Monthly Archives: November 2016

Don’t you wish….

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Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Holy Spirit indicator light available?

In the midst of the holidays it would be especially helpful.

Because in all of the celebrating and traditions and family fun…

woven with memories of Christmas past that may make Christmas present bittersweet,

As we attempt to squeeze in all the good things we want to do…

and should do…

and the concerts and gatherings and giftings and cooking and decorating…

while we keep saying how important it is to keep the true meaning of Christmas in top priority…

we can get a little lost.

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All the traditions that fill our hearts are wonderful…

but let us not neglect fueling our spirits by taking time to be in His Word.

To sit quietly in His Presence and to continue to sing His praises <3

God bless each one of you as you go about the preparations for what this season looks like for you.

As we fill our homes and calendars with the beauty of this Christmas season, I pray we will be filled with a deeper hunger to know the One whose birth we celebrate <3

 

Waiting for…waiting in…waiting on …

Advent…

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waiting…

waiting in anticipation…

waiting in hope…

waiting for Messiah to come and now waiting for Him to come again.

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Waiting…

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waiting in faith as we wait on Him to answer…

waiting on Him.

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All year we have been waiting for Him..

to act…

to do…

to fix…

to mend…

to answer <3

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But Advent is waiting for Him…

to come.

O come Emmanuel

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God with us

God in us

God for us

As we wait…

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Come and fill the darkness of this world again with Your Light.

And although many still love darkness…more than Light…

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So we…

who love the Light…

will choose to…

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light candles…

let our light shine…

reflect Your LIGHT…

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as we wait…

on You..

in You…

for You <3

 

To know and be known <3

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I hope you had a good Thanksgiving and are working creatively to use up those leftovers.

We headed to Iowa for the services for Russ’s dad.

People were so kind to us in so many ways and we are deeply thankful for the love and prayers and support we received.

The service was sweet with hymns and prayers and Scripture and tributes from the pastor and Russ and his siblings.

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As we made the drive home on Saturday evening, I was thinking about different things family and friends had shared about this man that I met in the Student Union in late winter or early spring of 1980.

Russ and I were dating and his parents had come to town.

They were taking us for pizza and we were trying to find them in the labyrinth of this large building in the center of campus…

we didn’t have cell phones back then people…

so we did it the old-fashioned way by walking around hallways and stairways leading off of the lobby until we finally ran into one another.

I turned the corner of one hall and saw a nice man down the way who looked so much like an older version of my guy that I was pretty sure I had just seen Marion Reimer for the first time.

He smiled and sure enough, I had found my future father-in-law.

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I have my own memories of him over the next 36 years and they are all good.

As I listened to different people share their thoughts and stories, I pieced together more of who he was and what he had been like the years I didn’t know him.

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Sort of.

As I was mulling over all these snippets of information; I realized that  when we leave this earth, all that is really left is the impression we made on others.

We are remembered for the impact of our interactions with them and our contributions to things that affected them.

How we made them feel…or where we missed the boat…their memories of things we did…but from their perspective only.

The truth about who we were and what we were thinking, the motives of our hearts, the inner struggles, the conflicts, the woundings and the healings…these are all a complex mix that, in reality, even WE don’t fully understand.

The way I hope to be remembered…the things I tried to impress on those who were in my area of influence…the legacy I strived to leave to our family…

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is completely out of my control when I am gone…

and they are left to tell their story about my story.

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I will be remembered for how my actions and my motives were perceived by those whose lives were connected to mine along the journey.

We can’t pick and choose the memories others will have of us.

It got me thinking about Jesus.

I know.

And yes…most of my pondering does take me to that topic.

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I thought how I am always wishing there was more information about Him in Scripture — what He looked like, exactly.

How He said certain things….like, did He roll His eyes when He asked them why they were worried about not bringing bread when He had just fed a huge crowd with a kid’s lunch box?

What was His mood as they left Him that day at the well in Samaria to go find something to eat?

So many things that I would love to know more in greater descriptive detail.

And it hit me that the Bible doesn’t tell me what His disciples memories of Him were…or their impressions of Him….or their take on why He did this or said that.

Instead I just get the bare details in an account form.

Just the facts.

Exactly what happened, the way it happened…

no human interpretation…

no descriptive experience based on one of their perceptions.

