no more

It’s been a few days since I’ve had some good time with the Lord…that’s because I wasn’t being diligent to make time for him (wish I didn’t feel the need to be honest about that). I sat down tonight to pray and read and process some of what is going on in my head and the Lord met me in some big ways. Guess I just want to share a little bit of what’s racing through my head right now.

Hebrews 10:14-17
“For by a single offering he [Christ] has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us, for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,’ then he adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.'”

Y’all, that last phrase. Oh. My… Read it again. And again. And again. I can’t tell you how many times I find myself intentionally recalling or dwelling in the shame of past mistakes [in the last week]. It’s like in those moments, I just assume God’s the same way…he’s recalling my sin too.

Doesn’t the shame I feel make Christ’s sacrifice easier to swallow or at least make me more worth of it? [Answer: NO!]

How dare I assume that the God of this universe operates in the same way I do when I know the Truth. It’s just hard to remember sometimes. But tonight, I was humbled and found my heart so thankful for the rest and peace that came from being reminded that he will remember MY sin and MY lawless deeds NO MORE.

Praise Christ!

again and again

I need to hear this again and again. Thank you, Brennan Manning.

“My life is a witness to vulgar grace–a grace that amazes as it offends. A grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wages as the grinning drunk who shows up a ten till five. A grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck toward the prodigal reeking of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw a party no ifs, ands or buts. A grace that raises bloodshot eyes to a dying theif’s request–”Please, remember me”–and assures him, “You bet!” A grace that is the pleasure of the Father, fleshed out in the carpenter Messiah, Jesus the Christ, who left His Father’s side not for heaven’s sake but for our sakes, yours and mind.

This vulgar grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us. It’s not cheap. It’s free, and as such will always be a banana peel for the orthodox foot and a fairy tale for the grown-up sensibility. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough. He is enough. Jesus is enough.”

update

in January I told you my word for the year is trust. I know you’ve been checking the blog daily for an update, so here you go:

sometimes I’m awesome at trusting the Lord. other times I stink at trusting the Lord.

the end.

ha, kidding, kidding. but really, I could leave it there. it’s a true statement–and unfortunately most of the time I stink at trusting the Lord. but our faithful God continues to provide me with ample opportunities to practice.

on Tuesday I got news of cancer, suicide, and something going on at work. “wow, this world is a broken place.” seemed to be the only thought I could muster. I knew the Spirit was prompting me to slow down and run to the Lord in all these situations. TRUST.

[wouldn’t it be nice if I could end the story like this: so I picked up my Bible and prayed and fasted until dawn.]

do you know what I did? I sat down, with cereal for dinner (duh) and watched White Collar. like at least 3 episodes. oh, and I watched Wheel of Fortune AND I played solitaire on my phone. that’s what I do when I want to avoid hard things. then I went to bed at 8:30. it seemed impossible to trust the Lord with what was going on.

admitting that isn’t fun.

so anyway–trust is vulnerable. trust means that I’m surrendering what I think I need to do in situations and waiting on the Lord for directions. trust might mean I lose someone or something I love and cherish. trust might mean I gain something. trust is hard.

the man in the arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

five

An early phone call woke me up on January 28, 2009. As soon as I was alert enough to realize it was my daddy calling, I knew the reason. “Hello?” I answered sleepily. “Good morning, it’s Daddy. Sorry to wake you up…” I heard the words, “I wanted you to know that Poppy passed away early this morning.” He’d been sick, it wasn’t unexpected, but the words still stung. “Okay,” I said still unable to fully grasp everything, “So I guess I should come home today? Or meet you in Rose Hill? What’s the plan?” Daddy said, “if you’d like to come home today that would be good then we can all meet Mommy in Rose Hill together.”

The week was a blur. Family, friends, and more food than the kitchen could hold. There were tears, hugs, laughter, and a service that honored the man he was and the God he served.

It’s hard to believe that was five years ago. Every trip to see grandma I wish I could see him sitting there in his recliner when I walked through the door. I wish I could hear him pray for our dinner around the table, thanking God for family and forgiveness. I wish I could snuggle up next to him and watch some home improvement shows or an old western.

Like every year for the past 5, today I long for heaven more than usual. I’m thankful that Poppy knew the Lord and called him Savior. Someday I’ll get to enjoy the beauty and perfection of heaven with him, my Poppy Don. Until then, I’ll keep pressing on and learning from the legacy he left. Love God, love and serve people.

2013

slow down

guys, how did I miss November AND December on the blog?! thanks to my Mama who told me that she decided today would be the day to publish a post. I can honestly say it isn’t for lack of want to post–I had started a few posts at the end of 2013 but didn’t get around to finishing them. (sometimes people tell me I’m good at procrastinating…I don’t know what they’re talking about.) so blog world, HAPPY 2014! this post could take so many different forms, so I’m just going to write and see what happens, yes? yes!

in 2013 my focus word was “faithful”. the Lord really awakened me to his great faithfulness and my lack of faithfulness. my goal was to take opportunities that came my way to grow in this area. hard to say how much I have grown (if any) in faithfulness but I can say I am more aware of how things in my life are used to shape me into a more faithful woman. isn’t it wonderful that the Lord doesn’t leave us alone in our broken, sinful, fruitless state?! he is good.

speaking of God’s goodness…I’m studying it right now. “His [God’s] direction and boundaries for life are good and they are for your good.” ….. “Eve saw the fruit as good and God’s boundary as unwise. She believed the fruit would give wisdom to determine good and evil for herself without the need for God.” 2 things:

1. in reflecting on God’s goodness in my own life, I realized that he has been so kind to me. there have been too many times in my life that I face a decision and instead of praying and seeking the Lord I assume others are doing that for me…or that God will just make it happen. (whoa, lack of faith!) I am blown away by the sovereignty that God has displayed in guiding me even when I am too stubborn to ask for it. he has surely saved me more heartache than I know and I’m humbled by that.

2. when I read the story of the fall these days, I remember the time Nika Adidas Spaulding taught this story. (check it!) and how she said something along the lines of “I would have eaten the fruit…and you would have too!” (I’m sure those weren’t her exact words, maybe they weren’t even in there at all but she’s said it before and I’m thinking it was in that teaching.) I used to roll my eyes and be annoyed at Eve for making a dumb decision. the older I get and the more I stare my sin in the face, I realize…I eat the apple, daily. DAILY I believe that God is holding out on me so I should take control. oh, if I could TRUST God’s goodness.

speaking of trust…that’s my new word for 2014. TRUST. it embodies so much that I want to grow in this year. mainly, I want to learn to trust the Lord. in everything. for everything. because he is good and he is for my good. I also want to grow in my trust of others without being concerned of what they think or driven by who I assume they want me to be. finally, to trust myself–to learn how to discern lies from truth and believe truth over lies.

so blog world, happy HAPPY 2014! I hope this year is full of growth, learning, opportunities to trust, laughter, joy, and grace. because our God is holy and good.

drains and things

sometimes when i wash my face at night i splash water into the “emergency drain” hole on the edge of the sink. i just think it must get lonely and feel purposeless most of the time…

wouldn’t you agree?

also, this conversation happened today:

me: “why do we brush our hair?”
little friend: “so they’ll love us.”

that’s definitely why i do it.

moments

there are moments in my day that catch me off guard.
i just miss them.
some days these moments bring joy.
some days they bring tears.
always they bring sweet memories.

forever changed by the lives i encountered.
inexpressibly grateful for the time i had with them.
hopeful that i will see them again.
wishing the world was a little bit smaller.

[thailand]