Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Comforting Arms

She was restless and whiny, obviously in need of something but neither one of us knew what. Nothing I suggested seemed to do the trick - my almost 3-year-old didn't want a snack, didn't want to read books and we'd already watched enough TV. After more suggestions and emphatic "no's", on a whim I whisked her up into my lap expecting her to reject that idea, too. But she didn't. She snuggled into my arms and as I felt her whole body relax I wrapped my arms even tighter around her wanting to freeze the moment. We stayed like that a long time, she and I, just being still and loving on each other. And after an unknown amount of time (I sure wasn't keeping track) she bounced up, at peace again, ready to move on with the day. Ah, the power of being still in a mother's arms . . .

My soul was restless and I was whiny, obviously in need of something but not knowing what. Nothing I could think of seemed to do the trick - I didn't want to snack (although I did anyway), didn't want to read anything and I sure didn't want to watch TV. After several suggestions and emphatic "no's", on a whim my husband suggested we continue watching a DVD Bible Study we had started a few nights before probably expecting me to reject that idea, too. Well, I did. But he persisted and I gave in. I snuggled into the couch and the speaker started in on pursuing godly joy. The verses flowed and as familiar words of comfort and challenge resonated in my ears I felt my whole body relax as my Father wrapped His arms tighter and tighter around me. We stayed like that a long time, He and I, just being still and allowing Him to love on me. And after the DVD was over (30ish minutes?? I sure wasn't keeping track) my spirit bounced up, at peace again, ready to move on with the day. Ah, the power of being still in the Father's arms . . .

Friday, December 5, 2008


I l-o-v-e this video.

They're starting a new Saturday night service at our church and we got a preview of it this past Sunday morning. A little more contemporary, different music style, same message. They played this video before the start of service and I think it's an awesome reminder that worship is NOT about us. NOT about how it makes us feel. It should be about the object of our worship and it's easy to lose that in preferences and tradition.

It's short - take 2-3 minutes and watch . . .you will be so blessed!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Great Post (Um, Not Mine)

I'm cheating at my own blog today. Rather than me writing anything (well, anything substantial) I'm directing you to someone else's blog who consistently blows my mind, often makes me teary and always makes me think.

Go read this post at Bring The Rain.

If you're not already familiar with this blog, the writer is Angie Smith. Her husband, Todd, sings in the Christian group Selah - which is an amazing group if you've not heard them. (Here's the link to their myspace page if you want to hear some song snippets.)

They have twin girls (age 5 or 6ish), a 3ish year old and then recently lost a baby girl soon after birth. This gal's faith blows me away. She has such a gifted way with words - eloquent but everyday. Challenging but never preachy. Convicted but full of grace and love.

Can you tell how much I love her blog??? Go check it out - I recommend even starting from the beginning and taking it a few posts at a time. But at least read the post about The Glorious Hem. It's a beautiful way to think about this life and the journeys we end up on . . .and also where we're going.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Now What?

I started this post the Wednesday morning after the election . . .the beginning of this make more sense if you know that :-)

Well. It's over. What in the world will we all talk about NOW? :-)

I heard a great observation today on the radio. The DJ commented that most people were walking around today either on cloud nine or completely down in the dumps based on the outcome of yesterday's election. There's not a whole lot of in-between, apathetic feelings floating around right now.

And I think that's GREAT.

So what is our response now to all this as Christians?

I think first, no matter who you voted for we are called to pray. Pray for wisdom for President-Elect Obama as he considers who he will surround himself with. Pray that he will have a humble heart and listen for God's direction for our country. Pray for his protection as well as his family's.

This really isn't an option. We HAVE to pray.

But what else?

I think voting was just the beginning.

My prayer is that all this fervor and excitement we all felt during the election process will not die down but only increase. This government is not a monarchy - it's supposed to be a representation of the people. So wouldn't it make sense to let your leaders know what we the people are thinking? (I'm writing this just as much for myself since I have never been involved in politics.) Get informed on what's going on and let your reps know what you think.

Piggybacking on Brian's comment from the other day . . .if Jesus called us to love our neighbors then think about how that affects your view on immigration, poverty, etc. Jesus called us to take care of the "least of these" [Matt 25:40] . . . how does that affect those that can't afford insurance - who choose between medicine they need and food to eat for the week? What about the unborn? Tie that to the "loving our neighbor" command and I'm thinking that standing outside abortion clinics with graphic posters and hate signs really isn't the way to go here (Do you really see Jesus doing such a thing??).

Let's get involved in affecting the policies in this country without losing the two greatest commandments . . ."Love the Lord your God" and "Love your neighbor as yourself." [Mark 12:29-31]

Like I said, I'm writing this just as much for myself as anything. I'm horrible at getting involved in politics, knowing all the issues, etc. But maybe this is a good early New Year's resolution for some of us?

By the way - if any of you have favorite websites you use to keep informed, contact your reps, etc. then feel free to pass them along in the comments. And even if nobody does it's no excuse . . .we all know how to Google :-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Remember . . .

This is an amazingly exciting day for our country. By late tonight we'll (hopefully - barring any complications like in 2000) know who our next president is.

But I wanted to pass along some wisdom our pastor shared with us this past Sunday . . .

Yes, we have a responsibility to vote.

We should vote for who we believe morally and biblically can lead our country best.


No matter who is elected today, Tuesday, remember that God will still be on His throne Wednesday morning.

As Christians let us remember to pray, pray, pray for whomever is elected. That he will have open ears and eyes. And a humble heart willing to be led by our Lord in every decision.

Happy voting!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


The other day I ran out to the car to grab something I'd forgotten. When I heard my 2 year old shut the door behind me my first instinct was to panic . . .was I locked out? Was she locked in? What if she got into [insert any sharp, poisonous or non-AAP approved item here]?

As I headed back toward the door,mind reeling, I was suddenly conscious that my hand was still holding something.


I had no need to worry. In the midst of my panic I had forgotten that my hand held everything I needed in that moment.

The Lord is very humorous - and obvious - in His lessons to me sometimes.

Having recently moved far away from friends, family and basically my huge circle of comfort I've experienced many moments of spiritual "panic": Loneliness, fatigue, doubt, sadness, impatience, etc., etc. (the list is l-o-n-g).

But, as the Lord so sweetly reminded me that day in the driveway, I have everything I need in Him. There's no need to panic.

