Soaking in the Ocean

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail

And there I find You in the mystery

In oceans deep

My faith will stand

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

Hillsong United- Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

 

 

I am soaking in this song.  I love the imagery it contains.  I understand the feeling conveyed as Christ calls us out upon the waters.  It’s so many things- wild amazement mixed with unhindered trust and supernatural hope.  I must relinquish all that I know about keeping my feet on solid ground.

 

It’s a moment of exceptional invitation.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need coaxing and unfortunately, some days I refuse.  But this time, I’ve taken his hand and followed his lead.  I am standing together, with Christ, in a place that defies natural limitations.  I don’t quite know how we got out here in the ocean anyway.  One moment he’s talking to me on the shore and the next moment we’re in the middle of something really deep.  It’s frighteningly glorious!

 

When I picture this I see the dark of night creeping in, I feel the splash of waves against my body and I’m lead only by the light in his eyes.  It takes everything inside me to deny the infringement of external elements and focus solely on Jesus.

 

But it is fun—he is wild joy and I am free.

 

I want to know him like that.  I want to trust without borders, directed only by the sound of his voice.  Everyday Jesus offers this opportunity.  Each decision either brings me to the water or keeps me on dry land.  I want him to take me deeper than I could wander.  My heart is desperate for him.  He shows me how to dance upon the water; it’s this place where many would say (and sometimes I’ve told myself) I don’t belong.

 

My faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

 

Jesus- Would you make me strong enough to run out onto the waters with you, no reservations, just free to be where you are calling me?

 

 

Just Another Ordinary Rainy Day?

It’s Friday, July 20th, we’re in the middle of summer. Maybe it is just another ordinary day. Is there ever an ordinary day? Not this one; this day is anything BUT ordinary. Today’s forecast included rain, the threat of flash floods and temps only reaching the mid 70’s. Quite a contrast from the 100+ scorchers we had earlier this week. Creation screams out, “Extraordinary day!”
Within the chambers of my heart beats a quiet whisper of revitalizing truth. These 24 hours exist only once; there is nothing ordinary about this moment. I long to capture each minute and steal it away, maintaining the treasure of summer’s simplicity, longing to carry it forward into the next season. I know the impossibility of this; I can’t catch time. Like a ripe melon, it must be enjoyed now. Should I try to keep the fruits of summer tucked away in my closet, they would spoil in the weeks to come. Life is now, beauty is now, summer’s sweetness dripping sticky down the chin is now. Each drop must be savored, rolled around the tongue, tingling all the way down. Don’t drop even one, don’t waste one; you’ll never get it back. Living, breathing, fragrant moments must be enjoyed as they happen–now, not later.
Last night I saw a car commercial, the tag line said, “Summer’s when you realize the journey IS the destination.” How apropos! I’ve been soaking in this truth for 24 hours and can’t get enough. The marinade has penetrated me, tenderizing tough sinews within. The greater truth is this, Life is best lived when you realize the journey is the destination. Today is my destination. There is no-where to go, no place I need to be, nothing matters outside this day. This journey, this adventure, this path is my destination. Such knowledge frees me to simply be all this moment requires. Delight fills my senses; tomorrow doesn’t matter right now.
Jesus loves me, he wants me to live right now. I’ll spend my journey embracing this current destination, as he embraces me.

Pressing Forward And Letting Go!

I’ve been silent for several weeks.  It’s not that I haven’t thought about writing, there was almost too much to say and no place to start.  It’s been intense, I’m sure you know what that’s like.  There are many areas in my life right now where I’m being challenged to let go of what lies behind.  I was thinking about that very thing this morning when I set out on a “run”.  I use the word “run” very loosely.  I’m not training for any physical race, I really don’t even enjoy running that much, but it’s the quickest way I know to get where I want to go.  There is a wooded path along a nearby creek that’s my absolute favorite place to go “hang out with God”.  It’s quiet there, so beautiful, serene, and safe.  It’s seemingly worlds away from my normal life- the problem solving, planning and doing that takes up much of my days.    This morning was absolutely breathtaking, perfect conditions for a run!  I was asking God to give me a fresh perspective and to renew my heart.  Right before I dashed out the door I looked up the verses that were darting through my mind.  Philippians 3:7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection andthe fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.  12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  It was the reference point I needed as I began to run.  This run for me was not about physical conditioning, it was more about “running the race”.  It was about training- my mind, my heart, my attitude.  I don’t particularly like letting go.  I love change and new adventures, but I want to keep the setting of my life the same.  As much as I love change, I also love routine.  I was really focusing in on verse 12…pressing on, wanting to embrace the new things God has for me, for our family but at the same time feeling reluctant about letting go.  I needed help with that part.  As I thought about the cost of  “whatever things were gain to me, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ”, a deeper realization and understanding filled me.  I embrace, believe, and declare that my one focus (over-riding all I do) is to know Jesus more and more and to be found in him.  So then, no matter what he has asked of me, when I obey, (and in this case lay it down) I “know” him in a new way.  I am found “in him” in greater dimensions.  When I let go of “me”, I get more of “him”.  I want to “lay hold of that for which I was laid hold of by Christ”; each day is a new adventure and a new place to live this out.

