Monday, July 21, 2014

A Morning's Hush

O'er thy spirit gently stealing,
Visions of delight revealing
Breathes a pure and holy feeling,
All through the night.

There's a hush in my house this morning.  In the background is a light, barely audible enhancement of classical music playing. Somewhere nearby I can hear the coffee pot as it sputters into existence a new morning's brew.  Beyond these minimally invasive sounds is the timelessness of the hush.  Here it is easy to be still and know.

Just down the hall from me sleeps my daughter, much as she did all the years she harbored in our home.  She and her family came for the weekend, leaving her behind when they departed yesterday. Her stay has been extended an extra three days, which means her Dad and I have her all to ourselves.  We giggle, ever-so selfishly & equally unapologetically.

I've not had the need to manufacture a hush for many years.  Oh, I manage to sequester the early morning hours because they have long been my daily launching pad; and some mornings bring with it a hush of its own.  But the hush I experience today is a different thing altogether.  It's where breathing the pure & holy negates the need for air.  It can arrive as anticipated, it can fall, or it can be manufactured.  All three forms are pregnant with anticipation, even as the soul cozies up to the reverie it generates.  For me, hushes are often prayerful ~ and prayerful in such a way that words aren't necessary.  I couldn't utter or offer words if even I had them.

Today my mother's heart guards this hush while my beloved daughter sleeps.  There's no need to disturb her.  There's no need to start the laundry, turn on the T.V., clean to the foot-stopping motivation of the Beach Boys, or chat on the phone.  Hear I sit, no work important enough for my hands to do, grateful that our Molly survived so hideous an ordeal as a battle with Ovarian Cancer, that she sleeps beneath my roof, and that she lives on ~ if for no other reason than to allow for this hush.  With tears, I know in all reality it's a hush God has created just for us; and for just such a time as this.

Sleep my child.

(Molly, Tom, Rylie & Beagle Pup Dexter.  
Megan & Ava are missing, having gone 
camping with the other grandparents).

Sleep my child and peace attend thee,
All through the night.
Guardian angels God will send thee,
All through the night.

Soft the drowsy hours are creeping;
Hill and vale in slumber sleeping;
I my loved ones' watch am keeping
All through the night.

Angels watching, e-er around thee,
All through the night.
Midnight slumber close surround thee,
All through the night.

While the moon her watch is keeping,
All through the night.
While the weary world is sleeping,
All through the night.

O'er they spirit gently stealing,
Visions of delight revealing
Breathes a pure and holy feeling,
All through the night.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fire ~ Devastation & Refinement

Most of you have heard or seen the devastation sweeping, literally, across the face of eastern Washington State.  Wild fires are burning, many 0% contained, in a vast expanse of land mass.  The raging flames have come within a few miles of us, and every day for the past four we have been socked in by smoke-filled, ash-laden skies. Any semblance of view or normalcy is obliterated by it.

High temperatures, tinder dry fuel (sagebrush, Pine trees and miscellaneous scrub), dry storms with lightning coupled with high winds have conspired against thousands of acres and an equal number of people.  

These are definitely not a controlled burn.

It's hard to envision anything good coming from the fires raging here when there are people who've lost homes, farms, barns, livestock and every semblance of personal possessions.  Many have been impacted in just such a way, while others rush about in bold and heroic attempts to stem the blaze's aggression or to offer comfort to those afflicted.  All around is the juxtaposition of devastation against benevolence.

People don't really understand that fire
regenerates, and it's a natural process
that the earth needs.
~ Grace Stanley
Montana Conservative Corps

(Photo:  I captured this last evening, 
when the haze lifted ever-so-briefly
 to reveal smoke-plumes
bathed in light.)

Today I am keenly aware that there is a God ~ Only One, a Father ~ Who judiciously and wisely understands & applies the outworking of a controlled burn; the Refiner's Fire.  While I would have it avoided at all costs, He is not so inclined to indulge.  Fire, even a wildfire, can produce amazing things.  Old dead things are consumed.  New things, good things, are given opportunity to take root.  

Before my very eyes is this object-lesson.  It brings me no joy, in and of itself.  Even so, I can see the day when even these scorched lands and burdened souls will be made new.  

Please join me in praying for those affected by fire ~ be it the literal flames of nature's fury, or those meant for spiritual refinement.  As a community we can offer support and comfort ~ hope ~ for the coming new day and clear skies.  

