Category Archives: 2014

Create . . .

My 2014 word is CREATE.

My ONE Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen

My ONE Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen

Create?

This word settled redwood tree root deep in my mind and heart in December and January. . .

I. Knew. It. Was. The. Lord. I just knew it. . .

The whole process had a very Philippians 4:8 feel to it. 

“Whatever is true, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, praise worthy….”

Oh yeah. . . 

Everywhere I turned there were blogs, articles, books,  about different aspects of the word. Sermon series on Creation in Genesis… I was reminded of C. S. Lewis’ book, The Magician’s Nephew where Aslan sings Narnia into existence. . .

OVERWHELMED BY THE AMAZING BEAUTY OF IT. . . (Heavy sigh…)

By the way…I love C. S. Lewis and The Chronicles of NarniaThe Magician’s Nephew is a must read before anyone ever reads The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. . . Just trust this 4th grade reading teacher on this issue. . . truly. . .

In understanding the impact and design for this word . . . CREATE. . . I thought. . .

Well maybe it’s about attempting to do something fresh  in the new year. Stretching and growing in something I have not tried before. . . I was SO ready for this. . .

I wanted to cast aside the same-ness – the routine – and open myself up to fresh adventures…

So with two months under my belt, what have I created?

I have  created more time to investigate… to breathe. . .

I am creating physical  space for a place to “create.”

My clutter – physical, spiritual and emotional . . . is being dealt with, trimmed down and in some ways, eliminated. This year is a time for changing and chasing dreams and growing and CREATING. . . 

NEW.

Isaiah 43:19  ” Be alert, be present. I am about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.” (Message)

BUT I have learned that CREATE  looks very different than I had originally anticipated .

The Lord, in his amazing love and patience is rewiring my heart and life in ways to allow time, space, and energy for NEW and for CREATING

It has been painful at times and again…

It doesn’t feel like I thought it would… but His path never does…

It is always so much more.

When I chose the word CREATE (and in all honesty ‘I’ had nothing to do with it), I had dreams of becoming more artistic and that is still a possibility…

But He is creating art within me, within my heart…

New desires for service and ministry are growing in this freed space.

My prayer life is breathing again in a less cluttered ME

There are times that I feel as if the Holy Spirit is “creating havoc” in my heart by shifting things, remolding my thoughts and uncovering old insecurities.

Needless to say, CREATE looks vastly different to me today than it did on January 1st. But it’s not bad, it’s a welcomed change…

AND that is what I was looking for. . . praying for . . . marrow deep in my bones, truly . . .

Ash Wednesday . . . We Are Dust. . .

Reviving the Passion by Walter Wangerin Jr.

Reviving the Passion by Walter Wangerin Jr

Ash Wednesday  . . .  a  day of personal ashes…

We. . . are. . . dust. . . and . . . ashes.

Walter Wangerin Jr. writes, “When we genuinely remember (memento) the death we deserve to die, we will be moved to remember the death the Lord in fact did die–because he took the place of ours.”

Did you attend an Ash Wednesday service ? . . .

What does Ash Wednesday signify to you?

This 40 day sacrifice. . . mourning the death that sin caused in our lives. . . Hearing the gospel story . . . seeing our death in His. . .waiting for a resurrection as well. . .

How are you participating in  the tradition of Lent?  

The Season of Lent…Sacrifice, Servanthood and Solitude…

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning the of the Season of Lent.

 I do not come from a faith background which traditionally commemorates the season of Lent; however, over the last several years I have found myself drawn  to this  sacred time frame on many liturgical calendars…this solemn time of  preparation  for Easter.

Taken by Berta…6-21--2011 - Jerusalem

Taken by Berta…6-21–2011 – Jerusalem

My post is short and simple today…

If you are of a faith heritage that traditionally participates in the Lenten season, share with me what you know and I will ask questions.

I will post fresh heart knowledge and experiences from this often jaded little Baptist girl’s point of view…

Let’s share resources old and new to explore during Lent…

BUT most of all, I want to learn more about Jesus during the next 40 days…

Berta

50 Books in 2014

a sampling...

a sampling…

This is the year…

Set it big…GO LARGE!

For someone who loves to read, I have never set a reading goal for myself.  Teachers have set them for me…not as much fun.

This is the year…

My year of quiet…my year of faith cocooning…

Perfect time for more reading…deeper reading…

So I have set a goal of 50 books which I am afraid is pretty ambitious, even for a voracious reader like me.

BUT…

I want to stretch. I want to read a variety of things. I want more time reading…period.

So I shall read and enjoy it, giving myself into the pleasure of it…

the quiet of it…the solitude of it

As I cocoon, I will share the best of what I read with you…

Share your reads with me…

Adrift in a New Year…What to do when you feel lost…

Upside Down Homelife...

Home upside down

A new year always overwhelms me…

Home and heart–upside down…

Goals? unclaimed…

Resolutions…whatever…

What did I learn in the freshly shut year?

2013 was a banner year for me personally.

1) I completed my seminary Master’s degree.
2) I turned fabulously feisty 50!
3) I became a grandmother!
4) I ended the year in South Korea holding my granddaughter in my arms…

How in the world can I possibly top that in 2014?!

Do I have to?

No. I. do. not.

And yet 2013 had its awkward moments…strained closures…uncomfortable shifts in life  and relationships that have been such an important part of my life for the last 28 years

So now I am dog paddling in 2014…

…trying to find my way through rapid moving water and murky moments. I am sluggish in  uncharted seas, but remarkably at peace because I know beyond common human sense that I am not alone.

I realize that I am just where the Lord wants me…helpless before Him and completely dependent on Him and His  all-consuming presence.

So…during those early morning hours when I find myself awake in the darkness…

lost…in fear feeling it moving very close around my heart like a vice…

this is what I do.

1) I get up…moving out of  the darkness…into the soft comforting lamp light.

2) I fix myself a cup chamomile tea and settle under a warm fuzzy blanket on the sofa.

3) I pull out my journal, my pen,  and my Bible.

4) And…I worship…in the quiet through whispers and written words on my pages and printed Word on His PAGES…drawing close to the only One who can bring Light to my darkness…soothe my anxious frightened heart and reassure my wounded spirit…

Settling into His Word…which is constant…reassuringly unchanging…breathtaking and beautiful.

2014…I want this year to be…saturated.in.HIM.

So…GOALS…?

Jesus.

Resolutions…

LOVE HIM COMPLETELY…FOLLOW HIM FAITHFULLY…

BE…PRESENT…and SERVE HIM…in empty and full moments…

2014…My Jesus Year.

Join me and others in Ann Voskamp’s the Jesus Project and memorize Words from the Gospel  of John…
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