Tag Archives: Creator

PANDEMIC 2020 VISION: Mother’s Day Addendum

“But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, for hers is where yours begins.”- Mitch Albom

Like most of you, I’ve kept myself busy for the past 55 days doing a lot of things that I was just too busy to do prior to being secluded. Like any of you that have pets – mine have become extremely spoiled and used to having me around 24/7. I love it. They love it. I guess we are both spoiled.

I got to talk to all four of my kidlets today, and took the choc lab girls for a social distance visit to my one daughter that lives near by. We walked on the path through the woods they have created during their time at home. Ate some snacks. Watched the kids play on one of the best tree swings ever. Laughed at 4 dogs adjusting to each other again. Held our breaths to take some pictures. Then I came home, washed my hands, and re-applied my essential oils.

All-in-all, a lull in the storm – a break to breathe – a time to remember who taught me how to breathe in storms. My mom…and dad…and Grandma Mac.

From the earliest bedtime stories to watching them face stormy times in their personal lives to the collective times of facing storms with their nation. I remember not swimming on very hot days in the summer during the polio epidemic. I remember standing in a long line on the cafeteria steps of my soon-to-be elementary school to take the first dose of the polio vaccine. I never felt their fear; I just followed them.

I still am.

I watched them both deal with my father’s heart disease. Listen to news accounts of The Bay of Pigs and continuing wars. Get my mother elected as village clerk with my dad beside her every step of the way. Mourn the murder of a president, a civil rights leader, a senator. Shelter, care, and spend time with their brothers and sisters. Be at the bedside of daughter hospitalized for 7 days for mono. Wash hands a lot during the Hong Kung Flu epidemic. Watch out a darkened window during a once-in-a-lifetime flood that came within feet of their home. Prepare for that once-sick daughter to go off to college amid an epidemic.

Yet – – in all those times, I never felt their fear reaching out to me – even though I’m sure that fear was there. After all, their daughter had a compromised immune system, and her father had already experienced two heart attacks. Instead, this daughter saw them on their knees – saw them hold hands in church – heard their prayers – and watched them from the stairs as they danced together the night before they took her to college.

My mom – and dad – both loved to tell stories about their families. Truth be told, I wish I had paid more attention and written some of them down. Later in life, my mom was able to take her mom on cruise. Grandma Mac’s smiling eyes when she talked about that cruise was beyond special. You can see it in the pictures they brought back just as I see it in my memory.

Stories are the threads that tie families into an expanding tapestry of His creation. A Creation story woven together by individuals, families, nations as His artistic Hand weaves the strong, colorful strands with the weakened, broken strands to create His perfect design from the beginning. His Grace blending them seamlessly together.

Honor thy father and mothers – not just today – but in all days.

“Your eyes saw my body. In your book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there were none of them.” Ps 139:16 

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EVEN SO

There have always been periods of brokenness – in self – in families – in societies – It has been there since the Adam and Eve hid themselves in a tree.

Did you know that?

In the original language, Adam and Eve did not don leaves to cover themselves. Instead, they hid in the tree. Obviously, an omniscient God knew where they were even though He asked, “Where are you?” He wanted to hear their voice seek Him as much as He was seeking them. Later though, He follows it up with another question, He asks, “Who told you that you were naked?”

Most of us who read these verses assume that the serpent told them or they learned it when their eyes were opened. However, Jewish traditions say that God told them when they were first created that they were naked in all their glory, just as He was naked in all His glory. There was nothing between them when they walked in that Garden together. Nothing that separated Creator from His Creations. Just their love – filling each other up – making what is separate  – one.

Today, amid all our brokenness, we hide in our separate trees and silently hope that Our Father doesn’t call out, “Where are you?” We don’t enjoy the garden of genders or colors or thoughts that He created for us. We are afraid. Like Adam and Eve, we each find a place to lay the blame. “It’s her fault.” “It’s his fault.” “It’s their fault.” And when none of that works, we shake our fist at Heaven and whisper – – – “It’s Your fault.”

