Thursday, March 30, 2017
Not that long ago I had a personal conversation with the Holy Spirit. Just in case you are wondering who that is: I like to think of Him as my very best friend; He is the still small voice inside who corrects, instructs, leads and laughs at the inside jokes no one else seems to get. Sometimes we even argue but He always wins by showing me that love is always the best way.
That day we were talking about my intimacy issues. I had pretty much coined the phrase, "I'm not a touchy person". Its not even that I am not much of a hugger, it's just that touch is very intimate to me. If you were one of the few un-lucky guys in grade school, Jr.. High, High School or College that got too close to me or my bubble, you may have even seen me as hostile towards affectionate advances.
It was all touch, male or female that made me uncomfortable. I always related to the hilarious temperamental cat that would be purring and rubbing up against you and then out of no where would bite you. A unseen boundary had been crossed: me to a tee!
Anyway, I had said something to HS ( Holy Spirit) about wanting to be more affectionate to my children, and feeling like a total failure mom for not knowing when my kids need more physical love from me, and in fact feeling so completely suffocated at times that I wanted to cry. Then out of no where He (Holy Spirit really shoots it straight to the heart!! In a good way) He says... "Your believing a lie. You think you are not enough for them just the way you are. You think you are inadequate. But really I think you are a very intimate and loving mother."
As tears streamed down my face, as they are again right now, I silently wept as He continued. "It isn't that you are not affectionate, it is simply that you do not waste nor do you under appreciate the power of simple touch. You see something as simple as hand holding to be the most beautiful gesture of physical love. And your Father God agrees. When you are afraid- He holds your hand, when you are lost- He takes your hand, when He is pleased- He takes your hand, when walking alone in the joy of His presence- you hold His hand. And what are the most special moments of intimacy with your husband? It is the first time you held hands in a dark movie theatre, your first walk together where you talked and laughed and all those hand holding moments in between that you remember. You are perhaps the best hand holder I have ever seen and especially with your children; you are constantly taking a hand to either comfort, direct, correct or to play. You say you are not a touchy person but Sweetie you are one of the most affectionate people I know, you just see simple touch as special as it ought to be."
So there I was with a choice: I could receive this beautiful truth from HS: that I am most secure when I embrace the very insecurities that once held me back and turn them upside down into something for His glory! Or: I could keep dwelling on the free loving girl I thought I wanted to become, the comparison to others could build to the point of something I could not bare to fake anymore, I could keep shaming myself, I could keep trying to be something I'm not or trying to hide the me that I am.
Don't get me wrong I'm not saying we should embrace harmful patterns that lead to being unhealthy but if we can not see us as the unique- one of a kind- beautiful people that we are, we may not ever realize that someone else (someone more important, someone like HS) sees what we think of as our flaws as the very beauty marks that set us apart.
In His word He says "For we are Gods masterpiece, thoughtfully and creatively designed, to be a one-of-a-kind creation.
In case I haven't convinced you, did you know that not a single zebra is the same? A zebra's stripe pattern is as unique as fingerprints are to humans. In fact a baby zebra can find its mom in a heard because of it. You are the only you. Your stripes make you different, not deformed. And just for the record our baby zebras need our stripes to be just the way they are, that's how they find us, how they know us, how they follow us.
I thank God for the way that he made me, inside and out. And every day I want to spend a little more time with my Creator so I can find out what stripes He put there, and why! And also what stripes are just from the filth of this world trying to make me something I'm not, because those ones need washed off.
I hope all my gushing and vulnerability helps, it's one of my stripes I guess. With His help I'm learning how to appreciate those little nudges and whispers that say, the world needs to know how much I love them, how much I love those unique stripes. How much time I spend desiring that instead of hating your stripes you would learn how to wear them, how I designed them just for you and those who would see them, really see them, the way I do.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Three Days to a Better Way
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Friday, August 12, 2016
To my beautiful new mommy, mommy to be, mommy who has been, and the mommy of promise (The one who waits upon my promise of motherhood): this letter is for you.
I have seen you.
I have seen the tears that only your pillow and I know about.
I have heard the silent aches and whispers of an anxious heart that needs my voice to slow its rapid beating.
You have a few concerns. In fact so many concerns flood your thoughts that you don’t think I see them all.
Perhaps you are afraid because they often out number and out-weigh the good thoughts. Maybe you feel shame that you have lost hope in me through this difficult time.
But I am here to remind you that I am not angry with you.
I am well pleased with you my daughter.
I will not leave you during this time. But until we get my perfect love where it belongs, the unwanted fear will stay, and that is not my plan for you.
