In the waiting

 

In The Waiting

Hold on to your promises, even if they feel a little tattered and torn at the moment.

God moves in seasons.

 

Why?

 

I’m not sure, but I think sometimes that farmers must understand God better than us city kids.

 

There are seasons when we are waiting on God to blow on our dreams and to answer prayers.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Waiting.

 

 

My friend Praveena and I went out for dinner a couple of months ago and she said in her usually brilliant way, “God is teaching me how to hold onto my dream without having any casualties in my relationships along the way.”

Wow.

Doesn’t that sound like the God we know.

The one who wants us to have our dreams.

The one who loves people.

 

The one who wants us to learn how to do both.

Have our dreams and love people.

 

In the waiting, we’re learning how to do just that.

 

Maybe it goes without saying, but waiting is hard.

Correction.

Waiting is really really hard.

 

God’s kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep.

In the middle of the night someone yelled out, ‘He’s here! The bride-groom’s here! Go out and greet him!’

The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, ‘Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.’

They answered, ‘There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.’

They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked.

Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, ‘Master, we’re here. Let us in.’

He answered, ‘Do I know you? I don’t think I know you.’

So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive.

Matthew 25:1-13

(The Message)

 

We read this verse a lot when we talk about Jesus coming back, but I believe there’s a kingdom principle embedded in this story.

Those who have been wise to hold on to their oil, to not give away their hope and their faith in who God is, get to enter into the party with Jesus.

Why?

Because when the time comes, they have hope that gives them light to see and discern the opportunities God brings our way.

These are the ones that held onto believing the promises of God, even when it felt like you were just holding on by a thread.

It still counts.

Remember Jesus said, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed.

And a thread is bigger than a mustard seed.

 

So hold on to your promises, even if they feel a little tattered and torn at the moment.  God is good and he always comes through for us, the ones he loves.

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Photo Credit: “Sparkler” by Unsplash, permission through C.C. by 2.0

The reality of dreaming

The Reality of Dreaming

My son wants to drive so badly he can taste exhaust fumes.

This past summer, he asked me nearly every time we got into the van when it would be his turn to drive.  Most parents probably dread the day their children start driving and their insurance premiums go through the roof,  but I am so excited for the day when I can hand him the keys and see that look of joy in his eyes.  In my heart, I look forward to him driving probably more than he does.  So why haven’t I let him get his permit and take the family mini-van for a spin?

Because he’s 3 years old.

I will safe guard the dream of his driving until he is ready, not to mention old enough to see over the steering wheel, but if I gave him his “dream” today it would cause him and who knows who else harm. He’s not ready yet.

I’ve explained to him a million and one different ways, why he can’t drive right now and he responds with a quivering lower lip, “okay, someday”.  He has resigned himself to comply despite not fully understanding my reasons.

It’s the same with us.  We don’t always understand when God says, “not now” and our 3 year old hearts distort his words into “no” as we perceive our dreams crumbling into dust.

Dreams are precious things, fragile in the making.  Our dreams are things meant to be placed into the hands of God. He knows this and he’s not willing that we would gain the thing we want most at the risk of losing ourselves.  And so, he has a way of causing us to lay down the thing we want, the way Abraham laid down Issac, so that he can give it back to us at the moment of our maturity.

We all have that something lingering just out of reach.

Maybe you’ve been praying for Mr. Right (or dear God, please fix my Mr. Right).

Maybe your dream is that elusive career opportunity.

Maybe you’ve been patiently waiting for that restored relationship with your parents.

Maybe you’ve been quietly hoping for a child.

Or maybe your dream is simply driving the family mini-van.

The temptation is one of two things: 1. to either try to do everything to make it happen or 2. to do nothing.  If you’re a bold person, you more than likely gravitate towards the first, if you’re fearful you’ll tend to gravitate towards the second and if you’re like me, a cyclone of both – it might just depend on the day.

How do we trust God and act in faith when it comes to something like a dream?

When God told Abraham to go to the promise land, Abraham went. . . and kept going until God told him to stop.  When Joseph dreamed of greatness, he served faithfully . . . and God made him the second most powerful man in Egypt.  When Ruth secretly hoped for her Mr. Right, she continued to care for her mother-in-law . . . and Boaz came along.

Be faithful.

Ask God what your first step is and be faithful to do that thing until he either tells you something new or until that day when your dream becomes reality.  Too simple?  Perhaps, but I think I remember that he likes to use the simple things to confound the wise.

 

 

*I originally posted this when my oldest really was only 3 years old.  He still wants to drive just as bad now that he’s 7.

Pray for us.

–  -No seriously.

One day we’ll have to let our kids drive.*

 

 

Photo Credit: “Key” by Unsplash permissions through C.C. by 2.0

 

The Eye of God

The Eye of God

I write for my sanity.

You thought I wrote just because I loved you.

I do.

I really do.

But writing also helps keep me sane.

You see, by writing I have a built in excuse to go to a coffee shop every week and write.

My husband is a business guy, I call him the Human Calculator, because, we’ll he is.  It is freaky how well he can calculate numbers and percentages in his head when it comes to money. And because he’s a bottom line kinda of guy, in his mind – paying for coffee every week is a business expense -which means I can get away with it.  (Take notes ladies, this is how it’s done.)

So that’s part one of my self induced therapy plan – self-medicate, ie, drink coffee.

But the other part is to write about how I feel and how I’m processing the world, because . . . lean in. . .  I’m a stuffer.

 

Yeah, you heard me.  I stuff my emotions.

Which is why blogging is a such a great outlet.

At the heart of blogging is connection.

