Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Walk...and Walk

"I learn by going where I have to go."  Theodore Roethke

...and so I ask myself, "am I willing to go where the Lord has called me so that I may learn more of Him?"  The zinger that gets under the skin and festers away as I wallow in myself. 

I would like to say that my journey with the Lord is full of gentle slopes, cooling breezes, loving people, perfect control over my fleshly desires and void of fear, anger and doubt.  Alas, if I made this claim, I would be lying.  However, I know that the reward of drawing near to my Abba Father at the end of my hour, day, life, far outweighs all the obstacles that present themselves.  Now, if I could only get my flesh to shut up, I could bask in this reality all of the time.

My own personal reality has me often times stumbling through my day, grasping for mere glimpses of God being in control and trying to keep my anxiety and fear meter from rocketing into space every time I'm faced with the ugly sin of this world, mine included.  I know God is walking with me.  I know this with every fiber of my being but I find myself wanting to see Him more clearly and it seems the harder I  look the worse my Godly vision becomes.  I know there is a lesson in that one for me.  It is my worldly expectations that take my eyes off of God.  I start looking for Him through human eyes instead of holy eyes.  I need to trust in His plan and not try to wrestle the control from Him.  I can do this, right?

The Lord is always calling His children and we go willingly when the journey seems to be something we can manage.  Only a few are willing to go when the journey is dark, dreary, painful, and requires death to self.  God tells us to draw near to Him and He will draw near to us.  Am I willing to throw off all the chains that weigh me down and keep me from knowing Him, knowing His hear, knowing His will?  I want to say yes every hour of every day.  I want to go where He has called me so consistently that I no longer consider going where he hasn't called me.  In this place I will no longer be afraid.  I will no longer worry.  I will no longer grow faint.  I will no longer doubt.  I will have become completely one with Christ.  My heart will no longer be mine and I will love Jesus more than my life. 

This process is going to be life long and I can only determine where to place my feet based on the Light He has shone upon my today.  So, I determine to walk where the Lord has called me today and as I continue on my journey, I will learn of my Lord and my strength will grow and He will replenish me along the way.  I am going to walk and will try to do it gently and with a steadfast heart.  When I fail or grow weary, Jesus will get me back on course.  I'm going to trust in the love of my Abba Father and set my eyes on Jesus.  Walking and learning all the days of my life.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Soul Garden

"When His lamp shone upon my head, and when by His light I walked through darkness..."  Job 29:3

I must admit that I am walking heavy in heart right now.  Nothing extreme going on, just the dealings of one's own sinfulness, weaknesses, ghosts and roots that need to be pulled out from my heart's core.  I feel the Lord pressing down upon me while the enemy attacks from within and it is making me weary.  

I am so thankful that I am not walking without the Lord and that I can see and feel and know His presence in my life.   Knowing the Lord's love for me is sustaining me but not decreasing the heaviness in my heart.  I have been here before with the Lord and I know that He is refining me and that given time I will discover all the wisdom He has for me at this time in my life.  I know that He will continue to reveal Himself to me in His timing and that I know with my yearning heart that He is the balm that I am desperately seeking.  I am trying to be patient and to rest in His timing and guidance.  Oh, but how difficult that can be at times and for me that time is RIGHT NOW!!

God has created me to be hopeful, joyful as I live within Him.  I am trying to grab onto His promises right now as I contend with the waves of the world and sin.  

I am grief stricken by the pain of God's children both near and far and the helpless feeling that seems to try and dig it's claws into my heart.  My heart cries out in prayer and my mind screams that this isn't enough.  I know that at this point I am called to prayer and that I must wrestle against the negativity that wants it's way within my mind.  I am not called into "greater" action and am reminding myself that next to Gods' mighty hands sweeping back and forth over the earth, that there is nothing stronger against the enemy than prayer.  I am singing psalms and hymns of praise because my Abba Father is stronger and mightier than he that is in the world.  I cling to the promise of Jesus' return and trust that all is a part of God's mighty plan.

I am being plucked of the roots that stem from childhood injuries and did not see it coming.  I am being called to work through "issues" that stem from hurtful familial relationships and I am frustrated because I had thought I had already contended with them.  I am mere clay in my Father's hands and I must strive to remain soft and supple.  I have many "duh" moments as I chide myself for thinking I was going to have a season of ease and am reminded that growth is painful.  

I am being called to be brave in new ways and I am fighting against it.  I want to tuck my head in the sand and not emerge until called to my triumphal entry into the heavenlies.  Just hearing these words run through my mind makes me laugh and then groan as I embrace their honesty.  Especially in the face of knowing God's will is truly my heart's desire.   

