Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Mid-Summer's Eve

 
 

 


 

 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Remind Me Who I Am


When I lose my way,
And I forget my name,
Remind me who I am.
 
In the mirror all I see,
Is who I don't wanna be,
Remind me who I am.
 
In the loneliest places,
When I can't remember what grace is.
Remind me who I am.
 
When my heart is like a stone,
And I'm running far from home,
Remind me who I am.
 
When I can't receive Your love,
Afraid I'll never be enough,
Remind me who I am.
 
If I'm Your beloved,
Can You help me believe it?

Tell me once again who I am to You,
Who I am to You, whoa.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to You.
That I belong to You.
To You.

I'm the one you love,
I'm the one you love,
That will be enough,
I'm the one you love.
 
* Song by Jason Gray

Monday, July 29, 2013

Seriously!


I LOVE this sheep! Love her. Don't know the fellow in the photo, however, according to FB, where I found the photo, they are from New Zealand. This sheep avoided being sheared for years by hiding in caves. Years. Six years to be exact and when they did finally shear her, there was enough wool to make 20 suits. 20. Oh my mercy me!
 
Kind of like sin. We wear it, grow it, hide from it, deny it, touch it, taste it and, people, unlike Jesus, it doesn't taste good. Why do I resist letting the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, the Only Shepherd shear off my sin? I am such a sheep.
"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow."                                      - Psalm 51:7 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Oh The Ugly


Yes, this is a picture of a broom and there is plenty of trash for it to sweep up. Oh, like the trash I allow to hang out in my heart. Instead of genuinely giving it up to the Lord, I've been choosing to stew in it. Get all frothy and angry and irritated and why isn't anything changing God? You said it would? I've even thrown a little temper tantrum or two, to be truthful, just not necessarily out loud. Okay, so maybe once or twice out loud. Just keeping it real here. I can tell you is doesn't get me anywhere except maybe angrier and more aggravated and a whole lot of no fun to be around. And, if I'm really honest, a bit entitled-feeling. There, I said it. Lots of ugly going on and no resolution that I can see and I've been feeling sorry for myself. It's not so much pretty people.
 
It's also what I know not to do as a Daughter of the King. Pain over what feels like forever is hard to hand over to The Healer. There are things I don't understand, and I don't "have to" understand them, just trust that God doesn't allow anything that isn't for my good and His Glory, even if it hurts. Sounds so cliché, but I've been there and more than once. In the fire it stinks and it is hard. On the other side, beauty from ashes. Really. Seems this season is more difficult than others. Maybe because my sweet Momma is in heaven. Maybe it's hormones or maybe I am finally grown weary of living, all 5 of us, in a very small space or maybe I'm not leaning into Him like I say that I am. Ouch. What I know is we are a family. We are together and we have a Savior who has made promises that we are waiting (and the wait at times is tough and long and makes absolutely no sense), and lately, with willful anticipation, at what our hearts know and our eyes yet do not see, so we can shout out His glory because, as a reminder to myself, it IS coming.
 
Humbled beyond words. Asking forgiveness and choosing to hand the broom over to Him and let Him do some cleaning in my heart.
 
Oh, how He loves us.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Praise and Worship

We passed fields full of these beautiful sunflowers with their "faces" lifted to the sky and all I could think of was they were praising God for their beauty. That's their whole job. That's my whole job. Gratitude and praise (even when in my flesh, I find it to be hard to be grateful) for His gifts, for His beauty and for His overwhelming greatness and glory!
 
Holy is the Lord God Almighty!
The earth is filled with His Glory ...
It's rising up all around,
It's the anthem of the Lord's renown.





 
 
And when their time for praise and glory has gone, they, even yet, bow their heads in worship. Selah.



Friday, July 26, 2013

Oh My Heart!


These girls. Love Jesus. Love each other. BFF's. Crazy gifts to each other from God. Really. They just blow me away. Beautiful!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Saying It Loud!


Love, love, love, love, love the truth framed in this picture. Saying it out loud about myself, my kids, my husband, my friends, people I don't know, people I do know because, it is the truth! You are beautiful!

