Monday, April 29, 2013

A hasty spirit.

Day 3.

A hasty spirit.


unsettled, unrequited, busy

un-charmed, un-loved
throw that blanket off like an afghan sliding on bare shoulders
feel its weight hit the ground
handing over boulders.
easy yoke, light burden
lifted eyes, not down-trodden
peer out
smile deep
take a breath
soul to sleep. 

2 Timothy 1:7 For God had not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

We are not called to have a hasty spirit, we are called to call upon God.  

That's what I have to say about that.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.

Day 2


"If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking"  That's a song quote.  A beautiful, true one. 

I have a memory from one of the weddings I photographed, that I would choose to keep above all other memories in my career. 

A Mom of the groom had just gotten done dancing with her boy…she humbly stepped off of the dance floor, wiping away tears of gratitude and glee.  She brushed past me, and whispered, "He's the best thing I ever did."  Instantly, my eyes stung with hot tears as a reaction to her sentiment.  I almost lost it.  There is nothing like being proud and in love with your child, two feelings I know well.

Why this story strikes me when thinking about grace is this.  If I feel that way about my babies, and that mom had the capacity to feel the way she did…how much greater does HE feel about us?!  He likes us and loves us A LOT. 

And how does He long to deal with us, listen to us, interact with us?

This brings me to thinking about a play date I recently had with one of my dearest friends.  She was sharing with me about being a little down, a little wrung out.  She started explaining feelings of guilt and shame.  She also has a beautiful, bright, wonderful little baby.  I listened, and completely understood her feelings.  I could relate, and have had very similar experiences before.  But then I also thought, how does God see this?!  And I said to her, what if your child was sitting here in front of us, saying the very things you are right now?  Living without forgiveness for themselves, and carrying around this weight of shame.  She exclaimed, " I would say you are good!  I love you!"

Exactly.  How much more would HE say, and how much better would he be at it.

Matthew     7:11
11If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Ephesians 1:7
7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

Ephesians 2:7,8
7that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My hope is You.

My friend told me the other day that I should write a devotional.  To which I thought: yeah right.  I can barely get a shower in some days.  And I have to feel like I'm going to blow up to get anything on paper.  Not to mention, I do not have my stuff together.  I struggle, in so many areas it seems.  Especially lately.  It's been a testing season.  Those aren't my favorite.

But then I was in my bathroom, using my tongue scraper (the best invention, ever).  Well, maybe the second best, but it's a good one.  And I thought, I COULD write a devotional.  Because I am DEVOTED to God.  I am devoted to serving Him, loving Him, chasing Him.  And the bible doesn't say we won't be tested, it doesn't say we won't have trials.  It says to choose HIM when you do.  It says you WILL have victory in HIM.  It says…. James 1:2-3  "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."

So now here I am, sitting down, in a towel, not ready for the day, and with somewhere to be soon.  And I'm saying…Jesus, you have my attention.  I will share the ways I choose you.  I will share, in a very candid way, what devotion looks like for me .  Oh, God, help.

I think of the intro to a devotional that I absolutely love, and helps me so often.  And I think of this woman carrying a purpose, and praying diligently about this project….this devotional that she wrote.  And I think, I'm jumping into this on a whim.  That makes me feel a little like I don't add up.  But then HE pipes up with an, ahem, excuse me.  "I don't make mistakes."  Maybe it's a personality difference.  And, that my friends, is more than OK. 

I pray a lot.  I pray with purpose.  This devotional thing is a new idea.  It was actually one that was given to me.  But it's from Him, so we're gonna run with it.

Here goes nothing.  Or something.  Or, a lot of somethings.

Day 1


Where is your hope? 

Is it in your career?  Is it in success?  Is it in how people view you?  Is your hope in money? Image?  Is your hope in your kids behavior? 

For about 3 months I have had a Third Day song stuck in my head.  It says:

My hope is you, show me the way, guide me in truth, in all my days……

I didn't know how much I needed those words, as they played on repeat in my head.  My spirit sometimes knows what my heart does not. 

My HOPE is HIM.  It really is.  He is my only hope, when I know any better.

And the thing about putting your hope in HIM…is that you are putting your hope in the ultimate Daddy.  The ONE who literally holds the world in His hands.  Makes you feel small, and like anything is possible huh?

In between the beginning and end of this, um, devotional, blog, thingy…My friend came over to work with me, and was sharing about her friend who is going through treatment for cancer.  This person is not doing well.  My heart hurt listening to her diagnosis, her treatment.   My heart hurt, but I didn't even have words.  I didn't know what to do. 

So I just listened, and then we continued to work.

And then the Holy Spirit just showed up.  I had an overwhelming sense of "want" for this person to be healed! Completely!  Like, get out of the hospital, have a miracle on outward, showing wounds….as well as every speck of cancer out of her body, NOW!  Only God could do this.  My hope is HIM.  When I initially heard, I was depleted…helpless, wordless.  I was sympathetic, but I couldn't do anything. 

