Pas de Deux

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A dance for two.

My daughter instilled in me the love of the ballet.

Pas de Deux is one of my absolute favorites.

She, the ballerina is exquisite. She leaps and twirls and floats through the sky.

She is as light as a feather and perfectly beautiful.

Her arms stretch and reach and our minds reach new dimensions of imagination.

She is perfect in beauty and her legs appear strong and graceful.

There is nothing she cannot do.

But underneath her beauty and skill

We find HIM.

Her partner.

He is strong and He is steady.

He lifts her up and keeps her steady and turns her so she appears to be floating in the sky. He lifts her up so the audience can see the beauty that he desires them to see.

His strong arms catch her in mid-air and she knows he is trustworthy.

They fix eyes on each other and know the next steps that they desire to take together and he is willing to allow her to shine.

They have rehearsed and they know each other and can read each other’s looks.

There is no need for words.

As the dance finishes, they both come forward at the end for a bow.

They are applauded, but it is she that the audience adores.

 

I see Jesus in this.

He is steady. He is strong. He is trustworthy.

He knows the plans He has for me.

He takes delight in allowing me to shine and appear breathtakingly beautiful in ways that I would and could never be without Him.

None of this would be possible without HIM!

It is He that makes it all possible and therefore it is HE that deserves all glory, and honor, praise, and applause.

He is my sustenance. He is my Rock.

It is HE who catches me every single time.

People may desire to applaud our skills,

But it is He who is all deserving.

One day, at the final curtain, He will be in the spotlight.

He will be worshipped and receive praise from every single tribe and every single tongue.

 

 

Romans 14:11

“It is written: As surely as I live; says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.”

 

 

 

 

Goal Accomplished

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I drove the 2 ½ hours to have a play date with my granddaughter this week.

As I was in the car and driving, I began to just think and silently pray.

I found myself telling God that I had one goal, just one, today.

It was to enjoy my granddaughter.

Most days have a ton of goals.  They can range from doing the laundry or yard work to running errands, leading women’s Bible study or making a nice meal. 

This particular day had a goal of relationship.

She is only 1 ½ years old, but we are forming our relationship. 

As I pulled into her driveway, I found her looking out the window.  I smiled and ran to the window to see her.  I held up the new “Tigger” I had purchased and brought with me. 

I went inside and whisked her up into my arms to give her a big hug and kiss.  It doesn’t matter if I’ve seen her two days or two weeks ago…I love being with her.

We played with her kitchen.  We pretended to cook and feed her stuffed animals.

We sang some songs and read stories.  We played with her dollhouse and train set.

We ran in circles in her basement playing chase (at least it was supposed to be chase).

We had both lunch and dinner together and got to cuddle and rock before naptime. 

I met my goal that day.  We made moments together that I will forever cherish.

She matters to me.  I desire a relationship with her and I will pursue her and our relationship throughout her life.

When I look at God as parent and Heavenly Father, I see the way He pursues me.

He too desires relationship.  He wants to be there every step of the way with me.  He wants to smile and enjoy me.  He wants to soak in our moments together.

I love to see God as pursuer.  He never gives up.  He has a goal and that is to love me (and you) and pursue us.  There is nothing we can do, will do, or have ever done that will be too much for Him.  We matter to Him. 

May our eyes be more in tune to seeing the way He is pursuing us today.

May we welcome His presence into our day to day.

May we both smile at the end of the day and say “goal accomplished”.

Proverbs 21:21

“Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.”

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Now We’re Gettin’ Somewhere

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Lego’s

Love Lego’s

I loved building them with my boys and now I’m building them with my grandsons.

The thing is…

To me the “building part” is also the “playing part”.

I mean…here we are sitting side by side…following directions…building something together…talking…

Doesn’t this count as playing?

Ask my 4 year old grandson and he would tell you “no”.

As we were building a lego city two story bank the other day…every once in a while he’d say “now we’re getting’ somewhere” or “okay, the fun part is almost here”.

Mmmmm

In his little mind, the fun happens when we play.

I’m sorry, but I’m just not good at playing bad guys or super hero’s.

I say POW, ZAP, SHAZAM…

But I don’t know what I’m doing!

To me…this is the fun part…the building part.

I like working side by side together.

 

I wonder how many times in my life God feels that way.

He’s thinking isn’t this nice…side by side…walking through life…He desires to show me things along the way and just spend time with me.

Am I always looking for the “good part”?

The big production? The big “ta-da”?

Do I miss the simple things along the way and the sweet moments because I’m not IN the moment?

 

We did finish our lego city bank that day. We even went on to build a police car together. I made my “bad guy” noises that I was supposed to make.

