Tag Archive | love

With Steadfastness

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Perserverence develops character.
Love lightens a load.
Hope throws back the darkness.
Practice makes perfect,
Even if it takes years,
And perfection?
The quest for it,
Drives you to be better,
Or bitter.
Strive instead,
To be like,
Christ.
That drives you only,
To love,
With His heart,
See with,
His eyes,
Hear with,
His ears,
Remain,
With His,
Steadfastness.
                  dfav 2/2/16
—Donna

Love, Faith, Purpose, God

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Love,
As wonderful as it is,
As beautiful as it can feel,
As right as it can be when real,
Love can’t exist,
Without God,
Without Faith.

Faith,
Believes with a whole heart,
Believes regardless of the no’s,
Believes regardless of the woes,
Faith can’t exist,
Without God,
Without Purpose.

Purpose,
Someone/thing to have Faith in,
Someone/thing to love,
Someone/thing from God above,
Purpose can’t exist,
Without Love, Faith, or,
Without God.

God,
Who created all good things,
Who made Adam, created Eve,
Who designed a world to interweave,
With God, the I Am,
Who is always all three.
dfav 10/06/15
-Donna

Love is Here

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The aroma of chocolate in German chocolate cake,
Two nine-inch rounds of warm, moist, perfectly baked chocolate,
Baked from scratch without a written recipe,
My all-time favorite melt-in-mouth cake,
Bake it for my birthday, Christmas, anytime cake,
Caramel, coconut, pecan luscious frosting,
I’m eight, spend all my money to win Mama’s cake at the fair,
Here love is found, here love is found.

The smell of freshly baking biscuits,
A cookie sheet full, perfectly round circles,
Cut with a recycled Vienna sausage can,
Except for one triple-sized “Daddy” biscuit,
And one half-size “Baby Sister” biscuit,
Bacon frying, grits simmering, eggs being scrambled,
I’m twelve, p. j. clad, wiping sleep from my eyes,
Here love is found, here love is found.

The scent of deep-fried special occasion only chicken,
Between oil and chicken affording it is hard,
Took an hour to get the oil hot enough,
Calling dibs on the legs and wings,
Daddy wants the other parts, no wings,
Potato salad, deviled eggs, baked beans,
I’m sixteen and Mama’s food is about all we share,
Here love is found, here love is found.

Aroma of Mama’s preparing her chicken and dressing,
Chicken stewing on the stove with herbs,
Cornbread browning in the oven just right,
Onions, breadcrumbs, poultry seasoning,
All the ingredients, her secrets and other perfect “seasoning”,
Everyone will be feasting with this one dish,
I’m twenty-two aghast she added Cayenne pepper!
Here love is found, here love is found.

Smell of Thanksgiving dinner with “The Dressing”,
Turkey, sweet potato casserole, corn, mac-n-cheese,
Extra cornbread browning in the oven,
Deviled eggs and potato salad in the frig,
Mama’s recipes, only I’m cooking, my oven and frig,
I’m thirty-three, cooking for our first holiday and the in-law’s,
Her recipes from her head, my memories, into my computer.
Here love is found, here love is found.

Smell of other people’s food drifting,
Through the house with chatter after the funeral,
Her funeral, our Mama’s funeral, ’cause she is gone,
Conversation turns to her food, her cooking,
Cakes, mashed potatoes, biscuits, her cooking,
Everyone has a story, weddings catered, birthdays,
I’m thirty-five and it hurts to hear, to remember.
Here love is found, here love is found.

Familiar aromas have wafted through our home,
My family and friends talk about my from scratch carrot cake,
They plea with me for Grams/my dressing,
Mama loved mine better than her own dressing,
I’m fifty-one and Hospice comes almost daily,
My death will be no surprise and I pass recipes to our daughter,
Here love is found, here love is found.

I awaken to the smell of Mama’s biscuits baking,
Bacon frying, coffee brewing, and I’m confused,
I’m alone no one is here and no biscuits baking,
All day I smell them and I think I’m losing my mind.
Or is this medication playing tricks with my mind?
Then my Hospice nurse arrives and I ask,
“Do you smell biscuits baking? ” And I explain.
Here love is found. Here love is found.