So how can I calm your beating heart? - I will reach you with my rod and my staff and I will comfort you. I will take the hook of my staff and pull you close to me. I will use the length of my rod to push you into the right direction even when the chaos of this world tries to convince you I have left. You will feel me.
Like a rock that tumbles down a snowy hill and gathers so much snow; its momentum turns it into a giant snowball. It started with a tiny rock of truth and with time it took something as harmless as snow and turned itself into a boulder with powerful destruction. But when we remember the rock itself is just the tiny core, my warming truth can melt it back down to the size it actually is.
Oh how my heart is engulfed with rage in how the enemy is stealing the dreams of my babies. It is as though this world gives my children a time limit to be dreamers and then says, "time is up". I will determine when your time is up, and until you breathe your last breath, will you please keep dreaming dreams. The time for dreaming to be over is when all your dreams have come true. And if your dreaming in me that wont happen until we are together in my everlasting kingdom. I have infinite dreams for those who will dream with me, I am an infinite God who dreamed of you, and you are made in my image. I want you to dream many dreams like you did as a child. You are my Child.
I don’t get angry when you try on a new outfit and say, "I want to be a doctor today." In fact by being a mom I am allowing you to play dress up every single day! You will get to be a nurse, a therapist, a musician, a cowgirl, a farmer, a chef, and bus driver, you will get to be a tour guide and an animal trainer, you will get to be a swim instructor and a story teller, an art teacher, an interior designer, a maid, a public speaker and the president of the United States of “Because I Told You So”. You are going to love this game of house because I remember your whole childhood, and when you were playing you were really dreaming of today.
I understand that some of your dreams are unique and special to you, like some of your toys when you were young, you would put in a special place and didn’t want to share with the other kids.
There are dreams that you have, that are like little secrets between you and me. You may not remember them but I do. I have a special place that I keep them. They are only yours and not for the other children.
They are not lost, but just to be safe I put them on a very high shelf in my heart to keep them for when you are ready. You see when you mommy, you want to give your family every single thing you have and this secret special treasure is not for giving away. So I place it somewhere safe for a season.
But when you can’t find it, you get scared that it is lost, you are scared that your identity is changing into something that you will not recognize, you are afraid of losing you. I promise you that it is impossible because that treasure is something I am holding onto. And when the time comes I will give it back. And I always give back and with interest.
I will keep them safe. They are not lost. For now it is time to play house for a while. And when you are tired take a rest in me and teach your family to do the same. For those babies that I have given you to nurture and love will be watching you and learning how to dream. And I will keep their dreams in safe place too!
Remember this: you are not losing who are, nor do you even have to wonder if you know who that is.
I know who you are and that is enough to give you rest.
I will hold your identity safely and securely in my heart for safe keeping. And when you get a little discouraged that you might be losing yourself in the midst of life, remember me and I will fill your heart with dreams once again.
Mommies don’t need to stop dreaming so their children can dream, they keep dreaming every day, they live the dream and their children learn how to dream by example. It is tiring to know your being watched by so many little eyes. So not only do you example how to dream, but how to rest. Dreams don't happen without rest. Rest. Example how to rest in the calm of my promises.
I love you so much. Dream in me again. Take back your promises, one dream at a time. And Rest in the comfort that I will keep you safe.
We can talk more about rest because I know you have more questions about that. We have so much more to talk about. But for now lets take it back a little at a time. You have a lot on your plate. I want to clear it and put my plate on top of yours so that you have enough room for all that you deserve. And you deserve all of my love for I created you to receive it.
I love you my daughter. I am keeping you (Who you are.) safe and secure.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
I have written several stories. Each story is a little different but they all have the same principle elements. Each story has a little drama, romance, adventure and a little fantasy. But the two things that they never have are overwhelming conflict in the middle of the story and an ending (I rarely finish my stories). I don't like that part in the narrative where conflict erupts. That moment where it's all about to come crashing down. I can't bare to watch as the heroes struggle. Maybe its because in real life the struggle has already been going on from the beginning. It's out of place when conflict appears halfway through a story. When I watch it play out before my very eyes I feel helpless in the hands of the destruction that is in front of me. Maybe I'm afraid that the hero will not be able to rise again if they fall even one more time.
