Strong Roots

Grass under my feet and wind in my hair

Reminding me God, that Your love is there

You are my rock through the chaos on earth

And I know there’s a purpose and loving has worth

When fire and affliction burns hot on your heart

Meaningless madness will tear you apart

Take hold of the moment, stand strong and aware

That darkness will cower to God’s love affair

His power will crush the arrows that fly

The taunts of the enemy become known for their lies

The world spins unknowing the battles to fight

So I war on my knees to replace darkness with light

With each breath in my lungs I vow to live well

And let God use my life as His story to tell

Pages keep turning as days turn to years

I stop to reflect how He’s used all my tears

Seeds of grace and forgiveness flourish and grow

In each burning affliction I’m pushed closer to know

True joy and love when I dig deeper to find

Strong roots reach the Giver of your life and mine.

 

 

Joyful Journey

  Waiting and watching when all seems bleak.
Anticipation. She’s smiling sweet.
Storms crash over. Eyes are blind.
Winds will topple weaker mind.
Vows sealed strong in confident mess.
Held in His arms. Her God will bless.
Faith and promises tried and true.
Reassurance in skies of blue.
Clearing clouds and bows of wonder. 
Sacred earth is heavy under.
Open hearts and eyes to see. 
Graceful glimpse of what will be.
Girding strength for this new day. 
Joyful journey come what may.

Waiting (Inspired by Ruth 3)

11.5.15

Wilderness wandering leaves me bare

Hands fall empty with nothing to share

Cover me with redeeming wings

In Christ alone my spirit sings

Worldly knowledge is grasping for straw

If knowing and gaining scrapes heart raw

I’m heading to the threshing floor

With all I’ve lost, but gaining more

Calm and trusting silent pace

Remove the covering seek His grace

I lay my body at His feet

The Lord will grant the claim I seek

I will do what You have asked

My face will shine without the mask

And if today meets chaos or pain

My heart will know that truth remains

Remember Ruth and all she lost

Her beautiful faith was worth the cost

Questions asked and prayers now wait

Resisting worry in delay

My grateful heart will choose delight

Remembering blessings from day to night.

Thoughts on Ruth 1

11.3.15

So many things here. At first I stopped short at how Naomi urged her daughters in law to go back to their land and former gods. I shook my head thinking, if she believed in the one true God then why would she do that? Why wouldn’t she do everything she could to convince them to follow her? And then God took me deeper in. Naomi lost her husband and her two sons. How heavy was her grief? Very. I carry a loss that hurts, but because there is life and breath in the one I have lost, there is hope for redemption and reunion. For Naomi, in her new now, she must journey without her lover and two sons. Yet she makes a sacrifice, to urge the only family she has left to leave her. She was acting out of a sacrificial heart. She believed these younger women whom she loved would find life and rest if they would return to their homeland and find security in husbands she felt certain would be easier to attain there. She wanted what she believed was best for them.

And then there is Ruth. She vowed to stay. And here is the depth of understanding God has shown me, but I am not sure I can adequately express it in words. Ruth was with Naomi as her daughter in law for ten years. She watched Naomi lose everything. Naomi did not pretend all was well. She wanted to change her name to bitterness. And yet, Naomi’s love and faith for God was bigger than anything in her circumstances. Ruth was watching. Ruth wanted to know this God her mother in law followed. She saw faith in action. Not in a life of ease and comfort, we know there was no happily ever after that she could see in this life. And yet, God moved within her. Ruth saw Naomi’s obedience to the God of Israel and this was striking.

I am struck. This is what we are called to do. This is the level of faith we are to attain. This is what God is refining us for. To draw in so closely to the heart of God that we sense the eternal hope He gives. Even in the suffering we hope. We know we are loved so deeply that a Father gave His Son’s life for us. And through our unwavering faith and being fiercely devoted, we shine the light of God into the world around us. They are watching. Who will decide to turn their back on their homeland to follow our God into the unknown? Who sees us and wants what we possess? Who does the world think we are? And who do they see us following?

(Your Cup Today)

Morning comes and we awaken
Wipe away the dust of stars
Open eyes to reality, shaken
Breathe in a day’s new life…

Decision time is here and now
Today we cannot hide
Let go of where you thought you’d be
Your faith is now your guide.
Cast your vision higher up
It’s time to venture on
Take the step in front of you
Uncertain as a fawn
Like a creature born today
Everything is new
The Lord is calling out to say
You’re mine, I created you
And in this childlike confidence
You have the world at bay
Dive in to depths never tasted
He will fill your cup today.

