Monthly Archives: April 2019

Keeping Easter…

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My Lenten experience did actually prepare me for Easter this year. Though I did not fulfill my fast in the way I intended, in many respects, the way it ended up was more real and I sensed a greater awareness of God, and of Christ’s journey, while walking in my weakness.

But really, isn’t that what we’re told, that His strength will be made perfect in our weakness? (Hebrews 2:9-10) …and how much greater still is God’s strength made perfect through Jesus’ weakness…? That is then part of the Truth of Easter.

Which leads me to the idea of keeping Easter…

…keeping it in our hearts, our lives, our day to day relating to each other, our experiences in nature …and on and on…

How do we walk in each day with an awareness of our weakness and God’s strength, inviting Him into the depths of our depravity, trusting Him there and allowing Him to love us there…then believing in that love so much that we allow it to transform us so that we walk in all the realities that are ours because we are loved by the King, the Creator, and He WANTS to be in relationship with us, in the midst of all our messiness…allowing Him to be the Strong One so that we recognize our need of Him but also allow ourselves to feel the relief and freedom found in the fact that Someone else has made the way for us to be victorious in this life as well as the next.

This Truth spurs me on to make the choices in my day to day life that will foster an atmosphere in my heart and mind that allows the Spirit’s work to change me from the inside out. These daily choices become habits which eventually become second nature in me and ultimately develop into the character of who I am.

Some call these choices disciplines, others simply say good habits, while someone else may consider them rituals. It doesn’t matter what you call them, just that you intentionally choose to pursue whatever it is that brings you and God closer and that allows Him to turn weaknesses into strengths, despair into peace, ashes into beauty, chaos into order….

For me, those daily disciplines/habits/ choices have changed over time as I’ve grown older and as God and I have become closer. A large aspect of this has been my looking back at all that has formed who I am and allowing God to pull all the pieces together to form what is becoming a whole picture, fitting all my pieces together to make something beautiful of my life.

My walk through Lent this year was only a small fraction of that piecing together in my life. In the posts to come, I’ll share more of the specifics of what I’ve just been learning these last 6 weeks or so, but beyond that, I want to share more of my the complete journey I’ve been through since I was young and first began my pursuit of trying to understand my life holistically and why I’ve wanted to allow this work of the Spirit in my life to bring order from the chaos.

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Entering the last week of Lent…

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img_0921As this 6 week focus has progressed, I’ve had my successes and failures with following what I set out to do.  My experience with God, however, has proven true and real.  I’ve drawn closer and invited Him to enter further into my deepest struggles.

I’ve sensed Him reminding me that even though “man does not live by bread alone,” there is an inference given to the statement which I have come to recognize and embrace…bread is not a bad thing and sometimes a man, or woman, needs to eat bread, and sometimes it needs to be eaten simply because we are breaking it with someone else.  Food is okay to enjoy and sharing a meal with someone is a rich and necessary part of living in human relationship with others.

In this, God’s Spirit has spoken to me more intently on the goodness of all things in moderation, the call t

o living balanced in holistic wellness.  I feel I have a better way to move forward now, a greater sense of what I need, what I should limit, and what I must do in order to be healthy as a whole person.  While caught up in this Lenten introspection embodied by my literal actions, the journey and sacrifices of Jesus have impacted me in new ways.

My desire is that this last week of Lent will provide a few more moments of an awareness of the fullness of God’s presence in the midst of my own sensations of physical emptiness.  I’m praying this for me now, and for you, whomever you may be that happens to read this….

I’ll share more details of my journey forward next weekend when we await the sunrise of Easter morning….

Order from chaos….

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Bouncing forward from those high school days and my first psychology class, I took on the psychology minor in my undergraduate studies. My major was Christian Education. I feel it was the true beginning of discovering all that had shaped me into who I was and learning how to grow and become who God intended me to be from the start.

One of my close girl friends was a psychology major. For one of her courses, she had to determine her worldview (a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world). I didn’t have that course, but I decided to think through what my thoughts were on my view of the world. I came to embrace my primary worldview as being God creates order from chaos.

