Changing times

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“Patience,” she says.  “After all, Niagara Falls wasn’t formed in a day.”

Niagara Falls?

“Mom,” I say, my ten year-old self feeling smug and smart. “The saying is Rome wasn’t built in a day, not Niagara Falls!”

She doesn’t stop pinning the hem of a dress I am to wear to my eldest brother’s wedding. We’d pick the material and pattern out on a shopping trip to the fabric store in town about a month before. And this was at least the fifth time I’d had to stand on the step stool in our kitchen as she tucked, pinned, and chalked the paisley printed cotton.

“Rome or Niagara Falls…great things take time,” she say. “Now straighten your knees or your hem is going to be as crooked as the tower of Pisa.”

I straighten in obedience. Anticipation of the new dress had me excited but irritable with the time it was taking. Yet, with each fitting there was a new piece added, stitched thoroughly. The dress changed to be suited perfectly for me, with my mother’s skill and with time.

Continue reading “Changing times”

A Loving Reminder

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Usually I just scroll by or hit the delete tab, but this time I didn’t. Maybe the picture of an international city on my bucket list to visit or the tag line appealing to my growth mindset were the draws. Regardless, I clicked on the embedded video link in this email from the advertiser that I’d still not yet ‘unsubscribed.’

You know you are loved, she says, this beautiful woman gowned in a dress that flows gracefully to the top of her knees, and wearing such high-heeled shoes that I wonder if she practices walking on stage prior to addressing the few hundred woman that attend her conferences.

The camera spans across the women at white-clothed tables, women eager to better themselves and their businesses, of different nationalities and faith.

Her bracelets dangle as she sweeps her arms up and around as if to embrace someone. You are absolutely loved and it is from knowing that love, that you can give your best to the world, she continues.

Continue reading “A Loving Reminder”

the True thread of hope

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“I’m not sure I like this song. It’s kind of depressing, almost makes one feel less hopeful. I mean, ‘frail and torn’? Sounds like defeatism to me,” I said, turning to my boyfriend at the time, seeing one of his hands leave the steering wheel and move toward the volume dial of the stereo console. But my hand found his, our fingers entwining before he could increase the sound.

“I disagree,” he said, our interlaced hands now resting between us, his eyes still on the road ahead. “It’s all about hope, redemption. That it’s going to be okay.”

Hearing the lyrics  ‘My soul feels crushed by the weight of this world‘ did not, though, evoke hopeful bliss within me! Rather it seemed, in my perception, to swell feelings of being too worn to go on.

Wouldn’t it be more valuable to not hear or speak those gloomy words, and instead only focus on the favorable?

Only think and speak the positive, so to speak? In other words, take control and fix whatever feelings  weigh me down with a warm blanket made of feel good threads.

Threads of phrases and idioms: This too shall pass. Every cloud has a silver lining. Threads of manuals and instructions: Eat Better, Feel Better. Steps to Better Living.Threads of accomplishments: Diplomas. Degrees. Promotions. Goals Achieved. Threads of comfort consumerism: Pandora Charms. Specialty Chocolate. Coffee Lattes.

Threads of …. so many different threads that come from my spools branded Feel Better By Own Efforts.

These threads are of a variety of colours, strengths and lengths, weaving together a blanket that can be satisfactory and mending, thermal and sufficient.

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And yet…

This blanket tainted by spools of Feel Better By Own Efforts threads that break, entangle, and decompose leave only dust behind. What once comforted me for a moment, a season, is reduced, broken of it’s parts to crumble and decay.

And, if this blanket tainted with threads of Feel Better By Own Efforts has value for a time, yet limited, for it is frail and tears, and eventually passes on, what then can I eternally wrap myself in that does not decompose when weighed down by this world?

And the lyrics of Worn came into my thoughts.

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that’s frail and torn.                                                                                                                     Tenth Avenue North

It is only through the blanket weaved in threads of Everlasting Truth that give ever lasting comfort and rest.

Colossians 1:7: And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Psalm 147: 3:  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Isaiah 40:31 but 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.

