Monday, August 5, 2013


I am halted by conditions.  Conditional promises are circled throughout my Bible, just in case I miss one ‘if’.  I don’t want to fall short you know, as if I could do anything but.  I listen to warnings carefully, (James 4:1-4) “you do not have because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”  As we begin a prayer ministry at our church I felt assaulted by these warnings, what if I don’t know what to ask the Lord.  What if I have no faith?  What if my sin gets in the way?  What if I insult the Lord?  What if I’m just a big fat fraud?

He yearns jealously over the spirit that he made to dwell in us. James 4:5

But he gives more grace.  God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:6

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. James 4:8

I asked the question, are their conditions on His dwelling with me?  My sin is dealt with, right?  Jesus, right? But my habit of fear does separate my peace; the habit to fear is an insult to His presence.  How can He be there to co-dwell with fear?  But I need His strength to get rid of this fear.  I prayed, “Lord, give me tangible prayers, thoughts, and actions to be rid of this fear.”

An hour later I read an article on NPR, a report on whether military chaplains have to believe in God (  I was in tears thinking about a dying soldier being led in prayer, or assisted in prayer by someone who doesn’t believe in God.  Empty words without faith - a prayer for the dead, not the living. 

I found a quiet place and heard the Lord ask me, “are you a Godless priest?“ “No,” I answered, tears streaming down my face.  “Is the word given to you by Me imperfect because of your imperfection?”  “No,” forgive me Lord.  And He does. 

As you come to him, (draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.), a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5) The condition?  Come to Him.  This I can do.

For while we are still in this tent…

For while we are still in this tent…

Last time I checked I was still in this tent (2 Cor 5:1-5), and groaning with sharing the burdens that have been trying to live in this body tent with me.  There are the insecurities, like, comparing myself to other people and coming up short.  There is the fear that covers that inside of my tent with residue that gets into every pore.  And the burden of the mortal me who has evil’s to conceal.  It gets crowded in here. 

The first part of this month my family and I planned a trip to Germany, a family ministry trip.  I was scared, I mean really scared, the morning the tickets were bought I thought the knot in my stomach would never un-cinch.  The old panic to run, and figure out a plan B was all too real.  I however, love this passage of scripture, and left to myself, I would live in this tent. And yet… the Lord is ready to move me out of this stinking tent.  So, I packed, I prayed, really prayed, and I received.  I received His words for me, “this is your time of training”; “I want to fill your eyes, they have become empty”; “just trust Me”; and “you were made for this, I made you remember”. 

I pretty much thought I was going to self-destruct on the first plane, that I was going to have a panic attack, that the kids were going to get sick, that every conceivable outrage would come true.  And if … if it did… I was going to have to let what is ‘mortal be swallowed up by what is immortal.’  I was going to have to trust Him, and that He has got me. 

We arrived, the trip was what flying in a sardine can is supposed to be like, but without a hitch, with family humor, and Davidisms a plenty (my son is full of phrases).  A memory that will never be duplicated.  But then…

I had to walk into the phase of ministering in whatever way the Lord had for my husband and I.  We met people, we prayed for them, and guess what…  Immortal took a big gulp.  Oh yeah, a deep refreshing taste of how good the Lord is, how much he loves me and this God child I was praying for.  And “he who prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”  He made good on this promise, that guarantee is valid, eternal, and makes what is mortal absurd. 

Next to who Jesus is, what Jesus did when He died for me, and what Jesus has given me, my insecurities, my fears, my annoying incompatibilities are absurd.  Rediculous.  That doesn’t mean I don’t feel them anymore, it means that I know what I am fighting for.  His thoughts for us are way more important than our life-killing thoughts, and what He has in store for us goes farther than our life-restraining plans, and I just got to stay in.  The guarantee has been given me.  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Desperate Survivor

A sickness usually teaches more than a sermon. Thomas Watson

In the fall of 2007 I was doubting if I was really in love with Jesus, and if I really wanted to be rid of my sin, so I looked for a method of measurement. John Owen said in that you must see if you are sermon or sick - proof, 'you that were tender, and used to melt under the word, under afflictions, will grow as some have profanely spoken "sermon-proof and sickness proof". Honestly, this has been my measuring stick, I am a person of reason, I think through emotions, I don't feel my way through much of anything.

