"I am guiding you in the way of wisdom, and I am leading you on the right path." proverbs 4:11

Category: "Journal Entry"

Socks and other hard things.

Written by:admin
Published on October 10th, 2012 @ 09:30:00 pm , using 706 words, 667 views

 O Lord, the king rejoices in your strength.
    How great is his joy in the victories you give! (psalm 21)

my youngest needs confidence.  his own experiences.  to find his own way, the path meant for him.  he?s 7, but young.  Recently he had his first day of Thursday school.  He is homeschooled, but on Thursdays he goes to school for art, science, spanish, etc...  This is his first year with this particular program.  He will have to change rooms and even buildings for each class. No one else has had this experience.  It seems like a grownup thing and he?s a little guy.  It will be hard for him, and my heart aches with that momma ache for him.  Driving away i fumble out a prayer-the Lord knows how to translate into the words i can?t find.  He knows that my desire for my boy is that he would experience the Lord?s help personally-but that means needing the Lord?s help.  That he would grow in confidence and courage-experiencing the joy of ?i did it!  i made it thru!?  but that means something difficult to do or to make through.   i wait in anticipation for that moment when i pick him up and he grins ear to ear.  Then i will know the Lord has once more granted victory for my son.  i just know it may not happen today-it is a journey after all. 

 my middle boy has known Jesus? help countless times.  he needed it on his first day to get shoes on that he had not been able to wear since the fires.  the Lord granted him victory that day.  today he?s tired.  today the socks aren?t working.  he snapped at his brother who was talking through what was before him with ?i don?t care about that-i have to get socks on right now.?  ugh.  That was a tough one.  But i did side with the younger one this time-his needs are important too.  All the while praying-we need to leave now, please Lord help this pair to work.  This boy has seen victory over and over and over again.  It?s a daily need for him in this world.  He got them on, and-we did make it to morning recess-vital for success for him at school each day.  but still as he sauntered off to the play ground-i called out ?i love you? and my heart felt that momma ache.  How will this rough start play out for him today?  i fumbled out a prayer for him-thankful again that the Lord translates these words i can?t find.

 That momma ache comes for my oldest girl interspersed more now.  Going off to school doesn?t bring it up so much anymore.  When we?ve had a fight and she?s sleeping-i ache to communicate to her how much i love her in a way she can receive it-i keep failing at that.  Now it?s things like trips far away without us (New York, Washington state) Or a school dance, or advocating for herself to an adult, or a sleepover with a new friend.  Next year it may come the first day of high school i suppose.  As usual, we will do that hard thing, and i will fumble through a prayer.

 i?ve heard it said (and maybe i?ve said it already here) as a parent i can prepare the road for my child, or prepare my child for the road.  my approach is the latter.  it?s a big big world out there.  and i?ve no illusion of control over anything.  and the only thing that is constant in this approach is that the preparation is different for each child-and only Jesus knows them intimately enough to know the path they need.  so we pray and follow and face these hard things......ultimately because these hard things have never failed to prove our God faithful.  not faithful to change them or make them easier.  no, He is faithful to strengthen us, to reveal Himself in a new way, to remain constant in His love for us, it?s not a tame love, but a good love...oh such a good love. 

 Oh Lord, this mom finds joy in Your strength, how i greatly i rejoice in the victories You give.  These daily victories You give. 

Trembling and Triumph in these days of ours

Written by:admin
Published on September 30th, 2012 @ 03:21:00 pm , using 466 words, 444 views
Posted in Journal Entry, Prayer

I was recently encouraged to pray for my nation. It?s hard to find the words for the complexities of these things.  So i borrow from another....

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. According to Shigionoth.

 

Lord, I have heard the report about You;
Lord, I stand in awe of Your deeds.
Revive Your work in these years;
make it known in these years.
In Your wrath remember mercy!

God comes from Teman,
the Holy One from Mount Paran.Selah
His splendor covers the heavens,
and the earth is full of His praise.
His brilliance is like light;
rays are flashing from His hand.
This is where His power is hidden.
Plague goes before Him,
and pestilence follows in His steps.
He stands and shakes the earth;
He looks and startles the nations.
The age-old mountains break apart;
the ancient hills sink down.
His pathways are ancient.

I see the tents of Cushan in distress;
the tent curtains of the land of Midian tremble.
Are You angry at the rivers, Lord?
Is Your wrath against the rivers?
Or is Your rage against the sea
when You ride on Your horses,
Your victorious chariot?
You took the sheath from Your bow;
the arrows are ready to be used with an oath.

 

Selah.

You split the earth with rivers.
The mountains see You and shudder;
a downpour of water sweeps by.
The deep roars with its voice
and lifts its waves high.
Sun and moon stand still in their lofty residence,
at the flash of Your flying arrows,
at the brightness of Your shining spear.
You march across the earth with indignation;
You trample down the nations in wrath.

You come out to save Your people,
to save Your anointed.
You crush the leader of the house of the wicked
and strip him from foot to neck.Selah
You pierce his head
with his own spears;
his warriors storm out to scatter us,
gloating as if ready to secretly devour the weak.
You tread the sea with Your horses,
stirring up the great waters.

