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His Willing Waiting

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Do you ever wonder where you are? You know where HE is. That He never leaves, never forsakes, but do you ever wonder if you’ve wandered a bit? Maybe been a Gomer and given your love to something else? Not even another entity, but a mere searching for something you think may fill you? The job promotion you’ve always wanted. Marrying the man of your dreams. Having a child. A home. A relationship restored. Or maybe your mind’s even simply been a little obsessed over those new curtains you’ve been saving up for, or the new 6-burner industrial gas stove your “kitchen’s” just itching to have.

 

And something or someone unknowingly wakes you up from the your heart’s wanderings and you suddenly realize just how little you’ve been living. You see their life. Their passion for Someone and something bigger than themselves. And while you’ve been pining and chasing after that certain dream or desire, you’ve neglected the here. The now. The HIM.

 

Oh, you’ve marched on, bathing kids and cooking suppers and doing laundry and working those long, soul-tiring days. But your mind and heart . . . oh, it has been on a wandering. A looking. A peering. And all the while, a real, soul-quenching Filling has been just watching you, just waiting, willing you to turn your heart . . . back . . . your First Love waits.

 

He wants to enlarge these hearts of ours. Widen their myopic horizons and give us His life-sustaining view. If we seek, we will find. If we lose our lives, they will ironically be saved. If we give, He will shake and press and make room for more. Because what we reap, we will sow. And if we thirst, He satisfies.

 

I thirst. My face turns. And I blush that there He is. His eyes watching. Willing me to turn my wandering heart. He humbles me with His patience and how can I not thank?

 

#586 That He is there and His promises are true

#587 little birthday seeds in Firefly’s hands, waiting to be sown

#588 a cool, summery breeze

#589 little songs, made up by little hearts and voices

#590 unexpected turns

#591 strawberry cake and candy flowers

#592 sweet birthday get-togethers

#593 cool water running over toes in August-like heat

#594 carousel rides and little girls in bathing suits

#595 that my should-have-been-a-boyscout sister had an extra shirt after a swimmie diaper malfunctioned (not mine, in case you were wondering) 🙂

#596 even him, just waiting for me, for my heart to slow

#597 pink lemonade and chaco tans

#598 tiger lily blooms

#599 a wonderful community and wonderful neighbors and wonderful wonderfulness 🙂

#600 SIX HUNDRED!!!!!

#601 determined independence and little sandals being put on by her own little hands

#602 just the waiting, the searching, the learning of myself

#603 that he likes to hear my thoughts, the thoughts I used to be so afraid to share

#604 pink and turquoise balloons

#605 iphone auto-correction

#606 sweet friends and their hearts for Haiti and orphans and nannies

#607 hose water, trickling

#608 giggles, giggles, giggles

#609 crying through Fancy Nancy

#610 that we are never alone

#611 that He can light fire where there is no tinder

#612 make-shift black out curtains and sleeping in just a little

#613 that there are more gifts than I could ever count

 

The Beauty-Seekers

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Hungering

It’s not really early morning here, but the girls are still sleeping (!!!) and I sit to myself for a quiet few moments. I wake up, hungry. I never really realized what a gift hunger can be until this week when sickness again emerged and my lack of appetite kept me from eating and my lack of eating left me lifeless. The baby sat on my hip, feeling two times heavier, and merely standing wore me out.

 

But if I just could have eaten….

 

How often do I do that to myself in other areas of life? Do I dull hungers, longings, dreams until I’m a shell of the person God made me to be? I’m away from His Word for days on end, and I don’t even crave it anymore. Or Him. I try to deaden God-given passions – maybe even needs – but they only manifest in other not-so-God-given ways. My apathy and fear halt me from the running after, and leave me sitting, lifeless and bored, mindlessly groping for something to bring breath.

 

Sometimes, you have to train yourself to hunger again.

 

This morning, I’m eager for breakfast. And I’m thankful.

 

And my physical hunger compels me to peer into soul’s dark, hidden corridors, looking for vaults that need the exhaled Breath of the Forever Light.

 

He awakens me….

 

We speak words . . . truth . . . and like a candle in the darkness, shine it into the forgotten and dulled.

 

The light shines through the darkness, and darkness can never extinguish it.

John 1:5

 

And I offer thanks.

 

 

#256 little red finch-like birds flitting on my front steps . . . the curiosity to learn of them

#257 to live in a community where the singing of birds can actually wake. you. up.

#258 the way the girls love their daddy

#259 phone calls from Dad, just checking up on me

#260 to make it through another round of a stomach bug

#261 a warm, fresh from the oven baked potato

#262 that Dove suddenly *loves* books

#263 Goodnight Moon

#264 even for “Happy Birthday, Big Bird!”

