Saturday, July 31, 2010

Where the Healing Begins

I was driving in the car with the radio on. The lyrics caught my attention. It had something to do with "letting the walls fall down".

"Ooh. New song," I thought. Then the chorus began.

"Oh no. NOT a new song". A song that has been stalking me.

I realize that very soon I will have a moment to stop and face the music...literally.

In past days that thought terrified me. These days, I look forward to the opportunity.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Lines in the Sand

I wonder sometimes why I draw the lines in the sand that I do. I ask myself if I am be stubborn or vindictive, or perhaps just too dam* independent.

I've been thinking about it a lot today. And finally, after some thought and prayer, there was peace.

It's not about stubbornness or independence. It is about circles of intimacy, and who belongs where.

Thank you God, for that clarification. Help me to continue to make the appropriate line in the sand, as I continue to set boundaries in my life.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Homeward Bound

Our visit has come to an end, and we begin our journey home.

While we have enjoyed our time here, it's time to sleep in our own beds and get back on a bit of a schedule.

Praying for a safe flight and that I don't forget anything important!

Until we meet again....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Whirlwind of Time

It's hard to believe how quickly our visit has gone.... It seems like I was just packing to leave and it's time to pack to return home. In less than a week it will be time for school to start again.

Yet, in this whirlwind of time, I've had an opportunity to sit in a kayak and watch a heron try to quietly walk to a more secluded portion of the lily bed. I have sat with my mother and my sister, watching the kids play on a dock I have snuggled my daughter and will have played miniature golf with my son (shhhhh... don't tell him! He doesn't know yet!!)

We've shared meals and laughter. It's been a good visit.

And I am grateful for the moments to be able to share with my family and friends.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Beach Reunion

It has been a while since I have spent any time on a New England beach! I was in high school the last time I spent the majority of a day at a beach. But the 2010 Cousin Reunion began there.

Ten cousins spent the day jumping waves and digging in the sand. Eight boys and two girls. Quite a sight.

Yet, it is different, being at the beach as a teenager and as a parent. All the things my kids were wanting to do - body surfing and swimming underwater made me somewhat nervous as a parent. Sure, I want them to experience it.... I just want them to experience it NEAR ME.

They are very comfortable in the water, but naive to the ways of the sea. So, together, we body surfed "Wave-zilla" and sat on the beach. I opted out of the full-body burial, but managed to swing by for the final touches to the sand mermaid body one of my nephews had created for my daughter.

I'm grateful for the day and the opportunity to be with family. I am quite sure it will be another year before we are able to gather all the cousins together again.

Thank You God for a beautiful day, and safety for all.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

I was introduced to my grand niece this weekend.

She is of course sweet, and beautiful and perfect. This world that she lives in is anything but.....

The morning of the gathering, I found myself thinking of the fairy tale in which the baby is being blessed by the three Good Fairies: Flora, Fauna and Merryweather. I looked forward to my opportunity to hold the child and speak my blessings over her.

Finally, my turn came. I sat and held her. She spoke first with her song of pre-sleep coos and grunts as she rooted her head into my shoulder.

Then, I whispered to her:

May you have health, and remain healthy and strong.

May you be sheltered from the harshness of this world.

May you find the good things in life and see the world through grateful eyes.

May you know God deep in your heart and never forget how much you are loved.

Above all, you belong to Him.

May we all remember that, and honor you as such.

She spent the afternoon sleeping peacefully, being passed from arm to arm. Which makes sense, considering the fairy tale...

Flora, Fauna and Merryweather..... and of course, Sleeping Beauty.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Back in New England

It's hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that next year, I will have lived in the South as long as I lived in the North.

I lived in the same house from the time I was born until I left for college. My mother still lives there.

I am really grateful for where I am, yet when I am here I am reminded of how much New England still lies within me.

I no longer own a proper coat, or gloves. I certainly don't own a pair of real winter boots... Generally speaking, I don't need them.

But I notice a comfort with the evergreens and the rocky shores. The skies are different here, and the breeze knows my name.

Still, the South has become my home, with it's milder winters and central air conditioning.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have experienced both.... and an ability to be where I love...

Thank You, God!

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Picnic Mountain

It started as a dream of my sister's when she started searching for land. I certainly see God's hand all over the story of its purchase.

Over the years, it has changed and grown into a fabulous retreat. Little by little she has made improvements. Yet, the feeling of retreat has remained.