I heard, and I trembled within;
my lips quivered at the sound.
Rottenness entered my bones;
I trembled where I stood.
Now I must quietly wait for the day of distress
to come against the people invading us.


Though the fig tree does not bud
and there is no fruit on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will triumph in Yahweh;
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!
Yahweh my Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like those of a deer
and enables me to walk on mountain heights!

 (Habakkuk 3-emphasis mine)

 

Though.....yet i will.... may it be so, Lord; may it be so with my own heart.  i know full well how unrealistic and unlikely it is that i would respond in this way.  that i respond in this way with the small things of today!  But You are my strength and You will enable these feet and this heart and i will thank You for that!  amen.

 

Failure and Blessing

Written by:admin
Published on September 23rd, 2012 @ 03:41:00 pm , using 634 words, 710 views

You ever have those conversations when you are speaking to someone else, but really you are speaking to yourself?

 

i was given the gift of a child to rear.  to show the way thru life.  unfortunately i?m still learning to find my own way, so i?ve not been the best teacher.  as i watch her struggle...i grieve.  i grieve because i know the struggle intimately.  i?ve not been able to spare her this struggle.  in fact, in some ways i?ve taught her this struggle, i?ve been the source of the struggle.

 

 ?do you ever wish i just wasn?t part of this family?  i?m such a horrible person.?

 

and the words come up from within-somewhere deep-words that i heard just a couple of weeks ago, they aren?t my words, but they are mine to share....with her and with me.

 

?and what did Jesus declare about horrible people, what did He do for them??

?He died for their sins.?

 

 it?s that mumbled rote Sunday School answer.   it comes out as a low mumble, with no feeling, automatic and unimpacting.  that?s so often how it comes up from within me too.  it?s that ?blah blah blah, don?t preach me a sermon-you?re not answering my question.?

 

and she?s right, that?s not the answer that?s being mined for tonight.

 

?well, yes, that?s part of it.  but what i?m asking, is what did He declare to be true about horrible people?? (of which i?m one of them too you know)

 

blank stare, ?i don?t know?

 

and me neither, not in the depth of my being-a knowing that really knows.  but i?m learning to know it.  and the answer comes out anyway-the answer i?m learning to know;

 

?he declared them worth it....wanted, treasured.?

 

we talk further into the night.  the reason we are talking is because of sin-and the Spirit gives me more words for us-for both of us. 

but the big take away is that we?ve been declared worth it, wanted, treasured.

 

i who have played my own part in the sin committed.  that ugly dividing wretched sin.  i who have not loved well, who have not communicated love well.  i have failed time and time and time again.  the parenting books out there-well meaning and well-principled as they are-cannot offer anything here.  There is no solution for me to attempt; to answer..... what both of our hearts are asking. in our failure (which is inevitable while in this body of flesh) are we still wanted?   How many times have i thought to myself, ?boy, if only God had given them that mom, they would have all those benefits.? 

 

i know my failures full well.  and it?s no use arguing them away.  i sin against my children and wound their hearts in the process. i hate it-these ones that i love so dearly.  and the Spirit does give me victory and wisdom and insight so often as i call out  ?help, how do i respond to this!?!?  He did that for me in this case as well.  The beautiful thing in this case, is that as we went our separate ways, those words whispered to my heart as well.  i pray that the Spirit will work this truth into her heart, into all of their hearts.  that in the midst of our failure, we are blessed.  We are wanted, worth it, treasured.  By the One who spoke the universe into existence-and who has all things.  Yet He wants me!  me!  even me!

 

sigh. 

 

?You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.?  Romans 5:6-8

The Joy of the Lord

Written by:admin
Published on August 18th, 2012 @ 01:09:00 pm , using 838 words, 1027 views

 Psalm 21:1
 For the choir director. A Davidic psalm. LORD, the king finds joy in Your strength. How greatly he rejoices in Your victory!

Nehemiah 8:9-10
Then Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, ? This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.? For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law. 10 Then he said to them, ?Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.?

 what is the joy of the Lord?  the joy of knowing the the Lord. of being known....by Him.  of having returned from exile, of reading His words?

Hebrews 12 says ?for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross?

angels rejoice when one sinner repents.

from Nehemiah-they have returned, rebuilt the wall, read from His words, grieved.  and Nehemiah says to them, do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.

 the concept of joy eludes me, i?ve been reaching for it ever since i read in John ?no one will be able to take away your joy?; and ?i say these things...so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.?  and then seeing in acts, after being flogged they went out rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for His Name..?  (John 15-17, Acts 5)

 what in the world is it that would overcome the natural emotions associated with having been flogged and replace it with rejoicing?  what did that rejoicing look like?  that joy set before that would enable one to endure the cross, scorning it?s shame? it definately was not happiness.  Neither Jesus nor the disciples would have been happy about what was happenning.  this must be something else. 

 in the case of Nehemiah, the people were grieving after understanding God?s word.  i am thinking, grieving over how short they had fallen?  but Nehemiah tells them not to grieve, that the joy of the Lord is their strength and stronghold.

