It’s Written All Over Us

Psalm 38:3-4; 17-18; 21-22 (ESV)

3 There is no soundness in my flesh

because of Your indignation;

there is no health in my bones

because of my sin.

4For my iniquities have gone over my head;

like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me….

17 For I am ready to fall,

and my pain is ever before me.

18 I confess my iniquity;

I am sorry for my sin…

21 Do not forsake me, O LORD!

O my God, be not far form me!

Make haste to help me

O LORD, my salvation!

When we are living in a season of sinfulness, it’s written ALL over us. We may not be able to see it in the mirror but we know it’s true when we hear comments from our friends like “Is everything ok?” or “So, how are you REALLY?” The heaviness of these burdens, these unconfessed and often unrealized sins, is obvious not only to God but to those God has placed in our lives and in our own inner circles. We have become masters (some of us, at least) at disguising it and lying to our friends, family and especially to ourselves.

This summer I decided that I had waited long enough on God to fulfill a very specific promise to me. I told Him I was done believing Him about this happening and that I no longer even wanted what He had told me He had for me 2 years earlier. I was done. I couldn’t “do” it anymore. It was too painful to believe, to trust, to wait, and even to think about it.

I quit on God that day.

And this was one of the hardest summers of my 34 years. I cried almost daily and couldn’t really even tell you why. I became physically, mentally and spiritually fatigued and angry at those I love. I became incredibly insecure. In short, I honestly thought I was losing my mind. For weeks I was not recognizable as me. I was something very different and I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

Finally, at my wits end and out of total desperation I cried out to God and asked for His forgiveness for my sins of unbelief and willful separation from Him. I confessed my selfishness of only wanting Him for what He gave or did not give me.

And just like that…I was restored-to good health in my mind, body and spirit. In my relationships and in my faith. He showed me merciful and gracious signs conforming His original promise yet again.

And all because He allowed the grace for me to confess my sins to Him and cried out for His mercy and restoration.

He restored me mercifully.

There was once again “soundness in my flesh” (Verse 3), “health in bones” (Verse 3), and my strength, or better yet, HIS strength in me, returned and was even more than before.

And again, it showed all over me. The comments from friends changed, my relationships were restored and life, in general, was back to being defined by His joy and my faith in Him.

What is written all over YOU today? What is the condition of your flesh and your bones and your mind and spirit today? If you just can’t put your finger on whatever it is that’s bringing you down, spend some time in quiet prayer and reflection and then confession and repentance. The restoration will come, I promise. But most importantly, He promises. And His promises are written not only all over His book, but also all over you as well.

 

***This was written as part of the She Shares Truth experiment…Go to http://shereadstruth.com/2014/03/07/shesharestruth/ to read more!***

What am I waiting for? Psalm 130

Psalm 130:5-6

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,

and in His Word I hope;

my soul waits for the Lord

more than watchmen for the morning,

more than watchman for the morning.”

Lent is all about the waiting.

But wasn’t Advent all about the waiting, too? In December we were waiting for the birth and for the arrival and for silent nights and peace and …

But in March…What am I really waiting for now?

I gave up sweets for Lent this year and if I’m completely honest, a whole lot of my thoughts and focus are spent waiting on Sunday morning to come (Ok… Maybe even midnight on Saturday night…) so that I can do what we “devout” Christians affectionately refer to as “feasting,” which we all really know is a glorified word for cheating, right?

We take our ashes on Wednesday and promise to deny ourselves and sacrifice…But my ashes have hardly rubbed off before my mind has wandered to what I am going to “feast” on come Sunday morning.

Where is the beauty from the ashes in that?

There is none.

Because nothing was ever really at stake with my half-hearted attempt at self-denial, was it?

So what…I can MOSTLY make it 6 days without sugar for 6 weeks out the year and what do I gain?

Nothing, really. And more importantly, how does that accomplish anything of worth for the kingdom?

Empty promises yield empty returns.

Does that mean that giving up sugar is a complete waste of time and energy and focus for me?

It doesn’t have to be.

Is God really honored by my lack of sugar indulgence or maybe I’m missing the entire point?

I am definitely missing the sweetness right now…but not the sweetness that comes from those empty calories.

I’m missing the sweetness of His Word in my heart.

I’m missing the sweetness of His mercy on my failures.

I’m missing the pure, living sweetness of His steadfast love and plentiful redemption. (Verse 7)

And I’m definitely missing the point.

If, through my somewhat trivial sugar-fasting, I allow the Lord to direct my focus and my cravings for sweetness toward HIM and the only true sweetness that really satisfies the cravings, then just maybe the trivial can become something else…Maybe the ashes of triviality can BEcome the beauty of something else entirely…Something truly sweet and fully satisfying and lasting far longer than that sugar high ever could. The beauty of a deeper, richer relationship with Him.

Empty promises yield empty returns.

But IF I’m waiting on the Lord and putting my hope in His Word, His promises are anything but empty. If my waiting on Him for peace, for direction, for purpose, for healing is truly focused on Him, He promises all these things and exponentially more…”a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19), “strength” (Nehemiah 8:10, Isaiah 40:31), “beauty instead of ashes” (Isaiah 61:3), and “joy in the morning” (Psalm 30:5)…

“My soul waits for the Lord

more than a watchman for the morning

more than a watchman for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!

