2015

design

Another year has come to a close.  In closing this chapter, the reflections of this past year are full of many blessings.  Blessings from wonderous new beginnings, new joys in the journey, steps toward dreams coming to fruition . . .  all of which draw us closer to God.  And this year has also been marked with disappointments, hurts, confusions, rejections . . .  these too have been blessings which draw us closer to God.  I put these high moments and these low moments in the vault of past Grace.  Knowing that each of these events are part of His plan to grow me, to teach me, to use me.

So as this new year begins today, as this next chapter opens up clean before me, I want to come with a teachable spirit.  I look forward to the future with faith and confidence that future Grace goes before me.  

My prayer for this new year is to not walk clinging to old ways, but to walk each day seeking His face with an open mind and an open heart.

Lord, I need You!! Renew my mind, continue to change my life. By testing, give me discernment what is good and acceptable and perfect…Give me Your will. 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2


aim purposefully

dancing leaves

Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.
Hebrews 10:24

It’s a good afternoon for a walk.  The rain has stopped for now and the pup is longingly looking at her leash.  The weatherman says there’s a cold front coming our way making the skies to the north dark and grey, so we decide to take advantage of the break in the rain and head out to enjoy the outdoors.

Walking through the neighborhood, the dead leaves are crunching beneath my boots.  Suddenly the wind begins to gust by us, ushering in another blast of cooler air around these parts.  The lifeless piles of leaves seem to come to life dancing around in circles.  The wind blows them this way, and they go this way.  Then the wind blows them that way, and they go that way.  They swirl and twirl, they bounce and skip, they tumble and glide wherever the wind aimlessly carries them.  Aimless and lifeless . . . full of motion, but void of life.

How many days have I walked around just like those leaves?  Full of motion, going here and there, drifting aimlessly through my day.  How many times have I let the circumstances of my day determine what I do, how I respond?  Do I wake up, roll out of bed not even thinking seriously about the hopes of my day?  That’s not how God intends my day to be.

Instead I need to take time, time to be purposeful about my day.  I need to take the time, time to focus and time to aim myself intentionally asking for His guidance and His strength for every moment of my day.  Remembering, I was created in his image by Him and for His Glory, I was not created to wander about my day aimlessly like those leaves that dance across the street ahead of me.  I was created to be purposeful in His Love. 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2


broken

broken ornament

Invariably, it happens every year. A wagging tail brushes a limb of the tree, or a little hand reaches out in curiosity, or sometimes it’s just a mystery – it just happens.  All followed by the familiar sound of crashing glass on the floor crying out, “broken.”

My first inclination is to quickly sweep up the pieces and toss the broken Christmas ornament into the trash.  But this time while carefully picking up the broken fragments, those jagged, sharp pieces, I am reminded how Jesus meets me in my brokenness.  And unlike how the world views brokenness, my Savior doesn’t quickly sweep me away and nonchalantly toss me into the trash heap.  He meets me there, in the middle of the mess of my brokenness. When I come to the end of myself, He meets me there in the brokenness.

Through adversity, in the disappointments, in the failures – I see my weakness, my need to depend on Him. And when I come to the end of myself, I do not see these as shortcomings, but am reminded that God works best through me when I am broken.   

So in this season of celebrating the birth of Jesus, I stop to reflect on the cradle, the cross, and the crown.

I’m not in a hurry to sweep away my brokenness because I know it is there He meets me.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Psalm 51:17 

 

 


light

CIty Centre

Lights are glimmering everywhere I look.  The twinkling lights on a tree, the blinking decorations on buildings, the warm, soft glow of candles.  Lights are beckoning me to remember that the Christmas season is all about light . . . His Light.  

I find myself thinking about the time when there was no light.  The earth was without form and there was no light, just darkness that covered the void of existence.  And then God spoke four simple, but all-powerful, Almighty words . . .

“Let there be light “

And there was light.  And it was good.

My mind marvels at this.  From the very beginning of creation, His light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.  And throughout scripture Light beckons man.

So at this time of celebration of the birth of a little baby called Jesus, the light that is on my mind is the guiding light that beckoned the simple shepherds and the credentialed wise men to the Savior.  This little baby who was born in a lowly, dark manger came to be Light to this dark world.

“I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”

Yes, lights are glimmering everywhere.  Around every corner there are lights blinking and twinkling, gleaming in bright colors or shimmering like icicles.  Lights flickering from the glow of candles or warm fires burning.  The lights beckon us to get lost in the glow of the hustle and the bustle.  

But let’s not miss the Light of the World, whose birth we celebrate.
Without His Light, we walk in darkness – no matter how bright the lights of the world seem to shine around us.  

I want to be a light for Him.

G for the Gores!

 


in her Momma’s arms

sleeping AB

I sit quietly in awe. Quietly watching this precious little one nestled snugly in her momma’s arms.  Their breathing is in harmonic motion, in and out . . . in and out . . .a quiet, a peaceful rhythm.

Her momma gently whispers words of love over her as she has her tucked safely close. In her mother’s arms she is safe, protected, nurtured.  Momma’s arms hold her close to her beating heart, that heart that was the familiar sound this little one heard day in and day out while her mother carried her for nine months.   And now out in this world, this world that is so filled with chaos, her momma continues to hold her close, to cover her with mother wings.  A stronghold of love.

I sit watching, pondering in awe. Pondering meditatively.

As I see my very own little girl embrace her own little girl, my heart is full.  My heart is full of love for this new little one who has been  remarkably and wonderfully made.  My heart is full of love for the one who was remarkably and wonderfully knitted together inside my own body.

But most of all, my heart is full of reminders of the One who covers me in His arms, who holds me close in the midst of the chaos.

I am reminded of the times my life has been crumbling to pieces around me, troubles were crashing into me right and left, life seem to be imploding.  I was alone, or at least that is what the enemy wanted me to believe.

Clinging to Psalm 46, He pulls me in to cover me with His Love, to be my stronghold against all that is clamoring to tear me apart.  He is always there to whisper His words of Love into my heart.  Pulling me close, the chaos turns into peace.

I can hear His heartbeat because He created me to be His.

God is my refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore I will not fear,
Though the earth should give way,
And though the mountains fall into the heart
of the sea.
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
Psalm 46:1-3

So as things of this world are vying to pull me away, to create disharmony, when I have to hold it together, even when I don’t feel like it . . . it is here, here with my God, my Creator, that I find solace, my stronghold.  It is here, I can let it go.  I cling to His arms and hear His tender heart calling me close.  It’s here in the magnificent, or the insignificant, in the joyous moments, or the disappointing times, the uplifting, or the casting down, the contentment, or the perplexities and uncertainties that I rest secure. Resting secure in the harmonic motion of His peace and His grace.

Rest in His arms, just like that precious little one in her Momma’s arms.  Rest no matter what the world throws your way. Find His peace in the chaos.


peace {advent ~ week 2}

peace - advent week 2

 

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.
2 Thessalonians 3:16

As the second week of Advent begins today, the race to get to this place, to get this and that taken care of, the pace of life is looking for every way it can to rob me of peace – His Absolute Peace.

Peace does not mean I sit in absolute silence.

Peace is not a place where my life is trouble-free.

Peace is not a place where I have no sorrows or hurts.

Peace is not a place where I find complete certainty.

Peace is not in the darkness; it is in His Light. 

Peace means in the middle of all the noise, the difficult circumstances, the sorrow, the hurt that overshadows the day, and in all the uncertainties I am overwhelmed by a calm.  The calm that can only come from the Lord of Peace, His Absolute Peace.  

If I find myself in the dark, searching for peace, I will not find peace in a place.  Nor will I find peace by my own doing.  I will only find peace in a person, the person of Jesus Christ.  When I find myself caught up in the whirlwind of the pace of life, no matter the season of life, I need to go back to the place where I picked up the distractions and relied on my own insights and instead embrace and depend on His light to lead me.  He will give me peace in every way. 

Great thoughts of your sin alone will drive you to despair; but great thoughts of Christ will pilot you into the haven of peace. (C. H. Spurgeon)


new every morning

sunrise

One of the beautiful reminders of a sunrise . . .

His compassions do not fail us 

They are new every morning, no matter how dark the night has been.

His faithfulness is there from sunrise to sunset . . . and through the night.

He is my Hope. 

I have deep appreciation for sunrises, which is really kind of funny because I’m not really an early morning person.  My husband loves to catch a sunrise whenever he has an opporutnity and I’m usually just trying to “sleep just a little bit longer. . .” But you know I am never disappointed with losing that little bit of extra sleep, even if I haven’t had my first cup of coffee.

Sunrise – the beauty of Creation paints the morning sky, a reminder of His mercy and His faithfulness.  A reminder that I have been called out of the darkness into the Light.  

