What then shall we do or say?

I am wrecked I cannot find the way off the floor.

These days, they are relentless pounding in the noise of shame and doubt.

Failure and regrets.

If not now then when, when will I see that I am not meant to forge these days alone.

For the silence reverberates that I am alone.

But it is the sounds of birds chirping that you use.

You speak to my lonely, my sorrowful weaken state and say,

Oh my child you are not alone for if even the birds have each other in the wild then how much more do I have you right where I AM.

Yes, the great I AM speaks to me calls to me.

I dare not move from the prostrate place He has come to, for fear I might miss place Him

because lets face it it is my doing when God seems gone.

For in our heartache we drive ourselves into isolation when it is communion that we crave and need to travel through the heartache.  Our troubles draw us away often and find us leaning on ourselves but what good is faith without works.

The hard work is knowing that there is none not one who has not suffered at one time or another.

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

What then shall we say or do, when loved ones suffer or anyone finds strife as their new way of life? We take faith as small as a mustard seed and  come along side one another.

Having the  courage to speak out in our heartache reveals that we are not alone that there are others all around us and in our speaking out we find comfort in the words and stories of others.

We are reminded that God has designed us to thrive and not whither away in the desert of isolation.

Then they sat on the ground with him seven days and nights, but no one  spoke a word to him because they saw that his suffering was very intense.

Job 2:13 

We need no words to give comfort nor do we need answers. We just need be willing.

Heavenly father I offer a prayer for the lonely and the isolated may you refresh their eyes to see you and give them ears to hear you. Let the weight of today be lighter by a kind gesture of time and companion. You are near to the broken hearted and you give strength to the weak. Thank you lord that you do not ask that we forego our sorrows but instead our heartache reveals more of our need for you. May we bring a song of thanksgiving in our heartache in anticipation of the coming glory of our Lord.  Let us be people bearing with one another only offering what we ourselves have received from heaven above.

In Christ name amen

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Reset to break the noise.

If  the source of quarrels are the selfish desires of my heart, the wanting wrong things with wrong motives. How do I move forward? I come to you oh Lord confused, distressed ,panicked, my mind a trap for the noise that is fleeting, confusing and scary.

It is a constant buzzing sound, are the kids safe, do they know Jesus, why don’t they know Jesus?

Why is there never money for basic living not abundant or extravagant living but owning a house, paying bills, tithing kind of money?

This is the sound, the words that dance in my head and Satan has the music on repeat.

John 1:14 states the word became flesh and dwelt among us. I have read some good books and think of them and how they moved me to tears. Our king my king my God, He is  the very word that became flesh.. my best book given with  my greatest resource for being moved to tears filled with joy, encouraged and lifted up in every essence of every moment  written about. But greater yet, is flesh and dwelling with me.. so why the panic why the quarrels and chaos that seem to live more boldly in my head.. slowly and methodically squeezing out the life from my heart…?

It is time for a fast, it is time for a reset of the things that I claim as needed or good for me.

Heavenly father I cannot even find the words that I want to pray. I guess I am asking that in the beautiful and powerful name of Jesus that you would see me see the chaos and let your holy spirit fall afresh on me. My words fall short O’ Lord but I am here non the less bringing my lifeless heart to the one and only who can heal. May my eyes stay upon the cross today may my words be from you and for you. Thank you for knowing me even when I do not know myself.

in Christ name

amen.

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Quiet prayers honest prayer

I will pray humbly I will pray boldly, today I will call upon your mighty name O’ Lord and I will leave my heart at the altar of your throne

And I will waver in my faith as I do. I will question the shallow request I made before a king.

I will regret and try to take back telling you my hearts desire because they will seem selfish and small.

But you are God and I am not and you long to hear from me, you actually enjoy hearing my thoughts and heart out loud not because you do not know but because you care to hear and see my heart as if hearing for the first time. Your intimate knowledge of my life you have written, you have tenderly laid it out from every day to each passing minute.

So as my doubt took over quickly this morning and my lamenting of what ifs sounding more like a repetitive song ,your word rushed in with one simple tap of my phone. Reminding me that all is not lost.

Pain and sorrow and the brokenness and strife of this life exists but they do not conquer, for you have been there and have over come the greatest of sorrows. You remind me that what I know of time is different from what you hold as time.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promises as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Let us pray than in such a way that reflects our trueness but gives reverence to the one who loves us right where we are.

Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens-Jesus the Son of God-let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-15

Lord I pray that as I have been encouraged and loved on by your word this morning that you would extend that to others. Use me Lord to give grace when needed, to speak kindness when interrupted and to forgive when the hurts cut deep.

Lord to see your word written out gives such clarity to the finite way I think and see things. You are the God who sympathizes with my weakness, not one that mocks or holds it against me but contrary you made a way that I may approach your throne with grace and boldness. Let my words be few this morning Lord, trusting in you to lead me on.

In Christ name

Amen

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First…..

First light brings you.

First breath brings you.

First moments bring you,

and todays first with you brings a refreshing wave to my soul. Reading your word that speaks to the very essences of what I need even the parts I fully don’t understand. I stumble across these words, words that speak of how I cannot bring anything to what you are doing except my heart. Remembering that you do not start what you will not finish. That not even my doubt will change your will.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 ” I perceived that whatever God does endures forever;nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.”

All of my comings and going are initiated by you for you and through you. Even how we should pray you guide and give understanding to.

Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 “to guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Better to approach in obedience than to offer the sacrifice as fools do, for they ignorantly do wrong.Do not be hasty to speak, and do not be impulsive to make a speech before God. God is in heave and you are on earth so let your words be few.

Scripture speaks fluently of how we should be less of us and more of Him. 1John 4:4 “Greater is he who is in us that he who is the world”

Resting assured that what today holds is made and held in the creators hand calls to me, where I long to be but alas my flesh does fail and my faith it wavers. The simplicity of what faith should be to what it is, revealed through childhood games “Simon says” and we respond easier than when the scriptures read “Jesus said” revealing more of who we are and how quickly we waver between faith and frailty. Forgetting that what we will stand before God is not what we read but rather what we do here on earth.

The cold and quiet morning following His leading brings joy knowing that God loves me, while I still sin His love calls to me and the scriptures bring a steadfastness of the Lords faithfulness to me leaving me in awe of how great He is.

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us-to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever Amen.

That power the very same that rose the dead to life is alive in me but how does this all really play out in my daily life? Because daily life is finite daily life has more of me in it and if I’m honest and some say I am brutally honest, these quiet times fade in out of my days some messier than others but in the messy truth is still there still good. When I find my heart racing with doubt and anxiety creeps in with what if’s and why did I? God will remind me of my place in Him and believe me sometimes He can remind me in big bold ways but more often it is sweet and kind and filled with tenderness and meets me right where I am. When someone smiles unexpectedly or one of my children offers to help me or the right song with those precious five extra minutes steals back the doubt and the what if’s and I exhale this world and inhale the quiet time.

There is no easy fix or simple path there is only what I know to be true some 28 years later, of faith in the God above and the broken soul mending and beating together.

1 John  3:19-20 This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and will reassure our hearts before Him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts and He knows all things.

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Hi God…

 

I’ am a child of the 80’s with its Walkman’s, Jordache jeans, frosted blue eyeshadow and aqua net. I thought those were harsh  times to navigate through but these days seem relentless for our worth.  Growing up today where likes and followers determine much of our esteem.  When wandering through the internet/social media world is soul crushing. Stealing from us without even knowing it.

With every click we are entertaining the worlds thoughts that go after us  from every angel and every filter over everything. Taking heart beats from us never asking for permissions.

BUT GOD! Two words that can change my day when I find myself on the crooked road the world offers,  those two little words  lead me right back to where I need to be and where I find my worth.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.(Isaiah 26:3)

And I see these same battles daily in my house as my children cling to their phones and react to every vibration, alert sound or post. Small, subtle and almost unassuming these thieves rob the very essence of what God has set out to do for them and through them.  How do we navigate these times when we ourselves struggle? How do we minister to the broken when we are broken?  When seeking the desires of our hearts lead us down these rabbit holes that are lined with glitz and status that fulfill moments in our lives. Moments that fade and not build roots.

But God….HE wants to give us more than moments, He has planned a life of promises and gladness that satisfy the deepest of needs.

Gods love for me through the scriptures  renew my heart and with worship music that soothes the aches within  equip me for the battle, equip me to love on my children and for the ministry opportunities that God grants.  Finding my way in this life is dependent on listening intently to what the Lord is saying not what others are offering or are  speaking.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.(Hebrews 10:24-25)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, (Proverbs 3:5)

When my children were small my husband played this game with them where he would throw them up as high as he could and they were to yell “Hi God”. I often would gasp with uncertainty but they would ask to go higher with such joy and abandon for they fully trusted in their dad. They heard him say trust me I will always catch you.

Do you hear Him? He is asking the same of us to live abandon in His love for us. His love is never ending and not determined by filters or likes or unfriending it is faithful ,patient and kind.

