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Posts Tagged With: Jesus

Treasure in the sacred place

As a girl, I found it hard to reconcile the suffering of Good Friday with the chocolate abundance of Easter Sunday.  We worked through our Sunday school lessons, asking questions and falling quiet when we realized all He endured for us.   That everything could somehow be better by Sunday, dressed in tights and Mary Jane’s, eating Ham dinner and hot cross buns, was lost on me.  That feeling continues as an adult.

Have you ever noticed the darkness that falls between noon and 4pm on Good Friday?  It happened here yesterday.

“We focus on Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, but we forget to pause in the stillness of the days between.

Find time today to be present in that place of waiting.

There is treasure to be found in the sacred peace that comes as you breathe in that place of quiet surrender.

Don’t rush through the space called “Between.” ―Katherine J. Walden

* Happy Easter to all who celebrate *

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Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Grief, Holidays, Life, Mom, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The wake of a quiet mess

Today marks the first of 11 glorious days off.   My “Out of Office” messages are on; the laptop and iPhone are not.

This morning started just as I’d planned — waking  naturally to a twilight house, with no alarm, to the aroma of coffee gurgling in the kitchen.

Hubbs was up already, I could hear the ting-ting-ting of his spoon stirring as I dressed quietly.

Plugging in the tree lights, and with Christmas Carols playing softly, I poured a second cup of coffee not long after the first.

Wandering through the house, tidying this, straightening that, I turned on the dryer to re-tumble the towels washed last night and stood to watch the snow fall.

This.

This is what I want for Christmas.

Quiet.

Peace.

No schedule.

No obligations.

No particular place to be.

No conference calls, no projects, no spreadsheets, no Power Points.  No deadlines, fire drills, last-minute demands.

Time to rest, to read, to stretch, to relax.

Time to sleep, to laugh, to cook, to have fun.

Time to …whatever.

“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Stay home on New Year’s Eve if that’s what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story.”
Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Tomorrow we’ll have our boys and daughter-in-law and girlfriend plus the grand kids over for yummy foods and games, opening of presents and more – oh they are so excited.  And we are, too.   A thousand conversations will be had, we’ll not finish one.  And as much as they’ll blow in with commotion and busy-ness and a 100 questions – they’ll blow out just as hard, leaving behind the wake of a quiet mess.  And that’s just fine with me~ because in the rush and build up that is Christmas,  it’s nice to stand still and savor the moments.   The most glorious messes I know  ~ are the ones created by the gathering of loved ones.

 * * *

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ, the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11).

Merry Christmas; I wish you peace today and always!

 

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Holidays, Home, Life, Love, Personal, Thoughts, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Random 5 Friday ~ 2 weeks!

It’s Friday (finally!) – here are 5 random happenings in my world this week:

1 Stopped last night to buy Christmas crackers for our family gathering in 2 – count ’em – 2 weeks.  As a Canadian, this is a British tradition we enjoyed  loved as kids — one person held each end of the cracker and pulled them apart – a *POP* sound soon followed, and everyone ended up with a tissue paper hat to wear, a small toy and a joke or riddle to share.    Our boys and grands have grown up with these at the table and it wouldn’t be Christmas without them!

Too much fun!

Too much fun!

2  Tuesday at the State Capitol (which is wide open to everyone, by the way) my team and I were busy  setting up Legislative interviews when a young man wandered into the studio. At first I felt a bit annoyed, because you see I didn’t really have time to shoo him out of there. But as he stood and looked around – with wonder in his eyes – my eyes softened and we ended up talking for about 20 minutes. He’s my youngest boy’s age and he told me how he’s going to Community College, working part-time, and lives with his Grandmother. He told me more about himself in those 20 min than maybe I needed to know – but in that moment he let me know he needed to be heard. It was yet another lesson to STOP – SLOW DOWN- and LISTEN. Everyone has a story to tell and sometimes you just have to stop moving to hear it.

“Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible someone ever reads.”

MI Capitol in fog

The Michigan State Capitol .. and State Christmas tree, blanketed in fog in December. An Emjayandthem (C) photo.

3  Still no snow.  Driving to meetings and running errands is easy-peasy; it was 59F yesterday.  People are out without coats. Shocking – in December.  I didn’t feel any Christmas spirit until youngest boy and I decorated the tree last night.    Leveraging his height, we laughed as he straightened the angel and tweaked the lights “just so.”  Standing back to admire his handiwork, we both agreed that their home-made ornaments are our favorites.  He put it best, “They tell our story, Mom.”

a shot of youngest boy in grade school ...

a shot of youngest boy in grade school … An Emjayandthem(C) photo

4. I’m glad today is Friday and that the weekend is not yet another runaway train. At least not yet.  Hubbs is prepping for a business trip next week and he’s stressed about that, I have a full schedule, too, yet there’s so much to accomplish here at home.  I think a vacation day is in order – the house to myself?  Ooh ahh …. 🙂

and there it is

and there it is

5  Talking with friends about how hectic our days are – jobs – kids – grand kids – aging parents – and BAM here come the Holidays.  More and more we’re all talking about simplifying things.  This simple message resonates with me:

Google.Images.com

And you?    What Holiday tradition from your childhood have you carried with you?   How are your  preparations coming along?  Are you taking any time outs just for you?

