Tuesday, July 10

"AHA" moments on a Sunday Morning in July

Just as God gives me heart shaped clouds to remind me of HIS love, He also brings contentment to my soul!


This past Sunday I went into the house of the LORD ...  ahhhh.... it was so good
Now, I realize that when I say "the house of the LORD" I am not saying that our church is THE house of the LORD, but instead it is the local gathering of believers of which I am a part of.  Sometimes, between working full-time in ministry, and being away at the cabin ~ it means that I often miss weeks where I am not sitting in the pew.  I miss that.  I miss the people around me that I get a hug from.  I miss getting the sermon first hand.  I miss worship in music ... and just standing there with my eyes closed worshipping and hearing the body around me singing.  SO when I went to worship with Eastview Church last Sunday - it was so good.

That morning God had taken me to a place where I had a big "aha" moment.  I will be honest, I have had some hard hard days since January 1st.  Hard, but good.
Hard, but I've grown in them.  Hard but I see God's work and experience His presence in my life.  But, there have been hard times.

So on Sunday, as I read/journalled/spent time with the LORD ..
And then I went to church and listened/prayed/worshipped I noticed something .
I noticed that I had a strong STRONG sense of CONTENTMENT.  
It was strong.
It was noticeable (even compared to the week prior)
I knew it was of God.
It was very very tangible.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Contentment [N] [T]
a state of mind in which one's desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be ( 1 Timothy 6:6 ;  2 co 9:8 ). It is opposed to envy ( James 3:16 ), avarice ( Hebrews 13:5 ), ambition ( Proverbs 13:10 ), anxiety ( Matthew 6:25 Matthew 6:34 ), and repining ( 1 Corinthians 10:10 ). It arises from the inward disposition, and is the offspring of humility, and of an intelligent consideration of the rectitude and benignity of divine providence ( Psalms 96:1 Psalms 96:2 ;  145 ), the greatness of the divine promises ( 2 Peter 1:4 ), and our own unworthiness ( Genesis 32:10 ); as well as from the view the gospel opens up to us of rest and peace hereafter ( Romans 5:2 ).  https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/contentment/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I love how within the definition I found through google, it says (contentment) is opposed to so many things!! It says contentment arises from the INWARD disposition!!  I love seeing that contentment is the offspring of many things!  I do not believe Contentment happens "by chance" but is a gift from God to us!  
When I think of contentment and Scripture, these verses come to mind. This Scripture is among my favourites!  I am going to put it first in NIV and then,  I have come to love THE PASSION TRANSLATION (new) and so here it is below.  I believe with all my heart - that our contentment comes out of what the verses say we should do.  Here is the portion in NIV first, and then The Passion:

Psalm 37:4-9 New International Version (NIV)

Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;

Psalm 37:4-6 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life,[a]
    and he will provide for you what you desire the most.
Give God the right to direct your life,[b]
    and as you trust him along the way
    you’ll find he pulled it off perfectly!

He will appear as your righteousness,[c]
    as sure as the dawning of a new day.
    He will manifest as your justice,
    as sure and strong as the noonday sun.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 37:4 The word delight means “to be soft or tender.”
  2. Psalm 37:5 The Hebrew uses the word commit, which means “to roll over your burdens on the Lord.”
  3. Psalm 37:6 The Hebrew verb found here is also used for giving birth. Perhaps this is a reference to the birth of Christ, our righteousness.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am thankful to our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ for this tangible sense of contentment.
When it comes from Jesus - there is no other word to describe it.  Contentment.  It floods my heart my soul, my spirit and my mind.  And I am so thankful.

As we were leaving church on Sunday, Alvin and I were chatting about the service.  Excellent sermon from our Pastor Delbert and the worship in song brought tears rolling down my cheeks.  I know God was up to something that morning, and continues on today and I am thankful.  Anyhow, I asked Alvin how he was feeling.  And to my surprise, but not really, he said, "I am feeling content" ...  Thank you Jesus.

