My Soul Waits

My soul is quiet and waits for God alone. He is the One Who saves me. – Psalms 62:1 

My soul is quiet and waits for God alone. My hope comes from Him. – Psalm 62:5 

I have been in fixer mode, in saver mode – it’s just my nature.  However, I have been trying desperately to focus on the truth that this is an impossible task.  I am not the fixer or the saver.  That doesn’t mean I don’t help,  assist, and support, but I am not responsible for fixing and I am not capable of it.

So, my soul is quiet and waits for God alone.  This doesn’t mean I am alone, but that God alone is the one who can save us.  God alone is the one with whom all of our hope dwells.  

I love the poetry of this Psalm in the repetition.  These two sentences are just a few verses apart, but I like them together.  My soul is quiet and waits for God alone.  My hope comes from Him because he is ONLY One who saves me…repeatedly, daily, when I don’t deserve it (and He is the only one who will save those I love).
Sometimes I forget my inadequacies somehow and try to do more than I am able.  So, this was a good and timely reminder of where hope and salavation truly lies.

  • S
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Press On

“I press on…forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” Philippians 3:12-13

I’ve been in a rut. A bitter, angry, borderline depressed rut.

Luckily, while in this crevice I’ve had support and bug and bear kisses to keep me from lying down in it.

I’m physically tired. But I’m also tired of not being happy. I firmly believe I get to choose happiness (or not) regardless of my circumstances and countless irritations pressed in daily.

Happiness is a choice, joy is a choice.

“True joy is not something that can be conjured up or willed. Joy exists apart from our control, we simply choose whether or not to enter in to it…joy is not a momentary pleasure…joy is a fruit of Gods spirit” Sarah Matheny

joy is a gift given freely but we must choose to accept it (Galatians 5:22)

so today, “I press on…forgetting those things (bitterness, irritations, selfishness etc) and I reach forward to this things which are ahead.

And so many good things are ahead.

Life is changing, its been changing and I press on trying my hardest to not let the bad, press onhard, inappropriate define my day.

I am looking forward to, I am entering into Joy, with confident assurance in the goodness of the Lord- faith and hope in what I cant yet see, but already know. (Hebrews 11:1)

-J

Hope in Devastation

“…But you never ask for help from the One who did all this.

You never considered the One who planned this long ago.”

Isaiah 22: 11b

Let me give you some context – Isaiah is outlining a message he received from God about Jerusalem.  In it, he sees the entire city in a “terrible uproar” (verse 2).  There is death and destruction everywhere.  After describing the state fo the city, he describes the actions of its citizens in response.  “You run to the armory…you inspect the breaks…you store up water…”  It goes on like this for several verses.  They are trying to respond and take care of things.  However, the response that should happen, never does.

“But you never ask for help from the One who did all this.  You never considerd the One who planned this long ago.”

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Golden Tears by Gustav Klimt

There is a lot of depth, questions, and answers in this chapter.  “The One who did this.”  What is the “this?”  By my earthly standards and interpretation, it is the devastation of an entire city, a lot of families, a lot of people.    Isaiah even says, “Let me cry for my people as I watch them being destroyed.”

We see natural and man made disasters every day.  People, cities, countries are being destoryed as I write this, as you read this.  “The One who did this.”  God allows things to happen.  Things that don’t always make sense and seem unfair to us on earth, based on our limited human understanding.  One of the hardest things for me to learn after AIDS stormed my life was that God has a plan and I don’t need to know it.  The first part was easy to accept, but the second part was not.  I think I need to know and control everything.  It is typically effective professsionaly, but not in faith.  I have to trust that He knows better than I; I have to trust that He has a purpose.  I have to hold onto the fact that no matter the devastation, there is hope in “the One who did this” – because, after all, He “planned this long ago.”

There he will remove the cloud of gloom,

   the shadow of death that hangs over the earth.

He will swallow up death forever!

   The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears.

He will remove forever all insults and mockery

   against his land and people.

   The Lord has spoken!

 Isaiah 25: 7-8

We can move forward through the devastation with the knowledge that “the Sovereign Lord will wipe away all the tears” for us as He also promised Jerusalem.  We don’t know for sure if it will be in this world or heaven for each of us, but we know that He has plans for us for good (Jeremiah 29:11).

So, it is a conscious decision in times of devastation, large and small, to trust in the “One who did this and planned it long ago.”  To trust that He allows things to happen that can ultimately work for His good.

