October 14, 2016

Golden Hour

It's that golden hour of the late afternoon where the warm, glistening, fourteen carat sunlight comes streaming through the windows to dance upon my kitchen table and my dirty hardwood floors.

I love this time of day, especially in the fall, when the sun hits the leaves just right on the trees behind our home and they sparkle and shine like tiny jewels... green, yellow, red and orange.

It's been a full productive day of cooking and cleaning and paying bills and planning out our calendar. Of writing and reading and reflecting and running. Of mothering babes and loving on friends and choosing to be present but not to be perfect.

For now though, it's time to slow down, to be still, to put away the papers and the lists and to clear my kitchen table office. To rest from work.

Beef stew simmers on the stove, and french press warms in my mug, and the house is so wonderfully quiet.

I'm breathing in...

And breathing out...

Savoring the golden hour and welcoming the weekend to the gentle rhythm of grace.


October 9, 2016

Weekend Words: Loving and Trusting

Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with
all your soul and with all your mind." 
Matthew 22:37

I've been reflecting on this verse a lot here lately, not as much in terms of loving God, but in terms of trusting him. For the most part, I think I have the love part down. Jesus is everything to me. He's written himself on my heart and etched himself deep there in the sweetest and most intimate ways over the years I've walked with him. I love him with every ounce of my being but I know that I still have lots of growing to do, lots of releasing to do, when it comes to trusting him, and I want that growth. I want it with all my heart.

I heard someone question recently that maybe we love God with all our hearts, souls and minds but do we trust him with all our hearts, souls and minds? 

Because aren't the two one in the same? Don't we trust deeply someone whom we love deeply? And those who are worthy of our deepest love, aren't they also worthy of our deepest trust? 

Though we may have been hurt by those we've loved and those wounds have broken our trust, God himself is perfect love, divine love, and his heart for us is beyond anything we could ever experience in this world in the form of human love. He will never leave us or abandon us or forsake us. He loved us first before we ever even knew or loved him, and he loves us now and forever and for all eternity.

"The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: 
"I have loved you with an everlasting love; 
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness."
Jeremiah 31:3

I want to return that love, to love him in all the ways that he loves me, but I also want to trust him just the same. To trust him with all my heart and all my soul and all my mind. To let go of the many things I cling to and to rest in his goodness and faithfulness, his guiding, leading and sovereign hand over my life. To cling to the vine of his heart for me and yet at the same time, to let go and free fall in trust, letting him catch me and care for me because he is able. 

He is able to take care of me. 

He is taking care of me. 

He is more than worthy of my trust.

Loving and trusting... 

Those are the words I'm resting in this weekend.

"Every facet of your life belongs to the Lord because you belong to him. 
You are his possession, so relax and rest in him."
Graham Cooke


August 24, 2016

A Life of Faith : Revisited

I sat around the living room with my children this morning lazily enjoying one of our last slow summer mornings before school starts next week.  We marveled at what an interesting year it's been thus far, surreal even, and honestly, quite hard for so many reasons.  We talked about the sheer mystery of walking with God, how we never quite know what's around the bend, what He may have in store, but that we always know it will be for our good.  Somehow.  Someway.  And we always, always know that He is good, inherently good, and we can trust Him completely. 

My thoughts went back to this post that I wrote in October of 2012.  Though so much has changed and transpired in our journey since then, one thing still remains.  And that is our great desire to know and love more deeply than ever the One who calls us to go.  And all these years later, to go even still.  

I hope these words will be an encouragement to you as you too walk in the mystery of His ever-loving ways.  He is so faithful, so good and true, and more than worthy of our trust and faith.

My son pulled out our old photo albums this morning during breakfast.  Amongst scattered dishes, scrambled eggs, and lunches being packed, we looked through pictures of years gone past and laughed at photos of a little boy being silly and a little girl dressing up like a princess.  We played the game of remember when and we marveled at all the years have held for our family.

After the dishes were cleared, the last lunch was packed, and my children were off to school, I sat in our very quiet house and thumbed through the albums by myself.  I smiled.  I laughed.  I cried a few tears.  And as I opened an album from ten years ago, I read a quote I had written on the very first page...

"Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led.  
But, it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading.  
It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason... 
a life of knowing Him who calls us to go." 
~ Oswald Chambers

Ten years ago, God called our family to go.  What that really meant at the time was a mystery to us, but we knew we were being led and more than anything, we wanted to love and know more deeply the One who was leading us, so we went.

In the time since, our journey has been full of twists and turns, highs and lows, and in looking back, I'm amazed and in awe of all we've experienced.  We moved three times in three years and they were big moves, not just-around-the-corner moves.  Our children have been in seven different schools in ten years time.  We left a company, started a company, lost that company, and started with a new company.  We've said good-bye to many friends, made some new ones, and lost a few as well.  We've had financial issues to work through, marital struggles to heal from, and we've known more heartache, betrayal, and loss than we ever thought we could possibly endure.

We have certainly not lived a journey of understanding and reason.  Far, far from it.  But we have lived a life of faith and we have come to know and love, more deeply than ever, the One... the only One, who called us to go and who calls us even still.

And that has made the journey worth every single moment.

"I will lead the blind by a way they do not know.  In paths they do not know, I will guide them.  I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains.  
These are the things I will do and I will not leave them undone."
 ~ Isaiah 42:16

"I will teach you and guide you in the way you should go.  I will counsel you and watch over you."
~ Psalm 32:8


April 10, 2016

Signs of Life

I'm sharing a post today in honor of "National Siblings Day" and my two precious babes. It's been in my draft box for a while now but funny how its words are still relevant and true all these months later. I hope you enjoy these "Signs of Life"...

