beyond me

The Father is not shy in our questioning. He doesn’t pull back when we reach out for answers. When we long to walk in wisdom, it is not always perfect, but praise be that in His humbling He doesn’t hold these things against us. So much that is far too great for me to understand, He holds it all in His hands. Unafraid of our most painful experiences, unafraid of where we stand. willing to walk us through into something brave all the same. Father forgive us when we miss the mark.

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you know so much.

…Have you ever commanded the morning to appear
and caused the dawn to rise in the east? Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth, to bring an end to the night’s wickedness?

Where does light come from,
and where does darkness go? Can you take each to its home?
Do you know how to get there?
But of course you know all this!
For you were born before it was all created,
and you are so very experienced!

Who gives intuition to the heart
and instinct to the mind?
Who is wise enough to count all the clouds?
Who can tilt the water jars of heaven
when the parched ground is dry
and the soil has hardened into clods?

Job38

I spoke of things I did not understand
Things too wonderful for me
Although I had no right to ask
My God knelt and answered me

Abba hunger

When I watched my husband become a dad for the first time, it was as though I was watching the Father invite him into something deep and sacred. And through the years I’ve witnessed my husband honor that invitation so well. When my sons call on their daddy, he always shows up. He never fails to comfort them and he is always there to celebrate with them.

I stood in the back of the church this morning watching a young woman my age as she handed one of her babies to her own dad. He walked hand in hand with his grandchild, looking so proud. It made me smile. There are little moments in others lives that we witness and the enemy will attempt to make us feel abandoned and fatherless. And I admit I felt it for a second, that father hunger. But my Heavenly Father is so faithful to fill and love. A few moments later our worship pastor sang along the lines, “child, I see you. Child, I am with you.” And I know this is true for me, and it’s so true for you. This day used to feel lonely until I was able to view God as Abba. then he spoiled me with our own children, and celebrating their father with them on this day is a blessing. Despite where you’re at, on this day and everyday, He is calling out to you, ‘child I see you. I am with you.’

If you’re a dad to your own children, be the best that you can be. Show up on every occasion. Every moment of sadness. Every moment of joy. Let your children know you love them just because they are yours.

And if you’re feeling fatherless today — we have a Father in Heaven who looks at you in the greatest admiration. He is proud of you in every moment and He will never abandoned you.

He is our Abba and we are His children and when we are hungry, He provides our bread.

The same way a loving father feels toward his children—
that’s but a sample of your tender feelings toward us,
your beloved children, who live in awe of you.
You know all about us, inside and out.
You are mindful that we’re made from dust.

Psalm103

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

Romans 8 (message)

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Romans 8 (NKJ)

dare to hope

In a season that the Father is clearly dealing with the heart of man, we can invite Him in to look at our own souls. A verse I learned to pray from my husband when we were just dating is in Psalm 139, inviting the Father in to search and deal accordingly, as I look at the world right now and see sinful nature rising to the surface, I offer this prayer to Him again:

Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

When He walks us through the valley of repentance, we can trust that the pruning will allow us to bear fruit once again. We can trust that though it feels like loud silence, He never leaves or forsakes us. When we have not known loving discipline of an ever loving father, and when it comes our natural reaction may be to act like an unruly child. But when we come to know Him, we know that He corrects those He loves deeply. I love what lamentations says : if he works severely, he also works tenderly. My prayer is that we never get too comfortable or mighty in our walk with Jesus that we forget to invite the Father to search and know us. To correct us and direct us. And let us bear much more fruit than ever before.

In a season of lament we can in return DARE TO HOPE:

Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!” NLT

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.
28-30 When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The “worst” is never the worst.
Why? Because the Master won’t ever
walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
(MSG)

Lamentations 3

soak me clean

Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
    scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
    set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
    give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
    shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
    or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
    put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
    so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
    and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
    I’ll let loose with your praise.

Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don’t for a moment escape God’s notice

Psalm51 msg

nothing under the sun

I’ve always loved the poetic sound of Ecclesiastes. I love that out of everything he could have asked for, Solomon asks for wisdom. I love that because the Lord delighted in him for this request, He gave him wisdom and so much more.

These days we are living in require so much wisdom from the God who knows it all. Every detail. Every thread. Every heart. Every plan. Everyone’s tomorrow. the days we are living in are no surprise to the Father. They are nothing new, He is not taken by surprise by what is going on. And that brings comfort.

Psalm 139(passion) says,

when you created me in the secret place,
carefully, skillfully shaping me from nothing to something.
You saw who you created me to be before I became me!
Before I’d ever seen the light of day,
the number of days you planned for me
were already recorded in your book.

