Gray Morning After a Rough Night 

22-9-13 Reactive to Booster #3©Molly Lin Dutina
 
Booster #3 delivered with dull needle
Went to PT without boot
Worked until my leg
Felt like jelly
Foot throbbed all night
Headache, chest pain, 
Jaws and shoulders Booster broadcasters
Extra muscle relaxer and Calm app
“Gently back to sleep”
Several times
Booster #3 rocked
My fragile boat
Night of winds and waves
Up by 6:10 AM
Without rejoicing

Others report no big deal
in contrast I am
Close to shipwreck
My heart is sad that this body is so reactive, 
sensitive to Covid boosters.
Thankful I have not gotten ill but 
wishing I had one of those constitutions 
that was not triggered by pain 
after immunization injection. 
Is there an injection for endurance and muscle strength?
Can I get a booster for well-being? Guess not.

But why stop writing there? Resignation is to be to God, not bowing to negative circumstances. 
In Acts 16:25-26 Paul and Silas praised God in prison. Won’t you raise a tune, Molly Lin?

Total Surrender © 2018 Molly Lin Dutina
Total surrender brings total power
Spirit of God in me,
Totally yielded to You every hour,
Until Your will I see.
Death to my passions and every desire,
Living wholly for Thee,
Have Your own way,
Spirit of God, 
Totally flow through me.

No time for wishing things were other than they are. 
Fix your eyes upon Him.
 Understand this temptation to self-pity is sin.
 Jesus the author and finisher of my faith
 is ABLE to keep me from sin, 
self-pity over ailments and frailties. 
Be chastened, corrected, purified,
refined and strengthened. 
Here is my well-being booster! 
This is your only body on earth – your temple for His dwelling.
I surrender to You, Holy Trinity. 
The yapping dogs out there remind me – LISTEN for His voice.
 Do not go with the clamoring crowd. 
Wait. Listen. Accept the present moment.
This is my life this hour. 
Rejoice in God and be made glad. 

“For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work;
I will triumph in the works of Your hands.” PS 92:4 NKJV

“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 
For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?  Hebrews 12: 1a-7

I pray this helps those of you who are looking for that booster for well-being. May the Lord Jesus Christ bring you to a place where you too can be “chastened, corrected, purified, refined and strengthened.”

Sunday!

I did not get this post written on my usual writing day. And next week looks even worse as far as quietening time for writing. But seize the day! Here I am for the Sunday posting and when I opened my computer Bing told me we are at “Halfway Day.” Frankly, I never remember hearing about this day in my entire 71 years!

“It’s Halfway Day, the midpoint of the year. We’ve lived through 182 days of 2022, and today is the first of 182 days left—we’re halfway there. It’s up to us whether we see this as a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty day… But the past is gone, so we’re all for making the most of the remainder of the year.”

Saith Bing

That certainly rang a bell though! Let’s make the most of the remainder of this year! Last week in our group study I mentioned that Psalm 118 is the center book of the Bible, (someone taught me that years ago), and verse 8 in the center verse of the Bible.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord

    than to trust in humans.

Psalm 118:8 NIV

Now I think that is certainly true!

Pondering what to write I remembered a praise song based on 1 Thessalonians. It does not seem to be on You Tube, but the words are easy to read, something else to accomplish EVERMORE!

Rejoice evermore.

Pray without ceasing.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 KJV

So how would you finish this blog? What could you write? Here are some of my thoughts.

Getting along with a family member much better. My closest neighbor/friend has finally gotten home from Florida. Our entire home is finally painted inside. Tiles in bathroom are repaired and cleaned. Josh did our windows! Cliff built some window sills. Holy Spirit is present with us always. The Word is powerful and has never lost its power. We got 3 turkeys thawed, baked, cut up and stored, (not to mention shared and eaten). Awful heat and humidity broke long enough for some outdoor chores to get done. Now it is back. Free online photos to enhance my writing. I have never learned to cook for two – and that benefits others. I love to read and books are abundant! I am grateful for upcoming Doctor appointment as plantar plantar fasciitis is not healing much on its own with boot though I rest, stretch, soak, ice, etc. I pray without ceasing for Cathy and Kathy and Kathy. Others are often in my prayers including Kassie, Sue, Pamela, and Ginny. I give thanks for Jeff, Melissa, Natalie, Juanita, Angie, Bob, Terri, Jessie and Lee. Emily, Dave, Liz and Ellie are delights. Almost every single plant I brought from our old house survived in new flowerbeds. Ferns are flourishing. We really like our new church home. Our marriage continues to flourish though we are aging and slowing down. It is nice to walk Lucky without coat, hat, gloves and scarf. Though a sun hat, ice pack and a bandana are helpful!

