smooth, gentle, worn woman

Why is it on the mornings that I read about “TIger Mothers and the making of Velveteen Mothers” do I walk through the morning with my children condemning them?

Why is it on the mornings that I read about temptation do I so easily fall into the trap of shaming my son with my words. Oh this tongue that I can have.

I walk back to the car from dropping my children off at school so easily falling into the trap of condemning myself. Of shaming myself for the way in which I treated them…especially my tender hearted one. How quickly I forget the other words I read this morning: that we need to forgive as much as He has forgiven us. That I need to confess my sin, my shaming words this morning, to my Lord. Asking for forgiveness from Him and from my broken child and then resting in the knowledge that He has forgiven much.

To let it go and realize that in every harsh word that comes from my lips, even quicker is coming the realization that He is using all things (ALL THINGS) for my good. Even my harsh tongue.

That only as I awaken to the temptations and sins within me, can I confess them and be changed more and more into the smooth, gentle and worn woman that I long for Him to make me. Like a piece of sea glass that has been tossed, turned and worn down over time into this piece of beauty.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~ Romans 8:28

heart clouds button

Continue Reading

heart clouds tuesday…when there aren’t any

This is for the days that you don’t feel like you’ve caught a glimpse of God.
For the days when you feel like you are doing well to just keep up with the world passing by.

The LORD your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

This is for the days when you wonder how you are going to make it.
For the days when your spirit isn’t moved.

For the LORD takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with victory
Psalm 149:4

And this is for the days when you realize that your focus is wrong.
For the days when all you need to do is lift up your head…because that’s the only way we are going to see.

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.

3 Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.

5 They will receive blessing from the LORD
and vindication from God their Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob.[b][c]

7 Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD Almighty—
he is the King of glory.
Psalm 24

Sometimes finding God in the ordinary only comes when we look up
and stop looking. For we’ve already been found.
heart clouds button

Continue Reading

open arms

I’ve had a constant picture come into my head lately of arms raised.
Raised in worship.
Raised in praise to Him.
But more than that, raised in surrender.

I’ve been reading a lot about waiting lately and have felt the Lord reminding me to wait for a few months now. For what, I don’t really know. But I know the desires of my heart and when I get anxious about these desires, it is this image of arms raised that immediately comes into my mind.

I am a control freak and God is redeeming that in me. He isn’t telling me not to desire, but rather to relinquish control. To relinquish my demands that He move in my way and in my time.

To wait is not to sublimate or repress desire. God tells us to voice our desires. But expressing what we long for is different from demanding that God or someone else give it to us.
~ A. A. Calhoun
(from Invitations from God)

When I come before Him with my desires and my arms open, I am giving myself to His will and His plan.
I am giving myself over to His when.

But the place, the when, is a hard place. I want to sit here with my hands clenched. With my pen ready to make lists of how to make life work. With hours spent cruising the web trying to make ends meet. But all that does is hunch my body over and erase the time I should be spending at His feet. When I come out of my huddle and lay prostrate at His feet; when I open myself, there is freedom. There is peace. And there is growth.

A flower bulb eventually has to open itself up. It can’t stay huddled in it’s “if” and “demand. It has to open itself up when the time is right and then, there is true beauty. But only when the “when” is right.

How thankful I am for the ways that God meets me where I am and with what I need to stay focused on Him.

Where is God meeting you today?

heart clouds button

Continue Reading

forgiveness is an echo

If there is anything that has constantly been resonating within my soul lately, it’s the need to forgive. Truly forgive. Not to forget as much as to let go of this grudge that I hold.

A few years ago I took a position that caused me to walk a path that was insanely hard. I felt alone, battered most times and stretched. As much as it was a truly difficult year, I wouldn’t take it back…except for this grudge that has been sitting and growing within me.

But I read today in Invitations from God by A.A. Calhoun this line: our forgiveness is an echo of God’s.
I was floored. I have felt this stirring within me for the past few months; through people I’ve seen, places I’ve been and entering into this place where I served for that year. It’s been eating away at this grudge I hold, this desire even for revenge. But eating away at it in the sense that I’ve got to let it go.

I need to forgive. To let go of the grudge I hold. To stop walking the aisles and halls with this identity of blame and hurt. I want so much for the people I meet to see what God is doing and has done within me, but really what I want them to see is my wounds and I want them to know who put those wounds there.

But I will have scars, but these scars can become a reflection of His forgiveness rather than my wounds. My scars are like His – His most unjust day became the most healing day of all.

So, like Jesus prayed his final hours, so I need to offer up my prays for forgiveness and healing (taken from chapter 7):

Lord, not my will (Lk 22:42) I lay down my agenda and let go of my need for power and control.

Father, forgive them (Lk 23:34) I let go of the right to get even.

Into Your hands… (Lk 23:46) I trust my life into His hands.

Sometimes my heart clouds come in painful ways, but how thankful I am for the ways that He meets me daily.

 

heart clouds button

It is finished. (Jn 19:30) I let the past be finished through the work of forgiveness.

Continue Reading

a good smack in the head

Yesterday I was walking to pick up my daughter from preschool and this snippet from Monty Python and the Holy Grail came to mind. I was overcome with the amazing sense of patience that the Lord has with me. But in that, there have been many times when I feel like God is doing to me as the monks were doing to themselves…giving me a good smack in the head. Times when I feel Him almost exasperated with me as a parent is with a child who just can’t seem to seem to find the right pair of shoes quick enough. That is where I am at right now.

I’ve written it before, but the Lord has given me an amazing amount of space in my life right now. I have both children well cared for less than half a mile from my house. I have a free invitation to be in their school as much as I want. I have a husband who supports the decision for me to be home one hundred percent. I am building a business doing something that I love. And while the budget is crazy tight, the Lord is continually providing in just the right time and amount for our needs.

And yet, I still can’t relax and just accept His invitation to enjoy this time. Yesterday, as I was recalling these monks smacking themselves on the head, I almost felt the Lord doing the same to me. I don’t want to look back on this time and only recall the emotional and guilty struggle. I want to look back with no regrets and remember how God used this time He has so amazingly given and remember it as just a blessing. A good and filling time. This space is fleeting. Tomorrow could bring an end to it and I want to take the risk to love and live fully where I am at right now.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
and find out what pleases the Lord.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,
speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ from Ephesians 5

I want to remember this time in my life as a time of joyful singing.

heart clouds button

Continue Reading