Do you see me?

I was a boy once.

I can remember the blissful carelessness of summer.

Warm days with cool breezes.

Meals full of laughter, where tears came from joy

And the overflow of everything that was right and good.

These days were not frequent and often fleeting

But they were,

And they were beautiful.

It was another world

Another time

Another me.

 

Now you see me,

Or rather, you don’t.

You have never considered that I was a boy.

A boy with a mother that nursed me,

A father who hoped I would grow to be a man and make him proud.

 

Now, you don’t see me

You turn away

You smell me and scowl

You avoid my eyes, because if you were to see inside of me you would see yourself.

Looking, or not looking at me reflects more of you not me

And this scares you

 

You are not so different than me

But you consider me a different species

 

Do you see me?

 

If you knew my story,

Would you choose to look?

If I bathed or or changed my clothes,

Would you dare to care?

 

If only a small amount of water would make me human,

Are you not the one who is inferior to me?

You refuse me something so small and yet transformative

 

We are not so different

 

But, you don’t see me

 

We are not so different

 

You could be me

I hope it never come to you

But more that that, I wish for you a heart

To see that there is more to me that what your eyes alone can see.

Upon thinking of our Creator

From before there was a beginning,

until forever after the end.

Through the vastness of time

between all that is uncountable, unattainable, and unimaginable for us

You, Yahweh, Are

have been, and will be.

 

How can we begin to even consider your grandeur, your greatness, or power?

Yet as you give us a brief moment of clarity and insight,

one speck of reason to understand who you are,

we consider your concern for the smallest of sparrows.

 

Am I more valuable than a sparrow Lord?

I thank you and praise you for thinking me so.

 

Should I not then care for the sparrow as well?

And what of the man in the park? The one rejected and cast aside.

Is he also more valuable than a sparrow?

And what of the forgotten infant? His body ravaged by the sin of his mother.

Is he more valuable than a sparrow?

The women sentenced to life in prison?

The refugee?

The drug addict?

 

Who is not worth the price of a sparrow Lord?

 

“Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matt. 25:40

The guise of freedom (a poem)

wasteland

There is a freedom all have fallen in slavery to.

A false creation in rejection of the only Creator.

This lure is real,

and it entices the strongest and weakest of humanity.

No culture is immune

No creature spared.

For we all fall to the lie that we are sufficient and able,

that our reasoning is sound and we are just in all we do.

 

Inch by inch,

moment by moment,

we fail to realize the darkness and heaviness that sets in

as we follow our own devices.

Led by lust,

led by the flesh,

and ever so gently lead by a great deceiver.

Once clouded in darkness and shrouded by the lies we have chosen to believe

we reach out for a hand

and ready, is the one who encouraged us here.

 

Oh friend, it is not our Creator whose hand we find so quickly,

for we rejected Him from the beginning

For it is our foe

and the one who seeks to destroy us

his hands ready and eager to tear and ensnare us further.

 

Oh but helpless one…

Be still and listen

Be silent and hear the One calling.

It is Him.

The one we walked away from so long ago

Do you hear His call?

Do you hear how He knows your very name?

From the moment you chose your own path His voice became whisper

and only more obscure

When you lashed out in anger because He had forgotten you

He was there

When you mocked and ridiculed Him and His bride

He was there

When you began to realize that you were alone and helpless

He was there

He was there

and there

He is still

Calling you

Waiting for you

Longing for you

But never so demanding and controlling so as to make you His by force

His sacrifice and suffering for you so real

His love and desire for you

furious and passionate

But so tender and wonderful is He that He waits and calls

and desires that you choose Him,

to fully behold His beauty which will only more and more fulfill and sustain you.

 

Oh child,

you no longer need to be an orphan groping in the darkness

There are snakes and wild beasts there and they surely will devour you if you remain.

Follow His voice

I assure you, as you step out from the darkness

He will run for you and embrace you

His love for you is great and once you are His,

His arms will never let you go.

 

Time of Worship

Oh what a place of worship

Such a time could never be artificially created

Such a place never reached by one’s own deprivation or decent into humility

For as low as I desire to go, my Spirit would never permit me

This plunge.

