life as it is seen from my heart and soul

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the holidays and reflections

it is 2022. half way through January. life moves on.
no matter what is happening or not happening.
life on earth. this life.
i spent a good deal of time on my own in my short time off.
i miss my three small children here. or my three teenaged children.
the holidays are not the same. and that is life.
i don’t mean to be depressing, or sad, but it is this life on earth that is not mine.
i cry for what has gone by and i did not appreciate it at the time.
i miss my grandmothers so very much. more than i knew. more than i thought possible.
i try to listen for what God is teaching me in this time. because we do not know the days we have.
so keep trying to be like Christ to a world that is hurting so very much it hurts others.
stay strong in your faith because we are never ever alone. ever.
right now in this moment of time i have too many people fighting for their physical life: cancer, cancer, cancer. oh how i hate cancer.
so keep at it dear ones. keep reading Scripture. keep looking out for what God is doing around you.
remember you are not alone.

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on the cusp of the eve of 2022

if there is one thing we should have all learned ~ or maybe two things ~ it is this:

  1. we aren’t in charge of anything except our own attitude
  2. change is constant

so how will you respond to 2022? to transition? to constant change?
to not knowing what each day will bring?
to people trying to manipulate, use, and control you & those around you?
to a culture that is nothing like what it was, even from one year ago?
we think but i am only one person in a small small piece of a very large planet.
and that is true. i am only one person.
and i know Who is truly in charge.
so give it up in 2022. give it all up.
let Jesus be in charge of it all ~ your mind, your heart, your passions.
let Him have what you cannot change and what is changing around you.
all. of. it.
because the day-to-day struggle that is before us doesn’t have to be a struggle.
release to Him what is out of your hands (or what you think is in your hands).
2022. i anticipate many issues, many ups & downs, many sorrows & joys.
but that is called LIFE. and Jesus = LIFE.
blessings in your new year.

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a new year is coming.

…. time marches on.
yes, yes it does. it moves as fluid as water does without paying any attention to me.
so i must learn to move with it. because if not, i will be left behind.
my only resolution for years has been to please dear Lord, let me be like You.
every year since i was 16 and my heart was awakened to my need of Him.
and now here comes 2022. marching in front of us.
i still pray to be more Christ like. to love as He loved. to give as He gave.
to those i speak to, to those i sit with, to those i work with.
no matter how i am treated or what is said about me ~ to be Him.
so 2022. the virus will still be with us.
like if you haven’t figured it out yet, it isn’t going away. it is permanent.
the culture shift will only get worse, depending on your view.
politics will continue to be volatile, ignoring the basic needs of each human and focusing on themselves.
and the church? how will the church respond? we Christians are failing at life in this pandemic.
what did the New Testament believers do for the lepers? or the prostitutes? or the vulnerable?
we have lost community in the Church. and thus we have failed the world.
so in 2022 may we care for, love on, give out of ourselves to those in need around us without regard for who they are or what they have done.
we Christians have the blessing of Holy Mercy and Grace and it needs to be shared.
blessings to all.

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the struggle of life

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”
go ahead, sing it. you know it. we hear it every day at this season.
really? the most wonderful time of the year?
and despite the struggle of this life, it is the most wonderful time.
of life. of eternity.
the King is born. the Creator God came to Earth.
my pastor husband always says Jesus put on flesh and came to our neighborhood.
and He did.
and my imperfect broken heart and soul cry out to Him more this year than any.
that the root of bitterness does not grow.
that i will be open in my heart and soul to His love and mercy and grace.
this season my Advent has been filled by Amy Orr-Ewing.
her daily words this advent have hit me hard.
Mary’s Voice in Advent. Mary’s voice. the earthly mother of Jesus.
my expectations are pathetic compared to Mary.
i still have the hope of the Christmas eve, and dinner, and Christmas day, and my home.
and i haven’t learned to let it go.
so i sit here and process the emotion running in my mind, the tears in my eyes and the notion that this earth is such a disappointment.
there is nothing here to fill the ache we have.
and Mary, in her poverty and youth, gave birth to my Saviour.
She looked into His eyes, kissed His cheeks, held Him close knowing what the future held.
i have so much to learn and so little time.
Come Lord Jesus, fill us with You at this most wonderful time of the year.

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i know i sound depressing

but i have had a migraine for two days.
and there has been no let up in the stress in my life. or the pressure.
or the expectation in the day to day.
i have a pile of work to do that i brought home from the office.
i have cookies to bake. and presents to wrap.
and more expectations from people.
but all i want to do is say i am really sorry but i can’t do that.
because i need these two weeks to do nothing.
absolutely nothing. to hibernate.
away from people and crowds and the virus and whatever else is out there.
yet that isn’t going to happen because of expectations.
so i wrestle with expectations and stress right now.
what are you dealing with right now?

