Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Letting Go for Something More







Life hurts.  I hurt.  My heart aches and not always sure why??

We are in the fall season and the leaves are changing colours, which in reality means.... the leaf is dying.

The leaf falls.  It lets go.

Why??

Of course, nature is taking it's yearly cycle.  The course the seasons are destined to take.

But something else...
It lets go for something more.... rest.  A hunkering down.

They've had their season of growth, of bearing fruit, offering shade and now... ??
The tree will need a time of rest.  A rest to rejuvenate.  To refuel for another spring season that will come.

The tree is letting go of its leaves.

I, too, face times and seasons of hardship, failing body, agonizing questions and I feel like I'm losing identity, "leaves".
I tend to resist, wanting life to stay somewhat the same.  Well, not really... but I sure don't want it to be the hard stuff that changes me ...

But the question comes.... What is being cut off, what do I need to let go??

Do I need to let my image go?
Maybe it's my need for validation?
Or even the want of summer, to be productive?
What about getting older and the body physically failing?

But it hurts to let go...

Why do I need to let go??

We let go,  for something more....
We let go because sometimes how I've done life and made it to work needs to change and in all reality that change will be beautiful.
We let go to rest and in that rest, to find God.

For it's in the unseen replenishing of the roots that the tree continues to grow upward and give fruit and shade, year after year.

So, it's in the unseen moments with God that we replenish our system and find life. 
The growth of our root system happens in the hard things, the winters of life.

But we must let go.

And it's in the letting go where the struggle is.

For we struggle to see Him when all is dark and foggy.
We wrestle to know He still has our good in mind when the path we're walking seems completely otherwise.
The battle to sense His Presence in the middle of pain, is very real.

How do we find God in the hard things that call us to let go of our image, our control or whatever it may be??

We may find ourselves in a situation like Jacob and we wrestle until we 'see' Him.
Or maybe, its claiming the verses in Scripture that speak of His Presence and promises.
Or maybe,like me, these past months have felt more like a fog and I cannot see the way.  In a tunnel that's dark and I'm not sure of anything, even the Presence of God and who I am in Him.  So, I choose to stay on the train.

I was reminded of someone traveling on a train and when that train goes through the tunnel and all is dark, he doesn't ask to jump off, but trusts the engineer to guide the train through the tunnel and out the other end.


Jesus, is our Engineer.  He is the One navigating our lives and when things get hard and dark, don't jump off, but choose to trust Him to navigate you through.

Maybe your marriage is falling apart and you've done so much and your heart aches for more connectedness...
You may have lost your job or are in a job that is stressful or not quite the right fit for you...
A friendship may have gone sour and hurt and rejection pierced your heart...
Questions may pound your mind and heart and they remain unanswered or unmet...
Or you may even be longing for someone to SEE your situation and walk with you, and there's no one...

Where is Jesus in the midst of all of this?

He's there.  Navigating your train of life.

He's calling you to nestle down and search to see Him.  Wrestle to know Him deeper.  Rest.

Rest in Him and His promises.
Search to see what needs to be let go of, what you've been holding on to.

I'm going to be honest and tell you, that I have wrestled much and cried out to God, only to feel silence and that my questions/longings were also met with silence and something different than what I desiring.  And in my head I realize that God is good and that what He chooses to do is the best; but my heart wasn't following.  My heart wrestled, agonized, and even was cynical at times as I walked through life.

So, a question that I asked myself is, what do I need to let go so I can see Jesus? 

I didn't want to be a Pharisee or religious leader or like many of the Jews who walked this earth when Jesus did and miss Him.  They couldn't see Him because He didn't fit the way they thought a King or Saviour should be and do.

Jesus wasn't fitting the picture I was painting...
He wasn't writing my story that way I was wanting it to be written...

And so, when Jesus doesn't do what we want Him to do, will we hang on to what we want or will we let go?
Will we let go so we can find God ?  That we may see Him and taste that He is good?

