Goodreads to Muse

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The Book Thief
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
On Gold Mountain
Bread & Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter
City of Tranquil Light: A Novel
The Distant Land of My Father
The Paris Wife
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Fall of Giants
World Without End
A Stolen Life
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
The Pillars of the Earth
Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation
The Road
Trials of the Earth: The Autobiography of Mary Hamilton
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
Cutting for Stone

Gigi's favorite books ยป

Entries in womb (2)


receive mercy

Writing about mercy with Jenn Lebow on Mercy Mondays ended up on my highlight list for 2012. As I researched and read about mercy, it made me thirsty. Thirsty, that is, for mercy. 

Quickly I saw that my little Campus Crusade definition “to withhold a judgment deserved” did not do justice to this term. Perusing the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, I discovered that the Hebrew term for mercy also means womb. Hebrew is a language of few words, actually. Often the complex abstract words have literal meanings. As a lover of words, this delights me. And so I wrote a definition of mercy from my study of it:

Mercy is a woman. A woman with a womb. She is strong and tender. Her arms open wide to embrace and hold fragile, war-weary souls. She is not faint nor is she shy. Her strength in the face of fear and cavalier sin overwhelms the crudest sinner. Her ancient face is lined with furrows of kindness and gentleness. Goodness marks her days. As we fall into her embrace and burrow into her womb, life-giving blood courses through our souls. Sins  evaporate. Shame flees. Forgiveness triumphs.

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If Advent means anything in my life, it means to offer space for God to work.

As I understand it, the gospel means that God saved me in my sin and nothing I can do will increase His love for me nor diminish it. As I grow in my faith (sanctification), I can offer ground to Him or in other words offer my life.

This attitude is beautifully demonstrated by Mary the Mother of Jesus. Mary's words show a heart willing to bend to God's plan and a will deeply trusting of God's goodness. "I am the Lord's handmaiden. May it be as you have said." Luke 1:38.

I want more than anything for my life to reflect that sentiment. Sometimes I look around and I cannot see my way clear of the refuse of this fallen world. I don't see a way back to grace. I cannot find a path to peace.

My past (faith) reminds me that God has provided for me and has never left me. He has come through at the last minute or He has acted in surprising ways. This is the soil of my faith. My future (hope) is built on trusting His character. I want to live with that kind of memory and vision and let it shape my present.

These past few days at the beach have given me the space to prepare for Advent. As I wait, I offer the God of the Universe space in my heart to work.

Mary offered her womb - a space for miracles. I want to offer space and wait to see what God will do. This is what Advent means to me.