Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Make perfect your strength in me....

Defeated......laying low and loathing the sound of my own voice. That is the dark corner I often find myself backed into. Struggling with lies and illustreatous illusions. How strings of insecurities and chords of uncertainty can be woven together by our wrecked and unstable observations, to become ties that bind us to everything but the truth.

Some things are so ingrained in us, that we constantly feel or see ourselves as struggling. Struggling is for the weak, those that just can't get it together. It's for those that are indecisive, unstable and in religious crowds- those of little faith, perseverance and real love for God. Right? Isn't this what we feel, what we've heard? Isn't it what that little voice inside our mind, tries to convince us of?

Okay. So maybe it's just me, struggling with whom I am and who I appear to be. Maybe I'm the only one that needs to be reminded that who I am is who He says I am and who I appear to be is a jumble of my own self condemnation and what others do or don't think of me.

My silence is shame. Shame that I haven't figured out life and it's jagged edges that corner me. The edges that sting and if pressed hard enough can cause even the toughest of skin to bleed. The subject of the struggle need not be the same, it's the grind to which we all relate.

My withdrawal from putting pen to paper or fingers to my keys was an act of retreat, an attempted to stop a struggle of the mind and the condemnation of the blind leading the blind, so to speak. But how can I show that a light exists in your darkness if I quit bearing witness and only write when the glimpse of light has ushered in a new and glorious morn? What would that speak to you, of the faithfulness of God and His tender mercies that are to follow us all the days of our lives?

Our struggles are not a reflection of our holiness or righteousness before God. God has no scale of judgement that are days are being held up too. Our struggles are an opportunity to deepen our relationship with the Lord, to allow fruit to produce and to allow His strength to be made perfect in our weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

He has no expectation of us mastering life all on our own.

Psalm 34:18
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 145:18
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

*The implication of a struggle means no resolve has been reached, a fight is still taking place and the outcome is still to be determined, therefore no judgement can be cast. You haven't given up or given in if your still struggling.

There is yet hope......and God has provided for our struggling.

Ephesians 6:10-20

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

...when full days really aren't so full.

The absence of a constantly ringing phone is sign that the season is slowly changing and I shall be able to breathe again.  For a moment I'm taking my thoughts in.  They have escaped me most days and I have feared not finding them again.  The rush of the busyness of life has left its mark and this little bit of quiet leaves me rummaging through the insignificant because somewhere between daily routines and damage control, I've drifted from the things secured within my heart.  "There is no time for this" or "Let it go, it's just not meant to be" or "I have all of these responsibilities", these thoughts may sound logical and reasonable to believe, but what if the things we make these remarks about, are things God is gently whispering in an attempt to call us out?  What if we listened a little closer, gave Him a chance to speak?  

God doesn't prompt what He hasn't provided for.  

May your curiosity be stirred, to give ear to these callings.  May you be quick to hear Him as He speaks.

........these are the words that have just found me, as I sit in the quiet and voice my current feelings, "I feel so empty", the conclusion I've drawn from the aimlessness that has been filling my days.  Sure there is a lot going on and there are things I'm finding pleasure in and yet there is something missing.   

When we ignore our deep desires, we rob ourselves of intimacy with our heavenly Father.  We must remember that time will permit when Jesus is calling. 

* I know it's been a while and this doesn't pick up from where we last left off but hopefully you will allow me to find my way and let things play out as they may.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bare, not trendy but intentional... the layout of this blog and equally bare have the new entries been, both a direct reflection of my life.  

I'm an artsy, creative girl that knows what she loves and could easily get caught up in making this space reflect that about me, making it more appealing to the eye however time is valuable and most days it slips away with only a vague memory that it has come and gone, as I am a working from home mama of three that has yet to master the scale of balance and how to turn ones mind off to the nagging responsibilities that an office door had to have been created to lock down when closed or so I tell myself.   So it might be a while before this changes and at the moment, this seems fitting.

As for the equally bare entries,  sometimes words are inadequate, sometimes they don't come easy and sometimes the act of putting thoughts, emotions or the tangled mess of life into words is a little to much to bear.

Standing bare before God is where agony meets faith, where the appearance of hopelessness collides with trust, where love drinks of long-suffering and passion and purpose are birthed.  It is where the grieving reconcile what they have lost to lament over what the Kingdom of God has yet gained. It is where I end and it is where I begin.  And the last five years have been just that.

When God speaks a word into your spirit, pray.  Pray that God would give you the wisdom to see it coming and the grace to see it through.  I was pregnant with number three when God spoke a very quizzical word to me. I wrote it down, May 2006, -begin to expect the unexpected.  I remember thinking of Sarah, Hannah and Elizabeth and how in faith they each expected the unexpected, a child.  They had made their desires known to God and stood by faith and in faith.

{During this pregnancy} I had to stand by faith and at every turn there was a new trial.  The loss of fellowship within a church body, the loss of income with the addition to the family, hurts and offenses seeking to be entertained but I, I was in my element.  There is a strength that comes with producing life, pushing it from within the deepest parts of your being and there is a fight that births as well, that instincts to go up against anything that dares to encroach upon a mother's young or even just her territory.  I feasted on God's goodness from the eyes of a child and my heart swelled with His gift of love.

This child taught me how to breathe in the breath of God like never before, to drink of His joy and to begin to give thanks in all things.  God in His wisdom, mercy and goodness was building me up, to have a fighting chance against the storms that were coming.

* Little by little this story will unfold from beginning to end, however not in that order, but as it comes to me and as I have a peace about sharing.  It's late and this will go unedited.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It is never to late to start....

That feeling of I'm tired and I really don't want to do this morning, as I swung my feet from the layers of bedding and placed them on the cold floor, tried to overwhelm me and hold me from moving forward.  As the morning routine began, the evidence that I wasn't the only one feeling this morning dread, tracked its way from one end of the house to the other and followed us out the front door, leaving a little brown eyed girl in tears as she scurried her way past the car door and on to her classroom.  

At which point, I should have whispered, Lord give us new strength for today, since I was to busy hurrying towards a deadline that I failed to even consider it earlier before.  But I failed again and just kept going.  I have been fight with this feeling all morning, making myself more miserable as I breathe in unthankfulness and breathe out irritation and the lousy cycle doesn't end.

But I looked up from where I'm seated, out to the window and then further to its right.  There, sits a bookshelf of things dear to my heart and sitting at the top, is the dearest of them all.  A nativity.  Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus in her arms.  Only He isn't.  He is missing from her arms.  And the weight of this strikes me at once and I look at her and I think of me.  Her arms stretched out and cradled with longing for what they were meant to hold and my heart breaks at those very words and the tears, they come rolling down.

Why do I not surrender each day, with arms held out, cradled for what they were meant to hold?  

Mary I know your longing.  I know the emptiness in need of filling.  The void that can be felt to my core.  I know I need this Jesus, with the same sense your body labored, knowing He must to be brought forth.   

God once again, you know me and you know just what I need.  Thank you for the beauty you directed and slowed my eyes to see.  Thank you for the way that You never stop loving, the way you are continually extending Your grace and the way You teach me the power of my praise.

Are you missing Him?  Is there a place hollowed out in your center, molded, shaped just for Him?  Or maybe you feel the void and you just didn't know it is He that can fill it, He that that place was created for.
It is my prayer that we both find Him over and over again and learn to keep Him in that place that has been hallowed and carved out just for Him.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

about laci....

God is speaking and God is working and there is something that He has kept me up till 2:30 in the morning, writing for you.  Another step in this journey and a part of my story that is so uniquely me and so unequivocally Him.  

One of these days I'm going to figure out how to stay lost in His love, my dear friend.

the above is a link to that story...are you a little bit curious to read?

A Child Like Faith

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It wasn't a dream....

Dreamily, I awoke.  You know that place of awake, eyes not yet opened, aware you're no longer sleeping or dreaming but still feeling the awe of what you had been dreaming.  The awe of His peace and His presence awoke me, the feeling of all snuggled and safe on a cold, dark winter's dawning.

