Friday, April 24, 2009

Muddy Steps of Faith

Do you ever have moments where you want to just do something a little risky…a little wild??? Now before your minds start running to all kinds of places; I am thinking a bit about getting dirty…but in the sense of REAL DIRT...the mud! We all have been told to stay out of it at some time or another and I’m sure we all have experienced walking in it too—or maybe not? Just last week on a field trip I watched some Kindergarteners obey their teacher and walk around it…but a handful of them just had to sink their shoes in it. And, honestly, there was an urge inside me too…but because I was aware of the impact my walking in the mud at that moment would have, I refrained. Yet, I remembered a time I allowed myself to experience this mud... glorious mud...
I’ve been meditating on the passage in scripture where Peter walked on water and thinking about just how awesome it would be to experience walking on water!! I am a bit goofy at times (God made me that way—it’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) and there were no Kindergarteners around to follow me. It was actually just after sunrise on Easter morning; and I was on a walk talking with God and praising Him for His powerful loving plan and the fact that my mind can grasp just a tiny bit of it exhilarates me and causes me to praise Him and yearn for more of Him! There was just some rain the previous day which allowed water to fill the school yard fields with ample amounts of water and I had the urge to do some walking. Yes, I thought I would try out my walking on water skills. I realized how much I was hesitant and couldn’t just get the umpff to walk across…I just tip toed over to the edge and put one foot in. After realizing my doubt and hesitation…I gave it a second try and almost ran across. And do you know what happened??? Can you believe it?? I SANK!!! I sank right into the mud. I glanced down to see my tennis shoes and a bit of the hem of my sweat pants covered in mud. Oh, I wish I could tell you of this great experience of walking on water…but I laughed at myself the entire rest of the walk home and was still smiling when I got home to rest my tired muddy feet. Why did I do such a thing??? I know I cannot walk on water…but it was the act of just trying and knowing that God is continuing calling me to get out of the boat a little everyday…not to do some HUGE thing but just take little muddy steps of faith. And let me tell you…walking in the mud felt good!!! I did realize how much of a scaredy cat I am; but that is okay…I am one loved scared cat!!! I recognized how full of hesitation I am and that only when I am full of Him am I able to overcome my fears!!! Yep, I’ll admit…He alone makes me want to be brave—but if left to myself, I am so prone to just stay in my own little bubble of status quo. I’m forever a scaredy cat and clinging to Him with every muddy step.
I love how parenting stretches me and encourages me to get out of the boat a little every day; probably partially because I have little eyes and feet watching me. While remembering my muddy feet I can’t help but think of my boys; in particular my eight year old who is facing his own out of the boat experiences right now playing baseball. He can tend to shy away from the ball and really isn’t all that eager to get out and hit the ball…yet still seems to enjoy the game. I watch him practice and play and I know that he is not unleashing his full potential because he is afraid (however, anyone would be afraid with those amateur eight year olds pitching for the first time). His poor little lips have been in a constant state of chapped since the season began because he is nervously licking and biting on his lips. Oh, there is a side to this momma that wants to just wrap my arms around him and rescue him and whisk him away to a safe corner of the world—yet praise God that He has a greater calling to conquer his fears. He is teaching me to keep walking and enjoy this life even when there are moments that just scare the bu jee bees out of you!!!
I remember watching the first time he was up to bat…his fearful eyes and quivering stance at home plate, but he does it—he is standing!!! He ended up getting walked and ran to first base (remember I told you this is the first year of them pitching…hardly see strikes thrown). Then after a couple more of his teammates are up to bat; he slides into home plate and scores for the team! All of that is etched in my memory; yet his words are carved on my heart forever…he made his way over to me and whispered, “I was afraid…but I did it!!!” I mustered up a teary-eyed ‘RIGHT ON…I’m so proud of you!!”
I sure wish we could grasp the fact that we all have fears! I mean, I know I don’t focus on what I am afraid of and I don’t think we need to dwell on them…but is it okay to be honest and say that I’m afraid. I’m afraid at times to let others know what I think; thinking I will be liked or loved less, I’m afraid to be rejected and abandoned, I’m afraid to watch a loved one die; I’m afraid to lose my health, I’m afraid of watching my children face heartaches which I know are bound to happen in this world; I’m afraid that I won’t be able to do something worthwhile in this life for my Savior, I’m afraid of being misunderstood, I’m afraid that I saying I’m afraid will make me vulnerable… oh ‘NO FEAR,’ that is not me!
I read once before that fear and growth go hand and hand…it is not about denying or praying the fear away but learning to grasp God’s hand in midst of my feelings of fear and persisting to still walk when I have feelings of fear. I’m learning to keep going even amid the fears that exist in my head and my little part of this world. So often I think we teach our children to cover up and not feel fear and oh aren’t we good at acting like we are fearless and just so confident.
I don’t know about you; but even if at first I’m afraid, I love living honestly and admitting my failures and fears…it is refreshing to be around those who love me just the way I am and who enable me to grow…which inevitably means they know my failures and my fears. God knows…He knows better than I know and He still loves me the same and that’s why He is my BFF! And thanks to Him I have others who know and love Him and love me too and I am able to show them my muddy shoes and they can smile and love me all the same.
Right now, my youngest is watching one of his favorite DVDs titled..”Mud, Glorious Mud” it’s all about some adventure trains take in the mud. I think I will choose to take some muddy steps of faith and walk with abandon towards a great adventure following my God. How about you, want to take a few muddy steps of faith with me? You never know when we might hit a home run and score one for the team!!!
And wouldn’t you know…the man who loves me most in this world took a picture of my muddy shoes. Gotta love it!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Oh, I have been journaling a lot these last three weeks short bits of God’s goodness. My thoughts have been frequent but brief…quiet and humble…vulnerable and private…God and me…just as it should be I have realized…spring cleaning for my heart, I guess.
Still I hope these ONE WORD WONDERS that have been painted on my heart; sort of tattooed in my own corner of the world…may they give HIM THE UTMOST GLORY!!!
His Word has a story, a history just as each of our journeys do…if you know Him and know me I think these words will speak for themselves. May we stay aware of His presence and our worth found in knowing, loving and living with Him.