Yes, there is something very special about a sunrise.  Yesterday is gone.  Tomorrow is yet to be.  With the rising of the sun, I have His promise of today.


building a palace

c4f9ddcfae73e68e5cf3748c2fc95fad

 

 


how to let go of regret [reblog]

The Kids

I love how God sends me words of encouragement exactly when He knows I need it!  Today is the birthday of one of my three and as any Mama would do, I was mulling over some things in my heart and head today, reflecting on some precious memories and the word REGRET was trying its level best to take over.  So when I was reading through some emails and posts . . . the word REGRET jumped right off the screen.
Call it coincidence . . . I don’t!

So thankful to Robin Dance for sharing some links today . . .

How to Let Go of Regret [reblogged from Life on the Wild Side ~ Shelly Wildman]

I see you, mama. The one with Regret written all over your face and on your sagging shoulders and in your sad eyes. The one whose hopes and dreams consist of words you wish you had said, deeds you wish you had done, or those you wish you could undo.

“If only” has become your mantra.

I see you and I know you because I am you.

Seems, sometimes, like Regret is a mother’s best friend.

We walk with it, chew on it, and let it weigh us down. None of us are immune.

I’ve certainly had my share of regrets over the years—things I wish I had done; things I wish I had said. More often, though, things I wish I had not said. The words, they do poison.

In the past few weeks I have spoken to two friends—both amazing mothers—who are filled with regret over children who are not currently living in the way these parents have raised them. One child has rejected the faith with which they were raised; the other is on the brink of making some important decisions about how to live.

In both conversations, I noticed that both of my friends expressed serious regret about their parenting.

Maybe you’ve felt this, too.

Here’s the thing, mamas: we are not made to regret. And I think our regrets come from our forgetfulness about three important things.

  1. We forget that we are ultimately not in control.

In other words, we give ourselves way too much blame (or credit!) for the way our kids turn out. As much as we’d like to make the way easy for our kids, we have to remember that some kids very simply will not learn from our mistakes. They may not even learn from their own. We can give our children the tools (whether that be an education, a faith heritage, a stable family—whatever it is) that can make paving the way a bit easier, but it’s up to them to use them.

Don’t blame yourself if your child rejects the tools you have given him or her. Just be faithful every day.

  1. We forget that we are forgiven, just as much as our children are.

Forgiveness is a powerful arsenal in our parenting strategy, and we must remember to also practice it on ourselves.

I recently read the most beautiful definition of grace: “Grace says, ‘There you are, I’ve been waiting for you and you’re welcome here. All of you. You are beloved.’”

Mama, you are beloved—all of you—whether or not you’ve messed up. Or your kid has. Or your husband has. It doesn’t matter. Grace is here, waiting for you.

Mama, forgive yourself because God already has. Don’t let the regret that you’re feeling limit you from the power of forgiveness and grace in your life, which will move you ahead to do the next right thing.

  1. We forget that the story isn’t finished yet.

I’ve known parents of some seriously messed up kids. Some have let regrets stop them from doing what they should be doing—whether that is acting with tough love or gently loving them back home. But some parents I’ve known have simply said, “My son’s (or daughter’s) story is not yet finished. God has not given up on this child, and neither will I.” They have prayed continuously for their child. They have opened the door to their home. They have shown, in very practical terms, what the love of Jesus means.

Mama, your story is not yet finished—thank goodness for that, right?!—and neither is your child’s. Our stories continue to grow and to change and to mold us into the people we are today, and that’s true for our kids as well. If you have regrets, remember that your child’s story is still being written and that the way he or she is living today is not the end of the story.

Even more important, remember that God has not walked away from your child, He still loves them, and He will never give up fighting for them.

So mama? For the sake of your family (and your sanity) will you give up your regrets? Don’t dwell on those things that are over and done. Realize that, ultimately, you are not in control. Move ahead with grace and forgiveness.

And thank God that the story is not finished yet.

Thanking God for allowing me the precious opportunity and blessing of being a mama . . . and yes, thanking Him that He is not finished with our story yet!


no blurred lines

 

Glassing for elk

Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne

Hebrews 12:2

Do I spend my day, questioning whether there is really a plan He has for me?
or
Do I expect it, seeking it with intention and focus?

Do I stumble around trying to see my life carrying a broad beam flashlight of self-reliance to find my own path?

or

Am I guided with laser focus, the intense energy provided the Holy Spirit steering me to follow God’s perfect plan?

Do I question that He has a plan for me?

or

Do I joyfully expect it, hungry for Him to build me into the one He desires for me to be?

Is my daily prayer . . . USE ME? 

 


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