Saturday, March 13

seasonal thoughts.....

I am sitting in the tv room, with my laptop on my lap, just thinking. I should get to doing the dishes in my sink but I just feel like sitting and thinking for a few moments. It has been a lazy day. We basically have sat and had coffee with a couple people who came and looked at our farm land we have for sale. And now, I am in s-l-o-w gear. Through the window I see the blue sky - not a cloud around. The sun is shining, it is a beautiful (almost too good to be true) spring day. The brown grass is showing through all over the yard. The piles of snow are melting with each hour. Something in the back of our minds says that we will still get a cold blast of winter - or at least a pile of snow. Let's face it - this is Manitoba (Canada) and usually when March comes "in like a lamb it goes out like a lion!" as the saying goes. Time will tell.

We have refilled the new bird feeder, and I love watching the birds as they come and perch on it, and eat the shelled black sunflower seeds. The squirrels are not around it these days, which is a blessing. I have heard and seen Jays again in our yard. I love the pretty color of the Blue Jays. I have also come to love the red "smudge" like color on the finches.

Psalm 50: 1 says, "The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets." (NIV)

I believe God is Sovereign and in full control. Like I have said before - I do not always "get" what God is doing, or allowing ~ but I believe HE is Sovereign and HE is in control! This verse attests to the Lord being in control ... have you ever wondered about the sunrise, and sun set... about the waves that come up to the shore and roll back...

As I watch the birds come, I am reminder of scripture that talks about eagles, and about sparrows... oh how the LORD loves us even more!

As I watch the sun that shines and warms the land ~ I am reminded of the way his love and grace falls on me, and warms this often cold heart, and refreshes this often dry and thirsty soul.

As I watch the snow melt and expose the dead grass beneath is ~ I am reminded that our life is but "a breath" (and oh how well we know that). I am reminded of how a seed has to die in order to spring to life again in the spring season. I am reminded of how like the snow covers the earth ~ his grace, love and mercy cover this woman! I wonder what He is "germinating" in my life, or how He is going to spring things to life, and to bloom in this new upcoming season.

I love looking outdoors. I love walking outdoors. I have missed walking the back forty with Oreo. Unlike last year, this year Alvin did not get a path plowed for us to walk on. I am anxious to go and see if the altar that I erected last year as a testament to God's faithfulness in my life - is still standing. (I have a feeling it will be just like we left it before the snow fell). I look forward to walking back there again soon. (gotta find my rubber boots!)

A look out of my window reminds me that things die in fall, get covered in winter, and spring to life in Spring. Tulips are one of the first things to poke out of the mud. Lord willing, this will be the last time I see them bloom in this location!

Seasons are varied. We also have seasons in our life. I thank God for the season He has me in right now. With my pain "under control" and currently at a minimum level (Thank you Lord) I am realizing that I am feeling "content and happy"... and, if you regularly read my blog - you will know that over the last few months, I have really wrestled with the season of life we have walked through over the past year and a half...

There is so much yet to come. Oh how well we know that. (Lord willing, to see our land, our house and land, and begin to build the house/retreat house...) Some things are still hanging in the balance (timing of house sale, of land sale, of build, etc) yet, I believe strongly that God is in those details, and somehow, honestly, I am not worried.

I have realized that we just need to continue to walk in obedience to that which He has called us to. I have realized that this time at home has been a huge gift to me in many many ways. (honestly, that is a new realization over past month). I have realized that following God in this journey has been a "long obedience in the same direction" and it has been one of the most incredible adventures and one that I would never have imagined! Not always easy. Sometimes so incredibly hard that I didn't know if I would ever get up off my knees, but a journey none the less. Three steps forward, two back at time, but regardless - stepping ahead in faith.

Today I came across some sermon notes I had taken, and they were stuck in an older bible that I don't use as much any more, but obviously used in church one day. The sermon (not sure who preached it) was about Job and his encounter with a "HOLY GOD" and here are some of the points that I wrote down, or comments ... That there were many "twists and turns" in the story of Job, and yet through it all, Job remained blameless and upright! (beside that comment, I had written "O Lord, have mercy" and I am thinking that perhaps that comment was in regards to me!!)

I wrote that we are being invited into the story of Job so that we can experience WHO God is. I know that in some ways I thought that we as a family lived through a "Job Experience" and I can say (will speak only for myself on this one) that I have truly experienced WHO GOD IS and what HE ALONE can do in and through and with our "JOB experiences."

I also wrote that "Job had sure knowledge that God was in charge of his life, and what could be better than that!" I know that sometimes (or again I will speak for myself) we wonder if God is really got it all under control. But He does. And will bring it all together. It always makes sense when we look back. (sometimes 10 years after the fact!) The last thing that I wrote is this thought - "do we claim intimacy or nice familiarity?" Now that thought is a blog post in itself. Intimacy or "nice" familiarity. I know personally which word I want to use to describe my relationship with Jesus. The thing is - the one description demands that I get involved in relationship. A relationship HE describes as a marriage. An intimate relationship with the Almighty. O Lord, thank you so much for loving me more than words can describe. I know, without a doubt that it is this relationship that has carried me through these hard seasons of life.

I will take intimacy anytime! Because it is only in this relationship that I get to know and love the one who is in full control. And while I may not understand all that He does, or all that He allows in my life ~ there is this "knowing" ~ this "trust" that exists, and in that trust, I can be content~ which brings me to today, and just realizing that my soul is well! I feel content. And while I don't know what the season will hold, I KNOW who holds the season. Thank you Lord!

Just now, the words from a great great old hymn ran through my head. We sang these together as a family many times. We sang these words when our little Jay was taken to Heaven. I sang this song by myself with only tears as an audience! It talks about seasons, and about God's faithfulness.

Great is Thy Faithfulness ~ Lyrics by Thomas Chisholm

Born in a log cabin in Kentucky, Thomas Chisholm began as a school teacher at age 16, although he himself had no high school or college education.

He accepted Christ at age 27 at a revival meeting held by Frank Morrison, and became the editor of the "Pentecostal Herald".

A Methodist minister for a few years, he had to resign due to poor health. Thomas Chisholm lived in Winona Lake, Vineland and Ocean Grove, New Jersey. He wrote more than 1200 poems; in 1923 sent several to William Runyan (the composer of this hymn tune) who later wrote, "This particular poem held such an appeal that I prayed most earnestly that my tune might carry over its message in a worthy way, and the subsequent history of its use indicates that God answered prayer." (Osbeck 119)

This hymn was first introduced in Great Britain in 1954 by the Billy Graham Crusades.

Verse 1

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my father!
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not:
As thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.


Great is Thy faithfulness, Great is Thy faithfulness,
Morning by morning new mercies I see:
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Verse 2

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Verse 3

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth.
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

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