Thursday, January 3, 2013

A New Year

I love this time of year! New possibilities, like the morning where God's mercy shines brightly, reflecting off of winter frost, blinding with hope.

Two years ago early on I read 1000 Gifts and began the practice of recording my thankfulness. Last year I started naming them before I rose each morning.

 And I noticed something...

Looking back there is not the same feeling that I've had in years past that I'm glad to be done with it! It was hard! I'm glad that's over!

Instead I see God's faithfulness, even in the hard times. I see that His promises did not fail me. I see the teaching. I see the leading. I see the moments!

My best friend prompted a thought in me that's been swirling around over the last few days...What if I begin to live this year without the worry about tomorrow? What if I choose each day to know that in the end I'll see the whole picture, the whole story?

I'll see that He was faithful.

I think about how that might change my days. How that might result in me being more available to the ones who I love and the people in my path. I resolve to choose the right now this year. I'll probably fail, but always knowing that in my weakness He is made strong.

Be still and know that I am God.

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Safe Place

I find myself in the still soft glow of the full moon shining through the walls of our tent. The fire crackles outside while my husband tends it alone. Voices of other campers can be heard along with giggles from our teenagers and their friends.

Tucked under their covers, my three little ones lay satisfied from marshmallows and chocolate and I lay down between my sleeping son and my youngest daughter. The pattern of his breath softens my own.

Exhausted I close my eyes and my thoughts soon become dream like; blue sky and the rhythm of the waves beneath me lulls me deeper still, but blue suddenly darkens as clouds rush in and cover the moon’s light. Water turns to wind rushing through the canyon where we’ve camped.

My eyes open as lightning pierces the darkness and thunder shakes the ground beneath us. My son remains in deep sleep and the fearless daughter laughs as the four corners of our tents roof fight for the right to collapse.

The fire has gone out and my husband stands watch over his family, strong arms hold firmly the frame of our shelter.

The youngest daughter begins to cry. "Pray with me, Mama!”

She needs me near and I draw closer. My voice is calm as I tell her the story of Jesus in the storm. “The storm threatened to collapse their boat and the disciples were afraid for their lives. Jesus awoke and said to the storm ‘Peace be still’ and the storm calmed.”

I remember a song and I sing the lullaby to my daughter, my voice strong with assurance of its truth.

“Peace be still, lay all your worries down Be still oh my soul, my God is in control And if God is for us, then who shall I fear? And our God is for us, so lay down, be still”

I sing it again and again and peace from within comes out and faces the storm. Her eyes slowly close and her breathing slows and soon she’s sleeping along with the fearless one and my son. Giggles have stopped in the tent next to us and after awhile the storm subsides. My husband comes in and embraces me as the night is still once again, the moon returns and we quietly laugh together at the absurdity we’ve just experienced.

A year ago I said a big prayer. Our neighborhood had slowly gone downhill and a series of horrific events had infiltrated our home and our family and we were living in the aftermath. I wanted to escape. I wanted rest from what seemed like a never-ending attack on our family. I wanted to take back the prayers of “yes” and give back to God the ministry he’d placed in our hearts.

I prayed that God would take us out of here; that he’d bring us to a peaceful house out in the country where we could hide from the world and find again what had been taken, and what had been lost.

Our family.

My child’s innocence.

My joy.

My gratitude.

A house came but both my husband and I felt like something was not right, like we should say “no” even though it was exactly what I had asked God for so boldly.

We said “no”.

We stayed.

A couple days later I discovered that a girl who’d stood out to me at a youth conference lives a rocks throw away from us. I never knew that. She came to borrow some sugar the next day. Another girl from church was hanging out at the park across the street from us one day and I went out to chat with her. We talked about starting a small group and I offered my home as a meeting place.

Suddenly I didn’t want to leave. I decided that since we were here for now, this was God’s plan for now and I made the decision to BE here and rest in that.

But we still wanted to be out in the country, in our restful home on property, before this summer started. But summer is here and has been here, and here we still are.

