Category Archives: Power

Big

Tell Eli you love him.   And you will get one of the following responses:

O.K.

I love you too, Chicken.

Ha, ha, Broccoli head.

I love you.  You are a Chicken Booty.

There is not a serious bone in Him.  And yet, he does take 0ne thing serious.  He has a BIG God.

He gets scared like all little kids.  But he knows that his God is bigger, tougher, and mightier than anyone or anything.

And it gives him courage.

That tough, courageous boy bursts through even in the midst of fear.  Not because he is strong  but because his God is strong.

And when I fear, I thank God for my little boy.  Because he reminds me of just how BIG my God is…

Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.  Jeremiah 32:17

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-6YdT1DEO8[/youtube]

 

Messed Up

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So often our house resembles total chaos.  Toys, stickiness, and dirty laundry consume us.

But it is nice to know that I am not alone.  It is comforting to walk into another home strewn with legos, dirty dishes, and a frantic mom.

In those moments, I realize it is normal to not have it all together.  But it is not just the visual stuff.  But the insides.

It is nice to hear that I am not alone.  Being messed up inside is normal, too.

I have to share a passage I read today from Lysa Turkurst’s book,  When Women Say Yes to God:

Samson was codependent, Rehab was immoral, David had an affair and all kinds of family problems, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant

And the list goes on…

But God used all those messed up people.

Even though I know that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” it is so easy to believe that others measure up.  And have something special.

But the truth of it is that we are all messed up in our own unique way.  And that my weakness is exactly where He is the most beautiful.  Graceful.  And gets His magnificent glory.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is DSCN7516-001made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me…For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Because I am no longer concerned about my messed up life, I don’t have to be adequate.   I can see God at work because I am not desperately trying to find something I am good at.  Something others could admire.  Or something I can do to make a difference.

I get to just stop.

                             And let God work.

Let His light shine.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.  2 Corinthians 4:6           

Declaring His Glory

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I can’t stop recounting the hilarious profession of an older woman who made change in the offering plate because her bill was too big.  She reassured us, though, that she spoke to Jesus before she did it.

A bit unhindered.  And  free from the fear of  judgment and condemnation of others.

While I am not tempted to make change in the offering plate,  I AM jealous of her.  Of her emotional disconnect between her sense of  worth and the approval of others.

Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?    Isaiah 2:22

It only takes one word of discouragement or condemnation, and suddenly, my internal foundation is threatened.

After publishing my first blog entry, I became very nervous.

First of all, I knew that such an openness would tear down any false impressions of a secure and stable walk with the Lord.  (Now, I gladly trade in those false impressions for transparent God glorifying faith.)

Secondly, I have no formal training in either writing or theology.  Although my words are more precise on paper, I doubt my ability to convey God’s truths with conviction.  I also know that it is a distinct possibility that I could mislead or miss the true meaning of God’s word.

So, yes, I was extremely nervous about a reaction to my struggles and confessions of faith.

And of course, that very night, I received a long, detailed message about a different writing I had submitted months before to a slightly seasoned writer.  And in this message, my writing skills were seriously challenged, criticized, and refused any affirmation.

I was shaken.

I quickly forgot that my worth is not found in myself.  And I didn’t sleep.  Now I was a confirmed failure who had just exposed all in blog form.

But I soon turned my heart back towards God.  And instead of feeding my surmounting doubt, I let God’s word coat my heart.  Finally, in God’s calming balm, I could listen to His voice.

I could hear His charge.  His direct.

He prompted me to declare His power in my life.

My job is to obey in spite of inadequacy.   And because I am in His will, He sufficiently provides all I need to complete His declaration of Glory.

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.   Ephesians 5:17 ESV

My words, my thoughts, my stories – they may not carry the authority and seamless diction and perfection of a professional – but I do have the power of God.

And His power can affirm His love.

             Demonstrate His grace.

                          And victoriously declare His glory.

Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.       1 Chronicles 29:11

God’s Whisper

My kids whisper in my ear.  Especially Abby.  Excitement, hesitation, or embarrassment will easily prompt my girl to lean close into my ear.DSCN6962

I love the innocent whispers of my children, but even more, I love the voice of God whispering in my ear.

Sometimes, though, the busyness of life crowds out that gentle whisper of my Savior.

Travels and sick children, recently, have compounded.   Unending obligations.  And constant chores that only explode in the moments of chaos.  And despite my devotion, I am tired.  I am worn.

My temporary lack of time abiding in His presence leaves me depleted.  His clear voice ringing in my ears seems a little more distant and I thirst for time alone with God.

I need time alone with God.

I need to grow in the unending limitless power of God.

I need His word to pierce my heart.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12 ESV

The Meditation of My Heart

Yesterday, I got a little smidget of milk.  Unfortunately, I am lactose intolerant – and an hour later, my body rebelled against the intruder and furiously expelled its contents. Severely dehydrated,  I passed out a couple of times, and by the time my husband arrived home, my body was limp and unresponsive.

