undoing

Despite how we may feel, the Father isn’t distant from us. Even when we don’t enter in expecting, He has the heart to draw us in and sing something new over us. I’m thankful for the moments my daughter heart naturally wants to push Him away because of questions and frustration & feeling too much yet not enough, but His Father heart continues to completely wreck me and knit me closer to Him than before. He won’t relent and I’m left in so much awe & wonder of that reality. My mother in law said it best, our tears aren’t a bad thing ..and He’s teaching us how to cry in the best way with Him again.

This photo of my husband watching our son with so much joy, reminds me of this scripture:

Don’t be afraid, don’t despair. God is present among you, a strong warrior to save you. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm down all of your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

Zephaniah 3

I see a cloud

I see a cloud. ☁️ I’ve learned that when God places something in you, it’s not going to be logical to others. But He moves the mightiest in the illogical. It’s when we are in the tension. It’s when we don’t see a way. It’s when others say you should probably do this, but you know in your heart of hearts the way that doesn’t make sense is where the Father is leading. It’s when we are so close to giving up, but we come back a 7th time, and see a cloud. The best thing about my husband is the way he never loses vision or faith. I often find myself looking to him & reporting back, I don’t see anything.. and I can always always count on him to be in deep prayer with the Father only to speak over me and say, look again.. and I do, and I see a cloud.. Whatever you’ve been praying for, whatever the Father has promised you, Don’t give up. Keep showing up like it’s already arrived. ☁️ “I don’t see a thing.” “Keep looking,” said Elijah, “seven times if necessary.” And sure enough, the seventh time he said, “I see a cloud! But very small, no bigger than someone’s hand, rising out of the sea.” Things happened fast. The sky grew black with wind-driven clouds, and then a huge cloudburst of rain, with Ahab hightailing it in his chariot for Jezreel. And God strengthened Elijah mightily.

1 Kings 18

the greatest story

A theme we prayed this morning was the way the Father purifies our hearts, like the first snowfall, pure & white. No foot prints have sunk into it yet. & that is what He does to our hearts when we give ourselves to Him. Over and over again. There’s not a single thing we can do that He can’t lay a fresh blanket of pure snow over if we let Him. there is freedom in Jesus & we get to be our most free self when we are in full communion with Him. He’s not looking for impressive people. Or people who have all of the knowledge. Or people who claim perfection. He just wants you. Me. To sit at the dinner table together & talk about the greatest story that’s ever been told. He is the only satisfying thing and He is so hungry for His children. Calling every single one back home. And in return, whether we’ve realized it or not, we are so hungry for You, Jesus. You’re the greatest story that’s ever been told.

His presence changes perspective

Do you ever get an anxious heart over a situation? Whether it’s something you know you have to confront with someone, or a health scare, or your finances, or your marriage feeling heavy, or your teenager who just got their license? Just something, anything, that makes you lose your perspective in the moment. Something that makes you panic when you think about it. Something that presses into you and makes the overflow of your heart want to spew off untruth.

I literally just told the Father last week I was going to trust Him in these moments, and not let my own perspective of any “blah” moment guide my emotions. So I’m not sure why I was frustrated or surprised when something happened this morning that attempted to change my perspective. I literally just had to stop and call out to Him out loud and throw my hands up because I’ve learned over and over again my own feelings cannot be trusted to guide me into peace and truth. I need His presence to do that. And then He reminded me of this scripture,

If I would have given into my pain and spoken out of what I was feeling, it would have sounded like unfaithfulness to the next generation. When I tried to understand it, I just couldn’t. It was too puzzling – to much of a riddle to me. But then one day I was brought into the sanctuaries of God , and in the light of His glory my distorted perspective vanished.

Psalm 73 goes on to say, He pierced my opinions with truth. … you comfort me by Your counsel; You draw me closer to You. You lead me with Your secret wisdom.

Calling on His name and bringing awareness to His presence and wisdom, what I thought about the situation vanished, and He covered me with a blanket of peace. His wisdom and knowledge is so far beyond my understanding. And His presence is so thick and powerful and so kind, that it changes our perspective when we focus on Him.

