God Sees

I realize my view is often limited, yet I know there is One that always has a view of my life.

Everyday God

Psalm 139:16 (MSG)

You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.

One of the best things about making it to the top of a climb is the view.  After all that work of making it to the top,  the reward of looking out and over everything below makes me pause to soak it all in. It always gives me a sense of satisfaction, a sense of peace and sort of just takes my breath away.  The mountaintop is a glorious place but the journey to the mountaintop…

View original post 254 more words

Autumn Dance

Whatever we let go of and surrender ,the death of that will give life to something new.

Everyday God

Ecclesiastes 3:1
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven”

The other day a friend and I shared a moment together, looking out a window and commenting on the spectacular beauty of Autumn. She shared a memory of her daughter. She was young, dancing in the falling leaves of the trees as she came home from school . As her mother, she would watch her walk up their drive with her young face full of wonder and light – that young innocence and joy – taking in the beauty and majesty of the fall season. They called it “letting go”. The trees would let go of their leaves and they would fall to the ground. When she shared this story with me it made me think of Fall as a wonderful illustration by God of surrender.

The trees let go and surrender their leaves…

View original post 275 more words

The Most Important Hour

Psalm 143:8                                                                                                                                                                                 “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.”

The morning hours are by far my favorite moments in the day. I love waking up early and being in the stillness while the rest of the house still dreams. I can hear the crickets still singing which have not stopped yet from the night before. The air is fresh and cool.  There is this overall promise of a new day and a quiet anticipation of all that it may bring. It is a time of peace. The morning reminds me as I still myself, I sense the presence of God.

 In the quiet, I become more aware of His presence. As the pace of my day picks up , I begin to cook breakfast, prepare lunches and go through my to-do list. My mind starts to fill with all the day-to-day things that life brings.  Yet I know in all my rushing about, He is still there. It is not that He is more present in the quiet but that I am more present.

This quiet is where I learn to be with Him, to hear Him, to sense Him. As my day and my life fill up, this practice of being in the quiet with Him starts to spill over into moments with Him even in the rush, in the hustle and bustle of my life. Like a cup being poured into, it starts to pour out of me. My quiet time with my ever-present, everyday God sets my mind, trains my thoughts and helps me to see Him and hear Him more clearly. This is sacred time. The most important hour of my day.

My morning time with Him is a gift. New beginnings. Stillness. Being in His presence. This is my time with my teacher, my guide, the Lord of my life. He acts as the lamp for my feet, the light guiding my path.  Just as I treasure a date night with my husband or reading a story with my son, this too is a priority … just being with Him.

He made me for this, for relationship, with others and with Him. Through my relationship with Him, everything else in my life will come together as it should.  Thus, I order my day and greet Him in the morning, happy to spend that time with Him and grateful that I have it.

May I never forget the gift of lingering in your presence and all that it brings. Thank you God.

Life is like … Spaghetti Sauce

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”  Romans 12:2″

As Forrest Gump says  “Life is like a box of chocolates”.  I love this saying and it rings true but I contend that my life is like a pot of spaghetti sauce. Sometimes it smells so good and it seems like I have it spiced just right and other times it boils over making a fragrant but spicy Italian mess.  My life, like my spaghetti sauce, has gotten better and more flavorful over time and it seems as long as I keep the essential key ingredients it always comes out pretty tasty. Let’s face it though … no one likes to walk into the kitchen and see their beautiful sauce bubbling over and making a mess.

Emotions are the same … no one likes those feelings as we sense them rise up from our bellies, you know what I am talking about … anger, despair, jealousy, anxiety, fear.  I don’t want to feel that way. But the truth of the matter is I do.

Most of my life I remember growing up with this notion to be ‘true to yourself’.  ‘You can’t help how you feel.’ ‘Express yourself.’  Although it is true emotions should not be stuffed or swept under a rug, the older and a little bit wiser me has come to learn, they do come and go.  Feelings can be fleeting and certainly are not always reliable. They can come on strong like a hard crashing wave or  they can simmer like that pot of spaghetti sauce until one day it’s a hot, bubbling mess. But feelings can be nice too, the ones we all like … happiness, comfort, joy. Like warm sunshine on my skin , these are the ones I love to hang out with.

All these feelings are part of the human experience. Even “bad” feelings can be good in their own right. They can help me sense danger, encourage me to make a change, and help me to clean up toxic patterns.  Us women especially know how freeing a good cry can be.   Truth be known, my good feelings might not be so good , if I didn’t experience the bad ones too. I’d probably get complacent, bored, and not grow or stretch myself.  I am learning to accept that my feelings are a very part of how God designed me and that they are nothing to be ashamed of but instead a useful tool in my walk through this life.

The problem comes when I let my emotions control me.  When I don’t deal with my anger or hurt.  When I let these feelings become the captain of my ship as they sail me into stormy seas.  When I become the simmering then boiling pot of spaghetti sauce. This creates destruction within me and around me.

According to Anne Voskamp, “The best way to fight an emotion is with an emotion”.  That is quite a simple yet brilliant statement.  For example, it’s difficult to feel angry and grateful at the same time.  Sometimes emotions are a mixed bag but in general it’s hard to fully occupy more than one at the same time when they are on opposite sides of the spectrum.  Certain feelings go hand in hand – feeling jealous, inadequate, depressed.  Feeling angry, hurt, revengeful.  Or on the other side of the spectrum  … feeling peace, acceptance, forgiveness.  Feeling joyful, enthusiastic, inspired.