So this is what I'm learning . . .

Lonely? Cry out to Him for comfort.

Fatigue? Ask for rest - whether it comes in a change of heart, perspective or circumstances.

Doubt? Request reminders and reassurance from the Spirit of His guidance.

Sad? Talk to the Lord about it.

Impatient? Confess and ask for grace and His strength.

When Christ lives in us, we have the keys we need. We're never locked out from his presence, comfort or help.

Praise the Lord for that!

Monday, October 20, 2008

More Persecution Talk . . .

This has been an interesting little conversation about persecution, compassion, etc. going on around here!

If you haven't been to www.persecution.org yet I strongly urge you to GO. It has short summaries of current persecution news and then you can click to get the full story. It will open your eyes.

But, interestingly enough, the place where I saw the coverage about Christians fleeing Mosul in Iraq and then today about a Christian worker assassinated in Afghanistan by the Taliban was on CNN.com. Regardless of your opinion of the media, the bias, etc. I have to say that someone at CNN.com is keeping an eye on this stuff and that's GREAT. (I looked on foxnews.com and couldn't find the same story.)

Regarding the Christians having to flee Mosul, the following quote breaks my heart. This is one of the Christian leaders there speaking:
Although “hopeful” about the situation of Mosul’s Christian community, Warduni did not hesitate to criticize what he calls the “silence” of the international community on the human rights of Iraq’s Christian community.

“I want to tell the developed world that from the outset no one has said anything,” he said. “No one is talking about the rights of Christians and minorities in Iraq. We are waiting for support from the outside, at least as human beings not only as Christians.”


Make you want to do something?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Compassion (or Persecution Part 2)

I love how the Lord works.

The other day I wrote the post on Persecution (see below) and our good buddy Brian made some wonderful comments that really got my wheels turning. Especially on how we as Christians treat those different from us.

That very evening I read the following that had popped up in my inbox. It's a daily email from James Robison about praying for our nation (see www.thesoulofanation.com) It was so good and so applicable to the discussion that I just wanted to post it in it's entirety:

The Soul of a Nation: Day 11 Loving Our Enemies

When considering the short list of America’s enemy states, certainly Iran would rank in the top five, challenging North Korea for the top spot. But Jesus said, “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44); so in December 2003, when reports came pouring in following the 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Bam, Iran, Americans responded immediately and generously.

Alabama disaster relief workers were first on the scene. Iranians thought “Alabama” stenciled on the supply crates was our use of their language, meaning “God with us.” The impression of Americans bringing God to their aid speaks louder than any speech, commentary or treaty. It is life and love undeniable.

America should pursue such opportunities. Compassion could be the greatest weapon in our arsenal, because it so effectively encourages peace.

Compassion works. It does not always happen overnight, but ultimately love conquers all.

It’s not always easy to act with compassion. Please join me in reading Matthew 5:38-48. We need God’s help to shed our selfishness and clothe ourselves with righteousness and grace toward others. Take time today to ask God to bless you with eyes to see the world with compassion.

Lord Jesus, Your standards for us are high. The world teaches us to hate and destroy our enemies, but You say to love them, bless them and pray for them. This is so counter to what our hearts tell us to do. Remake our hearts, Lord. Give us Your heart so that we can move with love toward those who hate us. As you give us strength and opportunity to bless them, change their hearts toward us as well. Bring peace where there is hostility, unity where there is division. I do pray for our enemies, Lord. You see the anger and bitterness in their hearts. Reveal Your love to them and bring Your transforming healing. You alone are able to make something good tomorrow out of the evil that pervades today.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


So, if I ever write again about not having anything to write about just ignore me :-) Ever since that post I have continually run across various stories that have pricked my heart and moved me to share with somebody.

Lately my heart has been so burdened for our brothers and sisters around the world. I'm getting the feeling that I don't have half a clue what most of them endure daily just for the name of Christ.

It seems incomprehensible that persecution of Christians goes on in this present age. Here are some snippets I've found lately . . .take the time to read and ask how the Lord wants you to respond. I've been asking and I don't have an answer yet (well, besides this little bloggy post) but I know we need to be in prayer for our fellow Christians. The enemy is still prowling like a roaring lion. . .

Read here about Christians being threatened, killed and forced out of a region of Iraq (in the Ninevah province - sound familiar to anyone? We sometimes are silently critical of Jonah for being so afraid to go to Ninevah but who of us wouldn't have a similar response if asked to go there today in these conditions??)

This seems to be a reputable website detailing Christian persecution around the world (although I haven't checked it out thoroughly so let me know if you see something not right on there). Especially of note on this website is to read about the persecution in the Orissa region of India. Unbelievable. This is a quote taken from the news story:
The sustained violence, now running into its seventh week, has killed at least 52 people. Hindu extremists have also burned down 4,500 houses, 100 churches and 20 convents, as well as presbyteries and other Church institutions. About 50,000 people have been rendered homeless.

How have we NOT heard about this? It is so frustrating to me.

I know all this is nothing new but I feel like my eyes are just now being opened to what's really going on in this world. There is definitely a battle going on and our brothers and sisters NEED our intercession. Now that I'm aware - and will continue to seek information - not interceeding doesn't seem like an option.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Christmas Challenge (Yes - in October)!

So here I am musing about how I don't feel inspired to write much anymore on this blog when, lo and behold (what does that mean anyway??) something struck me today.

Randomly poking around the Internet I landed on this little snippet of a story (it's off of the Life Outreach International website . . .they're the ones that produce Life Today with James and Betty Robison if any of you watch that).

The gist of the article is a pastor's challenge to his congregation at Christmastime last year:

Spend half of what you did last year on gifts for friends and family.

With the other "unspent" half: Save 25%. Give the other 25% away.

This is not a huge sacrifice. This is doable. Um, haven't talked to hubby about it yet but it sounds like a great idea to me.

Anyone else onboard?

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I love writing.

I love writing this blog.

For some reason, however, it's become more difficult lately. Partly because life is just busy. But don't we always make time for what really matters to us? I find myself aware at how much time goes by in between posts but feel creatively dry.

I started this blog because I no longer felt good about having my "personal" blog available to any Joe Schmo with pictures of my family, most especially our daughter. But I still wanted a place to share spiritual thoughts, encouragements and struggles . . .I didn't want to cordon off my whole self from blogland (i.e. the two other people that read this - ha!). So I made this blog sans personal info or pictures to keep it public and made my personal blog private. Problem solved I thought.

