Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wear Your Armor

http://instagram.com/p/SA8Qt3K40x/

Have you ever wondered if you weren't actually seeing reality when you looked in the mirror?

Have you thought that God might see you differently than you see yourself?

Have you ever asked Him?

Strap on the Belt of Truth...Jesus Himself...and see how your perspective changes.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139)
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God knit you together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139)

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Man may look at my outside appearance, but God looks at your heart. (I Samuel 16)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Close Enough to Forget: The Legacy

About this series:  We all need encouragement, to be reminded we matter. Sometimes the nearest and dearest to us get the least of that needed encouragement. We've all spread ourselves too thin at times leaving little reserved for the ones we've committed to give to most, our spouse. So we're going to do something about it. We're going to focus on the ones living right under our own roof, sleeping in our own bed. But no worries if you're spouse-free. You can apply the encouragement to someone in your life who needs it: children, co-workers, friends, family members. Any soul will do because we all long to know we are seen and heard. Wherever you see "spouse," substitute someone else's name.  So grab a cup of coffee or whatever it is you're drinking today, and get ready to give a little. You'll be glad you did.
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Photo by Candida Performa/Wikimedia Commons.
She sits in the chair, working on something important. Her daughter, a beautiful 8 year old, who looks just like her mother, comes over.  She has questions and needs some answers.  She trusts her momma, she treasures her, and goes to her for answers.

She knows she will also get a strong dose of love served up with them.

The momma looks at her little girl, her one precious daughter.  She loves being a mom, being the one to pray for this baby girl, to hold her tightly every night and sing old songs to her—songs from her momma.  Her daughter’s coffee brown eyes look up at her, and she melts into them as the little one asks her burning question.

"What was it like growing up in your house as a little girl?"

The mom stops for a minute and thinks.  She instantly transports herself back in time and memories flash in front of her eyes.  She remembers playing in the big barn with her sisters, chasing the cats and trying to find the kittens that the mommas always hide.  She remembers going to church (she loved to dress up) and singing songs about Jesus and then watching Him live through her parents at home.
The memories come flooding back with that one simple question.  The innocent inquiry from a little girl who wants to relate, wants to know her family, the legacy that has been handed down to her.
The momma brings the daughter onto her lap, and gets ready to pass on the baton, the love, the memories, the entire life that was built for her.

She tells her precious one all about growing up with her mom and dad.  How they protected her, loved her, taught her all about Jesus and then showed Him to her through their marriage.

Her memories of that are especially vivid.

Dad would always hug and love on Mom and she relished it.  She would laugh and they would share private jokes that only the two of them knew.  Mom tried hard to honor and respect him and would become especially upset if any of her girls disrespected Dad.  That was one thing you didn't do!
She remembers it all, the feeling of security these two people gave her.  She knew that no matter how hard it got, how much her own life seemed to be in turmoil, her mom and dad would always be together and always be there for her.

They were one.

One flesh--one person almost--moving together as one, loving each other more than themselves, spilling that love out onto the children.

The girls soaked it up, lived in the light of their parents’ marriage and grew up always wanting that kind of love.  Yes, they argued and didn't always agree, but they always loved.  That was what bound their family together and held them tight through the hard times.  Her mom, who didn't always have it all together, tried her best and she saw it.

Tears spill down her face as she recounts for her daughter the precious marriage of her parents.  Her own marriage is starting to look the same, even though there are fault lines along the way, places where they've hurt each other, places built up with forgiveness.  But she loves her husband and they figure it out and remember to always love.

She had a great model. 

The first marriage book she ever read was her parents’ marriage. 

No, love doesn't put food on the table, but it sure does make the scarcity of it easier to bear.

This marriage inheritance is what makes her fight, what makes her hold on to her own marriage.  She loves her memories, loves sharing them with her own baby girl, loves that her parents gave her something to hang on to.

Something to pass down.

She wants that for her own children, to continue the legacy of showing Jesus through her marriage, living out the forgiving gospel of the One who loves her more than anything.

Her questions now answered, the little girl jumps down after a quick hug to her momma and runs away to play out her grandparents’ lives with her dolls.  She will think on this for many days, remembering the warm feeling her heart had as she listened to her mom and watched her happy tears roll down. 

This scene--this future script being written out--can be reality for me.

My legacy, the one I leave and the one that is handed down, will be my marriage, my life lived out behind closed doors. 

There will be generations of children, people affected by how I treat my husband today.  Walking in obedience to Jesus towards my husband can replay through the lives of my grandchildren.

