Wednesday, December 14, 2011

gotta bring the tacky.

Christmas season beckons the obvious occurrence of none other than... a tacky Christmas party. Something about those sweater treasures that jingle jangle from all points in the room, and has maybe something of the like of bears dancing around a Christmas tree - just brings a smile to my face. The more hideous, I mean festive, the better.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

coffee time.

I have never been a morning person until the past two years. Now, I love getting up when everything else is still to just read, spend time with the Lord, just be- before the craziness of the day starts. Especially over the break, I am so thankful for these times of nowhere to be, no plans, can read (drink endless coffee with a big cozy blanket by the fire) as long as I shall desire...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

the limb.

"Be willing to go out on a LIMB with Me. If that is where I am leading you, it is the SAFEST place to be. Your desire to live a risk-free life is a form of unbelief. Your longing to live close to Me is at odds with your attempts to minimize risk. You are approaching a crossroads in your journey. In order to follow Me wholeheartedly, you must relinquish your tendency to play it safe."
{Jesus Calling}

and bam. there you have it, my life (in a nutshell).

This is one of those - every single word deeply touches every string in your heart - kind of reading things. It might as well have started, "Hey Taylor, this is for you, so listen up and listen closely." I am so guilty of playing it "safe" sometimes. The limb scares me. There, I said it. Risk, not typically my cup o tea. But what's faith in "our" safety? The child-like faith we are called to, trusting that like He says He will sustain me, a lot of times disintegrates in the face of fear. We have to question our so-called safety if it is in make-shift securities, that we have created. Yes Lord, I trust you buuuttt I'm going to stay near the trunk because who knows what's going to happen ... Well, HE does know what is going to happen!

 "Your desire to live  a risk-free life is a form of unbelief." Wow, talk about convicting. With some areas of our lives it is so easy to trust Him and go out on the limb, knowing for certain He will provide, sustain, and be faithful. However, there are the others that as soon as we even think about stepping towards the limb handicapping fear literally meets us face to face and we start slowly stepping back, shying away from the thing the Lord has for us. Talking to someone I greatly respect the other day made me realize - that's ungodly, and unbelief, and it's time to call it what it is. Something we have to stand on, stand against, and say no to - stepping right through. Faith is risky. Period. After all, He risked everything for us. 

"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall."
 {Psalm 55:22 NIV}

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my VICTORIOUS right hand. 
{Isaiah 41:10 NLT}

Isn't it interesting that though that the scariest place for us to be is often the place that makes us feel most alive? -- because it's not about us and it's everything about the power of the sweet Lord, and His movement, and sustainment alone. That is where we are called to be. The enemy so greatly wants to stop us before we are even to get going, by fear. Fear is not of the Lord, and hundreds of times throughout the Word, He tells us "fear not" because He knows this will be a huge component of battle for us. The safe place for us to be is in the center of the Lord's will, and if He is calling us to step, we better get stepping because His power is every single step, as slowly but surely leave our will behind. He needs us to be proactive in our faith, not spending months and months of begging us to let go, convincing us to be obedient, and move. Our stubbornness can certainly leave us next to the trunk for way too long. How long are we going to stay there? By not moving are we painting our lives to look like we want it, or are we letting the Lord, the Artist, brilliantly paint what He intended?

We have created this fort-like structure around us (girls, especially - you know we have).  Of course, it may not appear to be safe in being transparent, vulnerable, being fully known, letting people in, moving to this city, starting this career, trusting He will provide - BUT He who promised is FAITHFUL. It may not even be our desire to be doing this, but we have to look at our lives and evaluate if indeed it is our tendencyHowever, we are approaching a crossroads in our journey (or for me at least I am there) and in order to follow Him WHOLEHEARTEDLY we must relinquish the desire and tendency to play it safe. 

Stand in less fear, and MORE faith.

