Soul Satisfaction

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
    and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
    and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63:5-8 ESV

IMG_4665

Please join me with a cup of tea or your beverage of choice and muse with me for a few minutes. I have been reading through the Psalms and these verses jumped out of the page to me this week. I love it when a regular reading plan miraculously expresses my heart on that day, don’t you? It feels like the Spirit whispers the words of my soul when my mind cannot piece together a representative reflective sentence.

The last time I wrote an entry I was in the midst of painful waiting… relating to David’s words written in the wilderness at the beginning of Psalm 63.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
    beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
    in your name I will lift up my hands.

Psalm 63:1-4 ESV

 Those words described my feelings and hopeful eyes focusing on God while waiting for news in the desert of uncertainty. But then, just like the wonder and color of Oz to Dorothy  Gale from the black and white dusty tornado driven Kansas home – the news came that we had been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK. God had taken me in the swirling storm to a place of rest. I still choke up when I watch that scene in the classic film when the house lands and suddenly there is no sound, and Dorothy holding Toto, her beloved dog, opens the door to see the color and wonder of Oz. Somehow, that is how I imagine heaven to be like. C.S. Lewis imagines heaven represented in several of his stories as a place of light, intense colors, tastes and touch. A place that is more real than what we experience here in this life, in what Lewis called the Shadowlands. 

The granting of this kind of visa allows us to enjoy the next chapter of life, to root down deeper here in the Shire at our Pilgrims Rest. It means we are free to continue to strengthen relationships here and provide a place of refuge and retreat to other pilgrims. God carried me in His stable steadfast love while our future was up in there air – like Dorothy’s house. And now I can join David in his song of soul satisfaction. I  enjoy the taste of food slowly and carefully prepared because we are staying. I  praise Him afresh for His wondrous provision in politically uncertain times. I  thank Him when I awake in the night remembering His help in this time of waiting.

I  sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

If you are struggling through the haze of a tornado wondering where your soul will land, I encourage you to seek Him, thirst for Him, look for His presence in the storm and trust in His steadfast love, praise Him with thankfulness for even the little things, and reach out to Him. You will find soul satisfaction for He is the only true source of anything good we can ever hope for in this life.

Stay in the shadow of His wings. Please share how I may pray for you if you are in the midst of a storm, or perhaps a praise if He has brought you to a place of peace. My kettle is always ready to boil to share a cup of tea with mama g.

Daniel Gerhartz - "In the Shadow of His Wings" Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his feather and under his wings you will find refuge;:

Staying Present in the Midst of Uncertainty

In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.“(This is Water Commencement speech by David Foster Wallace )

I was reading an article from the New York Times by David Brooks (Putting Grit in Its Place) when the above  Wallace quote in it struck me – wham! David Brooks is challenging what he calls the “destructive elements” behind academic grade point average scores (GPAs), that are used in America. He couched the above quote with his own words, “at the highest level, our lives are directed toward some telos, or vision of the good life. Whether we are aware of it or not, we’re all oriented around some set of goals. Quote. Some worship money, or power or popularity or nursing or art, but everybody’s life is organized around some longing. The heart is both a driving engine and a compass.”

Now this was addressing the US education system, but I sensed the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “ponder this for yourself and call others to join in the conversation.”

To give some context of where my heart is these days – I am waiting in the Hobbit Shire of Worthing wondering if we shall plant here or be forced to move to another land to continue serving in our broader roles. My husband and I are waiting for the hopeful granting of indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Our host government has held our passports for over 4 months now that has caused us to cancel three key business trips. I catch myself feeling restless trying to stay attuned to the needs around me, both in the home and in our local community. I actually hear the rare-to-me word, “bored” seeping into the quagmire of my mind. My mom would chide me for that when I was young, giving me something to do, most likely a chore.

Quantock Home 59I love my community of neighbors, friends, young adults, and visitors to our home we named Pilgrims Rest…but…will we be able to remain or will we be forced to move on? When I take the time to ponder these unknowns, I slap my thoughts and chastise myself, saying, “Stop inner grumbling when thousands of refugees are flooding Europe for survival and hopes of a better life! I have choices. I have options. I have resources. I have much to be thankful for! Stop!”

Funny side note: many people call the town we live in, The Waiting Room of God because so many pensioners come here to retire. I am realizing that I need to accept this waiting room God has placed us in. But as someone who likes travel, meeting new people and meeting up with kindred brothers and sisters for spiritual survival living cross-culturally – it is difficult. I will confess it.

Another interesting fact about the rhythm of my life is that I have often experienced change every six years…we have lived here six years this month. It is as if my spirit is wondering, will there be another change ahead? I have heard this from many whom I love who have had to move a lot due to work or calling – the crossroads moments when that wave is approaching the shore of whether to move on or root deeper in. Do I ride the waves allowing them to take me where the current goes, or do I plant my feet in the sand allowing the sand to cover them? We shall see what the Lord has in store. For now I simply walk along the shore…waiting… embracing the ache of wanting to be with loved ones across the waters, trying to stay present with those here now.

IMAG4145

So this quote above reminds me to renew my sense of worship.To reboot. To ask myself what, or better, whom do I worship? What am I hoping for? What are my goals even in this waiting room? As a Christ follower, I need to be a willing sheep. I need to move when He says move and stay when He says stay. I need to daily submit my desires to His plan and purposes. I need to keep my eyes focused on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2) 

If He endured the cross, despised the shame, set me free from the slavery of sin, adopted me as His daughter, and is preparing a place for me…then I can rest in that for now realizing that the best is yet to come, but I have His strength and empowerment to live with Kingdom life now – today.

Keep on trusting, Keep on trusting…Keeping eyes open to His opportunities to love others in His name every day. Lord help this wandering sheep. Turning to one of my favorite hymns to spur me on… an 8th century Old Irish one… Be Thou My Vision

Now please join in the discussion… what keeps you going when in a time of waiting? How do you keep centered and focused? I would love to read your thoughts or hear your favorite music that ministers to your soul at these times of patience-building.

Have a cup of tea or a mug of coffee and join in…

Servant Queen

 

When I think of Queen Elizabeth II, the descriptive words that come to mind are faithful perseverance. She has stayed the course and continues to run her race doggedly even at ninety. She obviously paces herself well – something to be admired.

Queen Elizabeth II  (Fabulous artistic video)

Such a contrast to Argentina’s Eva Peron from the musical Evita: “The choice was mine and mine completely. I could have any prize that I desired. I could burn with the splendor of the brightest fire, or else – or else, I could choose time. Remember… I was very young then. And a year was forever and a day. So what use could fifty, sixty, seventy be? I saw the lights, and I was on my way. And how I lived. How they shone! But how soon the lights were gone.”

Britain’s longest reigning monarch has lived firmly and prudently. Now, there is word one rarely hears these days. She has lived through so much history and I would like to invite anyone reading this humble blog to share what you may know about her from your sources. Below I shall bullet point some of the interesting facts to me about her life (largely taken from a a newly released tribute titled, The Servant Queen and the King she serves):

  • She was born in 1926
  • She never went to university, but she has been the adviser and confidante to twelve Prime Ministers.
  • She still works over 40 hours a week.
  • She employs 1200 people but feeds her own dogs.
  • She can rebuild the 6-cylinder engine of an Austin K2 Ambulance.
  • She can trek hatless for hours on her Fell pony across the windswept Highland moors.
  • She attends church weekly, even on holidays, and prays daily – when she is in residence at the Sandringham Estate, she often slips in quietly through the side entrance, not wanting to draw attention to herself. 
  • Her trust in Jesus Christ is central to her.
  • She doesn’t have to invite a different church minister every weekend of her Balmoral holiday to spend time with her family, but she does.
  • She has been married to one man for 69 years! Now that is something to be amazed at in this day and age, right?!
  • There are no reliable recorded incidents of the Queen losing her temper, using bad language, or refusing to carry out a duty expected of her. (OK, that is completely humbling!)
  • She was a Girl Guide.
  • She lost her father, King George VI (King’s Speech king) when she was only 26.
  • She had her mother around until she was 76, her mother died at 102.
  • She lost her mother and younger sister the same year.
  • Her husband, Prince Philip gave up all his foreign titles as an heir to the Greek throne to marry her, and his income as a Navy Lieutenant was only £11 a week.( He is a whole other interesting man that perhaps I shall share what I know of on another post.)
  • Before her official public coronation, she was anointed by the Archbishop in a simple white dress in a secret ceremony, committing to serve rather than be served. (She says that that private ceremony was the most solemn and important moment of her entire life.
  • She does not determine policy but she takes her constitutional right and duty to express her views on government matters very seriously – usually through the use of questions. (she obviously has coaching skills)
  • She praises the work of the everyday citizen regularly.
  • She drove the Crown Prince Abdulluh of Saudi Arabia herself around the grounds of Balmoral estate – now there is a strong statement of empowering women! (1998)
  • She keeps most of her thoughts to herself unlike so many celebrities today. For example she met with Margaret Thatcher every week for 11 years, but there is no public account of what she thought of her. Or Tony Blair for that matter.
  • She is almost never late for anything or anyone, regardless of their rank, because she sees lateness as a mark of disrespect. (Humbled again!)
  • She never treats her staff like servants and almost never calls upon them when they are off duty.
  • She receives thousands of letters and cards but she has an amazing memory for detail and tremendous care for individual people.
  • On the day of Princess Diana’s death she and her grieving grandsons went to their local church in Balmoral.
  • One of the rare times she was late was when in 2005, she was visiting Auschwitz for the 60th anniversary of its liberation along with a large group of Holocaust survivors – she stayed and stayed listening to every person’s personal story. Wow!
  • Caring for one’s neighbor is the recurring theme in the Queen’s broadcasts, and apart from the accounts of Jesus’ birth, the passage of the Bible she most often cites is Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan.
  • She still rides her horses and values taking time to rest.
  • She highly values family even with all the schedule demands.
  • She has shown herself highly adaptable to changes in technology and culture, growing up before TV, the internet or the jet engine. (Prince Philip has helped her with this.)
  • She was “delighted” to make her film debut in the “Bond”-themed cameo at the opening of the 2012 Olympics.
  • In all her years as Queen, there has never been a whiff of scandal about the Queen herself. Amazing!

