"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." Psalm 23:5

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Chewing On My Perspective

My youngest grandson really enjoys pulling my reading glasses from my face and giving them a workout.  Often I’ll put them precariously on his button nose only to have him smile wide, likely due to seeing Grammy’s features suddenly magnified.  Then he will reach slowly with his chubby little hands and remove them to give them a good shake or two.  Ultimately, he will put the earpieces in his mouth and add to the striped design tiny marks with his adorable new teeth.  My daughter remarked last weekend, “Mom, I hope you don’t mind teeth marks on your glasses.”  And of course, I do not!!  Her comment however did cause me to think about my grandson seeing life through my lenses and chewing on my perspective. 

The next morning I put my glasses on, lenses blurred with dried drool.  While cleaning them I felt the marks left by his tiny teeth, and meditated more on the importance of fixing my eyes on Jesus for his sake as well as mine, for he will be strongly influenced by my view of God, of life, of family, of the world.  Ideally, he will taste and see that the Lord is good as a young child through my lenses, and see Him magnified through my outlook.  Gazing long at Jesus will result in glory shine on my face, radiance enhanced by years spent with Him, sparkle in the eye that betrays knowing King of Kings.  This is what I pray he sees in his Grammy when he studies her face.

Jaxon's Grandmothers: Sherrie (Meme) and Terry (Grammy)

I’m learning my perspective will also be altered by my grandson’s if I allow for that to occur.  Just as his drool on my glasses blurred the sharp edges of everything viewed, so his innocent and simple viewpoint may in fact bring clarity to my vision, and free me of overanalyzing, critically judging, and taking things too seriously.  Yes, the overlay of a child’s view on my aged eye, misshapen through years by disappointment, surely will teach me to see many things afresh and aright.  I pray for humility to receive from my grandson(s), as a contact lens on my own eye, the correction needed to see life clearly.

Sometimes the Lord’s heart is seen best by all through a shift in priorities, a change in plans.  Last Sunday He reset my agenda when my oldest grandson entered the kitchen and suggested we make his Mom breakfast in bed.  Seeing the fire in his eyes, I knew this was to take priority over my going to the earlier church service I planned to attend.  While I made waffles, he picked roses and dandelions to adorn his Mom’s breakfast tray – oh, and one extra special rose for her to put in her hair!  He excitedly made her some chocolate milk in a stemmed glass, and arranged her tray just so before carefully carrying it to her room.  I followed with a tray for him and later for myself, because he insisted we all eat together on her bed.  He mentioned we needed to pray, and then told me about a conversation he had with his babysitter on the subject of going to heaven.  She is an unbeliever, my nine year old grandson a budding evangelist.  My first worship service of the day took place in bed with a breakfast tray on my lap!!

Nelson and His Mom Lori

Second service occurred at a courtside table where I watched my son play the final match of a tennis tournament he took part in all weekend.  I had missed all but this game and felt the Lord saying, please join Me in supporting Matt this morning.  With each hard won point, God and I celebrated His overcoming power now wonderfully evident in my son’s life!!  Not only did my son and grandson gain perspective on the relational priority of Jesus that morning, but I too saw through them the glory of the Lord and the spontaneity of His affection.


Worshiping at Table,
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Filled Again At His Table

Yesterday I walked my yard in search of a tiny replica of the cat-of-nine-tails I made years ago to include in our homemade resurrection eggs.  My grandson intrigued by the tiny stick with knotted threads either tucked it in his pocket or dropped it in the yard the night before Easter.  That afternoon and on into the evening we celebrated with two chicks named Tender and Nugget, and a wonderful spread of colorful appetizers and desserts.  The night culminated in an egg hunt and the opening of resurrection eggs out on the lawn.   Eggs hidden in the yard were filled with heart shaped pictures clipped from magazines representing various things in the world we attempt to fill our hearts with, both for survival and pleasure.  Prior to the hunt I informed my grandson of one very special egg hidden with all the rest – large, shiny and silver.  He needed little encouragement to search enthusiastically, for we were made to search, to yearn, to hunger, TO FIND!!  He searched high and low, but had to be helped to recover the silver egg.  This was intentional.  The silver egg held a skeleton key.  An explanation follows. 

Once he experienced the thrill of finding all the eggs, he of course eagerly opened them to discover not candy, but paper hearts.  (Disappointment intended.)  Briefly, I explained that God made us to search, to desire and look for more in life.  It was fairly easy for him to grasp that that is why we are quick to want to move on to the next thing, the next fun experience.  And that we did!  He opened the silver egg and I explained that the key it contained opened an egg larger than all the rest.  Inside it he found characters from the greatest story every told:  a lamb, donkey, rooster, and king, along with a lion to narrate the story.  I told him the Easter story holds the secret to all we long for – the answer to our heart’s desire!!!  To convey the mystery and value of the Easter message, I glued a lock corresponding to the key on the large egg.  I also explained that God often uses people who know Him well to help those who don’t to find the key to a JOY-FILLED life with Him forever.  (Thus, the help given him to find the silver egg).  Finally, I promised that if he could unlock the mystery (tell the story using the egg full of characters) next Easter he would be given a wonderful prize!!  My hope is to ultimately encourage him to also share the story with friends using this tool.  He asked if he could get a prize for sharing the story over Christmas.  Who could deny him that request??  I can see it now, right along side the nativity scene!!!

