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 Good 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

rest

even in my darkest night, I’m confident in You. When I lie down I won’t be afraid, I’m confident in You. And I know that I’ll sleep so sweet, I’m confident in You.

You’re the hope that holds me, a stronghold to shelter me, the only God for me, my great confidence.

Even when the dawn comes and my enemy surrounds me, I will not be afraid. It’s when your arms wrap around me, I find rest in You.

You’re the hope that holds me, a stronghold to shelter me, the only God for me, my great confidence.

And in the midnight hour, I will fear no evil. And when the nights rages all around me, I will call on our glorious hero.

Peace be still, peace be still.

God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go,
defending you from all harm.
If you walk into a trap, they’ll be there for you
and keep you from stumbling.
You’ll even walk unharmed among the fiercest powers of darkness,
trampling every one of them beneath your feet!
For here is what the Lord has spoken to me:
“Because you have delighted in me as my great lover,
I will greatly protect you.
I will set you in a high place, safe and secure before my face.
I will answer your cry for help every time you pray,
and you will find and feel my presence
even in your time of pressure and trouble.

Psalm91 TPT

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.)

daughter

My husband & I were praying together the other night, and as he prayed he asked the Father for some things that were desires within us. I’m reading through a book that is making the scales fall off of my eyes. Why I am the way I am and why I view the Father for who He’s not as my Father.

The thing I have never trusted Father with is provision. And the other day after I read my book, I’m making dinner and it felt like the Holy Spirit literally downloaded the revelation of why I don’t go to the Father when I’m in need. I said out loud, “Holy crap!” And had to immediately write it all down. I’m realizing there’s always, always new levels of healing. And as it never gets easier, it’s always so worth it. The new levels of freedom He invites us to always come with a sense of relief and deeper intimacy and friendship with Jesus.

So as my husband was praying for the desires of my heart, he said, “God has been giving us the desires of our hearts. And I know this is a desire of your heart. And I think he’s going to keep His track record. ”

Something in those words moved me. There’s something about being a daughter that leaves you longing to be seen & known & loved & protected & pursued by a father. And I know that will always remain void with my earthly dad. But the Father continually reaches out to hold my hand, taking on that role of a strong dad. And so often He places spiritual father’s in our life to guide us along the way, if we receive them. I’m not an orphan and I know where my home is.

When you know you are really loved by a Father, it changes everything. Even if your earthly father isn’t present and you have no idea how to receive a Father, we have a Heavenly Father who created all things. Though He created the universe, His longing is to be so intimate with our hearts right here and now.

This is just too wonderful, too deep and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.

Psalm139:6

anxious for nothing

There’s a song we sing in church, I’m sure you’ve sung it, by now too. And everytime it’s sung, I believe it and feel it in my bones & deep in my heart. Prophesying it over our life. My favorite part of the song says,

Even when I don’t see it, You’re working
Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working
You never stop, You never stop working
You never stop, You never stop working

It’s so true and the truth of the Father working on our behalf, even when we don’t see or feel it, gives us a transcending peace. We are able to sleep at night, full of peace, knowing that even through the night the Father is doing the work and fighting the battle on our behalf.

I’m sure you’ve wandered through a season of anticipation. Maybe it only lasted a few weeks, or months, but sometimes it’s years. Sometimes there are moments in those seasons where an anxious heart takes over. I have found myself asking in those moments, how long, O Lord? One thing I know for sure, is He always provides enough for the day. In times of anxiousness, Sometimes my thoughts take over,

but I’ve learned (and am still learning) to stop and ask the Father if there is a lie I’m believing about the situation.

I ask for prayer from my husband, a mentor or close friend.

I pray and lean into the Father’s chest.

I read scripture proclaiming the truth.

…and seeing the Father comfort, show up, provide over each situation, I continually come out on the other side telling myself,

I was anxious for nothing.

In times of anxiousness, turn to those you know have your best interest in mind. Turn to someone you know will direct you to the Father’s heart, and not let you run wild with your thoughts. I always make sure I go to someone who has always been edifying or someone who has done more life & much wiser than I am.

My friend shared with me last night a piece of a devotional she had read the other morning:

Hope in Me, and you will be protected. Hope is like a golden cord connecting you to heaven. The more you cling to this cord, the more I bear the weight of your burdens; thus, you are lightened. Heaviness is not of My kingdom. Cling to hope, and My rays of Light will reach you through the darkness.

/////////

So now we come freely & boldly to where love is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness.

Hebrews 4:16

Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell Him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus. So keep your thoughts continually fixed on that is authentic and real, honorable & admirable, pure & holy, merciful & kind. & fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising Him always.

Philippians 4

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

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.