In The Shadow Of Grace

Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Canada, 2010 taken by Martha M Wiggins

Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Canada, 2010 taken by Martha M Wiggins

Lord, let me walk through this day in the shadow of Your loving Mercy and Forgiveness, yet in the Light of Your Resurrection and Everlasting Joy.
Amen.  (MMW)

When light falls on an object it casts a shadow where the object displaces the light’s rays.  Shadows can be regarded by some as darkness, as evil lurking.  Such would be the case if Satan’s glaring light fell upon you.  Your shadow would become an ugly space to be in, for Satan’s light is false.  It’s glaring brightness attracts and pulls sinners in, taking hold of them until the shadow of death is flung far and wide around them.  They may appear alive and fulfilled, but truly they are just empty shells.  Wherever they cast a shadow others are attracted by their false brightness.  Within their shadow of death evil is most definitely lurking.

The complete antithesis of this shadow of death is the Light that shines forth from Jesus Christ, the Light of Resurrection and Everlasting Joy.  When His Light lands on you the shadow you cast is quite different.  Because we have the Light of Christ our shadows are not filled with darkness, but instead, with divine graces such as love, mercy, forgiveness, charity, and hope.  When others enter within our shadow they find comfort and life rather than sin and death.  For, from those who have the Light of Christ upon them, the shadow that is flung far and wide is the shadow of His Grace.

I pray each of us live in His Light and cast a shadow of His Grace upon all those we meet this day.  And, may God bless all who seek that grace. 🙏🏻

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A Soul In Training

“Although He was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,”  (Heb 5:8-9)

Hebrews, Chapter 5, goes on to say, “About this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need some one to teach you again the first principles of God’s word.”
As I read these passages in my study Bible, I was struck by the fact that even the Son had to learn, obey, and suffer before being made perfect; before He became the eternal source of my/our salvation. I thought, geeez, is there really any hope for me then, a born sinner, a wretched repeat offender, who doesn’t seem to learn the lesson of obedience spoken of above?

For many years a favorite daily devotional of mine has been “God Calling” edited by A.J. Russell. The reading for the same day I read the above scripture  was this… “Down through the ages My Power alone has kept millions of souls brave and true and strong who else would have fallen by the way.  The faith has been kept alive not by dwellers in ease, but by those who struggled and suffered and died for me. This life is not for the body, it is for the soul, and man too often chooses the way that best suits the body. Not the way that best suits the soul. And I permit only what best suits the soul. Accept this and a wonderful moulding is the result, reject it and My Purpose is frustrated, your best prayer unanswered, progress (Spiritual progress) delayed, trouble and grief stored up.  Try, each of you, to picture your soul as a third, being trained by us -by you and Me- and then you will share, and rejoice in sharing, in the discipline and training.  Stand apart from your soul with Me and welcome training- rejoice at progress.”

I realized I am a soul in training. But I also realized I may not be helping or cooperating with God in my training. As a result I continue to repeat mistakes and am not prepared to rebuff the Devil’s advances when he attacks at the very gates to my soul.
Seeing our physical body and mind as a third party assisting God in keeping our soul alive in the Spirit is one more powerful tool in our arsenal. With this viewpoint, this different way of thinking about our soul, we can be less timid about actively participating in the ‘care and feeding’ of our own soul. As long as we keep God as the Guidepost and seek His Wisdom and Will, we can make everyday choices that will fortify our soul against the onslaught and bombardment of the evil forces ever waiting to pounce on us. We can make prudent choices in reading materials, activities, friendships and relationships that will help our soul to thrive, to sing its life song out loud in praise and glory of Him who created it. When our soul thrives, we thrive!

A Prayer For Wise Choices
“Lord, Help me this day to choose not the way that is best for my body and it’s senses, not the temporal satisfaction; but instead, to reach out for what my soul is indeed thirsting for, a heavenly reunion with You.
Lord, help me this day to wisely choose You above all this earthly life and Satan have to offer. Your Strength shall be my weapon; Your Love my shield.
For You are my soul’s true home; You are my Lord and my God.


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Earthly Reminders Of Heavenly Things …aka Do Catholics Worship Statues, etc?

Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, Italy, (Basilica of St. Mary over Minerva) taken by Martha Wiggins, 2011

Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, Italy, (Basilica of St. Mary over Minerva) taken by Martha Wiggins, 2011. Saint Catherine of Siena is buried beneath the altar, and to the left is a statue carved by Michelangelo -Christ Bearing The Cross.

“He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit; Seen by the angels; preached among the Gentiles; Believed in throughout the world, taken up into glory.”  1 Timothy 3:16

Most of us fill our houses with the things we like, whether functional or just pleasant to look at.  In doing so we make our home a haven, a place where we feel good.  When we surround ourselves with things that make us feel good we create an atmosphere that nourishes our senses, an atmosphere that reminds us of who we were, who we are now, or who we wish to become in the future.

In this same way, many Catholics and Christians surround themselves with images of their faith.  Some even go so far as to say that Catholics actually ‘worship’ statues, along with other images and objects we might display. This is completely false.  God alone is worshipped by Catholics; The Triune Godhead: God The Father, God The Son, God The Holy Spirit. Only through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, may we be saved and enter the Gates of Heaven. 

Read further if you truly want to understand why we have faith images in our homes and churches. In reality, religious art, figurines, and symbols serve to remind us of our all important relationship with our heavenly creator and His love for us.  I call them ‘earthly reminders of heavenly things’. When seeing an image of Jesus The Shepherd holding a lamb and surrounded by His sheep, our thoughts might dwell on how we are also one of His flock, and a desire might ignite within our soul to better follow Him and His example for our lives. That’s inspiration not worship.
And then there are Saints that also inspire us. Saints were real people who lived and died in faithfully great service to God.  Their real earthly lives serve as role models for our own lives. We actually seek to learn and know about them so we can emulate their faithful service. And, just as we have heavenly family members who have gone before us, who we believe can pray for us, we also believe the Saints can pray for us in our times of need. We see it as no different than asking an earthly friend to pray for us. So yes we pray to Saints – to ask for their prayers. We do not worship them. When I am in true need and desperate for help, I will seek all avenues open to me for earnest prayer on my behalf or for whom ever I pray.
We also might have or carry with us a beautiful and inspiring prayer card, such as one with an image of Saint Frances on one side and his beautiful Peace Prayer on the other. It can help us remember to be kind to all of God’s creatures, and we can ask for His prayers to help us in doing so.  Or, we may like to read that prayer wherever we are when feeling disturbed in our heart. This is a spiritual aid for our daily grind, not worship of an image or object.

Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is a big sticking point for many when watching us Catholics. We believe Jesus gave us His Mother to be our spiritual mother (John 19:26-27); a heavenly mother to whom we can turn in our times of need, asking her to pray on our behalf to her Son.
I need to make a point clear here. Throughout this article I have chosen to use the word prayer rather than intercede because many believe going through Mary, or any Saint, to get to Jesus is some type of blasphemy. I, and these are my personal thoughts, believe when you ask a friend, anyone on earth or in Heaven above, to pray for you or someone you love for whatever the reason, be it illness, calamity, or life direction, you are asking for an intercession. You are placing that earthly person, Saint, Angel, or Mary directly between your request and God. Yes, you always have a direct line every second of every day to Jesus, to God, and nothing more is ever necessary. That doesn’t mean more is not helpful. God asks for prayer, for all earnest and faithful prayer. I ask, why you ever ask anyone for prayers if you don’t believe or have faith that they help? When you do, you are asking them to step in and plead your case, to ‘intercede’ on behalf of your cause.

That said, we Catholics pray the Rosary, also a big sticking point. We pray for Mary to wrap our prayers and petitions in the same package as hers and deliver them personally to her Son. What son wouldn’t lovingly accept prayers and petitions coming through his beloved mom? The beads hold no power. I feel I have to say that loud and clear. We do not believe the beads have power. The power is in the spiritual linking of our heart and mind to Mary through the special prayers and reflections of the Rosary, so that together, as we send forth our petitions, we lift up our humble spirit within to praise and worship God in those beautiful prayerful moments.