Abraham was not safe when abandoning everything he knew to go to place he didn't even know.
(or to offer up the only son, through whom all descendants would be blessed.)
Esther, not even supposed to be in the temple, speaks on behalf of an entire people group that was said to be demolished by the very kingdom she was in, and over. Not safe.
David & Goliath, I mean, c'mon.
Sarah in believing what the Lord had told her to have a son when she was well past the age.
Crossing the Red Sea, yeah.
(the lists goes on ... )

The Lord obviously doesn't quite do things as we would, thank goodness. Let's accept the adventure and the wild ride He has for us, because we know and trust the One who is leading us, who is sustaining, and whose glory we are after exalting. He can do infinitely more than I could ever imagine or think, and He is more than worth it. I am embracing the limb, and quite excited about doing so! 

"And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." 
{Luke 1:45}

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

"due season, not a due date."

This blog post post by Christine Caine was so timely, and was so gently used by the Lord to prick and convict my little anxious heart. I thought I would share it.

" God Has An Appointed Time

It is crucial to dream big dreams, and to expect and believe for great things from God. But we must always remember, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

So many people prematurely give up on the promises of God because they expect God to move according to their DUE DATE. But God doesn't come in on our deadlines and due dates; He has HIS appointed times and seasons.

Don't give up because you don't think it is happening quickly enough.
When you think nothing is going on, God is preparing you for the very thing He has already prepared for you.

It is crucial to remember:

Most things will take longer than you think.

Most things will be more difficult than you can imagine.

Most things will cost so much more than you ever thought you would have to pay.

BUT IT IS SO WORTH IT. Don't give up.

"Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" (Galatians 6:9).

Remember God has a due SEASON; He does not give you a due DATE!"

Wow. Thank you, Lord for this sweet reminder. 
I know nothing of time, but You do.
and it's so beautifully perfect.

"God is the blessed controller of all things,
the king over all kings and the master of all masters."
-1 Timothy 6:15 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

oh, Eve.

You know when you get those questions in your head that you constantly come back to? Those that sit in your head for months, maybe even years. Welp, that's been me in this very question about Eve in the garden. I would be kidding you if I said I didn't think about it at least once a week, and for certainly over a year.

What in Eve, in the nature of a woman, in her makeup - in a holy & perfect place, in constant communion with the Lord, made her eat the fruit in the garden?

What made her realize she was in deficit? Needing more, wanting more? She was perfect. In perfection. What was her thought process, and where did it begin to turn towards wanting to gain the knowledge the enemy was promising her? 

Yes I understand she was tempted. I understand it could have been Adam. But it wasn't, it was Eve, and with my desire in learning what makes a woman a woman, and how our nature was developed and intended - of course I went straight back to the beginning, and planted myself there. Where and how did it start? How were we intentionally created to be? What, because of the fall, tries to steal & manipulate that precious nature the Lord instilled in us, every single day?  These became swirling questions in my mind, especially this summer whilst I spent most of my days in a small cubed office left to just me, my thoughts, and my computer.

I've talked to many people about this question that so often fills my head, and have gotten a lot of great feedback and just conversation in general from it, especially with sisters. It's such a beautiful thing to evaluate ourselves and weigh it against the Word. Not to mention, it is one of the sweetest things to just discuss the Word with the body, so encouraging and challenging -- I'm sure quite like the church in Acts 2, those little glimpses, I just cherish.

The war against us is real.

We as women, I feel, have strayed away from how we were intended to be. Were we meant to be independent and self-sufficient, the miss "hey I have everything together, I don't need you or help"? No. Hellooooo, we were never in this world alone. never. ever. We were CREATED as a HELPER, a companion. From the beginning of time. [Que, major conviction for me, personally] ... In saying that, I will share with you where I arrived this week... 

