Tag Archives: love
All day I stayed away from the news. I cleaned my in-box of all news related posts. I listened to Christmas music and sang – loudly – as I worked on things around the house. I was in a great mood. Then I got on FB.
“Bless the four corners of this house, and be the lintel blessed; And bless the hearth and bless the board, And bless each place of rest, And bless each place of rest.”
Yesterday, we started moving our “junk” into the house. It was bittersweet. When I opened my eyes in the morning, I could feel the house considering us. It had been ripped apart, patched, and given an expensive beauty treatment and face-lift. Now it was pondering what would come next. Expectation circled as I pulled myself out of bed and made my way with dancing dogs to the feed bowls. (Yes, indeed, after saying my morning drowsy prayers, the dogs claim my first steps to their dog bowls and treats).
I could almost feel the house sigh with happiness.
My kids and hubby will tell you that our car rides were filled with fictional short stories about people, animals and/or random things we encountered along the way. I think it started with my mom and dad trying to find ways to entertain a squirmy 5 year old with no seat belt to hold her semi-still, on “long” trips to visit family on a Sunday afternoon. Sometimes it was as simple as, “I bet that tree is sorry that it lost a branch in that wind storm last night” – to stories that would last for miles as each of us added more details, emotions and personality to whatever had caught our fancy. So I guess you can see why I could “hear” the house sigh.
“And bless the door that opens wide To stranger, as to kin; And bless each crystal window pane, That lets the star light in, That lets the star light in.”
By the end of the day, I was too tired, sore and grumpy to do much of anything except fall into bed. I felt bad that I didn’t write on the second day of Lent. I felt bad that I didn’t get more done. I felt bad that it was so cold. I felt bad that every joint and muscle hurt. But – as I curled under the covers, the newly installed heat system kicked on and the house began to sing a lullaby.
This morning brought a more lazy awakening. Hubby had taken the dogs out for an early – very chilly – walk. There were no tongues licking my hands or dancing paws next to the bed. Just me, saying good morning to my Father and feeling warmth spreading around the room in welcome. Birds – a nuthatch, titmouse, sparrow, cardinal, blue-jay, woodpecker – darted in and around the bird feeder outside the bedroom window, and I smiled. A hint of whisper echoed in my ears as I sat up, “Love”.
“And bless the roof-tree over head, And every sturdy wall; The peace of Man, the peace of God, the peace of Love on all, The peace of Love on all.” Arthur Guiterman, 1871-1943/Van Denman, Thompson, 1890-1969 “United Methodist Hymnal” 1932 p 433
This afternoon, I sat down to the piano for the first time in over a month. I have missed it. Unfortunately, all my music is still packed away, and I don’t play by ear. However, El had a plan – as always. A book fell out of a box that I was moving. It was an old Methodist hymnal. Funny thing about God wink moments – nothing is a coincidence. The first page I opened the hymnal to was page 433. Hmmmmmmm…… Needless to say, the first song I played today was the hymn on page 433. smile emoticon
We are far from done. There is more junk still in the garage than is in the house. There are still many things that still need patching and re-newed. Hubby took a second big trailer of junk to the landfill. Together, we moved things. fussed at each other and fussed at each other again, and planned the master bathroom in more detail that we hoped to start soon. But underneath it all, we could hear the house say she understands and is happy just to have us here. This morning she wondered if she had become our home yet. Tonight I am telling her, “Yes, we have come to you, and you – imperfect as you are – we chose you to be our home.”
On this third day of Lent, I pick up another stone and place it in my bowl. Home. Home – here on earth. Home – in the arms of family. Home – to those that are entrusted to our sphere of care. Home – as imperfect as we are – in the heart of a Father who sent His Son – to choose to make His Home with us. Our house has become our Home —- our Temple.
“As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel”~1 Kgs 6:12–13
My heart has been heavy today. My mind reflective. My eyes watery. My prayers continuous despite the business of trying to line everything up for the move to our new home. You see, a friend decided to take a trip out of the fiery turmoil of painful days, through the rising waters that engulfed the night in a starless darkness to a place where she could walk with her shepherd in a beautiful field of wild flowers.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”~Is 43:2
Our English vocabulary is often inadequate. “Love” – “Friends” are words used often in our culture. Words thrown around helter-skelter until the wisdom of the word becomes a blurred image of what it should represent.
We have “friends” on Facebook. We have “friends” in the workplace. We have “friends” that we hang with every now and then. We “love” ice cream. We “love” the latest celebrity that has incited us to drool.
Perhaps that is why I am fascinated with Hebrew. Each letter, each jot and tittle, sways the meaning within the context of the other words around it. While a word may technically represent a definition, the subtleties of the marks and surrounding words change the connotation and interpretation.Wisdom hidden in the word – waiting to be found.
“You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”~Ps 18:28
Today, I am remembering my friend. Her laughing voice that carried a smile through every word. A smile that always traveled in her eyes. The way she introduced herself when she was the “new” kid in our small rural junior high school How she was always rushing in where I feared to tread and daring me to follow.