Inspired by Hannah

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(1 Samuel 1-2)

The journey might be stained with tears
Yet faith and hope expel her fears
Along the way she searches truth
A word from God assuring proof
She asked He Gave
She lost He found
Her knees again dig into ground
Wildest prayers from depth of heart
Waiting and wanting a brand new start.

Thoughts on Genesis 17:15-21 & 18:1-5

9.30.15

It is in the waiting where we are refined. Moving through time can be hard if we resist the process. When we try and force something by our own hand, there is an element of striving and unrest, and therefore no peace. Yes, we must work hard and be excellent in our duties, whether in our home life or in the corporate world. But, we can only do what we can do, with what we are given. And sometimes, oftentimes, we must wait. The purpose of reading and studying God’s word is to use it as a guide, to learn from mistakes of others, to be encouraged by examples of faith, to find truth, life, and peace. To know God more. I love the honesty of this story. Sarai is not painted as a perfect wife, she is not someone I cannot relate to. She is real, and honest, she made poor choices, and even laughed at God’s promise and then lied to God about it. This is not a watered down religious how to, pie in the sky kind of teaching. This is not, how to be perfect in 10 steps. This is vulnerability, this is authentic humanity, this is desire and longing, this is me. And so Sarai is given a new name. God said “I will bless her”, and He did. God’s promise comes to life and we see how His plan will come to pass no matter what our hands destroy in the process. There is grace. There is mercy. There is love. And in our world where there is destructive pride driving our lifestyles, commercials telling us what we need, books and movies telling us there are no moral absolutes, Facebook rants about why Christians are so jaded, why are there so many unhappy faces? Why do I hear so much complaining? Where is the joy that comes from being blessed abundantly in America? I want to be an example of the joy that surpasses all understanding, I want to bring life to the people around me, I want my life to bring glory and honor to my Creator. And I want to be an example of who Jesus is and why I follow Him. And so I keep studying, sharing, and praying hard for the hearts and lives of my people.

(Chasing Grays)

Sift and save the moments

Treasures found within your days

Walk with great intention

Collecting goodness in the frays

A day is born in morning

God’s gifting in the rays

Light bursts forth with promise

Chasing darkness, chasing grays.

Thoughts on Genesis 16:1-16

9.29.15

As I think about the story of Sarai, yes I can see God’s promises revealed, yes I see His plan ultimately came through. And yet, I am stuck on the ways of the heart. I am aware of what was culturally acceptable. I am aware that it was not so outlandish for a wife to give her maidservant to her husband. But from one woman to another, how much pain do we not see in the story? How much pain do we not see in the faces of others in our own world? What I am discovering as I dig deeper into God’s Word, is comfort in knowing that I am truly not alone in my secret places. That God will use our pain to refine us, and our faith will be tested, but God does see our hearts. He knows when we choose badly, and He loves us even still. He comes to us softly when we need His comfort. He shakes us awake when we slumber in sin. It is His plan and His creation, we walk on holy ground, yet we feel like queens of the universe and take things into our own hands. Unless we are seeking God first, our eyes will fall on the best we can come up with in the moment, usually driven by emotion. Our emotions fuel us too quickly in the wrong direction many times. A decision made, done. And we are left with the consequences. We are left staring into something that can never be undone. But God. He is our rescuer. Our knight in shining armor. Our Prince. Our King. And His power is awesome. His love covers and conquers. Scars remain but life will be sweeter in the places He heals. We just have to accept what is, and lean into His arms, and let what will be, just be. His story for us will end well. And we will see that the end is not a stopping point, but the beginning of a beautiful ever after.

