Sunday, May 30, 2010

Blog Challenge: Joyful Noise

Psalm 98:4 "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise."

I have really been thinking about this verse, there is so much 'noise' in the world that does not make us think of joy, of rejoicing or of singing praise.  There is physical noise, there is emotional noise and there is spiritual noise.  There are distractions, noise if you will, that keeps us from really being able to enjoy the joyful noises around us.

Does the noise of the world around you keep distracting you from making and enjoying the joyful noises?  Does the to do list stop you from enjoying the laughter of your child?  Does the busy noise of being a good hostess keep you from enjoying the noise of fellowship?

When we are going to stop and listen to the joyful noises around us?  If we are going to make joyful noises we need to be able to hear them!  When you praise God are you making joyful noises?  I think Creation sings His praises all the time, and sadly we don't often take the time to hear them.

What are some joyful noises?

  • Birdsong at 5 am
  • Frogs singing at dusk
  • Dogs barking for joy
  • Purring of kittens
  • Nicker of horses
  • Humming wings of a hummingbird
  • Laughter of a child
  • Laughter with a child
  • Splashes in mud puddles
  • Boiling kettle
All of these sounds are, to me, full of comfort and joy. They, like the whisper of a lilac's last scent in the evening, remind me of the good and precious in the small things every day.  God blesses us the same ways He clothes the lilies and breathes air under the wings of sparrows - fully, completely and with total joy.

God holds nothing back in His love for us and the expressions of His Joy in His Creation are multitude.  

Sadly, so many miss the beauty of a butterfly racing to catch a dollar.  They miss the love in a crayon drawing looking for the perfection of a spreadsheet.  Not that spreadsheets and dollars don't have value - they can and they do. But they can also be distracting noise that keeps us from making and hearing joyful noises.

Psalm 98:4 "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise."

What shall we do to encourage each other then, to seek and share the joyful noises?  How then shall we create in our world a place  to make joyful noises?

This blog began as a challenge to write about the verse, and now I continue the challenge to you...where do you hear joyful noises?  Where are you going to make joyful noises?  I'll be sharing in the weeks to come photos and stories about some joyful noises in our world that bring us to praise Him with our own joyful noises!

My sisters in Christ are blogging this challenge with me, come and read more and join us at: "Sisters In Spirit" on

Monday, May 24, 2010

Finding Treasure

Luke 12:34 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

What is your treasure?  Or rather, where is your heart?  That really is my question today - where is your heart?  

We know where God's heart is - God's heart is seeking the 'pearl of great price', His people.  God spends His heart time with His treasure - us.  His people.  His treasure.

How humbling.  How amazing.

The very hand which created the universe, the very eye that knows each feathered wing in creation, the very heart which saved us all considers us His treasure!  God's heart is with us!

How then shall we determine what our own treasure is?  Is your treasure a pirate's dream of wonderful, rare, expensive and glittery things?  Is your treasure always being measured against another's?  "Theirs is better, bigger, shinier, newer than mine."

Where is your heart looking?  Does your heart seek the ultimate treasure seeker?

I have a favorite saying that I've painted on the wall above my stove, "Bread for the body, flowers for the soul."  My treasure is currently watching a movie with his Daddy, who is considering something fun for us to do as a family.  My gold is the flowers in my yard, my emeralds are the  grassy pastures for my horses and cattle, my treasure lives and breathes around me.

Each time I look at something which makes my heart sing I am praising and thanking the Holy Hand which created it.  His hand crafted the flowers, His hand spun the clouds, His hand formed the two sets of brown eyed boys - husband and son - that I adore.  His hand blessed our lives with so many things that are not just things.

It's on the bottom of most of my emails, The most important things in life are not things.  Think about that for a minute...

What is your treasure?  Where is your heart?  Is it home with your family?  Is it in a show room envious of a newer, faster, more eco friendly car?  Is it on a golf course?  Is it in a garden? Is it in the word of God?  Is it living in the word of God, living and loving in His creation?

The treasure we seek should lead our hearts to the Creator, God.  When I see flowers I am thinking of God.  His hand created all of this wonder around us, this treasure which should lead us to the Treasure Keeper.  After all, isn't the greatest treasure our salvation?  Isn't the most wonderful gift that of grace?  Isn't the loving creation of God worth seeking the Creator for?

God's treasures are not those made by man.  God's treasures do not wish to ensnare or tangle our hearts.  God's treasures do not create in us envy and hate.  God's treasures have no safety deposit box or insurance.  God's treasures are those which seek to draw our hearts closer to Him.  He wishes us to seek His treasure, God wishes us to seek the Treasure Keeper.

Thank you God for the gold and gems of my day, the flowers and birds, the laughter and love of my husband and son.  Thank you God for the treasures which draw our hearts closer to you.  Thank you God for being the Treasure Keeper of our souls, the healer of our spirits.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Walking In Love

Luke has a new thing he likes to say, when we are out walking around.  He comes up to me, takes my hand and leans over and says, "Mama, we are walking in love."

Walking in love.

Think about that.  We are walking together, side by side, hand holding.  Feeling around us the love that surrounds us, in those peaceful moments together.  We are really 'walking in love'.

Mother and son, Mama and Best Pal, Shanyn and Luke.  Two people, walking together in a wonderful place called love.  Whether we are walking to check cows, walking to toss stones in 'Quack's Pond' or just walking because it is what we feel like doing - it is those times that we just feel love.

1 Corintians 13:13 "Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love."

We talk about God, about His love, and how it is around us all the time.  How God loves us and creates wonderful things for us, how He gave us the greatest gifts of all.  How God is walking with us, He is also walking in love.

Jesus walked every step in love, He had the greatest love.  He came here to save us, to walk with us, in love, to feel our steps.  Noble steps, faltering steps, brave steps, fearful steps...every single step of the way He was there, in love, walking with us.

Psalms 119:105 "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

God's word is the light for our path, it is the guide for our way.  It is the ultimate gift for those walking in love.

Faith in our path, that the steps we do not see are there, prepared for us.

Hope that through our journey, our walk in that precious love, is the one which will lead us through to Him.

Love, the light, the way, the path, the steps before and after us.  Love is how we show our fellowship, love is the expression of our faith, love is the words of our testimony, love in a sincere rebuke.  Love is the way we need to walk.

It is Mother's Day.  For me every day with Luke is Mother's Day because he is such a joy and a blessing.  He was my surprise and is my shining light.  I love walking in love with him, and every night as I tuck him in I take the time to pray.  I pray for him, I pray my thanks for having him in my life.  I check on him before I go to sleep, and say my final prayer for the night, "Thank you God!"

Happy Mother's Day for mothers, those who mother and for all of those who love the mothers in their lives.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Baking Love

Matthew 25:40  40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Grandma, beloved Grandma, needs to drive far to take her Mother (Kok) to see the doctor. He knows he cannot go with her, and he knows it is a long trip.  What does Grandma need? Snacks!  Food for the body, love for the soul and prayers for the spirit.

What we do for the least of we encourage little hands to messily bake?  Imperfectly shape the breakfast corn cakes?  Spill the flour a little bit (I'm so sorry Mama, it's all my fault."  I reply with a hug, "It is okay, just a bit of flour.").  Crack the eggs, watch me pick out the bits of shell.  Mix with a serious face and unsteady not quite five year old coordination.

What we do for the least of these...let him make something chaotic and tasty?  Or scold and keep the order of the kitchen.  

My own Grandma would never understand, she was the wonderful homemaker, baker, cook, house keeper and hostess.  She washed dishes always in separate water, dried with separate towels (some for glass, some for plates, some for cutlery, some for other dishes and always rags for the pots and pans).  

My own Mom may not understand, she never really got into the scratch baking, the shoebox filling, food as a gift.  She has always been busy, Dad always particular and set in his preferences.

My Grandma taught me how to bake, the love of the dough, the heart of the kitchen is the gift of the food.  I have learned a different lesson though, much different.  

Hearts don't beat in tidy neat spaces, they beat in the mess of life.  Sometimes bloody, sometimes through tears, sometimes through slippery fingers covered in dough.

What we do for the least of these...let him pick the best ones for her trip?  The ones made by his own hand, some smaller and over cooked others bigger and softer?  Or make sure they are uniform and perfect from my own pans?  That she will see the perfection of our baking, or that she will see the love?  We chose the love!

What we do for the least of to teach them to serve.  To teach them that by giving in small ways they can deliver blessings beyond measure or expectation.  We teach him that the gifts of his heart have value.  Not in their perfection, but in their love in during creation.

God is the same.  He does not want our perfection, He wants us to serve.  He, who made the sparrow and painted the thistle bloom, wants our love and our hearts.  Not our neatness and spiritless perfection.  He wants the little fingers forming dough, pressing out all their love in corn cakes for a long drive.  He wants dandelions tucked behind ears.  He wants joy in rain, play in puddles.

What we do for the least of these...and by whose measure is "least"?  Each hair of all our heas is counted, each of us is created by loving Holy Hands.  Where is there a "least of us" in Creation?  Only in our eyes, not in His.  

When we do for the least of these...we do for us.  We do for all of us.  I am humbled by his gifts for his family, that he puts his heart into his prayers and his energy into living.  For him there is no "least".  Shouldn't that be the same for us?

Dear Lord, please let me see past the measures of this world.  Let me get past neat and perfect into the messy, loving heart of life.   Dear Lord, let me give with a spirit only concerned with the love and the gift, not the value or perfection.  Dear Lord, I know you value us more than a sparrow, and that none fall out of Your care.  Remind me, Lord, of their value in Your heart.  Amen.