I am reading more about God, Jewish traditions, and in-depth biographies than I have ever read in my life – well – except for the year I devoured all those orange covered biographies in our school and public libraries which sent me into a long bout of non-fiction reading on strange subjects. Good thing I worked in a library all through high school and college.

These readings keep leading me to other readings and podcasts and research that continually loop and feed into each other. Somedays, my head just aches, and I find myself impatient with the bickering of this world on whose fault it is. It is mine. Like everyone else, I have eaten of the fruit and hide my face from the One who still loves me enough to sit on the floor with me letting His love whisper, “Even so”.

“Our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off…is…the truest index of our real situation.”~C.S. Lewis

As soon as they ate the forbidden fruit, our fore-parents felt that yearning – that longing – for what they thought they would never have again. Brokenness that started with one bite. The ripples extending out to where we stand today in a sea of churning brokenness tearing away the land from beneath our feet. The Garden seems further away then ever…and yet…

And yet…the Father knew – He knew our yearning would never be filled by genders, colors or thoughts of this world by themselves. They could only be filled with a reunion with the Creator. A place where we could walk with Him in a Garden. A place where we wouldn’t have to hide in our separate trees. A place so filled with His love that the yearning disappears completely, and we feel complete once more. A place where we can sit, face-to-face and hear His Son’s love whisper over and over…“Even so”.

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Advent Hope #5: Lights Up

 ‘The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”~Jn 1:5

Our quirky little house sits on the corner in our neighborhood. When I think of it, I still have to chuckle now and then because Hubby swore he would never live on a corner lot or in a modular for that matter. LOL – Mama Mick always said, “Never say never.” So here we are – on a corner lot in a modular.
 
As for me – I grew up on a corner lot in a little town with a wonderful screened-in porch, so this quirky home feels almost perfect to me. Now – – – if I could just convince Santa to bring me a screened-in porch, the quirky house might take a step up from quirky. (Hmmm…I wonder what that would be?)
 
During most of this past year, the trees wrapped us in our own cocoon. This too is like my childhood home. When I was a child, I was lulled to sleep by smell of pines outside my window, and in the summer, I had my choice of maple, walnut, and weeping willow to play beneath. The parents planted privacy hedges along the street sides of our small kingdom. When they were just planted, I was often a magical horse who would jump over them in a never ending steeplechase. As they got taller, I loved the privacy they afforded so I could sunbathe my teenage angst in private and get paid to trim them in the summer.
 
I guess it is the Christmas lights in our little neighborhood that have sent my mind skipping back to those long ago days. Days of caroling, playing carrom in front of the tree with dad, or lying on the floor playing with my horses and Barbies while my big brother’s Lionel train carried them to far away places. Christmas lights are, as my youngest son called them, “Miracles”.
 
With the leaves mostly off the trees, I can see the neighbor’s lights as I clean up the dishes. And now – – – if I look out my front windows, I can see our own lights on the quirky house’s front deck. Maybe next year, I will get inspired to do something to the back deck. But for this year, I am content.
 
The house that was cloaked in darkness last year is now filled with light. While the physical lights we turned on in our home brings light to this little corner of the world, it is the Son’s Light that I am really waiting to see when I look out our windows tonight.
 
#perhapstonight #AdventHope #Isaiah9
 
“Often we stumble along, not knowing where we’re going, but understanding that the journey is worth it because Jesus took it for us, shared it with us. Because the immortal God became mortal, we all share in the immortality as well as the mortality.… To believe that the universe was created by a purposeful, benign Creator is one thing. To believe that this Creator took on human vesture, accepted death and mortality, was tempted, betrayed, broken, and all for love of us, defies reason.”~Madeleine L’Engle  [google image]

4 of 7: JOY

HobbitDJ4 of 7: JOY. “The birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of man’s history.” ~ John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973)

pictures-by-jrr-tolkien-24-728Today is the day. A day when magic and amazing creatures emerge from their hiding place as the Hobbit returns to the big screen one last time. Did you know that Tolkien was a very staunch Catholic? That he fought in WWI? Had four children (one became a priest), and… at one time…had no idea what a Hobbit was? Did you know that he wrote the series as a warning as he watched the rise of Hitler and hatereds of the 1930’s? JOY was a hard thing to find as the world struggled to recover its balance after “the war to end all wars”.