And for a while the posts came flowing. For whatever reason over the past several months that flow has slowed to a drip. I almost get the feeling that the blog has served it's purpose - whatever it was - and it's time to move on.


I can't want to completely close this blog out yet. Maybe it's just a season. But for you two people that read this, check back every now and then just in case I get inspired. :-)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What the Lord Has NOT Done

Yesterday morning I heard the following verse on a local radio station:
"He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities." Psalm 103:10

And I was struck at how thankful I am at what the Lord has NOT done . . .

He has not treated us as our sins deserve

He does not repay us according to our inequities

He has not allowed us to be moved out from under the umbrella of His unfailing love

He has not given up on us

He has not allowed the enemy to consume us

He has not let the waters sweep over us or the fires set us ablaze

He has not left us alone

He will not break us even when we are bruised reeds

He will not snuff us out even when we are just smoldering wicks

And on and on . . .Praise the Lord for what He has done. And NOT done.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Marinate Me

We've been visiting different churches every Sunday since we moved as I am so anxious to find "our" place and plug in. The preacher at the last church we visited delivered one of those sermons that was so full of wisdom I couldn't hardly keep up with it. My mind was constantly turning over each point and then he'd lay down another for me to chew on. I knew I'd have to listen to this one several times. (Good thing they gave visitors a free CD of that morning's message!)

One of the phrases he used has stuck in my brain. As he spoke on the need for quality quiet time with the Lord he said,
"Sometimes you need to just marinate yourself in it (the Spirit)."

What a great visual! When you marinate something long enough (quality time) it soaks into the core of food - it becomes an integral part of the overall taste. But even that is only true if what you're marinating is porous enough, ready to receive the flavor. If you don't give something enough time to marinate it can't soak through very deep. It looks nice and coated on the outside but that's the only place the taste will be. Cut off the outside and the inside shows no trace of the flavor. It's easily separated. AND, according to our household grilling expert - my hubby - if you don't marinate meat for long enough and then toss it on the grill the flame will destroy the flavor of the marinade. It will be like it was never on there to begin with.

I want to soak in the Spirit. I want to spend enough quality time with him that he is all the way through me - to the core where he is an integral part of me. Not just on the outside where I appear to be covered in Spirit but the inside remains unchanged. Not so shallow that the flames of life and of the enemy can wipe away any trace of Spirit, as if he were never there. I want to be soaked to the bone.

This, not surprisingly, is NOT easy for me!!! In a house with an early-rising toddler and an extremely needy dog (seriously - if you've met her you know where I'm coming from) there is a shortage of long stretches of quiet. And the enemy isn't giving me a break anytime soon. Also not surprisingly, every since I recommitted (well, attempting) to wake up early in quest of quiet time something has come in the way. Most often it's my own reluctance to get out of bed. But once I'm out, the dog is going crazy and/or the girl is waking up. Sigh . . .

But I'll keep trying to marinate myself in the Spirit and trust that he can use even micro-mustard seed efforts.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1

Today a wonderful rain fell on a dry and weary land.

Literally in that the region we're in is in the middle of drought - the lake close to us is down 15 feet we hear and there's strict watering restrictions. But today a wonderful thunderstorm rained down and quenched the thirsty land.

Figuratively in that lately I have felt like that dry and weary land. Still adjusting to a cross-state move away from friends and family can be trying at times (I think that's just human). This morning I woke feeling in a "funk". I knew the enemy was baiting me into a deeper pit and I so did not want to go. Earnestly I prayed (even though no right words or desires would come) and spent some time in the Word. I just felt the need to be close to God even though I didn't know how that would happen. I was thirsty for Him because I knew there was no other way to get through the day.

And He sent the quenching rain.

Not one big downpour, but more like a gentle shower on and off throughout the day. A phone call at just the right time. Listening to my girl sing a praise song. Getting to SEE and talk to my parents (webcams are FUN!!).

I am so in awe of the Lord. Who am I that HE would be mindful of ME???? I never have a good answer to that question.

But I don't feel so dry and weary anymore.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What Do You Do . . .

When there's nothing else to be done?

Check out the story of this worship leader from Hillsong, his sudden diagnosis with cancer and his response. The first video is the story behind the song, the second is the song itself. Take the time to watch both - it is well worth the time. Be encouraged!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Identity Part 2

Well, it only took me forever to follow up that last post! We have been in the midst of moving and, well, just general chaos.

But I've so wanted to post the following list. It was given to me on a bookmark during a fabulous Bible study and I have read it over and over (and over . . .) And you can be sure I've been reading it even more lately. Thank you Lord for your beautiful promises!

Who The Bible Says I Am:

The salt of the earth (Matt 5:13)
The light of the world (Matt 5:14)
A child of God (John 1:12)
Part of the true vine (John 15:5)
Christ's friend (John 15:15)
Chosen by Christ (John 15:16)
A personal witness for Christ (Acts 1:8)
A slave of righteousness (Romans 6:18)
Enslaved to God (Romans 6:22)
A daughter/son of God (Romans 8:14-15)
A joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)
A temple where God's Spirit dwells (I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19)
Joined to the Lord (I Cor. 6:17)
A part of Christ's body (I Cor. 12:27)
A new person (2 Cor. 5:17)
One in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-29)
An heir of God (Gal. 4:6-7)
God's workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
Righteous (Eph. 4:24)
A citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
Hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
An expression of the life of Christ (Col. 3:4)
Chosen of God (Col. 3:12)
Holy (Col. 3:12)
Dearly loved (Col. 3:12)
A daughter/son of light (I Thess. 5:5)
A part of God's holy family (Hebrews 3:1)
A living stone (I Peter 2:5)
Royalty (I Peter 2:9-10)
Part of a priesthood (I Peter 2:9-10)
God's own personal possession (I Peter 2:9-10)
An alien and stranger in this world (I Peter 2:11)
An enemy of Satan (I Peter 5:8)
A sheep in the Lord's pasture (Psalm 23 and 100)

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Dang it.

I hate when I feel compelled to post about something I really don't want to. It's easier to post generally encouraging stories and thoughts than struggles that are not so shiny and happy. But if we're all about transparency and authenticity (as it should be) then here goes.

