Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Speaking Sky

Psalms 19: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.  Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. 

In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.  It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.

My daughter took these pictures on her Memorial Day trip to the Washington coast. (You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.)  Wow…there is nothing like a sunset over the ocean!  These are real pictures, not enhanced with technology. They need nothing else added, the sky is breathtaking and speaking in this moment of time.     The heavens do speak, don’t they?  Linking this post with Spiritual Sunday. 


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Glorious Day

“There in the ground His body lay, light of the world by darkness slain.  Then bursting forth in glorious day, up from the grave He rose again. And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me.  For I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.” Lyrics to the hymn In Christ Alone

Last week I was stunned when one of my students stated she was terrified of dying.   Then several more spoke up and said they were also afraid.  I was surprised so many were afraid of dying, although I felt honored that they found the classroom a safe place to openly talk of their fears. I’m not rushing into wanting to die, but nor am I afraid of it.  As we celebrate Easter, it is a celebration of much more than Christ’s resurrection. It is  a day where we remember that death has lost its grip on us.  Our body can and will die. However our spirit will live on, and go on; never separated from  the One who loves us.  We have been bought with a price, let us celebrate this glorious day when sin and death loose its grip on us.  For we are His, and He is ours, bought with the precious blood of Christ.   Wishing each of you a blessed Easter.

Linking with Spiritual Sunday this Easter.

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“But the greatest among you shall be your servant.” I’ve been thinking a lot lately about serving.  One reason is because I am a caregiver for my mother who has Alzheimer’s Disease.  I have been doing this for two years, and it is one of the hardest jobs I have ever done.  Another reason is my profession.  I work part-time teaching home-care aids the fundamentals of nursing care.  If ever there is a profession of service, it is nursing!   One thing students quickly learn is that it is not an easy profession.  Babies are beautiful. We love to touch them and they smell like they are fresh from heaven.  They are a joy to hold and take care of.   But the elderly woman who is incontinent, the 40-year-old with a developmental disability, the father with dementia who is often angry; these situations can try even the most faithful and loving hearts.  To serve another person is not always an easy thing.

“He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples feet.” Last week I was teaching how to put on pressure stockings.  Because we needed a model, I reluctantly took off my shoes and socks and had them try to put the stocking on my feet.  I confess I was a little hesitant to have someone handle my feet. I had not had a pedicure since last summer, my toenails needing painting, and well…it was  my feet!  As a young student  from India was gently putting the stockings on, she told me that in her country to touch an elder’s feet is a sign of great respect.  In our culture it often a job no one wants to do. 

No said Peter, you shall never wash my feet.” I never really thought much about how hard it would be to have to ask another person to help us.  To have another person help us wash our most intimate and unclean parts, to see us stripped raw in our humanity. That can not be easy for anyone.

Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” In everyone’s life we have the difficult  jobs we would rather not do.  I have mine as well. I hope you will give me grace when I admit that my spirit often fights against it.  Sometimes I am angry that this is my role.  I never thought of how hard it is to be the one needing to have my feet washed, to need to be helped, to be cleansed.

“You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Maybe this is the path of learning for our soul.  The path that leads us to humility and a spirit that is refined.  It reminds me of the chorus we often sing in worship, “Refiner’s fire, my hearts one desire, is to be holy.  Set apart for you my master, ready to do your will.” It is a lovely chorus to sing, it is a often not the easiest  path to walk.  May God grant us  the grace and strength to be faithful and allow our spirit to be refined on the path He has put us on. 

I am excited to enter this post in a scholarship writing contest for SheSpeaks. Visit A Holy Experience and read the entries and maybe even enter your own!

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Prayer Waves

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.”

