Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Right Side of the Bed

Rejoice always, pray constantly, 
give thanks in everything...
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Does it have to say "always, 
constantly and in everything?"
I would more prefer: "whenever possible, 
whenever there is something you can
be grateful for, when you wake up on
the right side of the bed."
Because then, I could justify this
attitude I am struggling with this morning.
He doesn’t ask for us to give thanks
for His sake, but rather for our own.
It’s our umbrella of protection.
Some days I feel perfectly justified in
an off attitude. And maybe I am.
But God knows how we are made.
Our attitudes affect us at a cellular level
because our bodies respond more to 
our thoughts than our “reality."
That’s why the Bible warns us, 
“As we think in our hearts, so we are."

So, no matter what. Always.
Constantly. In everything.
When we're anxious or down in the “now"
moments of life, it can go further than it should.
Left unchecked, one thought at a time
can be a dangerous progression.

So this morning, I tell my off-attitude 
that it has run its course.
I narrow my focus to now
and turn to prayer and giving thanks.
There is an infinite amount of grace for now.
Whatever side of bed I get out of, 
it is the right side.
“Your ears will hear sweet words behind you:
Go this way. There is your path. Whether you
'get up on the right or on the left.’"

His mercy, grace, love, and goodness
are on both sides of wherever I am at--
and for that, I can be constantly thankful.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Letting Go...Again

There is a right time for everything on the earth:
...A right time to hold on and another to let go.
Ecclesiastes 3
One thing I know for certain: I am not the one
who determines the right time for everything.
God doesn't check in with me to see if
I think summer should come to an end.
Or if the time is right to let go.
Seasons come and go in the blink of an eye.

I wince when I think about how I thought
I would hold onto my children forever.
Those days when diapers, and feedings, and
picking up toys went on...well, seemingly forever.
The days crawled and the years raced,
and, suddenly, forever changed.
And I'm having to let go instead of hold on.

Letting go can be about our hurts and pains,
but more often it's about people we love.
It's not a "goodbye" kind of letting go;
it's more a "godspeed" kind of letting go.
It is a trust in God to carry safely 
those we have in some way been carrying.
It's having the courage to turn forward,
knowing there is more ahead for us to be and do.
Letting go is a godspeed for ourselves as well--
 a trust in God to carry us safely forward.
"For I plan to give you the future you hope for."
He comes with a new plan for us to take hold of.
"Be alert, be present. 
I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?"

My eyes might shed a few tears as I let go, again,
 but my hands are open and my heart expectant.
Whatever season we're in, He plans to give us hope.
Our thoughts align with His goodness,
and trust He knows the "right time" 
for every season of our lives.
To everything there is a season...

Monday, May 11, 2015

As Your Days

And as your days, 
so shall your strength, 
your rest and security, be.
~Deuteronomy 33:25
I love that this verse links
strength, rest and security.
It takes greater strength to remain 
at rest in the midst of turmoil
than it does to give in to it.
To be led by the Spirit
is to look away from every 
distraction that is a lie
and look into the face of Truth.
It is a deep selah breath 
when panic wants to set in,
or doubt or insecurity or fear.
As your days shall be your strength.
It is strength for every single day--
the peaks and valley days,
the days drudgery seems insurmountable
and the days tasks are many and hours few.
It is strength when we feel sufficient in our own soul
and it is strength when overcome with frailty.

This never ending supply of strength can
look different than what we have thought.
Sometimes it looks like weakness.
But if we will allow the Holy Spirit to teach us,
we can peek behind the door of weakness 
and find His power at work soldering together
strength, rest and security.
He is forming a weapon 
that no foe can withstand.
When these three are one, 
it looks a lot like peace.

Friday, May 8, 2015

His Anchor...My Hope

He holds out this hope to us as 
the utterly reliable anchor for our souls.
Hebrews 6:19
An anchor is such a powerful metaphor.
When the sun is shining and the sea is calm,
the anchor is not actively holding.
The ship may feel an occasional tug,
but the calm seas keep the ship in place. 
Two things keep the anchor a necessity:
the drifting that comes with gentle breezes
and small choppy waves,
and the storm that arises without warning.
The Word of God, Jesus Himself--my hope,
is this "utterly reliable anchor for my soul."
Some days I barely feel the tug keeping me still.
Other days I know that without this anchor 
I would be a'wandering.
And then there are the days I know that
I would not make it through the next moment.
This anchor of hope is my lifeline every day.
Everyday I get to grasp the hope He holds out to me.
Whether the sun is shining, winds are rushing, or
rains are pounding from every direction, 
I have this anchor of hope for my soul,
fixed in certainty, Christ Himself.
By His mercy and grace,
I will stand still in His strength to face
the challenges and tests of everyday.
His anchor will hold me. 
He is utterly reliable.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Rest of Stillness

"Just as dew never falls on a stormy night,
the dew of His presence and grace
never covers a restless soul."
A.B. Simpson

Truth is so expansive.
Although we know truth at certain levels,
we constantly find we need to know it more.
Rest is one of those truths.
I keep needing to know it more deeply.

The rest in God is the Selah in the midst of life.
The Selah, the pause, is sometimes
more powerful than life itself.
It is the center of the fastest moving
wheel where there is no movement at all.

If I can't quiet myself to hear His voice,
if I don't gain any new revelation--
then I have nothing new to make a demand upon.
I have nothing which goes beyond
my ability and strength.

But new revelation brings 
greater responsibility of stewardship and 
greater understanding of our own weakness.
It requires that Christ be formed in us anew.
It requires us to “be still that we might
know He is God." 
His voice of wisdom, comfort, and
tenderness gives strength to our soul.
He wants to give us something which
goes beyond our own ability.
Oh that I would become stiller even now
that I might hear.

"The dew of His presence and grace
covers a soul that has found its rest in Him."

Friday, May 1, 2015

In the Tension

Tension.  We live so much life in it.
Smack dab in the tension between:
who I am and who I want to be
planning the future and living the present
my doing and my being
bound by my past and hope for my future
taking responsibility and trusting process.
Living in the paradox.

Although the word “tension” can be negative,
the concept of tension is very positive.
Turning up the tension on an elliptical allows us
to work harder and increase strength.
Adjusting the tension on the guitar string
produces a better sound.
Suspension bridges depend on tension for stability.
Tension is a state of being stretched,
helping us to grow, become strong, and be stable.
Evidence of maturity comes when we 
are finally at peace with the tension,
knowing we don’t have to decide between.

It’s not about the either/or choice.
But neither is it just about holding two
seemingly opposite things at once.
It’s about holding both and see one.
I can't have weak days and strong days.
I used to think that way and hated the "weak days."
But...in my weakness, I find my (His) strength.
I'm beginning to embrace both.

His abundant grace comes to help us all
embrace the tension, welcome the stretching,
and find His peace.
He finds paradox perfectly logical.
He is helping me align my thoughts 
to be more like His.