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Catching the Wind & Seeing the Light

Catching the Wind

Ecclesiastes 1:14 says, I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.” Those verses might sound discouraging, and they are if I try to capture God or catch the wind. I love Ecclesiastes, and this verse is especially comforting. That may sound strange, but it touched my heart in a beautiful way this week and helped me see that my striving is in vain. It is as futile to chase after God as it is to attempt to catch the wind. Neither will be captured or held. Both are present in powerful ways, but I cannot hold either in my hands.

Like the wind, God comes to me when I stop what I’m doing and be intently still. When I do that, both capture me. The Holy Spirit is beautiful wind that comes when I cry out or when I hold my arms in love. Breath and spirit are the same, and that is never more obvious than when I am without the Spirit. Sometimes, my busyness causes me to miss the spirit and the wind. I rush here and there and end up winded rather than filled.

Lately, I’ve had trouble breathing because of mold. Our hot, rainy summer has left me struggling with a heavy feeling in my lungs. I don’t like not being able to breathe freely, but it reminds me not to take breath for granted. The best things in life come to me when I stop chasing them. That’s true when it comes to love and to breathing. If I think about breathing or panic when it becomes difficult, I end up making it much worse. The same is true when it comes to God. Relaxing and letting His Spirit flow through and around me, loosens up my heart and makes room for His love to grow unfettered in my life.

God and the wind will not be fettered, but that doesn’t keep me from trying. I learn in the striving and often find myself letting out a deep sigh of release when my energy is expended. I suppose it’s human nature to struggle, but God’s nature isn’t like mine at all. His nature is love, and love cannot be captured or contained. Love is like wind, and chasing it is vanity. The beautifully reassuring message is that it will come to me when I stop trying to catch it.

Satiety and Satisfaction

I began using Garcinia Cambogia today in an effort to lose some weight around my middle. I have to say it’s been a great day filled with lots of things other than food. I ate far less than I regularly do and exercised more. I also did more and had time left over to relax. Thinking about, preparing, and eating food obviously took up a lot of my time, but I never really felt satisfied. Food was also a source of comfort and entertainment. I’ve entertained myself in a different way today and enjoyed not thinking about food.

I’m not sure what results I’ll see, but I do know that I like having my mind free to think about other things. Satiety is defined as “the quality or state of being fed or gratified to or beyond capacity” and is something I rarely feel. I’ve felt it all day today, and it’s been amazing. My father once told me that I was born hungry and would most likely die hungry. Mama made a point to feed me every time my mouth opened when I was a newborn, and I picked right up where she left off when I got big enough to feed myself.

I distinctly remember eating five meals a day as a child. I ate heartily at breakfast, lunch, after school, dinner, and before bedtime every single day. I also ate in between those times, so it’s a wonder I wasn’t obese. I weighed a steady 110 pounds from the time I was in high school until I got married at 21. I gained ten pounds but then went back to 115. When I went into labor with my son Tyler, I weighed a whopping 152 pounds. I left the hospital weighing 122. I remember thinking I was a beached whale. Funny how perspective changes:)

Yesterday, I weighed 150 when I got out of bed. I decided it was time to do something since I wasn’t nine months pregnant. I also have been feeling heavy, and that makes me tired and unable to do what I want to do. I’ve never been one to diet, and I’m still not one to diet. I was intrigued, as I know many have been, with the information coming out about Garcinia Cambogia. I have a friend who’s been taking it for a while without a noticeable change in weight, but I thought I’d give it a try and see if my insatiable appetite might be curbed.

It’s not fun to not be satisfied, and that applies to more than food. God reminded me this morning to be satisfied with what He provides, and I have to agree with Him. Hunger is designed to make sure I eat enough to keep my body going, but I never allow myself to get hungry. I have to say that I have not been the least bit hungry all day, and I’ve eaten at least half, if not less, than I normally eat. It will be interesting to see what happens:)

 

My Garcinia Cambogia guarantees satisfaction or I get my money back. Life doesn’t offer the same guarantee, but God does promise that He is God and does know what He’s doing. That’s a promise that helps me stop hungering for what I want and be satisfied completely with what He gives.

 

Clearing & Clarity

The scales say I’m down two pounds, but my heart and head say I’ve lost even more. I haven’t fasted in a very long time, so I forgot the clarity that clearing food from the table brings. I didn’t fast yesterday, but I did eat considerably less than I normally do. A beautiful side effect was that what I did eat was delicious. I imagine my taste buds had become numb with all the food I was eating because I never allowed myself to be truly hungry. I mentioned that yesterday, and I see it as the heart of the lessons God has for me this week.

Clarity comes from clearing away, and it was just what my heart and body needed. I am surprised by the satisfaction and the clarity that allows my heart and mind to be more focused upon God. My prayers are different, and I find they are even more powerful than when I fast. When fasting, I think of food and the fact that I am very hungry. That makes my prayers more fervent and gives a sense of sacrifice, but I like the feeling of having time and focus much better. That gives greater intimacy which is what God and I both desire.

So often, with God and in conversations with others, there is a rushed feeling that keeps intimacy at bay. Clarity is lost because my heart and mind are divided. I love having time to stop and enjoy both the food and the conversations God places in my path. Both make me feel lighter in spirit. Clearing the path makes traveling so much easier, and I would say that’s what the Garcinia Cambogia did for me yesterday. I can also feel a difference in the way my clothes are fitting, so I’d say the results are great. A day can make a big difference, and I look forward to seeing what’s yet to come.

All Things Work Together

As we sang the beautiful song “Your Love Never Fails” by Chris Quilala yesterday during our worship service, the words touched my heart in a powerful way. Romans 8:28 wraps around me in a way that transforms my heart. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” NASB

The song captures those words in a way that makes my heart want to sing for joy. Several beautiful verses come together in the song. Psalm 30:5 has always been a favorite, and the reassurance it brings is beyond compare. “For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” NASB

Look at the lyrics and listen to the song and see for yourself.

Nothing can separate

Even if I ran away

Your love never fails

 

I know I still make mistakes

But You have new mercies for me everyday

Your love never fails

 

Chorus:

You stay the same through the ages

Your love never changes

There may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning

 

And when the oceans rage

I don’t have to be afraid

Because I know that You love me

Your love never fails

 

Verse 2:

The wind is strong and the water’s deep

But I’m not alone here in these open seas

Cause Your love never fails

 

The chasm is far too wide

I never thought I’d reach the other side

But Your love never fails

 

Bridge:

You make all things work together for my good

 

God makes all things work together for my good, and that puts all things into His perspective and out of mine.

 

http://youtu.be/IoezWBPGRAc

Mountain Moral Monday

As I joined in the Mountain Moral Monday protest yesterday, I was overwhelmed by the crowd of nearly 10,000 people gathered to show concern for all that is happening in North Carolina. I have to admit that I am guilty of not keeping up with all that is going on in Raleigh, so I’m as responsible as the lawmakers who are having their way with this state.

I have never been ashamed to be from North Carolina, and I always have been and will continue to be very proud to say that I taught in the North Carolina public schools for thirty-three years. I love teaching and I love North Carolina, so I thank God for allowing me to be part of the education of thousands of beautiful young people. I’m sorry to say that I have been shaking my head in disbelief and shame lately at all that is being done to harm this state that once was a leader in the field of education.

I couldn’t help but ask myself what former governor Jim Hunt must think about the travesty playing out in Raleigh. I know his heart is breaking as he watches all his hard work going right down the drain. Bad things happen when good people do nothing, and I am glad to be part of a movement to say enough is enough. It was nice to feel pride for my state again as I watched in wonder at all the people in Pack Square.

I was very proud to stand right behind Reverend Barber during his press conference yesterday. I was taking part in history, and I want Lillyann and Mylah to know that I did it for them. I agree that true conservative Christians want to make sure love is conserved for future generations.

As the Fawn

One of my favorite songs is “As the Deer” by Martin J. Mystrom. The inspiration for the beautiful song comes from Psalm 42:1 “As the deer pants for the water brooks,
 So my soul pants for You, O God.” NASB

I do thirst for God. When I find myself spiritually dry, I know it’s time to get back to that sweet stream of living water Christ provides for me. God took the familiar image to a different level yesterday as I drove down the mountain to go to aerobics class. I saw a doe crossing the road, so I stopped my car and watched as a sweet little fawn hurried to catch up with her. I realized it was time for me to do the same. It’s been a tough week filled with difficult lessons that hurt my heart deeply. Those are the lessons I try to avoid, but God is a persistent and patient teacher who waits for me to be ready to hear what He has to say to my heart.

The lessons were varied, but the theme was the same all week. As Reverend Barber reminded me at the rally on Monday, it’s simply about doing what’s right. That varies when it comes to political issues, but it is clear with God. Learning to love as He desires is not an easy task. Just when I think I have it figured out, I realize how little I know. Loving God is easier when I stay close to Him., so I have to be like that little fawn when it comes to following if I want to find the peace His presence provides.

