Journals and more…

23 years ago my older sister gave me my first journal.

pen and paper…
thoughts poured out.

a rubbermaid tub full of journals,
years and years of memories…

Who was that girl who scribbled lines?
Too emotional, too much

… too many thoughts and feelings,

and it came out sounding so senseless.

Still, it poured out,
and now I can hold it and make sense of it all.

One of my most treasured “journals” is the notebook my husband gave me containing every email of our first year.

It begins with a poem and tracks our relationship from the week we met until a few weeks before he proposed.

My journals are my
“footprints on the sands of time”.

Too many words?
not enough.
I hang on every word.
They contain lessons learned,
love … longing … memories, too precious to forget.

The thought unwritten is forgotten, lost forever except to God. The word unspoken, unheard … is a blessing if grace is the guard set over our mouth, keeping watch over the door of our lips. Or, a loss if it is pride holding back a gift that begs to be given.

“Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.” F.M. Lehman

What God has done in my life can not be written it its fullness; I don’t even completely know all. But, I want to remember and praise Him and share

“Footprints, that perhaps another…
Seeing shall take heart again”.

Thank you, God, for giving me words.

Thank you, God, for the sister that gave me my first journal.

the grass withers, the flower fades…

Anyone can take pictures…

a camera, a button, press…
a moment captured.

Beauty, found everywhere…
In the grass of the fields that will be hay tomorrow…

timothy and orchard, clover, chicory, alfalfa…

I see it every day,
but a camera opens my eye to the beauty.

Anyone can can take a picture of grass,

but only God can create it,

acres and acres of green…

every blade, every seed, every flower.

Words are seeds.
Where will they fall?

seasons come and go
flowers bloom and fade…

but words, sown and blown and tossed and planted,
are seeds of potential to inspire.

When taken in,
buried away, pondered,
they take root and live, linger,
lasting long after they are spoken or written.

Words are breath, life added to thoughts, longings of the heart poured out.

Word are our whisper, an echo of the WORD, the image of God in us. Words are power, abstract, depper than a 3rd dimension… written, they become concrete.

“men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken” Mt. 12:36

How many, many words are spoken, written, typed… idle words, harmful words, healing words, hopeful words!

Anyone can talk.
Anyone can type, or write, or blog…

But, will we inspire?
Will we encourage?

Will we find our inspiration from the Creator?

moments make up a life-time

90 years … of life, of memories.

There’s still evidence of his life in this soil, the ground my husband plows today. No tractor left this behind. A man with calloused hands following a draft horse walked this ground.

What a treasure to have a neighbor who can tell us the history of the land! We celebrated his birth this weekend. 90 years, that’s a lot of livin’ … farm livin’.

tree plantin’, apple pickin’, field plowin’, cow milkin’, ice cuttin’ and storin’ and haulin’,… on the same few hundred acres all his life, married to the same woman.

farmers are faithful laborers… faithful, day in day out kind of livin’ …quietly working, day after day, silently, not complaining, thankful for the sun and rain… like a tree: planted, growing, deep roots, tall and strong even in old age, branches reaching up to bless the Maker, providing shade for the farmer’s family, doing what it was made to do…

He watched this tree grow from his childhood, and still it stands. At his birthday celebration, I met a couple that celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary last week. My parents are celebrating their 40th.

Events like this are long time coming, years in the making… some things don’t happen over night.

A lot of daily livin’ goes into making a life well lived.

How do I get from here to there?

…right here.
with what I’ve been given.

…my heart has been in Africa today… with orphans.

today they wait for the trash to be dumped … at Kora, the place that is “cursed”… the people that are cursed.

and somehow in the “what can I do?” of it all, I forget the orphan who is no longer an orphan, the one who sleeps under this roof…

In some muddled-up way, I glamorize life from a distance. The truth is ministy, serving and loving, can be hard, painful, dirty… needs are seldom beautiful. The neglected are unseen and unwanted… over-looked because they are “not as vaulable”, lesser.

but, who am I to judge and call insignificant what God has called important? yet, that is what I’m doing today. I’m looking for BIG things far off and missing the important things here becuase I’ve called them small.

“Dangerous Surrender” (what a challenging title, what a challenging book!) … sacrifice of what I call my life, my dreams.

Today, a woman unknown in Calcutta is caring for the dying. …unknown to the world but known by the one she tends. Still she cares, serves, comforts… because she knows what I forget “little is much when God is in it”. Little is BIG when it is what God has asked of me. Insignificant is the most important and potent thing when it is what God has chosen to use and bless.

“They will die anyway”; so is her love, her gift of less value than…

We will all “die anyway”… there is no one more or less worthy of my time, my gifts, my service, my love…

Living here can seem rountine, boring, somehow less than service on a foreign field… uncomfortable, insignificant, unappreciated. But, if I am willing to do “whatever”, and the “whatever” He choses for me is loving my man, teaching my children, cleaning this house, doing the laundry again… then I say “yes” to “whatever”.

I have my mission field. And, it becomes a delight and a passion again.

“The poor will always be with you.” and the lesson for me is contentment. while I live and learn and serve here. I will seek and find His plan for me with contentment and generosity.

“There will always be those with more than you and less than you, smarter than you, better looking, stronger, more talented … and less…” my dad said again and again. …there are those with a “more impressive” life… but, only from a temporal, human perspective.

I will not be proud or ashamed. I will not feel false guilt or be negligent. I will be a steward of what has been loaned to me. I will be thankful. I will be faithful… I will see tomorrow, generations, eternity,… investing myself, passing on something of value.

like the faithful farmer… planting the seed. It is not just the foreign fields that are ripe for harvest. I will reap if I am faithful in the field He gives me to tend. I won’t faint. I will strengthen my arms for the task. And, if I live to be 90 and never leave these acres…

I have a promise to sustain me.
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” Heb. 10:36

It is in my heart to bless the world … as Christ did. If somehow He could do it from where He lived, so will I. He said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:12-13.

Lord, use my scrawny little life… even here… in this house, on this hill.

“As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Cor. 9:9-11

songs of beauty

He pulls out his guitar and sings to me…
“If You Could See What I See”…

…a man like this, a love like this, so undeserved. In him I’ve known the love of God. …to be tucked into bed with a song of vison and promise and to wake the next morning with those lyrics still singing over me.

He sees something in me
of value, potential, beauty.

I see myself, my world, everything differently…

How sweet to see the first few daisies today!
(Daisies… a symbol of our love, the flower of our wedding)

“beauty is all in the eye of the beholder”
He opens my eyes to see what He sees.

This morning as I stepped out on the porch for my walk, I saw a mother deer and a brand-new-baby fawn… tiny, barely above the grass of the field that was mowed just the other week.

(I know the picture is blurry, but if you knew how far the end of our drive was from where I stood on our porch, you’d be impressed that it came out as clear as this.)

Everything is new this time of year… coming to life, being born again. Trees with new leaves, needles, and mysterious little growing things…

“I hear music…
singing a new song in my direction…
I feel like I’ve been born all over again…”
Yahweh Love
(old song, new to me today)