Archive for September, 2011


Silent Sorrow

Such deep sorrow
strangely paired with relief
an end to the madness
somewhat hard to believe.
My heart knows not yet
what it’s meant to now feel
still trying to grasp
as it all seems surreal.
How does all that is so
fade so quickly away?
Finding tragic demise,
destroyed in a day.
Choices we choose
have a lasting affect
creating great joy
or leave ugly, a wreck.
Tragedy triumphed
trailed by despair
Heaven’s hands needed
grant Thy tender care.
Both are heartbroken
trust torn into shreds
hatred and heartache
spun in sorrowful webs.
All is now ended
stacks of paperwork signed
one’s pockets more empty
the other’s now lined.
Only God’s loving grace
can bring good from the pain
restore wholeness once more
so each may trust once again.

Known

Known are the sparrows
and clothed are the trees
all of creation is counted
and known unto Thee.
From the hairs on each head
to the hurts in each heart
nothing unnoticed
each detail, His art.
Intimate knowledge
lovingly known
tenderly tended
gently we’re grown.
Nothing within us
can challenge His care
there is not one so broken
that’s beyond His repair.
All can be done
by He who resides
in hearts that invite Him
to come dwell inside.
His love, it empowers
His strength will sustain
His arms to embrace us
He removes all our stains.
He takes all the weary,
the brokenness too
He loves back to life
and again makes us new.

Light that Lasts

Light is a lovely thing.  It illuminates the darkest of spaces and warms where the dark attempts to cover with cold.  There are times that what appears to be a safe source of light, is actually a dangerous destination.  Wisdom and discernment are often necessary to know the difference.
 
As I was seated and reading the eleventh chapter of Luke, my heart held onto verse thirty-five – “See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.”  Huh?  Light is good.  Darkness is bad.  As these thoughts wandered through my mind,  two crane flies that sought refuge in my home kept flying toward the dining room light above me.  I was quite oblivious to their presence until I heard the frantic sounds of their flapping wings buzzing before the bulb.  These creatures both flew into the light casing, attempting to climb closer to the source.  Unbeknownst to them, they could not withstand the heat and met their untimely demise.  What appeared to be beautiful and good, actually ended their lives, as they did not have the wisdom to recognize the danger at that distance.
 
Though there are many things that are permissible, not all are beneficial.  I need to listen to that still small voice within, and follow that which is spoken to my heart.  Much of what is out there seems good and lovely, yet upon closer investigation, it really is not.  Often, if I am close enough to see it, I also am close enough to get caught up in that which is not in my best interest.  I need wisdom and willingness to follow His direction to avoid the darkness disguised as light. 
 
I want the light that is within me to be His, so that it may shine bright before all who come near; that each may know of His loving kindness that is always extended and available to all who come to Him. 

Living Legacy

For riches and wealth
I have not to leave
yet passion and promise
to hope I do cleave.
There is only One
who has perfect past
His love is unending
it will always last.
What do I model?
What do I sow?
What will I have offered,
when it’s my time to go?
The legacy I long for
is one that’s in love
to hear from my Father
“my daughter, well done.”
Here on my own
that could never be
for I am broken and weary
I need His eyes to see.
To seek Him and find Him
and run in this race
to trust and obey Him
to follow His pace.
His love is perfect
and great is His grace
He loves me and knows me
here in this space.
So how can I offer
all that He gives?
I can love others well
for my heart, it is His.

Open House, Open Heart

Tonight is Open House.  It is an event that I anticipate with anxiousness, yet always enjoy as it actually arrives.  Meeting the parents and grandparents of my students is always a treasure as it provides further insight as to who my kiddos are, and where they come from.  It supplies a sense of the tone found in their space, and often unlocks opportunity to understand what helps individual students the most.
 
I must admit, I feel a bit panicked with all the preparation that needs to be done  prior to this evening’s events.  Sort syllabus, prepare materials for the day’s lessons, teach, meet my own boys at their bus this afternoon, pick up the sitter, make a meal, and then spend the evening smiling until my face hurts as I attempt to remember all of the loved ones of my students that I will have the pleasure to meet.
 
