Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Comfort Food

"As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you." Isaiah 66:13

The youngest daughter of three and many years between my closest sister, great comfort came in times spent at Mother's side. The sweetest times enjoyed baking and licking remnants of chocolate bliss off beaters and spoons and squeezing the extra gooeyness from the Hershey wrappers onto my tongue.

Maybe that's why brownies are one of my favorite comfort foods? Each time I slit open a package of mix and fold in eggs, oil, and water the chocolate perfume  stirs up memories. Sitting on the counter or propped on knees at the formica table helping Mother with dessert and feeling safe, loved.

It's been decades since those counter-top perches illicited brownie comforts. Today, when comfort is needed--far beyond a gulp of chocolate, a hug or kiss a loved one can offer--where do we turn? Who can fill that Mother-comfort space, offer the bliss of safety and love all at once? Our Father. Not the father who offers his name but the one who created our souls. Who better to comfort and speak to our hearts than the One who formed us in our mother's womb?

On this Thankful Thursday, I am so ever grateful for:
  • Being fearfully and wonderfully made in God's image
  • Comforting words from my heavenly Father
  • Enjoying Mother, still
  • Licking batter from the bowl
  • Smelling brownies baking 
What are you grateful for today? Won't you please share with us and help in offering up a pleasing fragrance of praise to God's throne today?

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14

"Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones." Isaiah 49:13

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

His Gaze

"Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him..."
Mark 10:21a

His deep brown eyes twinkle when he smiles at me. It gets me every time. And he knows it. Those dark pools of soul-telling, wordless gazes run deep with emotion, devotion, and love. And I know it. It's our silent love language spoken for thirty years.

But when I'm mad or wrong, I avoid his gaze because it tells the truth--of who I am--of who we are, together. And sometimes, I just want to bubble in the stew of lies.

Jesus gazed love. When a rich young man asked Jesus what he could do to inherit eternal life, Jesus said give up everything you own, surrender it all, take up  your cross, and follow me (See Mark 10:17-25). But the rich young man was sad because he had much and didn't want to give it up. He wasn't sure following Jesus was worth risking everything.

But, before the rich young man turned away, Jesus caught his eye. Jesus looked at him and loved him. Jesus' gaze spoke the soul-telling, wordless truth of unconditional love to the man who's heart was too full of stuff. It was that convincing gaze that we see in our spouses, our children--the one that reassures they still love us even though we've wounded them, disappointed them.

Do you know that gaze? Do you know that unconditional love? Can you look into the eyes of Jesus and surrender everything to know him? Or, do you avoid his gaze to hang onto everything?

Oswald Chambers shares these words concerning Jesus' gaze: "This look of Jesus transforms, penetrates, and captivates. Where you are soft and pliable with God is where the Lord has looked at you. [Where] you are hard and vindictive, insistent on having your own way, and always certain that the other person is more likely to be in the wrong than you are, then there are whole areas of your nature that have never been transformed by His gaze."

Lord, look upon me with your loving gaze. Captivate me, show me those places in my life that need to be fully surrendered to you. Transform me into you likeness so that there may be nothing between us.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Slippers on Worn Feet

"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." Deuteronomy 33:27a

She sits lonely in her wheelchair by the window--broken leg propped up, whole leg dangling down--the one who shares her birthday with my granddaughter.

Lungs inhale the lifeless scent of age, deep. Lips force a smile for the sake of one whose robust life once brimmed over full of joy. Her eyes meet familiar faces and she brightens--invites us to sit down and share life.

Life? Life when death is so close? How do you share life with one who's nearly done?

She rambles on cheerfully about doctor reports, kind nurses, and thirty-year-old (sometimes older) memories. I listen and place clean clothes in drawers--throw out the worn stockings, shoes, and slippers.

"How about some new slippers?" I interrupt.

"Oh yeah!" She exclaims. "That would be nice."

