Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It Is You...

Hi friends...Out of anything I've ever posted, this is giving me the most hesitation... Not that a lot of you read my blog (by ANY stretch!) but this seems to be the most personal thing I've ever posted on here. Funny thing is, I've posted a LOT of personal things!!

I recently had a bunch of 'writing' bubble up from a secret place that my heart sought out and found...and I think they're meant to be songs. I'm not entirely sure...but there seems to be a faint, haunting melody that comes along with each of them. I actually have a few times this has happened recently...weird.

The one that I have posted below was inspired the other night after I read through Psalm 57... The Psalm is about His faithfulness, help and love in times of trouble. So... before I chicken out, here it is!!!!

It is You

Verse 1:
My stirring soul awakens the dawn,
Quiet thoughts bustle and then they're gone;
Replaced by music my heart can dwell on,
It is You.

Your hands, Your heart, Your sacrifice
You, who paid the highest price
To rescue me - the least of these -
I give you my life

Verse 2:
My heart is steadfast, I rejoice in your name,
Humbled, at your feet - it is You I proclaim
Be exalted, O God, above all the earth
Only You remain the same!

One hand to guide me, the other to hold;
One hand to catch me when all else unfolds;
One hand to rest my weary soul...Safe in the arms of my Savior

Chorus 2/Ending:
My hands, my heart, my sacrifice;
For You, no matter what the price,
You rescued me - brought me to my knees,
I promised you my life...
Yes, Lord...I promise you my life.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I'll Throw the Rope.. You Catch

I am convinced that friendships start by someone throwing a rope...and the other person deciding to catch. But it doesn't end there. Friendships - of the strongest kind - are actually a constant catch and release...each time this happens, the rope gets thicker, but coincidentally, lighter...such is the beauty of friendship.

I have a friend. Well, I'm blessed with a few... but I have this one particular friend who, well, let's just say that her and I share the better pieces of our hearts. I am her and she is me and we, together, are a perfect reflection of the best parts of ourselves. This is my rope to her. I hope I've thrown it far enough for her to catch...

To my friend...

I remember when you threw the rope to me. I played it cool, but I caught it. Secretly gleeful and holding as tight a I could without you noticing. It seemed from the start our friendship was written in the books of time as lasting forever. . . it seemed that there never was a moment that we didn't know each other. As a matter of fact, time is FOR us in our friendship - I just thought of this. Time has given us the gift of timelessness.

As the years went by, we each sat in our rowboats tossing the rope back and forth - though in reflection, it seems that you tossed a LOT more than you caught. My wild heart shouted secrets to yours and your gentle kindess coralled my spirit and helped point it Home.

When asked now how I ended up where I am, your name is quick to come up...I use words like 'rock,' 'hope when I was hopeless, rest when I was restless,' 'understands the words in my heart when they can only come out as tears.' And these are just SOME - I could go on and on. So, friend, I know that I know that I know that YOU know all these things...but I wanted to remind you. Because I'm throwing the rope. You catch.

I always had the questions. You always had the answers.. and they usually went like this "God says this...let's pray about can find the answers in this book of our bible..." Your constant shepherding, your compassionate heart, and most of all your steadfast faith were and are an inspiration.

But it seems that things have changed a bit. The armor was off so the arrows were able to hit the soft spots in your heart. Each step was weighted with the burdens you carry. And while 'running on fumes' lasted a while, the peace in your heart is now pretty much empty..but let the peace of God rule in your heart. You say you know what you need to do - and I believe you. I believe IN you with all of my heart. BUT what I want you to do is ACT on it.

If I look with my wide-view lens ... you know, the one that God lets me borrow every once in a while? ... I can see that this will unfold according to the way that will entirely glorify Him. And you know - cause you tell me all the time - that how He delivers is not necessarily in the way that we expect or want, but it is ALWAYS in the way we need. And isn't hindsight ALWAYS 20/20? Press on, friend. Fight the GOOD fight. Have patience that the burdens you shoulder can be lessed through grace with a dash of prayer for good measure. Even though the pathways may seem crooked, and the signs may be unclear, trust that He put you on the road you are on because the final destination is MUCH better than you could imagine. Do not carry fear in your heart about the journey - instead, carry hope.

And as Jesus is carrying you right this very moment, I pray you know that so am I. I storm the gates of heaven for your every need. I shout louder than the praise of the angels so that God Himself, in His throneroom, hears my pleas on your behalf. And though I may join those same angles in a resounding chorus of "holy holy holy is the Lord God Almighty!" I am sure to petition the needs and prayers in my heart as well.

I threw the rope, friend. I know you caught it. My prayer is that you are able to pull it in, pull it tight and feel the love that I soaked in every fiber. 'Cause it's there. I am beyond grateful to be in the place I am - the place you helped me get - because now I have the opportunity to do for you what you've done for me...and while I doubt my ability to do it as well as you have, I know that my heart sings of the hope that you may not be able to see yet...But I do.

Love and light, dear friend.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Just Below the Surface

Hi friends..

