Tuesday, November 30, 2010
This is the newest short film produced by Ellerslie Mission Society, which I have the privilege to work for and be a part of. This is the heart of God. Please watch this prayerfully and be willing to open your heart to feel His heart, His anguish, His love. Then, ask yourself, what is it He would desire you to do?
Posted by Jadebird at 8:40 AM
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Today was a sweat shirt, jeans, and hot coffee kind of day. The kind of day when one just wants to hole up and enjoy being alone. A day to recharge and breath, loving the winter sky and the cold air. Today was the kind of day when one wishes that the sky might just send down merry little snow flakes and then, when they do not come, it was the kind of day to be disappointed in no snow. Today was a Schumann and Mozart sort of day, a Milo and Otis childhood day, when being content comes very easy. This day begged for one to take a nice, long, dreamy sort of nap, the kind of nap where you wake up slowly and just enjoy laying under a down comforter.
Then, evening came creeping in while the down comforter still held its hostage. Said hostage finally drug herself up and the evening promptly demanded grapefruit and boiled eggs for dinner. Yes, is was that sort of evening. Delightful. Beautiful really, for nothing extraordinary happened, there was no laughing or running about, just time spent in a beautiful little room with reading, music, simple food, and the complete ordinariness of being alone. It was perfect.
Something has to be said for not being lonely or unhappy when you are alone with just yourself. I cannot imagine not wanting to be alone, for though I love being with people, I've found that I require time completely alone to recharge something in me. I love to talk with people, especially one on one, however, I love not talking and just being still and thinking all by myself. I'm not sure I know the meaning of the word "bored" for even when I was a little girl, I always found that I could retreat to my thoughts and imagine all sorts of wonderful and delightful things, even in the midst of some situation that would have otherwise been boring. My imagination has had some very good practice over the years because of this. It is, in my humble opinion, quite important to keep one's imagination in good working order, especially after one has left childhood behind. So often, grown ups let their imagination fall into complete ruin after a certain age. Why? I can't imagine not using mine for so long that it ceases to work all together. What are grown ups thinking?! Oh, well, I suppose that's the problem, they're not thinking at all.
Just imagine, imagine when you were a little boy or girl, what sparked your imagination to life? Were you a pirate on some high seas adventure? Or perhaps you were a princess, locked away in a tall tower, completely confident that your knight was on his way to rescue you. My tower was a very tall magnolia tree that was absolutely made to be climbed. Oh, the places and things that magnolia tree became in my world. It served as a tall tower where I was locked away by an evil sorcerer one day and became a beautiful castle, reaching to the sky the next. Grand balls and delicious feasts were held underneath it's shiny leaves and many hours were spent just thinking and surveying the lay of the land from the upmost top of its branches.
Then, of course, there was the fig tree. Yes, I said a fig tree. A beautiful little tree who's branches went all the way to the ground and who's leaves were big enough to block all view from the outside. The inside was a perfect "house" for the branches only went up and out so it seemed to be hollow and truly like a tree house. Many hours were passed inside this little haven, pretending that it was a quaint cottage in England or Ireland, lived in by a girl who loved to "cook" delicious meals and tend to her flower garden. Of course, it always was under the shadow and protection of the grand Magnolia Castle just across the way. There was a "stable" comprised of a little grape arbor just next door, and beautiful arabian horses filled its gates. This was the stuff of dreams and wonder, this was my imagination brought to life. Where each day held one new adventure after another, either played by a beautiful princess or a simple girl who lived in a magical little cottage.
Can you picture it? Can you see, smell, or hear what brought your imagination to life? Can you return to that enchanted place of wonder, where anything was possible, and reality was made of whatever you wanted it to be? Why do we want to live in a world where we cannot return and visit now and then? Yes, we are grown ups, we have to be responsible and realistic...but, there are times that call for the realistic to be cast aside and your imagination allowed to soar. There are times when believing in fairies, dragons, gnomes, and unicorns are essential to living in this responsible and realistic world we are called to live in. If we do not know how to revisit and believe in all we once did, then something in us dies and it is a devastating death, for we hardly even comprehend the enormity of what we've lost. Don't let it die. Tonight or today, whenever you happen to be reading this, revisit that place you once knew. Sit and be still and allow your imagination to soar. Oh, what an incredible, wonderful adventure you're in store for if you do...
