Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I have been deeply thinking a lot lately.  So much so that my output of words has decreased dramatically and my thoughts often seem frantic, scanning across the back of my eyes at a dizzying rate.  I cannot turn my brain down.   I lay in bed, waking several times a night, unable to stop the barrage of thoughts clamoring for my attention.  I am weary, tired, hormone laden and desperately battling my will to keep moving forward.  One of my favorite lines in a song refers to the Israelites exodus from slavery.  It beautifully states and perfectly sums up where I am standing, 

"I've been painting pictures of Egypt, leaving out what it lacked, but the future feels so hard and I want to go back.  But the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I've learned, and those roads were closed off to me when my back was turned."  -Sara Groves

I was sweeping one day last week, thinking about the simplicity of the task, the feeling of completion and satisfaction upon its completion.  Realizing how lazy I have become.   

I sound depressed don't I?  I really am not.  I am just continuing to let go of all I have juggled.  I am wiggling around in my new world of freedom.  Realizing my worth to Christ has nothing to do with my performance.  It is rocking.  The stillness, the silence is startling.  All the balls I have attempted to keep in the air are falling hard around me.  Oh the strangeness.  I desperately want to pick them back up.  I want to keep trying.

But the beauty of it all is that as the packaged, carefully crafted self is being crucified, I am seeing myself for the first time.  A daughter created from fear and wonder.  I feel like a colt, testing my legs for the first time.  I still am clumsy, and strange.  Unsure of this new me.  The insecurities, the expectation, the fear BE QUIET!  I want to walk soundly with His hand in mine.  I want to quiet the voices that still scream "GET BACK IN THE GAME!  YOU ARE GOING TO FAIL!  THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BE PLEASED WITH YOU!  YOU ARE GOING TO FORFEIT BLESSING IF YOU QUIT! "  While the Holy Spirit quietly whispers "Hush.  We love you just the way you are.  Quit trying.  We have never been more pleased.  Rest.  Let us minister to your hurting heart.  Quit denying its existence.  Yes, we have a plan.  I promise.  This pain will not be wasted.  Your faith is being refined.  The process is hard.  But the gold is coming forth and the dross is dripping away. "  

This fragility is so hard.  Our pastor spoke of femininity a few weeks ago and spoke of who God intended when he made woman.  A completer.  That is pretty powerful but when femininity is challenged, we go one of two ways.  We either harden and attempt to control everything, pushing away intimacy.  Or we become needy.  Both are not in God's design for us.  It is so hard to be open to love.  Completely free.  

But....whisper...I have a secret....I just heard it truly for the first time...I have realized that there is only One trustworthy.  Our problems arise when we put others on the throne of adoration in our hearts.  When we give others expectations that only a perfect God could meet.  When as a woman...our worth, our identity is seen through His eyes, the glory He intended when He created woman is beautifully shining.  You can't help but feel beautiful, and cherished and loved.  And the fragility that was so evident before becomes non existent because the only One you are trusting with your heart is TRUSTWORTHY.  I will say it again, He is trustworthy.  All sufficient.  Always with us.  

Ahhhh, the beauty of resting.  The thrill of letting go.  Try it.  I dare you.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Power of the Tongue...

I have always known my battle with my tongue.  It can get me in trouble faster than any other member of my body.  James 3:8-11 says " No one can tame the tongue; it is a restless [undisciplined, unsettled, unable to be restrained] evil and full of deadly poison."  So much of my sin is committed by opening my mouth.  I have been so convicted of this lately.  My pride, my selfishness, my insecurity, my fears all flow from me.  I also really struggle with self-control, which is simply NOT a good combination.  So here are a few of the things that I have been convicted of regarding my tongue.

1.  I am to be a woman of my word.   Matthew 5:37 says "Let your yes be yes and your no be no."  I want to be known as a woman of commitment, a woman who always honors her word.  I struggle with just being non-committal and I have blamed it on my husband, who takes his time making decisions, but he is not the culprit.  
I especially struggle with this as a mother.  So often I will tell Abby Kate, "just a minute" or "we can do that in a little while" while later, not following through.  I want to raise children who honor their word.  I must set the example, even in the smallest things.

2.  I want to encourage with my tongue.  I love this verse!  It has SUCH convicting commandments.  It takes me loads of time to digest every time I study it.  Ephesians 4:29-32 (AMP) says  29Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.

    30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God's own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin).

    31Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).

    32And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.

How much meat there is in that passage!  How different our world would be if we let no unwholesome talk come out of our mouth and only spoke when it was good and beneficial and gave blessing and grace to those who heard it.  I am REALLY going to work on this.  I want to speak LIFE, not curses over others.  I want my heart to overflow with genuine affection and interest.  I want my words to encourage and inspire rather than tear down.  

It seems to be the hardest to those closest to me.  I am really going to work on my words spoke to and before Abby Kate and Bobby.  

3.  I want to speak scripture over Abby Kate.  Deut. 6:6 says “These words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”  

I so desire to follow this command!  I am doing a study where the author talks of speaking scripture over her children when she tucks them in at night.  With my toddler, she doesn't lay still very often so if you have ideas on how to do this, I would love to hear them!