Don’t Want to Leap Frog a God Lesson!

Are you old enough to have played the old fashioned game of Leapfrog?  Or young enough to have learned from someone who can still play it?  If you don’t know the game or need a refresher course, here is the game:

LEAPFROG

What You Will Need:

  • 2 or more Players (the more players, the more fun!)
  • Backyard or other open space

arm00000072001

What You Do:

  • To play, have one or more players stand in a line (all facing forward), spaced 4 or more feet apart.
  • All the players in the line should bend their backs while placing their hands on their knees to make a “high back”, or place their elbows on their knees to make a “small back”. Make sure to have players bend their head down, as well.
  • The jumper selected to go first, stands behind the back of the last player, then leaps over the backs of all the players, one at a time by placing his hands on the back of the person at the back of the line. He must press on the person’s back and leap over the person, spreading his legs apart and hopping like a frog.
  • When the leaper has arrived at the front of the line, he stops and forms either a “high back” or a “low back”.
  • The last player in line now becomes the leaper, and leaps over the backs of all the other players.
  • Continue playing until all players have had a chance to be the leaper.

So, what does this have to do with a “Playdate with God”, you ask?

I have often tried to skip over a step, a lesson, in life because it isn’t what I wanted to do or I did not feel up to it or for a variety of other reasons.  Purposefully skipping over a life step is like losing out on a piece of life, a lesson from God, an important growth moment.  I am purposing to live “set apart”, distinctly different, from the world in which I live because I am one of His children.  I cannot live that way and dare to miss a life moment, one of God’s lessons.  They are each and all too important as God has a plan for me and each moment is part of His plan for my life.

‘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.  ‘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 search for Me with all your heart.'”  Jeremiah 29:11-13 NASB

I want to miss nothing!  Life gets busy and suddenly I have missed much, but my desire is to miss as little as possible, so I need to be in the Word, on my knees, at His side.  I do not want to beat up on myself when I fall and fail at this, but I must pick myself up and ready myself to leap up onto and not over each lesson, each moment.  I have had a lot of seriousness in my life lately so playing a little childhood “Leapfrog” seems like a good thing for me right now, but my body won’t allow that.  So, instead, I shall sit with the Lord in the beauty of His days and learn from Him all that He will teach me.

Abiding with the Lord, rejoicing with Him, being able to glorify Him, and skipping over as little as I can, missing little or very little, is what I need for my peace.

LORD, I pray I stay near to You, am obedient to Your commands, follow Your steps so that I may grow more like You.  I ask for Your gentleness to hold me close in these days, Your lovingkindness to comfort me, Your love to live in me, and Your peace to reign in my heart.  Amen.

leapfrog

Photo: University of Tennessee, Knoxville – http://www.lib.utk.edu/arrowmont/Steve/Thumbnails/Access/arm00000072001.jpg

Graphic: St Anne’s Edgeside Primary School 2011 website- http://www.st-annes45.lancsngfl.ac.uk/prospectus/afterschool.html

Up on the Rooftop

Have you ever sat up in a tree or on a rooftop where no one could see you, yet you could see the world from this special bird’s-eye view?  Have you been up there watching the world go by in ways that made you a little dizzy, the pace was far too fast for this moment…high and hidden?  Have you pondered the idea of staying put in this place and living quietly to yourself?

I have!

When I was a little girl, I would climb up into a large tree on the corner when no one was around to see me shimmy up that big trunk.  I would play alone in a world of make-believe sometimes.  Or I would lean against a large, sturdy branch or high part of the trunk…reading a book.  Or I would just be still and enjoy the sound of the crows caw-cawing….until I heard my Mommy or one of my little sisters calling my name, looking for me to come home to dinner.

As I grew to high school age, I would climb up on the rooftop of our house with a book in hand and spend a hour or two reading and out of the way of my little sisters.  I just liked to be alone more often than they allowed me in the house or down on the yard.   (You know those little sisters and brothers?)