I didn’t leave you at the door

& where can I go from Your Spirit? & where could I run & hide from Your face? the other day I had asked the Father where He was in my deepest wound, the thing that had shaped me for many years. I thought we had settled the score, but turns out, if we invite Him in over & over again, there’s always new layers of healing in everything. always new revelation & freedom. something He revealed about myself is that I wasn’t trusting him to see me through any wilderness type thing. the ones I’ve gotten myself into & even the ones He guides me to. So, Abba, though I felt who am I to even ask, where were You in my greatest wound? The thing that shaped how I see You and the world? “I didn’t leave you at the door.” & this time memory invades me & I see each room where I felt alone & afraid, full of Angels. I see the moment I turn my head and let tears fall but He embraces me, weeping when I wept. He didn’t leave me at the door, no, the Father walked with me through every moment. Every room. And every day after. It’s impossible to disappear from You or to ask the darkness to hide me, for Your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night. He doesn’t leave us at the door. He doesn’t lead us to any wilderness type thing, only to turn off the lights & expect us to maze through it alone. He is so faithful to heal & set us free & light up our darkest night. I’m so thankful for that reality.

Psalm139

Holding loosely

When I had our firstborn, I held him so tight. He was a gift from the Father that I fervently prayed for for years. And when he arrived, I was afraid to let go. I was afraid that if I did, I would lose him. He was my dream and I was not willing to risk any pain of loss regarding him, I didn’t completely trust the Father with my son and I refused to loosen my grip. The feeling of control that welled within me became too much to carry. The anxiety of keeping him safe at all times caused tension throughout my life.

It wasn’t until a friend gave me a prophetic word over my life a few years ago. She wrote me a letter full of words that no one else would know besides my husband and the Father. She mentioned my burden’s and my grip on the things I wasn’t trusting the Father with. Because I wasn’t trusting Him with the things He gave me in the first place. And it was all weighing heavy on my shoulders. Jesus was asking me to hand over a box full of my things, in exchange for His hand. But I was afraid.

I think the thought of a Father having better things for me was unbelievable. It was foreign to me. The only good memories I have of holding my dad’s hand was when I was a little girl. And the memories of then seemed so distant a few years ago. Trust was broken and I hadn’t held a good father’s hand in a long time.

But thankfully, I handed the Father that box. And I took His hand. And I still do it daily. Before we moved from home, I sat with my husband and our pastor in tears as I knew leaving meant handing over my box again. I had a vision of what I wanted our life to look like, here at home. At our church. And in our ministry. But He was inviting us away for a while. So I took His hand. Then He gave us our second son. The exchange was so worth it.

I stood in church today, it was the first Sunday in our new building. For a moment, the old vision snuck up. What I already gave to the Father a few years ago. I closed my eyes and damned the lie that anything could be better than where we are at now. I told Him the story in my heart this morning and He whispered words over me that allowed my soul to unravel. Then our pastor told us to hold the hands of the people next to us, but I was alone in my row. So I close my eyes and start to pray alone. A pastor in our church quietly said my name and reached for my hand, and I grabbed it. It felt like a father’s hand in that moment and I was overwhelmed.

I know within me I’m always searching for a father’s hand. And I know He is always reaching for mine, like this pastor did this morning, reminding me to hold on loosely to the box, and grip tightly and full of trust to His hand.

Oh Abba, I’m continually letting it all go. The dreams. What I thought I knew. My pride. Sometimes it aches to let go but I know you have the best in store for our family. And anything I’ve ever put in Your hands You restore more than I ever could have imagined. So I’m doing that again, right now. Holding loosely. And reaching for You.

I notice you

It’s Sunday and I volunteer in the nursery, so we got our kids up and fed, dressed and out the door. I thankfully noticed the dirty diaper attached to my jacket before I closed the door behind me. I felt anxious from the rush and the time so I ask my husband to turn it from the Moana soundtrack to worship music.

I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah, heaven comes to fight for me”

The worship calmed my heart. And I look to my oldest son who is pointing out the window to everything under the sun. My baby reaches for his brothers hand and they laugh at each other. I realize we are raising great men who will love deeply and do greater things than we will ever do. Our greatest ministry will always be in our home, raising our boys together.

and I’m thankful to be their mama.

It’s been an on-the-go week (and weeks) and chores at home often pile up. It’s a season of motherhood that often feels unseen. And I’ve often felt unseen.

But this morning our pastor was praying at the end of worship and my mind started drifting when I heard the Lord say to me clear as day,

“I notice you.”

He notices every kiss we give on our babies boo-boo’s. He notices every prayer we say with them before they close their eyes at night. He notices the laundry we try to keep up on. The diapers we change. He notices our worry when our children come down sick and the temperatures we take when a fever runs high. He notices our tired eyes on an early Sunday morning but we go to church despite it all, because we want to know Him even more. He notices when we look in the mirror and find those grey hairs. Feeling older than the day before. He notices the sacrifice a woman makes when she because a mama. And He notices the way she doesn’t count any of it at all a loss.

And when you feel unseen. When you feel anxiousness in the depths of motherhood, He’s in awe of you. Your tender heart as you mother your babies. He notices every moment. Every kiss you give. Every prayer you speak. And He’s reminding you this is your greatest ministry yet.

