Sunday, October 10, 2010

2008: A Year of Amazing Grace

I've really been thinking the last few days about this year and what my life looks like these days, how it's changed. I have been contemplating how I would sum up this year.

And finally I came up with an answer.

Looking back at this year, I've got to tell you that this year has been a year of Amazing Grace in my life.

There is always the amazing grace of God's forgiveness, but this year I've come to understand that His grace applies to so much more than just forgiveness for my sins and my failures and my shortcomings.

Grace is looking at people you love and wondering how it will ever be right between you again. And then one day you realize that things are right between you.

Grace is saying Lord I just cant keep waking up this way and going to bed this way. And then one day you realize that you haven't made that statement in ... well... you can't remember how long it's been.

Grace is loving someone so much more than you ever could've imagined loving another person, not sure if they will ever grow into the person you know they are. Praying for them, begging for their repentance. And one day you realize that when you look at him, now you see Christ.

Grace is looking at an unworkable situation, despairing and not sure what to do to make it thru. And you realize that a year has passed and that all things have worked together for your good.

Grace is carrying a burden so deep inside and not knowing how you can continue to serve a God who seems so far from you. You don't know if He really is as trustworthy as you have believed and as He has said. Yet you trust Him. Your mouth opens and worship pours forth. Praises fly off your lips and music flows from your soul because, somehow, you just know that He IS who He says He is.

Grace is being a poor, but living as though you are wealthy.

Grace is facing deep pain and being afraid you will drown, only to discover that you were never alone and that drowning wasn't in the cards for you.

Grace is looking back at a past riddled with mistakes and realizing that the road you have begun to walk has been a road of redemption - giving an opportunity to 're-do' what you didn't do (or do right) the first time around.

Grace is a love so deep that not even your own filth can keep your Lover away.

Grace is God become Life to you.

Grace is His Word becoming your breath.

Grace is His Touch soothing your soul.

Grace is God.

And God is amazing.

This has been my year. The year of Amazing Grace.

Merry Christmas, All.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

... And I Am Changed

Ok I keep starting this post and stopping this post.Typing and deleting. And then considering closing it out, but really wanting to share. So. I'll just let my fingers do their thing.

There is just something extra-special and marvelous about the way God works. Limbo has been my spot. Not so long ago, the Lord told me that all He's promised would come all at once. And it appears that this is true. I'm seeing some amazing things come to pass. All special and all BEYOND exciting. Truly, this is the end of the valley.

I thought I'd be more outwardly excited to be almost at the top of the mountain, but not really. This excited is an internal sort of excited. It is rooted way deep down and when it erupts, I just know it's gonna take me (and everybody else) by storm. This place is not one where the things are what's exciting. The rewards are great, don't get me wrong. But the real excitement is that I can see a truly new person in me. I truly can see the growth. The freedoms I once took so for granted? I view it all now as a privilege. I view it all as a gift that needs to be cared for and used in line with the convictions of the Giver. God's favor and His hand on my life is something I took for granted. Not anymore.

With every passing day, my life reflects more and more God's heart. The joy is that truly He is making me beautiful in His time - and His way. For the first time in my adult life, I believe in who I am created to be. I believe in God's plan for me. I was studying this morning in Exodus. Chapters 3 - 6. At the very end of chapter six, a reference is made to the promise that the Lord made to Abraham,Isaac,and Jacob - saying that in calling Moses (& Aaron), He is remembering that promise. Then it goes on to give the family tree for Israel (Jacob, after his name changed) and his descendants. There were so many names that I recall are seen later in scripture. But Moses and Aaron stuck out for me. There was nothing so special that made them great. Only that the Lord had made a promise that He was bound to fulfill. And He chose two ordinary people to walk in extraordinary relationship with Him. They were just regular men, living their lives, raising their families.

But the Lord called. And they were the two who answered. Moses, doubtful and unsure, but willing. Excuse after excuse. Afraid. But willing. He bore such a large responsibilty. He was GOD to Aaron, for crying out loud. WHO DOES THAT????

Scripture says specifically: 26 It was this same Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said, "Bring the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions." 27 They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. It was the same Moses and Aaron.

I cannot describe how blown away I was. I am Moses. Ordinary and non-descript. There is nothing so special about me, but that I'm willing. Doubtful, afraid, excuses and all. I'm willing. Questioning the whole time. But I'm willing. Totally uncertain of my ability to weather the storms and the hard-hearted Pharaoh. But willing to serve my Master.

