Sunday, March 28, 2010

Abandon your heart......

Abandonment has been a theme around here lately. I don't mean getting left somewhere when you shouldn't have been. I mean the abandonment that God longs for from us. The abandonment where we run full-tilt and launch ourselves from 12 feet back into His lap and arms. Just like a little child who has no fear of a trusted family friend who shows up at the door, and running for all she's worth, leaps into their arms. Completely trusting, unafraid, joyful, delighted. Even unbecoming. (Thank you, Dear.)

I'm discovering I have a problem with this. Over the period of my life, I have built defenses that look something like, "I have to have it all together," and "I have to do this myself." No room for help from another corner. Of course, that's pretty ridiculous. I am only alive because God gives me my next breath (and a million other functions my body has to complete every minute). I can't do it myself. And I don't have it all together.

Awhile back, the Lord was working on letting me know that I don't have to have it all together, even though that's what has been embedded in me for years. Brennan Manning's writings helped me understand "The poor (in spirit) man and woman of the Gospel are aware of their lack of wholeness, their brokenness, the simple fact that they don't have it all together." (The Ragamuffin Gospel) Wow. There is freedom in those words. For me.

Now He's working on abandonment. Mine. To Him. And then to others.

I kinda freak out over this. I'm not sure why. I have a suspicion that it's something to do with generational garbage that needs to be broken. Control issues. Self-sufficiency issues. Self-righteousness issues. There are plenty in my family of origin. So, I'm trying to go after this junk, in the power of the Spirit, and break down these strongholds that are robbing me of the joy and delight of abandoning myself to the Lord. And others. Even if I look unbecoming.

At some point, Randy Stonehill wrote a song that is just amazing. I'm including the lyrics because they make me cry. That's always a sign that I need to listen. They will make this post kinda long, but I'm going for it anyway. :)

Abandon Your Heart

Like a man who's lost his memory, we're caught in this calamity.
The truth of who we are is as distant as the stars.
So we paint our portraits in the dark and build this lonely house of cards--
But we're not sure what is real and we're aching to be healed.

And the hours that we cling to flow like water through our hands,
and we hear and see and think and feel,
but we never understand all the glory and the meaning of our days.

Abandon your heart and it will take flight.
Oh, it's beating like an angel's wings that longs for heaven's light.
Abandon your heart, just set it free.
The mighty love of God is calling, "Abandon your heart to Me."

We've deified (made gods of) our willfulness--our prison walls are made of this.
Our only hope awaits beyond those wicked gates.
We will go to almost any length to preserve this weakness we call strength.
But peace can never dwell in a house of infidels.

Then the fire of life burns in us, but its power is denied.
We are lost in frantic motion. We are never satisfied.
But I swear it does not have to be this way.

Abandon your heart and it will take flight.
Oh, it's beating like an angel's wings that longs for heaven's light.

Abandon your heart, just set it free.

The mighty love of God is calling, "Abandon your heart to Me."

And all these things we try to hold
only rob our thirsting souls and make us old.

But when we dare to let go at last,
we will finally know the joy that always eludes our grasp.

Abandon your heart, abandon your heart, abandon your heart, and it will take flight.
Oh, it's beating like an angel's wings that longs for heaven's light.

Abandon your heart, just set it free.

The mighty love of God is calling, "Abandon your heart to Me."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Girls' Day Out

We had a fun girls' day out on Saturday.

Jessie, Maggie, Elyssa (Jessie's best bud) and I went over to Wenatchee for Maggie to play a gig with Hank Cramer. She met him while on the Lady Washington last June during the 20-year anniversary party for the boat. She, Audra Poor and Steven Cummins played with Hank onboard the Lady at that time, and then Hank asked Maggie and Audra if they would be interested in laying down tracks for his latest album. So, they went to a recording studio in Tacoma last summer or fall, and played bodhran (pronounced "bar-on", sort of) and uilleann (pronounced "illin" as in chillin') pipes. Then they were asked to participate at this gig in Wenatchee. Fun day for all of us.

It looks as if there is more recording studio work in the offing, as well. Maggie - and Jessie, too - have been asked to help with the album of a friend of Hank's, who is recording his debut album. Maggie will be laying bodhran tracks and both the girls will be doing backup vocals.

