Friday, April 15, 2016

The Set-Apart Life

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord."
1 PETER 3:15

The set-apart life is the ONLY life that actually partners with the Holy Spirit.

He does not reign in POWER while only occupying  half-a-throne in our hearts. 

We 'rule and reign WITH Christ' not by sharing the rule and the reigns, but by saying 'YES' to His reign in the daily struggle. 

Our lives become 'set-apart' unto God always and only in The Moment.

To weep at the altar and declare we are 'surrendering all to Thee, My Blessed Savior' is a start. But it is not TRUE surrender until we've risen from our knees and say 'yes' to Him in the Daily. 

The moments of the Holy Spirit's whisper, and our response in that momet,  is when it is shown if we have truly Surrendered All. 

Everyone of us finds ourselves off the sweet altar of Surrender at times. What then?

Take the time to Pause throughout the day for a check-up. 
Repent of any place the Holy Spirit brings to mind where you may have denied Jesus His Lordship in your life. We must call sin what He is showing us is sin. 

Repent of it, Confess it to Him. Surrender it and say 'yes' to His Way.  

Receive His forgiveness (so important!). 

Then set upon the rest of your day in the renewed partnership of Surrender. 

This is where the power of a truly set-apart life will propel you supernaturally into God's fullness where His Kingdom is Come and His Will is Done! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Limp of Love

Proverbs 31:2-3
“What, my son? And what, son of my womb? And what, son of my vows?”

The circle of life is loving deep... And then letting go. “A time to embrace, and a time to 
refrain... A time to speak and time to be silent.”

In the midst of pride and celebration, I feel overwhelmed with loss and even sadness.
 For with every new beginning, somewhere there is ending.

I have sat in the front row of this life since it's conception. I have witnessed, lived and felt deeply, the joys of it's accomplishments, the moments relished, the experiences lived. 

My own hands have been used by God to weave a childhood and shape a life, and it seems now, that at the culmination of these precious years in our nest, these work-worn hands of mine are left to hang limply at my side. Unasked for and unneeded.  

As the curtain rises on Act 2, I’m finding my seat. I’m no longer on the front row. The years of being behind the scenes, tidying a wayward curl or whispering forgotten lines are coming to a close. And I admit, I am sad to see them go. I’m a few rows back now, watching with pride and hope as others step in to take their places for new seasons of growth and change. Now I cheer from the stands, part of that great crowd of witnesses, shouting my conviction,

“Keep the faith, my son,
Run to win!”

I think of Jacob, wrestling all night with the Angel. In the end, he walked away 
with both a blessing...and a limp. It was a long night, but he never stopped wrestling. 
He never let go. 

I see myself in Jacob. 

I, too, leave the arena after a great wrestle; the wrestle of parenting a soul through 
his growth from babyhood into manhood. From first steps, to the first kiss; through the 
learning of the satisfaction of a job well done, and the discovery of the joys, and sometimes 
heartaches, of friendship; the many thoughtful gifts and the learning of some things
 the hard way.

 Watching in awe as the Savior - 

                                                                                    saved YOU.

As He turned your ashes into beauty every time. 

Like Jacob, I leave the wrestle of these years. 

I leave with a limp. My limp is the pain of Love.
The cost - of Love.
That pain of letting go, and yet knowing I will never be able to completely let go. 

Some people make the mistake of living vicariously through their children, 
but in doing so they forfeit the living-out of their own life.

Some people live for their children,
 cushioning them forever from life’s blows until they stop desiring independence. 

And some of us find our way through, to living lovingly alongside them. 
Though apron strings must be cut, heart strings will forever bind. 
I will forever soar with your joys. And ache with your sorrows. 
This is the sometimes painful ‘limp’ of Love.

But as Jacob left with a blessing, I too,  leave these years of carrying you - 
with a great Blessing.

My blessing is that my son is now a man. 
A man who loves. A man who loves deeply and cares for others. A man who is full of 
compassion for the hurting. A man full of creativity and abounding with fresh ideas and strong character.  A man of God.  

A man who will someday go on to love a family of his own with a fierce love that was learned at the knee of his father and mother, gathered into the warm embrace of our family’s love. 

This is my blessing. 

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of ones’s youth." Psalm 127:4

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


'We must keep short accounts with God.' What a true statement.

But there is more- we must also keep short accounts with one another.

Do you owe someone an apology? It's tough to be humble. To say, 'You know, I could have handled that differently. I could have handled that better. I'm sorry. Will you forgive me?', but the fact remains- as Lovers of Jesus, being quick to make things right should be part of our regular life.

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, be at peace with everyone." says Paul.

Being quick to humble yourself and repent to someone you've sinned against is like weed killer in the garden of our relationships. When offense comes, left unattended, the Word teaches us that a 'bitter root' can spring up. When we are quick to repent and make it right (and quick to forgive those who sin against us) we are wielding a powerful tool that helps keep the garden of God's people (and our own hearts) free of weeds.

Lord, you said of yourself that You are humble and lowly of heart. Help me to not shy away from humbling myself when I need to. Help me to keep short accounts with people around me. Help me to be more like You. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

On Finding Him

How do I remain in Christ?

By doing everything unto Him.

'Interrupted' during my 'devotion' time by my daughter's plea to help her blow-dry her hair for the first day back at school from Christmas break, I sighed. Resigned, I closed my Bible and followed her down the hall to the bathroom. 