Psalm 57:1

My world was busy yesterday with major home repairs and birthday preparations, I had not even taken time to watch the news.  In the late afternoon I finally sat down and saw the horrific images coming out of Japan. My heart broke for the people there as I tried to imagine the confusion and sadness they must be feeling.   Turning the television off, I decided to go for a walk along the trail. The blustery winter wind chilled me as I walked with the afternoon sun just beginning to set. I thought about how it was such a tragic day for so many people in the world. Looking down, I noticed the crocus just popping up through the cold winter soil.  I thought of the people who had lost so much; whose  gardens and land were destroyed. I couldn’t help compare this beauty with the destruction I had just seen.   I thought of all the people sending their prayers around the world to Japan. I pulled my sweater tighter as the winter wind picked up, and breathed out my own prayer;  may good come of this. That we would see how we are all one world, united in our humanity and asking God for mercy and shelter in this disaster. That the people there would feel our love and concern for them. May this disaster bring good; may flowers sprout out of the destruction. O Lord, have mercy.

And my prayer joins with your prayer, and other prayers, as we send love, mercy, and strength in great waves to this destroyed land.

Linking with Spiritual Sunday this weekend!

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A Blessing for Lent

May the wind of God drive away impurity and bring fresh and vigorous possibility to your soul.  May the freeing Spirit unbind those places within held captive by hopelessness, anxious thoughts, and internal discord.  And may you find a place of middle awareness, between the blowing and the stillness.  Oh feel and watch the movement from old to new”  Lenten Blessing

There is a subtle soft shift in the earth.  Lent begins, and  the earth slowly wake’s from the cold, long sleep of winter.  I hope you will join me this season in looking within and allowing the Spirit to blow a fresh breeze over the barren places within your soul.  May we let go of those things that bind us and keep us locked within negativity.  May we open our heart this season to growth, and a renewal of  His life within us.

Linking today with Ann from A Holy Experience. If you are new to lent, I invite you to pop over and let Ann explain why she honors this time.  She has such a gift for words, you will be blessed!

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Unexpected Journey

There are only four kinds of people in the world-those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be a caregiver, and those who will need caregivers.”  – Rosalynn Carter

I love this quote, it makes me realize I am not alone in my role as a caregiver.  I am a caregiver for my 84-year-old mother who has mild Alzheimer’s disease.  I had been doing long distance caregiving for years; calling her everyday, sometimes calling the doctor, giving support from 2,000 miles away. My brother lived close, but it all became just too much for him.  Last year we brought her here and began the a new journey as a family…taking care of Nana.  It has been a family journey, all of us help in her care.  There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child.  It also takes a village to care for an elder, no one can do this alone.  I am thankful for my children who help us often.  I am thankful for my friends, listening and helping me sift through so many emotions that seem to come with this new role. I am thankful for the staff where she lives.  They are kind and caring to her and us…that is not a small thing.  Most of all, I am thankful for my husband.  Neither one of us realized this was around the corner after we  finally raised three stair-step children.  He never fails to bring me back to honoring my mother and striving to do what is right.     Honoring a parent is one of the ten commandments, and yet many of us don’t think much about it once we are grown.  But maybe when they are old and frail is the final exam of honoring them.  It is not an easy test, there will be many challenges in the years ahead and we all know this doesn’t end well.  Already I have failed in some areas and have had to start again.  This has been such an unexpected journey for me. I know I will be challenged and blessed in the years ahead.  God’s grace goes with me, and with mom, as we walk this last journey together.

Linking with Spiritual Sunday for today’s post!

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“And now let us welcome the New Year;  full of things that have never been.”  Rainer Maria Rilke

A crisp, cold sunrise over the mountains welcomed 2011 at our house.  I looked out and saw the sliver of moon and the pink in the sky as the sun came up over our little town.  Grabbing the camera, I ran upstairs and snatched a fleeting moment as the sun rose over a brand new year.  A new year, full of hopes, dreams and promises.

Yesterday I prepared the old parsonage to welcome the year.  I put away the tree and the decorations, tidied up the house a bit and did up the laundry.  It is symbolic I know, welcoming the new year to a clean and orderly home.   It is nice to leave the tree up through the holiday,  but I seem to want to quiet the noise of a season of extravagance.  I spent the morning saying prayers for family, and blessing someone I have struggled to forgive.  Welcome 2011!  May it bring blessing to not only my family and home, but a time of prosperity again to our nation.  And for the world…I pray for grace, mercy, and peace.

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