Thursday, February 26, 2015
This week has been exhausting. More than I dreamed. Using my words like I haven't in a long time. Telling the good. Speaking it over and over. I'm wondering if this is a cold that has found me or just my body completely unused to this. And then when the silence comes it catches me of guard. Because I know my part is finished. The rest is up to Him. And part of me would much rather fight a battle than rest. So what's a girl to do when she has fought the fight of her life and she knows that there is a story to tell, yes....what indeed. I am not afraid of the silence. I am not afraid of the leaving, of the letting go, of the unseen, of the unknown. I've been to all those places. I lived through it. And they did not crush me and they themselves do not define me. They helped mold me, shape me and push me into the girl He is creating everyday. And so what do you do, what do you do....when you find yourself over your head and not a life raft in sight? You do what you know. What you learned in the quiet, you use in the storm. What is it that I know in this place? Scriptures flood my mind.....and become a life line to what I can hold fast to.....while I wait. While I wait. Thankful.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
It's Sunday again. And as much as I question lately, He does brings me the answers. You see, I've never been the girl to do things the right way, the expected way, no. My soul is quite the rebel. Always has been. But He loves that about me. He made me like this on purpose I believe. Because I can do hard things and love in hard ways. Because I have been hard to love too. And I have those in my life who have had to do hard things to get through to me, yes. And so as I sit here today, quite having church in a two piece, in the beautiful outside that gives my soul peace, while He asks me to do hard things....yes. He finds me here. Heals me here. Loves me here. And I am living right here in this very moment. Difficult for a girl like me. A year of no fear I said. Surely He will meet me. And so He has. And so I'll keep going. And fear it fades like a whisp. Thankful.
Friday, February 20, 2015
5 Minutes, just write.
Go...I resolved to lay here and open my heart. To say the words Your will Lord. And it makes me tremble a bit on the inside. But then again, it brings me back to the place of complete trust and surrender. To the place where I must open myself up to what He desires for my life. And as I pray for wisdom, for words to fill me again, because they left me for a bit, He does. And the peace floods over. And I burrow in deep under the sea of whites and blues and feather down. Settle deep in the shadow of His presence. And He fills the voids and hollow spaces. And I am letting His way find a home once more. And it is good. And that four letter word fear just disappears. Thankful.
Monday, February 16, 2015
I wanted, NEEDED a miracle. I thought I knew how this should all play out. I thought I knew the ending and happily ever after. These days I'm not sure of anything anymore. I got a miracle. One I wasn't looking for. How do you stand on your own two feet and keep getting back up time and time again....that's the miracle. Seeing God move, provide and make a way time after time. Miracles. And I find myself here again. Asking questions that I really don't even know if I want the answers to. And the thing is, I'm strong enough to walk away not knowing. He called me back round to face a few things. It was time. And I was ready. And I slipped right back into something so familiar. Something I dreamed would be impossible. But after months, years, of the day in and day out, I was prepared. And I didn't even know it. It came right back to me. I know this fight. I know it well. Only I am not that girl who began this walk so long ago. That changes everything. He changes everything. And that fear that comes so close that makes you have to go outside to breath, yeah. That one. The one that began it all. That fear had no idea what this girl can do now. And I looked up at the stars that used to stare back down at me on my barely sunrise runs. And I remember. Thankful.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
*Romancing Your Better Half.....I wondered if it was such a good idea, yet I believe that we have to seek to learn all we can, even before some dreams make it to our reality. I loved being married. I'm wired for it. But so much got in the way. And we lost what was most important. Our desire for God to be first above all else. And we paid a heavy price. And after many months...years...of walking this road towards love and forgiveness and healing, something in my heart tugged when I was offered the chance to review this book. The advice is practical and quite honestly, a refresher of things I have learned along the way of relationships and marriage. But how quickly we forget sometimes, no? How often do we need practical, simple, biblical reminders of what a treasure our spouse is? For me, I think I need it quite often. I'm human and I have plenty of faults and selfishness rears its ugly head way more than I want to acknowledge. How better to serve our partners (or future partners for us currently single girls), ourselves and mostly God, than to seek always to remember what His goodness and faithfulness is. Rick Johnson's book reminds us that whether you have been together 6 months or 40 years...it's a love affair. One that God needs to be the center of. Seeking the goodness of those we are entrusted with above all else. Thankful.
