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Give Me That!

 

 

For a few years, my sister and Mom have been praying a novena to surrender, but I didn’t see any reason to pray it too

I started noticing when I was off the refined sugar and when I was in certain situations, my emotions would kick in and my first reaction was to eat sugar.  I would use sugar to satisfy the emotion bubbling inside of me. The emotions that I was experiencing were anger and anxiety, and I had started reading this book all about control. Underneath the anger and anxiety is a lot of…

Control

I can see why I wanted control because when I was younger, I didn’t have any at least to my knowledge. I wanted to be able to control something in my environment because I didn’t think I was getting what I needed. I don’t know about you, but being able to control others is a power that supposedly gives you satisfaction. I don’t know about that because I was still pulling in sewage and not treasure. I felt angry because I felt so powerless growing up.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Genesis ~3:6-7

If someone offered you fruit from a tree and it looked pleasing to you, wouldn’t you take it? Even if you knew the fruit would play havoc with your life, but you didn’t know that yet. If you were told or promise it would do great things for you wouldn’t you want to at least try it out? Maybe your street smarts, or your manners you learned while growing up, or with your beauty, you can manipulate your destiny.

Admitting that I have difficulties with anger or anxiety isn’t always easy for me, but having a long history with depression tends to put it into perspective. What is it that I am trying to control is the question that I’ve started asking myself. Maybe there is a possibility that I will learn to respond instead of reacting.

Starting the novena to surrender, it never occurred to me that I had an issue with control. I mean every minute of every day, were trying to wrench back our control over our lives because it’s just not fair. I was of the mind for years that my idea of how my life should’ve gone was way better, but anger and anxiety didn’t change my situation. Everything has remained relatively the same.

I have always been a keen enthusiast of observing others while they are in a flutter of activity. I listen to everything, colours may blend into the background, and words may skirt inside of my head. I want to know what is it that I am doing wrong?

Anger and anxiety didn’t change my desires or has it brought them any faster into my life-like I thought it would. God values my free will and yet I still choose to certain situations that aren’t really good for me.  You see we think we’re all better than each other but were really clueless as to how to achieve peace and love in our lives

 

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Unlimited Rest

 

 

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For five days, I had no Internet access.

I thought about pulling my hair out my roots or screaming bloody murder to express my frustration, hurling something hard across the room. My work timetable for this week and the rest of the month is on my email account. My Internet service provider (ISP) took an extra-long New Year’s week off, so what’s a girl to do? Whatever happened to being reliable?

I don’t know if they (my ISP) have an advanced knowledge of the future, but you can’t know when or if the Internet is going to stop working for one or a group of people. If I had known that I would be able to access anything online, I would’ve planned ahead. Not having the Internet is not the end of the world, but some of my world is on the online, and I kind of feel as if my life has been put on hold.

I get that everyone needs time off, to rest, to take a break from work and stress. Spending time with people you love and doing things you enjoy. That is not hard to understand, but when you have clients who may or may not have good connections…

Solid Relationships

It’s easy in this online world to forget on what is really needed, and what is just a candy coated WANT.  I’ve spoken on how it’s so easy to close ourselves off from initiating and maintaining relationships that aren’t online, in fact, it’s easier to form a relationship than when you are physically face to face.

I remember signing up my with my ISP having some bumps in the beginning. The Lord taught me a few lessons on trusting in Him using the Internet. Whenever I would have problems, I would first stop and ask the Lord what is his prayer for my Internet connection. It’s hard to remember that He is in control of even your ISP, and that again He is asking for your trust in him. I have incorporated so much of my writing with being online that it’s a real step back for me. I am part of the Gen X, so I grew up without being online, but I wonder how it might affect those don’t know life without the Internet.

In the short-term, I have been spending more time journaling, and reading the last few days, I can see how much busier we’ve become with the Internet in our lives. I am in this competition against myself to see if I can win this impossible race.

Recalling my relationship to Him, helps me to ask what is really important, and the only answer is Him. It helps me to know what exactly I need to do, not should, could, but need to do. Without realizing it, being online is like us breathing, but when it’s taken away, I would then liken the withdrawal symptoms similar to how are we to breathe?

Be Still and Know that I am God ~ Psalm 47:10

Praying, journaling, silence and solitude.