"Pretty girls". That's what my dear friend and I always labeled "those" girls who always seemed to have the perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect complexion, perfect body, perfect personality, perfect, perfect, perfect ad nauseaum. As in, "Hey, did you know so-and-so in high school?" "Yeah, she was one of the 'pretty girls'"

Well, three of the sweetest "pretty girls" have walked into my life and will be a part of it for at least the next year or so. And as they're standing in my living room, I'm noticing all their "prettiness" and feeling SO un-pretty in every way. I all of the sudden felt old and boring - and definitely hoping my husband isn't making comparisons. Stupid enemy - I didn't see this pit coming my way and it's been a real battle ever since. Extra scrutiny of face in the morning (why does it still think I'm 15? Stupid acne.), second guessing hair, clothes, etc. Surely I am not the only woman who fights/has fought this battle.

And you know what it comes down to? Where is my security? What is my identity? Am I going to choose to be defined by living up to others' standards or am I going to choose to believe who I am in Christ? (You know, holy, dearly loved, chosen, heir with Jesus . . .all that super-amazing stuff that doesn't even rival which shorts I wear today.)

I was reminded of this again this morning as I sat at my vanity trying hard not to scrutinize. Suddenly I was aware of the t-shirt I had slept in last night that I had yet to shed. It was a gift from my sister at our wedding rehearsal (although I was so jittered by nerves I didn't realize I should have put it on that night . . .but I digress!). A simple white shirt with black lettering: Bride.

I am the Bride of Christ - part of His holy church. And suddenly nothing really seemed comparable to that identification. This made me feel infinitely better.

(But please understand I've had to have this conversation with myself at least a gazillion times today already. Did I mention how stupid the enemy is with his stupid lies????)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Why Am I Surprised?

Our little family is on the verge of a huge change - two actually. I normally don't do change well. Throw me a life preserver because I am usually drowning myself in details, worrying about things I have no control over.

I wanted this time to be different. I've been praying for peace and joy in the midst of the chaos. To know (and act like I know) that God is indeed in charge of every single detail and HE will take care of it.

And you know what?

God said yes to that prayer. I have never felt so calm, so peaceful about such huge changes. I still have my moments, but I overwhelmingly know that God will take care of it all.

So why am I so surprised that He said yes? I have actually found myself lately fretting about my lack of anxiety! How's that for an ungrateful and confused gift recipient??! I feel so peaceful that I worry it will all crash down on me unexpectedly. The lack of anxiety makes me wonder if I'm just in heavy denial.

I think at this point God might be tempted to roll His eyes at me.

And it makes me wonder if I really understand Who I am praying to? I'm not just venting to someone as powerless as myself. I'm requesting mercy and grace from Someone who CAN do something about it.

Lord, I believe . . .but help me in my unbelief!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I usually try to stay away from very personal posts on this particular blog, but this thought came to me so strongly last night that I had to post.

Whatever is going on in your life right now, whomever or whatever has walked out or walked over your heart, no matter how bad it is - and no doubt that some of you are in unbelievable circumstances right now - listen up:

Your God has not failed you.

Justice may have failed you. Other humans may have failed you. Living in a fallen world may have failed you. But your God has not.

Last fall my husband and I lost an already much-loved baby only 7 1/2 weeks into the pregnancy. I'm reminded even more so about this as we just passed the baby's Man-given due date, although I know that was never the date God had in mind. Please understand that a loss at any stage is still the loss of a child and we grieved intensely. It was a hard, hard road that came with many questions - my thought process started to sound like the book of Job with various versions of the same question: Why?

And one day as I poured over Scripture, the following verse leaped off the page and said to me clear as day, "I did not fail you."

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
Psalm 13:5

If you read the context of that verse the author is lamenting and praying for relief from despair. But he knows to trust the God who loves him unfailingly. A love that does not fail. He has not been failed by God.

I was not failed by God. I had to cross that off the list of possible reasons for this unfathomable occurrence in our life.

In the midst of life's trying circumstances it is so natural for us to question God. I know I've done more than my fair share. But I think God is okay with that - he allowed Jacob to wrestle with him for an entire night when He could have squashed him in a nanosecond.

But my point today is that in the wrestling don't forget that God loves you with an unfailing love. It is impossible for Him to fail His children. Let Him love on you during this trying time and don't let the enemy deceive you into thinking God has anything but perfect, unfailing love for you - His child.

Monday, June 9, 2008


I heard this song for the first time yesterday and the lyrics spoke so deeply to my heart that I had to share . . .

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly
- "Whatever You're Doing" Sanctus Real

Amen. Amen.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Fun Widget ---->

I just put a new widget on the blog - it allows everyone to see who's commented on which post! Fun! This way if I reply y'all can see it over there -----> without having to check back on different posts. Ah, blog world is so fun!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Deep Roots

Last night I was able to do one of my favorite things that I rarely get to do.

Little girl was in bed and hubby had to run to Lowe's. So I headed out back, folded up in my favorite adirondack chair and listened to the locusts serenade as dusk slowly faded into evening.

As I was gazing up at the majestic trees in our neighborhood, I was admiring the varying shades of green. And then I thought, "I wonder if they know summer is coming? It will be hot. And dry."

But then it also dawned on me that in the heat of a Texas summer, when my landscaping has long succumbed to the 300 degree temperatures (or something like that) those trees will stay green.

And then as I was pondering why that was, the gentle answer came:

Deep roots.

In the unrelenting summer heat those trees endure because they're pulling their sustenance from a deeper, unseen reservoir.

Anyone see the spiritual connection yet? :-)

Forming deep roots takes time. A tree doesn't decide to dig deep just in time for summer. It spends years - season after season - forming a stronger connection to the life-giving underground flow that sustains it.

Our spiritual life should be much the same. And I can only say that as one who is very much in need of this lesson. I should be spending every season of my life - whether winter or spring - forming a stronger connection with my Father that sustains me.

And then when summers come, and things around me are wilting, my roots will sustain me. The deeper, unseen reservoir will feed me.

Lord, give me deep roots!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Word of the Day

This is one of those not-so-deep posts . . .

When I was in elementary school our principal would come over the loudspeaker every so often (um, maybe more often towards May) and say, "The word of the day is CALM. C-A-L-M. CALM."

