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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Finding Christ

In the mundane
In the mess
In the miracles.
Every day there seems to be 
moments of each of those,
If I have eyes to see.

Isn't this what advent is all about?

The season
Of preparing my heart.
To be ready,
On the lookout,
Wide-eyed wonder
For the King of Kings
Who came in the least expected way
A fragile, tiny baby

Who became the Savior of all mankind.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Close

All around
I surround
Feel Me or not
I am here.

Breath Me in
Breath Me out
Faith, only by faith
not with doubt.

Instant wonder,
find Me here,
swirling,
shining,
drawing,
wooing.

Your next breath,
that's how close I am.


And I as quickly as my next breath,
You reveal Yourself to me -
endlessly patient.
And you say to me:

Come closer.
Pay attention.
Look around.
Fresh encounters await,
never the same.

Moses and the burning bush,
you and the butterfly, and 
you and the campfire.

They all beckon you to Me for different revelations.
To behold and gaze upon my beauty,
to spend time with me.

Look and see - 
the power of looking,
always with awareness,
attentive,
alert. 











Friday, October 2, 2015

Meet me at the Campfire


Sit.
Relax.
Stare at the beauty in my flames.
Feel my warmth and peace,
where I'm the only light
in the darkness of night.

Meet me here.
The place in your heart
where my fire burns
like a flame within.
Smell the sweet burning of wood,
An incense of aroma,
We can stay here for hours.

Fire, fearful and dangerous
Every step closer, heat increases.
Fire, Your holiness
Fear, my reverence for Your holiness

Fire and fear
A mystery, so intriguing
Mesmerizing
I want to come near.


"Come like a rushing wind
Come light the fire again
Come like a burning flame
Have Your way
Have Your way" -Kari Jobe "Hands to the Heavens"

*photo courtesy of Kaity Wilson

Monday, September 21, 2015

Good Good Father

Thoughts on Father's Day 2015 and throughout the summer as I captured these moments that melted my heart with my youngest son and his father, my husband.

"You're a good Father
and I'm loved by you."*
That's where I'll stay,
in that place,
living from the Father's heart.
The place that says
I take great delight in you
like a father watching his son in action
I rejoice over you with singing
like a mother quiets her baby with a lullaby
My quiet love surrounds you
like a blanket of peace.


You are good.
Good - a word so worn out.

Websters' begins to define good as:

honorable, kind, complete, virtuous, sound, wholesome, pleasant, real, benevolent, bountiful, commendable.



Father.
One who adores me,
Who holds me,
Shows me and tells me He loves me,
Takes delight in who I am.
Perfect (complete) love
always for me.

*from Good Good Father by Housefires
Good Good Father by Housefires

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Clash

The kids had come home one day, baffled about the rudeness and lack of honor for them, just because they were young. 


Sometimes when people ignore you
or don't honor you
or just flat out treat you rudely,
the reason is more than "they are having a bad day."

This is the reality:
when the Kingdom of Heaven,
Jesus in you,
meets the kingdom of this world
that lives in someone else,
there is either:

A recognition and honor of the peace,
position, power, authority, grace and favor you carry,

Or quite possibly
a confrontation,
a clash,
of the power of darkness that would try to exalt itself over
the One true king.

So don't let their actions or behaviors
determine the truth about you.
Remember and renew your mind
with what it true about you.
WHOSE you are
and WHO you are.
Lift your gaze to your Heavenly Father,
receive His smiling countenance upon you,
and journey on.
Full of joy.

You are unstoppable.
You are children of the Light.



Monday, July 27, 2015

Prince of Peace

I sat in silence.
The calm before the storm.
Peace.
Quiet.

I need all of You.
Whatever you have to give me, 
Whatever you have to show me,
about Your ways,
who You are,
I'm yours.

He approaches.
Looking so small.
And He kneels in front of me,
Head bowed so low that
I can't even see his face.
A satin sash draped over his hands.

