Tuesday, September 27

To what degree do you believe you want this in your life?

A couple years ago, I had the privilege of sitting under the tutelage of Dr. Larry Crabb, as one of 30 students in the Spiritual Direction Class 33, at beautiful Glen Eyrie Retreat and Conference Center in amazing Colorado Springs, Colorado.  This was an experience that I will never forget, and will cherish forever.  God's timing for this - I just can't begin to explain.


Since then, I have had a great desire to do more with it.  I have looked into becoming a "LIFE COACH" ... I have thought of a number of things, but I continue to be drawn to care giving and spiritual care of others.  Such it was, that I decided to proceed with doing the SOUL CARE courses via on-line, and proceeding toward a certificate in Spiritual Formation, as taught by Dr. Crabb.  I have to be honest - I love the fact that he is a christian counsellor, who believes that we all can speak into the lives of others who need "soul care" and that this is a huge thing in society - the fact that many do not have anyone to sit face to face with, and talk/listen with.  


Now that I have prefaced this post ~ I have been thinking of one of the discussion questions that I had to answer the other night.  Here it is:


Consider the radical nature of the proposed goal for SoulCare (“To arouse an appetite for God that is stronger than all other appetites”). Discuss whether you think this is a reasonable goal. Understand what is being said ... that you can actually long to know God more than you long for anything else (i.e. good health, a good marriage, godly kids, good feelings about yourself, etc.) To what degree do you believe you want this in your life?


So it is, since Saturday night, that this question has continued to resonate in my soul.  Really, I answered it Saturday night but ... the question stands today still, and I continue to ask myself, being that I can actually long to know God more than I long for anything else, to what degree DO I believe that I want this in my life?


Sometimes our life crowds in doesn't it.  I love my husband more than I can ever express.  The love that I have for him, I have known for no other man before.  He is a gift from God, given to me 37 years ago!! (yep, we were 16!)   I want to spend my life, my days with him.  Do I love God more?  Do I long for God more than I long for my husband?


I love my kids (Josh, Leah, Ash and Mike) more than any other kids in the world.  I have been greatly greatly blessed by these 4 gifts to me (and Alvin).  I don't know what I would do without my kids in my life!  Do I love God more?  Do I long for God more than I long for my children?


I love my Grandbabes:  our little Jay who is in heaven, our little Everett who blesses our lives here on earth, and our little Grandbabe in utero who we look forward to welcoming in January.  Being a Granny is something that no words can describe!  Do I love God more?  Do I long for God more than I long for my grandchildren?


These are my thoughts today.  My initial response is to say YES, I do long for God most.  But when I really really think of what I am saying, it is something that is very sobering.  Loving God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my might!  Saying it is one thing ... believing it with all my heart is another!  


How DO I measure the degree to which I believe this?  


Jesus gave his life for me.  HIS LIFE!!  All he wants for me - is that I would believe this, and walk daily in relationship with him.  O Lord Jesus ... grow my love for you.  I can hardly comprehend your love for me, the closest thing I can compare it to, is the love I have for my sweet husband, my kids and my grandbabes!  And yet, you love me even more!  Grow my love for you sweet Jesus and may I long for you more than anything else.  
Yes Lord, more.







Sunday, September 25

Where Everyone Knows Your Name

It was great to be at church today.  With having many Sundays away at the lake - I was just really missing church.  I love the worship time (through music).  I love the passionate way both Delbert and Dave speak. (Delbert spoke this morning).  I love the way the church reaches past its doors into the community.
I realized today that this is the first fall that we are sitting in the pews at Eastview Community Church.  It has been a huge transition for us, to leave the place we called our home church (after 32 years) and move to another church.  (that move is a whole other blog post that likely will never be written, but know that the move was not something that we did without much prayer, much tears and grieving)

Anyhow ... today, as Delbert got up to give the welcome, he shared the sermon series that we are beginning right now, and the worship team broke into the song from Cheers





Now, okay, lest I offend some of you who think that singing a portion of the theme song of cheers  is sacreligious or something ... let me explain.

