Monday, December 17, 2012

The Release Hatch...

"May the God of hope  
fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, 
so that you may overflow with hope 
by the power of the Holy Spirit."  ~Rom. 15:13

Last Friday I sat in my mother's room for hours.  That day I was waiting to see if she would wake up in heaven, or here on earth.  She hadn't eaten, she hadn't taken a drink.  She slept.  She eventually did wake up, not recognizing her surroundings, but knowing that something about me was familiar and evidently trustworthy.  

During that particular waiting time (there have been many times of waiting lately), I decided to memorize (again) Rom. 15:13.  For some reason, it just doesn't stick in my brain - but I want it to.  

This is what I discovered - I kept leaving out "as you trust in Him".  That pokes my heart.  It seems I want the hope and the joy and peace.  I want the Holy Spirit to go ahead and dump a boat load of that stuff ASAP - but it comes with a release hatch - "as you trust in Him".  

There is a reason for scripture like the one in Proverbs that says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding."  Sometimes we have to let go of something to receive something else. 

Lord, I will trust You in the waiting...and I thank You for hope and joy and peace that smells like heaven.  Thank you for your patience with me.   

P.S. ~ Thank you to every person who has hugged and loved and supported and walked with me during these months in particular.  Thank you for coming to the Open House with loving words and yummy food.  Thank you to those who served and cleaned and took pictures and helped people navigate our steep driveway, so that I'd be free to talk with people.  Thank you for making this first Christmas without my dad easier by being family!  I am grateful to be surrounded by such gracious, loving and fun people.  Thank you.

(Roxanne making sure everyone gets wassail!  Larry showing off his entry in the crazy Christmas sweater contest while helping Roxanne.  Great.  Great.  Great.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Roller Coaster Ride....

Ok.  Let's talk roller coaster rides.  There's the old school wooden ones that jerk you around as you click-clack up, and free-fall down.  You really can't know what I mean unless you've ridden one.  The SOUND of the clicking as you climb the highest peak does something to your brain.  And, your head hitting the back of the car with each click does something to your brain as well!

There's the non-old school ones that offer the additional joy of having your feet dangle in the air as you go up and down, as well as upside down maybe three turns in a row.  Free-fall AND corkscrew turns.  The only thing better are the people who get sick in front of you (either on the ride or when they get off).  Lovely.

I am married to a man who calls this "fun".  His dream vacation (for awhile) was to hit all the the greatest roller coasters in the country!  I remember him riding one crazy roller coaster at Great America with our youth group seven times in a row!

Why all this talk about roller coasters?  Because that's what my life feels like right now.  My father died this summer, so this our first holiday season without him.  BUT, we got to spend Thanksgiving with part of our family and two of our grandkids - haven't been able to go and see them for a year and a half - that was crazy fun.  They live where it's warm so we enjoyed the sun as well as loving the time with them.  Meanwhile, my mom is failing and forgetting - and that hurts my heart.  Not the thought of her getting to go to heaven...the painful struggle of these last days for her.  Roller coaster of emotion.  Roller coaster of physical strength to keep up.  Even roller coaster of faith that God is good, in the middle of watching pain on so many levels in my mom.

Oh - and add inviting our church family to come over to our house to celebrate Christmas in some small way together as...family.  There's prep needed for that.  One of the things I'm prepping for is a little gift I'm working on for those who come.  I'm working on it while I'm sitting with my mom every day....and watching....and waiting....     Roller coaster.

In the physical, I don't like roller coasters mainly because I am NOT IN CONTROL.  I don't like that feeling.  In the spiritual, I am learning to just go with the ride because I trust the ONE WHO IS IN CONTROL of every turn and every high and every low and even the times I feel upside down.

Thank you, God, that you are good.  Thank you for the freedom that comes when I quit trying to fix everything.

Job 23:10
But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Please...

Please, don't forget what God has done for you.

Please, don't forget to TELL people what He has done for you.

Please, don't allow your sense of gratitude to diminish with time.

Please, don't forget the promises you made to God in times of crisis.

Please, remember that if God feels distant - He's not the the one who moved.

Please.Say.Thank You.



Psalm 50:23  - He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me,
    and he prepares the way
    so that I may show him the salvation of God.”



Saturday, October 27, 2012

I've re-learned somthing this week.

Tuesday we were in Washington D.C.  Talked to an ambassador from Africa who is a Jesus follower.  Talked to the number one nuclear physicist in the world, who is Korean and who is a Jesus follower.
Okay, really, talked to men all day Tuesday who influence world leaders, who are Jesus followers.

