Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Knit One...Pearl Too



There is little that one strand of yarn or thread can do
You can mend, You can darn, You can connect pieces together
When a person knits...which I do not
A person needs more than one piece of yarn...
You need a ball of yarn, knitting needles, your hands,
 knowledge, technique, and time.
And that is the depth of my knowledge...
which I observed in a youtube video.

Although I know little about knitting a hat, scarf or blanket
I have been steeped in the art of knitting relationships


Just like knitting with yarn
knitting relationships takes a little time and effort  

Time is something that I have had plenty of lately

My personal technique for knitting relationships
historically has been...
definitely not precise
admittedly hard
my history is one of observer, not initiator
I am on the shy, protect myself side
relationships have always been slow in developing
but once they were, they were deeply rooted

In my new place
from the beginning
I have felt the Holy Spirit prompt me
to move faster
than I am personally comfortable with
when it comes to relationships.

I can't explain why
But I am trying hard to listen
and to step out of my personal pattern 
and into the pattern that is modeled by our Savior

When Jesus was here with us
He did not live alone
there was a group of men 
those He would 
live with
serve with
eat with
sleep with
walk with
talk with 
laugh with
cry with 
simply...share life with
He gave us all an example
of what being knitted together looks like.

I love how the Gospels in very short order
tells us that He just called out to these men
and invited them to join Him. 
That as they walked the roads together
their personalities began to emerge.
They learned to live in community together quickly.

Jesus knew that His time here would not be long
so He made every minute count
He knit himself to others quickly

I do not know how long I will be here
but I need to live like it is not long

My turtle like personality

sticking my head out of my shell
to make sure it is safe
 
that must be set aside
I must willingly be knit to others
where I am

Let me just tell you
it is super difficult to knit hearts to hearts
when I am more concerned about
my safety and security 
above anything else 

On the other hand...
precious relationships take time
like the formation of a natural pearl

one grain of sand floating in an ocean
does not  a pearl make.
It can take years to cultivate
in particular conditions

There is a balance to maintain in life
knitting
pearl making

My heart needs both

I need to be knitted to others,
for companionship and community
for this is where everyday life is

I need to be cultivating "pearl" friends as well,
for the long life-time walk of faith

I need to understand
 that not everyone
that I am knitted to
will become a pearl,
and that is just fine.
Some people in my life are gifted to me
by My Savior for just a season.

I need to understand
that "pearl" friends may not always be knitted
to my current life.
They are those in my life that
no matter what the time and distance...
when we are together we pick up right where we left off...
sharpening one another,
doctoring each others wounds from the battles we have been in,
laughing and crying together
as we share where the Lord has had us while we were apart.

Right now
I am knitting and pearl making
who knew,
certainly not I,
that knitting could happen so quickly
that I could feel so comfy, cozy and secure so fast.
who knew,
certainly not I,
 that I would be adding to my strand of pearls

I can hardly wait to see how this all turns out
my knitted blankie


and my elongated strand of pearls


One, I can already see what the outcome is looking like
The other, I will see unfold over time

There are two places in the New Testament
that the Apostle Paul speaks about the importance
of being knitted or joined together with others

Ephesians 4:15-16
Amplified Bible (AMP)
15 Rather, let our lives lovingly [a]express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
16 For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.

Colossians 2:2-3
Amplified Bible (AMP)
[For my concern is] that their hearts may be [a]braced (comforted, cheered, and encouraged) as they are knit together in love, that they may come to have all the abounding wealth and blessings of assured conviction of understanding, and that they may become progressively [b]more intimately acquainted with and may know more definitely and accurately and thoroughly that mystic secret of God, [which is] Christ (the Anointed One).
In Him all the treasures of [divine] wisdom ([c]comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God) and [all the riches of spiritual] knowledge and enlightenment are stored up and lie hidden.

I really like Smith's Bible Dictionaries definition of Pearl...
 
Pearl [N] [E]
(Heb. gabish ). The Hebrew word in ( Job 28:18 ) probably means "crystal." Pearls, however are frequently mentioned in the New Testament, ( Matthew 13:45 ; 1 Timothy 2:9 ; Revelation 17:4 ; 21:21 ) and were considered by the ancients among the most precious of gems, and were highly esteemed as ornaments. The kingdom of heaven is compared to a "pearl of great price." In ( Matthew 7:6 ) pearls are used metaphorically for anything of value, or perhaps more especially for "wise sayings." (The finest specimens of the pearl are yielded by the pearl oyster (Avicula margaritifera ), still found in abundance in the Persian Gulf and near the coasts of Ceylon, Java and Sumatra. The oysters grow in clusters on rocks in deep water, and the pearl is found inside the shell, and is the result of a diseased secretion caused by the introduction of foreign bodies, as sand, etc., between the mantle and the shell. They are obtained by divers trained to the business. March or April is the time for pearl fishing. A single shell sometimes yields eight to twelve pearls. The size of a good Oriental pearl varies from that of a pea to about three times that size. A handsome necklace of pearls the size of peas is worth $15,000. Pearls have been valued as high as $200,000 or $300,000 apiece.--ED.)
   

 




 

     










Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shopping


Anyone that really knows me
knows that I am not a shopper
I am not a browser
I really don't like hanging out at malls
if I have to shop
I always go with a list
I stick to the list
and then
I high tail it out of there.

But...
 Tonight is going to be different

My friend and I have been talking and planning this shopping trip for weeks
Every time that we are together
we chat about it
what type to get
the best place to find it
we have gathered outside opinions
we have been doing our homework 

I can hardly wait!!!

Tonight I am getting to do something so precious, so wonderful
I am helping a friend pick out her first Bible


Maybe it is silly, but I am almost giddy with excitement

She is a new believer and so wants to do everything right
She has been so overwhelmed by what type of Bible to get
that I offered to go with her to pick it out

What an honor and a joy!

I think I have taken my Bible for granted
I have carried it with me for so long

And it isn't even my first or only Bible

I received my first Bible when I was a little girl
I still have it
a King James version
It has a cover that depicts Jesus and children sitting at his feet
I could hardly understand
what it said when I tried to read it
but I carried it with me
each Sunday to Sunday School
so that I could get a star
by my name on the attendance poster.



When I was in Junior High 
my mom bought me a paperback Bible
I still have it
a New Living Translation
it was much easier to read
and so sometimes I would
but mostly I carried it around with me
and doodled on the cover
there are a few verses highlighted inside



When I was going into High School
a guidance counselor bought me
a leather bound Bible
a King James Version
with my name inscribed in gold on the front
I still have it
It held sentimental meaning for me
and I loved showing off the burgundy book
It made me feel special
I would carry it to church with me
it was hard to read, but it looked good

When I got married
my husband bought me a brown leather bound Bible
a New American Standard 
and my married name was inscribed on the front.
I still have it
I still use it
This is the Bible 
where I began to really dig in
where I studied and read
it is written in and marked up
It is my most precious treasure
For I have learned much while turning its pages



I think about these Bibles now
as I get ready to help my friend shop for hers
I think about how long it took me to understand
what a prized possession they are

It is not just a book
It is The Book

I hope I never go back to seeing The Bible as just a book
for my life has been changed by its contents

As my friend and I shop tonight
my hope for her is that it becomes her most precious treasure
and that her walk with The Lord only gets sweeter as she reads His Words

Now...
time to shop!!!

2 Timothy 3:16-17
NAS
All Scripture is inspired by God
and is profitable for teaching,
for reproof,
for correction,
for training in righteousness;
that the man of God may be adequate,
equipped for every good work.      

      



Friday, August 16, 2013

Birthday Wish

As of tomorrow I will be in a new season.
No more children
They are all grown up!

Not that I have not seen it coming
its just that
well
This is one of those seasons that I have looked forward to
and yet now that it is here I would do anything to return to the beginning.

To the very day he was born.

The old adage, "if I only knew then what I know now", is ringing in my ears.

Even though there must be a million parenting books out there
no matter what I read or anyone told me
the bare truth is...
parenting is hard
I messed it up
there were mistakes and regrets
A person can try and "improve" on their parents version of parenting
but in the end
the fact that I am an imperfect, sinful, controlling human
seeped into my daily activities of raising two human beings 

To look at them
one might think
"you have great kids"
"you did a great job"
"they grew up so responsible"
blah blah blah

The truth is
no matter how hard I tried to parent
I failed
My struggles became their struggles
Body image issues,
worthiness issues,
trust issues
My nagging became a place where they learned
how to tune me out
which I totally deserved
My fears became a place where they learned 
a particular way of seeing the world
My self righteousness became a place where they learned 
a particular way of interpreting the world

I feel ashamed and sad when I think about it too long 

And yet
by some miracle
by God's grace
I have standing before me a young man who is turning 21 tomorrow
the baby of the family
trying so hard to find his own way in the world

He survived
by God's grace
this mom's antics and parenting attempts

Thanks be to God who poured mercy and grace into this boy's mind and soul
He made him into a compassionate young man
He molded his mind to see those that need encouragement
He gave him the strength to look beyond his own doubts to a lost world
He gave him hands that long to draw and interpret life
He gave him ears that hear emotion in songs and speech
He gave him the ability to have patience with his Mom
He continues to give him the ability to forgive
He is driving this boy's future plans
He is giving him the eyes to dream big
He is providing him with all he needs for the journey

God's mercy is new every day

I am most thankful and humbled that I am related to this young man

Instead of focusing on the things I wish I had done or not done 
I need to focus on what God did
I need to focus on being thankful for being audience to God's handiwork

I am a proud Mama Bird
trying with all my might not to hover


Old habits die hard
I can only whip this one with God's help

So I pray...
As my son continues to become a man
may he seek the face of God
may the Lord protect his mind,
soul and body from the things that can so easily entangle in this world
may he use his gifts and talents in a God honoring way
may he fully forgive any past offenses
may he let go of any wrong thinking
and see himself as a child of God, perfect and forgiven.
and may he never forget where he came from and how blessed he is.

and may I have the strength to let go and trust him fully into God's care...