*I was graciously provided a copy of this book for review
When I came across this, it hit me hard. Because isn't it truth baby girl? Just the plain out truth. Yesterday, of all days, He called me to the strangest things. So much to show me. Gifts all wrapped up if you are willing. And so I was. And so He did. And that statement. Those words. There were days I wasn't sure if I could ever be alone in this house again. There were weeks I could not watch television. The normalcy of it all made me want to crawl out of my skin. Worrying day in and day out about what I would wake up to, panic attacks driving up to the mail box. Afraid of every knock on the door. Wondering if I would ever see the sun again. He promised me a great many things in those quiet, hidden days. Little by little, first a crawl. And then I could stand. And then I began to walk in His truth. This year I am full out running. I prayed for the days I could listen to music again. That I could have peace in my home, in my finances, in my choices, in my relationships. Peace. I prayed most for peace. And it is here. He is here. And when He said Joel 2:25 I had no idea. No idea how long and how hard and how much it would require for Him to heal me. Yet here I sit feeling quite astonished at this new skin. It feels like me. It feels like home. Prayers are answered in His way, His time. And I have heard people say God answered their prayers, just not how they expected. And I get it. He did. And I never expected joy to come in any way other than how I believed it should happen. But it has. For me, joy comes from the ability to love others with abandon. Because that is so not me on many levels. It's being able to be who He made me to be all the while depending on Him to meet my needs. And He has. All the hard work....so worth it. Perhaps I would not have said that back then. Perhaps there was no other way than this. And I can accept that. I'm a stubborn child. But that beautiful will in the right Hands can do amazing things. And for that, I am thankful.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
It's Valentine's Day. Number four......the fourth since my world changed. The fourth that I have been walking this road. The fourth that I have been doing the next right thing. This year is strangely different. I'm different. 37 months, 1 week and 3 days..... they changed me. It's just one of those things I think I had to learn the hard way. He knew that about me. He made me for hard. I never think I'm ready. I never fully believe that it's really going to be okay, except somehow, I know it is. Running was the very first thing that taught me the concept of reaping and sowing. Reaping and sowing over a long period of time. It was not instantaneous. It was ugly. It made me cry and sweat and want to quit a million times. But I didn't because each time I finished I forgot about all of it. The sowing caused a great harvest in me. I have doubted Galatians 6 for along time now. But He brings me back round to it. And I have read it and written it a hundred times. Sowing seed....tucking it in deep. And I see so much coming to fruition in my own life. Hard choices...hard consequences too. Yet He is faithful. And with that settling deep in my bones, I know His word is right. I know my faith is the best choice. Not the easiest, but the best. Not perfectly executed, but perfectly covered in grace. Because He sees the heart. He knows the deep down whys you are making the decisions. Sometimes even before you do. And He honors that. He cares for the ones He calls His own. He makes a way, loves. I promise with my whole heart its true. Because this was the day....a heart day...that I just did the next right thing...over and over again. And when we do, the fear, it must flee. Yes. It must go....so when there is no fear to fear, we are left with only one thing, the best thing. Love. 'Cause it never fails. Thankful.
I'm reading all these posts. What messages do Barbie dolls send our kids....these movies and books....how are they shaping our children's views and minds. And as much as I don't like soap box writing, I do believe words are a most important tool in helping a person become who they were made to be. This is what I say to my children, the ones to whom my soap box affects the most in this life.