I gasp for air as I think on this, try to wrap my heart and mind around it.  I have messed up so many times, showed my children just the opposite of all they should be seeing.  My marriage has been one of struggles, tears and frustrations.  But it’s also been one of mercy, grace and healing, as I walk in step with the Word and let it guide me. 

I need to silence the enemy's accusations that it is too late to start over, too late for our marriage.  I want a marriage full of love and harmony.  I want to fill my children's memories full of the good things we shared as a couple.  I'm going to blink and it'll all be over.  I have to live in Today and hold on tight to my husband.
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Three things you can do to intentionally love your husband and make this a reality for your marriage.

1).  Remember, always, that Jesus is your first husband.  He loves you with a perfect and everlasting love.  You are His and He can love you perfectly, filling up all the cracked areas in your soul, the ones your husband can’t fill but you want him to.  Jesus.  He is the one to cling to, to turn to when you can’t even breathe one more moment in your husband’s presence.  Please, please go to Him.  Spend time every day with Him, reading His life-giving Words, studying His blood shed for you and relishing in His forgiveness and grace.  You will be rewarded with words like these when you obediently go to Him first: 
"I came by again and saw you, saw that you were ready for love and a lover. I took care of you, dressed you and protected you. I promised you my love and entered the covenant of marriage with you. I, God, the Master, gave my word. You became mine.  Ezekiel 16:8

2). Walk towards your husband.  No matter how he has treated you.  No matter what he has done to you.  He is not perfect and he deserves as much grace as you do.  Jesus gave you grace.  Give it to your husband, too.  Don’t turn away from him.  Don’t’ shut your heart off to him.  Don’t close up and turn inside yourself.  Stay outward, always moving toward him, always holding your heart in your hand, like a gift you want to give him.  It’s OK.  Jesus is with you, walking with you, ready to catch your heart in case your husband mistreats it.  But don’t stop.  Don’t give up.  Always continue walking towards your husband. 
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8

3).  Forgive.  Forgive him, even though.  Tell him out loud that you forgive him.  Tell yourself that you forgive him.  Do it every day, every minute if you have to.  There is no successful marriage that is not built up by a thousand bricks of forgiveness.  This will take tremendous amounts of humility.  It’s OK.  It’s OK to not always be right.  It’s OK to not always win.  It’s OK to let go of the bitter grudge that’s lodged itself in your heart and has been there for a long time.  Jesus will heal that wound.  He’s got this.  Your marriage is not too big for him.  Remember how much you need God’s forgiveness.  Remember you are not perfect.  Remember how you cannot survive without daily doses of Mercy and Grace.  Your marriage cannot survive without your daily doses of oxygen in the life-giving form of forgiveness.
…he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  Titus 3:5
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.   Colossians 3:12-15

 
 About Amber:
Amber has a deep love for coffee, running, reading, her 4 girls and her husband, but probably not in that order.  She spends most of her days homeschooling her children and trying to keep the house somewhat picked up for her husband.  Her other love of cooking is what makes him OK with a messy house.  Amber is a new blogger and you can find her at Composing Hope.  She meets Hope in that writing place and wants to spread His healing words to the hurting world.         
                  

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.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Family

We may not always cheer for the same football team.
We may drive each other up the wall...several times a day.
We may not want to smile for pictures and sit just so.
We may have different ideas of what a fun time really is.
We may not see eye-to-eye and we probably will have different expectations at varying moments of life.
We might yell and scream or give each other the silent treatment.
We may not want to forgive, or forget, or move on.
But we will.
Because, at the end of every day,
we are still family.
We are bonded together both by choice and by God's design.
Eventually, we come to realize that the relationship is not just about
him
or her
or them.
But, rather, it is about us.
And if I had to choose between walking this life alone
or without them,
I would never choose the former.
Because to do that would be to reject one of the greatest gifts
God has ever given me.
And so I will receive it all with hands wide open.

Linking with Sandra on SaturdayDeidra on Sunday, and  Laura on Monday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Close Enough to Forget: The One about Sex



The honeymoon doesn't last. That is the short and simple truth of any relationship. There is a tangible grace period where forgiveness comes easy and every touch is magnified, every glance electrified.

Once you've been married a dozen years, that is long gone. Long. Throw in a few mistakes, some PTSD, and 4 kids and you've got yourself a recipe for apathy. Or bitterness.

