Just part of the routine

home-office-336377_1920We have a break in the heat and humidity from the late summer weather here in southern MO.  That means this morning the AC is off and the fresh early morning air is coming in through the open windows.  Then I have also gone through my typical routine: dog out—check, oatmeal in the microwave—check, hot tea made—check.  You know, all the things you kinda do on auto pilot.

Another one for me is: open the computer to email, not to check my email, but just in case daughter #3 calls in from Sweden.  #1 lives in California (two time zones away) and #2 lives in New York (one time zone away), and naturally I love talking with them just as much too.  But the baby of the family had to move SEVEN (count ‘em, 7!) time zones away, so communication is a little more challenging if you want some face time. Continue reading “Just part of the routine”

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Pass the gluten, please.

wheat-3241114_1920Let’s face it—I am NOT gluten free.  I’m writing this toward the end of wheat harvest here in the Midwest.  A good friend who farms says their yield has (thankfully) been really good, something I’ve learned one cannot take for granted.  It’s seriously beautiful out in the country as I drive by the tawny fields of ripe grain.  And, of course, the days are long and hot right now for the harvesters, even with the high-tech air-conditioned tractors! 

My tummy and taste buds are so glad they do what they do. Continue reading “Pass the gluten, please.”

Plug in the ears

books-3322275_1920You know that saying “so many books, so little time”? I’m considering an audio-book app for my phone.  It’s that time of year where I spend a considerable amount of daylight in the garden, which means my mind just kind of wanders, I suppose. 

I’m checking out the one from Amazon, lots of books I can download for around $15 a month.  However, that’s a chunk of change over time, so I may need to do some creative budgeting if I go that route. 

Of course, they have that inviting hook of a 30-day free trial, cancel at any time and get one or two books free to start the subscription.  And there’s this one book on prayer I’m interested in.

Hummmm…. Continue reading “Plug in the ears”

In Which Dawn Learns to Pray (#4)

notebook-1361981_1920I felt this pull while praying to check my website email.  Putting it off as a distraction, I went back to praying, only to have it crop up again.  So, I asked the Lord if this is something He was wanting me to do right now.  I immediately heard, “Go for it.” 

Okay, checking the email, nothing there I needed to see as far as I could tell.  That’s a little discouraging since maybe I didn’t hear from Him after all, which then degrades into maybe none of the things I think I’ve heard in the past are from Him either, which spirals into the typical that-works-for-others-but-not-me mindset of my past.  Doubt, failure, intimidation.

Regardless of whether I heard right or not, I know that those last three thoughts are not from God either!  What do I do with this?

Then I realize I’m still on the steep end of the learning curve.  In fact, we’re all on the steep end of the learning curve until the day we leave this place, so I’m in good company.  And the learning curve is just that, learning.  That, in itself, is encouraging.  I was a good student in school, but I still had to study and learn from my mistakes.  In fact, mistakes are some of the best instructive devices!  Plus, I know I have the best Teacher.

The opposite plays right into the enemy’s strategy: discouragement.  Who would want me to stop praying and jump off that learning curve?  Who has a vested interest in my giving in to doubt, failure and intimidation?  And fear of deception (one of my personal past Big Three)? 

Besides, if I need to hear from God about something important with obvious far-reaching consequences, He is good enough to confirm it for me.  He did that with Gideon, and He promises He doesn’t play favorites.  Plus, He has provided safeguards during the process: the Bible, koinonia with those who are further up the curve than myself, and of course, the Holy Spirit Himself.

He also promises that His sheep hear and know His voice.  Jesus is patient and kind and gentle, so I’m not by myself on this mountain of a learning curve.  Psalm 23 help-2444110_1920says, He leads me in paths of righteousness, and that He is with me in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.  Well, if He’s with me there, surely He’s with me in the Valley of the Shadow of Doubt. 

I can let this serve to increase my tenacity and resolve, pushing me further in, rather than scaring me away.  Good things don’t necessarily come easily, and great things come with a price. 