In college, I would tire of the noise that surrounded me and head to Mission Beach to sit on the wall, listening to the waves pounding upon the shore.  I often wrote poetry or journaled of my life, of my family, of dreams for my future, of the vastness of the ocean against the tininess of me.  I spent hours just pondering.  As darkness enveloped the sea, I would feel the pull of safety and go on home.

These days, I run into the arms of Jesus.  I can read, play make-believe, watch the world go by, listen to the birds, ponder Scripture, pray, just anything my heart desires.  I feel alone, yet surrounded by the love of God.  That cleft of the Rock is where I long to be.  That little girl, that high school youth, that college girl, all curl up with this adult that is me into the cradle of my LORD.  He lets me be quiet or lets me cry or lets me laugh.  He knows my heart.  He knows me inside-out.  We sit together whenever I go to Him.  He is always there…no doubt in my mind for He is waiting.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  (Matthew 7:7 ESV)

He is the Vine that supports me as I lean upon Him.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
(John 15:4-5 ESV)

He is the Light that keeps the fear away.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
(John 8:12 ESV)

He is the One, the Only One, Who truly gives rest.

For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel,
    “In returning and rest you shall be saved;
        in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
(Isaiah 30:15 ESV)

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
        and he delivered them from their distress.
    He made the storm be still,
        and the waves of the sea were hushed.
    Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
        and he brought them to their desired haven.
    Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
        for his wondrous works to the children of man!
    Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
        and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
(Psalm 107:28-32 ESV)

“Be still, and know that I am God.
        I will be exalted among the nations,
        I will be exalted in the earth!”
(Psalm 46:10 ESV)

In quietness and rest, I sit with my Jesus upon the rooftop.  In returning and trust, I am a child of God.

Thank You, LORD, for this day, for this calm and quiet in my life amidst the struggles, the pain, the angst, the toil.  You are my All in All, my Holy One of Israel, my King of kings, my LORD of lords.   I praise You and thank You.  Amen.  

Credits:

“Girl Reading in the Tree” photo – http://latefruit.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/why-read-books-if-we-cant-remember-them/

“Reading on the Roof” photo: by lanier67   AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved

“bike girl beach” photo: by byronv2  AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved

Create…Creativity

God created each of us in His image to be creators of something
beautiful.  Allowing Him to flow through us makes for creations to exist,
to come to life.  From early ages, creativity flows in us for we are
children just come from God and then we flow with Him.  As we age, this creativity
can be stumped, stifled, or even staged.  God needs for us to allow Him
freedom.  He wants us to create as He creates. 

‘Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;’
William Wordsworth 

To Create:  bring (something) into existence
• cause (something) to happen as a result of one’s actions
• (of an actor) originate (a role) by playing a character for the first time.
• invest (someone) with a new rank or title
(ORIGIN late Middle English (in the sense [form out of nothing,] used of a
divine or supernatural being): from Latin creat- ‘produced,’ from the
verb creare.)

           
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it. 
(Proverbs 22:6 ESV)

 

 

Scribbling and drawing as a little child 


‘Every child is an artist. The problem is to remain an artist once he grows
up.’ 
Pablo Picasso

 

 
Writing stories

‘If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the
companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the
joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.’ 
Rachel Carson

 

Playing the clarinet

 

…and bassoon in high school
‘Creativity
includes drawing and painting, but it is more than just art. Creativity
includes having fun and playing, but it is more than just fun and
games. Creativity provides an exciting way for children to become
intrinsically motivated, to find joy in the ordinary, and to discover
their hidden talents. All children possess creativity.’  Steve Dahlberg
Macrame plant holders, a window curtain

‘The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are
permitted to remain children all our lives.’  
Albert Einstein

 

Teaching first grade,
preparing lessons that I hoped would inspire learning,
teaching children one-on-one in a manner that would inspire confidence and learning, especially to READ

‘Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.’ 
Walt Disney

 

crocheting baby blankets,
…and a big one for my Mama’s Mother’s Day
‘Life begins as a quest of the child for the man and ends as a journey by the
man to rediscover the child.’ 
Laurens Van der Post
    For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

(Psalm 139:13-18 ESV)
Creating me involved such intricacy, details beyond my comprehension.
Only God could put me together and He did.
He knit me.
He wove me.
He created me.
So God created man in his own image,in the image of God he created him;male and female he created them.(Genesis 1:27 ESV)
LORD, thank You for creating me and for giving me a creative mind and heart.  I can become the Linda You made when I allow You to continue to mold me and to make me…in Your creative ways.  I can become the Linda You desire when I allow You to flow through me giving me the touch of creativity in whatever You desire for me.  I am so grateful for the opportunities to try various things even when I did not do some of those things well.  I learned and I created.  I needed to try and to find out that I can fail and still be wonderfully loved by You.  You have continued to create through me whether it is in crocheting a blanket, being kind and loving to the elderly, write words on a page or here at “Being Woven”.  You are my Creator for which I am most blessed.  In the Beautiful Name of Jesus, Amen.  

 

Soothing Moments

In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.  (Galatians 4:3-7 ESV)
Abba! Father!  Can we sit, just sit today in the big rocker on the porch?  Can we rock together, me close to You?  Do we have to talk?  Can I just be enfolded by Your selfless Love, shielded by Your Strength, caressed by Your Compassion?  Can I, Abba, Father?  I would like that because I really just want to be with You, to be in Your Presence.  You are my all in All, the Abba Daddy I need and have always needed.  You held me then and I need You to hold me now, even though I am an adult.  I am still a child in so many ways.  Last week, I shared my inability to play these days.  I am beginning to see more clearly and find the things which I can do to lighten up a bit more and to feel the air of play around me.  My mind twirls in the wind even when my body just is not able or ready to twirl.  My mind dances to a song.  My hands beat the arms of a chair to the rhythm of an especially upbeat song.  Music opens me up a bit more. Thank You for sitting with me in this rocker, Abba.  Thank You.  It feels so good to sit beside You with my head on Your chest.  I hear Your heartbeat.  Oh, it is mine?  Our hearts beat together as one, don’t they?  We are united because of Your Son, Your Ultimate Sacrifice, for one such as me.  Oh, Abba, You have set me free.  You have adopted me as Your daughter and I am Your child.  How glad and thankful I am.  The nearer I am to You, the more able I am to loosen up. Thank You, Abba, Father.  Amen.
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, 
that we should
be called children of God!  A
nd we are.
1 John 3:1a

Thank You for Mom listening to and loving her kind of music in the iShuffle.  What a joy to watch and listen to as she tells me stories from her past!

photos: 133581_chairs_2.jpg used @ poeticexpression.net

I Need…I Want…to Learn to Play Again!

I used to know how to play.  I used to know how to dream from the large branch of a tree or beside a stream.  As a little girl, I used to lie flat on my stomach to direct the choir of “Johnny-Jump-Ups”…they looked like little faces ready to sing from the steps of a choir loft in our garden.  I did know how to play!  Really, I did!  I used to love to ski, both downhill and cross-country.  When I did either, I played, I mean really PLAYED!  When I downhill skied, I would sail through the trees, often laughing, giving a “Yippee!!”!  When I cross-country skied, if the ski area had swings hanging from the trees, I would sit in the swing to eat my lunch, swinging away as if I were a six year old.  I would lie down in the soft snow and make a snow angel.  When I taught first grade, Kindergarten, I would sit on the floor with the children to teach, read, play a learning game, draw.  Sometimes, I would even lie on my stomach and read like the kids did during afternoon reading circles.  I jumped the rope at recess with them.  I used to know how to play when I was a younger adult. I was a rather serious child, and the oldest of three, but I did know how to play then, at least to some degree.  In my very recent past, the most fun has come when Ken and I travel in our fifth wheel trailer.  We both love getting away and spending time in God’s country.  Yet, once home, I am back into the routines, and life’s seriousness.  I am such a structured person, have had too much seriousness in my life of late, that playing has become hard for me.

I am 64.  When did this all change and when did I allow fears, responsibilities, irritable issues to interfere with my ability to be a child at least once in a while? ~ fourteen and a half years of care giving, Mom’s ever-increasing dementia and physical concerns, fear of Mom dying while I am away, fear of her living longer and longer, losing so much of herself with each year; old tapes playing in my head from when Daddy would travel with the Navy to be a part of the Manhattan Project tests, or as the Navy physician to the Secretary of the Navy and the Surgeon General of the USA – he would ask me, his eldest, to “take care of your Mommy and sisters for me while I am away”…an innocent request, I believe, but one I took seriously, and then he died when I was one month from 13, and that request became ingrained in me for he never came back.  There have been financial concerns (not trusting in God’s steadfast provision), a sister’s false accusations that hurt so very deeply.  Plus, I have fallen a number of times, have aches and pains from spinal issues and from fibromyalgia, and then have had three surgeries since last May.  I also watch and read some news where wars, famine, politics, greed, and all else cross my vision or filter through my ears and touch my heart and soul, becoming stressed by most of it, or become so disappointed by the way others treat one another, or feel such a heart for the people of this world and nation.  I feel worn out and weary.  Play does not seem to fit into my way-of-being these days.

YET…God is calling me to spend time with Him…more time.  He wants me near…nearer still.  He desires my company…more of it.  I thought, while I was recuperating from surgeries, I would have so much time that I would be able to spend more time with my God.  Yet, the pain, the therapy, the recovery, the stress just sent me running in anguish to the farthest corner.  It was not the way I had hoped.  I wanted to sit at His feet, to be near.  I wanted to seek His face.  I desired the closeness He wanted with me.

I picked up L. L. Barkat’s book, God in the Yard, again, and journaled the many questions throughout the fifth chapter, “Sky: Gratitude”.  Laura says on page 47: “Spiritual exchange, a rhythm of give-and-take with God and others, that is both based on and produces gratitude is not something we can easily practice.  At least in my life, making lists of what I’m thankful for doesn’t necessarily create the requisite openness and trust.  These attributes require deeper soul work, of the kind we’ve been exploring.”  I do make lists and they do remind me of the daily, ever-present gifts from God.  But, I seem to be unable to find that openness and trust that children have in their earliest years with only a list.  I need to regain the sweet relationship I have with the LORD, that relationship that has slowly gravitated away.  As I neared the end of chapter five, I happened upon the real eye-openers for me: I was to make (or draw) a house with openings…doors and windows.  Then I was to cover them up with complaints, including fears, anything that caused irritability or jealousy.  I did this.  I was surprised at most of my answers.

The following questions are asked:
  • Do I see any patterns to my complaints?
  • What do I make of them?
  • Would I like to be able to remove them?
  • What gifts might come inside my house if I did?
  • What gifts might leave me to bless the surrounding landscape, (those who come across my path)?
As I answered these questions, I prayed…Abba Father, I want to share a lightness, and openness with you and not live in this heaviness I feel every day.  I so want to sit at Your feet daily…not sporadically, but daily.  I want Your love to flow through me, washing this spirit of weightiness out of me.  I want to find the girl, Linda Lou, again.  She seems distant today, yet I know she is there. Please bring her to the surface so we can play, lie on the grass, looking up at the sky to find gratitude in the color blue, in the white billowy clouds leaping across the wide open sky-prairie, in the smell of the Texas Mountain Laurel blossoms, in the joy of being in love with my husband, in the kindness of Your people.  I want to frolic along the creek’s edge with You in the soft meadow grass and hear the gurgling waters rolling over rocks.  I want You.  I want to be less serious, less structured for play, more serious and more structured for setting time to sit with You, yet less order so that Your will shall be done in our time together.

Can we find that swing where we used to sit, pumping higher and higher?  I feel the lightness of my body, mind, soul, and spirit already, Abba.  Deepen my trust in You, that I won’t carry the fears, the pain, the struggles.  Jesus told me: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)   
Thank You for sending Your One and Only Son for me, for me.  He is Light, Life, Truth, and the Way.

May You and I play along this Way while I learn from You.  May I be present with You and learn that the beautiful gifts You give to me, the ones I take into my house, are to flow through my heart and hands and be passed on to others.  O LORD, may I play once again.  In trust I sit in Your lap.  With a lighter heart, I smile.  With a light heart, I laugh as a child, as I once did and could!  Amen.

 

Photos:    

“Mother and Daughter” – stock.xchng – http://www.sxc.hu/photo/565496hortongrou

Unstring

I read “God in the Yard” by l. l. barkat.  I move through the pages at a slow, sporadic pace, doing the exercises, learning to play and be a child once again, with God, no less.  I am in the third week, page 27.  One exercise is called “Unstring”.  She says, “Picture certain issues/emotions/elements of your personal psychology to be like a cord that binds you.  Can you feel them cutting in?  Do you wish the ties could be loosened?  As a kind of prayer, invite the Spirit to begin unwinding the invisible cords; to feel the hope of this, act out unwinding with your body.  If you prefer, draw a picture of yourself and what binds you, then draw a series of pictures that illustrate the ties coming undone.”

So I did that.  It looked something like this: 

On my own drawing, I had words on the lines such as:

self-defeating

too easily crushed
fearful
need to control situations

emotionally hurt by words
caregiving for 13 years

 

 

I asked the Holy Spirit to unwind the tight cords that bind me, those old tapes in my head that take away my freedom to twirl in the wind, to breathe deeply.  Much lies behind the words, behind that tight cord.  How can I play when the seriousness of life is weighing me down?

Mom was angry last night.  I am grateful that this mood is not often, but when it is there, I struggle.  I do not like anger, rarely being angry myself.  Mom uses some foul language when she is angry.  Oh, how that runs like fingernails on the chalkboard with me, with my ways.  I leave my visit and I am down, worn out, in no mood to play.  I allow this dementia-caused anger to tie me up in a knot.  There is nothing, NOTHING, I can do about it, nor can she.  So why am I taking it on myself, I ask?

From the spiral drawing right column, you can see the things that are eating me from inside my own self.  The old tapes play.  I put my hands over my ears so I don’t have to hear any of this.  But it doesn’t help because it’s coming from inside.

God, You made me and I know You did not make me with this negative self-debasing talk inside.  I have allowed this world to convince me that I am less than how You made me.
God, can we just sit today in the big rocker on the porch?  Can we rock together, me close to You?  Can we be still?  Quiet?  Can I just be enveloped by Your selfless love, shielded by Your strength, caressed by Your compassion?  Can I, Abba Father?  I would like that because I really just want to be with You, to know Your Presence.  You are my All in all, the Abba Daddy I need and have needed since I was twelve when I lost my earthly Daddy to cancer.  You held me then and I need You to hold me now.  
  
One rocker, that’s all we need, Abba Father.  Just one.  It feels so good to sit beside You with my head on Your chest.  I hear Your heartbeat.  Oh, it’s mine?  My heart is Your heart, isn’t it?  We are united because You sacrificed Your Son for one such as me.  I am Your child and I am glad, and thankful too.  Oh, Abba, You truly do unwind that tight cord from these self-inflicted burdens, the self-destroying talk.  As You loosen the cord with care, You set me free, little by little.  I begin to feel like a child who can play again.  I begin to feel freed from these ties that bind.  You are my Abba Father.  I am Your child who is filled with the joy and the peace that only You can bring. 
Con todo mi corazón, Le agradezco, padre de Abba,
 Your Daughter

Quote from l. l. barkat’s book, “God in the Yard, Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us”, 2010

Picture/Drawing: “squiggle1.gif” @ www2.asd.wednet.edu
Photo of Rocking Chair: “Rocking Chair 2”  AttributionNoncommercial
Some rights reserved by CMMahon, 12/07/2006, Christina M. Mahon, flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmahon/

Child’s Play Teaches "Community"

As a young child and then as a K-1 public school teacher, recesses and physical education times were always a good time for the children, a break from the desk and school work, a break from the indoor rhythm of the classroom.  Games played were usually peaceful.  As a school teacher, my class played games as a whole group many a day.  Playing together with other children is (and has been) a part of childhood.  Sometimes, children do play alone.  I was one of those who loved to play by myself or with one other girl.  Yet, I was integrated with the others much of the time and found those times to be fun and uniting.

As my mind takes me back to joyful and innocent friends, faces still in my memory, I ponder those kid-filled moments.  Joy, laughter, silliness, togetherness.

God calls us to community whether two or two hundred.  We are to be together, caring, loving one another with His unconditional love.  Living community is acceptance, forgiveness, laughter, and tears.  It is gentleness, joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.  (Galatians 5:22)  Community.

Envision community in child’s play.

London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down.
London Bridge is falling down,
My fair lady.
“The farmer in the dell,

the farmer in the dell;

Heigh ho, the Derry-oh 
the farmer in
the dell”

Innocence

Duck, Duck, Goose

Fun and song
Here we go Loop-de-loop

Together
Red Light, Green Light

Laughter
Hot Potato


Rhythm
“Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?”

Joy
Dodge Ball

Singing and silliness

Pop Goes the Weasel

Rhyme and time together
Jump Rope

Holding hands and touch
Red Rover

 Joy plus learning to be careful! 

Leap Frog

 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.   Colossians 1:17 

God is faithful, by whom you were called 
into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
I appeal to you, brothers,by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, 
but that you be united in the same mind 
and the same judgment.  
1 Corinthians 1:9-10

Lord, I pray that Your community be my community.  Open my hands that I may accept Your people into my life as You will.  May I be Your light in whatever community You deem to place me in.  May I be Your hands to help.  May I be Your love to embrace.  May I be Your compassion to those who need a hug, a hand to hold, a shoulder to lean upon, a tissue for tears.  Thank You for loving me as You do that I may be the Christ to those around me.  Thank You for giving me a childhood to play silly games, allowing me to be free and innocent.  Thank You for giving me the opportunity years later to teach young children the joy of playing together.  
Between You and me, Lord, in this community of two, I thank you for:
  • planning a vacation with Kenneth [who else! : )]
  • child’s play at all and any age
  • desiring to be all that God has created us to be
  • allowing me to go with Mom to a Hooks baseball game along with some of the other nursing home residents and staff — for Mom and me, a delightful memory was made!
  • getting Barr and Annette (baseball fans, BIG TIME!) on the phone during the game and talked for almost 30 minutes sharing the game and Mom
  • Jim, Cassie, and Ciera came to see us, blessing us and giving us young rather than aged for a change
  • Loretta, Mom’s extra caregiver and my pray-er
  • rain
  • thunder
  • lightening
  • more rain in this drought-ridden country
  • JP and 3-year old son playing in the rain together
    • it has been so long since we have had rain, I wondered if the little one had ever experienced a rain-storm as this  
  • the light of a life lived for Christ has been extinguished on this earth
  • but he is in Glory...praising You, Lord;  Thank You for allowing me to know this man through my husband.  I have been truly blessed by his godliness and grace before my eyes.  Thank You for allowing Kenneth to have such a beautiful friend.
In the beautiful Name of Jesus.  Amen.

