November 29, 2011

Keeping Watch

The Advent Altar  occupies the kitchen corner, fresh candles and a new Advent resource alongside the familiar wreath and the small nativity. I carefully write last year's message on the board, reminding us to Prepare...our home and our hearts.

Yet this year, there is a new message on my heart. Its whispers, deep in my spirit, nearly reach my ears.  It dominates my thoughts and I hold fast to it.

I erase last year's message and painstakingly write this single command,


Watch for the Redeemer made incarnate.

Watch for the unexpected.

Watch for the miraculous.

Set aside the distractions and just watch.

In this season of celebrating the Babe in a manger, I find myself watching for Immanuel, God with us.

Watching for His guidance, as my husband graduates from college.

Watching for His plan, as we continue to search for a job.

Watching for His grace, as the benefits we counted on are cut.

Watching for His provision, as our savings dwindle and our income is once again drastically reduced.

And so while we wait, we watch.

O my Strength, I will watch for you,
   for you, O God, are my fortress.
~Psalm 59:9 (ESV)

November 11, 2011


Reading these posts, I am flooded.

Flooded by memories 

of caramel-colored children...their beautiful faces beaming despite their circumstances.

of run-down shanties,,,too numerous to count.

of proud young soldiers...realizing their need for Christ.

of the pieces of my heart...left on another continent.

Flooded by tears

as I look at the photographs

as I look back at my own

Compassion Bloggers: Ecuador 2011

Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' 
~Matthew 25:44-45 (ESV)

November 3, 2011

It's Not About Me

The blog has been dormant for almost a month. Writing has taken a back seat to living. The days have been filled with being a helpmeet and a mother.  The stock pot and canning pot have been hard at work again and the freezers are brimming with food prepared for the winter. I am ready to nestle in this, my favorite of seasons.

Yet there is much to do.  R will graduate next month. I cannot wrap my brain around that sentence. This season in our lives is nearly over, another one, yet unknown, peeks its head over the horizon. We are back to waiting. I'd forgotten how painful waiting can be. I'm seeing signs of nerves rubbed raw and I nearly crumble at the thought.  I've gone back through the archives to relive our journey and to remind myself that God is faithful. Victory is coming, though I confess I don't like not knowing how or when. I try to be content with just knowing it's out there. I remind myself how gracious God has been these past two years.

Yes, two years.  We'd talked about the approaching date, seeing it there on the calendar and marveling at the amount of time gone by. It was a fleeting thought, soon buried under a mountain of homework, chores, and daily routines.  When we didn't think about it again until the date had passed, I realized that we no longer define our life in terms of one event. That it did not destroy us, but that God has used it to display His glory. Oh! how I pray we have pointed to Him through this! 

Two recent worship experiences have made me wonder about that.  The first, a worship service in another church that was so completely God-centered it astounded me. I left that place with an ache in my heart, a longing for what I've been missing.  The second, a challenge from a friend to pay attention to our worship songs - do we sing more about ourselves than God? I went into service with that thought swirling through my mind. After one chorus, I knew the answer.  Even a chorus that proclaims to be getting back to the heart of worship is about man.  Determined NOT to sing about myself, I listened for true worship songs.  Singing just those songs brought me to a place of worship I had not known for longer than I care to admit. I saw how paltry my worship offerings have been.

And so once again I wrestle with blogging. I am keenly aware that any attempts I make here to magnify Him are small - miniscule, really - in comparison to what He has done.  Words cannot describe it and I feel foolish even trying. But should I give up? I honestly don't know.

I do know that I don't want this blog to be about me. In this world of unending self-promotion, I want praise the One who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6-8, ESV)

I will continue to take up this corner in the blogosphere, tiny as it may be. And I hope you'll continue to join me, even if our meetings are few and far between.