I had a particularly bad day yesterday, but the little parade at the bottom of the mountain was just what I needed to redirect my focus. I stopped looking at my troubles and started looking at God’s love for me. Aerobics with friends and a hot shower helped get rid of any remaining kinks, and I began to see light at the end of the tunnel. There will always be tunnels and rain in life, especially if I decide to love. Opening my heart lets in pain as well as joy, but that’s preferable to an empty heart.

Hopefully, the image of the little fawn running after her mama will help me follow in a way that keeps me from getting too far off the path. Sometimes I just have to stop and be reassured by His loving touch.

Lust, Love, and m&m’s

God broke the sugar coating right off of my heart this week and used a very sweet image to teach an important lesson in love. I have the tendency to allow my heart, as Langston Hughes would say, to “crust over like a syrupy sweet” in order to protect it from the pain that accompanies love. God’s love cracked that colorful coating into a thousand pieces last week in order to show me the deep rich love I was about to miss. Forest Mars and Bruce Murrie found that a candy coating would keep their sweet chocolate from melting in my hand before it melted in my mouth. I learned the same about my heart long ago.

I wasn’t expecting the image God brought early this morning. In fact, I already had my own image and my own beautiful thoughts. I am learning to let go of mine and go with His. Lust is a colorful candy coating that covers love if I let it. I’m afraid I’ve done just that for a very long time. If I settle for lust’s candy coating, I miss the rich love God has in mind for me. I can’t imagine putting m&m’s in a jar and looking at them or licking off the coating and throwing the chocolate away, but I came very close to doing just that last week.

God knows the way I love, and He always knows exactly what my heart needs. I marvel at how He used a little piece of candy to teach a lesson I will not soon forget. Each time I eat one of those sweet little treats, I plan to smile and thank God for the deep rich love that is more than I could ever imagine on my own and far better than the thin colorful coating that covers it.

What If?

Do you ever catch yourself wondering how your life might have been different if you had made different decisions. I found myself doing just that as I reconnected with a dear friend this morning. I heard once that the biggest mistake we can make when it comes to the past is thinking it could have turned out any differently. It destroys the present when I wander into my past or future with a wondering attitude. It’s best to thank God for all the beautiful experiences He’s placed in my path, is placing in my path, and will continue to place in my path. That way, I can enjoy the beautiful present He gives me each day.

Movies about slipping back in time or fast forwarding to the future all have the same theme-enjoy the present! I allowed myself to pine for a while today, but my thoughts quickly turned to my son and his beautiful family. I am so grateful to be able to share this special time of connection with them. The lessons over the past eight months have been about loving and living together, and I thank God for each and every one of them.

It’s was wonderful to go back to a very special time in my life, and I’m grateful for the sweet memories God brought to the surface today. My heart needed the nudge. While special moments can never be recreated, they can be revisited in a way that renews and revives the spirit. Renewing past connections is as important as making new ones. As my friend reminded me today, we are all connected. We just don’t always know it:)

We are all one, and it was nice to feel that sweet oneness today. Christ said, “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;” John 17:22 (NASB) 

I’m learning that being connected is what life is all about. It is what Christ wanted, wants, and will always want for us. I was reminded today of a time when I was as close to God as I ever remember being. I veered off the path for a very long time after that, but I found my way back. I’ve always taken the circuitous route, but that works out well because I come full circle a lot. The trick, as another friend told me, is to spiral upward with each of those circles. I did that today, and it felt wonderful!

On to the Field

The lessons of the past two weeks have hit hard and touched my heart deeply. The image of an open field this morning didn’t surprise me given the nature of those lessons. God has used images of cages and fields many times over the past few years in His lessons dealing with love, but He’s never used them together until this morning.

On Monday, God took me back to a time when my heart was as open as it has ever been in my life. I spent three beautiful days camping in the woods with a dear friend. Open fields and beautiful woods created the perfect environment for honest communion that freed my spirit. It was a time of simply being honest in a place of complete openness. In the exposure, there was no place for my heart to hide. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, God was present in a very intimate way.

I told my friend that I felt like a caged animal set free for a weekend. Hearts belong in open fields, but I returned to my cage immediately after that beautiful weekend afraid to venture back on to the field. On Monday, memories of that weekend flooded my heart in a very healing way. Cages have taken many forms over the years, but my fear of venturing on to the field has remained firm. I love “Sympathy” by Paul Lawrence Dunbar and can connect to the image of a caged bird. Singing and cages come in many forms.