Not willingly,

Not without some intrusion of my own ego or fleshy heart

But here I am now,

Where only you can bring me

Where all I can cling to fades away

Where everything that often tempts me seems

As it is

Fruitless

 

So in this place,

I praise you

I choose to praise you Lord

Because in this momentary affliction

You are so much greater

So much greater than my doubts

So much stronger than any fear

And so much more than any storm

For in the chaos

You are still

You are God

And you will not be moved

 

Here I am,

By your design

And as I choose to trust

Grief is not erased

But embraced

And aspects of you which before were veiled are now so new.

Refreshed by a tenderness I can only here know

The pain of this place

Makes it difficult to remain

But your comfort also makes me linger for more of you

So thank you for this

For this moment of wounding

That you may heal me more than I can comprehend

That I may know you

More deeply

More fully.

Planning and Trust

There has been much planning and preparing in our house lately. We seem to be on

the verge of several changes and transitions in our home, so it seems wise to discuss

and have a plan for the upcoming year. I am definitely a planner and I thrive on

making things efficient and effective. My husband is the visionary, so as long as we

are patient and communicate with each other, we can be a great team. As a planner

however, I tend to get consumed with details and can get frustrated when things

don’t follow my plan. Now, I have been married for a few years, have two small boys

and have lived abroad long enough to be slightly more flexible than before, but still

my nature and tendency is to plan, control and micromanage.

 

It is in these moments, when the future seems uncertain, that my mind races and I

try to think through every possibility. I view the next year as a big Tetris game and

it is my job to make it all fit into place. Even as I write this I am convicted because I

can see so clearly my lack of trust in the Lord. Didn’t I just post about how my

words for the year were trust and rest?

 

So as I remembered to trust and rest I began to argue with the Lord a bit. How do I

rest when there is so much to do? Determined however, I sat and wrestled with my

own lack of trust and inability to rest. I read and meditated on scriptures that God

has brought me to frequently.

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight.” Prov. 3:5-6

 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication

with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

 

But then, God brought me to Psalm 90. There was one verse in particular that

caught my eye and my heart. “So teach us to number our days, that we may present

to you a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) This one verse caused me to reread the

Psalm several times. With each reading I was struck to the core, and as He often

does, God began to help me see parts of His character and nature in a deeper way;

His eternality, His power, His omniscience.

 

“Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations; before the mountains

were born or you gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to

everlasting, You are God.” Vs. 1-2

 

“For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it passes by or as a

watch in the night. You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep.” Vs.4-5a

 

Read the whole Psalm, it’s worth a few minutes. As God reveals just glimpses of His

amazing power and eternality, we then see our frailty and how transitory we are.

We make so many plans, when in reality they just pass away with a blink of an eye.

Now, I am not suggesting that we throw all planning out the window. There is room

in scripture to suggest that planning is wise (Luke 14:28-33, Prov. 21:5, Prov. 14:8).

However, it seems that right and wise planning is done within the context of the fear

of God and with an awareness of His presence and power. So we come to vs. 12

again, “teach us to number our days that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.”

The more I think upon this verse, the more I see that my planning tips the scales to

foolish when not within the proper context. All this…in one little verse.

 

Given my nature, I don’t think I am going to stop planning altogether and throw

every care to the wind. But upon further reflection I don’t think that is what God is

asking me to do. He gave me my personality, and my temperament and he gave it to

me that I might reflect His glory. It is a curious thing, these personalities God has

given us. So much of what I thought was upbringing, and training is very much

imbedded within us in our personalities from birth. I have learned this by observing

my two boys and watching their personalities, interests and quirks emerge.

For a long time I have considered aspects of my personality sinful (there are in fact

many that are sinful) but every personality trait has the ability to glorify God or not.

 

So I am concluding (at the moment) that I will plan, but as I plan now, I see that I

first hold everything loosely acknowledging God’s power. I must number my days

and plan in light of the fact that I am not promised tomorrow. I will take time to

meditate on God, His word, His character and know that it is time spent wisely.

 

Are you a planner? Do you wrestle with surrendering your plans to the Lord and

trusting Him with the outcome? Challenge yourself….stop and take some time to rest

in His presence and give the outcome of whatever is before you, to Him.

This wounded heart

I had a heart broken and shattered beyond repair

Wounded by sin and rebellion

And in complete despair.

