Keeper of My Moments

Thank You for seeing all of me,
Yet calling me Your own, nonetheless.
For knowing the very worst of me,
While awakening the best,
And loving me still and forever.

I am amazed at Your mercy,
Astonished by this scope of grace extended
Again and again.
Your faith in me far exceeds my own.

Though I am untrustworthy,
You stay close beside.
Compelling me to notice You,
Inviting me to follow
Your way instead of mine.

Stepping toward belief,
I strain to catch hold of You
Only to find Your grip on me has never loosened.
Your hand firmly grasps my feeble faith,
Holding and keeping me
Even when I am blind to Your presence.

Because You are here,
Each moment is filled with miracle potential.
Help me to recognize You where You are,
And as You come,
And as You long to be.
Even if those ways seem startling.

Surprise me with Your presence, Lord.
Open my eyes to the wonder surrounding,
Embracing each second of life.
Stir my awareness,
And grant me vision to see You when others don’t.
Cause my feet to pause and follow You,
No matter that You lead in sometimes
Bewildering and strange places.

Help me press through the hard and difficult,
Beyond the sad and confusing,
To reach Your haven of rest
Designed for soul’s respite.
May I find reasons to celebrate always,
Forever thankful for Your endless mercy
Which rescues me time and again.

Strengthen me to remain steadfast,
Especially when my heart is faint
And worn from the battle.
Embolden me to trust You
Through the nonsensical and the illogical.
To rely on Your truth,
Unreasonable though it may seem.

May I extend grace and forgiveness,
A brimming handful of each,
To those who cause my heart to ache.
May I always turn to You instead of
Turning in anger
Or turning my back.

For You are here in this moment,
And that changes everything.

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life — your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life — and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.
(Romans 12:1, The Message)

© MereWhispers.wordpress.com

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Longings

Some days my heart yearns with heavenly longings.

Some days the sadness of this earth threatens to overwhelm me with its brokenness.

When I see the confusion, the hurt, the desperation of hearts searching, the utter lostness of a world floundering to obtain love in all the wrong places.

It is in these moments I am most reminded I am not created for this earth.

This world was never destined to hold the answer to the desires of my heart’s quest.

No matter how amazing the temporal can be, it remains temporary. Each earthly relationship merely a quick-fix for this innate desire to be known and accepted. Just as I am.

This mystery of heavenly longing goes beyond all things natural, yet I seldom ponder the truth of living in my smoke-screened reality. Too often appeased by a mirage. Too readily succumbing to the illusion of happily-ever-after in earthly garb. I forget the confines of my mortality as I go through the motions of routine activity, content to while away my days, forgetting they are so very few.

But when I pause to glance heavenward, I remember.

It is in these moments of looking up that I reach beyond the finite and bump against the whispers of God-breath caressing me with Your presence. It is here that the deepest parts of me come to life, when I am most aware of my eternal value and my eternal existence. It is here that I am drawn further into Your waves of grace, immersed in a love that goes beyond what mortal eyes can behold.

There is a fascination that moves me toward You, Father. An ache that pulls me into Your presence, past these gasps for earthly fulfillment. I shift a little nearer and am wrapped in wonder as I move deeper into the mystery of Your love.

And suddenly, I am overwhelmed with the longing to return home as I teeter between the now and the not yet.

In this ache to be done with this earth, I ask You to balance my heart. Breathe Your peace into my spirit. Pound out the steady rhythm of Hope’s heartbeat against my own as You dare me to live true and love large while I wait.

Unite this division in my soul. Bridge the present with Your eternal presence and remind me all is well because You are here.

Here where I cannot see clearly.

Here where sin seems to have won out.

Here where I most need You to be.

Architect of the Infinite, come and set things right once more as You consume this darkness with the light of heaven’s glow bending earthward.

Let salvation work its magic for now and for forever.

Turn my heart toward home even as I live on foreign sod, and let Your glory be a part of every moment… until every moment becomes eternal.

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Perspective Unskewed

The other day my adult son was tearing out our bathroom fixtures and flooring for an upcoming renovation project. In the middle of his scraping and banging to remove the ceramic tile, he uttered a loud cry of distress. As my husband and I went running to check on him, I called out, “Are you okay?!?”” only to be answered with an anxious response of, “No, it’s bad!”

