"Entangled with Joy" an uplifting word to "un" tangle and reconnect with the heart
This week seems to have sped up. Wouldn't you agree?
I just came home from sharing in a Thanksgiving festivity at my husbands Don's work. He is a Master Tech at the local Honda dealership. And also a Master at deep frying turkeys. We all enjoyed two different birds, one butter injected and the other Cajun-infused. Your mouth is watering I can tell.
I promise to post the recipe and video the process for you foodies.
As we enter the season of Thankfulness and giving,
I was searching to give you something.
Thank You to Many of you who have jumped over to Amazon or one of my other affiliates, via my website, it does bring a blessing my way when you shop.
So back to my search for something to give you!
One of the most encouraging things I have found is to watch or to listen to ourselves recorded. I heard a testimony from a saxophonist who was hospital bound with not long to live. The Lord told him to play his "videos" of himself playing the saxophone. The sound of his personal ministry healed him in three days; they released him from the hospital with a clean bill of health. That testimony has stuck with me.
Testimonies are found seated within the mercy seat of Christ. Exodus 25:22 You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark, you shall put the testimony which I will give to you. Testimonies are alive. They are God's agreement, it's His will, and He desires to do it again. That is why He holds them within the Mercy seat of Christ. Not one of the articles placed inside but within the covering. Cherubim look into them.
I just re-listened to a short audio of my teaching, titled an Encouraging word from a bible study series I called the Many Moods of Minnie. Yes, Minnie, the mouse. That's another story. I found it buried in old files and recorded on a phone before they were "Smart." I think its almost 15 yrs old. It took me a bit to place it until I recognize familiar laughs from the audience. Just to hear them again touched me. We move on in many ways but hearing joy bubbling reminded me of what He has done inside of me. That is the heart of Thanksgiving a grateful "remembering" for what He has accomplished. It's a work of the heart.
My personal revelation has grown, thankfully I didn't bite my teeth with something I said. It encouraged me to continue to believe, to press forward, pursue. That God still believes in me, that I will accomplish His good pleasure throughout my life.
It blessed me. I believe it will bless you.
I re-found a lost treasure,
My gift to you.
Put your headphones on while you're making pumpkin pie or getting down the Christmas boxes from the attic. Enjoy your family.
No really, enjoy your family.
When Life is hard, holding onto hope
As firmly as I am transitioning, prioritizing my goals for the year, I noticed that old patterns, emotional triggers, even relationship boundaries are feeling pressed towards me making significant headway on my plans. If forces could be measured clearly, I'd say they, spiritual forces, were doing their best to distract me. Hope can feel pressed, even challenged. For me, keeping a perspective on the size of my accomplishment is evaluated within the scale of my heart. Only God has an accurate weight and measurement. I'm often off balance and sell myself short.
We all have gifts given to us that carry immeasurable personal value, even if the treasure has no monetary worth outside of our company.
Judy came into my life a little over twelve years ago. A bitty thing, feisty and a little confused. Sadly, we have lost track of each other for about three years. Even the distraught phone calls brought an odd kind of peace that Judy and life still had much to say. She is tough to love if she allowed you to get close. Judy's life is a life of misunderstandings, taken advantage of's and unfathomable tragedies that she has hidden in many personalities, compartmentalizes within the depth of her mind. During our season, I wrestled with the responsibility of her wellness and freedom in my path of faith. Jesus so gracious to remind me that she was His, His alone, that love is free even tho costly. I must press in for freedom for my life, family & neighbors but not be "PRESSED" in the implementation of the revelation of Christ.
Sit on and from the seat of rest.
Love with the lover of my soul.
Beauty does have a way of being beheld in treasures. It makes the gift irreplaceable especially when your season of friendship has seemed to have passed. Her life, Judy's life was filled with constant transitions and to think that she had managed to hang onto this valuable little pitcher touches my heart every time. Judy's pitcher walked a very rough road before finding its place on my coffee table. That immense challenge and that she responded by sacrificial giving is what has filled her pitcher in my eyes again and again.
I would prefer to see January as a potent seed that will multiply spreading its harvest throughout my year. I had to repent and look at it with a fresh perspective. The distractions may try to take the focus, seem overwhelming but goals have taken shape. My friend Judy struggled with voices; I admit I've heard "distractions" much in the same way. Another moment to repent.
See, when one pours from a pitcher, it empty's itself to make room for a fresh filling. Judy's Pitcher is filled with hope that continues to pour out over my life.
Shall we share its continual flow together, today!
So, this is where this tender story originates; I have many stories from my eight years behind the wheel of the local school bus. Lost glasses, Mom's ambulance ride, down power lines, the trouble making sisters. The boy in seat number two. How often I have caught myself saying: "I haven't yet been employed as a baseball Umpire." That would be the top coating to thickening one's skin, wouldn't it? Pastor will do!
September came, and I signed up for the 2nd year driving the school bus with some exciting changes. The school district added preschool to its curriculum, which meant on that September day I had 14, three yr. old's on my 40 ft. Bus who had never been out of their car seat and half of them this was their first trial run with English as a second language. I learned quickly to say, "siéntese, por favor". Sit down, please! Again and Again and Again! Aah! Remember they are all sitting behind me, and I was supposed to watch the road.
For those of you who have children using the local school bus, please thank them for their service to your kids. Cookies are always a nice gesture.