As always, the need for my Savior is so evident.  I need His presence to provide peace to my panic and His grace to grant order to my thoughts as I run this race of a day.  Regardless of what does or does not get done, He is still good, and I am still His.  What matters most is that I continue to be open for my Maker to meet me in each moment.  His grace, His goodness, and His love provide the peace that is needed to persist in this fully packed day, and to allow the adults of my students to know that my heart is to help their kids well.

Touch of Trust

One of the many transforming tales of trust told in the New Testament is of the woman who had been subject to bleeding for many years.  Among the masses, she somehow knew that if only she could touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, she would be healed.  I imagine she perhaps hoped she might go unnoticed, as being a bleeder would have made her unacceptable, unclean, and likely unworthy of touch in the eyes of others.  Desperation must have driven her to reach for the Divine.  She managed to reach the hem of His robe, and as she touched it, she was instantly healed. 

The part she likely did not anticipate was the response Jesus had.  When she was healed, He felt the power go out of Him.  He asked who had touched Him.  The disciples made light of it as they were in the midst of the masses, yet Jesus insisted that there had been a touch that was intentional.  “Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at His feet.  In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed.” – Luke 8:47  Rather than a reaction of anger, He responded in an acknowledgement of her great faith.  Not only did He heal her physical body, but He publicly recognized and rewarded her remarkable trust.

One touch and a life was transformed forever.  What began as a leap of faith and a trial of trust, resulted in acknowledgement and acceptance from the Almighty Himself. 

I need to remember that my Savior recognizes and rewards my steps of faith, no matter how insignificant they may seem to others.  His faithfulness again and again teaches me to trust Him more.  He moves mountains on my behalf and makes way where there seems to be no way.  Often it is merely making the move to outstretch my arms, or take a step in an uncertain direction that opens the opportunity for Jesus to again teach me to trust Him with my whole heart.

Faithful Forgiveness

As a woman wept in regret for her wrongdoings at the feet of Jesus, soaking His sandals with her sorrow and then wiping them clean with her hair, she then poured out precious perfume on His feet and He lovingly looked on and accepted her humble offering.  In return, Jesus extended forgiveness and His glorious grace and granted her access to His forever family.  One who entered as an accused outcast, left knowing she was lavishly loved by the Lord and accepted unconditionally. (see Luke 7:37 & 38)

What a powerful recognition of both a woman’s sin, and her way to be forgiven.  She knew the magnitude of her mess, yet felt the forgiveness and favor that Jesus was willing and wanting to give.  Her acts of humility and faith were recognized as she was redeemed.  She who had been forgiven much, was empowered to love all the more. 

I am a sinful soul, saved by surrender to my Savior.  His presence provides safety so that I may confess to and commune with Christ.  He speaks softly to my soul and restores me to right relationship with Him each time I earnestly ask.  He does not grow weary of my weakness.  He waits lovingly for me to draw near.  His grace is always sufficient, no matter what I have or have not done.  What an incredible treasure I find in the faithfulness of He who forever forgives my faults and always chooses to love me  well.

Mirroring My Maker

The good man brings good things out of the goods stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” – Luke 6:45 

My words, thoughts and deeds are a reflection of what resides in my soul. 

If my desire is to mirror my Deliverer, then I must fix my eyes, mind and heart on Him.  This is not an automatic action.  I have to choose again and again to focus all of my attention on Him as I seek Him and study His word.  It is only as I actively ask for His wisdom and grace, and allow Him to teach me to trust Truth, that any good may be gleaned from me.  As I learn more and more of who He is and grant Him access to each avenue of my heart, His loving kindness restores the sickly spaces that tend to spew out sinful stuff.  I am able to reflect my Redeemer when I seek His heart and allow Him access to all.  When my words, thoughts or deeds are a blessing, it is out of the overflow of what has been bestowed upon me by my Beloved.

Hardened humanity harms the hearts of the hurting.   Walls wield wounds.  His loving kindness and amazing grace grant tenderness to those who trust Him.  I am drawn to those who willingly allow their tender hearts to be seen.  For in that place of vulnerability, the kindness of Christ is most readily recognized.  Though transparency takes trust, it is only in truly trusting Him that lives are touched and my Maker is mirrored.

