Friday, October 30, 2015

most to give

"We are to measure our lives by loss and not by gain, not by the wine drunk but by the wine poured forth, for Love's strength stands in Love's sacrifice, and he who suffers most has most to give."

These words fairly sprang from the page to take hold of my thought life today, and I have been working with them, weighing and measuring, asking...

I suppose in a sense we do measure our lives by losses in the shattering, distracting way that they change us from our foundations and forever. But I don't believe that I have made an intentional practice of turning loss on its ear and seeing the great privilege and blessing there. I have seen it in glimpses, known the truth of it -- in some measure-- but have not firmly attached the challenge and the joy to my heart and life.

But it's true. And I should.

For example, saying farewell to my mother. That loss changed me in elemental ways. My thinking, my perspective, absolutely every aspect of my life was touched in some way (and that is stating it quite ridiculously mildly) by her death.

Having survived it, living joyfully, purposefully in spite of that through God's great power and mercy, I can see and I know what others may not. When I meet someone who has lost his or her mom, I understand. It's not merely an acquaintance with an idea of that loss, I know down to my toes the fullness of the grief that attaches itself to you in that circumstance and will not fade. I cannot know precisely the heart of another, but I have borne that loss and can help bear that burden.

What a joy? What a blessing? Yes and yes.

I would not ask for it. If I should, well, I have to honestly say to this point, I cannot. And I cannot imagine a time that I ever would.

Today, though, I have come awake to the fact that there is a "more" there for me. It will be one of the great works of my life to purpose to see great loss, great challenge, great sacrifice as the gift of having something more to give. I can see these things as a privilege, a part of what the Father gifts to me for others. Whew! That is almost too much to write, much less do! But if only just, I can add this "more" to my list of thankful things. And I can add it to my hopeful things. As I walk with Christ, may He perfect these things in me. May he do what I know beyond knowing that I simply cannot do.

Enough for now ♥

quote from Ugo Bassi, via Elisabeth Elliot

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

the great care

Get rightly related to God first.
Be a Christ-follower heart and soul.
Maintain that as the great care of your life.
Absolutely everything else comes second.

On the peaks and in the trenches and everywhere in between
with Uncle Oswald & Matthew today ♥

My Utmost for His Highest
Matthew Chapter 6:33

Monday, October 26, 2015

stillness

"Stillness. Perfect stillness. It is a very great gift, not always available to those who would most appreciate it and would find joy in it, and not often appreciated by those who have it but are uncomfortable with it.

*I think it is possible to learn stillness --but only if seriously sought.

The stillness in which we find God is not superficial, a mere absence of fidgeting or talking. It is a deliberate and quiet attentiveness --receptive, alert, ready."

From my time with the Father and EE today ♥

* Psalm 46:10, Is 30:15

Friday, October 23, 2015

for this day

A little love note in my email just now...

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you,
do not fear fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41: 13

My hand is the only thing that you can grasp without damaging your soul.
Jesus Lives: Sarah Young

Thank you, Dad! Just perfect for this day ♥

Thursday, October 22, 2015

so beautiful

I look at them. They are so beautiful to me. Their faces, their smiles, their ways, their hearts have become the gorgeous symphony of my life. And I wonder... in the moments of my days am I making known to them how very precious they are to me? Even more, am I transparent, so that the life of Christ is visible to them in me?

O, my heart ♥

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

my model

"I pray for a clear eye to see through the fog of popular opinion, and a will strong enough to withstand the currents --a will surrendered, laid alongside Christ's. He is my model. This means a different set of ambitions, a different definition of happiness, a different standard of judgement altogether..."

By the Father's love and grace, wisdom and power,
to live a life surrendered, a life different ♥

quote from Elisabeth Elliot
Keep a Quiet Heart

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

group

Rejoicing in one of the thankful things this afternoon :)

I have the great privilege of spending my Tuesday mornings with a precious group of ladies. We range in age from twenty-something to seventy-something. Our daily days are spent quite differently, and most of us were not acquainted until the beginning of September of this year.  But, oh! How I love them! Already the Father has woven them into a special place in my heart. I come away from my time with them blessed beyond telling. The way they see the Father and the ways they share... I never fail to come away with so much more than I imagined or can express. The Father teaches me through them each and every week.

What a joy to be among them, to be one of the group ♥

Monday, October 19, 2015

cross out

"A young woman came in great perplexity to a Scottish preacher, asking how she could resolve the question of her own desires when they seem to be in such contradiction to the will of God.

He took out a slip of paper, wrote two words on it, handed it to her with the request that she sit down for ten minutes, ponder the words, cross out one of them, and bring the slip back to him.