Yesterday I stood by the playground with my new friend and just looked around, reflecting with so much gratitude on what has happened to our home and our neighborhood. People that were dangerous to my children moved away. The apartment which used to be a known drug house was bought, fixed up and now yesterday I met a lovely single mom who lives there with a son my own boy’s age. Other apartments near us were also fixed up and great families have moved into them. A house where guys partied on their front lawn now is home to a great local pastor and his family. Another party house where people would often drive away from while intoxicated is now being fixed up by a newlywed couple.

I am completely blown away and grateful for the transformation that has taken place.

And today, through tears I write, that I’ve been given a glimpse of how I have been transformed.

I’ve found forgiveness.

I’ve been strengthened with joy.

My heart for young girls and single moms is so full every day!

My children are being healed!

When we pray those dangerous prayers and move toward the “ministry” God has for us, there’s not always safety in the world, but there is safety in the arms of God…as He sings over our hearts to be still and rest…where He has us.

Maybe as you read this God is stirring up something in your own heart because you know what I'm talking about and you know that I haven't come near to describing the pain and fear you daily face. You might want to escape from something, some sort of hurricane in your life, where rest is elusive. I encourage you to allow the transforming power of Jesus to come in and unfold His beautiful plan before your eyes as they close. As your breathing slows and you begin to dream again.

**I'm in no way referring to any abusive situation when I'm talking about storms. If you or your children are victims of abuse, follow God OUT of there. He is powerful to rescue and will lead your path as you trust Him with your life.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I love getting to the place where the fog lifts a little and I glance back at the path that I've been tredging along on and see how each step has fallen into the place it was meant for.

And gratitude fills my heart!

A few months ago, at a women's retreat, a wise woman spent a large block of time talking about thankfulness and giving practical tips. One thing she mentioned was starting off her day listing things she's thankful for.

Sometimes I hate the idea of the "thankfulness formula" BUT I also know that it SIMPLY WORKS.

So I decided to try it, listing 20 gratitudes before raising my head from my pillow.

I admit, there are only a couple of days that I actually got to 20... hmm, pre coffee brain?
But...even if I only think of a couple of things it has now become a habit and has been a consistant way God has carried me through some darkened days.

And though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

This morning I was thankful for my boy who let me sleep in a little before he peeked in my room and with his smiling eyes, asking for breakfast.

I was thankful for the worship song that was in my mind and on my lips as I woke up (this has happened more and more since I started this little routine).

I was thankful for the opportunity of our oldest to sing this morning in church for Youth Sunday (I think she did an amazing job by the way).

And my love, my big strong husband; the one who challenges my soul and my heart. I am thankful that God made me his helper, his partner, his encourager. I'm thankful that I can see things in him that he can't see himself and I get to call those things out of him! (God has brought me far I tell you!) 

And lastly today I cannot get over how thankful I am for friendships that are healthy, honest, vulnerable, and trustworthy.

Last weekend we went camping at a local campground on the beach. It was a beautiful Saturday and a lovely time of rest for our family. My husband needed it, just to take a break from the overwhelming tasks that having a business entail. I'm actually am not the biggest fan of sitting around a campfire, but he repaid me kindly by patiently waiting on a windy beach while the sun set over the islands in the west.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


“Acts of honor are never lost in translation and we must choose to honor what will be and what should be and what could be instead of criticizing what is.” -Lisa Bevere, author of Lioness Arising

I’ve had similar words to these in my heart for years. That verse speaking the truth in love about seeing people, all people, through a lens of acceptance and love and grace and treating them accordingly.

Respecting my husband for the man he’s called to be.

Seeing potential in my children and calling that out.

Recognizing light for those I know and encouraging them to keep heading towards it…

Not that I constantly do all these things…definitely fail more than succeed!

Which brings me to what hit me today like the crash of an ocean wave...

It applies to us!!!

We have to honor ourselves!

(sorry for all the exclamation marks but this was a serious realization.)

I momentarily lapse in grace towards my husband, my kids and just about everyone I bump into on this lifelong road, but when it comes to myself the criticism cut so much deeper, I dwell on so much longer and rarely there's an apology. Then I’m back in the hole again…

This is such an amazing Psalm and seriously one of the songs of my life.

Psalm 40~
I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.

I'm thinking today about treating myself well. Seeing my own potential. Forgiving myself. Accepting myself...

Listening to myself.

Okay, now I'm confusing myself, haha!

Seriously though, my God is not let down by my mistakes, he loves me and is only hoping that instead of looking inward in shame I'll run to Him and see His love as even bigger and more extravagant than I thought yesterday!

Lord let me live in that love!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Last Summer

I don't know where all this time went but I thought I'd share some long overdue pictures of my sister in law's beautiful Hawaiian wedding.


I walk along the beach lost inside of my thoughts when a fragment of white stands out in the step ahead of me. A perfect white spiralled shell, once home to a little crab, but now grabs me and pulls me in.

Beauty before me as I make my way inland at the bay, seeing trees and fields, jungle and savannah. A flock of birds come up from the grass in one giant movement after a stop and pause of serene silence. The sun glistens over the hillside speckleed with houses which I ignore. Behind me is the water, the glistening calm bay over shallow sand.

I take the small shell and begin to look for others. I realize that it was placed there for me. A calling back out of my thoughts, to the beauty and life that surround.

Staying in the spiral is comforting; a drug of thoughts and dreams and desires unknown by anyone apart from God. A little hermit, content to stay.

I have a feeling healing will break forth. The peacefulness of the sea has that effect. I decide to spend many days of this summer here at this beach.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Which Way Lord?

This has been a busy week....or two...or actually a busy couple of months!

I watched one of my favorite movies "The Apostle" with Robert Duvall, who is one of my favorite actors. It's about a preacher who gets into a little trouble with the law, runs to Louisiana after changing his name.

When he comes into the town at every intersection he points to the left and the right and says "Which way Lord?"

I love the movie because he reminds me of stories that I've heard about my husband's grandpa, who was an evangelist. The scene that reminds me the most of him is where he walks into a bar and stays just long enough to drag some guy out by his neck saying "You don't have to go back in just say 21 times 'Jesus Christ gives me the power to not go back in there!'" Then he's running off to catch a bus, still yelling at the stumbling drunk guy who surely didn't realize what hit him.

Anyway, in my life I keep coming to unexpected intersections and I'm learning to say "Which way Lord?" instead of freaking out.

I'm realizing how often I get stressed out when the thing that I'm stressed about is simply (or not so simply) not having control over a situation or that I'm facing something unexpected. It's not even bad, just unexpected, but that feels bad to me...

Does God ever speak to you in parables? If so you know that it is a very humbling experience...LOL. Seriously, when he points something out about someone else and then once you are resolved in your mind about how that person should respond, the still small voice says "Yeah, by the way, that's you I'm talking about..."

Humbling because that is how Nathan approached David after David had committed adultery and then followed up by having the husband killed. That was the only way God could get to the core of David's heart.

So my control issues are the same as David's adultery and murder?

I guess it comes down to fear and those fears that I keep as a layer over my true self, my core...

I realize I'm being very vague about what actually is going on, so I'll just say that we're facing job changes, signing up for school, and no money.

This morning my husband is going to talk to a guy about 'possibilities'...seriously that's all the guy said when he called! The guy runs houses for men recovering from head injuries and his 'possibilities' could be anything from installing some doors to supervising one of the houses to building him a new house.

My fear is that if he does offer my husband a job, how we would then get caught up on the things that we've fallen behind on over the last two months of no working...

Another thing is that I'm looking at going back to work somehow. At first I was kicking and screaming about that idea because I don't see how that would work with my two little ones still at home, but then I was reminded of an idea for a job that would be a writing, work at home job....perfect. Then I saw that there was a class open for this particular job that is this Wednesday (tomorrow). Then I signed up for the class and prayed for God to provide the money ($50) to take it. Then I opened my birthday gift and there was a visa gift card for $50. Then on Sunday I had to use it for gas! (Big heavy sigh...)

I know that God has a plan and it's good and I'm simply trying to be still and trust and allow Him to lead us which way He wants us to go.

If you've made it to the end of this long rambling post, thanks for reading my thoughts that resemble more of a venting journal entry today. I'll try to update when more of these thoughts are actually resolved. And if you think to pray for us in the meantime that would be pretty amazing!


Related Posts with Thumbnails