Crepe-like petals, so fragile, somehow can hold the weight of red, passion’s mascot, without tearing. Its a wonder to me. Little vibrances hidden, or not so hidden, in nature.
Glitter scattered across velvet night.
Meadows robed in floral gowns.
Watercolor pallet spilled, leaking clouds pool greens of every tone and shade grey and white on those fresh spring mornings. Flecks of pink and sprays of purple yawning awake pushing back the covers of soil and sleep.
Solar blood orange and gold, pulp of the sun bleeding through the earth as he bows his head to rest. Red swirls into pink, then pink fades to that whisper purple, then that marvelous regal black dotted with silver.
I used to imagine that the twinkling ones were happiest, laughter echoing in the endless expanse of space.
Morning waking over sleepy Songtan July 11th, 2015
Rich and Real.
I look for these things. Endlessly crave to be full. Ferociously seeking to satisfy deep wants.
Breathless, time won’t stop, so I can’t stop! Constant rush, society racing to have the most. Earthly, worldly most. I forget, lose sight of His heart and what is eternal. I join the marathon.
Practicing being. Living simply. Unhurried. Adding fullness and depth to my life by slowing down my mind and finishing thoughts. Praying heart prayers, things that actually matter to me instead of reciting a long lists of wants and don’t wants.
I truly endlessly crave this–all this. My blog “Relish Living”. Savor life.
I’m trying to extract everything this world has to offer. Panicked and racing from one exciting thing to the next trying to cram as much busy-ness into one day as humanly possibly. Competing always to have the most joy as possible. The most happiness that life will allow. Savor because I know it won’t last, motivated by fear, life mortal and earthly. so I scrounge, scraping every ounce of goodness that I can find. But what happens?
I scrape, but I am dry still.
Endlessly empty so it would seem.
Savor, hoard, tightest, whitest fists I’ve ever seen at the ends of my own two arms.
Savor and rush cannot co-exsist. I didn’t know that until recently.
Laying on an uneven sand dune under the ample shade of the umbrella he rented for us, I rest. Eyes closed, he asks “Do you hear that? The kids playing? The waves, the sounds?” I smile because that was exactly what I was doing. Listening.
Shadow casts tinting his back an ashy tone. Too tall, feet very much off the mat. Catch his eyes brimming with boyish delight, I blush. Permanently pink. Not because of the sun. This moment I capture. Hold; swell with thanks. I’m full.
Emptiness has been a chronic state for me in my life.
My heart has been void of thanks. Completely lacking of gratitude.
My favorite lesson I’ve learned in this past year has been this:
The deeper your gratitude, the deeper your joy.
Fullness. Joy and Fullness, Synonyms.
Gratitude can be had everywhere. Joy can be had everywhere.
Being glad for everything isn’t so cheeky and Pollyanna-y as I believe it is often dismissed to be. I look into the world, in my circle of friends and see a strange association. Anger, negativity, sarcasm = maturity, power and strength.
Those of us who dare to be uplifting or positive are so quickly smashed under the weight of these criticisms and demeaning remarks. Too often I break under the chastening. I quiet right up. I zip my mouth and bite my tongue in fear of being belittled by “Big” people.
It is ridiculous.
Scripture is all about setting your mind on things above and not the things of this world. Take a look:
1 Peter 4:1
1 Thessalonians 5:8
2 Corinthians 10:5-6
1 John 2:15-17
Matthew 7:21-23 is a passage I think about very often.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your names, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ “
That passage motivates the heck out of me to seek after His heart. To “know” Him truly. Know what is important to Him. This heart/relationship knowledge is what its talking about. In the greek, the word is Ginosko. It isn’t a list of rules and tasks. This knowledge is intimate. Being in love with God and caring about that things He cares about. He cares about eternal things. Fruitful lives here on earth (John 15). Attributing to that fruitfulness through obedience.
Rituals = pulseless religion.
Relationship = Vivacious life.
A facet of this, His heart, is that fullness, this joy be mine. On His terms. Through chastening. Through trials. testing of my faith and strengthening of my endurance. My greater good rests on the other side of persecution. Always. His love language is chasten. He wants me to last, so he polishes, strengthens. Aiming to reflect himself in me to a bleeding earth and broken people.
1 Peter 1:6-7
Obedience produces abundance.
That is what is important. No matter what angry, bitter, hurt people say or do or how they treat me. I must never lose sight of God’s heart, and his heart is painted in the sunset. So I trek to gaze at that passion soaked orb. So rich. But yet only a glimpse of His richness.
Graciously lent to me by a fellow sunset chaser friend, Kaylin.
I try to absorbe. I sit until dark as bleeds through the orange. I sit again and wonder at the galaxies. I seem to never tire from pondering these days.
This one facet of His heart, “Set your mind on my mind”. It becomes a part of me. My doing becomes a part of me. Like in James, “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” (James 1:25).
The more I do the less I forget.
1. To consider something deeply and thoroughly. To Mediate.
2. To weigh carefully in the mind; to consider thoughtfully.
Sacred communion with Creator, Father, Shepherd, Lover of my soul.
The heart and head aligner.
The soul and spirit refocuser.
The only true response to God; gratitude.
The realization that you are nothing without Him. Have nothing without him.
Love expressed, exclaimed.
These practices help me keep my thoughts in obedience to Christ.
Captured thoughts will settle and grow. Cocoon. Incubate. Bloom, become. Whether Godly or worldly, what you feed will grow.
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:7-9
The joy here, the fullness here I’ve found, is in remembering Who’s I am and living passionate obedience. World changing obedience. John 13:34-35
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you’re my disciples, if you love one another.”
Life abundant, fullness I spent years recklessly chasing is hidden in obedience.
“And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as hr has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, the SPirit whom he has given us.” 1 John 3:23-24
No more chasing. No more obsessions with beauty and skinny and fame and self love. it is all empty always.
Breakfast dishes need to be washed.
Thank you father for giving me a sink, soap, a home, a spoon and bowl.
Laundry is spinning wildly, soon to chime that oh too familiar song of completion.
Thank you Father for the stains on my dress, the life spilled on my clothes, the sweat leaked, the joy had. The body to dress.
He has a very very busy next few weeks before he leaves for a whole month. Time is scarce and solitude will be ample.
Thank you so deeply form the very darkest secret place in my heart that I have the privilege and blessing to have someone to miss.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate heats, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And be thankful. Let the peace of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in our hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”
SO if you want joy to invade your life like an avalanche in spring crumbling to bits every tree of doubt, dissatisfaction or self-pity, be FULL OF THANKS.
“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” Psalm 50:13
Salvation is the ultimate abundance.
Abundance begins now:
“The thief comes only to kill steal and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
Find fullness, satisfaction, gratefulness exactly where you are, because
“This world is passing away, along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 1John 2:17
Don’t miss this–this joy here and now and forever after with Him.
Forever joy begins today. Forsake the world and cling to what is good (Romans 12:9-21).
Peace and joy will endlessly follow.
“Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea…” Isaiah 48:18
“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. ” Hebrews 2:1
May peace and joy endlessly follow as you trust and obey the Shepherd, Gardener, tender of your soul.