Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Every Woman

I look into the mirror and the reflection I see is 'every woman'. Every woman who has ever felt as though she is stuck in the middle. The middle of raising her children, the middle of her marriage, the middle of life.

I have been married for 16 years and a mother for 13. The beginning seems so far away and the end seems...well, it seems light years from here.  I lead a blessed life; no tragedies of death or divorce or affairs, no major psychological problems beyond the usual spaciness of trying to keep everything running when calendars and schedules cause an allergic reaction. My problems are run of the mill. An ordinary woman leading an ordinary life. Nothing to cause me to stand out from a crowd. Nothing that would catch people's attention. Nothing that would make people stop and listen. The ordinary life of every woman.

Yet not so ordinary because of Who I live for. This is what I need to remember when the 'ordinaries' take over. You see, I believe that God does use tragedies but we don't have to experience tragedies to be used and this is the message I want every woman to hear. I want every woman to hear this long and loud and let it sink deep in the heart soul. God uses people. Even the ordinary 'every woman'.

I want to be the voice of 'every woman' crying aloud that the ordinaries matter. The ordinaries are what weave life together. That life can be full with an ordinary life, that we don't have to go to hell and back in order to live life full and free and abundant. Ordinary every woman...God loves you and cares and plans abundance for you.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Lately the feeling of never quite measuring up is overtaking my heart and mind. I feel like that scrap of material the fabric stores calls 'the ends', which is a polite way of saying there isn't enough material left for any sort of project. That's me, never quite measuring up!

These are the thoughts that scatter through my brain: 'I don't spend enough time with the kids, my default response is impatience, I can't seem to fully engage and enjoy the children, I do the bare minimum in the kitchen, I would rather relax and create than clean and scrub, which creates a cluttery home.

But whose standards are these? In reality I am comparing myself to a mom I admire for having boundless energy and always smiling and enjoying her children. I compare myself to another mom who has it all together in the household department or the wife who does such a fantastic job of loving her husband or the mom who imparts such spiritual wisdom into her kids.

My problem, I see, is that my perception on another woman's life has a greater influence on my perspective that God's word. 

And I hear God say, 'ah, ha! now you're starting to see clearly!'

Psalm 139:13-14 states: 'For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

If I look at myself through the eyes of the Lord, I see that I am his wonderful workmanship, but when I reject  myself and focus only on the negatives, I reject him. Who am I, the created telling the creator that he made me wrong? What pride on my part.

Thank God for grace. His grace. Only His grace. Yes, he made me and yes, I am a sinner redeemed by the blood of his grace. Grace that washes away my sin and makes me whole and covers all areas of my life. 

God's word must have a greater influence on my perception that anything else. Anything else can be twisted and turned into a lie which twists and turns my mind into a pretzel! 

God's word and him alone.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Musings

Monday Musings....rambles through the tangled files of my brain.....

.....marriage is hard, but oh so worth it.

.....meeting my children's needs, to develop them according to their bents and strengths is something I strive for and often fail at.

....feeling the need to be a deliberate goal setter so I don't go marching round the same bend again and again and again...

....tried out a natural homemade facial peel made of unflavored gelatin and milk: the verdict is still out...

....thinking of school starting and savoring the fewer demands on my time...

....wondering if the feeling of always being just on the edge of the 'inner circle' ever goes away

....wondering why that matters

...wishing for a retreat....a vanish from society for a while

....thinking hard about worship and what that means and looks like in a church setting not want people to equate God's presence with the quality of our music and type of music because where two or three are gathered he is in the midst. His presence is not dependent on music.

....wondering if we focus too much on the 'externals' of worship ie: music, song choice, instruments, tastes of music and fail to remember that it isn't about the music, but the state of our hearts before a holy God

....pondering justice and mercy meeting at the cross

....God is just: he requires a perfect sacrifice. he is perfect so he became the sacrifice

....God is merciful---not giving me what I deserve--death, separation, damnation--but because he is just and merciful--too seemingly incompatible ideas and fused them into one action--his death on the cross so I could be free to live in harmony, togetherness, unity, fellowship, with him.

....Oh how he loves.....

....rather smooth skin from my 'facial peel' and peel it certainly was...wowza!! ? of a messy, messy kitchen....

....thinking of friendships and wondering how to navigate my children through friendships

...aching over hurt child's feelings and wanting to step in and protect them, but knowing, knowing that this is really a God-given opportunity for teaching

...ready (I think) to take that leap into God's unknown and trust him to make the way firm

...always it comes back to this: surrender and trust.

Monday's Musings--quite the tangled ramble of all that is swirling and twirling in the noggin

Over and out.....

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hosea 14:9

Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.

Boy, when I read this, I think 'Whew, I sure am glad I am not rebellious, I would hate to stumble in God's ways.'  Hmmm....right there, I think I have a problem. Does this sound like pride to anyone?

As I ponder this verse and let the words swirl around in my head and heart I see that when my heart is right, God's way is easy to walk in, but when my heart is rebellious, God's ways are difficult to accept and I do find myself stumbling over and through them.










All of these and more have been my stumbling blocks to walking freely in God's ways. When my heart is filled with anything other than the righteousness of Christ, I will stumble and fall. This I know. But what about the other side of the subject? What about all that Christ says I am in him? 




Sung over





Can my refusal to listen to this side of God's heart for me cause me to stumble in His ways? Yes, it can. 
When I refuse to see myself the way God sees me, I am rebelling against him just as I rebel when I withhold forgiveness for an offense. 

Why is it easier to see all of my failings and I am more than ready and willing to bring them to the cross to find forgiveness, but it is harder, much harder for me to believe and embrace all that God sees in me. 