It is well with our soul!  

living fully,

    j

Saturday, May 12

When joy and sorrow meet

Sometimes joy and sorrow meet.
Actually, in my life, perhaps it is more than just "sometimes" ...

Tears have fallen alot lately.  My good friend is dying.  Too young.  Too soon.  Too quick.
And yet we know that God is sovereign and fully in control.  We know that HIS ways are not our ways.  We know that HIS timing is always on time.  And in the midst of all of this knowing, we still often finding ourselves whispering, and sometimes shouting “Why LORD Why?”

The other day as I sat along the bedside of my friend, I watched her as she was taking a nap. 

I realized that as I looked at her, I had a sense that there was something familiar.  
Yes … something in her reminded me of my mom.  
At first that seemed a little strange, as my friend is not quite five years older than me.  So how could she remind me of my mom? 
And then I realized what it was.  It was the peace that was obvious - even when my friend was sleeping.

Peace.
Quiet or tranquility.
That was it!! 
Peace in the face of death.  Just like my mom. 

A couple days ago, as I sat by her bed, with her hand in mine, I thought she was fast asleep when she said “I am grateful”  Not wanting to say anything if it was in her sleep, I just sat there and took note of what she said.   And then a few minutes later she said, “that is the answer” so I asked her what was the answer, and she said again, “I need to be grateful”.

Again she reminded me of my mom. One time when my mom was so sick in the hospital, I asked her if she was tired of it all, she told me “oh no dear, I have so much to be grateful for.”  

Peace.
Gratefulness
In the midst of sickness, pain and facing the end of life.
Those two things alone bring me to an awe.
I watched my friend, and was reminded of my mom.

Yesterday I heard one of my favorite songs being played.  
It is Well with my Soul.
My tears began with the first notes of the song.

I have wept with her a few times. 
I have also had the privilege to hold her hand, and to have her hold mine.
And, usually the two things happened together.

Two weeks ago, while driving her back from Cancercare we were talking as I drove.
At that time we didn't know that the cancer would progress so quickly, although she said she believed she was nearing the end stage and had just gotten to the point where she could admit that. 
I asked her how she felt knowing that she would meet Jesus.

As we talked, I looked straight ahead, but the tears rolled, and I felt her hand on mine, and realize her tears were there too.

I think of in the Bible in the Gospel of John.  The shortest verse is recorded “Jesus wept”.
He wept when he realized that his friend had died.  
Jesus.  Being fully God - He wept.

Now you may or may not know the story - the ending was a miracle.  Jesus raised his friend from the dead.

But the thing that always captivates my thoughts is that it records His emotions.  His response.  

His tears.
Jesus,
Wept.

I have had the privilege of chatting with her.  Sitting by her bed in periods of quiet.  Being there to hand her ice chips, or a cold cloth.  Tonight during a short visit, I took her hand as she slept.  And before I left, we gathered close to her, and I held her hand, and the hand of her husband and prayed.  
And she slept.
And tears came.
And the peace was there along with the recollection of her words “I am grateful”

Tonight as I wrap this up and go to sleep, my heart and thoughts are with her, asleep in the hosptial room  and with her husband who will be facing a “new normal” soon.
My prayers are for the two of them.  
God knows our length of days - for each one of us.
Our first breath and our last.  Our life is but a vapour - we just studied this in James during our life group time this past week.  
God knows all of this. 

And I am thanking God for our friendship - for the love - for the peace and the gratefulness.

Thank you my friend Gisele - you have taught me so much through our friendship, your love, care, support and rolemodeling.  
I love you my friend.  
I hope you are sleeping now, but overwhelmed by a tangible sense of God's presence and peace!

And me, I am grateful too. 

Wednesday, February 21

Gentle Healer




It has been a long time.  Very very long time since I have posted anything here.  And today I have been inspired by a story in the Word of God that always speaks deeply into my heart.  It is where the woman who has been so sick with hemouraging, that she knows she has to see Jesus.
Today my daily reading included that story. It was all about her faith.   Here are my thoughts written in a type of poem.  There is more that I think, but will leave unwritten/unspoken.  Things between me and my LORD.  But - feel free to share yours.




