Humbled again

For months I have been waking up at 4:38 am. Sometimes I fall back asleep and sometimes I get up, but very regularly when I check the clock it says, 4:38. I sit here on this blog talking about listening, looking, watching and waiting for Him, but when it comes down to it, I don’t follow my own advice very well.

It finally occurred to me to look up 4:38 verses in the Bible and I was reminded and humbled again. He gives us what is not ours and what we have not earned and He plucks us from the pit and places us high on the backs and shoulders of mighty giants.

When we realize and remember this, there is nothing to do but live every moment in humble thanksgiving and love.

John 4:38
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.

Deuteronomy 4:38
…to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.

It starts with a seed

Imagine a tiny seed of Faith, something as small as a mustard seed gifted to us within our soul through His Grace. If we want it to grow we must tend this tiny seed through thanksgiving and prayer. As it grows we start to notice when our prayers are answered and we thank Him, and then begin noticing our unanswered prayers and thank Him. Eventually our thanksgiving becomes constant in all moments of our day and somewhere along the way this tiny plant of Faith flowers and a new seed is created, Hope.

After the success of one flower we continue tending our tiny garden with the same methods, constant thanksgiving and prayer, and then we notice a new light that has begun to fill our soul. It is a light we have not seen before, but we notice that it nourishes this new and tiny seedling in our soul and we begin longing to know this unknown light. As our longing and desire increases this new light begins shining on things that were previously not understood or known. With each new glimpse in the light our tiny plant of Hope grows and eventually flowers creating a new seed, Charity.

After the success of two flowers we continue tending our tiny garden now with a deep longing and hope for the light that reveals hidden mysteries around every corner, but always returning to constant thanksgiving and prayer even in the moments when we cannot see or feel the light. As our tiny seedling of charity grows, the light begins to shine on tiny glimpses of His Plan and we see the goodness and perfection of it. As our desire for the fulfillment of His Holy Will and Plan increases our thanksgiving and prayers continue, but are now changed as our requests decrease and our praise, thanksgiving and joy increase. Our sweet little plant begins to flower creating a new seed of True Charity, which is a great desire to love God above all else and glorify Him in everything, always.

It all starts with a tiny seed, but once we arrive at True Charity, we no longer wish to move the mountains of this world, for they His Glorious works for art. Instead we long for Him to work through us and with us and in us moving spiritual mountains to prepare the way for the fulfillment of His Holy, Good and Perfect Will.

Matthew 17:19-20 – Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

His Master Plans

… But God will not take away a life; he will devise plans so as not to keep an outcast banished forever from His presence.
2 Samuel 14:14

I read this today and was filled with gratitude and thanksgiving that He is in charge, the master plans are His!  I love that He changes them, adding and devising new plans with new paths to bring us home into His presence.

Thank You sweet Father for leading us home!

Footprints

As I walk along a beach covered in the visible footprints of today, and in the hidden footprints of many yesterdays and tomorrows  – I praise and thank You, O Lord, for directing my steps into the footprints of those who walk in Your ways, and I praise and thank You, O Lord, for leading in Your ways those whose footprints I walk in. Amen.

Psalm 25:4
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths.

Psalm 86:11
Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.

Vibrations

Sweet Lord as we surrender to Your Holy Will – could it be true that the vibrations of love flowing from our our hearts compose a beautiful symphony for You in Your Heavenly Courts?

The Greek word sumphoneo, where we get our modern English word Symphony is used to describe being in agreement, in unison, in one accord, to speak together, to concur with one another.  Thank you to Lowell Hohstadt for this definition.

Sweet Lord – I thank You for granting us such an amazing gift and privilege to fill Your Heavenly Courts with beautiful music when our hearts are aligned with Your Holy Will!

Matthew 18:19-20
Jesus said, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.  For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

Ephesians 5:18-19
… be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord…

A great prayer!

The other day I was helping my daughter out of the shower.  She walked into the open towel and I wrapped it around her.  She started to grab the sides, bundled it up and hugged it close.  I gently tugged on it to free it from her arms so I could rewrap it around her, but she held it tight and looked up at me with a laugh and said, “I am giving my towel a hug and thanking it for keeping me warm.”

I hope I can remember her sweet prayer of thanksgiving for all of the graces shown to me throughout my every day.

Thank you Lord for the blessing of my three sweet little teachers!

A beautiful change

In Mark 11:24 Jesus says

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer,  believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

I love this statement in the Bible.  It has been very close to my heart for a long time and it is one of the reasons I so strongly (and selfishly) believed and prayed for My Best Life for so long and this statement again held true when I began believing and praying for Our Best Life.

