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Living in the Land of Awed (at Home in the Father’s Love) has proven to be ODD, as in unfamiliar; strange. Before the thought “I don’t know my way around this pleasant land” was fully formed, His response came:

“Lean not on your own understanding, but in all your
ways acknowledge me and I will direct your path.”
Prov. 3:5-6

The Scripture wasn’t new to me, but I knew the words were meant to take on fresh meaning: “Personalize My words; own them and they will hone you ! – re-shape your thoughts concerning Me.” I accepted His invitation to learn of Him and know rest and safety… fearless nearness

Gem from Mom:
Every child is an only child

Mom’s wise word echoed in my memory as the Father wooed me into being His beloved child, not just one of many.

I was # 6 of 7 children and Mom definitely had my #. She was a master at discerning what each child needed most to be “trained in the way he or she should go”. Surprising , since she was not a woman of faith. Nevertheless, she had me “nailed”…I paled at being scolded/admonished. A spanking would have been far more welcome…so, true to Mom’s discernment, scoldings were administered with effective results. I was well known by my Mom and this “knowing” served me well. Mom’s choice of discipline for me, caused me to know (by experience) that she loved me. That’s not ODD – that’s GOD!

A Reality Unfolding Within Me
Continual learning of His yearning for me to experience Him as my Father.

And you will know by experience…. and believe
the love God has for you (cherishes us)….
Personalized from 1 John 4:16 – Amplified

You – whether ewe, lamb or ram:
Have you accepted His invitation to be an expression of His Love??

“You are His workmanship – His poeima – His poem” From Phil. 2:10

Poems are created one at a time – so it is with you….with me. And when we yield to the Author and Finisher of our faith we give Him ongoing editorial privileges as we grow toward His likeness. Sounds like “Poetry in motion” to me..

Ah, if only I could report my ongoing contentment in living in the Land of Awed (by the Father’s love). But so much goodness had a measure of discomfort for me; unfamiliarity. What was I missing? Rather than a direct answer, He gave me an assignment:

“Train yourself toward godliness…for spiritual training is
valuable in all things (all of life)” From 1 Tim. 4:7-8 Ampl.

I softened this to a more palatable, “Disciple your Self” giving the illusion of still being in charge and not needing, well, discipline, Meanwhile, I noticed a little background music…my Self, a confident soloist, was crooning Sinatra’s tune, “I’ll have it my way.”, seemingly undeterred by Holy Spirit promptings to the contrary.

And then, the Father whispered with finality as well as nonverbally (How does He do that?) :

“Whom the Lord loves He disciplines.” Heb. 12:6

There was a pause in the background music as the heavenly counsel continued.:.

Life is Meant to be Your Gymnasium
For Developing Spiritual Muscle
and Emotional Maturity

And troubles/trials were to serve as my workout equipment.

Awed – Ah-ed – Aha-ed – ODD

BELOVED think it not strange – ODD
– concerning the fiery trial…” I Pet. 4:12a KJ

Beloved and firey trial in the same verse and this isn’t strange as in really ODD?? “God, Where are You?” I was feeling more forsaken than beloved…and old patterns of fear and doubt began to press in on me. Rather than the comfort I yearned for, He called me to the higher ground of deeper trust:
“…in this world you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer.
I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Praise God, unlike AAA, He doesn’t limit the # of calls I make to be towed to Higher Ground to be grounded anew in His Truth and Power.

Olga Savtsky, a prophetic poet, crafted these profound words:

“You Who overcame the world, overcome the world in me.”

WOW! But HOW? Sinatra’s song re-wriiten, “I’ll do it YOUR Way!” How about you?

“Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding…” Prov. 3:5–

Listen within to this quote from a friend: “When I let the King of glory into my heart, He is at BATTLE, lovingly convincing me of His love and faithfulness, rightly dividing the shakable from the unshakable,” So true. And ODD that we have to be arm wrestled in a sense to receive His goodness. But He battles to win our war within…and His mighty weapon is His Word:

“Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto you
that you would be called the children of God.” 1 John 3:1

“The Law of the Lord is perfect…converting…convincing…convicting the soul.
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”
Psalm 19:7

Take in My Love; believe My Word.

Convince me, Father

Although I was awed by the Father’s Love, my emotions remained tentative concerning His trustworthiness. This environment of acceptance was ODD …didn’t seem real. “What, really, is the deal?”, my doubtful soul pouted.

His response was quick and personal:

“Come to me, Marilyn, and I will give you rest.”
From Matthew 11:28

He knew well that though I had entered the Land of Awe, my heart was still guarded. And He knew well that this verse would ring a bell – a remarkable memory from my past. My high school advisor in public school had given me this very Scripture as the topic for my valedictory address. (Lest you think I boast, my graduating class was small as in very.)

High school years had not been a time of belonging for me. I was, to play on today’s word ODD. Too smart to be popular; my smile marred by two front gold teeth. The smarts, of course, are to His credit. The tooth loss resulted from an accidental push down school stairs as we were rushing to a pep rally. My father labeled the fall, unequivocally, my fault. The fact that we had free dental care did not diminish his displeasure. Through no fault of my own (in this case) I had failed to make points as Daddy’s girl. And then, the Father be-friended me with His Word through this most unlikely candidate. My advisor was gruff; curt; had given no clues to her faith, but proved faithful in following His leading.

I suspect a variation of my story of non-belonging is etched in the memory banks of many of you…and even being lived out in present circumstances for some; for many?. Sometimes we miss His Presence in the midst of our pain, but He is there nonetheless.

“I love your writing. You really have a way with zingers, but I think what really matters is the life wisdom you bring to the page. You say hard things, but you make them go down like warm apple pie.” David Kopp - executive editor, Multnomah Books

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