Best Yes

Thinking about today’s message on Mary. Her best yes gave us Jesus. I watch my two sons sleep and I imagine the way her heart must’ve swelled for her baby boy the night he was born. And each moment after that. She probably had tired eyes in the morning after sleepless newborn nights. She probably had frustrating moments in the pits of motherhood. She probably watched Him sleep, memorizing his chubby toddler cheeks, soaking it all in. All of these moments she held in her heart must have all came crashing in when He was hung on the cross. And I’m so thankful she said yes, because when I worship Him today, hands reaching to Heaven, I think of all His goodness, His gentleness, His sweetness. I think of how He turns everything around for good, I think of these two boys, such a gift, and I cherish all of these things so deep in my heart.

ends of the earth

Sometimes we drive at night. Ever since we started dating we would go for a night drive. To anywhere. We dream together. We look at Christmas lights like my mom did with us when I was a kid. Tonight, we put the dogs in the back and strapped our babies in, and we went for a drive.

Sometimes things we live through feel all for not, but not this. I’m always searching for Him in everything. What are You saying? Where are You in this? What are You going to do next? But for almost a year He felt a little silent. Truthfully, what feels like silence can be frustrating for a while, until I started listening deeper. Realizing He’s trusting me to live this out, to seek Him harder, and to see what I will choose. We drove in the dark, and I told my husband I love Father more for this. For this season. And I feel His love for me more. I’ve realized He loves us so much, that He gives us our desires though He see’s the journey it will take us on. But because we desire it so deep, sometimes He gives it to us because He’s our Father and He can. He loves us so much. I can’t fully fathom that love. And I’ve never felt so consumed with love for Him in return. And that’s all He’s ever really wanted from us. For us to want Him back.

I remember a conference we attended in Grand Rapids where a man named Dan spoke at, it changed my life. He told a story about a time he was just driving, and He heard Father tell him to pull over and meet Him out in this field. He did, and Father told him just how much He loved him. Dan stood there in Father’s love for a while, consumed. He got back in his car eventually and drove off, and asked why He couldn’t just tell him this on the path he was driving. He told him that He wouldn’t have listened as intently if He hadn’t taken him off course.

Tonight I told my husband I know that He brought us to where we are to change my heart for Him. To be consumed by Him. To give desires just so I can realize that they are not what fulfill me. To be fulfilled by Him. I see even now what He was hoping I would. And I know through the years there will be moments that stop us in our track, where we will see even deeper still.

at the end of the day, we worship Him. We answer to Him. We trust in Him. We do our best to listen to His leading and follow. We aren’t perfect but He’s not asking us to have it all together before we can encounter Him. Just asking us to bring it all to Him and fall at His feet, stay there a little while longer, until all we see is Him. And He will go to the ends of the earth to tell us He is so in love with us, and for us to actually, really believe it.

You don’t give your heart in pieces, you don’t hide yourself to tease us 

Wild Fire

We woke up early this morning, I prayed over our family aloud before your daddy left for the church. Your brother napped for two hours and you and I did the dishes together. We cleaned your room together. I put things away and you played make-believe. It all felt so much like home to me. Something about your small hands and your little voice that calls me mommy, it takes me back to our old yellow house on Willow Street. It takes me back to curling up on my mama’s lap as she drinks her coffee.

And I was thankful to Father for this little gift, getting things done. My hair a mess and I look in the mirror and don’t feel so beautiful. But I have joy because I’m seeing this all as His gift.

And yesterday you tired me with that fit you threw over sharing toys. I worried what people would think. That maybe I’m not doing the best job at teaching you these things. But you nestle into my neck and you twirl my hair as your eyes fall to sleep. You let me know in this moment this is enough, this is all you need.

So I rock your brother to sleep for another nap and I watch you in the midday sun. I see sleep come over you after a morning of dinosaurs and singing songs and chasing your new kitten around the whole entire house. I close my eyes and I declare His goodness. His goodness in my tiredness. His goodness in the change. His goodness over you and your brother. In the fits and the tears and the happy and the fun. He is good in it all. And I ask Him for patience as your mama. He reminds me that you are exactly who He created you to be, wild, fierce, adventurer, a fire. So I pray for patience. I pray for a kind voice and arms that are always yours to fall in to.

And I see a glimpse of the future you. Unstoppable. I see the wild in you now is going to set the world on fire when you’re big and strong. I see the way you pretend you are your daddy when you have a microphone. I see you sing your little heart out and yell JESUS! So I won’t tame it. I pray for patience, and I’ll encourage you to be exactly who you are created to be. Wild fire.