Apr 29, 2009

I don't want to go through the motions

It has been one of the happiest and craziest weeks ever. I tend to think that quite often. I absolutely love to be at home. But this week, we have been home very little and the fast paced activities have at times made me think my head would spin much like a cartoon character. But Sunday was a slice of peace and rest. We went to *The Falls* after worship and I reclined on a quilt and read while everyone else enjoyed the water and Lilly Belle picked up a various assortment of dried leaves and brought them to the quilt.We are in our last week of homeschooling for the year. (Listen closely, cheering may be heard in the background!) And Victoria Leigh also had her SAT this week. As I pulled in the administrator's drive to drop her off and wait, this was my view from the vehicle as I read more in Joanne's newest book:Joanne's book is wonderful and I'm going to do a review of it here soon. So while I'm sitting in the cool of the morning with this lovely view, I'm finishing the final chapter and I'm in such agreement with her as I read about passion. On page 134, near the end of the book, she pens what has become the cry of my heart this week:

"I want to burn with passion for God. I want God to fan the flame of my desire for him, to burn away all that is impure in me, to be a fire fed with his Word."

I was amening as the birds were chirping and a rooster was crowing. It was a sweet moment with the Lord. I felt His presence. I was so encouraged when I finished the chapter and started to read the page and a half conclusion; but, I felt I was to wait to read the last page and a half and start the vehicle and go do my one errand. Now, I had been sitting there reading for an hour and a half and still had another hour and a half to wait. I wanted to finish the last page and a half. To me, it just made sense to finish - it was ONLY a page and a half - and my heart was so wanting the passion Joanne talked about.

Blessing and encouragement to my heart came when I moved in obedience to Him. As I turned the key, I heard the voice of a radio announcer (from a station the teens tend to enjoy more than I) announce that an artist was live in the studio and was going to sing *The Motions*. After just reading about finding passion, the words of this chorus, just gave words to the thoughts in my heart:

I don't want to go through the motions
I don't want to go one more day
Without your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't want to spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything
Instead of going through the motions

As I drove and wept the words in agreement back to the Lord, it made me think of our jaunt to The Falls Sunday afternoon. I had a lovely view of the water from the butterfly quilt where I sat with my book and camera. My entire family was in the water.
One of them displayed a desire for more than getting her feet and legs wet.
And she moved out and on with purpose.
I could see myself at the fork in the road again, a choice to be made, which direction do I go?
The water is evident even on Victoria Leigh's clothing. I can't be in the water and living a passionate life without evidence of Him on me.
Out of the water, upon the rock and moving toward the edge.
Ready to take the leap of faith.
And the look of joy on her face when she came up totally drenched from an all encompassing dunking in the water. I would show you a picture; but teens have the ability and authority to withhold any picture they wish to not have published. So, imagine with me the darlin' smile of life totally drenched in the water. Each picture will look different; but without a doubt, it will be the picture the Lord has purposed for each individual one.

Take me with purpose and passion from the safety of the shore
To live out, in reckless abandon to You, a life of So Much More
Let my life not be lived as a spectator sport
My time here on earth is a breath, so short
Move me to Your plan from comfort on the quilt
I don't want to miss any thing You have, nothing let me stilt
Let the water of Your spirit be evident on me
Let me step in faith and live in full submission to you and be totally free
Let me give You fully every thing
And my heart to You forever sing
Yes Lord,
Take me with Your purpose and Your passion from the safety of the shore
I want my life to be lived out in abandon to You, the God of So Much More

Apr 25, 2009

Family, Franklin & Further Education

Last week we met my dear brother and his family in the historic town of Franklin, Tennessee. We had *the best* time together.My sister-in-love took this picture of the salesman and me. I love this picture. I love the salesman. I love my sister-in-love. I love my family.Here Victoria Leigh and I are being entertained by my dear brother and nephew AND at the very same time, I'm taking pictures of my sister-in-law and niece. I now know why those pictures of my sister-in-love and niece did not turn out so well.Strolling toward the sunset.It seemed that every tree was in beautiful and fragrant bloom in the area.
Victoria Leigh snapped this picture of some wisteria from the vehicle window.Beauty in downtown Franklin.Darlin' teen and dear niece looking out a window. Downtown shopping and visiting.A beautiful old church with a magnificent arched entryway, stained glass and lovely old doors. Simple and welcoming beauty in the city.We visited book stores, thrift shops and could have stayed at this old book store for hours.I enjoyed the architecture, ironwork and lighting fixtures that we saw on our walks or drives.I also enjoyed walking with the Salesman and seeing the rest of my family meandering down the sidewalk together.The Brownstones were beautiful - the brick, the fence, the lamp lights, the porches... In Nashville, Audra attended an information session and toured Vanderbilt University.I found a lovely lamp light on the campus.The campus and buildings were beautiful. Everywhere we looked, I was amazed.We also got a peek at the Belmont college campus.I loved this picture of my sister-in-love and sweet niece. Audra took this artsy shot at a small gallery in the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. It seems like it was not to long ago that Audra was a sweet toddler captivated by the wonder of her own shadow. But the days pass and the seasons change.And our oldest teen is considering furthering her education.
Play another song on the jukebox please. I'd like a little more time with my family. And our oldest teen.

Apr 22, 2009

New Growth

We are home from a most wonderful visit with my dear brother and his family. We met in the historic town of Franklin, Tennessee and had the best time together. We are blessed, really blessed to have a sweet relationship with our family. I dearly love them all. My dear nephew has grown so much since our last visit - we are seeing eye-to-eye. And my darlin' niece has grown and changed so much since our last visit. The last time I saw her, I held her in my arms. This visit, she was a toddler on the go!

Lord willing, I will share more about the trip later this week.

Thinking of how much my nephew and niece had grown between our visits, also made me think about how much had changed and grown in the garden in almost a week. Before we left, I was tickled that one iris was in bloom. We returned to a beautiful dew covered, speckled blanket of purple blooms.

And the azaleas decided to awaken from their slumber and share their lovely pink blooms.It won't be long till the Lady Banks rose delights us with fragrant blooms.There is even new growth on the shrubbery in the landscaping!Every herb, flower and plant appeared to have grown while we were gone.

The new growth made me think of I Corinthians 3: 6 & 7:

"I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth."I did not do a thing in the garden for at least a week, yet another wave of tulips greets me upon return. Audra and I planted the herb and flower garden several years ago. We have all, at one time or another, watered and weeded the beds. Yet, while we were gone last week, God gave new growth.TheWholeEarthIsFullOfHisGlory!Lord, truly the whole earth shouts praises of Your glory that You are everything
Your power and redemption's story is evident as Your creation sings
Thank you for the garden we planted and watered and that You graciously gave the increase
Your power and might and the wonder of Your creation continues to amazes me, do not cease
Thank You for this glimpse of the garden that sings of Your praise
All honor to You - Amazing Creator, Giver of Growth and Ancient of Days. Amen.