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Showing posts from 2012

Hope... And Future

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And so, a New Year is upon us.  Do you wonder where the old year has gone? It's been said said that minutes draw out, while years speed by. And the question I ask myself is How... How did I spend my time? Turning away from guilt, looking at the very real challenges, I take stock- where did I grow well, and where does God want to bring light? 
And so, as I look forward to the beautiful messyness of life- my life- for my journey is not to be compared with another's- I seek to pursue balance, and allow God to move me forward towards greater wholeness- in spirit, mind, and body. 
There is a time when reflections on what came before can teach how to live well through what's to come. And so I share thoughts that ruminated across my mind in seasons past. For more life lessons that came before, take a stroll here. And as the New Year dawns, with abundant Grace, let us let go of regrets and seize our tomorrows, whatever they bring, remembering we are Held in the hands of the King.…

When God Draws Near

Driving home, I was listening to a radio station. "We will not sensationalize this tragedy," emphasized the host. "What we will do is pray for the families and all involved."

It was a family gathering we had traveled to, and we did not want the children to hear every horrific detail about Friday in Newton Connecticut. The news was muted during the football game, and the only conversation regarding what happened was with another mother, as we two went to gather supplies for the meal. Shock and grief linger, and we simply can not understand what drives one human being to destroy the lives of others. In truth, I do not really want to completely "understand" such darkness. I simply pray that God's light will shine into the lives of the suffering, that comfort would be found in His arms.

One of my personal heroes said: "There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”

Corrie Ten Boom survived the horrors of  German concentration camps.…

Wonder in Every Season

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Hope... Peace... Joy... declarations shine out as we bustle from home and work amidst garland and twinkling lights. Candles mingle with signs proclaiming "Jesus is the Reason for the season", venders are awash with evergreen. Yet when hope was born, all was simple; the struggle of a woman, the support of a man, and then... the cry of a babe.


My mind has been captivated by the miracle we call Christmas.  An invitation has come: Dwell on the birth of "the Anointed One" daily, tarry in wonder. God has come to mankind with soft baby skin and love in his eyes.  As a child he astounded grown men. As he grew he was the voice of God incarnate.

He walked this earthen clay, and some called him Teacher, some, Messiah, but those closest to him named him Jesus, which means "The Lord Saves". For Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost; to restore the broken relationship between God and man.  He bridged the chasm between us, took on the messiness of this mortal…

Restoration

A simple request this morning: restoration.

A friend of a friend Kathi Macias "uses her books to motivate and inspire on a range of social justice issues. But this was 'unexpected': the model for the cover of her latest book is a homeless man searching for his daughter. She's started a campaign to help the two reunite."
 ~ Author, Jocelyn Green

Here's the story: http://kathimacias.com/help-reunite-a-family/

As I read, I felt the urge to pray, and as I prayed I understood- I would like to solve all this family's problems, yet God desires more. He would like to heal every wound.

My prayer this holiday season is that God would provide in the extraordinary way he always does; for his ways, while often unexpected, are ultimately what fill and restore.

Thank you Jesus for your great love for us. We have two wonderful celebrations nearing; a time to give thanks and a time to recognize the many gifts in our lives. While we celebrate lights and sounds and food a…

Flurries

It is easy to lose track of God in the midst of busyness. Some days I find my boundaries have unraveled and I am chasing flurries, mind and feet dashing from one activity to the next. My soul winds tight, twisting away from the tranquility that quiets heart and mind.

At the end of the day I take stock; I accomplished much, but sometimes I wonder what is left that's of lasting value? Yes, some meaningful moments waltzed through this day. Yet I suspect the frazzled pace hindered that life giving connection which sustains. Sometimes I do too much only to find that it is not near enough; that's the trap in perfectionism. I aim and stutter and aim and stutter and discover the only way to soar is to seek stillness in the shadow of His wings.

When I step out of the frenzy and seek his voice I hear the invitation to find security in Him and allow His wholeness to cover all. I cannot do and and be all- though sometimes I try. Peace is found when I release the schedule and the pace to G…

The Calling

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Today I read a word from God via the heart of a mother: "Life is not an emergency. Life is brief and it is fleeting but is not an emergency... Emergencies are sudden unexpected events- but is anything under the sun unexpected to God?" 

{Sigh} My heart resonates with desire to live every moment fully, to ferret out paths of gratitude which buoy up the soul and sustain- even when life is chaotic, unclear.

The question: But what if life- my life- is speckled with emergencies? The words on the page answer back, "...life is so urgent it necessitates living slow." I nod; there is much in my life that I would call urgent. "In Christ, urgent means slow. In Christ the most urgent necessitates a slow and steady reverence." 1

I think back across weeks and months, even years, and understanding lights. The paradox in our many emergencies is this: these sudden unexpected events require me to slow down. To watch carefully. To live fully in the moment. Yes, there is the …

Trying Too Hard

Anyone who follows this blog or the others I have done knows that my house is filled with medical diagnoses that shape how we go about life. Most life altering has been Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Type One Diabetes, Celiac Disease (a gluten intolerance), and Sensory Processing Disorder. Throw in a additional terms for various other issues (IBS, Failure to Thrive, and the like) and it seems like A LOT to be gathered all under one roof.

