Thursday, March 31, 2011

Transforming Worms to Wings

We hear the stories.  We know them well.  We hear the words.  Even sing them, read them...but are they truly gripping our hearts?  Are they transforming our lives?

To transform means to change form completely.  A caterpillar, before it transforms into a butterfly, completely liquifies in its chrysalis.  It isn't until it is "melted" that a new work can be done.  Are our hearts melted for Christ?  Does the love of our Father warm us so tenderly and so completely that we melt in His presence?

God's Word can land on us, but if it doesn't change us, if it doesn't transform our lives, if it doesn't invade our moments and leave its mark on our wings, how then can we fly on His whisper?




Don't just hear His Word, today.  Melt in it!  Let it completely change your heart so that the evidence of transformation is in your very being.  


New Life

There is something about Spring that makes me sing.  Maybe its the birds chirping cheerfully outside of the window as they welcome the warm sun.  Perhaps its the butterflies as they begin to kiss the newly opened buds of the daffodils that seem to stand up high as if reaching for their Creator. Or maybe its the green grass, cold beneath my feet, tickling and teasing my toes with a taste of what's yet to come.

All in all, I think I just find something warming about the new awakened life of Spring.

The anticipation of it coming begins somewhere around the time of the groundhog popping up to see its shadow. Then soon, come the robins, looking for breakfast as they shake the winter off of the ground. And the first warm day brings about Spring cleaning and opening up windows for the breeze to blow in a fragrant freshness to fill the air.

All winter long, the world waits as if in longing to hear the first whisper from God saying, "It's time!"  And in that moment, bursting forth in all its splendor, comes the new birth of Spring!

Recently, Spring has been a tease.  The warm sunshine blessed our days enough to get us all cleaning out the closets to find the capris and  flip-flops.   And now, back to long johns and wool sweaters, I shiver even as I type this!

But today, though the cold weather stole Spring like a thief in the night...I anticipated God in all His splendor bringing forth new life, not in the flowers and trees, but in the birth of twins.  Congratulations to Rob and Monica Shepherd in the birth of their long-awaited miracles, Hayden and Reese.  May God bless you with years of joy as you train up your children in the way they should go!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Over the edge





Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied with God. -- John Piper

He gives us boundaries.  We creep to the edge.  One toe at the time, seeing how far we can go without crossing over the line. Soon the line becomes non-existent, erased by our subconscious efforts to extend it in our own will, further and further we fall. And once we find ourselves hanging from the cliff that He was trying to protect us from, it just seems easier to let go and fall into the pit, rather than find the strength to reach up...for reaching up requires looking toward the One we know we've turned our backs on. When we turn our eyes from the Father, what we see entices us to compromise our hearts to a place that will also be far from Him.  And when the enemy can get our eyes and hearts turned toward something else, shame holds us there.

In my weakness, I believe the lies that take my focus off of Him, and onto me.

Our intentions were not to be here.  Our desire was not to fall...but our desire in that moment was not for Him.  And when we desire anything else but Him, our thirst becomes dangerous.  We were created to love.  We were created to long.  We were created to hunger. And we will...we will love something.  We will long for something.  We will hunger for something to fill the void that was made in us

If we could only see that when we love and long and hunger for anything but the Father, we are still left void to love, long, and hunger.  But, when we turn to Him, our love is made complete.  Our longing is no more.  Our hunger, satisfied. The void is filled.

He is my portion.  All I need.  When I come hungry, He fills me...completely.  He wholly satisfies the deepest longing in my soul.  His love for me goes higher than the heavens, deeper than the oceans.

And even when I turn away from who I am in Him, I can never go over the edge of His love.  Like a glove, He reaches out over the cliff, into the bottom of the pit.  He lifts me up and as our eyes meet, He doesn't shame, He doesn't lecture...He just loves.



Thursday, March 24, 2011

In the Crosshairs


Living with 5 men in my house, I can't help but be in the midst of Realtree camo and blaze orange caps.  Only a hunter's wife could be amused, instead of offended, at the request of her three-year old wanting to watch a show called, "White-tail Freaks".

Now, I, being the epitome of prissyness, have had to transition myself from tu-tu to coveralls and it hasn't always been an easy walk to the tree-stand, if you know what I mean. I have had to bare the disappointment that "running the dogs" does not mean I get to go and play with cute little puppies and run with them through the woods holding a leash as they lead me on great adventures.

