Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gifts with Subliminal Messages?

Is it my imagination or is my hubby trying to tell me something?
Do you remember the book Mark surprised me with not long ago..."Rebel Women of the East Coast"?
I really tried to believe he meant that in the very best light....

On Friday, I received my back-ordered birthday gift from hubby.
A beautiful camera with an extra telescopic lens, gorgeous carrying case etc...way beyond my capabilities I might add...(ummmm... HELP!!!)

So tonight I thought I would try a few of the buttons out and see if I could figure anything the way, LOVE the telescopic lens!

Low and behold, I catch the NAME of the camera..."REBEL"..HHHmmmfff!!!
What IS he trying to tell me?!??!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Angel Girl

My first little princess came into our world 11 years ago today...She was born in the Napanee Hospital at 4:35 PM and was heading through the Tim Hortons drive through with daddy, (and Mommy) at 7:30 that same eve. Daddy's always been very proud of that, sure he would have a coffee drinker in the making if he introduced her so young.(maybe if it had been a Starbucks coffee whose aroma first passed her wee senses...)

I am proud to say, Maria is her mommy's girl. Won't touch coffee, loves painting her nails, baking, reading, has been introduced to and fallen in love with my Kindred Spirit, Anne of Green Gables over the past week, senses a baby from across a crowded mall and will turn into an owl in order to crane her neck to see it. 
Speaking of malls, my girl LOVE, LOVES, LOVES to and clothes are her favorites but accessories and girly girl items are loads of fun too.

Oh! and after a few years of doing her best to deny it, her innate and genetically inherited adoration of PINK is finding it's rightful place in her life...ahhh, could I be more proud?!?!?!

I figured 11 was a great age to indulge her in her love for shopping, and her cake is a shopping bag from her favorite store, with Maria's choice of colors and her beloved polka dots. 
On the board it says, "Maria was Born to Shop".
So with gift cards in hand, Maria and her mommy, (and our other little shopping protege, Jianna), will be found, bargain hunting and oohing and ahhing over all of the things she loves at the mall this weekend...and if it is to be a very good day, there will be babies to coo over at every turn.

Happy Birthday to My Beautiful Angel Girl...I love you so very much and love spending time with you doing the things we both love so much...maybe we'll even have a tea or hot chocolate at Starbucks...but most certainly not a drop of coffee shall pass by either of our lips!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Behind the Walls

The Secret Garden was what Mary called it when she was thinking of it. She liked the name, and she liked still more the feeling that when its beautiful old walls shut her in no one knew where she was. It seemed almost like being shut out of the world in some fairy place...

Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden

My very favorite of childhood places was "The Public Gardens " in Halifax NS. I remember rolling down the hills with friends on school trips, going for picnics under the seemingly ancient tree limbs, walking the paths and making beautiful discoveries at every bend.

Years later, on my girls' first trip to NS, we met their Grandma in the Public Gardens for our own little tea party, complete with iced tea, a red and white checked picnic blanket, miniature china tea cups and tasty cookies.

From the book I highlighted in my last post, I am making discoveries about the garden of my heart. Though in my physical world I am the very least among gardeners....I am discovering I have quite the intricate garden within my heart. There are some lovely areas that are accessible to almost anyone, filled with fragrant and beautiful flowers. The paths are paved smooth and the view can be quite breath taking.

There are some very productive areas of vegetation from whose abundant harvest I am able to give to and provide for others...even strangers.

In my garden, there is a beautiful secluded gazebo, a place for me to meet with Jesus. It is surrounded by beauty and has been white washed with His blood.

I also imagine there is quite the elaborate labyrinth within my heart...filled with twists and turns that can be really quite confusing...though I find the challenge to be loads of fun.

If you look very carefully past all that has been nurtured and displayed...all that is accessible, there, in the very back corner of my garden is a wall. It is high and strong and heavily fortified, it's gate is so well hidden, I too, have difficulty locating it at times.

If you happen to get close enough to the walled area of my garden, you will find that there are a mix of fragrances that permeate the senses.

Some are sweet and hint of beautiful treasures longing to be discovered...others might be poignant and strong, the stench of which might cause one to withdraw. They speak of weeds and rotten foliage, areas left unattended, (some for many years...others, a life time). I am not sure what all is within this hidden area or how it all got there and into such a state of disarray. Mostly, I have learned to ignore this part of the garden, to walk away from this area and to keep others at a safe enough distance so as to not detect the walls that hide the imperfections of this hidden place.