Total change of direction, total re-alignment. Totally new path to walk in shoes that were way too big at first.Tripping over my own feet, and feelin' awful inadequate and unequipped. BUT GOD, just like He did with Moses, made those shoes fit. He equipped me and He has led me in the same way He did Moses. I haven't had another person to guide me. I've only had the Lord. And I have been the one to guide others. Learning and growing the whole time. The Lord of Heaven and Earth has seen fit to use me.

And finally, I believe in the greatness for which He's purposed me. I believe in the plan He has for my life and my family. I believe in the ability (in Him) to do what He's called me to do.

That is the real mountaintop. The deliciousness of walking in such amazing intimacy that 3 years later, I can look at myself and know that I am changed. I am matured. I am unique and special and capable and equipped to live this plan out.

As things move forward, I have a clear vision and a heart that beats to see the unfathomable things of the Lord come to pass. He picked me. I'm that same girl who ran and hid her head in the sand for so long, who's grandmother looked at and saw that I would be the one the Lord would use to fulfill His promise to her. And still, He chose me.

How overwhelming. How absolutely, utterly overwhelming.

The fruit is ripe and fragrant and ready to be plucked from it's branches. It's harvest time you guys, and the best fruit of the harvest is, well, ME.

Because I am changed.

Really and truly be blessed, guys.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Oh The Conviction of It All!

"Love your husband as you love Me. Not in worship, but in absoluteness.'

And then to make that statement even more interesting, the verse that follows immediately is the one Job spoke 'though He slay me yet will I trust Him'.


how tha... ?!
what tha... ?!
who tha... ?!

I'm sorry. I don't understand. *blank stare*

That's all I got on that one.

As I say 'Yes Sir'


==========> THIS is me... kickin' rocks...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Some Fresh Perspective on God

I have mentioned the study I'm sort of facilitating and the object lessons that I seem to be receiving as a result.

What I did not mention is that I am actually the one who is responsible for creating this study. And it has been an undertaking like nothing I've done before. I'm finding that by virtue of the position of 'teacher', I'm being held to a higher standard and to a much different level of accountability. It's pretty intense.

I've always been a 'teacher', but more in line with mentoring than actual teaching. And I've always taught things that are based on prior experience, never things that I know on the surface, but that I am learning on a deeper level, even as I teach others the same lessons.

This is a really strange place for me to be, because it is compounded by the great game of hurry-up-and-wait me and the Lord seem to be enjoyin' right now. He told me a few weeks ago that as trying as so much of what's happenin' around me is right now, it's all designed to draw me closer to Him. He wants me to know Him in a different way. In a way I've never known Him before.

I actually thought this study would be how He does that, and in some ways it is, but really what's bringing that to pass is that I'm having to change how I see Him as a whole. I have known His grace in so far as Him being a protector. I have known His favor in so far as the positions He's always allowed me to enjoy. I have known His friendship because He tells me lots and lots of stuff. I know Him as a Father because, well, it's how He makes the most sense to me.

Now, I am learning His grace because I am not perfect. And that imperfection allows me to recognize just how often He gives to me more than I could ever deserve on my own. I am coming to know His favor and His love beause He protects me. I am in a position of vulnerability and it leaves me uneasy, but every step of the way, He's keepin' me safe. I know His friendship differently because even though things are wierd right now and I'm all outta wack lots of the time, He sits with me. Lets me confide and vent and just get it all out. And then He tells me to get back up and keep on goin - just like I'd expect from a friend. And I know Him as a Father, because I have had the distinct impression that He hurts with me.

When I was a little girl, my dad used to cry if he had to discipline me or if I had to face something that was difficult. He would hurt because he knew I didn't understand it all just yet, but he knew that it had to be that way because I had to learn the lesson of the challenge. He knew that he could fix it, but he understood a much greater truth: fixing it would hurt me in the long run. But enduring it and standing under the pressure and the pain would build character and confidence in me, the likes of which I'd never know otherwise.

This is the sort of Father the Lord is to me now. I feel His heart when I weep because it's just so tough and I'm just so ready to be done. I know that He wants to take my pain, but He won't because I need to get thru the rest of the process. He's knows better than I do right now that if I don't do this now, I will suffer later. He loves me enough to allow the perfecting of this season to be completed, EVEN THOUGH I don't really get why it has to be this way. Not really. Not completely. But just like the lessons I learned at 15 that I didn't understand then, but understand all too well now, I will come to understand all too well the lessons of this season in my spiritual life as well.

