Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Recently I found myself in a place where I realized that I wasn't doing much to further the kingdom of God. I was doing everything "right". Praying, studying my Bible, singing praise and worship songs, and avoiding all the things we are taught to avoid, but what was I really doing?
So I began to pray and ask God to place me where He wanted me. As this was going on, I had just made the decision to go back to school after much prayer. After praying about that, I felt that God was calling me to work with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. That's great God. Wonderful. I can do that. But what about now? What do you want me to do now?
See, there I was again, throwing up my plans. Then, in God's perfect timing, everything fell into place for that to happen now. In fact, the way everything fell into place so perfectly, was in such a way that could only have been orchestrated by God. Actually, I am still amazed by it.
I am blessed to start that volunteer work this week. And all week, that voice has crept up, but every time God's truth has been right behind it.
Will I have time? I start school Monday.
My timing is perfect.
God, I am a mess right now. I don't know if I have the strength to help other people.
I will give you strength.
God, I don't think I can do this.
You can't. But I can.
God, are you sure?
That last word has been popping up in everything today. As I studied my Bible this morning, I saw Go. In the David Platt book I am reading, I saw Go. At church tonight, I read Go.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Then I heard the Lord asking, "Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?" I said, "Here I am. Send me."
And the truth is, I am a complete and absolute broken mess. Right now, I spend much of the day wondering which way is up. I still have my own past I am battling and recovering from along with current storms.
But the Truth is, that I serve a God who is bigger than all of that. I serve a God who can use anyone, from the smallest of people as I have seen through Barrett, to the most broken of people. To doubt that, is to doubt His power.
I would so appreciate any prayers this week. Mostly for the women and children I will encounter. That they won't see me, but that they will see Jesus.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Monday, February 2, 2015
Usually, I do most of my scripture reading at night. It's always been my routine and in the morning I listen to a bit of praise and worship songs with my headphones while the rest of the house sleeps. But I usually don't do much reading and studying in the morning because, well, I like to pack in those few extra minutes of sleep. Terrible reason but I'm being honest. I was selfish with my morning time instead of giving all of it to God too.
The last few days, circumstances have caused my schedule to change and finding the same amount of quiet time at night has proven difficult. So yesterday morning, I opted to rise earlier and give that time to God.
And OH WHAT I HAVE BEEN MISSING. The mornings are so peaceful. The girls were both sleeping (I'd like to paint a picture of two peacefully sleeping children, but let's be real--Audrey was snoring and Cate was sideways in the bed with her feet in Audrey's face--but sweet all the same). Even the dogs opted to remain sleeping. So I sat in the quiet of my home and stared outside at the peaceful quiet that surrounded me and I just listened.
I took a few moments to just be quiet and still. And I couldn't remember the last time I really did that. Between kids, work, school, volunteer work, and errands, etc, I never take the time to just be completely still and quiet. And I rejoiced in the moment with God where, for just a moment, I could just be--free from anxieties, and troubles, expectations, and busy schedules. The world around me seemed to disappear.
Those moments before I opened my Bible or turned on any music are something that I now treasure...the part of my day I will now look forward to. I can't believe how long I've been missing that beautiful, peaceful time with God. Sometimes it's necessary to break that routine and schedule--you never know what you might be missing.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Sunday, January 11, 2015
I need to make a confession. Or two. Or three.
I fail a lot. I let people down.
I confess that I struggle daily.
Most recently, I have struggled with God. They say that there are stages of grief. I agree with that. Though, grief is its own monster, and it doesn't always go in the order that they say it will and it's not guaranteed that you won't revisit some of the stages a hundred times like a song stuck on repeat.
I've had a tight grip on something that I've refused to let go of. I've clenched it tight until my knuckles turned a permanent white. Bitterness.
I want to let it go, because I am exhausted by the amount of energy it requires to carry it with me. But I'm scared to let it go. The bitterness allows me to feel something. And since losing Barrett, I've experienced so many moments of "numbness" that the thought of letting go of any feeling at all is quite terrifying.
This bitterness has roots. These roots are deep in my heart. They started growing the day he died. WHY? A root grew. WHY ME? Then another. WHY MY SON? Another root.
A holiday passes without him. A root grows.
I look around and see how blessed I am. I realize how thankful I am. Shouldn't my thankfulness outweigh the bitterness and make it disappear? Another root. I am bitter because I am bitter.
And over two years, this bitterness has formed a solid system within me. Between Barrett's death and other events that year, I have clung to it because it is familiar. Familiarity is "safe".
I've been wrestling with God over it. God wanting me to surrender it and me clinging to it like a safety net.
But what good has come from me clinging to bitterness? None. I should have been clinging to God.
This is not news to me. I've known all along what I should do. But I'm stubborn and I fought God over it. I ran and hid away with my bitterness. But you can't hide from God and at each turn, He has been working on me.
And so, little by little, root by root, one finger at a time, I'm letting it go. And I'm giving it away. I'm tired of running. Tired of hiding. Tired of clinging to the wrong truth.
Confession number two. Barrett's death rocked my world. It shattered my fairy tale views of the world. His death has forever altered everything about me. How I think. How I feel. My hopes, my dreams, my fears.
Along with that has come severe anxiety. About everything. I hide it well, but it eats away at me. I've wrestled with God over this too. What do I do? How can I ease this and let go?
And you see, God has been giving me an answer all along. But it's been an answer that I didn't want. It is pushing me out of my comfort zone.
I'll discuss this more in a later blog, but I felt an immense relief and weight lifted off of my shoulders when I finally said "Ok God. I will try".
But for now, my point is, I am broken. I am a mess. I make a lot of mistakes along the way.
But my Jesus has been with me every step of the way. I don't know where I would be if not for that truth.
It's ok to be broken. It's ok to be a mess. Just lay it down.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
My Dearest Baby Boy,
I love you so much. I have learned to live here and now in the present, but there is that piece of me that will always be with you. Christmas is hard. Instead of picking out flowers or a Christmas decoration for your grave, I should be wrapping hot wheels and dump trucks alongside Barbie dolls and Minnie Mouse. I long to see you chasing Audrey with your baby sister and fighting over who gets to sit in Momma's lap. Christmas is so exciting with your sisters, but at the same time, it is incredibly hard without you. I wish there was a grief blueprint to follow, but there isn't. To say it is at times confusing would be an understatement. Sometimes I don't know what I feel, but it feels good to just "feel". I love you. I miss you. I want you here. Merry Christmas Baby boy.
Thank you to a new dear friend for sharing this video: