The End of the Day

At the end of the day, I can rest knowing that I did all I could to stand when the daylight and dusk collided. When the sound of feet on pavement pushed resistance against my longing…when the straggler dreams long into the twilight and the voices fade, deep and gnawing at the heart of me…I hold this hope assured in love. As the conquerer’s hands grasp tight to mine, lifting my head higher to behold the place his glory dwells. Ah, rest is found there. When his voice blares loudly the song of the ages and I find arms willing to wrap me up in grace. Comforter covering me whole.
Tonight as my eyes burn to close, I will remember that in Him I live and move and have my being and that tomorrow is another opportunity for greatness. Now I rest assured, confident and safe in the embrace of the ultimate comforter. And the world turns on and the play continues. I am found here where today gives way to tomorrow.

The Beauty of Commitment

off a cliff

Ear pressed to chest

listening

heartbeat consuming

in moments known as “now”

all fades to dim

but the light of this space

the light of eyes

shining brightly with love

moved

breathing you in

sweet caress of hands lost in skin

in moments of you and me

drifting to dreams

nestled safe in arms

love reminding me that we are one

union of souls in covenant

forever combined

forever committed

forever one

I’ll never turn away

Discovering Why

why

Perhaps I’m easily excitable. Perhaps I am always searching. Perhaps the promise of hope makes my heart beat wildly. Perhaps…

I utter simple prayers each day that God would take my selfish heart and expand it outward. I pray that I would truly love others and that maybe I could connect with another human in a way that’s meaningful. That in this massive stage where the tragedy unfolds, I might be able to play a part in the resolution. Where the Kingdom of God meets the longing of man, I would reach inward and help another to stand whole and restored.

Then I go about my day. sit alone in my office and do my job. I go about my life running from task to task and forget to stop and look. I sometimes forget to care. Then I crumble into the pillow exhausted after the day and feel as though there must be something more.

I love my job! I adore my family! I consider myself to be highly blessed and favored. Please don’t misunderstand the previous statements to mean I’m ill-satisfied with my life. I am most certainly not. But, I also realize that the deep longing of my heart to influence and reach others is born from the Spirit of God and his deep desire to reach men and women and show this his everlasting love and promise. It is inherent in the heart of a follower of Jesus to love others. It’s a consequence of a life surrendered. Perhaps I’m just a Christian.

I made a decision this week that seemed so unlike me and started a new venture with my husband. Here I am, this shy girl who has always struggled a bit making conversation with people I don’t know and I’ve started a business that requires me to communicate and share with everyone I meet in order to succeed. The funny thing is that despite the fact that it is so unlike anything I ever imagine myself doing, I KNOW with certainty that God is in it. He confirmed it in so many ways and I’ve been truly excited and completely full since making the commitment to run with it.

I made a decision that if I’m ever going to reach people, I need to learn to reach. I cannot remain stuck unable to start a conversation and expect relationships to spontaneously combust before me. I’ve spent the week thinking about my “why”. Why am I doing this? There are several reasons but the biggest one is that I know I’m called to be love to others. How can I ever help others if I don’t reach?

I’ve also realized that we spend our time spinning our wheels in the day to day. My husband is a business owner and works so hard. Often, 50-60 hours per week. I work full time as well. We have four children at home going in four different directions every day. We are the epitome of busy! I’ve found an opportunity to build a business that offers the potential of financial and time freedom. I desire to work smarter and build our dream of enjoying the time we have with our family and taking back our lives. Yes, it will take work and sacrifice for awhile, but the promise of time freedom is worth the work. Imagine what I can give back to the kingdom with financial freedom and time freedom in my grasp!

My “why” is simple. The ability to give. I desire to give of myself to others. I desire to give the gift of time to my family. I desire to give financially to those in need and to the furtherance of the Kingdom of God. I’m sure there will be those who think I’m crazy or think my goals are unattainable. That’s okay with me. Nothing good was ever accomplished by living life for the approval of others.

We are building a team in the US and branching out to Canada this month as well. I would be remiss if I didn’t put the plug out there that you can join us in our endeavor and find your “why” as well. Click here to find out about our business and join our team. Or visit our products page and support us by being a customer. Above all, pray for us and our new endeavor that God would build our team and expand our territory and be glorified first and foremost in all that we do. Thank you!

*Addendum:  This post was in no way intended to be a shameless marketing ploy but rather an update on what’s going on in my life and an attempt to get you, my readers, thinking about your “why”. Why do you do what you do? Make everything you do count!

