Saturday, July 21, 2012

Eyes of Love

Connor - Now age 10.  Listening to the ocean with a tiny shell.

From my devotional archives:
February 22, 2004

     One Saturday morning I was working on our basement.  It is important for you to know that when I clean the basement that I do not dress up to do it.  Our basement is rather a dungeon where I do laundry and junk gets stored.  My hair was haphazardly combed, and I was wearing, “cleaning the basement” kind of clothes.
     Taking a quick break, I sat down to a cup of coffee and to leaf through a magazine.  When I sit down, my children see that as an opportunity to climb on me, ask me for things or blow bubbles in the living room.  Connor, our two year old, wanted pretzel logs.  While I got him his pretzels, he began flipping through my magazine.  Out of the magazine fell a little advertisement for Winsor Pilates.

     I, like any good couch potato, had not paid any attention to it.  Connor however, was enjoying it.  I took back the magazine and left him the advertisement.  We sat companionably for a moment, me drinking my coffee, him dipping pretzel logs in my coffee.
     Connor looked up at me.  “Look Mommy.  There you are.”
     I looked.  Believe me I looked.  Connor was happily waving the advertisement around.  “This!  This!”  I cringed.  I was wondering what example of “before” he thought looked most like me.  I was hoping it was not the woman on the left.  But Connor, bless his heart, pointed at the picture of the model, Daisy Fuentes, who was the spokeswoman for Pilates.  Now you see why that child can dip his pretzels in my coffee anytime.
     Poor Daisy would not be overly flattered by the comparison.  Both of us have blonde hair and pretty much there the resemblance ends, especially on clean out the basement day. But in the picture Daisy was smiling.  Connor was attracted to her smile.
     I looked in the mirror and saw all the things wrong with me, my hair, my clothes, and my shape.  But two year old Connor saw the same thing through the eyes of love and thought I looked pretty spectacular.
     Similarly, God looks at us, through His eyes of love.
The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,  1 Samuel 16:7
For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16
     God looks at us through the cross of Jesus.  And He thinks we look pretty spectacular.
Father, I want those you gave me
To be with me, right where I am,
So they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me,
Having loved me long before there ever was a world.
Righteous Father, the world has never known you,
But I  have known you, and these disciples know
That you sent me on this mission.
I have made your very being known to them-
Who you are and what you do-
And continue to make it known,
So that your love for me
Might be in them
Exactly as I am in them.”
A prayer of Jesus from John 17 from the Message.
     When do you look like a movie star to the ones you love?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Water and Wild Ponies

Sing to the Lord a new song, 
    his praise from the ends of the earth, 
you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, 
    you islands, and all who live in them.  ~Isaiah 42:10
     Earlier this month we took a trip to visit my parents in Virginia.  We spent a beautiful day at the nearby Assateague Island National Seashore.  Marguerite Henry's book, Misty of Chincoteague, made the ponies on this island famous.  Visitors from all over the world come to purchase a pony from the yearly pony swim which benefits the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department.  
     Here is my family splashing in the ocean.  Just beyond them a dolphin is surfacing.  Adults and children alike love to watch the dolphins.  I am always happy to see them.  I think I watched Jaws one too many times.  In my mind - if there are dolphins around there won't be any sharks.  
           Greetings from Assateague Island!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sunrise on the Chesapeake Bay

     Patty and I got up extra early to watch the sun rise over the Chesapeake Bay.  We actually sat in a boat yard by a little inlet.  The sky was gorgeous.
Fishermen heading out at dawn.

 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy.  ~ Psalm 65:8


This one reminds me of a heart.
     I am taking a Night Photography class with the knowledgeable Kent Weakley.  His photos of fireworks are amazing.  His pictures include the silhouettes of interesting locations and dazzling fireworks.
     When our family went to a second Renegades baseball game I was determined to try to shoot photograph some fireworks of my own.  The firework show after the game was fabulous.  There was ten solid minutes of fireworks bursting over our heads.  I was unable to use a tripod in the seating.  The tripod would definitely have helped with the longer shutter speed.  I was thrilled with my pictures until I looked at Kent's.  Here are my efforts at fireworks.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Our Hiding Place

