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Monday, June 27, 2011

PraiseBreak…

He Treats Me to a Feast; Notes from my Abundant Life
PraiseBreak…
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall possess the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:3-12(NIV)

Woke up in the mornin' feelin' fresh to def! I'm so blessed.
~Jill Scott, The Light of the Sun



I have challenged myself to get a lot of new stuff done, and there will time to blog about it all soon enough.  Right now, however, it’s time for a PraiseBreak! No matter what’s been going on, no matter how I’ve handled it (well, or otherwise) I declare right here and now that I thank God for my blessings.  I am blessed.

I woke up this morning.  I was in my right mind.  I got dressed, and had clothes to wear.  I put on shoes.  I walked the dog.  I worshipped in the open air, appreciating the birdsong, the blue sky, Sando’s delight at simple things; dew on the grass, new smells, new sights.

I want a lot, but don’t need anything.  I have enough.  And it all came from God.  I am provided for.  Amply.  I am blessed.  And I am thankful, because each and every moment, each and every blessing is further evidence that God is Good.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Time to do a new thing (some more) or Lessons from my downward facing dog…

He Treats Me to a Feast; Notes from my Abundant Life

Time to do a new thing (some more) or Lessons from my downward facing dog…
   
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:19(KJ21)

Apparently, I have a firm grasp of the obvious.  I noticed that every morning, my big ol’ boxer puppy stretches, upon rising, into downward facing dog (hence the name, genius).  Well, and it’s been a while, I finally made myself workout this morning, realizing how much better I feel when I do.  Almost dreading it, ‘cause he gets in the way, I decided to do an hour of yoga.  Generally, when I try to work out and the dog’s not asleep in the crate or playing outside, he gets in the way.  Today, fresh on the heels of my commitment to do a new thing, I decided to do my yoga with, around, or in spite of Godzilla-dog (hey, that’s an endearment).

I laid out my mat, apparently an invitation for him to come and lay down.  I took a deep breath, worked around him, or moved him, gingerly, as necessary, and completed a full work out.  I feel better.  I feel accomplished.  More importantly, I let him be a mischievous and resting puppy on the floor while doing what I needed to do. He, independent of any input from me, found and played with several toys, doing nothing more than wanting to be close to me.  I’m doing a new thing.

Clearly, I could’ve thrown a tantrum at the dog.  I could’ve put him in the crate and listened to him howl and cry while I desperately sought my peace.  I worked around him, actually worked with him, and found enjoyment at his weight on my leg or my back, appreciated the resistance of him as I gently pushed him left or right, and smiled deeply when at the end of my workout as I lay in Savasana (or the corpse… a pose of total relaxation http://www.yogabasics.com/supine-yoga-poses/corpse.html) and he nestled in beside me, as relaxed as was I.  I had to offer a moment of thanksgiving at the ability to let go, not fight, and be rewarded.  I’m doing a new thing.

So, my dog preached the sermon this morning.  He issued a challenge, and I accepted, or rather, I didn’t fight. There is such a thing as yoga with the dog, and for me, it was another reminder from the Universe that it’s all alright.  You don’t need to move the dog to get your calm on.  If you are calm, the dog will be calm, and you will complete your assignment (or your workout). Stop fighting, because it’s simply not necessary.  So, after only one day, I guess I really can do a new thing, and I am thankful for confirmation.  Because confirmation, in this case, in simply further evidence that God is Good.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Time to do a new thing…

He Treats Me to a Feast; Notes from my Abundant Life

Time to do a new thing…
I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King."
Thus saith the LORD, who maketh a way in the sea and a path in the mighty waters,
    Who bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power (they shall lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched as tow):
    Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
    Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:15-19(KJ21)

Sometimes the lights all shining on me
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me
What a long strange trip it's been
Truckin’ by the Grateful Dead, lyrics by Robert Hunter

This may be the first time you’ve ever seen a parallel drawn between the Old Testament and Grateful Dead lyrics, but then again, there’s nobody quite like me  .What a long, strange trip it’s been.  In three months, we have buried three loved ones of loved ones, celebrated five school transitions, kindergarten to elementary, elementary to middle (twice), middle to high, and a baby whom I cradled in my arms is now headed off to Georgia Tech this weekend to begin her freshman year.  What a long, strange trip it’s been.

