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Old E-mail

I saved your e-mail for over a year
Even though I tend to delete messages
Rather quickly
In an effort to save virtual space
That I can’t even see.

I saved it because
It made it easy to read
Your words that told me I was loved
Appreciated
Already missed
Bittersweet words that still
Make me catch my breath
By bringing that time so vividly
To my mind
And heart.

I am now far removed
From that time and feeling
But those words can remind me
In an instant
And humble and uplift me
All at once.

To Be Content

Philippians 4:11b (NLT)
… for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.

Contentment. Not something that comes easily to us women. Just look at the commercials geared toward women. Pants that make your legs look longer and leaner. Cereal that gives you more energy. Pain relievers that make you feel better. And the cosmetics! Lotions, powders, mascara, perfumes, soaps. It can boggle the mind.

We can be discontent about other things as well. We often think My house isn’t big enough or The furniture is outdated. We complain about our husbands. And don’t you wish you could be a little more like the woman in your office who has it all together? Chances are that she wishes she could be a little more like you.

I have a hard time being content. If I gain weight, I’m not happy. But if I lose too much, I’m not happy, either. I stare at my closet full of clothes and declare, like we all do, that I have nothing to wear. (Working for UPS would solve this. A brown uniform every day!)

Contentment isn’t always easy. But it is a vital part of our relationship with God. James tells us in his book that every good gift comes from God our Father, and that never changes. Never! Not when the dishwasher breaks. Not when you are passed over for a promotion. Not when your husband forgets your anniversary. Not even when you go through devastating trials like the death of a loved one or loss of a job.

God still gives us the good gifts. And to be ungrateful for what He gives us is to insult His perfect love for us. It is more than a lack of thankfulness; it is a lack of faith in Him. We need to trust that He has a plan for us, and that whatever trial or disappointment we experience is a part of that plan.

Be content with what you have. Because the same Jesus who loved you enough to die for you is also the One who loves you enough to give you everything you need and more.

Coming Home (V)

I had been called away
By life.
(It has a way of doing that.)
It was only a few Sundays
But still
It felt so much longer.
Almost like a visitor
I walk in
Wondering if anyone will speak to me
While I look for a seat.

Oh yes!
Warm greetings
And life-giving hugs
Easy laughter with good friends.
Family. Community.
The music starts
Voices raised and hearts lifted,
We sing through joyful tears.
So grateful!
Time to sit,
Settle in for the sermon.
We are reminded of our royalty,
Our future, our hope,
Our place in the kingdom,
And we are encouraged.

Long good-byes
And lunch invitations
I linger as long as I can
While my soul is nourished.
I don’t want to leave.
After weeks away,
I am home.

Aroma

The combination
Of Old Spice and peppermint
Recalls smiling times.

Creekside

In the middle of a crowd
You can get alone
Just to listen.
Just to be.
You’re taken away to a quiet place.

Barefoot
You step on stones made smooth
By years of cold water
That trickles down from up the mountain.
Sure, deliberate steps
And a spirit that is still.
Skipping rocks,
Collecting pebbles,
Thrilling at the feel of water
As it tickles around your ankles.
Little things you see
Fool’s gold,
A small snake,
All manner of interesting insect –
Things that go unnoticed
By we who admire the water
As we pass by and say,
“Wouldn’t it be nice to stop and stay
Sometime.”

You’re alone.
And God can talk to you
Because you have chosen
Just to listen.
Just to be.

Sunrise

The coldness of the night
Robbed you of sleep.
Memories, regrets,
Worries, fear,
Fretfulness.
Solving the world’s problems
From under the covers.
Minutes tick away
And you are no closer
To peace
Than you were at bedtime.

As you drift
In and out of sleep
A light
Soft, at first,
Touches your cheek.
Just the first glimmer
Of daylight
Begins to warm your cheek,
Your heart,
With Father’s love.
Gently
He spreads His light
Across your face
And strokes your hair.
He spreads His love
Across your heart
And erases the hurt.

With the light
Comes peace.
This morning His mercies are new.
But why should today
Be any different?

Sunrise

For Now

Today
I went to the movies
A matinee
Some silly comedy
Nothing romantic
Because I had hoped to laugh.

Yesterday
I drank cappuccino
While watching people pass by
Our favorite seat near the window
Decaf, wet foam
Just how you like it.

Last week
I drove by the gardens
Where we strolled so often
Planning tomorrow
While savoring today.
I did not stop
(I’m not ready)
But drove slowly past
The scent of roses
Teasing me down the street.

One day
I will be able
To drive through this town
Walk through a garden
Browse a bookstore
Sit by the pond
Make a pot roast
And smile.
I may even take in a movie.
But for now
I’d be content
To go an entire day
Without aching for your presence.

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