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I Need You

I was SO looking forward to my quiet time this morning!

My quiet time looks very different on the weekends vs the weekdays. Typically when I wake up, even before I fling back the covers and hopefully before I’ve even let my eyes focus on anything, I try to start my day with the Lord’s Prayer. I don’t have to think about what to pray, what words to say, nothing else has to even enter my mind because I’ve had this prayer memorized for almost as long as I can remember. But it quickly aligns myself with Him and His ways. Of course, days start and I forgot to whisper “Our Father”, and noticeably, I am a very different person!

You see, what happens daily after that moment is life. A life just like many of yours, or like it was or will be in the season of active parenting. Seven days a week, I wake up to my husband and my boys. The weekends hold less structure than the weekdays. So it’s the weekdays that hold a more predictable rhythm for my quiet times. Today is Tuesday, the first weekday of our week really, because yesterday was a snow day. And yes, I LOVE having my boys home, but I awoke this morning with an overwhelming desire to spend some alone time with my Heavenly Father. Once the boys left, the house became still and quiet, I started to play some worship music and with my coffee in hand, sat before the Lord.

Even before I opened my Bible or any devotional, the relief bubbled up and out in hot tears.

Nothing is “wrong”, I don’t feel like I’m in any pit or valley, nor do I see a mountain in front of me that needs moved or conquered. I just NEED Him. A moment surrendered to that. My stomach clenched for Daily Bread, my body shaking with sobs, and each gulp of air – filled with the hope of taking more of Him in.

After I settled a bit and begun writing in my journal and reading my daily devotional, the idea of sharing this with you all here came to me. Honestly, I’ve been working on a different post, but that life I mentioned earlier can get quite distracting! I don’t necessarily like sharing these vulnerable moments and tried to push past that thought. But it wouldn’t leave me. The Lord continually nudges me out of my comfort zone and as uncomfortable as obedience might be, I trust His plan. Maybe you were the one who needed to read this?  Maybe it’s just another moment that needs to be recorded for later remembering? Either way, will you join me in a moment of surrendering to our dependence on our Heavenly Father and Sovereign King?

 

 

My Father, My Lord and King, I love you so! Thank you for the ways you pursued me, to bring me this close to you.  Thank you for the ways you continue to pursue me, to bring me ever closer. Thank you for moments like these that breakdown every other desire and dependence so Your light can breakthrough and shine on what really matters. Thank you for creating me to need YOU! Amen.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2014 in Blogging, Faith, Family

 

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Resolutions – Comparison or Imitation?

Photo by ColinBroug via stock.xchng

Photo by ColinBroug via stock.xchng

I find the whole idea of resolutions very interesting.  I’m not necessarily for or against them per se, but our reasons for them often have some sort of relational root.  For many years I’ve set resolutions for the new year (and I’ve done it at different times during the year), as 2013 came to a close and the hope of a new year began to form, I ran through the laundry list of areas in which I need to improve.  I need to be more consistent with my exercise, my nutrition, being more intentional with family time, spend more time with Jesus etc. I trust you know the list just as well as I do.  Honestly, the idea of forming a grandiose plan around even one on the list was less than enticing!

Naturally, my next human reaction included downplaying the importance of making resolutions in the first place by questioning why so many of us seem to have the desire to do so sewn into our identity.  It must be our evil comparison ridden society!  At least that’s where I tried to conclude my self examination…

I did, in fact, table the discussion with myself to go pick up my boys from school.  After all, we had a busy afternoon ahead!  Homework, piano practice, making and sitting down as a family to dinner, Scouts, and then the start of the bedtime routine, which for my teenager included more homework after scouts and very little, if any down time.

Now, I understand that we can find ourselves in all kinds of seasons, but the season I currently find myself to be in includes very little self care.  I’m not referring to showering and brushing my teeth.  I’m talking about nurturing my soul! Somehow I was getting enough water to maintain, and that’s what my boys were doing.  I found this unsettling to say the least!

Yes, seasons existed where I modelled these things better, but the Spirit convicted me that if I wanted my boys to practice a different rhythm in their lives, in every season, then I had to first model that for them.