And, they talked to me.  They hugged me as they left.  Because I was a friend of their friend,  I was now a friend to them.  I didn't have to prove how smart I was, or how spiritual I was, and it certainly wasn't because of my beauty that qualified me.  Each conversation was so encouraging.

Jesus followers that....loved.  Think of that.

In our church world we hear a lot of the qualifiers to be acceptable to people.  Too spiritaul, not spiritual enough, too traditional, too contemporary, too transparent, not transparent enough.

What times like this week does to my heart is help me re-learn simplicity.

Jesus.

Jesus who was willing and IS willing to walk life with people exactly where they are right now.  Today.  Willing to love them where they are right now.  Does that kind of love change us?  YES IT DOES.

Jesus.

Oh Jesus - thank you for the reminder to be a person who loves - not because of anything other than You said to love.  Thank you for the reminder that I can't keep trying to DO MORE to be acceptable to others, especially Christians.  It's You, it's Your Name that brings freedom.  I trust You, LORD, and am so grateful - SO GRATEFUL for anyone and everyone who shows me what Your love looks like.  


Luke 10:27
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

1 John 4:20
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Key...

You probably know by now that I am not a fashion icon.  I accessorize mostly by accident.  There have been MANY moments when I discover, "Oh look!  This actually GOES with that!!!"  At the last church we pastored someone actually told me they were so glad to be at a church where people didn't want to look like the pastor's wife!  I just looked at her and started laughing - she looked at me and started sputtering, because she had really meant it as a compliment - she was glad people didn't have to look perfect (at that time wearing specially folded scarves) to be accepted.

I tend toward accessories that make me smile, make me think and just mean something to me -  in my home, in my office and on my person.

One accessory that I have been drawn to is almost anything that has a key on it.  Yesterday, I had opporunity to explain this draw to a group of wonderful women.  Looking at a key stirs my faith. It reminds me that Jesus WON the keys to death, hell and the grave.  He holds those keys - He owns those keys.  Whenever I pray for someone, I see that He holds the keys to ANYTHING that holds them captive...and in His name He hands me the key of His authority.  I do not use my own key, I use the keys that He has handed me.

This week I gave a key to our house to a very close friend.  That is a BIG deal to me because it means I trust her with access to our home - that which is ours.  I want her to use our stuff.  I trust her.

I truly believe that when I pray, I walk into a place of access made available to me by JESUS.  He has handed me a key and said, "I trust you with this.  Walk into places that were locked up - in the authority of my Name - stand in agreement with My will - honor Me .  Don't just use the key as an accessory to your life!  Use the key for what it was made for...opening doors, opening locked up places, opening giant gates, opening tiny boxes of treasure.  USE THE KEY!"


The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach the good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD'S favor
...to comfort all who mourn
...to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes
the oil of gladness instead of mourning
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair
Is. 61


Monday, September 17, 2012

Another cooking success...

I burned my arm on the oven door tonight, while taking out a pan of muffins.  Stink.  Ouch.  Just laid my arm on the door.  Bummer.

I've done some crazy things in my attempts to cook.  There was last year's cake for the care group,  remember that?  I made the glaze, but evidently cooked it too long so it didn't drape nicely over the bundt cake - it hardened like cement instead of draping nicely.  I thought it might help it drape if I used my hairdryer to melt it.  Not so much.

There were my Thanksgiving green beans bundles with bacon belts and - - - glaze that hardened so solidly by the time the bacon cooked that we used the bundles for weapons.  Green bean swords.  Not going to be a tradition repeated this year.  It looked so fun on Pinterest!

One thing I love about the Bible is that it's so full of things and people that aren't perfect.  Jesus - perfect?  Yes sir!  Others?  Nope!  And,  2 Cor. 12:9 says,  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me

Is that just so great?  No, really - look at that verse.  Amazing.  

GRACE!  Favor we don't deserve but He gives us anyway and we can give away!  WEAKNESS!  A place for God's POWER to rest!  So great.

I was making the muffins as a way to practice grace for someone.  I don't have to be perfect, but I am committed to practice.  I'm committed to be obedient - even it involves cooking.

Will you be grateful for grace, weakness AND God's power right now - even if there is pain in the process? 

(I promise to warn you if you are about to eat something that I cooked!) :-] 








Sunday, September 9, 2012

Storage Wars!

DW and I watch Storage Wars on TV sometimes.  People bidding on abandoned storage units, hoping to get great treasure for cheap prices.  They can't look in boxes - they have to go by what they can see and how valuable they FEEL the unit is....then they bid.

