Sunday, February 27, 2011

Not Derailed, Just Delayed

To my Wonderful Reader,

Though prayer has been a constant,illness and family events have temporarily waylaid my writing. Please pray for me when you think of me, this year has brought exciting changes for my children and family, and though exciting, they still carry with them the emotion that change often can. Thank you for your encouragement and inspiration. I am working faithfully to return to this discipline.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 55: A Finger Pointed

“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God…”

I have been reading Acts as of late and it is interesting to me that Paul when a religious zealot lived life peacefully pointing his finger at will, watching the destruction of the saints, and probably going home to his snuggly bed...but when he stood for the truth and spoke for Christ, the finger was pointed at him. Recently, a dear friend of mine has endured this very same accusatory extending of the hand. Where Christ calls us to open our hands in generosity, acceptance, grace, loving kindness and ultimately truth, our enemy extends a brittle, bony finger of bitterness with the sole purpose of destructive accusation.

“If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God gives…”

This woman has chosen to stand for truth both in word and in action. Daily she opens her heart to share the broken pieces of her past through one on one connection with other women, the written word, and sharing her story in her local church. She has chosen to bring her own dark into the light for the purpose of freedom, both for herself, and for others. To show the power of Jesus Christ working in one woman's life through living transparently gives others the freedom to live the same, and to be delivered from captivity. True ministry; hands opened freely to her Savior, holding no thing back, giving such as she has, so that He might turn and make her offering of utmost value.

“That God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ…”

God is a God of restoration, of mercy, seeking to restore, and we in His image, are meant to be redeemers not finger pointers. To His glory we are called to use our words to speak His heart. As those who are called by his name we are to bring the ministry of reconciliation through truth and healing, and to entrust our own broken pieces to a God who can turn each sliver and shard into an ability.

“To whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.”

Our very purpose and design carries with it the inherent purpose of bringing the gift of glory and praise to our Father. It is interesting to note that only with hands open can one release a gift, but our fingers must curl closed to allow one to extend. What can we possibly give with our hands closed? Who can we possibly bless with a finger pointed?

I know my friend will open her hands filled with the pain of being accused, and like her Savior with nail-pierced hands, she will forgive. In her example, may our lips be used to speak His truth, our broken pieces be offered up to be transformed into merciful ministry, and our hands always be open with readiness to give all that we are, and all that we have to Him.


Let me shine in undeniable ways for you, Lord. Let my words speak of your glory, my hands reach out to embrace, and my life be molded and made in the image of a Savior too merciful to imagine.
Your ways are wonderful, and I am in awe!

Your Beloved

Scripture Reference: 1Peter 4:11

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 54: A Weary Woman's Simple Prayer

“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” (James 5:13)


My body is weary with illness and I am unable to accomplish any of the things that I have planned for the day, and I must trust that even in this, your plans are being accomplished. I know that even as I lay down to rest, You are with me, and my weakness has not escaped your attention. Your goodness surrounds me in the hands of my loved ones who feed me, care for me, and comfort me with their presence. I am truly blessed. My mind has been running through the checklist of all I feel I should be accomplishing, and I know my only peace, my only rest is to lay each of these things in your faithful hands, and so I do my Lord, each and every detail, every concern great and small. With the whole of my needs resting securely in your hands, I ask You to give me rest, and renew my strength.

I am yours, all my moments and hours, in strength and in weakness, simply yours.

Your Beloved

"Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 40:31

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 53: Created to Create

“And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works…”

Exodus 31:3-4

When I was a young woman I was wooed to the love of Christ through the beauty of the sunrise, and the majesty of the Southern California mountain tops framed against the incredible clarity of a crisp blue sky. The creative works of an artistic designer called to my heart, and I wanted to know this Creator, and live within the purposefulness of his design.

As a young mother, feeling the presence of life growing within, I began to understand the intimacy with which this Designer was building the little child inside of me, and in awe realized that He had taken the very same care with me.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Psalm 139:14

Like the beautiful child growing within me, I was His artwork, the very masterpiece on which He would proudly sign His name. Understanding His value on me began a process of transformation inside of my heart, my soul, and in time, my mind. My acceptance of myself as His intimate creation, designed lovingly, imbued with purpose took decades to truly change my paradigm regarding my own value, but as I embraced my designer’s view of who I truly am, I found myself passionate to be the priceless artwork on which He had so lovingly labored.