Based on  1 Kings 19:1-21
     My children like to play Hide-and-Seek with our dog, Riley.  Riley understands the game very well.   They put Riley in a “Stay,” and then rush off to hide.    She sits alert waiting for their call.  When finally she hears, “Riley, come find me!”  she dashes off with her tail wagging.  Riley always finds their hiding place, the obvious and the obscure.
     Like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, there are times when all of us seek a hiding place.  A hiding place is a place where we can feel safe and secure.  It is a place where impending danger will overlook us.  It’s a place to flee from our troubles.  It is a place where no one knows where we are and what we are feeling.  It is a place where our true selves are disguised.  Some of us are able to hide in plain sight.  We hide behind the smile, the laugh, the good works, and the “I’m fine, thank you.”
     Elijah was a mighty old testament prophet.  When Elijah spoke his words were a blessing or a curse.  By his word rain stopped falling for three years, and then came again.  By his word fire fell from heaven to consume a sacrifice placed on waterlogged wood and stones.   Everyone listened when he spoke.
     But there came a day when Elijah needed a hiding place.  He fled into the desert and had a little pity party sitting under a juniper tree in the middle of nowhere.  He had run long and hard.  He was far out of his comfort zone.  He was exhausted, depressed, and discouraged.  He laid his head against a rock and took some much needed rest.  Have you ever felt so discouraged that all you could do was lie down?
     How many of us look for a hiding place where we feel safe away from everything?  We relax and decide to camp out in our spot for a while.  We give up on the call of God on our lives.  We fall asleep spiritually in our hiding place.  Our hiding place can be our jobs where we work for too many hours.  It might be a project we fling ourselves into away from those who love us.  It could even be the PTA or church.
     But Elijah couldn’t hide from God.  And neither can we.  God knows where we are.  He knows what we are doing.  He won’t allow us to become too comfortable in our hiding place.  Look at God’s tender response.  First, God provided Elijah with sleep.  So often when we are depressed we find that we can’t sleep or that we sleep too much.  God gave Elijah rest.  Elijah woke to nourishment provided by an angel.  Then God gave Elijah a goal.  Elijah was given the task to travel for forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God.
     When Elijah arrived at the mountain,  God gently questioned his discouraged child.   “What are you doing here?”   God asked this of Elijah.  Elijah - who was defeated by fear, who thought he hadn't a purpose for living, who was feeling overwhelmed by his problems.  God asked this to a child who was focusing on the faults of others, to an elder who remembers a better day.
     Then God tells Elijah to stand on the mountain of God because He is about to pass by.  There is a strong wind, the ground trembles, stones fall, trees bust into flame and lightening strikes.  But God is not in any of those things.  Why all of this commotion if God wasn’t in it?  Perhaps it was because God had to get Elijah’s attention.  What does God have to do to get our attention?
     Then came God’s gentle whisper, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  Elijah went out to speak to God.  Elijah knew that God doesn’t only reveal Himself in noisy miraculous ways.  To look for God only in something big may be to miss Him because God is often found gently whispering in the  quietness of a humble heart.  Are you listening for God?  Step back from the noise and work of the busy life and listen in the quiet for His guidance.
     In God’s gentle whisper, Elijah found the calming of his fears and the rising of his faith.  He found strength to carry on.  He discovered that he was not alone.
     God never gives up on us.  He is our Hiding Place.
     How do you hide?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

You're a Firework!

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine.
Just own the night like the 4th of July.
'Cause baby, you're a firework.
Come on, show 'em what you're worth.
Make 'em go - Oh! Oh! Oh!
As you shoot across the sky.
Baby.  You're a firework!   ~ Kate Perry,  Firework
     My baby, playing with sparklers on the 4th of July!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

One Little Word Blog Hop July 1

     Welcome to the One Little Word Monthly Blog Hop hosted by Margie of Nihao, Cupcake.  Once again thank you to Margie.
     One Little Word if a class from Big Picture Classes taught by Ali Edwards.  I enjoy how we are reminded to think about and consider our word each month through the prompts she provides.  
     My One Little Word is Dwell.  This month our assignment was to make nine mini art canvasses.  They are the size of an artists trading card or a baseball card.  The art was a fun opportunity to get messy and have fun.  I used paints, gesso, stamps and ink, and a few embellishments.  Some repetitive elements are birds and feathers.  Here are the canvasses all together.
      Here they are row by row.
      My word is reminding me to dwell on the possibilities; to think and meditate on God's unspeakable riches.  He has given me rest and peace.
      June is a fantastically busy month that just rushes by until it ends.  The children had finals, concerts, field trips, picnics, and moving up ceremonies.  The calendar was full.  Now we can relax a little and enjoy the summer.
     Below you will find a list of the One Little Word Blogs to visit.  I enjoy checking in with them each month.  It is fun to see how their words are speaking to them.
     Please join our blog hop.  If you get lost along the way,  you can come back here to pick back up again.  I linked each person on the list.  Have fun and thanks for visiting. 

     PLEASE NOTE THAT JENN had to pull out at the last minute for personal reasons, so please go to AMANDA after JAMIE even though the links are different. And feel free to stop by Jenn's blog and wish her well so that she can join us next month!

Jenn  < Jenn had to pull out for personal reasons, please skip to Amanda below.
Missus Wookie
Donna      You are here!
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