#265 finishing the Old Testament

#266 Starting the New!

#267 being indoors, being sick, making me realize that I need to get the girls *out* of doors more often

#268 U2 and little girls’ dancing in their car seats

#269 HGTV

#270 exciting music possibilities

#271 the way she puts a curve on her “R”

#272 realizing a bit more of my role in Firefly’s little life . . . that I’ve been going about it an unneeded way . . . hope

#273  hunger

#274 a full meal

#275 running into friends at a park! in the middle of February

#276 that because He has made it so, my words, my prayers hold weight

#277 His strength for the waiting

#278 black and white photos of Dove’s little face

#279 that our passions, our longings, are from Him . . . that we can lean into them and find Him in our lives

#280 to watch him

#281 that I don’t want to stop counting….

 

Joining others in soul-awakening thanks

Face Turning

Nearly 3 months later and I am back here again.

Desire. Submission. Peace. Desire. Submission. Peace.

A re-post from this blog’s colossal-sized archives.

Yes, that was sarcasm. 🙂

 

I am in love.  Yep, me. I am in love with a beautiful, toasty warm, 80-year-old house. After walking through its halls and over its hardwoods twice in a week, we came *this* close to making an offer.  But after much talking and praying, we decided it just wasn’t the time. Maybe not the house. My husband and I have been renting ever since we said “I do” and my heart is longing for a place to plant our young family’s roots.  I shed a few tears. Prayed.

 

And I then . . . I was okay.

 

And now, some time later, the house is pulling at my heart and mind. It feels like “home” is calling to me. My husband is willing to reconsider (what should I call him in this space?), but how do I know that what I’m feeling is something legitimate? I’ve never been one to trust my heart or my feelings too much and I definitely don’t want my family’s future riding on them. So we cry for wisdom because how do you know for certain when God is speaking?

 

Have you ever longed for a place that feels like home? The home of your childhood? Your honeymoon nest? The home you’ve never had? Oh, me too. Maybe those longings are placed inside us for more than a feeling of security. Maybe they turn our searching faces toward the One who is always our home. Changeless. Timeless. Unmoving. If so, that doesn’t really help me with my quest for a physical home in which to raise our children. Sigh. But it does give me a foundation on which to build my family’s true “home”.  A place where in between the busyness, exasperation of raising two little ones, and trying to balance it all, Someone helps us to whisper love, bestow kisses, listen to whispering hearts, and direct little souls toward Him.

 

 

He is in the rental house.

He is in the mansion down the street, the shack in Peru and the place where you cross the welcome mat.

He is whispering in our longing.

 

Stars

Our bed covers snuggle me in warmth and I hear my husband softly breathing beside me. My eyes stare into the darkness of the night. Outside, our little world is sleepy in its own blanket of fallen snow. All is still, but my mind is racing. So many doubts and fears give rise in the dark.

 

The day plays back in my head and I wonder what He is up to? What is He doing with us?  Why am I here? Where is He taking us? Major life decisions arise on our road and the possibilities are exciting . . . and terrifying. But He didn’t call us to a life of clarity, predictable comfort or safe security. He draws us close in the uncertain and unsettling places in life, that we might realize that He is the only Comfort we seek.

 

He holds me tight then, and invites me to trust. He is enough.

 

Yesterday morning, I woke up singing a song from my pre-teen years, I believe first sung by DC Talk, I Wanna Be in the Light. How’s that for a blast from the past?! 🙂

 

It ran through my head all day, which, I’m sure was probably getting on my husband’s nerves, since we were all stuck in the house because of snowy/icy roads! I could only remember a few words:

 

I wanna be in the Light, as You are in the Light

I wanna Shine like the Stars in the Heavens

Oh, Lord be my Light and be my salvation

‘Cause all I want is to be in the Light

All I want is to be in the Light

 

Firefly and I were in the bathroom later in the day, brushing her teeth and hair as I was singing and dancing (I use this “dancing” word loosely) to this song.

 

She stopped me still.

 

“Mama, why does she wanna shine like the stars?” she asked, her signature inquisitive look on her face (Since I’ve subjected her to hour upon hour of Sara Groves, I think she believes that all singers are female….)

 

I held my breath. I think I could sense something Big here.

 

“Well,” I began, “she wants Jesus to shine in her and in her life,” I stumbled for words.

 

Excitement bubbled over, my little Firefly lighting up.

 

I wanna shine like the stars!!!!!!?” Her tone full of the demand of a three-year-old’s  “I wanna!”, but with the lilt of a “can I?” by the time she reached the word stars.

