January 1, 2014: I'm trying to picture me going outside every day, finding a spot to sit (or stand) for a few minutes, and trying to capture with words what I see, hear, or feel in those moments. My purpose would be to simply slow down and savor the moment - be fully in the moment. I guess I could do that in the house, also. - To delight in the Lord's perfections - To meditate in his temple (from Psalm 27). (Did I do that? No, but it sounds good, doesn't it?)
February 1, 2014: Psalm 93:1b states, "The world stands firm and cannot be shaken." We might experience its quaking and fear that California will fall into the ocean, but when we know the bigger story, we don't have to fear. This, of course, is true not only for the physical earth, but for all that is happening in the spirit world - in our hearts and minds.
March 3, 2014: I have never given up anything for Lent, but this year I'm thinking, oh ... maybe ... how about housework?! (Actually, I gave up cookies.)
April 3, 2014: (Are you ready for a long one? I can't resist sharing Psalm 23.)
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. (ahh. relax)
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. (ahh. relax)
He renews my strength. (as I rest and let the peaceful streams speak to me)
He guides me along the right paths, bringing honor to his name. (God is in control, and what I am going through is bringing honor to him.)
Even when I walk through the darkest valley (remember, God is in control)
I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. (ahh. relax)
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. (I'm safe in God's care)
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. (not just enough, but a feast!)
You honor me by anointing my head with oil, (why in the world would God honor me?!)
My cup overflows with blessings. (not just a few, but overflowing!)
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, (God's love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, protection, honor, supply, peace ... chasing after me!!)
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. (This is where I will live - in God's love & protection - right here, right now, and forever.)
May 8, 2014: A quote from After God's Own Heart by Mike Bickle. "We nibble on so many meaningless things that our hunger for meaningful things gets lost like a single piece of confetti in a ticker-tape parade." He is speaking of Mary and Martha and how there is "one thing" that is needed. We have to get back to the "one thing."
June 3, 2014: I had to smile as I read over the list of the enemies that were facing David (Psalm 22): fierce bulls, roaring lions, a pack of dogs, an evil gang. I know I shouldn't smile, because that's just how I feel when things aren't going my way. My battles are mostly in my head; David and so many others around the world, in every age battled against actual enemies. The cure? Lord, YOU are my strength. YOU brought me to birth. YOU listen to my cries for help.
July 12, 2014: Psalm 100 - A great psalm to begin the day or to read in the middle of the day or to end the day. It's an open invitation to a come-as-you-are celebration
- shout with joy
- worship with gladness
- come singing with joy
- acknowledge the Lord
- enter with thanksgiving and praise
- give thanks
August 11, 2014: Psalm 69. What a life David lived. I wallow in crap, but he had every reason for his "whining." Flood waters up to his neck, sinking in the mire, no foothold, overwhelming floods - this is what life felt like to David! Is this what life felt like for Jesus? And perhaps it isn't so strange that I feel like life on the farm has beaten me up. (Choosing against "wallowing" is a continuing effort.)
September 11, 2014: Psalm 103. The wind blows, and we are gone -- as though we had never been here (v16). BUT the love of the Lord remains forever. Throughout the psalms I've noticed that all-important part of speech (conjunction?): BUT. Here it is. This is what I think, see, or feel ... BUT! God interrupts our physical bodies, our thoughts, emotions, memories, expectations, dreams, and idiosyncrasies. God interrupts the world! This is not forever, but God is.
October 1, 2014: Proverbs 1. Do wisdom and discipline naturally lead us to the fear of the Lord? I don't think worldly, human wisdom and discipline can do it. If I were more disciplined in my daily life here on the farm, would I be wiser and fearing the Lord better? What does that even mean? Is it more about spiritual discipline rather than following a to-do list for the day? Oh, let me stop with the questions. (By the way, my questions never stop.)
November 2014: I didn't do my online journal during November, because I was spending the whole month online with National Novel Writing Month.
December 29, 2014: Proverbs 29. "Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back" (v11). Even the wise can be angry! My thoughts immediately went to that day when I blew up at Weldon for commenting on the dying houseplants and trying to be helpful. My response? "Mind your own damn business!" Later, even though we had to laugh, I saw how foolish my outburst was. Everyone gets angry, but it's the fool who lets it rip. Verse 20: "There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking."
So, there's my year in a nutshell. I hope your year has been as delightful (and nutty) as mine! Here is our hope and assurance for the New Year 2015:
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.