(Freedom Reigns)

Heart walks wild envisioning gladness

reaping rewards of following sadness

led through the mazes of beauty and pain

no rest for the weary, walk on through the rain

guided by glimpses, sun glowing above

journey again to a promise of Love

heart takes the challenge, risky and bold

fight through the darkness, fight through the cold

shedding the layers of envy and hate

bear only pure love, the hour is late

burning ablaze, stoking embers within

truth burning fire, freedom reigns once again.

http://www.ifequip.com

Thoughts on Genesis 16-21

9.28.15

I am struck by the entire story. One I have read many times before, cringed through the details, wading through the sins of others, evil unspeakable acts, and yet a beautiful story emerges. My heart is left raw and vulnerable. After 13 years of marriage I have no children and my marriage is hard. Difficult truths have emerged, my faith is being tested. After 42 years on this earth, I have sinned and walked in darkness many times, and yet a beautiful story emerges. In the barrenness of my moments I have been brought to my knees. I have gone to my Lord and I have been redeemed. The salvation gift came to me many years ago, but recently I have been freed from many things I did not realize were weighing me down. I have come to know grace deeper, mercy closer, faith stronger, and love greater. I know compassion and humility better, joy and forgiveness quicker, and Jesus is more real to me than ever. The key to this life hinges on prayer, which brings intimacy with God, which brings life. Beautiful, true, bright and shining life. I pray for the hearts seeking, the eyes looking, the ears listening for some glimmer of hope. Hope is here, hope is now… just like the song goes, it is. Jesus paid the price for our restoration and He is our hope. No matter what this life brings, there is an everlasting Happily Ever After.

(The Work of His Hand)

She wanders, heart empty, through libraries, books-

Seeking and searching, taste words found in nooks.

Another day lived, as her soul is struck thin,

Feels her way through, wondering where to begin.

Step back and you watch her, confusion and grin-

Your own life is halted, interruptions within.

Orderly patterns, the American way-

Keeps dreaming in check, plan your life, plan your day.

This creature before you, seems lost and confused,

Poor soul needs some coaching, some wisdom to use.

And you, so helpful, you’re way sets things right-

Strategy and planning mask conviction and might.

Glimpse life without judgment, expecting what’s real.

Leave room for your heart, glimpse wide without shield.

Step forth and approach an open new gate-

Move boldly in, to prepared fertile blessed fate.

Your God who created you, knew you’d be here-

Placed hazel eyed Jennifer where you would be near.

No plan you envisioned nor life had you planned

Could stop this unfolding, the work of His hand.

http://www.ifequip.com

Thoughts on Genesis 3:8-15

9.25.15

There was a trust and friendship between Eve and the serpent. This thought is difficult to even type, because it seems so wrong. It doesn’t make sense. I always thought of the serpent as an evil antagonist who tricked Eve. And this is true. But as I think of Eve, I try and picture myself there, as Eve. She is talking with the serpent and she is listening. This is what women do with friends. Our friendships are profound because we open our hearts to each other. When we are talking, we are sharing ourselves and there is intimacy. And so I realize, Eve’s heart was open and vulnerable. In her doubt, she was thirsting for something that agreed with her temptation. This desire she must have felt deep within her, that there must be more to life than this… Seems so familiar doesn’t it? That if only I had more of something, I would feel satisfied and complete. Even in the most perfect Eden, Eve’s heart wanted more. The lesson for me here is to remember that desire is a beautiful part of our story. But desire can lead us into very bad places. If we learn to let desire be what it is, and turn the desire toward God, He will fill us with His love. The joy He gives will fill our hearts in a deep and profound way. This is the mystery. This is the truth. Our spiritual journey can only be made when we let go of our pride. The movies that seem to transport us, or the music that seems to speak and move us, all tell of a happily ever after we hope to find someday. The truth is, happily ever after will come. Our lives here matter, but they are only a stepping stone path leading us into the everlasting. And in this I hold as pure hope.

http://www.ifequip.com/3200

Thoughts on Genesis 4 (Eve)

Our faith journey. The journey. It is impossible to know someone’s full story. More than what we can share with each other is what is shared with God. In the deep and secret places where we sit with our thoughts. Our prayers. Only God can hear the joy of our heart praising. Our words cannot express. Only God knows the depths of pain we feel. Words cannot express. Only God hears our bitterness and doubt when loss rips away our life. Words cannot express. Only God can beckon us into the Light. Words cannot. It is in our spirit where the battle rages. Why me? Why her? Why not me? Why not her? In this life we are faced with too much to bear alone. Joy feels too much, our hearts feel too full sometimes, even when its good. Pain feels too much, our hearts too heavy to carry. And then we have Jesus. I cannot imagine Eve’s faith journey without knowing what we know now. We can rest assured that Jesus will walk us out into the unknown. Joy or pain. Faith or doubt. But Eve, to journey into a stronger faith after losing one son and being given another. A beautiful restoration story. A beautiful reminder.