I do not cross roads with that old boyfriend of a few years back, yet if I did I may just let him know that when Worn plays through my car radio, I now reach out and turn up the volume.

1 Peter 1:3: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

What blanket are you wrapping yourself in today?

 

 

STOP IT! (I)

There’s a song on the radio I often hear, even daily perhaps. And three words of the chorus often repeat in my thoughts, whether I have been exposed to the tune that day or not. They drop in like unseen raindrops, showering me over and over, until I finally take action, mindfully unfolding my umbrella, creating shelter between them and me. But the words unceasingly pelt , grabbing my attention, over and over.

Christ in me.

 

Alright! I say, in frustration, as I bring down my umbrella, look up and allow the wetness to cascade on my face. The falling rain drops absorb into the corners of my eyes, and into the canals of my ears. I lick my lips of the water, pure and clean. I cannot keep the rain away.

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But what do You want? I just can’t seem to be good enough, ever…..

I bow my head, bend my knees, and sink down into the sodden grass. The rain showers on me, drenching my hair, chilling my bare arms, and soaking my blouse.

I’m tired.

Continue reading “STOP IT! (I)”

Learning to listen to His voice

As I started to gather my thoughts on what my post would be this week, I felt nudge to listen to a podcast, which then directed me to Psalm 46. And then as I read Psalm 46, and as I started to format the idea of a writing around Psalm 46, I heard, “Let My words be your words.”  I’m not sure why, but I’m following the Spirit’s prompting…and my hope is this is for you. 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.

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Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

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There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall

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God will help her at break of day.  Nations are in an uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

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The Lord Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress.  Continue reading “Learning to listen to His voice”

Why not to offer doing the dishes

I’ve been reading a book on busyness, my friend tells me. I lean in to hear her words over a Johnny Cash song played loudly through the restaurant’s speakers. (Too loud in my opinion. Just moments before my girlfriend and I lamented how eating establishments and retail stores just seem to play music so much louder these days, however it could be our age too, admittedly. But I digress).

“God’s been working with me though.” She continues her story, her struggle so prevalent in our world where success can be defined by how much we do, rather than who we are. “I start to focus in on Him and then my mind wanders and I get distracted and anxious. And then focus back at Him but then become frustrated with myself that I was angry and anxious at myself for getting distracted and then loose focus again!”

Ah, the crazy cycle, I conclude with her. And the tough thing too, is that often those things, those activities that can draw us away from joining in our relationship with Him can be good things–like serving in our communities, or taking another study, or saying yes to that volunteer position even in a schedule already full.

Those things, those activities that are to show the world who Christ is, and for us to do to learn about Christ to become more like Christ.

But I wonder if sometimes in our doing we turn it all upside down, and turn away from fellowship with Him instead of toward? Continue reading “Why not to offer doing the dishes”

Are you accepting the invitation?

Imagine this, or maybe you don’t have to imagine. Maybe you have an experience, a point of reference that allows you to dive into this story, in heart, in spirit.

Imagine you are peering into a window of a door that you have been invited to open. The brush of a cool wind, and the smell of the fall season’s leaves entertain your senses. You lift your hand to the door knocker, grasp the brass bar. And halt.

You see through the window a table set for two. But not just a table, but one laden with colors. You see so many jewel colors of blue, red, green, yellows that they blur in a melody like a rainbow in motion!

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Your eyes focus in on the beauty of the details: a vase chock-full of your favorite blooms, a table draped in a yellow linen cloth that drips off the edges to a glistening tiled floor, pure white china plates etched with blue delicate vines, two wine glasses with tinted strawberry red stems, and two vine-patterned napkins garnished with a gold rose.

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What is this feast, you ask yourself? Why has my friend gone to this extravagance?

And you let go of the knocker, look down at your empty hands. I have not brought anything, you think to yourself. You turn, look behind you to the shadows of trees on the street. I have not done anything to deserve this extravagance, you think to yourself.

And you begin to take a step away when you hear the door open behind you. There you are! the familiar voice hails. Come in, come in! the recognizable voice summons.  Continue reading “Are you accepting the invitation?”