Friday, January 29, 2010
Life is such a combination of opposites -- mostly at the same time.
Sometimes I just need to be still...
to not feel anything
to not think
to let the decisions of the future,
wait in the future
to look outside my window at the birds trusting their Creator,
and learn from them.
Leaning back against the Strength of Him who holds the worlds together,
who holds me together,
Letting go of the burdens of the day,
letting go of the heaviness in my heart,
letting go of the swirling thoughts,
And in the silence
there is peace.
Sometimes all that is needed is to simply be.
that I AM God."
Monday, January 25, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
When my heart is shrinking in shame at my own inability to do what I know is right, grace comes in and lifts my head to gaze into the eyes of perfect Love.
Grace invites me to live in beauty, freely given without reserve.
When my heart is fiery, full of righteous indignation at the injustice of others, ready to rush in where angels fear to tread, grace is a cooling mist, quieting the flames and reminding me I don't know the whole story.
Grace invites me to live in compassion and understanding.
When my heart is cold and hard, self-protective, building walls against continuous hurt and rejection, grace wraps warm arms around me, melting my frozen spirit with unconditional acceptance.
Grace invites me to be myself and live delighted in.
When my heart is wary and afraid, mistrustful of motives, withdrawing in fearful isolation, grace walks in with coffee and cookies, sharing openhearted laughter and the joy of being known.
Grace invites me to live in safety and intimacy.
Grace comes in offering freedom
to love deep,
to embrace an enemy,
to be known,
to come home.
This amazing grace.
(first posted October, 2009)
Monday, January 18, 2010
Remembering. . .
twelve years ago today, holding my tiny firstborn in my arms, marveling at the miracle he is, my heart filled with wonder and gratitude.
Even now he still amazes me.
Thanking the Father for such a precious gift.
These are 12 things I admire, appreciate and respect about my son.
- His love for Jesus. From an early age, his heart has longed for God.
- His crazy sense of humor. It's so much fun to laugh together.
- He is kind and gentle, especially with little kids.
- His courage. He keeps going even when it's hard and he's afraid.
- He watches out for his little sister.
- His desire to help and offer his strength on behalf of others.
- His honesty. He isn't afraid to be honest with God or with me.
- His ability to make friends wherever he goes. When he was four years old, I cautioned him against talking to strangers. His response, "But Mommy, if you tell them your name, you're not strangers anymore. " I think that's still his philosophy.
- His willingness to forgive -- no matter what.
- His curiosity about life and his love of learning new things.
- His adventurous spirit.
- Finally, that he rescues me from frogs and toads without complaining, even in the middle of the night. (smile)
Steven, you're awesome!
Happy Birthday, Son!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
The level of suffering going on in that small country is beyond imagining. My heart aches for these people.
There are no words.
Chris and Leslie Rollings, with Clean Water for Haiti, live and work near Port au Prince. Thankfully, their home was not damaged. But Chris was in the city when the earthquake hit and witnessed first hand the horror of buildings collapsing around him, trapping people inside.
He and Leslie are doing what they can to assist in rescue efforts and provide clean water for the survivors. They share about their work and how to get involved on their blog.
I also read this morning that Compassion International sponsors around 65,000 Haitian children. A third of these live in the area affected by the earthquake. Many of these children are feared dead or orphaned. Compassion has started a Haiti Disaster Relief Fund to provide for the immediate needs of these children. You can find out more about it at www.compassion.com.
Please join me in praying for the people in Haiti.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Considering His gifts
114. the kind generosity of good friends
115. frozen fruit smoothies
116. waking up
117. strong bodies and strong hearts
118. answers to forgotten prayers
119. daily reminders of His love
120. His precious Word in my heart language
121. a warm fire on a cold night
122. praying with my kids and seeing Jesus comfort them
Sunday, January 10, 2010
It captured my attention from page one. I cried my way through the last few chapters with my daughter's concerned gaze on me. "It's okay" I told her. "These are good tears."
