Deeper Sand - if you are looking for more!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Faith Stepping

Footprints in the sand. Everywhere. All sizes and shapes. Each footprint tells the story of someone who wandered this same path. Leaving what is behind. Perhaps not sure of what is ahead. I walk behind these two, leaving my own mark, knowing that all our marks will be erased by the wind and the waves. And yet in this moment there is beauty in the evidence of community that surrounds us, in the gentle strength of a mother holding her child's hand and in the knowledge that we do leave a legacy made of one step of faith followed by another.
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. 
 I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. 
 You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation. 
 The prophets who told us this was coming asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing. The Messiah’s Spirit let them in on some of it—that the Messiah would experience suffering, followed by glory. They clamored to know who and when. All they were told was that they were serving you, you who by orders from heaven have now heard for yourselves—through the Holy Spirit—the Message of those prophecies fulfilled. Do you realize how fortunate you are? Angels would have given anything to be in on this!
1 Peter 1:3-12

For fun here's a link to one of the first posts on this sandy blog: Why Sand Stepping?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sacred in Place - Sabbath Living

I've posted twice now about defining a sacred space in your home where you can meet with God - and I've been grateful to those of you who have posted responses about your willingness to have your quiet times in the midst of your family life as a way to model to your children the priority of meeting with God daily, and in some cases out of necessity or as a spiritual discipline. I think I missed some important opportunities as a mother by keeping my prayer times more private - out of selfishness I suppose - out of deep need in hard circumstances - and out of ignorance. I wish someone had pointed out to me the value of having my kids seeing me meet with God.

I'd like to respond by proposing not an either/or, but as my pastor is quick to suggest, an "and". Perhaps a worthy goal is to build a beautiful, tranquil place for yourself. Our American homes have lots of bathrooms, indoor laundry facilities, dens and man caves and office space and of course lots of room dedicated to electronics and entertainment....but have you ever been in a house that had a chapel? Why not? What fun to have a place set aside to honor God. Yeah, all of our home should honor God (I love magnets with lists of blessings on fridge doors, and scripture signs over the fireplace), but what about a place where one can escape the busyness and sit at the altar? comes the AND....also incorporate times of worship, prayer and contemplation into the rhythm of our lives. Let your kids catch you meditating on the Word....stop and pray when life is getting too crazy...and as Ann Voskamp models, eat the Word at every meal. 

I want to be better at reaching out to God in the chaos, and even better at letting him reach out to me in the chaos.  I want my daily to-do list to have unwritten priorities to pray first rather than as a last resort, to count blessings and denounce spiritual attack. But, at my heart, I still crave my little corner that helps me to shut out the cares of the world and find my center in Christ. 

Call waiting....God's on the other line!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sacred Space Two

As I gaze around this space that I've grown so accustomed to I see trinkets that have meaning; a wooden cross I bought on Ebay (everyone made fun of me for believing monks really made it). It's lying on its side - did the cats knock it over? How did they knock just that over and not all the other stuff? There is a photo of my earthly father, a kaleidoscope I bought as a college graduation present in one of my favorite places -Mendocino, a vase that was a gift from a good friend, a wooden birdhouse my youngest gave me, and a little angel figurine that was a parting gift from a ministry job. All the trinkets are placed wrong because our housekeeper moves stuff around and likes things lined up oddly.

There is soft light from a funky crooked lamp I bought on clearance somewhere (I seem to collect odd bargain basement stuff), and from a candle. The air is sweet from the fragrance of the candle, laden with the scent of lilac. I think heaven is lilac scented.

My chair is smooth leather. Cold in the winter and slippery. I love the feel of the leather and the way the chair cradles my body. My bible is covered in leather. I love the feel of  the cover in my hands, the light heft of the Word, the delicacy of the pages between my fingers. I love just holding it and turning the pages. I adore my Kindle but for the Word of God I have to have my actual Bible. It's just not the same seeing the words on a screen. I have to feel them in my core. The bookcases contain an assortment of books, all of which have memories attached. They are friends who are part of my journey. I love texture so there are a couple of baskets to contain clutter, but also to bring sensory delight with their unique woven patterns.

I often listen to music in this space - generally acoustic offerings - as I find lyrics distracting when I'm trying to listen for God or read or think. Note to self; Bose sound system. Gotta take this space up a notch from my funky bargain basement Ipod speaker that sputters.... I also hear, all the time, all.the.time....static. I suffer (am blessed?) with tinnitus so there is always background noise in my head. Annoying. Aggravating. Accepted. I guess it filters some of the other sounds for me. Constant white noise makes space for more of God. Even with a focused space I find my mind and heart wandering so I have to employ technique (which somehow seems oh so wrong) to stay open and focused. Breath prayer, a centering phrase or word, and gentleness with my distracted self.

Ah, there's the sound of the cat door...and the microwave just dinged upstairs....

What sensory touches help you make a space
into a sacred space? 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Random Musings - Sacred Space One

I used to have my quiet times upstairs - less private but it affords a filtered view of the sunrise peeking through the neighbor's trees. I love seeing the sky wake up and always feel a bit in awe of God's mastery in creation. Now I have a very sweet little space downstairs with a candle, comfy chair, treasures to look at, all my books, and sometimes even my pen. I cherish my time in my sacred space, but my view is of the lawn and fence. The sunrise presents only as a lightening of the scraps of sky that are mostly covered by the vegetation. Today I moved between spaces. It's interesting to note the difference in my spirit when I can see the sun rise. As I watched for the hue to change I was aware of the physical hunger in my belly, a headache, a very sore shoulder, and yet mostly I was aware of peace. Downstairs I find myself more focused but less free. I also find myself unconsciously turning my chair away from the window (towards bookcases) - perhaps to remove even the distraction of light and creation?

What does your sacred space look like?

 What elements help you to find spiritual space with God? 

If you have not claimed an area of your home - can you?