     I know what the caged bird feels, alas!

         When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;

     When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,

     And the river flows like a stream of glass;

         When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,

     And the faint perfume from its chalice steals —

     I know what the caged bird feels!

    I know why the caged bird beats his wing

         Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;

     For he must fly back to his perch and cling

     When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;

         And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars

     And they pulse again with a keener sting —

     I know why he beats his wing!

    I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,

         When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—

     When he beats his bars and he would be free;

     It is not a carol of joy or glee,

         But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,

     But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings —

     I know why the caged bird sings!

Maya Angelou’s autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” also strikes a familiar chord in my heart. Attempts to leave the cages in which I’ve found myself have left me bruised and sore but never completely free. God put a special time of openness into my path forty-two years ago, and He brought back those memories in a vivid way this week. I haven’t had the faith to venture into His openness until this morning as I walked with a dear friend. Instead of the woods, Rita wanted to walk around the football field. I always marvel at the way God orchestrates my learning, but He undid me today. The openness of the football field was the perfect backdrop for His lessons in love that caught me totally off guard. The players would say I was blindsided:)

Love is an open field, and I’ve always known that. My heart yearns for openness and pleas for freedom, but my body and mind continue to confine and control. I remember a time when I was free to be who God created me to be. My heart has been beating its wings against bars for forty-two years. God reminded me, yet again, that I am the one who continues to shut and lock doors. Faith is the key that opens those doors. God is waiting for me to find faith that will allow my heart to come out of the cage and head out on to the field.  I know God will provide all my heart needs and more if I will only trust Him. I am eternally grateful for loving friends who gently nudge me on to the field and cheer enthusiastically for me.

Like many of my friends and family, Rita worries about my love life. She relayed stories about friends finding love late in life this morning as we walked. When we finished walking, she looked at me with a big grin and said in her beautiful Boston accent, “You need to start playing the field!” Right on cue, the football team came out of the fieldhouse wearing broad grins and dressed out in maroon and white. I had to smile and marvel as God used a group of dedicated Maroon Devils to teach an important lesson on the importance of getting out of the cage and on to the field.

A Beautiful Thing!

As I was eating gelato with friends yesterday, I said very seriously, “Toasted pistachios are a beautiful thing!!” We all laughed out loud, and I’m sure those walking by must have thought we were a little nutty I looked at the ladies surrounding me and realized friendship is a beautiful thing. I am blessed with more than my share of dear friends, and I pray I never take any of them for granted. I also have three amazing sisters who are my dearest and oldest friends. God manifests His love in the laughter and tears of friends who share my path.

I had lunch on the river today with my dear friend Robbie. As we shared gelato afterward, I told her I felt nineteen again. I explained that God took my heart back to a time of innocence that renewed my faith and reminded me that I am still who I was at nineteen and always will be. It may seem an odd analogy, but I feel as though God picked me right up off the path and put me back down right before the intersection where I took a terrible turn away from Him.

I’m very thankful for the lessons I’ve learned over the past four decades, and I’m thankful for the lessons this week that reminded me that friends who hear my heart and love me with an honest openness are as good as it gets. My path has been overflowing this week. The connections and reconnections God placed in my path were just what my wounded heart needed. There is nothing better than having friends who share the pain and the joy of the journey. It is a beautiful thing indeed!

Tagging Along or Out in Front

In “My Utmost for His Highest,” Oswald Chambers gives a beautiful description of the new life that comes from the rebirth Christ promises. “The new life manifests itself in conscious repentance and unconscious holiness.” Jesus tells Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 NASB)

The biggest misconception when it comes to Christianity is that rebirth happens automatically. Nothing could be further from the truth. I did not choose to be born the first time around, but rebirth requires a conscious decision on my part. Repentance that leads to rebirth requires obedience that causes me to die to self so I can see God in a new light. Just as a baby coming through the birth canal is blinded by the light of this world, my heart is also overwhelmed by the light of God’s kingdom during the process of rebirth.

In God’s kingdom, He is more than a father, protector, guide, and teacher. He is the Ruler He has been, is, and always will be. Seeing God in the light of His kingdom changes the way I see myself and His world. Without rebirth, I simply bid God to join me on my journey instead of being led on His. There is a world of difference, and entering His kingdom makes that crystal clear. He will never leave me alone, but He will not tag along after me. I found myself lost, alone, and at the end of my hope when I realized the path I was traveling was quickly unraveling toward me. Sometimes a new direction isn’t an option; such was the case with my heart.

