Thursday, March 26, 2009

Swiss Cheese

I've been feeling a little bit like swiss cheese and also have been enjoying this time of rest and spring break with my kiddos. So many thoughts and illustrations are piling up in my brain and heart...I'm only eager to send the kids back to school so that I can write it all out for His glory.

Today I'm again reading in Isaiah 40 and realizing how much my Jesus has FREED me. Not only from a destiny of dread but daily He FREES my mind and my heart.

I'm realizing how much I need to schedule in times of rest so that I may experience fully the wholeness that comes from knowing Him and with that also comes the realization of the true wreck that I am.

We all have holes in our souls and without God filling them in daily we are simply trying to fill in all the holes ourselves. Or even sometimes doing everything we can to avoid noticing the depth of the holes! Stillness requires our attention and focus to just be.

BE...then, and only then can I acknowledge that I am:
Like a drop in a bucket…regarded as dust on the scales…not sufficient…not enough…less than nothing…

As a child I believed I was all of that because that's what my daddy communicated in every way possible and I thought I would spend my whole life trying to conquer those lies...

So twisted this world is in our thinking...hard to wrap my mind around the fact that my God in a way agrees with what my daddy communicated...but only a partial truth!! FOR HE MADE ME AND I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE!

My daddy only told me half truths because my daddy never knew the ONE TRUE GOD and the possibilities that he also had to hope in the Lord and renew his strength...he always wanted to air force pilot he was...the type of soaring I experience now with God...he never could fathom!!

Yes Daddy...we are all nothing WHEN compared to our God...and HALLELUJAH...because if I was SOMETHING WITHOUT GOD, I would be blinded and unaware of my desperate need of HIM--MY SAVIOR.

I want God to fill the holes...if anything...working and doing and trying to fill the holes myself is EXHAUSTING!!!

Father, you know it pains me so that my daddy did not teach me...yet I forgive him and his ways--YES I REALLY DO! Please continue to heal this heart of mine and give me strength...strength to be brave and acknowledge all of the holes inside of me and may I allow ONLY YOU to fill the holes found here and there.

For, I know you Father and I am okay with feeling a bit like swiss cheese!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring Fever is Budding

Spring is such a wonderful time of year….and with the warmer days and buzz of spring fever, I can see that is is right around the corner. With the new buds beginning to form on the trees and fresh flowers pushing up from the soil…it’s both exciting and refreshing. Why then do I feel a battle of weariness? I cannot put my finger on it…but everyone I talk to is battling some sort of craziness and busy schedule. Does the warmer weather bring with it a fuller schedule? Or is everyone really in need of the upcoming break? I’m sensing the nudge to rest and take pause right this very moment.
Specifically, remembering earlier in the week my desire to shake a tree…yep…just shake it!! Shake it until my head hurt and made all of the dead leaves fall from the tree. There surely could be an easier way…like perhaps God causing a gust of wind to pluck the stubborn leech-like things to fall. I mean, don’t they know they are 2 seasons behind!!!
Maybe I was a bit frustrated about the happenings of my day…I’m not sure what I was feeling at the moment; but I noticed that the tree had tiny, green, new buds beginning to form on the tree and yet it still had dead leaves attached. It still bothers me!!
I realize I don’t like it when things are undone, or lingering unfinished! I desired to shake that tree so that the dead leaves would fall off and leave only what was fresh and newly budding remaining on that tree. Making it better in my eyes…not necessarily in God’s eyes and that might be the entire issue…hmmm.
Call me strange…I call myself strange at times…I never quite understood why people would use metaphors to explain things…but I’m grasping this the more I read the Bible. I believe God has been for a time calling my attention to trees and that I am one…a living breathing vessel…or tree for Him able to produce fruit when I remain in Him. (catch the metaphor?)
Just yesterday I was reminded of scripture in Gal 6 which talks about sowing the seed and the fact that the seed has to die and be buried in order to produce a harvest…Oh, could God be calling my attention to the things in my life right now—the things that frustrate me—the relationships that just seem to not be right—the to do list that just doesn’t seem to ever be completely checked off...the things that I actually want made right—yet not sure how? The busy schedule for a time which means that I may have to live with a mess in my study a bit longer?
Could God be beckoning me to remember that I have been called to die? To live for His purposes not my own? To surrender my desires for His desires? For, I know He has poured out his love into my heart (Rom 5:5) and He died for me before I even knew Him. I am called to be like Him.
But it is more than that because Jesus did more than die...HE ROSE AGAIN!! There is hope and mighty power found within the Spirit that dwells in me!!! I can’t help but say “Yes, I agree…in Your time Father, I surrender to your timing of shaking off all the things that I just can’t seem to make look right—like a perfect newly budding tree…I offer my sacrifice of praise and confess that I am nothing without You…help me to do good and to share with others…(Heb 13:15-16)…not for my glory—but FOR YOU ALONE!!
So, I attempt just this as I watch the wind blow the few leaves outside…
As we feel the spring breeze blow across our faces; may we feel God’s love and grace cleansing us—reminding us that we are holy and pure—not because of anything we have or will do in our lives…but because of what Christ has done for us!
As the wind blows the last of the stubborn dead leaves off of the trees may we remind ourselves to surrender to God and let loose anything that may be hindering our new growth. And also take some time to notice all the new buds that are already forming in and around us!!
May we encourage one another to not grow weary and may we continue to sow God’s seed of love in our lives; knowing that we will reap a harvest in due time. My family has adopted this scripture and my husband and I are meditating on this Word…”Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jer 6:16. Rest my dear friends is found in standing, looking, asking and walking with our good Lord!
I think it is time to go water the flowers…