For us Catholics, and many Christians, each Spiritual image, in its own way, causes us to turn out hearts to God at that moment; to reflect on what is the most important thing in this earthly life, our relationship with God, our Creator.  We believe it is the sole purpose of every Angel, Saint, and Mary, to ever point the way to Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.  When we surround ourselves with these reminders we create a spiritual atmosphere that is way more conducive to living life as we should, to living a grace-filled life.
One last mention. In a similar way, a Creche or Manger scene is the focal point of our decorations for the Christmas season.  Let’s say it is ‘Christmas Central’ in our home.  Through its figurines of Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus, it tells the Christmas Story of the babe in a manger who came into the World, and was the Light for all mankind.  The Crèche and it’s figures serve as a reminder of who we were, who we are, and who we are to become. And all of this in one small setting of figurines; it is our earthly reminder of the One heavenly thing most important in our lives, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, and we have seen His glory; The glory of an only Son coming from the Father, filled with enduring love.”  John 1:14

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A Song Between Creator and Created

A Song Between Creator and Created

On occasion I have mentioned how there are songs from the 1960’s and 70’s that can become ‘prayer-like’ and lead us to a deeper connection with God during our everyday activities… if we are listening with spiritual ears.

As an example, one such song for me is “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees from 1977 (Shared below). Did I listen to it with spiritual ears back in the day? Not at all. Not until I attended a beautiful spiritual retreat as an adult and had a priest suggest the interesting possibility. He also explained that it is never meant to replace lofty hymns of praise and glory, or to disrespect other Christian songs and listening. It is merely an additional way of being in a secular world and allowing His voice to gain entry in a very unique and beautiful way. At least for me, it is.
I have found that God takes my love of certain genres of music and gifts me the joy of often finding Him there reaching out to me and enjoying it with me. For me it’s always been a much loved and appreciated God Smile. And He knows it, therefore He loves gifting it.

So, here it is.
How Deep Is Your Love by The Bee Gees.

It begins as God speaking to me…

I know your eyes in the morning sun
I feel you touch me in the pouring rain
And the moment that you wander far from me
I want to feel you in my arms again
And you come to me on a summer breeze
Keep me warm in your love, then you softly leave
And it’s me you need to show
How deep is your love, how deep is your love
How deep is your love?
I really mean to learn
‘Cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking us down when they all should let us be
We belong to you and me.

And then Me to God…

I believe in you
You know the door to my very soul
You’re the light in my deepest, darkest hour
You’re my savior when I fall
And you may not think I care for you
When you know down inside that I really do
And it’s me you need to show
How deep is your love, how deep is your love
How deep is your love?
I really mean to learn
‘Cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking us down when they all should let us be
We belong to you and me.

And then the song continues on repeating lyrics. It may seem strange for some, but I come away feeling reassured that I am deeply loved by God, and that He desires Me to love Him just as deeply. I feel His deep longing, His need to be one with my soul, and His desire to know my love for Him is real. I also come away feeling it is good to express my own need to be with and feel His presence deep within my soul, and to voice my need for Him to show me that His love for me runs deeper than I can ever fathom.

The most beautiful lyric for me?
-We belong to You and Me- A beautiful back and forth communication of deep abiding love between Creator and created. The core of Life.

If you’ve read this far, I’m impressed. If you listen to every genre of music, past and present, with a spiritual ear, you just might be surprised where He sings directly to you, His beloved. I think that’s pretty COOL! 🙃🙏🏻❤️🎸

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A New Dawn of Light Filled Love

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5).

A New Dawn of Light Filled Love

Recently I have been reading an entry for each corresponding day in one of my past journals from “Journey Through The Stillness”.  At times it’s really an eye opener, reminding me of where I have been spiritually, and also serving as a renewed catalyst to accept and act according to His plan. His direct instructions have always been for me to share Him with you, with all of you.

In the beginning He had to admonish me fairly often, and still does at times. When I am fearful, doubtful, or even embarrassed about obeying His instructions to share Him publicly by writing, He reminds me in a very pointed and direct manner that I am His daughter and what daughter would not speak out on her Father’s behalf when asked. That hits home hard every time He has to bring it up. However, He does so in a very insistent yet very loving manner, letting me know He is ever there with me through it all. He gives me the tools, the words, and the confidence to do as He bids me. He takes all control out of my hands by telling me I am to leave the outcome, and its effect on each of you, in His Loving Hands. Even though I personally experience and write about my time spent in Stillness before Him, the sharing is never about me. In my time before Him, I have gotten ‘what’ is for me. Sharing is always only about HIM and YOU, even if I’m sharing something about me. LOL, I hope that makes sense. He wants to use my writing to stir a particular spiritual need or calling within you.