I don't even know how to describe this book. There are no words. It has made a powerful impact on me.
Woven through the true story of the friendship of these two men and one courageous woman are vivid glimpses of the passionate love of God.
I'm still thinking about it, trying to process what I've seen, to take it in.
All I can say is, read this book! You won't be the same when you're through.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
1.What is your current obsession? I'm too laid back to be obsessive. But I'm fascinated by people and love getting to know them.
2. What are you wearing today?
Clothes. (smile -- couldn't resist!) Specifically, jeans, sweatshirt, socks.
3. What’s for dinner? maybe nachos or hotdogs -- kids choice tonight
4. What’s the last thing you bought? Groceries
5. What are you listening to right now? My high energy playlist of Group 1 Crew, Toby Mac, Black Eyed Peas, Superchick, Family Force 5, Shakira, U2.
6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?
I think she's awesome and fun to be with. :)
7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
Some tropical, mountainous region close to a beach (without mosquitoes).
8. What are your must-have pieces for summer? flip-flops, swimsuit, beach towel, sunscreen.
9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? Way up North to visit my friend, Ellie, and play in the snow. (only for an hour before I start freezing! Then we could go inside.)
10. Which language do you want to learn?
Italian, Romanian, French, Portuguese and Spanish more fluently
11. What’s your favorite quote? I have lots of favorites. One that springs to mind is "God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame" - Elizabeth Barrett Browning
12. Who do you want to meet right now? Billy Coffey. Or Katie (with Amazima) in Uganda.
13. What is your favorite color?
14. What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own closet?
My Tinkerbell dress (as my daughter calls it).
15. What is your dream job?
16. What’s your favorite magazine? Discipleship Journal
17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
I'd give it to some women in Africa to feed their families. They could use it more than me.
18. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?
I'm a little fashion-challenged so I probably make my own share of fashion faux pas.
19. Who according to you is the most over-rated style icon?
See above. What do I know about style icons?
20. What kind of haircut do you prefer?
Whatever looks good and is low-maintenance.
21. What are you going to do after this?
Read, think, pray, take down the Christmas tree, sit by the fire with some hot cocoa, play with my kids.
22. What are your favorite movies?
Lord of the Rings, Narnia movies, Princess Bride, old black and white classics (especially with Cary Grant), Slumdog Millionaire, Julie/Julia, Last of the Mohicans, Master and Commander, almost anything with Jackie Chan, Pride and Prejudice -- I could go on but won't.
23. What are three cosmetic/makeup/perfume products that you can't live without?
foundation, mascara, lipstick
24. What inspires you?
People who love Jesus passionately and who are wholeheartedly living out their God-given dreams and purpose.
25. Give us three styling tips that always work for you? (I think this is a dumb question so I'm trading it for my own.)
New 25. What makes you feel most alive? (Hey, great question, so glad you asked!) I feel most alive when I'm talking about what Jesus has done for me, when I'm listening to someone and really see them -- the amazing person they are, when I'm playing the piano.26. What do you do when you “have nothing to wear” (even though your closet’s packed)? Do laundry.
27. Coffee or tea? Both. Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.
28. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed? I withdraw to a quiet place, sit down with God, pour out my heart, listen, read what He has to say, and let Him love on me.
29. What is the meaning of your name? "Angela" - Messenger of God, "Faye" - Fairy
30. Which other blogs do you love visiting?
See my sidebar.
31. Favorite Dessert/Sweet? Anything with chocolate
32. Favorite Season?
I like them all -- there's beauty in each season.
33. If I come to your house now, what would you cook for me? Thai food
34. What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?
I think it's good to let them know how what they're doing is affecting you. But if they continue, I would put distance in the relationship.