Of course, we were VERY mature 6th graders and never mocked this attempt to restore sanity in our classrooms. No. Not ever.

So just for fun - if you could have a word-of-the-day today, what would it be??

Monday, May 26, 2008

But I Neeeeeeed It!

I heard someone say once that God creates all His own visuals to accompany the lessons He's teaching us.

Need a reminder of God's majesty and creativity? Check out the sunset.

Need to remember that God makes all things new? A little thing called Spring.

Need to understand God as our Father? Listen to a child.

My own daughter provides a plethora of illustrations in my daily life. Lately, one of her favorite phrases is, "I need it!" Well, actually it comes out something more like, "I neeeeeeeed it!!!"

No matter how often I explain that, no, she really does not neeeeeed to eat a cookie for breakfast it usually doesn't do any good. She becomes upset at the situation and also at ME for not giving her what she wants.

Is this what I sound like sometimes to my Lord? Does He get tired of hearing me say, in so many words, "I neeeeeed it!"? And then maybe He rolls His eyes when I become upset that the answer wasn't "Yes"? When, really, like my toddler I just don't understand the whole situation?

Eventually, we hope that our daughter will accept our "yes" and "no" without argument based on our character - that our decisions are always for her eventual benefit. However, it's so hard for ME to accept those same answers from my Heavenly Father at times. Even though I know His character (faithful, loving, unfailing) when I get a "no" from Him I still tend to whine, "But I neeeeed it!!!" and throw a good ol' spiritual fit.

When our daughter throws a fit we know just to stay close by and it will pass. Then she'll be ready for a snuggle and to move on to the next thing. I'm so glad our Heavenly Father is the author of that strategy - He's had much practice waiting out my own tantrums and is always waiting with open arms when I'm ready to go sneaking back into His lap.

Thank you Father for your "visuals"! Give me eyes to see and ears to hear . . .

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Good Running Music?

I've always enjoyed running (I know - sick) but have really gotten away from it the last several years.

Last Fall, just a few days after we suffered a very personal loss, my hubby ran his 2nd half marathon. I so admired his determination to still get out there and run in the midst of our intense grief. In fact, he was the very picture of Hebrews 12:1b
" . . .let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us'

It was so inspirational to watch him be a living example of a spiritual truth - persevering and enduring the path chosen for us one step at a time. I remember thinking that I could turn my grief into something positive and start running again as a reminder to keep persevering.

Well, 7 months later I finally held myself to that thought. Better late than never, right?

I have found that I LOVE running at dusk. The sun isn't beating down anymore, the neighbors are out walking dogs, and I can reflect and run off the day's frustrations all in the glory and creativity of God's glorious creation all around me.

I always, always bring my iPod. Must. Have. Music.

Right now I get so pumped starting my run to the David Crowder Band's "Everything Glorious". It's awesome rounding the corner of my street, matching the pounding steps to the pounding beat while my soul gets a lift from the awesome lyrics.

So. I need help with finding some more great running music. Any suggestions out there? Doesn't necessarily have to be Christian but most definitely positive and uplifting. What tunes get YOU going???

Friday, May 23, 2008

What Our Lives Are REALLY Like . . .

On phone with hubby discussing me flying out to meet him while he's on a work trip . . .

Wifey: "So, I haven't bought my ticket yet."
Hubs: "What time are you thinking of flying in?"
W: "Not sure yet. Why?"
H: "That will make a difference whether or not I pick you up. In rush hour that will be a long trip for me."
W: "Ummm . . .So how else do you propose I meet you after I land?"
H: "Ummm . . .Taxi."

Enter deafening silence

W: "Taxi. You want me to take a taxi rather than have to come pick me up???"
H: "Nevermind. I'll come get you."
W: Decibals increasing"TAXI? You really wanted me to fly to a strange city and take a TAXI rather than fight rush hour traffic???"
H: "I'll pick you up."
W: "TAXI???"
H: "How long are you going to go on about this?"
W: "Possibly for quite some time. TAXI. I'm SO going to blog about this."

I'm claiming insanity in his defense - he's been under a lot of stress. And by the end of the conversation we were laughing so hard we could hardly talk . . .ahhh - the absurdity of everyday life . . .

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Seeking Explanations

We just returned from an out-of-town trip with our toddler. The hotel room where we stayed was actually a two-story room with a loft and another hotel room below us. Needless to say, the stairs were a BIG draw to E. She constantly wanted to go up, down, up, down.

The first night we were there my poor girl had a horrible time actually falling asleep. As she was bouncing across the room - literally - at midnight I reminded her not to jump because "there were people below us".

She stopped. Big eyes. Crawled into my lap.

I didn't stop to think that to a 2-year-old "people below us" sounds kind of scary!

From that point on every time E wanted to go up the stairs and I declined she knowingly said, "People."

"No, baby, there's no people upstairs. I just don't want you to go up there."

She would stop and think and then say, "Somebody else's turn."

"No, baby, it's no one else's turn. I just don't want you to go up the stairs."

More thinking. "People."

I couldn't help but wonder at this point if this is what we sound like to God sometimes. When difficult circumstances arrise in our lives we are often quick to offer explanations that make sense to ourselves while overlooking the need to just trust God's decisions for us. (As if knowing the reason would change the situation but so often it seems like it would help.) Perhaps our reasons and explanations sound as nonsensical to God as "People" sounded to me regarding my daughter's desire to climb up the stairs.

We crave answers. We want explanations and reasons. I am the queen of seeking these out. But Paul tells us
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12

My daughter eventually needed to accept that she couldn't go up the stairs just because her mommy had said "no". Maybe my Lord is waiting for the same trust and obedience from me . . .seeking HIM and not only His answers.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Modest is Hottest . . .

Saw that on a t-shirt once and it stuck in my head.

Okay girls - MUST READ this post on modesty at flowerdust.net The title alone will catch your attention . . .

It sure made me re-evaluate every outfit in my closet. I like to think I'm a fairly modest dresser. There are a couple of shirts that I've questioned if they're too low, too tight, etc. but usually wear them anyway because they're not "that bad".

No more.

Someone may have to hold me accountable because I really love some of those shirts. But it's not worth stealing the purity of my brothers in Christ even if that's not my intention. Let me emphasize - NOT that I think anyone's looking or that there's anything to look at - ha! - but, well, just read the above post and for sure read through the comments and you'll get my thought process here.

