Oct 30, 2009

A lesson learned in the garden

Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year.
There is so much I enjoy during this season - the asters in the garden,
The colorful leaves fluttering from the branches till they find a spot to land,
The hydrangea leaves changing color as they put on their rusty coat,
The pansies unfolding and brightening planters,
I enjoy everything common to this time of year.
But I was most blessed today by an uncommon blessing - a single bud becoming a bloom, an October rose! I just did not expect this bud! We had already trimmed most of the rose bush back and had mulched the plants for fall. And we have had frost several times this season. God has a way of using common every day life to speak truth to my heart. God has been doing some new things in Audra's life. And this rose was the LORD's way of reminding me that He could do what He wants, when He wants.
Audra had planned to study to be an obstetrician. She set up a visit to Vanderbilt last April and had her dear little heart and mind set on medical school. No matter where else we looked or visited, Vanderbilt was always her first choice. And although her daddy, the Salesman, thought it was too far away, he agreed that studying medicine was a logical choice. And then very recently, the LORD has changed Audra's direction from medicine to music. A big change; but more importantly - a GOD change. A change that HE whispered and has confirmed to Audra's heart. And the word she keeps hearing is *faith*.

The word the LORD has been speaking to me for some time is *faith*. So today while I'm out enjoying the splendor of our LORD's creation, GOD knows that my heart has a lot of questions. I love music. I enjoy music. I can not sing a note though; I am not inclined in this area at all. I am a joyful noisemaker. I fondly remember my dear sister-in-love, Gretchen, asking me as she played our piano, if I could not tell it was out of tune. No, I couldn't. The musical gene skipped me. Completely. And what once seemed settled is now a new process. A new road. A dream is awakening in Audra's heart. And without a doubt, the LORD is giving her wings. We are seeking the LORD's direction. What next, LORD? Where do you want us to start? We want to follow Him and His lead, even when we *think* we have it all figured out. The Salesman has questions, too. There is so much we just don't know. But we know The ONE who does know. GOD is asking us, bidding us to take this walk of faith. Even when the asters and pansies are in bloom, the LORD can cause a rose to bloom. One of my heart's desires for both of the teens is that they would know and do God's will.
So I come back inside, just marveling that this rose is blooming amidst the obvious change in seasons and the frost. I kept saying, "LORD, YOU can do whatever you want." I went back to my desk and searched my concordance for a verse that said, "GOD can do whatever HE wants." I just wanted to read those words in THE WORD. So, I asked, LORD may I find words in YOUR WORD that speak to my heart about this change going on and the rose blooming at the end of October? Help me LORD. I opened my Bible to Psalms. Chapters 145, 146 and 147 were facing me and I started reading. Psalm 147:15-18 seemed to speak directly to my heart:

"He sends for HIS command to the earth;
His word runs very swiftly. (Just when I need confirmation LORD)
He gives snow like wool;
He scatters the frost like ashes.(You protect what YOU intend to bloom)
He casts forth His ice as fragments;
Who can stand before His cold?(Only what YOU desire LORD)
HE sends forth His word and melts them;
He causes His wind to blow and the water to flow."(We are waiting for YOUR mighty work)

The LORD gave me just what I needed - my GOD can do whatever HE wants, whenever He wants verse. I also thought of a verse my sister-in-love, Nancy, shared with me regarding God's will for Audra's life:
"The LORD will accomplish what concerns me;" Psalm 138:8a.
HIS WORD is life to me.
LORD, You reign over each earthly season,
YOU know our pilgrim pathway, when it changes and we don't see the reason.
I declare, "We are going to trust YOU"
To accomplish what before time began, YOU intended to.
Let our hearts be filled with vibrant faith and belief,
YOUR will foremost, and let us settle for no thing beneath.
Thank YOU LORD that for each life YOU have a destiny or dream-
We intend to follow YOU verses what is easily seen.