The act of creation, by its nature requires the pouring out of the most intimate parts of the creator. The imprints of the very soul of the artist are left there on the canvas of their creation, and no truly inspired painter, sculptor, architect, or songwriter can walk away from their work not having laid a remnant of themselves within the very design of their work. And so it is that I have come to understand that the imprint, the very image of my Designer is written all over me, and as such I too have been made to create.

“And I have filled him with the Spirit of God… to design artistic works…”

The thought that my Creator has filled me with His Spirit simply for the purpose of being an artistic and creative being causes my heart to leap, and a smile to fill my lips. In Him, I am created to create, and so it is for each and every one of His beautiful creations. We are made in His image, filled with His Spirit to have the utter delight of being creators. His inspiration inspired and privileged to use our unique talents and skills to bring beauty, and order, and new life. Amazing!

He has given us the Holy Spirit as our guide and our instructor. When we submit our hearts, our minds, our hands, our eyes, our lips, and our very being to the instruction of the Holy Spirit he puts every moment of every hour of our lives to good use. By His grace we are each redeemers, creators skilled in the ministry of reconciliation. As we as believers avail ourselves daily to the grace and promptings of the Spirit, He covers our weaknesses and in the place of our flaws He infuses us with wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and creativity, all for the purpose of showing the love of an amazing Designer like the crisp clarity of a crystal blue sky.

“We are His creation-created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:10

My Father,

I am overjoyed at the works of your hands, and I cannot help but praise You! My heart truly delights at your creation, and in the knowledge that You have not only created me for a beautiful purpose, but have filled my very being with your Spirit, that I might walk in your perfect design.

You honor me, and my heart is in awe!

I love You,

Your Beloved

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 52: Wind-driven

“You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it's headed next. That's the way it is with everyone 'born from above' by the wind of God, the Spirit of God."

John 3:8

Each year in July, I celebrate the turning of my age with some planning and goal setting. Unlike the population at large setting New Year’s Resolutions and the like, I have found it suited my sense of order to function on my own fiscal calendar…perhaps a nod to marching to the beat of my own drummer, or in my case the song that I am absentmindedly humming aloud, words changed and tucked into my humming whenever it “feels right.”

The spending of a year is an amazing and awesome prospect, and I do not take my planning lightly, nor do I undertake the project of setting goals without careful consideration and prayerfulness. I understand my days are numbered, and I know that without question, they are not my own. Finally, I realize that no matter how circumspect I might be in this planning process, the seasons turn with colors new, and the winds blow in directions not at my choosing.

And so it has been over these last months that the wind of God has been rustling in my life, and I have felt as the birds in the trees, sheltered from the storms, but perched in readiness to spread my wings at a moment’s notice, waiting only for direction from the Keeper of the Wind.

The turning of the calendar to this New Year has brought with it the joy of an engagement for our household, and the busyness of planning an imminent wedding, followed by an out-of-state move. In the midst of the joyous preparations another child has been finalizing her acceptance for a job offer that will take her from west coast to east. For yet another child college applications are being filled out, transcripts are being processed, and thoughts of college life stretch our already packed brains. In the midst of the delight of love committed, the separation anxiety of jobs and colleges far from home, and the hard work that all of these changes have brought, I have sought to continue to move steadily, though slowly and prayerfully, toward the goals set in the month of summer sun.

And then the winds changed, and my oldest daughter with marathon strength, delivered my first grandchild into the world, and came home from the hospital with a beautiful blue-eyed baby boy and a walker and brace in tow, to aide in the healing of a bone cracked in the delivery process.

And suddenly all of my priorities changed, and wings spread I laid aside everything that might distract me, and boarded a plane to go where the wind was leading. Now rather than a calendar filled with my own plans and goals, my days and my nights were filled with diaper changes, baby laundry, early morning feedings, rocking chairs, watching the new mommy as she delighted in her beautiful son, and the pure joy and satisfaction of knowing that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Wind-driven.

For as long as I walk on this earth, I want to be about the business of the Wind-Keeper. Sometimes I may find that the plans He has for me are already written neatly into my calendar, goals and hopes carefully prayed for and chosen, still, I will be careful to keep my ear trained for the rustling of the leaves, and my wings ready, for often, the winds blow this way and that in a more wonderful pattern than any plan I could have imagined.