-S

What should I be praying about?

Sometimes it feels like I’m saying the same prayer every day.  I don’t think there is at its core anything wrong with that if it is intentional.  There is a consistancy in what is important to me and it is evident in my prayer.  As my nephew has now reached the point where he recognizes prayer, and sometimes asks to pray 7-8 times in one meal, it has made me start to think about what I am showing and teaching him in how I pray.  In two books I am reading two quotes about prayer really stuck out to me.

The first is by Lisa Bevere in Girls with Swords: How to Carry Your Cross like a Hero.  She says,“If you are not praying the type of prayers that scare you, your prayers are certainly not frightening your enemy.” How true is that?  Am I willing to ask God to use me, mold me, change me past the point of comfort? If I’m not doing that how am I frightening our enemy?  Complacency is not scary and it is not interesting.  I have said before that I always grew up with a healthy fear of God (and prayer).  As I’ve heard lots of times, be careful what you pr25040c509a70721841b67fb0934d5eebay for because it may come true!  So, am I willing to pray for God’s will even when I am uncertain about it?  Am I willing to trust Him more than I trust myself?  Am I willing to pray for intimidating, scary change?  Because, when I fall to my knees, I want the enemy to think, “Oh no, not her again.”

The second comes from a daily devotional by Ann Spangler.  She says, “Pray honestly and with hope for yourself and for others.” I think these need to be separated.  Pray honestly.  This means being honest with yourself and God.  Do, I really put it all out there every time?  Pray with hope for yourself and others.  Pray with hope, not desperation, not monotony/habit.  Hope is a very specific emotion that is based on a positive belief that something can/will happen.  Pray for hope for others; I would expand this to everyone else.  What if I prayed with hope for people who are difficult or make things difficult?  Not hope that they will change, or make my life easier, but with hope that God blesses them and shows his will to them?
bae558e0655b3bbcbafc6050d3185b41So, what should I be praying?  I think it comes down to me and God.  What do I honestly need to say?  I need to recognize the millions of way he is blessed me and the hope that he gives me daily.  I need to be honest with what I want to see him do in hope myself and others.  I need to be willing to be scared, to be intimidated and ask for this – this is where growth happens for myself and His kingdom.  I need to reach out to Him as my Father, Counselor, and Friend.  I need this for myself and those watching all around.

-S

Living Our Struggles Out Loud

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed –James 5:16

I’ve always been a loud person. I have a loud persona; I wear my emotions and opinions loudly (even when I don’t use words). I guess its only natural that I try to live my life out loud as well.

Leaving no words unspoken.

(yes, that sometimes leads to trouble and I’m working on my tone and word choice)

but a life without secrets that’s…well it isn’t beautiful ( I have a lot of ugly) but it’s real and it’s easier than putting on fancies…and I just don’t have time for that!

cb36cbac9b09994620947aa7d5f5d385Putting your struggles in plain view was thrust upon me at a young age. Thanks to an eating disorder and parents who refused to do what I (the child) wanted.

The only way to gain control over that beast was by making it as public as possible- so secrecy wasn’t an option (and yes, years of therapy).

Yes it was embarrassing and diifcult having the entire family know my struggles.

Yes it was excruciating having the entire school in on my battles.

But… yes, it was nearly impossible to get awa01ef0a83159c56b28d1c35771960f00ay with continuing the damaging behavior.

And in time it was liberating not having to hide.

It took many years but I learned to own it. To not be ashamed because I have struggles, to talk about it openly.

I have lots of struggles, if you have time I’ll tell them all to you. And everytime a little healing happens.

Some struggles never go away, they ebb and flow between good and bad days.

Pregnancy is a very hard thing for me physical and emotionally thanks to my eating disorder. I love that I’m growing my child and love baby girl beyond measure…but my growing belly gives me personal, selfish fears and anxieties I wish I didn’t still battle.

Comes down to…oh well.

I do, and I will and it no longer consumes me because I hold it to a light.

Darkness holds secrecy and our struggles can become sin but in the light we have control. Both metaphorically and literally.

Jesus, as my light, changes everything. A struggle isn’t sin, but it can be if you let it control you.

And literally sharing my burden, shining the light on them and not hating myself for having them, helps me gain control and perspective.

We are only human, I struggle. I have a lot of ugly.

Lets just own our battles outloud. For the sake of each other and ourselves.

There’s no shame in a struggle. Welcome to life. It is hard. By why go it alone?!

-J