Like Cinderella, she places her worn foot of her whole leg in the palm of my hand and I gently replace the old with the new and do the same on her broken leg. And I can't help but wonder how many miles those worn feet have walked--how much life she's lived. And I think, her days are short.

She speaks more of death, now--still grieves her husband, fourteen years passed--feeling robbed, yet yearning for heaven herself.

Share life? She has shared life with me as long as I've lived--extending arms of support at birthdays, holidays, picnics, vacations, babysat my children every week for free. The least I can do is share her last days, however long, by lavishing her with simple pleasures--like new slippers on worn feet.

"The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help." 1 Timothy 5:5

Monday, September 26, 2011

Indian Summer

"Blessed be the name of God, forever and ever. He knows all, does all: He changes the seasons and guides history..."Daniel 2:19

Cool air rushes in with thoughts of early autumn. We dig deep into closets and drawers for sweatshirts and socks with smiles of relief from hot, humid August--anticipating all good things of fall.

Calendars now read Autumn but, sweat like hot, humid August meets our skin instead. It doesn't feel like fall, yet hope of autumn's sweetness abounds: ripened apples, rounded pumpkins, flowing wine presses, leaves spotted red and gold. Truth held by earth's bounty indeed testifies to this new season, yet we linger in season past, almost disappointed.

Promise speaks forth from heaven's Hope to our souls. God sings songs over us forgiven sons and daughters. He delights in promised vine-fruit from our life-branches grafted in Hope. We linger in summer--fruit grows, turns toward the Son, ripens--we mature. Truth held by soul's bounty proclaims a new season but, it doesn't feel like harvest. Our fruit- bearing vines seem insignificant. But, the calendar reads autumn.

Like New England Inidian Summers that toy with our senses--God's spoken promises may not seem to be in season. The calendar says it's harvest time but, we don't see any fruit. We start to doubt God's call on our lives to harvest anything and step out into the heat--disillusioned and disappointed.

But God promises in Isaiah 55:11 (NIV) "so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

Linger in hope of the present season--God's word spoken into you as active and now. That's faith. Walk in obedience to the words God sings over you in hope and promise with faith that He will bring the harvest. That's joy.

Do you feel disappointed in the change of season? Do you feel like you're lingering in Indian Summer when it should be fall? Are there God-promises that you feel will never be harvested in season?

Dear Lord,
May we live in the season of "now" and walk forward in obedience to your words spoken over us, tonight. Grow our faith as we place our hope in you that though it doesn't feel like a new season, we continue to sow seed knowing you will bring the harvest--not by our works--but by your grace.

* Topic adapted from sermon "Spiritual DNA" by Bob Hazlett, Wellspring Church 9/24/11

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Small Beginnings

"Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings?" Zechariah 4:8

The first page was colored black--void of light, color, or shape--in the story of creation. That's how it looked before all life began. Then God imagined more and the Word spoke light into the darkness. A small, yet significant start to something bigger, more significant. And it was good.

God imagined more, added more, spoke more life into vast emptiness. Filling voids with sky, water, earth, plants, birds, fish, animals, man, woman--us. All was created--spoken into life by the Word--by Him and for Him. All began small.

In small beginnings lie hope, vision, promise for more God glory. Small lends itself to training, growth, maturity, and greater kingdom purposes. This lesson of small is where I'm living. Words spoken to me repeatedly since July, "Do not disdain the small." For with the smallest of seeds God's hands cultivate and multiply them into a great harvest, pressed down and overflowing.

When we hold a God-sized dream, we must be willing to accept the small beginnings and allow the small to birth the greater. Accept all opportunities as training and be assured that God will be faithful to complete the good work he began in you.

On this Thankful Thursday I am grateful for all small beginnings:
In your quest to take small steps of obedience toward your God-given, God-sized dreams can you see the small beginnings He's placed before you? Would you share them with us?

On this Thankful Thursday won't you share what you are grateful for? We'd love to celebrate with you.