Anticipating a severe cut on Joshua’s hand, I nearly melted in relief when we opened the door to find our soaking wet son standing there in a panic, desperately attempting to staunch the shooting stream of a broken waterline. Despite the mess that was not only spraying upon him, but rapidly pooling across what was left of the floor and walls, relief was the only feeling I experienced. No frustrations at watching water jet like a fire hydrant, gushing across the room and pouring into open holes. No anxiety over the fact that we now had no running water in the house and I was unable to wash the lunchtime dishes piled in the sink or run a glass of water to drink. No qualms about my husband having to replace a waterline. I was too busy being grateful. I didn’t have time to ponder the pool of water seeping across the floor, because I was otherwise occupied with thanking God that Joshua was unhurt.

It’s amazing how expressing gratitude can pull things into proper perspective.

Had I opened the bathroom door with the assumption that nothing was out of place and instead found the spraying waterline, I imagine my frustrations would have loomed much larger than the situation called for.

So the question is: How do I keep my perspective inline with truth every day? How do I face each challenge before me with the thought that things could always be worse than whatever it is that momentarily seems so large?

The answer: Gratitude.

Gratitude in remembering that our God is present in every moment of our lives. Not only present, but actively involved in each specific detail, whether I have eyes to see Him working or not.

So today, I offer a prayer to our heavenly Father, and I invite you to join me in expressing thankfulness to the One whose ways are perfect and whose heart is kind in dealing with His children:

Father,

I am so thankful that all Your ways are much higher than the meager lengths to which this finite mind can stretch. Not just higher, but perfect, and this I know well because the truth of Your word and the wisdom of Your ways has been proven time and again.

There is no one who has my best interests at heart more than You do.

There is no one who rises to shield me from danger faster than You.

There is no one more capable of equipping me and fortifying me to persevere throughout this obstacle course of life.

For who is God, except You, my Lord?

While others rise to accuse, You rush to defend.

While governments shift and tumble, You stand firm; solid and capable throughout the centuries.

When men betray and desert, You remain loyal and constant; steadfast in Your love for those who trust in You.

When I’m bombarded with questions, Your truth shines forth its timeless wisdom, pointing me to a better way of living. Of being.

When life’s struggles threaten to wear me down, Your promises strengthen me to continue on.

When the journey dips into perilous valleys deep, You lift me to high places and grace me with power to dance upon those heights.

When violent storms rush upon me, Your gentleness quiets my spirit; Your right hand holds me secure and soothes the anxiousness of my soul.

When the ache of loneliness threatens to crush me with its heaviness, Your steady rhythms of mercy accompany the beat of my heart and bring joy, reminding me that I am never alone.

When the world is in the throes of upheaval, You deliver me from the strivings of men, infiltrating me with a peace that shatters all earthly limitations.

When nations curse Your name, I will continue to give thanks to You and sing praises to Your greatness.

When men glory in themselves, I will glory in the cross of Christ and find my hope in You.

And when things as ordinarily irritating as broken waterlines challenge me to become frustrated, I will choose to live with gratitude toward the One who does all things well.

For truly, there is no God except the Lord, the One who deals kindly with me and with my descendants both now and forever.

In gratitude, I stand redeemed.

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In Spaces of Universes and of Souls

in the beginning
in the empty and quiet
in the space and in the chaos
He comes with invitation
descends with life begetting life
spoken and done

stretching space to cradle creation
speaking into the silence
embracing empty with full
hovering with Spirit breath
holding humanity to His heart
while releasing it wild and free

glory descending for a visit
with eternal implications
for all who will believe
surrendered yet held captive
by a love of limitless dimensions
spilling into spaces of universes and of souls

light

In the beginning, God was.

He was there, present in the darkness. In the chaos. In the empty. In the nothing.

He brought forth light, separating it from the darkness, and the goodness of this simple separation continues and remains to this day. It’s a separation from what once was, shaping into what would be. Light overwhelming. Finding its way in the universe. In souls.