In fact, sharing can at times become a personal stumbling block for me, as I love to write. I have to remain (aka work hard at) humbly in awe of the words He has me write and not take excessive pride or ownership of any of it. Telling you this, serves to keep me honest, and shows you I also have faults and failures that must be rooted out just as we all do. We are each on the faith journey of this earthly life individually and yet together. We need each other to discover the many paths to the One True Way, Jesus.

Some days, when I revisit past Stillness entries, I can hardly read through my tears as I remember and relive the spiritual consolations given me. Other days it’s like hitting myself on the forehead realizing the simplicity of His lesson. I often want to leap up and share that exact entry again with everyone. Although I have learned to wait and see if that is what He truly wants at that moment, or if there is a broader picture He has in mind. LOL, it’s usually the latter of the two. I try very hard to temper my enthusiastic desire to please Him with my hard learned patience in His Ways.

Yesterday, I had an early doctor appointment and didn’t read. So today, I read two entries. Often, over the years, and after going through His Passion during Lent, He has to remind me to come back to the Joy, to let Him down off the Cross. He wants that message shared, so the following are those two separate, back to back entries from 2011, in “Journey Through The Stillness”, my personal spiritual journal.

April 28, 2011 – My Risen Lord says, “See how brightly shining I am in My Glory! You and everyone can shine too. Choose to come out of the darkness into The Light. Come toward Me, The Light, The One True Light. Come and be lit up for all to SEE. Those who SEE will be lit up and it will spread as a new dawn over all the earth. LOOK, SEE, Be Lit, and LIGHT!”

April 29, 2011 – My Risen Lord says, “Daughter, patience and lovingkindness are the Keys to bringing others to me. Love them where they are, as they are, and who they are. Let them feel My Love through you. They will know Me.”

What personally speaks to me in these two entries is the simplicity of them. I love how in the first, if we but go toward Him we will begin to light. He knows our desire. He sees our heart. Lean toward Him this very minute and begin to be Lit.

In the second, I love how simply He tells us to love each other just as we are. You are not mine to fix or control, and I am not yours to do so. We are simply to love and leave the outcome, the effect of that love, in His Loving Hands.
I know sometimes others, or even ourselves, are so broken in a myriad of ways that they or we need fixing. (depression, drug or alcohol addiction, are some examples)
The above does not mean we don’t try to help them. We do, and then through diligent and incessant prayer, we must leave them in God’s Capable and Loving Hands.

Today, He needs you to see how in allowing Himself to be Crucified, He both forgave and paid the price for all sins from the beginning of time to the end of time; for every sin you, I, and all of mankind, have already committed, are currently committing, and will ever commit!

Today, He wants you to know we each have a choice each and every day. We can hide and fearfully cower in the darkness or we can choose to be part of His glorious ‘New Dawn’ of Light and Love spreading over all the earth.

If you are unsure how to begin, start simply by leaning toward His Light and whispering to Him that you desire to love others without trying to change them. I promise, no HE PROMISES to be with you each step you take.

A New Dawn of Light Filled Love spreading over all the earth… Oh how in need our earth and We, His People, are.
God bless you, one and all.


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The Best Times

Ceiling in one of the halls inside the Vatican Museum, taken 2012 by Martha Wiggins

Ceiling in one of the halls inside the Vatican Museum, taken 2012 by Martha Wiggins

Originally published in 2011 & 2012. What follows is an updated version-

“Do not say: How is it that former times were better than these?  For it is not in wisdom that you ask about this.”  Ecclesiastes 7:10

When I came across the original version of this article recently, I felt it was a timely reminder for us all… Especially during this worldwide virus Pandemic. Most business are closed and many are out of work through no fault of their own. We have all been asked to harbor safely in our homes for the sake of  all. Our schools our closed for the remainder of the year and our children are being home schooled by their parents. All graduation ceremonies have been cancelled or will be virtual experiences. Families are huddled together 24/7 with all the stresses of the pandemic (fear of contracting the virus, personal financial decline, the hoarding and shortages of food and necessary home supplies, and the uncertainty of the future). Add to it the day to day stresses of family relationships. We are probably saying and doing things, both good and bad, that we never thought we would.

