Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Every season in life feels so fresh and new...yet there is always something vaguely familiar too.
Somewhat like a vivid case of déjàvu....the feeling like you've been here before remains, yet it's also completely new.

Some friends and I have recently been going through a group study together. In one of the group discussions it asked what our happiest year was and why, followed by our worst. It's funny how difficult it was for me. At fist I thought it would come easy...I would think of the time that I remember being joyful, carefree, and happy...and I would instantly know. But to be honest, each happy memory, was followed by a thought of the sorrow, heartache, or valley that I also recall from that time. Each blessed and peaceful memory was paired with one of pain. No year stood out to me as all together happier. And while it seemed easy at first say that my most difficult year was definitely the last, that too faded as I recalled the good of the year. The joys and growth that took place because of the struggles. 
The truth is that, just as each year is filled with both dry and rained filled seasons, so are the seasons in our lives. 

Refining. He is refining me. Each season that I walk through, I come out the other side changed. It is my choice whether I am made better, or become harder. There are really no other options. I either allow myself to be moved and molded as my Creator re-shapes my character, or I choose to become calloused and I thwarted by his efforts. 

I have been in both places in my life and harder is never better.

When we choose to become calloused, we remove the ability to find serenity and peace within the storm. We're left frustrated, searching for justification, rather than peacefully trusting our Father. 

While not every difficult time in our lives is designed by God or inflicted upon us, I do believe that it is always purposed by Him. He is always there speaking tenderly, desiring us to draw near in the moment of heartache. 

I love the passage in Hosea chapter 2 where God allures his people into the wilderness...it's there in their struggle where He makes them His bride. Anyone who has been in any kind of relationship with another person can attest that conflict or struggle, when handled properly, will end up bringing the two closer in the end. Such is this story. She has wronged Him, He leads her way into the wilderness so that he has her attention. Stripped of all distractions, she can now hear him speaking softly, lovingly. There He restores her, gives back to her, cleanses her. 

“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master. ’ I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. (Hosea 2:14-17 NIV)

God desires to refine you in this season. To draw you out, away from the things that have kept you from Him. He desires to write His name in your heart and on your lips, and to remove all others. To mold you into His bride and show you that He is your Bridegroom. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Truth is...

Often times we have conflicting desires.
With one thought we desire truth. We desire growth. We desire to know Gods will.
But in the very same moment, in creeps a fear that is at war with those desires.
We want security. We want justification. We want comfort.

They just don't mix. 

We're afraid to seek truth because we know that often with that truth comes the harsh reality that truth requires change

And sometimes...we just don't want to. 

We are afraid that truth will require that we let go of some things. Things that have maybe been a part of our lives for so long that they feel as if they are a part of our very make up as a human being...they have become one with the identiy we see when we look in the mirror. 

Or maybe the truth will tell us that we're not enough on our own...which by the way...we're not...and yet we are. We aren't because apart from Christ, we are nothing...and we are because He says we can come as we are and that He's made perfect in our weakness.

Truth, you see, sets us free. But freedom is sometimes scary. A bird that's only ever known captivity is fearful of the open air. How will the bird ever know it's purpose if it keeps the mentality that it belongs in a cage?
Yet don't we do the same thing? We confine ourselves to the life we've always known or the beliefs we've always held, so afraid to let them go and see what God has really purposed us for.

I am reminded of the very beginning of Romans 12 as I mull over these thoughts. It gives a pattern for knowing Gods will. But it's going to require some things of me...things I desire to hold onto but need to let go of, and things I desire to grab hold of.

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:1, 2 NIV)

This passage tells me that if I want to test and approve what God's perfect will is, I must do these things:

1. Sacrifice.
Am I willing to let my life, my very body even, be a living sacrifice for God; holy and pleasing I'm every way? 
Am I willing to lay down what I do and become subject to Christ?
2. Rebel Against Conformity to the World
Am I able to recognize when my life is conforming to the patterns and standards that the world holds? And am I willing and able to rebel against my natural desire to do so?
3. Be Transformed
Am I willing to release my old beliefs and allow a transformation to take place? 
And I willing to be wrong and to let my life be transformed?
4. Renew My Mind
Am I willing to get into God's Word, Worship, Fellowship, and Prayer?
Am I willing to let that renew my mind, replacing old habits, thought processes, belief systems, and identities with the new mind of Christ?
5. Test and Approve God's Will
Am I willing to ask God questions seeking to test His Word and Will?
6. Trust That His Will is Perfect, Good and Pleasing
Am I willing to trust that if God says it's His will, that it must be good, perfect and pleasing?
7. See it All in View of His Mercy
Do I trust that His mercies are new every morning and that all of this is only possible because of His love and mercy?

When we allow ourselves to take that leap of faith, that's when His truth sets us free.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014


A God outside of Time.

This weekend my Pastor was speaking about the Kingdom of Heaven, and attributes of the God that fills it.

