Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Jealous Kind

I wish you weren’t so out of my grasp. 

But you bless me with a taste here… a peek there… and I see you, or what I perceive is You, for a moment.  A slight, beautiful oh too quick moment.

We all long to be filled with that chest clenching, heart wrenching feeling.  An overwhelming over-filling of You, love for You, love from You.  We seek that day in and day out.  We forget the Source.  We try to imitate it. 

It’s not in my coffee cup.

It’s not in my marriage.

It’s not in the sunrise.

Where are You, Oh God!  I ache for knowing you better… but I can rest here knowing someday I will know You forever. 

Until then, forgive me Father… because I cheat daily.  I seek my own desires.  I complain because I don’t have the attention I want.  I worship… but it’s not You.  And inside my soul, I break a little.  And I get mad.

These momentary pleasures.  Faux love.  Imitation joy.  Saturating my skin with dirt.  And I scrub and scrub and jump back in the mud.

Yet, you are faithful.  Why?

When the thing I seek in all the wrong places comes perfectly from You.  But I don’t recognize it.  It’s too pure.  Too clean.  Too much.  I’m always ready to settle for less.  And then whine about it.

Let my spirit sleep.

Let my mind be sharpened against your will.

Let my heart know.

Let my body sense Your presence.

Because I need it. Desperately.  Second by second. I am too weak.  I am too blind.  I need you to help me see You.

I wish there were a song that were enough to express.

Words are empty before You and are dry coming off my tongue.

I have nothing to bring You, my Savior… but my willingness to be completely Yours.  Even that is irrepressibly flawed.

But it’s what you ask of me.  Such a small thing. God, help me bring this small thing to you every chance there is.

Because I have tasted.  I have seen a glimpse.  And just a crumb of Your love is enough to fill me.

Oh fill me with You! That there is room for nothing else!

Friday, November 16, 2012

In the Morning

Father, your beauty is all I see this morning.  I desire to desire you.  I just want to want you because I know that all that you offer is more than any small pleasure here.  In my selfish pursuits, I feel how lacking in satisfaction everything is.  But just a taste of you…. Oh, and I just want more.

And it’s endless and soul-filling. It’s body-filling and heart-mending.  My eyes are satisfied in you.  My feet want to dance for you.  In you I feel complete acceptance and love.  No insecurity or worry or loss or fear. 

Why do I look anywhere else?  Abba, why do I stray from your arms to look for temporary, selfish, inadequate arms?  When I KNOW with all of who I am that YOU are more than enough… so much more than enough.

And you forgive me.  And you keep your arms open.  And you chase me down when I stray too far.  And you don’t hold it against me. When I’m without words, when my heart loves other things, when I turn away from your arms, when I ignore your Spirit in my soul, you still love me unchangingly.

How can any of this be true? How can I know it so well?  How can I believe it with all my being?  …and still wander… still sin… still tune out your voice. 

I love you, my good Father… My gracious Savior.  My Rescuer.  My Everything. 

I am never proven wrong to trust you.  I am never let down by your grace and mercy. 

And I know I can’t fabricate this love.  I cannot even make myself come before you.  

I can’t let go of myself to grab hold of You.  I am powerless.  Without breath or blood of my own.  You draw me.  You pull me.  You stop me.  You sing me awake from my self-induced sin-filled slumber. 

I do nothing good on my own.

I don’t even seek to do good on my own.

It is all you, Lord.  And I praise you and thank you for that.  That I am under your protection.  Your control.  Your goodness sustains me alone.  I am dirt until You.  I am bones until You. 

On this moment, I sit and praise you.  Only in this one.  This moment you have given me.  You have brought me once again to your feet.  That I am beckoned by the King is such an honor, unimaginably so. 

I am blessed beyond measure.  And I praise you with all that I am able.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Sometimes I think I have something worth saying.

Sometimes I think I should say it aloud.

Sometimes I think I should write it.

Most of the time, I don’t.

Bear with me a moment… 

Because I miss my big brother.

And I want to tell anyone who supports missionaries that they need to give their money and let go of expectations.  Trust God.  It is hard living up to other people’s expectations when you really shouldn’t.  Allow them to be accountable only to God, just as you are.

I want my husband to be home.  I want him to have a good time in America.  But I want him to want to come back.

I’m ok with people coming and going.  I will still invest in you if you or I are leaving tomorrow. 