That is the ‘background’ of  today’s article. As it was in the original article, the focus here is going to be our children…

I have always disliked hearing grown ups say to young teenagers, when talking to them about high school or college, “Enjoy these times.  They are the best times of your life!”  It actually makes me cringe.

Imagine at 18 or 20 years of age hearing that the best days of your life are already lived.  What does that say about the next 60 to 70 years?!  They must think, if it’s true, and it must be because that’s what all the grownups are saying, what is there to look forward to in my life? What a bummer. Thinking about this in terms of our current day situation, with graduation ceremonies cancelled, postponed, or virtual, are our kids being made to feel they are being deprived of one of the biggest days of their life? That if they don’t walk across a stage and receive a diploma they have actually incurred a sad loss they can never regain? A fun memory to have, yes. Important to success in life, no. Their accomplishments are the big deal here, and they need to know that. It is their own personal accomplishments that are going to take them to the next chapter, the next big time in their life! We need to focus on the good/positive realities of their current life situation just now, instead of creating drama or making them feel overly sad about possibly missing out on a public celebration.

Another thing that has always made me cringe is when I hear young mothers carelessly say in front of their young children, “I can’t wait until they start back to school!”  I can’t help but think how it must make the child feel?  At the very least, they must think, Mom is tired of me; that she likes it better when I am at school. Now I’m not trying to guilt trip all you Moms who have ever said that, as we often say things in a joking way and that’s fine, occasionally. Teasing and bantering with our kids is part of a learning process for sure. Hopefully they are not hearing something like that on a regular basis. Certainly not a message a child should internalize.

And, please know that I am not saying as parents we don’t sometimes/often  welcome relief from the stresses of parenting; that we don’t need and treasure our ‘alone’ time. We just shouldn’t make or allow our kids to feel they are the cause of our stress or our unhappiness. If our children feel they are a burden to us, or that we would rather be somewhere else than with them, then they will see themselves as unlovable, or at the very least, a burden.  They will see themselves as something we need a break from.  Whenever another Mom said to me she couldn’t wait for summer or holidays to end and the kids to be back in school, I would reply loud enough for my kids to hear, “Not me!  I love having my kids home with me!”  Which kid would you rather be?

And yet, we also need them to not be fearful of venturing out of the nest to places such as school, sports, etc.  They need to feel secure in the knowledge that they are loved and will be missed while at school, but also have the strong feeling that they are encouraged and supported. As parents we must support them in growing up to be confident, capable, caring adults.

When my three were in high school and college, I told each of them to enjoy this special time in their lives, but to also look forward with anticipation to the future and all that God held in trust for them. I needed them to know that no matter how wonderful or bad a particular time might be, the best was always yet to come. I told them life was a gift that God gave us; a gift to be appreciated, enjoyed, and lived to the fullest; a gift to be cherished and protected.

Our children learn from our example how to react to the events in their own lives.  If we spend all of our time looking backwards, living in ‘what ifs’, and blaming our present trials on the past, then they will learn to do the same.  They will always look backwards with remorse, or with a longing for the ‘good old days’. Either way they will not be focused on the blessings of the present or the hope of the future.  Living in the past is not a path to success in the future.

Our children need to see us making the present time the best time in our life, or at least making the best of our current situation with the hope of a brighter future.  Sure, we can share good times from the past with them, but at the same time, making them think we love all the different times of our lives.  I have loved my kids in every stage of their lives.  I wouldn’t want to go back though, because I love who they are right now too!

You may think my view of life to be too simple and too optimistic, but I am also a realist.  Like everyone, I have real responsibilities and problems.  At times, some are more serious than others.  I have learned I have a choice in how I react to them.  While it is not always simple or easy to find ways to deal with difficult times and difficult problems, I remain happy in my core beliefs.  I believe in my God, my Father, my Creator.  I believe He’s got my back!  Because I believe this, I am able to navigate through all the different times of my life, and look forward with hope and joy to the next. I live in His seasons for my life.

