Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sick And Tired

I've not been feeling very well for the last several days.  Nothing major - just swollen glands and no energy.  I don't really even want to mention it, but it falls under the mundane category, so I'm going to try to make it into my prayer back to God.  I appreciate using this blog as a tool to get there, because it hasn't come easily before now.  I'm still not sure how this will wind up, but it always does, so I begin, with faith. 

Yesterday, my two older boys spent the afternoon at the lake with a friend.  My youngest was Daddy's right-hand man all day.  That left me alone.  Normally, I love being alone.  I dream about days and moments such as these.  But, yesterday, I was just sad.  I felt sad to be the "left overs".  I take that back, I was the dog's first choice for a companion, but I felt like I was disappointing him, too.  I (maybe for the first time ever) wished I was with my guys, instead of being alone!  I wished we were at the lake, together.  We actually gave the older ones the choice, but they chose being with their friend, instead.  I didn't even have enough energy to read for very long without falling asleep.  I couldn't think of a single thing I wanted to do or felt like doing.  Then, I assailed myself with thoughts of how spoiled I am and how pitiful that this was the best I could do.   

Feeling like this made me wonder if I'm falling down on the self-improvement job.  Am I really a person who doesn't know what to do with herself when nothing is being demanded of her?!  Yikes!  My normal get-up-and-go is hiding from me and I'm too tired to look for it.  My house is not clean and my meals are mediocre, but the good thing is that nobody is really complaining.  Whatever my body is fighting and being on the last leg of summer got the best of me yesterday.  It is embarrassing for me to admit that, which is why I have to.  It's good for humility. 

Some people find God more easily when all is well, like me.  Others are more apt to run to Him when they are in need.  Maybe He's stretching me in the other direction?  I am thankful for going to Mass this morning and receiving Jesus - the ultimate reset button. 

I'm thankful that God isn't asking me for great courage or amazing feats of strength.  I feel small and like I have very little to offer.  I don't even have 5 loaves and 2 fish, like the boy in today's Gospel reading.  But, what I have is enough.  When God gives me more, then my offering will be more.  I am going to chase the devil away, and give God what I have, instead of wallowing around in self-pity.  God doesn't give any qualifiers about how much is too little.

So, today, I'm taking comfort in the following quote from Fr. Jean-Pierre Caussade in Abandonment to Divine Providence:

"What courage would they not derive from the thought that to acquire the friendship of God, and to arrive at eternal glory, they had but to do what they were doing, but to suffer what they were suffering, and that what they wasted and counted as nothing would suffice to enable them to arrive at eminent sanctity;  far more so than extraordinary states and wonderful works."

"There is not a moment in which God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed.  All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals His divine action."

Dear God, You see us when we are small and feel like we have nothing to give.  You are the One who said we are strong in our weakness.  Lord, please forgive me for being too self-focused and for having too little faith.  Please increase my faith, hope, and love.  Help me to use the stuff of my daily life to "arrive at eminent sanctity".  I don't want to waste it.  Please accept my life and all it contains as my offering to You.  Please bless it and make it holy.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Grateful for Gratitude

A blast from the past - I'm thankful we've grown up a little since this journal entry from 2 years ago!  A grateful heart makes everything better.

July 18, 2010 - 9:15pm 
Today has been a long day…Alarm going off at 6:15 for no reason, no nursery at church, Walker throwing up in the foyer, leaving church early, Brayton crying in the parking lot from scraping his knee, Walker crying at home from hitting his head, Wyatt crying for getting his hand slapped for hitting Walker in the face with blocks…Crying, crying, crying, lunch, nap (2 hour highlight of the day, by far).  Grocery store, dinner prep, more crying by Wyatt – wanting to go outside, pulling at my legs, climbing on the kitchen table and dumping the salt all over God’s creation (for the 3rd time in 2 days), pulling soda cans out of the pantry, glassware out of the cabinets, books off the bookshelf, clothes out of drawers, and so on.  He is really wearing me out.  Finally, eat, bathe everybody, and time to put Wyatt in bed.  Oh, hi, Grandma decided to come and visit. J  Bedtime put off for another good 30 minutes.  Good, didn’t want to get that over with too soon.  Another fight with the big boys about brushing their own teeth – they’re somehow scared in there at night and afraid of scorpions, and Daddy always does it…Wouldn’t it be weird if our pajamas were toothpaste? (Walker).  Tucked in bed, I plop on the couch for some comfort in the form of mindless TV watching, only to find Mystery Theater Masterpiece on my favorite channel.  I get up to let the dog in and Grandma’s dog charges in with him.  I trustingly let her out the front door thinking she’ll just follow me to her home.  No, she bolts in the opposite direction into our neighbor’s courtyard and I have to chase her down barefoot.  Not getting off easy tonight…except, Dozer is cleaning the pans in the kitchen, which is the extent of any cleaning happening tonight.  The tomatoes on the cutting board and the pans on the floor will be there in the morning.   

