Sunday Sheep Ponderings – October 30,2016

Well, it’s actually Saturday night as I write this…it’s been a hard day. We lost our sweet Munson today and my heart is all torn up. So I’m pondering tonight on heartache.
My oldest child, Christian, got Munsy Man while he was in college but lived in our home. Munson was the reason I got the name “Grammy” 5 years ago. Munson adored my Christian and my Christian adored Munse. When Christian and Bry got married, Munson left our home and lived with his mommy and daddy BUT he came to “Grammy Daycare” most days of the week. He was my “little man”, “the president” and “the perfect one”. Anyone who ever had the joy of knowing Munsy Man would tell you, he had a way of looking deep into your soul and his gentle eyes would say back to you, “it’s all going to be ok”.
Tears have been flowing for hours and it’s hard to type this because they just keep pouring out. I weep because I already miss him so but my heart aches for my son. To experience loss is hard but to watch your child hurt, it rips your heart out. No wonder Jesus taught us to see God as a loving Father! He knew that the depth of parent/child love was as close, as we could understand, to the depth of love He has for us. How tender He is. 
Through all the tears and sweet memories that have been flooding my heart tonight, I pondered. I pondered on my Daddy God. I pondered on His deep and perfect love for His children. I pondered on a Parent who watches his children’s hearts break. I pondered on a creator that sees His precious creation die. I pondered on the one who gave us the capacity to love. I pondered on the ONE who restores all things. 
As I pondered, as I wept, as I watched my child’s heart break … I had many questions that there were no good answers to. As I held my adult son in my arms … I felt helpless BUT one thing I never felt … was alone. I knew that right there in me and right there in Christian was the holder of our tears, the healer of our hearts, the comforter. The ONE who could hold my child even better than me. 
You see, while I used to believe that He would come to us in our time of need, I now believe He is ALWAYS there. While I used to believe that He watched from above, I now believe there is NO DISTANCE between us. While I used to believe he would hear our prayers and send comfort, I now believe He inhabits our prayers and saturates us with His comfort from within. While I used to believe He looked down from heaven and was sad when we hurt, I now believe He is within us and feels our hurt with us. 
While today was full of pain and sorrow…it was also full of Him. While today was full of questions…there is an answer I know to be true…God is love. 
Just know this …no matter if you are hurting or soaring through this period of time called life…God is not distant and faraway, He is as close as your very breath. Some seasons of life appear sweeter and some harder but you have a promise from the One who created you…a promise to NEVER leave you or turn His back on you. You can laugh, you can dance, you can cry so much that you can’t breathe but you are held and loved in all seasons. 
When we love deeply, we grieve deeply. We are grieving deeply … at the loss of a friend, a gentle soul and a piece of our hearts. Munson, you were so very special and you loved us so well. We will miss you “little man” but we know that since God holds ALL of creation within Himself, you are just on the other side and we will join you someday. Thank you Sweet Boy for the extra kisses you gave me this week…I think you somehow knew I would need them. Thank you “little man”.