My prayer is that He would continue to teach me to trust so that good may be what flows from me.  My hope is that His heart will be heard in all that I do and say.

Tending the Temple

Training has been a way of life for me for as long as I can recall.  My passion for athletic endeavors began in third grade and has only intensified over time.  At least that was the case until two years ago…  Life’s circumstance took the wind out of my sails and left me to drift in a sea of nothingness, clinging desperately to the only One who could keep me afloat.  Though study and prayer have been staples throughout my life, they have never been so prominent as it has over these past few years.  My physical training was reduced to wandering and an occasional hike or swim, whereas my spiritual training hit an all-time intensity.  The space I was in, required it, just to survive.
 
Fortunately, God is so faithful to me.  He saved me from the wreckage I had become and picked me up and began to restore all that had been stripped away.  In the process, He reawakened a part of me I thought was all but gone.  The exterior of the temple had been neglected, yet the interior has gone through some intense remodeling.  My faith has been stretched and challenged as never before, yet in hindsight, I can see the incredible faithfulness of my heavenly Father, as well as how far He has moved me from my mess.  Though I will not “arrive” at some state of perfection, I know that He has brought me far and will continue to be faithful to complete what He has begun, until the day that I meet Him face to face.
 
It is now time to tend to the exterior too.  I again have discovered that I am feeling up to the challenge to train my physical body back to fierce form.  My soul is stable, so now onto strengthening my shell.  As I attempt to return to running, I must give myself grace to ease back in.  Balance in all things is needed so that my eyes are not averted from what truly matters most.  I anticipate the day when the distance is no longer daunting, and my lungs no longer burn for hours after I am done.  My hope is that my temple is a pleasing space to He who resides within.  Strength in structure and secure in my spirit, I intend to tend His temple well.  I am so grateful for a sound mind that has the capacity to study, and a sturdy shell that will withstand physical challenge as I push it back to a state of strength.
 
No more will I cower in the corner, rather I will stand and embrace the road ahead.  “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7  I was not made to be fearful nor did He create me to avoid a challenge.  He intends for me to love and be loved, and to be self-disciplined in all areas of my life.  My ultimate challenge is to walk boldly in His power, love and self-discipline, as I continue to travel this road of further discovering the depths of His deity.

Hope in Him

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.” – Psalm 130:5  As I wait on God, hope is found in the promises of His word.

When I quiet my heart and make still my soul before Him, His presence is provided and peace is found.  As I spend time in His word and seek His face, I am reminded that my hope is in He alone.  My hope is not dependent on how quickly He answers, rather it is supplied as I pursue His promises and trust that they are true for me, regardless of my circumstance.  Hope is not about the waiting and wanting of worldly things, rather it is in knowing that I will one day see His face and spend forever in His eternal presence.

Waiting is not my favorite thing to do, as I have grown so accustomed to the rapid-paced world in which I reside.  If I am hungry, I can drive up, order, and have my meal in moments.  If I am thirsty, I need only go so far as the sink and fill my cup.  If I need to communicate with someone I can text, email, call or Skype at the touch of a few buttons.  If I need supplies, I can drive to a store in a matter of minutes and find and purchase whatever I wish.  This instant gratifications creates an expectation for God to operate the same way.  Though I may speak to Him through thinking thoughts or saying a spoken prayer, my mind and heart are called to trust that His answer comes in His timing, not my own.  I may think I know what I want or need, but He alone knows best and responds accordingly.  Often it is in the waiting that I find my heart is held and His presence has provided the hope that I was in search of all along.  As I study His word, His character calms my core and reminds me again of the remarkable ways of my Redeemer.

God is still God and I am not.  I must relinquish the reigns and have faith that He can work every situation for the good of those who love Him.  Release of my stubborn self-sufficiency gives way to the strength of my Savior’s great love for me and His willingness to lead and guide me to His very best for me.  Sometimes it is in the waiting that the greatest gifts are given.  He grants glimpses of His glory that is yet to come.  In this, He strengthens and equips my heart to hold onto my hope in eternity, as I surrender my timeline to Him.

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