Saturday, December 29, 2012
It's all how you look at things.
It is so easy to look only with what our eyes can see, and become alarmed, discouraged, and worried. Which is why I daily need to go to the Word of God and get a more heavenly perspective of things. " Heaven and earth will pass away " (Matt. 24:35) - and mankind has a lot to do with its destruction, through mega-oil companies' greed and mega-farms' uniform crops, and generally self-centered, selfish, irresponsible dominion and poor stewardship of God's lovely creation - "but [God's] word will never pass away."
So, things may not be going as I had hoped or planned with Levi. He is facing problems with his younger daughter's mother, making false accusations against him (could she be trying to sue him for "damages" so she can live easy?) I wonder if this will have an affect on his immigration process - which STILL has not begun as we wait on the finalization of the divorce. Levi told me he was telling the lawyer, "Here you have a simple case, where the ex-wife has signed the document, is not asking for anything, is happy to let things go -" (bear in mind they have been apart for more than 20 years) -"and you are making the process longer than Peru's National Anthem!" (It's a LONG one!) "What would you do with a more complex case???"
So, as we wait, I think, Lord, even if we never manage to come together - I am grateful for having had this HOPE, having his friendship and encouragement, for sharing dreams and visions of a work we can share in. Grateful for at least a taste of a new love after my first husband's passing. Grateful for knowing and coming to love Levi's extended family.
And I think back to Joseph - enslaved to potiphar, and then put in jail due to false accusations. HE had dreams and visions...I am sure he wondered about them. His faith must have been sorely tried, and he must have faced the temptation to be embittered against his jealous brothers. But we don't see that. No, he maintains his faith, his integrity, and a forgiving heart.
So, Lord, I don't know what all will come of dreams I've had, prophetic words received - I pray for their fulfillment, and above all that YOUR kingdom comes, YOUR will is done, that YOU would be honored and glorified come what may. After all, my life is not my own - it's YOURS. And I am grateful for Your daily presence, for Your love, grace, mercy, forgiveness - I have already been SO blessed, I can not complain. So - here I am. Be it unto me according to YOUR word. I choose a heavenly perspective.
Friday, December 28, 2012
In my prayers, I ask the Lord to help me make a difference. I often bring before Him all the kids in whose lives I've ever played a part - be it babysitter, Pioneer Girl or Missionette leader, teacher of art or Spanish, paraprofessional or Teacher Assistant, missionary - to water whatever seed I may have planted, to draw them to Himself. And every now and then He gives me a little glimpse. Like when it got back to me that a former student, who turned out to be the nephew of one of the guys my son-in-law hung out with, said, "If it hadn't been for her I wouldn't have stayed in school." Or the self-proclaimed pagan student behind whom I sat one semester, who said, "You're the only adult I've been able to have a conversation about religion with." His Catholic father would not allow any discussion - hence, questions unanswered - yet God is well able to take our wonderings, our questionings, and allay our doubts.
Yesterday while checking my facebook, I found a post on my wall from one of my many Peruvian spiritual "sons." I only saw him in person one time. He lives in Chiclayo, and I think he had gotten my email from someone who'd been to the church where I'd ministered in 2006. We'd chat online from time to time. One evening a couple of years ago he was very despondent - he confessed to me that he had been violated by someone who wanted to be with his cousin but was rejected. My "son" could not defend himself, because he has cerebral palsy, and was easily overpowered. Such a horrible trauma! I contacted my good friend and sister - in Christ, and by spiritual adoption by HER father in Chiclayo, and asked her to go to him, and to contact the pastor, to offer counsel and comfort. When I write letters to the family in Chiclayo, there is always one for him, which she delivers. So anyway, he posted this message (I give the translation): "God, You know this person is like my mother. More than a year ago I met her - You gave me the opportunity to know her personally. Well, she is very special to me. She is also a great help whom I love very much."
I know there will be greater rewards in Heaven, but these little tastes are such a blessing!
I usuallylike the NIV, but I like how the Message puts Matt .5:15-17 - "Youíre here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. Weíre going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you donít think Iím going to hide you under a bucket, do you? Iím putting you on a light stand. Now that Iíve put you there on a hilltop, on a light standóshine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, youíll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Vacations are typically a break from what you usually do. For me, I'm off from school. Does that mean I sit around and do nothing? No way! For one thing, I'm just not accustomed to that! Even sitting at the computer or watching tv, I'm watching to make sure I get up and move around - some kind of exercise, or even going upstairs to the bathroom, or doing some kind of chore or craft. Yesterday I made 9 dogs - one special order, the others "stock." I crocheted. ANd - I've been giving my daughter, AKA Raptormelon, a bit of vacation from what SHE usually does, which is the laundry. With two active children, it tends to accumulate! I suppose to REALLY give her a break I should also do the cooking...But at least I help with dishes!
When I went to Peru over summer vacation, it was a mission trip - but it did end up being a vacation from my previously normal itiinerary of going to different churches almost daily. Those who followed my blogs recall that I was ALMOST bored. ALMOST.
The thing is we do need a break from time to time, to recharge. And that's what we've been doing. It's great! "Truly my soul finds rest in God"(Ps. 62:1)
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
In my Sparking today, I read the following article.
My first husband battled clinical depression. He'd made several suicide attempts, spent time in psychiatric wards, and took antidepressants and remained under a psychiatrist's care.
It's a challenge to live with someone like that. But I know the Lord brought us together, and I learned to depend more on God and less on man - especially my husband - for happiness. Indeed, as the Spanish chorus says, "Solo Dios hace al hombre feliz" - only God can make man happy. I found that by cultivating an attitude of gratitude - counting my blessings, as it were - I have been able to have a deep joy DESPITE painful circumstances, such as the stillbirth of our first child and the murder of my father, the rebellion of my older daughter and the running away of my younger daughter, the involvment of my son in the Iraqi war...Somewhere in the Psalms it says that in God's presence is fullness of joy. In Galatians joy is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit.
Jesus - He still brings Joy to the World!
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Yesterday I worked a bit with my 10 1/2 year old granddaughter, at her request, to show her how to crochet. I have a "scrap" blanket I started, using odds and ends of yarns that were left from other projects. So today she's doing a little more on her own. It's a handy craft, useful, productive.
My parents always kept art supplies around for me and my sisters, and I've done the same for my kids. They also encouraged musical pursuits - and I've done the same. So now my older daughter is encouraging my granddaughter to play the clarinet when it was offered at school. My grandson loves to play with plasticene much as I did as a child. Both have wonderful imaginations which we try to encourage by not letting them waste too many hours in front of the tv.
My Mom read to me and my sibs, and I read to my kids, and my daughter reads to hers. Now my granddaughter is a GREAT reader, with wonderful inflection. We encourage the kids to take part in devotional reading.
I draw with colored pencils as an expression of worship at church, and lately when my granddaughter comes with me, I let her have some paper as well.
I may not be able to leave much money when I'm gone, but if I can equip my kids and grandkids with a love of reading, and with various forms of artistic expression, I'll have left them a good inheritance. If beyond that I can also impart faith in Christ, I will count myself truly successful.
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