My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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Redemption from Perfection

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The other day, while slowly packing the last remnant of Christmas decorations, I found myself reflecting on  this past Christmas of 2013.  Pondering comes second nature to me, so as my thoughts drifted  into a bay of  comparing it with years gone by was familiar waters.  Asking  myself this rather weighty and significant question, “In the last year had  I witnessed any  areas of spiritual or personal growth ?”  Indeed, this past Christmas was a paradigm shift, driven robustly by agents of change, as they were ushering in hints of  transformation. Touching on deep recesses of my heart that need greater redemption, perfections  futile pursuit  being one of them.  To the outside observer these appear as gentle whispers of change, holding merely the slightest of nuances.  However, these  subtle shifts have become glorious music to my ears, a symphony composed of clanging  keys, as Christ eagerly longs to free me from  such cumbersome and binding shackles. A liberating sound available to all who request it… the prophet Isaiah wrote of  this very truth…

“He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound.” *

Liberty  shows up in the strangest places recalling His freshly acquired freedom, as I  surrendered laying on the altar the  “Perfect” family Christmas card photo.  Christmas 2007 heralds as the  epitome for this unveiled revelation.  Remembering that year  as I gathered  the reluctant  family for a  DYI  portrait session and recollecting how it played out. For starters, we accidentally positioned the  tripod smack dab under the bird feeder causing birds to swoop  wildly for seed,  while on the porch steps  the boys taunting each other mercilessly.  Even after the bird feeder was repositioned to accommodate the hungry birds, our photo ops were fleeting faster then bird seed. We were rapidly growing weary of saying cheese and  my  sneaking suspicion told me there might not be a “Perfect”  Christmas photo to send that year.  The small window to get a family  photo had closed, and the shades pulled down tight.  Fortunately, all hope was not lost, as  our computer savvy son Derek offered to Photoshop the picture.  Like magic he replaced a smile on his brother’s face, painted his dad’s white socks black, and made it all cohesive changing the color to  black and white.  This photo still holds a special place in my heart knowing all the  behind the scene truth to get it that way.

In 2013 grief knocked the stuffing out of perfectionism and  detailed planning clean out of me, so came the birth of the   impromptu  Family Christmas photo on Thanksgiving  day.  A new season without my mom and  recent family divisions,  fueled  a desire to  connect with my husband and children like never before.  It did it matter if we had color coordinating outfits, nor  a winning Kodak smile, kneeling in front of our 6 ft. Charlie Brown Christmas tree  we had each other.  Sharing a common ground of loss and our own imperfections, by the grace of God choosing to rejoice in the midst of it all.  The  camera capturing our real life, authentic and raw images never to see the stroke of Photoshop tweaking.  Somehow becoming  perfect in all it’s imperfections.

Yes, 2013 had brought growth and new found freedom, timeless truths  propelling me to even grander heights in the days ahead; excited deeper, more profound healing is headed my way . Now, that is truly something to smile about.

Thank you Father for your promised redemption from unhealthy perfection. Helping us to see ourselves as beautiful diamonds fully faceted by your love. Hearing you speak boldly of who we are in You… already perfect in your eyes!

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor.”
Anne Lamott

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:19

* Isaiah 61

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Treasures of the Snow

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Earlier this year my husband  and I were blessed by our dear friends the Saint’s proving their namesake by taking us to  play in the snow at Mt. Hood Timberline Lodge. Though this majestic mountain is only hour away from home, it only took us 26 years to get there to enjoy it!  It was a delightful day from start to finish and a stunning reminder that God pulled out all the stops on showcasing His creation of Mt. Hood….the wow factor was simply off the charts.
 
My heart was taken back to a time I had pondered Job’s question regarding snow… here are a few of my thoughts about it.
 “Have you entered into the treasures of the Snow?”    Job 38:22
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God’s word speaks of it,  His glorious handiwork declaring  its’ beauty and wonder.
Snowflakes form around a speck of dust  that get carried up into the atmosphere by the wind.  A water crystal develops  becoming  His  unique  one-of-a kind  creation, as so with His  children–no two exactly alike.  
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This peaceful, tranquil,  fresh-fallen snow  that  quietly covers the dirt and soiled earth.  Dazzling it in a brilliant blanket of purity and innocent gleam.  Making God’s secret place of the snow  a storehouse of His truths and a flurry of His promises. 

Psalms 51:7  says, “Cleanse me with the hyssop and I will be clean, wash me and I shall  (in reality) be whiter then snow.”

Isaiah 55:10-11  states  “For as rain and snow come down from heaven …. so God’s word does not come back void but accomplishes that which it was sent to do.”

So, before the winter is past and  and spring has sprung, let us wrap up our winter  lingering in His treasures. 17 days of winter wonder still to go,  I say  Lord … Let it Snow,  Let it Snow,  Let it Snow!