Love in the Wait

What is love and how do I find it? I thought I had it in my hands and that I was holding it gently but, “slow down, you’re still holding on too tight.” I’m beginning to wonder if I’m supposed to hold on to it at all or let it keep walking away. There’s so much that I have to learn. So, I decided to throw away everything I thought it was and now I’m here lost in figuring out who I am again in this new space. Who am I when I’m not holding on to you? Who am I as I wait for the lessons to bring me closer to you? Or better, you come to me. What are the lessons that I need to learn? It’s a scary process but I have to keep moving forward if I want to see you with clearer eyes. I want to see YOU. Completely.

Love isn’t a steady state. It ebbs and flows everywhere, like the sea moving in and out from the shore. It’s alive and always moving like the wind. You can’t force the sea to recede and you can’t force the wind to blow or change direction. You can take up the wind in your sails, you can stand at the shore and let the water run over you, or you can dive into the waters and be consumed and moved by it. Eventually, you have to get out of the water and live your life on the shore. So, there’s the kicker. I’m only human. Letting go of my expectations. Don’t hold on too tight. Put on the brakes. Let it ebb and flow naturally. Let it be the music and the rhythm of my new life. Allowing myself to become a new thing one step at a time.

Lord, you call us to trust you in all that we do and give thanks. There are so many beautiful things that I want but they are nothing compared to the things that you have planned for me. So, I wait. Thank you for allowing me to see another day and the blessings that come with it. To sing praise to you and to have joy in my heart!

Are You Available?

I don’t like to ask the question… “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It implies that we get to this goal age of adulthood and there we have it figured out and we, “adult”…but we don’t. Plus, that’s not a question that God asks us. He doesn’t put limits on us that are bound by our earthly chains. We walk by faith not by sight. Therefore, there are infinite possibilities of what we could be at any given moment in time by the hand of the almighty. So, God doesn’t ask us what we want to be when we grow up. But he does ask us whether we are going to make ourselves available to Him. Are you available for Him to do His work through you? No one said that it was going to be easy, no one says that it’s going to be perfect or what it should look like, but here it is. Are you ready to love your neighbor like you live yourself. Ready to give and take a rebuke, allow iron to sharpen iron? Are you committed to getting up everyday with complete aspirations to make God proud. To remind yourself that He is greater than I and it’s not about pleasing me, not my boss, not my mother, not my neighbor, not my kids…none of them, but God. To want to hold up to God an account of a life and hear Him say, “Yes, my child. You did all that I asked of you.” Hear that? He calls us, “My Child” we’re mere children in the eyes of our good father. To Him we never grow old. We never grow into a place of “adulthood,” or true wisdom. We only become closer to Him and expire to ultimately be with and take a seat with Him in the end. In this place, we are forever his children, young and in need of his love, wisdom, guidance, mercy and grace.

Thank you Jesus for all that you have given us for this day. Help up open our hearts to you and be available to be filled with your love and devotion to your word. Allow us to lean not on our own understanding but on yours and help us build on a firm foundation from your love. You’re a good Father and don’t allow us to forget that as we bow our heads to you.

Breaking Out of a Box

This is a moment of changing gears. Bear with me as I ramble.

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One day, in therapy, we were asked an interesting question: If you could be an animal what would it be? The answers ranged from bird, butterfly, tiger and so on. But my answer… “I’d want to be a blue whale.” “A blue whale?” and the sideways looks came from most participants. “Why do you want to be such a massive animal?” But here it was, I laid it on the table.

Then, came the answer…”Well it’s the largest animal in the world, but it doesn’t have teeth, it eats the tiniest animals in the sea with “brooms”. It’s hypersensitive to the smallest changes in the oceanic ecosystem and there’s no tank large enough to capture it in. “Nothing is bigger than the open seas.” Initially, the thought was that I think that I’m big and bad, but really I see myself as a reclusive wanderer, that should be admired and never held captive. I may be a giant in real life, or maybe just in my head, but the real thought that carries my answer is that I don’t care how big your tank is, it’ll never be as freeing as God’s open waters.

We watch blue whales in their glory, we take them in, we study them but we don’t disturb these gentle giants. We see them break the surface for air and let them disappear back into the deep. We admire how they care for their young and work cooperatively in packs for food. There is nothing that we can do to add to their lives except try to keep their environment clean and safe as possible so that we don’t drive them into extinction. We learn to live with them, to accept their place in the circle of life. We don’t try to tame them or hold them in a tank. It’s really interesting when you change your perspective. We affect the plankton that they eat with pollution and we believe that we do is inconsequential. However, it affects the ecosystem in a LARGE way and these huge animals can feel it. It hurts the largest gentle giant of the sea. So, yes, if I could be an animal, I’d want to be a blue whale. The giant of the sea that’s extremely sensitive to the smallest changes in the oceanic ecosystem.

