Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Long, Good Goodbye

When I first found out that Wes and I would be moving
to the Pittsburgh area,
it seemed unreal.

I could not even picture what that would look like.
I have lived pretty much in the same area my whole life.
Embedded in family, church, a house,
a dog, ......

I have mused in the past of living somewhere else
I mean other people do it
It must be exciting to have an adventure like that

But when push came to shove, I could not imagine it.

It took time

Time that my Sweet Abba Father
and abundantly gave to me.

He gave me a whole 6 months from start to finish
to wrap my arms around this new thing.
To finish and tie up the loose ends of my Arizona life.
To have last conversations
last coffee dates
last tea dates
last lunches
last hugs
last hand holdings
last acts of service to loved ones
last moments of encouraging
and releasing my flock of lambs I have been coaching and caring for,
you know who you are!

I have loved every minute of this process

I could not have asked for anything more.
It has been more than I deserve.

I have laughed till I cried
I have cried till I have had no more tears
I have held tight to an idea that I could do both,

be invested in both places.

But, through this process of my long goodbye
I have been open to what ever God has for me.
And what He has for me
right now
to let go
let go of what is familiar
to not look back
to let go of all of it
to begin a new thing
whole heartedly
with everything I have

God never let's us stand still for long
His plan is bigger than we can imagine

So, for those I am leaving and letting go of...
I love you
I know you can keep your eyes on Jesus
without my reminders
I will be watching and praying

Psalm 37:23 and 24 are for you...

 If you are right with God, He strengthens you for the journey;
    the Eternal will be pleased with your life.
And even though you trip up, you will not fall on your face
    because He holds you by the hand.

for those I am just getting to know...
I love you already
I know that as we walk together
our faith will grow stronger and we will be knit together in service to our Lord.

It has been a wonderful Long, Good, Goodbye

Now it is time for some Grand, Exciting, Hellos

I am off to the airport

going home

leaving what is now my past 

to go home



Psalm 37: 3-5 is my personal prayer and promise....
I believe in the Eternal,
and I will do what is good--
I am going to live in the land He has provided for me,
I am going to roam in the land
and I am going to rest in God's faithfulness in my life.
I am taking great joy in the Eternal!
His gifts in this new land are coming,
and they are all my heart desires!
I am continuing to commit my path to the Eternal;
I am letting Him direct me.
I am putting my confidence in Him,
He has promised to follow through with me.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Life of a Hobo

I found this definition on-line
a hobo is an itinerant worker,
 a career which sprang up during the depression.
A hobo is more than willing to work,
but mostly for a short duration,
as their main impetus is travel,
the love of the journey above the actual destination.

This is so me right now...
I have been living the life of a hobo for almost a month now

I actually have hobo in my DNA

My Granddad was a hobo...
I had other distant relative that were as well...
sometimes "riding the rails" from town to town to find work
sometimes "hitching a ride" from place to place to find work

sleeping wherever they could
working wherever they could
not feeling tied down
enjoying the freedom of moving around

One of my main goals with this move was to "finish well"
I had several big things
and a few small things
that I have felt compelled to finish before moving on.

It has been so good to finish well.
To feel I have completed what I had started.

in the process of finishing well
I became a hobo

I packed up my belongings and sent them across the country
I kept a suitcase full of necessities with me
I gave up my bedroom
I kept my pillow with me
I gave away things
I kept only what I needed
I began sleeping on couches
moving from place to place 
loving the journey of it all

And here I am...
at my last stop of this hobo tour
spending time with my sister, brother-in-law and nephews
I will count every minute as special
I will enjoy this part of my journey

In a little over a week I will be going home

to my new home
where my best friend has been patiently waiting
for this hobo to finish her rounds.

I am so ready to be grounded again.
It has been nice
and I am pleased that my goal of finishing well was accomplished.

Only by God's grace
and the hospitality of great friends and relatives
could all of this been made possible.

Psalm 145
I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,
And I will tell of Your greatness.
They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness
And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and merciful;
Slow to anger and great in loving-kindness.
The Lord is good to all,
And His mercies are over all His works.
10 All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord,
And Your godly ones shall bless You.
11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom
And talk of Your power;
12 To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts
And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
14 The Lord sustains all who fall
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to You,
And You give them their food in due time.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He will also hear their cry and will save them.
20 The Lord keeps all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Hugging Porcupines

Now, I know what you are thinking...
Why would I do that?
Hug a Porcupine?
The truth is,
We all have porcupines in our lives.
I have porcupines in my life...
they come in different shapes and sizes
but none the less, they are porcupines.
People I care about,
even love
that at times cause me pain
Not physical pain
heart pain
Like a porcupine
if they feel safe, in control
they are soft, approachable,
but the minute they feel threatened or out of control
the quills come out
they begin to defend themselves,
hurting others
hurting feelings,
causing space between themselves and those that care most for them
It is hard
It hurts
Porcupines need love too
they need understanding
they need tender loving care
they even need a good hug once in a while
My porcupines are not going away anytime soon
so I have to learn to do more than co-exist with them
at least I want to learn to do more than that.
I can see the loneliness in their eyes
the sadness
the fear of the future
fear of the unknown
fear of those things that are out of their control
the quills have become a barrier between the world and themselves
what was once a natural defense mechanism
is now the thing that causes people and things to flee from their presence,
it causes people to turn away from them, avoid them even
I find myself feeling sorrow on their behalf
thinking less about my heart ache and more about theirs
I long to find out what is at the bottom of it
What I find is a dark place
where there is little or no joy
where any thought of trusting Jesus is replaced
with attempting to control their worlds 

poor lonely porcupines

I love my personal porcupines
I really want to give them a big hug

So here I go...
putting aside my own agenda, my own safety,
reaching out
carefully, slowly, no quick moves, 
willing to take a few quills
willing to have my feelings hurt

Oh to be like Jesus...
he had porcupines too
the lepers
the tax collectors


and through it all
He consistently stayed on message about
God's love
God's mercy
God's grace
God's judgment

He walked among them
staying on message
even as His heart broke
even as He knew some would reject Him and the message
even when He knew the pain that was to come

He came anyway
He hugged them
He came close
He loved

I pray that I can do this
It is hard
but I know with the Holy Spirit's help
I can 

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength