Tag Archives: Lord

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2019 #4

When the kitty is sick with a cold and just wants to curl in a ball on my lap, I can’t do much else than hold her and pray. After all, it is what I have done with her since she came to live with me a year and a half ago. Way too young to be abandoned on the side of a street, she shouldn’t have survived this long. Her siblings didn’t, and I really didn’t expect her to be the one to live.

I am thankful that she did.

She is still tiny. Tiny enough to lay on my lap as I type on my laptop and be comfortably stretched out. Tiny enough to curl on the back of my chair while she sneezes and snuffles, rubbing her head into the blanket that comforts us both. My heart aches for her, so I move her food and water a little closer hoping to tempt her to eat something.

Yet – through it all – I’m still thankful. Thankful when she turns to me for comfort. Thankful, when she eats a little. Thankful that today, she seems a little better than yesterday. Thankful that the Father trusted me to be her guardian.

“From them will come songs of thanksgiving
and the sound of rejoicing.”~Jer 30:19

How often does Our Father feel this? How often does He hold us on His lap? Rub our back? Whisper a prayer of encouragement? Move the manna and spring of living waters just a little closer for us?

Somehow, I feel as if He does it a lot more than we realize – – –
and I am thankful.

As I finished devotions today, preparing for getting on with my everyday life, I ran across this verse that I had used a few years ago in a blog post:
“The Lord will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.”~Is 58:11

I’ve been doing lots of reading in the WORD. More than I have ever done in my life. Intermittent fasting as well. Praying a whole lot more than I ever thought possible. His refiner’s fire is like that as He molds and challenges the new shape that is emerging. I see links between everything that happens during the day. A path outline that He has designed just for me to notice. And – while I do not live by sight, hearing or feelings, I definitely feel His wisdom seeping in through those crevices as the day progresses.

“It [is] the best of times, it [is] the worst of times, it [is] the age of wisdom…” to paraphrase Dickens.

And through it all – I am praising My Father for holding me in His lap, encouraging me with His Grace-filled songs of love. He rubs my back and moves the water and bread just a little closer to my reaching hands. He dries my tears as I reap His songs of joy.

For this – – – I am truly thankful to Elohim Chasdi.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” ~Is 58:9-14  just be held [google images/House of Maria art]

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE #3

Not a big fan of daylight saving time. Not a big fan of switching the clocks. Not a big fan of helping my critters adjust to new feeding schedules. Just not a big fan.

I do like when we get back to “normal” time though. It seems right to have the skies darkening by 5 P.M and lighter at 7 A.M. Then again, I enjoyed in summers past those same hours way before “daylight saving time” became standard changes every year. In fact – I remember when we had to drive to nearby city in a different county that was on “daylight saving time” when our county was not. Needless to say, made getting to doctor appointments interesting.

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.”~1 Chron 16:8-11

Fall days find me wandering outside to do a few things. Returning inside to do a few more things. It is the “perfect” seasons for wandering – even if the leaves have not been spectacular this year. I enjoyed today’s sermon by a veteran. I swept the porch and patio, painted the rest of the living room/hallway walls (at least the parts I could reach). Went back outside and painted another plant stand. Did a few loads of laundry. Read a few devotions. Walked my chocolate labs a few times. Kicked a few leaves and then sat on my swing.

“Let the trees of the forest sing,
let them sing for joy before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.”~1 Chron 16:33

For whatever reason, I am thankful and fully aware of My Father’s presence when I sit on that patio swing. Rocking back and forth. Back and forth, as I let the movement and the squeak of the swing settle into the deepest part of me. Those rhythms and sounds jostle awake other rhythms. Soon I am singing with the trees – singing for joy before the LORD – and thankful.

November is that month. That necessary month of transition in our mortal minds. After all, the worldly celebration of Halloween’s frivolity and pretend has passed. Christmas is a month in the future. We need these thirty days to realign our centers so that our focus can be on what is important – the greatest gift ever given to anyone – anywhere.

