A vintage frame hangs on my office window –it frames a living canvas of purple and yellow pansies, a mighty oak with its green leaves in the summer and sticks in the winter – the occasional squirrel, a light stream of cars shuttling past. One day about 8 squirrels galloped past – I expected to see a T-Rex following after them.
It reminds me to look, to see beauty, to see His gifts, Him with me.
At prom, dates and friends, moms and dads who helped decorate, cook and serve, held the black frame, smiling sweet and funny faces, a living canvas of young men and women about to soar, expectation in their faces – and the frame held good moments, moments filled with smiles.
A long time ago, my mama sat on my bed, coaching me through picking up my room. My 4-year-old self was steamed. I can’t recall the mean thoughts, but I was thinking mean thoughts about my mama.
On the other side of the door frame, she said, “God knows what you’re thinking.”
I stepped through the closet door frame, into the dark back of the little closet, next to the stove Santa had brought – and mean thoughts simmered up like steam. God couldn’t know what I was thinking hidden in the dark back of a closet.
“He knows what you’re thinking in the closet, too,” she said smoothly.
The mean thoughts stopped. I just stood there in the darkness, something inside growing. I remember thinking, “WOW! He knows what I’m thinking.here. hiding.in.this.closet – WOW!”
The steam and anger evaporated. That interaction between my mother and I, through the closet-door frame that separated light from dark, from hidden to found.
I met God in the back of that closet. I’d sat in church every Sunday, probably in my mother’s arms first – yet, it wasn’t until that moment that I met God face to face.
It wasn’t until that moment that God framed me – it was my choice – to allow Him to frame me. God’s kind of framing is that way – a choice.
It’s not a restricting frame, a limiting frame – God doesn’t work in worldly perimeters. World perimeters limit. God perimeters are liberating.
Ever since then,I have framed my life in that relationship, sometimes, imperfectly so, the living canvas of my life is framed in Him.
Constantly in motion, constantly holding me together, constantly showing He values me, loves me, to embrace me, to wrap me in the frame that is Him.
I am so glad He revealed the power if Him to me in the frame of the closet when I was a little girl.
So glad He framed me!
“Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me” (Isaiah 49:16)
Much blessing this week – little and big blessings, little and big moments – it wasn’t a week for words, though words like “I present to you the graduating class of 2013” were important. The little blessings were eloquent
- Cardinals racing out in front of my car when stressful moments threatened – saying to me, “He is with you. He goes before you, behind you and beside you” – the stress would ebb – and I would smile, slow down.
- Friends in this community praying – really praying – for my requests – The M.O.M. Initiative and other sweet friends – you exemplify how God wants women/moms/wives to support each other – through encouragement and prayer through the tough times. Simply Beautiful and Up-lifting.
- I’ve made about 100 cupcakes in the last month – but when I saw 2 Kentucky Silk Pies in the freezer at my Tennessee grocery store – it was like God saying, “Take it easy. Savor the moment. These pies equal your cupcakes” – and I did – and everyone loved them – and it was like someone did it just for me!
- Sweet Tea with Lemonade
- Grandbaby girl and my sons on the sidelines at the soccer field on the march to state for my senior’s team. My youngest was just that age when her daddy, my oldest, was playing on that soccer field his Freshman year of high school. The sun setting on this soccer field, on a Spring evening in May, during a good game with family and these moms I’ve sat with for years – it was sweet blessing! (The boys won district, region – but lost graduation night in sectionals – the game that would have put them in state).
- My sweet MIL coming to visit for the week, folding laundry, cheering her grandson’s team on, sitting with us on the porch – and being in the kitchen with me – I love that time, that doing together – and she so blessed me.
- My mom coming to my son’s graduation, spending time with my son, managing my puppy in the chaos of celebration, sitting on the porch with me in the evenings – I loved that!
- My husband finishing up my Mother’s Day Present/Project – when the chalkboard spray just didn’t work, Friday night he rolled the canned paint, so I could do my chalkboard art for graduation
- Nanny cutting out, Mom sewing 4-squares to make 8 stars and stripes corn hole bags – and me filling them up with corn – Team Blue Cotton – all for graduation celebration on Saturday
- Sunshine on Saturday – on the way to graduation – I spotted a few blue spots in the rain clouds. I said to my husband, “I wish those blue clouds wold take over the sky for the rest of the day (We had an 80% chance of rain forecast) – those blue skies – they did take over -right at the end of graduation – just in time for graduation pictures until the end of the soccer game.
- My 4th sons collar-bone healing
- A friend reminding me that He inhabits my praise, that He evaporates the unquiet that way – that He fixes the things that tear at our hearts
- Coffee made in the morning when my MIL visits – I never manage to do it when it’s just me.
- Sweet tea mixed with lemonade
- smiles – from each boy at any moment
- Puppy Moments that just make you smile
- all those bushes we transplanted last year – that looked hopeless and were reminders of “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” – are greening up and blooming riotously this year.
- My oldest son saying, “You gave a great graduation party, mom” – and I replied, “A graduation party is only as good as the family and friends you have.”