A gentle whisper from the LORD...

"Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper." 1 Kings 19:11-12

Monday, December 26, 2011

Eileen...my hero

Over the river and through the woods...and that truly was the drive to Grandmama Eileen's house. Eileen, the truest depiction of a lady, was my hero in many ways...

After surviving the curves of the TN mountains, it was always a relief to see the sign read "Sunset Drive" for we knew the aroma of fantastic southern cooking awaited us along with the firm yet loving squeezes and hugs of our sweet Eileen. Nothing beat that single moment. Even today, my mind can take me back at any moment, to that precious home and experience it all over again...and in my mind it will always be, even if only in my thoughts. Eileen took charge in her kitchen as much as an experienced and well-trained chef would. Her arthritic hands could create the most beautiful desserts, divine mashed potatoes and most amazing fried chicken. Her talent and attention to detail ran every recipe and her ability to make a "pretty party" (as my mom says) always made for the most memorable family gatherings. Her oblong table, which seemed to dominate the dining room, never went without a beautiful and starched white table cloth. Fine china and crystal goblets surrounded the table and beautiful silver pieces decorated each setting. And after all her hard work, family gathered around to tell stories of old. Eileen would sit at the head of the table, ever so quietly, smiling and soaking in every single moment of her family all together.

Eileen, a true lady, soft spoken, shy, quiet...will forever be my hero.

I don't recall much of her speaking of her faith, however, there was never a deep necessity for her actions spoke all we needed to hear. Church attendance regularly occupied her weekends. She remained loyal and respectful to her husband. Her entire life focused on serving others. She gave and gave, never thinking of herself...gave of her time and talent. Her Bible always sat in plain sight and wore an aged and used appearance.

Eileen, a true servant of our great God, a follower of Christ...will forever be my hero.

My lovely hero lived her last day on this earth this week. She now resides with our Savior, Jesus Christ. Yet Eileen will always remain my hero. I will forever treasure her and remember her. And I hope and pray I can pass on the legacy she handed down to me as beautifully and elegantly as she did.

Eileen, resident with Christ in eternity, living in final peace...will forever be my hero.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mighty Triumph

"Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless.  With God's help we will do mighty things for he will trample down our foes."
Psalm 108:12-13

Enemies haunted David throughout his life.  They wanted nothing more than for David to be rid of and forgotten forever. (Ps. 109:15) 

However, David sought the Lord.  In all things, he desired God to be glorified.  And although the enemy's goal was to destroy, God had mightier plans.  The enemy desired David's name never to be remembered, God trampled over the enemies and his kingship lasted.

Despite the evil plot against David, he is remembered even today.  Countless people learn of David and his life all over the world.  He has never been forgotten, thanks to our great God!

David by Michelangelo in The Gallery of the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence

I know the same enemy attacks me daily.  Pride...fear...selfishness...they all fight for control in my life.  But I must believe that God, and only God, will help me overcome in mighty ways.  He will trample...and triumph!

"But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord, praising him to everyone.  For he stands beside the needy, ready to save them from those who condemn them." 
Psalm 109:30-31

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I hope...

Christmas...sometimes just the word stirs my heart...makes my heart skip a beat.
The whole year long, I plan...
Anticipating the gifts and the candy and the food and the parties...and the list goes on and on.

Yet when the time arrives, the excitement only falls to the ground with anticlimactic feelings.
Is it all really worth it?

I put my hope in gifts only to find the excitement smothered like the clouds smother the January sun.

hope to impress my guests so I plan and cook and labor on my feet in the kitchen...
 hour after hour...
 only to crash into bed at night wondering, "Was it really worth it?"

And, oh, the decorations!  Hopefully they will be perfect...
maybe a lovely hint of Southern Living
or as chic and stylish as HGTV.

In and of themselves, the things for which I hope are not so bad.
However, it is my prayer that those hopes fade next to the manger.
I desperately hope the worldly things diminish next our Lord.
I hope my hope is heavenly.

"We are merely moving shadow,
and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth, not knowing who will reap it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My hope is in you."
Psalm 29:6-7