Not four different takes on one man’s life…

just the Truth recorded in four Gospels.

The Bible isn’t a book about human memories and interpretations of the life of Christ.

It is God’s Story, recorded and documented, so that each of us can truth-fully encounter His Son in a personal way.

His-story that changes our story.

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As we enter the season of Advent, I hope we can set our hearts to experience Christ and know Him personally by digging into what the word says about the Word.

Let’s journey through Advent 2016 together…

encouraging one another as we determine in our hearts to know Him more <3

 

In all things…give thanks <3

Good morning to you on a very rainy Thanksgiving Eve!

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Are you already setting about the preparations for Turkey Day?

or

Are you packing up bags getting ready to travel somewhere?

or

Are you eating out this year or going to friends who have opened their home to you?

Whatever you are doing, I am sure you are flooded with memories of all kinds of past holidays.

Some make you laugh…some make you cry…some peel a scab off of a wound that just might need a bit more of Holy Spirit air and light to heal.

The older I get, the more I realize that all of this compilation of experiences, both joyful and sad, is the rich tapestry God has woven and continues to weave in this journey He has prepared for me.

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I am of the generation when we pulled out the good china…my mom invariably burned the marshmallows on top of the canned sweet potato casserole…we set the table around a centerpiece of taper candles and pilgrim salt and pepper shakers…and jello was considered a real food.

We didn’t know what everybody else’s Thanksgiving looked like.

We just did our thing, blissfully ignorant that people like Joanna Gaines were most likely setting up their table in a rustic barn under an artfully designed chandelier of bay leaves and evergreens.

We ate our pecan and pumpkin pies clueless that one of our neighbors had crafted turkeys out of Oreos and candy corn.

So today…tomorrow…can we just tune out what everybody else is doing…or what we think they are doing.

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Can we shut down the little voices that are saying our family isn’t enough and we must have done something wrong because where we are and who we are doesn’t look like we thought it should?

Can we gather with the faces that happen to show up around our table or gratefully sit around someone else’s and breathe in the Grace that brought us to that place and sustains us there?

May the Lord bless each one of us with a thankful heart today…tomorrow…and each and every day that follows until He comes to take us all Home…where we will, only then, truly enjoy the Perfect Feast…with our Perfect Family <3

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God bless you all.

I love each one of you and I am so thankful to be connected to you through this communication throughout the year <3

Because this kid…

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I went to hear Graham sing with his choir on Sunday. We filed in and found spots around the room. I zeroed in on him and then watched as his eyes roved the faces of kiddos and parents.

I knew when he saw me because the eyes brightened, the elaborate hand motions turned into waves and the smile that lights up places deep deep in this heart spread wider….

and then he reached into his pocket.

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Which wasn’t really part of the song or the motions or anything else…but he definitely was fishing something out of the depths of his little size 5 khakis.

As he continued singing and making motions with his free hand, he pulled out the prize he had been searching for and held it up so I could see.

It appeared to be some sort of pipe cleaner bracelet.

I could see it was loaded with plastic beads and he was grinning like he was holding up a bauble from Tiffany’s.

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As soon as he was freed from his responsibilities, I got to watch his beaming face as he presented it to his mommy.

True to all good mother instincts, she made an appropriately delighted face…

exclaimed it was just beautiful..

and slipped it right onto her wrist.

Later that night, as I was helping her finish up the bedtime rituals, I noticed it lying on her dresser with her watch and other jewelry.

If I know her, she will be sporting it at least a time or two in the weeks ahead.

But eventually it will take its place, tucked away to be found again a few years down the road…

and I thought of my own pieces of crafted jewelry from this particular artist…

and the ring purchased by our son from the Christmas store when he was in Kindergarten..

the kind that has an adjustable band and a setting that catches on your sweater…

but I wore it for years.

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And my throat tightened and  the tears pooled, kind of like they are now.

It hurts sometimes, this loving and being loved.

To open the heart to the fullness of it leaves us vulnerable when the inevitable changes come.

This kind of love refines us but it does not define us.

To hold it above all else would be to create an idol…so tempting…but children make very poor gods.

So we treasure the gift of them and the gifts from them…

but we do not anchor our existence and purpose on them.

Who we are and why we are here must always land on the firm foundation that our identity is found and held in Christ alone <3

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I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.                             Galatians 2:20Living Bible (TLB)