"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

Lord, grant us patience and gratefulness in all our small beginnings. Through these times may we count them as blessings to hone our skills, spiritually mature and always bring glory to your name. Give us faith to believe that you will use all these experiences to complete the good work you began in us. Amen.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Climbing Up

 "God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times."
Lamentations 3:25 (The Message)

Before dusk creeps into trees and settles onto cooling earth he climbs up high. Poised above the ground in sturdy wood his eyes survey the land--perspective broadens--heart hopes.

In silence, all-surrendered, mending heart feeds on heaven's bread and lifts a prayer. Forgive my unbelieving, my small faith. Thank-you for this quiet beauty--your creation. And he waits.

God's grace abounds--gathers all around--His great bounty spread on bedded ground. A sacrifice of life to death, God's provision resurrects the fallen faith.

When our faith falters, sinks into the darkest depths how do we climb back up?

  • Identify our Enemy. Ephesians 6:12 says, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
  • Clothe ourselves for battle. James 4:7b says, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. But how do we do that? Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:10-19 to put on:
    • the Belt of Truth (the sincerityor integrity of our faith that holds all the other armor together; rid ourselves of anything that would trip up our faith).
    • the Breastplate of Righteousness (total obedience to the will of God; not out of duty but in loving response to Christ).
    • the Feet of Readiness that come from the gospel of peace (awareness of the happiness promised in the message of salvation. This alone should make our feet tireless and ready to run over any terrain).
    • the Shield of Faith (protect your entire body by shielding it with rememberances of God's provisions in the past and relying on that for your future).
    • the Helmet of Salvation (the present hope that salvation is already ours through Christ. This helmet identifies us as children of God, now).
    • the Sword of the Spirit (the active words of God prompted in our hearts and minds through the work of the Holy Spirit to give an answer in battle against the enemy).
Lord, when our hearts are troubled, our faith small and we sink into a deep, dark pit--come. Remind us of your great faithfulness and stretch out your hand into our despair and clothe us with your grace from head to foot. Help us grab hold of your promises and weild the sword of your Spirit and climb back up.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Standing in the Gap

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick,but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life."  (Proverbs 13:12 NLT)

Beneath his brave mask bittersweet emotions welled-up and brimmed over when he surrendered his dream. Anger and inadequacey shouted at his heart convincingly on the long ride home in the dark.  Cloaked with disappointment, his feet dipped in despair, he fell into bed defeated with no dream.

All words fell empty to the floor. Nothing offered seemed enough to pull off the cloak or wash the feet. Silence fell between the covers and he turned away--away from me, away from dreams, away from God--but I drew close. My small arms over his broad shoulders wrapped love around and held him tight.

There I laid between hope and despair waging war against the Dream Stealer. I prayed Jesus strength in weakness--Spirit truth in lies--God life in dream's death.

Days later God's breath resurrects hope in every treetop where he sits. He marvels at nature--how it lives and moves and breathes to the sound of God's voice. He gathers courage to pray for a new dream. God's dream. Not his.  

What do we do when we find ourselves standing in the gap between hope and despair for our loved ones? What are the best things we might offer them?
  • Listening. When wounds are fresh, the best thing we can do is listen. Allow them to process their raw emotions without applying a bandaid to their wounds.
  • Unconditional love. Reassure them that nothing they say in their anger or disappointment will change your love for them. We all say things we don't mean when we've been wounded or disappointed. Try to see beyond their words to the core of their heart.
  • Truth. Our enemy, Satan is the author of all lies and he's pretty convincing when we're emotionally low. Recognize the lies and gently, lovingly counter the lies by speaking God's words of truth.
  • Encouragement. Continually offer words of encouragement that feed their self worth, their God dreams, and keep their hearts soft and pliable in God's hands.
  • Prayer. Prayer is our greatest weapon forged against spiritual warfare. The stealing of God-dreams is one of Satan's schemes. Prayer is the last thing our loved one wants to do in the midst of the battle. Stand between hope and despair through prayer. Pray aloud so the Enemy can hear you. The Bible says, resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13

Monday, September 19, 2011

Has God Gone Deaf?