So what do you do about it? Pray? Treat your spouse the way you want to be treated? Well, of course. That almost goes without saying.  But anyone who's been at this marriage thing long knows that those two things don't always have instant results. Relationship redemption can be a long row to hoe.

So I have one more suggestion. A lot of these issues, this desensitizing, is all in our head.  We grow comfortable, stagnant, we pull away, see our partner through a different lens. So here's a radical idea:

Change your lens.

Seriously. Pop those suckers out and snap in new ones. I know it sounds a little over-simplified but I swear, it can really make a difference. Want his touch to mean something again? Make it mean something.

Heck, pretend like it's new.  I promise you this, things will be a lot more *ahem* exciting if you don't take for granted that his hands have been on your neck thousands of times before.

One thing I've picked up from watching the marriages of others dissolve - when things go downhill in the bedroom it can be a very real beginning of the end.  This is a priority, folks. We can't get so close, so complacent in our relationships that we forget the magic and passion that we once felt for our other half.

So I challenge you, for one day, look at your husband with new eyes. Or old eyes. I'm not asking you to be delusional, just intentional.

Remember when that thing he's doing was cute instead of annoying. Remember when his helping you with something was appreciated instead of sized up beside the things he didn't help you with.  Remember when things like his bare collar bone turned you on.

And then *cough* take your new lens to the bedroom.

You're welcome.

Hi, I’m Jessica – the Matriarch of this here tribe.  I married, and bore my first Wild Thing at the ripe old age of 17.  Since then we’ve had a few more Wild Things, and a few more Anniversaries (3 and 11, to be exact).  I have almost exclusively attended the University of Motherhood with a major in Procrastination.  I’m hoping to continue in this field with a Masters in Baby-Weight loss.  We’ve been a fairly nomadic family, what with Husband serving 8 years in the Air Force and all – We have called Georgia, Arizona, Germany, California, and Maryland, and now Canada home.  And we’re hoping to keep the nomadic lifestyle up with an eventual move to south Asia.  
Want to read more Jessica?  Check out her piece of the blogosphere here at Bohemian Bowmans.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Remembering: When Ziploc Bags Fail

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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In preparation for the holidays, our family has an annual mission called Operation Clean-Out.  As I was cleaning out my own closet, I found a Ziploc bag which held two of my grandmother's t-shirts that I had taken with me after cleaning out her house after she died.  This is the unedited reflection I wrote after realizing that the scent that I tried so hard to preserve had leaked out anyway.  Thanksgiving is a time of great rejoicing, but for those who have lost, it sometimes takes some remembering to get to the gratitude.

When Ziploc Bags Fail

The marinade din't leak all over the shelf in the refrigerator and the bread didn't go stale, but somehow the aroma of my grandmother sneaked through the microscopic holes and so I cannot detect her scent any longer.

The two t-shirts I took from her dresser drawer as we packed up her house, I never dreamed I would actually wear them, only of capturing the days when I was young and I coudl smell her even before we loaded up the van, hitting the thousand miles between us.

Cleaning out my closet, I never had any intention of ridding myself of those two shirts.  They would live in their plastic homes for the rest of my life.  But upon deciding to relocate them to a different shelf, I closed my eyes.  I opened the bags, longing for the whiff that would transport me back into her presence.  But as I breathed deeply in with expectation, I was met only with the stale smell of the home of which they were residing...synthetic nothingness.

The tears brimmed in my eyes because I lost something I thought I had saved, but which had slipped through my fingers, just like she did two years ago.

I pulled the bag open wide and I pulled out these shirts and I held them close to my cheek, assured by the fact that her skin touched the cotton, and thus, here is her skin once again on me.

I hold up the first shirt, a black-ringed Mickey  Mouse shirt she bought sometime in the seventies when my parents were newly married.  Retro is in, so I hang it up amongst my t-shirts.  A new home that seems to suit it just fine, two generations later.

If I can't smell her, I'll just wear her, I think.

The second shirt I remember her wearing from pictures only, a homemade stenciling of the letters that spell out GRANDMA, her favorite title, I am sure.  It's the one she wore to celebrate my arrival, her very first grandchild.

And I slip this one back into the bag and I put it high upon the shelf.  But, one day, I'll wear this one, too.

Because I want my grandbabies to feel their great-great grandmother's skin on theirs, too.

Love a post linked up here?  Share it on Twitter with the #SDGsisters tag!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

what's EATING you?




Quiet time in the morning, 
fighting anxiety of what is to come in the future
and yet He leads me back to the present
I AM with you now.
Tell me what you need.
I will listen to you.
How have I failed you in the past?
Is your trouble bigger than I AM?
What do you wish for more,
control 
or 
peace?
And I realize,
real peace comes only when I lay it all down in front of 
the One who created it all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Close Enough to Forget: Terrible Nurse







About this series:  We all need encouragement, to be reminded we matter. Sometimes the nearest and dearest to us get the least of that needed encouragement. We've all spread ourselves too thin at times leaving little reserved for the ones we've committed to give to most, our spouse. So we're going to do something about it. We're going to focus on the ones living right under our own roof, sleeping in our own bed. But no worries if you're spouse-free. You can apply the encouragement to someone in your life who needs it: children, co-workers, friends, family members. Any soul will do because we all long to know we are seen and heard. Wherever you see "spouse," substitute someone else's name.  So grab a cup of coffee or whatever it is you're drinking today, and get ready to give a little. You'll be glad you did.
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I’m a terrible nurse.

There, I admit it. I’m just not very good at it. I enjoy routine, and someone being sick messes up the routine. I’m selfish. I don’t like someone coughing right next to me in the middle of the night or the sound of someone throwing up in the bathroom.

I think the biggest reason I’m a terrible nurse is because the golden rule doesn’t apply to me when someone else is sick. When I’m sick or not feeling well, I want to be left alone. I don’t want you to wipe my forehead with a wet rag. I don’t want you to rub my back. I don’t want you to sit with me and ask me how I’m doing. I just want to take my medicine, watch the history channel and get better. I want to sleep by myself and be left to my misery.

So when the shoe is on the other foot, I have to do the opposite of what I would want. I have to think to myself, “what would irritate me the most right now?” and then do that really irritating thing for my loved one. I have to go against my natural instincts and do this thing which is so . . . not me. I don’t want to do it, but I do it.

Right now you’re saying to yourself, “what is this guy doing?” This is the worst blog post ever on encouraging those who live close to us. You might be right. Let me see if I can salvage this.

Can he salvage this? Click here to continue reading over at Lori's place.


Comments turned off today so you can leave your thoughts at Lori's.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sole Sisters 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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My running partner, Kelli, and I ran the San Antonio half marathon on Sunday, but on Saturday we got to go to the big expo to pick up our packets and do a little pre-race shopping.  At the Run Girl Run booth, we found these extraordinary t-shirts with the words "Sole Sisterhood" written on the front.  Once we read the back, which says "friends to the finish," we just knew that these were made for us.  We promptly bought them, in matching colors, of course, because we are cheesy like that.

Sure, he has a leg that looks different, but aren't we all running?
As you all know, sisterhood is my thing.  As much as I like writing and speaking, I think of these things as means to an end -- they are tools that God uses to build community.  And community is what makes my heart flutter.  It's what gets my blood pumping and my spirit soaring.  It's where I see women rising up to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  It's where I see walls fall and Truth spoken.  It's where I see how God made us all different and yet, all the same.  It's a place where journeys start and where commitments are made to see each other to the finish line of life.  We are all running a race for Jesus and along the way, we all get injured.  We need someone to bring truth, a healing balm, to our tired and sore and hurting muscles.  When we run out of energy, we need someone to bring the Living Water to our parched lips.  When we run out faith in abilities, we need someone to remind us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  When we wonder why we ever undertook such a hard endeavor, we need someone to show us that His power is made perfect in our weakness.  And don't you love having your own personal cheering section?

I know that no community is perfect.  But it doesn't have to be perfect. We serve a God who is and who can use every experience in our lives to refine us and enrich us and to bring us closer to Him.  Yes, there is a chance your feelings may get hurt...or worse.  It's a risk to be vulnerable and put yourself out there.  But God has something for you in community that you cannot get anywhere else.  He did not create us to go through life alone.  He created us to share the hard things, the heart things.  He created us to share our souls, to help each other bear burdens, to love.

I wonder...what keeps you from being real, from really sharing your story, your burdens, your vulnerabilities?  I wonder...do you think it's worth the risk?  How can the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood be more of a community for you?  How can we be friends to the finish?
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Also, anyone want to take a wild guess (and NO CHEATING)?  How long do you think Soli Deo Gloria has been around?  No cheating means you can't go back and find the first post or look at the SDG tab.  Just take your best guess in WEEKS.  Perhaps there will be a sweet surprise for the one who is the closest!

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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.

