Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wonderings of Holy Week

A new song has been coming into the works as Easter approaches...

It's a song of pure awe. Of wonderment. Of beautiful humility.

"You thought of me...When they whipped Your back with same and guilt and scorn, You thought of me...When they put the nails of wrong into Your wrists, You thought of me...When they placed upon You head the crown of thorns, Oh my Lord, You thought of me."

I've been going through a Billy Graham devotional this week, to prepare my heart for Sunday.

When I imagine myself at the foot of the cross, seeing my Savior be whipped and mocked and suffering in pain, it brings my heart to an endless abyss. I feel darkness.

And then I imagine myself on the cross with Him. Something I have never done before, but wow is this a humbling experience. To imagine myself on the cross, nails in my wrists and feet, nothing to support me, all breath running out, a pile of sharp thorns piercing my head and tasting blood as it runs down my face.

All of this for them?

All of this pain and suffering and dying for those sinners?


"Oh, Beloved. You are one of them"

Oh...right...why do all of this for me??

"My Child, I would do this and much more for you. You are my heart. You are mine."

But You asked for this cup to be taken...You felt as though God had left You...You didn't want to do this...

"My desire to die and My desire to save you are two different things. No one wishes to suffer great pain, but my desire to have you with Me forever was far greater than the cost of dying. You, My Beloved, are worth it all."

The question here turns out to be not that I wonder if He thinks I'm worth it...But do I think I'm worth it?

Finding my value and confidence and worthiness has always been a struggle. I have never felt as though I fit in. I've never felt as though I was really worth anyone's time or energy. Without a doubt I know that I could go into many different psychological reasonings as to why I've had a lack of confidence and pride in myself over the years, but the simple truth is this...

I've never thought that my value in Christ was enough to cover my lack of value in this world.

Don't get me wrong, He has me here for a reason. There is value to each and every one of us being in this world, but that value is minute compared to the infinite value we have in His heart.

I've been reading a book these last few weeks, and it just so happened to enter into the time of Easter as this week has drawn nearer. There's a point in it that really hit home with me, and it fits into the point I'm trying to make (or discover??).

Peter was quite a character, and I honestly cannot wait to meet him when I get to Heaven. I have so many questions and just want to hear his stories. One in particular...

He denied Christ three times.
Christ was crucified.
They all waited an excruciatingly long three days for Him to rise.
Peter was destitute in what he had done. Could Christ really forgive him for denying their friendship not once, but three times?? No way. He probably wouldn't want anything to do with him once He rose.

But oh how wrong he could be.

He rose, and sent an angel to tell Mary Magdalene, " But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’"

Did you catch it? I didn't the first time...

"But go, tell his disciples and Peter"... Two little words.

And Peter.

This was the forgiveness he had thought wouldn't come. This was the grace he didn't think he deserved. The grace none of us think we deserve. But Christ says otherwise.

If I trust my value of the world, I will never accept this grace, I will never truly believe that Christ was on that cross for me.
But if I turn my eyes away from the broken mirror of beauty, perfection, and idolatry and instead look at the wooden cross that suffered to make my broken pieces His...I find a whole new picture of worth.

And I'm right there in His heart.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A blank page

