Advent .. part 6

Dec. 19 (a) .. Mary did u know that ur baby boy will someday walk on water?..he came2save our sons &daughters? Did u know ur baby boy has come 2make u new?

Dec. 19 (b) .. Mary did u know ur baby boy will gv sight 2a blind man?He’s walkd where angels trod!&when ur kiss ur little baby uve kissed the face of God.

Dec. 20 (a) .. Mary did u know ur baby boy is Lord of all creation?&ruler of nations?&heavn’s perfect Lamb! This sleeping child ur holding is the gr8 I AM!

Dec. 20 (b) .. When I was a seeker .. I asked the Lord 2help me &He showed me the way! Go tell it on the mountain &everywhere that Jesus Christ is born!

Dec. 21 .. JOY 2the world, the LORD has come! Let earth receive her KING! Let every heart prepare Him room, &Heaven &nature sing!

Advent .. part 5

Dec. 17 (a) .. Born a King on Bethlehems plain;King 4ever,ceasing never,Ovr us all 2reign. Star of wonder..w/royal beauty brite! Guide us 2ur perfect Lite.

Dec. 17 (b) .. Glorious now behold Him arise,King &God &Sacrifice. Alleluia, alleluia!Sounds thru earth &skies. O star of wonder,Guide us 2ur perfect Lite!

Dec. 18 .. NOEL! Born is the King of Israel! Let us all w/1accord sing praises 2our heavnly Lord who made heavn&earth..&w/his blood mankind has bought!

Advent .. part 4

Dec. 13 .. Be near me Lord Jesus I ask u2stay close by me 4ever &love me I pray. Bless all the dear children in ur care &take us 2heavn 2live w/u there ..

Dec. 14 .. Come they told me.. a new born King 2see.. our finest gifts we bring.. 2lay b4 the king.. so 2honor Him Pa rum pum pum pum.. when we come

Dec. 15 .. Little baby Jesus, I am a poor boy too.. I have no gift 2bring.. That’s fit 2give our King.. Shall I play 4u Pa rum pum pum pum.. On my drum

Dec. 16 .. Sweet little Jesus boy ..We didn’t know who u was Didn’t know u’d come 2save us Lord 2take our sins away Our eyes was blind we couldn’t see

Advent .. part 3

Dec. 9 .. Silent nite Holy nite! shepherds QUAKE @ th sight; GLORIES stream from heavn abov as ANGEL ARMIES sing Hallelujah! CHRIST th Savior is born!

Dec. 10 .. All the years anticipating are surrendered 2a tiny baby’s cry.There’s a dawn 2follow darkness,There’s a face 2fill the title Prince of Peace

Dec. 11 .. These Hands that hold me tightly are th same that set my shackld spirit free.Blessed Jesus meek &lowly, u hv come into my life &made it new!

Dec. 12 (a) .. Hark! angels sing: Hail the heavnborn Prince of Peace! Hail the Son of Righteousness! Lite&life 2all He brings; Risn w/healing in His wings.

Dec. 12 (b) .. JESUS set His glory by,Born so we no more may die,Born 2raise the ppl of earth &gv us 2nd birth! Herald angels sing GLORY 2the newborn King!

Advent .. part 2

Dec. 5(a) .. Do uc what I c? a Star/a SIGN! Do u hear what I hear? a Song/angels’ ANNOUNCMENT! Do u know what I know? Listen 2what I say! JESUS has come!

Dec. 5(b) .. Silent nite Holy nite, Son of God! Love’s PURE radiant Light BEAMS from ur holy face, w/the dawn of Redeeming GRACE! Jesus, LORD @ ur birth!

Dec. 6 .. Hark! (LISTEN!) The herald (MESSENGER) angels sing “GLORY! To the newborn KING!” CHRIST is ADORED by highest heaven! The everlasting LORD!

Dec. 7 .. [How long must we wait O God?] BEHOLD Him come! Offspring of a virgin’s womb; veiled in flesh, the GODhead! SEE! PRAISE the incarnate Diety!