May Audra Elizabeth know and do
The work for her life that YOU'VE intended her to.
Let us not worry if the way or study is unconventional,
Let each faith step in YOU be very intentional.
We throw out any thing in us that is man's logic and man's reason,
Do a mighty work LORD in Audra's life, in YOUR time and season.

YOU, LORD, are the GREAT GARDENER EXTRAORDINAIRE,
To be planted in YOUR will and garden is our heartfelt desire and care.
Cause YOUR beautiful music in Audra to bloom,
As medicine is swept out with the GOD broom.

LORD, we ask for YOUR direction,
Give us YOUR wisdom and YOUR holy, godly introspection.
Let us boldly move forward with steps of faith,
Grounded and secure in YOUR way, let us not falter or quake.
In the mighty, splendid NAME that is above all names, Amen.

Oct 24, 2009

Above the Lamp Light

The oil painting of the yellow tulip I was given by Victoria Leigh and mentioned here has a home! I found the frame at Hobby Lobby for 50% off and I really like the look with the oil. I had thought about hanging this bright beauty near my desk. The young artist suggested we hang it above my desk.
I love it here! And I would have never thought to hang it above the desk! This is my view as I sit by the lamp light and look up. A lovely view indeed!
In the lower right hand corner you may be able to see the corner of a watercolor Audra painted of my journal that is awaiting framing and a home.

Oct 12, 2009

With all creation I sing

While Audra was recovering from her dental surgery,
the Salesman and Victoria Leigh went on a hike to see a Moonbow.
Victoria snapped several pictures of her daddy during their adventure.
She also captured the beauty of God's creation all around them.
Our family had planned to go together;
but, Victoria Leigh's pictures,
gave me beautiful glimpses of their day together.
I was so thankful that she didn't just take pictures of the moonbow.
And my heart sings in thanksgiving to the Lord:
"Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and
Glory and power be
To You the Only Wise King
Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And I will adore You!
Filled with wonder,
Awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your Name
Jesus, Your Name is Power
Breath, and Living Water
Such a marvelous mystery."
Revelation Song
Pictures along the pathway by Victoria Leigh.

Oct 5, 2009

Memory Monday - God has the picture

"But godliness with contentment is great gain" were the first words I heard the Lord whisper to my waking heart this morning. I knew immediately what He meant.

We have just celebrated our five year anniversary here. Five years ago the LORD, without any doubt, moved us. That April, the Salesman got an offer, one that was too good to pass by, on his business. I'll never forget that day or the events that followed. We were getting ready to go to a Sunday School meeting. The "we" was me and the children. The Salesman had not made it home yet; but I was confident he would. Then I got the call from him saying he'd got an offer to buy the business and he was going to settle on a price with the party...He probably would not be home in time to go to the meeting. The time was right for this business deal and I just knew it, and he did too. I thought of the conversations we'd had about his work. The knowing that this opportunity had been given to us. Little did I know that the this phone call or that day would change everything about the little perfect world I was living in.

I would not have changed anything about the life I was living - location, home, school, church, neighbors, family, friends - nothing. Life was good. But the events that followed April 15th could only have been orchestrated by God and I had a first hand view of the God show that was about to unfold in my perfect world. The world that I would have never dreamed of leaving.

The business deal was finalized in July. Papers signed. Deal done. School was out for the summer. No longer would the Salesman be driving to the office that he had put so much of his life into. What do we do next? The Salesman was a natural at his work. He had been a salesman for, well, all his life it seemed. And he was good at what he did. The competition had consistently tried to steal him away. Every option and door locally began to close though. It became obvious we would move - but where? Every door opened in the southern direction.

We put our home on the market in September. I thought we would be there for months - the market was flooded with homes, absolutely flooded. Several agents recommended listing our home for much more than we ever dreamed it would be worth. We went with their BIG suggestion. I was reeling in my mind; I did not really think anyone would pay that much for our home in this market. I thought I was set. I would live on my Hallmark street forever, in my lovely home, my lovely life.

