Friday, March 27, 2015

Expending My Soul in Prayer.

II Corinthians 12:15  "And I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you the more, am I to be loved the less?"

Today, as I paid my son's (Obamacare) health premium over the phone to a representative online, she went a little overboard I believe in praising me for being a great mom. I reminded her that this was his money, not mine.  I simply was taking care of the transfer for him.

She reminded me to sign him into an account as well, so he could access info online.

"Yep, I already did that, I replied."

Again, she reiterated..."Wow, what a great mom you are!  Wow, I am so impressed...

She went on and on...

"I'm sure you'd do the same for your kids,"  I said.

"I don't have any yet." she replied. "I hope I can be a great mom too one day."

"I'm sure you will.  It's not easy, as you can I am doing what he should be doing!"

"She laughed and said, He's probably out with his friends on a Friday and you're just being a great mom."

Once again, she said those words, "great mom."

Actually, Corey was next door with the neighbor, picking oranges off our tree that hangs in both yards.

Earlier this week, I wrote my son a note and put it in a special lunch I made for him. Funny thing was, he never got the lunch. The note?  ... it finally came to him after going with his dad to another job and then back home again. Reading it, he smiled, and said he very much appreciated the thought.  What I had planned didn't happen, but God still provided a good outcome.

Later this same week, a friend I had asked to pray for Corey quite a few months back, sent me a personal message, asking about him. She was his Sunday School teacher way back when. It felt good to report to her that things between us were so much better. Reflecting on this last year, I can see growth and a "calming down" of the things that usually come between us.

I know this is a result of prayer. My attitude and trust is greater in God's timing and God...I believe is softening his heart.

If I am a "great mom," it is because I serve a "Great God," one who gives me a promise that in His timing, my prodigal child will return to his roots and begin to really grow in the knowledge and sovereignty of His purpose for him.

And so I pray and expend my soul for your soul, dear child of mine.

Lord, We love our children and we are thankful for them. We want them to be happy and so do You, God. I pray for our sons and our daughters. I pray for our prodigals and our precocious, our stubborn and our stumbling, our wise ones and our wise guys, our princesses and princes, our college preps and "still high school drama queens," our lonely hearts and our social media magnets. I pray for the misunderstandings, the "chips on the shoulder," the hurt, the guilt, the unforgiven, the addictions and the anger. Give me (us) wisdom and strength. I give You praise for the beauty that awaits, when You, Lord make all things right, all things great. Help me to be worthy to be called a "great mom," a mom who prayed. Yes, Lord, a mom who prays. Amen.

Friday, March 13, 2015

I Am Reminded...

II Peter 1:12 Therefore, I shall always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present within you. 

Aah, one of the joys in life-- picking fresh fruit growing just steps from your back door! Huge oranges hang like ornaments of Spring in bright contrast to the green glossy leaves. The basket fills up and we  bring them inside, splitting and pressing them into the juicer. 

In that, I am reminded of the beginning paragraph, an analogy I spoke of, a written testimony of my life shared a few years back. 

"I have an orange tree in my back yard. When I am gathering and picking oranges, sometimes I see one that has fallen. I take a quick look and throw it into the basket anyways. Sometimes life shakes us and like an orange, we fall to the ground, but not too far from the tree. Peeling this same orange back, I see where a crack in the skin has compromised the inside and it has started to rot. I missed it because it still looked like a good orange. Peeling back the rind of grace from another orange, the sections bring it around full circle and at the center are the seeds that further the legacy,  hold the story. I am both of these oranges and my tree is full of blossoms of promise." 

I said it back then, and I can say it now with even more conviction. The promises of God ripen and spring forth in every new season. I only want to press more and more into my Savior and enjoy His sweet victory in my life. 

Blending the fruit of tangerines and grapefruit from my neighbors, the juice proved delicious. Isn't that how God works? He takes our gifts and allows us to find in each other the opportunity to create and bless others within the Body of Christ, each bringing to the table our own unique flavor. 

While gathering the fruit, I saw it there, on a low hanging branch, almost eye level, a hummingbird nest neatly settled in the branches. There are no eggs yet. My yard is always a buzz with these delightful creatures. I am reminded to get some feeders up.  

Like the butterfly, many  find peace in seeing the delightful hummingbird! 

Listen. Can you hear the tree? The air around it vibrates and a hum resounds through the morning quiet. The busy bees relish in the orange blossoms and, yes, this IS the promise of continued nourishment, continued harvest. I am reminded that soon I will plant the sunflower seed. 

And I am reminded of His goodness in my own growth. I am celebrating how I've learned to share, to press in, to mix with others to form something new, to be bold in my faith and inspire to quench the thirst of others, to allow one to settle in and further my hope in what God began a while ago, that a renewal awaits. The truth of THE TREE, the one that dragged and divoted, then planted deep into a hill in a city called Jerusalem, promises to spread it roots back into the hearts of saplings.  I am reminded that I serve a sovereign God and Hope flies before me, for this is a favorite spot of the swallowtail. 

I've become a prayer enthusiast, morning, noon, and night, for I love the sweet nectar of communion with the Lord; His Word, my honeycomb of sweet treasure; my own sanctuary of special words only for my God, my Lord. I am reminded that THIS is the work of the Lord!  

We prepare to share, to bring Harvest by our blooms. Our stories are powerful fragrances and the Holy Spirit is a buzz with bountiful promises. 

And yet, I am reminded that I am one that fell, that rolled around in the dirt, whose skin was cracked and compromised; not a pretty specimen. I am one that God should have discarded for sourness. 

He reminds me that I am worthy because of the Cross of Christ, that Tree on the Hill where His blood shed for me, for you. I am reminded that His love is greater than any doubt, than any feeling, than any disappointment, than any loss, than any fear, than even the deepest of pains. 

Lastly, I am reminded to worship, to bow in gratefulness and thanksgiving, to live with an eternal perspective seeing grace in everything, everywhere, all the time. He teaches me daily how to live like this. At times I fail, yet He reminds me that I am forgiven. Praise His Name. 

Lord, thank you for this reminder of all your bounty, all your continued blessings and opportunity to taste and see that You are good. Your love is rich and juicy in promise and Hope for all who believe in Your name. Thank you Lord for the gifts You have bestowed to me to be a part of Your Harvest. Thank You Lord for dying and in Your ressurection, making me worthy as a believer to receive Your grace. Thank you for peace and joy and all I've learned in returning to the hive of Your heart. To You be the glory, always and forever, Amen.