Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

See What a Morning (by Keith and Kristyn Getty

See, what a morning, gloriously bright,
With the dawning of hope in Jerusalem;
Folded the grave-clothes, tomb filled with light,
As the angels announce, "Christ is risen!"
See God's salvation plan,
Wrought in love, borne in pain, paid in sacrifice,
Fulfilled in Christ, the Man,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

See Mary weeping, "Where is He laid?"
As in sorrow she turns from the empty tomb;
Hears a voice speaking, calling her name;
It's the Master, the Lord raised to life again!
The voice that spans the years,
Speaking life, stirring hope, bringing peace to us,
Will sound till He appears,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

One with the Father, Ancient of Days,
Through the Spirit who clothes faith with certainty.
Honor and blessing, glory and praise
To the King crowned with pow'r and authority!
And we are raised with Him,
Death is dead, love has won, Christ has conquered;
And we shall reign with Him,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

'Easter Eggs Hiding in the Grass" By, the boy
May you find child-like joy today!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thanks for the dirty!

Thank God for dirty dishes; They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry, We’re eating very well.
With home, health, and happiness, I shouldn’t want to fuss;
By the stack of evidence, God’s been very good to us.
Author Unknown

It's always about perspective for me .

#275.  This day and this song

276. dove cooing on my rooftop
277. kids listening to mysteries
278. "one more chapter, please"
279.  holding on tight

280. dirty dishes
281. cruchy apples
282. lazy saturdays
283. flowers on the window sill
284. their beauty between me and last years tomato skeltons

285. the work of the garden
286. buds bulging on branches
287. blossoms emerging
288. growing boy flipping quesadillas
289. voices singing together
290. goose bumps
291. sunny day at the park
292. socks peeled off discarded
293. the sound of flip-flops from the back yard
294. teeth - loose or not

295. kisses on hot foreheads
296. thermometers
297. hot lips kissing my cheek
298. prayers for healing
299. ibuprofen easing the heat
300. eyes releasing to sleep healing
301. little girls skirts
302.dirty laundry
303. closets and drawers
304.  realizing that growing bodies are still humbly small
305. husbands offers of help
306. serving one another
307. pile of artwork at the end of the dining room table

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Revisiting this from last year, this Easter week, healing continuing, more each day. Written March 31, 2010....

Most of us know the drill. After a windy, cold, wet winter our flower beds need a bit of a face lift. Crispy dull leaves, thrown around by wintry winds, caught beneath their budding branches, bushes begin to show signs of new life. Tiny green leaves eventually bursting forth in the warm spring sunshine.

So too, our minds and hearts can use a de-cluttering. A time to rid our hearts of the disarray that we hold onto which keeps us unnecessarily in bondage. Allowing ourselves freedom from the burdens that are too horrible to mention but to a select few on this earth. Ours are hearts that have these places, like the bases of my bushes, the burdens and guilt can get stuck there going seemingly unnoticed. Dull, in the dreary dark we cling instead of letting them go, completely letting Jesus pay that price for us - for it all, yes, even what we dare not mention.

As I put on last year’s well worn gloves (they ripped up a fair share of sod a year ago) I note the damage and think about buying a new pair. These are my gloves; my fingers know them, each finger hugged by the worn leather. They are known. They are mine. A new pair, certainly unknown, needed none the less.

So too is life with these burdens, I've held them all so long. I know them well, I own them, and I even chose them. Letting myself be forgiven for them? I don't know for sure what life will look like if I lay them all down at the foot of the cross. Is Jesus really big enough for all that? He really did become sin, He who knew no sin, for me. For me, for this! Yes! For this! Yes, my head knows, why will my heart not let it go? Why will my own heart not forgive?

As I work, filling a box with crisp leaves, the smells bring me back to autumn for a moment. The dying. The death. Appropriate for this Easter week. I turn my face to the sunshine while putting a handful of leaves in the box and a warm smile crosses my face and goes deep into my soul.

I know that I must let these burdens die with Jesus, there on the cross. The price. Oh so costly. Paid by the One who didn't deserve it. First the death, but after the death of autumn and the cold, endless winter, a celebration of life and resurrection!

I begin pulling out grasses and rearranging the rock border, man the grass roots go on forever. I follow the root for as far as I can and it seems never to end.  Finally it breaks in my hand and I leave it, knowing in a few more weeks I'll have to pull it again.

I aknowledge that though these roots may not seem to end, God's love indeed has no end. Never. Always there, always pouring it out into my heart. I am the only one that cuts it off to me, He will always give it. I will have to accept it. Is it possible to replace these burdens with love? How on earth can I let myself, my wretched self be loved by God? Even more so, knowing how much God loves me, how can I not love myself? Not a selfish love but a love of someone that God made who has a purpose and who is special. Me. I am special in the eyes of God. I am loved by God. A bud forming right there, a sign, healing is beginning.

The sun is warming my back as I work and makes my dull mommy hair shine as it hangs beside my face. Pulling more weeds I stack a rock pile of random stones.

The Son, who rose victorious, can shine an even greater light in my heart. He has conquered this life and rose victorious. He alone can heal these wounds and in the (now year and) four months since I have given them up to Him, miracles have happened. Miracles. I couldn't do in years what He has now begun.