I am intrigued by being a minority.  I want to embrace things that are good for community, but I don’t want to fall into the same paranoid behavior that tends to come with the territory.

Trust is a difficult thing to grasp… and hold on to.

I am confident of a few specific things that God wants us to do here.  On the surface, none are astounding… None are world changing…  And if we do them right, we will fly right under the radar of the world and just deeply touch a few people.

I struggle daily with the dumbest temptations and sins.  And the littlest compromise of good causes me to slide ever gradually into foolish thoughts.  So don’t judge me for being a hard ass over convictions, what is wrong and right.  I don’t mess around with the grey area anymore if I can help it.

God help me, I am so self-centered.

I love art.  I wish I wasn’t so afraid of creating it.

As much as I really want to believe the opposite, I know I haven’t change all that much.  Except in maybe realizing that I really really really need God for every single aspect of my life.

Even as I wonder in what ways I am messing up my kids, I know that God will work it out and that I probably won’t even know what I did wrong until they are 25 years old and laughing about it.

Praise God for His sovereignty … even as I fumble here.

I’m not nearly as conflicted as I used to be about energy, time, and usefulness.

Related thought: I do think life gets better with age and I’m ok with the trade-off of not looking or feeling young.

No matter how illogical it is, I am just so much more cheerful on a sunny day.

I miss Phoenix.

But I love Kitale.

People are pretty much the same no matter where you go.  That is, in terms of humanity, the need to be loved and the brokenness that screams for a Savior.

I want what God wants of me/for me/for Him…. But some days I just want to lie down and sleep or zone out.  Not because I’m depressed, but because I’m truly tired or in pain. 

I don’t mind offending people with questions if it means it makes the conversation more honest (and interesting). 

My life is inundated with bread.

I don't have a best friend.  I don't want a best friend.  Jesus is enough.

I used to make fun of Dan for having commitment issues (aside from our marriage and the army).  But I've come to discover I have the same if not worse issues.

I don't mind moving.  Often.  Like once a year.  And now that we've done it internationally, I can't see why we wouldn't go anywhere.

I super dig how God guides us... specifically me.  That I can trust that and wait on it... and wait for it.

Sometimes I think rules are dumb - like literary rules.  For example, a composition should have a main point, flawless segues, and a conclusion.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Prepositional Fragments

I think I feel normal enough to feel distracted and abnormal.

  I suppose I need to clarify that.  Moving across the world is dramatic, I guess.  And being thrown into a foreign culture where I didn’t even know how to buy food and couldn’t talk in the language – yeah, that’s a little trying at times.  And what it requires is just sticking it out.  Just keep going.  Take a day at a time, staying humble and patient.  Trusting God and living on steam.  Something about being here is that finding a rhythm is pretty darn difficult.  Schedules are a ridiculous concept (which is so OK by me!).  Things that I was accustomed to taking for granted (… always having drinking water, electricity, internet, working doors, lights, outlets, cars, dependable repairmen, availability of petrol, propane, milk, eggs… etc.) are not reliable on any given day.  But really, it’s not as bad as all that sounds.  Humans are very adaptable. 

Sometimes I catch myself asking the Whys.  But I have a go-to answer for that: because God wants glory, He deserves it.  It’s all for Him.  And, yes, that means I often don’t understand what’s going on. Lol!

Sometimes I just get crabby, tired, and sore and I start deflecting. It generally doesn’t take me too long to realize the problem is in me.  And then I tuck my proud tail between my legs, take a shower, and hesitantly throw my selfishness at God’s feet.  I never regret this and soon enough I am weeping in repentance and thankfulness.  God is so good and patient with me.

Sometimes, I am just weary.  I can’t seem to remember why I would ever want to spend all day in the kitchen baking.  I don’t feel like reading.  I definitely don’t want to go to town or socialize.  I avoid teaching my kids… honestly, I try to avoid my kids altogether!  These are the best days for social interactions (even though I will adamantly deny it) and Dan knows this and will suggest I talk to my sis or mom or call up a chum here.  I say “I don’t wanna!” and pout. But being what we are and who were are here, someone inevitably (and gratefully!) will show up for some reason or another and it does me loads of good.  I actually love this.  I love unexpected guests.  I want everyone here to know that our home is always open to them.  And that, apparently, I need it J

There is a question I’ve never been good at answering.  “What have you been up to?” Cue blank stare and a shrug.  Um…. I don’t know.  Perhaps I’m living too much in the moment or I have some short term memory issues.  Either way, it’s frustrating.  Because I know that I have been having days – full of time and doing things.  I’ve always had this problem, however, even in the States.