When I’ve met Jesus, and the initial welcome home is done,
I’ll walk arm-in-arm with Mama to home within home,
Where’s there’s a pan of love in the oven.
Biscuits and dressing in the oven.
God’s love has sight, aroma, sound, feel,
I’m seeing Him, smelling, feeling safe in his Him.
Here love is found. Here love is found.
dfav 9/20/15
-Donna

At the Door…

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Joy came tapping,
     tap, tap, tapping
     at my door…
Take me in, laugh with me!
     I can lift your soul
     forevermore. ..

Peace knocked next
      a-rap-a-tat-tat
      slipped through a window…
Take me in, find solace in me!
      I can calm your soul
      though war rages so…

Love rang the doorbell
      la-la-la-do-ray-mi-so
      melody entwined with me…
Take me in, cherish your heart!
     Though it may get hurt
     I can grow you see…

Willingly I took them in…
      embraced their presence…
      Then fell to my knees…
Jesus, thank You! (for He was the three)
       Joy, Peace and Love…
       You’ve given me!

Mission came with a firm hand
       here-I-am, here-I-am
       go now and give us away…
Don’t hold us tight in your grasp!
      We grow the most…
      if shared everyday…

Out from my house into the street…
     offering these same gifts…
     some accepted others said no…
It wasn’t easy and some sent us away!
     But Jesus never gave up on us…
     even on those who told us to go.

Will you answer Joy tapping…
      Peace who is knocking…
      Love who is chiming…
For it’s Jesus Himself at the door!
               d.f.a.v. 10/8/14

—Donna

Strolling in my Heart

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Joy walked in my heart this morning
Hope joined the stroll as well
And Love enveloped both of them
Faith held all from the beginning.
Charity made her presence known
Compassion wove in and out
Understanding held out its hand
Pointing out here God’s love was found.
Perfection had departed at last
Weeds discontent and bitterness as well
Human expectations gave up their hold
Jesus’ blood had settled the past.
Songs rang in the air so sweet
Praise replaced a list of complaints
Worship sprang forth so naturally
For here Jesus and I could meet.
                –d.f.a.v.  8-18-14
–Donna

Do I?

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If I say I love you
But never obey you
Do I really love you?

If I obey You in fear
Of repercussions and tears
Does that bring You cheer?

If I serve You diligently
Yet I serve rigidly
Do I serve You completely?

If I ask You sincerely
To let me serve You genuinely
Do I love You freely?

If I love You Yahweh
Will I not do so everyday
Follow You in every way?

If I say I love You
But never speak with You
Can I really love You?
–4/14/15

The Passions

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Misguided Passion tore the goal post down,

God’s Passion sowed the seed,

Obsessed Passion stalked the movie star,

Loving Passion took the Gospel overseas.

 

Misguided Passion pulled the trigger,

God’s Passion achieved the dream,

Obsessed Passion collected knives and guns,

Loving Passion followed the Disciples Creed.

 

Misguided Passion turned to hatred,

God’s Passion moved in love,

Obsessed Passion took another’s life,

Loving Passion calls on God above.

 

Misguided Passion used for evil,

God’s Passion discernly ruled,

Obsessed Passion  runs amuck

Loving Passion is carefully schooled.

 

Misguided Passion in the Devil’s hand

God’s Passion of His heart,

Obsessed Passion spoiled by evil,

Loving Passion from God embarked.

 

Misguided Passion robs and corrupts

God’s Passion restores and forgives,

Obsessed Passion steals a man’s soul,

Loving Passion invites the soul to live.

 

Misguided Passion bids the earthly win

God’s Passion points to Him,

Obsessed Passion ruins a heart,

Loving Passion forgives our sin.

 

Which Passion will you choose today?

Which Passion will you take?

Which Passion is read in your life?

Which Passion is given for your sake?

Prayer of Gratitude

Thank You Abba Father for adoption

For the way that helped us be a forever family.

Thank You Lord for every successful adoption story

For each one brings You honor and glory.

Thank You Father for caseworkers, attorneys and courts

For each has a job to do in each individual case.

Thank You Almighty for each precious child

For each tear they shed and each smile they smile.

Thank You Jehovah for each adopting parent out there

Who opened their hearts and stepped up to care.

Thank You Abba Father for the biological parents too

Those who gave willingly and those who had to.

Thank You Lord for the system though it may not always work

Its intention is noble, it’s purpose for good.