It may be difficult for some to understand that, but the best way I know to explain it is to say that I choose happiness even in sadness. Does that mean I am not sad? Of course not, but when I am, I turn my focus (even if through tears of sadness) to all the blessings in my life, no matter what else is going on.  I focus on God.

 “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

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The Glory of The Lord

Originally published 1/27/2011. What follows is a newly updated version—

My sons hiking above The Valley of Ten Peaks, Banff National Park, Canada, 2010, taken by Martha Wiggins

My sons hiking above The Valley of Ten Peaks, Banff National Park, Canada, 2010, taken by Martha Wiggins

Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.” 
Job 40:10

One of my most favorite places on earth is in Banff National Park, Canada.  My husband and I, along with our grown children, have been there several summers hiking in the beautiful, pristine mountain setting.  My absolute favorite is Lake Moraine and The Valley of Ten Peaks.  I call it ‘Heaven on Earth.’  In the summer of 2010 we hiked one of the most breathtaking hikes I have ever been on.  I felt as if we were ‘hiking in heaven.’  The reason I share all of this is because it touched me in such a way that I believe it is etched on my soul!  If you have experienced anything similar, you know exactly what I mean.

While staying in Banff, I tried to spend time in Stillness before Our Lord as often as possible.  From our hotel room I looked out on a spectacular view of Lake Louise.  As I have occasionally done in the past, I would like to share my entry from The Stillness of July 24, 2010.  (You may be familiar with my ‘Journey Through The Stillness’ journal which I have shared publicly on Facebook.)

July 24, 2010 – Today it is My Risen Lord, as I sit before the gorgeous view from the hotel room window.  He is excited, almost bouncing with pleasure.  He says, “Look, look at the grandeur of all My Father has placed before us.  See His Glory, Martha?  Be in it, be of it.  Take it unto thyself and make it a part of you.  It will be given back to others tenfold because it will radiate from you.  This is how one should relish creation.  Become a part of it.  Become ONE with it, become ONE with Me.”  He is smiling, ready to go!”

One of the things I state on the website is that I have a simple faith.  The site is based on sharing my simple faith.  While I am a wholeheartedly, and faithfully Catholic, I also explain on the site that I believe there is much in common to be shared with all Christians.  Love is the common thread, and Jesus is Love!

While still on our trip, I entered into The Stillness again on the 26th and here is what transpired.  “As I place myself in His Presence He is glad to see me.  He reminds me, ‘I know this is a busy and exciting time, but remember to look inward to Me often.  Martha, you are surrounded by love; love of family, love of nature, and love of Me.  In fact, as you realize, you don’t have to look INWARD ONLY to see Me.  Here, you have to just look OUTWARD.  I am EVERYWHERE; it is easy.  It is SIMPLE.”

In my simple faith, because I believe He will speak to me, and because I listen for Him to speak to me, He does.  I am simple in the same way a child is simple, and always expecting to be awed by Him.  When I see His Glory I long to be in it, and of it.  I long to make it a part of me so that I can reflect and radiate it outwardly to all!

“The LORD our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire.  Today we have seen that a person can live even if God speaks with them.” Deuteronomy 5:24

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The Music Within

St Peter's Basilica, 2011

Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy, 2011, taken by MMW


The Music Within

Lord Of The Dance –
I danced in the morning
When the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon
And the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven
And I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem
I had my birth.
Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he….
(Except from Hymn by Sydney Carter, 1963)

If you know me, you know my love for music. For as long as can I remember I felt as if it was music pulsing through my veins. It doesn’t matter where I am, or how noisy it is, if a song is playing somewhere in the background I will hear and listen. When I awaken in the middle of the night there is usually a song playing in my head. I am never without music within.

I can’t tell you the number of times that God has used my love of music to reach out to me in some way. The following is just one of those times, and I’m so glad I was paying attention! (The personal note at the end was written as part of the entry at that time.)

