Monday, September 22, 2014

Here


How do we live in this time of small uncertainties alongside huge horrific crimes all on the same day?

Where do we begin with sorting all of that?  Making any sense of the senseless? Finding peace in the impossible?

"Be still and know that I Am God" and your soul should rest. Big words many times taken for granted. Potentially uttered without reverence or belief.

Why do we lament and fret and worry if we believe?  Why do we fail to trust that our future is secure if  peace is promised?

There is a place where your heart rate slows, where your mind is calm, where pain doesn't exist.

Pursue it until you know that you know.

And breathe.

And let nothing back in. Nothing.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014

Trust Stretch


I've had my share of phone calls that you never want to get. "You have cancer." "Your father has died." "Mom, I've been in an accident". But I never expected or really prepared myself for this particular call. 

"Mom, we have an active shooter on campus and we've been told to shelter in place."

Momentarily struck dumb, frozen in place, relief that I was hearing her voice while at the same time, filling with terror.  I think that's the right word for it, terrifying.

Even with all I've been through, I haven't felt it much.  This was my child, my baby no less.  She's five states away.  Feeling helpless would be an understatement.

"So you're a pray-er", you say.  "Of course you can pray."

And that thought is immediate, but what came out was unintelligible.  Forming words was not an option.  Except for the three I say many, many times a day, "I trust Jesus".

Breathe,  "Jesus".

I open my IPad and search for a live streaming Baltimore news station.

"I trust Jesus".  Breathe.

Reporters, swat teams, helicopters, still searching for the student with the gun!

"I trust Jesus".  Remember to breathe.

Then phone calls from one boy after another, Luke, then Matt, then Luke and Logan, then Matt again, all thinking that this mama could be halfway to heaven with this kind of stress.

Meanwhile, they're staying close to their baby sister.  Oh, thank You, for the ease of communication in this day.  We never lost touch with each other.

Three hours in a room she waited, after much drama to even get to that location (hunkering down in a room with five girls, table pushed in front of the door, blinds closed, whispered prayers until the police moved them to the hope of safety).

And finally, all clear.  It was a pellet gun and a boy thinking trying to hunt in the woods near campus would be a good idea.  I will spare you my knowledge on how the male brain develops, but I can almost assure you he was a freshman, ah, maybe even a sophomore.

My word for this year is stretch.  I've had a hard time coming up with what kind of stretch this was and all I can think of is, unexpected!  And I guess, trust.  It was definitely a trust stretch.

Stretch your trust today alongside the One worth trusting,

Deb

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Friend Stretch



I really, really, really like this.  I borrowed it from Ann at A Holy Experience.  She had it on her facebook page.  It's something I've been talking about with a few of my friends, the few that are cut from the same cloth.  The few that feel like He might have even used the same pattern; soul sisters.  Oh, how priceless to have them in my life.  And even more priceless to have them agree with me on these four points.

Do you have a friend like this? A friend who you can confess to.  Confess your mask wearing, lady comparing, wobbly-on-the-inside self too?  You might need to be brave enough to say the first word.  Take a chance with your heart.  Just a little crack open and you'll know by the head nodding or the blank stare, whether you can open it a little further.

Trust comes hard sometimes.  Especially if it's been broken.  But it's so worth the effort when you find the ones with grace to give!

Stretch your girlfriend heart today,

Deb 


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Stretch

I know the moment that He captured my heart.  I was a head strong, ladder climbing, expletive using financial assistant.  My coworker had that Book with her, the one she brought everyday and read from at her desk.  She asked me to listen to something.  Just a few words.  So I did.  And what happened next, I can't fully explain.  I've heard others say things like, "their eyes were opened, they had an aha moment, everything dark became light", and so on.  All I can really tell you, is that a love unlike any other love I'd ever felt, filled my heart and soul.

Some things changed overnight, like swearing.  I just quit. Even I was amazed by my lack of desire to do it.  And I was kinder. Especially to the men in my office.  Previously I had no respect for them.  None.  I wasn't taught to.  One of the t-shirts I wore in high school said "When god created man, she was only joking".  That should explain a lot!

The scripture is clear on respecting those who are over us.  I had no knowledge of that yet or the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit's ability to equip us for everything.  That's a whole other message!  And I definitely wasn't given the biblical example of "However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."  Ephesians 5:33.