Posted by Jadebird at 8:40 PM
Friday, November 19, 2010
Oh, I want to be in the place I once knew as a child. I want to rest in Him with all the trust and assurance that I possessed in those beautiful and simple days. Why must I complicate it when it's really the most simple thing in the world? He is beautiful, so very beautiful and I am ugly. Yet, He loves me still. This is truly wonderful, too wonderful for my mind to grasp. As surely as if I'd been the one to hammer the nails into His precious hands, my work, my flesh, everything in me hung Him on that cross. Yet, willingly He hung there. He only had two choices. He could avoid or even come down from the cross and escape the torment, but it would be a life without me. Or He could be tortured and tormented, bear the anguish of all my sin, and die, but this would provide me the choice of living forever with Him. He chose me. He chose me knowing that I could choose to not be with Him. He chose to die rather than to imagine living without me while knowing full well that if I did not choose Him, His sacrifice would be for nothing. He went through it all anyway, because He loves me that much. He loves you that much. For though He gives all of Himself to me, He does the same for you as well and when He hung on that cross, He was thinking of you. He did it all for you as if you were the only person in this whole world.
I know all of this. Yet, there are times I still doubt. Even though I know all of this, I still have the audacity to still doubt! Why?! What is wrong with me? I am human and my flesh would rule me if I let it. It would tell me that there is no way a God, a man, would do all this for me. Yet, I am made in His image and He that is in me holds my heart and assures me that, yes, as God, as man, He did all of this and would do it all again to give me that choice. To give you the choice. It is the most beautiful, incredible, astounding thing to think about. It is not complicated. It is quite simple. He had two choices and so do I. For He was a prince, He gave up His throne and came down to save this lowly woman, to fight His greatest foe, who was holding me hostage, with all that was in Him. He fought and He died, all because of this great love that He has for me. It is a fairy tale, the most romantic of stories, and it is mine alone. Yet, the beauty, the most glorious and wonderful thought is that it is all yours alone as well.
So, whom do you choose? I choose life abundant with Him. I choose to live a life that is hard, that requires I die to my flesh that I may live to know all the riches and glories of being in His presence, that asks me to lay down all I would hold dear that He may replace it with things far more wonderful than I can ever imagine. I choose to be His and His alone because I love Him above all others. I choose to live with Him because I have found that it is in being with Him that I have found the most incredible joy and happiness. I choose to live with Him, because living without Him is not living at all. Living without Him would be a mere shadow of a life that can only be found to the fullest in Him. I choose my Jesus, my prince.
Whom do you choose?
Posted by Jadebird at 9:51 PM
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The mountains in the distance are so clearly beautiful today. It's been snowing way up there and their peaks have been bathed in stark white snow. They seem to be glowing today as the sun blazes down upon them. I love days like this. Days that are ordinary. Days that require dragging myself out of the bed, working a bit, then heading off to the kiddos. As I write this, two little faces, pudgy with food, are staring back at me with the expectancy of another bite.
Today is just lovely in its simplicity. There are clouds blowing in from the east and the promise of a lovely, gray winter day is in the air. To the west, the sun continues to smile down on those beautiful mountain peaks. Dinner is in the refrigerator marinating and the rice is made to go along with it. Chicken satay with coconut rice anyone? That's what is being served around here for dinner tonight. Wonderful music is pouring from my speakers and I'm sitting in the perfect spot to see the east and west and the two days clashing together.
Can you believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner? How did that happen? I think we jumped from 2009 to 2011, because 2010 can not be almost over. I love Thanksgiving! Next to Christmas, it's my favorite holiday, although this year I'm torn with wanting to stay with the choir kids and going home. However, my family won out since I haven't seen them all that much the last few months and I'll have time to spend with the kids when I get back. So, I'm headed to my parents next Tuesday/Wednesday fully prepared to be stuffed over the ensuing days to follow. My Dad makes the best turkey, hands down, better than anyone I've ever known. That turkey is incredible! Then, there will be two different kinds of cranberry salad, garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and a whole host of other delightful creations that my parents come up with each year. They are deadly together in the kitchen. This year is special, however, because they just moved into a new house with a beautiful mountain river literally in their back yard. You should be jealous. It's going to be wonderful!
Whoever you are reading this, do you have any Thanksgiving traditions or something you love about Thanksgiving? I'd love to know if you do! Do you have any fun recipes to share? I'm making dessert this year (which I normally do) and I'd love some new recipes if anyone has any they'd like to share. I hope you, yes you reading this, have a beautifully blessed day today, overflowing with the love of our precious Jesus!
