Bathing Suits & Boots :)

bathing-suits-and-boots.jpgDuring a sudden downpour yesterday afternoon, I caught myself daydreaming about playing in the rain. Mama used to let us play in the puddles after a hard rain, and she also told us stories about washing her hair in rainwater. I had the sudden urge to go outside and wash my hair in the rain. I was contemplating getting up and heading outside when a commotion outside my door brought me back to reality.

I got up to see what was going on and met the girls coming down the stairs in their birthday suits. They wanted me to help them get into their bathing suits quickly because mommy said they could play outside in the rain. I asked if I could play with them. They squealed with delight and said, “SURE!!!”

I got them ready and told them I would get on my suit and meet them upstairs. As I was heading up, they were heading back down. They needed boots for puddle jumping. Of course they did! I should have thought of that myself. In fact, I should have thought of going outside in the first place and invited them to go out with me!

We jumped in puddles, ran through the little river running down the drive, and got soaked from our heads to our toes. I can’t remember ever feeling as free as I did while we were holding hands and jumping in puddles.  Lillyann made the biggest splashes because she strategically located herself right in front of the deepest water. She swam in the deep end of the pool without help for the first time earlier in the day, so it was truly a wonderful day in the water. Her confidence level was peaking yesterday, and her spirit was soaring. Playing in the rain was icing on the cake for all of us as Lillyann took a big girl step forward, and Gigi took a giant leap back in time. Mylah got caught up in all the excitement and loved every moment.

Rain usually makes me sad and reminds me of difficult times. Having someone who understands my heart is having someone with whom I can watch the rain. I realized yesterday that it’s also nice to play in the rain with those who hear and see the kid in me. The girls definitely do that, and they help me hear and see her too. I love that about them.

Taking myself too seriously is a most serious sin. It bogs down my heart and keeps me from being who God created me to be. It was very freeing to let silliness have its way with me for a while yesterday, I needed to play in the rain with someone, and God gave me the perfect playmates. I know He was enjoying our laughter even more than we were, and that’s what I love most about Him 🙂

Icing the the Heart

Cold start

Frozen heart

Ready for the thaw.

Ice breaking

Heart aching

Feeling every flaw.

Choices made

Foundation laid

Hurting from the fall.

Corners turned

Bridges burned

Answering His call.

New start

Clean heart

Ready to hold love.

Fighting Fires:)

I have the utmost respect for firefighters and cannot imagine what being one must entail. I don’t claim to know anything about that difficult calling, but I could relate as I tried, in vain, to put out a lot of little fires while keeping the girls last night:) I say that figuratively and with a smile because they reminded me of how a little spark can ignite a new fire just when I think I have things under control. If I take the please and appease approach to life, I better be prepared to fight fires!

I imagine a very important lesson in real firefighting must be to never assume all the sparks are out:) The girls had a very tough evening last night, and I did a terrible job of keeping them satisfied. I got one problem solved and another suddenly popped up. I realize today that trying to appease was my problem. It’s impossible in the best of situations and should never be my goal. As a mom, I know that; Gigi, however, is sorely tempted to please and appease. I am just learning that lesson in love, and God reminded me this morning that those lessons apply to grandbabies, as well. Ouch!

I know from experience that being a pleaser or appeaser isn’t even good for the moment, and I also know it will come back to bite me on the behind if not careful. My behind was sore on the drive home last night, and my pride was wadded up and whimpering on the floor. I felt like a complete failure when Tyler came in from a very long day to find a crying baby and a contrite big sister. I explained the problems and confessed my confusion in knowing any causes. I smiled as I said it must be me, but there was an element of truth in the statement that left me humbled.

Hindsight is twenty-twenty, so I have a much clearer view this morning. I was a lot of the problem as I juggled two little girls’ wishes and wants and tried to make both happy. Mylah is going through the weaning process, so I literally couldn’t satisfy her wants. I just held her and offered love. Lillyann was still excited about a wonderful afternoon with her little friend, and she just couldn’t get her feet back on the ground. I wasn’t able to help either find satisfaction.

I love the way God uses all to teach and did a little whining and crying myself when I got home. I can relate to the sweet girls and to mommy and daddy who were tired and needed a little love themselves. As I watched them take one girl each and love on them, I thanked God for the sweet little family who fill my heart and teach me wonderful lessons in love. I know today will be a better day as I remember that pleasing and appeasing only offer temporary fixes. I plan to play, be present, and not start any fires myself:)

Petty or Peaceful Pace?