I have learned that hunting may involve sitting in the freezing cold for 5 long-boring hours (all the time thinking of the long list of chores that await me at home) and coming back with absolutely nothing to show for it... (Even on the worst shopping day ever, I can at least buy a pack of gum and have SOMETHING.)

And I have been taught that it is not all about the fashion statement of all my boys in matching gear, but that the point of camouflage is not being seen. (Spend lots of $ on clothes with matching accessories and shoes and NOT WANT TO BE SEEN?)

Sometimes I just don't get it!  But recently, I have found hope in the possibility that there lies a few valuable lessons to be learned in the age-old chase for game.  Bare with my ignorance as I make an attempt with good intentions to speak about something God showed me regarding this thing called hunting, which I claim with all honesty to know very little about.

*Disclaimer:  Though some of these illustrations view the hunter as the enemy,  I do not promote nor protest hunting in these writings.  I only use the illustrations as a way to paint God's Word as He gave it to me.*

The CALL:  a hunter's call is a small trumpet-like tool that can be used to lure in the animal by mimicking its sounds, usually the sounds of the animal ready to mate.   By using the call, animals desperate to mate will be tricked into coming to the sounds of the call even though a fellow companion is not sensed otherwise.

I know an enemy who uses this tactic.  Calls the prey in by mimicking sounds of instant pleasure at a time when  they are the most vulnerable.  Tricks them into coming closer and closer only to find themselves victim to the firing shot of a disguised predator that shows no mercy.

It is so important for us to know the call of Our Father, that we can hear it above the enemy's mockery of truth.  For us to know Our Father's voice, we must belong to Him, know His Word, and be in daily communion with Him.

My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.  John 10:27. 

The SCOPE:  a scope is a telescopic tool that is attached at the top of the gun to bring a closer look at the animal being hunted. It focuses in on what the hunter wants in its sights and makes the target appear closer and bigger to get a better, more accurate shot. As the hunter, "scopes in", the surrounding area moves out of sights and allows the hunter to focus only on the desired goal, not being distracted by the nature of movement outside of the target.

Oh, how I wish I had a scope for life!  I become daily distracted with my surrounding environment as it takes my focus off of the goal which the Lord has set for me.  As children of God, we must daily keep our eyes on the prize and be careful not to let life become the distraction...or even the goal.  Our goal is Him.  Just Him.  Nothing can come before Him. In my daily tasks or in the special circumstances of life, I have to constantly scope in and ask myself, "Where is God in all of this?"  Is He first in my life?  Is He first in my attitude?  Is it Him that I am trying to see or has my surroundings become a distraction for me seeing the real target?

I forget what is behind, and press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:14


The Crosshairs:   The crosshairs is a feature of the scope that shows the precise truth of where the bullet will hit, if fired at that very moment.  It pinpoints exactly where penetration will happen if the target is still and can be a guide to the hunter even if the target is in motion.  What the hunter hopes is that what is in his crosshairs will be what he carries home when the hunt is finished.

God has us in His crosshairs.  Now, hear me out.  He doesn't want to shoot us!  But He does want us to come home with Him!  And as with hunting, a target shot means the crosshairs are aimed for the heart.  He wants our hearts.  He wants our hearts to be the target of precise truth.  He wants our hearts to be penetrated     by Him when we are still and guided by Him when we are in motion. He tells us in His Word that we are the apple of His eye (Deut. 32:10)  That means we are the most tender part, the part in the center of His eye. He cares for us gently and guards us.  We are in the center of His affection...in the center of His crosshairs...in the center of His cross.



God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes on Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

He had us in His sights as He offered His Son on account of our sin.  As He looked upon the Cross at Calvary, we were there, right in the center...right in the heart of Jesus.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy Birthday my Sons


Ten years ago today, God reached out His hands and placed in mine 2 tiny miracles to testify of His greatness and love. I stand in awe of how He has shaped these precious boys, who defeated all odds of survival, into young men that wholeheartedly love Him, serve Him, and praise Him for what He has given them...life, eternal life. John and Timmy, I love you more than all the stars in the sky, and I love Him for the gift He has given me in you.  Happy Birthday, my sons.  I am honored that He chose me to lead you on this journey as we walk together toward Him.  



