A Mother’s Quiet Time

I wrote this many years ago, when I had three children under three years old–my older two are twins.

I love to meet You early each day.
My preference is a still, quiet house
An orderly space – a cup of fresh, hot coffee
Your Word open in my lap.
I pray that my heart would be open.

It’s almost always early –
But sometimes it’s not still and quiet.
Sometimes I hear the thudding of small steps above me –
Shrieks of laughter – sometimes crying – too.
Sometimes my space is cluttered with toys and clothes –
Sometimes my coffee is cold.

But Your Word is still open in my lap.
I’ve kept my appointment. And You are here.
I pray that my heart would be still, tender, open –
In the midst of this – my oft times chaotic life.

I thumb through the precious pages of Your Book.
I see notes I’ve written about life’s events
And am reminded how Your Word met my need.
I feel so at home here –
This is a place where I feel completely loved.

I read Your Word to me – It is alive!
Showing me You – then showing me myself.
You speak to the deepest part of my life –
My greatest need at that moment.
–“Ramah!” –

This I desire – to love You so greatly
That what I read and learn, I truly bring into my life;
That obedience is not simply an act of my will
But an act of my heart – true devotion to You.

Oh, that I may walk in the Truth of Your Word.

© Copyright 2001, C. Dianne Thornton

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Today, I hear the sounds of blow dryers and Air1 in the mornings.  I still prefer an orderly space; but when it’s not, bottles of nail polish, guitar pics, discarded strings, and airsoft gear have replaced the clutter of childhood.  I keep my leather-bound Bible nearby, but I use my iPad on a daily basis for my quiet time.  The busy schedules of three teenagers still keeps my schedule chaotic and I need the peace and stillness that time alone with Jesus brings.

My life is completely different now than it was when I wrote this.

My Lord Jesus is the same.  Hebrews 13:8 (NIV) “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  

Light for Life

P1100128

Biloxi Lighthouse–Biloxi, MS

 

Psalm 19:8 (NIV) “The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”

Psalm 119:105 (NLT)Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”

Psalm 119:130 (NLT)The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand.”

Proverbs 6:23 (NIV) “For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life.”

 

 

 

The words precept, commands, word, and teaching refer to God’s Word–the Bible.  2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT) tells us this about the Bible: , “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

The Bible is our guidebook for a fulfilling life.  In it, we learn who God is, who we are, how much He loves us, and what His plans are for our lives.  Every time we read God’s Word, we can know that He has a specific purpose for it.

Isaiah 55:10-11 (NLT)The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” [Emphasis added.]

Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” [Emphasis added.]

This week in my personal quiet time, I read the following verses from Psalm 119 in the New Living Translation:

Verse 25 “I lie in the dust; revive me by your word.”
Verse 50 “Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.”

After meditating on these, I read a couple of commentaries.  Loved the following from the Believer’s Bible Commentary:

Life has its valleys as well as its mountaintops. Even when we are cast down in sorrow, we can call on the Lord to revive us through the restoring power of the word … Those who have experienced the quickening powers of the word find it an unfailing source of comfort. The words of well-meaning men are often empty and unavailing but God’s Word is always living, relevant and effective.

The more time we spend reading God’s Word, the more light, or understanding, we have for our lives.

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Constructed in 1847, the Biloxi Lighthouse was the first cast-iron lighthouse in the south.  In this picture, taken in the late summer of 2008, you can see behind it the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina.  According to “Lighthouse Friends,” the flag draped from the top is symbolic of “the community’s resolve to withstand and overcome all calamities.”

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Related Posts:
On Vacay for a Bit
Light Up the Night!

 

 

Wordless Haiku #2

I’m having fun with these Haiku challenges.  If you feel so inclined, I’d love for you to join me!  Check it out at Ronovan’s place.

I enjoy writing Haiku.  Sometimes it takes a good deal of thought.  I’m thinking, though, that finding the right pictures for wordless Haiku is a challenge in and of itself!  That aspect of it has been the impetus to make sure all the photos on this blog are properly cited.  :)  As a serendipity, while I search for images, I find myself “soaking” in the words of what I’m writing.  This one was especially meaningful.

This week’s prompt:

Mountains & Valleys

What do the words mean to you?

How can you connect the two words through the second line?

 

Here is mine.  Take a gander at guessing what it is and what inspired it.  I’ll post the answer on Thursday.

 

Wordless Haiku 2

 

 

Isaiah 61:3
Gloom exchanged for joy
Crowned with beauty, not ashes
Grief replaced by praise

 

Photo Credits:
www.clker.com
www.disneyclips.com
http://gloomwriter.deviantart.com

 

You May Come Only This Far

I’ve been reading through the Book of Proverbs the last few months, and I always look forward to Chapter 8—which I got to read while on vacation. Each morning we went to the beach with our coffee, watched the sun come up, and enjoyed the peacefulness of the yet-to-be-filled shore.

