Monday, August 29, 2016

The Tide Took It All Away

I'm lying here in the sand while the warmth of the sun settles over me like a cotton sheet. As I close my eyes, the sounds of the crashing waves collide with the call of seagulls overhead. The soft ocean breeze blows over me, tickling the tiny invisible hairs on my body, while each wave of the incoming tide washes over my heart. As the waves retreat, I feel every care, worry and hurt fade away to some distant place where I delightfully let them go. Maybe I'll just leave them there.

My life is busy, just like yours.  I work on the corporate staff of a company that oversees 150 franchises.  My husband and I are partners/owners of a popular restaurant in Tulsa, OK.  Between the 2 of us, we have 7 children and 5 grandchildren.  The list of things to do each day never gets completed, adding to tomorrow's duties and my frustration grows as the list grows.

I've worked outside of the home since I was quite young, and while raising my children.  So I'm used to the pace and the daily grind.  But this year has been different.  This year, things started to "get to me".  My heart and soul had been bumped and bruised in several places. My body began to tell me that I'd better slow down and take care of myself.  Do you think I listened?  I ignored the signs that my body, mind and spirit had simply had enough.  I developed a debilitating case of the Shingles that left me home bound and in excruciating pain for a long time.  My body basically said, "If you don't listen to me and slow down, I will do it for you."  And that's exactly what happened.

I don't want to bore you with the list of stressful things that were on my list this year; suffice it to say, I needed a break.  I needed emotional healing and some rest and relaxation.  Hence, the trip to the beach and the therapy it provided!  For the first time in my life, I think I truly understand what people mean when they say that if you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anyone else.  I had reached my limit, poured myself out and had nothing left to myself or others.

We all have that place we visit, that room in our house, that person to sit with, that refreshes us and fills our soul.  For me, it's the ocean.  For me, I find healing in just about every aspect of it; the breeze, the waves, the unforgiving sand, the call of the seagulls, the taste of salt on my lips, the's all healing to me.

I don't think I'll ever not listen to my body or soul again.  Why wait until your body shuts down, or you're emotionally worn out?  Make plans now to do whatever gives you renewed strength and hope!

From His lap!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Resting In Him

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord.  Open the eyes of my heart.  Help me to see how much you love me.  Let your grace flow over me like a river and descend on me with your peace.  Let me catch a dazzling glimpse of your smile as you delight over me.  Oh, Holy One, find every secret place in me and flood it with your love and mercy.  

I give you every worry and fear.  I turn them all over to you, realizing that everything pales in comparison to the love you have for me.  Let every word and action burn away, that doesn't reflect you.  I lay it all down at your feet so that I am unburdened to climb onto your lap, lay my head on your chest and feel your heart beat with love for me.

There is none like you.  None who see me and know me and yet love me so completely.  I rest in your arms as you pour out your healing balm over my wounded body and soul.  There is no lack or pain when I am with you.  You are strength and peace to my tired aching life.  The works of your hands are mighty in me, to the pulling down of strongholds.  

I find freedom and joy in the solace of your embrace.  I see things more clearly through the eyes of your grace and my sin falls away as I'm washed clean.  There is no place I'd rather be in the quiet moments when I face myself and know that I can only be whole, in you.  In you, I live and move and have my being.

From His Lap,

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Ring on My Thumb

Always.  Everyday.  I want to feel His presence.
So will I remember to ask Him to walk with me today?
How can I forget how sweet it is to brush shoulders as we walk Lord and I?
I oft feel His hand on my cheek, sometimes brushing away a tear.
How can the God who created the universe walk so close, be so near?
Sometimes, we say nothing.  But there are those days when I pour out the hurts that fill my aching heart.  Pour them out to Him who washes away the ache and bathes me in His glory.
Our sweetest times are when the gratitude for His grace and mercy fills me to the point that it has to spill out. In these moments, praise and thanksgiving erupts from the altar of my heart and escapes my lips as a song.
I've made my heart an altar.  An altar to Him who listens, who speaks.  An altar to Him who asks me into His throne room and lets this daughter climb up on His lap.  Lets me lean my weary head against His chest.  So close.
How could I not want to tarry there? Always?  Everyday?
When I rise and when I sleep and those moments in between, will I pause, will I listen for His still small voice?
Will I look into the eyes of those around me and see Him in their lives, His presence there to bless all who would stop and take note?
I wear His ring on my right hand.  The ring on the thumb, it doesn't feel natural. I always feel it, notice it, touch it.  It's there to remind me, "Have you thought about Him today?"
Always.  Everyday.  I want to feel His presence.

From His lap,

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Will You Let the Son Melt the Ice?

In December of 2013, the frigid temperatures, the wind and the humidity swirled in a perfect combination and settled over Tulsa, OK in a thick sheet of ice.  Roads became impassable and the sounds of ice covered trees, snapping beneath the weight of the ice, filled the air for several days. Even from inside the house, we could hear the branches break and fall crashing to the ground.  Are there things in this life, Dear One, that are weighing you down? Are your burdens heavy and causing your will and your hope to snap and be torn in two?  Are you, like these trees, succumbing to the pressures of life?