*Picture borrowed from Flower Patch Farm Girl. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lovely


I had a revelation. I woke up and went to check my email and in a lack of self-control and an increase in curiosity (Lord knows why?), I read many an article relating to the media's interpretation and generally one-sided version of their perception of the truth that is our today. I signed off with an ugly urge to read more (translation waste more time and throw intentional to the wind), my stomach in knots over some things, my view of God's greatness over the world's status skewed, fear increased and judgment at an increasing level. Yep, ugly. Flesh. Flesh. Flesh. And, it hit me that we are not supposed to feed that trash into our minds and our lives. Now I am not saying be uninformed and uninvolved and unaware. That's not Biblical either, however, we are to ask for wisdom, to judge through the lenses of Jesus, love, seek the Holy Spirit's Word on the situation and act accordingly. Be "peacemakers who sows in peace and harvest righteousness." (James 3:18)
 
The Bible says to think on these things:
"For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]."     Philipians 4:8 (AMP)
Am I thinking on these things? I want to be focused on thinking about these things. I want my life to speak out these things ... and not just what I think they are, but on what the Holy Spirit teaches me they are. What He says they are. Thinking on these things. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Today ...



Today is a new day. Another day. Today we wait in willful anticipation of what You will do. Today I choose not to be discouraged by what I do not see. Today I will believe You don't intend to leave us stuck here in the desert, going what feels like backward. Today I ask for forgiveness for fear, anger, distrust, small faith, lack of belief, selfishness and forgetfulness. Today I will know Your timing is perfect, although it is painful. You have a purpose. I am Your daughter. We are Your children. I choose to believe You and call satan and my earthly eyes and those ridiculous little voices liars. Today I surrender my ideas and my will and my ways for Yours. And, this is what You say to me ...
"This is what the Lord says ... "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. BUT blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."  Jeremiah 17: 5-8 (NIV)
"Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10a 

Wonder



I LOVE the people in this picture. I love that Daddy is holding our littlest girl's hand. It's a tangible picture (to me) of our Heavenly Father holding our hand, when we let Him, and why don't we let Him all the time? He has promised to never leave us or forsake us and so all we have to do is reach up, hold His hand, let Him hold ours and navigate us through this world that is not our home, that is broken and fallen where (when we let Him) He makes all things new.
 
At what point do we lose our sense of wonder and joy at everything? Notice the un-matching bows and the lopsidedness of those pony tails and if she was facing forward you would see crazy make-up and a beautiful smile and just how proud and happy she is!

When does it happen that we quit seeing life through the eyes of a child? We are children of God, aren't we? When do we give up that majesty and amazement and freedom to the ugliness of this world? When was my heart bruised and where does it need healing and to be set free by the Holy Spirit so I can return to wonder?

Jesus said we are to have a childlike faith, be like children to enter the kingdom. Choose wonder, know amazement, and that everything through Him is imaginable. Forgive in an instant, act silly, love huge and demonstrate it, be yourself, be carefree, stand in complete and unquestioned trust of the Heavenly Father.  
"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" (Matthew 19:14)
"Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:15)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

One Step At A Time


 
"The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him."  Psalm 37:23
 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Reality Check!


Because this season is hard and some days seriously suck and there seems, at times, no comfort or relief and because sometimes I need to be reminded that God is good.  Always good. And, even if nothing changed, God is still good! Willfully choosing to be joyful while we wait because "God is working on our prayers." Thought someone else might need this reminder, too.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Wheat and Chaff

 
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”  Luke 3:11,12
John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”   Luke 3:16,17

This is what is happening in my mind and heart right now. The Holy Spirit is taking His winnowing fork to my thoughts. Stirring them up that the wheat might stay, hidden things be revealed, and the chaff might blow away into the unquenchable fire. Wrong thoughts. Wrong beliefs. Gone. Painful at times. Revelatory. The more I seek Him, the more I find Him. The more I find my vision of Him is so limited and the more I want of Him. Every.single.day.

 
 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This is ...

 ... what happens when you leave your camera on the couch and the 13-year old gets it!

 




Love this sweet face ... and all the other faces she makes, too! :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

No words ...

 ... to describe God's jaw-dropping majesty, creativity, beauty, imagination. Really, it's just breath-taking! Love Him!

Do you see it?

Look closely ...
 










The beautiful hummingbird watcher. :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

I Ain't Gonna Lie ...

