“Unshaken and Certain” | June 25th, 2013

That those things which cannot be shaken may remain Hebrews 12:27

When things are amuck, what happens to you? What kind of person do you become?

The way we react to the threat of losing control over the things in our lives we so insist make our world go round, (possessions, relationships, etc.–you name it, we got it), is highly dependent on the type of person we initially desire to be. For we are what we desire, and oftentimes, we grasp and crave the things that are shakeable.

If we are shakeable people, we do not know the kingdom we’ve been given; nor the Giver, Christ.

We will unravel from time to time, for things will be shaken on this earth. But the things below the sky should never have such authority over us. With our hands clutching, we must release the notion that all we can hold is all that we have and thus need. Our heart, mind and soul easily become dependent on the things we give power to, and we must refrain; we must refrain from being people who do not recognize the Kingdom as our own. While we seek to keep the things we possess in this present moment, our earthly lot in life, we must always be those who lift it higher and higher until it is given unto Him. That is how we receive the Kingdom. Ultimately, this scripture presses forward and fully on what the bible is generally about; “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” When this acknowledged and accepted love of God is all that we grasp, our reach is certain, because we become people who know a certainty.

All of our own strength and might to make things in our lives function, to be well, do not compare to the strength and might that covers and cares after us already. Nothing can affect the latter, everything can the former.

When things are amuck, who are you? Are you one who is able to see your Salvation and security in Him? Or are you distracted by the interference of your own want and will and loose lot? We live in a world where many things will go amuck. May we be people amidst the mess, who choose to profess the peace of the unshaken when tested by the shakeable. Be comforted in the certainty that in this world, you are ultimately made for another.  

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What Keeps You

And what keeps you from hearing from God?

Today is Ash Wednesday. And though many of us don’t care to, know about, or find it irrelevant to really celebrate Lent, I know I look forward to it with great anticipation and nervousness. I’m not comfortable with challenging myself when it means shifting my schedule, altering my tendencies and honing in on my habits. But at the same time, I’m pretty comfortable with the idea of drawing closer to a hunger that in it’s purest form, is fed by the Savior, and not by things that constantly make me famished and thirst repeatedly.

Granted, 40 Days is a somewhat stroll in the park considering, but I don’t think the Lenten Season is meant to make us set and accomplish something in x amount of days–rather I think the Lenten Season is the fresh breath we take annually that realigns our hoped for and intended posture towards others, towards ourselves and of course, towards the Lord.

This year, I want to challenge you, my friends, and ask, what keeps you? What blurs your vision from sovereign truths, what distracts and defames your heart from good, good things?

Super hard questions, super easy to respond answers.

 

 

To You It May Concern,

I’ve had the pleasure to know you, to hear your heart, to feel your lows and to celebrate your highs. And this came blatantly to tangible fruition recently as I entered the next chapter of my life in celebration with you beside me. Whether by presence, by words, by prayer or simply by that one conversation we had in that one enclosed space for what felt like at least the afternoon, you are my concern and I’m thankful for you.

Your friendship has been a goodness that I’m learning that gives me courage to unclench my fist around the things I thought I was protecting my whole life. Around the things I didn’t trust anyone with, until you showed me that heavy hands are not meant to be in bondage nor that freakin’ heavy.

You are wiser than me in ways I lack and I more than you in yours, and the wisdom that intertwines our dialogues have woven in me bridges of humility, challenge, and well, a lot of lofty and powerful metaphors concerning the intricacies of my insides all to reach the heart of my heart that have essentially healed me with freedom to. just. be.

And that has been the kind of heavy I’m learning to cling toward. The weight that does not drag but drives.

So thank you for the space you create with your affirming head nods, your discreet you know better than this look in your eyes, your insistent posture of honesty and anti-bullshit, your vulnerability that sharpens my own vulnerability and simply your friendship and love that pours into my life at the speed of what feels divinely guided and grandiose.

To you, this may concern.

 

/t

We Pack, We Unpack

Marked with emotions that have been best expressed in solitude, this month has been  both trying and treasured.