My mind wanders as I make my way down the bed; suddenly I look at the progress I've made in such a short time. This chore last year was endless because it hadn't been done the two years prior. I guess some things get overlooked during pregnancy and with a small baby. (Just a few!) I remember how demanding this was last year both physically and time consuming. Grateful, I am amazed with how well it is going and how much better it begins to look rather quickly.

At this commencing of my journey really forgiving, really loving, really giving it all up, I am encouraged to think that as the years go by, continually laying all my burdens down the healing will continue. Each year, each week, each minute that passes means it will become easier and more wonderful to live life forgiven. Breaking the bondage. Truly knowing that life is worth the living because of the Son. The Son who shines his love on even me.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Collecting Love

Packing boxes yesterday, my daughter walks in grinning ear to ear, "Here mommy! It's for you, a beautiful flower!"


She's happy to have something to give.

Her brother follows a moment later, with hands full of yellow love.  Again, I can see the warm emotion, he too is happy to have something to give.  Over and over, for some time, in and out.  Running fast, tripping a time or two. Short legs returning over and over to give, freely, happily....truly joy-ful.

Gift Love Joy

Sparkly eyes giving love, in the form of a weed.   Isn't that weed me?  I can be a weed, so broken and despised but only through love am I turned around right.  Used for love, me, a simple weed.

Love transforms
(Written Sunday, March 27)

We've been away, visiting family and return now, full of thanks and love.
The list from our 12 day gallivant...

158. gazing at the waning gibbous moon following the car window
159. heavy eyelids allowing sleep
160. purple mountains majesty

 161. snow gleaming mountains
162. desert highlands and sagebrush
163. all living plants leaning with the wind
164. husband driving endlessly
165. dozing in the long sunshine
166. The Cricket in Times Square speeding the journey along

167. clouds blanketing mountains

 168. rocks
169. The Solid Rock

170. rocks making a line of shade for ants
 171. humming bird calling
172. kids going on a hummingbird hunt
173. bare feet on sun speckled cement
174. anxious smiles
175. grandma hugs
176. dim sum
177. grandma laughs
178. mercy me, the generous mr love well on repeat
179. dancing all silly with kids
180. snack breaks

181. dandelions, snugly together

182. generous smiles
183. parks
184. sun warming jeans and toes
185. flip-flops
186. thump of a baseball into it's mitt home
187. father and son playing ball
188. husbands smirk
189. leaves, speaking in the wind
190. wheels round rolling
191. strong muscles
192. cardboard boxes
193. hand cream
194. little boy, late night snuggles
195. overtired kids keeping emotions in check
196. backs, vertebrae many and one in a spine strong
197. girls swinging legs
198. unpacking, finding a place for grandma things
199. kids snuggling with grandma
200. moms grateful for children
201. moms hugging sons
202. air mattresses
203. freeways, wide and open
204. peaceful drives, kids occupied
205. brothers greeting
206. birthday parties
207. family gathering
208. children exploring the unfamiliar
209. salads with apple and tangerine
210. eucalyptus trees
211. family opening their homes
212. generosity
213. Aunts
214. fun and games
215. afternoon relaxing in gorgeous backyard
216. hummingbirds darting

217. hawks returning and leaving their nest
218. pine trees
219. an Aunt reading books to eager kids

220. uncle and husband chatting computer language
221. sister-in-laws
222. remembering how to drive in CA traffic
223. sand

224. beach rocks gathered by strong husband hands
225. each rock it's own color
226. kids racing with waves

227. little girl, hesitant at first, feeling safe in the shallow swells

228. little boy jumping and screaming with delight through the waves
229. mama eyes, watching with delight
230. Great Aunts and Uncles
231. sleep coming to small eyelids
232. city streets
233. parking meters
234. "your mom and I got married up on that rooftop"
235. seals, sprawling on jagged rocks for sleep
236. seals, awkwardly moving on sand
237. seals, gracefully swimming
238. fish tacos
239. smelling the sea breeze
240. just being together
241. dirty laundry bag (smelling like the ocean)
242. choked up good-byes
243. favorite drive up the coast
244. reconnecting
245. HOT spring cali day
246. walking in Santa Barbara
247. "this is where your dad and I met each other"
248. ice cream on the pier

249. holding hands

250. carrying the one with the tiny legs

251. little one snuggling face into my shoulder, hugging tight
252. Hugging my Gram!
253. comfort in old memories while making new ones
254. kids pulling out old favorite books for Great Gram to read 'Stop That Ball' 'The Big Red Pajama Wagon' 'Keeko'

255. Gram's smile

256. "Good morning God, this is your day. I am your child, show me your way."
257. More Aunts, Uncles and cousins - more family together
258. glass of wine, chatting with the gals
259. clam chowder
260. juicy strawberries
261. lemons

262. kids finding new games (and the willing participants)
263. cousins playing card war
264. making up
265. tire swing
266. deer staring at us, right out the window, for a very long minute
267. orange juice, fresh sqeezed
268. sunsets
269. rolling coastal hills, green from rain
270. surfers entertaining
271. tears welling, driving away
272. lips turning upward at memories
273. 14 hours in the car together
274. home in our own beds