Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Leap year!

I'm sure most already know the reason for a leap year. As Wikipedia puts it, " A leap year is a year containing one additional day in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year..... Adding an extra day to the calendar every four years compensates for the fact that a period of 365 days is shorter than a solar year by almost 6 hours.... The Gregorian calendar was designed to keep the vernal equinox on or close to March 21, so that the date of Easter (celebrated on the Sunday after the 14th day of the Moon - i.e. a full moon - that falls on or after March 21) remains correct with respect to the vernal equinox."

If I might boil that summation all down to sum it to say: It's to keep the Easter date as close to Passover every year as it should be! 

Now woo... if Passover isn't a day worth Leaping, then you don't understand Passover as it's meant for you to!


It means: an act of leaping! To spring. To bound. To jump. A sudden passage or transition. A choice made in an area of ultimate concern. To spring free from or as if from the ground. To pass abruptly from one state to another. 

I know that Leap Year isn't all about Passover. But today, this year, my mind reminds me of how (when you think about it) appropriately it parallels with it! :)

Leap on then! For that's a thought to bound and leap for joy over! And surely it's to be an extra day of rejoicing!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mad has need to DO something!

I watched true fury on a man's face today. He was enraged and wanted revenge. I'll be honest, the look was scary. Seriously so! It wasn't a face to be messed with. His fierceness was dangerous. His anger wanted pay back. And he'd give all he had to get it! It had need to inflict injury in its attempt at retaliation. Rage will very often sell its very own soul in a minute in its search for vengeance of some sort!

It'll sell its family! Its spouse. Its children. Its home. Its job. Its possession. Its freedom. I know this, because I meet weekly with some of those once in-rage-sellers in prison. When you make a deal with the devil, he robs you of all that was previously yours and leaves you to rot in a cell somewhere (no matter inside or outside the fence)!

Watching such fury, it's then that I realized, mad (deep furied madness) has need to DO something! It can't stay still. It must get up. It has to act. It boils! It turmoils! It quakes until erupting. It burns everything that it meets in its path. 

While watching it, it's the first time that God's command, "Be angry and sin not.." took on a whole new level of meaning. And the one that commands, "Turn from evil and do good..."? The level of perception for this verse deepened, as well. And again, I'll say as I just said, because that level of rage, that level of fury, that level of madness and NEED to "do"! It's going to "do"! It has to! It will not, because it cannot, stop itself from doing.

That's why it doesn't say, "Turn from evil and do right"... Because mostly when you're turning from evil you are doing right. It says, "Turn from evil and do good"..... Because God knows that "do" has need to be done! So don't "do" wrong, even in your mad and your fury; instead, "do" something good. There's filling in the doing of goodness. There's fueling. There's a dissipation of the once before madness. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Feeling like a Princess

We left promptly at 6:30 Saturday morning, my youngest daughter and I. We drove 3 hours to get to our pre-planned, premeditated destination. Oh, we had such fun! And... the goal of our trip? You might could call it, beaUtifully successful!

We went dress shopping! We were Cinderellas shopping for the Ball! Well. Not really really. I made that part up. My mind, for a little while, just pretended. Instead of the fairy-taled ball that I just lied about, we were shopping for a dress for a Senior prom... and another one for a high school pageant. 

Our targeted store that my daughter had found online was: Bravura's. And let me say, it did NOT disappoint us! The funnest part? Dresses of all makes and sizes and colors hung everywhere you looked! Jewels dripped also on racks to entice us. And girls.... girls... girls! LOTS of girls! Some with their friends. Some with their mothers. All searching for beauty in the dress-ups hung up and bagged in plastic all around them.

What I loved most? It was the girl's total transformation once zipped up in the dress that they'd chosen. It was the feeling on their face that showed that they felt as royalty. It was their automatic twirl, simply because the feeling called for it. It was their intense looks of awe as they stared at themselves in the mirrors. It was the slacked-jawed wide-eyed wonders at those that were spellbound as they looked upon them. We'd entered a fairy-land! And it was as if each belonged!

I didn't mean to. Didn't plan to. Didn't know I was going to. But I started crying as I told a friend about it yesterday at church. I told her I was fascinated by each girl as the apparel transformed them! As if they felt: We were made for this! We were made for this! We I was MADE for this!

And the wonderful part? Not so surprisingly, we are! There really is a Kingdom! We, as children of God, The King, are royalty! Our royal dress and royal robes await us! Our Prince, on His white horse, anxiously anticipates our coming!

It's "eternity set in our hearts" (as Ecc 3:11 tells us) that God's put there.... there's something inside all of us... that just knows!

And as the Bride of Christ, we will be given a dress to wear, we won't even have to pick it out! HE picks is out for us! "She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear. For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God's holy people" (Rev 19:8). "I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For HE has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels" (Isa 61:10). 

Woo... how's that for royally attired women in waiting... anticipating the dress that awaits them!

[P.S. I won't post picture spoilers here of the two dresses we bought. They are stunningly beaUtiful! But, I want to wait until my daughter is all dolled and doo-ed up, so that you can get the full results of the gorgeous wonder! Events coming in March and April. You might want to hold your breath for this.... we had a blast, we totally went all out and totally outdid ourselves! My daughter is breath-taking in the dresses she picked out!]

Friday, February 24, 2012

A fiery opportunity!

We left Moses in yesterday's post as an alien in a foreign land in the desert... for a very long time! For forty years to be exact! Let's continue his story....

We left off at Exodus 2:23-25. It reads, "During that long period...." One version puts it as, "After a long time...." And oh my, it had been! It'd been a long time for Moses! It'd been a long time for the Israelites! Not a hard week. Nor a hard month. Not a long season. Not one or two or three or ten years, or even fifteen or twenty! For Moses, it had been forty years! For the Israelites, four hundred and thirty! A long, long, very, very long time.

"During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and He remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them."

I love that passage! For eons, those have been some of my very most faved favorites! Holy Script! Full of hope! Wonder! Joy! Humbleness! Honor! And the thrill of my God and my Savior! It shows the sweetness of His look! It reveals the concern in His face! It gives us a glimpse of how moved He is in His heart when He hears! You can know with all of your heart, that He's in-tuned to every whimper, every whisper, every tear, every cry! And He's quick to want to answer you!

