Sunday, November 14, 2010

Girl Time

The blog has been quiet for awhile. My apologies about that. I've been working through some things I will share in a little while, but in the meantime, I wanted to post a few pics of my weekend. I went down to the lake with 15 or 16 (I lost count!) of some amazing women. It was a little get away that was much needed by many of us- myself especially.  We wore comfy clothes, ate yummy food, laughed, talked cried (I did) and shopped. It was a complete blast.  We went down south to the Eureka Springs, Arkansas area and stayed in a beautiful cabin.  It was still beautiful there with all of the leaves in full color. These gals lifted my spirits, encouraged me in the most personal ways and spoke into my heart.  If any of you gals from this weekend are reading this, my time with you this weekend was absolutely life giving. Thank you so much! And a GIANT thank you to JB who planned the entire weekend for us all.  You are amazing and I aspire to be like you someday! Thank you, friends!  Enjoy the glimpse....

(yes, this is a giant Jesus overlooking the ozarks....kind of random..)

Sad to see this time with my friends come to an end....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Journey · the beautiful fight: how to return

Nearly four years ago, I was longing for something more in my life. I was happy enough on the surface and to the untrained eye. But those who truly knew me could see the girl inside me questioning if this was all the Christian life had to offer. I had a steady job, great friends and loved being involved at Heartland. I had seen God moving in the lives of many around me, but had never really experienced his presence and leadership firsthand. I believed that Christianity was an adventure for some, but had pretty much resigned myself that it was not really going to be that way for me. I believed there had to be more to this life of faith I was living, but I did not know how or if it was even possible for me to play a vital role in the greater story that was being told. I felt lost.

It has been four years since I felt that way and since I decided to put my faith into action and obey what I believed God was calling me to do. Four years since I obeyed his whisper to trust him. Four years since I felt like that lost girl looking around believing that God had saved all of his adventure and wonder for someone else. Four years since I laid my bank account on the line and actually committed to tithing for the next three plus years as part of Heartland’s Go Campaign. Four years since I became part of something God was doing that was beyond myself or anything I could imagine. Four years since my life was radically transformed from ho-hum into a beautiful, wild adventure. I look back at who I was four years ago, and I merely wonder what took me so long to accept and choose to join the
party to which God had been inviting me.

That simple yet difficult decision to tithe for the first time unlocked both my heart and my hands. My heart was unlocked as I broke through the barrier I had built between myself and God. My not tithing as God requests, was saying to him that I really did not trust him to provide in my life. Tithing unlocked my hands because suddenly I was out on a limb trusting God as I never had before. My hands had to be open, not only to let go of what he wanted to remove from my life, but also so I could receive what he had to give me in this new place of trust.

I look at myself today and recognize that I am a different person than I was before the first campaign. Yet I know I am far from becoming the woman I am designed to be in Christ. I am still standing with shaking legs, an open heart, and open hands before God, eager to discover what he has planned next. I have never been a big risk taker or adrenaline junkie, and I’m not a person who practices great acts of bravery in my spare time. However, I now understand with absolute certainty, that giving to God more than we think is safe is a risk that is always worth taking. God honors our faithfulness and not only transforms the gifts we offer for the good of his kingdom, but he transforms the heart of the giver as well...and we are forever changed for the better.

“The ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

~ Isaiah 51:11

§ If you are interested:  click here for The Journey in Word format and click here for the Journey in PDF format. For more resources, feel free to visit the Journey Devotional page by clicking here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

10 Months

Luke, it’s been 10 months since we met you face to face.  Happy birthday my beloved son.

A friend told us early on we could ask Jesus to pass our prayers to you via him.  It’s a thought that gives me hope that you get these notes from us.  So, I start by asking Jesus to pass this birthday note along to you.

I often sit in wonder, and imagine what you are doing right now?  Who are your friends?  Can you walk, run and play?  Some of your friends here are just learning to crawl, and some even are walking.  Who knows, you may still being cuddled and cared for by your great grandmas.  I’m sure they are delighted with you.  Jesus knows each of the prayers they have had for you; long before I even knew your mom.  God says he delights to give his children good gifts.  So, I am certain you are well cared for by many loved ones.

I wonder how cute you would have been for Halloween?  Your mom probably would have picked a Great Pumpkin costume.  We have much fondness for Charlie Brown and his friends.  In picturing it, you would have been very cute.  However, I doubt Halloween is celebrated there.  I wonder if All Saints Day is a big blow out, or if these saints even want the fame? 

I wonder if you can sing out loud, and shout to God the wonder of His name, and tell Him how great He is for He has come for everyone.  Your little voice on your birthday sounded like a sweet song.  It still brings your mom and me to tears.  It plucks our heartstrings as we hear your little voice.  You get that angelic voice from your mom.  She loves to sing out loud, and I love to listen to her.

We get to see your cirrus clouds, and that gives us great joy.  We got to see them high up in the sky over the Husker game.  It brings great joy to our heart to see those glimpses, and reminders of you.  Those clouds are closest to heaven, but you are far closer in our hearts.  Luke, we think of you often.  You are our delight, and truly our beloved son. 

Your dad