Saturday, December 21, 2019

Journal Entries: My Imperfect Love

What if Mary and Joseph kept a journal? 

Journal Entries
My Imperfect Love

Lord, my young heart bows before You.
How can I be Your servant, be obedient?
I sometimes think of only myself.
Lord, this is not how I should love You?
I long to feel Your presence, be in the immediate.
Lord, I want Your Way. Teach me, show me how to love.

I am imperfect, incapable of loving You as I should.
My prayers seem like the noisy marketplace at times.
Yet, I feel my faith in You stirring me up to know You.
You can move mountains Lord, move my heart
towards Your perfect will; may I see the signs.
My imperfect love bows at the Face of Perfect Love.

I Corinthians 13:1-3  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and If I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Lord, how can this be? I love her, my betrothed one.
She tells me of such a thing…of a betrayal, yet I must respect her, still honor her.
Love…this love and hope I feel, now…I don’t know Lord. I am so confused.
Father God, I know You are perfect. Your will for me must be perfect too.  Help me Father to do the right thing, to bear this heartbreak. I cannot refuse.
Love cannot be perfect unless I am obedient and dismiss my pride.

Help me to keep loving as You love us.
Oh God. I promise to still be her protector. Help me Lord believe in Your plan,
never my own schemes or what others intend or seek against You for harm.
Give me patience and strength as I prepare for a journey.
We are learning to love, yet help me Lord love more when I can.
I rejoice in life and hope and that You give dreams of revelation to the humble.


I Corinthians 13: 4-7 Love is patient and kind, love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love grows inside of me. I do not know why I am chosen.
I am imperfect, still a virgin, not knowing yet the life as a wife.
My betrothed, Joseph, he is most gentle and seeks Your will as well.
Thank you for this man who loves me so perfectly and chose to keep honoring me.
You, Father God,  will make a way for us, in this growing life.
I only know in part, yet this Messiah, this baby I am carrying knows in full.

Father, I am to raise up a son, not just any son, but the Holy and Perfect Son of God. This baby--Oh, I cannot begin to understand such mysteries, God with us.
This Perfect Child is to come and be our Savior! One day, I will know fully Your Perfect Love and plan as I have read in the Holy Scriptures. But for now, help me take what I know in part and be all I can be for Mary and this child. I have faith plus,
You have restored my hope and love abides near, in a womb, in our hearts. Thy will be done. 

She bounces gently on the donkey as we make our way on this long journey. It's time for the census. Great is Your love Lord, for Mary, more than I could ever give to her. Greater still,
Your love for us, to send this perfect child in this Holy Way.
I will keep stepping in faith and wait on Your Light as You guide us to Glory.
Here we lay waiting Lord, and Joy is my fill.
His name shall be Jesus, Hallelujah and Amen.

Lord, I feel the pangs of birth. I am Your child, and...You, The Messiah comes to free me, 
to Love Perfectly Your Creation. You have given me favor in my young age
when I only wanted to serve You in my imperfect ways. I have been called Blessed One. Joseph and I remain hopeful in all this secrecy and divine appearances and protection. You are fulfilling the prophetic Word;
in and through us we wage
our love, though flawed. Your perfection will lead us in Faith and Hope.

I look upon Your perfect face, and forever I will love You.
Perfect Love. We believe. Your plan is good
You are the Only Way, the Perfect Love for all mankind.
You are my son, but You are my King.
Help us now Lord to worship You and raise You as we should.
I hold You, I behold You, my son, My Lord, Amen.

I Corinthians 13:13 “So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

John 19: 26-27 “Woman, behold your son, Son, behold your mother.”

John 3:16  “For God so loved the World that He gave of His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, will not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 1:14 “ And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only Begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth.”

 Considerably yours, Coleene 
Christmas 2019

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Aaah, Summer

Aaah, Summer. A time for me to wake up when my mind tells me to, not the alarm. Conversation with God in the morning with warm coffee in hand, percolates in me a peaceful approach for the rest of the day. Wellness, mindfulness of His promises, the birds sing for they already know. I enjoy the June “gloom” although I think of it as “beachy” weather and soak up the afternoon rays, tending to my growing garden. I might just take a few pictures and zoom into nature and the wonder of it all, cell phone camera in hand. It’s quiet time, reflection time, assessment time. Yes, I do have a few projects to tackle, creative things I wish to explore and conversations to have. Summer for me brings refreshment, like a refill of a tall iced tea, a diving in to the pool of goodness and remembrance of what God has done, the opening up even more so of the sunflower petals revealing more seeds for His purposes, a little exploring possibly. Summer, a sanctuary season of hope, a peaceful paradise for my soul, an opportunity to listen to my own thoughts and lay them like a blanket against the innumerable warm sand grains of God’s plan.

