Bigger

A scratching outside my window woke me up at 3:07 this morning and I lay in the dark anticipating a new kind of fresh air…

of the skunk variety.

It’s happened before with all the subtlety of a slamming door yanking me from a sweet slumber and sweet dreams.

So I got up and closed the window and retrieved my pillow to lay down in another room.  Quieter there, but still awake.  Thirty minutes and one “light bulb” moment later, I returned to my room and flipped the switch.

Perhaps the critter was only the tool

not the One holding it.

Sometimes I can be, well, so dense!

Do not be wise in your own eyes . Fear the Lord and depart from evil.                                                                                      Proverbs 3:7

Okay God, is this confirmation of my sin

or warning against it?

My not so common sense is it’s both.

Case in point and long story short: three weeks ago I met with two friends and former colleagues at a Panera Bread over coffee for the purpose of discussing employment opportunities with a pair of Christian businessmen, one a Pastor, one a Deacon.  Things went well and I was asked to prepare a proposal for part time consulting services.

Fast forward to yesterday’s discussion of services and pay rate. All was “well” until I heard…

“…the average rate of pay for an RN is about $28 per hour.”

And they were offering to this someone who, I’ll have you know, is a well-seasoned and Master’s prepared professional, less; MUCH less!

My internal auto-pilot flipped into high gear, thrusting me once more into a battle I thought I’d won; fair versus unfair, disappointment versus thanksgiving, anxiety versus trust, pride versus humility;

especially that.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.                                                                    Romans 12:2

I accepted the work realizing this is a start up company.  Starts are always at the bottom, or at least they should be.

And I’m, hmm hmm, a start up consultant.

The onslaught continues and I’m smack dab in the center, my pride assaulted on every side.  But then again,

that’s THE point, isn’t it?

Here’s part of this morning’s journal entry:

“My perspective on life in general has changed dramatically over the last six weeks; the perspective on my life, even more.  I truly am…

far smaller than I once thought, loved far more intensely than I once thought.

 And God is so much bigger than any of us!

It’s a Good Morning

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you.           1 Peter 5:6

Morning bathes me in sweet, cool refreshing and I rise to tides turned, winds shifted and

enemies defeated.

I rise this morning emerging from the gaping and cocoon-like poverty with which I have been insulated and protected

by me, myself and I for the past 40 days. cocoon1

How small this land of self, of stubbornly clinging to that which is long gone, long dead and buried; when refusing to accept that which is already given,

alive

and vibrantly well.

How small this home of the stiff-necked and rebellious; those like me who stand firm, resolute with dissent;

bowing to self pity

 humbled by God.

IMG_0913Spits and sputters, more stumbling blocks than stepping stones, like bread crumbs have marked my path and brought me here; and while I’m certain my course continues, I rise now to embrace

my life.

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And in the wake,

any remnants of need

disperse like dust

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and dissipate into nothing.

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Like Melting Wax

The prying is gentle and soft, like the glow of a single candle flicker in my dark and silent night.  More drawing out than commanding forth;

more wooing,

candle3 more loving.

Clenched fists, clenched jaw, I am a stubborn mass of steel and wax, an odd conglomerate of prideful resistance, molded by circumstance and disappointment.

Undaunted,

candle7the flame draws near.

I understand intuitively, the battle-weary soldier, ever ready, on-guard, erect and at attention, home from the battle-field having never left the war.

Where’s the ‘off’ button?

“Jesus!” I whisper in the dark.

And the dark answers…

“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

with the voice of Him who never tires,

who neither slumbers nor sleeps.

Burns brightly now the flame,

candle4intense,

relentless,

quiet;

Breathing now.

Warmed now, my loosened grip

finds release, fluid slow like melting wax, held tightly,

free to rest

in warm embrace

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My Lion of Judah,

Gentle Shepherd,

warmth4Prince of Peace

Where There are No Roses

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.”    Isaiah 43:2

Strike one was the offer 72 miles from home, almost twice that from my daughter’s.  The headache and expense of moving was strike two.  Strike three, and probably the biggest drawback was a salary that was substantially less than I wanted and for that matter, considerably less than I in my not-so-humble opinion, deserved.

“Do you want to go home and think about it?” she asked.  I nodded even though I didn’t need to think about anything  Everything in me already knew.

“Thank you very much,” I would say in my sweetest tone; “I really don’t think this is going to be a good fit.”

And then I walked and found three petals.

IMG_0894“Rose petals,” said my friend.

where there are no roses.  IMG_0814

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And then I get a letter.

And my unemployment is denied.

And life thrusts me headlong into free fall.

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God shows up when we least expect Him; in the beauty no doubt.

But in the grasping for solid?

in the free fall?

in the dark?

What then?

Maybe God is right here in the midst

surrender of my free fall;

right here, right nowblog9

no matter the current;

no matter the destination

to plant roses

where there are no roses.

Velvet Soft and Grace

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These days it seems, I need to be reminded a little more often…

when overcast skies overcome the sun and promises prove not so promising after all;

like the interviews, eight in all, and no offer; like the unexpected glitch and unexpected issue;

like the unexpected delay.

On days like this, when waiting feels more than I can bear, when answers have no questions and questions have no answers, I need more;

more than answers, more than reasons, more than these I need

God.

And I walk outside where Saturday morning greets me with a hushed palate of green, a muted beauty of sorts, cooler but no less humid.

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And I walk some more.

And Heaven breathes His glory…IMG_0836in hues of same yet different.

“It’ll be difficult,” she said, “but just walk.”

That was the message during a service on Holy Spirit Sunday a year ago, when the woman to my left turned to me and spoke.  “Does that make sense?” she asked.

It did.  At the time, I had concerns about an aging parent.

It did then and it does now.

And I walk.

And He whispers…

IMG_0835“I’m still here;”

in the wafting,

velvet soft and grace against my skin.

And God Shook His Head…Different? Really?

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So this is what pride does; when all is stripped away, leaving me exposed and naked, like what happens to a tree whose bark is peeled back yielding its flesh, open and raw, to the demanding elements.

A million and one choices have led me here to this time and place, and I sit this evening on a park bench, having discovered afresh and feeling crushed once more by the million and one reasons I have for wanting a do-over, one for each of the million and one bits of green.

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A million and one…

moving in graceful and tandem rhythm on the breath of Heaven.IMG_0003

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“God I wish my life were different!” I whispered through moistened lashes, quickly wiping away the last bit of evidence that proved me vulnerable.

Never before had I realized how much I’d been given…

A man’s (or woman’s) pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor                                                                        Proverbs 29:23

or how much I still had which could be…

taken.

I stood then and turned to walk.  And there he was, a young man wearing sunglasses and walking toward me

with his seeing eye dog!