Like most friends, we laughed. We spent hours on the phone (you know – those contraptions with long cords and parents hanging on every word). We whispered…over boys. We cried…over boys. We fought..over boys. I wrote poetry…over boys…when she was heart-broken, and she took me for long drives when I was in the same weepy state…over boys. We double dated. We married – I was her maid of honor and 10 years later, her second marriage to the same man – inspired hubby and me to pull off our wedding in just a few weeks. We raised our children along side each other.We went years without talking and then talked for hours as if we had just talked the day before. Our cell phones on speaker as we moved around – laughing about life – planning future visits – and crying when the pain was at its worse.
I can count on one hand the friends that truly “know” me. They have seen past the surface and know my ugliness – my pain – my sorrow – my love – just as I know theirs. They have walked some pretty dark paths with me and provided Light when I was sure I would never see the Light again because my chosen path was so bloody, filthy and littered. And even though I wasn’t always the “best-of-friends”, Cheryl was one of those friends who provided a Light unto my path when I needed it.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”~Jn 14:1-4
Our last conversations these past few months always circled back to Our Father and His Son. She knew the Shepherd was waiting in the field just beyond the mist, and she had found the path home. I admire her courage, her fortitude as she walked this last path, and I can’t believe that she won’t be on the other end of my phone any more. Yet here I am – smiling as I write this because she has done it again. She has rushed ahead of me and I can see her daring me to follow. She is my friend, and she knows that eventually, I will get there. I’ll tell you this, when I do arrive, she better be ready to talk for a few hours. Hopefully – we won’t have to use a phone, her voice will be laughing, and I will be able to see that sparkling smile in her eyes again. Love you, Cheryl, and Blessings!Be! to your family.
Today was truly the Sabbath. Blessings followed blessings followed blessings. The best one was a visit from Mama Mickey. A post from January 2013 resurfaced today. It was a video of my mom that I had posted on her birthday before I retired from teaching. Since I don’t believe in coincidences, I think she was letting me and my daughter know that she loved our “GrandmaMickey Day” with the Grands yesterday. I am doubly sure that she and Dad were laughing as hard as they coudl as they watched the hubby getting “dressed-up” in her old stuff. (What we do for love and our Grands!) The wilderness of my life became lush with a fountain of living water.
If we’re lucky, the “wildness” of this life becomes tolerable as our parents share their waters of their “fountain”. Later, as we journey away from their fountain, we drink from other fountains. Sometimes the water is okay. Sometimes, the water clouds our vision with invisible minerals that we do not percieve. And sometimes…sadly…the water slowly poisons us until the body can not function at all. Parched and dying, the spirit shrivels into the crevices of the physical body waiting for that one drop of “life”.
“Yeshua stood, and he proclaimed and said: “If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.Everyone who trusts in me, just as the scriptures have said, rivers of living water shall flow from within him.” ~Jn 7:37b-38(ABPE)
Holy Week began today. Chruches around the world celebrated the one day when the people crowded around the fountain and reached out their hands toward its water. If the people were anything like we are – some of them actually drank of the water in that fountain. The spirit within revived and flourished with its richness. Others reached for the fountain put didn’t have the courage to drink the water. Instead, they let it dribble through their fingers where it fell upon the earth. Had their spiritual eyes been opened, they might have noticed the blossoms that bloomed in the dust at their feet, but instead they moved on – trampling the tender blossoms beneath their feet. And some, stood at the back of the crowd. Their hands hanging limply at their sides as they scoffed at the others who drank from the fountain.
Holy week is a time to return to the fountain and look deeply into its waters. Sometimes the water is still, quiet and peacerful. Other times, the waters roll and sparkle with bubbly crests of gaiety. Still other times, the waters are troubled and fearfully dark with storms. But – if one is brave enough to push through the crowd, reaching their hand deep into the waters to drink from it, they will find the waters in this fountain are all embued with LOVE….passionate… personal… eternal… living waters.
The fountain is there. The rest is up to you.
(google images of Loudonville, Mohicanville, OH)
Today 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 destorys 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?)
(google images of Hobbit images)
5 of 7: LOVE. “O come let us love Him…” Doesn’t quite sound the same, does it? We Americans tend to be vocabulary poor. We use the word LOVE for everything in our society. New song on the radio – LOVE it. New selfie – LOVIN’ it. New guy in our life – LOVE him to pieces. LOVE that idea…LOVE is right around the corner…LOVE is where you find it…LOVELY thought…cute and LOVABLE..noun, verb, adjective, adverb.. LOVE is an overused word in the English language.
“...Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matt 2:1a-2
We say we LOVE God. We read it in the Bible. When we give our testimony, LOVE comes into the conversation often. But deep within me, what I feel for the Trinity seems much more developed…deeper…different – than the word “LOVE”. As I was listening to Christmas songs today to and from work, I kept coming back to one song. (The CD probably got a little worn out today not to mention my push-button finger.)
Simple. Strong. Sonorous.
Advent is the start of when God took the complexity of Himself and simplified it into something simpler. He came to us, so that we could understand…so that we could believe again…believe that the garden still exists…believe that “…Thy kingdom” will come…believe like the Magi who set out on a journey to returned His gesture by “coming to Him”.. Advent may indeed be “…when LOVE came down”, so that we can: “Come…adore…Him”.