In The Margins {Waiting}

This is a re-post from 2017

looking down at feet2

I’ts something we all must embrace in varying degrees at different times through life. But why do we find it so hard to do?  Is there a way to view in a new and edifying light this most prosaic of disciplines?  What am I talking about?

Yep.  Waiting.  Here’s a picture of what that feels like sometimes, right?  Looking down, staring at your firmly planted feet; not gazing too far on the horizon for fear that to hope might disappoint.

I came across this little quote scribbled in my notes the other day — unfortunately I don’t know who said it.  Apparently not my best note-taking moment.  🙂

“Waiting faith is strong faith”.

I’m typing this as I sit on the sofa with my knee packed in ice … for the 6th day in a row. Pretty sure I have a slightly torn meniscus, an injury notoriously slow to heal.  Hubby’s been out of town for the entire week and so, with lots of time on my hands,  I’ve been propped up here, tending my knee while reading and writing and doing a lot of thinking … thinking about this quote.

Truth is, there has been an awful amount of waiting to be done these last four years. Not the  short-term kind of waiting, as with a knee injury, but the type that has a way of moving in and overstaying its welcome.  When life gets turned upside down and nothing fits into place like it used to, waiting seems to be the name of the game.

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Can you relate?  Waiting … to see where things will land … to know if life will level out long enough to begin making plans for the future … to find answers to a laundry list of big and seemingly unanswerable questions … for the Hand of God to move and direct and order all that we care so deeply about.

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In Quotes

“God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man.” 

C. S. Lewis


butterfly

Right now, many of us are working hard to establish better habits, purging and prioritizing, and setting worthy goals with plans in place to reach them.  Or, maybe you’re dusting off past ones that were shelved when the holidays rolled around.  Personally, I like the way a brand new calendar gives rise to this longing for change and renewal.  Through the gray of winter, it’s the wind in my sails!  Are you part of the “new year, fresh start” camp?  Whether you find a January re-set inspiring or deflating, I’ve got good news. Continue reading

In Quotes

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

G.K. Chesterton


leaves-autumn-fall-hands-nature-royalty-free-thumbnail

Hello again, friends!  How have you been?  I’ve been praying for you — that, regardless of where your journey has taken you this week, His presence has been made more real and more abundant than anything else in your life.  Let’s keep abiding.

Today I’m stopping by briefly to share this wonderful quote with you!  Here in my corner of the globe, we’re entering a time of year when thoughts turn toward the simple act of giving thanks.  Of all the things we put on our calendar to mark with intent, this might be one of the best.

Chesterton often wrote about the power of thankfulness and here he gets to the heart of what gratitude really is by way of this lovely little word — wonder.  Do you remember the last time you were uplifted by wonderment?  The bright though brief days of childhood seem to hold the lion’s share of it for most of us.  Truly, I understand — realities of adulting can often numb us to simple mercies that fill our lives.  In a post from this past summer, I wrote that I want to daily be more gratefully aware of all the wonderful that surrounds me and flows from His loving kindness.  Even as I keep the long view of life in mind, it’s about taking notice of each small and good gift that graces our journey, noting the sacred in the midst of the secular, and allowing common simple goodness to foster as much delight as the exceptional.  Pausing to give thanks and pray.  To engage all of my senses as I see the beauty of each new day blooming alongside the thorns.  Because when happiness is humbly enjoyed with a profound sense of wonderment, it’s enlarged and leads to a profound sense of gratitude.

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In the Margins {Just As We Are}

pearl in clam

Of all the invitations we might send or receive, there’s one that can’t be beat.  Four little words strung together like beautiful pearls  — “Come as you are”.  And just like pearls formed around something as seemingly unremarkable as a grain of sand, He always invites us to come as we are, but never leaves us the way we are.  At the heart of it all is the miracle of transformation and restoration.  Yes, this is for you and me; with our questions and doubts, rough edges and brokenness, but made in His image, created for so much more.   Full of grace, these simple words let us know there’s a special place with our name at the table.  We are welcome here.

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In Quotes

“How beautifully the leaves grow old! How full of light and color are their later days!”

{John Burroughs}


fall tree 1

I found this quote at the back of a magazine last week as I waited in the doctor’s office on a gorgeous autumn morning.   Among others sitting in the room with me were several elderly people and, looking around at their faces, I thought about how each of them had a name and a story all their own.  They’ve celebrated many birthdays and no doubt earned every wrinkle around their eyes and each gray hair on their head.   They’ve seen countless sunrises and an equal number of sunsets; known ups and downs, joy and sorrow, laughter and tears, companionship and loneliness.   And I found myself hoping this quote described them too.

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In Quotes

“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.”

{Old English Proverb}

 


ship in storm3

Is there anything in nature quite like the ocean to remind us of how small, how assailable we are?  I have very mixed emotions about the vastness of it all.  I don’t know how to swim.  So, a day by the sea usually involves sitting contentedly under an umbrella with a book in hand; soaking up the sound of rhythmic waves; the smell of salty air; and the panoramic view as banded shades of white, green, blue, and gray appear stacked on top of each other as far as the eye can see.   A walk on the beach in the surf’s ruffled edge;  collecting little treasures of driftwood, sea glass, and shells is pure relaxation.  How easy to lose track of time, lulled to sleep as the sun warms my face and seagulls call overhead. What’s not to love?

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In Quotes

“It is said that in some countries

trees will grow,

but will bear no fruit

because there is no winter there.”

{John Bunyan}


apple tree

 

Leave it to Bunyan (1628-1688) to make what appears obvious into something so much more.  I’ve had such a tree.  An apple tree.  Two years in a row with record warm winters meant there weren’t enough necessary chilling hours to produce fruit.   Still looking every bit like an apple tree, it didn’t yield anything.  It never broke dormancy.

Confession:  I’ve been that tree as well.  What is it about times of abundance and ease (let’s clarify; there’s nothing wrong with either) that can cause our hearts to slip into spiritual dormancy?  Times you’d think would naturally produce a bumper crop of mature fruit as temperate goodness characterizes most days, are instead often marked by stunted growth. 

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