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Showing posts from July, 2012

Supreme Blessedness

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
~ Matthew 5:3-19


The Beatitudes. It means supreme blessedness or exalted happiness. It seems a bit ironic that those suffering and enduring know supreme blessedness, but it seems this is exactly what God has planned.

I heard a speaker present the Beatitudes this way:

(Blessed are the poor in spirit) Blessed are the broken, (Blessed are those who mourn) Broken to the point of weeping,(Blessed are the meek) Humbled past worldly things,(Blessed …

Dimple

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"Look mom! Look at me!"
I turned to see my boy grinning from ear to ear. The wide open smile revealed the little spaces between his baby teeth. The apples of his cheeks were perfectly round. His chin was proudly pointed toward the sky. Eyebrows raised, nearly every muscle in his face was straining to hold this smile. He was certainly over-emphasizing the expression on his face, and seeing him made me smile.

"See my dimple," he said, "aren't I cute?"

I couldn't help but smile and laugh.

"I LOVE your dimple!" I told him. "It lets me know you're happy." I planted a kiss right on his dimple, as I so often do.

"Mom, are you happy?" he asked, his face somewhat relaxing.

"Yes! You make me happy." I assured him.

"Where's your dimple?" he wanted to know.

I explained God didn't give me one.

He continued, "Are you happy at me?"

"Absolutely! I'm happy at you, and with you, and be…

Roots

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At times when I get stressed, I go on cleaning and purging rampages. In this particular case it was therapuetic weed-pulling. Yank, yank, yank. One at a time. I was proud of my diligence, and determined to purge the weeds overtaking a place they simply didn't belong. When are weeds ever really welcome anyway?! Usually the overgrown weeds are whacked with a weed-eater. Repeated, countless times. Hack away and they disappear...at least for a week until they start to resurface again.

There were a few times I grabbed a blade or two only to rip them from their root, leaving an unseen portion behind. Not satisfied I went at it with more vigor. How much strength must one exert to be rid of weeds?! I was about to find out...

I grabbed a handful and wiggled them free from the surrounding sand and dirt. Then I pulled...and pulled...and pulled. A bunch of weeds standing only 3" high revealed a twisted and intricate root system  nearly double in size.
But since they don't have deep ro…

Unredeemed

When you consider the "stuff" that happens in life - the life-altering diagnosis, the consequence from sin, the fallout from devastation, the tragic blow from someone else's hand, sudden loss and painful endings - we can wonder why but sometimes things just don't make sense. 


I'm sure many could echo my sentiments and say, "I never knew life would turn out like this..." 


You may have unanswered questions and unexplained situations. You may have unnecessary pain and undue heartache. You may be left scratching your head wondering how in the world you ended up here and how on earth you will recover.

What's shattered in our lives is what we can bring before Him as our offering. Broken pieces of hearts, unfulfilled dreams, failed plans, and fallen lives. These are the things He takes and shapes. He holds and molds, fashioning all the ideals we had about what could have been into miracles we could have never fathomed.

What remains unfulfilled in your life? …

When Tragedy Strikes

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I woke up happy, wide awake at 6 a.m. when the alarm went off. I didn't even hit snooze. "Mmm...it's Friday!" I thought to myself and I got even happier.

I went about my morning routine. I never bothered to check my phone or even look at social media feeds. I was singing to myself as I got ready, never thinking to turn on the radio as I usually do. I spent the drive into work in prayer so I still had not yet made contact with the outside world.

It wasn't until I arrived at work when a colleague started talking of the overnight tragedy.

"What tragedy?" I asked.

She looked at me stunned that I was completely ignorant and began to share the breaking news.

I am ashamed to admit that even as a former news producer I rarely find time to watch the news. I immediately turned on the radio, began scouring news sites, and caught myself up on the story that everyone was talking about.