To my loves,
There is so much out there screaming for your attention. You are big kids now. Big dreams, big choices, big decisions and big temptations. And I have realized over the past few years, these years that have defined quite a lot for us all, what is out there counts way less that what lives inside these walls. Where your home is, where you are safe and loved and learn the difference between right and wrong. From me. Because that's my big girl job. Being your mom. It's less about what I say and more about how I live my life in front of you. And what choices I make inside these wall that will help determine the choices you make outside them. When all that glitters and is gold fades, you still have a place of solid and of truth to return to. You have a home. You belong. All those truths, all those talks, all those day in and day out whispers of what we think and who we are and the life we share, carry those with you. Remember who you are. Remember you are never so far away that you can't come home. And remember that I will always come get you. There is nothing that can separate you from my love. You are a part of me. That never changes, Ever. No book or movie or person or thing can ever change who you are and who He created you to be. And my best job, my greatest accomplishment is seeing you two grow into THE MOST AMAZING humans I have ever known. You make my heart full and I believe in you. And these things make me so desperately, Thankful.
When will this be finished? When will it end? When will I have answers? When? I'll be happy, satisfied, ok, perfect, ready....when. And He whispers so quietly back...when you open your hands, let go, trust Me, lay it down, pick Me up, hand it over, recieve My grace....when I am all you need. When will I stop forgetting these truths? When will I remeber to call upon Him. Every second. Every hour. When He becomes more, the rest becomes unimportant. When I let Him quiet the fears. When I remember what is most important. Thankful.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
This week has felt like a blur. That kind of happens after I have a long run. It shakes things up. Highlights things I might otherwise be happy to leave set. He has other plans. I find myself torn lately. What exactly is it that I want? Because the thing I thought would make me happy, what I had been searching for is actually bringing me anxiety. And I'm perplexed. The thing that I wanted most I am coming to find, is to be myself. To be settled and happy and comfortable in my own skin. To be loved for me. I used to be so willing to change everything about me to accommodate everyone else in my life. It left me worn out and exhausted. I lost myself. These three years have been more about finding me than anything else. If I'm the girl He made me to be, if I'm doing what I was made to do, all the rest will fall right into place. The process isn't pleasant at times. But it has purpose. And He will hold me there until I'm ready for what comes next. I'm fearing less and less these times of coming, of going....of quiet. Saying no to fear really does lessen its bite. I think it grows quite bored of places continually held up to His light and the truth. No fear, I can whisper. Not today. Thankful.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Don't despise the small.... He said that to me very early on in this. And I hated it. I hated everything about small. Because for a long time, I felt invisible. I felt as if I did not matter in the least. That is a painful feeling. I am grateful I pushed past and let God do His work in me. Because here is what I know. Sometimes it's the smallness that will allow God's biggest work. Sometimes small allows you the ability to be the closest and whisper the things that will be life changing. For you, for them. I cherish the small. It has exploded in my heart. The beauty, the gift of it. You have to be humbled greatly to recieve it. And oh how He humbled this girl. Laid me flat. But what I did not see then was that the destruction gave me perspective. And my response gave me a voice that I could never have owned without the breaking. The small has given me the ability and gentleness to draw close and whisper seeds down deep. Heart and soul changing words. That can only come from small that lets Him be big. Somedays those seeds make me fearful. I can't say that, Lord....I can't share that..... But I look fear in the face and say no fear, No. Because I can't not share it. It's not in me to withhold. The overflow is much too powerful for that. Thankful.