Heavenly father I pray for the ones who need to know you to know your love and mercy. The ones who are aching to belong and looking to be validated may they know they are wanted. That the shame and mistakes are not who they are and that you see them as they are not for their number of followers or likes but just as they are and you love them. Bring a comfort to the fearful who think they have to be like everyone else give them courage to know you go before them and have made a way. Lord we pray that today we celebrate the small victories. Amen

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord  Jesus” 1 Corinthians 15:57

 

 

 

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When the hurting are right under your nose it can be easy to miss. How do you help the ones you love the deepest when they are hurting the deepest?

Oh precious daughter of mine if you only knew it doesn’t always hurt. These days that seem like crashing waves that never break to calming seas only last for a moment in light of the rest of what this life has in store for you.

You are not the only one who has their head hung low weighted by the doubt and shame of choice and action that are made. Oh precious one of Gods sweet love you are more than the guilt and ugliness you have taken on and decided to carry.  But words are light and you hear them as whispers and trite not as the resounding truth that these words carry. Oh how satan has built such a resistance in you to the things that are good and lovely and right.

If I could only convince you that today doesn’t have to be as bad as you’ve already prepared it to be. If you could see you through my eyes then you would know there is joy to be found.

We can all relate to these scenarios of loved ones cursing themselves for their lack of self-worth and loathing. But when they are our children it can be even more difficult to minister to.  For we ourselves can doubt the very essence of who we are to offer comfort and words of encouragement for their little souls.

He comforts us in all our afflictions…. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. (2 Corinthians 1:4,5)

We have to want it more than then our own desire when it comes to ministering to the broken if we don’t then the lines of wounds can become entangled and the comfort starts to sound and feel more like commiserating than actual healing.

Oh, there is truth in sharing what we ourselves may have gone through to show how it is when we come out of the darkness. But we must guard our hearts so that our words speak tenderly full of grace and light for the broken don’t need rebuttals of life trials they need our kindness.

Act wisely toward others, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.(Colossians 4:5-6)

So precious daughter if nothing else today I pray that you see the goodness of the Lord and find reprieve.

Lord thank you that I can come to you and pray no matter where or how Lord, You are gracious to hear our pleads even when we have no idea what to say, Lord I pray over your loved ones that you would remind them of your truth for their life. That you love them and have chosen them for your salvation. Jesus it is so sweet to know that in a crowd of ten thousand you see everything and know us intimately even when we feel unworthy you call us worthy. Lord I pray that your grace and joy would pour over us today.

In Christ name

Amen

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Prayer

Sometimes it is as simple as a prayer.

Loving God loving others today….

Heavenly father oh how I adore you, how I long to honor and worship you all the days of my life. Thank you Lord for today, for  you have created the  day specifically designed for me to see your goodness and to glorify you.  When morning comes many will cringe, already worried and allowing fear to steal from them. Some will limp into the day too weary and broken to look up. But you O’ God our great redeemer and Father who loves deeper than the oceans can hold. You speak to those hearts and you whisper to them I am your God and you are my beloved. Father I pray on behalf of the heavy hearted that they would hear you clearly today if only for a moment may they taste the love of heaven in their souls. Lord I pray for the ones who believe they are the mistakes they have made. I ask that you would give truth to that lie we are not the mistakes we have made we are the Creators greatest love.

Lord today is a day to celebrate and enjoy the promise you have bestowed before us but we are feeble and sinful and often times we look to others to fulfill promises they cannot keep and then we soak up the lie that we are failures to the plans we have laid out. But you are the way, the truth and the light and you have made plans for us to prosper and have a future.

Oh my sweet Jesus how we need you in every moment of our days. Days where we look to the world for comfort only to find every thing is fleeting compared to your well of abundant mercy and grace for us. Lord I pray for those who look to find themselves in likes and followers only to find themselves feeling empty and abandon. May your Holy spirit speak to those hearts ,that you will never leave nor forsake them, that they are not alone in their suffering.  You are the rest they long for ,you are the comfort we all need.

You are the king of kings and lord of lords! You have come so that we might be saved. Hallelujah praise the one who is great. You have won the battle for the weary, you have spoken into the day that is before us and commanded it to provide all that we may need. May we not turn away from that gift, may we embrace all that we have with humility and gratitude. It is my joy to lift up the ones you bring to mind today.

In Christ we pray

Amen

 

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When joy and pain share time

My days since May 10th 2015 have been nothing short of Gods relentless grace upon me as well as stumbling movements that one hopes no one saw or kept a record of.

The day my daddy died was Mother’s day that year, and as I sat with him the day before I knew his time had come I could see it all over him and I could feel it in my heart, but I still pleaded with God to give him more time. Although this time wasn’t for more time for him it was for my son. See May 10th is my son’s birthday and I just knew I didn’t want such joy and pain to share time.  I knew it would be unbearable for my son and I knew there was a struggle already with his birthday because the year he was born was also Mother’s day. My sweet third child already shared his day, at least occasionally when Mother’s day fell on the 10th. For a child who is dictated by society to spoil your mom on one special day of the year it can cause conflict on how they fit in for their special day.

