Rejected and Accepted

Rejected

Dejected because of my rejection

Covered in the cloud that wraps itself around

Me.

Humming groans of an orphan child.

Emotionally

looking to be embraced by the ones who birthed

Me.

Aching wounded heart.

Lost confused child.

Unmet. Expectations.

Accepted

Adopted because of your crucifixion

“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani!”

Forsaken, you were

For me, you were

Earth shaking,

Temple system shattering

The Almighty accepting

Sacrifice received.

Adoption, agreed.

Light.

Warmth.

Comfort.

Healing my wounded heart.

Finding my way in you,

Secure.

Forever. Satisfied.

3/14/15

#freethoughts #freewrite(s)

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He Is

Always remember, God is worthy of your patience

Always remember, God is worthy of your faithfulness.

Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame, they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous

Psalm 25:3

#peptalk #ohmysoul #freethoughts #freewrite(s)

Now!

Now.

I want holiness now.
I want to be sanctified now.
I want to be out of debt right now.
I want my kids, from the 6yr old to the 4 month old, to understand and live out the gospel now and therefore obey when I speak the first time.
I want to have full understanding of scripture now.
And of course, apply that knowledge fully now.

But.

All this “nowness” doesn’t leave much room for God. A life filled with perfection and completeness doesn’t need a God who is perfect. A life without need doesn’t need a God who meets needs.

So here I am, with many needs looking to our perfect God to satisfy each and every one of my needs in a very deep and meaningful way one day at a time.

Minute by minute, hour by hour.

So, the journey continues…

#FreeThoughts
#FreeWrite(s)

Reflections
When you find yourself impatient with where God has you in life how do you press to focus on the journey of sanctification and not just the destination?

Scripture
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22

Songs
Hymn: I Need Thee Every Hour by Annie Sherwood Hawks
When You Praise by Fred Hammond

 

The Battle for Peace

Ever since I can remember, I have always struggled with fear.  There have been seasons of my life where I felt as if fear was going to swallow me whole. But, within the last few years there has been a very real battle going on in my heart.  A battle for truth and an answer to the call to not only mother, but to simply just live, with faithful courage.  I have been warring with the fear that the darkness of this world will overtake me.  Seeing the events in the news, what goes on in my own city, and the people that I encounter – many days all I see is darkness. There is this sense that wickedness will engulf me; so I fight to lift my heart to the truths found only in the testimony of God’s faithful word.

And again Jesus spoke to them saying “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life” John 8:12

and

Though I walk in the midst of trouble you preserve my life you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies and your right hand delivers me. The LORD will fulfill his purposes for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands Psalm 23:4

and

The LORD is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid…Though an army encamp against me my heart shall not fear though war arise against me yet I will be confident.  Psalm 27:1,3

Though the fig tree should not blossom,

nor fruit be on the vines,

the produce of the olive fail

and the fields yield no food,

the flock be cut off from the fold

and there be no herd in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord;

I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

God, the Lord, is my strength;

he makes my feet like the deer’s;

he makes me tread on my high places.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

I encourage you to fightFight to remember that we serve a God whose greatness is not threatened by the sinfulness of man. To the degree that this world is ruled by darkness and wickedness (Eph 6:12) God’s light and holiness infinitely more abounds. His plan and purposes always come about and darkness cannot overtake it (Eph 1:3-14, Heb 13:20). God is calling us to be participants in his work for his kingdom but we must be strong and courageous in Him (Joshua 1:7-9, Eph 6:10-20).  God is always at work, He ultimately is doing all the work but He calls us to be ready for the battle.

Fight for your spiritual vitality

Fight for the hearts of your children

Fight for purity

Fight to continuously strengthen your marriage

Fight to know Him intimately and make Him known to people you encounter.

 

Don’t shrink back but be ready for the war. Our God is not only on our side but he has already won the battle.

Ten Years Ago Today: Reflections on the Death of My Brother

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Ten years ago today, my brother died. It was by far the worst day of my life. And the days that followed were the darkest.  This day ten years ago changed my life forever.  Not just the fact that I no longer had my brother in my life, but it challenged all that I believed about God and his love for me.

Before my brother died, I would say that my faith was strong. I trusted Christ as my Savior at the age of 12 and didn’t look back.  But man did my faith get rocked in a way I never expected. Death is rude. I say that because I feel like it abruptly disturbed my life in a way I wasn’t ready for.  One day I hear my brother’s voice talking on the phone in the room next to me. Then not even 24 hours later death comes and robs me of my closest friend.

This type of suffering as a believer I didn’t know existed.  I knew we could suffer for the sake of the gospel but things like this as a normal part the believer’s walk I was oblivious to. So after the funeral, the burial, and after everyone went home to continue on with their “normal” lives the battle for my faith began.  At first I was depressed, everything I saw was gray.  Then I got angry, extremely angry.  Angry that this God who said he loved me would take my brother from me.  And in my anger I stopped praying, I stopped reading my bible, I didn’t go to church and I just shook my fist at God screaming “why, I thought you loved me!!!!” My heart was so broken.  But because God loved me, he wouldn’t let me stay that way.  The question was would I let Him draw near to me?

