Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ways We're Wired...

The physiological makeup of women often surprises me-how we can both weep and laugh hysterically, at the same time. The humor and creativity that our Creator used to form and shape us leaves so much room for discovery, often times leaving us with a sense of being completely befuddled, amazed, and without words.

There was a sadness that overwhelmed me today, and I could not quite put my finger on its source. After some time in silence and prayer, I realized that it was my heart grieving for a dear friend of mine who is going through an incredibly trying, heart-transforming time. Though i've never walked down the same exact path, i was able to, for a period of time, feel the weight of what she is feeling. This lent itself to true empathy. Though my experience was much more brief than hers, I have no doubt that she will come out of this stronger, fuller, even more capable of love (more so that she already is) and more like her Maker. I don't know know for certain why transformation and growth wear such an array of hats: exciting ones, difficult ones, excruciatingly painful ones, sad ones, joyful ones, etc... but it's through the hats of transformation, that the masks of our hearts are slowly stripped away--our defenses are let down one by one. As we come before Him, pure in heart (sometimes completely stripped raw of what we know), completely defenseless, all we know is to collapse into the arms of our Jesus and say, " I know i'm not strong enough for this. Even if i wasn't in this situation, even if my life was better, I would be in desperate need of you." It's bittersweet that we need those "Why the heck is this happening?" times for us to see how in need we actually are.

How personal our Savior is never ceases to baffle me. He knows the intricacies of me, and gives me gifts that I don't deserve but that are so according to my heart's desires, the things that set my spirit to flight. As I was in that place of grieving, I wept. Uncontrollably. And as one would expect, I was exhausted. It took so much out of me, but what I knew the whole time was that I wasn't alone in that. There are two stanzas in William Blake's Poem "On Another's Sorrow," that demonstrate this quite beautifully:

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy maker is not by;
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy maker is not near.

O! he gives to us his joy
That our grief he may destroy;
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

If anyone has experienced grief, pain, loss, humiliation, it's Him. He knows. The God of all comfort is all of that and more because he knows what it is to be there, to have walked through it, to have bared its weight and come out victorious. In light of that, we walk victoriously. It might take us a while to walk freely in that, but there is hope in that that is beyond anything we could conjure up for ourselves. I think struggling to finally experience his freedom is incomprehensibly more than experiencing momentary comfort from ourselves that eventually enslaves and catapults us back into the rut of our own, lacking knowledge.

If someone were to gift me with a large pad of paper and a package of smooth, writing bic pens in hopes that I could write down all that God has taught and revealed to me in all the years that I have sought to know Him (some more than others), I would laugh; the pad of paper would not suffice, I would run out of ink, and it would be near impossible to find the right words to use. I need not say "Let my words be few;" the grander He becomes, the more and more my words pale in comparison. The discovery of this phenomena was initially a bit frustrating. It was a matter of time until I realized that it was a gift: My Jesus is teaching me to gladly be in a posture of humility. It's the same feeling I have when i'm sitting by a massive ocean that seemingly goes on forever, or the feeling I have when there is a rich, deep, navy-hued-night sky full of stars overhead--that which causes me to be full of awe is HUGE. The expansive seas could easily swallow me whole, I could find myself completely engulfed by the grandeur of the skies; likewise, the Love of my Father overwhelms me, swaddles me with safety, and spurs me into the unimaginable. As far as life goes, there is uncertainty around every corner: "Where will I be in five year?" "What happens if I [insert any appropriate scenario here]?" I welcome the uncertainty in light of His faithfulness and His promises.

There was really no rhyme or strict structure to what i've written. It was all over the place. It was a response to many things that were going inside of my head and my heart. All of this to say, as I wept, I was also overwhelmed by His love. I was no longer just weeping. I was weeping and laughing. There is joy in the midst of grief. The truth is, we live in tension. There's no escaping it. It is best we embrace it as He embraces us.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Where Grace Abounds.

Some notes.
Some of my own thoughts.
A whole lot of God and his gifts and presents to us :).

GRACE- a gift for you completely undeserved, regardless of whether you are in the wrong or in the right.

Grace as tied to pain.
Those pains and experiences as the means to grace.

Grace as tied to strengths.
Our strengths as the means to grace.

Take into consideration Paul's journey-the way that he writes about grace and how one needs it to live parallels our need for food as sustenance. Grace is something that he carried with him, constantly. Though they manifested in Paul's life in various ways, Paul's thorn was a means of great grace in his life.

1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and his grace to me was not without effect.
No, I worked harder than all of them—
yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

The MSG:
1 Corinthians 15:10
But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I'm not about to let his grace go to waste.

2 Corinthians 6:1
As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain.

To take all that is given to you,
take it and weave it into the fabric of your life so
that it becomes the way that you live.
Your life as a result of your acknowledgment of all that God bestows upon you.

