Monday, August 15, 2011

The Contradiction

"The contradiction [of difficulty in the midst of purpose] IS evidence that God's with you. Because in the difficulty of purpose, you won't make it without Him. Difficulty requires faith to believe I was chosen for a purpose beyond my capabilities. And that this purpose is mine because God chose me to accomplish it. [Chose {ME}!] A burden in purpose is not always what we make of it. Glory is heavy. Don't confuse Glory with burden. Every purpose requires God to fulfill it."
This is revelation Pastor Marcus delivered before we headed into Pastor Robert's message yesterday morning. It was so heaven-sent for me. So needed.

I've been questioning [and complaining, whining and tantrum-throwing] a specific purpose of mine in marriage since having {this} purpose revealed to me in a conversation with Marcus. Hmmm ... interesting that the revelation of purpose and revelation of difficulty of purpose was spoken through the same man. Coincidence? Hardly.

But, in true focused-on-my-circumstances fashion, with the thought that God CHOSE {me} for this, came the questions, "What about me? When's it my turn?" Oh, I think about what my natural reaction would be if this was the response of my child after receiving revelation and am THANKFUL that God is not like me. And then I ask, in full understanding, that He continue to work on my heart to become more like Him.

If godly purpose was easy to fulfill--easy according to my flesh--then it wouldn't be of God.

I'm shaking my head today realizing that even after receiving this revelation in the morning, I still didn't chose to walk in the truth of it throughout the day.

"Truth [revelation] that is not applied will never change you." Mike Guzzardo from All In

Seeing a Sliver

"From where we stand, we can’t see whether it’s something good or bad. All we can see is that God’s sovereign and He is always good, working all things for good. ... Our heart optics are not omniscient."

Those are words taken from Ann Voskamp's today blog. Another really good read! But I also had to pull from it the wisdom in the story she shared of the White Horse:

How a white stallion had rode into the paddocks of an old man and all the villagers had congratulated him on such good fortune. And the old man had only offered this: “Is it a curse or a blessing? All we can see is a sliver. Who can see what will come next?”
When the white horse ran off, the townsfolk were convinced the white stallion had been a curse. The old man lived surrendered and satisfied in the will of God alone:  “I cannot see as He sees.”
And when the horse returned with a dozen more horses, the townsfolk declared it a blessing, yet the old man said only, “It is as He wills and I give thanks for His will.”Then the man’s only son broke his leg when thrown from the white stallion. The town folk all bemoaned the bad fortune of that white stallion. And the old man had only offered, “We’ll see. We’ll see. It is as He wills and I give thanks for His will.”
When a draft for a war took all the young men off to battle but the son with the broken leg, the villagers all proclaimed the good fortune of that white horse. And the old man said but this, “We see only a sliver of the sum. We cannot see how the bad might be good. God is sovereign and He is good and He sees and work all things together for good.”

This story made me recall all the times I've wavered like these villagers. From good to bad, from blessing to a curse, all because I could only see a sliver.

This tied in with another blog I read today from Nancy Smith on Destiny in Bloom. Below is my comment that sums it up:
"There’s a magic word in Ted’s world: uncle. As in, Uncle David. Uncle David gets Ted, understands him pretty well. At that moment, he understood something I couldn’t see. He walked over, quite nonchalantly, and told me to go ahead and get on the ride and he would take care of the boy." 
First impression: Uncle David was Jesus to your Ted in this moment. He "understood Ted and saw something you couldn't see". How awesome to see Jesus in that exchange! And high-five to Uncle David for being discerning and seizing the moment in obedience! 
"Yes, I learned something from my eight year old son. I learned that I get to choose how I respond to the curves life throws at me." 
This hit my heart today. Yesterday was a day full of 'response choices' and I did not make all of them wisely. It's a reminder that I'm still learning how to hit that curve-ball ... and thankful for grace in the process of learning. 
"As a reasonable adult, I know why Ted shouldn’t ride a roller coaster when he’s not tall enough: safety. ... That didn’t stop the tears, though. He was disappointed." 
I know your point didn't stop where I chose to end your quote. I just wanted to pause on the reality and truth of those words combined. You understood the reason your son couldn't ride, but that didn't cover his disappointment. Just like Jesus understands the "why" behind our closed doors, and yet we still cry tears of disappointment in veiled understanding. 
Until HE uncovers... 
"Something better was around the corner, just out of reach. But at the right time, through the perfect process, we walked into the place we were meant to be." 
Oh that we would have eyes to see what's just around our corners when our hearts are disappointed at what we didn't get today ... that thing we wanted so badly, when in truth, it wasn't the BEST we believed it to be. I want the ears of my heart to be so sensitive to the whispers of Jesus saying, "It's okay. I have something better waiting to give you. Something that's better than what you came in for. Something you can take home with you." 
My takeaways: 
There is wisdom contained in a sliver, but it's not the whole truth. 
Disappointment is not truth. For around the next corner waits our BEST. 
Don't be so quick to judge what's lost today as actually lost. It may not have been ours to begin with.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