I got stuck on several points...but I wanted to share one with you.


We read it in the Bible, and we quote it to each other in times of struggle...let's say it together... "The Joy of the Lord is our strength."

I have said it so many times, yet never really thought about it truly. What does it mean?
I have used it as a way of beating myself up for not being joyful enough ,to get through something. Because, being joyful is how I am strong...that's how I "manage". So instead of being in a pity party, I put on a smile, I act like I'm great until I trick myself into believing that I am...or until I am thankful enough that I truly am good again.
But I was so convicted this weekend as I heard him talk about Joy. This scripture says absolutely nothing about my joy...it says the joy of the LORD is my strength. If nothing else that I do or possess on my own is ever enough why would I be so foolish as to think that MY joy,(my forcing myself to find joy), would ever be enough to get me through something? And that is where the Truth is... it is through Christ only that anything is ever and has ever been accomplished in my life. His joy is true, not forced.

So how does His joy become my strength?
My understanding of Joy is so very limited. But God's is not. It is untamed, it is unrestrained, it is never ceasing, it is timeless.
God himself is not bound by time, I am. So the joy that I understand may be experienced in one moment, and then another, and another...but to God, ALL joy is His, always.
That's so powerful...and so, so much more powerful than the tiny bit of joy I might be able to muster up on my own. Of course that joy that He holds is my strength!
That kind of Joy could move mountains!

So today, if you're needing an extra dose of strength...instead of running to a cup of coffee, and a fake smile...try remembering the Joy of your Lord. The joy of the God that came down from Heaven on high to be near you. The joy that He knows when you are near to Him, that you belong to Him. The joy of every good moment, every good word, every sweet memory, all joy...all is His.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Certain. Absolutely Certain.

Certain of the uncertainties, and their certainties. 

The first thing I am certain of is that life is crazy confusing sometimes. There are many "unknowns" , "wait it outs" and "hang in there's" . 

But I know that even in life's uncertainties, there are always, always some certainties.

Is certainties even a word? 
Probably not. 
Oh well.
There they are...right there where they should be, in a sea of uncertainties...looking at you with big, wanting eyes just begging you to hold out in hope. 

There's always this waiting out the uncertain moments..wading through the flood waters, wondering when your help will arrive. You know that your location is known....you are not destitute by any means (though it can feel it at times). Your need is known...because, let's be honest...you have made. it. known. Now you wait...latching on to the promise to come, knowing that God will come. He will provide. That's all there is to it. Of that I can be certain. I hold that truth.

Swift. No, not T.Swift. Swift. The adjective meaning promptly; suddenly. That's how God rolls.

I am also certain of that. 

Twice, maybe even three times now that I think of it, in the past week this has been brought to my attention. And by completely random people, unconnected to one another. That God does not act slowly, but swiftly and suddenly. How true is that? You wait, for what feels like an eternity...and then when you least expect it...BAM...done. 

But the truth is, God was working all along. You felt like you were waiting forever for an answer...when really God acted swiftly, you just don't see it until it's finished.

It's like a surprise party for YOU! You think it just happened, all of a sudden your friends and family are all there shouting your name and "Happy Birthday!!" And there's cake (or ice cream if you're me) and presents, and laughter, joy, and crazy amounts of love coming your way. But truthfully...that party has been in the works for a long time, months even. All because they knew your birthday was coming, and they wanted to make you feel the joy and magnitude of their love for you. So much so that it would shock you...

His love is like that. He comes to your rescue, and He NEVER under-delivers.

Of that  you can be certain.


Monday, March 31, 2014

The Good Life

This is my life.
And this is your life.
And yes, it is good.
It may not be easy. In fact, most days it will be everything but easy.
It is imperfect, messy..broken.
But, oh how beautiful it is.
And good. Oh so very good.

Remembering today that God is a good God. And that He is only good. So the life that He has given me...it too is the good life. The one He gave me...this breath, this moment, this heartache, this joy, this compassion, this beauty, this memory, all of it...every bit of this life is good, and it is beautiful.
There is beauty in this place.

My God, you see, He is a craftsman. He is good at what He does. A craftsman knows their craft, they are careful with their craft. They study it, the understand it, they purpose it.
I am purposed for something. And not just anything. But for good things.

"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fullness of God

Today my heart is enraptured by the unfathomable love of Christ.
Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV
" And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
I am whole. 
I do not completely grasp the concept. Can anyone really?
Yet for some reason, this morning it is all that I can think of. 
Fullness...Lacking nothing. Complete. Whole.
To be filled of all the "fullness of God" is to know God. 

John 17:3 NIV "Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
When I know God, I know His love. I can begin to see the depth, and overwhelming vastness of His love for me. And when I can see that love, I can trust Him. I can trust in the motive of that love, and I trust in the undeserved favor and grace that was offered through Christ.
Because of Christ and because of His the unmerited favor, love and affection, I lack nothing. 

I am complete.