I am starting to find it very interesting that the more we believe and the more faith we have, the less we ask for in prayer.  Jesus knew about this beautiful change that happens within our hearts when we believe and He buried this wonderful secret deep within His statement for us to find as our faith and belief increase.

Lord please help me to remember every day, every hour, and every minute to believe and to have faith in Your Will so that my prayers of request decrease and my prayers of love, thanksgiving and gratitude increase despite the weather within my life.

Lord thank You for Your Divine Will… it is full of love and goodness for EVERYONE.

Please let this be my prayer…

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, my Love.

Remember our true home!

I am not usually a cynic, but today after spending too much at the grocery I arrived home, checked the mail and found a magazine that had a picture of probably a $5 million dollar home on the front with the article titled, “Love your home!”, and I thought to myself… seriously?  Do the people writing and publishing this magazine really believe that looking at photos of this outrageously extravagant house will help me and others love our homes?  Seriously… do they really believe this?

I took the magazine straight to the recycling box, because I certainly know that looking at it would not help me to love my home, but I have been wondering why it bothered me so much today.  Most days this wouldn’t phase me or bother me, but it did today.

Maybe my annoyance with this magazine is because, as scary as it is to say or to type, in a way it reminds me of my own expensive home, of my own excess, of my own greed, and of my own issues with envy?  Maybe for a moment I forgot about my true home?

Lord please be with me and remove envy from my heart and replace it with Your generosity and gratitude because I long to always love the home You have given to me while I am here, but most of all I long to always remember that You are my true home.

Please help me, I can’t do it without You, my Love.

The Lord is God

My husband and I went to Ethiopia about 10 years ago with Habitat for Humanity.  We were there for three weeks and we helped begin 8 houses in Jimma.  By the end of our stay the foundations had been dug and laid, and the walls of each home were about waist high.

We went because we wanted to help, but was the primary objective really for us to come and help carry bricks or did I miss a deeper lesson?

Looking back I am a little sad to see how much I failed to really see during our visit, but I am thankful for my memory which isn’t always the best, but usually holds onto the things that don’t seem important at the time, but later prove to be quite relevant and important.

The other day one of our Ethiopian Habitat leaders came to mind, Elias.  I haven’t thought about him in a long time, but I was so happy to remember him. Thinking of him made me smile!

He was with us throughout our entire stay in Ethiopia.  He met our group in Addis Ababa, traveled with us to Jimma, worked along side our group everyday and then saw us all the way back to the international airport in Addis Ababa at the end of our visit.

He was a quiet and thoughtful man.  He was born and raised in Ethiopia and had the opportunity to study engineering abroad.  After his studies he returned home.  I remember he told us how he loved Harrison Ford movies and I remember him eating traditional Ethiopian food at every meal, even at breakfast.  I am not sure why this surprised me at the time considering that we were in Ethiopia, but for some reason it did and every morning I was shocked once again to see him eating injera with wat for breakfast.

Most of all though, I remember watching him bow his head and pray before every meal.  I noticed it and I registered it enough to remember, but the beauty of his gratitude didn’t truly touch me at the time.  I can’t even recall if I had the consideration to bow my head and give him a moment of silence at each meal… I hope that I did, but I can’t say for cetain.

The name Elias means The Lord is God.  I think my friend’s name was well chosen and for the short time I spent with him, he truly lived it’s meaning every day.

I pray for a heart full of gratitude like my friend Elias, and I am so thankful that 10 years later, his message of thanksgiving and love for our Lord, God, is finally getting through to me.

The Festival of Lights!

My new sister-in-law is coming to celebrate Thanksgiving with us.  I spoke with her the other night to talk about the menu that weekend and at the end of the conversation she told me that Hanukkah begins the Wednesday before Thanksgiving this year.  She said she has never celebrated Hanukkah without a menorah and wondered if it would be okay for her to bring it.

A few years ago I would have said yes, but I would have completely missed out on the excitement and joy of this experience.

Jesus was Jewish!  He celebrated the Festival of Lights every year of His short life.  Can you imagine celebrating the Festival of Lights with the Light of the World standing by your side?

Just thinking about it… takes. my. breath. away.

I am so thankful to have my eyes open enough at the moment to see what a blessing it will be to celebrate the Festival of Lights in our home with my sweet new sister.

Thank You my Light, my Love, my sweet Jesus!