Friday, December 20, 2013

It's Official: I Don't Deserve Christmas.

When words you don't expect pour into the mundane moments, you listen. Listen hard. And write fast. 
As "What Child is This?" flooded my ears, the Holy Spirit flooded my heart. 
Fresh Words. 
Fresh perspective. 
Refreshed Spirit.
Maybe it was for you as much as it was for me…wherever you are.

"Wherever You Are"

Come peasant King…and all in-between to own Him.
Enthrone Him with your praise.
All that we are, all that we have, not merely voices, but LIVES we raise!
There is nothing that you have to do to earn this love, this grace.
Simply turn and look. There waiting, you'll see His face.
Breaking into your darkness, there is no need for shame.
Love He pours out over you, Mercy is His name.

He took on our broken form in the most vulnerable way.
The breath of this baby to be sacrificed, in Him all power to save.
Messiah in this tiny form, held in His mother's arms.
And then, He takes on MY wretched sin, allows my humanness to bring Him harm.
He scraped His knees, bumped His head, heart hurt and broken by by life.
He was a baby, a boy, a man- yet still God- allowing all the strife.

So, I cannot see this baby and leave Him in this humble bed.
Because through pain He walked where I should have been and took on death in my stead.
I celebrate His coming, this child breathed of God.
But that night is only the beginning of the story, the path that Grace would trod.

The chubby hands of this baby were the hands pierced for my soul.
The heartbeat felt, skin on a Mother's chest, pumped the blood that was foretold.
Yes, the joy found in those new life moments, made life accessible to me,
Because this baby, 
My Jesus
My Savior
He died to set me free!

Friday, October 4, 2013

How to Scramble Eggs...and Eat Them

Scrambling eggs.
I am pretty sure it's the first thing I ever learned to legitimately cook by myself. So, of course, it was one of the first things that I taught my Caroline to cook as well. 
If you know anything about homeschooling(or if you don't then I am about to be really transparent here), you know that the days can be discombobulated and full of a gazillion things and directions all while learning is supposed to be taking place. 
So much so, that some days, the "cafeteria lady" (, gets so busy that she forgets to...errrr...uhhh...fix lunch.
So it's a good thing my 10 year old now knows how to scramble eggs(the one thing this cafeteria lady always keeps in stock) from scratch to finish.

On a recent day that turned out to be one of those days where I considered to fake a potty break just to get to sit down and escape for 2 seconds, but then I remembered they will still find me...yeah....on one of those days, it was no surprise I saw Caroline pull out the pan and get to cooking because she was "starving". 
I proudly watched her do her thing with confidence, responsibility and care. And, as a seasoned homeschooler, I seized the opportunity to mark Home Arts complete for the day, and then, went back to my business.
I am guessing it was about a half-hour later that I was helping Caroline with her Math. 
Having trouble focusing and being rather irritable, she finally says with all the drama a 10 year old girl can muster, 
"I am sooooo hungry!"
I looked at her confused and said, What about your eggs? They didn't fill you up?"
Her big brown eyes widened and shocked at herself, she said, 
"Oh no, Mama! I forgot to eat them!"

Now you see, I taught her how to cook the eggs, I supplied her with the eggs, the pan etc...and she even cooked them...but until she eats them, they will never satisfy the hunger that drove her to them.

And so we "mature" Believers, leaders, teachers, pastors, who have access to the Word, know how to glean from the word, even know how to teach, tell, speak, sing the Word, find ourselves along the road of life, unfocused, irritable...dramatically, and even secretly, lamenting over the pain of our own spiritual starvation.
And all along...we have simply forgotten to eat.

We've prepared, shared, taught, counseled, attended, listened, but we have not eaten.
When we don't eat, we don't receive nourishment. 
And without nourishment, there will be no growth.

The grocer, the chef, the server, the dishwasher: they all have to put fork to mouth at some point, or they will never be fed. 
Being in the presence of the meal is not enough.
The nutrients that quiet the hunger are only released, only give life, when they are consumed.

Don't forget to eat.
Being in the presence of spiritual things, the rituals of religion...these things are not enough.
Be nourished.
Let's stop starving in the presence of the banquet table of The Lord.

So go ahead...scramble those eggs...just don't forgot to eat them.

"Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food." (Isaiah 55:2 ESV)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Music for Your Soul

I had to share this song.
The words may not be passing my lips right now, but these are the lyrics and truth that my spirit are belting out!
I have had this on replay, replay, replay, replay...(you get the idea)...for the past week or so.
I believe that someone out there needs to be soaked in this truth as much as I do.
Be blessed.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Thick Chick Gets Schooled

Yes, I homeschool...but sometimes I get schooled by my kids.