The month of August has brought much sickness, I wrestled with an ovarian cyst, I did not know existed, for 5 days. In the middle of the night when the pain brought me back to a time when I was 7 cm dilated, in transition, ready to give birth to our second child, I remembered this measuring stick of mine. I crumbled, I told God, "I need you to take this pain away." But I was holding back in my, too deep to discern, heart what if I have to survive this? What if I just have to muscle this one out? What if I have to figure it out? After my doctor's visit I realized it could have been much worse and was thankful for the opportunity to 'muscle it out', a true survivor's heart.

Two days later I followed my daughter in the combat against a stomach virus, oh joy of joy's I thought. I just had my first normal meal after the five days of toast. I have a real fear of the stomach virus, something that Mom's with multiple children can all agree upon, it's the worst. But I took up my measuring stick and prayed, "I need you Jesus to have mercy on my daughter and I." But, I was holding back thinking, what if I have to survive this one too.

Ten days later, after being diagnosed my an adenovirus that we got from whoknowswhere, Sydney and I are still weak, stomach cautious, and ready to move from toast to, as Sydney says, 'ribs' (A fondness I do not share). Chad was telling me about a friend of his who had a broken foot, who Chad prayed for, and the foot is healed. Whamo, just like that. Immediately I confessed my sin, jealousy, frustration wondering why I have to be the one to suit up and hold steady. Fear came in to upset me further and I began to pray, then Chad begins to pray and faith rose. It has been a year full of health problems, and I can tell you that I am not sick-proof or sermon-proof. I am however, cautious, wondering whether or not I am going to have to 'survive' and walk with a limp or 'be healed' and leap for joy.

Our pastor ended last week's sermon with this from from Dr. Waltke, “The limp is the posture of the saint.” No more need to control and leverage every situation.

A new willingness to live by the apparent precariousness of the promises of God.

A new willingness to be weakened with a limp, in order to be strengthened by grace.

If you will face up to what God says you are and put away your posing,

God will surprise you with his blessing.

You will limp.

But you will walk into a new dawn of blessing from heaven above.

Come to Christ as you are, and he will give you himself as he is.

Psalm 103: 2 - 3

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and forget not all his benefits,

who forgives all your iniquity,

who heals all your diseases,

Monday, May 16, 2011

Multitude Mondays

What I am thankful for this week, before the week gets away from me.

1. That He wants us to lament, He is moved by our desperation.
2. The energy He gives for my life to be an act of worship.
3. Success at a Mother-daughter clothes shopping trip. Whew!!!
4. Learning to not have anything to prove.
5. Faith in resting my achilles tendon.
6. Dreams about running.
7. My son on all fours praying in earnest for the healing of my ankle.
8. How much my children miss their Dad and realizing it's more than okay.
9. The book, 'The Kings Cross", so good.
10. Love offerings.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Dear Sydney

My daughter is turning ten. We already celebrated her Birthday because her Dad is leaving for New Zealand, and will miss her actual day. Her choice for this celebration was anything Narnian. So, we had a map for a cake, a scavenger hunt for a quest, and cake with root beer for grub. One of the steps of the quest was to swing on this vine. Where but in the south do you find vines the size of buildings and a break in the temperature for a January Birthday swing. It was exhilarating to watch the kids swing. This photo captured my little girl perfectly, she loves adventure, friends, and cool weather. I asked her why she likes the Dawn Treader so much, she said she likes the idea that "if we fall, we shall all rise again." She was then surprised when I showed her Micah 7:8 "when I fall, I shall rise again; when I sit in the darkness the Lord shall be a light to me." I am so thankful for this child, my firstborn, my girl, a star rising, I am so proud of her. She delights to see others happy, her biggest concern for her party is that everyone would just have a good time. She is forever a peacemaker.
Gratitude list:
A much needed math workbook for David
Birthday gifts for Syd
Friday's, when friends come and real conversion fills my heart
a husband's calling even if it means travel
phone calls from my brothers
thawing icicles
the promise of a spring trip
inductive Bible study
a much needed run after the ice melted
the beginning of another decade

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lord, make me thankful

Monday's are reserved for a list of gratitude,
I was reminded of my needing to be thankful yesterday as I fell prey to homesickness and comparison. Forgive me Lord, and help me to remember Deut. 8:2 "that he might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, that you may know that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."

friends that remain close despite life's many changes
my mother's diligence
my father's abundant gifts finding their way into my pockets
children's excitement over the progression of gift opening
snow flurries that sweep the pavement while we drive
the story of our vision bringing tears anew
a daughter's first
my son's words "Mommy you are so pretty" as I put on old flannel pajamas
a place to go on Friday's
anticipation of the coming week

I am praying that God will help me to enjoy this week of Christmas as I thank Him for the many things he has provided.

Deut. 8:18 "You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is is he who gives you power to get wealth"

Friday, November 12, 2010

I know I put my heart some where…

Parenting for me has been somewhat mechanical. This machine like quality has carried me through some rough times. There are so many new Mother’s at our church, and I caught myself remembering back to this time of baby-hood where I started down the slide of unresponsiveness. You see it’s hard to always respond to the Holy Spirit immediately when you have a baby attached to your chest, your toddler has “gotta go potty”, or your older child is flexed in anxiety. Sometimes your feelings are so strong, you are apart of how the Spirit might be moving or working in a group, but your primary reflex is the child by your side.

So, you don’t say anything, you don’t go forward, you don’t say anything to
the person in need, and your prayers get turned inside out by the temper
tantrum transforming before your eyes.

Personally, this ‘setting aside’ of my inclinations became a pattern.
I accepted that this was just not my time in life to be apart of the group, and it
appeased my already aloof nature just fine. I worked hard at what was going
on in the temporal world, things that I could control. But the ever-present
guilt of not following the Spirit immediately remained.

All of us Mom’s have to push past sleep deprivation, painful relationships,
loss of relationships, homesickness, and numerous personal issues so that
we can just feed the baby. Somebody still has to, it’s great that my husband
can stop everything to get ‘right’ with God, but somebody still has to make
the peanut butter and jellies, wash the dirty laundry, smile and kiss the sticky
faces and fingers. But in the process I was never dealing with the pain or joy
on the inside, so what was going on in my soul never showed itself in my
outward state. I stifled my response, to the point I didn’t know what I felt.
I literally thought, “Who cares what you feel, feelings are here today and
gone tomorrow.” My heart was grievously misplaced. Why didn’t the will
that could push through life’s upsets push back to the Spirit-Father when the
children were asleep and the husband was away? The satisfaction of a clean
house and a tidy demeanor replaced my need for Him.

Seven years later I was still so busy trying to be responsible for everyone
else I forgot how to respond to my God and King. I watched in awe at
younger, more ‘heart healthy’ women respond to the Lord in a church
service with such exactness that I could not understand.

I remember thinking how do you do that? How do you put your feelings first, know that
they are pure feelings, and then follow through? I had forgotten a boldness
from my youth. The Creator God who made me to worship still wanted a
relationship with me that was more than militant. He reminds me that he
wants me to want Him, He wants to know what I feel, and yet I cannot seem
to articulate what I feel. The God I thought was my very useful, highly
acclaimed, commanding officer wanted to hold my hand and remind me who
I was. He came and searched my heart for things of my spirit because He
cares so much. Much enraged I lifted my fist at Him and said, “How dare
you, I can’t even get into my heart, how did you?” Where is that heart of
mine anyway?

Now, I know that my personality isn’t exactly constructed for doing a jig
around the church or even shouting out a hearty ‘amen’. But, I have found
myself crying out to God asking him, “Could you just make the head and the
heart work at the same time, and don’t forget to help my lips move.” It is
really hard for me, I would much rather secure my position on the line than
have to hear the utterance of my voice at any point. This is my struggle.

There is a reason while 1 Tim 2:15 says, “and she will be saved through
childbearing,” it’s because you have to stay true to your first Love who will
give you faith, love, holiness and self-control despite the demands your other
love’s throw at you. If you are in the middle of a diaper change, a sick little
one, a behavior issue, when the Lord comes near look full into His face and
catch His care for you. Don’t be like this writer and misunderstand that He
doesn’t want you to drop the baby so you can stand at attention. He just
wants your heart and that is something you give with full arms and a heavy

Grace and Peace to You.