I have a storage unit with my parent's things in it.  After 3 moves, it's what I've decided (at this point) to keep.  I donated and donated and donated until my heart couldn't donate their life away anymore.  I kept stuff thinking that my dad would go back to living on his own after my mom passed - but, my dad has gone to heaven first.  Hmmmm.  I have kept stuff in case my mom asked for it, but she can't remember her past life that's in those boxes very well these days.  Hmmmm.  I have decisions to make - what to keep - what's valuable for my kids and grandkids?

I bring this up because I'm thinking that we keep boxes of stuff in our hearts.  Stuff from the past that we don't let go of cuz we feel disloyal if we do.  Clutter that makes it hard for our hearts to live in the present because it's too full of the past.  

It costs us something to keep that stuff.  

So, here's my challenge, and what I'm challenging you with...


LET GO.

Keep what is honoring, and let go of the rest.  

LET GO.

Realize that what you hold in your heart - even in storage - defines you.

LET GO.  



It's time...

  

Matthew 6:19-21 

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Isaiah 43:18-19 

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What IS that?


I've had this 'thing' on my arm for weeks.  I thought it was a little cut - no big deal - it'll be gone in a couple of days.  Hmmmm.... not gone in a couple of days.  What IS it?  Why does it seem weird?  Why won't it just GO AWAY.

I haven't wanted to mess with it, but today I got tweezers out - to mess with it - and in short order a significant splitter was pulled out.  An unexpected...splinter.

We weren't meant for splinters or other foreign objects to reside in us.  They open the door to bacteria and infection.

It reminded me of having an attitude or offense pierce our hearts....sometimes without us being super aware of it.  Something just doesn't seem right.  Maybe we can't even put our finger on it so we figure, "this feeling will go away in a day or two.  I'm probably just tired or too busy or just being weird or hormonal".  But it doesn't just go away.

The Holy Spirit is so great at surrounding that "splinter" of attitude or offense (if we let Him) and keeping it close to the surface so it can be taken care of without becoming toxic to our spirit.  When we allow yucky attitudes, or offenses to reside in our spirit - make no mistake here - it will eventually become toxic and we will pay a price so much bigger than the original splinter.

We can not pray or praise or read enough of the Bible to replace repentance.  It's really as easy as my tweezers getting the splinter out.  Let the Holy Spirit mess with the wound, that weird feeling that something's not right.  Let Him expose the splinter - - - we repent - - - He removes the splinter and heals the wound so that it's not a highway that spiritual bacteria can gain access through.  (Remember that the Holy Spirit's approach is very specific - unlike the enemy's approach which is a general load of ...condemation.)


Matt. 3:8
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

Ps. 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.

Prov. 4:23
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.

It's time...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Look for...declare...believe...


There's been a message of clarity that's been spoken into my spirit...
Be OFFENSIVE!
What does that mean?  For me, at this moment it means that I am to LOOK for joy in the middle of sorrow...it means to declare VICTORY in the middle of battle .... it means to believe that the promise of God's provision is a promise HE IS KEEPING.

Look for it - declare it - believe it!

Have you seen the waterfall at Crater Lake????  There's a waterfall at CRATER LAKE!  Like the lake isn't reason enough to make the trip!  3 or 4 years ago I asked Dennis if we could try to see every waterfall in Oregon.  The challenges with my parents have meant that I needed to stay close to home, so no big waterfall adventures.  But, look what the Lord did for us.  We got to drive around Crater Lake one day last week, and there it was....a WATERFALL!  (Big smile)




Heidi just sent this picture of Jack 'interviewing' some people (he didn't know) with his play microphone!  (Another big smile!)


LOOKING for it....the moments, the people, the faithfulness of God that brings joy...
DECLARE it....VICTORY...
BELIEVE IT.... provision and promise of God

The LORD is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Savior;
my God is my Rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my Shield, the power that saves me, 
and my place of safety.
I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and He saved me from my enemies.
Psalm 18:2-3

I do not trust in my bow, my  sword does not bring me victory; but You give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame.  In God we make our boast all day long and we will praise your name forever.
Psalm 44:6-8

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Animal Cookies

I am currently eating some animal cookies, left here (I'm sure on purpose) by our daughter-in-love.  We've had a house full these last few days...lots of child-moments....lots of clutter...lots of laughing and kid creativity...lots of great parenting moments...lots of remembering...

One of the picture boards that I made in honor of my dad has thread woven, connecting all of the pictures of the generations - all touching the life of my father.

