The Sound of Silence

16 06 2014

 

Rolling over, I glance at the long slender hands on my favorite vintage looking clock, as the sound of my sigh escapes even though I quickly shove my face very deeply into my pillow. Without question, last night’s rest did not produce the desired benefits I was hoping to cash in for today’s requirements. Keenly aware that lack of sleep typically results in frustration, confusion and a large helping of tears for me, I contemplate forging through the contents of my closet so I can make a hidden nest, far in the back, where I will remain undisturbed and totally quiet for the day.

  Sluggish, my heart desires to hide from the probable eruptions of the day in, SILENCE.

  Total… silence. 

 

Just me and my closet protected tired heart. 

 

Psalms 19:1-4a. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

 

If I let the words of my heart be my only voice today, how far will it go out?

 

What will it say?  

  

Today in my desire for silence, may my weary heart’s voice “declare the glory of God”.

 

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Running Vision

12 06 2014

Running in the gym this morning, slogging my feet forcefully, wishing just a tiny bit that I could be laying on the cold floor in between my treadmill and the treadmill next to me (which had a women on it who knew how to float on air) instead, a song began to play thru my earphones.

“Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light
Be Thou my wisdom and Thou my true word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one
High King of Heaven my victory won
May I reach heaven’s joys, oh, bright heaven’s sun
Heart of my own heart whatever befall
Still be my vision, oh Ruler of all
Thou and Thou only first in my heart
High King of Heaven, my treasure Thou art.”

Ok so hymns are not really the tempo for running, I agree. Yet, the effect these words had on my soul caused me to run without noticing the effort needed to do it.
Running this race of Life is often difficult, but without vision it is almost completely impossible. Without seeing ahead on the path it can be reckless, haphazard and painful.
Over the years of being a part of Resources for the Blind I have learned of so many different causes for blindness and vision loss. Most commonly cataracts, glaucoma, vitamin A deficiency, blindness resulting from improper care of the eyes in premature birth, and the list goes on. One particular visual impairment that comes to mind is Macular degeneration. Macular degeneration can cause spots in the vision, often causing those who have it to rely heavily on their peripheral vision. In many cases most everyday activities are still easily accomplished, but particular activities such as reading can be much more difficult.

As I am unknowingly speeding up on the treadmill I am overcome with the truth of my hearts macular degeneration. So many areas I simply don’t see. So many pieces of what I see are missing. Too often I am relying on my peripheral and guessing.

Desperate to see more, my heart cries,
“Lord be my vision, oh Lord of my heart”.





McGhee Musings…September 12th, 2012

12 09 2012

Today I feel much like what I envision a peacock run thru the wash would feel like, green and feathers flying everywhere. As I do my usual transferring of stuff to their rooms of origin…. grabbing the socks on the floor, the dominoes stuffed between the couch cushions, the… oh my goodness how did that get there? All with a glass of ginger ale close by to keep the crouching greenish nausea at bay.  Sitting here now feeling pathetic and peeked I am glaringly aware of my physical weaknesses and also aided by the lingering gloom that seems to accompany sickness I am glaringly aware of my spiritual weaknesses.  

Truth be told one of my more annoying weaknesses is that I am a stuffer. If you were to take a stroll thru my house at almost any given time and open any of my closets or cupboards and didn’t get slapped in the face by something bursting forth as if the abyss of stuff was giving birth, you would stand amazed at my cupboard chaotic collecting confusion.  I like the general appearance that things are orderly and somewhat clean, however the patient persistence it takes to keep 33 cupboards, and 6 closets each equipped with solid doors that hide the mess quite quickly, clean, seams to evade me.  I often convince myself that it is much easier to “stuff” in the general vicinity as you race by and achieve an overall clean appearance in the house, than to take time and keep things organized.  My misconceptions are aided by the fact that twelve young hands make quick mess of my long work.  So I guess the lie I am dealing with is that it’s not worth my time.

Spiritually speaking it is no longer my life I’m living (Galatians 2:20), yet I find myself deciding for myself what is worth my time. It is so easy to start picking and choosing what I will or will not do today or tomorrow based on what is quickest, easiest and more comfortable. Walking thru the rooms of my life I selfishly want the overall clean appearance, but don’t want to deal with the difficult things that demand a lot more time, patience, and force me out of my usual comfort zone.  I live as if my life is my own.

