Because He remembers you…

Sylvan Sunset

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in
steadfast love.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
Psalm 103:8; 10-14

So great is His steadfast love towards us. His love amazing and extravagant.

And we try to understand it yet sometimes have trouble receiving.

And His mercy trumps justice every time.

In the depths of our depravity He does not give us what we may deserve in return for our sins.

So great is His love!

He takes away our sins and wipes our slates clean so He can start writing a brand new story.

Because He remembers.

He remembers bending low to the earth and scooping up a handful of clay and breathing His spirit into that first man, and then picking a bone from his side to form woman.

He remembers we are dust and we so often get dusty and in the dust His finger writes clean because His blood has washed away our dirt. And when we get dirty again, only our dusty feet will need washing.

Grace restoring and renewing us.

Grace refreshing us as it removes all that binds us and holds us back and holds us down.

His wish is that we soar with Him on the wings of the wind like eagles strong.

And He is strong and true and His love makes us our truest self.

Father tenderly compassionate towards children unruly who one day learn that living by the rules is not restrictive but life giving.

So He laid it down.

Steadfast love bleeding all the way out, that we might live.

But are you? Living, that is? Real living. In Christ.

Or are you just going through the motions. Following your own way.

Maybe today is the day to set your intentions on serving the Most High like never before.

Obeying Him with the faith of a child. Unwavering.

And obedience bringing blessing and honor and life…

~sheila

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Summer slips and life fades when we don’t live slow with intention…

SUMMER 1

SUMMER 2

Sweet and sultry summer leaves us tonight as autumn pushes in with the equinox at 10:29 p.m. EDT.

Days at the beach and laughter long into the night as fire flies flicker has slipped away again.

No matter how hard I try to hold on summer leaves turn the hillside ablaze and the summers of a lifetime slip away just as quickly when we race from one “emergency” to the next, forgetting that our time on earth is a gift.

And life should be lived slowly with great intention.

But a heart can flit like summer fleets until one day with a sudden sureness it’s gone.

Tomorrows that stretched endlessly on the front end of life when it seemed like we were looking out over the ocean on a July afternoon when there was no end in sight to all that water or all that summer are all used up.

We ache to squeeze in one more day at the shore, one more night at the fair, yet time swims away from us and it’s all grace.

FAIR

As 2014 dawned I wrote that our one word was Intentional.

And as the year unfolded my plans for it didn’t. And as Robbie Burns was fond of saying the best laid plans of mice and {wo}men oft times go Gang aft agley.

With October around the corner and my 55th birthday next month and my Michael and me always wanting to honor God more intentionally in our life and our marriage I realize how easy it is to get caught up in the swirl.

But isn’t it not my will but Thine be done? And sometimes God shakes up our agenda in order to wake us up.

And summer overflowed with love in ways we couldn’t anticipate in January.

And sometimes our tempers too as we fought for control, one spouse set against the other.

God is in control.

We need to make our plans but open our hands and pray and set intentions for our life, but we also need to keep our hearts open to God’s greater plans.

Sometimes that means not crossing items off our list but instead loving on our family.

Or running away for a day to celebrate God, and life and love.

For we only have so many moments. We need to savor them before they’re gone.

honey+bees+quote

And my friend, Laura at The Wellspring is releasing a new book next month and her words speak to my heart as they so often do and seem to fit with the focus of my post although I didn’t plan on reading her announcement today.

So God!

There will never be enough summer days to do everything we want to do. And we may not get to cross every item off our bucket lists. And we will always be working on our marriages and others relationships to make them the most God-honoring they can be.

We must choose wisely and listen closely, following our hearts as they heed His call.

For as it is with summer so go the moments of our life…

~sheila

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When you need to let go…or when life runs full with love, forgiveness and all the colors mingling

GOOD HARBOR DUNES - Copy

These are the moments of our life.

So let’s not waste a single one.

Because they pass as quickly as summer.

Breathe deep.

Think deeper.

And choose wisely.

Know God.

And know that He loves you and me like crazy. No. Matter. What!

Hold tight to all that is dear but know when it’s time to let go.

Say farewell.

Then move forward.