So this week, I am enjoying the wonder in my freedom that others sacrificed much to ensure that I could sit on a swing singing on a fall day. I am enjoying the transition from worldly concerns to that of thankfulness and praise for a Father who has held me securely within the shelter of His promises and wings over the past months of 2019. I am breathing in His name with every breath as I swing – breathing in: Yah – breathing out: weh – YHWY – Yahweh – Yahweh

A month of transition. A month of to enjoy transition. A month to humble myself. A month to prepare as I swing back and forth – back and forth – Yah – weh — Yah – weh — Yah – weh.. 

[google images/House of Maria]

PHEW AND PRAISE THE LORD

Four hours of walking the push mower. 2 – changes of sweaty clothes. 2 – breaks to gulp water. 2 -15 minute naps. 1 – shower and another set of clothes. One lost ball in a hole under a tree. A dog trying to dig to China through said hole. Praise the LORD – the yard is mowed for another couple weeks and the heat and humidity is on its way out of NC.

Phew!

“The very thing we thought would burn so brightly with joy has turned out to burn us.” Lysa Terkeurst, p93.

Needless to say, the rest of the day has been one of recovery and discovery. The lab girls are still pouting about the ball, but I have been reading and watching the rain clouds accumulate over our house. Painted a wall. Hung a few pictures. Opened my ears. After a busy morning, spending time doing the things I love most is always a good thing.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry.”~Ps 40:1

We got an inch of rain on Saturday, so the grass and gardens have been growing steadily despite the 12 days of 90 degrees and humidity that has plumbed the sinuses beyond their tiny cavities. Two zucchinis and several tomatoes later, I am reading my book on the porch and enjoying the breeze that always proceeds the storm. Our Father is good that way. He breathes and those that listen hear the storms’ approach and hunker down for the duration.

“He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”~Psalm 40:2

Nice thing about storms. They eventually pass. The thunder and lightning that scared me have disappeared over the horizon. My feet are in a firm place. I can wrap my arms around the porch post, feel the rain wash my face of its salty residue and smile. The hopeful prayer I had whispered in my heart at the beginning of June has come true. Grass so thick and soft has grown beyond what I thought possible, and I can walk barefoot in it every morning without a rock bruising my toes (it also stopped the mower a few times). The volunteer tomatoes are so bushy that they cover a good portion of the garden, full of fruit, and beginning to climb the blooming magnolia tree. And the tiny wisteria spouts that I planted a year ago? Well, they are stretching halfway across the portico that covers the patio.

“My hope is tied to the unchanging promise of GOD.”~Lysa Terkeurst, p94

Sometimes, life is just not easy. There are just a lot of storms that pass by in life. The physicality storm that followed mowing this morning did take its toll on this ol’ gal. The back ached even with my new back brace for the hard part of the yard. The knee hurt – even after using the inversion board – but after icing – much improved. The sinuses were swollen but less so after the essential oils. So with a little help the physical storm passed, and I’m ready to let my body yawn, listen to a little Lauren Daigle or Danny Gokey and bury my nose in a book full of hopeful covenants that are never broken.

Phew and Praise the LORD!

Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 70’s, my heart is full of joy, and hope is all around me. After all, this little guy came for a visit – until the hummingbirds kept dive bombing him. Talk about unexpected joy.

Phew and Praise the LORD!

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ONE PERFECT SABBATH

Today was one of those days made perfect by the tiny small acts that happened throughout it. Acts that have warmed my soul and reminded of the holiness of the day.

A day that really didn’t start out so well. Our youngest lab girl woke me up at 3:30 with that dreaded sound that all pet owners or kidlet parent recognizes – regurgitation breaths. Getting untangled from the the bedding in the middle of the night is not one of the fastest things I do anymore – but I managed, and Koay managed to hold it in until I got her out the door. The old dog didn’t even get up. She just rolled on her back, thinking she might get a belly rub when I returned.

Needless to say, I was not in the mood to rub anyone’s belly, and Ryndi just sighed as she rolled back over. Luckily, Koay did what needed to be done fairly quickly and was back in the door within a few minutes wanting her belly rubbed. Again, I was not amused. I crawled into bed and hoped I could fall back to sleep.

I did – – – eventually.

The last time I glanced up at the time reflected on the ceiling, an hour had already crawled towards dawn, and I was yawning my way through one more Bible verse (which is what I do when I can’t sleep). Obviously, my plans on rising early to do some mulch moving during the coolest time of our 90-degree-really-really-humid-days got lost in catching up on some much needed 💤 .

Early morning chores followed. Walk the dogs, sweat. Pull some weeds, sweat a little more. Throw the ball and listen to panting dogs hunting for it – sweat. Sit on the patio swing while glancing through the paper and – you guessed it – sweat. By that time, it was time to get cleaned up and go over to the daughter’s for breakfast and help the oldest Grand paint her room – or should I say – help her parents paint the room as she added a couple of brush strokes here and there.

In any case, it was there – standing in her room – in between playing with clay, talking about “Hatchables” and the habitats we had made from clay for them, tossing a “Wubble” up and down the stairs, and those few swipes of a brush in her bedroom, we found ourselves pretty much alone for a few minutes.

We were talking about the color of her room – a very striking turquoise – when she curled under my arm and wrapped her arms around me. We kept talking and laughing for one of those moments which you know is searing itself as a treasure chest memory into your heart. The almost 11-year-old, leaning into me just like she used to do when she was tiny – just like her mama used to do when she was tiny.

My heart was blessed beyond measure with such a gift.

The ultimate gifts of any day are not usually fancy. Usually they come so quickly that we don’t even notice. They don’t usually cost money. They can be as simple as having a butterfly land on your finger at the end of the day as it flutters its wings and probes your skin for its salty moisture. The gift of a Lab girl that wiggles under the inversion board as you stretch your back, so she can rub her head against your head just to show how special she thinks you are in her life. A Father who sends His blessings in so many ways if we only take time to notice.

It was a good day – a perfect day – a day to praise God and remember why we should keep the Sabbath and make it holy.

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

~Ex 20:8-11

 

EPIPHANIES

It was a crazy busy day, and “I am whooped”, as my mother used to say. Inside decorations put away by noon. Outside decorations put away and stuffing my face with food by 3. It is the day of Epiphany, and my house looks like it is in mourning.

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” ~ Jim Rohn

My nephew posted this quote today. Actually, it was a memory post, but today it struck me as an epiphany. There was another quote that also struck me as an epiphany. “Instead of saying, “LORD, I don’t know how I’m going to do this,” say, “LORD, I don’t know how YOU are going to do this.”

The last one should NOT have been an epiphany since I love the verse in 2 Chronicles 20:12 which basically tells me the same thing. ” For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on YOU.”

My eyes, my heart, my total being needs to be focused only on how My Father intends to work through me or others in my sphere to handle something. I have to admit, I often get overwhelmed. I get angry, frustrated and definitely, impatient. I also have a soft heart. It breaks often. It rejoices often. A students tells me his only prayer at Christmas was for his mom and dad to get back together. Another friend celebrated their mom’s 90th birthday. A friend’s husband walked out on them just after Christmas. Another friend was reunited with GOD and their family. A former student lost his battle with the C-word while another just got a clean bill of health and a final surgery from that same dreaded C-word. A kitty who always has matty eyes and scabby skin cuddles in my lap and yet – has survived a whole year and half when we thought she wouldn’t make it a week.

Hmmm – when I started writing this post, I didn’t see it going in this direction and yet, that is the way the Spirit seems to be moving me tonight. Epiphanies are like that. Those break-through moments that you open your eyes and see something that you didn’t expect to see. A sun dog in the sky. A dark cloud in an otherwise sunny day. A phone call from an old friend that was full of laughter, thoughts and love that couldn’t be shared with anyone else than her. A phone call to look forward to from a son just home from his vacay.

