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Saturday, April 28, 2012

emma- book of life

this morning a lovely thing happened.

my little girlie and i, bedridden with colds and flu, were beginning another quiet day in our room. i was catching up on my bible reading- she was playing with little toys.

as i was sitting in my chair reading, she said, "mama, read the Bible to me".

i began to softly read (despite very sore throat) thru the Psalms on my reading list. every time i'd pause, she'd say, 'keep reading, mama'.

once in a while i'd stop and explain something or have her repeat a very special verse like psalm 32:7- 'you are my hiding place, you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance...'

came along in my reading to psalm 69:28; ''may they be blotted out of the book of life, and not be listed with the righteous.' i paused and explained to her that God has a book of life where he writes the names of those who choose to follow him.

i was about to go on, when she said, 'mama, i want my name to be in that book.'

i held my breath. 'emma, would you like to tell God that? do you want him to write your name down in his book of life?'

'yes i do' she said.

'want to come here and we'll pray together?"

'no, i'll just stay here and pray, but you help me, ok?' she asked.

so we prayed together...'God, i want you to write my name down in your book of life. i choose to follow you and for Jesus to be my Savior. amen.'

a moment later i asked gently, 'did you feel that God has written your name down?'

'no,' she responded, 'but i just believe he did.'

i clapped my hands. 'that's faith, emma! that's faith!'

oh little girlie. another building block in the foundation of your personal faith happened this morning. God heard that prayer, and he saw that faith- he knows your heart.

how thankful i am for the word- as i was reading it aloud to her, his spirit touched the soil of this little heart and made it soft and open. how glad i am as a mom that i was here to see and sense that the moment was ripe for the word to be planted into the receptive little heart. 

and i believe, with faith like she has, that's it's not about what we felt, it's about believing that a mighty hand that rules the universe wrote a little name down in his book this morning.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

small towns...

i grew up on a small farm just outside of a small town.

rode the small school bus to a small school in the small town.

worked at a small grocery store, taught piano lessons in a small way to a handful of students.

attended a small church.

graduated from a small class...

i know small.

lately, i've had the feeling i'm living, once again, in a small town.

the subdivision where we live is composed of about 25 family homes, and a contingent of daily workers that are only there for the day. yet, in this tiny microcosm of society, there is human interaction of every kind: intrigue, gossip, slander, friendliness, neighborliness, backbiting, criticism, praise.

in the school where i am presently working, there are probably less than a thousand people. as i dip my proverbial toes into the culture of this campus, i am finding the same thing: intrigue, gossip, slander, friendliness, neighborliness, backbiting, criticism, praise.


i find myself wondering how long before i'm drawn into the shadowy depths of small-town negativity again. i see myself focusing on the negatives instead of the positives. i look deep down in the depths of my - GASP- deceitful heart, and see a small-minded type of thinking that surreptitiously tries to draw me into the murky waters of gossip and complaining.

lord, deliver me from myself.

let me be the one who does not succumb to small-town negativity.

let me be the one who lives and works in an atmosphere of joy and positivity, regardless.

for your glory...


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

who knew-

that i'd be doing this, this thing, when i was 61 and a half years old?

i don't know why i keep changing careers.

i've never been bored with any one thing. i could go on doing it forever. i'm a 'stick in the rut' sort of person.

i don't like change.

i don't even like having a career at all, really...i'd be happy to stay home and crochet.

but this is about the 5th time i've begun a whole new 'thing'.

here i am teaching english to koreans.

at a school.

and they've asked me to stay on for next year.

this...after a nursing education, 15 years as a pastor's wife with all the tasks that entails, a midwifery stint for about 15 years, a 5-year music/counseling/teaching stint at our church, and then 3 semesters of assisting in pre-kindergarten.

it's all very weird.

i don't know.

God must be up to something.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

it's friday...

but sunday's comin'!

the stretch of daily life has, sadly, forced my spiritual meditation this holy week to a bare minimum.

i'm feeling like peter, a bit.

but just when the guilt and gloom overtake me, i think i see HIM gently smiles and - what, giggle?! -  in the quiet inner room of my heart:

'don't you think it's spiritual to feed your kids and guests? to love and care for them as if they were me? to create a home that is warm and safe and - yes- ME-like?'

i duck my head and whisper, 'but i haven't had time my bible as much as i should have, or do all the eastery things that i normally do, or prepare the seder meal i wanted...' blah blah blah

HE smiles again.

'but you've cooked, you've smiled, you've washed the dusty feet of faraway friends, you've disciplined a wayward child, you've sung sweet songs and listened intently to childish prattle and held up under annoyance quite well...' (did i see HIM wink??)

grace. oh, grace.

HE is just so- gracious.

all my failures, my peter-like betrayals, my weariness and slothfulness and foolishness...and HE winks at me?

the inner room of my heart glows with a soft light and the sadness begins to drift away...

it's friday.

thinking of HIM, going through the passion.

unable to wrap my mind around what HE endured for me.

i could never watch 'passion of the christ' twice. almost didn't make it through the one time.

but the other side of the passion is what holds me.


and HE isn't dead.


HE smiles and winks.

 and i hear 'you've got that right!'

ah, grace.