Their Story:


One month after our arrival in Texas, I discovered the news of my pregnancy.  I was overwhelmed with excitement, fear, and the strange, but keen awareness of God's plan to do something great.  A few weeks later, I found myself, for some odd reason, looking at my tummy asking God that if there were two, to please keep them safe and let them be a ministry all of their days.  The next morning, at our first doctor's visit, we were given the shocking affirmation that there were two little heartbeats...Twins!  


There was only one problem.  They shared an amniotic sac with only a thin membrane separating the two of them.  We were sent to a specialist who gave us the gravely frightening news that our boys had Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome, only giving them a 15% chance of survival.  What we knew then was that they shared a sac, a placenta, and blood vessels that gave them little hope for life.  What we soon learned was that they shared a bond, a love, and a faith that was greater than any statistic medicine could give us...and they had a God who was in the business of conquering the grave and offered hope for eternal life. 


Through several painful weeks of amniocentesis reductions, we left with more bad news. The fluid in their amniotic sac were at dangerous levels.  Baby A (Later called Timmy) was showing signs of anemia.  He wasn't getting enough supply from the placenta.  His blood vessels were stripped and weakening.  Baby B (Later called John) was showing signs of heart failure.  His heart was working too hard to compensate for the extra supply he was getting because Baby A was "sharing" his.  We were then told we could terminate the life of one to give the other a greater chance to live.  We opted to believe only God could inhale or exhale the breath of life.  


We went to prayer meeting at Wedgewood Baptist church that night.  Emotionally exhausted from the roller coaster of ups and downs we had been through. Five women walked over to us, laid their hands on my womb, and asked us to allow them to pray for our baby(ies) as God had led them to do.  We left with an overwhelming sense of God's presence in my womb and a renewed faith that God's strength could sustain life. 


I then had a procedure called a septostomy, where with a very long needle, they pierced the membrane between the two babies to allow the fluid to go from one to the other.  As the needle went in, my little John reached up to grab it.  We could see his tiny little little hand on the sonogram reaching up at the awareness of his surroundings.   As fluid trickled into tiny Timmy's side of the sac, we could see him doing flips!  Those precious lives were alive indeed.


The doctors were amazed at their progress from that point.  Each day in the womb was a gift and we understood who was the Giver.  At 31 weeks, after several weeks of contractions, Timmy began to show distress.  His umbilical cord was constricting with each contraction and it was to the point of being safer for them outside the womb.  At 1:03 and 1:04am on March 23, 2002, God brought those little bundles into the world where they could better serve Him.  Timothy Elijah (2lbs 9oz) and John Emmanuel (4 lbs 3oz).  


It was over 24 hours before I could see them face-to-face and a week before I could hold them. I will never forget their tiny fingers wrapped around mine as I held them in my arms; nervously giving them their first baths; swaddling them tightly together as they joined one another in the incubator; kissing their sweet itty bitty toes as they slept so soundly to my songs of plea that God would watch over them.   Some nights I had to pry myself away home to rest.  It was absolute torture to leave that hospital without them. John spent 4 long weeks in the NICU  and Timmy spent 6 weeks.  Finally, we brought them home.  


The road has been long and difficult at times.  Five+ surgeries, including emergency eye surgery to prevent blindness and testicular surgery to prevent infertility, have kept us always on our knees.  But, through it all, God has been faithful to amaze us with His goodness.  The boys have been always reminded of the miracle of life He gave them, both in their birth and through salvation.  They celebrate today, 10 yrs with us and an eternity with the One who, for them, conquered the grave in more ways than one.  


These angels have brought me joy from the moment I knew them and I will spend the rest of my days rejoicing in the gift I am so undeservedly given, to be called their Mama.   


My cup runneth over. ..

Saturday, March 19, 2011

LEGOs Strike Back!

The Saga Continues...


Revenge of the LEGO people...

It is a purple ball in the vacuum cleaner.  Those little LEGO people put it there...they hid it right under my bed so I would run over it.  How in the world it got stuck in the power nozzle, I have no idea.  And I have even less of an idea how I will get it out!  But when I do, I will seek revenge!  Little LEGO people, Be AFRAID...Be VERY afraid!  This ain't gonna be pretty!