Her name was Kendra. She was a bitty little 3 yr. old, blonde hair, with an over protected seven yr. old brother. There stop precarious, stopping on the busy 99 E route, cars zooming by, lots of children lived in this rather unkempt mobile home park. Every day she'd shyly follow her brothers lead, sitting about row 5, right-hand side.
September, October, and November hurried by with my eyes set on Christmas vacation. The Lord was challenging me in those days to believe Him for all life's comings and goings. The little things.
Pray about everything, He'd say. I noticed as the weather had turned cold Kendra would wear a little lavender ski coat. You could barely see her buried in its warm poof. Every day like clockwork she was being picked up at 7:00 am and dropped off after 3:00 pm. A very long day for 3 yr old's in my opinion. The protocol was that a parent had to be present to receive any child under the age of 6 off of the bus but Kendra for some odd reason was released to her brother's charge. I never saw a parent present and my heart began to be impacted by her journey in this big world. I observed that her lovely lavender ski coat was looking a bit bedraggled. Come the beginning of December it was downright grungy, so I began to pray. Jesus, I ask you to prompt Kendra's parent to wash her coat. I prayed, and Kendra, now brave enough to smile at me when entering the bus would come and go in her way, conquering life, loving school and unaware that her coat was desperately needing attention and some serious time with a washing machine. My mother's heart said that her unkempt coat probably wasn't the only neglect in her life. So I continued to pray and in my window of time with many of these kids tried to encourage them and deposit a little difference in their lives.
It was the last week of school before Christmas break and my conversation with the Lord about her little coat was more intent. It was almost 30 days past since I began to pray that it get washed.
Passionately I said to the Lord, isn't there anybody in that little girl's life that would wash that coat!!!
At last, filled with candy from Christmas parties at school my 60 some odd number of students piled on my school bus for the journey home. Christmas vacation had arrived. A good handful of thoughtful mothers would send me a kind thank you gift to me bless my holidays. My students and I would bid each other Merry Christmas, and most of them would sneak in a hug saying as they toppled down the stairs.
"Bye Bus-driver, Merry Christmas, see you next year. Finally, gloriously delivered to just the noise of my four boys for two weeks. I had visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in my head under the cozy covers for fourteen days I didn't have to beat the sun coming up.
Back to the bus barn, I drove, knowing me I was probably singing carols over and over again. Smiling from ear to ear with every fa la la la. I parked my bus and began crossing every t and dotting every i in my departure routine with a final walk through to the back of the bus to make sure there weren't any sleeping children.
Out of the corner of my eye, there it was. Row five, right-hand side. Kendra's coat laying on the floor tucked under the seat. Emotions welled up in me and tears began to flow as retrieved the coat and sat down in the seat. Touched, humbled that I was the only person in Kendra's life that would wash her coat. I must have bawled for 5 min., which turned into humble thanksgiving for the love that my husband and I were allowed to bestow on our boys.
Later an Ah Hah! moment to the timing the Lord was orchestrating for the answer to my prayer.
I took that coat home, soaked it for 24 hours in Biz, washed it reviving it to its new school coat glory and dropped it by her house the following day. Kendra was outside playing with no coat on and ran towards me when she saw me get out of my car. Hi, Bus driver, that's my coat. She quickly took it out of my hands, put it on and returned to her game. Bye, Bus driver.
My heart was quietly with no fanfare changed.
Pray about everything.
Why would a story more than 20 years old be rekindled with all of us just getting ready for Thanksgiving and our holiday season?
Last week I had the pleasure to enjoy a girls day out with my dear friend Julie. We are to peas in a pod. Love the Lord, we both have raised a bazillion boys and stimulate each others' creative juices.
It was a rainy off and on, weekday here in Oregon. Julie and I ventured for a late breakfast downtown Albany. Yum, comfort food. I had the best chicken fried steak, eggs, and gravy; I have every had and we filled our veins with too much coffee. Then off, in and out, of our favorite haunts to see what their Christmas displays were boasting, with an in-depth hunt for several bolts of the perfect ribbon for my Christmas tree decor this year. A lovely day, for which I took my light colored trench-coat on and off, throwing it in the back seat of her car all day. I was a bit embarrassed because my coat collar was grungy, makeup, body oil yuck and had sheepishly mentioned to Julie just to make me feel better about its unkempt look, it was in desperate need to go to the cleaners. Are you getting the "moral" of this story yet? Yes, I did leave it in the back seat of her car. She texted me so I wouldn't be missing it and asked if I needed it returned immediately. I told her I would get it on Sunday not to be bothered with an extra run to my house because she was getting ready to leave for Thanksgiving to visit her family in Phoenix. I knew she had many things to check off her list before she left.
Well, she called me two days later and said she had some church paperwork to drop off to me before she was to head out of town.
Yes, you guessed it. It came back around. Julie climbed out of her car, reached over the seat pulling the clear film wrapped & freshly cleaned trench coat. The Lord sees everything. What you do in secret He rewards openly.
The love and care I shared towards Kendra over 20 years prior returned to bless me. I was so touched by my friend's thoughtfulness which she overflows again and again. Oh, what a multiplied reward.
Blessings to you as we celebrate family, friends and the goodness of our Lord.
Give and it shall be given back to you. Press down on the floor of a school bus, overflowing from the hands of those who care.