Saturday, October 30, 2010

Listen and You Can Hear It Too

Warren sang to me during our wedding. A song he had written just for me.
Girls dreams of that sort of romantic thing!
Most every anniversary since, he has sung to me "our song".
I beg for it.
And I tear up every time.
It is my song. Written with me in mind.
So very long ago he had used this song to express himself to me.
My favorite line?

"The feelings that I have are like no others I have known."

What is it about music that stirs such emotion in us?
It ignites feelings of passion,
it soothes troubled hearts,
it calms a crying baby,
it cleanses the soul
and it is one of the greatest forms of worship.

I remember singing to the kids when they were little.
I sang about all sorts of things.
Jesus loves you. Jesus loves the little children.
And an all time favorite of mine -
You are my sunshine.
Sometimes I even made up songs as I sang. It all depended on the situation!
I continue to sing over my grandchildren.
Usually when no one else is around!

To hold a child and sing over him.
Oh, the innocence that you recognize as you look into their little faces.
I would study them as I gazed upon them. Memorizing every little detail.
Pondering in my heart.
Sometimes there would be smiles and sometimes huge tears rolling down my cheek.
Both from the awesome responsibility of being called
Mommy or Grandma
to such an extra-ordinary child as the one I was holding at that very moment.

I had dreams for each one.
Dreams because of my great love for them.
I had plans -
and they were all for the good of that particular child.
I wanted nothing but good for them
while at the same time I realized,
being an adult and all,
that having the good plan
would sometimes mean tears in their life.

And I also realized that they wouldn't always understand my intentions.
Not at the time anyway.
But I would press on because I knew that someday, hopefully,
they would understand my motive:

My unexplainable love for them.

I sang over them and marveled at the fact
that I was chosen to be an instrumental part
of this little person's life.

So blessed I am, I realized.

I was reminded of all of this when God brought this verse to mind:

Zep 3:17 The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

If I listen carefully I can almost hear the melody......

Monday, October 25, 2010

What's love got to do with it?

While we were in Curitiba I watched way to many movies
and to much TV on the internet.
I also did a lot of reading, studying and talking.
What else is a person suppose to do when sitting
with one leg elevated because of an injury?!

Anyway, I watched this show,
not necessarily one I would recommend to anyone,
that was about a family.
Right in the beginning of the show the father of this family dies of a heart attack
and after his death secrets of his life begin to be revealed.
Like - he had another family. A mistress for 20+ years.

The family is pretty shaken from this revelation
but the one hit the hardest by it is, of course,
his wife. The mother. The widow.

She had always thought, and so had everyone else,
that they had one of those wonderful, loved filled marriages.
Now, understandably so, she is wondering what the truth is.
Had her whole adult life been a lie?

In one scene she is crying. Hard, gut retching tears.
Her daughter tries to comfort her by saying,

"you know he loved you."

And she replied,

"yes, but he didn't give up anything to do it!"

I was so struck by that line that I paused the show and wrote it down.

It impacted me.

The idea that you need to give something up
in order to love.

I cheered on that romantic notion. Of course, loving is about dying to self.
It didn't take a genius to see that this particular man
hadn't loved at any expense to himself.
Just when it suited his purposes.
Just as long as he got something out of it.
And - is that really loving at all?

So it made me think:
Does love always cost something?

It is always best to go to the source in order
to know the truth
and so I went to God.
The source of love.
No, He is more than that.

God is love.
1Jo 4:8
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Wow! In looking further I saw that He had definitely given up a lot to love me.

To love you. Eph 2:4-10, I John 4:10

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

God, because He is so gentle with me,
left me to stew on that for a few months.
And then, a couple of weeks ago,
He brought it to the fore-fronts of my mind again.

I read this:

what Richard Stearns points out from Scripture, from David’s example and the widow’s two mites, is that it doesn’t matter how much we give, what matters is what it costs. What matters is our faith.

Our current giving costs us nothing. The bottom line is our current giving does not require us to live by faith. Now, please hear me that God calls all of us to different things. This is why we CANNOT COMPARE our giving with someone else’s. All we can do is look at ourselves and ask, Does my current giving cost me anything? Does my current giving require me to life by faith? And, it’s worth noting, that this is true of all giving–our time, our talents, and our treasure. It’s so much bigger than money, but where our treasure is there our heart will be too.

I am challenged to consider my monetary giving.

I do give but only to the point of it pinching a little.

I don't allow it to affect my life too much.

But beyond that, I believe that God is asking me to consider more.

The entirety of my life.

My time, my talents, my interests. What I invest in.

To mature in my love for Him. To allow it to cost me.

Mar 8:34 And when he had called the people [unto him] with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Dying to self. Jesus' greatest act of love.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sharing Time

I'm smiling today

because it's a extra-special day.
Double the fun,
double the excitement
and double the anticipation.

It's a double (actually triple)
birthday in our family!!!

I Remember (so long ago) when my youngest sister was born.
Not only was she a ways behind in years then the rest of us
but it was also on my Mom's birthday.

Special indeed!!!!

Where do I begin to say what these
two ladies have meant to me?

To say that my life wouldn't be complete without either of them
is under-estimating their value.

Of course, Mom, you have shaped my life.
I know I have sung your praises to everyone before.
So today, I'll just say "ditto"
and mean it with all my heart.

I only wish to be as beautiful as you-
inside and out!

And Sandee -
our family wouldn't have been complete without you.
Your compassion
for the sick amazes me
and your sense of humor has kept us all in stitches.
A great combination.

We've had some good talks,
you and I,
and at some point my little sister grew up
and became a friend.

I love you both
and I am so thankful that you are in my life.

Have a wonderful day -
and may the year be filled with God's blessing,
direction and wonderful surprises
that only HE can give.

Happy Birthday!!!!

* and one more thing -
I also have a niece born on this day.
The baby of the entire family.

Happy birthday, Janae!

You keep life interesting!
and I love you much.

(okay,okay, Janae is just as special as the other two
but I couldn't start posting for all the nieces and nephews-
I'm just too forgetful.
while at the same time, how could I not mention it,
being the same day and all?
Life's decisions are hard.....)