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Archive for January, 2011

Perfect Love

“Do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked, that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting…but then of course part of us dies too. Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel…If you ask Him, He will give you His love…a love nothing can prevent, nothing destroy. Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way, God can give us the perfect way.” The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom

I just read through The Hiding Place, in itself a beautiful story of courage, forgiveness, and love. One part of the book stood out to me; it was not about Corrie ten Boom’s efforts during the Second World War or her time in prisons and work camps. This was something that occurred when she was a young adult.

She had been in love with a young man, from the time she was just 14 years old. Their relationship grew and developed and she hoped that they would marry. Then one day, when she was happiest, she heard from her older brother that this man would not be able to ask her to marry him; he had to “marry well” as was common in those days, and Corrie’s family did not fall under the well-to-do category.

The quote above was spoken to Corrie by her father, on the day that the object of Corrie’s affection appeared, without warning, with his new fiancée at his side. Corrie’s family entertained them, served them tea, wished them well; once they had departed though, she ran to her room to let out the well of tears that had gathered as she watched her dreams swiftly dashed to pieces.

The Bible speaks of a “perfect love,” one that “casts out fear”. For those of us who have fears, sometimes a lot of them, it is hard to imagine such a “perfect love”. What if something happens? What if circumstances change? What if there’s an accident? What if I lose that which I hold most dear? There are a thousand what if’s and fears that can hold us back from loving and accepting love in return.

When we truly realize that there is a “perfect love” and a “perfect way” to love, as the book speaks of, then those fears can dissolve. When we see that God has a perfect plan, and that His way is perfect, then there is no such thing as loss, for everything is in His hands. With nothing to lose, there is no fear—only a promise of grace through the difficulty, a promise of hope for the future, and an assurance of love that lasts forever—perfect love.

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Forever

rainbow waterfallI love the taste of raindrops alighting on my lips.

I love the sunset’s golden rays caress my fingertips.

I love the wind blowing wild and free,

As I stand on a mountain, forever I see.

I love the forest canopy, peaceful shade and hues.

I love the moss beneath my feet, the sky of blue.

I love the stars that sparkle, like diamonds encase the night.

I love the glint on eagle’s wings, as he takes off into flight.

I love the tears that can be formed into Heaven’s magic spell.

I love the word that can break the feeling of a silent hell.

I love the moonlight gliding on the midnight’s gentle seas.

I love the hills of golden wheat swaying with a summer’s breeze.

I love the sound of breaking waves upon the distant shore.

I love the windswept garment of a sandy desert floor.

I love the fight of the fearless, defending all they own.

I love the valiant martyr, such courage in anguish shown.

I love the moors, so wild, free and lonely all the same.

I love the beauty of nature, not seeking glory or fame.

I love the laughter of an innocent child;

I love the shy and wishing smile.

I love the dream that dares to come true.

I love the forever I’ll share with you

(Written May 22, 1999)

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raisins

time for some comfort food

The latest trending topic: humanity has been reminded of a 13th zodiac sign that has been out of the picture for thousands of years (it is called Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer or serpent holder); plus, because of Earth’s “wobble”, the stars have shifted for us over those same couple of thousand years. Meaning? You might not be what you might have thought you were.

Scary words for those who might have found direction or guidance in their zodiac sign or daily horoscope.

What does it mean for me? Well, I looked up the new zodiac chart and found that I am still the Leo I have always been told I act nothing like. If anyone, I thought I would be one of those who was now a sign that seemed to better define me. Anyway, no loss.

However, I also discovered that I am the only one in my family who is still the same Zodiac sign.

Allen (four years old), who was a Leo like me, is now considered a Cancer. Okay, he could pass as that. He’s emotional enough (no offense to my Cancer friends).

Jessica (six years old), who was a Virgo, is now a Leo. Well, maaaayybe; she is headstrong at times…no wait, that describes Aries. Hmmm, maybe not.

But Aiden (22 months old)…never, in the wildest stretch of the imagination, could he be anything but an Aries. Well, he is now (drum roll please) a Pisces. Hey, it’s just what I had hoped he would be…we just found out a bit late. I guess I better let him know so that he can start being placid and peace-seeking. I can imagine the conversation with him going something like this…

Me: Aiden, I have something important to tell you.