Life is a circus as of late - lots of flaming pins being juggled in the air at the same .. I'm currently taking bets which one will fall first. The heaviest one you say? Well you must be right... :)

I observed something recently that made me think 'I need to blog this' ... and I'm not even sure what to to say/think about it, but I figure that it's worth making sense of in writing.

The girls planted seedlings at church a few weeks ago. Some forget-me-nots and a strawberry plant. They had a grand old time painting their clay pots and wrapping them up to give as Valentine's presents to us. As it typically goes with ANY living thing that requires care, we have now inherited these small plants :)

As I was watering them the other day, I noticed something that perhaps I hadn't before. One of them - my oldest's - watered nicely. The soil drank down the cool stream of water and seemed to breathe a sigh of relief when it was full. The other one was much, much different.

As I poured the water, it immediately began to overflow - not because it was already watered, but because it was SO SO dry and the soil wasn't packed tight enough. The water I was pouring actually caused the soil to shift and float .. and then the water actually created a bubble on the top - as though I had poured it on the counter top. What did this mean? So I, who LOATHES getting my hands dirty, put the water down and tried to pack down the soil. It was so far beyond repair that it just caused WAY more of a mess - dry soil in the sink, tidbits of earth stuck to my fingers, water with swirls of grime racing across the table...what a mess.

So being who I am, I instantly thought about this from a metaphorical point of view. From the surface, both of these pots looked similar. Their size was the same. They appeared to be even with the amount of soil there was. Even though the painting and name on the outside of the pots were different, the fact that paint was there in the first place is 'same' enough. They came from the same seedling packet. From the same store. They were made in the same place - pretty much at the same time.

BUT the truth? The truth is that under what appeared to be the same, they weren't. One was made to endure the pressure of water. The other was not. One soaked up the life-giving liquid and seemed to sigh with contentment. The other pushed away this life-giving liquid and required intervention to be put back together.

So what did I ultimately do? Normally, I would have just thrown it out  essentially considered the 'mess' not worth the investment to make it right (read: dirty hands and a few minutes of time). But not this time. This time, I carefully and deliberately packed and repacked the soil. I made sure that it was watered to contentment and the outside of the pot was cleaned.

SO what did this teach me? Many things, surprisingly. It taught me that a little investment goes a long, long way - and can even be 'life-giving.' If that seedling does in fact grow in that pot, I know that it was my effort that encouraged that. This situation also taught me that what appears to be the same on the outside is definitely NOT on the inside. . .

Think about this the next time you see two successful business women walking together into a beautiful building, or maybe the next time you see two new Moms walking their babies in strollers to get off the extra few pounds. Two similarly packaged people doing the same thing. Perhaps one would flourish with watering...perhaps the other would break with watering - but always know that you can make the conscious decision to help them pack down the soil and withstand the tension from the steady stream.

Friday, February 3, 2012

If The Wind Will Not Serve, Take To The Oars

I ran across a ancient Latin proverb the other day scrawled in the margins of my copy of “Quicksand and Passing” from back in my college days. It reads “If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.” Powerful. It speaks of taking action when circumstances seem as though they will lead to anything but what’s expected. If the wind is not blowing, your boat will sit stagnant; though never still. . . always ebbing and flowing with the tides and undercurrents below. You will have no control over where you will end up. You will be at the mercy of the air that surrounds you and the water that keeps you afloat. Take to the oars. Gain control over your boat and make things happen. Even if you don’t know the direction, take to the oars. Progress is progress – and progress (even in the wrong direction) is better than waiting for the wind.

Today, I took to the oars of my boat. This boat is pirated only by me. It’s made of splintering wood and has been patched with glossy planks at different intervals of its journey. Each shiny new plank reminding me of a journey past. Each polished piece showing me a reflection of myself – and truthfully, there are times when this reflection catches me by surprise. Sometimes, I swear I can see myself the way the boat builder who repaired the broken section does…broken and beautiful.

Sometimes, in order to get where you want to go, you have to backtrack and start new. Today gave me an opportunity to do just that. Sometimes we sit, passive to the circumstances around us, waiting on incidents to dictate our interaction with other people. Now and then, those incidents come and it’s just not ‘your’ day. You are moody, you are brash, you don’t care as much as you should… and so this interaction becomes a nuisance rather than anything that could be considered productive. So what perhaps was supposed to be the start of something built on bricks, actually ends up being something build on sand. If you’ve ever seen the tide overtake the laborious work of a child, then you will know that anything built on sand will not last.

Since then, I have been waiting for the wind to serve – flowing and receding with the tumultuous currents below; patiently watching each sunrise through sunset for a glimpse of a change to the weather. No such luck. So today, with my heart as the map I followed, I took to my oars. I revisited the sandbar that I had started to build something I could no longer recognize. I knew that my labor was in vain and I needed a more solid place to sand. So today, I took to my oars and sought out a place to build a foundation of bricks. I found one. . .one that will, hopefully, withstand erosion.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
~Matthew 7:24-27