 

Just as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4

14 I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. 15 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

 

Imitate me, by imitating my son/daughter who has spent time watching me imitate Jesus Christ.  Who doesn’t want to send out their children and be able to say this?  Who doesn’t want a life worth imitating?

 

Almost a month into the new year, I’m creating my plan.  A plan to renew my resolve, not to be a perfect example, but a living one.  An honest and transparent example, inviting those near and dear to imitate anything in me of Jesus and nothing that isn’t.

 

John 3

30 He must become greater; I must become less.

 

In order for Him to increase in me, what must decrease?  That which is worthy of imitation must increase and that which isn’t must go.

I don’t want to be a guide in Christianity, instructing and teaching on what was and what is supposed to be.  I want to be a Mother in Christ, with many spiritual children, helping to imprint the way of life in Christ on many.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Discipling, Faith, Family, Fitness, Food

 

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Living Chosen

Sunday afternoon, I enjoyed the companionship of some amazing women. We enjoyed a delicious meal, shared what God’s doing in our lives, and took time to pray and listen to Him. This time spent together is time set apart. The Spirit in me thirsts for this life rhythm. We retreat from our lives in this chaotic world, to rest in His presence. Our faith gets refreshed and our hope restored.The rhythm of these occasions has recently slowed and we seemed to slurp up every precious drop.

We’ve been on a journey this past year as the disciples of an amazing woman who has been chasing after Jesus for a long time.  It hasn’t been about learning how to be a good Christian, but more about learning how to respond to the calling on our lives – to be in relationship with Him and how to pass that along to others.

Matthew 28

“16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

She’s taught us by modelling it.  And I’m trying to do the same.

Our rhythm slowed from weekly to monthly in order to make room, to create a new rhythm that sometimes feels like a new life.  It’s our turn now.

Luke 10

17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Our mouths spoke His word aloud, our hearts overflowed with joy, and our eyes teared from the power of the anointed moment…

The moment seems to be present to me ever since, frequently causing my throat to thicken with emotion.  A day existed when I would not only dismiss this, but attempt to flee.  Now I recognize this as Him speaking to me, saying more than what letters can spell out.  I lean in, posturing myself to hear Him better… it seems the more time I spend with Him, the more I hear Him.

Though it doesn’t always work this way, today I heard Him, that voice in my head that’s obviously not my own.

Are you living as someone who is chosen? 

Chosen by your God?    

                              By your husband? 

                                                    By your family and friends? 

        By your disciples?

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I confess, I am not.

For the record, this isn’t about sin and shame, but about His love, His faithfulness, and His creativity.  Am I walking confidently in who He’s created me to be?  Walking in His holy confidence?  Are you?

Father, Thank you for who you’ve created me to be. For your glory, let my steps be faithful.  Because you are who you say you are, and I am who you say I am, let me stand with your holy confidence.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2013 in Discipling, Faith

 

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My Heart Called Him Daddy

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”       -Romans 8:14-16

I had a hard time falling asleep last night in spite of my exhaustion.  I couldn’t get comfortable, my mind racing.  Beside me lay my husband, not feeling well.  I felt helpless and desperately did not want him to be sick as I was the week prior.  I prayed.  It started off praying for his health, then our little families health, then everyone I know, etc.  Now with something to focus on, my mind raced through all I pray about frequently and quickly moved on to an array of subjects.  Eventually, my mind slowed and the Spirit took over, leading me through a beautiful meditative journey.

An image of a toddler or small child held in great arms on an even greater lap rocking in a rocking chair.  I am the child.  I tilt my head up, trying to peak at the face of the one who holds me.  There were only eyes – eyes like I’ve only seen my earthly father have a handful of times.

The Quilt

Once when I was real young just the two of us were up watching Saturday morning cartoons in our pj’s snuggled together on the couch, at 14 or 15 during an honest, transparent conversation about my parents relationship and divorce and our own relationship, my wedding day, the first time he saw me holding my sons, when my mom died unexpectedly, and every time one of us must leave after a visit.

In these moments my dad’s eyes have shown with a brilliance of emotion – glossy, maybe sometimes teary, the outer corners lifted with pure joy.  In those moments it’s not about anything either of us said or did, but the powerful bond of relationship and love we share.  All of these moments have either been preceded or followed by him embracing me in his strong arms.  Arms that no matter how much I’ve grown – have always made me feel small and tender because that’s how he feels about me.

Then comes the moment of release.  Separation.  Where I must turn and go about my life.  And even though this part is the hardest, we both know it has to be done.  But it’s the image of his eyes and the feeling of his embrace that carry me through the weeks, months and sadly at times, even years that pass between these moments.

And with this image the Spirit said to me “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts (LOVE) to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts (LOVE) to those who ask him. -Matthew 7:9-11 (NLT, emphasis mine)

My head on His chest my heart whispered for the first time “I love you, Daddy.”  As He rocked me, I slipped into my slumber with similar feelings to the above, only unimaginably greater because my heavenly Father is immeasurably more than any earthly father.

Daddy, thank you for using these images to speak to me.  Thank you for my earthly father and providing the moments with him to convey to me how much you both love me.  Thank you for helping my heart capture something my mind knew not how to translate.  I am forever grateful for you both.  I love you!!

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Faith, Family

 

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Revive Your Marriage Week 3

This week we’re reviving our friendships.  I strongly agree with many of my fellow bloggers in that friendship seems to be one of the first things to flee after marriage.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the “business” of life that we forget the need to intentionally nurture our friendships with our spouse.

One of our first dates was attending a football watching party at a mutual friend’s house.  By the end of the evening, so much fun was had, we didn’t want to leave!  I truly enjoyed sitting on his lap, munching on nachos and cheering on his team.  Quickly after we began our life together football slid WAY down the priority list.  There was just so much I NEEDED to do!!

Yesterday Bob and I accepted an invitation to a football watching party at another friend’s house.  Again, we sat together, enjoyed good food, and cheered our favorite teams on.  Again by the end of the evening, so much fun was had that we didn’t want to leave!  Nothing has changed, there still is so much that NEEDS to get done.  But I have learned that one of those NEEDS is to spend time with my best friend sharing in the joy together.

Father, I am so thankful for the protection you have provided my marriage throughout the years.  I praise you for awakening me to the needs of our friendship.  Please help me continue to recognize these moments as they come.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Blogging, Faith, Family

 

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Revive Your Marriage Week 2

Last week my husband and I attended a reunion of sorts where one of our friends brought a ton of pictures to reminisce over.  There was one picture among them of my husband and I.  I wish I were able to post a copy here because we were such babies!  The picture was taken about 10 years ago and it brought back so many good memories.  Here is one from the day we said “I do!”

http://rebornandremade.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/wedding-161.jpg?w=408&h=599

The day of the reunion.

Father, thank you for the many years you have blessed Bob and I in our marriage.  I pray you would remind us both how we felt in the beginning.  Help us recall what made us fall for one another and the vows we proclaimed.  Renew our desire to be the spouse we promised to be.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Blogging, Faith, Family

 

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Prayer for faithfulness

“For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life, keeping you from your neighbor’s wife, from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.” -Proverbs 6:23-24 (NIV)

Unfortunately, there have been a number of times when I have been emotionally “seduced” by the smooth talk of a wayward man.  In the past, my emotions were not something I knew how to control.  I still am not the best at this, but I am better than I used to be!

There a many reasons why we as women feel the way we do in and about our marriages.  For years I felt alone, neglected, unloved, etc. in my marriage and I allowed my emotions to convince me that if my husband loved me enough he would do   fill in the blank    and I wouldn’t be feeling this way.  Because feeling this way was obviously wrong!!

After much work on myself, my relationship with God, and our marriage I know all of those past feelings were way more about me than they were about my husband.  I recently read a blog post that helped me visualize and compare the way I used to live, to the way I try to live now.

Father, thank you for your grace and forgiveness.  Thank you for a husband who grants grace and forgiveness!  I pray your word is the driving force behind our life, that our faith in you and your word would be our fuel, and that our feelings are kept in check behind the Truth and our faith in it.  Keep us from allowing our emotions to run our life.  I pray Bob and I protect our hearts against inappropriate relationships and that our hearts be pure and undivided in our commitment to each other.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Blogging, Faith, Family

 

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