Stillness entry from March 5, 2018 —
As I enter The Stillness He is telling me over and over to breathe deeply, to breathe Him In and Satan out; Him In and the world out; Him, New Life, In and me out. As I still myself and welcome Him, I am hearing my music playing downstairs. It keeps drifting into my conscientiousness. He says “Let it, child.” I begin smiling, softly crying, and praying, “Thank you, Lord, for the music in my life. It brings joy to my heart and an exuberance for the life within me. It is a pure happiness that makes me thankful, and while it is secular music from my past, it fills me with a spiritual awareness that it is truly a love gift from You to me. Thank you, my Lord, Jesus Christ, my Savior, and the One who Loves me.”
(Personal – As I end this, the song drifting up just happens to be, “You Decorated My Life” by Kenny Rogers. I firmly believe He just confirmed all that just took place in The Stillness. Yes, The Lord has decorated my life through His gift of my love for music. He wants us all to be happy in who we are and He looks for opportunities to give us Love gifts. I need to be better at looking for them and being open to receive them. Oh, how His heart must ache when we fail to notice His gift, and how He must smile when we recognize His gift as the blessing it is, and thank Him for it.

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‘To Do’ Lists

“In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice;  In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”  Psalm 5:3

We all have ‘to do’ lists, whether written down or in our heads.  The list may be of things we must get done or take care of.  There may be multiple lists of things to accomplish, things to buy, things to change, things we desire to achieve or things we need to let go of and forget.  We have bills to pay, groceries to buy, houses to clean, jobs to work at, children to raise, husbands, wives and friends to spend time with.  When we get up in the morning, most of us, have a fully planned day ahead.

Each one of these lists has something listed first, and something listed last.  First might not be what we necessarily want to do first, but rather what we feel must be done first.  However, if both the first and the last on the list are not prayer the in-between doesn’t matter.  In fact, prayer should be listed first, last, and in-between every item on our list!

If we begin in prayer, strive in prayer, and end in prayer our ‘to do’ list will be fully accomplished… at least everything that should be accomplished.  Put prayer at the top, bottom, and in the middle of your ‘to do’ list, and let God work beside you.  Soon, you will wonder how you ever got anything done without praying through it!

(Originally published in 2011, and again 2013.)

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The In-Between

Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Canada, taken by Martha Wiggins, 2010

Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Canada, taken by Martha Wiggins, 2010

“For I know the plans I have for you,”, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

There is a real difference between a frown and a smile.  This difference can be both seen and felt.  There is also a real difference between begrudgingly doing something and joyfully doing something.  And then, there is the in-between.

Let’s say you have something you need done.  It is very important, and yet, you are not able to do it yourself.  You ask someone to do it for you.  How do you feel when they mumble and groan the whole time?  You feel entirely different when they smile, when their demeanor shows they actually want to help out.  And then, there is the in-between.  You ask; they do.  You and they both know it isn not something they particularly want to do, but because they love and trust you, they are very willing to do it.

The same correlation can be seen in how we accept and have faith in God’s will, God’s plan for our lives.  Sometimes we want something so bad we are willing to sacrifice other things, important things, to get it.  We jump through all of the earthly hoops, and then seal the deal with prayer.  We know how we will react when the answer is yes, but how do we react when the answer is no?

Do we really have a choice here?  After all, when the answer is no, we have no other choice but to accept His will.  Actually, the choice is in how we respond to and accept his will.  Remember the difference between begrudgingly and joyfully doing something?  If we begrudgingly lay our disappointment at His feet, we are saying, “I don’t like this.  I don’t want this, but because You are Lord and you say so, then it is.”  If we joyfully lay it at His feet, we are saying,  “Thank you, Lord.  It really is fine!  I guess I really shouldn’t have wanted this after all.”

I think this is where the in-between comes in to play.  Instead, we bring our disappointment and lay it at His feet saying, “Lord, this really hurts right now, but in your infinite wisdom you know best.  Help me to accept and trust your will, your plan for me.”

If you were God, which approach would you prefer?  Would you want the begrudged acceptance, the joyful resignation, or the trusting disappointment?  Which response would you feel was the most honest?  Personally, I would rather know someone is disappointed in me, but trusts me, than have them constantly complaining about me, or just giving me lip service.

You do have a choice.  Take your disappointments to Him.  Let Him know your pain, but let Him know you trust Him also.  He knows the plans He has made for you.  Besides, He can handle it!

(Original article posted in 2013, and in 2014)

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