Photos:  Girls playing “London Bridge Is Falling Down”, United States, 1898.
By Alexander B. McBride, Grand Marais, Michigan. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons PD-US “No known restrictions on publication.
“L1_Children_playing_game/jpg”-24403-D  by Arthur Rothstein, 1930s Great Depression photographer [Public Domain]

Lulling

Under the trees 
Shade above
In a hammock made of brilliant colored fabric
Threads of warp, woven woof

God and I rock to and fro
In the hammock of many colors

He covers me with His love
Of many colors and fragrances
A lullaby, a cradle song
Sung to me
In this cradle-like hammock
Lulling me to sleep
In His gentle care

Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry,
Go to sleep little baby,
When you wake, you shall have cake,
And all the pretty little horses.   “All the Pretty Horses” – a lullaby
 
God and I swing lightly in the hammock
Enjoying the fresh breeze

His touch upon my cheek

A caress of my Abba

We tip, we tilt
We rock and sway
Voices of angels ever near
 Cradle us in
This color-woven hammock

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word, Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird don’t sing, Papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.
And if that diamond ring turn brass, Papa’s gonna buy you a looking glass.
And if that looking glass gets broke, Papa’s gonna buy you a billy goat.
And if that billy goat don’t pull, Papa’s gonna buy you a cart and bull.
And if that cart and bull turn over, Papa’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover.
And if that dog named Rover won’t bark. Papa’s gonna to buy you a horse and cart.
And if that horse and cart fall down, Well you’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

 “Hush, Little Baby” – a lullaby

 

And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, 
like the voice of God Almighty when he speaks.  Ezekiel 10:5


Thank You, Abba Father, for spending time with me in this hammock.  The shade of these powerful oaks makes me think of You, my Almighty Father, my overarching Protector.  The gentle swinging back and forth is Your way of guiding me along life’s journey.  You lead me and You give me choice.  You are kind and You are firm.  You sway with me.  You push me when I need that nudge.  Thank You, Lord, for sharing Your love with me, in the quiet of this hammock.  You weave my life into Your will.  You weave the woof through the very warp of the plans You have for me.  Thank You, Abba.  Thank You.  You are lulling me, calming me, soothing me.  A lullaby of the Lord’s.  Such blessings.  Amen.

Photographs: “A Cavalcade of Colours!”/ngould/Sydney, Australia/http://gallery.gouldnet.netRoyalty Options-Standard Restrictions/stock.xchnghttp://www.sxc.hu//#657056/11/11/2006
“A Colorful Woof”/keeper182/Marzabotto, Italy  Royalty Free-Legal usage/stock.xchnghttp://www.sxc.hu//#777447/5/2/2007

See-Saw

Life can be overwhelming at times: too many tasks and demands, more crammed into less, emotional baggage weighing down shoulders, bad and sad news exploding through the airwaves, family struggles, nightmares, financial squeeze into a tinier and tinier tube.  It all feels so heavy, so serious, so adult, way over my head.
I want to roll up and be a kid again when life was a playground, when innocence lasted for years, when play was outdoors, under a tree, a sense of freedom.  Looking back on the fifties when I was a child my young life seems like such a sweet time to be 6 or 8 or 10 years old.  We played with dolls until we were twelve.  We sat on a swing going higher and higher wishing we could twirl around the horizontal bar 360 degrees.  We climbed into a tree, sitting on a certain branch where it became a desk with a typewriter or a boat or some other imaginary thing.   Boys were just more kids and, most of the time, they were over there and the girls were over here.  No dating.  No thoughts nor actions of sex when I was a kid.  Times were surely different then they are now. I am glad I was a kid then.
 
One playground toy I loved was the see-saw.  Two of us going up and down… up… down… up… down.  When one of us was heavier than the other, the light one ended up stuck in the air, helplessly unable to get down.  The bottom one had the advantage.   If she should jump off, I came crashing down to the ground.  A thud and an ouch!
And then there is the see-saw scenario where a bunch of kids hopped on either side and loaded up both sides.  The board may become equally balanced with us all sitting at the same latitude.

