Anything

“ the hardest things in life give you the most God” Jennie Allen

 

My life isn’t that hard or extraordinary. It’s actually pretty simple and dare I say (normal.)

 

I’ve started praying for anything.

 

Lord, I give you everything; do anything you want.

 

And somehow I sincerely and hesitantly mean it. Some small answers have been given. Mostly waits and not yets and keep going and keep mothering.

 

These answers are hard for my mermaid soul, I long to go deeper. Waiting and mothering often don’t feel awe-inspiring or like big, Godly work.

 

I’m learning Godly work is most often small though. It’s not the numbers reached or biggest impact; God uses small people in ordinary moments.

 

He says give your lunch, your knapsack of pretzels and pb & j and apple, and HE will make it worthy. He doesn’t say make a banquet feast and display it aesthetically on instagram and watch how many people He touches with it.

 

rlstedman
R.L. Stedman

Give your meal and he will feed 5,000.

 

It’s small steps, it’s a willingness to answer those small nudges.

 

So today, I’m finally making the cookies, for the neighbors. Not because I want to. I find conversations with them borderline painful. The nudge won’t leave though, and it’s a kind one.

 

And I said I would do anything.

 

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His Piece, His Time

I like puzzles.  Chaos turned into order. Each piece in its spot.

But, have you ever done a puzzle and found a piece that seems like it should fit?  So, you shove and push, maybe manipulate the edges a little to try to make it fit because for some reason you’ve decided it is the one?

a6f91adb68e4a0bcc523c94cc3aa7897I find myself doing this to my life.  Sometimes forgetting that God has the perfect piece He is preparing and holding for the perfect moment.
My job isn’t to try to find something else to fit a spot, but to wait for God to show me that perfect piece at just the right moment and then act in obedience.

I don’t need to try to strong arm things into working that He doesn’t intend for me.  His piece, his plan is so much better than the ways I try to make something work.

  • S

The World Isn’t Like Her

the-world-isnt-like-her-frida-kahlo-photoI’m highly emotional. I often wonder if I’m the one wired crooked. Even a realtor, who has known me less than 30 minutes said, “99% of the world isn’t like her…”

I think it was a compliment. But it can also be a burden.

And my neck hurts from straining, from the weight of all the emotions and order and chaos I try to get a grip with every day.
I cant seem to figure out how things will play out; I am a roller coaster. But faith in what we see isn’t faith, its knowledge.

Faith is what you don’t see. Trust is believing God will weave it beautiful, if not eventually.

I’m highly emotional and highly controlling, and I want to be held and loved loudly.

If I could just slow down I would realize I already am, in a thousand different ways…every single day.

  • J

He Speaks

“And the dialect of God is the day just as it comes” Ann Voskamphe-speaks

 

I pray a lot more now than I used to. I’m a mom and a wife, on my knees is a way of life: scooping up toys, lifting up babies, cleaning up spills… begging for new mercies and more grace. Desperately seeking wisdom in this journey.

 

God has the ability, but in my experience rarely speaks loudly. His message is powerful and perfect and He can bend the winds of my life, I suppose that’s why He doesn’t shout.

 

He is communicating constantly, it’s just in our amplified neon world it is easy to miss the wind.

 

My God talks in subtleties; in rainy days and perfectly timed peonies, in traffic jams and puppy kisses, His guiding hand a forceful slow down child.

 

He wakes me before dawn to ponder life with him and see the world in the clear dark of dew.

 

Faith, communication, is more than a feeling or a justification of wants and I cant rightly explain it.

 

But He speaks all day and I can only hear when I quiet down, and its worth the slow down.

-J

 

Old Godly Way

Ask for the old, Godly, way and walk in it. Travel its path and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16

I’m still looking for a verse for this year (yes, I’m running out of time). I’m also reading through Jeremiah right now. I’m not sure why, so far it’s somewhat dull despite the hellfire warnings on repeat.

But this little gem of a verse stood out. Screamed directly to my spirit, embodying all I’m yearning for. Rest. Soul rest.

 

I do know I wanted something different this year. A little less processed, less compared, more content life.

Truthfully I want smaller bills and a bigger garden. I want a mouth overflowing with praise, not complaints. Truthfully, I’m not sure I’ve reached any of those goals.

So I’m thinking about this verse, “the Godly way”

Do I even know what that looks like in my frazzled uncomfortable body?

Is it as simple as contentment and gratitude? Simply being present in the now, while striving for a better “next?”

old-godly-way-kristinschmuckerIs it possible to do, to be both?

God is love. Faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Maybe the godly way is simply choosing love. Not choosing joy, not choosing contentment, not choosing the sprinkled donut. Choosing love.

And when this year, this moment gets too overwhelming, when I can’t see the love choice through the exhaustion and over the screaming fits…I will promise myself to slow down. To sit down and repeat, to beg for…

the old, Godly way, and walk in it…and there I will find rest for my soul.

  • J

Christmas is Over

15419767_10109356708892194_5520719584611047593_oChristmas was hard for me this year. We decorated and trimmed, not one, but three trees. We drank plenty of hot chocolate and ate candy and sang the songs more than ever before.

 

And it all felt like it sounds: secular and beautiful and surface. And I often felt like a character going through motions.

 

I didn’t have the warm and cozies despite the oodles of family and good things. I felt so off I even started an advent devotional- which sounds lovely but was truly an act of desperation, to find and cling to the Christmas of old.

 

We had a Jesus Birthday cake, but my December felt desperate for Christ.

 

My home needs to be saturated, not in Christmas decorations, but Christ.

 

15589580_10109446017117794_5125888555205362410_nChristmas is over but it didn’t end, it was just the beginning. January 1st was the new year, but Christmas is the new life.

 

And the only way to feel Christmas when 12 months roll along is to live in the depths of Christ the next 11.

 

So here’s to a new year, a new beginning Christened in a secular glow with a holy reality

 

Christ was born, Christ has risen, and Christ lives in me. In this very drafty old home, Christ abides.

 

So it’s about time I start seeing Him everywhere.

– J

Christmas Started Early

Christmas starts early in this house. (Each year it seems a little sooner than the last.) And I wake up early, sitting here, looking at our three Christmas trees. The earlier Christmas starts, the more money people make, the more commercial it can become.

But the earlier we start, the holier the outcome.

Between candy cane clusters placed excitedly with two year old hands and fisher price Jesus in the plastic cart…under the blinking tree…you can feel the secular merge with the holy and it’s magical and meaningful.

christmas-starts-earlyFaith was designed, intended for the masses. It’s natural for the worlds to collide; this odd pairing of elf and manger.

All glitter, all one star.

But it’s fitting, because my life is all mess, lovely, and smelly, and faulty. And too often I say no to God. I place him in the manger, holy baby perfect, and deserving, right into the middle of the smelly mess.

I turn him away every time I’m too busy.

And yet his perfect grace lights me up, washes the grime off, and decorates me from the inside out.

 

I shine glitter, sacred glitter, holy elves.

 

Santa giving, Nici giving, God’s grace given.

 

It’s for the masses and it’s full of meaning, and I’m fairly certain the angels rejoice when each tree is lit – a  holy secular merger of peace, love, family, and faith.

 

Lit up bright with elves and candy cane magic, reminding us of the not so plastic Jesus in a manger.

  • J