It’s Your Story

“It’s your story”, she said. There was so much grace offered in those words. My heart received this truth with a kindness I had not known before. The ache of my past I could no sooner forget, was soothed with the healing balm of honesty. I think everyone must come to the place where they can look back and sew the years together. Leave nothing out. Tell the story to yourself, all of it, leaving none of the chapters out. It’s your story. And when it comes time to tell it, you tell it. Not with “Once upon a time” or “In the beginning”, but letting the full story wrap around the present. Let it be what it is. Let what was be what it was. Offer grace to your own heart like we so easily offer it to others.

Offer yourself grace.

When I take the time to look at the whole picture, there are parts that can’t be erased no matter what blemish seems to blatantly ruin . Like a pearl being formed in an oyster, the grit becomes the grace. The dirt becomes beautiful if you will just let it ride. It doesn’t disappear, but is covered. Not washed away, not removed. Built upon. Formed into something of value. It becomes a precious jewel.

God’s love has wrapped around my dirt and is forming something precious in me.

He saw my worth before I was worthy and paid the highest price for me. My sweet Savior. My Jesus came for me. By His stripes I am healed, and it’s time to let my story unwind in His light. A story that is already known to God. Now I need to let it be known to me. No more running from the places that hurt. If He walks me there I am ready to go. I can see the process of smoothing away the rough edges, covering and filling with grace. Pain can be transformed into a precious pearl. But you have to leave it in it’s place. Honor the moments that are hard to think about. It is in giving honor to the pain that we honor how we felt, and as time moves so does the smoothing power of God’s healing love.

He covers the dirt and makes a space for grace to grow in the secret place of our pain.

This is the hidden treasure of faith. Hoping for the things unseen. Even in the midst of the mess right before our eyes. Pearls are forming in the places where we still our hearts and rest in the shadow of His wings. When we acquiesce and conform to the silent disciplines of hope and faith, our pearls become more precious. The struggle becomes the very catalyst in creating these valuable jewels.

So tell the story. Be honest in the struggle. Don’t care so much about crafting the perfect story because you want others to see what you only wish yourself to be. Just be. Give yourself some grace. Believe what God says, and remember what Jesus did in the name of love. Live today without trying to make up for yesterday. Tell it like it is, if only to yourself. God already knows the ending. And in the meantime…

It’s your story.

Believe

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Twinkling lights of Christmas cheer

Joyous tunes for all to hear

Brisker air is blowing through

Smiles are wrapped in all we do

As we rock around the tree

Remind us of the gift that’s free

A Father’s love with hands of grace

The manger holds a baby’s face

Born of Mary, God’s true Son

Promise foretold, the war is won

When Old St. Nick comes to town

Help me remember the bloody crown

Beauty from ashes, darkness to Light

Turns feeling forsaken to merry and bright

Denying our pain does not make it true

But the love of our Savior will strengthen you

The most perfect gift we could ever receive

Is already ours, in our hearts to believe.

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Morning Star (Tribute to a soldier)

In honor of my husband, the many soldiers out there, and families who love them.

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background

He heard the call upon his heart

To stand and serve, for justice fight

Fueled by something deep within

Passion, honor, might

With raised right hand he pledged an oath

To support, defend, obey

Unknown future opens wide

Commitment come what may

Blur of training, blood and sweat

Days rush into years

Once young and fresh, the face of a boy

Now stained with loss and tears

Flash of mission, loss of brothers

Fueled forward by the pain

Mission minded heart returns

Recall your victories gained

Glance in mirror, see the boy

Brave man stands firm and tall

Remember those you’re fighting for

Frontlines for one and all

 A soldier then, a strong man now

Your love knows who you are

Broken pieces mended when

You follow the Morning Star.

(Dedicated to my husband.)

(Revelation 22:16 Jesus said I am… the Bright Morning Star)

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Yellow Ribbon Love

In honor of Veteran’s Day.

