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Friday, September 30, 2011

Chills

Chill bumps cover me as I am overwhelmed this morning with a God who created all of this- 
yet loves and yes, cares about me!
*You will want to pause my blog music at bottom of this page so you can enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Guilt

It's when we take time for ourselves maybe because our bodies are tired or are fighting the latest go around of the cold and we feel it. 
Guilt because we rested.  Stopped for a moment.
Yesterday evening I felt it.
At first at least. 
I tried to comfort my guilt by working on my Bible Study.  Coincidentally, windows office kept shutting down.  Really, I couldn't get it to work.
So I stopped the guilt and the trying to put something, anything there.
And rested.

I feel better this morning while still carrying somewhat of a cold. 
And I read this-

Rest time is not lost time; rest time is what gives meaning to the rest of time (Ann Voskamp)

And I remember the days of piano lessons.  Eight years and you would never know it.  Loved the music and coming up with my own renditions of written notes.  My teacher didn't.  See there are rules to music.  Theory.  Time signitures, dynamics, notes that go together to make chords and some that don't.....And the all important rest. 
The pause in a song that can bring meaning.  A moment for reflection.
That if you had just played over would have resulted in just a bunch of notes played.  Maybe even played right......but did it mean something?

Notice how even a creator of music plans for the rest? 
Our creator, God Almighty, planned for our rest. A Sabbath.  Knows we need it.  And without the guilt and the worry of am I getting it all done?
I look even now at a room needing vaccumed, and the cereal needing to be put away, dust that is collecting on shelves............need I go on?

Take your Sabbath, yes.  But also be sure to have rest spaces in your days.  Moments of breathing.  Quiet time, where yes, you are quiet before God.  And moments of thankfulness.

And guess what?  All that stuff you need to get done will have more meaning- trust me.

Rest time is not lost time; rest time is what gives meaning to the rest of time

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Words

Inspirit Women Bible study has kicked off and I couldn't be more thrilled with the incredible group of ladies I will be sharing with over these next months!  With all the preparation work and adding some part-time work for The Elston Group, I have been unable to write here.
If you want to follow our study on Philippians, you can by going the the above tab titled Bible Study!
I just posted there notes from the kick-off.

With all of the words I have had to come up with over the last week, I don't feel as though I have anything interesting to say.  Sometimes it is just like that.

I go to His Word and read this today~
 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
   therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
   Blessed are all who wait for him!  Isaiah 30:18 (NIV)

The book of Isaiah is messages from the prophet Isaiah to the people of Israel and Judah.  No other prophet gives us more prophecies about the Messiah and his coming.  God inspired Isaiah directly to offer the people of that day the things that will were to come to give something to hold onto, believe in, hope in.
I wonder what it was like for those people.  Yearning deeply for hope and this Messiah.  But having to wait.  My first impulse is to write-  well, just like today, we have to wait like they did. 
I ponder some more realizing that no, not really.
We have it.   God came.  Lived with us, taught us, loved us, died for us.
Conquered death.
So no, we have SO MUCH MORE than they did.  We HAVE the hope.  He can live within us.

And yes, we do have to wait at times. 
But not to have God with us........He already is.  That is, if we allow it.
So that is just some of my thoughts on this Wednesday.
Thankful for God's Word.



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Know

“God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love.

Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you,
“Do you believe there is a God?” you may find yourself answering,
“No, I do not believe there is a God....
I know there is a God.”

~Ernest Boyer, Jr

To know is to live full.  Rest in the knowing.........

Monday, September 12, 2011

Encouragement

*Go to bottom of this blog to pause music and play. Be encouraged today---  time to take those steps- What are you waiting for?

You look around
It's staring back at you
Another wave of doubt
Will it pull you under
You wonder

What if I'm overtaken
What if I never make it
What if no one's there?
Will you hear my prayer?

When you take that first step
Into the unknown
You know that he won't let you go

So what are you waiting for?
What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities try to hold to you
You know you're made for more
So don't be afraid to move
Your faith is all
It takes and you can
Walk on the water too

So get out
And let
Your fear fall to the ground
No time to waste
Don't wait
Don't you turn around and miss out
Everything you were made for
I know you're not sure
So you play it safe
Try to run away

If you take that first step
Into the unknown
He won't let you go

(step out)
Even when a storm hits
(step out)
Even when you're broken
(step out)
Even when your heart is telling you telling you to give up
(step out)
When your hope is stolen
(step out)
You can't see where you're going
You don't have to be afraid

So what are you waiting,
What are you waiting for?