God is gently reminding me of His love and presence as I walk through this certain valley.  The irony of His timing does not escape me as I plant and weed my garden in preparation for the growing season.  I love seeing the Lord's word weaved in and through my daily walk and I am always deeply reflective as I unleash my shovel and hoe upon the soil in hopes of creating the ideal environment for the tender shoots waiting to be planted.  I am aware of the scriptural truths that come alive as I plant and water and prune my plants with the hopes of their providing a mighty bounty.  

The Lord's hand is always upon me and this is the essence of growing closer to Him.  A process full of mystery as well as pain and worth every tear and squeezing of my heart.  A bounty awaits me as I deny myself and embrace Him.  I know that if I submit to Him during the season in which He has called me forth on this specific path, I will be rewarded with His peace and a new intimacy that crowds out everything else in my life.  

I am feeling a bit better after fleshing out these thoughts and am hoping that His revelations will continue to spring forth as I continue to rest in the shadow of His mighty wings.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Abounding Love

And this I (we) pray, that your (our) love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye (we) may approve things that are excellent; that (we) ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ; being filled  with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.    Phil 1:9-11

I have found myself sitting on the couch, day after day, since the end of December.  I have had so many months of sitting here that I can hardly remember what it feels like to "live" my life.  I have had much time to think and have found myself on a journey of figuring out how to focus on the things of God and work on eliminating the things that have proven to be distractions. 

I am so happy to say that an end is in sight in regards to my sitting on the couch.  I had foot surgery four weeks ago to remove my extra bone and the doctor says that I can now walk with my boot and crutches and that in two weeks I can walk in my boot without crutches and that two weeks after that he will probably cut me loose and I will be free to wear cute shoes again.  Yippee!!!  I was so nervous about the surgery.  I had been told by three different doctors that this was the largest extra bone they had ever seen and that a large part of my tendon was attached to it.  I did not enjoy the surgery and my body enjoyed it even less than my mind.  I do not do drugs well and the nurse learned the hard way that I wasn't joking.  I am happy to say that I am now in less pain than I was before the surgery and I am so hopeful that I will make a full recovery and that my tendon will simmer down and behave once again.  

My children have been so strong during this LONG journey and I am so thankful to them for starting countless loads of laundry, cooking meals, pushing me around in my desk chair, cleaning up the floor so I don't break my neck and helping me in all the ways that keep our home running.  They are awesome.  

For several weeks leading up to my surgery, we had friends helping us to put in a new wood floor.  Weekend and after weekend they showed up and after 7 weeks, we were able to complete the job.  I was not able to help them once I went under the knife and they were gracious enough to get the main living area finished.  They were back on the job the day after my surgery and kept at it until we could celebrate a job well done.  I am so thankful for their sacrifice and am feeling so blessed.  Every time I  gimp across my floor, I am reminded of their love.

Week three into our recovery,  my brother and sister-in-law came for a visit.  They showed up squirting the kids with water guns from their car windows and the fun never stopped for five days...unless they were asleep.  We had a wonderful and rainy week filled with games and movies and more games.  My kids have the best aunt in the world and I am so thankful for the effort she makes to be a part of their lives.  My kids will always have such sweet memories.  

My mother will be here in two days and we are looking forward to her visit.  It has been three years and that is far too long. 

I am working on my love abounding more and more.  This seems to be the kicker for my ability to approve the things that are excellent.  God has provided me with opportunities for my heart to grow and swell and I am trying to embrace each opportunity.  Especially when the opportunity is proving to challenge my ability to love.  It can be a person or my own heart freezing from feeling too vulnerable.  However, God has been gracious and so patient and loving with me and I have been blessed with love flowing into my life as well.  There are days when I have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming because love is overflowing in my life.  God is the beginning, middle and end of my ability to love others and I am so thankful that He is pouring into me so that I can more freely pour into others.  There are times when I am griping and complaining and my selfishness is getting ugly and He is quick to bring reminders to me of how blessed I am.  I am learning to embrace His will and design for my life.  I am learning to deny myself and to look towards the Lord with hopeful expectations.  I am excited to feel myself in The Potter's Hands.  I am full of anticipation as He reveals Himself to me.  I am so thankful that I am washed clean by the blood of The Lamb and that I am a new creation in Him.  The Lord has never been shy about growing me and I am so glad that I am not the same person I was 5, 10, 20 years ago when I began this journey with Him.

My heart is still weeping over the heartache in this world and I yearn for Jesus' return so that the pain will stop.  Near and far, people are broken and bleeding and I am trying to not lean on my own understanding but to trust in the God of the universe.  I am committing my heart to trusting in His plan for His children and to walk by faith and not by sight.  

I have so much bouncing around in my head and heart and have yet to sort it all out enough to commit it to writing at this point.  I am trusting that God will continue to reveal Himself to me one day at a time and that His will and love will reveal itself in my life more and more completely.  I am bubbling over right now and am so thankful for the Lord's presence in my life.  I pray you are able to feel His presence in your life as well and that you know and trust in His love.  Be blessed and I will try and update sooner next time.