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”
Proverbs 16:9


Daily, moment by moment, give me the joy of being led by the wind of your Spirit. How delightful are your plans, O Lord, may my heart always be ready to take wing and fly in whatever direction You may lead.

With a joyful and grateful heart,

Your Beloved

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 51: A Prayer for My Grandson

“They will be called oaks of righteousness,
Trees planted by the Lord to reveal his splendor. “

Isaiah 61:4

My dear Father,

My heart rejoices at the birth of my grandson, and I thank you with my whole heart for your presence at his birth, that You heard our prayers and brought him to this earth in an environment of peace and joy. I am overwhelmed at your goodness. Truly, he is fearfully and wonderfully made, and the wonder of your works are present in the tiny details of his little hand and beautiful eyes. Thank you for the beautiful unity of his parents in the event of his birth, I ask that as they begin the journey of raising this little boy into an amazing man that you will always guide them by your Spirit, that each year that passes will find them loving You and each other with more intensity, joy and passion than the year before, and that the same unity that reigned at this little ones birth, will reign in their hearts and in their home. Father, I seek you on behalf of my beautiful grandson, and I ask that You will make him a delight to his parents and those You choose to bring into his life. I pray that he will grow in wisdom and in stature both before You and men. I ask that he will always have a heart after You, and that truly, he will grow into an Oak of Righteousness. Gracious Father, guard this little one, for all of his days guard him, and let him grow with the knowledge of a mother and father who delight in him, and an entire family that greatly rejoices at the gift of his life. I am confident, that by your grace, he will become a fine man.

Your Grateful Beloved…now a Grandma

“The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
Let your Father and your Mother be glad,
And let her who bore you rejoice.”

Proverbs 23:24-25

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 50: Furry Angels

“Your prayers and neighborly acts have brought you to God’s attention.”
Acts 10:4

Can you imagine an angel standing before you? Even more, can you imagine an angel standing before you and telling you that not only have your prayers gotten God’s attention, but so have your actions toward all those you encounter.

Yesterday my son called. He was on his way home when he saw a small dog running through traffic and as he passed, he remembered a conversation he had been a part of earlier in the day in one of his classes. The teacher had noted that often tragedies take place right under the nose of people who would not stop to help. Realizing he had one small opportunity in which he could make a difference, he pulled his car to the side of the road, and began to direct traffic.

Several months ago my twelve year old daughter and I had a similar experience. My daughter Grace is a great lover of animals, babies, and the elderly, and for her the sight of a furry four-legged animal running loose on the street brings out her maternal instincts, and instantly thoughts of adoption ring in her head. On this eventful day as we rounded the corner from our home, a large white fuzzy scruff of a dog appeared and began making a bee-line for the larger, and much busier main street.

“Mom, we have to get him, he is going to get run over, “she announced, and suddenly I found my car pulling itself to the roadside. The wayward pup seemed to sense our mission and next thing I knew my back seat was filled with scruff and girl. Now I am savvy enough to know that most probably angels don’t come in furry packages, although I have heard tell of a donkey who spoke his mind, but it was the adventure we soon found ourselves on that made me wonder if that pup wasn’t heaven sent “for just such a time as this?”

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
Hebrews 13:2

Finding that the dog had a tag, we tried to contact the owner, but to no avail, so off we went to the local dog rescue several miles away, as we turned on to the street where the rescue was located we saw a young woman running with all her strength behind a school bus, frantic, yelling loudly, and obviously distraught. Again I found my car pulling itself to the side of the road, lowering the car window I asked if she needed help. She went on to explain that her five year old son was on the bus, and she had just missed it. She had no way to get to the school, and so another passenger was added to the car.

The school was a small distance away, but too far for her to reach quickly, and much too far for her little one to walk home. As we drove to the school, we shared about our dog rescue adventure, and she thanked God that we had shown up at just that time, and then we added another passenger to the car, her five year old son.

Soon mom and son were safely left at home, pup was dropped at the rescue, where his master later found him, and we headed home, feeling as excited and as joyous as if we had entertained angels.

Perhaps we had.

