Archive for the ‘Not Food’ Category

Red to White, Lord.

The richness of unjust rampage
viewed from a platform
constructed of self-righteous stones
appears crimson.

Take heart!
Within the muddled spectrum
Light abides
and ever changes the hue from certain death
to life.

Red to White.

Hearts are changed in this way.

Hate becomes love.

And the view changes.
____

I am struggling, Lord, to find any compassion in my heart for people who are unknown to me.  I feel they have opened fire upon what is mine.  What is Yours.  Stealing.  Maiming. Plundering and killing.  Lord, I feel every strike made at their hands elevates them to a platform from which they feel invincible.  And I find myself wrapped up in wanting the worst outcome for them.  Lord, I know I am not created for this mischief.  I know You did not design me to hold grudges.  I know You are unhappy when I judge.  Please help me.  Please help our community.  Please remind us, Lord, of Your supernatural ability to heal across all of our differences and allow tenderness to not be crusted over with the scars of evil events.  Help me, Father, as I desire to think, behave, and reach out in a way that is glorifying of You.  Father God, help me rise above this miry pit of pain and ugly feelings.  Lift us all up so that we may continue in this spiritual fight, knowing that Victory is already claimed – that YOU have overcome this world.  Give us strength.  Give me the ability to see through glasses that are tinted by Your light, and not my desires for justice.  You and You alone, Father, are able to take stuff like this and suit it up to bring a testimony that is Kingdom Building.  Ever remind me of Saul, Lord, and the testimony you gave him.  Let me remember this every time I want to write off the hands that pull the triggers, Lord.  Thank you for what You have promised and for Your truth.  Thank You for the hope we have in Jesus.  Crimson dotted with light, Lord!  Turn this place into your blinding spectrum of life!!

In Jesus’s name,

Amen

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…At Peace

MEMORY CHALLENGE:

AT PEACE
free from anxiety or distress / a state of friendliness / unruffled / undisturbed / harmonious / serene

Recall a time when you felt the most at peace, and invite Jesus to reflect with you. What do you remember? How did you feel then, as compared to how you feel now, re-visiting that time?

…Alone

MEMORY CHALLENGE:

ALONE
isolated / separated from others / exclusive of anyone and anything else / incomparable / unique

Recall a time when you felt the most alone, and invite Jesus to reflect with you. What do you remember? How did you feel then, as compared to how you feel now, re-visiting that time?

“When I felt most…”

During this season of Thanksgiving, join me for a time of reflection – “where we’ve been”.  As we explore our most personal memories, my prayer for you, and for me, is that The Lord will apply His balm, His humor (Yes!  I absolutely believe laughter is a good, good gift from Him.), and His view of all the times that come to mind as we ponder the most vivid emotions we have emblazoned in our hearts.  May God also reveal His presence with you during these reflections, and may you find thanksgiving in them.  What a celebration we will have together…We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby!

The first challenge will be posted tomorrow!
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Love You, Mom

Recently, I found something that belonged to my mama. It was something I thought had been lost even before her death 20 months ago.  It was something very special to her, and because of that – especially because of that – it’s special to me.

This lead me to my Mama’s Box Of Stuff so I could place the item  where it belonged. When I opened the box to put the found item in, I noticed something I hadn’t seen before. It was a bright yellow Dollar General bag.  How did I miss this little bag about a year and a half ago when I was sorting mama’s things, ever so carefully and in great detail, searching for and extracting memories from each picture, doodled on scrap of paper, address book and to-do list I could find?  I opened the small bag to find a signed, un-delivered birthday card…..from mama to me.  From my mama, to me!

I guess I don’t have to tell you there was a dramatic pause. Time.Stood.Still as I read every word in the card and felt the separation between the here and there caressed ever so tenderly.

LOVE doesn’t die. LOVE lasts. LOVE transcends. LOVE lives. On. and On. and On.

Mama didn’t know when she bought and signed that card when exactly it would be delivered to me…but God’s timing is always perfect, and better than anything we could ever orchestrate.  As I celebrate birthday 48, I am most thankful for the gift of eternal life…Hope in Jesus Christ….and know that a Heavenly celebration is yet to come!

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And thank you, Lord, for the gift of my mama’s love.

My Relationship With The Trashcan

Sometimes I hear God loud and clear.
It’s not that He’s sometimes speaking to me, but more that I’m sometimes listening.
And when I’m not listening very well to something He is adamantly saying, He sometimes has to show me.  And most of the times, when He sometimes has to show me something, I don’t see it.  Not the first time.  Probably not the second.  Maybe I will see it the third time, but I can’t say for certain that’s always a truthful statement.

Today, God showed me the trashcan.  It took THREE times before I saw it plain as day, and realized that I have an awfully quick handed relationship with that thing.

FIRST GLIMPSE (I totally missed this one):

I thought it was a container of butter.
It wasn’t.
I was scraping it out into the trashcan before I realized it was orange frosting.
My mother-in-law’s frosting, to boot!
Horrible, horrible mistake.
It looked like re-solidifed soft butter.
Butter that had been firm, then melted, and then re-firmed.
You know what they say about looks…that they can be deceiving?
They were.  And I didn’t think twice about it.
I thought it was something it wasn’t.

