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Bitter turns sweet

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"I have work for you."

That phrase echoes from last fall.

I had no idea what that meant.

How could I?



It's work...

Finding you.

And it's work...

this surrendering to you.

And it's work...

dying to my own desires and not letting my emotions get the best of me

as I home school,

as I have a college-age boy living back at home,

as I wonder where this nomad life we live will lead us next.



Quite honestly -

some days

or moments,

it is a lot of work.

And I don't think I want to work,

at least not this hard.






Work, which is defined as the "sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result, OR the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood OR a specific task, duty, function, or assignment often being a part or phase of some larger activity."


Nothing comes easy, they say.

The water of life is sometimes bitter, I say.

Very bitter.

Yet I'm afraid I've the one that made it that way.

Just like the Israelites…

Beauty & the Butterfly

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I didn't use to take the time...

to see the butterflies

to watch them in flight

carefree

beautiful

fluttering here and there.






Just like I didn't used to take the time...

to spend with You in the morning

to listen to Your voice

both then and as I went through my day.


And some days....
or some hours
or some moments

go by

And I still could say

I used to...



But then you send a butterfly my way

or a sunset into view

or the majesty of Your creation overwhelms me

and I remember.


How loved I am.

How wonderful you are.

How your beauty chases me

Even when I am not actively chasing You.

Beauty is defined as:  
1. the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure
    to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit
2. a beautifulperson or thing 3. a particularly graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality 4. a brilliant, extreme, or egregious (distinguished) example or instance of 
    beauty
Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life. Psalm 23:6 MSG

Just as each day …

Lost without Your Light

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A few weeks ago, when the weather was still summer and the boys were outside in flip-flops and shorts, my son lost his shoe.

Too busy swinging away at twilight with not a care in the world.

Spending time seeing how much daylight could be squeezed out of the day 
in the neighborhood playground.

Off went the flip-flop.

Sailing high into the sky, I am sure.
And then the search.

For now dusk had come and gone.

Boys and flashlights.

An all-out search party.


The out of breath boy runs inside. "We went deep into the woods," he described. "We all had flashlights and we can't find it anywhere."

"It has to be there, and it'll be there in the morning unless some animal would like a smelly old shoe for a home tonight," I reply. "We just can't see it without more light. We'll look in the morning."

The next morning, going outside to look for the shoe was the first priority.
We retraced steps.
He showed me where he was on the swing
and pointed to whi…

The One that Almost Got Away . . .

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The other morning...


the pug got away.


Extreme panic.

I had stopped
 and the leash slipped right through my hand.

I didn't know if he'd come back
because the harder I chased him,
    the farther & faster he ran.

But when I enticed
  with open arms 
    and a voice that beckons ...

He'll come running.


The Perfect Father.

He won't panic
  when I run off after my own ambitions
   when my heart has wandered
    when my thoughts have drifted afar

I won't slip
  farther than He can grasp
    beyond hearing His voice
      out of reach of His unfailing love

I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. Psalm 94:18
He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Psalm 121:3

"I know how to love you ... perfectly ... completely."

My Eye is On You

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All it takes is one moment.

Face to face.

One moment.

One touch.

That's all it takes to turn me to You, Jesus.

To turn my heart connection to my Lord.

There are no prerequisites.

Not "I have to get clean first" because honestly I am not capable of cleaning up the mess myself or getting perfect. Or having to figure it all out (yes, I like to try to do that too)!







But just me saying "Here I am. I I want to be connected with you."

Just turn and look into those eyes.

Of the One who says "My loving eye is on you."

He's watching.

He's waiting.

A couple songs come to mind. The first is a country song, but the last line rings so true of Jesus - knowing that forever He's all mine. The second a song from a group at church.
"...ain't it wild what a little flame
can make you wanna do?

I melt,

every time you look at me that way.

It never fails.

Anytime

any place

This burning me,
is the coolest thing I've ever felt.

I melt.

...What's even better is knowing …

This I Know

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Sometimes it seems like it all boils down to just one thing.

One thing to hold on to.

One message.

One thought.

I feel as if I don't know much lately. So many decisions and emotional struggles within and without.


There was a verse on a notecard that sat on my mirror for weeks.

Usually, I change it every day. Sometimes it will stay up longer, maybe a few days.

But I just couldn't change this one.

I clung to it.

Because of the promise it held.

Because it was so simple.
So profound.
So true.

THIS I KNOW, MY GOD IS FOR ME Psalm 56
Like I said, I don't know much lately. So many choices and decisions with life-long impacts. Where we will move next, when, if. How to best raise our kids, including school and day-to-day life. How am I going to get through the day? The endless to-do list. How to look at life through the eyes of Jesus, not my own filters or not becoming bogged down with the stuff of life on this earth.

But knowing this one promise, I mean knowing it as in experiencing it, holds …

Steady My Heart

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Wish it could be easy
Why is life so messy
Why is pain a part of us
There are days I feel like
Nothing ever goes right
Sometimes it just hurts so much

But You're here
You're real
I know I can trustYou

Even when it hurts
Even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart [x2]


"All grief's being transfigured into a greater grace." -A. Voskamp's 1000 Gifts

Surrender & Redemption

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The perfect photo opportunity ...

way out of reach.










When it doesn't go like you plan . . .



trying to see history in the making
the Space Shuttle Discovery's last flyby . . .
But there was sooo much traffic . . .
and kids who didn't want to be there . . .
so I missed it by minutes . . .
And I am missing the point
by focusing on the wrong thing
what good is it if I get "the perfect shot"
and all else is lost or at least in upheaval
because hearts are not settled.


What is the point . . .