Something happened when I heard the theme song begin to play on the piano.  Actually I got goose bumps.  Now, I liked the series CHEERS and watched it often with my husband.  But I think the thing that I liked the most was the fact that people knew one another, and that when Norm came in - they all said "NORM" because they KNEW HIM!! (one of my friends was positive that when I walked into Mountain Bean, they all yelled JOY since I spent alot of time there while I was a Pastor.  He said that he always wanted to be in the coffee shop before I came in, to see if it happened!!)  I think I actually got goosebumps because I have heard people refer to the cheers community before.  (No you won't catch me sitting and hanging out in a pub, because that is not my idea of a good time HOWEVER I love the idea of community.  I love it when people KNOW me and allow me to get to KNOW them.  I know that I love to be "in" community!)

Today Delbert's sermon was titled "Risk IT!  Community in a Timmy's World and it was on Acts 2: 42 to the end.  Delbert made us laugh as he had Tim Horton's props (cups and Timbits) because they are a CANADIAN thing, but he admitted that he loves Starbucks more!

He talked about how the first "church" was a community of like minded people - of one heart and one mind.  That they were DEVOTED (totally committed to what they believed) but that beyond devotion, we have to have PASSION (which is a powerful and compelling emotional response to something we have experienced) .  Imagine - Peter preached with passion (Acts 2) and 3000 were added to the church that day!  WOW imagine if that happened today!  We have a lot to be passionate about!  I will never forget the night that I asked Jesus Christ to be Lord of my life!!

Delbert also said that besides PASSION we need to add LOYALTY.  At this point, Delbert said that he had read the book "The Gospel According to Starbucks" (which is a book that Alvin also read and enjoyed) and within the book the author talks about an EPIC LIFE.  There are 4 essential ingredients to establishing a Christ-like community (which we should all want to have right?) and they are

Experience:  mainly teaching.  If we are only here to entertain, then the church has missed the point!
Participation:  we were all encouraged to roll up our sleeves and get involved, and bring others to come and know Christ!
Images:  at this point we celebrated the Lord's Supper (aka communion) together.  The images of the bread and wine representing the Lord's body which hung on the cross, and his blood shed for our sin.  I love celebrating around the Lord's table together.
Connection:  in the Acts church it said that they devoted themselves to teaching, to fellowship, to sharing meals, to prayer.  They knew one another's NEEDS!!  You can only do this if you connect with people!  If you know others by name, and if you are known by your name!  It was this type of community that attracted others!

It was at this point that Delbert encouraged us, as he was closing, to do an impromptu lunch invitation with someone.  Go out of our way and go out with someone else.  Impromptu!
As we were leaving, we were asked to go out with our friend Judy and her new husband Dennis.  It was a wonderful time together, getting to know them and hearing how God had brought the two of them together.

I was blessed today through the service.  The service that included worship time through music, Scripture reading, a sermon, sharing communion together and yes... even hearing the Worship Band sing the first part of the Cheers Theme Songs.

You want to go where everybody knows your name!!

My prayer is that God will help me to be open to the needs of others and willing to step out of my box, to step out of my comfort zone and to be HIS hands and feet to others!  I want to be a community that reaches out and loves on others!  O Lord, this is my prayer!

Saturday, September 24

Lucille ~ an unexpected friendship

Over the past year, Alvin and I have gotten to know the sweetest lady, our neighbor across the street from us (where we are building on Henderson Hwy).  Last year, in October, we went over with flowers, and shared a glass of wine with her - on her 90th birthday.  This year, she is turning 91 but you would hardly know it.  Except that is, for the fact that her knee replacements have slowed down her walking, and her arthritis has made getting dressed harder for her.


The other day, we went to visit her.  She has home care that comes to help her dress in the morning, and then again to get ready for bed at night.  Thing is, they come quite early in the evening.  Much too early for her to be in her nightgown, but what do you do when you need help?