~Britt Nicole

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tragedy

:the unfortunate aspect of something; a shocking or sad event; disaster

We all have felt it.  The shock, the vulnerability and devastation.  The how could this possibly happen? But it does and it has.

And I have come to understand that tragedy isn't something you hope to never collide
with or pray God keeps you away from.
But instead tragedy is as much a part of life as weddings and birthdays. 
As much as we want to deny
and live without it
tragedy happens.

On this anniversary of 9/11, my heart commingles with those who have lost.  I remember along with them that day, huddled with my 3 little ones.   Wondering what was next.  Why did this happen.

My heart could not really completely empathize though what that loss really was.  How could it really--  I did not have someone close to me who was lost or my life was not drastically impacted like the ones left behind.
For me tragedy took on it's significance on a spring day in 2007 when a simple climb up a ladder, a ride to the ER and 3 weeks in the hospital and months of recovery, set off a chain of events that changed everything. 
Witnessing the love of your life virtually
fighting for his does that to you.

Suddenly all of those little details like laundry, keeping a clean house and getting
to practices on time dimmed in comparison to each other.
Funny how that happens.
I couldn't tell you what it was
but I do remember that right before his fall, I was frustrated with him about something.


Tragedy does that to you.  Causes you to laser focus on the really important.

I am lucky, unlike the thousands who lost their loved ones on 9/11,
I still have mine. 
At the time and during that next year-remember the chain of events?
I did question.  Questioned my faith.  God. 
We did experience loss though-
our church, big dreams we had,
people we had trusted,
and ultimately our home.

In all that loss and all that tragedy came some real laser focus.
And while we felt a bit beaten and bruised.....we were not crushed.
And in all that questioning, God still loved us and cared for us. 
And we didn't loose faith.
Or each other.

2Cor. 4:8-12 in the Message version of the Bible says~
We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best!

And this I KNOW to be true.  Through ALL of it God was with us.  And when I needed His presence the most on those long days waiting for Doctors in the hospital, He was with me.  Holding me completely together.
And during all the recovery, and questions and loss when maybe I wasn't "feeling" it, and all the hard work of healing-----yet  He was there.
Working on our behalf- for our best.

In our tragedy, it brought us to a new place.
Yes, a new state, new home- all new.  Very Exciting now.
But the best is that He has given us new perspective and new passions.
New love for all He has done- and new love for each other.

And as I have watched all of the footage of 9/11- remembering.  I am seeing new there too. 
Healing.  So many giving God the glory for how their tragedy has taught them- given them new.

To those who are still hoping to find that healing-  Keep after it...... 
God does have that for you, I promise.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

anger

"Why are you making me do this?  You are a terrible mom........" came pouring out of an angry boy this morning.
Crushing words tearing right through my heart.
Making my way back inside after watching them go, I held back the tears.


And not for the reason you may think.
Yes, it hurts.....Punctures my ego as a mother.

Mostly though, I hurt for him. For all the anger inside calling out.
For all the changes he has had to endure this year.
For the goodbyes.....

Haven't I asked the same?  The why are you doing this to me God?
Why must I say goodbye?
Haven't I had this same anger?  And hurt for what has happened.
When things of this world.......circumstances in life.......my plans- good plans...
didn't unfold as I presumed and even trusted in.

What do you do with all this anger and hurt?
The obvious is giving it to God.......
yes, of course.
Easy enough.  But what about the next day.  When the wounds are healing?
or maybe not.

For me it has been in the digging and reading.
Reading over and over what I know to be true
despite what I was feeling.
I must have read this passage from the Bible a million times-
This morning I read it in a different version.
Listen to Him speak this to you...

I'll show up and take care of you as I promised......I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. "When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. "When you come looking for me, you'll find me. "Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed."   (Jeremiah 29:11-14 from The Message)

And He does.
And He will.
And what I am reminded of as the sting of my boy's words linger, is that because I love my son, I will continue to hold him up, walking him through this.  Because I have been there and I can see that he does have a hope and that it is going to get better.  It already has- the boy is having trouble seeing it.  But I can.
Just like my heavenly father can see for me.
So I trust when I can't see.
Letting go of the anger.
The hurt.
Allowing His embrace to be all that I need.....getting serious about finding Him and wanting it more than anything else.