 

This has been my countenance in several conversations with God lately. Me dressed in defense or maybe offense, whatever. Things are slowly changing, but they are still hard. And, nothing's been checked off our list of H.U.G.E. things ... although there is slooooooow notable movement. Thank you, Jesus! Really.

And, I am ever so thankful for folks in the Bible who didn't get it right or even perfect or even close to perfect, like David and Peter. There are things about the end of this season that I'm not feeling so much like choosing happy about and I'm thankful He can take all that I dish out and, frankly, that I can kind of feel Him smiling that I trust Him to do that. While we wait, He is teaching us some serious character lessons and peeling the ick off and preparing us for His plans (which I mostly have no real specific clue about, but know will in some ways match my vision and in other ways be more than I can ask or imagine). Thankful.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Today is a good day to ...

 
Sit inside and sip iced tea and thank the Lord for air conditioning
and an overcast day because it is H.O.T!
 
Pray for our Root Family, blessing others across the continent in Africa.
 
Rejoice with my sweet friend whose promises are manifesting.
Exciting and encouraging!
 
Marvel at all God did in the heart of our big girl at camp last week.
 
Daydream about living in a real house again and where that might be or better yet,
continue to make my requests known about that to the Heavenly Father.
 
Miss the beach and our Majestic Oaks peeps in Biloxi.
 
Get my film developed so the blog ideas I have rolling
around in my head can come to life.
 
Marvel at the little ways that God reveals things that are
beautiful about me. :) Things I forget.
 
Watch our littlest water color.
 
Sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" with hand motions included.
 
Count the ways we are ridiculously blessed to counter-act those annoying voices that come and whisper in my head while we wait on God's to fulfill His promises to us.
 
Eat single bites of "Three Muskateer's" bars that Carol saves for me
 at the office for when we pick up ice ... for the tea. :)
 
Read a book and maybe take a nap.
 
Or, try out that new chocolate chip cookie recipe.
 
Smile a lot 'cause there's lots to smile about!
 
Stand and be overwhelmed by God's goodness.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fear


And this truth has been kicking my buns all.over.the.place. Seriously. See, here's the thing, I had been thinking I wasn't afraid of stuff. I believe God. I'm not afraid. But, that sweet, little Holy Spirit voice that whispers when we are ready to listen, He said that it wasn't so. And, what's more, I had an ugly root called "fear" growing in my spiritual garden that was producing flowers called: anger, aggravation, selfishness, self-centeredness, judgment, comparison, lack, defeat, despair, unbelief. Ick! Really? Cause I was thinking those were all just poor character choices alone. I'm thinking not. They are the result of fear running loose, ruling the roost and it's just so subtle. Fear says God isn't big enough, He can't rescue you and He's not in control. I would hear these voices, "This thing won't happen if you don't control this situation or person." "You can't count on God." "God is NOT ever going to rescue you because you aren't worthy ... you didn't follow this imaginary 'to do' list ... you are a sinner and grace isn't big enough for you." "God is small, so you'd better do this thing to fix this because He's not." "God forgot you." Or, whatever other flavor of lie that satan throws around that I listened to instead of willfully focusing on God and resting in His Truth.

See, fear IS a LIAR. Created by the father of lies, satan. You know, that guy who, as Job's wife said so eloquently in Job 2:9, would have me "Curse God and die." The one who only comes to "steal, kill and destroy." (John 10:10), who "prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8). That one. Big jerk. He's looks for opportunity in our lives, when things aren't looking so great by earthly measure to kick us in the teeth. And, he's so subtle that we don't even realize when we've jumped on his bandwagon. Dang it. And, the root starts to grow. And, the more we agree with satan's lies, the big and deeper that root takes hold and evidence of it begins to show in our lives, in our choices, in our reactions. Ugh.

Thankful that God is faithful to answer when we ask and simmer down long enough to really listen. Thankful that He is a Great, Great God and thankful that ...
"Where God's love is, there is no fear, because God's perfect love drives out fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear, so love is not made perfect in a person who fears."  1 John 4:18 (NCV)
"There is no fear in love (dread does not exist), but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and (so) he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love (is not yet grown into love's complete perfection)."   1 John 4:18 (AMP)
Next time you see me and I have dirt on my hands and knees, it's because I've been hanging out with Jesus in my spiritual garden, pulling up weeds, hacking them from the root and planting me some real spiritual flowers: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:21-22)