Friday, September 22, 2017

When we bump up against our limits

Pouring out:
Serving communion at
Elementary School
Spiritual Emphasis Week
On Wednesday I preached at Middle and High School chapels about abiding... about how much power and freedom there is when we abide... about the beauty and the peace that come when we stop striving and rest in what He has already accomplished {which is everything}... and then there was Thursday.

I've come to realize I'm not a short fuse person- I have a very long fuse... however, once you reach the end: look out. I can be patient and obliging for a long time. I have heaps of grace and appreciation for this very different culture I live in. Until I don't. When I just want my babies to see the doctor {at the time they told me to come in} or get their cavity filled or have a date lunch with my husband and everything conspires against me. Or so it feels. I know this is a bit dramatic. But yesterday it felt dramatic.

Our weekly routine has shifted now that I'm working part-time at our kids' school. And I am around more people more often than I was our last term. And I feel the need to be much more intentional with my kids when I am home. These realities may be slowly draining my very friendly, introverted self.

And yet. He is keeping me... when I let Him. There are days when you know much will be demanded of you- when you are pouring and pouring- and you take the time you need for Him to fill you. But then there are days like Thursday when things don't seem like a big deal, and then the little one is up at 4:59am, and you just don't get that time. And all morning you find yourself bumping up against your humanity and your self and your limits. Empty.

It's not pretty. But the discovery of who I am when left to my own devices throws me on His grace. Seeing my self in all its selfish, impatient, angry blaze humbles me. And John 15 comes flooding back like conviction and hope mixed together: "apart from Me you can do nothing" {John 15:5} which then means "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."{Philippians 4:13}.

Studying the Enneagram, we can "learn how to recognize and dis-identify with the parts of our personalities that limit us so we can be reunited with our truest and best selves, that 'pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven,' as Thomas Merton said.

That's the blaze I want glowing within me. And I can only get there when I abide in Him, and allow Him to shine His light on those broken and fallen places within me.

linking up today at the Grove @Velvet Ashes:

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Kept By the Spirit

In July we were not quite sure what kind of team we would be walking back into this term. After some serious team upheaval, and our own personal burnout, we were cautiously hopeful that the team had recovered as much as we had during our time in the states. But regardless of the state of our team, Jesus had some good words for us as we thought about rejoining them.

  • This is His team. We get to partner with them and Him for His purposes. He cares for them more than we ever will. 
  • This team isn't any different than any other team- we have had struggles and will continue to face challenges because we are human. We will never find the perfect team. There is power in staying.
  • There is power for staying! This team has access to the same power that raised Jesus from the dead- nothing is impossible for Him.
  • Team is His idea. The Trinity communes together and works together and loves together in perfect harmony. We have God as our model and as our strength to do team life in way that brings Him glory. 

During this first month back on the field we are grateful for the ways Jesus has met our team in these hard days.

Team life is seldom easy- but He promises to keep us.

It could have been a very different re-entry for us, but the Spirit has heard our prayers and kept our team. He has kept us meeting together for prayer. He has kept us well enough to continue ministering where He has placed us. He has kept us together in spirit- even when we are separated by continents.

For our team book study we are diving into Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. Maybe your team wants to too?

I'm linking up at the Grove today at Velvet Ashes.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

a puddle of glory in a busy day

the girls are napping. the birds are singing in the trees. I have a steaming cup of chai in my hand. and the soundtrack to my days is playing quietly in the background. my soul can breathe in moments like these. it's like a puddle of glory in the middle of my day.

I don't always savor these moments, or find them, or create them. often I miss them because my eyes are full of my phone, or because the to do list is too long and who can afford to stop? and it takes work- stop, steep the chai, turn on the music, put down the phone. but when I don't pause and savor I am essentially throwing the gift of this moment into the face of God. He graciously gives us all things. and I am too busy to receive.

there are moments when I am getting things done, enjoying this season of part-time ministry outside the house, and then there are others when I am losing my mind at the two-ness of my two year old and fuming as I make four lunches before school. part of me thinks I can just run with it. and then there are moments like this when I realize I might not be fully recovered yet and need to slow down and let Him keep healing my heart. and it's good and necessary to listen to what our souls need.

thanks for joining me on this journey. it feels really good to write again.

are you able to find moments in your day to pause? what does that look like for you in whatever season you find yourself in? 

**also, have you heard of Zachary Bruno? Dawn light is the soundtrack to my days and it's amazing how quickly music can change the tone of your day.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Coming home...

not literally. don't everyone get excited.

as I press in to the idea of writing here again, I'm having to sift the wheat from the chaff. I have to try everything on and see what still fits. and something that Jesus has been whispering to me today is gratitude. keep counting those gifts. and it's Monday {my original gratitude post day}. there is something profound that happens when we say thank you for the gifts He gives on a daily basis. and I've been neglecting that practice. so I'm coming home- home to gratitude on Mondays.

the past two years have been a stripping away, a desert season, survival mode. i've been reduced to rubble. and yet what remains is gold. He is remaking me. and I guess that's part of why I want to share this journey. I am still unfinished. but my head is far enough above water now that it isn't dangerous for me to reach out to others who might feel like they're drowning.

so while I haven't faithfully kept counting the gifts, I have sporadically been counting- so we'll just pick up where I left off:

7861. 5am. You meeting me.
7862. grace enough to welcome an early riser at 5:03am
7863. Sofia the First on iTunes.
7864. my little corner on the kitchen floor. sacred space.
7865. in You there is no sin. If I abide in You, I can say no to sin.
7866. my husband rising to meet You early
7867. bagels and coffee
7868. our 4 incredible kids
7869. Your word. truth for this day.
7870. a clean and quiet desk
7871. being able to find this gratitude journal. after months of disuse and a transatlantic move.
7872. my crossfit ladies pushing me towards health
7873. and also bringing m&ms :)
7874. cloudy morning- cool enough to work out
7875. the ability to move my body
7876. rain holding off till we were done
7877. a morning with Rebekah
7878. Hi Ho Cherry-o, Candy Land, Zingo... classics
7879. her laugh. it's so contagious
7880. snuggles before nap
7881.everyone napping so I can write

What are you grateful for today?

linking up:
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