With a tear and a smile.

So much grace.

And gratitude abundant.

For life is a gift in all the thousands of moments, one after the other after the other.

Unwrap each one fully present for they slip away like sand between our fingers.

Vanishing like vapor.

So let’s hold them in our hearts rejoicing more than regretting.

Forgiving all.

And foregoing the grudge so we can be free.

Free to live.

Slowly.

With intention. Like we mean it. Realizing the value of the gift.

Feeling deeply all our feelings yet controlled by none.

Resting.

Letting our hearts be His.

Still, soft and wide open.

Receiving.

So we can give more.

Taking life moment by precious moment as it is not as we would have it.

All glory to God.

Savoring sunrises and sunsets passing in a heart beat.

And life flowing and overflowing like a waterfall tumbling over the edge, spraying rainbows as it crashes below.

Or like a watercolor where broad brush strokes of a thousand tiny dots of color mingle and meld.

Each one touching the other.

Deeply.

And together creating beauty to inspire.

Bleeding into each other.

One.

Blood covering all in Light diffusing softly over mountains misty in the distance.

Rising to meet the sun…

 

The house is sold. Summer is unofficially over. The baton was passed yesterday in a significant shift within our close-knit church family. And after a summer together under one roof my sons {and daughter-in-love} have moved into their next chapters, one flying far away before dawn today, relocating to the West Coast.

BEN TO WASHINGTON 1

BEN TO WASHINGTON 3

BEN TO WASHINGTON 2

BEN TO WASHINGTON 4

All is as it should be even if my heart feels faint.

And what about your heart this morning? Do you feel a tug?

Because letting go can do that to us. It tugs and it tears. And God, He uses it to tether us more closely to Himself.

So are you reaching out to your Lord in your season of letting go?

Yet through all the changes we are under cover.

Banner over us is flapping in a summer breeze, love held high by the One who never changes.

Not in morning sun or evening shadows.

And though my woman’s heart is wistful today, and my Michael holds me long and slow,  and I am tired, physically drained and spent from a season full to overflowing with wonderful, wearying changes — —

I look up and open my hands and my heart. You, too?

Holding on to Him while letting go in love.

Only to receive…

~sheila

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In the next few weeks Longings End will be getting a facelift. We’ll be updating our theme and design to better serve you. And we apologize for the current problem we are having regarding leaving comments on the post. Please click over to our Longings End Facebook page and feel free to leave your words there in the interim. Thank you for your patience, understanding and grace. We love you!

 

 

When life gets crazy married couples must intentionally cling and connect…

US

Life can get crazy sometimes.

Busy. Rushed. Exhausting.

And it can start to crowd out the us in marriage.

But as stress levels rise, pulling couples apart, they need to fight against the tendency to isolate from each other and choose to come closer together.

For the crazy busy will just keep rolling — even for those of us who try to keep things simple. And all that crazy can roll right over romance and connection and your friendship with the person with whom you share your life.

No matter how bustling life gets there is always time to slow down for the truly important things.

Like breathing out. Slowly.

Laughing together.

CRUISE1

Or sailing away for an afternoon to remember the day you became one.

And sometimes dancing on a bridge high over the Hudson River. With sunlight streaming. And open blue skies freeing your soul to fly away from all the stress and demands for a little while.

When it’s just you and your man. In his arms. Side by side. Forgetting bills and jobs and even the kids for a bit.

BRIDGE

BRIDGE MUSIC GIRDERS

BRIDGE MUSIC

Making time to just be a couple. Connecting and clinging like in the early days before all the distractions.

For if couples don’t protect their bond they set themselves up for a host of issues. When we get disconnected from our spouse it makes us cranky. We feel all alone in the world. We tend to see their flaws instead of how much they add blessing to our days.

And marriages don’t usually break up in a day.

It takes countless days of careless acts piled one on top of the other until the marriage fades. Bonds that are meant to last a lifetime fray and hearts go to pieces.

And your union gets all shaky.

So, maybe your job requires long hours away from home. Perhaps your working towards an advanced degree in the evenings. Maybe you’re in the process of moving {eeeks!} or just feeling breathless from all the back-to-school activity and fighting the crowds for school supplies.

