Saturday, May 28, 2011


I had always wanted a home with a magnolia tree in the yard.  I do live in the south after all and in my head it only seemed fitting.  When we bought our home over 15 years ago, I was a bit disappointed that on the almost 4 acres of very wooded land there didn’t seem to be a magnolia tree.  I wanted a house with a magnolia so much, that we even named our dog Magnolia and called her Maggie.  Silly, but true.

One day when Cameron was walking on the back half of the property, he spotted a tiny little seedling of a magnolia tree.  He carefully dug it up and replanted it in the front portion of the property near the house hoping it would take root and be in a place so we could watch it grow.   Well, it took root and it has grown into a tall and lovely tree that brings me joy every time I see it.  The only thing that has bothered me about this tree is that regardless of its large size, it has never produced a bloom.
Going down the driveway yesterday I looked up and as I was passing the tree, noticing just how tall she had gotten and there it was - a massive bloom.  Simple, white, full, and stunning.  I slammed the brakes and screamed “It bloomed!!! Look! The magnolia bloomed!”  I parked the car and we jumped out.  We had to get a picture.  Cam took pictures and I called Amanda, because I had told her just days before that I wish our magnolia tree would bloom and it had!  She peered out her bedroom window. She could see it and she laughed.  The tree was holding that bloom up tall and proper.  It was as if the tree was just as proud of this first fruit as we were.

This excitement may seem a bit much, but I cannot begin to express what seeing that bloom did in my heart.  I had looked at that tree for years knowing the potential that was inside.  My longing for that potential to come out had grown with each passing season.  I had recently begun verbalizing my restlessness at its seeming unwillingness to simply let what was in there come out.  Would it ever bloom? Was it just not time? Questions I was asking that perhaps were reflecting things closer to my own life than I was willing to admit.   And then, it bloomed.

With that bloom - hope rose, joy was released and the awesomeness of Creator God shone forth.  It was a testimony of waiting, timing, expectation and surprise.

Thank you Abba for the lessons you teach and the joy you splash on my world when you surprise me with gifts that only you can give.  I cannot wait to see the rest of the blooms that you are allowing to spring forth all around me. I am joyfully waiting. I am hopefully expectant. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Finding the Table

Psalm 23
The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 
2) He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3) He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
4) Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
5) You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.
6) Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23 is such a familiar passage that we often quote it without drinking in the words of wisdom that are encased in every section. Maybe we are drawn to the peaceful streams, or are clinging to the knowledge that his rod and staff are there protecting and comforting. 
     Maybe we need to stop and re-think our interpretation – maybe walk around to the other side of these passages and get a new perspective. Several years ago while in Israel, someone was reading verse five and they said "If you are so focused on the enemy, you won't find the table." That grabbed me. The table is the very provision of God. It may be right in front of me – but if I am looking at the wrong thing – I have the potential to miss the very thing God is preparing for me or maybe what he's already spread before me.
     The enemy of my soul sends a world of distractions - some real, some contrived, some tangible, some in my own head or heart. All clamoring for my attention, steering my thoughts, my attitudes – its hard not to look. But, if it is true that what I focus on, I empower, then I have to set my focus the right thing, not on the distraction.  Phillipians gives us a tremendous guideline for this by saying, "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
      May the aroma of the feast of His word capture my very being so that I find the table He has prepared. I wanna sit and taste the goodness of my God and drink of the new wine He is pouring even now. I wanna- let my cup overflow.