We, as women, were born into deficit ... now, before you get going, think about it. The statement puzzled me at first too. We were made as a mate, as a counterpart, a function which corresponds to that of another person. We were taken FROM the rib (which being one of the most sensitive places on the body and so intentionally from the side, I could get into a whole other topic), from the life of the man. Eve was made to complement Adam. Adam and Eve made up for what the other lacked. They were made to be one, a unit.We are not made to be men or like them, but that's often what society is telling us to do, to be. Instead of viewing our dependency, our great capacity for care, our sensitive, and gentle nature as a weakness, why don't we manifest it into what the Lord has set forth from the beginning. Accepting that we are weaker, is NOT a weakness. It's understanding our nature and using it as a force for the gospel. In studying Proverbs 31, the last thing I could possibly take away from that scripture is a weak woman. She was a depiction of beautiful STRENGTH. 

Now, it got me thinking. Why wouldn't the enemy tempt her? He took and manipulated her nature, as a part of the whole, her need for more as connected to Adam and the Lord, and used it against her. he isolated her. And so many times that's what he does to us today. He abuses the characteristics the Lord has ingrained in us as beautiful & exploits them as weaknesses or may it be dominance, so we do everything possible to diverge away from them... Until one day we stop, and wonder why it's hard, why we can't do it on our own, and why we feel out of sorts --- it's because He never meant for us to do it that way to begin with. We sure can self-destruct ourselves in isolation. We females sure can get our wheels spinning, and can go from point A to Z, Z to G, G to Y in a matter of .5 seconds. Our minds and emotions can get the best of us. 

Let us

"not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind. Then [we] will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

let us sink into our nature, into the beauty He has set for us.
let this be our humble prayer.
that our mind & heart will be transformed in His light, and glorious image.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

free to be.

I'm currently reading Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian and it is rocking me. If you are looking for a read go ahead and pick it up! I promise you won't regret it. Here is a little excerpt that I read earlier this past week. Resting in this. He is everything. Everything. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

keep on keepin' on.

This week is definitely a crazy week with Graduate School, as I know it is for everyone. It's almost as if they had the thought, "oh wait the semester is about to end - let's schedule everything imaginable within those two weeks before Christmas!" However, during literally 12 hours of school today - I came across these hilarious pictures on Pintrest (yes in class, sorry had to - was going nearly insane) today, and they were a little pick me up for me, so maybe they will be for you too.

So... if you are feeling like this...


He's good ALL the time.
(annnnnnnddd ...... It's almost Thanksgiving!!!!!!)

Friday, November 11, 2011

2 Corinthians 8

Every week there is a Food Pantry that operates Thursdays and Fridays just down the street from me, and literally walking distance from campus. Now how on earth I did not hear about it until my fourth year of college, I have no idea. It is much of the reason while I am still in Auburn. I took a Hunger studies class and we were required to have volunteer hours around the area at local food banks or something of the sort {Praise the LORD for this}. Over a year later, I am so honored to say these people have changed my life. Cliche, I know - but it's just simply the truth. The ladies that run the Food Pantry are more than an inspiration, they understand the Gospel, and live it. Don't let their sweet demeanors fool you, they're a powerful bunch. I realized through them and through this service opportunity that this vicious poverty cycle is going to continue until people start standing in the gap, educating them on food, hunger, disease, and helping them learn how to move out of their circumstances. I think of that old Chinese proverb, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." That is where the Lord quickly halted "my plans" {which are rather hilarious now} and said, "Taylor, stand in the gap." However, I am not sure how that looks -- I'm in graduate school learning to teach these things, and so thankful for it. The Lord will use me however He chooses, but I say yes to what that however is.

But I learn more from the people then I could ever offer them.

the ladies (and there's many more). what haven't I learned from them?

I would venture to say he is one of the sweetest people I know. grace & compassion flow from him.

 My main man, front & center. I would be lying if I said he wasn't the highlight of most of my weeks. Truly hilarious and boy, does he have jokes.
They are 2 Corinthians 8: 1-13 to me.
"Now, friends, I want to report on the surprising and generous ways in which God is working in the churches in Macedonia province. Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit. The trial exposed their true colors: They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor. The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts. I was there and saw it for myself. They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!—pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians.

 5-7This was totally spontaneous, entirely their own idea, and caught us completely off guard. What explains it was that they had first given themselves unreservedly to God and to us. The other giving simply flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives. That's what prompted us to ask Titus to bring the relief offering to your attention, so that what was so well begun could be finished up. You do so well in so many things—you trust God, you're articulate, you're insightful, you're passionate, you love us—now, do your best in this, too.

 8-9I'm not trying to order you around against your will. But by bringing in the Macedonians' enthusiasm as a stimulus to your love, I am hoping to bring the best out of you. You are familiar with the generosity of our Master, Jesus Christ. Rich as he was, he gave it all away for us—in one stroke he became poor and we became rich.

So here's what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart's been in the right place all along. You've got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can't. The heart regulates the hands. This isn't so others can take it easy while you sweat it out. No, you're shoulder to shoulder with them all the way, your surplus matching their deficit, their surplus matching your deficit. In the end you come out even. As it is written,

   Nothing left over to the one with the most,
   Nothing lacking to the one with the least.

{Message version}

How sweet is the body of Christ, working together like it says in 2 Corinthians 8?! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

celebration of the marriage of [rachel + chase fisher]

This weekend we celebrated the marriage of Chase & Rachel FISHER. It was such an example of the Gospel, filled with so much joy of friends and family around. I was so blessed to be alongside for this! It was such an incredible blessing to me. They truly understand what it means to have their love fully alive in the Lord, and it clearly radiates out from them.

perfect weekend. congrats friends, so happy for you two and the many years to come!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Isaiah 30:15

Clinging to Isaiah 30:15 lately. 

"Thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, in returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength."...

Trying to learn what this means - Surrender with my voice, and heart are two different things.

Friday, October 28, 2011

{happy friday}

It's the weekend, and much needed - time for some rest & sweet friends coming to town for some good ole Auburn football! 
{Loving me some fall}

Thursday, October 27, 2011

[we want to walk on water]... but we don't get out of the boat.

"25And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid." 28 And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." 29 He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" 32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." 
{Matthew 14: 25-33}

This past month has been just such a sweet month with the Lord. My birthday was this month, and a good friend told me to just think on what all the Lord has done over the past year and write it down, thankfully. I'm so grateful this friend had shared this with me because WOW at the movement of the Lord, and His faithfulness ringing through the entire year. It's interesting thinking back to your thought process through situations, at the beginning typically being scared out of your mind, then taking that step of faith, and receiving blessing and favor from the Lord because that's where he exactly wanted you to be. But the thing is, as many times as that happens, most of the time, we find ourselves back on the water in the boat, unwilling to get out. The fear of the unknown plagues us, and that's exactly where the enemy can stop us in our tracks. One of the worst things about that situation is that we do absolutely nothing. We are so gripped with fear that we do not move backwards or forwards, just stop. Oh, I've been there.

When graduation from undergrad was rapidly approaching last April I found myself in the position of a stand still. I had listened to the Lord and knew the route I had chosen postgrad was of my own strength and not what He intended [because I in my stubborn ways had "planned" my entire future, I seriously get a kick out of this now, what on earth was I thinking, I lost the promise of Ephesians 3:20-21 -- He can do infinitely more than I even ask or think, praise. And I honestly didn't want to do what I planned anyways]. I had found myself at the end, tired & confused. I remember a day with my Dad in Starbucks when he brought this standstill to my attention. He said, "Tay, the enemy has you right where he wants you, doing absolutely nothing, standing still in fear. What are you doing?" Until that day, I didn't even acknowledge what was going on, and I couldn't answer his question either. I had no idea. At that point I had to decided if I was going to stay in the boat, or get out and trust I was going to be able to walk on the water, with the Lord's strength, direction, and care. 

