being real…

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I sat down this morning and asked myself…why does one write?
Why do I have this space, who even reads it (um…not many) and does it really matter if anyone reads it?
How does my writing transform when I write for an audience of one
not to gain an audience?

I have this page here called “blogging upside down” and it is a prayer borrowed from A Holy Experience. I see that page heading and I wonder if I really even pray that prayer? I don’t even read it often.

I have a card in my Bible that is a prayer card with these words by Richard Foster…
By the authority of almighty God, I surround myself with the light of Christ, I cover myself with the blood of Christ and I seal myself with the cross of Christ. All dark and evil spirits must leave. No influence is allowed to come near to me but that it is first filtered through the light of Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.
and on top of that card is a reminder to pray this before writing-studying-praying.

But I don’t do those things. Why? Because I feel like I’ve got this space under control. This space doesn’t need anymore of God than the words that come to my while I’m typing now. But that is so untrue.

While reading this morning in Paul Miller’s book The Praying Life (which is fantastic by the way), I was reminded of this…
we pray not for an answer
we pray not merely out of obedience
we pray not because it’s a discipline to master
we pray because we are helpless – we pray in and through our helplessness.
My act of not praying for this space (or anything else I find needless to pray for) is a response that I have it all together or that it isn’t “worthy” of prayer.
There is not one aspect of my life that doesn’t warrant prayer.
None.

Prayer is an expression of who we are…” ~ P. Miller
and my prayers (or lack) are an expression of how deceived I am with the control I have over my life.

I long to move myself from the story I am trying to write of my life
into the reality of the great epic that God is writing and unfolding.
That begins with prayer.
Even in a miniscule place such as this.

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quote

I read this quote today and it pretty much sums up what I’ve been writing or trying to write for the past while.
Basically believing that God does hear our prayers AND will answer them…most of the time beyond what we had even imagined.

 

It is not enough to begin to pray, nor to pray aright;
nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray;
but we must patiently, believingly continue in prayer unto the end,
but we also have to believe that God does hear us and will answer our prayers.
Most frequently we fail in not continuing in prayer until the blessing is obtained,
and in not expecting the blessing.

~ George Muller

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good words

“a certainty of God’s promise”

For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham,having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

~ hebrews 6:13-20

thankful today for the refuge I have in a God who is a sure and steadfast anchor of my soul.

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saturday sayings

From Open Heart – Open Home by Karen Burton Mains

Hospitality, like charity, must begin at home. How sad it is that so many of us don’t feel comfortable in our own homes. Men are not warmly welcomed at the end of a long day’s hard work. Roommates live in a tense atmosphere. Children are greeted with scoldings and reprimands. Wives and husbands wait to dump frustrations on each other. How we all long to hear, ‘It’s so good to have you home,’ or those other words, ‘It’s so good to come home to you.’ If those dwellings we inhabit are not filled with the gentle considerations, the cherishing, the openness which earmark hospitality , it will be most difficult to extend the gift beyond our front doors.

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being found

There was a lot of anger in my house growing up. But although I wasn’t the recipient of most of it, it still made a huge mark upon my life. I’m not one to blame my parents or my past for the struggles I have today, but living in a home filled with anger you learn a few things.
You learn how to hide, but you also learn how to bring about the “right” kind of attention.
You learn how to run away, but the longing to be found grows stronger and stronger.

God found me. It wasn’t who I was looking for to be sure, but He found me and grabbed hold of me and has never, ever let go. It is me that has loosened my grip.

These last few days have found me struggling greatly with a lot of negative self talk. I’ve loosened my grip on Jesus and the accusations, the discontent, the demand for fairness has come flooding back. I’ve found myself looking for the wrong kind of attention and I’ve found myself wandering slowly in the wrong direction.

Yesterday found my family sitting in the balcony alone. It was awesome. But not because I could focus better. Not because my kids weren’t bothering anyone. But because I didn’t have to do anything. I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I didn’t have to be honest, open, real or anything. I was truly in a place of running away.

But in my history of letting go of Christ and running away, I’m always looking back to see who is pursuing.
But I’m never looking back
and hoping it’s God pursuing.

But it is.

Titus 3 declares: “there is foolishness and disobedience in us but Christ died to bring His goodness and loving kindness to us.

The truth is: I am going to run away. I am going to let go of Him.
But I am never going to turn around and not see His hand reaching out.
I am never going to turn around and not see Him running fast behind me…or standing and waiting for me to stop.

I am your God. I have molded you with my own hands, and I love what I have made.
I love you with a love that has no limits, because I love you as I am loved.
Do not run away from me.
Come back to me – not once, not twice, but always again…
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, an expression of my most intimate love.
Do not judge yourself. Do not condemn yourself. Do not reject yourself.
Let me 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.
This is the voice that Jesus wants us to hear.

~ Henri Nouwen from The Road to Daybreak

 

222. watching my boy strut back from a football game where he only played 2 minutes, but was so proud of himself
223. listening to that boy sing out “how great thou art” on Sunday morning
224. a new faucet
225. a husband who fixes
226. remembering
227. the four quarters that kept us within budget
228. dresses that fit
229. space to create
230. time with family
231. a God who is sustaining us
232. a Sunday afternoon lunch out
233. a crisp morning walk to school
234. the joy of running my needle through
235. the constant pursuit of Him despite my wanderings
236. the bottom of the laundry basket
237. pulling out all the clothes that we have for the Fall…and how we are blessed
238. the glance of a friend
239. the constant assurance that I am where He wants me
240. the joy of holding a sweet baby girl
241. forgiveness

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