I'm staring at a blank page...
A canvas for my words...
A place for my heart...
And I feel like there is an expectation... One where I need to write the perfect words. The convicting phrases. The "aha!" moments that I want my readers to get. The moments every writer wants to convict people of. Because we all want affirmation. We all want encouragement. We all want to feel like we are living right. That we are living a life that speaks to others.
Of course, we ARE human. And we WILL fail. But "so what if you life's going to be messy. Perfect isn't the plan. Purpose is." (Ann voskamp)
How often I need to remind myself of that. Because how often I think that I have to better than I am. That I have to strive for something more than I already have. That maybe, just maybe, God isn't exactly pleased with me; that maybe He isn't exactly looking down at me and saying "you're doing well, my good and faithful servant. With you I am well pleased." Because that's what we want to hear. That's what keeps us going - keeps us living - that goal of hearing those words from our Daddy. pleasing someone other than ourselves, because really, pleasing ourself is the hardest person to please.
So how do we live, how do we love, knowing that we are doing this crazy life thing well? How do we remind ourself that we really are doing the best we can?
Maybe that's it. Are we doing the best we can? Are we loving everyone we can? Because trust me, I know, there are people that make love seem like the hardest thing to do. There are times when love is the last thing we want to do. But that's when love is the only thing we can do. Love is the key to the Christian life. We love because He first loved us. We give because He first gave to us. 
No matter how we feel. No matter the circumstance. It is our calling.
I have been called into ministry this summer. It is my future. And I couldn't be more excited. But I also have my questions as to how He is going to do it. How is He going to use a girl that has never fit in with people well? How is He going to use a girl that is afraid of flying? How is He going to use a girl that is terrified of public speaking? I don't know... But He does. So I get to trust. And I get to trust that at the end of the day, if I have tried the best I can, and have given Him everything I can, that even if I don't audibly hear Him say "with you I am well pleased", that I know He is my Daddy and I am His Princess. And He loves me. And He loves you.
So, now it's your turn.
He has given you a blank page, an open canvas, this crazy thing called life. How are you going to use it?
"Unless our lives are generous - our faith is starving to death." (Ann voskamp)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

When you want to hide, hide in Him

Where do you go when you're at your end?
Where CAN you go?
Where is safe?
This world has become so corrupt, so disturbed, so lost, that no one knows where to begin running to. And honestly, sometimes it's hard to believe that there really is somewhere ha is safe.

How many of you have had questions?
How many of you have had questions...but no answers?
That's where I'm at tonight. My mind is running so rampant that I'm at the verge of tears. A part of me says that I need to let it all go. But another part of me says to keep analyzing and maybe there will be an answer... And what I've realized lately, is that even if there really are no answers to some of my questions, it's going to be okay!! Even if I feel like I need to run and hide, it will be okay! Even if I feel like there is no where and no one that is safe, it will be okay!!
Because when we are at our lowest, God is at His highest.
When we are hunkered down on the floor in tears, He is on the throne of grace.
When we are that one sheep that is lost, He is the Shepard chasing after us.
When we are simply us, He is God. 
And that, my friends, will never change.
He will never change. 
His love for us will never change...
And His love? It's more than unending, it's more than strong, it's more than anything yo can comprehend or dream of. His love? It's fierce. It's a love so strong that He can't let us feel how powerful it is because we wouldn't be able to handle it.
Can you imagine?! A love that strong...that its unimaginable.
It blows my mind.
And He loves each and every one of us with that same amount of fierce love.
Now, how He makes us feel His love, that's a good thing to think about
Lets think about this for a second... How man of you have gone through a trial? How many of you have gone through pain? And joy? What about happiness (They are two different things)? That's how...that's how He shows us His love. In the midst of every struggle, every ache, every tear, He lets us break, but He also catches every piece that falls... He catches every tear...
I want you to remember that... That He is our sustainer...
And He, my friends, is safe.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

It's just not fair!

Well...I had a really legit blog for you was pretty long too...and then my computer decided to shut down without saving here's a new one lol

