Monday Meditation

child-prayer-cross-sunset-11178620

(photo credit)

(The following is taken from the Invocation read aloud in my church yesterday.)

God of Love, Fountain of Prayer, we confess that our silence is noisy, our minds filled with distracting chatter, our thoughts focused on problems and our eyes bombarded with temptations. How hard we find it to be still and rest in Your holy and healing presence. And how hard we make it by driving ourselves to busyness and fatigue. God of Love, usher us into Your Holy Presence. Teach us the words to pray and the silences to keep. Refashion our days and hours so we may always walk in constant thanksgiving of Your amazing grace. Amen.

 

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23,24)

purposed for prayer,

jana

Motherhood

Luke and Charlie, 2006

Luke and Charlie 2013

I dreamt of being a mother from the day I understood the concept.

Sunday mornings my father would preach the sermon while I squirmed in my seat. At his closing, my mom would release me from the pew.

I would run to the nursery, thrilled to have a few minutes with the babies before their moms came to pick them up.

I was 5-years-old.

What I didn’t realize then, but know now is that I had certain instincts about babies at a very early age. I knew how to hold them, soothe them, put them to sleep, feed them. I was confident and felt completely at ease with a baby in my care.

I remember once soothing a baby to sleep whose mother was exhausted from trying – I was 9.

I am drawn to babies like a magnet. My face lights up, my heart melts. I yearn to hold them and enjoy them and treasure them.

I recently visited a dear friend of mine who had just given birth to her third child. I drew such delight and sense of purpose from loving on her son and on her. She allowed me to comfort him, rock him, put him to sleep – to take that task from her for the time I was with her. To give her respite from the minute by minute demands of motherhood. I couldn’t have been more grateful to have that time to love on her through her infant son.

For some, I recognize these instincts do not come naturally. For others, the desire to be a mother is nonexistant. And, for many the desire is unfulfilled bringing with it lost dreams and heartache.

Then, there are those who have lost a child – whose pain is beyond comprehension.

This Mother’s Day, I am aware that I will not assume that all women I greet are mothers nor that all women have happy feelings or memories this day. There are many who will avoid the malls, the restaurants, the places where families gather in order to avoid their deep pain and sense of loss.

I can’t possibly understand what a life of infertility feels like, or what it is like to lose a child. But, I can ask God to give me compassion towards those who do. To see with His eyes and to love with His heart.

Sensitize me, oh Lord, to the needs of your children. Make me compassionate as you are compassionate. Be with those this Mother’s Day who carry a heavy heart and do not rejoice in today’s celebrations. Amen.

Happy Mother’s Day,

jana

 

 

Quiet

quiet

 

As I am sure you have noticed, it has been rather quiet over here at jana’s three dresses. My life in recent days has been far from quiet, however.

I have begun several drafts for posts with “interesting” titles. However, I can’t seem to finish them. My intent to write begins passionately, then fizzles as I labor over the keys trying to make sense of my thoughts.

I am struggling to find answers to puzzling behavior in my oldest. We are getting some help from a therapist. But, my son’s mood sweeps up and down from moment to moment without warning. His dad and I are trying to figure it all out. The stress is mounting. All I want to do is get through the immediate crises, walk away, take a deep breath, and enjoy the peace before all hell breaks loose again. But, that doesn’t solve the underlying issue…and that is where we are struggling.

I have been called to a task that is big – God-sized. I am honored and humbled to be given this responsibility. But, at times, I feel like Timothy – overwhelmed and immature. I am helping to execute a workshop for Military Spouses that will bring speakers and experts together for a day. We will be sharing stories of grief and suffering, and offering words of hope and encouragement for military spouses.  A much needed balm for a storm that continues to brew with suicide, divorce and PTSD rates continuing to rise. I ask for your prayers for all military spouses and their families as we try our best to navigate these unchartered waters.

This is where my heart and mind are these days.

On the back burner are my plans for a blog redesign and my first e-book.

And soon, I will finish up the half-baked blog posts that lie in wait.

For now, I cling to this verse:

Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. 

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. (Psalm 37:3-7)

newly purposed,

jana

When Dust Settles

Life scatters like dust. Blowing in the wind, without warning it settles, collecting, making nicks and stresses stand out against the background.

Dust whirling overhead not falling, until it does. Loose and scattered.

I don’t understand how one moment it all seems in order, and the next it doesn’t. Did I hear you correctly, Lord? Did I step in the way you have planned, or did I forge my own path? I am confused, doubting now what once felt so secure.

It is not time, yet. I keep hearing. It is not time, yet. I have moved the pieces into place as you asked. Is that the end? Is there anything left for me to do? Would you have me stop now and let go?

I ache for knowing what is to come. To trust that there is more to this life. That my efforts are not in vain. You call me to a task that is larger than I can hold. Yet, I answer because it is not me who holds it, but You. You carry it all.

Dust settles, yet light in the darknessGod makes the dust beautiful. The cracks and fissures the dust highlights are evidence of His Grace, His mercy, His healing.

newly purposed,

jana

 

Opportunity | Five Minute {Friday} Saturday

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker.

Word: Opportunity.

Write for five minutes without stoping and without editing.

GO

Opportunity – a positive sound, a positive ring when I say it out loud. I seek opportunity all of the time. Opportunity to sleep, opportunity to have time by myself, opportunity to spend one-on-one time with my husband and my children, opportunity to work-out, eat healthy, and have quiet time with God.

But, opportunity often remains just beyond my grasp. When the boys were tiny-tots, opportunity was always so fleeting. I never had enough sleep, or enough time for myself, the opportunity to spend one on one time with my husband evaded us both, most of the time.

Is opportunity for the taking, is it always there, or do we have to go searching for it?

What does God think of this word {opportunity}? How does He view Opportunity differently from our limited, finite human perspective?

I learned a life-transforming lesson about opportunity. Opportunity can begin to look like a roadblock, a distraction, a diversion, or even an interruption, if I am not careful.

The woman in the commissary {grocery store} who just wants five minutes of my time to discuss the last church meeting. Opportunity  morphing into obligation or even annoyance. The child demanding my time once again. Opportunity blurring into hindrance or interruption to my original plans.

STOP

{But, there is more I want to add so if I can just take a few more minutes of your time.}

The alarm clock at 5am reminding me of my renewed commitment to giving God the first 15-minutes of my day – dedicated solely to Him. Opportunity begins to take the form of apathy, slothfulness, and a burden to bear.

Be careful! I tell myself. Nothing is an accident. I believe that all is orchestrated by God. I arrived at the commissary five-minutes later than I had planned. She and I came face to face in front of the rows of juice boxes and cereal bars. Opportunity for fellowship, for community, for listening with a patient, compassionate heart. Opportunity to offer another Hope and Encouragement.

The child seeking my attention right as I am sitting down {finally} to read scripture, to journal and to pray. Opportunity to Love like He Loves Me. He always has time for me. He never makes me wait for His love. Opportunity to show my child they are valued and important in my life.

I am given opportunities every day, every minute to  become more Christ-like in my thinking, in my actions, and in my words. Opportunity to alter my perception of this world, to Transform My Mind. Opportunity to see as God sees, to respond as God would want me to respond, to Love like God wants me love.

Father God, will you please give me the self-control, patience, and faithfulness to see interruptions, annoyances, obligations, and road-blocks through the mind of Christ – as Opportunity for modeling Your kingdom here on earth. Amen.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom. 12:2)

newly purposed,

jana

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