Go ahead, ask Jesus that question.... What do I need to let go so I can see Jesus?

Will I let go for something more?
                                  (😉 spring does come again...)

The light at the other end of the tunnel is starting to pierce the darkness.  There is hope.  There is light.

Will you let go for something more?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Manna Grace... The Miracle for Today





As the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, God provided.
He provided food called manna and gave specific instructions on when to gather it and how much and what to do with it.

Every morning it would cover the ground as dew covers the grass on a dawning morning.
You were to gather enough for your family for that day only.  No more for the next day. (It rotted if you kept it over for another day.)  Except the day before the Sabbath, you were to gather for two days.  It would be enough and it would not rot.  If you did not gather more you would be disappointed that Sabbath morning for there would be no manna.  Hunger would haunt you that day.
And if you did not go out to gather, you had nothing to eat.  - Exodus 16 14-31

Manna means, What is it?

Aren't we left, at times, with that question... What is it?  How does this fit in the picture?  How will this be enough for what I need (or think I need)?

Grace is like manna, enough for today.
You cannot take some for tomorrow.

Manna tasted sweet, like honey wafers.

And, so is grace.  The after taste is sweet to the taste buds of the heart and a balm for the hurting soul.

MANNA.
Grace.  for this moment.
Grace.  to believe.
Strength.  to rest.
Strength.  to trust that He is enough.




I read this quote while in the middle of a struggle.  A struggle that resulted from another's decision and left me wrestling to trust the heart of my Father.  Part of me didn't want to because I did not like the circumstances and yet... I knew... that God's ways are good.  I wrestled with the urge to take care of myself.

As I read this quote, I realized there are 'miracles', good things out there... BUT I MUST GATHER.
I must take the step 'outside' to pick up the piece of manna that is mine for the day.

The piece of grace, to rest.  To choose that He is enough for me.  TODAY.
The piece of manna to believe that God has good in mind for me and not evil.
The piece of manna to pray back to God the words He has spoken... His Promises.

If I 'stay inside' and whine and pout, I will miss the 'MIRACLES' of today.  I will miss the manna that is available for me.  I will not have the grace and strength available to rise above circumstances on eagle's wing.

And so, with tears, I took a faltering step outside... to 'pick up' my piece of manna...


The beauty of the manna of grace, is that it doesn't evaporate like the manna did for the children of Israel.  God offers His grace the moment we TURN TO HIM, and repent, asking for His strength to enable us.

What are you wrestling with today??
What is it that has you wanting to take care of yourself??

I invite you to come...
To our Heavenly Father who offers us the manna of grace and strength.  The grace to believe and the strength to trust.

And... maybe, you even need to share your struggle/wrestlings with a friend or mentor.  For a burden shared, is a burden found lighter.






May you know His grace and Presence, deep in your heart today.
May you find that He is enough, while wrestling with the hard things.
Most of all, may you know that YOU ARE LOVED.  By YOUR Heavenly Father, and may that enable you to rest.

Love to each of you...


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Humility.... The Other Side of Any Story...


There is a saying that has been quoted in the middle of disagreements and fights and stories between persons...
My side of the story, the other person's side, and the right side.

What is the right side?

In the middle of feeling misunderstood, it's so easy to cast blame...
on the husband's side,
the in-law's side,
and the friend who just isn't listening.

It's easy to 'see' my side and understand and say, "If... then..."
If they would just listen, then...
If they would just quit doing that, then...
If...

There's a disagreement at work.
A co-worker rubs you the wrong way.
A sibling or friend hurt you.
A parent doesn't get you.
Your in-law family does life differently and it grates.
And the list goes on...

{And here I make a disclaimer... I am not belittling the pain inflicted from another and this does not include rape, abuse of any kind, etc.}

And my heart whispers....
YOU HAVE A RIGHT...
to be mad.
to be upset and angry.
to be heard.


And we so easily forget....
THERE ARE TWO SIDES.
There are two hearts involved.
There are two opinions.

