Monday, April 25, 2016

On Passive Love and the Blessing of Neediness

On Passive Love and the Blessing of Neediness
by Haleigh Morgan
I am watching the family interact with our new member. This member does nothing. Contributes nothing materially to the household. He does not mouse or guard. In fact, at the moment he is a material drain. We do for him. We feed him, wash him, hold him, pay for his needs. He literally does nothing ... Except receive the love we give.
That is a huge nothing. We do all this "work" and feel blessed by it. In fact we *are* blessed. It is more than a perception or a mere feeling. There is real blessing in getting to love. Not just to feel contented, affectionate emotions - to do things that are loving for another who simply receives them.
Does he feel like he is a burden to us? Does he worry that he is not productive or useful? Does he fret that all he does is take? Not at all. He is doing his part for us by simply receiving what we give.
Think about that. His gift to us, his "work" for us is just to receive. He loves us by receiving the love we would give. And we delight to give it and are blessed by the giving.

Friday, April 22, 2016

these days (2)

These are the days of waiting for flowers to grow and school to end and bread to rise.

These are the days of painting sermons into the journaling Bible, and celebrating imperfection.

These are the days of wondering why my body doesn't work like everybody elses's body, and trying to learn to live within my own limits. These are the days of counting carbs and learning to love running again.

These are the days of gratitude for the joy my children have as they push their bodies, try new things, and discover new skills.

These are the days of painted handprints on flowerpots, and tables covered in craft supplies or legos, often on top of a sticky undercoat of syrup.

These are the days of girls in bloom, and secretive womanly talks, and "we need you to babysit again," and losing track of time on school nights because we are lost in our books or our paintings.

These are the days of waiting for little boys to "sound it out," for daddy to come home from his meeting, for spring to finally get here.

These are the days of missing the smells of spring in the country, and the days before sports when our evenings were calm and at home.

These are the days of getting paid to be the tickle monster and to play with play-dough and oobleck and preschoolers; and learning to rules of baseball for kids; and enduring long track meets and finding rides for everybody everywhere all the time.

These are the days of using the giant library suitcase, and making a scene everywhere we go, and yes, they are all mine, and sure, we can stop for a slurpee.

These are the days of switching between playlists: from "Country Time" to "Funky" to "Holy Pop" and back again.

These are the days of God's fitting our hearts exactly for this place, and opening our eyes to new joys and callings where He has put us. These days, He sends sunshine and rain together-- we grieve for the brokenness around us, everywhere, in this place; yet the harvest is ripe, and we are flooded with great conversations, renewed interest in the faith, and opportunities to share the love of God on a daily basis.

These are the days of time flying by and feeling behind and wanting the kids to stop growing so fast. But these are the days of God's faithfulness, as He grows our hearts and proves He is God FOR us.

What's happening in your world these days?




Thursday, April 21, 2016

these days: your turn

We are loved by a God who is with us, right here, in the details of this day that he has given us.

He meets us here.
But are we here to meet him?
It's easy to ache for the past, or to hurry towards the future. But God meets us here, right here.

Stop, look around, and notice where you are.  Get your bearings, and as best as you can, try to see where this little day is in the big picture. Remember that there IS a big picture, and that there will be a finished story, and that God is the author.  As you move from birth through darkness towards redemption, the days will come and go, but will you notice them? And will you take the time to see Him in them?

What is it like where you stand today?
What trials, what grace do you see? Take time to look around.

Carry God's Word into your day and watch as its colors bounce off everything.

This is the day the Lord has made.
It is a gift. It will pass away.
Much that we love will pass away, and yet, the Word of the Lord stands forever.
Safe are we, kept in that Word.
Safe are we, in His eternal hands, hands strong to save.
Yet where we walk is decidedly unsafe.  Bodies fail here, babies die, addictions consume, and hearts break.  It is easy for us to let the darkness cloud our vision.

We must take and read.
We must sit down, and look up, and pray for softened hearts and opened eyes.

These are the days of battle.
These are the days of uncertainty and fear.
And these are the days of mercy and grace,
the days of clinging to His hand and being upheld by His strength.
For he is our God
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    the flock under his care.
Today, if only you would hear his voice,
Do not harden your hearts !

What's happing for you these days?
I'd love to hear your thoughts! (I will post mine tomorrow)

These are the days of waiting for...
These are the days of missing...
These are the days of (doing)..
These are the days of (God's doing)...
These are the days of waiting for God to fix/redeem...
These are the days of inspiration from this song or Scripture...
These are the days of wondering why...
These are the days of gratitude for...




Monday, April 11, 2016

thanking God in remembrance

After a lovely visit to White Creek...



I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 
always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 

And I am sure of this, 
that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 

It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, 
for you are all partakers with me of grace...

For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more,with knowledge and all discernment, 
so that you may approve what is excellent, 
and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, 
to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:3-10




Sunday, April 3, 2016

Home

Home.
Draw a circle around the place.
Then, watch as God expands those lines, and enlarges your heart, and your people, until you have many homes.

I am leaving home to go home this week.

Blessed to have many places that I love enough to give that precious name: home.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Seeing, in the city




I wonder if, on the other side, when change and tears are past, when what is between us is forever destroyed, will there be parks like this?

What will it be like to see each other then? When we see with holy eyes, will we see the whole, holy story? Will we be able to see each other, wildly different, wildly redeemed, and understand; truly understand the wholeness of a person, the full story, the gracious work of God in each person’s life?

---
written 8/13 in St. Louis

I sit in oustide a city park, country girl in the big city. A waft of greasy catsup invades my nose, only to be pushed away by a cloud of cigar smoke. I miss the cows and the corn.

It is challenging for me to find beauty here, but it is not impossible.

They walk by-- the stories, the people. Drama, tragedy, comedy, romance-- multi-colored stories parade past me, moving even more quickly than the smells. Exhaust now fills my lungs, but I will sit in it if it I must, so I can watch the stories.

I bet that one used to be in a fraternity. He is tan, in a baseball cap, and his cardinals shirt stretches over his middle-age belly. His calves are perfect, and he holds a beer. He walks with his shoulders back, chest up, belly out. Or is the belly dragging him along?

That one has too-big shorts and an afro, and a baby on his back. He pushes another in a stroller, and a third walks beside. We have much in common, I think.

That man must have be been a pirate. He still has muscles from hoisting sails, maybe just last week. I wonder what he did with his parrot?

A man, asking for money for “homeless children.” I don’t give, but I wonder if I should have. “Have a nice day m’am,” he says.

That little guy must be two, like Peter. He holds his body with the same confidence, belly-out, jumping, running. His skin is a deep black, and I bet it is soft like my son’s. I want to go pick him up, but that would seem creepy. (I wonder what Peter is up to.)

On the street corner, a heavy, well-dressed white man, holds his sign and his chin up high. I don’t know whether to argue with him or pray for him. I am glad I do not have to explain him to my children, not this time.

A mom heavy laden with bags, on her back, in her stroller. She pushes while the children play. Her daughter lifts up her dress to potty in the grass. Mom is mortified. I give her an look of understanding but she is hiding her face.

Well dressed and smoking, that man is taking a break from a job he hates, I bet. He does not notice the children in the fountain.

Rarely do those on the street make eye contact, except perhaps to exchange a tight-lipped smile. Their stories are locked in tight, and the skulking writer is left with her guesses.
------------




Still looking for beauty, but here in a different city. God is training my eyes to see. I am eager to read the stories in their glorious completion, and yet, there is much to celebrate even now, between chapters.

Beauty in the city. (more coming soon)

Have you seen any lately?
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