More than anything in life though I want to please my heavenly Father and forever hear Him sing over me. Knowing I can be a hoarder, totally undisciplined, and incredibly selfish with my time, I dig my knees into the carpet… again. “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and inquire in His temple”. (Psalms 27:4) The truly awesome thing is that as I seek His face and begin letting go of time as if it is mine, His beauty is revealed and His incredible wisdom is being worked into every closet and cupboard of my life. I have a very long way to go with the cupboard cleaning both physically and spiritually. Some days like today when I am already feeling crummy the cleaning and giving my time to the Lord can be so much harder.  But as I rise from my knees to my feet my heart cries loudly, “here I am Lord, send me”.

 

 





McGhee Musing…June 22nd, 2012

22 06 2012

Love like a child.

 One week down, one week to go. We are entering the second week with Jon and Japheth being gone. Things here at home are going well, there is a little more mess than usual as Jon does so well at rallying the troops for a quick sweep of the house when I’m spent and exhausted from the day.  Over all though, kids are doing great and the night oil keeps burning.

Before Jon left he sat the kids down and had a conversation about honoring/obeying their mother and going the extra mile to help out while he was gone.  The kids have always had daily chores which include house cleaning  and after meal clean-up.  One thing I didn’t take into account before Jon and Japheth left was that Japheth is responsible for the evening meal cleanup, and he has Gideon to assist him. So the first evening meal after they left we finished eating and I realized Gideon’s job Forman was not there to “Forman” him.  I then asked if anyone else wanted to rise to the occasion and help him out. He quickly told me it was ok, he would do everything by himself.

All week I have been humbled and have learned so much watching Gideon do his dishes. Now remember he is only eight years old. It takes him typically 1 to 1 ½ hours to complete his job. He empties the clean dishwasher and puts the dishes away, loads it with the dirty dishes, clears the table, puts food away, clears the counters, and washes by hand all the pots and pans. He does this all happily, he does it wanting to help me and out of total love.  I have watched from a distance as he has worked well, faithfully and diligently. I have never once had to correct him, encourage him to do well or to finish the job completely. It melts my mother heart into a puddle of ooze.

John 14:23, 24a. “Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words…”  As I read it I noticed it doesn’t say “he who is selfish, disgruntled, disobedient, and obnoxiously terrible, does not keep my words”.   The lack of obedience just comes from a lack of love.  Jesus said everything He did He learned from the Father, so I would venture to say He learned to love the Father from receiving love from the Father, which ended in perfect obedience.

Looking at my obedience/joyful obedience stats, I would say my love for the Father is often tepid at best.  Learning from watching Gideon this week is humbling and inspiring. I want to understand my Fathers love more so that I begin falling MUCH deeper in love with Him and my result of increase in joyful obedience will just be the icing on the cake!!





McGhee Musings…June 5th, 2012

5 06 2012

Richer Resting.

Summer break is here! We have all been ready for the extra rest, the time to play, create, and spend with family and friends.  I love hearing the laughter ripple thru the house. The songs and dances created for impromptu living room talent shows.  The intricate lego structures and new inventions.  The hair styling that takes place in front of the bathroom mirrors. The restaurants that pop up in my kitchen when lunch is being made by little hands.  It is all a breath of fresh air.

Isn’t it amazing how when you know something good is coming you can hang on with a few more drops of strength. Daily waking up every early morning, blurrily stirring the pot of oatmeal or flipping a generation worth of fried eggs. Fixing zippers and collars while walking out the door for school. Frantically driving around town picking up and dropping off children and… stuff. It almost becomes mechanical as mentally I keep saying my morning mantra, “rest is just around the corner”.

Rest.  As a mother of six I have learned thru the school of hard knocks the importance of rest. Had I been Jewish I probably would have grasped this principle much earlier, as I so admire their commitment to honor God thru rest.  Life without rest is sort of like the beach without the ocean. 

As I have been kicking it back, enjoying our long awaited rest, Luke 21:19 caught my attention this morning. It says “by your endurance you will gain your lives.”  Or another version  “by your patience possess your souls.”  Looking at the context of the verse it is talking about enduring wars, great earthquakes, famines, pestilences, fearful sights, signs from heaven, persecution, betraying by family and friends, death, and hated for His name sake. And by my endurance thru these times I will “gain my life”, or “possess my soul”.

