Archive for July, 2012

waking well

The question, “how did you sleep?” has always bothered me.

I sleep notoriously not well. Trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, tossing and turning, pain and discomfort, frantic nightmares… and none of it consistent.

Thing is, I can’t do anything about it. Well, for the most part. I mean, getting to bed at a consistent (and early) time, having a good and relaxing pre-bed routine, turning off electronics and lights, having a good bed, controlling room temperature, ensuring proper breathing throughout the night, stretching before bed, taking supplements like melatonin or magnesium, quieting my mind… all of those can have some small effect. But for the most part, the culprit is my fibromyalgia.

So “sleeping well” is largely out of my hands.

Not something I can control.

Not a choice.

I found a friend who is the same way.

Different cause.

Same result.

We hate the “how did you sleep?” and “did you sleep well?” questions.

She, perhaps, more vehemently.

So earlier this spring when I came across the “try these phrases” section of the “learn about this country” page in a children’s devotional book at work, my attention was immediately riveted. The country in question was Namibia and the phrases were in one of the tribal languages. One phrase in particular stuck out.

Wa penduka nawa.

It’s how you say “good morning.”

But it literally means, “did you wake well?”

Did you wake well?

The concept was revelatory:

Even if I don’t sleep well, I can wake well!

I introduced my friend to this phrase (it was thrilling for her, too) and so we will often now ask each other,

Wa penduka nawa?

Did you wake well?

Over the past few weeks, however, I have had many a morning when I awake fuzzy, confused, disoriented and discombobulated. I’m pulling out of nightmares or moving into pain and I’m not sure if I’m waking or awake or what is really going on.

Those first few moments are hazy.

The processors in my brain need longer than my eyelids to open.

So I began to dread even the question, “did you wake well?”

But this morning I realized something.

Waking well isn’t something that happens.

Waking well is a choice.

“Waking well” isn’t about the instant my ears perceive my alarm and I (ideally) throw open my eyes, smile and jump out of bed ready to take on the day…

“Waking well” isn’t the first opening of my eyelids to take in the new day’s light.

“Waking well” isn’t the first breath of the wakened morn.

“Waking well” is my first choice of the day.

It’s choosing my focus.

My attitude.

My gratitude.

Sleeping well is a chance.

Waking well is a choice.

I will choose to wake well.

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thoughts on thoughts

Shall I begin by mentioning how much the themes of “thoughts” and “focus” have come up in the past few months? Shall I let you know that God has been whispering them to me again and again, opening my eyes and molding my heart in respect to those two ideas?

So that it is no wonder to you what caught my eye when I read Isaiah 55:6-7 this morning?

Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

Sometimes – too often? – it’s easy to sort of rather skip over or simply scan verses which speak of the “wicked” or the “unrighteous” thinking that they don’t apply to me.  (I have, after all, been made clean by the blood of Jesus.)

Yet today a voice said, “not so fast!”

Because something stood out.

v. 6 speaks of seeking the Lord

v. 7 tells the wicked to forsake their ways and thoughts.

“Thoughts” was what first caught my eye…

It’s the contrast. Notice the contrast. Seeking God versus following our own way; calling upon God versus carrying on with our own thoughts…

Focusing on our thoughts (or the Enemy’s) takes our eyes off of God. Where they belong.

And God’s thoughts and ways are so much better! (see v. 8)

My focus holds one thing at a time.

Either my (own human-tendancy) thoughts, which are too often negative, hopeless, distracted, overwhelmed or outright sinful…

or God.

Oh that I would forsake – to turn away from and let go of – my own thoughts to seek God.

Turn my eyes upon Jesus…

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guide me

The Lord alone guided him,
And there was no foreign god with him.
                                                          Deuteronomy 32:12

Oh, Lord, guide me.

Guide me in this dream…

Confirm again this call… or else reveal the change of it into something new.

May I not look to my feelings nor my imagination nor my own faulty logic.

May I not make gods of them.

For false gods would they be.

Foreign, strange and powerless.

Instead, I turn to you.

To your words, your truth, your voice, your vision and the wisdom of your people who are also hearing from you.

Help me to hear.

Help me to see.

Guide me, O Lord.

Confirm again this call.

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Call. Confirmation. Choice.

I wrestle with the call.

May 4th changed everything.

Last July everything seemed so clear. God was birthing within me a new dream and as I sought and prayed everything seemed so clear. I blogged about it. A couple of times. Including here and here.

