Friday, July 6, 2012
Read this in a book I finished recently. For some reason, I keep returning to the words, considering them, feeling them, understanding them. How much of the truth does need to be shared? And what is the Truth, really? When people are involved, there seems to be so many layers. And yet, lately, I have found myself wanting so much for people to know the truth...or least my understanding of it. But the more I consider that desire, I realize it's not my truth I want known, it's my heart...
I want people to know that originally, I was not angry. I did not compare because I did not know there was anything to compare. I want people to know that I was in it for the love of it...nothing more. I am not even sure when it became laborious. I want people to know that I don't understand uniformity--can there really EVER be uniformity? I want people to know that I have no hate in my heart--hurt--but no hate. I want people to know that I know that I am not innocent...but I am not deceitful or foolish. I want people to know that the lies are what hurt. I want people to know that I'm on God's team and didn't think there was another. I want people to know that I know there are good things to come, but I hurt over how things ended. I want people to know that I cannot look back and that aches. I want people to know that a part of my heart is still there.
I want people to know that each day gets better. I want people to know that I still love them deeply. I want people to know that I believe in restoration--on all sides. I want people to know that I BELIEVE with all of my heart God is better and bigger than all of this. I want people to know that I know God will work things out to His glory.
I want people to know my heart...and I am thankful that God already does.
Friday, June 8, 2012
When we entered the building, the mess was overwhelming. Broken boards, pieces of glass, torn insulation and rusty nails were scattered across the dust-covered floor. Our objective was to clear the floors, pull up old carpet and dump the trash--start the process of restoration. It didn't take long for the entire first floor to fill with dust from the constant movement. It was hard work--sweeping, shoveling, carrying, dumping--repetitive. It was the kind of work that is physical but not so much mental. One could find herself drifting off in thought but still keeping with the task at hand.
It often seems that it is through this type of work the Lord chooses to speak to me. Perhaps it lacks just enough thought processes to hear Him. Whatever it was today; he was whispering; I was listening, and I realized that lately, I have felt a lot like the old building--worn down, tired, broken--in need of restoration. Like the building, my foundation seems to have been threatened, neglected, forgotten. Things I've always believed are blurry. My path is dust-filled, uncertain. And while I can cite the many wrongs that have broken me, I believe He wanted me to see today that they wouldn't have been able to break me if my focus had remained on the foundation I have with Him. It's good to serve others; it's great to give of yourself. But when your humaness is forgotten and the service becomes the focus, even IT will break you. And when you begin to break--little by little--you reach a point, like the old building, in which you can no longer be of service. And that is a point I never want to see. That is the point He has saved me from. It took pulling away from so much that I love. But it was needed to rebuild, restore.
So, I lift my hands to the Lord. For today, in a little part of Griffin, He began two restorations...one was the building's, the other was mine.
Thank you God for showing me my own brokeness through the brokeness of a building.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
They accumulate so fast, gathered details, one pile turning into two and three and four. So neatly put together, they make life look....managed. If I am uncomfortable with God's leading, His nudge...I can rummage through the pile for that one detail that will convince Him that I know the way; I have a plan. It's a facade though. The reality is that as the pile grows, I only get further and further from Him-- His truth, His answers. His WAY just gets lost under those gathered details--the pile where my need to KNOW, my need to CONTROL is kept.
And so, what if I just decided to jump into that pile of details and let them fall where they may...lose control...Trust in Him? What if I decided to step out in faith...follow His lead...BELIEVE He has a plan--a good plan. What if I just stopped gathering those dry and brittle details all together and TRUST in the ONE who knows my way, planned my existence? What if...
What the heck...
(and that's a whole different story for a different day)
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
--Children are windows to God; they know so much more about life than adults.
--You only live in a glass house if you move in.
--Women are strong beings and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
-- True beauty oozes from the heart.
--In the end, it won't matter if you recylced, ate organic, had an Iphone, watched in HD, drove a hybrid or shopped at The Loft...BUT it will matter how you Loved.
--Every day should include something you love to do...
--You will never regret saying 'Yes' to helping someone else.
--Your time is all your children REALLY want from you.
--If this world was obsessed with Jesus the way it is obsessed with money...well...Just IMAGINE!
--Never put another human on a pedastal; they will fall for sure.
--Sometimes it is just time to get up and go...
--Change is scary, but healthy.
--There's a purpose for each person that enters your life AND a reason when they exit.
