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My Soul Thirsts

Linking with Deidra Riggs and Sandra Heska King, and the Kennedy Adventures

Saints and Scripture Sunday

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Get Freed Up!

As you know by now Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker and her Five Minute Friday is one of my favorite activities! Today she has challenged us to write about one of my FAVORITE activities – DANCING!

I don’t think there will be much spiritual wisdom here today. But just to share a little more about who I am, I’m a Dancer! I have taken dancing and gymnastics all of my life and I love it. I wish I were still brave enough to dance on a balance beam. But I understand gravity better than I did back in my younger days.

But Dancing – dancing I can still do. The only thing I risk is my reputation. I am over fifty, and I care less and less about what people think. So at weddings I’m the one up front with the band dancing. Doc dances with me some but usually he has been hired for the pictures – so I dance!

I dance when I worship alone,

I dance when I’m cooking and I like the music,

I try to learn new dances with the young ones,

Sometimes if Doc and I are out somewhere and a song plays that we like, we will dance without a dance floor. Life is short, if you want to dance who cares if anyone likes it or thinks you are acting too young for you age? It is not for them.

Dancing is for me, it is for the Lord, it is with my husband! Others are welcomed to watch – not that I could stop them for looking – but perhaps they need to get freed up a little and live.

I’m not going to allow the opinions of others to rule or ruin my life. If I’m happy with me then why would I let anyone else make decisions about what I should and should not do?

You know I love blogging and talking to all of you so much, so let me know what makes you happy. Or let me know how you handle the opinion of other!

This weekend, take you shoes off and DANCE!

Join us at Lisa-Jo Baker’s place for Five Minute Friday and Michelle Derusha at Graceful!

Push Through the Pain

“So, did you faint the first time you saw a body cut into?” I asked my surgeon friend.

“Almost”, he replied. “The nurses gave me a stool to sit on until I could pull myself together.  It was a hysterectomy, and I was in pre-med.”

“Now I can cut without a problem because I know that what I do saves lives.

“But cutting into flesh — is not normal.” I press the topic.

“ Cancer is not normal, tumors are not normal, birth defects are not normal.  Sometimes you have to face the problem with an answer that causes pain.  But you press through the pain to find the healing.”

I sometimes look at pain in my life as if something unfair and exclusive to me alone is occurring.

Appears to me as if life has decided to single me out for things that are unfair, for things which don’t make sense, for things that try to destroy my confidence in what Christ has done in me and through me.

Does this sound familiar to you?  In talking to many women, I have learned that my pain is not exclusive to me .  Many women feel this way.

The feeling of being a failure, like we are not good enough, or creative enough, or sometimes it feels like our imperfections are like personality birth defects, or like cancer that is destroying our lives from the inside.

Yet God’s word says we are perfectly made.  Is God a god of errors?  Either He is God or he is not!  We must choose.

And we must choose before the day of pain arrives.  How else will we survive, if we do not believe that we will see the goodness of God in the land of the living? (Psalms 27:13)

My friend pauses our conversation.  He has a problem with his back,  he holds onto the wall as he gently lowers himself into the chair.  Pain is a companion uninvited, always present, and residing way too long.  Yet my friend, smiles; never a harsh word, nor a response that could ricochet through the room. Gentle and steady he goes along. The pain does not change him, but it transforms him.

Pain has a way of doing that. It chisels us, carving out hues as it sculpts what is plain and unrecognizable into an image quickly acknowledged.

So many times it is tolerable to press through the pain if we know there is a reason.  And here is one of them,

“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet your inner man is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16

Pain has a way of drawing us closer to Christ, and if we allow His work to be done in us, the work of pain will begin cutting away the decay, and revealing the new, day by day.

Pain in this life, is normal in this abnormal world.  It cuts through the tender covering of our soul to reveal, to heal, and to produce for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.

We see and feel pain and resist, yet how do we know that it isn’t God positioning our lives for a greater blessing?  

Pain is an opportunity to see God move in ways that we could never have seen with a pain-free life.

Can we together count our blessings, can we learn to count it as joy?

I am so thankful for you, lifting you in my prayers daily.

~Di

Linking with Raising Arrows, Imperfect Prose, Write it girl

Hitting the Brick Wall

Are there days when you just need to cry.  Nothing is wrong, nothing out of the ordinary, but the need to cry is there.  It is like hitting a brick wall that you cannot get past!

I do not fully understand why this happens.  Perhaps it is hormones, or melancholy, or lack of sleep; or maybe the spirit is interceding with a mourning that I cannot understand.  It is as if my spirit has been invited into intercessory prayer that my soul was not informed about.

Doc, (my husband) tells me that everyone goes through that from time to time.  He reminds me of things to be thankful for.  Air Conditioning, a bed, and healthy food…the list goes on.  I begin to make my own list in my prayer time.

Yet a feeling of discontentment still stirs in me.  What is this?

I pray the Word “ Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matt 5:3.

I try walking the room, listening, reasoning, and pondering.

This is what happens sometimes when God places a mantel of intercession on you.  It draws you closer to Christ.  Because you do not know how to pray, because you do not know all that He knows.  But what you do know is that something has been placed on you to intercede about.

I have been awake since four o’clock this morning with a strong feeling of discontentment, and frustration.  Sometimes all I can do is sit quietly and whisper His name, “Jesus, Jesus.”

In His word this morning I read, “Go through, go through the gates; Clear the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway; Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples”.

I don’t think I will ever understand why God calls us to intercede with His Spirit for others, but He does.

Does God ever burden you for others?  Have you recognized the call as an intercessor on your life?  Please comment about what God has done, I want to hear your stories.