His dream died at twilight in the early autumn forest. The gift he knew was meant for him--the blessing he thought God promised him--bled out at the hands of another. His heart betrayed, not by his friend, but by his God. He wept hard tears for all the years of promise, expectation and now deep loss. Between sobs he screamed, Why do you give me stones and snakes when I ask for bread and fish, God? Why did you give my gift to another? Do you love me? Do you ever love me?

And he heard nothing--like God gone deaf.

What do we do when we feel betrayed by God? Where do we go when God is silent to our desperate call? How do we keep the faith? Can we be reassured that God still loves us? And what about the dream? Was it just our imagination or was it real?

On the night Jesus was betrayed, the Bible tells us, he broke bread and gave thanks.
(1 Corinthians 11:23-24a NIV). In the midst of his betrayal Jesus stopped to give thanks for his daily bread. 

Then, "He broke it and said, 'This is my body, which is for you;'” (1 Corinthians 11:24b NIV). Jesus' willingly accepted his brokenness so that we might know wholeness through it.

And he ended, "' this in remembrance of me.'" We ought always remember Jesus' suffering for us--remember His broken body and His blood poured out for us.

The next day he spread out his arms--layed down his life, his ministry, his hope--on the cross. And before he died he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 NIV). In His betrayal, Jesus cried out to God.

In the two days that followed, God fell silent but He was not absent. He was working out His promised redemption through the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. From what was dead, God brought new life. Not the same life with breath but a new life with all of God's hope, promise and eternity set within Jesus. Through his death Jesus offers us  new life. By his resurrection we receive the gift of eternal life.

Sometimes it is so difficult to think beyond our reality of brokenness and betrayal. God seems distant, unloving, even silent. In these times He calls us to offer up a sacrifice of praise--a difficult word of thanksgiving. He asks us to let our dreams die at His feet and trust His silence so that He might offer us greater gifts with eternal significance.

"For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name." (Hebrews 12:14-15 NIV).

Lord, it is never easy to watch our dreams die or tarry. We sometimes feel betrayed by you, wondering when you will offer us bread and fish instead of stones and snakes. In our crying out Lord, help us to willingly lay our dreams at your feet and offer our hard, sacrifice of praise. In your silence, some how reassure us that you will resurrect our dreams to new life with lasting worth. Amen.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday-Blooming Surprises

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Ephesians 5:25

Wearing stuck-on sweat from a long day at the fair I barely stopped to kiss my husband on my way to the shower. Single minded thoughts of clean drove me there directly and I lingered under refreshing man-made rain. Then hunger voiced its presence.

Toweled dry I scurried to the darkened bedroom--sunset dark causing me to scramble blind for the light. Switched-on glow awakened me to red velvet blossoms scrolled open and set out upon my vanity--blooming surprises that caused an audible squeal. And I hurried to the Giver.

Down the stairs and around the corner, the Giver--my husband, set dinner on the table and held my chair. A dozen more blooms, gathered in love, were set before me.

My heart quickened as my husband served me and poured the wine.

On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for:
  • A godly, serving husband
  • Blooming surprises
  • Candle lit dinners
Your turn. Won't you share with us God's surprises toward you today? What are you thankful for? How as God lavished his love on you today?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Skipping Stones

“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart...”
Romans 10:8

Just before sunset on Long Island Sound we trekked a short distance to the family's small, private beach. In bare feet and sweatshirt, I scoured the water's edge, filling a small bucket with unique seashells and hermit crabs while my sister and brother-in-law sought smooth, flat stones for skipping.