Vacuum Wars

ATTENTION ALL LEGOs: 
BEWARE!

Me and my vacuum cleaner are on a warpath and mercy is not promised to any toy that doesn't find its way home.



Exhibit A

Friday, March 18, 2011

Desperate



Desperately waiting...
Desperately seeking...
Desperately hoping...

Desperately longing... to find myself, my joy, my purpose.  I pray, I read, I meditate.  Yet, still, somehow in the midst of God's Word, I cannot find my passion...communion with Him...deep, solitary, serene communion with My God, My Savior, My Spirit.  I am desperate to know Him, to seek His face...but, somehow, I can't even find me in this chaos of heartbreak, disaster, and spiritual warfare with the enemy.  I am empty.  I am hungry.  I am lifeless. I am caught in the rut, deep in the pit, and I am crushed in my spirit.

...a crushed spirit dries up the bones.  Proverbs 17:22
Father, I have called out to You.  But, have I heard You?  I know You are there.  I know that You hear me.  I know that You answer...but Lord, Jesus, I cannot hear You.

Though I cannot hear You, I remember.  I remember all that Your mighty hand has done and all that You have so graciously offered for me.  I remember that even when my ears don't hear You, my heart still beats the very blood that you shed for me deep within my veins and I love You, Lord. With every breath I love You. And I'll praise You.  I don't feel like singing, I don't feel like dancing.  But, if my voice isn't Yours, and my feet don't dance for You, then my praise is for him that goes against me...so even when my heart is weary, I will still praise You, Lord...You and You alone.

I stand to praise You, but I fall to my knees.  
My spirit is willing, but my flesh is so weak. 

Some days I am quiet, Jesus.  And I know that You still hear me.  Help me now to hear You, even in Your silence. In Your whisper.  In Your Serenity.

Give me sweet sleep, Lord. And God Almighty, make these dry bones live.  Breathe a fresh breath within them and make them rise up.    And in the morning when I awaken...with You, me and Our cup of coffee...give me a freshly ground faith and a renewed heart.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
                                                                                                       Psalm 143:8  
Are you desperately waiting to hear from the Lord?



When God is silent, it isn't that He doesn't hear us. He is silent to cause us to be also. As a mother whispers a gentle "hush" in her crying baby's ear, so the Lord often hushes our cries in hopes of giving us rest in Him. A rest so sweet, that through it we can arise renewed, refreshed and restored...and ready to hear His voice.

Things I learned while cleaning out the car yesterday...

1. My children must be seriously concerned that they will go hungry...they have secretly stashed a week's supply of value meals under their car seats for hard times. 

2. There is truly such thing as the laundry fairy who sneaks into the dryer and steals the matches to socks.  Her hiding place is in my van, in case you are missing some of yours.  

3. French fries are chock full of preservatives... the mayonaise they put on hamburgers, not so much. 

4. With all of the papers I found in the car from Sunday school, TeamKid, Mission Friends and RA's, I could likely wallpaper my entire house. 

5. Dum-Dum lollipops can also be used to tack upholstery or stick down carpet...in case you ever need a cheap subsitute for glue, tacks, or cement.  

6. The paper cups from fast food restuarants have a lifespan of 2.2 days.  After that, the cupholder becomes a pool of flat very sticky coke.  

7. Shaking out the floor mats is a great way to refill the sandbox. Its all about recycling people!

8. Cleaning out the car is a great way to save gas.  Because after you do it, you will be determined not to go anywhere for days to keep little dirty feet out of it.

9. Cleaning out the car is a great way to save money.  Because after you do it, the drive thru is completely out of the question for at least a week. 

10. All mothers need to have a "clean-out-the-car day" on days when they are feeling defeated.  It is truly amazing and gratifying to see a COMPLETED project of cleaning and it actually stays clean for more than fifteen minutes IF you lock the doors and turn the car alarm on.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quiet Retreat

Lord, Jesus. I retreat to You.  Blot out all my transgressions.  Bind the enemy from seeping into Our quietness.  Keep all of the noise of life out that I may hear You and You alone.  I take refuge in Your presence.  Your Word is my comfort.  I exhale the dizziness this day has brought and breathe in Only You.  Lord, Jesus, let me walk along with You in solitude today. Lord, I need Your gentleness.  I need the assurance of Your voice.  I need You...All of You.  Rid me of myself.  Fill me up with You.  Amen.

