Joy in the Midst

129.JPG

This is one of very favorite pictures of my husband and me.

What you see:  Laughter, happiness, joy, beauty of the Slieve League cliffs in Donegal.

What you also see:  our new acquaintance’s thumb, which showed up in every single photo he took of us, until we were all beside ourselves with laughter.

What you don’t see:  a walking cane that took me from point A to point B, the pain of walking that it took to get to that photo taking spot, my husband’s stress from lovingly taking such good care to get me to this spot.

And this is why I love it.  In pain, in hard times, in difficulties, there can be great joy.  There can be great beauty.  Great strength.  Great determination.  Great hope.

And a Great God over it all.

I am glad to be back, sharing with you all.  God is doing a new thing in my heart, and renewing my spirit.  Let me hear from you!  I have missed you.  Love, Lisa

Up and Out

11.JPG

One of the reasons I love Ireland so much is that there are so many things that direct your eye upwards and outwards.  For example, in this photo my husband took near Carrick-a-Rede Bridge in County Antrim:  Upwards – dark cliffs in the distance shadowed by the overhead approaching storm clouds, white and gray and steel and blue and green.  Outwards – water, cliffs, beach, pathways, green pasture, hikers, buildings, adventure, etc.   My mind clears, I feel free and almost weightless.

I don’t know about you, but I spend far too much time looking inward instead of upward and outward.  What to do about this problem or that problem, or who am I, what am I supposed to be doing, what is my purpose?  Things are much, much better when I focus up and see Jesus’ face….who He is and what He does, and how He is over all.  And then focus out and see others, their needs, their hurts, their joys.  Writing this in a blog makes it seem easy and very tidy, but it’s not.  It’s hard business.  I’m so glad that God is stronger than me and more patient than me.  He patiently keeps redirecting my gaze, and amazingly never gives up on me.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  ~Hebrews 12:2-3

“…’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: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” ~Mark 12:30-31

Love, Lisa

I Will Fly

sheepleaping

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” ~Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie

When I was three, I spent an entire summer trying to fly, and I was sure that I could.  Everyday I climbed atop my dog’s house, 3 or 4 feet off the ground, and I would close my eyes.  I would feel the wind under my arms, my body, and imagine lifting off the ground in flight.  I would jump with full expectation of lifting and staying off the ground, each time I tried.  I had, and still have, dreams of flying, wonderful dreams of weightless joy.

And I will fly one day, of that I have no doubt.  I will fly with the angels, in the Heavens in the place that Jesus has prepared for me.  No doubts, no weight, no sorrow, only effortless joy and praise.

My prayer is that God will continue to help me fly while I’m on this earth as well.  That He will give me the strength to mount up with wings of eagles as I look into His wonderful face.

Love, Lisa

Letting Love Win

snoopy.jpg

Love can win, every time.

It is easy to get lost in blame, anger, resentment, self-pity.

It is hard to let go, to forgive, to love even if the other person isn’t sorry or doesn’t realize they’ve hurt.

But love frees, forgiveness lightens, God works through sacrifice.

Light will always shine brighter than the darkness.

Kindness can sift through the hardest ground.

Love can win, every time, if I will be open and not let my pride stand in the way.

(officially ended sermon to myself….hope it encouraged you as well.  🙂  )