Joy in the journey!

Joy in the journey!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I just read my sister’s blog.....she amazes me. Her blog was about “home”. I was sitting there reading it shouting “yes!” I think this time of year really hits “home” for a lot of people. What is home? I have to quote my sister on this one because I feel exactly the same way she does:

Home is an important place--especially when it's cold outside. It's somewhere that I know I'll be warm and safe, but it's more than that. It's where my family is. It's a place where I can hang around in my pajamas, forget about putting on makeup and no one will vote me off the island. I have a lifetime membership with this clan--warts and all.”

I remember as a little girl going to camp. I was so homesick I thought I would die! I remember the embarrassment of having the camp counselor call my parents to come and pick me up. It was humiliating but I will never forget laying in the back seat after they picked me up, and feeling complete peace.... knowing I was going home. It was worth the embarrassment. To this day I have the expression “I am having one of those I want to go home from camp moments”.

As precious as my home is to me, I am realizing more and more that home is truly where my heart is. Our family has faced a multitude of transitions and hurdles this year. Seeing my son move to Nashville and my sister move to Canada were big hurdles for me. Mom’s cancer, Skipper’s retirement, and my health issues this year caused our family to go through even more transition. At one point I felt like this was the worst season of my life. I felt like I had been punched in the gut and couldn’t breathe! I was having a “camp” moment. I felt lost!

Then the Lord so sweetly showed me that it wasn’t these times that defined my was His presence in my heart that was my defining “safe place”.

This time of year can bring “home” to a whole new light. Family and home can represent complete joy and safety for some, while for others it represents pain, abandonment, hopelessness and loneliness. I have a burden on my heart to pray for those who are hurting during this time of year. I know God wants to be that safe place and redefine “home” for them.

One of my favorite songs is by Bryan Duncan, “When I think of home”. Here is one of the verses:

“There’s a saying: your home is where your heart is....My heart believes its true,

and my home’s so far away. But the seasons and the scenery keep changing, So I’ll make my home with you, ‘Til I’m finally home to stay.

When I think of home, When I’m tired and feeling homeless, I come to you....

You’re where my heart is.

I will end on this quote from my says it all.

Family is powerful. It's the vessel that God chose to usher Jesus into the world when it was very cold and dark outside. Even though Jesus is now preparing a forever-home for me in heaven, His Spirit lives inside of me here on earth and I'm never separated from His presence. No matter what changes, no matter where I go, the presence of God is always with me. That's my real home--that's my happy place.

I want to post my sister’s blog address: Her blogs are amazing...

I often steal quotes from her. Thank you Julie! I want to be like you when I grow up!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Heaven came to visit today.....

The holiday season always brings me such joy. I am always taken back to the days when I was a little girl and my grandma would be baking away in the kitchen. She always had a pot of boiled custard, peanut brittle, and divinity in the making. I remember she always had straight pins in her collar where she could easily get to them as she sewed missions clothes for the little children who had none. But today the memory that stood out in my mind was a song she would hum. She hummed many songs under her breath everyday. She loved the Gaither’s. I used to call those songs she sang “old people songs”. But was one of those “old people songs” that brought heaven very close. I think heaven is closer than we realize. Days like today, I am convinced of it. The pain from this surgery has been more than I expected. It’s been a time of complete surrender to the Lord to know....He’s got it....He will take it for me...and I can rest. Feeling a little discouraged with the recovery process....I plugged in my ipod this morning before I started reading and a song came on....did I put it on there? I didn’t remember doing so. But immediately the harmony resounded.....oh that beautiful harmony that is rarely heard these days in songs was my Grandma’s favorite song.

Shackled by a heavy burden,

'Neath a load of guilt and shame.

Then the hand of Jesus touched me,

And now I am no longer the same.

He touched me, Oh He touched me,

And oh the joy that floods my soul!

Something happened and now I know,

He touched me and made me whole.

Since I met this blessed Savior,

Since He cleansed and made me whole,

I will never cease to praise Him,

I'll shout it while eternity rolls.

He touched me, Oh He touched me,

And oh the joy that floods my soul!

Something happened and now I know

He touched me and made me whole.

I smiled as I sang this song over and over and over....I know Grandma was singing with me. And I know she was smiling at me as I sang at the top of my lungs this “old people song” I used to tease her about.

This year has opened my eyes to so many things in the heavenly realm. When faced with the fragility of life, and how quickly things can’s that complete surrender to Jesus....that brings us so close to His heart that you can feel His breath on your face. I have had many friends walk through tragedy this year....I have seen hearts break. But at the other side of it all, I have seen heaven come down in ways I never dreamed possible.

I closed my eyes after the song was over.....took a deep breath, and then realized.....I could take a deep breath. Before the was too painful. I breathed the deepest breath I could breathe and filled my lungs with air that didn’t hurt! I wiped the tears away.....knowing that in this few minutes singing.....heaven really visited me my room, with my Grandma....and angels were singing with her. His healing touch.....His healing presence.....left me speechless.

He touched me, Oh He touched me,

And oh the joy that floods my soul!

Something happened and now I know

He touched me and made me whole.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jesus Loves Me....this I know.

Once again I am sitting in my bed with my laptop recovering from hopefully my last surgery! I have my dogs snuggled up with me and a husband that is the best nurse ever! I am thankful.

This journey has been quite a journey. And you know I can look back through this year and see God’s handprints all over the place. We are never promised a tomorrow, and I have realized more than ever to savor every second of today. God’s peace is there in the dark places. Many of my friends have faced tragedies this year, and I have seen God meet them in such a precious way. It truly is the peace that passes all understanding. What would we do without that precious peace! Peace is not the absence of affliction, but the presence of God.

We are entering the holiday favorite time of year. I am one of those people who decorate very early. Nothing like eating Thanksgiving dinner by the Christmas Tree! Since I had this surgery so early, I decorated even earlier than usual. I had the most precious friend help me. Emma Hardin, you made decorating day a day I will never forget! I finally found someone who loves the holidays as much as I do! Fun, joy, baking, decorating, and silly dances filled the day! I am so thankful.

I have had a lot of time to reflect, and pray during all this recovery time. It’s been so good for me. I have fallen in love with Jesus in a whole new way. I will not think of 2010 as a year of hard journeys, but as a year where I saw Jesus in ways I never dreamed. It was a year of seeing huge miracles. But mostly it was a year where I felt His presence in the midst of the storm.

They said when I came out of anesthesia this time from surgery I had my arms up in the air and was singing “Jesus loves me”. Yep, peace is not the absence of affliction but the presence of God. How many times have I sung Jesus loves me throughout my life? Many. But this year the reality of how very much He truly loves me....soaked in.

He loves me enough to carry me when I can’t walk, see for me when my sight is blurred, dance over me with singing, when I can’t dance. He lifts me up when I can’t jump the hurdles, carries me when I am under anesthesia and holds me close, and blesses me with such beautiful friendships to pray with me and be an extension of His arms when I need them. I have learned that some days when there is not a song in my heart....sing anyway. Jesus always gives me a new song to sing.

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.....Little ones to him belong...they are weak but He is strong......Yes Jesus loves me....Yes Jesus loves me...

Yes Jesus loves me....the Bible tells me so.

Sing that song today.....sometimes it’s the simple little things, that make profound differences in our heart. Jesus loves you.....really really loves you!