Macbeth’s indifference in regard to the death of his wife reminds me that life without God is indeed a petty pace filled with strutting and fretting on a stage. The best of intentions still pave the path to hell and keep me from spending time in God’s kingdom. The frailty of life was vividly brought home to me this week, and I was reminded that my time here is very brief. God provides a peaceful pace that takes tomorrow and yesterday out of the way.

Here’s a reminder of Shakespeare’s famous lines:

Macbeth:
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

A century is a mere blink in the vast expanse of eternity, so life is brief as well as fragile. God allows me chose whether my blink will be a wink, a nap, or a space filled with His love. My life can signify nothing as Macbeth bemoans. It can be played out with sound and fury or pass unnoticed. The good news is that it can also be filled with God’s love. It’s my choice. I cannot grow nearer to God and not grow nearer to those in my path. I cannot grow nearer to those in my path without changing the way I look at the world. I cannot change the way I look at the world and not change the way I live and love.

This journey is designed especially for me, and I don’t mean that in a selfish way. God gives me time and space to apply His love. What I do with His gift is up to me. I am very grateful for the lessons He gives and for the freedom to decide how I will live. Love cannot exist without choice; freedom and truth accompany true love. Trying to get others to like and love me has caused a great deal of damage to my heart. I finally understand that being a loving presence has nothing to do with winning friends and influencing people, and that’s a relief:) It’s taken a long time and a lot of help, but I get finally get it. I don’t regret the way I’ve learned or the fact that it took so long. I have no desire to fret about the slowness or strut about the understanding.

My pace has been petty for sixty years, and my mistakes have been numerous. God’s pace is always peaceful and never petty, and a life lived with Him will be the same. Tomorrow creeps into the petty pace when God isn’t in the picture. When He’s Lord of my life, then today doesn’t leave room for tomorrow or yesterday. The present literally becomes just that, a beautiful present given each morning that I get to open and decide how to spend. Worry and regret will creep in if I open the door to tomorrow or yesterday; but if I keep my focus upon God’s sweet presence, I can live life at a peaceful pace and enjoy every moment. As my dear friend would say, “That’s a life worth living forever.” I agree:)

 

Unexpected Gift

Coming face to face with death was not what I expected on my birthday, but God had me do just that. I watched a sweet saint go into God’s presence yesterday afternoon and was awed and humbled as never before in my life. I wasn’t with mama when she died, but even if I had been, it wouldn’t have been the same experience because I was in an altered state and unaware of what was going on around me during that time. Yesterday, I was able to observe calmly and was touched deeply by God’s unexpected gift. It caught me off guard and caused a stillness unlike any other as I held my breath and watched as Edith took her last breath.  She was so like mama, so my heart was immediately carried away in a flood of emotions that took me to my car and followed me home.

Being in the presence of death was a lesson I will not soon forget. Life is a vapor, and ethereal took on new meaning as I shared the room with death. Life is tenuous and a mere blink when compared to the eternity within which we live. That was the lesson as God captured and held my attention tightly in those few frozen moments.

Mama left a hole in my heart when she died. I think of her often but particularly miss her on my birthdays. She always made sure they were very special. She was like a child herself and loved celebrating birthdays. She would sometimes hide my present under the bed so I could open it as soon as I awoke. One year, I got a Barbie doll! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that lean lanky doll in her black and white swimsuit:) I remember birthday cakes and parties and feeling like a princess all day long. I felt very like a princess yesterday morning, but in the hospital room yesterday afternoon, I knew I was a bride.

Edith had waited patiently for Christ to come for her and grown weary in the waiting. I thank God for allowing me to see her wait come to an end. She isn’t anxious any more, and she is in the presence of more love than she or I could ever imagine. As I worked on last minute details for the wedding, I was reminded of the excitement a wedding brings. The bible study yesterday morning also reminded me that I am Christ’s bride. That changes the way I wait. I am to be preparing for His coming just as He is preparing a place for me in His Father’s House. I know He’s doing a much better job than I with those preparations, but I plan to improve on my preparing.

I thank God for the beautiful, unexpected gift of stillness in the presence of His love that touched my heart. Death helped me see life and love in a new light. It’s easy to get weary in the waiting, but knowing that Christ is also waiting eagerly helps me puts everything into perspective. It sometimes seems like a long wait, but if I wait as an expectant bride or a child on Christmas eve, the wait is not a weary one.