Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I want to make an arrangement
from my garden like this.
   Today is one of the last days of 2013 and I am reflective. So indulge me a bit, won't you?

I love ranunculus flowers!
I planted 18 of these.
     Last night I attended Elena's church and as I was standing and worshipping, moved by the music and the Spirit, I saw a picture of me standing and raising my arms like I was at that moment, but instead of singing, I was praying. I had this clear picture that this next year was to be a year of fervent intercession with a very proactive stance - literally standing and asking God for mighty and bold things, powerful and obvious displays of his nearness, and definitive answers to prayers for deliverance for the people he would bring my way...
     ...As I was kneeling forward in the balmy, breezy intoxicating sunlight this morning and digging dirt out of holes to plant my bulbs, I was pondering how prayer is so much like planting. The intentional times and thoughtfulness required to bring people and circumstances before the Lord often takes effort., much like planting does as well. When I planted my bulbs I had to clear and level the ground, lay out fertile soil, lay out the bulbs, dig the holes, add fertilizer and the bulbs, fill the holes back up, water and clean the whole area up afterwards. I soaked in a hot bath after I was done and took a well-deserved, needed nap. Ahhh...that was delightful! And as I placed those ugly bulbs in the ground it was with the hope that they will blossom into beautiful flowers that are fragrant and lovely to behold, displayed on my dining room table or given away to others.I thought about how so often times of intense, fervent,  passionate prayers this last year were accompanied with tears, pleas - desperate at times. Prayer can look so ugly, like those bulbs I wedged  6 inches into the ground this morning. And yet, there is God, in the midst of it, summoning forth my honesty, my heart, the truth of the matter. Somehow, in the midst of all that sowing of tears and words, God hears my prayers.
   And he answered so many of them.
Daffodils are delightful!
I planted about 20 of these.
  He answered this year in surprising, delightful and unbelievable ways. Why am I surprised? This is the God who created the Heavens and the Earth! It is no difficulty for him to move people's hearts, their circumstances, their attitudes...
     Of all the things that I have delighted in the most with a depth of soul-satisfaction, it is the answered prayers on behalf of others. I recall those precious moments where God exposed the heart of the matter and brought forth love, kindness, healing, understanding....
     I discovered something astonishing and so fun! It can be only A FEW WORDS spoken in truthful, loving sincerity that can totally change EVERYTHING. Now, I am not a person given to just a few words, and it is an area that I can grow in. But in this matter of prayer before my Savior, many words are just fine. So, I am listing my goals and desires below. We shall see how this year plays out!

1) I want to get down to the weight on my driver's license (!) which is about 12 pounds lighter than I am now and maintain that weight consistently by September.
2) I want to work up to consistently running 3 miles in 35 minutes at the gym by June.
3)I want to get help developing several good weight workouts and build upper and lower body strength consistently.
4) I want to get straight A's in nursing school 2nd semester.
5) I want to get a 3.5 GPA in nursing school 3rd semester.
6) I want to work this summer as a student nurse in labor and delivery at Huntington memorial hospital.
7) I want to wipe out all credit card debt and stick to a monthly cash budget.
8) I want to give regularly to at least one charity.
9) I want to take each of my daughters out once a month, talk and pray with them and keep a notebook of issues they are dealing with and how they've progressed.
10) I want to visit at least 5 very beautiful, luxurious, architecturally spectacular buildings this year; hotels, houses, stores, office buildings, etc.
11) I want to hear a live, full string orchestra in a large music venue.
12) I want to see a professional ballet at the Music Center this year.
13) I want to go snorkeling with Tim in Laguna Beach this summer.
14) I want to go camping and rock climbing at Joshua Tree this spring.
15) I want to spend focused time (at least 5 minutes - this takes real discipline for me!) before the Lord each day quiet, still and waiting on God.
16) I want to hear God speak hope into my heart everyday and remind myself that he has promised to help me in all circumstances. I want to write down at least weekly what he speaks to me.
17) I want to be committed to hug each of my children and husband everyday.
18) I want to listen twice more than I talk in everyday conversations.
19) I want to host an all-out, over-the-top tea to bless some very special people. I have no idea who these special people would be, but God does!
20)I want to go sailing! This is a long shot. I have never been sailing before, but I really want to learn.


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