We cannot add a single day to our lives by living in worry or fear. choosing to seek His heart and His wisdom and being consumed in His comfort and love over the corruption and fear the world feeds us should be our first resting place. I was studying Ecclesiastes and I love what I found here:

The day will give place to the night and the night again to the day. Is it summer? It will be winter. Is it winter? Stay a while, and it will be summer. Every purpose has its time. The clearest sky will be clouded, Joy succeeds sorrow; and the most clouded sky will clear up, The sun will burst from behind the cloud.

Seasons change and we will change, yet He remains the same. I am finding the ways in which all of these little things we seek after are truly meaningless. Nothing has changed in that reality since Solomon discovered it himself. We toil away after careers and money and status and possessions. And the God who created us is able to put it all to a halt in the name of a virus and bring us all the way back to the beginning again. Calling us back to a quiet place, just to be with Jesus. Relearning all of the simple things about Him we’ve seemed to have forgotten. It’s in His simple gospel that we find ourselves again. This life is a breath and Heaven is eternal, and yet He so patiently loves the people He created in a woman’s womb, that He’s breathing fire from Heaven here on earth. Just so maybe our hearts would wake up again.

I think my favorite song to worship the Father to is Build my life. I heard it again tonight and it brought me back to that place with the Lord. Putting trust in only Him is where we find ourselves unshakeable. The lyrics say:

And I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken
I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_oJp-gHQuf/?igshid=1huwauwkedjpchttps://www.instagram.com/tv/B_oJp-gHQuf/?igshid=1huwauwkedjpc

What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before; Ecclesiastes 3

blessing

From the start of the year the Lord has been stripping away every big and little thing that stands between us. And I’m so thankful for that. Even when it stings. Even when I freak out at the loss of comfort in the moment. I know He is leading my family into a closeness and stillness and intimacy that can only be found when He is truly our all. There hasn’t been a moment in these last weeks that we have gone without. The family and few body of believers we are surrounded by have overwhelmed me and I see the church that is recorded in Acts. None of them went without. I believe we are being transitioned into a time where He is calling us into the real deal. We will be able to differentiate those with a true heart of worship and fire and willingness to hand it all over and lay it all down for His name from those who are just moved in the moment of a song. Are we going to worship him even when money isn’t funneling in? And are we still willing to give even still? When everything is on hold? When the music isn’t playing to motion us into emotion? Is He truly our intimate friend? I am so over any superficial type thing and after the Only thing that runs deep and true. At the end of the day we are willing to give it all up for His sake. There is a blessing in His undoing. I read this scripture today and it blessed me:

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. 4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. 5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are – no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. 6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. 7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘carefull,’ you find yourselves cared for. 8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world – your mind and heart – put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. 9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. 10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

Matthew 5 (message)

Slow

Standing in my clean kitchen, in front of the open window on a warm Spring day, listening to my sons play in the backyard with their daddy. Growing belly with our 3rd baby in womb and I wonder, is anything better than this? Simple. Slow. A 1.5 year olds belly laugh that takes you back to Eden. Innocent and pure and walking hand in hand with the Father. A close friend that reaches out in text just to let you know you’re thought of. Those moments you’ve told the Father you hang on to nothing and you’re so sure He is absolutely the only thing and everything, and He comes like a mighty, quiet wind and stills all things. And is He still the only thing? Is he still everything? When it feels like all fading things are stuck at a halt? I think of this upcoming Easter and all of the empty churches there will be. I can’t help but think of that first Friday, I wonder how many who said they believed question Him in the in between. Between 3 days of death to life. those who saw Him rise again must have surely put down the unbelief for good. He is good. In the in between surely He is working and surely He is for us and surely there is more than we can see while faith is rising in us. The 3rd day is on its way and King Jesus will show us the way in putting our unbelief down for good. For today, it is warm and it is slow and He is working and we can rest.

peace, be still

We brushed our teeth tonight and as we left the bathroom to crawl in bed, my son asks me to close the bathroom door. “I don’t want to be scared.” I ask him, “what are you scared of?” He tells me his fear and I remind him of God, who sends His Angels to protect him as he sleeps. There’s nothing to fear, Jesus is right here with you.

And as I lay my head down thinking over this, I’m reminded of a conversation with the Father earlier this week. “I’m afraid. What lie am I believing in this?” Afraid of an unknown future. Afraid of my husband losing work in these weeks. Afraid of the changes bound to come. Afraid of losing comfort. Afraid…

There’s a Bob Goff quote that I love that says, “Most of the things I was afraid of never happened.” After I had our 2nd son I was full of anxiety and I was afraid of everything. And everything was all of the things that were only made up in my mind. Then I came across this quote, and I realized how true it rang. We spend so much time paralyzed by “what if” fears, that often never even come to pass.