 

 

The Little Word “When”

I’ve always felt a little bad for Job. Here’s this righteous man of God who’s so amazing that the Lord actually brags about him (Job 1:8 “8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”) yet everything that could go wrong goes wrong FAST! He loses everything and still remains faithful, a bit whiny perhaps, but faithful. His friends spend many chapters lecturing and criticizing him. I don’t really blame the friends though. Isn’t that our nature to decide that someone MUST have done something wrong to deserve all of the bad in their life. We are the first to jump in and criticize. Lord, help me to not be like Job’s friends. But I digress…

job

We know the story. In the end, God shows up and speaks out of a whirlwind revealing his awe-inspiring power and shaking earth and sky with his glory. Job, the righteous man, feels as though he is no better than the dust beneath his feet in the presence of The Holy One. Job laments that there is no mediator between this awesome God and lowly man. We read it and rejoice knowing that we have such a mediator now in Jesus Christ. The God who shakes the heaven and sees Earth tremble at the sound of His voice, loves us so much that He sent His son to make a way. That always blows my mind. Then God in His glory restores to Job twice what he’d lost to begin with.

I realized a little word I’d missed before. In Job 42:10 it says that God restored Job’s losses WHEN he prayed for his friends. Before Job was given back double, he had to forgive his annoying friends. This righteous man who would certainly be justifiably angry at his so-called friends who came against him the second calamity hit, had to be reconciled to them BEFORE his blessings came. I’d missed that little word “when” before.

If you desire the blessings and favor of God in your life, do yourself a favor and love your neighbor. When you walk in love, purity and forgiveness, there is nothing that can stop you! The blessings of God follow the believer. We don’t have to work for them or conjure them up. They are a consequence of a life lived in service. Don’t wait around and waste time looking for apologies or feeling justified having an attitude. Get over yourself and forgive and the rest will fall into place.

Okay, now the practical portion. I vividly remember being a young, hot-headed gal who thought it was a nice theory to forgive, but I couldn’t figure out how. It can be hard sometimes! Here’s my practical solution and Job demonstrated it perfectly. Pray! You may not want to. You probably won’t feel like it. If you are having trouble forgiving someone, pray for them. Keep praying for them. You don’t have to like them. You don’t have to continue to let them mistreat you. When you start praying for them, you loose the hold they have on you and forgiveness comes. It is a process. Be patient with yourself and when those feelings of anger start to rise up, push them back through prayer. It’s the most practical thing you can do. And as the Bible says in Job, when you pray, God’s blessings are released. You become free!

Who’s in Control?

reactive

Reactive, by definition is the tendency to react or to be characterized by reactance. I think most people I know fall into the category of chronic reactors. We so often relinquish control to others or our circumstances. We see it in the lives of those terrified to move because they are so afraid of what others will think. We see it in our relationships as we react in anger. We are driven by words hurled toward us by careless humans, who unwittingly (or with intent), bite with condescension or malice. We are so easily wounded and broken. We are selfish.

Ben Carson says in his book Take the Risk,

“The more rights you think you have, the more likely someone is going to infringe upon them.”

“It wasn’t until I backed off enough to take myself out of the center that I realized reactions like that [anger/negative reactions] were not signs of strength, but rather indications of weakness. Such reactions meant I was letting other people, the environment, or circumstances control me, and I decided I didn’t want to be so easily controlled. But if I took myself, my rights, my ego, my feelings out of the center, I couldn’t be.”

“Once I was able to take myself out of the equation, to look at things from other people’s perspectives and not feel that all the rights belonged to me, the things that could make me angry were suddenly few and far between.”

When we are brave enough to stop thinking about ourselves and put others first, we may find that we gain the power and the freedom that we’ve been searching for. No one can hurt us if we don’t let them. All it takes is the wisdom to know that we are loved completely and fully by the creator and we can move beyond reaction to freedom and begin to go beyond “me” to “them”. Be free today!

 

Prayer for Today

Green

Lord, let my hands be ever ready to serve.

Give me your eyes to see the broken and your balm to bring comfort.

Let the voice of my will be silent when your mouth opens

Let me guard my motivations so the outflowing of my heart and hands are pure

May I never be afraid of risk or movement

May wisdom lead as I submit to follow

Let love be my beacon, strength come from my weakness, truth be my anchor and peace go before me

You increase as I find myself hidden in the wonder of your grace

Take all of me and use me

Have your way as I remain forever grateful.

 

Hope

Water Drops on Slab

Steady rain pelts, swift and monotonous, on the roof above me
I feel the water purify, washing away the old, carrying with it the promise of hope
Standing singularly like a monument on the horizon
Lingering long enough for me to reach
Long enough for me to believe

Hope, that droplet swiftly coming near
Waiting for me to see it
Impact, as it falls to form in my soul a place where ignition can take effect
As lightning follows the particle to the earth
A blaze begins with a solitary moment
Hope springs from the cleansing of past colliding with the promise of now.