 Ok my early mornings and busy exhausting schedule seems to fall more into the category of “the cares of this life” than the pre-mentioned list of awfulness. So when I am hanging on with endurance for the last day of school or the coming vacation, how do I make my endurance or patience count? Or is this a totally different kind of endurance?

I know that the “cares of this life” can so easily choke out my true goal and the true rest I am longing for.  And yes, my list of hardships are laughable measured against this list of hardships, but I think both lists have the probability of snuffing out our endurance.  The problem I see with my list is that the snuffing is very deceptive or stealthy. I become so easily lulled into busyness, and quickly develop spiritual narcolepsy, as my own personal safety is not being threatened or continually forcing me to my knees.  

One way of maintaining my endurance regardless of the trauma/drama in my life is to remain obedient and on my knees. Not only ready to hear and move on what the Lord is asking of me moment by moment, but most importantly to follow it thru to completion. Never allowing busyness to cut off what I have been called to do.

True rest has its richest flavor when mixed with true endurance in the things the Lord has called us to do… completely.





McGhee Musings…May 22nd, 2012

22 05 2012

Strength Training…

Today I had the fun opportunity to strength train with a friend who knows all about muscles and exercising. She demonstrated very gracefully how and what I should do. Then stepping back she watched as I puffed, groaned, heaved, and buckled.  Ok, so some of my muscles have completely disappeared. They couldn’t take the stress of raising six kids? Or perhaps my amazing culinary skills were just too intimidating? None the less my once strong muscles have been replaced with utter flabbiness.

Flabbiness. It happens so sneakily.  I think I have heard it said, it takes 21 days to build a habit and 1 day to break it? That really doesn’t give me much hope. I mean really, anything that happens in this busy household for 21 straight days is purely a miracle. I need to either run away to a remote, secluded, and peaceful deserted island or find a different reality.  Or, I could be the flabbiest person around, in all areas of my life.

Looking at possible options for consistent flabbiness removal motivation there are the common ideas we have all tried. Guilt. It’s an excellent short term motivator, and also a very skillful peace and joy robber. No thanks.  Rewards. Again, a short term motivator and as soon as I get to “eat the cake” all motivations slides down my throat with that last delicious bite. No thanks to the short term. Yes, thanks to the cake.  Still not getting me where I need to be.

Ok so here is a thought I have been mulling over in my head today. My dad has always made/makes constant references to the riches he is building up in heaven.  And I am quite certain He has made bank cashing in everything in his today’s for his eternal tomorrow’s.  He has been a great example and teacher for me in my goal making and faith strength training. I have been truly inspired and challenged to live with my sights set on eternity, and try hard to let go of the things of this life.  Now don’t get me wrong, my grip on comfort and pleasure is at times a death grip, and other times more like an octopus tentacles than human hands.  But with His patience I’m taking baby steps.

So in looking at eternal investments I have always thought just about giving up material comforts. But this is my thought, Mathew 6:1-18 talks about giving, praying, and fasting in secret. If we do it in secret, then He will reward us.  If we wait and receive the reward from Him it’s put towards our eternal investments. If we decide to cash in now, it’s temporary and just for the moment. 

But why? Why do we have to die quietly to build up or eternal investments? I mean really, giving the things I like best can alone be terribly painful, praying and wrestling with truth in solitude can be torturous, and fasting miserably alone is the worst. Is there no instant benefit in doing it this way? Do we only have the “everlasting” to look forward to? Has He forgotten our today’s—our now’s?

What I am realizing is that the silence, dying quietly is actually “strength training”. He hasn’t forgotten how lonely, how miserable I feel denying myself today.  He is actually strengthening me not only for my forever after, but for also for my today’s if I do it as He has shown me.

So although my gym work out is revealing my lack of strength, and it’s frustrating how fickle I can be at times with sticking to a routine, I do want to die quietly.





McGhee Musings…May 14th & 15th, 2012

27 08 2008

MAY 15th, 2012

Getting and Giving Grapes…

The last seven or eight weeks I have been picking apart Proverbs 31:10-31 with some amazing and fun mommies! We have taken this portion verse by verse, chewed all the meat off the bones and sucked the marrow out.

Last night we focused on verse 16, and two questions were raised. The first , “are we working in profits or deficits?” It is peachy to think Mrs. P.31 has so much extra profits of time, energy, and money to be out planting and picking grapes.  How does this apply to me though? First off grapes won’t grow in South Carolina. Second my drive way just doesn’t have the space when our yacht sized, toaster shaped van is parked. That eliminates grape planting and picking for me.