Recently I was called for jury duty, and made it to the final round of interviews. The prosecuting attorney said, "How in the world do you deal with all of this?" My answer was fluid, the way words come when they are not of myself, "I know where strength is to be found."

Though I am often overwhelmed, I've learned to step back, breathe, and release. There is a lot of prayer that goes on when one or the other (or all) of the issues are inflamed at once. And so on the days when there are struggles, I cry out, I fight hard, I pre…

Monkey Surprise Pancakes

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To be healthy and to eat well has been a battle in my home for what feels like a very long time. Upon being diagnosed with diabetes at the tender age of four, a bright brown eyed boy figured out:
If I eat, I get a shot, so I will simply NOT eat.
 Panic ensued (for Mom), as did many low BG levels as well as some seizures (until we changed doctors and got the insulin ratios under control). And so began a battle with food that my very determined son has waged for 9 years now.

Since that difficult year, meals have been a struggle. Even when T gets to pick what he wants. We were just getting to the place where he would eat enough to counteract the lowest possible dose of insulin, when the boy was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. So the eating took another plunge. Over time I have learned that not all Gluten Free food is palatable. And that not all gluten food is (even remotely) healthy. And recent stomach difficulties have proved that not all gluten food is entirely digest-able.

 Due to &quo…

In-quietudes

A simple sign with translations in English and Spanish conveys a message of assurance and hope. One word stands out, touching the crux of where I am: in-quietudes. For here we are again, at the Children's Hospital, seeking solutions. The road driven with my son who seems to always be ill, the way ahead uncertain. Here I stand, not panicked, but simply planted in the place of in-quietudes, soul longing to be soothed.

When I am in the midst of turmoil, when we have rushed to the ER, or called 911, my heart fragments, and I cry out to my healer- "Jesus, help us!" But this is a hushed chaos. Lingering uncertainty permeates and all I want is for my son to feel better.

So we traipse from test to test, x-rays taken, blood drawn, the boy being brave through it all, though he's weary, too. The verdict set down from one who should know is ambiguous; nothing more than a stab in the dark, so I seek a second opinion. There are no pie in the sky, easy solutions. No sudden release…

In This Moment

There it is, that same old question. It comes in many forms... usually when life does not line up with what I would have chosen. Age old wonderings resonate even now in hearts and minds and waiting rooms. Fear rises up and sorrow pushes out the human need to grasp meaning. Why suffering? Why pain? Why loss? Why?

When there are no answers, when every strategy tried seems like running into a wall of solid stone, cold and unyielding this life can be. There are times when diagnoses don't bring resolution. Moments when the frame freezes out of place and one word changes all we know of reality. Why? is the natural knee jerk reaction to that which slices through the mundane, causing every breath to be jagged, every step to feel as if existence is fragmented irrevocably.

I have no final answer. I have no deep spiritual understanding of why there is suffering. Maybe it's because we live in a fallen world, and we've not yet graduated to that place of completeness. Maybe it's be…

Remembering

It's September 11th. I did not realize it at first; a flurry of activity has landed me in a place where I'm spending some mornings trying to figure out exactly what day it is.

I did pick up on the fact something was... different. My life in general is very different, but today seemed more different. My husband was withdrawn and jumpy. He packed up early and headed out to decompress. I tried to run errands, but ended up just having a time of rest and prayer. And when I emerged from my cocoon, it hit me. That check I wrote yesterday... it was September 10th. And today is the day that changed everything for my family and so many others. Oh. That explains a lot, actually.

During my time with our PTSD family counselor, I learned that our bodies store memories-- and not just in the mind. Our bodies physically remember anniversaries, even if we do not. Sometimes when my husband is having a difficult season, he goes to his journals from his years in Iraq and eventually finds it is the…

Invited

Today has been the kind of day that makes me stop and realize what I take for granted. Like a pharmacy that has insulin. In stock. Suddenly health and freedom take on new meaning. God has provided, as always, like in the story of the widow of Zarepath, with her handful of flour and jug of oil. We have what we need for today. God has asked me to trust him with tomorrow, as was the case yesterday, too.

And so it was that when I cried out to God for help, I caught sight of the dawning day; the lush greenery lining the expanse behind our home, beckoning. An invitation, whispered, "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy burdened". So I put on my running shoes and entered the great unknown. Up the hill, and down again, throwing off the heavy mantle of burdens, working to walk free. And a prayer filled my mind, as many cares poured into His heart. Needs and worries, medical issues, prescriptions, and gaping needs flowed beyond my own capacity. I laid down my desire to control, and…

Too Tired to Heal?

Sometimes it feels as if I am too tired to heal. I just want to get away for a bit, to have a much needed respite from the madness. When life is spinning out of control, it's hard to work through the losses that have come before. Often there seem to be many stops and starts along the way. Sometimes the best case scenario is simply staying connected to the One who carries me through. Survival is important, yes, but connection is imperative.