Who knew?!

Maggie warming up her bodhran (Irish drum) before the gig.
With the dry climate over there, she had to wet
the head of her drum to loosen it up. It got pretty tight.

Jessie's best friend, Elyssa, visiting us from her new home in Texas.

Jessie getting a brief lesson on the hammered dulcimer.
It was love at first sight.

Audra on her uilleann pipes (Irish bag pipes).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Last night we had some friends over for dinner and movie night. We watched "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," Ben Stein's documentary which "looks to scientists on both sides of the issue [Evolution vs. Intelligent Design]…and reveals some truly shocking answers."

It is a phenomenal film, in my opinion. You can read about it here and watch trailers here.

My heart was breaking last night as I watched the evolutionists defend their position, knowing how lost they are.

This morning, as I was praying for these people, I was asking the Lord to open their eyes to the truth that the real issue is "control," not the origin of species. They simply don't want to give up control over their lives.

As I prayed that, I heard an "Ahem....." Oh, ouch.

"Okay, Lord. Yes, You are so right. I am so struggling to give up control over my life. My circumstances. My people. I must lay it down. You who are merciful, gracious, slow to anger, full of goodness and truth, forgiving of iniquities, transgressions and sins, & will not leave the guilty unpunished (Exodus 34:6-7), are the one qualified to control my life. Not me. Not me. And I'm the one who should know better."

I am asking Him to make that a moment by moment reality in my life.

Thanks, Ben Stein, for your amazing piece of work that convicted this piece of work to focus on the Intelligent Designer.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ultimate Tournament!

The past few days, I've been working on Ultimate Tournament pics. Such an amazing event. So many wonderful people. We all look forward to the dates every year. Nothing interferes with those two weekends at Silverthistle! Here are a few of my favorites from the first installment of the day.

Ultimate Day!

Elizabeth Rose in her first ever Ultimate Tournament!

Two of my favorite people. :)

Steven Cummins in one of his usual leaps.

A fellow I've not met, but understand is Enoch Mease.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Oh, boy, what a day. So many tears. I'm worn out. I'm caught in a spot where I'm struggling to hear the voice of God regarding my body. I have been certain that He has promised to heal me. Right now, I'm wavering in my memory. Did He really? Am I destined to struggle like this for the rest of my days? Am I done with the life I have known? These are real emotions. Real thoughts.

But I have to have hope. If I don't, I crumble.

Hope. What in the world is it? I think maybe it's an expectation that things will change. Or that they'll go a certain way that I perceive within myself. It seems that the Word of God says something similar, that hope is anticipation, expectation, confidence. Anticipation and expectation that things will change, or something new is on the way. And confidence that it will come. As I'm looking at that, I think I see that waiting is implied in the concept of hope. Waiting...... Ok.

Well, I've learned something about waiting recently. In our study on Esther, one of the things that Beth Moore brought out regarding Esther's dealing with waiting was the necessity of listening. When Esther approached the King, unbidden, and was asked by her husband what her request was, she asked him to come to a banquet, and to bring Haman with him. During the banquet, when he asked her again what her petition was, she started to tell him, but then there's an interesting little thing in the sentence construction that I missed until this time around. There's a “:” A little piece of punctuation that indicates that her sentence was broken off. As if she literally went, “Oh, wait. I don't think I should say that. Beat, beat.....” and then resumed her speaking, saying, “Come tomorrow to another banquet, and bring Haman again.”

This really intrigued me. I can't count the times I have been in the middle of saying something, and suddenly I knew I was't supposed to say the next words. The Spirit was checking me. Somehow it rings true that Esther experienced the same thing. And despite the fact that she had been asked -- twice -- to state her request, she decided she shouldn't do it right then. She waited...... and the King had a sleepless night...... and Haman had a gallows built. And the result was the turning of the tide of wickedness that Haman had started in motion. Whoa. Waiting.

Come to find out, there are different ways to wait. And this had a huge impact on me. I have had a tendency to wait on the thing I hope to be changed. The event, if you will. I am waiting on my back to be better. And my strength is wearing thin. In fact, it's pretty well gone. Verses about weakness and power and strength have been going around in my head, verses like 2 Corinthians 2:19 and John 15:5. Because I am weak. And the waiting has been hard.