GOD is good. So good that He sent a Son and His Holy Spirit to comfort us, to sustain us, to challenge us, to push us, to encourage us, to help us laugh, to dry our tears, to offer Grace Gifts that will carry us through until we see Him again. Now that is an epiphany worth hanging onto in the dark times and in the joyful times.

The next couple of weeks are hard ones for me. Bittersweet dates in time when I will miss my earthly parents and parent-in-law a little more than usual. Reflection times of pulling out their memory books has already started.Touching captured moments in time with my fingers. Reading words that they wrote so many years ago and lingering a little longer with those internal memories that words cannot express.

Today’s epiphanies that Our Father has whispered inside my heart have been His Grace Gift to me. A while back, I thought I had found the perfect way to combat the sadness of these weeks, but that was only on the worldly level. This epiphany level is ever so much stronger and better. The Be-attitudes strike me again with the strength of a sledge hammer. I only wish I had realized it so much earlier on this path I walked. Then again – I think I probably recognized it at just the right time in eternal space because it is His space in time, and that is always perfect.

I will cry – I am crying – I will cry, but tears are good. They wash out the dirt and grime that as accumulated in the corners of my eyes and allow my vision to clear. The Grace Gifts of yesterday are also swirling around, and I am itching to start my new Bible studies and delve even deeper into Jewish wisdom.

GOD is good all the time. All the time, GOD is good.

“Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”~Matt 5:4  comfort-bible-verse-1-lg   [google image]

FANTASTIC GIFTS OF FALL

“Pastor Phil had a farm…”

Yesterday was just what I needed. A day on the farm. The smell of freshly baled hay. Two hayrides out into open fields with parents, teachers, and students. A petting barn full of animals. Dogs, goats, horse, however the cows, chickens and quinea hens were a little stand offish – especially with all the excited kidlets running around, so I couldn’t quite pet them all. (Goats are still my favorite – even if there weren’t any Nubians.)

It was a true “harvest” festival. Pumpkins got decorated. Stories were mixed with songs. Long tables set with picnic lunches. Laughter and smiles on every face – except maybe for Pastor Phil when his tractor got a flat during the hayride. All in all – a day to give “Thank you, GOD, for everything praise in our loudest voices.”

“Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.”~Heb 6:7

It reminded me how much I miss being on a farm. Born and bred as a “townie“, I was surprised at how well I took to farm life. My in-laws were the perfect mentors for me. Mom K. took me under her wing and taught me to feed chickens, gather eggs, cook, can and freeze. Pop K took me to the barn and taught me to feed the cows, throw hale bales (if they weren’t the huge ones) and stack them in the back of the wagon. I even learned to milk the cows – although, I was never good at it. My one claim to fame was milking out a cow with mastitis when everyone was sick. Pop would laugh every time he told that story, but his voice told me how proud he was that I did it well.

OK – I think I got a little side-tracked into my treasure chest of memories in that last paragraph. What I really wanted to talk about was that being on the farm reminded me of how close it always makes me feel to Our Father. It is one of my “happy” places – a gem in a treasure chest. A place where I sang Pop’s favorite hymns and songs as I cleaned the milk tank. A place where I walked in the cow pasture or the hay field to sit under a tree just to watch the cows, write or pray. There is just something about a farm that opens up my eyes to how blessed it is to be truly known and truly loved by Our Father.

Yesterday, was our own version of Sukkot and full of “Fantastic Gifts of Fall”. it was a blessing to all who were able to be there to enjoy the hayrides, stories, songs, food, fellowship that filled our harvest cornucopia. Throw in the sounds of a few animals, the laughter of children and adults, and it is as close to perfect as you can make it on this earth. 

“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 
‘Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. 
In quietness and confidence is your strength.’ “~ Is 30:14-15

#fivedaystoelection #Godisgood#prayforournation

 

ALIYAH

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?”

There are nights when after a full day of walking through his life, that the world seems darker than dark. Angry slurs spew back and forth – separating, dividing, tearing at loose bands that once wove and united one to another.

And the age old question rises once again.

The Book of Life is full of similar stories. People united then torn apart by complaining, whining, power, self-interest. They have a beautiful garden, but want what they want when they want it. They watch the leader walk up a mountain and when he is a little late, they make their own leader out of gold. They get freedom, but don’t like walking. They get manna but want meat. They see the Son of God but He doesn’t fit the description in their heads. They have forgotten the song.

When the Jewish people would journey to Jerusalem for a festival, they would sing Psalms and recite the Torah. It was a way to teach the youngsters, but it was also a way to remind themselves of why they needed to do this journey in life. They called the journey “aliyah”. Today, when a person moves to Israel, it is also called “aliyah”.

“My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth…”

Tomorrow, our little school is making a journey to a farm. They will take a hayride, pick out a pumpkin, get some pictures taken, spend time with the animals, and listen to some stories and songs. Since Jesus made aliyahs when He walked this earth, I will be reading a story about the Jewish festival Sukkot – the harvest festival. I had to smile when I saw that our principal paired me with the music teacher. After all, it is fitting that the story and songs will go together on an aliyah.

God is like that. When things are darker than dark, He throws a little light into it. A fire cloud that leads us forward and protects our hearts from the chaos. It is just a matter of faith. A matter of looking up to the hills and remembering to ask the question.

Where does our help come from?

It cometh from the LORD who hath made heaven and earth.

“He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.” ~ Ps 121 A song of ascent. 

[google images]

#7daystoelection #7daystopray #7daystolookup

RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’

“Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head…”

It has been a weekend of dark, dreary and rainy days. Yet, our big, old bag of wind Florence only brought us a few gusts of wind and about 6 inches according to our rain gauges. Then again, since some of those gusts have kind of blown the rain sideways, some of the rain might have missed those gauges entirely.

Hard to feel excited on dreary days. ‘Blue days’ as my mom used to call them. Got to admit, I’ve wasted most of the past couple days. Could have pulled out the crochet needles – could have read more of my books – could have gone on more walks (between the raindrops) – – – could have done a lot of things.

I just didn’t.

I did do several cryptograms, jigsaw puzzles, on-line word games, baked cookies, read some devotions on-line and off, watched several of my favorite ministers, made a big batch of spaghetti, watched some of my favorite movies, and kinda meandered here there, doing miscellaneous chores that I wanted to accomplish just in case the electric went out. But all-in-all – – – nada, zilch, nothing that contributed anything to anyone – anywhere.

“But there’s one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me
Won’t defeat me
It won’t be long ’till happiness steps up to greet me…”~”Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”

I really don’t like looking back over my weekend and seeing how much time so easily slipped past me. I did, indeed, let the “blues defeat me”. However, God is good. He opened the eyes of my heart today. I walked the dogs and really listened as I avoided the worst of the slippery red, clay. After all that is what the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is all about. Holy Days. 
Time to reflect, 
to repent, 
to listen, and… 
to change.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you….”~Ps 32:8

Those raindrops keep falling tonight, and I think we have added another inch just since I started writing. Flood and tornado watches are up. The dogs stick their heads out the door and give Spooky-Shadow-Sparkle a dirty look because no one makes her go outside in the rain. So – I think it is time to stretch my knees and start to make my way back to my quiet room. Read a book, listen to some harp music and plan the many things I want to accomplish tomorrow. The Grands are coming for the morning, so lets start there.

“Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”~Ps 32:11

[google images]

DORIS DAY NIGHTS

It’s a Doris Day movie kind of night. Wind has picked up. Rain has kicked in. Satellite has kicked out more times than I can count on one hand. Soooooo….

Movie night….Doris Day movies…and clam dip kind of night.