While God will not tag along behind me, He has been, is, and always will be present on my journey. When I die to self, I’m ready to be led. He lifted me off the unraveling path I was traveling and set me down in the woods where we had a very special connection long ago. It was a time of beautiful rebirth, and I was nineteen once again. Trips down the birth canal are always traumatic because they take me from the familiar into the unknown. It is a fearful trip, but hearing mama’s voice at the other end calmed and soothed my frightened heart the first time. I remember vividly how Tyler’s crying stopped the moment he heard my voice. God’s comforting voice at the end of that rebirth canal had the same effect upon me.

I’m not sure what God has in mind for the next leg of this incredible journey, but I do know Who will be out front and who will be tagging along as we travel.

Bringing My Heart Home

In his commentary on Jeremiah, Walter Brueggemann says, “We become like the god we serve. Pursue a bubble and become a bubble.The object of love determines the quality of love.” My study of Jeremiah over the past two weeks has been a challenge. Jeremiah has a way with words, and his poetry always touches my heart very deeply. However, his message from God is not an easy one to swallow. All prophets must struggle with the temptation to say people want to hear, but there is another word for those who do that. Prophets and harlots have very different agendas. Harlotry is easier in the short term, but prophets who speak the truth with love have a sweet closeness to God that is far better than anything this world has to offer. Jeremiah knew the cost of proclaiming the truth, and God’s messengers know it today.

The past three days have been powerful ones for me as I’ve been given the rare gift of seeing a glimpse of my nineteen-year-old self through the eyes of a dear friend. Forty-two years ago, I went on a camping trip with a very special friend. It was a time of connection that brought us closer to God, and it was wonderful to get to relive that time. He wrote a book based on conversations we had that weekend and shared it with me this week. As we talked about the book today, I was deeply touched the healing our honest communion brought both then and now. Sharing the truth with love changes the one telling the story as well as the one hearing it.

Jeremiah knew the importance of sharing Gods truth with love. He was given a difficult message to pass along. Those words were for the people of Israel thousands of years ago, and they are for me today.

Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:10 NASB

It’s been a month of dying to self and having my very foundation pulled out from under me. The razing prepared my heart for the building and planting God has in mind. God put loving friends right where I needed them, right when I needed them. He always does, but I don’t always notice. I hope to become more aware of all He has at every turn and pray I never lose my sense of awe when it comes to His glory.

I was reminded this week that childlike faith is to be cherished, and I also learned to love who I have been, am, and will continue to be under God’s loving care. I am grateful for those willing to love honestly and share the path in a way that gives me the courage to share my own story. When I find the courage to tell the truth with love, I find God in that telling. It changes me and those with whom I share the path. The lessons this week have been very difficult, but I love the way God brought them home to my heart. In fact, those lessons brought my heart home in a beautiful way. It’s His and always has been, and I know He has wonderful plans in store as He continues to “pluck up, break down, destroy, and overthrow” so He can “build and plant” what He has in mind. 

The sunset this evening was just God showing off, and I absolutely love it when He does that!!

Happy First Anniversary to Me!

Happy first anniversary of blogging to me! The year has been filled to the brim with lessons that have taken me out of my comfort zone and pushed me beyond what I thought possible. I marvel at how God has taken my desire to share my journey with my sweet grandbabies and turned it into something so much more. In my thirty-three years of teaching, I was constantly telling my students to write about their lives because no one else could ever write their autobiographies. I journaled my pain, but I never found the courage to write my own story until a dear friend encouraged me to write for Lillyann. Audience makes all the difference when it comes to writing, and I was suddenly motivated to tell the truth with love so she, and now Mylah, could hear Gigi’s heart.

Life and love are about hearing one another’s heart, and that has been the biggest lesson I’ve learned as I’ve brought my story into the open. It’s a lot like taking off my clothes in front of a large group of people, and I almost didn’t do it. I put it off until God made it clear that I needed it even more than my little granddaughters. Telling my story has opened my heart in a way that I could never have imagined a year ago. I thought it would be easy to blog about my life, but that has not been the case at all. For those of you who write and share your stories, you know exactly what I mean. Writing takes a toll on the heart, and I’ve always known that. In my classroom, I had photos of famous authors all around the room. I thought it was important for my students to see the face of the person who wrote the literature we were reading.