Posted by Jadebird at 12:14 PM
Thursday, November 11, 2010
The first snow of winter arrived in all its glory early last week. The world was transformed. All the colors were washed away, yet replaced by a colorlessness that was beautiful in its nonexistent colors. I love the grays, whites, and browns that replace the vibrance of fall. In their own way, they seem to be just as stunning as the glowing yellows, orange, and reds of autumn's glory. And what glorious sunsets we have in the winter here. There is something about a winter's sunset, when the snow joyously reaches out its arms to embrace the colors of the leaving sun, reflecting with all its might all that it can back to the heavens. It's almost as if there is a double sunset, as if the snow and all its surroundings are the sunset as well. It is obvious how much our God must adore colors when you see the stunning strokes from His paint brush, blazing across the sky. With each sunset I witness, I can't help but wonder if He saw me thousands of years ago, standing there staring at that particular sunset. Did He paint it just for me? It seems to be a love letter from Him, for I know He knew I would be there staring at those hues, thinking of Him.
The choir kids arrived from Haiti on Monday. Thirteen precious, stunningly beautiful children that have completely stolen my heart. When I look at them I see royalty, treasured by my Father above all others.When I look at them, I see my own children in the future. For they are the least of these and their lives are a blazing witness of the faithfulness and love of my precious Jesus. For the first time in my life, the ache that I have carried for Haiti for so long, the anguish I've felt has taken on the faces of thirteen incredible kids and I am honored to have them in my life. I am honored to have the opportunity to know them, to learn their names, what their favorite colors are, what they want to be when they grow up, and to listen to their sweet prayers. What music it must be to His ears to hear the prayers that they pray. I am moved beyond words and I can't understand a word they're saying because it's all in Creole. However, I know that I desire to pray with such deep emotion, with such adoration, and purity. Oh, how I long to have the faith of a child, to be like these sweet kids. I would learn to never waiver in trusting that if my God said it, it will happen. For, as Eric so often says, God cannot lie. If He cannot lie, then all that He has promised, all that He has said, He will accomplish and fulfill far more than I can ever dream.
Yes, my life has once again changed. Something has happened and I will never again be the same. Before Monday, I had ached and cried for the injustice I knew was happening to so many precious and innocent children. Before Monday, I had anguished for the horrors I read about, sex trafficking, child slaves, children starving, children unloved, children used and then left on the side of the road. My soul was anguished over these things, but, God forgive me, they were not real. They did not have a face, a name, a personality and my soul was not reckoning the humanness, the sheer, beautiful, ordinary, and extraordinary children that I was anguished for. I know now. I know the faces, the names of only a handful and for the first time, all the others are becoming truly real. And now that I have seen, I am responsible. Now that I have held them, I am responsible, and I would give my life for just one of them. Not to save them only from the horrors, but I would give my life that just one of them would come to know the incredible love of their Savior. For He is the only hope in this life, through all the pain and suffering.
My life has forever changed. This is what I would and will give my life to. I would have given it before if He has asked it of me, but now I beg that He would ask! I beg that He would require all of me to give to all of them. For am I not His hands and feet? If I claim to be a Christian, I am just that and this will require my life. Oh, what a beautiful, incredible life it will be...
Posted by Jadebird at 9:28 PM
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Rolling River God
Little Stones are smooth
Only once the water passes through
So I am a stone
rough and grainy still
Trying to reconcile this river's chill
But when I close my eyes
and feel you rushing by
I know that time brings change
and change takes time
And when the sunset comes
my prayer would be just this one
that you might pick me up
and notice that I am
just a little smoother in your hand
Sometimes raging wild
sometimes swollen high
never have I known this river dry
The deepest part of you
is where I want to stay
and feel the sharpest edges wash away
This song has been like a balm on my soul and in my life the last couple weeks. It has been on repeat and I'm sure I've listened to it over 100 times. There is something so majestic about the visual that comes to mind through these lyrics. To be so lost in my God, hidden in the deepest part of His being, until He has smoothed out all the jagged and rough edges of who I am, is so beautiful to my soul. My heart beats and aches to be like this. To be the smallest stone, the tiniest pebble, but the one worn and polished by His waters until, when He reaches out to choose a stone to use, it is I that He picks up. It is I that is released from His hand with the perfect precision and accuracy. The precision and accuracy that blazes out and like a sure shot, accomplishes that which I am to accomplish for His glory.
