Thursday, June 23, 2011

how to be happy {blessed}

give much...expect little


live your life in love.

do what you would have done to you...

submit to one another.

be kind.

let not your heart be troubled...

keep your eyes fixed on things above...

your mind free from hate...


be grateful.


trust God alone.

"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!" Isaiah 26:3 nlt

Saturday, June 4, 2011

it's my birthday too

I'm celebrating today!

On June 4, 1968, my husband was born.

He was the gift given to me for my very first birthday. 
Not for my 1st birthday, but for the very day I was born.

You see, my husband was created for me.
It makes perfect sense.

I was an October baby, 
the 6th to be exact, 
and if you count nine months forward from October you come to July.
Which doesn't quite equate to the month he was born.
Aww, but my husband was born premature, a month early.

A gift from God, a gift for me.

A husband.
A best friend.
A lover.
A leader.
A listener.
A father.
A good man.

I celebrate his special day. 
Fresh, hot, creamy coffee, 
a donut cake stacked high, 
chocolate glaze and rainbow sprinkles, of course, 
topped with a candle {our family tradition}
presented with a sweet morning birthday song, 
sung by his three favorite girls, 
then a night on the town
{just the two of us}
to steal away alone.

I celebrate his special day with joy and deep gratitude, which technically is my special day too.
Fourty-three of them, 
I've counted, 
my gift since the day he was born.

Today, I celebrate God's beautiful plan, 
a boy made for a girl made for a boy;

Happy Birthday my precious gift, 
my Husband, 
my Friend.

I love you, Rick,
and I thank God for you!

Friday, June 3, 2011

beautiful scars

I have a hairline scar that traces down the left side of my face. It is hardly visible. But, it was anything but inconspicuous when I learned that I had skin cancer. The minor sign of defect that appeared, {I was so young I can't even remember when}, had become a part of me. I almost never noticed it when I looked in the mirror, so I left it alone. I grew quite used to the mysterious mark, not knowing what it was or recalling where it came from, which I thought was some sort of scar. I chose to ignore it. As I got older, the "scar" subtly grew bigger too.  It wasn't until a few years ago I decided to have it checked out. The "scar" was cancer--left alone for 32 years. The doctor cut deep and wide to remove every last trace of disease that had been growing in my cheek for decades.

I have another scar on my right side where my appendix was removed. Poison hiding in darkness on the verge of rupture, I was admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery. The pain was unbearable. I was at the mercy of the doctor. And, so was my daughter. 
I was 5 months pregnant.

I also have other scars, feathery faint, of skin stretch wide over womb. As life grew inside, my body made room. The slow stretch of baby armor expanded to accommodate her home. She survived the appendectomy and I survived the pregnancy. Pain and cuts, scars and all.

Trademark remains of wound repair cause me to think about scars in general.

What they represent.
The stories they tell.

Some distressing, some daunting, some simply a beautiful reminder of a life giving, life changing event. Nevertheless, they all speak of damage. Thick collagen growth--nature's duty of healing.

I have other scars that tell stories. Ones I can't see.

Branded places on my heart.

The stories these marks tell, from more painful, devastating, deeper cuts, burrow in the depths of my heart. Just like cancer, self inflicted sin disease and enemy offenses spread margin wide, chasing death when left alone. They tell stories of life long affliction and invisible transgressions uncovered by Truth eyes light, covered over by red.

"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard." Isaiah 58:8

I haven't always been willing to allow God to tunnel deep, to turn up callous rock in the stony places of my heart; I admit, I am not always that brave now. Or willing. I despise the excavation of my private wounds--anger and pride and the jealousy--the hate. Buried sin wounds He exposes in dark forgotten places, as He invites me to be vulnerable, to trust, and to risk; to be healed, to be free, to live. God words speak power to free me of death's stronghold. 

Why do I ignore them? 
Why do I hold on?

The Sovereign Lord says, 

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26 

Scars of sorrow wounds are most beautiful of all; healed not of nature's duty, but the duty of supernatural province.

Mercy scars.
Grace scars.

The beautiful echo of the Cross.

Beautiful scars.
Scars that tell stories.

Of forgiveness.
Of freedom.
Of peace.
Of extravagant love.

"He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3

The sins which men commit make little impression on their minds, they are all so graven upon the table of the heart, that they will all be remembered by the conscience. That which is graven in the heart will become plain in the life; men's actions show the desires and purposes of their hearts. What need we have to humble ourselves before God, who are so vile in his sight! How should we depend on his mercy and grace, begging of God to search and prove us; not to suffer us to be deceived by our own hearts, but to create in us a clean and holy nature by his Spirit! {Matthew Henry}

And He never makes a wound too great, too deep for His own cure. {J. Wesley}