--Life would be terrible without music. :)
Friday, December 30, 2011
I've been thinking about focus this morning. We all have a focus...a center point, a place where we put our attention, our concentration. And it is this focus that shapes our lives--our attitudes, behaviors... even our hearts. Unfortunately, I find that more often than not, my focus is on the storms. My center point is the rising stream. As I walk through life, my concentration is on the wind and the rain. I cannot see past the storms that surround my house; I watch them intently. I know when the rains begin. I can tell you how high the stream rises with each passing storm. I clock and record the speeds of the winds, meticulously. And the damage...I can tell you all you want to know about the damage to my house--what broke, how much the repairs cost, how long it took to rebuild. If you want to talk feelings, I can do that too--with great accuracy--the fears, the heartache, the pain. The storm is always my focus, and so I miss the beauty. I miss the true focus. I miss the fact that with every storm, my house never fell. Its foundation, The Rock, never moved. The rains fall so hard sometimes. The streams rise so high and the winds blow saw fast that you fear for your life. But, when the house is built on the Rock, on the God who is bigger than any storm, the foundation will not be moved. Your house will never fall. And that should be the focus.
Monday, December 26, 2011
For emails, that can be a good thing. But what I have come to realize is that I do this in life too---hang on, review, remind myself of things long forgotten. I say it's over; I forgive; I forget. Then I move it out of the 'In' folder of my heart to a place where I can recall it if needed. And this place, my heart's 'Deleted' folder, is different. It is a deeper place in my heart, where things of the past are able to sit and marinate in the feelings they produced so long ago. This is a dangerous process, this marinating, as the feelings of old become distorted. When they are recalled, the events that surrounded them are inaccurate and one-sided. New feelings arise, more potent--often deadly to your heart.
And so...just like the 'Deleted' folder of emails, this folder in my heart needs to be cleaned out--permanently deleted. Unfortunately, for me, it takes more than a click of a button. It requires a God's touch--a God who specializes in forgiveness. And I know when it's time to fall on my knees and ask Him to help me move the overflowing content of my heart's 'Deleted' folder to the wonderful, freeing folder labeled--'Forgiven.'
Monday, December 19, 2011
I know this scripture; it's written in my journal many times. I've scribbled it there out of joy, fear and complete desperation. The words are in my head--I recall them easily. In my times of need, my brain can quickly repeat what to do--look to God; call upon His strength; seek Him; don't forget the wonderful things He has done for me.
And that's where it ends. This wonderful set of instructions hasn't penetrated my heart. I know this because I've lived under a similar set of circumstances for nearly 4 years now. Clouds of uncertainty have passed by in what seems like a continual line. And with each fog...I completely panic, complaining to God that I don't have the strength, reminding Him that I've been doing this for years! It's sad, really. And it makes me realize that I am not growing or not enough anyway. It makes me realize that I mope in my circumstances. I am very much like the Isrealiltes---hearing God, but not letting His truths penetrate my heart. It makes me realize that I am not living the truths I so desperately read and scribble in my journal.
What's worse is that I've had ample opportunity to place these truths in my heart. Nearly fours years ago, my husband lost his job. We had five children--our recent additions were 5 months old. We were scared, unsure and angry. But God walked us through, showing us the reality of His provision and unconditional love. Throughout the next several years, we faced the same situation over and over. Today, we face it again. And with each time, I go right back to my three-step reaction: PANIC, PLEAD, and PITY. Truthfully, the reality of it makes sick to my stomach. I know His truths--I read about them; I write them; I even teach them. But when it comes to living them, I just don't measure up. I claim to know that God will take care of me. But when the job market is less than desirable and the bank account is depleated and I've cried the same prayer for years, I wonder...where is He? Does He really care? Has He left me? Is He angry with me?
I've seen God's Grace and Mercy in my life so many times; I've seen Him come through in impossible situations. And yet, when the going gets tough once again...my faith is weak, lacking, not there!
And I wonder...I wonder what He thinks. Because, frankly, I am so good at wondering what others think. Is He disappointed in my reaction, my doubt, my lack of faith? Why do I keep failing this test? Is it even a test to fail?
And it comes back to me--those words I scribbled in my journal, His words--Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done. It's a simple set of instructions. It doesn't specify when you do this. It doesn't say--Look to the Lord immediately, before you Panic, Plead and have a little Pity party. Perhaps just the act of looking to Him, seeking Him is what He wants--no matter where you are in a crisis. Sure, it would be great to do it immediately; but I don't. And that's just who I am. Does that mean that His truths haven't penetrated my heart? Does that mean I am not growing? Perhaps...not.
The most wonderful thing about all of this, about Him, is His Grace and His Mercy. He knows me. He knows the things I scribble in a journal; He knows my fear; He knows my thoughts; and He knows that when the going gets tough...I Panic, Plead and Pity FIRST. And yet, He loves me still.