Aaah, Summer. My phone rings early, very early. It’s my Texas buddy who I’d like to think is so anxious to talk with me, confuses the time difference. Weren’t you suppose to call at 9? Your time or my time? We giggle. That’s OK, because…actually, I am super excited to chit-chat with her! We talk about life stuff, the good and the difficult, past and present, justice and relationships, tornado sirens and preparedness, faith-filled friends and hope in their circumstances. We'll do it all over agan next week, though I hope not so early for me. 

Do you have a friend who points you always to God? Our common concerns leads us to the same conclusion, we must keep trusting Him. Amen.

Aaah, Summer. I hear noises downstairs and I am reminded that today, construction (tearing up before something new comes) begins on a wall in my living room. This rental house, our home the last 12 years needs a few improvements and…its summer, I’m home. 

“Hola… can we come in?”

It begins. I am still in P.J.’s.  I lock myself upstairs and prepare for the day.  It is Tuesday, the first Tuesday of my summer. The gardeners come on Tuesday and I hear the rumble of multiple lawn mowers and blowers.  A bit later, I come downstairs. Now covered in plastic sheeting to protect from dust and flying debris, my living area is off limits. I move around the corner to the hallway and kitchen.

Puddles. Water. Not the kind you want to run through for summer fun.

The toilet downstairs chose to overflow, somewhere between the time hubby left for work and my trek downstairs. I knock on my son’s door and squish onto his carpet.

Aaah, Summer. Our small wet/dry vac does not do the job, so a borrowed one, industrial-size, finds its way from the neighbor’s house to ours. Now, my “quiet world” shouts lawn mowers, hammers, sawzalls, talking construction workers and a large vacuum cleaner.  I settle into my thoughts. My plans are not God’s plans. I hear Him above the noise. 

New things take work. Broken things need attention and sometimes demand it in not such a graceful way. Maintenance is something we must do every day, consistently in our week to stimulate more growth and rid the weeds. You can tell which places do that, those that don't. 

I know which one I want to reflect. 

Aaah, Summer. Maybe it’s not the quiet peace I need to pull into, though that is a good thing, but it's how God shows up in the disruptive places, the over flowing, uncertain places, the messy places. Isn’t that me?

Wake me up God, with your voice of love and hope. Pull me downstairs Lord and deconstruct my attitude and frame again, the parts that do not reflect or lead to Your Glory. Mow me over, Lord, with Your grace and goodness and show me how to best maintain my Spirit towards Your sovereign plan. I long to trust You more with the outcomes I do not yet see. 

Aaah, Summer. One day at a time to shine and prepare for a Harvest of magnificent bounty. Thank you Spirit, like the sunflower, keep my head turning towards You... in anything and everything, in all things. 

Like a Monet painting displayed before me, my butterfly garden is viewed through a lens of construction plastic. Beauty in not just in the ashes but can be displayed in the process as well. 

Considerably Yours... even in construction,


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

But God: An Intentional Love Story.

I stepped into the hospital chapel, alone. 

But God? A burden pushed from every side. It weighed so heavily within my spirit, yet my body barely functioned in its numb state. A thousand pounds might fall into my lap and I wouldn't have felt it. Only one exception, my lungs ached trying to breathe.

What language did I speak? 

I couldn't put words together in my mind, yet...I knew God interpreted my confusion, my desperate pleas, the anguish in every teardrop. My head hung in a sacred place where many had come before me in this same state, some knowing hope, some...maybe not. There remained nothing I could do, and everything I could do as I inhaled in pain and exhaled in promise.

I learn of my son, Tim's death.  He was so tired. 

Tears of surrender and anguish moved with the fluid prayers, both conscious and underlying. Time. Stop. Rewind, so I won't forget anything. Outside, his father and others paced, did their own petitioning. He heard the words first. I did not. My husband's eyes conveyed a sudden truth no one wanted to recognize.

Let this tsunami pull back, disintegrate, evaporate as if nothing broke the dam of reality. 