But even if they do… we follow a Father who already knew it was coming. He’s already made a way through every future thing that we will walk through. He’s in the middle of it all. So often in our comfort we proclaim that we trust Jesus in all things. We worship the Father on Sunday, singing words like “you can have it all..” but when it comes down to it, when our world is a little shaken and our comfortable life is pulled from us, do we respond with that same song? What spills out of us? Faith ..or are we crippled in fear?

And He knows we are human. We aren’t expected to be unafraid every second of the day. But we have a Father who loves to talk to us. We get to turn to Him in fear and tell Him, “I don’t want to be scared.” And I fully believe our Father who loves to be our comfort would ask you, what are you scared of? And walk you through your fears, only to replace them with His truths.

I don’t know what the future will bring, but I know that Jesus knows, and that is enough for me.

Suddenly a violent storm developed, with waves so high the boat was about to be swamped. Yet Jesus continued to sleep soundly. The disciples woke him up, saying, “Save us, Lord! We’re going to die!”

But Jesus reprimanded them. “Why are you gripped with fear? Where is your faith?” Then he stood up and rebuked the storm and said, “Be still!” And instantly it became perfectly calm. Matthew8:24-26TPT

to taste, to see

We got in the car & my husband was thinking over a Francis Chan message we just listened to. “I thought maybe I should tell you, Jesus comes before my family. …But that’s why we prosper.” like maybe he was afraid I‘d be jealous. But I’m thankful for that reality. At the end of the day, when everything is stripped away from us, when churches are shut down & the lights are turned off & there’s no awesome band to lead us into His presence, He is still present. At the end of the day, when it’s quiet & we are alone with just Jesus, we still choose Him. we worship Him with our life, as if everyday were Sunday. our children, at 1&3, sing songs we make up at home, “you’re a good good God to me..”

Lately I’ve been feeling this deeper longing and calling in my heart for Jesus. Full of wonder and adventure and butterflies everytime I seek Him. Like Something wild He is inviting us to. and I’m so overwhelmed by the way our friend Jesus is inviting our sons into friendship, too.

we went over the scripture today in Mark 5 about the bleeding woman. If only she could just touch Jesus she knew she would be healed. And I know the burning in her belly she must’ve felt just to touch Him. Just to taste a moment of freedom. Just one moment with Him changes everything. He is everything. And maybe that woman is you, today. if only you could just touch Him, you know you’d be free. & it’s so true. He’s wild for all of us, and I so believe He is stripping away everything that fades in this world that we find comfort in. So nothing in between us & Him remains. So we can just reach out and touch Jesus & experience His love & goodness & the freedom everyone of us craves. So that when everything else dies out, we still worship Him with our entire lives unashamed. to live everyday like it’s Sunday.

…for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.. Psalms 9

so close to shore

I remember about 6 months ago I was listening to a message about arriving to what you are called to, and the journey in between before you get there. I can remember feeling frustrated and telling the Lord, “we are so far from shore.” In my heart it felt so far away, because all I could see were the hurdles it was going to take to get there. It felt like being in the boat, in the middle of the dark ocean, with big waves ready to consume us. So far from shore.

But reflecting back I know we were only following Jesus to the ocean. Never in any real danger as He calms the sea. I’m so thankful for the last 2 years of our lives. Though it felt like some kind of zig zag path, it felt like being lost at sea for a moment, sometimes longer. And the times the waves grew, and fear overcame, I even lost sight of His boat ahead of us. But even with little faith, He is always faithful to calm the wave that is ready to swallow us.

The Father is faithful even when we aren’t, but He is asking us to be faithful in return. And it can start off as a small mustard seed type faith, but when you water the seed and you give it the light it needs, its grows into a strong, faithful tree.

So we are able to get into the boat to follow Jesus, even if we do it afraid. Even if that means He changes our plans and our direction and the future we thought we knew looks so beautifully different. He’s so faithful.

And the water calms, and the morning sun comes out, and I see it all clearly now,

we are so close to shore.

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Romans 5:3-5 MSG

(It’s so funny, and so like God, to remind me of mustard seed type faith over and over again throughout my life. I wrote this post earlier today, then this evening at my leadership class a woman I go to church with hands me a mustard seed inside a container with oil. She said, “just a reminder for you.” I told her how I have a mustard seed tattooed on my arm growing into a tree. And the way I had my grandmothers mustard seed in a glass container tied around my wedding bouquet 7 years ago. So thankful for this tonight.)