Step.  Step
Step. Step.
I am so tired.
The loss of blood over the years has taken its toll on my energy
Step. Step.
I have to rest.
Just for a few minutes.
I heart that the Healer Jesus is coming this way.
I need to speak with him.
But oh,
I. am. so. tired.
I just need to sit down.
Right now.
Right here
Just for a few moments.

It is so hard to see anything.
The crowds are so numerous
Not only is it hard to see but it is so hard to move.
Maybe today will not be the day.
There are just so many people.
I need to sit here on the side.
I have nothing to lose.
What is another day on top of these 12 awful years.
Oh here is a wonderful place to stop.
Sit.
Rest.
The sun is shining on the lake and I feel the sunshine on my face.
I can here the sound of the water lapping up onto the shore.
Its. So. Good.

There is a boat in the water
Oh it is Jesus.  The gentle Healer.
Be Still my HEART!!
If i can only get close
But ...  everyone is running.
They all want a touch, a look, a blessing
If I can only get through this crowd so that he can at least hear me call.

Wait!
Don't go so fast
I'm coming!
If I can only touch even the hem of his garment ...
almost ...
almost ...
YES!!

Woa ... what happened?
A hot current ran from the tips of my fingers down into the depths of my being.
I felt it in my insides.
It was like a power surge.
his power in me!
WOA!!
Wait.  Can it be?

And then Jesus stopped.
I see him speaking to his twelve.
They look puzzled.
He is turning and looking all around him.
I heard him say "Who Touched my clothes/"

Really?  His disciples look baffled to say the least.
What do you mean Jesus - who touched you?
You can see the people pressing in from every side - all around you.
What are you asking?

But the Healer is intently looking.
Scanning the crowd.
He knew that power went out from him.
And well...
i knew too.
I knew the Healer was talking about me.
Oh yes, I knew what I had experienced.
I knew I had received power from him.
Oh there was no doubt that it happened.

I quietly but quickly made my way - pushing through the people.
I was so scared.
Had I dared to touch the Healer?
My body was trembling.
And when I got up to him, I fell prostrate at His feet.

And Jesus.
Oh so gentle.
So kind ...
So loving...
His eyes met mine as he extended his hand to help me up.
I told him everything - it spilled from my lips.
My history.
My 12 years of bleeding.
The fact that I had spent everything for a solution, but had received nothing.
I told him that somehow I just knew that if I could touch even the hem of his garment -
That I would be healed.
And with all the energy I could muster up - I did.
And ...
I was healed immediately.

Oh his eyes...
and his voice.
I will never forget those words to me.
He called me "Daughter" and said "your faith has healed you!"
MY FAITH HAS HEALED ME?
Yes.  Your faith has healed you.  Go in peace and be free from your suffering.

Healed!
This sounded and felt beautiful.
I.  Am.  Healed!

I touched the hem of the Healer.



The band Selah is one of my favourites, and I love this song!!  Have a listen.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgsWoArwMH4

Tuesday, July 25

July 24th ~ 9 years after ... BREATHING


I love babies hands ... and Grannies hands.
This is the hand of one of my grand babes!!


Today is my first born grandson's 9th birthday in Heaven.  Happy Birthday Jay Benjamin Klassen!  Oh how I miss you sweet one!   I began my day talking with the LORD about Jay.  Oh how I miss that boy!  But I can only imagine that he is having the time of his life with the LORD.  I know people often talk about all the babies in Heaven, and obviously I don't know other than I feel deeply that Jay is not a baby in heaven, but a grown boy!!  A couple things have given me that strong sense, but you can ask me about that sometime - about the vision God gave me at Sunnyside a few years ago.

I took the day off today.  No retreaters (and to be honest, I didn't have to turn anyone away anyhow, as a Monday isn't usually the busiest of the week days).  I sort of had some plans, and yet, it didn't happen the way I thought but the way it happened was wonderful anyhow!