Unlocking Easter's Mysteries
Characters in His Resurrection Story

Finally, on an heirloom cross-stitched quilt under light of a floor lamp brought outside, we pried open the resurrection eggs one-by-one in order, sharing the gospel beginning with the triumphal entry and ending with the Returning King!!

J, J, J, Jaxon and the Chicks
Awwwwww!!  Jax and Nelson.
Attack of the Chicks!!

In preparation for this celebration and Easter morning to follow, I sensed the Lord saying, “Make a big deal out of My Resurrection!!”  He sparked more ideas than I had time to pull off – providing me a jump start on next year.  I decorated the Easter table with oversized “teacups” (clay vessels to be filled and refilled!!) – from which we served chocolate milk Easter morning with our breakfast.  Two very large cups served as a centerpiece.  In one, my grandson and I planted a resurrection garden and in the other the resurrection eggs lay waiting on a bed of Easter grass.  Easter morning the stone in the resurrection garden “magically” rolled away prior to my grandson waking.  He came to the table excited on making this discovery.  There at his place at the table he also found a resurrection basket filled with instruments to make a joyful noise, candy (a chocolate fish and cross, of course), small toys and a stuffed lamb.

Yesterday, two weeks post-Easter I didn’t find the missing cat-of-nine-tails replica in the yard, though in my searching I found so much more!!  That is the way it is with our Savior!!  He compels us to search that we might find the more hidden for us.  Filling my mind with thoughts and dreams for my youngest grandson’s upcoming birthday, I’d spent several nights online combing the internet for ideas and pinning them to a “planning board.”  Mind you, his birthday is not until July 26th.  Planning for Easter and then celebrating together with family had been so rich that I just wanted to again drink in my fill.  In the meantime, tasks were left undone, as well as the writing of all God had said and done the past few weeks.  God told me yesterday morning to lay aside party planning and quiet my heart to listen while working on putting up Easter and cleaning up house and yard.

I talked to Him about my obsession with pinning pictures and He gave insight into what was driving that.  He showed me that I not only hunger to creatively express myself, but that I also fear losing ideas, fond memories, all the treasures He gives me.  Thus I experience a sense of urgency to record, organize, tuck away safely these precious intangibles – both the stories, mental images and the feelings they invoke, the spirit of all – lest they be lost forever.  This contributes to compulsive behaviors, for who can store up yesterday’s manna, so abundantly given by God for the present day?  While searching the yard for that tiny stick and thinking about the above, I noticed all kinds of things tucked into the grass just below eye level.  Remnants of our party two weeks ago – bits of crepe paper robbed of color by rain, colorful scraps of burst balloons, tiny yellow flowers (like the ones I picked with Nelson to put in our resurrection garden), and a dandelion highlighted by God.  I grabbed my camera and snapped pictures as I toured the yard.  Each little shred of yesterday brought to mind the previous event in vivid detail. 

Spring Party Cupcakes
My Life Woven Into Nest
Then God compelled me to revisit the nest I had pulled from the live oak not long ago and set on my entry hall table.  The day I brought it in I studied with delight all the little fragments of MY life woven into this nest.  There were pieces of lace from a bridal shower held in my yard, mesh from a tiki torch wick that lit the night that same evening, ribbons, and cotton fill that our now deceased dog had playfully pulled from his pillow filling the yard with “snow.”  I laughed to see that mama bird’s ingenuity in making a resting place for her eggs, a home for her chicks out of memories.  Then it occurred to me, the Lord is preparing a place for me, He who cares for sparrows and me much more, is readying home, a resting place for me.  Surely, He will take from earth bits of the most important events, the sweetest experiences with Him and others and creatively lay them down for me to rest upon.  He assured me a picture, indeed worth a thousand words, awaits my viewing – one that captures all I need remember of Time.  He settled me peacefully on my earthly nest letting me know He can be trusted with future plans, memories, stories that need be told in the here and now.  There’s plenty of time – I’m eternal, enjoy the day!!

I knew then why He highlighted the dandelion beside one spent – for seeds with wings shall spring from my life with Him, bloom throughout time, and with His blessing turn up again woven into rich testimonial tapestries carpeting heaven’s halls.

Under the live oak I snapped a picture of a leaf heart, white with Tender and Nugget’s bird poop!!  Another highlight – what a sense of humor He has.  Outside my bathroom window I happened to notice the mirrored peace ornament alight with afternoon sun.  I approached to snap a picture.  A fitting conclusion to lovely day in His presence being filled with peace and joy!!!

Filled Again At His Table,

Lori, Adopted Mom!!
Thank you to daughters, Lori Anderson for fabulous menu and hours of cooking, and to Charlcie Eyth for helping with food and taking the gorgeous pictures.  Visit her facebook photography site at https://www.facebook.com/AndersonEythPhotography
Charlcie and I Easter Morning

Visit Spiritual Sundays at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com for more inspirational reading!