No doubt when one of the less desirable feelings like anger comes on … it is quite difficult to try to replace it with let’s say one of gratitude. It takes intention. It takes practice. But even in that moment of a bubbled over spaghetti sauce mess … there is hope.  It is possible.

It may not be immediate depending on the situation, but through a purposeful, intentional practice I start to see the world differently. Suddenly there is more and more to be grateful for.  Those “bad” moments still come. Those emotions I would rather not have still come crashing in. I still have spaghetti sauce moments.  But through the practice of focusing my eyes on Him and what I have to be grateful for, He changes me and I start to become a little less quick to react, a little more patient, a little more understanding. Hopefully a little more like Jesus.

Write it down. Say it out loud. Literally change your attitude from the inside out by changing your perspective. Learn to say what God says and not what your feelings say. Thank Him. Declare His promises and then thank Him again.

It’s a day-to-day if not moment-to moment choice. Yet I only have to keep my eyes on this day or this moment, on my Everyday God , and soon all these days come together and make up a month, a year, a decade, a life-time. Then I suddenly look back and see I am not the same woman I was “yesterday” and I know I won’t be the same “tomorrow”  either.

In the end it’s not only a choice but it’s also an act of surrender.  Surrendering my right to my emotion for something better, something that is bigger than my internal world. Something of God. And I am fortunate enough to reap the benefits.  My spaghetti sauce becomes richer , with a depth of flavor and aroma I would of not known otherwise.

Being the caterpillar …

Everyone loves a story of transformation. We think of the caterpillar changing into a butterfly. This fuzzy little creature that now takes flight and children marvel at … we too want a life like this.  We want a story to tell of how we have been transformed.

But maybe we have it wrong. Maybe we were not meant to live transformed lives , maybe we are meant to live in the very process of transformation. Maybe life is actually in the cocoon.  This word transform in the past tense, is such a nice word. It has a starting and an ending , its the happy ending. It’s the story we all want to tell. It’s the story of the beautiful butterfly flying into the wind.  But the word transformation … it is one suggesting a process that is not yet finished. An ongoing story. The cocoon can be dark, unknown, and scary.  I can’t tie a pretty bow around it or put it in a neat little box.  But maybe this is just how it is supposed to be.

God calls me to put my trust in Him and walk with Him where He will daily provide for me and daily transform me. From now until the day I am called home to him.  I will never “arrive”. I will never reach “nirvana”. I will stumble, fall, get better, and some days I might even seem to be worse … but in it all as I follow Him he molds me, He transforms me.  I learn to surrender more and more and realize the control was never even mine to begin with.

I learn to trust in the cocoon … in the dark, in the unknown.  I am made to live in this  process of transformation. Always seeking. Always learning. Always growing. There will always, always be more. It is not past tense , it is current tense. My transformation is now. It lives and breathes and beats with my very own heart.

I need not try to reach a particular destination. I need not dream of becoming the butterfly. I just seek His face, listen for His voice, follow His lead. It is about my relationship with Him. There is beauty in this cocoon.  I surrender reaching the finish line and instead focus on being in His presence. It is in this process that I discover this art of living in transformation.

Psalm 16:11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

I am ….

You tell me “I am”. You tell me “I’m here”. I struggle, I want to know the answers, I want to see the way paved out before me. I come to you on bended knees and ask you, what is it you have for me?, What is my purpose? show me the way. You don’t answer. At least it seems.

Then I hear you. In the white clouds that form in the sky, in the tender green of new buds on a tree, in the cool wind that blows on a summer night, in the evening sky that falls dotted with stars. You wrap yourself around me. You don’t give me the answers I am looking for. You simply whisper to me … “I am”, “I am here”.

The thoughts come, they race. What about this, what about that? What if I never figure this out? I toss and turn , I can’t turn off the thoughts. I bring myself to the bathroom ,splash cold water on my face. Dear Lord help me, help me sleep. Turn off the thoughts that race in my mind. I feel the coolness of the tile as I kneel in prayer to the floor, I hear the clock ticking reminding me that morning will come. You don’t answer all the thoughts racing in my head. You simply come to me in the silence of the night … as I climb back into bed and you tell me “I am”. You tell me “ I am here”. I find a moment of rest in that peace as I close my eyes knowing you are with me.

I wake in the morning and see the light filtering in through the blinds. A new day. My mind immediately goes to my check list. What do I have to do today? What do I have to complete?  I take a moment before my feet hit the floor and I say Good Morning God. Thank you for this day. Be with me, speak to me. You say to me “I am”. You say to me “I am here.”

Is it enough? My mind, my body ,my flesh wants answers, proof , a paved out route, a detailed map. But you don’t answer those prayers. You come to me in simple whispers of truth . Simple statements of comfort. “I am”. “I am here”.

Let it be enough of dear God. Let you be enough. Help me to surrender the thoughts, the wanting, the dreams, the desires, help me to trust it all to you and know you are the great “I am” and you are near, you are right here.

May the walls of YOUR Jericho come a tumbling down

Everyday God

 Joshua 6:10

  But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” 

The Israelite’s  have just been instructed by Joshua that they are going into Jericho.  The city of Jericho has a wall around it that they can not pass.  They are not going in such a way as we might expect.  There is no obvious  force or might , there are no type of explosives provided.   They are  just simply told to march around the city for six days then on the seventh day to march seven times then blow the trumpets .  This is their instruction .  They are merely told to march and blow trumpets.

Prior to going in they are also instructed to not say a word.  For seven days they…

View original post 815 more words