Fresh Air

 

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On Friday the fresh air and sunshine beckoned to me, and for the first time in many weeks I was able to go for a short “ride-along” with my husband. The clouds and blue sky brought nourishment to my soul as I lifted my eyes with thankfulness to the Lord.

 

The short journey came with its own payback, though, as days of rest were required afterward. That old nemesis of “post-exertional-malaise” made sure I paid attention to its demands. But above that voice I heard another whispering to me through the call of the poetry book that had been lying next to my chair for the last several weeks.

 

You might remember that my son and his wife and four sweet girls were here for a week back in March. Their little two year old wasn’t sure what to make of this Grandma that she had only seen on Facebook chats. I could see the wheels turning in her head as she tried to make sense of her bigger sisters coming to sit next to me while I was in recovery mode.  As she finally began to cuddle next to me, the time of their visit was drawing to a close. But God made sure that even this littlest one would leave me with a gift. She pulled a book out of my bookshelf, and when we tried to replace it, she pulled the same book out again and again. You guessed it, the book she found is this poetry volume that now rests next to me.  I finally recognized God’s prompting, and let my youngest granddaughter bring me the book that God had wanted me to read:  Toward Jerusalem, a gathering of poetry by Amy Carmichael.

 

These words describe so well the way that chronic illness can feel some days. And these words also describe so well the way that Jesus has met me within that very illness.

 

Light in the Cell

“And a light shined in the cell,”

     And there was not any wall,

     And there was no dark at all,

Only thou, Immanuel.

 

Light of Love shined in the cell,

     Turned to gold the iron bars,

     Opened windows to the stars,

Peace stood there as sentinel.

 

Dearest Lord, how can it be

That Thou art so kind to me?

Love is shining in my cell,

Jesus, my Immanuel.

–Amy Carmichael

 

In this waiting time, with days of unseen paths ahead of me, I hear my Lord Immanuel calling me to deeper rest.  While I cannot see His purpose, and I grow so impatient, feeling the chafing of wanting my own way, He is still working for good.  His voice calls to me through another poem that has been quietly whispering:

 

The Age-Long Minute

Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,

     Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea,

What matter beating wind and tossing billow

     If only we are in the boat with Thee?

 

Hold us in quiet through the age-long minute

     While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:

Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?

     Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?

–Amy Carmichael

 

And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. Isaiah 30:18 NIV

 

In these days where my own waiting is so clearly in front of me, what an encouragement to know that the Lord Himself is waiting also. He will bring His grace, His mercy, and His blessing of justice that I so desperately need, here in this time of purifying and cleansing.

 

I hear Him calling me to come away and rest with Him yet again, for another blogging break. This is a holy space, in-between Doctors, fully dependent on God’s care, looking to see what He has planned for this next season in my life.  I hope to be back here for at least a brief update after my June 12th consultation with a new Rheumatologist. I will also be checking into my Instagram account now and then.

 

Please know that each one of you has become so precious to me over these past few weeks especially.  God has brought home even deeper to my heart the ways that we are all connected in Him. Please send me an email through the contact form in the menu bar above at any time if you have a word, a thought, or a prayer request to share.

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for sending out Your justice, mercy, and grace to meet us–through Your only begotten son, Jesus. Thank You that You stand ready and waiting for the perfect time to shower us with Your gifts of love. I pray that my friends and I will keep our hearts open to receive from You. Would You help us to listen for Your voice that calls us away from the crowds and the noise. Let us pause before You, and stay with You till the storm passes by. And may we lift our praises up to You, the only One our hearts long for.

In the Name of Jesus we pray,

Amen

 

 

 

I am linking with:

#Teaandword

#Tellhisstory

 

28 thoughts on “Fresh Air

  1. How beautiful that your youngest granddaughter brought that particular book to you. I think that is definitely a “Godwink”. Have a blessed day dear friend! You continue to be in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Melissa. And yes, I agree that was such a sweet “Godwink” from my granddaughter. He sure knows how to touch our hearts! I pray for you to have a blessed day also, dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think of you often, Bettie, and pray your medication is helping? I can SO RELATE to your “post-exertional-malaise”… I call it a “Pa-ng Over” (pain hangover) otherwise known as “Palaise” (Pain/malaise). Funny how I’ve tried to make “fun” of something I have no control over that restricts my activity (or makes me pay for the activity I do come the next day!) I know you will understand what I’m saying…

    I loved your poem and how wonderful to spend time with your granddaughters! I know you paid for getting out but I am glad you had the chance to go on the “ride along”! Our souls need that nourishment even when it comes at a price! Gentle hugs to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much sweet friend! And yes, I do understand that feeling of some days needing to make fun of the very thing that hurts so much! I found myself doing just that when I fell in between my chair and ottoman, and had to ask for help to get up! That gift of laughter can sure help us over some of the roughest times. I am so glad that we can still pray through every one of those moments. May the Lord bless you this summer, as your family of sweet donkeys brings such joy. Gentle Hugs to you too!