Like past memories of being at my Granny's, sleeping in the back of the house where the heat stretched thin and rarely found its way in, however Granny knew the trick for this, layering quilt after quilt over your small little frame, tucking you tightly into the old iron bed.  My body would give into the warmth and accept the constricting layers and endeavor into true rest, for there would be no tossing and turning, might as well just let go and give into real rest.

That's it.  I wasn't dreaming at all.  

It was rest, real rest that settled over me as I had slept.  

The kind of rest that settles deep into your soul.  The rest that can only be found and only be given by Him.  

The rest I have sought but so foolishly hindered with my thoughts, stresses and cares.  

The rest that He has so freely offered that life is forever trying to alter and wipe it's very existence from our minds.

And with all certainty I can say it does exist, it can be found and furthermore, it can be yours today!

What better gift to give yourself after all it was for you that it was given!

I know this season may seem like the hardest time to receive it, with the to do lists and list of stresses that we have created, but just think what it would be like to accomplish those things and yet still find your self at rest. 
I know the lists and the stresses.  I haven't yet begun decorating, which I am very passionate about.  I have yet to start shopping for my three children and our Christmas plans haven't really been laid out.
The thoughts of this season have hung heavy and burdensome and truthfully there have been moments that I just wanted to collapse.  Add to that the death of not one but both of my grandparents, that were living stones, examples of how Christ is the head of the home, Christmas's will never be the same without them.  Family all spread out when my heart longs to be close and all together.  Relationships battered, still questions unanswered and futures unknown.

And yet it the midst of all of this, I have found true rest or it has found me.  God, you give the most perfect and most beautiful of gifts!

The song below has taken on new meaning for me this Christmas. 

 May it too, finds it's way deep into your mind and your heart.  Much love, and light and joy to you and to yours as we celebrate the gifts that have come in the form of our Lord and Saviour!  

God rest ye merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Saviour
Was born upon this day;
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray.

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy!

From God our heavenly Father
This blessed angel came;
And unto certain shepherds
Brought tidings of the same;
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by name.

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy!

O, star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a king on Bethlehem's plain;
Gold I bring to crown Him again;
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.

O, star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and sacrifice,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Worshipping God most high.

O, star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay
God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay
God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay

Blessings to you all!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Why live less....

I talk to myself often.   And I was just sitting here talking to myself once again.  Frustrated that I haven't been writing and that all I seem to be doing these days is mumbling to myself.

So, I said to myself, literally, just start writing any thing that comes out or start writing your mumblings down.  Just as soon as I began, my train of thought or ramblings stopped.

Now, this is really frustrating.   Me not to be able to talk to myself, mumble and ramble on and on, may call for some serious help.

It's alright.

You can laugh at me because I often want to laugh at myself.  Only laughing doesn't come easy and neither have the tears this last week or so.

Sporatic and jumbled. And this spinning round and around leaves no time to stop and be still or let it all out, I tell myself.

Isn't this the way of grieving?  This flip flop of feeling to unfeeling and thoughts of having to keep moving only to find yourself stalled out.

But what happens when its life that you're grieving and not the loss of it, rather the living?

The way this world serves up abuse and hate and has a love affair with strife.

I just can't shake this heaviness, all the injustice and the ways that have been accepted as just being life. My heart hurts for those suffering and inflicted.  It aches for the way that evil preys, binds, tears down and takes life.

Especially knowing it wasn't the life that He had planned.  Knowing that He sent to us a Savior, a precious child, born in a manger.  "The" Light of the World.  Emmanuel- God with us.

I long for a life of abundance.  Abundantly full of Him.  And I long for this life for every man, woman and child, to know what it is to be loved and known and cared for by Him.

I will rejoice this season, but most of all I want to remember why He came.

He came to demonstrate 

how man being full, 


and overflowing of God, 

can live loved 

and live love

and love to love 

his God and his fellow man.