Sunday Sheep Ponderings – October 23,2016

Pondering today on “IN Him” and “Him IN us”. 
The scriptures say that “IN HIM,

we live, 

and move, 

and have our being”. 
The scriptures also tell us that Jesus revealed a great mystery to us. That mystery is that “Christ is IN US”. 
Hmmm…so we are IN HIM and He is IN US. We may say these things flippantly but do we really comprehend them?
One day last year, I was pondering on this very thing and I saw a picture in my mind’s eye. I’ll try to explain it with words so, if you can, draw what I describe so you can SEE it too. 
I saw a large circle that was named “God”. Inside that circle was EVERYTHING that has ever been created. Within the large circle was a small circle named “time”. Now the walls of “time” were not solid walls but clear walls. Some of creation was within the walls of “time” but most was not. 
This is what I heard or understood from the picture. YOU were IN HIM from the beginning. You have NEVER been apart or outside of God. It is IMPOSSIBLE! At some point in eternity, you were placed into a realm called “time” BUT He is also in the realm of time with you! He holds “time” within Himself. As you journey through this life, or this season of eternity that you are held within “time”, you are still IN HIM but He is also IN time and IN you! 
I still don’t fully comprehend what I saw but this is my revelation as of today. YOU came from Him. YOU have ALWAYS been IN HIM. YOU were chosen to inhabit time at this point in eternity. Time may seem to limit you but it actually has a purpose. He is IN YOU for this journey called “life” or “time” and you are ALWAYS IN HIM. The walls of time are not solid and impenetrable, they are clear and full of opportunity to see His purpose and will within “time”. The light of His countenance is always breaking through the walls and barriers of humanness. He is not only IN all of creation that surrounds you but He is IN YOU as you experience this season of “life” or this season of your “journey”. You can NOT exist outside of Him! You can NOT exist without His life IN you. You can “feel” separated because you think the wall is solid. You can “feel” like He is not with you because you don’t understand that He NEVER leaves you, He is IN you. But the GOOD NEWS my friend is that “feelings” are temporary and TRUTH is eternal, “feelings” are subject to change and TRUTH never changes. 
I hope this was not too confusing and that my words were adequate to describe the beautiful vision of His love that I saw. I hope that you take comfort and great joy from knowing that YOU ARE IN HIM AND HE US IN YOU! And that NOTHING can change that TRUTH. Take off the dark glasses and SEE through the clear walls of “time”! SEE that He IS love and feel the warmth of that love shining through the walls of time and on you! 
And when this season of eternity called “time” is concluded for you, you simply continue to be IN HIM for all eternity. You came from Him, you are In Him, you are forever His. YOU are His treasure of greatest value! 
Happy Sunday my friends! 

Sunday Sheep Ponderings – October 9,2016

Pondering today on “Life BEFORE death”. In the denomination I was raised in, most of the focus was on getting people “saved” from a place called “hell”. Most messages from the pulpit focused on “life AFTER death”. I have done much pondering on all of that but today I’m pondering on life in the here and now. 
“Life” was what Jesus was all about! Life in the now was His priority! Jesus said things like, “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly”.  
So are you experiencing life abundantly? Or are you barely getting by? 
I remember a season of my life that was crazy! I had 5 kids, ages 7 and under, my hubby traveled most of the time, our finances were stretched as thin as they could get, and I was a perfectionist. The perfect storm. I was very active in our church, led a Bible study, was part of a scripture memory group and strictly listened to Christian music and read Christian books. You would think with all that “Christian” stuff I was feeding on, that my life would have been abundant, peaceful, joyful and compassionate but it was far from it. My life was a constant treadmill of striving. Striving to balance all the demands of home while striving to be a good “Christian”. Truth be told, I was dying inside. 
Fast forward to today. I still have 5 kids and they are much older and less physically demanding. But for anyone who has older children, you know the challenges can be much harder and with much greater consequences. We still have financial strain with several kids in college and private school. But instead of slowly dying inside, I am FULLY ALIVE, filled with peace, joy, love for myself and everyone around me. 
How did I get to this abundant life? 
I finally let go of striving. I let go of trying to “be” a good Christian. I let go of judging myself and everyone around me. I let go of a god that others had created in their image. I let go of seeing scripture through denominational and religious lenses. (Anyone singing “let it go” in their head yet?)
I let God speak to my heart directly. I listened as He poured out UNCONDITIONAL LOVE on me. I melted into His arms of ACCEPTANCE. I let HIM teach me. I listened, pondered and I came alive! I woke up and realized a bunch of the religious crap I had been clinging to was suffocating me. I let God love me. His love has overtaken death and brought life…just like He said. 
So my hope for you, my friends, is that “you may have LIFE and have it abundantly!” If the god you are clinging to is not bringing abundant life, maybe, just maybe, you need to let go of that god. Happy Sunday!