Break. It. Down.

My dad and I hunted for that particular refrigerator box all over the city.

I had this fantastic idea that involved glow-in-the-dark paint, black butcher paper and blowing away the other kids in my science class. It all hinged on the box.

My plan was to create a solar system room. As the cardboard door closed behind you, your eyes would be astounded by the glory of nine {because there were nine then} planets revolving around the sun.

After a day of searching, we came home victorious and I stored the box in the garage.

Overwhelmed by the size of the project, I procrastinated. As the two week lead time dissolved, my fear took over and nothing seemed to turn out right. The styrofoam planets wouldn’t hold the paint. They also wouldn’t hang right.

I grew discouraged.

Eventually I cut out and glued some construction paper planets to a butcher paper covered cork board during my science class to earn some points for a 2-day late project.

Things had not turned out as I’d planned.

::

I have grand schemes in life.

Schemes…as in plural.

Yet over and over I find myself staring at a giant refrigerator box. Overwhelmed by the thought of making that first cut or painting the first stroke.

“What if I measure wrong?”

“What if I waste my resources?”

“What if it’s not enough?”

I’m tired of it.

The problem I’ve discovered is that I act as though each tiny step is going to significantly impact the ultimate outcome.

That a single impatient word will ruin my relationship with my child forever.

Or finding the perfect school and master’s program will guarantee my future dreams.

The weight of the decision crushes the idea.

Sometimes it’s just about breaking it down to find out what’s next.

And then doing it.

Coming in out of the wind

It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.

— C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)

As I step outside, the door slams open, wrenched out of my hand by the gust of warm wind whipping around the building. Electricity snaps in the air, causing my hair to fly around my face.

It wasn’t until I moved to Southern California, and experienced the Santa Ana winds, that I truly understood the power wind can wield. Tables and chairs skitter across our patio; wind chimes that normally create a fairy song in the breeze are hurriedly taken down before they blow away.

The wind literally takes my breath away with its wildness and ferocity; easily you can become disoriented and isolated.

My words have fallen flat for me these past couple of weeks. And I think that, right there, is the reason why…

M Y     W O R D S

I’ve had trouble hearing “that other larger, stronger, quieter” voice. There has been a myriad of voices, swirling around in my head, electrifying my fears, doubts and insecurities. Recognizing them for what they are, I’ve tried to take every thought captive, but like the wind

they seem overpowering and unrelenting.

Just as I push one away, another comes at me. Even the thought of asking for help, prayer, encouragement brings on a fresh onslaught. The worry that weariness will set in and rejection become the end result causes a pause that isolates.

And so on, all day, I shove back the wind. It slips through the cracks and holes, piling up grime and wreaking havoc. Slowly I tire of the battle, and long to give in, to let it whirl around me and cut me off with its force and roar.

::

Peter was afraid of the wind. He saw his Savior, stepped out in faith, and walked a little way.

Then the wind came.

Fear and doubt overwhelmed him, and he began to sink.

he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him… {Matthew 14:30b-31a}

Therein lies my hope:

Peter walked on water.

Jesus took hold of him.

The wind may be rushing around me, but that means I’m walking the path of obedience.

And, all I need to do is call out, “Lord, save me,” to find His strong hand holding me.

Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD. {Psalm 31:24}

Resting in Him is like coming in out of the wind…

How are you finding your hope in God today?



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who do you think you are?!

Today I’ve been hit with a mighty dose of the “Who-Do-You-Think-You-Are”s. You know what I mean; that familiar spirit that mocks you as you try to do anything outside of yourself…

I’ve actually been waiting for him to show his ugly face.

Last weekend I spent three days in Palm Springs with some of my closest girlfriends. Our time was mostly spent in worshipping together, discussing prophecy, and then prophetically praying over one another.

My heart and mind are still trying to take it all in.

Times like those are life-giving and renewing in our walk with God. I received so much encouragement from them regarding my ministry here. Words of support were offered; words I had a hard time accepting.

