Category: freedom

my heart sings

Yesterday in church we sang the song Forever Reign by Hillsong. I love this song because of it’s simplicity and I’ve heard it and sung it a million times; yet yesterday was so different for me.

heart tree

When we got to the line “my heart will sing no other name…Jesus” I was hit with the question: “is that true?” And I thought, no it’s not. My heart doesn’t just sing Jesus.

My heart sings so many other things rather than Jesus.
And in my desire to be unrelenting, never ceasing, this year.
I choose to clear out all the other hums, songs, lyrics etc that are filling up my heart and enticing me away from singing His name.
I choose to stand confident in His love for me and run into His arms and into the riches that He provides.

One of the ways I choose to change the song of my heart is through counting blessings. I long to develop this as more than a habit and more than a Monday thing. I want it to be my constant.
That in counting my blessings my heart would sing Jesus

3 graces from people I love
morning coffee with my love
holding a sweet girl waking up in the morning (even though she doesn’t wake up so sweet!)
moments on the phone with a friend






fmf {opportunity}

Five Minute Friday

2013 starts up five minute fridays again
a time to write for five minutes
unabandoned
uninhibited
that’s my prefix this year…”un”
so here goes…
today’s word is {opportunity}

GO

God has given me a life filled with opportunity.
He has given me so much of what I have longed for.
Yet I refuse to be in it.
I keep trying to move out of it.
Never believing for one moment that it’s a good thing and always waiting for the sky to fall on it.

Living in the opportunity that God gives is scary.
It’s a choice where I can walk in fear (and get no where)
or walk in faith (and go to amazing places)

The problem is trust.
If I want to walk head first and live in this opportunity that He has given me…that He has laid in my lap
I have to keep my focus on Him.
I have to remember that He has given me a Spirit of strength and power…not fear.
I can continue to move out of this fear, out of the anxiety, out of all those things that keep my hindered
and walk like Peter into the storm, onto the waves and not sink.

And even when I do sink, remember Who holds me up.
What an opportunity.

STOP

dragging

I feel like I am dragging.
Dragging this huge bag around full of frustrations and hurts and wounds and so much junk.
I keep looking up to heaven and asking Him to take it.
All the while I keep stuffing it full of more and more.

Then I read in John of Mary and Martha. Oh, so encouraging to see women so close to Jesus whose mouths speak such nonsense. Just. like. mine.
Lazarus is dead. They are frustrated. Do they carry around a “bag” like mine? Stuffing it full until the Lord comes near so they can dump it on Him?
Jesus does come and they open up their mouths wide with words. Oh such words.
“Where have you been?” they cry
“Why weren’t you here?
“He wouldn’t have died had you been here!”
All these pent up frustrations. All these moments of wanting Him to see them.
But not realizing that He does see them.
He knows the silly things they keep stuffing.
And he wants them to toss it all out onto Him.
So, He weeps.
He weeps for the loss of the one they loved.
The one He loved.
He weeps for the words that these women threw all over Him.

And then He speaks.
He opens His mouth and He tells them what to do.
And what do these crazy women do?
They argue with Him, with Him of all people! The Lord of Heaven.
And yet He is still gentle and patient with these women whose mouths speak foolishness and hurt.
And even despite their disbelief, they obey.
And out walks the impossible.

Because this is what God does.
He moves rocks.
He asks us to do crazy things.
He takes all the bags of frustrations off of us.
He lets us dump everything out onto Him.
And even in the midst of all our stupidity…
all of our crazy words and disbelief.
He wakes the dead.

moving on

My baby girl lost her first tooth this week. I say “baby” because she is my baby, my last born of me and this right of passage has hit me hard. There are days when I would never want her to return to her toddlerhood along with days that I do wish she would just grow up a little bit and be more independent. But most days, days like this one, I want her to stay just where she is and stop growing.

We tease our kids all the time that we need to put a brick on their heads so they might slow down and stop getting so big and when I look at this little girl with her missing tooth I have to stop myself from going outside and searching for a good brick.

There are so many aspects of my life that move along so quickly. I stop for a moment and realize that days, weeks, months have just zoomed past me. And this is the way life is supposed to be.

But there are other aspects of my life that stagnate.
And these are the things that eventually bring me to repentance.
These cycles of sin that spin on repeat and never change.

On the Sabbath I heard the word “presumptuous” and it cut right to the heart of this cycle I spin in. It is like being on the same sit and spin, going around and around. I think that I’m spinning the right direction. I think that this spin is actually going to take me somewhere. But really I’m just going around in circles.

I think that I know best for my life.
I think that I can answer all the problems and worries that come up every day.
I think that taking the reins is going to to stop this spinning.
But it doesn’t.
I find myself sitting stagnant.

The answer to this is an opening.
It’s a step off.
It’s a living sacrifice…dying to the part of me that thinks it’s safer to keep where I am.
Painful.
And yet so freeing.

blessings and prosperity

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be “blessed”.
Our God promises us blessings and He does bless us.
The issue is our sinful human hearts and minds that create this idea of what a blessing is.

In my business, I always sign off on emails, my thank you notes to clients etc with the words “many blessings” and I’ve started asking myself “what do I mean by that?” Do I mean that they would be overflowing with goods and ease of life? Do I mean that their event they are planning would go well or the hurricane heading their way wouldn’t touch them?

It hit me yesterday that the blessings promised by God do not equal prosperity. When the Lord promises to bless me, it doesn’t me He is promising me any type of worldly security. He is only promising me that He will provide all my needs – not my wants or thought needs – but those things that He knows I need.

Francis Chan writes “we forget that we already have everything we need in Him.” But the problem is I don’t really believe and find security in that. When my worldly prosperity shrinks. When there isn’t enough money, when the heater breaks, when the cupboards are bare the first thought in my head is not that I have everything in Him.
But I have an abundance.
I may not feel like it, but my life is FULL.

It’s the question of where am I finding refuge? Or in what am I finding refuge? Chan again reminds me “we like finding refuge in what we already have rather than in what we hope God will provide.”

But what kind of story would that be if God always gave me what I thought I needed or wanted? What kind of change would that emit in me if He really was like a genie in a lamp? When I feel like He is heaping things on me. When I feel like He is silent. When I feel like even my needs aren’t being met, He isn’t being silent. He isn’t ignoring me.
He is writing a greater story…His story.
He is exposing my sin of greed, lack of faith, lack of trust
He is exposing my heart that loves security in prosperity.

The truth is, He wants and longs to be bigger than my prayers.

I am called to be a living sacrifice.
Daily.
Daily I have to offer myself on that alter.
I have to put to death the parts of me that longs for anything other than Him.
I have to put to death the part of me that thinks I know my needs better than Him.
I have to put to death the idea that I have a right to know how to live my life.

But in that death, there is life.
In the death of me, there is a fullness that comes.
And a prosperity of the Spirit.