Remembering Yesterday

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The sun caught a tiny droplet as it slipped over a crease from the corner. It made its way down the canyon of lines time had carved. I could almost predict the place it would land. I knew it would eventually evaporate rather than be absorbed. The leathery skin was long past supple – and so were some of the places in her heart.

This afternoon was different. Something about our conversation struck a chord – a distant memory brought moisture back to her dull eyes. A trickle released from the welled up reservoir.

Her hand slowly moved up from the frail lap where it rested, revealing dried residue from a lunch spill. She tried to catch the unfamiliar moisture before it exposed her vulnerable self.

The words, “I can’t remember,” faintly slipped through her pursed lips. She knew it was a simple question – one she could easily answer. Instead, blank space now occupied much of what used to be full.

Another question and a long pause un-furrowed her brow. “He grabbed me from behind yesterday and we danced all the way to the garden,” she told me. For a moment her eyes joined the waltz before her thoughts tiptoed away.

Her retired dancing legs now hang limp from a seat supported by large worn wheels.

Yesterday was probably decades ago and yet it graciously visited for a quick look back today. Tenderness and youth were deposited –  for just a moment.

She didn’t remember the landslide of days that passed too quickly, or the monotonous months spent working behind a desk. Her mind didn’t bother to recall the thousands of trips to the supermarket, gas station or business appointments. Her positions, titles, paychecks, accumulations were all long gone and of no significance to her now.

She remembered her feelings though. She remembered matters of the heart.

I often wonder what we’ll remember in heaven and what part of our earthly existence goes with us. Will we be tormented by what we can’t hold onto – those memories of all we thought brought us significance. Or will we be remiss that too much time was spent on things that didn’t matter at all.

Worn leathery skin doesn’t happen overnight and neither does a tired leathery heart.

Healthy heart care comes from a lifetime of intentional choices. When memories fade and life narrows to a simpler existence the mind releases much that has been accumulated – sometimes to our benefit and other times not.

Give yourself permission to cry and feel, to love and be loved. Make memories. Touch someone’s soul with your words and actions. Actions that remain.

Today will eventually become our yesterday too – the yesterday we hope to remember.

 

 

 

 

Summertime

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Summertime is the sweetheart of the seasons.

Children wait all year for its arrival. Anticipated and well planned vacations finally squeeze into its slim perimeters. Even fruit trees spend the year preparing for the grand finale. Summer comes with high expectations and crescendos with lazy relief.

Familiar scents usually lure us out of hiding into the glorious arms of the season. Cut grass, star jasmine, foggy air – even the tangy stench of sunscreen lathers the senses with intoxicating images.

Every soul needs summertime. Dreamy days, warm nights, less clothing and conversations that linger.

Children aren’t the only ones who gain from the decompression, we all do. Summer takes us away from our usual. Whether geographical or internal – we benefit from the slowing down. Our sun starved skin drinks in the extra Vitamin D while our minds unwind and soul feasts on the fruit of uncluttered moments.

Somehow reading a book by a river’s edge or at a packed pool for hours isn’t perceived as a waste of time. Summer both redeems and invests.

Layers of clothing along with accumulated concerns seem to drop off as the weeks linger on – exposing our kindred lumps, bumps, hopes and fears. Our feet can breathe – dreams swell as we lay in the grass or sand or unfamiliar turf.

We know summer is fleeting and we’ll soon be inching toward winter once again through the subtle door of fall – so we dance with our sweetheart – grasping what she offers and storing up till her next visit.

Take walks.

Befriend a stranger.

Read a book by a new author.

Watch a mother play with her child.

Listen for baby birds, look for new life around you.

Stay outside till the moon comes up and count the stars.

Pick fresh fruit from a vine and let its juices rest on your tongue before swallowing.

[Tweet “Hear God speak to you in your slowing down moments “] winter is coming – this is the place we gather material for dreams and peace in our future.

Summertime.

