:: stop this ride, I wanna get off ::

I don’t have a lot of memories prior to my family moving to Gadsden, but from Gadsden, I have loads of memories.  I was listening to a message this morning that brought back one of those memories.
John Mark and I had a blue Sit & Spin.  If you don’t know what that is, google it.  It was this little toy that sat on the floor, you’d sit around it and spin.  We would play on it for hours.  Rain and shine.  It stayed on our porch and brought us hours of entertainment. (We also put on poor dog on it from time to time.  RIP Scooter.)  Invariably, I would get so dizzy that I would fall off.   Sometimes it would take thirty or forty seconds to re-orient myself.  (In kid time, that’s like AN HOUR!)  But I kept getting on that dumb toy.  For a season, JM and I could fit on it together, but as we got bigger we had to take turns.
What triggered me from the message was reality that I’ve been on Sit & Spin’s my whole life.  I spin around and around and around, and time passes, but I don’t go anywhere.  And now I’m dizzy with nothing to show for it. 
I do this with my prayer life.
I do this with my love life.
I do this with … every. emotion. in. my. repertoire.
And then I get mad because I’m making no progress and I’m sick.
Oh the cost of spinning in circles and not trusting that God is moving FOR me.
I think real, deep, soul-wrecking love from the Father is the kind of love that gets (me) off of the Sit & Spin, stands me up, and holds my hands.  Let’s be real – I cannot and do not want to do anything without my heavenly father. Getting off the Sit & Spin for me means coming back to the promises of God – that HE is faithful, that HE loves me, that I have worth, that I am beautiful, that settling is the last thing HE wants me to do because I’m tired or frustrated or scared, that HE is enough.  Lord, help me also be a conduit to show others that love, even when I can’t see it for myself.  The real miracle in that is knowing that You can use me even and especially when I don’t.

Here’s to getting off this ride, getting my bearings and moving forward. 

Love like this – The Belonging Co.
You don’t leave me where you found.  You pull me up, out of the mess.
You don’t leave me brokenhearted. You never break your promises.
You keep giving second chances far above what I deserve, far above what I deserve
You keep telling me I’m worth it, not a love I have to earn.

wait. by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, He replied.
I pleaded, and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, “Child, you must wait.”
“Wait? You say wait?” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why.
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.
“My future, and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me ‘wait’?
I’m needing a ‘yes,’ or a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no,’ to which I can resign.
“And Lord, you have promised that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive. 
And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking: I need a reply!”
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God; “So I’m waiting, for what?”
He seemed then to kneel and His eyes met with mine
And He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, darken the sun,
Raise the dead, cause the mountains to run.
“All you see I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.
“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust, just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me,
When darkness and silence was all you could see.
“You would never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth and the beat of my heart.
“The glow of My comfort late in the night’
The faith that I give when you walk without sight;
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinate God who makes what you have last.
“And you never would know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’
Yes, your dreams for that loved one o’ernight could come true,
But the loss! if you lost what I’m doing in you.
“So be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft’ may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all…is still…wait.”

::sandpaper season::

For reasons that I don’t completely understand, I’m in this season where a lot of things seem contemptible.  Constant disagreements.  Frustration at breaking point levels. Tension that can be cut with a knife.
I hate these kinds of seasons.  I haven’t had one in a few years and while I’m thankful, I know they are necessary.  They’re the biblical sandpaper season.
Too bad I didn’t realize how badly I needed sandpaper, or how much God thought I needed sandpaper!
I have found that these sandpaper seasons are always accompanied by change and growth. Change really is inevitable and it is good.  Growth, while hard in the moment, is always good.  
I also know that this growth and change is directly correlated to a season of planting in my own life.  Where I thought that I was in the dark, but it was really where God had put seed in the ground of my life and now it’s breaking through.
Coincidentally, a lot of the sermons I’ve been listening to revolve around fighting battles that (I) may or may not have signed up for.  Trust me, I have ZERO desire to wage war.  But we also rarely wage war against flesh.  There is always a deeper meaning – a bigger battle.
A handful of battles I’m fighting revolve around others expectations of me.  While there is always a healthy level of what we should expect out of one another (maybe attempt to be a good human being?), the manipulative expectations are the ones that drive me bonkers.  I don’t have to _______.  Both for good reason and natural preservation, the more I’m presented with these, the less I want to be around the people who expect them out of me.  Mostly because it’s unrealistic and unhealthy!
I’ve been so grateful for a very close friend in this season who has listened to me, challenged me on my reactions (in the best way), loved me when I call her crying, and just been the best friend that I needed her to be.  
My hope and my prayer is that this season will pass quickly and what comes out of it is beautiful.
Here’s to celebrating sandpaper seasons with some grace.

“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’ ””
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

walk around

My church is in the middle of 21 days of prayer. This morning during the prayer time, I noticed two small kids walking around. There is a strong chance that they were just doing what their parents were doing, but what struck me was the innocence of it. Instead of being inhibited, they just did it.

They walked.


it kind of messed me up this morning because as an adult, I’ve completely forgotten how to have that kind of faith. To have that kind of resolve. To just do. To be present in the moment and see God in the small and hugely significant. I have gotten so caught up in the big prayers

That I have failed to just do.
To just worship.

To just be.

Thank you Lord for the sweetest reminder.