Thursday, July 30, 2009

In Your Presence

I do not know what is happening with me. There is this amazing connection that I am having with God right now.

My dream has always been to see a 24/7/365 kind of relationship with God (You - for I write this blog to You and for You). I remember reading Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence in the early 80's and felt like I had a new role-model. I specifically remember leaving Gill Coliseum on the OSU Campus one night, being tilted over by some strange encounter with Diane's guy friend, Chris. I cried out to You with the desire to not let strange encounters with others derail me from Your precious presence. It became my passion and something in which to strive because "In Your presence is fullness of joy and pleasures forever" (Psalm 16:11). Yet, being the emotional self that I am, it has always been difficult. Those bi-monthly extended times of prayer helped to recalibrate me, but by the end of the sixty days, I was undone again. Oh, to be undone only by God because of His overwhelming presence. That is what I yearned for more than anything.

Later in my journey, I read excerpts from Frank Laubach's (1884-1970) Letters by a Modern Mystic where he resolved: "I would succeed better this year with my experiment of filling every minute full of the thought of God than I succeeded last year. And I added another resolve -- to be as wide open toward people and their need as I am toward God. Window open outward as well as upward." 

Somehow, Frank's effort seemed so realistic with little increments of growth year by year. He also did not live a monastic existence as Brother Lawrence did. His inward and outward growth were simultaneous. I wanted that moment by moment experience of God in the midst of the daily grind of life with "tilting people."

The life change that we made over three years ago (June 16, 2006 was our moment of deliverance from a very unhealthy situation) seems to have contributed to me not going so far into the quicksand that I can't look up. I no longer stare into space at the dinner table. I'm there with my family in everything. There is no "back burner" stress stemming from the "crazy-makers" that permeated my past spiritual environment. I don't have to sludge through mud to get to Your presence anymore. No more quicksand, miry clay. You've set my feet upon a rock and made my footsteps firm (Psalm 40:1-3). The path to Your presence is less obstructed these days.

Even though I did a lot of grieving from 2006-2008, the deaths did more to stabilize me than knock me off Your rock. In October of 2006, Bruce was diagnosed with melanoma. In March 2007, my aunt fell, went into a coma, and died. In May, my cousin was murdered in a drug-related incident. In August, it became apparent that my mom was slipping away, and I cared for her all of November 2007 until she slid into heaven. Then, friends died (Jeanne, Bruce, and Jane) and parents of friends died. Last of all and probably most difficult because of his spiritual state, my brother died a lonely, alcohol-related death on the floor of his mobile home. Although I may not have realized it at the time, I was in deep mourning for over a year because my focus was more outward in the care of my mom and care for my friends who lost their spouse or parent. This didn't tilt me. Something about death puts it all in perspective, and I can concur with Solomon on this one:

"It is better to go to the house of mourning,
than to go to the house of feasting:
for that is the end of all men;
and the living will lay it to his heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter:
for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning;
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth" (Eccl. 7:2-4)


So, my mourning is over. The fruit of the last three years has been more 24/7/365 than I have ever known in my life. I am 50. I am thankful. I am humbled. I am at peace. I am surrounded by so much love.

I am undone.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What Nancy Wants to Be Famous For . . .

I have been posting videos of Nancy's famous "car baking" from two years ago (since it is so hot here this week), but she told me she would rather be famous for this, and I tend to agree that this is infinitely more eternal in reward!




Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Undone

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by God's presence right now. I have been in a sense of awe since I came back from the club.

Man - what will heaven be like?


Monday, July 20, 2009

Waiting on Him

I am spending a day in prayer today and journaling here and in my "My Lord and Me" notebook. I am soaking in the Lord right now and in the "Realizing His presence" stage of my time.

Divide the day into three parts: waiting on the Lord, prayer for others, and prayer for yourself.

As you wait on the Lord, don’t hurry. You will miss the point if you look for some mystical or ecstatic experience. Just seek the Lord, waiting on Him. Isaiah 40:31 promises that those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. Psalm 27:14 is one of dozens of verses which mention waiting on Him. In Psalm 62:5 David says, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.”

Wait on God first to realize His presence. Read through a passage such as Psalm 139, grasping the truth of His presence with you as you read each verse. Ponder the impossibility of being anywhere in the universe where He is not. Often we are like Jacob when he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I was not aware of it” (Genesis 28:16). ("How to Spend a Day in Prayer" by Lorne Sanny).

Expecting wonderful things from Him today!!!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Heal The World"

I honestly was not one who even listened to any of Michael Jackson's 80's music (I mean you listened to it if you had hearing because it was piped everywhere, but I never intentionally listened to it), but this is a beautiful song. So, I am posting it!

Here is the beautfiul video that goes along with it: "Heal the World"


"Heal The World"

There's A Place In
Your Heart
And I Know That It Is Love
And This Place Could
Be Much
Brighter Than Tomorrow
And If You Really Try
You'll Find There's No Need
To Cry
In This Place You'll Feel
There's No Hurt Or Sorrow

There Are Ways
To Get There
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
Make A Better Place...

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

If You Want To Know Why
There's A Love That
Cannot Lie
Love Is Strong
It Only Cares For
Joyful Giving
If We Try
We Shall See
In This Bliss
We Cannot Feel
Fear Or Dread
We Stop Existing And
Start Living

Then It Feels That Always
Love's Enough For
Us Growing
So Make A Better World
Make A Better World...

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

And The Dream We Were
Conceived In
Will Reveal A Joyful Face
And The World We
Once Believed In
Will Shine Again In Grace
Then Why Do We Keep
Strangling Life
Wound This Earth
Crucify Its Soul
Though It's Plain To See
This World Is Heavenly
Be God's Glow

We Could Fly So High
Let Our Spirits Never Die
In My Heart
I Feel You Are All
My Brothers
Create A World With
No Fear
Together We'll Cry
Happy Tears
See The Nations Turn
Their Swords
Into Plowshares

We Could Really Get There
If You Cared Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
To Make A Better Place...

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me
You And For Me


Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Hope You Dance . . .

This song could possibly be in my top ten. Thinking about it before Hannah's wedding. Thinking how I have a picture of her dancing with Phil at MY wedding!


Love the words . . .


time, a wheel in constant motion

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Reconsider
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance
(Tell me who)
I hope you dance
(Wants to look back on their years and wonder)
(Where those years have gone)

I hope you still feel small
When you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
Dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance
(Tell me who)
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
I hope you dance
(Where those years have gone)

I hope you dance
I pray you're dancing
I hope you dance
I pray you're dancing

I hope you dance.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tuesday Musings

Musings - "Thought and thinking are mental forms and processes, respectively ("thought" is both)."

Just going to set the timer and write for a while. Maybe 15 minutes: Here I go:

I slept in until 7:45 this morning. I had such a productive day yesterday. I just know when day is going to be productive. Something hormonal courses through my veins, and it is almost compulsive. I figure I need to grab that and run with it while it is there. Good thing I did because it was there yesterday day and gone today!

My house is in pretty good shape on the inside. I am not touching the garage though, and maybe I should. Then I would know where things are in there, but I feel like it is more George's territory, and I don't want to insult him by cleaning up "his" garage. :)

The thing I always put off is the filing. So, I decided to just attack it. I put my iPod on with Baroque music, and I plugged along until I was finished. I decided that I would not fire up the computer until it was done. Finished in no time. Makes me wonder why I don't just do it as I go along or have a weekly time where I file for fifteen minutes. How about "Filing Friday for Fifteen" I can call it 4-F! Laughing out Loud! Yes, "time for 4-F." I'm there!

I also cleaned both bathrooms, reorganized the linen closet, did four loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and culled out all those records we got from Jan W. (why did we do that anyway?).

In the process, I listened to The City of God for all the work that didn't require reading (i.e. filing). So, I have less than 200 pages to go!

Lisa even took my kids to tennis and brought them home. Oh, she even got me milk! Man. What a great friend!

Then, on top of all of this, my kids and George went to video class for three hours. So, I took a walk and had time to myself.

Monday was awesome. Now, I am just sitting here for Tuesday. I sort of overdid it on my back too. So, I can't do the labor stuff today (but the house is clean anyway). I am going to walk with Rebekah at 10 am and take my kids (and Jake) to tennis at 12 and drawing at 1:30. I think I will go lift and do cardio while my kids are in drawing since that is a great time of day at the club. I can read there without a bunch of noise (those raquetball players are loud and annoying) in the background.

I am really enjoying The City of God. I can see why people like Augustine so much now. Confessions didn't really convince me, but this book has convinced me. He is great. I am reading an abridged version, but i have the unabridged on my Kindle. So, I do read beyond the abridged sometimes. After I am done with TWEM, I will read the unabridged. It is good in the abridged though because it has summaries of the chapters it skips.

Hasn't it been fifteen minutes yet? I am ready to be done with this and go on to other things. I didn't watch the clock to see when I started.

Oh well, I am done anyway.

Old Herbaceous

This was a sweet story about a gardener in England from the time he was a boy to an old man. It made me cry it was so short and sweet.  Here...