Monday, March 9, 2009

Wherever the wind blows...

Last night I was watching a reality TV show last night. One contestant was waiting to partake in a challenge that consisted of gliding down a mountain slope with an instructor; however, the wind was not blowing in the right direction or a safe speed so the participant had to either wait it out or choose to hike by foot down the mountain.
This man chose to wait it out because of the steep hike down; and I was intrigued and a bit sadden at his words while waiting. The older gentleman said something to the effect that there was no bother asking God to help him out and change the wind, for God is so busy with other things in the world right now.
I don’t know how long the gentleman waited but the wind eventually died down and shifted, allowing the man to partake and complete the challenge; and the man failed to really acknowledge God but said, “It’s a miracle!”
This man’s sense that God was too busy to hear him saddened me; for I realized how much we do try to put God in the same category as maybe our humanly fathers, who are incapable of being omniscient, omnipresent and omnipowerful!! I don’t know how I lived life before I grasped the truth of God and His love for us. Praise God, I am becoming more and more aware of my God’s love for me and that I know God is so caring and compassionate and aware of my every need and that I can ask Him for anything!!! This encourages me daily and gives me hope in this life!!
Earlier that day I read Matthew 7:7-8…Ask, seek and knock…Oh our Lord desires to answer our hearts! And this scripture references one of my favorite scriptures, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jer 29:11-12)
All we need to do is ask…seek and knock! I witnessed someone like the man on the reality TV show asking for God to intervene with the wind recently. Just the night prior I attended a wedding that was performed outside and the judge performing the ceremony told the groom that the unity candle just doesn’t work outside and encouraged them to just walk through the motions. Well, the bride, had her heart set on lighting the candles and expressed to her husband, you’ve got to have faith! Just like God stopped the wind for that man on the reality tv show; God stopped the wind so the candles could be lit…just long enough!!! All the bride did was ask God with faith!
As I’m processing this, my eight year old son is intrigued by faith and reading in Hebrews…and he just piped up and said, “Mom, without faith it is impossible to please God.” I agree-I just have to believe that God wants us to ask Him…have faith…ask and have faith expecting Him to answer.
Now I think I need to ponder what I need to ask Him for today…

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Amazing Yucca!

God was proving a point to me today. I’ve been chewing on some thoughts about grace these past weeks and I have a feeling I will be basking in more of God’s infinite grace these next coming weeks. (Because His grace is not limited you know!!!) I have grasped the fact that God acted out His amazing extravagant love and grace when He conquered the grave and saved all sinners. In addition to knowing this, I feel a desire deep within my soul to dig deeper…how does this permeate and effect my soul and my daily journey in this life for Him.

While walking today my eyes were drawn to some birds flying around and parading about some yucca plants. I immediately felt a tug in my soul to pay attention and my eyes were drawn to the plants. They each were different; some with the stems growing 2-3 feet out of the plant and others with nothing! I was so intrigued! Even though growing up here in the desert they are everywhere; I just never really paid much attention to them.

Okay, I’ll admit I was more than intrigued…I was “geeking out” over this and went home to research the Yucca plant. Did you know this plant depends on something to grow and blossom??? Oh ya!!! There is such a thing as a Yucca moth and if it does not do “its thing’ there is no Yucca blossom!!!

Just the same…if I don’t surrender and let God do His thing in me…I don’t grow and blossom! And you too…you won’t grow and blossom if you don’t surrender and let God do what only He can do in your heart and life too!

Now, God I know has lots to do in this world…there are a lot of hurting people out there; but He took the time to help me grasp a picture of His grace….praise you Father, and may I never lose sight of my need for you—NEVER!!!

Thank you for not asking us to meet any of your requirements on our own. Thank you that when You command us, you also enable us and provide the way!

God knows that I and you cannot have humble, obedient journeys on our own; so He provided a way for us to ultimately be with Him but to also live like Him…hence His wonderful, magnificent provision of grace. Oh, there is joy and great beauty in recognizing all of my frailties and relying on God to fill in every wide gap of mine!

Like the Yucca plant I will wait on God’s provision to bloom. And take each moment as an opportunity to surrender and allow God’s grace to shine!