Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Loved and Kept

Woke up with a massive headache that brought on nausea and the involuntary grimace that strikes my face inside that kind of severe discomfort. Woke at 10:30 to a message from Jylle saying she called me "a ton of times" and that if I hadn't gotten those messages, then my horse was probably still in the barn. Oy.

Feeling a little better than the death-on-a-stick I felt a few hours before, I donned my outdoor gear and headed for the bar
n. This is what I found.
He didn't even have the decency to think he was in the teensiest bit of trouble. Horses aren't like dogs though, so spanking him on the fanny with a newspaper would only cause mayhem and total confusion, so I did what any good horse owner would do--I gave him some apples, strapped on a lead rope, and put him back in the pasture.

I still had to find the short in the electric fence if I didn't want to do this again in a few hours. I prayed what I call my fence prayer, "Lord, You have to show me where this is, or I'll miss it. You know exactly where it is--please lead me there." I set out in a different direction than I usually do when looking for a short. The dogs went ahead of me, making the snow-going a wee bit easier as I followed in their trail. Not too far along, I found the wire down near the draw into the woods. Only two posts away was a big ol' spool of wire. Snip, snip, twist, twist, and we're good to go. Still not hot though, so I kept going. First though, I responded to that strong prompt to bring along an extra piece of wire. Thirty yards later was the second break, and that extra wire was just enough to connect the two severed ends. Now it's hot. I know because I felt the bit o'shock in my thumb as I stretched the wire taut.

I stood there in the white silence, marinating in the bliss of feeling His presence in and around me. The power of His felt nearness and loving-kindness was profound, and the only proper response was worship. In my mind and heart, I constructed an altar on that spot to commemorate this event. As long as I am sound, I will look on that place and remember. I am loved. I am kept in perfect protection and provision. He is always tenderly looking after me, and there will always be an ongoing abundance of faithfulness and grace. Remember.

What started out as a chore turned into first an amusing encounter and eventually a praise time in a beautiful, warm, snowy cathedral. I don't need to stay on the mountaintop though. A time like this bolsters me inside the ordinariness of the everyday. He knew this was exactly what I needed for exactly this time. How perfectly wonderful to be loved by the Perfect.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Brass Tacks

One of our Thanksgiving traditions is to go around the table and talk about two things we're thankful for. I spent a couple days thinking about what I might say this year, but with the novel challenge to come up with something besides relationships and God.

I thought of the animals. I l-o-v-e my doggies and my horse. They are my buddies and my faithful companions with not one mean bone in their bodies amongst them. But then I thought They're basically like family. Doesn't count.

I thought of my home. It's modest, but it is a lovely setting. When it came right down to it though, without the memories we've made here as a family, this building would be just another nice place to live. Too shallow.

I thought of Kev's job, that we're extremely grateful for that in this wretched economy. We're thankful for the medical and dental insurance. It allows us to keep going without missing a beat while hundreds of thousands are not so blessed in this woeful climate. Pretty good, but Kev used this one last year.

I thought of good health. With our folks aging and my mom in acute, chronic pain for two years now, we're aware of our own "growing pains," some of them new and whose causes are phantom. Our kids are beautiful and healthy and thriving. This one will work!

The bottom line though, is that without relationships and God, there really isn't anything profound enough to declare "important." Without those two vital things, even good health isn't enough to make you get out of bed in the morning. No wonder there are more suicides during the holiday season than at any other time. It's in our very design and the motivation to even take our next breath. We are all about relationships and God, and ultimately, a relationship with God.

Thank You, Lord, for Your perfect design, for creating us for relationship and community and oneness, and for providing the Way for that. From the bottom of my small-but-still-learning heart. XO

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Thought

I am surrounded and embraced by family, friends, love, and comfort. This is an incredibly rich life I'm talking about. The dysfunction is minimal, as compared with others', and honestly, it's almost embarrassing.

On the outermost edges of this blessed life exist the lonely, the invisible, and the broken. It's not that I don't care about them; I simply don't know them. Admittedly, I haven't tried to find them, much less know them. There is a niggling in my brain: What if I stepped out of my verdant, lovely, peaceful world and entered theirs...?

Perhaps lives would be changed on both sides, and I would realize that we have more in common than I ever imagined.