Friday, November 9, 2012

cramming it all in

Unless the LORD builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the LORD protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.
It is useless for you to work so hard
from early morning to late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat,
for God gives rest to His loved ones.
Psalm 127: 1-2, NLT


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Close Enough to Forget: Then I realized...I did not marry a coffee maker

About this series:  We all need encouragement, to be reminded we matter. Sometimes the nearest and dearest to us get the least of that needed encouragement. We've all spread ourselves too thin at times leaving little reserved for the ones we've committed to give to most, our spouse. So we're going to do something about it. We're going to focus on the ones living right under our own roof, sleeping in our own bed. But no worries if you're spouse-free. You can apply the encouragement to someone in your life who needs it: children, co-workers, friends, family members. Any soul will do because we all long to know we are seen and heard. Wherever you see "spouse," substitute someone else's name.  So grab a cup of coffee or whatever it is you're drinking today, and get ready to give a little. You'll be glad you did.
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Today, the lovely Lori is hosting Marie (whom I do not know, but also whom I am sure to love) who is, in her words, a blogger and a homemaker.  She is married to her best friend and is the mama of an amazing baby boy.  She strives to encourage women, especially mothers, in their walk with Jesus.  But most of all, she laughs a lot, and rather loudly, mostly at herself. 
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There are things I encounter as I go about my day. Ordinary objects. I move around them so often
that they don’t even take up space anymore. I know where they are and how they feel and how they
smell and where they reside. The exact amount of room they leave in the rest of the world for me to
keep moving around them. I know exactly what they do, what I use them for, the place they keep, the
purpose they serve. All these things, these residents in my world that occupy my life. Fill it up with the
taking up of space, all in service to me. My bed, bathroom, toothbrush, hairbrush, coffee machine, mug,
couch, coffee table, blanket, TV.

Even my husband.

I move around him like a piece of furniture. That’s where he sits, how he moves, how he smells, how he
sounds. I’ve come to expect these feelings, sounds, movements. At times, they become white noise, like
the other occupants in my life. I shut off my mind and my heart, just expecting his presence, his words,
his touch, his service.

But he’s not an object. He’s a person.

I just expect, use, reuse, abuse.  Like an appliance...


To continue reading, please click here.
Comments closed here...leave your love at Lori's place.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Do you walk on water? 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.
To read more about the Soli Deo Gloria community, please click here.
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Today, I offer you my stream-of-consciousness thinking...

I think it's possible to walk on air
just like Jesus walked on water,
buoyed by the amazing power of the love of God.
Everyday, though, pressures seek to drag me down
until I am covered with muck and mire and the only thing I think I can do is
slog.
But God did not create me to slog.
He created me to walk on water,
to soar with wings like eagles,
to walk and not grow faint.
But somewhere along the way, I choose to leave my
armor by the wayside,
thinking that is just something else that might weigh me down
or impede my progress.
And there lies the deception,
the fatal mistake,
the precursor to me drowning in the sea
instead of taking His outstretched Hand
and walking on water.
I no longer want to be buried in details
or perceptions
or appearances.
I, instead, want to be uplifted by faith,
one foot in front of the other,
come what may.
It's not a happy-go-lucky attitude,
It's not an ignoring of feelings,
but rather, the addressing of feelings
and then turning them into an offering,
giving them back to the One who gave me
the ability to feel in the first place.
I wonder, do you ever drown in your feelings?
Fear?
Grief?
Hate?
Euphoria?
Anger?
In this surrender, I notice a shift in my desires -
chiefly to let go instead of hold on,

to breathe instead of always being breathless

to walk assuredly instead of hesitantly

to engage in miracles instead of doubting their presence in my life

to wrap up in Him instead of being nicely packaged for the world.

I think it is a declaration, a line drawn in the sand,
the old self put away, the new self donned.
It is here that I will stand with readiness,
to climb out of the boat,
take His hand,
and walk on water.


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Friday, November 2, 2012

the burdened esperanza

the esperanza, the one by the back fence
drooped heavily
and even though the bright yellow flowers still elicited
feelings of cheer and goodwill
it still could not shake the burden
of all the seed pods
weighting it to the ground.
and it makes me wonder
if we, too, walk around,
flaunting our flowers and good cheer
but perhaps the one with a keen eye
realizes that at the same time,
we are also drooping,
burdened by troubles and worries and other loads
that which we were not made to carry...
loads that the Master Gardener longs to prune

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Matthew 11: 29-30

Linking with Sandra on SaturdayDeidra on Sunday, and  Laura on Monday.