Thursday, June 28, 2012


Sometimes, I find it near impossible to weave together words that will adequatly express what God is doing.

Today is one of them.

But I will try. Because if I can at all pen out what He's etching on my heart - if I can even barely get across what He's been gently rubbing into the very fibers of my broken being - some shifts may occur. And God-induced shifts are what we are after.

So excuse my feeble attempts - and know that I've prayed that this posting (and yes, all of them) will somehow shimmy us, move us, into a place of fresh revelation. Revelation that spurs change and action and difference.....


Friends, I'm just so consumed with me.

Like, engrossed.

With my health, my home, my heart. With my family, my food, my faith. With my growth, my future, my blog, my ministry, my kids, my convenience, my life.

I am my own idol.

It's been this way forever. And all these 29 years.....I've looked around me as if my issues and strongholds and problems are always the fault of some external source. Sometimes, they are. But how ridiculous...that while I'm so self-focused....I can be so others-blaming. How crazy that the only time I look outside of myself is when I'm searching for an excuse. Sometimes, we are the way we are...because we are so focused on 'the me'. we know the toll we have taken on our very own selves? All this self-centeredness - it wears us all the way through. All this inward focus - it sucks the life, the love, the purpose, the ability to thrive...right out of us.

And we wither.

 And we get anxious. And we think idealistically. And we compare ourselves. And our bodies wear and age at a raging rate. And we spew anger. And we live our days in discontentment.

Because our minds and our focus are void of the Source....void of any kind of sacrifice. And we serve a God who recognizes sacrifice....that honors sacrifice. We serve a God that blesses those who offer up, not those who focus in.

I have got to figure out a way to get myself...over myself.

It is true that that is the only way I will ever do anything, go anywhere, be anyone - for this Jesus I say I serve.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. - Matthew 10:39

A me-focused life - has turned me into a calloused and stationary woman. It's become apparent this week. In all aspects of my life - I can see the atrophy that a self-centered life brings....

...physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.

Without Him in every pore and every facet of my existence.....I begin to rot. And if I don't stop the progression....I'll be rendered useless.

But oh - it doesn't have to be this way. We can hand it over.

Because a woman who is aware of the needs in this world - a woman who has resolved to live with the eyes if her heart focused on all the others - she wins.

And a woman who worships....I mean truly worships....and completely puts focus on Jesus - she can turn the world upside down.

A mind occupied on the right things, rather than a mind occupied with past and self - He can use that.


Next post? Maybe we can talk about how.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What Children Need

Movies...they don't move me much.

Ever odd once in a while, however - I'll hear a line in a screenplay..... that speaks to something inside. It's rare - but it happens.

Take The Sound of Music. With my little ones perched on couches, and the library DVD dancing on the television screen - the Lord highlighted, megaphoned, a short exchange between the Captain and Maria:

Captain von Trapp: "I don't know my children."

 Fraulein Maria: "There's still time, Captain! They want so much to be close to you."

Does this strike anyone else? Peirce anyone else?

Children....they want to be known. They want someone to know what their favorite color is, and how they like their eggs, and what all their scars are from. They want someone to set rules and mark boundaries because it means they are treasured, loved. They want someone to remember what kind of baby they were, their first word, their first friend. Children need to be really known, really studied.

Children...of all ages - they want to be unearthed. They want someone to care enough - to dig deep and wipe away the dirt - and discover the treasure they are. Children want to feel of worth. Worth loving, worth remembering, worth time poured in.

Am I providing this, as a parent? Are you?

Are we entering into dialog with our children? Dialog that surpasses chit chat and surface interaction? Are we stopping..... and just studying? And just taking note of how they have changed, who they have become, who they are becoming?

Do the young ones still in our homes - see the sides of our faces staring at computer screens or smart phones more often than they see the whites of our smiles? We must face our children. We must bless them not only with our presence, but with our attention. Are we squaring our shoulders up with theirs....looking straight at them, hearing their hearts?

This convicts me.

Right now - the youngest is sitting in the middle of a play saucer....grasping for rattles and noisemakers and shoving them into his mouth. The middle one - she is 'helping' him do this. And the oldest - has just filled the tub with see if his Lego boats will float. And their Mama needs to just hit the 'publish' button, so that she can join them.

As we go about our day, our week - let's remember what the Father does, shall we? He turns towards us, faces us, sees us, hears us, and blesses us with Himself. Yes Lord, help us to do the same!

Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. - Psalm 90:8

Monday, June 11, 2012

When We Worship in His Presence

Wanting Him more than anything - fills you 'til you're full.

It isn't a person or a place or a position - it's a posture. It's a humble posture before Him - that leaves us quenched and overflowing.

When will I ever learn this for good? How many times will it take for me to realize that nothing will satisfy...nothing will undo the Lord will?

How long will it take for me to be a true woman who worships? Who worships out of total awe?

Why aren't we all walking around with dropped jaws - awe struck? He's that big.

Perhaps - it is because we are the focus. He isn't. Perhaps it is because we too often approach Him simply asking for what's ours - instead of relishing in who He is.

Focus on Him brings life. Focus on us brings strife. It's just the truth. There is enough space in this great big world - for each of us to stretch our arms out wide and just receive Him.

Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually. - 1 Chronicles 16:11
Worship heals wounds. Worship - time of adoration in His's a deep well. Lower bucket after bucket and drink it all in. You'll be changed. There is something about taking the focus, the attention, off of us and putting it on the Lord - that ushers in healing, and guidance, and peace.

Just the other day, I heard about a woman who wore a timer on her belt for a couple of weeks. The timer would vibrate every 10 minutes. When the vibrating alarm would go off - she would stop what she was doing and worship for a moment. Nothing extravagant. No praise bands in tow. No frill. She just took a moment - every 10 pause and praise Him....

....She got out of herself. She got out of her mind, her emotions, her ability, her agenda - and she put it all on the One.

Because outside of ourselves is really where we should always be operating. We should always be living in a way that requires God to come through. We should be living out a faith that insists on God's presence. If we are living a life that we can carry out on our own - we aren't living and we aren't carrying much.

What would happen if we Christ-followers.....lived worship-full lives? What would happen if we came to the table hungry everyday? With mouths wide open - singing out praise as He fills us to the rim and over it?

I think there would be a revolution. A revival. And certainly, revelation.

I'm gonna try it and find out. I've been dizzy with questions this week. But instead of simply asking Him for answers - I'm simply asking Him.... for Him. There is a lot to be found, and discovered, and gained from simply sitting in His presence.

Join me. There's room.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Neighbor's News

As I'm sitting here..... upset over laugh lines and crows feet and baby weight - she's sitting next door with fresh, devastating news. As I sit here and fume over the water my kids splashed into our house I sit here and fret over laundry piling up and toys scattered about - she's sitting over there facing the facts.

I go out to check our garden....and she sees me and she calls my name. I run over and I notice somethings off. With chit chat out of the way - and with tear filled eyes - she looks at the ground and she lets it all spill out right there between driveways...

"I found out I have breast cancer."

My neighbor - she stands her night gown and glasses and slippers just before sunset - and she tells me when her doctor's appointments are and what the specialist say they are going to do.... and I'm just stunned...just devastated.

And then she changes it all around and she says..."So, I've been going to the church across the street."

And she smiles. And lights up a little.


This woman - who has just been given nauseating news? This woman - who has hard days ahead? This woman - who is still shocked? She finds out she has cancer and she heads to the cross? For the first time, perhaps?

I don't know what to make of all this...of this news....of her seeking Him.

I stammer out something unpoetic and ridiculous and I tell her I love her and I run into our house and blurt it all out to my husband.

And my kids, they listen in. And our minds - they all start reeling...thinking of ways to bless her.

A few weeks later, she rings our doorbell and she shuffles into our entryway to update us on her prognosis. Right there - my husband and I lay hands on her. She grabs hold of our wrists and she bows her head low and we pour out a prayer. Tears leak from her and she hugs me tight.

And it all stays with me. (Hurts and breaking hearts and the sufferings of others - they should stay fresh within us. Shouldn't our hearts daily break with theirs? Doesn't this result in continual, earnest, ongoing pleadings to the Lord? Doesn't this spur us to action?)

Some will certainly say that humans run to the ease the pain of life - to hope in something greater - to pacify our need for a better ending - to make life a bit easier. (I was one of them, remember.)

But as I read the scriptures and I get to know Christ - and I get to know people who trust in Him in the midst and in the aftermath of trauma..... I see how the Spirit beckons them. I see how it isn't their need for an imaginary god - I see how it is their brave response to an existing Lord's calling.

And while I wrestle with the presence of the pain in this world (right next door...and right across the waters) and as I detest the fact that hurt runs rampant on this planet - I do still hope. And I do still believe. (Only because of Him, however. My natural way.... is one of doubt in the midst of sorrow.)

May He shatter our hearts for the hurting - and may He show us what to do about it. And may He reveal to us that He is real and present in it all.

Praying for every precious person that drops by here today - and the pain that may be hanging around your heart this week. May hope and healing be yours, friend.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. - Romans 5:5