Almost like a baseball pitcher on his mound, my brother-in-law turned the flat stone in his hand until the grip felt right. Then, with a low pull he swung his arm back and forward, releasing the weathered stone with precision across the Sound. Barely audible against the gentle surf, we watched each stone carefully counting the skips aloud, "One, two, three, four."

And then we waited for the rings to spread and dissipate from the epicenter of each skip.

Our lives can be a lot like those skipping stones-rough, battered, weathered- until we're worn smooth by the Master's hands. Life's storms used by Him to launch an epicenter of ministry from our center that multiplies like the stone's ripples over the surface of the water. 

But, God must be our center or we will sink. So, how do we know when we've made God our center? I love the words of Frances J. Roberts on this in Come Away My Beloved:

"For when [God] is more precious than all else; when [God] has become more real to you than all else; and when you love [God] more than you love any other...For [God] does NOT intend to strip you of earthly ties and joys, but [He] longs to have you give [Him] the center of  your life that [His] blessing may flow out to the circumference."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fairs, Friends, and Fans

"We should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what's given and delighting in the work. It's God's gift!" Ecclesiastes 5:19

The town green resting lazy from summer awakens with sights, sounds, and satiable cuisines of autumn harvest. Colored tents of blue and white dot narrow avenues as vendors lay their wares before the public-the work of their hands-for sale.

And we were there. Three heart-friends who bend and mold and turnabout words in our minds and on paper until they're ready for print. Vulnerable to the world, our birthed words laid out amidst color and artist's toil. Who would buy? Who would come and honor our toil?

These would. These glorious, smiling, playful children. This loving mother and aunt.

They were one of many gifts given us wordsmiths this weekend. Our hearts delighted as we watched these children giggle and point, ooo and ahhh over our playful words and our illustrators' painted pictures.

We snapped a few photos, marking this moment that reminds us our words are a gift of joy or encouragement and this is why we write. To watch this gift received is a blessing beyond description from God, who authored our words.

To learn more about these children's authors,their books and their events please click on their names: Doreen Tango-Hampton (I Like Gum), Susan Jones (Until We Meet Again), or Dawn Aldrich (Auntie's House)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday: God in the Mess

"I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." Jeremiah 31:25

Rain falls hard for days. Cold, dark, dreariness foretells approaching autumn. We take shelter under slated roof, sit beneath warm glows of artificial sun, find warmth in love-sewn quilts and wait.

Sickness falls hard for days. Chills shiver, hot fever, fatigue overwhelms him. Under shelter of our slated roof, beneath warm glows and love-sewn quilts he sleeps. Family, friends and strangers pray and wait.

More hard news comes. Weariness floods and hope tarries. God reassures, "Rest in my faithfulness to provide, my sovreignty to know what's best. Trust me absolutely and wait."

Waiting is hard for impatient me. Thankfulness comes hard when loose ends are left untied and scattered across the floor. I like life neat, tidy, all tied up-not messy and undone.

But, I look around today--it's Thankful Thursday--and I see God: 
  • Floods rise all around, sparing our county. Thank you, Lord.
  • Sunlight pierces darkness, warming earth. Thank you, Lord.
  • Prayers rise, fever cools, strength forthcoming. Thank you, Lord.
  • Love-sewn quilts washed, hung to dry in sun-soaked warmth. Thank you, Lord.
  • Unexpected bills. God is Jehovah Jirah--my provider. Thank you, Lord.
  • Saintly woman passes, meets Jesus face-to-face. Thank you Lord.
How's your week been? Will you share your Thankful Thursday blessings with us? Where did you see God today?

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What God Sees

"I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness..." Isaiah 61: 10

In one corner of my bedroom sits an antique vanity with inlaid wood designs and a larger-than-life mirror framed in scroll. It once stood in my sister's teenage room where I played dress-up with her clothes and painted my face with her cosmetics. Whatever I imagined-that's what stared back at me-a bride, a teacher, a mother, a rock star (admit sang into the end of plastic hairbrushes, too). There were endless possibilities.