It's that moment when the Lord yells at you. Not a whisper, but a shout...and you can so clearly hear Him saying "Pay attention! I'm trying to tell you something! I'm still here!"
Lucky for me, I was able to listen when He yelled at me..Because sometimes that's the hardest part -listening.
A man walked out of His house where The Lord greeted him and said to him, "I am going to put a boulder beside your house. Every morning I want you to go out and push the boulder." The man said he would obey. Ever morning the man got up at 5:30am and went out and pushed the boulder. He did this in rain, storm, snow, and ice. One morning he hadn't slept well and didn't want to ge up (we all know those mornings!), not to mention it was raining, but he know he needed... to obey The Lord, so he got up and went to push the boulder. It was raining but he kept pushing and pushing and pushing. He finally threw his arms up and yelled at God saying, "Lord, why can't I move this boulder?!?!" The Lord replied " I never asked you to move the boulder, I simply told you to push it. If I want to move it, I will, on my time."
This story made me bawl...I heard it during chapel and I lost it...which leads me to the questions:
 What is or are you boulder(s)? Will you keep pushing and simply let The Lord move it if HE wants to?
Trust me...I know exactly how hard it is to push those boulders without seeing any result or any movement..I've been pushing mine for 9 years (and I'm only 17!). It can get so frustrating, and so often we too must throw our arms up and yell at the Lord saying, "WHY?!"
And so often, usually always during the suffering and the pushing, we tend to ask the hard questions like:
"Why, God?"
"How is this fair?"
"How could you do this?"
"Where are you?"
"How do I fight?"
And instead of those questions, why don't we ask some of these:
"Is God still God?" YES.
"Is God still in control?" YES.
"Is God still good?" YES.
"Does God still love me?" YES.
"Is God going to help me?" YES YES YES!!!
"Fair does not live here, but Jesus does." one enjoys or desires suffering. No one does. But we all desire the outcome - a deeper, more intimate, beautiful, trustworthy relationship with our King. We all desire that feeling of being loved and cared for and we all desire that feeling of accomplishment.
If I asked you if you would prefer to have a disease or disorder become a part of you, you would most likely say "um, no thanks", but if I asked you if you wanted a deeper and more rich relationship with God you would most likely say "yes, bring it on!". You can't get one without the other.
Now, I'm not saying that if you haven't faced hardship in your life that you don't have a great relationship with the Lord, I'm just saying that "suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
I know this blog is shorter than I intended, but my battery is low and I still feel sick..
so let me leave you with this...
The next time you face hardship and suffering, count your blessings, ask the easy questions, and remember that suffering produces hope. Shalom.
In His Grace,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Bummer Lambs and Trust

Good evening to all you who are reading this. So nice to see yo again; and so glad you took the time to meet me in this moment. This grace. This God-centered time. May you be blessed. May the words that I write, and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable to You, Our Rock and our Redeemer...
I started reading a new book (which I would highly recommend). It is called "God loves broken people" by Sheila Walsh. It is phenomenal, and I'm only on chapter five!!! So tonight, I want to take a few of her points and really dive in to the depths of what they say.
She talks about bummer lambs. If you don't know what they are, I will tell you :) (don't worry, I didn't know what they were either). Bummer lambs are the lambs that do not receive care or milk from the mother ewe. The mother will kick him out of the way, for many reasons. Maybe the mother didn't want a child, so she will push him away and let him die. Or if she has many lambs and can only care for a few, she will push one or two out to let the others in. These abandoned, weak, fragile lambs are called "bummer lambs". The shepherd will usually take in the bummer lamb and care for them in the warmth of their home, and keep them alive. The shepherd deeply cares for his animals. Sheila says that we all are "bummer lambs" in a spiritual sense. I believe that to be oh so very true. "We have a heavenly Shephard who cares for us deeply and loves us fiercely.". I love that line!! The Lord is our Shephard. Do you recall the passage in Scripture where it says that if the Sheohard has 100 sheep, when one of them gets lost? He leaves the 99 in order to chase after and bring the lost sheep home. That is what Christ does for us. He leaves the 99 because He can be in two places at once. He can watch the 99 and still search for the one that got lost. Have you felt lost lately? If not, chances are  that you will at some point in your life. The good news is that our Shephard will always come find us. He loves us so fiercely that we can't fathom it. He picks us up, holds us close, and carries us home. Even if you break a bone along the lonely path, He will bind up your wounds, and heal them through His own.

Do you find yourself sometimes looking up at God, and asking Him "why? Why me Lord? Why us? Why them?" Those are OK questions to ask. The Lord may not provide the answer that you want, but He is quietly whispering back "it's okay, just TRUST ME." Now, I can hear some of you saying, okay, that's easy; yet others I hear your silent cry of, that just seems so hard right now. I feel your pain. I carry your heartache. So often our hearts cry out with the questions that may never be answered; and as humans, that is perfectly acceptable. It is in our nature. The thing is. . . The Lord never promised us an easy road. In fact,He promised just the opposite. John 16:33 says " In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world". Those are two promises that He tells us clearly
1 - YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE. He says that Himself.
2 - it's okay, because HE HAS OVERCOME.
In the trouble, He can make triumph! In the dark, He can make light! This is something that I have been struggling with lately... Trust. It seems so easy so often to just give up, but if I did that, I would miss out on how The Lord is going to turn my trouble into triumph. We can't make it happen, but He can.

