I have been spending a lot of time in prayer over this holiday weekend…even more than usual. It is not because I feel insecure about things in the world. I don’t. That is not to say that things in the world aren’t troubling. It is to say that I feel secure in the knowledge of Him who loves me. Things are going to turn out just as He has said they would.
I’ve been spending time in His presence because I love to spend time in His presence. It has been my birthday present to myself.
We watched a documentary on the Lennon Sisters this weekend and one of their songs really expressed how I feel about the prayer place….
The prayer space is where all the magic happens for me. It is where I discover Who He really is.I am pretty sure it is not that way for everyone. I am also pretty sure it’s not meant to be. I know not everyone is wired like I am. God has lots of purposes and only on of them is to go up to the mountain and listen for the Voice. But it is one purpose and I am glad it is mine!
Well another Thanksgiving and another birthday has come and gone at the Vicarage. This year my 53rd birthday fell on Thanksgiving day! With pandemic we observed it quietly…just the four of us and the 3 dogs and the cat.
I was up at four as usual and had some time to pray, read and work on the final edits of my book before launching into food prep for the day. I made stuffed french toast and bacon for breakfast. cream cheese and nectarine jam for the ladies and cream cheese and real mince meat for mine. YES REAL MINCE MEAT MADE WITH DEER MEAT!!! YUMMY!!! ( a parishioner made me some for my birthday)
Mom Amanda and Brenda watched the modified Macy’s Day parade while I got dinner ready. Since we were a smaller group this year I cooked a three pound turkey breast and made it into a turkey stew which we served with stuffing, cranberry sauce and baking powder biscuits. I made pumpkin pie and apple turnovers and mincemeat turnovers for dessert and another parishioner dropped off a pumpkin roll for my birthday as well. So there was plenty to eat.
Somewhere along the way on the day before I managed to pull some muscles in my stomach so after lunch I really needed the rest of the day to rest. Fortunately that is what Thanksgiving is really about. It is a day to sit back, rest, take stock and give thanks.
Be blessed as you look forward to the Christmas holiday just around the corner.
This weekend flew by and was so full I hardly had any time to stop and write. I had my first opportunity to take care of my grand daughter solo this weekend.
Daniella usually comes to our house one a month for an overnight visit. We are getting her and us ready for the day when Mommy (my daughter Melanie) goes into labor.
Generally the lion’s share of the work falls on my daughter Amanda’s shoulders, but as Amanda had to be about some other things this weekend Oz (that is what Daniella calls me) got to do the baby sitting.
We had so much fun! We played piano ( which she loves to do). We read stories. We went to pick up the take out and then we watched Disney movies until it was time for bed time stories and prayers.
I told Daniella the story of , The Giant Thunderbones, which is a story I told my own kids when they were little.
Well there is so much more I could tell, but suffice it to say it was a wonderful and busy weekend…..so today is all about getting back into the routine.
Staff meeting was cancelled today. One of our deacons lost his father last week. The funeral is today and so Pastor Dan went to be with the family at the grave side.
I have spent the day in much prayer allowing the peace of God which passes all understanding to possess my heart and mind. In keeping with the mandate from Scripture this requires a thankful heart….And there is much to be thankful for. Honestly the love of God is an ocean and I am surrounded by His grace.
I am thankful that we had a wonderful week of Indian summer last week. It allowed me time to get the summer things into the cellar.
I am thankful for the birds coming to my feeder on a daily basis.
I am thankful for friends who took Amanda and I to dinner the other night.
I am thankful for the supernatural provision God brought in to pay my bills this month.
I am thankful for every day with Mom.
I am thankful God is providing the next step for Brenda’s mission.
I am thankful that the church is triumphant.
I am thankful that God is establishing His Kingdom in our midst.
I suppose the world is also full of problems. I could focus on them I suppose, but I will not!
I think I crossed some kind of invisible threshold last night. I am suddenly desirous to celebrate the holidays. Yesterday….nothing. Today I have this desire to decorate for Christmas and bake fruit cake (no kidding I really love fruit cake).
Today Brenda and I went out to do some Christmas shopping. Mind you I am not someone who can bear shopping for a long time even when I am in a celebratory mood, but I did pick up a few things that were Christmassy in the hour given me by the shopping muse.
Brenda and I were talking about the way God seems to be working in our lives right now. He is using a wait…reveal…step…complete…wait…reveal… process this year. It is a new level of faith He is building. The waiting phase is a lot like the season running up to the holidays. It is full of anticipation and preparation. The reveal phase is like opening a present on Christmas morning. The step phase is like the process of assembling those gifts on Christmas day, and the completion phase is the process of actually learning to use the contraptions you have built from the directions ….which were mostly in Chinese.
While God’s methods can be a bit frustrating they are always worthwhile in the end. The harvest of the process is always better than I could have hoped, at least if I walk it all the way through to completion.
Are you going through a similar process right now? If not How is God working in your life?
The Lord told me at the beginning of the this year that the months of October, November and December would be “months of finishing”. They have been that indeed!
For the last several years I have been working towards a lifestyle of slow. constant intentionality using a scheduling system I felt the Lord had given me. The ability to live that schedule to the fullest has been alluding me until this year. This year, I have given myself permission to change the things that needed to change in order to fulfill this goal and it has worked.
The changes involved:
1. Giving up my salary and learning to live a life of financial faith.
2. Learning to work as a volunteer and ask myself the hard questions about what was really my ministry to do.
3. Realizing that my ministry was about bringing something to the people which could only be formed in prayer and study of The Word.
4. Realizing that it was not other people’s job to understand or even support the call of God on my life.
5. Giving myself permission to do what God was calling me to do and to begin to say “No” to what people expected of me.
6. Realizing that good things were different than God things.
Anyway. learning to practice in this new paradigm has helped me to become far more effective with my schedule.
Here is what has gotten done….
1.Several projects at the Vicarage are done or in process: The roof. The dormers. The dead tree removal. The set up of new gardens.
2. I am literally days away from being finished with my novel.
3. I am meeting my goals for prayer and study, exercise, writing, reading, household work and relationship building on a weekly if not daily basis.
4. I am mostly OK with the fact that I am not meeting everyone else’s expectations fully.
All in all 2020 has been a horrible year of great accomplishments….. Maybe being stuck inside is good for me….I think there is something to that!
Well, it is time to get few more pages of the novel edited before I have to start supper.
4 A.M. comes early even after you turn the clocks back. This has been my normal time of rising for the last several months. I usually start my morning with what I call basking prayer. I sit with the Lord and just listen and I let the Spirit within lead me to truth and to petition.
This morning I keep hearing that God is moving to extinguish pride, luxury, and extravagance in me and in US and in the U.S. Maybe it has something to do with the Bible reading I am doing this week (The Book of Revelation today I started with chapter 17-19). Maybe it has more to do with the fact I am becoming increasingly disenchanted with worldliness I see around me. Something in me longs for a simpler way of life.
I’m not talking about a return to the good old days. I am talking about moving into something new, a place that enhances Kingdom advantage but despises gaudy entitlement. That last line probably needs more development, but it will have to wait for another day.
This morning I have to go to one of our elder’s homes and help him take out his air conditioner. After that I will probably be rewarded with coffee and a donut and some conversation around the Bible.
When I get home I have to shovel some dirt into the foundation to cover up some holes chipmunks are now using to access burrows along the Vicarage foundation. The dirt also needs to be moved because it is blocking the end of the drive and we may need to pull our cars in so people can park behind us.
The Lord has told me to prepare for visitors. He has not yet told me who the visitors are.
Well, on that note I had best get a move on. There are more blogs to write.