4.13.2014

Hope

So, this is how I've been feeling. Which is why I can't write.


Dry. Smooshed. Surrounded by things that used to be alive.

I kind of had a melt down. Well, not kind of. 

At the last minute, decided to take a day off and just breathe, move a little bit. Outside.

Minding my own business, it appeared out of nowhere, and speaks sweet things to my soul.

He Speaks.

And, like a child, I stopped in wonder. And squealed. Outloud. People pointed and stared. But I didn't care.   


The most beautiful, vibrant, happy little flowers. Just here. Nowhere else.

And instantly, I smile. Just that fast. 

Because I know what He's saying. And it's precious to me. To my dry, brittle, worn out heart.  

He is Comforting Creator.






He can turn anything around. Anything. And I need to believe that.

He is Sovereign.

He determines when and where He will bring life into a dry, brittle place. 

He is Trustworthy.

And His light will shine where it will shine. He will make beauty.

So, there is always hope. Always, in Him.

Praise His name.



3.18.2014

Knowing

Today is an important day for me.

It's a day I'm stepping out of the safety of the current and into the unknown.

And there is a profound, last-minute obstacle.

So, I'm saying it to Him (and you). In advance.

He is Faithful.


That doesn't mean it'll all turn out okay.
It means that even if it doesn't turn out okay, He's faithful.

It's true.

He is Always. Faithful.

It's the same for your day, too. Believe it for yourself.

Someone, praise His Name!


3.05.2014

Because He Says So

They were physically exhausted, mentally tapped, emotionally frustrated. 

Then He showed up. And told them to go deeper.

And I love what happened next. Simon said, "we worked hard all night and didn't catch a thing. But if you say so, I'll let the nets down again."

And they caught enough fish to tear their nets wide open.  Love that!

He is Trustworthy.

Think about what happened there.

Jesus told them to go deeper. After they worked all night doing what they thought was best. What they thought was deep. But He told them to go deeper. He knows what's best.

He is Wise.

He points us to depth. He knows we don't get results with anything superficial. He sees us working hard, but not getting anywhere - our efforts to control the surface, to keep things together, to work relationships to our advantage, to avoid root issues, thinking we don't need Him, trying to hide our sin. Whatever it is.

He calls us deeper than that.

He meets our needs in the deep. Our real needs. Not the distracting needs that we think are deep. He knows and meets the real ones - and He knows that solutions and healing come in the deep of Himself.

And sometimes, that's hard to understand. I mean, how does Jesus meet my deep needs?

Even Simon shows a bit of that question in his response. He says, in so many words, "um...yeah...we just had our nets in the water. Like, all night long. And we caught nothing. Trying again doesn't make any sense...but, if You say so..."

And there it is. Surrender. Letting go of what we think we know. Trusting Him. Believing Him. Letting Him run the show. Putting our effort into the deep.




I can relate. I've had several things in my life recently that aren't making sense. Things I've caused, tried to influence or fix, dreams I'm trying to pursue, things I'm trying to avoid.

And I know He's calling me deeper. But I didn't want to go there. Deep is scary. Remember that movie, The Abyss? Yeah. No thanks. 

But over several weeks and months, I became like Simon. And I surrendered to what didn't make sense. ...but if you say so, LORD...

He is Right. 

I walked deep into relationships that needed to be healed, uncomfortable conversations that needed to be had (another one today!). I did what He asked me to, or walked into what He brought to me, even though it didn't make sense, didn't seem fair, and certainly wasn't what I wanted or was prepared to do.

Right now, I'm walking into the depths of a job search I didn't want. A scary, kind of exciting, but intimidating process. He's calling me to step out, address deep fears and insecurities, trust Him, and go places I'd normally not go.

And you know what? He's changing me. Slowly. Dare I say, healing and growing me.  
In deep places.

He is always Working.

He's calling us into the deep. He's calling you into the deep. Because He knows that there is blessing, provision, wisdom, growth, trust, love, and healing in those places.

What is it for you? Where does He want you to go deeper? Where does He want you to just surrender, and say...but if You say so, I will...?

Trust Him. Put yourself into the deep. Surrender to do it His way, for His will, by His call.
And get ready for your nets to burst. 'Cuz they will.

3.02.2014

Worthy

I wake up, and it's there.

In the midst of my day, it's there again.

Before I go to bed, it's still there.