So as we celebrated my son’s birthday and mother’s day we also stood in the presence of grief that year. And the questions and understanding  of why of all days poured through my mind. As time has marched on  God is so kind to me to be slowly revealing to me that it is not so much the question of why or needing to understand but to embrace the what He is doing in me through this as well as watching the journey He has my son on.

Two years after my father’s death I can say I see tiny glimpses of what the Lord is doing.

Especially in the words He is giving me :

It is the world in which we live when loved ones die. It presses on, ever forward seemingly never looking back all the while we stand in sinking sand. Where some days are refreshing winds to the soul others steal the wind right in front of us. We do not look to linger or wear our mourning for it is not who we are but it is now a part of our hearts rhythm . Death of loved ones revealing the very magnitude of their impact in our lives.  Revealing truth, that how we live matters not for ourselves but for those who will come after. Will they only taste the bitterness of death when loved ones die or will they see the beauty when death arrives. The greatness of the love, the memories of life and joy that let us smile through the grief. My heart wanes between two worlds that occupy May 10th. One is life one is death but both are love in its fullness..

When we reach our end, where we cannot find our way, He giveth more; for His love has not limit. His grace has no measure and His mercy endures even the greatest of pains this earth has.

Great is His faithfulness.  Lamentation 3:23

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It takes time

As the years creep closer the view still isn’t clearer. As if the windows just can’t clear the morning frost. I thought that this time my heart would finds its rhythm quicker but all that your death brought was deeper movements through the memories of our time together. Walking in grief is not east but some how it is guarded as something only the elite get access to. My life introduced to grief has been oddly enough treasured. Revealing truth in such elaborate colors of life and love and sorrow and how they mingle together. The soul is the life  one creates and its legacy that is remembered. When we abide in Christ that legacy, that soul will find peace and joy in the arms of the Father and there all things will be made whole.

Events will come and mark the time when your life ended and some will call it an anniversary and some will tuck away to the silence. But grief will rise in those moments pressing down releasing new sensations, some that feel like relief and others that are still too painful to breath. Life moves on  when loved ones die. But it is how we choose to move forward that will demonstrate the love.

Moving on is one thing moving forward is bravery.

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One nation under God

I had the chance to visit New York this summer, something I had always wanted to do but never thought I would. The how and why I was there is for another post but for today I will share a bit of my visit.

9/11 etched first with love because as the sun brought forth the day, loved ones made breakfast and lunches, planned their days of meetings and errands. Talked of T-ball practices and recitals.  Even argued who’s turn it was to take the garbage out. But as we all awoke the day’s routine became a stark contrast to what was unfolding. I have seen the images from what depravity, greed and sin of man can do. But those images came from foreign lands or history books.

These images were coming from home and as I stood holding my swollen pregnant belly in disbelief I cried I prayed and felt so very helpless. 9/11/01 ripped apart the fabric of our nation in ways we can never comprehend. It cracked the surface of pain for the nation but it exploded open for those whose loved ones died.

Death will do that, it will explode what we know and feel and take you to a brokenness that feels like dying would be better than living.

Summer 2017 and I find myself 2 years into the journey of grief one from loosing my father and the second to loosing one of my dearest friends. Most days I walk like a freshly birthed giraffe but then days like the one I spent at the 9/11 memorial I walk humbly holding the gift of grief.

The noise that New York city delivers is very different from other cities. It is vibrant, alive and chaotic yet very rhythmic. Especially to those who live there. That is why upon my arrival at the 9/11 memorial the first thing I noticed was the silence. Not a literal silence but one of profound reverence for every family represented. Beauty revealed in what was so ugly. We as a nation have risen in the face of tragedy and cleared the ashes from our eyes.  And for those who loved ones died thank you thank you for sharing your loss with us. I covet my grief and the place it holds in my life so to walk into yours on such a public forum I am honored and do not take lightly the depth of your loss and continual sacrifice.

The falling of tears, the quiet the grief it is all-consuming and never-ending. How do we comfort when we ourselves ache? How do we rise up when we don’t want to stand? Weeping will always be a part of my days. Sorrow will be my companion and the days rhythms now sound more like silence that only I can hear.

But what I know is I can feel You Lord reaching and waiting. You wait for me with abundant love and a mercy that pours over me. I will rise because you hold me, when I cried out “my foot is slipping” your unfailing love Lord supported me Psalm 94:18

You remind me that it is you who holds me and gives my heart hope.

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