Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Shaping of Dough and a Day

Working with yeast dough is one of the things I thoroughly enjoy doing in the kitchen.
There is just something about the feel of it in my hands.
The entire process is a joy, as it allows me to express my creative side.

This afternoon I decided to make dinner rolls to go with the chili our friend was bringing over.

I stirred in one ingredient after another; blending carefully.
The beaten egg whites resisted becoming part of the whole for a short time, but the folding of the spoon became too much for them!
The fun began once the mixing was accomplished.
It was time to knead that lump until it came to life under the push and pull of the palms of my hands.

This was followed by a time to allow it to rise and then came the shaping.

If that lump of dough could think and speak, it might have imagined what it was going to be.
Would it have protested as I pulled it apart into eighteen small lumps?
Would it have understood that it was going to offer nourishment to many?

As I shaped each piece into a little roll an analogy came to me.
My day had been just like this dough....

Every morning I commit my day to the LORD; seeking Papa's guidance and blessing upon it.
Often I think I really am just telling Him what I plan to do with my time rather than getting any direction from Him.  It is important for me to picture placing it and me in His hands.

The day begins as one big piece with a variety of ingredients to be divided to some degree and then given shape.

Today I thought I was going to keep it in a few larger pieces.

After the usual morning routine I headed off to a prayer group, which focuses on the ACTS4 ministry.
I planned to chat afterward with my friend and then deliver a car seat to a young mother.
All of which, I did.

The delivery of that car seat didn't go as quickly as I expected.
Suffice it to say that it resulted in me carrying it a block in the pouring rain.
I had encountered one in the "Entitlement Generation."
The choice was to not make the delivery and be party to a small child unsafe in a car or go the extra 'block" to insure the child's future safety.
No choice there.

The rest of my morning was slated for more prayer.  Just Jesus and me sharing some alone time.
So I thought.

One little piece was torn off at a time.
A call from a son that needed some assistance handling an issue right then.
That particular issue raised others that needed exploring...
And so it went.

With each interruption I had the sense that they each were God ordained and not simply distractions.

Finally, with effort, I left what could wait and sought to have a little of that one-on-one, when the phone rang once again and I knew it was yet another call that I was to answer.
A distraught mother.

I am happy to report that Papa and I did get that one-on-one, albeit a much abbreviated version of what I had anticipated.
In quieting down before Him it seemed as if both of us were just settling down together after our mutual busyness.
It was a sweet feeling.

Life is so much easier when I don't insist on my own way and remember to stay flexible.  Then no matter how many pieces my day gets pulled apart into I will be free to offer nourishment to others.

"So teach us to number our days, that we may present o You a heart of wisdom."  Psalm 90:12

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Rumor has it that my grandfather could perform the amazing feat of pulling a tablecloth off a table without disturbing the dishes that were set on it. 
I never saw him do this trick.
He was already ill when I was born and the illness had sapped the strength to walk, let alone to whip tablecloths off tables.
Though I missed out on seeing such a feat I still can picture him doing it.

Grandpa was an amazing man.   He may have died when I was but five years of age, yet he made a lasting impression upon me.
My first childhood memory was of him.
Actually, he filled my earliest memories.

The man had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease and had lost much muscle strength, especially in his legs, but that didn't relegate him to the sidelines.
I remember him positioning himself on his knees to chop a tree down.  It seemed huge to me, but I was probably three at the time, so I imagine that it was not massive.  However, it was the determination and the fact that he succeeded that stuck with me.
That and his love for me.

Okay, so what stirred this memory?
Making my bed.

Every morning I make our bed with two sweet kitties lying on it.  It has become a ritual. 
Cats have some very definite routines and they do not like change.

Sushi and Stir-Fry help me to wake Ray and once they have done their part settle themselves in their particular spots.
This morning a thought came to me as I tried to make said bed.  Wouldn't it be handy if I could straighten the coverlet with one quick jerk of my hands without disturbing my furry friends?

One thought often leads to another and thus my thoughts of Grandpa!

Warm feelings and memories always accompany any thought of him.

As much as I love to reminisce, it is much more important to me that every thought I have leads me to thoughts of my LORD.
When my thoughts turn to Him my heart is stirred by how His grace has filled my life.  Talk about warm feelings and memories!
The Eternal One, Almighty, Creator God loves me!
 "This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.  The LORD's loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness."  Lamentations 3:21-23
No matter where I turn in Scripture I find evidence of His grace.
And no matter where I look in my life I find that same grace.

Friday, February 22, 2013

In The Moment

For quite a long time now Papa has been speaking to me about being in the moment
I have a tendency, a strong tendency, to not be all there.
Okay, those of you who have spent any time up close and personal with me are nodding with a look of knowing.  You know I haven't been all there for years, but that is not what I am talking about.....

There are a multitude of things on my plate. 
Things and people.

Things to do...
People to see...

So no matter what I am doing, it hasn't been unusual for me to often give less than my full attention to it.
One thing triggers thoughts of something else and off I go!

However, I have taken my Loving Father's promptings to heart and thus tried to reign in my thoughts.
Not so successfully!

At least, not until I realized something.
I was focused on staying focused and not on the moment.

He wants us to savor the moments that fill our lives, not just get through them.