My day began with my QT with the LORD (quiet time) ... me and Him.  My journal, and pen.  And tears.  Oh the tears came today.  With the LORD ... with someone who just recently lost their sweet daughter (just like Jay, she was born silently) ... tears with Shawna when she came by with flowers (oh sweet Shawna, how you blessed us) and then tears with Alvin on our way to Sunnyside cemetery to lay some daisies on Jay's grave.  (I do this for me, and to honor his life).

The middle of my day was full of adventure and love.  Helping out in the adventure my kids Josh and Leah and boys went on down the river.  And then spending time watching my youngest grandson Maverick for a couple hours.  And then later, we took our little convertible bug and went with a bouquet of daisies, to visit Jay's grave.

As we were at Sunnyside, Alvin had to make a phone call so he was away from where Jay's grave is.  I sat there - looking, remembering and then spent some time talking out loud with the Lord, and then sang to the song on the radio.

And now, the day is done ... and actually it is almost an hour into July 25th.
Today was a very bittersweet day ... a day where (like many days past) incredible joy mixes with incredible sadness and grief HOWEVER in the midst of it all, is the LORD.

During the middle part of my day - I did spend about 45 minutes with a coffee, my bible, journal and a book called WHISPERS OF REST and sat outside at Mountain Bean (my old stompin grounds).  The blue sky, and wind, and sun on my face - oh, it was lovely.    I just got the book, so I am just a little bit into it - and today the word was BREATHE ...  and Breathe I did!
And oh it felt so good ...
Familiar in many ways ... it seems like it had been a while.
God knew that.  I think He must have smiled when I "booked the day off" to just Breathe.

The Scripture was from Mark 6:31 where Jesus invites his disciples to "Come away with me by yourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile."

I had to smile when I read this chapter 3.  Oh God, only you can make it seem so God-ordained.
Thank you for loving me so much that you invite me the same way you invited your disciples.
To just stop, come away with you, and rest.

So, out of today - with all its tears - its memories - its sadness - its joy.
Out of today - with all its adventure - and love.
I have come to the end of this day, July 24th - my grandson Jay Benjamin Klassen's 9th birthday in Heaven ... with a heart full of thanksgiving, and love, and praise.

I will end with my thoughts should you wish to keep reading!!

O LORD - I want to come away with you!
No one else ~
No distractions ~ 
Just you and me.
I want to delight in your Presence
and revel in your love.
My heart longs,
and is desperate for YOU.
The lover of my soul.
The ONE who calls me "Beloved"

YOU say "come away ... drop everything
the things you have planned
the things you feel obligated to
the things that suck the life out of you."
I hear you ~
I know your voice!
It is sweet like gentle rain
It sometimes sounds like the rushing wind.
I know your voice because I have heard you speak loud and clear
and audible (yes, even audible once)
I've heard your Voice and I know that coming away with you,
is nothing that can be described well enough in human tongue
It's refreshing
Renewing
Refueling
Refilling
Restoring
Its Resting so close in your arms that I feel You.
You say to come!
Come away with you.
Out of the hustle and bustle
fast paced over scheduled rat race.
Come away with YOU to a quiet place
A place where I can breathe deeply and just be ...
and rest a while.

You say Come Away
Not only do you call me Beloved
but you want me to quit striving ...
quit doing ...
and just be the Beloved you have created me to be.

Come away
with Me
by Yourself
to a quiet place
and REST  (Mark 6:31)

Breathe deeply.
Just
Breathe!