I wanted these beautiful shots
but also wanted to have a memory with the kids
and today,
   I couldn't have both.


My mind wants to argue though
Why can't it be like Sunday?


Sunday was different
   and that was fine.
A family outing.
A family festival, with an outdoor concert, sponsored by
   a local Christian radio station.
We arrived just in time for an acrobatic performance
and a spot in shade to hear Jamie Grace
and autographs with her for the kids!


But today was not Sunday
nor did it go how …

The pieces

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Listen God!
Please pay attention!
Can you make sense of these ramblings, my groans and my cries?
King-God, I need your help! Every morning you'll hear me at it again. Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on your altar and watch for the fire to descend.          
Psalm 5:1-3 MSG

One week

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One week, changes everything . . .
One weak, changes everything.

One weak, changes everything.
OR
One who is weak, changes everything. 

Our oldest came home from college for the summer a week ago. Amazing how in one week, everything changes; from needing more groceries on the practical side to the adjustments family dynamics on the emotional side.
The needles on the tree outside - such growth in one week.
And as I muttered that comment to myself, but realized it was God speaking to my heart, the second part came:
Yes, Kim, 'One weak, changes everything.'

A question was posed in my study of David strengthening himself in the Lord the other day,
"Are you more impressed with your problems or lack or resources OR with the ability of God? Are you desperate and distressed enough to tell God 'I give up. I can't do it!'?" -Sylvia Gunter In His Presence II
And I realized that all these mountains looming in front of me, these things distressing me (causing anxiety, sorrow, …

What are you hoping for?

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"Yoda, what are you hoping for?"


The words no sooner drop from my lips than the weight of that question knocks me over, makes my heart flip...


...because I just felt the impact of the surgeon's scalpel. His powerful words, the one that cuts through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God's word - we can't get away from it no matter what. For God means what he says. What he says goes. (Hebrews 4:12-13 MSG)

What AM I hoping for?


A tasty morsel?


Of what?

Of things going smoothly?

Of plans going my way?

Is that what my heart really needs?


But if I am hoping for the things of His kingdom,


will I find myself following at his heel, His every footstep


Will I be hanging out in his presence (in the kitchen) where the morsels are most likely to drop?


Will I wander the kitchen in expectation?


Run to the place He dwells when I hear Him there?


Sit at His feet and wait?



Wondering if He'll take notice?



Oh, He'll no…

Bottomless Love

The french fries at Red Robin are delicious!

And they are something else.


Bottomless.


"What does that mean?" My youngest asks . . .

I can see the wheels turning in his head.

"They would just keep bringing them - as much as you want?"

"Yes."

"Really?"

"Really!"

"Oh the guy on Man vs. Food should come here. That would be a challenge!"

It's got me thinking.

Not about fries.

But something that you can never get enough of.

Something overwhelming.

And the source of overwhelming.

Bottomless.

Overwhelming.

Bottomless, overwhelming love - our world knows it not.

And neither do we, if we just look around instead of up.

His love for us - bottomless.

Words have been penned, trying to describe this bottomless, unfathomable love.

"Your love never fails,
never gives up,
never runs out on me" -Jesus Culture's "One Thing Remains"

"lacking a bottom;
immeasurably deep;
difficult or impossible to understand, unfathomabl…

Focused & Fixed

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Looking around.
























What should I be doing?























What is the next move?
















Focus.



Fix.


Look straight ahead. 

Not to the side.
































"I know what to do because I watched the master in front of me. Time and time again. He taught me. But I don't see him now."

So I waiver.

I hesitate.
I question.
But in my mind I can see him.
Going through the moves.


Oh but it's so easy to look around and see in the natural what every one else is doing...


How often I look around.


To make sure.



Today, I inadvertently cut someone in line. We were at Costco lined up in long line with the only cashier open for food on a Saturday (what was I thinking, I know!)

Finally, another line opened, after we had been talking about spending so much time in this line. The new line opened to my left. So the family who now is in front of me gets out of line and the cashier is waiving me up . . . You don't need to tell me twice - I'm moving right up to order my one little item. Then I hear "Excuse me," and the heated indignat…

The Perfect View

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Interesting title for an obviously NOT perfect view of the sunset the other night.


Of course, I was out "chasing sunsets" as my husband would say.

But I wasn't chasing them.

I think they chase me.

It's one of the ways God speaks to me ....


Actually I was out doing errands, being intentionally SLOW, not being in a hurry in case there was something to see.

And sure enough, as I pulled into the parking lot at the post office, I glanced over to see this beautiful view. I couldn't wait to get out and get a photo of it. All I had with me was the camera on my iPhone. I got out of the car to get that perfect shot before heading in . . . 

and was so bummed that the power lines ruined my sunset shot!

Or so I thought.

Truth is I needed that "imperfect shot" to write this blog, for Him to speak to me . . . what would there have been to say if it had not been for the power lines in the way?

Oh, it would have been a beautiful picture of the sunset - shouting out the glory…

Open the Door

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"I ask Him to strengthen you by his Spirit - not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength - that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite Him in."                                    -Ephesians 3:16 &17a MSG

A question has been asked lately. The words came from someone else besides our pastor and he was quick to acknowledge that. But the Lord Jesus originally asked the question, and the question remains:

Have you learned to love?

This passage in Ephesians 3:7-21 is about Christ's extravagant love. Exceeding the limits of reason or necessity, more than necessity . . .

Lavish - marked by profusion or excess, expended in abundance (comes from the Middle English laves or lavage, which seems to be from the Middle French lavasse, lavache which means downpour of rain, or laver which means to wash).

I don't think you can learn to love until you know His love. I mean know it by experience. Not just recite verses. Or talk about it. Or study it. But you have…