Closing my eyes, and taking a deep breath, and remembering I don’t need to have it all. Just where I am, and who I am is enough. Trusting comes with believing that He wants the best, and maybe that includes your Internet connection.

3

Deep Beauty – Part 1

Ever since I was a little girl, I long to know I was beautiful. I desired to know that I was lovely. I even asked my Dad if he thought I was. I didn’t see my beauty or worth, and I ached to have someone like him to help me make sense of where I fit in. Everyone else was more important than I was, and on the road to somewhere. I wanted to jump on the fast track too; it’s just that Jesus had other plans for me. Living in poverty doesn’t just have to be material, most of us live in poverty because we haven’t experienced His love, which heals our invisible wounds.

The last two years, I have been wandering in the desert. Jesus is the driver, and I am the passenger letting the wind whip my hair all over the place. I am a passenger on this journey, longing to be a part of the beauty that exists here in austerity.

It’s the surface that many people live in, most of us are too busy with work, relationships,

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and stuff considered more important. Letting the world dictate what you should do, eventually will push the desires of your heart further away until it will not be a part of you. This desire will float around you like an oasis that you can no longer reach onto what is good.

 

I completed a Lectio Divina. I don’t remember the verse, but what stayed with me was how I would respond to what I had received. Jesus wanted to teach me how to dive into the deep with Him, to trust in him, and in the process taking my ability to love Him deeper. Taking my fragile trust, and plunging it into deep waters. I guess you could call it freestyle diving. Essentially, I felt the Lord was calling me to do the same, except He would be my oxygen.

What I wanted the most was to love Him with all my heart, mind, and soul. Still, I am out of breath and the strength to love Him as I know He desires, but I am learning where and when to rest, and listening to him when he says, ‘Let me do it’.

I know that I can trust the Lord with all my heart, but then comes ‘lean not on your own understanding.'(v.5)* Interiorly, I am learning that my physical beauty pales in comparison to the beauty that lies on the inside of me. Much like the burning that the men from Emmaus** experienced, who spoke with Jesus, and yet did not realize their hearts burned within themselves until Jesus revealed himself, only to then disappear from their sight.

 

*Proverbs 3:5

**Luke 24:31

Published previously in 2014

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Jesus Rides a Green Bicycle

 

 

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Hearing God’s voice is not like learning how to ride a bicycle, though to hear it sometimes you need to get back on in order to hear him speak to you.

~

There are many things that I have no problem doing alone, but in the last few years I have been finding out there are some things that I don’t want or like doing alone.

Riding a bicycle is one of them

When I first moved out on my own, I lived in an area that offers a lot of green space that is great area for walking, biking, running, boating in the summer, and in the winter, sledding and skating. I hesitate at suggesting you could fish because usually the fish don’t look too appetizing once they’re caught.

Initially, I bought the bicycle because I thought I had heard the Lord tell me to buy one. I wanted to be obedient to what I was hearing, but I wasn’t sure. I hadn’t rode a bicycle since I was 14 when I had broken my tail bone, but I wanted to try because I thought I heard him. I figure I had nothing to lose.

It’s all in the hearing the Lord, and how exactly do I do that? Well, a lot can be gleaned from His character. I know certain things about him, and so that allows me to have a good idea if it is him. Normally, I hear the Lord through a mixture of scripture reading, listening to that small still voice and journaling. Now, I can hear him through other ways, but he’s faithful to how he speaks to me.

First of all, I want to be up front

For any of you who have read this blog for any length of time, you will know that over five years ago, the Lord began tweaking my ability to sense Him. I used to be able to discern His answers (sometimes) in how I felt, but He changed things up because He doesn’t want you or me to stay where we are. It’s a good thing if you’re gung ho for change, but most of us aren’t, and we complain all the way there.

Most of us, and I am including myself in this group, deny that we hear anything that could be God. Yes, we’ll make mistakes, but the one thing I have learnt is He is faithful in how he speaks to us.

Being Open to Change

Lately, he speaks and it’s like a river that is running through me, it’s not a voice, but I am standing on dry ground and in it I can see a watery reflection of me. He’s taking me in deeper, and in it, I am ‘seeing’ and ‘hearing’ his silence and solitude, which is paving a way for me to ponder and reflect His invisible presence in me. For in him, we live and move and have our being. Acts~17:28.

