On and Off My Rocker

All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quiet in a room alone. – Blaise Pascal

The rocking chair described in this post is now downstairs in the family room. This one is now used for my quiet time.

In the corner of my dining room is a gray antique rocker. A thick, green-checkered cushion hides the lawn chair webbing that someone weaved in to replace the original cane seat. Over the rocking chair hangs a brown cane swag lamp with its switch a reach away. On the wall behind it, from the wainscoting up to the ceiling and the full length of the wall, a bookcase constructed of thick, rough timber, darkened with age and covered with several layers of clear finish and a thickening gossamer of dust, is crammed with two of my greatest loves: photos of my family and books.

The rocker sits next to a four-feet-by-eight-feet, triple-pane, casement window looking out on the front yard, with flowering bushes blossoming one right after another: azalea, lilac, mountain laurel, and rose. A wooden, six-sided bird feeder dangles from the branch of the maple tree 20 feet from the window, which reflects the tree and the western sky so well it fools the birds, which often fly into it. Here I watch the snow fly, the storm clouds approach, the leaves change, the sun set, the morning stretch over the field from yonder pasture to my front yard, where I saw two bears racing towards the woods behind the house one summer morning. Where I savor the seasons of the year and sense the passing of the seasons of life, uncertain of how I feel about it.

Surrounding my rocker are several baskets of yarn and projects-in-progress, three sewing baskets, a basket of my quiet time materials—devotional books, two or three Bibles (different versions), prayer lists, and my “basket case,” a wicker basket with 365 slips of paper with Bible verses; I take one a day to keep from going nuts.

There’s a coaster for my coffee, tea, or water; a radio so I can listen to the Pirates’ game while crocheting, a book or two for leisure reading, an old hymnal, a box of tissues, and a small basket of pens, pencils, and sticky notes.

Here is where I head in the morning, cup of caffeine in hand. Where I wait in the lulls of life. Where I find peace for my troubled mind, anxious heart, stubborn will, and battered spirit.

Here is where I talk to God, and where, in the absence of the roar of busyness and the static of the world, I hear His still, quiet voice. Where I weep with worry, pour out my problems, complain about life’s unfairness, deal with discouragement and disappointment. Where, impatient, I demand answers—something, anything, to hang my dwindling hopes on. Where I sing with gratitude when I finally see the answers, which are always so much more than I prayed for.

Here is where I finally “get it.”

This is my quiet time place. My little corner of the world, where I hide from the world to find strength to deal with the world.

Where I meet with El Shaddai, Jehovah Jireh, Adonai, my Abba Father.

So that when I’m off my rocker, I’m not, well, off my rocker.

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. – Psalm 63:1 (NIV)

 Read and meditate on Psalm 63

(c) 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

The Apple of His Eye

The Helix Nebula from CFHT, 8/28/2000
Credit & Copyright: J.-C. Cuillandre (CFHT Staff), CFH12K CCD Camera, CFHT
(See explanation below)

Keep me as the apple of your eye. – Psalm 17:8 (NIV)

My dearest Child,

You are the apple of My eye. Sometimes, I know, you feel as though I’ve abandoned you. I have not. I’m here. I’ve always been here, and I’ll always be here for you. I’ll never abandon you, no matter what happens, no matter how you feel or behave. No strings attached. I love you simply because you are Mine.

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “the apple of my eye” many times, but do you know what it means? The “apple” of the eye is the pupil, the center of the eye and the part that allows light in. Without this delicate part, you wouldn’t be able to see. So the pupil—the apple—must be protected at all costs.

I am your protector, the shield around you, the strong tower into which you may run for refuge, your rock, your fortress, your deliverer, your stronghold in times of trouble. Yet there have been times you haven’t run to Me. You’ve sought help elsewhere. I never force you. I always give you the choice. Sometimes your choices break My heart. But I want you to love Me and choose to obey Me on your own. Like the pupil, I want you to open up your heart and allow My light and love in.

There are times when I must intervene for your own good. What parent would allow a child to step out into a busy street and not run and snatch that precious one from harm’s way?

When you’re weary and bearing a heavy load, I lead you to a place of rest where your soul can be refreshed. If I didn’t, you’d run yourself to death. What are you trying to prove, dear one? You don’t have to earn My love or prove your worth to Me. I created you. Just as you are. For a purpose. Everything I allow in your life has a purpose, child. Work with the circumstances, not against them. I am in control, whether you believe it or not.

Sometimes I allow hardships in your life to teach you, to strengthen you. Do you remember learning to ride a bike? How many scrapes and bruises did you endure before you were able to ride without someone running right behind you, ready to catch you if you fell?

Yet there came a time when I had to stand back and let you do it on your own. I watched you fall, brush yourself off, and hop back on again. I was so proud of you. I watched you cry when the pain was more than you could bear, when you were so frustrated because after all your attempts, it still wasn’t working out the way you’d planned. I hurt because you hurt. I counted your tears and bottled them as a reminder of your growth pains. But I was always there.

As you grew, the lessons became harder. Such is life, My child. Sometimes I allowed you to wander in a wilderness, to struggle in a storm. It pained Me to hear your cries, “Where are You? Why don’t You help me?” I was helping you. I never abandoned you. Your faith had to grow stronger, and the wilderness and storms make perfect faith-growing greenhouses.

You, Apple of My Eye, are precious to Me, and I love you so much, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t give for you. Indeed, I gave My Son.

You are the apple of My eye. Don’t ever forget it.

Love,

Abba

Read and meditate on Zephaniah 3:17

NOTE ON PHOTO: I typed “Eye of God image ” in my browser, and one of the websites that came up was this picture of the Helix Nebula. Here is the explanation from the Astronomy Picture of the Day website, dated Aug. 28, 2000:

Explanation: One day our Sun may look like this. The Helix Nebula is the closest example of a planetary nebula created at the end of the life of a Sun-like star. The outer gasses of the star expelled into space appear from our vantage point as if we are looking down a helix. The remnant central stellar core, destined to become a white dwarf star, glows in light so energetic it causes the previously expelled gas to fluoresce. The Helix Nebula, given a technical designation of NGC 7293, lies 450 light-years away towards the constellation of Aquarius and spans 1.5 light-years. The above image was taken with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) located atop a dormant volcano in Hawaii, USA. A close-up of the inner edge of the Helix Nebula shows unusual gas knots of unknown origin.

Source: Astronomy Picture of the Day, Aug.28, 2000

(c) 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.