Friday, December 24, 2010

"T'is the Season"

She's the only one left at home. The pretty teen with whom I'm snuggling, happens to be my daughter..."the baby".... "Zoe" (aka Shemaiah). I remember when our house seemed too small. I had recently remarried, and on the weekends when 2 of my husband's 3 kids, along with a grandbaby, along with my 3 kids, all hung out together at our house-- Whew!-- "privacy" was a foreign concept! Even during the regular weekdays, since my teen son always traveled with an "entourage," it seemed like we were always bumping into each other, begging for folks to hurry up in the bathroom, and always, ALWAYS, eating!(Which means, I was always cooking-- although my husband can throw down pretty good!)
But then, I blinked, and they were gone.
That's what it feels like. Of our 6 children, five are ages 20 - 31 --all grown and living on their own. One's in China(!!) So now it's me, Zoe and my husband, Willie. Until recently.
About 3 weeks ago, I was complaining to the Lord about our (perpetual?) struggling financial situation. I just didn't see how the mortgage and all the bills were going to get paid and leave enough money for Christmas. The numbers just didn't add up. That was a Sunday that I sat with my calculator, the checkbook, and a box of tissues. Then came Monday..... and God answered my prayer:
I was driving home from work and my pastor's wife called me. Apparently a family that we both knew, that had been facing extremely serious financial difficulties was now homeless. The mom, with 6 of her 8 children, were at a homeless shelter, which happened to be very close to where I was when my pastor's wife called me. I didn't take time to think it all through, but I found myself making a beeline for that homeless shelter. When I saw the youngest children in the window (ages 3 and 5), they started waving and smiling -- so ecstatic to see me. I felt my eyes welling up with tears. Next thing I knew, I was checking 4 of the children out of the shelter under my care, and driving them to my house. The mom was so relieved, I'm sure she cried and slept for a good long time after watching us drive away.

I blinked again... and my house was full of children.
For a week, the 6 - 8 of us bumped into each other, begged for bathroom privileges and always, ALWAYS, ate! And somehow, there was enough. The mom went shopping and chipped in what she could.I called upon my 25 years of "kitchen magic" (the ability to stretch a meal to endless portions!)And God provided. GOD PROVIDES. That's what He does when we forego our math for HIS.

Our "new family" left after a week, and I'm actually not quite sure where they are right now. But it's Christmas Eve and I'm looking under our Christmas tree, and I see no lack. I definitely don't see extravagance, but I surely don't see lack either. I don't confess understanding all that has transpired over these last 2 weeks, but when God steps into our human realm, as He did 2010 years ago, we humans are the last to truly understand it all. I do understand one thing: God answered my prayer, but according to HIS rules, not mine. He did the same thing when His Jewish children wanted a King, and he's done the same again and again throughout history. Will we ever really "get" that His Ways are NOT our ways; His Thoughts are truly higher than our thoughts. After all, from the very beginning, it was God's Reason that master-planned this miraculous Season!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks…… but you can always teach a seasoned bird how to fly a little higher.

I named myself “Firebird” at 9 years old. I had put on a ballet tutu, put on Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, and put on a show for an audience of one – that “one” being myself. Mommy was shopping and Daddy was who-knows-where, but I could always depend on me, myself and I to be the perfect audience. That’s how it started, but before the Suite came to its end, I truly sensed that my audience of one had become an audience of One. At 9 years old, I felt the Presence of God enter my living room; I felt His Fire enter my bosom; I felt His Anointing pour upon me like rain. By the end of the Suite, I was laying on the blue shag carpet feeling a peace and a wonder that made me cry, though I still did not fully understand why.

Forty-two years later, and this bird has accumulated many decades of flying. Though I have spent, and wasted, far too many years “grounded” due to my own disobedience as well as circumstances beyond my control, I have also been blessed with as many years “in flight,” ie, DANCING! And now--- this seasoned bird is ready to be a “Higha Flya” –Hallelujah! I will be spending the next year as a student of the Eagles International Training Institute, with the hope of receiving my minister’s license by Oct 2011! The purpose of blogging this is 2-fold: First, in celebration of myself. Yes, my sistahs—we do need to celebrate ourselves sometime! This is the kind of boasting that makes the Father proud. When He brings us from such a mighty long way….. when His long-suffering nature has bought you the time you needed to get yourself together…. when enough illnesses and operations have more than convinced you that, indeed, it is ONLY in HIM that you live and move and have your being--- Oh Yes! It’s alright to celebrate yourself! He Knows all the Glory belongs to HIM!
But secondly, I’m blogging because this will probably be the last time in a long while that I’m able to take the time to do this much writing. For those who have ever considered Eagles Institute, it is important that you pick a time in your life that you can enjoy a lot of biblical studying and writing. I can already see that most of my writing, outside of my occupational life, will have to be devoted to my monthly essays. Also, there is A LOT happening in Liturgical Dance World and in Worship Arts in general [check out the SAVE THE DATES!], so between keeping up ministry opportunities, working full-time in Special Education, and being there for my husband and teenage daughter (we have 6, but the other 5 are grown), I think blogging will have to take a back seat. Do continue to check out Firebird for Save the Dates and periodic videos, etc. Just know that, for now, Firebird is learning to fly like an Eagle!

Monday, September 6, 2010

As Seasons Change.....

.... Hopefully, so do I. Hopefully, I am never too old to be changed and transformed, by the submission of my will and the power of God's mercy. Hopefully none of us is ever too old and settled, or young and resistant to Learn Life's Lessons:
In reflecting on one of the poorest yet amazing summers of my 51 years of living, I thought I'd share 11 Lessons Learned: [apply them as you like :-)]

LESSON #1: God is my Source

LESSON #2: Invest in good soil when you have much; so that you will reap good crops when you have little. (My eldest daughter, and our trip to China!- July 2010)

LESSON #3: Food tastes better when shared. (Feast of In-gathering and Harvest, with my soil sistahs!-Aug 2010))

LESSON #4: God is my Source!

LESSON #5: When someone you know is in a serious crisis and you don't know what to do, do what you know! (cook a meal, hand-deliver a good DVD, stop by...)

LESSON #6: God really does NOT always come when you want Him, but He's right on time!
(Sorry, tele-evangelist, who said we shouldn't confess this. It's my testimony!)

LESSON #7: Americans really can be a uh... stupid --- globally speaking. (btw, I am American, so don't be offended)

LESSON #8: Don't expect to be in God's Army without going through Boot Camp! (PURIFY Worship Conf, July- 2010!)

LESSON #9: When the wind blows, the branches at the top are the first to move. If you wanna feel His Wave, you gotta start climbing! (WOPPDLC- TX- Aug 2010)

LESSON #10: I Peter 2:17 "Honor ALL people, Love the brethren, Fear God, and honor the king." When we got married, I referred to my husband as my king. Ok. Lesson Learned.

LESSON # 11: Did I mention?-- GOD IS MY SOURCE!!