Aiden: car!

Me: I know it might be a little hard to understand.

Aiden: bus!

Me: See, you’re no longer an Aries.

Aiden: ins! (his own word for raisins, his all-time favorite food)

Me: You’re actually a Pisces

Aiden: ins!!!

Me: It’s like a fish, you know, peaceful and dreamy

Aiden: (opens mouth open and close a few times, like a fish, before screaming once more) INS!!!

Husband: What’s wrong with him

Me: Honey, have a bit of understanding. He’s going through an identity crisis, and at such a young age too. He needs some comfort food.

Husband: Huh???

Me: By the way, hon. You’re not supposed to be passionate anymore. You’re a Libra now instead of a Scorpio.

Well, no one in my family is the “new sign” that not many people have ever even heard of, so would have no idea how they’re “supposed” to act. To all my new Ophiuchus-people, um….Ophiuchuns maybe? Hang in there; I’m sure that there are some great things about your nature!

I guess we’ll see what happens with the daily horoscope, the zodiac books, websites, jewelry, etc. Gosh, first Pluto isn’t a planet, and now there is a 13th zodiac sign…I wonder what planet will be assigned it. It boggles the mind…raisins, anyone?

Some people put a lot of stock in zodiac signs; some people consider them completely bogus. Whether you fall in the first category, the second, or somewhere in the middle, I think one bit of advice is pretty good at a time like this: know thyself. What’s more, know what you have the potential to be, and to do. With faith, you can do and be anything you set your mind to; nothing is impossible!

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The Puzzle

From the early-learning wooden or foam variety to intricate 10,000-piece or 3D types, puzzles are a proven way to develop problem-solving skills, as well as a pleasant hobby for all ages.puzzle pieces

When I was 11, I became fascinated with jigsaw puzzles. My mother and I would relax together at the kitchen table, piecing together increasingly complex puzzles. We would cover the unfinished puzzle with the tablecloth at mealtimes, then remove it afterward and get to work at finding that next piece.

It has been a while since I’ve had the time to assemble a major puzzle, but my toddler is learning to put simple ones together. I can take one look at the pieces and easily tell where they will fit, yet my little boy sometimes struggles to find the proper place for the piece he is holding. When he gets stuck and frustrated, he turns to me and I give him a suggestion or a clue. Eventually he figures out where each piece goes and is happy. I love that look of accomplishment that he gets when he has completed the puzzle.

Sometimes we face complicated situations where there appears to be no way out or through. It’s often during those times that we realize “resorting to prayer” is our best option. How like children we are, trying to piece together and make sense of difficult situations ourselves, when God is ready, willing, and able to help.

Like a parent, He enjoys helping us work on the puzzle of life. From His vantage point He can easily see which piece needs to go where, and what should come next. He doesn’t put the puzzle together for us, because we wouldn’t learn much if He did. But when we get stuck, He can give us hints. He works with us piece by piece, and piece by piece we see the picture come together.

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The Secret Place

O, blessed soul that finds its rest within your hallowed handscupped hands reaching to the sky

Free from despair and worries that the mind often demands

Yet in this place to which the harried soul is finally driven

In exchange of sadness deep within, a perfect peace is given

This place can be frantically searched out, and yet remains afar

Remote for months or even years, as distant as a star

And yet when eyes will finally close and finally choose to see

This blessed place is discovered anew, as true reality

A mysterious place so deep within every heart and soul

This place that one will search and find those things that truly make him whole

It is considered by many to be not more than a dream

A place of wishful thinking under the stars’ bright gleam

But for those who have found this place of peace within

Know that there’s no greater joy than returning there again

A sacred spot deep within the heart

Where the soul can find a brand new start

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The seasons change…

Leaves change colors and drift to the waiting embrace of the cold ground below.

A child runs through the leaves, collecting colors, experiences and memories all at the same time.

She writes her own song, and it is beautiful…

“Trees swaying in the hope that we will see a sign of God,Little girl in autumn with a dreamy gaze, writer of the poem

Hoping for trails that lead to the mountain,

Trails finding a secret path,

One day we’ll find them leading to a heavenly path,

To the heavenly path we will see one day,

Yeah, one day.”

(Written by Jessica Rose, six years old)

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