As I’m getting settled in to my new home, it’s becoming a very sweet space. I love the openness and the light. Everywhere I look, I’m overwhelmed by the views. God is at every window, and I love watching Him show off.
I never imagined myself living in a house this size, and I figured I’d be very old before I lived with my son’s family. What a beautiful surprise this home has been for all of us. There is nothing sweeter than hearing the house come to life as the girls wake up or come home. They took a stroller ride over to Meme and Pepe’s earlier, so I’m alone with Matza. The sweet bulldog is whining and wishing they and Cookie would come back. I knew just how she felt and started to join in:)
There is a sense of peace in this place, and it has a lot to do with love. God designed us for community, and I’m beginning to see why. Honesty is the key when it comes to loving and living together, and I thank God for the honest communion that surrounds me here.
Life and love are meant to be shared, and God has given me the opportunity to share as I never imagined. I’ve spent a lifetime striving, driving, and doing when I should have been being:) His Spirit needs emptiness. I used to think that meant wearing myself out. It may mean getting wrung out, but it’s a wringing that feels wonderful when I relax and stop struggling and striving:)
The settling this week has been sweet as I’ve done just that. I haven’t sweated the little stuff, and that’s made a world of difference. The most important thing about the settling this week has been the company. Everything else is just icing on the cake:)
I’ve been out of my regular loop this week as I’ve been busy getting moving into the new house. There are still many boxes to unpack, but my bedroom furniture came yesterday, and Tyler worked late getting it all together! The girls and I have been sleeping on mattresses on the floor in my room this week as Tyler worked long hours and Gina helped care for her grandmother. Last night, mommy and daddy were here, so I was alone for the first time since Saturday. I missed the sweet pillow talk that lulled me to sleep each evening and brightened my spirit each morning. It’s been over a decade since I’ve shared a bed with anyone, and I loved the sweet snuggling.
This morning, I’m breathing in, relaxing in God’s Spirit, and enjoying His presence. The Holy Spirit is the breath of true life and love. That’s been the beautiful lesson this week. The Greek word for Spirit is the same word used for wind and breath. I have taken in deep breaths this week as both I and this beautiful home have come to new life.
Life and love without the Spirit is like being on life support. Life and love with the Holy Spirit is breathing in God. Christ’s precious love enables me to be one with Him, with God, and with the Holy Spirit so I can love as He loves and live the life He has planned. It isn’t about being independent; it is about stopping my struggle, relaxing in His love, and allowing His Spirit’s indwelling to be as natural as breathing.
There is no way to show someone how to breath. There are methods that improve lung and heart capacity, but breathing is an involuntary function closely tied to the heart. The same is true when it comes to the Holy Spirit. Love changes, and there is a new freedom. I no longer need a respirator! I can breath in God’s own Spirit thanks to Christ.
It has been a week of transition for me, and I finally understand the importance of breathing in His love. The best way to describe the lessons this week would be to say I feel as though I’ve come off the respirator and am breathing on my own. Breathing in God’s Spirit is a choice, and I’m the only one who can decide to pull the plug on trusting any other form of life support other than His love.
Sweet Susan’s passing yesterday was a big part of the lessons this week. As I watched her loved ones care tenderly for her at home as she wished, my heart saw love expressed in an amazing way. They allowed her to let go and breathe in God’s Spirit in the most powerful way possible. Breathing her last breath here surrounded by those she loved made the transition to her new and final home a beautiful one.
It’s been a week of amazing lessons in breathing, living, and loving; I thank God for loving me enough to send His only Son so I can breathe in His Spirit and live a life filled with His precious love. Breathing is about living, and living is about loving. Christ helps me live a life worth living forever where love is as natural as breathing:)
Little Mylah is learning to hold her own around big sister Lillyann, and I had to laugh as she held tightly to a little snowman Lillyann was dying to get her hands on. The little grin on Mylah’s face as she walked down the hall realizing she was going to get to keep it was priceless:)
Meanwhile, Lillyann is learning diplomacy and managed to trade a Santa for the snowman. They are learning to play together well, and there is nothing I love more than watching their interaction. The ride home Tuesday was a hoot as the girls giggled and squealed all the way. They had little tea lights and were pretending to zap each other. Each zap was followed by squeals of hysteria. There is nothing sweeter than get-a-long giggles, and my heart was full as I listened in and loved every silly moment.
