Saturday, January 07, 2012

It seemed appropriate to end a week such as I had with the day of Epiphany. This time of year, despite my many efforts to carve out a peaceful respite from the normal paces of life, proves always to be the most hectic, the most trying, the most disappointing. I know this sounds dismal, and I don't really mean it to be. I had a lovely Christmas honestly. I think in hindsight, my expectations are always set so very high that it is no wonder it falls short.

What has come as a surprise however is an ever-growing pleasure in Advent, and more markedly, Epiphany.

"To those who have seen
The Child, however dimly, however incredulously,
The Time Being, in a sense, the most trying time of all."
WH Auden, "The Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio"

A contributor to a daily post in "Forward: Day by Day" defined "The Time Being" as "the time we spend disconnected from eternity". Every day we have moments as this, sometimes weeks can go by and we're still there -- disconnected from Eternity.

"Eternity is not endless time or the opposite of time. It is the essence of time.....sometimes an event occurs in our lives (a birth, a death, a marriage--some event of unusual beauty, pain, joy) through which we catch a glimpse of what our lives are all about and maybe even what life itself is all about....Inhabitants of time that we are, we stand on such occasions with one foot in eternity. God, as Isaiah says (57:15)"inhabiteth eternity" but stands with one foot in time. The part of time where he stands most particularly is Christ, and thus in Christ we catch a glimpse of what eternity is all about, what God is all about, and what we ourselves are all about too." Frederick Buechner, "Wishful Thinking".

We often see Epiphany as the end of the journey, but really it marks the beginning doesn't it? We come to the manger and catch a glimpse of eternity, and when we turn to leave we find that nothing is ever the same. This is the gift of Christmas, the gift of the Magi. We are transformed, and it is a bittersweet transformation.

"...We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
but no longer at ease here in the old dispensation,
with an alien people clutching their gods."
TS Eliot, "Journey of the Magi"

My prayer for myself, for you, is that we will embrace this transformation as we continue this journey.

"The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hind's feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places."


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Christian Wisdom

God will not hold us responsible to understand the mysteries of election, predestination, and the divine sovereignty. The best and safest way to deal with these truths is to raise our eyes to God and in deepest reverence say, "O Lord, Thou knowest." Those things belong to the deep and mysterious Profound of God's omniscience. Prying into them may make theologians, but it will never make saints.

A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

I've been too busy to ponder much of anything these last couple of years. This quote touched me to the core and I share it as an opener to what I hope will be a return to blogging for me. I don't really know how else to go through anything in this life without raising our eyes to heaven and in deepest reverence saying, "O Lord, Thou knowest." It seems to be the only safe bet.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Testing the new blogger...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sorry for the long silence. No time to explain. Urgent prayer request: Please Pray for Samantha. More later, KimJ.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Quote of the century:

"I'm living the life I'd be wishing I was living, if I wasn't living it." - Katie, age 12, right before leaving for Holland to participate in the Youth Friendship Games.


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Lest you think there is nothing but heartache in this house, let me begin by saying this has been a glorious month of Proms, Soccer and Lacrosse Tournaments, sunny days, good surf, bike rides along the beach, barbeques and meals outside. Today we sailed out of San Diego Harbor on our friends' 32' sailboat. We anchored near a hidden cove and my children jumped from the bow to swim to shore. We lingered long enough to eat lunch and soak in some sun. The sun was out, but the wind was steady. It was, as several have been this month, a perfect day. In two short weeks, school will be out for summer. Life is good.

In the midst of this enchanted time, my mom's sister lost her short battle with cancer. She left us on June 1, and she was not ready to go. She was an extremely youthful 76 years young. She took incredible care of herself - healthy diet, annual doctor visits, daily excercise. She looked great, and hadn't seemed to age at all for at least 20 years. Out of absolutely nowhere, she suffered what we thought was a stroke. Further diagnosis indicated cancer in the liver, and in 6 weeks time from diagnosis - she is gone. Unlike the other family members who have left us this year, Ginny didn't want to go.