God making space in order to give birth to life.

This open expanse nestled within the depths of humanity. Exposing a vulnerability. Creating space to create. This calling to birth something new is present within all of us. Here in the bare.

In these soul spaces where empty weighs heavy.

Some days my soul feels at odds with My Creator. Some days I am tempted to forget that God not just was, but is. I see this struggle in the lives around me, as well. This longing in the eyes of people I meet in the grocery store or at gas stations or wherever I encounter another individual treading upon terra firma. A hidden desire to be something other than what we are. A choked hope wrestling to break free of this routine of day in and day out with no end in sight. No inkling that these empty spaces within are meant to be filled with God. No thought of each day holding the potential to be welcomed with joyful expectancy, not just seen as another day of duty and obligations and endless to-do lists.

Can you feel it, too? This sense of yearning while passing by a complete stranger? This weariness of a life drained of living? I feel the heavy of longing emitting from my fellow sojourner. Space reaching for filling. Stretched expanse yearning. Bending. Groaning for wonders.

And my heart groans along with theirs.

“Lord God, come,” I pray.

Come overtake this barren longing steeped within humanity. Soothe this ache to behold a beauty as yet unknown, yet fully desired. Breathe life upon these earthen vessels, and beget hope again. Call forth Your creation to be created anew, so we can all marvel at the goodness being birthed and say with one voice, Our God is!”

Come brood and hover over us, releasing love in new and ancient ways. All beautiful. Expand potential within the hearts of spacious souls, and reveal a future yet unveiling before eyes opened by Spirit’s breath. Bend near to hear the pleading of hearts long silenced by sin’s burdens. Release the miracle of seeing good again. And again. And for forever, as we embrace this continuing newness with welcome and with wonder.

Come and create Your masterpiece of goodness as You separate us from what once was and shape us into what will be. Light overwhelming, finding its way… here in this space of universes and of souls.

 


Whispers of Thankful

To the One who knew me before I was…

Who sees all my days lived and those yet to be…

Who holds in His hands this string of moments called my life…

Who promises to untangle and lead me along the path of goodness and blessing…

Who lifts me when I stumble and carries me through my heartaches…

Who rescues me from endless to-do lists meant to earn favor and please an insatiable crowd…

Who reminds me of His presence from smallest to greatest and all sizes in between…

Who fills the empty and barren with His Spirit breath…

Who nourishes and steadies my soul-weary heart…

Who makes me brave when I’m quaking with fear…

Who is sure and certain when life is not…

Who cloaks me in mercy amidst the mystery of each unknown…

Who holds me safe through the breaking with redemption in mind…

Who spills out His love and seeps into the deep of doubt…

Who gathers shattered shards into works of beauty and wholeness…

Who refuses to let the hard-to-be-thankful-for things be wasted…

Who chases me with His laughter and quiets my anxious with love songs…

Who heals with hope and holds me in the hollow of His hand…

Who encompasses the mundane and turns it to miraculous…

Who shatters my safe places, freeing me to step beyond their borders…

Who finds me in my hiding and continually seeks me from dawn to dusk…

Who shelters me through the night watches, keeping me in constant care…

Who loves me wildly and lavishes me with relentless grace…

Jude125_5by7_300dpiAmen and amen.

 

When the Beautiful Seems Buried

Some days my thoughts seem tumultuous. They flit back and forth like a captive bird unexpectedly released from its cage yet uncertain as to what to do with its newfound freedom. Spinning from idea to idea, yet landing upon nothing. Circling and hovering with no intent of coming to rest anytime soon. On days like this, my best recourse is to simply stop and pray as I ask God to realign my focus and help me to pursue “one thing” instead of rushing toward any number of countless opportunities I could easily grasp at any given time.

And so I pray. I pour out my heart in letters to Father who knows and sees all that I am and all that I am yet to become. Even when I don’t.