Although I wanted to give up God wouldn’t let me, even in those low times I felt him calling me to him.  He wanted to be my comfort (Ps 147:3).  He wanted to teach me through my heartache, his deep love for me and his ability to carry me through this dark time.  So one day, after nights of unrest, I sought him.  I pleaded with Him.  I cried out that I didn’t understand why he would allow this to happen but I wanted to trust that what his word says is true.  I literally wanted to die because the pain was so great and I needed him to keep me. And you know what?  He did exactly that.  Although this was the darkest time of my life, I felt the Lord most closest to me.  He came in and covered me with his great and powerful wings.

So what could’ve caused me to turn my back on God, God used to strengthen my faith in Him.  I wouldn’t know His great ability to comfort if I wasn’t in great turmoil.  The scriptures are so much more real to me and I can say without wavering that He will never leave me or forsake me.  And you know, the journey continues because I am still grieving the lost of my brother. And as long as I am on this earth I will always grieve. Because of my loss everything is bitter sweet.  On April 17th each year I celebrate my birthday.  But 10 days later marks another year my brother is no longer here. I look at my son and daughter and think about me and my brother and how I miss our friendship. I’m sad because he’s not around to meet my children or my husband. I wonder what he would’ve been like in his 30s what would our friendship be like. I wonder if he would’ve married by now and had children. I think of my brother often. I miss him.

Ten years later, God has been the greatest comfort to me.  And He continues to walk me through the darkness.  And I am sure that more dark days are coming for me, but I know going in He who keeps me and I am not afraid (Ps 23).

Reflections
  • God uses trying times to allow us to walk closer with him, do you view your trials/losses as such?
  • I was confronted with what the scriptures say and what my brokenness was telling me. Remember our emotions are not indicators of truth but they must be filtered by God’s word.
  • Suffering in this world is not foreign in the life of the believer, don’t be surprised when heartache comes.
  • The lowest and darkest times of our lives is when God can walk closest with us, don’t push him away.

Food to Eat and Clean Underwear: Realistic Expectations

After having two babies in 12 months, while still working part-time and being married to a man who works full-time while going to school at night 4 days out of the week you’d think I’d know how to set realistic expectations for myself. Well I don’t. I am constantly slapped in the face with the fact that there are a lot of tasks I cannot accomplish in this season of life. And the funny thing is that just when I think I’ve adjusted my expectations to a reasonable level – smack! I’m hit with the reality that they were once again unrealistic. So I think I’ve broken them down to as simple as they can get: food to eat and clean underwear. If I can accomplish that I’ll feel like I’ve done something. But you know to be honest, some days I don’t even accomplish that. Here’s a thought, maybe instead of measuring accomplishments by my to-do list I need to learn to measure my accomplishments by living each day according to what Jesus says is important for that day. I can have home cooked meals, a spotless house, workout three times a week, read my Bible every morning but be unloving and unavailable to my family. There have been times I found myself responding out of irritation towards them because they’ve gotten in the way of me completing my to-do list. But I’m pretty sure when I stand before the Lord he will not say “well done my faithful servant, you folded clothes and cooked those meals just as I commanded”. Jesus is more concerned with how I treat and serve my family than with whether I completed my to-do list. And most times the best way for me to serve my family is to not look at my to-do list. Although I would love to make homemade bread and delicious organic low calorie meals everyday – it’s not happening! Maybe one day. But not today. I have to take it one day at a time and ask God for wisdom to see what is most important for me to accomplish for each day. Some days I will complete many things I have to do around the house but there are most days when I don’t because I have chosen to pour into my family. For example, I’ve taken the time to listen and pray with my husband if he’s had a rough day, or I sit and cuddle with my son on the couch as we watch Blue’s Clues, and even dance around the kitchen with the music turned all the way up so that my daughter can shake her little head to the beat. All of these choices I’ve made in order to serve my family with hopes that it will count towards eternity. My husband needs my attentive ear after a long difficult day and to hear my prayers for him, and my children need to sense my love, care, and concern for them even at this young age. I simply need to make myself available to them. Because our life is so crazy right now many tasks will not be attended to most of the time and I am slowing becoming ok with that. God did not promise that I would fully complete my to-do list from day to day but He does promise to give me the grace needed to do all that he wants me to do for each day (Heb 13:20:21).

Reflections

  • While we are responsible to manage our households well it does not just mean completing a list of household tasks. We have to be lead by the Holy Spirit in relation to the needs of our family for each day. Are you cultivating an attentive ear to the leading of the Holy Spirit or are you too busy crossing of items on your to-do list?
  • Ask the Lord for help and for discernment in serving your family for each day. This means you will have to seek him everyday.
  • “Christian childrearing is a pastoral pursuit, not an organizational challenge. The more children you have, the more you need to be pastorally minded. Look to each of their souls and their needs” Rachel Jankovic