Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reisterstown, Maryland
Latest post - part I
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 1:26 PM, CDT
Good morning (actually afternoon...internet connection failed me this morning!),
Once again, I am past due fulfilling my desire to sit down and write. You wouldn't believe how long it takes me sometimes to get the thoughts to come together, work together and flow onto the computer screen. I still wish someone would invent a USB port for my head so all I have to do is think my thoughts and they'd end up recording themselves into the computer. Anything worthwhile is worth a little work, so my fingers will have to keep exercising and stretching across the keyboard!
I had an “Ah-Ha” moment on Sunday. It was more like a “DUH” moment than an “ah-ha” one, actually...a little of both. As we prepared for church early in the morning, I quickly sat down to read the entry dated for April 18th in my “Jesus Calling” devotional book. I wrote about this book way back when (exactly when, I'm not sure) I stumbled on it at Sam's (Barnes & Noble also carry it) one afternoon when I was supposed to be shopping for groceries. Little did I know that this book would serve as “food for my heart and soul” and has been one of the crutches I have used to help me wobble along our path. The title of the book just jumped out at me as I pushed my shopping cart through the book isle on the way to checkout. Okay, it was a bit of a detour, but it was worth it. The book is by author Sarah Young and in the introduction she gives in detail how she came to write it. Again, like the music of Kari Jobe, I feel this book was written to help me...and it has, tremendously. It is not a book of stories. It is simply a devotional written for every three hundred and sixty-five days of the year...one for every day. Sarah writes in the first person using “I, Me and Mine,” referring to Jesus as if he were speaking directly to you. It takes me less than a minute every morning to read what she has written but the inspirational words trigger thoughts and emotions that continue to work with me and for me throughout my day.
As I read Sunday's entry, that “ah-ha/duh” moment hit me...it was truly an epiphany, if you will. I've written about how I feel like I need to seek my faith on a daily basis and I've prayed that the peace I have achieved continues with each passing day. That is exactly what God wants from us and that has been His plan all along. He wants us to seek and need Him daily, never to think one moment that we can make it on our own, with out His guidance. This is the exert from Sara's book:
“Peace is My continual gift to you. It flows abundantly from My throne of grace. Just as the Israelites could not store up mana for the future but had to gather it daily, so it is with My Peace. The day-by-day collecting of manna kept My people aware of their dependence on Me. Similarly, I give you sufficient Peace for the present, when you come to me by prayer and petition with thanksgiving . If I gave you permanent Peace, independent of My Presence, you might fall into the trap of self-sufficiency. May that never be!
“I have designed you to need Me moment by moment. As your awareness of your neediness increases, so does your realization of My abundant sufficiency. I can meet everyone of your needs without draining My resources at all. Approach My throne of grace with bold confidence, receiving My Peace with a thankful heart.”
Sarah then lists versus that relate to what was written. My “ah-ha/duh” moment was when I realized that I AM SUPPOSED TO SEEK GOD'S PRESENCE AND PEACE EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE! I was mistaken thinking that once I felt I “owned” this feeling of peace that it would be mine forever. It is only mine for today, if I ask God to give it to me. He did not promise it to me tomorrow, but He will give it again, for every day for the rest of my life, if I ask. He will not let me gather it up and store it like a squirrel gathers and saves acorns to help it survive the long winter months. God will only give me what I need to get me through today. Not tomorrow...not next month...not a year from now when we continue to experience our lives without Sicily's physical presence entertaining our days! I have what I need for today, and I thank God with all my heart. I FINALLY, and truly, think I figured it out. Better late than never, I guess!
So I will wake each morning and ask God to be my guide for the day...to help me climb the high mountains that will surely rise in front of me and to offer me His hand to pull me out of the quick sand I sometimes fall into. He will help me swim through the rivers created by my tears and will give me a piggy back ride when the desert sand is too hot for my bare feet. He will do all of this and more...as long as I allow Him to lead and I promise to follow! I will also continue to ask God if I can have peace with my little girl's death EVERYDAY, for that day, and all the other situations and circumstances in life that leave us battling with the threat of lingering pain and heartache. He never said He would protect us from pain...be it physical, mental or emotional. He only said that He would comfort us through it and help us overcome it.
As I learned from my old roommate who wrote me and said she thanked God for “the gift of suffering” for me. Who would ever think that suffering would be a gift? But, it is, if you allow yourself to embrace it and grow from it, which is what I believe she sees in me. We shared an apartment for a couple of years in our early twenties and she knew me about as well as anyone could, so her words and prayers of thankfulness mean a lot to me! Thanks, dear friend!
Sunday morning, as my “ah-ha/duh” moment was setting in, we were at church and our opening hymn was “Sing With All the Saints in Glory.” This is an old hymn I even remember singing at church during my protestant upbringing. It's comforting. My favorite verse contains the words, “God has promised, Christ prepares it, there on high our welcome waits.” Beautiful! As a Catholic convert, I feel like I embody the best of both worlds, if I may call them that.
I was raised in a small Methodist church surrounded by the love of grandparents, great aunts and uncles and church members that even to this day feel like family. I sat across the table at Sicily's funeral dinner with a lady who could boast she remembers me in diapers in the church nursery. She and her husband are still close with my parents even though they live in another city. I was so touched they made the trip to be with us all for Sicily's funeral. My little family currently belongs to a rather large Catholic parish, but that same sense of family closeness has been found once again, mainly due to one special little girl who had the ability to steal hearts, as many precious children do. I feel a bond and particular closeness with our priest, who like me, is not a cradle Catholic. I love when he feels so full of the Holy Spirit that his “fire and brimstone” appears and I leave church feeling like “I got something!”
I don't mean to get too personal or give too much info that doesn't seem to pertain to anything in particular. I guess for some reason I've felt the need to explain this part of my life, though I don't know why. I've lived my life thinking that a Christian is a Christian, we just practice our faith in unique and different ways, but together we are all brothers and sisters in Christ!