Dec. 8 .. O come our Lord of might who, 2ur tribes on Sinai’s height in ancient times, gv HOLY LAW in cloud &majesty &awe. REJOICE! ur GRACE indwells!

Advent .. part 1

Dec. 1 .. Hark! (LISTEN!) the Herald (MESSENGER!) Angels Sing! “Glory 2the newborn King (JESUS)! Peace on earth &mercy mild, God &sinners reconciled!”

Dec. 2 .. O come Emmanuel (“GOD W/US”) &ransom captive Israel (UR PPL WAIT EXPECTANTLY!) that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear!

Dec. 3 .. Joyful! All nations rise &join the TRIUMPH of the skies with the angelic host! Proclaim: CHRIST! (the SAVIOR from God) is born in Bethlehem!

Dec. 4 .. O come our Wisdom from on high Who orderd all things: 2us the path of knowldge show &teach us in her ways 2go! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come!

Contemplator Problems ;)

Post a brief conversation with a coworker, today, I asked myself what’s the difference between the idioms “sound the klaxon!” vs. a “clarion call” .. and aside from the difference in types of “horn” referred to in each, I have (for now) concluded that the Klaxon idiom refers to a sending OUT of the sound (and doesn’t necessarily imply action except perhaps as the individual responds to a warning), whereas the Clarion Call – though there IS also a “sending out” of the sound – is actually a gathering IN .. an attached requirement that the people respond and come together for action …

Thoughts?  ;)

Depression POINTS To Something More

@Grace2Grow: ‪#‎Depression‬ comes in MANY forms & 4varieties of reasons. For me one big issue: I perceive on an “intuitive” level &struggle 2identify ROOT.

* In fight against #Depression I PREACH 2myself: ‪#‎faith‬ = often NOT understanding. Still, God is pleasd I believ him when I dont FEEL like it.

* #Depression is very real for ALL, tho we like 2deny it. Perhaps bcuz #faith is supposed 2cureall. ‪#‎Jesus‬ IS our hope ESPEC in midst of fire.

* #Depression usually manifests when I’v tried 2TAKE OVR some aspect of my life – 2MAKE sumthin happen. ‪#‎EvidenceImNotYielding2SpiritsLeading‬.

* #Depression is not ALWAYS an indication of a lack of surrender. Sumtimes there’s grief that invades &drowns the voice of Hope. ‪#‎TheGoodFight‬

* More than ever Im persuaded that HOPE gives birth 2FAITH. So when Im battling #Depression I must actively HUNT 4voice of HOPE 2find LIFE.

* My experience = I can “feel” when weight of a #Depression (oppression) lifts. &Always this comes after I express my longing heart in prayer.

* I can KNOW I must pray & give my “groanings” 2God as an offering, BUT in midst of pain it feels like THE most impossible thing! #Depression

* It helps 2make a literal ‪#‎notetoself‬, even a tweet: God is faithful, our feelings lie, #Depression does NOT last forever, our ‪#‎HOPE‬ is sure!

Be BLESSED, Beloved <3

~Leah

A Broken Windshield to Heal

I won’t go into too much detail here, because I don’t want to give cause for a misinterpretation of events; but this little incident was too good not to share.  Stay tuned for one tiny peek at an unplanned and unexpected but very welcome Redemptive Moment:)

I WAS FIRED.

I was fired.  Yep – not from my present job, but the job I had before.  It’s been nearly 8 years since I went through very rough waters with a former employer, both sides feeling justified in a growing distrust and mutual dissatisfaction, and a painful ordeal that was only survived with some grace because of a gracious mediator who walked us through the transition that would ultimately lead to me training my own replacement.

This was a life-altering experience for me – not just because it was so devastating to not be believed, not be trusted, and feel I had NO earthly way to rectify the opinions of others, but mainly because this was a small family owned business, and these were people I had known for YEARS before working there, had gone to CHURCH with them, had what I thought was a loving relationship with them and their kids outside any workplace association.  Yet in the months when everything unraveled and in the subsequent mutual parting of ways, everything in our friendship and association also vanished.

