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

Category: "Settling"

grasping

Written by:admin
Published on March 7th, 2014 @ 11:19:00 am , using 126 words, 1015 views

wonderstruck without words
         at who You are
look up,  You beckon
        look up at the vastness
              and remember the sky
                     and the way it reminds you of the vastness
of My love for you.
a knowing....that surpasses knowledge. 
(what does that even mean??) 

And i pray that you, being rooted and established

in love,

may have power.... to grasp

how wide and long and high and deep is

the love of Christ

and to know this love that surpasses knowledge

that you may be filled to the measure of all

the fullness of God.

Now,

to Him who is able

to do immeasurably more

than all we ask or imagine,

according to His power that is at work within us,

to Him

be glory for ever and ever!

Amen.  ephesians 3:17-21

melting

Written by:admin
Published on February 20th, 2014 @ 03:06:00 pm , using 456 words, 1185 views

"What do you want?"

.......

the accusations and temptations to do more/have more
and the accusations and temptations to do less/have less

who can know what it is they are to do?

i've been personally becoming aware of the whole identity thing....
          and had a couple of meltdowns over the state of the lives of the 5 living here in this home
                ....and the state of this home
     and some meltdowns over the state of the lives living outside of us, the state of this dying world.

this week in Matthew-we are in chapters 19-21

been also studying David and Saul and struck by (read: identifying with) Saul and his crisis of identity and battle with envy....and the picture of what he becomes-it's not even human anymore.

........

days go by and time alone to sit at the feet of the One who gives the best counsel and listens and knows everything.....the days go one after the other after the other and there is none.  and the world shouts in my ears and i forget what is true and meltdowns partner with striving and there is no peace inside.

until today.  and i sit with this question:

"What do you want?"

and i just don't have a clue what the answer to that is.

but He does.

and so He shows me:

tho i have not seen Him, i love Him, and even though i do not see Him now, i believe in Him and am filled w/an inexpressible and glorious joy.  for i am receiving the goal of my faith, the salvation of my soul.

what do i want?  joy.  unspeakable, inexpressible and glorious joy. 

and all my striving and pining and trying to figure it all out what to do and what not to do and where to live and where not to live and how to live and how not to live
             is all a frantic search for this joy.   

it doesn't come as i think it will. those words in 1 Peter were written to....

God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered.....who have been chosen (through the sanctifying work of the Spirit)
                for obedience to Jesus Christ.

i don't like being a stranger.  i don't like being scattered.  i don't always like obeying.

melt me with Your beauty, melt me with the truth of who You are and who i am.  the truth of the real goal of my faith-vs. the lesser things i make it.  the real source of joy vs. the lesser things i'm pining for

Restore to me the Joy of Your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.  -psalm 51

for further melting....in a beautiful way:  

When Life has Taught You to Run Past its Best Conversations

Being a Closet Radical

in This place?

Written by:admin
Published on December 13th, 2013 @ 12:32:00 pm , using 908 words, 538 views

Surely the Lord was in this place, and I wasn?t even aware of it! Genesis 28:16

i come in the door grumbling grumbling.

we?ve been spending ourselves this week on behalf of Isaiah 58 people.

the exhaustion is beginning to take it?s toll.

Wednesday, i was at the dentist sitting in the chair next to my daughter and the hygienist completely lost in October?s National Geographic.  So much so that they kept asking me questions and talking to me and i was completely oblivious with my head in the pictures of N. Korea and the Congo.  Finally my daughter yells out; ?MOM! It?s time to go!?  i look up and they are both staring at me as if they maybe had mentioned this already a couple of times??

late last night, somewhere between pulling into the driveway and my front door, i lost the car keys.

still, i left that to the light of the next day and attempted to make a birthday cake for my daughter.  the pan tipped and spilled half-baked cake all over the oven.

i plop myself down on the couch to try that too again tomorrow and look out my window.....no lights.

those dang squirrels chewed a bulb off-now only ¼ of them light up. 

after rehearsing spelling words with my 3rd grader in the car this morning and shooing him off with a story to remember why there is a silent K in front of Knight, i drive home and the grumbling begins to rumble and spill out within. 

pulling into the driveway and i remember those dang lights.  and in my grumbling profanity over the lights welled up within and dang wasn?t the word i wanted to use. 

i told myself it was silly to speak so about Christmas lights. 

i am a complete mess.

last night driving home the words to myself were instead; ?i am a complete fool.?

 all the volunteers for this week are looking to me to lead them.  my children are looking to me to lead them.  profanity wells up within about that.

grumbling all the way i plop myself down and am irritated that the whole wide world seems to go on without needing to stop in front of the King of Kings, the Wonder of a Counselor, but no, not i. i am desperate and needy.  and completely irritated at that fact.  (do you see it?  those lies that are such nonsense, but man, in the moment they seem so true.)

and he?s working hard, that infuriated accuser.  he?s giving it all he?s got to keep me right here.  exhausted and irritated. profaning the Son of God and His provision....or perceived lack there of.

flipping over the promise chart-i read these words:

The Promise of Victory

?Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.? 1 john 5:5

oh and those words begin to do their work.

i make my tea and block out the rest of the accusations about how this chai has too much sugar and i?m on December 8th in ?The Greatest Gift? so i should just give it up. 

