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.

Walk before run

My son had his one year appointment today. I can’t believe he is one. Everyday he wakes and he is doing something new. He’s been walking for the last month and a half, and with each day he grows more balance, he walks a little faster, he needs my hand a little less. Today at his appointment, his doctor smiled as he showed off his walking skills, and said “He is getting the walk down, soon he will be running!”

And my mama heart is in no rush for that. I’m in no rush for him to need me less. To let go of my hand. Though I’m so proud of every accomplishment he makes, I love him being my baby. I love watching him slowly plant his feet firm on the ground, gain his balance and walk. And I know, soon he will run. Soon he will chase his brother off without needing his mama’s hand. It made me think of where we are at in life. I was getting so frustrated with our walking season. I was ready to run. But today the Father reminded me, walk before run. He is in no hurry in teaching us to run. He loves holding our hand in the walking season. Full of compassion as He watches us fall, and loves watching our determination as we get up, gain our balance and walk off again.

And I ask, Lord don’t give us the things we aren’t ready for. We don’t want a single thing prematurely. We want to hold Your hand in the growing season, we want to learn from You and walk slowly with you, though there are moments when I try to run ahead. Your hand picks me up, and we start again. Thank you Father, for those you’ve surrounded us with that walk with us, believing in us, and calling out the best in us. This season is a treasure as we walk before run.

Photo by the lovely Anna Moos

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.

whatever you’ve been praying for

I haven’t been to this space in over a year. The last time I was here we were living at my moms and we were pressing into our next step. Trusting God for us has always been a free fall. I’m usually the one to question that first step, but my husband takes the leap with no fear. So much has changed in a year.

It’s been one year since we moved from home. Where I’ve lived my whole life. Where I know everything. It’s still home to me, and I never thought we’d leave. But we trust Him more. We believe Him more. And we are enjoying where we are at. And honestly, we have been so spoiled in this season. I watch my husband and I could never say enough good things about him. The way he is a husband, the way he fathers, the way he handles it all. The way I would like to crawl back into myself at times, and the way he calls me out and speaks life back into me. He is so good. He is learning. I am learning. We are growing.

I sat with a friend last night and she told me about how God provided for their family in a huge way. God told her what their next step would be, and she trusted the impossible. And she saw it come to life. She trusted that He would show up, and He did, the way He always does when we have that kind of faith.

I stood in church this morning. We dropped our oldest off in the 2 year room and I held our baby during worship. My heart pressed in, heavy with all of these promises it seemed like He may have forgotten. And I know they aren’t forgotten. I know there is growth in the days that are leading up to the promise. These days are the promise. And I hold our baby, he falls asleep as the songs are sung. And she sings these words,

The Cross has the final word

She repeats it and it’s like an anthem in me. I remember years ago when I truly believed I would never be a mom. I can remember declaring that over myself in my hopelessness. Because I believed the enemy and what he had spoken over me. What he’s never let me forget. I remember sitting with our pastor in tears over the lie, that I wanted to be a mom but I would never be one. And I would think back to my first baby, and the enemy would remind me that I threw my chance away. But he is a liar, and he sees our purpose, so he tries to distort what’s true.

And she sings these words on a Sunday in September and I look at one of those promises in my arms. He’s fighting sleep as I rock him back and forth, as that anthem stirs inside of me and reminds me that it’s finished. That the enemy is finished. That we are healed and we are covered in His mercy, bathed in His grace. That someone can make the ultimate regret, and then gift His daughter with 2 babies, entrust her with 2 sweet boys, because of the cross. Because of His great love. I’ll never understand it, but I love being completely overwhelmed with Father’s love.

Whatever promise you’re holding onto, whatever you’re waiting on, I promise He hasn’t forgotten. And when the enemy tells you that He’s failed you just remember what’s true–

The cross has the final word

Give up the ghost

I watch him, he’s learned to walk and he has no fear. No fear, I know. I see the brave in him when he lets go of mama’s hand and walks, almost runs on his own. I see brave as he climbs stairs and he climbs chairs and he would climb down them alone if mama would let him. I watch him and I wonder how to get back there, to Eden. He has no fear and he’s there, in Eden. He’s innocent and brave but he looks back at mama while he does these things, like my presence makes him this way. Like it’s okay for brave so long as mama’s with him. And he laughs from the pit of him and it’s pure and sweet  and what is it about a baby’s laugh that does something inside of us?  It changes us for a moment. We don’t think about worry for a moment. For a moment we’re innocent, too. It’s Eden. 

And there’s a ghost that’s been chasing me or maybe I’ve been chasing it. And it’s midnight and He wakes me and He asks me to give it up. I pretend I don’t know what He’s talking about but He knows, I know. Because I’ve eaten the whole apple and I’ve known more than He’s wanted me to and it’s been chasing me, I’ve been chasing it. So many times I’ve closed my eyes and the liar is there. The liar shows me what he said would be forgotten and he lied. It’s there. And there’s plans I’ve been making without Him and I’ve been chasing them until my legs grow weak. He asks if He can come but I know what that means – give up the ghost. And can I? Hand over this box with all of my things? Hand over these plans in my mind for an unknown thing? Can I relearn this life-thing and get back to Eden? Before the apple fell into my lap? The Eden where he is, my trusting boy who’s brave comes from knowing his mama isn’t far behind. Can I find his brave in knowing that He isn’t far behind?

So I’ve invited Him deeper but really He’s probably invited me. He sits with me at the table of my soul and He knows everything I’m about to say. He breaks bread and He offers me some. He knows I don’t find the good in the clouds covering the sun. In the car that finds trouble in the rain. He knows I clench teeth when bank account runs dry and He asks, “Where is your brave?” And He asks, “Where is your trust?” And He asks, “Where is your hope?” And He knows, hope is in the ghost I’ve been chasing. In the plans I’ve been making. The ones I forgot to invite Him to. So He pours wine and He asks me to drink. He asks if I remember the house in the country and Him meeting me there. He asks if I remember slamming the door and telling Him to leave. If I remember the cool mornings on screened in porch where we met over coffee. All He wanted was to lift the heavy from my chest that had been there for years. He asks if I remember and I do. Because He did. It was painful because of the enemy but He was not the enemy. He was cool breeze in the early morning and He never left even when I slammed the door. And I remember. I take a sip and I see dark room and apple juice and I see nails and cross and I’m free. It’s been years, and I’m free. It seems so easy. The Answer. He asks and I remember. 

I open The Book and it’s Eden. It’s my brave child and I’m brave, too. Papa lingers behind me as we walk through the field and I feel brave, for the first time in a long time. And He speaks of thankfulness rolling off tongue but that’s a foreign language to me. It’s all over these pages and I’ve read them before but seeing them now as we walk hand in hand it’s like the first time. Thankful in all of this. Thankful for where we are. Thankful that that door didn’t open and thankful for wisdom to close the next with our own hands, even if it aches me. Thankful for dirt under toes and thankful for little hands to hold. And I can be tired and I can be broken and I question – but its been in these pages all along, waiting for me to give up my ghosts, waiting for me to invite Him in or maybe accept His invitation. For thankful. For His road. For His hand to hold. 

And I’m running in the field and there’s a wild in my soul flamed with a fire from Heaven, and He’s trailing behind fueling my brave.