I was feeling like I had hit a wall, and I was purposely trying NOT to break thru that wall because 'to whom much is given, much is required.' And I'm not really feelin' that requirement. But as I walk in obedience to prepare this study and teach it, I'm finding that the only choice I have is to break thru that wall. Because on the other side is the bounty for which I've fought and worked. And more than that, the other side is where I will find the Lord in a fresh new way.

It is in the breaking thru that I will dive deeper and deeper into an infinite God. I will learn His heart and His love in a way that adversity will never teach. There is a level of relationship that is only born of walking in the responsibility of our calls. I haven't been real sure about truly embracing this new thing, but He's been working on that.

In a lot of ways, it seems that this place is HARDER than a season of adversity. Because here is where you want to say 'nope. I paid my dues. I've walked out all that hard stuff and I'm entitled to a break. I'm not doing anymore, at least not right now. Let somebody else do this part. I'mma rest for a bit and I'll hook up with u later.' That tempation is so real for me right now. But my Daddy is so good that He isn't allowing me to fall prey to that. He's giving me the grace to look at this next step and say 'Ok. We both know I'm not really feeling this. We both know I'm tired and not sure just how much more I can take, but I've come too far to quit now. If You've gotten me here, You'll get me the rest of the way - whatever that way is. So I'm gonna trust You. I'm gonna accept this responsibility, even as it overlaps the end of the adversity because there is work to do. Doesn't matter how I feel or if I understand. Only matters that YOU understand. Because in Your time I'll know all I need to know. So let's do this.'

Thru this whole teaching thing, He's making me dig deeper. He's revealing a new side of His character and of His heart. And He's teaching me more than I'll ever be able to teach anyone else.

Time for a new season of transformation, different than any I've experienced before.

His question to me, even as I type this is 'Will you surrender to Me again, or will you take your life back and follow your own ways.'

And as hard as it is, with tears threatening to fall, my answer is fully forming in my spirit, beginning to rest on my heart, almost ready to flow from my lips. 'Yes. Yes Lord. I will surrender to You again. I will choose Your way and not my own. I will follow You no matter what. I will walk in obedience to You now, just as I have before and I will trust You with my life. Your ways are not my ways, nor Your thoughts my thoughts, but Your love is perfect and Your way is best. So, yes Lord. I will follow You.'

And so I guesss a new phase of this journey has begun.

If He asked you the same question, how would you answer?

blessings, ya'll.

Once Again... Thanks God...

'The conversation wont be one either of you plans or expects. But resist not the words in your mouth. Talk to him honestly.'

I start tentatively ... i stop...

'Speak your heart, Love.'

I start again... and then... one statement leads to another one that leads to a poor attitude on the part of H. That leads me to say 'Are we friends enough to have this conversation?'

That leads to the conversation that has been held at bay for a long time but that needed to happen if I was to be alright ever ever ever in life with us being together permanently, after all this.

If we weren't dead before. I'm sure we are now. And I guess that God is gonna revive it.

Because, if He doesn't. It's just gonna stay like it is. He made a choice when he left Friday. And I made one when I started talking.

I'm not even gonna recount the words we exchanged. None of em were nice. All of em were honest. And necessary.

I'm good with obeying. I'm not good with being taken for granted for the sake of his convenience or comfort.

I'm learning to be good with staying. I'm not ever gonna be good with staying at the cost of respect and a real future.

If he loves me, he needs to act like it. Bottom line.

And because I love him, nothin' less than his best is good enough. Real talk.

I'm tired.

Anger has given way to hurt.


And now that hurt is giving way to the warrior chick that I am on the inside.

It's just how I roll in this season of life. Once i get mad. Once I finally stand back up from the blow and really get hot, then I fight. Because I promise I'm not doin all this just to lose. Please believe.

And I know I've said I wanna quit. I know I said I'm willin to forfeit the promises at this point.


I've worked too hard and fought WAY TOO LONG for me to take this one for the team. I'm not handing my life over to satan or any of his minions. Nor am I handing my family over.

H may piss me off. And I might wanna beat him down. But I'm NOT gonna give up my life. Nor am I gonna give up his.

The other grown-butt in all this. I told him friday, that's not even an issue. An inconvenience and a pain in the butt. But not an issue... But i got them too. Thinkin' they won... I got a news-flash. NOT SO MUCH.

The little people that BOTH their triflin' butts have put in the middle - especially the one that I already love, who's heart is gonna be hurt because of the grown-ups? That's a problem. He deserves better than what they're given. And the small one that I'mma learn to love? He deserves a fighting chance at not being plagued by grown-up foolishness.

God has called this mangy pack my family. So I have too. For a long time now. If there was a hope that satan had of me throwin H away, it all faded when the realization hit me squarely in the face that a) that act would prove satan right, and b) children - INNOCENT children - are affected by the choices we all make.

