Saturday, December 31, 2011

Musing on lessons learned in 2011 and welcoming a New Year!


2011 brought challenges into my world that were bigger than me! Much bigger. However, the challenges were not too big for my Father God to handle.

Recently, life has taken on a different rhythm. Slow but steady... I'm thankful for a job that brings in a more substantial income for me. I'm adjusting, stretching and growing, daily. Debt is being reduced. I was able to purchase a calendar for Christmas for each family, in my immediate family. I created the calendar through Lulu. It's beautiful and a work of heart that is a blessing to share. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Wingdreamer

Raindrops sparkling on my window

I dislike winter. It's dark sooner, often cold and dreary and I find myself cocooning, rather than getting out into the world around me. One night this past week, it had been raining, but the sun shone through the clouds in the morning, sparkling and glistening, a gift. I smiled, grabbing my camera, to capture the moment.


Ann VosKamp repeatedly blesses me by helping me remember to be in the moment and count the blessings every moment brings. I started 2011 reading Ann's book, "One Thousand Gifts." Ann reminds us that we have moments, microscopic moments, fleeting moments are all we have. Holy moments... Ann says, "You've got to find a way to stay fully awake! She dares us to live fully, right where we are. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhOUaszMGvQ&feature=player_embedded#! 

Through Jesus we are able to live fully, 
being joyful right where we are.

In March, I took a contract recruiting job that seemed like my ticket out of a frustrating and stressful inside sales job, however, in a very short period of time, it ended just as I arrived home after an amazing vacation in early May to see one of my sons who lives in Costa Rica. 

Seeing this time as an opportunity to grow my photography business, I switched into high gear and began to advertise my Wingdreamer Photography.  I did weddings, lifestyle portraits, and reached out for photo shoots where ever I could find them. 

Something didn't feel quite right, yet I kept trying, praying, crying out and putting one foot in front of the other.  Long story short, I almost totally ran out of money, lost my home, (except the people who bought my home, are renting it back to me so I'm still here!!) I had $1.70 left in my checking account when my first paycheck with my new company was deposited. I am so very aware of God's presence, His provision, but most of all His love, hovering nearby. 

I didn't always walk through this challenging time standing strong and solid. I fell down. I skinned my knees. I whined and sometimes I cried. However, Jesus kept working on me. It's His job to perfect us. He's good at it. He promises to complete the work He started in us. 

I'm so thankful that I can also celebrate my singleness at the end of this year. Back at the end of September, I sensed the Lord calling me into His "Ark" for a time away. My world was being flooded and He lovingly wooed me into His ark to work on my heart and change me. Though I hadn't realized it, my longing for a husband, my neediness in that area, was at the level of idolatry. I desired a husband more than I desired to know Jesus. It was an obsession, though I didn't see it. 

During the 44 days and nights in the "Ark" of God's presence, much was accomplished in my heart. (I spent 44 days and nights, rather than 40, because it bumped up against my 11th "anniversary" of being single again.) A contentedness came that stilled my heart. A peace permeated me through and through. I'm happy in my singleness like I've never experienced in the 11 years I've been single again. 
Woooo hoooo! 

So, I end 2011 and dance into 2012 a free woman, with a smile that lights up my face, a good job, bills paid, a front porch to sit on, though I no longer have the responsibility of my home, and you know what, I danced a bit and spun around in circles at some of the Christmas parties I attended...(I really can't dance very well, you know, 
two left feet...)   

Today, a friend joined me at a nearby park and we walked about 5 miles. It was a gorgeous December day here in Georgia. We've been told that the cold winter air is on it's way, but this afternoon brought sunshine sparkling on the lake as we walked. 

Rushing home after the walk with my friend, I grabbed my camera and headed back out to a spot I've been wanting to go to experience a sunset, to attempt to capture a sunset with my camera's eye. I wasn't disappointed. Thank you Jesus! 

As 2011 soon fades away and 2012 unfolds, fresh and new, fragrant as a flower, I quietly anticipate and through trust that has grown stronger, I look forward to what our Father God has in store. My times are in His hands. 
My path will lead me home.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Beautiful Light


We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine. Dwight L. Moody.

"Beautiful light is born of darkness, so the faith that springs from conflict is often the strongest and the best." Turnbull, R.
John 3:19-21
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

May we quietly, gently, walk in the light, His light.

Wingdreamer

Looking up, into His light...