She has shown herself a woman of integrity and consistent of character. May the Lord bless and keep her and the Royal Family. May His strength carry her through until He calls her home, for she certainly will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Don’t you think? Here is my favorite picture of her! Perhaps she is part mermaid! I love her all the more!

Happy 90th Birthday, Queen Elizabeth!

 

Queen_3564581b-large_trans++pJliwavx4coWFCaEkEsb3kvxIt-lGGWCWqwLa_RXJU8

Long live the Queen! Living in England now for over six years has enlarged my understanding and appreciation of the Royals, and I have gained a genuine admiration for the Queen. Before living here, I was more of a Princess Diana fan, especially since we were the same age, and both married our “Prince’s” the same year. The news and depiction of the Queen in the past had made her seem cold and unfeeling, but there are always other aspects of people, aren’t there? “There is always something you don’t know” as one of my colleagues quotes often from his dad. There are often layers of life that make people who they are today.  She is a quiet and private person, but her faith seems to shine brighter each year.  I would like to make amends for my premature judgments of the woman who turns 90 today. Long may she reign!

The people wish the Queen Happy Birthday!

Before we explore what I have learned since living here, I would like to share a fun juicy tidbit of my life. When I was 17 I actually saw the Royals at Windsor Park in the flesh. I had been traveling with a choir and band representing America that summer. My dying Daddy’s dream had been for me to experience Europe – this was my ticket. That trip has had a lasting impact on my life, and I marvel that where that trip began, all those years ago, is where I live now. Who would have thought that frisky California boy-crazy girl would end up living in England serving in missions?! (… a self-debasing note, typical of British banter).

Our choir and band’s first landing was London and our hotel wasn’t near the Palace so I was a little shocked at how dirty the area of London was that we stayed in. This didn’t look like Cherry Tree Lane in Mary Poppins? My first real culture shock experience which blew my British fantasies asunder. So when we made our way to the countryside to tour Windsor castle my soul was revived and my love of England rekindled with caution. Four of us singing girls had decided to stay in Windsor after the castle tour because London just seemed dirty and too scary, at least for me – I am more drawn to the country. So as the rest of the touring group filled the buses, we found a cute pub to eat a traditional Plowman’s lunch and were informed by a friendly elderly couple that the Royals were in residence and would be driving through the park at half past one – should we care to see them.

Would this fairy-tale-loving, bursting-with-hormones teen girl want to see Royalty?! Duh!!!! As soon as we gobbled down our fresh pub fair, we set off to the park probably almost at skipping speed! We advisedly positioned ourselves next to the middle of the paved road that went straight through the park. We surely stood out conspicuously as there was hardly anyone in sight. The chapel bells tolled the appointed time. With eager eyes fixed to our left towards the castle gate…the first Royal Rolls appeared. My heart was beating madly with excitement as the line of Royal cars drove slowly towards us… First there was the Queen mother, I recall, then Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and then came Charles and Andrew…would you believe those two Princes rolled down their windows and winked and waved at us?!