I know the girls will become even closer as they grow up together. They already love each other so much, and I know they’ll miss one another next week while Lillyann is in Florida. Separation makes us appreciate those we love, and I know there will be lots of hugging when Lillyann gets home in time for Christmas. Mere and I will keep Mylah occupied, and having mommy and daddy all to herself will be good for Lillyann as they enjoy Sea World and family in Florida.
Learning to stand up for yourself is important, and Mylah’s doing very well in that department. There are times when I have to hold my own and not let others take advantage. Diplomacy is also essential when it comes to living together. It’s important to learn the fine art of give and take. I’m not worried about either girl and know they will be wonderfully different individuals who are closely connected. I thank God for giving me a front row seat and allowing me to be a big part of this special time in their lives. It’s a sweet privilege, and I plan to savor every moment:)
It’s December 1st, and the month promises to be an amazing one. God has made it clear that He has new beginnings in store for me. Yesterday, I went to see the home I will share with my son’s sweet family beginning on January 1st:) For a decade, I’ve lived alone as my journey involved a new beginning on September 1st, 2002 when I left my marriage of twenty-nine years. I’ve done a lot of hiding during the past decade, but I’m ready for the open spaces God has in mind for me.
As I toured the beautiful house, my heart felt right at home. I’m ready for company, and I can’t think of anyone with whom I’d rather share a home than my son and his family. Lillyann was so excited that Gigi was going to be living with her, and little Mylah gave me a smile that took me back to when her daddy was her age. Living together is what God has in mind for His children, and my grandmother lived with us for six months out of the year until she died.
Grandmother Banning was a big part of my life. I loved sharing meals with her, and I used to sit in wonder as she braided her long hair each morning and twisted it into a bun. She would unwind her bun and take out the braid each evening before going to bed. I can still hear her humming and singing as she sewed. She loved to sew, and mama had to tear the hems out of pillow cases and clothing to keep her busy.
During my mini-skirt phase in the sixties, grandmother would pull at my shirt as I walked by and ask if there was a hem that could be let out:) Lilly Belle Banning was a quiet presence who sewed and helped with household chores. I don’t recall playing with her, but I know we interacted. I pray that I will be a loving presence in the lives of Lillyann and Mylah and plan to play and enjoy the precious time I have with them. I know God will continue teaching me through them. I may be in for some graduate studies:)
Three years ago, my heart made some serious changes as I learned I could love and walk in God’s kingdom before I got to heaven. The journey took a turn that challenged my heart but taught it the importance of honest communion when it comes to loving and living as God desires. Love is not as complicated as we humans tend to make it. God is love, and He wants me to love Him and those in my path. It isn’t rocket science, but it does require a level of honesty that would have made me shrink away three years ago.
The lessons in love prepared my heart to open up and give God the space He desires. I had to smile when I saw the windows in the house. Natural light flooded the rooms, and breath-taking views of beautiful mountains were at every turn. I could not only see God as I looked in and out of those windows, I could feel His love pouring into my heart like the sunlight pouring into the rooms. Arthur Brisbane said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll use one rather than try to describe the scene.
God not only opened doors, He placed some amazing windows in my path yesterday. I love it when He wows me, and He definitely wowed me yesterday. I may just stand and stare out the windows and pray that I never take Him or His beautiful handiwork for granted. The open floor plan, the windows, and the beautiful pool overwhelmed me, but the look on Lillyann’s face when she squealed, “I’m so excited!” and Mylah’s sweet grin were the best features of the home.
I love a new day, a new month, a new year, and a new song! God’s timing is always perfect, and His plan is so much better than my own. Jeremiah 33 and Psalm 96 have reminded me this week that God is a god of new beginnings, and He has a special one in mind for me. That makes me want to squeal like Lillyann:)