It all worked out for the good.

But my favorite part…it was the building part.

We did it together, step by step, brick by lego brick.

Psalm 118:23

“This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see”

 

Focus

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I don’t think anyone can make us loose our focus quicker than children.

In the blink of an eye…things happen, many things, never just one thing.

For instance…

During dinner yesterday my dear little, feisty little, tender little, can’t sit still little two-year-old grandson took a spill sideways at the dinner table. Cup in hand he fell over sideways. In a split second his cup and most of his dinner was on the floor lying in the middle of the water that spilled from his cup. My daughter and I both jumped to check on his head, which of course he hit.

In this same moment his little brother of 7 months old bit himself.

Yes, he puts everything and I do mean everything in his mouth and unfortunately this time it was his fist. He has 4 sharp little teeth and I personally have felt their bite. They are sharp and painful.

He chose that very second as his brother hit his head to bite his own hand and wail.

My daughter was tending to her two year old and I was mopping up the floor.

We were trying to talk to her 7 month old and calm him down with our voices.

All the while…

My tender little, feisty little, big brother little, practical little, orderly little grandson of four years old decided to complain because his sock got a little wet during the big “spill”.

That was HIS focus.

His sock.

It got wet.

Never mind that his brother hit his head or that the dinner is all over the floor.

Never mind that the baby is crying.

His sock was wet.

It’s in these moments when you have to just look at each other and laugh!

 

We can choose what we focus on.

I have a verse that I’ve taped to my mirror in the bathroom to remind me of my choices, especially in my thought life.

I will share it with you at the end of this blog.

Before I do that…I want to share another story with you.

It is also it about a choice.

A choice to remember the good and not the bad.

 

Before that lovely dinnertime yesterday, I was helping our two year old wash his hands before eating his dinner.

He looked up at me and said the strangest thing.

“Grandma…remember when I was sick and I was on the couch and I threw up”.

(Yes, of course I remember this…it was just a few weeks ago)

“Well, let’s do that again”!

 

What?!

Throw up again…no thank you!

But that is not the part he was choosing to remember.

He was remembering the couch time, The extra cuddle time, The cozy blanket time, The day spent in pajamas. The time when I spent the night because the whole family got sick with the stomach bug.

He was remembering the story time together on the couch.

He was remembering the jello I made and the special table I set up by his side that contained ice chips and saltine crackers.

He chose to remember the good.

 

God’s Word says He can take the bad and turn it for good.

This is a case in which He clearly did that in the mind of my grandson.

 

May God turn your bad to good and may you choose to focus on the good, pure, and lovely.

 

Psalm 19:14

“May the Words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

 

Romans 8:28

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”

 

Philippians 4:8

“…Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Child of The King

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We were first introduced to “Compassion International” at a Jesus Festival.  We would make the yearly trip and set up camp with our then teenage children and their friends to hear and enjoy latest in Christian music. Compassion International always had a representation at these festivals. They are an organization that I most definitely recommend.

As a family we chose children that we wanted to support from other countries.   I’ve had the best relationship with a girl named Kimberly from the Philippines for over 2 decades now.

Each of the children we originally adopted and sponsored have now grown up and moved on. I told myself that with each new grandchild, I would pick another child to sponsor. I would do my best to pick the same gender and a similar birthdate. I figure this way I can easily write and relate to them in the years to come.

As I went searching one day for a little boy around the age of my second grandson, I noticed that there were several children that had been waiting for a very long time to be adopted and sponsored as a Compassion child. My heart was moved and I also chose a few older children along with someone the age of my grandson.

One boy in particular writes to me often and has recently asked me “why him”?

He wants to know why I chose him and what was it that I saw in him. I think he might have come to the conclusion that at his age, he would never be adopted and supported.

It occurs to me that when we become a child of God there is absolutely no waiting. He doesn’t set us aside to see if we make the list or not. He doesn’t ask us to perform certain tasks to qualify. When we come to Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we immediately become a child of the King of Kings. We are His adopted children and His love for us is greater than we can ever grasp.

 

Galatians 4:4-7

“But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, Abba, Father. So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.”

Light

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I wish my neighborhood had more lights.

I love the neighborhoods that I often drive past and see house after house lit up.

Trees have lights.

Bushes have lights.

Candles are in the windows.

They are so beautiful in my eyes and they stand out even more so when it snows!

My neighborhood…

Well, there are probably three of us that decorate for Christmas.

It’s pretty bland driving down our street until you hit our house and then you see those lights as you round the bend.

I love coming home to my house decorated and glimmering in light.

 

I’m realizing that it’s okay if my neighbors don’t “light” up their home or front lawn with lights.