 

“You do? Well, you can! When Jesus is in our hearts, He can make us shine….” I tried to explain.

 

She nodded her head at me in all her exuberance, eyes alight.

 

I hesitated. She doesn’t understand, I told myself. She’s too young. But I continued anyway, hesitant.

 

“You can ask Jesus in your heart and He can make you shine. Do you . . . want to ask Jesus in your heart?”

 

She nodded fast.

 

I smiled. I still hesitated.

 

“Do you . . . want to pray together? We can pray to Him and ask Him to come into your heart….”

 

This is where I expected the conversation to end, because often, I ask her if she wants to ask God anything and she always says, “No, you ask.” She seems to be much more comfortable thanking Him for the little somethings she treasures in her day. But this time she answered with a yes.

 

So I took her little hands in mine and she prayed after me, asking Jesus to come into her heart and life. Right there in the middle of our peachy-flowered, wall-papered, linoleum-floored bathroom.

 

And we went to tell her daddy.

 

It hit me as we were sharing the news. I didn’t mention a word to her about sin. Nothing about Him washing us clean. Nothing. What was I thinking? I wasn’t thinking. I was so caught up in His light shining up her dark spaces that I forgot about the dark spaces altogether. I wonder if I messed up this precious moment. But maybe focusing on His light, his work, his Otherness, is all we need to realize our deepest need for Him.

 

He lovingly challenges me later.

 

Do you really think that you could possibly “mess up” my plans for you or your children? Mine? Me, the Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the Galaxies? In me is pure light . . . I give chase to the dark doubts and fear that visit you in the night. One little flicker of Me in your daughter’s heart is more than enough. I will always finish what I’ve begun.

 

I rest in knowing that He is already there, on our bends in the road. I know that He always has and always will have my Firefly’s little heart in His hands.

 

He calls me up to simply lean on His Everlasting Arms. Invites me to cling to Him. Dares me to trust.

 

I curl up on the couch, blanket over me, sipping hot cocoa. I lose myself in a book that I’ve picked up again and again over the years. Strong Women, Soft Hearts, by Paula Rinehart (I heartily recommend this book as a must-read for every woman). My mind settles on her words as I remember Firefly’s “I wanna!” and coinciding “can I?”…

 

Between your longings and the demand for their fulfillment is a place as real as any in the tangible world. But it is uncharted and uniquely tailored to your own personal story. You will only know you are there when you feel a little on the edge of your chair — and strangely at peace. Getting there, sometimes, feels like a miracle itself.

It is the place of trust.

Trust hangs somewhere between knowing what your heart longs for and trying to dictate the shape or timing or outcome of your heart’s desire. It lies in the willingness to accept the particulars of how and when and where God chooses to intervene. It waits in the cool shade of surrender.

 

I trust that He is all and in all. For me. For us. For our children.

 

We drop anchor in the goodness of God. ~Paula Rinehart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beckoning

He calls me and beckons me to come.

 

Come nestle under His wings.

 

For He will cover you with His feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge. Psalm 91:4a

 

Like a young toddler wrestles sleep, I struggle against His rest.

 

My husband would rather I let the dishes crust, let the laundry wrinkle, and let the crumbs sit awhile, if it would simply mean that I would have more of me to give him. And I wonder if in all my meager attempts to live for Jesus – to seek Him and find Him and do for Him – if He would rather that I simply rest in Him.

 

 

I wonder if in all my supposed doing for Him, if I’m actually running from Him.

 

How do you simply BE with Him in the midst of all the tedium and glory of every day life? I certainly don’t know, but I long to find out.

 

Maybe the rest is found in the stopping the perpetual-raising-two-kids-craziness . . . just to sing.

 

Maybe it’s in the continual everyday reminders of what is truly important….

 

Because it’s really easy for this heart of mine to get so caught up in the commotion of this life. The attempts to raise two kids, the striving to be a loving wife, the hoping and dreaming and wrestling the what-ifs.

 

I just want to rest in Him. I just want to see His fingerprints on my life. I just want to tangibly feel His loving arms around me.

 

Because He is our Beloved.

 

Jesus, I am resting, resting in the joy of what thou art;

I am finding out the greatness of thy loving heart.

Thou has bid me gaze upon thee,

as thy beauty fills my soul,

for by thy transforming power, thou hast made me whole.

 

O how great thy lovingkindness, vaster, broader than the sea!

O how marvelous thy goodness lavished all on me!

Yes, I rest in thee, Beloved, know what wealth of grace is thine,

know thy certainty of promise and have made it mine.