If you've ever "groaned in your slavery" and "cried out" for help from our God... He's heard you! He's looked! He's seen! He's remembered His promise to run to us with mercy to save us when we call out to Him in whatever trouble we're in! He's concerned when we cry! When we groan! When we're bound and imprisoned by whatever it is that has captured and enslaved us.

He's concerned! God! God is concerned! God cares! Like it said, He looks! He hears! He's moved with compassion! He gets up to act! And so... He sends! And here in this particular case, He chooses to send Moses.

"Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight - why the bush does not burn up." When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am." "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals for the place where you are standing is holy ground." Then He said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God." 

Who, I wondered with the ladies, who in here has ever had a burning bush experience? A time when you knew that you knew that you knew that the God of the whole Universe had just spoken to you?! Woo, PAY ATTENTION when God speaks! Write down what He's told you. And don't, no matter how long it takes for God to bring it about, don't ever forget or loose faith that God will do exactly as He's said He would! It's as Luke 1:45,37 says, "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said will be accomplished..... For nothing is impossible with God." Let's say to Him as Mary once said, "May it be to me as you have said" (Luke 1:38). "So keep up your courage, men [and ladies], for I have faith in God that it will happened just as He told me" (Acts 27:25).

The thing about burning bush experiences is that it's hard to explain and share with another. It's something so intimate, so wild, so huge, so unexplainable, so unfathomable, that words won't wrap around the experience so that the listener can see and feel and know what we felt and what we now know in our spirits. It can be disheartening. A "burning bush," per se, sounds silly to most. Especially to those that have never experienced such.

Can you imagine being a fellow Shepherd-er of Moses'? Can you imagine being in the desert where he was and seeing him while he spoke with this bush? Not seeing the bush burning as he did, perhaps. And not, hearing the voice of the Lord coming out of it speaking to him. If you were there, if that had happened, can you imagine the wildness in the experience? "Moses! Are you okay, Moses?" You ask him this as he bows to the ground after taking off his shoes, and then hides his face. You hear him say, 'What is Your name? Who shall I tell them has sent me?' (paraphrase mine) And then you hear him say to the bush, 'I don't know how to speak."....................... 'Moses, Moses,' you wonder, 'are you okay, Moses? Perhaps he's had way too much sun in this desert and has been here way too long tending these sheep. Bless the man's heart, he's 80 years old and he's losing it!' But Moses knows! And nothing can un-convince him! Maybe that's why that God didn't merely speak to him in a vision or a dream? Maybe the whole reason why God spoke to him in something so different and un-imaginable was so that it was be that much more believable to Moses. God was giving Moses a task that would be hard, and God did not want Moses to be able to explain it away to doubt Him.

I've often talked about the burning bush! It's impact hit me years ago, it penetrated me to the core. In some ways, it was (it has been) my own burning bush experience. I cannot begin to count the endless times that I used this very Scripture while in prayer to our God. Numerous times! Too many to remember! In the past.... and today, even still!

I've asked that God make me like that bush. To light a flame of fire so fantastic inside my soul that I become "strange" looking, a "strange sight" to another. And that when they come over to see this "strange sight - why this bush does not burn up" that God will call their name from there. And that He will rock their worlds for all of eternity!

But how does that work? How can others see our "bush" on fire without being burned up?

One powerful way is to be so seeped in the Word that the blaze lights such a fire inside our very souls that it can't help but be seen... and look strange! Kind of like the men on the road to Emmaus that Jesus spoke to when, at first, they didn't realize it was Him talking to them. After Jesus disappeared, they turned to each other and said, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" (Luke 24:32)

I KNOW that feeling! That burning within my own heart! That burning within ME that I get when He talks with ME on my road and when He opens His Scriptures to me so that this once blind man can see!!! I want that! I long for that! I live for that! I bask and bathe and soak in that! I crave that continual burning within! More of Him! More of Him! More of His Spirit! More of His fire lit inside this very vessel He's put me in.

Another favorite verse that has often spoken my exact same feeling is Jeremiah 20:9, "But if I say, "I will not mention Him or speak any more in His name, His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones, I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot."  As I said, that so often pictures my feeling!! I KNOW what that feels like! I know that fire... that fire I feel shut up in my bones, that begs to be let out. Yet sometimes, when I am lacking that feeling, I'm begging for it back! I always want that fire within! I want to be ablaze with the wonder and the power of my Lord!

But, I wondered again with my ladies, how else can others see our bushes on fire, fully on fire, but not burning up? I asked and waited for an answer. No one said a word. I asked again, seeking for someone to tell me. They didn't. So I answered them with an answer myself.

How do others see our "bush"es on fire and it doesn't burn up? I'll tell you how. I'll give you a prime example. It's when someone says something so ugly to us and lights a fire of fury in us.... and surprisingly, it doesn't burn us up! "Strange" looking!! Strange looking!!! Very STRANGE looking! Not normal! Not what normal man would do! It's when we're being tested with those fiery trials that come our way, and we don't fall for them; but instead our faith is proved genuine, and the reflection of Jesus' face in ours can be seen! (1 Pet 1:6-7; 4:12-13). I've dubbed it a "fiery opportunity"!!! Let's not miss it when it comes! Oh, no need to worry, it'll come! And it'll come often. And when it does, let's be "strange"! Let's be contagious! Let's let other people want what we've got! Want something that isn't quick to burn up! And let's watch Jesus call their name from that site! And watch them hear their name being called by our Savior in hopes to also save them!

Back to Moses. Back to the Scriptures that tell us of him (Exodus 3:6-4:13): "The LORD said, "I have indeed SEEN the misery of My people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land.... And now the cry of the Israelites has reached Me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now go, I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring My people the Israelites out of Egypt.... I will be with you....."...... Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?"..... Moses said to the LORD, " O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since You have spoken to Your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."..........

What did God tell Moses to do? And why did He tell him to do it?