What If?

‘Tis the season that Jesus was born to save us all. He didn’t come with a super hero cape, not as a grown man, not with a full voice. He came as a baby; a small vulnerable baby (Matthew) and was born to die on the cross. His life was a living model of God’s love and light. That’s amazing! We’re THAT special and THAT precious.

When he was born, the world changed. His mere existence shifted everything! Look at his life! When he died…he blessed us with the same miracles! When we came into existence, we changed the world. That’s the blessing that we see everyday when we open our eyes, take a breath and step outside our homes. Our relationship with God shows us a new way of thinking about our experiences. How can today be a new experience?

There are infinite possibilities about how today can be new. What if? What if God’s love showed us that our lowest point was just our starting point? What if the weaknesses we thought we had were our strengths? What if those dreams we had as children were dependent upon us experiencing the things that we feared the most? What if the way we see things in the human world are just a snapshot of what is really going on in our lives? God’s hand is in it all and He is the one in control. No matter how much water we try to drink in, we can’t take in the whole ocean! For that, I’m grateful. I’m thankful! I’m blessed and so are YOU!

Thank you JESUS!! Thank you for coming into this world to bring us here. Thank you for your grace, mercy and love! Thank you for showing us that your love will never leave! Thank you for showing us that you are our best friend…and here’s something about best friends. They never leave us, even when we can’t see them. They’re rooting for us and praying for us in the background. We’re not going to fail, we’re going to learn. Listen to God, ask him to teach you how to follow him. There is nothing that anyone can do to take us away from the word of God; from the life he gave us and the intentions that he has for you and I. He has so much to show us! Be willing not to see the whole picture. We have to trust that he knows what’s best.

What if He gave you new eyes, a new heart and new ears? What if…

What if all you have to do now, is use them?

I pray, today, that you be new!

AS

Silent Scream

Have you ever wanted to scream but know that it’s not the time or place? When it is ever appropriate to scream? On a roller coaster, at a concert, during a loud party…but what if you don’t have that space? How do you scream without alerting your neighbor or people outside? Society leaves us introverts with little means of letting our screams be heard. We’re left to scream so loudly that no one can hear us. We scream with a smile on our face, we scream with our calm voices, we scream with our eyes wide open and our tears held back. We don’t party, ride roller coasters we don’t thrive in the loud, we thrive in the quiet.

We scream so silently that others don’t realize that we’re shouting as loud as we can. You just have to be real close to hear us. Our screams feel. They feel like a tight hug when you want us to just let you go. It feels like rambling when we just can’t get our thoughts straight. We scream in a way that feels like not wanting to leave the comfort of your presence even if it’s in the presence of your silence. It’s no easy feat listening to the words that we don’t say. We scream by isolating ourselves with our bibles and our books and cry while no one is looking, we scream in our prayers. We scream so loud but to the world we are silent. But thank you Jesus because to you we are LOUD! You hear every word! (Psalm 55:16-17)

We’re not shy, we’re not scared, we’re just boxed into the idea that being loud is the only show of strength, which is something that we don’t model. Our silence is taken out of context because our rollercoasters are inside our heads, where we’re the only ones that can hear our screams.  However, when the screams become audible, we’re screaming over all the seemingly endless internal chatter and to a We don’t go looking for excitement because we’re already on the edges of excitement in our minds. The world wants to change us, but I challenge you to read deeper and understand that each and every one of us is created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). We aren’t all meant to be the same and God was intentional when he brought us to life. Our screams aren’t meant to be heard by everyone the same way. Understand that God saved with woman with blood. I mean, who would have known that she had that problem on the inside? But to God that wasn’t the problem. That’s not how He saw her and that’s not how you should see yourself. God saw her as His daughter, far beyond what she thought was her problem! She was willing to settle for the smallest part of Jesus’ robe to save her and he gave her more that she could imagine; a healing and a new name.  How’s that for a dose of truth?

Today, I pray that your screams are heard, whether they come from your mouth or from your inner self, let it be from your heart! I pray that you stay steadfast in your faith. I pray that you have an encounter with God today that opens your heart just a little more to receive and accept yourself as worthy as you are.

AS

This entry was posted on August 29, 2020. 1 Comment

No Means NO

There is a tiny voice inside you sometimes that wants to scream. As women, society programs many of us to be silent and to ignore that tiny voice. By God we are given permission to shout! Although, we’re called to “submit” don’t let anyone twist scripture into the idea that we are to stay silent for the comfort of others. The Lord gave you a voice! Your voice is a powerful weapon and anyone trying to silence you is NOT FOR YOU! We are worthy to be heard in the world; to praise, to worship, to rebuke, to love…to say NO and to feel safe! That is one of our many gifts from God; to lift our voice. Your no is a full sentence and does not require explanation, so don’t fear (2 Timothy 1:7). It’s the devil who wants you to capitulate (Matthew 5:37). Stand firm and use the voice God gave you. Speak the words he placed in your heart and don’t fear.

