Sunday, February 24, 2013

Scripture and a Snapshot: Hope

Let me tell you a bit about perfectionists if you don't happen to be one.
If we can't do something perfectly well, we sometimes just won't do it at all.
Which, truth be told, is why I nearly called February a wash and didn't post until March 1st.
However, when you're a perfectionist who generally avoids procrastination, there's a war zone in your head on a regular basis. :)

All of that to say this, I'm struggling.
Perfectionist + anti-procrastination + lingering sinus headache= major loss of perspective.
Yesterday I asked God for some direction and plain ole' encouragement, and as He is wont to do, I got a bit of both from an unexpected conversation yesterday.  It made me think again about why I love women's ministry and why it's even important at all.   
Early this morning, outside in the breaking fog, I could see my husband's garden, and I knew he'd been digging around in it, turning over packed winter dirt, reminding the soil what it is to be soft and fertile and ready for growing things.  
And I thought, I want to be like that. 
Ready for growing things.  Not packed down and crusty with winter-weariness.

There's lots of cold in the forecast for this week- bitter cold, actually.  
There are lots of obstacles-spiritual, traditional, you name it-to real relationships.
Psalm 71:14 is the springtime of the soul, hope in the Lord. 
The gate is praise.  Focusing my heart and mind on real praise will grow hope in me, and praise will break through the cares of the Body and will sow seeds of joy.
Be blessed,

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New-Old Favorite

Kathryn Scott has been around a while as a worship leader, but she is my new-old favorite of late.  I came across this song today and was captivated by its simple beauty and profound message.  

Be blessed,

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hello, Monday--Back to Counting

Hello, Monday!
Hello, first day of winter break!  We heart you.
Hello, cold-that-won't-die.  How many times a day can someone blow her nose?
Hello, to-do list.  This sinus infection is making me unmotivated to tackle you.
Hello, sunshine.  Stick around, will you? 
Hello, crafting!  Working this retreat team is a perfect excuse to devote lots of time to you.

Counting gifts on this Monday:
71. washing machines to hum along and get the job done
72. warm houses
73. retreat teams
74. having a plan
75. being able to let go of the plan
76. cozy mysteries
77. clean clothes
78. paying off a car!!
79. "spring cleaning" even though it's not spring yet!
80. daffodils peeking out of cold ground
81. a gardener husband

  Be blessed,
Linking here

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Scripture and a Snapshot:Treasures

Home again today from church with Act II of my cold; after running errands yesterday, I spent last night sneezing and coughing.  It's old, already.  
I had chosen a 4th memory verse for the year, but yesterday at our retreat team meeting, someone shared a meditation on Isaiah 45:3, and I knew the Lord was changing my focus.

I will give you the treasures of darkness,
    riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,

    the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
The English teacher in me zoomed in to that preposition, of.  Somehow in my brain, I had always substituted "in" right there, treasures in darkness
It doesn't say that.  
It says "of".  Treasures of darkness.
This is a winter of season, and a winter of heart.
My spirit is hibernating, and it feels lonely and a little dark and cold in there. 
Yesterday, the speaker reminded us that "I will" means He will, not that He already has, not that He's necessarily doing it right now, but that He promises that the time is coming.
I promise I don't recycle sunrise pictures; we just are really blessed to have spectacular ones in winter.

There's treasure, not just in this season, but because of this season, riches stored in the secret places of a February heart.
Be  blessed,
Linking here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

F is for February

F is for February
...and blogger Fail (lots of school assignments due, and one computer)
...and Valentines Day fail (sickness=no time or energy for special treats, though we did take the girls out for supper),

...and fickle weather (a few minutes ago it was raining while the sun shone; snow forecasted tomorrow) 
...and fresh flowers on the mantel,

...and more flowers from Big Red ( I heart hydrangeas AND my husband),

...and reFreshing winter breaks (time for rest and regrouping).
How's your February?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Where I've Been

What I've accomplished this week:
1. coughing
2. sneezing
3. blowing my nose
4. showing a 7th grader how to find the "y" section of the dictionary 
I'm not making this up.
Back soon,

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Strange Week in the Neighborhood

One of the tiny promises I made myself in January (notice I did not call them resolutions; I really, truly, know better.) was to post here with more regularity.  Last month I made some progress, but then February hit.
The month of *meh*.
February is notoriously difficult for every teacher.  Second semester has started, there's still tons to accomplish before spring fever hits, and one really just wants to go back to bed every morning.  
We're slogging.
Then there are weeks like this one.
Last Wednesday we were in the hall for over an hour under a very real tornado warning.
By Saturday it was snowing.
Tuesday it rained.
Today is bright, beautiful, and mild.
This schizophrenic weather mirrors my zig-zagging emotions and energy.
I sense changes on the horizon.  
I'm not sure what I think of them--if I even really knew what they were.
In this, God seems silent.
Not inactive.  Just quiet.
Somewhere recently I read a John Piper quote that went something like this:  At any given time, God may be doing 10,000 things in your life, and you might be aware of three of them.
One I saw this morning, in an opal crescent moon suspended perfectly in the upper-left pane of my bedroom window, designed to be my first sight of today.
One I saw this afternoon, when a colleague asked me to pray for a student before what promises to be a tense meeting.  
I felt His tender Father touch.
I heard Him call me to step forward and be the church.
Once I did a study on the word, "abide". 
 Basically, it means "actively resting".
It's actively waiting and responding wholeheartedly, not drifting passively or fidgeting in fear.   
In this season, I want to abide, to be "all in" in the waiting, resting because I need Him more than I need to understand everything. 
Even in the strangest times.
Be blessed,

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Scripture and a Snapshot: My Adonai

With a group of ladies at church, I am going through Kay Arthur's study, Lord,I Just Want to Know You.  While I've studied the names of God before, it's hitting me this time with a fresh awareness of how important it is that we know God's names so we will know His character.  
This week we've studied Him as El Shaddai, the All-Sufficient One, and Adonai, the Master.  Kay Arthur talks of how these names go together, how submitting to Christ as my Master will bring me to the point of recognizing Him as enough for every empty place in my heart.  " You will never know His sufficiency apart from knowing Him as Lord, as Master, " she writes, "Commitment to the will of God should be the norm for every one of His children."  
If I'm committed to His will more than I'm committed to getting my way, I'm find Him always sufficient.
As I chew on this, Psalm 16:2 becomes my 3rd memory verse for the Siesta Scripture Memory Team:

Be blessed,
Linking here.