But as I grew, playing dress-up turned into real-life decisions and roles. My choices mattered and I made mistakes. Some days the reflections in the mirror looked nothing like the images of my stunted grown-up self of years ago. 

Yes, I was a bride but not every day of marriage was beautiful and happy. Yes, I was a mother, but I didn't always nurture with love. Yes, I was a teacher in many different ways to all types of students but what they learned wasn't always my best. (No, I was never a rock star but on rare occasions, I still sang into the ends of plastic hair brushes).

My image was marred and frayed and disappointing so I avoided my reflection. Have you ever done that? Glanced at your reflection but avoided really looking? And when I avoided me, I ran away from God-the creator of my real self. Because, if I disappointed me then for sure, I disappointed him.

But, then I learned God already sees me perfect, despite my humanity-my mistakes. He sees me whole and righteous and perfect-as he created me. Because I said yes to Jesus, I am accepted as holy before God, the creator of me. And so are you if you say yes to Jesus. If you say yes, I believe you Jesus, to be the Son of God, broken for me- then God sees you as you were meant to be. 

The reflection in our life-sized mirrors are not always beautiful, but standing before our God, he sees us in garments of salvation, arrayed in robes of righteousness like a bride. 

"...For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." Isaiah 61:10b

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Collective Prayers

 "Pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16

It's been a long weekend of laying down plans with family as my husband's temperature rose to abnormal heights. At first we ignored the numbers thinking he'd shake whatever ailed him in a day or two. But last night, he burned hot and the digital thermometer beeped an alarming 104.7 marking day four.

My lonely prayers seemed to hit a wall so I called out into cyberspace, "We are here! We are here!" like a wee little Who sitting on a dust speck in Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who. And you heard my cry. Prayers offered up by friends and strangers surrounded us and we witnessed God's invisible handiwork. In a few short hours the numbers fell back to 99.7 and we drifted off to sleep.

The battle isn't over yet, as his fever climbed again today, day five, but we've been reassured it's only a pesky virus. So, I say thank you all for your love, concern and collective prayers that brought such a dramatic change in my husband yesturday. As my husband, Peter, comes to mind will you please call upon the One who is able to move this mountain of disease?

But, most importantly, let us share one another's burdens. If you need prayer for healing or any other burden, please feel free to call out, "I am here! I am here!" and we'll pray for you. If you feel so led, please share your prayer request in the comments below(anonymously or not) or you may send me a confidential, private message through my Facebook page Dawn Aldrich ~ Author. It would be an honor to pray with you.

"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
Galatians 6:2

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign." Revelation 11:17

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Hands & Feet

"And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else." Acts 17:25

We are hands borrowed at baby's birth. Hands holding, cradling, caressing, cleansing, reaching, feeding, dressing, loving. Hands seldom idle until toddler voice proclaims I can do it myself!

We are feet borrowed for a time. Feet pacing, rocking, tip-toeing, walking, running, jumping, load-bearing, guiding. Feet in motion, hardly slowing until baby's wobbles balance, firm feet take first steps. Then, run!

Hands and feet race through life's stages barely stopping to take notice - until they're grown, gone, on their own. We rest one moment. What to do? Where to go? It's now our time to follow God dreams before the day our paces slow.

Soon we reach with hands all crooked - shuffle feet all slow, unbalanced. Now we, the borrowers must be. Hands of babies we once cradled now are holding, reaching, loving - us. Their feet all grown now are steady, leading, guiding, lifting - us.

Jesus' hands held feet - served and washed.

Jesus' hands open, feet pointed - took nails, bled salvation for us.

On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for:

1. Jesus' nail-scarred hands and feet that bled salvation
2. The feel of grandchildrens' hands in mine
3. Baby's first steps
4. Mom's hands that still sew family quilts
5. Dad's feet that led me to forgiveness