Hope Deferred, and Deferred, and Deferred…

“Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.” Eliza Tabor

Where I live, there is a common saying that Spring has not arrived until the snow flattens the daffodils.  Let me tell you, it is as true as it is disappointing.  The lovely, cheerful yellows, oranges, and whites under a blanket of snow is a bittersweet beginning to the end of winter’s long, slow sleep. Winter can seem so long and drear, it is sometimes hard to remember that it lasts only for a time. Winter, however, is only a season, even in the mountains. Everything in nature tells us that nothing lasts forever. Winter eventually turns to spring, every time. The seeds that go into the ground eventually sprout and rise from the soil as young seedlings, already well on their way to become the dreamed-of plants we originally intended to plant in our gardens.

Life, like the natural seasons, has its times of growth, blooming, death, recovery, and most of all, waiting. Sometimes it seems we wait forever, until the day at last arrives when we see the fruit of our labor, tears, prayers, and long, sleepless nights. Our hopes and dreams usually follow a wait, as well as a lot of hard work and planning. We often have to implement a lot of changes and innovations to our old ways of thinking and doing and talking. We make new contacts, buy new things: clothes, tools, buildings, etc.  (Dreams are many and as varied as the people who dream them.) We also often lose weight, start exercising, add rooms on to our homes, build, begin, become.

Days, weeks, and sometimes years pass before we are able to see our dreams come true. Most likely, more time passes than we anticipate. More money is spent than was in our original budget. More work was necessary than our original estimate. Our plans alter as we prioritize and fix our sights on the future and the realization of our hopes and dreams. We do a lot of waiting… “One day”, we think.  “Someday”, we hope. “But when? But how? But how long??” we cry.

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” Luke 8:43-48
Twelve years is a long time to wait, especially when an unpleasant situation continues to take its toll. Scorn, ridicule, shame, and more were this woman’s food for thought for twelve long, and exhausting years. Outcast and broken both physically and financially, she encountered Jesus, and followed in his wake until she was able, perhaps during a pause in his gait, to grab hold of just the smallest part of his clothing. She believed that even a brief encounter could change her life and make her whole. She was at first afraid of what she had done, but hoped on in spite of her boldness and the social impropriety of what she had done. Her shocking presumption to touch a man who was not her husband was met, not with a frown or yet more derision, but with the love of a Savior, whose purpose was to seek and save what was lost. (Luke 19:10)
You are probably waiting for something today. You may have been waiting for a really long time. The continued waiting is probably frustrating, wearing, and discouraging to you and the people who wait with you.
Be encouraged. The snow WILL melt. Spring WILL come. One day will eventually be TO-DAY. Your waiting will not last forever.

Good Measure, Pressed Down, Shaken Together and Running Over…

It matters not what a person is born, but who they choose to be. – J.K.Rowling (who shares a birthday with my Mother today. :))

Life is an amazing gift, a blessed life even more so. Today is my mom’s birthday. She has had a very blessed life. She is a joy to know, a real light to those around her. Her’s is a life of good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

There are things my mom has never done, like sky dive, or bungee jump, or climb Everest or even plant the world’s biggest field of tulips. She’s ok with that though. Her accomplishments are scattered all over the globe as her children and grandchildren grow and impact the world by being the people we were taught to be by this amazing woman. She has not won a Nobel Peace Prize, but she has molded our hearts. She hasn’t earned a gold medal (that I know of) but she has prayed for us. She will probably never be elected President either, but she has wept for us.

A lot of people might think that a simple life full of love, sacrifice and pouring of one’s self into the lives of others is a wasted life, a foolish waste of a life. What I would say to these people is that they would change their tune, if they only knew my mother. She is sad when we are sad and glad when we are glad. She will laugh and cry with you and she will hug you afterward. Her life is maybe not full of diamonds and rubies, but her heart is full of love.

What would we be without this woman? She encourages all of us and scolds us to be the very best that we can be. She wants us to succeed and she wants us to choose what’s right. In short she is simply amazing. I would not be who I am today without her.

I love you Mom. May your joy be full. Happy Birthday.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:37-39


Ironically enough, this weekend had a theme, which was all about blind-sides. Last night, we watched The Blindside, with Sandra Bullock. (Don’t worry, I won’t give away the ending. :)) I know some people with blind-sides. You may know people, or be someone, with a blind-side. No one likes to be approached from this side, because for obvious reasons, they won’t see you coming! Naturally, it’s unsettling to have that feeling of surprise, especially when it could be dangerous, to you or them.

Today, the family went to church for the first time in quite awhile. It was a church we’d never before visited. The title of the sermon was “Blindsides”. The topic was all of us. You see we all have these areas where we are unwilling to shine light, within ourselves, where we hold onto our grudges, biases, prejudices, jealousies, contempt, and judgementalism. We don’t like to admit that we have these things, especially in church, where we are sitting in our seats looking blessed, caressed, and dressed to impress. We like to be thought of as wonderful Easter treats: lovely, bright colors on the outside and sweet, yummy-goodness on the inside.

Luke 7:36-50  is a passage that talks about contradictions, as our pastor said. The muckidy-muck who invited Jesus to dinner sits in stark contrast to the “sinful woman” who decided to crash the party. The Bible is full of contrasts, real, odd stories of actual, odd people, just like you and me. Those people weren’t aware of these contradictions in themselves any more than we are aware of our own. When I was a child and I heard Bible stories in Sunday school, you wouldn’t have been able to convince me that the people in the bathrobes on the flannel graphs were regular people even with the aid of a time machine and the world’s fastest course in ancient Aramaic!

The thing is, a lot of people grow up and hold similar opinions to that once-upon-a-time me. Every one of us benefits from a reality check from time to time. The reason those stories are even included in the Bible is to help us. God gets us. “For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14. Thankfully, we can count on Him to never run out of breath to remind us how much He loves us. He gets us, but He doesn’t want us to just hang out in the mud forever. Jesus came to save us, so that part is done. We just have to ask that our eyes will be opened. 🙂