Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Written Word

Every. Single. Day. All. Over. The. World. Things. Happen. That. Are. Horrible.

And I don't understand. 

But instead of being gripped with fear, overcome with worry, or lashing out in anger, I go to The One who sees the bigger picture and I sit.  I sit before The One Who was and is and is to come.  And that's the root of this post...

I'm a sucker for the past.

For those more modern lovers of the past, nostalgic things of days gone by may be referred as: retro, vintage, mid-century modern, even antique, or archaic, though that one's been around a while.

I'm retro (circa '70's), my parent's are vintage (post-war), and my grandparents were antiques (early 1900's).

I love history, the ways in which it has shaped us, as well as the impact it has on our hearts for how we view today and the future, even how we love people.

Specifically, I like pens and paper.  As one bent toward writing, I'm nostalgic for ink and a notebook, the beauty of cursive and creative expression that transfers from heart and mind onto paper, whether just for myself, or for the encouragement of others, brings life to my bones. 

This year my word is #INTENTION.  Intention with God.  Intention with myself.  Intention with my family and friends.  Intention in the day to day, the little things, things which others may find trivial.

I guess I'm a sucker for believing God can speak to me any way He wants, without a giant cathedral or pulpit, "popular" speaker or teacher, without formal training in a man-made seminary.  I'm a sucker for moments when the thoughts that are smarter than ones I could think up on my own are poured out onto the pulp in front of me, in real life.

And so I sit with pen and paper and an open heart before God.  Because boxing Him in hasn't worked so well for me in the past...and I'm still learning this.

I sit.  I wait with #INTENTION.  And as I sit, mouth closed, ears open, heart ready, pen in hand, He speaks.  Just as He has throughout history, He speaks today, using the true words scribed in the past, making it alive today because of the Holy Spirit at work in us.

His words bring life to our bones.  And every word has been, and always will be, part of His love story with us...

Here's a visual:
I'm so thankful for the day my parents told me my Bible was a book in which I could write notes...
*Are you a sucker for pen and paper?  What are some of your favorite ways of recording or remembering the promises and whispers of God's love to you?

Sunday, April 07, 2013

At Home with Intention

This is a note to myself and to every. single. stay. at. home. mom. or. person. in. the. whole. entire. world.

Side note:  If you've ever done, or are interested in doing a Beth Moore study, don't follow the rules.  Rules and schedules are suggestions and when it comes to one of her studies, one week per lesson or session, is insufficient time to truly dig in deep to the content in Scripture.  Her studies are merely springboards into God's revelation.  Every time I've been part of a study, this time around specifically Daniel, we have broken the rules and lengthened the study for as long as it takes.  Let's just say, we started this "12-week" study eight months ago...and we're not done yet.  But this isn't the point of this post, at all.

So, in Week 10 of the study, page 195, Beth says this, "Sometimes the complacency of 'home' is not conducive to the most life-altering revelations."  To which I wrote in my margin, "Short-term missions are relat revelatory."  Because I am very passionate about "missions" in general and how they can transform the heart of the go-er, no matter the length.  People need to cross allows our eyes to be opened.  However, that still isn't the point of this post...(more on that another time...)

Then she said, "Have you ever noticed that some of the most life-altering moves God has made in our lives have come when we were away from our homey surroundings?"  And she goes on to say, "Often our most defining spiritual markers happen at conferences, retreats, on mission trips, vacations, or work stints far from home rather than in the usual places." 

Before reading the remainder of her thoughts, I had my own which I scribed in the margin, "I challenge that 'home' is the place where the rubber meets the road and our faith sets in and takes root...if we continue in our pursuit of Him in the mundane, He is there...He speaks."

And then I continued to read, "The daily-ness of home is crucial, however, because there God challenges us to believe and persevere in what He often shows us elsewhere."

But what if you are a "Stay At Home Mom" or SAHM or Person and never leave home?  What if your definition of leaving home entails carpooling, grocery runs, jaunts to the library, co-op, sports or music practice, doctor check-ups, and filling up with gas so you can repeat those things previously stated?

What then?  Is there no potential, then, for a "defining spiritual moment" to take place in the life of a SAHPerson?  Are Stay At Home People too mundane, too homey?  Do SAHP NOT change the world or NOT experience life-altering moves of God just because they didn't go far from home?

NOT at all!

I dare say that for the last 2 1/2 years I have purposely hibernated.  Being quite literal, I have stayed. at. home. And I've been INTENTIONAL in playing with my kids, dating my husband, spending time with my extended family, meeting more of the neighbors and the parents at my daughter's school, but really, focusing on the circle of life I'm in at this particular stage of life and not going that far outside of it.

And during the last two and a half years, God's shown up in powerful ways.  He has shown up in our times at the dining room table most mornings.  He has opened up conversations between people which have been shielded and closed for a long time.  In unsuspecting settings, He's provided cool opportunities to pray right then and there with people. 

And at home, He has taught me more and more about Himself and His incredible love for me and for ALL OF HIS CREATION, His longing to be in community with His people.

I haven't been on a quote un quote missions trip in a few years now where I've left the country.  And believe me, I am very passionate about visiting Third-World countries.

However, don't EVER let the Devil lie to you that you aren't making an impact in your circle of life or changing the world around you, right here, right now!  The impact you make can either be beautiful and life-altering or spent wishing you were doing something else, living someone else's life, waiting until you have "your act together."

The reality is, if we look to God in the day to day, sharing His love with everyone we know and meet, don't you think eventually those ripples will start overlapping?

*What are some ways you know God has shown up in your day to day mundane?  How has it changed your perspective?

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Beats for Beckham

When Noah was in the hospital I didn't really understand how it all worked, as far as the Blogosphere goes, that is.  All I know is that people around the country and world were praying for Noah and our family, and the prayers and encouragement which came were profound.

During that time a woman named Ginger from Michigan started posting, encouraging my heart on the journey.  Over time we've gotten to know one another via emails and Facebook, as well as through her own writings on her blog, sharing stories as she has raised three beautiful daughters, and in more recent months, her journey as a Grandma to a sweet, sweet boy.

(*Unfortunately I can't seem to post a picture of this cutie, but if you follow the links here you'll find lots and fall in love with his handsomeness...)

Beckham was born to Beto and Lindsey, Ginger's daughter, a little over 3 months ago.  Leading up to his grand entrance into the world, Beckham was diagnosed with Hypo plastic Left Heart Syndrome and needed surgery shortly after birth.

He has been doing great for a while now, wooing his parents who are so sweet, his grandparents, aunties and lots of other friends, family, and "Beats for Beckham" fans.

Yesterday his parents took him into the hospital because he had not been feeling well.  He is in very critical care is now in the Cardiac ICU on an ECMO life support machine. 

They are waiting and waiting and watching and praying and praying and waiting and watching...

Will you please join them in praying for God's miraculous healing in Beckham's life and for God's peace and comfort for Lindsey and Beto?  He is such a little sweetie and his parents are pretty awesome!  My heart can't stop thinking about them because I think of all the strength I gained from *your* encouragement and I'd love to see it sent their way.