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She looks out the window holding to hope
Another day unfolds
Sunshine rays of beaming light
Like a lifeline, hands to rope
The golden hues swirl and dance
Upon Spring flower blooms
Birds caress the wind with song
God gives another chance
Her heart is is full of love for Him
His grace is enough
To be the wife of soldier’s blood
She’d risk her life and limb
He stands for what he knows is right
His heart has been wounded
The scars burn too red sometimes
And healing trades for fight
Yet love from his wife’s fierce heart
Burns hotter still
She holds a yellow ribbon love
Vows held strong from the start
This ribbon speaks of sacrifice
Life given for all
Their Savior shows them how to love
Bought with the highest price
The ribbon too is held in view
To remind her of the hope
And when…

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Independence Day

“That they may all be one… that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them…”
-Jesus, John 17:21-23

“One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
-The Pledge of Allegiance

Independence Day – A time to celebrate our abundant life in a country where the brave fought and died for our freedom from the British Empire. There was conflict, there was war, and then there was freedom. Thirteen colonies declared independence and a new country was born. Our new normal began in 1776 as The United States of America. I am always struck by the easily quotable, second sentence of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Self-evident truths. All created equal. Unalienable rights. Endowed by our Creator. Life. Liberty. Pursuit of happiness. Our country was founded by men who believed in God. They did not feel the need to prove anything about God, but firmly staked their claim of independence on the foundation of their faith. And this is where it must begin for me… Faith. Being firmly planted in self-evident truths. Staking my claim on Jesus for freedom. Every day.

Our country’s beginning did not begin in Eden, although it seems silly to point out such an obvious fact. But, my faith does begin there. In Eden, before the fall, before conflict began. “In the beginning God created…” Gen 1:1. My faith is rooted in a Creator who is good. And His creation was good. Is it still good? I know I am not the only one to get stuck right there. Many things in this life do not feel good at all. Sickness, betrayal, war, hurricanes… But, I must return to the self-evidence of truth, that I was created by God. And God is good.

Back to the story of independence and America. There was conflict, there was war, and then there was freedom. This blessed country I call home is good, even if the beginning was not. There is much goodness in the majestic mountains of Colorado, the mysterious swamps of Louisiana, and even more notable goodness in the freedom I have to be and do practically anything I want. Many countries and people do not have anything close to the life I enjoy. I try not to take this for granted, but it happens all the time. I go so fast on the track of freedom, that I forget there are many people who struggle more than I can imagine. More than I have ever struggled. And here I am again, questioning God’s goodness.

And then I remember what Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Peace is not in America, or in the world. Only in Jesus will I have peace.

He wants my heart. He offers eternal life. It is my duty and honor to live out these days with my eyes focused on truth. With my heart guarded and nourished by the good. I must keep my soul securely planted in the soil of God’s land. It is my duty to honor the men and women who serve to protect these freedoms I enjoy. And even more, to serve our great and good God and be united with others in the love Jesus died to give.

Yellow Ribbon Love

She looks out the window holding to hope
Another day unfolds
Sunshine rays of beaming light
Like a lifeline, hands to rope
The golden hues swirl and dance
Upon Spring flower blooms
Birds caress the wind with song
God gives another chance
Her heart is is full of love for Him
His grace is enough
To be the wife of soldier’s blood
She’d risk her life and limb
He stands for what he knows is right
His heart has been wounded
The scars burn too red sometimes
And healing trades for fight
Yet love from his wife’s fierce heart
Burns hotter still
She holds a yellow ribbon love
Vows held strong from the start
This ribbon speaks of sacrifice
Life given for all
Their Savior shows them how to love
Bought with the highest price
The ribbon too is held in view
To remind her of the hope
And when he turns home from battlefield
He will see her love like new.

Servant of Grace

I give the smile from my face to see the joy on yours

If you don’t respond may I still give you more

Not to find a reaction I need

Not to fill my own emptiness

But that I would give because I have been given

I am a recipient of joy

Joy that comes from being seen as I am

Love that came down from above

Not to fill me with pride that seeks

Not to bring me high standing

But that I would love to share my Jesus

I am a recipient of sacrifice

A gift that came wrapped in pain and tears

Offered to my heart without strings

Not to open and keep to myself

Not to hide it away

But to offer in love this beautiful treasure

My hands are outstretched to serve for the Kingdom

If you don’t accept may I still love you more

Not to make you feel guilty

Not to cover you with shame

But that you would open your eyes to forgiveness

I am a servant of grace.

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