The sash lays there
as He presents it to me.
Mine for the taking.
A gift.
An offering.

I can't see what color it is,
nor can I read the words written on it,
yet I know.
The knowing without words.


PEACE.


That was weeks ago. 
Before the swirl of wedding activity.
All the last minutes things, 
and the situations I didn't expect.




The other day, I heard this song by Hillsong UNITED for the first time; I can't let go of some of the lyrics. "My heart a storm...Prince of Peace bursting through the wind...My eyes found you...the Prince of peace found me there...Your light will meet me."

Peace.
A person.
Not a place, nor a thing.
Ann Voskamp says "a person to abide in." She said she "got wandering and it got loud in my heart and my head and I lost peace."

Peace.
Not the absence of chaos and trouble
as the world would describe it.

But the presence of calm and tranquil
because fear, chaos and anarchy have been removed.

John Paul Jackson says your feet touch the earth. The earth around you is touched by the peace you carry. When you walk with a lack of fear, chaos, and anarchy; you bring peace to the earth. You have the ability to give what's inside without the distraction of personal circumstances. He says that peace WITH God (relationship) leads to peace OF God; it's a result of the relationship. And with that relationship comes authority. It's something you walk in as opposed to what you do.

Bill Johnson talks about the War of Peace. Almost a contradiction of concepts.


But when you stand between storm and the sun, 
you behold the rainbow.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Out at Sea

We had a moment there,
on the deck of that beautiful ship,
out at sea.

Every direction I looked,
vast,
endless
ocean.

You had told me
and I had read in your word many times
about this comparison:
the ocean and your love for me.

And I have stood safely on the shores
of many beautiful beaches,
at the edge of the ocean gazing out
and feeling Your presence.

But this.
Now I am experiencing it.
Being way out in the middle of it.
Surrounded on all sides
by Your love.

Depth beyond fathom,
width out of sight,
immeasurable.
Boundless.

Your love,
your message of love for me.
I couldn't escape it this week.



Listening to the lyrics of the song "Drops in the Ocean"
If you want to know 
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide...
More than the drops in the ocean.

Hearing a message about
my Father's abundant love
and His joy over me,
You spoke into my core.

Reading the book
Safe in the Father's Heart,
being reminded over and over
I am safe in Your love.

I asked what you wanted me to do.
Just be.
Enjoy.

And we pulled into the dock,
shallow waters for now,
still endless ocean in my view.


I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend ... what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19






Friday, June 5, 2015

The Words Became a Story

The writing assignment began with writing down five words. All six writers weaved and crafted these words (marked in bold) together in whatever way we desired. Because "we are already as creative as He's created us to be." So here's mine:

Take My hand.

There is no fear in love.
My heart for you,
My love for you 
is deep,
containing grace, beauty and peace.

Ropes of doubt and unbelief 
suffocate you.
Throw them out the window,
because on My keychain,
are the keys of hope and truth.
Feel My power flow through you as you write;
A triangle of Father, Son and Holy Spirit - 
Your words going forth as the lark sings its song.

Walk with Me.
Run with Me.
In this journey of writing,
you may feel as if you're barely at the sunrise,
a butterfly not yet emerged,
but I've surrounded you with friendship and laughter,
times of habit to write.
Let the flow of writing be like a rushing water
a miracle to you,
Blessings restored like Job, double portion.






Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Invitation

In a clearing
of a forest,

I thought I was alone.

Then He comes.

The Lion of Judah,

Walking directly to me.
So powerful,
Such love in His eyes.

He waits.

I hesitate.

I read the question in His eyes:
Will you let it all go and come with me?

He walks with Me
While I ponder this proposition.

And then we break off in a run,
with me riding on His back.



Every day, every moment, He is asking me this question. I hear it echo as I get frustrated with things that need to be done, schedules and planning, people's choices, and plans or situations not going efficiently.

Will you come with me?