                  
















 









                  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

O Holy Night



O Holy Night...

When we walk daily
with our God,
our Savior, Jesus,
every day
can
be
holy...
every moment
is 
holy...

Though we often don't understand
the details of our lives
and why "things" happen
the way they do,
and when they do,
and how they do...
God understands.
He is in each moment
with us.
Because our Creator 
knows and understands us,
He knows the end from the beginning,
He knows each moment
is holy...
He longs to dwell within us
and He desires to reveal 
the holiness of every moment;
the holiness of sunrise and sunset,
the holiness of birth, of life, of death...
the holiness of really loving those around us,
the holiness of marriage and becoming one,
the holiness of the humble dailiness of this life we live...
the holiness of this Christmas season...
the holiness of living in this manger-like world,
so simple, so gutsy, so real...



The son of God was birthed in love, upon the hay...
a gift delivered from heaven through Mary, as she lay
trusting in the words from God, 
delivered through an angel's visitation,
followed by songs of praise and adoration
for a God who'd come to earth
to live as a man, his blood poured out
so we'd experience rebirth,
A holy night, to bring about
transformation, heavenly
to fulfill our destiny,
God's plan unfolding, perfectly. 

Wingdreamer

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend!
He knows our need—to our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!

http://www.findthepower.com/ChristmasPagesTheStoryOfOHolyNight.htm

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Unfolding purpose

Briefly....

I'm excited to be going with a friend to Jeremy Cowart's LifeFinder Tour down in Decatur Georgia today. I must sleep some.www.jeremycowart.com

I am supposed to be at this event for some reason, yet unknown to me. I believe it has something to do with my unfolding purpose in life...the direction to move toward with my photography. God knows. He desires for me to know. It's important. I get that.

It's getting closer to Christmas day. I want to celebrate His light during my days. The light of Jesus shines so incredibly bright during these days. May His gifts of photography and writing shine through me...every day. May His gifts of encouragement shine through me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We're always being worked on....




As humans,
we are 
always
always
always
being worked on
inside
our 
very 
depths...
because
God loves us...
so deeply
He won't give up
on us. 
 
 Whether we are 
jobless
"jobfull" (like me) 
and being s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d
in every area
of my life...
whether we are
sick
or healthy,
single
divorced
or married,
tired 
or energetic,
a morning person
or a night owl,
a millionaire
or a paupernaire,
angry
or full of joy,
lonely
or in love,
overweight
underweight
or a 10,
we are all
a work in 
p-r-o-g-r-e-s-s...
Our Father God
will use every
detail
of our lives
to bring out
our weaknesses
our strengths
and cause us to 
cry
long
pray
and
RUN
to 
HIM!
 
The good news
is...
He WILL finish the work
He
started
because 
He loves us...

 Amazing, isn't He?

...being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6

Barnes' Notes on the Bible Will perform it - Margin, "Or, finish" The Greek word - ἐπιτελέσει epitelesei - means that he would carry it forward to completion; he would perfect it. It is an intensive form of the word, meaning that it would be carried through to the end.

God abandons nothing that he undertakes. There are no unfinished worlds or systems; no half-made and forsaken works of His hands. There is no evidence in His works of creation of change of plan, or of having forsaken what He began from disgust, or disappointment, or lack of power to complete them. Why should there be in the salvation of the soul?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My heart is heavy...

A man I worked for at a previous job, is sitting at his wife's side in the hospital tonight. Today is day 17 in ICU. He said, she may leave there, and then again, maybe not. She needs a miracle so she can walk out of there, or perhaps the miracle is that her spirit is allowed to leave, ushered by her heavenly Father... She has been through so much for years. So much pain and suffering... more than enough for one woman. He asked for prayer. He said, "Please pray she doesn't hurt. She has had so much pain now, for so long." I can see her spirit rising, smiling...moving from earthly, to heavenly, dancing into the arms of Jesus.

I want to share the prayer I prayed, and emailed to him tonight. Perhaps it may lift your chin and your heart.