God told Moses to "Go" and to bring His people out of the land of their slavery. God told Moses to "Go," BECAUSE He'd heard them crying out, He'd seen their misery, and God wanted to help and to deliver them. Meanwhile, as God is telling Moses what He wants to do, Moses is arguing that he is insufficient to do it. And then, when God reminds him that He made man's mouth.... (and need we forget, He was talking to Moses through a bush! If He can make a bush talk, then surely, He'll be able to help Moses to!)... and He assures Moses that He will help him speak, and He will teach him what to say. But sadly, even after all that, Moses ends with telling Him, "O Lord, please, send someone else."

Woo! Who's praying and God wants to send you to? What are you trying to convince God of? That you're too young? That you're too inadequate? That you're ill equipped? That you're not smart enough? Wise enough? Knowledgeable enough? Strong enough? Bold enough? Etc? 

Next time you're praying and no one is coming in answer to your prayer, it just very well may be that God is arguing with the Moses that He intends to send to you, and that that "Moses" is begging God not to make him go.

Or, what about the times when you've been the "Moses"? You've been the one called? You've been the one told to go? Yet, you were scared. And you had your reasons. And you refused?

We've often beg God to use us! And then when the times comes for Him to do so, we turn and tell Him we're not ready, we don't know how, and we ask Him as Moses did, to send someone else to do it.

Oh, that we dare to miss our moment! That we dare to refute or refuse Him! That we dare to help when another is praying! And that we dare to miss our blessing!

Woe, that is just a peek into our wonder with Moses and the bush's fire on Wednesday night. Do you mind a moment as I say this? I LOVE the wonder of God's Word! I love the depth and height and width and all the faceted endless dimensions of it! There's so much to know! So much to learn! So much to be wow-ed and whoa-ed over! So much to teach! So much.... So much... So much of so many things!

LORD, You so very much amaze me!!! I long for You to speak and to amaze me even more! Not only amazement though, Lord, may I be convicted, penetrated deeply, and moved into action and obedience and submission to all that You say and tell!

Speak on, LORD! Like Samuel, your servant is listening! May I not ever (again like Samuel) let any of Your words fall to the ground!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pharaohs. Moses. Drawn out. Wants that should have been won'ted. And more..

We had a blast in prison last night! God showed up and showed out and made His Presence known! So powerfully so, in fact, that I don't think that one person there could have missed Him. All of the inmates were engaged and in-tuned! Ready! Willing! Listening! Wanting to hear and to see! I love that group of girls! I love their participation! They come in anticipating (anxiously anticipating!) the Word and wanting to worship Him!

We talked about Moses. And God gave me insight to that precious well-known story that I'd not thought of before. My friend that lives 800 miles away bathed us in prayer and God heard her! She asked for God to bath me in His anointing. And He answered! For I felt it not me at all! Only Him! And my body and mouth only the vessel with which He used to show Himself in!

We talked about Moses being "drawn out" of the water. His very name meaning that very thing: "drawn out"... or more precisely, "a drawer out" (for it would be what he was created for, and what he'd be drown out and called to do). We talked about the Pharaoh that wanted to kill Moses and to kill all those little baby boys being birthed in that generation. And I asked those 70 plus inmates to consider and to ask themselves who their "Pharaoh" was that wanted them dead? Their "Pharaoh" that tried to take their life? Their "Pharaoh" that had planned to, and that had hoped to? And I asked too, Who it was that "drew them out" of the waters that was purposed to drown them in it?

The "Pharaoh" of mine that I talked about was one more good-looking dude! A mighty-fine "baby's got his blue jeans on" specimen of a man that once walked into my world!!! He might not of had been evil himself, but Satan surely intended to use him as such in my life. Woo, thinking back on it now, sadly it almost worked! 

Who was your "Pharaoh"? Yours might have been a man like mine? Or perhaps yours was a substance? A drug? A drink? An addiction? An obsession? Pharaohs come in all forms! The list is endless and is as individualized to each specific individual! But the goal is always the same, and that is to destroy you and take your life (especially the "abundant Life" promised by our Savior Jesus) away. His purpose is wholly "to steal, kill, and destroy" us.

And yet, God "drew us out"! God alone saved us when we were unable to save ourselves! He drew us up out of the waters that wanted to drown. He drew us out and put us in a safe place... even if for the time being that that "safe place" is in prison! Dare we forget that Moses also was drawn out and put in enemy's camp to be raised and  kept for safe keeping. (Woo! All of the inmates loudly and animatedly agreed!)

I didn't say this last night for fear of some of the inmates condemning themselves with guilt, but I've often wondered, I've often thought about it. Pharaoh had ordered all of the baby Hebrew boys being born to be killed..... Do we not have a form in our own today's "Pharaoh" still ordering that? This time it's not done through throwing babies into the River Nile to drown, this day and age, this time, it's done through abortion! In this age, this "Pharaoh" isn't favored toward only one gender. His desire is to devour both baby boys and baby girls.

We began reading in Exodus 2, starting at verse 11-12. "One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where His own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand." 

"Glancing this way and that...."  When you're "glancing this way and that" hoping that no one is going to see you...... It's a  good time to change your mind! "He killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand." I told them that I tell my children all the time, like Adam and Eve, if you're hiding behind the bush, there's your sign!

I asked them, "Who in here "glanced this way and that" before doing the very thing that you did that got yourself in here?"

They all nodded their heads and raised their hands!

I asked them, "Who in here "hid" the evidence after you'd done it?"

Again, all hands raised.

And then I asked them, "Who in here had a warning inside them not to do what you were readying yourself to do before you had done it? The thing that you did that got you here in prison, who in here had a warning inside them not to do it, before you did?"

Again, everyone of them, they all raised their hands!

So I then asked them, "Then, WHY in the world did you do it?"

They were stunned by the question, but it was an interesting question to ponder with them upon. Bottom line is simply because they wanted to! That's why, even after the warning, that we do what we do. God is faithful to warn us, oh, that we'd heed to His warning! I told them that in the future that we need to won't it instead! Won't it, instead of wanting it, would have saved a lot of heart-ache and time and trouble! We're going to have to learn to decided next time such opportunities arise that "No! I may want it, but I'm gonna have to won't that this time to save myself from imprisonment!" and dissipate our dangerous want-ing's desires that has hopes to devour us. 

The text continues (verses 13-14), "The next day he [Moses] went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, "Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?" The man said, "Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?" Then Moses was afraid and thought, "What I did must have become known."

Oh! at the horror of that feeling! We've all had it! That feeling of fear in thinking, "What I did must have become known."!!! 

Growing up the Scripture that my mom quoted that I hated most was Numbers 32:23b which says, " may BE SURE that your sin WILL FIND you out" (all emphasis of Scriptures mine).

You may be SURE....! You may be SURE....! You may be sure....!!! You can KNOW FOR A FACT.... that your sin will find out you!!!!! Your sin is gonna TELL ON you! 

Oh, I cannot tell you how much I hated that verse. I didn't want my sin to be found out! I didn't want my sin to tell on me! I didn't want what I had done to "become known"! 

Satan is good at tempting us, and then after we've fallen for his bait, to accuse us of the very thing he tempted us to do! He might tempt us to steal, and then say to our shame and our horror, "You thief!" Or tempt us to sleep with someone we're not married to, and then hauntingly call us, "You adulterer!" Or tempt us to abort our unwanted pregnancy and then say so mockingly, "You murderer!" He tempts us by deceit... and then shames us horridly after we've done what he's tempted us to.

Satan is called "the accuser"! He himself LOVES to tell on you! But then again, if our sin wasn't found out, if our sin didn't tell on us, if we didn't get caught...... then, some of us would never in this world turn from it. Being caught is a blessing! It's God's grace itself trying to stop you and me and turn us around from continuing to do it! Satan may condemn, but God's Spirit convicts! His purpose is to correct and to discipline and to help and to heal you in order to save your life, and to save you from your corruption and sin!

And so. Moses is afraid. And Moses fleas! Picking up at verse 15-22, "When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father's flock. Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock. When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, "Why have you returned so early today?" They answered, "An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock." "And where is he?" he asked his daughters. "Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat." Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, "I have become an alien in a foreign land." 

"I have become an alien in a foreign land." Who, I asked those incarcerated girls, who in here doesn't feel like they have become an alien in a foreign land?

You can imagine the responses! The feeling! The nods. The amens! The shaking of their heads! Again, the raising of their hands.

Ever felt that way? That you're "an alien in a foreign land"? If you're a child of God's you are! We're longing for Home! This world is not it! We're aliens in a land not our own! Aliens that don't fit. Aliens that know things aren't right, that knows that things aren't as they should be. Aliens that long for the Kingdom that we're adopted and have been born into live in! Aliens anticipating our Heavenly Home!

And yet, as that "alien" in that "foreign land" God hadn't forgotten about Moses! He hadn't forgotten what He'd created him for! He hadn't forgotten his purpose! He hadn't forgotten what He had planned for him. And all the while that Moses was wandering in that desert land going back and forth and back and forth and back and forth taking care of those sheep that was his father-in-law's that he was assigned to.... all the while, God was preparing him! Equipping him! Readying him! For God was soon (after what was called "a long time"!), He was soon about to call Moses to get him about doing His Father's business......  

That wasn't the bulk of the lesson, nor really the point of it. Only the intro. But, this post is getting rather lengthy, perhaps we should save the rest and continue on another day?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I NEED to write!!! I'm so filled up to full that it's past want-to already to need-to.... Actually, it's more on the total brim of HAVE-TO!!! But then again too, I'm so tired that I can hardly stand myself! I know that I couldn't stay up until I finished all that I'd like to share.


I'll sum it up to say: GOD! He blows my mind!!!! He's so incredibly kind!!! He's so wondrously powerful!!!! And He's good at using the foolish-things-of-the-world to get His work done! 

I'm humbled! I'm awed! I'm whoa-ed... woe-ed... and wow-ed!!!

I thank YOU, Lord!!! And oh, may I not only think about You as I sleep, but may You fill all of my dreams!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ut oh! What'd I do?

Man! It's amazing the hot-water you can find yourself in before you even knew that you'd turned any water on! That's where I found myself today. I was in trouble... and I didn't even know that I'd done anything!

It had the feel (but was WORSE!) of going to the Principle's office. I shot out an email this morning requesting some information that was in all honesty perfectly innocent.... and it set a whole canon of emails blasting out to other people way over my head.... all the while, my ignorance hadn't a clue that I'd entered a battle and that ammo was fiercely being fired!

Wow! Ow! And now my face battles being red-faced... and I don't know how to tell you this, I didn't do anything! But boy am I ever being talked about as if I did!

Shoo! Some people are vicious! 

And evidently over-protective of their territory. I thought I was helping.... but obviously, I was perceived as trying to do something deceitfully and sneaky. In all actuality, I was simply following orders. Now, I find myself sitting in a pickle... without a clue how in the whole to get out of this!

I am so sorry! Please overlook. Please forgive. Please pretend I never sent anything...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

When loves grows cold

"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." ~ Matthew 24:9-14.

It's the "lawlessness will abound".. and the "love of many will grow cold" that got to me in this passage.

Wow! The lawlessness of others [the breaking of the law... whether God's laws or man's] can make my "love... grow cold" if I don't watch out and I allow it to????!

I never realized before the picture that those words paint. Nor have I ever thought before of the Truth in that way. We often are quick to hate (or let our love grow cold) another because of what they've done, because we've been offended, because we've been betrayed, because they've hurt another; or, as this scripture puts it, because of their lawlessness.

In November of 2009 I started teaching Bible in a couple of prisons. Throughout the year, more doors opened for me to go in to help with a Re-Entry Program targeted to prepare those whose sentences are up or those about to be paroled for the outside in such a way as to hopefully equip them to NOT re-offend and go back to prison again once released. The module that I've been assigned to work in is the only one that is faith based. It's called: Project H.E.A.L.

Meaning: Helping Everyone Acquire Love!

It's all about love!

It is all about love!

If we can first receive the love that God gives and then learn to love ourselves and then love others despite what they do or have done (their "lawlessness"es) or whether we first like them or not... we won't kill, steal, covet, hate. rape.... etc. We'll be quicker to show mercy, and quicker to grace, and quicker to forgive, to show compassion, to be moved to help.... because as Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do...". We won't sale out our love for the lawlessness of another. Our love will be strong. Because our love will be Him. It'll be His love living out inside of us.

Jesus Christ knew the price of love, but it didn't stop Him. He gave it anyway and commands me to do the same as He did.

May my love stay warm. May it never grow cold. May I love as my Savior loves and as He's told and commanded me to... may it never grow stale, may it never grow old... may it never fail, never fall,... always, no matter what, may it always hold. 

Many (many Christians even!) don't want to help those who've served their sentences in prison and have now gotten out, because of the ex-felon's offence (the lawlessness that they've done) the love of those on the outside have grown cold toward them. "They don't deserve it," people think. "They earned the hardness that they're getting." "They've earned the coldness toward them." "Don't bring them here. Don't bring them to me, I have no desire inside to want to help them." "Don't invite them here to go to church, let them find a church somewhere else, I don't want them around my children." Etc...

We often think we love, when rather more often, our love has grown cold.................

Friday, February 17, 2012

James 1

I LOVE to read a passage from a different translation than my normal. Actually, I love to read a passage out of multiple of translations while studying. It usually keeps me from getting very far, because I'm perusing through different verbiage and gleaning a greater and more detailed picture of what it's saying and what I'm learning. 

I was doing the new Beth Moore bible study on James months ago. As soon as it hit the book store, I ran to grab a book in order to jump right into it. I'd been anticipating it's arrival for months. I couldn't wait. 

I can't tell you how much even that first chapter said to me. James had already been a favored book of mine, but I've grown even fonder of it since. I read The New International Commentary on the New Testament: The Epistle of James while engrossed in the study. And I was so blessed by it's version of chapter one, so much of it just had a brighter light shining upon it as I turned the pages that it still reverberates and speaks to me still.

If you'll be so kind to bear with me.... I felt so compelled! I felt I HAD-TO share it! May you be as blessed as I was. May you enjoy... and bask in The Bread with me!
  1. James, a bond slave of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes of the Dispersion, salutation.
  2. Deem it nothing but an occasion for joy, my brothers, whenever (on each occasion when) you encounter trying assaults of evil in their various forms.
  3. You must realize that your approbation is accomplished by constancy in endurance.
  4. But let that constancy perfect its work, so that you may be perfect, and complete in every part, lacking in nothing (but able to withstand any kind of assault of evil by which you may be tried).
  5. But if any of you is lacking knowledge (of God's way and will), let him ask of God, who gives it to all as a simple (unconditional) gift and chides not (the petitioner for previous ignorance).
  6. But let him ask in faith, with no halting between two opinions: for the man who halts between two opinions is like a sea of waves, the way it is blown and beaten under the winds.
  7. Let not that (sort of) man imagine that he will get anything from the Lord.
  8. A man who is of two minds is unsteady in all his ways.
  9. (In the equality of Christian brotherhood) let the brother of humble degree exult in his being made high,
  10. and the rich (brother) in his being made low: for he (in his being-only-rich) shall pass away like the flower among the grass. 
  11. For the sun arises, with the scorching wind, and parches the grass, and the flower among it falls off, and the beauty of its appearance perishes: so he who is (only) rich shall wither in his ways.
  12. Happy is the man who with constancy endures trying assaults of evil; for when (upon trial) he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.
  13. Let no one under trying assault of evil say, "My trial by assault of evil comes from God." For God is invincible to assault of evils, and Himself subjects no one to assault of evil.
  14. But each man is tried by assault of evil by his own lust, as he feels the pull of its distraction and the enticement of its bait.
  15. Then his lust having conceived gives birth to sin; and when sin is full grown it brings forth death.
  16. Make no mistake, my beloved brothers (I'm not arguing, I'm telling you):
  17. Every good gift, yes, every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights of heaven, whose nature (unlike those lights) suffers neither the variation of orbit nor any shadow.
  18. He of His own wish begot us by the Word of truth, for us to be a kind of firstfruits of His creation.
  19. Wherefore, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
  20. for a man's wrath (or "anger") does not express in action the righteousness of God.
  21. Wherefore strip off all filthiness and prodigality of vice, and with meekness accept the implanted Word (implanted by those who have preached the gospel to you), which is able to save your souls.
  22. But be doers of the Word and not merely hearers of it, deluding yourselves.
  23. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer of it, he is like a man observing the face of his mortal, physical birth (created being) in a mirror.
  24. For he observes himself, and is gone, and immediately forgets what he was like.
  25. For he who has bent over to look into the perfect law of liberty, and has stayed by it, since he has not been a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he shall be blessed in his doing.
  26. If anyone among you thinks he is a model of piety, and is one who does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this man's piety is vain.
  27. The way to win an account with God the Father for piety pure and undefiled is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
The New International Commentary on the New Testament" The Epistle of James


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Watching out my window

I don't have time to talk.... a busy day's been scheduled. But this is too sweet not to share. And I'm afraid if I don't do it now, that I'll forget to.

I was in prison last night for our Wednesday night service (I LOVE those girls!!!). One of the girls (inmates) sitting in front of me turned around and said, "You know, outside I used to stare out the window looking for the drug dealers to come into our neighborhood. And now? I still stare out windows.. this time watching for y'all to come for Bible study and to have chapel service."

Woo!!! If that's not the sweetest thing! I told her, "Oh my! And don't you know that God loves watching you look for Him!" Oh! To see His face in the process!

"God looks down from Heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God." ~ Psalm 53:2

"Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD.." ~ Jeremiah 29:12-14a

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mercy me... so I can mercy another!


Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. Go and learn what this means, "He said, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice."

Where is our mercy? Everyone of us need it! And being that we have such need, why are we often so apt to fail in giving mercy to others?

Mercy isn't focused on the sin that's seen, but Mercy hears the cries within. Mercy has compassion for the offender. Mercy stoops to give undeserved kindness to the guilty. Mercy shows favor in its forgiveness. Mercy bends to tend when the one being tended to doesn't deserve it. Mercy understands and sees beneath the circumstances and its goal is to change the end. Mercy can see past the present, because it's seen the past and envisions hope for the future.

Lord, have mercy on me... and then grant me with mercy to take and give to another!

But all this talk about "mercy." Isn't today (on this Valentine's Day) supposed to be a subject of Love?

Love is a subject that rivets my mind quite often..... when I see love being shown... or when I see just the opposite of love happening. And when love is withheld or blatantly acted against, I don't know about you, but it hurts me! Of course, it's always easier to see it in others than in ourselves.

But as a whole... is that what you do, because (because of Jesus) that's now what you're made of... do you love... and love like He does?

For love sees beneath the sin and seeks to help the soul. Love (true love, God's love) is patient, because He is Love and Love is! Love doesn't hurry, but waits because it always has hope. Love is Kind, and Kind wants us to be. Love doesn't envy, because we shall "not want," for God is sufficient for all of our needs. Love doesn't boast, because Love is not pride-full and does not puff up. Love isn't rude, because Love genuinely cares. Love isn't self-seeking, because instead it seeks to help another. Love isn't easily angered, because Love sees the heart and knows the hurt or sorrow and longs to tend to it. Love keeps no record of wrongs, because, He washes whiter than snow. Love doesn't delight in evil, but grieves for the darkness and rejoices with the truth that gives light that sets men free. Love always protects, and under the wings of His feathers we can find refuge. Love always trusts, because we can lean and rely on Love, it's a safe haven, and a place of perfect peace and rest. Love hopes.... it anxiously anticipates! Love perseveres.... and shows His character which proves to be true. Love NEVER fails! People do... but Love never does! And Love wants us to love like He does! Loves wants to LOVE in and through us! Yet, do we have love? True love? Real love? That kind of love?

Love sometimes feels good, but sometimes, too, some times love hurts! Need we be reminded that love also hurt Jesus! Jesus' love bled for us! And you know, just as Love does, sometimes Mercy also bleeds! Amazing, both (love and mercy) are willing to hurt... to help to heal those who are hurting! And even more incredible, is that the mercy and love that we extend is also used to help and to heal us!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A traveler of time (pt 4) Dead things aren't always continuously dead.

[This is part 4 of 4 parts of me musing through a book: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Be forewarned, I have a weird way of thinking... and sadly, my thoughts aren't stayed to the words on the page of the book while I'm reading it. I have a bit of a "time-traveling" problem of my own! I loved this book! It was good for me, I (surprisingly, without knowing I would) learned lots! If you've missed the first 3 parts and you'd like to click back to catch up, you can click here to take you back to the beginning to Part 1.]

Pg 330 – [Clare and Henry walk into a doctor’s office after (again) losing another baby.] "We walk through doors that open automatically as our feet press the ground, as in a fairy tale, as though expected... There are few people sitting abject and small in the brightly lit room, waiting their turn, encircling their pain with bowed heads, and crossed arms, and I sink down among them..... Henry leans over and carefully embraces me. I feel his stubble against my cheek and I am rubbed raw, not on my skin but deep in me, a wound opens and Henry's face is wet but with whose tears?"

How tremendously sad! But how preciously sweet! Indeed, whose tears? When a wound is opened and one is close to the one who cries; then whose tears wets whose cheek? Because sometimes both do. Both seep the evidence of the pain within. But hearts flood with an overflow of their liquefied emotion. The feeling is felt and the wound hurts and so tears bleed from both of their hearts that were touched.

And then, what about the “room” that the couple is found waiting in? “There are few people sitting abject and small in the brightly lit room, waiting their turn, encircling their pain with bowed heads, and crossed arms, and I sink down among them.”

Everyone hates such a room. It’s depressing, oppressing, every kind of “pressing” for everyone. Most people at one time in their lives or another will find themselves sitting (or rather “sinking”) and “waiting” in such a room, in just that state… among others that share in their own sorrows too. Everyone sits “small” there. Even the tallest of men. The broadest of shoulders. For the heaviness of the hurt, the bulk of the burden, the greatness of the grief, the magnitude of the misery, the enormity of the anguish, the immensity of the agony, the weight of the horror, the power of the pain… the devastation “depresses” not only the inside, but also the out.

“Abject.” I had to look the word up. I didn’t know its meaning. The thesaurus gave me answers like these: “hopeless, miserable, wretched, dismal, horrible, utter.”

The Online Dictionary by Merriam-Webster defined “abject” as, “sunk to or existing in a low state or condition; cast down in spirit; spiritless; showing utter hopelessness or resignation. Synonym: mean.”

“Mean” sounds appropriate, doesn’t it? It is! What a horrible place! A mean place! A horrible time! Who doesn’t “encircle their pain with bowed heads and crossed arms” when they’ve been plagued by such hopeless, and miserable, and wretched, and dismal, and utter sorrow?

I’m sorry. In just thinking about it, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for her. I’m sorry for him. I’m sorry for them. I’m sorry for me. And I’m sorry for you too. And for everyone else in the world… when you’ve been (or are now in) that terrible place of pain… that overwhelming overpowering sensation of sadness.

It’s a storm that comes to every door of every house and blows against every one inside it. It’s a tempest, a squall, a gust, a gale… a blast that tries with all of its might to huff and puff and blow your house down. It’s a season (for there’s “a time for everything” and everyone); and this one won’t be one that passes anyone by. It’s mean in its madness. It’s unfair in its pick. It’s cruel in its devastation. It’s brutal in its destruction. Its goal is to ruin. To shatter. To destroy. To leave in shambles. To break, to smash, to blow apart, to demolish into pieces. Its want is to obliterate you, your life, your family, the loved ones around you. Its hope is to “kill” you if you’ll give into it. But Jesus died to save us from our sorrows. To heal our hurts. To mend our broken hearts. And He’s perfectly able to peace any storm. I must beg to plead with you in the midst of your sorrow; do this, know it’s a season! Know that you’re not to live there forever. Know that it too shall pass. And know, that we ourselves are the only ones that get to decide on whether to let it or not. Some are dead-set on lying down and bedding themselves there until the rest of their days on earth are done. When we were never ever at all meant to stay and get stuck there until God takes us Home.

Pg 336 – [When Clare’s mom dies] "The laborious breathing has stopped.... No heart beats, no blood moves, no breath inflates the sails of her lungs. Silence." 


And it’s silence!!

What a rendering sound! It's weird to watch. Hard! Gut-wrenching! There's panic in the knowing that there's no more else that can be done, there's nothing at all left that you can do. What once lived inside that dearly beloved shell has left.... and in that moment, you wish to grab it back and stuff it back to where it belonged and where it was housed for so long! 

