Monday, February 28, 2011

Sweet Doggy

About a year ago, this golden retriever adopted my kids and me.  He belongs to a good friend so we saw him often.

Budi was already an old dog when we met -- 12 years.  My kids fell in love with him right away.  But I decided I was NOT going to get attached to a dog who was living on borrowed time.  Somehow despite my attempts to keep him at arms-length, Budi sneaked into my heart and carved out his own place when I wasn't looking.  He had a way of plopping his head in my lap and bumping my arm, looking for affection.  It was like he just assumed I was going to love him, totally disarming me.  It's hard to resist someone who is always happy to see you. 

Last August, we found out Budi has lymphoma.  He was not expected to live long.  We started praying for him and he made it through Christmas and his own birthday last week.  But he's been suffering lately and today he goes to the vet to be put to sleep.  It's been hard for us to say goodbye.

Looking back I see the generosity of God in giving my kids and me a dog to love, even though he wasn't ours.  He came into my life at a crucial time when my heart was in danger of closing down.  I am so thankful for this sweet dog and his affectionate ways.  We will miss him very much.

Goodbye, Budi-ro. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I haven't blogged in a while.  Lots of things going on deep under the surface.  I'm not making sense of it all yet, or seeing the patterns.  (And for me, with my penchant for noticing patterns and making connections, this is a little frustrating.)

But getting some of it out of my head and on to paper (or online) may be a little therapeutic.  So consider this a window into the jumble in my head.

1) Been thinking today about Ann Voskamp's post about the meaning of YHWH, the Name of God.
Y = yod — Hand
H = heh — window of breath, Behold
W = vav — Nail
H = heh — window of breath, Behold

I didn't know that the unspeakable name of God carries the image of the cross, of suffering.  This is the name He calls Himself, long before the New Testament.  There is such deep vulnerability here -- that I can't even get my mind around.  God, making Himself so vulnerable to me.  I don't understand it, but it's drawing my heart closer to Him.  Vulnerability has that effect on me.

2) "How glorious the splendor of a human heart that trusts that it is loved!"- Brennan Manning.  I ran into this quote the other day.  He always makes me think.  This time, he made me cry.  
I want to be there.  I want to trust that I am loved...deeply, passionately, completely.  Some days I catch glimpses of this.  But letting it sink down deep into the very core of my being takes a lot of courage.  

3) One of the hard things about having your marriage die from infidelity is that rejection becomes an unwelcome companion.  It can creep up in the most innocent of moments and before you know it, you are staggering under a wave of debilitating emotion.  It is crippling to the soul. 
I have worked through so much rejection feelings and beliefs and received extensive healing from the Lord in this area.  But I still battle a deep, nagging fear that maybe I deserved it after all and that my future relationships will be a continuous cycle of rejection.  Not fun!  I really want this to be gone once and for all.  I think God is getting me there...gradually.  The road to freedom is painful. 
4) I skipped church on Sunday and went to the beach by myself.  I didn't plan on it. But my drive took me in the general direction of the beach and on an impulse, I kept going east.  It was a beautiful day.  I sat on the sand, looking at that big ocean, letting my stress and anxieties drift out to sea.  God showed up and we did some talking.  Mostly He talked and I wrote it down. 
He wants me to take the next month off.  Not do anything for Him, not pursue Him, not work at this.  Just receive.  Let Him love me.  Focus on receiving His love and let myself be pursued.  
It sounds wonderful.  But I'm a little scared.  Honestly, I don't know how to be pursued.  I don't think I know how to be loved.  Wow!  Just saying it out there like that is even more scary.  How did I get to be like this?  I have no idea.  But I'm glad He knows what He's doing.

I leave you with a few verses from Song of Songs I am pondering:

"Arise, My darling, My beautiful one,
and come with me.
See!  The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit,
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
come, My darling,
My beautiful one,
come with Me."

"I am my Beloved's and His desire is for me."

Holding His nail-scarred hand and breathing,

Monday, February 7, 2011


Surrender is never easy.  When God asks me to lay down my dearest treasures and loves, the deepest hopes and desires of my heart, the things I long for and seek after, it feels like dying inside to let go.  

There have been countless surrenders large and small over the last few years.  I've come to recognize that gentle nudging in my spirit, the Lord's quiet voice asking me, "Will I be enough for you if I take this away?"  Every single time my heart cries out "No!  How can I lay down one more thing?  Haven't You taken enough from me?"

The battle inside can last for days or only a few hours.  But each surrender is hard won through tears and groans, the slow unclenching of my hands around that one thing He is asking for.  I cannot claim any credit for my letting go.  He is the one who initiates and brings my heart through all the turmoil and wrestling to that quiet place of trust saying, "Not my will, but Yours be done."  

It's exhausting.  The severing of my heart from its secret idols is beyond painful, but in the end it's worth it.  I know freedom lies on the other side of the battle.  Freedom and peace.
And in the quiet stillness after the struggle, receiving the comfort of One who understands what it means to surrender and lay everything in the dust -- there are no words to describe. 

"This is how we know what love is:  Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers."
1 John 3:16

In His embrace,