PS:  And if you want, you can always check the website and see for yourself again, just how perfect and beautiful my grandson Jay Benjamin was!!  Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!!  This Granny misses you so much, and loves you - to Heaven and Back!
www.jeremyhiebert.ca/jaybenjaminklassen







Wednesday, May 24

the mangled mess of my thoughts at 3 am in the morning

Its late.  Or, I guess its early.  I need to be up and ready to exercise with my personal trainer at 7:30 but somehow my body just doesn't want to go to sleep.  Yes I know ~ I should not be at my computer but instead I should just somehow try to sleep.  But after tossing and turning for over an hour, I figured why fight it? And just come upstairs and sit by the fire for a little while and then try again.  Besides most of the time I can get to sleep with the snoring, but tonight it has not been easy. SO here I sit.

My thoughts are a mangled mess it seems.  I found a picture that could describe them!!

Yep - this picture does it!! For a while I thought perhaps it would be helpful to write down my thoughts.  So the light went on and I wrote about six things down.  Clicked off the light.  Then I wrote something by feeling for the pen and paper.  Then I wanted to pray - but when my thoughts are so overwhelming, I need to pray out loud, but Alvin was sleeping ... so I tried to pray from my heart in silence.  I lifted the names of my friends and family before the LORD and thanked him that HE knows my heart, he knows the unspoken, and HE also knows what I have spoken aloud to Him in prayer before.

So up I came, trying not to turn on too many lights.  Just because I am awake doesn't mean I should wake my sleeping man up.  And here I sit.  Wide awake.  Yep ... 2 am.

But as I laid in bed tonight for that hour, there was something that I was thinking about.  I have had several conversations lately about "religion" versus "relationship".   I hear people say "I'm not a good christian" or "I try to be a good christian".  I have known people who have tried to adhere to the 10 commandments.  People who have thought that they didn't want to become a believer of Jesus because it would mean living a life of rules and no fun.  People who have struggled because they just can't "measure up" to what they feel God wants them to be.  I think the biggest problem with all the above is that my friends have seen Christianity as RELIGION/RULES/RITUAL and have not lived in the full grace that Jesus gave by going to the cross for our sin.

But my thoughts lately have been on RELATIONSHIP with Jesus.  On walking a life WITH Him.  On walking a life with Jesus as my FIRST love.  And as I laid there trying to fall asleep, and feeling the breathing of my sweet man beside me, my question was this:  How do we fall in love more and more with Jesus.  And I began to think back to falling in love with Alvin.  How did that happen.
Well ~ first I heard about him.  My best friend talked about him and others, and I was intrigued.
Then I met him.  Then we began to spend time and build a friendship.  Then we began to talk more.  To spend more time.  To laugh together.  To talk about our day(s).  To realize that love was there, and to nurture that love by spending more time together.  I knew the sound of Alvin's voice.  The sound of  his laugh.  And then we got engaged and began to plan life together.  And then we got married which then took us into the intimacy that we looked forward to and longed for.  And intimacy grew.
And now 39 years of marriage later, we know one another.  We can finish sentences for one another.  We don't even have to finish them and we know what the other is thinking.  We dont' always have to be talking.  We can just spend time in one another's presence.  

My prayer is always that I would fall more in love with the LORD with each day.  And I realize it is an even better relationship than a marriage with Alvin.  But falling in love with Jesus has the same components.  Spending time together.  Recognizing His voice. Knowing that Jesus knows my thoughts before I speak them or even if I never speak them.  Falling in love with Jesus is about spending more time with him and doing that out of love for Him, not out of obligation.  It is about looking forward to my QT with him.  It is about planning time to just be in His presence.  It is about laughing when I see something that He has put there for me to experience! It is about laughing at some of my own quirks fully knowing that He created me to be the woman I am.  My relationship with Jesus is about falling more and more in love with Him, about getting to know Him more through Scripture.  It is about actually feeling that He IS first in my life.  For many years, I believe He was IN my life, but not FIRST.  Falling more in love with Jesus is about HIM consuming my thoughts, so that spending time with HIM, experiencing His presence is as common as breathing! Its about talking with Him, and looking ahead with Him.  It's about growing in intimacy with my LORD.  Now, I know some people think that is a weird way to put your relationship with Jesus.  Because why?  I think it is because people always associate intimacy with sex.