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward Credit Anwar Hussein, WireImage

The Royal Princes Charles and Andrew were still unattached in this late-70’s picture

Visions of being a princess living in a castle pranced in my head as you can imagine! We were, as they say here, gobsmacked! I would have loved to have heard the commentary of the Princes as they drove away – wouldn’t you?  Was Charles already wishing he could marry Camilla? Had Andrew even imagined someone like Fergie in his life? She was much more outgoing like us Americans have a reputation here. The British, if you don’t know, value reserve and emotional repression. It is generally a sign of class.  So seeing the British Royal Princes in their respectable parade rolling down the windows and waving and winking to four obviously American girls was such a surprise! So apparently they did have their moments of behaving like the current Prince Harry. LOL!

Now sadly, I along with the world have watched these same princes marry, have children, and divorce and remarry. After Princess Dianna’s tragic ending I have thanked the High King of Heaven that I did not marry an earthly prince…too much pressure. I just watched a documentary of the Queen’s worst year. It was 1992 which included Royal divorces, Royal affairs, Royal privacy breached by the Biography of Princess Di (a very unhealthy woman physically, mentally, and emotionally), and the Windsor fire. Her responses showed the depth of her heart in several speeches given at the end of that notorious year.

1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an “Annus Horribilis”. I suspect that I am not alone in thinking it so. Indeed, I suspect that there are very few people or institutions unaffected by these last months of worldwide uncertainty. (November)

You, my Lord Mayor, and all those whose prayers -fervent, I hope, but not too frequent – have sustained me through all these years, are friends indeed. Prince Philip and I give you all, wherever you may be, our most humble thanks. 

Her simple foundation of faith began young. For example, as World War II loomed in 1939, thirteen year old Elizabeth, handed her father a poem by Minnie Louise Haskins. He quoted it on his King’s speech of that year.

I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year

Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied, “Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God.

That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.”

There is a steady strength in this woman Queen and a solid faith. Perhaps I shall share some more about this Queen over another cup of tea with mama g…watch this space. There will be celebrations going on for months.

So what have been your views on the Queen? Share your comments, please.

 

 

 

 

Kindred spirits – celebrating friendship

There are certain people that resuscitate the soul like oxygen to the dying. Do you have people like that in your life?

The last few weeks have been littered with life-sucking times of drowning  for me – sleepless nights, hives, and frustration-filled losses. So when my dear soul-breather- friend, Michèle, arrived it was like light appearing in a dark damp dungeon.

Within moments of her arrival, there was laughter coming forth from the depths, lightening the atmosphere as she reflectively shared her challenges of driving the rental car on the left side in the dark from the airport. I love how she can giggle at her stresses. We did that often together while serving the missionary community in Germany.

Her creative mind with endless questions and fabulous stories inspires me beyond words. She is a published author whose articulation of words woven in humorous depth and passion draw me in hook, line and sinker, where I am lost in the characters and the events. I love that because we have shared so much of our own life narratives, I can feel the Michèle-moments written into the paragraphs. It makes me feel closer to her somehow. When she has handed me the wrapped pages of her novels before being sent off to publishers, it has been like being at a birth of a baby… precious sacred moments.

IMAG4003It was fun this time to explore and research for the evolving novel she is currently writing. We visited aged castles, ruins, ancient trees, and favorite village churches. We walked around small lakes, along the seafront, and around thatched cottages taking pictures, swapping stories and enjoying teas, coffees, cakes and other assortments of yummy foods. We eagerly discovered historical legends that will feed her plot line. My soul was refilling – I could practically see the tank gaining fuel.

After three full days I had to let her move on… to go forth in her own story. Yes, there were some more additional tears to add to my tear bottle, but they were blessed through our going to the Father together, making them sacred with reminders that kindred hearts are beautiful and rare and to be treasured.

So until next time, my heart is strengthened and I can thank the Good Lord for lending me this beloved friend in whom I delight.

Journeying mercies as you soar within the folds of His wings.

May all who read this find that blessing of kindred spirit friendship – in my experience, they are often not obvious at first, but with prayerful and intentional shepherd guidance and sometimes prodding from students, (Alliushka), your life is forever changed. Mine was and is through this precious gift named Michèle.