I did ride a bicycle for a time, but I always got the feeling someone was right behind me and this bugged me. Whoever it was could just pass me. I would stop and look behind me, and there was no one, zip, nada, zero…This happen on more than one occasion, so I stopped taking going for a bike ride and for other reasons. It turns out someone was riding their bicycle behind me – it was Him.

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Reconstructed

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Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for you I entrust my life. Ps ~143:8

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Broken in pieces.

That’s what I am, and that’s what I am trying to get across with all these posts. Each time I notice another crack in myself, a part of me gets a little excited because that means I can write another post! So even though I might view my life as sedentary and boring, I am hoping each newly discovered crack is another way to glorify the Lord.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty back together again.

Not your friendliest nursery rhyme.

I always wanted to know why Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, did someone push him, or was it just back luck? And no one was able to put him back together again? I guess the King was unwilling to find all of his pieces, and help him back up to the wall where he sat. Obviously, we don’t know the same King, but the one I know is all about restoration.

My life is built on the kind of relationships I have sought out, and though they may be gnarled and twisted, everything in its time has its glory. I have spoken about the lack of what I thought was a prayer time with the Lord. In the last year, I have been experiencing a confidence that was lacking when I had the ground pulled out from me. This web of relationships either hinders or propels me to gather more of His graces. But it’s also the desire that wells up from inside of me that encourages me to want more than what I currently possess. In turn,their prayers help me get through what maybe a day that feels like I am dragging my feet through thick mud.

It’s been five years since the Lord changed how I hear him. No, it hasn’t flipped back when I wasn’t looking, though I do admit I looked for it. I begged for it to return and wished things could just return to my normal. Along the way, when I stopped being stubborn I heard him assure me, not in that physical way, but deeper. In his reassurance that He won’t leave me and he’ll always provide for me, even in my barrenness. When I wasn’t looking an awareness of an ability to trust in Him happen upon me.. An easy delight to know that He leads me. I trust when I don’t think I hear anything, and I step out in a seemingly dark path before me. Hearing and trust I think are cousins, in fact, I suspect He has introduced me to another of their cousin; persistence. I have no physical sense to guide me to discern except His Spirit, and that it can sometimes feels like I am trying to jaywalk  across a highly congested highway. He wants me to rely fully on Him, and I am resisting that part less, standing up taller and experiencing a glow that starts from the inside. Tenacity of a faith lived out in action and words

Why?

Questions are always at the forefront of my brain, but I have come to realize that most of my questions will remain just that – questions. I grew up devouring Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie books, so the  mysteries in my life were originally only found in books, but as time goes on, I am further convinced that my life is made up of  His mysteries, not always to be solved – at least – not here on earth. Becoming.  That’s what is happening, I am becoming more aware that His mysteries are part of what make Him God, and not I, a mere mortal with a disposition to take control and regularly make mistakes. Not truly knowing how the consequences will affect me in the future. His understanding of the intricacies of how my life affects those living in South America is mind boggling. So maybe my life doesn’t affect anyone in Columbia, but as he has been reminding me; anything is possible with Him. Keep your eyes open

So, here I sit and I would like to say that I’m more prayerful and, my cup of abundance flows over is astounding me, but it’s quite the opposite.  In the morning I pray. Not always my greatest moment as most mornings I struggle with the lack. It is prayer that mostly consists of listening, journaling and asking one question at a time. Does it annoy me? In the beginning, I kept waiting for it to get better, and that was until I decided it was best to accept it  as it is. I’ve learned along the way that surrendering is my best option because what I thought was best doesn’t mean it is.  When God is the one who changes something in my life, is not without the graces that only he can bestow. When my thirst has become my norm for living, and my silent plea for more seems to hear more silence than answers, I am surprised when drops of water and blood gush from His heart. It is in those moments that I remember with delight that He can take away, but His return is beyond our wildest imagination.

 

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Who Has Seen Him?

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Lately, I have been restless.

Disappointed

Frustrated

Angry

Confused

Tired.

Waiting for …

I want to see how Jesus sees this world. A world filled with suffering, poverty, greed, dis-ease, hate and hearts filled with longing. Unfilled desires of acceptance and love without fear.