Alvin and I had just come over to visit with her when her home care worker pulled into the driveway.  I said that I would gladly help her get ready for bed later, and so with that, the home care worker left. We visited outside for a couple of hours and then decided we would have to get going.  So in I went with Lucille.  It was not the first time I helped her in her house, although I had never helped her get ready for bed before.


It didn't take too long, but I did help her undress, and before getting on her nightshirt, she asked if I could put some stuff on her sore and aching shoulders and arms.  I gladly did this.  After getting her nightie on, she said "sometimes I rub my feet with something but they can wait until tomorrow."  I told her I would gladly rub her feet and she was so happy that I was willing.  So, there I was, kneeling at her feet, and rubbing Watkins "greena smear" as Mom Klassen used to call it ... it actually smells like Vicks, but I use it on my feet too!


It was a humbling experience for me.  And no doubt for her.  It was a teachable moment for me too.  You know, sitting at the feet of someone, and doing something like that, makes you both thankful, and grateful.  Thankful that you are able to help someone out.  Grateful that God allows such moments in our lives, to see how he wants us to be like him - servant hearted.  Loving others as he loves us.


When I was done, I asked her if there was anything else she needed, and she said no.  SO, I said, "well is it okay if I give you a hug then?" And I hugged her.  To which she promptly replied, and I will give you one more, to which she gave me a hug and kiss.  It was at that moment, that I realized she had entered my world, and I had entered hers, and a bond was struck.


Since then, we have been added onto her life line as contacts.  She has also called us, just to see how we are, and vice versa.  Today I called to see if I could go over for a visit.  I realize she is like a grandma to me.  Having lost my mom and mom-in-law, I appreciate the fact that there are older and wise women in my life still.  Lucille is very "with it" and we have had some nice talks over a cup of instant coffee!


Today as I left, I again asked if there was anything she needed before I went, to which she said no.
So, before I left, I once again, gave her a hug, and she once again, gave me a hug and kiss.
And as I left - I walked away "blessed" by this woman, who unwittingly came into our lives when we bought the land!  God knew that this special friendship would happen.  The thing is ... her house has been sold, and she is looking for a place to go into.  She is sad to go just when she has "new neighbors" (us) but I have a feeling, no matter where she goes, I will always be welcome to visit, to talk over instant coffee and to leave with a hug and kiss.


It is my prayer that as we both enjoy conversation, friendship and fellowship ~ that God would bless our friendship and use me in whatever way He sees fit. And, if you are one who believes in the power of prayer, please pray along with me, that something will open up in a home.  She would love to go into a home where she can still live independently but with the option of help if needed.  I am praying that a place will open soon for her, as she has to be out of her home by the 1st of December since it has been sold.  Thanks for praying for my sweet friend Lucille.

Friday, September 23

Out Walking on the First Day of Fall 2011








Today is such a beeeee-uuuu-tiiii-full day!!  
Absolutely beautiful.  
The sky is blue with a smattering of white cloud.  
The Blue jays are calling and flitting from tree to tree.  
The squirrels are running to and fro, I presume they are gathering acorns for winter.  
The colors are turning.  
Leaves are falling with the slight breeze.  
The corn is standing straight in the fields.  
People are driving past me, and I wonder where they are going on this wonderful day.  
I left home with my little camera in hand... and captured some moments.  
This is the first day of Fall. 
I love fall.... the colors especially, and the smells.  
I love the sound of the geese flying.  


In the Bible is says ... "To everything there is a season!"
Welcome Fall!!
















leaf blowing across the highway


and takes a rest on the shoulder


this bell chimes on Sundays
it belongs to the church below, which is our neighbour  directly to the south of us


22 things about Yesterday

22.  It is a good thing that the my husband woke up without the alarm because I had reset the clock for pm not am

21.  It was a working day and even though I had laundry to do, I was glad that I had one pair of underwear left in my drawer (after all my mom always used to say "always wear clean underwear in case you are ever in an accident!)

