Baby Girl hears as well. She puts down her toy and crawls to where the music is coming out of the computer. Pulling up to stand, she listens.
I am suddenly aware of her presence. She has a far away look, and I know she hears the worship in the music. She doesn’t bounce to the music as she does with other music – this is different to her.
I pull her up into my lap and we sit together.
Baby Girl is ten months old and she seems aware of worship, or is it His presence that she senses?
He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. (Psalms 22:8-10 NIV)
Perhaps worship is not something we learn to do, but something that is cast upon us at birth.
During this time of Lent, let us take time to sit quietly before the Lord Our God and allow our spirit to worship, without structure, without doing it “correctly”.
Let us allow the hope that was placed in us from the womb to open like the flowers in the garden at springtime.
Lent is a time for pulling back from the things of this world so that we can reenter refreshed and renewed.
Let the hope that was place within you at your birth arise and worship Him in spirit and truth.
Allow worship to draw your spirit into His presence, to affirm to you that you are His. This is truth. This is true worship.
When no one is looking, how do you worship?
In the beginning she was my mother-in-law, a feisty women who did not take “no” for an answer. She and her husband raised seven boys.
I watch her flow in and out of sleep.
I did not just lose a husband in the divorce, I lost a family.
When the two become one, the oneness is more than the marriage bed, and children, it is extended family.
And what God joined together, can it ever really become asunder?
I look at my children, the one-ness still exists.
God in His wisdom and mercy allows divorce but from the beginning it was never to be this way. Marriage is a refection of our one-ness with God. We are the bride.
Yet in this fallen world it does exist, and the pain and sorrow causes us to struggle at times with the love of the Bridegroom.
I would scream, “How could you let this happen? I am your child!”
He held me…and I cried… years ago.
I touch her hand, so soft, and smile-remembering.
I remember her waking me at two a.m. to go shrimping. We threw out the Jim Dandy dog food as bait. “They like this stuff”, she would say.
She taught me to cast the net, and cast the net, and cast the net, until a half-dollar shape was formed on my release.
As the sun rose we pickup the bucket full of shrimp, a few crabs and fish, returning to the house. They would be used in the gumbo the next day. She teaches me to make the gumbo; it takes two days to make gumbo.
Several years ago, God in his mercy and love, has restored the friendship. The father of my children and I talk about our children and grandchildren.
My husband is called their friend…only God could do such a thing…only God.
She was my mother-in-law, she is my friend, and I am so grateful.
Quietly she walks in and we don’t notice at first. She seems like just a breath of air and no one notices where it comes from.
The flowers take notice of her and dress in their very best. They dance in the rain rejoicing at her arrival.
As spring comes out of her place of hiding bearing her new birth, and new life, man goes into his place of temporal withdrawal.
As the sap pulls into the roots for nourishment, our souls pull into our spirit searching for nourishing revival in the one who breaths into us life.
We sacrifice with delight, a pleasure of the soul to find greater delight and pleasure in the author and finisher of our faith.
The one who is nourishment for our weary spirit, the new life for our soul.
It is the winter for the soul, so that new life can appear, beginning from the root where all life begins.
Then like the entrance of spring brings forth new life, we rise and show the new life in us. The one who makes all things new.
For this reason I kneel before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your
hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power,
together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and
long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Linking today with Walk with Him Wednesdays and Word filled Wednesday
He walks up the hill and sits on the ground. He who owns it all, who has a throne, sits on a hill, on the ground. He doesn’t go to a temple or church, made with hands that bleed. Hand that will one day return back to the earth, the medium from which they were molded. Hands that make an attempt to build a conduit for accessing God.
He sits on a hill, in the open; his followers then sit with him. The crowds draw near, desperate for a word, or a touch. Desperate to know that God knows their name, their situation, their need touch.
He sits, on a hill, which has no particular glory; not one of the holy hills – hills with history or prophesy, just a hill in Galilee. An everyday hill, talking to everyday people.
He is far from everyday. He is the everyday; everyday past, everyday present, everyday future, it is always present with Him, because He is always present.
We try to wrap our finite mind around the infinite.
He sits on an everyday hill and does the extraordinary.
Heaven is seated on the earth. Heaven is touching earth. The two are one in Him.
Does He look at the crowd and remember each one before the foundation of the earth, before the infant crawls into the womb? Does he run his hand across the grass and remember building with block the first blade?
He sits, and where he is, is a holy place.
