Monday, November 26, 2012

Be Like a Tree and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

It's time to pull up your chair.  Do you know you have one here in this space we call Soli Deo Gloria?  You do.  It's reserved every week only for you.  This place would be different if you weren't here and we miss you when you are gone.  This is a place filled with women who seek to honor your words, you heart, your tears, and your laughter.  Scooch in close.  You won't want to miss a word.
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I'm feeling a little overstimulated.  The holiday season is whizzing by me and I cannot seem to catch my breath.  I take time to pause, to sit on the couch with Jesus, to stare into nothingness, but it takes me a long time to desensitize from the bright lights, flashy ads, the long to do list, and, well, Facebook.

Things pile high, plans change, the temperature rises and then falls, the wind blows, and I start wondering if the Christmas decorations hanging on the balcony will live through the whole season.

I wonder if people will like their gifts, if I spent too much, or missed a sale on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday.  I think about the Christmas cards I need to mail, the party I'm hosting for my sweet Bible study, and whether or not I will actually be able to will myself into the kitchen to bake.

I try to make myself to write the post that is rambling around in my mind but I find that it's still too emotional to try to create coherent sentences, so instead, I just ramble on about all this.  

But I ramble for a reason.  Because I think that perhaps we are all here to help each other keep our sanity.  And this is what I felt impressed upon my heart today, words that helped me return to a place of peace.  And I share in the hopes that you'll find peace, too.  




As I put the final words on the commissioned piece you see here, I felt the sweet Holy Spirit whisper to me:

Yes, you Jen, be like a tree and bend.

And She whispers this because she knows how easily I can become ridged and brittle, wrapped up in stress so tight that you one tick too far and I snap.  Much like a tree branch that has hollowed out with death.  Be like a tree, She whispers, because she knows that Her breath is what keeps me fluid, keeps me bending, keeps me free.

She tells me stretch your arms to the sun, reminding me that to really be strong, one must be flexible, that bending is key to not breaking, and that love is what keeps us from sounding like a clanging cymbal.  

I wear Her words and allow Her breath to take my anxiety.  I turn my face to the sun and let Him warm me.  And with hands raised toward the sky in stretch, I realize that I am created for worship.  It all starts there and everything else that He calls me to do comes forth from that place of adoration for my Savior, the One born in a manger and who faced death on a cross.

In worship, the bright lights of the world fade.  

In worship, the heart overflows.

In worship, perspective returns.

In worship, love pours forth and there is no clanging cymbal.  

To be like a tree and bend requires worship of my Maker, a reminder that all the trappings of this world are just that...trappings.  

In worship, I can be free.


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WINNER:  Kelli Hughes was the one that was closest to the answer to this question:  How long has the Soli Deo Gloria party been around?  When I asked the question, we were on week 106.  Can you believe it?  Congrats, Kelli!

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Soli Deo Gloria is on Twitter!  Have a favorite post?  Share it on Twitter with the #SDGsisters!
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I am so happy to see your face here at Soli Deo Gloria.  Did you know we have small groups?  As SDG has grown, it started to lose a bit of the small community feel.  As such, we have groups that visit each other and leave comments for each other on SDG days so that you don't feel lost in this big blog world.  Would you like to be a part?  If so, please email me at jenfergie2000@me.com.  Also, if you are new here, please put "I am new" as your caption so that we might give you a proper welcome.

26 comments :

  1. I haven't started swaying with the holiday frenzy, yet. One day I'm going to wake up and realize how behind I am. Today, I'm thrilled we have our tree up, and we get to sit under white lights.

    Love to you and love it when you display your art!

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  2. Freedom in worship...I too am stressed and overwhelmed by the season. Worship will open the door to peace. www.toshowthemjesus.com

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  3. Hmmm. I'm being physically forced to stay calm and slow this season. Learning a lot of lessons through that. Should probably write a few of them down :-) It's changing my perspective for sure. Looking forward to the ensuing worship. What a beautiful thing. Holy. Sacred. That I could hold on to it always.
    Love to you,
    Steph

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    1. Exactly! Quiet. At peace. Folded into His palm so snugly and safely each morning for worship. It really is so very lovely.
      And to feel so pliable at that time, to feel Him working on and in me. Jen, I love your tree and the reminder to just bend with the stress of the season.

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  4. Beautifully said! Yes, bend and not break because of being hollow & dead. I love that picture. Thank you for this community

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  5. Trying to catch my breath- how I love this tree picture and perspective...yes, beautiful. Thank you for sharing the ramble. I know I am not alone in the swirling feeling in my brain. Praying for a blessed season where His presence remains that ever present quiet strength in the midst of all the bustle! ;)

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  6. Love, love, LOVE your artwork and the caption. Perfect!

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  7. Gorgeous picture. This season can be so crazy that we forget to pause and think about the reason we have this season to begin with. We are making a real effort this year to keep our focus. Thank you for reminders.

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  8. Art + Message = Simply beautiful! The bending flexibility and the reaching faith - that is so crucial!

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  9. Oh the solace we find in that secret place. The place we can wrap Him tight around our worries...and find peace.

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  10. I love your artwork, friend. And I have a thing for trees... so your whole analogy today resonates with me in deep places. May you bend and grow and feel the Spirit wind this week. Blessings to you.

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  11. Your artwork and poetry speak to me...yes, to bend low and worship Him...always changes my perspective...uprights me...fixes my eyes on Him ...Thank you for sharing your gifts, Jen :)

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  12. no decorations up yet....and i'm not stressed about it. progress.

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  13. Hi Jen, this reminds me of what my friend said yesterday after she and a group of friends prayed over me. That I was like a transparent running water, the source of which was God, and that I should just follow the bends and turns of the river bed. Follow where He wills. I like this image because I know I journey with God. Even if I don't know where I am going, God has a purpose. Even if there are so many things happening around me, that can stress me out, if I just follow and let Him lead me, everything will be OK. Blessings! patsy

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  14. Love your art piece! Let's all encourage each other to slow down this Advent season... not to let the hype and sale frenzies define us. Let the peace of GOD rule our hearts, breathe deep and remember that we are people of Grace

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  15. Congrats on 106 weeks. Imagine the number of comments you have left in those weeks.

    I enjoy your art reflecting your life.

    Fondly,

    Glenda

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  16. Yes, my dear sisters, both here in virtual reality and in the flesh, are instruments of God's grace in helping me maintain some degree of sanity.

    And my motto for Christmas: If you're not having fun doing it, you're not doing it right :)

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  17. Hey Jen! Just wanted to stop in and say that I love this post, your tree picture, and your smile in the family pic in the previous post. You are beautiful in so many ways. :) Blessings! Ashley

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  18. Jen, this is awesome! Your metaphor really spoke to my heart today. Thanks for the great post & for hosting, & God bless!

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  19. I love the symbolism of the tree and your art work is wonderful! Your line: "Because I think that perhaps we are all here to help each other keep our sanity." speaks volumes about the deep passion you have for community. Lets keep each other sane, ok?

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  20. I relaxed a little bit, reading this post. I took a deep breath, swayed, and felt myself bending a little. Thank you. It was just what I needed.

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  21. Yes, I, too relaxed a little...I'm glad to know that others feel the holidays whipping by...breathe. Just breathe.

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  22. Jen, I too, feel God's presence slowing me, in this otherwise mad rush. Thank you for your beautiful words of hope and invitation here.

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