Friday, November 22, 2013

Arms Wide Open

Photo: KsenKAT/deviantART. Some rights reserved. Licensed under a Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) License.

It's OKAY to stop trying. 

Righteousness, love, peace and joy 
cannot be earned, bought or legislated...

...Only welcomed as a GIFT. 

You know it's a beautiful day when you wake
with all the world to see...

We were never meant to be burdened 
by trying to live up to an impossible standard...

...Or someone else's vision
of what is certain reality.

God is LOVE.


Our highest calling in this life is to BE...
one with God
one with each other.
To live every moment with EYES and HEART and 
ARMS wide open.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Waking to Grace

© Copyright Terry Johnston licensed for reuse under Creative Commons (CC by 2.0)

My sister and I made a new friend at Panera Bread yesterday.  After a chance encounter with a favorite high-school teacher, we were deep in conversation, catching up over what Panera does best:  Frontega Chicken Panini with Tomato Soup and my Roasted Turkey Harvest Wheat-Berry Salad, coffee and a strawberry scone (a mouthful to order, but so worth it.) 

Awkwardly, and without words, a silly girl wooed our attention. We didn't see at first
the brilliance of her light.

Pretending she was a zombie from The Walking Dead,
Madison "M-a-d-d-i-e" Grace stumbled by our table three times in hand-me-down clothes--as we found out later from her mother--before I said hello.

Our invitation was the very thing she hoped for. Flipping long blond hair out of big blue eyes she came alive. And without warning, jumped right into the fold of our hearts. We had the feeling she was a gift from the very beginning, in the way she spelled her name several times over so we would remember.  I Googled it just a while ago. Madison is from Matthew, and means, Gift of God.

And Grace, well, GRACE is a gift too...of favor and goodwill...

beauty and blessing ALL freely given.

GRACE is God permanently weaving Himself into the hearts of all His children, through the hearts of mankind, making LOVE known.

Our meeting with Grace wasn't a little thing.  She was bright and bold, and quite the drama queen.  Yet, she wasn't sure of her last name.  Was it her mom's or dad's or grandfather's?  One was from Russia, and another from Italy; and she was from ALL the other places, too.

We heard the message loud and clear--it resonated like a heartbeat, the joyful coming alive of our inner knowing--
from a little girl who worked so hard to be so known.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.  The song of this GRACE-child was especially sweet in the ears of We-Like-Sheep who, at some point, had lost our way and wandered as if all alone. 

Like M-a-d-d-i-e did with us, GRACE leaves the flock grazing in greenest pasture, on grass and forbs and clover--she left her mother and grandmother drinking coffee in a booth at Panera--to go and find The One. 

And we, like little lambs slung up around the shoulders, can rest and trust the heart of a Father who cares only for his sheep.  As his most loved little children, He will lead us home.

We can choose to fill our bellies full of GRACE today. 
We can become as little children and know as we are known--face to face, with nothing in between.

We can look within and see our WAY--the narrow path that leads straight beyond the Valley of Shadows.  And we will fear no evil.  For Perfect Love runs ahead to meet us where GRACE--a gift--always leads us.

beauty and blessing chase and feed us.

And where
child-like, we let go and learn to be ourselves again, wholly loved and wholly accepted, no strings attached.

GRACE is always free for the asking. She does what she has to to grab our attention, and then joyfully anticipates a welcoming "Hello."

Much thanks to Laura.  You can find this and other free printables at:  the albrechts blog.

Monday, November 18, 2013


To know LOVE like an ocean lapping at my shore, filling me to the full and wrapping me warm with all that LOVE is...

To listen to the music of family and friends, a songbird waking the dawn, the buttery smooth strings of a violin or acoustic guitar and our girls laughing, the telling of their stories, their calling me, "Mom"...

To be overcome with wonder, the extravagant beauty of nature, the changing of seasons, holding hands and remembering, dreaming, the flash of fireflies and stars dancing in the night sky, the comfort of my husband's shoulder...

To LOVE and be loved with such utter abandon, to live face to face with light, following a path that only we can take together with no thought of turning back and no regrets...

To share the ups and downs--the every day joys and sorrows, wins and losses, challenges and celebrations, the waking and sleeping--with a wonderful man at my side, one that just happens to be my best friend...

To give what I am--what a privilege-- to see our three beautiful and incredible daughters and one son-in-law bloom with their destiny, live life in the wonder of reality, knowing LOVE for themselves, and helping others to fly with

To rest content--like an eagle soaring--in who I am, in who I have yet to be... To carry the treasure of precious ones who have gone before me, knowing there is no separation. In Christ we are all one...

I am overwhelmed with blessing today. Love spills down my cheeks for all of you--everyone that I've known--you mean much to me.

My family...YOU are my joy. I love you more than words can say.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Last Dance
Photo:  Autumn Leaves by  Mark Schellhase CC Attribution Share Alike 2.5 Generic


When the light of harvest begins to dim
Cornfields and wheat fields expose their skin
And every fruitful tree reaches high with grace
 Bare arms still warm with October

Blue dome bleeds gold and crimson
Burning bush shouts epiphany, of substance running hidden
Through veins now scandalous with Autumn's farewell
Every leaf flashes fiery color
Like confetti in twilight they scatter and spin
Twirl their skirts and whirl with the Wind
Then fall breathless--I like getting caught in their rain--not wanting
The last dance to be over

Creation smiles, eyes wide with wonder
When Autumn's foliage pools at her feet, covers the toes of this beholder
Tempting me child-like to twirl and leap, to follow as she returns
Life-spent to the One who made her

Copyright © 2013 Melissa Campbell