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit“. ~unknown Oxford student of J.R.R. Tolkien written on a blank final exam page.

JOY for a teacher often comes from the students. In this case, the above quote is what started Tolkien on the journey of his life. He had no idea what a hobbit was, but ever curious, he began to wonder, research and “see” the story in another world unfold in his mind. Ancient battle between darkness and light was being re-born  in a new allegory. JOY was born in his children as they listened to his bedtime stories of hobbits and elves and drawfs. JOY to the literary community as story after story bloomed from his soul and pen. JOY to the world as the stories he wrote became classics to generations of children. A story that told his beliefs of right vs wrong – light vs darkness – principalities vs principalities – rebellion of children and their Father.

Tolkien used the word eucatastrohpe to describe the moment when light utterly MS-Tolkien-drawings-28destorys darkness, and righteousness returns to reign over the world once more. God has written a book that could be called “LORD of All Creation”…a story that took shape not only on stone tablets but in our hearts, our minds and our souls as well. He sent JOY to replace the sadness of sin. LOVE to warm the coldness of a stormy night. HOPE to ease our fears and sorrows with a world spinning out of our control. Advent is a time to see the JOY, the LOVE, the HOPE in all things around us and to remember the Son who, though born as lowly as a hobbit, would one day deliver eucastastrophe to the world forever.. (Do you see why Tolkien chose the Hobbit to save the world now?)

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3 of 7: LOVE

Manna3 of 7: LOVE. Once upon a time in a land far away, there was a group of people who decided that there was a Creator. A Creator that built them a garden, gave them animals to LOVE, plants to tend, and visited with them everyday. But they were a cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy type of people (think anything has changed?). They did good deeds, prospered, begat children, cared for plants and animals, but they also did bad things. =( The Creator still loved them despite these faults, but because He was so righteous, He knew that their sinful eyes could not bare to look at Him. Since they could no longer see him, the Creator gave them ways to “see” Him. The Cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people called it “faith”. The Creator called it LOVE.

During one of the many seasons of life, the cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people got themselves in a pickle in another land. The Creator heard their cries in the darkness and sent them a man who led them out of the pickle and into the desert. Food was kinda scarce there, but the Creator (who LOVED His children) took care of that right quick. He gave them meat in the evening and bread in the morning.

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.” Ex 16 4-5

Slowly, the cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people began to realize that when they relied on the Creator’s bread and LOVE, their day went much better (funny how that works, huh?). Like most things, the lesson stuck for awhile, but as the generations aged away from the days of gathering the bread, their faith grew weaker and sin returned…afterall, they were a cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people.

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” Jn:35

However, the great thing about the Creator is that He never, ever stopped LOVING the cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people. He wanted to remind them about the bread and how it saved them when they were in that very dry, dusty, dead place, so He sent His son – His first born Son that He LOVED. His son, who was very good at metaphors, tried to remind the cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people with His words. He said over and over to these cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people, ‘if you will just gather Me every morning, I will nourish your life just like I did in all the dry, dusty, dead places in your lives’. Some listened. Some didn’t. (Natch)

It is a choice to LOVE. The Creator chose to put us first in His existence and surround us with LOVE. We get to choose whether we will LOVE Him back or even – whether we will put Him first in our lives. We are still cantakerous, headstrong and ouchy. The miracle is that we don’t have to go outside to gather manna in the morning any more. The manna is there for us whenever we want to gather it – whether it is in the dry, dusty, dead places of our lives or in the comfy armchair of our livingroom (although, in my personal opinion, the world certainly is much brighter when I gather the bread first thing in the morning). If we seek the things we LOVE first then we understand why the Creator seeks us every minute we are lost in our own deserts. It is simply because…………we are His first LOVE…..even if we are a cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people. Amazing, isn’t it?

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