There are other ways to see light.

I see light in the look of wonder in my granddaughter’s eye as she witnessed one of her first snowfalls.

I see light when a total stranger buys a toy doll and donates it to toys for tots.

I see light when donations after donations are made to help victims in dire circumstances.

I see light when a driver actually smiles my way.

I hear and see light when I zoom in on the words of several Christmas carols being played in malls and offices throughout our country.

 

Maybe you find yourself on a darkened road or path.

You wish others around you would shed more light.

It’s okay.

God is with us and He alone is Light.

I hope to open my eyes to the “light” around me this season.

May God shine brightly, beginning with me and may He give us each eyes to see the loving, caring, and compassionate people around us.

 

Genesis 1:4

“And God saw that the light was good.

Then He separated the light from the darkness.”

 

“Getting There”

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He can play ball now. His 6-month-old hands clap in an excited rhythm when the ball reaches his little lap. He grabs that ball and chews on it as best he can. I snatch it away and he begins to anticipate the excitement all over again.

He squeals with delight.

Sometimes all I have to do is walk into the room and he begins squealing. His eyes meet mine and he’s doing his best to communicate.

 

My husband wishes I would squeal with delight when he walks into the room.

We’ve been married almost 35 years now.

It’s funny because we find ourselves in a peculiar time of life.

The early days of dating and being newly married were wonderful. They were filled with bike rides, late night swims in the lake, apple picking, tennis matches, and so much more. We then went into the years of raising our children. We enjoyed those years. We were partners. We worked together and prayed together and enjoyed each phase of parenthood to it’s fullest.

We find ourselves now sometimes looking at each other and wondering how much we have in common anymore.

I love word games and he hates them.

He loves trivia games and I loathe them.

He loves the hot summer sun, while I like the shade of an umbrella.

I love an evening swim. He prefers the midafternoon sun kind of swim.

I love yard work and gardening.

He loves analyzing and computers.

He’s begun to ask me most nights to just come and sit and talk with him.

He doesn’t necessarily have a topic to talk about. He is just trying to connect. I admit that some nights I do not have the best attitude.

On those nights, he usually tells me to “relax” and to trust that we will “get there”.

He’s right.

We do. It takes time and it takes effort, but we do get there.

We’ve also rediscovered things we enjoy doing together.

 

I say all of this to relate it to our personal time and devotional times with the Lord. It can feel odd at the beginning. We can try to read the Bible and pray, but we know we haven’t yet connected in the way we were hoping too.

To that…I say “relax”.

Keep seeking, keep searching…and you will “get there.”

A relationship earth bound or heaven bound takes time and commitment.

 

Anne Lindberg once wrote:

“It is not restful, it is not possible to talk wholeheartedly to more than one person at a time. You can’t really talk with a person unless you surrender to them, for the moment (all other talk is futile). You can’t surrender to more than one person a moment.”

 

I love the part about surrendering.

I find it true.

Whether it’s my husband, daughter, son, or Lord…I need to fully surrender my time and mind and emotion to them when I desire to communicate wholeheartedly.

 

Be encouraged today because though you and I can be weak and distracted, there is One who also desires this personal relationship.

When we seek…We will find.

 

Jeremiah 29:13

“You will seek me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”

 

 

Longings

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Why is it we long for what we can’t have.

There is a comedy show tonight. I just found out about it this morning. I went to purchase tickets and it is sold out. All of a sudden I find myself scrambling to make a way, find a way, skip past the ordinary and get to that show.

I didn’t even know about it yesterday, but suddenly because I can’t have it…it seems all important.

One of my favorite stores is closing it’s doors in my area.

It’s not closing nationally, just in my local area.

I decided to go and see what it still had left.

People were everywhere…scanning racks.

Yes, items were marked down by 50%.

But, I think it was “bigger” than the sale that drove many to that store. It’s the idea that we won’t have it anymore.

It’s been there for years and we come and go, but knowing that we won’t be able to shop there anymore…a longing occurs. We can’t have it and so all of a sudden, we want it more than ever before.

I recently attended a simulcast.

In all honesty, I was torn on attending. I desired a relaxed morning and day to myself. I attended because I felt that I should.

When I arrived the simulcast was having trouble connecting to our location. There were internet issues and computer issues and “all of a sudden” it became ever so important to me that I hear this simulcast.

Something that I hadn’t really strongly desired now became all desirable because I couldn’t have it.

Why????

It makes me wonder.

I wonder if Jesus was not available if people would long for Him more.

He is available today.

Anytime, anyplace.