I have been sad.  I have been happy.  I am exhausted.  Lord, it’s time to do a new thing.  If we can’t learn from what we’ve been through….well, you know, “those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. (George Santayana) How many times have you had to suffer the same punishments before you learn the lessons?

Here’s what I know.  People will die.  Kids will grow up.  Transitions will occur.  At this very moment, one very good friend has already sold their house and is planning a move to the Southeast.  Our daughters went to pre-school together.  Everything will change, whether you’re ready or not.  I want to be ready.

I want to arrive at that place where the transitions move around me, but do not knock me down.  I want to walk in the wilderness knowing my way is made.  Whether I walk like it or not, my way is made, but I want to be more with the program. 

Figuratively, I want to be the woman whose linen dress still looks great when crushed.  I want to be the mom who’s beautiful with face painted smudges on her dress and dust on her feet.  I want to be the friend who might not always have the right thing to say but always has your back. 

It’s been a long, strange, trip.  And as trips go, it’s probably going to stay strange.  I'm going to be the unflappable traveler.  I'm going to do a new thing.  And I won’t do it alone. I don’t have to…my way has been made through the desert.  And that is further evidence that God is Good.  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Time to finally let it go…

He Treats Me to a Feast; Notes from my Abundant Life

Time to finally let it go…

God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise.
1 Corinthians 1:27

As soon as I stopped worrying,  worrying how the story ends
I let go and I let God, let God have His way
That's when things start happening
When I stopped looking at back then
I let go and I let God, let God have His way 
Let Go, DeWayne Woods

I’m having disturbing dreams.  According to my very smart husband, these dreams are evidence that I feel like my life is out of control.  I’ve got it together on the outside, and I believe, for the most part, that all is well, but when I close my eyes in sleep….I dream that I’m homeless.  When I close my eyes…I dream that I’ve parked the car, but it’s either been towed or stolen, and I can’t get where I need to be on time.  In the wake of such dreams, I quietly feel as though I am losing my mind. 


In my posting Message to the Universe, I’ve been here, pondering Jeremiah 29:11 before.  I’m not as patient as I need to be; and my faith could certainly use some bolstering.  Even when writing about scheduling challenges with children and trying to make it all work, I haven’t had dreams like this.  So, perhaps, I am at a crossroads.  Lord, is there something new I need to be thinking about, or doing differently? Am I suffering the effects of pride? Are my crazy dreams “things the world considers foolish”???

Lately, I’m reading Entering the Castle: An Inner Path to God and Your Soul by Caroline Myss, where she “challenges readers to get in touch with their own souls and…. prepare for a mystical meeting with God.” (from a review by Publishers Weekly) She writes about the surprising ways in which God can “get to you.” Is that the key to my dreams? Have I gone as far as I can on this path, this way? Must I go deeper?


Well, I’m not going quietly, and I’m not going alone.  So let’s go, and let it go.  What’s stymieing you? What’s honestly keeping you from moving it all forward.  What’s got you blocked?

I can admit it.  I am at another place in my life where I will not move forward without releasing my need to control everything.  I can’t even sleep peacefully, and if this is God speaking through my dreams, it is none too kindly, Lord. It’s time to seek restful sleep.  Psalm 4: 8 (NIV) says I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety…

So it’s not like there isn’t a solution, and it’s not as though I have to do it alone.  I’ve got a road map, and a guide.  I have a Protector, and He Knows My Name.

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call
He Knows My Name
by Israel


It’s time to finally let it go, as I haven’t any choice.  I need my sleep. And, with scary, silly, foolish dreams, and fear of falling or failing, still He knows my name.  I am known.  I was chosen, and being chosen is special. Being chosen like this is just Further evidence that God is good.  

