BEAUTIFUL SOUL

Beautiful soul,

you were always a dreamer.

Now, you are a dancer among the stars –

a freed spirit from the torment which surrounded you.

Beautiful soul,

life unfairly stole your breath.

But God holds you in His loving arms,

enveloping you in all that should have been.

Written in loving memory of someone gone too soon.

A Lesson in Friendship from the Book of Job

One of my goals for this year is to grow in my relationships. 

This morning as I studied my next section of the Book of Job, I read this:

11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. 12 And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. 13 And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great. (Job 2:11-13 ESV)

THIS is a great example of what a true friend would do. It inspires me. So often I am quick to want to solve their problems, giving unsolicited advice and trying to fix whatever it is that is bothering them. Really, most of the time what people need is a listening ear or someone just to be by their side – to walk through a difficult time with them, to comfort them with a simple “presence”.

What a beautiful (and timely) example and reminder!

45 Word Writing Prompt: Goodnight

Below is a piece for a Weekend Writing Prompt. It had to be 45 words and use the word “Goodnight”. Thanks to Sammi Cox for posting this challenge. See challenge at https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/2022/01/01/weekend-writing-prompt-242-goodnight/

Enjoy!

Winter blows its icy fierce breath. The fireplace counters with crackling warm intentions. She pulls the crocheted afghan tighter around her shoulders. Finally, she closes her book, turns down the flame of the oil lamp until it has disappeared, and whispers goodnight to the world.

Throwback Thursday: INTREPID (a 100 word writing prompt)

Her intrepid personality was something Beth envied. A polar opposite of herself, though Victoria was her identical twin, led to a fantastic comedy designed by nature. Beth’s life was quiet, unassuming, and led with no risk ever being taken. It was a sharp contrast to Victoria’s, full of wandering, risk-taking, and carefreeness. In the darkest corners of her mind, the voices in Beth’s head would convince her that the life Victoria was leading was meant to be hers. Somewhere the life she meant to lead was taken from her. Now, they convinced her, it was time to take it back.

BACK TO MY JOURNALS

I can’t tell you how many journals I have. They started off as places to take sermon notes, then I kept track of quotes I heard, interesting names, really anything that I may want to reference later. That’s how my journaling started.

Then, at the suggestion of a therapist, I began using them to write out my thoughts. It helped to keep obsessive thoughts at bay, to help process thoughts that needed to be process, but also to let go of the ones which were only noise.

Somewhere along the way, though, I stopped using my journals for it. I can’t explain why. I still used them for the quotes and sermon notes, but I stopped writing out my thoughts. I have been trying to figure out the when and the why this happened and can’t put my finger on it.

So, my first entry into diving back into journaling, will be about that. As I look back, I know that not doing it took a tool on my mental health. Clearly, for me at least, journaling is a way to stop thoughts from swirling around constantly and never dissolving.

I could, I suppose, call this piece you are reading my first entry.

Writing has the power to help us process and heal. It can also help us discover our true selves and dive into a world of gratefulness and understanding.

So, back to journaling it is.

In the New Year, I am going to do a Gratitude Journal. Would anyone like to join me? If you have done that, I would love to hear about how you did yours. Let me know in the comments.

HEAVENLY PEACE

“You will keep in perfect peace, those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”  Isaiah 26:3

The Oxford English Dictionary defines peace as “freedom from disturbance, anxiety or stress; emotional calm.”  When I think about peace during this season, I can’t help but think of the song “Silent Night”. I imagine there being a peace over Bethlehem through the night which was unexplainable in human terms – a stillness and tranquility which could only be provided by God.  The stress and anxiousness of waiting for the Messiah was removed and the peace that surpasses all understanding was given unto the people.  

Now, we wait for Him in our lives. Among the busyness of the season and the pace and chaos found in this world, we can’t help but search for this same peace. We know this peace can only be found in Christ. We wait to hear His voice, to have our prayers answered. We wait for Him to return.  We don’t have to be anxious or fearful while we wait.  We can wait with the assurance that His peace will sustain us. We can rest our heads at night and sleep in the “heavenly peace” which comes from trusting and remaining steadfast in Him. 

“Cast your cares on the Lord   and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

PRAYER

Lord, thank You for the peace You have blessed us with. When I am anxious or fearful, please help me receive the peace only You can offer and to have the assurance that it will sustain me. Amen.

JOY TO THE WORLD

And the angel said to them, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you, is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

Joy to the World, the Lord is come…

What joy and what gladness the birth of Jesus brought to this world.  He came into a world of oppressed and hopeless people.  He came to bring them, bring us over 2000 years later, this same promise.

Let every heart prepare him  room…

To experience the full joy of Jesus we must prepare a place for him.  We must open our hearts to him, but what exactly does that mean?  It means humbling yourself, letting yourself let go of the mundane and menial things of this world, and giving yourself totally to the control of God.  It’s preparing your heart to meet Him each day by spending time in His word and in prayer.

And heaven and nature sing…

This joy, this unspeakable joy, is expressed throughout the heavens and earth.  Open your heart and listen.  The angels that sang that night are the same angels that sing over us today.

Open your ears…open you hearts and feel the great Joy! The Lord has come!

REFLECTION

Have you been struggling with experiencing joy?  Pray for God to show you what in your heart or life may be a stumbling block to it.  We need open, clear hearts and ears.  Sometimes prayer is the only way to figure out what is getting in our way of it.

REJOICING IN REPLY

 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around.His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles.The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth.” Psalm 18:1-5

The hymn “Angels we have Heard on High” was written mainly to focus on the story of the shepherds meeting the heavenly hosts in field who are singing in full chorus, “Gloria, In Excelsis Deo. However, I think there is another beautiful part to this hymn. The part where the mountains echo the angels’ joyous strains. Throughout scripture, we see mountains tremble and shake. Here is a moment when the beauty of God’s creation echoes back with delight the lyrics and joy of the angels. 

As a kid, echoes fascinated me. I remember standing above the Grand Canyon and yelling “hello” just to hear my own voice echo back to me. I remember what that felt like, the awe and mystery of it. When I think about the mountains echoing back the chorus of the angels, it makes me tremble. I can’t even imagine what those country shepherds felt like!

Just as the mountain replied, “Glory to God in the Highest” while rejoicing at the news of the Savior being born, the shepherds echoed the call by being sent to find the Newborn King. With echoes of rejoicing in delight, we can follow the example of the mountains and the shepherds.

 “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”  Luke 2:20 

What was probably just another night to them was transformed into a Holy night. A night that transformed the world. A Holy night that transformed us.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

REFLECTION

What burdens are you carrying? Maybe you feel hopeless, as the weights you hold bring you down. Hope came down that night. Hope came for you. Look up at the stars reflecting the light of hope brought by love down to earth. Hope. Freedom. All found in Christ. Lay your burdens down at the feet of hope.

%d bloggers like this: