Thursday, January 30, 2014

Remembering His Heart

Perhaps it is my greatest spiritual struggle.  Remembering the Father's affection towards me.  It really makes no sense at all.  I have loving parents and grew up in church.  But for whatever reason, this is where the enemy strikes.  He really doesn't love you, you know.  When I choose to listen to that voice, it is such a slap at Calvary and all that Christ did for me.

It has been my focal prayer for the year.  Let me know your love for me, God. 

Because deep down, my brain knows it, but my heart sometimes won't get on board.

I want to drown in that love.  I want to trust it at all times.  I want to feel it.

As you progress in your walk with Jesus, you become aware of areas where you are weak.  For me, I know of certain books that will help me get back on track in my thoughts and self perception.

They are a trio, one recently added.  I know I can always pick up one of these three books and remember that I am beloved.

You are beloved.

A Hero heard our cries of desperation.  Sought us out.  Knew all along that the only way to rescue and redeem would be to die. For me. For you.

That is love.

These books remind me of my secure identity in the grand drama that is still unfolding.

1.  The Sacred Romance

2.  Abba's Child

3.  The Return of the Prodigal Son

Perhaps your heart will enjoy them as well.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Favorite Things

It's that time again!  Time for a few of my favorite things...simple things that make life a little easier, bring a smile to my face, or nourish the ol' soul.  Enjoy!
1.  This Valentine's Welcome banner my sister made.  I love having something to hang on the front door right after Christmas stuff is taken down.  It always makes me happy!

2.  This Neutrogena anti-residue shampoo.  Use it about once a week and your hair and scalp will feel great!

3.  Owls and old books and old quilts and walls the color of the ocean.

4.  This book.  You must treat your hungry soul to this book.  It is by Nouwen.  One of my favorite Christmas gifts.

5. This is a game changer, people!  No more throwing away or trying to freeze leftover cans of tomato paste.  This is a concentrate all in a tube that stores forever in your fridge.  Makes my soup making self so darn giddy. 

6.  New Throw Pillows when the outside is so bleak.

7.  A warm fuzzy throw.  (Include a cup of coffee and a great read and this is my happy place.)

8.  Oh my stars. Buy these today.  Belvita breakfast biscuits.  Chocolate fix now fixed. Of course, I eat them as a little snack instead of for breakfast.

9. Ink Joy pens.

10.  This study.  Sacred Secrets. Only six weeks and minimal homework.  I think this busy momma can handle that!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

Turn Towards

The fault is mine.  I closed myself off to His all encompassing love.  I didn't trust myself or our relationship after a promise came and then left as a feather in the wind.

I decided I didn't know God at all.  I decided He wasn't safe.  I turned my back and shut the Word.

Such a harrowing and confusing time.  To think you know how He speaks. Humbling.

And then it all turns out differently.  And differently is often the most beautiful thing.  But, still, in my limited understanding, it goes against what He said all along.

My heart was beaten by the waves and left on the rocky shore like a discarded piece of driftwood. I wasn't drowning, but I was forgotten and tossed aside.

What does one do with the words of the Almighty when He does something entirely different than what you thought He said?  What does one do with that relationship when trust has left?

I know I am hungry and missing my Jesus.  I know He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I know light shines in the darkness.

I know I don't have to perform to earn His love.  But, I do have to turn towards it.

"Lift up your heads, O ye gates; be lifted up you ancient doors, that the King of Glory may come in." Psalm 24:7

Do we dare to look toward His face again?  Even Mr. Beaver in "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" says about Aslan (God):  "Safe? Who said anything about safe?  But he's good.  He's the King I tell you."

Do we dare open the rusty doors to our hearts once again to a love that is good and whole but often feels uncertain and risky?

Hunger forces us back.  One small taste and everything else is meaningless.  We miss.  We crave.  We lift up our heads and open the doors.

And Glory walks in.

Friday, January 17, 2014

8 months

Eight months old.  I keep thinking he has stolen my heart completely but everyday he steals a little more.  Asher seems to know that he can now make us laugh so he does the most adorable things to get our attention.  I just love love love the 8-10 month age because they really start to develop their little personalities.  Everywhere we go, people comment about what a happy baby he is which makes my heart smile since his name reflects that.
8 month things I want to remember:
*Eating eating eating.  Loves cereal, puffs, veggies, fruit, and Cheerios.  Not a fan yet of real foods...doesn't care for the texture.  Still nursing but gets distracted and just doesn't seem that interested anymore.  (sniff.)
*Loves I mean LOVES his brothers.  He reaches for them, laughs at them, and loves it when they will sit and play with him. 
*On a great schedule.  Sleeps 8pm-7 am, naps 9-11, and naps 1-3. It means I have a one hour break from 11:30-12:30 to run errands with him, but we make it work.
*Doesn't seem to mind loud noises like basketball games.  Loves to people watch and now is starting to reach for people.  (He wasn't a fan of Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, though.  The chef about scared him to death while banging his utensils together and starting a huge fire!)
*Seems to have a propensity toward ear infections...already has had 2.
*Babbles and talks...
*Loves to take off his socks so he can chew on his socks and have better access to his feet.
*Is not a fan of the playpen or types of confinement, but we make him do it because we believe in boundaries.
*He still won't clap his hands which is so frustrating. 
*He stares right through you which reminds us of Cade as a baby.
*He pulls up on everything but can't stand on his own.
*He loves to head snuggle or reach in for a kiss or hug.
*He is really happy all the time and smiles at everything.
*He loves bathtime. I need to graduate him from the sink to the tub, but the sink is so convenient!
*Has 2 bottom teeth.
*Gets really tickled when he sees himself in the mirror.
*The church nursery workers call him the bully or bulldog.  (Kind of makes me sad!)  I was in there one Sunday.  He isn't mean, he is just all up in everyone's business.  The boy has three older brothers, what can I say?
*He certainly is a truckload of love. Our hearts spilleth over...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Birthday Boy

I think one of my first blog posts was of Eli's 5th birthday.
We were at a location that had a man dressed up in a dog costume.
Eli took one look at the man sized dog and fearfully told him to go away.
That was six years ago.
Funny how it feels like yesterday.
And yet, we have come a long way.
What a precious gift we have in this son.
Who loves to read as much as his Momma and Mim.
Who introduced our family to the sport of soccer.
Who adores his tiniest brother, happy to feed him and play with him.
His first name means "my God is Yahweh"
his second "Yahweh is God."
We have this deep desire for him to be a walking testimony to the name and character of God.
That wherever he goes, his life points
to the One who
happy birthday eli.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 {Hungry}

I woke up in the middle of the night a few weeks ago with a word on my mind:  hungry.  I knew it was the Spirit whispering it over me while the world was quiet.  It resonated with my soul immediately.  I knew the word "hungry" would be my word for 2014. 

2013 was certainly the year of "possess."  We were blessed with a new home.  A new baby.  New schools.  New friends.  We walked in faith and God allowed us to possess, similar to that of the Israelites in the book of Deuteronomy.

While it was a beautiful year in so many ways, I didn't have as much time to pursue God in the quiet.  I know a newborn soaked up a lot of that time, and I wouldn't change that for anything, but the year left me hungry.

Hungry for Jesus.  His Word.  His revelations.  His presence.

Nothing else truly satisfies or tastes so sweet.

So, with 2014, I look to these verses with hope:

Luke 1:53  "He has filled the hungry with good things..."

Luke 6:21a "Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied..."

Matthew 15:32 "I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat.  I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way."

Proverbs 10:3a  "The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry..."

and my fave:

Psalm 107:9  "For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things."