All of this is really written just to share someone elses blog post.  I know too many who are struggling in their marriages and believe me, we've had some STRUGGLES!!!  Now I'm not going to take full blame, but part of the reason is because I needed refining.  My propensity to not learn in the lab has allowed for quite a few field trips!  

So here it is:


Your Husband Doesn't Have To Earn Your Respect


Oh, how we have learned through this life to love, respect and serve each other.  And it wasn't the easy way.  Very few good things come easily. And too many give up far too soon.

And now, I am happy to report, we are far beyond good. By the grace of God alone, we have learned to love. 

He will always get the glory for saving us!

Happy stretching,
Deb 



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

First Stretch

"I also remembered that sometimes when you need to feel the all-embracing nature of God, paradoxically you need to hang out in ordinariness, in daily ritual and comfort."
Anne Lamott


I loved reading that.  It was affirming.  Sometimes we need permission from someone else to do what we already know is right for us.  And why is it we feel guilty about comfort?  Do we feel like better Christians if we're uncomfortable?  It took me awhile to settle into that season and it's been a life saver.  The peace that surpasses all understanding can happen right in the ordinary, routine, dailiness of our lives.  Taking the time to be quiet.  Keeping out the noise.  Not responding to every bleep and blimp that emits from our electronics.  Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..............................I need an emoticon with a finger pressed to lips :)

But in my previous post, I talked about stretching.  And that's truly where I'm at now.  And I got brave and stepped out with a little stretch, yesterday.  A few years back, I met a beautiful young woman with a husband and two sweet little girls and stage 4 colon cancer.  Even though she was enduring treatment, she started a not-for-profit serving cancer patients in our county.  I went to her lovely (and I mean by lovely, the kind of place that smiles at you when you walk in and says step into my arms kind of lovely) office.  And I sat with her and we shared our cancer and our courage and our faith.  A precious meeting that will forever be in my memory. 

As hard as she battled, her life was cut short.  But she had stretched sooooooooooo much by the time she went to Jesus, that the whole community felt her love.  And her dear sister stepped into her shoes and has kept that lovely, let me hug you and let you cry here, office going. 

I met with her and told her my story and she told me hers. It was the kind of cleansing that leaves you a little raw but also with a realization that you've healed enough to stretch.

So we'll stay in touch and pray about my involvement.  My desire to put these hands in the hands of another that is suffering is becoming undeniable.  He's moving me to stretch with His supernatural love into the lives of those that need it.  I haven't been strong enough or brave enough.  My wound would seemingly heal but then reopen.  This meeting was a test of sorts.  To step away and feel nothing oozing, nothing peeled back, nothing but peace, was a testimony to the new place in my heart that's ready. 

"See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you."
Isaiah 42:9

Stretched by His mercy,
Deb

 


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Stretching

It's almost worn thin, taped together, curled up edges.  My faithful companion for oh so many years.  Trials and tribulations.  It knows the story of my life if only it could speak.  An R rated movie I'm afraid, but I'd hope for a PG13.  Don't we always hope that the world doesn't quite see every bit of the real truth.  The raw parts of who we are.  No doubt I'd scare some people off.  That's one of the reasons I sit with this and His Word every morning.

Lord take these ugly parts and clean them up.
Give me a fresh start day.
Even though You see the R rated, You love me anyway.
You give me new grace and new mercy each and every morning.
You take the impossible and create the incredible.
I'm forever humbled by You.  
By my need for You.
By Your never-ending provision. 


So I take this book and read these words...

 “Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”
Ephesians 5:14

And Oswald continues...

"When God sends His inspiration, it comes to us with such miraculous power that we are able to arise from the dead and do the impossible.  The remarkable thing about spiritual initiative is that the life and power comes after we get up and get going.  God does not give us overcoming life - He gives us life as we overcome.  When the inspiration of God comes, and He says, 'Arise from the dead', we have to get ourselves up; God will not lift us up.  Our Lord said to the man with the withered hand, 'Stretch out your hand' (Matthew 12:13).  As soon as the man did so, his hand was healed.  But He had to take the initiative to overcome, we will find that we have the inspiration of God, because He immediately gives us the power of life."

I don't know about you, but I need to take some initiative.  I need to get up and stretch out my hand.  To try some things that have been on my heart and mind.  And I'm going to let you know about them.  Did I just say that??? Yup, I did.  That's my first stretch!  Would you kindly let me know about your stretches too? 

By His grace,
Deb