So, then an epiphany! Isaiah 40:31. "Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”

Wait for what? For whom? The Lord. And what is the result? New strength!

This was huge for me. I'm to be waiting on the Lord, not the thing, not the event. Waiting on an event is draining. But waiting on the Lord will result in new strength. It's promised.

So, I'm learning what it means to wait on God, not on healing. A shift of focus. God. Not my body. God. Not my limitations. God. Period.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"If I perish, I perish."

A few things have been occupying my thoughts lately. Jessie, Maggie and I are currently attending a weekly Beth Moore Bible study on Esther. I've always liked the story, but, man, what a depth that, to this point, has eluded me. I am learning so, so much.

The three primary areas that are hitting me in my life right now are Fear, Waiting and Misplaced Responsibility. I think I'll just tackle the fear part tonight.

Esther's situation as the Jewish Queen of Persia, in the midst of a plot by a wicked man (who comes from a long line of Jew-haters), who is determined to exterminate the race to which she belongs, brings into stark relief the issue of fear. Imagine receiving word that in eleven months, you and all your family would be butchered by your enemies. ELEVEN MONTHS. Eleven months to think about it, ponder it, have the fear roil in your belly, consume your mind, and shatter your world. That's on the street level.

On the royal level, Esther is told by Mordecai she must go to the king, uninvited, and plead the case for her people.

“Yeah, right, Uncle. I could loose my head over this. And did I mention, I haven't seen him in a MONTH?”

Her uncle informs her that if she doesn't go, deliverance will come from elsewhere, but in the process she and her family will loose their lives.

Well, long story short, she decides to do it. She fasts for three days, then dresses in her royal robes and heads for the King's throne room – and doesn't loose her head.

But what about those three days? No food. No water. Extreme fast. Fear for her life. For the lives of her people. Gut-wrenching fear. But somehow, during those three days, she comes to a place of action. She must have overcome her fear to the point that she could move. What happened?

Beth brings out an amazing option, one which the Lord has drilled into me in the subsequent weeks.

What if she came to the place that she could say, “If he kills me, he kills me. God is still God.” Whoa. If the worst that can happen, happens, God is still God. GOD.

Now there is no mention of God in the whole of the book of Esther. But His fingerprints are all over it anyway. Always are. But knowing that Esther was raised a Jew, she knew the God of her fathers. It had to play into her thinking.

So, I had a few sleepless nights recently. The Lord brought to my mind this issue of dealing with fear. Now, I am not a naturally fearful person. I don't lie awake thinking of all the awful things that might happen to me or my loved ones. But on these nights, God was taking me on a journey to teach me something of Himself. He asked me some “what if” questions. What if you couldn't see? Or hear? Or both? Would I still be God? Wow. What if no one wanted to talk to you anymore? What if your husband and kids didn't like you? What if? Would I still be God?

Well, I had to go there with Him. No choice. So I did. And it was kind of amazing. I realized in the midst that, yes, He would still be God. I would still be His. And He would meet me there, no matter what. And in that place there is PEACE. Peace.

So, with Esther, I have come to a place of being able - right now - to say, “If the worst happens........then GOD.”

“If I perish, I perish.”


Spring is showing up, one flower at a time!

This week the daffodils bloomed. And we discovered primroses peeking out from their leaves. And the rhubarb is growing!

Yesterday, my sister-in-law brought us flowering branches from her orchard and the house is looking much more cheerful than a couple of days ago.

Praise God for the seasons changing, as He promised they would do while the earth remains:

"While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
And cold and heat,
And summer and winter,
And day and night Shall not cease."
Genesis 8:22

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sunny Blessings in February

Man, I can hardly believe we actually did some gardening in February! Boomer did the tilling and Maggie a little planting while I looked on and cheered. We have never done any outside planting in February. Not even in California. We'll see how things go. The peas are in and a couple of small plantings of chard and lettuce. The broccoli and cabbage plants are waiting on the potting table for a bit longer.......I found deer prints in the garden today right where I was hoping to plant them. I guess close to the house doesn't matter to the hungry critters.

The reprieve of sun in February is something that keeps me going every year. It breaks up the winter and gives me hope of spring. And the warmth is so welcome. And now we are into March. Officially the month of spring. Bring it on!