Shaken

google search image

Have you ever been shaken?  Shaken by something that just rocks all of your emotions and turns your world upside-down?  Have you ever been shaken and when the shaking stops and you feel you can finally breathe again then a wave comes crashing in on your upside-down world and washes away every ounce of stand-firmness you had only to leave you melted in a rubble of pieces out of which you must salvage something that you can move forward with and call life?

The unexpected can often be earth-shattering.  It can cause a ripple effect and the trauma from one tragedy can lead into continuous aftershock for days, weeks, years. And two questions arise out of the rubble...How could we have prepared?  How can we recover?

One answer:  Jesus.

At His death on the cross, He understood the world being shaken.  He understood being turned upside-down.  He understood the darkness of life and breathing His last breath in suffering.  He cried out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?"  He cried out "My God" twice, because He was standing in the pieces of the broken Trinity, by which through His death, He could create life. My God, My Father...My God, My Holy Spirit...I am broken and alone.  He was covered in the rubble of our sins.  

Then He shouted in a loud voice, Into Your hands, I commit My spirit.  And the world in darkness began to quake.  And the veil was torn. The veil by which the world was separated from being in the presence of God...was broken in exchange for our sin.  He gave up His throne in the presence of God, was shattered in darkness so that we could be whole...holy in God's presence, coheirs to the throne. 

There was no greater suffering that than of Christ.  No earthquake shook the world like the breathing of the last breath of Jesus.  And through it, He gave us the answer as to how to prepare and how to recover.  

Walk through the two pieces of the veil, torn...come into His presence and dwell there.  Though the earth may  be moved, and the waves may come to leave us broken and standing in the rubble of life, nothing can shake what Christ has completed. He gave us restoration...after 3 days He conquered the grave.  He has removed His robe and placed it on us. 

Come before Him clothed in sacred garments.  The voice of the LORD is above the waters.  The God of glory thunders--the LORD, above vast waters, the voice of the LORD in power, the voice of the LORD in splendor.  The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars...The voice of the LORD flashes flames of fire.  The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness...  In His temple all cry, "Glory!"  The LORD sat enthroned at the flood; the LORD sits enthroned, King forever. The LORD gives His people strength; The Lord blesses His people with peace. 
                                                                                    Psalm 29:2-5, 7-11


My heart is broken before Him for the people of Japan.  I pray that their lives may be restored as they pick up the pieces of what remains in the piles of rubble...and what must be left there buried forever.  I pray that though their lives as they knew them are broken, shaken, and washed away...they will cling to the Cross where restoration is promised...that they will find themselves, not just shattered, but shattered before Christ shouting in desperation, 
"Into Your hands I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth." Psalm 31:5
May the LORD give His people strength.  May He bless His people with peace.  And May His people rise up to testify to the nations of His love, His power, and His unfailing, unshakable, unending grace.



Monday, March 14, 2011

Blank and empty walls



I will never forget the first day in my dorm room my freshmen year of college.  The moment my parents walked out of the room, all I could see were the blank and empty walls, staring back at me, with cold emptiness.  The feeling of solitary confinement came quickly to mind and I cried a river of tears the rest of the lonely day.

Those walls didn't stay empty long, though.  They filled up quickly with pictures of family, friends and heartthrobs  and an occasional poster of weird and wonderful art. Soon, my college walls were among some of my most memorable as each year they were decorated with stories of lessons learned and new adventures with people and passions I grew to love.

We built a house a few years ago and as we moved in, the many empty walls that glared back at me were overwhelmingly lonely, bringing back that feeling I felt that Longwood day. Little by little though, familiar prints and knick-knacks took their places upon the blank canvas to make these solitary moments feel a little more like home.   As the rooms filled up with chatter and playtime, everyday familiarity became the paintings that filled the empty spaces.

There are still a few walls that I have not gotten to decorate.  Lack of time, money, and motivation perhaps... or maybe those are the walls that God has left empty because their chapters have not yet been illustrated in this novel of life.