I began to make plans for working out a long-term plan for my future tea business. But in January my health began to deteriorate and I sought an appointment with my specialist on the other side of the country. On May 4th I received the devastating news that not only had I regressed and not only would I have to re-start the treatment that could give me my life back, but that I could no longer have tea. No tea.

I questioned and I cried and I stumbled… and I came to peace. Peace that my dream could still be fulfilled even without tea passing my lips. But the journey has been more difficult than I anticipated. As I’ve recounted before (namely here and here), I am realizing more and more how insanely difficult this is for me… to serve and share and teach the wonders of tea but not drink it.

Can this be right?

Is this dream still valid?

How can someone run a tea business and not drink any tea?

It’s like asking an alcoholic to open a bar or someone with Celiac to open a bakery…

Or maybe it’s more like telling a nearly centenarian with an equally old and barren wife that he will birth an entire nation? Or telling a man who can’t talk without stuttering that he will lead a nation and that he will essentially become a “voice” for that nation? Or revealing to a man that he will rise to a place of great prominence only to see him sold as a slave and then wrongly imprisoned, now the lowest of the low?

It seems as though I follow a God who loves to play in irony.

Yet still I wonder, is God still calling me to this dream of a tea business?

Is the dream still valid?

Because I know that God can do the impossible. I’ve seen it time and time again in the Bible, in history, in the lives of others and in my own life. I have an Ebenezer Hand full of rocks to prove it. I have a gift list of 2,511 gifts (and counting) to chronicle it. And if that’s still the dream, still the call, I will still follow…

But I also know that sometimes God puts us onto one path so that we can meet up with another path, one that would have been out of reach (or not as clear) from where we originally started. And I can say with certainty that had I not delved into tea like I did the past year and not started enjoying it as much as I did, then the doctor would have never picked up on the fact that the medicine I had been taking was in the wrong form and not working properly for my body.

So was that the point? Was that the endgame?

Or is this dream still valid?

I’m still wrestling with the call. Hoping for a re-confirmation.

And grateful that God reminded me this afternoon that even if I’m groping for him in the dark, He is still here. Still present.

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For awhile I thought I was hiding from God’s call. Ever since I saw the sermon title on the church sign early on last week, anticipating this past Sunday’s edition to our current “Hide and Seek” series, I began to wonder. I mean, I’m not doing anything towards my call right now. I’m rather standing still. Or so I thought.

And Sunday when he preached about Saul hiding in the supplies (1 Samuel 9-10), I began to question whether I was also hiding. Not actively fleeing like Jonah, but simply hiding among the luggage. The baggage.

I have lots of baggage.

A trail of failed plans, unfinished starts and deflated dreams. A broken body that makes cooking dinner difficult many days let alone opening a restaurant. And a tea restriction.

I thought a lot about Saul the past two days. And a lot about baggage.

Was I hiding among my own baggage?

And, really, is seeing “baggage” there in the passage merely an anachronistic reading colored by today’s pop psychology terminology?

The NIV uses the term supplies in 1 Samuel 10:22. The NASB (among others) uses baggage. The Complete Jewish Bible uses equipment.

Wondering if I was reading too much into it, I looked up the Hebrew. When in doubt, go to the original language, right?

The word is keliy.

You know, I had a theology professor my freshman year of college who was absolutely driven berserk by the abundant use of the words thing and stuff. “Don’t be lazy!” he would rant at us, “there are more specific terms. Use them!” I think if Doc Fetters had been teaching us in Hebrew instead of English, he would have been ranting against the word keliy.

Keliy basically means an article, object, apparatus, vessel, implement… It’s a “thing” which is variously translated vessel, instrument, weapon, jewel, stuff, thing, armor, furniture and baggage, among others, simply based on context.

Keliy is stuff.

Saul was hiding among the stuff. So it doesn’t necessarily mean “baggage” in the way we think of it – and even the way I’ve heard it preached in the past (although not this week, not specifically anyhow).

Still, I continued to ruminate on Saul hiding among the stuff.

And this is what I realized:

  • Saul was hiding among stuff.

Duh, right? But really. Stuff. Objects. Saul had been called to be Israel’s first king. And when the time came to step up he was hiding among… objects. He was with things rather than with people. The people he was called to lead. Maybe it’s not so much what exactly the stuff was, but simply in that he was with it rather than among the people where he should have been… makes one think…

  • The stuff was there for a reason.