She sat down and read: No Lord

Which to cross out? It did not take her long to see that if she was saying No she could not say Lord, and if she wanted to call Him Lord, she could not say No."

A "little" reminder from EE this morning ♥

Monday, October 12, 2015

over and over

crisp, bright blue skies
so clear that the faintest wisps of the edges of the pretty puffed clouds are visible

autumn-painted leaves
deep, rich oranges and purples on the tips of scattered branches dancing and whispering hello

the fields
lush green, fall yellow, and even the gentle, light green of brand new growth

What a beautiful day! Creation tells the story over and over...
He lives! He lives!

Prayer and praise, it's a beautiful testament to God's imagination, His power, and His love. It's a gentle, potent reminder of His grace and His mercy --which is brand new every morning ♥


Friday, October 9, 2015

miss m and me

My eldest sweetling is on my mind this afternoon. She has continued her habit of writing notes and leaving them for me on my bedside table. How I cherish them! This week brought a new day for us in the note passing. She wrote a one and a half page missive on her struggles and frustrations this week --and hand delivered it to me with a very stern countenance. She had quite a lot to say, and her eyes were flashing as fiercely as I have ever seen them! She stood quietly by and watched and waited as I read through the note.

I gave her a hug and told her that I wanted some time to think things over, and that I would talk through everything with her the next day.

Once again, I found myself thankful beyond words that the Father has made a way for M and me to communicate. Even when it's a big subject or a hard subject or an embarrassing subject, we find ourselves finding a way to share. O my heart!

Too, there is the method. She was angry to the point of tears about some of the things she had to say. But she did not scream and stomp. She used her words... on paper... with lots of capitals and exclamation points, mind you... but respectfully and with humor as well, knowing that I would read everything and that I would talk back through it word by word with her. So that I could make sure that I understand. So that she knows I am there as best I can be with her, trying, hoping, loving, hearing.

And finally, to find that she is struggling with, asking about, hoping for many of the same things I have (or am). That we are given a common ground, a place to stand together. Even though I cannot fully know her heart or she mine, we can relate, resolve, relinquish together.

Just counting up the thankful things this afternoon with my sweet girl in mind ♥

Thursday, October 8, 2015

just come

Is it not humiliating to be told that we must come to Jesus! Think of the things we will not come to Jesus about. If you want to know how real you are, test yourself by these words -- "Come unto Me."

In every degree in which you are not real, you will dispute rather than come, you will quibble rather than come, you will go through sorrow rather than come, you will do anything rather than come the last lap of unutterable foolishness -- "Just as I am."

As long as you have the tiniest bit of spiritual impertinence, it will always reveal itself in the fact that you are expecting God to tell you to do a big thing, and all He is telling you to do is to "come."

Spending some time with Matthew and Uncle Oswald today ♥

Matthew, chapter 11
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

lightning bolt!!

Overheard...

The children are running around like mad giggling over their current topic of conversation.

Jamie (startled when he realizes what is being discussed): "OK, not a single one of you needs to be spending a lot of time talking about crushes!"

Eldest: "I just can't help it, Buster! Lightning Bolt!!"

----------

umm...yikes??!! and LOL ♥

Monday, October 5, 2015

every promise

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who walks beside
Who floods my weaknesses with strength
And causes fears to fly
Whose every promise is enough
For every step I take
Sustaining me with arms of love
And crowning me with grace

For today, for every day ♥

From "My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness" 
by Fletcher & Bainbridge

Friday, October 2, 2015

dear elephant & piggie

Hi Gerald!! Hi Piggie!! What fun it was to see you both today. The sweetlings and I will not soon forget our adventures with you and your great surprise at finding yourselves in a play. We learned so many things from you...

that elephants can, in fact, dance!

that piggie playing the trumpet sounds like "a fish and concrete taco with a side of underwear" until you realize she is trying to speak elephant!

that ice cream heroes are still heroes even when they have a bit of a melt down!

that when piggie says she has to go, she really does have to go!

that when you bring a sweet children's book series to life you need very special people like TyNia and Tommy (and the rest of the crew at CtC) to do so!

that when you add an audience participation element to a show for children of any age, it is a gorgeous surprise and just so much fun!

With lots of love and hugs, QMSI

======
We had the privilege of being a part of Children's Theatre of Charlotte's production of "Elephant and Piggie's We are in a Play!" today. Simply gorgeous fun ♥

Thursday, October 1, 2015

lie quiet

"Neither go back in fear and misgiving to the past,
nor in anxiety and forecasting to the future;
but lie quiet under His hand, having no will but His."
~HE Manning

Not me, but Christ in me ♥