And, maybe, just maybe, I've not understood.  Maybe, just maybe, I've got it wrong...
And maybe, just maybe, I am right.

So,
What does this other side look like?
What does the right side look like?



Jesus says in Philippians 2:5, "Let this mind (this attitude) be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."

What is this mind or attitude that Jesus wants us to have??  What was the mind or attitude of Christ??

Philippians 2:6-8 (NAS) says, " who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

HUMILITY.

The Lord of lords and King of all kings.
The Maker of all earth and human-kind.
Humbled Himself.  Over and over, again and again.

He came as a baby.  Laid in a manger because no room was made for Him in the inn.
The One who is Life and came to offer Life, to offer Himself, was rejected, misunderstood, spit upon, denied, betrayed, and more.

He had what it took for all man to live eternally and He NEVER abused that power.  He never forced His view on anyone and He never, didn't offer life because of the pain that pierced His heart in the middle of pain.

Yes, He hurt and grieved when Peter denied Him or Judas betrayed Him with a kiss.  A kiss.  An endearment.  He looked at Judas and Matthew quotes that Jesus said, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?"

Jesus called Judas, friend.  In the middle of the ugly act of betrayal.  Judas called Him, Master and Jesus called him, friend.

Oh, my heart is breaking in this reality and depth of pain that Jesus, the Redeemer, the Giver of Life, experienced.

HUMILITY.

How could Jesus offer grace to Judas?
How could Jesus look tenderly at Peter after he had just denied knowing Him?
How could Jesus invite the Pharisees to know Him when they rejected His words over and over and were even looking for a way to kill Him?
How could He...??

How can I??

Jesus did not seek revenge.
Jesus knew He was loved by His Father.

Jesus came to save.
He came to seek that which was lost.
He came to offer LIFE.

When we let go of blame and seek to save, we must humble ourselves and love.
We must look to Jesus, the One who knows all about be misunderstood and yet, offered love.
We must KNOW we are loved and forgiven by Jesus.

Then Jesus says to us, "Go, and do thou likewise."
"Freely, you have received, freely give."

There's a disagreement at work.
Humility lets go of the demand for my opinion to be heard.

A co-worker rubs you the wrong way.
Humility may take on the face of kindness or doing something specific for her/him.

A sibling or friend hurt you.
Humility may be you taking the first step.

A parent doesn't get you.
Humility may be that you turn to the One who does get you.

Your in-law family does life differently and it grates.
Humility may be that you learn a different way.

And the list goes on...

Humility does not demand.  Humility invites.  Humility looks to offer life, right in the middle of pain and hard stuff.

HUMILITY.  Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus.






Saturday, December 24, 2016

Pictures That Let You Inhale Beauty and Exhale Chaos... Rest










And We Behold His GLORY...


And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we BEHELD HIS GLORY, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

Glory as described in Webster's...
~ great honor and admiration won by doing something important or valuable; fame; renown
~ worshipful adoration or praise
~ the condition of highest achievement, splendour,
~ radiant beauty or splendour; magnificence

GLORY.

Lord, You left glory - heaven.
You came with a glory announcement... Glory to God in the highest and on earth, Peace, good will to men.
YOU are GLORY.  GLORIOUS.

And that glory came in the middle of darkness.
On a dark night.
To those who were ready to receive it.

You came to pierce darkness.
Our darkness.
With Yourself.

With glorious light and truth.
Immanuel.  God with us.
Are you ready to receive Him?

Lord, You gave up
So something greater could be given.

You gave up glory and perfect beauty
to enter brokenness and pain and ugly.
You gave life,
So that we may have eternal life.
You entered brokenness
That we may know restoration.

You gave Yourself.
So that we may know You.

Lord, give us eyes to see You this day and every day.
To find You in the middle of pain, rejection, death, and brokenness.
That is why You came.... to pierce darkness and bring the light of glory to us.