It's an adventure. It's an unknown. Lay down whatever is hindering me from riding free and without burden. Will you go the way I am going? I am always with you. These circumstances may not change but the 'how' and the response can change WHEN you walk with Me.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Intentionally Steady

The jog outside in the crisp winter air a couple Monday mornings ago was NOT ideal! That was the week I decided "no more indoor workouts on the elliptical; I want to get outside." I miss the freshness and the beauty of going somewhere when I run, but my path was covered. The sidewalks were still piled high with the snow we got last week. I was so grateful for snow - twice in one week! Right up until the point I realized there was no place to run. Even with a chill still lingering in the air, the temperature was finally warm enough to brave the outdoors. And I was finally over my chest cold. 

By Wednesday, the paths were maybe half clear, but I had to make up a new route, because my favorite, the pond, was ice and snow covered. 

On Friday, I took a route from years ago. In the opposite direction of the pond. It looked clear when I started out, but little did I know the conditions that awaited me.

Sidewalks still snow covered and scattered with patches of ice. 
So I jogged along streets in the neighborhood.

Boring.
Repetitive.

With no idea where halfway or any other point could be found,
I had just started running and kept going until the timer when off.

Those days I jogged a route so unlike my normal path, my normal routine - the one that goes around the pond.

The one I like because it is 
safe,
beautiful,
and predictable. 

I know EXACTLY how long that path takes, and 
where I am along that journey.

My jogging dilemma. My analogy of this point in my life. I long for the safe, beautiful, and predictable. Probably because I sometimes still think that only safe and predictable is beautiful.

But the path I find myself on is uncharted territory.

And yet just like it was so refreshing to get out in the winter air - praying, worshiping, and realizing how much I longed for the outdoor jog after being stuck indoors for workouts last week - I realized I can still enjoy the life journey. 

I had gone out.
And it wasn't the same.
Yet it was beautiful.
How l longed for the pond - the usual route.
Not having to think about where I stepped.

I had to be intentional,
light on my feet
so I could stay steady
on not land with my face on the ground.

I couldn't run full speed ahead,
without thinking,
just going on automatic.
I had to be intentional
about where I chose to step 
and how much weight I put down.

I needed to steady my feet.

Steadfast.

Firmly fixed in a place,
solidly settled IN someone
not subject to change.

That is my word for the year. And those mornings runs outside seemed anything but steady. 

Lines of a song echo, "Shepherd of my heart - take my hand and lead me on." And other lyrics resonate, "And my heart will stay steadfast - I know that you are good."


Friday, February 27, 2015

Let It (them) Go


This is what I'm having to do this season.

Let.
It.
Go.

It's the only way.

To survive. To thrive. To have abundant life.



The kids went back to public school this fall after four years of homeschooling. Four precious years of spending every day with my kids. I miss them. I truly do. It's bittersweet. And this is not true of everyone, but it is true for us. It was time to let them go back to public school. 

Let.

Them.
Go.


I wanted to fight it. I knew the time was coming. I knew it would be so difficult; feeling like I'm "feeding them to the wolves." Yet all the while, it would be such a joy to watch them shine and have more opportunities than they have had here at home with me. All these emotions swirled around me like a self-induced tornado. At ten days into this new season, the circumstances I knew were inevitable did occur: I don't agree with what is being taught or how things are done. But I know they are grounded and I know they will stand strong and stand for what is right; that it's part of the growing process for them. 


Like the baby bird taking it's first flight. 
Scary. 
Time to spread their wings. 

And honestly, I think it's been harder for me to adjust. The mom sitting back watching this unfold.

So, how?


How do I let them go?

A sweet lady at church was prompted to share this verse with me, "Delight yourself in the Lord." How could she have known! 
It was OUR verse; the verse my husband and I had printed our wedding invitations.

THIS is how I do this letting go thing.


Choosing to delight in the Lord; choosing to bless them and pray with them. Choosing to bring every situation to the Lord. And choosing to:


Let.