The photographer for the real estate magazine came to take pictures - our home was picked for the cover! I was not surprised about that - we had a lovely home. A historic, tree lined neighborhood that Hallmark had even used as a backdrop to film two movies. It was picturesque. We had lived there for twelve years. So many memories. When the agent sent me pictures of our home that would be showcased in the magazine, I remember being upset. In my mind, the pictures did not do our home justice. I was mad. No, I wasn't excited about moving; but if I was going to have my home shown to the "whole world" (really just our area) I wanted it to look as good to everyone else as it did to me. I went to bed mad about those pictures. Yes, mad about pictures. I was awakened by one of the loudest peals of thunder and the brightest flash of lightening and the words spoken to my heart (as real as if they had been audible):

"That picture of your house that you're so worried about, I have it."

And have it, HE DID. Within the week, two parties were willing to pay the asking price... and the funniest thing ever - the real estate magazine with the picture of my home on the front had not even come out yet! God had the picture of our home. Closing came 30 days later.

I did get a gazillion copies of the magazine though. Still have several in fact...

We bought a home at auction near a piece of property my grandfather had given our family that we thought we would build a home on. Five years later, suffice it to say, no home has been built yet. And furthermore, we don't think we will build on *that* piece of property. And lately, I've been discontent about my home. This temporary stop, or so I thought, on the way to our dream home. I have wanted the LORD to hurry up with my home - my dream home. As I've opened kitchen cabinets lately, I've wanted new cabinets. And new hardware. And new granite. And new... You get the idea.

No wonder I heard I Timothy 6:6 early this morning: "But godliness with contentment is great gain." (KJV) It's where I want to be. Contentment is what I need from The One who still has the picture of my home. So, I plan to tuck this Scripture in my heart this next week.

It's hard to believe it has been five years. The move, hands down, has been the BEST ever for our family. I'll save that for another post. God's hand has been so evident all along the way.

My dear sister-in-love, Nancy, wrote this prayer when they were praying for a new home. I'm pulling it back out to pray along with I Timothy 6:6:

Home is where the heart is:
Let my heart dwell in Your hand,
Not growing roots within walls
Constructed by a man;
Not set on things that can be bought
Of silver and of gold.
Oh let mine be a heart not cast
Within a world-wrought mold.
Wrap my heartstrings around Your palm,
Thread them through the nail-pierced hole;
Knot them once and twice again,
Like reins in Your complete control.
From all goodly attachments
Would I repent -
In any earthly dwelling
Make me content!
For Your presence is joy's fullness,
Wherever my feet roam.
Home is where the heart is:
Let Your hand be my heart's home.

Oct 3, 2009

The Recovery Room

We are blessed and humbled by your prayers.
Hope and gratitude fill our hearts to The One who hears our every cry. Audra left you all a sweet message in the comment section of the last post. (She was holding and ice pack to her mouth and pecking out her thanksgiving to you one-handed.)
We are both blessed, very blessed.
Asters are on the nightstand. Rest and ice cream are on order this weekend.

Butterfly mobile in Audra's room.

Oct 1, 2009

Would you join me in prayer?

Audra has had to have her top braces put back on; but she is still smiling! And Friday, at 10:15 A.M., she is having four gum graphs done. The dental surgery will take an hour and a half. Would you join me in praying for:
  • A well rested doctor and assistant
  • A successful surgery
  • Peace - tonight, tomorrow, everyday
  • Knowing that the LORD is in control
  • Strength - for me (my mother passed out when I got my ears pierced, had to go to the ER) and I am a wimp in this area too!
  • Safety while on the road (we have two plus hours of drive time)
  • Power - Holy Spirit power and no interruption of electrical power during the grafting
  • A speedy and full recovery
  • That we would bring glory to HIS Name
  • That we would have hearts of thanksgiving to Him
  • Any other way the LORD might direct you to pray in this regard
Thank you kindly for joining us in prayer. "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 1:2

Photo: Smiling, brace-clad teen trying on heels at TJ Maxx