I ran yesterday. The run that started it all. My 9.6 mile that I have done for 3 years now. The first year I was to do it, my world was in destruction. I would have never made it. I wasn't ready. It was a dream. A far off goal. 2013 foud me actually getting ready to do it. God was calling me to hard and here I was doing something crazy like this. I was up at 3 a.m. mentally preparing...and praying like crazy. How would I do this? I was nervous, excited....nauseous. I stood at the start line. And my sweet friend ran the whole way with me. Never left my side. And I ran the entire way. Up two bridges and down again. And it felt surreal. And I was proud of myself but I felt so out of place. I was growing into this girl He is creating. But I was lost in this new skin I foud myself in. 2014 came and I wanted to do it again. To prove the first time wasn't a fluke. And I had a half marathon the next month. What was I doing? Why was I doing it? So much uncertainty for me. So much changing. And I had to fight for this girl. Yes, fight to become what He asked. Worst. Run. Ever. Serious. I was slow and ended up separated from everyone, from all that I knew. I panicked. I cried and I wanted to quit. It hurt physically and emotionally. It felt like my life felt. I was running this alone. I felt like an outsider. Like I didn't belong at all. It was a hard year, last year. But as it was winding down and coming to a close I began to see something. When all the things that didn't belong began to fall away, I had grown so much more into myself. I liked her. I liked what I saw. And I made the choice to run this year for me. Because alone or together, this is my race. I rolled out of bed, grabbed coffee and in the quiet thanked God for this. I have an ability to do hard things. To go the distance. And I felt at home with my people. The ones who run beside me. No anxiety. No worry. As we began to run I picked my pace and settled. They ran ahead. But I would see them again soon. First 3 miles are the hardest. I want to quit. I wonder if I can. And so I talk to myself. Keep going baby girl. You know the way. You know you can. Just move and don't stop. Never stop. I turned the music up and let it drown out all the cant's. And I ran my race. I saw my people here and there. We all met back up after we crossed our own finish lines. And we had a day, my people and me. And we added new people. Some who joined us on this race. They are becoming strong too. Changing. And I belonged. This is where I belong. And it settled in like one more block on my beautiful new foundation. Yes. This journey is just beginning. But He made me well able. He built a strong vessel in this tiny little girl who has a big voice. I've failed 100 times, but oh my, when I accomplish something. Looking fear in the face and saying see, yes I can. I only had to not quit. Not stop. Just keep going. It may take weeks, months.....years. And I know that can strike some fear in a heart. But know this. He. Is. Faithful. Never fear, no. Never. Thankful.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
It had been quite the week and I was so very tired. And this arrived. I finished all that home requires of me and finally sank into bed, grateful for the refuge my sheets provided....and it began to rain. I remembered the book and thought I might want to read just a little before sleep. And page after page brought much sought after relief. Grace when I had not expected it. I am finding more and more that that when I let my expectations go, when I give myself the kindness and forgiveness I would offer another in my shoes, my heart opens wide to the work He is doing in me. That is grace. Remembering that each day will be different. Each season has changes and it's in the continual seeking that I find Him. Being the constant requires grace. And sometimes it may require an extra little dose of it before bed. A reminder before I close my eyes that He is with me. Never sleeping. And these pages and beautiful words remind me I am not alone and not the only one. And there is comfort in that too. Thankful.
*A copy of Dawn Camp's The Beauty of Grace was graciously provided to me for review
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. (Emphasis mine).
The translation in my journal says be careful for nothing.
And that has always perplexed me. I'm careful about everything. Do the right thing, make the right choices, be the person you want to be with. All of these are good. But they are not the way God calls us to live. They are supposed to be a product of the way we live when we are seeking Him. A natural consequence to our relationship with Him. That really sunk in today. This day. Live with abandon, because if I am laying it all before Him, seeking Him, rooting myself in Him I have the freedom to step out, to love recklessly, to test the waters of my heart and know He has me. And there is freedom in that. I have to let Him do a new thing. But that requires complete trust in Him. He is my source. I have to trust who He has made me to be. But I have to step out. I have to try. Because I know who I am, Whose I am. And that can't ever be taken away from me. And fear steps in with the what-ifs....what if you make the wrong choice and mess it up forever....one wrong choice and it's all over. All this hard work for nothing.... And I remeber that God rescued me with a simple cry for help. And He led me when I didn't even know how to take the next breath let alone make the right choice. Eventually you have to graduate to the big girl bike. No training wheels, no hands holding you, but One always running right beside you, ready to help you up if you happen to crash. This isn't about perfect. It's about trusting what He's done. And it's about squaring up, eye to eye with that voice and saying no fear, No. Thankful.