seeing

Monday morning screams loudly. I wrestle my healing body out of the bed knowing that I am back “on duty” this week. The morning passes through with screams from a daughter who can’t seem to agree on when and how to get dressed.

Tuesday dawns and again, I wrestle this body that is not healing quick enough and again tears and screams from the girl-child and I find myself back on the couch wondering where we went wrong? Lunch with a husband where I throw words and worries and concerns all over him, instead of covering him with grace in the midst of his day.

Wednesday morning dawns and it’s the day of celebration for the boy-child. Laughter and cinnamon rolls and I wonder, is this what it takes to get us moving in the morning without tears?
And why can’t this be everyday?

When Thursday morning dawns, and there is nothing specific to celebrate, will the moans from my body be greater? Will the tears from the girl-child return?

I read Ann’s words this morning, reminding me that “it’s not about changing what I see, but the way I see it.” I continue reading about blackness and control and anger smothering, bitterness crushing joy and I am reminded of the dwarfs we read about last night.

These dwarfs in a dark stable, surrounded by beauty, by the Kings and Queens of Narnia, by Aslan himself…yet refusing to believe. Refusing to see. Aslan rumbles at them and they call it a machine trying to frighten them. He shakes his mane and a feast is set at their feet and they can’t even taste it properly…”eating and drinking the sort of things you might find in a stable.” Then they quarrel, thinking one dwarf has a better cup of dirty trough water than the other. Never once stopping to see that they were no longer in a stable, but in a beautiful field under an amazing sky. Then Aslan’s words:

They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.”

And what is my prison? Wearing anger to hide my sadness. Reacting too quickly. Fighting over a cup of trough water instead of seeing the cup of amazing wine in front of me. I can choose to see. I can choose to step back, to stare into those eyes that are hurting instead of screaming more hurt. I can choose to stop and count the “ugly-beautiful” in the midst of a dawdling daughter.

Like Jacob, I beg the blessing of the Lord…with the pain.

That I might have eyes that are taken out of the blackness, out of the stable and into the beauty of the field and into the eyes of Aslan himself.

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good work – His fullness

In Genesis 28, Jacob awakens from a dream where God has promised him
behold I am with you and will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I’ve promised you.

…until I’ve done what I’ve promised you. These words reverberate into my heart. The question is do I believe them? Will I, like Jacob, finally wake up and declare “this is Holy ground”. This dirty floor of my house, covered with grim, toys, the stuff of life?

Again, in Philippians, the promise is given. The promise of a good work that will be brought to completion.
A good work.
For He is good.
And in His goodness, dwells His fullness.
But I cannot grasp that fullness without faith.

Tozer says “Faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God.
And Ann says “faith isn’t a once in the past action, but faith is a way of seeing,
a seeking for God in everything.”
In everything.
From the dishes piled up in my sink.
To the children I left at the doorway of school this morning.
To the husband I kissed goodbye.
And this time and space that is open to live.

To live like Moses, who didn’t feel he had the ability needed to speak or lead, but yet kept on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. (from Hebrews)

And by the death of Jesus, I am presented “holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed I continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel I have heard.” (from Colossians)

I must continue. Doing more than getting through it, but yet still pressing on.
Waking up into the Holy life He has granted me. Pressing on into His glory and into the goodness He has promised.
Full of His goodness.
To the place of completion.
In His Joy.
Great is His faithfulness.

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wandering

There were many different routes the Lord could have taken the Isrealites when they escaped from Egypt and headed towards the promise land. There were easier routes that would have been quicker. But, as Spurgeon so lovingly puts it, had the Lord taken them the quicker and easier way when the Israelites did grumble and change their minds they would have just gone back. But as they got further and further into their journey, even when they did grumble and complain and long to go back, they knew that the route back to Egypt would be hard that they hung with Moses.

God’s way is the right way, though it seems about. He leads his people not the nearest way, yet we may be sure He leads them the best way.” ~ Matthew Henry

The Isrealites needed to go through the desert. They needed to wander for years and years. Had the Lord just led them straight into the promised land, would they have treasured it as they did? Would they have longed for it as they did? Would they have been angered, as they were, when the road to it was so hard?

This is our life on earth. It isn’t easy. There might be years and years of wandering. But that wandering is meant to make us long for our true home. It is meant to make us treasure the day when we see Jesus face to face.