Limp.  Unresponsive.

These words more likely refer to my spiritual state when I neglect to actively feed God’s word into my heart.  Unintentionally, I fill my heart with life draining, worldly pursuits and convictions.

Consequently, my weakness – anxiety – creeps into my heart and feeds my mind  lies about my identity in Christ and His power in my life.  And I lose perspective.

For me, the consequences of ignoring my failing weakness will translate to muscle spasms and tightness, headaches, high blood pressure, sleepless nights, and panic attacks.

At that point, I can’t deny a problem.   I have to deal with it.

But progressively, my heart is becoming more sensitive to God’s voice calling me to turn from this world and into His arms.    And in the moment I fall, I cling to a special verse that is embedded deep in my heart.

  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.  (Psalm 19:14)

I pray this verse.

And I confess.  I confess all the distrust.  The self reliance.  And the untrue convictions that I place in my heart.

And as I seek Him, He changes the meditation of my heart.

His peace transcends my heart.

My hope is renewed.

And His power transforms.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,  and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength  he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…

Ephesians 1:18-20

Obsolete Inadequacy

Leesy rapidly dismounts any prior organization and stirs up chaos in the activities of her older siblings – as she topples towers and eats their prized possessions.

She seeks and destroys.

But the destruction in my life does not root from chaos and disastrous messes.  The greatest destruction lays in my own mind.  In my thoughts.

I am not good enough. Incapable.  Everyone hates me. I always fail.  I do not deserve that.  I annoy everyone.   I always mess this up.  I am invisible.  I always say the wrong thing.  

But when I engage in such  self destructive thoughts, my heart sinks in despair.  And I simply can’t divorce my mind from dwelling on internal turmoil.

know, in the depths of my soul, that I am completely inadequate.

But God has slowly been redefining my inadequacy.  My inadequacy used to be a shame.  A complete failure. Consuming.

But in Christ’s redemption, my inadequacy is obsolete.  Because of His great love, and the price He paid for my soul, I am treasured.  Priceless.  Cherished. Simply because I am His child.

In a new position of great worth, my inadequacy is celebrated by His constant empowerment.

Because of my weakness – because I AM inadequate –  I can joyfully operate in His power and His strength.

 

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

 

Isaiah 40:29 NLT

 

An Ungodly Mess

Huge dinner mess.

Piles of laundry.

Throw up.

Broken dishes.

Neglected naps.

I am tempted to come unglued.  I am tempted to let my emotions snap my words and actions into a very ungodly mess.

But honestly, I have absolutely no desire to adhere to any form of regulatory Mama behavior.

My mind recounts Zaiah’s temper tantrum over a drop of spilled applesauce.  And I want to react to my current situation like THAT.  I could stand to whine, stomp my foot, and cry a tear or two.

But I know that my cold state of heart propels me into an evil abyss abundant in selfishness and regret.

So, I reach for peace.  I struggle to muster a bit of kindness.  And I attempt to coat my coerced words into a sweet patience.

But I can’t fake it.  That desire to snap superceeds my best efforts to pretend patience and love in the midst of exhaustion and emotional frazzlement.

I don’t want to yell at the kid who repeatedly raids the pantry before dinner.

But regrettably, my heart reflects the absence of God’s peace.

I know that I need the love of Christ to intervene.  But I can’t escape my current condition.  I cannot separate my thoughts from the current spread of distraction and frustrating enticement.

My unresponsive heart is acutely aware that supernatural power is absolutely necessary to overcome my cold demeanor.

 And so, I pray.

 I surrender to God.

  I pray for God to impose His power upon my heart.

And as His power flows into my heart, I change.

I am tired.  I am stressed.

But in spite of a mess, laundry, throw up, broken dishes, and neglected naps – my heart rests in Him.

  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7 NIV

Hold Me Tight

Walking through a parking lot with four young children invites countless opportunity for irreversible mishaps.

I only have two hands.  And so, I balance the diaper bag, my purse, and Leesy on one arm.  And then with my other hand, I hold Zaiah’s hand – who holds Eli’s hand – who holds Abby’s hand.  It’s an excursion rather avoided.

DSCN6856During one of our outings, I let go of Zaiah’s hand to adjust my purse.  But Zaiah was clearly displeased.

“Mama,” he squealed, “Don’t let go.  I might run away!”

He was acutely aware of his own temptation.  He needed me to hold him tight.

And I need God to hold me tight.

Especially in those numerous moments of temptation.

And failure.

But I often fail to lean on Him.   And I stumble.  My concerns slowly penetrate my hearts peace.  And soon, those concerns magnify and occupy my heart.  And that crippling anxiety threatens to overcome me.

But as that fear creeps into my heart, my desperation leaves me acutely aware of God’s loving embrace.

Even in my failure, God is holding me tight.

And I am confident in Him.  I will never return to where I once resided in complete defeat.

His power resides in me.

And He will finish the work He has begun.

 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

                                                                                      Philippians 1:6