 A see-saw requires balance in order for it to be able to continue its ongoing motion of  

up and down 
 
up and down
up
down
up 
down
up
Life calls for balance. 
Prayer balances life.
Balance requires God.
God is Life.
Jesus see-saws with me and the load is balanced.  The pace of the ups and downs become more even as Jesus rides with me.  Steady … a peaceful ride … wind in my hair … ruffling those young auburn curls, now turned partially gray with little curl left.  But that matters not.  We are see-sawing together in play with the world far away when I am with Him.  With Jesus, with His perfect balance, the weight of the world is gone.  He knows what it takes to balance me.  I have given myself to my Lord.  I am riding up … down … up … down, beautifully balanced with the Lord.
O Lord, forgive me for keeping the weights to myself and then struggling so.  You have said that Your burden is light.  I take Your yoke, Lord.  I am Yours.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.   Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,  and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30
Thank You, Lord, for walking me through my todays.  I believe and trust You.  Heal my unbelief, Lord.  Playing on the see-saw with You takes me away with You, holding the world at bay for I am looking at Your face, sitting face-to-face across the see-saw.  Thank You, Precious Jesus, for balancing me once again.  Amen. 

 

Is Reading Playing? I Hope So!

I’m of a quiet mood today.
Playing does not seem likely for me.
I just want to be left alone to read.
To read what?
The Bible? Les Miserables? God in the Yard?
I’ll take all three with me as well as a journal and pen.
The place and the mood will dictate which book I shall read
or whether I shall just journal today.

God calls.
He wants to be with me no matter what I do.
I ask if He has something He wants me to do.
“No.  I just want to be with you, Linda.”
“Okay,” I respond with some hesitancy.

With hesitancy!
Listen to me, talking to God with fear in my tone.
He often asks of me, and should I hear His call, I usually am obedient.
Usually.
Sometimes, I am too busy and place His request down on my list
and get to it when I can.
He may ask something of me that must be a Now Project
and by putting it off,
I miss the chance of dancing with Him for He is, well, was, right here with me.

And then there are times that we just sit together
to enjoy the moment.
When I read His Word,
He tells me things I did not see.
Or shows me the incredible Truth of Jesus, His Son.
Or He guides me in and out of passages
that teach me what He desires me to learn.

If we are reading God in the Yard by L. L. Barkat together,
He reminds me of His desire to be with me
wherever I am and no matter what I am doing.
We share sweet moments.
Just reading together.
He is with me.
I am alone and I am not.
I am reading.
He may be teaching,
loving,
enveloping me in His arms.
Our time together is a quiet play,
a delightful play,
a beautiful play.
I am dancing with the Lord
on days such as this.

I would say that reading is playing.
Even more so when the Lord is with me.

Here I am at age 7 reading between my two little sisters;
one is 4 and the other 1 1/2,
reminding me of the distractions that take us away from God.
I sit reading between two very possible (probable) distractions.
But I sit and read as if there is nothing around me, as if no one is taking a picture of us.
If I did that then, I certainly can be with the Lord as we read together,
as He sits with me in the chair,
or out in nature somewhere,
or in the library or Starbucks.

It is our time and our time alone. 

Oh, LORD, forgive me when I want to run the other way when You call my name.  Forgive me when You just want to be with me.  Forgive my fear that You have a task in mind for me.  If You do, then You are blessing me with Your grace and mercy. I should always want to please You by being willing and obedient to Your call.  I want to be near You, always and forever.  I love You so much.  These “alone” moods I have are often, yet I know that I can be alone and still have You near.  That is how I can be with Kenneth too.  He allows my quiet times and is still near me.  I love him dearly.  I can be me with him.  Thank You for blessing me with him as my husband.  Glad You called me today, Lord, and am so glad I heard Your voice.  Amen.