 

Simply trusting thee, Lord Jesus, I behold thee as thou art,

and thy love, so pure, so changeless, satisfies my heart;

satisfies its deepest longings, meets, supplies its ev’ry need,

compasseth me round with blessings:

thine is love indeed.

 

Ever lift thy face upon me as I work and wait for thee;

resting ‘neath they smile, Lord Jesus earth’s dark shadows flee.

Brightness of my Father’s glory, sunshine of my Father’s face,

keep me ever trusting, resting, fill me with thy grace.

 

Jesus, I am resting, resting in the joy of what thou art;

I am finding out the greatness of thy loving heart.

~Jean Sophia Pigott

Maybe the Way to Rewrite Your Past, is to Simply Turn the Page

2011. Twen-ty-e-lev-en. I like the way it slips off the tongue, like a smooth wine suspends in the mouth. I think I’m going to like this year. At least, I have an unexplained, insistent hope for it.

 

After certain little girls had eyelashes to cheek, their little chests bobbing softly in the night, the hubby and I had one of those talks that will live on in the memory. One of those talks where the gate of honesty is unlatched and its hinges rotate to wide-open. We talked of dreams, some new, some that have been buried deep, assumed to be impossible. We talked of our life story and how we wish we could go back and rewrite so many of its chapters. We talked a lot about  “what-ifs”. What if this hadn’t happened, or what if we had made this decision, or what if so-and-so hadn’t done such-and-such, or what if the timing had been just a tad different, or what if, what if, what if?

 

I’m not really sure what to do with the what-ifs.

 

I don’t think you can stash them away in hopes that they’ll be forgotten. I think they’d always lurk at your door and barge in when least invited.

 

I think that maybe we have to look them straight in the face. Unblinkingly. And we either have to come to grips with the fact that things happened a certain way, or we have to ask God to redeem them through us. Or maybe both?

 

We don’t have the power to change the past, but we do have the power to change the present and the future. And even more than that, we know One who either wrote our past to lead up to a certain future, or He allowed our past and is in the process of working it out for good. Either way, I refuse to let the what-ifs paralyze us.

 

And while I struggle in understanding the ideas of free will verses God-ordained-destiny and wondering how they package up -nicely and neatly – I know that I can trust Him. As C.S. Lewis said about Aslan, God is not always safe. He does not always allow things to be as I would wish them to be. But, he is good. And I believe that with all my heart.

 

Maybe we need to stop dwelling on the what-ifs of the past, and begin thinking about the what-ifs of the present.

 

What if God is calling us to do this? What if God wants us to do that? What if He’s paving the way for this?

 

What if????

 

And our eyes open wide as the what-ifs of the past give way to new roads for our future.

 

So, as 2011 begins, I am more thankful than ever for my life. And I don’t just mean my living and breathing and moving body and mind. I mean that I am thankful for the story He is writing and that I am a part of it. And so are you, my friend.

 

So are you.

 

Fresh thanks….

#115 no fear in honesty with him or from him

#116 awakened dreams at the beginning of a new year

#117 while viewing Tangled at the theater, at the part where Rapunzel escapes the tower for the first time, hearing Firefly  frantically and loudly say , “But her mama said ‘no’!” =D

#118 a little girl asleep in their daddy’s arms

#119 laughing with girlfriends

#120 brand new, fluffy, blue and white pillows

#121 one last hurrah

#122  falling in love with where we are

#123 bath-crayon drawings

#124 Dove’s love for bears

#125 a rock garden of Christmas lights

#126 time alone

#127 that I miss seeing the red buckets

#128 lingering, simply to cuddle

#129 fresh motivation

#130 that there is One who knows our what-ifs, past and present

#131 that He closes doors and opens windows

In Grateful Chorus Raise We

He brings up the subject, the one that has me on pins and needles with hope and expectation, and all I hear is his saying, “No.” Tears burst and heart aches, desires feel impeded.

 

More waiting. More stamina for the waiting necessitated. I am weary with the waiting.

 

Then the window of his soul opens and thoughts and conviction tumble out and things I used to pray for . . . things I had given up on . . . make themselves known.

 

And I didn’t know it until he voiced it, but I had lost hope for this. But when least expected, a coursing hope sweeps away the pining tears and my weariness turns to joy.

 

They thought Jesus was coming to rescue them from the tyranny of the Romans. He rescued them from something much greater, much more sinister.

 

I thought He was readying to rescue me from my waiting. He stirs and chains much more strangling are beginning to loose. He rescues us from our inky-black apathy. The Star is brightly shining and He leads us to Himself, the Great Rescuer.