There is just something about Doris Day comedies, musicals and even her dramas that lightens my mood. 
It Happened to Jane”
Pillow Talk
Pajama Game
Please Don’t Eat the Daisies 
Love Me or Leave Me
April in Paris
Do I need to name more?  There are definitely more, but there are very few – if any – that I haven’t seen and watched several times. I do have my favorites, but generally, I love the older movies when I really want to forget the world and all the things that it brings with it on these kind of days.

I smile. I laugh. I cry. I praise Our Father for reminding me of all the joy that can surround us even on the darkest nights..

“…what is mankind that you are mindful of them – human beings that you care for them?”~Ps 8:4

The past two days have been stay-at-home-days, and I probably won’t leave the homestead for another two. There is something that calls to me to stay put when storms swirl about me and my home. Something that calls me to gather some flowers from the garden for that old, bag of wind Florence before she gets here.

Besides, I like re-assuring the pets and receiving their wiggles and cuddles in return. 

I like walking the yard and neighborhood as the winds, rain (or snow in some storms) buffer my cheeks. 

I like checking on plants, picking some out of the water, and as I go, lifting and carrying bigger sticks that litter my path back to the wood pile. 

While watching my trees bend and – sometimes – break is not something I like to watch, but it is something I need to see. My banana tree has definitely not been happy today, and I keep touching it when I walk outside as if to re-assure it that “This too shall pass”, and  that “all the tears in its leaves will only make it stronger”.

“You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.”~Ps 8:6-8

It is hard not to be attached to things in this world. After all, Our Father created a garden for us to live in, and even though we are locked out of the original garden, we still have remnants of it in this world. Our world may be a little harsher – a little more crazy – a lot more dense with sin – and yet – it is the world that He created just for us. 
To love…
To watch over…
To nurture…
To tend…
To clean up when needed…
And evenually – – –
To give back to Him…
With all praise and honor and glory …

“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”~Ps 8:9 

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ANTICIPATION DAYS

Ya know how you wait and you wait and you wait for special days? Anticipation takes over almost every waiting minute? Lists of things to accomplish before the event occurs? While the pit of your stomach aches just to go to sleep, so you can wake up before it arrives and get more done?

That’s what it has been like in NC this week.

Switching between the weather channel and local news. Walking outside to recheck what might need to be stashed or tied down or chucked in the trash. Checking on friends living close to the coast. Answering notes of messages of concern from friends in other states. Checking on older neighbors. Praying for, not just our coast, but all the other coasts, states and countries that are battling their own natural disasters.
The workers that stand in the gap.
The uncertainty.
The loss of stuff.
The worry.
The prayer.

‘We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy. O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act!”~Dan 9:18b-19a

As always – knowing me well and my constant need for reassurance – my many devotions centered on the power of prayer and a merciful and loving Father who not only hears but anticipates our every need – even before we voice it. Oh but He loves to hear our voices cry out to Him, so He waits. Like us – whom He created in His own image – 
waiting – 
anticipating – 
loving – 
completely knowing us to depths of ourselves that even we don’t know.

These are the nights and the days of anticipation. The days of the shofar. Jewish tradition says that every night when sleep comes, the souls rise to heaven and record what they did that day in a book- the real good, the good, the bad, the ugly bad – and then attest to it with their signature.

A part of me likes this idea. Being accountable for my actions was drilled into me over and over as I grew up. Recording them while they are still fresh with joy or heavy with dread – in my soul seems like good parenting. Signing my name in full to the real good, the good, the bad, the ugly bad helps me face what I have done with my day. But in my mind I see something more – something so full of love that my breath catches in anticipation.

When the shofar blows at sunrise, I see a cross stamped – – – completely blotting out my deeds and signature. My tear-filled eyes blink to see His nailed-scared hand holding mine, easing the eternal back into the temporal. Our eyes meet in that silver cord second, and His smile remains within me for the rest of the day. His song singing in my soul as the sun rises above the horizon, and I swing my feet over the side of the bed to start anew.

I am fully known, fully forgiven and fully loved..

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”~Ps 32:1a

  [google images/Akiane art]