Posted in Chronic Ilness, Constant Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Finding Heaven Today, God's Father Heart, Imperfect Prose, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Monday Morning Meditations, Relationship vs Religion, Tell His Story, The Love of God

The Sacrament of Living

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV).

Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act … For such a man, living itself will be sacramental. As he performs his never so simple task, he will hear the voice of the seraphim saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts. The whole world is full of His glory.” (A.W.Tozer – The Pursuit of God).

The Housewife Syndrome

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The yardstick of this world is a mighty weapon leaving many, many casualties in its wake. A major disease that is a result of this monster, is the housewife syndrome.

This disease is as old as time and no cure has ever been found. No amount of psychology or common sense is totally able to heal this illness. It has ingrained its lies deep in the hearts of its victims.

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Most of us become skilled in the game of comparing very early in life and we soon measure our worth on the scales of performance. And this, at least, is one thing I used to be able to perform with excellence!

Ever since my boys were small, I used to be just a housewife, a wife and a mother. I considered myself to be quite low on the scale of importance and were plagued by feelings of guilt for burying my talents in the ground.

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Who will ever consider doing laundry, scrubbing floors, cooking meals, ironing, making beds, etc, etc, etc, to be a noble vocation! Definitely not me for I was quite snobbish.

Helping my husband to keep the pot boiling, I designed children’s clothing. I was an excellent seamstress and worked into the early morning hours sewing the most beautiful clothes. Yet, in my eyes this was still a common profession.

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Another cohort contributing mightily to this whole shebang is the world of religion. The religious elite is not innocent in this folly and most have their own set of performance rules and regulations to keep the wheels of the cart rolling!

I recall the time when the medical profession was unable to provide an explanation for my Fm/CFS. Well, my husband did not understand it either. In the beginning he was not supportive, believing this illness to be just a figment of my imagination.

This was a hard time for both of us for I was unable to fulfill my duties and he worked very hard. One day he even dragged me to the stove telling me to stop being such a hypochondriac and look after my family. I could only scream in pain and crawled back to bed.

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I needed help and support desperately and went to see my pastor and his wife. In a previous post I wrote about the catastrophic outcome of this meeting for their diagnosis was that my sorry state was actually the result of not serving the saints.

One day I realized that all my striving and comparing were just  as useless as chasing the wind and I heard a voice!! Softly and tenderly it wooed me like a fresh breeze of love to come to Him.

His cure for this foolishness was actually so incredibly simple, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NLT). When our Pappa God wrote this cure on the tablets of my heart, I was overjoyed.

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My eyes were opened and I could suddenly see why Brother Lawrence considered washing the dishes at the monastry, a holy experience (The Practice Of The Presence Of God).

I realized that if humble duties like eating or drinking, things we share with our lowly animal friends, could be done to honor and glorify our Lord, there is nothing, except sin, that is not important to our Pappa.

Like all the blessings our Pappa bestows on us, the secret for this cure is hidden and available only in Him. As we learn to set our eyes on heaven and to store our treasures there where moths and rust cannot destroy, we soon find our hearts desiring nothing else, but the will of our Pappa.

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I often wondered why Pappa hasn’t healed my Fm/CFS until He told me that it is for my own good. This is just a thorn in my flesh to prevent me from surrendering again to this cursed life of earning approval through performance.

Much love XX

Mia

I would like to hear if I was the only sufferer of this performance disease. Please, let me know!

Linking-up with
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Posted in Apple of God's Eye, Childlikeness, Empty Nest Syndrome, God's Father Heart, In the Shadow of His Wings, The Love of God

A God Who Flies

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God ‘s Thoughts to Me

Like an eagle rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so He spread His wings to take them up and carry them safely on His pinions. The Lord alone will guide them; they followed no other gods (Deuteronomy 32:11-12).

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 17:8, NIV).

An Empty Nest

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The year of 2013 is leading me into a whole new era of my life. Both my sons have spread their wings and are flying away into the big wide world, finding their own place and purpose in life and in the heart of their Pappa God. But this world is big, and cruel and dangerous!

It is not easy … actually, it is downright horrible for a mom who’s heart is not and will never be ready to have an empty nest … a mother who wants to pick them up and carry them constantly on the wings of her love … a mother who has to carry them now even more on the wings of her prayers to the Throne of Grace.

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They have always lived so close to me that they were like sweet summer apples of my eye. When I looked at them, they could see their reflection shining with love and affection on the smooth rounding of my eye.

Just like I am the apple of my Pappa’s eye as I live and love and have my being in Him … nestled in the shadow of the wings of His love (Acts 17:28).

This made me realize that my love for them is only a faint reflection … a glimmer … a morsel … a beautiful fraction of the love our Heavenly Pappa cherishes in His heart for each and everyone of His children.

A.W. Tozer wrote of our Pappa,”An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself AS IF THERE WERE NO OTHERS,”.

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This brings joy to my heart, for I know that my Pappa cherishes them even more than I do. Moses told the Israelites in Deuteronomy of their Heavenly Father’s extraordinary care while He led them out of the Egypt of their captivity.

He uses the metaphor of the eagle, who of all the bird species, lavishes extraordinary care and attachment on her eaglets … who cherishes her young more than most of our other feathery friends.

When her newly fledged progeny has grown and developed enough to soar on their own into the big wide sky of the big wide world, she helps and supports them on the tips of her wings in their first feeble attempts at flying. She directs them and encourages them with her heart soaring all over the world wherever they go!! That’s me!

Frederick Buechner said in his work, Telling the Truth, “You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world, but a world lives in you.”

