Grandmother’s Love

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image via jjackson

 

Things have been a bit quiet on the blog…but the most wonderful news to share…

I am a new, first time grandma!

No one can really put into words the indescribable joy of being a grandma.

This precious new life…in all ways a gift from God!

Ansley Grace…you make me smile from the inside out!

It’s such a grand thing to be a mother of a mother – that’s why the world calls her grandmother.  – Unknown

Grandmothers hold their grandchildren in a special place in their heart.  – Catherine Pulsifer

When a child is born, so are grandmothers.  – Judith Levy

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Chosen to Be A Friend…

friends

Jesus reminds us that He no longer calls us slaves, but friends…

Friends…

Therefore, is not our greatest calling…our mission in life…to live as a friend of Jesus?

He chose us to be His friend…

We may have memories of being chosen….for a role in a school play, as a member of a sports team, for a new job…

We also may have memories of not being chosen…a spouse has an affair, a friend betrays us, the loss of a job…

We have memories of being chosen…we have memories of being rejected…

But Jesus CHOSE us to be His friend.

Do we ponder this invitation?

Do we respond?

William Shakespeare states, “A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently, allows you to grow.”

Jesus CHOSE us to be His friend

Do we ponder this invitation?

Have we responded?

A Cheerful Giver…

sad

Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said…

“When I see someone sad, I always think, she is refusing something to Jesus.”

This quote has really touched my spirit. I think of the little annoyances throughout the day…or the larger trials all of our lives are punctuated with, and I think how easy it is to become sad or discouraged. Isn’t this an indication that I am trying to do things my way?

She goes on to say…

“Cheerfulness is often a cloak which hides a life of sacrifice, continual union with God, fervor and generosity.”

God loves a cheerful giver…and it is in giving to Him all that befalls us, that we discover deep and lasting joy. And it is this joy that is our strength. May this day we live the joy that is the fruit of the “blessedness of submission”, refusing nothing to our God… even our daily annoyances.

Impossibilities Turned Possibilities…

picture credit: julianne jackson

picture credit: julianne Jackson

I always love finding signs of the impossible in my daily life…like this blooming flower, with buds mind you, bursting forth from between the cracks of concrete. It seems fitting to begin my Monday week with this image. With God truly all is possible…His grace makes it so. May this day all your impossibilities turn into possibilities in Him…He is a God of Surprises!

In the Reaching Out…

image credit: from the heart of j

image credit: from the heart of j

The Parable of the Man with the Withered Hand has always intrigued me. The healing comes from Jesus’ directive, “Stretch out your hand.” How often we go through life with withered hands…hands that pull back in selfishness and self-absorption. What begins with withered hands soon affects our hearts and our minds as we shrivel into a “my way” view of life.

And yet in the reaching out there is healing. In the reaching out there is a  re-connecting…in the reaching out there is a re-attaching to the Body of Christ in which His love and strength infuses the souls of His people.

Yes, in the reaching out comes the healing from within.

We are meant to be a people connected.

Man as Epiphany…

The-Face-of-Christ1

“There once was a monk named Epiphanes. One day he discovered in himself a gift from God that he never suspected to possess: he could paint beautiful icons. However he wasn’t any more at peace: he wanted, at all costs, to portray the face of Christ. Where to find a suitable model that would express at the same time suffering and joy, death and resurrection, divinity and humanity? Epiphanes then set off on a journey. He traversed Italy, France, Germany, Spain, scrutinizing every face. Nothing. The face suitable to represent Christ was not there. Tired he fell asleep repeating the words of the psalm ‘Lord, I seek Your face. Show me your face!’ He then had a dream. An angel appeared to him who brought him back to the people he had met and for each person, pointed out the one detail that made that face similar to Christ: the joy of a lover, the innocence of a child, the strength of a farmer, the suffering of a patient, the fear of a condemned man, the tenderness of a mother, the dismay of an orphan, the hope of a young man, the joy of a jester, the mercy of a confessor, the mystery of the bandaged face of a leper … Epiphanes understood and returned to his monastery. He set to work and after a while the icon was ready and he presented it to his abbot. The abbot was astonished: it was wonderful. He wanted to know which model he had used because he wanted to show him to the other artists of the monastery. But Epiphanes said “Nobody, father, was the model because no one is equal to Christ, but Christ is similar to all. You cannot find Christ in the face of one man, but in every man is a fragment of the face of Christ. + Anonymous

Every person is an epiphany of God. He “hides” within each of us and we are invited to seek His face in the faces of all those brothers and sisters upon our path. Holy Spirit, teach us to recognize the many forms of Your presence in one another. Happy Feast of the Epiphany to all!

mirage

Stare at the four dots in the center of the picture for about 30 seconds. Then close your eyes. What do you see?

The Grace to Receive…the Courage to Give

image via versusbattle,com

image via versusbattle,com

This season we each have received a gift…

The renewal of our salvation.

But you ask…how can I unwrap this gift? how can I live this gift? how can this gift, this year, make more of a difference in my life?

how can I receive this gift more deeply…with more conviction, more conscientiously, with more charity, with more celebration in my heart?

how can I be that convicted, conscientious, charitable, celebrative Christian that is leaven, light, salt in the world?

The answer is simple..

To receive the gift more deeply…we must give the gift away more freely.

For it is in the giving, that we receive.

For the grace to receive more deeply, may I have the courage to give more freely!

I Challenge You…

image via lynnwittenburg.com

image via lynnwittenburg.com

Resolutions focus on changing something we perceive as wrong in our lives. Beginning with the negative often ends in the negative.  How about starting 2015 with the positive? With ONE WORD. ONE WORD that represents a new focus, a new outlook, a special quality that marks the way ahead.  Words are powerful…a single work can inspire, motivate, connect, build up and forge a path forward if that ONE WORD becomes a signpost on our journey.  I challenge each of you to prayerfully ask God to reveal to you ONE WORD, YOUR ONE WORD, for the path ahead this year. Then post this word somewhere you frequent, ponder it, chew on it, allow it to transform!

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language…And net year’s words await another voice.” T. S. Eliot

Happy New Year 2015

From the Heart of J

Lighting a Holy Lamp…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

In the morning…When I begin to wake…it happened again…

That feeling that you, beloved, had stood over me …all night long…keeping watch…

that feeling…

that as soon as I began to wake….

you put your lips to my forehead and lit a holy lamp…

inside my heart.     – Hafiz