Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Healing Circles

The one with the fevered brow lifted up holy hands for the terrified sister.  And the terrified sister was more concerned for the one with the fevered brow than for her own untold agony.

The weakened recovering one let go of her anxiety so she could pray over the fearful soul.  Who had rubbed the aching limbs of the feverish one.  And the beloved matriarch who lived encased in endless pain sat in a holy watchfulness.  While the steady gentle giant once again lifted his friends to Jesus even while he already had enough prayers that needed to be said.

And the valiant brother who was fighting untold pressure wanted to know how he could pray.  While the exhausted sojourner stuffed with grief sat still with eyes resting closed.  And the faithful women who already carried too much on overfull platters steadily pounded on heaven's door, beseeching the Healer to come down and bring renewed life to the ones they loved.

The friends on the sidelines kept watch in prayer.  And in faith believing, they began to cut a large ragged healing circle in the fragile ceiling, lowering their loved ones on worn out mats right down in front of the Wounded Healer Himself.

The Holy One whispered over and over again, 'peace I leave you, my peace I give you.  I do not give as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.' 

And the hopeful soul gained a clearer perspective as she remembered that a new friend had penned the truth that the trouble with fear is it tells you things will always be the way they are now.  And all that being said, the Comforter cradled her heart and the renewed peace that passes understanding rocked her gently to sleep. 

And the midnight snow silently fell as the springtime moonlight glistened bright.

visiting with Lyli
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Gleanings : : Cool Eggs * Quiet Readers * Bad Reviews * Top Blogs * Best Questions

Gathered from hither and yon . . .
{simply gorgeous}
'You can create this dramatic display with just two 0.25-ounce vials of blue dye you may already have in the kitchen ...'

{I still love knowing you're there anyway}
'Dear Blog Reader Who Has Never Commented, I have had this little letter in my drafts for a while now and I typically don’t talk about bloggy things around here.  Lately, though, I’ve thought of you more because some of you I’ve met in person.  And nearly every time, you mention a specific blog post that has meant something to you, followed by, “I know I never comment. I’m so sorry.”  Please forgive the weird look on my face.  I’m not great on the spot ...'

{sheer honesty}
'You know better.  Of course, you do.  You know better than to read blog posts about your book.  You know better than to Google yourself.  You know better than to troll a list of “best blogs” looking for your own absent name.  You know better than to ignore the 5-star reviews and only read the 1- and 2-star reviews.  You know better than to measure your self-worth by the measuring sticks of another.  Of course you know this.  But some days ...'

{some surprises here}
'There are thousands of ministry blogs to read, but do you ever wonder which ones everyone else is reading?  I do, which is why I have compiled a list of the world’s most read Christian faith blogs.  Keep in mind, this list isn’t an endorsement of the blogs but rather an objective list.  There is a broad scope of perspectives included, so be spiritually discerning about what you read and compare it against what the Bible says ...'

{phenomenal questions that cut right to the chase}
'The average American home size has doubled in the past 50 years.  Still 10% of households rent offsite storage and 25% of homeowners with two-car garages can’t park cars in them.  76% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck.  And the average US household credit card debt stands at $15,191.  It appears we have a spending problem.  We buy far more than we need.  And yet, our filled closets, overflowing drawers, and crammed basements stand as proof that purchases are not improving our lives.  Our discontent is evidenced in our excess ...'

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Joy of Resting

'There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;
for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work,
just as God did from His.
Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest.'
 >     Hebrews 4: 9 - 11    <
photo / early 1950s / Scotland
sharing His Word at Deidra's
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

5 Ways to Recover From What Ails You

Ah, here I was rejoicing in spring, glorying in new life and warm breezes.  And then BOOM, from out of nowhere, my health went south.  In a matter of hours.

Maybe I flung those windows open too soon?  Whatever. 

What to do when you end up under the weather?

1.  Call the doctor.
I ain't no hero.  It took me more than three decades to find a decent primary care doc.  You bet that if I need some meds, I'm on the phone.  This guy saw me in an hour.  You just can't do better than that.

2.  Fill the fridge.
I mustered up my energy and headed to the market for some fresh fruits and crisp veggies.  A big ol' chicken for the crockpot.  Lots of juice.  And then stopped by the local Chinese restaurant for THE ultimate comfort food - a quart of steaming hot, flavor-packed wonton soup.

3.  Buy pansies.
They were gorgeous, they beckoned, their cheerful purple and yellow faces made me smile, they were on sale.  Need I say more?

4.  Cancel life. 
Everything gets put on hold.  I can't think of a single soul interested in my germs, my sneezing, my wadded up tissues.  I'm staying in, drinking gallons of water, and keeping my misery to myself.

5.  Veg out.
These are those rare moments when you have full permission to do nothing.  To lay on the sofa ensconced in your favorite quilt and sleep the afternoon away.  To leaf through a magazine or space out in front of old episodes of Call the Midwife.  Or write a few lines about getting your health back.

This post is in honor of those special ladies in my life who are dealing with major health issues.  My puny ailments don't hold a candle to the seriousness of what you're experiencing.  You know who you are.  And you know I'm praying for you.
recovering with Nancy  *  Laura  *  Kristen  *  Holley
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Final Farewell

Dear Snow ~

I've just gotta say that I am beyond grateful that you have finally melted from the scene.  It's been a frigid, endless winter and I really thought you'd never make your final departure.  My little 3 year old granddaughter actually wept last week as she spied a fresh early morning layer of your fluffy white presence on her lawn.

Enough is enough. 

The crocuses and daffodils are bursting out in all their radiant glory and buds are pushing their way into view high up in the trees.  What a joy to fling the windows wide open, pack away those heavy sweaters, and put my feet up out on the back porch.

And wonder of wonders?  I know that flip flops, t-shirts, and brightly colored tootsies can't be far behind.

To everything there is a season.  And at least around these parts, yours is gone.

A joyful adios.

 * image creator unknown
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Monday, April 7, 2014

Attentive Companions

There is within each of us a yearning to be heard.  To be known, to be validated, to be understood. 

Good listeners are hard to find.  We're way too busy planning our brilliant, witty responses.  Or juggling our endless mental to-do lists.  We're all about focusing on what's coming next.  Or figuring out how to make a fast exit. 

And the soul in desperate need of an attentive companion silently shrinks back into herself, yet another casualty of our endless self-absorption.

And we wonder why we seem to come up short when it comes to deep relationships, the kindred spirit kind.


Henri Nouwen said it best.  'To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations.  True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.

Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond.  Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings.  The beauty of listening is that those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. 
The barometer of your listening savvy?  You are so safe for another that she can feel free to silently rest in the hospitality of your company without the need of words ... or fear of judgement.
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*   visiting with Michelle  .  Beth  .  Kristen  .  Holley   *
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