And then He reminded me, that I could do something.  I COULD ASK.  I could ask for wisdom, guidance, healing.  That I'm allowed to, and He loves when I do.  So we did.  We asked for healing, and then some.   

Jesus, my hope is YOU.

Matthew     19:26    
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with
                        God all things are possible.”

James        1:2-6   

                     2My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3knowing that the
                     testing of your faith produces patience. 4But let patience have its perfect work, that
                     you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5If any of you lacks wisdom,
                     let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be
                     given to him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like
                     a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

Psalm        146    

                  1Praise the Lord!
                  Praise the Lord, O my soul!
                  2While I live I will praise the Lord;
                  I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
                 3Do not put your trust in princes,
                 Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
                 4His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
                 In that very day his plans perish.
                 5Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
                 Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
                6Who made heaven and earth,
                The sea, and all that is in them;
                Who keeps truth forever,
                7Who executes justice for the oppressed,
                Who gives food to the hungry.
                The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
                8The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
                The Lord raises those who are bowed down;
                The Lord loves the righteous.
                9The Lord watches over the strangers;
                He relieves the fatherless and widow;
                But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
                10The Lord shall reign forever—
                Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
                Praise the Lord!

Friday, April 19, 2013


When I think of being with someone forever, I think of things like post-it note love letters, I think of romance, and laughing, of whispering sweet nothings, and having longing gazes.  Frick, that sounds cheesy.  I would be good at post-it note love letters.  I do ponder these things.  But when I really imagine a relationship, I think about the inside.  I think looks are fleeting, and beauty is vain.  I think I want to like someone down to their decisions, actions, being.  I think, what if I got in a car accident and my face was not recognizable.  I realize that this is possibly morbid and maybe sounds a little weird or sad.  But I literally think about these things… that it's much more important to have a mutual likeness and understanding (as well as Jesus) that goes so far beyond attraction and chemistry. 

And even more than all of this(not more than Jesus, nothing more than Jesus), I think of sticking it through.  I think of persevering in hardship.  I think of being in waist high mud, with no way out, and still saying yes.  I think of someone looking at me in a dark hour, with a shadow on my face, and saying, yes.  Still yes.  And I think, do I have what it takes to do that?!  Do I have a yes in the dark hours, in the rough, unpredictable stuff? 

I had a dear friend present to me recently, a couple "prospects" in the dating world.   I just read that back and laughed out loud.  She was describing them, saying things like, "they are hot" "they have their stuff together"  "they are tall".  I just remember staring at her, wanting to be respectful, but also kind of shaking inside in indignation.  I could give a shit.  When I'm honest, when I'm authentic, I could give a rip.  I don't want hot.  I want humble.  I don't want stuff to be together, I want heaven minded. 

I am blaming all of this relationship/romance pondering on spring.  Love is in the air this year. sheesh.  Probably more accurately, lust is in the air.  I digress.

I recently gave a friend of mine some very good advice.  And on the trend of being authentic, it was advice that I was not even listening to for myself in the moment. 

The advice was that a relationship could not satisfy or fulfill my friend.  That a relationship, even if this person was her husband, would not sustain her.  She was convinced that she could not lose this person.  And I proclaimed, YOU COULD!! (they were not her husband by the way).  I said, "You only really actually need Jesus."  But I KNOW that HE is GOOD enough to give you exactly what you really need.  And will.  I continued to say, "Thank you Jesus, that you love us enough to tear us down, to build us back up, thank you that you want us dependent on you, because you CAN fulfill us."  THAT IS BEAUTIFUL, and so so true!

Maybe you already know this (whoever you could be, reading this)….but it's pretty freaking profound. 

My wise friend said the other day, Jesus is so good, that even His "No's" are good.  ALSO PROFOUND.  He is the ultimate guider, protecter, pursuer.  If He tells us "no" it is for a darn good reason, even if we aren't allowed to know that reason.

I had an encounter the other day…where I had this really vivid vision.  Actually, honestly, it was more like I was there.  I was at the scene of Jesus being crucified.  It was the most intense, insane experience.  I could see Him.  I was about 100 feet away.  He looked over at me, and I felt Him say, "this wasn't for half of your redemption."



an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.
deliverance; rescue.
Theology . deliverance from sin; salvation.
atonement for guilt.
repurchase, as of something sold.

As I prayed and thought even more on this vision, He said, "It wasn't even for 98%."  HE WANTS TO COMPLETELY REDEEM MY LIFE.  Every facet, piece, dark corner.  He wants to paint on every dream, thought, plan.  That's a fact.  Am I going to let Him? 

I am reading Spirit Wars by Kris Vallotton.  There are a couple different times He says, "We need to know who we are, and WHO's we are."  That is where my identity comes from.  Hopefully from nowhere else.

I'm writing today because I needed to say this stuff out loud.  That I'm HIS.  That I believe His redemption is 100%.  That He is good in His yes and His no.  That I want it all.  That I only want Him.  Really, truly.  That I'm sorry for flirting with anything short of His plans.  That I trust Him. 

Do you?