Thankfully, there were trees that didn't crumple with the heavy ice.  But these trees, that once stood proud and tall, reaching toward heaven, were now, humbly bowed down, touching earth, frozen to the ground.  They were unable to free themselves and stretch their boughs to the sky.  I went out and stood underneath those branches, where it looked like I was in the middle of a frozen wonderland.  Limbs that I could normally never reach, surrounded me on all sides, with the ice shimmering in the sunshine.  It was as if I was standing among strands of diamonds!

Trees that once stood tall, now hung upside down with the weight of the ice!

Standing underneath branches that normally were high above my reach.

Not only were the trees encased in ice, but early blooms and buds, that had begun to come to life, were shrouded in a glittering shell.  It was all at once, beautiful and disturbing.  I wondered, would these delicate blooms be able to continue their growth and blossom and be fruitful, once the ice melted, or would they fall from the vine, unable to go on with life?  Do your troubles cover you, stopping you from going forward with life?  Do you feel stuck, unable to reach toward the Son?  Are you frozen in time by circumstances and fear?

Sure enough, after several days, the warmth of the sun began to melt the ice. You could hear small pieces of ice fall to the ground all around like the sound of breaking glass.  We watched in amazement as the biggest, strongest trees, broke loose from the ice.  They sprang right back to their proud position tall and reaching for the sky.  They basked in the sun, as strong as ever.  I wondered, if we drench ourselves in the presence of Christ, can our loads be lifted and can we be set free to reach toward the Son and all of His glory?

It was then, that I noticed something that broke my heart.  The youngest trees, the babies, the ones who were the smallest and weakest; they didn't bounce back when the ice left them.  I was confused and asked my husband, why those trees didn't stand back up, tall and strong.  The other trees were much heavier and it seemed as though it should have been those trees that had difficulty straightening up.  But it was not so.  The strong trees had roots that went deep and held firm to the earth that they were buried in.  The younger trees, my husband explained, came up by the roots, with the weight of the ice. They weren't deep enough, strong enough, to withstand the elements.

"Yes, that's it," I thought!  If we don't bury ourselves deep in Him, if our root system is shallow and not drinking in from rich deep soil, His Word and His Spirit, than we can be pulled up by the roots.  When life and burdens become heavy, we can be uprooted, lose hope and not stand tall and finish our race, our high calling!

If you are going through times that are trying and testing you, causing you to be weighed down, take heart.  I encourage you to make time with Him, in His Word, worshipping Him.  Send your roots deep, until you can't tell where you begin and the Son ends.  Become entwined, enmeshed in His heart.  Let Him bear your burdens and walk with you.  Tell Him your deepest hurts and fears.

The Son can melt that which is too heavy for you to bear.  He will be your grace and keep you strong.

From His lap,

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Messiness of Faith

Most people don't like the messiness of faith.  But faith can only exist in a world where life is difficult.  Otherwise, there would be no need for it.  Whatever God calls us to, will challenge us.  It won't be easy and it won't just fall in our laps.  Walking out our unique path won't always come without stones in the road, or detours, or pitfalls.  The thing about faith, is that He is with us through all of those challenges.  That's the beauty of faith...even at it's messiest.

When life seems to hit the fan and fall apart, He wants us to talk to Him first, before doing anything else.  Scripture says that He is a very present help in time of trouble.  Turning to Him, orienting our hearts towards Him, opens the door for Him working on our behalf, and in so doing...relying on Him...builds our faith. Going to the place that doesn't change, (God's presence), causes things in us, to change.

We think it's okay to believe, as long as it doesn't interfere with the way we act, the way we think, the way we treat people.  If we dare to really think about what we believe, it messes with us.  It makes us step outside of our boundaries and the places where we feel safe.  It changes us and it changes how we live.  Most of us assume that when things get messy, we have stepped outside of faith and are walking in places where we shouldn't be.  But God calls us to be uncomfortable, to be stretched, to be challenged.

Sometimes, I wake up in the morning and think, "God, can I tackle this again today?  Do I want to engage in the messiness of where you are taking me?".  When I have these doubts, I know that He understands why I have them and He isn't offended.  But He wants me to repent of my doubt and to allow Him to be at work in me.

If your life is messy and not going in the direction you think it should be, settle down, go to the place that never changes and wait upon the Lord.  He will speak to your heart about the next step.  He will comfort your hurts and hold you until you've worked out your next step with Him.  A friend shared this Scripture with me this week:  "God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me." — Isaiah 30:15  Did you catch that?  Settle down in complete dependence!  Faith is messy and faith is hard, but we have His instruction to settle down and depend on Him.  That's where I want to be!

No matter if God is leading me through a place that is challenging or if life is throwing me curve balls, I want to want to step out in faith, walk through the messiness, depending on Him.  I don't want to miss out on a life of meaning and purpose, just because I'm afraid to let go and let God!

From His Lap,


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