Valleys

It’s in the valleys I grow

Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
full of sorrow, trouble and woe.
It’s then I have to remember
that it’s in the valleys I grow

If I always stayed on the mountain top
and never experienced pain,
I would never appreciate God’s love
and would be living in vain

I have so much to learn
and my growth is very slow,
sometimes I need the mountain tops
But it’s in the valleys I grow

I do not always understand,
why things happen as they do.
But I am very sure of one thing,
My Lord will see me through

My little valleys are nothing
when I picture Christ on the cross
He went through the valley of death,
His victory was Satan’s loss.

Forgive me Lord, for complaining
when I’m feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
that it’s in the valleys I grow.

continue to strengthen me, Lord.
and use my life each day
to share your love with others
and help them find their way.

Thank you for valleys, Lord
for this one thing I know
the mountain tops are glorious
But it’s in the valleys I grow.

By:Jane Eggleston

I’ve been thinking a lot about valleys.  After all, it is lent.  I am reminded of last years lent as we were going through our fertility treatments and I was asked to sing the Exultet at our Easter Vigil service (as we had no deacon).  I will refer to a post from last year, And the Journey rolls on…  I feel as though I am coming full circle.  Somehow God always makes his presence known in reminders such as these.  So, this Lent we walk through another valley…I grow, my son grows, my husband grows…we grow together.  But boy…do I see the light Easter right around the corner.  The light of Christ.  Thanks be to God.  Rejoice heavenly hosts and choirs of angels, for the victory of our Mighty King.  Darkness has been vanquished (from the Exultet). 

How loved am I?  So, so, so loved.  I can not express the overflowing love I feel for the little one I spend all of my days with..that God has an even greater love for me, for my family just overwhelms and brings me such great joy and security.  It seems Lent is my time to grow, to hang on to the holy, to feel the holy.  I feel it every time I hold my precious little miracle.  Thank you, God.

Jonathan78

P.S. I’m 3 pounds!!!

From Palms to the Cross

 

Palm Sunday at CHN

Palm Sunday at CHN

Holy week is now upon us.  This is one of my favorite times of the church, when we are asked to share in Christ’s love, joy, and sorrow.  Jesus comes to us humbly on a donkey.  You’ll see above and below, that CHN (my parish) starts it’s service outdoors with shouts of Hosanna! noise makers and the waving of Palms.

Palm4

Palm15

It’s a service that begins with joy and transitions right into the Passion story as the shouts change from Hosanna! to Crucify Him!  We had a guest preacher, The Reverend Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows from the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, who gave us a lovely homily.  Thank You.

Jesus comes to us on a donkey.  A humble animal, a working animal.  No one would call it magnificent or striking.  It’s a donkey.  An animal that carries heavy loads or gives rides to children, certainly not an animal any king would ride.  What do we learn here?  What to we see here?  Is it significant?  I think so.  Jesus is preparing to do his final work, the work he was sent here on earth to do.  To carry our very heavy loads.  Paraphrased, to carry our very heavy burdens.  This final work, so we can be free of them, our burdens, our heavy loads and we can experience joy and be filled with the light of Christ at Easter.

Yesterday was Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday.  One might say our sermon had the title, Stinky Feet.  Another reminder of Christ’s becoming a servant for us, that he brings himself to the ground to wash our feet.  I’ll be honest and say, I don’t usually partake in the washing of feet.  I’m usually singing in the choir as people receive this beautiful gift.  But as many of you know who have read this blog, it has been a challenging Lent for many at my parish.  The love and the humble service from my sisters and brothers at CHN has so moved me, so humbled me, that I felt I must take part.  I had to take the time with tear filled eyes, to take part, because I am a part of this community filled with so much hope, love, and compassion…and always the strength to overcome.  Strength that comes to us from knowing, that God is with us and God will take care of us.  God is showing us lessons of faith, experienced through the tangible, our life’s realities.  What a gift to know and experience this kind of Love.

MThurs2