It gives me the assurance that although my fledglings are soaring far, high and wide into the Egypt of this world, their omnipresent Pappa goes before them.

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He gives all of Himself to each of my two treasures, carrying them … leading them through all the horrors of the wilderness of life lying ahead … guiding them safely into their eternal inheritance of His Kingdom of Life. For they are the apples of not only my, but also of their Heavenly Father’s Eye.

Much love xx

Mia

Linking-up with Charlotte.

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Linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose.
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Posted in Canaanite gods, Childlikeness, Chronic Ilness, Constant Fatigue Syndrome, Faith of a Child, Fibromyalgia, God Memories, God's Father Heart, God's Favor, Grace, Holy Spirit, Invisible Illness, Jesus Christ, Jewish Children, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Spirituality, Suffering, The Love of God

The Candor of a Child

God’s Thoughts to Me

When Jesus saw what was happening, He was angry with His disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:13-15, NLT)

A Lesson from Lea, with Love

The real-life Lea

Last week I was blessed abundantly when I had the privilege of visiting my 1-year-and-5-month-old little niece in Port Elizabeth. I could let my hair down and just be little, small and childlike, getting dirty as we built sandcastles and playing in the mud. I was the builder and she, the demolisher

When I arrived, little Lea was overjoyed as she ran up to me on her chubby little legs. Shrieking with boundless delight, she jumped onto my lap and stole my heart all over again with those beautiful, blue, innocent eyes, sparkling with stars of anticipation, expecting a great time of fun and play.

What a precious moment it was when she wrapped her little arms around my neck with complete trust and surrender, not doubting my love for her even for a moment. Our Heavenly Father showed me the holiness of the moment as the Holy Spirit gave life to the words of the French author, Jacques Ellul. In his wonderful book, Anarchy and Christianity, he remarked with unusual wisdom,” No matter what God’s power may be, the first aspect of God is never that of the Absolute Master, the Almighty. It is that of the God who puts Himself on our human level and limits Himself.”

I had the privilege of loving Lea the same way our Lord Jesus loved us when He did not consider His equality with God as something to hold on to, but He emptied Himself by becoming like one of us (Phillipians 2:7). I could love Lea by putting myself on her childlike level, without considering my adulthood and limiting myself. I listened to all her incomprehensible baby babble, pretending to understand every single word as she was wholeheartedly giving me an account of her little life. Needless to say, for a few hours we played to our heart’s delight.

The holiness of that moment wrapped its warm, loving arms around me like the first rays of the sun at daybreak after a cold, dark night. My heart sensed with anticipation that our Pappa was revealing an awesome side of His character to me.

During the third decade of the first century, the Jewish families from Palestine valued their children, especially boys, for their posterity. However, they were very low on on the social ladder of a religious society who highly valued education, wisdom and intelligence. They had no rights or status and were regarded as inferior, the least among family members, a nuisance only to be seen, but definitely not heard! It came as a shock to me that we need to become like these unimportant, inferior little ones to enter our Pappa’s Kingdom of love (Matthew 18:3). I needed to desire and value my Pappa’s love much more than my so-called rights or importance, the idols the world loves to pay homage to!

Our orphaned, broken world is trying to survive without a Father, but has robbed so many of our Pappa’s children of their innocent childlikeness, me included. Since as far as my mind was able to reach back in time to fetch memories from my past, I had been on a futile quest trying to impress my Pappa and all those I considered to be His representatives here on earth. Well, I know now it is just as impossible as trying to catch the wind or chasing my own shadow.

I was suffering from a severe case of, what I call, the Micah syndrome. Micah had the same mindset as me when he lamented so beautifully, “What can we bring to God? What kind of offering should we give Him? …. Should we sacrifice our first-born children?” (Micah 6:6-7, NLT).

This syndrome was rampant amongst the ancient Canaanite tribes. Seeking the favor of their gods, they tied their first-born sons to altars as sacrifices and offered their virgin daughters to fiery volcanoes. What an incentive to let go of chastity! I wondered if Abraham thought it was business-as-usual when Our Pappa asked him to offer up Isaac?

I was ignorant of the beautiful freedom our Lord Jesus gave me by being the only mediator between my Pappa and me. As I allowed the Holy Spirit of love to draw me closer and closer into our Father’s love and the resurrected life of our Lord Jesus, I was again able to recapture the holiness of childlike faith. I could once again hear our Lord’s invitation to just come to Him to experience His rest. (Mark 10:14). Just like little Lea, I ran up to my Pappa and hurried into His Loving Embrace. I told Him of all my brokeness, weaknesses, frustrations, hopes, fears and dreams without feeling that I was a nuisance. I started to experience the truth of our Lord’s words, “You have taught children and infants” (Psalm 8:2) and shared in His delight, “Oh Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike.” (Matthew 11:25).

One of my favorite authors, A W Tozer, once remarked with divine wisdom, “An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others”. So true!

Dear Ones, your Pappa does not look at the limitations this illness forces on you, He looks at your childlike heart reaching out to Him through all your pain and exhaustion. He looks at your childlike faith that implicitly trusts His promise of love to be close to the suffering, listening to your cries for help. (Psalm 22:24).

The world might abandon their weak, but not our Pappa, for He has a special place in His heart for all the spiritually, emotionally and physically broken ones! May our Pappa bless you and keep you this week as you share your life with Him, knowing that you bring joy to His heart by just being the broken, beautiful you He loves. Allow Him to carry you as He wraps you close to His heart in His Loving Embrace.

Hugs and blessings until next time. Mia