Whatever the craziness that’s swirling in your marriage…it’s not as important as preserving your marriage.

Things and activities and even careers will come and go. Children grow up and leave the nest. But your husband is your husband until death do you part. Your one-flesh covenant partner.

He is your dearest friend in all the world. The man you make love to. The one you pledged your life to on that glorious day when the world stood still and the stars spun in the heavens.

And protecting and nurturing your marriage honors God, since marriage is His glorious idea and the basis of strong societies.

Don’t let life kill your marriage {or make it strained and sick}.

As hard as you work in other areas, work harder to keep married romance alive.

And here’s to years of happier ever afters…

~sheila

In the next few weeks Longings End will be getting a facelift. We’ll be updating our theme and design to better serve you. And we apologize for the current problem we are having regarding leaving comments on the post. Please click over to our Longings End Facebook page and feel free to comment there in the interim. Thank you for your patience, understanding and grace. We love you!

Life’s moments are fragile so intentionally handle with care…

SNOWY 4 Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

If my whining about winter had won out I would have missed the gift of the moment.

A couple of weeks ago when it was colder than cold I didn’t much want to venture out late in the afternoon just to pick up a reserved DVD at the library.

But duty prevailed and I donned layer upon layer, heated the car a full 15 minutes before backing out of my driveway, and drove off.

And the little village within our town that I love so much did not disappoint.

GRINNELL SNOW

Gazebo

Buildings crafted with charm and care date back more than a century. And the gazebo, on the grounds of a historic homestead now public park, was still draped in pine roping from Christmas and it all looked like a greeting card.

With DVD in hand I decided to brave the brazen breeze and hurry through the park for a short, invigorating walk because that little voice inside kept nudging.

As a bone chilling wind blew snow from pine boughs overhead snowflakes swirled around me like a dusting of powdered sugar, captivating me with childlike wonder.

Like a scene from Citizen Kane {the DVD I had reserved} I stepped inside an antique snow globe that an unseen hand was gently shaking.

SNOWGLOBE CITIZEN KANE

Intentional is our one word at Longings End in 2014.

And spurred on by this winter whimsy I kept walking.

Each step along snowy sidewalks felt like I was turning the pages of a lushly illustrated picture book.

Two boys with faces red as cardinals were building a snow fort in their front yard.

A girl whose tiny legs walked slowly cried out to her daddy when she realized how cold she was. He gently lifted her into his arms and picked up his pace. Perhaps they hurried home to mugs of hot cocoa with marshmallow fluff.

And then there was a black cat sitting forlornly on a front porch. Gazing expectantly at the door I am sure he was longing to curl up warm for a nap in front of the fireplace.

Circling back to the park, the gazebo seemed to beckon me to stay another moment. Brrrr!

ZION CHURCH IN SNOW

But just then Zion Episcopal Church across the street with its tall stone bell tower started chiming the hour. And my eyes landed on the date on the library: 1887, one hundred years before my oldest son was born.

I wondered how many other souls like me — husbands and wives, sons and daughters —  had passed this way before.

For time never stops ticking and all that we have in any given moment is fleeting and fragile as a frozen bubble.

And everything keeps changing.

Everything and everyone except God. He never changes like shifting shadow.

The Bible tells us there is nothing new under the sun and for everything there is a season. Those souls departed that passed this way in this tiny village years before me, they loved and lost, worried and wondered, were fearful or faithful, cried and laughed.

Just like me and just like you. And God had His eye on them just like He’s watching over us.

For no matter how many times the clock chimes time doesn’t change the things that truly matter in life…like God, truth, love, forgiveness, family, friends, laughter and words whispered in the dark to soothe a tired heart.

Our Father gives magical moments like this one which can easily be missed because of life’s frantic pace. Yet it’s precisely these moments that bring joy and peace reminding us there is good to be found everyday if we keep our eyes and hearts open.

Savoring them we exhale and the deep, cleansing breath that follows brings healing and makes us grateful to be alive regardless of the issues we face.

Humbled.

And thankful that a giant, unseen Hand holds everything together in unending love and grace…

~sheila

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