Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Out to Sea

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.  
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him?  
In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  1 Cor. 2:10-11

photo by Kim Dent
My beloved journeys further and further away from me.  I call out to her and my voice is muted by other voices..louder, insistent and demanding. They clamor for the true light within her. Jealous and possessive, they surround her now, drowning out voices of loved ones...snuffing out memories, hopes and dreams. They press my beloved from all sides and beckon her to go with a lantern on a boat putting out to sea.

My heart is shattered as I watch and wait and pray for my beloved to emerge again from this far away land.  I ask Jesus to find her and He's already there.  His whole being is illuminated with love for His Bride.  His light draws her in the deepest places of her soul yet, she feels the pull of the darkness. She hears the clamoring voices and the half-truths. Deception woos her. Strangers tell her who she is...and who she is not.  They cajole and intimidate her to trade her inner radiance for a dollar store flashlight. 

Yet, Jesus stands in this place.  Understanding her wounds and her longing for true intimacy and acceptance.  He knows her more than she knows herself.  Like a lighthouse on a stormy sea, nail scarred hands hold out a lifeline of love to His Bride as He beckons her in the darkness...Come.

I am surprised to hear His call to my own soul as well,  "Come".  He beckons me away from the safe shores of all that I have known and believed thus far in my life.  I fix my gaze on Jesus alone and follow His Light into the deep and dark waters of my own soul... Trusting He knows the way.

Giving Our Children Wings

The cheerful yellow flower lifts its face to the Sun. Life is good. Her seeds are secure and protected deep within the heart of the bud.  All is well.  Through Springtime storms or under clear, azure skies, her roots tangle with the soil of life and grow 
Taller now, the dandelion has witnessed seasons come and go as she stoically protects her seed.  Her roots grow deeper still with each passing day.
The dandelion stands strong and proud as time steals her remaining petals of youth.  But deep within the soil, her roots hold fast. The tenacious plant remains firm and secure against the storms of life as her seed matures within.
The days grow shorter and the dandelion's brilliant petals have given way to tiny mist-like parachutes each one connected to a seed destined for it's purpose. She has spent her life for this moment. Standing tall and deeply rooted, she whispers a final blessing and releases her seeds to the breath of their Creator.

Life in flight. The seedlings sail off to their destiny,  dancing upon Dandelion Winds.

John 3:8  Jesus said: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear it’s sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. so it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Treasures In Transition

An almost imperceptible cool breeze slid past my face one warm September morning,  but it had the effect of transforming my thoughts in an instant.  One moment I was watering my summer fried plants and planning my  to do list and, all of a sudden my thoughts were transported to fall leaves, thanksgiving and apple pies.  Pumpkins and spice scented candles and warm soup and football games and beyond that, the chilly winds of winter. 

 Don't get me wrong, I love Summer.  It has been a summer filled with laughter and love, swimming, writing and walking the dog.  A summer of happy visits from nieces and nephews, friends and family. Ice cream runs, farmers markets, hummingbirds and fresh tomato sandwiches.  It has been a summer of  crickets and candlelight, songbirds and sushi...and a season of road trips all over the Carolinas, Ohio, Maryland, Florida and Atlanta!

It has also been a summer of transitions as we celebrated my daughter Emily's college graduation and move back home to Charlotte.  It has been a summer of praying for a loved one who is struggling in the transition from teen to young adult, and a summer of welcoming our newest grand niece into the world.  We also have a new houseguest as my niece, Kelsey,  transitions from "Ohio Yankee" into "Carolina Girl".

What transitions have you experienced lately? A New job?  Sending a child to college?  Is there a new baby in the family? A wedding or a new home? 

 The transition of the seasons is, for the most part, predictable even if winter seems to always overstay it's welcome and the late summer sun can still cook the tomatoes right on the vine. But life transitions are an entirely different bird. Often the winds of change catch us completely unaware and we are blown onto a new path in which we feel ill-equipped to navigate.

 Maybe your transition deals with becoming caretakers of aging parents or a transition out of a relationship and back to being single.  Maybe you are even struggling  with the transition into the unknown with a frightening diagnosis or learning how to  parent a child with special needs.

Transitions aren't always easy but I have discovered that they always arrive with an opportunity for growth and, yes, even for blessing.   I have certainly experienced this truth in navigating  tough life transitions. My daughter, Kait's coming out lead me to the treasure of God's compassionate presence,  brought my family
closer and helped us to learn what God meant by this scripture...

 "My grace is enough for you,
 for my power is made perfect in weakness."
 2 Cor. 12:9 

We could have lost our way had It not been for Jesus who guided us through those "unfamiliar paths"  and  I remain humbled and thankful for His grace and His presence during all of life's transitions.

  Isaiah 42:16  "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them."

  No matter if your current life transitions are tame or tough. Recognize that you have a Savior who is happy to walk with you through them...and show you unexpected treasures along the way!

This fall, as you step into new schedules and new challenges...think about the transitions in your life thus far and thank the One who continues to lovingly lead YOU!