Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.
Psalm 85.10
How could this be? Who could have arranged such a phenomenon? Where? When?

God Almighty.
A cross on Calvary.
Long ago, but everyday.


What more can He do than He's already done?
There is no greater love than this.
None in all the world.


Monday, January 24, 2011

His Workmanship

A dear friend recently said this about me:
If you were to tell me that someone could be a strong, vibrant, talented, opinionated, beautiful woman and a humble, submissive, respectful, honoring wife before I met Darlene, I wouldn't have believed you. I wouldn't have, I promise you. I thought you had to be one or the other. Darlene teaches me that a woman is most fully alive when she is being exactly who God created her to be, without exception.
Lore F.
So I guess that's one perspective, one impression. And I must admit, I like it. But who am I, really?

I have been found in Christ, soaring free, moving with grace, daily changed and currently being made into who I am momentarily by His Spirit -- ever since giving my life to Him.

Before? A creature shaped by sin, circumstance, daily in bondage to and being formed by the enemy of every human soul. Burdened, misshapen, crippled. Functioning? Quite. Successful? Yes, according to many. And I thought I was choosing and creating who they all saw me to be. The charade was working. It was fooling even me.

But then He began. He challenged me to the core of my existence, meddled with who I thought I was. Asked hard questions. Asked hard things. And, in time, I said yes to the questions, the requests.

I was no longer. I ceased to exist. At least it felt that way. He was removing the falsehoods, the pretense, the pride, the rebellion. And there was nothing left, so I thought.

Then a gentler, kinder me came into view - but strong still, and more confident than before, free-spirited and soaring. Did He take away the stuff He had made? No. Was it released to be what He had designed. Yes.

Remodeled. That's what I say. By a master.

A work still in progress, by the way. The polishing continues, the gentle shaping. Nope, He's not done yet. I'm in His hand forever.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Warm Food and Sunshine

The 6:30 alarm brings awareness of a new day dawning.

Sub zero temps. Company's in the house. And all the usual crew as well.

My mind wraps around these facts and computes an answer: pancakes and sausage with fresh brewed coffee.

Slippers and fleece robe are donned. I tread the steps softly and quickly to find company already up. Beans are ground, batter stirred, and griddle warmed. By now golden sun has filled the room with a bright glow. The fragrance of brewed coffee and griddled pancakes add warmth. The table is soon surrounded with happy folk and lively talk about presidents past and Jeopardy computer matches yet to come.

Sun, warmth, fragrance, and happy talk. This kind of company makes for a pleasant morning. For sure.

Monday, January 17, 2011

God Is... God

You know, He is a big God. He can handle it. He can deal with it.

Just reminding you and me, that's all. It's something to remember when you feel overwhelmed.

You cannot do it, no matter how hard you try. You weep, you pray, you try your level best. But He moves hearts, delivers from the enemy, and restores souls. Only His Spirit can prevail.

So pray, do what you can, love, and do what you can some more. But in the end, it's His to complete. He must. We can't.

We can't.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gigi Is Happy Again

Everyone seems to be talking about house projects. Well, I have my own about which to boast. A redo has recently taken place in my kitchen: Gigi's cage has a fresh look. A new perch shaped like a tree branch reaches across the highest point of her cage. Colored chunks of wood woven on coarse knotted rope hang in the far corner. Rectangular treats (clusters of various and sundry seeds cemented with honey) dangle from the top cross wire.

Gigi has been quiet for the past several weeks. I thought perhaps she was showing signs of old age, maybe even edging toward death.

But as of yesterday's renovation, something has changed. This morning she chirped happily during breakfast devotions. Later, while the girls painted and listened to Haydn's The Seasons, she broke out into wild sound as the flute played and the soprano sang. Then came The Surprise Symphony. The gentle theme was presented, but soon came the sudden blast of sound designed to surprise those members of the audience who may have been entertaining thoughts of rest! Gigi soundly reprimanded such audacity with a raucous scolding. "Oh, if only Haydn were here right now!" I thought to myself with a smile.

Who would've known? A change of pace in mid-winter helped even our little yellow, fine feathered friend!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Heart Is His


Swollen and tender
Filled to exploding

His Hand holds such fragility with care.

He breaths

My heart feels

Hurting, but at peace

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Multi-tasking -- Not For Me

Is that a fairly current, newly coined term? I don't know for sure, but I do know that the concept escapes me. Well, at least the implementation of the concept. I suppose at times it seems I am capable of all that it seems to imply as I put the gear in overdrive and focus on getting dinner served, the table set, and a conversation carried out -- but mostly not.