So many times we pray for opportunities for the Lord's will to be done and for Him to move in our life in amazing ways -led by His Spirit, ... and then we are just paddlin' away on the open sea, and He says "get out, and walk." Don't we often times find ourselves saying, "Well Lord, I mean I didn't think I was going to have to walk on water, I trust you, but water? really? I think I'll just move along until the next thing." In this we totally miss the blessing and favor of being able to walk. In some cases it might look like:

Lord, this city?... But I don't want to stay here.
Lord, this career?... But this isn't what I had "planned".
Lord, open my heart to this situation?... But I need to just protect myself. Vulnerability, not my thing.
Lord, you want me to do what? ... But that's totally out of my comfort zone. (what the heck is a comfort zone, anyways?!)

But, the thing is, the moment we decide to let go of all of our excuses and "plans", and step out, and let God work- it is one of the most liberating and peaceful moments we will ever find ourselves, regardless of whether we are on water or not. Fixated on His face, not the winds and the waves.

Living a life of faith is not safe. It's dangerous and requires risk, but it is GOOD. Life ABUNDANT does not sound like staying in a boat on a ocean for the rest of my life, at least to me. It's taking chances, and seeing the Lord move in ways I never dreamed of. Reminding myself not to get to comfortable in the boat, and be sensitive to what the Lord is calling me to at a moment's notice. We want to see the impossible, but we are unwilling to do the possible. Praying that I will have the faith to step, and thus walk. After all it is His hand holding us anyways. How sweet would it be if we lived everyday in that real, uninhibited expectancy?!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rocktober is here!

It's so hard to believe that I have not had one post in one of my most favorite months out of the entire calendar year. It surely has been such a great month so far. This week has been the most beautiful weeks out of the month I'm convinced. The chill is here, in the air of course. Scarves and boots are no longer forced by those of us just want to wear them anyways, but are actually needed! Praise. We have probably baked pumpkin bread about once a week, and pretty much any reason to use pumpkin anything, we do. THANKFUL for this season!

Monday, September 26, 2011

it's the little things.

I love when those usually normal days, are just the best days for no real apparent reason. They just are. So thankful. The little things, they're so precious. Love that even the busiest of days the Lord will make me take a second to be thankful. 

Morning Coffee, in these oh so wonderful mugs -  I love that my roomie, Becbee, collects :).

Afternoon Coffee with my sweet sisters - Morgan, Mal, Katie, and now sweet Sarah. I am so thankful to the Lord for these times. And we just love our table. These are something I will always cherish.

passing beautiful Samford Hall on the way to work, and catching the light between the trees.

Coming home everyday and seeing my next door neighbor working on restoring a truck that looks just like this, and seeing how far he has come. Also, thinking about this picture every time and how badly i just want to fill the back of it with pumpkins.

Seeing these wonderful people when I come home. SO MUCH JOY & HAPPINESS. [Just can't wait for the marriage of Lauren and Stege on the right, going to be such a celebration!]  
Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Psalm 34:8

Thursday, September 15, 2011

sinking in.

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. [Galatians 6:4-5 msg]

Oh how this verse has just been sitting on me the past couple of days. First of all, how sweet and creative is the God we serve??? Wow. He continues to blow me away every single day. He is NOT a God who just sits on the throne throwing out lightening bolts and speaking in a booming voice. He is LOVE, GRACE, SWEET MERCY, and not to mention so desperately wanting to be involved in the very details of our lives. He understands pain. He understands trial. He also understands PEACE, ABUNDANT LIFE, and JOY. One thing I have so greatly learned lately is that God is so meticulous. He literally does not skip a beat. So precise and involved. 

