Monday, September 22, 2014

Any Day Now, It's Coming

I'm awaiting the proofing copy of my book, Live with Flair: Seasons of Worship and Wonder. I hope to make it available sometime in October! I'm so excited to have (and to offer to you) this collection of lessons my heart learned these past five years.

I'm so thankful for each day now. I'm so attuned to each gift I can gather from the day, no matter how terrible the day seems. Any day and every day, I know how to live with flair. It took five years of practice--of sowing deeply into the belief that God is good and what He does is good, of uncovering the mystery and beauty of simple things--that now, every day indeed shimmers.

Looking back, it was a way of gathering back into my heart everything lost through those years of depression.

Today, I'm standing once again in my raspberry patch, and I gather each ripe thing.

I present a bowl of berries to my daughters to gobble up after school. I think of how, when they are my age, they might remember the way it felt to put each berry on their fingertips. I hope they remember the stain of it and the sweet pleasure of each berry popped into their mouths.

Meanwhile, I gather more and more. Each day, I gather and offer what I glean. When the book arrives to my doorstep, I will smile and know that God helped me gather well.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Late Blooming Rose

The roses on the garden trellis haven't bloomed for weeks. But this morning, we find the hugest bloom, right there where no bloom should be. It's astonishing because it blooms so late. All around us, everything has bloomed and is moving on to new stages: the tips of the oak leaves flare up with color; acorns fall and crack; it's cold enough for mittens. 

This rose bush lags behind. Yes, this is a late-bloomer indeed. 

We tell our daughters about the expression late bloomer in gardening and in life. If everyone else races on by in any kind of development--social, physical, or emotional--it's no cause for alarm. Your time will come. You will astonish and bring more beauty to the world precisely because of the timing of it all. While others fade, fall, and crack, you'll just be getting started! 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

When Isaiah 32:17 Floats in Your Brain

Sometimes Isaiah 32:17 floats in my brain on difficult days.

I remember the promise here that the fruit of righteousness is peace. If you look up the Hebrew word for "peace" in this verse, it's of course shalom! 

I learn that shalom refers to completeness, soundness, safety, wholeness, harmony, contentment, and a sense that "all is well" or "all is just as it should be."

If I lived out of this shalom reality, how different my attitude, how different my disposition! I receive this by faith (Christ's righteousness), but I also remember to keep in step with the Spirit because sin unsettles. It destroys that experience of harmony, wholeness, and well-being. I ask God, like David did, to expose "any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting."

The end of Isaiah 32:17 offers another fruit of righteousness: quietness and confidence forever. These Hebrew words mean "tranquil and undisturbed" and "complete security."

I receive the fruit of righteousness today. I let everything in me enter into shalom. Regardless of how unsettled I feel, I flip the switch of faith and chose to believe this reality is mine. It's here now, and I believe it.