In The Shadows

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We have this ache inside us, a longing for more. More love, more success, more recognition, less sin, less failure, . There’s this very American idea that our goal in life should be to be number one in the spotlight, that we deserve to be adored, that we are a special bright star in a dark night of losers. But this is not the case, we are average, normal people. Lord have mercy on my soul, for I am a sinner. I have to watch the people around me be effected negatively and hurt because of my own sin. I have to see how I fail them as they grow disappointed in me. I have to repent. I have to be reminded that regardless of how badly I want to succeed, I still fail. Daily, I can’t be enough. I learn to be content in the shadows. I learn to be quiet when others grow bored of hearing me speak. I am the least of these.

Yet, Christ calls us to persevere. It would be so much easier to quit and accept our worthlessness and weaknesses as final.

“Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.” (Romans 12:11-16 ESV)

That’s how grace works. It takes the weakest, the last, the ones who know they need to be saved and it connects them with the holy One who can do all things. Who can create hope and love out of nothing because He created the earth out of nothing. The one who never changes, never fails, always perseveres. Our God does not change, and that is a blessing and a comfort.

When we turn our eyes to Him, only then can we see, can we hope.

4th Of July Celebrations

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The other day, I was imagining the perfect 4th of July; missing the simplicity of the fireworks  on the farm with iced tea, BBQ, lawn chairs, and friends.  So many friends.  I didn’t want to celebrate in the city where I wouldn’t see people I knew.  There aren’t enough bouncy houses and huge fireworks displays to replace what I missed.  Before I knew it, I got an email from a friend inviting me to her home for a 4th of July party.  With friends, lots of new friends.  Where children can run wild and we all bring our $50 worth of fireworks to share.

God is good. He answers my prayers.  He showers me with blessings.

Priceless: The Real Pretty Woman Story

“The story follows James Stevenson (Joel Smallbone of for KING & COUNTRY), a man of extremes, who gets thrown into the dark world of human trafficking. Can the love, strength, and faith of a woman redefine his past and change the course of his future? This unlikely hero must risk it all to shut down the trafficking ring and save the girl he’s falling in love with.” quoted from youtube site

and for those who want the whole song

Sex trafficking is effecting our family in ways I never thought it would. I think about it every time I let my daughter out of my site, I think about it when we go shopping together, I have no idea how to let her be a teenager without fears crowding my mind. The only thing to do is trust. Trust God in a world full of horrors, that He is working all things for good and NO MATTER WHAT, He is good.

Home In The Darkness

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“In the beginning it is usual to feel nothing but a kind of darkness about your mind…You will seem to know nothing and to feel nothing except a naked intent toward God in the depth of your being…You will feel frustrated, for your mind will be unable to grasp him, and your heart will not relish the delight of his love. But learn to be at home in this darkness. Return to it as often as you can, letting your spirit cry out to him whom you love.” ~Teresa of Calcutta

Sometimes I wonder if I’m crazy, but then I read the words of other crazies and it lets me know I’m not alone.

Patience Is The Willingness To Suffer

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“Patience is the willingness to suffer” ~Ann Voskamp

I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough when it comes to dieting. I often ran into the problem where I would eat well all day long, but then 9 pm, 10 pm, midnight, 3 am….late nights would hit and I would be hungry. I didn’t know what to do with my hunger and I was tired and frustrated that I couldn’t sleep. Hunger wakes me up in the middle of the night if I don’t appease him, he calls to me, wanting to be my master. And not wanting to be “uncomfortable”; I would eat, forever a slave to my bodies demands.

Lately, I’ve realized suffering isn’t bad. Suffering is what forges us into the holy people Christ calls us to be. Suffering is one of the strongest ways to express love to Christ. Someone who doesn’t love you can give you gifts, they can be nice to you, they can say charming words that tickle your ears; but only one who really loves you; suffers for you. We are most convinced of God’s love when we understand how He sent Jesus to the cross to suffer on our behalf. Christ didn’t refuse to suffer for us.

“Pick up your cross and follow Jesus”….pick up your suffering and hand it to Him as an offering of love. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” Romans 12:1

It’s impossible to outlove Jesus, no matter how many gifts I give Him, He continually blesses me.

Either way, eating or not eating, there will be suffering. The consequences of an unhealthy body are huge, both socially and physically. We get to choose who/what we are willing to suffer for.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galations 5:22

I heard that there is a reason self-control is at the end of the fruits of the spirits list.
We need to know deeply and regularly we are loved by Christ so we will have strength
Joy is our strength
Peace means our motivations are correctly aligned
Kindness….should write an entire blog post on how teaching my daughter to eat well has taught me to be kinder to myself.
Faithfulness ~how can we go anywhere good if we are not abiding in Him
Gentleness ~
Self-Control

What Is Self-Discipline (Ligonier Ministries)

Creativity Is Like Love

creativity is like love

I never get my best ideas while staring at a computer screen, usually a spark is created by something I read or an event in my life. But most often my ideas come in the middle of a walk or while I’m driving. They slowly grow, and if I’m still thinking about something three days later, I know I should write about it. I consider a good writing or painting idea a gift from God. I can create situations (like being alone) that will grow creativity, but I can’t force it; I have to wait for it to come to me, and when it does, I run to a blank page and begin. Letting His grace gifts flow through me to others.

How funny, that Kristin compares creativity to love. How freeing and simple. We can create an environment in our marriages for love to grow, but we can’t force it to happen. We can’t make anyone do exactly what we want and then get mad when it doesn’t happen. The force of expectation smothers the very flame we desire to grow. If we want our marriages to grow, we need to let them be free, so lots of air can get to the sparks. Then when the feelings come, have the courage to act and share them with our husbands. Letting his grace gifts flow through us.

I ran again on Saturday, it was easier than the first time. It made me feel wonderful, like I was doing something for myself, like a spa visit or a massage. But Saturday afternoon, my foot bothered me and I limped around, so took Sunday off and will take today off also. This is going to be slow, and I think this is a minor injury caused by a shoe I wore on Thursday…not by running, my feet are incredibly picky, they only like three brands of shoes and whenever I try to switch it up, they punish me for it. I think I’ll be running again soon, just need to rest it. Thank goodness the swimming pools are open now, will be swimming for now.

DaY 1, of the rest of my LiFe

My horse's feet are as swift as rolling
Woohoo!! Went running tonight, after reading 1 1/2 books on running, finally got out there. Went one mile; run two blocks, walk two blocks. My lungs burned, my shoulders felt tight, and it rained on me….enough that my awesome husband drove out to see if I wanted a ride home. Wet dog and all, but I was close enough to finish.

It was awful, I can’t wait to do it again. I’m so thankful my injured foot is better.

Awake, awake, Zion,
clothe yourself with strength!
Put on your garments of splendor,
Jerusalem, the holy city.
The uncircumcised and defiled
will not enter you again.
2 Shake off your dust;
rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck,
Daughter Zion, now a captive.
Isaiah 52:1-2