I am grateful for the overwhelming gratitude I woke up with this morning.  My cup was overflowing thinking of the blessings showered upon us by God.  Sending someone to buy our car, having a minivan in the driveway, $1500 in our pocket from the sale, food in the fridge, and everything else we could possibly need.  I’m glad I started out with such a fantastic amount of gratitude, the day could have been really bad otherwise.

Dear God, Thank you for blessing me so abundantly that there are always so many things to be grateful for.  Thank you for three-year-olds and patience gained, especially during those first couple of years of life.  Thank you for seasons in our lives.  Lord, help us to know your will and to trust you at every turn.  Help me to detach from wanting to know "What is next?"  You have taught me that self-love is responsible for that question.  Help me to take each opportunity as it comes and make the most of it.  To love well.  Please give me the grace to love You enough that I can patiently wait on You to reveal Your plans for me, and be detached enough that if You chose to keep me in the dark forever, that would be fine, too.  I want what You want.  Amen. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fan to Follower

I hope you're easing into your Saturday like I am.  I wanted to share today's Magnificat meditation with you.  It sums up what I am trying to do with this blog..."transforming every event into an opportunity for genuine dialogue," with God.  Hopefully, I am doing that and helping you do the same.  I would be thrilled to know if my dialogue with God has encouraged you in your own! 

We  must also nourish this deep desire to meet God so that when the opportunity presents itself, we can take hold of it, and transform every event into an opportunity for genuine dialogue.  But the real obstacle to a life of prayer arises from an inordinate love; the Love of self...

In our relationship with Christ, however, each of us must resolve one great problem:  to pass from the abstract level to the personal one, that is, to put aside the kind of relationship that consists largely of ideas one has about Christ and to come to a direct encounter.  The same transition points are found in the life of prayer as in any friendship.  There is a time when we are still not completely sure of the other person, when we are uncertain as to whether he will think or react like us.  Then the moment comes when we are assured of the other person, and every exchange is founded on a personal relationship.  Every event and even apparent differences are accepted without fear, since the reciprocity involved is one truly based on love.  We love someone else because he loves us.  What sustains and activates dialogue is this response, it is the fact that the other person is happy to love us.  Therefore, the value of every method of prayer will depend primarily not on the number of abstract ideas it can give rise to, or on any other consideration, but on this fundamental question:  Is it a help or a hindrance to the development of an authentic dialogue with Christ?

-Fr. Bernard Bro

Dear God, Thank you for Saturdays and freedom of speech.  Thank you for letting me share my faith in You and love for You, without fear.  Please let me be a tool in Your hands, so that people may know Your love and You may know theirs.  Please help those who want to know You better, but are stuck.  Help us to be a people that You can delight in.  Amen.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Around the Corner

Yesterday afternoon, the boys and I went to Roger's house - an in-progress, fixer-upper in North Bryan.  Roger goes to church with my mother-in-law and she has been helping out some with his Around the Corner ministry:  food, clothing, a place to sleep, a shower, and/or Bible study, all in his house.  He is a man with a past who lives for the present and gives other people everything he's got to help them survive (and get to Heaven). 

Several years ago, he moved to TX from Chicago, trying to flee the cold weather and the death sentence that comes with the gang activity he was accustomed to.  He says, "The only way you get out of that place is to die or for God to call you out."

After squatting in this abandoned house on Hall Street, he got to meet the man who owned it.  Providence would have it that this elderly man's vision for that home and Roger's vision matched perfectly.  At the end of their conversation, Roger had the keys and the money to begin his mission.

Many people come and go.  It's one of the few places that will answer the door at 3am and serve food through an iron bar door if you're too drunk or high to come in.  Roger pointed out that churches usually close at 5, and if they are open later, it is probably for social events. 