From conversations with best friends, family, pastors and with that one big tree in my neighborhood, I’ve gathered enough information to conclude that I am first and foremost loved and cared for.  No newsflash, but a memory that has seeped away into my consciousness making it difficult for me to acknowledge it as often as I should.

When change is subtle, at it’s height it’s incredibly emotional. I can’t tell if this change is subtle or not, but everything surrounding it does not feel that way. Then again, I’ve cried at the most obscure times this past month, SO I actually can tell.  I feel with this change comes this greatest responsibility–and that is to be responsible for myself. It helps I guess that my mom has been reminding me that I will have to buy toilet paper now and that I should stop at stop signs because the tickets are almost 300 dollars to date. God bless her heart. Folks, these are signs of when a momma lets her child go out into the wild. And the wild it is, because moving out (sans the college and abroad trips kind) is wild. Like unknown, make your own food, pay for toilet paper, wild.

The reality of it all though vast has framed my life in a way that is notably influential. And to have the power of affecting others (and more so myself) is a power that has turned out to be incredibly fragile. Yet whether heavenly or hellish, my roller coaster heart is truly on it’s way to  finding an altitude of acceptance and peace all beheld by a stubborn risk.

And since circumstances change so often, I suppose what this all really is, is the battle of the flesh and the bone inside of me functioning and living out these  systematic meets abyss-like changes gracefully and well. Things change. We pack, we unpack. So in this process of packing my things, thoughts of my source of strength unravel and I see a God that has remained throughout all circumstances and transitions. I’m simply moved to meditate on His faithfulness, because throughout all my roller coasters of emotions, of relationships, of dreams–of all the change, is the steadfastness and faithfulness of God.

This month has easily propelled me towards this prayer for June and beyond.

That God’s faithfulness—whatever, however, whenever it decides to be the obvious and blatant truth that it is, may it be unrelentingly attached to my spirit and be ahead, before and beside me.

The F Word

Fear has been known to some to be the heart of love, but for me, it has been the heart of decision-making.

A quote recently humoured me while also provoking me to take into account it’s very true sentiment:

To fear is one thing.  To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.

During this crucially mysterious season of life, I am corraled into this thought. I am blatantly guilty of being swung and sired into the thought that fear has precedence over me, while my faith is simply unavailable for the taking.  I am so dizzy. And my decisions are hesitant to declare itself final for they are fickle, all because of fear.

Often, I look for lofty and pretty quotes to help keep my stress, worry and fear away since I easily let worry lead my fear instead of allowing Prayer to be the keeper of my being. So often that it’s gotten to a point where I know when my prayers are rushed and inauthentic, and it’s a dark moment. But this dark moment is to be had, to be experienced all to realize the importance of recognizing it and countering it with authenticity, with light. Patience is important too, because hurry definitely kills prayer and consequently revives worry.

Since fear and worry are BFFS, they can be very strong. They know each other well and they are unstoppable when paired together. They stay up late and rest is seldom to be had. And I am in the presence of this harmful bond and know I need to extract myself from such environment.

For I desperately need rest, to gain stability and a clear mind. And so  these ever faithful questions arise:

What do I fear?

&

Can God conquer that fear?

When it comes to my responses, the former has countless answers effected by countless variables while the latter remains the same. I am in awe at the cycle I partake in when it comes to this.

Fear, worry, pray, rejoice. Fear, worry, pray, rejoice. Fear, worry, pray, rejoice.

How I long to just pray and rejoice. I despise to be that kind of believer who declares one thing and lives out another–expectedly…routinely even! Yet a greater awe lies in my Helper, my Maker. For my dizziness is relieved by His stillness, my hurry by His calm, and my flawed cycle by His perfect plan.

All the while a new fear is unearthed…

What do I fear? That I will forget the above.

Can God conquer that fear? A resounding YES. 

To believe in God is one thing, but to trust that God will protect, direct and provide for you is another.

So may we be people, who are unswingable.

Today’s truth (and tomorrow’s)

To say I’m blessed in an understatement to the point of embarrassment. It seems sometimes there has to be another word to better exemplify the motion I find myself caught amidst so often–yet the understatement shall stand for I seldom am able to find  any other word that fits.