I have come to understand that paintings collect dust, but their stories are what give them value.  I look forward to the stories that the Master Painter will hang upon my empty walls. Until then, I continue to wait for the stories to unfold, one memory at the time, thanking Him for every speck of dust my memories collect.

What special paintings fill your walls with memories? How do you get through the lonely days of walls left to be filled as God unfolds your story?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Diving In!

fineartamerica.com


I recently had a strange dream...as I often do.  Seems my true weirdness comes out at nighttime (and probably during the day, too!)  But anyway, let me share it with you.

I was standing on the shore at the beach watching the waves crashing one after another.  The water was frigid cold and I didn't dare to put as much as a big toe in.  In fact, I was running away as they came closer and closer.  Then a man and his dog came strolling by me.  They seemed so at peace, somehow unified, one to another as they walked together.  The gentleman had a frisbee and would toss it into the crashing waves as he spoke gently, but emphatically to the dog, "Go."

As if it were second nature, the dog would dive right in, disregarding the cold monstrous waves heading toward him.  As he retrieved the frisbee, he quickly returned to the side of his master, waiting anxiously for his next command.

I watched in astonishment as the dog did this over and over, as if he actually enjoyed jumping into that freezing cold water.  He would howl in shock as his body hit the waves, yet he went on, struggling through the rough waters, determined to complete the task his master had given him. And great was his reward upon his return as the man would encompass the dog into his arms with praise, "Good Job, boy!"

God Speaks:  I am the Master.  I will offer you a task that may not be easy.  It may be unpleasant and cause discomfort for a time.  I will not force you to dive in, but only give a gentle, "Go."  Don't be the girl that runs away from the waters, never experiencing all I have for you.  If you will obey, keeping your eyes on Me and your focus off of the crashing waves and the cold waters that may cause you to tremble, I will return you to Me, saying, "Well done, my faithful servant.  Well done." And as We walk along together we will walk as One.

There is no greater reward for this servant than to be called to "Go." Though the cold waters may cause me to tremble, I'm Diving In.  I rejoice knowing He will wrap me in His arms and I pray He will look upon this broken vessel as a vessel that carried His water still... And my gift will be to hear Him say, "Well done, my daughter, well done."


Is He calling you to a difficult task?  Dive in!  Great is the reward to be found in the arms of the Lord!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Confidently Surrendered



I have, within the last week, listened as my 3 yr old prayed on his knees with hands clasped tight to have Jesus in his heart; I have experienced the testimony of my 8 yr old that God has called him on a mission trip and I have watched as his twin brother lay prostrate with me on the floor, laid his hand on my head and prayed that his Mommy would be able to go to Africa to teach other people about Jesus.


I have, within the last week, proclaimed the name of Jesus Christ across nations to a man who begged the question of how he could manage quickly to know the Jesus that I know and live eternally with Him; I have heard the audible voice of God quieting my own soul as it was drowning in the tears that flowed as I lay in fear of the lies the enemy was whispering in my ear;  I have listened as the echoes of opposition resounded around this tender heart, wanting only to be heard and understood with the same passion by which I am driven.

As I rejoice in His mighty hand at work...
As I sing praises to His melodious answers to my prayers...
As I am overwhelmed with His love and in awe that He would use me, in all my brokenness...

Satan attacks.  He cringes in my sight. With every breath that I breathe, he draws up in hate and lashes out to destroy.  He beats me down...but he doesn't beat me.

With no strength of my own, I lay weak, lifeless in the arms of my Jesus.
Streams of tears flowing continuously find me prostrate, bathing in His promises. 


Promises, not that the road would be easy, nor comfortable, nor without struggle...
But promises that He will not leave me, nor forsake me.  Promises of a peace that surpasses all understanding.  Promises that if I obey His commands and love Him, He will keep His covenant of love and I will be blessed. 

Satan is a liar and a thief.  He may try to steal my moments...but they rest confidently surrendered in the Hands of My God and they are bound there by His promises.

"But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, to those who reverence Him; His salvation is to children's children of those who are faithful to His covenant and remember to obey Him!"
  Psalm 103:17,18


In what ways do you BATTLE against the enemy today?  How do you find Strength from the Lord to fight warfare in your life?  Share with us your weapons...your double-edged sword...your favorite verses of ammunition.

In my silence...He still hears me.



When words are not there...
When I can't seem to utter anything that makes sense...
Nothing that isn't wrapped up in emotional attacks from the enemy,
I am silent. 

I am silent...because through my confusion, I just stutter.
Through my overwhelming anxiety, I just weep words that cannot be understood.
So, I am silent.

I am silent...because I know, that though no one else may hear my heart,
Even in my silence, You still hear me.  

Thank you Jesus.  Though it is dirty at your feet, I will still worship there. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

To-do, Ta-dah !!!



I am a wife.  I take pride in serving my husband as the helpmate and companion God created me to be. I am a Mother.  I pour out my life daily, sacrificing all of my wants and sometimes even my needs, for those little beings that call me, Mommy.  I am a homeschool teacher.  I am preparing my children to know and understand this world through the eyes of the God that will one day call them into the service for which I am prayerfully equipping them.  I am a homemaker.  I take four walls and transform them daily from a storm of chaos into a sea of serenity  for those who dwell here to have a place called home. I clean from top to bottom (the house and the children) knowing that within five minutes, my efforts will have been pointless.  I am a nurse.  I bandage boo-boos, administer medicines, and give daily doses of hugs and kisses that make the hurts of life feel better. I am a church leader.  I organize events, lead Bible study, and take care of babies while seeking to reach others with this love affair I have for Christ.    I am a daughter, a sister, a friend...the list could never end.

All of these roles and tasks are good and may even make my heavenly crown a little more decorated...but is my daily to-do list more of a Ta-dah list? A measure-up of how many good things I can do?  And, a "see how I have it all together" show?

A list of credentials will get me no where but tired, worn out, and exhausted if my heart is not sitting at the feet of Christ.

Martha served...Mary sat.  Martha worked...Mary worshiped.  Martha stewed...Mary studied.  Both were doing what they did for Christ...but Martha was "distracted with much serving..." and became self-righteous with her works.  Her focus shifted and she demanded from Him a shift-change!  But Mary "chose the good part."


Martha wanted due credit and justice...Mary just wanted HIM. 

Lord, as I find myself at your feet may it not be in that I have no where else to go because my efforts to live a perfect life have failed me.  Let me be there because I have no desire apart from You. Let me be there to soak in every moment of You that I can get.  Let me be there to receive nothing from You; not credit, not justice, just YOU.  For without You, my list of  everything, becomes nothing.   Lord, let me serve You all the days of my life...but let me serve you on my knees where at Your feet  I find my Joy.

Have you found yourself "distracted with much"?  Has your focus shifted from the One that you serve to the you that is serving?

Get to your knees...for it is there that you are closer to His feet!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Heart's Desire




Oh, my heart melts at the sweetness of my children.
Tonight my boy brought me a sweet picture of a bluebird that he had drawn.
"Mama, this one reminds me of you."
"Oh?" I ask, curiously.
"Yes, see how pretty it is?"

And I am putty in his precious little hands...

...I breathed in the fragrance of the moment and prayed it would last forever.

I've been breathing in that aroma a lot lately.  I found myself staring into the heart of my oldest as his Spirit-filled little soul praised God with all his might in church on Sunday...  All who were around him could hear him above the music.  It wasn't always on key, but it was more beautiful a song than I've ever heard...like the song of a bluebird.

Reminded me a bit of college nights by the lake...
Girlfriends, God and a guitar.
We called ourselves, "Heart's Desire"
Named after a song and a bottle of lotion we found in a hotel bathroom...
Both left a sweet aroma...*Chuckle*

As we sang, we sang from our hearts, not always on key, but music to our Father's ears...leaving Him breathing in the fragrance of that moment when His children were offering Him adoration through praise...

I imagine He melts as He finds Himself staring into our hearts when they desire only Him. Smiling as angels rejoice all around Him, yet all He can hear is our heartsong above everything else. His proud tear trickling down as we say to Him, "Father, this one reminds me of You, isn't it pretty?"

And we sing with all our might:
"As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after You. 
You alone are my heart's desire and I long to worship You.
You alone are my Strength, my Shield.  To You alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart's desire and I long to worship You." 
   

He alone is the beauty of our painting, the eloquence of our words, the sweetness of our song.
To Him alone our praise is due. 
He desires only to be our Heart's Desire. 
 Quiet not your soul in adoration of Him.


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