MEMORY IS A TRICKY THING.

From what I understand – and please, I’m not a scientist, so let’s just chalk this up to being a bit of an internet and news junkie – our brains RE-remember every time we visit a “memory,” and HOW we perceive is fluid, always changing – almost as if the memories themselves are living things – and yet our CONVICTIONS about what we remember are equally as strong in the 10th telling (which for some people will be much more varied from the first telling than others) even if the content (unbeknownst to us) may differ in significant ways.

Perhaps that’s a good argument for keeping a journal – provided we can be trusted to recount events honestly to ourselves, which sometimes may be a big “if.”  :)

As for me?  Here?  I remember more the emotions, the hurt, the suspicion, or the anger – even the fury – sometimes directed at me.  I remember returning some of the same.  Present emotions often register as shame, regret, sorrow, that wishful longing that things had been different, that I had DONE things differently.

A BROKEN WINDSHIELD TO HEAL.

By happenstance, my car recently suffered (another) windshield injury.  I looked up a repair shop online, not fully registering the location of the address, and mistakenly assessing it to be closer to my job for a quick lunch visit.  In fact, this shop was several miles away, in the neighborhood of my previous place of employment.  And I arrived to learn my windshield was non-repairable – I would have to reschedule for another visit to have the whole thing replaced.  So by happenstance *ahem* I found myself with some time to kill before going back to work, AND within just a couple blocks of this place which attaches to so many significant negative (but growth-inducing) emotions.

So I decided to drop in for a visit.

And I found that the son has since bought the business from his parents, the wife (daughter-in-law) now manages the main office and the books, and though the mom no longer works there, the dad still weaves in and around the office, cheerfully advertising, don’t you know, that the KFC founder didn’t really get his business feet under him till he was 80 years old, so there!

I found that the gal who had replaced me was years gone, and the gal I had replaced more years before was now working there again.  I found that the business had weathered the economic downturn seemingly well, and that the gracious mediator I had hoped to revisit had resigned just a few months before to pursue more missions-minded work in another city.  How fitting.  :)

There was shock expressed over how much weight I’ve lost (they all knew me at my unhealthiest), there was curiosity about the house I’ve recently purchased, my now living near my sister so many miles away from my current job, and the nearly 8 years I’ve now been with the same employer.  We visited about changes in our church experiences, changes in our country, and in short how the years mature us .. if we let them.  :)

There were smiles, even a few hugs, and they let me wander out back until I found the 80+ year old dad lifting his face to soak up a little sun behind the shop, enjoying a quiet smoke break, standing just exactly as I remember him .. I got to visit with him for a few minutes, and … was that “relief” spreading over his face?  To learn that I was now in such a good place, healthy and happy and well cared for …. I left well-wishes for everyone, and asked the dad to take a love greeting to his wife, my former boss, too.

Then another round of hugs and affirmations for the healing time can minister, and we all marveled once again at how .. Paths can cross and sever, but God is still God of us all, and – for those who will humbly yield to it – his grace is greater than what we allow to divide ….

I think I will never again feel as much GRATITUDE as I did that day for a badly timed rock bouncing on the freeway on my commute to work.  ;)  Miracles can spring forth from the most unlikely of places, don’t you know.

And just for the record, I don’t believe in “happenstance.”  ;)

Be blessed!

~Leah

“BETWEEN THE FOLDS”

As I was checking out after a recent dental appointment, a handsome, tall young man was approaching from my left side, pushing a wheelchair to go around behind me – the older, oxygen fed woman in his apparent charge was in need of the restroom.

“HELP ME!”

Initially, I made no other observation than this, until a moment later I hear the woman directly behind me crying, “HELP ME! SOMEBODY HELP ME!” and the young man – whom I now learn was only her taxi service – is nowhere to be found.  The woman couldn’t wheel herself into the tiny unisex, single door room, and she was exclaiming she couldn’t control herself and needed help right away!