I open Ann's new book to page 65

The only words on the page staring up at me are these:

Surely the Lord was in this place, and I wasn?t even aware of it.  Genesis 28:16

 

and i sit and let these tidings of comfort wash over me, lingering before turning the page for more.

(if you don?t have the book-the focus on the reading is Genesis 28:10-16-read that and the rest will make sense i think?)

You can feel it.....like life?s this stairway that you just never stop climbing.....Like all these lists are rungs, like your failures stretch from earth to heaven, like all your rest feels like lying down on one unforgiving stone.

-Ann Voskamp The Greatest Gift p.68

and the tears that fill my eyes blur the rest of the words on the page.

the bugs and the foolishness and the cake and the congo and it all does feel like rest* on one unforgiving stone. 

and today, i need my King to be a Victorious King, and my Shepherd to be a gentle Shepherd, and my Counselor to be a Wonder of a Counselor.  He is all those things and so very much more.

Love has come.

daily rescuing.

daily saving.

daily strengthening.

daily quenching.

daily loving, oh how deeply loving with the very word needed-even if it?s ?technically? days behind schedule.

sigh.  the grumbling and profanity** has stopped.  although i would not complain if the neighborhood boys did some target practice on some squirrels.

Holy Holy Holy

Lord God Almighty

Merciful and Mighty

in This very place

Holy Holy Holy

are You,

my Love.

my only Hope.

my only source of Strength.

my true Rest.

 

*He taught me about rest.  I sat in Matthew pondering these two verses side by side (11:28-30 and 13:22) and i did think of blogging on it-but the words have been hard to pin down these days-maybe soon?

** Also quoted in Ann?s book these word of Elizabeth Elliot; ?[Profanity] is treating as meaningless that which is freighted with meaning.  Treating as common that which is hallowed.  Regarding as a mere triviality what is really a divine design.  Profanity is failure to see the inner mystery.?  p.69 in The Greatest Gift.
my profanity was actually not in the words i wanted to speak over the Christmas lights, it went so much deeper than that. 

 

The Lord, my Shepherd

Written by:admin
Published on November 24th, 2013 @ 02:21:00 am , using 857 words, 578 views

 North Carolina sky

Psalm 23

God is my shepherd

i won?t be wanting

i won?t be wanting

He makes me rest in fields of green. by quiet streams

even while i?m walking...... thru the valley......... of death and dying.

i will not fear, cause You are with me, You?re always with me.

 

i don?t even know how to write this post.  how to paint the picture for you to understand how those words nourish in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

in the middle of the week as i lay in bed, unable to sleep because of the trauma of the day, i recited the entire thing to myself over and over and over again.

this week was full of heart wrenching struggles. the possibility that my neighbors (little) dog would have to be put down because of my (very big) dog jumping the fence.  rejoicing over that outcome (she made it through surgery and will be ok) and stressing over a now large bill to pay and new fence to build from a small bank account.  the time at the day center for homeless families sitting alongside a man with his head in his hands weeping over the news of his little boy far away-6 yrs. old and both legs amputated.  my pregnant sister in the hospital again.  too far away for me to visit.

and a month ago, in the middle of our flood, i buy a ticket that will take me to the other side of the US for the weekend.  i couldn?t see into the future to be sure that it would be ok to go.  i just had to trust that it would be.

it?s not really.  but i?m going anyway.

when we booked the flight/car/hotel i couldn?t see thousands of miles away what the hotel we were choosing would be like.  i just had to choose one.

here?s where the words fail me.

so i?ll just say that i needed my Shepherd to comfort me and make me rest when the fields weren?t green at all and there were no quiet streams.  i never noticed till now that following that wonderful image (i mean can?t you just see in your mind those fields and the stream?)...following that

is the valley.

of death and dying.

David says he won?t fear.

why?

because His Shepherd is with him,

He?s always with him.

well, my Shepherd did make me rest in spite of the lack of green or quiet.  and i thanked Him so very much.  That His presence was constant and this weekend could still be a time of rest and refreshment...even here.

but then

in the middle of the night

bugs

bugs crawling on me. all these little bugs crawling around in my bed. suffice it to say.  i freak out. and i leave. and through my sobs i manage to find myself a more suitable place to stay. 

