Resting In Him – #OneWord365 Post

bulbul039s_nest_and_eggs

Resting isn’t always about taking a nap, or taking it easy. It is also about where I choose to land, or settle.

Google defines rest as:
2. be placed or supported so as to stay in a specified position.
“her elbow was resting on the arm of the sofa”
synonyms: lie, be laid, repose, be placed, be positioned, be supported by
“his hands rested on the rail”

I am like a weary worn bird returning to her nest during a wind storm. I place myself in His more than capable hands. He supports me in this journey which is sometimes difficult and painful. Yet when I take the time to remember that I am in His Presence, it is a joyful journey regardless of the terrain. I choose to nestle into His arms. He holds me up when I would otherwise fall down.

January till now has tested my rest promise…You know the one found in Isaiah about peaceful dwelling places, secure homes and undisturbed places of rest?

There was an act of vandalism on my block…a bird in my house and now one of my gutters hangs by a thread resting on the electrical wire bringing power into my house.

Coming home this month has felt more like something to be avoided or dreaded. Perhaps an experience even coupled with a little fear. Then I would remind myself of His promise. Peaceful dwelling places, secure homes and undisturbed places of rest. And now there’s February’s meditation:

Exodus 33:14 says, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

His Presence is here amidst flapping wings and gutters, potential power outages and vandalism. He is where I land, where I take refuge. Not my couch.

And so here I am where He is. And He is where I am.

I rest not because my circumstances are ideal. I rest because He is with me.

Rest Versus Escape

imageRest is so different from escape. I can rest right where I am without having a palm tree or beach. When my heart swirls around like so many towels in the dryer, I can stand still and hear a tiny voice. I don’t need to watch a movie, read a book or imagine away my fears. Sure the temptation is always there like that box of Christmas chocolates beckoning from the pantry, but just like a broken fast or diet the gratification only lasts for the moment and then I feel worse than before.

No, rest is found in admitting, “I am not enough. There is not enough of me to go around.” And then waiting…waiting for that voice so small that it is only heard in stillness. It reminds me that He is more than enough, and when I am found weak, He is found strong; when I am found foolish, He is found wise; when I am found overwhelmed, He is found sufficient.

This is my peaceful place, my safe home, and I trust Him to lead me to green pastures…and guess what? He does.

My comfort food is His Word and it satisfies. He is the high tower to which I escape and find rest…and now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep…He is able to keep me, and in that promise, I rest.

Restful Re-Creation…My #OneWord365 {Rest}

My ship has been on troubled water and I have been trying to keep my eyes shut tight enough, fingers in my ears deep enough to drown out the sights and sounds of a dangerous voyage…and all the while He is there offering true rest. Not the rest that comes from escaping into an alternate reality in paperback. Not the rest that comes from a black flat screen flickering blue until I fall asleep on the couch. But the kind that comes from creation out of chaos.

That’s what He does you know…creates in chaos. He hung the stars, organized, each in their place and created order from chaos. He offers to do this in me and for me, yet it seems easier to hide. Because His rest does not allow me to ignore the storm, but gives the courage to face it.

Certainly, I am busier than ever and need to allow myself space to rest. But I’ve gone about it the wrong way. I’ve thought it was all about recreation when it was really about re-creation. I need to re-create. When I am not re-creating, but merely recreating, I am not truly resting. I am simply allowing someone or something to try to cover my concerns with noise louder than the storm. The kind of re-creation I need boldly faces the storm and says, “Peace be still.” And time slows till all is calm, all is bright. Now there is space for Him to develop the Divine in the belly of the ship.

He is there in that space, resting while all hell breaks loose on the outside…unconcerned about the storm because He knows that He can re-create with His words. I am like those disciples, still too timid to speak to the storm. But at least I know enough to run to the One who can calm the storm. And He knows my weakness and does for me what I can not seem to do for myself. Yet He’s given me the hope that I can some day. It’s something to aspire to. But it won’t be done by mindlessly staring at another person’s reality for hours on end.

I am made in His image. Designed to create. And when my life is storming He is waiting for me to use this gift to re-create the atmosphere with my words…His Words. It is then that I can rest in His ability to calm the storm, to accomplish what He set forth in those words to create…calm from chaos, peace in broken pieces, beauty from ashes.

Margus Saluste

Margus Saluste

This year, I am determined to watch over my recreation time. To be purposeful in it. What is this down time creating in me? Is it presenting a world view different from the Great Creative? Is it creating rest and peace? Or is it adding to the turmoil in and around me?

My friend Sandra Heska King has chosen home as her #oneword365. I have chosen rest. But our meditation scripture is the same.
Isaiah 32:18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.

No matter where I find myself I can be in an undisturbed place of rest. I can let His words re-create my environment to a place of peace. To rest – cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength. He is my dwelling place…and so I rest. In His Presence is fullness of joy…and so I rest.

Great Expectations at Hope’s End – A One Word 365 Post

cheerios2
Remember when

in your youth,

each day was fresh

with no mistakes

and no consequences?

Only dreams waiting to be captured.

And every day was rosy,

full of life

the way a florist shop smells green

and greener.

Then disappointment comes…

but not enough to kill your

Great Expectations!

You won’t be so easily discouraged!

and time passes and another comes…

and you smile and say,

“If at first I don’t succeed,

I’ll try, try again.”

Then life starts to happen.

and one day bleeds into the next

with the blood of murdered hopes and dreams.

Twenty comes and goes

with extra tiny fingers and toes,

and Cheerios in places you never thought you’d see them.

Thirty comes and goes

with extra pounds and rolls,

and your jeans create a nuclear mushroom from your belly.

