So. Here's a little of what's been going on:
1. Wrapped on principal photography for "The Rev" last weekend (NEW title coming soon! Keep an eye on the website for a preliminary trailer: www.glorystreamsproductions.com). It was a great experience working with everyone on that. :-)
2. Gearing up for the 3-Day Advent Film Workshop next week (lots of exciting new speakers and topics). You can see the workshop schedule here.
3. Took a day "off" today to pack for a 5-week stint in TX on the set of "Indescribable."
4. Bible study this afternoon—Proverbs 1 and 1 John 2 = awesome stuff!
5. Looks like I'll get to bed before midnight tonight (which will be a record for recent history).
6. I have much to be thankful for. (Cue song: "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart...")
So yes, there has been a lot going on recently, and it's going to stay pretty busy for a while yet. (In fact, my blog posts may be a little irregular for a month or two)
Here are some verses that have been tumbling around lately in my dizzified heart:
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Hebrews 4: 9-11, 15-16
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. ...We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
1 Peter 4: 10-12
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Isaiah 26:3-4, 7-9, 12
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal. The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth. Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
The summary? That even in the midst of all the busyness life can throw at me, God's goodness is my shadow, His grace is more than sufficient, and I can trustfully rest in His peace as I do each task in HIS strength. Furthermore, He gets all the credit. :-)
Goodness gracious! It can't get any better than that.
Feeling waves tease the sand from my feet as I wade along a breezy shoreline.
Listening to the tranquil stillness as it plucks chords of peace in my soul.
Tasting the tang of salt in misty sea-air.
Kneeling in the sand to adopt a lonely shell.
Standing in a bracing, gasping wind that shouts of freedom and surrender.
Closing my eyes as it whips my hair in its gusty breath.
Dancing barefoot in a long, flowing skirt.
Twirling in a swirling rhythmic current of musical emotion.
Whispering a lullaby to a small but precious charge.
Grasping their fragile finger—smiling as they grasp yours.
Folding a paper box, or gazelle, or yellow sunflower.
Making lacy bookmarks by hand to give away.
Hearing my younger sisters play a duet for flute and piano.
Holding tight to a motherly embrace for a moment longer before "good-bye."
Laughing for no reason as a smile passes between my eyes and those of a friend.
Singing opera in the shower. Just because.
Concocting an exotic and (subjectively) tasty spice blend.
Sharing a decadent chocolate dessert.
Teaching a young friend how to "ride a horsy."
Playing speed-scrabble and winning or losing by two points.
Blinking in the dawn of a Saturday morning.
Pulling up the covers for five more winks.
Sitting still on a mossy-soft stone in the woods.
Writing words as they flow dripping and new from my fingers onto the page.
Reading an apropos scripture passage.
Discussing it again during afternoon Bible study.
Leaning into the strength of an understanding shoulder.
Glancing across a room right when someone's glancing back.
Gazing at a star-spangled sky through the moon-roof.
Dreaming of tomorrow, of yesterday, and today.
Big, hairy audacious goals loom beckoning, promising, engrossing, exhausting.... Caught up in a draining cycle of Productivity, we take our tray and load it at the Busyness Buffet, then scarf it down in Guinness speed so we can go back for dessert.
We rush so fast that the moments memories are made of lie neglected, discarded like a wilted flower. Pick them!—press the flower. Frame it with a caption in your mind. Share its frail beauty with a fellow Traveler.
My own life is busy right now, and while I believe that what's on my plate right now is truly what God has prepared in advance for me to do (Ephesians 2:10), I still have to be careful not to be consumed by all my "good" activity, and keep my eyes on HIM. It helps to pause—to notice things—to remember, and tuck more memories away.
So I collect them. Big little things. Because they matter.
And they add up.
I praise your presence, God!
You alone sustain me
Without your presence I fall
I fall to my knees to seek it once again
I run after the sound of your voice
Without your Spirit I stagger and faint
Oh, Daddy, pick me up!
Take my hands and help me walk
I need you more than ever
I trust in you, my Rock, my God
I know you will not fail me
Your faithfulness has no limit
For to your own self you are true
Your sigh shakes the mountains
Your breath stirs deep, deep waters
Breathe softly, stir my heart
And my heart will leap and rejoice
Your joy will bubble from deep within
It will flood my soul
Your love overwhelms my heart
I could drown in its sweetness
Let me sink in its gentle waves
And remain with you forever
Walk with me and reveal your thoughts
Speak to me, my faithful Friend
My desire is for your presence
And you will never abandon me
I rest in your embrace
For I feel secure in your arms
You pick me up and carry me
Never will I fall
You guide me, you direct my feet
I walk in the way everlasting
May I always be sensitive to your voice
Its sound is as gentle and smooth
As a summer rain long awaited
In stillness I wait; in quietness
One gaze into your heart of compassion
Reduces—raises me to tears
Healing, washing, cleansing tears
Forgiveness flows until my soul glows
From the pure strength of your love
Softly I will sing to you
Gladly will I proclaim your peace
Joyfully I will bask in your presence
For there—there I find life!