One day, a middle school student asked me very seriously if all the authors on the wall had sad life stories. I was cautious how I answered that question because I wanted my students to be encouraged to write, but I also wanted to be honest. I told him that many of the authors did have tragic lives; I saw a teachable moment and knew I needed to be honest. I love middle school students because they are so very real and know the pain that brings into their own lives. I told my students that writing takes a willingness to let others see your pain and feel your hurt, and that takes a toll on the heart and the soul. It isn’t for the weak and takes more courage than anything else in this world. I didn’t tell them that was why I avoided real writing like the plague. I wasn’t ready to reveal that much to them. I wish I could have been a better example in that regard.

They understood as only middle schoolers can, and I’m sure many of them saw my own cowardice. They didn’t call me on it, so that means they either didn’t notice my fear or they understood and respected it. I do remember wishing I was as brave as those faces looking down from the wall that day. I have thought about that question many times and find great irony in the fact that I taught writing yet didn’t write. I see now that my passion came from the fact that I could not do what I so wanted them to be able to do. Like a prisoner pleading for those on the outside to enjoy the open air, I was pleading with them to do what I could not bring myself to do. I was fifty-seven before I found the courage to write as I knew I should and fifty-nine before I found the courage to share my writing with others. I would say late is better than never, but I know timing is much more complicated than that.

I know the importance of readiness when it comes to learning, and the teacher in me knows that my heart wasn’t ready to write or admit that I couldn’t in that classroom long ago. God used my passionate desire to write to encourage my students to write. He really does make all things work together for good. He was writing His story on my heart all along, but I wasn’t ready to hear it. The most difficult critic to get past when writing is self, and I imagine that’s true for all writers. A year ago today, I struggled with sending my first post. I know I read it a hundred times and cried almost as many times before finding the courage to take my clothes off in front of the world and say here I am. I smile when I read that now because my heart has truly come home, and I love myself in a way I never believed possible. I marvel at how God works, and I thank Him and all who have given me the courage to open my heart and be who He created me to be.

Rain + Sunshine = A Beautiful Sunset

As I watched the sunset last night, I was taken aback by the changes occurring right before my eyes.  I took several photos but they were not even a glimpse of the glory unfolding as I watched with a wonder that allowed me to see God’s love in the moment. His love is always present, but sometimes, it unfolds like a sunset after a rainy day. His love is never the same, never what I expect, but always just what I need. The tragic death of an eleven-year-old girl in our community reminded me this morning that lives, like sunsets, are subject to change at any given moment.

Like a sunset, clouds create a more profound beauty than a clear horizon. The sun interacts with the moisture in the clouds just as God’s love interacts with the tears of His beloved children. Without the tears, life would be a series of sunrises and sunsets that all looked alike. I thank God for the clouds and the tears because they create a delicate beauty that can never be replicated or captured. Suffering creates a beauty in a wounded heart that cannot be described, only shared with another wounded heart. There are never words to adequately describe the pain of suffering or the joy of healing, but Psalm 30:5 gives the reassurance I need when clouds come into my life. “Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” NASB The old saying about a red sky at night being a sailor’s delight also applies to my heart. When the storm clouds leave, the evening sky comes to life. God clears away the heaviness and brings a deeper joy than I can imagine to my heart if I wait upon Him. Just as I could not capture the beauty of the sunset last night, I cannot describe the joy that comes when my broken heart finds healing.

Life can change for the good or in a tragic way at any given moment, and that makes me look at life in a new light. The glass doors and windows of my bedroom open out to a western horizon that takes my breath away with sunsets that set the sky on fire. Yesterday, as I was driving home, I noticed a house that had closed blinds on all the windows. I wondered how anyone could live shut up in such a house, and then I remembered that I shut my heart off the very same way for much of my life. My curtains and my heart are open now, but the breathtaking views from my room go unnoticed when I’m too busy to stop, and love slips away if I don’t have time to connect as God desires.  Hearts and windows must to be open to the sunshine and the rain if I want to see sunsets that come when the two come together. It is truly a glimpse of what is yet to come.

Love is a Lighthouse

Love is a lighthouse nestled near the shore.

Burning brightly in the darkness.

Weathering every storm.

Not drawing attention, simply giving light.

Reflecting love with focus fixed above.

A beacon for the lost searching for the shore.

Facing harsh winds and crashing waves.

Lonely against the horizon, but connected to the Source.

Shining brightly in a darkness most could not endure.

Withstanding the trials of time.

Reaching up and out in love.

Hidden inside, stairs are spiraling upward.

Leading others to the Light.

Love is a lighthouse nestled near the shore.

 

 

 

 

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