1964?

It appears that some subscribers to this blog may have received an email link to the last blog (from 7/26) and found it to have the title “1964”, which made no sense at all in relation to the story! Lest you think I’ve lost my mind, I have no idea how that happened. The blog is titled “Saturated”, which makes perfect sense.

But hey, at least it made you think! 🙂

Saturated

I read a book this summer about a woman who traveled to Alaska to find peace following the tragic deaths of her father and stepmother. She wrote that she wanted the Alaskan landscape to “saturate my eyes and my soul”. (North of Hope by Shannon Huffman Paulson)

I could relate.

Not about the Alaska part, although one of my dreams is to visit there someday. But as I was reading that particular chapter, I was sitting at the edge of Lake Ontario, with the breeze blowing, the sun sparkling on the water, the waves gently lapping at my feet, sailboats tacking across in front of me, and the sound of my nephew playing in the sand and rocks on the shore.

I wanted to drink it in. To somehow preserve it and let it become a part of me and let it saturate my eyes and my soul.

I think God put that desire in our hearts – to experience the beauty of His creation, to let it draw us closer to Him, to sense His majesty in the majesty of the landscape. Just read some of the Psalms.

But can we be saturated with other things when vacation days and breathtaking landscapes are gone for another year?

What if I sat in church on Sunday and intentionally sought to saturate my soul with the glory and privilege of worship? What if, as I spent quiet time with God, I stopped to let the Word and His presence wash over me, filling me, saturating me with joy and peace and truth?

Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians was that they would be filled with the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:19)

Sounds like saturation to me.

When I think back to that moment on the water this summer, I’ll let it remind me not only of an amazing vacation day, but of being blessed and filled with the fullness of God.

Saturated.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. Psalm 63:5 (NIV)

For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring; Isaiah 44:3

Celebrating

It was on a July 19th more than a few years ago that a little girl was born. She came on her due date. And she’s been punctual ever since. God knew all about her, even before that summer night in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Psalm 139:15

And on that night, as she was taking her first breaths and meeting her parents and the world for the first time, God already had all her days planned.

Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:16 NLT

God was there as she took her first steps, said her first words and most importantly of all, when as a child, she knew she needed Jesus in her heart.

But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19:14 NLT

God was there as she grew up, went to elementary school, middle school, high school, Bible college, nursing school. And all through those years, He continued to unfold a plan for her life.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

He was there when life didn’t turn out the way she thought it would, the way it seemed to be turning out for almost everyone else. But He gave her a new hope and a new word – Anticipatience.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:25 ESV

And so now, many years later, that little girl is all grown up, living in Florida, working as a nurse, still believing, and realizing how dependent she is on her Lord. There have been joys and sorrows and blessings and adventures and everything in between.

And God has been there for all of it. And I think that God is celebrating with her today on her birthday. He had a plan for her life.

He has a plan for her life.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

 

 

 

 

Window

(Welcome to my sister and guest blogger Gayle Virkler!)

Airline policies have changed a lot over the last few years, and getting a seating assignment seems to be more difficult than it used to be. When I booked my ticket for a trip to see my sister, the airline website said that “complimentary seating” was not available at the time.

Over the two weeks before my flight, I tried to get a seat to no avail. I was, however, more than able to upgrade to an extra legroom seat for the low price of $78 for a window seat. It wasn’t worth the additional cost.

When I fly, I love to look out the window at clouds and the land and roads far below, so my first choice in seating is a always a window. But when I checked in on-line, I was assigned seat 30E – a middle seat I definitely didn’t want. I found that a change could only be made at the gate.

Getting to the airport took much longer than planned, and my hopes for a change in seating assignment faded by the minute. I was in tears thinking that I not only wouldn’t have the chance to change my seat but perhaps I wouldn’t even make the flight at all.

I arrived at the gate in time to walk right onto the plane, settled into my middle seat and resigned myself to a nearly three-hour flight stuck between two strangers.

A few minutes later, a woman with a small child stopped at my row. She had the aisle seat and said that she and her husband had been separated, but it was her child’s first flight, and they’d like to sit together. Would I be willing to switch seats with him? He was up in the front in a window seat.

A window seat? I didn’t have to think twice! I made my way to seat 7A, which was more than just a window seat. It was a bulkhead window seat with more legroom than I knew what to do with — at no extra cost!

My eyes brimmed with tears as I realized that I’d just been taught a profound lesson. If I’d been able to change my seat like I’d planned, I might have gotten the window seat I wanted, but I certainly wouldn’t have gotten one with extra legroom.

In getting a window view, I also got a glimpse of how God is at work in every area of my life. When plans don’t work out the way I’d hoped, it might be because He has something better than I could ever hope for or even imagine!

                                                                                     by Gayle Virkler

For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.   Isaiah 55:9 (The Message)

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.   Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory…   Ephesians 3:20, 21a (NKJV)