I might be the grown-up who's been wronged in all this. But that doesnt give me the freedom to not take the spiritual responsibilty for all our well-being that God has given me seriously. I dont have to like anything. God never asked me to. But I do have to obey.

And because that's just who I am at this point, I'm gonna obey. God knows my heart. He knows every pain and every bit of frustration and anger that still lingers. But. He's bigger than that. And quite frankly, if He can work in me like He has, He can work in H and that other clown too.

I might feel like transparency is overrated, right now. But I'm not willing to live with defeat or hopelessness. Not at all. And I'm certainly not willin to take one for the team because it'll make me feel better right now.

I'm not givin' anybody the satisfaction of giving up the things I've come to long for because they make it damned inconvenient to cross the finish line. And I'm certainly not giving a THEIF the pleasure of punking me like it's trynna punk my man.

Not even.

Friday night was a wake-up call. He wants She-Ra. He talked all that yack about how he's knows I'm strong - hopin in his head that would mean I'm strong enough to let him hurt me while he bull-corns around and tries to tarry on some decision-making, all the while taking for granted that cuz I've said the Lord has told me to stay committed to us, I'mma do that and not require somethin of him. BLESS HIS HEART. REAL LIFE hit him square in his mug. He got She-Ra alright.

Since both him and God seem to believe - with two totally different motives in mind - that I'm so strong and stuff, I guess I'll just walk it out. And I guess they'll both be proved right.  In all humility and in all honesty. Cuz the very strength H takes for granted is the very strength that REQUIRES me to hold him accountable for my heart, our relationship, and our future. And the very strength God keeps tellin' me I have is the very strength He always restores and calls me to draw from when it's time to stand up and fight.

I guess they're both gonna get to see me rise to the occassion.

I hope I please God.

And I hope H finds some of the same character that he loves so much about me, inside himself.

He's not a sorry man. But he's behavin like one. And it's time that ends.

He thinks he walked away, but he RAN right on into a face-to-face come to Jesus meetin. And I'm gon' do my part to make sure I usher him there.

If you know my heart, you know this isnt said in pride. I know that he's gonna hurt. And I know that God is gonna do some tremendous shaking in him and in all of us. I know that  in the choice to accept this foolishness and receive him back as God rattles his cage is to choose my shame.

I'm choosin. I'm choosing the same shame Christ chose when He chose to die, hoping that I'd accept the gift of life... The shame of God's way. The shame of sacrifice and crucifixtion that leads to someone else's redemption. The shame that leads to something beautiful when the stone is rolled away.

So... I'm gonna accept the lessons about love. I'm gonna take all that and I'm gonna walk in it. Starting now. It's a fight they want... It's a fight they're gonna get. And since my commander-in-chief is God, it's a fight I fully intend to win.

Song of Solomon 8:6... Lord, may my love for H be as strong as death. May its jealousy be as unyielding as the grave. You conquered the grave before Christ faced the cross.  I cant say I believe You and then not stand up and do my part. It's Your job to fix this, not mine. But it's my job to obey and move like You say, to open the door and invite You in. So. Finally. I'll accept the strength You've given me. I'll accept the fact that my heart is not too hard to love H. I'll accept that my heart is not too bitter to love our newest sweetheart. I'll even accept the fact that I'm not too hurt to fight for the best interest of the Intruder. Anything less negates the work You've done in me. So. I'm choosing. Not my way. Your way. Not what's easy. What's right. Not what's natural. What's wise. And not what feels good. But what IS good. Prove Yourself. You spoke to me that You are proving something in my surrender. I will accept that and I will stand and watch as You revive and restore. The enemies I see today, I know in my heart, I will never see them again. Part the Red Sea, God.  I'm taking the authority You've given to me and I'm gonna fight. Because it's either fight or die. And death is not an option. I'm gonna fight. Lord please... Part the Red Sea. Take us safely across on dry land and drown the Egyptians that follow. The conviction that rang out in our conversation, use it to accomplish Your purpose and to draw hearts to You, rather than away from You. Show me what to do, how to love. Show me how to pray and how to stand. And show those who are praying with and for us, exactly what we need as You give us our life back. Heal my sweet son's heart; use the pain that he will feel in this for Your purpose in his life. Open my little one's heart to You, as he enjoys the sweet privilege of seeing his father walk in Godly manhood. Thank You for their lives and thank You for an opportunity to love them beyond my natural ability - as if they were my very own. I'm trusting You God. In Jesus Name. Amen.