This will not happen without time. Though He is not bound by the time of this world, He uses the time I am bound to and in His heavenly time, He creates the smoothest of edges. Ah, but the waiting it takes for this to happen. So often, I've found myself begging the Lord to allow me to become, or do, or go, when I want it to happen. "Today, Father! Let it be/happen today!" I find this is the cry of my heart so very often. Yet, in His patience and love, He has and is asking me to wait for certain things, until it is His perfect timing. When I look back over past waiting seasons in my life, when I can see what the end results are and now that it has ended, what was accomplished, I am always so thankful for the waiting. Looking back, all the waiting was so worth it and now that those periods of waiting are over, I can clearly see what a gift they were. I can see how, though I may have felt worn down by rushing waters, or that I was stuck at the bottom of the river with the water rushing over and above me, it was at these times I was being worn smooth, to shine with His brilliance. For I have nothing of light in me if He is not there and what a witness it is of who He is, when others see a reflection of Jesus in the worn and shining pebbles that we are and can be. To be the one willing to be worn, to be the one who cries out for God to smooth the sharpest edges away, this is painful. Oh, but the beauty to be allowed to close my eyes and feel the great river rushing around me, to know that I am lost in Him becoming what I was made to be, this is worth everything. For I do not want to be an ugly little stone, worthless with jagged edges, I want to be His smooth stone, held in the mighty right hand of my precious and beautiful God. Take me, Father, and make me smooth in all that you are so that giants fall when you send me forth from Your sling.
"He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd's bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine...And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground."
1 Samuel 17:40,49
Posted by Jadebird at 2:03 PM
Our Nov/Dec. issue of the magazine is up everyone! Annie has done a fantastic job with the design, I am so proud of her! Every issue gets better and better. Our God is so faithful to pour into us what we need to do what He has called us to do. Hope you enjoy the reading:-)
Posted by Jadebird at 9:00 AM
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Let's go. You and I alone. Take my hand and we'll jump on the back of the north wind. We'll gently ride up to where the stars are alive and singing their star song. We'll head in the direction of Neverland, first star to the right and straight on 'till morning. Do you suppose we could get lost there? Maybe we can have a fantastic picnic with the lost boys that ends in a huge food fight! Or perhaps, we could go on a grand adventure to look for buried treasure. It will probably be quite dangerous, you know. Full of pirates, flying, crocodiles, boys that never grow up, and indians... are you brave enough? Am I brave enough? I believe we are.
Then again, we could go straight to visit Pooh Bear, Rabbit, Piglet, Tigger, and Owl. There are so many wonderful, grand things to do in the Hundred
Acre Wood. Like chasing clouds, counting bees in hives, getting honey pots unstuck from a certain bear's nose,hunting for Skullasauraus, running from noises made by said skullasaurus, or trying to find Owl a new home. Then, we will have to attend Roo's birthday party, where there will be many wonderful games to be played and delicious birthday cake with extra colorful and scrumptious icing to devour. Yes, these are mighty adventures indeed and will require some one very clever...are you clever enough? Am I? I believe we are.
However, there is always the open invitation we have to tea at Mr. Tumnus's house. There will be a nice brown egg, nicely boiled for each of us, then, sardines on toast, buttered toast, and then honey on toast. Finally, there is the delectable sugar-topped cake and of course perfectly steeped tea. Afterwards, we shall all sit and chat by the crackling fire and listen to beautiful music provided by Mr. Tumnus himself. We will probably discuss the state of things, all the happenings with theBeavers and wondering why such and such did this and that. Since we are all such great friends, there will be no need to fill up every inch of space with talk, there will be time to have comfortable silences that one only has with the very truest of friends. I'm quite sure that we will have that delicious, warm, perfectly full feeling, that only comes from eating just the right amount of the very best things and then, after we've solved all the problems that need solving, we'll doze comfortably in front of that inviting fire. Our chairs will be pulled up close to its glowing presence and we'll snuggle back cozily into their softness...This all, of course, will demand that we be the truest of true friends. Are you true enough? Am I? I believe we are.
When we finally arrive back home from wherever we decided to go, we'll have to sit and write of all our many, grand adventures. Then, as the years pass, we'll look back and say, "Do you remember when..."
Posted by Jadebird at 11:46 PM
Oh man, such a bad idea to drink a medium size coffee at 10 at night. Umm, hello?! What was I thinking? It's what I tend to do though, I love to drink coffee at night and eat chocolate first thing in the morning...though, I do try and use some self restraint and not eat chocolate first thing very often. It is somewhat of a shock to the system;-) I love living life this way, because it's so terribly short and every day is such a gift. I love being crazy and sane, being healthy and splurging, laughing and crying, I love it all. I can't just love one side of life, I have to love every side if I'm going to love it at all, I believe. And there are so many wonderful, beautiful, extraordinary things to love!!!
