Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Note to My Readers

The comments, compliments, and encouragements you all have offered to me both online and off since I started this blog have truly warmed my heart. I never imagined any writing, or certainly any blog I would start could evoke such a reaction! I feel truly blessed to have each and every one of you in my life.

It was brought to my attention that there was not a function where anyone could subscribe to my blog and be notified of any changes or recent posts. Some readers have expressed interest in knowing when a new post has been made, so I believe I figured out a way to do it.

I started a google mail group that will send an email everytime a post is made to this blog. If you would like to sign up to receive the email notifications, just visit the following page:

I would also like to request that if you leave an anonymous comment, if you could be so kind as to make mention of who you are, or at least drop a hint so I can guess. ;o) One of you I still haven't figured out!

Thanks again to all my readers. Hugs and blessings to each of you.

The Great Loss

I experienced a little bit of a broken heart today. Just when my husband and I were about to notify our realtor that we wanted to make an offer on the small pretty house I fell in love with (and then doubted myself over) he sadly informed us that the house went under contract. It went just "a few hours ago..." he said. Oh, we can make a back up offer in case theirs falls through... but what, really, are the chances? I'm ashamed to admit that at first I got very angry and said a few choice words. I just couldn't believe that once I finally decided it was indeed the house I wanted... the very place I saw myself living, decorating, raising a child or two, planting a garden... it was gone. It reminds me of the words from a popular song during my high school years. "Isn't it ironic... don't you think?"

So I sit here and wonder, could it be God (as everyone is telling me) or could it just be that I am too slow to get over my fears? I remembered just now as I pen these words that "a few hours ago..." before making the decision, a good friend prayed with me over the phone concerning this very thing. After she prayed, I knew things would be okay and work out according to His will. How quickly I forgot that prayer, and how swiftly I abandoned the peace it had settled in my soul, when this difficulty began to invade my space. How shamefully I admit that forgetfulness now, having cried my eyes out and stayed angry at myself, the world, the dog who kept getting under my feet as I attempted to finish preparing dinner through tear-stained glasses, and even my husband who just so lovingly wanted to comfort me.

I feel rather silly getting so emotional over a house. Don't get me wrong. I am still quite attached to it. I still very much want to call it my own and dream of filling it with the happy sounds of a growing family. I am also still quite doubtful that such a beautiful home in such a wonderful location will fall in our laps yet again... but to consider it such a great loss now just seems so... frivolous.

I didn't arrive at this conclusion easily, or even through any effort of my own. It hit me like a lead balloon, pounding on the doors of my mind, relenting not until my own thoughts were drowned out by the sounds of it piercing through my heart until that heart, completely broken, spewed forth the revelation that my "great loss" was really not that great at all.

It was born of the remembrance of an online acquaintance who shared with us the tragic and sudden loss of her dear husband, thought to be taken from this earth just a short week ago by a massive heart attack. It was ripened by the news article read concerning a six year old boy, struck by a vehicle this morning and pronounced dead at the scene.

Three losses. One woman mourning the death of the love of her life, another grieving the loss of a living and breathing piece of her very heart... and a third. This lady staring back at me in the mirror having lost... what? Brick? Tile? Mud-stained grout? Poorly chosen paint? Dirt? A chain link fence and a citrus tree or two?

How can I continue to bemoane the loss of something thought to be so wonderful, yet is so petty? How can I continue in this selfish way, completely forgetting to fall on my knees praising my Lord for the wonderful blessings I do have? How can I consider this a "great loss" when it really is no loss of mine at all? Brick can be rebuilt, tile can be re-layed, grout can be muddied up again, paint will always be available to buy in unbecoming colors, fences can be set yet again, and trees will always be planted and nurtured. Another house can be found... but we only have one chance at life. We only have one short life to share with the ones we love so dearly, and but a brief time on this earth to bring glory to the only One who is worthy of it. Do we have another decade? Another year? Another hour, minute, or just one more breath? Of this we can never be sure... but what I am sure of is that it is time to move on, count my blessings, and be truly thankful for the mercy of our great Redeemer. Move me, Lord... for my flesh saps my strength.

I may have lost the house I compare all others to, but perhaps this "great loss" has... in the grand scheme of things... given me more than could ever be taken away.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Handwriting on the Wall

Do you ever find yourself wishing that you could hand the Lord a Sharpie? Just toss one of the big permanent black ones up to the heavens and shout, "Okay, God. You, me, after work in the back room. Times New Romans size 5,403 please?" It seems to me that this method would be the easiest. I mean, who could miss His voice that way? Who would be bold enough to ignore His will presented in that manner... or worse yet... be unrighteous enough to paint over it?

There have been so many times in my life where I have hoped and prayed for a message of direction from the Lord to be as clear as the ink from a big black Sharpie against a stark white wall. He has spoken to me in many ways, mostly the usual ones... but so far, He hasn't humored me in this request. This is a week that I could really use it!

