was missing as she has started working at the school where her children attend. One will be moving to Texas and starting fresh with her husband’s new job (answered prayer here!) and I myself anticipate my own possibility for life change with full time work. We rejoiced in answered prayer and rejoiced in the reality that God is moving in our lives but we also realized that we would be scattered in different directions and that this might be the last time we sit together in this particular season. The reality of our fearless leader, new to her current position, without a team to lead, but still a heart to serve, also seemed like another reminder of God’s call to trust and walk by faith NOT by sight. How perfect the verses she had chosen  for our prayer time: 
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 
~2 Corinthians 2:14

 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 
~2 Corinthians 4:18

We sat together and enjoyed sharing our hopes, fears and God’s plans for our futures. We prayed for His will to be done in our lives, and our willingness to follow wherever he leads with joy, trust and an open heart. We wondered with glad anticipation of the new things He is doing and will do for and through us.
We praised the God who by his sacrifice bought us new life and sisterhood by His birth and His blood. 

Our lovely, leader shared the story of Mary and Elizabeth in Luke and we sat in awe and wonder, again as we considered all God allowed the two to share in their unique bond; how each had a part to play in God’s plan for the redemption of humanity. How they were at different seasons of life, yet drawn together in sisterhood, brought together for the edification, encouragement, of one another through this holy purpose and ultimately the glory of God. The younger and the older ministering to one another portrays a beautiful and divine standard for us all. The thought that Mary was “pregnant with God’s promises” as she came together with Elizabeth at this time was poignantly discussed and thoughtfully considered. It was also pointed out by our dear Sister, how we each are pregnant with the promises of God when we minister and share with other sisters and give birth to these promises through prayer, praise, thanksgiving and confession in the safe manger of sisterhood, fellowship and friendship-all provided by our Great Savior through faith. Our sisterhood was purchased at great cost, dear ones. Let us rejoice in the beauty of this blood bought sisterhood and bring Him the glory He deserves by!

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
~Luke 1:56

Was it hard for Mary and Elizabeth to say goodbye? I wonder if it was bitter sweet as they embraced, on that day that Mary departed. Even as I consider all God is doing in the lives of my dear sisters, I will miss our special season where God allowed us to fellowship, pray and serve one another, and others through His divine plan for such a time as this. 

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
~Ephesians 5:21

If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
…And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

~1 Corinthians 13: 3 & 33

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35

Lord, thank you for your great Love for us, and the example you left, reflected clearly in your word. Thank you that you allow us to be vessels of love and precious promises. May we boldly proclaim your name, as we follow you from the manger to the cross and rejoice in the very precious promises
that continue to bring light, love, truth and meaning to all of humanity. In Jesus name, Amen.

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