the ellipsis…

ellipsisanyone remember when you had a limit on the number of texts you could send in a month?  how about when unlimited texting became a thing?  who would have ever imagined how much we would communicate without ever talking?

and then they came out with the ellipsis in texting.  you know what i mean?  those 3 blinking dots that let you know that the person on the other end is texting you back.  anyone ever get impatient with the other person?  ha.  I mean, if I don’t see the dots – you can take 3 days to text me back…but if those dots pop up, then suddenly I’m ready to know what you are about to say.

as I was staring at these blinking 3 dots recently, the Lord began to speak to my heart.  How long do I sit and wait for Him to speak?  I’ve been reading Fervent and asking for the Lord’s leadership in a specific prayer strategy over numerous areas of my life.  It’s been such an incredibly humbling journey and so so SO good for my soul.  I am far from what someone might consider a prayer warrior but He has been teaching me much about prayer, the power that we have in coming to His throne room, and the importance of being intentional about scripture being a major part of these prayers.

However, I confess, that there are times when I sit and wait staring at my phone screen until the 3 dots disappear and words appear.  I wait to formulate my response or delay making a decision until I hear from whom I am corresponding with.  Sometimes it’s a few seconds, and other times it could be minutes or hours.

I’m not so sure that I am that faithful with waiting on Him.  There are times that I am guilty of praying to Him and instead of saying Amen meaning “let it be done”, I use it as “I am done.”  That’s all I wanted to say Lord, I’ll get back with you later.  I forget that it’s an ongoing conversation.  That sometimes there are situations where I do need to wait and see how He responds.  To take the time to pause and let His Spirit speak to me through His words, through a worship song, through whatever means He chooses.

I need to remember that even when I can’t see the ellipses, He’s there wanting to speak to me…but I do have to stop long enough to listen.

For His Glory,

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learning to lean

learning-to-lean

off balance.  that’s the first thing I think of when I hear the word “leaning”.  I picture some building in my mind that actually looks nothing like the actual “leaning tower of pisa”.  And, well, I think of myself because if you know me at all you know I’m not the most graceful…I tend to get off balance quite easily.  Feel free to ask my friend Natalie how many times I have fallen going UP her stairs.  Yes.  Seriously.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5

I really think it was a verse in my first ever round of Bible Drills in the 3rd grade.  I remember thinking it was a parent verse.  Like something a parent would pray for a child…because isn’t that what children do?

Over the years I’ve seen that this verse is definitely for children…and I am a child so it applies.  Regardless of how old I am on my birthday, I still think that I know best about certain things.  Oh how grateful I am that the Lord perseveres.  He doesn’t give up on me no matter how hard headed or near sighted I can be.

When I do get off balance – emotionally/spiritually/physically…I like to be able to lean into something/someone though.  I like explanations – reasoning for whatever is going on…or simply the knowledge that I won’t fall down – something is going to hold me up.

It seems so smart at first to trust myself.  Go with “my gut”.  Follow my heart.  Ha.  It’s truly almost comical if it wasn’t so destructive.  The Word says that the heart is deceitful above all things. And well – it’s pretty difficult to lean against yourself isn’t it?  I mean have you tried it?  Yep…you’re bound to fall.  It’s physically impossible.

I absolutely love when the Lord speaks new things through words I’ve read numerous times.  He’s telling us not to lean on our own understanding because it’s NOT WORTH LEANING AGAINST.  It can NOT HOLD US UP.

But.  BUT. When we lean into Him.  Into His truths.  Into His wisdom.  Into the Biblical counsel of friends who are intimate with Him – whom He sends to equip/encourage/reprove/rebuke/exhort us.  Then our paths will be straight.  Even if we are leaning…feeling a bit off balance and sideways…His truth will hold us up.  He will keep us exactly where we need to be.

Yes, I pray daily that my girls and the my friends’ kiddos will learn to lean.  Lean on Him.  But also…I’m intentionally praying that I will do the same.  To live by example – to allow my babies to see me leaning…to honestly talk with them when I fall about why I did.  I don’t want to dismiss it.  I don’t want to brush it under the rug and shrug things off.

Let’s open up – let’s share with our children – with our friends -with our family about when we are feeling off balance.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to the One who will support us.  We are explicitly told to not do this on our own.  We must trust Him.  We must learn to lean.

