Monday, February 29, 2016

Awestruck Wonder . . .

In my head, I have a bucket list . . .not a large one . . .but there are a couple of items on my list.  One thing on my list is that I desperately want to see the Northern Lights  - aurora borealis.  I'm going to see that wonderful display someday!!

I know that I have a few friends who read my blog so I wasn't too surprised when one of my friends sent me a text this morning.  She told me to go to a certain place in the church and grab a copy of a book that she had started reading this morning.  She wanted me to do this because she had read my blog last night.

The name of the book she recommended is Wonder Struck - Awaken to the Nearness of God.  The book has been sitting on my desk all day but I've been busy!!  I just opened it and was amazed that on the first page or so, the author shares about seeing the Northern Lights and how she watched the lights dance in the sky.  Then I read these words, "It occurred to me that this is the posture we're supposed to take in our spiritual journeys.  God delights for us to cup our hands in prayer and scrunch our faces against the vault of heaven in holy expectation that he will meet us in beautiful, mysterious ways.  The Creator desires to captivate us not just with his handiwork but with himself - displaying facets of his character, igniting us with his fiery love, awakening us to the intensity of his holiness . . .the insistent invitation of the spirit is to stay alert!  Eyes wide open. Hands pressed against the glass.  We never know when or how God will appear. But we can live each day trusting that the God who met us in the past will once again greet us with arms wide open in the future."

Once again, God has used one of his folks here on earth to be his hands and feet and eyes and ears . . .and text messenger . . .to speak . . .to nudge.

Speak Lord for your servant is listening.  Speak!

The author of the book is Margaret Feinberg - I've read a grand total of about ten pages . . .but wow! I can't wait to read more.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Surgery, Life, Holy Land, Who Is This Man?, Baby Emma, Doubting, Crazy Life

The title of this post is about as crazy as life has been.  Glenn asked me about my blog during one of his recent hospital stays.  I simply said, "I haven't been able to write."   Sometimes the well dries up and my well has been really dry.  This weekend, I decided to write some stuff down and just let the words tumble out . . .so here goes.  I know that God has been with our family.  We've felt his presence during all of Glenn's hospital stays and surgery.  I felt his presence when I was in Israel . . .but I have still been in a season of doubt.  I'm 57 years old and I don't think I've ever experienced such a strange season before.  I was going through all the motions of being a Christian - I went to church every Sunday; I sang the hymns; I prayed the corporate prayers; I taught/facilitated Sunday School and Tuesday nights; I went to my accountability group (this is actually where I realized I had a problem!!).  One of the things we ask each other in the accountability group is "What was your closest moment to Christ this week?" I didn't have any moments closest.  Oh, I'm sure I came up with a few . . and I'm sure that those moment probably were my closest . . but I haven't been close to Jesus in quite some time. 

Glenn has suffered from some major health concerns over the last three years.  His health had improved slightly until he suffered a setback in October.  From October through January, I felt like we were on a roller coaster.  I can't imagine what he and Lauren felt like.  On top of Glenn's health concerns, our daughter took a job out of town and purchased her first house.  (she has it fixed up soooo cute)

on top of that, our daughter-in-law is expecting our first grandchild - coming very soon!
Baby Shower this weekend
We also lost a dear aunt; we celebrated some milestone family birthdays; we took a mini vacation to Nashville (one night and lots of laughter); and the list goes on and on . . .now add in a faith crisis; a major surgery for Glenn and a ten day trip to Israel (and in the last 9 months - I also have a new boss and we've added another Trinity campus and the list goes on)
I imagine you are wishing that I didn't want to share so freely, right?
"What has changed?" you ask.  Oh - you didn't ask?  Well, as Mark says, "I'm going to tell you anyway."
While Glenn was in the hospital (three times including a stay over Halloween, a discharge on December 23 (just in time for Christmas) and surgery the week before my trip, the body of Christ stepped up and went into action.  People sat with us at the hospital; people dropped off snacks for us; people prayed; people filled up a "take them a meal" calendar before I could blink; people have showered Lauren and baby E with gifts and love; people have loved on Laura every time she has been home.  Then I went to Israel.  I walked where Jesus walked.  I sat on the teaching steps where Mary and Joseph probably walked and Jesus probably sat.  I went to Jericho where Zaccheus climbed up in the tree.  AND God quietly worked on my heart.
BUT God (I love those words!) BUT God wasn't finished yet.  For Lent, we started studying Who Is This Man? By John Ortberg.  I highly recommend it.  I also started reading scripture and praying in the mornings (I did it for a LOOOONG time - years - and then stopped).  This morning, as I was reading scripture (which jumps off the page now because I have been to THOSE places!!), I realized that I had prayed a long long long time ago "God, make me hungry for your words.". This morning, I realized that I was HUNGRY to read scripture.  The word is indeed alive.  God is real, y'all.  Jesus is real.  Mark and I  went to church this morning (traditional and contemporary) and Sunday School.  It was powerful today - because God is real and I was hungry to hear the word. 
God may not always answer our prayers the way we want . . . he might not answer them in the time frame that we expect . . but God is always with us.  He was waiting on me with open arms when I returned - he let me run right into his arms.
I don't know about y'all but I need Jesus.  (I know this is a preachy post - I can't help it).  I know this probably doesn't even make much sense but I just need to record what has happened.
The title is indeed quite fitting . . .it has been a crazy year.  BUT God continues to show up.  Praise be to God!  I definitely have some moments close to Christ now!