Saturday, March 30, 2013


It's a time of the year that's usually pretty busy if you're in active service.  It's been really nice to have a quiet, contemplative Easter weekend so far this year! 

I very much admire the attitude in this recent quote:

“We need to go out to the outskirts where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight, and prisoners in thrall to many evil masters… It is not in soul-searching or constant introspection that we encounter the Lord.”    
                                                   - the new Pope

We need more voices like this in the world!  But there's a balance as well. Personally I've suppressed my inner 'Mary' too much in recent years because of the need around me, so I'm learning the 'better part' again.  (I had a talk the other day with someone about how sitting at His feet like Mary did was actually an active role since it was the role of the disciple, but that's another conversation.) 

Balance.  It's been wonderful to be in the frame of mind to contemplate His sacrifice.  The agony and the love like no other.  

I've been working on a cross-stitch for years now of J3sus The Shepherd sitting with lambs around His feet.  It's one of those projects that I either work on quite a bit or put away for long periods in between.  I pulled it out yesterday for the first time in a while and even though it's got a few 'age' spots and places where the thread has bled into the unstitched part, it's worth finishing.  The subject matter always makes me think and I remember the things that I've thought about, prayed about, and stages of life as I've stitched.  

We need times of contemplation as well.

It's interesting how the circumstances of life can also challenge us and be the catalyst for good introspection.  For example, I haven't seen my husband in two and a half months.  I love him and have been longing for him.  I look forward to the times we get to interact online and on Skype, but can't wait until a week from today (!) when I actually get to be in his presence.

It's made me compare that to my Priority Relationship in life.  How much do I long for Him?  How much do I ache for HIS Presence?  Do I stop and just sit in it each day?  And what a privilege it is to have it available!!!

His Presence.  The beauty that is the result of Easter.  

Brought near to us.............
Drawn by my beautiful, 11 year-old, legally blind niece.  Amazing!

The song that won't leave my head today.....  (Click on link to hear and shut your eyes to listen---it's a good one!)  It's nothing that we've done!

Monday, March 18, 2013


While New Zealand usually has a lot of rain and unpredictable weather, this summer has been an absolutely amazing summer at the beach on the north island. No need to look at the forecast before leaving the house----it's just beautiful sunshine!

New Zealand relies heavily on dairy farming, however, and the last few weeks have been really hard on them.  The soil on the farms is dry and cracked and they're running out of food and water for their herds.  Since a lot of the country relies on rainwater tanks for their household supply, it's been affecting the human population as well.  

But this weekend it began to rain.  A lovely, long soak of a rain.  Not a huge storm with buckets of water that would result in flash flooding on the hard earth.

The ground has a ways to go before it's lush again, but this morning the air is fresher and the birds are singing like they haven't for weeks now.  An infusion of life to the land.

Sometimes our hearts feel like this.  Dry, cracked, desperate for the 'water' of His touch. 

It's at times like this that we long for Him "like a dry and parched land where there is no water." (Ps. 63:1) We want to be watered right then and there.  Fully drenched.  Restored.

But just like the land our hearts take time.  Too much at once will just run off and be wasted.  What we really need is the gentle soaking rain of His Presence that will prepare our 'soil' for more.  An infusion of life to our hearts.......

Update:  Steve has been back at FS working for seven weeks now.  Things are going really well. We're missing him heaps in NZ but only three more weeks until we see him!  Both girls are back in Uni and I'm homeschooling the boys.