As I plugged in the dryer and began to dry the long, brown strands, I felt my frustration ebb from me as I quietly whispered within, "I do this unto You, Jesus."

Seems like silly-spiritual, just writing it.

But don't judge.

Jesus showed up. 

I felt Him, in greater measure than I had moments before, sitting on my couch, peering into the scriptures trying to find Him. 

It's a simple formula, I guess. 
Jesus. In everything. Remaining in Him means doing everything unto Him. 

Beholding Him. Declaring Him beautiful and worthy - right in the middle of my mundane everyday. 

This is the drawing near to Him -  that brings Him close to me. 

Jesus really is beautiful.

Not the far-off, unattainable, light-shining-through-His-hair kind of beautiful.  But the everyday kind.

The kind you catch a glimpse of when you see  your kids getting along, enjoying each other, preferring each other and serving each other and you slow down to savor the moment.

The kind of beauty that brings a friend to your doorstep at your tear-filled call to pick the lice from your hair. As you sit exhausted from days of vacuuming, washing, drying, combing and cleaning your children and home, she stands by your side, close, hour after hour. Combing, loving. Putting her own family on hold as she does the last of that dirty job that you couldn't do for yourself. 

The kind of beauty that keeps us going and makes life worth living - Beauty-full

Doing something, some service, unto another is such an action of Love. 
Be they great or small, if I make beautiful Jesus the first recipient of every act - that kind of love draws Him.
It's the whole reason God became Emmanuel- Jesus.  To show us what love acts like. 

And as I draw Him in with acts of love, suddenly this ordinary gift of my time, my labor - it becomes infused with the scent of Jesus. 

Finding Him in the everyday just got easier. 

"Whatever your work is, do it gladly. Do it as you would do it unto the Lord and not for people."
Colossians 3:23

Saturday, December 21, 2013

On Having Enough...

Matthew 15:32-39
“I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”

Jesus. What compassion. How often I misread your eyes, your tone; Your heart for me. These words remind me that You are full of compassion. You are unwilling to for me to walk around empty and hungry. You want me full.

I often respond as your disciples did- hearing you say something you didn’t. You expressed your compassion and unwillingness to send the crowd away hungry, and they heard- ‘you guys go figure out on your own how to meet the need’.

“Where are WE to get enough bread…?”

How often do I think in terms of what I Don’t have enough of- not enough time, not enough money, not enough help, not enough strength for my days, not enough compassion or understanding from those around me. Not enough of things going the way I expected…

 Why do I always see not enough?  Why do I often feel as though I am never enough?

 Jesus redirects perspective though, to take an account of what I already DO posses.

And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves DO you have?”
“They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.”

Do you ever feel like this? Looking within, taking stock and there's just a few small fish flopping around. Goldfish size. A few loaves. Just about empty...

But Jesus reminds me- It’s never about what I don’t have. Only about what I already possess- in Him.

And it will be more than enough.

I only have a little bit, Lord…

 Yes, what we have to offer is small. But he will make it more than enough. Through eyes turned upward, through thanksgiving for what we do have, he will make it not only enough -

He will make it enough to fill you and to bless others.

“And they all ate and were satisfied and they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over.”

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Five Minute Friday- RED

Known for passion. For blood. And what greater passion then the one spilled out for me?
It's known for anger. This 'seeing red'. It's known for Christmas.

It's hard to be passionate when I'm feeling scared and alone. It's hard to remember the red blood shed for me on the hard days and the long days.

But 'Jesus Loves Me, this I know' is more than just a song I teach my kids. It's a truth that heals my soul. Again and again. This refrain. Because I'm still weak.   And He's still strong. Because the passing of years has made me more child-like, not less. I still need to belong to Him.

I belong to Him. Does this mean He cares for me? It means I'm His. It means on the days my passion wanes, for life and love and HIM- His passion never fails. He's always red-hot for me. 

Joining in today on Five Minute Friday
Five Minute Friday
where a word is given and we write
unedited for 5 minutes and post. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

When You Want A Great Marriage

“You make Us great." I whispered the words to my husband one night as I lay in bed after another day of learning about love from watching him live it out real and raw.

 The words came from deep within. Spoken with the conviction of eyes that have watched him forgive – when it would have been so easy to resent. 

They came with quiet awareness- from a heart that had known an embrace, though I stood with arms crossed, trembling in my rebellion. Here was one who entreats, when I am at my most stubborn. This man has shown me Christ.


 We don’t earn it. We never deserve it. We can only give it and receive it. Like the gift that it is.

 I don’t know how many times grace has come to the rescue in this long journey of two becoming one flesh. I have lost count as the days have turned to years.

 But gratefulness drives me to change. It’s while standing in the light of someone’s choice to show you grace, when deep down you know how undeserving you are, that you see it most clear.

 That this kind of love, chosen and given, can build a beautiful life.

 Two becoming one is so much more than the beautiful mystery of sex, two bodies joining. It's the greater mystery of two hearts finally merging into one, that beats together, in rhythm and unison, pumping the blood of Christ into the dead places and making them live. And sing. And soar.

 The road there leads down before it leads up. It brings us low in surrender. Obedience and submission yield their own fruits. And we are the blessed. Love begets love and life begets yet more life.

Enough to keep a home warm and safe, and plenty left over to share with others, too.

It's become a saying now in our married life. Spoken with gratefulness in the moments of awareness that we have received from the other- the Gift of Grace, undeserved.

 "You make Us great."

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