Reeser2As a shared postscript… we are missing Mari Ellen, our mutual beloved sister-friend… yearning for the day when we are together again in Paradise… your bubbly laughter will call us and your gentle reminder that it is good to be aware of losses and allow oneself to grieve. Ok, need to grab my tear bottle again…

If you are an MK (missionary’s kid), love them, parent them, or are simply interested to discover her amazing novels, here is Michèle’s site:

http://michelephoenix.com/

 

 

“Love’s as hard as nails.”

It is Good Friday and the sun shines brightly outside my windows. Before I even leave the comfort of my warm bed, I am reminded of a beloved poem by C. S. Lewis…with the final stanza…

Love’s as hard as nails,IMAG3950
Love is nails:
Blunt, thick, hammered through
The medial nerves of One
Who, having made us, knew
The thing He had done,
seeing (with all that is)
Our cross, and His.

Since reading this poem I have been drawn to handcrafted nails. I have known some who have actually made their wedding wings from bent nails.

The truth of the cross became personal for me my senior year of high school – one of the most turbulent years of my life. My Daddy’s earthly life had finally given into cancer after two years of suffering only weeks before my senior year would begin. I remember living  the first semester in a daze, anchorless, rudderless, as if walking in a dream. There were people walking beside me, but none were able to guide me through this deep cavern of loss. There was only one set of footprints – my Lord and my God’s.

As Easter approached, the poignant mini-series,  Jesus of Nazareth, was airing. We had watched it as a family before, but this time, in the quiet of my own room on my little TV set, I watched it by myself. The words of Jesus came alive. The script was almost completely woven from Scripture. I still had not read or understood much of the Bible so with the power of this visual arts medium the Word became living and active in a way never before  experienced. I felt like Jesus was there with me as I watched. It was a divine encounter that quickens  my heart even as I write this. Director Franco Zeffirelli’s artistry and treatment of the life of Jesus still moves me today and has been a part of our family traditions both at Christmas and Easter for many years.

It was the moment that the Roman soldiers pierced His hands and feet that I lost it. It was as if all the pushed back grief, the self protective trying to do life my way, the silly bargain I had made with God after Daddy died asking Him to let me do what I want to my senior year and then I shall submit to His plans for me, and the bad choices all fell at the foot of the cross like in Pilgrims Progress. I screamed on my bed with gut wrenching sobs “Noooo!” His suffering was more than I could bear. I became emotionally hysterical! I was undone! As Jesus hung on that cross looking at me in my room through the TV – His words “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” – that was for me. I can barely write for the power of the memory overwhelms me. Then when Jesus commits His spirit and proclaims, “It is Finished!” – the cost of the redemption for my sin becomes real. A nail in the wall of my life is hammered in. His suffering unto death for me.

This week I have suffered three nights of hives, itchy red fevered patches of bumps for no reason I can figure. Last night they didn’t come even as we emotionally commissioned one of our young adult adoptees moving to London. My best friend in California texts me a spirit filled prayer for healing. I am once again reminded of the film where Zeffirelli beautifully places these prophetic words from Isaiah 53 coming from the mouth of Nicodemus standing at the cross…

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

That passage comes to life for me continually even in this Holy Week when I battled hives. It is a physical reminder that I am in need of a Savior and a Wounded Healer.

He dies so that I might live and be reconciled to my Creator God. I can call Him Abba Father now. I am His daughter. I am loved. I belong. I am secure in Him.

It’s Friday, but Sunday is Comin’!

So when did this Good Friday become personal for you? Please do share with mama g…

 

Tears

” You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 NLT

I have been thinking a lot about tears lately. The topic seems to keep coming up in my head, in my reading, and in conversations. Does that happen to you? I find great comfort that God treasures my tears and stores them. He actually records my times of sorrow and pain. And yet, I confess I struggle with allowing my tears to flow. I confess that often when I really need to let loose a flood of tears, I hold it at bay with angry tension. It is ridiculous self protection on my part because I simply do not want to give sadness or loss space or time. It feels out of control and I struggle with letting go…there are meals to prepare, dishes to clean, someone who needs some support, an email to write, an event to plan and so forth. It feels so selfish and self indulgent to grieve. I mean, what have I to complain about? And yet, God seems to value my release of tears. He created them as a way to release stress hormones, or so the scientists have discovered. My friend Mari Ellen used to be my best reminder to this important truth…but she is in heaven now. I miss her.