As I think back over the last five years of our time here in South Carolina without a doubt we began our time here bankrupt, in the red and living in the previously mentioned “deficit”. So how does one move from the red to black? How do you make the turn to profits? Let me first clarify, I am in no shape or form smart enough to do this “profitable life” thing right, but I will also say my God is quite clever and so patient with my lack of cleverness that I have actually retained some amazing things from His example.

Stripping us to our foundation He forced us into His arms. He taught us how to be dependent on His strength. Nursing us to health, He began to reveal to us “…without love, I have become a clanging cymbal.”  And “…the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”  Realizing that we had completely emptied our emotional, physical and spiritual bank accounts in our desire to serve Him honorably, we had completely misunderstood His intentions in us using His bank account when paying the cost of His ministry. We discovered He is actually quite rich in love, wisdom, strength and so many other things. Our desires began to change as our hearts began to grasp a little better His unmerited favor, the depth of His love and the strength of His arms. Soon our accounts began to fill. And we are discovering our filling accounts are just merely an added blessing to His never ending generous account we now have better understanding of how to access.  

So how do I produce profits? Well I suppose from where I am sitting now… I don’t. But my God surely can!!  Learning to live off His profits is one of the most rewarding, terrifying, satisfying experiences in life thus far.

The second question that was raised from Proverb 31:16 was, “so, what do we do with our profits?”

For those like me whose hearts burn passionately for comfort, and selfish gain this pill is a little harder to swallow. The only answer I have thus far is “don’t lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” Very depressing to my flesh which desires to cling, hoard, and control this newly found increasing profits. So now that I have access to His profits, He now wants full access to mine. Not that mine ever started from anything I did or was able to do, yet entitlement sure appears quickly when it requires me taking my grimy hands off of it.  Now as we plant our grapes with our increased emotional, physical and spiritual profits, we continue to learn how to depend daily on His strength to give it all back to Him.

 

MAY 14th, 2012

The most wrote-esque writer…

Last night as I lay in bed, rigorously attempting to submerge myself into deep, renewing, and refreshing sleep the Lord began to put this blog on my heart.  As my mind began to fill with sheer, cold sweat terror at the thought of ME writing, I began to recount to the Lord the blue prints He had drafted before I was ushered into my mother’s womb.  Somehow in the late fogginess of evening He had obviously misplaced His original plans for my life, which by no stretch of the imagination ever included writing.  So now it is morning, and here I sit with my fingers on asdf jkl;.

Writing for me has always been more like squeezing individual grapes to make a pitcher of grape juice.  Grammar and punctuation never made it past the classroom door when I was in school. Commas always baffled me. They are sort of like that last clump of food that clings to the serving spoon. The sticky glob needs to be added to the plate (especially when it consists of cheesy goodness).  The first attempt to get it there is usually to make a quick snap motion with the spoon. This can send the thick sticky wad splat right where it should be, yet other times the unsightly wad takes flight and makes a mess of everything. Yes the glob must be added, but were it lands is only as good as the snap of the snapper. My snap is terrible.

So now here I am with sloppy comas, grotesque grammar, obnoxious exclamations points, wanting more to be obedient to the coma, grammar, exclamation Maker than the actual coma, grammar, exclamations themselves. Obedience is such an annoying thing when it makes no sense to my overly prideful enlightened brain. Can God really make a writer out of a non-writer?  Something out of nothing?  An apple out of a fish? Ok, so I actually believe He can. Yet in the midst of my short sighted fogginess, His truth reality is so hard to make out. So today I am scrapping my inability to snap comas well, for whatever His plans for me are. Bear with me as I stretch, strengthen, and at times sloppily force my flesh into obedience to my heavenly Father.

This flat lined, left to molt, blog has now been given a puff of word resuscitation. I am not certain where this will lead me…. or you, but may the Lord receive all the glory, and may my obedience be swift and complete in whatever His plans are for me.

On the flip side of this coin, Jon has written everything thus far on this well put together blog.  He is an amazing writer, editor, communicator, and coffee maker. He will for sure continue helping me out with some of my grotesque spelling and grammar errors and even some of the writing here and there.  So even though I will be stepping up to the writing plate, he will by no means be stepping down!!!