In the same precise sense, He made us so incredibly unique from each other. Each one with special gifts and personalities, but so greatly adding to the body. I love in the verse above it says make a "careful exploration of who you are"; assess your strengths and weaknesses, take ownership of who you are and "the work you have been given" and SINK into that. SINK, that word really stuck out to me. Sinking involves total surrender, there is nothing you can do accept let yourself go, and let the Lord take control. Getting comfortable in who you are and what you have been entrusted with, which is so incredibly beautiful and such a gift from the Lord. Seeing someone in their element and doing what they are absolutely called to do and are gifted at is one of my most favorite things. People are called to different things, and it takes DIFFERENT people to do those things. However, we fall plague to the spirit of comparison all the time. Spending our efforts on trying to be something we simply aren't and can't. The enemy can deter us right there. The sad thing is, some people never make it past that point, thinking they can't amount to this or that, when in all actuality this or that wasn't for them in the first place. 

The Lord calls us to "take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life." Does that mean you have to be perfect? Absolutely not! The Lord, himself, came off the throne to be perfect among us so we didn't have to. He knows we are limited, but He also knows that we have the power of the Holy Spirit in us. And with that, NOTHING is impossible.

"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." {Ephesians 2:10 NIV}

So let us not get distracted or deterred from what the Lord has put us here to do, but press in & press on - focused towards the sweet day we meet our beautiful Maker face to face. He has intention in all of our lives, a mission. Time to get to it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jesus take the wheel, but really.

As I enter this new season of fall (my favorite), my life definitely looks a bit different than I thought it would this time last year. For starters I thought I would be in Birmingham in Occupational Therapy school, not in Auburn, and definitely not the person I am now. Then I went on to not going to grad school at all and moving home - things I thought would happen didn't and things I didn't think would happen did and that's where I have greatly embraced, on a less serious note, Carrie Underwood's lyrics as my great (and slightly cheesy) new motto, "Jesus take the wheel"...

I respond under my breath to much of what happens as of late with that precious and a little bit hilarious phrase. But I mean it, and it's true. The Lord never ceases to amaze me. Just when I think I know, I don't. His plans are greater, thankfully. However, in the process of the re-route we so easily take on uneasiness and doubt. We get a little skirmy in our "uncomfortable situation", itching for a chance to get to a place where we can feel comfortable again. It takes time. Time to learn. Time to adjust. Time to embrace. Time to change. And honestly if we just sat back and learned instead of trying to find a way out, we probably wouldn't be there so long. Like the Israelites following the cloud through the desert - accepting manna for today and looking upward, knowing that He is good and faithful to lead us exactly where we need to be when we need to be there!

I am so excited and expectant for this new season in Auburn in Graduate School, and for the Lord to continue to absolutely blow my mind!

Friday, August 12, 2011

accept it.

In my sweet little devotion, Jesus Calling (which I highly recommend), I read this this morning and it was so encouraging...

"Come to me when you are weak and weary. Rest snugly in My everlasting arms. I do not despise your weakness, My child. Actually, it draws Me closer to you, because weakness stirs up My compassion- My yearning to help. Accept yourself in your weariness, knowing that I understand how difficult your journey has been.

Do not compare yourself with others, who seem to skip along their life-paths with ease. Their journeys have been different from yours, and I have gifted them with abundant energy. I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in My Presence. Accept this gift as a sacred treasure: delicate, yet glowing with brilliant Light. Rather than struggling to disguise or deny your weakness, allow Me to bless you richly through it."

In a world that is constantly telling us to be strong, move on -- the Lord is saying "son/daughter, jsut embrace it". For so long I know I pushed away weakness, it wasn't "okay" to appear weak - but the thing is, it totally is. That's where the Lord's strength is magnified. It's a beautiful place that you come to where you literally come to the end of yourself and can't do it, and the Lord says, "wonderful because I can, and have been wanting to do it the whole time!". He so desires us to release these burdens to Him. To cease striving. I listened to an incredible song the other day that definitely encompasses this and spoke to me so richly, give it a listen!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Acts 3:7 {taking the step}

"Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And AS he did, the man's feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened." {Acts 3:7}

This verse has just recently stopped me in my tracks. I know this might seem like a verse many would pass by, but how POWERFUL is the written Word that it is so jammed packed with things we never even realize until BAM, there it is the very day we need it.