Where is there is space for His love to be spread, to be received into their hearts. To hear his calm voice speak into their fears, and their secrets that threatened to swallow them whole. Inside they burn from guilt that hides from the light – it always stays in the dark.

Thomas wanted to see Jesus’ wounds or he wouldn’t believe.

It is hard to believe with your eyes, to see what doesn’t physically exist that cannot be touched or smelled. So how can I believe He is alive when all evidence is disappearing. His presence. I understand the reluctance to embrace the Gospel, but nothing is truly as it seems, except when you see it through His love. It’s not a hillbilly vibe, a groove, or love that exists on a chemically based high.

So much anger exists that very little room is left for love to survive because it has to. Sometimes I wonder if I can love, can I allow His Spirit to work through me, to move in me, so that others will glimpse what love is all about. We react without thinking, planning or speaking. All these emotions are caught up with our selfishness, pride and an inability to understand what it means to live, and love as He did. I want to share the same love that He has given me, and seared into me and branding me.

Simple living leads to a strength that most of us can only hope to attain. Less stuff means we leave ourselves open to receive what is truly important. The ability to have compassion with those who lack the insight of who they really are.

Stay clear of worldly, idle talk and the contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge.  In laying claim to such knowledge, some men have missed the goal of faith.’  (1Timothy 6:20-21)

To be like Jesus, to know what he saw, felt, and how he loved, requires a grace that most of us shrug our shoulders at in failure. Yes, it would be easier to assume that we couldn’t possibly do what he did, but very little has changed. In the past, powerful kingdoms thrived and feasted on people’s weaknesses and not their strengths. They striped them of their dignity.  It’s something as individuals and as a culture obsessed with having rights for just about everything that moves that I think has allowed the circumstances to have gotten a way out of hand. It’s about what’s inside of us, never mind the rights, what about who you are and who I am. My identity as a person is not defined by the amount of rights that are handed to me, but that I would be able to live in the beauty and light of my God-given dignity – and that no one can take from me.

 

 

 

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Beggars of His Heart

 

There was this guy named Peter in High School, who would consistently end the majority of his conversations with, “You know … beggars can’t be choosers.” Somehow, he would or could always link it with what was said and it was annoying. I didn’t want to be or think of myself as a beggar. In reality, it would put me alongside the homeless who beg for money on the street. At that point, I firmly believed that there was no way that I could stand beside the homeless who beg, and have anything in common with them.

We are dust, and without a Creator, we are nothing. (Genesis 2:7 – paraphrased)photo-1414637104192-f9ab9a0ee249

Somewhere along the line, we’ve forgotten our roots, our very foundation. We have become a society of puppets believing we are entitled. We will lie, cheat, brag, be prideful just to garner what we believe is rightfully ours, but most of  us don’t remember that Adam and Eve had everything they needed, but it took a snake – a talking snake – to convince them to take a bite of the apple.

Poverty is a gift that most shun because it seen as degrading. The one with the most money always wins. What if I told you that God sees the beauty in poverty – not in the materialistic sense – but a poverty that begins and ends  with him. The person lives with knowledge of providence, and because of that he/she lives simply. They are not possessed by their things, and they would willingly give everything away if it meant they could be closer to their Lord. They long to be who they are in Him. Beauty isn’t the diamond ring on a finger, though, yes it is beautiful, or the house where those who you love most reside. It’s something profound inside of you that He has personally placed in these individuals. They delight in their Lord and the life that He represents to them. A reality of a personal relationship with the Lord God of the Universe is so palatable and their enthusiasm for life and God is contagious.

Most of us think poverty is something that we can get rid of, but the poor, as Jesus reminds us, will always be with us. Trying to eliminate the materially poor population is like trying to get rid of mildew. Jesus lived in poverty while on earth. In simple obscurity in Nazareth, He learned the trade of carpentry from his foster father Joseph. For 30 years, we don’t have any records of what exactly Jesus was doing in that period, but we can be certain he was learning what it meant to live and be in poverty. His heart was and still [is] poor, but he was, and is open and full of the Spirits leading. Our attachments to the stuff in our life hold us back to receive. The more we let Him in, the more we can and will experience to live in His poverty, which is all of His magnificence.