 strength and stronghold.  Lord i want to get this, really get this at the core of my being. 

 is this preaching the gospel to myself over and over again?  the joy that is the result of having been saved?  Psalm 21 says ?the king shall joy in Your strength, O Lord; and in Your salvation how greatly shall He rejoice.?  Psalm 28 reads ?the LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults (rejoice exceedingly), and with song I will praise Him.

 sometimes it doesn?t seem like salvation or victory or help has come....but never- is the fact that salvation and victory and help Ultimately and where it matters most-never can this be taken or undone.  is this once again, where the cross not only stills my questions (vs. answers them) but also that the cross is my source of joy that gives strength and is a stronghold.  could it be that once i grasp this-once my heart truly rests in this, i could actually endure being flogged and go out rejoicing?  it seems pretty far-fetched.  but then i remember that last year when i studied the book of Acts, i studied it as the book of Acts of the Holy Spirit, not of the apostles.  so if in fact i should one day face flogging-the Holy Spirit could overcome my heart with rejoicing-using that same Power that raised Jesus from the dead.  but in the mean time-it?s not flogging i face, but rejection.  and misunderstanding, and disappointment.  and fitting in, and letting go, and not belonging, and plywood floors and front yards full of weeds. and children who bicker. and people who want nothing to do with You.  and work that is exhausting.  and fires in the mountains.  and the fact that any proper English writer would use proper grammar and never start a sentence with the word ?and.?  these are small things-can i be faithful even in these small things?  oh how unfaithful i am with these small things.  but the principle does work here.  the joy of the Lord, the joy that He delights in me; that His love will not fail; that there is no condemnation for those in Christ; that He counted me worthy to hang on that cross...even Me!   even tho like a 2 year old i whine about far too much.  my heart can be settled with Nehemiah?s words too.  I rejoice in the Lord, my salvation.  He loves me deeply and has rescued me from the pit.  it is right to grieve over my sin-it is right to let His restoration and forgiveness replace that grief with Joy.   its a process to go thru, not to avoid. 

oh it does bring joy in the depths. 

and i do thank Him in song. 

When i can't.....

Written by:admin
Published on August 11th, 2012 @ 10:44:00 pm , using 599 words, 261 views
Posted in Journal Entry, Prayer

so often what comes from deep within my soul, and echoes inside my head is; "i can?t do this"

solve this problem
parent this child
respond to this situation
answer this question
have this conversation
obey this command

but usually i am right in the middle of this and for some reason i?ve not got what it takes to just walk away.

 and so i?m left with only this;  ?help!?

 today it was parenting.  and i grew frustrated and raised my voice and lectured....ending with a final crescendo; ?UGH!?

 i doubt it was helpful-

 what now. 

 Ann says it well; ? A parent must always self-parent first, self-preach before child teach, because who can bring peace unless they?ve held their own peace?  Christ incarnated in the parent is the only hope of incarnating Christ in the child.? (p.124 One Thousand Gifts)

 i?ve said it this way-every area i am still bound i will pass along.  every area i?ve been freed, i will pass along.  so i?ve engaged with the Spirit on this journey of freedom.  i know my gift to my children is not great parenting methods or wise parenting choices.  no the real gift i offer them and the world is to be healed and made whole.  and then to have healing and wholeness in my marriage.

 sigh...  tho i?ve come so far, there?s still so far to go. 

 and in the meantime-when my girl needs guidance?  when she needs discipline without condemnation?  when she is a girl born from this mother...but not me-she's her own person?  how do i break thru the fogs and the lies and keep her from treading down the same destructive depression path i trod? 

 i don?t.

 i can only point her to the ONE who is real.  the One who knows her deeply.  the One who declared her worth-with His own life.  i can only PRAY that His Word would break thru and His declaration of her worth and who she is would overshadow all the other messages the world and even her own mother sometimes give her.    

 and i can say ?i?m sorry? and hug her a lot......a lot...much more than i currently do. 

 and keep crying out for help.  For He who promised is faithful and He delights in my seeking His help and He delights in helping me. 

 ~~~~~~~...~~~~~~~...~~~~~~~~~...~~~~~~~~...~~~~~~~

 i used to think this rumbling message from deep within ?i can?t do this? was an indication that i was not growing or maturing in Christ.  before i met Christ i felt it was weakness, just like i believed tears were for only the weak.  i used to think that the strong didn?t feel.  the strong were able to do anything, because they weren?t bogged down by feeling.  lies, all lies.  oh the courage it takes to feel!  the courage it takes to be helpless!  the courage it takes to cry!  i have begun to see; the more i know deeply ?i can?t do this,? the more mature i become.  because He?s not asking me to be strong enough.  Paul figured that out.  when i am given the glimpse into something that is working-something that worked,  i know from that same deep place- ?i didn?t do this!

 ~~~~~~~...~~~~~~~...~~~~~~~~~...~~~~~~~~...~~~~~~~

The storm has passed for the moment.  You have calmed my heart and reminded me of truth.  Please i plead, do that for my sweet girl.  gather her in your arms and hold her close to Your heart.....and please,  gently lead these sheep of yours-including me.

 ?He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.?

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