Weariness settles over me, like a cloak of dust, penetrating into the inner recesses of my being. When bent low by burdens, I wonder if the weariness will cling to me for life. I want to shrug out from under the careworn mantle, but I know that this time, the only way to find release is through rest.   

Fatigue is a part of the healing process. There comes a time when our bodies simply need rest. When dealing with multiple life changes all piling up at once, sorting through seems complicated. I often liken the process to searching through a bowl o…

Sorted and Sifted

All has been quiet on the page of late. I wish I could say the same of my life! Since I last wrote we have had another onslaught of illnesses and germs, which began late in June in the form of a two week sparring session with strep. I find myself longing for restful days, for weeks without a trip to Urgent Care. Again I find myself worn down (which is probably why I got sick too. Twice.)

I won't mislead you; there have been days where we've felt good and gone on fun outings. But mostly the last month has involved recovering. Much has had to be released; whatever is not an imminent need has found its way to the altar. I feel as if I am being sorted and sifted.  I know I am not the only one.

There's a historical account of sifting in the book of Luke, beginning in chapter 22. It was a time of celebration; every year the Jews observed the Passover meal, remembering God's deliverance. As Jesus and his disciples gathered, our own Savior shared how very much he looked forwar…

God With Us

I've been reading in the book of Matthew. Today was a short passage- only verses 22 and 23 of chapter 1. But, sometimes, two is enough. Verse 23 reads, "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel- which means "God with Us." A little note above the word Immanuel refers me to Isaiah 7:14. In Isaiah 7:14 I find the same sentence,  "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son", and another little note that tells me: Immanuel means "God with Us".

Growing up I was taught that when a phrase in the bible is repeated, it's for emphasis. So today, the emphasis is is on "God with us"... and especially, "God with me."   (I do love italics. I use them for--you guessed it-- emphasis!)

God with me. God with me! This means so very much. Especially now when I am tired and worn from a long season of medical issues that began back in November. We've had 'routine surgerie…

The Granola Effect

So in my last post I shared that the exploration into gluten free baking (from scratch, not a mix) has taken me to some interesting places, and I've found something for me along the way.

I cam across some interesting blogs, beginning with http://www.sortacrunchy.net/sortacrunchy/

Oooooh, I thought. What is Crunchy living? Sounds like granola to me. (Have I mentioned I love Granola?) I was intrigued. A little research revealed that Sorta Crunchy is about more natural living. Ok, I can get behind that. To the right of the home page was a little picture that said "I wash my face with oil." That sounded different. But interesting.

A little more research and I thought, well... that sounds... (you guessed it) interesting! Now, a little history. My skin is beginning to show a few signs of age.  And I recently invested in one of those expensive face creams (after I ran out of the Avon stuff). And my skin reacted to it. Little red dots, and dryness. Which was odd sinc…

Living Healthy

Ever since my days in Maryland I've wanted to be a Granola Mom. It was during this season that I first began to learn lessons about nutrition that had escaped me in my post pregnancy Atkin's Diet and Weight Watchers days. I found Trader Joe's-- and I learned to see food as fuel, not filler. The boys and I started taking Juice Plus then, and I began to exercise daily and cook healthier. Then we moved to San Antonio, with very little notice (one of those surprise military moves) and shortly after that my oldest son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

And so I was plunged head first into a deep gorge of knowledge about healthier living. Healthier GLUTEN FREE living. Because not everything that is gluten free has nutritional value. (Though I did find Gluten Free Granola.) These days, the boy is completely gluten free and the rest of us are "whole grain based". We're a couple years in and I am still learning. Recently I decided I'd like to try baking my own glu…

Gathering

Since I am "going public", it's time to share: My family does "church at home". Now, don't go running screaming for the hills. It's not that I have a problem with other people of faith. Not at all. It is simply that PTSD has shaped my life in a myriad of soul carving, heart changing ways. In this season, the mission field God has called me to is my family. 
I feel like we've gone back to our roots, discovering the beauty of gathering together in the home and loving God. And I'm closer to him now than when I was running music and children's ministry at one chapel and teaching and serving on the board at another. (Can we say over-commitment? Yes, this is how I coped while my husband was deployed.) I find that I am always connected to his heart when I walk with him, accepting the course he's plotted for my life in each individual season. 
Once someone accused me of "forsaking the gathering together of the saints." (Just after I s…

My Own Voice

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I love words. Oh, yes, I do.  A word can bow, or scroll, or soar. Words are carried into our hearts, and if we choose wisely our words can create life and love and goodness. I love the flow of an ink pen, and the click of the keyboard as I type. My life is full of words… I want to let them pour out with authenticity and grace, though I fear my flaws may often take over. I feel the need to have a space to hold those words, and maybe to reach out to kindred spirits, sojourners who long for simplicity and greater wholeness.
And so I take the risk to nest in a new place- my own blog. Maybe it’s because I work from home, and need a little conversation now and then that is not about helping wounded veterans.  Maybe it’s because I am mother of two medium size boys with medical/special issues, and I would love to talk about something besides Legos and Star Wars- The Clone wars. (There is a difference, I'm told, so we’d better be VERY clear about that.) Maybe because I have a husband who is…