Wednesday, December 31, 2014

preeminent (not prominent)

Last week we drove to Arkansas and celebrated Christmas together with Noah's family and Josiah's family. Ahh- the 2 baby boys and 3 little girls. . . they clear spaces for us and beg us to scoot close to their little bodies on the bench for meals. (of course, we give them candy)

Then yesterday we drove home from Memphis, a 12 hour trip; John drove the whole way and it was good. I read aloud, The Story of God, the Story of Us-   we talked about big, lofty, God focused thoughts, and when my voice wore out I dug out the knitting.  . .  then when my arms sort of fell off from knitting, I resumed reading.

I opened my journal, for tomorrow's a new year. . .it's good to review and remember.
There's lots scribbled in my journal, but here's just one thought for today and tomorrow and all the rest of the tomorrows in my earthly life. . .and yours.

"He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. . . 
so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything"
Colossians 1:17-18b

I've been asking myself, What does it look like for Christ to have preeminence (not merely prominence) in my life? Soul, since Christ is to have first place in everything, there's no picking and choosing! And if Christ is preeminent, He's got to be on the throne of my heart and affect how I live.
So, it all comes down to this for me-  I must choose to elevate Christ to the throne day after day, moment by moment, when I'm tempted to be angry with my husband, impatient with my family, tempted to take up an offense against my friend or to love with half a heart, listen with half an ear. . .

And lately, when fear inches into my mind, I've got to remember in 2015 that He Himself has first place in everything.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

something old, something new

It's been one of those weeks where you mark up the calendar and remind your spouse,
 "Ahh, God has been faithful!"
Then you peer through the crack in a new door. . .

Tuesday John signed his retirement papers- that means he's terminating with the school district and January 28, 20015 he'll turn in the keys.  It's time to embrace something new, but signing those papers kind of feels like the ringing of the final bell.

Thursday morning I sat in the packed social security office with a book and a bit to knit. I punched in my number and waited. After awhile a friendly man called me to his window.

"How can I help  you today, Ma'am?"

"I'm turning 65, my husband is retiring- it's all happening next month and I think I need to. . . ."

It was all pretty routine, not at all painful- and as I stood up to leave, I shared a personal memory with this stranger:
"Shortly after my 16th birthday my father took me to the social security office to get my number and card. He reminded me to to be patient, there would most likely be a wait- and I felt grown up!"
The stranger nodded and smiled.

And one more thing. . .last week I spent a morning with a friend. She's enduring and trusting God amid a lengthy trial;  my friend encourages me as she waits, as she trusts.
I suggested,  "Friend, let me read  Psalm 92 to us. . .the first part reminds me of you and the last part is for me. . .

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
To declare your lovingkindness in the morning and your faithfulness by night. . .
For you Lord, have made me glad by what you have done, 
I will sing for joy at the works of your hands. . .

The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree. . . Planted in the house of the Lord,
They will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green. . .

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday quiet

I love a quiet Monday- it doesn't always happen that way, but so it is this morning. . . mailers and wrapping paper and little gifts cover my dining room table- our dear ones live so far away, you know. Last night I ordered Texas ruby red grapefruit, Valley Gold, for my sisters in California. I expect that they will send us navel oranges and almonds, California Gold. . .

I'm thinking about the quote club and the one Lisa shared a few weeks ago-- especially sharp and applicable to me, I love this quote:

"We are silent in the early hours of each day because God is suppose to have the first word,
and we are silent before going to sleep because to God also belongs the last word."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

So, I readily embrace the part about silence in the morning --really, I know that unless God has the first word in the morning hours, I am doomed to a self centered day.  Although it doesn't always happen, I want to give Him the first word; I'm expectant. . .
But to be honest, I hang onto the day's last word, wanting to listen to my own words, to your words, to words about my day, words of worry, concern, anticipation, even good words.
And sleep often evades me- I don't really want to give up the night to God. Maybe I think that He owns the day but the night hours are mine . . .hmmm, how prideful!

Last week I shared these thoughts with a friend and she reminded me -

It is vain for you to rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives to his beloved even in his sleep. (Psalm 127:2)

Thanks, friend. . . and we are silent before going to sleep because to God also belongs the last word.

where I work on a quiet Monday morning

Monday, December 8, 2014

unite my heart. . .

It's a cold day in Texas. I'm making turkey soup with barley- just like my mother. And I'm stitching a bit on this quilt- I can't seem to stitch fast enough to keep up with the babies.

I was tempted the other day to join facebook.  I was missing out -at least so I thought. . . but it's not for me for now, maybe never- for you see, I'm already too interested as to when you do your laundry.
But I like technology, enjoy writing on this space, send lots of personal emails, and I text, really I do!
John and I joke with each other- about how we text- how often we text- how slowly we text!

But it's good, in fact lately I've been texting Scripture to dear ones as I pray for them.
The other day, feeling perplexed and low, I prayed for my heart- and then I texted Psalm 86:11 to my friend:

Teach me your way, O Lord, unite my heart to fear your name.
I wil give thanks to you, O Lord God, with all my heart,
And will glorify your name forever.