Tag Archives: Jesus Always

Sparkles

In Texas, the past week has been horrendous with a major hurricane hitting our coast and flooding cities. Weather watchers now report that two more hurricanes are now gearing up. Our country is going through some things too. And, our world is teetering in several places on the edge of serious conflicts/wars. People are going through things as well. Tough things. Unspeakable things.

Every week when I write this blog, I have to acknowledge the tough things because that is the context in which we are living. It just is.

If I was left to my own feelings, opinions and media consumption, I’m pretty sure I would lose it and float off in a sea of anger and anxiety…because, well, the tough things keep happening.

Thank goodness, that is not the only input I have. Thank goodness, I journal, pray and read scripture and devotionals. I know it is a good practice for me because that discipline always offers me a surprising perspective.

Today, for example was about sparkles. Jesus Always by Sarah Young: When you are feeling joyless, you need to pause and remember: I am with you….seek to see Me in your circumstances….Keep on looking until you can discern the Light of My presence shining on your difficulties, reflecting sparkles of joy back to you. p. 260

Sparkles of joy…I did not see that coming. I’ve always been big on the whole Light of the world theme and that all will be made well in the end. But, sparkles? Now? In the midst of our current day messes, problems, worries and griefs?

And then I started thinking about all the recent sparkles: our one year old evacuee grandson devouring a warm buttered blueberry muffin; a cottontail bunny I saw on my walk; rainbows that draped the sky after hurricane Harvey; acts of compassion, giving and heroism for others; JJ Watts’ fundraising miracle; churches opening their doors, making flood buckets and doing disaster relief. Funny things and beautiful things and unexpected things. Sparkles.

A friend of mine faced major cancer surgery last week. She and I actually laughed on the phone the day before at a tiny bright spot in the whole thing that no one but breast cancer warriors would understand. Sparkles of joy.

I don’t know what you are going through. My guess would be that it is something tough, unimaginable or even unspeakable. The surprising word of faith is this: look for the sparkles of joy. It turns out, they are everywhere.

 

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Word

It was a simple question texted to our 25-year-old son about whether he’d be joining us for a meal. He answered back, Word. I always have to stop and remind myself that in the language of young people, Word means Yes.

Then I have to remind myself that the usage goes way beyond that into other languages and cultures. This young generation actually uses the word Word in an ancient format. In Greek, the word for word is Logos. It is translated Yes. However, it is a big yes, as in what gives the whole cosmos order, form and meaning.

That’s why the opening of the gospel of John is rather stunning, especially if we could read it in Greek. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word/logos=Yes, a big yes=order, form and meaning=Jesus.

That’s a whole lot for a Monday so allow me to simplify: the word Word means yes.

I marvel at that considering all the words we throw back and forth these days; all the texts, the cable news words, the pundits, the back and forth….just so many words.

I crave just a brief word; a true word, a divine word, ordering and injecting meaning into all, don’t you?

I celebrate being able to share my words and having others read and share them also.

For years, I’ve known that writing was one of my passions. Writing is the place where I lose myself, where I am unaware of how much time has gone by; writing for me is a creative, God inspired act.  When I have taken or taught courses on finding one’s strength or passion, writing always comes out high for me. I love words. Writing leads to preaching and speaking but writing comes first.

So imagine how thrilled I was about a month ago when the Marketing Director of the Jesus Calling materials (Harper Collins Publisher) invited me to blog for them for May. They asked if I would combine the themes of motherhood and graduation with a blog about my own graduation to becoming a grandmother. They gave me 1000 words which  to a blogger is an extravagant gift. They asked if I would cite the resource, Jesus Always. I read Jesus Always daily and am truly inspired by it. Could there be a more joyful, delicious, natural writing assignment me?

The blog will come out this week on the Jesuscalling.com website.  It will also be e-blasted to, I don’t know, at least a few people world-wide.

Sometimes, it seems God says no. Sometimes God says wait, or heal. And then other times, when you least expect it, God says yes.

Today, I’m giving thanks for this yes and wherever it might lead. Wednesday and Thursday I know you will help me share my words and God’s Word through the Jesus Calling blog.

 

 

 

 

A Soul on Tiptoe

Writer Sarah Young often captures my imagination with just a few words. In a recent devotional in her new book, Jesus Always, she writes of a soul on tiptoe as it looks up to God in hope. On tiptoe is the posture I’d like to adopt.

Our eight month old grandson has learned to pull up to standing. I like to sit on the floor on the other side of whatever he is pulling up on to be ready for his facial expression the moment he sees something new from his heightened perspective. His blue eyes glitter. His smile shows both wonder and radiance. His whole face says, “Do you see what I see way up here?” It is the baby version of a soul on tiptoe.

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When life gets hard we are told as people of faith to “look up”. A soul on tiptoe is already looking up. In Lent, Christians pull back a bit, look inwardly, pray, give up things and we wait on God. We wander around in the wilderness knowing something spectacular is on the other side. New life is being born in tomb-like places.

How is your soul? On tiptoe? I hope so.

PS After my last blog, A Bucket of Skunks, my son-in-law asked me to clarify to everyone that he makes very good, non-skunk like coffee. In fact, even if there wasn’t a sweet baby at his house, I would just show up for the coffee.

I Get to Do This

Because technology is awesome, I’m on my back porch, with my dog, listening to my soothing fountain, blogging. I’m drinking a peach mango sparkling water and all is right with the world. We had fall for like one day and now it is sort of summer again. But it is good because it’s not like a Texas summer since it is only 83 degrees. I’m also out here because there are at least four men in our home working on things.

Today begins the third week of people in our house working on things. It is the third week of not being able to find any piece of clothing at the right time because everything is in the garage. We keep asking each other “Have you seen my khakis, my black belt, my sweatshirt?” The answer has been no every time and the hilarious side effect is that we each end up wearing each other’s clothes.

My husband and I keep going to the pantry for things and remembering all over again that there’s nothing there. To say we are disoriented is an understatement. I keep saying “It’s like camping without s’mores or a campfire or views.”

So imagine my delight when something I read actually helped me. In the new devotional book by Sarah Young, “Jesus Always”, a line jumped out at me last week. “As you go about your work, perseverance is essential. If you start to grow weary or discouraged, remind yourself, ‘I get to do this!'”

Isn’t that great? Not I have to do this; I get to do this! In counseling, we call it re-framing. I get to sit outside and blog. I get to have new ceilings and floors. You can apply it to anything. I get to exercise and am grateful to be healthy enough to do so. Not, oh no, the holidays, rather I get to celebrate with family and friends.

I shared this insight with my husband as I do all of my insights. Now we are correcting ourselves with a smile every time we complain. I get to wear my high school football player’s sweaty hoodie. I get to prepare dinners from the food I can locate in the garage. I get to improvise all the taken for granted basic comforts of home. We get to move our furniture from room to room as the men work.

Life is good. We are so blessed. Oh, and tonight I’m going with our 18-year-old son because we get to vote; him for the first time. Please, no matter how you feel this year, vote! Sacrifices were made so we could do that. I’m so grateful.

What “have to do” can you re-frame as a “get to do”?