35. How do you calm yourself down when you are agitated or angry?
I tell God about it, give Him my anger, and make the decision to trust Him with this. Since anger is a secondary emotion, usually there's something deeper going on, like I'm hurt or afraid. When I get a chance, I pray about it, ask Him for wisdom and clarity, and write my thoughts out to discover the real issue. Then we talk about it and I usually end up with truth, freedom and peace. :)
The modern ideal girl is one who is comfortable in her own skin, who has a clear sense of who she is and gets her identity from how God sees her, and who can focus on loving others because she is secure in His love for her.
(Whew! I'm done!)
Now who should I pass on this tag to? Hmmn, I'm thinking Becky and Ellie.
Ladies, I can't wait to read your answers! Have fun!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
He's still at the age where it's okay to hug your mom. I'm enjoying every minute of it because I know that may change soon. But for now, I'll take whatever I get.
I asked my son if he'd ever do this for me. He laughed and said no.
I guess love has its limits. :)
I think he's keeping his long hair -- for now.
Ya'll stay warm!
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Lately, He has blocked my path in some areas. I wasted time in helpless frustration before catching on to what He was doing.
So stepping back, I started looking.
He's up to something different between us, something deeper. I catch glimpses of it here and there -- enough to capture my heart and cooperation.
Today, I read these words my friend, Ellie, wrote on her blog. With her permission, I share them with you.
"God is not a disciplinarian. There is a delight in knowing Him that I never realized existed. He disciplines me, but the goal is not that I become perfect as in a perfect model or display, but that we might have a perfectness in our relationship, no tension, no slights, no strain between us. Accepted with all my faults, loved with an abandoned delight, and called to grow into a perfect relationship."
These words so resonate with me!
I'm hungry for the kind of relationship that cannot be ruined by anyone's failures or weaknesses, or stupid misunderstandings. Where it's safe to screw up because grace is big enough and your heart is always seen with love. Where no one is looking at you with a critical eye, but instead with complete delight and a smile on their face. Where there is freedom to dream and grow and make mistakes along the way.
I'm beginning to understand that I already have what I long for. This is what God gives me.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
He has become my salvation."
Thanking Him for these gifts
104. hot cocoa on a chilly morning
105. listening to my kids dreaming big
106. the fun of being silly together
107. imaginations running free
108. shooting hoops with my boy
109. snuggles and hugs
110. making music
111. timely offerings of wisdom
112. being loved
113. bocadillo con queso
Saturday, January 2, 2010
So I've been thinking about this,
and I have a word.
looking back over the past year,
tracing God's hand through all the days,
I see where I've been
and how far He has brought me.
2009 has been the year of Letting Go.
I entered 2009 grieving the death of my marriage, the loss of relationship.
As anyone who has lost love can understand, grief takes a long time. I am thankful God gave me the time I needed to walk through those dark, sad, pain-filled days. He walked them with me.
In early summer, I came out of the cave and into the sunshine. Life began to look hopeful again. But there was still much more letting go. Releasing long-held beliefs, fears, idols, masks. Learning to trust, to open up, to let in, to simply be.
And somehow mixed in the middle of all this, even the grief, there was joy -- so much joy. Unexpected, always a surprise, yet given freely without reserve.
What an amazing year!
I am full of gratitude at the grace and tenderness of God, lavishly pouring out His love on this broken heart, restoring me and making all things new.
Yesterday, in the quiet beginning of 2010, He whispered words of hope and life.
Dream, Little One.
My dreams for you are more than you can imagine.
So let yourself dream.
Friday, January 1, 2010
It's always exciting to begin a new year. It's like a brand new gift just waiting to be opened.
Speaking of gifts, I'm happy to announce we have a winner in my Christmas Giveaway!
Becky, of This and That, yours was the name my daughter picked out of the hat this morning. Congratulations!
Becky and her husband, Miguel, are missionaries with New Tribes Mission serving in Mexico. She's also one of my lifelong best friends. I've known Becky since we were two little girls going to the MK boarding school in Colombia. She can sure tell some stories about me!
Becky, I'll be mailing your package this week.
Thanks to all of you who entered. This was so much fun I may be doing this again soon!
Have a wonderful 2010!