Friday, April 7, 2017

Simply Blessed!

I am so fortunate!  I have a wonderful family, friends, home, car and clothes.  All the comforts of a middle class US lifestyle are at my fingertips.  I don’t need to worry about the water I drink or where I will get my next meal.  I sleep in a comfortable bed with plenty of blankets, pillows and a lovely Egyptian cotton sheet.  My bed clothes are clean and smell fresh.

The chair I sit in each morning fits me perfectly.  It is cushioned exactly to my taste.  The arms on the chair are the right height, and I have a nice ottoman that I share with my dog, Pebbles.  Next to my chair is a small metal table with a lamp and a coffee warmer.  The table is full of books overflowing onto the floor.

I sit here this morning covered up with just the right size and weight blanket as I begin my morning quiet time.  The temperature in the room is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and it is 50 degrees outside with rays of sunlight dancing off the leaves on the plants and trees.  I hear the mating calls of quail and phainopepla.  It is spring in the desert southwest.

All of this is so comforting and so beautiful.  I am truly blessed!

The Lord has put me in this quiet place to reflect, pray and heal.  He has called me to sit quietly while He speaks new promises, new direction and deeper peace to my soul.  I have been given these gifts in preparation for the upcoming season.

As I sit at His feet this year, I have no idea what is in my future.  I only know that He has called me to bask, bathe and drink in everything around me. 

Thank you Lord for these gifts.  Thank you for guiding me in your ways and holding me tight along the way.  I continue to look with longing, wanting to know you more.  Let me continue to walk this new road with joy and peace knowing you have my BEST interests in mind.  Thank you for this time of refreshing as I prepare for my new assignment as your Beloved Warrior Bride!

Psalm 28:7
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.”  NIV

Psalm 27:14
“Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait on the Lord.” NIV


Johanna

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Apple of His Eye

He has set a great celebration banquet before us.   The room glistens as the light catches the tall crystal goblets, gold plates, and diamond, sapphire and ruby encrusted platters.  

One by one we enter the banquet hall and take our seats. There is the homeless man who sits on the corner across from the park.  As he enters, his eyes fill with tears and he begins shaking, overcome with emotion.  He looks to the ground.  Our Host walks over and gently takes the man’s hand, guiding him to the head table.  I see our Host whisper something into the man’s ear, and I see the man smile through the tears.

I recognize the woman who just entered.  She works at the local market as a cashier.  She is gleaming with excitement as she takes her place at the table.  Next, a young couple deeply engaged in conversation with each other walk in holding hands.  They are so engaged with one another they don't seem to notice the hall, the Host or even those around them.  They take seats in the far corner of the room away from everyone else.

Next, I notice the widower I met at a grief group a few months ago.  He looks sullen and shows no emotion.  He goes to his seat in an almost robotic fashion.  More and more people continue to enter until the last one arrives.  She stumbles in; her hair is matted and make-up running.  Her clothes are disheveled, and there is a wild look in her eyes.  She is scratching herself so hard some areas on her arms are bleeding.  Her eyes are darting around the room.  She appears to panic and turns to leave.  The Host quickly wraps his arms around her and begins singing quietly in her ear.  The song somehow fills the room.  It is in a language unfamiliar to me.  I see this woman mold into his embrace as he continues to sing.  As the song concludes, the Host holds her steady and guides her to the seat next to his.

Then, the Host looks in each of our eyes as if to say, “You are the apple of my eye, and I have set before you the riches of my kingdom.  Taste and see that it is nourishment for your body and soul.  Drink deeply from the living water set before you and bask in the presence and beauty of my love.  It is for each of you."

An orchestra plays; the meal is served.  Each course is presented with elegance and precision.  The food is delicious, and the music is almost angelic.  

As the evening comes to a close, the Host walks out of the door, and all of us sit motionless.  None of us wants to move. 

Suddenly, I realize that I have been in the presence of the King.  My eyes fill with tears, and my heart is filled with joy and thankfulness.  He, The King, opened wide the door to His banqueting table and encouraged ALL of us to come in. 

It is now time to open wide our banqueting tables and let others comes in.   We are ALL precious in His sight, and we are ALL The Apple of His Eye!


His Beloved Warrior Bride,

Johanna





Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Forever Lost In His Love!

He puts His tender arms around me and begins to wipe away my tears.  He whispers love songs in my ear and reminds me of His love for me.

I weep violently and almost vomit from the pain.  My heart has been ripped out from me.  I don't want to go on.  The world seems dark and ugly.  I no longer have his hand to hold or his shoulder to cry on.  How am I to face this world without him.  The grief is so great I feel like my heart will stop beating.  All I can think about is the loss and the pain.

People try to give me words of encouragement, prayers and hugs.  They mean well, but it doesn't take away the stabbing pain in my chest.

I begin staying busy and stuff my feelings away on the shelf.  Being raised to "suck it up and deal with it" made it easier not to face the heartache.  I keep myself busy and find myself beginning to feel numb.  This helps for awhile, but I know eventually I will need to face reality.

Reality that my life has dramatically changed.  I am lost, lonely and in a fog.  I don't think my life will get better.  I feel destined to this life until death takes me home.

Days, weeks, months and years pass.  Slowly I begin to see the light.  Slowly I begin to smell the flowers, bask in the sunlight, listen to the songs of the birds in the trees.  Spring has sprung and what appeared dead is coming to life.  I look at the new buds on the tree and am thankful.  

New life has begun to well up in me.  I see a hope for the future.  I begin to feel again.  I allow the tears to flow and I say goodbye.  I begin a new journey with joy and anticipation.

I truly have felt like I walked through the valley of the shadow of death and have been reborn.  I will cherish the time and memories, but now it is time to start fresh.


I dig deeper into the Word of God.  I begin worshipping Him.  I slowly realize that He has become the one my soul loves!  I still have a bridegroom; one better and greater than the one I had on this earth.

His Beloved Warrior Bride,

Johanna