Linking today with Getting Down with Jesus, Women Living Well, and To Love Honor and Vacuum

Copper Rose

Tink, tink, tink tink, Boom, Boom!

A rhythmic percussion of hammer to copper is heard over sounds of laughter and conversations.

Metal heated then pounded into a creation of purpose.  The instructor with a long white beard and cowboy hat is holding with tongs the metal, glowing orange and red from the white-hot fire at his back.

Onto the anvil with a loud clank, goes the glowing metal.

His other hand holds the hammer and the pounding begins.  This cycle continues as the metal slowly submits to the blacksmith’s vision.

I walk across the field to see other projects being taught to families. The crunch of summer grass reminds me of how hot the summer has been.  No rain to cool down and refresh the carpet once green leaves it flat and lifeless.

A man is teaching how to make copper roses.  I take a seat and begin to learn.  The pattern has been determined and cut before I arrive.  My job is to bring life to the flat lifeless copper.

It is made in layers.  Each layer must be texturized, pounding the delicate look of veins into the hard metal petals of the rose.

I pound for hours, using my right arm to exhaustion, then the left, and then alternating.

Hours later the veins are in the petals and assembling can begin.

The layers are scattered across the table looking more like chaos than a rose.

The base is heated red hot, and the layers are pierced one at the time and plunged onto the base.  Molten solder is added to keep it in place.

Soon the appearance of a rose appears.  Once assembled the petals are curled and rolled giving the illusion of a delicate rose.

After the metal is hammer it is  “work-hard”.  No matter what you do, you cannot make the metal return to its original state.  Trying to do so will destroy what the metal has become.

Here is the very simple lesson from all of thisOnce you have had an encounter with the living God, the risen Christ, you are forever changed.  And though He may allow you to walk through parts of life that make you feel like you are having the ever-lovin-life beat out of you, its effect will cause you to become something of great beauty. 

I’ve often heard women say, “Beauty is pain”; perhaps there is a spiritual truth there.

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13

Part of His glory revealed, is Christ in you.  Let’s allow the fiery ordeals to bring forth His perfect will and the fragrance of Christ to the world.

Linking today with Shanda at On Your Heart Tuesday and Deep Roots at Home.

How to Lean Correctly

Writing is so very challenging at times.  This week I’m feeling great pressure to get my five-minute talk ready for the Proverbs 31 conference.

Trying to find one topic that I can teach with meaning, that will bless the listener, whether they like my style or not.

So I started with Trust – look up Greek and Hebrew definitions, pray again, add a comma, and then erase the comma, ultimately throwing the whole thing in the garbage.

New page – Woman at the well – begin working the formula – me, we, God, we, you, or something close to that – hitting brick wall – “Oh, for crying out loud” – going for a walk – praying.

I’m such a pleaser sometimes.  Do you struggle as well?  I want this to be right, so that it comes from God and it touches the people listening.

I want to please God, I want to please others, and then wonder why in the world I’m frustrated and dissatisfied.

“ So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man; trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:4-6

The word “trust” here is “Batach” and it has meaning of; well being which results from knowing the rug won’t be pulled out from underneath you.  (Hebrew Lexical Aid to the Old Testament).

Finding favor with God and man begins with trusting our heavenly Father with the results of our work, because we began our work with and in Him.  And we know that He who began a good work in us will see it to the end.  (Philippians 1:6)

If we will relax and seek first His Kingdom and His Rightouseness then all this will be added unto you and me.

How hard can it be?  Seriously.  But the world crowds in and wants a portion of center stage, and I begin to rely on my own understanding.  I know, Mrs. Not To Bright!”

I delve further into my personal study.

“And do not lean on your own understanding”.  Again, the Hebrew lexical to the Old Testament says, “Lean”, sha’an, to support oneself,  To lean upon a spear, I.E. to commit Suicide.

What??

To lean on oneself is to commit suicide! To lean on our understanding regarding another person’s heart and intension, to rely on our own understanding thinking we know all there is to know about a person or situation, and then taking action on that limited knowledge!  Suicide! Wow!

Song of Songs talks about the beloved coming up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved. (Song of Songs 8:5)  We are not to lean on our own strength, or our own understanding.  Our beloved Christ loves us to wrap our arms around His and lean on Him as He teaches us.

I need wisdom, Lord.  I am asking, and your Word says that you will give generously, without reproach.  In other words, you give without making us feel dumb for asking.

Thank you Father.  Amen

Hummmmmmm……I wonder if I can get all of this into Five minutes or less.  Thank you Lord!

Linking with The Wellspring, Multitudes on Monday, Meme Mondays, Graceful

Taking a Risk

Where does the apple fall?

Not too far from the tree.

And where do the flowers grow?

In the soil, in which they were planted.

Sometimes life seems like it will be what it will be.  What was before is now, again.

We cook and clean, do the same things, go to the same places, no real adventure, nothing ventured , nothing gained.

But what if, for one day, we lived as though it were our last on earth.  What if we live today and tomorrow every knee bows? For some this is true.  Does any sane person wake up and declare that “today I will pass on, by the hand of God”?

Each day we pass hundreds of people in the store, in traffic, in church.  Do they know Christ?  We may not be able to speak to them but we can pray for them.

But what if for one day, we risked our reputations, put aside our pride or embarrassment, and spoke Christ into the lives around us; into the lives of people we don’t even know.

Then life would no longer be mundane, life would be the greatest adventure of all. Listening to the Holy Spirit, then speaking to those he points out to us!

Take the challenge!  Take the risk! The only thing we can take to haven is friends, so tell and invite as many as you can!

Linking with Lisa-Jo at Five Minute Friday, and Graceful.