Monday, July 16, 2012

Real Pearls

I was just looking at a picture of you holding a very baby Noah. It is so precious!!! It brought to mind the Welcome to Holland story you sent out.( )

I'd have to say you are on that same adventure but with a twist. While they were preparing for Italy and ended up in Holland, you have spent the majority of your life preparing for heaven while living on earth. You have learned to walk here and to talk and developed relationships and learned the language while at the same time studying through prayer and learning with joy about the home prepared for you sight unseen. It is hard because the "customs" here are so familiar and the relationships so deep.

There was another story about a little girl who had a pretend pearl necklace that she loved very much. She wore them all the time and only took them off for bath time. Her daddy came to her one night and asked her for them:

One night when he finished the story, he asked his daughter, "Do you love me?" "Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess--the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favorite."
"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"
"Daddy, you know I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my babydoll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."
"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.
A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.
"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"
Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver,she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you."
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.

He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.

-This is what your whole time in "Holland" has been for. To store up treasures in heaven through learning the language of the people the Lord loves. By caring for all His little ones. By acquiring and sowing the seeds the Lord has given you here. And you love these things dearly and although you love these pearls so much He is asking you for them so He can place in your hands the treasure that will bless your heart even more! I cry as I see you holding out your hand, but it also gives me hope that when He asks me for mine I will be able to hold out my hand to my Lord as well.

I Love you dear friend. I pray you will be pain free tonight!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Learning to Love the Water

Today we celebrated the feast of Pentecost and had our annual church picnic. Some of the kids went swimming and that just reminded me of all our years at the pool together. You magically knew if any child in the pool area had gum in their mouths...without looking sometimes. I remember those aerobics mornings when Schey was just a baby. I had never considered treading water for that long. I remember you letting Kiah take level one even though she was too young for it. You saw the swimmer in her. (she was the 4 year old who freaked people out because she would do a flip off the side of the pool and then, to their surprise, swim like a champ) I always looked forward to any of the Becks teaching my children. You all had such a magical way with them and were able to pull out the best that no one even knew they had inside. When Schey was in level 2, I think, she was so tiny. Keidi was teaching that day and got her to swim the width of the pool. I had tears in my eyes and was wondering why the rest of the pool wasn't cheering and there was no music because I felt like I was at the Olympics. I saw you with the reluctant swimmers and how you would calm them and help them learn to love the water. When Megan started she SCREAMED from Monday through Wednesday. I started to think I should take her out but you encouraged me to try one more day. Thursday was the day she fell in love with the water.

So here is the Lord, slowly coaxing you to Himself in these new waters. He is the instructor and He knows just how deep it is and how strong your muscles are. He is dipping His head in these scary waters and blowing bubbles with you. He is standing back from the side and asking you to jump to Him...He knows you can do it...and you know, deep inside beyond anything that makes sense, that He will catch you. He will take that little bit of faith you must feel you have and build on it with skill He teaches you one lesson at a time. He is teaching you to "love the water".

I love you friend!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cause Me to Know the Way in Which I Should Walk...

I wrote before that my dear friend is dying.  We were, and are, walking buddies and while we can't physically walk together anymore we've been "walking" online since her diagnosis. I thought it fitting to put some of these "conversations" on the blog because she is an AMAZING mother and certainly strives to live a life pleasing to her Lord.   I wanted to share some of our "walks" as a reminder to me to put one foot in front of the other on my own journey and so I can say to my Lord,

"Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You." Psalm 143:12

"It's a Corrie Ten Boom kind of day.

I say it's a Corrie Ten Boom kind of day because you have been called to do something very special and difficult and terrifying. Your story is in the public's eye as well. I love her story because she was honest and never knew how she was going to respond to each situation, but she, like you, was willing. Willing to take each step. Willing to crawl through despair. Willing to admit that you are, and always have been, powerless and the Lord really does hold the whole world (YOUR WHOLE WORLD) in His hands. I remember that Corrie and her sister Betsy found things to be thankful for...even the fleas in the barracks because the fleas kept the soldiers out so they could have at least a little peace.

It sounds like the Lord is giving you little bits of peace. It is incredible to read what you are accomplishing for one so sick! Today someone said something about your struggle being an amazing gift to all of us (here I go with another "I hope this doesn't hurt your feelings or make you depressed" thing). We are all walking to the arms of Jesus we just don't know when we will meet Him. Your journey, now more than ever, is showing us all how to walk that walk. Of course with all that is in me I want you to be well and I don't want you to have to carry this cross. I wish I could help relieve the weight of it! But what I see is you hefting that cross up on your back and taking each step. I see you perfecting your "technique" through the strength of Christ. Sometimes you have to rest, but you never put it down.

‎"Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ― Corrie Ten Boom

Thank you for blessing us all with the strength for today and "bright hope for tomorrow". Thank you for accepting the Lord's faithfulness no matter what it may look like.

I love you!"

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Words of My Mouth

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord…”    –Psalm 19:14

When my children were little we received some tapes from a kind Mennonite group.  One tape had little children singing the above verse.  It was very sweet and surprisingly catchy.  I found myself humming it around the house.  It is a humbling verse because I know the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart are not always acceptable in the sight of my Lord.  I know I tend to react (or overreact) verbally when my children are misbehaving instead of heeding those teaching words of scripture.  I come from a long line of loud women…and I take full responsibility for my own tongue.

When my children were babies the words of my mouth would praise their every little action or sound.  I would babble right along with them and in their eyes I could see a real connection taking place.  It was magical.  Their whole bodies would show excitement at the sound of my voice when rescuing them from nap time.  My words were soothing and encouraging.  And then they got older and my words changed a bit.  There were many more commands and corrections.  The “bad dog” tone of voice showed up and they had to learn the new language of “no”.  As time went on I used a mixture of encouraging and corrective words, depending on the moment and, unfortunately, depending on the mood or circumstances of the day.  

I will own that I didn’t always seek to use the words the Lord would have me use to correct my children for their edification.  I didn’t always speak to my husband with kind words.  I was guilty of spewing out  poisonous words of nagging and manipulation.  I would see my children’s eyes gloss over when I would lecture, giving analogy after analogy.  It was hard because when I was encouraging a sister in Christ with an analogy they enjoyed them and would often comment later how something I had said had positively impacted their lives.  Thankfully the Lord didn’t allow me to remember what I’d said so I could not boast at my own wit or creativity.  What I failed to understand with my children, and with my Lord, is that listening needs to take place in order for me to know if my words are even necessary.  His words are a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, not my words. 

“Our profit comes not from the quantity of words, but from the quality.  Sometimes much is said, but nothing is heard, and at another time you hear only one word and it remains in your memory for your whole life.” -St. Anthony

My girls are nearly grown and our words towards each other have changed.  Yes there are still corrections and commands but the volume is being turned down on my words and being turned up on theirs.  Pretty soon mine will be mostly muted as they enter into womanhood and, if the Lord allows, wife-hood and motherhood.  My words will be more "by request only" as I step back and watch them live their lives. I pray the words they retain from the years of words coming from my mouth are those of repentance, confession, prayer, forgiveness, mercy and any word that brings glory to my God.  And may the words they speak to their husbands, children and the world be full of the goodness of the Lord, in spite of the fallen state of their mother.
To God be the glory.  Amen.
To read more about how we use our words, check out these blogs: