Thursday, January 21, 2010

Our Thirst-Quenching God

"How priceless is Your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with You is the fountain of life" Psalm 36:7-9a
Have you ever wondered what a "river of delight" looks like? When I'm bone weary and spiritually dried up, I love to imagine a cool, rushing stream in the mountains surrounded by towering pines and granite rocks. Once I visited Glacier National Park in Montana and was overcome by the power and freshness of the water. In my scrapbook I titled one page "7UP" because that's exactly what the water looked like--bubbles from some unknown depths joyously rising to break the surface of teal colored water. It truly spoke of life; life from a Source other than me.

So often in my world, I believe that I am the source of others well-being or happiness. That somehow I'm supposed to "fix things so that no one gets hurt." Or at least that's what I expect of God. And when He doesn't come through, then I have to step in and offer my help. When my husband was deployed to Iraq a few years ago, I was completely wrung out like Cinderella's mop. I railed at God screaming, "why are you taking me to my breaking point?! Do you delight in seeing me fail?" I had nothing to give my three tiny children (5,3,1 years) and yet somehow I felt responsible for keeping them alive--alone.

And then one day I "stumbled" on an obscure verse in Jeremiah. My Bible commentary states that "the meaning of the Hebrew for this sentence is uncertain." But it shouted in my pain! "Does the snow of Lebanon ever vanish from its rocky slopes? Do its cool waters from distant sources ever cease to flow? (emphasis mine)" Jer. 18:14. Maybe I loved it because it spoke of mountains iced with snow or that it pictured my bubbly cool waters?
No, Abba gently, beautifully reminded me that He is The Source, my source-the origin of life for every person I care about. I am not, nor did He ever intend me to be. And that His life, His energy, His flow never, ever ceases! He pours his effervescent river of delight into every crevass of my achy, disillusioned soul. I really believe that this Source of ecstatic love rushes down from Heaven in our direction continually. He longs for us to jump into His river of delight. Now I dive into the stream when I want to feel cherished and when I want to hear His tender voice. So go grab your suit and jump with me!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Dance

Catching me is like catching a snowflake,
A butterfly, fairy dust, a firefly-
something that dances on the air beckoning you to join
The dance.

Snow falling, cherry blossoms swirling, golden leaves descending-
the Colors of the wind. Who did I dream of being? A figure skater-someone dancing in the snow!
Like the Snow Queen in the Nutcracker-the absolute picture of
transcendent, silent beauty.
Like the Nursery Magic Fairy carrying the velveteen rabbit
to where the fronds of the bracken shone like frosted silver.

I dance at Your feet Jesus- with my fairy wand I drop silvery stars at Your feet.
My gift to you Jesus.

"Take My hand Elaine, come join Me in the dance. Be the beauty that you are. We will climb up to the High Places, and I will reveal Myself to you. The mount of transfiguration- only it won't be Me who transforms in front of your eyes.

You will be the Ever After fairy
You've always longed to be.
My little snowflake. My little ice crystal.
My diamond fire."

Kissed Awake

I've been reading Your Captivating Heart by Staci Eldredge. She writes, "Fairy tales are true. The reason we loved them as little girls is that they speak to the secret written on our hearts; they reveal the true story we were created for. But in order to find that life we once dreamed of, we need to be kissed awake again. We need to see." Years ago, I wrote:

Sleeping Beauty

The image is not lost, only sleeping,
in a dark prison we cannot see, where silence
deafens and loneliness engulfs.
Numbness embalms.

Behold! A Star in the east sends an arrow to pierce our night,
for we have been dust covered far too long.
Just enough to lean our shrouded heart toward the light, then . . .

GASP for air!

As it streams into our smoky soul,
Light breathes once more over the face of the deep,
over the dust of the ground.

Beauty awakes.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dream Big

I often struggle with the idea of "dying" to my dreams and goals in order to please God. Maybe I'm too narcissistic, but that concept sounds very harsh. Fortunately, God knows just how I'm wired. As I listened to Ann Graham Lotz preach on this, I wrote:
i came to live out loud.
i surrender . . .
my dreams because they're much too small
my future because it's much too fearful
my past since it's way too hopeless
my goals because they're too complacent
my vision since it's much too weak
my bubble because it's very fragile.

I surrender to Your greatness in me! Your love that pushes the boundaries
Your dreams that cause me to fly, to soar,
to melt in to the Sun--
to run with the horses.
To shout, to sing, to dance
like no one's watching.
To sing with the angels, to soar on the wings of the wind.
To turn my plastic pearls in for the real thing.
To embrace all the diamonds you have for me.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Heading into the Wind

I'm excited to finally have a forum to display my pictures, but this is still in the beginning stages. Thank you Betsy and Tammy for helping me get this started. I love capturing beauty in unexpected places, inviting others to look a little closer to the world around us. I believe God is speaking everywhere! I'm reminded of Lucy's question to the professor at the end of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. She wonders if they'll ever return to Narnia. He said not likely in the same way they came, but still "it's best to keep your eyes open." I hope to keep my eyes and heart wide open to the wonders of God.

Friday, January 1, 2010

And the Two Shall Become One

I have often used this tulip picture for wedding cards with the verse from 1Cor13- Love believes all things, hopes all things, perseveres all things. Love never fails.

Congratulations to one who is outstanding in her field!

" Happily Ever After"

The King is Enthralled with your beauty-Ps 45:11

I went with my daughters to our favorite flower park in Dallas, and surprise, they had the best face painter we had ever seen. She transformed my beauties into fairy princesses! Truly the desire of every girls heart-to be adored and delighted in.

My best hummingbird photo yet! Capturing these flying jewels is alot harder than I thought. This one was at the feeder on my back porch. I love it when they actually sit down and rest. Rare for them and rare for me!

I often try to imagine what my tear bottle in heaven looks like. It's hard to fathom that my tears matter that much to God. This verse reminds me that yes, my heart matters. It matters alot. Years ago when I was in therapy, I liked lying down on a couch (yes, we actually did it that way back then) because my tears could flow freely off my face and they wouldn't mess up my makeup! With each tear that I didn't wipe quickly away, I silently claimed that I mattered.

Can you guess that it's 45 degrees?! My mom couldn't believe it when she saw kids screaming in the fountain. Then she looked again and realized they were mine. "That I can believe," she laughed. We had gone to the Nutcracker and so the kids wanted to dance all their own in the water. And I loved the way the sun lit up the water. So this gem made it onto our Christmas card.