While each of us are seeing summer transition and school begin amidst these strange times, I am so grateful for life. It doesn’t matter what may be going on because God never changes and His plans for us remain. His plans are always good.
Dreams are still coming true!
Some days I do not even know where to begin. Amidst all the pain, changes and transitions His goodness bounces off the walls and envelopes my family. My family! I cannot even grasp my love for them. I have no words for this time. Sweet moments come here and there, enhanced by battles raging back and forth. Forward, back and forward more. What matters is that love overflows in the hearts of my family and laughter fills their bellies. Tear stained eyes will become bright in time just as the sun breaks through after a storm.
My heart has broken in ways I never thought possible these past several months. Depravity continues to become more depraved, sinking lower until I hardly know which way is back out.
Jesus is so grand and marvelous! He pulls me out of that muck in an instant. Light breaks through the darkest dark and the horrors of the night. He is always there. His presence consumes everything. Today, tomorrow and then by God’s grace, years and years from now, it will be worth it all. He is helping me see His might and strength, as well as His love and gentleness, defeat the graves intended to keep those I love from living.
From the depths of who I am, gratitude flows.
Just wait… Make sure you don’t miss Him through it all. Notice the miracle of life. Dancing on graves will become the new normal.
Reflecting on the past several months and I have realized a few things. What has come to the surface during quarantine and “reopening” has revealed what is deep in our hearts. Things we’ve tried to hide or didn’t realize were there have been sifted.
We have seen darkness exposed. It was always there. I often have wondered if it’s been by choice not to acknowledge it or if blind eyes simply have been opened recently. Many of us didn’t realize we had idolized government, our routines, entertainment, the busy and our jobs. Others have had to face the reality that they didn’t really trust Jesus all that much as worry consumed them.
But there have been a huge group who have peacefully embraced each day and chosen joy knowing Jesus would come through for them. A huge group revealed the beauty of the church as they reached neighbors and those who’ve never stepped foot in church. When the building was requested to be closed an entire group didn’t let that stop them from praise and worship. The awakening of hearts finally collided in our neighborhoods and families slowed long enough to come together again, unified.
Perhaps the gifts given during this time were ones that reminded us that church wasn’t a building but of people? People who were intended to disciple others instead of leaving it to church leaders only. People who began to see their neighbors again, their family again… People who needed a nudge out of normalcy in order for Christ to refine the parts of them that had become too comfortable sitting in the pew, territorial of it and selfish. Perhaps the greatest gift we have received has been the threat of our normal being stripped away. It has caused us to open our eyes out of slumber and look to see the need around us and within us for Jesus.
Our hearts should burn for Him. Our hearts should burn to see no one perish. Our hearts should burn for justice and love to permeate our homes, neighborhoods, cities, states and nation’s. Our hearts should burn for unity where our focus and words no longer cause dissension and turmoil for one another. What we are seeing from closed doors, states, over-sexualization of children, violence in the streets, hatred for our brothers and sisters, are all coals for revival. The more it surfaces and exposes itself, those coals burn hotter until everything is aflame.
What is coming is far greater than we can imagine. Hope for everyone. The devil has shown us his hand. There is an army rising and growing and getting stronger each day to confront the darkness and see light, life, hope and unity come again into every place. Jesus in our homes where reconciliation and miracles take place which spill over onto our neighbors, our streets and impossible situations. Jesus in our justice system restoring the justice that corruption and sin took away from kids, parents, police officers and every human being unjustly treated. We’ve limited our voices to only black and white causing a wider divide. Jesus conquered that divide.
A gentle, peaceful uprising is occuring that cannot be stopped. The coals are burning hotter.
What needs to burn away and what needs to be refined for the holy, pure, and loving fire to come and heal each of us?
Revival has begun. Will you let it consume you and restore you or will you let division and death lead you instead? It is time to choose life.
I have enjoyed having the privilege to read and review this beautiful book for those on the journey of motherhood. Currently I am not pregnant but I enjoyed the hidden gems and the truths throughout the pages. Katherine Newsom paints a beautiful picture full of life and strength on every page. Pregnancy, human life in the womb and labor are often looked down upon in our culture. There is also often fear around childbirth itself. Katherine does an excellent job communicating the beautiful truths of childbirth and how we were designed and chosen to bring forth life and to do so without fear. What I enjoyed the most was the Biblical thread throughout the book. Birth and the Bible are not focused on in depth. Most preachers or teachers will not even bring it up. It was fascinating to make these correlations as Katherine wove in God’s truth from His word. For those that enjoy a chance to write notes or reflections there is a journal page at the end of each chapter. What I enjoyed was that this was a book that provided hope for my own journey as well as helped provide some reconciliation of my miscarriage. The grief chapter addresses loss in many forms. No matter your loss, it does not mean you and your child were not any less chosen. Katherine makes it clear in remarkable ways how each of us are chosen. We are chosen to be life givers. We are chosen to steward life, live life and see God’s hand in the beautiful formation of a human being from conception to birth. Momma, you are strong. You are strong to grow a baby and birth it. Momma, you are strong amidst loss and baby birthing too soon. Momma, you are chosen no matter what part of this journey you are on.
Lately I have felt all these things not because of poor choices but because I am living my best life. Loving my family well is my first priority. I ask God daily for wisdom, insight and help. He has blessed us far beyond comprehension at this point.
Recently, I haven’t had time or the thought process to get my jumbled words out onto paper. I have had so many thoughts recently. Thoughts about human trafficking, the church, abuse, how Jesus heals, love, rest as a weapon and so much more. These thoughts are all wound up in my head like messy yarn. Instead of writing I see the beautiful faces of those I love and they have needed me more. When I begin one thing I am needed for someone else and I forget to finish what I began. If you are around when this happens please don’t take it personal. I am truly doing my best here to keep up with those that need me.
I often struggle with not being able to do everything I set my heart to get done. I have missed some writing deadlines, none that were required of me, but I set a personal goal to submit guest posts once a month. I found myself getting frustrated at myself for not being able to complete these submissions despite the drastic life changes my husband and I have had recently.
Have you ever been hard on yourself despite circumstances being far beyond your control? Why are we so hard on ourselves over things that don’t matter?
Once I realized how hard I was being on myself I chose to put my phone down, except to take photos, and enjoy the view. Whether it was hearing giggles and seeing smiling faces or providing tissues for tear streaked cheeks with heartache coming to the surface, I chose to be fully present in it all. I suppose I have been attempting to truly live this way since February but I hadn’t realized how much of our busy and performance based culture was imbedded into my DNA.
I have had to say, “no” more than I can count and take rain checks more often recently to ensure that I am fully present and living in obedience. This has also meant that goals have been slowed, not stopped, and life filled with other foreign things during a time unknown to us all. If I do not take the time to choose wisely I will miss it. What will I miss? I will miss those moments where those in my life need me and want to be the center of my world in that moment. I will miss the laughter and the hugs. I will miss the epic stories. I will miss the hiking trails and the messy faces, the scraped knees that need bandaging and my name being called in a sweet voice. I will miss the losses and the incredible victories.
I will miss the views.
The views that are beautiful beyond words and take your breathe away. The type of views you have prayed your entire life for and are struggling to soak in because it seems so surreal that finally you are living it!
Each of us must soak these views in because they will pass like a vapor in the wind too soon.
If you are struggling today to enjoy your view take a nice deep breathe in, exhale slowly and realize that this won’t last. You will miss some precious moments because they come and go in a blink of an eye. Give yourself grace as each day passes and a new one begins. Goals and dreams are waiting but those that need you won’t always be there like they are today.
Let each of us put down our phone, keep our wind blown hair and enjoy the views.