SECOND GLIMPSE (missed this one, too):

I thought it was trash.
An empty package.
It wasn’t.
I had thrown it away, tied up the garbage bag and hauled it outside to our curbside trashcan before I realized it was a brand spanking new package of chewing gum.
A pack my husband would later be hunting for.
It had been sitting atop the counter in the kitchen with other trash items:
and empty can, broken pencil and torn in half junk mail.
You know what they say about the company you keep?
This pack of gum was hanging out with the wrong crowd.
That’s what happened to it.
I thought it was something it wasn’t.

GLIMPSE THREE (this one I got!  I finally got it!)

I thought it was a forgotten soft drink.
There was a ring of condensation beneath it.
It wasn’t.
I said to my son, “Daddy forgot to take his drink to work”,
and I popped off the lid and dumped it in the sink.
It ‘plopped out”, the last quarter of my son’s milk shake.
You know what they say about judging a book by it’s cover?
I did that. And that’s what happened to the milk shake.
I thought it was something it wasn’t.

“Lord, I’m so quick to discard things, discounting them as things they are not.  Oh, Heavenly Father, do I do this with more important things, too?  Like people – my relationships with them?  Situations?  It’s so easy to ‘keep tidy’ by throwing things aside, or by getting rid of them all together.  Lord, I need Your help to distinguish between the things of value and the things that are to be cast aside.  Please help me to see Your hand-sewn opportunities beneath the exterior coverings of people and situations that are of value to You.  I don’t want to go through this life missing those opportunities.  And Father, I need Your help also in knowing when to let things go.  Help me to listen and see better, Lord.  Thank you for Your patience with me, and unwavering love, despite how messy I am.   I love you!  In Your Son’s name, Amen.”

 

 

I Thank My God For You

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Phillipians 1:3

Today marks one year since my mama stepped into Eternity. Time is a funny thing. It’s a constraint inside this world, but outside of these boundaries, it’s nothing really. Though mama has been absent from our lives physically, her memory is so alive with us – so present! – that she is a part of our every day. Still. And I am thankful!

Leading up to today, I’ve been trying to feel all the things that this world tells us we should feel when we lose someone so dear to us. I’ve considered sadness, a suppressed joy, even…I’ve considered what might be outwardly perceived as a respectful, mournful state…and I’ve even considered that silence might be an appropriate display for this time.  But what the world tells me I should feel today, and what I should have been feeling all year, does not match up with the promises of My Savior – and oh, how I can’t deny that its by nothing less than God’s grace and mercy – His complete and faithful promises – that I am not feeling exactly the way the world teaches us to feel. Instead, leading up to today, the Lord has showered me with some amazing memories that are like a cool-whipped topping on the peace He has graciously given me. Memories of YOU!

You have gifted me, kind strangers, my friends and my family, with a love brought to flesh directly from The One who set this world in motion. I DO thank my God for every time I remember you!

YOU, short red-haired lady who always greeted my mama with that beautiful smile, as you escorted her behind the scene at Dr. Pavy’s office. YOU, soft-spoken manager at the hotel where mama and I stayed in Charleston, waiting to see the doctors at MUSC. YOU, young working mother at the bank who took time to hold onto my mama’s hand in the parking lot, where you so graciously handled her business while she stayed in the comfort of our car. YOU, four gentlemen, who gave my mama the ride of her life in the heart-reach ambulance (she really did love your humor, that wasn’t just the pain medication talking!). YOU, all of you, with McLeod Hospice, treating my mama with such dignity and calm – and loving on our whole family. So many, many kind strangers that Jesus shined through. I remember you, and I am thankful.

And my friends. You know who you are. You brought my mama an ever-flowing supply of donuts from Krispy Kreme. You went with mama for her first pedicure. You saved my mama from a spider, and she really did believe you were a superhero for that! You tracked me down at MUSC to share a Starbucks and tears. You showered my mama with the most beautiful flowers. You sent mama the sweetest letter, telling her of the goodness of life through trials and the abundant love of Jesus (she kept that letter inside her pillowcase, did you know that?) You baked us a yummy chocolate chip cake…fed our souls with so much delicious foods and company.  You stayed by mama’s bedside with me, through her very last breath. You called. You emailed. You sent cards. You prayed. You came and sang hymns to her. You held mama’s right hand, while I held her left, and encouraged her to go into the arms of Jesus. You, ALL OF YOU,  loved with the hands and feet AND heart of Jesus.  I remember you, and I am thankful.

And to my family. I love you. My mama loved you – every single one of you – ferociously. From shelling butterbeans with her just a couple of weeks before she left this earth…to the fingernail polishes you delivered bedside…The flounder you special delivered to our house so mama could enjoy her favorite…the calls, the visits…the hugs and squeezes…the tears and the laughter…The Lord gifted my mama’s life – my life – when He made us family.  I remember you, and I am thankful.

And to my husband and sons – words cannot describe what we have journeyed through together.  Nana  loved her boys, ALL OF YOU, so much.  What a blessing to have her in our lives as we did.  As we do.  I draw on so much strength from who you are in Him.  I remember you, and I am thankful.

Today my mama’s been celebrating in heaven for a year our time – but for an eternity in eternity!  That brings me endless joy – almost giddy, even – to know where my mama is and in Whose presence she walks, literally, always.  I’m not sad, world, and I’m not depressed or off-centered today, as you would want me to be.  My mama lives today!  More so than any of us here on earth.  She lives, and I WILL see her again.  All because I know that Jesus’s promises are true, today I’m celebrating what is to come.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

-Lamentations 3:22-23