Over the years, I’ve thought through my view numerous times, to see if it still made sense and rang true for me…and it has. This view of life has helped to keep me grounded and to see the big picture beyond the details of day to day challenges, suffering, and uncertainty. The idea that God creates order from chaos laid the foundation for seeing life as a puzzle or mosaic, observing how all the pieces can come together to create a beautiful whole.

It reminds me of an Impressionist painting like Water Lillies by Monet. When I’ve had the chance to see it, or other Monet paintings, in person, I’ve compared the difference in viewing the painting up close versus across a room.

If you stand very close, you can see all the individual brush strokes, and though you can see beauty, artistry, and talent in all the details, you can’t see the true image. You have to stand back from it to capture the full magnificence of the entire work of art, to see the order in the chaos, how all the pieces fit…

An old post, revisited…

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Back in September 2013, I wrote the following as a beginning of this website and to help give a little explanation of the title of my page, “fitting the pieces together”.  I’m re-posting it at this time as a new beginning of some thoughts that have been reawakened in me.  I’ll continue the story as often as I can in the days to come, interspersed with my Lenten updates for the next few weeks until Easter.  After Easter, the theme of fitting the pieces together will continue in full force until I say all I feel the Spirit moving me to say…for now, here are my thoughts on PIECES….

Growing up, I highly disliked working puzzles.  My sister would always have one of those 5000 piece puzzles sitting out on a table, the entire winter, working on it as she had time.  Holiday time, when the entire family was around, puzzles would be brought out for everyone to work at putting them together.  I would stop and attempt to put in a few pieces, but I would quickly give up on it.  I couldn’t figure out a strategy.  It all seemed so random to me.

It’s only been in the last few years I’ve finally found some secrets to working puzzles.  Now, I can sit down and confidently work on one, knowing I can at least get the edges done and find some of the inner pieces, until it gets to the part where all the colors are the same.  I can’t say that I ever actually choose to work a puzzle, but at least I feel competent to associate with the puzzle-working crowd.

On the flipside, fitting the pieces of my life-puzzle together has interested me for a very long time, since I took my first psychology class in high school.  That class started me to wondering about what had shaped me into who I was and what was forming me into who I was becoming.  I began to question why I did the things I did.

I had a crush on the son of my high school Sunday School teacher.  He and I would often sing together in church, and we would spend many Sunday afternoons practicing songs, just for the fun of it.  I admired his Mom and looked to her for wisdom.  The two of them sang one particular song, regularly, and I never forgot the chorus to it.

The song was called “Pieces”, and the words I remember were….

“He said pieces, pieces, so many pieces to your life…

scattered all around, and some of them are gone.

I can put them all together, and there will never be

another one who can.”

I was moved by those words, especially because of what it meant in the lives of that Sunday School teacher and her son.  They had come through a lot of rough places in life, and I knew what it took for them to trust that God could put the pieces of their lives together again.

That gave me courage and hope for my own life.  It spurred me on to begin the dangerous journey of searching for all the pieces to the puzzle of my life and allowing God to put them together to show me the big picture of how my life had come to that point, where it was going, and what He wanted to do to transform it so that the puzzle could be the picture He intended it to be from the start.

The longer I live, the more I realize that everyone has puzzle pieces of their lives that are scattered and jumbled, that don’t make a lot of sense.  How easy it is for us to just let the pieces fall where they may and not try to put them together to find understanding and meaning in them.  It is a daunting task to allow God to take those pieces into His hands, to let Him reveal their meaning to us, and then to give Him the freedom to put the pieces together His way, so that the picture of our lives turns out as He desires it.

He is the Master Puzzle Maker, though, and no matter how we might try, we can never put together a life puzzle that will fit perfectly and become a breathtaking work of art.  When we give the pieces to Him, the life He forms from that puzzle, becomes a picture that makes sense; it takes it’s true and intended form, and ultimately, it radiates His glory for all to see.

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