May your heavenly Daddy, wrap His arms around Sally and you and hold you extra close during these days.
May you sense His light filling this darkness, like a storm that threatens.
May hope lift your chin up so you can see His face, and know He cares.
May the love of God, of family and friends bring warmth in the midst of pain.
May you be able to lean into the Lord and find rest. 
May you both hear His voice, whispering love, long...
May Sally rest in the arms of the Lord and find peace.
May you be reminded during this time, that we are not home yet. That though we have tribulation and suffering, that He has overcome this world.
When life doesn't make sense, may you be able to be still and know that He is still God...
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
 
The skin between this world and the heavens is incredibly thin. If you listen, you can hear heaven's voice, humming, singing, joyfully celebrating... If you open eyes, fully, you can see heaven sparkling, reflecting light like a diamond... If your heart is open, you can feel heaven's pure warmth surrounding you, like a loving embrace...If you allow Him, Jesus will lift you up, away from this earthly realm, as He sets your feet to dancing...heavenward.......
 
 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Offering Thanks in the Midst of Change

So, goodbye 
to extended hours
to write and create.
I'm saying hi
to a cubical 
and a job as of late.

My heart is struggling, 
heavy in the midst of change.
so much juggling
as life is rearranged...
 BUT
My desire is to sing out gratitude
in the midst of every day.
May I put on Christ's attitude
so it shows in all I say.


I'm grateful for a paycheck at the end of each week.
Thankful for sunrises painted across the sky as I drive to work.
Grateful for Sue Monk Kidd's book, "First Light", on CD to listen to while I drive.
Thankful for patience and flexibility to deal with frustrations at work and on the road. 
Thankful for over-the-counter meds to help with UTI symptoms until I can get to a Dr.
Grateful for Sterling, my Toyota; "she" gets me to work and back in comfort and good gas mileage.
Thankful for my Father God who doesn't give up on me. 
Grateful that He finishes the work He's started in me. 



Thursday, December 1, 2011

Perspective


So many aspects of my life are changing, 
all at the same time. 

Life's priorities are rearranging 
 and nothing seems to rhyme. 

I'm hoping and praying I'm on the right track,
 as I lay down every care.

I know deep inside, God's got my back
and He's heard every prayer.

He'll shape and mold my perspective
on life as it unfolds.

I rest under His wings, protective;
trusting Him, I behold
Him and I am changed.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Candle



As I begin my first full week tomorrow at my new job with Siemens, I find myself praying that I will be a true light at work. 

May I not hide my light, 
but let it shine, brightly 
as I allow Jesus to quietly
draw others to Himself
through me,
a child of God.
May I prove to be
blameless and innocent.
May I shine like a light
in a crooked
and perverse world.

Matthew 5:15
Phillipians 2:15


And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. 

That ye may be blameless - That you may give no occasion for others to accuse you of having done wrong.

And harmless - Margin, "sincere." The Greek word (ἀκέραιος akeraios) means properly that which is unmixed; and then pure, sincere. The idea here is, that they should be artless, simple, without guile. Then they would injure no one. The word occurs only in Matthew 10:16; Philippians 2:15, where it is rendered "harmless," and Romans 16:19, where it is rendered "sincere"; see the Matthew 10:16 note, and Romans 16:19 note.

The sons of God - The children of God; a phrase by which true Christians were denoted; see the Matthew 5:45 note; Ephesians 5:1 note.

Without rebuke - Without blame; without giving occasion for anyone to complain of you.

In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation - Among those of perverted sentiments and habits; those who are disposed to complain and find fault; those who will take every occasion to pervert what you do and say, and who seek every opportunity to retard the cause of truth and righteousness. It is not certainly known to whom the apostle refers here, but it seems not improbable that he had particular reference to the Jews who were in Philippi. The language used here was employed by Moses Deuteronomy 32:5, as applicable to the Jewish people, and it is accurately descriptive of the character of the nation in the time of Paul. The Jews were among the most bitter foes of the gospel, and did perhaps more than any other people to embarrass the cause of truth and prevent the spread of the true religion.

Among whom ye shine - Margin, "or, shine ye." The Greek will admit of either construction, and expositors have differed as to the correct interpretation. Rosenmuller, Doddridge and others regard it as imperative, and as designed to enforce on them the duty of letting their light shine. Erasmus says it is doubtful whether it is to be understood in the indicative or imperative. Grotius, Koppe, Bloomfield, and others regard it as in the indicative, and as teaching that they did in fact shine as lights in the world. The sense can be determined only by the connection; and in regard to it different readers will form different opinions. It seems to me that the connection seems rather to require the sense of duty or obligation to be understood. The apostle is enforcing on them the duty of being blameless and harmless; of holding forth the word of life; and it is in accordance with his design to remind them that they ought to be lights to those around them.

