Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Redemption

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life…but with the precious blood of Christ…”
I Peter 1:18

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine."

Isaiah 43:1b



My God!

You have been my Redeemer.


Saving me from pitiful predicaments
—though many were created from my own weak will.

Rescuing me from perilous places
—though at times I have gone willingly and sometimes I have stumbled in the dark.

Ransoming me from the enemy
—though often my own choices brought me to his territory.

Protecting me from myself
—though often I have not acknowledged or taken responsibility for my poor
discernment.

The reality is your redemption does not end. It is not a one-time event in history. Your redemption is a continual theme in this brief story of mine.

But in the finite frailty of my humanness I could not comprehend that your redemption restores spoils I was unaware had been raided and plundered.

Your redemption of Tamera (and anyone reading these words) reaches back into the past and stretches forward into the future. Incredibly your redemption is also NOW. You are summoning me by name here in my present—in the daily profane and holy now of my life.

Your redemption leads to restoration far beyond what and where I was before. You will not take me to that place again. You will take me beyond—into the richness of your abundance—into the broadness and depths of your grace.

I am stunned

I thought I understood the beauty and joy of your redemption. I believed I had seen and experienced your riches. I thought I understood your bowl of blessing for me. I thought I had seen a glimpse of the trailing essence of your glory.

I was and am short-sighted.



Oh my God, correct my vision!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Crazy Beautiful Daughters

I have the most crazy, beautiful daughters.

And I am one of the richest women in the world because of them. They have blessed me far beyond my hopes. And they make me very, very proud to be their mama.

One sent me a Facebook message this morning. Simple, forthright, direct. And I could only smile and laugh. Her simple words were enough to last the whole day.

Another daughter called me this morning. We laughed and cried together. And we shared hard things and encouraged each other.

Then my younger daughters came down and hugged me—their beautiful faces were the first ones I saw this morning. I spend most of the day with them, yet I find myself wishing there were more hours in the day.

I am acutely aware of how very blessed I am.

My crazy beautiful daughters.

They are Unique. Gifted. Insightful. Passionate. Intelligent. Street-wise. Deep. Sassy. Energetic. Witty. Keen. Quick. Lovely. Edgy. Compassionate. Bohemian. Non-conformists. And they love Jesus.

When I was young I dreamed about being a mother. I had vivid daydreams about what my children would look and be like. My wildest most wonderful dreams could not touch the reality of who they are. I didn’t dream big enough.

My crazy beautiful daughters.

They inspire me.

They encourage me to be me.

They call me to a higher place.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Eating Cake

I have returned from my adventure.

My cruise to the places of paradise is over--now hidden away in private thoughts and memories. I was forever changed during this trip not by some great and momentous event, but by little things building one on another.

I have many stories to tell, but you can only tell one story at a time.
Here's my first.

Eating Cake


He was just a little boy. We will call him John.
Tow-headed and fair. Sun-kissed.
Dressed in simple shorts and tee shirt.
His feet couldn’t touch the floor; they dangled and swung free and limp.
He balanced the plate on his lap; the cake tilted precariously (he wasn't a bit concerned that it might fall).

I watched him. Enthralled, I sat and stared at him (I know it was rude, but I just couldn't help myself).

The cake was three-tiered. White with layers of icing. Decadent, rich, and elegant. Others were eating the same kind of cake using forks in tiny manageable bites, but they didn’t interest me.

John ate the elegant cake with his little boy hands. He would pick up the whole wedge and take enormous bites from the section that reached his little mouth first—top or bottom it didn’t seem to matter. He would lick his lips (stretching his little tongue as far as he could) before each new bite.

I took photos and he didn’t even notice.

He had no napkin, so I waited to see what he would do when he finished.

He didn’t disappoint me.

He started at the base of his hand and licked all the way to the tips of his fingers. Several times. Then he licked his thumb and each finger one by one. Only then he was finished.

But I wasn’t.

I wanted a piece of cake (and I really don’t even like cake).

There in the Piazza of the Crown Princess I learned a lesson from a little boy I called John. I had to brush a few hot tears away as I quickly jotted notes down on a piece of paper I found in my bag.

John enjoyed his cake. Every crumb. Every morsel. He was not bound by decorum and etiquette. No one (not even his mother) handed him a fork. No one told him to go and get a napkin. No one told him he was taking too big of a bite. They simply let the little boy be and eat his cake.

I want to eat life like little John ate cake.

With relish.

With enthusiasm.

Without the restraints and constraints of what is deemed proper.

I want to sit somewhere and let my feet dangle and eat a piece of cake with my fingers and lick each one of them and laugh. Who am I kidding? I want to lick my whole hand and not miss even a smudge of icing.

If we treated our relationship with Jesus like little John treated his piece of cake--a whole lot more people would be interested in eating cake.