I think that's all I have for you tonight. I am blessed to have you all read this. Please give me feedback. This is pretty much just my time to reflect and share those reflections. Let me say a prayer for you all. . . Father, Shephard, King. We thank you for loving the bummer lambs that we are. We thank you for turning our troubles into triumph. I ask blessings upon each person reading these words. I pray your all-abounding, amazing love to surround them. Give them your presence, let them feel you near. We love you. Amen.
In His Grace,

Saturday, December 22, 2012

CHRISTmas challenge

Have you ever spent time to just talk with God?
Just Him?
No one else?
If you have...
Have you ever had that feeling...where you just feel like God's arms are wrapped around you? Have you ever felt that He is right there...sitting next to you?
I spent some time outside earlier tonight...just talking to Him...It was cold, but worth it...I thanked Him for so many things...
CHRISTmas lights
His son's humbled birth
Mary and Joseph (whom I also spoke to ;) )
CHRISTmas trees and gifts
So then, let me ask you this....
How often do we actually spend talking to Him?
How often do we thank Him for the simple?
How often does He hear our voice in praise to Him?
I will admit something to you all...those ten minutes I spent outside with Him,...was the first time I had talked to Him all day...I feel completely awful about that...but that's why i'm preaching this!! to me too!!
But now, changing views a little...

So, what does CHRISTmas mean?
Google defines it as "The annual Christian festival celebrating Christ's birth, held on December 25."
Celebrating Christ's birth.. sounds about right, doesn't it? That's because it is :) But to's more than His birth...
It's the story of Mary and Joseph; of their great strength, of their dignity, of their humble hearts, of their trust in the Lord! How many of us women would be willing to be the mother of the One who would save the world? I think it would scare me a little too much! But Mary took it on because of her great hope and trust that the Lord would provide.
And Joseph was willing to take part in the great story of our Savior. He was willing to stand by Mary no matter what challenges they might face. His strength relied soley on God. He's who we should look for in a husband. Look for a Joseph for yourself ;)
CHRISTmas, to me...I can't even sum it up!
It's the story of how the Lord humbled Himself for the lowliest of sinners. Of how He came down as an infant, He gave up His throne, and came for us...the least of these! It's the story of His love. His grace. His mercy. Him. It's more than just a celebration. It's a commemoration. It's a service of communion for Him.
But really, CHRISTmas can be everyday. CHRISTmas is every time we give thanks. It's every time we stop and praise Him. It's every time we remember Him.
I have a challenge for you this CHRISTmas...
spend ten minutes with God. I don't care if you spread it out. But spend ten minutes with Him alone. Talking to Him, thanking Him, praising Him, etc. but on CHRISTmas day, spend ten minutes with Him...He loves to hear your voice:)
In Him forever,

Friday, December 21, 2012

How to slow down this Christmas

When you're rushing around, trying to get the gifts wrapped, trying to make sure everything is in place. When things go perfect, and when things go wrong. It's that moment when everything just speeds up. It's when nothing will slow down. How do you take the moments for what they are? How do you slow it all down?
It's when Christ came down as King.
It's when Christ died as King.
Our response both times is the same - to humbly embrace Him.
To bow down to our lowest level, to kiss His feet, small or big. To wrap our arms around Him like He wraps His around us.
Christmas is here.
It can be everyday.
Christmas isn't only about the day that Christ came down as a Babe, it's about His humbling of Himself for us, His great love for us.
We can make Christmas everyday. All we have to do is embrace Him everyday.
Take it moment by moment. Second by second.
Enjoy the fullness of all life has to offer.
So this CHRISTmas...take each moment for granted...enjoy every second.
Embrace Him.
Embrace love.
Embrace grace.
Live grace.
Because it's all for you, from Him.
Happiness, joy, and peace. They are all around you, all the time. You just have to look.
Take it one day at a time.
Joy will find you.
It's already here.
And it's coming agin.
On December 25th.
God bless you this CHRISTmas.
In Him,