We are connected.

Events, that felt like moments in time, are woven together to make a life.  Lives woven together make a legacy.

What are you weaving?

Meanwhile - - - I must stop eating animal cookies or I will end up looking like the hippo cookie!

(And, may I tell you how grateful I am for your support and love and prayer during this season in our family.  My mom is struggling.  Having dad go to be with the Lord the day before their 70th anniversary has been hard.  They've only been apart while mom was in Highland House last summer for rehab.  She is currently on hospice.  God knows and loves and is good.  Doesn't mean that it isn't hard sometimes.)


Blessings on your heart and your day...

Monday, July 23, 2012

"I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU..........."


I so like this picture.  I had bribed the youngest and the oldest with a peach smoothie from Dutch Bros.!  So much has happened since this picture was taken...

I'm going to write this blog tonight....not knowing what tomorrow will bring.  Tonight it seems my dad is closer to heaven than to life here on earth.  I love knowing that heaven is close.  I extremely dislike seeing  suffering.

I read from the Psalms to my dad today.  I hummed and sang, and I think he was trying to plug his ear - I'm not sure.  Ha!  Not the response I'd  hoped for!

I have never lived out "we live by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7) more than I am during the moments of these days.

That's  a lot of "I's"!!!   (Have you ever counted the times you say "I" in a day????)

Now another kind of "I"...

"For I AM the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you - Do not fear; I will help you."  (Is. 41:13)

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."  (John 14:27)

"I have set the LORD always before me.  Because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken."
 (Ps. 16:8)

LORD, please help me shift my focus from the pain to Your promise.   


Sincerely Yours, 
Jeanette




Friday, July 6, 2012

I need to fix it...

"I want to fix SOMETHING!"  - I heard myself saying to the doctor yesterday.  I was hovering over his shoulder as he entered data into the medical report of the office visit we were having.  My dad was sitting in a wheelchair (very new to him), not really able to participate in the discussion.  I had my notes in front of me - my questions - my suggestions.  Calmly, our doctor answered questions, but mainly just looked at me - which led to my declaration...." I want, I NEED to fix something.  Please help me.  Please..."

But, I can't.  I can't fix this.  I can't make it easier for them (my dad and my mom).  I can honor and be diligent, I can care, but I cannot fix this.  And God, who is the maker of my heart & made me this tender on purpose, hears.

 And it's so good that He hears, but more than being heard - we need to...hear.  There really is something that can only happen when God speaks.

In Genesis, He made light and land and universe -  by sweating?  No, by speaking.  When God speaks, something happens.

So, LORD, speak into the void of my heart and my wisdom and my strength and yes, my emotions.  In the beginning, You did spectacular things in the middle of deep darkness.  Please do the same in me - in this situation.

I'm sure I am standing with other brothers and sisters who are walking through hard days - and we say, "Speak, LORD, your servant is listening."

(Meditate on scripture that describes God speaking. Start with Genesis 1.)




Wednesday, June 27, 2012

She has found her voice...

We have now had our new dog for almost a whole week!  She's really a good dog - doesn't shed, is already housebroken, isn't aggressive, seems to be loyal.  Very calm personality.  Sweet.

The longer she's with us the more comfortable she is getting.  The first noise she made was a bark that sounded like a dog burp.  Then, it has become apparent that she REALLY likes Dennis - so she cries when he leaves.  She eventually kind of sighs and settles for me!

I heard a NEW noise last night.  Both Dennis and I had commitments.  She stayed with him till my reheasal was over, then I brought her home with me.  She went out in the backyard and something (I really don't know what) caught her attention.  She barked.  A real bark.  A bark that was high and piercing and not really something that would scare a robber.  It's just...weird.  I'll admit that earlier when she was alerting me to the nieghbors next door with what sounded like a dog burp, that wasn't really impressive either.  But this...this just makes you say, "What IS that sound?"

We all have our own "I need to find MY voice" journey. I've heard a lot about finding your own voice.   But, what does that 'found voice' really sound like to others?  It doesn't sound like anyone else's, but what does it do to the spirit of those who hear it?  Does your 'voice' build up, or tear down?  Does what you say make people wince, or feel stronger?  Is there hope in your voice?

I know people who have gotten so tired of not saying what they really felt that they cast off restraint.  They feel better after 'sharing their heart' with you, but you feel beat on or maybe even vomited on.  I know that those are strong words, but the Bible has strong words about...our words.

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.


I know we will be able to recognize the sound of Noel's bark in a crowd of dogs!  She doesn't have a choice - but you and I do.  "Do not let any..."  ---  that's choice, right there.