In C. S. Lewis' book "The Screwtape Letters" a subject of the demons' attention did not fall for the ploys of the assigned demon because he had learned to enjoy the simple things of life.  If the demon had thought to get him to see the everyday pleasures as duties or obligations then he would have succeeded in his mission.

It seems to me that we must guard our hearts and minds from much of the static of this world.
It gets in the way of the simple things of this life. 
The noise of the world wants to fill our every moment and cause us to be dissatisfied.
When we are dissatisfied we are focusing on what we do not have and not what we do have.
The things of value.

A walk in the crisp, fresh air.
The aroma of coffee brewing.
A sweet kitty curled up in an adorable pose.
The quiet of a new morning.
A good book.
The smile of a loved one.
The joy of belonging.
A Word or touch from our Heavenly Father.
A surprise visit from one's child.

Oh, I could go on...

Human nature causes many to bemoan the passing of a sweet moment.
Instead Papa would have us savor it and recognize that it is a glimpse of God with us.

The joys and pleasures of this life are interrupted with pain and sorrow, but it is not how our Father intended it to be.  They were to be the norm.
The great joy is that one day they will be!

There are treasures to be discovered and taken in, as we would breathe in the scent of a fragrant flower.
Treasures which are reminders from Papa of His love and all the promises of His Kingdom to come.

How gracious and generous our God is!

Monday, February 18, 2013


It has been sixteen days since I have visited this site and I was amazed to see that some readers haven't given up on me.  That makes me smile.

I am on the upswing, as my God is gracious and faithful, as well as so gentle and loving.
and patient!

We have entered my most favorite season.
The season of Lent.
You see, it leads up to Holy Week which culminates with Easter.

It was at this time of year that I met and fell in love with my Savior.
I remember that first Easter when my eyes were opened to what it truly means.

Each year I seek to deepen my understanding of what His death and resurrection mean for me.
In addition to my regular reading of Scripture, I set aside time to read through one of the gospels over the forty days of Lent.
This year it is the Gospel of John.

As I began my reading, one word jumped out at me.
The word was He.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God."  John 1:1-2
This Word is a person.  He is the Word.
He is the Source of Creation.
He is the Source of Life.
He is the Source of Light.

He Is the Life.
He is the Light.

This One...He came...
The Creator...
The Life...
The Light...

This One came...
"He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.  He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him."  John 1:10-11
Did not know Him..
Did not perceive...recognize...ascertain..take notice..of Him...of the Word.

Thus He was not received.
I checked in the concordance and it can mean receive from, so not only wasn't He received, nothing was received from Him.
Oh, He had much to give, but He waits for us to receive from Him.
Then He gives more than we could ever have imagined or thought!
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name."  John 1:12
What a generous God!  Such amazing love!
He could have turned on His heel and headed back from whence He came at the first rejection, but He didn't .
Many chapters later we will read that He set His face for Jerusalem.
He was headed to that Cross with determination.
He would not be deterred.
He loved us too much to go back or turn away.

He is the Word.
The Word....
It is the Word that contains all life.
The Word- He - contains all our story, as only He can tell it.

Our story is found in His.
Spend this holy season to listen and learn.
He is speaking.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Limbo Leads to the Kingdom?

For a few days I have felt the prompting to write this post, but have had little idea as to what I was actually going to say.
Okay Papa what do You want me to share here?

Shall I share that...
I have been feeling like I am in limbo?
I have wondered if we even have a connection anymore?
And asked where the joy of my salvation has gone?
How amazed I am that You still show up and reveal Yourself through me?

Not my usual perky self, am I?

I don't know when I will come out of this funk, yet my God is giving me assurance after assurance that He is behind it.
Having come to know that He is totally trustworthy and loving I wait, albeit not comfortably.

A few of the things He has been saying to me have come through Frances Frangipane.
The teaching is some of what I have given to others and thought I had learned in the past.
I guess it is time for a refresher course for this lady.

Our God does not tell us that we will avoid the floods and fires of testings and trials, but He does promise to go through them with us.
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.  For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.  Isaiah 43:1-3
Of course, He goes through all things with us.  He is with us, constantly.
Jesus is not afar off.  Though He is on the Throne in Heaven, He is also right here with each one of us.
"to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."  Colossians 1:27
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me."  Galatians 2:20
Yes, with us and in us.
Good thing because apart form Him we can do nothing!

Notice the hope expressed in those two verses.
Paul penned those words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Christ in him).
He knew what it meant to go through the floods and fires and also knew that God accompanied him through all of it.
Comforting words for us, for me.

Everywhere I turn I am reminded that my Heavenly Father intends to conform me into the image of His Son. That is what is behind this hard place I have found myself in.
That also gives me comfort.

Each day I try to read a section in the Adult Children of Alcoholics Big Book.
Papa is using it to peel back a few new layers of junk from my heart and thinking.

The program is big on the subject of Acceptance.
This week the Spirit has been speaking to me about my need to accept the things I cannot change.
If I remember that all things come via my God and are intended to bring blessing in the long run, then it is easier to accept.
That does not mean that the flesh part of me doesn't resist; at times stubbornly so.

Yet, Papa peels back the veil and helps me to recognize what is going on.
The choice becomes clear...
Resist and fight and be miserable, which never brings real satisfaction...
or let go and let God take you further on into His Kingdom.
So limbo is temporary, but the Kingdom is for eternity...

Some choice, huh?!