Pressure

I was reading today in my devotional about pressure.  About being made broken bread and poured-out wine… His call for my life is something that was whispered to my heart over a period of years, one that is still being repeated.  It is a deeply spiritual call that loses momentum in the busyness of my day-to-day. The intimacy of His whisper gets forgotten as I “do” the tasks that are required of me. All throughout my day I feel this pressure. This constant squeezing and uncomfortable molding that I resist often. I don’t mind being uncomfortable if I can put a time limit on it. I am a pretty flexible person. I am happy to serve so long as I get a break from time to time. The thing about this call He has given me is that it has no set time… It is forever. I know that is why I feel the pressure so much more intensely these days. Why do I resist when all I want is to be made more like Him? To be the disciple that plants seeds and carefully watches and nurtures until the day of harvest? I actually LOVE that he is taking the time to crush me. I love the children he has given to me for this brief time. I love that the seeds are planted and I pray for the one that will be there to harvest them.

Oswald Chambers said this, “He gives us a tremendous, riveting pain to fasten our attention on something that we never even dreamed could be His call for us. And for one radiant, flashing moment we see His purpose, and we say, “Here am I, send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).  This call has nothing to do with personal sanctification but with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. Yet God can never make us into wine if we object to the fingers He chooses to use to crush us.”

He goes on to say that the finger and thumb that He uses to squeeze us is often not His. If I am going to be made into wine, then I must be crushed. I can’t be poured out if I am never transformed. The shaping of my character is one that is done by the fingers of the children he has placed in my home. By their broken families. By the lost in this world that need Him as much as I do. If I am going to be a child of God with a character like Christ I must be crushed and poured out. I must allow the pressure that results in the kind of bread and wine that benefits His other children. Oh, that I would remember the intimate whispers and the enthusiasm with which I replied, “Here I am, send me!”.

My Mom

Mom when she was ten…

I guess that I am ready to post a blog about Mom. For those of you that don’t know, she died on May 31, 2008. She died of complete renal (kidney) failure in Waldron. She was in a coma (stupor) for the entire time she was in the hospital. There are just a few things that I want to say about that. If any of you ever have a loved one in the hospital in a coma, please research it so you know how to treat them. There are actual studies on patients’ responsiveness, how they feel, how to read their responses to know how they feel. I wish that I had done it sooner. The thing to remember is that they can hear…

In Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven, he talks a lot about how we, as Christians, have a false idea of what Heaven will be like; that many Christians don’t even long for it or look forward to it. Well I do… While Mom was in the hospital, I read to her from the book. My sisters would call me over to tell her more about what her body would be like, or what she would do there. I told her the best part was that she would get to see Jesus… everyday, all day, and that He would be the newest recipient of all of her needlepoint (I am pretty sure that I also told her that she would get to use real gold as thread. I am not sure this is biblical, but it might be). I told her about all of the people she would get to meet (mostly southern gospel singer-stars), but that in the END, she would be back on earth in no time, and that we would get to see her soon, and very soon. I think that it is important to be mindful of Heaven and the redeemed Earth. If you haven’t read the book yet, you should. They can also feel. My family and I caressed Mom’s hands and arms constantly. Talking and touching are big in my family. This part was very natural.

I miss Mom. I miss her very much. I am not sure how to feel about it, but I know that the experience changed me. I appreciate all of my friends and how they have been such good listeners. Thank you for letting me cry. Mom was a very caring woman. She was a great mom and a great wife to my Dad. She raised a bunch of kids and grandkids, she was pretty crafty, she was a good cook. She was like me. She liked the idea of a lot of things, and dabbled in them. But she was never exceptional at any of them. Just really good at a lot of them. One thing she was
exceptional at… Praying. That is how I want to be more like her.