Sunday, August 28, 2011

..the righteous will live by his faith...Habakkuk 2:4

Back in February I posted about the first chapter in a book entitled Unexpected Wisdom. I have continued through this jewel of a book and would like to share some of the other chapters.

Habakkuk - Don't Fear the Dark was the title of the chapter and it was a great writing of encouragement and new insight. I love the word "journey". The author reminded me the faith I brought into my conversion is the same faith I need all through the journey of my life. It is a process. He also mentions that we rarely grow in a 5-star hotel, it is with challenge(darkness) that we move along.

"though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials so that the genuineness of your faith —more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." I Peter 1:7

I want to learn that darkness does not last forever. A lie that satan wants to tell us all. I have always told the girls that God doesn't play hide and seek in the sense that it is a game to harm us, to irritate us but there are times that God just doesn't speak. He has His own timing and when Habakkuk doesn't hear from God it presents darkness. When he finally does hear from God it isn't what Habakkuk wants to hear.

This week, I caught myself asking for something to go smooth and easy. I think that is fine, but isn't it just like us to want it to be smooth and easy? I also want to grow into who God wants me to be. That means I need experiences that show that my faith will stand firm. I look at a situation and see only a small piece. God is seeing the whole picture and so I need to realize as darkness comes my perspective needs to change. What is God trying to accomplish when I get into a situation that I don't like, that I don't feel safe in? Dying to self is part of the darkness, realizing I must trust!

I love the picture of Habakkuk 2:1 "I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me..." How could a book that only has three chapters (Habakkuk) be so good? It gets better and better. The author says something that is important for us to all remember as we walk in darkness and stumble. These difficulties are not ignored but neither are they what shape our lives. "That influence is reserved for God"

Part of our worship is the process of walking through darkness and calling out, waiting and listening to God. We know He is real and we will not let the world convince us otherwise!

Monday, August 22, 2011


While choosing my flight recently to Washington DC, I decided to fly in early afternoon so I could get on the metro and to Hannah and Jason's condo without all of the afternoon traffic. I arrived early enough to get to the grocery store before either of them arrived.

Later, as I walked into their apartment with hands completely full, I took a deep breath and put my bags down. Such peace came over me! This is the place where Hannah and Jason spend each evening and eat their meals, visit, put their decorating touch on, and live day in and day out. I walked through each room and prayed a blessing over it. God made my arrival such a JOY. I sat and read a bit before Hannah arrived. It was quiet and restful after a day of travel.

Many of the evenings I spent in DC I would walk down to the Potomac canal that is right on the side their apartment complex (by Fort McNair). There are benches along the water and it is so pleasant. I enjoyed the alone time and quiet. I would call Daniel some nights while I experienced this special time. Mainly I observed people, thought about different subjects that came to my mind and talked with God about all that He was providing me with as I visited. There were helicopters that came over head and there were sail boats that I enjoyed as I would sit and watch.

Hannah was a great patient and Jason could not have been any better at care taking!! Each day Hannah improved and as a week went by she began to get around. We really enjoyed cooking together and planning the meals. Their small group at NCC provided several meals. I had prayed they would experience community in this way during this time. What a wonderful feeling to be taken care of and thought of during a time of surgery.

On Friday night, I suggested they get out of the house and grab a movie!! I couldn't resist taking their picture. Their balcony was home for me that night and the clouds were beautiful(complete with their tomato plant -- yielding 12-13 tomatoes). So peaceful!!

The last weekend I was there we were able to enjoy worship on Sunday morning, took in some sights at the National Arboretum, and helped good friends, Matt and Jessie, move into their apt. I was there before and after the surgery, for recovery and even a few days that Hannah showed me some places that are important to the two of them.

After two weeks, Hannah drove me over to Baltimore to catch my plane. We went early and took in lunch and my first pedicure!! We shopped and said our goodbyes. My heart is peaceful as I experienced our sweet kids' world. They are in God's hands and He is a tender Father. Thank you for peace.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 18, 1979 -- 32 years of Walking Together

Don't we look grand....I love that I still miss Daniel when I leave town and that he calls many several times a day when I'm gone. I wrote words 2 years ago when I was in Lima as Corban was being born. Yes, we were apart -- me in Lima and him in Abilene - 2 years ago. But this year we are together in Abilene and have a movie and making dinner together planned.

As our girls have gotten married, it has caused me to reflect on our marriage in a realistic way. They have only really watched our marriage with marriage in mind for some short years. It is not quite fair for them to measure their marriages that are so new, and that are two completely different people against what they see in ours. We have had years to work it all out and still are in many ways.

God has been gracious to us and we have made many mistakes as we have travels. There has been much forgiveness and I always tell Daniel he is more gracious to me than I am of him.(continuing to ask for this more in my life)

When we do counseling with others on marriage we have a list of three things we feel we did well and three things we messed up. We talk about what we can see now and couldn't see back then. All by the grace of God have all of our days together been accomplished.

So today, I love where God has us and look with open hands for what He has for the future!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

To DC and Back

With my nifty little spiral in hand, I began to list all of the things I was thankful for as I got settled into my airplane seat both going to DC and coming back home recently. Here is my list -- it made all the difference in the world where my mind went as I experienced what my brain tells me can be very stressful and full of anxiety.

Giving thanks for:
  • takeoff was on time
  • no large men in my space
  • went to bathroom on plane before take off and survived
  • very happy stewardess, sense of humor
  • a little boy's voice
  • a mom sat next to me
  • the smile God put on my face
  • my pill works
  • Kathy Troccoli music on my iPod
  • aware of elderly woman near me
  • water was available
  • great reading of One Thousand Gifts - my eucharisteo book
  • able to get my carry-on bag up into loading space
  • aware of people I can pray for
  • my books are so comforting, what I am used to, familiar
  • faithfulness in my life
  • being invited by Hannah and Jason
  • Hannah's insurance
  • availability for me to come
  • pilots who know how to fly
  • friends of Hannah and Jason who I look forward to meet while in DC
  • Daniel - his tender care for me, his love, all of his calls and emails checking on me (he had left for Denver on Sat. and I left on Mon. to ride to Dallas and fly out so we weren't together for a couple of days prior to my leaving)
  • Wallace Family - who let me spend the night and so willingly drove me to the airport on Tues. morning

    I then began to name some our the people who are part of my community, Hope church of Christ, and was so very thankful for their gifts and abilities. I give thanks for what is happening in their lives and how they are walking with God.

    As I came home last night I enjoyed the list again....
  • calm feeling
  • "love never fails" on a back pack of the young girl who sat on my row
  • plenty of room
  • a mom and a high school student sat on my row
  • again a great book to read
  • right temperature
  • ears are not hurting
  • no long time to sit on plane before taking off
  • got to talk with Alison before getting on plane
  • WONDERFUL day in Baltimore (I flew out of BWI)with Hannah - Panera Bread (gluten free) and my first pedicure, shopping at Arundel Mills Mall -- wow, think she plans to take Jason some weekend
  • text from Hannah as get on plan and just as I land
  • will see Daniel soon
  • my reading brought a picture of a homeless man -- good thoughts
  • arm rest is movable
  • no rain on the day I fly
  • Hannah was released to drive before I left, leaving her available to drive today
  • aisle seat
  • ticket was a great price

    "While I may not always feel joy, God asks me to give thanks in all things, because He knows that the feeling of joy begins in the action of thanksgiving." Ann Voskamp