................................................

i don?t even know.

here i am.  this week?  i have nothing.  i know nothing.

and at 2 am far from home i?m wrestling with deep stuff.  i wanted rest.

Whole only comes after broken.  Healing only comes after wounds.  Are you willing to go a bit further and see?.......It doesn?t mean that God is trying to teach us a lesson in our difficulty.  Perhaps He is simply creating a masterpiece.  -emily freeman ? a million little ways p. 104, 105

perhaps He is creating a masterpiece.

am i willing to go a bit further and see?

man the wrestling is hard work.  and i won?t be attending the Barn event rested.  i?ll be attending quite fragile and quite simply exhausted i predict. 

but the beauty (masterpiece?) of this weekend is that i never questioned

that He was with me

the entire time.

When i couldn?t find words, only sobbs-the Spirit translated my groans for me.

when i began to condemn myself He brought to mind just the thing i needed.  (one example: condemning myself for freaking out over the bugs and not just toughing it out-and i remembered Corrie ten Boom and the biting flies.  she?d put up with much thus far in that concentration camp ?but the flies were too much for her too.)

He shows me that there are quiet streams here too, in this valley of death and dying.  He sticks in my mind jon foreman?s words: ?Two things you told me: that You are strong and You love me.....yes You love me.?

and

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  And even the very hairs of your head are numbered.  So don?t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (matthew 10)

and internet at the new hotel so i can stream pandora and have music to drown out any lies the enemy wants to whisper.

Yes.  He is my Shepherd.

i won?t be wanting.

i won?t be wanting.

And this same God who takes care of me

will supply all your needs

from His glorious riches,

which have been given to us

in Christ Jesus.

(Philippians something i think)

gains and losses

Written by:admin
Published on November 20th, 2013 @ 12:05:00 pm , using 609 words, 449 views

the contrast of two clock towers - London, England

Those who have attained everlasting life in the vision of God doubtless know very well that it is no mere bribe, but the very consummation of their earthly discipleship; but we who have not yet attained it cannot know this in the same way, and cannot even begin to know it at all except by continuing to obey and finding the first reward of our obedience in our increasing power to desire the ultimate reward.  Just in proportion as the desire grows, our fear lest it should be a mercenary desire will die away and finally be recognized as an absurdity.  But probably this will not, for most of us, happen in a day; poetry replaces grammar, gospel replaces law, longing transforms obedience, as gradually as the tide lifts a grounded ship.  
                                      -C.S. Lewis from ?The Weight of Glory?

 so we?ve spent some time as a family talking about things.  this house.  school choices.  life choices. about what we lose by staying put, and what we gain.  because that?s just it.  every choice comes with both losses and gains.  the school choices are still in process-one has to move on as he?s entering 6th grade next year.  but everyone, everyone, wanted to stay put in this very house. 

at that meeting-when i spoke-passion welled up from within and spilled out and the words, they. just. came.

that i?m all in with regards to the ministry.  we?re all in. 

and i can?t speak for my family-and it doesn?t seem like any of them were in a place of questioning it all anyway- but something has shifted in me.  this process of late has culminated with an inner shift.

nothing has changed without, but within poetry is replacing grammar and longing is transforming obedience. 

this life we are living is beginning to look like art.

for today, this is where we will stay and do art.

     my heart is growing in contentment more consistently. 

i?ve always had this problem of pining away for something other than whatever it is that i have.  maybe it?s the growing up in a military family where moving was the norm rather than staying put?  the thanksgiving lists help refocus my vision.  but the restlessness for something other is always there.  this Spirit given shift has not removed my restlessness completely-there will always be that this side of heaven as it is heaven that my heart is longing for?  but the restlessness that comes from wanting a different picture painted, a different outcome, a different process, and if i really dig deep enough and am honest, the restlessness?   it?s restlessness wanting a different me

i wrote a bit ago that art + no shame = joy.

i have been living ashamed of my art.

ashamed of my home

ashamed of what i do with my time, or don?t do with my time

ashamed of the gospel (i know it is the power of God for those who believe, ..... but still often i am ashamed of it)

ashamed of my writing (the reason i haven't really told anyone about this blog?)

ashamed of.......

me

that grounded ship of shame is being lifted by the tide

and my understanding of art is deepening

and the joy i?ve been running hard after

that traveling joy that Jesus promised could not be taken

it?s not been found in where i thought it would be

the tide rolls it in and deposits it on the shore of my heart as the shame is lifted out.

and so yes, i?m in.  all in.

the secondary gains and losses ever present

but with shame lost?

JOY gained

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