My children love being here with their cousins. I love being out in the woods and playing on the lake.

I am also inspired to see my sister's creative energies and perseverance become the place that we know and love as Picnic Mountain.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Girl Time

We'd had a wonderful day. The weather was perfect: sunny, warm but not hot, breezy but not cold.

We'd been to the lake and the specialty ice cream shop. It was time to spend a few lazy moments before dinner.

My daughter invited me to swing with her in the hammock. "Are you going to swing REALLY high?" I asked.

"Not TOO high," she replied. So there we lay on the hammock, her feet on top of mine, and her head nearly at my shoulders.

She pulled the rope and we began to swing. She giggled. I commented on the fact that our toes were touching, and mentally noted what a great picture that would be.

It was my turn to pull the rope & I swung us high! "That's how I would have done it," she said. I kissed the top of her head.

Not long afterwards, I noticed the rhythmic breathing pattern of sleep.

I called to the middle nephew and asked him to bring me my phone. Right after, of course, I said "Thank You, God for my daughter and this wonderful moment.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Prayer, Yoga and Sleep

It was late and there should have been no reason for me not to sleep, yet I found myself struggling.

I had an urgency to pray, so I sat, closed my eyes and began to sign. One by one my prayers came off of my hands - for people and places and situations and for guidance for myself.

Once I had peace with my prayers "spoken", I lay back down.

Now the aches and soreness of a week at camp and a day of travel became apparent. I worked at the muscles of my neck, and stretched my arms and shoulders.

Again, I got up, and asked my body to lead. We did yoga pose after yoga pose and the spinal stretches from my martial arts class.

That complete, I sat up against the wall and let my head roll side to side, stretching out my neck again. And then, I just sat quietly for a long time.

Finally, I slept.....really, really well...

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Daring to Dream

I had spent the evening with my sister, just hanging out, watching a movie. As I put the toothpaste on my toothbrush, that Gentle Voice Within whispered: "dare to dream".

I thought about that statement for a while - especially in light of the other information that has been coming my way. "Dare to dream".

Yes, Sir, I will dare to dream. Lead my thoughts. Give me visions of Your plans for me. Set within me the seeds of those dreams of Your heart. Water them, and shine light on those You wish to grow. Make my path straight, and keep me safely in the shadow of Your cross.

For You know the plans You have for me. Help me to dare to dream them!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Walking on Faith

I've been getting some interesting information from a couple of different sources. Not only is it GOOD information that I need to implement, but curiously enough, it comes from two (seemingly) unrelated directions. And, there, in my lap, they land and merge and support one another.

As I was reading one, a phrase jumped off of the page at me: "Sometimes you have to do it before you can understand it". I get that. I'm a kinesthetic learner. I like to "do" it to learn it. It's in the "do-ing" that I begin to comprehend the process.

But when I read it, it hit a spiritual place of understanding. Oh. That.

Sometimes I need to walk on faith, setting my foot in the glimmer of light on the path ahead of me. I don't always know where I'm going, nor do I understand why I'm in the valley I'm in.

But, from time to time, I get to look back - as we walk out of the dark places and into the light. I get to look back, and things are a little clearer. I begin to have some understanding.

And then I read this (from a third, totally "unrelated" source): "It is comforting to know that the God who guides us sees our tomorrows more clearly than we see our yesterdays".

Yes. It is comforting. And it encourages me to walk...... purely on faith.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Prayer Warrior

Twice in a week, I've been called a prayer warrior. It was a title that struck me by surprise a few years ago, when I first heard myself referred to in that way. It is one I am becoming more and more comfortable with.

It was on my drive to camp that I got a text that said, "you have a direct line with God". At that point, I got a lump in my throat that was hard to swallow around. I was on my way to camp, but praying for my friend who was burying her husband. I certainly hoped He was listening to me at that point.

The second was over this past weekend.

And curiously enough, the sermon I interpreted on Sunday was the parable of the persistent widow. The take home message: "Pray continually. Never give up".

So that I will do.

