Hope and Soiled Hands

When small seeds of hope, planted in fresh soil, are stolen by the ravens it’s easy to become weary.

We toil in darkness on hands and knees. Prayer lifted in desperation can seem to hit empty air when the harvest waits.

Still, I’ve found hope doesn’t lie in seed. Hope lies in the waiting soul and the hands of the sower.

Tomorrow will grace us with newness and we can plow and dig. We can take life in our hands and cover it, willing, in the dirt and start a revolution. We can wet it with tears wrought in prayer. We can wait hoping for rain. We can harvest the rewards of diligence.

My hope isn’t in one seed. My victory not taken by one theft. My hope is bigger, stronger, cared for by work, and harnessed in faith. My hope, the anchor of my soul, is in the giver of life. I will win and I will rest in Him.

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Dust Buster

boy in duststorm

Photo credit: Arthur Rothstein, A young boy in dust storm, Oklahoma, 1936 PBS

 

“Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust” Isaiah 26:19

The dust hangs heavy in the air, swirling around hiding the light with haze.

It’s easy to become lost in the chaos, caught up as the torrent of fear flows by, catching us unaware, unprepared.

It’s easy to break and stumble. It’s easy to give in and crumble as the mud starts to cake, heavy, on our skin. We become a sculpture of something else, a figure we never expected to be.

The mirror betrays us. We can’t recognize the person staring back, glass eyes, with fire dimmed to ember.

But there’s a song, a melody resounding above the thickness and our eyes suddenly open to the wonder.

Open your mouth and sing along. Let praise emanate from within. Let it cleanse the air with the sweetness of Spirit. Let it wash the skin and mind with life.

Sing of His greatness, hear Him call you by name, and know that nothing else matters. He sees, He hears, and He adores you.

Figure of dust, know that you are a treasure, transformed by love song into beauty.

Around the Table

True Vine

The question was posed to me, “What is God doing in your life?” I don’t always have an immediate brilliant answer and maybe that’s my own pride trying to come up with a brilliant answer. Today, I thought I’d answer that question as if we were sitting around my table, coffee in hand, talking.

God is teaching me so much about myself. I am a stubborn redneck woman who has spent her life surviving the situation using whatever strength I can muster at the time. But in God’s economy, my strength is weakness. The more I try to control and ‘handle’ my circumstances, the farther I drift from Him. Lately, more than anything, He’s showing me my need. I desperately need my time with him daily. I am learning to slow down in the midst of the mornings and breathe in his word and his ways. I am learning to stop when I get in high gear and find his heart.

God is showing me that for all my knowledge, if I miss his presence, I have nothing. I’m learning that holiness is less about abstinence from sin and more about my old man burning away like chaff in the light of divine majesty. I’m learning that though I outwardly may seem blameless, if in my heart, I have an attitude, I’m not pure. I’ve prayed that God would purify my heart and create in me a woman who isn’t always so concerned with being right. Rather, I seek to be a woman who pleases God. I will bring him everything and watch him do whatever he wills. That is the key to peace.

I’m learning that the deeper I go, the more I find the simplicity of the gospel.

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets,” Matthew 22:37-40

Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Most of all, I’m learning that this life isn’t about me. My marriage isn’t about me. It’s about me giving of myself, pouring out, just as Christ did for the church. If I let my pride, ego and self-preservation tendencies get in the way of that, it’s a lot more difficult. If I surrender my rights and give myself fully to the wonderful man God blessed me with and give of myself to a world in need, the rest falls into place. God takes over when I let go.

It may all sound like commonsense and I suppose it is. I find that the more you know, sometimes you have to go back to the basics to find the fullness.

I pray that God is teaching you similarly. I pray that you hear his voice as he quietly whispers to your soul. There is such freedom in his presence. Today, and everyday, I invite you to grab a cup of coffee and spend some time with him. Find his heart not just his head. Read his word. Dive in all the way and immerse yourself in his love. There is no greater treasure.

Autopilot

eagle_flying_bird

Autopilot – when I go through the motions

Head down, resolved, ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen

And then I sometimes break as resistance pushes me to realize I’m not built to maintain; I’m built for greatness.

Not greatness I’ve built with the persistent efforts of my hands, but greatness that comes only when I let go of my ambitions and allow yours to take over.

I ask so often for you to take all of me and then I feel injured when it’s pointed out that I can’t do everything on my own.

Why I allow the stubborn me to crawl off the altar of sacrifice and proffer a vote, I’ll never understand.

So today, once again, take it ALL.

Take my rights, my self preservation, my emotions, my ambitions, my plans.

Make them yours and use them for your glory.

I will fix my eyes firmly where they should stay, on the prize of the high calling of Christ.

There my feet find wings and fly, above the clutter, into your presence.

There, I find peace.

Blue skies

Buried

photo 5

 

I’ve been buried.

The weight of the dirt is pressing hard against my skin.

I feel bruises forming but in true ‘tough girl’ fashion, I pull hard to hold in the tears and fight to stand against the pressure.

The earth sticks and cakes my lungs with mud as I breathe deep and will myself to keep going.

“I am Iron Man!” I repeat to the masses in hopes they won’t learn of my weakness.

Still, the charade is up and I fear I’m exposed, insufficient and lowly.

photo 4

The lifter of my head leans low

Reminding me I wasn’t designed to carry the weight of the world on my Gumby shoulders.

His strength in weakness perfected, lifts me from the mire, clothes me in white and I remember to breathe Him in.

I lay my head upon His shoulders and all at once, I see the sky.

photo 1 (2)

Growing, We do it Everyday

Big Boy

Baby Man’s first tooth emerged to surface last night. It was another rite of passage into “big boyhood”. The signs keep coming that he is growing so quickly. He is zooming through infancy with lightning speed while we crawl around with him on the living room floor hoping to savor the moments. He still sweeps me off my feet with each giggle and that smile that lights his eyes and melts my heart.

I am just a mom. There are days when I leave for the office without realizing that I haven’t brushed my hair. There are nights when I forego cleaning dishes for cuddles and cluster nursing. I’ve traded makeup and high heels for slobber and bare feet (baby slobber…not mine, in case you were worried). My concerns in the morning are now, did everyone brush their teeth? Lunchboxes? Backpacks? Is everyone in the car? Wait, I’m missing one. There she is….let’s go.

And I love it!

God is a Father and I’m convinced He loves it too. Think about what He has to deal with on a day to day basis. Yet, He’s there cheering us on when we grow a little and we cut a spiritual tooth. He’s holding our hands and helping us learn to walk along. He smiles when we look up at Him with toothless grin. He scoops us up in His arms when we fall down and cry out for help. He forgives us when we get into something we shouldn’t. He’s never frazzled and overwhelmed like me.

Maybe it’s like they used to say when I was young, “Babies having babies”. I didn’t appreciate hearing that when I was in my 20’s, but now I can laugh and look upward at my Father who is so patient with me and appreciate the wonder of it all. I’m just a baby trying to figure it all out with my babies in tow…and I’m growing everyday.

I can toddle along the best way I know how. I can follow my Father and never let Him out of my sight. I can fall and learn and get back up. I can be secure knowing that even in my baby steps, He’s celebrating with me. He doesn’t demand perfection. He knows I’m learning. He will never leave me or forsake me.

So, today I’m celebrating a first tooth and the realization that I am right where I should be, in the hand of a loving God who gave Himself to bring me life. A savior who sacrificed everything for me. I’ll let Him lead me as I lead these precious one’s He’s trusted me with. It’s a good life when He’s in charge!