That Still, Small Voice

One of the best things about teaching Elementary School as a substitute teacher is hanging out with second graders (my favorite grade–innocent, love their teachers, AND they can usually tie their shoes).

The other thing about Second Grade is that every February pretty much every teacher talks about penguins.  Were it not for this exposure to the subject, I would not be aware of the fact there are 17 different species of penguins in the world.

Seventeen. Each one is a remarkable display of God’s creativity–from fin size to breeding habits to habitat.  Penguins are amazing creatures.

Because of the documentary ‘March of the Penguins’, a life cycle depiction of the Emperor Penguin of Antarctica, I learned something about the roles of the parents in raising their offspring. Mothers and fathers raise their chicks together, keeping them warm, fetching food from far out in the ocean and returning.

This food gathering process is what astonished me. In a colony of thousands upon thousands of penguins, when the mother returns with the food, she can hear her chick’s voice above all the others. 

She can distinguish its cry in a crowd of wall to wall black and white, fur-finned squawking creatures.
No matter how many other sounds of despair or distress she hears around her, she hones in on the one that is hers.
I feel like I’ve been drowning in a sea of voices lately.
Facebook threads and Twitter feeds with information and input and overload, opinions large and small on the state of the world.
Blog posts from far and wide with heartfelt sentiments spread across the page.

They’re not bad. They’re not all good. There are just too many.

I want to get back to listening for that still, small voice of Jesus, to bend in close and hear what He is saying and what He wants me to say to you.

If it’s not beautiful or encouraging or uplifting…….well, I’ll keep it to myself.

So–I’m going to pull back from posting, lessen the pressure (self-imposed) of coming up with something each week to say (because I always have something to say.)
Instead, I want to focus on whatever is true, beautiful, noble and of good report.

And it might take me awhile to figure that out.

But whatever Jesus gives me is yours.  As soon as I hear His voice.
Linking with Kelly for the Small Wonder link up

Discovering Dreams {on #Writing}

It’s only March and my rhubarb is unfurling.
In the frozen, snow-covered parts of the country, Spring is only a word on a page somewhere near March 21st, but it has hit full force (early) here in the Pacific Northwest.

The rhubarb is pretty lonely. I had grand plans to get some spinach seeds in the ground last month but well, here it is March…. 
I have been pining over seedlings and seed catalogs since early December. Nothing got ordered.
No trips to the neighborhood nursery for the newest and best. 
So many good ideas.
So much work. 

The stray sweet pea seeds have already started twirling in the soil, I’m sure there’s a nasturtium seed or two. The mint is definitely trying to take over (I thought I’d pulled it all out!)
The garlic leftovers have managed to send up shoots–who knows what else might be lurking there?

My un-planted garden mirrors something I’ve been reading in  ‘A Million Little Ways-Uncover the Art you were Made to Live’, by Emily Freeman, founder of Hope*Writers.

Emily posits the idea (p. 59) of the difference between ‘discovering’ and ‘recovering.’

“More often than not, finding out what you love doing most 
is about recovering an old love or an inescapable truth 
that has been silenced for years, even decades. 
So instead of setting out to discover this thing you love doing, 
you’ve got to change your thinking and set out to recover it, maybe even rescue it.”Hmm….. Each season I check our area’s Plant Picks for the best and greatest that I want to have in my garden.
  • Something new.
  • Something different.
  • Something beautiful.

Instead of all that hard work, what if this year I simply set about uncovering the garden to recover what had been lost? Maybe rescue some things….?

It would be like a reunion with what was already there, but only hidden………like a treasure.

“Our passions aren’t the goal, Emily says, but they are signposts, 
like arrows pointing to our center.  
Here is the path to the deepest part of who you are, 
how you are made, the poetry of your soul.” (p. 60)

Maybe God is calling you (like He’s prodding me), to uncover some of the brambles and brush in my soul–the layers I’ve used to hide the real me.
Maybe He’s daring you to dig beneath the layers, expose the hidden things to the light and reveal the dreams that He’s put there in the first place.
Instead of being ‘suspicious of (my) desire’, or my capacity for making beauty, I’m learning to rest in the truth of my ‘image-bearing identity’ that glorifies God.
I’m daring to expose the soil of my barren soul, the ‘me’ that God made when I was created. I want to begin looking instead for what might be growing there already….the poem God has written on my heart that only I can live.

“Having a dream is a reflection of the image of God.” 
A Million Little Ways, Emily Freeman, p. 67
What dreams is God uncovering in you today?