In that moment, no utterances surfaced, held under by the pieces of many shattered hearts. God, in all His glorious love and grace, never felt so real and so worthy of all my worship until that very moment.

Full Sail

Twelve years have passed and I am different. Different from that very second and transformed over time. All these collective moments both anchor me and set me free. Learning to find peace in both places,  the Lord God sets the course and I must trust Him.

Like the tides, faithful and true, covering up and pulling back to reveal treasures, the tide pools of tears and memory shells provide discovery and a deeper both the wading...(the waiting) and the deep, my story.

I want to, I need to, I must voyage through Your perfect Will, Lord. 

You, Lord, in Your great love for me, For Timmy, are so intentional. As I write these thoughts, pour out my praise and prayers, I press in, buckle tight the grace gift life vest. It wraps around me in perfection and comfort and I see the generous deck hands You have provided to sail along with me. They, as well, are intentional, devoted, my own miracles.

I might have stayed under the heavy tarp of despair and grief..., the grommets of regret and isolation held fast to the what ifs, the should haves, BUT GOD...

I allowed, directed my self to feel His Spirit as all the deck hands prayed, continue to pray and honor our Creator and Giver of life. I billowed up, caught by the Wind and I began to sail through the waters only You charted for me, a personal, intentional course.

I dock in beautiful Ports of Calling and walk along shores where grace ripples so gently and so amazingly. Hope unpacks the grief and restores this vessel for myself, for others.  A certain horizon awaits me, the full sail Glory of the Lord in my own return Home but until then, I will speak of, serve and worship The Lord of Promise whose Love is intentional for every one of us.

Psalm 27: 13-14 
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait on the Lord. 

Let go, Let God
He is Lord
Grace is Amazing
Heaven is Real

Considerably Yours,

Sunday, December 16, 2018

...And Then I Hear Him

I watch, holding my breath
Feeling both pain and overcoming joy.
His tiny features and newborn skin bond to my soul,
As I hold him so close, forever mine.
I ponder motherhood, an honorary role,
Intentional blessedness
So much to learn…
            And then I hear his cry,
            Prayers begin to yearn.

I watch as an angel appears before me
In the garden’s morning walk.
His magnificence shines and I am amazed at the sight.
He speaks words of purpose, a Holy Plan to be
I bow in awe and wonder as He speaks of Coming Light.
How God…why me?
            And then I hear him call me Favored One,
            Mary, so shall it be.

I watch as he grows and discovers,
Curiosity catapults and words articulate.
Motherhood is fun and hard, many surprises and delights.
Settled into somewhat routine
Jotting down memories, maybe some highlights.
The reality of life sets in
Detours appear,  Grace guiding us down the hard road
            And then I hear Him whisper…
            I will help carry your load.

I watch Him grow in wisdom and stature,
In favor with God and man.
Already set to do His Will , teaching
At the Temple, he stayed too long
Asking questions, listening, preparing for preaching…
Soon He would gather
The twelve Fisher’s of Men,
            And then I hear Him announce,
            “I’m about to begin.”

I watch him lay so still
That machine breathing in, breathing out.
Motherhood is love and hope, faith and…trust.
Prayers now in desperation
Oh, how I know God is a stronghold, a must,
As his spirit leaves,
To meet God on that night.
            And then I hear Him comfort me,
            “I promise to make this right.”

I watched Him as they mocked,
Spat at Him and lashed,
He walked with that Cross,
To the hill called Golgotha,  
And one hung alongside to believe
And one paid the cost.
Spikes driven, upright stood.
             And then I hear Him tell me,
            “Behold, your Son, this too will be good.”

I watched Him, again in the garden and beyond
My heart seeking more and longing for the Deeper Things.
His generously guided grace surrounds
To heal , infuse, purpose me
With the supernatural in and around.
I miss him so, it is true,
But the promises are Eternal…
            And then I hear Him give me
            A purpose, for the time here, external.

I watched Him as He died, prepared Him for that tomb
But on that third day, God’s preparation completed the Plan.
All the wrongs in the world hung with Him that day
For He Is God’s Son you see, the final Sacrificial Lamb
Overcoming death and sin, in the blood-price He paid.
Confess your need
Give Him your heart
            And then you’ll hear Him tell you
            I love you My child, and I will never depart.

 Considerably Yours,
Merry Christmas