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Archive for April, 2010

Grandchildren

Once upon a time there was a woman who loved children very much.  From the time she had been a very little girl, she enjoyed babies and caring for them.  She would often lay in her bed at night thinking about caring for her own children some day and she thought and thought about the ways she would (and wouldn’t) teach and train them; how she would be sure they knew she loved them and how they would grow wise and secure.  She would tell them all about God’s love and show them how to live according to God’s principles so that they could enjoy a long and good life.

Finally the little girl grew up and married a wonderful husband and, in God’s time, eventually had two little boys.  Oh, how she loved those little boys!  She thanked God for them every day—multiple times every day!  And, true to her word, she began teaching them about God and about His love and guidance from the first day of their lives.

Those little boys grew and grew and grew.  It happened so very fast!  God blessed this family’s teaching and training and those little boys grew very wise and strong in their faith and in their walk with God.  At the right time, they each found godly wives and married.  The woman rejoiced to see how they chose wisely and how they loved God and walked with Him, but her heart was very, very lonely.  She knew that she would never again have little ones to teach and train and nurture and love.

Yes, she taught little children in Sunday School and worked in the nursery at church, but those children would, of course, go home to their parents and she went home to her husband and their quiet, empty home.

And then one day several years later, her oldest son and his wife told her that she was going to be a grandma!  A few months later, her youngest son and his wife told her she would be a grandma twice that year, because they would be contributing to the family also!

When her grandchildren were born, she rejoiced—almost as much as when she had those two precious little boys, but not quite.  See, she knew she would have to go home and wouldn’t get to always be there with those grandchildren.  It was great to be a grandma, but she felt like she would never have a completely full heart again.

But, day after day those grandchildren began to grow.  One day she was talking to her older son on the computer through skype and her grandson came into the room and pointed to her and said “Maw-maw”!  Oh, my goodness!  That grandma was so excited she wanted to cry!  And then, just a few days later, her younger son and his wife said, “We are going away for two days and wonder if you would keep your granddaughter for those two days?”  She wanted to pinch herself.  It didn’t seem real!

And today?  Her granddaughter is at her house for the two-day visit and her heart is full!  Every time that little girl points to her grandma and smiles that huge smile, that grandma’s heart melts in a puddle at her feet.  Such joy to see the love of that little one!

Who is that grandma?  Well, in case you hadn’t guessed, it’s me!  And I’m busy loving a little girl today and tomorrow.  And I have to admit, life doesn’t get much better than this!  God is SO good!!!

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Meeting God

In his message yesterday our pastor spent a little time (as an illustration of another truth) talking about the glory of watching the sun rise in the mornings; and the glory of meeting God at that time.

It brought to mind my mornings in Indiana and how my heart yearns to find a place like that once again.  We had a wonderful 9-acre property there and had built a huge deck across the back of the house with slats overhead for flowering vines to cover in summer giving us shade, but to remain open in winter for the light to the back windows.  Oh, it was a glorious place to meet with God each morning from early summer until the snow covered it in winter.

Sitting on Grandpa Ehresman’s old metal glider I could see across the fields to where the sun rose and felt God’s arms lifting me in His own embrace.  We had wonderful conversations there.  He spoke and I could hear.  And He taught me SO much.  We’d often even laugh together.  God has such a wonderful sense of humor!  There was just something about those wide open spaces that made me feel one with God.

As our pastor talked of meeting God as the sun rose, I had to fight tears and realized that still, after two and a half years, I am homesick for that place where I felt so close to Him.

Here I struggle with that sense of His nearness.  Why?  I really don’t know.  I still have not learned to love the closeness of having neighbors all around, (even though our neighbors are very friendly and wonderful) or of having mountains surrounding me and jutting into the sky to block my sense of spaciousness.  I do talk to God constantly and I know He hears, and He talks back to me as well, but there is something different that I have not been able to identify.  There’s just something, I think, about being surrounded and enclosed that seems to inhibit my sense of freedom.

But as I heard our pastor speaking of looking UP to enjoy the sunrise I wondered…was I looking around too much?  Has God surrounded and enclosed me with this eastern terrain to cause me to look UP to find Him?  Do I get too distracted by my surroundings and He wants to show me that when we talk, He still sees only me—but that it’s ME that sees the distractions and He wants me to FOCUS on Him?

The rest of the message was challenging also, but I feel God spoke to me especially in that one illustration (sorry, Pastor Ed!), and this week I intend to work more on my focus.  After all, God hasn’t moved—it was me that moved and I just need to hold tight to my connection and be sure to keep it vertical!!!

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Day before Easter

I cannot let this blessed season escape without note.  Easter seems to be played down so much compared to Christmas when we think of holidays, and yet of all the holidays, it is truly the most holy.

I am quieted in my very spirit today as I think of Christ’s time in sheol before the resurrection.  We so often focus on his death—that wretched time when he was tried and beaten and humiliated and demeaned and then crucified.  How very horrid to think of the King of Glory treated in such a way.

And then we think–and mostly focus on—His resurrection.  Easter!  We celebrate and treat the day with extra holiness and reverence, and well we should.  Easter is indeed a day of celebrating the victory and the Victor!

But do you know that today—the day between His crucifixion and His resurrection—Jesus actually ‘served time’ in hell for us!  Why is that never mentioned?  Why do we overlook such an awesome sacrifice as this?  And….worst of all, he was totally and completely separated during this time from His Father!  Actually, not only separated, but rejected.  God actually turned His face away from His Son and allowed Him to receive the full punishment for ALL my sins!

This so completely overwhelms me that I am sitting here weeping.  It is a completely new experience each year as I meditate on what it actually cost Jesus to do what He did for me.  Oh, my friends!  I am SO unworthy!  How could I not love such a One?

I pray that today you can focus on His amazing sacrifice and gift—that He would do this for us.  And tomorrow as you worship, rejoice anew that He truly won the victory over death, the grave–and hell.  He is truly victorious, and because He is, we, His children can be too.  Praise His HOLY NAME!!!!!

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