Today, Roger and two other men live in the house.  One was hit by a car and had nowhere to go when he was released from the hospital.  A taxi cab dropped him off.  The other man's family lives across the street, but they don't have enough room for everybody, so he lives at Roger's, too. 

We had the chance to have a water balloon fight and eat dinner with 7 kids from the neighborhood.  During the school year, there are a lot of kids that get picked up after school and receive formation from A&M students a couple of days a week.  Their parents are often single and gang-affiliated.  However, they eventually come for a meal, too and Roger's house has become "neutral ground".  Two opposing gangs ate Thanksgiving dinner together this past year without incident.  Roger says, "They know God is here."

Before we left, Roger showed us the last of a DVD series entitled something like "Are you a fan or a follower?".  It basically illustrated lives of people that previously knew of God and their transformation into people who knew God.

I reflected on this on my way home, wondering if my own faith has been too weakly or insufficiently lived out.  Being in a former crackhouse in a poor neighborhood and watching the steady flow of people coming and going made me ask, "Should I Be Doing Something More?"  "Should I be more like Roger?"

In short time, God assured me that we are all called, but we are not all called to the same thing.  We have the same mission, but it looks different for each of us.  We are called to feed Jesus' sheep.  To take care of each other.  To extend mercy.

Roger is feeding the lost, broken, addicted, and run-over.  I am feeding my husband, children and occasionally a few others.  I am trying to "feed" those who read my blog, who are in classes at Church, and those who need help getting to Mass. 

Earlier in the day, I was visiting a friend in the hospital.  Just as we arrived, someone from our Church brought him Communion.  He was feeding the sick.  We can "feed" people with a smile.  We can "feed" people with a sincere compliment or eye contact that says, "I can see you, and you have value."  Christianity is in the food business.  We are called to feed others, just as Jesus did.  Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

My Dad and stepmom just returned from the Holy Land.  One thing that struck them was that most of Jesus' ministry took place within a radius of 90 miles.  We do not have to go far...

Dear Awesome God, How do you make it all work?!  It is so beautiful that You use all of our hardships to help us love others so keenly.  Thank you for calling Roger out of the gangs of Chicago to a place where his love and street smarts are desperately needed.  Thank you for his courage and perseverance.  Please continue to bless him for his faithfulness to You.  Please give me the grace to be bold for You.  Please help me to live *Holy Audacity: To become a living force for all mankind, a light shining in the world...To be a radiant light as I stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of Him who is the light of heaven.  Amen.

*Quote from St. Gregory Nazianzen card (the one I drew at my silent retreat in February)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

When It Can't Come From You

Yesterday my oldest son had an opportunity to spend the day with about 40 other boys and a couple of priests, to learn about themselves and their faith, and having a blast doing it.  Sounds nice, right?  Yes, but it is so much more than nice!  If my son wasn't invited to participate in this experience, how else could I create it?  I couldn't.  Where else could he gather the fruit from a day like that?  Nowhere.  I neither have the know-how or desire to be able to pull something like that together.  This is not an experience he could have "made up" in a week or two if he missed this one.

So, why is it so important that he have this experience?  Because right now he is a boy who more easily believes in ghosts and aliens than in God.  Something about reading a few lines about ghosts in a non-fiction book is more convincing to him than the Bible, the Mass, etc...  The more opportunities I create to discuss God and/or godly things, the more resistant he seems to become.  I am learning that it cannot come from me.  Is it because he needs to learn these truths from his father, or another man, or his peers?  Is it because he is the oldest?  His brothers are very open-minded.  Is it because I haven't loved him well enough to trust what I am saying to him?  I don't know the answer, but I know what we need to do.

One of the priests said our children need 3 things to thrive in the spiritual life:
1.  Prayer
2.  Spiritual direction
3.  Retreats (like what he did yesterday)

I bought The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie O'Martian this morning, at the recommendation of my stepmom.  I am going to make sure that I don't fail him on Number 1!  As for the other two, I am going to make sure I keep informed of the opportunities available and take them as they come at

I was relaying some of this to my sister yesterday, and she said it well, speaking of her own experience, "I love it when other people can do my job."  I'm realizing a little more each day that I can't give them everything they need.  It really does take a village and I am so grateful that I know where the village is!!!   

I realize that I have been using most of my spiritual energy on myself - to get my prayer life in order and to make sure I have my priorities straight.  I pray for each one at the beginning of each day, but I don't pray with them, unless it is before meals or at bedtime.  I have made my prayer time just that, mine.  I am going to start inviting my boys into prayer at times when I have previously just done it on my own...Like praying the Angelus at noon and Divine Mercy chaplet at 3:00. 

I know that my sons are and will be my greatest contribution to this world.  I want to help them believe in God's love and to live in light of it, with the example of my life.

Dear Loving and Gracious Father, Thank you for Sonia, Steve, and the priests who poured themselves out to make yesterday's "Boy Day" happen.  Thank you for their gifts and their love.  Lord, please help me lead my boys to You.  Help me know when to push and when to pull back.  Lord, please prevent me from leading them away from You, always and forever.  Please grant me wisdom, patience, and love.  Please give me Your peace when I feel like I'm doing it all wrong.  Jesus, I trust in You.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Uncomfortable Enough to Change

I met with my women's group at Church for an "Encounter with Christ" this morning for the first time since May.  It was wonderful to see them and the conversation and discussion were fruitful and positive, as always.  However, after I got home I realized a slight uneasiness, a discomfort.  I remember this feeling is not uncommon for me after these meetings; it's just been a while since I've been to one.  As I tried to get at the root of this feeling that seems paradoxical to the actual experience , it occurred to me...I have been challenged.  I feel a little uncomfortable because I know I could be doing better.  I got glimpses into three other lives which are lived striving after holiness, day after day.  Lives who all have aspects that are better or holier than mine.  This is not because they condemned or preached to me, but things that I can see for myself.  This is not a pity party or a competition, but a call to something more.  To respond to a more complete view of the Truth and to live in the light of that Truth.

I read something in the past day or two about iron sharpening iron.  Today, I am thankful for these "iron" women.  They make me better, sharper.  If it weren't for them, I would not know what I am not doing.  I would likely be satisfied that I'm doing enough.  Enough for God.  Enough for my family.  Enough for my neigbor. 

"God is easy to please, but hard to satisfy," as George MacDonald says.  Sounds about right.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for sisters and friends who lead us to You.  Thank you for their faithfulness and for helping me through them and glimpses into their lives.  Thank you for so many helps as I try to figure it all out in this pilgrim land.  Please continue to put people in my life who challenge me to be more like You.  Please continue to give me the grace to recognize when I am uncomfortable because I need to change and help me to make the changes necessary.  I want to please and satisfy You.  Your grace is sufficient for me.  Amen.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Beginning Again

I am beginning again, today.  Since returning from vacation last week, I seem to have knocked over my parenting toolbox, and I can't find any of my tools!  I run out of patience an hour before the kids go to bed and I yell over things that I'm sure I have handled better at other times in my life - messy rooms, boys who hit each other and call names, laziness, bad attitudes, etc...  And, exercise has been non-existent, which may be directly correlated to the patience issue.

So, I am beginning again, today.  I "unfroze" my gym membership this morning and got my first good workout in over a month.  The consistent and motivated swimming that I started the summer with slowly ebbed away, as my boys kept hijacking my lap lane and requesting rides back and forth.  I love being with them at the pool, so I always said Yes, which is not conducive to gaining or maintaining any momentum.  So, I stopped. 

I will try to remember at the beginning of next summer that the last thing I should do is stop working out when my kids get out of school!  Duh. 

I have been trying to read Confessions by St. Augustine, but it seems so far from this summer-at-home-with-the-kids-place I'm in.  It was going great for a while, but I think I'll try again during Lent.  So, instead, I started reading another parenting book that I couldn't pass up for $1 at Half-Price Books, Parenting Your Child by the Spirit by Sally Hohnberger.  I'm hoping this is the equivalent of exercising my parenting with God muscles.  I know I've been more reactive than proactive and have not been as Christ-centered with my parenting as I should, so I am beginning again, today. 

I am going to make a list of the traits in each of my children that are not godly and what the opposite virtues are.  Then, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I am going to make a list of what their behavior would look like if the "weeds" were pulled out.  This will help me focus on replacing unwanted behavior with something better, not just eradicating it.  I realize that so much of their behavior is based on my own, so I am going to make a concerted effort to talk to God before I talk to my children, so they may guess correctly whose team I'm on - God's team.  I am beginning again, today.
Dear God, thank you for my children and for gym memberships.  Thank you for being our Father and for giving us detailed instructions on childrearing in Your Word.  Thank you for so many chances to begin again.  Please help me be the mother to my boys that You intended, so that they may reach their full potential in You.  Please bless all parents with wisdom, patience and kindness for their children, as our love is supposed to reflect Your love.  Amen.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Three Old Ladies

I had the opportunity to take a lady to Mass today.  Lady #1.  This particular lady walks very slowly with a walker and her legs are like mine during a bad dream, heavy and nearly impossible to move.  As I bent my head as closely as possible to hear her quiet and low Hispanic accent, she told me that she has lost two husbands and two of her four children.  Two of her sons burned in a fire when they were 25 and 27 years old, and she was most recently widowed on Mother's Day.

I felt selfish and petty when I recalled my grumblings about not being able to find someone else to take her, as this meant my own family had to split up to pick up the other lady we take to Mass every week.  For the brief inconvenience, I was being tremendously blessed by this woman and she was blessed by being able to receive the Eucharist.

This lady has survived the two things I fear most on earth - losing my husband and my kids.  I asked her if it was difficult to believe in God during those times after she lost those who were closest to her.  She said "No, I believe in God.  He gives me strength.  He keeps me going."  As simple as that. 

We swung through McDonald's on the way home so she could get a hamburger for lunch and I dropped her off at the front door of her apartment building.  I will probably be able to find someone to take her to Church next week, but, selfishly, I wish it were me.

Lady #2 - I called my Grandma after I dropped her off.  I haven't talked to her in at least a month, and for the first time ever, I didn't visit her when I was in KS last week.  She asked me when I was coming up again, and I felt sick to tell her I had just been there, but didn't "make it by".  As a woman who has spent her entire life building an emotional fortress to buffet all manner of pain, I don't know how deeply this omission hurt her.  But, it hurt me, when I realized I could have brought her a little joy and I didn't.  She makes no bones about how I'm her favorite, even though she knows she's not supposed to have favorites.  She listened to me prattle on about what I did instead, and said, "Well, it sounds like you had a nice trip, anyway."  Ugh.  I feel terrible.  I'll never pass up the opportunity to make it by again. 

My Grandma is a woman who never learned how to love properly.  Her husband was an abusive drunk and three of her five children suffered violent deaths (one to war, one was run over, and one from a drug overdose).  She says if she had to do it all over again, she wouldn't have children.  I'm sorry to hear her say this, because if she hadn't, my father and many others wouldn't exist, but it gives an idea of the pain that her life has borne.  She says she is physically unable to cry; she ran out of tears a long time ago.  But, I love her, and today I can see that I need to make more of an effort to do so, because it's too easy not to.

Lady #3 - Yesterday, on the way to her hair appointment, I told another sweet lady about how my Grandmother feels about her life.  This particular lady just turned 94 and says "Oh, I just don't know what people would do without children!"  This is a lady who received 26 birthday cards, 35 phone calls, and 7 bouquets of flowers on her birthday.  This is a lady who has loved well and is loved well in return.  I think this is the way God intended it, but our own choices and other's choices can change the way the story ends. 

I believe a life of pain and suffering and loss can be used for good - to form a greater bond with our Creator and to depend less on creatures.  I believe we have to learn this before we can enter Heaven, so it is like an unwrapped gift if we can recognize it.  I also believe a life full of love and good things can lead us to our Creator, if these things lead us to the Giver.

In spending time with these ladies in person, or on the phone, it is too easy to notice the disparity between their lives.  But, ultimately, I think their commonality is greater.  They are children of God, albeit older children, who have years and years of life behind them.  They live alone and are dependent on other people to cook for them and to get them where they need to go.  They believe in God and that He is the source of their strength.  It is a good thing, because as they know, all other things pass away.

Dear God, Thank you for people who have lived through things I think could kill me.  Thank you for their years of life and the wisdom that comes with them.  Thank you for opportunities to help people come closer to You.  Please forgive me for those I have missed.  Help me to see them with greater clarity and please give me the grace to love those who have little or no love to give in return.  Thank you for being present in the Eucharist, for being our strength, and the One who keeps us going.  Amen.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

It Doesn't Matter Where You Sit

July 2, 2012 ~

We're on our way back to Kansas after sleeping over in Des Moines last night.  I'm just thinking about life and the common threads that run through it.  After driving through countless small towns and some big cities, too, the mystery that distance can create has dissipated.  After seeing a lot of people porch-sitting and walking to the post office, it is so obvious that time progresses the same for all of us.  It is true that some of us rush through our days, and some move in sync with the slow tick of a grandfather clock.  It is also true that some work, some garden, some snowmobile, and some stay home, but we all get up and eat, and go to bed, and fill in the time in between.