For with the Lord there is steadfast love,

and with Him is plentiful redemption.” Psalm 130:6-7

Now THAT’S something worth waiting for!

Winter Mantel

I really didn’t want to take down my Christmas decorations this year… Partly because it seemed like Christmas just flew by and I wanted to hold onto it a little bit longer.. And partly because I really liked the decorations this year!
BUT.. Once I got them all down and got some nice Pinterest inspiration to do a Winter mantel, I was pretty motivated to give it a shot!
Most of this was either left over from Christmas decorations or bought after Christmas at either TJMaxx or Marshalls… For 70% off! Woohoo!
Then I decided to finally try and make my own burlap pennant/bunting and was pretty pleased with how it turned out AND especially with how easy it was to make!
Whatcha think????

20130115-104817.jpg

20130115-104859.jpg

20130115-104924.jpg

20130115-104957.jpg

20130115-105031.jpg

20130115-105104.jpg

20130115-105134.jpg

We’ve been rolled…By an elf!!

Finnigan Ninny Noggin has been quite the prankster this season… I suspect he may have opened a Pinterest account, but who can be sure?
Tonight, the ever-stoic-faced Finnigan thought it was a good idea to use an entire roll of t.p. to do a little “decorating” of his own :)

20121206-220017.jpg

20121206-220037.jpg

20121206-220107.jpg

20121206-220055.jpg

20121206-220133.jpg

20121206-220119.jpg

20121206-220158.jpg

A Work In Progress

Ok, so we’re just gonna breeze past the awkwardness of the the fact that it’s now been over 2 years since I’ve blogged… Breezing on past it…
Yesterday, I had a sickie at home. And with the exception of 12 loads of laundry and 2ish loads of dishes… I had some unexpected, lovely time on my hands! So what else could I do, but peruse Pinterest and find ways to launch a mid-season redecorating spree! Our mantel was fun before, but Je t’adore the new revamp! Let me remind you that the inspiration came from Pinterest, but it sure was fun to recreate!
I still want to add a burlap & twine banner with “All ye faithful” across the front, but we’ll see if that happens. I have another sickie at home today….
Those sparkly stars hanging from the ceiling were $3.99 each at TJMaxx last week-score!! They might just be my new favorite… Everything else I had lying around the house… Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!!

20121206-085716.jpg

20121206-085752.jpg

20121206-085847.jpg

20121206-085949.jpg

20121206-090021.jpg

20121206-090053.jpg

A Message in the rain

Ok, so last night the girls and I were headed out to have our “Girls Only” night…and of course by “girls” I mean AC and Moo! Anyway, as we were driving on Thompson Lane, out of NOWHERE came this heavy, LOUD, really hard rain shower! It came upon us so quickly that I immediately had to slow way down, turn on my lights and my windshield wipers and really focus on the road ahead. It was SO incredibly loud that I could no longer hear anything except the storm and the water pounding down on the car. It was overwhelming, to say the least. I glanced in my rearview mirror to check on the girls and I could tell that they were watching me to see what my reaction would be. I knew it was a teachable moment and the Holy Spirit prompted me to turn up the praise song that was playing on the radio. Now, it was so LOUD inside that car that I had to turn the radio REALLY LOUD to even hear the music. Once I did, almost immediately, as quickly as it started, the rain all but stopped. I could see in my rear view mirror that there were dark, foreboding clouds behind us, but up ahead was a beautiful sunset getting ready to happen. So peaceful, so serene.

I told the girls that just like that storm that came upon us so quickly, life will happen the very same way. Before we know it we are in a situation that can be overwhelming, consuming, and often times, even very scary, but that we ALWAYS have the option to do just what we did in our mini-van…get a grip, take a breath, and turn UP God in our lives. He is always there, just like that praise music is always available. Often times there is so much else going on that turning up the praise music seems to be unimportant or even trivial when your body,mind and senses are saying to go into survival mode, but always remember that Christ is there, waiting on you to turn Him up in your life.

Waiting on you to focus your attention and your prayers and your time and your feelings and your worries and your burdens on Him, and He will watch over you, He will quiet you with His presence and He will give you peace…to get you straight through whatever storm you may be “powering through”…until the only remnants remain in your own rear-view mirror and that beautiful peace is all that stands before you.

Thank You Lord for speaking to us, for loving us, and for always showing us the way out of our own storms..

Tis the season…

***I just  found this and am publishing it, over a month late!****

How does the saying go? Tis the season to be jolly, Fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra.. (Yes, I know it’s wrong, but I love the Christmas Story far too much to think of it any other way!)

Anyway…I am really feeling the nudging this year to live simply, especially this Christmas season…and I see the same thought everywhere I go, every blog, every magazine article…EVERYwhere. Is God trying to tell just me something or is this a trend? I would love for it to be a trend..doesn’t that always make transitions easier..if everyone else is doing it? What a crazy thought, that to be obedient and peaceful with my choices, that it could be “easier” because everyone else is doing it! I truly don’t want to BE like everyone else, but I also don’t want to be, well, a freak, you know? I want my children to be loved and accepted for who they are, but I also want them to be set apart from this crazy world and it’s backwards virtues. How do you do that? There are so many beautiful examples of families that actually accomplish this at our church. One, in particular, is my absolute FAVORITE family to sit behind at church on Sundays. I love to watch them as they sing the praise songs and as their teenaged children worship God freely and without looking over their shoulder to see who is watching…..

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.