Monday, June 6, 2011

You can...

He Treats Me to a Feast; Notes from my Abundant Life

You can…

Now to him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Jude 1:24 (AKJV)

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
Unknown

You can.  Whatever you honestly desire to accomplish, assuming it is good, true, noble, right, pure, lovely, or admirable, according to Philippians 4:8, we are to think on those things.  And after thinking on them, go do them.  We can.

I spend so much time stressing, worrying about possible outcomes and contingency plans that I realize I’m wasting my time on the wrong stuff.  He is able to keep us from falling.  And that being so, what would we try, what might we accomplish, fully believing we could not fail?

I gave myself a personal challenge recently…Mark Nepo, a modern poet and philosopher, wrote my new wake-up call….”The flower doesn't dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes. It’s confirmation of the still small voice, coming to me from the Universe, my Father God….”You can.” I couldn’t be the only one frequently paralyzed by fear of falling short, failing, not quite making the grade.  I couldn’t be.  Why are we so afraid? We profess faith, do our best to pray and live our beliefs, but still we stand still, not stumbling, more afraid to move and possibly fall that remembering, He is able to keep us from falling….You can.

You can.  Really.  What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? Here’s a secret.  You’d leave it all on the floor. It would be your Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy performance, with an encore and two curtain calls.  There’s more…another secret I learned though I often fail to draw upon it.  If your failures do not kill you, they make you a little bit fearless.

So. today, there’s not a lot to it.  Get ready…here’s the lesson.  You can.  Your fear is biggest when you fail to call it by its name.  Most of what you imagine will never happen.  You could.  You should.  You can.  You must.

Stop reading, and go do.  You can.  He is able to do more, with and through us, than we ask or imagine, because we are His, by virtue of “…His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).  So, don’t be afraid anymore, I’m trying not to be, because He’s got this….He’s got our back.  His will never takes you where His grace cannot keep you.  There’s no better evidence that God is Good.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Keep your head up…

He Treats Me to a Feast; Notes from my Abundant Life

Keep your head up…

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. 
Psalms 121:1-2(KJV)

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Oscar Wilde


Whoa….this was quite a week. After shaking off the blahs, finally rediscovering my love of running AND being able to run, after all the stress (life) and the attitudes (kids) and the stuff, you know, the usual, bam! As we celebrated the good things, graduations, anniversaries, birthdays, we got news that one friend in their 40s is, as it was described to us “ridddled with Cancer” and that another suddenly died of a massive aneurism, just between his only child’s prom and her graduation. BAM!

We were paralyzed with guilt at the thought of a sympathy call, since the friend that passed away is the one we’re always promising to get together with, and seldom do, or did.  Do we face the possibility that a young, beautiful, grieving widow will turn us away at the door? We decided that it didn’t matter, because paying a sympathy call is what you do.  So, being a good southern gal at heart, I went to my kitchen to bake a cake.  Being that good southern gal, I always have enough in my pantry to bring it correct (thank you, mom). 
We went anyway, and thank God, we did.  We connected like we should’ve before…. We also pledged, in memoriam, to do better.  We will.

I tried, just for a moment, to imagine suddenly losing the man I’ve shared my life with for the past 18 years.  I couldn’t.  I don’t want to…and we spent the balance of the weekend being thankful, and looking up. 

Everybody’s got a sad story.  Look up.  Everybody’s got a reason not to, do/go/try anyway.  For whatever conspires to keep you back, there is always a way to move forward, even if for the moment, your forward movement is standing fast in the face of the onslaught. 
So , I’m going to find the joy in this day, because tonight I have to bury a friend.  One whom I didn’t get to know well enough, because we didn’t make time.  I will be sad, and wonder what more might have been, but I will look up.  Because that is what his wife and child need, and what I need, what we all need at a time like this.  Oscar Wilde and David were on to something….look at the stars, look to the hills, because we can.  Because we are never alone, and that is a blessing.  Further evidence that God is Good.

OneWord 2015

OneWord 2015

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