Mudpies of Life…

March 17, 2010

As a child I would ‘craft’ in the barren area of our backyard.  Rocks, dirt and water being the ingredients; a spoon or shovel the tool.  I would build habitation for the Flintstones, design my own universe or just make a muddy mess and be happy. 

Not and I (I being the operative worker) are preparing to undertake a gardening remodel project.  The action of which I find delightful; it is the planning I find stressful.  But, God is using this experience and to teach me wonderful spiritual insights as I pray my way through this mine-field of melding thoughts, desires, visions and goals. 

What do I truly want to achieve, in this or any endeavor?  To be more Christ-like ~ to hear His voice guiding my heart and actions.  I know He is preparing me for His eternity.  I want my reactive choices to be reflective of obedience to Him.  In the creation of gardens there is such a vast array of colors, shapes and textures to consider.  It is the same with Christians – each one is unique.  We can only grow spiritually by allowing God’s guidance, we will all grow differently, but together we will make a gorgeous garden!

Now my basic ingredients are: Christ (my Rock), repentance of my sin (dirt) and His shed blood (water) washing it away – faith is now my tool.  Think of the beautiful garden He desires to make in everyone’s life — He does not want us to be life’s mudpies, He wants us to reflect His glory and proclaim His love!!

 

Enjoy Spring and God’s blessings!!

 

 

Up, Up and Away…

March 28, 2009

I’ve had a personal tradition for a very long time now.  When someone special in my life has died, I buy a helium balloon.  Uncommon, I know, but that’s me J.

 

I even buy a color that I relate to this person.  On this balloon I write all of the qualities possessed in their life that I would like to continue to reflect in mine.  I will also write ‘emotions’ or ‘expectations’ I may need to let go of at this time.  I spend quite a bit of time in this reflective period.  I take time to thank God for the blessing of this person, as each one of us adds to the character of another.

 

I have done this numerous times, there has always been an exceptional blessing as the balloon engages in one of God’s wind currents and moves upward.  I have no expectations of what they will do, but each one has been uniquely different in taking flight.  I am amazed.

 

February 2008 I launched a white balloon in honor of my dad.  He had died three months earlier and it was time I ended my grieving process and move forward with the wonderful legacy of love, gentleness and perseverance he showed throughout his life.  I stood on my deck and let go….but ‘he’ didn’t!  Just as a gentle breeze lifted the balloon, a stronger wind current stirred up rapidly and slammed it back down into a treetop where there was a broken branch making a natural nest area, just the right size.  It wedged up there among tiny branches and began looking like it could become a permanent fixture.  But, no, it was just lingering for those extra few moments that all of us wish we could have with our loved ones once again.  Lingering, tarrying for sweet time before another gust lifted it out of those branches and it began a slow journey upward amongst the clouds.

 

This year the Jewish holidays hold exceptionally special significance for Christians.  I have spent a lot of time researching and reading about them.  Yesterday, Thursday March 26 was what they call “Blessing on Blooming Trees.”  It is the first day that a prayer of blessing and thankfulness can be said when finding a fruit tree in bloom.

The prayer is:

Blessed are you God, our God, King of the universe, who left nothing lacking in His world, and created within it good creatures and good trees with which He gives pleasure to people.

 

As I was vacuuming this morning I was thinking of this, knowing we would be driving through numerous valleys of blooming fruit trees.  As I was pondering this special way of praise and blessing I happened to look out the window and saw a tree in bloom! 

 

Very strange as we are still in a ‘cold’ situation and nothing is remotely showing signs of spring.  I walked over to look, out of a vast copse of trees one was blooming. 

 

Dad’s tree.  A Blessing from a Blooming Tree.

 

 

 

To My Peeps ~  I love you!

 

Why I am planted in your garden!!!  Come and join me on the rabbit trail as I tell you…

 

Long, long ago in a far and distant land….   I began my quest to find where I came from in order to understand why I was the way I was.  I desired the ability to see ‘me’ in my very young kids.  Yup – genetics are at work – Ken and the skateboard proved that!  Anyway, here goes a long and convoluted story of Wife, Mom, Sis, Aunt T, J and Friend.

 

Ten years before questing I was a young mom with one infant. At that time life was more than chaotic and stressful, I was downright “in over my head”.  I knew I needed to find something different because where I was wasn’t good.  I needed to find peace in my life, my relationships and my soul – I just didn’t know exactly where to begin. 

 

I talked with Ron’s sister about it.  She invited me to a Bible Study where I was reintroduced to Christ.  A Campus Crusades for Christ girl had witnessed to me as a pre-teen — “You know you’re a sinner?” “Yes” (Head hung, shameful.  An hour earlier I had punched my cousin in the nose, hard.  I could not figure out HOW she knew!!)  “Would you like to pray and ask Christ’s forgiveness?” she questions.  “YES!”  Exactly what I needed!

 

But that is as far as it went.  I knew not what to do after that and didn’t for many years.  Throughout my life I had never had a doubt that Jesus loved me – just like the song promised.  I relished the comfort of that; unfortunately I wasn’t aware I had a responsibility in the relationship.  Looking back I can see God was taking me through a process, one step at a time, willingly revealing Himself more each time I asked.  But, I was kind of an independent sort (ya think?!?), so I didn’t ask very often.

 

Back to the bible study….   One day our teacher said, “If you were to jump up and turn around right now….it would not surprise God.”  Wow!  Something I had never dwelt on before, intimate knowledge of being known.  Weeks later he asks us to consider the verse from Mark 8:29, “But what about you?  Who do you say I am?”  That week I came face-to-face with the question of what I was doing with Christ personally.   I not only needed Him as Savior, I needed Him as Lord.  I came to Peter’s response: “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”  John 6:68 – the place we were studying. 

 

Yup…that’s how Jon got his name.  And that is where a dynamic life change started.

 

Back to the search….  In the year before I began looking for my peeps I read, I sought guidance from many, and I prayed and prayed.  God lead me to Joseph in the Bible.  He was separated from his family and through reconciliation they found God’s provisions, God meant it for good!!!  My pastor at the time confirmed that there was a Biblical precedent for looking.  Moses, an adopted grandchild of the King of Egypt, became burdened to find those of his blood.  God used it for good, for salvation of the entire nation of Israel.

 

Oh, am I ever thankful for my entire family!!!  Each and every one of you are a blessing and joy to me.  I cannot begin to tell you how much.  You are an awesome answer to prayer. There are wondrous miracles and overwhelming sorrows we have experienced together and separately, and I know God is working them together for good.  What a treasure we have in one another.  I know God planned my life to be replanted among you for His good purposes!

 

As I’ve grown, prayed and studied, there is another profound thing I want to share with you.  I am wholly and utterly convinced we are imminently close to Christ’s midnight call for His church, in fact, most probably the “tarrying” days as God adds grace upon grace.  God wants our attention!  NOW—today, exactly where we are.  My plea is that we will quicken to His call and seek Him with all our hearts. 

 

I love you to the moon!  God loves you beyond the galaxies!!!

 

t

 

(This was originally posted on my facebook page.)