It's like we are all stranded on an island called earth and doing what we can to live well.  For many, that means avoiding work or boredom or commitment - anything to preserve the powerful, but false perception of freedom.  Others, plunge themselves into the service of humanity.  And yet others, spend their entire lives trying to learn more about and love the One responsible for landing them on the island in the first place.

For these, it makes no difference whether they are riding shotgun in a minivan, sitting in a kayak on a great lake, on a tractor seat in a field of crops, or on the swing of their front porch.  It's all the same to them, for time and place are insignificant - every one offers the same opportunity to meet their God in the present moment.

It is so easy to live under the subconcious umbrella that "real life is elsewhere."  Not so.  Not so.  Real life is always in the present, and fortunately for us, we cannot live anywhere else.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Disappearing Into Perfection

We just got back from spending a week in Minnesota and Kansas.  Minnesota to visit a friend and Lake Superior, and Kansas to visit family and celebrate the 4th of July.  As always, it is good to be home and I always feel like I am a better person when I return.

One of our days in Minnesota (June 30) included a snack lunch in a cemetary on a hilltop overlooking Lake Superior.  It just happened to be the closest and quietest spot to the outfitters where we met a guide for a little kayaking on the lake that afternoon.

"We parked on the gravel road which bordered the southern end of the small cemetary.  There were 150 graves or so, at most, with lots of little American flags standing proudly by the soldier's graves.  We aimed our van downhill, so we could see Lake Superior over the trees and headstones.  Some unseen bird seemed to be whistling Taps over and over.  Brett and I both heard it.  I thought it might be a recording, as it seemed way too coincidental, besides impossible.  Brett thought it was just "trippy".  Among the dead, there were lots of twenty-somethings, a few babies, a hockey star, and a lady who would rather be playing Bingo.

This small, quiet cemetary made death seem more like a friend.  Still not a friend I want to rush over and visit, but one that might not be as cold or ugly or as violent as I've previously thought.

Before today, I've thought of death as a ripping away...A ripping away of all those you love and who love you back. 

But, today, looking at those quiet graves, I had the impression that for the one who is leaving earth, there is no loss.  There is only collect or wait patiently for their eternal reward.  It only feels "wrong" for those left behind.

As the souls of the dead are taken into something incomparably more vast than their bodily dwelling, it is edifying to see nature manifest itself in this same, but more tangible way; just like a little stream, as it plunges over and becomes part of the rushing and powerful Temperance River.

There was no complaint of being small and unnoticed, just a singleness of purpose - to join something bigger than itself.  It was set apart only for the time necessary to reach its destination.  In this case, the Temperance River, and then the cold, beautiful, and forbidding Lake Superior. 

This reminds me of how Thomas Merton describes life in a monastery (which is in direct contrast to life in the world). were admirable, worthy of honor, perfect, in proportion as they disappeared into a crowd and made themselves unnoticed, by even ceasing to be aware of their own existence and their own acts.  Excellence, here, was in proportion to obscurity:  the one who was best was the one least observed, least distinguished.

And so today, I am grateful for the times when I am drawn into something bigger than myself and can disappear into it.  Today, I hugged my husband on a little bridge over that little stream and felt the "bigness" of God's love through him.

I realized I meet God in my husband more often than I know.  I am small and his love is great and God's love is even greater than his great love.  A love great enough to disappear in - to become unaware of myself because I am consumed with receiving His love or consumed with loving Him back.

As I watched the people flock to the waterfalls and rivers, I pondered what it is that draws us there?  It seems to be a universal attraction.  Besides the obvious beauty, I think people like to see something that does not originate from man, that is more powerful than they are, and that obeys an unseen force.  I think it reminds them of God.  Not consciously for most, but deep within.

Dear God, Thank you for time away and for arriving safely back home.  Thank you for the beauty of Your creation and what it reveals of You.  Thank you for the glimpses of Your beauty, power, and love.  Thank you for people who make it easy to believe in Your love.  Help me to be one of them.  I love you.  Amen.