Saturday, March 28, 2009

Beyond Precious Reason

I had so much fun the other day and I had an unexpected blessing just to make it all that much more enjoyable!

One of my favorite things to do (every so often), is to go through Antique and Secondhand Shops, on this particular day, after I had run all my errands for the morning, I included a few little side trips to all those little places that I like to frequent (every so often), just to check out what was there.

I did find a few items that I ended up old fashioned china ladies button-up boot to place in my sewing room; a lovely paper textured box with a cream coloured ribbon closure which included a surprise inside of a cream coloured photo album with soft green memory inserts; also a candle box with a cranberry ribbon closure (listen, if there is ever a ribbon on a thing, it definitely has my attention!).

As I began to make my way homeward, my thoughts went back to a tin wall flower hanger that I had seen in the Antique Shop. I had decided not to purchase it at first, but now I was having second thoughts...maybe I had been too hasty and should have picked it up after all. I was just about to get to the intersection and had to make my mind up fast whether to turn back or I prayed, "Lord, am I supposed to go back there and get that thing?". The pull got stronger, I took that (in this particular instance) as a yes. Surely this is what I was supposed to do, I could even see my summer cut lavender drying quite nicely in the container, so-o-o, I made a right turn at the light and back to the Antique Shop I went.

As I was getting out of the car, I was thinking that since I was so close to where my eldest son worked that perhaps I should just walk over and pop in for a minute to say hi, but decided against it just in case I embarrassed him by being...well, you know...motherly, (plus I could hear his voice in my head telling me to not come in and embarrass him by being...well, you know...motherly). So, with great restraint, I instead entered the Antique Shop and made a beeline to the shelf where I had last seen the flower container, and there it was, just sitting there, waiting for me. So I picked it up, took it to the counter and made my purchase. As I was putting my change back in my purse I happened to glance to my left, and there they were, my unexpected surprise and daughter-in-law and my sweet little baby granddaughter! Instant, profound joy!

Anyway, (and this just cracks me up), it ends up that they were heading over to "daddy's work" to say hi to him on his lunch hour...would I like to come with them? Are you kidding me? This little side trip to pick up this little lavender container wasn't about the purchase at all...the Lord had known all the time that I had needed to see my "kids" and had worked it all out. Just a few seconds delay, just a few seconds in haste and we would have missed each other, but God had a different plan.

So, don't you know that I pushed that little baby, in that little stroller over to my son's work as proud and confident as any Grand Mom could be...and yes, motherly me hugged and made a fuss and everyone has lived to tell the tale.

And don't you just also know, that when that little tin flower container is full of drying lavender this summer and hanging upon the wall, that every time I pass it I will be thinking of how God continues to bless me...beyond precious reason!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How are your legs?

Recently, as I was going through a few things I came across some past journal writings and one in particular that I thought I would share here. At the time of writing, I had just finished reading an autobiography that I had ordered from the Public Library. I had written down a quote from the book that read...“I tell my children about the balance of our human elements: physical, social, emotional, and spiritual, by comparing it to the four legs of a chair. One of the legs on your chair can become weak and break, and, chances are, you will still be able to keep yourself upright by balancing your weight over the other three legs. But if one leg breaks and the other legs of the chair are so weak they just give way, you will find yourself on the floorthe breaking of the “physical” leg only exposed the weakness in other parts of my life.”

Because I think so visually, this painted a picture to me that made so much sense; it is an accurate description of what happened to me so many years ago. At that particular time, I had no idea that it was really the "spiritual leg" that was the first to be broken...this having its origins way back in the garden when through one man all mankind fell. No, at the time that I was experiencing physical unwellness, I thought it was the "physical leg" that was the first to go in my life, the ramifications of which was then the social and then the emotional.

It was during this period of time that "it pleased the Father to reveal His Son in me" and in so doing caused me to know that the only “leg” I had at that particular time to stand on was truly and ultimately the spiritual, and that in the Person of Jesus Christ. It is the strength of this “leg” that maintains the balance of the other three…what a sad story it would have been if I had, at the very beginning, been granted my prayer for physical healing. It would have deprived me of the deeply planted roots of intimacy and dependency upon the Lord.