Being the curious type, I wondered why there was baggage there. I mean, it’s not like all the tribal and clan leaders had just flown into LAX and were down at the baggage claim discussing their new king… or were they? The people had gathered for this all important occasion. They had asked for a king and now they were getting one. So yeah, I suppose there would have been luggage and supplies for traveling (and camping out) for this all-important meeting and coronation. And speaking of coronations… the NIV translation uses supplies, right? If they are seeking God and choosing a new king and setting up a kingly covenant and all, isn’t it likely there were supplies for that? Oil, perhaps, or even supplies for a sacrifice?

The point is, whether it was literally the supplies to be used for the coronation or simply the luggage required by the people in order to make it to this important event, that stuff was there for that event. For the coronation.

And if my health and body issues are really baggage is it possible to see them more in the way of supplies? As part of the whole deal? As stuff to work with rather than around?

Because isn’t it in my weakness that God shines all the more?

Now there’s some stuff to think on…

(Sorry, Dr. Fetters!)

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Ever since I awoke this morning three people have been on my mind.

I owe them letters.

And what I mean by “owe” is that I want to write to them and to respond to them. I’ve wanted to do this for a day and for a few weeks.

Three different people. Three different perspectives.

And today is the day.

And though some are expecting a response, some are wondering if it will ever happen and some have no clue what to expect, it is and has been my deepest desire that my words are not mine alone. But that wisdom and encouragement come from God via me to them.

So ever since I awoke these three have been on my mind and I’ve been thinking of them and their situations and, most of all, praying about it. Praying for words and wisdom. Praying for God’s hand to lead my hands as they type…

And then I sat down for my sit-down time with God. My Lectio time. And I could not hold back my smile when I saw the verses.

Psalm 139:7-10, which read:

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.

It was a gentle reminder and response to my morning prayers. God’s spirit is with me. God’s presence is here. God’s hand does lead and God does hold me fast (“hold me fast” is the NIV rendering of the end of v. 10 that I memorized as a child).

Even more so, I think the words speak to my friends.

For they are not alone, either. And whether they ascend to heaven or make their beds in Sheol, whether they take the wings of the dawn or dwell in the remotest part of the sea… whether they are climbing new heights in their relationship with God or they feel as though they’re going through hell, whether they long for wings to fly away from situations or literally go to live in the remotest parts of the world… Even there, God is. Whether they feel alone or are (physically) alone, they are not alone. Not really. For God’s hand still leads. God’s mighty right hand still holds fast.

And as though a reminder of God’s presence and guidance wasn’t enough for me. And as if seeing these words as needed in their lives wasn’t enough, either… there is this:

It’s Psalm 139.

The same Psalm which was read within hours of the birth of one friend and within hearing of another. The same Psalm which was a springboard for encouragement in a cramped van and was preached again recently as we sat side by side with our knowing smiles.

The same Psalm.

The same God.

Do you see it? Do you see why my heart thrills to praise this morning? How good God is? How wonderfully and intricately woven this is? How God provides what I need to hear when I need to hear it?

God is good.

And I am not alone.

They are not alone.

You are not alone.

Just. Look.

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Today has been a rough day. My highest symptom day all year, in fact. I went to bed at 9:15 last night, had trouble falling asleep and then woke 3 times – before 11:15 PM. After that I lost count. But it was tossing and turning and being dizzy and having dreams within dreams within dreams and many of them dizzy. I’ve been very dizzy all day, unable to make it out of bed until 11 and spending almost all the rest of the day either sitting up in bed or in the recliner at that special angle that seems to help a tad. Plus all my main areas of fibro-pain have been super hot spots today. Neck, back, wrists and legs all painful and not letting me get comfortable or really rest. That spasm-spot in my back was acting up, too, though (thankfully) less severely. Then there was the pounding headache that started yesterday and continued all day today. Plus a handful of other random symptoms including hunger, nausea, hot flashes, shaking, teeth grinding, fatigue and fibro-fog.

So suffice it to say it was a difficult day.

Early on my friend sent me a message that included a line about how appropriate it was that today’s Lectio included a line about God as our refuge.

Reading is difficult when dizzy and with a pounding head… so it was much later in the day until I was actually able to accomplish looking up the verses and doing today’s Lectio. But I was looking forward to it. After all, if there was ever a day I needed refuge, it was today. If only from the torments of my own broken body.