I watched the waves roll in as I read about Wisdom.

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Proverbs 8:22, 27-29 (NLT)
“The LORD formed me [wisdom] from the beginning,
before he created anything else …

I was there when he established the heavens,
when he drew the horizon on the oceans.

I was there when he set the clouds above,
when he established springs deep in the earth.

I was there when he set the limits of the seas,
so they would not spread beyond their boundaries.” [Emphasis added.]

I love it when God speaks to me through His Word for my specific life circumstances.  It’s even more special when it “comes alive” like it did that morning.  We set our chairs a short ways from the water.  I watched the waves come only so far—knowing that He was in control of each one. Occasionally a wave would roll in close enough to wet my feet.  It reminded me of something Kay Arthur says, “God doesn’t allow anything to touch me that isn’t filtered through His fingers of love.”

That sounds nice most of the time—and even “ok” when life is kind of crummy.  I can accept some (what I consider) light and momentary troubles.  I certainly need my rough edges sanded off.  There are other times when life is downright horrible, and sometimes I don’t do well at … all.  In fact, and embarrassingly, my kids have seen me (more than once) stomp my feet in a fit of anger and sob uncontrollably over disappointment.  It’s good for them to see the expression of emotion.  This is life.  In this world we will have trouble.” But it’s more important for them to see me dealing with my emotions in the right way.  Certainly acknowledging them and not “stuffing them.”  

What is the right response?  Psalms 42-43 gives us some help. In these two psalms, the psalmist goes through a cycle of crying out to the Lord, expressing his deep sorrow and frustration, and then reminding himself to (1) put his hope in God, and (2) praise Him. He does this three times.  That alone encourages me. I don’t always learn life-lessons the first time around.  Sometimes it takes me a while to come around to God’s way of thinking.

It is difficult when God allows trying circumstances to find their limit in the middle of my life and the lives of those I love.  I am learning that He uses those difficult circumstances to accomplish His purposes.  Often, I have no idea what those purposes are.  But I do know this.  God loves me.  And absolutely nothing can separate me from Him or His love.  

Romans 8:35-38 (NLT) “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? … No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”

Light up the Night!

Lydia Ann-Port Aransas

Lydia Ann Lighthouse Port Aransas, TX

 

2 Samuel 22:29 (NLT)Lord, you are my lamp. The Lord lights up my darkness.”

1 John 1:5 (NLT) This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.”

2 Samuel 22 is a song of victory, written by King David in response to God’s delivering him from his enemies–including King Saul.  You will also find it repeated, almost word for word, in Psalm 18.

I’m encouraged knowing that no matter what I am going through, the Lord is with me–guiding  me every step of the way.

 

Lydia Ann is privately owned by Charles Butt, CEO of H-E-B. Although there is a light keeper at Lydia Ann, it is not “active.”

Wordless Haiku #1

The blogosphere is a FUN place to hang out!  I was reading through the posts in my blog reader and found a friend who is doing this weekly Wordless Haiku Challenge.  After seeing John Mark’s on The Artistic Christian (and it’s totally cool), I decided I had to join this party.

I have written a standard Haiku (5/7/5 syllables) and illustrated using only images.  If you want to, see if you can figure it out!  I’ll post the answer tomorrow …

Wordless Haiku 1

 

 

July 19–Answer

Thanks John Mark & Ronovan.  Both of you were very close.  :)

The Beach

Warm sand in my toes
Hot, sticky air on my face
Waves send worry far

 

Photo Credits:

www.clipartbest.com
creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
www.clker.com/cliparts
www.clipartpanda.com
www.i2clipart.com
commons.wikimedia.org
gallery.yopriceville.com/Free-Clipart-Pictures

Nelda says, “Lord, change my mind.”

I love my mom.  I love her relationship with the Lord.  I was going through some old notes and found one she wrote to me a few years ago when I was going through a difficult time. I’m posting it here.

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Nelda Strangmeier–My Mom

 

I love Proverbs 16: 1-3 in the Amplified. The rendering is so “faith-building” , especially verse 3, which you know already, but, it reads “Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.” 

I made a notation at the bottom of the page “Lord, change my mind about every issue you and I do not agree on.” (Afterwards I jotted down, Phil.2:13.)

In turning to Philippians 2:13 (AMP) “[Not in your own strength], for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and the desire] both to will, and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight”.

 

 

Related Post:  A Legacy:  The Chair & The Basket