It might be a good idea to pick up a couple of other tips from Noel - - - notice and act excited when your loved one comes home!  Don't growl at toddlers.  Try not to shed!  And hopefully, if you are reading this, you have that whole housebroken deal mastered - that is truly a blessing!  :-)




Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Game Show Winner

If there was a game show based how many church songs one knows - I would SO be crowned the queen.  Honestly.  I know A LOT of songs.


Tonight I am thinking of all the "please use me - I will do anything - go anywhere for You" songs that I have song with passion over the years.   At camps, during altar times, leading others in that direction or just singing alone in my piano room - the memories of surrender songs flash through my mind.  A LOT of songs.


I'm also thinking of how much easier it sometimes is to sing the songs than to DO the action being requested by heaven.  Not everything that one does for the Kingdom of God fits into one's 'giftings'.


The last couple of weeks have held some very poignant moments of Truth for me.  Would I serve Him by serving others in ways that are difficult or very uncomfortable for me (for more than one reason)?  I honestly looked at a circumstance and said those highly over exposed, marketed-on-a-bracelet, church words - "Jesus, what WOULD You do right now?  Am I serving You by doing this?  Am I loving with Your love by doing this? "


I can assure you that even though I experienced peace and direction, it wasn't really an emotional break-through moment for me.  It was an obedience, serving moment.


I don't know where those moments lead, or how they impact the Kingdom.  I just know that serving is not always convenient, fulfilling, romantically spiritual, or even clean.  Serving is loving Him and loving with Him.

If You can use anything, Lord, You can use me
If You can use anything, Lord, You can use me
Take my hands, Lord, and my feet
Touch my heart, Lord, speak through  me
If You can use anything, Lord, You can use me...









Sunday, June 10, 2012

Growing...



I went to the doctor last week.  It seems that no matter what doctor you go to, they always want to weigh a person before getting around to business.  Really?  Getting my ear's cleaned out - must get weighed first.  Probably have to weigh in before getting my teeth cleaned next.  

I went to the doctor last week, got weighed and found that I have gained 10 pounds in the last 2 months.  Groovy.  How is that even possible.  The doc says of course it is possible because it happened!  What have I done differently?  Nothing, I reply.  

And then I remember...  the 14 large boxes of junior mints that I got for my birthday.   Those mints were so light, so small, so refreshing, so thoughtful, so FUN.  Evidently, I grew larger - one fun mint at a time!  (And I haven't even eaten them all yet! Ugh.)

I could connect this with small sins, attitudes, thoughts that add up to a big load after a while - a big load of heaviness that snuck up on you when you weren't aware, but is suddenly very apparent.

But instead, today I am connecting these mints with each small choice to bless, to choose faith, to be thankful, to pray instead of worry, to trust instead of need to understand.  My hope - no - what I'm counting on is that each LITTLE decision to choose Jesus will add up.  That there will be days when I will be surprised at the territory I have gained, one small step at a time.

I am aware that the analogy should be a picture of eating vegetables not junior mints.  I will tell you that I know that sugar is not a food group - please don't email me about the dangers of sugar and miss my point here.  

My point is - don't discount or dismiss the small things.....either good or bad.  They add up.  They don't just disappear because they are small.  

And, by the way, I still don't know who gave me that driveway full of junior mints, but, thank you!  Thank you for knowing and caring about what I really like.  Thank you for taking the time to make the sign and line up the boxes so they looked so cool.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  It is worth every extra mile I have to walk to lose the weight I gained!!!!!!  Honest!








Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Oscar and Tilly were both playing Simon Says - 
They both heard the same direction - 
they responded at different speeds, so this 'moment of time snapshot' shows different positions!

Our journey with other people just might might look like this.
We're walking with people who are trying to be obedient,
and trying to do what they hear is being asked of them -
 but they hear and respond differently than we do.

Our response choices are...
Rejoice in the victory - - -  our fellow follower is trying! YaY!
or
Look down on someone because they aren't as fast as you, as 'spiritual' as you,
as mature as you....

Please choose to encourage - please choose to offer grace -
please, please, please REJOICE - even over baby steps & slow hand motions.
It'll change your day to find things to rejoice about.
Really.  Anyone can find what's disappointing around them...
Today.Intentionally.Say.YaY.
...to someone...
...to yourself...

YaY!





Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thoughts from a massage chair...

There will be NO pictures with this blog entry...

Yesterday, I went and got a pedicure.  It was a spur of the moment decision.  Someone had given me a gift certificate.  It's a 'walk-ins are possible' type place.

I went because I'm really, really tired.  I'm finding that I can get really tired even after doing good things.  We had a women's event this last weekend, I spoke for the Mother's Day service on Sunday, we then drove to Salem for a minister's meeting in another town - but needed to come home early so Dennis could go to another meeting on behalf of the city.  Check in with my parents.  Tired.

So, I went for a pedicure.  People seem to love pedicures.  I can count on one hand the amount of pedicures I've had.

Picture this...
Four big recliner type deals with optional vibration and roller-type massage thingy's that you enjoy, if you choose.  The man in the chair two down from me liked the "shake your head a lot" option offered by the massage chair.  The lady next to me - the major full body roller that made the chair sound like it was in distress everytime the roller rolled up her back.  On my other side I had the "absolutely no massage" lady. She felt VERY strongly about this.

And all of our feet are up on display for the convenience of the professional person assigned to each of us.  But, we could all get a good gander at each other's feet.  (No comment needed.)

The "I like my head to shake a lot" guy basically went to sleep.

The lady next to me spent most of the time explaining to her nail lady about her life long challenge with webbed toes, and how embarressing it had been for her growing up.

On the other side - there was mainly a lot of talk about Las Vegas and how old a child should be before you take them there.

You notice I haven't talked much about my conversation?  Because there wasn't any.  I had....a (I won't say elderly) older Vietnamese man giving me my pedicure.  Who did not speak to me.  There was tapping, and pointing, but no talking.  He did a fine job.  It was just different than I expected.

In my listening chair I heard (on one side) about a great church that made the complete difference to whether that woman liked living in Grants Pass or not.

On the (Las Vegas) side I heard the tech say out loud that he had found nothing that had made him happy.  The chair dweller lady responded with, "of course he was happy - he has a family and a house and a nice car - of course he is happy".

I left with better looking feet, but a broken heart and a new face to pray for.  I know I was in the listening chair for a reason.

I've had many 'listening chair' experiences recently.  Have you?  Are you finding that there are divine appointments all over the place?  Last week I listened for a good 20 minutes to a lady that I had never seen before tell me about her life struggles - - - in front of the lettuce at Albertsons.  Without introduction she just began to hand me her heartache....

Lord, help us.  Help us to really LISTEN.  To sit when you ask us to sit.  To stand where you ask us to stand.  To speak when you give us words of life to share.  To pray when you so trust that we WILL pray.

Offered with love . . .   Jeanette


Monday, May 7, 2012

Help me to GET IT...

I took this picture from inside the prayer barn at Genesee Home.  This place is set aside for ministry peeps to rest and renew and restore.   You are looking at some pastureland, some thick forest, and a mountain with snow on it - all in the same snapshot.  It is beautiful and diverse and detailed....and I drank it in from somewhere deep inside my heart.

I guess I had some huge expectations about our time at Genesee Home.  I REALLY wanted at least one good 'aha' moment.....maybe an audible message that shifted my heart forever....I listened....and waited....and listened....and waited.....   .......    .......

At one point I did hear, "turn the music off".   Evidently I was filling in the quiet - the waiting -  with my playlist - - hmmmm....

What it did was make me notice - things.  The variety, the beauty, the weeds that looked like they were growing little cotton balls, the different bird songs - - - things.

I felt at one point that God said, "I knew you'd GET this!  How cool my creation is.  You'd GET it.   I knew you'd be here during this week and I had this all ready for you - I knew you'd get it.  It comes from my heart and my hands to your heart and your hands."

Before my wrist was damaged, I really liked making custom cards for people.  They'd take forever but I really liked the process.  It's the only craft gene I have.  I really can't do cooking/sewing/crafting/decorating stuff so very well - but - I could make cards.  I knew that most people would just throw my card away after they read it - but once in awhile there would be a person who GOT IT.  They would get that it took hours to make.  They would look at how it was put together or how I got it to pop up when you opened it.  They would GET IT.  It was from my heart and my hand to their heart and their hands.

So, maybe I did get a gentle 'aha' moment, after all.  His provision, His thoughtfulness, His beauty, His gifts have been prepared for us in advanced for EACH DAY - EACH MOMENT.  I want to love and be grateful for each detail that He has prepared for me.  I can't afford to rush through my life, on to the next thing, or miss His moments because I'm waiting for the big events.

Lord, please help us to see and hear what You have for us.  The times You prepared and provided because you knew we'd get how very cool what you created, what you provided REALLY WAS.