Happy Birthday my son
you are most precious to me.




Monday, August 12, 2013

Whoa Tongue!!


My tongue gets me in more trouble than anything else


Can I get a witness?

 Once upon a time
In a land far far away
Many years ago....
On a day,
that started like
any ordinary day 
I got the phone call
that would begin my story
of humility and mercy


I thought I had all the answers
I barely listened
to the heart of the loved one on the other end of the line
I interrupted
this tender and hurting heart with heavy handed responses
raising my voice
to get my point across
not acknowledging
how hard it must have been to call
not hearing
the fear or longing for support  
I slashed through the phone line
tearing my loved one down blow by blow
until....
there was nothing left to say
I had managed to brutally injure someone that I adored
I was so blind with "righteousness"
And
it appeared this would be
The End

 My tongue has
hurt people
broken hearts
broken trusts
caused doubt
brought tears to others eyes
destroyed friendships
lied for my advantage
manipulated others decisions

such a little part of the body, to do so much damage

Admitting this is hard
for the ones I hurt the most are the ones I love the most

In my head, it felt like I was doing the right thing

but often my approach was wrong
my motive was wrong

my heart was wrong

It was all wrong

My tongue 
My words
were not coated with the love of Jesus by any means

And for all of this,
I deserved to be cut off

I deserved to be counted as untrustworthy
I deserved to be "unfriended"


But I have something to share about that

instead of justice I was handed mercy

So humbling, when I knew what I really deserved

I am not saying it happened over night
mending broken hearts takes time

All I could do was sit and wait
wait to see if there would ever be a chance
to make things right
to start over

It was lonely, waiting, praying
being humbled is, well
humiliating

Although I had done all the damage
the mending came from the one I hurt
another taste of humility

But this time,
the taste was sweet,
soothing
for it was sprinkled with mercy

soothing mercy
healing mercy
to one who deserved justice

So today, I honor the one who gave me mercy undeserved
I love you more today than ever
our friendship is sweeter than it has ever been

The story did not end with shattered lives
instead, like all good stories
that chapter ended with a lesson and a happy ending!

Thanks to a dear one who gave me a chance to redeem what I destroyed

James 3
The Voice (VOICE)
My brothers and sisters,
do not encourage a large number of you to become teachers
because teachers will be held to a higher standard. 
 We all stumble along the way.
If a person never speaks hurtful words
or shouts in anger or profanity,
then he has achieved perfection.
The one who can control his tongue
can also control the rest of his body. 
 It’s like when we place a metal bit into a horse’s mouth to ride it;
we can control its entire body
with the slightest movement of our hands. 
 Have you ever seen a massive ship
sailing effortlessly across the water?
Despite its immense size
and the fact that it is propelled by mighty winds,
a small rudder directs the ship in any direction the pilot chooses. 
It’s just the same with our tongues!
It’s a small muscle, capable of marvelous undertakings.
And do you know how many forest fires begin
with a single ember from a small campfire? 
 The tongue is a blazing fire
seeking to ignite an entire world of vices.
The tongue is unique among all parts of the body
because it is capable of corrupting the whole body.
If that were not enough, it ignites and consumes
the course of creation with a fuel that originates in hell itself. 
 Humanity is capable of taming every bird and beast in existence,
even reptiles and sea creatures great and small. 
But no man has ever demonstrated
the ability to tame his own tongue!
It is a spring of restless evil,
brimming with toxic poisons. 
 Ironically this same tongue can be
both an instrument of blessing to our Lord and Father
and a weapon that hurls curses upon others
who are created in God’s own image. 
 10 One mouth streams forth both blessings and curses.
My brothers and sisters, this is not how it should be. 
11 Does a spring gush crystal clear freshwater
and moments later spurt out bitter salt water? 
12 My brothers and sisters, does a fig tree produce olives?
Is there a grapevine capable of growing figs?
Can salt water give way to freshwater?
13 Who in your community is understanding and wise?
Let his example, which is marked by wisdom and gentleness,
blaze a trail for others. 
14 If your heart is one that bleeds
dark streams of jealousy and selfishness,
do not be so proud that you ignore your depraved state. 
15 The wisdom of this world
should never be mistaken for heavenly wisdom;
it originates below in the earthly realms, with the demons. 
16 Any place where you find jealousy and selfish ambition,
you will discover chaos and evil thriving under its rule. 
17 Heavenly wisdom centers on
purity,
peace,
gentleness,
deference,
mercy,
and other good fruits untainted by hypocrisy. 
18 The seed that flowers into righteousness
will always be planted in peace
by those who embrace peace.