July 27, 2012

I See Heaven

This song by Brian and Katie Torwalt has been playing on repeat in my home, on my iPhone, and in my car and across my mind and heart the last several days.

It's the cry of my heart... that heaven, the very presence and glory of God, would come down and invade this place.

Our home.

Our family.

Everything we have.

Everything we are.

Our very being.

Permeating, infiltrating, seeping and soaking through every last bit.

The hope of Jesus... of healing and heaven.

Nothing can compare.

And really, what could matter more?

I see heaven, invading this place, I see angels, Praising Your Holy Name
And I sing praises, I sing praises, I give You honor, Worthy Jesus

I see Glory, Falling in this place
I see hope restored, healing of all disease
And I sing praises, I sing praises, I give You honor, Worthy Jesus

We give You Praise, and all of the Honor
You are our God, the one we live for
We give You Praise, and all of the Glory God

Let Your Presence fill this place, Let heaven come
Let Your angels be released, Let Heaven come
We will worship at Your feet, Let Heaven come
Face to face we want to meet, Let Heaven come


July 16, 2012

Blogging and Wisdom

My fingers begin to type away as the words roll off my heart.  So much stored there, so much waiting for a voice.  My thoughts go to Mary and how the scripture says, "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19)  And I wonder if maybe it was all too much for her, if she just couldn't take in the many wondrous things God was doing in her life, so she treasured them up for later, for a time when she could leisurely savor and reflect on them.

There have been times in my journey where I haven't written at all.  Not on a blog and not even in my private, personal journal.  The task of recording my heart was just too enormous, too difficult.  I couldn't do it.  Sometimes it was too beautiful for words, other times, more than painful to describe, and many times, the words just wouldn't come.  Often I whispered a prayer, "Jesus, help me remember all I'm feeling, learning and experiencing right now.  Help me to treasure these things in my heart for a different season, another time, when writing doesn't feel so immensely difficult and I'm in a better place."

And now, here I am in a different season and a better place and I'm writing once again.  The words come easy and I'm putting them on the Internet in the form of a blog.   I feel drawn to it and know with confidence that God is in it, but I feel quite ambivalent about it as well.  It feels so naked, so raw, so incredibly vulnerable and I question the wisdom of it.  Does it really make sense to publish my thoughts, the intricacies and intimacies of my soul, on the world wide web for anyone and everyone to read?

There are people I've shared my heart with over the years who have not handled it well.  My confidence has been betrayed time and again.  There are those I wouldn't share my deepest thoughts and feelings with, let alone tell them where we're going on vacation or even what we had for dinner last night.  Yet, here I am, pouring out my heart in a blog for them and the entire world to read if they so desire.  Is it wise?

Words comes to mind and a post begins to take shape, but I stop myself thinking, "I can't write about that on the Internet!"  And I hold back.  I choose not to write or I write about a subject that's safer and less vulnerable and it makes me wonder if my writing is really what it could or should be.  I edit my heart instead of just letting it be which is the very thing God is calling me to... just being.  It's what my blog is all about.

So I'm praying and listening and staying in the questions.  I'm waiting and trusting and knowing God will continue to speak.  I'm not hiding and running.  I haven't hit delete... at least not yet. (smile) I'm still writing and wrestling and somehow, slowly but surely, finding my voice in the whole glorious mess.


July 13, 2012

Being with Jesus: Part Two

My last post was a difficult one.  It wasn't the writing of it that was hard, it was the living out of it that got me.  I wrote the post in the quiet morning hours before my children got up and my day had yet to really begin.  The coffee was hot, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I was enjoying some quiet, reflective time with Jesus.  But once I hit publish and closed my computer, I realized what time it was and my day exploded and the frantic pace of life set in.  I had places to go and people to see and time was running short.

