Tag Archives: Anne Voskamp

NAP DAY

Today was the absolute, perfect nap day. The book I am reading was almost finished. The dogs were already curled up on the sunny deck. Me? I thought about going out and curling up in the sunshine, but it was just too chilly. High 50’s and a consistent breeze are really not conducive to a restful nap.

I usually don’t take naps during the day, but a cold has been trying to grab hold of me, so I didn’t go anywhere today. I slept a little later this morning and decided to pamper myself with essential oils and sleep. After all, if the dogs could do it, so could I. I traipsed around the house, but we don’t really have a sunny window area, so I just curled up in my chair.

Luckily for me, I can fall asleep at the drop of my eyelids. Often, short prayers will dash past my lips, blips of stories might also drift through or perhaps, or a lullaby of songs may carry me off to sleep. Today, just the notes of a song did the trick. No words. Just notes. When I woke up, the words of that song had made their way to the forefront of my mind.

Stretching, I sat up and realized it was the first Christmas song I had ever learned that sang me to sleep and woke me up. However, it was not the first verse that most of us sing routinely, but the last verse that was singing through my mind.

“Be with me Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay….”

The dogs came running in from the deck. When I looked at the clock, I knew why they were bouncing and smiling at me. It was supper time and heaven forbid, if I am ever late in getting it into their bowls. As they munched away. I started preparing our human meal for the evening as I sang the words softly to myself.

“Close by me forever and love me, I pray…”

The nap was a good thing. The blessing of the song was the best thing. I’ve been thinking about it all night and wondering why it was that song and that verse. Lent is generally a time when people “sacrifice” something they love in honor of what Christ “sacrificed” for all of us. Last year and this year, I’ve kind of walked away from that.

I’ve been reading a book by Anne Voskamp, The Broken Way. In one chapter she quotes an Auschwitz survivor and author, Viktor Frankl. Man’s search for the meaning of life become clear when it “…points, and is directed to, something, or something other than oneself…by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love.” p.92

Such a perfect description of Christ’s journey on earth. Every step He took for three years was devoted to pointing exactly towards how to find our meaning for life. We were created in His image. A Father who completely empties His bucket out for those He created. A Father who continues to seek the lost sheep. A Father who sent His Son to point the way.

“Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care…”

So this Lenten cycle, I am trying to pour out my bucket for those who have been placed in my pasture. Writing letters to shut ins. Giving time to others. Crocheting more prayer shawls for those in need. Scrounging change out of the dusty corners to share with groups that I admire. Praying more than I ever knew was possible. And still, there are a couple of other things I want to try, but until I do them, they are just ideas, and I haven’t really emptied my bucket.

Lent is a time to direct our steps just as Christ directed his steps towards Jerusalem. I’m not sure where this journey will lead me. I’m just focusing my steps day-by-day. Today, they led me to a nap, a Christmas song, and bouncing, smiling dogs who are now curled in their beds. Hmmmm….I think it is time to join them an listen to my lullabye one more time.

“And take us to heaven to live with Thee there
And take us to heaven to live with Thee there.”

A Good Book

I hate leaving the world of a great book. Today’s world du jour was Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons. Re-entry into my world always takes burnt mountainplace normally, but the flashbacks continue for a few hours as I detach my self from that community and group of people that I have grown attached to during our short time together. Then I begin to wonder if there is possibly one more book of Siddons that I haven’t read and can’t wait to get to a computer to do a search.

A good book is a treasure which reminds me that I haven’t done my daily devotions in The Good Book yet. Surprisingly, I’ve gotten in the habit of enjoying my hour alone with WORD far more than I enjoy any other book (which I find totally amazing). It used to be that I had to force myself to Jesus_Christ_Superstarpull out the Book – read my token couple of randomly chosen chapters – say a quick prayer – all the while tossing a glance upwards as if I was Simon Zeolotes in Superstar: “Christ You know I love You, Did you see I waved? I believe in You and God, so tell me that I’m saved.”

“I will put my trust in Him.” Hebrews 2:13a

Nice thing about being retired is that I do have more time. In reality though, I try to do devotions at night right after supper, so I could have been doing this all my life.. Anne Voskamp mentioned this tradition in one of her books, and it intrigued me. Then I read it was also a Jewish tradition in some sects to study the Torah after a meal. It began to make sense. A full belly is useless if you have a soul that is starving.

“…All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the WORD of the LORD endures forever…” 1 Peter 1:24-25

For me, it’s the best time of day. I’ve gotten my chores done, and I’m ready to just enjoy the quiet whispers of sound that surround our new biblehome. The heat of the day has passed, a slight breeze is gently pushing the wind chimes and the harmonics are better music than anything on the CD. Dogs are content to watch the birds or get in trouble for chasing the wild cats who often make the mistake of crossing the road in front of our house. And, I can work on that “stillness” that our preacher was talking about this week (I still “talk” way too much so I hope God is being patient).

Most of you who are my friends, understand that “need” to read a great book, especially after we’ve passed the exposition, and we’ve become attached to the story line/characters/hypothesis formulating in our heads of “what happens next” . If we leave that book behind (or haven’t downloaded a digital copy in reserve on our phone) and don’t have it to read when we have a minute or two, we are beyond frustrated. That same feeling has now transferred to my devotions. I try to do more than “wave” at God these days and miss it more than I can say when I don’t make the time to spend with my Father. That being said, I guess it is time to get off of here and read a few more words in a book that never ends, and for that, I’m truly thankful to Our Father.

love books