I think of this as I walk into the studio. Smiling faces, warm morning light fills the room and reflects off of each face. Who would have ever though that the next hour would be such a holy place. A place where heaven intersects with earth; Where He who is the everyday, touches everyday people using everyday people.
The board lights up. Call after call, asking for prayer. Not ashamed to humble themselves when drawing near, asking for a word, or a touch asking to be a part of the Everyday intersecting our everyday.
I ask God to make me an empty conduit, just empty me, and then fill the conduit with Love, Your Love. Love that strengthens faith, love that encourages, love that believes the best, expects the best and wants us to do the same. The Everyday that wants your everyday to the be exception, the extraordinary, right where you are, next to him on an everyday hill.
It is very warm for a day in February, even for South Alabama standards. I have been married for about two and a half years and today is the due date of our first child. My hands have become too swollen to wear my rings, and I’ve been trying to ignore Braxton Hicks for two days, but today they are coming closer together.
When I became pregnant my weight was one hundred ten pounds. Now there are one hundred thirty-eight pounds hanging on my body, with a pinball rolling around hitting every bone.
A couple of months ago we took a Lamaze class so my husband Doug could stay with me during the birth. Lamaze, sometimes called Natural Childbirth is a prepared childbirth technique developed in the 1940s by French obstetrician Dr. Fernand Lamaze as an alternative to the use of medical intervention during childbirth.
The goal of Lamaze is to increase a mother’s confidence in her ability to give birth; classes help them understand how to cope with pain in ways that both facilitate labor and promote comfort, including focused breathing, movement and massage (^ Childbirth education: Get ready for labor and delivery, Mayo Clinic, July 25, 2009, accessed July 10, 2011.)
Our Lamaze instructor told us a couple of funny quotes from various people to get us ready mentally and prepared to handle the labor pains:
“Carol Burnett said one time that child birth was like taking your bottom lip and pulling it over your head.”
“Bill Cosby told about when the child dropped into the birth canal and his wife grabbed him by his face and told him, ‘You did this to me!’”
We laughed at the stories, not believing that any of the stories were really true. But just incase I vowed ahead of time that I would be a kind Christian woman I had always been. No ugly language, no screaming or saying mean things to my husband.
It is noon and we are on our way to the hospital. Of coarse, as soon as we arrive at the hospital the labour pains stop. But when doctor examines me he determines that the baby is full term and they will move forward and induce to get the labor started again.
This is where the fun begins.
Eight hours into full labor I decide my idea of “Natural Childbirth” is the dumbest idea ever, and announce to everyone that I have changed my mind and wanted drugs. Now! Doug tried to comfort me by telling me that I should try to ignore the pain.
I am not real sure how it happened, but I suddenly realize that I have Doug by the front of his shirt and have him pulled close to my face!
“I want a baseball bat”, I growl between clinched teeth.
“Why?” my husband whispered timidly.
“Because, every time I feel a pain I’m going to hit you as hard as I can with the bat and I want to watch you ignore the pain!” Doug tries to pull away, but another pain hits and I am holding on tightly.
He stares at me like I have just turned green and grown horns.
So much pain over the next few hours, in addition to, the Demerol that made me sick, and an Epidural that did not work, were not helping my attitude.
“Push”, Doug suggested.
“Don’t tell me what to do!” or at least that is what they told me that I said.
Before not long I am holding a beautiful an eight pound little boy in my arms. His thick dark hair and fat rolls are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life .
“Oh”, I whisper, “you are so worth the pain it took to get you here!”
Later that evening, everyone has gone home, and I am alone in the room holding my new baby. Already, instinctly, I know that I will give up or do anything necessary, to give my new baby Jacob a good life.
This little one who has never yet said, “I love you”, never helped around the house, never done anything to earn my love;
yet I love him so completely.
This little one stirs such emotion in me that I know that I am willing to lay down my life for him without thinking.
I am caught off guard by this powerful love. Love greater than I have for my parents, greater than I have for my husband or siblings. I love them, but not like this. This is different.
“We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 NAS
Loving this precious miracle is as easy as breathing. No memory of pain, just an overwhelming love. This must be how God loves me.
Totally, completely, and unmerited love.
Then the thought hits me hard. He gave his Son, his only Son to be tortured and killed so that my son, husband, family and I can live.
Pulling the small bundle closer, a cleansing flood flows from my face onto his. In the middle of the night, this young mother dedicates her first born to the Lord
and begins to tell baby Jacob the story of Jesus.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not die but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Happy Birthday, Jacob. I love you!