For His Glory,

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a weary world…REJOICES

a-weary-world

Holidays are hard to avoid.  Decorations are everywhere, most work places are closed for the day, commercials well commercialize, and small talk can revolve around them.

But there are times when celebrating is hard.  When a sudden life change means you’re holiday isn’t going to look the way you envisioned.  Perhaps, the life change wasn’t close to the holiday at all…but it’s just your first one to go through without someone you have celebrated with for as long as you can remember.  Tough days.  Happy faces and casual greetings to everyone you see aren’t exactly what you feel up to.

There’s other seasons when celebrating feels natural…simply an overflow of the joy that is bubbling up from deep within – an abundance of gratefulness and joy of what each day holds – whether or not it’s a holiday.

However, when any of us stop – if we truly choose to look around us…life is hard.

Family/friends/ourselves – experiencing miscarriages, divorce, babies born with cancer, car accidents, human trafficking, missing children, affairs, house fires, mental illnesses, abortions, poverty, & hate crimes, and that’s not even delving into anything in the political realm that seems to be on everyone’s minds these days.  How do you celebrate when this is the life we know – that we’re living through or at the very least have a close friend who is walking through it?

How do you sing and dance when there’s SO much death and brokenness – hurt and hate? These issues – these problems…you can’t gloss over them and just because you flip the channel on the TV it doesn’t make them go away. How do you speak about the Resurrection when everything around you seems to relate more to the crucifixion? 

Well, I don’t know.  My heart breaks too.  Life is hard and the future here on this earth??  It seems pretty dim…BUT JESUS.  Friend, don’t forget that there WAS the resurrection.  There IS hope.  There is LIFE.  And honestly, in the middle of the weariness?  The desperation and sinfulness?

There’s Christ.

There is redemption.  There is grace, mercy, and forgiveness.  And there is no darkness that can put out the Light.  And that’s why we sing.  That is why we worship.  That is why I’m at church this morning…to REJOICE. 

There is no doubt that life is hard and that we each walk through our own struggles – rather private or public.  But Jesus does not change.  He is faithful.  So we keep walking and fighting.  We keep raising our hands in surrender & in praise.  We keep kneeling and weeping.    We will be weary…but we STILL rejoice.

Merry Christmas weary world.  Grateful for the reason to rejoice no matter the season.  Hugs to each of you today!!

For His Glory,

 

 

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All I want for Christmas

all-i-want-for-christmas

Our youngest heard the song “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” – and well…she’s hooked.  She thinks that it’s the funniest song and that it’s even more hilarious to wish for her two front teeth.

Add on top of that, that she happens to have just turned three and is still SEVERAL years away from losing any teeth (hopefully!) it is pretty funny to hear her sing it.  Since Ryleigh has recently lost her first tooth – if you bring up teeth into any conversation, Lyllian is quick to tell you that ALL of her teeth are loose and that one is absolutely falling out soon.

I’ve tried explaining to Lyllian that her teeth are in fact not loose and that it’s pretty pointless to wish for something that she already has.  But she’s three and that conversation is basically pretty pointless as well.  Sigh.

But then again – it’s not entirely pointless – especially when He uses it to remind me of what I need to hear.  How much time do I put towards wishing…praying for certain things that I already have access to?  Asking Him for power to overcome a temptation, armor to protect myself from Satan’s attacks, wisdom through His Spirit…from His word?  Yet, it’s all things I already have.  I possess each of these because of His life.  His sacrifice.  His death.  His glorious Resurrection.  His eternal reign.  I have them.  YOU have them.  As His children, He’s given us each and everything we need.  All of the mysteries are hidden in Him and we have access to Him.

These are not things that we have to write on a list and wonder which one we should ask for first.  I don’t have to pray, sit, wait, and wonder.  All He asks us to do is walk with Him.  Seek Him.  He has given us HIS SPIRIT.  The Spirit that raises the dead, gives sight to the blind, multiplies food, stops storms, heals bodies, and will SPEAK on our behalf.

It makes me look like the silly one and not my three year old…doesn’t it?  Oh how I desire to walk in this Truth.  To live as I say I believe.  To weld the Sword He has given me to destroy the lies I so easily try to stand upon.

What do I want for Christmas this year?  That’s easy.

I want to realize the depth of what I already have been given.

For His Glory,

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