Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
This is not a space module or far away planet, but a microscopic view of the winter"vomiting bug" that is sweeping over Europe.
This is a big Birthday month in my house... 3 to be exact... The first is my dh on the 25th.
You are like the sunshine in my garden
The morning dew on fields of green
Like the fragrance of freshly cut grass
You bring out the best in me
You are the moonlight in my darkest night
Forcing my fears to take their flight
You are the peacefulness that reigns at dawn
Shedding rays of colour on my way
The calming breeze on a summer’s day
You are the constant, steadfast rocks
Amidst the roaring seas of change
Oh handsome and brave stallion
How I love to ride with thee
How could I not love thee?
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
As of tomorrow I will be having more visitors so I will be busy again for a couple of days! Maybe that is why I got soooooooooo inspired today.... the creative juices were flowing to make up for the silence that will come!
I delight in simplicty
In the fullness of God´s love
And I face each day with serenity
I read this story in an old 1990's Readers Digest that I have in the bathroom.....hahaha! I just had to share it with you:
"Working at a College with a preponderance of non-English speaking students, my sister sometimes had difficulty in communicating with the newly arrived.
Once as she was enrolling a young man, she reached a standstill at the question of birth date. No matter what words or motions she used, the young man remained puzzled. Finally, a Chinese student standing nearby asked my sister, "What do you need to know?" After my sister explained, the Chinese woman turned to the young man and hummed the first few bars of "Happy Birthday to You."
His eyes lit up in recognition as he exclaimed, "May 12, 1955" The helpful student shrugged and said, "Same song, every country.""
Isn't it true that we complicate things that could be so simple? I know I do. Often I find myself trying to solve something using the most difficult approach.....like the girl trying to find out the birth date of the student. After trying all she knew to do she was at a loss...who knows what she tried before she gave up? The student who helped solve an apparently unsolvable problem, did it by singing the classic Happy Birthday to You song. So simple.
I am sure there are lots of moments when we think that there is no other way to deal with a certain difficulty and God comes along and sings "Happy Birthday to You!"
As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness. ~Henry David Thoreau
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~Leonardo DaVinci
The greatest truths are the simplest: so likewise are the greatest men. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. ~Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993
It´s no secret to to the child of God that the "truth shall set you free" rather the secret lies in believing that truth when everything around you SCREAMS the opposite.
This song I am sure is known to most, if not all of you, and God gave me the grace to be able to translate it into Spanish and we have be able to share it on many occasions.
This past Sunday we were invited to lead worship for two services.
As you know, this is not my best moment or finest hour! To lead out when one is totally weak and hanging on by a thread is both a challenge and a blessing. A blessing you say? Yes, precisely because you have no energy left in you to worry if it will work out, or if you can do a good job! I had just gotten my voice back after the flu, so confidence in my capacity was zilge. I had no fight left in me. Whatever happened was going to be God. It was up to God.
Anyway, my DH wanted to sing this song and I knew I was going to be singing it to myself. Yes in capital letters and in red ink. I needed so badly to hear this song, more than anyone sitting there.
As I presented the song, I shared my own struggles and my desperate need to chose to believe the voice of truth rather than the screaming lies that were raging through my head. I felt naked before each one of them as I weakly pointed the way to a God who desperatly wants me and them to believe that what we are living right now is not a definition of who we are or His truth about us.
I felt nothing magical, no trumpets resounding or angels singing. I just obeyed. I just chose to sing the truth that I was not feeling. I am just hanging on ... The rubber meets the road right here and inspite of myself, God is with me. I have to stand firm in what I know to be true. This is a battle and I have to use my armour , my belt of truth to STAND FIRM. Obedience is a strong weapon in this fight.
Therefore, put on the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and,
having done all, to stand.
Monday, January 14, 2008
There is a really fancy Hotel called the Hotel Auditorium
on the way to the airport where they have a pianist who plays nightly all the jazz songs my dad (and his dad before him)used to play in his band. I love going there just to listen to him play and my mum and brother wanted to go too. It´s a beautiful setting for a trip down memory lane.
We all got dressed up to fit in with the 4 star standard, even the boys!
Here we all are ...the whole lot and yes there is a piano behind us somewhere!!!
Even though both my sister-in-law and I were both full of flu and cold symptoms,we made the effort togher with the others to dress up as pirates, clowns and tramps for our family Christmas party! Here are my bro and my mum! Isn´t my mum the best Charlie Chaplin you ever did see?This is at my sister´s place.
Aye mi hearties! Beware a crowd of dangerous pirates just got off the ship for some rum!!!! You can see in this pic I am totally out of it! My sister looks like a combination of Charlie Chaplin and Goldilocks!
A Holmes gathering would not be the same if it didnt include a jam session singing all the Beatles songs!
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Some more good advice that I have received during my holding on process is to get the bad stuff out of my system. Say what is going through my mind because God is not afraid to hear it.
Certainly David, who was known to be a man next to Gods heart, did not mince his words about how he felt. In many a Psalm he accuses God of abandoning him, of not hearing his cry and leaving him in the pit!
I used to do a little example about this when leading worship sometimes. The proverbial glass of water is full. It is full of all my pains, worries, anger and disappointments. Can I fill it up with Gods love and peace when it is already full? No I can't ..there is no room....not until I first empty it out and then refill it.
Likewise, I need to empty myself of my "ugliness" so that God has room to put in his peace, grace and love and most importantly....His hope. I have to make an active choice to do this....
I know that often in these situations one has not even the energy to pour out the stuff...but God in His grace and love helps to even do this.
It is the same with a festering wound. One has to make an effort to clean it out well.... purify it of puss and dirt so that it can begin with the healing process. I am right there folks. It needs a firm and yet gentle touch.
When I am experiencing difficulties I naturally ask myself if there is anything I could have done to have avoided them!!! Who doesn't? That is why it is so easy to find the fault with myself!
In my present state I find myself asking the Lord to give me something to hold onto. Something practical. Even without putting words to this prayer, Naomi who left a comment on the Tulips post encouraged me to hop over to another blog. This blog belongs to my pastor back in Guernsey, who even though I have lived many years away from the island and am no longer in his congregation, continues to be a source of encouragement and support to me across the miles! His friendship and example are a great influence in my life. Eric has suffered with physical pain for the last 10 years so he knows what he s talking about when it comes to suffering. He knows what he is talking about when it comes to holding on.
Click on this and you will find some very practical, clear counsel to walk through your pain or struggle just as I did yesterday.
Here is a little quote to wet your appetite:
Here is the outline of what I said: In John 16 Jesus used the phrase “a little while” 7 times. He was referring to the 3 days and nights He would be in the grave before the resurrection. In Ezekiel 11:16 the phrase means 70 years. So it appears that a little while in God’s economy may not be to with a quantity of time, but rather a quality. What are the Marks of God’s Little While? · A Time When God is at Work no Matter How Dark it Appears. This was true of the dark days when Jesus was in the tomb and the years that Israel was in exile. God was working out His purposes. When we submit to God’s timetable, He is at work.
· A Time When God is Looking After His People. In Ezekiel’s day God said He was being a “sanctuary for His people”, even tho’ their own sin had led them there.
· A Time that Ends Only When God Determines. It only ends when He says it is over, but we can be absolutely sure it will end. This will come to pass.
Now isn¨t that inspiring? It gave me hope and I encourage you hop on over there and read the whole thing.....
I am holding on!!!! I am not kidding anyone that everything is "peachy keen", but I have been reminded during this storm, of several things. I thought that talking about them could be
helpful too.!!!! Maybe I will just get to one now...
I want to reiterate that it is always better to talk and get what is bothering us off our chest. There is a time for this...but whether it takes longer or sooner to get there...we must surely come to a place where we pour out our hearts to those near to us.
I was hurting so bad that I just could´t talk for fear of continual break down if you know what I mean. I had been crying all time and the thought of exposing my pain all over again felt like I was opening up the wound and the blood was gushing out. This was a serious state of affairs.
I thought that if I am tired of going over the same problems, my friends will be too.... they can´t help me anyway, so why bother? I just want out.... away ... a safe place alone. I didn´t want to talk about this pain any more, I had had enough and I was signing out, resigning from life....
I want a free ticket please to anywhere but here!
In cutting myself off I don´t allow those who love me to help or express their love. Yes, I know that they can´t always help change anything at that point, but they can love ON me and remind me that I am not alone.
A wounded dog will seek out a safe place to hide so that it can recover. In his pain it requires a special kind of someone to approach them as they will lash out. It´s similar with us, but the worst thing that can happen to you is to be left alone. Not only do you sink deeper into your misery, you end up dying. Seriously! You just give up. Humans need humans to survive whether we like it or not! It´s the only way out and up.(obviously God is a key player here too, but I was just exposing the human factor here!!)
I am glad I have a husband, kids, sisters, and dear friends that have pursued me, but who have also needed to know how to wait for me to come round. It´s important to know when to ask and when to simply hold still and just be by my side. It´s a hard balance and there are no 3 easy step formulas. It takes lots of love and patience, but it works!
When I opened up = it did help. It did ease the ache. I think we convince ourselves of the opposite so quickly. This is a clever strategy of the enemy whose only desire is to see God´s chosen destroyed. Yes see us dead physically, emotionally and spiritually. Any combination is fine!
Once you are alone and singled out, you are easy prey just like in the animal kingdom... That is the strategy the lion uses to pursue his prey. He seeks out the strays, the young and weak or the unprotected...those away from the herd.
It´s true that our friends and loved ones can give no easy answers, no quick deals, no one size fits all solutions.. but they can give support, understanding, comfort and company. There are little acts of kindness that can break the monotony of frustration and pain, and bring a spark of hope. That´s what the white tulips did for me. It´s crazy, but it´s true. And if God can do that for me...He will do it for you.
My friend Karen from Karen´s Korner has a quote on her blog that says, "Share the gospel and if necessary use words. " A truer word could not have be spoken. In these moments, often words are surplus. There are actions that can reach beyond the words.
I have learned again that I need to open up and reach out, especially when I am hurting. Let others love on me and care for me even if it doesn't actually change any of my circumstances or eradicate my pain. I need to know I am not alone.
Monday, January 07, 2008
I love white tulips! A very dear friend went to great lengths to send me some because she knows I love them. She knew it would cheer my heart. It did. It still does when I look at them.
Isn´t it amazing when all around you seems dismal, a little touch of thoughtfulness can go a long, long way.
Not much in my panoroma has changed, some pain still remains. There has been a change in perspective about some things.
Sadly new struggles have appeared on the horizon for others that are close to me. Their pain far exceeds my own. This is always good as it gets the attention off oneself!!
My family has come to visit from Guernsey which has bought a lot of comfort. Sadly both my sister in law and I have been sick with the flu!
A very big thank you to all of you who have written emails of concern and for all of your prayers. They are greatly appreciated!