Monday, December 22, 2014
Just a few short hours later, I overheard him get upset at his brother. "Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus." He repeated to calm down. I chuckled as I realized he was replicating one of my calm down tactics. Often he will see me look up and say " Thank you Jesus", several times in a row. To this he always asks, "Mommy are you OK?" It usually takes me by surprise and makes me laugh. Seeing his response to his present frustration - giving thanks- really pricked my heart. He took his frustrations to the Lord.
Still later that same day J was crying his usual cranky cry. Z is always so concerned with J's well being, and always empathetic with his tears. I walked around the corner and caught him trying to console him by patting him on the back, and saying "Shh, shh don't cry J, don't cry." Then he sighs and says "Jesus, can you please help J stop cwying. Please Jesus. Amen." My heart melted.
I swooped in and picked up baby J, thinking back over the various prayers that Z prayed throughout the day. I marveled at the ease at which he prayed. I pondered at the normalcy of how he addressed the Lord. Just like he would say mommy, or daddy, or one of his siblings names- "Jesus", he'd call.
How often do we call Jesus only when we think it's prayer worthy?
The thing is God denotes every moment of our lives as prayer worthy. He beckons us to acknowledge Him in all our ways so he can direct our paths. He instructs us to be anxious for nothing, but in everything make our requests known to God, that we may have peace that passes all understanding.
Let's run to Jesus with our every moment like a child to daddy, and let him be the source rather than the resource of our joy and peace.
Friday, November 7, 2014
I went into mini panic mode. Brace yourself I thought.
"Mommy, J poured sugar on the floor!"
My eyebrows furrowed into an I got this- I will not panic expression and I rushed along behind Z as he led me to the scene of the crime.
Oh!No big deal I thought as I surveyed the damage. Two small mounds of white - not sugar - but salt sat strikingly in the center of the living room carpet. J proudly looked on, pointing.
"J!" I exclaimed in my stern mom voice, and I gave a audible huff and furrowed brow ( yes the furrowed brow comes in handy) for good measure. Meanwhile I am mentally breathing a sigh of relief . Shew! This is as easy as waltzing with a vacuum to a Frank Sinatra tune.
I grab the vac and notice that as I get closer its a little more than two neat mounds. It's two un-neat mounds that underwent a ripple effect. Two mountains, a couple mole hills, a valley, and a plain of salt. It's saltville in the center of the living room. OK maybe I'm stretching the truth a tad, but it made me laugh. Note: I had no salt to cook with this evening. Thanks J.)
But I digress. Let's just say it was more salt than meets the eye. It took more than a few forward, backward and side-ward strokes to get the salt up. As I vac'd I realized two things: (1) I must need a new vacuum as it seemed to uncover as much salt as it inhaled and (2) salt really gets in there.
I mean, it's tiny folks. Tiny little crystals that just get in there.
Beautiful, unique, small but mighty crystals that get.in.there.
You shake it and it goes deeper.
It gets in, finds the holes and, in organic material, changes the makeup.
It preserves. It burns, but heals. It makes the unsavory, savory.
And we all possibly know, by experience from salt over-kill, that a little packs a big punch.
Jesus calls us the salt of the earth.
You, us, beautiful, unique, small and mighty salt crystals that can get in there and stir some things up. We can make a difference with our difference. ( Note the emboldened word to the left there.)
Be the SALT.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
You get bruised before you cruise. (Most times. )
You have to learn the lean- the just enough but not too much lean.
You have to learn to balance, and go forward AT THE SAME TIME.
You have to learn to trust yourself, plus trust the person that's says they're holding the back of the seat, even when they let go.
Yes life is like that.
And it's said that there are two roads to learning- The easy way or the hard way.
The easy way is, well, you get advice, you listen to that advice. Bam. You skate away without the drama.
The hard way is, well, just the opposite. You get advice, you DON'T listen to that advice. You get the complicated thing going on.
May I propose, however, it's not always that simple. See there are things in life that aren't a matter of wrong or right, just a matter of learning. You just have to learn, not the easy way, and not quite simply the hard way either. It's called trial and error.
For example, it's not wrong to choose Butter Pecan over Cookies and Cream; it's a matter of what you like or don't like. But- you have to learn that, right? It takes, trial and error.
You learn that you can't function the next day if you stay up too far past nine PM, due to a couple mispronounced words in the AM, your face feeling like a brick hit it, and the not so holy thoughts in your head when some little person manages to pour out all the laundry soap on the carpet and give it a taste test. Trial and error.
There are some things in life that you have to learn all by yourself. The advice of another can help, but they're just there to hold your seat a little bit while you learn to balance and lean. Hopefully they're there to pick you up when you fall off the bike. You- yes you still have to learn how to brake in time, and apply the different speeds if you have 'em, and learn to coast when you need to.
