Joyful Sister Love

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God-joy … the voice of my little sister.  Although we live thousands of miles apart her sweet voice on the other end of the telephone gives my heart reassurance and encouragement and love. I was almost six years old when she was born.  I took care of her, or so I thought as a six year old!  I was the BIG sister to this new little one.

As we age, that six year difference is really gone… we are friends as well as sisters.  We love each other and care about one another.  She is a jewel in my life.  During the many years of giving care to our mother, she was there, if not physically, emotionally for me.  She guided and supported me through some murky or rocky paths… still does.  We cried together and we  laughed together.  We loved our Mama, each other, and we shared the struggles along with the joys along the way.

But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set.  Exodus 17:12

She has been, and still is, my Aaron and Hur.  She upholds my arms and my heart when the weariness overcomes me.

We have very different lifestyles and walk different paths, but we still walk together intertwined in God’s love.  This is for you, sweet A ~

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21

A, my sister, you are such a special person in my life.  I am so grateful to God for giving me the joy I hear in your voice, the exuberance as you live life, the unconditional love I feel from you, the compassion you have for so many others.  When we are together physically, we share hugs and love … eye to eye and heart to heart.  The joy of the LORD is with us.  When we are apart, I know you are there with and for me, as I am you.  I just love you.

For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?  For you are our glory and joy.  1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

Plans? Oh, Yes!

Days are different.  My Mama is gone from my daily life as she has gone to be with our Lord.  The routine of fifteen years has changed.  My husband and I are starting anew with release, sorrow, unsurety, unknowns, knowns. We look at one another and question, “What’s next?”  We say aloud, “We must find our way.  We must turn to the Lord for He knows the way.”  And we know that He does for He promised us that He has a plan.

11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

12 ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.

13 ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

14 ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord,….” 

Jeremiah 29:11-14a

God does have plans for us. He keeps His promises. He keeps them each and every day.  He delivers and blesses.  Our hope and future are in His hands.  And we have hope because we trust Him.  We trust Him because He is faithful.  We trust in His Son, Jesus, Who delivers us from every storm, from every foe.

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Give me faith, O Lord, as I walk the unknown.  I walk with You.  Give me faith during the times I’m weary, discouraged, and beaten down. Inspire me to trust in Your great promises. Please give me courage, O Lord, when my faith wavers. Help me obey Your Word no matter how challenging it may seem or how discouraged I feel. Thank You for giving me a bright future in Jesus. Please help me live more consciously aware of Your beautiful gift.  Please show me Your way.  I depend upon You completely.  To stay the course is not easy, but I want to!  I want to walk with You, Lord.  In Jesus’ Name I pray.  Amen.

Graphic and past of prayer: www.heartlight.org

Humiliation… Humility… Humble

“The sufficiency of my merit is to know that my merit is not sufficient.”  St. Augustine

Pondering “humility” and “humiliation” has reminded me of times in my life when I was humiliated.  Like when I was in high school and got caught talking to the girl next to me after she asked me a question and just before the English teacher began his class.  He asked me to get up, without a chance to defend myself (and the other girl did not stand up for me either), had me stand in one of the very back corners of the classroom, facing towards that corner.  I had to stand there the entire period.  I was humiliated.  I was a normal kid, pretty quiet, very respectful, well behaved, most of the time.  But this teacher, Mr. Wyatt, had a problem with me and I never knew what it was.  The humiliation hung around my neck like an albatross for eons, it seemed.

Humiliation is an injury to our dignity or self-respect.  Humiliation comes from the Latin root “humilis” meaning lowly, “on the ground”, which is from the root “humus”, meaning earth.  So literally, it can mean “reducing to dirt”.  That is what I felt like… dirt!…before the whole class of adolescent teenagers.  Devastated … for one such as I!

At that point in my life, I did not understand the following words of Jesus, not that I wholly do today either, but I would rather be humble and accept that which comes my way rather than fight or even stand up for myself:

Matthew 5:39 – 45 “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

“If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.

“Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.

“Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

But I believe that I did that for I took it and accepted the consequences.

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Blessed are the meek (humble; gentle), for they shall inherit the earth.  Matthew 5:5

Humility is recognizing and accepting our limitations based on as accurate an estimate of our importance and significance as possible.

From Old French umelite, humility means “humility, modesty, sweetness”, from Latin humilitatem (nominative humilitas) “lowness, insignificance”, in Church Latin “meekness,” from humilis “humble”

Humble and meek dance together at times and can mean “gentle, quiet, unaggressive; benevolent, kind; courteous, humble, unassuming.”  These words do intertwine and disconnect and then re-twist themselves about one another.  God’s Word is how we really need to look at these words.  

“But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud,but gives grace to the humble.”  James 4:6

Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,….  2 Corinthians 3:5

“Humility is to make a right estimate of oneself.”  Charles Spurgeon

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LORD, I pray that I would be the humble servant You desire me to be.  I desire to grow more and more like You.  And I need You to do this.  And I want this more than anything.  Help me to understand what it really means to be humble and be filled with humility.  Teach me, O LORD.   

My gratitude sprays out this day as the ocean waves do when they rush ashore.  I am grateful for the unconditional love of God, for my beautiful Mama I recently lost, for His grace to get me through this time in my life, for being able to be near to her for these past fifteen years, for healing my body through these four surgeries, for teaching me humility.  I am in love with You, LORD.  Amen.

 

Child graphics: unknown/a copy of a picture I had on my wall as a child

2 Scripture graphics: www.heartlight.org