20.  I went through the drive-thru at McDonalds and got a fresh medium cup of black coffee.  It lasted me right through to my coffee break.  ummmm.... good

19.  I love work and can't thank God enough for the job at Canadian Blood Services.  I am able to take note of people as they come through the line and God often puts some on my heart to pray for.

18.  The women I work with make me smile!  There is usually a good conversation and often a hug or two.

17.  My shift was over at noon today and I still had half a day left!

16.  Sunshine and some blue sky!!  What more can I say.  Hot days ahead on the weekend.

15.  Noticing that the leaves are slowly changing.  I guess yesterday was the first day of fall right?

14.  This morning we noticed alot of geese flying south.  They were still trying to get into formation, and there were many V's within the big formation.  Geese are so interesting.

13.  I had banana bread left over from last night, and I took if for coffee break.  I love banana bread!

12.  This afternoon I met two good friends at Mountain Bean for a cup of coffee and couple hours of conversation.

11.  Exercising at curves ~ it felt good.

10.  Jumped into my car which was full of dirty laundry (neatly arranged in baskets in the back seat) You know what happens with a warm car and laundry ... I was so glad I didn't smell funky when I came out of the car too!

9.  Picked up my man at the firehall and he was waiting for me outside.  I love that guy.

8.  Ate supper with Leah and Everett.  He has some new woods like pizza (which he ate two pieces of) and geese, and moose and happy ...  and many other words.

7.  Got to read to Everett, and sing with him, and hug him, and he gave me a big kiss good-nite as I put him into bed with his blankie and elmo and lovey (his favorite night time stuffy)

6.  Got to see 3 of my 4 kids today and hug them!!

5.  ate ice-cream (a once in a while treat)

4.  felt the coolness of frost on my window in the morning (reminder of what is to come)

3.  did 4 loads of wash ~ nothing better than the freshness of clean clothes.  I am thankful that I have this luxury ... some people don't

2.  heard bluejays cawing

1.  hopped into bed at the end of the day, with my sweetheart - kissed good - nite and prayed myself to sleep.

THIS WAS STARTED YESTERDAY AND FINISHED TODAY!

Sunday, September 18

the cookies!

 Today I have laughed again
as I watched my little grandson Everett and his Daddy
"play" with the cookies that Everett was given to eat.
You will hear Josh giving voices to the cookies,
 asking Everett "Do you want to eat me" 
as he makes the little teddy shaped cookie come closer and closer to its end!
Everett loves this.

He squeals with anticipation!
It made us all laugh!
Enjoy!


video




video



oh, to be young again
and to eat cookies with such delight and anticipation!

Thursday, September 15

I have just been thinking ...

These last few days I have not blogged.  I have worked a few shifts, including an out of town one.  On top of that I have been battling a big-time cold which has made me consume far too many cold meds!
The weather has been much colder this week - a rather rude awakening to those of us who have been basking in above normal temps all summer (here in Manitoba).  It feels like I have been in thinking mode lately or perhaps God has just raised my level of awareness many more notches.  I should journal all this down but instead I will journal it in my blog.  Perhaps you have wondered about some of this too.

I watched an older man pushing his shopping cart across Logan Avenue.   He was heading into the wind, and his body was leaning into the cart as he pushed it.  The thing that struck me was that he was not dressed for the change of weather.  He had short sleeves on.  I wished that I hadn't cleaned stuff out of the trunk - because I would have grabbed a jacket of Alvin's and given it to him.  My heart hurt.  I have close friends/family who have spent more than one night on the street.  I just can not imagine!