And simply knowing that His plan is best.  Always best
I so want to live in the best!

Help my son today Jesus.......and all of us who wrestle with anger, disappointment, hurt.......

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Coast

Lighthouse- Newport, OR

 Good friends visiting, a birthday weekend and sunshine all beckoned us to the coast.  We packed the car with anticipation of blue skies and making memories.
Only visiting this coast a handful of times, it was hard to know what to expect.  After my first visit, while my surroundings were incredibly
breath-taking, I shivered beneath a blanket.
Not what I was accustom to.  So I was a bit disappointed.  A lifetime has been spent for the days I could relax by the rolling waves under the warmth of the sun and breath in the salt air.
A piece of heaven.  Peace.
                                                    Eventually wandering out into the waves
for a refreshing swim or walk in the water. 

This was not the beach I knew. 
It could of been easy for me allow the
disappointment to set in as it often can do. 
Tear away the moment at hand.  
But I learned something that day-
To take hold of the moment and
refuse to be disappointed. 
Because really I do have a choice. 
Peace can be mine. 
If I will just look around at all I have right here in this moment.
Even on a rocky coast.   And when it is hard
and it hurts.....

So today I embrace this new coast with some old friends.   
I choose to run along the icy waters. 
Maybe even wander in if I am really brave.                    
                                                                                                                                                       
 Breathe and enjoy this day.






And be thankful.







For boys becoming men and still hugging their mom.  
And a little girl who still giggles and tells me secrets.


This summer that we have been able to spend growing, laughing, and yes crying......

Grieving for things we had to leave behind. 
Yet so thankful for each day we had in
Colorado
and in Kentucky. 
The friendships.  Family. 
Healing time.     


 While they were here, our Denver friends brought a fresh perspective on what all this has meant.  That what was given and sacrificed was not for nothing.

A favorite writer of mine (Ann VosKamp) writes-Christ wastes nothing and He repurposes pain for His purposes and He’ll use up all of creation for His glory.

And so our healing comes to a close.

And we begin anew....



Giving God the glory.


 Ever thankful for ALL of it.



Thursday, September 1, 2011

12

Spring Break 2011, Williamsburg, VA
Needing to breathe and feeling a lack of Vitamin D, I stepped out into the sunshine.......and just walked.
I picked up my pace deciding this would be part of my workout as well.
My girl Hannah came following me on her bike.
"What are you doing mom?  Can I ride along?"
Sure, I answered.  And the thought occurred to me- she will be twelve in just days! 
Twelve. 

If you have ever spend any time with an almost 12 year old girl, you would know that my quiet time in the sun was over. 
American History Museum, Washington D.C. Spring Break 2011
I didn't mind.........twelve turns into 20 all too rapidly.  Savor this.

She chatted about her big day.  What she wanted to do.
She talked about her hopes.  Her dreams.   Anxiousness of starting a new school.  again.

I could hear the echos of my own 12 yr old voice.......The seeking to fit in yet wanting to be my own person.   The- who am I anyway?
Part of me is excited for these days.  A girl to delight in, talk with, choose the cutest shoes and best outfit with and watch the girly movies my boys wouldn't dare to...

Hannah preparing for her JoJo role in Seussical, May, 20011.

How do I guide my very own girl through this growing up when there are days I feel so ill-equipped? When I still struggle with the image in the mirror....  with the whys and hows of life.

My sweet girl.  How I would like to make this journey of becoming a woman easy for you.
Take away all the measuring sticks the world is going to hold up to you.
The constant comparisons.
 
But I can't.
I can live it out though.

I can rely solely on my Creator, my Redeemer for wisdom and strength to be the
woman He has created me to be.  Measuring up with His vision of me.
Despite what the culture tells me I should be.  look like.  act like.

I am keenly aware of how I respond to this culture's draw to constant comparison impacts my girl........and all the women in my sphere of influence.

The other day reading on my bed.
A friend read this verse to encourage me the other day.

Psalm 43:3-4a~
Give me your lantern and compass,
      give me a map
So I can find my way to the sacred mountain,
      to the place of your presence, 
To enter the place of worship,
      meet my exuberant God...(The Message)

This truly is the only way for me to guide her.  Help me God.

Twelve.  Happy Birthday precious girl.