Wednesday, September 14, 2016
I remember when I was pregnant with my boys how I loved them, even before I saw them. And while I enjoyed being pregnant, I couldn't wait to see their sweet faces, hear their voices, watch them learn how to walk, talk and move about in this great big world. Over the years as we moved from one season to the next, I began to realize that I would 'give birth' to them several times. Part of my job, as a mom, is to prepare them and 'deliver' them to the next phase of their lives...kindergarten, middle school, high school, college, career, marriage, parenthood.
Delivery is always hard work. Focusing through the contractions that begin preparing you for the transition. Ugh...the transition! Having everything in place and then, that brief period of waiting for the time to PUSH. And OH the intensity, the pain of the pushing that will bring separation. Which you long for and fear at the same time. In the first birth, the reward for the pain is seeing his sweet face, hearing his voice, watching his wide eyes take in the new world he's entered. And the first time you hold him in your arms and he settles when he hears your voice and stares at you in wonder, your heart explodes with a love you've never known before.
Each and every subsequent birthing process is similar...the focus, the preparation, the transition, the pushing. But the reward is vastly different. Watching your son walk into and observe the new world he's entering, hearing him find his voice, soothes the mother's soul. Releasing him into the life God has ordained for him, seeing him search for and settle when he hears the voice of the Holy Spirit, causes your love, trust and faith in your creator to multiply exponentially. As you realize that your love, dreams and desires for him cannot rival the love and plan God has for every day of his life.
Deep breath in and blow it out, Mom. God's got him.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Love has an idea and literally moves heaven and earth to make it happen. Love voluntarily let’s go of something dear to His heart, knowing that it will return to Him. Love also volunteers to lay down His life and all of the rights and privileges that truly are ‘rightfully’ His. Love willingly enters a world in which He has no control. Love, that IS the end goal…chooses to start at our beginning with full knowledge of the plan that Love had at inception. Love came to earth as a helpless baby, beautifully displaying His desire and choice for human interaction in order for the grand plan to succeed. In heaven, Love waited and watched and suffered long. On earth Love walked in patience and kindness and modeled how to trust and hope and persevere. Love experienced EVERY THING we experience…joy, laughter, friendship, excitement as well as disappointment, rejection, pain, sorrow, betrayal, abuse of every kind. Love was tempted for an extended period of time to exert His rightful place on this earth as King and Love chose to say no to that temptation and wait on Love’s timing. Love graciously dealt with the perpetual misrepresentation of himself, allowing His own actions to be His defense. Love was not fully understood by His closest friends yet accepted and valued who they were individually. Love was passionate about what was wrong and expressed that exuberantly. Love did not bow to injustice…aside from that which was His to endure for the sake of the eternity of mankind. Love endured public mocking, scorn and humiliation for His bride. Love lied down willingly to be killed. Love despised the shame, but endured the cross. In the middle of the greatest physical, mental, emotional abuse that has ever taken place on earth…Love forgave those who did not understand what they were doing. Love made certain those He loved were cared for, even in the midst of the worst pain possible. Love finished well. And then…Love was rewarded with all that was rightfully His.
That’s what love does.
Friday, March 8, 2013
And so…earlier this week, I read this tweet from Pastor Jimmy Evans:
“If there isn’t a giant to kill – it’s not your promise land. Expect difficulty and THEN victory.”
Giants…Monsters…both are big, menacing and scary.
I began killing a monster in my life several years ago. It had been there all along, though I had not seen it for what it was. Monsters are rarely what they appear to be. Think of the cartoons in which a large pair of menacing eyes in the dark, become an old hoot owl when the light is turned on. The Huge shadow walking up the dimly lit stairwell often turns out to be a mouse that mysteriously walks upright? Um, OK. Cue the laugh track.
As I sought to kill this monster I would fight against generational ties, or word curses or the fear of man and every time victory came in those battles, I would expect to see the monster fall. Instead I watched as the outer layer of the beast shed and fell to the ground. This happened consistently over many months until finally, with the help of a professional counselor who listens closely to the Holy Spirit, I realized that the name of the monster was ‘FEAR’ and the battles I was fighting were against it’s manifestations.
The War would be won only when Fear was defeated.
I still remember the moment I heard the monster’s name and the disbelief that rushed in to defend. Fear? I don’t think so. It must be something else. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit again. It was acceptable for me to struggle with generational ties. But to me, fear was for the weak minded and faithless…words I would have never used to describe myself. I questioned. I defended. I denied. She sat quietly, knowing the truth would come straight from His heart to mine. And as I sat, waiting for her to respond, the Holy Spirit came near and wrapped himself around me. From that safe place, I could see and hear the truth. And though I saw the monster more clearly than ever before, I understood that the war was already over. Yes, I still had some fighting to do, but that was just a formality.
Over the next several months I looked fear in the face and drew my sword and way down deep on the inside, I shouted “God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power, of love and a sound mind”. And when faced with a difficult situation I would whisper to myself “fear not…He is with me” and “He will never leave me or forsake me”. And when darkness tried to return “The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” All of these verses were very helpful in building my trust in Him to carry me through any difficulty.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
This verse led me to what I believe was the final blow. My focus shifted because of 1 John 4:18. I was a living, breathing example of the last part of that verse. I was fearful and was not being made perfect in love. I was feeling confident and I was seeing great victory. But I was focused on fear…not love. So I began to ask what it meant to be ‘made perfect in love’. I prayed for new revelations of God’s love for myself. I read 1 Corinthians 13 for many weeks, as if for the first time, because instead of reading it as a list of things I had to do, I read it as a list of the ways He loves me. I listened to songs of His love for me and let my soul be romanced again by His words of love. And I learned that ‘being perfected in love’ is a way of life. It’s choosing to stay connected to Him as THE source of all love. Whether using it for myself or as a source from which to love others.
As my heart became filled with revelations of love, fear simply disappeared. And maybe the ground shook when the beast fell and maybe it didn’t. All I could hear was the song of the one my heart loves. All I could feel were His arms wrapped tightly around me as we danced, fearlessly, to the rhythm of His heartbeat.
*This post was written as a part of a 'freedom fire' that began earlier this week on Facebook. To see more inspirational blogs click here: Killing Monsters.
*This post was written as a part of a 'freedom fire' that began earlier this week on Facebook. To see more inspirational blogs click here: Killing Monsters.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
And so...One morning, I woke up thinking about the green line concept in the link below. And being the tech savvy, modern woman that I am, I googled 'green line commercial' and this one popped up.
What did I do before Goggle?
As I prayed that morning, before getting out of bed, I heard my own words 'Invest...Don't sacrifice'. He often uses those words with me when I need to adjust an attitude in my heart. Over time I have learned that I can do exactly what He asks me to do, with a very poor attitude and forfeit the blessing that follows true obedience.
So as I watched this commercial I was amazed at the divine connection. I love this company name, "Fidelity Investment". Fidelity is 'the quality of being faithful or loyal. Its original meaning regarded duty to a lord or a king'.
Yes, investing is about me, being faithful to My King.
Not because my circumstance encourages me to do the right thing, but because of who He is. And because I want to live in a way that allows me to be close to Him. The line which is "the guidance you get from fidelity" is always there even when we are unfaithful. And the dot that moves just before the man's feet and waits ever so patiently as he steps off the line is also there. The Holy Spirit will not force His way on me. But He will wait for me to return to His path and follow His lead. He has a plan for my long and peaceful life (retirement). I'm so grateful for that and for friends that encourage me along the way to 'stay on the line' when I get distracted by what looks like what I want. When what is best for me will always be right where the line leads.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
And so, it's been a tough week.
I've been questioning my purpose...or perceived lack thereof.
So I followed His whisper down the yellow brick road last night and began listening to my favorite song from the musical 'Wicked' called 'For Good'.
I heard the message He hid in it for me...for now.
This morning I woke up with the song still in my heart, and as I was praying, He spoke this to me:
"And we know that God causes all things to work together FOR GOOD to those who love God, to those who are called according to His PURPOSE." Romans 8:28(NAS)
And with one song and one scripture
He reminds me that living for HIS purpose, causes ALL things to work together FOR GOOD for me, because I do love Him! I do, I do, I do!
Follow the whisper!
Monday, July 2, 2012
And so…Some say I live in my own little world and some would be correct. But I really like the bubble I live in so I’ll keep it that way. Thank you very much. I navigate my bubble with relative success. Though I have been known to frequently walk ‘in’ the ‘out’ door or stand at a door pushing with all my might only to hear someone behind me point out the little sign that says ‘pull’.
I know you’re laughing with me…not at me. Right?
And then there are the doors at which I appear, at times, to be invisible. You know, the ones that are perfect to mess with the minds of little boys who have just seen Star Wars for the first time. You tell them you are a Jedi and that you can use ‘the force’ to open the door and you score huge ‘mom points’ until they figure it out. The thing is, only the doors built with motion sensors open automatically…no matter how much you use ‘the force’, wave your arms or bounce on the door mat. Because I have suffered the embarrassment of having waved my arms wildly in front of regular doors, I am learning to pay more attention as I approach doors so that when the time comes, I will be able to walk thru them successfully.
I’m sure you see where I’m going…so come with me!
Sometimes I simply need to keep moving and the door will open as a result of walking toward it. These doors ‘see me coming’ and are waiting and ready for me to enter.
Other doors require greater effort on my part. They may require that I ‘push’ myself out of my comfort zone and ACT on what I may have only dared to think…that there is greatness residing deep within me. When the spirit of God lives in me, the greatness I sense is His. (1 John 4:4) When I ACT on that, success is imminent.
Some doors are designed to be pulled open. I stand still, perfectly positioned and bring the door toward me (pray) so that I can enter. Knowing that I have what I need, in the place I am in, enables me to walk through the opened door.
Oh! And beware of the occasional revolving door. Initially circling around looks fun. But after the fourth or fifth time around, the magic is gone, and instead of getting to go somewhere all you get is dizzy. And ‘dizzy’ is one of those words that really isn’t as much fun as it sounds.
It’s important to know what to do when approaching a door. There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with pushing a door that needs to be pulled. It just delays my ability to move forward. I have at times made a spectacle of myself when I felt like a certain door would be ‘automatic’ when in fact it required something of me. Those doors come with a built in ‘humility’ feature…a little of which is good for the soul.
I’m just really grateful that I’m not walking around, bumping into doors in my own little world alone. He is always with me whispering behind me, ‘This is the way. Walk in it.” (Is 30:21)
Friday, June 1, 2012
Ask anyone who knows me well and they will tell you that I love metaphors…and beaches. So the phrase “Life’s a beach” may be my favorite as it is a metaphor about a beach. I see them everywhere, but especially while I’m at the beach.
The last time I was here there were almost no waves. It did not appear that there was much happening based on what I could see. But as I sat and listened, the one who filled the oceans reminded me that just below the surface fish were swimming, plants were growing, seashells were being formed. Once again He said to me “Your ability to see life is not necessary for it to exist.” Remember faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things NOT seen. (Heb. 11:1)
I see waves as a metaphor for God’s voice. And just as they never stop crashing onto the shoreline, He never stops speaking. I always think the sound is beautiful from my balcony. However the closer I get, I realize I wasn’t fully hearing the strength and intensity of each wave. God’s voice is like that. When I walk right next to Him, I hear more clearly and understand the intense desire of His heart.
‘How precious are the thoughts you think of me. Can anybody count them? They are greater than the sands by the sea”. This song lyric makes think of how the sand gets into places I didn’t know it could reach. His thoughts of me are that way too…reaching unexpected places deep in my heart. The sand also exfoliates the rough spots on my feet and gently removes the paint on my toes. And when I become aware of His thoughts of love for me, the things I’ve tried to make look pretty are purified and the rough places in my soul are made smooth.
The seabirds are also interesting. Today I watched young seagulls fly near the shoreline where small fish could be caught and swallowed as they flew off. They were learning so repetition was a necessity. The large brown pelicans flew elegantly over much deeper water. Their dive was deeper, and their catch was larger. After catching they sat on top of the water to digest their meal before returning to the air. Just like these birds, when I was young, it took some practice, but small words from Him sustained me and tasted like honey. As I matured in my relationship with God my desire for deeper truths increased and sometimes when He speaks, I need to take a minute to digest what I heard.
Just like most people, I come to the beach to unplug, unwind and chill out. My body synchronizes very easily to the rhythms of beach life. And I find that when I am relaxed, I hear very easily what my creator is speaking to me through one of His most beautiful creations.