I was puttering around the house this morning gathering dirty towels, starting a few loads of laundry, loading dishes in the dishwasher and just generally tidying up, when I peeked inside my kid's rooms and my mouth dropped open wide.


I think it is very safe to say that my children's idea of clean and my idea of clean are two completely different things!

I like a neat and tidy home. It just feels good and right. It doesn't have to be perfect, spotless and sanitized, but if it is picked up and relatively clean our home just feels more peaceful to me. Cozy and comforting. Refreshing and restful.

But these two teens of mine don't necessarily enjoy or understand the benefits of a neat and tidy space. At least, not like I do. And I'm learning to be okay with that. Perfectly okay, in fact.

Though I think it's important to instill in my children the need to value and care for the things they've been blessed with and to teach them basic life skills such as cleaning, I'm not crazy, I know that I know that those aren't the most important things in life. Far, far from it!

So instead of seeing their mess and their ransacked rooms with stuff strung everywhere, I'm learning to see the signs of their sweet, vibrant lives. Every misplaced trinket and gadget, every bit of clothing that lays on the floor longing for its home, and every little pile of treasured junk really just represents a bit of them, who they are now and who they are becoming. One day, they won't live in our house anymore and their rooms will be perfectly clean and orderly, quiet and still, and I will miss the chaos and the mess and most of all, them.

 I will miss them TERRIBLY. 

So I'm learning to embrace the mess, the sweet signs of life, and I'm savoring it all in its own unique and wonderful way. It's actually kind of cute and honestly entertaining how messy their rooms can get. Sometimes I just walk past and peer in and marvel at all their stuff in wonder… What is that for? Where did they get it? What were they up to? What were they thinking? How do they find anything? How do they even move around in here? Is that a sock? 

And from time to time, I even take a few pictures just so I can remember, just for posterity's sake. Because one day, they'll give me a good chuckle and warm my heart and help me remember the signs of their dear and precious lives.

Here and now, but then.

"The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep."

Ruth Hamilton


January 25, 2016

Beauty Beckons

"Let my love enfold you in the radiance of my glory. 
Sit still in the light of my presence, and receive my peace. 
These quiet moments with me transcend time, 
accomplishing far more than you can imagine. 
Bring me the sacrifice of your time, and watch to see how abundantly I bless you."

"Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young

I paused at the window early this morning to gaze at the bright full moon, aware that in a matter of moments it would soon be gone when the sun began its climb.  The world outside was frozen, quiet and still, lit up only by street lamps and the light of the glistening moon.  A snow globe of sorts, it captured me, and I stood there a bit just taking in its magic.

I love how God uses beauty to slow me down and stop me in my tracks, to lift my heart towards Him.  He knows how it speaks to me, how it captures my attention and refreshes me, how it brings me such joy.

And most of the time beauty beckons, I heed its alluring call and its magic works wonders on my soul.  But sometimes I'm just too busy, too distracted, or in far too big of a hurry to notice, and I miss it all together and that makes me sad.

I want to always be captured by beauty, to let it stun and silence me, wash over and refresh me.  God alone, in and of Himself, is beauty and I want to live continuously aware of Him... His movements, His presence, His heart.  I want to live willing to stop whatever I'm doing and simply sit still with Him.  To take in His beauty all around me, to heed his alluring call, whenever and however it may come.

And I think He's probably always calling to me.  I think He's always wanting to catch my eye and draw me in, to linger with me and pour His life into mine.

His beauty beckons, and I don't want to miss a single thing He has for my heart.

I don't want to miss Him.

How has God been wooing you lately? How has he been calling your heart to his? What beauty stirs you? I would love to hear. 


September 27, 2015

Sunday Soul Rest: Silence

"In the silence
You are speaking
In the quiet I can feel the fire
And it's burning, burning deeply
Burning all that it is that you desire to be silent, in me."

"In the Silence" by Jason Upton

It's Sunday morning and after heading to the kitchen for coffee, I'm back under the warm covers of our bed, snuggled in with the quiet and my laptop.  Some thoughts have been stirring in my heart this week on my need for silence, so before I start getting ready for church, before the day really gets off and running, I don't want to miss the chance to put them to paper so to speak.

It's peaceful here in our room, and the only sounds I hear are the birds singing their morning song out my window, and the plane that's passing over our home.  One of the many things I'm learning about myself, is how much my heart needs these still restful moments each day.  

"Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our lives are in danger. Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure. Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our actions quickly become empty gestures. The careful balance between silence and words, withdrawal and involvement, distance and closeness, solitude and community forms the basis of the Christian life and should therefore be the subject of our most personal attention." 

 ~ Henri Nouwen 

Jesus himself withdrew from the crowds, he went to the hills to pray, to be alone with his father, and to hear and receive from him.  And he didn't live in the world we live in today with cell phones and the Internet and the constant bombardment of noise.  If he needed silence and solitude then, how much more we must need it now.

And so I'm making time, time to sit in the stillness without a phone in my hand, the television on, and the computer in front of me.  Time to be alone and just be present in the quiet, to listen for the stirrings in my heart, to pray as God guides and leads me, and to simply linger with him and enjoy his presence.

Five minutes turns to ten, and ten minutes turns to twenty, and I don't want to leave that peaceful, life-giving place.  But the day calls to me and I'm much more able to take it on, to stay calm in the midst of activity and noise, and to hold on to the quiet in my heart because I've made space for silence.

Whether it's in the morning, the afternoon, or even the early evening.  Whether it's once a day, or twice, or even more, I'm choosing with intention to make space for silence and solitude and I love the effect it's having on me.

Try it and see if it blesses and fills you too.  I promise God will show up just as he always does and you'll be refreshed and changed because you've spent time in the silence with him.

"And Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." 
And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm."  
~ Mark 4:39

© be... & keep being. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates made by pipdig