Erwin Raphael McManus (Pastor/Author)  said "Our souls crave intimacy." 

I would agree and I am thankful that our God made us that way - fearfully and wonderfully made.  He also knows that we crave intimacy because real intimacy (not the act of sex)  makes us feel that someone really took the time to see into us.  And that made us feel alive because our hearts and our souls have connected.  And the greatest lover of our being - our heart and soul is the LORD JESUS CHRIST.

So after all this rambling at 2 am in the morning, I am thankful for these thoughts on my relationship with Jesus.  On falling in love more with HIM.  About an intimate relationship with the greatest lover of my soul.  I honestly can say, without a shadow of a doubt.  I love Jesus Christ first. And then my husband, my kids, my grandkids, and family and friends.  And as I know my human relationships take nurturing, time, and grow daily ... I am also very aware that my relationship with Jesus also grows daily.

The bottom line of this I believe is:  We go through hard hard times.  If you havent't - you will.  Guaranteed.  We walk through times of pressure, intense heat, intense refining, times where we may feel that we are drowning ... but we don't drown.  Times where we feel the heat of the flames, but don't burn.  Times where we feel like the rushing water is going to sweep us away, but we don't get swept away.  We walk through those times.  And that is when we realize RELIGION isn't what counts at all ... all the rules, all the ritual, all the pomp and circumstance does nothing. NOT A THING. B Our life with Jesus has to be about RELATIONSHIP.  Allowing Him full access into our life, our soul and knowing that He sees us and loves us, that He shed his blood on the cross for us, and we can love Him.  We will walk through the hard times.  We will pray like crazy (or not).  He will answer the way that is best for us. (even though we prayed He would answer differently.  (God why didn't  you heal him?  God why didnt you take her depression away?  God why did my grandson die?  God didn't you know she wants a husband?  God ???? )  Regardless of what we say/pray/walk through if we are walking in relationship with HIM - THAT is what it is all about.  He longs for us to KNOW Him better.  Give our lives to Him.  KNOW Him.  LOVE Him.  Fall MORE in love with Him.  Serve Him and become more like Him.

So, this is my prayer:  Jesus, lover of my soul.  May I fall in love with you more and more with each passing day.  You know me so intimately and oh I love you.  You have created me to become more like you.  I may not get everything or even a portion of what I pray and beg you for but I know that walking with you Jesus is what counts.  You've got me.  You know me.  You call me by name.
I am your beloved.  And that is all that counts!  Oh how I love you and I KNOW that you love me even more.  May your fragrance come from and out of me Jesus.  Amen





Sunday, April 23

my life is like the morning fog ...


 “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? 
Your life is like the morning fog—
it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”   
James 4:14  New Living Translation (NLT)

In the past couple months, I have sat in the seats of three funerals. 
A cousin’s husband, a first cousin, and a friend from church.  
In each case death was sudden.  A diagnosis of cancer and passing 6 days later.  The next - she went to sleep and awoke in heaven!  Just like that.  And the last was sudden - heart failure.  No time for a last hug.  But like the morning fog, here and then gone.

Our lives are but a “vapor” ... a “mist” ... or the “morning fog”.
Death is all around us, and in each of these funerals, there was hope we have in Christ of one day being reunited again.  I sat in the chairs and my mind scrolled through many thoughts.  And, I don’t think I am unlike others who I assume also think of these things when at a funeral.

Thing is, I began thinking of my funeral when my mom passed away, which is almost 21 years ago (May 5).  Somehow, knowing my mom was in Heaven took the fear out of dying.   And then a year and a bit later when my dad died, it was then that I began to pen my own thoughts on my funeral.  Now, I have to say that my ideas have been changed a little.  I used to keep it in a file on my computer desk top.  Ashley (my daughter) told me it was a little weird to use my computer and see the file named “My funeral”.

I believe that as wonderful as it is this side of Heaven, that the best is yet to come.  Sure, I don’t want to hurry death in any way.  I love spending time with my husband, kids and grandkids, family and friends. However, I also know that one day I will be reunited with those who have gone on before - and especially looking to one day talking with my grandson Jay Benjamin, and other family like my Mom, Dad, Niece Keri, Granny, and other grandparents that I never got to meet yet.  

Our life is but a vapor ... in God’s time, I believe it.  One day to him is like a thousand and a thousand are like a day.   Psalm 139 tells me that God knew the number of my days before one of them came to be!  He knows.  Yes, I can do what I can to take care of myself, and live a healthy life, but the reality is, my life is like the morning fog!  

So, how am I living that vapor out?  Am I living my life fully and with intention?  Apparently my friend from church used to say “remember who you are representing” when a person left to go somewhere.  Does my life represent Jesus?  Is there a sweet fragrance of the LORD left lingering behind after I have been with someone?  Will my life leave a legacy of faith to my kids, my grandkids and my friends?  Will Jesus say “well done good an faithful servant” when I come into his presence?

Alvin and I have talked about death a bit.  Usually it is me telling him “I will never remarry, but you would have to!!”  Or joking that Ashley says “dad would be able to have toast and eggs, and could live with us and hang out with the kids”.  Not sure if everyone jokes that way.   Or does it just happen when the “vapor” or “morning fog” seems like it is lifting (as we age) and death seems eventually inevitable?  I remember my mom talking to me about if she were to go first ...   I hated talking about that with my mom.  In fact the thought of losing them made me cry.  However, I have had some conversations with my kids, and I think it is in a healthy place.  Who are we trying to kid?  Our life is but a morning fog!!

And the weird thing is, no matter how we talk, or write out plans.  No matter how much we wonder about the length of our lives - only God knows.  
He knows when the “morning fog will lift” and in the meantime, I know that HE is the one who holds the vapor/mist/fog of my life in his hands.  I believe HE is the one who has it all under control, amidst the unknown, and He will give whatever strength/grace is needed for the days/years ahead.

I realize I have NO CLUE what my life will be like tomorrow.  I think I may know, but that can change in an instant ... I have been at the celebration of life services which attest to that.  I can have all the best plans for tomorrow.  I can have the greatest insurance plan for my life.  But it is God who has determined it all.  

I have talked about living life full on - about “going big or going home” - about living fully for Him.  I can do that, because it is Jesus who gives me the full and abundant life.  He said, “I have come to give life and give it to the full.”   That life is not about fear of tomorrow, or about worry about how or when I die.  That life IS about giving him today, tonight and tomorrow and entrusting each breath to him.  

Fog is a little eerie.  Dense.  It can create a little anxiety when driving.  We experienced this a couple months ago while driving up a mountain trail.
I was a little anxious.  I could not see hardly in front of our car.  Thing is a mere mile before there was no fog.   But we were in the thick of things, not knowing when it would life, and when we could exhale again.  (Alvin was driving and he didn't seem as anxious as me, but he was glad when we were out of it.)    That is an object lesson of our lives.  Here and then gone.

NOT so that we worry.
NOT so that we weep unnecessarily because we are afraid.
NO, it is to help us understand the mystery of our lives that have been created by our Sovereign GOD.  And because of Him, and the “cloud of witnesses/saints that have gone on before” I am not afraid.   I know who holds my future - and He gives me peace.

Sorry, this is not profound or anything - just the ramblings of this “country mouse” as she runs through each day.  Living fully.  Living life all out.  Trusting.  Day in, day out, day in, day out - until my LORD calls me home.

These funerals have made me consider what would be said.  What would be sung?  What Scripture?  Would there be a lot of people. Would there be enough pictures for a slide show??  (this makes me laugh because truth be told, I take most of the pictures, so there may not be!! Joking)  Has my life had impact for Jesus?  It is all about HIM.  Every breath has to be all about my Jesus.  Here on earth, until the fog lifts, and I find myself with HIM and my loved ones gone on before, in Heaven.


