Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Weekend Light Snapshots

Playing around with my camera  a lot this weekend and captured what our life looks like every (mostly) Saturday morning.   Note the absence of Ethan.  He chooses to sleep, and we let him.

 william brings coffee and bagels...every saturday...so sweet, my man


 one amazing gift from God.

 shiloh loves it when no one hangs their stuff up

 gia and the ski goggles...with her brother in the beautiful light

 my daughter, an amazing grace and light 

charlie and christian love reading together

 finally awake and headed out the door for some basketball

 flowers in winter...

ethan snaps this...i love my mac.  i do.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Anchor Me

It is a good thing that this week started out full of sunshine because it's been a stormy week.  Throughout the storms, there have been rays brightly shining through, yet my heart has been heavy as I wrestle in prayer and slog through the grey.

I would say the overall theme is that we need Jesus in this world.  I need Jesus every moment of the day.  From my sweet toddler who declared to the nurse at the doctor's office "I don't want to be nice!  I want to be mean!" to my dad's overnight hospital stay to marriage struggles abounding in the body of Christ and junk rising up in my own marriage, it is evident that our only hope and confidence in this world is found in the One who sacrificed EVERYTHING to give us abundant life.


When I place my confidence and hope in how my kids are performing, how good they are and when I place the responsibility for my joy on my husband or my job, then my emotions roll along in a sea of calm (yay, I'm happy!)...then rollicking and scary (wow, I'm overwhelmed, how do I do this?)...then peaceful (oh, so nice)...then not-so-peaceful and uncertain (I thought we were doing great...aren't we? Yikes, we've got issues!), well, it's exhausting.  Even the good things become exhausting, draining, sapping the life right out of me.  It is time to lay down self and those wishy-washy emotions and pick up all of Jesus.

Jesus LOVES me.  He LOVES the body of Christ.  He is Healer, Redeemer, Living Water, Bread of Life.  Our Anchor and Lifeline.

Hebrews 6:18-20
...This was so that by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled to Him for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before us.  Now we have this hope as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul -- it cannot slip or break down under whoever steps out upon it -- a hope that reaches farther and enters into the very certainty of the Presence within the veil, where Jesus has entered in for us, a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

The Message puts it like this:

God can't break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.






Father, may this day -- regardless of circumstances good or bad -- be one of those days in which I fix my eyes upon You.  You are so good and holy, so full of mercy and grace and truth.  You are our Helper and our Friend.  You have made us beautiful in your sight.   Bless all of the ones struggling this week with eyes to see that you are the Anchor for our souls, our certain hope.  Give us strength and strong encouragement.  You tell us in Isaiah "And the effect of righteousness shall be peace [internal and external], and the result of righteousness, quietness and confident trust for ever."  I receive it and claim it!  In Jesus' name, Amen


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sunshine in February

So loved, loved, loved Super Bowl Sunday.  Sunshine and warmth broke through in February (wow) and we soaked it up.  Literally.  I had a black sweater on and could barely bring myself to go inside and get my house ready for Super Bowl company, what with all that heat on my back, a smile of delight on my girl's face, the dog chasing her ball.  The boys were playing basketball after the Super Bowl with their cousins...in short sleeves.  It's on days like this that I know God is delightfully dumping sunshine and warmth on me, knowing that sometimes I need to feel it with every ounce of my being.

 

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Need More Jesus


Adoption can definitely be a lonely path.  Not so this weekend at Created For Care in Atlanta, where I -- along with over 400 other adoptive moms -- landed for a time of refreshment, encouragement and cheer.  Actually, the thing I liked most, the thing that I found most refreshing, was spending time with my friend Deb.   Coming in a close second was waking up in the morning to silence, slowly stretching myself awake, glancing at the clock and rolling back over.  Beautiful.  Priceless.  They should make one of those credit card commercials about that.

I walked away with one thing: I need more Jesus.

During a session completely anointed by the Holy Spirit, amidst all of these women worshiping our Abba Father, I knew each person in the room was embraced by Grace, drowning in the sea of God's love, in awe as we watched the screen flash pictures of family after family.   Diverse families from all over, all testimonies of how God brings beauty out of the ashes of our world and ourselves.  I was really in a state of awe.  This was refreshment for my soul.  This was shouting out the character of God...which I sometimes question.  His compassion, mercy and grace and kindness, the things that make up His perfect character, were ALL OVER those pictures, filling my heart with JOY.

The speakers were real and transparent people, dealing with the often hard realities of adoption and speaking practical wisdom.  They told us about their trials, mistakes.  In short, it wasn't pretty.  Yet it was beautiful.   Overall, it was about this:

Abide in Jesus and let Him do the rest.  Do what HE wants you to do, not what YOU want to do or the adoption community wants you to do or your feelings want you to do.  Be under His discretion.   Do not forge ahead without Him.  The speaker was talking to a room full of doers, risk-takers...and controllers.  Sometimes we don't need to do anything but pray....wait...sit at the feet of Jesus...rest...and play kitchen with our little girls.

More Jesus, less me.   






Monday, January 16, 2012

Love

God's love.  He pulled me away from my plans yesterday and tugged me down a path of worship.  Carving out unexpected time, He sat me down, put some Band-aids on my heart and led me into love.


As I delve deeper into experiencing the love of God, I read with a heart wide open, ready to drink it all up.  Today I am thankful for the wonderful writings of Brennan Manning and the beautiful voice of Kim Walker and Katie and Ann Voskamp....people who know and practically experience the love of Christ and freely share the grit and glory of life with a gazillion people around the world.  I, for one, am spurred on to fall in love with Jesus.  What does Jesus think about me, anyway?

Matthew 10:29-31...i am important, He notices me, He knows the very number of hairs on my head!, fear not


32...He acknowledges me before my Father in heaven, because we are in a state of oneness, abiding with one another


Ephesians 1:2... I live in grace( God's unmerited favor ) and spiritual peace (peace with God and harmony, unity and undisturbedness) through Jesus


4...He actually picked me out for Himself as His own in Christ before the foundation of the world, that I should be holy and blameless in His sight, even beyond reproach!, before Him  in love.

5...He planned in love for me to be adopted as His own child through Jesus!  Why?  Because it 
pleased Him and was His kind intent!!!

6...He freely bestows grace on me in the Beloved...because He loves me


7....I have redemption through His blood, have been forgiven of my offenses, shortcomings and trespasses, in accordance with the riches and generosity of His gracious favor which He lavishes upon me...wow.

13...I have been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit


All of Ephesians 2 shouts of LOVE.  He made me alive when I was dead in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us.  He is my peace.

12  In Jesus I dare to have the boldness, courage and confidence of free access to God, the unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear.  (Manning calls it chutzpah...in the best way.)

3:17  He desires that I be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, that I may have the power and be strong enough to grasp the experience of that kind of love, the breadth and length and height and depth of it. 


All of this says that He delights in me.  He loves me.  He thinks I am really great because I am God's own handiwork (Ps 149 and Eph. 2:10), recreated in Christ Jesus.  He has a plan for me to walk down paths which He prepared ahead of time.  As a mom, I know I have good plans for my kids, plans for good, not for evil.  How much more does my perfect heavenly Abba plan good things for me and all believers, and then He actually prepares those paths and goes before us to make them ready, make us ready for what lies ahead.  That is LOVE.


Thank you, Jesus, for the merest glimpse of your heart this morning.  Thank you, Abba, for love.

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