 

Categories: Beauty, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Joy, Life, Random, Seasons, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Random 5 April Friday

It’s Friday – Good Friday – and here are my random 5.

1. Yesterday, with the windows open, I heard a sound I hadn’t heard in a while: birds singing. Lots and lots of them.  It had rained and their little chirps conveyed their delight at Spring’s arrival.

2. Tuesday my sister had a heart attack.  She’s stable and will be OK – but it was a very close call. Living on a farm, 25 miles from the hospital she nurses at, she realized what was happening, called ahead and had her husband drive her there (translate: drive like h*ll through hills and potholes!! ).  Life flight was soon on scene and she was transported to a bigger hospital with cardiac facilities.  How did I find out? My brother-in-law called his kids and emailed a few of us.  I got his email just before heading off to my grand-daughter’s Kindergarten concert.  I pulled in a few people and made some calls and waited.  The waiting, that’s the hardest part.

3. This little face was the perfect distraction from chaos going on elsewhere:

MJ's Beach-themed Kindergarten concert; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

MJ’s Beach-themed Kindergarten concert; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

4.  Chatting with my Mom,  we both cried while discussing how close we came to losing her and how grateful we are that we still have her in our lives.     Sissy is a nurse, the care-taker, primary caregiver to Mom, the sun in our family’s universe.  In her honor, I baked.  I baked a cake for my Father-in-Law because that’s what I do when I can’t do anything at all.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Caramel icing

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Caramel icing

5.  This morning, I woke up to birds chirping, a cake on the counter, and the knowledge that He loves me this much:

We asked … How much do you love me? And He said “This much.”

And then He stretched out His arms and died.

For you. For me.For us. For them.

For the good, the bad, the weak and the sad.

For all of us. He loves you this much.

 

** Wishing you and yours a blessed Easter **

Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Home, Life, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Musings on a Monday

Well, here we are.   The night before .. the night before Christmas.

All is calm, all is bright. OK, for the most part :).

Hubbs is happily on vacation already but I’m not until tomorrow afternoon; the boys will be finished with work mid-day, and the wee ones … well the wee ones are SPENDING THE NIGHT!

joyous grand-children, Christmas 2012;  an emjayandthem photo

joyous grand-children, Christmas 2012; an emjayandthem photo

And you need to know .. that right there – THAT– is my Christmas gift.

Don’t need a present. Don’t need the tree. Just need my peeps, here with me.

The wrapping’s done, the fridge is stocked.   Whatever we don’t have, well, we won’t be shocked.

We’re  gonna sniggle in and snuggle up, play cards and laugh, sing Christmas carols and say prayers and watch for red noses and roll — roll in the fact that we’re together – thankfully – again.  It’s been a tough year in many ways; a year of growth and a year of losses, too. But, more than anything, there’s gratitude.

Gratitude for the most precious of gifts:  a babe in a manger, bringing hope to the world.

Gratitude for family and comfort, traditions and joy.

And good friends who will be missed by all.

"The stockings were hung by the chimney with care and Frankie the fat dog was asleep in his lair .." Christmas 2012; an emjayandthem photo

“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care and Frankie the old dog was asleep in his lair ..” Christmas 2012; an emjayandthem photo

Merry Christmas, friends.  – MJ

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Holidays, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Seasons, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Finding faith in the straw

originally published by Emjayandthem on December 23, 2010.

I was a college student, home for Christmas break.  Mid-terms over.  Days off and did it ever feel good to be home, home on the family farm where everything was cozy, comfortable and familiar.

Mom had the house glimmering, the fridge and freezer stuffed with baking, cheese ball, lefse, and assorted delights, and, as the youngest, it was just going to be the 3 of us until the rest of crew arrived for supper Christmas day.

It was Christmas Eve and Mom and I spent the better part the day cooking and singing along to Bing Crosby on CJWW.  We noticed the wind start to pick up, but, we weren’t alarmed or surprised, after all this was a prairie winter’s day.  Cold, always windy and a storm at a moment’s notice. No newsflash there.

When 7:00 rolled around and Dad still hadn’t come in from doing chores, Mom dispatched me to find him.

image from worldofstock.com

image from worldofstock.com

Great, I thought, with the insolent huff that an 18-year-old girl has perfected. I put on my snowmobile boots, parka, toque, mittens and scarf and, accompanied by the family pooch, headed out towards the barnyard.