Today, I pray that your voice stays strong and that you speak boldly in truth and love. I pray that through your troubles or challenges that even if you’re shaking that you find the courage to raise your voice and say NO. Be safe and know you’re loved!

AS

Shadows

“Everything has a shadow!” these were the words that came from my 5 year old. It got me thinking. That’s truth! Everything has a shadow, except a source. That was a little bit more truth. It brought me to thinking that sometimes we follow things that are bright on one side only to realize that there’s a long dark shadow that we can fall into after following idols. That’s where we get disappointed, used, hurt, abused, forgotten etc. and that makes being a follower dangerous. No one wants to get caught in darkness. And when you’re stuck there for too long you get lost.

That’s a lot of bad news BUT there is a bright side. Jesus’ love is pure light and God’s truth is the source! (John 8:12) What are you following today? Does it have a shadow? Are you afraid of being a follower? Society wants you to think being a follower is useless. However, God doesn’t follow the rules of society. He wants us to follow Him. Why? Because the only thing that doesn’t have a shadow is a source! He is a source of light; a love that has no shadow. Light creates shadows so, as beings, we all have them. They are a part of us and that’s why we need to focus on Him and get out of the darkness. That’s why we, as followers, have to ask ourselves who we are following everyday. We need to follow the source, fix our eyes on things above! (Luke 9:23, Daniel 2:20-23) Get out of the shadows of others and into the light. The true light! Look up, open your eyes and shout, “Thank you!” Let the shadow that you be under be by the hand of God and his protection. Amen

AS

I am Here

God is everywhere and you are never really alone. It’s still a truth that I struggle with daily. It’s COVID season and I keep falling into the temptation of thinking that I’m not cared for but God tells us in Hebrews 13:5 that, You are not alone, I am here with you. So, even in this season of isolation, I should be assured that the Great I Am is standing next to me, always.

It’s wonderful to know that we’re not alone but it doesn’t stop us from feeling our feelings. Sometimes we feel lonely but it shouldn’t overshadow the overwhelming love that we have in Jesus. Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant, or insecure, remember to whom you belong, Ephesian 2:19-22. I have to admit that I’m feeling quite unloved and unlovable these days, in my loneliness. They’ve been hard and I don’t know what else to do but read. I easily forget just how important it is to reach out. So, don’t forget to reach out when you feel lonely or alone, because He is with you.

Remember that Jesus was not exempt from feeling his feelings also. He was in a human body so He knows your loneliness because he overcame it. He is a loving and compassionate Father. So, don’t be afraid to open up to Him and let him know what you’re going through.

I pray for my sister reading this that you be covered and know that you are loved and cared for. Jesus died for you, to get to know you! Rest in Him and know that you have a Father who loves you. Let Him comfort and restore you.

AS

Running

Where do you run when you’re scared? Some people run to their liquor cabinet, some run to other’s arms, some just run. Unfortunately, in our running, we sometimes run to sin. Where do you run when you’re scared?

Admittedly, I’m running. Running in circles, it seems. I can’t break the cycle on my own so, I pray. I pray that God reaches deep within me to break the chains that have me hooked to this cycle. I’m still a baby in my faith, but I know that the bible says that faith the size of a mustard seed moves mountains (see Matthew 17:20). How does that make you feel? I’m grateful for that. But how do we move mountains when it feels like the mountain that needs to be moved is deep within you? Where do you run? How do you stop? How do you pray? What do you do? I’m learning to lean into God and read His words. God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). There’s something else to be grateful for because God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

I don’t want to run to sin and I don’t want to keep running in circles. I want to live, so I run to you. I pray that my sins be washed away and that I be reborn new everyday to try again. I pray this for you today too. I pray that you run to His arms and wash yourself with his word every morning and are reminded of who loves you! Thank you Lord!

AS

Not Too Old

I’m learning about women in the bible, their stories and how no story is new business for God. I often question if I’m too old to be doing something or if I’m too something to start something else. Am I too late to be a part? Have I missed my chance? Well, according to God, I’m not too old and neither are you.

This brings me to the story of Sarah. She struggled with God’s promise to give her and Abraham a son. She was chronologically old, at 90, and definitely past our modern idea of “too old” (Genesis 17:15-19, 18:13-15, 21:6-7).  Well past her child bearing years, she and Abraham were faithful and not too old for God. She was NOT TOO OLD FOR GOD! Not too old to be used by God, to show His power and create a story of redemption. How great is that? Knowing that you’re not late because God does things in His time and He’s never too late. He’s right on time!

Thank you Lord for watching over me and letting me know that I’m not too old for you. I’m not too anything for you and you are bigger than me. You are bigger than this world.

AS

This entry was posted on July 15, 2020. 1 Comment