Hey, this is good stuff.  Maybe I heard Him after all.

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…

rake-24250_1280I was out raking up the sweet gums balls in the yard…again.  I never realized what an arboreous pain sweet gum trees are; beautiful, yes, but there’s nothing sweet about stepping on one of those blasted seed balls that drop in the spring and fall.  The little buggers can be downright treacherous! 

Try to mow the yard with them hiding in the grass, and they go flying like so many high-velocity projectiles.  You’d better hope you have shoes on or your foot can be impaled by the hard spikes on this leftover seed casing.  Even with shoes on, the little sphere doesn’t politely crush when stepped on; oh no, when it rolls underfoot, it can send the unsuspecting bi-ped flying, giving the same effect as slipping on a banana peel.  Continue reading “Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…”

Still “puzzling”

stamp-312609_1280Bob and I are still on this jigsaw puzzle binge.  Our middle daughter, now living in New York, loves these crazy things, so for her birthday this year we are sending her a jigsaw puzzle each month, only with a bit of a twist.  Once she completes the picture, she is to turn the puzzle over and there will be a message “from someone who loves her”.  Which means Bob and I have to put the puzzles together first, roll them up carefully, and send them out to friends and family who write/draw on the blank sides, roll them up again and send them back to me in the same tube.

Postage paid, of course. Continue reading “Still “puzzling””

The wheel keeps turning, but am I going anywhere? (Prayer journal #3, cont…)

I’m a bit fascinated by the concept of Prayer Wheels.  Put somewhat simplistically, a Prayer Wheel is cylindrical collection of Buddhist mantras wrapped around a central core that turns (usually clockwise) so that every time it makes a full revolution, the virtue (“merit”) of those scripted prayers are incurred by the one who turns it.  It’s generally recommended that the practitioner use a form of meditation at the same time, but I’ve read that, even in a distracted state of mind, merit is still obtained.  The more it is turned, the more benefit is received.  This from Lamayeshe.com: Continue reading “The wheel keeps turning, but am I going anywhere? (Prayer journal #3, cont…)”

In which Dawn learns to pray…(cont.)

You walk out to go to work and the front tire is flat.  Or you’re welcoming the new pastor to your deliciously prepared Thanksgiving dinner only to remember (while on the doorstep) that he’s vegetarian.

Okay, those are actually easy ones.  How about your son calls from college and his girlfriend is now pregnant with your grandchild?  (And the girl is contemplating get rid of both of them?)

Introducing the Panic Button, and we all have one.  Or for some of us, several.  Big ones clipped onto our keychains that we carry around every day, with glow-in-the-dark coatings and red LED-lit letters that invitingly read PUSH ME NOW.  Continue reading “In which Dawn learns to pray…(cont.)”

In which Dawn learns to pray. (Journal Entry #1)

I’m starting this on April 1, 2018.  Nationally, we call that April Fools’ Day.  It’s also Easter Sunday.  Ironically, the joke’s on those who don’t accept the Resurrection, although it’s no laughing matter.  Not by a long shot.  But that’s apologetics, which I love, and that’s not what this journal is about.

It’s about prayer, communication with God.  Dialogue.  Listening and hearing and following the Shepherd Who “goes before me”.  It’s about learning to really know His voice more confidently, because He promises that in John 10.  More than going off lists, even lists which are for and about other people and serious, eternal situations—lists are good tools, but I think there is more.

And I feel unsafe.  Interestingly, one of the books/video segments (John Eldredge on prayer) just last night talked about the spiritual warfare side of prayer, the personal part.  He says not to shy away from spiritual warfare, but to deal with it.  NOW.  So, I’m realizing, (that is, this morning it comes to me, how do you suppose those dots were connected??), that this feeling of “unsafe” is just that—spiritual assault.  If God sincerely desires for me to be more intimately communicative with Him, more effective in powerful prayer, and if He promises to protect me and guide me, then who d’ya think is trying like the devil to scare me off?

The devil. Right.

So, I need to deal with it. Now.

In the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, in the power of His Resurrection and the authority of His Ascension, I submit myself to Jesus, and in that same power and authority I resist Satan and all his emissaries of fear, instability, timidity, and related demonic powers who now must flee according to Almighty God’s command.  Jesus, I bring myself under Your loving and tender authority and power and ask You to again cover me with Your blood, my heart, mind and soul, past, present and future, all of me and all that concerns me.  I commit this journey to You, for Your glory, for Your kingdom come and will be done, as far as it concerns me.  Make my communication with You as effective as You desire.  Change my thought patterns, old ways of perceiving.  I put my hand in Yours and accept Your guidance and protection.  Here we go.

Speaking of feeling unsafe, I need to explore that a bit more.  I crave safety and stability, but I also crave adventure.  Kinda weird.  Definitely a trust issue, knowing that Scriptures assures me God will guide me and not “forsake” me under any circumstances.

I remember the time as a young girl walking with my dad in a downtown area when we were visiting someplace.  We came upon an alleyway interrupting the sidewalk, and Dad walked on, but I stopped to look and make sure (for myself) that it was safe.  As I caught up to Dad he said, “what’s the matter, Dawn?  Didn’t you trust me?”

Father, I don’t want to lag behind.   

Now, this doesn’t preclude my own due diligence, not by a long shot.  God gave me a brain and expects me to use it.  So, when this prophecy by Joni Ames came down the pipe a few months ago, this “anointing for intercessory prayer”, I’m taking it seriously.  Thus, my lists have taken a sabbatical, and my own personal study is being stepped up.  My lists have been really good and important, but they make me feel too safe right now.  As in, “there, that’s done, now let’s get on with it.”  Not that God hasn’t spoken to me during my “list praying”; He most definitely has, with promises I cling to.  And I know He has heard those prayers; they are still in His heart, like pictures a child would draw, and the parent keeps up on the frig, even years later.

I would like my artwork to become more powerful, like something hanging in the Louvre.

I also dream.  Last night I had another one.  I’ve purchased this brand-new smoke alarms, and just haven’t gotten around to hanging them up yet, (it’s been, what, maybe six weeks now?)  Yesterday, I finally got out the directions and began figuring out what needs to be done.  Yep, it’s going to take more than I hoped, as in drilling new holes to fit the new alarms.  Again, I put it off until today, maybe tomorrow.

Last night I dreamed my dad was in the back room, drilling and hanging a new smoke alarm for me.  (Dad could fix ANYTHING—one of those guys.)  In my dream, I realized I hadn’t gotten enough alarms, and if Dad was here doing this for me, I’d better take advantage of it, and ran out to buy another!

This was not prophetic, at least not in the sense that my father is going to come hang my smoke alarms for me—at this writing, he’s in his late-80’s and lives a few states away.  No, that process is definitely still on me.  However, it does clue me into something very important: my Father (capital “F”) knows what I’ve been putting off getting done, knows that the process of doing it is essential for my safety (and the safety of others), and is doing surprising things under the radar to get me there.

And buying more smoke alarms is like bringing Him more prayers so He can put them in place.

The sunrise is coming up a beautiful dark pink.  I wonder what time it was when the women ventured to the tomb and found it empty.  Was it still dark, or did they wait for the sunrise to find out that the Son had indeed risen?

Happy Rez Day!

Planning…

You know that whole “knock, and the door will be open to you” thing that Jesus talked about?  I’m wondering how many times we stand on that same threshold with the door finally open, but are too scared to step over.

Which makes this story of Nehemiah so informative to me.

The land of the Hebrews, God chosen people, lay in utter ruin and desolation, as predicted.  The people, those who survived, are in exile, servants of the foreign king.  Nehemiah lands the job of cupbearer of this pagan king himself, not particularly a posh position, since at any time the royal loses his cool, Nehemiah could lose his head. Continue reading “Planning…”