Category Archives: Peace

Rusty

Pick your teeth up off the floor, people. I realize it’s been a while.

Trust me, I have felt my absence from you these last five months. Yes, five months. I can’t even believe it has been that long.

But it has.

Life started going nuts around the end of March. Not nuts in a bad way, really, but nuts nevertheless. Just nuts in an extremely busy way. So, forgive me if I am a little rusty here in the writing department!

Since I last wrote, we went to Disneyworld and Universal Studios as a family for the first time (Words can’t describe how awesome a time we had!), Jacob attended his senior prom (It was amazing!), Emma had her big performance with her show choir/musical theater group (Also amazing!), our homeschool co-op finished up with all its end of year performances and activities, Jacob graduated from high school (Emotions galore, people! Fantastic! So proud! Oh, and Thank You, Jesus!), I attended the Florida Homeschool Convention, Emma completed her 9th grade year and got her learner’s permit, and then Summer commenced in all its glory!

Summer 2013 collage

After an amazing summer filled with surfing camp, Jesus camp, family, zip lining, sun and fun, here we are—already about to fall headlong into the school year—which is KAY-RAY-ZAY, y’all! Such changes lie ahead for us and I am thrilled and horrified and completely at peace all at once.

Can anyone else relate?

Jacob is registered for classes at the local community college. (I am so not ready.) And Emma is all situated to begin her sophomore year in high school. (She says she is not ready, but she is…she just doesn’t know it.) Hubby continues to work so hard for us and I am preparing again to teach classes at our homeschool co-op.

Am I really this old??!

Yes. Yes, honey, time just has its way of traipsing forever onward.

Each time I look in the mirror and see the additional “tinsel” that adorns my hair, I am reminded of that fact. I am also reminded of how incredibly blessed I am.

Even in the midst of aging, Hubby’s car (a 1995 Toyota Camry with 285,000 miles on it) choosing whether or not to crank on a daily basis, college tuition and waking up to a lame parakeet this morning, I am blessed.

And I am so filled with gratitude.

And in the inevitable moments when my gratitude and peace elude me, and I wonder how we will pay for…whatever…fill in the blank, or how I am going to accomplish everything  that needs accomplishing during the course of any given day, or as I want to curse out and give the finger to some jerky teenage driver who just cut me off as I was trying to turn into the grocery store parking lot, and I am distressed about loved ones who are suffering unimaginable hurts and loss and loneliness and illness, I go to the Source.

And here is what The Source tells me:

“In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 NIV

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” Isaiah 26:3 NLT

“God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect.
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great.
You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.”  Psalm 18:30-36 NLT

In this season of no blogging and all the fantastic family awesomeness we have had, I have experienced such an intense range of emotions. Such joy and such sadness…mostly, joy. But the emotions of it all have been just crazy enough to make me question my mental health at times, but what a comfort the scriptures have been to me! When I keep my mind fixed on Him, it is amazing how much less crazy I feel. I highly recommend.

I would like to say that “I am back”, but it is hard to make the commitment knowing all the things that are coming up to keep me busy. My intention is to be back to blogging regularly, because I do love it so.

If anyone is still out there reading, thank you. Thanks for sticking with me.

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Filed under Faith, Family, Peace

Wash Over Me

Living Water, wash over me.

Flow through me.

Sustain me.

Fill me.

Let the sound of the flowing water drown out the loudness of the distractions that surround me.

 

Living Water, keep me afloat.

Calm me.

Refresh me.

Satisfy me.

Overflow and fill those around me.

 

Mountain Stream, Montreat, NC. Feb. 2009

I wrote this poem in 2001 while I was on a Christian women’s retreat that I used to go on for years (and years) in Montreat, North Carolina. That particular year’s retreat came at a time when I was struggling as a young mom to a young son with Asperger’s Syndrome. I was hurting and I was grieving.

During a quiet time that weekend, I made my way to a rock by a little mountain creek. I sat there breathing in the brisk February mountain air, enjoying the sounds of the water, crying out to God and listening to God and then allowing Him to wash over me with His peace, love and encouragement. This poem was born from that moment.

One of the things I learned from that weekend, was to stop and look at the things in life that may bring grief and hurt and ask “what is this telling me? what is God trying to teach me here?”

Don’t be afraid of those hurts and feelings. To sit with them.

Henri Nouwen said, “ God wants to touch you in a way that permanently fulfills your deepest need. It is important that you dare to stay with your pain and allow it to be there…The pain you suffer now is meant to put you in touch with the place where you most need healing, your very heart. The person who was able to touch that place has revealed to you your pearl of great price…the experience of being fully loved…No human being can heal that pain…Dare to stay with your pain, and trust in God’s promise to you.”

God promises to love us in our pain. Fully.

We all have deep hurts and needs in our lives. We all struggle. We all experience grief, fear, emptiness, desperation, and loneliness at times. Be careful not to run away or reach out to the wrong places to get those needs met. Go to the Source. Our empty places can only be filled by God, by the love of God, by the power in His Word. Our deepest need will never be met as long as we rely on outside things to fill us up.

Jesus, the Living Water, is the thing that will fill you, restore you, heal you, direct you, allow you to be fully loved, and give you peace and will, in turn, spill out of you and into the lives of others.

Are you willing to stay with your pain and then allow God to love you in it, and walk you through it to the other side?

I ask this of myself. I confess that there are times when I am better at letting God love me and wash over me. At times I find it really hard to sit with my pain, because, well, pain hurts. My tendency is to run—fast. But I have learned over the years, that the only way out, is through and I would rather go through my pain with Jesus than by myself.

“For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.” ~Lamentations 3:31-33 NIV

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

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Filed under Faith, Inspiration, Peace, Poetry