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2 NRSV

“A living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.” He desires your sacrifice.This is seen as your spiritual worship! “BE TRANSFORMED” by the renewing of your mind. Gain the discernment towards what is the will of God. What is good and acceptable and perfect.

Oh there are so many things we CAN do to please God. No time to focus on the “Thou shall nots” if we are doing the things God desires.

Rejoice

Evermore.

And if you find typos here, yep, Molly wrote it!

Observations, Prayer, and Quote

22-6-18
Humidity has broken
Bringing a day of breezy tossing leaves
Sun plus wind makes spangled shadows
Favorite weather of summer
Not too hot, warm air flow refreshes
Oh Lord, You gift me with today

22-6-20 Amy Carmichael nails it again: “Often, when we are most in earnest to pray, we are tormented by wandering thoughts and distractions of all sorts. I have been reading some old books lately and find that exactly the same thing distressed others. “The noise of a fly,” as one says, is enough to distract him. Do not fuss, do not worry, do not spend time wondering why that thought came just then or that other interruption was allowed (for that is playing into the enemy’s hands); but as soon as you are conscious that you have been drawn away, peacefully come back again. “ “Return unto thy rest, O my soul.”. Ps 116:7

Doe moves silently through the yard. Suddenly fawn is behind her. And then more suddenly an even smaller fawn. She leads them into the shrubbery and overgrowth. I am saddened by their departure. Then they are back in the yard. As if she teaching them the safe places and paths she takes. Larger fawn looks over the ditch in front of me as it considers entering my yard. There is no sound to my ears, but she must have called them as they hurry after her. Oh Lord, I want to be that receptive to Your call.

Best I could do in a heartbeat, through the screen, with iPad camera! Fawn is between the tall grasses, between trees (middle and left) in front of shrub like growth.
Walking our favorite road above the lake 
Bob white
Wood thrush
Wild geraniums
White violet 
White clover
Pink clover
Honeysuckle
Dog roses
Bullfrog song
Red wing
Herons 1 wading
            1 in flight before us
Burbling stream
Cool breeze
Sunshine
1 milkweed shoot
The reasons I love this walk!

The heavens declare the glory of God:
the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Day after day they pour forth their speech;
Night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
No sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
Their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber.
Like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
And makes its circuit to the other;
Nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Psalm 19:1-6 NIV

Not my Will, But Yours Be Done

The Daughters grave stone makes me remember that His will is supreme. This song blesses me.

David Crowder nailed it on this one and having Mandissa sing with him drives it home. Part of the lyrics are below.

So let it rain, let it pour
Lord, I need You more and more (I need You more)
Let it rain, rain down on me (Rain on me)

Every day, whatever You want
Not my will but Yours, Lord (Not my will)
Let it rain, rain down on me
(He brought the sunshine, He brings the rain)

So let it rain if You want
You are God and I am not
Let it rain, rain down on me
(Oh, let it rain)

Every day whatever You want
Not my will but Yours, Lord
(Not my will but Yours)

Let it rain, rain down on me
(He's working on me)
Let it rain, rain down on me
(I know my God is working on me)
Let it rain, rain down on me

These lyrics, when from the heart will undoubtedly require change in each of us. If we are to become like Christ Jesus, we must let go of our ways and adopt His.

being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 NIV

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.

Philippians 2:13 NIV

Ephesians and Brother Lawrence

Remember the study from the beginning of the year?

This image from the internet of roots and giant growth caught my attention and has me enthralled.

 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3: 14-21 NIV

You might remember I began the year with pondering the conversion of Brother Lawrence, how he saw a tree dead in winter and marveled that soon enough God would make it alive. That lead me on to Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3 that we might be rooted and established in love.

Fresh new growth on a pine tree

How is that going for you? Are you becoming more aware of the love of Christ afforded to you? Made available to you, extended, given, supplied to you? Have you opened that gift and made it your own? Are you building upon that concept in your personal life?

Have your roots gone deep? Are you clinging to His truths?

Have you seen Him do immeasurably MORE than all you can ask or imagine according to His power at work within you? Have you looked back over the past 6 months and seen His hand at work, even when you were not aware of it?

Have you said thank-you to our Lord?

Paul was willing to kneel before the Father and ask that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen us with power through His Spirit in our inner being. And that is what I pray for each of you reading this.

Father, please strengthen us with power through Your Spirit in our inner being. Paul also knew that “though our outer person is wasting away, our inner person is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 Strengthen and renew our inner being daily I pray.

I pray you will lean in to His arms and be made evermore like Him. Grow your roots strong and your trunk sturdy. Grasp an understanding of His love for you. Trust Him with all your heart.

Who Rules on The Plain of Self?