Accepting his love and goodness just because he loves me because he made me, can be a stumbling block for me to trip over. I will skim those verses that speak of my preciousness to God and apply them to someone elses life, but not my own. Isn't this a form of rebellion as well? Is it no wonder I stumble when my heart is filled with denial towards the depth of God's love for me?

To reach out and accept the fact that I am chosen and accepted and approved is not a form of pride. It is accepting truth. The truth of how God sees me. Maybe if I place this template of truth over my heart I will begin to see my little idiosyncrasies through his eyes and rather than self-condemning myself for all my flaws, lift them one at a time to him and ask him....'What would you like to do with this, Father?'

It is in this act of surrender...acceptance that I will walk freely in his freedom. Because as 2 Corinthians 5:21 says: 'He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.' I am clothed in his righteousness. I wear his robe of righteousness and when I wear this robe he sees me as:








his own.

Maybe I  need to look not into the mirror that hangs in my bathroom, but I need to look into the mirror of his love and embrace all he sees. 

 Then I will walk in his words freely, without stumbling, but with victory.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My obedience or disobedience affects not only my relationship with God, but it also affects the body of Christ because I am part of a body. I am part of something bigger than myself. I am a part of a whole picture of which I can only see a tiny little corner. I do not stand alone, but I often act like I am.

When I don't listen to the small whisper that urges, 'Hug this one,' or 'Write this one', or 'read this little one a story', my disobedience is not simply between me and my Jesus, but it affects the one whom I was urged to touch and love.

This life of following Christ is not an isolated one. I am the means by which he touches hearts and lives. When I fail to respond to His urgings, His love and blessings that He longs to flow through me to others is stopped.

I paraphrase Psalm 119:57-60:

He is my portion!
I promise to obey your words. 
I seek Your face with all my heart.
He is gracious to me according to his promise.
I think about my ways and turn my ways to what you command. 
I will be quick to obey and not delay.

So, 'God is my portion'--he is all I need. I don't need the approval of others, I don't need success, I don't need (gasp!) a purpose, for he is my approval, he is my success, he is my purpose. 

'I will obey your words'---his words, his heart: my words, my heart. the only way this is at all possible is by reading and knowing and meditating on His words. His words. Not mine. 

'I seek Him with all my heart'. Where is my heart? This is why I must guard my heart because if I let down my guard....then I begin to seek approval, success, and purpose. 

'He is gracious to me'....this one is hard for me. It is hard to accept those gifts freely given with no strings attached.  But truth it is...He is gracious to me, thank-you Jesus! 

'I am mindful of my ways'---what am I thinking? Where am I going? And then if I have gotten off course, then it's time to get right back to it. 

'I will be quick to obey and not delay'. Hmm....this one, have I? Do I ? No, sometimes I like to excuse away my reasons for delaying to obey, but really, delayed obedience is disobedience. Ouch. That one hurts.

So all this wrapped up in a tidy little bow? I pray that I will obey without delay. And in order to do this, I will pray Psalm 119:134 which states: 'Redeem me from the oppression of men, that I may obey your precepts.' 

Free me from the expectations of other people so that my heart and focus can be solely on you!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

This native little flower to the place I call home is a gem, hidden from view unless you look close and it's time of glory is oh so brief. 

It reminds me to think that as my God 
cares for 
clothes the hills 
spoke into being
He must care for me, whom he 
breathed life into. 

I am.... 
Filled with the very breath of God. 

This drops me to my knees and I look down and as my eyes fall onto this exquisite little bloom, 
his truth fills and swells and I cannot help but say...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hiding Places

‘You are my hiding place, you will protect me from trouble, you surround me with songs of deliverance’. Psalm 32 :7

What does hiding in Jesus look like?

I think of hiding places as being calm and still and secret, but how does this work in my everyday life? How do I tuck myself into Jesus while at the same time reaching out and ministering to my family? Practically speaking I cannot literally hide. There are too many things that require my attention and time. So what does hiding in Jesus look like?

It must, it needs to be a spiritual act. We live on two planes. What our spirits are engaged in and what our physical selves are doing. And the mind, will, and emotions are the tie between the two.

It requires our spirit to be engaged with what our soul is thinking and feeling. What are the thoughts running through our minds? The verses in 2 Cor. 10: 3-5 instruct us to take every thought captive and brought under the authority of Jesus.

Could being captive, really be another way of saying that I am hidden in Christ? And those renegade thoughts that take me out of the hiding place are really my enemies to disrupt the peace of God?

What we think about has so much power. So living in awareness of where our thoughts take us is one key to staying hidden in Christ. Wake up! Be aware! Think on Christ. Think about his love and promises. Put into practice Galatians and the fruit of the spirit. Live aware.

Hiding places bring to mind small, dark, narrow places, but really, what if, by just changing our mindset of what hiding places are, we find the spacious place of rest in Jesus?

He is light and in him there is no darkness. So, imagine his hiding place as being filled with the most wonderful, warm light and everywhere else is darkness. Where would you rather be? In the light. The world outside of the light is dark and scary and hard to find the way. That place, the darkness, is just a step away from the light. One step and I can be plunged into the darkness. One step and I find the light of his hiding place.

I think most of my battles are in the mind. This is where I fight everyday. It is good to remember that I live two lives. The one I see and feel and experience with my physical body and the other, the hidden life. The life hidden in Christ. Of course, the two lives must mesh and merge, but so often my body may or may not be doing what my heart and my spirit is directing. Or, I may be going through the motions and my spirit is really struggling to believe the good in what I am doing.

‘You are my hiding place, you protect me from trouble, you surround me with songs of deliverance’. What comfort this verse provides. I am protected from trouble in that hiding place. My anxious heart is soothed by songs of deliverance. The question arises—am I hiding in him and are my ears open to hearing him? What am I placing before my eyes to see and ears to hear? Am I filling my mind with great and good and godly things and thoughts?