a hiccup

Hey there friends!

We are in the mountains running after monarch butterflies making me a little behind on my 31 days…

hopefully I’ll get caught up tonight!
aimee

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being real {being who I am}

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This is what I’m struggling with:
Can I be who I am?

I can so easily get caught up in the way one person mothers
or one family does family
or the experiences that another person has that I don’t.
Then those things just sit inside my head trying to weave themselves into my heart.
Despair sets in.

I see myself sinning over and over again.
I find myself back in old haunts.
And I forget what Jesus did.
I forget what God is doing.

My eyes become so focused on others that I don’t even recognize what He is doing in my lap.
I worry that I’m doing everything wrong.
That the choices I’ve made have condemned me.
That we as a family are doomed because of the path we walk down.
And “this strangely attractive voice takes all uncertainties away and puts an end to the struggle. It speaks unambiguously for the darkness and offers a clear cut negative identity.”

In this place of fretting.
In the place of worrying.
We’ve all been there.
We’ve all heard that whisper that we aren’t good enough or this is the wrong way to go.
But it’s time to hear the other voice that offers life and light.
Jesus comes to speak to us saying
I am your God. I have molded you with my own hands and I love what I have made…I so much want you to be with me. I so much want you to be close to me. I know all your thoughts. I hear all your words. I see all your actions. And I love you because you are beautiful,
made in my own image,
and expression of my most intimate love. Don’t judge yourself.
Do not condemn yourself. Do not reject yourself.
Let my love touch the deepest, most hidden corners of your heart and reveal to you your own beauty,
a beauty that you have lost sight of, but which will become visible to you again in the light of my mercy.”

His light has to touch all those inner crevices of my heart.
His light reaches out and into the deepest darkness of my soul.
It is cleansing.
It is healing.
And it takes my eyes off of the world, off of others, off of comparing and onto Him.
He gives me eyes and a heart to count all of it as a blessing; not as a loss.

{quotes from Henri Nouwen’s book The Road to Daybreak)

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fantastic fridays {june 29}

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It’s Friday again.

And this bird has flown her coop!
Check back next Friday for another edition of my favorite links from around the web.

Until then…
Happy Weekend!

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trying to control the blessing

I’m finding the thought of blessings on my brain often lately. What is a blessing and what does it mean to be blessed by God and to bless Him?

This morning found me in the familiar story of Rebekah, Isaac, Jacob and Esau. The word “blessing” is repeated a dozen or so times and this chapter in Genesis is all about Rebekah conniving to steal Isaac’s blessing onto his oldest son.

After reading a few commentaries by Matthew Henry and Charles Wesley, what struck me was how small Rebekah’s faith was. The blessing had been promised to Jacob and she knew it. But instead of trusting God to fulfill what He had promised, she took matters into her own hand in order to secure that blessing. In her worry and fear, she came up with a way to trick her husband and take control.

So often I do this in my life. Daily I “steal” the blessing that was rightfully mine anyway, in order to be in control. I take the blessings the Lord has promised to me. I wonder how different my days would be if I walked through them without looking for ways to take, but only ways to give and receive?

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a new vocabulary

I used to work full time. I was a teacher and provided a stable, second income for us. We felt secure. The last time I went back to work full time in the classroom, I knew that it wasn’t the call of my heart.
But it was stable.
I quit anyway.

Fast forward to today. Our fridge is on the fritz, our cars are older, our savings is shrinking and a position has opened up at my children’s school.
I applied. Last I heard there were four applicants.
I’ve heard nothing.
And it’s still not the call of my heart.
But it’s stable and I’m clinging more to the lure of stability rather than the promise of true security.

I know in my heart where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing.
The Lord continues to bless me, despite my stubborn fear and drive for control.
And I continue to be stubborn and long for something stable. Even if it’s not where my heart is.
Why is it so hard for us to just trust in the Lord?

I want to be like Peter, who casts his nets over the side of the boat and when they are filled with abundance jumps out of the boat and runs to the shore to meet Jesus because he knows it’s Jesus who has caused this blessing. But I sit in the boat and stare at the load of fish and wonder if it will happen again. I sit and try to judge how long that load of fish might provide for us and worry that it won’t fill up again. I miss the blessing of the now.

My life verse, the verse that is at the top of this space, declares “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

The word “strengthen” means to be courageous and to prevail. He gives me courage to continue on the road He has taken me. He strengthens me by being what I need in order to prevail daily.
The word “heart” means inclination. My sinful heart is inclined to take control, to doubt and to worry about tomorrow. The new heart that He sets within me inclines me towards Him. To the one that clothes the birds and flowers of the fields.
The words “fully committed” mean complete, whole, at peace. I want nothing more than my heart to be at peace with Him. At peace with where He has placed me and where we are going.

The Lord has blessed me by revealing to me where He wants me. He has told me where to cast my net where it will be filled with abundance. I only have to daily do it and trust that He will fill it.

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