I watched the news with Alvin the other day - and saw starving children.  Their big eyes looking out.  Their extended tummies and anorexic bodies.  They are literally starving to death.  Starving.  I look at the mothers and can not imagine their thoughts.  Every parent wants to provide for their child.  We can.  In fact, we often could be found guilty of spoiling our kids.  I watched but inside, I felt sick.  They need our help.  The government is multiplying the money given toward this need.  And here I am, trying to lose weight because in my lifetime, I have over-indulged.  To have children starving and dying in your arms ~ to have them look up in my face and not be able to give them what they desperately need to live ... I can not imagine.  O Lord, have mercy.

I talked with someone - a young adult in their late teens - who had recently taken an Aids test.  My heart broke.  When I verbalized this, the response to me from a peer was "well Joy, that is the reality of high-schoolers ~ they are having sex."  Yes, I know that this is a reality.  But my heart still broke at the fact that this young man, with so much ahead of him, has already had to face the possibility of aids.  O Lord, protect my grandchildren, and help them to keep pure until marriage.  Personally I know that is hard, but I also know it is absolutely possible.

I watched a dad and his son the other day.  Both dressed in orange t-shirts.  The little guy was about 3.  I watched their interaction.  A couple days later I laughed at the antics of our little grandson Ev.  I watched as he danced, as he wrestled with his dad, as he hugged his mommy ... as he blew us all kisses as his mom and dad took him for his bedtime routine.  Watching three year olds laugh and play, make me realize how our grandson Jay would have played with his younger brother Everett.  While other little three year olds make me smile ... it also makes me miss our little one so much.  We will always miss him.  The same day we visited with our grandson, I was also aware that there was another mom and dad not too far away that were missing their little guy who is also in heaven.  There are times when I still ask God "why?"

I sat with a good friend today and chatted over coffee (actually here in the same place as I am now sitting and writing.)  We talk about some of the things in life that are just plain hard.  We talk about family.  We talk about jobs.  We talk about depression.  Lord, Life is so hard sometimes - and emotionally we are often very weak.  But you are strong.  O Lord, give us strength and healing.

I watched many of the 9-11 stories on Sunday.  I remembered where I was the day that I first heard the news.  We all remember.  I watched people weep as they listened.  I watched people as they did pencil rubbing over their loved ones names.  I marvelled at the bravery of the firefighters (this is especially close to my heart with my husband and son both in the same career of firefighting).  I wondered what people thought as they ran with the huge cloud of debris and dust following them.  And I realized that watching all of this made me feel like it had just happened again, even though it hadn't.  I listened to the man who was then the mayor, as he addressed the people in the service and read Scripture.  The same scripture that I have heard before.  The same Scripture that is often read at funerals.  The same scripture that we can likely all recite, and that a song is even written after.  You know it ... "to everything there is a time ..."

I will end my thoughts, my ramblings with this scripture, the one Rudy Galiano read, the one subtitled "A Time for Everything"  Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, New Living Translation


There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


what does the worker gain from his toil? 
i have seen the burden God has laid on men.
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
he has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.
That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil - this is the gift of God.
I know that everything God does will endure forever, nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.  God does it so that men will revere him.
Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.


Wednesday, September 7

creation speaks without saying a word


behind every cloud there IS a silver lining!





coming home from Selkirk one night,
we caught these pics of the sun setting.
the sun's reflection was on the silo ~ although my little camera didn't capture that real well
but it was beautiful to see the reflection as the sun set




one of the storms that came and went quickly through the city
this was captured from the balcony of the condo


daisies
are
such beautiful flowers



these pics are all taken at the cottage (this one and the next ones)
the extreme dry weather has made everything look like fall already!
leaves are drying up and dying prematurely
although fall is right around the corner!





Creation speaks through its beauty
It reflects the glory of the Creator!
Our God is an Awesome God!

Tuesday, September 6

drawn to this psalm



This morning I sat in my newly selected Quiet Time Space ...  I have put a chair in a corner, close to where the sun streams in in the morning.  It is an old chair, but feels good.  It is covered.  Nothing special about it other than it "works" for now.  I have a little table beside me to hold my coffee and my journal/bible etc.