Pg 338 – [Henry says of Clare’s mom (after she’s died) and of Clare in the wake of her mourning:] "She was never less than kind to me, although she could devastate her daughter with a glance. I miss her. Clare.... well, 'miss' is inadequate. Clare is bereft. Clare walks into rooms and forgets why she is there. Clare sits staring at a book without turning a page for an hour. But she doesn't cry. Clare smiles if I make a joke. Clare eats what I put in front of her. If I try to make love to her Clare will try to go along with it.... and soon I leave her alone, afraid of the docile, tearless face that seems to be miles away. I miss Lucille, but it is Clare I am bereft of. Clare who has gone away and left me with this stranger who only looks like Clare." 

Wow, at what death sometimes does to those still left living. Sometimes they “die” too, though the shells of their bodies still inhale and exhale breath. But it’s not necessarily because they want their bodies to, it’s simply because they can’t keep their bodies from doing it. They are, in essence, “gone.” They’re not there anymore. They’ve gone away and left those closest to them that are still living and breathing and still very alive and love them and miss them and hurt for them and long for them to come back to where and who they once were. But they’re too blind to see it. Too sick to sense it. Too pained to notice. Too “dead” to care. Death has robbed them of their loved one… and now, death has a hold on another still living; death holds them too. How horrid! How evil! How mean! May we be too stubborn to let death have us too before our time to be buried.

Pg 342 – [After Clare’s mom’s death when going through her mom’s things, Clare finds a poem that her mother has written:]"The poem Clare holds is evidence, immutable, undeniable, a snapshot of emotion. I look around at the pools of paper on the floor and I am relieved that something in this mess has risen to the surface to be Clare's lifeboat."

It’s funny, isn’t it, what we will find to hold onto as proof that the one we loved really once existed. We find we have NEED for some sort of evidence. Something tangible. Something we can look at. Something we can hold onto. Something we can touch, or taste, or look at, or smell…… But even better yet is when it’s something with feeling. Like the book said, “a snapshot of emotion.”

Pg 346- [Henry says of Clare when he sees her holding another friends baby:] "Seeing Clare with a baby in her arms, the reality of our miscarriages grabs me and for a moment I feel nauseous. I hope I'm not about to time-travel."

I guess we addressed this earlier, but still; aren’t these the kinds of moments when we’re most prone to "time-travel"... when we’re hurt because we’re reminded of what we want but can’t /or don’t have… ... when we hurt with excruciating pain over the reality over such hurt or such a feeling of hopeless despair?

Pg 347 - "I don't want to talk about this. I have no words to talk about it…" 


Know the feeling!

Pg 367 - "I want to kiss him and then kill him. Or vice versa."


Know that feeling too!

Pg 363 - "Is there anything to stop me from giving her what she needs? I can't think of a single reason not to tell her. I stand and rack my brain for anything that would preclude Clare knowing. All I remember is her certainty, which I am about to create. "Persevere, Clare." "What?" "Hang in there. In my present we have a baby." 

 Awww… what a gift hope is!

Pg 364 - "Clare grins at me, and I grin back." 


Pg 387 - "The teacher is almost ringing her hands, "Sir, Alba's father is dead." I am speechless. But Alba has a grip on the situation. "He's dead," she tells her teacher. "But he's not continuously dead. He's CDP (Chronic Displaced Person). Like me."" 


You know, a lot of our “dead things” aren’t “continuously dead” either because we simply refuse to let them be! We’re all guilty of resurrecting some of our dead things… and some of those things have been dead for so many years! We won't let them be dead, we may have buried them... but we keep going and digging them (or it) back up.

And too, sometimes in our time traveling we die again… we die a thousand deaths over the thing that has hurt us. But we’re not ‘continuously dead’ all the time…. we succeed for a time in pulling ourselves from our pits of sorrow…. until we’re knocked back into time again and die another death over that same yesterday’s killing.

Pg 409 - "The drawing is finished. It will serve as a record - I loved you, I made you, and I made this for you - long after I'm gone, and Henry is gone, and even Alba is gone. It will say, we made you, and here you are, here and now." 

It will serve as a record” ~~ I like that! Things that testify that love was once felt and shared and existed in a heart once beating. I suppose that we often take gifts for granted. Or little things that we were once randomly given. A flower. A bear. A tender touch right there…. A held hand. A glance. A kiss. A knowing.

Pg 417 - "I am seriously alarmed, and not forewarned. I ponder the available data. "Clare. We're not getting married today or anything insane like that, are we?"..... "Are you hungry? I made us a feast!" "Of course I'm hungry. I'm famished, gaunt, and considering cannibalism."" 

Pg 420 - ""You don't remember?" Clare is looking at me very intently, as though concentration can move memory from her mind to mine..." 

Pg - 425 "I can feel her heart beating. Or perhaps it's mine." 

Pg 426  - ""Henry, just give me a hint. Where do you live? Where do we meet? What day?"...
"Have faith. It's all there, in front of you."
"Are we happy?"
"We are often insane with happiness. We are also very unhappy for reasons neither of us can do anything about....... When you see me again, remember that I won't know you; don't be upset when you see me and I treat you like a stranger, because to me you will be brand new. And please don't blow my mind with everything all at once. Have mercy, Clare."" 

Pg 429 - ""What happened after I left?"
"I picked everything up and made myself more or less presentable and went back up to the house. I got upstairs without running into anyone and I took a bath. After a while Etta started hammering on the door wanting to know why I was in the tub in the middle of the day and I had to pretend I was sick. And I was, in a way.... I spent the summer lounging around, sleeping a lot. Reading. I just kind of rolled up into myself. I spent some time down in the Meadow, sort of hoping you might show up. I wrote you letters. I burned them. I stopped eating for a while and Mom dragged me to her therapist....." 

      Wow.... that's what often happens in a death to the one
      left living... or trying to live. 
      Woe, what a feeling! That’s a hard hurt!

Pg 430 - "it was all a sort of black comedy. I would go out with some perfectly nice pretty young art boy, and spend the whole evening thinking about how boring and futile it was and checking my watch..." 