There was no hope for this heart to mend

The only hope was that one-day, it would end

But then one day,

Darkness did not prevail

I saw my Savior and no longer a veil

For in the depths of my despair

I called to heaven, and my cry was heard there

A Savior. My King,

I knew my heart could mend

But in the place of healing

He did more than I could comprehend

A new heart He gave me

No longer one of stone

A new Spirit,

And now, I will never be alone.

For His presence ever before me

And His hand always my guide

A new life given,

I shall never be terrified.

For my King has won

My King has set me free

And in Him you too can have victory!

New Year, New Blog

 

So begins this blogging adventure. I hope that as I share what the Lord is teaching me, as I share my failures and triumphs, Jesus might be glorified in my life and shine bright in this dark world.

TIME… I claim to have none of it. I wake up early to do my devotions. I read and study, I pour into the scriptures for up to two hours before anyone wakes up. I make breakfast, clean the house, and take care of two very energetic boys. I try to be a good wife and care for my husband, try to be a helpmate to him as he is overwhelmed by the duties of church planting and disciple-making in a foreign country. I am discipling 10 young women and a handful of others. So, as you can see, I have plenty of reasons to claim a lack of time, and all seemingly reasonable. But, if I am honest, I do have some moments of quiet silence and peace. I have a loving husband who makes time for me and cares for the boys. I have a babysitter who can come and take the boys so I can write, or pray, or do whatever else I want. It was in one of these moments as I tried to silence my thoughts and stop myself from spinning in circles that I realized…I create the chaos of busyness. Yes, there are moments that are busy and hectic, but it is not perpetual and unending. As I contemplated my thoughts, my complaining, my life, I realized that I use my busyness as an excuse, a crutch and as a way to validate myself as being important.

I had not seen this before, because in my busyness and running around, even in my studying of scripture, I took very little time to just sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to what He had to say to me. As I began to slow down and just sit to be with Jesus I was overwhelmed by guilt. I felt lazy, wasteful, and disobedient among other things. I raced to find something to do, but quickly and thankfully, the Lord quieted my heart and made me just sit for a while longer. Not quite in an audible voice, but very gently and suddenly, a whisper came to me, “I don’t need you to do anything.” Now, that may not sound very gentle or loving, or even profound, but it was to me, in that moment. At first the words were rather difficult to swallow, but very quickly I let out a loud long breath of air and felt surprisingly relieved. The guilt I felt was very quickly revealed to be not of Him. I was trying to validate myself. I was trying to prove my worth to myself, to others watching, and to God. The truth is though, I am not worthy because of what I do. I fail everyday, but Christ Himself has become my righteousness (1 Cor 1:30). He Himself is the reason I am worthy. He has declared me worthy and there is nothing I can do to change that, or add to it.

So, God does not need me, or you. He doesn’t. He loves us, He cares for us, He desires fellowship with us, and yes, He gave everything to have closeness with us, but He does not NEED us. He created the world without our input and opinions. He raises up rulers and Kings and brings them down. He causes wars to cease and kingdoms to be brought down. He upholds all things by the word of His power (Heb 1:3). He is God, the beginning and the end and all-powerful. So here I am, just a moment ago carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders thinking I was holding everything together in this tiny portion on the world and really…I am nothing.   Well, that’s not entirely accurate is it? As I fix my eyes of God and His power and His might, I very much feel like nothing. I feel like less than an ant, a grasshopper a roach. But, He again comes to that place, He comes to me and reminds me. When He created the heavens and the earth, when he separated the land from the waters, I was not far off, I was known by Him. He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. How glorious is that thought? I can’t even begin to comprehend it.

As we begin this new year, as chores and duties threaten to overwhelm, I am determined to cling to one word this year. Well, maybe two, because I believe they go hand in hand. Rest and trust. I want to take time to rest in the presence of God and trust in His unfailing love for me. I know that He desires that I rest in Him, just as He told Martha, that Mary had chosen the better thing. I want to choose the better thing. I don’t to waste this life running around doing things that in the large scheme of things just leave me tired and embittered. I want to truly trust Him to provide for me, for my family, for those I minister amongst. I am not the one holding the world together (forgive me Lord for thinking it for even a second). I await some humbling as I seek to rest and trust, but I am eager to learn so that I might better see and understand Him and His power.

What is God showing you? Has God given you a word, or two, for this year? Please share it with me and others here in the comments. I promise to pray for every person who leaves a comment =)

Blessings to you in this new Year.