There are painters ... and then there are those who create masterpieces.
There are photographers ... and then there are those who capture lifeANDart with every frame.
There are singers ... and then there are those who open heaven's gates with angelic voices.
There are writers ... and then there are those who wax poetically with every word.

Ann Voskamp is a poet who just happens to also write. She has a gift that is not teachable or passed on through a "Writing For Dummies" book. Her words flow off her fingertips, fusing beauty with every day life as naturally and unforced as our bodies inhale and exhale the very breath that keeps us alive from one moment to the next.

Simply lean back and relax into the opening sentiment of her latest blog:
"When love slips up from behind unannounced, who can do anything but just surrender to happy grace?"
Or the way she records this heart-memory. The simple act of her father surprising her with a bouquet of gladiolas, hand-delivered in a recycled, Cheez Whiz glass jar:
"I'll happen to remember this forever. How you never know when love might come knocking unannounced at your door. How you never know who loves. How you mustn't ever stop believing. How he even blushed, boyish, shuffling in his boots."
Or the poetic simplicity of describing tomatoes as "summer's largest berries". Painting a detailed picture in our imaginations with three words in place of the stock photograph our minds would have recalled had she left us with that single red word ... tomato.

I am inspired and motivated by anything creative ... as I wrote about in a recent blog titled Inspiration. But words have a distinctive way of capturing my affections and tucking themselves into my soul like songs that braid lyrics and melodies with memories ... flooding my heart with all the life and emotion of specific moments, no matter how many years have passed since they were lived.

Maybe it's because all of creation was initiated by Words: "And God said...".
Maybe it's because God left his heart, his history and his future for us through his Words breathed into the authors of the Bible.
Maybe my heart is inexplicably pulled to that form of expression because it was spoken into my unique DNA as my creator knit me in my mother's womb.
And maybe, just maybe, it's due to the comprehensiveness of the letter "D", which is perpetually reserved for that "all of the above" answer on every multiple choice test.

Whether A, B, C or D, it does not matter. Words are woven into the very texture of my soul. They are my gift of expression ... the same way that the sweet scent of jasmine is woven into the delicate, white plumes of the vine that blooms on warm nights and gifts us with its essence of summer.

Every one of us has creativity coursing through our cells, like a river winding down the slopes of a mountainside. We are drawn to that which was spoken into us. It may be covered by time or the pace of life. But just like creation was meant for us to discover, so is your unique gift. If your soul feels desolate or unvisited, brush off the dust to your heart and allow HolySpirit to uncover -- again or for the first time -- that which makes you ... YOU!

become INSPIRED.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Isaiah 44:1-5

1 “But now, listen to me, Jacob my servant,
      Israel my chosen one.
 2 The Lord who made you and helps you says:
   Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant,
      O dear Israel, my chosen one.
 3 For I will pour out water to quench your thirst
      and to irrigate your parched fields.
   And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants,
      and my blessing on your children.
 4 They will thrive like watered grass,
      like willows on a riverbank.
 5 Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the Lord.’
      Others will say, ‘I am a descendant of Jacob.’
   Some will write the Lord’s name on their hands
      and will take the name of Israel as their own.”

These words continue in the chapter that follows the PROMISE that God gave us for 2011. I've been praying for my kids and about my kids, for next steps and for continued Words. I read these words this morning after reading through our promise again and they settled peacefully on my soul. 

We are Israel. He has promised water for this year. And now I will move forward declaring His promise for my children. 

Yes and Amen!