Thursday, August 22, 2013

frayed edges

John and I drove 8,000 miles this summer and finally wandered back to Texas; we arrived home one day
and John started teacher training the next. He even made the local newspaper-my husband wearing a fancy bicycle jersey, swinging a golf club.

And me? I've been divesting all summer, visiting friends, family, grandchildren and then leaving them behind. (Or they leave me behind!)

  I'm thinking about the next thing,  peering at change-some pulling back, some stepping forward,
 and I wonder how it will all work out?
I'm sort of squinting at the future.

There are seasons in a woman's life when every morning she rolls out of bed and heads to school
 or work or care giving or shepherding her little ones, or a combination of  such worthy pursuits.
 Then there are times when her life may look like a piece of silk with frayed edges-still beautiful silk
 but not so neatly clipped.

The woman in Proverbs 31 smiled at the future; when her life looked like like frayed silk she pressed
 on to know the Lord.

 "And now (soul) what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. . ."

Rolling out of bed each morning, that's how I'll pray. . .

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sweetness of a friend

Oil and Perfume make the heart glad,
 and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel 

I love how Proverbs 27:9 addresses both the woman giving counsel and the one receiving it:
One gives earnest counsel because she loves and cares for her friend; the other receives counsel 
with a glad and humble heart-

A few weeks ago I shared some concerns with one of my girls.
"Mom, maybe you need to be more patient.  . ." she said, gently, earnestly.

She was right. . .really, the earnest counsel of a friend (or daughter) ultimately gladdens the heart like perfume (even though it may be hard to hear!)

"God has willed that we should seek and find His living Word in the witness of a brother, in the mouth of man. . . the Christian needs another Christian who speaks God's Word to him. . .again and again."  (Bonhoeffer)

Friday, August 9, 2013

I cling, He upholds

The days and nights are pleasantly cool in New York; in fact, the day time high temperature in New York
matches the night time low in Texas, imagine that?

School starts for John next week-we're headed home.

Part of me is home already. I've been dialoguing with a friend. . .from here to there I encourage her,
Trust God. . .trust that's possible only because of the Gospel, because of the character of our King.

Then, I remember that in a different arena, I must trust God too--now, every day, when trusting is hard.

Sunday morning during the congregational sharing of the church, I listened to the application Psalm 63:8.
I opened my Bible and there it was, Psalm 63:8, underlined and dated. . .

My soul clings to you, your right hand upholds me.

I cling to God and He upholds me- a divine mystery
Today I'm thankful for truth-and for the church, here and there.

Monday, August 5, 2013

To listen long and patiently

I travel with my favorite backpack stuffed on the floor, squeezed between my feet.
John laughs at me, but he loads up my important stuff just the way I like it-
My bag holds books, new, re-reads, and the ones with torn paper bookmarks. . .like
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer; I'm creeping through the "Ministry" section.
Recently I've been reading, tearing bookmarks, thinking. . .
about the ministry of listening.

Speaking comes easily for me, listening not so much-
It helps to think of listening as ministry, "The first service that one owes to others
in the fellowship consists in listening to them. . ."
Perhaps loving my brothers and sisters  really begins with learning to listen to them.
And listening as ministry impacts my relationship with God, because . . .

he who no longer listens to his brother
will soon be no longer listening to God either,
he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God too.

Ah, Lord, keep me from prattle, may I be that woman who listen long and patiently.

(we are enjoying upstate New York and our sweet family!)