Thank You Almighty, the I Am, for the example You set

By willingly adopting us into Your heavenly family.

Most of all Abba thank You for my precious child

Who calls me “Mama” and was born in my heart.

-dav 11-22-12

The Quilt – Part 4 – The Ending

…Was everything a lie?  How much had Todd deceived me?  Even more important, how much was he going to keep deceiving me?  How deep did Todd’s problem go?

I looked at Grandma’s Quilt, all the crazy patterns and colors; it looked like a giant jigsaw puzzle someone put together without the benefit of the picture on the front of the box.  It was more a symbol representing our lives it was proof you can take the bits and pieces of your life, the good and bad, give them to God and He makes your life into a quilt for His glory.  Oh, how it hurts in the making.

Looking back on that night, when Todd revealed to me a very painful part of who he was, my own hurt was crushing.  It was so difficult to reconcile the man who, on that night and so many others in our future, would wrap Grandma’s quilt around us tightly and call out to God for himself, for me, for Ally, for release from “his thorn in his side” and for our marriage.

The official diagnosis would be “sexual addiction” which sounds awful and certainly made me, the wife, feel sick inside.  Todd didn’t feel so great either.  It’s a dark diagnosis and not one you get up and request prayer for in Sunday School or church.  It’s not something you confess to your friends or at marriage conferences.  It doesn’t come up in casual conversation.  So, although our pastor knew and a few friends Todd and I found our way through each day of our marriage with God, one another and professional counseling.

More and more in my heart, every time Todd “slipped” and I’d find out or he’d confess willingly the quilt became an engrained symbol of our marriage.  It comforted me in my deepest sorrows.  It was a shield when anger would erupt over us.  Todd often referred to it as his prayer mantel and many, many times I’d find him knelt in prayer weeping into Grandma’s quilt.

It took over 20 years for Todd to gain long term remission from sexual addiction.   I am just now free of the fear that feasted on the darkness of Todd’s addiction every time he is a little late coming home or doesn’t answer his cell phone when I call.   In 20 years there were over thirteen slips, not counting the kiss with Lisa.  Sometimes it was women he sought and met online, women he didn’t actually meet face to face but with whom he spun fragile hopes of futures he could never keep.   Twice it was actual women he “dated” and one he tried to carry further than dating but couldn’t.  The other encounters were online pornography.  Amazingly none of these slips ever led to physical fulfillment.   Todd’s therapist told us sexual addiction isn’t about sex, he was right.

The quilt had issues of its own…

There’s a rip I repaired with a piece of cloth from the bathrobe I was wearing the day a woman knocked on my door and introduced herself as someone Todd had been “dating”.  Stains from picnics, and Ally’s belief that chocolate should be another food group.  (Okay, she gets that from her mother.)  When pieces of the original twin size quilt began to wear I often used cut off pockets from Todd’s shirts to cover the places which resulted in there becoming places Ally and I would tuck “take along’s” into, probably not a great idea, as they are now “baggy”.

Through twenty-seven years of marriage I used odd pieces of cross stitch thread to sew up seams.  Quilting thread to replace old squares with new ones making stitches Grandma would be proud of.  Like Grandma’s original design my handiwork didn’t seem to follow any pattern yet it fit.  Only now I rarely notice the imperfections because they seem right at home on Grandma’s quilt.  Todd and I still take Grandma’s quilt out to our deck and wrap it around us as we talk or pray.  It has a place of honor hanging over the rocker we used in Ally’s room until it was no longer needed but has permanent residence in the corner of our bedroom.  A corner Todd refers to as his prayer closet.

Sometimes I just pass by the quilt and run my hand over it to remind me how wonderfully comforting it is, so soft, so us.  It’s the only thing Ally has requested we leave her when we pass away.  One day I want her to know how precious this quilt is but the time for her to know is yet to come.

Tonight just before I turn in my eyes linger on the quilt and I know I am blessed.  Blessed that my grandmother made it, told me stories about my grandfather and dad; blessed my mom had her part in it too.  I’m blessed my husband recognized the value in working hard for a healthy marriage and in prayer and that he chose Grandma’s quilt to be his prayer mantle.  Blessed that we have a bright, wonderful, talented 26-year-old daughter whose life is still entwined with ours and recorded as much on Grandma’s quilt as our family picture gallery and who recognizes the quilt’s importance.  I am blessed to have such a loving God who used Grandma’s quilt to cover our wounded hearts, celebrate our greatest victories and help us face the future because He uses it to remind us where we’ve been.