 “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? 
Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”   
James 4:14  New Living Translation (NLT)







Tuesday, April 4

peanuts

I sit here in the early part of the morning, breathing in, breathing out.  Thankful.  Feeling blessed amidst any of the anxiety that runs across my heart and in my mind.  And the blue sky, the sunshine and the creation on the other side of the window pane absolutely warms my heart.  God does that.  In the midst of it all.  "Your will be done, your kingdom come, here ~ the midst of my life, my world ~ as it is in Heaven."

I sit here, cozied up in the big white chair.  (Do any of your remember the friendly giant TV show, when his hand would come and arrange the miniature chairs in front of the fireplace and say "and here's a big chair to curl up in" ... well that is me this morning.  I am waiting for a retreater to come for a day retreat.  She has done this before several times.  She knows the ropes, and so I get to relax too.  My favourite gluten free scone recipe are baked and on a plate if she cares to enjoy.  And me - I have one too, along with my favorite tea.  It is a good morning and I am thankful that God does allow his will to be done, and his kingdom come here, in my life, as it is in Heaven.

Outside of my window, on the post of our deck is a square plate that was full of peanuts in the shell.  I heard this from my friend Gisele, who told me about her husband Ron feeding the Jays.  And so that year I began buying peanuts in the shell. Not just little bag but a HUGE SACK full, and have bought a few sack fulls since!  I love watching them - they come and sit on the plate, pick up a peanut, shake it, drop it, and to this over and over again until they select the one they want.  I have always wondered if they are checking to see the weight, or if they can tell if it has one or two or three peanuts inside.  And sometimes they put one in their mouth and tip their head back and try to get another one in.  I have read that they take them as far as two miles away.

Peanuts.  Who would have thought that a mere peanut.  Not roasted.  Not salted.  Not barbecued lol
Peanuts in the shell - would be the thing that would bring them to the feeder in a flurry - one after another - waiting in line at times.  Reminds me of how planes at a big airport sit in a holding pattern ready to take off, one after another after another.  This is the Blue Jays that are occupying my time this morning, as I sit in the big comfy chair.

But unlike any other day, one of the Jays is sitting on the hand railing doing down the steps to the walkway.  He has een sitting there for a long time.  Every so often he turns his heard as if he is gazing at me.  I notice how the white and blue markings on his wings that are tucked in, make a beautiful mosaic, like a stone glass mosaic.  And I marvel again at the way God has created all the bird species different and oh so beautiful.

He is sitting, watching.  Not clamouring at the dish for peanuts.  Perhaps he has already had his fill.  I am intrigued by this other than ordinary behaviour as usually they come, pick up and flit away.  But he is just sitting.  Retreating lol  only now to fly up, look around, pick a peanut treat and fly away.

Peanuts.  Simple.  Brown.  Unassuming. Peanuts in a shell.

I realize a lot by watching the Jays outside my window.  If you have read my blog posts since 2008 you will know that when we lost our grandson Jay Benjamin, we adopted the BlueJay as our family logo (for lack of a better word).  We named our business Blue Jay Family Works.  Alvin, Josh, Ashley and Michael had tattoos of blue jays done.  (my tattoo did not include a blue jay but it was Jay related).  At that time, I had not seen any Blue Jays in our yard in Anola, and they began coming - steadily.  Story after Story I could relate, and I began to call the Blue Jay sightings "kisses from God" to me.   Thus began our intrigue and love of the Blue Jay.  A raucous bird and somewhat aggressive - but oh I love them.  God has used them greatly in my life.

So here I sit, having just welcomed, talked with and prayed with my day retreater.  I am reminded over and over of God's presence in our lives, in the deep deep places.  And I see the peanuts that bring us joy along our day.  Simple yet profound JOY.
As I sit here, with each peanut that is scooped out of the feeder.  With each call of the birds, I am reminded that I am so greatly loved, carried and blessed by our LORD GOD.

So LORD today, may YOUR kingdom come, your will be done on earth (in my life, in my family, in my home) as it is in Heaven.  I love you LORD.