Whisper

Whisper is an intriguing word. It’s a word that can mean more than the soft, hushed undertones of the voice. For example, the dahlia above is faintly colored, somewhat hushed and faded, with a whisper of pink.
 
On Sunday, a guest pastor shared the morning’s message of Pentecost with our children. She asked a couple of questions, both answered by the same little girl. Margo is about four, one of three children in a family where both parents are teachers. Needless to say, a lot of learning goes on in her home.
 
As I listened, it was difficult to hear Margo’s soft, quiet tones as she answered the questions. I listened with the power of intention to grasp what she was saying. My determination was rooted in the expression on the face of the young woman pastor. A look which denoted something profound had been said.
 
When the pastor turned to the morning’s adult message, the theme was the same. In so doing, she also asked the adults questions. 
 
One of the questions was to think of one thing that stood out in the morning’s Scriptures, the sermon, the hymns. Like an epiphany, I was suddenly struck with the image of Margo and her quiet, tiny voice. And by my need to listen intently to what she said.
 
I was reminded of how important it is to listen the same way to what God has to say to me in my daily life. By listening to the still, small voice of God enriches my relationship with Him. It will also broaden my understanding of what He expects of me.
 
The words “and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6 NKJV) come to mind. A reminder that even the littlest among us may be wise in ways we don’t understand.
 
Image attribution: Janine Joles on Unsplash

 

Advent

Tonight while thinking of something happening in our lives soon, I couldn’t help thinking of the word, “advent.” Not the capitalized Advent preparing the way for the celebration of Jesus’s birth. But another type of advent when something important is beginning, approaching, or coming soon.

An event that is upcoming usually requires some preparation, planning, and yes, a little shopping. I’m busy thinking of all the things I need to do before the auspicious date arrives.

I’ve been waiting for the past 1,137 days for this event to come full circle. Believe me, the waiting has been hard. It has been frustrating and pain-filled. It has been stressful and depressing. Any other adjectives you can imagine on the hard side of life fit the bill too.

Now, as of today, I am only 21 days from the day I’ve been praying for along with Bob, our family, and our church family. Many Facebook friends have joined in prayers with us as well. What do we do without community around us?

Do you have any idea what I’m so excited about that I would consider waiting 1,137 days for it to come?

You have my permission to hazard a guess below in the comments. The first correct response receives a $10.00 Amazon gift card! You have until noon PST on Sunday, March 17th, to get your comment posted to be eligible to win.

Good luck to any and all who enter!

Word for 2019

Lots of folks make resolutions each new year. Others set specific goals. I’ve never been successful with either. As I attempt to live in the slow lane, I’m putting aside such organized planning for my life.

 Instead, I’ve chosen the word contemplate” to guide me through my next year.
 
Slowing down has shown me areas in my life lacking attention. Examples include God’s teachings, prayer, reading, music, and more. When we center on a given activity, we hear more, see more, sense more, and learn more.
 
The word “more” in that last sentence excites me. Why? Because in this fast-paced, recognition driven, madcap social media world, I run to keep up. If I slow down and allow myself space to focus on the important things, I receive boundless gifts in the form of “more.”
 
All that translates to slow down, think, contemplate.
 
About the time I reached this conclusion, Mary Oliver left us for a better place. Yet, during Oliver’s life, she gave us many gifts in her poetry and other writings. I began to scour the Internet reading about her life and her poetry. While doing so, I came upon one of my favorites, thanks to a high school English teacher, The Summer Day.
 
For me, the most stunning lines in The Summer Day are the last two:
 

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

 
It’s my belief God has slowed me down for a reason. Perhaps so He could shine a light on what I need to be doing more often and with greater intention. And He’s probably asking Himself, “What is taking so long?”
 
Well, there are a few things over which I have no control currently. I firmly believe in God’s understanding and patience much more than I do my own. So, I’ll push forward with this new lifestyle and way of thinking and writing to see where they take me.