Sunday morning, rushed and scattered as I attempt to get myself and everyone else out the door, I stopped for my "I stay awake and others stay alive" cup of coffee. 
My 12 year old son, Jonathan, came and stood beside me, checking out my ear with his laser pointer. Why, you ask? Because he had apparently "never looked in an ear with this thing before". 
Once bored with that(a staggering 10 seconds later), he said, 
"Alright Mama, get ready for laser surgery."
Playing along, I quickly retorted, "Oooohhh good. Make sure you get right here and right here.", gesturing towards my hips and rear.
He looked at me with such a truly sad, rather appalled and angry expression, and released this arrow of truth to my spirit:

why are you being so mean to yourself?"

I didn't honestly know how to respond.
His words left me convicted and speechless.
Mostly because I didn't have a valid answer.
There is no good reason.
I make daily choices to live an active, healthy lifestyle, to be strong and fit. 
But this other...well...these are just things I have always said...cloaking my own deep seeded dissatisfaction and self loathe in humor of some sort. one has ever really called me out on it in this way- until now.

And I am quite certain I am not alone.

So I will do for you what my 12 year old did for me:
Why are YOU being so mean to yourself?

Sadly, if you're like me, you've become desensitized to your own self criticism- 
barely even hearing the condemnation that comes out of your mouth, makes its home in your thought life...and as a result strikes dangerous blows to your soul. 

It isn't harmless, humorous, or humble.
It's hateful.

There is nothing wrong with striving towards excellence in all that you are or all that you do: family, education, health, fitness, job, and the list goes on...
But there is everything wrong with abusing God's most valued creation in the attempt to get there: you.

You're valuable not because of all that you were, are, or could be. 
No, you are valuable because HE has determined your worth! 
Striving to be better is futile. Striving to know Jesus? Empowering! 

Because here is the amazing part:
He knows you best...and He still loves you the most.

Hard to comprehend? I know.
Hard to believe? I know.
Hard to let go of old patterns? Heck yeah, I know! 

But can you imagine with me for a moment, your Heavenly Father looking with such adoration at His created one, as Love holds your face in His hands, and with piercing simplicity says, 
"Why? Why are you being so mean to yourself?"

So...I grab grace yet again, asking Him to take all of me and replace it with all of Him...believing....believing that regardless of the image staring back at me in my mirror this truth remains:
what I may see as a nothing, God created for a something.

Regardless of where you are, or even where you aren't: stop being mean to yourself.
Choose His perspective.
Your Creator makes no mistakes...let Him sculpt the Masterpiece. 

"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; 
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something."
Psalm 139:13-16 MSG


Monday, September 16, 2013

The Right Noise

New video devotional post! 
It's all about learning to listen to "The Right Noise" amidst life's distractions.
Praying the Holy Spirit uses it in your life to bring hope and direction for your days. 
What noise do YOU need to listen THROUGH instead of listen TO today?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Batteries Required

"Batteries Required. Not Included"
There is nothing more frustrating than bringing home a product you are ready to use, only to realize that you failed to notice this "minor" detail.
Especially when it calls for a 9 volt, or "D" battery...the ones you never have on hand.
And so, you pull it out and pretend to use it, right? try to generate your own power to make it operate, right?

Yeah...let's hope not.

You either drive back to the store, or you stick the product back in the box until you can get a hold of the necessary power source.
Why? Because batteries are required.
It just won't work without them.

Have you ever asked this question of yourself:
"Do I live a life that requires God?"

Think about it.

If the Spirit of God was removed from your life, is there anything that you are striving for, involved in, attempting, believing for, etc., that absolutely could not be accomplished with human effort alone?

I know this seems a drastic scenario, but it is one that has made me look at my life through the honest lens of the Holy Spirit.
All too often, I begin with the best intentions, seeking to fill my life with God things-not just good things-but then, I set out to accomplish them apart from Him.

I forget so easily that being a true disciple of Christ isn't just about trusting Him to impart the plan; it's also about trusting Him to impart the power to accomplish it.
Otherwise, bringing the plan to fruition gives glory to me rather than God.

I believe Him for the revealing the way, then I default to trusting my own will to walk it out.

Comfort zone.
Safety net.
Operating from that place of, "Just in case God doesn't show up, I will be ok."
Face saved, and all that.

It just seems simpler and safer to live a life that doesn't require a power source.
That is...only if you enjoy living in the dark.
But God calls us out of that confusing, powerless, comfortable place:
"for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light."(Ephesians 5:8)
Holy Spirit required kind of living.

How can I be content with living a life that minimally requires the presence and power of the One True Living God?

Even can I be content living a life that repeatedly functions without Him altogether?

I want to live a life that requires all that He is replacing all that I am.
I want to live a life that screams "Impossible!",  so the world sees that, "With God all things are possible."(Luke 1:27)
I want my life to shout HIS glory, not mine.

I want to live a life labeled: "Holy Spirit Power required."
A life that just won't work without Him.

"Let all those that seek and require You rejoice and be glad in You; 
let such as love Your salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified!"
Psalm 40:16(AMP)