Privileged. Thankful. Lucky. Fortunate. In reverence. Aw shux.

Sometimes I feel it most when I have absolutely no tangible proof that I’m living this awesome (oh thats a good synonym too) life. No accreditation, no trophies displayed, no gold around my neck or in my pockets, no husband to boast about, but I feel it on my skin, I feel it by my pulse.  It’s  like when you drink ice cold water after a long, hard run. Yeah, I’m thankful for water, but the ability to feel it flow downward in what usually is in slow motion into my esophagus, relieving my thirst, lies a thankfulness far beyond an “ahh” after gulping the 32 oz of H2o. So I’m blessed to be so blessed beyond the point of words and even oohs and ahs.

What I do  know is that I am hungry to incapsulate this emotion, because it’s so life-giving.

Yet sometimes I kind of go back and forth on whether I’m really hungry or if it’s just purely the fact I don’t have complete control over what I’m feeling, so I need answers. So I grab everything in site, stuffing my face with what I hope will fill me, what I hope will give me answers. Do we eat to eat rather than eat to be filled? Do we fear and worry which spoils our spirit or do we trust and know, thus nourishing–filling our spirit? Daily, we encounter this decision that has to be made.

Hunger to know Him better.

Because I think when I aim to pinpoint why I feel a certain way (since feeling blessed I just now have realized totally feels like being fed) it’s my insistent desire that I know Him better. To know God better.  Because I’ve learned I cannot even recognize my own shadow if I do not attempt to step in God’s light; being revealed to who He is gives color to my gray that is my emotion and my uncertainty and my fickle wonderments.

Since Easter is upon us as well as all  the beautiful and fluffy Facebook statuses (mine included) you’ve viewed on your feed of recent, it seems all the more pertinent we–I, address this truth that is to be well celebrated tomorrow AND dare I say the day after the rest of our tomorrows.

A date on a calendar marked with great suffering has been often laced with a forgetfulness that well has truly been the death of me; my forgetful turned redeemed love meets head on with the the love marked by a death that has already been encountered and conquered. Enter: sigh.

To say I am blessed is such an understatement.

So as we enter the last day of holy week into a day marked by the blood of Christ, may we hold steadfast to the truth that what we deserve contradicts what He has so graciously preserved for us. All for us. And that though we are a constantly hungry soul, we are eternally fed by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord, 

May Your calm defeat the raging seas that is my rushing blood, my torrent thoughts. 

May Your solemnity infiltrate the twisting of want and bending of understanding. May Your strength carve out a place for me to rest–Your presence for me to boast in. An effusion I long to reside in. And where You are there I will live since You are where I insist on being.

And that my sight is on You, by You and solely for You

May my confidence be of godly wisdom, and Truth and patience my strength, satiating the holy depths I often flee from, excavating fullness my worries pile upon. 

May I receive Your spirit, for there is no lacking; there is completion and unrestricted joy–unrestrained praise. 

New Year.

Today marked the proverbial clean plate, fresh start, veggies only please. So with ease and natural contemplation, I was additionally moved to make a new home for my writing. So if purchasing new shoes easily makes me feel like a new woman, I figured a new blog may make me feel like a new writer–as in one who is more intentional and careful when crafting her words.

SO…

The NEW year is upon us and older hands lie before us. How have you used them this last year? How will you use them this year?

I find myself battling what seems to be a 24hr trick question that asks of me essentially, “what can you do better this year that you epically failed at doing last year?” My answer comes quicker than it takes to compose such a trite yet common question but a thread a truth can be found in both the Q and the A and its the one prominent thing I’m thankful for. Jesus. And how his hands have a lot to do with my life today and tomorrow and how all my life’s recaps at the end of every year seems to be perfectly encompassed by a “sigh.” Of relief, of rest and of thankfulness.

Dear old self, put on the new, because you can and it is encouraged. Sacrifice that permeates from age to age, still vibrant, still applicable, still my resolution.