I can almost hear the Lord say, “Let it go” – to the tune of Frozen theme song that we have heard way too many times. It is difficult to drink tea when one has a lump in your throat and an unexpressed ache in your heart. When I was discipling students at Black Forest Academy in Germany, unresolved grief was a big topic because we were living in a missionary community where separation from loved ones was the norm. When I discovered this verse, I started looking for representative tear bottles to give as gifts as reminders that God does not look on tears as weakness, but as precious. I keep one in my kitchen where I spend most of my time as a reminder to myself, but I confess I often ignore it and secretly whisper to my soul – not today.

IMAG3937

Today is the first day of Spring and it is also a time when many of us enter into the Passion Week heading to Easter. It hit me yesterday, Palm Sunday, while on the back of the Silver Steed heading to a Christian Motorcycle outreach event ( I often have epiphanies while riding pillion) of the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears. Now that was a lot of tears! Read the account for yourself from Luke 7:36-50. She was described as a woman who had lived a sinful life so it took great courage and love for her to even enter the Pharisee’s house! Jesus’ affirming response of love in front of all those gawking men must have been so redemptive and empowering. Her sacrifice of love absolutely humbles me. She must have left that place so much lighter and freer and soul healed! So we have this example of tears of repentant love as a healing sacrifice – I cannot wait to meet this women in heaven and hear about the rest of her earthly story!

Now I grew up idolizing Pollyanna positivism playing the “Glad game” (1960 Disney film with Hayley Mills – Pollyanna), so allowing myself to cry is hard for me, but I must give it space for there are daily reminders that we live in a broken world full of people in need of redemption, love and healing and I am one of them. Tears are a gift of healing release from the Abba Father and I must make space to climb on His lap and allow Him to hold me often with Jesus- in -skin people in my life. I seem to have no problem allowing others to share their tears with me, which actually blesses me because then I can allow myself to mourn with them.  How often I remind others, “blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). May I take my own advise and in this week heading to Easter, may I allow myself to sit at the feet of Jesus and wash His feet with my tears in worship. If you are nearby and need a good cry and a warm embrace, please ring me up – we can share together our tears.

Text coming in…so just after writing this…the Lord gives me someone to cry with…haven’t even published this entry.

Jesus wept.

Tea with a view

IMAG2882Quick post…California girl soaks up sunshine while enjoying a proper cup of tea. This was the reward after riding pillion on my hubby’s Silver Steed to Leith Hill National Trust last Spring. Sunshine and a hot cup of tea in a warm spot with a lovely view of the English countryside – does life get any better? And with traditional china and some yummy English tea cakes. Do you have a special place you like to stop for a cuppa? Please share with mama g…

Image

Welcome to tea with Mama G

IMAG3908The tea kettle is bubbling. My special blend is ready in the English tea pot. It is mid March in coastal south England. The air is briskly cold with birds singing warming songs in the midst of the cloudy sky and seagulls soaring overhead. Please come sit with me in my warm kitchen and let’s share some soul talk.

Let’s weave some life stories and make a tapestry together and see clearer the Master’s design. I am joining this blogging realm to discover, to connect, to grow, to encourage, and be encouraged. I want to have a space where my relational worlds can meet.

I am called many things…Nana G, Aunt Ne Ne, Mamu, Matushka, Sis, Mom, Grubb-a-lub, Buddy, Renée, Fizzy, and often Mama G. With each of those names comes accompanying love and warmth and deep value. One of the most helpful descriptions of my life calling that really resonates with me, especially as a woman, is “relational guardian” (Captivating by the Eldredges). And the most important relationship in my worldview is relationship with our Creator God for out of that flows the life-giving water to love those He has placed in my life.

I have traveled much by plane, train, boat, car, and motorcycle. Each brings a different experience and view. I have lived in 3 countries and learned several languages which also gives different nuances to life interpretation and navigation. I have been married over three decades to my fellow adventurer and my only stable sense of “home”. I have two adult children by birth and countless more “adoptees”. I have four delightful entertaining grandchildren and a brother who is a best friend. I have the most dedicated mother and Papa and most amazingly a lifelong best friend. All of them are far away across the sea as are so many of you that may read this blog. My heart yearns to share a cup of tea with you, to laugh with you and cry with you, but ultimately to grow with you. I will share my heart with you and invite you to share yours with me.

Will you journey forth with me and see what the Abba Father will show us as you have tea with Mama G?