My Sweet Valentine…

Something beautiful happened on Valentine’s Day. I spent an intimate afternoon with the Lord visiting Filoli Gardens, a historical house and English gardens, in Woodside near my home.  It has always been a special place to go and spend quiet time in reflection and in the Word, a  tradition of mine to go on Valentine’s Day.

So Valentine’s morning I picked up my red Zip Car, because red equals love, and drove

The Tea House at Filoli Gardens

over to Filoli.  It was a beautiful sunny day, early spring weather, and I noticed the daffodils were in bloom as I arrived.  I took the time to admire the watercolor art exhibit and found my way to the Tea House, a cool reflective building in the middle of the gardens.

The former owners used to have tea here and play cards. It has breathtaking views of the lily ponds and fountains found throughout the gardens.  A welcoming antique chaise lounge beckoned me. I sat quietly with my bible on my lap, taking in the smell of the jasmine and watching a small hummingbird fly back and forth as he had lost his way.

I opened my bible and asked the Lord to direct me.  He gave me one beautiful Psalm after another, talking of His love and faithfulness, of His protection and deliverance, of being my Husband and my Maker, all the while infusing His love into my heart.

I closed my eyes and prayed, seeing Him in the Spirit, kneel down next to me and take my hand in His.  He kissed my hand gently and love for Him flowed through my heart. Lord I love you so much, I adore you, you are the lover of my soul, my husband  (Isaiah 54:5). Thank you for loving me.  Soon I got up to dance with Him, dressed as Cinderella at the Ball, He as Prince Charming.  We waltzed our way out unto the patio and onto the grass, all the while twirling around and around.  Did you know Jesus loves to dance?  Because He does.

I got lost in the moment, until a guest walked in announcing the time. I opened my eyes.  I quickly asked the Lord if there was something else he wanted to say to me or surprise me with this Valentine’s day.           I want to give you a new beginning Miriam, to remove the reproach of your sexual abuse and past, to take the spiritual burden off your shoulders and the shackles from around your neck. (Isaiah 58:6) In a vision, I saw Him removing them and standing at the edge of the sea, throwing the burdens and shackles in.  I joined Him by the water’s edge, putting my arm around Him and leaning into Him. Yes, Lord, I am ready to move on from having my identity being as an incest survivor, to being simply your child, the daughter of the King.

My heart felt so light, because carrying that burden around for so long had taken its toll on me.  Everything in my life, my art ministry, my book, my relationships, had all evolved around my past. How I had overcome. How I was now helping others overcome. But now it was time for me.  To take a break and find a new path with a new freedom in Him.

How would I define myself now, if not author, artist, advocate, prayer warrior, healer, minister of the gospel and most importantly, blogger?!  How about friend, sister, Jewish believer in Jesus, future wife, mother and homemaker?  All my dreams for the future.  So I started.  I lit the Sabbath candles tonight, promising the Lord to honor the Sabbath like I used to….spending the day in rest, honoring Him in worship and time in nature, no worries, fretting or Facebook.  I remembered the promise of keeping Sabbath in Isaiah 58: 13-14:

“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the Lord honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
14 Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Yes. I wanted to delight in Him and have Him give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4).

To return to my Jewish roots by taking a trip back to Israel where I had served Him as a missionary in the 1990s.

Hiking the Jesus Trail, Israel

To hike the Jesus Trail, a 40 mile road that leads from Nazareth to Capernaum, where Jesus lived and ministered along the Sea of Galilee.

To cook a new recipe every week preparing myself for that Jewish believing husband I am waiting on.

To dust off my sewing machine and make my wedding quilt for my Chuppah (Jewish Canopy).

To get back on Weight Watches online, avoiding white flour, sugar, potatoes and diet coke to lose the weight I need so I can look pretty in my wedding dress when that day arrives.

To blog just for the fun of it, with no goal in mind!

To bike along new areas of seashore I haven’t visited before.

To Just Be Me.

I am excited about this time of new beginnings, of seeing myself healed and free of past labels and disabilities, a whole person in Jesus, ready to follow Him on this new adventure, with Him by my side. Yes, I love Him. He is my sweet Valentine. And always will be. No matter who I marry!

Stay tuned!

What is your secret dream? Leave me a reply.

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My devotion is published!…a love letter to the Lord..

My love letter to the Lord

My sweet Lord, such love and goodness happened this week. Your miracle of allowing me to show my art at my church’s mission holiday fair after all. And yesterday finding out some of my writing is being published on the national level.  Oh, and not to mention the possible job.

I love how faithful you are, that in the dry seasons of our life, when we are so anxious for you to open a door, you open three at once!  I love how you have a way of raining down blessings, and how I know from experience you wait till the last possible moment, yet your timing is perfect.  I have seen you come through when I am down to my last few dollars in my savings account and I don’t know where money will come from for next month’s bills.

From Pinterest

My heart overflows as I watch your perfect sunset of my favorite colors, pink and purple tonight.  I saw a pin on Pinterest today that said God is a designer. How true.  You are the ultimate Artist and Creator.  Every sunrise and sunset you paint a canvas of color for us, and every evening you hang the moon and stars in a navy blue sky.  I have enjoyed so much walking at night and riding my bike under the bright moon.

I have noticed I see things more clearly with an artist’s eye now, with your eye, such as how the seasons change and the beauty of each.  Fall, one of my favorites, brings baking, homemade soups, quilting while sipping pumpkin lattes and crunchy gold, red and yellow leaves on the ground.

This evening, I realized how blessed I am to do the things you do, be an artist and writer.  It took 51 years to get to this place but I love painting and I love being a writer, and now an author.  WOW, author.  It was nine months ago I picked up my pen and stated writing my book, on a rainy day in January at Peets Coffee.  Nine months of joy, frustration, rewrites, editing, critiquing, writer conferences, blogging, subscribers, plug ins, Facebook cartoons, statistics, submission, rejection and now finally acceptance.   An editor felt my devotion “Our Sweet Fragrance” was good enough to publish.  In a book.  That many will see, read and grow closer to you because of it.  WOW.

As an author, you write our names in your book , our tears in your book and our days in your book.  My art contains your Word in Scripture, knowing that my word that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void. (Isaiah 51:11)  How is it I am growing to be more like you and your image everyday? (smile)

I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys - Song of Solomon 2:1

Thank you Jesus for being my sweet fragrance (2 Corinthians 2:15), and my Rose of Sharon (Songs 2:1). For giving me the words to write the beautiful devotion to you and the ability to paint a Scripture painting to go along with it, entitled Rose of Sharon.

For giving me a vision of you tossing dozens of red rose petals all over me as I rolled on my bed in glee, over finding out my devotion was accepted for publication in Penned from the Heart*.  Of confirming my dream and encouraging me in my journey with you. My heart is full of gratitude and love for you. Ani Ohevet atah Yeshua.
Your love, Miriam

Rose of Sharon is for sale on my website giftsofhisglory.com.  Click here or above on ‘my art’ to see all my Scripture paintings that make wonderful holiday gifts.

Yearly Christian devotional for 2013

*I am sorry I cannot publish my devotion here on this blog until after it has been printed and published in the devotional book.  Rules of the publishing game!  Devotional books can be ordered beginning in December for the 2013 version in which my devotion appears,  at www.gloriaclover.com.  Retail at $9.95)

Leave me a reply:  What dream has the Lord given you?

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