Struggle is the food from which change is made and the best time to make the most of a struggle is when it’s right in front of your face…Too often we are led to believe that struggling is a bad thing or that we struggle because we’re doing something wrong…struggle is an opportunity to grow. ~ D. Dreyer

The Isrealites would have never grown if they hadn’t crossed through walls of water, if they hadn’t eaten manna for years on end, if they hadn’t turned away from God and back again…

The same goes for me. But the difference is, I have Jesus.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. ~ I Corinthians 10:3

 

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my daily diet

I came across a new blog a few weeks ago called Gospel Grace. She had written a few posts that really sparked my heart and honestly gave words to the frustrations that I often feel. One post was called You Do Not Belong to Your Children – You Belong to Christ and the other was A Definition of Christ-Centered Motherhood. They are well written and worth a read or two or three!

In one of these posts she used the phrase “our daily diet,” asking the question what or who are we feasting on daily? I had to stop at that point. When I started to ask myself, “what am I feasting on daily?” and “where do I go to feast when I need a ‘snack break’?” I was snappedĀ  awake. I don’t go to Jesus. I don’t go to His word and center myself back on Him. I often go to Facebook, to Pinterest, to my blog to check stats or to etsy to see if anyone has favorited anything. I take all these things in and try to measure myself against them. I am measuring myself against the world and it’s standards. I am filling my mind and thoughts up with things that I can’t even begin to measure up against.

I can do all sorts of things to try and make myself think I am a godly wife and mother. I can sit and ignore my housekeeping so that I am playing with my children (because that is what “good” mothers do) , I can make a great chore chart for my kids to instill responsibilities in them and make them better children (ha!), I can pull my kids out of public school and homeschool again because that will save them and show others that I am truly godly (as if), but all of that is false. None of these things are going to make me a better mother. They are going to stress me out and cause me to shift my focus onto myself, my family, my children and give me a false sense of faith.

In her posts, Luma Simms reminds us that my “view of mothering needs to comes as a consequence of a heart sold out to Jesus, where I am centering my priorities, my schedule, my desires and the totality of my life around my Savior. Not around my children, not around doing the works of a godly woman, nor, dare I say, around my husband.” I would add that my view of mothering, my daily diet, need not revolve around checking the status of others, checking the responses to my writing or measuring myself up against all these other families that I feel like have it all together.

I long to make a change. A change in which my children see their mother feasting more on God’s word than on the computer screen. I long for my husband to see a wife that is centered in Christ and that her responses are a reflection of time spent with Him instead of a wife weary and wiped out from trying to measure herself up against everyone else.

But in all that, there is the reminder that I am fallen. While I won’t cling to my sinfulness as an excuse for my mistakes, I am no joyful Julie who thinks that if I just take my eyes off the screen and on onto my Bible that I won’t scream at my children in five minutes or get angry with my husband for leaving his socks out in the middle of the family room floor. But I do know that every minute I spend with Him, is one more step closer to losing myself and gaining more of Him. And honestly, the less of me the better.

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admitting

I sat in bed last night pondering what has gone on in the past few weeks and what is to come in the next few.

a bank account that has dipped farther than I could ever feel comfortable with
the realization that the Lord is calling me to stay home again this next year
a stupid mistake while driving yesterday which might cost us more than the car is worth
a looming doctor’s appointment (which could very well be nothing, but could very well be something)
and on and on and on

Each of these things bringing me to a place that I just don’t like.

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s spirit is in them – living and breathing God! ~ Romans 8, the message

Each of these things bringing me to a place where I think I can fix it our if only I could have made a better decision. But each of these things offering a blessing to me that I won’t see if I continue to “do it on my own.”

I can’t cling to the numbers in our bank account (bringing me to greater trust & faith & freedom)
I can’t make a job appear (and being homes mean I can develop my passion for daisyeyes and be with my children)
I can’t go back and change my lack of paying attention (but I can trust that the Lord knew and He forgives me stupidity)
I can’t know what’s going to happen next week at the doctor’s office (but the Lord does)

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. ~Matthew 5, the message

His promised blessings to me aren’t magic. They aren’t a multitude of material things. They aren’t a promise of zero hardship in my life. They don’t come without a stripping away of me.

His blessings are when I know that we are barely making it.. we are making it.
His blessings are when I know that I’m obeying His will for me…and He will come into that.
His blessings are when I make mistakes…and know I have his forgiveness
His blessings are when I am facing an uncertain diagnosis…but He is in the midst of it all.

Jesus looks at tired, worn-out people who in their desperation and rage feel justified in doing whatever relieves their pain and tells them…what must happen for them to become whole. ~ Larry Crabb

My wholeness.
That is the blessing.

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