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Delighting in my God, I desire to dwell in His pleasure and to help others experience true delight.

"Delight Yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.  
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;..." Ps 37:4-7a

Friday, May 31, 2013

Imagining the Abundant Joy of Eternity

Five Minute Friday:  Imagine


1.  Write for 5 minutes flat - no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2.  Link back to Five Minute Friday
3.  Visit the person who linked up before you and encourage them with your comments.  The one unbreakable rule.






I haven’t written a Five Minute Friday for awhile.  I haven’t blogged for a few weeks either, come to think of it.  I’ve barely gotten online to leave a comment here or there, but at least I have done that over the last few weeks a time or two.  It has been nagging at me to sit down and write something more than a journal entry, a homeschool test, or something work related.  

"Ah, it’s Friday, I’ll check in and at least write for 5 minutes,"  I think.  So I checked in to find the word “Imagine” was the prompt for the day.  Then I was immediately summoned to perform mom driving duties.  The word "Imagine" hummed in my head as I drove.

Upon return:  Five minutes begin.  

GO!

I couldn’t help but immediately think of one of my favorite songs, “I Can Only Imagine.”  

Image source


Every time I hear it, my heart turns to praise.  I can’t help but meditate on the concept of being in the eternal presence of God.  The sense of abundance, not of lots of stuff as in the physical, but of abundant filling of the Spirit, with a satiation that leads to sense of satisfaction and sanctification that is palpable.  I can breathe it, feel it, bask in it:  the abundance of joy that overwhelms me as I imagine.  The song often moves me to tears of joy, and I love to just sing along, and then think about it when it is done.

I drove along and thought about the song.  I thought about the words and the concept on my way back after dropping the kids.  Then I turned the radio on.  I confess I usually listen to talk radio in the afternoon.  There was a commercial on; so I switched the channel to the Christian radio station.  Just as I turned it on, “I Can Only Imagine” began to play.  I couldn’t help but well up with tears of joy at the realization that my God was speaking directly to me.  

Five minutes up:  Stop.
______________


I also can’t help but think about Team Hoyt every time I hear the song since when I first heard it, it was in conjunction with a music video about this amazing father and son duo.  Their story is quite incredible.  Son, Rick Hoyt was born with cerebral palsy which left him paralyzed with minimal mobility.  Medical personnel held out little hope, but the Hoyts, Dick and Judy, would not give up on their son.  As he grew, they grew too ministering to him as loving parents might.  Along the way, they discovered that young Rick Hoyt got a tremendous sense of freedom from being out with his dad in racing events, Father Hoyt pushing his son in some kind of chair or bike, or carrying him along in some way.

After the initial 5 mile benefit run in 1977, the Hoyts went on to participate in more and more races including marathons and triathlons.  In 1989 the Hoyt Foundation was started to raise awareness of the challenges of people with disabilities as it, “aspires to build the individual character, self-confidence, and self-esteem of America’s disabled young people through inclusion in all facets of daily life...”   One of the ironic and quite poignant vignettes of their larger story came when Dick Hoyt had a heart attack after years of racing with his son.  The doctor’s told him he wouldn’t have survived had he not been in such tremendous physical condition.  Here the Dad had been thinking he was helping his son all these years, and it turns out the son saved his dad’s life.



There is lots more of the inspiring story, and the music video is worth watching again and again.  I hope you’ll take the time to visit Team Hoyt.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Son's Wedding - A Mother's Transition

It has been a whirlwind weekend for our family.  We headed off last Thursday to join my son and prepare for his wedding on Saturday, on my birthday.  






Family came from all parts and we had a wonderful family reunion after the rehearsal on Friday.  

































Then came the big event on Saturday.  It was beautiful and lots of tears were shed by Mom, (that's me).  


My Children were all in the wedding, the groom in the middle.

Of course they were happy tears, sort of.  I didn't think this would be as difficult as it is.   After all, isn't this what we get them ready for - to go off on their own, live their own lives, start their own families?




Really it isn't that I am not happy for the bride and groom.  I am.  They love each other and they bring out the best in each other.  What is difficult are these transitions.  It is like you are leaving behind one life and beginning another.  Transitions are difficult.  You know an era has passed.  That's a hard thing on a personal level for me.  Even happy transitions are hard things for some of us.



And so, though I should be rejoicing, and I am, I am also struggling with the emotional tumult of transition.  I feel bad for my family because I am sure I am a bit salty right now.  But salt brings flavor and salt preserves; so perhaps I'm adding something good with my internal wrestling match as it flavors their lives.



I am spending extra time with the Lord lamenting the emotions that accompany transition.  I am not complaining.  There isn't anything to complain about.  Look at this beautiful couple!  It is a wonderful thing, marriage.  