It’s all about letting another person into your world, the way you think and what you feel.

Because of this, bloggers are awesome people.

 

But right now I hate blogging.

And I kind of hate being a blogger.

And I definitely don’t feel awesome.

 

Because it means that I’m one of those people who processes her world by writing about it.

 

 

I’m a stuffer who writes about the stuff I don’t really want to write about because I figure if I put my stuff out there, I won’t be as much of a stuffer anymore. – Say that 10 times fast.

Here’s what my stuffy side doesn’t want to say tonight.

 

God’s not done healing me.

 

I actually thought he was.

I thought I had finally moved past all of my childhood issues and was on the cusp of something big. . . like the promised land of adulthood.

But I don’t think he got my memo.

 

Actually it’s the opposite.

It’s like he saved one of the biggest bombshells for last.

 

And here it is: Because of growing up in a home with a schizophrenic mother and living in a constant state of childhood trauma – I have  ummm — cough — tendencies.

 

What?

 

I said, I have — cough — tendencies.

 

Alright, fine.

 

I HAVE CODEPENDENT TENDENCIES.

There, I said it.

 

Maybe not a shocker for you, but it is for me.

 

And now I’m going from a season where I thought I was finished with all of this inner healing stuff to my-dreams-are-feeling-a-bit-like-sand-slipping-through-my-fingers-all-because-I don’t-know-how-to-not-be-overly-responsible-and-just-trust-God-when-it-comes-to-other-people’s-emotions.

Grrrrr me.

 

Here’s the crazy part, I knew he was up to something.

I was playing the piano one afternoon and just spending time with him, when God shows me this picture of a giant eye.  It reminded me of the nebula in the photo above.  Not intimidating or scary, but I was very aware that my heart was being searched.

And since then, I haven’t heard God say anything about it.

But I’m pretty sure that this discovery of codependent tendencies is tied to that day.

 

God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.

Hebrews 4:12-13 (The Message)

 

Okay seriously, I didn’t even know I had codependency issues until like 2 months ago.  And it’s not like I want to keep them or anything but man, I wish that God would snap his fingers and make it just go away.

Open a can of miracle, right here, right now.

Because I am one bewildered girl right now.  Lez just be honest.  I did not realize I was as messed up as he is showing me I am.

 

My friends and family, however, are not as shocked.

 

To make matters worse, this has not been a fast moving kind of revelation.  This is more like a slow as molasses revelation.  As in, every day I’m going to show you what is going on and how it is affecting you and the people you love.

 

Ouch.

This really sucks.

 

But I don’t want to stay this way.

I really do want to change.

 

Repentance at its core is being willing to go through the process of being changed.

 

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (The Message)

 

Okay, Jesus, so healing is what you’re offering me in this season.

I’ll take that mercy.

I’ll accept that help.

 

Photo Credit: “Helix Nebula” by WikiImages, permissions through C.C. by 2.0

Confidence

 

 

Go

Photo Credit: FamousQuotes254.blogspot.com

 

I’m in the final stages of editing my book and I should be excited.

 

But I’m not.

 

I’m terrified.

 

I’m sitting in a corner in Panera as I type this, trying to resist the urge to curl into a ball and rock back and forth.

 

Am I afraid that my writing isn’t as good as I want it to be?

Maybe?

 

Am I afraid that no one will read it and I’ll become the laughingstock of social media sites everywhere?

Probably a little.

 

Am I afraid of putting myself out there and letting everyone see the scars and bruises of my past?

God, yes.

 

Why are new forays in being open and honest always so scary?

 

When we were pre-kids, Jason and I went to resort in Mexico for a friend’s wedding.  It was beautiful – room service, gorgeous beaches, room service, fun people, and did I mention – room service. They even made those cute towel animals every morning and put them on the bed for us.  Awwwwww.

It was perfect and . . . ummmm, nude.

The pool staff were apparently used to having some of it’s more European guests more comfortable with the ‘skin to the wind’ philosophy.

 

If you catch my drift.

 

So we averted our eyes as an older couple literally let it all hang out.  Wrinkles, pudginess, and all.  Vulnerability like that is hard to come by.

No, really – I think I swam to the other side of the pool.  It was that uncomfortable.

 

Being open and honest is difficult.

Especially when it comes to our dreams and goals.

I used to think that I was a little like that older couple.  That I was okay with letting it all hang out, letting people watch me grow in the process of pursuing my dreams.

But the truth is, I’m comfortable with you letting it all hang out.

Me  – I want my stuff nipped, tucked, and in a tidy package.

I want to look like I have it all together.

 

We don’t like to be naked and exposed.  All of our flaws out in the open for everyone to see.

 

But when you’re venturing on something new, it is inevitable.  You and I will make mistakes and people will see our “nakedness”.

 

Maybe you’re starting a new business?

Launching a new ministry?

Moving to another state?

Writing a book?

 

It’s all new and a little scary.

 

When did we stop giving ourselves permission to try something new?

To have the confidence to try?

Hebrews 10:35 says this:

Do not, therefore, fling away your (fearless) confidence, for it has a glorious and great reward.

(Amplified Bible)

 

The definition of confidence is, “full trust, belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.”

 

Full belief in the reliability of God to see us through.

 

When did we stop believing that God was big enough to help us in the newness?

 

I don’t want to stop believing that God is bigger than my flaws.

I don’t want to stagnate in my thinking.

 

So, I’m going to try this whole European, openness thing.  I’m going to fight the urge to bury my book in some file on my laptop.

 

I’m going to hold onto my confidence.

 

How about you?

 

 

Scattered, my new book, comes out June 1st, 2016.