Apparently men are VERY visual. I knew that to some extent but did not realize just how much of a struggle they face every stinkin' day. Besides TV, internet, movies, women out in public, the LAST place they need another battlefield is because of their Christian sisters' choice of dress. Yikes.

[Randomly - I remember a good friend of mine telling me in college to never, ever hug a guy, man, whatever full on from the front because they can feel, well, "the girls". Always, only the good ol' one-armed side hug. Didn't know that till then. Oh, man. I'm so clueless when it comes to males apparently!!!]

Okay - enough of my blabber. Read the post and comments and then let me know your thoughts . . .

Sunday, May 4, 2008

How I Get Perspective

I hide in my room with the pillow over my head.


Sometimes all the thoughts in my head added to the chaos around me combine for a potentially combustible situation.

So I go hide under my pillow and wait for perspective.

Today it came in a reminder from Beth Moore's Believing God (read it! read it!). She has a little pledge of faith she recites to herself a gazillion times a day:
God, you are who you say you are
You can do what you say you can do
I am who you say I am
I can do all things through Christ
Your word is living and active in me
And I'm choosing to believe you, Lord

Her point is that just about any spiritual attack from the enemy is really an attack on one of the above truths.

The voice of truth vs. the lies of the enemy.

I know the Lord is always speaking the truth. Sometimes it just takes me being under a pillow to hear it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Better Day

After losing a dear loved one this past Fall I've been doing quite a bit of thinking on Heaven.

Questioning, asking, seeking, wondering, pondering, picturing.

I know some core truths about Heaven from the Word but the Bible also says
However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"
I Corinthians 2:9

Y'all - a better day is coming. And it's gonna be GOOD. Even if we try to imagine how good it will be our finite minds fall short. We can't even conceive how amazing it will be. It's not harps and clouds. Not an endless church service. It's everything good you know but better and then some. Is anyone else's spirit a-stirrin' right now??!!

I just heard this song for the first time in church on Sunday (M.L. you ROCK!) and it gave me chill bumps and brought tears of amazement and joy to my eyes. I can't stop listening to it because in the midst of chaos it centers me on what's coming. And, I'll just say it again, it's gonna be REAL GOOD. Just try to listen to this without either falling on your knees or throwing your arms up toward the Lord . . .
(Apparently I'm in a video-posting mood lately)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Waiting on the Lord

Like many of you - although maybe for different reasons - I am in a season of waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

I'm not very good at waiting. I'm so impatient and just long for an answer. I sometimes don't even care so much what the answer is - just some kind of answer.

Today I was having an especially difficult time and "stumbled" upon the following video. Ha! God has a good time with me I think . . .

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hiding Places

For various reasons, this week has been very difficult and full of different emotions. In search of some form of encouragement, I was looking through Psalms this morning and stumbled upon (um, not a coincidence) a favorite "Lord I am in distress" psalm of mine. But as I read those familiar words something struck me differently today . . .

Psalm 55:1-2, 6-8:
1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
2 hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught

6 I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest -
7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.

The first time I read this psalm was in the midst of a very distressing time. I had actually formed the words, "I wish I could just fly away" in my head several times. The pain was so bad that I just wanted to escape, to find somewhere to hide for a while. So to find those words from the mouth of David (v. 6) was pretty comforting. Even the "man after God's own heart" craved a hiding place every now and then.

But then this is what struck me differently this morning: David says he would go far away and "stay in the desert".

Hmmm. The desert is not really high on my "Ideal Hiding Places" list. I'm thinking a nice Carribbean beach, a quiet forest, even a Starbucks would do. But not so much the desert. David was hurting so badly he seemed to actually prefer the desert to what he was going through at the time. Wow. That's some pretty deep hurt.

Well, it turns out the "man after God's own heart" really wasn't working in contradiction to his Creator in desiring a hiding place. He was just a bit off this time in the location.

Check out Psalm 57:1
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.

Actually, that's David speaking again. Sounds like he found a better alternative to the desert. Hiding under the protection of God - "in the shadow of your wings" - until all's clear sounds a whole lot better than hanging out in a desert.

When I read Ps 57:1 I imagine a huge, white, feathery wing and little ol' me huddled as far back under as I can possibly get. Outside a storm is wailing but God's promised I can hunker down right where I am until the storm has passed. How peaceful. How reassuring.

The question I have for myself now is, Why in the world do I continue to cast myself off into the desert (denial, wallowing, etc.) in an attempt to hide when I could rest under the shadow of the Almighty???

Time to dust that sand off my toes I think.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Stop Paddling So Hard

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Florida where, amongst other more sane endeavors, I went kayaking for the very first time.

While my initial vision of rolling under rapids while my legs were trapped in a virtual tin can did not exactly materialize, I can't say that it was a walk in the park - or maybe stroll in a boat? - either.

We actually signed up for a tandem kayak (read: hubby does most of the work) but since they ran out I ended up all by my lonesome in a single. I was actually kind of excited to do it by myself. Thought it would be a great story to tell our daughter one day. You know . . .when Mom was younger I had to paddle upstream both ways to school or something like that.

But about 1/2 mile into the trip I realized I was getting very tired. My arms hurt. My back hurt. And no one was responsible for moving that stinkin' yellow kayak but ME. Sigh.

I was really digging into that water, determined to keep up with hubby and not drift towards the back of the group.

Then, the breakthrough.

My husband, in an act of mercy, noticed how hard I was paddling and offered me a tip in the sweetest most gentle way:
"You know, I've found that if I just stay consistent with my paddling and not try to paddle so hard that it's actually a lot easier."

Ah. Consistency. Smarter, not harder.

Whadya know - it actually worked. I mean, I still had blisters and couldn't raise my arms above my head for 2 days after that 5 mile jaunt, but I think they would have had to come back for me with a tow rope had it not been for hubby's wise words.

And, of course, my brain just can't leave this alone.

In my Christian walk I catch myself often trying to paddle so hard just to keep up - pray more, read more, listen more, do more, do more, do more - until I'm completely worn out. What if I stopped worrying about trying so hard? What if I just consistently stayed in God's word and connected to Him rather than sprint, rest, sprint, rest, etc.?

Jesus said,
"Remain in me and I will remain in you . . ." John 15:4a

Just remain. Be consistent.

And stop paddling so hard - you'll wear yourself out.
(Um, that last sentence was mostly for me to remember and to come back to over and over. Maybe I should get that tatooed somewhere . . .)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Want to Grow Up to Be Like My Daughter

Today I saw true Grace played out before my very eyes.

Our dog, G, is quite the chewer and, unfortunately, our daughter's toys and books are most often her favorite target. Whenever our daughter, E, discovers the tell-tale signs on one of her possessions she usually says, "G chew it," and then will go on and forget about it or go tell the dog "No! That's E's!"

Last night after E went to bed my husband and I noticed her favorite Mickey Mouse stuffed animal had undergone an Ear-ectomy thanks to the dog. Mickey just isn't the same without his ears! Hubby had brought Mickey home to E after a business trip and she has loved that Mouse ever since. I was dreading E's discovery of her earless friend.

This morning E picked Mickey up off the couch, stared at him quietly for a moment and then said, "G chew it. Fix it." I assured her that we would find a way to fix Mickey's ears. Hmmm. No tears. She then sauntered off towards the dog and I braced to hear a toddler's lecture to her dog consisting of a lot of "No!" Instead what I heard was, "Hug!" and then E ran off to her room.

Is there a clearer picture of Grace - unmerited favor - than giving a hug rather than a deserved lecture over a personal slight?

Oh . . .the things the Lord is teaching me through this little one!!

And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:3

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Log in My Eye

As of late, we've been having many "discussions" (i.e. discipline) with our toddler daughter about obedience. She seems to think it's the greatest game in the world to run the opposite direction whenever mommy or daddy is calling her name. Part of what we are striving for her to understand is that even if she doesn't understand or agree with what we're asking her to do she needs to do it anyway for the sole reason of because mommy and daddy asked her to.

Well, we don't use those words so much. She is only 2 after all.

We've really been working hard on obedience this week and I'm so proud of the good choices she's beginning to make.

Wish I could say the same for myself.

I realized today that I had been dragging my feet on something the Lord was calling me to do. This had actually been going on for a month or so. When I had this realization, I took care of the matter and then prayed for forgiveness over my lack of obedience.


As in the same thing I've been trying to foster in my daughter - let's call her the "speck" - without a second thought to my own situation. You can call me the "log" now.

"And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?" Matthew 7:3 NLT

Sigh . . .God is so stinkin' ironic sometimes it gives me fits.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Asking the Wrong Question

Friday night, our little family trekked to our church for the Good Friday service. Our daughter hung out in the nursery (well, until the sleepiness took over and we were called back in to retrieve the poor girl, screaming and half-asleep) while hubby and I sat in the service.

Amazing. Beautiful. Heart-wrenching service.

Two readers went through excerpts from the Bible while scenes depicting each major event leading up to and including the crucifixion were illuminated on stage - using real stone-still people I might add. Gorgeously thought-provoking music between scenes and a dark, solemn, and quiet sanctuary provided the perfect environment to reflect on what Christ indeed endured for us. For me.

Every now and then I wrestle with certain "big" theological questions. One that I continually return to is, since God is sovereign and all-knowing - obviously knowing past, present and future, why did He bother with the whole Creation thing knowing that some of His creation would not choose Him and consequently be lost for eternity? Why create us at all knowing that some would spend eternity - albeit by their own free will - in hell?

I don't have an answer. But in the midst of the service on Friday, I gazed upon the depiction of Christ hanging on the cross. I heard the readers quoting verses from Mark 15 where soldiers are mocking Jesus, hitting him and asking him to prophesy who committed each offense. And my heart was filled with hurt and anger for Jesus knowing full well that he knew exactly who was hitting him. He created each of those hands. Knew how many hairs were on each head of the men that cast down insults. And yet he remained silent. For me.

And then the Spirit told me I was asking the wrong question. The new one that was given to me was, "Why would God, being sovereign and all-knowing - past, present and future, bother with the whole Creation thing knowing what it would cost Him?"

Our God breathed life into Adam and Eve, knowing their choice of disobedience was right around the corner. And He knew what that would mean for Him. For His Son. And He did it anyway.

That blows my mind.

And it sure is humbling to realize that while I know I don't have all the answers, I don't even have all the right questions.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The True Light Source

When I started this new blog it really wasn't my intention to write every post about darkness/night vs. light/morning. But I continue to "stumble" upon verse after verse and I just can't help myself!

It's approaching Spring and in Texas that means Texas-size thunderstorms. The electricity gets knocked out every now and then and, when that happens, inevitably what's the very first thing I do when I walk into a room? That's right - flip the light switch. Even though I know there is no power it's just ingrained in us to seek light wherever we're walking.

I think the same applies when we're walking in the midst of "night" in our lives. We look for light - something to remove the darkness that's surrounding us. But many of the things we seek are much like the light switch above. If there's no power behind it, well, it just isn't good for much besides a cool clicky noise.


-Maybe reading the latest self-help book will work . . .click
-Once (fill in the blank) happens, everything will be okay . . .click
-If I just ignore it, maybe it will go away . . .click
-If my friends, spouse, family, etc. would just do (blank) it would be better . . .click

I can only write the above examples because I've done every stinkin' last one of them and then some. And none of them are the solution! They can help, God can use them as a tool, but even with the best resources and best family and friends they are still human and will eventually tire, let you down, or just not quite totally meet our need. Not because they're not trying their darndest but because we weren't made to completely and perfectly fulfill each other's needs. We try our best but when it all comes down, there's only one perfect never-failing source of light and comfort.

Psalm 18:28 says:
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.

The Lord is the only light source that truly works in the dark times of our lives. He's not a lightswitch that just makes a cool clicky sound for a while. He's the power source. The generator. Unfailing and never tiring (Isaiah 40:28-31).

That's not to say that having the light means our problems are suddenly gone. It just means we're no longer groping in the dark. Understanding that difference is a difficult and ongoing lesson. During my own difficult season it's had to be a choice every day (sometimes every hour) to allow the Lord to be light to me instead of being swallowed in the darkness. And even then it's not because I'm strong enough to allow that but because He's gracious enough to keep reminding me.

