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Chaos, Social Justice, and Facing Fear in order to Seek God's Face

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.  Isaiah 26:3 A warning in advance-in...

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My book baby was born today…

and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts.
Exodus 31:3-4 (NIV)

Believe that the God that created 
you wants you to bring forth beauty. 
Never stop chasing Grace and Peace, 
and your dreams. 
God teaches me the most remarkable lessons in the most unusual ways. After much encouraging, I started writing them down. First came a blog, then regular writing gigs,  and now I have an eBook. My book baby was born today.

The Creator places within each of us the desire and the capacity to make beauty in the world. The following biblical commentary on creativity can be found at gotquestions.com,
“In the hearts of all who are skillful I have put skill.” We learn two things about God’s view of art in this passage: He likes it, and He is the source of it. He wants man to create beautiful things, and their skill in doing so is from Him.

Lessons Learned from My Downward Facing Dog is now available on Amazon.com. I’m a little stunned and a lot excited. I would never have attempted this without encouragement from friends and family and a structured writing group led by Ashley Wells called 31 Days to write your eBook.

I’m off to celebrate, but I’m leaving you with a challenge. Go after one of your dreams today. Take a first step. Believe that the God that created you wants you to bring forth beauty. Never stop chasing Grace and Peace, and your dreams.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Sharing with my sister-I'm guest posting at SeeSpeakHearMama

Lisha Epperson and I are having tea together this summer-we have declared our intention to actually meet. We’ve been online friends about a year or so, and she is my sister in all the best ways. We are women of God. We are wives. We are mothers. We share words and The Word and words of faith and friendship and fellowship. We dance-I do at it, she’s really done it. 

Because she is writing in recognition of National Infertility Awareness Week (#NIAW ) in her “Last Girl on the Hill” series, I offered a story of journeying to motherhood the hard way, my hard way. So, come visit my girlfriend, and read some stories. We’re sharing…

Confessions of a Superwoman {guest post by Chelle Wilson}

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Broken I came to the Cross…

 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,but you would have none of it.
Yet the Lord desires to be gracious to you;
therefore He will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of Justice.
lessed are all who wait for Him!
Isaiah 30:15, 18 (NIV)

This has been a hard Holy Week. Oddly, my struggles (both literal and spiritual) have given me a new perspective on the Cross. On Good Friday, I participated as a worship leader through dance in a dramatic presentation of the Crucifixion. It was among the hardest and yet one of the most beautiful things I have experienced recently.  

I accept that for now, my life is to be lived in the crucible, a hard but beautiful place where He leads me away from the world in order to draw me near to Him.  I now understand that every part of my life is connected. Each moment of praise and worship, worry and wonder in my life until the moment I entered the wilderness and then fell into the crucible He intended for my good, for my growth, to get me into right position. To bring me here, into this hard place.

As I prepare for Resurrection Sunday worship, I don’t feel the kind of joy I usually do on Easter Sunday. I now appreciate how irrelevant my feelings are. Just now, even as I am feeling so very defeated and so utterly broken, there is hope; there IS joy.

Max Lucado writes that the Bible is a story of two gardens.

The Bible is the story of two gardens: Eden and Gethsemane. In the first, Adam took a fall. In the second, Jesus took a stand. In the first, God sought Adam. In the second, Jesus sought God. In Eden, Adam hid from God. In Gethsemane, Jesus emerged from the tomb. In Eden, Satan led Adam to a tree that led to his death. From Gethsemane, Jesus went to a tree that led to our life.”

Thank You Lord, for bringing me broken before Your Cross. It is that simple. In the garden, we fell. Out of the garden, we were redeemed. Death could not stop Him and the grave could not keep Him. He overcame, and His Power and Strength are within us. By His Sacrifice, we are restored in Peace to God’s Grace. 

In just a few short days, we will proclaim

He is Risen, Allelujah!

Linking up with www.holleygerth.com

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

When all you can pray are tears…

Joy is gone from our hearts;
    our dancing has turned to mourning.
The crown has fallen from our head.
    Woe to us, for we have sinned!
 Because of this our hearts are faint,
    because of these things our eyes grow dim
 for Mount Zion, which lies desolate,
    with jackals prowling over it.
 You, Lord, reign forever;
    your throne endures from generation to generation.
Why do you always forget us?
    Why do you forsake us so long?
 Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return
    renew our days as of old
Lamentations 5:15-21 (NIV)

It’s been a rough season; I mean really rough. I realized today that I’d hit a wall when I warned my loved ones that there was no nurturing left within me, and I was going for a run, even if it rained. I nurture. That’s who I am. I can make lemonade from the sorriest lemons, and while I don’t bury my pain, I’m not terribly good at putting it out there and crying out in need.  God knew where I was headed, and so it made sense that in my reading of the Bible from Genesis to Revelations that is where I would be just now. You see, little Mary sunshine is all out of smiles. I’m not writing. I’m not smiling very much, and when I pray, all I’ve got are tears.

God is silent in the Bible
more than He speaks. While He is silent,
He is never still.

~Shelly Miller
 click to tweet some encouragement 
It’s okay. He knew I’d be here. He always knows. I look back over words I’ve written and appreciate that there are some lessons to which I am bound to return. Like this one…

This girl is weary, worn, and sad. Because I frequently forget that I am broken, I find myself humbled into painful submission as my shoulders sag under the weight of burdens I should never have carried any further than the Throne.  I find myself humbled to the point of painful submission when once again I take on more than any fool should reasonably attempt, when I’ve cast myself in the role of martyr and nobody cares because martyr is not my name. I frequently forget that I am broken.  Thankfully, when I remember little else, I remember to trust in the God that always knows.

So, Lamentations.  According to one writer, “Lamentations reminds us of the importance not only of mourning over our sin but of asking the Lord for His forgiveness when we fail Him.” My sins? Genuinely thinking I’ve got it all together. Isolating myself when life get rough. Believing that a) my brokenness wasn’t permanent, b) misinterpreting the crucible (my OneWord for the year) as an exile instead of a destination, and c)not drawing in each breath as a prayer of gratitude, because being grateful, being present, is all that really matters.

That is among the reasons why God placed me in Lamentations right now. I love the way He loves me. I love the way He tailors my universe precisely to the places He knows where I will go-remember, He knew I’d be here. And when I pray about being here and what it means, I am comforted by my personal lamentations-even in the form of tears, they are prayers. He hears me. He knew I’d be here and I know He was waiting.

I did some things today to ensure I wouldn’t cause any more pain than necessary; I measured my words, I kept to myself, and I granted myself the gift of time and sacred space, in the form of a run. I am on my way to better.

There are some new lessons this time. One, He has not forsaken me (that is not new). Two, while it may feel like joy has departed from me, in due season I know I will reap, because that is in His Word, even if I don’t know what reaping looks like (that is a new part of the lesson).

I’m off to listen to Joann Rosario sing When I Pray, remembering the wise words of my friend Shelly Miller, who wrote something I cling to…

God is silent in the Bible more than He speaks. While He is silent, He is never still.
~Shelly Miller

OneWord 2015

OneWord 2015

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