Thursday, May 15, 2008

praying with Psalm 39-41

You, indeed, have made my days short in length,
and my life span as nothing in Your sight.
Yes, every mortal man is only a vapor. Selah.

I waited patiently for the Lord,
and He turned to me and heard my cry for help.
He brought me up from a desolate pit,
out of the muddy clay,
and set my feet on a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.

I delight to do Your will, my God;
Your instruction resides within me.

Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
let those who love Your salvation continually say,
"The Lord is great!"

May the Lord, the God of Israel, be praised
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and amen.

(Psa. 39:5, 40:1-3, 8,16, 41:13)

My life is so very short
compared to eternity,
and I am so very weak
compared to omnipotence --
yet You care for me
encourage me
and instruct me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

praying with Psalm 38

Lord, my every desire is known to You;
my sighing is not hidden from You.

I put my hope in You, Lord;
You will answer, Lord my God.

(Psa. 38:9, 15)

Lord, You know my goals for the next two months.
You are my Hope
my Strength
and You will enable me to accomplish Your will.

Monday, May 12, 2008

praying with Psalm 37

Trust in the Lord and do
what is good;
dwell in the land
and live securely.
Take delight in the Lord,
and He will give you your
heart's desires.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in Him, and He will act,
making your righteousness shine
like the dawn,
your justice like the noonday.
Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him...
(Psa. 37:3-7)

Help me Lord to
Be silent

verses and a prayer

These verses are quoted in The Glenstal Book of Prayer in the morning prayers for each day of the week:

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet on the road of peace.
(Luke 1:78-79)

It is a peaceful day when I see the Lord as my Dawn, my Sunrise. Any light that brightens my day comes from Him.

O blessed Lord, beyond the moment's sorrow
I see above, beneath, before, behind--
Eternal Love. Give me today, tomorrow,
A quiet mind.
--Amy Carmichael, Mountain Breezes, p. 139)

I like to substitute whatever I'm feeling for the word "sorrow". Anxiousness, exhaustion, blahness, joy....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

the wrong day to go back to church

I've been handling the loss of my dad quite well other than being exhausted. Well, no, I haven't been handling it at all. Our trip home for the memorial service was so much fun and so refreshing -- being at Bible Camp where we have so many great memories, seeing friends and family members, eating clam chowder, seeing the beach...

And then on the way home I was just plain exhausted. I felt a little grief mixed with annoyance and relief -- but mostly exhaustion.

But I didn't want to answer the "how are you" question fifty times, so I avoided our usual church service on Saturday and went to church today, completely forgetting that it was Mother's Day.

I waited four years for my first living child and I did not cope well with that waiting. During that time, I lost two babies as well as my own mother. So Mother's Day still carries a whole lot of baggage, and I hate the Mother's Day sermons. I think about how hurt the infertile ladies can be on Mother's Day, and the grieving daughters too.

So today was completely the wrong day to go back to church, being suddenly conscious that I am parentless. I concentrated on NOT crumpling up my bulletin and throwing it across the room, but eventually that was not enough to keep me from crying so I hid in the bathroom for awhile.

This afternoon a nap has lifted my mood a bit.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Remembering Dad

(I'll share this at my dad's memorial service)

I remember my dad enjoying life. I remember him coming home from work at lunch time and announcing that he'd suddenly decided to take the afternoon off. Sometimes he spent those afternoons working in the yard, but other times we did fun things—like drive to Olympia to see the cherry trees in bloom around the Capitol.

My dad enjoyed food; he made the best sourdough pancakes, and once in awhile I could talk him into making biscuits for an evening snack.

Dessert was my dad's favorite food group. I remember my grandparents visiting our home when I was little, and my mother being appalled when my dad told me to greet Grandma with the words: “Did you bring a pie?”

My dad also taught me practical things. He opened a checking account for me when I was in fourth grade and he helped me balance it every month until I could do it myself.

Dad appreciated beauty—the beauty of nature as well as the beauty of fine china. Before he was married, he traveled across Canada several times, collecting Minton and Royal Albert for himself and for friends and relatives.

Dad had a talent for remembering dates—birth dates, death dates, and anniversaries. I remember him smiling across the breakfast table at my mom and reminding her that it was the anniversary of their first date. In fact, the day after Dad's death was the thirty-fifth anniversary of that first date.

You all know how much my dad loved music. It was his ministry, but it was also his stress relief; after a long day at the office, he'd come home and play through the hymnal for an hour.

Before my dad left for work each morning, Dad read a chapter of the Bible to Mom and I, and we would pray together. We each had a prayer list so that over the course of a week we prayed for all our friends and family.

My dad valued his family and his heritage. His pioneer grandfather told him that “a fool knows enough to carry an umbrella when it's raining, but a wise man takes his umbrella when the sun is shining.” I remember Dad walking to work every day, carrying his black umbrella—rain or shine.
Dad inherited a bit of the pioneer spirit from his grandparents. When homeschooling became legal in 1984, Dad saw this as our opportunity to to be pioneers, helping to secure this privilege for the next generation. I didn't know that this “next generation” my dad spoke of would be my own daughters.

My dad loved his grandchildren. Our oldest daughter was born at 3:05 on an October morning six years ago. My husband called my dad to tell him about the birth and to ask him to wait an hour before visiting us at the hospital. My dad walked through the door at exactly 4:05.

I'd like to pass on a bit of practical advice from my dad: when two desserts are offered, never make a choice between them—always have a bit of both.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Dad's Homegoing

On Tuesday my father entered his heavenly home. I am so very happy to think of him being reunited with my mother.

I will have much to blog, but I am taking a break for a few days.