Stepping out in faith. This is a phrase we hear & say all the time, but goodness doing so -- a completely different story. In this parable, the lame man obviously could not walk. Peter saw that the man needed more than gold or silver, he needed Jesus. Can you imagine? Not being able to walk for years...getting used to the day to day of not being able to use your legs. It becomes something that you have to adjust your entire life to, you become used to it. The simple things become a task for you. Think about everything you do that requires walking, or just simply using your legs - -  then imagine not being able to do them at all, or atleast having to go to great lengths to accomplish. It's a crazy thought.

Peter was asking this man to get up and walk. Really?... If that was you, would you think... Peter that's nice and all for you to want to help, but see you don't understand... I cannot walk, and better yet I haven't even been able to stand. YET, he steps. Isn't it funny how the Lord picks the most unlikely of circumstances to move in power? [Amen, Amen!]

How many times do we hear the Lord saying, "get up and walk"... go this and that way... yet we stay on the ground because we choose to do things our way and we don't fully trust where He is leading. Perhaps, we even think, "but Lord I haven't been able to do this thus far - this is just how it is going to be". Thank Him that He doesn't think how we do. He NEVER gives up. Never.

I am guilty of this as well. Making decisions and not knowing exactly what is going on until literally the last second, and being scared in the process because it makes no sense at all. In the same way, Peter helped this man up and "AS" he did, his feet and ankles were strengthened. The man had to take the first step, he had to STEP OUT in FAITH, and AS He did the Lord strengthened and healed him. The "as" in this verse just gets me. It implies process, an action - an action on our behalf.

We have to trust and step even when we don't see the next stone underneath our feet. He will provide the strength "as" we do. Acting this out, goodness gracious. Praise the Lord He gives us strength & grace as we need it, and knows exactly when we do. He is so faithful as He has promised.

 Choosing to step, a concept I am learning to embrace and walk in - but needing so much grace and mercy in doing so.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

wrecked houses.

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself." 

We don't even KNOW the plans the Lord has for us. In our little limited mind we assume that we can fathom up something that would be "perfect" for us. Yet the Lord of all creation, the Sovereign Lord of the universe that delights in all our details sighs, "not even close son/daughter... I have so much more." How would it look for us to throw off "our plan", and just rest? Truly truly rest in surrender of that He has it, and always has. I mean this time last year, entering my senior year, had I applied that - I probably would have saved my self a ton of "chaos", doubt, and rerouting, because honestly... He was telling me where to go the whole time. I just wasn't listening. I wasn't choosing to see.

His working isn't always how we wish it would be. We want "to know" - but God just show me this far and with the rest I will be fine, but the thing is, if He did, what would be the point in faith? Because we would always be wanting and "needing" more. always. We think oh goodness, He has probably forgotten about this detail in our cottage, when He is thinking, "yeah it might seem that way because I am not constructing a cottage, I am constructing a palace - and those don't look the same." We have to choose to believe that when we don't understand His hand, we can trust His heart. We stand unshakeable on His promises. 

How would our mindset change if we trusted the Lord as He is, Greater? greater than our thoughts. greater than our trials. greater than our plans. greater than our mindset. Oh goodness, He so desperately wants that for us. Yet we chose to confine ourselves to our limited ability every single day, and we wonder what's going on...when things are painful. He is molding us into HIS IMAGE. It's not always easy, it hurts sometimes. We have to be cracked to let Him through. Oh but how beautiful the process is, its a way to LIFE, and LIFE TO THE FULL. Learning to embrace brokenness and being cracked is something that is definitely a process. But wow, how faithful the Lord is during these times. His hand never leaves. 

I am so learning what it means to trust and expect God with the palace, when I am just living in and seeing the cottage.