For everyone will be salted with fire.
Mark 9:49

Behold, I have refined you, but not
as silver; I have tried you in the 
furnace of affliction.
Isaiah 48:10

But He knows the way I take;
when He has tried me, I shall
come out as gold.
Job 23:10

I counsel you to buy from Me gold
refined by fire, so that you may be
rich, and white garments so that you
may clothe yourself and the shame
of your nakedness may not be seen,
and salve to anoint your eyes, 
so that you may see.
~ Revelation 3:18

Bless be the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ!  According to His
great mercy, He has caused us to be
born again to a living hope through 
the resurrection of Jesus Christ from 
the dead, to an inheritance that is 
imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you, who by God's
power are being guarded through faith
for a salvation ready to be revealed
in the last time.  In this you rejoice,
though now for a little while, if 
necessary, you have been grieved by
various trials, so that the tested
genuineness of your faith ~ more 
precious than gold that perishes 
though it is test by fire ~ may be 
found to result in praise and glory 
and honor at the revelation 
of Jesus Christ.
~ 1 Peter 1:3-7 

(Photo: Taken by local newscasters
just down the road from us about 30 miles,

Thursday, July 17, 2014

They Had Me at "Ya'all"

There's been a virtual beehive of activity at our house since landing here a mere six weeks ago.  I doubt I've ever enjoyed the settling process more or worked harder at so doing. 

It's a foregone conclusion that we delight in our family here, the home we've claimed as our own, & the memories that come-and-go throughout each countrified day.  I spent many a childhood moment in these environs, having traveled from the prissy, girly realms of my mother's house to the barefooted, bug hunting, night-crawler digging home of my mostly boy cousins.  

Moreover, this is where my father grew up, attended high school, helped on the family farm & the raising of his younger siblings (his father having died prematurely), and furthered his education in fishing and hunting.   A man's man, he actually handled our prissy girl world quite well.  But make no mistake, this is where he grew his grit.

This is cowboy country.  Far & wide are pastures and corals, barns and rails, & amber waves of grain ~ as well as the ever-meandering Okanogan River.  The folk here are ... well ... folks. Whether a Walmart clerk, a gas station attendant, a shop keeper, a pastor or a waitress, people are engaged and engaging.  Making eye-contact is easy.  It's hardly Texas, where one would expect a drawl, but "ya'll" pretty much describes the tenor and tone of this tucked away turf I now call home.   

I pause today to give thanks.  I do it quite often these days, but today it overtakes me like a fresh & refreshing wind.  

It is, after all, a good day ya'll.

He lead them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord
for His unfailing love.
and His wonderful deeds for mankind,
for He satisfies the thirsty and fills
the hungry with good things.
~ Psalm 107:7-9

Friday, July 11, 2014

Living the Blessable

Today I'm spending some time & sharing some thoughts over at Lisa Shaw's place.  Won't you join me there?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Moving On

I will instruct you and teach you in 
the way you should go; I will counsel
you with My eye upon you.
~ Psalm 32:8 ESV

There are times in my life when I've lingered long in or at one place: locations, jobs, friendships, homes, attitudes, beliefs, hairstyles, etc. That inclination to linger is fueled by any number of good & not-so-good things:  the need for stability, vanity, curiosity, the joy associated with that particular person/place/thing, the fear of change, orneryness, etc.  

Then there comes a season when I know it's time to move on.  Most often it's a conscious decision ~ a choice on my part ~ born of need and/or vision.  At other times, it's a gradual, sometimes imperceptible distancing, as if I had somehow wandered through the process unawares.  

Good or bad, happy or sad, frightening or joy-filled, moving on requires the letting go of one thing in order to grasp the new, often better thing.  Then, sometime hence you look back to realize how far you've traveled, or how much you've gained or lost, or have let go of.  It can entail a sense of awe & gratitude, or it can entail sorrow; sometimes remorse.  The choice of how to look at such things often resides in that space between my ears.

Regardless, moving on is the built in chronology of living.  We go forward willingly & joyfully; we go kicking & screaming; we go in a state of oblivion.  But we go.  

The good news about the Good News is that we can know, whichever way or however we move on, it is for our own good and His glory, ultimately.

In Him, moving on is always moving up.

Not that I have already obtained this (knowing
& becoming like Christ) or am 
already perfect, but I press on to make it
my own, because Christ Jesus has made me
His own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I
made it on my own.  But one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind and straining
forward to what lies ahead, I press on 
toward the goal for the prize of the upward
call of God in Christ Jesus. 
~ Philippians 3:12-14 ESV

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sustaining Strength by Veronica Scurry

Today Veronica Scurry provides valuable insight on the power of Christian community.  Her post, Sustaining Strength, is the newest at the Women Walking with Jesus ministry site of Lisa Shaw. I invite you to meander there for some heartfelt transparency.