May 1, 2017

Where I Am - 'NOW HERE'

There are many times I find myself saying "Where Am I?".
     - I get to the parking garage after a long day of working, studying and class and look up at all 5 floors wondering - I barely remember the beginning of the day, it's blur,  and all that still needs to be done let alone which floor I left the van on.  "Where Am I?!!"
     - I just spent the last several hours under piles of research and studying.  There are piles of papers around the table, my computer has multiple screens pulled up, and there's an unfinished sentence on the paper in front of me that holds my action item list.  I just returned focus after a phone call that concluded with me facing and sorting through some personal things that weigh on my heart.  Looking down at the spread of  chaos in front of me I can only say out loud "Where Am I?!"
     - Late, late at night (or early, early in the morning --- or somewhere in between) my mind and my heart reel from topic to topic and person to person.  'A' has so much going on in life and has this person making things more difficult with drama- drama 'A' doesn't need at this moment and is really only due to this person's narcissism and need for recognition.  'B' isn't sure where life is going to land after circumstance changed positions.  What if's flood through my thought process about health issues as I need to make decisions regarding testing and  treatment for chronic health situation after learning results. My van has twice now responded with an eerie deadness when I turned the key to start it - while it's eventually started I have a feeling of impending doom and wonder at what point are repairs really being 'nickel-ed and dime-ed to death'.  Juggling school, family, projects, commitments, planning for events in my mind - each has its list of what must be done; all that I need to obtain; people to be contacted; and more. And now I'm wide awake with a migraine wondering how it got to be hours later; wondering how I'm going to get through the day and be effective; wondering where this 'adventure in thought' all began and realizing this day actually is starting ready or not. "Where Am I?!"
     -I am at a meeting yet find myself toggling between  multiple computer screens in down moments where I am not needed or during items don't really apply to me.  We'll not mention my pulling out my phone to check messages or how I add to the notes section of my grocery list for the way home or those moments i looked at the clock then out the window thinking about a dear one who's life was just turned upside down.  Looking back at the agenda and my computer I think "Where Am I?!"

These are not isolated events for me (as I am sure is the case for many).  And I could go on and on with situation after situation as examples.  

I don't know how I fell into this trap over the years and become so complacent about existing in this space and pace that has allowed outside forces impact me and my life to the point that I now find myself physically.... emotionally... spiritually.  

Recently, life has both forced and yet so graciously and beautifully allowed me to pause and BE.  I've been taking stock as to WHERE I AM and learning life lessons.

"When your mind is everywhere, it is nowhere." I didn't want to be 'nowhere'. I both want and need to be 'now  here'.  Going from 'nowhere' to 'now here' is just a matter of a single space.  The space I take to BE.  The space of time I now use to remind myself ..
"Where am I? - HERE: When am I? - NOW."  
Going from 'nowhere' to 'now here' is a matter of a space in which I hold today - consciously -  not allowing moments slip through my fingers half lived by worrying, longing, planning, multi-tasking and all that puts me nowhere.

Over the past few weeks I have been effortfully being 'now here'.  I take the space I need to breathe - to BE.  When I began this, I heard words in a song multiple times from multiple sources that I finally took space to listen to:

Breathe, just breathe. Come and rest at My feet
 and BE.  Just BE. 
Chaos calls but all you really need 
is to just breathe.

Interesting how GOD always finds ways to meet me right WHERE I AM.  HE called - I listened and will hopefully continue to do so as I go through each day making that space to go from 'nowhere' to 'now here'.  This is WHERE I AM.... N-O-W experiencing the blessings of joy and peace in life that 'now here' brings.

My prayer for you is to put your own space in 'nowhere' and find the same joy and peace.

"This is the day the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it".

April 18, 2017

My Mother's Bible - The Legacy Found


In this moment I was still.

During this past week my spirit was all but still.
A phone call - Mom had fallen... fractured skull, multiple brain bleeds; an immediate flight across the country; hours of driving; decisions; sitting bedside; tears; conversations; prayers; more tears; arrangements; visitations; a service.

But for this moment, I was still - not moving; motionless; quiet.
In this moment I sat on the couch in a quiet room in a quiet house - not moving and not making a sound.
The silence was broken by a deep quiet sigh that seemed to hush my soul as I cast my eyes downward and to the left.

There it sat.  


I picked it up.
As I opened it God's "still, small voice" spoke.  Hidden blessing poured into my being. 
At first there were not words - just realization.  I was no longer in the emptiness of quiet.  I was in the calm of presence... both the presence of the Father whose love knows no bounds and in the comforting presence of my dearest friend, my mentor, my prayer warrior, my encourager... my mom.

Then the words came. 
They were my mother's words in her handwriting. 

Words of encouragement, support, comfort.  Words of trust, peace, blessed assurance.
Words of FAITH.
I "listened" to her words. As she "spoke" them I couldn't help but sit in awe and wonder as I turned pages and looked at the margins filled with her writing that held her thoughts and prayers.  She had so much to share...  Actually she'd given so much - not just in this moment but over a lifetime.  With God's Word she had nurtured our faith as we grew; prayed for us daily - - - even to her last earthly day.  What a gift! Blessing beyond measure. 
In the STILL, her legacy was found.

As I continued to turn pages, I began to soak in the words she had so purposefully underlined.
And my spirit heard the sound of STILLNESS. The Father's Word spoke.

"Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD which he will work for you today... The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be still"(Exodus 14:13-14).

"My presence will go with you and I will give you rest" (Exodus 33:14).

"The LORD bless you ad keep you:  The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you:  The LORD lift up his Countenance upon you, and give you peace" (Numbers 6:24-26).

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives to I give you  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (John 14:27)

I went to the page that held Psalm 46.  His Word spoke "Be STILL and know that I am God". 
I was reminded that the command "be still" in Hebrew comes from the verb rapha which means "to be weak, to let go, to release". 
Be Still.  As I allowed myself to be weak the tears once again came letting go of all I had held I found release. 

It was my turn for words.
Thank you for your tangible presence.  Thank you for your living Word.  Thank  you for giving your Son that we may live.  Thank you for my mom - for the faithful woman who raised me, loved me, nurtured me in you.  Thank you for releasing her from the sorrow and pain.  Thank you for this time with you... and her.  Allow me to carry her legacy on through You and give my children the blessing it holds."

Yes, in this moment I was STILL.
At rest; serene; restful;  untroubled; peaceful.

 It is my prayer for you to be blessed by the Word and Believe...