Them.
Go.

And this is how He does this letting go thing with me.

As I pull into the back side of the high school to head for the drop off area in the wee early morning hours, an amazing sunrise is staring right back at me! This tangible reminder of His promise that His mercies are new every morning. 


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Hard Right - Rhythm & Routine

Taking a hard right.
Is right hard.

Much easier is fluid motion,
not screeching to a stop
at the end of the movement.

But sometimes,
you have to take that hard right turn
because the road you're headed down
isn't leading to life.

Because I can get stuck in my routine.
Instead of living in rhythm.

Rhythm and routine.
Similar, yet so very different.
Routine is like clockwork,
scheduled and predictable.
Rhythm is fluid, 
like a rubber band,
it has a breaking point and limits,
but it can be stretched.

Show me Lord,
this life of grace
this life of rhythm with You.
Not routine,
which looks like me obsessed with my schedules
or this racing ahead, full throttle,
not able to fluidly change direction
when you nudge me.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly. Matthew 11:28-30 MSG


The Invasion of Light

This beautiful lady starts the painting with a dark, black canvas. And we sit, mesmerized, as she transforms this dark background into a picture of beauty and light. 

"You have to see the dark as a back drop enabling you to see how bright the light is," she encourages us, talking of a dark time in her life. The darkest. And how God spoke to her. 

You Lord, keep my lamp burning, my God turns my darkness into light. Psalms  18:28

I've been thinking about this; how dark it seems in life. Walking through some situations that seem like they
will.
never.
end.

That I'm in the proverbial tunnel and I don't see the light at the end.

But now, many, many months later.

I see a glimmer of it.

I'm starting to see how much brighter it is.
All because it was so dark.

He spoke to me the other day:


"Let me invade your life"

Your light invades my darkness
Your love invades my sadness and aching heart
It takes over
  blinding light
Invade - such a powerful word
  to enter for conquest; to permeate.

Let me.
Allow me.
Open the door to Me
and let My light
invade your life.


"Let the Light" by Stephany Gretzinger

 
©Bob Ross

The Lower You Go

There it was. 
Confirmed in black and white.
The words of an article about the power of perspective in photography. How perspective changes everything when trying to capture a scene, a person, or an event. How you have to move if you want to change your perspective. 


Little did they know the revelation of the power of perspective in life. 
In relating to those around me; involving my attitude, my thoughts, my actions, my heart. 


"Perspective influences a viewer's perception."



They say that shooting up close gives a sense of intimacy and highlights a particular action or detail. Yeah, I need to get close to you to see what's really going on in your life. To get to the heart of the matter.





Shooting wide shows environment. What is this person dealing with today that I can't see because I'm too close, starring at the speck in their eye. Like how rudely someone spoke to me, or treated me, but little do I know how distracted they are over bad news or how much pain they are in.

And when you go low for a photo, it simplifies.


Because
The lower you go

The more unique the picture.
From the lower angle,
from that point of view, 
the perspective
changes.


The scenery is so much more beautiful to behold.
Colors and textures appear more distinct.

The article goes on - about how you should walk all the way around the scene or an object to find the perfect view. What at first appears ordinary, can be extraordinary by changing your angle.

Shooting down gives a scaled perspective.
When I look from above, 
I've put myself in a place I don't belong,
higher than all the rest.
And nothing has the same beauty
As when I get low 
Bending on one knee
Perched on a rock
Lying on the ground 
or underneath a railing. 

I need to be low
To make Him bigger
To make the beauty all around
so much larger than life.
To live as a child,
in constant wonder 
of my surroundings,
Stopping to admire every little thing.
Beautiful.

As Albert Einstein says, living as if everything is a miracle. 


To get the perspective of a child in photography, you have to shoot low and straight.
It makes perfect sense now. 
This humbling as a child
and seeing the way a child sees the world.
Every
thing.
Full of wonder.

Every
Thing.
A miracle.