But more frustrating lately (and perhaps so because it is asked of me more frequently here) is the question “Is there anything I can pray for you?” I fight off the shrug, but the blank stare is still there.  My mind is racing, searching thoroughly for the answer to the previous question (what have you been up to?) because perhaps there is a clue in there that would help me answer this question.  Surely there MUST be something I want prayed for!  ….. Crickets…..

Because I know I need prayer.  And I know that I want prayer.  But the specifics elude me. 

Guidance – a must!  And this is my fall back prayer request.  Not that it is to be taken for granted or of lesser value.  I just know that I need it – constantly.  Minute by minute.  Best prayer for me.

Honestly, there are things that I could list that I want.  But before I even verbalize them I realize that more than any of those things, I just want what God wants.  So I don’t want to pray for my ideas, but His. 

A growing joy in the Lord.  

                                                      To be excited about Him.  

                   To love His Word more than anything. 

 To hear the Spirit speak.  

                                                                                                                  To love as He loves.

   To know what to speak to whom and when.  

                           To preach the Word by how I live. 

 To value obedience and fear God.  

                    To drown daily in His goodness. 

                                  To walk away from meaningless talk. 

Maybe I should keep these on a piece of paper and whip them out when someone asks me ;)

Maybe I should stop trying to answer with circumstantial temporary issues. 

Maybe I should just pray that God lay on people’s hearts exactly what I need prayed for. 

Afterall, I love praying for specific prayer requests… But I love even more when God out of the blue puts someone on my heart and tells me what to pray for them.  That way He gets even more glory.  And I’m amazed by His personal involvement in our lives.  The small things that He shows up in. 

To Him. Through Him. By Him. With Him. Near Him.  For Him. 

My God is a prepositional God.  Let’s serve, love, obey, share Him in prepositional fragments.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers Day

I hate Mothers Day. 

I will tell you why. First of all, I love my mom.  I know so many wonderful mothers.  I think they do a great job with what God has given them.  But let’s not skip over that last part: God has given mothers their job.  I’m a stickler for the big picture, what matters most, what it really boils down to, and most importantly what God says in His Word. 

No, God doesn’t ever mention Mothers Day in the bible. Lol.

But what He does mention is Himself.  And that is pretty much the bulk of the bible.  About God.  What He has done, is doing, will do.  How amazing He is.  How He calls people.  How He s sovereign.  It’s about Him, through and through.  The holidays/festival He set up were about Him or pointed to Him in some fashion.  He never fails to remind us over and over how He is in control and He is good and He is the one who deserves glory.  And how NOTHING ELSE deserves the attention that He deserves.

And that’s it.  I hate Mothers Day because people stop at mom.  For years this has made me uncomfortable, and I couldn’t identify why exactly.  The day was almost always disappointing even if I had low expectations.  I was thrown into this position of trying to convince myself that I deserved some sort of recognition or special treatment.  People all around patting me on the back, giving accolades for a job well done – Really??

A job well done?

I don’t know about everyone else, but I know that on a regular basis I screw up this job pretty well.  I happen to know that I actually DON’T deserve a pat on the back.  I love my kids, I do my best, and I honestly seek good for them.  But the fact that I’ve kept this job is beyond me.  Why would God look down and determine that I deserve this responsibility?  I mean, it’s HUGE.  God knows I lack in so many ways.  It is by His unfathomable mercies that I am even allowed to raise, nurture, and love my boys. I should have been fired years ago!

So I must redirect this day towards Him.  I really  must.  As much as we can say that we planned these kids, we know we actually had no control over the conception of these lives.  That was God in His goodness allowing me to sign up for a job that I had no skill to do well.  But He saw.  He knew that by allowing me to be a mother, by giving me my kids to raise, I would become a better kid to Him.  I would understand His love a little better.  I would marvel at His patience knowing how quickly my own would be exhausted.  I would seek Him when I finally realized how little control I have over these young lives. 

Today is a day I can turn to God and fall at His feet and wonder at His goodness and His mercy.   

Today is NOT about me.  

It’s not about moms.  

It’s about Him. 

Let’s not ever forget that.