Trust in the Lord

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream…its leaves are always green… Jeremiah 17:7-8b

Church in Albuquerque

Church in Albuquerque

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The message of Christmas

God connecting with man…

A holy night, humble savior, born in a barn, with the cows and sheep… because there was no room in the inn.  So the prince of peace, the mighty God, the everlasting father, our Savior could show us how much he loves us.

That spirit is alive.

This santa – has it.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman

He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty

He never wrote a book
He never held an office

He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born

He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself

He was only thirty three

His friends ran away
One of them denied him
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing
The only property he had on earth

When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend

Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind’s progress
All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life

Dr James Allan © 1926.

The Silence of a writer

bougenvillia

bougenvillia (Photo credit: emmavn)

The blog has been a bit quiet of late.  Days’ have been filled with writing of another sort – the scientific sort – which, is actually why I enjoy this type of writing…  it allows the hyper analytic publishing for the specific science crowd  /- side of my brain – a rest.   I hope you’ve enjoyed the link to my photo posts (see my last post or Krb-Photo).   The postings there are some of my favorites.

When one is writing for science – one becomes the sort who speaks in the 3rd person, and refers to the rationales and knowns and unknowns… One is well-referenced, and must be crisp and articulate.

The science writing was enjoyable this time, I wasn’t alone, and that in-and-of-itself was refreshing…. two minds planning great adventures, thinking in the known and beyond… It was actually quite fun….  but the science crowd demands attention to details, and so towards the end of the race the partner becomes encourager and you switch back and forth to finish.  15 pages, no more no less, a certain sized font, specific margins, and no typo’s or omissions in stream-of-thought or logic.  Perfection is a requirement.

Today is such a breath of fresh air, finding fresh sweet tomatoes in the garden, watching a new zucchini sprout, running with Teddy through the early morning sprinklers… mounting photo’s taken awhile back, into frames for displays and dallying over little artistic details.

Monday will bring more work, but today is a chance for rest… for reflecting.  For absorbing and appreciating a good productive time of work, and gaining strength for the work and challenges that lay ahead.

Time will tell if the science writing will pay off… a grant… funding for a special project… and special research.  Will we be found worthy?

Only God knows.

Today, I just rest and trust and appreciate the abundance of the day…  Grateful for each moment.

Psalms 62:1-2

1 Truly my soul finds rest in God;
    my salvation comes from him.
2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Just Keep Going & find your true North

I became a Grey’s Anatomy fan a few years back.

Actually thinking about it – it’s been more than a few years now.  Meredith Grey (the actress played by Ellen Pompeo) was starting a new job and dealing with a mother with Alzheimer’s disease.

I was in a similar (but very real) place in a life.  I had an elderly mother who’d suffered a stroke and debilitating dementia.  Though she didn’t live nearby, the impact of that diagnosis, on me and my family and the questions that arise – about how one can best support everyone involved – take a great deal of energy.   To make life even more exciting, it was at that point that I also was accepted into a doctoral program and moved across the country and started a new job.  I was alone, and managing in a big world I knew little about.  The story-line about Meredith’s character was strangely comforting.

As the seasons of Grey’s Anatomy progressed – Meredith’s mother had a short period of lucidity, and we learned more about her as a human, and then she relapsed and died.  Meredith herself was struggling with coping with her whole life; mother’s illness, high-self-expectations, demanding job, and unstable – or was it stable? – at the time boyfriend.  Being overwhelmed by it all she attempted suicide.

Though, I was never suicidal, I appreciated the wish to escape the overwhelming feelings and circumstances she was dealing with.  Meredith was saved that season (as TV drama rarely kills the main character), but her mother passed over to the other side.  In one of those only could happen in a TV-drama ways – Meredith and her mother pass each other – on the way from life to death, and death to life – and In their last meeting – Meredith’s mother makes one last statement “Just keep going“.

At that time in my life – working a full-time job, and being full-time doctoral program…. those words stuck.  It resounded in my spirit like a statement FOR life.  I could tell myself – it doesn’t all make sense right now – but just keep going.  You feel overwhelmed by life – but “just keep going“.  Where you are is a “temporary” place – “just keep going“.

At the time – I was living in NJ and frequently driving or taking a train into Manhattan to work.  The Third Day song –  Tunnel was my anthem.  “Just remember what I told you – There’s so much your living for – There’s a light at the end of this tunnel…

I knew I had to just get through – this place in life – i.e. the tunnel (the Lincoln Tunnel was my proverbial metaphor), and there would be a light at the end.  It was my place in life.

My classmates and I surmised, as we rode subway train each week after class to our central departure points, that the subway was a metaphor for our lives. We weren’t sure where we’d end up at the end of our doctoral degree journey’s –  but we were together and would try to enjoy it.

I realized that life in the subway teaches you a few things: a) you don’t get to see the big picture, b) it’s dark and there is rarely  even a chance for sunlight, c) it goes pretty fast, d) it can be very crowded sometimes but you may still be alone,  e) unless you know the subway route, you have no idea where you’ll end up, and finally f)  when you get off the train – you have to orient yourself again to which way is true north……..

Boy did my life feel like that…  It was dark, lonely, and fast-moving.  I knew my destination was “doctoral degree”,  that was it. I reoriented to “true north” often.

Four years after reaching that destination – “Doctoral Degree”….  I realize that life sometimes takes me back to those subway experiences.  People change, places change, pressures are high, shifts are made and one day you wake up thinking; “Where am I”?

Oh – I know what town I’m in, I just thought I was headed to  X – to that place in life where I’m fulfilling a purpose and headed towards my mission.   Instead, I wake up realizing that the expectations of others, job and life pressures, and even good relationships are pushing or pulling me, and I wonder if I’m really still headed to X.

The train is moving so fast – I don’t even know where I am on the map but it feels as if I’m somewhere underground……

When I finally have time to reflect, I ask myself important questions:  What do I know for sure?   Is my purpose still the same? Do I know my true north?  Am I still headed to X, a life of love and hope, and meaning, and giving……

Then I ask the other question –  what about the rest of it?  Is it just part of the journey, is it becoming a part of me?  Should I do something about all the change or pressure – or should I try to change something?

The first set of questions brings clear answers.  The second set – well no clarity so far – I’m not sure.
That’s how my last months have been…. pressures, schedules, deadlines, expectations, wishes, hopes, dreams, and more pressure.   Seems like a pressure cooker.    I don’t know how to make sense of it all because it’s been so insane.    Kind of like making your way through a jungle without a path………..

Best advice to self – or others who find themselves in a similar place?

Find your True North – and Just keep going.
You know where you’re headed.
The path doesn’t look familiar but you know how to follow your guide…… so just keep going.

Ask, and HE will light the path, and show you the way.
Find your True North – those principles and beliefs that are your core.

Trust in the one you started your journey with.
He sees the big picture, HE understands it all….

and when you can – take time to rest.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want….
he really does – lead me beside still waters, and he restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness for his namesake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (or the subway experiences in life)
I will fear no evil – for HE is with me.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life…
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

____________________

I’m headed to a place where God is & I’m not alone
I’m heading to a garden where there is a tree of life…
The mission and purpose are clear.
The light grows stronger every day.

Transitions

English: Blackhouse Lane A cul de sac leading ...

English: Blackhouse Lane . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)