Bless these that I walk the journey with - with YOUR HUGENESS, and Your love.

Thank you, Jesus - Who is my Sabbath Rest...
~jw






Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Train Track Living



What an interesting Easter.  I have never, ever felt the journey of life on train tracks like the last few weeks...the last few days, especially.

Life on the train tracks means - sorrow and joy traveling together, at the same time.


One year at our Elder's Retreat, we all hopped a train to have dinner and enjoy the ride for the evening. There were some weird sounds, grinds, creaks .... and an unexpected whistle stop.  The track had buckled, so the train was unable to proceed forward.  We had literally been in a train wreck!  We ate our dinner, waited for information and tried to be mature.

Have you ever felt like that?  Life is cruisin', and then there's an unexpected stop.  So, you eat dinner, wait for information and try to be mature!

Today is Maggie Mae's 3rd birthday.  It has also turned out to be Troy Martin's home going date.  Joy and sorrow traveling together.  I love that Troy is whole and happy - I just thought we needed this wonderful man here with us for a whole lot longer - whole and happy!  

This is a "trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding"day for me. 

The track on one side seems buckled - it has caused the people on the train to wait on Him, the incredibly great conductor of the journey.

God give Troy's family a supernatural outpouring from heaven.

The other side of the train track for me was being with our family this weekend.  


Celebrating Great-grandma Webber and Maggie Mae's 'same date' birthdays...

Finding Easter eggs - over and over and over again...

Playing and playing and playing....

Sharing pizza and hugs and laughs and competition (!) and really, really, really good memories.

Thank you, Jesus, that You showed us the joy and sorrow mix.  "For the joy set before You, You endured the cross."  You get it - how hard it is to be human.  Please give joy and strength and courage and peace and comfort and revelation where it is needed today.  
I thank You that You help us with every moment of every day.  

I offer this with love....Jeanette


Monday, March 26, 2012

Never, ever - play with matches...

I so wanted to load a song I heard last week so you could hear it. (I couldn't get it to load.) But, it goes to the tune of "Are You Sleeping? (..also known as Frere Jacque...)

 Never, ever play with matches
If you do, if you do
You could burn your house down
You could burn your house down
That won't do, that won't do!

It was one of the little Webber's preschool spring program songs. They also sang such hits as "Deep and Wide", and a 4 year old round of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" - and 6 other songs! THE BEST!

The match song was especially meaningful to me because one of our sons had a life-long love of fire. Even built a kiln for his senor project for GPHS. He built that kiln in our garage - through all stages of trial and error. We've had home made potato launchers, many adaptations of fireworks - and really - he burned his eyebrows off enough times that it's amazing he HAS eyebrows at all. Some of these activities were suppervised. Enough said.

 Why share about this? Well...

As a mom I know the feeling of, "what if?" "What if my son had learned the Never Play With Matches song at his preschool? Would that have changed his love of fire?" There can be some pretty big, "What if's?" in the heart of a mom. I am writing this to you, mom. You pray, you give your best, time goes fast (like all those older women told you but you didn't believe) and now, you look at your kids and the choices they sometimes make and you might wonder....."Could I have done something differently?"

Of course you could have. But, did you do your best? I bet you did! Is the grace of God HUGE? YOU BET IT IS! Does God PASSIONATELY LOVE your kids? Absolutely! Can you trust Him with your kids? Yep.

I don't generally feel like I'm writing to someone specifically, but today I feel that way. (It could be because I presently have a pretty hefty fever - but I don't think so!)

To YOU I'm saying, "quit spending so much time looking back and start intentionally looking forward". The people in the Bible that looked back didn't do so well. When we spend a lot of time looking back, we miss today.
    Philippians 3:13-14
    No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. (NLT)



Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Please walk down another street...


Autobiography In Five Short Chapters
Chapter I
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost... I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

 Chapter III
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
see it there.
I still fall in... it's a habit... but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

 Chapter IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V
I walk down another street.

- Portia Nelson



Sunday, February 26, 2012

HOPE

                                                                                                                                  
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
                         my hope comes from Him.
    He alone is my Rock and my Salvation;
                        He is my Fortress I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
                        He is my Mighty Rock, my refuge.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
                        pour out your hearts to Him,
        for God is our refuge.
                        Ps. 62:5-8


Monday, February 13, 2012

Things I Love About My Husband

(Just want you to know that I could hear the MOAN from some of you..)