I am confessing, confessing that I want to be as joyful as I know I should be, but I am not there yet.  I am thanking, thanking God for the beautiful bride He has given my son, and the wonderful family He has blessed us with.  I am praising, praising God for who He is and how He works all these things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  I am just resting, dwelling in His presence so that my lament will turn to praise and thanksgiving and contentment and joy.   



Buck and Anna Dunn, married May 11, 2013 

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24


 Thank you to those who have passed along awards to my blog.  I appreciate you and will get to the responses eventually.  And thanks for coming by and celebrating this joyous time with me too. 




Thursday, May 2, 2013

Reflecting On the A to Z Challenge


A to Z Challenge:  Reflections:  

A to Z Reflections


The A to Z Challenge really started for me back a few month in preparation for April. I began tracking the A to Z challenge website and gaining tips and tricks for how to prepare, as well as how to get and give the most in the challenge.  And I did learn oodles from that daily check in.  I practiced daily what I was learning, like visiting blogs of those on the list and prewriting some of the A to Z entries.  Both of these were huge helps.  In fact, if I participate next year, and right now I think I will, I’ll start even earlier and try to not only get most prewritten but also pre-posted, which I did not do until we got very close to the kick-off.  

Starting off in April wasn’t too tough.  I was able to get a week’s worth of pre-posts ready to go, and so the daily 5 new blog visits and revisiting those who became blogging friends or those blogs that really intrigued me or those that were kind enough to stop by my blog was not initially too difficult.  However, as I began to fall behind on the rest of life, running to catch up, and as I didn’t have a week in advance ready anymore, if even a day, and as the revisits mounted up, well the CHALLENGE of the event began to challenge me.  

I imagine I am not much different than others in this regard.  At that point I not only had to catch up some days with life outside of the blogosphere, I started to feel like I had to catch up with life in blogland as well, because I am fanatical about keeping my commitments, and I made a commitment to visit as well as write my own entry.  So by golly, I was going to do it!

In spite of the stress in the second half, what a joy it has been connecting with the  like-minded, coming to understand the not-so-like-minded, visiting places and people from around the world, being inspired by the young, the old, and the simply inspiring, and so much more that many of us would never have been exposed to.  It has been a truly growing experience.  Not only writing everyday in this way, but also connecting in a way that is, well, out of this world in more ways than one, I have found myself very deeply contemplative on some points and prayerful for new people.  The fun, the inspiration, the challenge, have all been a healthy stretch.  

I am very grateful that God laid it on Arlee’s heart to get this off the ground those few years back.  It is incredible how many people’s lives around the world A to Z has touched and how it has connected so many of us in such a good way.  Recently I was listening to a speaker who was addressing the current state of our information age that we know so many things that in reality are trivial and unnecessary to our daily lives, and yet we don’t know what is happening in our neighbors lives.  True and sad.  Yet this challenge brought lives together in an explosion of discovery.  Perhaps some of it was trivial and unnecessary, but I have to say I do feel like it did add to the quality of my life, my personal development, and my relationships across the spectrum of this world and the cyber-world.  Thank you Arlee and thank you to all of you who have connected with me through this A-Z adventure.  

A to Z Challenge Reflections

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Who Am I?


The Insecure Writer's Support Group
It has been such a busy month trying to keep up with the A to Z Challenge.  Now I have whirling around in my head that I want to make the next hurdle and post on the reflections link.  And will I make it?

I am not a novelist, but I love to write.  I primarily like to share things that I have learned or that I believe the Lord is teaching me that someone else might benefit from.  I am a counselor, a home school teacher, a mom, a wife, not necessarily in that order.  I have been a newsletter editor, a speech editor, a program editor, among my various editorial experience.  But who am I to think I can even be part of an "Insecure Writer's Support Group?"

It has been a real high being part of the A to Z challenge and rubbing words with all of you real writers.  Who am I?  I write my thoughts down in a blog.  I write devotionals for our home school newsletter.  I write in my journal.  I think about writing more extensively, but barely have time to keep up with the pittance I am already executing.  A to Z was a real CHALLENGE for me to fit in while keeping up with all the rest of my responsibilities.  I am no writer.  Am I?

Who am I?  I am not any one of any notoriety and probably never will be.  I am a pretty joyful, Christian wife and mom.  I am happy to be serving my family, the church, and the community in the capacity that I do.  But is the Lord really calling me to write?  Do I have something to say that needs to be heard?  Who am I?  

So while I came away from the A-Z Challenge really excited for all that I learned and everyone I met and what I was able to accomplish, I also came away with that sense of "what am I doing here?"  Who am I?