Saturday, April 22, 2006

A northern spring...

Good things come to those who wait...

blue skies and buds

tiny blooms

and promises of more to come.


There is a saying, that the longest journey is from the head to the heart.

There are different types of knowing. We can know truths in a cognitive way - the facts of a matter. And then there is a knowing that is deeper - knowledge that integrates thinking and feeling. For example, to believe that the Lord is our Shepherd, therefore we will not fear - and actually NOT be afraid.

I am not there yet - but I am making progress on that long journey. One of the ways that I am growing is through prayer. I have learned to keep a journal in which I write Scripture, prayer requests, and also those things which come to mind as I am reading, praying, and listening. Occasionally, as I sit quietly, a picture will come to mind. It will unfold, scene by scene, like a movie. And somehow, inexplicably, those pictures have a way of speaking. Something from deep inside rises to the surface - sudden emotion - unexpected tears - and I see and understand in a new way.

I was reminded of one of these pictures by Shannon's little girl and her first attempts to walk.

I saw a picture of the Lord walking along the beach, leaving footprints in the wet sand. Behind Him, I could see a little girl, trying to follow in His steps.

And it seemed to me that the Lord said "See Me? I am walking ahead of you. I see you behind me - just like that little one - so earnest - trying so hard to stretch her legs to place her little feet in My footsteps."

I could see the little girl, her head down, hair parted with tiny tendrils curling on her neck and her little bare feet. I could feel my heart melting at the sight - the little necks and feet have always been my favourite kissing spots on my babies.

And it seemed as if the Lord said, "My heart is overflowing with the same love for you sparrow. See Me?"

In the picture He had turned and was watching the little one. She wasn't looking at Him - she was totally engrossed in her goal - trying to put her feet in His footprints.

But there was no condemnation. Instead, He was smiling as He watched her. I could feel how He felt toward her, full of tenderness, just as we would feel toward our own little ones who were trying so hard to follow us.

In the picture, He reached down and scooped the little girl up in His arms.

And I heard - "My child - you try so hard - let Me carry you. See Me? This is My JOY to carry you. You are My cherished child - put your arms around My neck. I can take you places where the little legs of a child could never go. Let Me carry you. We will dance together in joy."

And then I could see Him twirl her around and around. Her head was leaning back and she was laughing with such delight. His arms held her so securely. She was completely safe.

The scene was so vivid. It was as if I was there; I could almost smell the salt air and feel the wind and the spray. It was a picture of exquisite joy.

Then I saw another vignette. It was at the end of a long day on the beach. The sun was setting across the water, so intensely beautiful and peaceful.

The Lord was still walking along the shore, holding the little girl, asleep in His arms.

And it seemed to me that He said, "See her tired head on My shoulder? See how tenderly I cradle her? Oh! this is My joy - My reward - you - My chosen one. You are My inheritance - and all those who love Me. Come and know this place of rest - this place of safety - this refuge."

* * *

I can't begin to tell you how this way of learning - through pictures in listening prayer - has changed me. The Lord gently uncovers fears, doubts, feelings of unworthiness and condemnation - and washes them away with His tender love and care. I never even realized how deeply I struggled with these feelings - wondering was I good enough - or was He watching me in despair, shaking His head over my weakness and failures. Slowly, but surely, I am moving from head to heart, increasingly convinced of His unending love - His infinite mercy - His ocean depths of grace - and especially, His delight in me.

I am still learning - I suppose I will be always learning - taking in the Lord's love - grasping how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and learning to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Photo# 2 - Rinda Dean

Thursday, April 20, 2006

More Windy Day Inspiration

The Wind

by Robert Louis Stevenson


saw you toss the kites on high.
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies' skirts across the grass--
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all--
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

Margaret Tarrant 1888-1959

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Happy Windsday

It's very wild, wet and windy here on PEI.

So I thought of a song to sing for you.



"Hum dum dum ditty dum
Hum dum dum
Oh the wind is lashing lustily
And the trees are thrashing thrustily
And the leaves are rustling gustily (except there are no leaves yet...)
So it's rather safe to say
That it seems that it may turn out to be
It feels that it will undoubtedly
It looks like a rather blustery day, today
It sounds that it may turn out to be
Feels that it will undoubtedly
Looks like a rather blustery day today"

Ten of Life's Simple Pleasures...

...the smell of fresh coffee in the early morning...

1.Reading a really good book.
2.A glass of cold water when I'm thirsty.
3.Listening to music
4.Hearing my children laugh together
5.The birds singing in the morning.
6.The sound of the waves breaking on the shore.
7.Freshly baked bread coming out of the oven.
8.The smell of fresh coffee in the early morning
9.The sun rising over the trees.
10.The sun setting over the sea.

So much fun to think of these - thank you Donna!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Spring on the Island

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nne, on her way to Orchard Slope, met Diana, bound for Green Gables, just where the mossy old log bridge spanned the brook below the Haunted Wood, and they sat down by the margin of the Dryad's Bubble, where tiny ferns were unrolling like curly-headed green pixy folk wakening up from a nap.

"I was just on my way over to invite you to help me celebrate my birthday on Saturday," said Anne.

"Your birthday? But your birthday was in March!"

...We'll make friends with wind and sky and sun, and bring home the spring in our hearts.

"That wasn't my fault," laughed Anne. "If my parents had consulted me it would never have happened then. I should have chosen to be born in spring, of course. It must be delightful to come into the world with the mayflowers and violets. You would always feel that you were their foster sister. But since I didn't, the next best thing is to celebrate my birthday in the spring. Priscilla is coming over Saturday and Jane will be home. We'll all four start off to the woods and spend a golden day making the acquaintance of the spring. We none of us really know her yet, but we'll meet her back there as we never can anywhere else. I want to explore all those fields and lonely places anyhow. I have a conviction that there are scores of beautiful nooks there that have never really been SEEN although they may have been LOOKED at. We'll make friends with wind and sky and sun, and bring home the spring in our hearts."

"It SOUNDS awfully nice," said Diana, with some inward distrust of Anne's magic of words. "But won't it be very damp in some places yet?"

"Oh, we'll wear rubbers," was Anne's concession to practicalities....

Anne of Avonlea - Chapter 13

Sunday, April 16, 2006

He Is Risen

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Hymns of praise, then, let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave Alleluia!
Sinnners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains which He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured. Alleluia!
Now above the sky He's King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
Praise eternal as His love: Alleluia!
Praise Him, all ye heavenly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Alleluia!