10.  He's clean, and He cleans.

9.  He's not afraid to try new things (like scuba diving or one of my new cooking attempts  - equally      life threatening)

8.  He gets that I love shoes

7.  The opinion he values the most is God's opinion

6.  He WANTS me to flourish, and prays for it to be so

5.  He fixes stuff

4.  He hugely believes in our kids, and delights in our grandkids

3.  He's a really great kisser

2.  He's a champion for the abused woman, and the neglected child

1.  He's shown me how Jesus loves

Monday, February 6, 2012

My battle with thoughts, words and cats...



Yesterday's Super Bowl will be marked in my memory by yet another cat trying to jump onto my head.  I've written about that before - how my head seems to attract the activity of cats - but this time it had an unusual (!) element.

We were at the home of friends, enjoying the game with several people as well as the family cat - who had sniffed and investigated me, but had seemed pretty bored with what she found.  I thought I was cleared.  It's like the feeling I have when I make it through security at an airport!  

And then came the twist.  My friend Debbie SAID TO THE CAT, "Do you want to jump on Jeanette's head?"  At which time, the cat walked around the recliner, jumped from the floor to the top of the chair and swatted at my head.   Really?  The cat took my friend Debbie's suggestion??????  It was just weird.

My reason for sharing this with you is this...

The responsibility of care for my elderly parents,  the reaction to my husband's decision to be obedient to God and place a stake in the ground for peace in our community, and my heart's vulnerability to be pierced with the sorrows of those around me has led me on a journey.  I am very intentionally 'bringing every thought (and every word) into captivity'.  One thought can lead me down a road of anxiety so quickly, if not captured and accepted, or rejected and replaced.  The picture of Maggie (above) reminds me of what a thought or a word can do - and how the effects expand from that one...little...word or thought. 

 This is not a devotional, surface, "that's nice" concept for me.  This is a "the enemy's intent is to steal, kill and destroy" vs. "I HAVE COME TO BRING YOU LIFE" process for me right now...today.  

So, today, LORD - "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight - oh Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.  (Ps. 19:14)  Thank You that You know my past, my present and my future.  When I take my dad to the doctor today, (and try to advocate with another doctor on behalf of my mom today), remind me that You hold them and You hold their future - it's not all up to me and my very limited wisdom.  I thank You for every bit of today, Lord.  Thank You that You ARE the Redeemer and the Restorer and the Defender and the Healer and the Deliverer.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.   
Love, Jeanette 




Monday, January 16, 2012

I Feel Strongly About Toilet Paper



There are some things that most people have an opinion about...
Toilet paper (Personally, I’m for it) - single or two-ply?
Licorice - black or red? Coconut seems to cause some division -water, oil, milk or butter?  Lima beans, peas, and cooked spinach - also seems to draw some discussion.  Gluten?  Red meat?  Mother's milk?  
Seems to be less people wearing pajamas at home but more people wearing pajamas at Walmart - where do you stand on pajama wearing?
Style, length and volume of worship at church can get the words going.
How about being put on hold, having to go through 85 automated cues, having the real person not be able to help you and then ending the call with the famous, “can I help you with anything else today” statement?

I could go on with the things that people feel strongly about (just off the top of my head) but I’m not gonna...
What if we felt strongly about loving each other?  What if the message of our actions and our lives yelled - “I love you more than my opinion!!!!” -  instead of, “I’M RIGHT!”  How about practicing with the small things?
Jesus answered, “The foremost is, Hear, O Israel!  The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.  The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.  Mark 12:29-31

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Every move I make I make in You....

It was my Sunday to lead worship this morning. I did something I rarely do - I led what I personally needed to declare. Usually, my M.O. is to lead on behalf of the fellowship. Today I felt permission to lead from a more personal place.

"Every Move I Make I Make in You" - Don't even remember the last time I led that song - it involves La-la's and I'm not a La-la'er! But, when I walk into my parents accommodations these days I feel the definite need to know that I'm not alone - and... that I'm not failing when I can't fix them - and... there is a way to do this with joy. I am definitely not the one in control of life.

In my heart I sang over my friend who goes in for a biopsy tomorrow morning. A tumor on her liver. Lord, what happens in the realm we cannot see when we sing Your song loud and strong? "You are good and Your love endures forever." We declare Your Goodness, Lord, in the lives of those we love and are contending for.

Life is crazy. While I am helping people be ushered into heaven at the end of their earthly lives, I get to hold a brand new little guy. A gift who was prayed for and prayed over for a long time. Crazy, crazy day.

You are the Lord my God. I desire to love You, listen to Your voice, and hold fast to You, for You, Lord, are my life. Deut. 30:20