Even then, I could feel those familiar fingers wrapping round my heart.

“What do you know?”

“You don’t have it all together.”

“If they only knew…”

And it’s all true.

I know nothing, except Christ Jesus, and Him crucified. My life tends to be in a constant state of disorganized chaos, but Jesus is the author and perfecter of my faith. Most of all, if God, who knows me more intimately than anyone, tells me to share something here, then I have no other choice but to share it.

This blog is not about me. Those of you who come here will find the strivings and musings of a very human girl as she abides in a merciful and gracious God.

My hope, my heart, is that you find Him when you come here, and not me.

So, Who Do I Think I Am?

I am a daughter of the Most High God; a servant of Christ Jesus, who saved me from eternal damnation through His death and resurrection;  a jar of clay filled with the Holy Spirit; and I speak what the Father gives me.

What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. {Matthew 10:27}

What familiar spirit have you been entertaining lately?

What truths do you need to speak over yourself to remind you of who you truly are?

Scared of Christmas

Josh and I were not planning on being in the Santa picture. Each year we herd our children to the local North Pole satellite location, so they can sit on Santa’s lap, smile and “say cheese.” They are then rewarded with a candy cane.

This year turned out a little differently.

Ezra was leery about the big bearded man in the funny red suit. He refused to get anywhere near him unless I was there also. When you think of it, that has got to be an intimidating situation for a small child.

“Here, son, come into this over-stimulating gated area and sit on the lap of this giant stranger! Have fun!!”

To us parents it’s a nostalgic, pleasant experience. We see it through rose-tinted glasses and the whole scene plays out like we’re living in a snowglobe. In fact, there was even snow for this Southern California family!

Part of the reason I was unprepared for it to turn out this way was because I wasn’t viewing it as real life. We wanted to capture a memory and create a dewy-eyed moment. The smiling toddler in the picture does not reveal the fear he was feeling.

::

I have discovered something new in rereading the story of Jesus’ birth.

Have you ever noticed how often the characters are told to not be scared?

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. {Luke 1:13}

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. {Luke 1:30}

…behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; {Matthew 1:20}

Fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea. All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him. {Luke 1:65-66}

And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; {Luke 2:9-10}

When I look at my little, porcelain nativity scene, I see the familiar characters positioned in worship and tender recollection of the babe in the manger. There is no sense of fear or trembling portrayed in their faces or posture. It is a sentimental scene.

But this is not a fairy tale. It was real life for those involved.

A barren woman conceived after her husband had an encounter with an angel; one who stands in the throne room of God. A virgin girl was told she would be the mother of the Messiah; the long-awaited Savior of her people. A man was asked to trust God and take a woman as his wife who carried a child who was not his own; to stand by her in a society that told him to shun her. In the midst of their work, some of the lowest men in society encountered a sky-full of angels  proclaiming to them a fantastic story.

If any one of us had to live out this story, instead of just seeing it romantically displayed on cards, decor and through dramas, we would be shaking from head to foot.

An encounter with the all-powerful, all-knowing, mighty God should be awe-inspiring.

We take it out of our storage box on the day after Thanksgiving, dust it off to display for the last month of the year, then back it goes with the glass ornaments and felt snowmen until the next Christmas season. We proclaim that He is the Reason for the Season, but do we make Him our Reason for Living the remainder of the year?

Easily forgotten, amidst the traditions and sentiments of the season, is the fact that the baby we’re celebrating, the miracle we’re proclaiming, the good news for all men are more than just a nice story. Unlike the other gifts we will receive this holiday season, the gift of Jesus’ birth is one that will not tarnish, rust, break or wear out.

This Christmas, I pray that we remember the fear of the Lord.

Nativity scenes, Christmas pageants and candlelight services can be just meaningless traditions, or we can acknowledge them for what they really are:

a chance to be awed by the glory of God and encounter His presence in the midst of our lives!


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