I love the way frost sparkles as the new day rises to great it. I love the purples and pinks of a sun cresting the mountains to attend the day. I love the white, snow capped mountains more than I ever thought I would. I never thought I'd love them as much as the sea, but I do, just in a different way. Every upturn of my eyes to their glorious heights reminds me of the majesty of their creator and mine. I love the way, when the sky is heavy with gray clouds, the little lake outside my window soaks up their heaviness and changes to the most beautiful, deep silver. I love it much more than when it's bright and happy with the sun shining on it's face. I love the way snow crunches and makes your eyelashes heavy with passing snowflakes. I love Christmas lights, hot chocolate, and peppermint ice cream. I love rainy, English days that make me want to curl up with a good book to get lost in. I love antiques and the history that's attached to them. Give me an old anything over a new something any day. I love the smells of autumn...cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, apples. I love when the kiddos hug me longer than I do them and I have to hug back more when I would have let go. I love that. I love how A pronounces "tree" (sounds like shree), I love how excited D is to see me when he wakes up from his nap. I love B's "jump on me hugs" and P's sleepy face when she wakes up. They make me love my life so much more. I love, love, the Word of God, I love to sit and soak it up for hours. I love the thought of gazing on Jesus's face one day and never having to say goodbye...ever. I love the way my Mom smells and how, even if I'm a thousand miles away from him, I want to call my Dad when I'm in trouble, because hearing his voice makes whatever it is better. I love Earl Grey tea when I'm writing and Irish breakfast tea in the mornings. I love hugs that lift me off my feet and laughing until my stomach hurts. I love the sea and salty air, I am convinced that salt air is a cure all. I love playing the violin and listening to good music. I love cereal with extra cold milk. I love loving all of this and so, so much more.
These are just a few things I love, but the thought of just these makes life worth living to the fullest. What do you love? What makes you love your life?
Alright, I'm going to attempt to sleep so that I will love the morning...
Posted by Jadebird at 12:46 AM
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
This morning there was frost on the ground. There has been frost in the early mornings for a while now, but this morning the Lord used it to speak to my heart. I'm not sure why, but it truly was like a sweet gift from Him. Isn't it wonderful, the way our God works through the smallest, minutest creations as a way to speak to our soul? As I was having my quiet time with Him, I read this quote from A.W. Tozer:
"Wherever we are, God is here. There is no place, there can be no place, where He is not. Ten million intelligences standing at as many points in space and separated by incomprehensible distances can each one say with equal truth, God is here. No point is nearer to God than any other point. It is exactly as near to God from any place as it is from any other place. No one is a mere distance any further from or nearer to God than any other person."
I love this. I love the thought that you are no further from God than I am, though we may be separated by thousands upon thousands of miles. It's incomprehensible, but that is our God, incomprehensible. Everything, His love, His joy, His truth, His Word, His beauty, His power, His character, every aspect of who He is, is incomprehensible. And I am so glad He is! Can you imagine if He was comprehensible? No, for even that is beyond anything our mind can fathom.
Oh, the joy of the Lord is sweet! Today, it is a beautiful day and the love of the Lord is fulfilling and overflowing from every part of what He has made me. I love my Jesus!!! This is the Christian life, to be this full of joy and happiness. To want to shout from the mountain tops that I gaze out at from my window, "World! Stand up and listen! The joy and everlasting love of our God is incredible! He is the answer to everything, all of your problems and hurt. For only He can truly fulfill your heart and soul and make you sing and shout with a joy immeasurable. This is the truth and the truth is GOOD NEWS!! You do not have to live a miserable life, you do not EVER have to be unhappy and downtrodden again, because HE is the ANSWER!"
This is what I would shout if I could get up to the top of one of those mountains:-) This is what I genuinely feel in every part of me. So, instead of shouting and yelling, I'll just strive for my life to shout it for me. To shout that the Christian life is hard, it is not easy and never will be, but there is joy beyond measure, there is kindness and goodness, there is a purpose to stand for truth and to defend the least who are His heart. Though pain and sorrow do enter in, because it is still life on this earth, there is always peace and joy underneath the pain of this world, no matter what may happen. The Christian life is not defeated, it is not drained of all that He is, because He is so much more than we could ever imagine. This life is full of wonder and beauty, it is not condemning, yet it never allows untruth to abide and sin to reign in the smallest measure. When these things are discovered they are cast out and to walk in a different direction is the single thought. Yes, this is what I would have my life show, but above all I would have it known that I am human and I fail, yet He is God and He never fails me or you. Yes, this is good news.
And so, today I would say to you who are reading this, to be happy. Because life is beautiful and full of wonder and too short to waste on trivial things that mean nothing in the end. Be happy and full of joy in your God!
Posted by Jadebird at 9:09 AM