I don’t work for the dentist office, nor for any care service; though I did once live with and care for an elderly lady in her home for almost two years, and I suppose my more “human” instinct took over.  (I didn’t even think about our litigious society – so I had no fear until AFTER the fact, that I could be sued for trying to help her!  Thank God nothing went wrong!)  I just took charge of her for a moment, straightened out her chair, helped her line up properly so we could inch her inside, had to lift the backside of her chair a couple times, and finally .. Success.  (During this process, I could see the 20 year old wide-eyed young girl behind the counter who had been checking me out after my own appointment was clearly trying very hard not to panic – she was sputtering and asking what she could do, thanking me profusely, and despite all the shuffling and awkward movements between the three of us, no one else around gave any indication of even noticing our little fuss.)

I asked the woman her name, gave her mine, told her I used to live with a lady and help care for her and I’d be glad to help, I just needed to know what she needed.  She said she could get herself up on the toilet herself, so I aimed to leave her in privacy – but explained I would leave the door unlocked if she needed anything.  I was waiting outside not even thirty seconds when she was crying for “HELP!” again.  I quietly entered, and found she had caught herself on her oxygen tubing with her pants half down, and she had clearly already wet herself – thankfully with some kind of absorbent undergarment, but she had no clean replacement on hand.  So I made sure she was sturdy holding herself up by the railing beside the toilet, got her untangled so her oxygen could flow freely, and then proceeded to help remove her soiled “adult diaper” and get her settled.  She couldn’t get on the seat properly by herself and wasn’t able to “aim” without risking further mess ..

“BETWEEN THE FOLDS”

She was a heavy woman – easily twice the weight she should have been.  And I learned she was only about sixty, though she looked twenty years older than her real age.  And her body put off a VERY foul odor .. her rolls of fat were marred with myriad stretch marks front and back, her skin pale and clammy, and between the folds was growing some kind of systemic yeast infection – the worst being a thick, blackened nastiness, visibly fuzzy, completely coating the crevice of her buttocks.  As I tried to help maneuver her, I couldn’t quite tell where her fat ended and her “real body” began, and apologized for my clumsiness – I didn’t want her to feel embarrassed ..

“LEFT ALONE”

In the end, she agreed to several folded paper towels, padded with toilet paper to soften, to replace her soiled absorbent padding.  We got her cleaned up and dressed and re-situated in her chair, mindful of the oxygen tubing, and wheeled her out just as she was being called back for her own appointment .. the hygienist obviously making the same erroneous presumption about me that I had made about the man who wheeled the woman in in the first place – that I was her care-giver.

I tried to graciously extricate myself – I had to get back to work!, and the woman was once again … left alone.

TWO POWERFUL OBSERVATIONS

1)  Thank you, Lord, that I was in the right place at the right time.  The woman needed help, and I was perhaps the best possible person to offer it in the moment.  I consider this a gift to the woman .. even if it was for just one tiny moment of her obviously difficult life ..

2)  The more painful observation .. I have lost over 130 lbs .. I need to lose about 30 more, and I will be (God willing) LESS THAN HALF the size I was when I started this journey … I WAS morbidly obese.  And at (then) 36 years old, I already looked at least 10 years older, and I was carrying rolls of fat riddled with stretch marks from years of abusing my own body. Please realize my above horrifying descriptions are not statements of judging this woman, but this woman IS what I could have become, but for the grace of God intervening in my life ..

“THERE, BUT BY THE GRACE OF GOD, GO I ..”

I was disgusted with myself for being disgusted by this woman’s condition .. but I also was powerfully struck by the living example of a life imprisoned by the consequences of decisions (or a lack thereof) made during her earlier years. I KNOW obesity isn’t always or only the result of overeating. Mine was in large part an issue of spiritual strongholds, including a desire to HIDE from the sexual attentions of men as my way of dealing with some past abuse.

But sometimes it is just as simple, too, as realizing that our decisions DO have consequences.

Dear God, please let me sow good seed! <3

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