Behind this impenetrable wall is my secret garden...a place to which I have been known to retreat, where no one knows where I am and which seems to shut out the entire world.

At first, my secret garden is a refuge and a place of safety and solitude. I might even decide to get busy with some of the uprooting and untangling of long neglected and over grown plantings. It doesn't take long though, for the work to seem unmanageable...for those walls of safety to become walls of seclusion and for solitude to turn to loneliness.

In this place of self protection, I unknowingly closed the gate on my Healer as well. Oh, at times He was a welcome guest, but when he tried to uncover or uproot something that was just too painful for me to bare...I pushed Him back outside the gates and declared this part of the garden "Off Limits".

As I grow in intimacy with Him, He is gently pushing open these ancient gates and is leading me to find the treasures hidden beneath the gnarled and thorny branches. Sometimes the uprootings are still quite painful, but watching His strong and capable arms work so lovingly and skillfully, enables me to go through the painful processes and to have hope for the place of beauty He is creating.

I am not sure, I am ready for this part of my heart to become a "public garden", but I am learning with fear and trembling and most importantly the leading of Holy Spirit, to risk opening these recesses of my heart to the ones He has chosen. To those who will not be overwhelmed by the stench or the work, who will look for and find the hidden & forgotten treasures. Who will walk with me, discovering all that is within, encouraging me as we go, yet knowing when the encouragement may need to become a loving rebuke. Some with greater understanding will help me to discern what is of value and needs to be cultured...and what is destructive and needs to be uprooted.

God is teaching me that I need others and that the beauty He is creating is to be shared and that there are trusted ones who will walk and commune with me. As they admire all that is good and lovely, will be willing to stop and gently pull a stray weed that may have gone unnoticed.

My challenge to you is to allow God to walk with you through all of your garden, to help you discover your Secret Garden and to lead you to those who are to walk in the inner place with you and Jesus.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Woman and Her Relationships

I was drawn to this book when it was part of an advertisement for a "Girl's Night Out" event that was coming to Maranatha last Spring. It caught my attention initially, because of the pink cell phone, (something at the time, I was working with my husband to obtain). Then the title struck me as I was in a time of reflection, frustration and even disappointment with many of my relationships.

I ended up making the decision to go to the event at the last minute and this book was given to the first couple hundred ladies through the door. The event itself was surprising and is where I bought the book "Completely His" by Shannon Ethridge, which I have referred to in recent blogs.

Shannon's book took me on a journey of intimacy with Jesus. I became excited to pursue and be pursued by my First Love, yet, in the midst of my pursuit of Him, something else began to take place. He led me lovingly and gently, to a place of examining my other relationships and discovering some very difficult truths as to why some had not been as mutually fulfilling as I truly desired.

Through some very Divine direction, (using Maria to suggest Rosemary Flaaten's book as my next reading assignment), God drew me toward the next step of my journey. I hadn't read this book when I received it and had thought it was about intimacy with Jesus, so was quite happy to begin it and to take this new intimacy with Jesus to a greater depth.

I have to tell you, I had been seeing God sovereignly connect and draw me in the area of relationships, but could not make the connection between my pursuit of Jesus and His obvious desire to have me examine my earthly relationships. 
On the very day I opened my "cell phone" book, I was scheduled to meet with a friend and have a very real and possibly uncomfortable chat.

Within the very first chapter, I internally winced, thought about retreating, and finally went "Ah Ha! That's it"...over and over again.

Rosemary confirmed what Holy Spirit was revealing to me little by little for the past few weeks...
The depth of my Relationship with Him, will be in direct proportion to my ability to be in deep relationship with others.

I can't even begin to tell you in one blog how much God is impacting me and unveiling truth to me through this book. This woman understands me and how and why I process the way that I do. As I begin to grasp, then understand one truth, she moves deeper and the dots are connecting to reveal the whole picture so clearly.

I am only half way through the book...(it really must be chewed, swallowed, digested and savored slowly to allow God to do all that He is wanting to do); yet, the way that Holy Spirit is changing, healing and releasing me from some very old chains, is really quite mind boggling.

For once, I am forced to process through the Spirit's leading first and allow my intellect to catch up later, rather than to think about, process and understand prior to receiving. 
He is being that sovereign with me.

I will post more nuggets from this journey in future posts, but I have to tell you, if you have questioned or been unsatisfied with your earthly relationships as a may want to get a hold of this book, it may just change you and therefore your relationships forever.

I LOVE when God lines things up just the way I need them to be, before I even know I need them...He is so very trustworthy.

Be Blessed!