As lights in the world - The comparison of Christians with light, often occurs in the Scriptures; see at Matthew 5:14, note, 16, note. The image here is not improbably taken from light-houses on a seacoast. The image then is, that as those light-houses are placed on a dangerous coast to apprise vessels of their peril, and to save them from shipwreck, so the light of Christian piety shines on a dark world, and in the dangers of the voyage which we are making;

 What do you believe are some practical ways we can ensure we are not hiding our light in the midst of this world?


Blooming in Autumn - Listening




I wrestled with something today. It seemed the whole day was a wrestling match of emotions and effort to get things accomplished. Nothing flowed. I don't know why. I felt on edge. I am happily snuggled into my comfy warm bed now and I'm at peace. 
Thank you Jesus. 

An answer to one struggle was delivered, wrapped in love, as I honestly shared with a friend and then listened. Being a single woman in my 50's is humorous, emotional, fun, seriously challenging and always leads me to lean my head on my Father God's shoulder... to rest there and love on Him and receive His extravagant love for me. 

As I wrestled through my day, I found myself driving to the prayer trail at a nearby church. A measure of comfort came as leaves crunched under my feet as I walked and talked with the Lord and quietly listened. 

I listened for peace, in His voice.
I listened for direction, in His Words.
I listened to leaves rustling in the breeze.
I listened to my thoughts wrestling.
I listened to the sound of my breathing.
I listened for answers to my questions.
I listened, in faith. I will hear. 

Some flowers, like the Camellia above, bloom in Autumn. Their petals unfold when there's a chill in the air and Winter nips at our heels. May I, may you, still be able to blossom when there is a chill in the air and icy frost threatens.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sweetness and sorrow mingled

 Sweetness and sorrow mingled today as our family gathered and celebrated our Thanksgiving meal together. Individual family members drove south to my Mom and Dad's home in the rolling hills, pecan orchard countryside south of Griffin Georgia in Meansville. We all came from different corners of the Atlanta area, all arriving at various times. 

I arrived early and we had some time to sit on the back porch. My Mom and Dad's cat, Snow, didn't look well. I petted her sad looking coat of fur and noticed her erratic breathing and felt her bones more than her white fur. My heart felt heavy. Dad said she wasn't well. Last night, with great effort, she jumped into his lap and laid her head on his chest as though she was asking for help. Dad said he planned to take her to the vet after we had dinner. 

Snow became a valuable and very loved part of the family for so many years. Snow loved to hop up on the back of my Dad's chair and sleep there, like a white blanket, covering his shoulders. 




She also loved to sit outside on the porch railing and sun herself. Snow was a part of our family. 





A hen, rather than a turkey, filled our plates along with dressing, Pineapple Surprise, green beans cooked with bacon, sweet potato souffle, whipped potatoes and Mom's home made pecan pie, made from their pecan trees.We gathered around the table and we were thankful for the feast and for family.

My sister's husband prayed over the meal. He doesn't often attend church and I can't remember when I've heard him pray, however, someone asked him to pray over the meal. He prayed a real prayer and one thing he mentioned is that we don't all get together enough and would the Lord help us with that.  




One of my sons, Michael, my youngest, went with his grand dad to the vet to have them check out Snow. Her name actually is Snowflake. Mom said they named her that because of her white fur and because she was so small, like a tiny snow flake, when they picked her up from the Humane Society 14 years ago.  

The phone rang, and the news wasn't good. The vet said Snow's heart was failing. The decision was made to put her to sleep. Soon, Mom met Dad at the door and hugging, tears fell between them. A beloved pet was gone, a furry member of their family. Snow could be quite verbal at times with her funny meow. Now Snow is quiet... our tears fall in the letting go. 


A small grave was prepared and my oldest son, Josh, carved a simple gravestone out of cedar mixed with love, engraved simply with her name, Snow. 

I believe our heavenly Father gives us the gift of our pets to enrich our lives and let love flow through fur and soft ears and cats on our laps, and doggies who may bark, but who love extravagantly, licking us with love, because He loves us. 


So, today sweetness and sorrow mingled. God was with us and is with us in the sorrow and the letting go. God was with us in our realness and in our differences. We are family.  


I am thankful.


Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [curing their pains and their sorrows].

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful at End of Day


I’m thankful for our Abba Father
who loves us so intensely.
Thankful for family and friends
whose company is enjoyed so immensely.