So, I'm sharing it with you. Just listen. Twice. Three times. For real.
A beautiful thing on which to focus your mind.

...for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see...everything was created through Him and for Him. (Including you...)

He is Creator, worthy of glory.


Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Jesus, You are good...

someone...praise His good name!


2.11.2014

Rolling Up My Pants

That song. That prayer. He's answering...

He is Listening.

A while ago, I wrote that post, which came from a pure, deep desire. And here it is, real as can be. An opportunity to live out.

My heart wanted to know Him deeply, like that quiet, unmoved place in the dark of the ocean. The place that doesn't move with the surface.

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger...

In the form of my team being eliminated in order to save fixed costs at work.

He is Faithful. 

He's had me there for 12 years. I've loved every single minute. For real. 

It's where I use my gifts, talents, abilities, passions. I love what I do. He designed me to do what I'm doing. 

And it hurts to leave. It's scary. It's depressing.

And then I'm reminded of when Israel was crossing the Jordan. He told them that the priests had to step into the deep water before it would recede and let them pass through.

That's how He works. Think about it.

How can He part the sea for us if there isn't a sea in our way? 

How can He answer our prayers for peace if there isn't anything to rustle us up?

How can we learn to trust if everything goes our way?

How can He show His power if nothing is broken?

How better could I go deeper than my feet could ever wander than to take me out of my comfort zone?

He is God. 

And He wants to act in our lives. He wants an active role. In my life. In yours.

I want to be that woman who steps into deep water when He calls me to. Because I know that whenever He asks that, He's got something special in mind. And I want to see it.

Don't you? Want to see what He has for you. If yes, step into it. Whatever He has in front of you that's scary. The painful step. The difficult step.

Have no fear of the future, for God is already there...

Praise His name!


 

1.12.2014

True Grit

Stinker, I ruined it! I can't fix this one...

I'd worked on the piece for a while, trying a few techniques, and had it almost where I wanted it, ready to use. Then tried a technique that I thought would create the look I was going for, but it didn't. It made it worse.

Grr...  

Then it came to me. Sand paper!


Sure enough, the grit blended everything together, smoothed the surface, and gave me exactly what I was looking for. Exactly.

He does the same thing. With me. 

Again, grr...

I'm all too familiar with that gritty feeling. Being ground hard, worn down, removed of the layers of things I think will get me to where or what I want to be.

Oh, you think you need to put a layer of protection over yourself, little bird? 
That's 40-grit.

And that envy you have of her creativity? Not good for you. 80-grit, for sure.

How about the prayer for a better marriage? That can only be answered by the constant work of 110-grit.

Maybe you know what I'm talking about.

It's hard to see through all the dust. Hard to believe that it's actually working any good. It just feels irritating, painful, hot. But He knows what He's doing.  

He made us from dust. Surely He can refine us by dust.

He is Creator, Working.

He sees the flaws and bits that don't work for what He ultimately wants us to be like, sound like, and Who He wants us to reflect. And He knows exactly what, and how much, refining will bring us to that outcome. Exactly.

He is Persistent.

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, 
will continue his work until it is finally finished 
on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Philippians 1:6

Be encouraged. If you're being worked by the grit of His hands, trust Him. Believe His true word. He is continuing His good work in you, sweet one. 

Praise His faithful name!


1.02.2014

Consistency

42 hours of snow. 14 inches. And counting. 

Everything white. Clean. Covered. Quiet. Beautiful.

It's like He's welcoming in the year with constant showers of grace.   

Grace, covering everything.




He is Constant Grace.

Everything covered white like a quiet, clean, fresh start.

If it wasn't for the more-than-a-foot-of snow out there, I'd have gone to the gym yesterday. And today. But probably not tomorrow. Good thing there's snow.

But I'm tempted. To resolve. To show more grace. To honor Ephesians 4:29. To be led by the Spirit, not emotions. To only eat when I'm hungry. Blah, blah, blah.

Those are good things to aim for. And some people might be able to snap their fingers and make them happen. Not me. I could snap all day long and stand on my head, and two minutes later, I'd break 'em.

I need His constant, showering, covering grace. So do you.

So, my purest resolve this year is to listen; to be consistent in my prayer to surrender more of me to Him. That's it. Listen and surrender more. From a deeper place.

And to be covered by His constant grace when I fail.