But I found no mention of “refuge” when I read Psalm 40:4-5, which says:

How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.

I thought it was me. I thought that perhaps, with the dizziness and pounding head I had somehow missed the word “refuge.” I looked again and I still could not find it. I even glanced over the rest of the Psalm. But no “refuge.”

But when I reread my verses, I noticed the interesting wording of that first line.

How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust

The way it reads, the word “refuge” could easily fit in there where “trust” is.

Knowing my friend often uses a different translation than I do, I pulled out my handy iPhone and looked up some other translations. (My iPhone is especially convenient when I’m dizzy because I can hold it up eye level and don’t have to move my head to look at it.) Sure enough, the Amplified Bible uses both “refuge” and “trust” in that line.

So I switched to my Blue Letter Bible app and looked up the original Hebrew. It’s mibtach. It means “trust, confidence, refuge.” The outline of biblical usage shows it is used as the

  • act of confiding
  • object of confidence
  • state of confidence, security

But really, what the Hebrew told me was the same as what hit me when it first came to mind that mine said “trust” where hers said “refuge.”

Refuge is trust.

I had never connected the two like that. God has been working on my trust issues (in our relationship and in general) for the past few years. And because God does good work, I can clearly say that I am trusting my Lord much more – and much more readily – than I used to.

Yet still, when I pictured “refuge” it was always and exclusively as a shelter. A place to hide. Honestly, as I realized today, I would image a secure place where I would run in and cower and tremble alone in the dark knowing the walls were sure and firm.

But that’s where it stopped.

It never occurred to me that trust was a part of it. That making God my refuge really means that I’m trusting God. Actively. (And not alone.) Trust is an act of confiding and if God is my trust then God is the object of my confidence.

And yes, I’m dizzy and tired and scattered and in pain and so this may not make sense written out and I’m quite sure it won’t have a neat and tidy summation or wrap-up here at the end. But the point of tauta logizomai is to encourage you to also think on these things. So consider this revelation with me. God is my refuge. God is my trust.

And consider what a great and loving God we have, one who knows us best (and loves us just the same)… who speaks the right words at the right time… so that today of all days, when I most needed a refuge – physically from the symptoms, mentally from negative thoughts and emotionally from falling into despair – on this day God not only showed me again where to look for my refuge, but where again it is that I am to place my trust.

And I have reason to trust.

Oh, so many reasons!

Just in case you missed it – I didn’t – notice how the Psalm, like my thoughts did naturally after my revelation, turns to praise God:

There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count

Too numerous to count? Indeed. Yet I’m counting anyway. If for no other reason than to remind myself that God is my trust.

2,366 reasons to trust. And still counting…

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In many ways, this was a rough week for me. My cold that I thought I’d finally defeated came back and hit sorta hard again for a couple of days and I kept having bits and pieces of all my main fibro symptoms cropping up.

But the hardest part of the week was saying good-bye to tea.


I discovered I’m still grieving the loss.

See, I had my very good friend Jessica here for a visit (I often call her mei mei, a term of endearment, though the literal Chinese translation is “little sister”). We thought it would be fun for her to cook us an authentic Chinese meal (or at least more authentic than the Americanized “Oriental Buffets” which are so normal here stateside). And one just cannot have a Chinese meal without green tea. So I made a small pot. We used the set Jessica had just brought me back from overseas and I had two small cups. Authentic cups. So we’re talking under 2 oz per filling. Later that night I introduced her to lavender tea which I’d been talking about for months and had a few more cups.

And that was cool. No problem. Simple. Over and done with.

Then the next day I replayed for her the Gung Fu Tea Ceremony we had done at the seminar last October using a wonderful Formosa Oolong. It was really cool because she’d been to a tea ceremony while in Asia and the pot and tray for my set (see photo) were similar to what had been used. We were connecting. It was lovely.

Then she left to return to her sister’s from where she would then return home several states away from where she will soon galavant off to Asia for the next couple of years. And as I was in the kitchen, my “Asiabeat Radio” still playing on Pandora, cleaning up after our tea, it hit me…

I want more tea.

I miss tea. I think it didn’t hit me the night before because those were just small, regular cups of tea. But with our Formosa Oolong that afternoon there was ceremony. It is focused, contemplative, intimate, shared… It takes time. It takes attentiveness. It is calm and peaceful. The water needs brought to the proper temperature. The pot needs warmed. The tea leaves are looked upon and smelled. Then there is the washing – or awakening – of the leaves. The waiting. The pouring into the pitcher. The pouring into the sniffers. The dumping. The smelling. The sipping. Then adding more water and waiting and pouring and sniffing and sipping again.