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  3. Oh my sister, I want to say I will miss you here but I know that is not right for two reasons. 1) you are obeying God’s plan for your life 2) you and I have other ways besides the blog to reach each other

    I love the story of your granddaughter pulling the poetry book out, time and time again. God so loves you, sister. He is covering all your bases as He draws you to rest more deeply. Love and hugs from chilly PA, Julie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Julie,
      Yes, I am so thankful that Jesus keeps our weaving together unbroken in Him. Your messages are so precious to me. And I too am so grateful for that little child-like heart that was such a gift to me, just when I needed it, and still need it today. Jesus doesn’t miss a detail, does He? He truly is our Good Shepherd on this pathway. Praying for springtime warmth to head your way! Love & Hugs to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear, precious friend. My heart was so touched by your words today. I am continuing to lift you in prayer and trust God will heal you and give you the rest you need during this time of blogging break. It is just so dear how your little grand-daughter kept pulling out the book that God knew would be such a blessing to you. Sending much love to you today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much dear Cheryl! I appreciate your love and prayers so very much. Yes, that was such a precious gift that God sent to me through my sweet little granddaughter. He blesses us so much with those little hearts that He brings into our lives. I am so very grateful that we can continue to lift each other before our Lord. May you be blessed and well cared for this spring my dear friend! Love & Hugs!!

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  5. Those poems are so beautiful and powerful! I love how when your grandaughter blessed you, you turned and shared that blessing with us and it grows and grows, its a true testament to the far-reaching power of God’s love! Enjoy your blogging break in June, and I hope that you can find physical relief with your new doctor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Katrina,
      Thank you for your beautiful comments about how the love of God is so far-reaching! I also love those thoughts of how the Lord could take that gift from my granddaughter and spread it around to be shared here too. He is so full of grace towards us. And thank you for your prayers also. I am enjoying your book now, and hoping to finish it over my break time! Blessings to you!

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  6. Yes, “may we lift our voices to You the only one our hearts long for” It is not about what we have, what we can do, or the amount of suffering we endure, it is all about Jesus. Love the little poems and how you find Jesus in the little things, such as fresh air. Many Thanks 8)

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    1. Amen! It is all about Jesus. He keeps bringing me back to those thoughts that John the Baptist spoke, “He must increase, and I must decrease.” There is such beauty and life to be found in that surrender, isn’t there? May you be blessed this week!

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  7. What beautiful poetry you have shared, and so glad you had that visit with your grandchildren! Prayers for continued rest and healing, and for the doctors–for wisdom and knowledge. And even though you may not be physically outside in the fresh air, may you be always be refreshed in your mind, heart, and soul by the air of which God made, everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lynn,
      Thank you so much for your beautiful prayer. Yes, may I recognize the fresh air of God’s Spirit flowing everywhere all around me! He knows how to lead me step-by-step, and just as He showed that through my granddaughter, I want to trust Him in these new steps with Doctors. May you have a refreshing summer, Lynn, and be led into new places of beauty with Him.

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  8. Dear Bettie, that little granddaughter of yours was probably listening and responding to holy nudges within. How perfect that she should pick out this volume of poetry for you to read! One I must definitely add to my reading wish list. How typical of God to use such sweet ways to warm your heart! He really does care about us with great tenderness and attention to detail. And I see that here, curled up small in the poems you’ve shared, especially these lines, like a mini love letter to soothe my stress-ravaged soul: “Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?/ Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?” Earlier today I sank deeply into discouragement for a while due to seemingly intractable problems, until God gave me a little lift in something I read, and then confirmed it with these words.

    Once again, your pain and fatigue are no deterrent to God’s glorious work in your life. But oh how I understand that need for a break and a deeper rest in Him! May this season of sitting with Jesus reap golden benefits. May deeper levels of rest, refreshment and restoration occur. May you return revived and ready for all the good things God continues to want to do through you. I’m so glad you are only an email away, my friend. Though I do hope and pray you will exercise self-compassion and care during this time of healing and rest. Much love, gentle hugs and ongoing prayer for your health concerns. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy,
      Oh He “does care about us with great tenderness and attention to detail.” What a precious Lord we have that finds such sweet ways to nudge our own souls, even through the nudging of another. I am so blessed that the Lord would bring confirmation to you here after you had read lifting words from Him through another! Even though we may feel so weary and unable to keep our attention fixed in the right direction, He never misses a detail and brings us back to where we belong in His light.

      I am so very thankful that we can pray for each other, and for the gracious emails that you have sent to me so often my friend. Thank you for the sweet prayers that you have sent up–I do long for those golden benefits of sitting with Jesus. He knows how to restore what I can only guess at. What feels “unknowable and untraceable” to me is surely seen and known by Him. I pray for great rest and refreshing for you as well over these next weeks. Gentle hugs and love and blessings to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I love that! He does move through both the hands and the mouths of those little ones. And, yes, I agree that Amy Carmichael’s poems are so meaty and feel like little sermongs. Thank you for your prayers and sweet thoughts. And I am praying for you to be blessed with such a beautiful trip this spring.

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  9. How God prompted your 2-year-old granddaughter to pick a book out that would be used later to your comfort fills me with awe, Bettie. It refreshes my heart to hear how the Lord works in every little detail of our lives. I’m happy you could get out and get some soul refreshment, but I’m so sorry for what you have to suffer afterward. I looked up that book on Amazon and when I looked inside, the poem “My Quietness” touched my heart, especially the truth that “Until this tyranny be overpast, Thy hand will hold me fast.” Yes, He’s holding your hand, my friend, through this tyranny of the storm. I will truly miss your encouraging posts, but may God give you peace and rest in every way and may the new rheumatologist be both knowledgable and compassionate! Love and blessings of strength for each day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, isn’t God’s planning so amazing, to the tiniest detail? It is such a comfort, for those times when we are unable to see those details. I am so glad that you were able to check out more of Amy Carmichael’s poetry! That poem you quoted was actually one that I considered sharing here also. I have read my copy so often that the pages are literally falling out of it. God is so good to speak His encouragement to us. And you have been such an encouragement from Him for me also. I am so thankful that we can pray for each other through these days of the storms. Blessings, love and hugs to you dear friend! xo

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