The very night before she died, I nearly posted a prayer request. I regret today that I didn't. I procrastinated, and now she's gone. Earlier that week she charged my cousin with the job of keeping her alive. "Don't let me die," she whispered in his ear. It broke his heart, and mine when I heard of it. That night I prayed for her to have peace, for God to meet her where she was at, to comfort her, to give her a glimse of heaven. I have a modicum of faith that God answered my prayer that night --perhaps Ginny saw the glimpse of heaven I had hoped for her. Perhaps this made it easier for her to go. She knows the answers to all of these questions now. I can only guess, and hope. I ask you to pray for my cousin, who today knows that he was unable to grant his dying mother's wish. Pray for him to find faith in all of this -- to see the very glimpse of heaven I had hoped for his mother. Pray for him to have peace, for God to meet him where he is at, to comfort him. Pray for him to come face to face with Jesus.

Today, as the wind filled the sails and the boat rose and fell in the manner of the sea, I felt an incredible peace -- the peace that passes all understanding. I allowed all of my senses to experience the moment - the wind, the sun, the undulation of the waves, the salty smell of the sea -- and I knew in my soul that this moment, that every moment, is a gift. I love this place, this planet earth. I love the smell of the ocean, the feeling of the sun on my skin, the sound of the voices of my children, my husband, people I love engaged in conversation. I know that no matter how many days I will have of this, it will not be enough. I will wish I had more. I try to etch it all into my soul. And as I record this moment, this peaceful moment, I can remember another moment long ago, when I am surrounded by the sounds of laughter and voices of those who have gone from this place on to the next. I can almost see myself, a tiny child, and hear the laughter of my cousins and I as we played under the watchful eyes of our young parents.

Perhaps that laughter still lives on the wind, echoing in the sails.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

When my son turned 3, we bought him his first 2 wheeled bicycle with training wheels – a “big boy bike” as he liked to call it. He rode up and down the cul-de-sac, irritated by the training wheels which seemed to slow him down a bit. My husband removed them – and in that way that is made famous by all parents teaching a child to ride a bike, he held the back of the bike and ran alongside, faster and faster until he let go and my son took off.

For a moment we were giddy, my father-in-law and I, watching from the front of my home as my used-to-be-a-toddler sped away from his dad. “Look at him go!” I said out loud, “That’s amazing – he’s only 3!” Then a more serious tone, “Oh my God, he’s only 3!” “Too young to be speeding around the neighborhood on a bicycle,” I thought. By the time my husband caught up to the little cyclist and turned him around, my joy had turned to angst as I considered how much harder it had just become to contain that little boy. Suddenly there was a host of new dangers to review and new boundaries to set.

My husband, sensing the sheer terror in my face, assured me that he would keep the bicycle out of reach and that such outings would be under the strictest supervision. My father-in-law laughed. (He’s probably still laughing). Perhaps he knew from parenting 2 boys of his own that containment was out of the question. Soon the bicycle was joined by roller blades, skateboards, razor scooters, motor scooters -- you name it. If it had wheels, he was riding it. Add to the list surfboards, boogie boards, kayaks, snowboard -- the bicycle was just the tip of the iceberg.

My son is always in motion, has always been in motion, for as long as I can remember. Perhaps that bicycle memory simply marks the moment I actually became aware of what that might mean for me one day. Perhaps I am living that "one day" today. As of Friday, my son is officially a licensed driver, no longer on a permit. He is a driver, driving a car (a pick up truck to be exact). He drove himself to school this morning and home this afternoon. As silly as this sounds, each time he drives somewhere it feels as if he's driving a little further away from me.

Where has the time gone? Once again there is a host of new dangers to review and new boundaries to set – but he is no longer a little boy who needs me to protect him from the real dangers of the world. He is at a point where he is more than ready to face those dangers without me. His need for me is waning, but mine for him remains the same. Perhaps this is the ageless plight of all parents. We’ve spent his lifetime holding on for dear life, only to come to a place where it takes every strength we have just to loosen the grip.

++Thank you Lord for the incredible gift you have given me in my son. I delight in him. Protect him as he ventures further away from this nest. Watch over him as he drives, wherever he drives. Make him a safe and conscientious driver. Protect him and his car from other drivers. Speak faith to me and remind me that you have good plans for him – I admit it is so very difficult to let him go. It is very difficult to entrust him even to You. Breath on him, breath of God. May he feel your presence wherever he goes. May he put his trust in You. May he be everything You have created him to be. Help me as I loosen my grip. Help me to be the wind beneath his wings.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:20

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6