What a process, what a beautiful process it is to become aware of God in all things. Through the gift and reception of grace, we are freed people, freed people that can come to know to know His will and cooperate with it.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Lord, help me surrender all.
i cannot change another's heart, another's soul, another's mind.
what i can do is to trust that Your heart is being sought after,
that in the process of striving to know truth,
they would hear your voice as clear as day.
I pray for sensitivity in areas that need to feel to know
I pray for discernment to hear what your Spirit is speaking
I pray for grace and patience as this whole process is one of learning and growing,
And ultimately, knowing you as Maker, as Savior, as Lord, as Abba, as Almighty You.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008



Patience wears thin as I wait on
The coming of the summer sun,
That will take the cold, cool spring
By the hands and lead it
Over and far beyond the warmth of
The beating rays, the brightness of
Its seemingly unending days
That beckons all to bask in the
Promised euphoria of heat perfected,
The bliss of nature’s accolades emerging from
The cusp of its extensive slumber;
Anticipation of what is in view.

the art and curse of assumption

the danger of much assumption lies in the manifestation of impatience,
the desire to know now, to have now.
lack of trust and
selfishness rearing its ugly head.

were we to assume the happenings in their best light,
it would be a completely different story.
assumption usually dresses itself in the worst way possible,
leading to thoughts running rampant
and minds clearing a path for lies and other such things that
end up in the forefront of our minds.

let's assume that assuming gets us nowhere
but into our own worst fears.

turn the light on, let your eyes adjust, and proceed when your vision and perspective have adapted to reality and Truth.

Monday, May 12, 2008


I'm finding my days shortening, and my breaths going right along with my days. I'm needing to remind myself to breathe, to sit, and to be reminded of an all encompassing picture of what my life currently is, not this little smidgen that I currently find myself in. I foolishly weigh the the tip of the mountain on my scale, but in doing so, i completely fail to see the mountain range that is. My scale is skewed. Instead of laying it all down at his feet, i'm doing my best, in my own power, to run as fast as i can and to try as hard as possible to make things OK for myself. In trying to control, i'm losing control, and i'm forgetting to surrender.

You alone are God, and i so need to be reminded of that. You are in control, and you have my best interest at heart. You provide, you sustain, you lavish me with things i couldn't imagine for myself, and you sing a song over me. God, amidst my dense thoughts and my racing emotions, I ask for a sensitivity to your song over me, that would teach me the posture to take to sing a song of praise to you, God-for all that you are. Teach me to be grateful, to give, and to choose to lean into you and to fall into your arms instead of taking my life into my own hands. I pray to trust you and your plan. As your kingdom unfolds on this earth, I pray that I would see how it is that you're allowing me to join you in that. I want to give you my heart, Lord. Guard it, Lord, and let me let you guard it. Right when I think I've arrived at that place of knowing what it is to surrender, doubt and fear and a flood of questions find their way into my mind. I pray, God that in this time, I would hand over those doubts, those fears and those questions. I pray that I would talk to you about those things, listen for your voice, and be diligent in knowing that i am full and being complete in you. I pray against the thoughts and the emotions that vie for my attention, God. I know that this is a battleground on which I tread. I ask, Lord, that you would forgive me in my stubbornness and my disregard for how my actions pull at your heart. I often find myself trusting in you with only a part of my heart, God. And that's not what i want; i want to trust you with all of it. God, i'm sorry for what I allow my eyes to see and what my spirit to endure that detracts of me from seeing and knowing you. I ask for life and to experience all that is life-giving, but I find myself stewing in the places i find comfortable and temporarily satisfying, God. I pray to choose the battle, the fight that will lead to sweet victory in you, God. With you, in you, there is triumph. Remind me that I am made in your image and for your glory. You call me worthy. YOU call me worthy. Thank you, Lord, for your grace and abundant love. I pray to receive and experience freedom.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Proverbial Box.

It will be a poor analogy, but one that encompasses what my insufficient words are attempting to convey.

When bombarded with anything, it seems like our minds and our hearts become this container. A container that collects our thoughts, our emotions, our fears, our joys and our concerns, etc--and as it collects, these all become swirled together. We attempt to sort them out, categorize them, and make sense of them. And then, with those manipulated, compartmentalized concepts, we come before God. We come before God with things that have already been tried to be solved, dealt with, or somewhat figured out. We get them into a place of "OK, things are kind of in control" before we offer them to God and place them at the feet of his throne.

Then, other times, we proceed to our Step 2. If we do get our ducks in a somewhat organized row and place them at his throne, we expect him to align them, make them right, finish off the job-put the final touches on it that we are obviously not capable of. We come before him because we expect resolve in our distress, our despair and our incapacity of handling something completely by ourselves, with our own, foolishly self-appointed power. And in these moments, that object of disdain or sorrow becomes the impetus behind why we go before God. And if he doesn't follow through with our own desires, the idea of him merely becomes a roadblock on our road to fixing the immediate "problem."

Well, here's the problem with that "problem." Our dilemma is that we don't see God in view as we're bringing these things before him. We are not seeking him out, searching after him to know him and his will for us. We are merely seeking him out to get something fixed, to pave the pot holes, to sand off the edges for us-so that we can experience what we think to be peace of mind.

This is where my analogy somewhat falls apart. Rather than treating God as one whom we come before to dump out our issues, we need to approach him as this completely immeasurable, ever-expanding "box" with no constraints, no parameters-something absolutely incomprehensible to our limited minds because of its very nature. Where we are confined by time, by measurements and by comparison; he is constantly present in a timeless, immeasurable, absolutely unique and perfect existence. And it is in his existence, in his complete fullness, that he beckons us to come before him. To come into that "box" that IS God, not to dump into, but to rest safely inside, to be amazed by, and to trust that the "box" that IS him is much greater than the box that we so feebly try to put him into. This "box"contains everything that we know or could attempt to conjure up. It is, in this "box" that everything exists, finds purpose, finds life and finds freedom to be broken; and in that freedom, the capacity to be healed, restored, and ultimately realizing that it has been made new.

This "box" is just a poor parallel to what is his truly immeasurable Love. The Love that gives breath, and gives purpose for all who simply receive; that gives life-that is life. And in this, may we find such joy in receiving Love and truly yearning and striving to know our God.
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