My husband and I are on that joyous and exciting yet terribly frustrating road to becoming first time home owners. At the time of this posting, we have viewed eight homes both inside and out and so many on the outside alone that I lost count weeks ago. The prospect of becoming tens of thousands of dollars in debt overnight is enough to make this Irish gal's blood run cold. I have never been good at making decisions and this is certainly no exception!

This journey has been covered in prayer every step of the way, but yet I am confused as to what the next and perhaps final step should be. It was only yesterday that I thought I knew for sure. We viewed our favorite prospect for the second time, and took a friend who builds homes along to give us his expert opinon on the matter. It was still love at second sight. This house has so much curb appeal to me, I smile when I think about it. It is so much better than I ever thought our first home could be. I love everything about it... almost. I didn't even realize there was an "almost" until today's wee hours of its morning.

Dustin's friend discovered the home still has some aluminum wiring and the price he estimated for getting it replaced with copper greatly discouraged me. We have since found out that it is not as huge a job or as big a bill as we originally thought... but it put a bug in my ear and caused me to look at things a bit deeper. I woke up this morning knowing that the wiring would be alright, but thinking to myself that I really was not sure that we could live with the size of the home happily for very long. I went from being so certain that it was "home" to thinking that the dining room and kitchen are much too small to be practical for a family that could be potentially growing very soon. Whether I am being irrational or not, I am not sure. I am sure, however, that I wish the Lord would whip out the Sharpie now!

Two days ago, we started praying that He would make it crystal clear if we were to make an offer on this house or not. I have prayed that He would show us if it were the wrong home. I now find myself wondering if this is indeed Him pointing this out to me... or if it is just my old voice of doubt rearing its ugly head once again. It is quite possible that He allowed us to learn about the wiring just so I would take a step back from my "inloveness" (to borrow from a word I recently read in an autobiography) with this home and see past the outward beauty of it to the inward problems it may pose for us. It is also very possible that this is just my fear being called into play... or even perhaps my sporadic inability to be satisfied.

Is this the "be still..." command? Or is it time to exercise my free will and just make a decision?

Lord... I have in my possession both black and blue Sharpies. Take your pick, and I'll send it on up! (Oh, and can I borrow a few bucks for overnight postage? I need this answer soon!)

What am I singing?

This is my first attempt at a blog. Long, long ago and far, far away I used to have a website with an online journal where I would record my life and various ramblings. It was a place where I could unload and unwind... laugh and cry... and in the process allow family and friends a glimpse into the soul of me.

I've been pondering this whole blogging matter for a while, but I kept putting it off for lack of direction as to what I would want to say. Could I possibly have anything important enough to talk about that others would actually be interested in reading on? I still don't know the answer to that question, but that's okay for now. All I know is I love to write... music, poetry, letters... anything, really... and I've realized that when I put my words to paper, they aren't merely words, they are indeed my heart, and it always helps me to see just where I am and where I'm headed and whether or not I'm liking it all.

For those of you that know even a smidgen about me, you know that a large part of my life is music. It always has been, but it hasn't always been of the magnitude it is now. I have been singing since I was old enough to know how to make any type of noise, whether it be joyful or not... but only in the recent few years has God expanded my horizon and put new songs in my mouth... and they truly are songs of praise to my God. I have become addicted to worship. Nothing allows me to feel the peace and joy of the Lord more so than a well written, God centered worship song, so I cannot express how awesome it is for me to be allowed to write those very songs.

I've been stagnant lately though. Stagnant in my life in general and stagnant in my walk with the Lord. This lack of motion has produced a lapse in creativity in my writing. It is painful for me to realize this, since the closest I ever feel to the Lord is when I'm writing just for Him. Just one on one... me and my Abba... He taking my hand in His, using me as a pen and instrument to bring Himself glory. This is what I was created for afterall... bringing Him glory... and in it is to be found the greatest joy I have ever known. Nothing pains me more than to realize my life at this very moment is not a clear reflection of that glory... my life's song, the song of my soul, is not being filled with the music of His heart... but rather, it's being muddled by the imperfections of my doubts, fears, insecurities, and lack of faith. The symphony of my life is no longer in harmony because I have failed to watch the every move and every breath of my Conductor. I must choose to focus on Him and His leading, instead of myself and what I may perceive to be the right notes... for then and only then will my life again be an expression of His heart, filled with His perfect melody.

So I write this blog in hopes that tracking my journey will enable me to reach my destination all the more soon. But then again, is bringing the Lord glory a destination that can ever be fully reached? Or is it a never ending journey deep into the heart and mind of God... a heart and mind that I believe is ever growing and ever deepening with love, passion, power, and grace... constantly filling His voice, which is able to be heard down through the depths of the earth, with the very song He sweetly whispers in my ear... ever calling... ever leading me gently back into His merciful arms, allowing my soul to sing His music of glory once again no matter how out of tune I have allowed my spirit to become?

Either way, I choose to sing... and blog on.

photo hunter test