Now at forty, panic strikes! You realize that

those things youth loftily planned

are out of reach and out of hand.

But then…

Jesus  poured out His hopes and dreams

of a long life well-lived

as a drink offering

for a blood thirsty ground.

His dreams in exchange

for the dreams of others.

And you realize that all is not lost,

because you’ve made beds and sack lunches

paving the way for those you love

to accomplish God things.

God whispers in your ear.

“Will you hope in Me now?

now that you have spent yours?

Now that your pride and confidence

in your own goals

have fallen like Babel?

Will you let Me create in you

an expectation anew?

A fresh future full of Me

now that there is less of you?”

Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal. John 12:24-25 Message

It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, I Peter 1:3

We all arrive at your doorstep sooner
or later, loaded with guilt,
Our sins too much for us—
but you get rid of them once and for all.
Blessed are the chosen! Blessed the guest
at home in your place!
We expect our fill of good things
in your house, your heavenly manse.

Psalm 65 Message

I shared this with d’Verse Poets

Counting gifts with Ann:

117.  Glitter in old lady’s hair

118.  Friends who think that I can do anything.

119.  For great priceless treasure in my home…

120.  A child’s laughter his delight in simply taking another breath.

121.  A task completed. 

122.  The perfect fast breaker! 

123.  Seeing God everywhere!
Sharing with Michelle:

…sharing a playdate with Laura:

….finding heaven with Jen:

…hanging out with L.L.: On In Around button

On Willy Wonka, My One Word 365 Project And Returning to 1000 Gifts

It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation….I Peter 1:3

Is this the way I have chosen to live?

Am I peeking around the corner with great expectation?

or am I waiting, crouched, arms over head, for the next blow?

I want to unfold the paper of life like Charlie unwrapped the silver from his Wonka Bar…

slowly…

carefully…

fully expecting to see that bit of gold.

I want to believe against hope like Abraham and Sarah,

and when hope seems bankrupt, I want to use my resources for others

like Charlie.

To buy someone else a candy bar.

And then when hope is replaced with a gift of giving

anticipation arises for what God can do.

and will do.

and has done.

And what I’ve got is much better than a golden ticket.

Because… I temporarily gave up on my list.

and the picture of beautiful expectation I had experienced dribbled cloudy like a watercolor painting being rained upon.

So I begin again,

a little more humble,

a lot more wise.

Expectation comes in that

His beauty and love chase after me

every day of my life.

Now to pen these moments

with expectation in community with dearest Ann:


91. For the always thought provoking writing of Madeleine L’Engle. “How marvelous is the ritual of the Holy Mysteries, the Eucharist, where we joyfully eat love.”

92. Flourescent ribbons unfurled across the sky.

93. Giant crunch hamburgers.

94. Laughing birds.

95. Chocolate pudding treat, unexpected in my bag.

96. A novel in my heart…

97. A daughter who says that everything is more fun with her brother around.

98. Neighborhood mysteries.

99. Big answers to small prayers.

100. New job opportunities.

101. Sand between my toes…in January…in the Chicago area!

102. A magical day of mystical findings for my book! Pioneer Chapel.

103. A packet of goodies from a stranger!

104. Hearing sandhill cranes a mile high in the sky.

105. Glitter in an old woman’s hair.

106. Buying a brand new $200 sportscoat at Penney’s for my husband for only $10!

107. Writer’s Calendar and day planner at the Dollar Store.

108. Daughter gets the coveted part of Elizabeth Bennett at Youth Theater!

109. Guest posting at my dear friend Renee’s!

Sharing with Michelle:

…sharing a playdate with Laura:

….finding heaven with Jen:

…hanging out with L.L.: On In Around button

Keeping Your “Word” Close To Your Heart – Ways to Implement One Word 365

Many of you have chosen a word on which to meditate for the year. I have chosen one as well. EXPECT. Now what? What do I do with this word? I don’t want this to become something that I get all excited about only to forget about until whatever the new “thing” is. How can I consistently keep this word as a part of my daily routine?

1. Choose a Scripture. Find a Scripture that supports the word that the Holy Spirit has placed on your heart.

2. Read that Scripture in a different translation each month.

3. Memorize the Scripture.

4. Write the Scripture on a card and keep it with you.

5. Find your “word” displayed on some sort of graphic art (or make one yourself). Display it somewhere you can see it all of the time.

6. Find some quotes containing your chosen word.

7. Look up your word in the dictionary. Concentrate on a meaning a month.

8. Share your journey with others.

9. Be on the look out for ways to implement your word.

10. Keep a journal of the journey towards your word epiphany!

I hope these suggestions help you make this a life changing event rather than a forgotten resolution! Please make any suggestions you might have in the comment section.

For more information about One Word 365 check out their website!

One Word: Expect!

The New Year brings a clutter of new habits I’d like to enforce. After all, Erasmus said, “Habit is overcome by habit.” Already I’ve found myself embracing four spiritual tracks, and this is after I’ve sworn to KISS, keep it simple stupid. This is why I love the One Word 365 movement. This project encourages others to choose one word to concentrate on for the year. If I can’t focus on one word, then I have a real problem! So my choice you wonder? EXPECT!!

I have been expecting all along, but I’ve been expecting the wrong things. Have you ever noticed that when you expect the worst, the worst you get? So I’m expecting amazing things this year! I’m expecting to see God’s promises as true. I’m expecting to finish my novel, and dare I publicly announce, I’m expecting to sell it? I’m expecting great things here at this site. I’m expecting better health, and relationships…but most of all, I’m expecting to know Him better.

What one word do you plan on embracing for 2012? Are what are your expectations for the year?

I’m sharing this here. On In Around button

and here.