I went there this morning and randomly opened my Bible.  I didn't do the "open and point" thing that some people use to find their Scripture reading for the day.  But it just seemed to open at this place.  And Psalm 145 caught my eye.  SO, I read it ~ OUT LOUD!  And, it blessed my soul.  Before I read it, I asked the Lord to write the truths indelibly on my heart - (I remember when my mom had indelible ink pens ~ or at least that is what they were called then ~ and if something is indelible it means it does not come out!  EVER. )  O Lord, please write YOUR truths on my heart!

Psalm 145 - originally written by David - you know him, Shepherd, King and a very very human being and yet was known by God as a man "with a heart after God's own".  In this Psalm I read it and wrote what I saw about "I" , about GOD, about the LORD, about "THEY" ....  and realize that we are all in it together!!  We have responsibility to praise GOD.  THEY means "everything that God has created" ...
just sit outside for a while - you will hear and see Creation praising God!

Read this Psalm through and let it bless you too this morning!

Psalm 145 from The Message

David's Praise
 1 I lift you high in praise, my God, O my King! and I'll bless your name into eternity. 

 2 I'll bless you every day, 
      and keep it up from now to eternity. 
 3 God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough. 
      There are no boundaries to his greatness. 
 4 Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; 
      each one tells stories of your mighty acts. 
 5 Your beauty and splendor have everyone talking; 
      I compose songs on your wonders. 
 6 Your marvelous doings are headline news; 
      I could write a book full of the details of your greatness. 
 7 The fame of your goodness spreads across the country; 
      your righteousness is on everyone's lips. 

 8 God is all mercy and grace— 
      not quick to anger, is rich in love. 

 9 God is good to one and all; 
      everything he does is suffused with grace. 

 10-11 Creation and creatures applaud you, God; 
      your holy people bless you.
   They talk about the glories of your rule,
      they exclaim over your splendor,

 12 Letting the world know of your power for good,
      the lavish splendor of your kingdom.

 13 Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal;
      you never get voted out of office.
   God always does what he says,
      and is gracious in everything he does.

 14 God gives a hand to those down on their luck,
      gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.

 15 All eyes are on you, expectant;
      you give them their meals on time.

 16 Generous to a fault,
      you lavish your favor on all creatures.

 17 Everything God does is right—
      the trademark on all his works is love.

 18 God's there, listening for all who pray,
      for all who pray and mean it.

 19 He does what's best for those who fear him—
      hears them call out, and saves them.

 20 God sticks by all who love him,
      but it's all over for those who don't.

 21 My mouth is filled with God's praise.
      Let everything living bless him,
      bless his holy name from now to eternity!

Monday, September 5

nothing but the sound of the fan and the sunbeams through the window




it is absolutely quiet right now
except for the sound of the ceiling fan
whirling around
it is good
the quietness

today began with the sound of the birds
the distinct caw of the bluejays
the rascals
but they are a gift to me
and their sound
and their beauty takes my breath away

there is alot to do
rug to vacuum
dust to sweep out of corners long neglected
but there is no rush
because it will just begin to collect again
as soon as the mop is put away

i love the quietness
it is a balm for my being
like the sun that shines on me
the quietness shines into my soul
and it is in this time
that i can think
that i can listen
that i can commune with my Lord
that i can pray
that i can just BE.

this day has been a day of blessing
a day that has felt like days gone past
like some of the days when i was in my old home
or the days i lived in the loft near my kids
this day feels reminiscent of those ones
and as i putter around this place
putting away
sorting
cleaning
sitting
i am thankful that it feels good

in the midst of this day
i have sat with a good cup of coffee
i have chatted with some of my kids
i have sat and conversed over lunch
i have hugged my boys
and prayed with my son
and i am thankful
that God has given me this day as a gift
and all that has been a part of it

so as the fan whirls
and the sun shines
as the bluejay caws
and the wind blows through the trees

i.    am.    thankful.