So now I need to focus on the part about “letting go of what lies behind”.  I can see the fruit of what God’s been doing and what I’ve allowed him to accomplish within me.  I’m not saying that I’m “there yet”, but I’m encouraged by what I see.  There are also areas where there isn’t a great harvest of fruit and some of those places are undoubtedly the ones that he is getting ready to go after, or places that he is going after right now.  If I want to get to the place of “harvest” in the future (largely defined by what I’m allowing God to sow right now), then I have to let go of the past season- fruit, weeds and all!  I must choose to reach forward for what lies ahead.  It’s a choice, and it’s entirely mine to make.  The next season probably won’t look anything like the previous one, but that’s the beauty of God.  The splendor and wonder of His love, His creation, and His life is displayed in many ways- one no more significant than another.  Am I sad when one season ends?  Sure!  Just as summer changes to fall in the natural, leaving behind bare feet, swimming, warm days; there are things that I will miss and long for in the months to come.  I’m thankful though, that there are other good things in store for this next season, things that I haven’t experienced for awhile!

I have peace in the letting go- I know that God is sheltering me in his wings, Jesus is walking with me, and the Holy Spirit is leading me in the paths to take.  I am truly excited about what’s in store over the next few months.  I think I’m ready.  I get that not everyone will understand and some will even question me.  I don’t like that part, but it happens.  It’s not my job to justify, but to simply hear his voice and follow him.  I will continue running, strengthening myself and engaging in the “race”.  God will continue to coach me, encouraging and pushing me beyond my natural expectations and ability.  My eyes are on the prize- I’m reaching!

Encouraging Myself in the Lord!

We’ve got a lot of catching up to do!  The beginning of last week was amazing; so much good stuff happening- seemingly everywhere I turned, all the way through Thursday night.  Friday, on the other hand, was a completely different story.  Several small things arose that morning, pretty much as soon as my feet hit the floor.  It was not the atmosphere I wanted to be in.  Maybe part of it was that Friday was another cloudy/rainy day…it’s beginning to feel a bit like Noah around here, maybe it was the fact that the challenges required a lot of personal thought and the ability to sort through the facts without getting entirely coated in emotion.   The reason wasn’t really significant, but the deciding factor on how things went was my perspective- my focus.  Whatever I choose to believe (negatively or positively) about a situation ALWAYS affects it’s outcome.   By choosing a negative perspective I limit God and his ability to work things out for my good.  I choose to remind myself of this often, because it’s typically easier to be negative – that’s how the world works.  I don’t ever want to put God in a box and limit him, so I have to choose to lean in and believe his words, his promises, his truth over every situation.   Scripture says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28.  Do I love him?  YES!  Have I been called according to his purpose?  YES!  So is he working all things for good in my life?  YES!  This is the conversation that ensued in my spirit Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday.  It wasn’t enough to press in and believe on Friday, circumstances didn’t change; the atmosphere generally remained the same.  Saturday had it’s own challenges and called forth in me the necessity to stand on TRUTH and declare in FAITH that everything was still working out for good in my life.   The same thing was true about Sunday.  I’m not saying that everything was bad, there were a lot of wonderful moments: we spent time with good friends, watched the kids play soccer and football, Dan and I had great conversation.  There were lots of things worth celebrating and enjoying to the fullest, and we did just that!  It’s the little moments of frustration that steal my joy most often and rob my eyes from clear vision…those moments can carry over into everything else unless I choose to stop them.   Reflecting on this weekend finds me celebrating the momentary victories, seemingly insignificant on their own that completely changed the atmosphere when stacked together.  Did I get it right every time?  Nope, I’ll be completely honest about that, but I see progress and I’ll rejoice in it!  I love receiving (and giving) encouragement!  There is nothing more amazing than an aptly spoken word from heaven.  It has the ability to lift and lighten like nothing else!  However, that doesn’t always happen- so I must encourage myself in the Lord!  Jesus is living, active and present inside of me, ”Christ in me, the hope of glory, “ Colossians 1:27.  Christ is in me, the hope of glory is in me…and that fills me with glorious hope!  This hope (Christ) does not change when my circumstances change; he is constant, unwavering and I have set myself to live in it, in him, everyday!  Yes it is a challenge at times to deny my flesh and emotional responses; but when I step into the presence of God (by stepping out of my circumstances) and I allow him to fill me despite all else- that’s true freedom, true victory, true life.  So friends, regardless of your circumstances, there is a greater hope, glory, and victory that awaits – you might have to fight for it, but it’s beyond worth it!

Hello world!

So who doesn’t write a blog?  I’ve thought about doing this a zillion times, wanting to write simply for the sake of expressing my heart, but for each time I’ve thought about doing it there have been a zillion reasons not to.  Well, this morning I find myself with absolutely “nothing” to do.  There isn’t anything pressing- laundry baskets aren’t overflowing, floor isn’t littered with crumbs and grass clippings, dishes aren’t piled in the sink, so it’s seemingly the perfect morning to pen my first blog.

Welcome to my world.

There’s so much to say that I really don’t know where to start.  For now I’ll start exactly where I’m at, with the intention of moving backwards someday to tell you about all the things I’ve thought to share and never have.  If you know me, then you’ll know that God is it for me- the love of Jesus over my life still takes my breath away and the shepherding of the Holy Spirit brings life to my heart.  This morning I find myself resting in that love, wanting to dwell in it so completely that all I do and every breath I take comes out of the center of HIS love.   When I rest in the promises of God and His declarations over me (found throughout the Bible and His whispers to my heart) I find that regardless of my surroundings, I am lifted above my circumstances in every way.  Today  I choose to stop being so multi-task oriented so that I may choose a singleness of mind…that I would be fixed upon Him.  I can’t wait to see what happens today; what God does with that!  I’ll keep you posted 🙂

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