I was leaving my kids at home for a bit while I went to a hair appointment and the grocery store.  I had "hired" them to do a few jobs around the house while I was gone and I needed to go over those with them before I left.  I also really wanted to squeeze in a work out, but there wasn't enough time for that.  And I had hoped to go over my grocery list, thumb through my coupons, and scan the pantry and fridge to see what else we might need, but there wasn't time for that either.  Instead, I raced around the house like a crazy woman, took a quick shower, reminded my children not to fight, to have fun, get their jobs done and eat healthy, all of which I'm sure they didn't appreciate or need to hear, and I left the house in a hurry hoping not to be late for my appointment.

As I drove to the salon, my mind going in a thousand different directions, I thought back on my post and felt false and phony.  Nothing I had written just a few hours before felt true of my day or of me.  My words just seemed pretty and flowery and nice but so completely insincere and impractical that it was almost humorous.  Relaxed?  At rest?  Not needing to come through?  Not needing to be anything more than what I already am?  Enjoying the peaceful presence of Christ?  Really???  I said a little prayer out loud, "Jesus.  Help.  Be here now.  Help me to hang on to all I wrote this morning.  Make it true in my life."

I arrived late for my appointment, sat in the chair and chatted with my stylist while she worked her magic and later, while I sat under the dryer with a head full of foils, I pulled myself away from the latest issue of People magazine to pick up my phone, pull up my post, and read it again.  Another prayer... "Jesus, help me get this back.  Help me stay in this."

Jesus warned us in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy but I have come to bring you life in all its fullness."  I think it's safe to say that any movement towards life, towards freedom and rest, is opposed.  We live in a fallen world, a world of clashing kingdoms.  There is light and there is darkness.  There is heaven and there is hell.  If we want to truly and freely live, if we want life in all its fullness as Christ intended, then we have to live like we have an enemy and we have to fight for the life we prize.  Though Jesus certainly comes and fights for us, we too have to take a stand and use the authority he's given us through his work on the cross.  Freedom doesn't come easy.  It isn't just handed to us.  James 4:7 says, "Humble yourselves before God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you."  He will flee but we must resist and that can sometimes feel immensely difficult.  It's worth all the effort though.  It's very much worth it.

Looking back, I honestly felt opposition most of my day.  There were moments I fought well and hung on to what I had written, to what was true, and there were moments I failed miserably.  So much so, that at the end of the day, I even contemplated deleting the post because it felt terribly inauthentic and authenticity is hugely important to me.  But through the kind and encouraging words of my husband, I realized that though my day had not gone as I had hoped, nor looked a whole lot like my post, I had fought for it.  I didn't throw in the towel.  I had stayed with it and in it and had fought hard.  I had lived well.

As I grow older, I'm discovering there's a real strength and scrappiness to my heart.  Maybe it was there all along but laid deep, buried in wounds and the healing and growth I've come to know has brought it the surface.  Either way, it serves me well and is helping me to continue to be and become all God intends me to be.


July 10, 2012

Being with Jesus: Part One

Today's passage from "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young was just what I needed on this warm, sun drenched summer morning.  Water to my thirsty soul were the beautiful, intimate words that beckoned and invited me to rest.  To let out a huge sigh of relief and quiet the noise in my heart and mind.  To lay down the many thoughts and concerns that threaten to steal my joy and peace.  To be still in the presence of Jesus and enjoy his friendship.

Thank goodness this day is not up to me.  I don't have to hold the world together.  I don't have to have all the right answers.  I don't have to come through.  I don't have to be perfect.  I don't have to be anything more than what I already am.  I can rest.  I can relax.  I can just be.

What wonderful, refreshing and life-giving news...

"Relax in my peaceful presence.  Do not bring performance pressures into our sacred space of communion.  When you are with someone you trust completely, you feel free to be yourself.  This is one of the joys of true friendship.  Though I am Lord of Lords and King and Kings, I also desire to be your intimate Friend.  When you are tense or pretentious in our relationship, I feel hurt.  I know the worst about you, but I also see the best in you.  I long for you to trust me enough to be fully yourself with me.  When you are real with me, I am able to bring out the best in you; the very gifts I have planted in your soul.  Relax, and enjoy our friendship."

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