very very thankful.
thank you Lord



if you are interested, I have also posted today on www.womenrefreshed.wordpress.com

Thursday, September 1

those that wait upon the Lord ~ (oh Lord, please help me)

I will admit - I have had a hard day today. It has been full of physical pain (another fibromyalgia flare up) and I find the pain makes me even more emotional than I usually am!  Last night, about 8 pm, we concluded another chapter in our lives,    and a new one began. Last night's sleep was hard (due to the pain and stiffness) and when the alarm went this morning and I needed to get dressed for work - I felt like the "tin man" again.  (guess I would be the tin woman!)

On the way to work - I stopped at a McDonald's ... and before I got my Golden Bran muffin and black coffee, I used the washroom.  Now, THAT was quite the experience.  I walked in, and immediately noticed a yucky smell (checked to see if there was pee on the floor somewhere) and there was toilet paper scraps on the floor (some used, so that was equally gross!) I did the "squat" thing (which I got down pat during my trip to Thailand a couple years ago) and then went to wash my hands.  GROSS again ... water all over the messy sinks.  I was never so glad to get out of a bathroom (using something to cover the handle so that my hand didn't get contaminated on the way out!)  BUT THEN ... as I was leaving, I notice that (um-hum...) I was in the MEN'S BATHROOM.  So now, I was REALLY grossed out!! (and may I add that when I got into the car, I pulled the hand sanitizer from my purse and used it!)


As I drove, I wondered how I made this mistake? Was I just tired?  Ya, I figured that was a good answer!  Honestly I just really did not like this start to my day!


But here, at the other end of the day, I can say I have been reflecting back onto the day, and actually onto the other days in this terribly full week, and I realize a couple things.  The most blatantly obvious is that my "busy-ness" has occupied my day - and has crowded out the Quiet Time with my Lord.  I have not spent the time I have wanted with Him.  I have not bowed low daily, giving Jesus all my cares, and "laying them down at the cross" so to speak.  And I realize that this neglect in itself, has set me up for some hard times lately.  


You see - I know enough through my 53 years, that life IS hard at times.  That life is EXCRUCIATING at some times.  That life can also feel "easy" at times.  I also know that often when life does get hard - it is much easier to walk through my days when I have come before the throne in time with my Jesus! So it made sense that today, amidst the physical pain, that I just felt totally out of energy - out of emotions - out of strength.  MINE was depleted over and over and over - years ago ... and because of my lack of QT this week - I was not being enriched and strengthened the way I know I can be when I include HIM in my walk.
(okay, now I feel like I am babbling)


Anyhow - the tears have flowed today - for many reasons.  Today we marked the first few paragraphs in the next chapter of our lives.  One day - over coffee I can fill you in more.  But for now - I know I want to get back into the practice of coming "face down" before Him daily - waiting on HIM - listening - praying - because I know that Scripture says - that those who wait on the Lord - will renew their strength.  And right about now - I need that. Thank you Lord for your promise!  O Lord, help me to wait - help me to worship - help me to love you fully with all my being.  O Lord, hear my prayer!


Isaiah 40  verse 27 to the end of the chapter, in The Message puts it this way:  


Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, 

   or, whine, Israel, saying,

"God has lost track of me. 
   He doesn't care what happens to me"?
Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening?
God doesn't come and go. God lasts. 
   He's Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath. 
   And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired, 
   gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out, 
   young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. 
   They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don't get tired, 
   they walk and don't lag behind.


or as it is in the New Living Translation, same chapter in Isaiah says it like this:


28 Have you never heard?
      Have you never understood?
   The Lord is the everlasting God,
      the Creator of all the earth.
   He never grows weak or weary.
      No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
 29 He gives power to the weak
      and strength to the powerless.
 30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
      and young men will fall in exhaustion.
 31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
      They will soar high on wings like eagles.
   They will run and not grow weary.
      They will walk and not faint.