As words tumble out one on top of the other, tripping and stumbling toward the throne of grace, I ask God to keep my heart balanced. I pray for help to dig in and push hard through those times of transition and the pain that often accompanies them. For the courage to embrace change, and chance, and risk. To press in and gather the broken when everything in me wants to turn in flight. But I also ask to have those amazing moments of brushing up against hope and birthing life, too. To find times of rest and grasp bits of beauty throughout my day so that I do not lose heart in doing good. Oh how my soul needs those times of refreshing delight in God’s presence to keep me from growing weary. (See Galatians 6:9)

Partnered with those moments of both the soul-tiring and the refreshing, I need my memory to be stirred. Challenging me to look back and memorialize those times when God seemed so very far away but, in reality, was as close as the heartbeat keeping me alive. Those out-of-the-blue experiences when God showed up in unexpected and surprising ways. Both small and large. Just to remind me He was very much aware of my every breath.

Calling attention to the fact that He was/is/always will be there.

Despite my failings. Or my feelings.

In the midst of living out my days and walking out my dreams (and sometimes my nightmares), God is ever near. So very present. Even when life is less than glamorous. Even when the beauty seems buried beneath layers and layers of the downright ugly.

He is here. Here in each inhalation and exhalation of life.

Whether I am gritting my teeth and pushing through to accomplish the next step in pursuing my purpose or coasting on the winds of the Spirit carrying me along, I want to live. To be here now with a moment-by-moment, graceful awareness of God in me and me in Him – all held tightly together by His unrelenting yet unrestricting love.

To live each day with open hands as I’m called to pour out those desires He has placed within me. Both the ones I long to fulfill and the ones which I sometimes war against. (Can I get an Amen?)

It seems that divine purposes sometimes always require a patient continuance in order to bring them to completion. So I ask that God hold me close and keep me pressing onward as I present these humble offerings. Looking to Him with faith, trusting that He will focus my gaze and steady me through it all.

Each and every moment.

Even as I grow to understand that while my life may not be glamorous… it is always beautiful.

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When Mighty Comes in Unexpected Ways

It’s hard to switch into “grown-up” mode when My efforts have been directed toward penning children’s missions’ blogs, writing a kids’ musical, and coming up with five dramas to be reenacted at a Vacation Bible School, so I’m a little behind on here. But that doesn’t mean that my mind has been idle.

I’ve taken lots of time to think on the word prompt of “mighty” from last week’s Five-Minute-Friday challenge, and I’ve seen God display that very might in small and unexpected ways all week long. Perhaps because I’ve been purposefully looking for Him to show up.

He does that, you know. Shows up when we are looking. Comes out of hiding when we are willing to notice.

He’s made His presence known so blatantly a few times this week, that all I could do was shake my head and smile. He literally had me laughing out loud last evening at the immediate answer to a flitting thought that skipped across my mind. I think He likes to make me laugh. In fact, I’m sure He does.

While I may be breaking the rules of the “five minutes” part of this blog challenge today, I’m pretty certain that the “unedited” part will remain, so forgive my errors and my over-extension on the time limit as I pour out my heart on the marvels of God’s might:

MIGHTY

Reigning unleashed – yet powerfully contained – within fallible, flawed, earthen clay. Now that is mighty.

Why not use all Your power to make Yourself known in spectacular ways?

Why not choose the biggest and the best to show Yourself to this world You have created?

But instead, You choose to place your power within me.

A simple, humble jar of dust…

Surely it would seem more fitting to shine Your glory through a golden, gem-encrusted vessel.

But that is not Your way.

Your way is the path of humility when all others would choose the path of greatness.

Your way is to empower the weak to show Yourself strong.

Your way is to sustain the broken and fill the empty with Your all-sufficient grace.

Your way is to pour Your might into… me.

To think You would choose to display the essence of Your presence within one so unworthy is a mighty big thought to wrap this earthly mind about.

But I see that it is Your goodness that causes You to do so.

It is Your mercy poured out in lavish abandon that causes You to reside here in the fragments and smoking debris of my life.

Finding You here, blazing gloriously in the ashes, proves the power of Your might in the grandest of ways.

Holy, nail-scarred hands embracing my sins.

This is where Your power is unleashed.

This is where love is most gloriously displayed.

This is where the world sees and knows You

Where I see and know You.

Here in the fullness of Your might cradling the smallness of me.

P1010447“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
~ 2 Corinthians 4:7