Although the author of the biography stated that she herself had rebuilt the legs of her particular chair, I know that it is The Carpenter Himself, the Lord and the Lord alone that rebuilds and fashions me and gives my life, my particular chair, strength and balance. He has taught and shown me what it means to have a strong “spiritual leg” … many of the lessons have been very hard as I learned to depend and trust in Him, yet I have always known that He is present with me and I have always known His love towards me, even in the darkest of times. His Word has ministered to me time after time as I continue to study and allow Him to implant into my heart all that He would have me know. He longs to have intimacy with His children and I so enjoy these times, being able to bring to Him all that is upon my heart, joys and sorrows, questions and praise and to know His good pleasure in it. Yes, having a strong “spiritual leg” was the Lord’s intent for me... and how loving He was to make sure that at the outset, I did not have any other leg on which to lean!

Little by little, over the years I have experienced the strengthening of my “physical leg”. I believe with all my heart that this area is to be, as all others, dedicated to the Lord, so that my physical health is used to His glory and purposes. I have written in the front of my Bible, as a gentle reminder to myself, that I am "Healed, for His purposes". I take great joy in what the Lord has done in me, and may this grateful child never take it for granted!

The “social leg” of my chair is an interesting one for me as I watch people flow in and out of my this present time on the Kingdom calendar, the flow has caused my cup to surely "runneth over" as my family, friends and my circle of sisters beautifully expands. Because I love to garden I have frequently likened those that the Lord brings into my life as flowers; there are the perennials, who year after year faithfully bloom and add beauty and dimension, colour and fragrance to my life. Then there are the annuals, the ones that stick around for only a season, but explode with colour and life and add to the over all joy of the garden. Sometimes, there are those that come and go and then joy upon joy, return again, perhaps not with the same burst of colour as at the first, but a beauty to behold nonetheless! Of course, the truly constant ones are my family, my husband and our children (all four of them!). My prayer will always be that for all who make up the garden of my life, that I would be faithful and a blessing to them in their particular gardens as well.

Then comes my emotional state of being…the “fourth leg” of my chair. When the spiritual, and physical and social legs are built up and in place, I believe that the emotional aspects of living are far less overwhelming, however, although it is great to have the physical and social legs functioning well, I know that these two are not always guaranteed in life. How important it is then, to do all that we can do to take care of the bodies that God has given to us and not abuse them through lack of exercise, poor nutrition or lack of sleep, to name a few! Equally important, is the care of our social needs, the interaction and participation in the lives of others! Including others and establishing friendships, pouring into their lives and allowing them room to do the same into ours. I know that when I am physically exhausted or unwell or if I have been neglectful of enjoying the company of others, this is when emotions can begin to whirl and cause a tumult within me. I remember teaching a class years ago on the role that the Holy Spirit has in the lives of Christians; God never intended for our emotions to dominate, but rather that the Holy Spirit would have dominion in our lives. It is so important, and healthy to be able to acknowledge those attutudes, emotions, and musings of our hearts; to give voice to what is actually going on inside of us and not to push them away or disassociate ourselves from them.

The safest place to do this is before God, allowing Him to sort through them all. I believe that the Lord uses our emotions, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to set us free. The Psalms are a great illustration of this - as the Psalmist pours out his heart to God, coming to Him and honestly presenting what is on his heart, whether distress or joy, confusion or confidence, God Himself ministers to him, and as he empties himself he is able to see God even more clearly. Sometimes the best place to begin is simply with the words, "O God....", this one phrase alone begins many of the Psalms and seems to be the key that unlocks the floodgates of the heart and makes smooth the way of the Lord to begin to minister to us by His Holy Spirit. Just thought I would share!

Never to be separated again

Monday, March 9, 2009

This past weekend, as my husband and I got ready in the early morning hours to drive out and visit my uncle, we received the sad news that he had quietly passed away just hours before. Although aware of his ailing state, the news was not what we had expected that particular morning.
My uncle was the last of my father's siblings, my own father passing away over 4 years ago. Due to circumstances within the family, I had not seen my uncle for over 30 years, yet the passing of my dad prompted me to re-connect and we have enjoyed almost weekly visits for quite a while now. Not too long ago, I was given a box of old photographs that apparently my uncle had almost, inadvertently, thrown out. The above picture was taken of him during the l950's by a street photographer as he did some shopping in New Westminster.
My Uncle had seen a lot of changes during his 90 years; he came from a small coal mining town in Scotland and as a young boy of five, helped his family to make ends meet by delivering milk and coal. His time in the army, during the Second World War, took this young man from Blantyre into the Middle East and Egypt; he emigrated to Canada in the late 40's, where after a stint as a butcher, he landed a job at Pacific Veneer where he remained until his retirement.
As his family make preparations to celebrate his life, my thoughts have turned towards The Author of Life, and for those of you that meet with me every Thursday morning, I know you will understand my particular train of thought. Life is fully celebrated in the Originator of Life... Jesus Himself. He said to a woman who was grieving the death of her brother, "I Am the Resurrection and the Life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"
I am thankful that I was able to be reconciled with my uncle during these last few years, I was blessed in the knowing of him. But even greater joy is mine in knowing that I have been reconciled to God my Father, through Jesus Christ His Son...never to be separated again.
Posted by Cathie at 4:04 PM 0 comments

Buttons and Bows

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Buttons and Bows
The other day I decided to go and check out some of the Second Hand Shops here in my little village. I was on a was to find materials to make an artists bag that will hold all of my pens and pencils and scissors and tape and all of the 'stuff' that I will supposedly need when I actually begin making Altered Books. Never heard of an Altered Book before? Well, as soon as I make one I will post it and you can tell me what you think...Anyway, in one of the Second Hand Shops (in my little village), I found a whole rack of materials neatly hung over hangers and I began perusing through. My requirements were reasonable enough, I needed a good, thick sturdy fabric - two actually (for contrast don't you know), with some of the colours that I enjoy and that would inspire me as I work...and don't you just know that I found exactly what I was looking for...and more!The cream coloured fabric (on the left) was edged in a 3" cream lace that was gorgeous. I purchased both fabrics for under $8, ran them through the washing machine, unstitched the lace (to be used another time, another project) and am I a happy girl!I wonder who these fabrics used to belong to...who knew that curtains and a tablecloth would one day end up becoming an artist's bag.All of this gives me pause for makes me think of who I was, and who I belonged to before Jesus came along, chose me, washed me up and made me into a new creation in Christ...I'm just sayin'...
Posted by Cathie at 5:42 PM 0 comments

darkness and Light

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

darkness and Light

I have been thinking quite a bit lately about the contrast between darkness and light. As a young girl, I loved the way the light of the sun would filter through the trees and dapple the ground; it would delight my eyes and my sense of play. I remember trying to catch the little moving fragments of light dancing on the grass, pouncing on them and laughing when the light could not be caught, but would simply jump onto the back of my hand!
Even now, one of my simplest of pleasures is seeing the light of the sun, streaming in through my window and completely changing the look and feel of my home.
Of course, one thing that light does is reveal those things that have been hidden! Yes, darkness is darkness, but add a little light and everything changes.
Jesus has said that He is the True Light...the True Light that came into a dark world, so that everyone who believes in Him will not remain in darkness. When someone has been in the dark for a while, their eyes become accustomed to it; and they begin to find various ways to navigate their way around. Thing is, no matter how good they have become, living in the dark...they are still in the dark. It is not until the Light shines that the extent of that darkness is revealed.
As a little girl, it never crossed my mind that one day, I would have an encounter with the True Light. Yet, this Light of the Son was not elusive like the dappling fragments of light on a summers day that filtered through the trees; this Light came and called me His own.
Yes, darkness is indeed darkness....but add a little Light, and everything changes.
Posted by Cathie at
11:19 AM 2 comments


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