Monday, June 23, 2014

Scratch-Off Calendar

All the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
—Psalm 139:16

I already knew what was beneath, but still I watched closely as my father dragged a coin across the label, scratching away the surface. 

“Banana split.” 

“But where does he go to get his banana split?” my mother asked. 

“He doesn’t have to go anywhere,” I explained, “I have all the fixings in the car.” 

As I sliced bananas and scooped ice cream, I explained how the 30-day calendar worked, “Some days you win a surprise, other days a special message, prayer, or thought.” 

“When do I scratch off the label?” Dad asked. 

“First thing in the morning each day, but you have to give me till the end of the day to deliver. And no going ahead!” I laughed. 

Hoping my father would enjoy the anticipation of surprises, I created “Dad’s Lot O’ Surprises Scratch-Off Calendar” as a Father’s Day gift that would extend beyond the special day. And since I know my father has an affection for sweets, most of his surprises are sweet treats. Shhh! Let’s keep that a secret, though! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What's in your cup?

“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
—Mark 14:36 

What’s in your cup this morning? As for me, I pour steamy Folger’s Breakfast Blend and add a splash—well, more than a splash—of French vanilla creamer. Then I head to the front of my house for my first porch party of the season. Porch party is a term coined by my Facebook friend Julie Garmon that she uses in referring to the daily quality time she spends with her husband. No matter the weather, they meet together on their porch every day. And it doesn’t matter what they talk about, but that they talk or just be together, for they know how important this is to their relationship, and they have made a commitment to do so. It is a priority. (You can read about Julie’s porch parties and more on her blog.) 

On the way to my porch, I gather up my bible and a devotional Daily Guideposts 2014 (of which Julie is a writer) and I’m excited. For you see, this is my daily quality time with God.  

Although I’m single, I recognize the value in married couples spending time cultivating their relationship and I know that the Lord desires this same type of commitment from Christians. Daily porch parties. Of course you may not have a porch or even a balcony, but just find a quiet place to come apart from all the busyness of life and rest a little, just as the Lord told His disciples (in Mark 6:31) when they had been ministering so much that they had not so much as time to eat: “Come apart into a desert place, and rest a little.” 

Be still before the Lord. Allow Him to refresh your spirit…your body…your mind. I like how Joyce Meyers puts it, “You had better come apart and spend time with God before you fall apart.” 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Queen Anne

I knock.  No answer.
I knock again. No answer.
Please let me in!
Still no answer.
I turn the knob.  It’s locked.
I bang the door with my fist.
I push.  I lean.
I press into it with my shoulder—hard! 
Finally it flies open!
And I fall
headlong into a sun-splashed foyer,
your strong arms wrapping me in
an embrace, welcoming and soothing
as warm silky bath water.
Somehow I know this is where
I belong, this is where
it all began.
My heart swells, my throat constricts,
I don’t know whether to yell or cry. 
All I know is this is what I’ve been waiting for,
my flesh craving,
my soul longing.
You link my arm and lead me down your hall
lined with long-stemmed Queen Anne’s lace,
while tiny ballerinas in tissue-paper tutus twirl
and flutter about me like attendants to
Queen Anne herself.
Your cushiony carpet squishes between
my tired toes, as you
gently guide me to an open door—
my chamber you’ve adorned with
aromatic red roses, vibrant zinnias, flaming lilies—
a myriad of colors, making my eyes
dart from side to side.
I scarce can take it in!
Red, white, blue—
your glory flag waves from the corner.
I nod back—
it flaps again,
directing my attention.
There it is!
Inviting me to sit and sway
to your music medley,
a familiar orchestra, familiar tunes,
kindred voices,
melodic highs, deep-throated lows.
My soul sings along
and the rocker lulls my spirit like
a mother’s lullaby to her restless infant.
Your breath cools my cheeks and
plays with my hair, swooping it from my face.
You refresh me with your bountiful basket of
harvest—mouth-watering melons,
chin-dripping peaches, and plump blackberries
that explode on my tongue!
Come, you beckon,
pulling me to my feet.
And we parade, arm-in-arm,
breathing in
sweet-smelling hay and
unmistakable honeysuckle—
an ambrosial blend from
your atomizer.
You lead me to the pond,
still and serene, surrounded
by lush green growth and
a single blue heron, standing sentinel.
Suddenly, a turtle pops up his head!
Concentric waves surround, and
I peer down.
There it is!
My face,
peace washing over it,
and there you are,
waves blurring
the lines between you and me,
and I cannot tell where I end
and you begin,
for you are a part of me,
and you always have been,
my dearest, closest, truest friend,

A tribute to my Creator—our Creator—the maker of all things, including the month of June with all its glory and bounty—and me, Desiree Anne St. Clair Glass, who He brought forth on Flag Day, June 14th many years ago.

Thank You Father for Your countless gifts, including the gift of rest, as is promised in Your Word, for that is most welcome by this teacher now in the month of June. Amen. 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
—Matthew 11:28