Tuesday, November 17

... I'll build and altar to praise you, out of the stones that I've found here..

Yesterday I walked. I walked to the "back 40" with (you guessed it) Oreo, Vanilla and Louis! Once again, the "incredible journey" in real life. I love that my animals love to walk with me. Oreo runs ahead. Vanilla keeps walking behind me (meowing all the way) and Louis - well, he is kind of lazy. He often gives up and lays down - and rejoins us somewhere on the way back. ( Hmmmm.... does this sometimes resemble my walk with the Lord? )

Anyhow - yesterday, as I walked - I felt a need to do something. This need came from my heart. So, my eyes were open for the right place. Ah, there is was, just on the beginning of the journey to the back - as I entered the place from our yard, through to the back pasture. A big rock. The need I felt was to "build an altar" that marked my journey with the Lord. You see - some of you know that my last few weeks have been really hard hard HARD (did I say Hard?) weeks....
If you didn't know that - it's okay, but my previous posts will hint to that. I took time off from my blog and from facebooking - to just sit with God. What was He saying. I think I knew - but perhaps didn't want to acknowledge it - because then I would need to do something with it! So, God, in His wisdom and grace with me - and patience - also spoke what I thought He was saying, through the voice and sound of some of my friends voices. "Joy, I think God just wants you to rest in Him." "Joy, this is like a pregnancy, like a gestation period, and you need to take care of yourself for the birth of ministry ahead" "Joy, you have been through 7 years of ministry at your church - it makes sense that THIS TIME NOW is a true sabbatical for you." "Joy, how can you help women experience rest and renewal and refreshement if you don't experience it for yourself." and on and on and on.... I am so thankful for the way God also speaks through my family and my friends.

So - back to yesterday - I walked out - found the rock, and began to collect stones. I didn't feel that I had to make it grandiose - but that I just needed to build something small - to represent God in my life - and His faithfulness - and His love. Something also symbolic about "laying down" the rough rocks before the Lord - and talking to Him about the things that I know I need to surrender - to lay down. The things that I need to give up to Him! (being hurt by friends being one of them)

So I put some rocks on the big rock... then decided to walk to the back, my new "turning around place at the farthest end of the field) and as I was walking, I came across another big stone which I then carried back on my way back. My dog Oreo was rather confused as to why I seemed to be going back and forth. Of course he wouldn't get it - since he's a dog!! But he sensed that I needed time, and just stayed close by waiting.

I arranged these stones on top of the big stone. I stood there - talked with the Lord some more, giving Him the things that He already knew where in my thoughts and in my heart. Then I sang the song by Steve Bell. Of course only Steve can sing it the way it needs to be sung!! But, I sang. I gave God that altar - dedicated it to Him, for as long as it stands there and even longer. It was a time that my heart needed.

It was interesting yesterday when I talked with my friend Elizabeth, she said, (first of all through an email, then over the phone) that she found it very interesting that I built the altar on the back property, and that it seemed that I was giving the land to the Lord too - and she knew how I was struggling with the NON sale of the land. And, as I remember back - while I stood there talking with the Lord - I did give him back the praise for HIS timing as well - even though I do not understand, and may never! Elizabeth mentioned that this would be a blessing to the future owners as well. I have thought of who will move onto and into this homestead in the future!!

Anyhow - the altar dedication was something I felt I needed to do - and something that I have done. As I walk by it today - I will remember His faithfulness to me. As I walk beside it with Alvin - we can talk about God in our lives. As my kids walk past it - it will be a reminder. God is faithful.

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The words from the song, sung by Steve Bell - HERE BY THE WATER have taken on new meaning - even if there was not water close to this rock!!

Here by the Water
Jim Croegaert

Soft field of clover
Moon shining over the valley
Joining the song of the river
To the great giver of the great good

As it enfolds me
Somehow it holds me together
I realize I've been singing
Still it comes ringing
Clearer than clear

And here by the water
I'll build an altar to praise Him
Out of the stones that I've found here
I'll set them down here
Rough as they are

Knowing You can make them holy
Knowing You can make them holy
Knowing You can make them holy

I think how a yearning
Has kept on returning to move me
Down roads I'd never have chosen
Half the time frozen
Too numb to feel

I know it was stormy
I hope it was for me learning
Blood on the road wasn't mine though
Someone that I know
Has walked here before

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