Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Soaking it up...

Sometimes I feel so aware of God's presence in my every moment, like even though I can't see Him outright, I can feel His breath washing over me rhythmically in my day to day.

That's not been the season I've been in lately.

I think with all the moving about and making plans and settling in and settling out again, I've just kinda been keeping up with things.

But on Saturday my Mom and I flew down to Arizona for a little mother/daughter trip to use some of her timeshare points up before the end of the year (what a chore!). And the "vacation feeling" just quiets the clamours in my soul enough to tune in and hear that breath of God again.

And it's like coming home, only to more of a home than home...

Again and again and again, it is His beauty that calls me to Him, that draws my heart up close to Him. Again and again and again, I am floored when I catch sight of His glory in whatever form-- the grandeur of the Grand Canyon Mom and I just spent a day visiting, the luxury of the condo we're blessed to stay at this week in Sedona, the laughter of the little children in my life reflecting His heart of joy, the intimacy of sharing deep talks with the woman who gave birth to me and then lovingly raised me. It all just points me to His kindness.

And then the darker seasons I've walked through, the struggles of the soul I've fought with strength nearly spent, the hurt and ache the world constantly throws at us, it instantly fades in the light of realizing afresh what it means to be loved by the King of the world.

I cannot help but be reminded again of the endless hope there is in belonging to Him. At the end of this blink of an eye existence is a whole new reality we only look toward expectantly now, glimmers of it shining through in the experiences of beauty and wonder we can glimpse here and now.

This week is a chance to revel in those glimmers of the hope of eternity, to consume His presence in all the joy and delight and beauty and hope I can catch and hold close to my heart.

And all I can do is bow that heart in awe, and soak it all up in gratitude.

Thank You, my kind and endlessly hopeful King.
May the world know that You are all that You say you are, and may they never go hungry for Your presence again.

My beautiful Mom and I soaking up the majesty of the Grand Canyon

The surreal glory of the Grand Canyon

Soaking up His glory in the sunset over the Grand Canyon

And soaking up His kindness in the luxury of the timeshare in Sedona where we're staying!

May you pause today, and stop long enough to settle your busy mind and heart, and draw up close enough to this gracious God to hear His presence breathing over you. He loves you, He loves you, He loves you. And He always will.

"Cry out for this nourishment as a baby cries for milk,
now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness."

-- 1 Peter 2:2-3

Monday, 5 November 2012

A Cruel Harvest by Fran Grubb

I wasn't quite prepared for what I would read in this memoir. It's the story of one woman's horrific childhood abuse and her reconnection with her scattered siblings as an adult. Born into a family of migrant farmers and an alcoholic, mean-spirited, physically and sexually abusive father, as Fran recounts her story I found myself disbelieving that anyone could be so utterly and completely cruel. But hand in hand with that aspect of her story, is her proof of the stunning resilience of the human soul.

It struck me so strongly when I set the book down at the end, that the only thing which kept Fran herself from becoming just as bitter and hardened and desensitized as the hard man who spent her whole life trying to make her so, was Jesus. It's not clear what sort of upbringing HE had, but hers set her up to be hard, insensitive, and abusive, in accordance with how she was treated. And indeed in her early adulthood, she did play out some of the same behaviours. But then she met Jesus. And everything changed. Undeniably.

And THAT is my favourite kind of story there is to tell. It speaks of hope. It speaks of the triumph of love over hatred and light over what seemed endless darkness. That is what Christ does. That is who He is.

And on top of all that, I just adore reading memoirs. Real stories of real people! It's good to know we're not alone...

This book is well worth a read.

* *I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
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