Pray without ceasing. Never give up!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Top Ten Thing I Learned at Camp

Having just returned from camp, and having another 6 loads of (camp-damp) laundry to wash, lets suffice for a top 10 list:

The top 10 things I learned at camp are:

10. Bug juice and "The Princess Pat" remain the same despite the passing of time
9. Girl-drama exists even in the woods.
8. Boy-drama is worse than girl-drama
7. Pubescent boy-drama is enough to make me wish to be anywhere else than in the midst of it
6. Kids love to have fun
5. Kids also love to be noticed for who they are
4. No matter how you spell it, three is too many "Jacob/Jakeb" s in one cabin
3. Anbesol takes the drama out of wasp stings
2. Despite having wonderful days - it is good to be home

And the number 1 thing I learned at camp

1. There are many, many opportunities to pray!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thus Far...

The phrase "Thus Far" continues to walk forward with me in faith.

It has been a great blessing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

God Finding My House

I still feel the same awe, 5 years into it...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A great story of Healing

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Quilt

Since I am at camp, this seemed like an appropriate replay of a lesson I learned when I was at camp years ago.....

My experience about being a quilt

Monday, July 12, 2010

Origins of "Stalked by God"

In taking time to review some of the past, it seems fitting to start with the origin of the blog title.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Week to Review and Reflect

We head to camp this morning.

I'm excited. We love camp. For so many reasons.

One of which for me is that I find myself with a little more time to sit back and reflect... which, as you might imagine is perfectly timed.

Though I intend to bring my computer, there will not be internet access (gasp!).

I have, however, pre-selected a few of my favorite moments and blog postings to appear in my absence.

I will continue to write while I am gone, and post when I return.

Much love goes to you.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Life Changing Events

One of the mixed blessings of working for the trauma service is that I see Life Changing Events every (work) day. On one hand, they remind me of how much I have to be grateful for. It certainly shift my mindset back into perspective when I am feeling out of sorts.

But then, on occasion, the two worlds collide.

One evening we're laughing together, the next morning, I hear the news.

Saddens my heart.

So I pray and walk forward into what lies ahead for her.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thru the Motions

We were doing our MMA strikes and blocks and punches, and the instructor reminded us not to just go through the motions, but get into the reality of the situation.

Getting into my car, as the radio kicked on I hear the words "I don't wanna go through the motions...." and I smiled.

I hear ya.

I don't want to go through the motions either...

Thank You, God for all of those people You have put in my path that remind me the life is so much more than getting by.

Help me to savor it. To live intentionally.

Help me to give all that I have to give, and stand with arms open wide for all You have to offer.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Water Party (aka the mud puddle)

I've got no explanation for this boy's fascination with the mud. But he sure loved it.

There was a slip n slide (that created the mud) and water balloons, but clearly, here is where he derived his greatest joy. Time and time again, he returned to the sogginess of the yard to squish it through his toes and lather it up on his body.

I had mixed feelings about the whole thing. Clearly, he would shower afterwards, so REALLY what did it hurt? (aside from the little mud pit in my yard - that was there anyhow - thanks to the aforementioned slip n slide). But... Seriously? It's just not "right"... (meaning conventional).

On the other hand, women much older than he pay lots of money to smear their faces and bodies with mud. So again.... what did it hurt?

Maybe it's a kid thing... Maybe it's a boy thing...

I don't know

What I DO know: Somehow (clearly the grace of God), he managed NOT to track it into my house!

Thank you God for friends and summer fun!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Preparing for Camp

We head to camp in the next few days. I've been pulling aside things for the kids to wear, writing their names on everything they intend to bring, and wondering how it will all get done. Packing, preparing, being sure everything on the list makes it into the "trunk".

Camp is an incredible place - friendships, growth, adventure. Swimming, boating, horseback riding.

I think back to the summers I spent at camp. I wonder if my kids will work their way up through the ranks from camper to counsellor.

I look forward to a little change in routine - kids in cabins, and me in the nurse's station.

I begin praying now for the kids that will arrive over the weekend. May they be up for adventure, low in the area of homesickness. I pray for safety and for fun. And I pray the rain that is forecasted for most of next week doesn't interrupt the days....

To camp! Viva la compagnie!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yeah. That. Exactly.

When I realized how long it has been since I have truly had some "down" time -- kid-free, God-and-me, no external-world-should-deal-with's breathing down my neck -- it's no wonder I've been a little grouchy.

But, that has changed. Monday night, after a quick run through the grocery store, I headed out for some Silence and Solitude.

I thank God frequently for the house He picked for me. For one thing, it sits exactly a mile from one of my favorite trees in the county. In the shadow of the stand of oaks, I spread the quilt that was made for me as a child by my great-aunt.