Yeah, not so much.

Female I may be, but none the less, I get frazzled when there is too much going on.

My brain is fried when trying to sort out travel arrangements for a household of young adults with two vehicles and seven schedules.
When sauteing the onions in a luscious cup of butter, it all burns on my watch if I am trying to change the laundry over at the same time.
If daughter number six needs my attention and son number two knocks on the door with a question all while hubby calls for a clean T-shirt, I am undone.

Guess I'm old, or out of that league, or not in on this supposedly feminine aptitude.

Whatever the reason, I'm looking for ways to simplify life, to slow down the pace, to do one thing at a time. And in a houseful of young adults and teens, with an eleven year old thrown in, that is not always easy to do.

Yeah, not so much.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Life In the Light

Darkness hides yucky things. Oh, the things that go bump in the dark are more real than we want to think.

Darkness leaves us stumbling through life until the years are wasted and all we've done is wander. When it's all but dribbled away we can still step into the light and start walking a clear path. How much better that is than stubbing toes, running into walls, or ending up in the wrong room.

Darkness has no sparkle. The fool's gold's glimmer has subsided and is no more. There is no light to bring back it's glimmer. We learn too late that we bought the lie. Darkness is like a black hole, drawing us near until we fall into an utter lack of light. Immense absence of light. A horrible existence void of sight.

A dear friend just reminded me of Plato's cave -- upon emergence from the cave the light is frightening, blinding at first, and excruciatingly painful, but one must get over the initial fear and pain to discover the sun as the source of light that enables one to see.

Darkness robs us of sight, of clarity. It allows deception, allows formlessness to become reality in our minds.

It is weird. It is unpleasant, but those accustomed to it learn to cower from light. Oh, may I never hide from true Light.

Common sense would say: Don't hide in dark corners or you will soon adjust to the diminished ability to see. Your eyes will no longer accept the entrance of light without pain and effort; you will be more comfortable with not seeing. That is a sorry way to live life. Devastatingly sad. The end is more to be pitied than the sorrows and affliction that accompany many who walk in the light.

"By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible." Hebrews 11.24-26
Now that's the kind of sight I want to have -- so keen and sensitive that the Son shining on that which is invisible becomes sight for me.

"Lord, let me walk in the light. Let me be honest before You, refusing the deceptions of darkness, declining to agree with pretense and lie. Oh, let my eyes see the path of righteousness and the beauty of truth that surrounds You. Oh, King of Light, defeat every dark spirit around me. Bring Your light that reveals the dark deceptions of the prince of darkness. Amen and amen."

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

He Is the Help I Need

Can't press on? In your weakness He's strong.
Can't work up hunger? He whets our appetites.
Can't do anything but turn an eye to Him? He'll be looking your way. His eye is on you.
Can't find joy? He'll bring it with the morning.
Can't change your attitude? From glory to glory He's changing you.
Can't pray? The Son intercedes for us.
Can't cross over? He's prepared the Egyptian to help find the way. (See I Samuel 30)

He is our all in all. All we need in all situations. Always.

He carries me from start to finish. What a wonder. What a God.

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Right Corner of the Ring

A season of warfare. I understand that there are seasons in life. Seasons come and go. When in the midst of a season, we cannot know for sure exactly how much longer that season will be. There are signs, of course, if one can read them. But we don't have the details of change: when, how, and what.
But one thing is certain - the season will come to an end and there will be transition to a new season in time.

For now, I'm in a season of warfare. I am realizing that I must learn to hear His voice and trust in His keeping power no matter what the season. I don't need to, indeed I shouldn't, wait for a particular season to end in order to experience joy and peace in His love. It is there for me now.
So. It's warfare. Sword and shield time in a most aggressive way.

God reminded me tonight that although the enemy would flaunt power, shout big ugly lies, and carry on as though he were important he is actually miniscule by comparison to my great big God. His power was, after all, created by my Redeemer, the Creator of the universe. He is a liar, a wimp, a loser. He is all air. A big noise but so small next to my Dad. My Dad can take him anytime He wants. He just lets him vaunt himself every now and then for our sake. It causes our faith to grow, lets us flex our spiritual muscles, and always brings Him glory in the end. He is a Loser (with a Capital L.) This Loser thinks he has so much on us, but every bad thing he tries to do to us is turned around by God for our good.

So although the season has not yet concluded, I was reminded of how the conclusion will play out. So I'll keep at it until that comes. Good to be in the winner's corner in times like these.