Running Clothes

Escape

Bring me to the place where nothing else matters

Where all I need is you

Where nothing else satisfies

Make me hungry

I take my fill and want for more

I cannot exhaust the spring from which the water flows

I run toward the source of my comfort

I escape the need for comfort knowing peace is given at the hand of the maker

My meat is to do his will

Worn

I’ll bring to you the tattered rags of my righteousness

The frayed edges of my accomplishments

And watch you smile and tell me that you aren’t after my clothes

You are after my heart

You want to watch me run

So I will run hard and know that you are smiling

Your smile is all that matters

Listen

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The same phrase keeps resonating in my head this week, “Have you finished doing the last thing God asked you to do?” I’m thinking the answer is probably “no” but I can’t remember the last thing he asked me to do, which makes me realize I’m not listening as well as I think I am, which makes me resolve to tune in today, which makes me a better person, which makes the world a little bit better.

The View from Above

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What’s the view like from up there? I often marvel at the way you can love us with such depth despite the messes we’ve made. The problem of pain exists only because we seek to blame you for the bad without crediting you for the good. You see us reeling from the consequences of sin. Destruction, pain, sickness, tragedy abounds casting shadow on the weary hearts you seek to save. You call to us with the answer, with comfort, with peace beyond description and we accuse. “How can a God of love allow such tragedy?”

“For I consider the sufferings of this present time not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18)

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We look at things so narrowly. All we see are the steep rocks around us and we fear we cannot make it through. We forget that you always clear a path. You never ask us to cross without making a way before us. Yet so often we turn back thinking it’s too hard so you must not be in it. There must be a wider opening that will lead us to the same destination. Still, you’re faithful to scoop us back up and lead us back where we belong. We must look so silly to you sometimes. Yet you love us immensely. You make a safe place for us in the cleft of the rock. You allow us to rest in your presence.

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I can’t help but remember today how evil men caused our hearts so much sorrow. The problem with pain is that bad things still happen to good people. “For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45 NKJV)

I don’t claim to have all the answers but I know this, God is still good even when we aren’t. God is still there even when we can’t see him. God still loves even when hate seems to win. Just as the towers falling couldn’t break the spirit of a people, circumstances cannot change the immutable goodness of God. As we remember this day, let us not forget the one who holds us and looks upon us with abundant love, abounding mercy and infinite greatness. He sees us lovely.

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What’s the view like from up there? Do you see us looking up? Lend us your smile and wrap us up in your peace today.

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My Own Private Jungle

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It’s been a whirlwind of a week. School’s back in session. The big kids started last Monday while the littlest guy comes to work everyday with me. I’ve been back at work for several weeks now since having the baby. Honestly, I didn’t really take a maternity leave at all. I stayed away from the office for about a week and a half, all the while answering calls and questions from home, then packed baby man up and headed in. I’m so thankful that having the baby with me at work is an option. I realize that I am blessed abundantly!

Still, I’d cut back on my hours of actual office time. I’ve been working from home a little more and also reminding myself that the world will not end if I don’t accomplish everything in one day. For some reason when school started on Monday, it felt like my (imagined) maternity leave was over. My hectic schedule is back in full swing. I’m busy with backpacks and lunch boxes and drop off and pick up. Now I’ve got diaper bags and feeding schedules and an infant screaming in car-rider line added to the mix. I know many of you can relate to this.

Let’s face it, life can get a bit chaotic from time to time. Yet, somehow in the midst of this, we are expected to dig deep and pull out the gifts within us and do something great with them. For years, I shelved most of my writing. I didn’t bother sharing many of my original songs because I knew I wouldn’t have time to invest in finishing them and performing them. I allowed the chaos to overtake me.

Thankfully I’ve learned that the only way I can truly live is to dig deep. All those things I shelved for later are the very things that bring me peace today. A life of order and balance includes our passions. If we don’t allow our passions the fuel and air they need, we will suffocate beneath the weight of the mundane.

This week, in the midst of the hectic, I took a few seconds to breathe, to write, to pray, to snap a picture or two in the yard. I am alive and free. Don’t let the jungle swallow your soul. Let your soul be the soil for beauty to flourish.

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