I had a little business to deal with on my laptop, and then I began to transcribe the sermon notes from the last month or so into my bible. That task complete, I was ready to really dig in.

Aside from the chirps of the insects, and the gentle hum of the road near by, it was silent, and I was "alone". The sun was beginning to set, casting an orange glow over the hillside. Lightning bugs occasionally flashed behind me.

I opened to the bookmark in the New Testament. It still lay marking the chapter where I'd left off in my read-the-bible-in-a-year reading plan. Hebrews, chapter 4. As I began, I laughed aloud.

The topic: Rest. Seriously. I laughed aloud. "He sure is persistent", I thought, taking notice of God working in my life once again. "Proof again that...."

I stopped in the middle of that thought as I read: "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of the soul and the spirit..."

"Yeah. That. Exactly."

I read a little more, nodding at each verse, then headed to the bookmark in the Psalms.

Psalm 139: "O Lord, You have searched me an known me!" it began.

"Yeah. That. Exactly. That entire psalm. Exactly".

"When we diligently seek Him, He will reveal Himself in ways that will confirm to us...."

Yeah. That. Exactly.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Lion and the Lamb

It was a God-teachin'-me kind of morning. I'm a bit weary in the Mommy department, with a reprieve in sight, so just moving forward til then.

The music hit me during worship, especially as I looked out over the youth. Since they have returned from camp, they have taken over the middle section - front and center. And, as I look out, one young woman in particular strikes me. Since her return, she embodies Joy. This morning, it moved me to tears. She stands, singing with her hands raised high, completely joyful, as I sign "my God is might to save", with tears streaming down my face. Tears like that show me God is at work.

I had the opportunity to sit with my daughter during the sermon. My son had chosen to sit with a friend. It was refreshing to sit without one or the other vying for my attention.

As my friend and mentor interpreted the next song, two words stuck out. "Strong" and "Gentle". We had been singing a line about "the Lion and the Lamb", which made me aware of Jesus' gentle strength.

It is an area in which I need to improve.

I can tell we're in a season of teaching. I wish I knew the lesson plan, but I am sure that He will let me know as we move along.

I lay down to rest for a bit between church an camp preparations, and as I dozed off, I said, "Teach me.... teach me..... teach me...."

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Awake and Alive

It's my new 'constant-play' song.

When I first heard it, I couldn't tell what they were saying.... except for the line: "I'll do what I want, cause this is my life".

Oh, I've lived those words.... but that's not what this song has in mind.

It's a good reminder and a good quick tempo to keep me running.

"Right here. Right now!"

Thank you, God...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Blessings and The Curses

Sometimes life just sends me those "mixed blessings". While a day off is certainly something I could enjoy - I've got much to accomplish before we head to camp! But, in my brain, it was an opportunity for some overtime.... that I thought I had scheduled.

I don't know exactly where the communication broke down. I do know that I am glad I called to confirm it before waking up early this morning and heading in.

So, a change of plans with certain blessings and a few potential curses.

I've come to decide, though... since the only thing I can control in this is my attitude....

I will cling to the blessings and trust that God will deal with the curses.

There is much good that can happen today.... so long as I keep my eyes focused THERE.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I am tonight, speechless. It's not that God's not at work in my life, He is! I just don't know where to begin with it....

My brain spins at the thought of it being JULY! I love July! It's the month that brings the most traditional summer-y events. Fireworks, camp and our trip to visit family.

But, July is also like a roller coaster. June has been the slow and steady click to the top of the upward slope. We are now in the momentary pause before the great adventure!

May I find those moments of rest between the "to do" 's. May You redeem the time, so the things that need doing actually get done.

To July.... to the great family adventure!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Future or the Past

My son was reading a book - a create-your-own-ending sort of book. So, when he got to the page where he had to choose the next move, he asked me, "Mom, which would you prefer: the past or the future?"

Very quickly, I answered.

"The past."

And then I thought for a moment. Seriously? The past? Really?

It's funny that I found myself saying that so quickly, because there's not that much of the past that I'd love to relive.... or revisit. There are a few things, yes, but not a lot. (Though, I would like to visit high school for a bit - so long as I could bring my 40-year-old wisdom with me! Without it, NO WAY!)

The future is where my dreams lie. It is where His plans for me become reality.... sort of. I think the truth of the matter is that His plans for me become reality TODAY - as I step toward Him and His calling for me. But, the future is where I will realize them.

May I keep my eyes upon You and where You are leading.