Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Something to Remember

I was reminded last week - of how I am but dust.

Of how I am but a broken woman who needs a whole Savior.

A Savior who gave all of Himself and who takes all of me.

Oh friends...

Sometimes your own depravity just needs to smack you in the face.

Sometimes we just need to come to the end of ourselves - and reawaken to the fact that we aren't any brand of good without the Messiah.

Because it's easy, isn't it?

It's easy to talk the talk of Christ - and throw tithe in the plate - and spout off frothy phrases and fitting scriptures. And it's substitute happiness for joy - by turning to the momentary frills of life, rather than the Creator of all the days.

It's easy to recite and rule-keep and regulate...

rather than recognize and remember.

As Christians, we must always keep in mind and heart...who we are with Him - and who we are without Him.

Because the difference is stark.

And last week - in all sorts of ways - and in every imaginable area....He showed me that,

When we come to these kinds of moments - when it all seems above us, and the mess of this earth just seems too deep....we have a few options:

We can either sink into a dark low of hopelessness and despair


we can sink low into a humbled state and find Him.

Because when we're brought low - we meet the Most High.

Is that not incredible? His Kingdom really is smack upside down.

When we've hit bottom - we've made it big.

When we're completely broken - we're made whole.

When we lose our lives - we find our lives.

When we are the least - we are the greatest.

Our Jesus - He came and turned the world on it's head. The One who spoke us all into motion - was the One who was sent to be sacrificed.

But before He accomplished it?

the blind.....could see

the lame.....could walk

the lepers.....were cleansed

the deaf.....could hear

the dead......were raised

the poor.....had good news brought to them.

Does anybody else want to shout and clap?

He reversed it all.

He reversed us all.

The King - who had armies of angels willing and ready to act whenever He told them to.....came and made Himself lower than those very angels...

for you....and for me.

It's all so backwards. And baffling.

And when I look at Him  - and I look at me - and I look at who I am on my own - and I look at who I am in Him.....

all the pride - it sloughs away.

The crown gets thrown down.

May we always, always remember that when we get over ourselves - we come under Him.

And what does He do when we come under Him?

He makes

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Empty Time

Every moment doesn't have to be brim full.

He told me so just last week.

Out of sorts, strained, and drained - on some mission to gather up laundry or disperse towels or hide in the bathroom for a moments break - I brushed passed our bookshelf that sits just outside our bedroom door.

Rushing past - my eye caught the binding of one of the books. And in that split second 'page 57' plopped right down into my thinking.

Page 57.

 I had no idea what this page of Richard Foster's Streams of Living Water said.

But the whisper wouldn't quiet. So, I pulled the book from the shelf, sat down on a bar stool, and read some of the most personally pertinent words I've ever read. If I could copy and paste the whole page, I would.

Here's the snippet that rung the loudest:

" ...undermine that perennial, everlasting human itch to get ahead with intentional times of 'holy leisure'. Take a nap....Take a walk, not for exercise or to study plant life but for the sheer joy of walking....Listen to the birds - not to get some 'message' from them but to hear them. Sit in the silence, doing nothing, having nothing, needing nothing. Take a bath instead of a shower. Waste time for God. The ideas are endless." (emphasis mine)

I really don't know if I can articulate what settled into my heart after reading that.

And for you to understand the magnitude of this message - you'd have to crawl into the crevices of my very heart. And words....they don't always do justice to those deep folds of the soul. So forgive me if this ends up falling flat for you. As for me - it's falling so fresh.

You see....I'm in a continual whir. And God knows it. And He knew page 57 of that book would get right to the point of it all.

Me here....Forcing every single second of my life into something purposed, full, effective,'s left me worn.

I've lived under the notion that every moment has to be pregnant with purpose and swelling with some accomplishment or some knowledge gained.

This thinking has weaved it's way through every fiber of my life.

And chances's woven through yours as well. Our makes us feel like we are losers if we aren't gathering up information at all times....even useless information. Facebook, apps, blogs, news, weather - we feel like every down second has to be a second used. We feel like we are missing out if we aren't learning something new or checking duties off.

We're always after something.

And because of that...we're missing Someone.

We don't always have to be soaking in, or squeezing out, or running to.

Life doesn't always have to be full, round, and heavy.

We don't always have to be scuffling to the next thing.

Trying to fill every moment will leave us empty.

While we are called to work, and toil, and manage, and grow - it's not always a chasing that will get us there. Sometimes it's a standing still.

Open up. He'll come to you there. Offer up some moments that are null.... void of information and purpose. This leaves room for Him!

We complain of tiredness and stress and anxiety. And so's because of our continual chase. 

We've left no room for strolls and rest and calm and quiet and moments without a clear point.

But know....this is not an excuse for laziness....

We will sink low with too much emptiness, and we will waste away when we are idle for too long. Muscles do turn to atrophy when they aren't used. We are expected to act, and fill, and gather, and grow, and run hard, and persist, and push-through....

but let us take a breath now and then. A breather.

Running around filling our own cups all the time - there's no God in that.

But bowing low and lifting up a dry dish.... God pours Himself right in.

The pots don't always need to boil...sometimes it's a gentle simmer that makes a feast.

So like Foster said....let's go against the tide on this one. Let's push back on the 'get ahead - all the time - every second of the day' - way of thinking.

Let's take time to Listen. Sit. Sleep. Dream. Wait. Watch. Enjoy.

I think God gravitates to moments like that - moments that leave room for Him. Moments offered up.

Unplanned...unfilled time - holds such divine potential.

Making room for more of them - will attract more of Him.

And no amount of lists accomplished or creeds memorized or chapters read...can compare to that.

Praying for fresh revelation from the Lord for every kind soul that passes by this the rare, quiet, wild moments lifted up to Him.

May awe ensue for you!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Follow Through

We have to keep our word with our wee ones.

It's paramount.

And if you are like can be painful.

Case in point:

My three year old daughter walks in (wearing a tutu and plastic heels) and asks me for a glass of cranberry juice.

I'm in the middle of sending emails - so I rush her off by sharply saying, "In a minute."

Many, many moments later she returns and calmly asks for a glass of cranberry juice......again.

Once more, I send her out quickly by saying that I would get the juice when I was finished and that it wouldn't be long.

When I finally wrap up the messages - I go to the kitchen...(probably to relieve my own parched throat)...and that's when I see it....

the bottle of cranberry juice perched high on the counter.

Waiting for me.

Before I can reach blond comes into the kitchen - and without any hint of impatience or agitation -  calmly asks a third time for a glass of cranberry juice.

The rush of conviction begins - and I pour out an apology as I pour her a glass.

Because when I picked up the bottle....

It was lukewarm.

My little sweet had set the bottle of juice out for me.....when I told her I would get it "in a minute".

And her flailing and selfish and side-tracked mother turned that one minute...into many.

So many... that the cool of the frig had completely worn off.

The room temperature juice....highlighted a problem in me.....

I don't keep my word in the little things.

As parents.... we can't give ourselves a cushy break here.

Not keeping our every word is failure. And it should be treated as so.

Don't we realize that this builds trust?

Not simply in us....but in Him?

Staying true to our words and following through and being consistent - these things catapult a child into the lap of Christ.

-When they can believe's easier for them to believe the Lord.

-When they can read your exterior and trust in what you put out.....they are more apt to read His Word and trust that it's true.

-When we mean what we say and say what we mean - we win. We win faith for our children.

See the seriousness?

I think that often times....unbelief can be urged on my believing....but unbelievable....parents.

When a young one witnesses a Bible believing parent not following through on some word or commitment or guarantee....

what's in that Bible isn't going to carry very much weight, is it?

When a parent spouts off scriptures and prophecies and beliefs....yet fails to read the book when promised or fails to carry out some discipline dealt out or fails to get the cranberry juice when appointed....especially when it occurs over and over and over again....

that child is prone to wonder if the scriptures and prophecies and beliefs blurted out and hammered in by that same parent are actually real and true.

If your actions force them to doubt your've lost.

They will learn that no one and no thing can be trusted.

Not even Jesus.

And that is not just A's THE failure.

(Please, no condemnation - only warning, awareness, conviction, grace. I'm right there along with you!)

We must be on high guard with this.

Let your children be a part of it. Recruit them as accountability. Give them the responsibility of calling you out....when you don't follow through.

When you say your are going to read the story in one minute....sixty seconds later the front cover should be breaking open.

When you say you will go on a walk after that phone call - when it leaves your ear...leave the house.

When you say you will play catch after sending that work email....the back door should fling open as soon as you push send.

And this is for all of us, really...isn't it?

Parents and non-parents alike?

When you say you will have the report in to your boss on Tuesday....don't send it a minute after 5pm that day.

When you say you will pray for someone - write it in your journal right then.

Children, people, the world - they read you as if they are reading the Bible. Your life matching your words - scribbles out much!

Be believable.

So many souls are at stake.

Thank you for grace, Lord - where we have failed. Give us the strength to move forward faithfully.

Let's represent Him well...

in all our all our actions....all the time.

Friday, February 1, 2013


We can make it or break it for the ones we're with.

And really....I could just end the post there.

That line says it all.

But since this is such a startling thing to consider.....

and since this very thing has so much impact on the lives of those we love and live around....

and since I need some serious God intervention here....

perhaps an unraveling is necessary?

As spouses, mothers, friends - all kinds of power is cupped in the very palm of our hands.

The kind of life our spouses live....the memories our children will hold - it's all seriously dependent upon how we choose to conduct ourselves.

Does this scare awake anyone else?

Our attitudes, our emotions, our reactions, our phobias, our declarations, our beliefs, our actions -
they can mold or mess with...
they can frighten or set free...
they can build up or bruise blue.

We women have that kind of power.

In our homes. In our workplaces. In our churches. In our communities.


And this can be a problem.

Because we are fallen.
And we have issues.
And scars.
And splitting wide open-wounds.
And bents.
And tendencies.
And patterns.
And addictions.
And strongholds.
And weaknesses.
And doubts.

All that and more.

I do, anyway.

And when you pair all of those things - with the influence we have over the people in our sphere....oh, sister....

Heaven help us.

How in the world can we correctly use the power of influence we possess - when all that mess of junk is possessed by us, as well?

That's the key - there's no way in this world....

But there is in His.

And when our spouses and children and coworkers see us being used by Him....see us living out our position for positive impact....see us blessing others - while at the same time seeing our raw brokenness?

They'll be forced to simply say...

"That has to be Jesus."

So yes...while we are torn and tattered and worn...used and feeble and incapable...

In Him?... We're sewn strong, mended, made new...replenished, sturdy and so, so able.

Able to make it - rather than break it for those souls that deal with us daily.

So let's not throw our hands up and succumb to the thinking that we are too messed up to do any good...or too old to change...or too young to care...or too far gone to come back again.

Let's resist the urge to think that we will always be the way we are and that we will always deal with the dirt we've accumulated.

Let's let go of the idea that we have done too much damage - to do anybody any good.

After all...we can bear the image of God. We can reflect Him.

And so can the people in our lives. Looking at others as potential witnesses for Christ - what motivation!

Like Andy Crouch said ....we can be 'image-bearers' or 'image-breakers' to our neighbors.

The only way to make-it....rather than break it - for those souls that surround us?

Is Him in us.