The waiting periods were not filled with other tasks such as finishing to set the table or turn off the stove or find a good bowl for the fried green beans. There was no prepping for breakfast or getting ready for bed in between heating and steeping. Just time and a friend. Each movement intentional.

I think that’s what I love most about tea. How it begs of you to slow down, focus, minimize movement; watch, wait and discover. So many colors, smells, tastes and textures. So much to explore and enjoy. It is this elusive “way of tea” which I have yet to find a way to implement – to live out – when not actually drinking any tea.

And it took me awhile to figure out, but I am certain now that is what sent me into a two-day funk, grieving again the loss of tea.

I remember during that funk, trying to process it. Why was I so moody? Why did it hit me so hard again? Would this happen after every time I choose to block my medication by going to a tea? (I had figured if I went to a tea up to every other month, that blocking for those 24-hour periods wouldn’t hurt me in the long run.) And, really, how could I ever go into a tea business, serving tea and introducing others to its finer aspects, when I can’t drink it? The latter question was perhaps most daunting. And in many ways it still is…

Yet all this time I was pondering, after I made the initial realization that it was the ceremony, the pause, the seeing, smelling and tasting that got to me, this random bit of scripture kept popping up in the back of my mind:

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Taste and see.

Thursday’s devotional time was out of Psalm 48. I blogged about it here. And what I took away from my time with God that morning was descriptor words of a deepening relationship with my Lord. See. Discover. Know. Consider. Experience. Share. And again later that morning as I was headed to work, one little line kept coming to mind:

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

On Friday my Lectio verses came from Song of Songs. And though I’m not one to totally or solely allegorize the book, with this single state that I am now in, the verses I read pulled my heart and my mind to my relationship with Jesus. In the second chapter, verse fourteen mentions a cleft, a form and a voice and my mind drew correlation to Moses. How he asked to see God’s glory. How God placed him in the cleft of the rock, removing His hand for Moses to see “God’s back” – God’s form – even as the voice of God proclaimed the Name. And I found within myself a deep desire to also say with the bride, “Let me see your form, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your form is lovely.”

And again that day, over and over, resounding again and again, was this one line:

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Today I accompanied Mom to the “Scoop-a-palooza” at the high school. It’s a fundraiser for the school and basically involves paying a small sum of money to be handed a ticket book (for voting) and a spoon. Then you wander around the half-dozen or so venders trying each of their half-dozen or so selections of ice creams (and some custard and even a couple Italian ices). Now, since I’m not supposed to have sugar, I tagged along to keep Mom company. I figured I’d take a small bite of whichever ones she sampled. But that didn’t last long. There were so many wonderful ice creams there! And the more one tastes, the more one wants.

I came home and settled down for my time with God (after a whirlwind and non-stop morning and afternoon). I wrote in my gift list. I opened my Bible. I looked at my bookmark that lists my current set of Lectio verses. I opened my Bible to Psalms and began to read Psalm 34:8-10. The very first line?

O, taste and see that the Lord is good!

I actually laughed. I laughed hard. And then I spent a long time pondering how that verse wove through my week and through all these otherwise disconnected thoughts and experiences.

I still am not sure how to handle this tea thing. I don’t know if I’ll be able to take running a tea business without being able to drink tea on a regular basis.

But this I do know: I have tasted and I have seen that the Lord is good.

The funk has dissipated now. The sharp edge of the grief has again faded. There is hope and there is within me an even deeper desire to continue to see, know, discover and experience God. For his voice is sweet and his form is lovely. And just one taste is not enough. The more you taste of God’s goodness, the more you want. And the more you see.

The #2334 items on my gift list are proof of that.

Taste and see that the Lord is good!

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For Such Is God…

Today’s lectio was Psalm 48:12-14. It was one of those where I read it again and again (well, one is supposed to do that for lectio anyhow, but this was unusually so, over and over and over). Then I read the whole Psalm. Twice. Then I read my verses a few more times.

Walk about Zion and go around her;
Count her towers;
Consider her ramparts;
Go through her palaces,
That you may tell it to the next generation.
For such is God,
Our God forever and ever;
He will guide us until death.

What kept getting me was where it says, “for such is God.”

And I would wonder, “for what such is God?”

I read through the entire Psalm again, picking out the descriptors (some of which were speaking of Zion) that were or could be applied to God. (ie. great, to be praised, beautiful, joy of the earth, a stronghold, etc)

Then I got to verse 14 again.

For such is God.

So again I went back, this time focusing on verses 12 & 13. For in these verses we have imperative verbs.

Walk about and go around.



Go through.

that you may tell it

That’s what leads up to “for such is God!” It’s speaking of Zion. Walking about Zion: seeing, discovering, knowing, considering, experiencing and then telling.

For such is God.

For such is God!

Seeing God, discovering God, knowing God, considering God, experiencing God and then telling others about God!

It’s quite likely that connection wasn’t intended in the original Hebrew. Yet that’s the connection that was made to me today. What they could do, what they were told to do for Zion, is often how God works with us.

Isn’t that what the pattern has been in my life? Discovering more about God, knowing God more fully, considering God and God’s ways, experiencing God in my life – working in me, changing me? And doesn’t that lead me to want to tell others? Yes!

For such is God.

Our God – forever and ever!

He will guide us. He does guide.

He will guide us until death.

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Be Thou My Vision

“This is nothing profound,” I wrote in my lectio journal Tuesday morning, “or maybe it is… but it’s not my normal entry.”

I wrote it out because I wanted a record. A written record. Of what God had done for me that morning.

I woke confused. I was disoriented, hot and sickly. Alarms were missed and I felt groggy, feverish and all out of sorts, not to mention running just a tad late. I managed 5 minutes of my stretching and praise time before jumping into the shower. At that point one thing became very clear: I needed to focus. I was simply too scattered, too physically icky and too mentally bogged.

What I’ve recently discovered as the best way for me to clear out and focus my mind is by humming. Humming songs with words. Because if I sing songs I know by heart then I can do so mindlessly and the nether parts of my brain take to their usual wanderings. But if I hum a song and “sing” the lyrics in my head, my mind is quite occupied.

So I began to hum “Be Thou My Vision.” The choice of songs seemed obvious. I needed to focus and I wanted my focus to be Jesus. So I hummed this ready prayer, letting the words take up all my mind’s ability. And as I, falteringly, played the words in my head – mixing up parts of verses and getting them out of order – the well-known phrases came to life. So much of this song hints at or fully encapsulates what God has been showing me – and doing in my life – these past several months.

When I sat down to lectio, then, I began (as always) by writing in my gift list. I listed each connection made in the song, for each was a gift, a grace:

  • Lord of my heart – God is ruler, ruler of my heart, Prince of Peace
  • Naught be all else to me – nothing has any value compared to you, Lord!
  • Thou my best thought – What do I think on? My best thoughts are on or return to Jesus
  • Waking (well or poorly) or sleeping (well or poorly)
  • Thy presence my light! – God is present. God is faithful. God’s presence gives us strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow!
  • Thou my true word – Listen to that Voice of Truth!
  • Thou mine inheritance – Psalm 16:6! Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me!
  • First in my heart – You won’t take second place. (note Plaid’s song Beautiful)
  • My breastplate – my protection – my sword for the fight – the enemy doesn’t stand a chance!
  • Be thou my might – my might. my strength. my Dunamis!
  • My victory won – I am Victorious Grace!
  • Heart of my own heart – HA! And aren’t these words I’ve been thinking of with my book and Prince Alexandar and Princess Anatolé? Yet God is the “heart of my own heart” even more so than they are to each other!
  • Whatever befall – whatever. even fibromyalgia. even not being able to drink tea. even bad, painful days. whatever.

And that is simply a small taste of the connection and images going through my head. It was a review of what God has done and is doing in my heart, in my life. And it pulled me through the chaos, focused my thoughts on Jesus and gave me hope.

Then I opened my Bible to my lectio verses. Psalm 85:8-9:

I will hear what God the Lord will say;
For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones;
But let them not turn back to folly.
Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.

HA! How true was verse 8 that morning! I did hear. I heard what God the Lord had to say. And he did speak peace. He spoke peace to me.

Writing that out in my journal, verse 12 of the Psalm also caught my eye.

Indeed, the Lord will give what is good,
And our land will yield its produce.

Indeed, the Lord gives what is good! It was given that morning.

Thank you, Lord.

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