Archive for August, 2013

The study began on July 1st with the blank walls of my office.  At the end of last year I moved my office into the bigger room of my apartment and set up my desk, production area, and stained glass station.  We painted the walls a beautiful deep purple.  And that was it.

You might ask what blank walls have to do with studying Scripture or preparing to write a book.  Well, very little, really, unless you are planning to cover them with Post-its.  Or unless you are God and You see connections between things that we mortals never had the sense to suspect.

It turns out that my blank walls were a statement about my insides.  I did not have permission to decorate my workspace.  I could do all the rest of my apartment, and have.  But here … it is something different.  It must be a creative expression and I was terribly afraid that my creativity would say CHEESY to anyone who walked in the room.  Do you think that such inhibitions might block me in a spot or two in my explorations?  Just maybe.  God knows His stuff.

So, I decorated.  Well, I dealt with some issues, and THEN I decorated.  Freedom is sweet in its growth.  You know, I kinda like the results so far!  Score 1 for God.  He is not prone to forget the unbreakable tie between personal growth and fruit.  The steady tearing down of the barriers will have great impact in the coming years.

But He wasn’t done.

At the beginning of the year I planned a trip back to Michigan to spend a week with my family at my grandparent’s cottage.  We grew up going there as kids, and the place is packed full of good memories.  And it has a sort of magical effect.  As soon as you cross the threshold you immediately become hungry and tired.  That’s what you do at the Lake.  Eat, play in the water, eat, and take a nap.  Good times.

This year there was a caveat.  We made a trip to a small city called Ludington on the west coast of Lake Michigan.  We spent many summers camping there for a weekend or a week at a time.  I had not been there for years, but felt a strong sense that I needed to go back.  It felt like something huge was waiting for me.  And so it was.

It was a gift God had been keeping there for 20 odd years.  It was a piece of myself that the land gave back to me; as if I had looked into the mirror of the past.  I had not known that Ludington represented the beauty of a core piece of my design.  It was a part that I had cast aside over the years as I tried to be everything else.  Ludington held on to it, kept it safe, waiting for the day when I was ready to accept the goodness again.  It was like visiting a secret place of your youth and flooding back comes the missing piece of yourself that you left in safekeeping there.  I was staggered by how hungrily my spirit received this healing and how joyous my heart was as a result.

But even then God wasn’t done.

Towards the end of the day we went down to an old favorite beach on the shore of Lake Michigan.  There is a river that dumps into the lake at that spot and it provides all kinds of fun … and warmer water!  Lake Michigan is for children when it comes to temperature.  Adults have too many nerve endings.  After playing around for a while, I wandered off to sit on the beach in relative privacy.  It was pretty crowded that day, but I have sufficient practice at getting lost in my thoughts not to be too bothered.  As I was sitting there, God brought back a picture He gave me years ago in England.  I have held on to that image for all this time, never feeling like it was really me.  Now, He was telling me, it is coming.  Because of what He did in Ludington, the two persons of myself were becoming one.

God’s timing and strategy is exquisite.  The trip to Michigan was planned long before the study time.  He knew it had to happen this way.  He knew that what He was going to do with my creativity and then with Ludington would be crucial to the journey I am taking.  He seems to be even more vested in this than I.  So like Him.

Believe it or not, in the midst of everything going on I have actually done some studying in my study time.  Have you ever thought about Proverbs 8:22ff where it talks about the Creator’s craftsman?  Wisdom.  Wisdom was the first of the Lord’s works.  The idea of wisdom as a living essence captivates me, and is most certainly related to my exploration of the Ancient.  We see the living properties of the created universe, and credit the heavenly creatures with structure and volition, even when we can’t see them.  But what about wisdom?  How does wisdom behave? What would it be like if you could see it?  So, this is where I am focused right now, studying verses that talk about the nature of wisdom and what it says about the nature of God.  Not only will it teach me some important disciplines, but I am already rejoicing over the things I have seen.  And when there is something concrete to share, you can rest assured that my keyboard will have job security.

So, the first month has been a whole lot of unexpected and a whole lot of good.  Wonder what God has planned for August?

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