Stepping out into that bitter air I nearly lost my breath.  Soon I realized it was much worse then I’d realized.  A pinch of dread gripped my stomach.  Boots, our yellow Lab, stayed close, stopping often and looking back as if to say, “you coming?”  It seemed to take forever to reach the barnyard, a distance of oh, 8 car lengths.  A distance I’d walked many times, nearly every day of my life.

Bunching my scarf up against my face and thrusting my shoulders forward, we trudged  through the snow.  I could make out a light in the distance and I assumed Dad was in one of the cow barns.

my Dad, Lloyd

my Dad, Lloyd

As we got closer, I heard a strange noise. The wind was whipping at me, making biting attempts at my face, while the dog pressed his flanks to me as if to press me forward.

As we neared the barn entrance, I heard that sound again.

A high-pitched whirring.

What the ?

Battling the winds, I braced my shoulder against the ancient door and gave it a shove with everything I had. It moved. Barely. But enough that me and the dog could squeeze through.

I stepped into the warmth of the barn to find Dad there, kneeling in the straw.  Hearing that weird whirring sound again, I finally figured out what it was: a hair dryer.  A cow stood just behind him, watching as he calmly defrosted the ears of a calf who’d been born head first into the snow.  She licked her baby as he cooed comforting words, gently blowing warm air all over the shivering tyke.  The light of the barn shone down on us and Dad gave me that shy grin I knew so well.

“Well if you’re gonna stand there you might as well be useful.” And, with that, he handed me some towels.  I moved a little too quickly and the new mother stepped forward, unsure of my intentions. Dad put his hand up to steady her.. and me.. and with a “shhh … it’s OK now, we’re just here to help.”  I waited …then slowly moved into place, joining him in the straw.

A few moments passed before he stopped and said softly, “You know it was a stable like this where the little Christ child was born. There was no room in the inn and guess where they had to make their home? Out in the barn with the cows and other animals. And no one ever talks about them, how they provided the heat and how they helped make sure He wasn’t cold.”

My Dad.  The man who tended to the animals and who kept us all safe and cozy.  The man who worked the farm every day of his life;  the man who tidied up and went to church to appease my mother but really .. . he already knew God.

He found Him where he was.

No Christmas Eve has ever impacted me like that one did.

* * *

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

Categories: Animals, Faith, Life, Relationships, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

One of us

google.images.com

If God had a name what would it be?
And would you call it to His face?
If you were faced with Him in all His glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?

And yeah, yeah God is great
Yeah, yeah God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home

If God had a face what would it look like?
And would you want to see?
If seeing meant that you would have to believe
In things like Heaven and in Jesus and the Saints
And all the Prophets?

And yeah, yeah God is great
Yeah, yeah God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home

Tryin’ to make His way home
Back up to Heaven all alone
Nobody callin’ on the phone
‘Cept for the Pope maybe in Rome

Yeah, yeah God is great
Yeah, yeah God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home

Just tryin’ to make His way home
Like a Holy rolling stone
Back up to Heaven all alone
Just tryin’ to make His way home

Nobody callin’ on the phone
‘Cept for the Pope maybe in Rome

-sung by Joan Osborne

To all affected by the recent tornadoes, you’re One of us.

If you wish to help in the relief efforts, please visit:

American Red Cross  redcross.org
Text RedCross to 90999 to make a $10 donation

Salvation Army  SalvationArmy.org

Team Rubicon deploys veterans to help with disaster relief Support Team Rubicon’s response efforts here.

Feeding America
The hunger organization is calling for an increase in food donations to serve those in affected areas. Find local food banks here.

Architecture for Humanity
A grassroots network of building professionals, volunteers provide their services to areas of need post disaster. The organization accepts donations online.

Categories: Attitude, Charity, Life, News, Patriotic, Seasons, Share, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Jesus was a Capricorn

Words & Music by Kris Kristofferson

Akiane's image of Him; source: Google images

Jesus was a Capricorn, he ate organic foods.
He believed in love and peace and never wore no shoes.
Long hair, beard and sandals and a funky bunch of friends.
Reckon they’d just nail him up if He come down again.

‘Cos everybody’s got to have somebody to look down on.
Who they can feel better than at anytime they please.
Someone doin’ somethin’ dirty, decent folks can frown on.
If you can’t find nobody else, then help yourself to me.

Get back, John!

Egg Head’s cousin Red Neck’s cussin’ hippies for their hair.
Others laugh at straights who laugh at freaks who laugh at squares.
Some folks hate the whites who hate the blacks who hate the clan.
Most of us hate anything we don’t understand.

‘Cos everybody’s got to have somebody to look down on.
Who they can feel better than at anytime they please.
Someone doin’ somethin’ dirty, decent folks can frown on.
If you can’t find nobody else, then help yourself to me.

Help yourself, brother.
Help yourself, Gentlemen.
Help yourself Reverend.

* * *

Colton’s story + Akiane Kramarik’s image she drew in “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo, inspired this post.

Have you read it yet?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Faith, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Life, music, News | Tags: , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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