Have you ever taken your life back once you said God could be in charge? In 1981 I did just that. Here in 2022 I have no recall of what the circumstances were. I would love to say that was the one and only time I ever did that, and that would make me as the saying goes, “one big fat liar.”

The Plain of Self © June, 1981 Molly Lin Dutina	
I’m still fighting,
Prodding, kicking,
Scratch and claw.
Why do I fight so hard
And not just let go?

I’m still trying to control and direct.
(Where is the flow of the Spirit?)

Lord, Your patience awes me.
I confess my error of trying to exert my influence.

May I snuggle in Your arms again, please?
It’s cold out here on the Plain of Self.
drawing by Katherine Brown

I was delighted to see this come up when I was searching online for pictures to populate my writing. I own one of these prints! Your are His lamb too and He will hold you!

Jesus Calling for June 7 reads in part: “Who is in charge of your life? If it is you, then you have good reason to worry. But since I am in charge, worry is both unnecessary and counterproductive.” And then Sarah Young goes on to share the advice she heard from the Lord: “When you start to feel anxious about something, relinquish the situation to Me. Back off a bit, redirecting your focus to Me. I will either take care of the problem Myself or show you how to handle it. In this world you will have problems, but you need not lose sight of Me.”

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NIV

So who is going to rule on your plain of self? Have you yielded your all to Jesus Christ?

Real or Fantasy?

“I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

― Mark Twain

I love that quote. It reminds me of the vivid imagination I have that can turn to darkness in the blink of an eye if I am not vigilant to control it by the power of the Spirit. This report from the Huff Post (formerly The Huffington Post) upholds Twain’s wisdom.

“Five hundred years ago, Michel de Montaigne said: “My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.” Now there’s a study that proves it. This study looked into how many of our imagined calamities never materialize. In this study, subjects were asked to write down their worries over an extended period of time and then identify which of their imagined misfortunes did not actually happen. Lo and behold, it turns out that 85 percent of what subjects worried about never happened, and with the 15 percent that did happen, 79 percent of subjects discovered either they could handle the difficulty better than expected, or the difficulty taught them a lesson worth learning. This means that 97 percent of what you worry over is not much more than a fearful mind punishing you with exaggerations and misperceptions.”

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/85-of-what-we-worry-about_b_8028368

Here is a short poem about the same topic.

Fears Lodge in Our Familiar Places ©2014 Molly Lin Dutina

The black mark on the tree 
is curved, and stark.
It cuts a gash through
solid wood of a twenty-two inch trunk.

Closer inspection reveals it is
but the shadow of a spindly
dead trunk made stark
by bright sun.

The fears we anticipate seem
larger than the reality of life.
How many really come to fruition?

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 14:27

Poetry Again

Stand and tip, uncertain if Molly took this one or Robert
Perhaps I Could Ask You Just to Stand and Tip? ©1990       Molly Lin Dutina 

Lily pads at the pond		
Grow on stalky stems
Leaves unfold an opened palm
Cupped at center point
Summer shower starts to drop
Mercurial glistening spheres
Gathering in the center spot
‘til bulbous weight smears silver drops
Into glistening globs
And tips the leaves so full
To pour their contents overboard
And rising from the spill
Stately shielded lily-hands
Begin the cycle once more

Keep my stem flexible, Lord
My hands open and cupped
Eager to receive Your all
Questioning not Your skill
Only trusting the power of Your love
To melt my rigid will

Drench me Lord 
In Your shower of love
Let me gather and drink my fill
Then spill over on those around
And rise to await Your will

Send water of Your Spirit
To tip me over, pour me out
Then wash over me once again
Fresh cleansing by Holy Words

Shine Your light through
This enshrouding mist
Color me with covenant this:
Abiding presence and constant love,
Indwelling grace that conquers sin
Transfigured rigid I
Yielded and bent
In Your service	
Spilling forth rivers of living water	
And giving rest to croaky voiced frogs	  
Who, when Spirit-kissed,
Become priests and kings	
Singing their praises to You.

Perhaps You ask me just to be Your lily leaf
Stand and tip

When I prayed this morning and asked what the Lord would have me share this week this poem came to mind. You might be surprised to know I had a little difficulty finding it as I have named it several times over the years since 1990! Bob and I have returned to the Nature Center several times to try to capture this photo again. I honestly do not remember if he took the photo above or if I did. It requires having lily leaves you can reach in full foliage, right after a rainfall with the water remaining on the leaves. Not an easy feat. 
Will you take the challenge of the leaves and poem? Are you willing to stand and be drenched? Then spill the goodness over to those around you? Would you have your rigid I yielded and bent to the Lord's will? Are you willing to serve croaky voiced frogs? 