He created in us a longing. The only person that can truly fill that void/longing is Him. We try to fill it with other things and other people.

We desire to be fulfilled.

I have found that things might feel fulfilling for a time.

But in the end they loose their luster.

My grandchildren are perfect examples of this.

They see the new shiny toy and dream of ways to get it.

Can I earn more stickers on my chart so that I can buy this new wonderfully improved toy? Will grandma just buy it for me?

I know if I just have this toy, I will be happy. Ever so happy.

 

That’s me too.

If I just have this antique.

If I just repaint this room.

If I just plant this new bush and it’s lovely flowers.

If…if…if…

And they all are pleasing for a time.

And…then that “time” wears off and I’m on the hunt for the next new fulfillment.

 

God has made a way to fill that longing in us.

He selflessly sent His own Son to earth to live the sinless life that you and I cannot live on our own. He did it for us.

He then took our place in death and suffered for us.

He now sits at the right hand of God, His Father and is available to any and all who will call upon Him.

He can fulfill.

He will fulfill.

 

Proverbs 13:12

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

 

Walking With God

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I love to watch babies learn to walk. One might be sitting on the floor playing and then decide to stand up. They place two little hands onto the floor and begin to push themselves up. This is often accompanied by a few moans and groans.   Their rear is pushed high into the air as they push their body upright until they are standing. They then begin to walk. Some seem to walk with authority from the very beginning. Their shoulders are pushed back and their arms are slightly puffed out near their side. Their strides are long and a bit out of control. Sometimes their arms are stiff and in the air (picture Frankenstein as he walks).   A child might intend to walk and yet somehow it turns into a run, which often lands them right back onto the floor in their original position that they started in.

 

I’ve noticed, and I’m sure you have too, that as people age they get wobbly rather than more stable. When they try to stand up we might hear a few huffs, puffs, moans, and groans. It takes them a little longer to find their balance. They take baby steps and often need to hold onto someone or something.

 

Walking requires balance.

It requires balance to walk spiritually with God as well.

It doesn’t just happen. It takes time and a purposed heart.

The first step to walking with God is to receive Him as your personal Lord and Savior. Once we are grafted into the family of God and become His child, we can pursue the beautiful life long relationship with Him that He desires for us.

Physically our bodies break down as we age, but this is not to be the case spiritually. We should become stronger and stronger. As we walk daily with our Lord, allowing Him to teach us and to lead us, it should produce in us a strong balance in who we are in Christ. His Word of truth strengthens us to the core. He has a plan and a purpose for us. As long as we have breath here on earth, He indeed has a plan.

 

My heart rejoices in this truth.

Though I will age and my physical body will become weaker,

I can still become stronger and even more stable spiritually.

 

I don’t know where you are in life, but I hope this encourages you.

You can grow stronger!

You can have purpose!

God desires to use you today and everyday that He blesses you with.

Walk Strong!

 

 

The Roles We Play

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“Grandma, You are not obeying me”!

These were the words of my two-year-old grandson the other night.

They stopped me in my tracks and made me laugh.

The thought that immediately went through my head was that “he must hear these words a lot”!

He is learning obedience.  He had recently been on vacation with his family.

He had a wonderful time, but there were moments (daily) where…he almost fell into a cactus, he almost fell off of an old western boardwalk, and more than I can now recall to write about.

He’s a sweet little boy (says his grandma)…with a strong “little will of his own”.

Some children obey with a look from a parent, while others need a little more “teachable moments”.   Ahem…I think we can all picture one or two people who fall into the latter category. 

I think growing up I fell into the first category.   I didn’t want to cause trouble.  I pretty much obeyed (atleast on the outside).  I have a sister who fell into the latter category.  We can laugh about it today.

The funny thing is, I’m sure at times I sound like my grandson in my prayers.

God. You need to obey me!

You need to do this and this and this.

This is important God!

I think at times He might even chuckle.  It’s ridiculous!

I am 57 years old.  I’m not going to be taking orders and “obeying” my two-year-old grandson…no matter how much I love him!

God is God.

He knows all.  He sees all.

He sees the beginning from the end.

He knows His purpose in a situation.

He knows when I’m obeying on the outside, but standing on the inside and He loves me enough to not let me stay in that frame of mind and heart.

As you go about your day today…

May you slow down enough to see your true “role” in this life.

May He lead and guide and may you obey.

He loves us like no one else.

He knows the plans He has for us and the role He desires us to play.

His ways are higher than our ways.

May we learn to trust and obey…for there is no better way.

 

Psalm 139:17

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God”

 

Psalm 119:34

“Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.”

 

Deuteronomy 32:4

“He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all his ways are just.  A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.”

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