Sometimes at night
I am afraid
I cover my eyes,
Cover my shame
So here in the dark
Broken apart
Come with your light
And fill up my heart

Oh great light of the world
Fill up my soul
I'm half a man here
So come make me whole
Oh great light of the world
Come to impart
The light of your grace
To fill up my heart

"Oh, Great Light of the World" by Bebo Norman

Friday, March 14, 2008

Star Gazing

When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer
Walt Whitman

When I heard the learn'd astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and
measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much
applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

It's been a while since I've thought about this poem by Whitman. I first stumbled upon it in high school and have returned to it various times through the years.

How often in life do we get weighed down by the minutiae, the measurements, the details? And how much good would it do us, like Whitman's subject, to leave the minutiae behind for a while (even if the world's applauding it) and just go stand in silence before the Lord for a bit?

Maybe in our quest for the Lord we're getting bogged down with "charts and diagrams" - books upon books, songs, speakers, seminars about the Lord when all we need sometimes is just to be with the Lord.

Isaiah 47:13a says:
All the counsel you have received has only worn you out!

If, like me, you find yourself searching and searching for the Lord's presence maybe we should take Whitman's advice and look "up in perfect silence at the stars." Or as it says in Psalm 46:10a,
"Be still and know that I am God."

I could use a little "star-gazing" these days. How about you?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

So I'm going to confess my inner nerd here (although some of you are already aware of the coming confession) and divulge that . . .I love Discovery Channel! We watch it quite a bit around here - yes, on purpose.

Not that long ago they produced and aired the most amazing series, Planet Earth. If you've never seen it, the footage is truly breathtaking and will make you fall on your knees in worship and praise to God for his creativity and vastness.

Well, they're at it again.

Anyone see the new Human Body series? I think it's airing mostly on Sunday evenings although I've seen reruns during the week. Each episode focuses on something specifically amazing about our bodies - Strength, Sight, Brain Power, etc. The show highlights real-life occurances (such as a policeman outrunning an explosion faster than thought humanly possible as a response to the danger) and then uses amazing computer imagery to show you exactly what's going on in our bodies while that's happening.

This stuff is fascinating to me. I am completely in awe of the intricacies and complexity of our bodies, yet God spoke them into existence seemingly without effort, though not without thought. What power, what intelligence, what artistry was put into every little detail. Things we are still trying to understand and probably never will. Truly "fearfully and wonderfully made".

But you know what really gets to me?? When the voiceover says things such as, "This response is due to our ancestors billions of years ago . . ." or "Evolution is responsible for . . ."

Who do they think wired our brains with the capability to know how to repair our bodies while we sleep? Who do they think designed us with a ready emergency energy supply that kicks into gear in life-or-death situations? Are they trying to tell us such complexities really are the result of millions of years of germs getting smarter and evolving?

I just don't buy it.

We live in the age of no absolute truth. Everyone's truth is "true" as long as it works for them. I'm okay, you're okay.

But there is a problem with that. There is truth. An absolute truth. Whether we choose to believe it or not does not change its truthfulness. I can tell you all day long that the sky is green with purple polka dots but that doesn't change the truth that it's really blue. Likewise is the truth of God.

It's not popular or even politcially correct to say but the truth is that God is God, that He made the Earth, and the He created us. Period.

However, that doesn't give us right or reason to hammer people over the head or be ugly about it. Remember the fruit of the Spirit? Love, joy, peace, gentleness . . .

But I digress.

Watch the series and be in awe of what God has done. And remember Psalm 139:13-16

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Night Vision

This new blog has me thinking a lot about spiritual mornings - an awakening from whatever night or darkness that has been our dwelling place (whether by choice or not).

I read a fantastic quote today:
"Any fool can sing in the day. It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight, but the skillful singer is he who can sing when there is not a ray of light to read by . . .Songs in the night come only from God; they are not in the power of men." Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Wow - this quote really speaks to me from so many angles. It's HARD to sing in spiritual nighttime. You can't see anything, you can't feel anything . . .sometimes you doubt if anyone will hear your song if you did bother to squeak out a note. But Hosea 6:3 says
Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth."

The sun will rise. God will appear. Morning will come.

But even with the promise of a coming morning we still struggle through the night because we don't always know when the morning will come. The night seems endless and often too quiet. However, I'm coming to learn that even in the darkest of darks that God is there. Even if we can't feel Him, He is there. He has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5) So if we feel Him in the day we can be sure of His presence at night regardless of what our imperfect perceptions tell us.

And consider Psalm 139:12:
"Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you"

Catch that?

Even our darkest nights are bright as daylight to God. When we can't see an inch in front of our face, He sees eternity. God has the ultimate "night vision". How's that for encouraging???

Not that I have this waiting stuff all figured out. And not to say that it's still not difficult to wait upon the morning.

But knowing that God can see even when we can't is an amazing comfort during the night.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Another First Post

Well, it seems kind of strange to be starting a completely new blog. I kind of feel like I'm starting a new school or something. The new kids don't know my story. Will they like me? Will they want to hang out with me?

But it's also very exciting to start on a new adventure. Well, okay. Writing is not so much an adventure to most of you, but to this yellow-bellied scaredy cat it qualifies.

I'm excited to take this blog in a new direction. Actually, I'm not even sure what direction I'm going but I know it's new and different. I also know Who is leading so I'm okay with not knowing. I'm slowly starting to learn that lesson although it tends to take a whack on the head rather than a gentle whisper with me as far as giving up control goes.

So . . .Seeking The Morning . . .

I really thought about the title for this new venture. The verses I started with, and eventually came back to, were Lamentations 3:22-24:

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

If you're like me, the hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" is now running endlessly through your head (there could be worse things).

Every morning starts new. The slate is wiped clean. His mercies begin again. And about 1 minute after I roll out of bed I have dirtied the slate yet again somehow. So I fall upon His mercy and grace and begin again. Morning is not always when the sun comes up. Sometimes morning is when the Son comes up in your heart and that is what I am seeking.

Another verse that comes to mind is Psalm 30:5
" . . .weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."

We've all endured a time of night, of darkness, in our lives. We're blessed with eventual mornings - an end to the weeping, a lifting of the burdens. This is also what I'm seeking. A reminder to look for the mornings along the way and not get stuck in the darkness.

I actually didn't realize how many great verses there are regarding morning in the Bible. Maybe I'll do some literal seeking of those mornings and start poring through those scriptures soon.


This blog is about the journey. Getting through the night with our faith resting in the promise of morning, however it comes. It should be a good ride - glad you're here.