I write to you as the Lord's lily leaf. I will gather the dew of heaven, stand and tip for your refreshment. May you be blessed this week!
r m dutina

Sanctified Altar and Trysting Place

In 2018 I wrote about spending time with the Lord in our meeting place. Here is the poetry musing written in 2011 re-posted for your consideration.

This photo for my Trysting place is in the city. The treetop shows a dense shelter. The tree in the bustle of Southern California is meant to signify that I can go to my meeting place with the Risen Christ in any location.

100_3211

Trysting Place Tree © 2011 Molly Lin Dutina

I cannot take a camera to our trysting place
My attempts to draw it are incomplete
You meet me there in a sturdy platform room
protected, sheltered, made from the wood of Your cross
and also like the palm of Your hand
where You fold Your wings of love around me

The wooden floor of the platform tree
is always smooth and comfortable
no splinters, fine weather
leaves dancing in holy wind
my joy to be there

I stand, lie, sit, sing, weep, wait
and always You are there

Occasionally I must place myself
upon the altar table
Your soul correction treatments are
swift and sweet when I yield to You
I can make myself miserable imagining what might happen
if I yield to you.
Awfulizing is never a clear mirror of truth.

When I get centered in silence
we often travel down the center of the trunk
as if by elevator
arriving at the stream of living water
that nourishes the tree
refreshes my soul
brings to my being all things I need

My surrender to this trysting place is sometimes jagged,
prolonged, not smooth or graceful

Yet once I give myself to the quiet and arrive
I always ponder
what spawned my reluctance?

Eleven years trying to express this phenomenon and I am still not satisfied that I have gotten my experience across.

No rights

This seemed to me to be fitting for Good Friday reflection. I have no idea who taught me this truth, but it was many years ago. Since I have given my life to Jesus, I have no rights. The life I now live ….

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:19b-20 NRSV

Those who are crucified die. No one gets partially crucified. Jesus wants only our full surrender to Him. When our son was in nursery school (oh about 40+ years ago) I was driving and worshiping one day. I was led to a little hillside cemetery. Imagine my surprise when I, a daughter of God my Father, came upon this headstone.

I realized that this point in my walk was where ‘daughters come to die,’ for “Christ lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith.” From then on it has been a continuous lesson for me as to what that means. Dead women do not have rights. I do not have the right when I get angry to remain mad. I am to walk like Jesus. Oh, so much to learn! I do not have the right to get my own way. His ways are higher than mine.

 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who though he was in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    as something to be exploited,
 but emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
     he humbled himself
    and became obedient to the point of death—
    even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:6-8 NRSV


One writer said, ” It doesn’t matter what you want. The only thing that matters is what God wants.” Patti Callahan wrote a wonderful book entitled Becoming Mrs. Lewis, a fictionalized version of the love story between Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis. I just loved that book and will likely read it again. She mentioned that C. S. Lewis did not have Christianity ‘all figured out.’ He is purported to have said, “It is an unfolding. A constant unfolding to new life – or at its best that’s what it is.”

I get that explanation. Yes, as a child of the King, though I am an inheritor of the Kingdom, I also have to die to my desires and yield to His. Unfold into the right here and right now that God is asking me to walk in and live in.

I combined two ideas recently for my own object lesson. I went on Facebook and asked if anyone locally knew how to make origami. I wanted something to illustrate to me that my life is unfolding. Sure enough, some friends came up with Joe’s name. We found a pattern on line and he was able to make a few of these for me.

“heart box” is open and unfolding

There is another lesson about marbles in a jar representing how many weekends you have left in your life, or working life, obviously I do not remember the details. The point was how are you going to spend that time? So this is what sits on my desk now.

This daughter is finished playing games with God. I want to live truly and fully to His glory. At our house we used to have some marble shooters, you know, the larger marbles you use to shoot the smaller ones in marble games? Well I suppose God has all the marble shooters now since I cannot find ours. That is fine with me. He is in charge of this. I will simply contemplate how well I am using the time I have left with the marbles I have in this unfolding life.

Occasionally I remove them from the paper box, like when I took the photograph for the top of the blog. Ha! yep, you guessed it! They rolled all over the desktop. Thought I had caught them all until I found Lucky trying to chew on one. Goofy toothless beagle. (At this point Bob is likely thinking, “I knew she had lost some of her marbles!”)

I am the daughter. He is my heavenly Father. I am learning to be like Jesus, my Brother. Father is teaching me His will and His ways.

Keepsies Playing for keeps. God gets to keep all the marbles He wins. He is a master at this game! I am His and He is mine. Glorious.

Are you willing to yield to Him, even though it means death to your SELF and your desires? Consider this and respond to His call upon your heart. He is a good, good Father.