You have to realize that just because Alice went down the hill on her bike in 15 seconds, that you have a different make and model and year , and different physical proportions than Alice. The results just wont be the same, no matter how many times she insists you just need to do this and that, no matter how hard you grit and roll down that hill , you only make it to the bottom - without the bike. I'm just saying, I just might have a little bit of experience here. Just might.
The point is this. Be patient with yourself. Be you and love that. Give yourself some credit for being just who you are in Christ, and don't stress out trying to compete with others. Don't be surprised if someone doesnt like your bike, or can't get with the way you ride it. Don't beat yourself up over mess ups. Get back up. Learn and move on. Trial and error baby. Trial and error.
Now hey! there are some things cut and dry, now. The Word of God for example- very much set in stone. The red light that means stop- set in stone. But the person you are, your character, your likes and dislikes, requires patient learning of you and those around you. it also requires surrendering to your Maker, allowing him to restore the original design sin corrupted. That perfect blend results in the unique person God intended you to be in him. Learn your bike, your lean, your balance, and then you can enjoy the cruise.... ( at least til you hit a crack or bump in the sidewalk but hey that's life, right ?! ). And those that stick around can enjoy the ride too.
Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Friday, October 24, 2014
I felt a tad lonely. My sweet hubby was in our room unwinding. Im out here, unwinding. I realized I wanted his company. So I went to search him out.
Well in the room, it was all wrong. For me that is. It was dark, it was cold (he loves the fan), and it was loud with sports on the TV. I wanted his company, but not at the cost of my discomfort or his. I sauntered back out.
In the warm, lit, semi-quiet living room I sank down into the couch again. But the desire for my husband's company crept up and sat on my head. Aww, come on! I thought. The decision to be cozy versus cold, volleyed like a ping pong ball across a tennis table between my ears.
Then the thoughts ran to deepville. Are you not willing to inconvenience yourself for the pleasure of his presence? [yep, deepville]. Then like the Central Avenue jumbotron the spiritual parallel scrolled across: how far are you willing to go for the pleasure of HIS presence? Will comfort stop you from seeking? Will convenience stop you from seeking? And will that seeking be with all of your heart?
OK , you got me, I said back to the "voice" [AKA God] in my head. I walked into our room, threw my robe around me, plopped on the edge of our bed, stretched my legs out, and enjoyed an intriguing sports segment WITH my sweetheart.
Later that night, wrapped in my warm comfy robe, I was intrigued with the treasures I discovered in the Word of God - choosing to seek HIM, against all the excuses.
How about you? What is God calling you to "get beyond" in order to find Him?
Jeremiah 29:12-13 NKJV
Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek me, and find me, when you will search for me with all your heart.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
And what if we all FAILED to realize there was someone who could rescue us from that, and transform our corrupt thinking into a right thinking, and provide a miraculous way to start life over and BE DIFFERENT FROM THAT....
Jesus wants to free us from the chaos!
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Friday, July 4, 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
|Daddy and Baby J|
I can't remember how we got through the doorway with the the 3 year old pressed against it, but as soon as the door cracked open, the jumping and squeals began. And Oh! there was the baby right behind him, yelling with delight- "Daaaaa! Da-Da!", over and over. It was a loud reception. Daddy was home.
Later that night when daddy left the room, J was not happy. He went into a heartbroken cry and, like a scene from a Oscar-worthy drama held onto the foot board of the bed, reaching toward the door for his dad. Really, J? Really?
The next day as I prepared to spend some time with the Lord, I gathered my thoughts. I began as normal: A deep breath in, and a relaxing breath out- I get to be with my Father for a set time; then, "Father, I thank you..." I thanked the Lord for all that came to my heart to thank him for, but then the memory of yesterday came. I felt like the Lord was asking me, how would I be toward him if I was just like that. Just like a child.
Good question, God.
I then imagined being before Him like a little child. How would I feel? Without worries, happy, no care in the world. Just me and my dad. What would I see or hear? He's smiling. He laughs. My carefree joy is his delight. What would I do? In response to this I began smile, to dance and lift my hands toward Him. I began to jump up and down and tell Him how much I love Him. I felt light and free. It was the joy of the Lord. I felt him smiling. I want to remember that.
He takes pleasure in us. Psalm 149:4, Psalm 147:11. I can come to Him just like a child- excited for his presence and agonized at the thought of not having him right there. Like a child I can just trust, and not be afraid. Like a child I can believe what he says, and treat it like the words of a God- for that's what He is. Like a child I can share with him my fears, my accomplishments, my likes, dislikes, joys and frustrations. Like a child I can be real, and not fear losing his love. That is real freedom. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. This is something liberating about being a child. Our Father invites us to that freedom in Him.
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.Luke 18:17
Friday, May 23, 2014
"When praises go up blessings come down" - I haven't found this specifically in the Word. Instead I have found that He is enthroned in the praises of "his people" (it says Israel in the bible). Psalm 22:3. I agree wholeheartedly that God's presence alone is the greatest of blessings, and mighty things happen in the Holy presence of God. Paul and Silas can attest to what praises can do. Acts 16:25-26. Indeed miracles are blessings.
So instead of focusing on praising God to get blessings (which we tend to denote as material or physical in many aspects) let's praise God for, or because of his blessings he's already given us: the blessing of new mercies, unfailing love, salvation through His name, and too many more to list. Let the praises go up and His glory come down. In his presence there is fullness of Joy. Psalms 16:11 Acts 2:28. That is the blessing.
Friday, May 2, 2014
I woke up this morning with the song " I believe" by Micah Stampley coursing through my head. It resounded loudly, compelling me to believe the words- I believe.
I whispered it. Then spoke it a little louder. I wanted to speak it until I believed it. I believe in you, Jesus."
The believing I am referring to is not the believing unto salvation from the curse of sin and death. The believing I am talking about is the believing in God's daily provision of grace for every moment.
Its the "I believe in you God to supply my needs today- whatever those needs turn out to be. I believe in you God to supply my peace, to supply my healing, to supply my mental fortitude when the baby is crying non-stop."
I believe in you God.
I believe in you to take care of the loose ends- the things I can not control and thus should not worry about. I believe that you can handle -no- are handling it.
I believe you are masterfully orchestrating every moment of my life to reveal your great masterpiece- and, you know what? it's bigger than me.
I believe in you Jesus. You've got this. Hallelujah!
It's all worked out.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
" His death was not the end, It was the beginning for us all."
Such a poignant statement.
Remember the Cross, and remember the Empty grave.
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; -Isaiah 25:8
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Monday, March 24, 2014
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Sometimes I actually need a mirror, to help me get something out of my eye for example. If something feels not quite right on my face or shoulder, or anywhere else on the body, something
about visual confirmation helps me get a handle on the problem.
Again for example, I don't know why a child can fall, scrape a knee and almost shake it off and keep going, but wait- they need a visual. It's something about seeing that solidifies things for us.
This is where the Word of God comes in. James 1:23 compares hearing the Word and not putting it into action is like someone looking in a mirror at themself, walking away, and right away forgetting what he looked like.
Further Ephesians 5:26 explains God's will for believers to be cleansed with water by the washing of the Word. How fitting that the brass laver of the tabernacle was made from brass mirrors. That laver of cleansing became a mirror, placing those who used it face to face with the appearance of their spiritual state.
Looking in the Word of God helps us to see and know our spiritual countenance. Keeping in spiritual order, or addressing anything that is out of place, can only be done by the Word of God.
What are you reflecting?
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Exodus 20:24-25 NLT
“Build for me an altar made of earth, and offer your sacrifices to me—your burnt offerings and peace offerings, your sheep and goats, and your cattle. Build my altar wherever I cause my name to be remembered, and I will come to you and bless you. If you use stones to build my altar, use only natural, uncut stones. Do not shape the stones with a tool, for that would make the altar unfit for holy use.
1 Kings 18:31-33 KJV
And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord : and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.
It's a marvelous exhilarating feeling in communion with the Lord, when the presence of God rushes in like a crashing wave. You're pulled in by the overwhelming love of the savior. It washes over you. Peace cascades about your soul and time seems to stand still.
Then there are times in prayer when it can feel like more energy and effort is spent reaching after God. Inexperience or impatience with this delay can result in frustration. "God where are you? "
Could it be that the instant release of His presence in one moment was the result of preparation from another moment with God beforehand?
God shared this perspective with me in a moment like the latter scenario. He impressed upon me that the specific prayer I was engaging in at the moment was preparatory; I was building an altar.
In Hebrew altar simply means "place of sacrifice". To me that means preparing the environment for a right sacrifice. Conditioning the surroundings per se- with praise and worship is one way. Repentance and surrender is another. Ps.51 talks about the broken heart and contrite spirit signifying complete submission. Letting go of our own agenda. This is the act of building .
It takes time because sometimes we're convinced our way is God's idea. God, in perfect timing, reveals us to ourselves. One nugget of revelation on top of another gets us to the place of acceptance and repentance. Those weights from us, of earth, of stone, become the altar where now we can lay the sacrifice. Romans 12:1 shows what this sacrifice is.
A Hebrew could sometimes use one large stone as a place of sacrifice. Other times the altar was made of many stones. The spiritual
building of altars will parallel.
But the reward: Then He answers by fire - those worldly desires are consumed in His mighty Fire. We can get lost in His fiery presence, where we are purified.