A recent discussion in Sunday School lead to our teacher reading headlin…

Heart Speak

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There's not much I can get past my 4 year old. He listens to and repeats everything. I'm pretty sure I can set a world record for how quickly I can spell S-T-U-P-I-D. Among others that are no longer said but spelled include D-U-M-B, J-E-R-K, I-D-I-O-T (that's a fun one to spell), and my favorite, C-R-A-P.

Does spelling it out remove the emotion I'm feeling? No chance.

I've turned any version of "Oh my gosh" to "Oh my goodness" or "Oh my word."

"What the heck" has most certainly been replaced by "What in the world." And any chance of a slip, I simply utter "HEAVENS!" It seems to fill a variety of roles in my effort to clean up my act.

I don't think I could be classified in the category of "potty mouth" but most assuredly I've come to realize what I do and don't want my young son to repeat.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, m…

The First Thing Is...

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Ah. Hello blog. It's been a long time. I haven't sat down to write in a week. Last week's posts were all written in one swarm of inspiration and scheduled for release. (Now you know one of my secrets.) It's been busy - really busy - so I'm just now finding a moment to catch a few quiet moments to blog.

Today I'm writing from my mommy heart, capturing yet again the heart of my precious child. Last week he thoroughly enjoyed himself in an underwater adventure also known as Vacation Bible School. Wall murals straight from the movie "Finding Nemo" have now made their way to the walls of his room and playroom. (Thanks to Nana for confiscating some of the leftover VBS decorations!)

He was thrilled to come home each night and repeat the bible story they'd been taught. But his teachers were more than eager to share that by Thursday night's bible story time, E proudly announced, "The first thing is you have to be saved!" Reportedly he was p…

What are you waiting for?

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Since ancient times no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.
~ Isaiah 64:4

Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
~ Psalm 27:14

Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
~ Isaiah 40:31

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
~ Psalm 62:5



Wait. To remain inactive; to be available in readiness; to look forward eagerly.

Oh yes, this is one of those "easier said than done" lessons that I simply struggle to contend with. If I could but apply this principle of what I'm willing to wait for and what it means to me then I am certain I'd be willing to wait longer, with less grumbling, and surely I'd display more patience.

To remain inactive. Being still before the Lord. Being utterly surrendered.

To be available in rea…

Not For A Moment

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A few weeks ago my town endured a wind storm that caused such wide spread power outages and devastation that many people are still cleaning up, reparing and recovering.
Maybe you're in the midst of a storm with the wind and rain tossing and pounding you. Maybe you survived the storm but now stand surveying the devastation around you.
Maybe you're basking in the sun shining brilliantly from a clear sky, hoping and praying no clouds form on the horizon.

I love the quote on this, "Don't confuse your path with your destination. Just because it's stormy now doesn't mean that you aren't headed for sunshine."
I have but one simple thing to share: Not for a moment has He left you alone. Sovereign God is keeping you, even through the storm. He is good, despite the devastation you may face. His light shines upon you, whether or not you're sitting in the sun.
I just heard Meredith Andrews' new release, Not For a Moment. It echoes the cry of my heart…

We All Fall Down

Ring around the rosies
Pocket full of posies
Ashes, ashes
We all fall down

As children we circled round and round and laughed as we fell to the ground. As adults, it seems we spiral out of control until we find ourselves falling with no safety net in sight. It may be as simple as a stumble or as devastating as a face plant. Whether the bottom has dropped out or the ground has turned too cumbersome to navigate upright, at some point we find ourselves falling down.

I've learned a thing or two about falling, from personal experience of course. Whether by my own faulty hand or poor choice, or as the victim of someone else's insidious decision, I've had a few costly trips. Bumps and bruises, scrapes and cuts - there are scars I bear as a result of the falls I've endured. One thing I've learned - bandaged and bloody, limping and hurting, you can't stay down.

Part of the fun of the childhood game was getting right back up and doing it again. "Ring around the rosies…

Carrie His Praises

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of sitting in a Master's level Worship class where singer/song writer/worship leader Paul Baloche lead the 60+ students and worship leaders in impromptu worship and song writing. He started by showing the class how he came to write "Your Name," pulling straight from scripture. He talked...then sang...of the Lord's name being a strong tower and a shelter. He went on to pray in Jesus' name, for Him to fill our hearts, to give us strength, so all we do would glorify His name.

It's one of those moments where the presence of the Lord is so strong you can barely breathe. I sensed it in every fiber of my being. I sat in awe of God, humbled by my humanity, broken over my frailties, seeking to give back something that might be of worth.

(Disclaimer: I already know this post is going to upset some people. Oh well.)

I am truly grateful to God for the ability to sing that He has blessed me with This isn't meant to boast in the leas…

Mud Puddle

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MUD PUDDLE!!!!!!!






5 kids + 1 kiddie pool + 1 hose = Hours of fun

In typical "E" fashion, he started to throw mud into the pool. He wanted to make a mud pie and this was his recipe. I deterred him from any further mud-slinging since other kids were also wading in the water The kids were covered in grass clippings, Virginia mud, and soaked. But they were having a blast and we were letting them.

Unbeknownst to me, the water hose was left on, so hours later I had a mud bowl instead of a backyard. E discovered it before I did and he was already swirling around and around in what was, I'm sure, every boy's dream of a "bath tub." I walked outside only to realize what he was doing and before long he had his float in the middle of the muddy pool. He was wading in it, bathing in it, playing with it, throwing it...and in HOG heaven (yes, I went there)! Oh what fun a boy can have in a mud puddle.

He's the kind of kid who seeks out every puddle and runs straight…

How to Train Your Dragon

It's a cute movie. I saw it once before and now, thanks to my laptop, it can travel with us and be played over...and over...and over again. (When he finds something he likes, he sticks with it.)

Needless to say, with many hours resting and recovering this week, I've truly lost count at how many times I've watched Hiccup learn how to train dragons. I think I might be ready to try my hand at dragon training...
In my case, I'm looking for the movie (or book) on how to train my 4-year-old, who, believe it or not, at times can resemble a fire-breathing, nostrils-flared, temper-tantrum-throwing dragon. In true "E" fashion, I share with you more of his "E'isms."
Tonight I stepped into a tub of water exclaiming, "E! Why did you leave water in the middle of the floor." To which he responded, "Mom! Why did you step in the middle of my turtle's tank?" Excuse me. 
This morning he got in trouble for saying the word "Shut-up"…

Comforts of Home

Nearly one week ago our community was rocked by a storm called a "Derecho." I've never even heard of it, but I can now say I lived through it. The winds that caused extreme damage, thousands of downed trees and power lines, and millions without power found me putting things into perspective. It is with great rejoicing that not only did I live to blog about it, but now I can blog about it in my cool, lit up home. Thank You, Lord, the power has been restored! There are still dozens even in my neighborhood, and hundreds - if not thousands - throughout the town that remain in the dark.

I became somewhat of a vagabond after the virus E had spread to me and most of the family we were staying with. I had dinner at one friend's, food in another's freezer, laundry and clothes at several locations (not to mention piled in the back of my car) and - thankfully - a traveling pillow where I could lay my head each night. One cannot live (or sleep) without her memory foam pillo…

Unexpected

It's been five days in a row that have each brought something unexpected, unplanned, completely out of the ordinary. Some good, some bad, some interesting, and some...well, some I'm still not sure what to think.

Unexpected to say the least. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all. Friday hit with a bang. Literally. I can't even tell you what exactly happened - but we experienced some of kind massive wind and thunder storm that knocked power out for millions. I went to bed thinking the worst of the storm was over, never realizing I'd wake up Saturday to the town in disarray.. I remember being up at 2 a.m. and realizing I was without power. Days later, we're still not expected to have electricity until later this week, maybe even the weekend. Completely unexpected and even unexplained. The devastation is unbelievable. The lines at the gas station, drive thurs, and grocery stores were jammed. Lynchburg and surrounding areas were simply not prepared for this…