 

 

Morning Prayer for You

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It’s a tremendous privilege to pray with you this morning, friend. As I thought about our needs today, I was impressed with God’s faithfulness to us. He surrounds us with confirmation of his trustworthy nature. His attention to detail and generous love is everywhere if we’ll just look for it.

 

Please do more than listen to my simple words – listen for the love and care your Heavenly Father has for you. Seek him today. Wait for him. And then go out and find him. I’ll be doing the same.

 

What joy to do the journey with you. BLESS your day!

 

 

 

 

A Visit to the Toy Store

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When was the last time you visited a large toy store? If it’s been a while, you’re in for a real surprise – a shocking overload to the senses actually. Be prepared, you’ll see every conceivable form of plastic configuration the mind can concoct. I caution you – it has a hypnotic effect.

Yesterday I entered the colorful maze looking for one simple item and quickly found myself swallowed up by floor to ceiling boxes of plastic fantastic STUFF.

One of the rows had mechanical toy dogs on one side and talking baby dolls on the other. High pitched barks mingled with unnatural baby cries filled the isle each time an unsuspecting shopper walked by.

There was even an entire isle dedicated to toy horses. Twenty feet long by ten feet high of them. There were stuffed horses, tiny horses, tall horses, fantasy horses – horses with hair, horses with saddles, families of horses and every other piece of paraphernalia to go with them.

The deeper I went the more fascinated I became. Isle after isle told children how to play. Dollhouses, castles, costumes, miniature furniture, games, electronic devices – it was endless. Even the books were automated.

I found myself craving wood – real wood. The kind that smells real, feels real and looks real. I searched for old fashioned building blocks and was horrified to learn they didn’t sell them.

Alarms began to ring in my mind. Non battery-operated alarms.

Children need, we all need – more than TOYS, we’re designed to be creators. Block play is essential for the healthy development of young children. They don’t require an instruction manual with automated parts to enjoy blocks – they just need blocks and space to create.

We’re getting too comfortable in a world that thinks for us – that controls our play – that has plasticized every aspect of our environment.

I had to examine my own insatiable appetite for stuff and stimuli. How much is too much? Do I choose items and devices with predictable outcomes rather than create new ones for myself?

When I surfaced for air, my heart felt sad for the lack of open spaces our children experience. Safety, keeping the educational edge, entertainment and ease – all want to choke out the freedom our children need to become the future for their own generation – thinkers, investors, creators. More than mere mastery – living, breathing, creators.

Do you remember the things that gave you joy as a child? Were they even ‘things’?

I remember playing horse, not playing with toy horses. I spent hours galloping through open grassy fields pretending to be a four legged creature. I remember building forts with twigs, brush and dirt. No one taught me how to build a fort – I built it with imagination and endless unsupervised hours of play.

We need the same as adults. We need real. We need open space, cleared space, real space to regenerate and create. Without it, I worry for the people we will become.

 

Linked with #GiveMeGrace

The Door of Hope

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The door of hope is available to every living, breathing soul.

Unlike other doors it’s uniquely fashioned without a latch or handle. At first glance there’s no obvious way to open it. It’s sturdy frame rests on a threshold of love. It is hinged with strong brackets of grace. And although it’s a thing of beauty and a necessity for entrance, many weary travelers worry it’s too difficult to open. But it’s not.

No knocking is required – or doorbells to ring. With a light touch, a tap of faith – it opens, welcoming guests to peace, joy and spectacular glimpses of His face.

I urge you – reach toward it with confidence and marvel as you watch the door open. Receive with gratitude whatever waits for you on the other side. Take pleasure in the mystery. Rest in your personalized claim. Destiny triumphs. Struggling cease. Your arrival is expected and sacred gifts will be released.

Worry, frustration, self planning and defeat will be forced to flee. Rejoice in the relinquishment. Recognize sovereignty and the better plan. Walk boldly into your story –

beyond the beautiful Door of Hope.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

 

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.” Romans 12:12