Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Ryan Craig!

My fourth grandbaby, my third grandson. I already love him to the moon and back. God has blessed our family yet again. We are happy, happy, happy. . . . .

Monday, March 14, 2011

This Lent Thing

Ah, this lent thing.

It's hard.

Really hard.

I keep slipping. I forget. I get frustrated. I have even had someone close to me laugh at me for doing it. "What? We don't practice lent. What in the world? Why are you doing that? I guess next you are going to have a black X on your forehead." When I tried to explain - "cricket's chirping". While I know the words were not meant to wound, I allowed them to slice clean and deep. It hurt.

This person was right. Our church background had not observed lent in the past. We are not a liturgical church. But lately, in my quest for renewal, I have had such a strong desire to draw closer to God and what I understood of Lent seemed like a good way to do that. I wanted to deny myself of something to remind me of what He gave for me. I wanted to enter into a sacred commitment that would cause me to depend on Him more. I wanted to do something that required more than what I normally give. I wasn't really sure what to expect.

But I know I didn't expect I would fail so soon.

I failed on the second day. What I had given up, what I had determined to sacrifice for 40 days, what I had promised to deny myself of in order to draw closer to God, well, I forgot. I forgot. On the second day I forgot all about it.

As I have been reading through my Bible in a year plan, I have spent the last several weeks in Leviticus and Numbers. Boring. Slow, Redundant. Legalism to the nth degree. So many laws to keep. So many rules. So much blood. So much sacrifice. So many harsh consequences for sin - intentional sin and unintentional sin. The Israelite people weren't allowed to forget the law. Many times as I have read the daily scripture allotment (without skipping any words), I have thought to myself: I am so glad I didn't live back then. I am so glad I don't have to try to keep all those rules. I couldn't do it. Are you kidding? I now know that by day two in the wilderness I would most likely have already been struck dead.

And that was when I realized that is precisely the point. I can't do it. I can't keep the law perfectly. Nobody can. We need a Savior. We need grace. We need the sacrificial Lamb that takes away all the sin in the world. We need an advocate, One who willingly paid the price of all the sin, all the wrong, all the forgetting. He did it for me. I am off the hook. I am saved by grace and grace alone! I am not going to be judged because I forgot a law. I don't have to keep a tally of all the rules. My relationship with Jesus is all I need. What a sweet relief! What a debt of gratitude I owe.

Practicing Lent is teaching me how inadequate I am and how adequate He is. It is teaching me how much Jesus loves me.

Oh this Lent thing. It is hard.

But it is good.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Checkin' In

Just checkin' in to say all is well.

I am. . . . .

. . . . enjoying the lent season. Not coming from a liturgical background, I am studying and delighting in the reach meaning of all the symbolism. Loving it!

. . . . knitting, knitting, knitting. I truly am obsessed:

. . . . longing for summer. I would just as soon skip spring. It is bipolar.

. . . . still memorizing scripture. This time is Hebrews 12:2. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down on the right hand of the throne of God. I am so humbled knowing that I was that joy. And so were you.

. . . . Reading and studying One Thousand Gifts. I cannot say enough about this book and what it is doing in my heart. Saying too much would only minimize it. You need to read it. Getting a library copy will not do. This is a book that requires highlighting and underlining and commenting. Trust me.

. . . .Amazed at how long and deep my prayer list is. It seems like suddenly there is crisis and hardship all around me. I am praying, praying praying for my dear friends and loved ones.

. . . . Loving my sweet grandbabies. What a gift and a blessing they are. Tyler and Ava Claire are now 2 1/2 and continue to be the best of friends. I love how much they are talking. Spending time with them is such a privilege and a blessing. Sweet Aiden is 6 months and is the happiest little baby ever. He snuggles and cuddles and smiles all the time.

. . . . Waiting patiently for our little Ryan Craig to arrive on the scene. His mama is sooooo tired and weary. He is due on the 21st and I cannot wait to hold him in my arms. Of course I have been working on some special things just for him:

. . . . Trying to get back into the habit of walking. Cold and nasty weather invaded my routine and why oh why is it so hard to get back into a good habit?

. . . . Wondering how high the price of gas is going to get. I drive a 'fer piece to work, and folks, this is getting just a bit ridiculous!

. . . .I dug my guitar out of my closet and have very sore fingers as I practice some chords over and over again. I am not musically inclined, and although I have had some music lessons I will never be good enough to perform for anyone. Except maybe my grandbabies :)

. . . . Hoping to work out in the yard tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be nice and I think it will be amazing to rake and clean and get ready for planting!

That's just a bit of what I have been up to. Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


This morning I woke up in a fetal position, words flowing through my mind. Somewhere in the place between sleep and awake I knew I was praying. As words and phrases began to make sense I became conscious that I was deep in prayer for someone I love. I opened my eyes and I felt so awed that God is so approachable even in sleep. I had gone to bed with someone heavy on my heart and my heart was taking its' burden to the only Place it knew to go. I wondered how long I had prayed.

Sunday morning in the worship service I was so blessed during our corporate prayer time as children of all ages spontaneously went forward to pray at our church altars. Children. I love being a part of a church that allows children to sense God's presence in the service. No one prompted them. No one encouraged them. They simply wanted or needed to talk to God. So they did. Many of them. One young boy laid his hand on his friends shoulder. Tears fell. My own. And I felt His presence. I read this morning in my daily Bible reading that Jesus wants the children to come to Him. He wants them. They want Him.

Jesus loves me, this I know.

To love a God who loves us so intensely takes my breath away sometimes.