Sunday, October 2, 2016

Guiding or Directing





They sound very similar, but one day...

As I was pushing a grocery cart that was full and I had a bag or two in my hand; I was struggling to keep the cart going straight.
I, then, went in front of it and guided it; and the struggle wasn't so intense.  It was actually easy, as I strolled down the parking lot.

My mind went to parenting.

I give a child a project that needs to be done, like cleaning, my husband has a to-do list, and off go the boys.  We tell them that Jesus is the Way.  We ask them to speak kindly.  We want obedience and honesty.

But do they see...

Sometimes, if I remember the nudging in my spirit and follow the whisper... do it with them, it'll go much easier.  Especially if it's a newer project.  An even harder nudging is... am I honest?  Do I love Jesus with my whole heart?  Do I speak kindly? etc...

Guiding or directing....


Walking the path or like they say, "I can't hear what you are saying, your actions speak so loudly", isn't the easy way.  It calls something out of us.  It calls us to be accountable.

The 'easier way' would be to simply say, to direct, and have the end result turn out...

Maybe this is a bit of a play on words, for we can direct a ship or horse on the correct course, but we are still with them.  We don't give direction and let the ship or horse find it's way, we stay present.

The Lord gave His disciples direction, but was ever watchful and present, if not in body, in spirit.

Like when the Jesus told the disciples to row across the Sea of Galilee.  While sailing, a storm came up and they were struggling; Jesus, then appears on the water, aware of their present situation.

So, maybe we need both, with guiding being the ever present awareness.

Show Me the Way

Lord, You showed us the way.

You left Heaven
and entered this cruel, sinful world.
Why?
To show us.
To show us a better way.
Emmanuel. God with us.
To show us how You want us to live.

You love.
You forgive.
You spoke words of Life.
You walked this earth-trodden soil
So we could see.  another way.

You left Heaven
to give Your life.
For me. For all.
You came to make another way.
Salvation.

Lord, You are our Guide.
The Light for our Path.
Help me, to pass that light and guidance
on to those around me, as I walk with You.

The young ones.  The broken and hurting ones.
The lonely.
For what we see speaks so loudly
and often guides our way.

Thank You, that you take our brokenness
and redeem it.
You take our successes and failures
and create beauty.
A melody pure and sweet
that only comes from a life
who is willing to follow You, Our Guide.



Saturday, July 30, 2016

When There is Silence...





There haven't been any words flowing here on these pages the past few months...

Silence.  Ponderings.  Questions.  and Sortings... have all been happening in this, this heart of mine.

Do you ever feel the need to step back a bit?
And wonder if you'll let someone down in the middle of re-evaluation?

Words draw me.  Stories are powerful.

Words have such power and meaning and depth.

And because of that they bring a tremendous blessing or depth of hurt.
I have been mentored, encouraged, and convicted by many of another's words and would like to pass that gift along to you.

I found myself, in the midst of writing, having that my focus instead of what really needed to be... Jesus. The One who life is really all about... Who He is and the work he is continuing.
Phil. 2:13  for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Words are mentors and writers the instrument, through which they are shared.
Only as I live and write out of my love for Jesus, will you be truly and life-giving-ly blessed. (not a word, I know :))

Yes, life-giving.

So, I turn to the Life-Giver.  The One who knows your heart and mine.

I want to share pieces of  my journey and story and I want to hear yours.  For isn't it only as we walk together in the hard and the easy, the joys and the sorrows that the melody of our hearts is deeply heard and felt?

But most of all, I want us to see and know Jesus.  The Life-Giver.
The musician who plays a melody in the lives and hearts of those of us, mere humans.


Maybe today, you too, need to take a step back.  To re-evaluate.  To reconnect with the Life-Giver and Musician of your story.

The world will go on.  That's okay.
More importantly is your connection to the Vine, the Life-Giver; for only out of that will your heart truly find peace and be at rest.

And out of that, fruit will blossom.
And the sweet melody will sound.