Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Trip and a Prayer

It's weird flying away from the nest...

...even for just a little while.

Because children - they ring in so much love and laughter and learning....but they also steal your head space. They move in and occupy all your that even when you aren't physically with them - your mind's eye is.

When you whisk away from your world for a weekend - you find your thoughts meandering right back to the world you know. Especially when your offspring are there.

So, hopping a plane north last week - was odd. I found myself a bit lost without each cherub attached to my disjointed hip.

But alas...

The doors of Ohio were open.... and we were tightly embraced by the familiar on Sunday.

With arms spread wide - our former church family welcomed us right back in. Truly...a gift!

With the pastor on sabbatical - my husband did a little filling in.

I had watched my husband prepare all week long - so while I knew that his sermon was about pride - I had no idea that, really....his sermon was about me.

I was utterly convicted.

Shocked at the Spirit's power on the whole thing.....I'm still reeling it over in my heart. Good, good word.

I sit here today, however - back in the nest. Back to the crumbs and the Legos and the diapers. Back to a mountain of library books and overflowing laundry baskets.

And one would think that after having some time away - I would be a perky and refreshed Mommy - all ready to handle her wee ones with a smile....but that has not happened this week, my friends.

I've been on edge and a tad perturbed at things.

Perhaps I was spoiled this past weekend? Perhaps I'm tired from the whirlwind trip? Perhaps it's God bringing my pride to the surface and showing me that really - I don't have anything together. Only He does.

All three of those, maybe?

So as I'm in the midst of all this - the sermon pondering, the squawking toddler, the crumbs...(that.are.everywhere)....maybe you too - are feeling a bit frayed this week?

Maybe a bit incapable? Unmotivated? Overwhelmed?

Stop the frenzy for a moment - and pray with me....

Oh Father, we pause. We recognize that You alone provide patience, and joy, and contentment....productivity, and peace, and love. Aline us with Your will. Let Your desires for our lives - be our desires for our lives. Sustain us in our current seasons and give us hope and ability for future ones. Grow our faith. Reveal Yourself to us in new and refreshing ways. Renew in us - right spirits. Let us be light - here in our homes, at workplaces, at church, in the community. Love through us. We are grateful for Your presence and for your faithfulness. Bring peace, God. In Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I have a piece posted over at EverydayLCC today. Just thought I would share it here, too. The post had to be in 365 words or less. I think I turned it in at 364? :) My prayer is that you have a revelation-filled week, friends. Blessings to you!


I am Thomas and He comes to me.

It’s true. I’ve struggled with faith. I’ve wrestled with doubt. And I’ve tasted the bitterness of unbelief. I have had seasons where I've all but walked away from the Lord over it.

But every time I think that my faith is done for and that belief and trust are nowhere to be found….

He reveals Himself.

And He reveals Himself over and over and over again.

Just last week – I was grappling with some faith issues and so I decided to go for a run, listen to some worship music, and pray. With each jolt of the pavement – I prayed earnestly for Him to unveil my eyes so that I could see Him in certain areas again. I asked desperately for the Lord to stir my faith and make it flourish.

The next morning - during my quiet time - I had remembered a poem title that kept being brought to my attention several weeks prior. I decided to finally look it up and see if it was something God was bringing to my attention for a reason.

“The Hound of Heaven” by Francis Thompson was the poem. While I’m still dissecting this difficult piece….the main gist of the poem is that no matter how hard we run away from the Lord – He is chasing us.…like a hound dog after a hare. I was shocked by the subject of the poem – in light of the struggles and prayers I had dealt out the day before. It spoke to my situation so clearly! 

But… Christ is a confirmer. He will reiterate things to us that He really wants us to know. And what happened later on that day – was Him doing just that! I sat down to read a favorite blog while the littlest Harden was napping – and the blog post was about Jesus being ‘The Hound of Heaven’….the One who pursues us! The blog author even linked the very same poem to her post.


He comes to me! Like He did for Thomas (John 20:24-27). Like He did for the sinner in the poem.

And He’ll do the same for you.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Tonight...I'm in my twenties. Tomorrow....I won't be.

This is both wonderful and weird. Wild, even.

 I don't exactly know how to process it.

On one hand...I'm extremely grateful for having breath in my lungs, children under my wings, and a husband who extends undeserved grace daily (hourly, moment by moment). But on the other hand - I'm downright losing it.

How did this happen? When did I grow up? Where did the twenties go?

It's boggling.

Hello, Thirty. Where did you come from? You're actually here. Right here.

So weird.


Perhaps we should make the most of this?


Because to be honest....I have an odd hopefulness about it all.....a rare expectancy.....a notion.... that God will move and speak and grow and a new, full way....

....that good things....good on the horizon.

And for a pessimist - that's really saying something.


Twenties! Bid adieu. I leave you a smidge flabbergasted that you have come and gone - but I also leave you filled with a real sense of excitement.

A new decade is dawning! And when you're walking with God - that's always a thrill.


The turning of a page. The starting of a new chapter. The opening of a door.

Doesn't it make you a bit giddy with hope?

New opportunities for Him to come through. New ways for Him to provide. New ideas and inklings to scavenge. New obstacles to overcome. New paths to wonder. New truths to discover.

This is good. This is a gift.

A birthday...another year...another season - the thought of what awaits....what goodness!

Lord, come. In this new age of mine - do come. And mature me. And round me out. And make the fear flee. Let me walk in Your ways - and let me teach the little ones that follow do the same. Bring joy. Set me free to laugh. Empower this woman. Help me to do live better. Speak to and through me. I'm desperate for You to do so. Oh God! I'm grateful.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Just Glow

He preaches to me the most when he's praying.

When he's pausing over me...over us....and spilling out all these pleas and thanksgivings....He teaches me much.

As we sat at the dining table one afternoon several weeks ago - my husband lifted up the following...

"God, please help us to grow in You and in faith - not just for fruit, but for relationship."

Not just for fruit.

But for relationship.

I wanted to spring up mid prayer and grab my sermon journal.

Because that one was a thorough teaching on growth.

A lesson I struggle to grasp.

And that prayer...straight from the Spirit...barreling past my husband's lips - it was a prayer for me that I didn't even know I needed.

(A picture of the Spirit doing the Spirit's job, indeed.)

While it's true that having a deep relationship with the Lord brings about much fruit, social justice, sound teachings, and good works....

dare I say that most times....

those things shouldn't be the reason we pursue Him?

They are a result of pursuing Him. They are not the sole purpose.

The purpose of prayer, reading, studying, fellowship, fasting, to know Him more. To be made more like Him. To bask in His presence and become new there.

And certainly the result - is that goodness spills out in every way.

Those of us who learn as teachers.....those of us who feel like we need to regurgitate everything we soak in - those of us who study out of wanting something to put out.....

.....this prayer is for us.

We should want relationship with Him - for relationship....not just reciprocation.

We should want Him....for Him.

Because when we get the Lord - we get all kinds of love to carry out.

Really, we are beings that have to hear from Him....just to go about the day. To go about it good, anyway.

To crave time with the Lord alone - means that we know...we understand....we see - that nuggets and truths and wisdom and a soaking from Him are what our souls need. Not tidbits to share on a blog, or chapters to put in a book, or points for a sermon, or jabs for a debate, or intelligent quips for a discussion.

Some of those things will come as a result - but they shouldn't be the motivation.

Those things may flow naturally out of solid time with Him - but they shouldn't be the reason we seek Him at all.

The reason we seek Him should be that we can't not seek Him and carry on content and able.

All of that being said...I shouldn't leave this post without mentioning Matthew 10:27.

'What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.'

Ah, yes. We are called to speak, teach, write - what He speaks, teaches, and writes to us. Being watchful the whole time - to not fall into Joseph's way (Genesis 37) of sharing revelations that were really only meant for us....careful to not fall into Simon's way (Acts read it!) of desiring the power of the Holy Spirit - simply so that we can amaze crowds.

Perhaps this was only for me.

But if it wasn't - if you find yourself caught up in seeking Him yourself....simply to sale Him to others....

know that there's a glow that comes from simply growing in God.

And that glow will illuminate your heart - and the other hearts that you're called to bless.