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the journey of days

how many days to the end of life? your life? my life?
morbid? not really. as a former hospice nurse i have seen all types of death.
because as humans we will die a physical death.
at the holidays i observed some of the worst deaths. and some of the best.
i pray i die well. to be at peace with the Saviour of my soul.
to know i did my best on this planet that is not really my home.
that the regrets i have will be forgiven by those left behind.
and that whom ever knew me saw Jesus in me.
that i loved each person well despite what they believed about God or thought of me.
yesterday was Thanksgiving here in America.
but each day is thanksgiving. for so many things i cannot list them all. BUT….
today. i woke up. i have a spouse of 42 years that has loved me most well.
i have saving Grace and Mercy since i was 16. and despite my stupidity, God loves me more than i know.
i have food, a home, three children and a son-in-law that loves my eldest daughter.
my garden feeds my home and family and friends.
i am without nothing. nothing. i have Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom to go anywhere.
and so i am grateful and thankful each day.
there is soup simmering for church for tomorrow.
the music of Christmas that i love so well is playing.
i cry for the past that has come and gone – the memories that flood my heart bring the tears. such joy.
but today is present. and i hope you are well.
blessings on your day. and the holidays that might have joy or grief.
and no matter how many days any of us have left, we use them well.

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the Sower and the Seed

in the last two weeks i have heard the parable of the Sower and the Seed three times.
so that makes me stop to say What is it Lord that You are saying to me? What am i to learn from this Parable right now?
the weekend with Revive Our Hearts Grounded conference is the first time, then over the radio and now at the DYM100 2021 last week in California.
it isn’t about the Sower, it isn’t about the Seed, it is about the Soil. as a gardener that doesn’t use any chemicals, i know a few things about the Soil. actually, i love the soil in my garden. it is loaded with compost, rotted straw, leaves and grass clippings. my Soil is the most valuable part of my garden. if my Soil is bad, then i have no garden or i will lose everything i plant. one year, because of heavy spring rains for several weeks, i lost all my tomatoes to fungus. no fresh tomatoes that summer except for what i bought from the Amish.
so back to the Soil. the Soil is the heart of each person. four types. hard, stony, thorny and good soils. what is it about the Soil? in my mind it is what we feed the Soil, or not feed it. thinking about the Soil this way helps me to ask What am i doing for my heart? am i feeding my Soil? it also makes me to stop to consider those around me – what has been put into their soil? instead of questioning their motives, i now question their Soil. what has happened in their past to make them react they way they do? why do they treat others they way the do? is there something i can say or do to offset their hardness, their thorns, or their stones?
it amazes me how people react, what they say or do in situations of distress or chaos. and it makes me think about how i have acted in the past. how have i listened to others? to Jesus?
what will i do? i am working on feeding my Soil with the Word and study of Christ.
to choose to seek Him out.
to work hard to not choose culture or food or stuff.
to slowly work on helping others feed their Soil in Christ as well.
to pray. to remain calm. to stop and not speak, but to listen in all things.
what will you do?

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not what i expected

at all. work. world. pandemic. culture shifts. international unknowns.
what has happened?
well. first5 is in Habakkuk. and they have the same things going on.
idolatry. murderous nations. deception. humiliation. pure evil.
But God.
read that again.
But God.
things in my day-to-day aren’t that great right now.
deception. humiliation. deceitfulness. rampant idolatry of self.
But God.
God asks me to obey because His ways are best for me.
God is with me each day and He will be with me tomorrow through any struggle I face.
these are two themes this week in the Habukkuk study.
and i am leaning hard into this. reading each word each day.
writing in my Bible what it means for me.
this week was the reminder of His splendour and majestic presence.
i have confidence in His deliverance for me.
i might be frightened by my present circumstances, but He abides with me.
and He is in control, He loves me and cares for me.
so this may not end well for all involved. because there are always consequences for our choices.
but He is there. i am not alone in this.
and i will depend on Christ. on His guidance. His Holy Spirit in me.
But God.

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dare we discuss it?

what we really think or feel or are experiencing in life or what is happening to people around us?
culture. politics. jobs. families. viruses. murder. stress on top of stress. ethnicity. gender.
and we are tired.
all of us.
i am.
exhausted. totally fried.
every day dealing with people and pressures and expectations and personal attacks.
stressed beyond stressed.
and there seems to be no end to this. none.
i am rereading A Wrinkle in Time. love this book.
about good versus evil. light versus darkness. having the sense to stop and listen and wait.
what ever is going on it is about our reaction to it all.
i have to kick myself when i get in to the ‘OMG what are they doing to me?!” mode.
because each human being is made in God’s image ~ that image of the Holy Trinity.
and each of us is dealing with so very much.
so step back. stop. and breathe.
and remind yourself that as a believer in Jesus Christ we have His power and His Spirit to fill us, enfold us, protect us.

but just so you know ~ every once in a while i do scream into my pillow or sit on the toilet and have a good cry.

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failing at life

we are, aren’t we?
tired. depressed. angry. working too many hours.
with no end in sight.
wondering what has happened to people.
to the world. to the planet.
too much mistrust and dishonesty.
so much about me, me, me.
i want to run and hide and leave this place.
full of hate anger despair death
much like what happened in the Garden of Eden
when eyes were opened to the travesty of humanity without God.
how then shall we live ~ as Francis Schaeffer once asked.
how shall we live in this time of turbulent trouble of soul & heart & mind?
we live like Christ – no matter what is going on around us.
to give love and mercy and compassion.
to never tire or give in to the weariness of the battle.
remembering justice, mercy, humility and how Christ gave it all.
walk with me into the unknown.
into knowing we belong to the King of the Unseen Kingdom of Salvation.
this Earth is not forever – the Maker of our Hearts calls us to something more in Him.
blessings on your Sabbath!