Pg 431 - ""Do you worry sometimes that all the really great stuff has already happened?"
"No. Well, sort of, but in a different way than you mean. I'm still moving through the time you're reminiscing about, so it's not really gone for me. I worry that we aren't paying close attention to here and now. That is, time travel is sort of an altered state, so I'm more... aware when I'm out there, and it seems important, somehow, and sometimes I think that if I could just be that aware here and now, that things would be perfect."
I allow my guilt to subside, back to the little box where I kept it crammed in like a parachute..... "The fact that there are bad times makes it more real. It's the reality that I want."" 

Pg 436 - ""... he's not at all what you need." I smile. He's exactly what I need, but I know that it is futile to go chasing through club land trying to find him." 

Pg 442 - "I wonder what she knows that I don't know. I wonder if I want to know what Clarisse knows. I don't think I want to know anything." 

Pg 463 - ""Without Clare I would have given up a long time ago."" 

Pg 477 - "Although Henry is right here in front of me, he has disappeared." 

Pg 488 - ".. and we stare at each other and I think, Don't leave me." 

Pg 493 - "The pain has receded but what's left is the shell of the pain, an empty space where there should be pain but instead there is the expectation of pain." 

Pg 498 - "I will never see that face of hers again, and I regret it bitterly, the face with which Clare will go on without me, which will never be kissed by me, which will belong to a world that I won't know, except as a memory of Clare's...."

Pg 498 - "Today is the thirty-seventh anniversary of my mother's death. I have thought of her, longed for her, every day of those thirty-seven years, and my father has, I think, thought of her almost without stopping. If fervent memory could raise the dead, she would be our Eurydice, she would rise like Lady Lazarus from her stubborn death to solace us. But all of our laments could not add a single second to her life, not one additional beat of the heart, nor a breath." 

Pg 500 - "She'll be okay without me, I think as I watch her, but I know that she will not." 

Pg 517 - [Clare], "I sleep all day. I sleep, I inhabit sleep firmly, willing it, wielding it, pushing away dreams, refusing, refusing. Sleep is my lover now, my forgetting, my opiate, my oblivion. The phone rings and rings. I have turned off the machine that answers... It is afternoon, it is night, it is morning. Everything is reduced to this bed, this endless slumber that makes the days into one day, makes time stop, stretches and compacts time until it is meaningless. Sometimes sleep abandons me and I pretend. I breathe slowly and deeply, and soon, Sleep. Sleep erases all differences: then and now; dead and living. I am past hunger, past vanity, past caring. This morning I caught sight of my face in the bathroom mirror. I am paper-skinned, gaunt, yellow, ring-eyed, hair matted. I look dead. I want nothing."  

Pg 519 - [Dearest Clare,...] "Tonight I feel that my love for you has more density in this world than I do, myself: as though it could linger on after me and surround you, keep you, hold you. I hate to think of you waiting. I know that you have been waiting for me all of your life, always uncertain of how long this patch of waiting would be. Ten minutes. Ten days. A month. What an uncertain husband I have been...... Please, Clare. When I am dead. Stop waiting and be free. Of me - put me deep inside you and then go out in the world and live."  

Pg 520 - "After my mom died she ate my father up completely. She would have hated it. Every minute of his life since then has been marked by her absence, every action has lacked dimension because she is not there to measure against it. And when I was young I didn't understand, but now, I know, how absence can be present, like a damaged nerve, like a dark bird." 

Pg 521 - "It was sweet, Clare, it was sweet beyond telling, to come as though from death to hold you, and to see the years all present in your face." 

Pg 523 - "What am I doing? I am waiting. I am thinking. I am sitting on our bed holding an old plaid shirt that still smells of Henry, taking deep breaths of his smell. I am going for walks at two in the morning, when Alba is safe in her bed, long walks to tire myself out enough to sleep. I am conducting conversations with Henry as though he were here with me, as though he could see through my eyes, think with my brain." 

Pg 525 - "As I'm dressing I hear Clarisse and the kids come in the front door, laughing. Alba calls, 
"Mama?" and I yell, "I'll be out in a minute!" I stand in the dim light of the pink and black tiled bathroom and stare at myself in the mirror. I have Cheerios in my hair. My reflection looks lost and pale. I wash my hands, try to comb my hair with my fingers. What am I doing? What have I allowed myself to become? An answer comes, of sorts: You are the traveler now." 

The End...

I watch for him. And he watches for me. I read his words. And he reads mine. I remember yesterday and imagine tomorrow. He does the same. Us in our two different worlds. Me in my here. He in his there. Me from where I am. He in where he is. I'm looking for bits and pieces to see him. To get a glimpse. To catch a glimmer. To hear a sound. To see a spark. And he's looking for me. I can still hear his laugh in his type written words… amazing after all of these years! And he can still read me enough to even hear mine. We're both thinking... similar thoughts, similar things, similar minds, similar hopes, similar dreams, similar imaginings... lost somewhere in time of what once was, what could have been, what could actually be……. what won’t ever happen.... lost in the imagination and the dreams that we both for some reason still seem stirred enough to continue to dream; even when we both know the reality of the futility of our silly dreaming. Fingers touching through tapped out letters…. Hearts beating separately, but still almost as one. A part of his heart still stayed in mine and my heart still stuck somewhere in his. Goodness, how in the world did that happen? Two hands holding onto each others, the fingers intertwine through the keys of a keyboard and the screen of two laptops to pull their distances so far apart for a few minutes a little closer together. Both trying to savor the moment, trying to relish the sweetness, delighting in the priceless gift of the moment… before one “disappears” from the other again and leaves the mailbox screaming with silence and achingly empty.....

You know, I learned a lot in reading this book. I enjoyed it. It was fun. And as I said before, I found it extremely thought provoking. And what it left me realizing even more than I have before is that I have so much to be thankful for! So much that I don't want to miss!... that I don't want to lose!... that I dare don't want to waste! I so want to LIVE, to be alive, and strive in my moment! I have things that I am both glad for and hate in my past; and things that I hope for in my tomorrow.... but I don't ever want to be so fixed and focused on either my past nor my future that I allow it to rob me of where I am in my present! Oh Lord, help me, teach me to live! Teach me to take notice and savor every second!

[I thought it only appropriately to close (maybe I should have opened with it also!) sharing a legit book review of the book that I have been rave-ing on and on and on about for the last 4 posts: The Time Traveler's Book... book review from thebookladysblog spot.]