Zeph 3:14

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Glory in the Gaps

It’s bubbling over…my heart that is…not gently…but almost exploding with emotion! I cannot contain it any longer!! These past two weeks have been different; busy but not…quiet still moments mixed with rushed hectic ones. Such is life at times; I’m gathering. It’s a bit perplexing with emotions seeming to be exploding and yet still feeling pent up at the same time. I’m trusting that God will answer my prayer as I write. Isn’t it bizarre how we can feel torn between two things…two emotions…two tasks…two choices…two loves…
I’ve been feeling a bit torn between choosing to be and choosing to do….choosing to be restful and choosing to do some work…choosing to be content with yes and choosing to do the unthinkable and say no…choosing to be true and speak and choosing to do what my heart beckons and remain silent…choosing to be honest and share and choosing to do what I was taught and keep private…choosing to be with my list and choosing to do with my list…
Do you have a to do list? Either a physical one on your fridge or in your computer; or maybe yours is kept inside your head? Are there things on your list that have been on there for a long while—way over do and nagging to be crossed off? I’ve been working on those things and plugging away and honestly I’m torn right now between choosing to go check something off of my list or sit here and reflect on my God’s kindness and care for me. My girlfriend used to have a bumper sticker that read “Love Wins!” And I’m picturing it right now…choosing to allow Love to win in my heart right now.
As much as I want to go get something done…my heart yearns to solidify and make concrete in my heart His love! I do treasure the moments I choose to remember His love…
Over spring break my boys and I went on several bike rides (sometimes several times in just one day). My young boys have so reminded me how fresh and new the things are around us. A desert can seem…well deserted and dreadful…yet still so full of life and beauty!! So much like my heart seems to be at times.
On one of the bike rides I spent a lot of time behind the boys and listened to their brotherly chatter…their conversations consist often about telling each other what is “cool!” I heard my oldest gearing the youngest up for the treck up ahead and said “Remember what we saw yesterday…let’s go see if it is still there!!!”
I felt God’s loving hands remind my heart that He so wishes for me to revisit and remember all the times I’ve shared with Him. I know now that all of my breathable moments have been spent with Him. Even times before I even knew about Him…He was there. Remembering the times with Him and reminiscing with Him brings me such joy!
Well…remember the moment He spoke to me about His grace through the wonderful Yucca plant? I had a breathtaking moment where I revisited with Him this past week. Remember the tall stalks in the plant don’t always grow and bud…they rely on the Yucca moth to do his/her thing. Just like we need to rely on God to fill us with His grace and do His thing in each one of us.
Well, on our way to school I noticed a landscaping crew cutting down the thick woody stems of some Yucca plants and dragging the tall stems full of budding flowers down the path and heard a gasp from the back seat; as my young boys who were noticing all of this with me. (My boys know all about the Yucca plant now you see…I couldn’t let my boys go as long as I did with not knowing about the Yucca plant AND most importantly God’s grace!!)
Being the inquisitive learner that God has wired me to be; I Googled the plant again when I got home. I found that the woody stems are cut down to enable the plants to focus on their root growth—especially if it is a young plant. My husband pointed out later too that in the wild the plants are likely to topple over and become uprooted if they grow too lofty. Hmmmm….such is so with us and our tender hearts.
We need not focus on our growth and measuring how tall we are becoming…just keep plugging away…keep digging…keep seeking…keep going!!!
As I am typing this…my BFF just whispered…”hmmm maybe the same is true with your to do list…stop measuring it…just keep going!!!” (Give me a second while I wipe the tears, and give my BFF a hug).
I think today I will allow my BFF to cut down anything He so desires in me in order that all my energy can be allocated for rooting in His Word…in His Truth…in His love. Help me Father to use both hands…both my head and my heart…my EVERYTHING to keep plugging…keep digging and keep going! And when I can’t get EVERYTHING to cooperate, (which is ALL OF THE TIME!!!) I’m going to rely on Him to fill in the gap; for I know my BFF is good at allowing His glory to fill in our gaps!
Okay…I think it is time to get on with this brand new day… off to “follow Him”…HOPE YOURS IS WONDERFUL TOO and that you hear His words, “Follow me” throughout your day too!!!