Thankful for majestic mountains,
sparkling lakes and flowing streams.
Thankful for the years I’m countin',
reaching forward to fulfill my dreams.

Grateful for gifts and talents to share
like writing, music and photography.
I'm amazed at God's answers to prayer,
emotionally, physically and financially.

Grateful for a Savior who changes my heart
and helps me get up when I stumble.
Grateful Jesus says He’ll never leave me.
I’m weak, He's strong; He makes me humble.

Thankful all my needs are met in Him.
He promises to provide.
Thankful that He holds me in His love, 
forever, under His wings, I'll hide.

I am thankful to able to sit out on my porch in November, sipping coffee while reading "Streams in the Desert." 


I am thankful that the Creator of the Universe and galaxies, meteors, comets and stars knows me, loves me, speaks to me and keeps working in me, as imperfect as I am.....

I am thankful that the Lord speaks to me and that sometimes I hear and I listen so amazing things can happen. 


I am thankful for my bills being paid and a new job that I just started this week.  For God's supernatural provision.
I am thankful for family and friends, for hugs and smiles, for walks in lovely parks and jogs on wooded trails, crunching leaves as we run. 

Grateful for living in the USA and the freedom I have. I am thankful that I can freely go to church, without being persecuted. Thankful that I can go to the "cathedral of the lake" and enjoy the peace I find there...... (my favorite place to chill at Lake Lanier.) 



I am thankful that I have experienced love, in giving and receiving, in it's many forms and delights. I have known the love of Jesus, the love of a mother for her children and their love for me, the love of my Mom and Dad for me, the love of my sisters, the love of a friend, the love of a man, 
the love of life........




 I am thankful for lessons learned in dating relationships. For each man and what knowing them taught me about myself and who I am and who I want to be and how much I really desire to love, unselfishly. 

I am thankful for autumn leaves that glow, just before they die, then twist and twirl to form a vividly colored blanket on the ground.... 

For rivers and streams that sparkle and flow, mountains to climb and valleys to rest in. Thankful that Spring always buds after winter's snow and ice finally thaws.....

Thankful that hurts and wounds do heal....that forgiveness covers sins and mistakes we make....

I am thankful that when my heart hurts and needs release that God has given the gift of tears.... I am thankful for giggles and belly laughs and friends to share those moments with. 





I am thankful for sweet memories of moments, of days and of years that have shaped and molded me and 
made me who I am. 

I am thankful for the the moments that will turn into the future of who I will become. 

I am thankful that I learn from falling and skinning my knees and I learn by getting back up again and continuing to walk forward, though some days I am not sure which way to go...... but I do know I will always be lead by an unseen hand..........

I am thankful for brilliant sunrises that light up morning sky and sunsets that catch clouds on fire and bring a hush to the earth as it pulls the covers up on the day. 

Thankful for you....

Marie 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Though Autumn's Color's Fade


Though I watch Autumn colors fade,
I will hold their warmth, close in my memory
as winter's black and white is displayed.
Our Creator's expression is so praiseworthy
as every season holds it's own glory
and it's reason and special purpose 
under heaven, fulfilling God's unfolding story,
drawing us to Him, yet leaving us wordless
and unable to fully express our gratitude
for the indescribable beauty we experience,
 freedom because of Jesus and His gift of latitude
we savor and fully grasp our significance
only in Christ.

Copyright © 2011 Marie Nease  All Rights Reserved



Monday, November 21, 2011

Morning Elegance

He covers himself with light as with a garment. He stretches out the heavens like a curtain. He lays the beams of his rooms in the waters. He makes the clouds his chariot. He walks on the wings of the wind. 
  
Psalm 104:2-3 World English Bible


Winding my way from Highlands North Carolina, back to Lawrenceville Georgia, I found myself clothed in morning elegance. Our Creator is elegant. He is creative, beyond earthly creativity. He creates glorious mornings that cause us to pause.

I was driving toward the first day of my new position as a recruiter with a large company called Siemens. However, I had no choice but to stop. To pause and relish the moment. To revel in the beauty of the clouds blanketing the valley. To be in awe of clouds that our Creator was painting across the sky...
To breathe in the morning that God was creating just for me... 
Well, it felt like it was just for me...


Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory. Mark 13:26 New International Version (©1984)

God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars. Martin Luther

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. (or sunrise!)
Rabindranath Tagore


 By the way, my first day on the new job was successful and I return tomorrow to learn some more. Good night!