24 June 2011

(musings) painting.

Let's paint a picture of the Lord God All-Mighty that will hang on the walls for new generations to see. Let's paint one of new mercy and grace, of a tender Savior who greatly loves and sets prisoners free, of a strong Commander who is mighty in battle, of a holy Heavenly Father who is worthy of all praise. Let's paint it in vivid colors that won't fade over time. Let's paint with strokes bold and delicate, with texture and nuance. Let's paint a canvas large enough for all to see and small enough to stand ever-so-near. And let's paint a story worth reading, a scene worth entering, a landscape worth running in...

~inspired by Psalm 102

18 June 2011

Ebb. Flow. Change.

No crashing curls. No mist-filled air. Simply one rhythmic wave after another. 

Orange Beach, Alabama.  Early morning moments.
In moments so small they might be missed while in the moment, the landscape changes. 

I stand on the shore and feel the ground fall away below me with each ebb and flow. The waves paint a watercolor picture of feast and fallow and feast again. On the shore is inscribed, “Behold, I make all things new.” 

Let me not fight against the waves. Let this landscape change for the glory of God. 

17 June 2011

Lessons from a Tractor

I heard him before I saw him. The hum of the motor blended with the wash of the waves on the quiet beach.

Before the crowds, before the laughter, before the sand castles and volleyball tournaments, there was work to be done. The beachcomber's work was evident - beautiful designs formed along the driver’s journey. Slowly and without fanfare, he created the palette for the colorful day. It would be a rare soul who would gratefully recognize his gift later in the day, though they would enjoy its benefits.
But still he worked. Still he created the palette. As sleepy vacationers complained about the tractor’s noise, he worked. As impatient children growled their frustration at his slow progress, he worked. As the sand shifted and moved  and stirred, not wanting to yield to the design, he worked. He knew his purpose - and he honored it.

I wept as I watched the designs being formed, thankful for the picture of Colossians 3:23 in that beachcomber on the early-morning beach. I needed to be reminded of what my purpose is and Who it is I am working for - as I work and serve and simply live this life I’ve been given. I needed to be reminded that purposeful work often goes unnoticed by others but never by the Lord. I needed to be reminded to be the soul who gratefully recognizes purposeful work in others rather than complain or growl because it doesn’t meet my own self-serving expectations. I needed to be refocused - and the hum of the motor whispered "Simply. Serve. Jesus." 

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

Note: Thanks to Patrick Lockerman for giving this landlocked gal a vocabulary lesson. Now I know what "beachcomber" really means.

07 June 2011

Today's Joy.

Last season's swimsuit. Yesterday's hairdo. Today's joy.
For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don't enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are that you're not going to be very happy. If someone bases his happiness or unhappiness on major events like a great new job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn't going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness. ~Andy Rooney

05 June 2011

(musings) sparkle.

In every mundane moment, there's something more to be found. Lord, help me to see with eyes that see beyond the seen.

discarded sugar dust. a mess to clean. 

sunshine + discarded sugar dust = beautiful sparkle. 

Ritual. Reminder.

The morning ritual. 

01 June 2011

(musings) Manna.

Today, I asked "Can manna be packed in a picnic basket?" 

And today came the answer.

...Even if you have only bread or water, with these you can still meet the dues of hospitality. Even if you do not have these, but simply make the stranger welcome and offer him a word of encouragement, you will not be failing in hospitality. Think of the widow mentioned in the Gospel by our Lord: with two mites she surpassed the generous gifts of the wealthy. 
~St. Theodoros, the Great Ascetic
Father, please help me to keep my basket full for others, even in seasons of simply manna.