Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Steadfast Love

stead·fast also sted·fast (stdfst, -fst)
1. Fixed or unchanging; steady.
2. Firmly loyal or constant; unswerving. See Synonyms at faithful.

This is the word that I am focusing on this year in my walk with God. Remembering HIS streadfastness in character and his love for me; and in my own self- being steadfast in my trust of him and his love for me, and not always wavering and being swayed so easily by emotions or circumstances.
God is teaching me so much about this already, and though I am thankful, because I know it is ultimately for my own good (as is everything He allows in our lives) it is not an easy lesson. I feel like I have been stretched, prodded, and exposed so many times aready, and I do not like what I see in me.
So burn away the mire, Lord. I expect that it will not be simply unpleasant, but downright painful at times. But I am tired of this "existing" with no understanding of why at times. Reveal yourself to me, Holy Spirit, Create in me a clean heart, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

sit still, my children

Love this...
5 of 10
Love this...
February 5, 2010
Sit still, my children! Just sit calmly still!
Nor deem these days - these waiting days - as ill!
The One who loves you best, who plans your way,
Has not forgotten your great need today!
And, if He waits, it's sure He waits to proveTo you,
His tender child, His heart's deep love.
Sit still, my children! Just sit calmly still!
You greatly long to know your dear Lord's will!
While anxious thoughts would almost steal their way
Corrodingly within, because of His delay---
Persuade yourself in simple faith to restThat He,
who knows and loves, will do the best.
Sit still, my children! Just sit calmly still!
Nor move one step, not even one, until
His way has opened. Then, ah then, how sweet!!
How glad your heart, and then how swift your feet,
Your inner being then, as then, how strong!!
And waiting days not counted then too long.
Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
What higher service could you for Him fill?
It's hard! ah yes! But choicest things must cost!
For lack of losing all how much is lost!
It's hard, it's true! But then ---- He gives you grace
To count the hardest spot the sweetest place.
taken from Streams in the Desert - 1925

Heaven is the face

Heaven is the face...
June 3, 2010
A year ago this month we started our cancer journey with my mom...well she had actually started it much earlier, but just didn't know it yet. By the time we found out, there was not a lot of itme left to spend with her. Last summer was spent driving back and forth, spending a lot of time with mom and my sisters and dad, and just thinking through some of the stuff that was happening around me, as surreal as it all seemed. I have one particular memory of sitting on the porch with her and holding her hand. She was not yet too sick from chemo or jaundiced and worn out, so we could sit and chat for a while. I remember her saying she knew that she was probably not going to get through it. And though I had thought that, it was hard to hear her say it. Yet there was such a peace between us. Even though we were both crying and wishing that we had more time here, and wishing that we had made our time here on earth more precious together, we also realized that this is so temporary.
I hear that song by Steven Curtis Chapman called "Heaven is a Place" and I can understand what he is saying. "God, I know it's all of this and so much more, but God, you know that this is what I'm longing for..."
Having lived in Malawi for a year, we held the hands of many people that we loved, and sat with them as they mourned for their loved ones that had died. We lost a few people that we had cared for...but not to the extent that I did last year. Now I feel like I am a part of that club. It's not a club that anyone is clamoring to join, but sooner or later, we all become a part of it. Death in Malawi was not considered the worst thing that could happen to a Christian. It was accepted as a normal part of life. Though there was pain and grief (and sometimes very public displays of it) there was also the idea of living each day for what it was...a gift. When you live every day around sickness, disease, and poverty, you realize that every day you see means you have cheated death once more, and that life is precious and temporary.
As Christians we know that it is not really cheating death, but rather being alive in God's plan for our lives - a plan that he had from before time began. I am very thankful for my mother, who was the first person to teach this to me, and continued to teach it right up until she entered eternity.
So as I enter this summer - one that will be very different from last summer - I hold tight to those memories, love on my family, and fall deeper and more in love with my creator each day. And look forward to the day when we are all together again, with no more death, tears, or sorrow. But I also pray that I live here on earth each day with a vibrancy, and a passion for this life that he has given me.
Thank you, Jesus!