I see plenty of people drowning every day in a sea of doubt, depression and hopelessness and there are not enough life preservers to go around. So then why haven't I drown, what makes my story so different? I realize that not in spite of, but because of, these rough waters I learn how to swim for my survival, and I became strong. Strong enough in fact to be the life preserver for others. You see I may not like the sea of great conflict but in that conflict I develop a strength that is only produced by my determination to rise out of the waters. It is also the only way I could have found so many more like me, tossed and turned by each relentless wave. I found my shore. I found my refuge and I could let fear tell me not to go back in for the countless others drowning. I could try to flag them over or yell encouraging words. but they need a savior who will go in after them, someone who knows the waters. That is why my Savior allowed me to become so strong by my trials and by the treading of difficult water as I waited for my salvation. He didn't allow my circumstances to go on beyond my comfort so I could become hardened by struggle but so that I would become strong enough to fight for more than just myself. Now inside of me is a greater capacity for love. But also a greater responsibility to act on the behalf of those who will not make it to the shore without a hero.
The Olympics call the qualifying preliminaries to get to the games The Olympic Trials. The phrase that comes to mind in the world of sports and fitness is "No Pain, No Gain." if you want to be the best at something you need to go past the point of comfort and even past the point of what you think is possible. How differently could we be living if we saw our trials as a qualifier for greatness? We are created to be champions and overcomers and to use our trails not as stumbling blocks but as training tools on the way to victory.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
A hero is forged in the fire of adversity, a hero is someone who does not waste the trials of life on self pity and shame but on an awareness that each of us was made for something so much greater than merely the comfort of a good life. Maybe the reason I cant finish my books is because there is no ending. How do you write a story about eternity? A long time ago I gave God the pen to my life and I said, "Write! Write me a story so fantastic it will change the world." Who am I to argue with an author who is perfect in all of His ways, who sees the plot unfolding and the resolution to my conflict far clearer than I ever could. He has not created a character in this whole universe that he can not reach. We think we want an easy happy ending but if it isn't earned through overcoming some great obstacle somehow it just seems a little fake and a little less appreciated. We need to trust that God knows how it ends. And He is a good Author.
He writes light out of darkness, from the very beginning he said, "Let there be Light!!!" Its time to take the pen away from the enemy of darkness and let God create light out of our darkest trials. Many
nightmares have made it hard to want to dream again. The world has become polluted with a shadow of helplessness. But all shadows are dispelled when the purest of light shines. God made us the light of the world. Through the power of His one and only Son, we shine. All darkness was made subject to the power of light from the very beginning and when Jesus walked on earth, He transferred the right of that light through the sacrifice of His life. But what we do with our light is everything!
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
We cannot expel darkness if we never venture into the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Remember we will fear no evil for God leads us through. One light in the dark is seen but how much more hopeful when we bring our light together with one purpose. When we shine together the shadows have no where to hide. Let us not waste the night for we are brightest when it is bleakest. Let us not waste all the strength that we have gained by fighting in the stormy water. God has brought us to shore but we are strong enough to go back in for others. Our story is being written and if we do not allow the conflict to shape us we cannot become the hero He is creating us to be. God wrote me into existence, to be a hero. When conflict arises I will not cower in fear but shout Hallelujah for I know I got the role in His master plan. And through my suffering thousands will know my name but Millions more will know His; the Author and Perfecter of our Faith.
For those still on the shore wondering if its worth it to risk it all on Jesus, to those who are afraid that any more conflict might not shape them but destroy them. Remember that Faith is all about uncertainty but we have hope and trust in a God who always comes through bigger and bigger every time we place our faith in Him. And remember this when being tormented by the lies of the enemy: The Devil only knows what has been written. He knows our past but he does not get the privilege of knowing our future. Our future is yet unwritten. We don't always get to choose the trails we go through but we do get to choose who we go through it with. We are not alone. He walked through darkness; through the Valley of the Shadow, and still chooses to come back and walk it again and again with us so that His light can illuminate the path before us. Will we embark on a journey to do the same for others? That is the story that is still unwritten.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Friday, January 22, 2016
I realized as I left to go to my car that God had just showed up at the Dollar Store to love that man. A few things stood out to me in that moment to be more than coincidence; One was that the line was almost ten people long and no other checker came to help, so all those people in line witnessed what was going on. The checker was floored by the act and heard me say multiple times that God wanted to do this. And then of course the thing that ultimately brought me to tears is that God would share with me His heart for this man who really needed a helping hand. I love how God partners with us and allows us in on his plans. I am so honored to be his hands and feet and to be a recipient in such a clear way of His answer to my request that I would love more like Him. The whole thing was such confirmation that God loves making ordinary days something quite extraordinary. When I think of how I almost lost the opportunity to bring a little bit of Heaven to earth just because I was uncomfortable it makes me so grateful that God is challenging me to a new level of trust, Faith and Obedience in Him.