Our family is blessed to have such visual evidence of the handiwork of God.  Many women would have left Todd and many would disagree with my decision not to.  Recovery from sexual addiction is not easy and it seems it’s one of the addictions many people would rather go through life with blinders on about.  It’s a shame really.  Men or women who struggle with pornography or lust often wander through it alone and because they do they heap shame upon shame upon shame.

God took what was severely broken and made it whole.  Grandma took scraps and pieces and began a piece of art that was usable, functional and it became a recorder.  God takes all the pieces of our lives, ALL THE PIECES and though we rarely get to see the quilt from His eyes, one day we will.  One day we will.

The End of This Series of “The Quilt”

 

 

My Father’s Eyes

I wear eyeglasses.  Throughout the day they become messy with fingerprints, other smears, just whatever gunk comes across my face during the day – sometimes the smears are on the inside from tears.  Most of the time I don’t even realize the lenses of my glasses are so dirty I shouldn’t be able to see through them.  My husband is the one who pulls them off my face and asks, “How can you see through these?”

On Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman one of the characters is named Grace and she says, “Sometimes the way we see ourselves blinds us to how others see us.”  Another character, Robert Lee said to Grace, “…these people are here because of who you are not who you aren’t…”

In I Corinthians 13:12 Paul wrote “Now we see but a poor refection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

I don’t usually think of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians when it comes to thinking about how other people see me or how I THINK other people see me.  Recently I had opportunity to do so.

I’d like to say how people see me, what they think of me matters little if anything at all to me.  But that would be a lie.  Evidence points directly to the opposite.

When someone at work incorrectly pointed the finger at me for a large Medicaid payback it bothered me so much I spent over an hour finding an email to prove my innocence because I felt as if my professional reputation had been smeared.  Even more recently when someone stole the deposit money from our office part of my initial reactions were because I was afraid I’d be accused of stealing the money.

As a patient at a local hospital last week I noticed a difference in how I felt when I was being assisted during a procedure when the staff involved spent the time talking with me or “over me”.  By “over me” I mean carrying on a conversation that had nothing to do with me but instead about what they were doing in their personal life.  Clearly in one case I felt like a human being, a person with feelings, pain, needs and the people helping me cared about me as a fellow human being who was suffering.  In the other case I was just a task they had to get done in order to get through their shift.

It’s hard to see anything or anyone clearly if you are looking through lenses that are dirty.  It’s hard to see ourselves as capable, intelligent, human beings worthy of another’s attention or love because we are so sure others see us as needy, incapable and unworthy.  When we need help and people offer help we find it difficult to accept the help because we think they are only offering out of pity or curiosity or judgment or duty.

Sometimes I long to see myself with the filter of God’s love yet other times I cringe at the thought of how I look to God – ungrateful, whiny, self-centered.  Yet He loves me.  Yet He sent His Son to die for me.  Most of all He sent His Son to not only die for me and my sins but to defeat death, defeat Satan so when my earthly life is over and since I’ve said “Yes” to His invitation to forsake the world and live for Him – I will be with Him for all eternity in Heaven.

My husband is right; it is hard to see clearly if your eyeglasses are dirty.   Grace is right; it’s hard to see anything good in yourself that other people see if you’re blinded by what you see and all you see are your mistakes and shortcomings.  Robert Lee is right, people come to help, to your aid, to see you, to befriend you more often because of who you ARE not who you AREN’T.

Most of all Paul is right, everything we see this side of Heaven we see only a poor reflection of because the reality of what God sees we can’t see  because we don’t have God’s eyes, or Heaven’s perspective.  I don’t know about you, but I’m going to try to look at all things through clean lenses and God’s Word since that is as close to His eyes as I can get right now.  Somehow, I just know a lot of things are about to change.

Many years ago Amy Grant had a contemporary song out titled, “My Father’s Eyes” and the chorus went something like this:  “She had her Father’s eyes, her Father’s eyes….eyes that saw the good in things when good was not around…eyes that saw the source of help when help could not be found.  Eyes full of compassion…

I’d like to have my Father’s eyes.  Wouldn’t you?