With every encounter, whether outside in our community, or inside the walls of our own home, we have the opportunity to treat others with the generosity and kindness of heart that we would most certainly treat those of heavenly residence. A smile and a helping hand can be revolutionary, it might even change your world.

I think it will change mine.

“…For this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound in you, you will neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Peter 1: 5-8


Change me and make me the woman You have called me to be. Make me a woman who is not only faithful in prayer, but who has a heart to love others in active and tangible ways. Add to my love brotherly kindness, and help me to always remember that some “angels” I might entertain, live right inside of my house!

Your Beloved

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 49: Cow-whisperer

“The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof…” Psalm 24:1

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel out of state and spend a few days exploring the hill country and surrounding areas of Texas with my 12 year old daughter. A cold snap hit just as we arrived in the Lone Star state, and for the first few days as we donned our gloves and scarfs against the mid thirty degree temperatures, I wondered how this state usually known for its warmth, had turned its back on me in the weather department. The first day after we arrived was spent recovering from the change in time, and the weariness that can descend upon you after touring an airport or two, but by day two the hotel room had decreased in square footage, and the 34 degree weather was calling our name.

My sister-in-law had kindly agreed to chauffeur us on our adventure, and we began a trip intended to educate my daughter on some of the history of Texas. We left behind the freeways of the city and soon our journey opened into the highways of a hill country filled with rural roads, brushy trees, and a landscape dotted with every ranch and farm animal imaginable, with a few unexpected guests popping out to surprise and delight us.

As true tourists, we pointed out the cattle, the sheep and the goats, and of course, horses, horses, horses; miniature horses, and beautiful thoroughbreds of various breeds. We stopped to visit the presidential childhood home of Lyndon B. Johnson, as well as a local visitor’s center dedicated to the preservation of the history of the area. Lunching in a small town bakery we enjoyed the warmth of each other’s company, and the sweetness of an after lunch treat. Escaping into a small shop here and there to avoid the cold, we visited with the shop owners and picked up a small keepsake or two.

Tired from the day, the three of us climbed back into the car, ready to navigate again those same country roads that had greeted us with natural beauty and a furry beast or two, earlier in the day. The trip had been good, and I as reviewed it in my mind, I hoped that both my daughter and my sister in law had enjoyed the journey, despite the cold, and wondered if perhaps any travel memories had been made in my daughter’s mind beyond, “My mom took me to Texas, and it was freezing!”

Driving back toward the small presidential hometown my sister in law remarked that we were about to pass the ranchlands of the past-president’s great-grandfather, and what a shame it was that it was too cold to walk the grounds, none the less she suddenly decided to pull off the road just for a look. The old log fencing came almost to the road side, and as the car came to stop my daughter threw the door open and ran to the fence. There in the distance were two longhorn cattle; not your everyday cow mind you, but two beautiful big longhorns, one adorned with horns that stretched in length, what my daughter did in height.

She stood and watched, oblivious to the cold, clicking her tongue as she had done so many times before when riding horses. The cattle moved slowly toward the fence seemingly as interested in her as she was in them. She turned to the car, and began the process of coaxing me from the warmth of my seat, and within moments there we were gazing at these creatures, amazed at the beauty of their coats, and the majesty of their muscle. She clicked again, and then it happened; the larger of the two bounded toward her stopping just short of the fence and as if in greeting tucked her horns through the opening. Giggles and screams erupted from deep inside of me, and echoed from the lungs of my sister-in-law, as we both spontaneously jumped back at least ten feet, but that woman of all of twelve stood her ground and greeted those horns with another little click and a smile. The younger cow joined the party, and my daughter remarked, “See, I knew they would come to see me.”

The cows tucked their nostrils through the fence and posed as my daughter, the cow-whisperer took their pictures and smiled. Our memory had been made; a gift from God in His fullness, proof-positive that some of the best gifts come in great big fur covered packages, and cost not a thing.

"...I own the cattle on a thousand hills." Psalm 50:10


The earth is truly yours, and absolutely everything in it. Your creativity is astounding, a delight to my soul. I give You so many thanks from this grateful heart for the surprises you send my way, for each gift great and small. I especially thank you for the memories written on the heart on my daughter of the day she had the privilege of being a cow-whisperer. I am delighted at the works of your hands!

Your Beloved